Whoo! It has been a bit of a whirlwind hereabouts. (More literally than I would have preferred, in one case.)
Book things first: my f/f paranormal romance novelette Spark & Change is out! And people seem to like it, which is awesome. (I love my Goodreads reviews. Thank you, you lovely Goodreads people.) It was a lot of fun to write and I’m so loving that other folks are enjoying it too!
And I’ve mentioned that I have a publisher for the m/m novella–and now that we’ve signed the contract, I can tell you that it’s Painted Hearts Publishing and, barring complications, I expect the book to come out early in 2019! I’m super excited about officially being a Hybrid Author, and I can’t wait for y’all to meet Declan and Tupper.
As for Fun Life Stuff, we recently had an excellent though too short visit from friends who taught a weaving class at my library, ate lots of good food with us (how had we not been to Legend Brewery before? yum) and got the short version of the Peak Richmond Tour (VMFA, TPot Bridge, and breakfast at McLean’s.) And last night we saw the always-fabulous Bootleg Shakespeare from Quill Theatre (the actors have their parts and scripts for a month but don’t rehearse together until the day of the performance.) The ragged rough punkiness of it always lends some humor to even the tragedies when performed that way, but it never detracts from their impact–adds to it, I’d say. Last night was Lear and it was amazing–Foster Solomon in the lead and John Mincks as Edmund were particularly jawdropping. (And I think it was the third version of that play I’ve seen and I’ve *just* now realized how to remember which is Edmund and which is Edgar–EdGar is Good. EdMund is Malevolent. Duh.)
As for the overly literal whirlwind, as the edges of Hurricane Florence blew through Richmond they spawned a *lot* of tornadoes, so I ended up spending an hour hunkered in a windowless back room of the library with bunches of patrons while everyone’s phones alerted them to tornadoes touching down closer and closer. That was…not fun, but I am grateful they never touched down ON us. Phew.
I’m trying to sort out some issues with MailChimp, and I hope I can get a newsletter actually going soon. Meanwhile I’ve gotten off to a good start on a m/m story–can’t tell yet if it’s going to be a novella or a novel–inspired by those fabulous “Jason Momoa sneaking up on Henry Cavill” pictures. And I have a het romance burbling away on the back burner. Wheeee!
So while I was working this past Saturday (Saturday shifts are an occasional hazard of the librarian life) two things happened:
- My cover artist sent me the final version of the art for my self-published f/f paranormal romance novelette. Which means, barring unexpected problems, I should be releasing it on WEDNESDAY. WHOOOOOO!!!!!
Isn’t it beautiful?
I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
2) I checked my email and…A PUBLISHER WANTS THE M/M NOVELLA. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
Holding back on further details until I have a signed contract in my hands, but WOW.
I love my day job, but man. I had to wait SEVERAL HOURS before I could come home and run around shrieking with glee for an extended period.
And then go out and have ramen and a bee’s knees cocktail and ice cream.
See you Wednesday!!!
She just sent me a preliminary sketch for the cover of my f/f paranormal novelette, Spark and Change, and I cannot stop looking at it. I should have the final cover soon and I can’t wait to share it with y’all!
In the meantime, I thought I’d show you some of her other work so you can see her awesome sweet funny style. Please note that my cover will have fewer aliens, no underpants, and zero flaming spaceships. But more tails.
You can see more of her amazing stuff at mimre.tumblr.com
I should actually be able to get the book out on Kindle within the next couple of weeks and I am so excited!
I feel a bit dumb because I was lucky enough to get this delicious book from NetGalley well before release date, gobbled it down and was champing at the bit to review it but made myself wait for release date because of NetGalley rules. And then it turned out that the time around release date was BANANAS for me, with work deadlines and a family health scare which luckily eventually turned out fine and the start of moving house and so on, and here we are, yoinks later. Ah well.
Anyway! SO GOOD. Extremely hot and sexy, and both main characters felt so real and so lovable. One of my favorite things about it was that although there was plenty of angst there were no…villains, really? The other members of Riven made Theo feel left out, yes, but they weren’t terrible people–they knew each other earlier and had gotten used to just hanging out with each other, they were put off by how media focused on just Theo, and they misinterpreted a lot of Theo’s awkwardness as not really wanting to hang out with them. (Plus they were unaware of Theo’s childhood that left him particularly susceptible to abandonment issues.) I like the acknowledgement that it’s possible for basically well-meaning people to make each other miserable.
I like too that Theo has to come to what seems like one of his first huge adult decisions on his own, regardless of what Caleb thinks. And I love that that huge important decision is just that…you don’t HAVE to do what’s expected of you. Even if it’s what you used to think you wanted. Even if it’s something that most people would think was the most awesome thing ever.
I love that this is about two damaged, terribly hurt people slowly learning that they can choose actions that make them happier, including choosing each other. For a book that has music woven so wonderfully all through it, for a book that has some GREAT GODAMIGHTY HOT sex scenes, there’s something sweetly…quiet, somehow, about the way these men come to love one another. Beautiful.
This picture, y’all.
Every time this has ever popped up on social media I’ve thought, “Well, THERE’S a goofball rock star/uptight businessman romance novel waiting to happen.”
And for some reason this last time this thought WOULD NOT go away and actual scenes started hollering at me, and dang if this isn’t demanding to be written.
Which means I need to finish up the f/f novelette rough draft and start editing, and I need to FINISH the edits on the previous m/m novella. (I am currently shifting it to past tense–quite a lot of people hate present tense, apparently? Anyway trying to do find-and-replace for frequent verbs had the unintended side effect of a character being briefly named “Chrwastine,” hah.) I want to actually get at least one thing finished and published before I get neck deep in another book! WHY YOU GOTTA BE SO FIZZY, BRAIN.
This is in addition to regular day-job commitments and oh yeah, MOVING IN A COUPLE WEEKS. Eeeeeeeeek.
Saturday, y’all. I did my very first Professional Development thing as a romance writer–I went to the Virginia Romance Writers meeting, about sixty miles away, to meet people and attend the morning session about Building an Author Platform. This was nervewracking because, well, meeting people, and also because I wondered if it would be worth the drive and the trouble. I knew nothing about the speakers before going, and thought it was possible that they might immediately get into some kind of eight-dimensional marketing incomprehensibilities (“You’ve got to leverage your Z-scores while maximizing your gestalt percentage quadrant!”) or that it would be the smarmy and icky kind of marketing. (“You are no longer a person, you are a Brand! You have no friends, only Potential Customers!”)
Well, it was neither of those horrors–it was GREAT. Andie J. Christopher and Adriana Anders were the speakers, both very successful writers, and they were funny and friendly and practical and full of ideas–I think I took six pages of notes. And the marketing they were pushing was “Call attention to your stuff in these fairly simple (if admittedly somewhat labor-intensive) and non-obnoxious ways, and also meet people online and at conferences and get to be genuine friends with them and help each OTHER and also, don’t be a dick.” That is a marketing plan I can get BEHIND. (Those are…not direct quotes.)
And as for the meeting people part–I happened to sit next to Casey Dubose, who is delightful and WRITING A POLY REGENCY. I cannot WAIT to read this, and it was just so great to end up at a table with someone I found so easy to talk to. Hi, Casey! *waves*
So I was VERY happy that I made myself go to this meeting even though it made the day ridiculously overscheduled. Next up was a housewarming party for a Day Job buddy, which was why I couldn’t stay for the afternoon romance session. (I was assuming that because the party started at two there would not be a lot in the way of food. Day Job buddy had in fact knocked herself out making a SERIOUS spread of appetizers and desserts, including homemade Earl Grey flavored macarons with lemon cream. Whaaaat.)
And after a short desperate nap, I finished out the day with a volunteer shift chaperoning the local LGBTQ youth center’s AlternaProm. All those little teens so dressed up and looking so HAPPY, it was adorable.
And it’s Monday and I’m STILL tired. But it was SO WORTH IT.
Probably everyone reading this has already read Alyssa Cole’s A Princess in Theory but if not GO READ IT RIGHT NOW. (Mild spoilers ahoy.)
It is just so much FUN. The heroine is wonderful–a brilliant and super-hardworking scientist in training, working multiple jobs to get through grad school. She’s also a former foster kid who has trouble believing anyone would really want her.
The hero is Prince Thabiso from Thesolo–he’s been a bit of a playboy but he’s truly invested in doing what’s best for his people.
And the setup is a hoot. Naledi’s been getting emails saying she’s been betrothed since toddlerhood to a prince, and asking her to send proof of her identity and medical records. And since she’s a sensible person…guess what she’s been doing with those emails.
You really root for both characters (they have more-or-less alternating POV chapters.) And they’re not in a lovestruck void with no other people–Naledi’s best friend is very important to the story, as is Likotsi, Thabiso’s assistant. (Who is also, really, his best friend.)
Friendship is taken quite seriously in this story–Thabiso’s mother’s long-ago loss of her best friend is one of the major historical points driving the story. I love this a lot. And I love that Naledi and Thabiso respect the hell out of each other’s competence at their jobs. (And that both their jobs are shown as genuinely difficult, featuring a douchebag postdoc in Naledi’s case and a sleazy government Minister in Thabiso’s.)
I also love the very, very hot sex scenes which include the detail that HEY A POOR GRAD STUDENT IS WEARING A BEAT-UP OLD BRA THAT DOESN’T MATCH HER PANTIES. HOW GREAT IS THAT.
I am so looking forward to the next book in the series. Also hoping that at some point we get to read more about dapper lesbian Likotsi. I would like to read an epic trilogy about dapper lesbian Likotsi, please!
In summary, all the thumbs up!