Monday, November 29, 2010

RT nominees and Perverted Creatures of the Night


Call us self-serving, but as proud members of the League of Reluctant Adults, we're shouting the news. Take a look at this roster of Leaguer nominees for Romantic Times RT Bookreviewer's Awards.

Vampire Romance:




Michele Bardsley for Cross Your Heart







Paranormal Fiction:

Dakota Cassidy for My Way To Hell



Michelle Rowen for
Something Wicked








Molly Harper for Nice Girls Don't Live Forever







Though she's not a Leaguer, we have to give kudos to Biting-Edge ex-pat Marta Acosta for Haunted Honeymoon






Urban Fantasy Novel:


Jeanne Stein for Chosen


            Carolyn Crane for
                     Double Cross






Urban Fantasy Protagnonist:



Mark Henry for Battle of the Network Zombies









And though they're not technically Leaguers, these nominees deserve special mention for being such awesome writers and cool friends (and generous when it comes to paying bar tabs):

Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy Novel:



Paolo Bacigalupi for Ship Breaker









Science Fiction Novel:



Connie Willis for Blackout
and All Clear









And two more who are definitely Leaguer in spirit (i.e., open-minded in the way an author of erotic fiction should be), it's no surprise to learn these two wild and wooly women were nominated for:



Erotic Romance: Lauren Dane for Coming Undone


Erotic Fiction:
Megan Hart for
Switch





Sadly, we have to mention the recent passing of two film celebrities.

First, one of the most famous actors you might never heard of: Ingrid Pitt (born as Ingoushka Petrov in Poland 1937). Pitt survived the Nazi concentration camps, escaped communist east Berlin, and then worked in Hammer Horror Films, making the classics The Vampire Lovers and Countess Dracula. She also acted in other movies such as Doctor Zhivago and Where Eagles Dare.

Perverted creatures of the night...Yes!



And the great comedian Leslie Nielsen. "...and don't call me Shirley." Despite his pratfalls in Airplane and The Naked Gun, we'll always remember Nielsen as the dashing spaceship captain in Forbidden Planet.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Don't take it personally...


Once upon a time, travel by air implied adventure, romance, and elegance.

Who would've guessed back then, that in the 21st century--despite intercontinental jets, computers, all kinds of gee-whiz technology--taking off our clothes, walking barefoot, and getting fondled would be part of our travel itinerary.

Some passengers have had enough and so, another phrase enters the American lexicon of resistance to tyranny and injustice :


I regret I have but one life to give for my country.

We didn't land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us.

Tear down this wall!





And now: Don't touch my junk!





Homeland Security claims this humiliation is necessary to prevent another underwear bomber. But Janet Napolitino and her minions are strangely mute when it comes to discussing how they will stop the next obvious tactic intended to foil body scanners and the most aggressive of pat-downs: the Body-Cavity Explosive Device--aka the Butt or Cooter Bomb.

Such an attack already happened back in August 2009 when Abdullah Asieri infiltrated Saudi Arabian security. Fortunately, Asieri was the only casualty when a text message triggered the pound of explosive in his rectum. Good riddance.




Wrecked him? Hell, it killed him ---->







However, body scanners and pat-downs are useless in discovering such bombs. So then what?

Perhaps this blog has the answer with bomb-sniffing gerbils.

Until then, I suggest that Homeland Security require that all female passengers wear skirts, male passengers wear kilts, and everybody must go commando. And instead of the expensive and unreliable body scanners, TSA should opt for the cheaper and much more effective leaf blower.



On to other news:



One of my favorite books is finally making it to the big screen, The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. Starring ΓΌber hunk Matthew McConaughey as the shady antihero lawyer: Mickey Haller.



Friday, November 19, 2010

On the Category of Shiny Things

Some of you may know that I have another book coming out. Not relatively soon (the release date is March 29, 2011), but I've had it written for quite a while and I'm already excited.

By the time March gets here, I might have exploded.

Anyway - I like making trailers. So I made a trailer (way ahead of time) for Master and Apprentice. I even learned some new tricks with my video software for this one.

It's shiny. I like shiny things. *G*

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three Videos and The Sexiest Man Alive - X-Posted

Rebranding the World....





Trailer for a movie I think is right up my alley... Cowboys and Aliens





New Harry Potter-- who's going on Friday to see it?




Ryan Reyolds = Sexiest Man Alive (?)



Do you agree? I don't even know who this guy is....

Ready for Thanksgiving?

I know, I know...short. This pesky writing business sometimes gets in the way of having fun...

XO

Monday, November 15, 2010

Things I Like: Flowers for Lackey!

This week saw me FREAKING OUT on both Facebook and Twitter over finding out about the release of two things that make me VERY excited. The first is the release of Brandon Flower's new solo album. I absolutely adore the Killers, and have been looking forward to their lead singer's solo release. And I am not disappointed! Here's the video for "Only the Young":



And here's what has to be one of my all time favorite videos, for "Crossfire":



It's like an urban fantasy novel, in a lot of ways, and I love what it suggests about female empowerment and the contemporary shift in gender roles. Plus there's the invocation of the tiny 20's stache, which is the only kind of stache worth attention.

In the kind of excitement that makes me worry I might need a diaper, Mercedes Lackey--the woman who put the fan in my fantasy--is releasing a set of novellas that are all UF and include a Diane Tregarde story. It's called Trio of Sorcery:



For those of you new to UF, I'd argue that Diane Tregarde is the grandmother of a majority of the heroines running amok on shelves today. As I'm apparently tapped directly into the zeitgeist, I actually randomly started rereading Diane's books last week. I reread Burning Water and Jinx HIgh in quick succession. Diving back into those books was like going home, and I see so many ways that Lackey influenced me at a very young age (I was probably around 12 or 13 when I read them). Anyway, if you consider yourself a UF fan and haven't read Diane Tregarde, you're missing out. I plan on rereading Children of the Night next.

If you do pick 'em up, or pick them back up, let me know what you think. :-)

On another note, I'd like to invite you to my debut as a zombie. I kill a character, who looks like my friend and Alpha Team Reader James Clawson, named "Peeler." It's all very meta. And, yes, Three Quarter Comics are the team who made my zombie profile picture:



On a final note, I finally finished Carolyn Crane's Double Cross. Now, I wasn't dragging my heels finishing it because I didn't enjoy it... I love this series, and Double Cross is as sensual, intelligent, and original as its predecessor, Mind Games. However, as a TRAINED LITERARY ACADEMIC, I could tell by that title that I was in for a rough ride at the end. And boy, were my highly trained reading skillz correct on that one. I finished the book last night, and I'm still traumatized.

In a good way.

This is another series that, if you haven't read, you need to get on that. They're amazing, and totally different from anything you've read--but in a good way. How often can that be said, anymore?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Big Man and Big Money



We be pimping the awesome Baltimore expatriate, Cort McMeel. (Their loss, Denver's gain!) Don't let this pic fool you, McMeel is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. And he's plenty generous with beer money, which makes him a favorite at the Biting-Edge blog around quitting time.








McMeel was the big man behind the acclaimed Murdaland mystery anthology. Short fiction noir at its darkest and most compelling. Now he's finally made it into the big league with his financial thriller, Short. Mark your calendars, as one of their Writer's Buzz presentations, Lighthouse Writers will host McMeel's book launch party, 7pm, Saturday, December 11 at 910 Arts, 910 Santa Fe Boulevard, Denver. Miss this and you might wake up on a pier wearing cement overshoes. Just saying.

There's no doubt this publishing business is CRAZY! Try and figure it out, I dare ya!

For example, the money. Hank Steinberg sold the screen rights, in the upper six figures, for a book that hasn't even been written yet. Likewise, Ernie Cline sold the screen rights for an unpublished debut novel, Ready Player One. And to further antagonize your green-eyed monster, 21 y.o. Paige Harbison sold her debut novel to Galgos Entertainment.

You won't have to read much between the lines to realize, that if you're going to schmooze, schmooze with people with Hollywood juice. Steinberg created the CBS show, Without a Trace. Cline already has screenwriter credentials. Harbison's mom has a movie of her own in the works with Galgos Entertainment, starring Halle Berry. Get the scoop here.

And we turn to the literary world's favorite punching bag, James I'm no sleazeoid Frey. Now he might be a man of questionable writing talent, but he is an expert of schmoozing his way into
big piles of money. He crashed and burned after the Million Little Pieces-Oprah fiasco. Then arose phoenix-like with the novel (and a huge advance) Bright Shiny Morning, which tanked. Recently, he's garnered even more notoriety with his publishing company Full Fathom Five and its infamous writing contract. Basically, you get paid $250 upfront to write a book, maybe another $250 upon completion, and maybe 40% of revenues generated by the work. But the real bacon for Frey is this clause: a $50,000 penalty if you the writer publicly admitted that you wrote for Full Fathom Five without permission. Why wouldn't Frey want you to tell the world about this deal? Besides the larcenous contract, what makes this even worse is that Frey recruited from students during his teaching gig at Columbia. He's teaching writing? Rather than guide his students around the perilous shoals of the writing biz, he takes full advantage of their desperate desire to get published and screws them with this offer. For details on the contract, read about it in the NY Mag.

But it's not always about the money. Sometimes, you get the most marvelous ego stroke like what happened to Leaguer pal, Jackie Morse Kessler, when Neil Gaiman had this photo taken with her book, Hunger.
Go Jackie!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

NaNoWriMo...the march continues





If you're a writer, the gossip is all about what you are doing as part of National Novel Writing Month. The goal: 50,000 words in 30 days. Simple math breaks it down: 1666.66 words a day. Doable, unless you slog at the keyboard like I do. For me, 1500 words in one day is a huge deal and frankly even that pace wears me out after a few days. Thanks God for Happy Hour to recharge the batteries.






Now in full disclosure, I'm not really participating in NaNoWriMo because I have a manuscript due before Thanksgiving and I'm about ten chapters shy of finishing. And unlike NaNoWriMo which discourages you from editing if it interferes with the word count, I can't turn in my manuscript without beating it with my harshest editorial club. If you're intimidated by the blinking cursor on your monitor, there's a saying to help prod you into starting those first words: Give yourself permission to write crap. Well my first draft is so full of crap that I have to wear rubber boots and muck out my writing space every afternoon.


For the rest of you NaNoWriMo-renos, try these strategies to keep the words flowing:

Write what you love. Unicorns, cupcakes, serial killers, old flames you'd like to see baked into cupcakes by a serial-killer unicorn, have at it.

And conversely, challenge yourself to write something different.

Keep plenty of hot drinks handy, especially coffee. Especially coffee. I don't consider that I've got a buzz going unless my teeth are chattering.

Steal! And by that I mean shamelessly take from every experience. Car wrecks, rejection, watching a foe get his due, anything and everything is manuscript fodder. You know you're doing it right when your BFF is laying out her heart about her cheating rat-bastard boyfriend, then she gives you a look and asks, "You're going to use this in your story, aren't you?" And because you write fiction, you lie and tell her, "Of course not." But you will. Good writer.

We even have a theme song and music video, so we must be official!

>

Over at the League of Reluctant Adults, we welcome a new member, Kevin Hearne, and we're busting at the seams with pride over his debut novel, Hounded. Unlike the rest of us mortals, he didn't get an ARC but an ARE, Advance Reader's Edition, because he is Mr. Hearne and so very special. Awesome cover.


And there's more about another Leaguer, 10 Things You Didn't Know About Carolyn Crane, over at the Amber Scott Project. Among other things, Crane was a licensed boiler engineer and wrestled rooms full of sweaty men. Click through for details.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ten things you didn't know about Carolyn Crane

Why am I wracked with guilt? What is this "stereopticon pact" I entered into--and am I keeping up my end? Do I drain the tri-cock? Repeatedly?


The answers to these and many other things you likely have NOT been wondering about me are over at The fabulous 
Amber Scott Project, one of my favorite blogs. 


Amber is approaching publishing and promo in a lot of cool, creative ways, including her "project pay it forward." I love what she's doing over there. This woman thinks out of the box! 
Today I'm there with a hugely narcissistic: "Ten things you didn't know about Carolyn Crane" post. LOL.  Come say hi!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

News & Views - Crossposted from The Biting Edge

Now that Mario and I are Master Bloggers, how I love that, I was relieved to find a few articles of interest for this week's Master Blog. But first, a couple of personal items.

Chosen was nominated by RT Book Reviews Magazine as Best Urban Fantasy Novel for 2010. Competition is keen: MAGIC BLEEDS by Ilona Andrews; TOTAL ECLIPSE by Rachel Caine; DOUBLE CROSS by Carolyn Crane; MOB RULES by Cameron Haley; DUST by JoanFrances Turner.

Win, lose or draw, I'm honored.

Second, HEXED, four novellas by Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Gaenorn, Allyson James and moi, is available now for preorder here :



Here's the back cover blurb about my story:

From national bestselling author Jeanne C. Stein comes "Blood Debt," where bounty-hunter-turned vampire Anna Strong is visited by three witches who ask her to right an old magical wrong. Anna will have to live up to her name to make it through alive...
# # # #




From Shelf Awareness:

Powell’s Books, Portland, Ore., has purchased 7,000 books from Anne Rice's personal library and set up a dedicated page on its website to sell them, the Oregonian reported. 



Powell's From the Library of Anne Rice section notes that the collection includes "editions signed or annotated by Ms. Rice, and many have her library markings on the spines. The collection showcases her love of literature and writing and reveals a true intellectual curiosity--classic philosophy, the Brontes, biblical archaeology, and Louisiana history are just a few of the subject areas represented."

# # # #



From Shelf Awareness:

New Zealand officials agreed to a deal "under which they will contribute special financing and introduce labor legislation" to discourage Warner Brothers and Peter Jackson from taking the production of the two movies adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit out of the country.

The New York Times reported that the agreement came "after a week in which thousands of New Zealand film workers had taken to the streets in a push to save The Hobbit--and much of New Zealand's film industry with it--while others questioned whether its politicians had gone too far in kowtowing to Hollywood."

# # # #




Meet Deaver: Jeffery Deaver, author of the next Bond novel

From USA Today :

Best known for his thrillers starring quadriplegic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme, Deaver has a new mission: Bring Bond into the 21st century in a new 007 novel.

The yet-to-be-named book is cryptically referred to as "Project X" by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd., which owns the rights to Fleming's work…

"The novel," he says, "is set in the present day, in 2011. Bond is a young agent for the British secret service. He's 29 or 30 years old, and he's an Afghan war vet."

That in itself is big news. After all, if Bond were aging in real time — he first appeared in Fleming's Casino Royale n 1953 — the now doddering (although assuredly still handsome) 007 would be nearly 90.

# # # #


A very cool idea:

Ever wonder what it would be like to hang out with Frankenstein? U Star Novels offers "a range of romantic novels that are fully personalized to include up to 30 of your personal details, making you and your partner the stars of your very own novel....

With U Star Personalized Classics, the plot remains the same, the only thing that changes is that it could be you following the yellow brick road, or your brother hunting vampires in the darkest depths of Transylvania, or your best friend starring in one of the best-loved romances of all time alongside her own Mr. Darcy!"

---


A novel Christmas present perhaps....

# # # #

And a special congratulations to Julie Kazimer, one of our Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers buddies, on her first book sale:

J.A. Kazimer's F***ED UP FAIRYTALE, pitched as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" meets "Shrek" when Cinderella is run over by a bus and a private investigator (on mental health leave from the Villains Union) is hired by her not-so-ugly stepsister to solve what she believes is a murder and break her own curse before New Never City is riddled with dead bodies, to Peter Senftleben at Kensington, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, by Sharon Belcastro at Belcastro Agency (World).

Always a nice thing to celebrate!!

# # # #

From Deadline.com

Fox is out with a new trailer for its big Christmas film, the Jack Black-starrer Gulliver's Travels which gets released December 22:



# # # #




Huffington Post readers chose "7 Movies That Are Better Than the Book."

See if you agree and feel free to add your own.

# # # #

In the sure sign of the impending Apocalypse file:

'Hobbit' Money Sought as MGM Files for Bankruptcy ....

Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., the home of James Bond, filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday in a plan that had the backing of its lenders and put funding of its half of "The Hobbit" back on track.


Yikes.

# # # #




So, who's doing NaNoWriMo? I've logged in 7500 words--but I know I can't keep up this pace. Just trying to get ahead of the game...




Monday, November 1, 2010

HOUNDED cover revealed!

Cross-posted from my blog....

Squee! I can finally show you my cover! Though I suppose I could be accused of bias when I say "I LOVE IT!" it's true nonetheless. The cover for Hounded is awesome; Del Rey has captured Atticus perfectly!

When Tricia & Mike (my spiffy editors) told me that Advanced Reader's Editions were on their way, they made one request: have someone take pictures of me opening the box. They know I've been waiting to be published a long time, and to see my book bound and printed for the first time would be, in the words of our vice president,  "a big f#%!ing deal." I agreed readily, not knowing what torture it would be...

The box arrived on Friday; I arrived soon after. BUT NO ONE WAS AROUND TO TAKE PICTURES. I couldn't open it! I could have gone to a convenience store and made the clerk take pictures—I was thinking such things—but not seriously, because I wanted my family to be around when I opened it; they've been waiting a long time to see the book too. I had to wait three hours for my wife to get home, gnawing on my fingers the whole time, staring at the Box of Joy that I could not open.

The Box of Joy taunted me with its Random House return address and its priority overnightness:

Do not be alarmed by my strange expression in the next picture. I'm petting the box and purring, see. Well, okay, be alarmed if you'd like.
Purrrrrr.
The Box of Joy finally surrendered its happy contents to me:
....Words fail. All I can say is that there's nothing like a dream coming true, and I couldn't be happier.
   Below is my photo of the ARE cover. I apologize for the wee bit of glare. Also, the icons on the charms aren't really coming through on this picture—all you see are black squares—but you'll see them "for reals" with your naked eye, and they're sublime. I'll have the cover art file later, but for now enjoy the ARE:
If Atticus looks at you like that and draws his sword, APOLOGIZE. It doesn't matter for what, just tell him you're sorry and you'll never do it again!

I've said it before and I'll say it lots more: Del Rey has been completely lovely to work with. Tricia and the art dept. deserve mad props for this cover, and for the Hexed and Hammered covers as well. They brought Atticus to life and they incorporated my suggestions beautifully; I will build them a shrine and leave them offerings of gummi bears and beer.

And whoa—Hounded is now available for pre-order on AmazonBorders.com, and BN.com! They don't have the cover image up yet, but you can snag one if you want to get a head start on buying all the books you need to read in April! :)

In other news—yes, I have other news! My Cage Match write-up of Gaius Baltar vs. Feyd Rautha-Harkonnen should be up sometime today on Suvudu.com, so I'd love it if you went over there and took a gander. And, should you be so inclined, please vote for Baltar! Not only is he a completely awesome villain that you love to hate, as long as he wins, I get to keep writing!

I wish you peace, if you're into that sort of thing. Otherwise, may you be swept into a world of intrigue and learn a rune-based magic system in only three days to prevent a demon apocalypse.

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

******************