five things: GRL (OMG); swag disasters; reviews

Weekly wrap-up, comin’ at ya:

1. I was chatting with a coworker yesterday about my travel plans in October, and she said, “Why are you staying in Albuquerque? There’s nothing to do there.” Somehow, I don’t think that will be a problem for me.

So, YES, GAYROMLIT, LESS THAN TWO WEEKS. I am REALLY EXCITED, if that was not obvious from the caps lock abuse. We’re close enough now that it’s not too weird if I start pre-planning my outfits (not that I didn’t start that already, but now it’s not crazy… right?). Everyone in my social networks is atwitter about it. (Har har.) I would like to get on that plane right now.

I have run into one snafu, which is that the pens I ordered arrived last week and they were misprinted. (Seems to have been a font issue, so some letters were replaced with random characters.) Panic ensued, followed by ranting all over anyone who would listen, and then it took me two days to get anyone at the pen company on the phone. The customer service people, when I did finally get through, were really nice at least and they are sending me new pens, so now we play the game of hoping and praying that they arrive before I fly to ABQ. Man. I really want those pens. My thought process had been that the swag I always keep after conventions are pens. (I always need pens.) These ones I ordered are not top of the line, but they’re nice and they came in a variety of bright colors. *pouts*

Even if the pens don’t come in time, I do have postcards, bookmarks, Matt & Iggy baseball cards, and some other goodies for an event the Rainbow Romance Writers are doing. Between all that and the books I’m going to be selling, my bedroom is currently Box City.

2. BUT FIRST, I’m going back to my home state for the New Jersey Romance Writers convention next weekend and also kind of double-guessing the wisdom of doing two conventions two weekends in a row. (Who needs sleep? Bah.) I’m actually pretty psyched for that one, too, but my plan is to sit back and observe, figure out how these kinds of conventions go down. Well, also to represent the hot gay love contingent of the romance writing universe.

I was going to try to fit New York Comic Con in there, too (also next weekend) but then the part of my conscience that deals with my sanity laughed like a lunatic. So… no Comic Con this year. Maybe next year.

3. Dreamspinner is doing a Halloween Extravaganza, so they’re having sales all month. If for some reason you haven’t read Blind Items or Four Corners, you’ll be able to purchase them for 25% off during GayRomLit (sale is on the 19th–21st) and there might be some things you should pay attention to the @dreamspinners twitter account for.

4. I’m finishing up revisions on Show and Tell this week AND I got a release date yesterday: the book will be out January 22. (That’s soon!)

5. Reviews! I haven’t posted any of these in a while. The Novel Spot gave Across the East River Bridge 4.5 stars. Lisa says, “This is one of those books that not only entertained but also informed, which resulted in a really lovely read for me.”

Top 2 Bottom Reviews gave Four Corners 4.5 stars. Gabbi says, “I enjoyed watching both men work hard to find their way back to each other, and I appreciated the solid foundation of love and trust that they once again build between them.”

Announcement: Sports Week will be happening on this here blog the week of October 22nd, so you’ll have something to read during your GayRomLit hangover. I so far have 3 fantastic guest bloggers lined up, and we’re gonna talk about sports and romance and it will be fun! More details soon!

happy 2012!

Happy New Year!

2011 was a really amazing year both personally and professionally, and I’m hoping for even bigger and better things in 2012. I wanted to reflect a little on how this year has gone. As far as my writing goes, here were some 2011 highlights:

The Boy Next Door was published in January. This was my third book, and my second novel-length work. The story has a lot of emotional resonance, at least for me. And it’ll be out in print sometime this month!

• In March, I went to the Rainbow Book Fair here in New York City and spent the day hanging out with a bunch of my fellow Dreamspinner authors. Everyone I met was wonderful. I think I met a dozen authors that day, and they were each friendly and welcoming and I thought it was great to feel a part of this community of m/m writers.

• In June, my friend A and I went to the literacy signing that kicked off the RWA conference in NYC. I talked to a few m/m writers there and I got to meet Suzanne Brockmann, who is one of my romance-writer idols.

Blind Items was published at the end of July. It’s funny to me that this became my breakout novel in a lot of ways. I was so unsure of how it would be received. It’s a funny book, and it’s quite New York in its sensibilities, and it’s as much about the main character’s relationships with the people in his life as it is about his romantic relationship. But I continue to be delighted by the way it’s been received, and I’m thrilled so many people enjoyed it.

• Two big things happened in October. Across the East River Bridge was published, and that is a book I’m enormously proud of. That same week, I got on a plane to New Orleans and spent four incredible days at GayRomLit, an event I’m still giddy about. I had such an amazing time meeting authors and readers and talking about books and everything else. I’ve been looking forward to Albuquerque since I got on the plane back to New York.

• In December, my fourth published work (if you exclude freebies) of the year came out, a Christmas short called A Walk in the Dark. I also accepted a job that I’m really excited about, but we’ll get to that soon.

So now a new year! I rang it in last night with good friends who live in Manhattan. Just after midnight, we went up to their building’s roof to see if we could catch a glimpse of the fireworks being shot off from Times Square. We heard them, but the view was blocked by other buildings. Still, I had one of those moments, looking up at the familiar parts of the skyline, when I was reminded just how magic this city can be sometimes.

I have a lot to look forward to this year. I just this morning got the contract for my fourth novel-length work, a romance between two baseball players tentatively titled Out in the Field. I’m hard at work on a number of other things as well, but more about that later.

A happy, healthy, prosperous New Year to you all!!

news!

I’ve been too busy to post much around here, but a few things have happened in the last couple of weeks. So, without further ado…

1) I’m the featured author this week over at Lou Sylvre’s blog. You can click on the link to see everything, including an interview with me and excerpts of Blind Items and Across the East River Bridge.

2) Across the East River Bridge is now available from All Romance Ebooks!

3) Reviews! Across the East River Bridge got a great review from Sensual Reads. My Christmas short “A Walk in the Dark” got a great review from Queer Magazine Online.

4) The Dreamspinner Advent Calendar (in which you can find “A Walk in the Dark”) got a little shout out from Lambda Literary.

5) Now is as good a time as any to remind you that I’ve got a Christmas-related freebie over here. It’s on the website or you can download it as a PDF. It’s about two lost souls who find each other at the top of the Empire State Building on Christmas Eve.

Otherwise, I’ve been keeping busy, mostly with work, writing, and Christmas shopping. 🙂

reviews and things

I woke up this morning to find two new reviews of Across the East River Bridge:

MM Good Book Reviews gave it 4 hearts:

This is a great story that drew me in because of the interesting historical facts as well as a doomed 1870’s love story and the present love story. I must admit that I am a bit of a history nerd and love finding out new historical facts especially when it’s blended in with fiction and this author does that beautifully. This isn’t a light read; I’d class it as medium as we have two historical researcher’s digging into a mystery that is over a hundred years old and they are trying to figure out their attraction to each other; while one of them is fighting it and two ghosts are interfering with them as well.

And Cecilia Ryan at Three Crow Press gave it 4.5/5 stars:

The characters were engaging, and the mystery that formed the basis of the plot was interesting to watch unfold, with satisfying glimpses into history dotted along the way that were a bit like uncovering buried treasure. All in all, it was an entertaining read with perhaps a little more substance to the plot than you might normally find, and strong enough characters, setting and writing to hold up to the increased complexity. I can honestly say I just enjoyed reading it, in a simple sort of way that makes me perfectly happy.

(This was an especially nice review for me, since Cecilia and I are both members of the same online writing community, and we have had some, let’s say, spirited discussions. So I’m especially grateful that she took the time to read the book!)

I have crossed the 50,000-word threshold on my NaNoWriMo novel, and I’m currently about 60% of the way through my outline, so there’s still a lot of story to go. And there are fantasy elements! If you had asked me two years ago if I saw myself ever writing fantasy, I would have laughed at you, and yet here we are. Just goes to show it’s good to keep an open mind!

Saturday Snark

I figured I’d play along. Here’s a little Finn and Troy from Across the East River Bridge:

And now he was sitting in the same room as Troy, who was yammering on obliviously about gender relations in the nineteenth century, and all Finn could think was that Troy had a really lovely mouth, and he would very much like to kiss it again.

Troy interrupted his lecture to ask, “Do I have something on my face?”

“What? No.”

“Oh. You’re staring.”

Finn blinked a few times. “No, I’m not.”

Troy shifted his feet so that he was sitting with his legs stretched out. He leaned against the sofa, right next to where Finn was also leaning. “You weren’t even listening.”

Finn contemplated lying. “Eh, I guess I zoned out. Sorry.”

“It’s fine. Probably stuff you mostly already knew. Here, have a fortune cookie.” Troy picked up two and handed one to Finn.

Finn cracked his open. He read aloud, “Look in the right places; you will find some good offerings.

“In bed,” said Troy with a grin.

Finn rolled his eyes. “You are such a child.”

“I don’t think there is anything childish about showing you the offerings found in my bed.”

modern sensibilities

I have a guest post up at the RWANYC blog on having modern sensibilities but wanting to write history, which is sort of how Across the East River Bridge came about.

And right now, I’m twiddling my thumbs until midnight so I can get started on my NaNoWriMo novel, which I have been bravely sitting on for six weeks. (I seem to be writing… fantasy? That can’t be right. But it’s NaNo, so anything goes, I guess. I LOVE this idea, it’s all about New York through the ages and finding lost objects and… it’ll be good, I just know it. I want to start it!)

Halloween and Gay Day

The witching hour is almost upon us, or something—I’m using the excuse to make pies, basically—but I like Halloween. (Speaking of which, reminder! You can hop on over to the Dreamspinner Press site and do a little hunting through pages for my books to find my Halloween short, entitled “On the Stoop.” It’s a look at how totally weird Halloween is in the city if you grew up in the suburbs. Kids trick or treat at stores!)

Just to make things extra weird, it snowed in New York today, and not even flurries but full-on, big-flaked snow.

Before I climb into my costume to go off to a Halloween party tonight, I figured I’d let you know that I plan to participate in Gay Day over at Ethan Day’s Yahoo Group. I’ll be posting excerpts from Across the East River Bridge and also possibly from my upcoming Dreamspinner short, so stop by if you’ve got time tomorrow!

win a copy of Across the East River Bridge

I wrote a guest post for my friend Alexis’s awesome blog Parenthetical Observations. Go there and you can enter to win a copy of Across the East River Bridge, just in time for Halloween and all your novels-about-haunted-houses needs. The contest closes around noon EST on Friday (10/28).

(I’ve been flogging this everywhere, so it bears mentioning on my own website, huh? And check out Alexis’s blog while you’re there; it’s great, and I’m not just saying that because we are friends.)

c’est moi

Why, yes, I am apparently just narcissistic enough to post a photo of myself from GRL! I took hardly any photos, which I’m kind of regretting now, so I’ve been going through all the ones people are posting to the Yahoo group and Facebook and their blogs and all that. (For example, check out Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton’s travel blog.) This photo here I took from the Yahoo group (thanks, Susan!). So here I am, signing autographs on the Creole Queen at the big singing event. It’s almost like I’m a real author or something.

I seem to have brought back the same case of the sniffles that everyone else at the retreat got as a souvenir, but it was totally worth it. My brain is STILL buzzing.

Anyway! Things of interest: I made a post last week to the Loose Id author blog that is basically about how I’m a nerd (in this case, my relative nerdery about history was the inspiration for Across the East River Bridge, so, see, relevant!). I have a few other guest posts and things lined up for the coming weeks, so I’ll let you know about those.

By the way, Across the East River Bridge is now available from Amazon, a little early even.

I went to the first NYC NaNoWriMo event of the year on Tuesday and I, uh, handed out a bunch of the surplus bookmarks from New Orleans (so if you got here from a bookmark, hi!). I have what I think is a cool idea for a novel to write this November. M/M contemporary, but with some fantasy elements tossed in. (Someone at the NaNo meetup said, when I described my plot, “So magical realism.” And, yeah, that seems about right. Sort of a departure for me, but I think it will be fun to write.)

So that’s all the news that’s fit to print right now.

(I look so serious in this photo! Being an author is srs bsns, apparently.)

Across the East River Bridge now available!

Across the East River Bridge is available for purchase today from the Loose Id website. You can buy it here!

When Finn’s boss sends him to a museum in Brooklyn, the last person he expects to see is his old rival, Troy. Although Finn and Troy have undeniable sexual chemistry, Finn still blames Troy for sending his career off the rails but Troy has research Finn needs. Troy also has an intriguing story; the museum he curates is haunted by the ghosts of two men who died under mysterious circumstances in 1878. Troy strikes a deal: he’ll help Finn if Finn helps him find out what happened to the men who died.

From diaries, police reports, and newspaper articles, Finn and Troy piece together the lives of the two dead men–and the romance that bloomed between them. As it becomes clear that the men were murdered, it also becomes clear that the ghosts are real and are capable of manipulating the dreams, thoughts, and actions of the living. When Finn and Troy start falling for each other, Finn worries that it’s all an illusion concocted by the ghosts to keep them working together to solve the mystery, but Troy is convinced the love between them is real. But how can he get rid of a couple of ghosts and prove it?

For more info on the book, check out the recently updated book page. From there, you can read an excerpt, view the book trailer, and get to the Special Features, which include photos, historical background, and suggested reading.