The baseball season begins!

Baseball MondaysThe baseball season has just begun! So here’s a bonus Baseball Monday!

If you’ve been around these parts, you may be aware of the fact that I am a huge baseball fan. My sister-in-law had a good insight regarding that recently. In New York, since we have two teams to choose from, she said that whoever was winning more when you were twelve is your team. This is not exactly true in my case—the Yankees sucked when I was twelve—but I did go to my first Yankee game when I was twelve (and they lost, badly, to the Orioles, but it was such a great experience that it kind of imprinted itself on my psyche).

I recently re-watched Ken Burns’s documentary Baseball, and I’ll say, if anyone is ever wondering, “Why does Kate like this sport so much?” watch it to find out. Even if you just watch The Tenth Inning (a follow-up documentary Burns put out a few years ago; the original first aired in 1994), you’ll see “the key years of Kate’s fandom” (the ’90s and ’00s) and my team’s great triumphs (Aaron Boone’s home run to win the 2003 ALCS) and defeats (the Red Sox coming from behind to win the 2004 ALCS and ultimately win the World Series). The documentary is fantastic, and I highly recommend it if you’re even a tiny bit interested in baseball (and have a good number of hours on your hand, because it’s long).

So, hey! Have you caught up with my baseball books? There’s the whole Rainbow League series, about the guys who play for an amateur league. There’s Out in the Field, the story of two Major League ballplayers who fall in love. There’s “One Man to Remember,” my historical novella about a player in Babe Ruth’s shadow in 1927. Four Corners is about four old friends who played baseball together (though the story is really more baseball adjacent). And “What There Is” is a novella about a former ballplayer who falls for his new roommate.

The beginning of the baseball season is great because it’s fresh and new and the prospects for your team always seem positive. Anything can happen! So happy spring and happy baseball!!

Baseball Monday: The Long Slide Home Cover Reveal

Baseball MondaysFirst, a little Rainbow League business!

I wrote this little interview with Mason and Patrick. It’s a little silly and Patrick is inappropriate, but that’s how it should be. 🙂 The book is, of course, available for purchase at the Dreamspinner Press website or the ebook store of your choice.

But now, the reason we’re all here: to feast our eyes on the cover for Nate and Carlos’s book, The Long Slide Home:

The_Long_Slide_Home_Final_FLAT

No buy links yet, but you can add it on Goodreads!

Baseball Mondays: Mustaches

Baseball MondaysSure, baseball is a game of strategy and statistics, of skill and athleticism, of nail-biting pitchers’ duels and home-run glory. But I want to talk today about another crucial part of the game: facial hair.

I took some delight when, earlier this year, my beloved Yankees started growing mustaches during a winning streak. There was magical power in those mustaches. The Yankees grew them… and kept winning. These things must be related.

So can we take a moment to discuss the city of Cincinnati’s All-Star Game celebration, which consists of putting giant mustaches all over the city? Because it’s kind of my favorite thing right now.

Mustaches in Cincinnati from @AllStarGame on Twitter.

Mustaches in Cincinnati from @AllStarGame on Twitter.

Here’s a little more info.

If it were not already clear, I have a thing about baseball mustaches. They’re so old-timey and whimsical. I mean…

Circa 1870s

Circa 1870s

Anybody else have opinions on baseball mustaches? For my money, the greatest one of all time was Rollie Fingers’ curly-cued beauty. I mean, get a load of this mustache.

Rollie Fingers

Rollie Fingers

Pretty glorious, right? I’m willing to entertain alternate candidates in the comments.

If you need more, there’s a whole Baseball Mustaches tumblr. It makes me happy.

If you want more hot baseball action (sadly lacking in mustaches) The Windup and Thrown a Curve are now available just about everywhere.

Thrown a Curve is OUT NOW!

Thrown a CurveAvailable today! Rainbow League Book 2: THROWN A CURVE

Blurb:
Mason made headlines when, after his professional baseball career was sidelined by an injury, he very publicly came out of the closet. Now he’s scratching the baseball itch playing in the Rainbow League while making his way through New York’s population of beefcakes, even though they all come up short. Plus, he’s still thinking about last summer’s encounter with hot, effeminate, pierced and tattooed Patrick—pretty much the opposite of the sort of man he has long pictured himself with.

Patrick hasn’t been able to forget Mason either, and now that baseball season is back upon them, he’s determined to have him again. Mason is unlike any man Patrick has ever been with before, and not just because he’s an ex-Yankee. All Patrick has to do is convince a reluctant Mason that their one night wasn’t just a crazy fluke and that they could be great together…if only Mason could get past his old hang-ups and his intolerant family.

Available from Dreamspinner Press or wherever you buy ebooks.

a little more about Thrown a Curve

Thrown a CurveBecause I was out of town for pretty much all of May, I didn’t really have sufficient time to organize a blog tour for Thrown a Curve. Usually, I save my dorky explanations of the characters or the process behind the book for the blog tour, but since I didn’t really ever put that together, I thought I’d put a few of my thoughts up on the blog.

So here’s a bit more about how the series came about. When I knew I was creating a baseball league, I figured it should be representative of New York City. I therefore aimed for the league to have a truly diverse cast of characters. That really comes to the fore in Thrown a Curve.

So we have Mason, an African-American former professional baseball player (for the Yankees, obvs) who is athletic and would prefer to blend in with a crowd. (Although after he came out on the cover of People, he doesn’t really care that much.) As you may recall, he met Patrick at the end of The Windup. Patrick is an effeminate, pierced, tattooed hairdresser who is constantly dying his hair crazy colors. He, uh, sticks out in a crowd.

I like an opposites attract situation, although Mason and Patrick have more in common than they think. Mason in particular thinks he should be attracted to guys like himself—athletic, masculine, not obviously gay—but in reality is strongly attracted to men who play around with gender. His attraction to Patrick taps into something in himself, something his career and his family prevented him from expressing. One of the themes of the book is staying safe vs. taking a risk, of going after the thing you want instead of the thing you think you’re supposed to want. That is something I think we can all related to, to a degree.

Patrick is also not a Hipster—it’s an inter-team romance.

There’s more of the Nate-Carlos-Aiden triangle in this book, too, setting up Nate and Carlos for Book 3. (The Long Slide Home, out in August!)

This was a tough book to write, mostly because I wanted to do these characters justice; I was aiming to write characters a little outside of the norm of what you see in gay romance, while also keeping the tone light and fun and just angsty enough to hook readers. Hopefully you’ll agree it’s a good story.

Get a sneak peak; I added an excerpt to the book page.

Preorder links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

Thrown a Curve up for preorder

Thrown a CurveIt’s out Friday, but if you can’t possibly wait any longer, Thrown a Curve is now available for preorder now just about everywhere. Here are some links:

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

BLURB:

Book 2 in the Rainbow League series

Mason made headlines when, after his professional baseball career was sidelined by an injury, he very publicly came out of the closet. Now he’s scratching the baseball itch playing in the Rainbow League while making his way through New York’s population of beefcakes, even though they all come up short. Plus, he’s still thinking about last summer’s encounter with hot, effeminate, pierced and tattooed Patrick—pretty much the opposite of the sort of man he has long pictured himself with.

Patrick hasn’t been able to forget Mason either, and now that baseball season is back upon them, he’s determined to have him again. Mason is unlike any man Patrick has ever been with before, and not just because he’s an ex-Yankee. All Patrick has to do is convince a reluctant Mason that their one night wasn’t just a crazy fluke and that they could be great together…if only Mason could get past his old hang-ups and his intolerant family.

Baseball Monday: DIY Plushy Baseballs

Baseball MondaysSorry for my long hiatus! It’s been a really zany few weeks, what with RT, vacation, and BEA. But I’m back, and ready to carry on these weekly baseball posts at least until Rainbow League Book 3 releases later this summer!

Today, I’ve got a craft project. I made a bunch of these plushy baseballs to give out as prizes at RT (and I’ve made them before for other conventions). I invented the pattern, and it’s pretty easy if you know knitting basics. So I figured I’d make the pattern available for anyone who wants to try it out.

Finished products, done in neon in honor of the Rainbow League.

Finished products, done in neon in honor of the Rainbow League.

You should be able to download a PDF of the pattern from the bottom of this post. I’ve used worsted weight cotton or superwash wool for most of these. It’s kind of just a fun, goofy project. Also they seem to work pretty well as cat toys.

You can download the pattern here: Kate’s Knit Plushy Baseballs

And remember, Book 2: Thrown a Curve is available for pre-order.

Thrown a Curve is now available for pre-order!

Thrown a CurveRainbow League Book 2: Thrown a Curve is now available for pre-order from Dreamspinner Press! The book will be available wherever you buy ebooks on June 19th. You can also add it on Goodreads.

Here’s the blurb:

Mason made headlines when, after his professional baseball career was sidelined by an injury, he very publicly came out of the closet. Now he’s scratching the baseball itch playing in the Rainbow League while making his way through New York’s population of beefcakes, even though they all come up short. Plus, he’s still thinking about last summer’s encounter with hot, effeminate, pierced and tattooed Patrick—pretty much the opposite of the sort of man he has long pictured himself with.

Patrick hasn’t been able to forget Mason either, and now that baseball season is back upon them, he’s determined to have him again. Mason is unlike any man Patrick has ever been with before, and not just because he’s an ex-Yankee. All Patrick has to do is convince a reluctant Mason that their one night wasn’t just a crazy fluke and that they could be great together… if only Mason could get past his old hang-ups and his intolerant family.

Sunday Snippet: Thrown a Curve

Thrown a CurveI thought you all might enjoy a sneak peek at Thrown a Curve, Rainbow League Book 2, out this June. And remember, Book 1: The Windup is available now!

Mason walked to the field, feeling limber and ready to play baseball.

All Rainbow League games took place at the ball fields in East River Park, in the shadow of the FDR Drive and the Williamsburg Bridge. It got noisy sometimes with the buzz of cars whizzing by on the street, but the ball field where they usually played was right on the water, which muffled the car sounds. The park was a little out of the way, in that it was a fair distance from public transportation, but Mason had always liked it. That, and it was a convenient few blocks from Barnstorm in Alphabet City.

When Mason arrived at the field, everyone was talking at once. Nate and Carlos were tossing a ball back and forth while jabbering about the previous night’s Yankees game. Ty and Ian seemed to be having some kind of argument. Mason couldn’t tell if they were being playful or not. He walked a little closer to eavesdrop.

“First of all,” Ty was saying, “as I already told you, I don’t want to leave Brooklyn. Second, your apartment doesn’t have space for all my stuff. We’d have to at least get a two-bedroom so I can have an art studio.”

“But your place is so far from my job,” said Ian. “And you’re the one who thought I should sign a longer lease on my apartment. There are still five months left on it.”

“Boys,” Mason interrupted, “we’re supposed to be friends and teammates. No time for fighting. Take your domestic quarrels off the field.”

Ty shot Mason an astonished look. He waved his hand. “Whatever, dude.”

Ian rolled his eyes. “It’s not really a domestic disturbance. This is supposed to be good news for us. The lease on Ty’s apartment is up soon, so we’ve decided to move in together, but where we move is a sticking point.”

That felt like big news—Ty and Ian had only been dating about a year, and now they were thinking of moving in together?—but Ian rattled it off as if it were just the normal course of things, like telling Mason they were going out for ice cream after practice.

“Don’t you like Brooklyn?” Ty asked Ian.

Ian patted Ty on the shoulder. “I like it fine, Texas. But Mason is right. We should take this argument off the field.”

Ty shrugged. “How are you, Mason? Long time no see.”

“I’m good. Happy to be playing baseball again.”

“Aren’t we all?”

Ian playfully punched Ty in the arm. “Weren’t you just complaining about all the weight you always put on in the off-season?”

“Actually, I weighed myself yesterday. I didn’t even gain a pound.” Ty made a bodybuilder pose. “I guess it’s all that, ah, working out I did this winter.” He elbowed Ian.

“More information than I needed, guys,” said Mason.

“Like you haven’t had your pick of the beefcakes,” said Ty.

Mason shrugged. He had gone on a second date with that bartender Travis, but he wasn’t really feeling it. Their nights together were… fine. Travis was objectively hot, but they didn’t have much chemistry. “Who are we playing tonight?”

“Was the glitter not a giveaway?” Ian asked, pointing.

Mason silently cursed himself for forgetting that he already knew. His team, the Brooklyn Hipsters, was playing the SoHoMos, a team that reveled in its queerness. Their uniform shirts this season were electric blue and their team name was scrawled across the front in a frilly script font above a picture of a unicorn. A bunch of the players had body glitter on their arms or faces or in their hair. Mason thought the whole thing was a little silly, but this was not his primary concern.

Patrick played for the ’Mos.

Patrick of the swishy walk and ridiculous hair. Patrick who had given him one crazy night in the men’s room at Barnstorm. Patrick who Mason had been unable to stop thinking about. Patrick who Mason had no business being attracted to. Though he was. So much.

He did a quick scan of the field and saw the man in question preening for one of his teammates. His hair was as crazy as ever, though gelled into spikes now. His delicate features belied an athletic body, and though he was short and pierced and tattooed and talked too much, Mason was thoroughly and completely in lust.

The Hipsters’ manager, Scott, started barking out orders so the game could get underway, thus saving Mason from thinking further on the matter.

Baseball Monday: Thrown a Curve Cover Reveal

Baseball MondaysI snuck a peak at this cover in my newsletter last week. So here’s the cover for Book 2 in the Rainbow League series, Thrown a Curve, Mason and Patrick’s story.

First, the blurb:

Mason made headlines when, after his professional baseball career was sidelined by an injury, he very publicly came out of the closet. Now he’s scratching the baseball itch playing in the Rainbow League while making his way through New York’s population of beefcakes, even though they all come up short. Plus, he’s still thinking about last summer’s encounter with hot, effeminate, pierced and tattooed Patrick—pretty much the opposite of the sort of man he has long pictured himself with.

Patrick hasn’t been able to forget Mason either, and now that baseball season is back upon them, he’s determined to have him again. Mason is unlike any man Patrick has ever been with before, and not just because he’s an ex-Yankee. All Patrick has to do is convince a reluctant Mason that their one night wasn’t just a crazy fluke and that they could be great together…if only Mason could get past his old hang-ups and his intolerant family.

Thrown a Curve

The book will be out in June!

(And just a reminder, book 1 is available NOW from Dreamspinner, All Romance eBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or the ebook store of your choice!)