Archive for category show and tell

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.

Show and Tell: Rainbow Award Finalist

FinalistSM KM_ShowandTell

I’m thrilled to announce that my paranormal romance Show and Tell is a Rainbow Award finalist in the gay paranormal category. It also won an honorable mention. It’s in some pretty amazing company, with a lot of other fabulous books. Winners will be announced in December—wish me luck!

five things: icy cold edition

Weeeeekly wrap-up!

1. The last stop on the Show and Tell press tour was on Tuesday over at Babbling About Books, in which I discussed the brave new world of writing in a different genre.

And Joyfully Jay gave the book 4.5 stars!

I guess I have to sell another book now so that I have something else to spam you all with. Ha!

2. What is there to say about this week except that it was frickin’ cold. As I write this, it is a balmy 16°F in New York City. I get that it’s winter, and I guess our last few winters have been so mild that this seems freakish, but I am displeased.

I have often contended that my life would be perfect if New York could just be transported to someplace with a better climate, like San Diego. But I guess if we didn’t have awful winters and oppressive summers, it wouldn’t be New York.

3. I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Jacob Tomsky’s Heads in Beds, a memoir of working in hotels, and there’s a bit in the book (chapter 14, I think) when he talks about how New York chips away at you.

I’m sure this experience is different for natives, but that section resonated with me. Of course, then he says that you have to leave or the city will continue to chip away with you, but there, I think he’s wrong. There’s a hump to get over. No doubt, New York is a hard place to live, and I had some lean years in the mid-aughts when I was trying to pay for a studio in Manhattan on a publishing salary and I was in a romantic relationship that was falling apart. I had one bad winter in which I came very close to packing up and leaving. But I think if you can survive that, well, Mr. Sinatra explained that pretty well. You get through the worst of it and then suddenly a whole new world of possibilities opens up. I love this place, I really do. Like, the city really puts you through the wringer and if you can get through that, you can do anything and then finally, the city will start to love you back.

4. Last weekend I took myself on an “artist’s date” to the Brooklyn Museum which is, conveniently, a less-than-ten-minute walk from my apartment. I’ve been a little blocked creatively lately and I needed to refill the well, as a friend put it. The Brooklyn Museum is curated in a really interesting, modern way and is definitely worth the visit if you ever find yourself in Brooklyn. Highlights for me include: 1) The American art section on the top floor, and I recommend the audio tour; 2) The feminist art wing, especially Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, is MUST SEE; 3) The Egyptian art department CAT-scanned some mummies a couple of years ago and the science is fascinating.

From the American Art exhibit, I really liked this painting—m/m writers, I think there’s a story there.

I love museums, as you may have gathered from reading my books. I actually had to rewrite a scene in Show and Tell wherein Dan and Malcolm go to the Met because the American Wing was remodeled in 2011 and all the stuff was moved around. The case of glass bottles they find is not real, but I could tell you exactly where I’d put it if I were in the museum. (Near the Tiffany glass.)

I also went to Vogue Knitting Live on Saturday with a few friends who are far more industrious knitters than I. But, man, if you are the sort of person who likes to go to yarn shops to molest the fiber (which I certainly am) the marketplace there was like heaven. Any kind of fiber in any color you could have dreamed of! I bought enough yarn for two projects. Well, I bought a 300-yard hank of some super soft alpaca blend with glittery thread spun into it that was just too pretty not to buy. (The lady at the booth said it’s enough yarn for two cowls, but I think I will just make a shawl or wrap or something.) And then I bought some superwash wool that was being sold in super bulk (so, cheap) that I’ve already started knitting into a cardigan. The colorway is nuts; I think the sweater will be insane and glorious in the end.

5. I finished the first draft of a short story last night—including the sex scene, which inspired a lively conversation with some fellow authors on Twitter yesterday afternoon in which we alternately celebrated/lamented having to write sexy times. I’m going through a phase right now where I really hate writing sex scenes. (Like, you’ll notice that Lead Us Not doesn’t even have one—I was like, This is a free short, it’s not like an editor will come along and say, “There should be sex here.” I can do what I want.) I don’t feel inhibited so much as I fear writing the same scene over and over again, and I worry my sex writing has gotten a little stale. Also in this case, I sat there and was like, “I don’t know what these boys like to do in bed together.” But the story seemed to call for it—it had to happen for plot-related reasons, and I guess I could have faded to black, but it seemed like a good opportunity to develop these characters and their relationship. So I wrote it. I am glad I did! I think it adds to the story!

And so, until next week…

five things! red carpets, knitting, cat photos!

Hey, it’s Friday! That means it’s time for a weekly wrap-up…

(Given how giddy I feel, I think I can contribute the trouble I’ve been having sleeping all week to caffeine over-consumption. So! Apologies if this post is a little manic!)

1. Show and Tell red carpet events this week:

[I spent more time than I should have this week looking at fancy dresses from the Golden Globes. My new life goal is to at some point in my life be invited to an event that is not a wedding where I have to wear a ballgown made by a high-end designer.]

I did an interview with fellow Loose Id author Kay Berrisford, where we talked about the book. There’s a bonus photo of my cat. You can leave a comment there to win a copy of the book; the contest is open until the 22nd.

I’m at Chicks and Dicks today on the theme of new beginnings—I talked about being inspired to try new things outside of my comfort zone and how rewarding that is. There is also another bonus photo of my cat.

2. Kate’s Kraft Corner Remember the scarf I started here? I finished it! Photographic evidence ahoy:

Here is the finished scarf blocking in my living room floor.

Here is the finished scarf blocking in my living room floor.

The scarf is 8-ish inches wide and about 5.5 feet tall. (I used the highly scientific method of going, “Well, I’m 5’7″ and the scarf is not quite as tall as I am, so…”) I also made these cute fingerless mitts to go with it:

Look! Mitts! Ignore how messy my apartment is in the background.

Look! Mitts! Ignore how messy my apartment is in the background.

I still have 300 yards of this yarn left and no earthly idea what to do with it. (For perspective, the scarf and the mitts combined used a little less than 500 yards.) It’s a wool-nylon blend (Knit Picks Chroma, for anyone playing at home). A hat, maybe? Would the scarf-mitt-hat combo be too matchy-matchy? Suggestions welcome.

3. Speaking of knitting, an avid-knitter friend of mine talked me into going to Vogue Knitting Live this weekend. I have two sweater patterns picked out so that I might capitalize on this new-found desire to actually knit after not knitting for a while. Maybe that’s my new year’s resolution this year. Knit a little every day. I think it’s good for the soul.

4. I’m currently reading Heads in Beds, a memoir of working in the hotel industry. It’s funny and fascinating but maybe not the best thing to read as I’m booking a bunch of travel for the year.

I decided that I’m definitely going to the RWA national convention this year, so that’s TWO trips to Atlanta, since that will also be the location of GayRomLit. Add RT in Kansas City (already booked) and that’s a lot of travel to cities I’ve never spent time in before. That is perhaps one perk of conventions, although you end up spending all your time at the convention and not seeing the city. (In retrospect, I’m pretty grateful that the GRL organizers set up that excursion to Old Town Albuquerque last year, because I probably wouldn’t have seen anything outside the hotel otherwise.)

The other stuff I’m doing this year is all local, thankfully. Might be time to set up some frequent flyer accounts, though, if this trend keeps up.

5. My writing goal for the month is all skewed. I was trying to finish my WIP about the opera singer and the construction worker but then decided to write a baseball short instead! Ha! It’s only the middle of the month, so I think I can finish the baseball short and also make some headway on the opera WIP, but I may miss my self-imposed deadline of having a finished first draft of the latter by the end of the month. I’m kind of blocked with that story, but I think I just need to figure out how the various conflicts get resolved. I need a good Shower Epiphany; I have all my best ideas in the shower.

five things: release week!

What a week! Let’s review.

1. Show and Tell came out Tuesday! It is now available in all of the usual places, so you should be able to buy it at your ebook retailer of choice.

Here’s where I’ve been on the promotion trail this week:

+ I wrote a guest post for Joyfully Jay talking a little about the mythology behind the story. You can also enter to win a copy of the book by leaving a comment; the contest is open until Sunday, 1/13.

+ I did an interview with Madeline Iva of Lady Smut. We mostly talked about m/m generally. I met Madeline and the Lady Smut ladies at the New Jersey Romance Writers convention last fall and they are super fun, so check out their site.

Not your college roommate's duck tape wallet!

Not your college roommate’s duck tape wallet!

2. Kate’s Kraft Corner I needed a distraction from the Internet earlier this week, because otherwise I would have obsessed over reviews and stared forlornly at my Amazon rank. So, I bought some fancy duck tape and made this cute little wallet. I used a pattern I found online, but I think if I had it to do over, I’d make one with more pockets. Also, duck tape is kind of frustrating to work with; did you know it’s really sticky?

3. Oscar nominations came out this week and I was surprised to see that I’ve actually seen a few of the Best Picture nominees this year, because I rarely go to the movies. Although my favorite movie last year? Pitch Perfect.

4. In writing news, I sent a novella off to my editor and now I’m hankering down to try to finish my current WIP, which is not going so well. I’m struggling a little with the conflict. These two men are into each other and get along well, which: boring, right? I don’t want the story to get super angsty, but I need to figure out how to add enough conflict propel the novel forward.

I read a ton over the holidays, and a couple of those books were relatively conflict-free love stories, but they still really worked for me. I think a sweet love story can be really great, but it’s only enough to sustain my interest in a short story or novella. I’m currently writing a novel, so I need some plot and conflict, but, man, my brain is a little fried this week.

5. So… a fifth thing? I dunno, this was a slow news week. I mean, aside from the obvious. I wasn’t feeling well last weekend, so I didn’t do anything interesting. During the week I mostly just watched a lot of dumb reality TV.

What’s the craziest thing you saw on TV this week? Mine was probably a cross between the episode of Millionaire Matchmaker I saw last night featuring a drag queen (crazy mostly because both bachelors in the episode chose exactly the wrong person for themselves) and that new Lifetime show about the women who own a lingerie shop (I was expecting What Not to Wear for underwear, but the show is far more surreal).

Show and Tell is now available!

You can purchase it from Loose Id here or from the ebook retailer of your choice within the week, I’m hoping.

Happy reading!

Show and Tell excerpt

KM_ShowandTell_coverlgI posted an excerpt of Show and Tell over here. Go check it out! The book will be out Tuesday! Woo!

A taste:

He appeared at the back of the store. I recognized him, of course, and I saw also that he was even better looking in person, perhaps because he was before me in the flesh instead of an image on a screen. He ran a hand over his messy, curly hair and said something to one of the production assistants. Then he started to walk forward. Toward me. Malcolm Tell was walking toward me. The man of my dreams, the object of my fantasies, that man was walking, and then the producer was nudging me forward and I was going to meet Malcolm Tell.

I put one foot in front of the other, shaking with nerves the whole time. I was aware of everything: of Malcolm, of the cameras, of all the people milling about. But mostly I was aware of Malcolm, who didn’t seem to have noticed me yet, as he was still engaged in conversation with the PA. Then someone—a director maybe—shouted for quiet on the set. Malcolm got to his spot, turned toward the showroom, and grinned. He looked over at me, finally.

Our eyes met.

The world stopped.

five things: people singing plus favorite books of 2012

Weekly wrap-up!

1. Show and Tell will be available for your reading pleasure on Tuesday!

2. I went to see the Les Miserables movie last weekend. I had FEELINGS. Here’s the thing: I love Les Mis. I saw it on Broadway twice. I have an ex who also loved it, and the original cast recording got a lot of play on long car trips, during which time we would both sing along loudly and badly. I own two different cast recordings. I watch the anniversary concert whenever it’s on PBS. I LOVE IT, okay?

Although I generally enjoyed the movie, I wanted to like it more than I did. On the plus side, Hugh Jackman is fantastic and has an even better voice than I expected. (I was a little worried. He totally pulls it off.) Eddie Redmayne totally won me over. I loved Aaron Tveit and Samantha Barks. (Someone please put Aaron Tveit in all of the movies, thank you.) It was fun to see something I’d only seen on stage brought to life with real sets and things. On the other hand, I thought Russell Crowe was horribly miscast. The problem with singing live instead of lip-synching is that there were a lot of scenes that were just close-ups of one character singing a solo, and that made the movie drag. (Also, I wanted there to be more singing and less emoting, especially on Anne Hathaway’s part.) Somehow I had also forgotten how unrelentingly unhappy the story is, and I walked away from the theater thinking, “Why was this made into a musical again?” (I watched Chicago again recently and had a similar reaction. Like, “Wow, every one of these characters is a terrible person. Why am I watching this again? Oh, right, I love the music.”)

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to sing all the parts from “One Day More” using different voices while I take a shower, but the movie fell just short of being awesome for me.

3. On New Years, I participated in a New Year’s Kisses Party. You can go on over here to read Matt & Iggy’s first kiss (from Out in the Field) and enter to win prizes. The contest was extended through January 7, so there are still a few more days to enter.

4. Just for funsies, I thought I’d pick 10 books I read in 2012 that I enjoyed. This is going to be a genre smorgasbord, so bear with me. I hesitate to even call these the best books of the year, because my reading habits were really odd, so these are basically A Bunch of Books that Kate Really Liked. (And somehow, I read 102 books in 2013, so it took some time to winnow down this list.) In the order I read them:

Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan. I had put off reading this one because I’d heard there was a big scene featuring a sex act that makes me kind of squeamish (I’m a wuss, okay?) but it wound up being maybe my favorite of Heidi’s books, and The Scene? It totally, totally works within the context of the book.

Bonds of Earth by G.N. Chevalier. Maybe the best m/m historical I read this year, a pleasant surprise given that I bought the book almost entirely because of the evocative cover.

What Binds Us by Larry Benjamin. This probably falls more on the gay lit end of the spectrum. There’s a love story, but it’s not the central arc of the book. Beautiful writing, emotional intensity, well-drawn setting. Highly recommended to everyone.

Armed and Dangerous by Abigail Roux. 2012 was the year I gave the Cut & Run series a second chance. (I’ll admit, I didn’t love the first book in the series. But I was looking for something to read in March and thought, “Everyone loves these. Maybe I missed something.” I did miss something, because this series is great, with a really wonderful emotional arc that spans the books.) This was my favorite entry in the series thus far. Can we have the next book now please?

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I’mma finish this damn series if it kills me. I’m not a big epic fantasy reader, but I loved this book. Read in conjunction with Alison Weir’s book on the Wars of the Roses got me all excited for medieval history, too. [/nerd] (My youngest brother, actually, recently became a total GRRM fanboy, so I’ve been enjoying discussing the books with him. He and I don’t have a ton in common, so it’s nice to have something to bond over.)

The Murder of the Century by Paul Collins. Nonfiction book on a crime in New York in the 1890s that reads like a novel and is tremendously compelling.

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward. 2012 was also The Year Kate Finally Got Around to Reading Those J.R. Ward Books. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Zsadist and Bella’s book is the best one, right? (I am so dying for Lover at Last, I can’t even tell you.)

The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley. I think this one made everyone’s favorite romance novel list a couple of years ago, but I only got around to reading it this fall. No lie, it’s really good. If you’re a fan of m/f Regencies, this is required reading.

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner. Speaking of things I finally got around to reading! It’s brilliant and unusual and though it takes a while to get off the ground, once the plot gets going, it makes a lot of interesting twists.

Ethan, Who Loved Carter by Ryan Loveless. If you want a sweet, feel-good romance, this is your book. A character with Tourette’s meets a character with a traumatic brain injury, and though there’s not a lot of conflict between them, I really liked it.

Bonus #1: A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean. I did a reading with Sarah in March and got to talk to her some, and she’s super fun. So, I read her backlist. She becomes a better writer with every book, and this was my favorite of her books so far. (I know my audience here, though. This is another m/f Regency. Put down the pitchforks.)

Bonus #2: Pressure Head by JL Merrow. I’m a sucker for a story about a psychic. It’s not flawless, but Merrow has such a wonderful writing voice that I just want her to keep writing books forever. I want for there to be a sequel to this one.

Bonus #3: Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson. I read this whole book on New Year’s Day when I was recovering from my hangover and I loved it to pieces. It’s sweet and cute and laugh-out-loud funny.

There’s a lot of m/m on this list, which is funny considering I read many fewer m/m books in 2012 than in recent years past. I did read A LOT of just-okay m/f Regencies. I love them, but they become sort of same-y and interchangeable, particularly if you, like me, tend to read, like, six of them in one go before wandering off to read something else. I found most of the ones I read this year fun and entertaining but forgettable.

5. Now that it’s 2013, my official tenure as Vice President of the Rainbow Romance Writers has begun! Honestly, I am feeling equal parts “Let’s do this!” and “What the hell did Heidi and Damon talk me into doing?”

I was jotting down resolutions and yearly goals in my offline journal yesterday, and one of them was simply, “Be awesome.” I think that is my general command of 2013. Be awesome, 2013!

The Show and Tell Stories: “Revolution”

KM_ShowandTellShow and Tell is a story about past lives of a Celtic god and his mortal lover. The past lives are unlocked by objects discovered by Dan, a history student, and Malcolm, a reality TV show host. A number of these are shown in the novel, but I didn’t have space for all of them. So, over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be presenting these stories here on the blog. Think of them like deleted scenes. These will eventually be available as one collection in a few different ebook formats, if you want to wait until they are all posted.

Dan and Malcolm visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and stumble upon a glass bottle made by a colonial American glass artist named Henry Danforth. Getting near the bottle unlocks the memory of a past life of Aengus and Caoimhin, the Celtic god of love and his mortal lover. Read the rest of this entry »

Show and Tell cover and blurb

KM_ShowandTellOne of the few joys in Dan’s life is the TV show Junk Shop, a reality show about antiques hosted by the handsome and charismatic Malcolm Tell. Then an old music box turns up, and Dan’s sister encourages him to try to get on the show and meet the object of his affection. He does, and his life changes completely.

When Dan and Malcolm first meet, they have a sudden vision of a couple from the past. Is it a glimpse at a past life or something else entirely? They agree to work together to figure out what is going on, and they stumble upon a forgotten Celtic myth that may explain everything. If the myth is true, then Dan and Malcolm could be a pair of lovers who have been reincarnated over and over again over two thousand years. That seems impossible, but it’s hard to deny that something very strange is happening.

As Dan and Malcolm work to find the truth, they fall for each other hard. But searching for who they really are puts them both in grave danger, and they find themselves racing against time to keep their happily ever after.

Available January 8 from Loose Id.