News from Suz Brockmann: June 19, 2017www.SuzanneBrockmann.com
1) Fixing Frank, the latest book in my Suzanne Brockmann Presents line of m/m category romances is on sale today!
2) Even though I’m just the editor, I’ll be accompanying my authors, Jason and Ed, on their Fixing Frank blog tour. We’ll be giving away at least two signed ARCs of my own next book, Some Kind of Hero (7/11/17). Check out the blog tour schedule, below, and drop by for a chance to win these and other books!
3) To kick off the Frank Blog Tour, Jason, Ed, and I did a Skype interview with Jeff and Will of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast! Watch/listen now!
4) Some Kind of Hero, (the next book in my Troubleshooters series, with a Navy SEAL hero and a romance author heroine!) comes out July 11th, in e-book & hardcover from Ballantine Books, and in audio from Blackstone Audio.
5) Gone Too Far (Sam & Alyssa’s book) is on e-sale for $1.99 for the next few days, hurry, grab it now!
6) Ready to Roll (my latest TS novella) is on e-sale for $2.99 for the next few days, hurry, grab it now!
7) Russian Doll, the latest LGBTQ indie movie I’ve co-produced, will be screened at the 22nd Annual North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, in Durham, North Carolina, from Aug 10-13.
1) FIXING FRANK is out today!
I’m pretty sure that you already know that I’ve long been an ally and advocate for LGBTQ inclusion in the romance genre.
Long before Jules Cassidy walked into Alyssa Locke’s FBI office, waaaaay back in 1992, as I wrote my first book, a little category romance that I called Bed and Breakfast but the publisher renamed Future Perfect, I created a character—a friend of the heroine who was also the small town’s sheriff—who just happened to be gay. And out, of course, even though it was only the mid-1990s.
This was the first romance that I sold, and my editor at the time informed me that I’d have to revise him. He couldn’t be gay, she said. Readers weren’t ready for that, she said.
I knew she was wrong, but I also knew that I had zero power—power I’d hopefully gain after getting published a few (dozen) times. So after silently apologizing to the gay man in my life—my own then-seven-year-old son—I made perfunctory revisions and substituted the word “wife” for “partner.” (In my original draft of the book, this character’s partner was traveling for work, so that was an easy “fix.”) I didn’t really change him—if you read those early editions of the book, he’s clearly “the gay best friend.” I merely jammed him into a deep, dark closet and in doing so I screwed royally with both his and his wife’s lives.
Thank god they were only fictional characters.
But that’s really what a lot of gay people did back in the day, right? Living their truth was too hard for “readers,” i.e., the people who make up our society, so instead they desperately embraced a terrible, destructive lie.
From that very first book on, I included gay characters in my romances as often as I could. Veronica’s brother is gay in Prince Joe. In fact, he’s named Jules! (Confession: I love that name, and first heard it thanks to the musician Jules Shear.) I just reread Heart Throb—I’m prepping a slightly revised self-pubbed e-book edition, available soon!—and the hero, Jed, had a brother who was gay.
Go back into my extensive earlier backlist, published in the mid-to-late 1990s, and you’ll see me gently pushing the edge of the inclusion envelope—to the point where I could finally unleash Jules Cassidy and let him kick in the door.
Because, damnit, readers were ready. You-who-read were nearly always ready, and you proved me right.
You-who-were-ready embraced both Jules and me, and made it possible for me to write Jules and Robin’s story—and in the process we reached into the hearts of those who were, perhaps, slightly less ready.
But those slightly-less-ready recognized love when they saw it. And the messages that love is love is love and love is a beautiful gift resonated, and hearts opened and change bloomed.
(Oh, I’m well aware that the profoundly unready are still out there, long unsubscribed from this email list, embracing their willful ignorance. Just go over to your favorite online bookseller—you’ll still find them posting reviews and telling me “enough with the gay thing,” like there’s something wrong with books set in MY world, where diversity is rightly celebrated. In fact, do me a favor, will you, while you’re over there? If you have a favorite TS book, post a reader review. It used to not matter, but it does now, particularly in these dark days, when those who hate have been emboldened. Thank you.)
But we’re talking about Jules finding Robin, and Robin finding both his heart and his very self and…
Raise your hand if Jules’s love story with Robin was your gateway drug to m/m romance.
My hand is up, too.
There’s so many truly great authors out there writing m/m, and many of my favorites are #OwnVoices—gay men writing romance. Alexis Hall, Santino Hassell, Damon Suede, and now my own shining sun of a son, Jason T. Gaffney.
My former seven-year-old recently turned thirty. He recently married the man of his dreams, and they’re living and working and thriving in the safety of California, outside of LA.
A few years ago, Jason, and my husband Ed (AKA Jace’s dad!), and I wrote and produced an award-winning m/m rom-com indie movie called The Perfect Wedding. (It streamed on NetFlix for years, and it’s still available via Amazon, Wolfe-on-Demand, and iTunes, in case you haven’t yet seen it!)
The story idea and concept was Jason’s. As a young man who’d grown up in a welcoming world filled with LGBTQ heroes, mentors, and role models, as a young person who’d never, ever questioned his value to society as an out, proud gay man, Jason longed to see his specific reflection in the movies he watched and the books that he read.
Jason wanted “boy meets boy, boy loses boy, boy wins boy” stories with absolutely no conflict created by sexual orientation, and a heavy delivery of the funny on the way to the HEA. He also wanted to see familiar romance tropes in stories that had a hero and a hero.
So that’s what he writes, be it screenplay or romance novel!
See, making even an ultra-low-budget indie feature takes lots of $$$ and time (time most spent during the significantly less fun pre- and post-production periods), so between their movie making projects, Jason and Ed have started writing an m/m rom-com series of novellas called California Comedies. (A story idea that would fit into a 90-minute rom-com screenplay translates very nicely into a 30-35K word novella!)
My main role in this project is editor. I may not have written these books, but Jason has spent nearly twenty-five years of his life in what you might describe as a 24/7 Brockmann romance writing workshop! So if you enjoy reading my books, you’ll probably like these!
I’m also the publisher, releasing Jason and Ed’s California Comedy series as part of a new line of short, spicy, m/m category romances called Suzanne Brockmann Presents. Currently my author list is short—Jace and Ed have been my very patient guinea pigs as I’ve learned the self-publishing ropes. (So far, so good, but GooglePlay continues to mystify me…)
This novella project also has the intriguing twist of an m/m romance writing team consisting of a gay man and his father (edited by his mother)!!
We don’t stop there. Grandma Brockmann is one of our best proofreaders—several decades ago, she used to freelance proof for Playbill. M/M romances are “much more interesting!” We bring in outside-of-the-family eyes with our brilliant copy editor, Patricia MacMahon.
Which brings me back to the headline: Fixing Frank, the latest book in Jason and Ed’s California Comedy series is out, today.
(Oops, as of 8 a.m., we’ve had a glitch at Amazon, where apparently I wasn’t able to change the preorder release date from 6/20 to today after all, so… Fixing Frank is available in ALMOST all e-formats today, as well as in print-on-demand, and it will drop into your Kindle tomorrow, hopefully looking slightly chagrined. Or maybe that’s me looking slightly chagrined… Thank you for your patience!)
Although it’s part of what is now a three-book series, Frank stands alone. You don’t have to read the series in order. The connection is that they’re all set in California, and they’re all rom-coms.
Fixing Frank is a laugh-out-loud funny “boy (re)meets boy” story that plays with the classic category romance “marriage of convenience” trope.
Here’s the blurb for the book:
First grade teacher Terry O’Dell is thrilled when he’s chosen as a contestant on Fixing Our Future, a popular reality web series where the winner raises money for charity. A few weeks of light-hearted challenges and fun competition is exactly the kind of distraction he needs to get over his breakup with his fiancé. But when Terry learns that handsome landscaper Frank Vacca is another contestant on the show, his excitement turns to dread. Because Terry’s ex ran off with Frank’s ex. It’s only a matter of time before their embarrassing personal history is exploited by the show’s producers, in hopes of going viral with on-camera tears and maybe a table flip or two.
But Frank is not the kind of guy who waits for life to happen to him, and he decides to fight fire with fire. When their secret is exposed, he impulsively declares that he and Terry are better than ever, because they, too, have hooked up—in fact, they’re engaged. Already popular, the pair instantly becomes internet royalty. Of course it’s all a sham, and only a matter of time before the truth comes crashing down. But then, Frank and Terry—long at odds and constantly arguing—actually begin to fall for each other. And that’s when things really start to go wrong…
Fixing Frank is available in all e-formats (specially priced at $3.99, so grab it fast!), and in print-on-demand in both paperback and hardcover.
More about Fixing Frank: https://suzannebrockmann.com/books/suzanne-brockmann-presents/
A bit more about the son/father writing team:
In addition to his novel writing, Jason is an award-winning producer, actor, and screenwriter. His credits include the web series The Comedy Minute with Jason T. Gaffney, and Fame Dogs, which just won the Indie Series Awards for Best Comedy and Best Ensemble, Comedy. Ed’s other projects include an Edgar nomination for his legal thriller, Enemy Combatant (Dell, 2008). He’s also the writer/director of the indie film Russian Doll, a f/f thriller about to hit the LGBTQ film festival circuit. Ed and Jason are currently in pre-production for their next m/m rom-com movie, a micro-budget feature, working title Analysis Paralysis.
2) Fixing Frank Blog Tour
Yeah, I’m just the editor, but I’ll be accompanying my authors, Jason and Ed, on their Fixing Frank blog tour. (So drop by and say hi!)
Note: We’ll be giving away ebooks of the first two California Comedy novellas, and at least two signed ARCs of my own next book, Some Kind of Hero (coming 7/11/17) somewhere on the tour!
It’s like a game of hide and seek! Visit each blog stop on its scheduled day and see if you can find the SKOH ARC! Pop over, say hi, and follow each blog’s rules for a chance to win!
We’ll be stopping in regularly throughout each day, too!Monday, June 19th (TODAY!): Big Gay Fiction Podcast Jason, Ed, and I did a Skype interview with Jeff and Will from the Big Gay Fiction Podcast, and it was so much fun! Listen or watch on YouTube (!!!!) as we talk books, movies, the importance of #OwnVoices in the romance genre, our life-long fight for LGBTQ equality and civil rights, and life in CreativeCrazyPantsLand! Direct link to episode: http://www.jeffandwill.com/biggayfictionpodcast/2017/06/19/big-gay-fiction-podcast-episode-89-suzanne-brockmann-ed-gaffney-jason-t-gaffney-talk-california-comedy/ Main website: http://www.BigGayFictionPodcast.com Main YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/JeffWillsBigGayFictionPodcast Find on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/biggayfictionpodcast/ Follow on Twitter: @BigGayFiction Tuesday, June 20th: Lorelei’s Lit Lair A fun Q&A with Jason & Ed Main website: https://loreleislitlair.wordpress.com Find on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Loreleislitlair/ Follow on Twitter: @LoreleisLitLair Wednesday, June 21st: Joyfully Jay In which I interview Jason & Ed about the power of comedy Main website: http://joyfullyjay.com Find on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joyfully.jay Follow on Twitter: @jayhjay432 Friday, June 23rd: Romance University A blog by Suz: Plan Read, in which we’ll discuss both the importance of self-care in these turbulent times, and the need for #OwnVoices authors as well as diversity in the romance genre Main website: http://romanceuniversity.org Find on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanceUniversity Follow on Twitter: @RomanceUniv Saturday, June 24th: Limecello’s A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet We discuss Classic Category Romance Tropes in m/m romance Main website: www.tartsweet.com Monday, June 26th: Big Gay Fiction Podcast part II More from our incredibly fun Skype interview with Jeff and Will! Direct link to episode (Note won’t be live until 6/26):
Main website: http://www.BigGayFictionPodcast.com Main YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/c/JeffWillsBigGayFictionPodcast Find on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/biggayfictionpodcast/ Follow on Twitter: @BigGayFiction Tuesday. June 27th: mm Good Books review In which we discuss world building in contemporary m/m romance:
Writing books set in a better, more welcoming world—because life will imitate art! Main website: https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com
3) To kick off the Frank Blog Tour, check out our interview on the Big Gay Fiction Podcast! Watch/listen now (and maybe win an ARC of Some Kind of Hero! Hint hint!)
Direct Link: (Note this won’t be active until 6 a.m. PT!): http://www.jeffandwill.com/biggayfictionpodcast/2017/06/19/big-gay-fiction-podcast-episode-89-suzanne-brockmann-ed-gaffney-jason-t-gaffney-talk-california-comedy/Main website: http://www.BigGayFictionPodcast.com Main YouTube:
4) Less than a month until Some Kind of Hero comes out!
You’ve met the book’s SEAL hero, LT Peter “Grunge” Greene, in Ready to Roll. (And if you haven’t met him yet, scroll down a bit, because RtoR is on e-sale!)
The tough-as-nails BUD/S instructor is a pro at shaping young SEAL candidates into the best of the best, but he’s completely out of his league when his ex dies and Maddie, his long-estranged fifteen-year-old daughter, comes to live with him. Thing rapidly goes south, and she runs away. Enter Pete’s across-the-street neighbor, romance novelist and divorced mom of two teen boys, Shayla Whitman. Together they embark on an adventure to track down Maddie—who’s in way more danger than even she realizes.
You’ll see more of Ready to Roll’s Boat Squad John in this book. Navy SEAL Izzy Zanella is a friend of Pete’s and a point-of-view character—he’s always so much fun to write!
Advance praise for this book has been lovely (thank you so much!), with people saying extremely nice things like:
“Some Kind of Hero is Suzanne Brockmann at the top of her game, with a story full of heart-stopping action and genuine, funny, heartfelt emotion.”—New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra
“In classic Brockmann style, Some Kind of Hero does not shy away from the controversies of our times. Instead, it faces them head on, delivering a thought-provoking, high-octane love story with a hero and heroine one can’t help but root for. Prepare to be blown away.”—USA Today bestselling author Farrah Rochon
“A thought-provoking, deeply satisfying romance from a master of the genre.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Jam-packed with adrenaline-fueled action and sizzling sexual tension, this is grade-A romantic suspense that will delight RITA award–winning Brockmann’s dedicated core of fans as well, and lure new readers.”—Booklist (starred review)
And because apparently, in 2017, blurbing one’s own book is a Thing, I’ll add one more:
“I’m back!”—Suzanne Brockmann
Some Kind of Hero drops on 7/11/17. It’s currently available for pre-order in hardcover and ebook from Ballantine Books, and in audio, read by Patrick Lawlor and Bahni Turpin, from Blackstone Audio.
Some Kind of Hero Preorder Print:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2qBpIkb
Random House: http://bit.ly/2tzrVdg
Ooh, just occurred to me: FAQ: Will I be having a virtual signing for SKOH? No, sorry, I won’t! I will be signing books at the RWA Literacy Signing in Orlando in July (oh I knew I left something out, but dang this e-newsletter is already massively long).
I’ll be sending another e-newsletter in a few weeks, watch for it for info about RWA (signings! workshops!), as well as news about how to get a cool, special copy of the hardcover of Some Kind of Hero…
5) Gone Too Far (Troubleshooters # 6, Sam & Alyssa’s book) is on e-sale for $1.99 for the next few days!
Hot e-sale! If you e-need a little Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke on your e-reader forever, now’s the e-time!
(Hurry, cuz it’s only gonna be available at this great price for a few more days!)
6) Ready to Roll (my latest Troubleshooters novella, in which you meet both LT Peter “Grunge” Greene and the team of SEAL candidates known as Boat Squad John) is also on e-sale for $2.99 for the next few days!
P.S. I call RtoR a “novella,” but it’s 55K words—which is longer than the category romances like Kiss & Tell, or Time Enough for Love, that I used to write for Bantam Loveswept.
Find out more about Ready to Roll: https://suzannebrockmann.com/books/eshorts/ready-to-roll/
7) Russian Doll will be screened at the 22nd Annual North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, in Durham, North Carolina, from Aug 10-13.
Yay! If you’re in the Durham area, here’s your chance to see this LGBTQ thriller that I co-produced up on the big screen! (Jason plays the bad guy, and Melanie’s the police detective trying to find a missing woman!)
The schedule isn’t set yet. But the film fest’s website is http://www.carolinatheatre.org/films/festivals/ncglff
I’ll keep you posted re: screening dates and times!
Okay, gang, that’s all the e-news for now. (Whew, when there’s news, there’s NEWS!)
If you like these long, long, LONG newsletters, that’s pretty perfect since writing long, long, LONG is what I do best, but…
If you’d prefer to get (or also get) brief, to-the-point notices of new releases or e-sales, then pop over to BookBub, register (it’s free!), and follow me there. They’ll send you a direct, just-the-facts email whenever there’s a new book out.
Here’s the BookBub link: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/suzanne-brockmann
Following me on Facebook is fine and well, but it’s so noisy and chaotic over there, you’ll probably miss any news about new books. Twitter’s the same, fun and/or rage-y, but blink and you’ll miss my tweets.
You can follow me at GoodReads, too, if GoodReads is your thing: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/32638.Suzanne_Brockmann
And you can follow me at Amazon, too, if Amazon is your… you got it: http://amzn.to/2rNuaJQ
As always, thank you so much for your time and attention!
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As always, thanks so much for your ongoing support!