Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hockey Primer - Episode 1: Nicknames

Since Morgan James dragged me crying and shouting GENO NO kicking and screaming into the world of being a hockey fan, I have learned a lot. I had to, once Morgan we decided to write Winging It.  Professional hockey is a strange, terrible world with its own equally strange and terrible vocabulary and practices.

In short, it’s fun as hell to set a book in, but it’s easy to get lost in the jargon if you don’t know what you’re getting into.

Which is why Winging It has a full glossary as well as three pages of explanations of all the hockey fan inside jokes. (Sorry, Liz.) But for those of you who’re curious as to how hockey sucked me in so fast, here’s a taste.

Dumb Hockey Traditions: Nickname Edition

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Winging It - Now Under Contract

So as you may have heard, Morgan James and I got a contract from Dreamspinner Press for our hockey romance Winging It. Since I had to fill in a lengthy form and work out a rough blurb anyway, I thought I'd share.

Gabe Martin’s life plan goes something like this: get into the NHL; win the Stanley Cup. Nowhere is there room for being the first out-and-proud hockey player or, worse, getting involved with one of his teammates. But this year things change.

Dante Baltierra is Gabe’s polar opposite: careless, reckless… shameless. But his dedication to the sport matches Gabe’s fine, and Gabe can overlook a lot of young-and-stupid in the name of great hockey. Plus, Dante has a superlative ass in a sport filled with superlative asses.

Before he can figure out how to deal, Gabe gets thrown out of his comfortable closet into a brand-new world. Amid the emotional turmoil of invasive questions, nasty speculation, and on- and off-ice homophobia, Gabe’s game suffers.

Surprisingly, it’s Dante who drags him out of it—and then, after an intense game, he drags him into something else. Nothing good can come of secretly sleeping with a teammate, especially one Gabe already has feelings for. But with their captain out with an injury, a rookie in perpetual need of a hug, and the race to make the playoffs for the first time since 1995, Gabe has a lot on his plate. He can’t be blamed for forgetting nothing stays secret forever.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Excerpt - Winging It - Out with the boys

Who doesn't love a good party? Nobody Quebec City Nordiques forward Gabe Martin knows. But no one parties like his potential new linemate Dante Baltierra, aka Baller.
Nobody has an ass like him either.

When Gabe strolled in, he found about half the guys had taken over the restaurant. Again, not surprising. They were sprawled over a few of the larger tables, laughing over beers, and Gabe smiled. These were his people.
“Banksy!” Baller shouted and waved Gabe over.
Gabe rolled his eyes but moved toward the empty seat at Baller’s table.
Baller was an idiot. The self-appointed life of the party, he was a stereotypical American abroad: loud and exuberant. But he was also a driven player and an excellent left-winger. He’d been the Dekes’ first-round draft pick last year, and sports writers had buzzed about his potential until he’d taken a hit to the head and gotten knocked out for the second half of the season. Now that he was back, Gabe looked forward to seeing what kind of player he matured into.
“Banksy! Beer!” Baller pushed a pint glass into Gabe’s hand.
Gabe was interested to see if he’d ever mature off the ice too. Probably not any time soon.

Excerpt - Hard Feelings - An Indecent Proposal

One more excerpt from Hard Feelings. So how does an introvert like Rylan end up in a casual frenemies-with-benefits arrangement with a coworker? Well, the conversation goes something like this....

Rylan shut the door behind him, thunked his empty water bottle on the counter, and reached into the cupboard for a glass. He was still thirsty. “You want some?”
“What? Oh, water. Sure,” Miller said. “Thanks.”
Rylan poured two glasses from the pitcher in the fridge. “So. You wanted to talk.” A better host might have asked if Miller wanted to sit down, but Rylan didn’t want them to get comfortable. The sooner Miller left, the sooner Rylan would feel at ease.
Miller took a sip of his water and put it on the counter. “Yeah, I did. I do. I… fuck.”
“That’s how this whole thing started in the first place,” Rylan muttered under his breath, but Miller must have heard him, because he snorted.

Excerpt - Hard Feelings

Here's a little scene from Hard Feelings. In it, Rylan's newly minted frenemy-with-benefits, Miller, meets Rylan's friends Holly and Gina. Let's just say Gina's skeptical of the arrangement.

At Brain Freeze, Miller deliberated over the nine flavors on offer before deciding on pumpkin pie. Rylan, Gina, and Holly ordered too, and then they left Brain Freeze to settle at a picnic table in the park next door.
“You know, you can tell a lot about a person based on their ice-cream choices,” Miller observed as he stared into the distance.
Rylan looked at his plain vanilla cone and scowled when Gina burst into laughter. “Shut up,” Rylan grumped, not sure if he felt more betrayed by her or Miller. “You got licorice,” he pointed out in disgust, looking over at Gina’s paper cup.

Excerpt: Hard Feelings - Prologue

In honor of our upcoming release, Hard Feelings, Morgan James and I would like to share with you the following excerpt. 

“Wait! Hold the elevator!” A long tanned arm shot out and prevented the doors from closing. Then the person attached to it followed, still wet from his spiky brown hair to the red sandals that matched his board shorts.
Yet more proof God hated Rylan Williams: Red Shorts, the surfer whose body he’d been perving on for the past hour, was none other than the kid who'd fallen asleep in his lecture. He barely looked old enough to rent a hotel room, never mind attend a graphic design conference, but he had a conference badge clipped to his shorts: Miller J. A few of the letters had blurred where water had dripped on them. At least he hadn’t worn it in the ocean.
To make matters worse, his face matched his body: hot brown eyes framed with thick lashes, pert nose, and that wide mouth that seemed inclined to smirk. He even had the perfect amount of chest hair.
Rylan gritted his teeth and wondered why the universe hated him.

What I've Been Up To This Year

Those of you who've been following my Twitter and/or Facebook know Morgan James and I have been writing a romance about hockey players. Apparently I care about hockey now. It's a whole thing.

Anyway, the book's done, and sadly so is the season, and now there's just the NHL awards (I'm absolutely pulling for the hat trick) and the draft and then nothing until October. Unless you're a Blackhawks fan, I guess; you guys get the convention. Lucky.

Long story short, I said something silly to Morgan and Trish about how we could title the story Lord Stanley's Lovers and everyone would be really confused when it wasn't a regency menage, and somehow that led to Shakespeare (I know, wrong era).

Uhm, so here is what happened after that.

Goalie-o, Goalie-o, wherefore art thou Goalie-o?
Deny thy blocker and refuse thy cage.
'Tis but thy cage that is my enemy.
Thou art thyself, though not a goaltender.

[Aside] Shall I read more, or shall I tweet at this?

What's a goaltender? It is nor puck nor stick,
Nor glove nor skate, nor any other part
belonging to a player. Play some other role.
What's in a position? A right winger
In any other slot could score as much
(Unless his name is Patrick Kane, I guess).
So Goalie-o would, were he not Goalie-o called,
Admit that heavy puck which I one-time
Into the net. Goalie-o, doff thy cage
And for thy cage, which is no part of thee,
Let me score!

I don't know, guys, it's late and I miss hockey. For those of you not in the know, Goalie-o tweets because all the best goalies have Twitter.