A New Book for 2022: Bringing Me Dreams

I don’t know which to celebrate more, a new book or a new blog. I’ve utterly failed at blogging this year, with one meager post way back in March about my last book, Words Unsaid. My excuses are fairly pedestrian: I haven’t had much to say, and even when I did, I was busy doing something else and found it too hard to divide my attention. I notice that more as I grow older, especially since a large portion of my brain is receiving pain signals from my back 24/7. It is what it is.

In Pittsburgh, L-R: Andy Warhol Bridge, Roberto Clemente Bridge

My new book, Bringing Me Dreams, is set in Pittsburgh, which truly is an interesting city. We had our GCLS conference there in 2019 with Malinda Lo giving the keynote address. Unfortunately, it rained like hell on the days I meant to explore, but I distinctly remember the flavor of the city from living there in the late 1960s. The best word to describe both the city and its people — grit. Abundant grit.

I started this book in late 2017/early 2018 with the hope of having it available for that GCLS conference, but found its tone too heavy for the time. Horrific #MeToo stories were piling up; work resumed on the Keystone Pipeline even after a 21K-gallon spill; children were being separated from their parents at the Southern border; and a mass shooting claimed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. I didn’t want to work on an angsty book in that climate, so I finished A Proper Cuppa Tea and hopped over to The Lucky Ones, leaving 30K words untouched for the next three years.

When I revisited this book, I decided to make it a lighter read. I kept the names (Gianna Del Vecchio and Keenan McEvoy) and the setting (Pittsburgh), but changed how they met and set about rewriting the first draft. It stalled at 25K words — because Gianna and Keenan weren’t these breezy women in this new version. In my mind, they were still the angsty women from the first draft. Back in 2011, I gave the keynote address at the GCLS conference in Orlando and encouraged writers to get off the main trail and challenge themselves to write stories once in a while that took readers out of their comfort zones. So I listened to my own words and made myself write a tough book.

I don’t have an exact publication date for this yet because Bella didn’t even know it was coming until I sent them the manuscript. I don’t write under deadline anymore because I’m afraid I’ll miss it and screw up everyone else’s work. We’re shooting for August 2022, but we hope to have advance copies at the GCLS conference in Albuquerque next summer.

Bringing Me Dreams

Reeling from her brother’s senseless death, Gianna Del Vecchio finds comfort in an online forum from a woman who suffered a similar loss. Theirs is a club no one wants to join—survivors of a loved one’s suicide. Photos posted to the forum of the woman’s cute therapy dog bring cheer when nothing else can, and Gianna is compelled to reach out to say thanks.

After two years, Keenan McEvoy is still fighting her way back from despair after losing her partner, Annabel. She’s surprised when she connects with Gianna, whose kindness and compassion ignite a spark she wasn’t sure she’d feel again.

Their fledgling romance is jeopardized by Jaz, Gianna’s ex-girlfriend and current best friend, who’ll stop at nothing to keep them apart—even threatening to repeat their worst nightmare. How do they conquer their own guilty demons and stop Jaz from laying more blame at their feet? 

PS

Any guesses where I got this title? There’s a big hint in the second paragraph of the description.

2 Responses to “A New Book for 2022: Bringing Me Dreams”

  1. The title’s from Edgar Allen Poe, “Annabel Lee,” yeah? 🙂

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