Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My First Book Club - Gasp!

I know, right? How is it I'm just joining my first book club? Not sure exactly... I think it's that I've always just gabbed with people informally about stuff I'm reading and stuff they're reading, and left it at that.

So, it all started last week at work when I realized one of the new girls loved fantasy and Neil Gaiman as much as I do. Naturally, I introed her to the two other people in the office I knew who also read fantasy. And one of them suggested that we have lunch every month and talk about books. Eureka! Our book club was born.

Now, I like my reading to be pretty unstructured, so I made the caveat that if someone doesn't want to read the chosen book of the month, they can just pick another and be prepared to discuss it. I think I'll give most books a shot, but if I hate it, it's not getting finished. I'm way too busy to read books I'm not that into. Our first book is Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I've been wanting to read forever and I won over at Carol Riggs' blog. What a fun serendipity that was. By the way, Carol is awesome and you should go say hi.

So here I am, in my first book club! What about you guys - am I the only virgin book clubber? If you've been in one that you liked, what worked well about it?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


On Sunday I was being spectacularly lazy. My son was with my sister and my husband had left town, and I was watching Sherlock Holmes Games of Shadows all by myself. I adore the two recent SH movies. Robert Downey Jr. plays the complex character brilliantly, with all his flaws and neuroses and the incredible way he sees the world. Then there's the intense love/hate relationship between him and Watson, and the dark, super cool 19th century setting, and a super loathsome villain you just want to sock in the face. And while the credits were rolling, I wished I could write something so fantastic. Then I had an epiphany.


I have the potential to come up with a mind-blowing story of many-layered richness. We all do. And then I had another epiphany (like a double rainbow, soooo intense).

I have unlimited creative possibilities before me, that I can explore for the rest of my life. How freaking cool is that???

I can come up with some awesome 19th century London tale, maybe something steampunk. I could be struck with inspiration for something involving lots of the things I find fascinating: Egypt, the 1920s, medieval history, uncharted space. Or, I could ignore all of that and just make something up, my very own world (one of the many rad things about writing fantasy). Or, I could do it all. That's the fun part: I don't know when and where inspiration will lead me. It's a lifetime of mysteries that will never stop unfolding.

Which is why I love writing.

Now, if you'll bear with me just a bit longer, I wanted to pass on some blog awards I got.


Thank you Medeia Sharif and Sabrina Fish! I'm honored to receive these. If you don't know these lovely ladies, pop over and say hi!

Now, the guidelines for the awards are that I share 7 facts about myself (for the One Lovely Blog) and my 5 fave books (The Booker). I'm also supposed to pick a limited number of people to pass them along to, but I'm just going to award them to all of my followers! I heart all of you.

7 Facts  - I'm going to add a twist and list the next 7 places on my world travel wish list:

1) Ireland 2) Greece 3) Bora Bora 4) The Great Barrier Reef 5) Seattle 6) Peru 7) France (again)

5 Fave Books - Wow, this is really hard.

1) The Hobbit 2) The DaVinci Code 3) Summon the Keeper 4) The Graveyard Book 5) Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake #1)

Let me know if you do a post of 7 facts/5 fave books on your blog so I can come check it out! And, what's your favorite thing about writing?

Monday, June 11, 2012

All About Friends

So, this week there are two exciting things I want to share with you. First, Talli Roland's book, Construct a Couple, is out today! You can click here to purchase on Amazon, and don't forget to stop by Talli's blog on Wednesday for the official launch party.... it's bound to be fun.

Secondly, Jennifer Hillier is having a super fun flash fiction contest on her blog and is giving away ARCs of her book, Freak, due out in August! And some Amazon gifts cards... Just write a story between one sentence and 150 words in length, containing the word freak. Pop on over there to enter - you have until the 17th. Fair warning - if you read my entry, it contains foul language and subject matter. Jennifer said to make her cringe - so I went all out and had fun being bad for a change. Also, you can and should pre-order Freak on Amazon.

Anyways, here's a bit more about both books:

With a great job at a reputable magazine and a man who's the perfect match, Serenity Holland thinks she's laid the foundation for an ideal London life. When a routine assignment uncovers a shocking secret threatening her boyfriend's company, Serenity decides to leave nothing to chance, taking matters into her own hands. Soon, though, she realises keeping secrets isn't as easy as she thought . . . and the consequences are far worse than she ever imagined.

Sitting alone in a maximum-security prison cell, Abby Maddox is a celebrity. Her claim to fame is the envy of every freak on the outside: she’s the former lover of Ethan Wolfe, the killer who left more than a dozen dead women in his wake and nearly added Puget Sound State professor Sheila Tao to the tally. Now Abby, serving a nine-year sentence for slashing a police officer’s throat in a moment of rage, has little human contact—save for the letters that pour in from demented fans, lunatics, and creeps. But a new wave of murders has given Abby a possible chance for a plea bargain—because this killer has been sending her love letters, and carving a message on the bodies of the victims: Free Abby Maddox.

Jerry Isaac will never forget the attack—or his attacker. The hideous scarring and tortured speech are daily reminders that the one-time Seattle PD officer, now a private investigator, is just lucky to be alive. Abby Maddox deserves to rot in jail—forever, as far as Jerry’s concerned. But she alone may possess crucial evidence—letters from this newest killer—that could crack open the disturbing case. With the help of Professor Sheila Tao, seasoned police detective Mike Torrance, and intuitive criminology student Danny Mercy, Jerry must coax the shattering truth from isolated, dangerous Abby Maddox. Can he put the pieces together before Abby’s number one fan takes another life in the name of a killer’s perverted idea of justice?

Anybody else got books coming out soon? What's everybody up to this week? Not procrastinating on writing like me, I hope...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Urban Fantasy New Releases for June

Hi, writer friends! I'm writing this post with my new Toshiba. Since my old laptop bit the dust, I'm having to get used to a new one. The keyboard is a bit differently spaced, so I feel really clumsy when I'm trying to write. However, before I switched to the new laptop, I finished my writing goal for May and am at about a third of the way through the MG fantasy I'm drafting. Yay for meeting self-imposed deadlines! No new query news on Martinis with the Devil.

Anyhow, below are my fave June UF new releases. Click here to see the web version of the newsletter, which has another 33 new releases to check out! And click here if you want to get this straight to your inbox. Also, this month for my author feature I chose fellow blogger Rachel Morgan, who writes YA paranormal. All three of her gorgeous novels are shown in the newsletter, as well as purchase links. I realized I was a goof and accidentally referred to her series as 'Spooky Hollow', instead of 'Creepy Hollow', so please disregard the typo. And have you checked out her book trailer? If not, it's right here. Click, follow her blog, check out her books!

Here are the new releases this month:

In this bewitching collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors tell all-new, otherworldly tales. Spellbinding stories featuring bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, resurrected boyfriends and even a sex droid from the twenty- third century named Silicon Lily. But as our conjurers are about to discover, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hexed. And sometimes, even the best spun spells can lead to complete and utter mayhem.

I just love the name of this one. Lots of great authors, hard to go wrong!

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Check out the rad book trailer in my newsletter! This one sounds a bit different than the typical urban fantasy... I'm excited about it!

When a visit to the Tower of London triggers an overwhelmingly real vision of a beheading that occurred centuries before, Cole Ryan fears she is losing her mind. A mysterious boy, Griffon Hall, comes to her aid, but the intensity of their immediate connection seems to open the floodgate of memories even wider.

As their feelings grow, Griffon reveals their common bond as members of the Akhet—an elite group of people who can remember past lives and use their collected wisdom for the good of the world. But not all Akhet are altruistic, and a rogue is after Cole to avenge their shared past. Now in extreme danger, Cole must piece together clues from many lifetimes. What she finds could ruin her chance at a future with Griffon, but risking his love may be the only way to save them both.

So, there are two reasons I am stoked about this. First, I love reincarnation stories. My first book is about reincarnation. Second, I think this cover is beautiful. It reminds me that we don't see a lot of diversity in mainstream fiction, and that we should see more.

Sarah Jane Beauhall, the blacksmith turned dragon slayer, has it all figured out—little things like dealing with the political intrigue of dragons who secretly run our world, and learning to wield the magic that she has been given by none other than Odin, who has been fighting the dragons for millennia. And then there is the matter of coming to terms with who she is…and how to build a life with her partner, Katie.

All these things are forced into the background however when a magic-wielding serial killer starts prowling the Pacific Northwest. And all of his victims have ties to Sarah. Sarah must unravel the web she finds closing around her as a powerful necromancer and a crazed blood cult known as the Dragon Liberation Front work to tear apart everything she holds dear.

Blacksmith turned dragon slayer... dragons running the world incognito? Necromancy? Enough said.

When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them…

One of the queens of urban fantasy, so couldn't leave this one out!

So, what new releases are you excited about? Any of these on your list, too?