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.

five things: we need more scarves

Weekly Wrap-Up Post!

Before we get into it, I want to say: I got the news about the shooting in Newtown, CT, as I was typing this post. My heart aches for those kids and parents. It’s a completely horrifying tragedy; there’s something especially gruesome about the deaths of children. It’s sort of making it difficult to finish writing an upbeat post, but I’ll try.

1. In reading news, this week I devoured Amy Lane’s knitting series. These fall pretty low on the Amy Lane Angst-o-Meter, but they hit a sweet spot for me this week, conveniently being exactly the sorts of books I was in the mood for. There’s a little bit of insta-love, in the last book especially (the main couple’s first meeting is basically, “Hello, I am your soul mate, and we will be having a romance now”), but Lane manages to sell the relationship over the course of the book, so at the end, I was all in blubbery tears, like, “Of course, they totally belong together” and, yeah.

Scarf! Almost!

Scarf! Almost!

Of course, reading the books got me excited about knitting in a way I haven’t been in a while. This whole year has been tough for me just because I’ve had so much going on that I didn’t have time to just… sit and knit. But this month, I decided to take it easy, kind of. Luckily, I binge bought some pretty pink and purple yarn last week, so I decided to knit myself a scarf (progress so far pictured at right). I think one of the reasons the Amy Lane books resonated with me so much is that I learned to knit 7 or 8 years ago during a not so happy time in my life, and the repetitive movement really does ease stress, and then you have something pretty at the end to show for it. (Although, there is much made in the books about having people to knit for. I have knitted many gifts over the years, but this one is just for me.)

Our view of the Stones concert. We were... not close. Still a good show, though!

Our view of the Stones concert. We were… not close. Still a good show, though!

2. Last Saturday, I went with my dad to see the Rolling Stones at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Basically, he called me about a month ago and was like, “I’m doing this thing in your neighborhood, you want to come with?” and really, who am I to turn down Rolling Stones tickets? The Stones are my dad’s favorite band of all time, and he really enjoyed the concert. (He said the last time he’d seen them live was in 1966. He would have been 17 then, if my math is right.) It was a good show. Mick Jagger basically danced around like a crazy person for two and a half hours, and I admire that man’s energy, given he is twice my age and I got tired just watching him.

3. Work on Show and Tell continues apace. I saw a cover mock-up last night. I look forward to showing you the final! (Early next week, I think.)

Covers are always a funny thing. I have such a specific idea of what my characters look like that the cover models never look quite right (although this cover designer got Dan pretty closely, so some applause is warranted). I’m not one of those authors who “casts” my novels because, well, actors look like actors, not like my characters. (And I’m always confused when movies based on books I liked are cast. I know Stephanie Plum, Katherine Heigl, and you are no Stephane Plum.)

4. Some other writing news:

• I’m currently working on a novella for an open call. It’s a comedy! I gotta tell you, I like some angst in both my reading and writing, but I also appreciate an opportunity to be funny.

[Although, we should clarify angst, maybe? I think Four Corners is my angstiest book, because there’s a lot of longing and “I love you but I can’t be with you” going on in it, and that’s not going to be for everyone. However, I get the impression that this is lowercase angst and not, like, ANGST as happens in this genre sometimes, what with the tortured childhoods and dark themes and all that. I don’t see myself ever writing the latter kind of ANGST.]

• I’m going to be posting some short stories related to Show and Tell in the lead up to the book’s release. I am a dirty tease. Actually, the shorts are scenes that it almost killed me to cut out of the novel, but in the end I agreed with my editor that they screwed with the novel’s pacing, so we took them out and then I got permission to post them as free shorts. I’m still revising those, though, so I don’t know when I will post them. Next week, maybe. (There are two, at least. I’ll try to get those up in a couple of different formats for your downloading convenience.)

• I wrote a little flash Christmas story earlier this week, in case you missed it.

• I saw a new review of In Hot Pursuit over the weekend. It was an odd experience. That book came out almost three years ago! I’m glad people are still buying and reading and enjoying it, and certainly Noah and Harry will always have a very special place in my heart, but whenever I see reviews, I think, “Hey, check out my more recent stuff! I’m a much better writer now!” That’s silly, I know. I mean, I still like that book a lot. But I’ve learned a lot, about writing and everything, in the time since I sold it.

5. One of my other dastardly writer plans is to (finally) do some website updating, so this place might look a little different if you come back next week. On the agenda: making the top banner a little sexier, updating my events calendar with all the places I will be this year (a lot of places!), and adding social media stuff to blog posts so you can tweet them with ease.

Bee tee dubs, I heard from Loose Id that they are creating a customer loyalty program wherein you can earn points by spreading the word about new books on social media, so if you are down with that, maybe give Show and Tell a little love after the new year. (This book is so crazy, you guys. Reincarnated gods! New York! Historical flashbacks! A reality TV show! My critique partner thinks it’s the best thing of mine that she’s read, though, so that is a RINGING ENDORSEMENT, because she is a harsh mistress. January 8!)

five things, on friday this time!

Hey, how are you, how’s it going? Here’s my weekly wrap-up.

1. I missed posting last week because I grossly miscalculated how much time I’d be spending with family over Thanksgiving. (This is a problem I have. Every year I lug my computer to whichever family member is hosting thinking I’ll get some writing done, and every year my family is all, “Spend time with us! Why are you getting your computer out?” and then I get nothing done. I should learn to accept this.)

2. NaNoWriMo ends today. Here’s a round-up of what I’m working on:

a. A romantic comedy novella about a guy who gets invited to his ex’s wedding. This was a tremendous joy to write and I pounded a complete draft out in a week, which I think must be some kind of land-speed record. I was playing around with the tropes from every Julia Roberts movie you’ve ever seen. I think it’s funny. I have to do some revision work on it (I mean, I wrote it in a week) but I do really like this story, so I will keep you posted on when/if it will be available on an ereader near you.

b. A short novel about two damaged characters, a misanthrope and an extrovert. This was actually kind of torturous to write because I started with a not-fully-fleshed out idea and I had to really push myself to get past the 25K hump, which seems to be my writing problem of late. (That is, I get really excited about a new story idea, write 25K in a blizzard of activity, and then promptly lose all interest in the project. This particular malady has been plaguing me since August.) I think forcing myself to write until the end of the story was probably a good exercise, but I can’t say the story itself has much going for it. I especially failed in making the novel have the emotional resonance I thought a story like this should have. Not all of my books are winners, I guess. I think it’s salvageable and I maintain that the premise is a good one, but this manuscript is rough. To the editing board!

c. On Tuesday, I spent my lunch break freewriting whatever popped into my head and came up with an idea for a m/m Regency. I’ve written about 5,000 words so far. We’ll see if I get it over the 25K hump.

Aside: I worry about discussing my WIPs publicly, because some (a lot) of the things I write will probably never be fit for human consumption, and how much of a dirty tease am I if I’m all, “I’m writing this thing!” and you go “I want to read it!” but then I never finish it? Also, talking about what I’m working on seems to be the death knell for my creativity. Like… talking to readers about a sequel to one of my books? Pretty much kills all desire I have to write said sequel. No idea why this is. Pressure to actually do it, maybe? I have at some point sat down and started a sequel to every one of my novels, with the exception of Out in the Field, but I’ve never actually finished one. [OitF ties everything up quite tidily and I never felt the necessity to revisit those characters. I sort of blew my baseball wad there, I think.])

Will any of the abovementioned projects make it to bookstores? Who knows?!

3. I successfully (?) finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Then the woman who runs my book club came down with the flu and we canceled our meeting, so I haven’t really gotten to talk to anyone about it yet. Although, actually, a few people I know have essays in Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades, so I went to a release party for the book on Wednesday. I did talk to a few people! I have the same opinion I had before I read the book, which is that, generally, the phenomenon is a good thing because it has opened up the conversation about erotic romance and, I think, indirectly gotten people talking about LGBT romance, which, you may know, is relevant to my interests. The contents of the book are kind of irrelevant. But I can say now that I’ve read it that the book’s chief flaw (IMHO) is that Ana exhibits a profound level of naivete that I could buy in a 16-year-old but not in a 22-year-old grown woman. When you consider that her personality is basically Bella Swan’s elevated to an age when it’s not creepy to think about her in a sexual context, it pulls you out of the story. (Also, the creepy stalker push-pull dynamic between Ana and Christian—wherein she would weep about how he was all wrong for her but he would bully her into liking him again—was off putting to me personally, but the same dynamic is in every Harlequin Presents I’ve ever read.) (I wasn’t really a fan of the first-person present POV, either, but I have less of a leg to stand on there.)

4. I saw Lincoln right before Thanksgiving and really enjoyed it! It’s surprisingly engaging for a movie that is pretty much about political process. I spent some time this week reading cerebral essays picking apart the history presented in the movie, which the nerd in me has been enjoying.

5. Otherwise, work on Show and Tell is moving right along. (January 8!) I’ve got a bunch of stuff on my schedule over the next couple of weeks that I’m looking forward to (parties! concerts! readings!). I totally splurged on a gorgeous handbag at a sample sale the other day, and that was sort of the highlight of my week, because sometimes I’m shallow.