Archive for February, 2008
What Stace had to say on Friday, February 29th, 2008
Caitlin Kittredge‘s first novel, Night Life will be released on March 4th, and on that special day, Caitlin herself will be coming here to entertain all of you!
But to prepare you for it–to give you some advance warning as to exactly hoe awesome Caitlin is–I’ve prepared this little list. Since Top 10 Lists seem to be sort of my thing lately. It’s a phase I’m going through.
10. Her heroine, Luna Wilder, has an incredibly cool name. C’mon. Luna Wilder? And she’s a werewolf? Can you taste the awesome?
9. Luna Wilder drives a 1969 Ford Fairlane. I don’t know if any of you know that my family has always been a big Ford family? Oh, yes. And Fairlanes rock, too. Not flashy, but totally cool in a James-Garner-Rockford-Files kind of a way (which, if you don’t think James Garner is cool, I don’t really know why you’re reading this blog.)(And before you say anything, yes, I know Rockford drove a Firebird. So?)
8. Bloody, mutilated corpses.
7. Irritating angst? NO!!
6. Genuinely creepy and scary? HELL yeah!!
5. She brings off one of my favorite types of heroes with panache: the guy you shouldn’t like, because he’s a bad man (for real, not some pseudo-bad-boy like you see so often) but damn, he’s sexy as hell anyway, even if he does smoke cloves. The chemistry is amazing and the sex scene…okay, it takes some damn good sex writing to make this jaded girl reach for the hubs.
He never knew what hit him.
4. A totally original world. Nocturne City is so spooky and lovely and interesting I would glady have sat and read a plotless travelogue of the place.
3. Oooh, the writing! No lines go clunk. No similes confuse. It’s all There was not one moment where I thought, “I would have worded that differently” or had to go back and read a line again.
2. Luna is an extremely appealing character. In a genre (or subgenre) where first-person female heroines can grate after a while, where so many of them are supposed to be ballsy and snarky but in reality seem like either cast-iron bitches or whiny girly-girls hiding behind leather corsets pretending to be much tougher than they actually are, Luna genuinely is funny, smart, ballsy, and real.
1. This is the first werewolf book I’ve read that I actually want to read again. Weres on the whole are not normally my thing; not sure why, but they just never appealed to me. But here I actually got the appeal. For real.
1 (again). IT KICKS ASS.
And if I get it…you will too. So go buy the book! You can pre-order it here or rush down to your local bookstore Tuesday morning and wait for them to open so you can get your copy right away. Because seriously, you do not want to miss this one.
And yeah, I know. I’ve been recommending a few books lately. And yes, funnily enough they’ve all been written by my friends. Can I help it if I’m lucky enough to have such incredibly talented friends?
Seriously. I know a lot of writers, guys (as do a lot of you). So many, with so many releases, that I could probably recommend a new one every day of the year. But I don’t. Because–and I certainly don’t intend for this to sound like I don’t like and enjoy my friends’ work–I don’t recommend a book unless I think everyone I know will be hugely, hugely missing out if they don’t buy it. There will be a hole in your life if you miss Caitlin’s first novel. So don’t have that hole.
Monday I’m starting promo month, so come back and find out what I’m doing, what the contest is, how you can help, when the excerpts will be up, all that good stuff.
What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
1. I know it’s hard to believe, and you probably wouldn’t have heard about this anywhere, but my buddies (and fellow Reluctant Adults) Anton Strout and Mark Henry BOTH had books release yesterday! Because they’re both so shy and retiring, I thought I’d mention it here.
This is my quickie review of Anton’s book, and I’m sure you all remember when I reviewed Mark’s book. So check the reviews, buy the books, have some fun! You deserve it, don’t you?
2. Some serious news. Dave Kuzminski, who runs Preditors & Editors (which you all have bookmarked, right? At least all of you who write or want to write), is being sued.
From the P&E site:
Unfortunately, there are those who do not like P&E or its editor because we give out information that they would prefer remain hidden from writers. Usually, they slink away, but not this time. P&E is being sued and we are asking for donations to mount a legal defense in court. Please click on the link below and give if you can to help protect P&E so it can continue to defend writers as it has for the past eleven years.
Please donate if you can. The link is at the bottom of the “is being sued” link, or you can do it here (scroll down a little, it’s just under the News Flash!)
Friday I’ll have more content, and next week I’m starting my super-duper promo month for Personal Demons, with excerpts and contests and stuff. If you have a blog and want me to guest blog, let me know. If you are a reviewer and would like an ARC PDF let me know. I’ll repeat all this next week, but this is your chance to make me jump through hoops and be sadistic towards poor little me in exchange for some publicity and suff, so start thinking, you devils you.
What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
I was actually awake when the quake happened last night and didn’t even feel it.
What Stace had to say on Monday, February 25th, 2008
Saturday was the best day ever. Right up there with the Friday when I got an offer of representation and the Thursday when we sold the book. But Saturday. Oh…sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph, it was awesome.
Awesome (this one must be sung in your girliest falsetto)!
It started out normal enough, book release anxiety knifing into my sleep and plopping me onto the couch at the butt-crack of dawn, followed by the shuffling around a dark kitchen trying to make coffee in a machine designed for NASA scientists. This is normally accompanied by a gut wrenching stress-induced diarrhea that warbles through me bowels like bad opera. Grumbling. Curses. F-bombs.
Caroline slept in, dreading, as I was, a semi-formal charity auction that would eat away our evening. She would be at the salon for three hours and since I’d seen the book (Happy Hour of the Damned: zombies, smut, cocktails, what else do you need to know?) popping up on people’s blogs and knew I’d be dwelling on that all day, I got a friend to ride along to a couple of book stores.
The first one, not so much, and I wasn’t holding up a whole lot of hope about the second. So when we arrived I scanned the new trade tables and not seeing anything wandered toward the shelves. When…
“It’s right here!” friend yelled.
And they weren’t lying. A whole stack of ‘em, sitting right next door to Lisa Lutz’s THE SPELLMAN FILES–which is this totally adorable mystery, we’ve been reading for our book club. And there was Happy Hour, right next to hers. I got a little weak in the knees.
It wasn’t like it was the first time I’d seen the book. My editor is a gracious guy and as I write this guest blog, I’m surrounded by 80 copies (which is insane, what am I doing with them?). The first time was oddly anti-climactic. I checked it over to see that the changes were made from the ARC, but that was pretty much it.
I’m certain, it’s because books were meant to be seen in their natural habitat, because I was like a new father in a nursery. Even to the point of being completely flushed. I walked over to the information gal (it was a Borders so they had one of those freestanding desk areas) and told her that I kinda had a book over on the tables and I could sign them if she wanted.
I was so surprised that she actually got excited. Even enlisted the help of another book guy to gather all the books (I know, plural, can you believe that shit). They had like ten of them. I might as well have snorted a line of coke. I was high. Signing wildly. My friend taking pictures on her camera phone and sending them off. It was insane.
Then they asked me to come back to do an “Event”. What? Are you kidding? What?
It was awesome. Pure and simple.
I’m almost ashamed to tell you that after the charity auction thing, a group of us stopped by another Borders and did it again.
MARK HENRY was a psychotherapist before he did a 180 to torture minds with his fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, three furry monsters that think they’re children, and a waterboard, in case Goody Jeri comes a-calling. His debut novel, HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED, is a zombie comedy in urban fantasy clothing. Visit him at his website at http://markhenry.us.
What Stace had to say on Friday, February 22nd, 2008
For reasons I cannot fathom, gmail has decided it hates me. So please, please, PLEASE. if you have emailed me recently and did not receive a reply within a day or so, resend the email. This doesn’t seem to be such an issue wth the decemberquinn account but is recurring with the staciakane one. So that’s something else to try, sending directly to decemberquinn.
What Stace had to say on Thursday, February 21st, 2008
Yay! It’s released!
I have a little story to share today. When everything went so horribly, horribly wrong with this book’s initial release, and when I realized that it wasn’t going to get better and that I probably could have sold more copies had I printed the ms up myself and sold them for a pound outside the grocery store, I almost gave up. Was going to give up.
Then I got this review, from the Romance Junkies website. JT, the reviewer, said:
December Quinn spins a spell-binding story of two lonely souls fighting for a better future amidst the tempestuous and dangerous times of thirteenth century Wales.
She has been fascinated by Gruffydd ap Hywel since their first meeting six years ago. A man who stood out among all the other nobles gathered together in celebration of a royal wedding. But more than his dark good looks, his intense demeanor and timely actions left a lingering presence upon her mind.
He remembers Isabelle de Harvington as a naive inquisitive miss who is not afraid to speak her mind. And though they parted under strained circumstances all those years ago, Gruffydd’s thoughts of Isabelle never ceased over the ensuing years.
Now by royal decree, they are to wed and the reality of their marriage is far different then what any of them can ever imagined. The guardian knight is a solemn stranger burdened with responsibilities, and the fascinating girl has grown to be a headstrong, beautifully bewitching woman. Will they be able to resolve their differences and build upon their feelings and affection for each other, or will these two lost hearts remain forever solitary?
Finding out how this enigmatic couple makes their marriage work despite the burdens of their past make this book an intensely riveting read. When all else seems to be lost, December Quinn reminds us that love finds a way to bring the wounded home, even larger than life legends like THE BLACK DRAGON are no exception.
That review really got to me, because it was exactly what I was trying to do. Exactly. I’d never had someone understand my work like that, and express it so beautifully. It actually brought a tear to my cynical eye.
So I decided to fight for it. I got my rights back. My EC editor loved it and wanted it. I took out some stuff and added some stuff, and now here we are. So special thanks to JT at Romance Junkies.
Here’s an excerpt!
A puppy whimpered. It must be hungry, the poor thing. Why was it not downstairs with the other dogs? How had it made its way up the stairs alone? It sounded so young, so sad…if she could just get out of bed and open the chamber door…if she could just get up.
Isabelle was trying so hard to get out of bed that she was awake and sitting up before it dawned on her that she was dreaming. There was no puppy. Instead there was only darkness and the heavy sound of Gruffydd’s breathing.
It was too heavy and fast for sleep and her mind barely finished the thought when she realized someone was crying out in the room. That heartbreaking sound she’d heard was not a puppy at all, but it was real.
And it was coming from her husband.
For a moment, she was too shocked at the sight of him actually in the bed with her to react. As her eyes adjusted to the dim light from the fire’s last embers, she saw his handsome face contorted with pain. His tawny skin, now bare, glowed with sweat as he clutched the bedcovers closer.
Between moans, he spoke, the words tumbling from his mouth. Isabelle assumed it was his native tongue, for she could not understand any of it, but the sound was horrible, fear and misery transforming his voice from the deep, self-assured sound she was growing accustomed to into something almost like a child’s.
She looked around the room for a moment, hoping that someone else had heard him and would enter to render aid. But there was no one and it dawned on her that she was Gruffydd’s wife. ‘Twas her job to soothe his brow and chase away whatever demon assaulted his sleep.
“My lord,” she said softly, hoping her voice would wake him. It did not. He was still sleeping and, to her shock, she saw a tear escape from his tightly shut eye as he continued to moan. It sounded as if he was begging someone for something, his voice so plaintive and sad that her own eyes stung in sympathy.
“Lord Gruffydd.” This time she reached out to touch him tentatively on his broad, bare chest. His skin felt hot and smooth, but Isabelle had barely enough time to register it before a hand closed painfully around her wrist and an arm like steel clutched her waist and yanked her across the prostrate body of her husband. She gasped in terror and was about to scream when cold metal touched her throat.
Her husband’s face loomed above her, his ragged breath hot on her neck. It was his hand holding the blade to her throat, his body which had grasped and pinned her beneath him, and his eyes that were quickly losing the dazed look of fury and coming back to seeing the waking world.
Isabelle started to speak, but could not get the words out before Gruffydd threw the dagger aside and leaped away from her in one swift, smooth movement. He was still gasping, but even as she watched, he regained control of himself, taking one last deep, shuddering breath.
The reddish glow of the dying embers in the fireplace illuminated his gleaming chest, emphasizing the contours and planes of muscles and sinew. He looked like a demon himself as he ran a hand through his dark hair and turned away from her.
She expected him to speak, to ask if she was unharmed, but he did not. Once again she found herself in the uncomfortable position of wanting to ask him a question but feeling that her words would be unwelcome, or at least an embarrassment to her.
So she did not make a sound either, only watched as Gruffydd slid out of the bed and closed the curtains behind him. Through the madness of thoughts that swirled in her mind, Isabelle heard rustlings and quiet clickings, then the slight creak of the door as it opened and closed.
She was alone again. Alone and scared, wondering who this stranger she had married truly was.
You can buy the book here!
What Stace had to say on Thursday, February 21st, 2008
So, remember how we were having some problems with lice a while ago? And got rid of them?
They came back five weeks or so later. And we got rid of them again. And they’ve come back again.
We are constantly getting notes home from both girls’ schools about this, somebody keeps reinfecting everyone else and it’s extremely frustrating. So the other day I went to Boots to see what new anti-lice products might be available.
And I bought The Nitty Gritty Nit Free Comb.
If you have school-age kids, you need to buy this. I’m not sure how available it is in the US; you should pay extra for shipping. Or have it sent to me and I’ll mail it to you. I’m not joking. The thing is amazing. AMAZING. Both girls were barely scratching when we caught on (one little scratch is all it takes around here these days for us to swoop down and start applying lotions) but I dragged freaking armies of lice off them. AND it actually moves more easily through their hair, which means less crying.
I also bought a lice repellent spray, we’ll see how that works. But seriously. Get the comb. You need it just in case. I ran our old comb through their hair and got like one or two nits. The new one on the same lock of hair grabbed a couple of dozen. Disgusting, but fascinating too.
It’s a little pricey–£10 is a little over $20–but when you consider how much you’d spend on shampoos ans treatments and stuff…just get the comb. My girls’ hair is CLEAN, without chemicals.
What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
Well, my MIL left this morning. We actually had a very nice visit, which–if history proves anything–means the next visit will be miserable. Such is life.
Hey, don’t forget to keep checking the League blog all week, for the zombies! We have a zombie quiz coming up and everything!
We still have a couple of guest bloggers coming up, too. Mr. Anton Strout was supposed to be here Monday but he is apparently too busy and important for the likes of me. By way of apology I’m trying to get him to make his blog topic any one of the following:
*Why Stacia is the Best
*Why Stacia is so much sexier than Angelina Jolie
*Why I Secretly Love Stacia
But I think he’s shy.
And, sometime in the next week or so we’re going to start all the Personal Demons contesting and promoing. More excerpts! More prizes! More fun! More silly tasks for everyone to do in order to win! So don’t miss all that stuff.
And, tomorrow Black Dragon is released from Cerridwen, so I’ll be posting an excerpt and link here as soon as it’s available.
Meanwhile…working. Working on a novella for EC, which Caitlin cleverly titled The Hellvella, which it is. I am having a bitch of a time getting it done. It’s coming very slowly. I suspect the Merc retrograde had something to do with it. Now that’s over and I want to get the Hellvella over too. Fingers crossed.
Once that’s done I can start my new project, which has been slowly taking shape in my head for some time now. It involves a lot of research, which is one reason for the slowness. Also, the Hellvella is sitting there in front of me like an enormous toad, which makes it hard to think past. But things are falling into place, and I’m slowly getting over that OMG-I’ll-never-have-a-good-idea-or-be-able-to-write-another-book-again feeling. I hate that feeling.
And I guess that’s it. I wore myself out a bit last week putting so much work and time into the Heroes series, so apologies for not having a whole bunch to say.
What Stace had to say on Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
Over at The League of Reluctant Adults blog. And keep checking for more Zombie fun all week!
What Stace had to say on Monday, February 18th, 2008