A note on the All Romance eBooks closure

All Romance eBooks announced yesterday that they are closing abruptly on December 31 and will not be paying authors for sales after 12/27, so I decided to pull my self-published titles from the site. Here’s what that may mean for you:

Lead Us Not is a free short that was available for download on ARe, but also here on the website. If you follow the link, you can find the story for download in a few different formats.

Across the East River Bridge is still available for purchase from Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iBooks. If you purchased the book from ARe and were unable to download it before I pulled it, send me proof of purchase (kate (at) katemcmurray (dot) com) and I’ll send you the book.

There Has to Be a Reason (which will be published on January 9) went up for preorder on ARe last week. If you preordered, Dreamspinner will honor your preorder; forward your receipt to contact (at) dreamspinner (dot) com.

I think that covers it. If you have any questions, shoot me an email or leave a comment and I’ll try to answer them.

Across the East River Bridge, 2nd ed., now available!

Across the East River BridgeWant something to read while avoiding your family this Thanksgiving? How about a hot award-winning paranormal romance with some ghosts? I’m pleased to announce that Across the East River Bridge is out once again in a shiny new edition that has been lightly revised.

When historian Christopher Finnegan walks into a new museum in Brooklyn, he’s chagrined to learn its curator is his old academic rival, Troy Rafferty. Worse, Troy is convinced the museum is haunted and wants Finn’s help learning more about the ghosts. Finn and Troy have never gotten along and Finn wants to run screaming, but then Troy offers him an intriguing proposal: Troy will help Finn with a research project for his overbearing boss if Finn will help Troy solve a mystery involving two men who died in the building under mysterious circumstances in 1878.

Finn and Troy piece together the two men’s lives—and the quiet romance that grew between them—through diaries, newspaper clippings, and police reports. They’re both soon convinced the men were murdered. They’re also convinced the ghosts are real—even Finn witnesses paranormal phenomena he can’t deny—and that they’re capable of affecting thoughts, feelings, and actions. When Finn and Troy start falling for each other despite years of animosity, Finn worries he’s being manipulated by the ghosts to stay with Troy and solve the case. Troy is convinced the love between them is real, but he’ll need to figure out how to get rid of the ghosts in order to prove it.

Buy it from:
Amazon
Kobo
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Apple iBooks

If you’re a reviewer and would like to request a copy of the book, please fill out this form.

I’m working on paperbacks, too, but those are lagging behind a little. They should be available from most online retailers by mid-December, if you’re looking for a hot stocking stuffer. 😉

Cover Reveal: Across the East River Bridge, 2nd Edition

I am super excited to reveal the cover for the second edition of Across the East River Bridge!

Across the East River Bridge

Winner of the 2012 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Paranormal

When historian Christopher Finnegan walks into a new museum in Brooklyn, he’s chagrined to learn its curator is his old academic rival, Troy Rafferty. Worse, Troy is convinced the museum is haunted and wants Finn’s help learning more about the ghosts. Finn and Troy have never gotten along and Finn wants to run screaming, but then Troy offers him an intriguing proposal: Troy will help Finn with a research project for his overbearing boss if Finn will help Troy solve a mystery involving two men who died in the building under mysterious circumstances in 1878.

Finn and Troy piece together the two men’s lives—and the quiet romance that grew between them—through diaries, newspaper clippings, and police reports. They’re both soon convinced the men were murdered. They’re also convinced the ghosts are real—even Finn witnesses paranormal phenomena he can’t deny—and that they’re capable of affecting thoughts, feelings, and actions. When Finn and Troy start falling for each other despite years of animosity, Finn worries he’s being manipulated by the ghosts to stay with Troy and solve the case. Troy is convinced the love between them is real, but he’ll need to figure out how to get rid of the ghosts in order to prove it.

I’m self-publishing the second edition, which is my first real foray into self-publishing. It’s a little scary! But I hope to make the book available around Thanksgiving, so stay tuned!

In Case You Missed It…

I didn’t really do an organized book tour for Such a Dance, but I was all over the place this week, so here’s what you may have missed:

Let’s do non-Such a Dance related stuff first.

I wrote a flash fic for Halloween. Ghosts at a smallpox hospital, and yet it’s still more cute than scary.

Across the East River Bridge just went out of print, but I’m hard at work getting the second edition ready. Which isn’t a thing I said on the Internet this week, but I thought you should know!

I did a Friday Fun Five for Halloween on Elle Brownlee’s blog with Lyla Bellatas, Alyssa Cole, Poppy Dennison, and Elle.

And now, Such a Dance things you may have missed:

I took over the Kensington Books tumblr on Monday and Tuesday and posted some exclusive content. Highlights: Jazz Age slang, the Jazz Age playlist, and fun facts about 1927.

Postcard for the Cotton & France show, part of Jimmy Blanchard's Doozies (from SUCH A DANCE)

Postcard for the Cotton & France show, part of Jimmy Blanchard’s Doozies (from SUCH A DANCE)

I wrote a guest post for Ever After on what it was like to be gay in the 1920s.

In preparation for the Coastal Magic Convention next year, I wrote a flash fic featuring Eddie and Lane, in which I go with them to Coney Island. For reasons.

some updates

This post is going to be all over the place, so bear with me, but updates!

• If you follow me on social media, you probably saw that my laptop finally bit the big one last week. I helped it along by spilling water on it, but it’s been on its way out for a while. It’s more than six years old. It was running super slow. I’ve been saving in anticipation of buying a new one this year. This just happened so suddenly that I was surprised and spent a whole day freaking out because I make my livelihood by typing on that stupid thing and… yeah. Not having a computer is a bad thing for a writer.

So that was stressful, and I haven’t replaced it yet for a few reasons, but things are okay. My entire hard drive was backed up on my external drive, so I haven’t lost anything (phew!) and I’ve got my tablet and a temporary loaner laptop to use until I can purchase a new one. This is going to slow me down a little, but I have so much going on in March I don’t have a lot of time for writing anyway.

• Barb put up a post Friday at Live Your Life, Buy the Book for her birthday in which she picked a sweet sixteen set of Loose Id books to celebrate. These same books are now on sale. They include Across the East River Bridge by yours truly as well as some of my old favorites including Duty and Devotion, Nowhere Ranch, and Long Tall Drink. She asked the authors of books she picked to write up a little something, so I talked about the ill-fated romance I found myself in when I was at a camp for overachievers at the University of Michigan when I was sixteen. I felt like that tied in nicely with the rival-academics theme of AtERB.

• I’ve got the final cover and blurb for The Silence of the Stars, so I’ll reveal that… soon. I’m not certain of the pub date, but I think May sometime. That’s the sequel to The Stars that Tremble, though it works pretty well as a standalone. This is Sandy’s story, and I put him through the ringer emotionally, but it’s actually not super angsty. More on that soon.

• Although if you plan to come to Liberty States in New Jersey next weekend, I’ll totally show you the cover. It’s gorgeous and I <3 it. (The big book signing is open to the public 4:30–6pm, so drop by if you're in the area. A number of my favorite people will be signing books as well, including Tere Michaels, Damon Suede, and K.A. Mitchell.) Convention registration just ended, but the signing is open to everyone. • I spent most of January and February reading books assigned to me because of contests or book club or research, so I finally got to read a book just for the hell of it this weekend, and it was glorious. (I find that, even if I'm enjoying a book, if I HAVE to read it, it feels like homework.) I will say: reading books critically as a contest judge is tricky. It's kind of like reviewing, I imagine, though for me, being an anonymous judge means I can be totally candid about how I feel about a book. Most of the contest books ended up being kind of middle-of-the-road for me: not terrible, but not that great either. There was competent writing and all the normal romance signposts, though some felt a little parboiled to me. (By which I mean: underdeveloped, not quite there yet.) It made me a little sad, actually; I guess if you read enough books that don't really work for you in a row, you start to despair. I think there's value in reading critically in that you can analyze what it is that doesn't work and apply those lessons to your own writing, so that's my take away. But, for example, in a romance novel, I want that first "I love you" to be earned. I've read a lot of books lately where it feels like the characters are declaring their love for each other not because they actually are in love but just because we're 3/4 of the way through the novel. I want to write more on this topic—and on sex scenes, because I saw a few doozies in the contest books and in something I read over the weekend. (Short version: I'm noticing a lot of things that read to me as more "this is here because the author thinks it's required" than "this is something the characters would organically do.") I mean, romance is fantasy, no question, and there are things I can excuse in a story I'm enjoying, but a lot of what I've read lately doesn't really match up with my own experience. (I have a lot to say on this topic, apparently, because I just wrote several paragraphs and then deleted them for fear I was getting too TMI, but suffice it to say we all bring our own experience to bear when we're reading, and I have read some things lately that made me scratch my head and think, "Do actual humans behave in this way?" so.) Anyway, this is a long enough post. Happy Monday!

five things on friday

This is a drowsy five things. I’m really tired. Zzz. But here’s what happened this week:

1. Thanks to everyone who bought and read Save the Date! It got all the way up to #2 on the All Romance eBooks bestseller list and has been on the Amazon top 100 for Gay Romance for the last week and a half or so, which I appreciate. I hope you all are liking the book!

BMMmzbmCUAA7N6N.jpg_large2. What There Is has a gorgeous cover done by L.C. Chase. Look for that (I think) next month. I just finished first edits on Monday. It’s a short (about 15K words) fluffy, sweet story, mostly about a guy who can’t play baseball anymore.

3. Ripped from the headlines: I don’t know if I’ve mentioned here before, but one of my childhood best friends is currently DOMA exiled (he spent some time post-college gallivanting around Europe and fell in love with a Czech man; they currently live together in a large European city because the husband couldn’t get a visa to stay in the US). He’s been on my mind as the new immigration bill gets debated; I miss him a lot but totally get why he doesn’t want to live in the States.

4. I’m apparently procrastinating from my actual deadline by writing a new story, a contemporary that is super angsty! But my other WIP is a historical, which I am doggedly pursuing despite the fact that everyone is telling me the historical is dead. Which I suppose brings to mind the age-old problem of writing whatever the hell you want without regard for how much money you’ll make (which is generally how I try to operate, although the royalty checks are NICE, don’t get me wrong) and trying to have realistic expectations versus doing what the market demands. I can tell you I do a lot better with contemporaries than paranormals, but I’m not really known as a paranormal author, and I feel like Across the East River Bridge and Show and Tell are light in the paranormal elements. (AERB remains one of my favorite things I’ve ever written, though.) I dunno. I love historicals; you may have gleaned from reading AERB that I’m also a huge history nerd, so I suppose those go hand-in-hand.

5. I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction lately. Currently I’m wending my way through a history of Regency England (Our Tempestuous Day) and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach, both of which are really enjoyable in different ways.

five things: end of the year edition

Welcome to my last weekly wrap-up post of the year!

1. I hope everyone has had a fantastic holiday season. Things were quiet but nice here.

I considered doing an end-of-the-year wrap-up post—and I still might if I get my shit together this weekend—but in the event that I don’t, I want to say that this year has been super incredible on almost every front but most especially in terms of my writing career, and I’m still awed and humbled by all of it. So THANK YOU to everyone who helped me out this year (too many of you to name!), who bought a book, who talked up the genre, who said “Hi!” at a convention or book fair. You guys rock and make so many things possible. I’m really looking forward to 2013!

2. I spent a lot of last week with family. My mother just moved, so we spent part of the holiday weekend unpacking. My dad is still reeling from having attended a number of the funerals in Newtown—the short version is that he does enough work with kids in the area that he knows a few of the families whose children were killed in the shooting. It is so, so awful, the situation there.

Cup o Fireworks

Cup o Fireworks

3. Do you have big plans for New Years? I have friends who throw a party at their place in Manhattan every year, so that’s where I’ll be. I did the whole Times Square thing once, when I was twenty years old, and that was enough. I’m generally happy to stay inside and watch the ball drop on TV, frankly.

4. I’m going full-steam ahead on the new story I’ve been working on. I’m totally winging it, too; I never got around to making an outline. That could be good or terrible, I’m not sure; in the plotter vs. pantser debate, I am definitely a plotter. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned the story on the blog, but it’s an opposites attract story between a musician and a construction worker and I love these characters so much. I’m also trying to wrap up a novella; my beta reader has been poking me to send it to her all week, so I guess I should do that.

5. And the rest: Elisa reviewed Across the East River Bridge.

According to Goodreads, where I’ve been tracking my reading all year, I read 100 books this year. Some of those were short stories, but still… wow. If I do that yearly wrap-up post, maybe I’ll choose 10 good books at random. But I’m not making any promises.

The Rainbow Awards

I am thrilled, excited, honored to announce that Across the East River Bridge was awarded 3rd place in the Best Gay Paranormal category in the Rainbow Awards.

And Out in the Field received the One Perfect Rate honorable mention.

I was on the jury for the third year in a row this go-around, and I have to say, every book I read for the contest was really good, so I consider myself to be in some excellent company. So many excellent books were acknowledged; I bet your wallets are hurting now, eh?

Many thanks to Elisa for making the awards really special.