Greatest Hits!

I have greatest hits, and you can now purchase them in one convenient bundle!

Five of my novels are now available in one neat package through Dreamspinner Press for only $9.99. It’s the Kate McMurray Greatest Hits Bundle! The books are:

Blind Items
Four Corners
The Stars that Tremble
When the Planets Align
The Windup

Hard to beat that deal! Shorter descriptions: a reporter and the son of a conservative politician meet and then there are shenanigans; Jake’s best friend Adam ditched him five years ago, but now he’s back—is it for good?; an opera singer meets the father of one of his student, and each helps the other get over his losses; old friends never quite seem to be in the same place at the same time—until they are; and the launch of my series about the guys who play for an LGBT baseball league in New York.


You can also purchase through Amazon or the ebookstore of your choice.

Throwback Thursday: Blind Items

Blind Items CoverBlind Items was my third published novel; it came out way back in the summer of 2011. But I started it back in 2008, before I wrote In Hot Pursuit, even.

The novel is the story of Drew, an LGBT columnist who writes a column for a low-rent alt-weekly. His editor asks him to do a story on Jonathan, the son of an uber-conservative senator who is rumored to be seeking higher office. There’s an unsubstantiated rumor that Jonathan fooled around with other guys in college, and Drew’s editor wants to do an expose that would embarrass the senator. I bet you can see where this is going.

The novel actually started off as a book about three childhood friends who were growing apart: Drew and his best friends Rey and Allie. Rey ended up still being an integral part of the final book (he and Jonathan are cousins) but a lot of his backstory got cut. There was a subplot in which Rey reconciled with his estranged mother that got cut; for the best, as was probably too melodramatic. Rey and Allie slept together in the original draft and ended up together, but that wasn’t working, so I broke them up in a subsequent draft and Drew found himself having to choose sides. That was too much, too. I finally cut out a bunch of subplots and boiled the novel down to be primarily the Drew/Jonathan romance, but that penultimate version was written in third person. There was something about the book that still wasn’t working for me, so I let it sit for a while, wrote other novels, and when I came back, I thought, “As an experiment, what if I changed it to first person?” I realized once I’d rewritten the first chapter from Drew’s POV that the rewrite was just right; I’d finally figured out how to make the story come together.

Blind Items is a New York-y book, too, taking place mostly in Brooklyn, and it was the first of my published novels set in NYC. There’s no baseball, though. 😛

For the month of April, the book is 35% off if you order through the Dreampsinner Press site. Check out Blind Items at Dreamspinner!

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!!

Saturday Snark

I thought that in honor of Blind Items getting that honorable mention in the Rainbow Awards, I’d give you a little Drew and Jonathan:

Which was how we came to be standing outside of a club in the Village called Rooster’s half an hour later. “They’re not even trying to be subtle, are they?” Jonathan asked.

“When I was in college, I frequented a place called Manhole.”

He laughed. “Okay, that’s worse.” But he dug in his heels when I tried to pull him inside.

“Jonathan, no one’s going to recognize you.”

And still he hesitated. “I can’t be here. Going with you to a restaurant or a bar would be one thing, but this is, you know, a club where, you know…” He pressed his palms together.

“Are you trying to say that this is a homosexual establishment?” I clutched at my invisible pearls. “Rey’s gone in here with me before, and he’s a hell of a lot higher profile than you are. In the unlikely event someone does recognize you, well, it’s not totally unprecedented for the straight friends of gay men to go to gay clubs. Because you know what else they have at gay clubs? Straight-girl best friends.”

“I’m not here to pick up women,” Jonathan said.

“I should hope not.” I leaned close to him. “I’m just concocting your alibi. Do you see anybody you think you might be here to pick up?”

I could see it on his face when he started to let go. The lines in his forehead disappeared, his mouth twitched into an almost smile. “I think I might see someone,” he said looking right at me.

“Yeah?” I laughed, and Jonathan laughed with me. That seemed like a green light. “Let’s go inside. Deep breath, cowboy.”

Check out more Saturday Snark over at Marie Sexton’s!

rainbow awards honorable mention!

I was honored to take part in the Rainbow Awards this year as a member of the jury, and I read a really interested mix of books as part of that job. (And the funny thing is that I’ve done this twice now, and each time it was one of the books that I least expected that wound up being really impressing me. That’s one of the wonderful things about these awards; because of the way the judging is done, a number of books that would have slid under the radar otherwise can get recognition.)

That said, I was delightfully surprised to see that Blind Items won honorable mention in the One Perfect Rate category. This means that one of the (several) judges who read the book for the awards gave it a very high rating, and that is pretty darned awesome. I was so genuinely surprised to see my name on that list, I almost didn’t believe it. And there were so many truly wonderful books entered this year!

The good news for you is that I got word that Dreamspinner will be offering 20% off all Rainbow Award winners starting today, through December 16th, so now’s your chance to snag the book if you haven’t read it already. (There are lots of other great Dreamspinner books that won awards, too.)

Check out all the winners. Congratulations to all the authors who won!

cover art, new story, other news

I have a bunch of announcements!

1. Across the East River Bridge, due out October 12 from Loose Id, has cover art, as you can see. (Valerie Tibbs was the cover artist.) I will have some cool stuff (a book trailer, an excerpt, some special features) up in the coming days. (The link brings you to the book page, where you can read the blurb.)

I’m pretty excited about this book. It’s about two old academic rivals who team up to solve an old mystery and then, naturally, fall in love. They investigate the deaths of two men who died in 1878. The novel is kind of a tour of Brooklyn, as Finn and Troy, my two main characters, visit neighborhoods all over the borough in search of clues. There’s also a glimpse into the Brooklyn of the 1870s, which was pretty fun to research. (Well, it was fun to research if you’re me, because I’m a nerd.) The book is kind of a love letter to the borough I’ve called home for the last five years.

2. I will have a story in Dreamspinner’s Advent Calendar this year. It’s about a guy who is in love with his roommate’s boyfriend. Look for that in December. (It will be available as part of the advent calendar, or for individual download.)

3. Here’s a pretty nice review of Blind Items from Top 2 Bottom reviews (4.5 out of 5 kisses!).

I think those are the big things. Here in New York, it’s cooled off some, so I guess fall is here. (We had a pretty mild August, so I’m sad about seeing summer go.) I’m still writing away, working on a few different new projects. Hope you all are having great weekends.

review, broadway, november

First, thanks to Night Owl Reviews for the great review of Blind Items!

Second, among other things, I went to see the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway this weekend. I have to say, Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe was pretty great! It’s a fun show.

Third, I’m thinking about National Novel Writing Month already, and have this completely crazy idea. I spent some time today writing out several pages of notes. So I hope that works out!

to epilogue or not to epilogue?

I just finished the first round of edits on my next new book, a book called Across the East River Bridge, which is a romance that involves a couple of ghosts. (The romance is between two flesh and blood people, but the ghosts bring them together. Sort of.) So I’m thinking about whether or not the book needs an epilogue.

Some of the early feedback I’m getting about Blind Items is that readers want an epilogue, or a sequel maybe; they want to know what happens to the characters down the road. I actually usually really like epilogues, especially in books in which I’m really liking the characters—I want to spend more time in the author’s world or with the characters, or want to see them together happily if only for a few pages. With Blind Items, though, I felt like I’d gotten to the end of the story… although that doesn’t eliminate the possibility of a sequel somewhere down the line.

But not all readers like epilogues, or don’t feel that they’re necessary if the book ends with the characters committing to each other, or clearly on their way toward a happily ever after (I’m talking about romance specifically here, obviously). And I for sure am not always a fan of marriage-and-babies epilogues that mostly just serve to show the couple in gratuitous domestic bliss. So I’m of two minds about it.

What say you? Do you like epilogues? Do you hate them?