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New short story to be released soon

AnotherSaturnMonday_FBbanner_DSP

 

My short story “Another Saturn Monday” will be released February 24 as part of Dreamspinner Press’s Simmer anthology. All of the stories in this anthology revolve around food–although don’t be fooled by the banner as my story does not feature chocolate-covered strawberries but cabbage.

Cabbage forms the basis of the Hirculian cuisine, so when Interstellar Parking Authority employee Theo is forced to have breakfast at a Hirculian stall in the Saturn space station food court, he knows he’ll be having cabbage. But after one look at the stall’s shy but sexy proprietor, Ekain, Theo thinks he should have started eating cabbage for breakfast a long time ago.

Yes, this story is a departure from my usual historical fiction genre into the realm of sci-fi fantasy. The call for submissions asked for every author to include a recipe along with the story, and the first recipe that popped into my mind was my grandmother’s coleslaw recipe. This left me with a dilemma because cabbage did not seem like the sort of food that a story, let alone a romance, could revolve around. But then I came up with the idea of an alien culture that only eats cabbage, and soon poor Theo was stumbling around the Saturn space station on a Monday morning and discovering the delights of Hirculian cabbage cuisine…and Ekain who does sport horns but is still pretty adorable, fondness for cabbage and all.

The Simmer anthology can be preordered on the Dreamspinner Press website here:

Simmer ebook

Simmer paperback

Blog Release Party on April 8

On Wednesday, April 8, I will be doing a blog release party on the Dreamspinner Press blog to celebrate the release of Untethered. It will start at 12 PM EDT and continue through the afternoon. I’ll be posting excerpts, more about the historical setting of the novel, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of my writing process. I’ll also be giving away two free ebooks to participants, so come join the fun!

Setting the Mood

Some of the songs that the characters listen to in Untethered:

“My Buddy” is one of those songs that comes across as very homoerotic today but wasn’t intended so at the time. Of course, queer men would have been able to interpret it in a romantic way.

 

“They’re Either Too Young or Too Old,” which contains the immortal lines: And flying over Egypt, your heart will never be gypped

 

 

Coming Soon

Untethered will be released on April 6 by Dreamspinner Press. You can read the full synopsis here. It’s about Frankie Norris, a young pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Besides telling the love story of Frankie and his crew chief, Jim Morrow, I wanted to show how WWII enabled gay men and lesbians to form a community of unprecedented scope and influence. The Armed Forces brought millions of men and women from all parts of the country together, providing countless opportunities to form same-sex relationships. It was a watershed moment in queer history.

What I found particularly striking as I did research for this novel was how the environment within the Armed Forces could be amazingly tolerant at times for queer men. Drag shows, surprisingly open sexual and romantic relationships, acceptance of gay men within units–you can find evidence for all of this. But at the same time, there was repression and homophobia and violence and the threat of discharge and/or prison. It was so dependent on the individuals involved and the place you happened to be. Because I’m a historian, I can’t help citing a source! I found Allan Berube’s Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II particularly useful in conceptualizing what gay men and lesbians encountered in the Armed Forces.

Hopefully I captured some of this sense of community coupled with the uncertainty and danger in Frankie’s story. It is available for pre-order at Dreamspinner Press.

UntetheredFS