Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Carolyn Crane: sex fiend. Includes handy flow chart.

Hey, I'm guest posting over at Smexy Books about how I sometimes worry about how the people in my everyday life will now think I'm a sex fiend. I mean, it's not like my book is all that dirty, but there are certain scenes...

Come say hi, and wow, this is YET another chance to win a book - international entries welcome.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Are dark-haired heroines more badass?

Do blond heroines have a better fashion sense? Do redheads have more fun...with vampires? What haircolor signifies the ultimate Dirty Harry heroine?

The answers to all these questions and more are on Rebecca and my scarily elaborate chart over at dirtysexybooks.com:

Carolyn and Rebecca's Urban Fantasy Hair Color Horoscopes

Plus, when you leave a comment, you are entered to win a copy of MIND GAMES! So come over and say hi!!

Want another chance to win?
As noted yesterday, I stopped over yesterday at B00kbound and had a great time chatting with Jessica about writing, mentors and the people of Antarctica. So come on over! International welcome to enter!

Recent reviews!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Interview and giveaway at B00kbound and my pretend entry to the messy bookshelf contest...

Later today, I'm stopping by to have a chat with Jessica at B00kbound for an interview and giveaway! Come say hi and win a signed copy of Mind Games (International included!) (Okay...not up yet...but it's going up sometime today. )

Also, Jeanne Stein and Mario Acevedo's messy bookshelf contest runs until March 30th. Go enter!

I'm not actually entering, because:
I'm a fellow author in the league, so it would be weird, and
I don't know if you can even count my entry as a bookcase, and
C) Clearly I would kick ass. Well, actually not. Have you seen this one pictured over there?? Anyway, a quick tour...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Off in Angieville...come say hi... & maybe win!!

So, I'm off visiting with the very lovely Angie of Angieville. who also asks really great questions.

We're discussing comic books, character names, publication highs and lows and more. Come say hi - leave a comment to WIN a signed copy of Mind Games (International included!)

She has also reviewed the book here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gone Pixie-ing

Hey, I'm over at Wicked Little Pixie's place!

We're discussing topics such as Twitter, Nicole Peeler, my jealousy issues over Ms. Pixie having seen the Beastie Boys 3 or 4 times, and, of course, Mind Games. Come visit!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guest post at the Book Smugglers & my non-triumphant first viewing

Today I am at The Book Smugglers doing a guest post entitled Musicals vs. Obliviousness for their "Inspirations and Influences" series. And later today, they will be reviewing Mind Games! [Note: now up here!]

My first night as an author
Last night Mark and I went to an Indian restaurant to celebrate my release day, and then we stopped in at a Barnes & Noble that is by the restaurant to visit my book actually in a store, which I have never seen. You know, I was excited to see it on a shelf and everything.

So we go in, and it wasn't there! We looked in all the places it could be, and then this guy asked if he could help us, so we said we are looking for Mind Games by Carolyn Crane. And he takes us to the puzzle section. And then I said, no, it's a book. Because I felt weird about saying, "a book by ME, dude." So he looks it up on his computer and he can't understand why it would not be on the shelf. So he goes in back to see if it is still in a box, and he can't find it.

So then he gets a co-worker and they have this whole conversation like, where's the box? And then she has to drop everything she is doing to go back. So after all this extensive searching, inally she brings out a copy of the book and hands it to him, and he gives it to me. And I'm like, thanks!

At this point, I'm feeling TOTALLY WEIRD, because I'm actually not going to buy the book! (Though I had chosen other books to buy). Because you know, I have author copies! I just wanted to see it in the store!!!! And also, I am aware I should've offered to sign it, maybe. I don't know how that works. But, I felt dumb.

Anyway, Mark thought maybe we should browse a bit more, as though we maybe intended to buy it, and just changed our minds. So we browse a little more, and then I nestle my book into its correct alphabetical place in the fantasy section (right next to Terminator Salavation by G. Cox!) And we buy our books from a different clerk, luckily not one of the two on the search. And then we get out of there. So that was my triumphant night! But that's fine, because I had the greatest release day an author could have, and everybody has been so supportive and fabulous!!!

Recent Reviews/giveaways...
Nicole Peeler's giveaway and cover assessment ("Her heroine is totally gonna cut a bitch.")
Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks
(Did I miss anybody????)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Questions for release day

1. Am I freaking out? Sort of, but in a good way. And I am so grateful to everybody for their super thoughtful reviews and good wishes. I feel really lucky!

2. What is the elusive and mysterious blogger mastermind Sci Fi Guy really like? Does he wear that space suit when he is lounging in his rustic mansion? Now you can find out, because I personally flew to Canada to visit him for a release day interview! Read all about our time together here.

3. What does Sci Fi Guy say about Mind Games? Sci Fi Guy's review here!

4. Is Elie of Ellz Readz one of the nicest women of blogland? Yes, and I stopped over there on my way home from Sci Fi Guy's place, and here is our interview.

5. What do you do to get a really excellent vampire detective book, and download some UF freebies by Jaye Wells, Kat Richardson and Carolyn Crane (first 2 chapters of MG)? Hey, then you want to go to fellow leaguer Mario Acevedo's site - he has a super cool deal going today and tomorrow only!

6. Contests: Anne Aguirre's Hellfire lottery rages on here! and the Dabwaha second chance tourney has started!

Monday, March 22, 2010

My long and heartbreaking road to publication

Like many authors, I experienced a lot of rejection before getting a book published. Today, I'm over with Donna at Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings talking about novels and projects I worked on that were heartbreakingly and mysteriously passed over by editors and agents. Oh, why, why, why????

My sad list of 10 mysteriously rejected novels & projects includes:
1. An urban fantasy series:

Concept: Hilarious tales of a zombie manicure parlor with a permanent solution to cuticle problems.

Book #2:
Concept: Sequel to “The Last Manicure” featuring a client with a terrible ingrown toenail.

2. A zombie erotica standalone

The concept: A tender and highly erotic zombie romance

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Two Saturday things...

Midcity, the fantastical Midwestern city in the Justine Jones: disillusionist trilogy, now has a fantastical online newspaper! There is actually a video interview there, conducted by a "Midcity Newscaster" played by a certain debut novelist. As you will see, this debut novelist will never make a living as an actress.

Also, what did I discover on Amazon The cover to Double Cross, Book #2 in the Justine Jones: Disillusionist trilogy, which comes out this September. Look at Justine atop the Tangle, Midcity's mysterious and hated highway interchange.

I actually don't think this is a final version, but rather a placeholder. But what the heck! It's up on Amazon!

WIN WIN WIN! You can win your own damn copy of Mind Games - and MORE - at these fine and wonderful places:

Lea Closetwriter
Up for grabs: 2 copies of Mind Games!
Mind Games isn't out until this Tuesday, the 23rd, but you can win one of two copies at Closetwriter Lea's! And while there, read Lea's awesome review.

Up for grabs: A truckload of great league books + a $50 gift certificate to B&N!
A whole lot of cool league books (including Mind Games) PLUS $50 gift certificate is up from grabs at the Mario Acevedo hoedown at Amberkatz's blog. While there, you can also read all about Werewolf Smackdown, and how Acevedo gets everybody's fave vampire detective into SO much trouble.

Demontastic Contest to Hell:
Up for grabs: "TWO AWESOMELY GRAND PRIZE WINNERS will receive New Orleans-y gift baskets with all sorts of cool New Orleans goodies, both books, along with a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card each." Plus signed copies of Mind Games and other excellent league books plus a $10 GC!! It's the Demontastic Contest to Hell! In honor of Kara Gillian, star of the fabulous Demon police procedural, which is such a fine series.

Also, I want to thank everybody for the wonderful kind words everywhere, and for just making this such a fun and friendly time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reviewers! xoxo

I am so grateful to everyone who is taking the time to read and reflect on my book, and all the kind, generous words here and elsewhere...

"Carolyn Crane’s debut novel is a brilliant original in every way. Just when I think that urban fantasy heroines are becoming too clichéd and predictable, Mind Games blows me out of the water with its unique premise. Justine does not wield a katana, or ride a Harley, or kick like a ninja. Instead she fights with her mind, and speaking as a nerd myself, I find that concept oh so sexy."
~Rebecca, Dirty Sexy Books; full review here.

"Mind Games is a fast paced book from start to finish, you never know what’s going to happen next! It is completely different from any other Urban Fantasy. . ." ~Wicked Little Pixie; full review here.
"I felt that the high level of psychological insight and inventiveness and terror in this book was its greatest strength, and that extends to its moral psychology. [. . .] When a disillusionist “zings” a target, she experiences a period of not just freedom from her own mental illness, but intense joy, known as ‘”the glory hour”. How strongly can a disillusionist look forward to the glory hour before what she is doing is less about making the world a better place and more about experiencing personal nirvana? This is a book that makes good on the urban fantasy promise of postmodern moral ambiguity."
~Jessica, Read React Review; full review here.

"...I found all the characters interesting and memorable, even the villains. This is a wonderful start to a new series which I am going to continue to read." ~Ellz Reads; full review

"Crane’s writing has a quirky, comic flair, filled with fascinating clues and interesting layers. Like Midcity, Justine longs for a return to normalcy. She’s an imploding misfit who dreams of being average—square, even. [. . .] I can’t say enough good things about this book. I loved, loved, loved it. A+"
Author Jill Sorenson; full review here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm All About the Pleasure at Novel Thoughts! & Krazy contest roundup

Hey, wow, my first guest post is up over at Novel Thoughts. I wrote about the little pleasures I most enjoy in books, both as a reader and a writer. Topics under discussion:

1. Why I like it when characters eat food in a way I can vicariously enjoy. (Surprised? Please, gentle reader, do not be. Allow me to direct your attention to pics #2 & 3 of the photo montage below)
2. I like when heroines get to wear pretty gowns. (Hence the Paris Hilton pic.)

3. The many delicious pleasures of the TORTURED HERO.

So, come visit! You can also WIN a copy of Mind Games there if you leave a comment!

Contest roundup:

Sheeeit! DABWAHA is on!
Okay, I'm staying out because I WON last year's! xxoo Dear Author and Smart Bitches. DABWAHA RULES! And you should enter! This thing is ON! And it is fun and there are cool books and fabu prizes.

Diana Rowland's Demontastic Contest from Hell
The prize pack for this contest here keeps growing. New Orleans style gift bags with $50 GCs in them, books galore (including a Mind Games!).

Got a messy book case?
This is a hilarious contest. And prizes: "We'll give an awesome mystery prize for the messiest bookshelf. You will at least get a coveted Devil Duck and shwag (not the medicinal kind)" So, does that mean EVERYBODY wins something? I think so!

My own damn contest
I made my own contest, and you can win a fabulous $100 or $50 dinner out, and it's also a game! Live it up. I will only make you shamelessly pimp my book on your blog or facebook as you enter.

Monday, March 15, 2010

three silly vacay pics & two cool contests

I was just cropping our photos from Mexico in February, and look at these kooky ones. What's a blog for if you can post silly photos?

This is one of those posts I might take down if I decide it's embarrassing to my mom and sisters... But for now...

First, at right, my mom is SO cute and funny in this! My sister (the photographer) was like, you could sell this as a stock, but I don't know how mom would feel about that.

What if she ended up on a billboard? LOL. But actually, she might get a kick out of it.

At left, a restaurant, scene of the depths of our ultimate pig out moment.

See, we ate dinner at one restaurant, and we didn't really like the food or eat that much, so we went to a different restaurant and ate YET ANOTHER DINNER. LOL.

So, those are my sisters being embarrassed. OMG where are my running shoes? I'm still working this vacation off.

Mom and me yucking it up at our dinner #2. Very silly. I don't actually remember what the joke was here, probably something about us being pigs, but oh well!

Some major contest happenings:

Wanna see one? You have to see the Messy Bookshelf Contest! OMG. I might enter. Totally fun contest.

Run by one Diana Rowland (WHERE did you come up with that name, girl?) This is HUGE. Enter and win books (including a copy of Mind Games!!) and GCs, and the chance to win TWO New Orleans style goodie baskets, including TWO $50 B&N Gift Certificates. Wow.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Win a fancy $100 dinner out!

Trapped in a Restaurant meme game

Okay, I made up this meme game to celebrate one of the many mysteries of Mind Games:
Why does tortured mastermind Sterling Packard NEVER ever set foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant?
Anybody anywhere can to play.

First Prize: One randomly chosen player will get $100 toward a fancy dinner at a restaurant of their choice! (Any restaurant anywhere that accepts plastic or sells gift certificates. You don’t have to choose until you win.) Second prize: $50 toward a dinner.

How to play:
Just post the questions, your answers, meme icon and meme game line on social media site li (blog, facebook, livejournal, other).

Below is all you have to put (but make up your own answers! LOL):

1. In MIND GAMES, hypochondriac heroine Justine Jones can’t figure out why tortured mastermind Sterling Packard never sets foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant. What if you were somehow trapped in a restaurant, what sort of restaurant would you prefer?


2. What if you won the fancy $100 dinner to a restaurant of your choice, and you could dine with any character from any book, movie, or history. Who would you choose?

-Han Solo

3. Choose three characters to dine with for a lively dinner party (you can define lively however you want).

-Cordelia Chase (from Angel), Hamlet, and Phury from Black Dagger Brotherhood

(...Why? I would like to give these two guys a hard time, and I think Cordelia would too! Plus, I have questions for all of them.)

Meme Game! Send meme game link by 4/8 to meme@authorcarolyncrane.com to enter. Anyone can play. Details at www.authorcarolyncrane.com.


Happy weekend, everybody!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Question of the day, cage match & the Aztec Lady interview!!!

Would you drink out of this water glass?
As you see, Oblio loves to drink out of my water glass. I understand that cats are quite sanitary, and have very clean little mouths. In fact, I think I've heard that human mouths have nine million times the bacteria, compared to a cat's mouth.

What do you think? Would you drink out of this glass after Oblio did?

Okay, how about this?
Okay, how about this: sometimes he likes to stick his paw into the water glass and then lick it. Would you drink out of the water glass after he has done that? I guess I'm sort of in denial, and frankly, a bit too lazy and busy to get a new glass of water every time Oblio has partaken. Am I a fool?

I am a person who won't touch the remote control in a hotel room, unless I put on gloves first, because they are typically so contaminated with pathogens, but I will drink my cat-tainted water. Am I being inconsistent? Seriously, watch out for those hotel remote controls. You only have to do a quick thought experiment to understand why.

Harry Dresden v. Conan the Barbarian: Who would win??
Could Harry Dresden vanquish Conan the Barbarian? (I thought yes! but when you look at the debate raging in the comments, hmm!) How about a match-up between Edward Cullen and Ged? Go vote on this round of the Suvudu Cage match!

I am loving this thing. It's fun when you know the players, and also, a great way to get to know new heroes and villains by clicking around that bracket. A nerdy all-around delight. Voting closes today at 5 pm EST for this particular round, but there are a ton more! Bracket here. Click to drill into the details.

The fun Aztec Lady interview!!
The mysterious and ravishing Aztec Lady, reviewer at Karen's and elsewhere as well as knitter & crocheter extraordinaire, has interviewed me for Ann Aguirre's Newsletter, Action and Attitude! It's a really fun interview, about readerly, bookish things, and my first!

You can download the newsletter from Ann's site here. There are also links to excerpts from Hell Fire, items about other releases, and more on that crazy Hell Fire lottery.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Are 'Cowboy Menage Dystopians' the next Steampunk?

Exclusive interview! Join Eric Northman on DIK Island as he interviews Miss Doreen about Carolyn Crane, Mind Games, and publishing industry trends! It may be Steampunk week at the Book Smugglers, but this is one scoop they don't have.

And Miss Doreen reveals some amazing news!

Read, comment & Win!

"When a werewolf crashes your party, you know there's going to be trouble..."

LOL. That's right. Bitten by Books is having a 24-hour long event to celebrate Mario Acevedo's latest in the fabulous Felix Gomez detective-vampire series: Werewolf Smackdown. Go check out Acevedo's discussion of supernatural locales and more - and comment to win books, and a $50 gift card!

The Frenzy continues...
The Book Giveaway Frenzy that is the Hellfire Lottery continues
Now in its second day! Win books and book money!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Eric Northman interviews Little CJ at DIK...and major industry news!

So much is happening today! First, Eric Northman interviews Little CJ at DIK island...and Little CJ reveals some major publishing industry news!

~ PLUS ~

Major wild contest over at Ann Aguirre's!
The Hell Fire Lottery - Okay, this is a very serious book giveaway frenzy. Comments are running wild. Winners chosen right and left.

A full 31 books are up from grabs (including Mind Games!) plus a $50 gift certificate over the next 4 weeks. That's more than a book a day. Comment early and often..during the hot periods.

Aguirre's lottery celebrates Hell Fire, the second in the Corine Solomon series. Read my fond thoughts about the first, Blue Diablo, here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Geographical and cultural references that delighted me last night

Great Moments From Last Night's Reading
Book: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Page: 50
Spoiler level: zilch

I just started this book, and I'm already enjoying the hell out of it. One thing--and this is actually really really small--but one thing that I was really appreciating last night was the way Neil Gaiman was selecting the just-right cultural and geographical references for a couple passages from American Gods. Let me trot out these two examples.

His motel was a good two miles away, but after spending three years in prison he was relishing the idea that he could simply walk and walk, forever if need be. He could keep walking north, and wind up in Alaska, or head south, to Mexico and beyond. He could walk to Patagonia, or to Tierra del Fuego.
Here is a bit a dialogue right after:
"I thought she was my best friend," said Audrey. "We'd talk every day. When Robbie and I had a fight, she'd be the first one to know--we'd go down to Chi-Chi's for margaritas and to talk about what scumpots men can be. And all the time she was fucking him behind my back."
In the first bit, I loved that this guy would think of Patagonia or Tierra del Fuego as the most exotically far places. They're just so vividly, colorfully, wonderfully far places, especially to a Midwestern American, which is what this character is. They're the kind of far places a schoolboy would learn about, and weirdly remember. They are the quintessential far places you wouldn't immediately think of. Like, the Himalayas, that would be an obvious far place, but Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego are so much better. I read this and stopped and thought how perfect it is. I mean, no other place names would work half as well, at least to me, as those.

Also, in the second, Chi-Chi's! How perfect is that as a place for once-wild small-town thirty-something wives to go to bitch about men. (scumpots!) Just slightly more exotic than, say, Olive Garden or TGI Fridays, but still, it's a chain beyond its heyday (it was hot in the 1980's). Chi-Chi's used to be vaguely classy, and now it still clings onto a little of that, but it's also a bit seedy. I mean, it's the brilliantly perfect restaurant.

There's nothing showy or clever about these choices; it's just that they feel absolutely right to me as a reader--so right that they delighted me. I love really good cultural references like that.

I don't feel that this is an easy thing to do. You have to pick ones people know, but if they're obvious, that's no fun. And then, everybody experiences things in different ways, so you have to really think about where the commonality is, or how the echo plays to the ear.

At least the North American ear. I imagine non-North Americans might not get some of these. In fact, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego will certainly not seem exotic to some on the globe, and does an Aussie even know Chi-Chi's? Though this book, being American Gods, and set where it is, I think it will probably have a lot more American references than most books.

Anyway, I was really appreciating this as a minor art within Gaiman's writing last night. Have you ever come across just a spot-on reference like that?

Okay, you know what's funny? In looking for pictures of Chi Chi's, I came across a whole blog called "Creepy, Abandoned Chi-chis" entirely devoted to creepy abandoned Chi Chi's! Which, I think further goes to show the brilliance of Gaiman for choosing that restaurant.

Also, Justine Jones has a new career in scaring cute dogs!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Call me crazy hot 4 these FIVE new releases

Catch Me If You Can by LB Gregg

Art theft, extortion, intrigue and sexual adventure..."Getting caught is half the fun."

LB Gregg comes into her own with this fun and inventively sexy-hot new series! I am floored. Check out the excerpt, which manages to be both hilarious and quite steamy all at the same time. So psyched. Available today at MBAM! And find out how to win a gift certificate here!

Something About You by Julie James

The highly awaited release from Julie James, who appears to be on the ultimate writerly hot streak.

Judging from the early reviews, this one will entertain, delight, and richly satisfy every bit as much as her other books. Which is to say, A LOT. Check out the Dear Author rave, or the Book Smugglers review and giveaway.

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn

Raybourn's standalone Gothic novel: "A crumbling castle, a tortured hero, an intrepid heroine who goes peeking behind too many locked doors." (from her interview on Book Bound).

Who can resist? Fellow Raybourn fangirl Angie reviews it here. Color me in paroxysms of desire to get this thing. Oh, that sounded scary.

And Falling, Fly by Skylar White
I loved the excerpt from this one, and the rich writing style.

Description: "A dark fable of desire between a fallen angel and a self-medicating neuroscientist in a steampunk hell." Woo doggy! Sign me up!

Read the interview and win And Falling, Fly at Literary Escapism.

Roadkill by Rob Thurman

It's out!! Everbody's fave half human Cal Leandros is back in the action-packed and plottily mysterious book #5 of this fabu series.

HOWEVER, you can start with Roadkill, according to Book Lush Wendy, who started with this book herself, and sez: "I fell in love with Cal from the beginning. He's a trigger-happy smart ass who is more likely to shoot first, ask questions later and I loved his wicked sense of humor."

Wendy's full review here. And there's a big ass CONTEST at Mark Henry's!!