Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cirque du Freak movie

I've been meaning to read this series of YA novels for a while, and they've gone and made a movie on me! Anything with vamps is cool with me, but add in the teen angle and I'm there (that sounded kind of creepy, actually).

But, really, how much fun is this?

Chocolate + Vampires

Since I know you guys love food porn, here's a link to my blog post over at Side-show Freaks about coming up with "For Want of Chocolate" (think vampires + chocolate) and how I can't sell short stories.

Da NEW Blog!

Come see my new blog! And comment for the chance to win an ARC of Tempest Rising!

There's also some FABULOUS League Pimpage. Awesome!


Today is the day, my lovelies! My (oh holy crap) seventh novel, Boneshaker hits the shelves and stores right this moment. And I, for one, am ecstatic.

If you'd like to know more about it first, please allow me to point you at this interview over at the Mad Hatter blog. It too went live today; and in this interview I talk a bit about the Clockwork Century universe, the players in it, the hats I like to wear, and at least two things that very few people know about me.

For a much more in-depth discussion of this book, this universe, and everything else -- visit The Clockwork Century and poke around all you like. There, you'll find maps, commentary on the philosophy of steampunk, novel summaries, and some enticing reviews.

So go on - get clicking! You might like what you find -- or maybe you know someone else who's a big fan of steampunk pulp adventures with air pirates, zombies, secret criminal societies, mad scientists, and Bonus! extended/deleted scenes from the Civil War. Seriously, check it out. (Please?)

And many, many thanks to everyone for reading :)

Michele Bardsley Reveals Her True Feelings...

...regarding chocolate. And more! Check out her interview at my website. And, hey, while you're there feel free to drop a comment. You could win an autographed copy of Over My Dead Body. Contest runs through next Monday. Good luck to you all!

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Current Obsession

So I like music a lot. I'm not very musical, nor am I particularly hip, but I try my best to be aware of what's going on in "The Scene." And by, "The Scene," I mean that I google what I hear on Sirius on my way to work. Which isn't really being part of any "Scene," at all, but I live in northern Louisiana, so give me a freaking break.

Anyway, I just discovered this band who literally makes me SWOON. This is not a Thing I Like, This is a THING I FUCKING WORSHIP. This band makes my heart go pitter patter. I haven't felt this way since my brother first played me the Dropkick Murphys. It's like love at first site, only it's not a made up narcissistic emotional theory.

It is love at first listen.

And here they are: THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM

You may have heard that song, it's awesome, and it's all over AltNation. I love that song. But this song? I'm swooning just thinking about typing about how it makes me swoon:

Makes me purr! I'm purring right now! PURRING.

And they're going to be IN NYC while I'm there in October for my launch! Problem is, I'll be with my good friend who had the audacity to GET KNOCKED UP when we could be crowdsurfing! And I'm not sure if she wants to haul the bump to see a Jersey punk/rockabillly band. Especially when I saw some action shots of their show, like this:

Yeah, something tells me that's gonna be a NO from Mrs. Whisky. But DUDE I WANT TO BE RIGHT THERE, partly just so I can ask the guy with the wicked sleeve where he got his art done. That is an amazing tat.

So I'm still debating. Anyone want to go with me to the show? I promise not to throw anything (including myself) onstage.

Something's Coming

It's almost that time of year again, faithful League Minions!

Brace yourselves for...


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cover Yumminess for Nice Girls Don't Live Forever

I love my new cover!

Apparently, amazon.com has listed the Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men summary on the page for Nice Girls Don't Live Forever. I've been asked to clarify what the third book in the series is about. So here you go:


Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson’s sexy sire, Gabriel, has always been unpredictable. But the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of their international vacation, coupled with his evasive behavior over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow — alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her.

Now the children’s-librarian-turned-vampire is reviving with plenty of Faux Type O, some TLC from her colorful friends and family, and her plans for a Brave New Jane. Step One: Get her newly-renovated occult bookstore off the ground. Step Two: Support her best friend, Zeb, and his werewolf bride as they prepare for the impending birth of their baby . . . or litter. Step Three: Figure out who’s been sending her threatening letters, and how her hostile pen pal is tied to Gabriel. Because for this nice girl, surviving a broken heart is becoming a matter of life and undeath...

Also, just to put your minds at rest, the title doesn't mean I'm killing Jane off. She'll be just as undead at the end of the third book as she is now... Think on that for a minute. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Hey peeps! So today the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance comes out in the U.S. (It was already released in the UK under the name LOVE BITES) And guess what? Four Reluctant Adults have stories in this bad boy.

Caitlin's story "Perdition" features Doc Holliday as a vampire hunter.

Jeanne's story "Ghost of Leadville" is about Doc Holliday's encounter with a vampire in Colorado.

Stacia's story "Trust Me" is about Jack the Ripper ... and sex.

And my story "Vampsploitation" features Sabina Kane's first job as an assassin and lots of late '70s porn references.

Want to win a copy? Check out my blog to find out how.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"If You Show The Boy Your Cookies"

Because someone dared me, here's how I think it would go if Eric (from my Void City series) tried to explain the birds and the bees to a still-human version of his daughter Greta:

Eric: But you already know...

Greta: Well, yeah, but I still want us to have The Talk. All daughters get to have The Talk.

Eric: Fine. You remember the book "If you give a Mouse a Cookie"?

Greta: Ye-es.

Eric: It's like that.

Greta: No it isn't.

Eric: No. It absolutely is...

Eric: If you give a boy a kiss, he'll want to touch your cookies. If you let him touch your cookies, he'll want to unwrap them. If you let him unwrap them, he'll want to put them in his mouth. And THEN, if you let him put them in his mouth, the boy will want to pet your kitty. But if you let him pet your kitty, he'll want to see your kitty. And of course, if you let him see your kitty, then he'll want to feed it. And if you let him kiss you, touch your cookies, unwrap your cookies, put them in his mouth, pet your kitty, see your kitty, and feed your kitty, you'll get pregnant unless you make him wear a raincoat on his banana. So it's better if you just kick the boy in the nuts and run over him with the car.

Greta: I don't think that's how The Talk usually goes.

Eric: No?

Greta: No, but it's okay, Dad. I like your version, too.

Update and Some Things I Like

Hey all! Everything is crazy here at Casa Peeler. I'm writing book 3 (I've got 80 pages!), teaching four classes at LSUS, and trying not to have a nervous breakdown.

There's lots of exciting stuff happening. Ms. Wells and I have a reading coming up here in the Porte du Shreve and we'll be sure to keep ya'll posted. Orbit will be unveiling my fancy schmancy new website soon, as well as the cover to the second book in the Jane True series, Tracking the Tempest. And this cover rocks, people. It rocks.

All this is happening because the book is coming out soon. Which makes me slightly nauseous. But I'm coping. In the meantime, you can read the very first review of Ms. True & Co., here.

I'd also like to take this moment to tell you about some more Things I Like.

As usual, first some music!

I absolutely, utterly adore this first band. They're insanely smart, hip, and outrageous. They're so postironic they've almost swung full circle back to ironic. Or maybe even gone all the way to sincere? Whatever they are, they rock my casbah.

And next up is another band that I think is genius. They took their name, at least I'm assuming, from Delillo's wonderful novel, White Noise. Yes, you should read it. And the band is The Airborne Toxic Event:

You may have heard their song Wishing Well, which I do love. But there's something about this song that gets under my skin. I'm a sucker for a driving bass and a stringed instrument or two, and this band gives mama everything she ever craved.

The next Thing I Like is marmalade. I know, marmalade is contentious. It's not quite as contentious as Marmite, but a lot of people don't like marmalade. I, however, love it. Especially this kind:
I like my marmalade as tart and citric as I can get it, so I enjoy lime or lemon. If you've never tried it, give it a go. Use lots of butter (always a safe strategy) and just a thin scraping of marmalade, all on some nice toasted bread. It's like heaven! Only it sticks to your thighs. Mmmmm. Thighs.

Finally, I don't think it's any secret, but I have me a big ole hankerin' for these:

I LOVE ME SOME SKULLS. I like them because I don't look like the kind of woman who wears skulls. If I'm honest, I look like the sort of woman who bakes. And I'm wearing pretty blue pearl earrings! But look closer! THEY'RE SKULLS!

I won't tell you where else I have skulls.

But there's a lot of them, littered about my person. They remind me to take life in stride, and to live for the moment, and to take pleasure in the things and the people that I love.

They're also wicked cute.

And I also love the word "wicked," but you probably know that by now.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yup, You Officially Rock!

Thanks a ton-load to everyone who voted for us Leaguers over at Bitten by Books! You guys are too freaking cool! And, as promised, I've picked a winner from those of you who told me you voted. Congrats go to:


If you'll e-mail me at jennifer at jenniferrardin dot com and let me know which one of Jaz & Vayl's adventures you'd like to have autographed and mailed to your address, I'll get it right to you!

Thanks again, everyone!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Know What's Awesome About Dragon*Con?

I'm fully ensconced in a post con stupor--exhausted, dreamy, but ultimately content. Made some career decisions this weekend, stuff I won't be talking about for a while, but I feel like I have some direction, got my projects lined up and ready to go.

But, lest I get all serious...let's get to the damn recap, shall we? Here it goes, in the form of a top ten list...

What's Awesome About Dragon*Con!

1. People Who Go Out of Their Way to Make You Comfortable

Had a great time with Stacia Kane and her husband Stephen, whose new business site went live today (Lootslinger) so go check it out. The couple graciously put up a murder of urban fantasy authors and others for the duration of Dragon*Con. Without them I certainly wouldn't have been able to go, hotels were both at a premium and priced like it was the Olympics or something.

Stace is the consummate hostess and on Sunday night threw a dinner party for the League of Reluctant Adults and friends. If she offers up her slow roasted pork you take it, but don't cut her potatoes, it's a trick! She made this amazing peanut butter cake that I proceeded to eat every morning warmed up and now weigh 5 pounds more than when I left. Thanks Stace and Stephen!

2. The Dark Fantasy Track Peeps

Derek and Carol and Mike and Synde (one of my traveling buddies, as well) did an amazing job retaining their sanity amidst crowds in the tens of thousands. Everything ran smooth as silk from my perspective and despite the panel room being stuck in the crooked bowel of the Hyatt, the attendance was great. Thanks Team Dark Fantasy!

3. The Ambiguously Gay Duo

On Saturday night, a big group of us took over a private room in the Hilton bar for dinner and overpriced drinks with names like Georgia Back Sweat and Stank Moss. Conversation was saucy enough, but when Ace and Gary of Ambiguously Gay Duo fame swang by for a chat, things got dirty.

Urban Fantasy authors climbed over the table for photo ops. It was like someone yelled fire, no shit. Richelle Mead got the best shot, nipple tweaker that she is (if you're not familiar with her famous fascination with men's nipples, just ask her...or not, I could have made that up).

In fact, all the costumes were amazing. Lots of steampunk, Star wars and such but my favorites were the redneck fandom, who walked around in dirty feet and jean cut-offs, the Scully who looked exactly like Gillian Anderson and Sho Nuff, from that 80s wonder The Last Dragon. He was the "prettiest."

4. The Manchu Mule

Undeniable The Drink of Dragoncon was the Manchu Mule. Stephen and I put it together on Thursday night and by Friday it was all we were drinking. Depending on your tolerance, it's about a 1 part Grey Goose vodka to 2 parts Green Tea Ginger Ale and all parts delicious.

5. Meeting Celebrity Types (or Vice Versa)...Yeah Definitely Vice Versa

Got to meet and hang out with Charlaine Harris at Stace's party, where she was promptly enlisted by our hostess into busting my balls! That's right, fun was had at my expense. Don't worry none. I'm a big boy, I can take it. *sneers* Mike Mignola of Hellboy fame and Christopher Golden were there as well but were surrounded so didn't get to chat with them much. Nice guys though. Tagged along and played photographer for Richelle on her quest to nab a picture with pretend celebrity boyfriend Joe Flanigan from Stargate SG-1 (or something, I don't watch so...he was safe from fanboyishness, but not snide hairdo comments), I tried to frame it so I could also get a shot of Charisma Carpenter but alas, too grainy. That patch of blonde behind Richelle is Julie Benz of Darla and Dexter fame. Also, for Jeanne, here's a shot of her very own pretend celeb boyfriend, James Marsters...


I thought I'd get to ten things but not so much. If you want to check out more pics head on over to my flickr stream and see 'em.

All in all, great time, but tiring the con is so massive and there are so many people clogging the halls I began to feel a bit claustrophobic. And as long as I'm talking about sensations, I wasn't too fond of the blasting humidity coming from the urinal vents, giving my balls a dewy coating just prior to my reading, which turned out awesome! I made the audience smoke cigarettes and touch themselves inappropriately with zombie finger puppets while I read. Well...to be fair, they probably would have done it anyway.

Got to hang with tons of friends, old and new and basically wore my tired sack of bones down to a wrinkly nub.


What else is new?

Not a whole lot, still working on the screenplay and some other writing stuff. I did see the cover of Battle of the Network Zombies, but it turns out it was the preliminary version and has been sent back for some changes so, I'm going to hold off on sharing for awhile.

Tonight at 4:30 Pacific time, 7:30 Eastern. Heather Osborn and I will be snarktweeting the last two episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras for your amusement. So sign up for twitter to take advantage of that foul mayhem and follow both of us!

@heatherosborn and @mark_henry

See you tonight!


For a wrap up with lots of pictures of the gang, hop on over to: the Biting Edge and check it out!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm--Too Sexy for My Fangs--.

Baby, we're heating up the pages and the fans are lovin' it! Three Leaguers have made the cut at Bitten by Books' latest Paranormal Fiction Poll: #1 Sexiest Male Vampire in Literature! They are Richelle Mead's Dimitri Belikov, Michelle Rowen's Thierry de Bennicoeur, and my very own Vayl!

What do you say we keep our string of League triumphs going over there with a kickass vote? Your comment could win you some Bitten by Books swag. And if you come back here with a note that you voted Leaguishly, I'll pick one of you to win one of my books as well. Your choice. Autographed. Legible scrawl optional.

Here's the voting link; you've got through Sept. 11. Good luck!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Love Modern Travel!


Yes, I am again stuck in the mutha sussin' airport. It could be worse. At least I have a bunch of freshman essays to grade!

Yes, those choked noises are the sounds of my sobs.

The good news? My suitcase is probably already in Atlanta. Don't ask what happened. I'm tired of explaining it.

But that means that in Atlanta awaits my Coffin (I have a Very Large Suitcase). It is full of fascinators, black dresses, and One Eyed Willie. Curious? You should be.

I will, almost certainly, get into some sort of ridiculous scrape involving no pants, hotel statuary, and a tribble. Have no fear! Mark Henry will undoubtedly tweet it, then blog about it, then post pictures here.

So wait for that! And in the meantime, enjoy this. It's how I feel on a number of levels.


Hi all--

My first panel at D*Con will be an interview with the wonderful Ms. Charlaine Harris. Any burning questions you'd like me to ask her???

Submit in comments and I'll post answers here on Saturday.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Check out this month's BAZOOKA

I've known Crystal Galloway since sixth grade. It did not surprise me when she started her own independent, slightly subversive local newspaper, BAZOOKA. Because Crystal herself is independent and slightly subversive.

And I was fortunate enough to be featured in her August issue. The interview was fun and showed exactly how well this woman knows me... which is sort of scary. And she arranged the rather fabulous photo above, in which I'm staking two redneck vampires. (Photo by Jill Tanner)

You can find copies of BAZOOKA at various restaurants and businesses around Paducah, KY. (Fat Moe's, Roof Brothers, di Frat's, Maiden Alley Cinema, etc.) or download the PDF.

Dragon*Con Hijinks!

As Kelly pointed out, enough League of Reluctant Adults members (even some of the quieter ones) are hitting the ATL for some Real Housewives of Scifi/Fantasy Con action.  Here are the culprits...

Mark Henry (moi, bien sur).
Stacia Kane (putting up a whole murder of paranormal authors at her place, pray for her)
Jackie Kessler (bouncing around energetically)
Jeanne Steing (who's totally going to be doing a live interview of Charlaine Harris!!!)
Nicole Peeler (in danger of a hazing)
Kelly Meding (ditto)
Jeremy Lewis (snarling with his (presumably) fake fangs)
Richelle Mead (#2 NYT Bestseller, Richelle Mead, ahem)
Cherie Priest (rockin' an Arkham Asylum 'do)
Caitlin Kittredge (our resident pin-up girl)

Sadly, Jaye Wells had to bail because of a family sickness thingie.  We're bummed.  If you want to find out where we're all going to be, you should totally hit up...


The schedules are posted and the panels and events look amazing. I know I'll be peeking in on the zombie prom and pictures will be in League reader's future.  Oh yes...there will be evidence of the debauchery!!!

Is It Me....

...or is a huge chunk of the League absconding to Dragon*Con this weekend?

Will anyone be left to mind the store?

What will the League members get up to in Atlanta?

And will there be photographic evidence?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

On Likeable Characters

The Falcata Times asked: "How do you create likeable characters?"

As authors, we're constantly told we have to create sympathetic protagonists. I don't subscribe to that school of character creation. Instead, I believe we have to create empathetic characters. What's the difference? A sympathetic character is pleasant or agreeable and is someone a reader can relate to. An empathetic character is someone we can understand, we may not like their choices but we get why they do what they do. In other words, an empathetic character doesn't have to be likeable, we just have to understand their motivations for why they do what they do.

I write about a half-mage, half-vampire assassin. In the first scene of RHSC, she buries the body of a human she killed and then turns around and kills a friend who's a vampire. Right there, I'm asking for trouble, right? I mean who wants to read about such a cold-blooded character? Well, as it turns out, lots of people do.

Here's the thing, if you're going to write a character that does bad things, you do have to make sure they're interesting. You can do this several ways. Two biggies: Motivation and humor.

Motivation is the lynchpin here. If you have a character who's doing shit randomly then you're going to lose readers. Your character can't be like a five-year-old.
"Why did you break your toy, Timmy?"
"I don't know."
If your character is a Timmy, you're going to have problems. But if you give that same character a reason to do those things, well, that's different, isn't it?
"Timmy, why did you break your toy?"
"Because the bad voices told me to."

See the difference? As humans we're very good at rationalizing bad decisions. Make sure you character has a damned good reason to do bad things and the readers will follow.

Now, on to humor. Anyone read Mark Henry? Of course you do. Mark's protag is a man-eating zombie with tons of attitude and a potty mouth. She's not snuggly or warm by any definition. But we love her. Why? Because she's effing hilarious. She also says things many of us think but would never voice in polite company. Make the reader laugh and they'll follow a psychopath into the depths of hell and even root them on.

Speaking of psychopaths, Dexter is another fabulous example of what I'm talking about. He's a serial killer, but we love him. Why? Because he's justified his blood lust by convincing himself he's a good guy. He's killling killers, so what's the harm, right? He's also funny. Ergo, we cheer him on. When he's almost caught, we're worried about him. Yet the fact remains he does things that should give us nightmares.

All that said, the truth is there are some readers who just don't like anitheroes. That's cool. But the most important point here is to be true to your character. I had someone tell me early on that Sabina couldn't kill someone in the first scene of the book. My response? "She's a vampire assassin. That's kind of her thing." If I shied away from her killing people in the book, it kind of defeats the purpose of having an assassin protagonist, doesn't it?

Any questions?

Who the HELL Do We Think We Are?

We're a bunch of paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors who occasionally blog, make filthy jokes and prowl the halls of conferences and conventions with switchblades!

Current roster: Mario Acevedo, Michele Bardsley, Sonya Bateman, Dakota Cassidy, Carolyn Crane, Molly Harper, Kevin Hearne, Mark Henry, Stacia Kane, Jackie Kessler, J.F. Lewis, Daniel Marks, Richelle Mead, Kelly Meding, Allison Pang, Nicole Peeler, Kat Richardson, Michelle Rowen, Diana Rowland, Jeanne C. Stein, K.A. Stewart, Anton Strout, and Jaye Wells