Archive for June, 2008


Searching for Lucky Wendy!

Wendy, email me at miladyinsanity (at) gmail (dot) com by Friday for your prize!

I’m travelling today, so I might not get back to you until Wednesday (sooper sekrit message to JennyBrat, I will email you on Wednesday too).

In the meantime, check out Larissa Ione’s interview and for more Larissa, go visit her at her website!


6 Questions with Larissa Ione

Larissa is an occasional partner-in-crime and well, that’s enough said about the type of gal she is, right?

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.

Ten-point-five. Why? Let’s see…I have two books due in just a few days – the fourth Sydney Croft ACRO novel, Taming The Fire, and the third Demonica book, Eternity Embraced. I also have a proposal to write for the fifth ACRO novel, and I’m getting ready to head to Washington state for a month to visit my parents…as well as getting ready for RWA in San Francisco at the end of July. Just hand over the straight-jacket. Yeah, that’s it…buckle it tighter…feels good…

2. Since winter is your favourite season, what are your top tips for dealing with summers? (I’m going from gloomy old England to tropical Singapore…should be fun.)

Ooh, I LOVE England!!!! I wanna live there SO bad!!! And my tips for dealing with summers? Avoid them at all costs. *g* Yep, I pretty much just stay inside and take vitamin D tablets. Oh, and drink lots of cold drinks. You know, like margaritas…

3. Broadly speaking, isn’t the series that you write with Stephanie Tyler as Sydney Croft rather similar to the Demonica series? Both are paranormal, erotic and romance.

You know, it a lot of ways, they are similar…on the surface. But the differences are huge. The ACRO series is really more science-fiction than paranormal, and it’s also VERY erotic. The Demonica series is hot, but it’s not anywhere near the ACRO series in terms of erotic content. Another big difference is that the Demonica series is very, very dark. I definitely tapped into my horror background to write these books.

Also setting the books apart are the basic setups and settings. The ACRO books are about humans with special powers who work for a secret agency called the Agency for Covert Rare Operatives. The world is basically contemporary, with some grounding in science.

In the Demonica series, the main characters are three demon brothers who run an underworld hospital. The inhabitants of this world are a mix of demons, vampires, were-beasts, and humans. There isn’t a whole lot of science in these books – it’s pure imagination with mythical undertones.

4. The first generation of authors who started blogging before they were published are now maturing as a breed. Do you think it’s made you a little more savvy about the internet as a tool for authors than you would have been otherwise?

You know, I talked with Stephanie (Tyler) about this, and she brought up a good point – that basically, that first generation hasn’t changed their style much. I agree. I know I started blogging in 2003, and at the time, there weren’t a lot of author or reader blogs out there. Blogging was pretty much in its promotional-tool infancy, and authors who blogged were big on conversation and craft more than straight promo. I think, because of that, I’ve never seen my personal blog as a huge promotional tool.

Yes, that’s what it is, but really, my blog is my home, my personal space, and if I want to talk about something as mundane as what I had for breakfast, I feel comfortable doing so. But I also see the value of blogs as a hardcore promotional tool, and I know a lot of authors use them a LOT more effectively than I do.

So, savvy…in my case, not so much. I think that because I started blogging so long ago, I’ve continued to use my blog more casually than many authors. It’s a tool, but for me, it’s probably not as effective for promo as it could be.

5. Do you think that there will ever be anything that could tempt your sweet tooth back into action? And what do you crave during PMS if you don’t want sweets?

LOL! What a fun question! But alas, I think my sweet tooth is the one that got the root canal. It’s dead. I do crave sweets every once in a while, but it’s very, very rare. When I do get a craving, for some reason I want a Dairy Queen sundae. Of course, I usually eat two bites and I’m done. I also enjoy the Godiva chocolate cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. Takes me three days to eat a slice, though!

For the most part, I crave salt when I’m PMSing. Potato chips, popcorn, and cheese!

6. Are you sure it says Demonica and not Demented on the cover of Pleasure Unbound?

*g* Pretty sure, but I’m working on that Demented proposal! *g*

Larissa Ione‘s current release is the first book of the Demonica series, Pleasure Unbound, and she’s giving away a signed copy to one lucky winner!


Larissa Ione: Pleasure Unbound

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life…

She’s a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure—but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his desire to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable—and let Tayla possess him, body and soul…

Right from the first word, you’re dropped into the heat of the action. Always a good way to start a book.

But it’s also a book that’s filled with “Awwwwww….” moments, as I call them. You’ll be on edge, waiting for something to blow up or get killed…and then you get enveloped by what feels like a big, soft hug.

Pleasure Unbound also happens to have the only “heroine has never had an orgasm until she met hero” plotline that’s believable. Larissa’s taken one of the most awful genre clichés and made it work. Honestly, it’s worth it to buy this book just to find out how she does it (I shall delete all spoilers related to this bit in the comments), if not for the fact that is has excellent worldbuilding, lots of hot sex and is just generally fun to read.

Pleasure Unbound rates 4.5 out of 5.

FD: Larissa sent me the book.


I’m Home

I’m going a-hunting for a new Laptop sooooooon!

And I don’t expect to be online very much until I get my new laptop, if for no other reason the fact that my laptop is dying. 😛


Lucky Angelle!

Wins a copy of Marie Brennan’s Midnight Never Come!

I’ll email you. I’ve been emailing you like every day for a bit now, haven’t I? LOL.

Check out Marie’s guestblog if you’ve not read it, my review as well as the website that Orbit did for Midnight Never Come.


Marie Brennan: Midnight Never Come

England flourishes under the hand of its Virgin Queen: Elizabeth, Gloriana, last and most powerful of the Tudor monarchs.

But a great light casts a great shadow.

In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above. In the thirty years since Elizabeth ascended her throne, fae and mortal politics have become inextricably entwined, in secret alliances and ruthless betrayals whose existence is suspected only by a few. Two courtiers, both struggling for royal favor, are about to uncover the secrets that lie behind these two thrones.

When the faerie lady Lune is sent to monitor and manipulate Elizabeth’s spymaster, Walsingham, her path crosses that of Michael Deven, a mortal gentleman and agent of Walsingham’s. His discovery of the “hidden player” in English politics will test Lune’s loyalty and Deven’s courage alike. Will she betray her Queen for the sake of a world that is not hers? And can he survive in the alien and Machiavellian world of the fae? For only together will they be able to find the source of Invidiana’s power — find it, and break it . . . .

Midnight Never Come is a historical fantasy that’s also an interesting take on faerie lore. I don’t generally pick up historical fantasies or historical anything, for that matter, but this one had what for me was an interesting hook, the twining of the lives of the Queen of England and a faerie Queen.

On that count, Midnight Never Come does not disappoint. The author handles the politics and the intrigue with a deft hand, moving seamlessly from Elizabethan England to the world of evil faeries and then back again.

A book that starts out quietly, Midnight Never Come builds in an elegant crescendo to a powerful finish, much as both Lune and Deven grow as characters into what they finally become. It’s definitely one of my favorite faerie books of the year.

Midnight Never Come rates 4 out of 5.


Marie Brennan Talks To Us: On The Road Again

Marie Brennan is just back from sunny England (it is sunny in Manchester anyway) and has been lovely enough to share her travels with us. I’m giving away a copy of her new book, Midnight Never Come. Details below.

I know that I’m lucky. I grew up in a family where my father traveled internationally for business and my mother had spent a summer in Norway before wandering around Europe; trips, even big ones, weren’t seen as anything out of the ordinary. By the time I went to college, I had been to Hawaii, the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, and twice to England — not to mention any number of journeys in the continental U.S., whether by plane or car.

In college I decided to major in archaeology, and that gave me a great excuse for more travel. I went to a field school (where they teach you how to dig) in Israel, and another one in Wales and Ireland. And I emptied out my savings for two vacations, first to Ireland with my boyfriend, then to Japan, where my best friend was teaching English. For somebody only in her early twenties, that was quite a lot.

Then — cue the world’s smallest violin — the travel stopped. Well, not stopped, precisely; there was a stretch of time in graduate school where I averaged one out-of-state trip every month for a year and a half. But this wasn’t the exciting travel I’d done before, colorful places with fascinating sights. These were weekend jaunts to conventions or academic conferences, where I saw the exciting interiors of one hotel after another. Or trips home — mine or my boyfriend’s — which, again, aren’t really the same. I’d changed my major from archaeology to anthropology, but my research was on science fiction and fantasy fandom, which meant an end to my exotic adventures in foreign lands.

Last year, I figured out the best scam EVER for getting travel back into my life.

It started innocuously enough. I sent a book proposal to my editor, for a historical fantasy set in Elizabethan London. She loved it, and poof! March 20th, 2007, I had a new project on my plate. One that (by the time I was done) required mountains of research.

. . . but, y’know, you can’t learn everything from books.

March 20th, the project is greenlighted. My turn-in date for the manuscript is September 1st — yes, of that same year. I’m on what we like to call a tight schedule, and to top it off, I’m moving house in May, though only to the other side of town.

Commencing stupidity in three . . . two . . . one . . .

On May 22nd, with unpacking from the move only halfway done, I grab my passport and head off into the wild blue yonder for the first time in five years. There’s little of Elizabethan London left to see; the Great Fire of 1666, the building spree of the Victorians, and the Blitz during World War II successively wiped out most of it. But that’s okay, because there are things still there to see: artifacts in museums. Surviving buildings in nearby areas. The City itself.

It sounds pseudo-mystical, but there really is something about being there. Standing on the ground of the history you’ve read about, walking roads that follow the same course they did four hundred years ago. Seeing things first-hand gave me details I never would have gotten from a book, like the smell of fresh rush matting on the floors, or the view from the rooftop of a royal palace. And I was blessed with helpful, knowledgeable volunteers who guided me around sites and answered my questions with passion and excitement that brought it all to life in a wholly unexpected way.

Those people are the reason I call this the best scam ever. I joke that the real appeal is being able to deduct these trips from my taxes as business expenses, but the true prize is those personalized tours. There’s nothing like having your very own guide there to tailor your experience to your specific interests. All without having to feel guilty about taking time to go on vacation when there’s a book to be written!

Going to London last year undoubtedly made Midnight Never Come a better book. I went back this year, to research the next novel in the series, And Ashes Lie. And I’ve said, only half tongue-in-cheek, that I should tax-deduct my honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean, because I’ve come up with an idea for a YA fantasy set on a cruise ship. But I tried not to do work, because after all, it was my honeymoon.

So I guess I’ll just have to go on another cruise later. (Purely for research purposes, you understand.)

Hmmm. Where else do I want to travel? Let’s see if I can come up with book ideas for those . . . .

Marie Brennan‘s current release is Midnight Never Come, to be followed by And Ashes Lie at a later date.

I’m giving away either a print copy of MNC or an ebook version–winner’s choice. Comment to win.


And the winner is… Jennybrat!

I will email you shortly.


Links to the Good Stuff

I don’t have time to do this much any more, but there are good things to be had.

Elise Matthesen, aka elisem on LJ, is holding a June Shiny Sale! She’s a jeweller, and she makes the most gorgeous pretties! My Elisian jewelry count is at 1 pendant (Cabinet of Dreams…I need access to my email so I can pay her damn it!), one necklace-crown and one pair of earrings. *beams* I am much accomplished in the jewelry department now.

Jessica’s running contests. This is the last time I’m linking to her, and I’m only doing it because she’s giving away stuff. After this, bah to Jessica! She is gone! I have gotten rid of her!

Romancing The Blog is doing a giveaway. I think the schedule for this one is every other weekend. Also, still on RTB, Barbara Ferrer and I have evil plans so you should read our next columns (I think in July) to find out what they are. You do not want to mess with Barb Ferrer and Me.


Extracting Through The Veil by Shiloh Walker

Found wandering in a field as a child, Lee Ross was given a name by the state and placed in a foster home–without anyone realizing she wasn’t entirely human. All her life, she’s tried to dismiss the odd dreams that have plagued her, dreams of monsters creeping through the night and a man, fighting demons by her side. But the bruises she wakes up with are all too real to ignore

Then the man from dreams appears in the flesh. His name is Kalen and he insists that her destiny lies in his world, the world of her dreams. To save their people, he must convince Lee to give everything she knows, follow her heart and cross into the Under Realm, even though once she does, she’ll never be able to return.

Just a quick note: this is from the unedited review copy.

Continue reading ‘Extracting Through The Veil by Shiloh Walker’


Shiloh Walker Talks to Us: How Writing is Like…

The Brat is back, this time with a new WIP. Wanna win a Bratty book? Details below.

Giving directions to your husband while going on a road trip…WITHOUT GPS.

You see, I know where I want to go. On the road trip. In the book.

On a road trip, it’s usually a bookstore, or a library, or a mall, in some town I haven’t visited before, or it’s been a long time since my last visit.

I know where I want to go. I just am not very sure on how to get there. It usually involves me scouring a map, looking for cross streets, checking on the printed directions from Google maps…and then me shouting at the last second, That’s where we gotta turn.

He acts like I do it on purpose. Hey, I can’t help the road doesn’t lead where I think it should.

Same with my story.

I know where I want to go. I’m just not sure how to get there. Even with outlines, notes, bouncing ideas off a friend’s head, I’m not too sure of the road I need to take. I think it’s this road, but this road doesn’t lead to that one after all and that one is the road I need to be on.

But my husband ought to consider himself lucky. Because in a story? Usually when I see the road I need, it’s always in hindsight. Like oh say… 30, 40, 50 pages past the turning point that I didn’t see until it was too late. Last minute is better than way after, right?

So in the story, I have to back track. And I realize there are other twists in the plot (roads) that I do need to keep, but I need to figure out how to work them in while still arriving where I need to be…when I need to be there…and without missing any of the other vital things.

My husband keeps telling me I need to learn to read a map. I think I’m just fine-we’ve got a GARMIN now. What I really need is some sort of GARMIN for authors-one that will spit out helpful little things like… Important plot turn in 5 pages, 4 pages, 3 pages, 2 pages…on the next page you need to work on a new plot development.

Somehow, I don’t see it happening.

Shiloh Walker’s latest release is Through The Veil. Excerpt coming up!

Contest: I’ll buy one lucky person a copy of any Bratty Book that you can find on Fictionwise up to 6USD.


Brat Attack!

Shiloh‘s spending tomorrow with us. I’m giving away a copy of any one of her backlist titles available at Fictionwise because I’ve got too many Micropay dollars.

There’s a fabulous excerpt of Through The Veil too.