Category: Kindred Hearts

Between GRL and Teslacon…

Oct 31, 2013 by

I’ve only been home from GayRomLit in Atlanta a week, and already I’m heading out again, this time to Teslacon in Madison Wisconsin. Teslacon is a Steampunk convention, and if you don’t know what Steampunk is, Google it. Go ahead. I’ll wait. <whistles>

Okay, back? Well, let me explain something. As awesome as Steampunk sounds, it is TWICE as cool as that. Easily. Steampunk marries historical romance and science fiction and fantasy and adventure and mystery and RAY GUNS AND DIRIGIBLES AND AIRSHIP PIRATES. It’s the ultimate geekdom, where all the geekdoms run together and then explode. It’s like Jules Verne married HG Wells and together they popped out Robert A. Heinlein and Umberto Eco. (Totally possible if you buy Warehouse 13’s premise that HG Wells was actually a woman.) And then bought an airship line.

So that’s where I’m spending my weekend, in a total immersion Steampunk convention, where I will arrive in costume and remain so for three full days. In company with my godson and nephew, Joe V., the coolest teenager in the history of teenagers.

GayRomLit was fabulous, as usual, and the organization was even better this year than last year, with set rooms for Q&As and Storyteller Spotlights and Author Readings so you didn’t have to go wandering around looking for them. And every night was a dress-up thing, the traditional Juke Joint Junket being joined by the Some Enchanted Evening formal ball and the rocking Heaven & Hell Masquerade. The costumes were fantastic.

My friend JP Barnaby hosted an event where people got the chance to finger paint on half-nekkid guys: four professional adult models and four authors/regular guys. It was adorable to see that the regular guys actually got painted more than the models did. They raised over $600 for Lost and Found Youth, a gay youth homeless shelter in Atlanta. JP also writes as Jamie Mayfield, and all royalties from her young adult books go to the shelter. JP rocks.

There was also a Dine with the Author event, that was nice, but would have been nicer if it hadn’t been so noisy it was hard to hear what people were saying. Ballrooms have crappy acoustics. I bet someone could make a bajillion dollars if they invented a “cone of silence” thing that could settle over tables for weddings and conferences like these, so that only the people at the table could hear what was being said…

I had lots of people stop by my table at the signing and even sold a few books so I didn’t have to ship anything home. This is a Good Thing.

So I come home to an invitation to host a chat with FRENCH PEOPLE. Seriously! Apparently Kindred Hearts and Finding Zach have been finding some fans in their French incarnations, and DSP is setting up time for a Facebook chat with them. I have to do the posts ahead of time so that the translator can get them done, and then she’ll be riding along to translate their questions and my answers.  That will be November 23rd, so if you speak French, mark your calendars!!

Then, I was also invited to join a blog tour about rock stars, so Adam gets to come out and play for a while. That one should be fairly soon; it’s still in the process of being organized.

So, that’s it for now. In a couple of hours I’ll be hitting the (wet and flooded) roads to Wisconsin. After I get home from that, there will be no more traveling until April. Thank God – my house is a MESS, and my cat thinks I don’t love him any more.

Bonus post

Mar 1, 2012 by

My God – two posts in two days?!!  I must be sick. Or something. But I’m not, I’m fine. Well, aside from the upset stomach from taking too many Excedrin yesterday battling a severe case of FMS, but that’s over now, and I’m feeling better. Except for the stomach. But anyway, that’s not what I’m posting about.

     (At least I’m in better shape than my poor Aunt Bunnie, who fell Tuesday and broke her arm and dislocated her shoulder. A normal person would have sat on the concrete and called for an ambulance. Nope, Bunnie is a Finley Girl, and they do not admit to pain. So she went home, and refused a trip to the ER when my brother wanted to take her. Then she went to the Urgent Care place the next day, and they SENT her to the hospital. That’s Bunnie. She’s home now, and allegedly comfortable, although she wouldn’t tell you if she wasn’t.)

     A couple of announcements – I have FINISHED the time travel romance short story that is due the fifteenth, or at least the first draft of it. Sadly, about 3,297 words are going to have to be cut. I will do that this weekend. I’m waiting to see if my beta reader can review the rough draft so I can see if it’s worth working on. I think it will be, with some clean up. It’s a bit art-history heavy, but that’s what it’s ABOUT, so…

     ALSO!  I am officially registered for GayRomLit 2012, to be held in Albuquerque October 18-21st. (I forgot to mention that the other day in discussing my upcoming travels. How could I forget that???) The lovely and delightful JP Barnaby will again be my traveling companion, and we will probably do some kind of author event together. Gay porn stars may be involved. (Hers, not mine, but what the hell.) We have a little time to work something up. There will be lots of stuff going on, and I’m really looking forward to it. Registration is limited to 400 and tickets are going fast!!

     And third, but no less important, I got an email today that said that Kindred Hearts is entering the process of being translated to Italian. This is nice enough news, but it came on the heels of my finishing my story (set in Italy) and reading a CupOPorn post written about living in Rome (also in Italy, for those who have been living under a rock or, you know, were educated in certain public school systems in the U.S.). So there is definitely an Italian theme going on here today…

     Maybe I need to book a trip to Italy, too…

The fall, she is falling.

Sep 12, 2011 by

     Bitterwood edits are done and sent back to Amber Allure and the lovely Karin Story. (That’s my editor. I haz an editor! And isn’t that a great name for an editor? Fills me with all kinds of hope!) The book is still on track for a September 25th release, because the folks at Amber, they are fast.

     Today I got the second email regarding Kindred Hearts where someone was compelled to stop reading IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK to write me and tell me how much they are enjoying it. This blows my mind (sorry, Sixties’ flashback). That someone is so moved by something I wrote just flabbergasts me.

     Work proceeds apace on my niece’s christening gown; the bodice is embroidered and I’m working on the skirt embroidery. Time is fleeting and I need it done by the first weekend in October. IN THE MEANTIME, I’m trying to work on Turbulence, a sort of spin-off of Finding Zach (although there are no cameos planned for any of the major characters in that work); thinking about Going Like Elsie, my hermit/rock star romance; thinking about my straight Regency, A Lamb for Isabel; editing Angel Voices, a Christmas story that I need to submit, um, yesterday; and get some freelance editing done too. Oh, and finish my swag for GayRomLit and do a little thrift store browsing for Victoriana for my steampunk adventure.

     And then there that little issue of the electric in my house going all wonky. I’ve lost a “leg” of the circuits or something like that, which basically boils down to the fact that my kitchen mostly doesn’t have power and I have industrial-strength extension cords snaking around my house. Ahh, the joys of homeownership.

     Finally, I just ordered some Blue Stop for my fibromyalgia. Heidi Cullinan gave me some and it’s wonderful, especially for my hands, which hurt quite a lot, to the point where I can’t lean on them or rest my head on them, or anything like that. But I ran out and the weather is getting cooler, and that’s when the fibromyalgia kicks in. I got the two small jars so I can carry one in my purse and leave one at home. I have a feeling it will become like my Excedrin and my inhaler—one in every place I spend any time: car, office, bedroom. But if it takes the pain away, it will all be worthwhile!

Social, Not Working

Aug 3, 2011 by

     Pennsic preparations are underway; my bins are packed (that sounds vaguely off-color; I have no idea why) and ready to load in the car, and pretty much everything else is properly in train. This means, however, that I will be off-line for about ten days, which, considering I live and breathe by my mobile apps, will be not unlike quitting smoking cold turkey. (Not that I’ve ever smoked, and cold turkey? Yum, especially with mayonnaise and home-grown tomatoes on fresh bread…) 

     This has become an issue the last couple of years, what with the writing life and the social networking I do. (Who’da thunk I’d suddenly develop a social life?)  I pretty much don’t write during Pennsic—hell, I pretty much don’t READ during Pennsic, and anyone who knows me is right now dropping dead of shock. Because I read constantly. But at Pennsic, there’s so much to do, and so many people to talk to, and so many bottles of Gatorade to fill for the Ayreton Angels Fighter Support Squad, that I just don’t have time to read. I do sew, and sometimes draw, because you can do that and talk at the same time, but I don’t read or write, which are both activities for which I require quiet and solitude.

     The internet isolation is especially knotty this year, because of JP Barnaby. JP writes wonderfully angsty stories, some with BDSM, some without, but all with immense tear-jerking properties. In fact, she just sent me a heart-in-your-throat short short story under the subject line: “Your crying jag for the day…” Beast. I love her. AND she and I are going to collaborate on a novel. Or perhaps a series; we haven’t quite worked that out yet. The other day, we shot ideas back and forth like water balloons at a picnic. It’s still in the bare bones stage, but we think it will be a fantasy novel with kings and executions and gods and reincarnation and social reconstruction and battles and wizards and street kids and of course TONS of angst:  betrayals and murder and poison and forced prostitution and slavery and tattoos. Because that’s what we do, JP and I:  we torture our characters.

     So I will be pretty much incommunicado and left to percolate ideas with no way of sharing them with JP, and she will be working on her next Little Boy Lost installment without me as a critique partner (waaaah!!) hopefully, because she has a deadline. And I still need to finish the story I’m working on before I can commit to an undertaking like the collaboration I really want to be working on. It will be interesting to see how we work together; I tend to take a looooong time to write, and JP whips those puppies out like one of those tennis ball machines.  So I hope this will inculcate in me the drive to write faster, because I pretty much need to do that. Not so much faster as more, on a daily basis. I’m gonna have to start writing at home, instead of just on my lunch hour.

     Maybe I will develop a better work ethic….   Nah.

     On a separate note, my mom called last night, to tell me she’d gotten to the part of Kindred Hearts where Charles is in the Battle of Waterloo, and she said she had been on the edge of her seat it was so good.  I love that!  On the other hand, she doesn’t like men who cry, whereas I do. (See “Angst,” above.) I’m just happy that she’s reading it and finding it readable. Because she is, after all, my MOM.

Kindred Hearts is (are?) here!

May 2, 2011 by

Kindred Hearts is now available for purchase. Here’s the Dreamspinner Press link:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2291

And the All Romance Ebooks link:

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-kindredhearts-545362-145.html They left the opening “C” off the blurb. Tris isn’t “harming” anyone but himself…

I am bracing for the backlash.

Sadly, it will probably be days or weeks before Amazon gets it posted. Amazon has its own ways of doing things. But if you have a Kindle and you can’t wait, get it at either DSP or ARE and download the .prc file. Then sideload it from your computer.

Speaking of Dreamspinner Press—the company is celebrating its fourth anniversary during the month of May, with discounts and stuff like that!  Deep discounts, too!!  Click here for more info:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com. Each week has different themes, so keep checking back for great deals on the best in m/m romance!!

I had a great time this weekend visiting with people from the Goodreads M/M Group who live in the Chicago area. We met at Borders in Orland Park (shout-out to the good folks there who let us take over a corner of their café and supplied cake and coffee) and spent several hours talking about books and what we want to do as a group. Most of us that met are going to GayRomLit in New Orleans in October, so it will be nice to know more people there. Then we popped over to Olive Garden across the street for dinner. Thanks especially to Cat for organizing the outing. A very nice time was had by all. Oh, and good luck to Harper, who has books coming out from (I think) Loose Id and Silver, and up for consideration at DSP. You go, girl!

Then on Sunday I spent the day popping in and out at the Chatting with Joyfully Reviewed Yahoo Group, which had been turned over to the authors who will be attending GayRomLit. I posted a couple of comments and an excerpt, and put up an e-copy of Kindred Hearts which was won by one of the folks participating. I’m waiting to hear back which format she wants her book in, and then I will send it to her. I haven’t heard yet, which I hope is due to her not being able to respond rather than her not wanting a copy.

The weather is improving, with the result that I went an entire three days without once succumbing to the need for Excedrin. Yesterday, though, I was hurting, so this morning I had Excedrin for breakfast again. I did some research into Lyrica, which they’re advertising for fibromyalgia, and after reading all the side effects, I think I’ll stick with Excedrin as long as I can. I know taking acetaminophen for long term might have an adverse effect on my liver, but as best I can tell, taking Lyrica would have an adverse effect on EVERYTHING. Pretty name, though.

We haz blurb!

Mar 23, 2011 by

“Charming rascal Tristan Northwood seems to have it all: an ancient name, a noble inheritance, a lovely wife, and a son he adores. Women love him, men admire him, and it seems there is nothing he can’t do, whether it’s seducing a society wife or winning a carriage race. Little does Society suspect that the name means nothing to him, the fortune is in his father’s controlling hands, and he has no interest in his wife except a very distant friendship. Society bores him, and he takes dares because he only feels alive when he’s dancing on the edge… until his wife’s brother comes home from the wars.  

“Decorated war hero Major Charles Mountjoy jerks Tris out of his despair by inspiring feelings of passion Tris had never suspected himself capable of. Almost as terrifying as those feelings for Charles are the signs Charles might return his affection—or, even worse, that Charles sees the man Tristan has been trying so valiantly to hide from the world.”

Gulp.

It’s getting to be kinda sorta real. I’ve gone through the first batch of edits, have submitted the cover art specs, done the dedication and the acknowledgements, and now authorized the above blurb. Far as I can remember, I’ve just got the second round of edits and the galleys left. Oy.

In the meantime, Lynn is sending me some short stuff for the Daily Dose to edit, for which I will get paid. Woot!  It’ll be good practice for possibly more editorial stuff.

And I’m getting to the exciting stuff in the fantasy short story I’m working on. Still have ambitions of getting it finished by the end of the month, which is just about a week away. Not sure where I’ll send it; a day or two ago I just assumed it would be DSP, but then I got an invitation to submit from Amber Allure, so now I’m thinking I might branch out a bit. I have a hard enough time keeping myself straight with one publisher, but I’d like to see what other peeps have to offer. How weird.

I was planning on posting today, anyway, really . . .

Jan 7, 2011 by

I was determined to post something today anyway, since it’s been a while and I’ve been wanting to, and was thinking about Douglas Adams and maybe doing something philosophical about his Hitchhiker’s series (not like anyone’s EVER done that before).  But when I opened my email this morning and saw one from Elizabeth, the publisher at Dreamspinner Press…  well, let’s just say everything I had thunk out about Hitchhiker’s suddenly went *poof* in a spate of “SQUEE!!”

Kindred Hearts has been accepted!!!  And will be released sometime in May.  ‘Scuse me while I go stand in a corner and scream quietly.

KH is a nervewracking book for me.  For one thing, it’s much more ambitious than Zach was.  There was a LOT more research to be done, and of course, I just did what I wanted to with Zach, since I pretty much didn’t know what I was doing anyway.  I still don’t know what I’m doing, but I have a better idea of what I SHOULD do, which freaks me out quite a bit.  Plus I have *fans* now (2 or 3 at least) so now I have to worry about whether they like it.  Didn’t I write something about expectations a while ago? 

Let’s face it, Zach was an experiment for me–can I finish a book and get it published–and now I have to put on my big girl pants and accept the responsibility of being a Real Life Author.  NOT THAT I AM COMPLAINING!!  God, no.  This whole thing has been a total thrill ride.  But I am so much more AWARE of things than I was a year ago at this time.  And I am not quite as confident about KH as I was about Finding Zach.

Oh, who am I bullshitting?  I wasn’t confident about Zach, either!  I was nervous as hell.  Just like now.  I wonder if it will ever wear off?

So anyway, here’s to Dreamspinner Press and the awesome staff there, and here’s to my beta readers Patrice and Shannon for being my number one fans, and Lynda, to whom I owe not only beta-reading assistance but research assistance and editorial assistance–she is Captain Awesome and I want to be her when I grow up–and to my best friend Vic for the years of phone calls beginning “Write anything lately” and ending “Keep writing!”

I will.  Keep writing, that is.  But for now, I’m going to sit on my laurels (I know several Laurels–SCA in-joke) and bask in the momentary pleasure of being psychologically affirmed, once again.  Then it will be back to the hairy task of edits and promotion while trying to finish the next book…

I’m kidding.  I LOVE THIS LIFE.  Giggle.  Squee.