A Couple of Reviews of Yummy Books!

Some good reads I’ve had lately:

Goalie Interference, by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn (release date Sept. 30, 2019)

A fun, mostly light M/M hockey romance. (Second in the Hat Trick series, but works fine as a stand-alone.) Both Emmitt and Ryu were sweet characters, underneath Emmitt’s brashness and Ryu’s cool quietness. While I love me an angstfest, sometimes it’s also great to read something like this where the conflicts aren’t earthshattering, the growing-up backstories aren’t horrific and teammates ARE chill about LGBTQ issues. (I also got a kick out of the not-quite-the-real-NHL team names. Pittsburgh Condors, indeed.)

Note: Emmitt is African-American and Ryu is Japanese. As near as I could tell the book was quite respectful and thoughtful about issues for POC in hockey, but I am the whitest of white girls and don’t get to make that call! The authors did note that they had sensitivity readers.

Once Upon a Haunted Moor–Tyack & Frayne #1, by Harper Fox

A delicious M/M mystery/romance with a side order of paranormal. Beautiful writing in a beautiful Cornwall setting (I looked up the Cheesewring wondering if it was real and 1. wow and 2. HOW. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheesewring) Likeable main characters, interesting mystery, hot sex, creepy atmosphere. My only, tiniest quibble is that I think a couple of developments could have been more, er, developed.

VERY excited that both these books are in series–there WILL be more Hat Trick and there already IS more Tyack & Frayn, yay!

 

 

 

 

News and Whatnot!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this already, but remember how Carina liked my pitch on Twitter and then requested a look at the partial manuscript and query? Well they took a look at it and THEY WANT TO SEE THE WHOLE MANUSCRIPT.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

So I have been pounding away on that book, tentatively named Business and the Beat, with much excitement.  And in the meantime have been enjoying the launch of In Another Country with Painted Hearts Publishing–it’s gotten some lovely reviews! Pink Heart Society said this:

There were moments of vulnerability that really clawed at my heart. Jeffries nailed            the ebb and flow of tension in new relationships. I must also mention the great use of        consent and safe sex practices as well. High five for that! I will be recommending this        book the next time I’m asked for something unique and full of the feels.

Plus they put the book on their finalist list for Best Romantic Suspense! Thanks, y’all.

And AND I made my first book, the f/f paranormal romance novelette Spark & Change into a paperback! Did it mostly for the learning experience but I was surprised at how much it meant to me to hold a physical edition of one of my books. Very cool.

I have ideas for the next two standalone full novels, plus two probably-shorter pieces (maybe it would be good to work on the shorter pieces for self-publishing while working on the Carina request?) And I keep thinking that I ought to write a series since everyone says that is what readers are really looking for, but standalones are what keep jumping into my brain and I hate to make those ideas wait. (Probably if I sat down with a piece of paper and a pen and brainstormed series idea, though, Things would Happen.)

And oh lord I have *so* much still to learn about the business end of things, and about advertising and other marketing, and aieeee. I’m listening to lots of podcasts on those subjects, and just bought a book about doing newsletters.

This is a full-time job, y’all! Unfortunately I already have one of those? (This is not a complaint. I’m having fun learning despite the overwhelm!)

Oh, and here’s some news for any Headstones fans out there–their old records are on Spotify now!

Affectionate forehead bumps,

 

Kellum

So Much Happens!

My second book came out on Thursday! In Another Country is a slightly historical (1990s) m/m romance set in Fayetteville, NC. Closeted bisexual cop Declan meets hot Mountie Tupper, in town for an anti-terrorist training at Fort Bragg. Dec’s always stuck with a “one night” rule with men–but can he withstand Tupper’s charms? (Spoiler: he cannot.)

So that was very exciting! And Painted Hearts Publishing let me know that first day sales had been “very respectable,” which 1) YAY and 2) I did not know publishers DID that, how sweet!

In other bookish news, a while back Carina Press had a Twitter pitch day, and I took a shot at it–and two of their editors wanted to see more! Whoo! I put together a query, synopsis and sample and sent it out yesterday–one day ahead of the deadline, GO ME. (And I am here to tell you that synopses are NOT FUN.) So fingers crossed on that one. Meanwhile I need to finish writing the book! I’m about 17,000 words into a probably-50,000-word draft. (This is the ‘shy gay financial planner/cheerful pansexual rockstar’ one that was sparked by *those pictures* of Jason Momoa about to jump on Henry Cavill’s back.)

And after that I have the plot of a het romance (go figure!) roughed out on index cards. And there’s a paranormal maybe romance/maybe not lurking around at the edges of my brain. I HAVE TOO MANY THOUGHTS.

 

 

 

 

(Spoilery) Review: Rend, by Roan Parrish

“We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout…”

 

That’s what happened to Rhys and Matty–married after knowing each other just a couple of months. Now almost a year into their marriage, Rhys takes his band on the road–and Matty starts to come apart at the seams. Can they hang onto a happy-ever-after when Matty can’t believe anyone would really stay with him?

Y’all, I loved this. Roan Parrish always has smokin’ sex scenes and she did not disappoint on that front, hoo boy. But it was also really emotional and angsty and deep–Matty has a seriously awful backstory full of abandonment, and his struggles over whether or not he should be truthful about everything with sunny Rhys felt very real. And man, some of his nightmares creeped the shit out of me, and I am not that easily crept.

And I loved that it wasn’t an easily fixed “magical healing cock” situation. Rhys’s love is necessary for Matt, but it isn’t sufficient all by itself. Matt gets therapy, and gets help from friends both old and new. And his job is shown as a part of his healing–it’s important to him that he has a chance to help kids in situations as rough as his used to be. The happy resolution feels well-earned and real.

Content: Abandonment, very brief mention of childhood sexual abuse (not either of the main characters), spiraling mental health including intense insomnia and forgetting to eat.

Notes: comes after Riven in the series but you don’t need to read Riven first.

OH. (My revelation about writer podcasts)

So lately I’ve been listening to a ton of writing/writing business podcasts–largely Mur Lafferty’s “I Should Be Writing,” Mur & Matt Wallace’s “Ditchdiggers” and Joanna Penn’s “The Creative Penn.”

And they’re chock-full of useful information. (And sometimes sexy, sexy accents. David Gaughran, guest on alllll the podcasts, please.)

But it finally occurred to me the other day that, for me at least, information isn’t the main benefit of these podcasts–immersion is.

Because when I bracket my day job with twenty-five minutes morning and evening of many different people talking about writing, it seems very natural to come home and spend a large chunk of my evening writing rather than all the zillion other things I could be focusing on. Because that’s what *everybody* does, right?!?

Anyone else out there with nothing but writing podcasts in their ears right now? Does it work that way for you?