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Showing posts from March, 2008

League Book Club Post #1: Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry

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*rubs hands together* Hee hee hee. (That's an evil laugh, in case you didn't know.)

This week we'll be discussing Mark Henry's Happy Hour of the Damned, which I personally thought was awesome.

Remember, we're discussing themes and craftsmanship and characterization--the stuff that made the book resonate and contributed to the fun--rather than "like" or "didn't like", although that will be in there too, I'm sure.

Mark is offering up some spiffy prizes, too--some Secret Zombie Presents and a signed copy of the book! So join in everyone!

Okay, here's our first topic.

Amanda Feral is quite the fashionista. What do you think her obsession with labels tells us about her character? In what way did Henry use those to reveal her personality?

And also, don't you think it's a little odd that Mark had such familiarity with those designers? Does it make you wonder about his upbringing? Seriously.

Comment away!

In the League Lounge: Rachel Vincent!

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As it's becoming a rarity to have a weekend interview around these parts, I like to keep up the tradition of cocktails by the Tiki bar. So, I wandered into the League Lounge to set up and to my surprise, found Rachel Vincent already nursing a sinister concoction she mixed for herself. She calls it a Jaguar and I for one am a little frightened of what could be in it.

Mark: Hi Rachel! (I grab the drink and swirl it) should I be concerned?

Rachel: Well, a jaguar does have quite a bite. Try it.

Mark: Well, if you insist. (I take a long slug) Damn, girl! That shit burns going down. I better get to some questions quick before I end up dancing on the bar. So your new book Rogue follows your werecat heroine, Faythe, on some new prrrrrfectly exciting adventures, yes?

Rachel: Naturally. Faythe's playing with the big boys now, and she only knows one way to play...

Mark: Tell us all about it. Everything. Don't leave out a single detail. I hate to wait. (I slurp the murky Jaguar…

League Book Club Post #5: Dead to Me by Anton Strout SPOILERS

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Here we are, time for the last discussion of the week!

Remember, next week we'll be talking about Mark Henry's Happy Hour of the Damned, so be sure to come back for that one!

So...Dead to Me...

What was your favorite part? What did you think of the ending?

League Book Club Post #4: Dead to Me by Anton Strout SPOILERS

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It's time for spoilers!

If you haven't read the book yet, don't read the comments here. It will ruin everything. (Unless of course you're one of those people who sneaks and reads the end of the book. Um, like me, because I totally do that. I usually manage to make it 70 pages or so, and I try not to read enough to really spoil everything, but I do peek.)

So...who was your favorite supporting character and why? Was there a particular moment that realy stood out for you, or is it just in looking back that you realize you particularly liked that character?

League Book Club Post #3: Dead to Me by Anton Strout

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Yesterday we talked a bit about Simon's desire for normalcy and the need he seems to have to either pretend his abilities aren't there or downplay them.

I wondered how much of that you think comes from his past? We aren't really certain what made him give up his Nefarious Deeds and Walk the Straight and Narrow, but do you think his fear of his abilities and attempts to work around them somehow means that for Simon, psychometry has become linked with memories of being someone he didn't like being, and no longer wants to be?

How do you think that affects the choices he makes now?

Tomorrow and Friday we do Spoiler Threads!

League Book Club Post #2: Dead to Me by Anton Strout

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So today I thought we'd talk some about Simon as a character (no, not just because I have a huge crush on him! I'm a serious Book Discusser, me.)

For someone with the abilities Simon has--not just metaphysically, but physically, he's pretty good with that baton--he has a lot of insecurities. How do you think his relationship with Connor highlights those, and what does it say about both men?

Also, in what way do Simon's relationships with women effect the overall plot? Would most men have been unable (or unwilling) to perform after seeing Tamara and Fergus in the beginning? Do you think his attachments to Irene and Jane are indicative of his need to find women who need him, rather than simply wanting him? And again, if this is how he sees his function in a romantic relationship or male/female one, is that perhaps part of the reason why his relatonship with Connor is what it is? Does Simon still try to see his place in his world as a traditional one?

League Book Club Post #1: Dead to Me by Anton Strout

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Hi all! Sorry this post is a little later than I would have liked--we went out to get something to eat and it ended up taking much longer than I expected. But let's get started!

Remember, we want to dicuss the themes of the book and what resonated with us, rather than simply whether or not we liked the book. And despite appearances to the contrary, we try to be nice here.

So let's jump in!

The first discussion item for the day comes from Mr. Henry, who isn't around but agreed to give me a few tips and helpful points while I moderate my first book club ever.

Dead to Me opens with a Woody Allen quote ("There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is how far is it from midtown and how late is it open?") and Anton's love of New York City is evident througout. Would Dead to Me have worked in a small-town setting? Why or why not? How else does that quote relate to both the novel and Simon's particular neuroses?

I may post more dicussion items late…

Everyone's at Norwescon, and I am all alone...

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All alone, with my family. Which at the moment includes a three-year-old with a stomach flu. She threw up Scotch eggs all over my vintage Sandman t-shirt today. Yes, I was wearing it at the time. All over my shirt, all over my jeans, all over me. Fun. Almost as much fun as five minutes ago when she threw up bananas all over her bed.

But, in the interests of actually amusing you rather than grossing you out, here is the picture of the Princess wearing the birthday gift she insisted on getting last summer.


March Book Club, Part One: Dead to Me by Senor Strout

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Oi! League Peeps! Remember when we talked about doing the book club for both Dead to Me and Happy Hour of the Damned? Not gonna happen. I'm going to be out of town or busy with signings for the rest of this week and much of next week so Stacia is going to take the reigns on a week of fun festivities for one of our own. The oh-so pale, terrifically punny, Anton Strout.

He'll be here next week--moreso than usual--chatting with readers about all things Dead to Me. Got a crush on Simon? Let him know. Need Anton to come over and battle an unruly bookcase? It can't hurt to ask.

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In other League news...

We're coming up on two big releases for two of the League ladies, Ilona and Stacia. Get out there and pre-order Magic Burns and Personal Demons, or better yet, buy them up in the first week, or even better yet, do both.

Speaking of Ilona: The couple that writes together forums together and you can get into it with Ilona and Gordon over at Romantic Times. They're …

Better late than never?

Ugh! I am so sorry this is going up so late. I have spent my entire day on the phone, I swear. (Well, not swear like, swearing in court or anything. But I have spent a lot of time on the phone.)

See, I was tired this morning. And my Faery is ill. She's had...well, stomach troubles, is probably the nicest way to put it, and a fever. So she's been particularly cuddly. And I was tired. Periodically my insomnia lets up and I spend three days doing practically nothing but sleeping. In fact it's not even 10 pm and I'm ready to go to bed. (Considering I usually don't sleep until after 1 am, that's something.)

Then I had to call the best friend in Florida for a nice long chat. Which ended up being three hours long. Then time to do a few housecleaning type things, then...which is kind of the point of this post (yes, it does have a point):

A podcast interview. Over the phone. VERY strange. Really, really fun, but strange. Because I got to talk about writing with someone who…

Huh?

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A conversation with my six-year-old daughter

So the girls are playing in the living room. And the little one--Faery--trips over a toy. Not just any toy. A Millenium Falcon, the ones that you get for those little chunky Star Wars toys? We of course have this item.

Anyway, Faery trips and starts to cry.

Me: What happened?

Six-year-old (Princess): Faery tripped and hurt herself on that. (Points)

Me: On what?

Princess: On that spaceship there.

Me: That's not just "a spaceship"! That's the Millenium Falcon!

Princess: What's that?

Me: The Millenium Falcon is--well, it's the fastest ship in the galaxy! It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs! (picks up toy, sets it aside). You better not let your daddy hear you call the Millenium Falcon just a spaceship.


The Princess is a huge Ghost Rider fan, too. She wants a poster of him for her wall. One of these days I'll post the picture of her in her Ghost Rider mask--she begged to have it for her birthday. She can name most members of the Just…

Miss FancyPants!

It's not every day that we get super-awesome cool news, but today we do!

A certain lay-dee who we blog with got a big fancy agent. BIG. FANCY. AGENT.

Go read her story here: HERE HERE HERE. And like, cuss at her in the comments like I did.

Way to go, Stacia! I am thrilled for you, girlfriend. :)

(Now tell us a little bit about your book. Cause I love the title.)

Guest Blogger: Jaye Wells, Author, Blogger, Debutante

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This week Jaye takes over the guest blogging duties with a first sale story that's sure to inspire in its poignancy. Plus, if I may stop to make some fun, doesn't that picture make this post look like an advice column? It screams, "I'm listening, bitch. Whatchoo got?"

Ask Jaye. That might have to become a regular thing. What do you think?

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My first thought when Mark asked me to guest blog here at The League was "Hell, yeah!" Then he mentioned this was humor month, and I thought "Uh oh."

See, as much as I love the funny, when someone tells me to be funny all I hear is, "Dance, monkey, dance!" Thus, I'm sitting here in a tiny red fez. I tried to get my husband to wear a fake mustache and pretend to be an organ grinder, but he responded with something totally inappropriate about grinding organs followed by "that's what she said." So, he's no help.

Anyway...Mark asked me to talk about my first sa…

Fear of a new project

So I've started a new project. Actually, I've started two new projects.

And I'm scared.

What if these projects fail to come off properly? What if the last project is the last good thing I'll ever write? (What if it isn't that good, and I'm fooling myself into thinking I'm any good at all?) What if I'm one of those writers who is only capable of doing one thing, and then it all dries up and I'm never able to produce anything of interest ever again?

(I do realize that last one seems a bit far-fetched, as I have written several books. But if you take the "My favorite book is the one I'm working on/just finished" principle seriously, as I do, then all those previous books weren't important.)

And starting is so hard. I hate starting. My favorite part of writing is about Chapter Three-Twelve or so, with sparks of joy smattered throughout the rest. In the beginning it all feels clunky and hard. The book doesn't really know yet what it'…

Winnah winnah chicken dinnah!

Thanks to everyone that replied to the contest on Friday! I am happy to say that I have chosen a winner:

Collette!

Collette's answer actually made me sportle. That's the sound you make when you snort, spew your drink, and milk comes out of your nose. All at the same time. for real.

Collette, please email me at jillmyles at Gmail.com and let me know which two books you want, and your deets.

Congrats again!

Guest Blogger: Jim Hines

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Jim Hines is author of the very popular GOBLIN trilogy, which culminated on Tuesday with the release of Goblin War. That's right, guys. GOBLINS. And WEAPONS. How can you resist?

Jim has graciously agreed to share a very important message with you all today. Don't forget, you heard it here first!




A Message From the Blue Party Candidates
I would like to thank the League of Reluctant Adults and all of their readers for giving me the chance to announce a new candidate for the White House: Jig the goblin.

Polls show that the war is a top concern for many voters. Jig Dragonslayer is a veteran of the great Goblin War of 2008. While there are other veterans running for office, how many of them can claim to have fought both sides in the same war? It's that kind of untraditional strategy that has kept him alive all these years. And unlike his opposition, Mister Dragonslayer's position on war has never wavered: when faced with the possibility of violence, he has always run away as fa…

Things That Shoulda Been Cooler Than They Really Were

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All right, since I can't think of a single thing to talk about, let's discuss Things. As in, Things that should have been kickass awesome...and really just kinda sucked. Or maybe they were lame. No books, mind you, but there's plenty of other fodder out there.

Like...

The Cranberries song, Zombie. There were actually no zombies in it. Pity.

The TV show, Jericho. Because there's not enough post-apocalyptic roller derby.


Pride & Prejudice - the remake with Keira Knightley. We don't even get a KISS between Darcy and Elizabeth? HELLO? This one was done in 2007 specifically for theaters, not public TV, people. I'm not saying I wanted to see some Darcy dong (even though I do), but I'm saying that you should give a girl something.

The Matrix, Part Two - Proving that Hollywood can give you too much of a good thing.

Pirates of the Carribbean, Part Two & Part Three - See above.

The 80's - Because when you think back on all that music, this shoulda been a decade…

Caitlin Kittredge: Author, Guest Blogger

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This week, we welcome author, Caitlin Kittredge. Her debut novel, Night Life, is on shelves now, or will be for a few days...until it sells out. We know our readers hate to wait for books to be ordered, so go now. Right now. Drop what you're doing. Doctors, that patient can wait. Daycare workers, aren't kids way more self sufficient these days? When you get back you can read Caitlin's musings. That shiny purple novel will enhance the enjoyment of any blog experience.

Are you back? Okay. Enjoy...


MY CAKE CAN BEAT UP ANTON'S CAKE!


Isn't it glorious? Ganache makes everything better.

When the League invited me to guest blog, I wasn't sure I was up to their standards of wacky hijinks and sound writerly advice, so I came prepared with bribes...cake (see above) and booze. (Just wait. It'll come.)

I had some nebulous theme when I started writing about brain food, and replenishing your resources for Serious Artistic Creation with things like reality TV and ch…

Humiliation X3, But, Sadly, No Brain Cake (The Director's Cut)

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For sheer laziness and other reasons I won't go into here. I'm cross-posting from my personal blog. If you've already read it, feel free to share your own stories of humiliation.

I've been collecting interesting anecdotes from my first week as a published author, mostly good stuff, but there have been weird, shall I say sinister, turns. Take for instance...

Last Wednesday, being the diligent sales tool, I am, I embarked on a journey of book store drive-bys. For those not in the know, this is where an author hops in his filthy compact car and sputters up and down the freeway, searching for book stores that aren't ambivalent to us debutantes, where he (me) might sign whatever copies they have on hand. It might be an awesome experience, like the one Synde and her friends at the downtown Seattle Barnes and Noble bestowed on me (I'll let the camera speak for me on this one, except to say that she even gave me a cushy brain stress ball) or it could be... less tha…

Those Tricksy Excerpts

So tomorrow I start posting the first of my weekly Personal Demons excerpts on my own blog, and picking them is...well, difficult.

See, I have a whole book to choose from. And I don't know what to pick. Clever dialogue? An action scene? Something sexy? Something funny?

On the one hand I don't want to pick anything from too far into the book, because that would require too much set-up. On the other hand, I want to make sure the excerpt is engaging enough without revealing any major twists. On the third hand (what? I can have three hands if I want) I want something with conflict and interest, something that at least gives readers a sense of where the book is coming from and where it's going.

So I want something that is fun and interesting without being nothing but action, that gives a sense of wht will happen without giving it all away, and that is involving but doesn't require any real set-up.

Should be easy to find. :rolleyes.

What sort of excerpts do you guys like?

March is Personal Demonstravaganza Month! (sort of)

Because Personal Demons releases next month--less than thirty days from today!

And I'm having a bunch of contests and stuff!

Now, I will be holding another contest or two next month, after the book comes out. But right now we're working on advance stuff. So here's what you need to do to enter:

1. Do you have a review blog? Do you want a PDF ARC to review? Email me (staciakane AT gmail.com) and let me know! One review equals one entry.

2. Create an Amazon Listmania List and place the book on it. That's one entry. You get an additional half entry for placing books by any of the following authors on it:

Mark Henry
Caitlin Kittredge
Anton Strout
Richelle Mead
Ilona Andrews

(Please, guys, keep the lists serious. I will be checking, because you'll be emailing me the link to your list. So if the list is called, say, "The List I Made to Win a Prize" it doesn't count. We're looking for urban fantasy, paranormal romance, that sort of thing.)

3. Tag the book on Amazon.…

Mark Del Franco's Unbelievable Unquiet Dreams Contest!

So we come to the giveaway. Only...SURPRISE! It's actually a contest, more of a scavenger hunt, really.

The prize: 2 signed copies of Unquiet Dreams.

The rulz: There are 2 groups vying for these, the commentors and the lurkers. Mark's set aside a copy for the first person in each group to post a specific image, or a link to the specific image in the comments. Please identify yourself as a commentor or a lurker.

The rundown: In Unshapely Things, there's a poster on the wall in Robin's and Shay's room. It's not precisely identified in the book, but it's iconic, and should be easy to figure out.

That's it, who wants to play?