Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hello friends! I hope you are having a happy holiday, or if you don't celebrate one at the moment, then a deliciously relaxing vacation full of people you love and good food and good reads.

Above: a not very impressive picture of our tree! Mr. Crane and I have had an unusual holiday - a quiet and romantic Christmas. Almost every year we visit Wisconsin, home of the extended Crane family with my awesome mom and sisters and BILs and kids, but this year we stayed home for a change. We've both been frazzled.

Lots of ornaments from each of our childhoods came out of boxes. Several had to be immediately repaired, including a number of these diorama ornaments my sisters and mom and I made years ago out of cookie cutters and tiny figurines. They are my favorite ornaments. The one above was Heidi with a deer. There were some other very falling apart ornaments - glass and bits of metal -  that couldn't be repaired, but Mr. Crane has very strong feelings about Christmas: he feels all ornaments must be put on the tree, because if not now, when? Or else thrown out. So there are a few very questionable ornaments on the tree.

It's fun to have a tree and pull out those old ornaments, though holidays tend to make me miss my dad, who passed away three and a half years ago. And seeing those old ornaments!! I think many of you know how that can be around the holidays. I am with you, sisters and brothers!

I wanted to put a cat up on top of the tree, as that would more accurately symbolize the hierarchy here at the Crane home, but that didn't happen...only because there wasn't one to put there. And of course, as I mentioned in a previous post, there was the coating of the lower branches with tabasco to discourage cats eating the tree. I ran this picture before, but it's one of my favorite Mr. Crane pictures, because he is so annoyed. 

We had the kind of self-indulgent Christmas only two writers and their cats can have, giving each other books and notebooks and things like that, and then sitting with the cats and reading with candlelight and the tree. And eating coconut soup and chocolate. Here is one of the gifts I got from Mr. Crane: a pre-order of Lothaire! I love this cover Mr. Crane drew. I think it pretty much sums up what he thinks the book will be about!

Oh, I have to put this up, too: something a facebook friend found. It's a magnet. I may have to grab one for a prize at some point. Thanks RT!!

Anyway, happy holidays, friends! I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.  I hope you feel happy today.  ♡

Friday, December 23, 2011

Even the Omega deserves holiday cheer...not!

Oh, my goodness gracious!

Gumby and Pokey, who make a brief appearance in my trilogy, are at Katiebabs spreading holiday cheer to the Black Dagger Brothers, Lothaire, and even the Omega and Dragos!

I don't know what really more to say about this post...except I may have been on Christmas burn-out at the time.

And Katiebabs has added some insanity of her own! lol Come say hi!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Talking Fight Scenes at WLP + there's a new Xmas tradition at Casa Crane

An annoyed Mr. Crane carries out our new holiday
tradition: the coating of the tree with tabasco sauce.
Hey all! First off, don't fall off your chair, but I'm guest posting somewhere where I actually talk about writing. At the fabulous Wicked Little Pixie!!

Actually, I'm talking about fight scenes, my approach to them, and a shocking UFC fight that inspired an important fight scene in Head Rush. And there's a video clip!

Do stop by!! You could even win Head Rush!

It's all part of the mondo celebration, 13 Wicked Days of Xmas at Wicked Pixie, a time of year full of author visits, prizes and snark and mayhem - don't miss a day! Yesterday was Thea Harrison!

In other news...
We got our Christmas tree yesterday! We were so excited to decorate it. We haven't had a Christmas tree in years, because we're always traveling to Wisconsin to see the family. Anyway, the minute we got it in the door, our super naughty cat Oblio started chowing on it.

I immediately went to the computer to see if pine was toxic to cats, and guess what? It totally is.

What naughty boy chewed on
the new Christmas tree? 
So, to the upper right  you see Mr. Crane, pictured carrying out our new Xmas tradition: coating the entire bottom area of the tree with habenero Tabasco sauce, which is what we must use to coat power cords here, too.

Ah yes, nothing like the smell of pine slathered in Tabasco sauce to get a girl in the Xmas spirit!

But really, isn't it a nice tree?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Black Friday Celebration at Literary Escapism

 Just a quick note: I'm over at Literary Escapism today as part of the big BLACK FRIDAY celebration, with a wee script of Justine and Shelby shopping at a mall on Black Friday.

Oh, the fun they have. The holiday cheer!

This is part of a fun feature with tons of authors stopping by and lots of prizes - it runs all month, with different posts each day.

Come say hi!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Complaints about Carolyn Crane: The characters speak out!

Today at Buckeye Girl reads: after years of silence, the characters of the Disillusionists trilogy air their grievances about me!  Nooooo!

What could my characters possibly have to be upset about? Haven't I treated them well?

Find out at a Buckeye Girl Reads. 

PS: don't forget about the awesome giveaway at The Qwillery, where you can pick up a supernatural sidekick and even win both books from my backlist!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

7 Supernatural sidekicks for readers & bloggers + giveaway

Don't you hate when you are reading a
fave blog or twitter and you stumble onto a
massive spoiler for a book you're reading?
Magical spoiler howling dog would not let
that happen! More at Qwillery... 

Today I'm over at Qwillery continuing my series of supernatural sidekicks with some especially for bloggers and readers, because they need sidekicks, too!

It's all part of my wacky ebook release celebration.

Also, Qwill is throwing in PRIZES! - you could win Mind Games AND Double Cross - just in time for the holiday season!

Come by and say hi and enter!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Supernatural Sidekicks for authors...and hot Gumby action!

This supernatural sidekick
pecks the author on the head when
she spends too much time on twitter.
More at Vampire Book Club...
Release week has turned especially wacky today. First, please allow me to draw your attention to the wonderful Vampire Book Club, where I am discussing a very important topic: Supernatural Sidekicks that authors could maybe use.  The post could also be entitled Supernatural Sidekicks that I could maybe use.

Come by and say hi at Vampire Book Club! 

Also, Katibabs has written a very moving post on her great passion for Gumby, where she blames me for her Gumby fetish (!!) shows the rare Gumby jazz hands, and is giving away a copy of Head Rush!!

Visit Katiebabs & Gumby and enter to win! 

Also, I want to thank everyone for the kind words and well wishes and all the interest in the Head Rush, and for making my release week so wonderful.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Head rush ebook release day!

Head Rush comes out in ebook today! Yippee! It is finally available in two formats: Audio and now ebook, and print hits later in 2012.  I'm really excited and happy.

Now I'm dithering, not sure what to say. I get so excited on release day, I am sort of useless. There is Brie cheese in the refrigerator that I bought for a holiday party this weekend, and crackers in the cupboard to go with it, as well as chocolate in a drawer. Do you think these favorite food items of mine will last the day?

Oh! Here is a page on my site that has links to where you can find Head Rush, as well as links to directions on how to read ebooks without an ereader.

My top secret schedule for today:
I'm at the awesome Paranormal Haven today where I reveal my top secret release day activities! Which mainly includes being to excited to do much of anything..come say hi!

Monday, December 5, 2011

X-mas replay: The 13 gifts you should NOT get for werewolves this holiday + a visit with Smexy

Important warnings at the League
Hey friends!
Two things are happening today - this morning, I'm over at the League of Reluctant Adults reprising an important werewolf gift oldie post from Christmas past, with a few updates. Come say hi!


This afternoon, I'll be at Smexy's rocking blog answering a very important question:

If you could pick one of your characters to go to New Orleans with you, who would you pick and what would you do?

There will be other activities, too. It's part of the Authors After Dark spotlight - the convention is in New Orleans this summer! Yippee! Come say hi! (Also, this isn't connected with my visit, but Smexy and Fiction Vixen are giving away a Kindle Fire.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Great Moments from Last Night's Reading: The Black Hawk

Great Moments from Last Night's Reading
Book: The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne
Page: 41
Spoiler level: not at all
Note: both passages from heroine youth flashback.

A couple twitter friends and I were recently discussing the problem presented by a book by Joanna Bourne: do you read it slowly, savoring every awesome passage? Or do you tear through it, devour it, and THEN re-read? Also, if you are a writer, you have to try very hard for it to not make you feel inferior.

If you haven't read Bourne, start with The Spymaster's Lady and The Forbidden Rose, the two jewels in her crown, though My Lord and Spymaster is not so shabby, and features an awesome ferret sidekick and Lazurus, one of my favorite dark characters.

I am savoring her  latest, The Black Hawk. Look how early I am in the book! I may be reading it through Christmas. So, without further ado, a short great moment from last night:
If Leblanc were compounded of farmyard dirt and rancor, Madame was spun of steel. She wore a pale lavender dress, cut so low across the bodice that her breasts were clearly visible. Her dignity was such that it did not seem indecent. It was as if she came from a pagan time when the human form was sacred and nudity was without shame. Her hair, black and smooth as ebony, was swept  up with silver combs and allowed to fall free in the back. She wore no jewelry whatsoever. Not the least ring or trinket. 
I just died over this description, especially the pagan time reference. I so get that, so have known people like that, whose personality or presence--or whatever ineffable quality--is so forceful that what might be uncool or uncouth on one person is transformed, altered, made right. Oh, but why am I trying to re-explain this lovely passage?

Now I'm remembering descriptions I was wild about last night instead of doing my own writing. Here, this one. The passage opens as, in reference to a the heroine Justine's earlier comment about not knowing what to expect, Hawker says:
"Let's go expect it somewhere else. I don't like the smell of blood unless it's a throat I cut myself." 
Hawker was in many ways like a fine gun. At rest, well made, efficient and even beautiful. Pull back the cocking piece and the gun became deadly. This boy, elegant in motion, perfect in feature, cold as carved crystal, was the cocked gun. He was, in fact, rather frightening.  
"One does not slit throats in a public square." 
She had never, in point of fact, slit a throat, but she would not admit this to Hawker. He was the entirely genuine murderous spy, and she was not. With a small pang, she envied him. 
He strolled beside her, his pace relaxed, his posture all ease and enjoyment. His eye were amused and sleepy. Lies, all of it. The energy contained within this skin hummed in the air between them like a sound. He was more alive than anyone she had met. It was as if he carried an invisible top in the center of his chest, spinning strongly, that made her own nerves buzz in sympathy. He was not a restful person.
Uh, I could keep typing out wonderful passages from last night!  I just love where she goes with both of these descriptions: instead of cataloguing features, she reaches into imagination and the life swirling around these characters, and uses the things they'd be thinking about, or maybe have read about, or little bits from deep in the psyche of a street-smart French teen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Head Rush Excerpt & Links

Phew! I finally got the Head Rush excerpt up on my site!

Excerpt here.
Links & ebook pre-order info here
Right now, it's only $3.85 at the Samhain store - all formats!

OMG, every time I visit my site I start revamping it (and the more I revamp it, the more I realize I need to revamp it!) Someday, it will look really amazing, and things will be beautifully lined up.

So, it's Thanksgiving this week here in the States - I hope everybody here has a wonderful and safe holiday, and that everybody outside of the states doesn't get too sick of us going on and on about turkeys, parades, and what we are thankful for. But there is a lot of be thankful for.

I am especially thankful for all of you, my fabulous reading and writing friends!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My nerdiest Great Moments from Last Night's Reading post yet

Wow, I haven’t done any Great Moments from Last Night’s Reading in forever! For those new to the blog, Great Moments is a post series where I discuss small writerly moves or specific scenes I admire in whatever book I’m reading.  This week (yes week, because I’m the world’s slowest reader. I camp out with the sentences!) I am reading If You Hear Her by Shiloh Walker.

Great Moments in Last Night’s Reading
Book: If You Hear Her by Shiloh Walker
Spoiler level: Low

I’ve actually been having quite a few great moments with IF YOU HEAR HER, the first book in Shiloh’s trilogy. Today, I want to talk fawningly about one of my favorite Shiloh Walker moves: how good she is at making the reflections of POV characters feel distinct from one another.

This book is written in multiple 3rd person POV (i.e. he said / she said). I’m a big admirer of authors who make the POV sections sound really different when they come from different characters’ minds (instead of all sounding like they come from the author mind). Kresley Cole and Joanna Bourne are also really excellent at this. 

Anyway, as I was reading this book, I was struck by how strong the different narrative flavors are, and how realistic it makes these people and their world feel.

One cool thing Shiloh does is allow speech patterns right into the narration (i.e. not in quoted direct speech) In other words, random reflections and descriptions feel like speech--it's a great trick and she never overuses it, mixing it with more conventional narration. It creates a really awesome effect. And then she tightens the narrative flavor even more by staying really cognizant of the priorities and life experiences of these characters in the way they put things. This is a tight POV ship! 

Here is an example from a section from the POV of Sheriff Nielson, who is doing some private thinking during a conversation with the hero, Ezra.
The man in front of him might well be a cop—being on leave was irrelevant—but he was also a man. It wasn’t just a cop’s interest that had Ezra in his office. Nielson knew it as well as he knew his own name, as well as he knew his town. 
Made things dicey.

I love  that lone line, all on its own on the page: Made things dicey. That’s what I mean by a reflection that feels like speech. It’s awesome for the masculine feel of it, as well as the feel that this is an experienced lawman who doesn’t need to elaborate. I know other writers do this but I think Shiloh really makes this little move work.   

Also, I enjoyed how subtly the preceding paragraph characterizes, communicating long years of experience in a small town without ever feeling like an info dump. She could have said as well as he knew his hand, or his dog, but she used town. A lot of small things add up here.

Here is another example of a passage with interior reflection that feels like speech, this one from the mind of Hope, who is helping writer Law Reilly organize himself. She asks him about all these postcards he keeps.
“Possible book locations,” he replied, his tone absent. He had a glazed look in his eyes, almost hypnotized. 
She lifted her brows. “You plan on writing a book in…Adair, Iowa? What exactly is in Adair Iowa?” 
“Nothing…that I know of.” He slanted a grin at her. “That means there’s probably something. There’s always something, somewhere.” 
“You’re strange, law. Very strange. 
His only response was a grunt. 

Looking back at the postcards, she grabbed a pencil and the notepad she’d been using. If he was going to keep a running list of possible locations, he could keep them more organized, she figured. A photo album would hold them all just fine. Add that to the list of fifteen other things she needed.
The last paragraph is such a nice use of it, because it has a mix of action and conventional narration and then that last line with its little subtle dialogue-y attitude. Add that to the list of fifteen other things she needed. If I was writing this, I would have been tempted to say She added that to the list of fifteen other things she needed, which wouldn't have half the fun narrative flavor.

It’s the same animal as the Made things dicey from above, but feels so much like it’s from a different character’s mind.

Also, I partly put this passage up because I just LOVE when writers write about writers. Writing is such a lonely profession; it’s wonderful to be invited into the intimacy of another writer's office. I enjoyed speculating on what of this stuff Shiloh actually does, like if she collects postcards. It’s not a bad idea! Novelist Law Reilly is the hero of the third book in this trilogy, but totally my favorite character.

Anyway, as I said, I'm greatly enjoying the first installment for the many lively narrative flavors as well as characters, the world and story. (Also, FYI it’s very fresh in terms of trilogy structure in ways I won't reveal here.) Looking forward to the next, If You See Her!!  

Images: policeman by Brett Gustafson from wikicommons; writer at desk: Mary Pickford from wikicommons

Monday, November 21, 2011

Random things I'm thankful for + even more random Thanksgiving anecdotes

Hey friends!
Well, we're into Thanksgiving week now, and I'm over at the lovely and fun Paperback Dolls with a special Thanksgiving-themed post as part of their Thankful Feature.

It's a fun week there, with lots of authors stopping by and posting and giving away goodies!

Also, while there, Day has reviewed Head Rush and there's a giveaway...of a signed Mind Games OR a Head Rush audible download.

Read the review and enter here!!!

Image: Chapbook cover by Bradley Will; public domain image via wiki commons

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Contest, Q&A, and Cat pics!

I'm over at Kindle-aholics today!  As part of the festivities of her Disillusionist re-read, I'm visiting her blog and answering questions, and we're giving away a Head Rush digital ARC to one lucky commenter (to be delivered when ARCs become available, which isn't yet). You don't have to be part of the Goodreads reread group to enter, but you get an extra entry if you are!

Also, the Disillusionists re-read group she started on Goodreads is just beginning Double Cross, book #2, so if you want to join in or are just starting it, now is a great time. I understand they are having some fun discussions!!

And, what kind of a bookish girl writer would I be without showing you cat pictures? 

Here is Oblio, admiring my new desk light from Ikea. He very much wants to to bite it here, but apparently it's not optimally positioned. This was actually a moment of truth, because if he had found it satisfying to chew, I would have had to slather it with habenero tabasco sauce. If you come to my house, you will find mysterious red stuff on all cords. 

Here he actually is attempting to bite it. Luckily it didn't really work out, unlike, oh, my iPod recharging cord, which he bit in half yesterday. *sob* But, I think this is kind of a cool photo. 

Hey, I hope everybody has a wonderful weekend!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Newsy Sunday items

1. The Lady's Secret, by my critique partner Joanna Chambers, releases tomorrow! This is a fun sexy awesome Regency-set tale about a failed actress who decides to do some undercover sleuthing disguised as a young male valet, and gets a position with the devastatingly handsome, melancholy Lord Harland. Full of delightful twists, fun reveals, and interesting things about classes and servants.   Read an excerpt here. 
**Win this ebook**(ed: contest closed) Leave a comment mentioning The Lady's Secret - Tonight before I go to bed, I'll pick two random commenters to win their own copies.

2. Kindle-aholics Disillusionists re-read (or for some, initial read) has begun! She organized this re-read and discussion in anticipation of the ebook arrival of book #3, Head Rush! The group is here on her blog, and also a public group at Goodreads! So, anybody can join!! This is just the hugest compliment to a writer, to have anyone want to re-read! But don't worry, I won't be poking my nose in, so if you catch any worldbuilding flubs or decide you hate cucumber kebabs, rant away!

3. Daylight savings time! It's amazing how many of my clocks change themselves these days. Thank you computer and smart phone.

One of the 3 things.
4. Three things I never in my wildest dreams imagined I'd need or want as a writer - I'm over at the League of Reluctant Adults talking about these three things, one of which is pictured at left.

5. All my best to my nano-writing friends! I am so impressed with all of you, and I'd join in if I wasn't in an editing phase. And look! I have advice: It is not necessarily a waste of writing time to sit in your chair and daydream and scribble notes and try scenes out in your head in different ways. For some writers, myself included, spending the majority of time on beforehand-thinking actually results in the personal-best wordcounts. But, every writer is different - that's another thing to keep in mind.

UPDATE: winners of THE LADY'S SECRET contest chosen and emailed. Congrats to amyT865 & eveningreen!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Contest winners

Woo hoo!
Blodeuedd & Ladysmith have won the books of their choice. Congratulations, you two!! Good luck choosing.

Monday, October 31, 2011

New books I'm INSANELY EXCITED ABOUT !! (that you can win in the next 36 hours)

Books, books! These are the books on my fangirl and friend radar, and I'm giving two lucky commenters who act before Tuesday night their choice. See directions below!

HEART OF STEEL by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas Series #2)
•Out November 1•

I am feverishly excited about this one--these characters are a couple of my faves from THE IRON DUKE, which was one of my top three favorite books of the year last year. Yes, I will be running to the bookstore to get this in paper so I can underline stuff and dog ear the pages and moon over it and totally ravish it as only an author fangirl can. This series rocks, and I'm not just saying that because Meljean is also my antho buddy. 

Top pick from RT Magazine“Rising star Brook has created two completely mesmerizing characters whose journeys in this gritty and treacherous world make for heart-stopping fun!”

Back blurb: Return to the gritty, alluring world of steampunk with the New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Duke.

Growing up in the dangerous world of the Iron Seas, the mercenary captain of the airship Lady Corsair, Yasmeen, has learned to keep her heart hard as steel. Ruthless and cunning, her only loyalty is to her ship and her crew-until one man comes along and changes everything...Treasurehunter Archimedes Fox isn't interested in the Lady Corsair-just the captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. When it attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco- and straight into enemy hands.

THE LADY'S SECRET by Joanna Chambers 
•out November 7th•

The amazing debut from my brilliant critique partner! I'll have a full write-up next week when THE LADY'S SECRET releases, but I wanted to put it in this group because I'm double-dip excited. 

This is the twisty and fabulously fun tale of Georgiana, who goes undercover as a boy valet to the devastatingly handsome, melancholy Lord Harland. Fun, sexy, awesome. And there are interesting things about classes and servants. And danger! And hugely fun reveals! Oh, this book! This book! 

Blurb: London, 1810
Former actress Georgiana Knight always believed she and her brother were illegitimate–until they learn their parents were married, making them heirs to a great estate. To prove their claim, Georgy needs to find evidence of their union by infiltrating a ton house party as valet to Lord Nathaniel Harland . Though masquerading as a boy is a challenge, it pales in comparison to sharing such intimate quarters with the handsome, beguiling nobleman.

Nathan is also unsettled by Georgy’s presence. First intrigued by his unusual valet, he’s even more captivated when he discovers Georgy’s charade. The desire the marriage-shy earl feels for his enigmatic employee has him hoping for much more than a master-servant relationship…
But will Nathan still want Georgy when he learns who she truly is? Or will their future be destroyed by someone who would do anything to prevent Georgy from uncovering the truth?

Releases November 7th. Excerpt here. Pre-order from Carina, for the Nook, for the Kindle.

BEAUTY DATES THE BEAST by Jessica Sims (Midnight Liasons #1)
•out now•

Jessica Sims (aka Jill Myles, my other anthology galpal) has a wonderful way of creating delightful and sexy set-ups - and then totally delivering. So I am eagerly waiting for this one to arrive (there is a lost book shipment out there with the Crane name on it). BEAUTY DATES THE BEAST is about a paranormal dating agency, and our heroine, Bathsheba has to date all these guys to protect her sister. *rubs hands* 

From Publishers Weekly: Jill Myles (The Succubus Diaries) debuts as Jessica Sims with a funny, sexy, and lively first book in a shapeshifter series. Bathsheba Ward’s mission in life is to protect her sister’s secret: Sara was bitten by a werewolf in a vicious attack six years earlier. Both work for the paranormal dating service Midnight Liaisons. After Bathsheba fills in on a broken date with cougar shifter Beau Russell, head of the Russell clan, her boss threatens to out Sara unless Bathsheba agrees to date a variety of paranormals who lust after her Alliance-certified virginity...  

The blurb: WANTED
Single human female to join charming, wealthy, single male were-cougar for a night of romantic fun—and maybe more.
Me: The tall, sensuous, open-minded leader of my clan.
You: A deliciously curvy virgin who’s intimately familiar with what goes bump in the night. Must not be afraid of a little tail. Prefer a woman who’s open to exploring her animal nature. Interest in nighttime walks through the woods a plus.
My turn-ons include protecting you from the worst the supernatural world has to offer. Ready for an adventure? Give me a call.
Vampires and doppelgangers need not apply.

SWEET MAGIC by Penny Watson
•out November 4th•

It has become my own little Christmas reading tradition to pick up the latest in my author friend Penny's series - she's working her merry, sexy way through all of Santa's sons (this year it's extreme sporter Oskar Klaus) while tirelessly working to raise awareness of the sexiness of beards!  

Blurb: Oskar Klaus' job is killing him. Not even his favorite hobbies (extreme snowboarding and browsing old bookstores) are enough to snap him out of his funk. It's not easy living in the shadow of four successful older brothers and a father named Santa. Little does he know that a kiss on New Year's Eve is about to turn his life upside-down.
Kiana Grant's Manhattan life is a world away from her childhood in Oahu. She traded sunsets and surfing for a respectable career in library science, but Oskar Klaus is a temptation that's hard to resist. Before she knows it, she's in the midst of an outrageous adventure in the North Pole, dealing with mischievous elves, wicked demons, and a devastating attraction to Santa's youngest son.
There's just one problem...a bitter elf hell-bent on revenge threatens the future of everyone in the North Pole, even Santa himself... Ebook only. Releases this 11/4. Information and excerpt here.

IF YOU HEAR HER by Shiloh Walker

•out now•

Confession: I love plots about curious regular people who get involved in mysteries, and I also love the work of my galpal Shiloh Walker, so this is an oreo sandwich I shall not be resisting. (My lost book shipment out there has this book in it, supposedly coming my way.) I couldn't be more psyched!!

From Publishers Weekly:
First of a projected romantic suspense trilogy, this hefty superheated exercise in uninhibited abandon alternates between a serial psycho-killer musing over his unlucky victims and a titillating fling between sexy blind chef Lena Riddle and sexier state cop Ezra King in smalltown Ash, Ky. Ezra, trying to recuperate from wounds to body and soul, is so attracted to Lena that he can’t help plunging into an informal investigation of screams she hears outside her rural home in the middle of the night…

The scream Lena Riddle hears in the woods behind her house is enough to curdle her blood—she has no doubt that a woman is in real danger. Unfortunately, with no physical evidence, the local law officers in small-town Ash, Kentucky, dismiss her claim. But Lena knows what she heard—and it leaves her filled with fear and frustration.
Ezra King is on leave from the state police, but he can’t escape the guilty memories that haunt his dreams. When he sees Lena, he is immediately drawn to her. He aches to touch her—to be touched by her—but is he too burdened by his tragic past to get close? When Ezra hears her story of an unknown woman’s screams, his instincts tell him that Lena’s life is also at risk—and his desire to protect her is as fierce as his need to possess her.

THE BLACK HAWK by Joanna Bourne
•Out November 7th•

Okay, this has only been one of my most anticipated books SINCE 2008!! Two other books in this series, Bourne's Spymaster's Lady and The Forbidden Rose are a two of my all-time favorite books, two of the best books in all the world. I don't feel like you have to read these in order. Some may differ. I understand from Katiebabs that THE BLACK HAWK is nothing short of fabulous. I am hyperventilating RIGHT NOW. I must have it. You must have it! 

Back copy: Attacked on a rainy London street, veteran spy Justine DeCabrillan knows only one man can help her: Hawker, who also happens to be the enemy. With London crawling with hidden assassins and someone out to frame Hawker for the assault, the two spies must work together to find who's out to destroy them...

From the Library Journal
Attacked and badly wounded by an assassin's blade, former French spy Justine DeCabrillac ("Owl") struggles through the rain to the home of the only man she can depend on to save her, English agent Adrian Hawkhurst, her longtime adversary—and unforgettable lover. But Justine is not the only one in danger; the killer is out to bring down Hawk as well. And it will take all of their finely honed skills and wary, hard-won trust to unearth—and destroy—the elusive, brutal villain. 

Vivid, illuminating flashbacks fill in the missing years of our protagonists' bond, developing the passionate, deeply conflicted relationship between Justine and Hawk with unparalleled insight and craft. VERDICT Beautifully flawed, intensely human characters, a deadly puzzle, and a love that survives incredible odds combine to make this another emotionally riveting page-turner from Bourne (The Forbidden Rose), whose novels always deliver. Fans of historical romance will be all over this one.

1. Leave a comment, any comment - you can talk about any or all of the books, or you can talk about your cat or anything! Your comment does NOT have to say what book you'll choose. 
2. You have to leave your comment here on the blog - if you are seeing this on Goodreads or Facebook, come over, cover over, Red Rover!
3. Make sure your email is in the comment, or else that I can get it by clicking on your name.
4. Live somewhere in the world where book depository ships.

I will choose a TWO winners Tuesday (November 1st) before I go to bed. I will email those people then and they will each get to choose what book they win, in what form.  Hey, Happy Halloween everyone! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Disillusionists' haunted house... & LB Gregg...oh nooooooo!

The Disillusionists have made a haunted house! 
Imagine my surprise to see how busy my characters have been, planning out their own haunted house.

Stop by at the fabulous Paranormal Haven today to see how each of the Disillusionists would decorate their haunted house room for maximum scariness! And, you could win a signed copy of Double Cross!

Visit the Disillusionists Haunted House at Paranormal Haven here.
If LB Gregg was not cut off from
all social media, she would remind you
that this book is out today!!

LB Gregg...oh noooo!
My galpal and sometimes partner in crime, LB Gregg (recently dubbed "the Jayne Ann Krentz of gay fiction) got the opportunity to travel to China this month. Sure, she has a book release today, but she figured she could tweet and remind her fans from there. Right?

WRONG! She is totally cut off from access to twitter, facebook (mostly) and her blog and even the Thrillionth Page is censored!

So, I am helping her to remind folks that Dudleytown her sexy, krazy fun, M/M romantic comedy is coming out today!   Excerpt here.  Read about it and buy it here. 

Goblins, Demons & Spirits for your modern life
Don't forget to visit over at the fabulous Bastard Books, read about how YOUR life can improve through demons, spirits and goblins...and win! Check it out here. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Head Rush release: a handy field guide

Head Rush  is releasing in a rocket! 
I'm so excited that HEAD RUSH is finally coming out..little by little. You can't imagine how eager I have been to have it be in the hands of ALL readers who want it THIS INSTANT. Well, that will be soon.

Audio: All three books in the Disillusionists trilogy – Mind Games, Double Cross, and Head Rush – are now out in audio on Here is the link to Head Rush. And you can hear a sample, too! I think the narrator is great.

Chapter 1&2 excerpts: In the meantime, 'Head Rush  chapters 1&2 will be up on my site--in about two weeks (I’m still finalizing the ebook end of things with Samhain.) I'll post here, on my site, and on facebook when those excerpts go up. Oh, and it will be in my newsletter, too.

Ebook: The ebook will come out on December 6th. It’s not yet available for pre-order, but it will be in early November, in online stores like Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble, ARE and others and I’ll have a link for them here and elsewhere.

Print: Out sometime in 2012 – check back!

ebooks and audiobooks...what's the deal?
There's information and links on how audiobooks work, and also how to read ebooks even if you don't have an ereader, on the books page of my site.

I can’t begin to say how appreciative I am for all the goodwill through this, and everyone for being so patient and awesome through the crazy and very non-linear journey of book #3!! An author couldn't ask for better, more supportive readers. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Goblins, spirits & demons for your beautiful modern life

Read about the Badi and other potentially useful spirits
and demons at Bastard Books!
One of the things I've noticed in recent research: People in the olden days blamed spirits for a lot of what went wrong. 

It makes me sad we don’t have many spirits to blame stuff on these days. Lucky for you, I've found some that you might be able to use... 

Today, I'm at Bastard Books having some crazy fun. Come visit. And, you can win something, too!

Come on over to Bastard Books and say hi!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm over at sffworld! Interview & roundtable

New Interview at now
I'm super honored to be over at for an interview today! is a massive site for all things Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror and more. There's always something interesting going on there.
JA Pitts will be at the
roundtable with me.

We discussed the characters and relationships, and talked about Faustian bargains, Midcity and lots more.

Come and say hi if you get a chance. 

Roundtable starting tomorrow
I'll also get the chance to take part in a contemporary fantasy (which includes UF) roundtable there starting later this week - along with authors John Levitt and J.A. (John) Pitts, and possibly another author.

J. A. Pitts is the author of Black Blade Blues and Honeyed Words and the upcoming Hearth and Home (2012,  Tor)  This is the Urban Fantasy series featuring Sarah Beauhall, a tough-as-nails blacksmith, movie props manager and medieval reenactor in Seattle, WA.

The books fuse Norse Mythology with the modern world. And who doesn't love a lesbian blacksmith heroine? And reenactor? So cool.

John Levitt will also be
at the roundtable. 

John Levitt is the author of the urban fantasy series featuring Mason, who has magical abilities, and his trusty companion, an Ifrit – a spirit familiar named Louie that takes the shape of an animal, in this case, a dog. 

He’s also a jazz guitarist who used to police other magic-users, and he gets dragged back into it by violent events. Well, I always say, hooray for a magical musician with a dog familiar.  Books include Dog Days, New Tricks, Unleashed and Play Dead. 

I think these roundtables are really fun and interesting ways for authors and readers to interact beyond just surface questions. And, both of these authors are doing exciting work and will have lots of good things to say (and hopefully I will, too. I'm a little nervous!)

Our rountable is right here, going on now through the next week or more. Do drop in!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kindle-aholic declares a Disillusionists re-read & Jaye Wells declares her own damn holiday

Disillusionists Re-read!! 
I was psyched to learn that blogger extraordinaire, Kindle-aholic, is running a Disillusionists re-read during the month of November in preparation for the release of HEAD RUSH.

It looks like a really fun group, with some people who are brand new to the series and some doing the re-read.

You can participate right on her blog or through the Goodreads group she's set up for it. (And, in addition to all the crazy fun, one participant will win a Head Rush ARC!)

Jaye wells declares a holiday
My author pal Jaye has declared October International Urban Fantasy Month, and she's celebrating it on her blog  by giving away a HUGE bunch of awesome prizes - and by awesome prizes I of course mean tons of books. And lord knows what else she'll get up to. Be sure to drop in.

Image: From one of my trading cards. You can get a set by emailing me with your snailmail addy! carolyn (at)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bookshelf porn...and Gumby-finding help

Good morning friends! I  hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their weekend.

So, first off, I'm over at Book Lover's Inc. for their big 1000 follower celebration with bookshelf porn. It's like a tour through my bookshelves.

If you haven't been there this past week, tons of authors and bloggers are getting all nerdy about books. And there are many many giveaways!

Come say hi!

Also, I know it is hard to find the shadowy head of our little green friend on my new cover.

And, it's not even green. So, here is a wee clue.

I wish for all of you a lovely day of good books, good people, and to-do lists full of crossed-out items!

Friday, October 14, 2011

HEAD RUSH: Cover art and back cover copy!! Yippee!

I'm so happy to have my cover! It's by award-winning cover artist Kanaxa (aka Nathalie Gray).

I think it is just marvelous!  And also, my new back cover copy.


Book Three in The Disillusionists Trilogy

In an attempt to put her unhappy past behind her, Justine Jones throws herself into nursing school and planning her wedding to Otto Sanchez, the man of her dreams. But something is off. Random details aren’t adding up…and is it her imagination, or are her friends and fiancé keeping secrets from her? And what’s with this strange sense of unease, and her odd new headaches?

Justine tries to stay upbeat as Midcity cowers under martial law, sleepwalking cannibals, and a mysterious rash of paranormal copycat violence, but her search for answers leads her into the most dangerous mind game yet.

With the help of unlikely allies, including her paranoid dad and best frenemy Simon, Justine fights her ultimate foe…and unravels the most startling mystery of all.

HEAD RUSH will come out as an audiobook (10/25) and on December 6th, 2011, as an ebook (available wherever ebooks are sold), and at some point in 2012 in print (available from the usual suspects online and select bookstores). A wild and wacky publishing schedule for the wild and wacky wrap-up of the Justine Jones saga! Thanks everyone for hanging in there with me!! 

PS: Ebook will be available for pre-order in about 2 weeks!

PPS: Hidden secret thing: One thing I love about this cover is that Justine's dashboard pal Gumby, who has a small but key part in the book, is represented just fleetingly...if you look hard at the lower left hand corner. Can't find it? See this post.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Random weekendy photos and happy Monday!

Good morning friends! I hope everybody had a good weekend. It was deliciously autumnal here. I got caught up on a day job project with a hot deadline, some novella writing, though unfortunately no cleaning. 

This photo from Friday night. The scene when I got back to bed from brushing my teeth. The cats love to be under the covers, and they stayed posed like this a miraculously long time while I got my smartphone. My twitter friends have seen this picture. Because of course, I must show everybody. 

Mr. Crane and I made coconut soup. It has tomatoes and onions and zucchini and miso and a bunch of other stuff - I can give the recipe if anybody wants it, but you really do need to open a few young coconuts with a machete. When the orange and white cat, Oblio, even hears the machete come out of the drawer he runs and hides, though sometimes he comes into the kitchen and cries in victimy protest while Mr. Crane is hacking away. You would think we routinely chase him around the place with it, but I swear, we never do! The soup was damn delicious. 

In addition to the mystery book from the post below, I am reading Dark Road to Darjeeling, #4 in the Lady Julia Grey series. So love being back in this series! And I organized my Goodreads shelves. As I noted on Twitter recently, advice to new Goodreads users: set up your shelves early in the game. Don't put all your books onto the same massive shelf like I did. Come be my Goodreads friend here!

Our storage room in the basement. We were talking about putting up some more of our pictures. Unfortunately, no home decoration bargaining chip is large enough for Mr. Crane to accept the having Little CJ (my childhood portrait painted by an elderly aunt) or the unicorn and unicorn baby pic up on a wall, and I no longer have my own office to hang them in. I have vetoed plenty of his pictures, so it's only fair. 

So I was looking at my poor pictures in the storage room this weekend. It is very sad. Also, one wonders what the neighbors think when they walk by.

Somehow, though, I hold out hope that Mr. Crane will suddenly change his mind. Perhaps some mysterious force will compel him to go down to the storage room and get Little CJ and put her back up. What do you think?

So what did you guys do this weekend? What are you reading?