Paperwork, polyamory, and vampires, oh my!

Sex... death... taxes....pngJust a quick post to share a link to this lovely review of Snare, our M/M/M novella set in an alternate New York City in which Manhattan’s culture has evolved out of its role as a vampire prison island. (Yeah, I know, when I summarize this book in once sentence, I blink a lot too).

Snare is a weird book that may not be a great fit for all readers, but this review will definitely help you figure out if it’s the right book for you!

Since Snare lives deep in our back catalog, we were delighted to see some renewed interest in it, especially since we’ve had a completed outline for a sequel on hand since we wrote it.

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After the Gold playlist

Gold6 copyErin and I haven’t done a playlist for a book for a long time, in part because we came to the conclusion that no one really cares but us. That said, a book about competitive figure skating necessarily has music at its core. And, for all the skating (and general hotness) inspiration we’ve talked about, we haven’t really talked about music, and how much After the Gold wouldn’t exist without some of the songs on this list.

Before we had even decided to write this book, my brain couldn’t stop choreographing a skating routine to “Glitter & Gold” (the jumps are in the pauses, the footwork sequence in the bridge). And if it weren’t for “Sky Full of Song” we might not have realized this book needed a Heroine Cries in the Shower scene.

This playlist will probably expand as release day approaches, but if you need something to set the mood now, here you go:

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So about those ice skaters….

Chemistry is weird. So is partnership.

When I was in Revolutionary Road, people on the crew kept asking me and my dance partner on that film how long we had been together. “You guys just look so in love.” We had met that afternoon, didn’t really have much to say to each other, and I’m pretty sure he would later get it on with one of the other women in the cast. But we loved performing love with each other. The cameras would roll and it was just this really exciting feedback loop of being willing to be in an honest, performative moment with each other. It was addictive and cool and hilarious. And no matter how many times we told people we had just met and weren’t vibing outside of scenes, no one believed us. So we took it as a hilarious compliment, giggled and pressed our heads together, and kept doing it until our work was done. It wasn’t puzzling to us. Just lovely.

In part because we’d had these experiences before. Years before, when I studied acting at NIDA in Sydney, we were working on the Scottish play, and my Macbeth and I, his Lady, just liked to sit close. Something about the characters made us feel like the other was safe when no one else was. But we weren’t into each other — I’m pretty sure he had a gf and I know I was nursing two incredibly complicated situations at the time. I remember feeling mortified more than once when we lost our lines because staring into each other’s eyes was just so much fun.

It’s is no secret whatsoever that After the Gold, our ice skating romance out on June 12, happened because Erin and I couldn’t stop talking about Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. For those not in the know, they’re the Canadian ice dancing pair that did that super sexy routine to Moulin Rouge and everyone is super sure must be dating each other. Except, of course, they keep saying they’re not. But how can that be?

Let me tell you, I and various near strangers I have worked with as a performer can tell you exactly how that can be. Or at least, that it can be. That doesn’t mean I know how to explain it. The closest I can get, really, other than the stories above, is a line in our Love in Los Angeles series, where Alex and Liam, both actors, are talking about their weird, intimate, and unsettling friendship. It’s okay, one of them says, the guy in my head is still in love with the guy in your head.

I’ve got no idea what Virtue and Moir’s deal is. But I absolutely believe them when they say they’re not in a romantic relationship off the ice. I’m just super glad we get to watch their performance of a romantic relationship on the ice, and that they are still willing to talk publicly about the nature of creative collaboration at all.

Becausedamn, nothing turns our crank harder around here. Collaboration, public/private tension, city mouse/country mouse, and anxiety/depression are all places our stories like to live whether were writing about TV stars, film actors, royalty, or competitive athletes. That those stores are (also) romances isn’t about simplifying them (seriously, stop saying wack things about the romance genre) so much as choosing a joyful common language through which to talk about the incredibly strange experience of uniting for a shared purpose.

While you’ll recognize our love of figure skaters and ice dancers like Virtue and Moir (and Torvill and Dean, and Oksana Baiul, and Gordeeva and Grinkov, and many many more… I’m going of the top of my head here) in After the Gold, you will, we hope, mostly recognize our characters as what they really are — their own people with their own unique challenges of living public lives that only reflect a small portion of a private story.

Gold6 copy

After the Gold (June 12, 2018)

For over a decade, world-champion ice skaters Katie Nowaki and Brendan Reid have been partners in every way but one. But now that their electric on-ice chemistry has led them to Olympic gold, they’re retiring from competition. 

As they cross America on an exhibition tour with their fellow athletes, Katie and Brendan’s always volatile relationship becomes more turbulent than ever as they face down the media, their fans, and their increasingly nosy teammates. 

When Katie realizes she wants to go back to the farm she grew up on, leaving Brendan behind in the city where they trained, their fairy tale seems destined to end.

But will Brendan be able to convince her to trust him with the off-ice intimacy that only spelled disaster in their past?

(Also, P.S., this was originally going to be an ebook only release, but we’ve just decided to bring it out in paperback too!)

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Royal Wedding Romance Recs!

An ancient rivalry. A modern romanceWe’re so happy to see A Queen from the North on this royal romance rec list paired by astrological sign from Alyssa Cole writing for Frolic.

Also, more lists like this please! It’s fantastic, appropriate, and necessary to see trad and indie books, heroines with a wide variety of backgrounds, authors and characters of color, and queer and het books all in the same place. If you like royals, be sure to check it out!



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A few small updates….

Ancient Rivalry.Modern Romance..pngThe big sale on A Queen from the North, may be over, but if you missed it, you can still get it at a discounted $2.99 for a limited time. What better way to celebrate the royal baby and wedding? (By the way, what do we think about the baby name? Louis Arthur Charles? It all feels very French and tragic.) Additionally, a big thank you to everyone who recently picked up the book and already read and reviewed. Reviews make a huge difference to an author, and seeing those numbers tick up means the world.

Gold6 copyWe’re getting much closer to Erin and I embarrassing ourselves on the ice. Assuming we get there, this will happen in DC and/or NYC in August as best fits with some road trip action we have going on. At least four friends have volunteered to video tape this so far.

Finally, we love international settings and we love our international readers — many of whom are Kobo users. If you’re a Kobo user, keep an eye out. Several of our books, including The Art of Three and Midsummer have been chosen to be a part of international promotions in various Kobo markets over the next month, and there might be some good deals out there for you!

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While you’ve surely heard the news somewhere else…

pexels-photo-929435The new royal baby has arrived! A name has not yet been announced yet, but history has been made as Princess Charlotte will maintain her pre-baby distance from the throne despite now having a little brother.

(Considering that A Queen from the North contains a teenage genderqueer court witch as supporting character, we work hard not to further contribute to the gender essentialism of this moment, however, it’s necessary to note this historical moment! As we get close to the release of the QFTN sequel, expect lots of posts about gender (and gender neutral) royal titles. There are plenty out there, but it’s tricky in English, even in a novel set in an alternate universe!)

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Thank you for making A Queen from the North #1!

qftn_canada_1qftn_us_first_secondJust a quick thank you to all our readers and everyone who has spread the word about A Queen from the North this week and every week! We know our book is a bonkers mix of royal romantic comedy, political drama, historical meddling and raven prophecies, ad we are delighted any time anyone find the story they want or need in it!

We were number one in our category in the U.S. Amazon store earlier this week, and are currently number ones in the fantasy, science fiction, and alternative history categories in Canada. Not only that, we’re #14 in the Canadian Kindle store over all! We’d love to keep climbing, but suspect James Comey probably has a lock on that number one spot this week.

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