Archive for category save the date

Awards Season!

By now you’ve probably heard that the Rainbow Awards were announced over the weekend.

Runner-UpMD

I’m happy to announce that Show and Tell was one of the runner-ups for Best Gay Paranormal. It was an honor just to be a finalist, and I mean that honestly; there was a lot of stiff competition from some really excellent writers.

Also, the Goodreads M/M Group is having their Member Choice Awards voting right now. I’m up for two awards:

Best_Anthology.N

for Playing Ball

Best_Perform_Arts.N

for The Stars that Tremble

Details are at the Goodreads group.

…And this is me Snoopy dancing. That’s a nice cap to a great year.

five things: win a book!

Weekly wrap up!

BGW400x2001. This week’s stops on the Big Gay Wedding Tour include:

• Romance Lives Forever
Kay Berrisford

I also posted to the RWA NYC blog.

You can comment in any of these places to enter to win a copy of the book. I think these will all be open at least through the end of the weekend.

2. Second edits on What There Is went back last night and I got an email that The Stars that Tremble is next up in the queue, so I’m a busy bee. I’m also alternating work on 2 other WIPs. I like it, though! It’s a little crazy-making to have so many projects going at once, but I’m enjoying it.

3. Thing I Learned This Week: I talked one of my co-workers into giving me a crash course on Adobe Illustrator, and had a “Wow, this does all the things I wish Photoshop did!” moment. I don’t think of myself as a designer really, but I do a lot of my own graphics (for the website and for swag; I did the Big Gay Wedding Tour banners, too). So that is useful information.

4. So True Blood has gone totally off the rails, huh? The show has always had a certain trashy charm, but some of these storylines have gone in some crazy directions, and I just don’t know anymore. Why can’t I quit you, sexy vampires?

5. My RWA swag came in the mail last night. Just postcards, nothing super exciting. I’m working on my swag plan for GRL—there will be cool stuff, I promise! I’m thinking about making my own plushy baseballs. We’ll see how that goes!

five things on friday

This is a drowsy five things. I’m really tired. Zzz. But here’s what happened this week:

1. Thanks to everyone who bought and read Save the Date! It got all the way up to #2 on the All Romance eBooks bestseller list and has been on the Amazon top 100 for Gay Romance for the last week and a half or so, which I appreciate. I hope you all are liking the book!

BMMmzbmCUAA7N6N.jpg_large2. What There Is has a gorgeous cover done by L.C. Chase. Look for that (I think) next month. I just finished first edits on Monday. It’s a short (about 15K words) fluffy, sweet story, mostly about a guy who can’t play baseball anymore.

3. Ripped from the headlines: I don’t know if I’ve mentioned here before, but one of my childhood best friends is currently DOMA exiled (he spent some time post-college gallivanting around Europe and fell in love with a Czech man; they currently live together in a large European city because the husband couldn’t get a visa to stay in the US). He’s been on my mind as the new immigration bill gets debated; I miss him a lot but totally get why he doesn’t want to live in the States.

4. I’m apparently procrastinating from my actual deadline by writing a new story, a contemporary that is super angsty! But my other WIP is a historical, which I am doggedly pursuing despite the fact that everyone is telling me the historical is dead. Which I suppose brings to mind the age-old problem of writing whatever the hell you want without regard for how much money you’ll make (which is generally how I try to operate, although the royalty checks are NICE, don’t get me wrong) and trying to have realistic expectations versus doing what the market demands. I can tell you I do a lot better with contemporaries than paranormals, but I’m not really known as a paranormal author, and I feel like Across the East River Bridge and Show and Tell are light in the paranormal elements. (AERB remains one of my favorite things I’ve ever written, though.) I dunno. I love historicals; you may have gleaned from reading AERB that I’m also a huge history nerd, so I suppose those go hand-in-hand.

5. I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction lately. Currently I’m wending my way through a history of Regency England (Our Tempestuous Day) and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach, both of which are really enjoyable in different ways.

five things on friday: BEA and Save the Date

Weekly wrap-up!

1. Save the Date came out on Tuesday! It is now available at most ebook retailers. *dances*

2. It’s Kate McMurray Week at the Armchair Reader. Cole has bravely embarked on the task of reading my entire backlist. We also did an interview that was posted yesterday. Follow the link to all of the posts and leave a comment on the interview to win a copy of the book.

3. Other places I have been this week:

• I wrote a post for the All Romance eBooks cafe blog for Pride Month
• I guest-posted at Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Tea House.
• Today I’m at Flirty Author Bitches.

*The last two are stops on the Big Gay Wedding tour. Leave a comment at either to be entered to win a copy of Save the Date.

4. I missed posting last Friday because I was at Book Expo America. It was an interesting experience. Plenty of people have wrapped it up better than me, but I can tell you what I did there, which was a) sweat a lot because, as a friend of mine said, it was hot as balls outside; b) gave away a ton of books at the Dreamspinner booth; c) got some really amazing books and ARCs from around the exhibition hall; d) made some good editorial contacts; e) hung out with some awesome people; f) fangirled on some authors; g) saw celebrities, including Chelsea Handler, Julianne Moore, and Grumpy Cat.

5. I’m currently working on edits for What There Is, a short novella coming out this summer. It started out as a baseball story, but it ended up being about a former baseball player who wants to find something else to do with his life. It’s been a little bit of a struggle because I’ve been out for the count with a nasty cold most of the week, but I’m feeling much better today so I can concentrate on these edits. I saw a cover mock up yesterday and it’s gorgeous.

And that’s a wrap for this week. See you next week!

Available Tuesday: Save the Date

KateMcMurray_SaveTheDateYou’ll laugh! You’ll cry! You’ll fret about what to wear! Save the Date is out this Tuesday from Loose Id. I’ve posted an excerpt here for your reading pleasure. (Full blurb there, too.)

As already announced, I’m blog touring with a few other authors who wrote stories that are part of Loose Id’s “I do… unless I don’t” wedding event, so I’ll be dancing around the blogosphere with bells on to celebrate.

Also, this week is Kate McMurray Week at the Armchair Reader, and Cole has not only undertaken the task of reading my entire backlist, but he’s also interviewing me. So go check that out as he reviews all the books this week.

I’m also taking today to recover from the whirlwind that was Book Expo America. I’ll write about that more later in the week when I’m slightly less exhausted!

But Tuesday! Save the Date! Woo!

five things stand with boston

Here’s my weekly wrap-up post for what ended up being a WEEK.

1. Storytime! When I was 19, my boyfriend at the time took me to Boston for New Years. He grew up in the Boston suburbs—though most of his family was from the city proper and had the accents to prove it—so he knew a lot of people in the area and we met up with a group of his friends. Boston does a First Night celebration with short concerts and comedy shows and that kind of thing all over the city in various venues. It gets crowded, so I think we spent more of that night waiting on line to get into theaters than we did actually watching entertainment. This was long enough ago that my memory is a little fuzzy, but I do remember running across Boston Common in the cold and getting lost down odd side streets trying to find a theater playing some jazz and stumbling into a diner late because we were cold and hungry. Toward the end of the night, we found a good spot to watch the fireworks, and at midnight, my boyfriend kissed me and told me he loved me, and that was the first time anyone had kissed me at midnight on New Years and really meant it.

I lived in Massachusetts for a while, but I’m a New Yorker at heart, and we New Yorkers derive a fair amount of pleasure from ragging on Boston. But when I heard the news on Monday about the bombing, one of the first things I remembered was that First Night in Boston and how magical it was. I’ve spent a lot of time in Boston over the years and that city holds a lot of great memories for me. I watched a lot of news coverage Monday night and couldn’t stop thinking about how things would change for Boston now, how the city was different, how this memory would now be embedded in one of my favorite Boston neighborhoods.

The last third of my upcoming novella Save the Date actually takes place in Boston.

Because, on that night when I was 19, what I didn’t know was that this man and I would spend the next decade either together or negotiating how to be together until we reached a crossroads and finally ended it. I didn’t know that, in the fall of 2012, I’d be getting an invitation to his wedding to another woman. I didn’t know a joke I made about that on a thing called Twitter would turn into this really silly novella about a guy whose ex gets married in Boston. All I knew that night when we kissed at midnight under the fireworks was that we were young and in love and had a whole future ahead of us. Even if the relationship didn’t work out, it’s still a fond memory.

So, I’m thinking about donating some of the proceeds from the sale of Save the Date to One Fund Boston or the Red Cross or something. I feel like that’s really the least I can do for a city that gave me a lot.

2. The bad news has kind of overshadowed the good, which was that I had a blast last weekend at the Rainbow Book Fair in New York. Heidi Cullinan and Ethan Day flew out for it, and we had locals Damon Suede and Tere Michaels at the table, too, and they are all great and I enjoyed myself immensely. The change in venue from last year didn’t seem to slow down traffic much. Well, it felt a little roomier than in past years to me, but people kept pointing out that the room was about the same size, so maybe I’m crazy. But that was a good day.

3. Save the Date second edits went back to my Loose Id editor last night. The pub date for that is June 4th! Also, I posted what I now see is an awkwardly-worded blurb for my next story after that, a short novella called What There Is, to my Upcoming page. A blurb for Save the Date is there, too. There will be updated blurbs and covers and things as I get them.

4. On Tuesday, I had dinner with a friend in the West Village. We ate at a place on Bleecker that serves a few dozen varieties of risotto, then we visited a new bakery that specializes in macarons (we had to check this place out… for science), and then on the walk back to the subway, we passed a little shop that only serves popsicles. I should open a cafe that only serves one thing. Ideas? Maybe a bakery that only makes whoopie pies?

5. Those of you who are attending GayRomLit may be delighted to know that there are still spots left in the writers workshop, which yours truly is now helping to coordinate in my capacity as VP of Rainbow Romance Writers. It’s shaping up to be a pretty cool event. A schedule will be posted to the website once we’ve confirmed and finalized everything.

So that’s all the news this week. Let’s hope next week is a lot less terrible.

five things: Friday at Last

Weekly wrap-up:

1. Yup, I read Lover at Last. I liked it on the whole, but had some very mixed feelings. I posted a wordy review on Goodreads if you want my opinion.

I have probably a stand-alone post about the increase in m/m stories infiltrating the mainstream romance market, but not the time to write it right now. Generally, though, I find this really exciting, and you know, if fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series are like, “Hey, that was pretty hot!” well, I have some recommendations.

Speaking of series, I now must await the next Cut and Run book, although maybe I’ll take the time to savor that one instead of trying to read it all over two days when I really should have been doing other things.

Hi, yes, I did go to some Harry Potter midnight release parties back before those suckers could be delivered magically to my Kindle.

2. I want to write a series. Maybe I will!

The thing with a series is that I think certain sub-genres tend to work better. Paranormal seems particularly well-suited to series books. So does suspense (especially law enforcement and military stories). I had a crazy idea last fall for a paranormal series about supernatural crime fighters that’s pretty far outside of my wheelhouse but totally the sort of thing I would read. Maybe some day. (I wrote an outline for the series, so this is a thing I may revisit next year.)

Or I could try to write a contemporary series. Do people like contemporary series’ or do you need more bells and whistles to sustain your interest? Anyone have good examples of contemporary series’?

3. Writing updates: Edits are currently going for Save the Date, my romantic comedy novella coming out in June. I finished a second draft of The Stars that Tremble before I took my Lover at Last break. So, Draft #3 ahoy!

4. Baseball season starts next week! My fantasy league did its draft on Wednesday and I have a pretty good lineup, I think, except half of these guys are starting out the season injured. Womp womp. I lucked into my #1 draft pick for hitters (Robinson Cano) and my baseball boyfriend (Joe Mauer… he’s so dreamy) is on the team, too, but didn’t do so well with pitchers, so we’ll see how that shakes out.

5. As a parting gift, relive my trauma with me: I was innocently reading on my sofa last night when my cat trotted in with something in her mouth. At first I thought it was one of her little toy mice, but then I realized that it was a for-real, actual mouse. My cat then proudly hopped up on the sofa and dropped the mouse in my lap, at which time I promptly got up, screamed a whole lot, and hopped up and down. No idea where the mouse went. I hope it crawled back into the wall and will tell all its mousey friends what happens to mice that wander into my apartment.

In the seven years I’ve been in this apartment, I’ve never seen any pests before. Good to know the cat will catch mice. I don’t think she understands they aren’t toys, though.

So that was my week. How was yours?

five things on friday

2013, man. Not going as planned. Weekly wrap-up:

1. Tentative announcement: ink is drying on the contract for the romantic comedy I mentioned here. I thiiiiink it’ll be out June-ish.

2. The Rainbow Awards are open.

3. I had a very nice day last Sunday; my mom came into the city, and we had brunch and then went to the Met. (I love the Met. I’d go every weekend if it weren’t on the East Side and therefore a pain in the butt to get to.) I got home in the late afternoon only to find that the power on my whole block was out. This was completely unrelated to last weekend’s storm; my roommate reported that smoke and sparks came out of a manhole across the street. So the whole block was out until Monday night. I feel like I’ve been running two days behind ever since.

4. Did anyone else see the episode of What Not to Wear that aired last night featuring a trans* woman? What I enjoyed most about the episode was how the fact that she was trans* was treated like a totally mundane fact. The show handled it like they often do with, for example, women who have lost a lot of weight and haven’t bought new clothes yet. (I actually missed the beginning of the episode, and when I started watching, the woman, Casey, kept commenting on how she didn’t have hips, and it didn’t occur to me that this was unusual, because a lot of women have narrow hips.) Casey was basically every woman who has ever been on the show—she dressed poorly because she didn’t know what to do with her body. (And, really, none of us do, honey.) And she seemed so happy at the end of the episode—like, couldn’t-stop-smiling happy—because Stacy and Clinton had made her feel feminine. I eat that kind of stuff for breakfast—I love a makeover show—so that was really nice to see.

I hope that things like this do something positive for trans* visibility. It’s a good episode; I recommend trying to catch it when it reruns.

5. It’s Friday and I’ve had a headache all day and I feel like my brain is about to dribble out through my nose, so I’ll wrap this up. My schedule for March is a little crazy: I’m going to Philly the first weekend, coming back in time to read at Lady Jane’s Salon on the 4th, and going to the Liberty States Fiction Writer convention in the middle of the month.

Anyone ever been to the Philadelphia Museum of Art? It looks pretty. Worth the visit if I can work it into my 2-day stay?

The Next Big Thing

I was tagged by Zahra Owens to participate in the Next Big Thing blog tour. So read in to learn a little more about one of my works in progress!

What is the working title of your book?
Save the Date

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Funny story! A couple of months ago, I got the invitation to the wedding of my ex-boyfriend. I joked on Twitter that, if my life were a romance novel, I’d go to the wedding and meet the love of my life. And thus a plot bunny was born! (The book is about a man who has to find a date for his ex’s wedding, and he does end up going and learning something about himself in the process. If you’re curious, I ended up not going to the wedding.)

What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a romantic comedy novella.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
I don’t cast my books because I picture my characters, I don’t picture actors playing them. But for the sake of this exercise, let’s pick some actors. My hero, Tristan, could be played by Ryan Gosling. I think his sporty love interest might be played by Chris Evans. I mean, assuming they’d play gay. ;)

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
Tristan needs a date for his ex’s dreaded wedding and when he’s looking, he finds love in an unexpected place.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
I’m not currently represented by an agent (I’m hoping that will change in 2013, actually) but this one is already earmarked for a publisher I have a relationship with.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
One week. (Don’t hate me. The first draft was 29,000 words. And I’m only now, six weeks later, wrapping up revisions.)

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m not sure. It’s really more an homage to romantic comedy movies and is meant to be light and funny and kind of like every Julia Roberts movie you’ve ever seen. There isn’t a lot of comedy in this genre (that I’m aware of) but the first author who came to mind when I thought of m/m comedies was Ethan Day. His books are all both heartfelt and hilarious.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
That whole wedding thing was a major inspiration, obviously. These are also some regular-guy characters; both heroes have regular jobs, hang out in a sports bar, love football. I like to play with character types you don’t see a lot in the genre, so here are some guy’s guys who just happen to be gay.

What else about your book might interest the reader?
It’s set partly in New York and partly in Boston. It’s also really about letting go of the past more than anything else; Tristan goes to his ex’s wedding and has to figure out how to deal with the hand he’s been dealt without lingering in what used to be any longer.

If all goes to plan, Save the Date will be available by wedding season this spring. :D

I tagged a few people, so if they follow through and post their blogs, I’ll add their links below when the posts go live.