The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Next Book in Series Is a Go!

Just signed a contract with Dreamspinner Press to publish the third in my Foothills Pride series, Behr Facts, in October/November 2015.  It too is a novella which centers around the fictitious community of Stone Acres, California, due east of the San Francisco Bay area.

This time Abe Behr is the main character.  Abe with his younger brothers Ben and Connor runs Behr Construction Company, and they are the main contractor in the area, employing numerous Behr relatives who are split on the subject of queers moving into the area.

Clashes between the newbies and the oldtimers continue in the third book as Abe tries to figure out who in the family is skimming money from the company.  Abe is also faced with exploring his sexuality when he's attracted to the son of his father's nemesis.

The second book in the series, Redesigning Max, publishes in July.

To read the first Foothills Pride story, What's in a Name?, get your copy here:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Peek at the Next Book: Redesigning Max

What Fredi Zimmer, main character in Redesigning Max, might wear to work
Here's a tiny excerpt of the next Foothills Pride story, Redesigning Max, coming from Dreamspinner Press in July 2015:

I swish. I sway. Occasionally I lisp. Sometimes, it’s even an act. These days gay sells, and I’m not above selling my design services with a lot of swish, sway, and lisp.

Oh, I’m a twink. I freely admit it. And sometimes twink works and sometimes, well, twink just queers the sale, for this designer.

Some days I just need to forget trying to impress another potential client for a few minutes, be my introverted dreamer self, and relax. I’ve fought hard for the extrovert shell, which all my friends well know, but as I pass from my workaholic twenties into the abyss of my unknown thirties, I wonder which Fredi Zimmer is going to emerge triumphant.

Some days I can barely lift my hands for another “Oh. My. God! Look. At. You. Girl!” Some days my inner bitch claws to get out. Some days I wonder if any of us can possibly be sane enough to cross the street by ourselves.

When I’m working, my life is all about the mental game while I juggle up to five multimillion dollar projects at a time. So taking a minute to let all the balls rest is essential to my mental health.

I stretched as I got myself comfortable in one of the plush chairs in the reading area of Penny’s Too. I’d designed the remodel of this mid-1880s brick bank building into a coffee bar for my friends Jimmy and Felicity. We’d decided on a modern take on an Old West men’s club, which fit beautifully into the Old Town area of the foothills community of Stone Acres, California. I hadn’t done a half-bad job, if I do say so myself.

I sat back and took a sip of my namesake drink, Fredi’s Feast, an interesting mix of cinnamon and cardamom with a heady dollop of whipped cream. It was foamy and frothy, but lusty underneath. I was a little surprised at how my best friend Jimmy Patterson saw me, or at least which flavors he’d used to translate my personality into a drink. Lusty? Just the word made me tingle.

True, I’m an out-and-proud gay man, having declared myself in junior high, and my wardrobe since then has proclaimed my love of color and often hints at my undeniable sense of originality and whimsy.

Today, however, I was dressed in work clothes—a vintage 1940s three-piece teal sharkskin suit. With a fire-engine-red shirt and antique-ivory lace tie, I was looking my sartorial best.

As I sat in Jimmy’s coffee house, I let myself relax. It was about time I took some real R&R to find myself a big boy with benefits, something I hadn’t done in, well, what seemed like forever. I had the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon just to sit, sip, and imagine my dreamboat. Maybe the hunk of my imagination would walk in and romance me.

Before I got completely lost in this improbable fantasy, who should walk in but the most gorgeous hunk of man I’d seen since moving here from San Francisco? He ordered and then, wonders of wonders, sat down in the club chair next to me. My, my, the day was definitely looking up. Who’d have thought one little dream would turn real so quickly?
To read the first Foothills Pride story, What's in a Name?, go to

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What Do You Do, Pat?

Glad you asked Tempeste O'Riley!

Here's the first of the Q&A interview on Tempeste's blog today:

What makes your stories different from other authors out there?
Pat: I think of my stories as entry level M/M romances since they have no sex scenes, but are primarily about love and how two men fall in love. I see my readers as men and women who never thought they’d ever read a romance, but have heard so much about them that they want to read one to find out what they’re like. I also see my reader/s as curious about exploring love, not sex, as we both try to figure out what makes one person love another one.
For more about me, visit Tempeste's blog.
To order What's in a Name?, go here

Monday, April 27, 2015

I Write Romance Fiction

The April 26, 2015, issue of McLean's has an interesting article that anyone interested in writing fiction, and romance fiction in particular, should read.  "Why romance novelists are the rock stars of the literary world" not only gives wonderful background information about romance writing, but also gives the history as it's exploded with the e-book revolution.

Filmmaker Laurie Kahn says that, "in the three to four years in which she worked on the film, “There’s been a revolution in publishing, and it has upended everything. It used to be that the power was completely in the hands of the publishers, and authors were like hitchhikers waiting by the side of the road, hoping some agent would pick them up."

Kahn explores the much-derided romance genre in a documentary film she's just finished.  When talking about GLBT romances, the article says, "books [are] placed in the 'cultural studies' section of major bookstores—the likely assumption on the part of retailers being that LGBT romance is too niche for general fiction. In other words, if you’re a run-of-the-mill heterosexual romance novel, you’re the subject of cheap ridicule, and if you’re an LGBT romance novel, you’re perceived as irrelevant outside the realm of esoteric academic study."

Fortunately, the electronic revolution has occurred and the romance genre is flourishing even more, and it's possible for anyone interested in reading about love and relationships to find a book easily and quickly.

For a novella which doesn't feature sex, I recommend my own "What's in a Name?"  C'mon, now, you're not surprised I'd push my own book, are you?

You can buy What's in a Name? at

Monday, April 20, 2015

Writing into the Future OR Work in Progress

I'm currently writing When Adam Fell, the fourth novella in the Foothills Pride series, after What's in a Name?, Redesigning Max, and Behr Facts.

Adam appears briefly in the first book when Guy takes Jimmy on a romantic dinner out to Adam's Sierra Bistro.  Once a famous San Francisco chef, Adam abandoned fame and started a small restaurant in the foothills of Northern California.  He serves what he wants and diners either eat it or they don't.

The mystery is why Adam decamped from the city and what happens when his past comes back to haunt him.  To tell the story, I've introduced Jason, Adam's former lover; Little John (aka L. J.), Adam's current sous chef; and Damon, the teen Adam's mentoring.

So far, this is the way the book starts out.  This is subject to revision, however.  It's early stages and I'm only 11K into writing the book.  So this may or may not be included in the final copy.

You've probably heard of me even if you haven't seen me on streaming media or TV.  I'm Adam de Leon, the guy who won the Millennium Cook-Off and then capped the win with the Gift to the Gods Challenge five years later.

There’ve been a lot of rumors about what happened to me afterward, whether I tried to off myself like the celebrity media reported or if I seriously plotted to poison Anthony Bourdain, Emeril Lagasse, and a dozen other celebrity chefs.  Well, I can put those rumors to rest right away.  Might as well start up front.

Yeah, I thought about killing myself, but it had nothing to do with cooking.  Good thing I’ve got solid friends, who talked me down after I had to walk away from the love of my life.

The chefs?  It didn't even occur to me to try to take them out.  I know I look like a hitman—it’s where they got the name for my short-lived show, Thug in the Kitchen.  Looking like a thug doesn't mean acting like one, though. 

My best friend Guy Stone and I might appear to be out to destroy the world, but he owns and runs Stonewall Saloon and is together with barista and coffee shop owner Jimmy Patterson.  I mean, how middle class can you get, right?

Me?  After the turmoil of the last ten years, I got out of the celebrity chef business and started cooking what I want to cook for the people who want to eat at my Sierra Nevada mountain bistro.  I serve one sitting per week night and two per weekend.  I cook for friends and have gala parties for paying customers.  For the past couple of years, my place has been a part of Tahoe destination weddings.

Unlike Stone and Jimmy, and Fredi and Max, and a bunch of my other friends, I'm not looking for love or to settle down.  I'm perfectly okay as I am.  I’ve got money, food, and friends.  What more can a thug want?
Buy What's in a Name? at these online booksellers:
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Barnes and Noble

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What's Up, Pat?

Runway pictures from Men's Fashion Week. 
Fredi wears a suit like one of these when he meets Max for the first time.
Only Fredi pairs it with a red shirt and cream knit tie.  Lovely!
I'm currently in the middle of edits for the second book in the Foothills Pride novella series, Redesigning Max.  No cover or flashy art to show yet, so I'm using an image I pulled off the Internet from one of the European fashion shows to illustrate what Fredi Zimmer, the narrator of Redesigning Max, might look like.  He's a fashionista to the nth degree.

In the writing arena, I've submitted the third book in the series, Behr Facts, to Dreamspinner and am awaiting their decision whether to take the novella or not.  What can I say about it? 

Abe Behr and his younger brothers Ben and Connor are the heart and soul of Behr Construction Company, the firm that turns Fredi's designs into reality.  Abe's the stalwart, loyal, stoic linchpin of the company.  If he hadn't taken over when his alcoholic father stopped caring and working, the company which employs most of the Behr relatives in the area would have folded.

Abe thinks of himself as asexual until he meets CPA Jeffrey Mason.  The only problem is Jeff is a Mason, the family Abe's father hated.  In fact Old Man Behr hated the Masons more than he loved his own sons and lost his youngest, Dominic, because of his indifference.  So how are a Behr and a Mason going to get together?  And in the unsettled climate of queers moving into the Sierra Foothills, how are Abe's younger brothers, the Behr clan, and the community going to react to Abe's coming out?

All of those books are on the back burners of my mind since they're finished.  What's roiling around on the front burners are two novellas in progress.  More about them in future posts.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Q & A and Giveaway!

That's right!  Jimmy and Guy, of What's in a Name?, ask a multiple choice question at The Romance Reviews Anniversary party tomorrow and the winner gets a prize.

Check it out on Monday, March 30.  YOU could be the big winner.

Good luck!

Buy What's in a Name? at online booksellers including

Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Barnes and Noble
Dreamspinner Press