Author’s Note: Special *Deluxe* Edition

Before readers even get to Idlewild: The Book, I give them a tiny taste of Detroit: Jude’s Story in the form of an Author’s Note. But as is the way with Author’s Notes, we don’t actually get to tell you our life stories, or the complexities of our ties to particular ones. I won’t do that to you here either. But before we – you as a reader and I as the writer – go on this trip together, I thought I’d offer you a slightly expanded version of my author’s notes. Basically, lemme tell you some stories.

When my father was seventeen years old he came to Detroit from Venezuela to attend what was then called the University of Detroit. At the age of twenty-one he met my mother, who was raised in Redford, a bordering suburb of the city. After five weeks of courtship they married and, a few years later, left the United States. My sister and I were born in Brazil and although we visited the States often, we visited Florida, not Michigan, where my mother’s mother and brother still lived. My sister and I were raised on the stories they and our grandparents would tell of their lives and times in Detroit. Some were heartbreaking: My father and grandmother’s recollections of the 1967 riots, for example, were vivid. Some were not: My grandmother never ran out of funny stories about my grandfather’s time as a Detroit police officer and her days as a rebellious teenager growing up in the city. For some reason I don’t have my mother’s stories. I’d say “for some unknowable reason”, but since my mother is literally the only living person in this cast of characters, if you will, I could actually ask her. I’m not sure if it’s instinct, or her general unreliability as a narrator, but I never have.

That’s not really the point.

When I was twelve years old our family moved back to the Metro Detroit area. From the moment we first flew over the city I was fascinated. Not because I’d never seen a city, since I grew up in São Paulo, one of the largest cities in the world (digression: I cannot tell you the number of people who have actually asked me questions like “did you have electricity in Brazil?” and “Did you live a cardboard hut?” GROWN ASS ADULTS, NO JOKE), but because this was the location of so many stories transforming from ephemeral to real, physical truths.

Every few weeks for years, my sister and I would accompany our father and his uncle to University of Detroit-Mercy basketball games. We went many places downtown such as the Fox Theater for shows, to explore the Detroit Institute of Arts, to the Joe Louis Arena for hockey games, or once, memorably, my mother and I went across the Ambassador Bridge to Canada to pick up a dog (to name a few). Detroit wears its history beautifully and heartbreakingly, and I never tired of seeking out tiny details of that history carved into her landscape.

In the 22 years I’ve lived here, I’ve heard so many horror stories, heard people tell how they would never set foot in the city again, heard the stories the rest of the country relied on to paint a picture of this place — I referenced this in another blog post, the wonderfully (read: sarcasm) dichotomous nature of Detroit’s story elsewhere. Either we’re the sensationalized story of corruption and school “sick-outs” or “the place to be” for good craft beer and high end tapas. These dichotomies don’t leave room for the middle though, for that space in between polar, sensationalized opposites where everyone else reside. However, in these spaces in between are countless people who have stories of hope and resilience, who carry a refusal to give up, and who love this city.

Growing up, I’ve watched the changing face of this city. In this moment, Detroit exists in the nexus of complex issues; so much of Detroit’s story could be told, and I have a love for this city which informed my desire to tell a story that takes place here. That doesn’t mean that the writing of it was easy. Because when you set something in that nexus of complex issues, you have to do your very best to examine or understand them. I cannot claim to be an expert on Detroit – past or present. But it would have run counter my personal ethic to even attempt to do this story without due diligence.

Keeping all of this in mind, it was important for me, and I hope for the reader, to remember that at its heart Idlewild is the story of two men falling in love. Set behind them is a city they both believe in, though their unique understandings of her story are very different. Detroit’s recent history runs much deeper than this story could do justice to, although it informs so much of this book. Writing this was a huge labor of love, and in the process of doing so, I read many excellent books about the city (well and also spent wildly inappropriate amounts of time on the internet getting lost in millions of articles and resources etc). If you are interested in checking any of the books out, there’s reading list under Idlewild Resources (handily on that top menu of my blog). As far as the internet goes, I trust y’all know how to get lost there. But I can always give you some tips 😉

With Idlewild MOMENTS (or two days, but it feels like moments) from release, I hand you this story with the hope that you’ll love these men and this city by the time you’re done.

Romance Novelists, always wanting you to fall in love, eh? What can ya do?

~*~

 

Hush, What it Takes and Idlewild are all available for purchase through multiple retailers (links on my book page). Order through Interlude Press for an upgrade on shipping.

 

idlewild_postcard_frontIf you order Idlewild, remember to email me (judemsierra@gmail.com) proof of purchase to be entered a signed copy of any of my books (and to get a personalized post card!)

Black Friday Book Sale!!

Interlude Press is having a great Black Friday sale! Each of my print books is on sale right now!  Also buy any print or eBook from Interlude Press and you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card!

Pre-Order a print copy of Idlewild for $13.59

Grab a copy of Hush for $12.79 and What it Takes for $11.04!

idlewild_postcard_frontIf you pre-order Idlewild, remember to email me (judemsierra@gmail.com) proof of purchase to be entered a signed copy of any of my books (and to get a personalized post card!)

 

 

Bang!

I’m gonna start July off with a bang! Or some other fireworks holiday kind of metaphor that’s terrible…

Rounding up some info: my books are 25% at Smashwords! So if you’ve been waiting for a great time to grab a copy of Hush or What it Takes, go for it!

If you want LOTS of great books, Interlude Press has some *amazing* books coming up that are on sale — all of their pre-order books — which includes Pene Henson’s upcoming novel, Into the Blue.

I have to write this book a proper review, but for now, just LOOK at the gorgeous cover.

This book is lush and beautiful and will just grab your heart. It got a starred review in Publishers Weekly and has gotten some great reviews ahead of it’s release — so I promise you, this book is really something very special.

You can preorder Into the Blue in print and e-book format, and I cannot recommend it more!

As for the rest, who knows? We are hard at work on Idlewild (yay!) and I am messing with an idea for a fourth book I am SO EXCITED FOR, which will be my Camp NaNo project. Wish me luck and motivation!

Finally, I am going to encourage everyone to get involved in the 1000 Book Challenge. Interlude Press and The Trevor Project have partnered to raise money for The Trevor Project and to get LGBT YA into libraries, head over here to find ways you can support this awesome project.

 

30% off sale

Today is the last day you can save 30 percent on all digital and print novels through Monday at the IP Web Store by using the discount code 30STORIES.

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YAS. THIS IS A THING.

I’ll do some math for you:

With this sale, you can pre-order What it Takes and get the e-book and print book bundle for $12. TWELVE. If you only wanted the e-book you can pre-order for $4.89

Additional math Jude does for you: 

Hush e-book: $5.59

Hush print book: $11

Hush bundle: $14

SAVINGS ARE AWESOME.

Supporting GLADD Spirit Day and SALE!

spirit day

Today is GLADD Spirit Day, and IP has gone purple in support of LGBTQ youth—but we’d like to do something more, So all day Thursday, we’ll donate $1 for every book and eBook sold at the IP Web Store, and a special bonus they are discounting every book and eBook sold from the IP Web Store by 25 percent! Save money and support GLAAD with every title! Just use the code SPIRITDAY at checkout for your discount!

Today is the PERFECT day to announce that I’ve changed up The Sock-Off contest. The winner of the contest can choose between receiving a signed copy of Hush or a signed copy of my upcoming novel, What it Takes!

Throwback Thursday Contest

One thing y’all should know about me. I love hashtags, but mostly when they make no sense, are used ironically, or are sarcastic (aka I’m being a bit of an asshole, but it’s all in good fun). Along that vein, I’ll confess that this #TBT post has nothing to do with Thursday, but is a total throwback post.

As we gear up for book #2, What it Takes, to hit the stands, I wanted to take a moment to revisit Hush and one of my favorite things about it: Cam and Nate’s Sock Saturdays.

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. If you’ve never been soxiled by a roommate before, rest assured you can live the experience with them.

If you haven’t read Hush, head on over to one of the many places you can grab it! The IP web store ,All RomanceAmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositorySmashwords
Independent Bookstores, and Apple iBookstore.

So, the contest:

The Sock-Off.  Starting today, I want y’all to start hunting down pictures, taking pictures, making, drawing up designs of the most unique, hilarious, out of this world socks. Once you have them in your possession (pictures I mean), post them on social media. Just make sure you mention me if you do it on twitter, #judesierra if you are on tumblr, and/or send me a link to whatever you post.

Those will come in handy because I’ll be choosing from those to select a winner, who will a free, signed copy of Hush.

Finding or creating the perfect pair of socks will take a bit, so the contest will be going for a little while. So have fun! Think outside the box. Make things! Pintrest! Share with your friends 😀

Fall eBook Sale!

As the temperatures plummet with Fall sweeping in (digression to complain over the three hours we spent outside at a little league game in 45 degree weather, with WIND, holy shit), it’s time to curl up with something warm (I have a french vanilla hazlenut coffee) with the best kind of friend — a book!

Good news then: this weekend, you can run over to IP’s webstore and get 20% off any eBook using the coupon code FALL when you check out.

There are so many great books to chose from, but if you are struggling to decide, I won’t *stop* you from grabbing a copy of Hush. If you already own it or are looking for something with a different flavor, do not be afraid to send me an ask and I can give you a recommendation based on what you are looking for! Trust me, I know my stuff, I’ve read them all 😀