Showing posts from March, 2011

A simulated bookstore visit -- and a giveaway!

Today is the release day for my second djinn novel, Master and Apprentice. And this is the internet. These things are seemingly unrelated, but I'm about to relate them. Lots of folks (myself included) like to check out new-to-them books in a bookstore, so they can pick up a copy of a potential read, leaf through it, maybe read a few pages and decide whether or not to buy it. Sadly, you can't pick up the internet and leaf through it. So I'd like to present this simulated visit to a bookstore, and let you decide whether you're interested in this particular novel. For the purposes of this simulation, you have decided to employ the infamous Page 69 Test. Yes, you have. Trust me on this. You walk into a bookstore, and you see that cover there. (You say to yourself, my, what an intriguing cover! That guy is hot! [or if your tastes run that way: that chick is hot! Or: that wolf is hot!] You pick up the book, and notice that while the cover itself has a nice, matte finish, the

More Auction Action

so, yes, with the help of the inimitable Richelle Mead (who kicked my ass into gear--thank you!) There's now another League Auction to benefit Japan relief: for the first 4 Greywalker novels, signed, in mass market paperback . And yes, I'll mail them anywhere. I think this makes me "Team Late To The Party,"

In which I spend a day with wolves...

Unfortunately, hunky naked werewolves continue to elude me... When I was little and came running into the house, sweaty and caked in dirt, my mom would cry, “What the- have you been rolling around with wolves?” Well, here I sit, sweaty, caked in various layers of dried mud. And I have indeed been playing with wolves. While promoting the release of my Naked Werewolf romance series, I visited the Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge in Nicholasville, KY. Wolf Run, a state- and USDA-licensed non-profit educational facility, provides a safe, loving and permanent sanctuary for 23 adult wolves and wolf-dog hybrids. The refuge is also home to two full-grown lions, deer, goats, sheep, monkeys, and other exotic wildlife. And Rowdy, the most obese raccoon I have ever seen. Most of the animals are former pets that were either confiscated by or surrendered by their owners. Because it turns out, wolf hybrids do not make great house pets. As Savannah Massey, director of animal care and education at Wolf R

Perspective: Or It's About the Stories, Stupid

Sometimes, as authors, it's really easy to get wrapped up in stupid shit. The internet is a virtual minefield for one's ego. A gauntlet of potential neurosis. Stupid flame wars, debates over non-issues, chicken little prophecies. Add to that the scary news about bookstore closings and dire predictions on the demise of all of our careers unless we give our publishers the finger and become bookpreneurs and it's a wonder any of us get anything done. But you know what's awesome for one's perspective? Taking a week off. Last week was spring break for Spawn so we headed out of town for a week of fun. It wasn't anything elaborate. But it was a change of pace and a much needed break after the craziness of a book launch combined with revisions on my next book. Normally, it's really hard for me to do anything non-writing related without feeling guilty. But last week, I allowed myself a week without stressing about deadlines or obligations or tweeting or blogging or an

Wheeee... wibble, wobble...

OK, so... I still have the head cold from hell. Which had a very negative impact on my work and my weekend. I got proofs in for the US paperback edition of LABYRINTH while I was trying to finish up some work on the boat and also a new synopsis for TV/film stuff. My agent has also been very busy with negotiations for the next set of Greywalker novels. So, naturally, the day I finally get the proofs in hand, I come down with the cold. I like to say I blame Erin Evans--who was feeling a bit under the weather at Rainforest--but I mostly I say this because I would otherwise have to admit that I got a cold at Ikea and who wants to 'fess up to having a cheap-ass pseudo-Swedish virus that was actually ginned-up in China? But I digress. Or do I? Anyhow, so while I was contemplating how efficient a proof reader I would be while high on a combination of decongestant, cough-suppressant, antihistamine, and expectorant—complicated by frequent sneezing, snorting, blowing, coughing and narcolepsy—

Happy Spring!

First off, an obligatory reminder that the critique auctions are still going on. Team Claw has currently pulled ahead of Team Fang (I suspect foul play), so make sure you get your bids in! And now, the post! I'm currently sitting here at my desk, watching the gorgeous sunshine out over my deck. The nice lady on the weather channel says it's supposed to be up to 75 today, and my first thought is, "Hey, I should go outside! To write!" Hm. I'm not sure that going outside to SIT more is actually the point of this whole "it's beautiful, go outside" campaign they keep running on TV. That's the hazard of being a writer, especially when that writing is also coupled with having a Real Job(tm). There's a lot of sitting involved. On the average weekday, I'm sitting at my computer for 16 hours of it. Not only is this bad for the waistline (really, my jeans just shrunk in the dryer), but it's hard on various other parts of you. We all kno

Think Spring...

Jeanne Stein here- Hey--tomorrow it's official. The first day of spring. As if heralding its arrival, tonight we earthlings are going to be treated to one of nature's coincidences--the perigee...during which the rising full moon appears fourteen percent larger and brighter than usual. Nasa supplies this video explanation: Here's your chance to capture some your own super cool shots like the one's we see in movies and assume are special effects. The super moon only comes about once every eighteen or nineteen years. Get your cameras ready and head outside for the moonrise in your area. Heck, it's still mid afternoon. You have time!

Wonder Woman Wuss!

Today was the "big reveal" of Wonder Woman's costume for the upcoming TV series. Those of you who follow me on twitter might have seen me bitching about the look. Yes, the costume looks heinously uncomfortable and hot as hell, plus I worry for the poor girl's liver in that corset. But what I want to know is, why the hell doesn't she have any muscle tone? I mean, she's supposed to be a superhero fer gossakes. At least let her look like an athlete! But then there's MY Wonder Woman action figure: She looks like she's ready to kick some ass! (And possibly crush heads with those thighs of hers!) What do you all think? Are noodle-arms all right if the superhero is sexy enough? (Yes, I might have inserted a touch of bias into the question. :-D It's my blog post. So there!)

League auctions and viral videos

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I am currently in what writers affectionately call "deadline hell." I have a book due in four days and am working very hard to meet that deadline, which means I'm a hermit in a bathrobe who isn't going anywhere except for twitter. And no, it's not as glamorous as it sounds. Anyway, thought I'd post a couple links and a video today here at the League. After the devastation in Japan, two groups of League members have generously put together a couple eBay auctions to benefit the recovery effort. If you're looking for a group analysis of your work in progress and would like 100% of the final sale price will to go to the American Red Cross. Team Fang is Mario Acevedo, Dakota Cassidy, Stacia Kane, JF Lewis, Nicole Peeler, KA Stewart, and Anton Strout. Team Claw is Sonya Bateman, Michele Bardsley, Carolyn Crane, Kevin Hearne, Jackie Kessler, Diana Rowland, and Jeanne Stein. Richelle Mead also has a bunch of auctions up featuring s

That Setting Thing....

This is me with my didactic writer hat on (cross-posted from my main blog ): So... this past weekend I was at the Rainforest Writer’s Village writer’s retreat out on the Olympic Peninsula. I’d never been to a writer’s retreat before and this was kind of interesting. Because this was my first time and because the organizer had prodded me firmly with a virtual poke, I had agreed to lead a couple of discussions. Or workshops. Or something like that. It was pretty casual. And I said I would because that’s what you do when someone reminds you that people did such things for you when you were a newbie and “paying it forward” is good karma. So, arm properly twisted (but not very far) I said I’d talk on a couple of topics that I’ve been poking at a lot lately: Voice and Setting. Not together, but as two separate occasions. So let me start with Setting... (with apologies to Don McQuinn who first kicked my ass about this and as a result the setting in the Greywalker novels became almost a chara


I have a couple of fun things to announce: First off, guest blogs! You can find me guest blogging over at Richelle Mead's site , where I talk about "How young is too young?" in regards to reading, and you can also find me a t Vicki Pettersson's site , talking about my rather ridiculous mental version of Las Vegas. Vicki also says such nice things about me she made me go all vaklempt. Kat Richardson also made me blush with what she said before my guest post at her site , about truly inspirational places to live. Next, I've got a guest blog up at Kevin Hearne's Writer's Grove , regarding butts that can crack walnuts and the urban fantasy heroine. It makes more sense when you read it. ;-) Finally, you can catch me talking NOLA cuisine over at Suzanne Johnson's Preternatura . She's even offering a NOLA gift bag as a contest prize. Fun! I'm wandering around to other people's blogs partially because, for the month of March (and a bit of April), i

Trading Spaces

Apparently the new cool thing this year as far as swag goes is trading cards. I first ran into the concept on Twitter a few weeks ago and the more I thought about it, the more I really liked it. I mean, sure, it's a little cheeseball to hand out cards with your character's stats, but the inner geek in me started fangirling almost immediately. There's a lot of flexibility here - both in the overall design and the details you might want to include on the back. As a reader, I love to collect things like this - just a few more insights into the characters or books I've come to love.  As an author, it gives me a chance to express my vision of my characters in an unrestricted way. At any rate, the trading card movement (at least for romance) has taken off over at Romance Trading Card s If you're getting cards made up for any of the conventions, be sure to stop by there and upload a few of them and add your name to the list so that readers will know you'll have the

A Redirect

Well, I was going use my turn this month to show off the cover for my new Pocket series, but I don't have permission to do that yet. Boo! But soon, I promise! And it's an awesome cover. :) Instead, with all that's happening in Japan right now, I'll just redirect you back to Richelle's post from yesterday and the awesome things she's doing to help raise relief money.

Book auctions to help disaster victims

The internet makes the world a small place, and being an author makes that doubly true. Never did I imagine I would have the chance to interact with others from so many different countries. Readers from all around the world regularly drop by here, on Facebook, and on Twitter, and I'm grateful for the chance to meet so many people. I've only seen a small part of the world, but on a daily basis, I get to understand it a little bit more. Watching the events in Japan unfold has been difficult for me. My heart goes out to everyone there, as well as to those of you who have loved ones there. It's heartbreaking to see so much news on the internet and TV--and to feel so far away and helpless. There are a number of charitable organizations I donate to that are doing good works, and I wanted to give some incentive for other people to donate. Here's the scoop. Over the next couple weeks or so, I will be auctioning signed books through eBay's Giving Works programs. It works lik

Sometimes You Have to Be Darth Vader

Recently, one of my readers stopped speaking to me. I didn't know about it until later when everything was okay again. Another one of my readers, when they reached the offending part of CROSSED that had so upset the other reader, threw the book across the room. A third, I'm told, stood up when he reached that portion of the novel and shouted, "Noooo!" at the top of his lungs... in the middle of the night. (I think I owe his wife an apology.) Then there was the reader who sent me an angry and impassioned email, begging me to undo what I had done... if, in fact, I didn't already undo it later in the novel. A few posted things on my Facebook fan page about it. Of course, they're fine now. Each of the readers I mentioned finished the book and were pleased by what they found at the end, even if it wasn't the ending for which they were hoping (or expecting). And I like to think I held up my end of the writer-reader bargain. The closest I've ever come

Can't We Just Make This Shit Up?

Stop me if you've heard this before. So I'm slaving away on LOSS, which is due May 15 (twomonthsaway!!!!!!!), and I'm thinking that it's going well. Except this obnoxious little voice in the back of my head is telling me that no, it's really not. This isn't the Voice Of Evil Intent, the one that claws at my confidence and whispers that maybe all my writing sucks. Let's face it, the Voice of Evil Intent is just a bully, trying to get me to doubt myself. Screw that schoolyard shit; I can do a LA LA LA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU nice and loud. No, I'm talking about a much more upsetting voice. I mean the Voice of Something's Wrong . Now, there are some writers who claim never to suffer from writer's block. I say they're either liars or damned lucky, and I don't believe in that much luck. I do believe, however, that every writer experiences writer's block differently. For me, writer's block happens when I've taken the story in the wron

Pressure Cooker!

It's appropriate, really, that I gave my Christmas-gift pressure cooker a try the other night--Sunday night, to be exact--because I just realized last night that my deadline for the 5th Downside book is five weeks away. Eek! I have a lot of words to make. But anyway. I don't have an oven, you see, at the moment. I haven't in a while. And it's getting annoying. And while doing some holiday shopping I saw the pressure cooker and thought that could be fun. Maybe a little terrifying, considering that my only real knowledge of pressure cookers was that sometimes they exploded, but hey, I'm the kinda girl who likes to live on the edge. (Note: everything you read now will tell you how much safer pressure cookers are now, how they never explode or anything anymore, and that we should all be using them every day because this is the new millennium, baby! Or, okay, we're eleven years in, so this is the new ish millennium, baby!) So. Chuck roast went into the cooker. Whole

Sick Author is Sick

So I've got a 101 degree fever. I'm sweating like a pig, my pajamas are soaked as is the mattress. And all this has been going on during a huge stressor involving my agent, my YA book and a certain NYC publishing house. Last night I put together my notes on the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy and so, they probably make no sense whatsoever. It's times like this that I almost wish I had a salaried job that I could call in sick to. So...this is me calling in sick. But I have some questions for you. 1. Who the hell came up with that vile Theraflu? 2. What should I do when I track down the person who gave me this virus? 3. Won't someone please come over around noon to make me chicken noodle soup?

Still Life with Fantasy and Fruit #11

CONGRATS TO OTTERDAUGHTER FOR WINNING THE CONTEST! Write to me at with your snail mail address and I'll get it shipped! Thanks everybody for entering! Sorta/kinda cross posted from mah blog. There's a narrative and everything  over there . Contest below! Since I'm not all that great with reviews and tend to think, as a writer, that reviewing isn't really my place, I started a series of posts on my blog called Still Life with Fantasy and Fruit, wherein I basically share what I'm reading and maybe give a broad hint at why I like it (or why I'm looking forward to reading it). Incidentally, I also share what's in my fruit bowl. I was particularly excited to read the three recent releases below, and perhaps the composition got a little risque in my attempts to convey emotion. Still Life with Fantasy and Fruit #11 Now, I need to put in a disclaimer here. At no time during the composition of this masterpiece did I intend to imply tha

A funny thing about fuck

“This girl has a mouth like a trucker!” That was one of the comments I got last month from an editor working on a short story of mine. Also last month, my agent complained that my heroine in my new sekrit paranormal project “drops the f-bomb a lot.” She wanted me to tone it down. Pointed out a place or two where she wanted my heroine to have a better line than just “Fuck!” Can she be more articulate here? my agent wondered. And I toned down the swearing in the short story and the new project. I didn’t feel like I was going against the character of either one of my heroines in doing it. In other words, while it felt natural for my heroines in these projects, it didn't feel central to either of their characters.  And, a more articulate line really did work better than that “Fuck!” Whenever I get into trouble with a plot or not knowing what to do, my mantra is always, resort to character , go to the character . But that doesn’t really work with swearing. I mean, there are some

Blinded By The Light (and fluffy)

And the winner is-- unseelieme Congrats! email me at so I can ship you yer bootay! Thanks again, everyone, for playing :) Come back and see me next month! Hellloooooo, fellow reluctant adults, and welcome to my blog day here on the League! Stick around and read this so you can enter to win some books at the end of my rambling. Which means you’re now my hostages until you finish reading. And don’t scroll to the end just to get to the giveaway because I’ll know. And you’ll be toast . :) I was pretty fekkin’ stumped about what to blog about. I suck at coming up with creative blog s and themes. I also suck at adding pretty pictures to my posts—so I hope you aren’t in this for the shiny . :) Anyway, let’s talk about something other than my lack of technical abilities—like when a writer goes from a lighthearted series to a darker, more intense one. This scares me much like the notion of Victoria’s Secret filing for bankruptcy and going out of business. I’d be dead

Characters: A Love-Hate Relationship

(IMPORTANT NOTE! This post first appeared on My Bookish Ways , the blog of the lovely Kristin Centorcelli, friend of the League. This May and June, Kristin and Candace of Candace's Book Blog will be hosting a reader's extravaganza with lots of prizes, including the newest titles from Leaguers Jaye Wells, Allison Pang, and some crazy chick whose initials are S.B. -- so don't miss it!) I have a confession for you: sometimes, I really hate my characters. Not all the time, mind you. This is a special, specific kind of hate – it usually crops up sometime around chapter 5 or 6 in my writing process, when the excitement of beginning a new story has ground to a halt, and suddenly, my characters are just standing there looking at me, saying, “Now what?” This shouldn’t be a problem. I’m the creator, and all I’m supposed to do is decide that now it’s time for *this* to happen, and it does. I type a few words and off things go, just the way I want them to, in interesting and compelling

Writers are freaking crazy...

...but you knew that, right? We write fiction all day long. So we spend good portions of our day lying. Writers are awesome liars. And gods. (In our minds.) After all, we control whole worlds, and people (the ones we make up, of course. Hell, I can't even get my son to brush his teeth on a regular basis), and we CREATE. We also work in an industry that makes no sense. None. Publishing doesn't operate like the real world. Oh, not that I could operate within the real world. Stick me in a corporate job or make me do normal-people things, and my soul will wither and die. So, writing it is. Because mental institutions cost money, and I have no health insurance. Also, I cannot be without a computer more than twenty-four hours or my soul with wither and die. Yes, publishing is crazy, so it makes sense writers are crazy, too. Who else works hours and hours every day without even knowing when they'll get paid? In a recent conversation with my boyfriend, he was like, "Wait