Friday, December 23, 2011

I Got Your Stocking, Right Here!

So, it's been a while since we've heard from our good friend Amanda Feral, but that's changing in 2012. It seems that some opportunities might have presented themselves, both on the erotica front penned by the wicked zombie, herself, and stories featuring Amanda, Wendy and Gil. There's nothing set in stone, but the stage is set for some horribly irreverent mayhem.

Until then, why don't you check out Amanda's first erotic effort, the suitably Christmas-y, STOCKING FULL OF COAL? It's funny, naughty as f**k, and above all, weird (check out what Nicole Peeler had to say about the story, here).

Synopsis: Justine Crenshaw is accident-prone. On purpose. It’s the bruises…she can’t live without them, without the pleasure and pain that closely bind her sexuality to her secret obsession. She chooses men who accept her fetish, who seek it out for their own dark designs, even if they don’t understand it. She accepts that. Justine doesn’t need them for anything but a little bruise pressure during down-and-dirty sex.

Then she meets Nathan, and her heart starts demanding more than her compulsions provide. She can’t hide her body from him forever, can’t keep him in the dark, literally. But no “normal” guy could possibly understand her multi-colored kink…could he? It might be time for Justine to shine a light on her fetish and find out.

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And guess what? Just in time for the holidays, it's cheap! So why not download a copy for that super-dirty girl or guy in your life and support a displaced zombie author!

Buy it...


And expect more news from Amanda in the coming months!

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or whatever you celebrate!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Tis the Season For ... Books

'Tis the season, my elves--the season for book releases!

Here at the League, in addition to putting coal in each other's stockings (not a euphemism) and making lists of enemies and checking them twice, we're also prepping for several new book releases among the ranks. Luckily, the holidays aren't all shame-and-sugar hangovers, they're also about presents. Presents like gift cards and shiny new e-readers. Gift cards that need spending and e-readers that need filling ... filling with books ... by Leaguers.

I think you know where this is going...

Three Leaguers have books coming out on or around January 1. Of course, lay down dates may vary depending on the store of your choice, but for the most part you'll be able to grab these great reads in just one week.

Richelle Mead's SHADOW HEIR
Buy it at B&N, Amazon or Indie Bound
Blurb:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead returns to the Otherworld, a mystic land inextricably linked to our own--and balanced precariously on one woman's desperate courage . . .

Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land's prophecy-haunted queen, there's no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born-children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld. . .

The spell-driven source of the blight isn't the only challenge to Eugenie's instincts. Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can't trust the synergy drawing them back together. The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can't--or won't--reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon--and risk the ultimate sacrifice. . .


Diana Rowland's SINS OF THE DEMON
Buy it at B&N, Amazon or Indie Bound
Blurb:
The homicide beat in Louisiana isn't just terrifying, it's demonic. Detective Kara Gilligan of the supernatural task force has the ability to summon demons to her aid, but she herself is pledged to serve a demonic lord. And now, people who've hurt Kara in the past are dropping dead for no apparent reason. To clear her name and save both the demon and human worlds, she's in a race against the clock and in a battle for her life that just may take her to hell and back.



Jaye Wells's SILVER-TONGUED DEVIL
Buy it at B&N, Amazon or Indie Bound
Blurb:
Now that the threat of war has passed, Sabina Kane is ready to focus on the future. Her relationship with Adam Lazarus is getting stronger and she's helping her sister, Maisie, overcome the trauma of her captivity in New Orleans. Even Giguhl is managing to stay out of trouble thanks to the arrival of Pussy Willow and his new roller derby team. But as much as Sabina wants to feel hopeful about the future, part of her doesn't believe that peace is possible.

Her suspicions are confirmed when a string of sadistic murders threatens to stall treaty negotiations between the mages and the vampires. Sabina pitches in to find the killer, but her investigation soon leads her down dark paths that have her questioning everyone she thought she could trust. And the closer she gets to the killer, the more Sabina begins to suspect this is one foe she may not be able to kill.

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We hope you all have safe and merry holidays filled with magic and mischief. But most of all, we hope you spend them with a good book ... or ten. Cheers!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DRIVING MR. DEAD will be available Tuesday!



My new novella, DRIVING MR. DEAD, will be available from Audible starting Dec. 27. That's TUESDAY!! The eBook version will be available from Pocket on Jan. 31.

The synopsis is below.

HELL ON WHEELS

After failing as a magician's assistant, a photographer, and most recently, a bride, Miranda Puckett takes a position as a driver for Beeline, Half-Moon Hollow's premiere vampire concierge service.

Miranda's assignment? Driving Collin Sutherland, the world's most fastidious vampire from Washington to Kentucky, so he can deliver a mysterious black case to Council official Ophelia Lambert.

Collin, a paranoid, aristocratic vampire with a debilitating fear of flying, refuses to let the case out of his sight. Miranda needs this time on the road to decide whether to permanently cut her ties with the fiance that had an "emotional affair" with a childhood pal, but Collin’s neatnik tendencies are driving her around the bend. The man acts as if leaving a fast food wrapped on the passenger seat is reason for a full-on CDC de-contamination scrub-down of the car. All she can do is promise to stop intentionally doing the things that make his stiff upper lip twitch with irritation.

As more and more mishaps occur on the road trip from hell, Miranda and Collin work together to meet his delivery deadline. Hotel rooms are destroyed. Beloved cars are defiled. And somewhere along the line, client-driver hostilities become snarky flirtation.

Will Collin and Miranda make it to the Hollow in one piece? And if they do, will Miranda leave old, safe relationships behind for something new and well, just plain weird?

Monday, December 19, 2011

She's a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

((Cross posted at On Literary Intent))

Yes, I know I should probably be doing a Christmas post, given the proximity to that particular holiday, but I’m not gonna. No way, not gonna make me. ‘Cause honestly, Christmas is my least favorite holiday. I know, you probably think this is going to boil down to a “commercialism at Christmas” rant, but I swear it’s not. What it really amounts to is that I am a lousy gift-giver.

No, I don’t have any trouble picking out presents for people. (well, most of the time) See, I’m smart enough to get a list and much like Rachel in Friends, STICK TO THE LIST. Shopping isn’t my problem. Where I find my downfall is that I’m supposed to WAIT to give these people these totally awesome gifts that I know they want!

What kind of sick, sadistic holiday IS this? “Here, it’s wrapped up all shiny and ribbony, just waiting to be torn asunder and enjoyed! But not yet!” Seriously?

I’m much more of an instant gratification kinda girl. For example: Hubby and I agreed not to do presents for each other until after Christmas. Which means, of course, that there are no less than three presents hidden around the house at this very moment for the man. The only reason I HAVEN’T given them to him yet is because I’m absurdly proud of my hiding places. (He’s reading over my shoulder right now. I think the only reason he hasn’t dashed off in search is because he’s well aware of my aforementioned weak will. He knows he’ll get them soon anyway.)

I love watching people open presents that they know I want, and I see no reason that I should wait until some pre-determined day of the year to indulge myself in this particular pleasure. This is why I’m notorious among my friends for giving them “wrapped” gifts. (Wrapped = in the bag I bought it in) Hey, they have to open it, it counts!

My child has figured this out at even her tender young age. She knows very well if she asks “Mommy, can I open one early?” that she’ll wind up with ALL of them open sooner rather than later. I know, I know, it’s a sickness. I can’t help it!

Right now, at this very moment, there are presents stashed all over this house, just screaming to be given. The voices, they haunt me.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Announcements!

First off, I want to send Juliet Blackwell a HUGE hug for making the New York Times extended list with DEAD BOLT. I'm so excited for her, I could spit!

I hosted a hilarious contest with Juliet in which people could create titles/proposals for the as-yet-unknown genre of Erotic Cozies. The contest is over, but the entries are amazing.

In my own news, I'm happy to announce the creation of Denise Townsend, writer of Selkie paranormal erotic romance. If you like erotic romance and like my books, I think you'll like hers. We're tight. ;-)

Her first book is Ocean's Touch, and it'll be coming out digitally with Samhain December 27th. Click the cover for more information:

For a final treat, I'll leave you with a new band that's totally rocking my world. They're Icelandic, which is always fun. They're Of Monsters and Men, and here's their song Little Talks:



Enjoy and have a happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Merry Blog Hop

I tend to fangirl myself pretty hard sometimes - this year I actually had a set of Christmas cards made up with my characters from A Brush of Darkness.

You can buy a set if you're so inclined...if not, I'm giving some away, along with a bunch of swag - including signed cover flats and bookmarks, trading cards and a stuffed hedgehog.

Yes, a hedgehog.

Why?


Because I own one. And they are awesome. And prickly.

And awesome.

However, I can't give away Tumbleweed, so a stuffed hedgehog it will have to be.

To enter for this fabulous little prize package, you will have to write hedgehog haiku, over at my official author site. (You can go there now, but I won't open for comments until the 16th. However, there are pictures of the swag...and a hedgehog in a sleigh, and that's worth a look-see, right?)

And this is all part of the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop, which includes a grand prize of a Nook, complete with a lovely bunch of pre-loaded books. (Including A Brush of Darkness)




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Having a Foundation

Hallelujah, I remembered to post!

Every single month, I write my day down on my calendar. So why do I sometimes look right at the calendar and still forget to post? No idea.

Being December and all, I considered a holiday-themed post, but I'm already talking Christmas over at Tynga's Reviews. I also considered a brief rant about the The Avengers character posters and how Black Widow is the only Avenger (and the token female) who's showing off her ass, but Carrie Vaughn said it better.

So instead, I'm pulling out an old bit of advice, originally posted three years ago on my blog. It's about having a foundation in your writing. Every July, I attend a local SF/F convention called Shore Leave, and in '08 something said during a writing panel really stuck with me:


I was in a writing panel Saturday afternoon , and one of the writer panelists (Howard Weinstein, FYI) was discussing discipline, which led one of the attendees to mention "inspiration." At which point author Michael Jan Friedman made the following comment (and I'm paraphrasing from memory here):

"Many people liken inspiration to a lightning bolt from on high. Something that comes down and strikes you. But what most people forget is that lightning comes from the ground, not the sky. The ground is a solid foundation. Instead of waiting for inspiration to drop down on you, start with a good foundation."

He went on, illustrating his point that a foundation in discipline, mechanics of writing and storytelling trumped waiting for that inspirational strike from above. And I happen to agree with him.

Inspiration is awesome, but it can also be used as a crutch and an excuse. "Oh, sorry, the Muse is on vacation, so no writing got done today." "I don't know how to get Max out of the Dungeon of Doom, so I'm going to drink a latte and wait for inspiration to strike." Um, yeah. You could be waiting for a week or more. This is where the discipline part of that foundation comes in handy. By putting your Butt In Chair, no matter what, and writing something, no matter how dreadful or delete-worthy, you are giving yourself the discipline to finish something.

Rewriting is okay. Revising is always necessary. But you can't finish a first draft if you let yourself off the hook with, "I'm waiting for inspiration." Discipline yourself to write through the trouble spots, and you won't have to wait for inspiration. I'll be there waiting for you when you sit down to write.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

With Lace and Brocade Our Passions Obeyed


Even at the holidays, especially at the holidays, the writer's muse can run amuck.

Maybe it's the upcoming release of Burned (A Void City Novel) by J. F. Lewis (hey, I see that guy in the mirror sometimes) at the end of January or the fact that I've been working on two different books set in that universe, but there are times when I'm so in writer-mode that normal everyday things can be rendered horribly funny because I realize how one character or another would react to them.

On the way home from lunch, for example, we were listening to Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" and this whacked out impatient driver zoomed into the lane behind us, then around and past us... It infuriated my wife... And in glow of that anger, I was struck by the visual of happy Christmas shoppers in a hollywood-like surreal moment, walking down the sidewalks of Void City as Greta, one of my more murderous vampires, drove down the street in Fang, the flesh-eating 1964 1/2 Mustang who is never far away in the Void City books, s
aw the happy people... and steered up onto the sidewalk. Since it's Christmas, the visual panned up and away as the mayhem began... but I knew what happened next. So do you.

It applies to songs, too, the wacky aspect of the muse about which I am typing. When I can't remember the lyrics to a song, it's not that I can't think of things that rhyme. I usually can and I go right ahead and sing them, but only when I'm in writer-mode do the total WTF lyrics come out to play.

I didn't, for example, have any interest in coming up with a complete set of alternate lyrics to "Walking in a Winter Wonderland", but as the title of the blog post will tell you, I do totally have complete lyrics in my head for a song called "Fucking in Designer Underwear" as sung by a very inebriated Eric.

Another excerpt:

Shave your maiden's meadow like a snowman/I'll smile from ear to ear as I go down.

Yeah, you don't need the rest of it. Really you don't. I've found that even doodles can get out of hand. I guess it's because the writer brain never really lets go of anything (or at least mine doesn't). Several years ago, I saw someone in a forum recommend Staked, my first novel, to people on a Twilight discussion board. One poster asked if the book was anything like Twilight and the response was "Yes, it's exactly like Twilight except with real vampires."

Great sarcasm like that sticks with you, so when I was fiddling about with my iPad at lunch the other day, and drawing a werewolf. This happened:

Now, I know it's not just a writer thing. I am one hundred percent certain that everyone does this. Most people, however, seem to be wise enough to keep it to themselves or share thoughts involving belly shirt-wearing werewolves in lilac sunglasses and mock anti-Twilight ad campaigns to themselves. But not writers, or at least not this writer. And maybe that's a good thing. Maybe we should all let the crazy out from time to time. I know I plan to keep doing it. How about you?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Confederacy of Nerds

The Confederacy of Nerds is a grandiose term for a few dudes who take off once in a while to do completely uncool stuff because it's fun. We are well aware that various unwritten codes of manliness dictate that we're supposed to like poker and sports and drive giant trucks, or perhaps hunt down unarmed herbivores with ridiculously high powered weapons, but instead we re-channel our aggressive impulses into role-playing games. Oh yes. We're that kind of nerd: the ten-sided dice kind.  D10s, baby. With faux marble surfaces. Aw yeah!

When the Man gets us down with his rules and schedules and stuff, we flee to a cabin in the mountains, stock it with beer and junk food, and fight some epic battles with periodic restroom breaks. We have this place in Pine, Arizona. Pine looks like this:

Except it doesn't have 80s hair. It just has a lot of ponderosa pine trees, and if you wish to stand in front of one for a picture or for archery practice, I can't think of a better spot.

We actually hang out in a cabin that looks remarkably similar to this one, with a deck and trees all around and stuff:
We smoke cigars and cuss a lot, and the two guys who work in IT keep talking about migrating shit to their Clouds, and the rest of us laugh at them. What nerds! And then the game playing begins. Lots of trash talk. Sometimes we play Warhammer roleplay, but this time we're playing a game called Hordes. One guy brings out his army of Trollbloods. They're awesome. They drink and smoke cigars and have muscles and kick ass, so it's the perfect wish fulfillment fantasy:
I have an army called Circle Orboros because they have some Druids in it. They also tend to have crossbows and really intricate armor. Here are a couple of Reeves checking out the troll:
"Look, Captain! That fucker has a keg! Let's nail him!"
So anyway, that's what I'll be doing this weekend. Friday is my birthday and and I'll be spending it geeking out. Can't wait! If you're in Arizona, by the way, I'll be cutting my nerdgasm short this weekend to join five other fantasy authors at The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale at 2 pm on Sunday, Dec. 11. Come on down and grab some signed books for Christmas or whatever!

How do you geek out?

Monday, December 5, 2011

ALERT: 13 gifts you should NOT get for werewolves this holiday season

(somewhat reprised from my blog of Christmas past) 


It is not easy to buy gifts for paranormals - especially werewolves. While they are typically polite about accepting items they don't like, quietly returning them when you're not around, some gifts that can upset them greatly, and should be avoided at all costs. Hopefully, this list will help.

Do NOT give your werewolf friends and family the following gifts:

1. Any chia pet in the shape of a canine. Deeply offensive to the werewolf psyche.


2. A Friendship bracelet that you worked really hard on, that the werewolf must never take off, and you'll be really mad if they lose it. Because they will!
3. The complete 5-volume Dog Whisperer DVD set featuring Cesar Millan. A werewolf will instantly rip it apart.

4. Nature's Gift Aromatherapy patchouli-scented bliss candles.

5. Actually, any heavily scented products are poor gift choices for werewolves.


6. Ten-hour video set of the historic Apollo 11 Lunar Landing. This type of close-up non-stop full moon footage can be overstimulating to werewolves, and lead to destruction of furnishings and upholstery, as well as messy sex marathons accompanied by howling that can result in noise complaints from the neighbors.

7. Road Runner vs. Wiley Coyote cartoon DVD set. (Not even as a joke, unless you hated your TV set anyway.)

8. The clapper, or worse, if you helpfully change all their lights over to operation by the clapper. This is not something that the werewolf in your life will find at all helpful. 


9.
 Joy of yodelling CD. (Gets werewolves riled up, not in a good way. Let's just say they try to sing along, and it's not pretty.)

10. A surprise pre-paid trip to the dentist to get all cavities filled with silver fillings.

11. Rogaine. 

12.
 The Slanket. While this gift may be exciting and attractive to your comfort-loving werewolf friend, it is actually very restrictive, and when it comes to shifting form unexpectedly, BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN.


13. The Miau Kitty Christmas Carol album: definitely NOT a recommended buy for werewolves this holiday season.
Do not under ANY circumstances purchase this music CD for a werewolf.
Gift plans ruined?
If this post has suddenly ruined your gift plans and you're scrambling for an awesome gift, please allow me to suggest books.... written by Leaguers! 
And if any of your werewolf pals are fans of the Disillusionist Trilogy, I have great news: HEAD RUSH, the exciting final book  (Mind Games and  Double Cross are the first two)  is out in audio now and comes out in ebook TOMORROW (aka Tuesday!)  with print to follow in 2012. Happy ebook release week to me, and happy holidays to all! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Vampire Wars

Soooooo, my blog is short and sweet today. It was prompted by a picture I wish I could put up again, but have absolutely no clue how to add to this blog. All things tech confound me.


Anyway, on my Facebook page (maybe three weeks or so ago), I posted a pic of ze vampires Lestat and Louie from Interview With A Vampire. It had an effin’ funny caption. We laughed. We commented. We shared. We snarked.


Good times… Well, mostly.


There were a couple of people who got pretty passionate about their love of a particular vampire clan and a little angry with those of us who thought the pic was funny. There was much discussion. Much. Wow, was there discussion :)


Alas, that’s not what this blog is about. What struck me about that pic was the complete loyalty to a fictional group of people. It was steadfast, folks. And even if I don’t necessarily understand it, I certainly respect it. It’s what made the writer of said vampire clan richer than rich. It also renewed interest in vampires and opened a lot of doors for those of us that write them. That’s all good as far as I’m concerned.


Anyhoodles, the above situation was what made me ponder this question for today’s blog, that and my crazy Vampire Diaries marathon as of late. All that teenage angst makes me feel almost drama-free and far more superior than I should. :)


So tell me, who’s your favorite fictional vampire?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Cat of Doom

The tree is decorated beautifully. Its nine feet tall. Filled with bows and shiny ornaments and sparkly lights. The family decorated it happily. Putting everything just so, too. The Viking put on the tippy-top ornament and I put on the decorative skirt.

Then came the cat.

There are two cats. The one who is not in trouble because trees with lights and ribbons and dangling objects bore him. Plus, he'd rather nap. Then there is the other cat.

Naughty cat. The terror of holiday trees everywhere. He lounged in the corner under the tree watching the humans create his kitty Disneyland. He was scatted and shushed and chased away from the tree. Our perfect, beautiful tree.

He killed the first ornament within an hour. It was a big, shiny silver wonder ... now a thousand shards. The cat endured a rousing game of "Hiss and Chase" and disappeared.

The humans were lulled into contentment. Eventually they stopped talking and listening to Christmas music and went to bed.

Naughty cat returned to the tree. His playground. For a whole night.

When morning came, four ornaments had been knocked off. One was missing a hook.

Hiss and Chase commenced.

Cat waited. And later, he killed another ornament.

And the next day? He climbed into the branches because the GOOD toys were in the middle. And he killed another ornament ... this one was special. A favorite.

Cat does not understand the meaning of Christmas. Or staying away from trees. Or how irritated his humans are because he's RUINING THE HOLIDAYS.

Naughty Cat, you are getting COAL in your stocking. And no, it's not a toy. It's not. Damn it. Who's up for another game of Hiss and Chase?





Thursday, December 1, 2011

Best wishes


We Leaguers are an industrious if pervy lot. And occasionally, one of us hits pay dirt.









In this case, a huge SHOUT OUT to Leaguer Cherie Priest, the High-Priestess of Steampunk who yesterday announced her movie deal of Boneshaker. Just three weeks ago she was in Denver signing at the Broadway Book Mall.


Soon, with luck and our tarnished blessings, she'll be in the position to greet us when we arrive at the gilded gates of her 1% estate, hats in hand, and she'll announce: "Release the hounds."


With the beginning of December comes the end of NaNoWriMo. How did you all do? I made my goal, which was to finish the first draft of a work in progress. A very ugly baby to be sure. But at least I have something to vivisect and reattach parts to. As much as we love NaNoWriMo, good intentions are not enough. They need your help, as in cashola. So dig out those spare coins rattling in your tattered pocket and send them here to keep the NaNoWriMo furnace stoked until 2012.

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

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