Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wrong Side of Dead: Snippet 2

I want to end the old year with another snippet from WRONG SIDE OF DEAD (31 days!), and it's a challenge to find good snippets that aren't also chock full of spoilers. This book addresses a lot of questions that have been raised during the previous three books (including Walter Thackery, Clan politics, various personal relationships, and what's really up with the Fey), so finding something to post is a bit of a challenge.

I chose the following section because it amuses me. You get to meet a new-ish character, were-jaguar Marcus Dane. He was first introduced in my short story PRIDE BEFORE FALL, along with his sister, Astrid. Both come back as major players in WRONG SIDE OF DEAD as the Triads and Therian Clans ally themselves.

In this scene, set a couple of days after the final events in ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD, Evy and Milo are being given a tour of their new headquarters by Marcus, and they end up in the gym.


Milo clears his throat. "The gym's great. With everything that's been going on, I haven't had a good workout in ages."

"You don't consider Sunday to be a good workout?" I ask, caught between amusement and surprise.

He gives me a baleful look. "I was thinking more along the lines of improving mobility and fighting skills, and less battling for my life."

"Good point. The barbells don't usually fight back."

"That removes some of the fun, don't you think?" Marcus asks. One corner of his mouth quirks up, and I swear there's an amused glint in his eyes. "You spar?"

He isn't asking me, and it takes Milo a moment to realize it. "Boxing? No, not really."

I manage to keep surprise off my face. He knows how to fight as well as I do, but I don't contradict him. Not in front of a cat and two bears.

"Wrestling?" Marcus asks.


Some? Learning basic holds, pins, and throws was part of Boot Camp training. We all took the course. I remember all the moves and can re-create them all in my mind, but even if I wasn't in such poor shape, I'd hesitate to try wrestling in this new body before it's properly trained. Especially not wrestling against a were-cat who outweighs me by a good fifty pounds.

"Great." Marcus strips out of his T-shirt without ceremony, showing off a ripped torso and tanned skin. I know my jaw dropped. "Let's go, then." He strides toward the far end of the room and the archway into the matted area. He pauses there and looks back, grinning right at Milo. "Do you have somewhere to be?"

"Uh, no?" Milo says.

I lift a shoulder in a half shrug, offering him no help. His own attempt at reverse psychology didn't get him out of it. He responds by sticking his tongue out at me, then following Marcus. I laugh. Sometimes I forget how young we both still are.

Okay, maybe Milo more than me. He's legitimately twenty years old. I was twenty-two when I died almost three months ago. The body I have now is twenty-seven—a five-year gap physically, but my emotional and mental ages are playing catch-up. Still, I manage to not flip Milo the bird as I trail behind the pair, curious about how this impromptu wrestling match will turn out.

Both men are in jeans, which aren't ideal for wrestling, but I bet that neither is going to strip down to his boxers. Or briefs. Or whatever. Milo follows Marcus's lead and takes off his own T-shirt. He's got a fairly average build, lean, with muscles hinted at beneath his tanned skin without being obvious or bulked up. An odd pattern of faint, pencil-thin scars checkerboard his back and shoulders—a peek into his past and a story I don't know.

Marcus notes them, I think, with a flare of his nostrils, then redirects his attention to the fight. Physically, Milo is no match for Marcus. Strategically…well, we're going to find out.

I lean against the wall to watch.

The first round goes as expected—the bigger, stronger Marcus has Milo on his back in less than ten seconds. They reengage. Marcus pins him again, but this time it takes longer. As Milo rolls up off the mat, he flashes me a confident grin.

We've also gained an audience. Shelby and Jackson stand by the wall opposite me, smirking. I bite my lower lip, confident the tables are about to turn.

Round three ratchets up my respect for Milo. Now that he's tested Marcus's strength and maneuvers, Milo adjusts his own movements to compensate. He skillfully rolls and ducks, easily avoiding the larger, slightly slower were-cat bearing down on him. Marcus lunges. Milo twists away. It's an amusing dance that's lasted over a minute already.

Marcus turns again, and I catch a glimpse of his face. His teeth are bared like any predator, but he's smiling. If I didn't know better, I'd swear he was on the verge of laughter. Milo seems equally amused—enjoying the challenge.

"Come on, Marcus, pin the child," Shelby says.

Milo flips him off without breaking concentration, and I snort laughter. Shelby growls. Milo pulls to his right, and Marcus compensates—perhaps anticipating it as a feint. Only Milo doesn't feint. He keeps going around, twists, and ducks lower. His shoulder hits Marcus's lower abdomen full-force.

In a move as graceful as a ballet dancer's, Milo lifts Marcus up with his shoulder while anchoring him hands to ribs, and executes a perfect flip while falling backward. Both men land on their backs, Milo angled higher up so Marcus's shoulders hit the mat at the same time. It's a beautiful pin.

Milo rolls away, then comes up standing, practically bouncing on the balls of his feet. I half expect him to crow a little over the victory, or at least smirk. He just watches Marcus with a comical wide-eyed innocence as the larger man stands up, making a show of dusting himself off.

Jackson and Shelby are silent.

Marcus crosses well-toned arms over his chest. "You must have made a fortune hustling pool," he says with a grin.

Milo laughs.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolutions: Make 'Em Right

A wise man once said "I resolve to make no resolutions." Or if he didn't say that, he should have.

With New Year's Day fast approaching here in the States, all manner of things abound on the internet. "Best of 2011" lists are being posted all over the place, from books to movies to blog posts. People are doing their Year in Review posts, and they are looking forward to 2012.

This got me thinking about New Year's Resolutions. Year after year, we say we'll change something/do better at something/be a better person. And year after year, we fall back into the same old patterns. Why? Because change is hard. Real change requires commitment and determination.

Real change means that you have to do it for yourself, not because you flip the calendar to a new year and people say you should.


I'm thinking about this for two reasons. One, someone I follow on Twitter was talking about losing weight, keeping it off, and how it has to be a lifestyle change. Two, someone I've known for over three years told me he might be trying to quit smoking again (this will be the fifth time since I've known him). In order to succeed at those two things, the person must want to do it.

Yes, I know it's not as easy as simply saying "I want this." Life isn't like that. But having a positive mindset and being determined to reach your goal for yourself definitely gets that goal closer to you.

Another reason so many resolutions fail is that while people are good at the "what?" of a resolution, they aren't very good at the "How?" part. How are you going to achieve your goal? How are you going to lose ten pounds? How are you going to quit a ten-year smoking habit? How are you going to "be a better person?"

And don't forget to consider "how long?" Give yourself a proper amount of time to achieve this goal. Don't rush change, and don't expect more from yourself than you can reasonably achieve--setting unreasonable expectations is another way to set yourself up for failure.

So be smart about your resolutions this year. And if I don't post again before then, see y'all in 2012!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Winter Holiday of Your Choice!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

And I'm leaving you with a small slice of my favorite Christmas movie, THE REF.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

AAD Featured Author


I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it, but I'll be attending Authors After Dark 2012 in New Orleans next year. And yesterday, I was a Featured Author at Wicked Little Pixie's site. Come on over, read a short interview, and leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of TRANCE!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Wrong Side of Dead Snippet

Someone on Twitter reminded me it was Teaser Tuesday, and since WRONG SIDE OF DEAD is out in just over two months, I thought I'd provide a brief snippet from that book. I redacted a tiny bit of info just to avoid big spoilers (although if you've read ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD, you probably saw the first chapter of WSOD, so it isn't really that huge of a spoiler, but still...).


The snippet is from Chapter Four, and it features a familiar thorn in Evy's side. She and several others are on their way back from a crime scene that hits particularly close to home for Evy.



On the trip back, I somehow got stuck in the rear bench seat of the SUV between the window and Paul Ryan. Phineas had shifted into osprey form—to save seating space, he said, but I was jealous of his clever way of avoiding conversation—and was perched in the small rear compartment with his pants and shoes.

I gazed out the window at the passing mountains, and then the outskirts of the city, trying to ignore Paul. We'd managed to mostly avoid each other these last few months, and for good reason. He'd been a one-week rookie in the Triads when I was first resurrected, and his twitchy trigger finger had gotten Wyatt killed. Granted, a gnome healing crystal had brought Wyatt back, but that wasn't the point. And he'd helped out at Parker's Palace and fought hard at the Boot Camp slaughter, but I still wanted to dislike Ryan on principle.

And he was still twitchy. He shifted on the crowded seat, hands tapping on his thighs, like someone in the middle of a sugar high. Or someone who wanted to say something and kept changing his mind. I resisted the urge to elbow him in the ribs. Hard.

Lucky for him, I dozed off for the last half of the trip. I jerked awake as we pulled into the parking area. As soon as the side door slid open, Phineas flew out and away. I was the last one out of the SUV. The cold cement floor sent a shock through my bare feet, reminding me that I needed to find shoes and a change of clothes.

"Stone?" Paul's voice stopped me short.

I turned and shot him an impatient look.

"I'm real sorry about your friends," he said. "Not just [X], but the [Z], too."

"Um, thanks." I didn't know what else to say. We were in no danger of becoming BFFs or anything, but the sentiment was a pleasant surprise.

He nodded, and then followed the rest of his squad out of the lot.

I cast around for Phin. He'd gone off on his own, probably to calm down before going back to work. I kind of liked the idea. I could use a little relaxation, too, so I didn't take my temper out on someone who didn't deserve it. The gym was a good place to do that.

Monday, November 07, 2011

TRANCE Spoiler Thread


I've never done this before on the blog, so I thought I'd try an experiment. I'm opening up the comments section of this post to discussion of and questions about TRANCE and the MetaWars series. It'll be a SPOILER ZONE, so if you haven't read TRANCE and are spoiler-phobic, don't venture into the comments.

So, thoughts? Comments? Questions?


Monday, October 31, 2011

What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?

For me, Halloween was a bigger deal when I was a kid. I got to dress up, go trick-or-treating, and bring home a crap-load of candy (I lived in a trailer park and back then, about seventy percent of the residents gave out candy, so the haul was spectacular). Nowadays, it's an excuse to wear cute pumpkin earrings and then buy candy at a discount the day after.

It's also all about the scary movies.

I'm a huge fan of horror movies. Have been since I was a kid. I can't recall ever not knowing who Freddy Krueger was, or being unaware of Dracula, the Mummy, Frankenstein, and the Crypt Keeper. That love of horror tends to creep into my writing (people coming back from the dead, bloody torture, losing body parts, etc...). But good horror isn't easy. Good horror should evoke a visceral reaction from the reader/audience.

So in honor of Halloween, I wanted to share five of my favorite horror movies. I'm not sure if they're my absolute favorites (those types of lists are very difficult to come up with, because my choices tend to change by the month). But these are five current favorites.


The utter creepiness of this movie is amazing. And the fact that the monsters are not completely CGI, but rather old school latex and makeup, makes it all the more impressive. The somewhat ambiguous ending just completes the creepy factor, and it makes me a bit leery of foggy days.


One word: Pinhead.

Two words: puzzle box.

Three words: Don't open it.


As much a riff on horror movie cliches as it is a true gore-fest, this movie just rocks. It's gross, it's hilarious, and it's got characters you don't mind watching. Just don't trust anyone's Life Expectancy Rating.


The most self-aware slasher movie ever, this one turned the psycho-slasher genre on its head. It's the perfect movie for people like me, who were raised on the eighties slasher films and were also teenagers in 1994. How can you not think of it when someone asks, "What your favorite scary movie?"


While the grand dame of this series will always be the first installment, I'm putting the boxed collection on the list because it's my favorite movie series. If you can ignore parts 2 and 6, the series is pretty awesome in how it follows certain characters from film to film. And the seventh movie, A New Nightmare, totally rocked my world by having Freddy going after the actors themselves. I'm not terribly fond of last year's remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, so let's pretend it didn't happen.

How about you? What's your favorite scary movie?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Release Day!



Today, I sit back and look over the journey it's been, getting this book into readers' hands. I wrote the first draft almost four years ago. I revised it quite a lot. I queried it. I revised it again. I trunked it. I signed with my agent and sold a different series. I pulled it back out and revised it again.

I sold it. Quite a different version from that first one, but the book it became is so much improved from what it once was.

And it's so pretty.

Thank you, everyone who helped bring this book to fruition. Thank you, especially, my loyal readers. This one's for you. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spooky Legends and Chili


My post for Spooky Legends extravaganza is up at All Things Urban Fantasy. Teresa "Trance" West tells her rendition of the "finger in Wendy's chili" tale.

Abigail also reviewed TRANCE here.

Several other awesome advanced reviews have been popping up, and I'm tickled to see readers embracing the new series. Little birds have told that copies of TRANCE have been spotted in the wild at Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, so you might be able to find yours early!

Ten hours left until official release! Squee!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Gathering of Links

To celebrate the upcoming release of TRANCE, I've put together a couple of fun character interviews, in which a character from the Dreg City books chats up their counterpart in the MetaWars series.

Thursday, the first interview went up at Book Faery's Blog. In it, Evy Stone and Teresa West discuss leadership, powers, and the man in their lives.

Friday, interview two is up at Smexy Books. Wyatt Truman and Gage McAllister...get through it. What can I say? My heroes aren't very gregarious.

Saturday, the third interview is up at Kevin Hearne's blog. I love this one. Milo Gant gets moderately terrorized by the force of nature that is Renee Duvall. *grin*

Edit: added a link 10/22.


On another note, I'm excited and humbled by the positive reviews that have been popping up for TRANCE. It won't be everyone's cuppa, but so far it's been well-received.

This morning I woke up to a fab review from Julie, at Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks, and it just made me grin like a loon. Julie is a big fan of the Dreg City books, and her comparison of the two was terrific. Plus, one of the giggle-worthy quotes she picked out is one of my absolute favorites, too.

Here's another, from one of my previous ARC giveaway winners!

Four more days until the MetaWars start! Eeeeee!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Five Items of an Everyday Sort 6

1. The incomparably Jaye Wells (author of the Sabine Kane novels, as well as fellow League member) has declared her own damned holiday. You can read about it, as well as get in on a massive giveaway of urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels (including a signed copy of TRANCE). Just let us know why you love urban fantasy!

2. The movie trailer for The Avengers is up online. If you haven't seen it, watch it! This movie looks like it will be amazing (and with Joss Whedon at the helm, it's almost a guarantee).

3. The cast of The Princess Bride, 25 years later. I adore this movie. I've met few people in my life who don't like it.

4. I am stupidly excited by the upcoming "The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs" competition. Why? Have you seen the chefs competing? Anne Burrell versus Robert Irvine, again! Plus Geoffrey Zakarian! The only problem is that it's on at 9, opposite "The Walking Dead." Although TWD repeats immediately at 10, so I think it's workable. *grin*

5. With TRANCE releasing in just six days, I'll be all over the internet for the next week, doing guest posts and stuff. Stay tuned for links!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Picture Worth a (Literal) Thousand Words

Last October I was lucky enough to enjoy an extended weekend frolicking around New York City with a good friend. We went to see the fabulous show "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson," eat good food, walk a bazillion miles, and even throw in a little book research.

You see, the opening chapter of TRANCE takes place in Central Park. In it, sixteen teen and tweens training to be superheroes are running from a group of bad guys. It's the final battle after years of fighting between the adults, and everything has come to a head in Manhattan.

The problem was, I had never been to Central Park, and while I'd found lots of nice photos online, it's an entirely different experience to walk the Park itself. For one thing, it's huge! And you can't really get a sense of scale without being there. So we went, and we walked, and I took lots and lots of pictures.

You can read Chapter One of TRANCE here, or you can hang around and read here, as well, complete with pictures. Unfortunately, I lack the drawing skills required to insert my characters into these photos, so the narrative action will have to suffice.




Central Park

The bronze man's head was melting. It oozed fat splats of liquid metal and swirled down the front of his old-fashioned suit jacket to puddle at his feet. Some of it hit the bronze duck below him, adding layers of new metal that mutated it into a nightmarish goose. The molten metal cooled and hardened as it hit the sidewalk. Mayhem's heat blasts were concentrated above the statue, and metal needs a constant heat source to stay liquid. I learned that in class.

Gage had told me the statue was of a once-famous man who wrote stories for kids. I don't know for sure, but if Gage says so, it must be true. He's in charge while the adults are fighting for all of our lives, and he kept us quiet and hidden. For a while.

Until Mayhem found our hiding place.

"We have to run for it," Gage said.

I didn't want to run. We'd been running for hours, from the southernmost point of Central Park to where we were now. I don't know how many blocks, but a lot, and it was raining, too—light, chilly rain and heavy, splattering rain. Sometimes it stopped and just blew cold wind; then Ethan would use his Tempest powers to try to redirect it so we didn't freeze.

Hours of it, and I was exhausted. We all were. Each time the Banes gained ground and pushed the last of the grown-up Rangers north, we kids ran ahead and took cover. We were there to fight if we had to, but the grown-ups didn't want us to—not until absolutely necessary. At fifteen, Gage was the oldest; I'm the youngest at ten-almost-eleven. He says we're the last line of defense for the city of New York.

We're the last line of defense for the rest of the country.

And we're just a bunch of kids.

Mayhem kept blasting.

Ethan stepped out from the shelter of the stone wall, all wiry and red-haired and cocky thirteen. He raised his hands to the sky. A blast of wind shot away from him and swirled toward Mayhem. She was a good hundred yards away, across a cement hole that had once been a lake or something, near a statue of a bronze girl on a mushroom. The statue was losing shape, turning into goo from her being so close to it.

Ethan's air blast slammed Mayhem's heat back at her. She was wearing street clothes, just jeans and a black shirt, and they were nothing like our special uniforms. No armor to protect Mayhem from her own powers or ours, so she flew backward with a piercing shriek. Her braided black hair flipped around like snakes, and she landed out of sight on the other side of the mushroom.

"Go!" Gage shouted.

Mellie ran first, as fast as she could across the cement ground, toward the nearest clutch of unburned trees. Renee went next, a streak of blue skin and honey-blond hair, with William behind her. He carried Janel, who was unconscious from power overload; William had superstrength so he could run and carry her at the same time, while I could barely run and carry myself.

I followed the big kids, including Marco, who was still in panther form, and fifteen of us streaked across the way, rounding the edge of the cement pit, seeking our next place to hide. Just like we'd done all day. My lungs were burning, aching with smoke and cold and overuse and unshed tears. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep. I was sick of being cold. I didn't want to be afraid anymore. I didn't want to have to think about tomorrow—if we had a tomorrow.

I was only ten. Almost eleven. I wasn't ready to die.

None of us was.

Mellie sure wasn't when one of Mayhem's heat blasts caught her full in the face and melted her skin down to her bones. Mellie didn't even get to scream. I screamed plenty. So did Renee and Nate and William. Only panther-Marco paused long enough to sniff her, then loped past.

Ethan cried out, and then he wasn't running with the group anymore. I didn't stop to see what happened, but a few seconds later, Mayhem shouted again. This time, the roar of wind was louder. I hoped he tossed her into a tree or something.

We left poor Mellie on the ground and kept going, like we'd left three others behind already. My jelly legs didn't want to keep running, and one by one the older kids moved ahead of me. Toward the trees and the promise of safety somewhere else. I'd get left behind and it wouldn't matter. My powers were stupid; I couldn't help in a fight. My ability to hypnotize people and alter their thoughts worked only if I looked them in the eye. That was hard to do in the middle of a war zone. I hadn't done anything today but cry and scream and get in the way.

Not like my dad, Hinder, one of the greatest heroes in the Ranger Corps. He was fighting south of us with the last half dozen grown-up Rangers, keeping the horde of Banes (sixty-something of them, Gage had said) from overrunning us. We were kids training to be heroes. If our parents and mentors died, how did anyone expect us to stop them?

We could barely save ourselves from one Bane with a superheat blast. Once the line fell and the Banes got through, sixty-something of them would crush us in seconds.

No, the line couldn't fall. Not with my dad in charge. He'd save us.

A hand grabbed my arm and yanked me forward. I nearly tripped. Gage didn't let go as we ran; he was practically pulling me along. It was as close as we'd ever come—or ever would—to holding hands. I'm still a baby and he's a teenager. He's just helping me because he's in charge. He can't let me lag behind.


We found a wide path. It took us under a stone archway and we emerged onto an open lawn. If it was ever green, it was now brown and rutted and overrun here and there with clumps of dried weeds. A lot of Central Park looked like that now. After New York City's first major battle in the War, most of the city had been evacuated and a lot of the buildings destroyed. I'd seen it from the helicopter that brought us here this morning—burning, crumbling skyscrapers, gutted old theaters, debris in the empty streets. William had pointed at a tall, skinny building called the Empire or something, and said it used to be twice as tall. I didn't believe him.

Manhattan was a good place to fight, we were told. Early evacuation meant fewer civilian injuries. One of the major rules of the Ranger Corps code is protect civilians at all costs. Even the dumb ones who stand there and scream, instead of getting out of the way.

I once overheard Gage's mentor, Delphi, say that any civilian who didn't get out of the way of battling Metas was too stupid to save. It had made the other adults laugh. I didn't know why it was funny, and I couldn't ask her to explain it. I shouldn't have been listening in the first place. But Delphi was smart, so it had to be important. She'd mentored a lot of kids who didn't have anyone to teach them about their powers and how to be a Ranger. If I'd been an orphan like Gage, I'd have liked Delphi to be my mentor, too.


No one else attacked us on the lawn, but it was too open. Gage changed our direction, sideways instead of across the lawn. It felt like forever before we hit the cover of trees again. In the distance, peeking through the crisping, late summer leaves, was the turret of a big stone building.

"Head toward the castle," Gage yelled toward the front of the line. William and Renee altered their path just a little. We passed what had once been a pond of some kind, and soon we were all going up.

"Can we hide there?" I gasped. The cold and wet made my lungs burn.

"I think so."


Somewhere south of us, something exploded. It sounded like a truck got dropped from the sky and hit another one on the ground. I felt the rattle of it in my bones. Gage looked over his shoulder. I couldn't. Every ounce of my attention was on not falling over my own tired feet.


We went up a set of stone steps. The paths intersected at the top and seemed to go off in four different directions. To our left was the castle—a stone building that had so far avoided complete destruction and shone like a hopeful beacon. Thick, round stones made a sort of patio that led to the castle itself, and it had two fancy pavilions on the left and right of the steps we came up. Except for a few blown-out windows, the castle was intact. Past it, farther to the north, was something that looked like an outdoor theater surrounded by bony winter trees.

A figure emerged from the castle, and everyone ahead of us came to a clumsy, jumbled halt. Gage let me go and jogged to the front to see. I sidled closer to Renee, who stretched one blue arm out to grasp me around the shoulders. She was twelve, almost a teenager, and my best friend. I loved her Flex power that let her bend and twist into funny lengths and shapes. It was a useful power, too. When we first got here, she'd used it to yank me out of the way of Mayhem's heat blast.

"You gotta keep up, T," Renee said. Her teeth chattered and, instead of red, the cold made her cheeks look purple. "Can't lose you, too."

"I'm trying," I replied.


"Who are you?" Gage asked the stranger. His voice was still changing, going unpredictably from high-pitched to deep in timbre, so it squeaked a little when he tried to be bossy. Like now.

I peeked around William's bulk—twelve and almost six feet tall—to get a better look.

A dirty man in ragged clothes was leaning hard against the stone wall. His face was sunken and filthy, and he probably stank, if the look on Gage's face said anything. All five of Gage's senses were hypersensitive and picked up on all sorts of things. Something about the stranger, other than being homeless and in our hiding place—was bothering Gage.

"Sir, you shouldn't be here," Gage said. "It isn't safe."

"Nowhere's safe from your kind nowadays," the man said. His voice was slurred, thick, like he was both drunk and half asleep. He wouldn't look up from some interesting spot on the stone. Loose, torn clothing hung limply, covering his hands and feet, as if he'd shrunk inside them.

"There's a battle moving this way. You can't stay here."

The man shrugged.

Another explosion, similar to the first, rocked the ground. It was closer this time, louder. One of the younger boys whimpered. Panther-Marco stalked around the group to stand sentry next to Gage and hissed at the man. The two boys with the best noses knew something was wrong.

Nate's voice rang through all of our heads as his telepathic warning blared like a neon sign: Back up and get out of—

The stranger raised his right hand as he looked up. His sunken eyes glowed with yellow-orange power as he fired the little revolver in his hand, creating chaos.

Her arm still around me, Renee practically dragged me toward the larger pavilion. We all fled there while three more shots were fired. I couldn't see for the flurry of moving bodies. I didn't know where Gage was. Someone was screaming about Nate.

At the back of the pavilion, more stone steps led down to a rocky surface that overlooked the dried-up pond. We crouched there, using what little cover our hiding place provided. Fear clutched me colder than the January freeze, but I still glanced up and around a stone column, heart kicking against my ribs, a bitter taste in my mouth.

Nate was dead on the ground, a hole in his chest. The homeless man looked on, his eyes glowing death, smug like a Bane. He threw back his head and laughed—it might have been scarier if he weren't so hoarse.

Nearby, under the pavilion and behind a stone wall, William was bleeding at the hip. Down on the rock floor with us, Ethan was shot in the left shoulder. Both were panting, trying to be brave and to not cry. I looked away before I started crying, too.

"We're ending this tonight!" the man shouted. "Your pathetic Rangers are falling as we speak. You'll see your parents in hell soon enough."

I shivered.

"Specter," Gage said, and I jumped at the sound of his voice right beside me.

It couldn't be Specter, the leader of the Banes. My dad said he was the one who'd rallied them together and initiated the War that had raged and ruined the country, killed hundreds on both sides, and left Metas nearly extinct. The last surviving Metas in the world had descended on Central Park to fight each other today. Dad said Specter could possess anyone who was unconscious or had a weak mind—take them over like a puppeteer, and make them do whatever he wanted.

Specter had found a man with a gun who could cut us kids down as surely as superpowers had taken five of us since the morning.

He strode out to the middle of the stone patio, gun raised but pointed nowhere. We didn't have a lot of cover, crowding low on the cold stone steps and behind two columns and two bits of waist-high stone wall. The wounded were now in the rear, the most powerful in the front. I was somewhere in the middle beside Gage, whose hands were shaking. His lips were pressed together so tight I couldn't see them. He looked like he wanted to barf all over the ground.

He was terrified.

Gage couldn't be terrified. He had to lead us, tell us what to do so we survived this.

"Gage?" I said.

He didn't look at me. He scrubbed a hand through his spiky blond hair, down over his face, then clenched it in front of his blue jumpsuit. Tugged and pulled at the material.

I tried again. Maybe my powers couldn't save us, but I could help him save us. "Gage?"

He just wasn't paying attention to me, like usual, so I grabbed his hand and gave it a solid yank. He looked at me then, his dark eyes flecked with little bits of silver that made them look like a starry night sky. As soon as I caught his gaze, I locked in and let my Trance powers do the rest.

You're a brave man, Gage. You wouldn't be our leader if you weren't brave. We need you to lead us. We need you to save us. You can do this.

Tears glistened in his eyes. I felt him fighting it, fighting the Trance, the urge to do anything I told him. Being scared was easier—I knew it and so did he. I forced a little more at him, as much as I could muster through my own terror.

Trust me.

His hands stopped shaking. He was calming down, bucking up, accepting my influence. My own fear lessened a little, but not enough. I wished I could Trance myself.

Trust me, Gage, and lead us. Save us.

The Specter-host took three more potshots. Someone screamed—I couldn't look, didn't want to know. Didn't want to see any more of my classmates hurt or dying or dead. A third explosion, horrifyingly close, sent a blast of hot air scorching across the pavilion, layered with the stink of smoke and ash. And something burning sweet.

Death was coming closer.


"Angela, I need a distraction," Gage said, breaking our lock. He moved away, toward a blond girl who could leave up to twelve copies of herself behind as she walked, like holographic bread crumbs. "Marco, raven form."

Nearby I heard the funny, wet-Velcro sound Marco made when he shifted. The large black bird hopped over to Gage and waited for orders.

"I can still help," Ethan said. He was sweating, so pale his freckles looked like pimples, his uniform front soaked with blood.

Gage whispered a plan I couldn't hear while our attacker shot at us twice more, exploding stone and cement, in no hurry to kill us all. Or he was waiting for something.

"Ready?" Gage asked. The other big kids nodded. They all turned, prepared with their plan.

An energy orb slammed into the Specter-host and spun him around—but it wasn't from any of us. He squeezed off a wild shot that shattered the stone near Gage's head, and then the dirty man fell facedown on the cobblestones. The cold rain started falling harder.

A hunched, bleeding figure shambled toward us from around the stairs. Her white hair was stained red, plastered to her skull, and she looked a hundred years old. Gage and Angela ran out to help her, and they practically carried the old woman into the pavilion. She was bleeding from a dozen wounds, her hands and knees scraped from multiple falls. I saw her face and started to cry.

"Granny Dell," I said, shouldering my way through the older kids. I dropped to my knees next to my maternal grandmother, confused and horrified. She shouldn't be here. She'd retired forty years ago, long before I was born, and had lived my entire lifetime in Europe. We'd only met once, but had chatted on the phone dozens of times. She told me stories about my mom, who I didn't remember much.

And now Granny Dell was in Central Park. I'd heard the grown-ups say that everyone was being called to duty, but I had never imagined they meant my grandmother.

She turned weepy eyes toward me, like someone so desperately tired she wanted to burst out crying. I couldn't stop my own tears from falling, or the desperate sobs that hurt my chest.

"You kids need to go," she gasped. She was trying so hard. "They're coming. He's coming."

"We have wounded," Gage said behind me. "We can't leave them."

"Have to, son. You kids … you're the last. Have to live."

"We're not," I said. "Dad's still fighting. He'll save us." Her sad, sad face told me something about my dad I didn't want to know. My lungs hitched. I ignored her face. If I ignored her, it simply wasn't true.

"They'll be here soon, Teresa," Granny Dell said. "You have to run. Hide."

"Rangers don't hide." Dad taught me that. All I wanted to do was hide until the bad guys went away, but we couldn't. If we hid from the Banes now, we'd never live it down later. Unless we died after all.

Was it better to die a hero or live a coward?

I didn't know. All I knew was that I wanted to live.

Granny Dell choked up blood and stopped breathing. I kept holding her hand, afraid that if I let go, I'd run and hide just like she wanted me to, find a tree to climb or a hole to burrow into and stay there until the battle was over.

"We stand here," Gage said, rising up and addressing us like a general. Still brave, still saving us. Not giving up. "The man out there was right. It comes down to what we do tonight. We have to make our parents and mentors proud."

They were all talking at once, a buzz of voices and sounds and movements, and situating those who were too hurt to fight in the back of the pavilion, down in that rock-bottom hiding place. Forming a defensive line based on powers. Someone dashed outside to retrieve the gun. No one would use it; they just couldn't leave it lying around for a Bane to pick up. I stayed in the rear with the wounded and the dead, too cold and scared to help. I was useless.


An agony-filled shriek rose up from the trees surrounding the south side of the castle, carried on a wind that brought more of that awful roasted-sweet odor. Female scream, I thought, unable to think of the other adult Rangers who'd been left. I couldn't think of anyone except my dad, hurt, maybe … No. Just hurt. Or still battling his way toward us, leading his Rangers as only he could. Hinder would save us.

Renee and William stood together. I was surprised that William could be shot and still standing. He was strong. I thought he had a good power, just like Renee. But he didn't like her ability to stretch her blue body out like taffy. He said it was creepy, and she loved to torment him. Seeing them together was weird.

Marco was back in panther form. He paced the length of the pavilion, thick tail swishing, a predator. He told me once he'd rather be a big cat than a person. I didn't understand, but I was always jealous of his being a shapeshifter.

Even hurt, Ethan was waiting to help. He had one of the strongest powers among us, and he knew it. He was being brave. Everyone was being brave, except me. Might as well only be eleven of us left, instead of twelve.

Stupid, useless Trance.

The castle's spire exploded. Fire and rock blasted outward and rained down on the cobblestones in front of the pavilion. Some of us shrieked. I know I did. A second blast took out the rest of the turret. Smoke choked me and stung my eyes. Gage was shouting orders.

The first Bane crested the stairs at the far end of the stone patio. I didn't know her. Just saw her stop, locate us, then let out an excited war whoop. Terror hit me like a blast of fire all over my body as more Banes joined her.

The heat of the fire increased to all-over agony. This wasn't fear. Something was happening. Marco screamed, a too human sound. Everything went gray, and then the agony swallowed me whole.

© 2011 Kelly Meding

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Fellow UF author and League of Reluctant Adults member Anton Strout has a fantastic podcast on his website called The Once and Future Podcast. He invited me to be a guest on the podcast, and it's now live.

So check it out. I blather on a bit about writing, horror movies, and my new release TRANCE.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Boycott us!

Because of an ongoing head cold, I'm not even going to attempt a coherent explanation of what the post title means. Just click this link.

You know you want to.

It's League stuff.

And writerly stuff, too.

And it's funny as hell.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Five Items of an Everyday Sort 5

Item the First: One winner in the TRANCE ARC giveaway still hasn't contacted me. Spread the word, folks, so I don't have to redraw!

Item the Second: For your reading pleasure, a terrific article by Chuck Wendig about changing the conversation regarding self-e-publishing: The Publishing Card Before the Storytelling Horse.

Item the Third: This is the first of two blog posts about research. This one is from Shiloh Walker regarding using television as a primary resource for fiction (in other words, don't).

Item the Fourth: The second blog post about research. From Dear Author, a letter about common mistakes made when writing about lawyers.

Item the Fifth: I stumbled over this a while ago, but it was pretty neat to see. 10 Unconventional Bookstores. I wish some of these were near me, so I could visit them.

Monday, October 03, 2011

TRANCE Giveway Winners!

I'm so sorry I didn't get the winners posted sooner! I got crushed under a mix of family obligations and CHANGELING edits (MetaWars #2). I'm happy to report that the edits went well, and CHANGELING is on its way back to the peeps at Pocket.

Anywho, to the winners! Using, I have randomly selected three winners from the forty-five entries (you guys rock, by the way). I loved reading your comments and seeing some of my own favorites on the list. Thank you to everyone who entered, tweeted, and told people about the giveaway.

And so, the winners are:

Ceridwen83, who said "Mine is Phoenix from x-men, not the movie version but her comic and cartoon incarnations both light and dark."

Sherri, who said "I always wanted to be just like AquaMan when I was a kid. Was there ever an AquaGirl, because I would want to be HER now."

Paris, who said "My favorite superhero is Rogue from the X-Men comics and cartoon (definitely not the lame ass Anna Paquin Rogue from the movies). She's totally badass and has an attitude that makes you definitely not want to mess with her."

Congrats to you all!!!!!

You can email me your mailing address to mail(at), so I can get these out in the mail. I can't believe release day is only three weeks away! Squee!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Supernatural Smackdown Time!


You may have heard that Dark Faerie Tales and Parajunkee's View are hosting another Supernatural Smackdown on their respective sites, and this year I'm participating. Well, I'm not, but the heroine of TRANCE, Teresa West, is!

Check out the match and see her opponent, and don't forget to vote! Simon & Schuster is generously giving away copies of TRANCE to five winners!

Let's help a superhero kick butt!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The TRANCE ARC Giveaway is Here!


Real life has been a little exhausting/hectic lately, so my apologies in taking so long to get this up. But, as previously announced in a few places, I have in my hands a couple of TRANCE ARC's, and they are yours for the taking!

I'm giving away three signed ARC's, as well as a TRANCE cover flat, so you have the text and the pretty!


Such a lovely match.

So how do you enter? Easy. The MetaWars series is about superheroes, right? So to enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me the name of your favorite superhero. It can be from film, comics, television, etc... It could be Peter from the TV show "Heroes." It could be Hit Girl from the movie "Kick Ass." It could be Dean Cain's version of Superman, or the Golden Age version of the Flash.

Tell me who!

The giveaway is open until September 30th, and I'll use a randomizer to select three winners. Winners will be announced here the first of October. So spread the word! Be the one of the first folks to get a sneak peek at TRANCE before it releases October 25th!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Romantic Times Review of TRANCE

And it's 4 stars!!!!

UF rising star Meding offers up the first book in a new series with her twist on the world of superheroes. A devastating war between the Ranger Corps and the Banes nearly destroyed all the Metas. This story follows the journey of a young woman finding her place in a world that is about to grow much more treacherous. Meding sets a dark tone and packs in plenty of action and high-stakes thrills. A great start for an exciting series!

The review will be out in next month's magazine (Nov '11)!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Five Items of an Everyday Sort 4

Item the First: I have a secret love for couscous. I don't cook it much, because if you don't add stuff to it, it's can be kind of bland. And the instant varieties that are common in my local grocery stores aren't all, good. And buying the good stuff is a little expensive. But last weekend a friend came to hang for the weekend, and she brought supplies to make a very lovely dish involving Israeli couscous. It was also my first time eating leek, fennel, and saffron (the dish also had garlic, white wine, peas and veggie stock). It was amazing. And it made A LOT. I was still eating it several days later.

Item the Second: Publisher's Weekly posted an interesting article called "Authors Say Agents Try to 'Straighten' Gay Characters in YA." It caused a bit of a stir on Twitter, which you can check out on the hashtag #yesgayYA . And the comments section of the article has led to some pretty fascinating discussions about gay characters in YA fiction. No matter your views, I do urge you to check it out.

Edited: In the thirty minutes or so since I posted this, another article has appeared online from the agency addressed in the PW article. It is absolutely worth a read, as well, since it tells another side of the story.

Item the Third: I have a fun new Sekrit Project. It's not a market I've written for before, but the story started banging away at my brain last week while babysitting my niece. In just over a week, I've passed the one-quarter complete mark and I have a new beta all lined up. Yay for a Sekrit Project!

Item the Fourth: Publisher's Weekly reviewed TRANCE. It's not a super-great review, but they didn't seem to like THREE DAYS TO DEAD much, either, and y'all ended up loving it, right? *grin* I did, however, really like this particular quote: "Meding (Three Days to Dead) successfully captures the action-packed pace of superhero team comics—particularly The New Teen Titans, which she cites as an influence—with her group of colorful young adventurers." I'll take it.

Item the Fifth: Speaking of TRANCE, I have galleys! I have four very pretty ARC's, all bound up, to give away. I haven't decided how or where, but it will probably happen this weekend at some point. So keep an eye out for details!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Five Items of an Everyday Sort 3

I forgot to do this post last week (for various reasons), and even though I wanted to get into the habit of doing these on Wednesday's, I won't be around online much tomorrow. So I'm doing it now.


Item the First: It's the day after Labor Day, which for anyone who grew up in my area, means summer is officially over. Even though beach-going tourists will continue to flock here well into October, summer is finished. Kaput. And it's sad. I don't feel as though I accomplished much this summer. I wrote a little. I read a lot. But I didn't really go anywhere or do much of anything. Maybe autumn will be more exciting?

Item the Second: Author Jim C. Hines has a fabulous new post up on his blog about sexism in the publishing industry. I won't even try to summarize it, but it's an excellent read.

Item the Third: A friend sent me something really awesome, because she saw it in a store and it made her think of Evy and the necklace she wears on the Dreg City book covers. My first real fan gift! Isn't it gorgeous?


Item the Fourth: I went on a bit of an historical romance reading frenzy this weekend. Polished off PLEASURE ME by Monica Burns, and JUST LIKE HEAVEN and WHAT HAPPENS IN LONDON by Julia Quinn. Loved all three of them, and I definitely need to find more Quinn books. She just tells these wonderful, fun and emotionally satisfying stories.

Item the Fifth: Sometime later in the week, I'll be on Twitter tweeting lines from TRANCE, using the hashtag #Trance. I'm not sure which night, so stay tuned! And don't forget, the MetaWars start next month! Squee!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

It's been a long time since I've actually been in a hurricane. We've had a lot of tropical storms and Nor'easters hit these parts in the last twenty years, but a hurricane?

I live about thirty miles west of Ocean City, Maryland (which had a mandatory evacuation yesterday). I grew up three miles from the Cape Henlopen State Park, in Delaware (which was part of a coastal evacuation this morning). It's just a scary thought. And not because of the winds, but because of all the rain that this storm has already dumped on North Carolina. We get serious flooding from tropical storms. I can't imagine what the Rehoboth Boardwalk will look like tomorrow.

I'm also planning on losing power sometime this evening. My bathtub is full of water for refilling the toilet tank. I have pots of water on the stove to use in my Brita dispenser. And I have a case of bottled water on standby. I have food, batteries, flashlights and lots of candles. My cell phone is staying plugged in today, so I know it's fully charged. My laptop will last about two to three hours on battery.

But I do have one failsafe option for entertaining myself this evening: books. Lots and lots of books to pick up and read. I'll probably pick some fun romances. There will be enough action and drama going on outside in the storm. ;)

To everyone else in Irene's path, stay safe!

I think this week is going down in history for me. I mean, it's the first time the mid-Atlantic has had both a 5.9 earthquake AND a hurricane.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Five Items of an Everyday Sort 2

Item the First: In case you haven't heard, the awesome Stacia Kane's Downside series is on sale for Kindle and Nook. You can download the first book, UNHOLY GHOSTS, for $.99, and the next two books, UNHOLY MAGIC and CITY OF GHOSTS, for $4.99 each. That's the entire digital series for $11! Give it a try, why dontcha?

Item the Second: This might seem obvious, but here goes. Social media is not private. Corporations and companies pay big bucks to track what people say about them in Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and anywhere else you post stuff publicly. So be careful what you say and how you say it, especially if it's about something YOU WORK FOR.

Item the Third: I think I've seen a total of two episodes of EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION. It's not a show I tend to watch, but I will be tuning in for their Thanksgiving special episode. Why? Because it's currently filming in my hometown of Lewes, DE. And they're helping out a very wonderful lady I went to church with once upon a time. I'm so excited for Dale and for all of the good work she'll be able to do in Sussex County with her new, improved soup kitchen.

Item the Fourth: Yesterday afternoon, I was taking a break from reading SOFT APOCALYPSE by Will McIntosh to check Twitter on my computer. The book is near-future, not-quite-SF, and pretty dark scary in how possible that future seems. But just as I was sitting down at my desk, it started to shimmy. Then the wall started to shake. And I started to freak the hell out. It lasted about forty-five seconds. I remember thinking "This feels like an earthquake, but that's not possible. We don't have earthquakes this strong out here!" Then a friend in DC emailed me and asked if I'd felt it. Then my sister called. Yep. We'd had an earthquake.

Item the Fifth:

If you read anything this fall, read this book. It's going on my top 5 for the year. It isn't a happy book, but it also isn't a sad book. It's a hopeful book, with a narrator you can't help but root for. I just loved it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Snippet: Trance

Who wants a snippet?


With the release of TRANCE (MetaWars #1) looming on the horizon (October 25, in case you forgot), I thought I'd offer up a snippet from the book. I hope to post a few of these over the next two months, as well as some fun character interviews in October.

This is from Chapter 2. Teresa "Trance" West has just been fired from her waitress job, and has gone home upset and with an upset stomach that she hasn't yet realized is the return of the superpowers she lost fifteen years ago.


I curled onto my side and pondered the tip money in my back pocket. Five hours and only twenty extra bucks. My jackass of a boss docked me for kicking that guy in the crotch. As if firing me wasn't humiliating enough.

I wished I'd controlled my temper.

This was the fourth time in three years that I'd been fired for not reining it in. Sooner or later, I'd run out of noncareer opportunities in Portland and then I'd really be screwed. And I had to go job hunting tomorrow if I didn't want to end up on the street by the end of the week. Work and sleep—there had to be more to life than this. Oh yeah, there was. Pain.

Those invisible hands returned and twisted my intestines into knots. Scalding tears pricked the corners of my eyes. Drawing my knees up to my chest, I ground my teeth and waited for it to pass. No such luck. I tried to stand, preparing to run to the toilet and yak. Threadbare sheets had tangled around my ankles and legs. My left elbow scraped against the industrial carpet as I hit the floor.

Had to be my appendix. I was going to die after all.

The pain spread as I lay on my cold apartment floor—had I bounced another check on the heating bill? The water-stained plaster ceiling pressed down on me. No, it couldn't be my appendix. That pain stayed in the abdomen and lower back. This pain was spreading all over, from my stomach to my chest to my throat. It radiated outward from my belly button, nothing like what I'd earlier mistaken for heartburn. Gooseflesh dotted my arms. My nipples hardened. Searing heat, like swallowing a gallon of boiling water, raced through my veins and arteries, heating my extremities and curling my toes. My mouth opened to scream—no sound came out. My eyes burned; I squeezed them shut.

Had I really worked so hard and survived so much only to die alone, on the floor of my crappy apartment?

The blazing heat ended as abruptly as it began. I curled into a ball and pressed numb hands against my chest. Chills tore up and down my spine. Something was happening to me, something bad. Fear warred with an odd sense of déjà vu. I longed to cry, but no tears came. My eyes still burned. I slit one open. The chilly apartment air cooled the hot cornea, and I opened the other for similar relief.

I tested the muscles in my abdomen. Nothing twinged. Legs and arms seemed equally okay for use. I rolled onto my right side. A lock of hair fell across my face and into my mouth. I spat it out. It tasted as bad as it smelled. A flash of misplaced color caught my eye. I grabbed a handful of hair and inspected the strands. Thin streaks of purple colored half of the light brown.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Five Items of an Everyday Sort

Item the First: Wednesday seems to have become my default blogging day. I'm not sure how that happened. Probably because I tend to have the day off from my Day Job, and I usually have time to come up with witty, scintillating posts (*cough*). Alas, I don't really have a single awesome topic with which to fill an entire post, so I figured I'd break it down into a few bite-sized chunks.

Item the Second: I put a call to Twitter for blog topics, and I got an awesome suggestion to talk about Audiobooks. Unfortunately, I don't know a lot about audiobooks. The only audiobooks I own are copies of my first three Dreg City novels (all available from the lovely folks at Tantor Audio). But I know people who listen to them all the time. I'm actually a little jealous of them. My best friend's mom travels a lot to dog trials and she keeps them in the car (I don't travel much, and my drive to the Day Job is about ten minutes). And I can't listen to them at home, because my mind tends to wander (trust me, I've tried), and then I have to rewind to see what I missed. So yes, jealous of the folks who get to absorb the awesome talents of so many audiobook narrators.

Item the Third: DEADLINE, by Chris Crutcher. If you haven't read this book, go read it. Now. Bring tissues.

Item the Fourth: Dante's Cove. This show will never win any acting awards, but does that really matter with these guys to drool over? I think it's sparked an unhealthy obsession with actor Charlie David (the hawtness in the center).


Item the Fifth: TRANCE has received it's first review! I'm excited that it was very positive and from a new-to-me reader. I really hope Dreg City fans embrace this new series, as well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cover Art: Wrong Side of Dead

The cover art for WRONG SIDE OF DEAD (Dreg City #4) has been floating around the internet for about a month now, but I wanted to wait to show it off here until after ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD came out. Mostly because the copy for WSOD has spoilers for AKOD.

It looks like the same cover model from THREE DAYS TO DEAD. I really like the city street background in this one, as well as the green font.


Monster hunter Evangeline Stone woke up on the wrong side of dead this morning—and now there’s hell to pay.

Barely recovered from her extended torture at the hands of mad scientist Walter Thackery, Evy can use a break. What she gets instead is a war, as the battered Triads that keep Dreg City safe find themselves under attack by half-Blood vampires who have somehow retained their reason, making them twice as lethal. Worse, the Halfies are joined by a breed of were-creature long believed extinct—back and more dangerous than ever. Meanwhile, Evy’s attempts at reconciliation with the man she loves take a hit after Wyatt is viciously assaulted—an attack traced to Thackery, who has not given up his quest to exterminate all vampires . . . even if he has to destroy Dreg City to do it. With Wyatt’s time running out, another threat emerges from the shadows and a staggering betrayal shatters the fragile alliance between the Triads, vampires, and shapeshifters, turning Evy’s world upside down forever.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Three Links and a Good-Bye

It's another small Event link round-up kind of post.


I had the good fortune to be invited to participate in the Fantastic Fables: Paranormal Edition event, hosted by Dark Faerie Tales and Tynga's Reviews. My offering is a little Rapunzel-inspired bedtime story told by our favorite were-osprey, Phineas. Check it out and leave a comment for a chance to win one of four copies of ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD!


Event number two is Book Faery's Battle of the Sexies: Sidekick Edition. And once again Phineas is getting some time in the spotlight, as I try to argue why he's the sexiest sidekick of them all. As a giveaway prize I'm offering a signed copy of ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD, a TRANCE postcard, and a little stuffed falcon toy!


For added fun, I did a guest post at Urban Fantasy Investigations, in which I talk about writing a series.


The excitement of release week has also been tempered with a lot of sadness, as we all learned yesterday that author LA Banks passed away from adrenal cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. Fellow League of Reluctant Adults member Michele Bardsley did a wonderful tribute post here. I never had the opportunity to meet Leslie, but those who did have nothing but wonderful things to say about her. She will be missed.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Release Day!!!!

It's finally here! ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD (Dreg City #3) is in the wild!


All formats are available today: print, audio, Nook, Kindle, and other electronic formats, so pick your poison.


My friend and fellow writer Phil Giunta has a new interview with my posted on his blog, in which I ramble about inspiration and other things.

And Another Kind of Dead has been chosen as one of the AUGUST FEATURES on the Barnes & Noble Book Club SF/F Forums, so check out the discussion thread there!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

News, Reviews, and a Little Trance

Countdown: Six more days until ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD hits shelves (and Kindles and Kobos and Nooks)!!!!

Some very awesome early reviews have been popping up around the blogosphere. This is definitely helping to keep my blood pressure down as the release date looms ever closer. It's been a year since your last new Dreg City adventure, and AKOD is a difficult book (emotionally, anyway). So it's wonderful to see some positive advance reviews!

A Book Obsession (4 Butterflies) pretty much nails the complicated relationship between Evy and Wyatt:

Their love for one another is so incredibly strong, yet so very fragile as well. They need each other more than anything, yet neither one seems to know what to do with that fact.

From The Spinecracker (5 stars):

Around page 125 I sucked air and expelled horror and a little excitement.... exactly what I want from my UF books.

Smexy Books gave me something nice to wake up to this morning (B+):

There is a deeper emotional aspect in here then the other books. Evy is tested in ways that would destroy a less indomitable person and your heart breaks for her. We are also given a more in depth look at the intricate relationships between the members of the Triad which paints a different picture than what we have thought.

In other news....

I have a guest post up at Paranormal Haven, where I discuss the villain from ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD, Walter Thackery. I also talk a little about other mad scientist characters in books and movies. Stop by and tell me about some mad scientists you enjoy!

Nocturne Romance Reads has posted an interview with me, in which I discuss my inspiration for Dreg City, a day in the life of me, and my favorite guilty pleasure.

And finally...


In my last week as the Featured Author at Drey's Library, I wanted to offer something a little bit different for you guys. So I've posted a snippet from my upcoming Pocket book TRANCE (MetaWars #1). If you're curious to see a little bit more about this new series, check it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Round 'Em Up!

I have a bunch of links today, so it's more of a roundup kind of post.

1. "Throwing Grandma Down the Stairs!" Before you think I've gotten totally violent on you, this is a guest post over at Larissa's Bookish Life. And it's about writing. With a video clip!

2. Part three of my month as Featured Author on Drey's Library is up. I'm chatting about my Top Five Reads.


3. My post for Deadly Destinations takes you on a tour of Dreg City with Hunter Milo Gant. Milo got roped into this because...well, Evy wouldn't do it, and as the newest member of his Triad, he got volunteered. Plus Random House is giving away three copies of ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD to commenters!

4. Fellow Leaguers Jaye Wells and Nicole Peeler have some awesome Kindle Deals happening on their UF novels, so if you haven't checked out those ladies, run over to Amazon and stock up your Kindle!

(Edit: There is a slight glitch happening, so Nicole's book isn't showing up at $1.99 yet, but she says they are working to fix it!)

5. Speaking of deals, my fellow A GLIMPSE OF DARKNESS co-author Harry Connolly's CHILD OF FIRE is only 99 cents on Kindle! This is another series you really should be reading!

6. Less than two weeks until ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD hits shelves!!!! Remember, it's releasing 8/2, NOT 7/26. The audiobook version from Tantor releases the same day!

7. Amazon is having a 4-for-3 sale on paperback books, and all of mine are included. It looks like even pre-orders for my new releases. There are over 9,000 SF/F books in the sale, so check it out!


8. RIP Borders...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

So I totally missed my day to blog at the League yesterday. Even though I had it written down on my calendar, I didn't even look at it once. Probably because I spent the morning in an insane amount of pain, and then the afternoon at the doctor's office, followed by a long nap.

The good news is, it's not life threatening. The bad news is, it's my right wrist, and the orthopedist I saw isn't sure what's causing the pain and swelling (I had no apparently injury to the wrist). So we're in a "wear a brace, take pills, don't work, and we'll see you in a week" kind of place. Which beats the hell out of him ordering a bunch of expensive tests, since I'm self-pay. But this brace makes typing very hard, and I can't go back to the day job for a week (we don't have "light duty").

This is going to make a very, very bored Kelly over the next week or so. It's not how I'd choose to take some vacation time, since I can't really write or lift anything, and going to the beach would give me a very freakish tan line on my arm. But I guess I can catch up on some serious reading. And movie watching.

One of the few highlights of my week was getting a glimpse of cover art for WRONG SIDE OF DEAD (Dreg City 4, 1/31/12). It is a little different from the other covers, but also similar in composition and elements. I don't think I want to show it off until after ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD comes out, though, because there is a spoiler for that book right on the cover. *grin*

But soon. Only eighteen more days until AKOD releases!!!!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Featured Author and Q&A

This month I'm delighted to be the featured author at Drey's Library. We'll be doing a few different posts on the Wednesday's of this month, along with a giveaway.

Today kicks off the month with a Q&A. You can find out what I'm listening to, what my writing space looks like, and what I think would happen if Evy and Wyatt ended up in the ring together. I'm answering questions in the comments stream, as well!

I'm super-stoked to be leaving for Shore Leave on Friday. If you see me there, stop me and say hello!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Six in One, Half Dozen in the Other

Happy July! The year is officially half over. Six months down, six to go. It's so true that the years go by faster the older you get. It feels like 2011 just started.

It's odd to think that a week from today I'll be heading out to Shore Leave 33. It's my first year as an Author Guest, and I'm really excited. I'm on a handful of panels, including one on "Commercial vs. Self-Publishing," and the 2-Hour Writing Workshop. I can't wait!

In case you missed, I announced the winners of the Audiobook giveaway.

I'll be doing quite a few guest blogs this month, leading up to the August 2 release of ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD (Dreg City 3). I know I keep saying I'm super-excited about this book, because I am. So much drama and lots of changes for some of your favorite characters! I'm working on WRONG SIDE OF DEAD (Dreg City 4) galleys right now, which deals with the fallout of those changes. It's a little sad, in some ways, because as of right now there aren't any more Evy books to work on. Sales are always a factor, and I'm not done with Evy's story yet. So keep your fingers crossed, and make sure you're pre-ordering or buying the book release week. It's sales that keep these stories coming! *grin*

I also thought I'd also do a mid-year reading roundup. According to Goodreads, I've read 61 books so far this year! That's awesome, considering last year my entire year's tally was only 44. Now to be fair, about a dozen of what I've read this year would count as a novella (shorter word count), rather than a novel. But that's still really good. I'll be curious to see if I can match that number for the last half of the year.

I can quite a few five-star reads in the bunch, but if I had to go through and pick three to recommend, they would be:

, by Megan Hart.
DIRTY SECRET, by Jessie Sholl
LAST NIGHT'S SCANDAL, by Loretta Chase

Any top three years this year?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Xe Sands Interview/Giveaway Winner

I know I'm a day late posting the winners of the THREE DAYS TO DEAD audiobook giveaway. My apologies (if it helps any, my copies still aren't here, so I can't mail them yet anyway).

So, I've added together the commenters from both Organized Chaos and The League of Reluctant Adults, and Random Number Generator has declared the winners are:

Erik and Moishe Moose!


Please send your mailing info to mail(at) and I'll get you set up!

Thanks to everyone who commented! Xe has been amazing about the entire audio process, and I can't wait to settle in and listen to her narrate some of my favorite scenes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summertime Roundup

First: HAPPY SUMMER!!!!!

It's strange, but knowing that it's finally, officially summer kind of makes it okay for the weather to get hot and humid. And it will. Because it's already been pretty gross. The temperature has bounced between 75 and 102 over the last few weeks, as I've tried to take advantage of spring. I'm much rather have my windows open than my air conditioning running, but I think the days and nights of open windows will end very soon. And I'm okay with that. Because it's summer.

As I'm sure many of you are aware, author LA Banks is battling cancer, and two different charity auctions have been set up to help with her medical expenses. I've donated here, and the auction is for a signed set of my first three Dreg City books (Three Days to Dead, As Lie the Dead, and Another Kind of Dead). I'll mail the books to the winner as soon as my author copies of AKoD arrive. There are lots of amazing things up for auction, so head over and check it out!

The audiobook version of AS LIE THE DEAD is now available from Tantor Audio. The Audible site has an interesting alternate cover (winged hawtness is there, but poor Evy looks like she thinks she holding a sword, rather than a knife). As always, Xe Sands has done an amazing job narrating.

Pre-order links for WRONG SIDE OF DEAD (Dreg City 4) are going live on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which is awesome! And there is a sales rank, so you lovely folks are already ordering the book. *love* I just want to warn folks DO NOT READ THE COVER COPY YET!!!!! The cover copy for WSOD has a few big spoilers for ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD, so don't read it if you want to avoid being spoiled before AKOD releases on 8/2.

A little reminder to folks in the Baltimore area: I'll be attending Shore Leave as a guest this year, July 8-10. It's a fun multi-media SF/F convention that I've been going to for ten years, and it's always a blast. Actor guests this year include the amazing John de Lancie, "Warehouse 13's" Eddie McClintock, and "Battlestar Galactica's" Tricia Helfer. So if you need something to do that weekend, check it out!

And it tickles me to end this blog post with some fun news. The first review for ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD is in, and it's from Romantic Times:

"Meding brings back her indomitable heroine Evy for a third installment in her fast-paced, memorable series. The bonds of friendship and love can be uplifting or devastating as these protagonists learn. This mad scientist-run-amok tale will grab you by the throat and never let go. -4.5 stars"


This was a difficult book for me to write, because it was a difficult book for Evy to endure. Her strength and love is tested to the limit, and she's not given any easy answers to the questions she faces. So it's a great relief to see those four-and-a-half stars, and to know the story did what I hoped it would do.

I can't wait for you guys to get this book. Six more weeks!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Narrator, an Actor, and a Superhero Walk Into A Bar....

A few weeks ago, I asked folks what they wanted to know about TRANCE, the first book in my MetaWars series with Pocket. I've combined some of the questions, but hopefully this gives everyone something to look forward to.

But before we get to that, a few housekeeping things:

My interview with audiobook narrator and voice artist Xe Sands is here, and I'm running a giveaway. And since everyone loves free stuff, go forth and comment!

I spent some time on the super-fun site, where you can cast your favorite books. I've put up my dream cast for THREE DAYS TO DEAD. Check it out, and then add a cast of your own. You have to register, but it's free and it's fun!

I feel like there was a third thing I wanted to add, too, but it's slipped my mind. Oh well...on with TRANCE!



*Who's the heroine? What is special about her? Is there a hero?*

The heroine of TRANCE is Teresa "Trance" West, and the book is told from her first-person perspective. She was raised by superhero parents and trained to one day become a superhero herself, but she lost everything (including her parents and powers) before she was able to fulfill that role. After growing up alone, tormented by what she sees as personal cowardice during the end of the MetaHuman War, she's basically skating through her life—until her superpowers unexpected return. But while Teresa's original powers were telepathic in nature, her new powers are telekinetic, and much more violent. She can create power orbs strong enough to blast holes in walls (and in people). She's tasked to not only deal with these new, strange powers, but also to in discover why she and her former classmates lost their powers to being with, all while being hunted by an old villain out for revenge. (*cue dramatic music*)

And yes, there is a hero. This series is heavier on romance than my Dreg City series, without actually being romance books. Gage "Cipher" MacAllister is the guy that Teresa had a childhood crush on, and the crush is still there fifteen years later when he comes back into her life—older, hotter, and with a lot of his own inner demons. And it's the battle between her personal life and her duty to her teammates that challenges Teresa the most. She never wanted to be a leader, and she never wanted to fall in love—now she's on the precipice of both.

*Why did you create this world? Why did you write it?*

Various incarnations of this world have been swirling around in my head since I was a teenager, but most of the specific world-building (especially the violent history between the Rangers, who are the heroes, and the Banes, who are the villains), came about in the last couple of years.

Mostly I created this world because of my love for superheroes. The first real comic I picked up and read was "The New Teen Titans #9".


I remember digging it out of a box of comics, looking at the cover and thinking, "Dude, Robin was part of a team of heroes?" I had no idea what reading that book would spawn, but the issue hooked me on the Titans and I began hunting down every issue I could find. I loved the concept of a team book, and I've always been a fan of the "family you make" theme, and I use that a lot in the MetaWars books. These heroes aren't related by blood, but they're still family.

When I was fourteen, I decided to create my own superheroes. I still have a notebook full of character ideas and costume sketches that will never be used, and storylines that are more soap opera than novel-ready. But pulled out that notebook around….2006, I think? Because I needed a new novel idea, and I figured I could scavenge some parts and put together a new book. The original draft is pretty different from what will be coming out from Pocket, but the overall concept is the same, and I truly love writing in this world.

*What troubles lie in the world? Does she [Trance] seem to find trouble, or trouble find her?*

One of the major troubles of this world is something that always irritates me about big Hollywood spectacle movies: the collateral damage. Homes and businesses get blown up, bystanders get crushed, lives are ruined by whatever catastrophe strikes next. And I wanted to really touch on that in these books. The battles between Rangers and Banes have ravaged the country—major cities are devastated, thousands of innocent people have been killed, water sources are contaminated, the economy is in the toilet. People are angry and scared, and they blame the Metas for it all.

So when all of the Meta powers suddenly return, the new Rangers are not immediately embraced. There are political ramifications. Even Trance and her friends are reluctant to reveal themselves, because they don't want to be attacked by terrified citizens. It's not a happy world to be a MetaHuman in.

Personally, Trance is not a trouble-magnet. She tries hard to maintain a low profile, and she spends most of her time working three jobs just so she can eat and keep a crappy apartment. So she's pretty unbalanced when her life turns on its head, and she's suddenly forced to confront not just old Bane enemies, but also federal agents.

*The process from idea, to characters, world-building, outlining, planning, pantsing, etc*

I think I touched on some of these in the paragraphs above. Because I created the initial world so long ago, and because it's been about 4 years since I wrote the first draft of what became TRANCE, it's hard to remember the process anymore. I didn't outline, which became a bit of an annoyance when it came time to write the climax, reveal the villain, and tie up the loose ends. Plus the original the Meta powers changed between initial draft (don't ask what it was, because in retrospect, it was pretty silly) and what finally went on submission to publishers.

The characters were, I think, the most fun to create. Since I was writing a team book, I needed several unique people, and I think I settled on an arbitrary number of six. Trance was easy enough to figure out. She goes from the timid girl with somewhat useless powers to the mega-powered leader of five other people—and she isn't happy about that. Leadership isn't her strong suit, and she leans heavily on Gage for advice.

Of all the characters, Gage gave me the most trouble. Gage has enhanced senses—he can see farther, hear better, smell stronger, etc…than the average human, and he has to learn to control his senses again. He was also a very private character, and as much as he disliked discussing personal issues with Trance, he wasn't much better with his author. It sounds goofy to say a character won't talk to me about his past, but Gage really wasn't talking. It was several rewrites before I figured him out and finally understood why he acted the way he did (some secrets are worth waiting for, let me tell you).

My other favorite of the group is Renee "Flex" Duvall. I love her because she's bubbly, big-mouthed, not afraid to say what she's thinking, comfortable in her sex appeal, and very proud of her boob job. She also has blue skin and can bend, stretch and contort into crazy lengths and shapes (think Mr. Fantastic meets Angelina Jolie). But she's also very fragile inside, and while we don't get to see a lot of that side of her in TRANCE, Renee will have her moment in the spotlight if the series is picked up past book two.

Rounding out the sextet of heroes are Marco "Onyx" Mendoza (shapeshifter, able to take the form of a raven, a panther, and a black house cat), William "Caliber" Hill (super-strength), and Ethan "Tempest" Swift (control of the air, including tornadoes and windstorms).

*Is the series YA or adult?*

The series is definitely adult. While the main characters lose their powers as children, they regain them and come together again as adults (twenty-five to thirty is the age span). There has been a little confusion about that, so I wanted to clear that up. :)


So that's what I've got so far. Feel free to ask anything else that's on your mind! October is only four months away! (I can't believe I just typed that....)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Interview: Xe Sands, Audio Narrator

Cross-posted to the League of Reluctant Adults.

So before reading this post, who knew June is Audiobook Month? Anyone?

I probably wouldn't have if I hadn't been recently been involved in the creation of audiobooks for the first three Dreg City books (although when I say involved, that mostly means signing the contract, helping my amazing narrator with pronunciation questions, and then pimping the project here and there). The books are with Tantor Audio, and THREE DAYS TO DEAD is currently available for purchase. AS LIE THE DEAD will be available June 20, with ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD releasing August 2 (same day as the print version).

My absolute favorite part of this whole process was "meeting" Xe Sands, who is the voice behind these audiobooks. She's a fabulous lady and her enjoyment of my books has meant the world to me. And since the process of audio narration is brand new to me, I decided to pick Xe's brain and share the results (kind of sounds like I'm inviting you to a zombie buffet, doesn't it?). Xe was kind enough to do an interview with me, and the results are below. Stick around to the end, too, because there will be a giveaway!


First off, how did you get into this kind of work?

You know, so many narrators come from an acting or performing arts background, but me? Well, I didn't. Although I do have experience with public performance, what really shaped my entry into the field of narration is my daughter's love of reading - specifically, how much she enjoyed me reading aloud to her. I joke that she's my harshest critic, but it's actually true, because as she matured, so did her taste and her preference for a more nuanced and authentic performance of the stories we shared together. Now how did that shared experience and love for storytelling parlay into a career as an audiobook narrator - ah, bit more complicated, of course. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just wave a magic microphone, utter a few choice words and suddenly be imbued with the necessary training and a contract in hand? Right.

What really happened is...after reading to my daughter for nearly ten years, I began to realize that I derived an immense sense of satisfaction from performing for her, from her emotional reaction to the experience. At that point, a fire was lit inside me and once that happens...well, there isn't much to be done except move forward really! I began researching how narrators get their professional start, and at the same time, found and starting recording for, which publishes audio of work in the public domain. Such an amazing learning experience in an incredibly supportive community! After volunteering for several years, I realized that raw talent was the foundation, but that professional coaching/training was the walls of the house of my dreams (hey, did I say I was a writer? No I did not). Fortunately, I was granted a scholarship to attend a working session with the amazing Pat Fraley, then followed that up with ongoing coaching with Carrington MacDuffie, and attendance at my first Audio Publishers Association Conference (APAC) last year. I made several invaluable connections at APAC 2010, one of which led to my initial work with Tantor Audio, an ongoing relationship which eventually led me to recording the Dreg City series :)

But the short answer? I am where I am because of my daughter's love of ,and relentless appetite for ,storytelling...and her belief in me.

Was it something you always wanted to do, or that you found later on in life?

I would love to say that I was caught reading aloud to an audience of stuffed animals, using rudimentary accents and characterizations at the tender age of 5 - ha! But reall, until I realized how very much I loved doing it, and more importantly, how much she and other children enjoyed it too, I just didn't view myself that way. However once I had that epiphany, I realized that *this* was the passion I had been waiting for all these years, the one you always hope you will find. It's what I want to do until I'm physically incapable of continuing.

How do you get jobs? Are they assigned? Are they offered and you can say yes/no based on the material?
(Let's assume you mean after you are established with a publisher)

Getting the job/job assignment: In my experience, this happens in one of two ways: (a) I'm asked to audition for a particular project, based on a short sample of text; (b) I'm sent an offer to narrate a particular project sans a custom audition. I find this completely depends on the publisher. Some prefer to audition narrators for each project, send those samples on to the author/agent/client, and then base their decision on client feedback. Some prefer to do the casting internally, based on demo samples and prior experience with a particular narrator (and perhaps author/client request). I've experienced an equal mix of both approaches to casting.

Can I say no? Yes, I can and I have - although I have not yet had to turn down an actual offer. I have, however, chosen not to audition for a particular project based on concerns over the content. I'm a bit of a "method" narrator and tend to really "live with" the characters of my projects and the worlds they inhabit pretty thoroughly, so if there is material that is truly offensive to me or with which I truly cannot connect, I may turn down the project. That said, I do not reject projects based on genre preferences. I feel that being open to many genres, even those outside my personal comfort zone or interests, encourages me to grow and open myself to new experiences...and bring my discoveries of new worlds into my narration.

Can you briefly take us through your process for narrating an audio book? From receiving the manuscript to final editing?

Sure! Course I'm laughing about this because I can't imagine I've ever been able to be brief about anything - but I will try! Going to number these to keep myself honest in the length department. Let's use the recording of Three Days to Dead as our model, shall we?

1. I receive the text from the publisher and begin my pre-read (pre-reading is a MUST! No cheating!)
2. Pre-read the book, taking notes along the way - specifically for characterizations, pronunciation questions, accent questions
3. Contact the publisher (and/or author, depending) for confirmation on any pronunciation and/or characterization questions
[Intermission: time permitting, I let the book percolate a bit, come together in my head/heart/voice*]
4. Head into the studio (usually my home studio) to begin initial character studies and narrative voices. Play around with character voices and narrator tone. Meet/conference with coach to go over tone, any tricky characterizations, etc.
5. Begin recording the book in earnest (using one of two recording methods, depending on the publisher I'm working for). Proof each day's work the following morning, paying special attention to narrative flow, characterization consistency.
6. Finish initial recording and go back for final round of proofing and tweaking
7. Send files back to publisher (most publishers do not want any processing on the completed files; if they want editing/processing, this is when that happens).
8. Complete any corrections reported back to me once final proofing is completed by publisher, and send the corrected version back to the publisher.

*And as in the case of one of my other recent projects, meet with a dialect coach in order to develop a specific accent for the project.

What were three of your favorite titles to narrate?

Thank you for not asking me to name only one! That's impossible, really, as they are all so different and I almost always fall in love with them in some way.

The Sweet Relief of Missing Children, by Sarah Braunstein
Three Days to Dead, by Kelly Meding (and I'm not just saying that - there are three powerful scenes that pushed this into my top three)
Fire and Ice, by Anne Stuart (bad boys, simply can't resist them!)

Is there a book you wished you could have done, but someone else got the job?

Yes. I auditioned for a poignant memoir...first person narrative, tortuous, darkly humorous - my favorite thing! And although I was disappointed upon hearing that I wasn't selected, I was blown away by how perfectly suited the chosen narrator was for the project. That was actually a very lovely feeling in the end, and a great reminder that the perfect casting is so essential. Yes, I wanted it...but someone else was perfect for it. And I can respect that.

Is yours a competitive line of work, or are you guys pretty supportive of each other?

Such an interesting question, and one that came up at APAC just a few weeks back. You know, when I first started, I assumed it would be a very competitive business...but it just doesn't feel that way. The casting is so individualized and each of us has a unique sound and "thing" that we're perfectly suited for, that I don't feel I am in competition in the same way I assume other performing artists might feel. The community of audiobook narrators feels much smaller and more tight-knit than I expected it would, as well as feeling incredibly supportive. I have been very blessed by the generosity of time and spirit of more established narrators - offering their guidance, sharing their experience, and introducing me to various individuals in the industry. I hope to be able to do the same for others that come into the industry after me.

Do you do any other kinds of audio work, other than book recording?

I have been fortunate to have worked on several video games, the last of which had me playing a sexy, ancient vampire created by Charlaine Harris. Character was essentially a sexier, snarkier, more confident version of Evy (like that's possible!) and it was a blast. I really enjoy working on video's like performing only the emotional dialog from a novel :)

What do you do for fun when you aren't working?

Believe me when I tell you that now that I'm narrating full-time, work IS my fun. I'm completely addicted to it and find myself sneaking into the studio at every opportunity. The medium combines all of my interests - emotional performance, inhabiting other worlds and characters, reading, creative expression. But when I do manage to surface [read: am dragged kicking and screaming from the booth], I merge back into the life of my family and friends. Recording projects require my full attention and energy, so when I come up for air, free time is spent reconnecting with loved ones. And of course, no big surprise, I love to read! The only downside to my work is that I no longer have as much free time to read books outside of project to-be-read pile is seriously going to topple right over very soon...and with all the amazing bloggers I interact with on Twitter, it grows daily.

Is there anything you'd like to add? Plug? Chat about? Warn against?

I suspect this is where I'm supposed to be extraordinarily clever and "WOW" you with my witty banter, isn't it? Sigh. Well I'm afraid that between you, Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman, all the charming witty banter the world has to offer has been just about used up and I will need to leave it up to the characters you create to be charming, snarky and witty in my stead. Me? I'm just the narrator ;)


Thank you, Xe, for taking the time to do this!

And if y'all have made it this far, I'm giving away two copies of the THREE DAYS TO DEAD audiobook! All you have to do to be entered is leave a comment. You can enter twice by leaving a comment on both blogs (here and the League). The contest is open until June 27, so there's lots of time! Winners will be announced on my blog.