Archive for February, 2010



What Stace had to say on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
DEMON POSSESSED release day!!

Yes, today is The Big Day. The third Megan Chase novel is released, in which demons are killed, mysteries are revealed, and at least one Very Big Question is answered.

Don’t you want to know what it is?! Of course you do. So go buy it!! It’s out there! On the shelf! Waiting for you!!

DemonPossessedcover

And here’s some excerpty goodness:
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What Stace had to say on Friday, February 19th, 2010
Winners and stuff

So, I’ve been sick all week, with a stupid cold, and so have mostly been offline completely. You know, I had a lot of episodes of CSI and Cold Case that I’d seen before but needed to see again, and all that.

Plus I’ve been watching a bit of the Olympics, which I’ll discuss in a minute.

First, the winners of the DEMON POSSESSED and UNHOLY MAGIC cover flats! I decided to pick two winners, because why not, right?

Amanda and Ria! Email me your street addresses and I’ll get those out to you asap.

Next, the winner of a free BLACK DRAGON download: Sarah! Email me and let me know what format you prefer!

So, the Olympics. I’ve watched a bit of the skiing and snowboarding, but honestly don’t really care about them at all. I’ve actually only watched them because of the stupid way NBC keeps forcing me to, by airing drips and drabs of figure skating in between so I’m afraid to change the channel.

Not that it matters that much. The figure skating on the whole has been disappointing and the judging more so. Johnny Weir got totally fucking robbed; he should have scored WAY higher than he did. And I’m sorry, I know it’s bad of me but I wanted Plushenko to win. He’s just so mean and cruel and awesome. One of my Twitter followers called him “the Bond villain of figure skating,” and he is. You have to love a guy who refers to his competitors as “enemies.” That’s what figure skating needs, IMO. More mean bad-assness.

Not to mention, men’s figure skating should be just that. MEN’S. They *should* be doing harder moves, and they should be doing those moves to rougher, thumpier music. All that la-la instrumental stuff was really getting on my nerves, to be honest. It was so asexual. Blah! Bring in the drums! Music with a little energy to it, a little threat. The last movement of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, for example. It’s probably been used a ton but it’s just an example. I know there’s stuff like that out there, so why–with the exception of one or two of them–wasn’t it on the rink?

Just very disappointing. Don’t get me wrong. Lysacek did a beautiful routine, and he deserved a medal. But I agree with those who say if he didn’t do the quad he didn’t deserve a gold. And I was disappointed by the way it seems only Plushenko was willing, or wanted, to be masculine on the ice. Sigh.

What Stace had to say on Monday, February 15th, 2010
Don’t you want to read this?

(In honor of this I’m doing a little contest, details at the end.)

So…let’s hop in the time machine, shall we? All the way back to September of 2007. I’d sold the second romance novel I ever wrote (after extensive edits and cleaning up and all of that stuff), a medieval non-erotic romance called The Black Dragon, to an epublisher called Triskelion Publishing, which later went belly-up. Thankfully I’d gotten my rights back and sold them to Cerridwen Press, Ellora’s Cave’s non-erotic imprint, before that happened, but I’m going to talk about that a bit more near the end of the post.

The Black Dragon was a big deal to me. It was, at the time, my favorite thing I’d written, in large part because when I wrote it I was thinking of all those great “old-school” style romances I read as a kid. I wanted to do an homage to them, a sort of throwback type of story. So it was written in a specific voice and with, I hoped, a specific sort of feel. I was inordinately fond of the story, and still am, to be honest, because I think I managed to at least somewhat capture that feeling I remembered from those old-school romances.

And of course I wanted a cover that sort of reflected that feeling, but I knew Triskelion’s cover art was…well…not always great. So I asked for a fairly plain cover, a sword of a field of red silk, maybe with a dragon shadow over it? Or failing that the H/h on the parapets of a castle at sunset, which was kind of an important scene in the book.

Below is what I got. I literally burst into tears when I saw it. My lovely book, stuck with that. I emailed and begged for a different model, or pose, or something, anything, to no avail. I was so horrified that when I posted it on my blog, the only positive thing I could say was that I liked the font they used for the title. It was truly nightmarish.

Anyway. The other day some of my fellow Reluctant Adults and I were talking about covers, and some of the covers we’d had throughout our careers, and linking to them and showing them. I happened to toss in the cover triskelion gave The Black Dragon, and Mario Acevedo–that scamp!–mentioned how much better it might be if Mark Henry’s face was on it rather than the original model.

This is the original cover (Cerridwen, of course, gave it a new cover, which I adored, and will post at the end as well):

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What Stace had to say on Friday, February 12th, 2010
I have wigs! And glasses!

Okay, this is a *very* photo-heavy post, so be warned.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the local Target Optical to get an eye exam–my first in almost five years. As predicted, my eyes got worse. Sigh. But, I got new contacts, and I ordered new glasses, which is a huge deal, since I hadn’t gotten new glasses in about twelve years. See, the last time I got glasses my prescription was like a -8.5 or something. And the optician or optometrist or whatever ordered my glasses in a -8, because he claimed “glasses correct your vision better than contacts.” Which is utter crap. I have no idea what he was thinking there. So the upshot was I had glasses that really didn’t correct my vision enough, so I hardly wore them. besides, they weren’t the kinds of frames I wanted anyway.

I’ve worn glasses pretty much all my life, starting in kindergarten. And I always dreamed of having a pair of black horn-rimmed glasses, even as a little kid. My parents wouldn’t let me. Because my mom usually picked my frames–and, in her defense, because it was the 80’s–I always ended up with these horrible, enormous pastel-colored frames that covered half my face and made me look like a small blonde insect. As I got older, I still dreamed of getting black frames but nobody made them, or my mom wouldn’t let me.

They make them now. So I don’t care how hipster they’ve become or whatever. I’ve wanted them forever, and I finally got them. Yay me!

Cut to a few days ago, when I decided it would be really fun to buy a wig. Because I like to experiment with hair colors etc. but it’s a lot of effort and if it doesn’t work out, well, you’re stuck. So I hopped over to Voguewigs.com, and ordered me some wigs. Two of them came yesterday.

So without further ado, here we have Stacia’s wigs-n-glasses expo/fashion show (No, that isn’t a backdrop, it is the view out that window):

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  • What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
    Rules of the Blog

    So a number of things have happened in the past few weeks/days that have got me thinking about this blog (No, relax. This is NOT a “I’m not blogging anymore” post). One, my decision to let the set schedule go. I’ve actually enjoyed blogging more lately, and if you notice, I’m still doing about two posts a week. The difference for me is I can now blog when something strikes me, and not hold back until it’s Blog Day or whatever. So I kind of feel rejuvenated as a blogger, if that makes any sense. I’m having fun with it again, and that feels great. So I thought this would be a good time to kind of renew my thoughts on the blog, and what its purpose is, and what I think about it.

    I’ve seen a few times online in the last month or two people–people who should fucking know better, IMO–running contests where one of the ways to enter the contest is to post about the contest on blogs or message boards. In other words, don’t just promote the contest on your own blog or Twitter feed, but post about it on various message boards or in comments on other people’s blogs.

    This is spam. It is spam, spam, spam. It is tacky and it is rude, and just as a general FYI–although I know none of you would ever do such a thing–it will not be tolerated here. I can ban IPs from this site, and I will do it.

    Here’s the thing. This is MY blog. It’s MY website. And while I follow certain rules–which I’ll get to in a minute–the fact remains that at its most basic level, this site and blog are here to promote me and my books. Along with, of course, the books of anyone I mention in posts or invite to come do a guest post here. To “walk” into my blog and start dropping your own promo is the height of rudeness, akin to walking into my home and starting to redecorate without being asked. I don’t care what it’s for. Don’t do it. It’s rude to me and it’s rude to you guys, the readers of this blog, who do not deserve to be treated like rubes or fish in a barrel, just waiting to be led around by the nose.

    As of this writing the blog gets anywhere from 200-600 hits a day, every day. On days when I post the numbers go up; no-post days, of course, have lower numbers (and some posts got much, much higher numbers, but those are obvious anomalies). And I’m aware that’s nowhere near the kinds of hits really popular blogs, really popular names, get. But they’re still MY numbers; you’re MY readers, and I’ve worked hard over the years to attract you and entertain you and get to know you a bit, even, and let you get to know me, and you and that work mean a lot to me.

    If you have something to promote–be it a book or a charity–email me about it. There’s a good chance that I’ll invite you to guest post about it, or I’ll mention it. And if I don’t, it’s probably because I don’t think my readers would be that interested in it, frankly. And you know what? That’s up to me. because, again, MY BLOG. MY READERS. I owe them–I owe you guys–the respect of not being treated like some nameless, faceless gaggle of wallets.

    Which brings me to the other thing. A long time ago now I did a post about why I don’t blog about politics, and the gist of it was, because I respect you all and think you’re capable of making your own decisions without my input. This is still true. But, as I believe I said in a follow-up post at some point, which I’m too lazy to hunt around for–there’s another reason, too.
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    What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
    UK/Aus Downside Covers!

    Lookie what I got! The UK/Australian covers for the Downside books, and man are they stunning! HarperVoyager has given them a very distinct, very (unexpectedly) sexy look, and I’m really pleased:

    UKUGfullsize

    UKUMfull

    CoGUKfullsize

    Whoo! Such a different look, but I really do love them.

    UK Buy links:

    Waterstones
    W.H. Smith
    Amazon UK

    Australia Buy Links:

    Borders Australia
    Dymocks

    I’m about to do another post–an actual “stuff” post–so check back soon.

    What Stace had to say on Thursday, February 4th, 2010
    Those gross tv chefs

    So a discussion began last night, on a forum of which I am a member, about the rinsing of raw meats before cooking, specifically poultry. Some rinse, some don’t. Another member commented that apparently the FDA recommends against rinsing. You know why?

    Because the water can splash and land on other things, thus spreading bacteria.

    I had to laugh. I love the idea, first of all, that the FDA is recommending against a basic sanitary routine because the people doing it are apparently not capable of cleaning up after themselves. Seriously.

    But it got me thinking about one of my biggest, hugest pet peeves ever, which I’m going to share with you.

    See, I am anal about raw poultry and/or pork. Seriously. I treat that shit like it’s nitroglycerine. Nitroglycerine which also carries the Ebola virus. And is armed with razor blades.

    Here’s what I do:
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    What Stace had to say on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
    Because I love you

    I have decided to put together your week’s book shopping list for you. No, no, don’t thank me. I do it because I care. I am just that generous. I have undertaken all of the heavy lifting, so to speak, in telling you how to spend your book-buying money this week. And in return, all I ask is that you, y’know, buy the books. Especially because, in addition to the pure-A awesomess of them, there just might be something in it for you.

    First, take Mark Henry. Please! Ba-dum-bum. No, seriously, take him. Or rather, take his book. Well, don’t take it, as in steal it, you understand. Take it as in to-the-register. Mark’s awesome, amazing first book in his completely hilarious Amanda Feral series–called HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED–has been re-released in mass market paperback today, and you need to get that bitch on your shelf, foreals. It’s a mass market paperback! What could be better? Only $7, and that perfect mmp size. (I love mass market paperbacks. They’re my faaavorite.)

    See, here’s the thing. The Amanda Feral books are so funny and awesome. They’re not strictly urban fantasy. They’re like Christopher Moore mixed with Anna Wintour, if Anna Wintour lived on Soylent Green. (Which, who knows? I’m not saying she does or doesn’t. Hey, it’s not for me to judge, right?) But for some reason, some reason I cannot fathom, the books didn’t quite catch on the way they should have, the way those of us who’ve read them thought they absolutely should. I know most of you who read here know Mark, and how awesome he is. I know most of you probably read my initial review of this book on its trade paperback release, in which I confessed the deep jealousy the book inspired in me because I could never in a million years be that funny and original.

    The point is, the books are awesome. And WE NEED THEM. We need books like this, so sharp and different. Books that cast such a clear and sarcastic light on our world. We need this kind of mean-spirited but good-hearted fun. But we might not get more, if this mmp re-release doesn’t sell well. (Mark explains it here.)

    So go and get it. Head for your local bookstore. Or get it online, even. Mark explains here, with links, how you can even get your copy personalized, by him.

    Now. I happen to have in my possession cover flats for DEMON POSSESSED and UNHOLY MAGIC, the second Downside book. (No, I don’t have any for UNHOLY GHOSTS.) The UNHOLY MAGIC flats have the book’s blurb on them. I have not released the blurb yet, and didn’t plan to for several months, because…well, because I think it’s more fun that way. BUT. If you buy the mmp of HAPPY HOUR between today and…hmm…let’s say Feb. 16th (which gives you two weeks), and let me know you’ve bought it (either through commenting here or emailing me), I will enter you in a drawing to win both cover flats (which I will sign, if you like). In fact, I may very well pick more than one winner.

    Okay? So get to buying!! Amanda feral needs you, and not just for dinner.

    Okay. Other books you can put on your list. First is ACCIDENTALLY DEMONIC by Dakota Cassidy, who is awesome and funny and warm and smart and cruel, in the way only a former beauty queen can be. Although you probably don’t need me to tell you that, since everyone knows and loves Dakota and her books.

    Last, and certainly not least, is SHADOW BLADE by Seressia Glass. Okay, here’s the thing. I love this book for a number of reasons, mostly just because it’s awesome. I’ve always thought Seressia was a great writer and a very cool girl. And really, that’s why you need to buy the book. I’m only on page 85 so far and had to force myself to put it down in order to write this post.

    But there is one other reason as well. The main character, Kira Solomon, is a beautiful, strong, funny, smart African-American woman (as is Seressia herself). I’m not saying buy the book because it has black characters or was written by a black author. But I am saying, I’d love to see more racial and ethnic diversity in the UF world, and publishers will produce what readers buy and support. So show them that we’ll all buy and read and love books with MCs of color; books with those characters on the cover, too. Seriously, this book is so good. Really cool. Go get it.

    (Oh, and while you’re at it, should any of you feel the need to pre-order any of MY books, that would of course be fine too. Just in case you thought I might not want you to or anything like that. It’s okay with me, I swear.)

    And now, something that I am betting money Mark henry will figure out how to fit into a book. An inventor has created the world’s first talking sex robot. And to me, at least, it looks a little bit like Catherine Tate. Apparently it has a kind of voice-recognition software that is like artificial intelligence, it not only makes orgasmic sounds but vibrates to “simulate” orgasm, and it will “respond” when you speak. My guess is the responses will be things like:

    “You’re so smart!”
    “You’re so funny!”
    “Won’t you please have sex with me now? I’m tired of talking.”
    “You’re my hero.”
    “Wow, how is it that you’re always right?”
    “You’re amazing!”
    “Your cock is so big it scares me!”

    …but those are just my guesses. Anyway, it’s seven grand, which it seems to me for that price you could pay a hooker to come by a couple of times a week to laugh at your jokes and fake an orgasm, but, again, who am I to judge, right?

    And I’m going to stop talking now, because it’s far more important that you all run out to the bookstore or get to online orderin’. Go do that, and remember, I’m giving away signed cover flats!!

    What Stace had to say on Monday, February 1st, 2010
    Oh, what a weekend

    Yes, yes, we all know about Amazon vs. MacMillan. And I’m sure we all have our own opinions. I know I certainly do, but since Scott Westerfeld said it better I’m just going to link to his post on it, and say, THIS.

    I am also leaving the Amazon links up on my site, because I know there are readers who prefer Amazon, or even side with Amazon. But I do encourage you all to buy your books elsewhere. Bookstores are important. Choice is important. Support bookstores, and buy from them, because it matters.

    Now. This weekend was also my first-ever attempt at making a beef-and-lentil soup. It turned out pretty well! As always I messed about with the recipe a bit, sort of amalgamating several into one and picking and choosing. For example, most recipes I found called for canned tomatoes. I don’t particularly like eating tomatoes in soup, so I substituted a can of tomato paste instead; tomato flavor with no slimy tomatoes. So here’s the recipe, since I promised I’d post it:
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