Feb 26, 2010

Cover Art--from Rachel Vincent

Rachel gave the okay to post the cover for the third installment in her Soul Screamers series so I decided to post said cover. Liking the purple this year! My Soul to Keep is set to release on June 1, 2010 as you can see by my calendar on the right. Can't wait to read it. I don't know if we're allowed to post the BOC. So I won't. Newsletter subscribers have already had the chance to read it, but again since Rachel didn't really wanted this posted yet, but gave the okay anyway I won't go further than this.

She also said on her blog, that the cover still might have some minor tweaks, it's not the official cover. There is still to be a quote somewhere on the front as well.

Jess over at Book Reviews by Jess, mentioned something about her arm looking weird, I didn't see it at first but now I do. It's hard to explain...anyone else see it or are we just seeing something weird because we're Jessicas? ;)

EDIT: Jess talked to Rachel at some point and I just want to make it clear again that the cover here isn't final. The arm is one thing they expect to work on before publishing.

IMO her face looks different than the first two as well, maybe that one's just me. But she looks younger or something.

Can't wait til June though, this one sounds really good and apparently the word awhile back was that this one was darker. Ooh I love the dark side! ;)

Review--Hounding the Pavement


Ditching her dog-eat-dog career and cur of a husband, Ellie happily trades her power suits for a panty hose-free wardrobe and her dream job. Ans she couldn't be happier--unless, of course, Mr. Right shows up at her door with a pint of Haagen-Dazs.

But when she stumbles upon a dead client, Ellie becomes a suspect in an investigation led by smoking-hot, if cocky, Detective Ryder. Ellie wouldn't exactly mind staying in his custody--if it meant sticking close by him 24/7--but she worries about the deceased's missing prizewinning bichon. Did someone steal him? If only she could find the dog, he'd tell her who the culprit is. But a killer wants Ellie to let sleeping dogs lie...or else.

Just finished Judi McCoy's first Dogwalker book, Hounding the Pavement and it was pretty good. Yes, there wasn't anything really supernatural involved, other than Ellie talking to dogs. She can hear their thoughts and she just talks to them and they understand. I'm personally not a big dog lover, my mom is so I tolerate our two monsters, but still I do like dogs. This was a good mystery novel.

I don't read too many straight mysteries all the time because I can never find one that is really good or gripping and the Dogwalker series so far proves to fit that bill in being gripping. Ellie and Ryder have a very unusual start to their relationship in that they almost hate each other in the beginning. Ryder is not a dog lover and Ellie is, so when he makes his snarky comments about dogs, it makes Ellie and her dog Rudy who understands what people say, mad. So there were some definite chuckles in the book!

The mystery itself was good, Ellie is doing everything she can to find the missing dog, not so much the killer. But it is kind of obvious how things might end up happening. If you're not looking for a particular something, what usually happens? Of course though, there are many suspects in the novel and it leaves you guessing. Of course I think I made my guess when we first saw a particular someone and was RIGHT! Yea me!

The relationship Ellie has with her dog Rudy is also entertaining. Rudy is a little firecracker and can say what a dog would say. He isn't single minded like you would see in a movie and just talk about throwing sticks or eating treats, he's pretty intelligent for a dog.

Overall it was a very good book with lovable and REAL characters. Ellie is extremely real and I love that about her. When I can find the time between my other reads, I will definitely look into the next book in the series Heir of the Dog.

**And don't forget I still have a contest going to win a SIGNED copy of Shift. Check below for details! There's still time to comment if you haven't already.

Feb 23, 2010


**Prey spoilers, be forewarned. Do not read any further if you haven't read Prey!!**


Being the first female werecat enforcer isn't easy. Scars accumulate, but I'm stronger in so many ways.

As for my personal life? It's complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother's death and my father's impeachment, it's all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.

With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only really option...

"Holy silicone suppository Batman!" Hee-hee, my favorite line from Prey. Couldn't resist!! OMG Shift was freaking awesome!! So you know that means Alpha will top them all! The wait to Shift was agonizing, now the wait for Alpha will be even more so.

Anyway, you might notice the date on this review is older. I didn't want to post this until the actual release date just so everything is fair. Rachel didn't want us talking about Shift on the Pride until that day so I'm doing the same with the review, but decided to type it up now while it's all fresh in my mind. Shift picks up 1 week after Prey--after months of agonizing wait for us, was only 1 little week for Faythe! And the aftermath of Ethan's death is still being put into place.

Faythe and crew has Blackwell in the office as they discuss what needs to be done concerning Malone, who Blackwell still thinks is an "okay" guy. But since we are in Faythe's p.o.v. we all know what a load of crap that is. But that is only the minor problem to start with because before Chapter 1 ends the thunderbirds make their appearance with a bang. Us Pride members have been making speculation after speculation about these creatures and in a twisted way, our guesses were somewhat right, if not in the right order.

The thunderbirds believe that SC Pride is responsible for the death of one of their own and thunderbirds always take care of their own, even in vengeance. We all know the SC Pride, so it becomes obvious that this is a lie and who do we all know who lies like a dog, but is in fact not a dog? I think you can answer that one. ;)

After a series of misfortunate events Faythe has 2 days to gather the evidence that she needs to clear the SC Pride's name, that they did not do this and the real enemy is in fact another Pride. But it's going to take a lot of work to sneak onto Malone's territory--okay had to mention it there, but you knew right? And Marc and Jace are her backup--uh oh.

Big uh oh. There are certainly some surprising twists to this book and I was thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. And had I not had to work this weekend or had schoolwork, I so would've finished this in a day, it was that good! You can definitely feel the tension that is between Faythe, Jace, and Marc after the events of Prey, you know the one. Rachel Vincent definitely knows what she's doing when writing that! She does it so well, that every time there is a moment when you think the secret is going to come out, your chest tightens! Or when Jace is doing something foolish or rash making Marc mad on purpose you heartbeat skips a beat! Jace, you fool!

Oh yeah, that tension was written wonderfully! As for Faythe's further character development she has come such a loooooong way since Stray when you thought she was acting childish and whatnot. She is so not that girl anymore. She has taken full responsibility now and deserves the title Alpha. Which is where the next book comes in!! Faythe is a hairsbreadth away from filling the role as Alpha, there is just one more battle ahead of her and her Pride. The Battle. The battle to end all battles.

Decisions are going to have to be made, people on her side may die, everyone will be changed forever after this battle. That is clear, even with no knowledge of Alpha's BOC--which was released for Pride members and newsletter subscribers already, so if you aren't a member yet, join and you'll at least get that info for it is not allowed to be posted.

I just love these characters Rachel has created, they are all so lovable and real. Ethan stole my heart and I cannot wait for Malone to get his for what he did to him. Ohhh, that's going to be sweet--yes my evil side has taken over my typing for the moment. Karen was wonderful in chapter 1, she totally put Blackwell in his place. Blackwell thought he could Karen to see his side because she is a female and can "see" reason--his reason--but ooohhh how wrong he was. That was a great moment, I was rooting for Karen then man!

It was heartrending to read the love moments between Faythe and Marc knowing what happened in Pride and even Faythe felt that same feeling as well. And Alpha is going to finally settle those matters. Because we all should know that that kind of "thing" won't be resolved until the very end, since we all know this is book 5 out of 6. Faythe can't have her HEA yet. So that should not come as a surprise to anyone, I figured that out before reading it.

Shift was fantastic. That's all I can say. There is so much more I would loooove to talk about, but it gets into spoiler-territory which I do my best to avoid. There is a good amount of returning characters--think about that. ;) I really cannot wait to read the end, I want to know all who's involved and how this battle will go down. Ooh October's going to be good. Hopefully we can make that the end of September since some people were able to find Shift early. Of course in October, I hope to be at my "real" daytime job, so it will take me longer to read. The more to savor I guess!

Read Shift today!! You won't be disappointed. You'll be left waiting in agony for Alpha, but that's nothing new for us readers!

*Yes I posted early, I saw Rachel gave the okay on the Pride Discussion group to talk spoilers over there, so I thought what the heck! So I'm 2 days later than 1 week from when I would've posted.
**Also, she reported on her blog, that Shift hit #29 on the NYT Bestsellers List!!

Interview with Rachel Vincent and 1st CONTEST!!!

Hey everyone! I'm back with an interview with Rachel Vincent! One of my all time favorite authors! Of course I have many favorites because I am a BIG reader. Anyway, Rachel has been kind enough to take the time to answer some questions and this time I have a contest to go along with the interview!!!

You read right, Rachel has been kind enough to give away 1 signed copy of Shift to one lucky commenter. So read the interview and then leave a comment! That's all! Contest will run until 11:59 PM (Central) Tuesday, March 2. So that gives you a week to comment! Winner will be picked via randomizer and will contact Rachel to give her your address so she can send you your prize! The contest is open to anyone anywhere, so have at it!

Onto the interview!

What inspired you to be a writer?

RV: I don't know! I wrote short stories all the way through high school and college, but never did anything with them. And I always said I wanted to write a novel. So...a few years after college, my husband dared me to put my keyboard where my mouth was. And since I can't turn down a challenge, I wrote a book. He liked the book, and I liked writing the book, so I wrote another one. The rest is history!

What was the road to publication like for you? Long, hard?

RV: Hard, yes. Everything in publishing is hard. It's a job. But for me, that road wasn't really long. I wrote my first three novels in ten months, total, but never submitted the first two. They're still hidden on a shelf in my office, and in files on my computer. Stray was the third novel. After rewriting it for several months, with the help of a mentor, I messed around trying to hook one particular agent for a while, then decided to spread my net and try an entire targeted list of agents. It took me six weeks of querying in earnest to find my agent. I did a quick revision for her, then she sent the manuscript out, and we got our first offer in eleven days. Seventeen months later, Stray was released. That was two years and eight months ago, and I now have seven books on the shelf in two different series, with two more releases scheduled this year.

What process did you go through when seeking publication? Did you find an agent first, editor, publisher?

RV: I pitched to one editor at a conference, way back at the beginning of my efforts to get published. I got a rejection letter on my twenty-seventh birthday. After that, I targeted agents only. That's really the only way to do it, if you're writing anything other than category romance. Most of the major houses won't take submissions directly from authors, unless they come through pitch sessions at conferences.

So I signed with my agent, she sent my manuscript (Stray) out to several editors at several houses, and we got four offers.

Do you have to find your own editor?

RV: Um…. That’s not really how it works. Editors work for publishing houses. Literary agents represent authors. Your agent’s job is to have lots of contacts in publishing and to know who’d be best for your book. S/he will send the book out, and hopefully one of those editors (working for one of those publishing houses) will like it enough to make an offer.

What do you recommend to aspiring writers to find first (publisher, agent, etc) when readying to publish?

RV: Again, unless you’re writing category romance, you pretty much have to get an agent first, in order to get you book into the right editors’ hands at publishing houses.

How did you come up with werecats?

RV: I knew I wanted to write about shapeshifters (as opposed to witches, vampires, etc…) but didn’t have anything to add to the existing werewolf lore. But I love housecats. I also love the idea of big cats (Lions, tigers, cougars, etc…), though I’m actually afraid of them in reality. So, cats seemed a natural choice!

How much research do you do for your novels? What kinds of things do you have to look up?

RV: At first, I had to do a lot of research on cats. Instinct, physiology, listening to the sounds big cats make (Did you know a jaguar’s roar doesn’t sound like a lion’s? It’s more of a deep bleating sound), studying their social structure. I also researched plants in various regions of the country, so I’d know what my cats would smell and climb on, when they’re out in cat form. But for the last few books in the series, I already had notes on most of that.

Who is your favorite werecat?

RV: Oh, goodness. I think Ethan. Though I also love both of Faythe’s parents.

Are you sad to leave your characters already?

RV: Yes. Alpha is a very bittersweet book for me. I’m proud of what the series has become, and I want to end it on a high note, rather than running it into the ground. But I’ve lived with these characters in my head in one form or another for the past few years, and saying goodbye isn’t easy. It almost feels like betraying them. I’ll see something, or hear something, and think, “Faythe would wear that” or “Jace would say something like that,” but it’s too late. The last book is written and handed in. I still have revisions and edits, though, thank goodness.

Can you tell us about your next project? :)

RV: Um… no, actually. I can’t discuss the new series yet. Sorry!

Favorite ice-cream flavor?

RV:Right now, my favorite ice cream is Phish Food (Ben & Jerry). But that changes often.

Do you recommend seeing The Howling?

RV: Yeah! If you like cheesy shapeshifter horror. Which I do. But, honestly, I watch them for a laugh, not for a scare. ;-)

Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of Shift! Comments close at 11:59PM (Central) Tuesday, March 2.

Shift releases March 1, but you can probably find it on the shelves by now if you can't wait. I couldn't wait!

Cover Art--from Rachel Vincent

OMG! This is the BEST cover from the Werecats series ever! Rachel released this in her newsletter the other day and I had to post it! Of course, any other Pride members got to see it a little earlier, but we weren't allowed to post it yet. Now that Rachel gave the okay, I decided to post it! I LOVE it. Faythe looks soooo in control and about to take charge. I love it that she's sitting in this chair, it must be her dad's.

I'm still reading Shift, almost done, it's fabulous, but I got work on some homework first so that I can read Shift peacefully without worrying. Yeah, I know I could read first then do homework, but that's not how I roll. Besides I'll be worrying about my homework as I try to read. But so far it is soooooo good. So I know Alpha, the final conclusion will be just as good if not BETTER!

FYI: Alpha releases October 1, 2010 but possibly could be found earlier since Shift has been available already and it doesn't technically release until March 1.

Check back later today--hopefully today--for another post and a surprise!

Feb 19, 2010

Review--First Drop of Crimson

The night is not safe for mortals. Denise MacGregor knows all too well what lurks in the shadows--her best friend is half-vampire Cat Crawfield--and she already has lost more than the average human could bear. But her family's past is wrapped in secrets and shrouded in darkness--and a demon shapeshifter has marked Denise as prey. Now her survival depends on an immortal who lusts for the taste of her.

He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human--even if it means destroying his own kind. DEnise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the nightmare together...

**Some spoilers for the Night Huntress series books, mostly At Grave's End**

The first book in the new spinoff from the Night Huntress series, First Drop of Crimson, book 1 in the Night Huntress World series, was fabulous! Yeah, that sentence is a little weird, but oh well. I want to get the whole title out and its series title and mention that it's a spinoff series from another.

Moving on...This was a fan-tab-u-lous book!! I loved it! Took me a week or so to read since I had to read the Great Gatsby for school. But MAN, was this book good! It was incredible to get an insight into some of the Night Huntress secondary characters. Spade was always pretty intriguing ever since Halfway to the Grave--really wish I had more time to re-read those--and Denise was interesting too. We didn't get to see much of these characters because they were only the "friends" and they were secondary and their stories didn't matter, but their story was very entertaining.

As the BOC says, Denise is in danger because she has been marked by a demon, a relative of hers made a deal with a demon years ago and now the demon has come to collect his due, but the relative is missing, hiding. So the demon starts taking out her family members--distant at first--and then he comes to her. Worried about her family, such as her parents, she agrees to find this relative of hers and bring him to the demon. The demon then marks her and says when she brings him the relative, he'd take the marks off.

Denise knows she's in deep water, but she doesn't want to risk her friends'--Cat and Bones--lives. Plus she hadn't spoken to them too much after Randy's demise, back in At Grave's End. So she turns to one vampire that she remembers from the ordeal and prior to, she goes to Spade and asks for his help. After much hashing out the details between their arrangement, he agrees to find her relative for her.

Now since this is a paranormal romance more so than urban fantasy, unless you think it's more UF. I don't know...I just know that I LOVE Jeaniene's work!! Anyway, you can expect a romance to develop between the two star characters. They both have a long battle ahead of them, both personal ones and the one concerning finding this relative, because the demon is an impatient fellow who makes their journey very difficult.

Denise still mourns for Randy, but she soon can no longer contain the feelings that have developed for Spade and Spade still mourns for his long-dead human wife, which is why he has "sworn off" human woman, until Denise comes along. Their romance development is a lot different that Cat and Bones, which was still great, but there seems to be something more real about the love developing between Denise and Spade. For you know what happens when a vampire loves a human...

Which is where the problem lies between them.

Denise was fabulous, it was great to see her as the kick butt heroine this time. Yes, she still has her flaws, but who doesn't? She suffers from PTSD and constantly blames herself about her husband's death, but Spade is similar in that manner as well in regards to his wife. Both are in their own mourning, but still manage to find solace in each other.

There are a few surprise characters that come in the end, maybe not so much a surprise when you think about it, but I won't say any more. I am really-really curious to see where this new series goes. The next book in the Night Huntress World series comes out July 27, Eternal Kiss of Darkness and this one stars Mencheres and a completely new heroine, for real this time. We haven't met her yet. At the end of the novel Jeaniene writes a letter to the readers and gives a short description about the book and boy does it sound good!!

Fans of the Night Huntress series will love this book, because it has all the aspects of Cat's world. There's action, romance--obviously, and of course some violence! Yea violence! Hee-hee. The "monsters" that appear are interesting as well, really the demon that is hounding for Denise and her relative. There is a lot of tension throughout the book as well after certain events, because you wonder what so-and-so will think or react, that you want so-and-so to just do X.

I personally, personally HOPE that Jeaniene writes a Night Huntress World book that has Ian as the leading male character. He is very interesting...an ass, sure, but interesting all the same. I bet he has an interesting history/story that needs to be told. We know some of his past a little through Bones and Spade, but I think we miss something more...really hope Jeaniene has a story for him!

**And technically as of now, 10am, I am not reading Shift just yet, because it still has not arrived. I expect it to be in the mail today. You can expect a quick ranting post tonight if it's not. It was like 10-15 minutes away at another mailing location at 1am today, so it SHOULD come with today's mail.

Feb 10, 2010

Review--Happy Hour of the Damned


Alive, ad exec Amanda Feral worked hard to wring enjoyment out of her days. Now that she's a zombie, it's a different story. Turns out, Seattle is home to glamorous undead of every description, and Amanda--stylish and impeccably groomed even in the afterlife--is swigging cocktails and living large (so to speak) among its elite. But there are downsides. Not being able to stomach anything except alcohol and human flesh, for instance. And the fact that someone is targeting Seattle's otherworldly inhabitants for their own sinister reasons.

Preying on the undead is seriously uncool. The only option for Amanda and her zombie BFF Wendy and gorgeous gay pal Gil to unearth the culprit among the legions of Seattle's bloodsuckers, shapeshifters, reapers, succubi, and demons--before they all meet a fate a lot worse than death...

Okay, so I've been hearing a LOT about the Amanda Feral series by Mark Henry and the Save Amanda campaign. The series is in danger of ending, possibly too soon. A lot of authors I read had a lot of good things to say about Mark's book and since I had to wait to get First Drop of Crimson, I found myself with nothing to read and decided to give Happy Hour of the Damned a try.

It was...interesting. It wasn't horrible, because I did hear some bad reviews about this. Then again it was on Amazon, so anyone can speak freely there. Plus that review wasn't as concrete, but they still pointed out things that bugged them. For instance the use of footnotes, there are in fact footnotes in this book, throughout the book. I found them amusing actually, Amanda is the narrator of this story and she makes it known that she is narrating--this isn't a narration as things tend to happen, she is telling a story that happened. So it was interesting on that level.

There are also some colorful sentences, where they don't make too much sense, but they are not supposed to. It's mostly just commenting in colorful ways. There are some vulgar moments as well, and gore, lots of violence and more gore--but that didn't bother me. Amanda/Mark Henry makes it funny. This is a sort of comedic book as well, Amanda says almost exactly what you would think, if something bad happens, she doesn't freak, she curses. So yeah, that was funny.

Moving onto the actual storyline and characters, I found them all to be well-developed. We start in the present and then move back a few months to when Amanda is changed into a zombie--that part was a little confusing, because for awhile we're in the five months ago, and then at some point we jump back to the present and Amanda/Mark Henry makes this clear, but yet there was a line that confused me since we were in the present. Amanda makes a reference to something that happened 3 weeks ago, her transformation to a zombie, yet we were supposed to be in present time and the flashback started at 5 months earlier. So yeah, that little bit confused me, but I took it to not be extremely important, she just wanted the guy she was talking to, to remember who she was.

Amanda as I said is very funny, she says what you're thinking and she's relate-able minus the zombie bit. It was a little uneasy to read about her and Wendy, her gal pal BFF eating people, but since it happens quite frequently, you get over it. But what was sad is that they choose homeless people or people who won't be missed, I find that little aspect sad.

Wendy and Gil are also pretty funny, Gil is like the stereotypical gay man/vampire. The jibs they trade with one another are also funny.

The mystery part of the story is a long and has a total twist. There is also a problem within the supernatural community involving a certain "race"--ie monster type. That part gets a little confusing because suddenly we deter from Amanda's main mystery to something else entirely.

The end comments, Amanda's authorial acknowledgments were pretty entertaining as well, because it reminds you, once again if the footnotes weren't enough of a clue, that this is Amanda's story/novel rather than Mark's.

Overall the book was, as I said, interesting. Interesting meaning to just be interesting. It wasn't horrible, yet some parts were a little hard to read. I cannot decide if I want to read the next one, Road Trip of the Living Dead or not. If I get to a slow point in my reading without any new reads, I might consider it. It was definitely something different to read.

Looking for a different kind of zombie book? Amanda Feral is one for you then!

Feb 8, 2010

Cover Art

Okay so these covers have been on the web for awhile, but I thought I would post them anyway because they are so awesome! Man, I hope when I get published I have an awesome cover designer as well! The one at the very top is Devon Monk's Magic on the Storm, the next Allie Beckstorm novel that releases May 4, 2010.

Here's the BOC: "Magic stirred in me....I closed my eyes, wanting to lose myself to it. Wanting to use magic in every way I could. But that woudl be bad. I had enough magic inside me; I could burn down a city. And I didn't wan tot do that...."

Allie Beckstrom knows better than most that when magic's involved, you always pay. Whether the price is migraines, amnesia, or muscle aches, she is committed to her work as a Hound, tracing illegal spells back to their casters. But her job is about to get much more dangerous.

There's a storm of apocalyptic force bearing down on Portland, and when it hits, all the magic in the area will turn unstable and destructive. To stop it from taking out the entire city, Allie and her lover, the mysterious Zayvion Jones, must work with the Authority--the enigmatic arbiters of all things magic--and make a stand against a magical wild storm that will obliterate all in its path.

**Also on Devon's website she says she has a new steampunk-western-fantasy series that she sold to ROC for 2011 and 2012 release dates. Also later this year in the fall she will have a book that is a collection of her shorter works, currently titled A Cup of Fiction.

The next two covers is Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, starring Savannah all grown up--like 21 I think? Anyway, it's titled Waking the Witch. The cover on the left was the older one and the cover on the right is the one that will be printed here in the US. I don't know if this changes the international covers or not, not sure how that process works.

I have to say that I am liking the newer cover better. You still get Savannah, but you get to put a face to the name. The motorcycle is still there in the background, although it was cooler to see Savannah's body on it. The building in the new cover also makes things more interesting rather than seeing her in the woods. Plus the coloring looks a lot cooler I think in the newer one as well. Digging the blues and the touch of green as well. It seems blue is the in color, for Devon's book has a similar color scheme.

Here's what's on the BOC:

The orphaned daughter of a sorcerer and a half-demon, Savannah is a terrifyingly powerful young witch who has never been able to resist the chance to throw her magical weight around. But at 21 she knows she needs to grow up and prove to her guardians, Paige and Lucas, that she can be a responsible member of their supernatural detective agency. So she jumps at the chance to fly solo, investigating the mysterious deaths of three young women in a nearby factory town as a favour to one of the agency's associates. At first glance, the murders look garden-variety human, but on closer inspection signs point to otherworldly stakes.

Soon Savannah is in over her head. She's run off the road and nearly killed, haunted by a mystery stalker, and freaked out when the brother of one of the dead women is murdered when he tries to investigate the crime. To complicate things, something weird is happening to her powers. Pitted against shamans, demons, a voodoo-inflected cult and garden-variety goons, Savannah has to fight to ensure her first case isn't her last. And she also has to ask for help, perhaps the hardest lesson she's ever had to learn.

**And this one releases August 3, 2010.

Feb 7, 2010


Just a quick post...

Just read on Chloe Neill's blog that the next Dark Elite book will be called Hexbound and will release January 2011.

A year away, but as Chloe pointed out, it's a 6 month wait after we get Twice Bitten in July.

Feb 6, 2010

Interview with Jeanne Stein

So I emailed an author of mine the other day to get a little more insight on the writing world. Jeanne is one of those lucky full time writers, so I wanted to know this and that about her job and how she got to it. I thought I would share her answers here incase anyone else who wants to be a writer, they'll know some of the inside scoop as well.

How did you go about trying to get published? Did you query an agent first or did you just start sending your MS to publishers? Is one way better than another?

I did both. But I actually got my first contract by meeting the editor at a local RWA meeting. She represented a small Colorado publisher and when The Becoming was released, I used it to query an agent. It’s getting harder and harder to send manuscripts to editors without an agent so I recommend you go that route. However, if you get a chance to pitch directly to an editor at a con or meeting (the way I did), take advantage of it.

Q. When querying for an agent, did you do one at a time, or a few at once?

Jeanne: I went on line at a website called agentquery.com, made my list of “A” agents and started querying. I was lucky because I got a hit on the first half dozen queries I sent out. But don’t think you have to send one at a time. With email queries, response time is much quicker than it used to be. It’s to your advantage to have several queries out there at once.

Q. What was your road to publishing like? Long? Hard? How many rejections did you have to go through before getting the proposal one?

Jeanne: I started writing about twenty years ago—straight mysteries. I probably racked up forty rejections before I changed to UF and then, the first contract came pretty quickly. I had found my niche.

Q.What was that like? When you got the call, letter, email about being accepted into a publishing deal?

Jeanne: When I got the call from the small publisher, I was excited. But I knew I had to get picked up by a New York house to really make writing a career. When my agent called with the news that Ace wanted the series, THAT was the call that changed everything.

Q. Do you write the blurb that's on the back of the book that readers read to get an idea of what the story is about minus major spoilers?

Jeanne: No, the marketing department does that.

Q. How hard is that to write? I find myself struggling to write one for my WIP because I can't decide if revealing this little bit of info is a spoiler or not, even if the information gets revealed fairly early in the story.

Jeanne: Writing a pitch or log line for a WIP is different from the info on the back of a book. Actually, you want your blurb to contain enough information to interest an editor or agent. Spoilers are allowed here.

Q. Are you a full time or part time writer and what are the benefits of your choice? The challenges?

Jeanne: I now write full time, largely because I have a spouse who makes a good salary. While I am beginning to make decent money, it would not be enough to support myself and still do the promotional travel and attend the conferences that I do. I must say, though, I work longer hours than I ever did when I had an 8 – 5 job but the work is a lot more enjoyable!

Q. Where do you look for your inspiration? Like getting ideas for a plot or subplot. How do you manage to weave in your subplots so easily that it just flows?

Jeanne: I generally start with a one page synopsis—it includes the main story arc. As I start writing, sub plots develop usually from secondary characters. But it’s not easy. I have the same trouble you do. In fact, my current WIP is not going so well. I may have to stop and develop a more complete synopsis to see how I’m going to tie up all those loose ends.

Q. What is your overall word count for your novels?

Jeanne: 75-85000 words.

Q. How long do you get to write your novels?

Jeanne: Six to nine months. And during that time, I still have to promote the next release, attend conferences, do guest blogs and articles and write short stories. It’s not a lot of time.

Q. Does your editor look over your novel before publishing to see if there are mistakes or if things need explaining, changing, etc? How does that process work?

Jeanne: After turning in the manuscript, I get an editorial letter first. In it, my editor tells me what she likes, dislikes, what needs to be changed, expanded or deleted. After that revision, I get a copy-edited proof—spelling, grammar, names, continuity are all addressed. I have a copy editor who is so good, she reminds me when I’ve changed a character’s hair or eye color! Then, comes the galley—it’s laid out exactly how the book will be printed. It’s the last chance to make any changes or corrections.

I guess that's enough questions, I really could go on and on since I am trying to learn these things for my near future, but I'll let you get back to work. :)

Jeanne: Glad to have been of service!

Best, Jeanne

Feb 5, 2010

Review--Outcast Season: Unknown


Living among mortals, Cassiel has begun to develop a reluctant affection for them--especially the intriguing Warden Luis Rocha. As the mystery deepens around the kidnapping of innocent Warden children, Cassiel and Luis are the only ones who can investigate within both the human and the Djinn realms.

But the more Luis and Cassiel search, the more dangerous the trail becomes, reaching not only into a fanatical splinter group, but into the highest ranks of Cassiel's immortal kin. As outcast from her own kind, Cassiel must now rely on her own limited earthbound powers to save young Wardens...if it's not already too late.

Just finished Rachel Caine's latest, Outcast Season: Unknown, and it was terrific! I love this cover by the way, the oranges were nice in the first one, but something about a nightly blue cover always sends a delighted shiver down my back.

The action picks up right where we left off in Undone, Cassiel and Luis are doing everything they can to try to find Isabel, Luis' niece, and they are hitting roadblock after roadblock. Pearl isn't against using these children as her weapons, to her, some of them are expendable and she uses them down to their core. Some are left scarred and others far worse. Many of the children are nameless orphans with no one to claim them or miss them, but still a handful are Warden children who are being forced to grow up too soon. There's more to it than that, but I don't want any spoilers going on, if you've read Undone, you might recall what Pearl is doing, so there you have it.

I really enjoyed this one a lot, the relationship between Cassiel and Luis grows more and it can be entertaining at times, it's not all lovey-dovey romance. There are a few chuckle moments.

This time during their search Luis enlists the help of a Warden friend who is in the FBI as well, acting as a spy of sorts. Wardens have gone public if you remember from the events in the Weather Warden series. A few of those characters get mentioned, but none of them show up this time. But Cape Storm has already happened, so Caine is doing really well at keeping the two series balanced. And it was mentioned several times that David is "busy" and cannot be reached at all. Again, knowing what was happening with Cape Storm, this keeps the two series connected, but not completely so. Especially since the Weather Wardens is coming to an end this year, sob!

Anyway, back to Unknown. Which it was getting hard from me to remember the titles of the books because they are so close, Undone, Unknown, I wonder if this will be a theme? Moving on, the plot was simple, yet there were so many deterrents that tied back into the main plot that it all flowed together smoothly.

Another Djinn, even pops up and he was quite entertaining as well, but since he is Djinn I don't know how trustworthy he can be, even Cassiel knows this and cannot trust him. Although she does enlist him for help.

One character actually does pop back into the scene from Weather Wardens and that is a particular Oracle, need I say more? Cassiel sees this Oracle to get help concerning finding the missing children. There is also another enemy of some sorts arising that will cause more problems for Cassiel and Luis.

Overall the book was very entertaining and exciting. The cliffhanger at the end was good too, wasn't as big as the last one, which is why it is good, but it still left some things unsettled. I wonder how long Caine is going to make this particular series, how long can this battle go on?

We'll have to wait for next year likely, as was the case for this last book, for Outcast Season: Unseen. Another Un-word!

And because it's the weekend and I didn't find Jeaniene's First Drop of Crimson yesterday, I'm going to start Mark Henry's Happy Hour of the Damned. Can't wait for Tuesday since I'm working all weekend and thus need something to read because I am at work! Ha.

Feb 4, 2010

Something Funny...

Okay so I was at Borders buying Mark Henry's Happy Hour of the Damned, because I've been hearing a lot about it recently. Apparently the series could be in danger of coming to an end. And a few of my authors that I like praise the book, so I decided to buy it. Footnotes aside.

Anyway, I saw this book, Nightlight and why it surprised me, but it did. I had to stifle laughter. And apparently this isn't the only one! I love this apple core, it's just too funny. And then the BOC is friggin hilarious, check it out:

About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soulmate, maybe. Second, there was a vampire part of him--which I assumed was wildly out of control--that wanted me dead. And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me.

And thus Belle Goose falls in love with the mysterious and sparkly Edwart Mullen in the Havard Lampoon's hilarious send up of Twilight.

Pale and klutzy, Belle arrives in Switchblade, Oregon looking for adventure, or at least an undead classmate. She soon discovers Edwart, a super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls. After witnessing a number of strange events--Edwart leaves his tater tots untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!--Belle has a dramatic revelation: Edwart is a vampire. But how can she convince Edwart to bite her and transform her into his eternal bride, especially when he seems to find girls so repulsive?

Complete with romance, danger, insufficient parental guardianship, creepy stalker-like behavior, and a vampire prom, Nightlight is the uproarious tale of a vampire-obsessed girl, looking for love in all the wrong places.

So Edwart finds girls repulsive, hmm? Are we sure Edwart is looking for a girlfriend? Nothing wrong with wanting a boyfriend, not saying that, it just makes me wonder if Belle is so hung up on him and he finds her repulsive because he like guys. I don't know...maybe it's just me who thinks that when reading the back of the book. Because the last line even says "a girl looking for love in all the wrong places", such as being in love with a guy who isn't straight. That's just my guess anyway, I could be way off. The only way to find out is to read it, which I might someday.

And apparently there are more of these books that are parodies of Twilight. I don't know why I've never seen them before. There's TwiLite: A Parody by Stephen Jenner
New Moan: The First Book in Twishite Saga: A Parody by Mayo Stephfordy (ha!)

These books descriptions are hilarious, because you basically hear the plot of Twilight, but it gets twisted so that is sounds freaking crazy which Twilight is! Just the places Twilight went with this and that, these books go there in an overly dramatic way and it's just comical! Of course the "parody" after the titles should tell you that in the first place. I am starting to think I might want to read one of these whenever I get the time.

Feb 3, 2010

Cover Art--from Carrie Vaughn

WOW! I just saw the new cover for Carrie Vaughn's next book, Kitty Goes to War, over at Brooke Reviews and had to share it here as well. This is incredible! The coloring is awesome, a mix of yellows and orange and Kitty wearing the camouflage, as Brooke said, "makes a strong statement". I so cannot wait to know what the "war" is about and who between. There are 3 wolves in front of her and I wonder who they are. The last book we had a little bit of everyone in there--creature wise--so now we come back to the wolves. I wonder if it is her Pack. Her Pack was kind of small. Hmmm.....

And so far, according to Amazon, this book release June 29, 2010! Yea! 2 Kitty books within 6 months! How awesome is that! Looking forward to the release of this book as well as finding out what this "war" is about.

Anyone have any ideas, theories, or speculations?

EDIT: Found the description of the BOC on Amazon, should've scrolled down further. Here it is, and the wolves make sense now!

Kitty Norville, werewolf radio call-in host, gets a call from an old friend at the NIH's Center for Study of Paranatural Biology, a friend with a problem, who doesn't know where else to turn to. Three army soldiers who have recently returned from Afghanistan are in custody at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs. They're also werewolves suffering from post traumatic stress, unable to control their shape-shifting, unable to interact with people. Kitty agrees to see them, curious and wanting to help. Meanwhile, Kitty gets sued for slander after featuring Speedy Mart--a chain of 24-hour convenience stores with a reputation for attracting the supernatural--on her show, and an old-friend-and-adversary has just been released from jail.

Well that should hopefully hold us until the end of June. Unlikely, but at least there are still plenty of other GREAT reads to contain us while we wait. Including Carrie's debut YA novel, Voices of Dragons. No description on Amazon for that, I did check further down on that one!

Feb 2, 2010

Contest Alert--at BBB

Okay might have goofed yesterday, I thought the contest was a Q&A, but it wasn't. No biggie. Still a contest to try to win Jeaniene's awesome new book. And speaking of awesome new book...today is Chris Marie Green's turn at a contest! This time you answer a simple question and you can do a few other things to try your chance at winning books 1, 2, 4, 5, and two anthologies she contributed to with a Vampire Babylon novella in it. First prize is all these books signed plus a $100 gift card to Barnes and Noble, second prize are all these books. I believe the second set are unsigned, as it does not indicate it on the website.

So head on over here for the interview BBB did and a chance to win one of the sets of prizes. Be sure to answer the given question at the end of the interview as well. Here's the link: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=19276

Also check out this cool new trailer for her Break of Dawn as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ReLmr6MYk8

Or view it here:

Feb 1, 2010

Contest Alert--At BBB with Jeaniene Frost

Okay, so at Bitten By Books today they are having an interview/Q&A with Jeaniene Frost regarding her latest release First Drop of Crimson which comes out next week! YAHOO!

There is a very entertaining Q&A posted here: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=19230 and below that is the information you need for the contest as well as posting any questions you might have for Jeaniene!

I am really excited about this book, although the guy on the cover is nowhere near how I pictured Spade from her Night Huntress series, but oh well. And I so had the female heroine down when she said she couldn't reveal the heroine to us later last year or whatever. She said the heroine would be in one of the upcoming books and didn't want us to know at the time, after reading, At Grave's End, I so knew who it was. I still won't say it here, just incase of spoilers, but don't read the BOC if you haven't read At Grave's End yet or still want to be surprised. Pretty sure almost everyone knows who wants to know.

Anyway here is a link to Jeaniene's youtube video trailer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1zhJysS3mQ

Also here is a link to read the first 20% of First Drop of Crimson, I have been avoiding these little teasers, because having read any kind of teaser before only makes me want to read it all that much more and I usually have to wait and as Inigo says, "I hate waiting". ;)

But for those of you who can withstand the tease, here's the link: http://browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061583223

Well that's about all, head on over to Bitten By Books for more of the contest details and the Q&A and other fun stuff regarding our friend the vampire!