Category Archives: Publishing

Dreamspinner Sale

All my Dreamspinner Press stories are on sale right now at the Dreamspinner website. Get 35% off The Door Behind Us, my historical romance, and 25% off everything else.

Sale!

Author Profile at Nautical Star Books

I’m profiled today at the Nautical Star Books site. Comment or ask me a question, and I’ll reply. I might even tell you about the new book I’m working on!

Billy Goat Stats Featured in Pop Up Sale about Athletes

Billy Goat Stats, my novel about basketball players, is featured today in a special pop up sale at Dreamspinner Press that features books about athletes. You can get the novel for 35 percent off until 5 PM EST today!

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6396

Launch day for Billy Goat Stats, Second in the DIY Family Series

Today is launch day for Billy Goat Stats, the second in my DIY Family series after Music Box. I’ve described Billy Goat Stats in detail elsewhere, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to write about the DIY Family series as a whole.

Billy Goat Stats

As a gay man, I’ve long heard stories from friends and acquaintances about impossible expectations, abuse, and heartbreak—the trauma of an oppressed minority. But I’ve also seen the other side of that coin: men and women whose unconventional relationships have turned into long-term commitments, former lovers whose ongoing friendships glow with the patina of shared experience, and men whose families have redefined their qualifications for membership out of compassion or respect for freedom. These people have forged new families from the hot steel of rejection. Their battles against social convention, religious dogma, and the unfair constraints of traditional gender roles have tempered them into extraordinary people. These are the people I love, and the people I have tried to write about.

Music BoxIn Music Box, compassion drives two older men to help a younger one who is related, not by blood, but by a mutual love of music. In Billy Goat Stats, a young man finds that a successful basketball season requires that he nourish bonds between people of very different backgrounds and experience.

I have more stories to write, but I’m sure you have your own. I’d love to hear about them.

Introducing Billy Goat Stats

On May 25, Dreamspinner Press will publish Billy Goat Stats, the second in my DIY Family series. I wrote the novel because I fell in love with the main character, Billy, in my previous novel, Music Box. Billy appeared when Jonah, one of the earlier novel’s protagonists, needed help coping with bullies in school. Billy befriended Jonah despite being a jock, a basketball player, and popular—that is to say, from as distant a social sphere as I could imagine. When their friendship blossomed, I couldn’t help wondering what would happen if their relationship moved beyond the platonic.

Exploring Jonah and Billy’s story presented some challenges for me as a writer. First, it required that I describe an intimate, but mostly long distance relationship. Billy starts the story by leaving Glen Falls to take up a basketball scholarship at Hoosier State University. Jonah is left behind to finish his senior year in high school. Jonah believes a relationship impossible. Fortunately for Jonah, Billy is not one to shy away from a challenge, and their telephone bills grown with the strain of hours of late-nite calls. Establishing intimacy with Jonah is only one of the challenges Billy faces in his freshman year. Helping to hold his team together as they make their way towards NCAA March Madness is another.

Billy Goat Stats Cover

Cover

Writing about basketball was a problem of my own creation. When I introduced Billy in Music Box, I had no idea I would write about him again, so I carelessly indulged my fantasy and made him a “long and tall” basketball jock. Unfortunately, I’ve been more a hiker and rollerblader than a team sports fan, and I’ve never followed basketball. Research skills to the rescue!

Studying basketball statistics with an eye towards describing a realistic season for Billy’s team led me into the larger world of sports statistics and the obsession with numbers energizes and occupies so many sports fans. From there, the leap to Billy’s interest in tracking his own life statistics was a short one. I hope you enjoy tracking Billy’s progress as much as I did!

Dreamspinner Paperbacks in Stock on Sale 50% Off

Dreamspinner Press is having a sale on all in stock paperbacks. You can get The Door Behind Us and Music Box for half price!

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/john-c-houser

Christmas in July: The Door Behind Us for 99 Cents

Wow. It’s been too long since I last posted. The good news is that I’ve been hard at work editing Billy Goat Stats, my sequel to Music Box. It should be on its way to Dreamspinner Press by the end of the month. I’ve also made serious inroads on a new book, but it’s too soon to say much about that, other than it’s contemporary, set in Philadelphia, and I’m really enjoying it.

Now on to today’s news. Dreamspinner Press is offering The Door Behind Us, my historical novel set just after World War I, for ninety-nine cents on their website as part of their Christmas in July Promotion. Please check it out, if you haven’t already. Music Box and Valentine Shower are on sale as well.

Link

VALENTINE SHOWER Mentioned in USA Today

Cool! My short story Valentine Shower just got mentioned in an article in USA Today.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2014/02/12/romantic-suspense-contemporaries-new-releases-february-2014/5430081/

Book Giveaways

I’m going to be sharing excerpts, answering questions, and talking about my new novel MUSIC BOX, as well as THE DOOR BEHIND US and my short story VALENTINE SHOWER on the Dreamspinner Press Facebook page, Saturday at 1:00 ET.

As an incentive to join me, there will be a couple of book giveaways for people who can answer questions about one of my stories. Come join me!

MUSIC BOX Novel and VALENTINE SHOWER Short Story Available for Pre-Order

The rollout continues! I’ve got two projects coming out in the next few weeks. My novel Music Box will be out on January 20, 2014, and is available for pre-order now in e-book or paperback. Here’s the blurb:

Music BoxWhen bullies chase Jonah Winfield to the front step of Avakian Music, owner Davoud Avakian intervenes and offers Jonah sanctuary among the lush chords of the Music Box’s Steinway Grand. Jonah’s sexuality isn’t a problem for Avakian, but it’s an issue the kids at school won’t allow Jonah to forget—whether he’s ready to deal with it or not. When the bullying escalates to violence, Jonah’s favorite music teacher, Mr. Gaston, wants to take the bullies to the principal.

Speaking up for his favorite student may bring Paul Gaston’s own sexuality up for debate, and with budget cuts looming, he’s already on shaky ground. Forcing Jonah to do anything will only make matters worse. Getting Jonah’s cooperation requires earning his trust and helping to preserve the sanctuary of the Music Box. But the generations old music store handed down to Davoud is on the verge of bankruptcy. If Paul and Davoud can’t figure out how to turn the business around, everyone will feel the loss.

Valentine Show coverIf you want more, my short story Valentine Shower (originally titled Blue Valentine) will be out on February 12, 2014. It’s also available for pre-order now. Valentine Shower is part of a new e-book anthology from Dreamspinner Press called A Valentine Rainbow. Here’s the blurb for my story:

For Reuben, numbers are everything people are not: rational, predictable, and soothing. Outside of this family, his boss, Terry, is the one person he feels connected with. In the years they’ve worked together, listening to Terry’s jokes and stories over coffee has become a reliable part of his routine. But he’s missed having family nearby since his parents retired to Florida, and figures he’ll need a woman to correct the problem. He’s hurt and confused when Terry not only refuses to help, but announces he won’t be coming around much anymore. It’s up to Reuben’s no-nonsense sister Yaffa and his therapist, Dr. Greenberg, to help him understand Terry’s feelings—and his own. 

I hope you enjoy them both!