Convention Season

It's that time of year.  

The birds are singing. The orange trees are blossoming. The American Express bill is expanding, drooping under the girth of travel expenses.

Welcome to the start of convention and book fair season in the publishing industry. Now through fall is a virtual sprint through vetting, 

It's no secret that I pull double duty at Interlude Press, and the convention season poses real challenges for me. The company comes first, and that means sacrificing some opportunities as an author and acting as a de facto assistant while others get their promo on. The schedule is tight through June, and I'll be working—either as an author or a publisher—at BookCon, ALA, RT17, the LA Times Festival of Books, YALLWEST and Emerald City Comic Con. 

A breather after that, and then it starts again in fall. I'll see you at the book fairs!

Where I'll Be...

It is book fair and convention season, and with #RT16 behind us, I have two more signings coming up in the near future.

This Sunday (May 1), I'll be at the Asheville Zine Fest in Asheville, NC. Yes, that's right, North Carolina. Interlude Press wrote up a great post about why it is standing behind its commitments in the state, and we'll not only be selling and signing our books, but we're also going to be working hard to raise some funds for Equality North Carolina, a group fighting the good fight against HB2.

And on Sunday, June 5, I'll be signing copies of Sotto Voce (and maybe talking a little about Luchador) at The Ripped Bodice in Culver City, CA. WHOOHOO! If you haven't been to the Ripped Bodice yet, it's a one-of-a-kind book store that's kind of mecca for readers of romantic fiction. I'll be there with Christopher Rice and IP's own C.B. Lee in celebration of Pride Month. The Ripped Bodice is an awesome store, and this is a great chance to check it out and get some books signed! I hope to see you there.

See you at #RT16!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at the RT Booklovers' Convention in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks! I won't be signing at the book fair this year (still a few months before the next book comes out), but I will be hanging out at the Interlude Press Publisher's Spotlight, the Small Press panel and around the convention in general. And if you haven't read Sotto Voce yet? IP will be giving away copies in the Goody Room and at its Publisher's Spotlight! Drop by, say hi, and I'll sign it for you!

It's National Drink Wine Day

... and as I take a short break from editing this manuscript (!) with a cup of coffee (I need to stay awake. There's a long road ahead of me yet today.), I thought I'd take a second to talk about libations and literature.

They're two of my favorite things, of course, and certainly my favorite way to enjoy a good book is with a lovely glass at my side. I love the role wine plays in our lives. It's a conversation starter. It's used to celebrate everything from weddings to peace treaties. Given the right wine and the right volume, it's a healthy addition to our diets. Paired correctly, it highlights the finer details of our meals, whether we're eating Chateaubriand or an In-N-Out Double-Double. Yes, you can pair that.

But have you ever thought about how drinks pair with literature? About matching a cold Corona with Walter Finnegan's Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life? A minty mojito with Elmore Leonard's Cuba Libre? And yes, a velvety Syrah with Sotto Voce. 

Today, Interlude Press is releasing Speakeasy, and author Suzey Ingold (@suzeysays) has been posting a series of cocktail recipes to go along with the read. It gives me ideas... but for another day. Today, we raise a glass from the vine. 


Sotto Voce Among PW's Best of 2014

I'm going to grant myself a moment of giddiness. Just a moment. I promise, it will be fleeting.

But a year ago, I never would have imagined this. And whatever happens with my future as an author, I will always be able to look back and know that this happened:


Interlude Press novels Forever Man and Sotto Voce are both featured in Publishers Weekly’s Starred Reviews Annual, a special edition featuring the trade magazine’s best reviewed books of the year. The edition, available as a free download, includes reviews of all 2014 books receiving PW starred reviews last year. Of the roughly 9,000 books reviewed by PW in 2014, only 1,011 received the PW Star, a coveted mark of distinction among the books reviewed by the magazine.

According to PW, “A star says many things: that the book is special in its subject matter; superior in execution, ambition, and bravery; that it’s highly readable; and that it convinces PW’s reviewers and editors that it should be singled out in its category.”

Since IP’s launch last July, five of our titles have been reviewed by PW: Forever ManSotto VoceThe Bones of YouChef’s Table and Right Here Waiting. 

One of the cornerstones of IP is to publish quality books that are both well-written and beautifully designed. Congratulations to all of the authors, and our thanks to PW for the recognition.


While the original review was published months ago, this is a reminder of a moment of great happiness, and a lengthy and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has purchased and read my little book on love and wine.

Congratulations, Giveaway Winners!

As you may know, we had a couple of raffles to kick off the launch of Sotto Voce this week, AND WE HAVE SOME WINNERS TO ANNOUNCE!

First, courtesy of Interlude Press, we have five Goodreads winners of print editions of Sotto Voce: Chavi68, Christy, Jessica, Marissa and Rivka! Your books are in the mail TODAY.

IP also sponsored an eBook giveaway on Rafflecopter. I accidentally hit "winner" twice, so we have TWO winners! Congratulations, Becky and Chloe! We'll be emailing you multi-format eBooks of Sotto Voce today!

I also hosted a couple of extra giveaways on my own...

First, the winner of a signed print edition from our launch party back in July, Carolyn—your book and an extra goodie or two are in the mail today!

And another eBook, after the Rafflecopter giveaway ended a day early, goes to...

And finally, our big winner of a wine tour of Sonoma and Napa goes to....

(drum roll...)

CONGRATULATIONS!! We'll be make plans to visit some of the sites (wineries) and scenes (wine bars) that inspired Sotto Voce!

Thanks to everyone who participated, and remember that there are still eBook (and Barnes and Noble gift card) giveaways as part of my book tour! And conveniently, what did I find on B& this morning?

Yup, the winner can use that nifty gift card to buy the book (...and more)!

Sotto Voce Giveaways: Books, More Books and Wine Tasting!

Between now and its release date on October 21, Interlude Press is hosting two giveaways of Sotto Voce! (And because I have ZERO HTML SKILLS, I'll post pictures and links...)

On Goodreads, US readers can enter for one of five print editions being raffled off.

goodreads giveaway.jpg

And on Rafflecopter, anyone can enter to win a free, multi-format eBook edition of Sotto Voce, ready to load on your computer, Kindle, Nook, iPad, phone or other mobile device!

And don't forget, I'm sponsoring my own giveaway! If you pre-order Sotto Voce from the IP Store, Amazon, or any other book retailer (here's one in Australia!), you can win a tour of the wineries, restaurants and locations of Sonoma and Napa that inspired Sotto Voce. You have to be 21 to enter and you will have to get yourself to California (sorry, airfare not included), but one you're here, you'll join me on a day of chauffeured wine tasting and site seeing in Sonoma and Napa. 


A Moment of Surreal Self-Promotion

I've been on the road this week, living with slow wifi and a lot of mañana in the Land of Enchantment, so thinking about, let alone writing about, the actual business of writing hasn't exactly been front and center.  

But this morning it kind of hit me: the surreal moment of looking at the Interlude Press online store and seeing some very familiar book cover art with a virtual price tag attached: Sotto Voce, $15.99. 

In talking with some of the other IP authors, it's interesting to hear when the reality of it all hits home. For some, it's when they turn in their manuscripts. For others, it was dealing with edits. For many of them, I think it's when they first see the cover art. 

For me, it was the book store moment, and that Publishers Weekly Review that still leaves  me a little dumbfounded.  Despite years of being published in newspapers, or having words I wrote echoed by an executive or a politician they were written for, this is the first time I've seen my name—or at least, my pen name—attached to something for sale. 

It's an odd moment. 

For anyone who publishes, it should be a moment of accomplishment, and of some pride—a helluva lot of work goes into publishing a novel. Yet not too much—there is the constant balancing act of being grounded and humble, of not celebrating too much. It's stranger still for someone in the business of PR, promotions, and marketing, because  for the first time in my life, I am promoting myself, rather than an industry, an idea or someone else's product. 

Something to worry about mañana, I suppose. For today, I have a proofread to finish reviewing and a winery to visit.

Available for Pre-Sale on Tuesday...

You can’t be rushed when you’re making wine. You have to give it patience and care, and be willing to accept it for whatever its chemicals and nature deem it will become. You can make adjustments here and there, to be sure, but nature will ultimately dictate the outcome. There are some things you simply cannot force. A great wine, made with love and care, is one of them.

* * *

New York-based wine critic Thomas Baldwin can make or break careers with his column for Taste Magazine. But when his publisher orders him to spend a year profiling rising stars of California’s wine country and organizing a competition between the big name wineries of Napa and the smaller artisan wineries of Sonoma, his world gets turned upside-down by an enigmatic young winemaker who puts art before business.

Sotto Voce is the story of love and wine, and how both require patience, passion, an acceptance of change—and an understanding that sometimes, you have to let nature take its course. 

Release Date: October 21, 2014.

Pricing: $15.99 print / $9.99 multi-format eBook (US price)

US/Canada: Order the print edition from the Interlude Store before October 21st and receive the DRM-free, multi-format eBook for free.

International Orders: Sotto Voce will be available to order from most book retailers starting October 21st. Submit a copy of your receipt to by December 21, 2014 and receive the eBook for free.