March Events – There Will Be Prizes!

I’ve got a couple of events coming up in March… I’d love to have you join me :)

TRR_anniversary1. March 1-31: The Romance Reviews 4th Anniversary Party with lots of authors and prizes.

2. March 9: My 5 Year Publishing Anniversary! I can hardly believe it, but on March 9, 2010 my first book was published by Loose Id. MIA Case Files: Wolfsbane was so much fun to write and I’m so thankful I was able to embark on a writing career I’d dreamed of since I was 10. I’m hosting a big Facebook party – please join! There will be games & tons of prizes.

3. March 14: Get Intimate With Your Characters – I’ll be presenting a little workshop at the OCCRWA chapter in Brea, California. If you’re in the area, please come by!

4. March 29: California Dreaming Multi-Author Book Signing – Keep your eye on the website for details.

North on Drummond is here!

The past few months have been long and difficult, but I’m so thrilled that the beast of a manuscript is finally out in the world!

North On Drummond Available at Loose Id.

Sandy Bottom Bay, Florida – Come for the Haunts, Stay for the Beaches!

Drew Drummond might call himself a psychic tarot reader, but he doesn’t believe in the supernatural. The business was left to him by his grandmother, and seemed the best way to rise above the chronic criminal behavior of the Drummond family. Despite his efforts, few of the townspeople consider him a good romantic match. Being gay only makes finding love more difficult.

When Cliff Garcia, Drew’s teenaged crush, moves back to town and joins the police force, Drew doesn’t think he has a chance. After all, the skeptical cop considers Drew’s profession on par with professional con man, and Cliff had spent his entire school career feuding with Drew’s volatile brothers. Despite the obstacles, Drew and Cliff begin a fiery relationship.

Just when Drew starts to believe they might have a chance, he suffers a head injury and begins having visions of the future. If Drew tells Cliff the truth, he’ll lose the man he’s falling for, but keeping his new ability a secret is no longer an option. If he can’t convince Cliff he’s for real, a murderer will walk free.

Welcome to a New Year’s Dinner (and prizes!)

DinnerMenuFINALsmallZAM invited me (and by extension, all of you) to a New Year’s Dinner!

You can “choose your own dinner adventure” from appetizers, soup, salad, main dish and dessert, but those of you who visit and comment at each and every blog will be entered into a drawing for one of three (3) $35.00 gift cards to the venue of your choice: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance Ebooks.

Plus, some individual authors might include a private drawing for those people who stop by. So read, drink and be merry! Happy New Year from all of us, at the M/M Writers’ Buffet!

For full blog links visit http://zamaxfield.com/new-years-eve-progressive-dinner/

Dinner starts on 12/31/14 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern. Winners will be chosen randomly Jan 6, 2015. Only those who comment on EVERY blog will be chosen for the drawing.

In addition to ZAM’s prizes, I’m also offering up a ebook from my backlist for a random commenter on my post.

I thought long and hard about which recipe I should post for this dinner. In the end, I chose my chili recipe, for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s something I could see just about any of my characters making – it’s simple, easy, and not gourmet, so it fits most of my guys. I like for all those reasons, and also because I’m lactose intolerant, I have a glucose allergy, and I’m trying my best to be vegan. This recipe hits all those points (minus the cheese) and it’s tasty. So, I hope you enjoy.

1 lg can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, seeded & chopped
chili seasoning (I recommend Tabasco brand chili starter)
2 cups frozen corn

Put everything except the corn into either a crockpot or a large pot. In the crockpot, cook on low for 7-8 hours. In a regular pot, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the frozen corn and continue to simmer until heated through. Serve and top with shredded cheese and hot sauce as desired.

In case anyone was interested, this is in my crockpot right now for tonight :)

Where Have I Been?

When things are stressful or upsetting I have a tendency to turtle and withdraw. If you’ve seen less of me around lately, it’s because the past six months have been long and difficult. Since I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, I thought I’d just give a not-so-quick summary of why I’ve been so scarce.

In August, my dad passed away after a long battle with cancer. I was back home for a month to deal with that as best I could including some long, heartbreaking days at the hospice. My stepmother is great, though, and had everything super organized. During that time my mother was also diagnosed with dementia and her driver’s license was revoked. Given my mother’s self-absorption (which is only exacerbated by her condition) she didn’t seem to care at all that my trip home wasn’t about her, which made it all the more stressful.

Nineteen days after my dad’s funeral, I was flying to Hawaii for a family vacation with my in-laws. Hawaii was beautiful, my in-laws were great, but I wasn’t at all in the mindset for a vacation and it might have been the worst vacation I’ve ever taken. I just couldn’t get in the right mood.

Ten days after I got home from Hawaii, I was headed back out to Chicago for GayRomLit. There was a time, earlier this year, that I was disappointed my internet screwed up and didn’t let me register as an author. I signed up as a reader because I still wanted to attend but I was hopeful I’d be moved from the waitlist to author status. It never happened, and when I got there, I’d never been more grateful for that. GRL was the first real relaxation I’d had since August, relaxation I never would have gotten with the added stress of meeting obligations as an author. It was a wonderful time where I could (mostly) forget what was going on in real life. My book club ladies were a real boon, and we had a blast.

When I got home from GRL, I expected to start getting back into a routine then, although I was also trying to research retirement homes for my mother, and trying to get friends to go visit the various places in my stead. But by this time, I could tell the dementia was getting worse and I was dealing with a number of people calling – social services, health care workers, my family, and lots and lots of confused calls from my mother.

I was home for another sixteen days before a hospital stay and a doctor refusing to allow my mother to return to her home, based on her inability to care for herself, saw me flying back again.

It took another month to deal with the move to an assisted living facility and leave the remaining loose ends with a family member who has power of attorney. I just got back home on Sunday, and I think things will be stable for a while so I can get back into my regular routine. Needless to say, I haven’t done much writing, although I did complete a book shortly before my dad died. I will have some news on that soon.

I’m so very thankful that I have some really great people in my life to help me through it. Unfortunately, my hubby wasn’t able to accompany me for most of my time home, but he was there for me by phone and he eased my mind because I knew our 17 year old cat was in good hands. My cousin and her husband need a shout out, because they’re going to be stuck dealing with the worst of my mother’s nonsense (not just her condition, but the fact that my mother isn’t a particularly pleasant woman) and I appreciate them stepping up.

My friends and in-laws did so much to help out, offering rides, offering meals, offering help with moving and cleaning (OMG so much random stuff in my mother’s place), or just plain offering a much-needed ear so I could vent. I stayed with my in-laws in August, and my friend Dot in November. My in-laws are fantastic, and so supportive. As for Dot, I owe her so much more than I can repay – she came with me to the hospice, she always had hugs when I needed them, she took my mom’s cat into her already crowded menagerie. She’s going to check up on my mom periodically. She also let me stay with her while I was home in November. When was the last time you crashed with a friend for an entire month? Especially when you’ve got to sleep on a futon in their living room? We’ve been friends forever (well, since we were ten) and the friendship is just as easy and comfortable as it’s ever been. I don’t know if I would have survived mentally if it hadn’t been for her. Naturally, she’s got favours locked in from now until the end of time ;) although she knows I’d do the same for her if our situations were reversed.

I just wanted to let everyone know why I’d disappeared. I have an awesome street team and assistance with my FB page, thanks to Smexy and Fabulous. My posts aren’t too prolific anyway since the day job takes up a lot of time too, but you should start seeing more of me, and hopefully some more bitching and whining about manuscripts that aren’t going well or characters that are determined to do their own thing, no matter what plans I have for them.

Sunshine State Stories Blog Tour

SunshineStateStories1
This week, Books Make Me Happy blog and a handful of UF/PNR authors are celebrating stories set in sunny Florida. The authors showcased have offered excerpts, written cool blog posts, and are all participating in a blog hop GRAND PRIZE giveaway full of books and other goodies. Be sure to click on the header above to see the complete list of participating sites. Check out each day’s excerpt and the Featured Author’s site for fun posts and chances to win!!
Today is MY turn to be featured!! You can find my excerpt on Books Make Me Happy HERE.
Be sure to check at the bottom of today’s post for the rafflecopter entry form for the Grand Prize!

I have a new completed book! It just finished edits (mine) and I’m waiting on beta reader feedback, so I should be submitting it within the next week or so. Which is a roundabout way of saying I don’t know when it will be available. It is, however, the first book I’ve written set in Florida, and once I started toying with the concept, I realized I couldn’t set it anywhere else. It’s a paranormal romance with a hint of cozy mystery, called North on Drummond.

I’m originally from Toronto, and moved to Florida about seven years ago. Now, I live in California, but those few years in Florida gave me a better feel and appreciation for the area as setting. Here’s the tentative blurb:

Sandy Bottom Bay, Florida – Come for the Haunts, Stay for the Beaches!

Drew Drummond might call himself a psychic tarot reader, but he doesn’t believe in the supernatural. The business was left to him by his grandmother, and seemed the best way to rise above the chronic criminal behavior of the Drummond family. Despite his efforts, few of the townspeople consider him a good romantic match. Being gay only makes finding love more difficult.

When Cliff Garcia, Drew’s teenaged crush, moves back to town and joins the police force, Drew doesn’t think he has a chance. After all, the skeptical cop considers Drew’s profession on par with professional con man, and Cliff had spent his entire school career feuding with Drew’s volatile brothers. Despite the obstacles, Drew and Cliff begin a fiery relationship.

Just when Drew starts to believe they might have a chance, he suffers a head injury and begins having visions of the future. If Drew tells Cliff the truth, he’ll lose the man he’s falling for, but keeping his new ability a secret is no longer an option. If he can’t convince Cliff he’s for real, a murderer will walk free.

So, why set this in Florida? Although Sandy Bottom Bay is partly inspired by Salem, two other communities in Florida were the primary inspiration: Cassadaga & Gibsonton.

Cassadaga is known for it’s large number of psychics and mediums. Gibsonton is a community where carnival and circus performers lived during the winter. With those two somewhat unusual communities for inspiration, it was easy to extrapolate to Sandy Bottom Bay, a place that wanted to be as popular a tourist destination, but didn’t quite make the cut. They do get their fair share of paranormal groupies during Haunt Fest, though, and North on Drummond takes place in the week or so leading up to Haunt Fest.

In addition, the swampland and the alligators and the hot, humid weather in Florida gave me the ability to add a rather unique flavor to the setting. Florida is also the source of a number of odd news stories that the hubby and I dubbed “Florida weirdness”, and Sandy Bottom Bay definitely has its share of eccentrics. It fit right in, in my opinion.

If I was going to have a haunted town, with townspeople who celebrate the hauntings, it had to be Florida. Nothing else made sense.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rainbow Blues is here!

I’m so thrilled that Rainbow Blues is here. To celebrate… there will be prizes & games!

June 20: Facebook Party – me and some of my awesome author friends will have a bunch of books to give away. The festivities start at noon (Eastern) and will last for hours!

June 22: Chat at the Dreamspinner Facebook Page – ask me some questions, win more prizes, and get some discounts.

Also June 22: I’ll be chatting at Beth Wylde’s Yahoo group with Lex Valentine, VJ Summers, and a few other authors for a Pride celebration. Guess what? More prizes! And if I could figure out how to find the link for it, I would post it here, but you should be able to search for it you don’t already belong.

I’m gonna keep you hopping this weekend :)

Rainbow Blues Available at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and All Romance eBooks.

Having come out late in life, forty-three-year-old Luke Jordan is at a loss about how to conduct himself as a gay man. As a construction manager, he’s not interested in being out at work, but he’d like to find a boyfriend or at least some gay friends. Two years after his wife got all their friends in the divorce, he’s no closer to the life he wants.

Zach, Luke’s adult son, takes charge and signs him up for the Rainbow Blues, a social group for gay blue-collar workers. At an event, he not only finds friends but meets Jimmy Alexander, part-time stage actor and full-time high school biology teacher. Jimmy loves the stage but wishes potential boyfriends weren’t so jealous of the time he devotes to it. When he meets Luke and finds him accepting of his many facets, he thinks it’s a dream come true.

Their relationship quickly moves into serious territory, but their connection is tested to its breaking point by the offer of a juicy movie role that takes Jimmy to the opposite coast and into the path of a very sexy costar.

Join in the Party on June 20! Books, Games, Prizes!

RainbowBlues200Friday June 20 – I’m having a Facebook party to celebrate my new release, Rainbow Blues. There will be lots of games with prizes from me and some of my awesome, kick-ass author friends, including Tara Lain, Lex Valentine, Katie Reus, Lori Sjoberg, Kiernan Kelly, Wynter Daniels, Jessica Freely, Belinda McBride, and Louis Bacio. RSVP using the button below and have fun!

 

Having come out late in life, forty-three-year-old Luke Jordan is at a loss about how to conduct himself as a gay man. As a construction manager, he’s not interested in being out at work, but he’d like to find a boyfriend or at least some gay friends. Two years after his wife got all their friends in the divorce, he’s no closer to the life he wants.

Zach, Luke’s adult son, takes charge and signs him up for the Rainbow Blues, a social group for gay blue-collar workers. At an event, he not only finds friends but meets Jimmy Alexander, part-time stage actor and full-time high school biology teacher. Jimmy loves the stage but wishes potential boyfriends weren’t so jealous of the time he devotes to it. When he meets Luke and finds him accepting of his many facets, he thinks it’s a dream come true.

Their relationship quickly moves into serious territory, but their connection is tested to its breaking point by the offer of a juicy movie role that takes Jimmy to the opposite coast and into the path of a very sexy costar.
Available for preorder at Dreamspinner Press.

Print (preorder): Dreamspinner Press.

Rainbow Blues Available For Pre-Order

RainbowBlues200Rainbow Blues is almost here! I really hope you all like Luke and Jimmy as much as I do!

Rainbow Blues

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Catt Ford

Release Date: June 20, 2014

eISBN: 978-1-63216-010-2

Available for preorder at Dreamspinner Press.

Having come out late in life, forty-three-year-old Luke Jordan is at a loss about how to conduct himself as a gay man. As a construction manager, he’s not interested in being out at work, but he’d like to find a boyfriend or at least some gay friends. Two years after his wife got all their friends in the divorce, he’s no closer to the life he wants.

Zach, Luke’s adult son, takes charge and signs him up for the Rainbow Blues, a social group for gay blue-collar workers. At an event, he not only finds friends but meets Jimmy Alexander, part-time stage actor and full-time high school biology teacher. Jimmy loves the stage but wishes potential boyfriends weren’t so jealous of the time he devotes to it. When he meets Luke and finds him accepting of his many facets, he thinks it’s a dream come true.

Their relationship quickly moves into serious territory, but their connection is tested to its breaking point by the offer of a juicy movie role that takes Jimmy to the opposite coast and into the path of a very sexy costar.

Winner! Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

HAHAT_2014

 

Thank you to all the wonderful people who participated in the hop, including all those who came and checked out my post. There were a lot of great suggestions for me to send my donations. The Trevor Project was a popular option, so I choose that as well as the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center (which is local for me now) and the You Can Play Project (thanks for the reminder, Trix!). As promised, I donated $50 each.

As for my winner, thanks to the magic of random.org, Suze was my winner. Suze, I’ll email you about your prize.

Thanks again!