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Showing posts from April, 2011

He'd shiv you on a dare

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While we in the League aren't shy about shining a bit of light on ourselves, we do recognize the many outstanding writers among our peers. It's cold and callous out there in publishing land, and many wonderful books don't get their share of attention. So today, I'm turning up the pimpage gain on this here pinchi blog to maximum power--all two-and-a-half watts of it--to one of my favorite scribes, Warren Hammond.

I met Hammond (along with Kat Richardson, Cherie Priest, and Mark Henry) at NorWesCon 2008, back in the Precambrian days when the League of Reluctant Adults sperm and egg where still in the literary petri dish. Interestingly, though we were in the SeaTac area, like me, Hammond was also from Denver.


You'd never guess by looking at this unassuming face that Hammond writes some of the grittiest science fiction available, with two novels, kop and ex-kop on the market (book 3 in the series, kop-killer, is due in 2012). The man knows despair, treachery, and beat-…

Funeral Flowers and Manhattans on the Rocks: drinking and shenanigating at Norwescon

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So, this weekend I'm at Norwescon in Seattle and as usual it is an endless whirl of drinking, paneling on silly topics and hanging out with friends who are carrying funeral wreaths.



What? You don't usually see funeral wreathes at a con? Well OK I admit I don't usually either, but in this particular case my dear friend Eleanor came straight from a funeral to the convention, carrying the spray of flowers that had been on the coffin--because who really wants to keep all those funeral flowers? And the answer is: SF Fans! (and friends of the deceased who are nice enough to carry them away.)

And what do you need most after a funeral? A Drink! That's right. So plainly one needs both funeral flowers and a pile of alcohol in order to really enjoy a convention because, as they say, live now, for tomorrow we may die. Or go home and take off our corsets and Vulcan ears and go back to work. In the midst of life we are in the presence of death. And taxes. And drininage. And shenaniga…

Vampire Environmentalists

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Happy Friday, Leaguers! Also, Happy Earth Day.

You might ask what Earth Day has to do with a paranormal fiction blog. Well, I'll tell you. Who has a bigger interest in the earth staying beautiful than vampires? Because, hello, immortal. Who wants to live for eternity on a blackened rock covered in toxic sludge? Plus, vampires also want to protect their most precious natural resource--humans. How will they get their blood if we poison ourselves into extinction? They won't. And that's just sad.

Remember this ad?

We need to remake it with a vampire standing on a rooftop in his black cape, staring out over a smog-covered urban landscape with a lone blood tear streak down his alabaster cheek.
The tag line could read something like, "Save Mother Earth, Do It For the Undead."
What do you plan to do today to make the earth a better place for vampires?
P.S. Remember to check out my short story, "Violet Tendencies," to finally find out what happened to Valva the Va…

The Doctor and The Dog

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Hello, followers of the League of Reluctant Adults--or as I like to think of you--Reluctant Adulterers! Checking the alphabet, I see it's my day to run the ship, so I thought today I'd share a few things I'm excited about right now, and for once, NONE OF THEM HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ME! Strange, I know. I'm not terribly comfortable without the focus on me...

But on with the show!

First and foremost, the new season of Doctor Who premieres this weekend, for which I am VERY excited, and you should be too! Why? Well, if you're writers, it's fascinating to watch, as it is written by Stephen Moffat, who wrote Coupling, the current Sherlock Holmes, and his storytelling is effing spectacular! Plus, none other than Neil Freakin' Gaiman himself is writing episode four, and it is almost certain to rock.

I got to see the season opening two-parter early, earning me much hate from a certain contingent of fanboys and girls out there, but I went so I could tell you this…

4. 2. 0.

Somehow… Call it fate… Call it destiny… Call it perverse karma… I have landed myself the 4/20 post here at the League. A date that shall live in infamy, at least for those who…well, we’ll say “indulge in alternate entertainments.”

So, with this momentous date looming down on me, I agonized over what I should post. Should I address some of 4/20’s less savory reputations? Should I let it slide by, with nary an acknowledgment? Should I perhaps kick it to the wayside, and devote my post to Earth Day, but a scant two days hence?

Well, first off, we should establish that I have no knowledge base to post from, regarding 4/20. I was, sadly, a good girl. A good student. A drama geek. A – dare I say it? – nerd. For further proof of just how big a dork I was, see this post at my blog. I would post a picture of me from those bygone days, but I’d probably lose all my fans. (All five of you. Hi!)

I didn’t even know what 420 supposedly meant until I was well into my college years, and even th…

A glimpse into the world of Anna Strong...

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Jeanne Stein here: Well, it's the 19th of the month which means here in Leagueland that I'm supposed to post. Since I'm in deadline manic mode, I decided to share something that I posted on The Biting Edge first. This was put together by a reader, Nicole Gillison, who did it as a surprise for her wife, Laray.

Nicole planned a tour of some of the locations featured in the Anna Strong series. She asked me for some details and then went to work on the tour. I'm going to let you see and hear what they found!

LaRay wrote:

Wow what an adventure we had! :)

We took a lot of pictures; sadly we dropped the good camera and ended up taking a lot of pictures with our cell phone. So not sure if you can use or would want to use any of them but I'm happy to share all these pictures with you.

Nikki did such a great job at walking me through the books. She did this whole tour guide with stories of who, where, and what. It was really nice.

We found a real biker bar in El Cajon, the closest…

Trailer love

It's my day to post and my brain is totally mush, due to being in the midst of the second draft of the new YA I'm writing. I'm loving it, but as a fast-drafter for first drafts, my second drafts are a whole lot of work. Times a billion.

Which was a long way of saying that I have no ideas for today's post here at the League. Instead, please watch this preview for the new Taylor Lautner movie. If it isn't already known, I am an unapologetic Twihard with a sixteen-year-old level of maturity. Therefore, I am all over this awesome-looking movie. ALL OVER IT. RAHHH.

The Hit Man and I

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Recently I was looking through my Netflix queue and trying to find more interesting things to watch. Netflix likes to make suggestions based on other things you've watched in the past and I was amused to discover... I watch a lot of movies about assassins, spies, criminal geniuses, and gormless crooks.And the quirkier the better.

A few nights ago Mr. Kat and I watched Wild Target, a rather silly English film starring Bill Nighy (who played Davy Jones in the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies) and Rupert Grint (whom you may know as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films) and Emily Blunt (title role in The Young Victoria).



It was quite silly and reminded me of another couple of goofy hit-man films we'd seen: Assassin in Love, The Whole Nine Yards, You Kill Me, and Grosse Point Blank Obviously we're into sex and violence--especially if it's silly.



Yes, I know.... I like films about people doing people in and making it funny. But I like films about bad guys wit…

How to Recover from RT (or not)

So, I was just at Romantic Times with so many beautiful Leaguers and friends. It was glorious. I did some business, met some fans, drank some booze, and schmoozed, schmoozed, schmoozed.

And holy mother of god, I am paying for it.

I feel like a 100-year-old, who has been hit by a truck, and then whose broken, bleeding carcass was then set upon by young, strong boys with sticks.

I feel like poop.

Warm and wrung-out, fresh from the bunghole.

I don't think it helped that, living in Greensburg, I never leave the house or socialize. So even working my tongue in speech was tiring for me, let alone doing so while drinking! With other people! In a bar!

It also didn't help that RT was in California this year. I mean, seriously, California is fucking far away. I can get to London from here in only an hour extra!

So when I got back I was like, "I WILL RECOVER," and I set upon a post-RT recovery regimen.

Now, for those of you manning my tweets, you've probably noticed t…

Not Really an RT Recap

To be honest, I had a much different blog planned for this week - full of all the fun stuff I got to do at RT, and how utterly grateful I was to my fellow Leaguers for taking me under their collective wings. I learned so much from them last week, and I can't say enough about it.  Heck, Jackie Kessler and I shared a four hour plane ride home in the second-to-last row of a SouthWest rust bucket, surrounded by extremely chatty teenagers on their way to tour collages on the East Coast. (Seriously, we're practically blood sisters now, bound by fear of fuselage rippage and York Peppermint Patties.)

However, an hour after my plane touched down in Virgina, my father-in-law suffered a terrible stroke and subsequently passed away Monday morning. So obviously, my brain just isn't in a good place for anything particularly snarky or witty right now. The funeral is today, in fact, and I'd like to keep that part of things to myself.

In the meantime, I want to give a shout out to my f…

A Challenge Was Met

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I spent a lot of time yesterday pondering a good topic for today's blog post, but I kept coming up dry. Most of my ideas had already been done (many times) by other authors, on other blogs. Or the ideas just weren't good enough to write a whole blog post about (not that there's a word count minimum on these things, but I figure I might as well make it longer than flash fiction).

I needed something worthy of the League. We're Reluctant Adults, after all, and snark is our mother language. It's an art form, really, and it also isn't a proper week at the League without someone mentioning someone else's ta-tas.

Fortunately, Kevin Hearne saved me last night from falling back on a completely mundane topic when he posted this on Twitter:




For those of you who've never heard of Rocky Mountain Oysters, check it out:




Not too scary, right? They look like fried chicken livers, or even those popcorn chicken things they serve at KFC.

But this is where they come from:




So…

Dial 'R' for Romance

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I was in Los Angeles this last week for the much-loved Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. It's one of my favorite conventions, both because it's a great opportunity to hang out with readers and authors and one of the few times people can walk around in fairy wings without fear of (much) judgment.

This year's RT was quiet but still packed with the usual mix of solid business by day and wackiness at night. I'm not feeling particularly witty right now, so rather than expound much on the week, I figured I'd let pictures do most of the talking for me. I give you...


TEN OF MY FAVORITE THINGS FROM RT 2011


10. Samhain Steampunk Tea Party

Ray guns, wax mustaches, goggle top hats, and finger sandwiches. I really, really wanted to win a hat or ray gun, but alas, luck was not on my side. Probably just as well, seeing as those things would've raised a lot of questions from TSA agents when I returned home.



9. Ellora's Cave Bollywood Party

The EC parties are known for their …

Feed My Chupacabra

When I started writing the fourth Void City novel (currently titled Hunted) I had a problem. Wererats were nearly what I used to fix it, but that would have totally wrong.

See if you can follow my thought process:

In any ecosystem, when one natural predator dies out or is diminished, the ecological niche they occupy is taken by another predator. So... with the reduction in the total number of vampires in Void City after the events in Crossed (Void City, book 3), it seemed only natural, that I bring in wererats. Until I started writing it and the wererats didn't show up.

I didn't know why they wouldn't show up. They simply didn't. I had a problem and my conscious brain didn't know it, but my subconscious totally thought I was being a moron. My subconscious was all about the chupacabra. I caught myself googling them and complaining about how much cooler they could be... and then going back to trying to shoehorn wererats in book 4.

When I finally tried putting them…

What Was I Thinking?

Yes. This is the question I ask myself each and every time I get a new contract.WTF, Dakota?And then I ask--Who (I know it should be whom, but really, do you talk to yourself like that in your head?)the hell did you think you were kidding when you thought you could write a book?You know how this all starts? It all starts with my big mouth and my even bigger ideas. It goes like this: Dear Agent, OMG—I have this awesomely, fantastical, never before seen idea that will make you laugh and laugh and I don’t mean at me.Agent emails back (and I’m sure she when she does it’s just because I can be like an annoying gnat, all up buzzing in your head) and says—Well, it’s options time (options means I’ve fulfilled my last contracts. Wherein I’ve already forgotten the promise I made to myself that I’d never do this shit again), whaddya got?I email back my brilliance to her in one hundred words or less concept style.She emails back and tells me I’m only sorta brilliant because I need to do XYZ to ma…

It's Me, Only Different!

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Sneak Peek!

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Guess what y'all! This is my last post before I's finally PUBLISHED! Then I can be a REAL author! Ye gods, I thought it would never get here!

O' course, once I lose me cherry on May 3, Del Rey is going to publish me twice more this year—HEXED comes out on June 7 and HAMMERED on July 5. It's the same sort of release schedule that Del Rey did with Stacia Kane's Downside books last year. I think I read somewhere on Stacia's blog that it was kinda stressful (though I might be imagining that). Whether I imagined it or not, I'm starting to get an inkling that it's going to be a pretty intense three months, but mostly I'm just excited right now.

If you'd like to get some Sneak Peekage for FREE (it's a try before you buy kinda deal), then you can go to Suvudu on Friday, April 8, for a continuing feature they run there called 50-Page Fridays. There, from the comfort of your own browser, you can read the first 50 pages (or so) of HOUNDED.

If you can&#…

Why I am bitterly hating half the League right now

Well, half of the League of Reluctant Adults is off at the RT convention. I burned with jealousy as I saw the emails flying back and forth planning drink meetups and other stuff. 
Top things I loved at the convention last year, that I will be horribly missing this year: 1. Meeting readers! There is nothing so wonderful as talking with all the smart, fun, generous-hearted and supportive readers who make it all worthwhile. League authors going to RT will get to meet so many readers. Luckies!
2. Meeting other authors. As an author, you work alone so much, and it's really nourishing to get out and hang around with others of our kind. We’re not unlike dogs: it’s important for us to get socialized, or else we end up weird and growly.

3. League of Reluctant Adults late night shenanigans…For example when and were thebut then  in the mashed potatoes andbecause and of course wouldn't you know  ! !! And? You bet! But
              , plus, the  By that timehadand,well, we’ll just leave it at tha…

The Day Of RAGE Giveaway

So I was supposed to blog earlier, but one thing led to another, and here it is, 9:30 pm Eastern and I'm first blogging. I suck. Wait, today is the official RAGE release day, so maybe I can make it up to you! I'll give away a copy of RAGE. All you have to do is tell me who your favorite Horseman of the Apocalypse is. (Made up Horsemen are perfectly acceptable.)

I'll pick a winner at random after I return from RT. :)

WINNER! And Free Reads!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered my giveaway! Courtesy of Random.org, we have a winner: Donna S.

Congrats, Donna! I'll email you soon for details, and mail you a copy of Master of None.

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And now... here's how everybody wins! If you're interested in my djinn series, you can read ALL of Master of None online for free at Pocket After Dark, all this month. All you have to do is join the PAD community (which is also free! Everybody loves free...).

Go here to check it out!

You can also read the first two chapters of Master and Apprentice (that's one more chapter than I have on my website. Exciting!).

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Not enough free stuff for you? Well, okay. Because I love you, I've got another free read for you coming up.

I have an alter ego slithering around under the name S. W. Vaughn. Some folks believe S. W. is a guy (according to Amazon reviews). Some think S. W. is a psychopath writing from prison. This may be be…