The Engagement Game, book 3 in my 49th Floor Series, is out today! Yay! I love this book so hard! It’s definitely my favourite of the trilogy, but, oddly, it was the hardest to write. Took me the longest, needed the most intensive editing, and generally drove me the bat-shittiest! I sometimes wonder if that’s why I love it more, but I honestly don’t think so. I just think it’s the best book of the three. Why? Heck if I know. (I would make a bad critic: I’m not very good at talking about books, other than to note the way they make me feel.)
It’s been a big week because in addition to having a book out, I also:
1. Went to see Taylor Swift in concert.
2. Eloped! Aka, had a super secret surprise wedding that no one knew about!
Ha! And I did both of those things in the same afternoon, practically back-to-back, with a quick stop for dinner and a change of clothes in between.
In other words, it was perfect.
But something funny occurred to me on the train ride home: the outfit I wore to my wedding was exactly the same as one worn by Rose Verma, the heroine of The Engagement Game. And this was NOT on purpose—at least not consciously-on-purpose.
In the book, Rose is on a mission to find a boyfriend—she has a deadline of sorts—so she’s internet dating with a vengeance. Between her serial dates and attending lots of high society events with the book’s hero, with whom she’s entered into a bit of an unholy alliance, she’s often dressed to the nines. Unlike me, Rose is quite a fashionista. I, when I’m not taking part in secret wedding ceremonies, am usually wearing leggings and sweatshirts.
But we do have one thing in common, which is that we like bright colours. Rose, because she has so many events and dates to attend, goes through many consume changes: emerald green dresses, blue-and-silver ballgowns—you name it. One of her outfits—one the hero takes special note of as she heads out on her date, is an electric blue dress with red heels. Now, I don’t wear heels as a matter of principle, the principle being that I enjoy not suffering. But other than that, check me out! I’m wearing Rose’s outfit!
Yep, I am wearing the same outfit as the heroine of my romance novel. It was an accident!
I think? Probably this is the part where we should call in the psychologists, but I’m going to stick with “accident.”
Well, here’s some news: I just signed a deal to add a fourth book to my 49th Floor series published by Entangled’s Indulgence imprint. You know the one with the wounded, cranky, rich CEO dudes who think they aren’t interested in relationships?
And guess what? Book 4, called His Heart’s Revenge, is going to feature not one, but TWO wounded, cranky, rich CEO dudes who think they aren’t interested in relationships. Yep, I’m crashing the m/m romance novel party!
I’m super excited about this for a bunch of reasons.
1. I love reading series where the sexual orientation of the characters varies. You know, JUST LIKE REAL LIFE. Throw a bunch of wounded, cranky, rich CEO dudes into a room and one or two of them is bound to be gay, no?
2. The 49th Floor series is set in my beloved Toronto. The UN calls Toronto the most diverse city in the world. That’s why not everyone in the series is white. You know, JUST LIKE REAL LIFE. Now, not everyone in the series is straight, either.
3. I love that an established category romance imprint is publishing this book. When you write category romances, you’re generally more limited in what you can do—you’ve signed on to write a book that comes with a pre-existing brand. There are rules of the universe, so to speak (which is part of why I love category romance as a reader and as a writer, but that’s another post). I wonder if part of the reason you don’t see a lot of queer category romance is because in addition to imprint-specific rules, we generally take for granted, in established mainstream imprints, that we’re getting a man and a woman. I have to give a big shout out to Entangled here. (Did you know they accept m/m and f/f submissions in all their imprints?) I was also quite delighted, when I was going back and forth with the proposal for this book, that I got some (minor) pushback on a few issues. For example, one plot point required one of the characters to do something that was deemed not in keeping with an Indulgence hero. I love that. (I’m weird that way in general—I love being edited. But I also super-loved that in this case, category tropes were being scrupulously applied, regardless of sexual orientation.)
So, are you ready for TWO Indulgence heroes? His Heart’s Revenge isn’t done yet, but I can tell you that our heroes both work in the financial sector. One is an established bank CEO, and the other is an upstart launching his own private wealth management firm. (If you read my forthcoming book 3 in the 49th Floor Series, The Engagement Game, you’ll recognize our upstart hero as Marcus’s cousin Cary.) They’re in competition for a huge client, and our established CEO is Not. Losing. To. That. Punk. Partly as a matter of pride (he’s an Indulgence hero, after all), but partly because it’s personal. Yes, they have history. Which means some revenge is gonna rear its ugly head. And also: they are forced to go camping together. (Don’t you hate it when that happens?)
Big thanks and high fives to editors extraordinaire at Entangled, Tracy Montoya and Heather Howland, to my friend and former editor Gwen Hayes for match-making me with this project, and of course to my agent and friend and tireless advocate, Courtney Miller-Callihan.
Whee! Here we go!