Archive for category baseball

Playing Ball blog tour week 1 highlights

The anthology is out! Order here!

I posted an excerpt of my historical story One Man to Remember. For excerpts of the other stories, check out the websites of my co-conspirators: Marguerite Labbe, Shae Connor, and Kerry Freeman. We’ve put together a pretty stellar anthology if I do say so myself.

Marguerite and I discussed the greatest baseball rivalry of all time at the Armchair Reader. (That’s Yankees vs. Red Sox. I bet you can guess which side of that I fall on.)

And today, I wrote about why we love sports romances for Elisa’s blog.

And don’t forget you can enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a few cool prizes.

upcoming projects

BGW400x200My novella, Save the Date, will be out June 4th. I’m taking the show on the road with a bunch of other authors who have also written gay wedding stories for Loose Id’s “I do… unless I don’t” promotion. So I’ll be posting links to all of those posts starting the week after next.

I’ve updated the Upcoming page with blurbs for what I think are probably the rest of my 2013 books, including my next novel, The Stars that Tremble. I also just signed a contract for a historical baseball story called One Man to Remember that is part of an anthology of baseball stories called Playing Ball that will be out in early fall, hopefully in time for GRL. Here are all the blurbs for the anthology:

One Man to Remember by Kate McMurray
In the summer of 1927, all anyone in New York can talk about is Babe Ruth and the Yankees’ Murderer’s Row, the unstoppable batting lineup that no other team can beat. Skip Littlefield, an infielder for the less flashy New York Giants, is happy to let the Babe take the spotlight, even as he starts hitting as well as Ruth himself. Sports journalist Walter Selby has gained a reputation for being something of a dandy. He’s a force to be reckoned with, too, as one of the most dynamic voices in the daily papers. And now he can’t help but notice the talented first baseman helping the Giants race for the pennant. Then he meets the man and is left breathless—Skip is talented, soft-spoken, and also incredibly handsome. And Walt quickly comes to understand why Skip wants to stay out of the spotlight.

Against the backdrop of the lights of Times Square, the excitement of the era, and some of the most incredible baseball anyone has ever played, Skip starts to fall for Walt. But no one can know. Skip’s only hope is that the more charismatic stars will draw attention away from the quite romance blooming between Skip and Walt, or else Skip’s whole career and everything he loves is at stake.

Wild Pitch by Marguerite Labbe
For as long as Ruben Martell has known him, he’s been in love with his best friend Alan Hartner. They played together, traveled together and publicly dueled on opposite teams. Now years later they’re both retired from the Major Leagues, are running a business together and coaching rival Little League teams. And in all those years, Ruben hasn’t given up hope that Alan might return his feelings one day, but now he’s starting to believe that Alan will never chose to move beyond the memory of his late wife.

Alan quit the game at the height of his career to take care of his sons and the one constant he’s been able to rely on is Ruben. In all that time he has tried to forget about the night everything changed, only being with Ruben on a day-to-day basis is weakening his resolve. They’d stepped over the line before and it had hurt their friendship and left Alan with a guilt he didn’t know how to handle. Alan doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that friendship now even if it mean denying the feelings he’s kept locked away for so long.

One Last Road Trip by Kerry Freeman
After the last game of his major league career, Jake Wilson is hitting the road, and he’s making a few stops along the way. He has an ex-wife with a new life in New Mexico, a son following in his footsteps in Oklahoma, a daughter with an announcement in Tennessee, and the gamble of a lifetime in Georgia. In 2,500 miles, his life will completely change, and he can only hope that his visit to his first love will cause everything to change for the better.

Home Field Advantage by Shae Connor
College student Toby MacMillan, grandson of Atlanta Braves owner Ray MacMillan, works with the team’s locker room crew during the baseball season. It’s there that he meets Caleb Browning, who’s getting his first shot at the big leagues, and Toby, who’s been trying to keep his sexuality under wraps, finds himself smitten. An innocent dinner soon turns into a not-so-innocent night together in Caleb’s bed, but Toby quickly calls things off, afraid of the ramifications of their tryst.

Unable to avoid each other because of their jobs, the two men develop a tentative friendship, but it soon becomes more. After Caleb takes a fastball to the head during a game, Toby’s presence at his hospital bedside catches the attention of more than just the medical staff. Their budding romance hits the news, and Toby’s grandfather threatens to cut Toby out of team ownership unless he denies it. Facing a choice between the team he’s loved all his life and the man he could love for the rest of it, Toby has to decide if he’s ready to make a stand.

five things on friday

Weeekly wrap-up! It’s been sort of a slow-news week (personally) but let’s see if I can’t come up with five things to talk about.

I’ve had a lot of coffee today, so this might be a little silly. Also, I’m currently wearing unseasonable Santa socks, because they were clean. I have boots on, no one can tell! So now you know a secret. Shh.

Jock week1. I’ll be participating in Jock Week over at Joyfully Jay’s next week. There’s a huge book giveaway, so definitely go check it out. Here’s a preview. (I think my guest post goes up on Tuesday. I bet you can guess what sport I wrote about.)

2. Speaking of jocks, spring training has started! Baseball is coming! (It’s like “Winter is coming” except the opposite because it’s spring and there’s baseball!)

Hey, let’s get the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees to cheer!

The World Series Champion 2009 Yankees

3. If you saw my post on Tuesday, you may be happy to learn that I seem to have gotten past my writing slump/rut/whatever and have been giddily typing away at my WIP all week and it’s going well and makes me happy.

4. I’ve been bogged down with reading stuff that is not for fun, so while I finish that up, I’ve been buying books like they’re going out of style. (I should clarify, I’m judging a contest and am reading books for that contest, and some of them have been quite fun, so it’s not all misery here. Just, because of the sheer volume of stuff I have to read by a certain date, I’m not allowing myself to read purely for fun.) So, I saw a special on TV a couple of weeks ago on the historical origins of Robin Hood and then promptly bought a bunch of books on, like, Medieval European history and the British monarchy. Yes, these are things that I will read for fun! Also, scrolling though my Kindle, I see I also bought a book on sexuality in the Ancient World that looks pretty good as well as 3 m/m novels that I REALLY want to read. (I mean, lord save me from 1-click buying on Amazon, because I just sit there and am like, “Oh, sure, that looks good!” *click* So, yes, folks, a decent cut of my royalties gets recycled right back into the publishing industry. It’s like when I worked retail in college and, like, half of any paycheck would go right back into the store. Being around all those cute clothes all day was too much temptation.)

5. Now is as good a time as any to point you toward my events page, which I just updated since somehow I failed to include RWA in July. I’m still planning on GayRomLit; that will I hope be the capstone on a most excellent year.

baseball eye candy

I think baseball is not a sport that is usually correlated with hotness. This is my theory on why there are so many m/m romances with football or hockey players—big dudes who like to, uh, tackle each other. But I am here to disabuse you of the notion that baseball is not sexy, because it is! Here is some photographic evidence (click on these to embiggen them!):

Chase Utley

Chase Utley, 2nd base, Phillies
(Chase, I would like you more if you got off the DL and earned my fantasy team some points. You do me no good by sitting on the bench. Please get better soon. Thank you.)

Grady Sizemore

Grady Sizemore, center field, Indians

David Wright

David Wright, 3rd base, Mets

Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer, Catcher, Twins
Can’t leave off my baseball boyfriend. Here’s some more.

And now for the Yankee-centric portion of this blog post:

A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez, 3rd base
A-Rod. Not so much the greatest human being. Totally useless last post-season. Not hard on the eyes.

Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano, 2nd base
This guy’s already a legend.

Nick Swisher

Nick Swisher, right field
Swish always looks thrilled. Happiest guy in baseball right there.

Curtis Granderson

Curtis Granderson, center field
I love this guy. Great ballplayer, seems like a great guy, and he’s adorable.

Mark Texieira

Mark Texieira, 1st base
I mean, do the Yankees have an attractive infield or what?

Derek Jeter

Don’t worry, Derek!

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter, shortstop
I could never leave you off this list!

So there’s your little bit of baseball hotness for the day. For more, Out in the Field is now available!

Here’s a whole slide show of hot baseball players! Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite player that I egregiously left off the list? Add him in the comments. Pictures encouraged!

one of those times

I had a pretty intense week. With the upcoming publication of Out in the Field (Tuesday!) and my various other projects, most of my concentration had been on my writing, but then a bunch of stuff came up to my divert my attention. It was one of those weeks that made me sort of reevaluate my priorities—not that anything drastic will be changing, but I think there are things that happen sometimes that make you realize what’s really important.

Brooklyn Bridge The County of Kings (otherwise known as Brooklyn) saw fit to put me on a trial jury this week. That was kind of an interesting experience. The case ultimately settled without input from the jury, but I went to court for two days and sat in the jury box and listened to testimony. It was kind of a fun break in my routine, although man, justice does not move fast. I think I probably spent more time sitting in the deliberation room than I actually did in the court room. I read a lot while I was stuck sitting around, and I’m working on a post about some of my observations. (I was on a historical romance kick and I had some thoughts about why the genre was so popular.) I also liked walking around Downtown Brooklyn. That area maybe holds a special place in my heart because a) it was one of the first places in Brooklyn I got a chance to explore after I moved here, and b) I’m a history nerd (if that wasn’t obvious) and Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn has a LOT of interesting history. The courthouses are at the foot of the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. I had plans with a friend of mine at a place on the Lower East Side Wednesday night, so I decided to just walk there when court let out that afternoon. The weather was a little dreary, but it’s still a nice walk (that’s when/where this photo was taken—click to embiggen; you can see the still-under-construction tower they’re building where the WTC used to be on the left there). I then took a circuitous route up through lower Manhattan and Chinatown and the LES, which I enjoyed.

Some family stuff came up, too, which has been a little bit taxing emotionally. Some of my extended family came to New York to visit/help out, which was really great. My parents are both midwesterners who moved to the Northeast when I was a toddler, so pretty much all of my extended family lives a fair distance away and I don’t see them as often as I’d like. We had dinner Friday night at a seafood restaurant at South Street Seaport, which is a silly touristy thing to do, but the restaurant had a spectacular view up the East River of the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges.

Most of yesterday was spent working on the family stuff, and then I went out dancing last night, so I’m pretty tired today. I’m catching up on things, basically.

Final business: Thanks to everyone who has taken the RRW romance reader survey! Your input is really valuable to us. If you haven’t taken it yet, you can find it here.

And, to fulfill my hot baseball player quotient, here’s a video of Yankee outfielder Nick Swisher on How I Met Your Mother a few years ago:

big news, small news

Joe Mauer can't help but be adorable.Lots of things to talk about! Today’s post shall be sponsored by the adorable Twins’ catcher Joe Mauer, because I think all posts for the next couple of weeks should be accompanied by photos of hot baseball players.

• Last week’s Beat Your Winter Blues was over at JP Barnaby’s, and we discussed our favorite first signs of spring. There’s still time to enter to win the grand prize!

• You can head on over to Chris’s blog to win a copy of Out in the Field!

• I’m doing some website tweaking. Thanks to my friends Stacy and Alexis for helping me come up with a tagline, which is something I have been agonizing over for a while. I do sweat the small stuff sometimes, I guess. My writers group has been referring to my books as “baseball and gay sex” since before I was published, which, while accurate, is not the catchiest of taglines.

• I wrote a short story for the Goodreads M/M Group‘s Love Is Always Write event. I believe that will be available for (free!) download in late May or early June.

Out in the Field will be out a week from today! I’ve booked a trip on a mini blog tour, so I’m gonna be all up in your face for the next few weeks. :)

Beat Your Winter Blues this week!

We are over at JL Merrow’s talking about Valentine’s Day! You can saunter on over there to learn how February 14th is somehow my own personal Bad Luck Day. By some miracle, I manage to escape relatively unscathed this year, although I’m getting over a cold, so that made it maybe not as pleasant as it could have been. (But there was chocolate!)

Actually, things kind of worked out on one front. My 3-year-old Kindle finally gave up the ghost. I called customer service to see if there was anything they could do; my old one was long out of warrantee, but I paid them a surprisingly low amount for a replacement and by whatever voodoo magic Amazon works with UPS, I’ve got that sucker in my hot little hands already. And, since the blue cover I wanted was sold out, I decided to buy a hot pink cover for it, so it’s a couple of sparkly butterfly stickers short of being the girliest e-reader ever.

And it looks like my baseball novel, still titled Out in the Field because I haven’t come up with a better title, will be out at the end of April. Out in the real MLB, pitchers and catchers are reporting for spring training this week, so that thing you smell in the air is the impending baseball season. I, for one, am pretty excited for that.

this and that

Some bullet points!

• Brooklyn Pride is this weekend, although unfortunately, the weather is pretty crappy, gray and rainy. (You may recall that I went to the street fair last year—oddly, this year’s festivities haven’t been advertised hardly at all, so it looks to be a small celebration, though there is a parade tonight I might go watch if it doesn’t get rained out.)

• I’m also hip deep in the second round of edits for my upcoming Dreamspinner novel Blind Items and I’m writing a new novel that I’m really excited about, so that’s also taking up my time this weekend.

• Here’s a really nice review of The Boy Next Door.

• I recently joined the local RWA chapter, and it seems to be a pretty great group of people. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the national convention in a few weeks, which is a real bummer because it’s in New York.

• And right now I’ve got the Yankees game on, which mostly looks like watching it rain int he Bronx. Well, happy Saturday and happy Pride!

sports romances, current events, and other news

By a weird cosmic coincidence, I read Amy Lane’s excellent basketball romance The Locker Room the same week that Rick Welts came out. If you haven’t heard, Welts is the president of the Phoenix Suns, and his profile in the Times is pretty interesting, discussing how difficult it is to be gay and in the NBA in particular. This week some good discussion relating to homophobia in the pro sports world primarily given certain NBA players’ habit of using the word “faggot” as an insult.

What I especially loved about The Locker Room was that, while the characters struggled (rather intensely) with staying closeted in order to keep the jobs they loved, there was plenty of shop talk about basketball. I’m a big sports fan, so I like that kind of detail in books, and so many sports romances are completely lacking in detail—the hero is a pro athlete but his career is only referred to obliquely, for example, or he’s a retired player so the novel doesn’t talk about the sport at all. That’s not a problem here. I don’t really follow basketball, so I can’t speak to the veracity of the lingo, but games were described in detail, with points earned and types of shots taken, and other details describing the mechanics of the game.

Baseball is my particular sports-related passion. I’ve got the Yankees game on as I type this, actually. And yes, yes, I root for the evil empire, but I’m a New Yorker and I’ve been following the team since I was twelve, back during that period when the team was not so good. (They lost the first game I ever went to at Yankee Stadium, in fact.) I like all the nitty-gritty detail of the game: the stats, the rules, the history, and so forth. I’m working on a m/m baseball romance (that I might even finish one of these days!) about two players who fall for each other, so I’ve been thinking about how much detail to include. Because I could go on all day about batting averages and RBIs and OBP and so on, but of course, non-baseball fans might find all that difficult to follow. Then again, the best sports romances don’t inhibit your enjoyment of the story—I don’t follow basketball, but I enjoyed The Locker Room immensely. (Also, as far as my books go, Jase played college ball, and Noah mentions being a baseball fan.)

Although maybe I should start following basketball; they’re building that horrifically ugly new stadium for the Nets right in my neighborhood. And I grew up near the Meadowlands, so it’s like the Nets followed me from NJ to Brooklyn.

Completely unrelated: I’ve been watching the news about tornadoes tearing up towns through the south. The recent one in Joplin, MO, maybe hit a little closer to home for me than the previous ones. I have family in Missouri, albeit on the other side of the state, and I grew up hearing stories of tornadoes (there’s a rather legendary one about how my great aunt narrowly escaped one once). But more to the point, the entire town of Joplin was wrecked. I find myself wanting to do something, and if you have the same inclination, here’s a list of ways to help.

I’m hip deep in the first round of edits for my upcoming Dreamspinner novel Blind Items, so progress on the writing front is going well. No sports at all in this one, but it’s a very New York novel in my mind, about a writer who gets entangled with the subject of one of his stories. More on that as the release date gets closer!

blog posts have I loved

I probably owe you a blog post.

I’ve been alternately busy and under the weather for the last couple of weeks, but here’s a quickie rundown:

I had a spectacular time at the Rainbow Book Fair in New York a little over a week ago. I met a bunch of other Dreamspinner authors (most of whom came in from out of town!) and I talked to some readers. I was still buzzing from it a few days afterwards, so now I can’t wait for my next event. (There are a couple of conventions I want to attend if I can rub enough pennies together to pay the registration fees. And I will for sure be at GayRomLit in New Orleans in October.)

Baseball’s back! I’ve got my fantasy team all drafted. The regular season has started. The Yankees are hitting lots of home runs. It’s good. (I’m currently watching the Yankees vs Twins game. Non-fans, let me introduce you to Joe Mauer.)

I’ve started a new novel that requires reading a lot of comic books as research, which is a hardship as I’m sure you can imagine. (Over the weekend, I read a Superman series from the mid-90s in which Superman had terrible long hair. Who thought that was a good idea?)

Well, anyway. I keep getting distracted by the game, so I’ll end it here. Hope you all have great weeks!