Holiday Story Round-Up


I don’t know about you, but once December hits, I start binging on holiday novellas. I am a total sucker for a warm, fuzzy, feel-good holiday story, especially in These Times and/or around the holidays. We’ve made it past Thanksgiving, we’re currently scrambling to get our shopping done on time (and/or fretting about what to buy people… why are certain family members just impossible to shop for?).

In the spirit of giving, I figured I’d enable you by letting you know where to find all of my own holiday stories.

• My freebie short, “In December My Heart’s Full of Spring,” is available at the link, both on the website and as a downloadable PDF. It’s about two lonely men who meet on Christmas Eve at the top of the Empire State Building.

• “A Walk in the Dark” is a short about how love might just be right under your nose.

Devin December is about a flight attendant and a movie star who get snowed in at LaGuardia on the day before Thanksgiving.

And, bonus! Kindling Fire with Snow is not explicitly a holiday story, but it is a winter weather tale of two old friends who get snowed in together.

Do you guys have favorite holiday stories? Ones I didn’t write, even? Let me know your favorites in the comments.

Devin December Preorder—’Tis the Season for Holiday Stories!

‘Tis the season for holiday stories! I cracked open my first holiday read of the season over the weekend. So I thought now might be a good time to let you all know what I’ve got on tap, and holiday stories from years past you can read right now!

Devin DecemberDevin December is up for preorder from Dreamspinner! (And at All Romance eBooks and hopefully everywhere else soon!) The book will be available 12/23! Here’s the blurb:

A freak blizzard strands flight attendant Andy Weston at LaGuardia Airport on Thanksgiving. Tabloid reports about Hollywood It couple Devin Delaney and Cristina Marino breaking up in spectacular fashion keep Andy sane. And then Devin Delaney himself turns up at the gate Andy is working. Against all odds—and because there’s nothing else to do—Andy and Devin begin to talk, immediately connect, and, after Devin confesses the real reason he broke up with Cristina, have a magical night together snowed in at the airport. But the magic ends when Devin boards his flight home the next morning, and Andy assumes it’s over.

Then Devin turns up on his doorstep. Andy is game for a clandestine affair at first—who could turn down one of the hottest men on the planet? But he soon grows tired of being shoved in Devin’s closet. As Christmas approaches, it’s clear that this will never work unless Devin is willing to make some big changes. Devin has a holiday surprise in store—but will it be enough?


For holiday reads from years past, here is a list of things to help you celebrate a, ahem, McMurray Christmas:

My freebie “In December” about an encounter on the Empire State Building at Christmas is here.

Not strictly Christmas, but I’ve done the snowed-in trope before (it’s one of my favorites!) in Kindling Fire with Snow (available from Dreamspinner and most ebook retailers).

I have a “He was in front of me all along” short called “A Walk in the Dark” (which sounds ominous but is not) in the Dreamspinner 2011 Advent Calendar.

I wrote a little flash fic about love and karaoke called “Let Your Heart Be Light” for a blog tour last year.

That should give you enough holiday content to feat on for a little bit, hopefully! Now to decide if it’s too early in the year to put on Christmas music while I work or I’ll be sick of it by December 15. Hmm. Well, either way, have a great holiday season and HAPPY READING!

Beat Your Winter Blues this week!

The Beat Your Winter Blues blog tour soldiers on! I’m one of the February authors, celebrating the paperback release of The Boy Next Door so I and several other awesome authors are featured in today’s post over at Lou Harper’s blog. This week, we’re talking about winter in our backyards. It’s been above 60°F in New York City for the last two days, so winter in my backyard is warm? Freakishly so? (But if you want to see more photos of Brooklyn in the snow, check out the Kindling Fire with Snow bonus features.

Things are still crazy around here, although tonight I took time out from work to go see Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books at the Jefferson Market Library, which is a really lovely building in Greenwich Village. The talk was great; once the crowd warmed up, there were lots of book recommendations thrown around, and I do enjoy talking about romance novels. (I gotta say, romance readings/talks have been some of the most fun book/library events I’ve been to, and I go to a fair number of readings.) (If anyone got here because I gave them a bookmark, hello!)

a couple of reviews and some lofty goals

The Boy Next Door reviewed by Joyfully Reviewed: “The Boy Next Door is an engaging tale of a man caught between family and love.”

Kindling Fire with Snow reviewed by Jenre: “Those of you looking for a sweet read that’s not too high on sugar will like this book and I recommend it with a grade of ‘Very good’.”

And now I find myself with two days in which I don’t have much to do other than write, which is such a luxury lately that I’m inclined to shut myself in. I have the goal of writing 10,000 words on my current WIP between now and the end of tomorrow, which is possible, I think, but definitely challenging. And I have a few much-lamented WIPs that I should get back to. So, you know, write write write!

review roundup

Reviews for The Boy Next Door are starting to roll in!

4-star review from Three Dollar Bill Reviews:

This is the kind of story I enjoy … I love how “down-to-earth” it is.

By the way, I am working on a sequel, which will be Neal’s story. I’m still writing it, so I don’t have an ETA on that, but it is in the works.

4.5-star review from Tj at Jessewave:

The characters of Lowell and Jase really came to life for me and their revived friendship and budding romance felt very real. But the road to love is not an easy one. Jase has a troubled ex-wife Karen, who is understandably hurt from Jase’s rejection of her, and tries to control his life by threatening his custody of their daughter. As much as I wanted to hate Karen, and at times I felt that she was a bit of a harpy, I could also understand her pain, a pain that anyone who has had an unrequited love will understand.

The Boy Next Door also made Loose Id’s bestseller list 2 weeks in a row, so thanks to everyone who bought the book. And thanks to the reviewers for taking the time to review! Book bloggers are seriously awesome.

And, bonus, a new review of Kindling Fire with Snow from Val Kovalin:

The author did a good job with the subtle, precise details (much of it through dialog) that communicated their opposite personalities and cultural backgrounds (introverted Jewish guy, extroverted Irish-American). Also, I was very impressed with the vivid details, including landmarks and street names, which made Brooklyn come alive as a setting for this engaging story about second chances. Recommended.

Pssst. The Boy Next Door is available here!

baby, it’s cold outside

This was the scene out my bedroom window yesterday afternoon in the middle of the storm, so you can see 'my' backyard (which has been taken over by the cafe on the first floor) and the yards in back of the surrounding buildings.

Since you’re on the internet, you must be aware that the east coast got quite a storm yesterday. This is going to sound like a ham-fisted stab at book promotion, but this storm was a lot like the one on which I based Kindling Fire with Snow. In Brooklyn, we got about two feet of snow, but this is complicated by the fact that most of the plow operators and sanitation workers who would clean it all up are on vacation for the holidays.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers posting photos of the snow blanketing their lovely yards, but snow is something else in the city. So, I took a couple of photos. You can click on any of these to enlarge them (but I took them with my phone, so they are not that sharp).

This is a block near my apartment this evening. In the distance, there are people digging out their cars.

I am apparently not always of sound mine, because I got up this morning and figured I’d walk to my office. I didn’t learn until I got there that I needn’t have bothered, but I figure I earned some brownie points for hiking all the way there in snow up to my knees (it’s about a mile from my apartment). I came home this evening to find that things had much improved, at least as far as the sidewalks being shoveled, but as far as I can tell, Brooklyn hasn’t really been plowed yet.

This is my block, which, as you can see, hasn't even been plowed yet, as of just before 5pm.

The walk home, just as dusk was falling, was punctuated by the squeal of the tires of cars stuck in snow banks. It makes me pretty glad I don’t drive. Also pretty glad I didn’t have to leave Brooklyn, because a bunch of the trains are still out.

It’s sort of a fun adventure, but it’s sure as heck not easy to walk in. I am, granted, not exactly in peak physical condition, but climbing over those snow drifts was rough on my ankles. Here’s hoping they plow by tomorrow.

The snow day yesterday provided me with a good solid block of writing time, and I was quite productive, so at least we got something out of the storm. 😉

Dreamspinner promotion

Dreamspinner Press is doing a great promotion this month:

This year let Dreamspinner make your eBook dreams come true. Each day from Dec. 26- Dec. 31, we will draw one name from the customers that purchased during the month of December to win every eBook on their wish list.

So, say, you moseyed on over there to buy Kindling Fire with Snow (I mean, just as a suggestion) and then saw a bunch of other titles you liked. You could win them by adding them to your wish list. Pretty cool, huh?

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!

new review of Kindling Fire with Snow

Four kisses from Michele n Jeff Reviews:

The story is sweet and romantic, and the protagonists are engaging and as well developed as is possible for a short story. There is a sense of genuine affection and attraction between the two men, which translates convincingly, successfully involving the reader in the outcome of this tale of rediscovered love. The end of the book left me wanting more Seth and Kieran, which is the true mark of a satisfying read.

Thanks, Lisa!

You can buy the book here!

first review!

Kindling Fire with Snow got its first review. 4.25 out of 5 stars from Jessewave:

Kate McMurray wrote two very realistic characters and didn’t attempt to romanticise them by making them bigger than life. Keiran and Seth were two ordinary joes who met after being separated for over a decade and in the interim a lot had happened to them — life happened… As they tried to figure out if they were just reliving the past or whether there was a future somewhere for them, the author skilfully showed us how they navigated between past and present and tried to be realistic about what lay ahead for them, if anything. I loved the fact that the protagonists actually talked to each other as adults, despite Seth’s initial attempt to remain closed off.