A little late, but I’m in the anthology Queer Christmas in Cowtown!

queer-christmas-in-cowtown-kindleCurated by M Jane Colette, this is a collection of non-fiction stories by YYC Queer Writers. It was #8 on the Calgary non-fiction bestsellers list last week!

A baker’s dozen of queer Christmas stories for the twelve days of Christmas. An exercise in writing—storytelling—story finishing—and story sharing.

The writers were asked to write “true” and “queer.” (Also, short. Because, shiny things!) Their interpretations of these instructions are as marvellously unique—and queer—and true—as they are.

The book is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and all royalties go to Camp Fyrefly, “Canada’s only national leadership retreat for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, asexual, intersex, queer, questioning, and allied youth. The camp provides a space for youth to explore their identity, build resilience and enhance self-esteem, all while having an awesome camp experience. Participants return home with a support network of positive friendships, trusted adult mentors, and an empowered sense of self.” 

queer-up-your-holidayswith-our-fab-book-launch

I’m guest blogging at Canadian Lesfic!

Today over at the Canadian Lesfic site, I’m blogging about writing local, the how and why I like to set some of my stories in the Great White North of Canada.

http://canadianlesfic.com/writing-local-by-alyssa-linn-palmer/

When I first started writing fiction seriously, I hardly even considered setting a book in Calgary. Why Calgary when there were so many more fascinating places? Calgary felt dull; it had the wear of the familiar, the everyday. It was the place where I’d grown up, gone to school, and worked. But yet, for this story, nowhere else seemed to work nearly as well. As much as I love the cosmopolitan feel of a city like Paris, or San Francisco, or New York, this story felt like it needed to be home.

My new lesbian romance, BETTING ON LOVE, is a Goodreads giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Betting on Love by Alyssa Linn Palmer

Betting on Love

by Alyssa Linn Palmer

Giveaway ends February 28, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Oh my. Nick Cave. (My much delayed review)

I had never expected to get to see Nick Cave in concert. Ever.

To be honest, a lot of the musicians I like don’t seem to make it across the pond (or if they do, it’s only to Toronto/NYC/etc.). Seeing PJ Harvey in 2000 was only thanks to her touring as the opening act for U2, for example. And I have yet to see a number of other musicians I’d really like to (Swedish group Kent, for one).

Push-The-Sky-Away-nick-caveBut finally, to my utter delight, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds came to Calgary.

I’m still not quite over the show, and it’s been a week. The new album, Push The Sky Away, is fantastic. I’ve had it on repeat all week. As I said to my friend Karen, who came with me to the show: Nick Cave is up there as one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. He’s as good as Bowie. And for me, that’s saying quite a lot.

He started with the first track from the new album, We No Who U R, and from that moment, I was completely smitten and entranced. Jubilee Street was next, and then the classic Tupelo, and Red Right Hand (which I had stuck in my head for several days afterwards). Interspersed with tracks from the new album were a good selection (most of which I’d heard on his Best Of… album), including The Weeping Song, From Her to Eternity, Into My Arms (beautifully done on piano), and The Mercy Seat (which came to a dramatic climax).

He also played Stagger Lee (probably one of the most recognizable from the Murder Ballads album) and seemed to take great delight in its drama, enunciating the violent swagger and commands of Stagger Lee as he moved across the stage.

The encore was three songs: The Ship Song; Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry; and The Lyre of Orpheus. The Ship Song moved me (as had Into My Arms, earlier), as I remember when I’d first heard it, on a mix tape given to me by a former boyfriend. At that point, I realized that I’d been listening to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds since I was seventeen. How the time flies.

If I could, I’d turn back the clock and relive June 27th and the entire show. That’s how good it was.

Full Setlist:
We No Who U R
Jubilee Street
Tupelo
Red Right Hand
The Weeping Song
Mermaids
From Her to Eternity
West Country Girl
Into My Arms
God Is in the House
Higgs Boson Blues
The Mercy Seat
Stagger Lee
Push the Sky Away
Encore:
The Ship Song
Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry
The Lyre of Orpheus

Cover reveal! BETTING ON LOVE

Coming in February 2015 from Bold Strokes Books, I’m delighted to be able to reveal the cover for my lesbian romance, BETTING ON LOVE, where a quiet country-girl-at-heart and a live-life-to-the-fullest biker take a risk at offering each other their hearts.

Betting on Love 300 DPI

Land poor, Elly leaves the family farm and heads to the big city to become something better than a waitress at a small-town diner. Though she’s succumbed to economic necessity and the siren song of her one-time lover, Alex, she can’t bear to give up the farm, which has been in her family for generations. As much as she wants to, she can’t have everything she desires, and she’ll have to decide what is more important: the past or the future.

Alex has always been a daredevil, up for anything, never tying herself down to anyone. When she falls head over heels for quiet Elly, everyone’s surprised, no one more than her best friend and occasional lover, Will. As things heat up between them, Elly must choose between her past and her future, and Alex is faced with a decision that will shake her to the core of all she holds dear.

goodreads-badge-add

Music: Bellewether ‘Finding David’

L to R: Graham, Oksana, Carol-Anne & Andrew of Bellewether

Last Saturday night at the Quality Inn (Airport), I was fortunate to be treated to an evening of music by Calgary band Bellewether, a quartet of talented musicians celebrating the release of their album ‘Finding David’. (Their opening act was singer/songwriter Christina Helen Marie, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how good her music was too. I hope she’ll release an album soon.)

Bellewether’s live show was fantastic. Lots of banter between songs (perhaps Oksana and Carol-Anne are thinking about alternate gigs as comedians? Maybe?) and great music. Vocally the group is fronted by Oksana and Carol-Anne, and the two have great harmony.

Their album is just as good as their live show. Split into two Acts, with instrumental tracks, it is (in the words of Oksana, during one bantering moment) based upon a dream. The tracks flow into one another and create an excellent listening experience. I’ve listened to it while writing, and  it’s just right. I’m already looking forward to the next album, and to the next live show.

Check out their website at bellewether.ca and listen to tracks at MySpace. Buy the album at iTunes.