The Art of Three: “achingly lovely” & “absolutely should not miss”

artofWe’re just four days away from The Art of Three and we have a lot of thanking and flailing to do, meaning there are some early reviews we’re thrilled to tell you about:

First, you can take a look at what people are saying on Goodreads:

“Achingly lovely… likely one of the best books I’ll read all year.”
– 5*, Michelle Osgood, author of The Better to Kiss You With

“Real and emotional and funny and on-point and extremely well-written.”
– Anna Zabo, author of Takeover

“…touching, sweet, romantic and thought provoking….”
– 5*, Mary Lynde, Goodreads Reviewer

Additionally, From Top to Bottom Reviews also has a great write up today, saying, “So to conclude: The Art of Three is a fantastic story with amazing characters, great bi- and poly-representation, you absolutely should not miss.”

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay | B&N

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The Art of Three: No one gets left behind

While we started writing The Art of Three in the summer of 2015, some of the most significant emotional and structural work we did on the story happened in January 2016 when I was in Vienna for my day job. These trips are always strange — to say I speak even limited German is a significant stretch, I spend a tremendous amount of time alone, and my interactions with others often come through a lens of cultural curiosity about my Jewishness which can be overwhelming — and for that strangeness often lead to a lot of productivity. Erin takes the day shift, I take the night shift, and we can be working on a manuscript nearly 24-hours a day.

So I’m in Vienna, six hours ahead of home. It’s the middle of the night, and I’m sat in my office because it has internet. Every email, because of the dark and the quiet and the not quite supposed to be there,  feels like it comes in secret. I should be asleep, my correspondents should be at work, everything is clandestine. Because of some narrative point or other in the book, I’m been talking about my ex (sorry, dude, we’re cool, but, like, those years happened) and about how he’s proof that Lizzie and Darcy probably had a miserable marriage.

And because I am a witch, and Erin is a witch, and my ex is also a witch, Erin emails me and says, my husband and I are going to start trying for a baby in September.

Painfully private, I know what it has taken for her to tell me this. She has told no one else. I know only because I need to. After all, we run a business together and create worlds. I feel cold. Vienna, in January, is very cold.

The announcement is hardly a surprise. I’ve known she’s wanted children since I met her, and she’s been clumsily hinting around at this for months. Children have come up repeatedly in recent books (and are key to both The Art of Three and A Queen from the North, readers who wish to know that). I am, at the time, 43-years-old and have none myself. The medicalization and constraints of female life are complicated for me. Because of my age or my queerness, there is no whatever happens, happens in my life; there is only intent. But mine is murky, burdened by notions of property, competition, and the narrow forms of victory afforded to women.

So I’m scared. I’ve often been the girl who gets left behind while people tell me I’m brave for living my life in arguably less typical ways. Erin swears there will be no giving up writing or soft cheese (if you’ve heard pregnancy advice in America vs Europe you understand), and it’s all going to be just fine. Because it turns out she’s scared too. So many people treat pregnancy as this event where you lose your name… along with everything else.

That night we wrote the scene that I think is at the heart of The Art of Three (for those who have advance copies or come back to this post later — it’s the scene where Nerea explains her family history) and realized one of the core themes of the book: You can change your life without blowing up everything you already have.

Now, over a year later, I’m 44, Erin’s pregnant, the book’s two weeks away, and we’ve realized one of the other themes of the book: No one gets left behind.

Not older women. Not pregnant women. Not disabled women.

Not queer people. Not people caught between two cultures. Not people who had their family histories stolen by historical horror.

Not 24-year-olds who have no idea how to adult. Not parents. Not kids. Not people without kids, and certainly not the damn dog with a ridiculous name.

No one gets left behind.

artofErin and I write a lot of angsty books. A lot of the time we don’t even realize they’re angsty because our metrics are a bit off (be warned, we are working on a spy series and it is deliciously badwrong).

But this book is the flip side of all that. This book is the book where everybody wins. Everybody lives. Everyone gets a happily ever after. Because everyone in this book looks at the limitations and definitions the world wants to assign them, acknowledges them, and says No.

Which is what we’ve been doing probably always, but definitely since that January.

We cried through writing so much of this book — because of what we each have and what we each don’t, and because of what it means to be women and what it means to grow older — and we hope this story makes you so happy that you do too.

The Art of Three is available in ebook from these retailers (paperback coming soon):
Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay | B&N

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White Collar, or that time basic cable accidentally gave us a poly show about an art thief

white-collar-desktop-backgrounds_093634124

Peter, Elizabeth, and Neal. These three characters sit on couches together on the show often, and are never, actually this far apart. Ever. Just saying.

I’ve been watching White Collar again. I’ll confess this was a show I gave up on when it was first airing. My friends all said it was super poly, and it was… for a while. Then there was all this tacked on brokenhearted past stuff for one of the characters, and I felt like the show was working to become more normative after being markedly unusual. But some random cable channel has replaced my Sunday night Leverage marathons with Sunday night White Collar marathons, and I’ve remembered what I loved about the show.

For those not in the know, White Collar follows a semi-reformed art thief (Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey); the FBI guy he works for in order to stay out of jail (Tim Dekay as Peter Burke); and the FBI guy’s super competent, charming, and no-time-for-this-bullshit wife (Tiffani Theissen as Elizabeth Burke). There’s a weekly caper, a vague overarching mystery, and buckets — just buckets — of kitchen table poly vibes. Seriously, this is not a case of in a desperate search for representation and confronted with really hot actors, fans decided all these characters should get together. Kitchen table poly is the actual simplest explanation for tons of random things in this show, and I spend a lot of time wondering what on earth show the writers thought they were writing.

Which is why the show got me all cranky the first time around, when Neal suddenly grew a backstory about a broken heart and about as normative a quest for a Happily Ever After as an art thief can get. It felt like a show that reflected a broader perspective on relationships (Peter and Elizabeth don’t, for example, have children, do not address their lack of children, and are really into each other and having both a pet dog and a pet art thief) suddenly, desperately trying to become less weird. I was, frankly, sad.

But this time around I’m a lot less annoyed. Part of this is that I’m not surprised this go around. Some of this is age and a change of perspective — Neal can have a brokenhearted past, be in normative-looking relationships, and also be poly. Meanwhile, I can also overlook a range of narrative inconsistencies in a wacky caper show that’s under the delusion that New York City is rife with alleys. (It’s not, but the writing team was in LA while the show was shot in NYC, and they kept having to find that one NYC location with an alley to the ongoing amusement of the New York fans).

So, if you like poly content (and we hope you do, considering what we write), White Collar is very much worth your time. And while I had sort of forgotten that this show existed (and Erin didn’t even know what it was about), if you like Elizabeth Burke, you will definitely like Nerea in The Art of Three.

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A Queen from the North pre-order now available

queenfromebook-1It may be the 21st century, but in a not-so-united kingdom the wounds of the the Wars of the Roses have never healed. The rivalry between the Yorkish north and Lancastrian south has threatened to pull the nation apart for over 500 years.

While the modern world struggles with fractures born of ancient conflict, Lady Amelia Brockett faces far more mundane problems. Known to her family as Meels, this youngest daughter of a Northern earl is having the Worst. Christmas. Ever. Dumped by her boyfriend and rejected from graduate school, her parents deem her the failure of the family.

But when her older brother tries to cheer her with a trip to the races, a chance meeting with Arthur, the widowed, playboy Prince of Wales, offers Amelia the chance to change her life — and Britain’s fortunes — forever. Hunted by the press — and haunted by Arthur’s niece who fancies herself the kingdom’s court witch — Amelia finds herself adrift in a sea of paparazzi, politics, and prophecy.

With few allies beyond her allergic-to-horses sister-in-law, her best friend who has a giant crush on the prince, and the cute young receptionist at Buckingham Palace that calls himself her Royalty Customer Service Representative, Amelia must navigate a perilous and peculiar course to secure Arthur’s love and become A Queen from the North.

Pre-order on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Queen-North-Royal-Roses-Book-ebook/dp/B06XBPDJPM (more distributors and paperback available soon). Release date: May 23, 2017

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Get Starling for free!

starling_newIn honor of Oscar weekend, you can now download the ebook of Starling for free from Amazon.com now through the end of February 27, 2017. If you love it, don’t forget to preorder Doves, which will be out May 9, 2017!

Additionally, the new paperback edition of Starling is now available. It’s currently filtering out to various distributors, but you can grab it on Amazon for now.

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Love in Los Angeles rereleases coming soon

starling_newStarling will once again be available starting February 14, 2017. This newly edited and expanded edition is over 5,000 words longer than the original edition and contains additional new material (as we trimmed of one or two things from the original). It’s not all about Victor, but a lot of it is.

doves2Initially, the Starling ebook will only be available on Amazon as we enter the book in KU for its first 90 days. We’re working on the paperback edition now, and that will be available anywhere you like to shop in a few weeks as printing happens (paperbacks currently listed on Amazon are the old edition).

Meawhile, we’ve put up the preorder for the Doves rerelease, which you’ll be able to grab May 9. If our schedule is kind to us, the ebook and paperback will be available at the same time, and we’ll release Starling wide to other ebook platforms shortly there after.

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Hey, we’re in Forbes!

fiftyshadesofgreen_withlogo-1200x639Racheline was interviewed for Hayley C. Cuccinello’s article “Fifty Shades Of Green: How Fanfiction Went From Dirty Little Secret To Money Machine.”

Also featured in this all-genre article pegged to the release of Fifty Shades Darker is fellow romance author Cecilia Tan.

 

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