Coming to Shelves Near You Soon! …ish!

Well, best laid plans and all that. 2018 has been significantly busier than I expected. If you follow me on social media, you may know that in my other life I work as a freelance editor, and business has been booming since about mid-December, which is awesome! As a freelancer, I’m always happy to have work. But all the work has kept me from other things like writing and leaving my apartment regularly.

Still, here’s what you’ve got to look forward to:

I have a thing coming out in May that I will have more to say about soon.

In June, you will be able to get your hands on DAMAGE CONTROL, my first book with Carina Press. It’s a light romantic suspense. Lite suspense. Diet suspense, if you will. More romance than suspense, basically. Someone asked me the other day if there was a dead body in the book, and there is! DAMAGE CONTROL is about a Republican US Senate candidate who finds a dead body in his apartment and enlists the help of the best lawyer in town… who happens to be his ex-boyfriend. Then there will be a sequel featuring secondary characters coming up in January 2019.

One maybe sad thing is that my Loose Id books are going out of print in the wake of the publisher closing. IN HOT PURSUIT is leaving shelves by the end of this month. I would like to maybe give it a quick clean up and put it back up to sale, but given how nutty my schedule has been, I’m not sure when that will happen. My only other book still with Loose Id is SAVE THE DATE, which I’d like to expand from a novella to a novel. Fingers crossed I can scrape together some free time to do that in a timely fashion! I believe that will go out of print in May, though, so if you want to read it in its novella form, now is the time.

In the meantime, I’m developing a series about elite athletes, and the Winter Olympics are giving me all kinds of plot bunnies!

Valentine’s Day with Harry and Noah

As a romance writer, I can’t say I have a problem with the general sentiment behind Valentine’s Day, even if I’d rather skip the hearts and flowers personally. Or if I’d rather avoid what I saw tonight: I decided that I’d buy myself a Valentine’s Day cupcake, so I stopped at a little bakery on the way home from work. While I was paying, this guy came running in frantically, all, “I need two cupcakes, and I need them to be sort of festive and Valentine-y! Stat!”

Anyway, in honor of the holiday, I thought I’d give you guys a terribly romantic scene from my WIP sequel to In Hot Pursuit. This scene might get cut, actually, depending on how I go with the revision, but here’s a little taste of what happens to Harry and Noah a couple of years after the end of their novel.

Continue reading

review roundup

I don’t know if other authors read reviews, but I totally do. I will admit to occasionally having, “What, no, why would you think that?” reactions, but I’ve found that even when reviews are critical, I often agree.

Well, here are some positive reviews that have been posted in the last week! Hard to argue with that!

First, 4 out of 5 stars for Kindling Fire with Snow from Lily at I Love Books. (“Overall Kindling Fire with Snow is an engaging, sexy, emotional and satisfying read. Recommended.”)

Second, 4 out of 5 stars for Kindling Fire from Janna at E-Romance Reader. (“Thanks to this author’s fluent writing, nice character building (for such few pages) and vivid portraying and picturing of the setting, I truly enjoyed this story.”)

And finally! I attended the New York City NaNoWriMo Thank God It’s Over party and offered up a signed copy of In Hot Pursuit to the fundraising raffle. My new writing buddy Tamsin won it and reviewed it on her blog. (“What I love about this book, other than it’s fast pace, witty humor, and fun leading man is that the primary focus isn’t the sex…its how Noah’s broken heart gets the chance to heal….the sex is a natural part of the relationship that blossoms from the situation(s) and is never unwarranted (even the hot scene in the bathroom—or shall I say the FIRST hot scene in the bathroom?—Chapter Two!). Yeah, its a little more often than in other books but hey, ITS A ROMANCE PEOPLE…that’s how they roll.”) Hee. Tamsin flashed the super hot cover at people on the subway, which makes me a little giddy.

So, yeah. Sounds good, right? You want to read these books? Click on the linkies.

Speaking of good books, the Rainbow Awards were announced today. I was one of the jurors. I’ve read a number of the winning books, and there’s some really great stuff here if you’re looking for something to read. Big congratulations to all of the winners!

newsy things

I hear there’s a little story about m/m romance in the latest Rolling Stone, but the newsstand I dropped by this evening was all out of copies. Hmph.

In Hot Pursuit got a nice little shout out in today’s All Romance eBooks’ Wildfire newsletter, so that was pretty cool.

I’m gearing up to participate in this month’s National Novel Writing Month and I have what I think is a fairly awesome idea. It’s historical fiction (and m/m romance, of course), which can be tricky when you have to write in a hurry, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m researching now, so hopefully I’ll have what I need by the end of the month.

Oh, and also Kindling Fire with Snow is coming out in two weeks, and when that’s done, I’ve got another novel coming out from Loose Id (although that’s a couple of months away still).

IHP review and upcoming things

New review of In Hot Pursuit, this time from Obsidian Bookshelf:

What did work for me? The beginning feels especially strong, and the restroom encounter is super-hot. The romance develops in a realistic way for the uncertain circumstances surrounding Noah and Harry — with high sexual tension and a more tentative emotional connection that follows. Noah’s ambivalence about whether to keep hiding his sexual orientation in the workplace provides a deeper emotional layer to his personality. In Hot Pursuit is an intriguing fish-out-of-water story about a man who leaves his usual surroundings long enough to get a new perspective on his life — and possibly a second chance.

I spent pretty much all of yesterday afternoon reviewing edits to the novella I have coming out from Dreamspinner Press this fall. The process was actually mostly painless, just time consuming. I’m really anxious for this one to be published; if nothing else, I think it’s some of my best writing to date and I’m really proud of it. (It’s a second-chance romance in which teenage sweethearts meet again years later. Then they get snowed in during a blizzard.)

back from vacation; never say never

I came back from Florida with a burn/tan, and was feeling relaxed enough that it’s been tricky getting back into the groove of my life this week. It’s funny; in some ways, I just fall back into routine because it’s… routine. But it took some self-cajoling to get back to writing after basically taking a week off.

Although, I did some thinking about Noah. I set that novel in Tampa primarily because it was a city in Florida with which I was familiar. I have a friend who lives there, I’ve visited a few times, I knew there was a decent-sized gay community in St. Pete. Last week, I spent time in South Florida and the Keys in an honest-to-God resort just like the one Noah spent most of In Hot Pursuit in with friends (two other women and a gay man). It was sort of interesting to examine that experience in the wake of my recently-published novel, picking apart things I got right in my novel and things I might have done a little differently (mostly, if I had it to do over, I might have included more details about the setting). My vacation involved spending a lot of time on the beach (and getting roasted by the sun while I read romance novels, natch) with the occasional foray into various nearby cities. We even stopped in a gay bar in Key West that reminded me a little of Shanley’s from my novel.

One thing I really love to see in a novel I’m reading is a setting well rendered. I’m in awe of writers who make that setting another character, or who draw it so well that it feels like you’re there. That’s one thing I’m working on, to make my setting more fully realized.

I’m trying some new things now. I think I’m constantly developing as a writer, meaning both that I’m trying to become a better writer in terms of craft and also that I’m willing to take on different genres and topics as I go. When I first started writing seriously, I wrote a lot of thinly-veiled autobiographical stories, but I find that, as I develop as a writer, exploring completely different characters and experiences and worlds is increasingly appealing. I’ve gone from not having any particular desire to wade into the paranormal/fantasy arena to the last couple of months starting to write speculative fiction for the first time ever. And it’s a great amount of fun! Who knew?

I think the lesson is just to be open to everything. I have in the last year or so read and written things I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere near five years ago, but as I develop as a writer, I want to try new things, explore new worlds, do what I can to develop as a writer.

And I have all new respect for spec fic writers who do it well. I mean, on the one hand, you get to make shit up, but on the other hand, you have to make shit up! In some ways, it’s easier to set novels in the real world (especially if you, like me, set the majority of your stories in the city where you live) and you could make the argument that writing fantasy means you don’t have to research, but you DO have to build your world. And that’s a real stretch of one’s creative power.

Anyway, these are just some things I’ve been thinking about. I’m traveling a lot the rest of this month, so I’m a little nervous about squeezing in time to write, but I’m really enjoying the WIPs I have going right now, and that’s kind of half the battle right there.

vacation and review

I’m currently on vacation in South Florida, learning the hard way how my pasty Irish skin reacts to the sun down here. (I am TOASTY, y’all.) It’s great, though. I mean, it’s very hot, but it’s nice to not be in New York and also to not have to worry about things that stress me out at home.

In news that is the opposite of stressful, In Hot Pursuit got a 5-star review from Sensual Reads. They had this to say:

Emotionally charged and action packed, In Hot Pursuit by Kate McMurray will work its way into your heart and soul.

Hooray! I’m gonna go back what I’ve been doing, which is mainly nothing. It’s great!

the book giveaway contest thingie

In Hot PursuitIn honor of the print release of In Hot Pursuit we’re gonna have a little contest.

IHP is about a man who goes on vacation after a rough couple of years. While on said vacation, sure, he does get involved in a kidnapping plot, but he also meets the man of his dreams. (You can read more about the book here.)

So what’s your dream vacation like? Personally, I’ve always wanted to go to Italy, Florence especially, and I imagine I’d spend lots of time looking at art and pretending to be Dante.

Here’s the dilly: I am giving away one ebook and one autographed paperback.

In the comments of this post, write a sentence or two about what your ideal vacation would be like, assuming money’s no object. Then specify if you would prefer to win an ebook or a shiny new autographed paperback.

I will draw two winners at random around 7pm EST on Monday, June 28. I’ll announce it here and also email the winners, so be sure to put your email in the comment form (only I see it).

So that’s pretty straightforward, right? Good luck!

ETA: Some comments get caught in the moderation queue. I will try to approve them promptly, but will be away from a computer for large swaths of the weekend. So don’t panic if your comment doesn’t show up right away! It may take a few hours!

In Hot Pursuit in print!!

Funny story:

I live in Brooklyn in a 3-story building. There’s a cafe on the first floor, then each floor above it has one apartment. This is relevant, I promise. So, I got an email yesterday indicating that my very own PRINT copies of In Hot Pursuit were on their way to me, set to arrive today. UPS is always tricky around here because a) I have a day job and thus am not home during the day, and b) even if I were, this building has never had a functioning doorbell in the 4 years I’ve lived here. But, I thought, it’s cool, I’ll just leave a note and have the package delivered to the cafe.

Of course, I was halfway to work this morning when I realized I forgot to leave a note. When I got to work, I went to the UPS site to track the package. It went out for delivery at 7:46 am. And I thought, well, I’ll just sit here and hit refresh a lot and see what happens. A whole day went by and nothing changed in the package status.

I came home and saw that there was no yellow note on my door. I went into the cafe and asked if they’d signed for a package for me. Nope, they hadn’t. I felt sad. Would there be no books for me on this day?

Then, lo, as I was turning to leave the cafe and go back to my apartment to pout, a big brown truck pulled up! The UPS guy took his sweet time getting out of the truck, but as he approached the building, I was all, “IsthatmypackageArethosemybooksGimmegimme!” He gave me the, “Lady, you’re crazy!” look, but then I got to sign for my package. I tucked it under my arm and ran up the stairs. And lo:


So here is the book posing with my MacBook, which was mostly just a handy thing to prop the book on, but it’s fitting because that’s the computer on which it was written. Then, the book was feeling like it needed to be with its other book friends, so it posed on one of my bookcases:

I'm on a shelf!

So this is all very exciting. I honestly had no idea if the book would go to print or not, and I am over the moon. I, of course, think that ebooks are totally awesome, and the vast number of book purchases I have made over the last year have been ebooks, and if IHP had been only an ebook, that would have been just great for me as a writer! But there’s something kind of amazing about holding your own book in your hands, the kind of book you can casually flip through, the kind made with dead trees.

Anyhoodle, now you can buy it from Amazon or a bookstore near you. And you can still, of course, buy the ebook (now available in .epub!), and that would also be totally cool with me. ๐Ÿ˜€