Archive for March, 2012

Sneak Peek: HUNTER’S RISE by Shiloh Walker

Posted March 31, 2012 By Jennifer

Hello my lovelies… have I got a treat for YOU!!!

Shiloh Walker (Grimm Circle Series, Hunters Series, Ash Trilogy, and many more) has shared a sneak peek of her upcoming release, HUNTER’S RISE!!!! This will be the final book in the Hunters series, and we’re sad to see it end. HOWEVER… get ready for one heck of a read!!!! Here’s a little taste…

Snippet (warning… Toronto is something of a smart-ass)

Not the ideal place for a fight. He’d done it before and managed to avoid human casualties, but he suspected that Sylvia James was a different breed from what he was used to. Ferals fought to live, so they could kill—by nature, most of them weren’t always clearheaded. Sylvia, like him, was a trained killer. Shewould be clearheaded. It would make a difference.

He hunted the ferals.

She hunted for money.

In the end, he’d win, because he was stronger.

But he didn’t want to have to fight her. He wanted to have sex with her—down and dirty sex, maybe up against a wall, in the light so he could watch her. Then on a bed, her body under his, or over . . . his hands tangled in that dark, silken hair.

“You know, most men would at least bother to introduce themselves before the guy starts picturing the woman naked,” she drawled, coming to a stop eighteen inches away.

Toronto smirked. “That’s bullshit. We see a woman, we frequently picture them naked. We mess with the names when we want to actually think about getting them in bed. Some of us, at least.” He skimmed a look over her body, taking in the sleek muscles, the powerhouse curves. Then he focused on her face again, smiled slowly. “So. What’s your name?”

Due out 4/3/2012

*If you click on Shiloh’s webpage link above, you can read a different, longer snippet. So, so good!!*

You can pre-order HUNTER’S RISE at these places (among others, I’m sure):

If you haven’t started the Hunter’s Series… check them out on Shiloh’s website, HERE, to see what you’ve been missing!!!

And thank you, to Shiloh Walker, for sharing this snippet with all of us!!

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Author Q&A with Delilah S Dawson

Posted March 29, 2012 By Jennifer

Two days ago, a book I’ve been very much looking forward to was released… WICKED AS THEY COME (Blud Novel, #1). The debut author of this steampunk inspired, vampire urban fantasy, Delilah S Dawson, has taken some time during her crazy release week schedule to chat a bit with us about her writing, and herself.

1) When you write, do you prefer quiet, or do you listen to music? If you like music playing, what is your preferred genre? Do certain characters have their own personal “soundtrack”?

Um, both? I need music in my (noise canceling!) earbuds, but I thrive on the energy and ambient noise of a café. Each book has an album or playlist, and I listen to it obsessively while writing. The characters themselves don’t have their own soundtracks, but certain songs go with certain parts of the book. Wicked as They Come was written to Like Vines by The Hush Sound, and the e-novella out this October was written to Gotye’s Making Mirrors, except for Bronte, because that song is too freakin’ sad.

2) Where do you write? In an office, at the dining room table, at a local coffeeshop? Do you prefer to write alone or with a group? If you write with a group, do you also read/critique each other’s work?

Definitely outside the house, where I can’t see dishes or laundry or hear tiny voices. I love local coffeeshops and have a favorite one for rainy days, one for sunny days, one for evenings. I write alone, but I adore my monthly Writers Group, where we do exercises and then read aloud and then get into hilarious discussions while eating chocolate and drinking wine.

3) How do you prepare for release day? Are you calm and focused, or do you get stressed? Do you like to make promotional appearances or stay at home to watch lists and numbers?

As this was my first release day, I’m still figuring it out! I tried to do interviews and guest blogs as soon as they arrived, because keeping track of things isn’t my forte. I went into today with manic energy and a deep sense of gratefulness. I also found a four-leaf clover and kept it with me. I watched Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook and visited local bookstores and my library to sign stock and hand out copies to owners who hadn’t read it yet. And I attempted to respond to everyone on Twitter who said something nice. Honestly, I felt like I drank Felis Felicis and everything went my way. It was amazing!

4) What was your favorite Halloween costume (or other costume party costume)?

I’ve been a sugar skull for the last two years, which was fun. I worked at a haunted house in high school and love doing weird makeup. This year, I’ll use my newly acquired steampunk wardrobe, maybe to be the character from my e-novella out this October, The Mysterious Madam Morpho. I’ve only been to one con, but I loved it, and I’m scheduled to have my first speaking engagement at STEAMFest in Atlanta on April 14—while in corset and costume, of course.

5) If you could go anywhere on vacation (and not interfere with your deadlines), where would you go, and what 3 items (besides food and clothes) would you bring with you?

I seriously love the beach and bright blue water, so I would probably go somewhere with snorkeling, horseback riding, ziplining, hiking, and other adventures. I would take my Nook—full of books, a fantastic and rugged camera, and my netbook, sad but true. I might need to write!

6) What song best describes your life? If you can’t think of one, who would you want to write/perform a song just for you?

Hey There, Delilah? Heh. Really, though. The song It’s Amazing by Jem is on the playlist for Blud book 2, Wicked as She Wants. It’s haunting but upbeat, with a message that’s a little cliché but definitely applicable. Basically, you’re going to fall down and get rejected, but you have to keep getting back up and working harder because nothing compares to deserving your dreams.

7) If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would be it and what would you do all day?

Criminy Stain, definitely. And much like Vegas, what happens with Criminy, stays with Criminy.

8) What world record would you love to set for the Guinness Book of World Records? (Remember, they take ALL KINDS of interesting talents into account. Some world records include *fastest 100m sprint, barefoot, on ice = 17.35 secs… *fastest pumpkin carving of a face = 24.03 secs… *longest distance pogo stick jumping = 23.11 miles)

Person who galloped the most horses in a day. Or person who kissed the most smushy-faced puppies.

9) If you could have one word removed from the English language, from all dictionaries and out of everyone’s vocabulary, what would it be, and why? If you could ADD one word, what would it be?

Remove: Can’t. Or jelly, because I hate jelly.

Add: Kickassery.

Kickassery is SUCH a good word, lol!!!!! Big thank you to Delilah for giving us a little info about herself. I can’t wait to see what else she has planned for her world. The second book in the Blud series, WICKED AS SHE WANTS, is planned for release next year.

 

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Words & Music Monday with Carolyn Crane

Posted March 26, 2012 By Jennifer

Hi all!! This week’s guest author is visiting for the first time, and I’m so excited to have her!! Carolyn Crane is the author of The Disillusionists Trilogy, and the new spinoff novella Devil’s Luck is available now!

Hey Jennifer! Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog for Words and Music Monday! I’m so happy to be here and this is a fun feature, and a fun subject.

I love music! Music is so deeply, deeply important to my writing process.

However, I don’t listen to music while I write (except sometimes when I am first drafting by hand, and then I have very specific music that will work, and I have various rules about what must be played first in order for me to have a good writing session which I won’t go into here! Because they’re nutty! But I can’t help it. lol)

And I don’t do soundtracks, either. I see a lot of other writers do soundtracks for their books, and sometimes I think maybe I should. Do readers really like them? I always think that the same piece of music can evoke such different emotions in different people that a soundtrack is pretty meaningless.

However, after I write all morning, if I have time, I like to strap on my running shoes and my ipod and set out for a run and listen to all kinds of music, from various playlists and also the from the radio.

I turn it up really loud and just run and rock out and let my head be full of music. And, a funny thing happens – a lot of times problems from my manuscript just solve themselves. Or, I’ll get a new perspective on a scene I’ve just written. And most days, I get tons of ideas. And I really believe it comes from the music.

It’s almost like letting music pour through my head after I work on my pages for the day adds a new dimension to my stories—a more emotional, visceral dimension. (And I’ve learned to bring along a pen and paper with me so I could jot these ideas down!)

I think this is especially helpful to me in working with my male characters.

When it comes to sinking deeply into the reality of my male characters, there’s something especially inspiring to me about harder rock and heavy metal, a musical form where men are permitted to be both highly emotional and highly masculine. It’s a heady combination for me as a writer. (and, okay, as a woman, too!)

This was especially true while I was writing my novella of Simon For some reason, the music of Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie really spoke to me about him, in particular, the song “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails.

Simon is this highly reckless character who loves to gamble, and I’d long thought about his recklessness as a way he tempts fate, and a ‘life wish’ instead of a ‘death wish’ (though it can look like a death wish). Anyway, in Closer, Trent Reznor, or the character Reznor portrays in the song, feels having sex gets him closer to God, but it’s also about escape and self-loathing. And, my character Simon feels sort of immortal when he take wild chances. It’s not precisely the same thing, but with music, it really doesn’t have to be.

Prettier, lighter songs make me feel into my characters in other ways—David Bowie, Midlake, Keren Ann. Every song has an emotion, and I feel like sinking into the emotions of characters through songs adds richness. So much so that, when I can’t run over the winter because of snow, I lose that post-writing connection to music and my work suffers for it. Oh, but now it’s spring again. Thank goodness!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Carolyn!! I love getting to see how music influences the writing and characters of so many authors. So… the lovely Ms. Crane has offered up an ebook copy of Devil’s Luck to one of YOU lucky commenters!!! Here’s my question… what do YOU think of book soundtracks? Do you prefer to create your own “fantasy soundtrack” to your favorite books, or do you prefer to see what the author’s vision of the soundtrack is? Let us know in below, and one of you will WIN!! This is open internationally, and the winner will be chosen randomly tomorrow night (Tuesday, March 27th) at midnight pacific.

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Thanks, Jennifer, for having me on today!

The third book in the Sweetblood series, Tempted By Blood, just came out. This is Jackson and Arianna’s story.

If you’ve read the other books, you’ll remember Jackson. (Don’t worry if you haven’t as I wrote them to stand alone.) He’s the playboy, the charmer of the Seattle area Guardians, who are sworn to protect humans from Darkbloods. But he’s hiding a terrible secret. One that, if anyone finds out about, will threaten not only his job but his life. His blood and energy needs have been steadily increasing and he worries that if things continue, he’ll soon revert back to the ways of his violent ancestors. And as a Guardian, that means a death sentence.

Arianna Wells, the human woman he falls in love with, is also hiding a secret. In addition to her job as a graphic artist at Xtark Software, she also runs a paranormal blog that she keeps hidden from her employer. (www.Paranormalish.blogspot.com) If they find out she has a blog and didn’t tell them, they’ll fire her. Several years ago, she made the mistake of not hiding her identity, which had disastrous consequences, so she learned her lesson.

Although I don’t work as a computer programmer (I used to be a systems tester and did some programming), I have friends here in the Seattle area who work in the software industry. Several have told me stories of employers who demanded they turn over their social media passwords because they wanted to make sure their employees weren’t sharing company secrets. That’s how I got the idea that Arianna could lose her job if they found out she had a blog she didn’t tell them about.

On that same note, this article was circulating around Facebook the other day. http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/03/21/hand-over-your-facebook-username-and-password-if-you-want-a-job/

It’s exactly what Arianna went through at Xtark. Jerks!

If a potential employer told you to turn over your social media passwords and you really needed the job, would you do it or would you lie like Arianna did and say you didn’t have a blog (or FB, Twitter, etc.)?

I’m giving away a copy of Tempted By Blood to one random commenter.

Laurie can be found online here:

www.LaurieLondonBooks.com

www.facebook.com/laurielondonauthor

www.twitter.com/LaurieBLondon

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Words & Music Monday with Jackie Morse Kessler

Posted March 19, 2012 By Jennifer

This week’s feature is with one of my very favorite people. Jackie Morse Kessler’s young adult Riders of the Apocalypse series is amazingly awesome, and so unique. If you  haven’t read HUNGER or RAGE, you need to go… now… buy… read. And tomorrow, the third book in the quartet will be released, LOSS. I’m so happy Jackie took time away from her crazy schedule to chat music with us, today.

Mood Music By Jackie Morse Kessler

I love, love, love music and its connection with writing. It helps me set a scene. It can put me in a specific mood. It can help me channel characters. Music, appropriately, rocks. Heck, one of the major characters in the Riders of the Apocalypse series looks, sounds, and sings like Kurt Cobain! (No, I wasn’t a Nirvana fan before I started writing those books. It just happened like that.)   When I was writing the Hell series, music played a huge part. Of course, the main character worked as an erotic dancer, so the club scenes all had music in them. But it was more than just background noise. Jesse, the heroine, also expressed herself through dancing when the music played. Music, and her reaction to it, was very much part of who Jesse was. (Whenever I hear the AC/DC tune “Hell’s Bells,” of course I think of Jesse. Ditto “Highway to Hell.”) Another music/Hell example: When I was writing The Road to Hell, there was one scene in which Jesse had to summon the demon Daunuan. To get me in the right frame of mind, I played “Pimpf” by Depeche Mode over and over again. Even now, when I read that scene, I can hear the music in the background.   At one point, I had way too much time on my hands and made a Hell on Earth soundtrack. Here you go: < http://www.jackiekessler.com/books/music.php>   As for the Riders of the Apocalypse series, whenever I hear Nirvana on the radio, I automatically think of Death. I wrote Hunger so quickly that I didn’t make a soundtrack or listen to music when I was working on the book, but I think that “Come As You Are” is a fine song for that book—specifically, for Lisa, the protagonist. For Rage, there were a number of songs that I kept replaying, especially “Sound of Madness” by Shinedown. In terms of Nirvana, the best song there would be “About a Girl.”   For LOSS, it was all about Linkin Park. One song in particular is the theme of the book: “New Divide.” And no, this isn’t a plug for the second Transformers movie.  (But if Michael Bay wanted to turn LOSS into a movie, I’d be willing to hear him out!) There’s a climactic scene at the end of part two in which this song sets the scene perfectly. You’ll know it when you read it. 😉   As for Breath, the final story in the series—which I’m writing now—there are a number of songs that are on the book’s soundtrack, including “Snuff” by Slipknot and “I Will Not Bow” by Breaking Benjamin. Actually, there’s one line in “Snuff” that made Death’s story all pull together for me. (I’ll leave it to you to determine which line it was.) And the fabulous Rachel Caine sent me, via iTunes, a whole bunch of songs for the book, which was so completely amazing of her that her name should officially mean “Completely Amazing.” Nivana-wise, there are many songs for this book, especially their cover of the Meat Puppets’ “Oh Me.”   So rock on, everyone! And write on. 😉

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:   LOSS by Jackie Morse Kessler comes out March 20, 2012!   GIVEAWAY: One lucky commenter below will win a small cover poster of LOSS—and will be entered in the grand prize drawing! The grand prize winner will receive signed copies of HUNGER, RAGE and LOSS—and will get to name a character in BREATH, the fourth book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series. The grand prize winner will be picked on Sunday, April 1, 2012. No foolin’.

** So… Jackie’s got LOTS of prizes to give away!!! Who wants to win some goodies?? And a character named after you in a book!!! *I* want to win that!!!! **

Be sure to check back tomorrow to read my review of this amazing new book, LOSS.

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