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Showing posts from May, 2009

If Everyone Jumped Off a Cliff . . .

. . . I'd be right there with them. So when I saw that EVERYONE seemed to be vlogging (note my confident use of the jargon), I was like, "I gotta vlog, dude! Everybody's doing it! Lemme just finish smoking this gateway drug and experimenting with deviant sexuality, and I'm all in!" 
Okay, I was doing NEITHER of those things, I had just returned from a night of fierce trivia over at PieWorks, but whatever.
Anyway, I vlogged. It's tres rough. Keep in mind I didn't know I had a camera in my iMac until like three weeks ago. I wasn't a member of YouTube till last night. So it's REALLY rough, but I consider it a learning experience.
I think I'll do more. I had a lot of fun, and I will babble less in future. I'll probably put them up on my own site, from now on, but for this one I thought I'd let the League have at me. Tell me what you really think. Tell me what to talk about! That's most important. Give me some idears.
So here I am. In all m…

Constructive Construction

I think I have solved the dammit-I-hate-road-construction crisis that faces every one of us when we hit the highways each summer. Here's my idea.

As soon as you reach a construction zone, a computer inside your car is activated by a beacon beside the road. All driving responsibilities go to auto-pilot. At which point laser guns emerge from compartments hidden in the vehicle. You and any passengers then attempt to shoot targets, which double as the reflectors that stick out of the top of the barrels that mark where you can and cannot drive in construction lanes. If you hit a target, something neat pops out of the top of the barrel. A clown, maybe, or a bank robber with his hands in the air, signaling surrender. At the end of the construction zone, scores are tallied, and whoever wins on the day gets a free tank of gas. Cool?

If you could, how would you completely alter your driving experience?

New Winners!

All right, I'm over the feeling of being unloved. Really, I am. Unfortunately, three previous winners didn't come forward, even after my last call. And so, those three are disqualified. Sorry, ex-winners.

Being a believer in hope springing eternal and all that jazz, I have drawn three new random winners from the original contest comments. And the new winners are:

1. Chris said...LibraryThing and Fang-tastic Books. :)

7. Heather C said...I have 2 places I would post a review - on my facebook page and over and my blog page at Bitten By Books. I'd love to have a copy!!!

34. Sara said...I would blog on my own personal livejournal and blogger accounts. I don't really have anyone reading those, so I would also post the review on Amazon, B&N, Borders... Basically, anywhere I can think of. Lol.
Congratulations, new winners!Because I am now gunshy, I'm giving you 48 hours to contact me with your postal addresses. Please email me at jax aht jackiekessler daht calm with …

Gratuitous Self Promotion!

I got my first author quote for Tempest Rising! From RACHEL CAINE!
"Grounded equally in ancient myth and the challenges of modern life, Jane True lives up to her name ... true, and truly unique!  A fascinating, fast-paced, sexy storm of a book." - Rachel Caine

I'm shitting in my pants!

Last Call for Winners

I announced the five winners of the "Psst. Want a copy of B&W" contest last week. Really, I did. But as of today, only two of the five winners emailed me with their postal addresses.

I feel so unloved.

My therapist tells me I need to be more proactive. And so, this is the last call for the remaining three winners: If I don't hear from you by midnight Tuesday, May 26, I'm picking three new winners on Wednesday, May 27.

Come on, winners. Prove that you love me. Email me with your postal addresses so you get get your copies of BLACK AND WHITE.

Signing off to write some macabre poetry or something.

Killin' Germs

Mmm. Riesling.

What's your poison tonight?

Throwin' that gauntlet down!

Yes. Here I am, throwing it down. And who am I throwing it at?

JAYE WELLS.


See, last night I was hanging around on Twitter. (What? I wasn't avoiding work! No, no, not me! I was, um, keeping tabs on everyone else. Because that's my job.)

Anyway. I was on Twitter. As was a certain Miss Jaye Wells. And Miss Jaye was bemoaning her own lack of balls--figuratively--when it comes to doing awesome things with her hair. To whit: Jaye feels that, had she any GUTS, she would do black-and-red streaks in her hair like the fantastic heroine of her fantastic book RED-HEADED STEPCHILD (and its sure-to-be-fantastic sequels, as Jaye is a kick-ass writer).

And you know what? I personally feel the same. If Jaye had any guts, she would do it.

And so the gauntlet is thrown. IF Miss Jaye does the hairy deed, and goes black with red streaks, *I* will put red streaks in my own bleached-white hair. And I'm talking red, folks; dark, primary-color red. AND I will post pictures here on the League blog.

So. …

Winners!

Wow -- lookit all the fabulous people who commented! You all rock, each and every one of you.

Thanks to a spiffy random number generator, I now have five winners! You are:

#13: bridget3420
#29: Sabrina
#33: Valorie
#43: Chelle
#47: Jacqueline C

Congratulations, winners! Please email me at jax aht jackiekessler daht calm with your postal addy, and I'll put your copy of B&W in the mail. And please do blog/post about B&W when you're done -- whether you loved it or hated it. Thankya!

Ode to Humidity, or, Why I Loved NOLA

Okay, so I figured out why so much UF is set in or around New Orleans. Because it’s FREAKING AMAZING.

I was just there for the weekend and it was my first time visiting. I am now officially obsessed. The food, the people, the stench . . . I love me some stinky city and New Orleans smelled like a dock yard whore’s underthangs.

It’s the kind of city that makes me feel louche. I want to lounge on things, wearing too much make up that gets smudged in the heat. It’s so hot and sticky, and you just instantly feel dirty. So you have to embrace the dirt, rather than fight it.

New Orleans also looked exactly like it does in the movies. Have you ever been to a city and realized that it’s not the city in the films? That’s not only because “Chicago” or “New Jersey” was actually probably Toronto, but because oftentimes filmmakers find that one clean patch, or that one really interesting patch, of a given locale and make it even shinier and more interesting. But everyone wants NOLA dirty, disheveled, …

The Fang Debate

Okay, it's your turn to decide.

Vampires through the ages have stalked their prey with fangs that arrived along with their immortality, more or less instantly and permanently stuck in place.

But some of them seem to have the ability to retract their fangs, thus allowing them to bum around bars and alleyways, passing for regular human beings until the time is ripe to strike.

Which way do you prefer your bloodsuckers?

The League marches for world domination

Mario here:

A shout out for our Cherie...

From Publishers Lunch:

Cherie Priest's BLOODSHOT, the first novel in the Cheshire Red Reports, about a neurotic vampire/thief and her wealthy client who was blinded by a secret military project and hires her to steal back his records, to Anne Groell at Bantam Dell, in a two-book deal, by Jennifer Jackson at the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Send us your Heroes.

Over at Biting-Edge we're tallying the votes for your favorite hero. Win stuff by going HERE. Snarkiness is welcome.

The Review I'd Been Waiting For... From My Husband

When my husband, David, and I first got married, I was a scribbler. I scribbled ideas for books in legal pads, notebooks, three-ring binders. I had outlines and chapters and a few completed manuscripts saved on a huge stack of diskettes with carefully coded titles. And they were all ... well, terrible. (I've had about 10 years, my ideas have improved since then.)

My husband wasn't allowed to read any of it. Hence the coded titles. I was afraid he'd think he'd married a delusional lunatic. Or that I wasn't happy with him because I spent my free time creating these perfect, sexy paperback heroes. And still, every time we moved, he dutifully hauled my big box of notebooks and diskettes from house to house without complaint.

When NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS sold, David asked, "NOW, will you let me read somethiing you wrote?" I asked him to wait until it was in final edits, so he'd see the best possible version. And by the time the book came out …

Psst. Want a copy of B&W?

Yeah, I'm doing this crazy Twitter thing where I'll give 10 copies of BLACK AND WHITE to 10 random followers if I hit 1,000 followers. Insane. I know. But what else was I going to do with the copies?

And then lo, I received **another box** of BLACK AND WHITE today. Dude, it's like Bantam is giving them away! (Or fulfilling it's contractual obligation to its authors.)

So...here's the deal. In addition to the spiffy Twitter thing I have going on...I'll give away 5 copies of BLACK AND WHITE to 5 random commenters to this post. Anywhere in the world. Limit: one copy per person.

Here's all I ask: after you read the book...blog about it. If you love it, awesome. If you don't love it, say why. But blog. Tell people about it, and whether they should read it.

Sound fair? Or sound good, at least?

You have until Tuesday, May 19 to comment. In the comment, tell me where you'd post your review of BLACK AND WHITE. (And while I technically have to say that offering a …

Off Topic...maybe

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Jeanne here:

I'm a movie lover-- and I seldom look at movies with a critical eye. In fact, I'll look for reasons to like a movie much more often than I'll look at reasons to pan it.

But I’m not sure how I feel about this one--a new Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey, Jr and Jude Law. From USA Today:

"We are trying to make a fun adventure movie," (Producer Lionel Wigram) says. "My favorites are the Bond films. Raiders of the Lost Ark. I want to make a movie like that."

Familiarity does breed box office. "The word of the day is 'branding,' " says Hollywood mogul Joel Silver, another of the film's producers and a force behind the Die Hard and Matrix series. "We are always looking for branded ideas. Audiences are interested in seeing something they know."

But with a difference, too. This Holmes is as brainy as ever but is a bruiser as well. Bare-fisted boxing, sword fighting and a mastery of martial arts have been added …

Pulling in the Dough

From the age of twelve I knew the only thing I ever wanted to do in life was write books. But this field is slower than cold molasses, especially when you suck at it in the beginning like I did. So I figured I should find real work to help support the family while I learned how to write well (because apparently four years of college wasn't enough--snort!). Only in the last couple of years have I been able to write exclusively. Before that I held a number of odd jobs. Here's my short list:

Waitress
Piano Teacher
Housecleaner
TV Continuity Supervisor
Day Care Provider
Pool Cleaner
Freelance Writer
Grant Writer

So what kind of cool gigs have you guys held down?

New Cover Art!

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This is the cover art for Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men. I love it. I'm so happy they put a cardigan on Jane. She's so much more demure and bookish this time! I even love the bat jewelry!

Winner of TALL, DARK & FANGSOME ARC!

The winner of the Advance Reading Copy of TALL, DARK & FANGSOME is....

Caffey

Congrats! Please email me at michelle@michellerowen.com to let me know where to send it!

Thanks to everyone who entered! Great Buffy/Angel memories! I'm going to pull out my DVDs again soon!

--Michelle :-)

www.michellerowen.com

Zombie Raccoons & Killer Bunnies anyone?

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What can I say? I'm a giver. I like to share. Especially when it is as ridiculous a cover as this for an upcoming anthology I'm in.

Includes for lizzie, a short story about a day in the life of Godfrey Candella, head archivist for the Department of Extraordinary Affairs' Gauntlet Division from my Simon Canderous urban fantasy series. There's a host of others fine authors in there, but I haven't had a chance to read any of them yet. Mine, despite the package, is a little bit of a tear jerker. Coming October 6, 2009.

I can't tell you how awesome I find this package. Not a bare midriff, tattoo , or leather pantsed girl to be found!

Geographical Anomaly? Or Does UF Need Humidity to Survive?

So I just went over to our newest Leaguer's, Diana Rowland's, website, and saw that she lives in Southern Louisiana.
I, meanwhile, am writing this from Northern Louisiana. And I can count a shit ton of other UF/PR writers who are currently in this state or who are from this state and set their books here.
Which I know does make sense. After all, Anne Rice obviously made vampires and New Orleans practically synonymous. But it's still weird that so many of us live here, for entirely random reasons. I did not move to Louisiana for the vampires, after all, but for a job. And yet Shreveport is inextricably caught up with my story of "becoming" a UF writer. It was on a plane back to Edinburgh, after I'd been on my campus visit/interview here for the job I currently have, that I discovered the book that inspired me to write Tempest Rising. That book was Dead as a Doornail, by Charlaine Harris. Meanwhile, I only bought the book because my six-year-old-niece and I agree…

Thanks All!

I just wanted to shout out a "Thank you!" for everyone, both members and readers, who participated in the "Mother of All Vampires" Theme Week.

We'll be doing other variations of the Theme Week in the future, so stay tuned!

Buffy memories! Plus, win a signed ARC!

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Happy Mother's Day to all vampires (or non-vampires) out there!

So our theme week is vampires, is it? That's right up my alley. The mother thing...not so much.

I mean, I have a mother. I forced her to watch many episodes of Buffy and Angel with me over the years. And I think she even enjoyed some of it.

Buffy, for me, solidified my vamp love -- after years of enjoying Ann Rice and other vamp fiction (usually, at that time, found in the horror section). It was the first time that I noticed vampires "choosing" to be good and actively fighting their darker natures. This really appealed to me. Buffy's relationships with the vampires in her life -- the slayer falling for the vamp -- was a perfect Romeo/Juliet scenario. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a love story (no pun intended).

Upon reflection of Buffy's relationships with both Angel and Spike, I think I like both of them in different ways. Angel was the self-sacrificing guy with the very dark hidden side. Sp…

Happy Vampire Mother's Day!

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all the humans out there, too. And werewolves. And fairies. And ... um, dragons. Okay. Look if you're a mom, Happy Freaking Mother's Day, all right? Go eat your buffet and open your singing card already.

Hi. My name's Jessica Matthews O'Halloran (how I got that second last name is long story ... and Michele Bardsley so thoughtfully wrote about it in I'M THE VAMPIRE, THAT'S WHY). Michele asked me to write this post today because she's lazy. Also, she decided she wanted to see Star Trek (again ... sheesh) as her Mom's Day present. So, you know, lazy and lame.

But I digress.

I'm writing to give you the 4-1-1 about vampire motherhood. It ain't no cakewalk, people. In fact, there is no cake involved whatsoever and that's one of the parts that suck. (Snerk. I cannot resist vampire puns. Deal with it.) Okay. So more suckage: No sunlight. No chocolate. (Take that in for a minute ... yeah, you're running out to g…

Mother****er of All Vampires

Wait.

Is it mother****er or mother ****er?

::checks dictionary.com and comes back::

Ah. Either is correct. When I found out this was the Mother ****er of All Vampires week on the League, I thought it was incredibly sweet of everyone to want to do a week all about the bad ass vampire men in fiction... and then I realized it wasn't about that, but since Eric's sire (or "Grandma" if you ask Greta) doesn't show up on panel until book three of the Void City series, I'm making a shout out to all the Vampire Dads.

And I don't mean vampires creating offspring to rule the night and the bedroom with... I'm talking about vampires trying to create an actual family. Folks like Anne Rice's vampiric Odd Couple (yes, I did just compare Lestat and Louis to Felix Unger and Oscar Madison - you guys can fight who is Felix and who is Oscar amongst yourselves)... Hey, smooth moves, guys - cause making child vampires *always* works out sooooo well. Of course, even if you wa…

Have You Tried Not Being a Vampire?

I wanted to take a slightly different angle on "The Mother of All Vampires" theme and chat about, well, mothers. Mothers of vampires, that is, rather than mothers who are vampires (although symbolically speaking, they can be one and the same). Being turned into a vampire can be a traumatic experience for the turnee, but what about those left behind? Particularly, mom?

PIMPAGE WARNING!

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of devouring our own Molly Harper's NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS, and I enjoyed every snarky, Southern-flavored word. Molly has a fun take on vampires and their place in society, and I love the self-help passages that start each chapter.

Her heroine, Jane, has a fascinating set of parents--especially Mom. I won't go into details, for fear of spoilage, but there are several fun scenes in which new-vampire Jane and clueless Mom...um...interact. I'm very curious to see how the relationship develops in the next book.

I also mentioned another character in…

You're Not Leaving the Table Til You Eat That Truck Driver!

Naw, I don't suppose vamp moms are that worried about three squares a day and the food pyramid. (Or is it a tree now, I can never remember?) In fact, like many of my League buds, I figure they're kinda whacked. Or in danger of getting that way.

Which is why it's probably a good thing my vamp's mom died in childbirth. Because, face it, she'd just be pissed off all the time now. His first marriage fell apart. He's killed so many people he can't even keep count anymore. Plus he didn't even go to college. (I think she'd like his house though. He's got all that No-way-am-I-a-vampire landscaping going on.)

If I was going to write about the Mother of All Vampires, I think I'd have her throw a bitchin' Halloween party--and then turn all the guests who lost the costume contest into punch.

Granny is Evil

So I know this is a week about vampire mothers, but today I'm focusing on vampire grandmothers. Maybe for some of you, the term "grandmother" conjures images of grey-haired ladies in house coats. If we're talking a vampire granny, maybe you're thinking, hmm, I bet she makes a mean blood cobbler and is nice to vampire children. Not so, my friends.

See, in my world (or at least my fictional one), Sabina's grandmother is downright evil. In fact, she's one of the villains. Lavinia Kane is the Alpha Dominae of the vampire race. She's ancient. She's ruthless. And she's blood thirsty.

Instead of being feeble or kindly, Lavinia is a kick ass villainess of the first order. She's a blast to write too because the mere fact she is a grandmother challenges people's assumptions about age and strength. This is one granny you don't want to mess with.

I'm lucky enough to have two incredibly strong grandmothers. My mother's mom gave birth t…

Give Me Infertility, AND Give Me Death!

So when Kelly and Michele were kicking around the idea for a mothers and vampires theme week, I was like, "Huh. I've never really thought about that." And then I did think about mothers and vampires, and I realized that I had actually thought about this theme a lot.

Like all of my thoughts, they were disjointed, random, usually silly, and mostly consisted of "Wouldn't thinking about [insert random idea] be interesting?" These epiphanic moments, unfortunately, were usually followed up by such distractions as, "Oooo, look, hot man," or "Oooo, look, cake," or, "Ooooo, look, hitch testicles." I do live in Louisiana, after all, where hot dudes, cake, and hitch testicles abound. None of which allow me much time to focus, really.

But today I'm going to focus, a bit. In an unfocused way. I am going to talk about what I do like, and what I don't like, about the very different ways that motherhood is dealt with in various types of …

The Fever for the Flavor of...

...some mother-effin' blood, bitches!  
Oh yes, it's vampire week here at the League so I figured I'd bust out the opening scene of one of my favorite movies, The Hunger.
Not only does it sport the hottest bisexual milf vampire ever to grace the screen, Catherine Deneuve, it featured a band that would really flavor my high school experience, Bauhaus.
A little warning, the clip features nudity and some pretty freaky fake animal violence.  Take it away, Pete!

(and no, I have no idea who or what Bar do Bulga is)
What are some of your favorite vampire flicks?

The "Mother of all Vampires" Theme Week

As mentioned last week, today kicks off a new theme week here at the League. My fellow conspirators and I wanted to do something not only tied in with Michele B.'s new release, but (and I can't believe I forgot this!) also celebrates May 10th.

What's May 10th, this coming Sunday? Mother's Day (USA), folks!

So let's celebrate/commiserate Mom in all her forms where our favorite vampires are concerned (books, movies, TV, etc...)!

LRA Book Club!

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Continuing with the Vampire Week theme, we bring you the May LRA Book Club Selection: Red-Headed Stepchild: The Sad and Turbulent Upbringing of R. McDonald. That, I believe, is an example of why the Mrs. tells me I'm not nearly as funny as I think I am. Jaye Wells' debut, Red-Headed Stepchild, is our selection. Seriously. In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now. This time, it's personal. Look for threads, posts and comments in the League Lounge starting this week!

Sneaking in before it's all vampires

Tomorrow kicks off the Mother of All Vampires week here at the League, so I figure I best get my non-vampy news posted super quick. (Blogging, like novel writing, is all about the timing.)

Today started exceedingly well. Like most paranoid and praise-hungry authors, I have a Google Alert set up for my name. This morning, I checked my email and found there was a new Google Alert. Clickity click...and oh my God, BLACK AND WHITE has been reviewed by Publishers Weekly! Ahhhhh! A few freak-out moments as I scrolled, scrolled, scrolled...and lo, there it was. The review:

Black and WhiteJackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge. Bantam Spectra, $15 paper (464p) ISBN 978-0-553-38631-8
In this complex tale, Kessler (the Hell on Earth series) and Kittredge (the Nocturne City novels) create a dark world where the narrow line between hero and vigilante is defined by corporate interests. When tragedy strikes during their third year at a young superheroes’ academy, best friends Jet and Iridium begin to gr…