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I now have a Facebook business page for my romance writing: Layla M. Wier on Facebook. Feel free to “like” it and keep up to date! I think I’m going to try a Facebook launch party for my next book – we’ll see how that goes. :D

 

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New book coming out this winter!

I signed a contract with Dreamspinner Press yesterday for my first full-length novel with them, Held for Ransom, a contemporary M/M romance set in rural Illinois. It will be out in November or December. I don’t have an official blurb to share yet, but here’s my pitch:

Two weeks before Christmas, the small town of Osmar, Illinois is gearing up for its annual winter carnival. But this year the carnival is skirting disaster because its long-time organizer Vivian Lanning died last spring. Everyone has turned to Vivian’s son DJ to save the carnival, but DJ can’t even get himself together, let alone the carnival. He’s spinning his wheels in Osmar — working part time at the gas station/service garage, living in his parents’ house, and trying to figure out what to do with his life. DJ is caught in a large, loving web of well-meaning family and friends, but the one thing they can’t do is straighten out his life for him.

Into this mess comes Ransom, a handsome mystery man on a motorcycle. Ransom is traveling around the country doing “good deeds” to make up for his past sins — everything from picking up trash along the roadside to rescuing a small-town carnival that’s sinking for lack of funding and organization. He and DJ have a one-night stand that neither can forget, but that’s just the start, because Ransom has a plan for saving the carnival, and DJ has a plan for saving Ransom … and possibly himself.

This takes place in the same setting as my short story “Waiting for the Light” in last year’s Snow on the Roof anthology, although you don’t need to read the short story to understand the novel. Heatherfield County, Illinois, and its small towns are entirely fictional, but it’s roughly based upon the vicinity of Champaign-Urbana, where I lived for several years in the early 2000s while my husband went to grad school there.

I have other stories I want to tell in the Heatherfield area, so hopefully Held for Ransom will be the first of a number of Heatherfield books to come.

In the meantime, I’m working on a steampunk/historical murder mystery novel using the characters and setting from my short story “Untouchable” in the Steamed Up anthology from last fall. I’m at about 45K of a projected 60-70K, and hoping to finish the rough draft before the end of April. This one is the first in a projected series. (Because apparently I am incapable of writing a short story that doesn’t instantly spawn 6 books’ worth of ideas.)

Also, there is a lovely review of Homespun at Gay List Book Reviews that I completely forgot to link to. Mea culpa!

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Monday in Alaska – March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I feel as if I should share something suitably Irish, especially since my surname is Irish (it’s my husband’s, actually; he’s of largely Irish and German extraction) but instead I have pictures of snow and cats.

The cat thought he wanted to go for a walk with me and the dog, but changed his mind by the time we got to the first big bend in the driveway.

He seems more baffled than anything. This is clearly not summer.

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Links of the writing-related variety

List of lesbian historical fiction – relevant to my interests!

For SF/fantasy-writing people, Lightspeed Magazine’s submissions close TODAY at 11:59 EST. However, they will be open from tomorrow ’til the end of the month for submissions to Women Destroy Fantasy (special issue w/female-identified authors).

On the romance side, Storm Moon Press has a couple of anthology calls closing this month – Bygone Beasts (non-werewolf shifter M/M) and Gunslingers (lesbians in the wild west). I actually have a story that would be perfect for Bygone Beasts except it’s under consideration to a different market right now. Here’s hoping that I’ll hear back one way or the other before the end of the month … *crosses fingers*

Has anyone written anything for Riptide Publishing? The one thing I submitted to their open call last year got rejected, but they have a number of interesting submission calls this year; I’m particularly intrigued by the “Rainbow Family” one. I’m curious what they’re like to work with, and what kind of a return you get on your investment.

Dreamspinner, as always, has a few interesting submission calls. I am particularly interested in the writing-themed anthology (I’ve worked for newspapers most of my adult life, so I have a bit of background …). I had intended to write a holiday story to submit to them this year, but the theme this year is stories set outside the U.S., so a fair bit of research would be involved.

Okay, back to the word mines …

Posted in Open Calls

Yay sale!

I sold a story to LessThanThree Press’s benefit anthology for Project Fierce Chicago! This is a good cause and I’m proud to be part of it. The theme of the anthology is homelessness, or finding home, and my story “Timethieves” is a time-travel story about a pair of lovers living their lives out of order, trying to find the right time and place to be together.

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Monday in Alaska – March 10

Still trying to photograph the elusive driveway moose. Actually, they’re not elusive, which is the problem. It’s just that I’m usually in a hurry to get somewhere, or don’t have my camera, or simply don’t want to stop close enough to photograph them because it’s a mom with (last year’s) baby, and I don’t want to find out how well a Ford Focus can withstand being kicked by an animal the size of a Thoroughbred horse.

Still, on Thursday, after I almost collided with them on the blind curve in the driveway, they fled into the brush alongside the driveway and then resumed browsing, so I snapped this picture of Mom.

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Monday in Alaska – March 3

Okay! I’m doing this thing again! :D It’s a fresh month and spring is ALMOST here, and I’m getting out of the winter doldrums and back to blogging.

Well, not QUITE out of the doldrums yet.

I took these pictures today around noon, when I stopped to pick up the mail on the way home from campus. Here is our sad frozen little highway.

In the last couple of days they sent the big road-graders through to scrape the hardpack off the pavement. Hardpack is a far-north thing that happens because it’s not warm enough to thaw the snow all winter, so even with plowing, snow builds up on roads, parking lots, etc. and gets compressed to ice from being driven and/or trampled. They pushed up these fairly impressive lumps of snow/ice, although it looks kind of puny and uninteresting through the camera lens … oh well. (Also, this is what the road looks like after being scraped … still not the best, but better than it was.)

We also have had a mama and baby moose (well, last year’s baby, so more like a yearling now) hanging around the driveway lately. They were out there this morning, but I was late and in a hurry, so I didn’t stop to take a picture of them. I keep meaning to get a picture since it’s light enough light now when I leave in the morning to take photographs, but I’m always either rushing someplace or don’t have my camera. Maybe tomorrow …

I have one other picture I meant to share, which I took a few days ago, climbing to the upper level of our deck to photograph the setting sun through the railing.

Well, the partial railing; as you can see, we still haven’t gotten around to finishing the railing, so our deck features a terrifying drop 20 feet straight down. This is always interesting to warn guests about.

I’m looking forward to being able to take my morning tea up to the little table at the right and sip it while looking down at the sparse boreal forest of our backyard. Not there yet, though!

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Layla’s Writing
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Homespun cover

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