A Real-Life Happy Ending

baseballheartSix years ago, as a newly minted romance author with just a few published titles under my belt, I headed off to my first romance-focused convention—the very first GayRomLit Retreat in New Orleans. I met a lot of great people along the way, people I now call friends. A few of them were my road companion, Vicktor Alexander; my hostess and host for lunch-with-an-author, Z.A. Maxfield and William Cooper; Kate McMurray, who sat with me on a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street for dinner; my riverboat cruise drinking companion, Rowan Speedwell…

… and a similarly newly minted author who went by the name of JP Barnaby.

JP and I were in a similar boat back then. We both only had a few titles out, and we were both very shy around new people, so that made it super hard to step up and talk to the many strangers around us. We mostly spoke at dinner one night, when JP invited me to join her with a few others. (I’m pretty sure she asked us because part of dinner would be a blog interview, and she wanted a little extra buffer. I know I would have done exactly the same!)

It can be hard to pinpoint exactly when a colleague or friendly acquaintance becomes a friend in the full sense of the word. For JP and me, I think a major turning point came in the summer of 2013, when she came to Atlanta for the Romance Writers of American convention. Sitting and giggling together on the floor in the back of a huge ballroom during a panel, slightly tipsy from too much margarita at lunch, tends to forge solid ties.

A little over a year later, after a million conversations both online and in multiple cities all over the country, JP—my friend Trish—contacted me and said, “Hey, I’m thinking about moving to Atlanta. Want a roomie?”

In January 2015, Trish came for a weekend so we could find an apartment, and in March, she packed up her entire life outside Chicago and shipped herself to Georgia.

Even as a writer, I hesitate over the right words to use to describe the changes I’ve seen in Trish since then. “Blossoming” is the main one that comes to mind. Trish has always been a good person, a great friend, brilliant and talented and beautiful. But she’d been muted, held under wraps, in part because of things she’s shared with all of us, through her books and the personal stories she’s related online.

Today’s Trish is the same woman she was when I met her six years ago, but she’s been reshaped through hard work and the support of so many people. She’s stepped out of the shadows, risen from the ashes of hardship like the phoenix tattooed on her back.

And in the process, she’s found her own happy ending.

Trish probably doesn’t think of herself as an optimist or a romantic, but I think her actions prove otherwise. Not long after she moved to Atlanta—and while we were in the throes of planning my sister’s wedding—Trish posted a personal ad online. Not long after that, she got a response from a guy named Paul. He seemed nice enough, and as a bonus, he wrote in complete sentences (never a guarantee in these cases), liked to read, and was a big baseball fan. As a huge fan of her Chicago Cubs, Trish could look past his allegiance to his hometown Braves.

You could say they hit it off.

Back in the spring of this year, Trish and Paul moved in together, along with two of Paul’s sons and Trish’s dog Chase. Their instant family fit together like puzzle pieces. And this summer, in front of most of their immediate family members, Paul proposed.

Today, right about the time you’re reading this post, Trish and Paul are being married in the backyard of Paul’s parents’ house. It’s a baseball-themed wedding, divided between two teams, but united in happiness for the newlyweds. In a week, they’ll head off on their honeymoon, and then they’ll settle into married life.

Today, JP Barnaby becomes Trish Gillham. The quiet little caterpillar has emerged from her cocoon as a glorious butterfly.

And they live happily ever after.

Rainbow Awards: Honorable Mention for Hands On

I woke up to some pretty cool news this morning. My novella bundle Hands On has won an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Rainbow Awards! (In this contest, a score of at least 36 out of 40 from at least one judge earns an Honorable Mention; these awards are separate from the finalist lists.)

Judges’ comments:

1) A well planned anthology, good collection of stories that were long enough to have a real plot development and characters all interesting and stories that had a soid background that make the collection understandable right from the start. I really enjoyed this book.
2) I found myself getting caught up in each individual story. The characters held my interest and I loved finding out about their lives.

Thanks to the judges and to Elisa Rolle for organizing the contest!

Buy links:
Barnes & Noble

Now Available: Wide Open Spaces

Surprise (re-)release! My short story collection Wide Open Spaces is now available. Wide Open Spaces contains seven previously published short stories, including all four of my stories from the “butt”-thologies, and all for just 99 cents! Cover and blurb:

Seven short stories, seven couples, seven different worlds.

What to Expect When Your Boyfriend Is Expecting
What fun is a cross-species pregnancy without an old-fashioned kidnapping to shake things up?

The Ringmaster
What’s in the past doesn’t always stay in the past—which might not be a bad thing.

Clean Up on Aisle Me!
The customer is always right. Unless he’s dead.

Discovering Columbus
A shared hotel room and some uniform appeal.

I Married the Best Man 
Waking up married in Vegas might have been the best accident of their lives.

The Half-Life of Pumpkin Pie
Of bakeries, holiday parties, and unexpected gifts.

Faux Cowboy
Save a fake horse—ride a fake cowboy.

All stories have been previously published.

Buy links:

Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook

A Few Quick Updates

As most of you probably saw already (since I’ve been mouthing off about it a lot), I had my gall bladder removed last week. My recovery is going well so far, with just a little achiness and tiredness. I hope to be back to 100% within a few weeks.

Writing-wise, I signed a contract last week with Dreamspinner Press for my first title in the Dreamspun Desires line. Teaching Ben, a student/teaching assistant romance, will be out early next year.

(Side note: I signed the contract the day of my surgery, despite all the warnings about not doing things like signing contracts within 24 hours of general anesthesia. I’m a rebel!)

Also, I found out just today that a panel submission for RT 2018 has been accepted, so looks like I’ll be in Reno after all!

And with Dragon Con 2017 behind me, I’ll be digging back into my WIP list. Hoping to finish book one of my baseball series in time to write book two for NaNo…

Dreamspinner Novels On Sale!

For Independence Day in the USA, Dreamspinner Press is offering all novels in ebook format for just $4! Sale ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

Links to my Dreamspinner novels:

Unfortunate Son (Sons: Book 1)
Wayward Son (Sons: Book 2)
Nobody’s Son (Sons: Book 3)
Sand & Water

Paperback Sale at Dreamspinner

Do you prefer reading paperbacks? Dreamspinner has you covered with all paperbacks at 30% off! And as always, if you buy the paperback, you get the ebook for free, too.

Links to my titles (with sale prices):

Sand & Water ($11.89)
Unfortunate Son ($10.49)
Wayward Son ($10.49)
Nobody’s Son ($10.49)
All in a Day’s Work anthology ($10.49)
Playing Ball anthology ($11.89)

Self-Publishing and Sales Channels

This is basically self-publishing navel-gazing, so feel free to skip it. But if you’re interested, here are some thoughts on sales and distribution as a self-published author.

For my original self-published books, I’ve been using three primary publishing routes: Amazon, PayHip, and Draft2Digital. Draft2Digital distributes to Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks*, and several other smaller retailers and subscription services. They also keep adding new distribution channels, and so far, I’ve added my books to those as they’ve come available.

What that means is that my four original self-published novellas and the bundle are available a bunch of different places beyond the big names: Inktera, 24Symbols, Scribd, Tolino, and Playster. You can also get them through Kobo’s subscription service, Kobo Plus.

(*A note about iBooks: the publishing requirements for iBooks are more strict than those for other retailers, which is why only the Hands On bundle is available through that channel. That might change at some point.)

As far as the second-edition stories I’ve self-pubbed, so far, I’ve only put them up on Amazon (and into Kindle Unlimited). I will have a collection of previously published short stories coming later this year, and that one will likely go into other sales channels as well.

At any rate, if you can’t find my books on your favorite retailer’s website, drop me a line and let me know, and I’ll look into it!

On Sale! Graphite & Glitter Just 99 Cents, Plus Dreamspinner 30% Off!

graphiteglitter_400pxTwo sales to share today! First up, I’ve put my F/F novella, Graphite & Glitter, on sale for just 99 cents at all outlets through the end of the month. Links for your buying convenience:


Also, to cap off its 10th anniversary celebration, Dreamspinner Press is offering 30% off everything through the end of the month. And—just in case you didn’t know—if you buy the paperback from Dreamspinner, you get the ebook for free! Links to my Dreamspinner titles:

Unfortunate Son (Sons: Book 1): Ebook || Paperback
Wayward Son (Sons: Book 2): Ebook || Paperback
Nobody’s Son (Sons: Book 3): Ebook || Paperback
“Sons and Brothers” (Sons: Epilogue)
Sand & Water: Ebook || Paperback
Accidental Fall
En Fuego
Model Student
“Ice Cream Dreams” (All in a Day’s Work anthology): Ebook || Paperback
Home Field Advantage (Playing Ball anthology): Ebook || Paperback
“The Cabin on the Hill”
“Of Holiday Spirits, Wake-Up Calls, and Happily Ever Afters”
“Sharing Christmas”

Happy shopping!

Release Day for Hands On!

It’s here! My new bundle Hands On contains the M/M novellas Rhythm & Blues, Tongue & Groove, and Heart & Soul and the F/F novella Graphite & Glitter.


Four novellas, four couples, four romances.

Rhythm & Blues
When life tears apart your dream, build a new one.

Former Broadway dancer Pate Hawkins meets model-gorgeous contractor Ace Samson when he answers as request for an estimate on renovating his studio space. The two men develop a fledgling relationship, but then the siren song of the stage calls Pate back…

Tongue & Groove
Sometimes home is what two hearts make of it.

While healing from a vocal cord injury, rock singer Saul Wilder decides to restore home his grandmother left him. When home renovation specialist Perry Abrams arrives to assess the job, Saul’s on board with mixing business with a little pleasure…

Heart & Soul
Love can sneak up on you in the last place you’d expect.

Pianist Kellen Grady meets former pro football player Terrence Harvey when he and his brother buy the bar where Kellen plays at night. A quick friendship develops, but their relationship takes an unexpected turn when Terrence surprises Kellen with a kiss…

Graphite & Glitter
All that glitters might just be gold.

On the night of her best friend’s bachelorette party, architect Adrienne Michaels has a scorching one-night stand with Tessa Smith, bass player for an all-female glam rock tribute band. Then Tessa surprises her by asking her on a real date…

You can get Hands On for just $3.99 through Monday, May 15!

Barnes & Noble

#RT2017: Tips Roundup & My Schedule


The Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Eating On Site
Nearby Restaurants
Playing Tourist
Travel Tips

And a few specific answers to questions I’ve been asked:

The road closure on Interstate 85 should not affect you UNLESS you’re driving in from that direction. (We’ll try to hold the rest of the highways together!) See the Travel Tips post for more info.

According to the Hyatt, all rooms in the two main towers (Atrium and International) have refrigerators. No microwaves, though.

There is no grocery store nearby. The CVS next to the hotel (see the Eating On Site post) carries snacks, sodas, and the like, including beer and wine. There’s a package store across from the hotel, but I haven’t been there, so I can’t vouch for it. (A note on Georgia law: beer and wine are sold in grocery/convenience stores, but liquor is sold only at package stores. Also, alcohol is not sold/served before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays, so plan your mimosa brunches late.)

UPDATE: The weather! Looks like it’ll be on the cooler side for early May:


As for my RT schedule, I have just one definite event: I’ll be at the FAN-tastic Day Party Saturday night. I’ll be going to some of the social events, and I’ll also probably be helping out at the Wheel of Romance again, but everything else is up in the air right now. Feel free to tweet me if you’d like to meet up. I’m also on the RT app now, so you can message me there as well! 🙂