Romance for RAICES

pink image with hearts and books that reads, "Romance for RAICES, September 8 - 21, 2019"

The awesome folks at Love in Panels have put together a massive auction of signed books, services, swag, and just cool experiences in support of RAICES and The Young Center. From now until September 21, 2019, you can head on over to the auction, make a bid, and, if you win, you make a donation in that amount to RAICES or The Young Center, and the person offering the prize sends it to you.

Included in the lot of almost 200 amazing things, I’m offering a set of signed paper copies of Star Dust, Earth Bound, and Round Midnight, and I’d love to send them to you–yes, YOU. So get clicking and start bidding!

Apollo 11 Anniversary Round-Up + Jell-O

I wrote two guest posts commemorating the Apollo 11 anniversary. Over at Smart Bitches Trashy Books, I tried to reason out the romance of the moon, and at Frolic, I rated the romances in astronaut movies.

Please read, comment on, and share these essays, and if you haven’t picked up the Fly Me to the Moon box set, it’s still just 99 cents. Grab it at AmazoniBooksB&NKobo, and Google Play.

If you’re here because you read one of those pieces, welcome. If you’re thinking about trying the Fly Me to the Moon series, I hope you do. The fan favorites seem to be Earth Bound (which is in the set) and Free Fall.

And finally, I owe you a Jell-O mold. I made one on the Fourth of July that I intended to run in celebration of A Midnight Spark, but it was an utter disaster. It was even worse than the phallic lobster, which was at least funny. This was just a misshapen lumpy mess.

box set jello final

The concept for this new, and far better, Jell-O came from Liz Lincoln who posted a cola-cherry-cream cheese Jell-O recipe on Twitter; it was similar to this one except the cream cheese was actually in the mold. And, y’all, I just couldn’t bring myself to put cream cheese into Jell-O. It’s what holds me back from embracing the retro, in the end. Basic food decency.

I did like the idea of cherry cola Jell-O, so I played around with what I had in my kitchen. The results were delicious; it’s probably the yummiest Jell-O I’ve ever made. The recipe is after the fold. It’s the perfect thing to eat while pondering the historic significance of Neil Armstrong’s stroll on the moon.

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Moon Landing Sale

IMG_0026Today marks the start of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. On July 16, 1969, the crew blasted off from Florida on an eight-day mission to the moon and back.

To celebrate, Genevieve and I have put the Fly Me to the Moon box set on sale. Until July 24, this collection of three complete retro romances (almost 170,000 words) can be yours for just 99 cents. It includes Star Dust, Earth Bound, and A Midnight Clear and is perfect for all your lunar landing nostalgia reading.

I’ll have a couple of commemorative guest posts on other blogs this week, and I’ll drop links here when they appear. But in the meantime, grab your copy of the boxed set now before this deal goes away. It’s available at AmazoniBooksB&NKobo, and Google Play.

Announcing A Midnight Spark!

If you’re not on the Fly Me to the Moon mailing list, you missed an important announcement: Genevieve and I will be serializing a summer-themed novella called A Midnight Spark there starting tomorrow! It features a silver fox rancher, a woman with a weakness for strays, an injured hummingbird, and enough fireworks to rival the US Capitol’s display.

MidnightFeastRetroRocket2

While we’ll eventually package this story with A Midnight Feast and re-release it to retailers, for the moment the only way to get A Midnight Spark–and the only way to get it for free–is to subscribe to our mailing list. So get on that!

Space on Screen

In retrospect, it’s not surprising that Georges Melies’ A Trip to the Moon (1902) is the first science fiction film. After all, the sky is the original cinematic experience: the lights go up and come down; the moon and constellations change; the colors shift, fade, and intensify; and the weather provides drama and tension. Staring at the sky in night or day is an emotional, humanizing experience. It emphasizes how small you are in the face of the universe. Thus it only makes sense that one of the first subjects for narrative cinema would be the desire to explore what’s up there.

(Digression: I, like most babies of the 80s and 90s, came to know Melies’ work because of the Smashing Pumpkin’s video for “Tonight, Tonight,” which remains most excellent.)

covers of four movies: hidden figures, the dish, the astronaut wives club, and apollo 13

What I want to think about today, though, isn’t films such as A Trip to the Moon, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Contact, or Armageddon, which concern themselves with space in an entirely imaginative or fictional way, but instead with those that attempt to tell the “true” story of human space exploration.

For the sake of conciseness, I’m going to limit myself to The Right Stuff (1983), Apollo 13 (1995), The Dish (2000)*, The Astronaut Wives Club (2015)**, Hidden Figures (2016), First Man (2018)*, and Apollo 11 (2019)**, arguing that while these films are about humans leaving earth, neither the films nor the history they represent successfully abandon earth’s baggage, specifically gender and race.

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A Fine Romance Friday: First Man

This is neither Friday nor is the film in question precisely a romance, but today’s subject is Damien Chazelle’s First Man (2018). I’ve wanted to watch it for months, and I finally had a few free hours to snag it from Redbox.

In the gap between its release and when I managed to see it, First Man received a critical reaction I’d characterize as positive but reserved and “only” four Academy Award nominations. So I went into it a bit apprehensive. If you enjoy what Genevieve Turner and I are doing with Fly Me to the Moon, however, I can almost guarantee you’ll adore First Man. While I have a few complaints, it’s visually stunning and a different take on the astronaut movie subgenre.

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I’m a Disembodied Voice!

So if you’ve been thinking, “I’d like to hear Emma’s disembodied voice,” you’re in luck: I recently chatted with the lovely ladies at the Wicked Wallflowers Club about Earth Bound, Free Fall, how I spent years not writing my dissertation, politics, and phallic lobster Jell-O. Basically all the normal stuff.

You can listen to it here. But FYI, some of the language probably isn’t safe for work.

Box Set Preorder & Free Fall ARCs

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If you’re a Fly Me to the Moon fan and you’ve been waiting for the right moment to introduce your friends to the series, July 31 is the day. That’s when Genevieve and I will release a box set with Star Dust, Earth Bound, and A Midnight Clear plus bonus content aimed at book clubs. And the best part? It’s just 99 cents to preorder. This is the first time Earth Bound has ever been discounted. The price for the set will go up to $4.99 after release week–so click fast!

You can get the Fly Me to the Moon box set at Amazon, iBooksB&NKobo, and Google Play. The full blurb is after the break.

And I also wanted to mention that if you’re a reviewer, you can request a Free Fall ARC via this form. I’ll start sending them out today.

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Free Fall Release Date

free fall moon

Genevieve and I are thrilled to announce the firm release date for Free Fall: July 31, 2018. It’s up for preorder at AmazoniBooksB&N, and Kobo (Google Play coming soon!), plus you can add it your Goodreads shelves and check out the book’s Pinterest board. In addition to the e-book, it will be in print on approximately release day.

Free Fall is the funniest book in the Fly Me to the Moon series, but it’s also angsty and deeply emotional. It’s focused on the marriage of convenience between two very unlike people: a laconic astronaut and a vivacious sorority girl who find themselves with a baby on the way and the first American space walk mission to survive. There’s drama with the space suit design, bridge parties with astronaut wives, a hard-fought squash game, and furniture. Lots of furniture.

Genevieve and I started writing it almost two years ago and then, well, the world fell apart. It took us a long time to get back to a manuscript that felt, tonally, alien. But please keep in mind that we named Vivy Muller in October 2016.

I love this book, and I’m so excited for it to be out in the world. We also have a surprise–it’ll drop around the same time as Free Fall’s release–which I’m psyched about. Stay tuned!

Recommendation Club: Space Race History

On social media and over email, I’ve fielded several questions about what someone should read to learn more about the space race. While writing the Fly Me to the Moon series, I’ve inhaled dozes and dozens of space histories. So for prosperity’s sake, here’s what I recommend.

A few caveats: my list is focused on the period between Sputnik and Apollo 11 (or 1957 to 1969) and on US/Soviet crewed space flight. If you’re interested in rocketry, for example, that would be a whole other list and it would start a lot sooner.

Also, I’m not a scientist or engineer. So while I’m interested in the history of technology, I prefer books pitched to a general audience.

I do have a PhD in American studies, so my bias is for new history that is intersectional, considers the economic and social factors that create institutions, and includes marginalized voices.

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