Archive for the 'Contests' Category


Wanna Go To Devil Falls?

As we all know, Nadia Lee is the Queen of Evil.

She is offering passage to Devil Falls, for a price.

by Angelle Trieste

by Angelle Trieste

I’m giving away free passage for one person to Devil Falls on October 28th, when Devil Falls will start accepting visitors.

All you have to do is post the following on your blog/messageboard with the title “I Wanna Go to Devil Falls!” and email me with the link–I will accept pings and trackbacks in lieu of an email, but you better check to see that the trackback went through. 1 link, 1 entry into the draw, and two if you say why you want to go to Devil Falls. 😉

The Queen of Evil, Nadia Lee, has finally agreed to accept visitors into Devil Falls, for a price.

by Angelle Trieste

Devil Falls is going to be THE next big thing in Romancelandia. Everybody who’s anybody is going to be there, and you want to be one of them, don’t you?

Every week until October 28th, Queen Nadia will be giving away free passage to one person on her blog where she elucidates most intelligently about evil and the world in general, and on October 28th, I, her chief councillor, will give away one copy to someone who helps us spread the gospel of Evil by re-posting this message.

To read more about Devil Falls, clicky here or here.

Full disclosure: Nadia is my critique partner, but I’ve not read this book. I just figure that everybody should read this book.


Bee Wins!

Okay, way late!

School internet wouldn’t let me log in. I think maybe it was the porn references and the swearing. That’s the ONLY thing I could think of.

I will email you in a moment, Bee!


6 Questions with Maggie Stiefvater

I think Maggie Stiefvater must have very fierce faeries, because she is not afraid of my manuscript zombie. Fierce Faeries! *thumbs up* To meet the fierce faeries, comment!

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.

I would definitely rank myself at least a solid 8. I mean, a year ago, before I had any novels under contract, I was definitely a 6-7 on a good day, and now, having four novels under contract and working on editorial revisions for two at the same time has only pushed that number up.

I battle the insanity with sweet tea and cookie dough, and it seems to be working. Or maybe it’s just making me too hyper to notice that it’s not working. It helps that I have a very tolerant/ supportive husband. Without the tea, cookie dough, and my fearless companion-in-life, the men in the clean white coats would definitely be taking me away soon.

2. Have you always written and painted? Or did one come before the other?

Yeah, I was always a compulsive doodler and storyteller. I still remember sitting with my brother playing with our toy horses and before we sat down to actually play, he would ask, “What’s the ‘way’?” Way meaning plot. I had to plot out the rough happenings of our characters before we could even get started.

And then I took over my dad’s old word processor and all was lost.

As for painting and drawing, suffice to say that one of my early habits that I had to work to get rid of was drawing in the air with my finger. When no one was around and I had no paper to occupy myself, I’d draw figures in the air with my finger, practicing facial expressions and shapes. Yep, I was possibly even crazier back then.

3. Will we see a book written and illustrated by Maggie Stiefvater any time soon?

Actually, yes, though not in the way you were thinking. I have a weekly original short fiction blog ( with my friends and fellow writers, Brenna Yovanoff and Tessa Gratton, and at the end of this year, we’re collaborating on an anthology of the best stories from the blog this year. Nothing formal, but it will definitely have a couple internal drawings by yours truly and of course a third of the short stories will be mine.

One of these days, though, I would like to do a graphic novel. I’m a sucker for the art of J. W. Waterhouse and Maxfield Parrish and I’d love to do something fantastic and gorgeous like that. One of my favorite books growing up was a lushly illustrated version of King Arthur with all the squicky bits left in.

4. We all have a well for creativity. Do you have separate ones for art and for fiction? Does doing more of one mean less ‘creativity’ left over for the other?

I think the answer for this is sort of yes, sort of no. To a certain extent, I think that when one creative pursuit is going well, your other creative pursuits tend to go well too. So in that case, the art helps the writing, or vice versa. But sometimes, if I’m doing something really intensive – like working on a rough draft – I find that I’m just too mentally beat to start working on another creative pursuit.

5. And you’re a musician as well! Many writers have soundtracks for each of their books, songs that especially speak to the story they are telling. How about you?

Oh, absolutely. Not only do I tend to write songs to go along with my novels, I also listen to music 100% of the time while I’m writing. I burn CDs of songs that fit the mood of the novel and label them as such. For instance, I have ‘Homicidal Faerie Mix,’ ‘Angst Etc.,’ Wailing Atmospheric Females,’ and ‘Relentlessly Cheerful’ sitting on my desk right now, for four different novels. I can’t really seem to concentrate on writing unless I have music playing.

6. Since you first made your name as an artist, did it make it easier for you to put your fiction out in the world?

I think so. Actually, I put myself out musically before I started really displaying my art or sharing my writing, so that really broke down the barriers. Because I played the bagpipes, and you just don’t get much more public with your abilities than with an instrument that is as loud as a fire engine. Also, I had siblings that read over my shoulder all the time – I started the submission process with a far thicker skin than a lot of people, I think. It’s a fine line to walk between having a big enough ego to not get beaten down by rejection or easily swayed by subjective opinions and having an ego so big that you don’t keep learning or take note when you hear the same sorts of criticism over and over again.

Maggie Stiefvater @LJ and @website. Lament is coming to a bookstore near you!

If you’d like a signed copy, however, comment! Tell us why fierce faeries will beat up manuscript zombies!


Jennifer’s going to get her soul sucked out!

By MG’s book. What, she’s a sister of the severed hand. That gives her supernatural powers beyond your ken.

Anyway, Jennifer, email me at miladyinsanity (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll pass you along to MG!


Meljean’s Contest

(Fresh content still coming.)

But Meljean Brook is running a contest for peeps who haven’t read her yet. She’s giving away 25 copies of a book I’m pretty certain I have but haven’t read. But I’m sure it’s good. It’s got Meljean!

PS Do tell her to buy the Wonder Woman Boots, won’t you?


Kaz! Winner!

Umh, people, I’m really really sorry.

Anyway, Kaz wins a copy of Justine Musk’s Uninvited!

PS There will be more posts. At some point in the near future.


6 Questions with Justine Musk

I have been looking forward to the release of Lord of Bones ever since I found out that there would be a sequel to Bloodangel. And now it’s out, though I’ve been unlucky thus far in my search for a copy. That’s mostly why I’m going to giveaway an ebook copy of Uninvited.

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.

Oh God. I’d say I’d range from 7 to 15, depending on the day. I’m going through some tough stuff right now that I’d love to blog about but as a favor to the other party involved will keep entirely private unless given a reason not to. Ahem.

2. Lord of Bones is being released almost three years after your debut with Blood Angel. Care to share us the story of what happened during the interim?

This is kind of a two part answer, so first: My husband and I decided to try and give our twin boys a little baby sister. So again we did the IVF route, this time with sex selection, and instead of one girl ended up with triplet boys. I kid you not. It seems the sex-selection process was faulty. Thankfully my husband is one of those visionary genius types whose talents tend to meet with extraordinary financial rewards, so we have all the help we need – like they say, it takes a village, in this case a village of nannies – but I wrote the first two drafts of Lord of Bones in the last trimester of pregnancy and then while recovering from a C-section, which meant I wrote while stoned on painkillers. I was also nursing the triplets, whom the baby nurses would bring me one at a time, during which I would somehow tap away at my laptop with my iPod plugged into my ears. Not surprisingly, the draft turned out to be terrible. Terrible. I had to throw out about three quarters of it and start over – so instead of a final rewrite I was basically writing a whole new book. On top of that, I had surgery to correct the kind of damage that twins and triplets will do to you physically, no matter how fit you are or how successfully you manage to lose the baby weight. I had a massive hernia, so my stomach muscles had to get stitched back together, and recovering from that took the longest of all. And, of course, more painkillers.
The second part is a lot less dramatic – for whatever reason I went through kind of a dry spell. Writing became difficult and the ideas just weren’t there. I hadn’t really thought of the story beyond BLOODANGEL, except for a few things I knew about the characters and their mysterious connections to each other. The sequel just took an extremely long time to come together, possibly because this time I really was thinking in terms of an actual series and how each book could still be a complete saga on its own while still leading into the next one. In sharp contrast to that, I expect to finish the next book in the series – tentatively called SOULSTICE – within a few months. I knew from the beginning where I need to go with this one.
So while wrestling with story ideas for LORD OF BONES, I went ahead and wrote UNINVITED, which became my second published novel with a different publisher. It was an idea I’d been kicking around since high school and really wanted to get out of my head. I also felt the need to write something short and fast-paced – the kind of book you could finish on an airplane ride – after the epic multiple-perspective plot of BLOODANGEL.

3. Last year, you published a young-adult novel with MTV, Uninvited. At least for me, it was very different, and not simply because it’s a young adult novel. If it didn’t say Justine Musk on the cover, I would not have thought you wrote it. It just reads so differently. It doesn’t read like a YA novel for me either, except that Kelly is in the right age group. So what do you think makes a novel a YA novel versus something else?

It’s interesting that you would say that – UNINVITED is in many ways a book I wrote to and for my much younger self, the same self who dreamed up that story in the first place. Although the villain in that book – who became one of my favorite characters, actually, and I plan to use him again at some point – was in some ways a rehearsal for the villain in LORD OF BONES (although he is a much more dangerous piece of work and not someone I’d ever want to encounter in any way under any circumstances whatsoever).

Some readers really love that book and some readers don’t. BLOODANGEL tends to elicit that kind of reaction too – for the most part the response was extremely positive, but there are readers out there who just hated it. I also have a few friends who just couldn’t handle BLOODANGEL because they found the opening chapters too intense and scary. But at the same time they really did want to read something of mine, so they were happy (or maybe relieved) to get UNINVITED, which one of those friends not only whipped through but emailed me an ongoing commentary of the experience. It was worth writing the book just for that.

In my mind UNINVITED was always a young adult novel, maybe because the protagonist is a teenager and it’s a coming-of-age story, as YA novels usually tend to be in one way or another. And YA novels tend to be short and maybe a bit more linear than adult novels, although certainly not always. Other than that, I never saw much of a difference. Especially in this genre. In fact, when I was a teenager there really weren’t any YA supernatural thrillers – it was mostly realist or problem novels or romances – so you had to ‘read up’ into adult fiction if that kind of genre was what you wanted. And I did.

In fact, it turns out there’s so much reader crossover, or at least seems to be – so many adults telling me they enjoyed UNINVITED and so many teens passing around copies of BLOODANGEL– that there doesn’t seem to be much of a point labeling me one thing or the other. Which is one of the things you learn after you publish – who your audience is, which is not always the audience you expected. For example, I was surprised (and delighted) to hear from so many guys who read my first book. I thought my audience would be mostly female, which doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Which maybe shouldn’t have surprised me so much, given that I actually do write from the perspectives of several male characters, but still. I also didn’t realize that Ramsey would be by far the most popular character, or that the demon Del, who appears very briefly, would get such a great response from readers that I actually went out of my way to figure out how to include him in the next books. Which I’m really glad I did, because he brings a neat dimension to the tale.

4. Since you have twin boys of your own, do you have any insight as to why people are often so fascinated by them? It’s such a common trope in fantasy that I swear that every writer must have written about twins or have an idea filed away somewhere starring twins.

Heh. I’m not immune to that – I play a little bit with the twins trope in LORD OF BONES and when I was a teenager I wrote a novel about twins who can communicate telepathically with each other, and then one of them gets kidnapped. As the mother of twins, I can say that it’s just a neat relationship to watch unfold. There was never a time when either twin knew life without the other – I have a photograph of the two of them, 4 years old, watching TV together on the edge of my bed. The photo is of their backs and how their seated bodies just fit so neatly and nonchalantly into each other, like pieces of a jigsaw. I think it’s that idea of closeness, of intimacy, that really fascinates – it seems natural to imagine that that kind of knowledge of each other extends into the preternatural – they know each other’s thoughts, have a mysterious mode of communication, that kind of thing. Or that they come into the world already made complete by each other. We’re kind of a lonely species, when you get down to it – trapped inside ourselves. The idea of twinship opens up this possibility that maybe there’s this alternative way of being. So behind the sheer fun of the idea – the cool image of it – I think there’s some wish-fulfillment involved about being that strongly connected to another person…or even just the narcissistic fantasy of having this other you walking around.

5. One of the reasons why your blog is such a good read because it’s a mix of you and the people you see, meet etc. Do you think the whole ‘writers are boring’ thing is a cliché, or true most of the time?

Thank you! The blog kind of took on a life of its own. I really thought it would be much more of a writer’s journal, talking about craft, etc. , and maybe it will become more that way. But I’ve always enjoyed describing the people and events I see around me – observing, analyzing. When I was an exchange student in Australia or away at college I would write extremely long, detailed letters to a small handful of individuals. Which is probably, I realize now, when I first started to develop what eventually became the voice of the blog — it’s a very different voice from my novels, influenced by a different group of writers, the sharp-witted social observers like Edith Wharton or F. Scott Fitzgerald or a much more contemporary favorite, Paul Theroux. There’s a part of me that was always drawn to that kind of writing, of bearing witness. So landing in this life in Los Angeles and blogging about the less-private parts of it was inevitable, I think, and took my ‘writer’s journal’ in a completely different direction.

What I want to do at some point is bring both those voices together – the blog voice, the dark-thriller voice – in some fiction. There are a couple of novels I’m planning that are set in an LA milieu based on the one described in my blog and I think those will be a lot of fun. Although I still need to soak up more of LA and the people here and creatively digest my experiences a little more to get some really compelling fiction out of it.

Do I think writers are boring? Not at all. I’d much rather listen to a writer or director talk about a movie than any of the actors who starred in it… a successful writer is someone who spends a lot of time reading and really thinking things through and has the ability to take a personal experience and make it interesting and relevant to other people by finding the universal aspect of it. In contrast, I’ve met people who have lived through experiences that seem so amazing and fascinating…if only they could process, analyze and express those experiences in an interesting way. You can lead an extremely exciting life and still manage to bore the crap out of people…I think the reason why writing about writers has gotten such a bad rap – to the point where one of the ‘rules’ of making fiction is that you’re not, apparently, supposed to write about a character who writes fiction — is because it’s so easy to do it so badly. When it’s done well, I think it’s great. Stephen King wrote one of his best books, MISERY, about a writer, the process of writing…. Writers are a quirky breed with some truly wild inner lives. There’s nothing boring about that.

6. You are one of the most mysterious authors I’ve ever interviewed who has an online presence. If you had to write your bio in five minutes, what would you write?

Here’s the bio I just wrote – in a hurry – for the San Diego Comic Con:

Justine Musk grew up in Ontario, Canada and started writing at age eight when her parents refused to buy her a dog. She entered her self-conscious and perilous adolescence planning to be either an actress, a vet, or a writer of fine literature like the Sweet Valley High novels.

Then she discovered Stephen King.

Thanks partly to a less-than-stellar social life, Justine wrote her first few novels before graduating high school. She attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where she was rejected — twice — from the school’s lone creative-writing workshop, which she didn’t want to join anyway. Really. After living abroad in Australia and Japan she made her way west, as a young woman should, to California. She is the author of the dark-fantasy novels Bloodangel and Lord of Bones, about a race of men and women descended from fallen angels who go to war against demons, and sometimes each other, as well as the YA supernatural thriller Uninvited.

Justine lives and writes in Los Angeles, where she blogs about living and writing in Los Angeles. She also likes to Twitter.

I really do recommend reading her blog, and she’s quite fun on Twitter too–though I am also a Twitter addict and hence understand the liking Twitter part.

As to the contest, the usual rules apply. Comment to enter. Either way, go buy Lord of Bones! There’s going to be a third book!


Eva S gets to get Wicked Hot!

Eva, email me ( miladyinsanity (at) gmail (dot) com ) so I can put you in touch with Charli!

And if you haven’t read her guestblog, go here!

The rest of you should go out and buy the book so you can get Wicked Hot with Charlene Teglia!


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!


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.


And the winner is… Jennybrat!

I will email you shortly.


Jes Battis, Tess Corday and Derrick Siegel Talk to Us

Want to get the inside track on the world of Occult Special Investigator Tess Corday, and the world of the Core? You’re in the right place. Details on the contest below.

Jes: Welcome to the studio. I’d like to introduce Tess Corday and Derrick Siegel, who both work for the Central Occult Regulation Enterprise, or CORE. Tess, can you describe your job for the readers?

Tess: I’m an Occult Special Investigator.

Derrick: Level One.

T: [glaring]. Yes. Level One. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

D: I can read minds. Some people might think that’s much cooler.

T: But I get better hours. And I have a gun.

D: So do I!

T: But you couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn with it–

J: [interrupting] Maybe you could both talk about what the CORE does, exactly.

T: Sure. They’re a transnational blanket organization that investigates occult homicides. They use a mixture of forensic technology and mystical rituals to analyze paranormal crime scenes.

D: Like on CSI Las Vegas.

T: Not, not like on CSI Las Vegas. They don’t have demons and warlocks.

D: But they have Bill Petersen. He’s hot.

T: Of course. But he doesn’t have to analyze vampire DNA.

D: Also, we don’t wear fancy clothes like the people on CSI. There’s no point, since we’ll just get blood and demon guts on them anyways.

J: What’s the most difficult case you’ve ever been on?

T: In Night Child, we have to investigate a crime-scene with a dead vampire’s body (really dead, not just undead). It turns out to be a big vampire conspiracy. Things get pretty hot and heavy.

J: What’s a “night child?”

D: Didn’t you come up with it? You’re the writer.

J: I’m trying to be mysterious.

T: Well, then–everyone should read the book so they can find out.

J: What did you find particularly hard about the case in Night Child?

D: [giggling] I’ll tell you what she found ‘hard’–

T: Shut up.

D: His name is Lucian Agrado.

J: Is he a love interest, Tess?

T: He’s a big pain in my ass. Like a black hole.

D: Imagine if Gael Garcia Bernal was a necromancer. He’s that hot.

J: What does a necromancer do, exactly?

T: They can manipulate necroid materia, which is forbidden by the CORE.

J: And your specialty is earth materia?

T: Yeah. I’m good at channeling geothermic energy. Derrick’s telepathy comes from dendrite materia, but we’re not even sure if that exists.

D: My materia is just as good as yours.

T: Sure [inaudible] you’re invisible materia.

D: I heard that, betch.

J: Were you two ever an item?

T [snorting with laughter]. Derrick’s a homo.

D: [proudly] I am.

T: We made out once. It was funny.

D: I’m a good kisser.

T: [stage whisper] He’s really not.

D: That was back in college, though.

J: Is that how you two met?

T: We were both working for the CORE at the time, but that was the first time we met, yeah. They tend to enlist you early. I joined when I was 12.

J: How do you think that affected your life?

T: Um–made it a lot less predictable?

D: Luckily, they have full dental.

T [nodding]: The benefits are quite competitive.

J: What’s the scariest thing about Night Child?

D: There’s a butt plug.

T: He’s serious.

D: And a shark demon. Oh, and cursed house music.

T: And a bondage chamber, remember?

D: Oh yeah. And also, there’s a horrible scene with a gumball machine.

J: I don’t remember writing that.

D: You were probably high.

J [shrugs] Probably.

T: There’s also a lot of gruesome autopsies, bloody fingerprints, demon DNA, an eyeball, and second-hand couch that swallows people.

D: And Tess gets naked.

T: I do not!

D: Well, sort of.

T: OK, fine. Sort of.

D: Oh, and the black playdough. Don’t forget that.

T: [shivers] How could I?

J: Derrick, do you have a love interest in this book?

D: Well, Jes, you should know the answer to that. I’m just hoping that I get a lot more action in Hextacy.

J: That can be arranged.

D: Have I mentioned how awesome you are?

J: Yes. Many times. Anything else you want to add?

T: This book will scare the crap out of you. Seriously. Mo Hayder and Karin Slaughter and Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs all think so.

D: None of them have read it.

T: Not yet. But when they do, it’ll scare them. I promise.

D: The cover is also amazing. Tess doesn’t look that hot in real life.

T: You’re an ass.

D: I’m just being honest.

T: You’re just jealous because I got the whole cover.

D: I’m going to be on the next one. Tim Lantz promised to make me look just like Zachary Quinto.

T: No he didn’t.

D: Ok…he didn’t. But I do sort of—

J and T stare at him.

D: OK. Never mind. Just read Night Child. It costs the same as a venti mocha raspberry frappe with an extra shot. That’s a bargain.

Jes Battis debuts today with Night Child, the first book in the series starring Tess Corday. He has just finished writing the second book, so head on over to his blog to congratulate him!

Now, for the contest. Comment to enter, but the devil’s in the details, as they say:

You have to live in an area that has a locally-based (in other words, I won’t have to pay for international postage) online bookstore through which I can order Night Child for you, and if you win, you have to write a review of the book that I will post here on the blog.


Extracting The Last Man On Earth by Raine Weaver

My relationship with Raine Weaver isn’t friendship exactly. She picks on me, and I pick on her–that’s how I got the excerpt out of her. Maybe it’s mutual antagonism? But in a good way. Sorta, we strike off happy sparks of each other rather than hungry flames of revenge.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy the excerpt. The Last Man on Earth releases today from Samhain Publishing. (Links updated!)

The Last Man on Earth

This is NOT a test…

Iris Foley and Russell Carr are old friends who share everything. As they indulge in a marathon viewing of old, campy horror films on a stormy Halloween night, they are suddenly faced with the very real possibility that something has happened to the outside world.

Just as the last gasp of the Emergency Broadcast System issues a dire warning, they are plunged into isolation and darkness. Naturally, they decide to do what any frightened, civic-minded young couple would do.

They decide to have sex.

Now if only old fears, a surprise adversary, and the Apocalypse wouldn’t keep getting in their way…

Click the link below to read more!

Continue reading ‘Extracting The Last Man On Earth by Raine Weaver’


6 Questions with Diana Pharaoh Francis

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.

Probably about an 8. A few weeks ago it would have been a 19. I just finished (sort of) revisions on the next book in the Crosspointe series, titled The Black Ship. They were really difficult to write and while I got the book to the point that it is overall exactly what I want it to be, the ending needs a little tweaking and so I keep thinking about how to make it work the way I want. Then too, I’m working on figuring out the characters (really getting into their heads) on The Turning Tide, the book I have due in June. I’ve made interview questions for each and am having them discuss their answers in their own voices. This is odd, because they are doing so in first person, but I will write the book in third person. I often don’t get a good handle on characters until after I’ve written about them awhile–about twenty or thirty thousand words, and so I thought I’d try this to see if I can get into their heads sooner.

And then I have these other ideas pronking me on the shoulder saying, “ahem, write us. Write us NOOOOOOOW!). So I’m a little schizophrenic.

2. What happened to all the animals in the Path books?

They lived happily ever after. No, seriously. The ahalaad-kaaslane animals remain attached to their partners and there will be more partnered in the future. While the goddess cannot be very present any more in her own land because her presence suppresses magic and therefore causes problems, she watches from afar and still creates the ahalaad-kaaslane animals to pair with the humans.

3. Both the Path and Crosspointe books will be trilogies. What do you like about the structure of trilogies?

Actually, the Crosspointe books aren’t a trilogy. I’m hoping more for a series (depending on whether my publisher likes them enough to buy more). Each story is complete in itself and will focus on different characters. The first book is about Lucy and Marten, the second about Thorn and Plusby, the third about Shaye, Ryland and Fairlie. I’d like to write a story about Keros and about Sarah also *(who appeared in The Cipher) and have planned for it. What connects the stories is the growing trouble in the culture and the way that it will explode and then change the world. I picture it sort of like those big-cast disaster movies where you follow different characters who are experiencing different parts of the disaster in different ways and in different places, until they eventually converge as things settle out.

I really prefer writing the series to the trilogy, if only because I like that I have the time to develop the Crosspointe world on a larger canvas and with more perspectives. Trilogies I like because they allow me to really develop the characters and the world over more than one book, and so there’s a greater sense of depth to the story, to the characters and to the world. But in the series, each book is more complete at the end, which is a bit more satisfying.

4. I could never see myself going to school for a degree in Creative Writing. But you have a BA/MA in it. Why did you do it?

I started out my BA in Agriculture Science Marketing and Management (I grew up on a cattle ranch and thought that would be a good fit. It wasn’t). I liked English. And in college, I actually started to write stories and loved it. I had told stories before that, but only in my head. So I just decided to follow my heart.

I went to get my MA in creative writing because I wanted the chance to hone my skills more than I had. It was an excellent experience overall (with some potholes of the snooty ‘you write (add derogatory adjective) fantasy?’ sort. I remember in one workshop where a fellow student asked why I had to have all the strange names. And I pointed out that there were plenty of strange names littering traditional literature. Hamlet, Bihaj Mudge, Uriah Heep, and so on. Once I pointed that out, he shut up.

I did my PhD in literature because I wanted to explore literature more, but I didn’t want to go further in creative writing. At that point, i just wanted to write without the structure and requirements of classes. I wanted to see what I could do on my own.

5. Did you ever figure out how to pop an eyeball without breaking it?

I have a friend, who we all call Fighter Guy in my online writers support group (you’ll see him in the acknowledgements of my books), who gives advice on many things regarding fighting (he used to be a professional jouster). And he happened to know about eyeball popping. He knew about the itching, the blood and what it looked like (since he’d experienced it). He just told me about unhinging a jaw and how easy it is. Look for that to show up in a book someday. He has saved the logic of my fighting and other elements on more than one occasion.

6. Since you are my first guest of the year, you get the New Year’s Day resolutions question. Have any? Don’t bother? What are they if you do?

I think my resolution is to be disciplined and organized so I don’t feel so insane. To do the sensible thing about exercise and diet so I don’t feel insane. (Are you sensing a theme here?). I want to work on some new projects also, and that requires discipline and organization to keep different story threads straight in my head. I may start with cleaning my house . . . erm, maybe with my office actually . . . . I have to keep a regular schedule. I’m on sabbatical from my job for a few months and want to take the best possible advantage of it.

Happy New Year!

Diana Pharaoh Francis (descendent of the Pharaohs?) blogs at Mad Libs. Her next release is The Black Ship (November ’08), the second book in the Crosspointe series.

And a contest! Diana sent me an ARC of The Cipher, which I reviewed here. One lucky person who comments will get the ARC (I’ll throw in slowboat international shipping), and I will get a new copy to keep at home in Singapore. So comment away!


The PINK shall attack….

…Stephanie’s bookshelf!

Poor Stephanie. Whatever is she going to do? Maybe she’ll come back and tell us in comments.

Stephanie, comment to let me know you’ve seen this and email Charlene at charli (at) charleneteglia (dot) com (substitutions where appropriate) to collect your shiny book.

If you’ve not read the fabulous excerpt, clicky here, and if you’ve not read the  wonderful Reuben’s Rules, buy it now!

Tomorrow, you can come back and yell at me over my review.


The Total-E-Bound Contest

We have a little treasure hunt for you.

Head on over to the Total-E-Bound website, and look for the answers to these questions:

1. What is the second book in the Campus Cravings Series by Carol Lynne called?

2. What date did we launch TEB?

3. Which country is TEB based out of?

Total-E-Bound has been kind enough to donate a book of choice as a prize to one lucky winner!

Some of the answers to these questions you already know if you actually read my interview. 😉

Then email them to me at miladyinsanity (at) gmail (dot) com, with TEB Contest in the subject line by July 5th, midnight EST.

Don’t post them in the comments. That’s for if something goes wrong. If you post the answers in the comments, I shall hunt you down like a dog and disqualify you after I delete your comment.


7 Questions with HelenKay Dimon

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.

I’m at about a level nine right now. My “normal” state is somewhere between a six and a seven, so the heightened state is not intolerable. The higher-than-normal rank can be attributed to just coming off a deadline, getting an idea for a single title series that I’m dying to pitch to my agent and editor, and recuperating from the annual RWA conference. I’m hoping to drop back to an eight by the end of the week.

2. In your website bio, you mention the romance novel an ex-colleague gave to you. Do you still remember which one that was?

Absolutely. My former law colleague (now music industry professional) handed me a stack of romance novels. Right on top sat The Bride by Julie Garwood. The other two books were Daniel’s Bride by Linda Lael Miller and Perfect Partners by Jayne Ann Krentz. I devoured all three and then ran through the authors’ respective backlists. Since Jayne Ann Krentz writes under various names, that turned out to be a significant undertaking. To this day, I’m a huge fan of all three and read whatever they put on the shelves.

3. Have you discovered the “Bad Boys” secret to topping the charts yet?

Lori Foster…actually, Lori or Erin McCarthy or Joann Ross or MaryJanice Davidson or a handful of other amazing authors. Brava editor Kate Duffy’s teams bestsellers with newer or lesser known authors to keep the bestsellers out there with new releases and give the rest of us the opportunity to benefit from the existing fan base. Add to that the Bad Boy label – one that brings in some readers no matter who the authors may be – and you have a winning combination. Or, at least I hope that’s true…
4. As one of the contributors to Paperback Reader, do you think that response to the site has been positive? Is there anything you’d change about it?

Except for the occasional angry reviewed author, response has been very positive. For a short time I wondered if I should have reviewed under a pseudonym. I toyed with that change but eventually decided that not being honest about who we are took something away from Paperback Reader. We review and put our name right there. If authors are angry, they know where to direct that anger…and they do.

Wendy Duren and I started Paperback Reader believing that romance novels were worthy of attention and could be reviewed critically and without personal attacks. We wanted to start a discussion. In the great should-authors-be-reviewers debate, we often take some shots, but for the most part I think people know we do this out of a love for the genre and not as a means of trying to hurt fellow writers.

The great news is that we’re growing. Over the last year, we’ve seen huge increases in readership and added a third partner in crime – Kassia Kroszer (aka Booksquare) – to the mix, as well as two new reviewers, Lorna and L.J. We’re trying to post reviews three times a week and run contests so that we can share some of our review books with readers. All of these steps, and the cool new website, have us excited to see what happens in this year.

5. Me and another person living outside the US won books from you that were sent out, returned, sent out again and went missing. What do you plan to do to the person behind your..uh…interesting international mail karma?

I’d fire her, but she’s me. See, I blamed – and continue to blame – the U.S. Postal Service for the mishaps. In return, the USPS insisted – and continues to insist – that I messed up the international declarations form. We’ve agreed to disagree. Either way, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve stocked up on the proper forms and am hopeful the mailing delays are behind us.

6. You debuted in Brava anthology When Good Things Happen To Bad Boys. Hardhats And Silk Stockings is a novella. As a writer, I think they are harder to write. As a reader, I think it’s much harder to find a good novella than it is to find a good full-length novel. Do you think you might have been better off starting with a full-length novel as opposed to a novella?

The novella versus novel decision was out of my hands. My editor likes to start new authors in novellas. The goal is to let the newbie feed off the fan base of the other authors in the anthology. It’s a good plan and seems to work, so I can’t complain. But, I do agree with you about novellas being harder to write. For me, shorter doesn’t mean easier. Shorter means I need to fit conflict, character arcs and a satisfying ending into a limited number of pages. I tend to make my life even harder and have my characters not know each at the beginning of the novella. That kind of thing gives me an extra challenge.

As a reader I love anthologies. My only frustration comes when reading a novella that’s less a full story than a “Day In The Life Of XXX” chapter. No matter the number of pages, I want a complete and fleshed out plot. Delivering that as an author is the challenge.

7. Viva Las Bad Boys, your sophomore title, is also an anthology. Is there something about the shorter form that appeals to you? Will your next title be a full-length novel?

The ideas for the Viva Las Bad Boys! novellas came to me as short connected stories, not as full-length novels. The plot ideas seemed perfect for the single author anthology format, and my editor agreed. My next Brava is a single title set in Kauai. The tone is humorous with a touch of suspense, but the story stays focused on the romance. We’re debating the title right now. I called it something ingenuous like, The Kauai Book. My editor jokingly referred to it as Two Wacky Macadamia Nuts. Thankfully, neither is the final title. Readers can check my website for further information on that one. The release date is July 2007.

HelenKay’s site is here, and she reviews books at Paperback Reader. Viva Las Bad Boys should be available at a bookstore near you.

And now…for a contest!

Comment here or on my review of Viva Las Bad Boys and win a signed copy from HelenKay! You have until Friday, midnight, EST to enter. 🙂


HelenKay Dimon: Viva Las Bad Boys

Jackpot is a heroine goes undercover in order to prove hero is a villain story.

The issue here is that the heroine, Laine, is an accountant and I can’t for the life of me see an accountant doing that.

This is where the Accountants of the World drop by to flame me, I suppose.

Player’s Club

Oooh. I loved this novella.

I’ve a thing for men who can cook. Sigh.

And I love heroines who are the opposite of pushovers.
Two Of A Kind

Caroline leads a double life. Unfortunately, her double life clashes with Alex’s job.

But he doesn’t find out until he stumbles over her things from her Other Life in her room. And boy is he pissed!

Of course, he gets over it, even if Caroline had to smack him over the head.

Me, I suggest you go buy the book and enjoy it at the beach. I do think that really sexy books like this one aren’t right for the beach, but I’m not you.

Comment here anytime until Friday, midnight, EST and you’ll go into a drawing for a signed copy.


The Sound of Dark Need

PBW is having another contest. Name a CD you really want but haven't got for whatever reason, and you'll get it, plus an Evans Blue CD and a signed copy of Dark Need. 

Please forgive the bad title of this blog entry. I know, the moment I typed that, I thought about somebody under attack from vampires screaming. But it was so bad, I couldn't resist. 

And up your chances of getting the book: Go to your nearest bookstore and buy it. Now.