Cheri Crystal on the Order Up Blog Tour! Day 6 (GIVEAWAY!)

And the winner of an ebook copy of Order Up is…
drum roll…
Hayde!

Thanks for playing, everybody!

Hi, everybody!

So award-winning author Cheri Crystal stopped by my place to get in on the Order Up anthology fun-ness. She’s busy traipsing around France right now, so let’s all feel a pang of sadness for her…NOT! Let’s all wish her safe travels and hope that she’s having a blast. Which, from her Facebook posts, she is.

Before we get into Cheri’s story and excerpt, I’d like to take a moment to hold in comfort all who lost loved ones in Orlando yesterday and on Saturday. May we find our way out of this somehow, and may we not lose sight of who we are, as members of all the communities in which we live, love, and work.

Thank you.

And now, let’s get into Cheri Crystal’s blog. Welcome, Cheri, and thanks for joining us on this here tour. In honor of your stopping by,

I’m GIVING AWAY YET ANOTHER EBOOK COPY OF ORDER UP! Just leave me a comment below and YOU’RE IN! Make sure you include your email address in the comment fill-out form, but not in the comment body. We don’t want spambots to find you and do icky things with your email address. We’ll draw a random winner on THURSDAY, JUNE 16 at 9 PM EST! And who knows? Sometimes the merry elves from Women and Words pop over to my site and give out extra copies…you never know…

cover_A_Order-Up_500x800

OMG I love blog tours…

In Cheri’s story, “Clinch It with Coleslaw,” a woman and her two young children spend the summer in a cabin in a place that includes summer camp for kids. Their neighbor is another woman — this one a caterer, who’s there with her older kids. Let’s just say sparks fly between these two women, and so do summer recipes for love.

Take it away, Cheri!
______________
Continue reading

Work(s) in Progress! A stop on the Ylva Blog Hop

Hiya, kids!

So Ylva Publishing, one of my houses, is kicking off 2016 with a blog hop. Which means a whole bunch of Ylva authors are posting blogs on set days during the month and each author alerts readers to upcoming blogs in the hop (see below for the list of authors who have already participated and to see who’s next in the hop).

Since I’m up in here hoppin’ for Ylva, I’ll mention the book I just released with them over the holidays called The Bureau of Holiday Affairs, which is a reboot of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story. I think, though, I’d like to chat about what’s coming down the pike for me, but if you want to know the backstory behind Bureau, you can read it HERE.
The-Bureau-of-Holiday-Affairs-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

Anyway, I thought rather than telling you stories about my sordid past (ha ha) or whatever else sordid, I’d chat a bit about some works-in-progress that I’m doing for Ylva, since readers might be a bit interested in what I’m doing now (and not the past), especially with the holidays all behind us n’ stuff.

Continue reading

Why the hell are you writing a new edition?

Hi, all! Hope the weekend treats you well.

I decided — after some comments (some cranky; others not so much) I got regarding my decision to reboot my first mystery, Land of Entrapment — that it might be a good idea to explain what a new edition is and why some authors decide to do it. LoE for website

There are many reasons authors come to these decisions. We don’t wake up one day and decide, “Oh! I’m going to re-do one of my earlier works and re-issue it! Won’t that be fun?” Because not. It’s not fun. I mean, some of it is. But for the most part, it’s stressful and time-consuming and the longer the book stays off the market, the less opportunity there is for readers to read it. And authors never make this decision to piss people off. Trust me on this.

So let’s chat about some of the reasons authors decide to create a new edition of an earlier work.

Continue reading

I write romance. Therefore I am.

Greetings, peeps! August is Read-a-Romance month, and I’m participating in a blog-o-rama held by the website readaromancemonth.com. Thanks to Bobbi Dumas for the invite! The theme this year is “Celebrate Romance,” and many of you readers out there, I’m sure, do just that. HatDown2a-small

But what if you couldn’t celebrate romance? What if you had to keep your mouth shut about your attraction to someone to protect yourself from rejection by your families and peers, emotional abuse, or possibly physical abuse? What if you had to hide who you really are in plain sight? That if you were brave enough to meet with the person you love most, you could never do that openly, and you could never, ever tell anyone about it? Some Kind of River cover 2012

That’s what it’s like for thousands of LGBTQ people all over the world. Imagine, those of you who do not identify as LGBTQ, what it would be like for you to have to change the pronouns of your life partner to keep your job (currently, it’s legal to be fired in 29 states for being LGBTQ). Imagine what it would be like to hide the love of your life from your family for fear that you will be rejected. Imagine what it would be like to never participate in work functions with your spouse or partner because you can’t risk anyone finding out that you’re not heterosexual.

And imagine what it would be like to be denied access to your partner’s hospital bed in their greatest time of need, and that you’re denied recognition in family gatherings as someone who is happily settled. Or even legally married.

Imagine that the greatest romance you’ve ever had and the most amazing person you’ve ever met will always be unspoken, unrecognized, and unrevealed.

And imagine what it’s like to never be seen as a full human being, but rather reduced to an act of sex — reduced to simply someone who has sex with someone else of the same sex. Imagine that the richness and deepness of your life and the many things you do and think and your career and interests and the myriad connections you have and the family ties you have — whether through blood or bond — is all reduced to one thing: who you have sex with. “Behavior.”

That’s why I write books with lesbian characters, who experience a range of relationships, who work to balance work, family, friends, and all the things that make up a day-to-day getting by. I write them them because their lives, like mine, are not merely a “behavior.”

My life, like my characters’, is a giant, glorious clusterf*ck of crazy and fun and amazing and hard and scary and painful. It’s the sum of all my parts — my past, my now, my future. It’s everything I’ve ever done and said, and all the people I’ve known and currently know. It’s the friends I keep and those I’ve lost. It’s the family I choose and the family I have. It’s the unglamorous day-to-day as well as the great highs and terrible lows. It’s a life, like anybody else’s. Not a behavior. Not a lifestyle.

And romance is a wonderful vehicle to express the messy and great things about being human. That’s why I write and celebrate romance. Because I can. Because I’m very fortunate to be writing in a time when there’s a vibrant LGBTQ publishing world out there, when romance and erotica that feature LGBTQ characters can be written and celebrated and rewarded. AllYouCanEat-197x300

So I write stories about people. People living their lives the best they know how. Yes, they sometimes stumble. And sometimes they’re scared. They carry the weight of old issues and old wounds. They have friends and families and work colleagues and they try to find some kind of balance in all of that. And then something really amazing happens to those people. They cross paths with other people, and in those chance meetings are hints of possibility. Sparks. Maybe frustration. Attraction. Flirting. Romance.
from-the-boots-up-website-use

It’s an adventure, meeting someone who sets fireworks off in your stomach with a smile or the way she laughs. And you notice how she wears her hair and how she sometimes fiddles with the ring on her right hand. And maybe you notice the way she frowns when she’s trying to pick just the right item off the menu. You find out she reads a particular author (you approve), and she likes certain movies and music. You hold on to all these details because maybe, just maybe, you’ll get up the guts to ask her to coffee.Gamble Cover

Or maybe she’ll ask first. Because maybe she’s got her eye on you, too.

And maybe this is the start of a whole new adventure.

That’s why I celebrate romance. Because ultimately, it’s about people and connection and attraction and maybe even love. And the world needs a hell of a lot more of that.

Fun and groovy questions

Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.
Oh, wow. Y’know, every day can be an adventure, and I try to find inspiration everywhere I go. I’ve done a lot of backpacking. In one trip, I ended up living on a beach on the island of Lesvos for a week. Of course, I had inadvertently picked the nude beach. In another instance I had to maneuver five drunk friends across the border from Tijuana into San Diego and we ended up in the middle of a brawl between American frat guys and Mexican guys. We made it with only a couple of scratches. And then there was the summer I lived out of my truck and a tent while helping conduct an archaeological dig in western New Mexico.

There’s adventure and inspiration all around us all the time. You just have to be open to it.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)
I’ve always been writing. I wrote [really bad] poems as a child and some paranormal short stories. I discovered speculative fiction as a child, and so most of what I wrote in junior high and high school was post-apocalyptic and/or fantasy. I wrote my first two (atrociously bad) novels in high school, then wrote a couple more in college and spec fic short stories while working on my master’s degree. I stopped writing fiction while I worked on my doctorate, but then started again in 2007. That was the year I started taking it seriously.

Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)
This is one of those questions that is really difficult for me to answer because there are so many books from which I have derived inspiration. I will say that when I was around 10, I started reading the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Yes, he was sexist and racist and wrote some really androcentric series, but the man could world-build and even then, I crushed out on his female protagonists (often arm candy for the dudes) and always wondered why those women couldn’t just go and kick ass on their own. Ha, I decided. I’ll write them at some point so they do (and yes, I did). And I guess the novel Thendara House by Marion Zimmer Bradley was the first time I read about two women who were attracted to each other and acted on it and it was an accepted part of the culture she was writing about. Books like Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, and the fabulous lesbian pulp fiction of the 50s and 60s generally ended unhappily for one or both of the lesbians. Thendara House opened a whole world of possibility and that’s when I started really writing lesbian-identified protagonists. I was around 17 or so.

Some Recommendations

There are myriad writers of LGBTQ romance (among many other genres). I co-admin a blog called Women and Words, and a lot of what we do is feature guest posts by many writers who write lesbian-themed romance. Start there to see who some of them are. And feel free to drop me a line at my contact page with the type of romance/theme you’re looking for and I’ll match you with some authors.

Thanks, all!

Andi Marquette is a native of New Mexico and Colorado and an award-winning mystery, science fiction, and romance writer. She also has the dubious good fortune to be an editor who spent 15 years working in publishing, a career track that sucked her in while she was completing a doctorate in history. She is co-editor of Skulls and Crossbones: Tales of Women Pirates and the forthcoming All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Erotica and Romance. Her most recent novels are Day of the Dead, the Goldie-nominated finalist The Edge of Rebellion, and the romance From the Hat Down, a follow-up to the Rainbow Award-winning novella, From the Boots Up.bio-pic_andi-marquette

Check Andi’s website for excerpts and info about where to buy her work. You can also read some free romantic short stories there.

Forthcoming anthology!

Hi, peeps!

Well, I’ve been a bit busy on other projects, besides my forthcoming novel.

And here’s one of those projects! I’m way stoked to announce that I and fellow author/editor R.G. Emanuelle are co-editing a volume of erotic and romantic stories that will be published by Ylva Publishing in August. Check out the announcement HERE.

All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica

R.G. and I are way excited to announce this project we’ve been working on. It’s been an idea we’ve had for a while, and finally we were able to get it off the ground. Ylva Publishing is our host, and we’re pleased to be working with them.

cover by Sue Niewiarowski
cover by Sue Niewiarowski

So, yeah, you guessed it. The central theme of this particular collection of stories is food. Each story incorporates food in some way, whether it’s a catalyst for a romantic interlude or an intrinsic part of the interaction between the characters. You’ll find a range of heat levels here, from mild to super spicy, but you’ll also find some food for thought on the menu, which we as editors really enjoyed.

R.G. and I have worked on an anthology in the past. Some of you may recall our volume Skulls and Crossbones: Tales of Women Pirates. As much work as that was, we had a great time getting it put together, so we decided to be gluttons for more and we came up with the idea for this anthology a while back. Well, various things got in the way and we back-burnered it for a bit, and then decided to go for it.

Anthologies are a lot of work for the editors who put them together, and in some ways it’s kind of like herding cats. You’re trying to keep things on schedule, organized, and make sure the authors are in the loop. And in some cases, you’re working directly with the designer (R.G. and I do) while also working directly with the publisher. So it’s a lot of juggling going on, but we generally end up having a really good time.

And in case you were wondering, the menu includes Jove Belle, Cheyenne Blue, Jae, Cheri Crystal, Sacchi Green, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Karis Walsh, Yvonne Heidt, Ashley Bartlett, Victoria Oldham, and Historia, as well as R.G. (chef) and Andi (sous chef) and quite possibly a couple of others. We’ll keep you posted.

So that’s one of the OTHER things I’ve been up to! Rounding up a bunch of delicious (hopefully) morsels and getting them prepped for serving. 😀

Happy Thursday, everybody, and we hope you’ll join us for dinner.

Forthcoming novel

Hiya, kids!

So today I am announcing a forthcoming novel. For those of you who have read the novella From the Boots Up, this here novel is what happens next. 😀

If all things go well (the stars align, the deities smile upon us, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise), it should be ready for public consumption the first week of June, print and ebook. Most likely Kindle for the latter at first, though I’m trying to get files ready for other platforms and hopefully, mid-June will see those.

Sound groovy?

Okay. Drum roll, please.

Ready?

I give you…

HatDown2a-large
cover by Sue Niewiarowski, n-design

Meg Tallmadge is a veterinarian at a clinic in Laramie, Wyoming. She’s got a great job, great friends, deep ties to the family ranch, and big plans for her vet future. Sure, there are bumps in the road, like her mom’s continued denial about who Meg is and her painful and infuriating attempts to make Meg a “proper” woman. Then there’s Meg’s recent breakup with a girlfriend, which has her wondering why she can’t seem to open up to relationships. But Meg knows that life is messy, and sometimes all you can do is get through and shake it off. What she can’t seem to shake off, however, is her past.

It’s been almost ten years to the day since she met the love of her life, and about eight since she let her go. Meg has a hard time admitting that maybe she didn’t really let go, and that maybe some things you never really get over, no matter how hard you try. But her past is half a world away, caught up in her own life, relationship, and journalism career, and Meg isn’t one to chase the ghosts of past relationships. Even if they send you a birthday card and nudge what you thought were the closed-off parts of your heart. After all, second chances are the stuff of fantasies and movies where the good guy always gets a happy ending. You can’t count on something like that.

Or can you?

Well, I guess you’ll find out. MUAH HA HA!

And here’s a playlist. Git you all in the mood n’ stuff.

Saddle up, friends, and join me and the Wyoming team on another ride!

Happy Friday!

Here’s whazzup!

Hi, kids!

Okay, quick update time. Some of you have been wondering WTF is going on with the follow-up to my romance novella, From the Boots Up. If you haven’t read it, well it’ll only set you back a buck ninety-nine. Hope you check it out.

source

Well, the follow-up is a novel-length piece (long novel), and it will be available in print and ebook, and those are two very different processes. A print version requires professional typesetting and then a bunch of times through those files to make sure everything’s going to work.

I have to make sure that all the changes I requested in the print version are made in the file I’m working off of to create ebook files (different platforms require different files), so this part of the process is also time-consuming and a bunch of detail-oriented busy-work because I don’t like to do sloppy work and I don’t like to offer sloppy products. Not to suggest that other authors do. I’m not suggesting that at all. It’s just that I have a major perfectionist streak, and I can get kind of obsessive about checking and re-checking (astrologically, this is what happens when your Moon is in Virgo LOL).

All that said, I will be doing a cover/title reveal Friday the 16th, and I’ll provide a synopsis. I’m hoping to get this pup released the first week of June. Let’s hope the stars align (with the Virgo moon) for that to happen.

Also, fellow author/editor R.G. Emanuelle and I are working on a project together and we’ll be revealing that around May 22nd. So stay tuned for that. WOOO!

And I’ve been working on short stories to include in a couple of things (I’m waiting to hear about one; if it doesn’t fly, oh, well — I’ll hopefully find another home for it). AND I’ve been working here and there on the fourth in my sci fi series. New writing has kind of taken a back seat while I deal with the follow-up to Boots, which has been quite the process. Hopefully, it won’t suck. WOOO!

All rightie, all. There’s some 411 for you.

Happy weekend!

GCLS Writing Academy and other cool stuff

Hi, peeps —

WHEW. So I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire right now, and things are crazy in some respects. Had a chat with the designer for the cover of the follow-up to From the Boots Up, and we’re both kind of stoked about a particular image and we think it’s going to be awesome-sauce. Here’s hoping. 🙂

Just finished up a short story that I’m going to submit somewhere. We’ll see how that goes. I’m also working on another romance and the fourth in the Far Seek Chronicles. So I’m keeping busy. Heh.

Oh, for you lesfickers, would you like some hot n’ steamy intrigue-filled F/F reading? Then maybe check out the series Mariel Cove. You can find out all about that over at Women and Words today. One of the writers, Noel Meredith, stopped by to chat about the development of the series and how it works. Hit that link to get more info.

Also, if you’re a new or relatively new writer, heads up. The Golden Crown Literary Society (lesfic galore) conference is coming up, slated for July 2014 (here are the deets).

But what I’d like to note about the GCLS is that the organization has launched a WRITING ACADEMY. That is, a year-long intensive writing program that addresses the basic mechanics of grammar and writing structure as well as elements of writing fiction (e.g. dialogue, setting, characterization…you get the gist), what a writing life is like, and publishing. The program includes a mentoring element. Here’s some scoop from the GCLS website:

The GCLS Writing Academy is a year long program for new or relatively new writers who have at least half of a novel written and who want to learn the critical components of quality writing, plus various related topics such as researching your novel, the writer’s life, and the path to getting published.

Over the course of the year, the students ‘begin at the beginning’, covering the basics of grammar and writing, and then move on to the foundations of quality writing, research methods and sources, genre specific skills, the life of a writer, preparing to be published, and ends with a three month mentoring experience.

Sound like something that’s right up your alley? Well, hit the link and apply. Deadline is fast approaching. March 1, 2014.

If you’re accepted, you need to schedule your flight to the GCLS conference to arrive a day early for Writing Academy orientation/workshop on July 9. Read the info at the link.

Something to ponder, yes? Happy writing, happy reading, happy Friday!

Things I’ve been up to

Hiya, peeps —

Some of you know that in addition to the writing stuff, I’m also an assistant editor over at Luna Station Quarterly, an ezine that publishes spec fic (short stories) by women. They’re always interested in finding new writers as well as established, so if you write spec fic (and that encompasses sci fi, fantasy, paranormal, fairy-tale-ish), consider them as a venue for your work. If you read spec fic or you’re interested in some fine short fiction in the genre, maybe add LSQ to your go-to sites for that. You can read an interview I did with LSQ’s founder and editor, Jennifer Parsons, here.

Now, what have I been up to? Well, I’m preparing the follow-up to my novella From the Boots Up for publication in late spring. It’s a novel-length, and it’s gone through a lot of re-writing. OMG. I had a draft manuscript of it written about 4 years ago. I gutted it, re-shaped it, and sent it to my primary beta/editor who sent it back for more gutting and tweaking. I finished that and now I’m getting it formatted and pretty-fied. Or something. There’s a designer working on the cover and it’ll be going into editing and proofreading soon. Whew. So stay tuned…

I’ve also got another romance novel I’m trying to finish up so I can send it to a couple of betas. That one I’m hoping to have out in the fall. I’m also working on book 4 in my sci fi series (The Far Seek Chronicles, for those not in the know) and I’ll be starting some research for the fifth New Mexico book.

That doesn’t count the conferences I’ll be attending and events I’m helping plan. So basically, I have my work cut out for me this year. Heh.

Speaking of From the Boots Up, it got reviewed in Curve Mag, which is a pot of awesome. Here’s the link if you’re interested.

I’ve also been interviewed in a couple of different venues recently. Ylva Publishing posted this one with me, and thriller/mystery writer Jon Michaelsen had me aboard at his blog. If you missed it, here.

And as always, you can find me at the Women and Words blogsite, where I’m a co-admin and blogger.

So hope everybody has a great rest of the week and if you’re caught in any of the terrible weather out there, stay safe.

Happy reading, happy writing!