Saturday, July 31, 2010

the 13 hottest job prospects for the paranormal world!

The career opportunities in the paranormal world are awesome! Er...some of them. I'm over at with Chris (of Stumbling over Chaos) with the latest list. Stop by and say hi!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quadruple Trouble release day

What do I see this morning, but releases from three scorching-hot series that are tearing up urban fantasyland, and one humorous and fun read! Thank you, Santa!

Okay, these books are going to look great on my bookshelf...and even better in my hands, as I wantonly consume, ravish, and dog-ear them.

CITY OF GHOSTS by Stacia Kane
(Book #3 of the Downside series)
Can anyone go anywhere in blogland without seeing raves for this series? I'm psyched this is out. Stacia is doing something really cool and exciting with this gritty and achingly human series.

IT’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN ALIVE AND UNDEAD. Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity.

Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.

AS LIE THE DEAD by Kelly Meding
(Book #2, Dreg City)
The new installment in Meding's inventive, sexy, crazy-cool series is finally hitting the shelves. I've been dying to get in on the continuing adventures of Evangeline. Be careful, Evangeline!

Evangeline Stone, a rogue bounty hunter, never asked for a world divided between darkness and light . . . . . .

or the power to die and live again in someone else’s borrowed body. After a murder plot meant to take her out leaves an entire race of shapeshifters nearly extinct, Evy is gnawed by guilt. So when one of the few survivors of the slaughter enlists her aid, she feels duty-bound to help—even though protecting a frail, pregnant shifter is the last thing Evy needs, especially with the world going to hell around her.

Amid weres, Halfies, gremlins, vamps—and increasingly outgunned humans—a war for supremacy is brewing. With shifters demanding justice, her superiors desperate to control her, and an assassin on her trail, Evy discovers a horrifying conspiracy. And she may be the only person in the world who can stop it—unless, of course, her own side gets her first.

AND ONE LAST THING by Molly Harper
I understand this is quite the funny read. And the set-up is hilarious, in a kind of "uh-oh" way that I like very much.

"If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger."

Lacey Terwilliger’s shock and humiliation over her husband’s philandering prompt her to add some bonus material to Mike’s company newsletter: stunning Technicolor descriptions of the special brand of "administrative support" his receptionist gives him.

The detailed mass e-mail to Mike’s family, friends, and clients blows up in her face, and before one can say "instant urban legend," Lacey has become the pariah of her small Kentucky town, a media punch line, and the defendant in Mike’s defamation lawsuit. Her seemingly perfect life up in flames, Lacey retreats to her family’s lakeside cabin, only to encounter an aggravating neighbor named Monroe. A hunky crime novelist with a low tolerance for drama, Monroe is not thrilled about a newly divorced woman moving in next door.

But with time, beer, and a screen door to the nose, a cautious friendship develops into something infinitely more satisfying. Lacey has to make a decision about her long-term living arrangements, though. Should she take a job writing caustic divorce newsletters for paying clients, or move on with her own life, pursuing more literary aspirations? Can she find happiness with a man who tells her what he thinks and not what she wants to hear? And will she ever be able to resist saying one . . . last . . . thing?

BRING ON THE NIGHT by Jeri Smith-Ready
Oh, my fondness for this series knows no bounds. It is unbounded fondness. I find these books to be exciting, yet strangely comforting, too - I think because the characters are so good. Loved the last two installments, and I'm psyched for this one!


Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin seems to finally have it all. A steady job at WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll. A loving relationship with the idiosyncratic but eternally hot DJ Shane McAllister. A vampire dog who never needs shots or a pooper-scooper. And after nine years, it looks as if she might actually finish her bachelor’s degree!

But fate has other plans for Ciara. First she must fulfill her Faustian bargain with the Control, the paranormal paramilitary agency that does its best to keep vampires in line. Turns out the Control wants her for something other than her (nonexistent) ability to kick undead ass. Her anti-holy blood, perhaps? Ciara’s suspicions are confirmed when she’s assigned to a special-ops division known as the Immanence Corps, run by the Control’s oldest vampire and filled with humans who claim to have special powers. To a confirmed skeptic like Ciara, it sounds like a freak fest. But when a mysterious fatal virus spreads through Sherwood—and corpses begin to rise from their graves—Ciara will not only get a crash course in zombie-killing, but will be forced to put her faith, and her life itself, in the hands of magic.

OMG, I keep hearing about more releases! The latest from Jeaniene Frost, Cynthia Eden, Tessa Dare, Marjorie Liu and Jocelyn Drake are out today too. A nine-duple release day. Okay, there must be a word for it, but somebody has to get to work.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Check check check it OUT!

So, the thoughtful and fabulous blogger Caitlin of Vision Quest Fail (one of my most favoritely named blogs ever) made a countdown widget for me.

Wooo! check it out over on the left there.

Okay, I just sat here mesmerized by the rolling numbers for a while. Sixty three days! I'm so psyched.

Thanks Caitlin!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday items

Pig ahoy!
How did a pig get me to divulge so many things? This weekend I'm over visiting with Sullivan McPig at the blog Pearls Cast before a McPig, a quirky, smart and highly entertaining blog out of Groningen, Netherlands! In the interview, I reveal the shameful secret of the character of "The Monk" in Mind Games, as well as a special license I have...and don't worry, it's not a license to kill. Come check it out and say hi!!

New UF Blog book club...
So, Melissa from My World... in Words and Pages and Robsad79 of The Bookoholic Zone have gone and invented a new sort of book club - the blog book club. Even better, the UF blog book club.

It looks like a smart way for bloggers to relate with each other over specific books, going beyond posting links of other reviews. I love that, how it takes the spirit of book blogging a step further. I also love that they've picked Mind Games as their inaugural book!

Email them for info; what I know is that they break books into parts, and their discussions post on Thursdays, and anybody can join in. So if you've been dying to read Mind Games, or if you've read it and want to spout off about it, good or bad, this looks like a great place to do it. And keep an eye out for future book selections.

Poor old boy!
Something very major this month: Mr. Crane and I got a new car! Well, it's a new used Honda Civic. It's a lovely car. Green and gold. Very practical.

And our old duct-taped beater '94 Dodge Intrepid was towed off. I was very sad! It's totally irrational, my feelings about getting rid of a car where the AC doesn't work, the windows are hard to see out of (which is incredibly dangerous), it makes loud noises, the brakes are going and two years ago, a mechanic told us never to drive it over 40 miles an hour.

On the upside, our faithful old buddy would always start in the winter no matter what, we didn't owe money on it, and, okay, I'll admit, I liked how it was a little bit badass.

This is a little bit like the sad feeling of losing a pet. I actually had this consoling thought today that we are donating it to the Humane Society, so it will go to help animals now.

Still, I'm sad to see the old guy go!! You are so awesome and badass!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Question of the day: Heroes, heroines, tubs, the washing of the hair

I've seen this type of scene a few times, most memorably in Lara Adrian's Kiss of Midnight, where the heroine is taking a bath, and the hero comes in and he washes her hair while she is in the bathtub. I know I've come across it in other books, too, and I've always sort of liked it.

So recently, I thought of a fun and cool twist on such a scene in a book I'm working on (fun and cool to me, anyway! LOL) and as I was writing it out, I started thinking, gosh, after he lovingly shampoos her hair, she is going to have to rinse it, and the tub will be full of shampoo water. And what about conditioner? It will be like a tub of shampoo and conditioner, not to mention hair product and whatever grime was in her hair that made the hero think it was a good idea to wash it.

I think that a heroine's skin would feel really slimy when she got out of a bath like that. (Not to mention that her hair would not be all that clean, because let's face it, do you really think a typical hero is all that thorough in the hair washing department? Especially a vampire.)

Though, probably a vampire's technique would be superior to a werewolf's. A werewolf would probably just smush the shampoo around a little bit and think he was done.

Or maybe these heroines have sprayers and they rinse off. Maybe that is the technique and I've never lived in a house with a sprayer.

But, it seems yucky even just to sit in a tub of lukewarm water that is full of shampoo and conditioner for any amount of time. If I had a bath tub and no shower, I would simply wash my hair under the spigot; I would not submerge myself in the rinse water. I have heard that it is a Japanese custom to take showers before they bathe; it's not the worst idea in the world.

Is that fastidious of me? Am I hygiene clueless? Am I going to feel slightly naive after asking this question? Is this something people really do? Or it is a cleaning technique reserved for characters in books? And then writers like me say, I want to have my own damn bathtub-hero-heroine hair washing scene! And then it spreads from there?

Is tub hair washing a common thing? a thing that I have managed to get to adulthood not knowing about? Please Advise!

From Wikimedia Commons: Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive), Bild 102-09247

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Star studded post with many items!

Yesterday I was listening to the radio and the song "Angie" came on, with that line, " money in our coats..."

I've always loved that line--the precise detail of it. The people in that song are desolate and down on their luck, and wouldn't carry wallets. They would just stick money in their pockets. But somehow, coats is way better than pockets. Coats makes more of a desolate picture. Walking outside in the cold. No money in their coats. I love a good detail like that.

Ambiguity, pits of moral decay and Murder by the Book!!
Bookseller extraordinaire John is wrangling a really fun series of author interviews over on Murder by the Book's very lively bookseller blog. Gail Carriger was there last month, and I'm over there today, discussing ambiguity, pits of moral decay and the characters I'd enjoy lunching with. Come visit!!

Three cool aspects of Romcon
I'm back from Romcon, which was SO fun. It was wonderful in several ways -
  • One, to meet people in real life that I've gotten to know online, like on twitter, or from their blogs, email, facebook. Including my Romcon roomie, RRRJessica. Remember the days when it was super creepy to meet somebody online, and then go travel somewhere to meet them? Not anymore. Well, at least not in this genre. Real life meetings in this genre appear to be fully decreepified.
  • Two, it was also amazingly fun to meet readers who enjoyed Mind Games!! It's impossible to put it into words, how much that means to an author.
  • Three, the feeling of camaraderie. There were so many times when I would be somewhere by myself, like having coffee or whatever, and end up sitting by people I'd never met, whether readers or authors, and we'd instantly have things in common. Everybody was so welcoming to everybody else. (By contrast, this week, here at home, I attended this event where I barely knew anybody, and it was really hard to be alone there, and I felt stupid and left.) Romcon was the total opposite of that. I loved that. I hope everybody there had that experience.
  • Four: being surrounded by tons of people and never once feeling weird about the picture on the cover of the book in my hands.
Double Cross
I am so excited for Double Cross to come out. There is this scene in the movie SEVEN, when Kevin Spacey is this horrible serial killer, and he is riding in the back seat of a cop car with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, and he knows that Brad and Morgan are about to discover something terrible he has done, and Kevin Spacey, being the deranged person he is, is so excited that he is rocking back and forth a little bit.

I always thought that was such a brilliant stroke of acting genius, the way Kevin Spacey was like a kid who can't contain himself, because he's so psyched, rocking minutely in his seat. Sometimes that's how I feel about Double Cross coming out--I feel a little like rocking back and forth in my computer chair. Except, er, not like a serial killer who is hoping Brad Pitt to flies into a murderous rage; it's more that I'm excited for the book to come out. For the excitingness of the story continuing.

Around the blogosphere:
Jeanne Stein, author of the amazing Anna Strong Chronicals, has an excellent piece with photos over in "Where Stories are Made" at Book Chick City. Really fun! And is running a fantastic story of hers: The Ghost of Leadville!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

A couple things before I go

Hey! Well, I'm very excited to be off to Romcon! My plane leaves this afternoon and I am so not ready. not ready. Time for a blog post! LOL.

But I have two things: I really want to draw attention to the action over at Lovin' & Livin' Life Reviews - I'm guest posting there with little secrets and tidbits about Mind Game characters, and blogger extraordinaire Chas is giving away a copy of Mind Games PLUS chocolates! A girl after my own heart!

Also, I hope that everybody noticed my pull-ups progress bar. I am very proud, as you can imagine. LOL. I have about two and a half months to make my goal.

I hope everybody has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The five fabulous releases I'm freaking on!

It seems like every time I turned around this week I learned about another exciting release, another book I'm dying to get my hands on. My head is spinning! It is too much goodness to behold! Yay books!

Demon Blood by Meljean Brook
Book #7 in the Guardians Series
The description:
In his thirst for revenge, the vampire Deacon has betrayed the demon- fighting Guardians. But Rosalia is in love with him and willing to fight by his side-even if she has to stand against her fellow Guardians to save him.

The word:
"Fiery attraction and steamy love scenes! ... Brook brings together two broken heroes in the high-stakes sixth Guardian paranormal romance … Fans won’t be disappointed.” ~Publishers Weekly

“Brook’s characters leap from the page. Deacon is the perfect hero, tortured but worthy, and Rosalia is just the woman to save him. 4½!” ~RT Book Reviews

The Missing by Shiloh Walker
The description:
Her psychic gift drove away the man she loved— and years later has drawn him back to her…

As a teenager, Taige Branch hated her psychic gift. No one could understand—except for Cullen Morgan, the boy who stole her heart. He did his best to accept her, until his mother was brutally murdered—and he couldn’t forgive Taige for not preventing it. Now a widowed father, Cullen Morgan has never forgotten Taige. But what brings her back into his life is another tragedy…

The word:
"This is a tense and heart-wrenching book that gets under your skin in a flash." ~Heather from Errant Dreams

"The Missing is one of the greatest romantic suspense’s I’ve read to date..." ~Wicked Little Pixie

Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane
Book #2 in the Downside Series
The description:
As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill.

The word:
"It’s awesome. I loved, loved, loved it." ~Shiloh Walker (check out her review and her contest!)

"I thought the first Downside Ghosts book, Unholy Ghosts, was an impressive debut, but UNHOLY MAGIC is even better. I am well and truly addicted to this dark, seductive urban fantasy series." ~Abigail at All Things Urban Fantasy

My Way to Hell by Dakota Cassidy
Book #2 in the Hell Series
The description:
After defying Lucifer to save her best friend Delaney, ex-demon Marcella Acosta has been banished to exist in the plane between heaven and hell-and there isn't a shopping mall in sight. After numerous failed attempts to contact Delaney through a bunch of hack mediums, Marcella's at her wit's end. But there's one medium she's hasn't tried yet, and he just happens to be Delaney's scorching hot brother Kellen- the one guy who never gave Marcella the time of day.

The word:

Once again, Dakota Cassidy hits it out of the park with My Way to Hell...Ms. Cassidy is a year round must have for anyone who appreciates humor, quirky characters and great romance. ~Justine at The Squee Spot

"This book is a laugh-out-loud story. The interaction between the characters brings this book to life and it will hold you till the very end." ~Night Owl Reviews, 5 STARS!

Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh
Book #8 in the Psy-Changeling Series
The description:
Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy- dominated power structure. The last case he expects to be assigned to is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor's closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of catastrophic mental fracture.

The word:
"Oh. My. God. How can this series keep getting better and better??" ~Sandy M. at The Good, the Bad and the Unread

I'm sure I'm missing a few, too. What releases are you freaking on this week?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The good news and the bad news

The good news, something I'm really excited about, is that Mind Games was chosen as the book club read for the Book Bloggers Anonymous Book Club this month! This is a group that's open to anybody on Goodreads, and it looks like a fun bunch.

I'm not going to be involved in the discussions, of course, but there will be a few related activities I'll be doing: a couple interviews and a post, plus there are giveaways of Mind Games, and a future Double Cross ARC, too, when available. I'm very excited!

The bad news
I took a look at my calendar just now to see if there's anything due that I haven't yet handled, and lookie here. TOT. Of course. TOT.

What could this possibly mean? What does TOT stand for?? Did I not learn my lesson the last time this happened???? Nooooooooo!

My strategy: A good book, some sleep, and hopefully TOT will mean something in the morning. (Or, if TOT means something to you, do tell!) I am so done with these cryptic calendar entries.

PS: Just a few more hours to win Tracking the Tempest (see below or here)

EXCITING Friday Morning Update to this post:
WINNER! First off, I called across the apartment for my sleepy husband to pick a number between 1 and 31 and he chose 31. So! Lisa R. of the blog Lisa's Loves (Books of Course) is the winner of the other copy of TRACKING I will be purchasing tomorrow! I'm going to email you, Lisa. Congrats!

Speaking of TRACKING THE TEMPEST, crazy Nicole is running a couple contests where you can win a whole goody bag of Tempest-related stuff and a $25 gift certificate. There are a number of ways to enter - see the League of Reluctant Adults blog, and her personal blog here for all the info.

TOT mystery solved! Thanks for all your helpful and amusing ideas. You guys are great. I'm happy to report that figured it out just minutes ago: TOT is To T - means 'To Tumperkin,' who is my critique partner, and I'd hoped to send her something. I am so relieved.