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!