Welcome to Carlina University

Hush is set in a fictional university, Carlina University, in a suburb of Chicago. One of my favorite parts of creating this location was getting to research and create an inspiration board for what Carlina might look like. I love the look of older buildings and dorms on college campuses (In fact, the one with the snowflake lights is the dorm I lived in when I was in college).

There is something whimsical and lovely about this style of architecture and the beautiful landscapes I found. The midwest in seasonal changes is utterly beautiful. The stunning changing of leaves as fall bustles in with wind and the cold edged winds; the hush created by a snowfall that blankets everything; the heat of waxing summer, shaded by greening of late spring leaves – all of these were things I kept in mind as I put these characters into this world I created.

I love getting to see examples of images authors had in mind when writing, and I thought you all might enjoy seeing what *I* had in mind as I wrote Hush.

carlinainspiration1 carlinainspiration2 carlinainspiration3 carlinainspiration4 carlinainspiration5

Helloooooooo!

::title to be read in the voice of Mrs. Doubtfire:: (if you haven’t watched it, go go go).

I’ve been way remiss here, and I apologize profusely. Life can be so inconvenient always getting in the way of the fun stuff.

Right now there is a lot going on in the background over here in silly Judeland. Things are picking up on project #2, which I am thrilled about. I am very, very excited to share more details on that in the coming weeks and months. Of course, since I don’t like to rest, there’s a tiny prickling in my fingertips which might mean there’s a project #3 on the horizon!

Speaking of fun things on the horizon, I alluded to a new contest that’s coming up in my last post: The Sock-Off.  There will be an official announcement kicking off the contest in the coming days. For now, start hunting down pictures, taking pictures, making, drawing up designs of the most unique, hilarious, out of this world socks. Those will come in handy because the winner of this contest will be receiving a free, signed copy of Hush.

What’s with the socks, you ask? Sock Saturdays was one of those impulsive moments that came to me from the ether, and became a funny insight into Cam and Nate’s friendship as well as a fun twist on an old school college tradition. You’ll hear a lot more about what it means to be soxiled, as they called it, soon enough.

Need to know all about it now? Lucky for you, Hush is available for purchase in tons of places, ready to be delivered right into your hot little hands!!

Hush currently available for purchase at:

Interlude Press Web Store
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Apple iBookstore
Smashwords
Independent Bookstores

Hitting the Highlights!

As my virtual blog tour closes out, I wanted to take an opportunity to thank each blog that hosted me, but also to round up my favorite moments — I had some fun interviews and lovely reviews! Stay tuned at the end of this post for a sneak peek at a new contest I’ll be hosting soon!

Amanda C. Stone’s interview was great! Who would I be as a superhero? (Dame Decisive. I talk about her a little more). Who would be a stripper at my birthday party? If I didn’t die of embarassment, of course the answer would be a tossup between Matt Bomer and Natalie Dormer. There are other great questions, read on for fun answers!

Thanks to MM Good Book Reviews for the following:

“If you like unique characters, a touch of supernatural powers, college kids, coming of age and some very hot man-sex…this is for you.”

Because Two Men Are Better Than One challenged me to think of an invention I’d want at the snap of my fingers and asked me what kind of candy bar I’d be (hint: Sweet, creamy and smooth).

Wicked Faeries and I did a fun interview as well. What do I obsessively snack on when I write? Who is my favorite all time character ever? (Ok, that’s impossible. But I do gush about my love for Lord John Grey here. I even named one of the birds in my tattoo after him!). Also, because I’m weird, I talk about why the heck I love reading a book about Ebola over and over.

Velvet Panic and I discussed my favorite childhood books, how I got into this wonderful world of M/M fic and why I do this!

Check out my interview with Gale Stanley from Wake Up Your Wild Side to read the seriously hilarious story behind finding the title for Hush.

Speaking of titling Hush, The Novel Approach and I talked in depth about the importance of the right title and why it works so well with this story and these characters.

Bayou Book Junkie not only gave me a wonderful review (thank you!) but hosted a Q&A in which I got to talk about the biggest challenges I faced writing a book (balancing my poetic tendencies with prose without pulling back too much is just one aspect) and my all time favorite book (I cheated, there are two!).

Prism Book Alliance challenged the crap out of me by having me list my 10 favorite literary couples! I had to think for days, and then though of more once I turned it in (of course). I did have to think outside the box and redefine couple (lifelong friendship, the moment that changed a life and could have been, etc). Watch out for my obsession with YA. I really do love these couples and highly recommend reading all of these books.

Cate Ashwood hosted me for a Q&A about my writing process, which was really nice to talk about. Revealing that I’m a pantser rather than a plotter wasn’t exactly a plot twist, but I got to give examples of what happens when you pants (the appearance of Peyton, Cam’s twin, which came to me when I was already a third of the way through the book. She was a huge surprise but she’s incredibly important to his story). Also, Pintrest. I love Pintrest. Here’s mine if you want to see board inspirations for the story and also my boys!

BFD Book Blog hosted me for a great Q&A that included my tea recommendations, talk about my crochet fail, and five book recommendations for my readers, which I’m sharing because y’all, these are great books!

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. A book with an intersex protagonist, which I never see, and also a wonderful interweaving of the history of Detroit, which is close to my heart. Beautifully, stunningly written.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. I love Young and New Adult books. This book is hilarious and irreverent and spot on. You root for Paul and Noah, you head palm over Paul’s fails, you fall in love with the secondary characters (especially Tony). My favorite of Levithan’s books, although they are all treasures.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. There is no universe in any dimension of existence in which I won’t insist you read this series (yes I cheated a little. Outlander is the first book. It’s a part of a series). I can’t even sum it up – it’s epic. History, a touch of sci-fi,  romance, war, hot sex, men in kilts…

The Chosen by Chaim Potok. Again with the YA! This book has long been one of my favorites. It’s a coming age of story that’s poignant and painful; both in historical context (during and just after World War II) but also in what Danny and Revuen go through as they grow into men. The bedrock of the story – the friendship they develop and their relationship and friendship throughout – is so masterfully done, I still cry when I read it.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. I could go on for years about all the ways in which this book is so much more than people think: the complex themes of creation, religion, responsibility and philosophy. But I won’t. I’ll just kindly urge everyone to read it, ponder it, and read it again. And again.

I enjoyed talking about my inspiration for this book, my amazing cover art, and what’s coming with my next book with Love Bytes Reviews. The highlight for me was talking about my favorite celebration meal: Arepaswhich is a cornmeal-based flatbread. You eat them hot and open them up to make pockets and stuff them with deli meat and cheese (we love to use queso blanco). We only ever have them when my cousins – who are what’s left of my father’s side of the family and the only connection we have with his Venezuelan roots – are in town. My one cousin is a chef and last time we had them he made some amazing sauce with steak and mushrooms and seventy other things that I’d never think to put on them but they were orgasmically good. I loved giving Cam some of my Venezuelan roots, and getting to feed him arepas as well.  That was totally born of my longing for good family food.

Molly Lolly not only gave me a wonderful review (and I appreciate that she got a kick out of  Nate and Cam soxiling each other) but also got a playlist of 10 songs for Hush (if you like them and want to hear the whole playlist, it’s public on my Spotify!). Here are my ten picks:

Dark Horse by Katy Perry
Wild Ones– Sia, Flo Rida
Statues of Ourselves, Semi Precious Weapons
ET – Katy Perry and Kanye West
Map of the Problematique – Muse
Titanium – Sia, David Guetta
Hysteria – Muse
The Perfect Drug– Nine Inch Nails
Sweater Weather – The Neighborhood
Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding.

Speaking of soxiling! If you aren’t familiar, I encourage you to read Hush to find out what exactly it is! I had SO MUCH FUN with it, and with finding pictures of the socks for the boys to send each other. In the next month or so I’d love to host a contest: Sock Saturdays. The winner will get a free copy of my book sent right too them. Stay tuned for more on that!

Big thanks to every blog that hosted me, all the blogs that interviewed and reviewed!

~*~

Hush is currently available for order at Interlude Press, Amazon and other awesome retailers 😀