Bywater & Ylva Blog Hop

Hello! I’m blogging today a day late for my spot on the Bywater and Ylva Publishing Blog Hop, because of an email going astray–which seems to be happening a lot lately. I’m teaching this semester, yet again, which basically means that I’ve been going non-stop with my PhD since I began in September 2014. I’ve either had to complete course work, teach a class online or in person (and the last two semesters, completely designing the syllabus myself), or I’ve had my comprehensive exams for my degree.

Basically, I’m saying I’m tired. More often than not, I have to schedule myself weeks in advance in order to get anything done. So the fact that the blog hop was happening slipped my mind until I got an email reminding me yesterday, and well, now I’m here. I’ve had the chance now to go over and read everyone’s posts & I’m super impressed with everyone’s work. Definitely added a few books to my t0-read list. When I’ll get a chance to read them, I’m not sure, but they are there. 😉

I don’t want it to sound as if I’m complaining about being busy–not in the least. I actually wanted this post for the blog-hop to be celebratory because somehow, even in the middle of this madness, I’ve managed to keep producing creative work. Some of that includes Fragile (which, in theory, I wrote and edited before I started my PhD in 2013 and then let sit in a drawer for six months before I gave it to Ylva to read) and the anthologies I’ve been in for them (still can’t believe it’s 5!)–but that also includes ANOTHER novel coming out in later 2016, some more novellas with unknown pub dates, and a couple handfuls of other short stories. After Fragile, my next release is The Flower Duet with JMS Books.

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After that, I think my next release may be The Open Window with Less Than Three Press, since I’ve completed edits now, but I’m not sure. I’ve updated my separate release tabs on my site to have a “coming soon” section if anyone is curious for more details.

In addition to writing during this time, I’ve also managed to make my academic work reflect my current interests. For example: my comprehensive exams. I’ve deliberately picked my area of specialization in LGBT studies–so now I get to read The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg, and Nevada by Imogen Binnie and call it homework!

Come May 30th, I’ll take that exam and write three essays in four hours (only one of them on LGBT lit) and then I’ll have the summer… to do “nothing.” It will be my first free semester in almost two years now. There’s a calendar I keep in my office that’s usually filled to the brim with deadlines and emails to write and grades to give and papers to hand in that gets suddenly BLANK as soon as June comes around.

And I couldn’t be happier. I plan on reading at least a million romance novels (give or take), go to the beach, and maybe even get a tattoo that I’ve been planning on getting. Learn to cook a new meal. And of course, write a couple novels or novellas myself. I have lots of sketches for upcoming projects, but only time will tell. I have to get it all out of my system, though, because when I come back to school in September, I’ll be teaching again–and doing my proposal for my dissertation.

But c’est la vie. I’m not going to think too far ahead, because I might spoil the good mood I have right now.

I’ve gotta return to a stack of grading for my class, but I wanted to highlight the next person on the list for the blog hop: Cindy Rizzo. We were both in Ylva’s holiday anthology in 2014. Congrats on your releases since then, Cindy!

Thanks again for Jove Belle for organizing the blog hop! I hope my post is better late than never. 🙂

 

Fragile Release Date

My forthcoming novel with Ylva Press, Fragile, will be released February 17th 2016. Right now, you can pick up the paper back or the e-book at their website here.

I’m very excited that this has finally come out! There will be more release news soon for the month of February and the rest of 2016, but for now, check out the buy links and pay attention for a forthcoming interview on author Jae’s blog.

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PS: I passed my exams mentioned in the last post. Now onto another round!

Two Anthologies + Exam Season

My comprehensive exams are only a month away and I’m starting to feel the heat. Mostly because I spent the first part of September and October reading my favourite romance authors more than I should have been reading about new media. Oops. I guess my November is scheduled for me.

But before other things take me away, I want to talk about the two anthologies I’ll be in this season. One for Halloween (though really, spooky stories can be read at any time in my opinion), and another in time for the Christmas (or other winter holiday) season!

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I’ve already mentioned a few details about “Ugly Things” so I’ll shift my focus to my story “Red Suits and Second Chances” in Ylva’s Do You Feel What I Feel Anthology. My main character, Gina, dreads the holiday season because she wonders if she’ll have to play Santa Claus again at her office’s Holiday party. Years before, when she wasn’t out as a trans woman, she was always slotted into this role because of her large beard and belly. Now, her life is considerably different–and she merely wants to get through the holidays without revisiting her past ghosts. Good thing Felicia, a helpful coworker, has a plan that involves some rethinking of Christmas spirit and what to do with red fabric.

I realize now that so many of my holiday stories end up having characters who hate Christmas, or generally find a hard time enjoying the holiday. Gift Wrapped was about two women who were considerably stressed for the holiday, since one was grading and the other wasn’t that close with her family. I’m sensing a trend here! I love Christmas, but I often find that I have to really work at loving it in some way. I need to find unique traditions and different stories to tell.

And hopefully, if everything goes okay, I will be done and passed my exams (both written & oral) by the time the winter solstice happens. Wish me luck!

Free Fiction, New Publisher, and More…

Hello again!

First of all, I’m really happy to see that Gay Flash Fiction accepted another one of my flash pieces. You can read “Simple Insomnia” right here.

Also: I’m super happy to be apart of Less Than Three Press officially now! I’ve been wanting to write something for them for years, since they have such interesting themed anthologies, and now I’ve signed a contract. It’s for my f/f contemporary romance novel featuring a bisexual (and biracial!) protagonist and a queer fat femme lesbian protagonist. The book is called The Open Window and I’m super excited for it to come out. That probably won’t be until 2016 at some point–let’s hope after Fragile comes out, so I won’t have so many edits coming in at once.

Until the book comes out, then, I’ll give readers a small teasers. One main character, Val, is a bassists in an electro-punk band. She’s also a huge Dolly Parton fan, and her love interest Morgan, and her both listen to “Jolene” on repeat. Because why not? They also both harbour the belief that Jolene really should have left with the other woman. 😉

So in closing, here’s Dolly’s song!

September Review

I really, really like September.

First of all, my birthday is here in seven days. This year, it actually does fall on Labour Day, so I actually get a day off work. In other years, my birthday has often fallen on the first day of school, which for a nerd like me isn’t actually that bad.

Which also brings me to another reason why I like this September–no more course work! If you’ve been close to me or following me on Tumblr, you’ll know that I’ve been getting my PhD. This July, I finally finished the last of my required course work for my degree and I’m so excited. I’ll have to prepare for my comprehensive exams this fall instead, but considering that it will mostly consist of reading books I find interesting, I’m totally okay with that.

Another reason to like September? It’s close to Halloween and I’m a fan of all things Halloween. Including scary stories–like my short called “Ugly Things” in Ylva’s upcoming Tales Of The Grimoire Anthology. Have I mentioned this yet? Because it’s really not that scary of a story, but more supernatural and fun. Kylie is a werewolf, but an ugly, mutt of a werewolf so she has no pack. She works at a dog shelter instead, protecting all the dogs–especially the mutts–from bad owners. Then she meets Jeanette, who likes Trixie this hideous beast of a dog that I actually based on a real life wondrous ugly puppy, and Kylie thinks she’s found the perfect person. Check out the listing for the anthology here.

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The other good thing about it being this close to Halloween? PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. I may be a complete stereotype of jumping on the bandwagon, but come on, pumpkin spice lattes?? I’m going to get a least a dozen until they stop serving them around Christmas time. Because pumpkin spice is great. And so is September, and I’ll obviously need these lattes when I’m studying super hard and trying to get edits done for my novel, Fragile, while also working on a couple other interesting projects.

Like this really strange urban fantasy series that I’m working on about enchanted shoes. More to come later.

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For now, as a parting word, can I link you to my free short story “Friday I’m In Love” that came out back in July? Because it’s cute, and I love The Cure, and it’s under 1000 words, so it won’t take you to long to read. Enjoy!

Cover Reveal

Ylva Publishing has officially welcomed me aboard with an announcement of my novel to come in early 2016. Check out the entry here, which gives a bit more detail about the book. Right now, I want to talk about the cover:

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I really, really like this. Very simple, but effective. I remember thinking of the title Fragile when I first moved in with my partner and I have been lugging boxes around all day. At that time, the story was still just scribbles in a notebook, but having a title, I felt as if I could finally see the story come into focus. When I got the proofs for the cover in my mail, the same familiar feeling came back to me–so I knew I liked the work Ylva and their design team had done. 🙂

Other noteworthy things: I signed a contract for a short supernatural romance story for Ylva, and I’ve also been working on a new book that I’m in the stages of editing. Oh, and interviews. Lots and lots of interviews upcoming.

Until then, back to Orange is the New Black. 😉

 

Discussing Transgender Romance

Dear readers,

How is everyone? Today a short post I wrote about transgender romance is live on All Romance Cafe! Check it out here.

I mostly discuss my most recent release from JMS Books Looking Back, about a late-in-life trans woman, but there are some musings on Caitlyn Jenner’s transition as well since the Vanity Fair article had just broken when I first wrote this post. It’s exciting to see so much press for an issue like transgender visibility, but I really hope we can soon move on from the coming out stories and accept trans people from the start. No explanation needed. Caitlyn’s cover is beautiful and definitely should be seen (click here if you still haven’t), but there are so many trans people out there who also deserve the same love and attention she’s getting, and I don’t want to forget about their lives, either.

Looking Back is a small story among the many transgender romance novels coming out lately. (PS: Have you seen the amazing trans tag that Less Than Three has? So fantastic!) I’m already working on my next trans short story (hint: it will be a holiday one), and I know I’m not stopping there.

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Nina Johnson is a fan of new starts. Ever since coming out as a transgender woman, she’s been used to cutting ties and burning bridges whenever people get too close or voice their concern over who she is. When Nina goes to cut her long, red hair, she begins to look back on her life and reflect on her choices. Alejandro, her stylist, makes her wonder if living alone is really all it seems to be.

Buy here @ JMS Books.