Category: Bookstuff

Winnah and new champeen!!

Aug 27, 2012 by

Okay, bear with me as I am a complete dweeb and am attempting to write this post on my iPad with only my thumbs. I meant to do this earlier on a real computer but… forgot. Sigh.

Anyway, the winner of my completely random drawing, performed to the tune of “Younger Than Springtime” (God only knows why), is TraceyD! Tracey, I will be emailing you to find out which of my ebooks you’d like a copy of. And to everyone, thanks for posting, and I hope you enjoyed the blog hop! Stop by and visit me again some time–it gets lonely out here sometimes!

Busy like a little bee.

Aug 8, 2012 by

 

I’ve been away from jewelry-making for a while, but had a little spare time this past weekend to play around a bit, and this is the result. I love the cover of The Florentine Treasure, so it was nice to have a way of carrying it around with me. <grin>  I’m practicing for a little project associated with GayRomLit (no, you can’t know what it is—if it turns out, I promise I will post pics!) so I need to get my dubious jewelry-making skills back up to par.

GayRomLit is only about 9 weeks away, and I am SO not ready for it. But at least I have a good excuse—I’m deep in the throes of a new novel, and am flabbergasted at how fast the words are coming. I started the story June 29th, and have over 56K written already. I have never written that fast in my life! And I’m liking the story, and the characters. Since I’m writing it this fast, it will probably require some serious editing in the second draft (my beloved critique partner, JP Barnaby, has already been kind enough to point out some serious flaws, but I’m pretty sure I can fix them easily enough), but still, after the painful experiences I’ve had with novels lately, it’s wonderful that something is flowing so well.

Well, since you asked…. Joshua is a young ex-FBI agent who suffered through a beastly assignment, which, though successful, ended up with him addicted to heroin and plagued by dreams of the terrible things he had to do to remain undercover with a gang trafficking drugs. Eli is a horse trainer on Joshua’s uncle’s New Mexico ranch, where Joshua comes to recover and learn the horse-training business. Can Joshua put the past behind him enough to build a relationship with Eli, or, like the wild mustangs Eli trains, is it going to bite him in the ass? <snort>

Speaking of books that took me two freaking years to write, Going Like Elsie has been submitted to the prospective publisher, so I’m at the fingernail-chewing stage of waiting to see if what they asked for is what I’ve provided. They were enthusiastic about the first few chapters, but I had to do quite a bit of beating to get the final draft into shape. The publisher is fairly new and has a reputation for brutal editing, so I’m quite nervous about the response. Of course, part of the reason that I submitted there (aside from them asking me to) was because after two years, I didn’t feel like I had a good handle on the story. I did bring one of my beta readers to tears with it, though, which I count as a success. I’m evil that way.

Come August 24th or thereabouts, I will be participating in a blog tour to celebrate the birth of a new review blog, Rainbow Book Reviews. I will be blogging about what it means to me to write GLBTQ literature. The blog tour will also give away a signed paperback copy of Finding Zach. Stop by and say hi!

Mark your calendars for July 3rd

Jun 23, 2012 by

Save the date!  July 3rd—Interview with Micah (Mike) Burrows, from Little Boy Lost!

On July 2nd, JP Barnaby’s series Little Boy Lost comes to a rousing and dramatic conclusion with the publication of the sixth and final book, Sacrificed.  Brian and Jamie face their most difficult challenge of all—putting their fears and traumas behind them and trying to find a way to their future—together and apart.

If you have not yet read the previous five books in the series, GO NOW. READ THEM. We’ll wait.

Unlike another “lost” series, this doesn’t end up being purgatory, except for JP, who is undergoing a grueling THIRTY DAY blog tour, starting this Monday, June 25th, in celebration of this event. This tour includes a visit HERE on Tuesday, July 3rd.  (For her complete schedule, visit http://www.jpbarnaby.com/?p=637)

JP will be interviewing one of the more interesting characters in the story, Micah. Mike takes Brian under his wing when Brian comes to San Diego in search of Jamie, but has a backstory and a romance of his own. Join me on July 3, 2012, as we host the landscaper-slash-porn star who is pivotal in Brian and Jamie’s reunion. This will be a video interview with the real-life inspiration for Mike’s character in the story.

You will not want to miss this interview.

I’m so happy for my friend JP—both for her completion of the series, which I know has been rough for her, and for the accolades she’s received. This series has touched the hearts of so many people—and more importantly, opened their eyes. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is not a comfortable read. It is sometimes sad, sometimes frightening, sometimes horrifying—but in the end, it is a joyous affirmation of human strength and human resilience. It is beautiful. Read it.

Going Like Elsie, and other miscellanea

Jun 22, 2012 by

First!  Announcement!! All Dreamspinner Press books are on sale!  20% off ebooks!  30% off paperbacks!  Click here for more information:  www.dreamspinnerpress.com

BUY MAH BOOKS!

Enough shameless self-promotion. Okay, now on to shameless-less self-promotion–or can you call it self-promotion if you’re promoting something someone else did, even if it’s about your book?  This is my first bit of fan video! Woot!  A very nice young man reads one of my favoritest excerpts from Finding Zach:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9rJbEY7ot8

And in New Book News:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/70601145/News/This-parrot-is-no-bird-brain

A Congo African Gray Parrot is a major secondary character in my Work In Progress From Hell, tentatively titled “Going Like Elsie.” Grace is a very smart bird, as CAGs tend to be, and an excellent mimic. She’s about 25, so she’s got a bigger vocabulary of words and sounds than the bird in this video, who’s only about 10. I’ve been working on the WIPFH for over two years and Grace has been part of it from the very beginning. Oddly enough, last year I got another Grace in my life—my beautiful little niece, who just turned one on May 16th. The first girlchild in her generation in a family rather overloaded with boys (says the girl with five brothers). I adore her.

Going Like Else is in the hands of the beta readers, and will be going into second draft stage next week as soon as I get feedback from my severest critic and number one beta Lynda. I’ve already heard back from my boss, who used to manage rock bands and had some excellent advice about Adam, my rock star hero (and who *might* be able to find me a musician for the book trailer!) and from the inimitable JP Barnaby, who hits me with the WTF stick whenever I go off on bizarro tangents, as I tend to do. Her pragmatism saves me from some seriously embarrassing moments (“Teaching Grace to make coffee. Most coffee makers have a timer. Give him a reason not to have one. Too old? Broken?”) Well, duh. I get too caught up in the concept and lose track of the reality. JP grounds me!

And the best compliment of all—I rode home on the train last night with one of my beta readers, who was deep into the draft. And she cried almost the whole way.

Florentine Treasure is now available. (Plus a picture of me!)

Jun 1, 2012 by

 Available today, June 1st, from Dreamspinner Press!

Art history professor Daniel Wollek is delighted to assist the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in cataloguing a cache of Renaissance artworks uncovered by an earthquake. But when a second earthquake pitches him headlong into the fifteenth century, Daniel finds himself more involved than he expected in rescuing precious artifacts from a fanatic’s bonfires. Then he meets Leonardo di Vinci’s assistant, Giacopo di Careggi, and finds in the beautiful young model a treasure even greater than art from the past.

Buy here.

 

To say I’m excited is an understatement. I really loved writing this story, and it’s probably my favorite of anything I’ve done–certainly in the short-story genre. It just was so much FUN. I got to play with time travel, and my favorite era–the Renaissance–and a fascinating, complex time it was, especially in Firenze, the Florence of my story.

And Gio is adorable.

And here’s me in the fashion of the time. Yes, I made the dress (at least the red and black part; I admit to buying the white underdress) and embroidered the cuffs.

The Florentine Treasure

May 4, 2012 by

Cover art has been acquired. Love it.

The blurb:

Art history professor Daniel Wollek is delighted to assist the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in cataloguing a cache of Renaissance artworks uncovered by an earthquake. But when a second earthquake pitches him headlong into the fifteenth century, Daniel finds himself more involved than he expected in rescuing precious artifacts from a fanatic’s bonfires. Then he meets Leonardo di Vinci’s assistant, Giacopo di Careggi, and finds in the beautiful young model a treasure even greater than art from the past.

Available June 1st from Dreamspinner Press.

That sinking feeling . . .

Apr 12, 2012 by

Today is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  I don’t know why I care, except that it gives me a title for this post, which I otherwise wouldn’t have, since it’s not really about anything. I’m just writing so I can avoid working on The WIP That Will Not Die. Two years, people! Two years I’ve been working on this book–or rather, avoiding working on this book. I am determined to finish it by the end of May at the latest. I sort of promised it to a publisher way back last fall, and am feeling very guilty about it.

     I reread it up until the part where it starts to go off the rails, and I like pretty much all of it to that point. I don’t know why it’s taking so long. I like the characters, I like the writing, I like the story, and I pretty much know what’s going to happen. WHY is it being so difficult? Every time I start to work on it it becomes a matter of… look, a squirrel!  Roadblock.

     This weekend I’m getting officially apprenticed to Sarafina, a Laurel in the art of sewing. The idea is for me to actually get better at pattern-drafting and period sewing techniques. A lot of SCA garb gets made on the machine, which is fine, but I like hand sewing, so I’m trying to work on the period styles. I want to make a Tudor outfit using solely period techniques. The only problem with that is it requires I make a corset to fit me.

     I am so not a corset type. I don’t want to wear a corset. Roadblock.

     Seems I keep running into them. Or maybe, it’s really an issue of me putting them up. Probably a pshrink would say I’m afraid of failure or afraid of success, when really I’m a fred a staires. (rimshot)

     The editing process for The Florentine Treasure, the novella coming out June 1st from Dreamspinner, continues apace. I sent in the form for the cover art (which isn’t custom cover art, since it’s only a novella) and the picture that inspired me. I wish they could include it on the cover, but it’s Michael Stipe from REM.

     Here it is.

He looks exactly like a Renaissance angel to me. Amazingly beautiful. It’s an old picture from when they were first getting started, so naturally he no longer looks like this, but boy, was he something back then.

     So, that’s what Giacopo looks like, except his eyes are jade green. You’ll read more about him when The Florentine Treasure comes out. Hopefully.

     ‘Til then, I’m going back to writi… LOOK! A CHICKEN!!

 

Oh, I forgot…

Mar 21, 2012 by

     Did I mention I’m a little frantic today?

    Anyway, I meant to mention that Finding Zach is now available as an audiobook through Dreamspinner Press. It’s also being translated into German, as well as Spanish, Italian, Pig Latin and Esperanto.

     Okay, I’m lying, but I won’t tell you what about. :)

Bad Blogger Blues

Dec 20, 2011 by

I admit it. I am the world’s worst blogger. The whole point of these things is to keep sort of a daily journal or something, isn’t it? A log, like the Captain’s Log on Star Trek. Or the one that that Julie person did about making all the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook. I have that cookbook–well, I have The French Chef and Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1, and I think it was one of those. I bought them for $2 each on the sale rack at my library and it turned out that she died the same day. I don’t cook AT ALL, so I think my purchase of those books is what killed her. Sorry. Couldn’t have been because she was like ninety or something. Anyway, I don’t cook but I love cookbooks. I bought someone who shall be nameless ’til at least after Christmas the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook and had a real hard time giving it to him. I may have to buy a copy myself, if only for an offensive weapon. I think it weighed about fourteen pounds.

     And why isn’t “til” a valid word? I mean, come on. Who says “until” every time? And having to remember to put that stupid apostrophe in front makes me crazy. And I tend to be a grammar anachronist, so that’s saying something.

     So, anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, being a bad blogger. I’ve probably lost the three subscribers I did have, but if not:  “Hello!  Happy Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Happy WhateverYourHolidayIsIfAnything!  I aten’t dead yet!”

     That last is of course, borrowed from Granny Weatherwax from Terry Pratchett–scuze me, Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Best books ever. There was a rumor going around yesterday that Jon Bon Jovi was dead, and today there’s a photo going around of him holding a sign that basically said he wasn’t. I think he should have made up a big one that says “I ATEN’T DEAD” like Granny uses when she goes head-hopping.

This is the cover of my Christmas story for this year. It came out on Sunday and is available at Amazon. I like it. It’s cute and sweet, despite the bad beginning (bad in the sense of something bad happens to one of Our Heroes, not in the sense that it was badly written. In my opinion, anyway).  Will is a college student who’s accidentally outed to his conservative father, who beats the shit out of him and kicks him out a week before Christmas. He hikes back to his college, where he figures he’ll live out the rest of the year in his dorm room before they kick him out too. But he stops at a church to rest, and his roommate Quinn, who’s practicing in the choir there, finds him and takes him under his wing. I’m sort of a little in love with Quinn, but I usually am. At any rate, he’s cute, and you can get the story from the Amber Allure website or from Amazon.

    I’m actually working on another blog post that I’ll do next week, hopefully. It’s to showcase my friend, the fantasy artist Shannon Valentine. She’s the one who painted the original of my bookmark, and she did some line drawings for GayRomLit for me, of characters in Finding Zach. She is an incredibly talented woman, and I’ll have pictures to prove it. Stay tuned…