Link-Up

Link-Up

Using the below keywords for loose inspiration, I’m sharing a little bit of everything I’ve come across and liked, bookmarked, saved, or added to a wishlist. Hopefully it gives you something to like, link, read, make, or get for your own.


LOOK
Rachel Carson: She set out to save a species… us. An American Experience film, PBS.

LISTEN
Hold by Vera Blue.

LAUGH
Get a puppy, they said.

CREATE
Recycle/reuse eggshells as cute, wee pots for growing seeds.

READ
How the Trump-Russia Data Machine Games Google to Fool Americans. By Roger Sollenberger for Paste Magazine.

RESTORE
How Falconry Turned One Man’s Life Right-Side Up. By Scott Weidensaul & Greg Kahn for Audubon.

CRAVE
Next time you’re in NYC (or Philly): Big Gay Ice Cream (or take a special trip just to get some!).


Please feel free to comment with your own recs and/or if any links are broken.

Link-Up

Link-Up

Using the below keywords for loose inspiration, I’m sharing a little bit of everything I’ve come across and liked, bookmarked, saved, or added to a wishlist. Hopefully it gives you something to like, link, read, make, or get for your own.


LOOK
The Keepers. A skillfully wrought & wrenching, multilayered documentary that begins with the unsolved case of a nun’s murder and goes to places darker, and deeper. On Netflix.

LISTEN
You Must Remember This podcast. About the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century.

LAUGH
Adorbs baby hippo Fiona discovers bubbles. And isn’t sure about them. From the Cincinnati Zoo.

CREATE
Change. Buy this bracelet, fund the removal of garbage from our oceans. By 4ocean.

READ
Stanley Greene, a war photographer who stayed when others left. By Jon Lee Anderson for The New Yorker.

RESTORE
Full cloud inversion at the Grand Canyon. Filmed as part of the skyglowproject.

CRAVE
Season Four of Hannibal. Ugh, just please make it already. <3


Please feel free to comment with your own recs and/or if any links are broken.

My Books

Everything About: Two For Trust

My latest book is out! Purchase Two For Trust at all the usual book-getting places.

Find out more!

  • My SuperRomance Origin Story. The inspiration for Two For Trust: why I wrote a very sweet, very tropey, very old-school Harlequin category. With delight and glee, and for my romance hero Betty Neels.
  • Cover reveal and some book deets.

Fun extras!

Link-Up

Link-Up

Using the below keywords for loose inspiration, I’m sharing a little bit of everything I’ve come across and liked, bookmarked, saved, or added to a wishlist. Hopefully it gives you something to like, link, read, make, or get for your own.


LOOK
The Rare Archival Photos Behind ‘Killers of the Flower Moon.’ By David Grann (read the book, too).

LISTEN
Chris Cornell covers Nothing Compares 2 U. Love you, Chris.

LAUGH
Check out the #BillMeetScienceTwitter hashtag. Not a guffaw, but definitely makes you smile–and feel inspired.

CREATE
(Some of these) “Miracle” Pinterest recipes, tested by Buzzfeed contributor Hannah Loewentheil.

READ
The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of. By Lucas Reilly.

RESTORE
Cornell Labs FeederWatch webcams. This one is the Sapsucker Woods feeders. Watch for the gorgeous Baltimore Oriole males coming in for fresh orange.

CRAVE
If you have cats who go outdoors, get this awesome bird-saving accessory for them. Save birb lives and it’s super cute!


Please feel free to comment with your own recs and/or if any links are broken.

My Books

My SuperRomance Origin Story

When I learned Dreamspinner Press was launching a category line, I launched. Zinged giddily at the idea–ohmygosh old-school tropey gay romances? yes please!–and at the chance to write my own old-school tropey gay romance.

Way back in mumblemumble, I fell into reading romance thanks to literally tripping over it. More precisely, two old grocery boxes full of vintage Harlequins. The books were pristine, packed two layers deep, the boxes left on the ground next to a construction dumpster I was diving in for scrap material (small college theater programs–poor but making it work!). We managed a good haul for the production: plywood, lengths of 2×4, metal flashing, and a container of weird’n’creepy baby doll parts. I nabbed the books. Part not able to stand the thought of leaving them there, part burning curiosity.

I didn’t grow up as or into a romance reader. There were none in my house, not quite verboten, but never mentioned or encouraged. I also didn’t have a grandma with walls of bookshelves or a friend’s basement stuffed full of old romances to inhale when no one was looking. But I always had the idea I wanted to read romance–I wanted to know about them even if I wasn’t destined to become a fan–but never had the immediate chance. Finding those two boxes were my romance gateway; a treasure trove, a cherished secret I could savor, an array of brightly colored tempting sweets like a heart-shaped Valentine.

Jane Arbor. Margaret Way. Rebecca Stratton. Margaret Malcolm. Jane Donnelly. Katrina Britt. Charlotte Lamb. Elizabeth Ashton. Claudia Jameson. Margaret Rome. Betty Neels.

Are these Titans of Harlequin ringing a bell with anyone else?

I can easily picture their oil painted and color block covers. Can easily recall the emotions the final ten-some pages delivered as climax, resolution, and HEA came in quick succession. I picked up on the formula and pattern of the books pretty quickly, but didn’t mind. The books were “sweet,” a term I didn’t know yet, but the lack of heat didn’t bother me either. Even the throwback (regressive) Guiding Hand or Domineering Male gender dynamic didn’t get under my modern skin. I never felt manipulated by their neat and tidy package, because under the shiny newness and my less than discriminating appetite for more, they worked. On a elemental level, they worked. Romantic, happily ever after, oh hooray. I devoured them, reading one or two in a sitting between classes and homework sessions.

I still have those Harlequins. On occasion I pluck one or two out and read those key, final ten-some pages, where everything happens. They live, sorted by author, year, color, in two much nicer boxes tucked away in my closet. Those authors and their books ushered me into the world of romance–with enthusiastic thanks from a huge fan–and I never looked back. But I also moved forward, and after blazing through them, sought more complex stories and characters arcs (and nothing more from those authors’ catalogues).

Except for Betty.

Something about Betty was special. Resonated in me. Hit my just-right place. Compelled me to find all her other books after savoring the few from the treasure trove. Her books felt familiar and comforting, but with all the right heartclench and swoopy feelings in all the right places, and always left me replete. The Promise of Happiness was the first Betty I read–the second I selected from the boxes–and remains my very favorite. Of hers, of those gateway Harlequins, of romance.

As a reader, Betty is my go-to comfort read. As an author, she’s my writing hero.

After retiring from nursing at 60, Betty agreed with an overheard complaint that there just weren’t enough good romances to read, and set out to write her own. 30 years and 134 books later, she certainly had.

That alone is inspiring. I mean, wow. But add in how her books make me feel, how many readers’ hearts her books have touched, and it’s beyond wow. It’s awesome and glorious and every writer’s dream.

Betty only really wrote iterations of two stalwart plot types, but she made them hers and made them work. She created the necessity for two more boxes in my closet, only all Bettys, sorted to my own system–Greater Betty, Lesser Betty–because even non-faves still hit that sweet spot. They’re still A Betty Book.

And Betty Books are a thing unto themselves. Wonderful, old-fashioned even for the time they were published, an acquired taste. They’re somewhat ridiculous, and wholly a delight. Dogs and cats and faithful family retainers abound, as do RDDs (Rich Dutch Doctor heroes). The heroine often traipses around on a travelogue or hop-scotches from thankless task to thankless task, while the vastly proportioned RDD plays close to the vest, bides his time, and guilds them to a quiet, and quietly earned, HEA. Not everyone clicks with Betty–that’s just how books+readers go–but if you do, oh you do, and welcome to the land of TGB (The Great Betty) and being a Betty Devotee.

I have friends across the globe thanks to Betty. As a reader, I have a sure place of escapism that provides long, aching or satisfied sighs, and dreamy interludes. As an author, I have the spark of all she achieved in my mind, and heart.

Two For Trust is my ode, my homage, my love letter to Betty. It’s not quite a missing title from her canon, but I wrote it to fit cozily on the bookshelf alongside hers. I owe her that much, and am elated to have the opportunity. If, like me, you love the old, tropey, vintage Harlequins–see the names above, Betty especially–Two For Trust is my love letter to you, too.

Enjoy. <3

Two For Trust is a sweet, Bettyesque, contemporary category. Available May 15 from Dreamspinner Press @ all the usual book-buying outlets.

My Books

One Month Left

Only one month before my latest book is out! I’m so pleased to share the perfect & amazing cover that artist Bree Archer created for me:

A fairy-tale vacation—if he can get the ending right.

American nurse Finch Mason steps beyond the comfort of his orderly life and takes a dream trip to England, complete with a National Trust Pass so he can visit numerous historical sites. At the first one on his list, he’s warmly welcomed—and told he bought a pass good for two.

Finch doesn’t hesitate to offer the pass to Benedict, a handsome Brit also there on an outing. They spend a magical week touring the countryside, and while it’s too soon to get attached, Finch wishes their time together would never end.

Then Finch finds himself stuck abroad with no money, and he has no one to turn to but Benedict. Benedict is happy to help, but he also owes Finch some answers—such as who he really is and why he was at the estate where they first met.


Two For Trust is a contemporary, sweet category romance for Dreamspinner Press’ Dreamspun Desires line. Snap it up May 15.

Link-Up

Link-Up

Using the below keywords for loose inspiration, I’m sharing a little bit of everything I’ve come across and liked, bookmarked, saved, or added to a wishlist. Hopefully it gives you something to like, link, read, make, or get for your own.


LOOK
Camera Angles and Movement: Sergio Leone, Tavern scene, in Once Upon a Time in the West. Superb analysis of an iconic scene. By wolfcrow.

LISTEN
Longtime fave of mine Faith Salie discusses gay romance and his books with my boo Damon Suede. On Audible (Authorized).

LAUGH
My Secret Life: Ciaran Hinds, actor, 57. Be charmed even more with this in-brief profile.

CREATE
Change. Join ACLU’s People Power project. Learn your rights, learn how to protect others’ rights, get involved.

READ
Me, myself and I || NYC Blue. Loneliness can be a shameful hunger, a shell, a dangerous landscape of shadowy figures. But it is also a gift. By Olivia Laing @ Aeon.

RESTORE
Decorah Bald Eagles live stream. Three eggs in the nest! I’ve watched these diligent, caring & successful parents for years. Every season brings me joy.

CRAVE
Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes. What more do you need to know.


Please feel free to comment with your own recs and/or if any links are broken.

Link-Up

Link-Up

Using the below keywords for loose inspiration, I’m sharing a little bit of everything I’ve come across and liked, bookmarked, saved, or added to a wishlist. Hopefully it gives you something to like, link, read, make, or get for your own.


LOOK
Humpback whale breach, filmed as never seen before. Breathtaking!

LISTEN
Greg Laswell: Landline. Wonderful album.

LAUGH
Mads Mikkelsen Wins Staring Contest on Danish Late Night Talk Show.

CREATE
Drawings! Quick, Draw: Can a neural network learn to recognize doodles? Help it by adding yours.

READ
I Was a Muslim in Trump’s White House by Rumana Ahmed. When President Obama left, I stayed on at the National Security Council in order to serve my country. I lasted eight days.

RESTORE
Bird feeder cam footage. I love to watch the busy birds come and go.

CRAVE
Traveling to every one of these wonders, hidden away in the National Parks.


Please feel free to comment with your own recs and/or if any links are broken.

Politics - Current Events

The Resistance of Hope

Today I’ve written down ten words. Five from how I felt living with President Obama, and five for how I’m feeling as DJT is inaugurated President.

I advise you to do the same. Refer to these words often. Print and hang them over your desk. Make them your phone lock screen. Write them on a bookmark. Keep them Sharpie’d in the palm of your hand.

Return to the positive words and how you felt writing them when you despair. Allow the negative words to drive you–not your action or energy–so you don’t give into stagnation. Remember the positive words aren’t ghosts; it happened and we made it such. Face the negative ones to help resist their coming changes as much as you can. Good luck out there, my friends. Stay strong, stay vigilant, stay vocal–and take care of yourself.

Of my ten words, there is only one commonality: HOPE. They are of differing ilk, to be sure, and reside in different places in my heart. But it’s still there, and I’m clinging to it.

Hope is a powerful weapon of resistance. Don’t surrender yours.

Link-Up

Link-Up

Using the below keywords for loose inspiration, I’m sharing a little bit of everything I’ve come across and liked, bookmarked, saved, or added to a wishlist. Hopefully it gives you something to like, link, read, make, or get for your own.


LOOK
Floats on Parade! First Rose Bowl game and parade, 1902. From Smithsonian American History Museum.

LISTEN
Keep America Moving Forward. President Obama’s weekly radio address from 12.31.16.

LAUGH
The 30 most important cats from 2016. From Buzzfeed.

CREATE
Change. Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.

READ
Best of Science 2016. From Longreads.

RESTORE
5 Ideas for Making it an Unforgettable Year in National Parks.

CRAVE
The Simple Elephant – Best Agenda Day Planner, complete with encouragement, gratitude reminders, vision board buildability, and stickers.


Please feel free to comment with your own recs and/or if any links are broken.