Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CassaFire Book Release Party!

An exciting day! Today is the release date for Alex Cavanaugh's second book, CassaFire!

Alex was one of my earliest followers, and has been a great blog friend ever since. I'm so excited to spread the word about CassaFire! And for those of you who don't know Alex, his first book CassaStar has hit Amazon bestseller lists. So, I'm not the only one who thinks he's an awesome dude :)

Here's a quick teaser:

CassaStar was just the beginning… The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities.  

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

A fun blurb:

CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

A rockin' book trailer:

And a random hot picture of Chris Pine, since Alex once mentioned that he envisioned Byron kind of like Chris Pine. Alex, you said I could customize this post however I wanted :)

So, go forth and purchase! Here's the linkage:

Barnes and Noble


Amazon Kindle 

Hope everyone had a decent Monday! Enjoy the rest of your week, blog friends.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I've been tagged to answer 11 questions by Colleen Chen and Sarah who are both in Rachel's campaign. I hope these questions will be fun for my blog friends both within and without of the campaign. Is it weird that I like talking about myself? Us writers are supposed to be narcissists, right?

Colleen's questions for me:

1. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?

Maybe Victoria or Aurora? I like my name a lot though...

2. Which Greek or Roman (or other culture's mythological) deity would you be (either who you'd like to be or who you most resemble)?

Didn't the Romans just copy the Greek's deities and change the names? Anyways... who's the chic with the owl? Athena? Okay, just Googled it, and it is Athena. So, Athena is the goddess of wisdom and the arts... I'm not always so wise, but writing is an art. And I heart owls, so there you have it.

3. Would you like to marry a Vulcan?

Well, in the new Star Trek movie, the guy that plays Spock is pretty cute. But I'm extremely emotional, so I don't think I could cope with someone who rarely shows emotion at all. I can see myself totally freaking out at someone who kept it so bottled up.

4. Would you choose immortal life with the elves, or a human, mortal life with the one you love and a child-to-be?

Well, I have a child (He turned 10 today! Holy cow!), so I certainly wouldn't choose an immortal life if he couldn't also.

5. If you had to write fan fiction, what fictional world would you choose to write in?

Oooh, tough. Harry Potter maybe? Or True Blood? Probably the latter.

6. Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?

I have no doubt the gov does all kinds of crazy shit we have no idea about. I believe all the Area 51 stuff.

7. What do you consider your best quality?

My creativity.

8. What do you consider your worst quality?

I tend to overanalyze.

9. Do you ever feel over-exposed on your blog?

Nah. I'm a pretty open book, both on the net and face-to-face. If I don't want to share something I don't. It is interesting when you realize that anybody could be reading your blog at any time, people you don't even know.

10. If you were to reincarnate, what would you like to be?

A witch. I actually wrote a book about a witch who reincarnates :)

11. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Slow drivers? I know I have more, but I'm blanking.

Sarah's questions for me:

1. What setting best describes you?

I'd like to say the beach, because the beach is my fave. But mountains probably describe me best. Mountains have a calm, reserved side, and a wild, free side. That describes my weird ying-yang personality pretty perfectly.

2. What was your favorite childhood book?

The Hobbit. Read it probably a couple dozen times.

3. What genre(s) do you write?

Fantasy - magic is a necessity in anything I write. I mostly focus on adult urban fantasy, but in some of my books for middle grade and young adult, it is more general fantasy.

4. Besides reading and writing what are at least two of your favorite pastimes?

I love horses, and movies, and am a total foodie. I really enjoy anything in the arts - music, painting, etc., though writing is the only thing I can do myself. Oh, and traveling. I can't get enough of the world.

5. What is the coolest/strangest thing you've ever done?

Ready for this? Firewalking. Not joking. My mom is into about every spiritual/metaphysical thing you can imagine, and when I was twelve we went to California, where she actually got certified to lead firewalk seminars. Over the next couple of years we did several, and I walked over a bed of hot coals two or three different times.

Other cool stuff? Ate at the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. Rode in a training clinic with a British Olympic equestrian medalist. I'm also a certified equine massage therapist, though I haven't practiced in years.

6. Whose writing inspires you the most and why?

Oh, Neil Gaiman. I confess I only recently started reading his stuff, but I have fallen head over heels for his writing. His writing is always unique, and contains that element of magic that I have to have. And he just writes beautifully. And he's a creative genius.

7. If any character from any book could be your best friend, who would it be?

Another tough one. Hermione? Or Alanna from the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce? I devoured this series in my early teens. Of course, I love the MCs from my books, Eva from Countless and Zyan from Noir.

8. What is your favorite book/author/tv show?

I simply can't pick one favorite book. The Hobbit used to be. But I love so many others, sometimes very different books for very different reasons. Author is Neil Gaiman at the moment. TV show - True Blood for sure. God, I love it :)

9. If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?

How intriguing. Hmmm. Okay, so I just spent several minutes contemplating this. You read the above part about overanalyzing? So, I wanted to come up with something profound and impactful, but I couldn't think of anything that could realistically be accomplished in one day (without more planning and overanalyzing, that is). Here are a few of the things I considered (some of them selfish and not profound): Somehow getting inside info on the stock market to pad my bank account. Some sort of cure for world hunger. Whispering words of encouragement to people who looked like they needed it (though sort of creepy since of course they can't see you). Spying on people close to me just for funsies to see what they do when I'm not around.

10. What famous person (dead or alive) do you consider a role model for your own aspirations?

I'm going to sound like a broken record here: Neil Gaiman. I want to be as imaginative and amazing as he is.

11. Is there anything else we should know about you?

I love chocolate and wine. I very badly want to travel around the world for a couple years and have adventures.

Alright! That's it. Hope you enjoyed it. So, I'm tagging some campaign peeps and some non-campaign peeps:

A.E. Martin (previous blog friend and fellow urban fantasy campaigner)

Tina Moss (fellow urban fantasy campaigner)

Stephany Simmons (fellow urban fantasy campaigner)

Beth Sanderson (blog friend)

Jennifer Hillier (blog friend)

Meredith Moore (blog friend)

Tag, you're it! Here are the 11 questions:

1. What setting best describes you?

2. What was your favorite childhood book?

3. Besides reading and writing what are at least two of your favorite pastimes?

4. What is the coolest/strangest thing you've ever done?

5. If any character from any book could be your best friend, who would it be?

6. If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?

7. What famous person (dead or alive) do you consider a role model for your own aspirations?

8. Which Greek or Roman (or other culture's mythological) deity would you be (either who you'd like to be or who you most resemble)?

9. Would you like to marry a Vulcan?

10. Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?

11. If you were to reincarnate, what would you like to be?

Oh, and I didn't mention above, but eleven is my favorite number, so I'm loving that. Have fun tagged-ones!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Flash Fiction Challenge

Hi, blog friends! Happy Monday, if there is such a thing. Here's my flash fiction entry for the first Campaigner Challenge. Ever one to rise to the challenge, I fit in the word 'orange' as well as writing in the vein of my usual genre, urban fantasy. Enjoy!

Shadows creep across the wall. I wish I could ignore them, like a normal person would. Someone else would see simple shades of pewter or ash, long vertical stripes, maybe the shape of a tree branch. Someone else could enjoy the sparkle of dust spinning in thick bars of afternoon sun, as the horizon begins to glow like a slice of orange. Someone else. Someone not like me.

Because I see the shadows as they stretch into something more. I know what hides within them. I feel the unfurling of their sinuous bodies as they stir in their resting places, to rise when the sun sleeps. To cross over on the shadows, the door between their world and ours. The clock ticks. Darkness deepens. I feel them waiting, waiting…

But I’m waiting, too. And when they come out to play, I’ll be ready. With steel and magic, I’ll meet them in the light of the moon. I’ll make them wish they’d stayed home in their beds. This is my realm, and the night is my time. And I’m not the best at sharing. Guess they’ll have to figure that out the hard way.

I went to a kind of creepy place with that... in a weird mood today. Oh wait, that's every day :) Anyways, hope the rest of your week goes well!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is It Getting Hot In Here?

Yeah, baby (think Austin Powers). Happy Valentine's Day! I'm participating in the Kissing Blogfest hosted by Cassie Mae at Writing, Reading and Lovin' It. I signed up for this weeks ago, but somehow the linky tool didn't work and I tried to sign up again. It still doesn't appear to be taking it, so I guess I'm a rogue entry.

Anyways, here's an excerpt from my current WIP, Noir. This is the first excerpt I'm posting online. If you don't read a lot of urban fantasy, note the slang term 'were' for werewolves and other werecreatures (a werepanther in this case). Enjoy!

I showered and put on a rather small silk robe, then headed back out to the kitchen. When Donovan saw me, he almost did a double take. I smiled, smooth as snake skin. “How’s everything heating up?”

“Fine, darlin’. Uh, what’re you wearing there?” His eyes were having a hard time staying on the stove.

“Oh, just what I always wear around the house.” I blinked innocently at him. “You said we were just going to be friends, so you don’t mind, right?”

He took in an unsteady breath. “I never said we were just going to be friends. I said I was going to show you my romantic side. The side we never got to before.”

I stepped closer, drinking in his scent. “Because we were too busy doing other things…” My eyes turned up to his, and while I knew my vamp persuasion didn’t work on weres, my gaze held a lot of natural pull.

The next step forward was his, which closed the distance between us. One finger reached up and traced the edge of my jaw, then traveled down to pull the robe off my shoulder. His lips hung poised just over mine, so close I could feel their warmth, and the electric buzz of his were energy. With his free hand, he untied my robe with practiced ease and it fluttered to the floor. His fingers brushed down over my hips and around to the small of my back…

“I knew you couldn’t do it,” I said, my lips turned up triumphantly.

As you can tell, my MC is a bit of a ball buster and loves to screw with people... he deserved it though :)
Anyways, have a fab V Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I'm Joining the Campaign!

I don't do a lot of blogfests and other organized blogging events because I know I'll end up not having enough time to write on my book, and getting stressed out with my attempts to juggle it all. But I've been wanting to try Rachael Harrie's networking campaign for a while, because you get to join by genre, and so you end up with a more manageable group of writers to follow that write the same sort of thing you do.

So, after several times of missing the deadlines to join, I finally got wind of the 4th Platform Building Campaign, and I've signed up in the Fantasy and Urban Fantasy groups. If you want to expand your network, check it out on Rachael's blog here. The deadline's not until the 15th, so you've got a couple days.

There are a couple of organized events for this crusade, but I want to clarify that this does not mean I'll be skipping regular posts, or that I won't be popping over to comment with the folks I usually do. So, check it out if you're interested and join up if you want. And have a great beginning of the week!

P.S. I am doing a Valentine's blogfest on Tuesday. So, kind of a busy week for me. It'll have an excerpt from Noir, the first I've posted online. You know, just to tease you a bit ;)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Breath Before the Fall

January was a stressful haze during which I had very little time or energy with which to write. My day job has been super intense and I worked at least 10 hours most days. When I did get home from work, my brain was mush. But while I can certainly use that as an excuse not to finish up the last few scenes I wanted to add to Noir after analyzing my outline, it really comes down to procrastination.

Not the usual lazy type of procrastination, but the desire to stay in this safe zone for a bit longer. Because, after I finish these scenes then I have to start line editing. And after line edits and edits from beta readers and a another read-through, then comes querying. And once I start querying, there will be the inevitable rejections. With Countless, I developed a very thick skin, and I really was barely phased by most rejections. But with Noir, I have fresh baby skin, and its so nice and warm in this cocoon of not-there-yet. For now, I can still relish in the wonder of my creation, and keep it to myself.

Of course, I realize that I'm lingering, and I'm going to stop. Work has finally slowed to a normal pace, so I have zero screens to hide behind. I'm a tough chic, and I'm going to sail this ship straight into the stormy seas of querydom. Hey, I love thunderstorms.

So, pep talk over. Got my Captain Jack hat on. And my compass. And my rum. How about you?

Monday, February 6, 2012

In Which I Gush About Neil Gaiman

There's reading and there's reading. Reading, when everything is fine and good and you can appreciate the author's skill and have no real complaints, and then reading, when you fall head-first into a story and are swept away by the magic of it, and it nestles in your readerly heart forever.

It seems that the more I learn about writing, the more critical I am when reading. It's getting harder and harder for me to be pulled deeply into a story and experience that pure pleasure of reading that I experienced when I was younger. But that's what I experienced this weekend when reading The Graveyard Book, and it was fantastically fun.

I've only read three Neil Gaiman books (The above as well as Neverwhere and American Gods, all highly recommended). And I only read the first like four months ago. So, I feel like a very unworthy fan, jumping on the bandwagon extremely late. I did ever so slightly make up for it by attending pretty much everything Neil did at WFC. And, I'm psyched to learn he was recently nominated for an Edgar for the short story he read at WFC about Sherlock Holmes and honeybees and immortality. Everything he writes is so unique and imaginative and has that element of magic that I just love.

And one of the things I love about Neil's work is that he writes for all different ages. I had been dabbling in writing middle grade for my son about a year ago, but it was at WFC that my desire to write for a younger audience really gelled. I also have Tamora Pierce to thank for that, because at WFC she spoke of how amazingly rewarding it's been writing for kids, and I remember falling in love with her books when I was a tween. It's kind of a fun challenge to be a versatile enough writer to write for all ages.

So, who do you have a literary crush on? Who inspires you? What books live in your heart forever?