I mentioned elsewhere that I’ve requested rights reversions for all my titles with Dreamspinner Press. I’ve received one back so far, for the Playing Ball anthology, which included my novella Home Field Advantage. Keep your eyes peeled, though, because I’ll have that one back out in the world soon!
Let’s see if I can get this down without forgetting things!
I was in New York from late Monday until midday Sunday. Monday night, I mostly hid out in the room, ordered room service, and slept, though I did run into Damon Suede at the elevators on my way to the room. Tuesday, I found an Italian place off 9th for lunch, stopped by Duane Reade for water to keep in the room, picked up my badge at registration, and then went to see Come From Away (which I adored). I had a grilled cheese sandwich at Junior’s after the show and still got back to the room before my roomie, Sarah Anderson, arrived late after going to her own show (Hadestown, insert jealousy here). We both passed out pretty soon after that.
Wednesday, I was lazy getting up (a theme that persisted through the week), but I grabbed lunch in the lobby before going to see Dear Evan Hansen (also amazing). I got back to the hotel in time for the second half of the RWA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion event, which gave some good information and highlighted specific points for improvement. I had dinner that night with my friend Marianne at The Smith, where I had amazing sea bass with vegetables. Mmmm.
Thursday, I actually went to panels! First I had lunch with Janet Nye at a Brazilian seafood restaurant (so good!), and then I attended four panels, on seasoned romance, building inclusive writing communities, STEM in romance, and novel prep for writing fast. All were great, though I wish Adrianna Herrera’s inclusivity program had been better attended, because it had a lot of extremely helpful information and suggestions. The day ended with a Rainbow Romance Writers chapter meetup (great to see everyone!), and then a group of us had dinner in the hotel restaurant afterward.
Friday: More panels! I did the writing sprints session first, then went to panels on consent in romance and on putting together series. That night, I had plans to have dinner with my family (my dad’s sister and her family live in northern New Jersey), but they had to cancel, so instead I went out with J. Leigh Bailey, Jenn Burke, and Kelly Jensen to a great Turkish restaurant. We had a great talk about writing and life and food, and we cheered for the RITA winners as they were announced via my Twitter feed. We also stopped by Schmackary’s for cookies on the way back to the hotel, yum!
(A note on the RITAs: I don’t usually attend—I went in 2018 because a good friend was nominated—but I watched most of the ceremony after I got back home. It was so great to see history being made; as Miss Manners would have described it, it feel into a special category of Proper known as HIGH TIME. Congrats on the whole team for putting together such a thoughtful program, and special kudos to LaQuette for her critically important speech.)
Saturday was a long day. I met Barbara Wallace for breakfast at the hotel and had lunch with Olivia Dade, Kianna Alexander, and Kaia at Sardi’s (I’d never eaten there!). Then I reported for duty as a volunteer at the book fair, where I helped a few authors find their spots before taking over as Alyssa Cole’s assistant. We had a great time, and she sold out books quickly, no surprise!
Saturday night was another show: The Prom, this time with Sarah. We wore prom dresses! We also ran into Farrah Rochon, who was seated just a couple of rows from us. (Hilarious show, for the record.)
Sunday was another sleep-in. I finally dragged my butt up and out of the hotel in time to get my car to JFK. My flight was delayed, but only about half an hour, so I still got home at a reasonable time. Exhausted, but HOME.
I’d try to list everyone I saw/hugged/talked to/etc. during the week, but I would be sure to leave someone out, so I’ll just say it was awesome to see everyone, and I wish I’d had time to spend more time and see more people. I’m also glad to see the progress toward equity and inclusion being made within the organization, and I hope that continues, but there’s a lot of work still be done to level the playing field.
Here’s my commitment: I’m going to increase my participation at the chapter level, with a focus on expanding inclusivity and outreach, and continue my personal efforts to highlight and boost work by authors who are members of marginalized groups. Like, for example, these 2019 RITA winners:
Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan
RITA winner for Contemporary Romance: Long
Bad Blood by M. Malone
RITA winner for Romance Novella
My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
RITA winner for Young Adult Romance
Three-Way Split by Elia Winters
RITA winner for Erotic Romance
And now, it’s back to trying to write (hah!), prep for upcoming events like Dragon Con (more hah!), and get things done around the house (even MORE hah!). An apt quote I saw online recently (paraphrasing): Being an adult just means telling yourself “things will slow down after this week” for the rest of your life. It never ends!
I’ll be in NYC for RWA next week, arriving Monday afternoon and leaving Sunday afternoon. I’m not presenting or doing any signings this year, so I’ll mostly be attending panels and hanging out in the bar/lounge.
I have two events on my schedule: the Rainbow Romance Writers meetup, Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the bar/lounge area, and the Literacy Autographing, Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. (volunteering, not signing).
Hope to see lots of you there!
Happy Pride! To celebrate, I’m offering my F/F novella Graphite & Glitter for just 99 cents all month long. The details:
All that glitters might just be gold.
Adrienne Michaels’s best friend is getting married, and Adrienne’s not feeling it on the night of the bachelorette party. Then she meets Tessa Smith, bass player for an all-female glam rock tribute band. After a one-night stand worthy of the hottest rock star fantasies, Tessa surprises Adrienne by asking her on a real date, and Adrienne soon finds Tessa’s side gig pales in comparison to the down-to-earth music geek beneath the glitter. Tessa even helps Adrienne through a family loss, but when Tessa gets a sweet job offer in another city, Adrienne has to make a choice: let her go, follow her halfway across the country—or become part of the reason for her to stay.
I have four events scheduled for the rest of the year, starting off with the NECRWA conference in Boston and running through the Georgia Romance Writers conference in October. If you’ll be at any of these events, let me know so we can meet up! The full schedule:
April 26–27, 2019
June 15, 2019
This inaugural event will be held at the Norcross Cultural Arts & Community Center. I’ll be on the main stage from 3 to 3:45 and doing a book signing after.
July 24–27, 2019
New York, NY
Moonlight & Magnolias
October 3–6, 2019
Peachtree Corners, GA
At the Georgia Romance Writers annual conference, I’ll be giving a workshop titled “Wrangling Manuscripts in Microsoft Word: Tips and Tricks for Authors,” covering topics like templates, Track Changes, and find/replace.
It’s here! Rogue Nights, the sixth in the Rogue series of resistance-themed romance, is now available.
My story is “The Coffee Shop Around the Corner,” my first M/F pairing. A brief description:
Political discourse is Madeline Maloney’s jam. Social media manager for a progressive mayoral candidate, she finds her interest piqued by an email exchange with a local businessman—but also by the cute guy at the coffee shop where she buys her morning cup. Palmer Harrison spends his mornings smiling at the beautiful woman who orders a caramel latte every day and his off hours emailing with a mystery woman who works for a mayoral campaign. Their parallel relationships intersect on Election Day…
I am super excited about the other authors and their stories, too! Check out this lineup:
Resisting Desire by Talia Hibbert
Activist, womanist and journalist Nina Chapman is in love with her brother’s best friend. Oops. When her attempt to seduce calm, reliable James Foster backfires, Nina’s mortified—but as much as she’d like to avoid him, she can’t. No; she literally can’t. Because Nina’s latest article has made her public enemy number one, and now the man who broke her heart just might be her only protection…
Dropped Stitches by Annabeth Albert
When activist knitter Bea goes to vote, the last person she expects to run into is her high school crush. The two women forge an unlikely election day connection, but can they see a future beyond the victory party?
Parking Lot Cowboy by Rebecca Crowley
Margot Dunn has spent months making up an elaborate fantasy about the tall, silent cowboy who serves as her fellow volunteer escort at a family planning clinic in Topeka. Then one morning he speaks, and the complicated reality of ranch-hand Tyler Olsen is better than any story she could make up.
Dare to Dream by Hudson Lin
After the 2016 election, Derek Lam kicked his political activism into high gear—it’s what anyone with half a conscious would do. Which is why he doesn’t understand how Diego Ortega, a classmate from law school and a Dreamer, could be so politically disengaged.
For Diego, pursuing law had never been about social justice. His priority has always been providing for and protecting his undocumented mother and his kid sister. Getting political did nothing but draw attention his family didn’t need.
Working on a class assignment together, Diego and Derek’s mutual attraction bubbles just under the surface. But any potential relationship will have to survive the sparks that fly from their clashing political views.
Love Your Face by Ainsley Booth
Fifteen years ago, Fred left the Midwest behind and moved to New York City. Return visits have been rocky, and this Thanksgiving promises more family drama Fred really doesn’t want to deal with it. Her best friend’s surprise appearance smooths over a difficult holiday, but raises new, complicated personal feelings when the very straight Ami confesses she’s not very straight after all.
Sacred Son by Robin Covington
Adam Woodson has dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of Native Americans in court and in the legislature, a career that has kept him too busy to regret the man who got away. Judah Nighthorse is rebuilding his life after prison, fighting to regain custody of his son from a non-Native foster family so he swallows his pride and asks the man he left behind for help. When fighting the good fight together sparks desire they can’t resist, they must decide if their future holds a second chance or a final goodbye.
Rogue Nights is currently at the special release price of just 99 cents. Grab your copy today!
Better late than never… preorders are now available for Rogue Nights, the sixth in the Rogue series of resistance-themed romance. My story, “The Coffee Shop Around the Corner,” is my first M/F pairing, and I get to share authorship with some amazing authors: Robin Covington, Ainsley Booth, Talia Hibbert, Rebecca Crowley, Hudson Lin, and Annabeth Albert.
Rogue Nights releases next Thursday, November 8, and is currently at the special release price of just 99 cents. Grab your copy today!
I never had a chance to write up a post about RWA. Let’s just say it was a great week and I saw a lot of awesome people, and I’ll tell you why I never wrote that post.
When I got home late that Sunday night—my flight from Denver got in at 10:30PM—my parents were still awake, so I stepped in to their room to say hi and then headed downstairs to crawl into my bed. As I walked into the room, I saw a dark spot on the top corner of my mattress. I looked closer, looked up… and saw that two of the ceiling tiles overhead were sagging, soaking wet. (As was my mattress.)
It turns out that Dad had discovered a leak from the toilet in their bathroom the previous Wednesday, while I was gone. It looked like something small, so he just turned off the water, and they either used the hall bathroom or turned on the water just long enough to flush. He didn’t call me about it because he didn’t think it was a big deal and didn’t want to bother me on my trip.
It was a big deal.
The water had seeped under most of the bathroom floor, the vanity, and the hallway on the other side of the wall. It had also dripped down into the insulation between floors, the ceiling tiles in the drop ceiling in the basement, and down into the floors below in two rooms. And, of course, onto my mattress.
We’ve had a restoration company out to assess everything and set up to dry it all out. The bathroom flooring and vanity are gone, along with the wet insulation and ceiling tiles and a bunch of baseboards. They’re hoping not to have to redo the flooring in the hallway and in one of the downstairs rooms, but that’ll depend on how well they dry out.
Most annoying is that the hallway damage is right outside the only other bathroom upstairs, so the setup to dry that out blocked that bathroom. That means no upstairs bathroom, which means my parents have had to move into a hotel while the work is done. (And me too, mostly to be around to help them as needed, but also because the insurance offered to cover two rooms.)
The good news is that Mom and Dad (he cares less, LOL) will get a brand-new vanity and new flooring in their bathroom. What was there was fine, but it was basic builder-grade stuff, so this will be a definite upgrade. We’re also going to try to get their shower surround changed out to make it more accessible.
Thankfully, insurance will be covering the bulk of all this. We’ll pay a deductible and for the shower, since that wasn’t affected by the leak, but beyond that, it’ll be the cost of the shower work and then anything else extra we decide to do.
The biggest annoyance with all of this is the upheaval. We’ve been plugging away at getting unpacked and settled, but we haven’t been able to do much the past couple of weeks because of the leak, and now we’ll be out of the house over another weekend. I am going to come over during the weekend and do what I can, but every day the repairs take puts us farther behind on everything. And I’ve been relegated back to sleeping on a sofa or airbed until I can get my mattress replaced.
OH, and on top of all THAT, a few nights ago a light fixture in the kitchen fell with a huge kablang, scaring Mom and me out of a year of life. Thankfully, nothing broke, but since the fixture itself is so heavy, we’re going to look for something lighter to replace it with. Which means another repair/handy person in to install it.
Of course, all this I’m not getting much writing done. I have a full manuscript due to one publisher and sample chapters to another, and I haven’t written a word since I went to one of the writing sprints session in Denver. I’m hoping sleeping in a real bed for a few days will get me back on track.
So, I’m hoping to have some good news to report soon, both on the housing front and on the writing front. In the meantime, I’ll keep right on slogging through.
Just keep swimming, right?