It’s that time again: stuff your e-reader day! Just go to RomanceBookworms.Com, and you’ll find links to more than a thousand free books, organized by subgenre. This time, I decided to include The One You Need, a friends to lovers romance in which an every guy blogger helps a socialite non-profit fundraiser clear her name in a money-laundering scandal, and they fall for each other in the process. If you’ve been looking for romances that feature gentle male main characters with dad bods, this may be the book you’ve been searching for. It’s one of my favorites, and it’s never been free before. So click fast!
I quickly skimmed through the list, and I would especially recommend checking out the titles by Jeannie Lin, Carrie Lomax, Jackie Lau, Chace Verity, Zoe York, Lucy Eden, and Genevieve Turner.
One thing that you might not know about me is that I love classic Hollywood movies. As a kid in the 90s, I had most definitely seen more movies made before 1970 than from after it. The first letter I ever wrote to a celebrity? It was to Bob Hope. And yes, he sent me an autograph back. Most of my favorites were musicals.
This Saturday, I get to bring all that knowledge to the table when Brianne Gillen, Jen DeLuca, and I talk the 1948 Judy Garland-Gene Kelly musical The Pirate over at the Love’s Sweet Arrow YouTube channel. This movie is, quite simply, bananas. If you’ve ever wanted to watch Kelly with a mustache wearing short shorts and dancing with a sword in front of a wall of flame, this movie gives it you. No, really. It does.
Now that I have you attention, you can sign up to attend the event here, and I’d love to see you.
Just a heads up that I’m planning to send a newsletter on Monday with a Valentine’s Day extra: an alternate chapter for Chick Magnet in which things gets considerably more steamy on Will’s porch. I’ll talk more about this in the newsletter itself, but writing the scene with extra heat helped me to get over my mid-book slump and finish the book. So while I fully love the final (lower-heat) version of the chapter, it’s fun to look back and ponder, “what if?”
Friends, release week for Chick Magnet was BONKERS in the best way. I have done more promo for this book than for anything else I’ve written before. As a result, I wanted to put together a roundup post so that readers could find all those articles, podcasts, etc. in the future.
I’ll update this with more stuff as it drops–because not all of it is out in the world yet!–but here’s what I have so far. I am omitting reviews because I’ve been doing my best not to read those. ; )
It is almost inconceivable that I’m sitting my office where, two and a half years ago, I started writing this book, and now I’m writing the release day post. That’s right, Chick Magnet can now be yours! You can grab a paperback at Amazon, get it for your Kindle, and pick up the audiobook at Audible (read by the wonderful CJ Bloom and Aaron Shedlock).
This is a grumpy-sunshine romance about a small town veterinarian and the backyard chicken influencer who moves across the street from him, the one he doesn’t want to like, but whom he can’t stop watching. It’s about two people who are bruised underneath the masks they put on for the world. But as a result, they can’t help but see through the other’s disguise. It’s also about the joys of kittens, of coaching kid’s soccer, of prying neighbors. It’s about whispering secrets in the dark and kissing on your porch. And chickens. There are a lot of chickens.
So many people helped me write this book, it’s almost embarrassing. Without Genevieve Turner, Olivia Dade, Sarah Younger, Lauren Plude, everyone at Montlake, and everyone at Kaye Publicity, this book wouldn’t exist…or you wouldn’t have heard about it. I’m just so grateful to all my friends, family, and readers for their support.
I’ll have a big roundup soon of all the coverage for Chick Magnet, but if you’re a fan of Liz Donatelli’s Reader Seeks Romance, I had the chance to talk with her, which you can watch here.
If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, I have some fun news. The newest residents are the folks from the American Space Department. Yes, the complete Fly Me to the Moon series is taking a turn in KU.
You can get them all here. So pour yourself a martini, put on the Frank Sinatra, and dive into all the 1960s historical romance goodness.
Isn’t the cover for Funny Guy amazing? Well, the blurb is even better:
From the author of Chick Magnet comes a heartfelt friends-to-lovers story about what can happen when a funny guy and his childhood best friend are stuck together in a small New York City apartment.
Sam can’t escape the smash hit “Lost Boy” because, well, he is the lost boy. His pop-singer ex immortalized him in a song about his childish ways, and now his comedy career is on the line.
At least he still has Bree, his best friend and confidante. Bree has always been there for Sam, but she’s never revealed her biggest secret: she’s in love with him. To help herself move on, Bree applies for her dream job across the country―and doesn’t say a thing to Sam.
But as Sam tries to resuscitate his career, he turns to Bree for support―and maybe more. In the confines of her tiny apartment, they share a different dynamic. A charged dynamic. But she’s his friend. He can’t be falling for her.
Except he is.
Are his feelings for Bree just funny business? Or is their smoldering attraction the real deal?
Following last year’s example, I’m going to make my writing goals public for accountability. I’ve focused on things I can control rather than the things I wish might happen. Those, I’ll keep to myself.
Finish revising the thing I’m working on. Let’s call it Snowshoe. I’d like to get that done and to my agent in January.
Return to the secret book, revising what I have and finishing it. I’d like to complete this by June.
Write another book in the second half of the year. I have a veritable cornucopia of proposals, and I hope by summer, it will be clear which one I should work on next.
Survive not one but two book releases. I haven’t had two full-length books come out in a single year since 2015. So I need to remember how to get through this with my sanity intact.
The last twelve months were about 2023. In other words, all the work I’ve done has been future-looking. I have felt as if I were paddling so hard, but in many ways, I’m in the same place I was last year. Or, to mix my metaphor, maybe I’ve edged a little closer to the waterfall, but I haven’t fallen over the precipice–yet.
In the last twelve months:
I revised Chick Magnet yet again, adding about 10K to the book (and then pruning it back). I also laid marketing groundwork, because, had I mentioned it?, it’ll release on January 24, 2023.
I wrote and revised Funny Guy. The polished word count is 80K, but I suspect I wrote and deleted at least an additional 10 or 12K. This will release on May 16, 2023.
I revised and rereleased the entire Political Persuasions series. This includes at least 15K new words, most of which went into “Aspiring” (in The One You Crave). That novella is my only wholly new piece of writing published this year. I also did some marketing for the series, and it’s currently in KU.
I researched and then wrote 25K words for a secret project. I’m not super happy with it, so I’ve taken a few steps back, and it’s marinating. Getting this finished and into a submission-worthy state is one of my key goals for 2023.
I began work on a major revision/rewrite of a series that’s on my hard drive, with the goal of going out on submission with it early in 2023. I’ve written at least 10K new words for this.
In terms of my 2022 goals, I played piano most days (logging practices on Twitter with the #RomancePianists hashtag). I didn’t start jogging again, alas. I stayed off social media…in fits and starts. But I did write approximately 150K new words, which is my best writing year since 2016. Except I didn’t achieve my stated goal of writing two books. I may need to reevaluate whether two books is achievable for me these days, or whether I have to settle for writing one, plus revision/marketing and life-ing.
Taken as a whole, it was a year of labor that will bloom–or wither–in the next year. I’m not displeased when I look back, but on reflection, my primary emotion is anticipation.
(I’ve been producing some version of this post for as long as I’ve been blogging my writing. You can read about my 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013 respectively.)
How is it the end of the year? I mean…how? It feels as if I just wrote one of these, and yet here I am, writing another one. What I can say for 2022 is that I survived it. But it’s been a low-hanging thing, more endurance than thriving. Despite that, my year was brightened by books and television and music, so let’s focus on the sparkles.
What follows is a list of cultural artifacts that I consumed this year and that I thought were pretty cool. As always, this isn’t a best of list because I simply don’t read, watch, or listen to enough stuff to write one of those. According to my Goodreads challenge, I read 56 books in 2022. That’s decent, but I read across genres enough that I don’t think I could–with a straight face–tell you what the best books of this year were. These are the just the ones I really liked. (And the same goes for music, TV, etc.)