Monday, February 28, 2011

A Feel-Good Way to Make Room for More Books

The winner of the signed copy of
Sacrifice: Mortal Path Book 2 is

<<<<< Jessica >>>>>

Jessica, please contact me via my

Thanks to everyone who suggested
great ways to donate books!!

We've all got our To-Be-Read stacks, right? What happens to the books after they're read? Or what happens to that half a room of books you accumulated before you switched to e-books? If you're like me, they multiply overnight and the stacks inch a little closer to the ceiling.

On the right is one small sample of my already read books, hidden behind a door. I'd hate to tell you how many stacks there are in various places around the house. There are some I want to save to reread, some that are signed, and some covers I just can't bear to have leave my possession. But there are many others I enjoyed reading once, or found too tepid for my tastes ;-), or never made it beyond the first few chapters. (I try to learn from those so I won't make the same mistakes.) If these books suddenly vanished, there's so much I could do:

1, Have an actual bed in my guest room.
2. Probably get cheaper fire insurance for my home.
3. Install a home theater.
4. Put the cat litter box someplace better than my kitchen.
5. Have room for new additions to the TBR stack.

All very desirable, right? Well, hang on to your hats, kiddies, because I have some suggestions for clearing out those old books and feeling good about it.

First, obtain either some cardboard boxes or those great plastic storage boxes with wheels (fun!), then this is the tough part: you have to decide which ones you want to keep. Signed books are no-brainers. Then consider each remaining book. Are you really going to reread it or are you kidding yourself? I have books I've reread from twice to twelve times (Okay, you got me. There are only a few in the twelve category and I read them first before I was twenty years old. They've stuck with me.) Be honest. Be cruel. This is your space we're talking about.

When you're done, look at what's left and get rid of anything that's damaged, moldy, or otherwise unsavory. By get rid of, I mean recycle. Paperbacks are easy. Rip the covers off and recycle the text block anywhere that accepts telephone books. Throw the covers out. (Do not, of course, give away or [gasp!] resell any books with the covers ripped off.) Or make the covers into a collage and hang them up on the wall--that frees up floor or shelf space. Hardbacks are, by definition, harder. But you can do it. Get some nasty box cutters and slit the binding until the sections come out in chunks. Or, if you are frightened of blades, have someone else do it while you hide your eyes. Throw out the remaining "shell" of the book.

Now you have a pile (we won't talk about size here) of books that probably have been read once and are in good condition. You don't have any books that are porn, racist, or solicit for religious conversion, do you? Likely they will not be wanted as donations. Here are some suggestions for the next step.

The Wish You Well Foundation
Associated with David Baldacci's Feeding Body and Mind literacy campaign, this program's purpose is to distribute books to people who patronize food banks to give them access to the pleasure of reading. In addition, David and other authors collect books at their signings or at conferences where they appear. All you have to do is drop your books into the white collection boxes and everything is taken care of for you. If your town's bookstores aren't participating, find out why!

Most libraries have a Friends of the Library association. Contact yours and see if they take donations of books to sell to raise money for library events.

Books for Soldiers
Our troops abroad need our support. A good book takes you away from the present and into the author's world for a few hours. What better way for a soldier to alleviate boredom and stress? You need to submit a notarized application to participate in this donation program.

Operation Paperback
(Tax exempt) Another organization to support our troops with escape time. When you register, you specify what type of books you have available, and you'll be sent addresses of troops who have requested that type of book. In case you're thinking it costs too much to ship books overseas to troops, the Post Office has a great deal. They have a flat rate Priority Mail shipping box (12” x 12” x 5-1/2”) especially for shipping APO/FPO items overseas. Those letters mean Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office. There's another one, DPO, Diplomatic Post Office, but it's not covered by this flat rate of $12.95.  The box even has a red heart on it and says "America Supports You," which is a good thing for an individual soldier to hear. We're not talking politics, just person-to-person caring. You can ship to a person who wants to read the type of book you have to offer, you send a box(es) to that man or woman directly, you feel good, and you get a tax deduction.

So now what's your excuse for those books taking up space in your house??

There are many ways to donate books, far more than I've listed here. Tell me about your favorites so we can have a wide choice! Anyone who leaves a comment about a way to donate books will be entered in a drawing for a free, signed copy of Sacrifice: Mortal Path Book 2. The random drawing ends March 3rd. Send in those suggestions!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shameless Self-Promotion

And the Winners Are:

With the help of Random.Org, I have your hot stuff right here. Would the following people email me their mailing addresses?

1. Sara
2. Unseelieme
3. SiNn
4. Casey H.

Thanks for all the fabulous hero recommendations! My To Be Read pile is just climbing and climbing. ;) If you didn't win, not to worry: there'll be another contest soon, and next time, I'll be giving away an ARC of Blood of the Wicked to a lucky reader.


Here's the deal, my lovelies: I spent all night long dressed to the nines and pretending to be faerie at a masquerade ball. Because of this, my head is only just taped together and I haven't even made it through my first cup of coffee yet.

So although I desperately flail to be entertaining—this is how much I love y'all, realize—I shall take this moment to shamelessly promote myself. Well, not me. No one cares about me. All the buzz I'm hearing is about Silas, the rather angry hero of May 31st's release, Blood of the Wicked.

In honor of the upcoming debut, and definitely in honor of the man working his ass off inside it, I'm going to offer a simple contest. It's a two-parter, so are you ready?

Step One

Sign up on my newsletter. There's a reason for this! Firstly, it'll keep you up to date on the announcements, releases, glorious covers, some exclusive contests and first dibs on excerpts. And (bonus!) I only intend to send it out every three months. That's 4 a year, and maybe one or two for the Really Very Big Announcements(tm).

Secondly, the first newsletter is going out March 1st, and you will not want to miss what's in it!

Step Two

Leave a comment and tell me your absolute, most favorite hero of all time. Who is he? What book is he from? Why do you love him so?

Shall I start? I think I shall: Right now, my absolute favorite hero is Jericho Barrons from Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. More of an anti-hero, a dark hero, he nevertheless has imprinted himself forever on my heart—aggressive, sensual, wildly mysterious, predatory, demanding. If he were mine, I'm pretty sure one of us would be dead, but oh, what a ride.

I will choose randomly four—yes, four—people who have completed both. (If you already signed up to my newsletter, I thank you and it shall be counted, never fear!) These four will receive a little something-something, plus an extra little something-something that isn't being offered until the newsletter comes out.

I'll be picking the winners tomorrow (Sunday), so get in while you can! The winners will be announced on this post, so make sure to check back and follow the easy instructions I'll post then.

But Wait! There's More...

Keep your eyes peeled, because either in April or May, I'll be offering a major contest where a lucky winner could receive an ARC for Blood of the Wicked. How can you make sure to get in on this? Easy... Just follow me on Facebook or Twitter, and keep an eye on my blog at Teatime Iniquity. Or watch the Supernatural Underground. There's a million ways to wear the stalking hat.

So, let's hear them, people. Get thee to that newsletter, and then tell me who your favorite hero is. I'm dying to know.

Friday, February 25, 2011

How to Hunt a Husband, Part One:

The winner is Teresa K! Thank you all for the comments. Some great stories there! Please come back next month on the 25th for part 2 and a chance to win a signed copy of Be Still my Vampire Heart!

(This true love story was originally translated into German for
Love Letters magazine, but in belated honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m posting it here in English.)

Is it surprising that an author would pick her husband out of a book? It shouldn’t be, for that is exactly what I did!

The Backstory: I was in my early 30’s, newly divorced, and the mother of a four-year-old boy. My first marriage was crummy. The divorce even crummier. I was left feeling like a failure and definitely not in the mood for romance. I decided to concentrate on my son and my career as a schoolteacher.

Fast Forward Two Years: I was stronger and more confident now. I thought about my secret desire to write, but I was too busy working and raising my son. Life was good, but my heart was lonely. And my biological clock was ticking. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to fall in love with the perfect man, get married, and have another child—a little girl, perhaps? It was a lot to ask for, but I’d read enough Romance books to believe every woman was entitled to a “happily ever after.”

Just like the heroines in my favorite Romances, I decided I would set a goal and go for it. I wouldn’t sit by and hope that Fate brought the perfect man to me. That kind of thinking had proven disastrous for my first marriage. No, this time I would be different. I would take charge of my own destiny and become the Husband Huntress!

This was before the onset of computer dating and online matchmaking services. Back then, spouse hunters used a video dating service. I joined the largest one I could find. I filled out the profile, had photos made, and endured the video-taped interview.

For the first few months, it worked like this: I would receive a postcard in the mail informing me that a guy (first name only and ID number) wanted to meet me. I would go to the video dating headquarters, read the guy’s profile, watch his video, and either agree or refuse to meet him. After a long line of boring dates, I realized this was not the proper course for a true Husband Huntress. I needed to do the hunting myself!

So I started with the ‘A’ book and selected a few guys to date. ‘A’ was for awful. I went through the ‘B’ book and the ‘C’ book. No luck. There were three ‘D’ books. I made it through the ‘DA’ books, but none of the Daniels or Davids suited me. On to the ‘DE-DI’ book. Forget it. Then as I thumbed through the ‘DO-DU’ book, a photo caught my eye.

Wow! One of the ‘Dons’ was really cute. Green eyes, a mischievous grin, and dimples. I ran to the video room to watch his interview. Wow, again! He was tall, and his deep voice had a slow cowboy drawl that made my heart flutter. And best of all—he made me laugh!

One problem: this Don looked young. What if he was younger than me and didn’t want to date an older woman? I ran back to the ‘DI-DU’ book to check his profile and date of birth. My jaw dropped. I blinked to see if the birth date changed. It didn’t.

His birthday was exactly the same as mine.

Was it fate? Would he agree to meet me? I filled out the form to request a date, then went home. And waited.

What happened next? Did Kerrelyn find her true love? Come back next month to find out! Please leave a comment telling me where you met your true love, and one lucky commenter will receive a signed copy of Vamps and the City! (no, those aren’t my legs!) Please include an email address so I can contact you. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What Would Your Echo Be?

In THE BODY FINDER and its sequel, DESIRES OF THE DEAD, 16-year-old Violet Ambrose is drawn to the dead by sensory imprints that attach to them when they are killed. Yes, they must come to an untimely death to be left with one of these “echoes.” And the thing about the echoes is that they’re completely and totally random. They have nothing to do with how the person lived…or even how they died.

It can be a sound (bells, music, the sound of glass breaking)

A taste (garlic, briny salt water, caramel)

A physical sensation (brain freeze, the sensation of feathers brushing over her skin)

Or a visual echo (a glow or a burst of colors)

I was asked at the launch party for DESIRES OF THE DEAD this past weekend, if I had an echo, what would it be?

Even knowing the rules (that it has nothing to do with the individual themselves), I was still convinced that my echo would be something chocolate related. I mean, honestly, how could it not be?

So I’m asking you, if you could choose your echo, what would it be???

Be creative and let’s have some fun with this one! Leave your responses here, and tomorrow I’ll choose one random winner to receive a signed copy of my new book, DESIRES OF THE DEAD.

I’m excited! Are you excited???

EDITED TO ADD THAT THE WINNER IS: cheesecake.thief59


Monday, February 21, 2011

Our interesting time

Winner of giveaway - Obsidiantears83!!!

Thanks for commenting, everyone. Was truly interesting to see how many folks are still in love with the paper :)

Ever heard the Chinese curse 'May You Live In Interesting Times'?

There's no doubting that for those of us involved in publishing and bookselling, this is very much interesting times. Worldwide, the news that Borders in the US filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy was met with a gasp. This was followed, in Australia, by the news that REDGroup, which own our Borders stores as well as our oldest booksellers Angus and Robertson in Aus and Whitcoulls in NZ had gone into voluntary administration.

Here in Australia, that's put a quarter of our bookstores at risk.

There's so many reasons for this and despite some people's best efforts, the finger can't be pointed at one culprit (It's not JUST the internet's fault, folks). But in the end, one thing is clear - publishing and bookselling is changing. Trying to cling to the old ways, keep things as they were is about as futile as poor old King Cnut trying to hold back the tide.

The big problem of course is that no one quite knows what the final face of publishing and bookselling is going to look like. What will happen to print books? What will happen to major publishing houses? How will everyone involved make their money in the future?

Scary, and yet at the same time thrilling. For us authors - the one's providing the stories that the readers want and need - it's kinda like being the first engineer a new planet with your visor stuck down. You know that once you figure out how to open the visor, you're going to see an alien landscape of beauty, terror and incredible opportunities.

So here's hoping that we have pioneers with vision, workers with guts and that at the end of it all, we authors can still share our stories and you readers can still find and enjoy them.

I've got a copy of Power Unbound (book two in the Dream of Asarlai trilogy) to give away. Just tell me what you prefer right now - paper or electronic books or maybe both? Will draw winner February 28.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Would you like some cheese with that ham?

Confession time: Even though I was a high school drama geek (with a fantastic drama teacher!), it's a very good thing that I never ended up on the stage.

Why? Because no scenery would be safe. People would be able to hear the OM NOM NOM from outside the theater, and the sets would bear toothmarks from my constant chewing.

In short, I am a total ham.

Someone ordered a LARGE HAM?
This hasn't changed as I've gotten older. I love making people laugh, I overly dramatize trivial events (the resident organist will back me up on this; he's had to suffer through announcements of "BEHOLD! I'm doing LAUNDRY!!!" more than once), and when I venture into role-playing games, I'm usually the one breaking out the amateur theatrics (just so long as they don't interfere with going all stabby on the monsters).

What I didn't realize was that this could be a side benefit to being an author.

For example, I've just now come home from attending Boskone, a Boston-based science fiction convention. Among other wonderful parts of the con (including some entertaining discussions, more questions about teeth than I ever thought could be posed in a non-dentally-oriented panel, and impromptu Grail theorizing), I had the privilege of reading aloud from one of my short stories.

I picked a story that's coming out this year, and I hammed it up. Big time. And it was a blast.

I've heard that authors are the worst people to read their work. I don't know if I agree -- I'm obviously biased on this count -- but I do know that I love reading it aloud. Hell, it's sometimes the only way I can approach old work; I might cringe at the lumpy prose if I'm just reading it on my own, but if it's part of a performance, then I really enjoy turning it into something new. Some of this is just my inherent hamminess coming through. But it's also a way for me to emphasize how these characters sound in my head, to communicate how strongly I hear their voices and translate some of that more directly.
Of course, the same tone doesn't work
for everything.  THIS SUMMER,

Reading one's own work aloud in draft form is an excellent way to see whether your prose holds together. But it's also a great way to start hearing the side characters, or to get a feeling for the pacing and tension of a scene. There's a reason I love to read from the tower scene in Wild Hunt or the masked gathering in Soul Hunt, and not just because they end with great cliffhanger moments. It's almost to the point where I'm hoping one particular short story will sell just so I'll have an excuse to read it aloud in all the different voices.

And, of course, this translates into reading other work aloud as well. (Seriously, if you can read Hippos Go Berserk without hamming it up, something's gone wonky.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go announce that the blog post is DONE! and strike a dramatic pose. (It's Sunday after a long and exhausting con. I think I'm allowed a dramatic pose or two.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What happens when writers can’t sleep

By Merrie Destefano

Congratulations to Kelly M. and Renee C. You both win a signed cover flat from Feast! I will be e-mailing you with details. And thanks to everyone who commented!

Like most writers, I tend to over think things. Way too much. For the past several years, one of the things that has fascinated/terrified me is the whole process of falling asleep. I’ve analyzed and studied it to the point that sometimes I can’t go to sleep. (Insert silent scream here.) I will lay awake, trying to capture that moment when my waking self dissolves into my dreaming self, but it’s like trying to catch smoke in a bottle. And, as I already mentioned, one of the brutal side effects of all this is the fact that now I have trouble sleeping.

So what happens when a writer over thinks things? Especially if that writer can’t sleep?

She starts working on story ideas. About creatures who never sleep. Creatures who slip in your window in the middle of the night to steal your dreams.

I mean, haven’t you ever wondered why you can only remember some of your dreams, while others you can’t remember at all?

All of my sleepless angst gave birth to my next book—Feast: Harvest of Dreams—a tale of forbidden love and supernatural intrigue that mixes vampire and fairy lore to create a new paranormal creature. The book contains two interwoven love stories, one with the main character, a fantasy writer named Maddie, that will appeal to adults and one with a 16-year-old half-human/half-paranormal girl, named Elspeth, that will appeal to readers of YA.

You can read the back cover copy for the book HERE.

And, if you’d like to be one of the few people who are going to get a sneak peek at my first chapter, you need to sign up for my newsletter HERE.

My question for all of you blog readers is this: Have you ever had trouble sleeping? What did you do to finally fall asleep? This sleepless writer would LOVE to know your tricks and secrets!

And I’m going to give away two, signed FEAST cover flats, one to each of two commenters. This contest will run through Saturday, March 5. You can earn points by doing any of the following:

1 point for commenting
5 points for posting a link to this blog post on Facebook
5 points for posting a link to this blog post on Twitter
10 points for mentioning this blog post on your own blog
10 points for signing up for my newsletter

Also, be sure to include your e-mail address in your post and add up your points. And thanks for stopping by Supernatural Underground!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Layers of Men... Or, Men are Like Onions

**UPDATE*** Congrats to Nymfaux for winning a signed cover flat of Ascenion. You can contact me at to claim it!

Happy Wednesday Undergrounders!

Heather half of Sable Grace here with a topic I've been thinking about alot lately as I read through my Rita entries and get to judging. As I look over the covers of the yummy men and read through the pages describing them, I can't help but wonder about the men of Hollywood and who would fit our books!
We all know the men who'd make great cover models out there, and I'm not really going to waste much time on them. Johnny Depp, Matthew McConaughey, Mel Gibs-- wait, that was 15 years ago. Sorry. But what about the men who deserve to be heroes and won't be simply because they don't fit the stereotype?
In my head, I like to think they stick the gorgeous young, buff guy on the cover, then bait and switch with the personalities that are so sexy, it would be unfair to give them to the visually stunning!

So here's my collection of men who you'd find within the pages of any good novel, but will likely never see on a cover:

Liam Neeson - Chiseled, indescribable looks. Plays kick-ss heroes in the movies and you could find him on the page of most best sellers. The problem? He's a little TOO indescribable. A little too rough? I'm not sure I know the answer to this one!

A personal favorite, Ricky Gervais. Like him or hate him, you've read his personality in a book a time or two. If not as the hero than as the wise-cracking sidekick. He's brutally honest ("I like a drink as much as the next man--unless that next man is Mel Gibson"), he's smart, he's got that dry British humor that I adore. But I'm never going to see him on the cover of a novel unless it's his memoirs. Why? Because he's kind of short and kind of chubby. Still, I can't help but crush on him a little.

Colin Firth. Granted, he could very well pose for the cover of a Regency set romance. But on the cover of an Underground author? Not a chance! He's charming, adorable, witty and smart. Definitely hero material. But is he the man you picture kicking ass? Not so much. Will you find him written as the hero, a secret tribute, inside the author's work? Very likely!

Another one who comes to mind (thank you, Laura) is Jake Weber of TV's Medium. He plays Allison's husband, Joe DuBois. Quiet, supportive, nearly perfect husband. I adore his character so much, I've (and a few of my friends have as well) developed a serious crush on Jake. But, he has that sensitive quality about him that will keep him off book covers for a long while, even if he was a little kick ass in Dawn of the Dead!

Am I missing any ohs0sexy men who wouldn't make the cover model cut? Or, riddle me this: Are there any handsome men who might make the covers but you'd never see them written on the pages as a hero?

Comment to win a signed cover flat of Ascension!

Monday, February 14, 2011

What A Guy Wants For Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is such a girly holiday, isn't it? We women want (and expect) some visible token that our special guy is thinking about us: flowers, candy, a card. Doesn't have to be big, doesn't have to be expensive, just needs to be there.

Guys, on the other hand, have very low expectations of Valentine's Day (according to my husband, who claims most men's only goal on February 14th is to stay out of trouble by not forgetting it!). Getting lucky is a bonus. :-)

But what to get him? Here's a few inexpensive ideas for the man in your life to share the love on Valentine's Day, or any other day:

Hard worker? How about a Saturday or even just an evening when he can be completely alone – no kids, no yardwork, no dinner dishes, no honey-do list. You take the little darlings to the movies, to your sister’s, to the mall, or anywhere that gets all of you out of the house for a while.

Hobbies? A magazine subscription to Car & Driver, Runners World, Muscle & Fitness, Field & Stream or Sports Illustrated shows you’re paying attention to his interests, even if you don’t share them.

Does he cook? A new saucepan or a sharp set of knives isn’t out of line for the man who fancies himself a gourmet. If his skills are limited to the grill, a new set of outdoor grilling tools is probably well overdue.

A deep thinker? Can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to your neighborhood bookstore, and the promise of an uninterrupted few hours browsing to his heart’s content.

Dad of the Year? A special photograph of the kids – either taken by you or professionally done – nicely framed in a masculine style.

Does he like sweets? Who doesn’t? How about a freshly baked batch of chocolate chip cookies, or a bag of Hershey’s kisses to take to work?

Is he a sports fan? How a hand-written IOU stating that during the next televised game he watches, you promise no interruptions of any kind and his favorite snacks on a tray beside the couch?

Of course, if all else fails – never underestimate the old saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. Cook the man something, and after dinner, who knows...  *wink, wink*

What about you?  Help out your fellow Supernatural Undergrounders (a/k/a "Undies") by leaving a suggestion of your own of what to do for a guy for Valentine's Day, and you'll be entered to win a cool assortment of bookmarks, cover flats, an "I Read Books That Go Bump" in the night button, and a randomly chosen book from one of our Supernatural Underground authors!  Three winners will be chosen by this time tomorrow, and announced here.

Good luck, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jeaniene Frost/Pamela Palmer Book Tour!

Or, Team Bones vs. Team Kougar (and we have the slap bracelets to prove it)

In conjunction with the upcoming release of our latest books: THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE by Jeaniene Frost and HUNGER UNTAMED by Pamela Palmer, Jeaniene and I will be signing in Boonsboro, MD, Birmingham, AL, and New Orleans, LA. But even if you're not able to meet us in person, you can see us live (via Avon's Live Streaming from Turn the Page Bookstore) and order signed copies of our books.

The details:

Saturday, February 19th
We'll be in Boonsboro, MD at Turn the Page Bookstore (owned by Nora Roberts' husband), along with Nora herself, Mary Burton, Grace Burrows, Stephanie Dray, and others.

Live Streaming Video Chat 10:30 - 11:15 am EST
Watch us live on your computers via Avon Books' Live Streaming event as we chat about our newest books prior to the signing. Tune in here! (

Book Signing 12:00 - 2:00 pm

Turn the Page Bookstore
18 North Main Street
Boonsboro, MD 21713

Jeaniene and I will be signing our February 22nd releases (THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE and HUNGER UNTAMED) three days early! Avon is releasing the books early for this event only.

Note: As part of this virtual author event, you can contact Turn the Page here to order personalized copies of our books, or any of the authors' signing.

If you're planning to attend the Turn the Page signing, details are here. And be sure to read Turn the Page's Signing Rules of Etiquette before you come. Due to the popularity of Nora's signings, they've had to put some rules in place.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
7:00 - 9:00 pm

757 Brookwood Village

Birmingham, Alabama 35209

Jeaniene and I will be celebrating Release Day for THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE and HUNGER UNTAMED, signing books, giving away slap bracelets, probably playing with slap bracelets. Come join us!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
5:30 - 7:00 pm

Garden District Book Shop 2727 Prytania Street New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

We'll be discussing and signing our books in the lovely Garden District. Click here for details.

Hope to see you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Paranormal, Fantasy and Adventure, or Fiction?

Have you walked through the Teen section at your local Barnes and Noble lately? If not you might want to go take a look. It's a little ... different.

It used to be there was a Teen section. And in it there were books for teens. At some point the section grew and they divided it out into sub sections, like Teen Fiction and Teen Non-Fiction (even though sometimes Fiction books took over the Non-Fiction section--gasp).

(Photo lovingly borrowed from Dustin and Neesha Save the World)
Then it got broken down even more. They added Teen Inspiration and Teen Fiction was divided out into Teen Fiction and Teen Series (which begs the question: When does a series become a series? The last time I was in a store with those divisions, Oh. My. Gods. was in the Teen Series section and Goddess Boot Camp was in the plain ol' Teen Fiction.)

Reading myself to death
(Photo courtesy of StayProud)

Now Barnes and Noble is following the Borders model and dividing Teen Fiction down even further. When the news broke, they announced they would be breaking out into Teen Fiction and Teen Paranormal Romance and I thought, Okay. I like my books hanging out with the other teen paranormal romances because my bright pink and blue covers stand out against all the black. Readers will notice my books.

(Photo stolen linked from The Damnsel)
Yesterday I went into a Barnes and Noble for the first time in months (Dear Stillwater, Please get a Barnes and Noble.) and I checked out the teen section. Of course. Well now they've broken Teen Fiction down even further into three sections: Teen Fiction, Teen Fantasy and Adventure, and Teen Paranormal. Question: Why does Teen Fantasy and Adventure would need to be separated from Teen Paranormal?

I heart Barnes and Noble and they are my Big Chain of choice, but I have to wonder if this subdividing is what's best for the readers. I use Alyson Noel as the ultimate example. In the new section divisions her first few books--straight contemporary teen fiction--are completely isolated from her super-successful Immortals series. I have to think that at some of her readers would crossover from one to the other. But that's just me..

What do you think? Do the separations make sense or do they leave you scratching your head?


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Music, Movies and Books

A huge shout out to all the followers of this Blog! I hope you're warm wherever you are! Here in the land of Canuk, it's freezing. Absolutely freezing I tell you. BUT, the sun is shining so I'm kinda okay with that. I really, really, hate the dreary, grey skies...they make me a little well, edgy.

Good news, the local expert in such things, a groundhog no less, says that there is only six more weeks of winter and I don't know about you, but that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. On the inside at least, cause like I already said.....freaking cold in Canuk land.

With the thought of spring and new things, I'm going to share some of the stuff I'm looking forward to.

It's no secret that I love music. And Nikki Sixx. HELLO (I'm working on a sekret project right now and my hero is the love child of said sexy rocker Nikki Sixx and Jon Bon Jovi)

And Mr. Nikki has a new book and new cd coming out and oh my, we SHARE THE SAME PUBLISHER! HarperCollins is releasing his book, This is Gonna Hurt in April. You can read all about it HERE. He will also be releasing a new cd to coincide with the books release. If you haven't read The Heroin so. It's harrowing, scary and full of awesomesauce. It's a very real account of his addiciton to Heroin just as Motley Crue were on thier way to the bigtime. I respect his willingness to put it all out there in a very, raw and honest accounting.

I'm also looking forward to new books by our own Jeaniene Frost, the debut of Karina Coopers new series, Blood of the Wicked, Pamela Palmers latest Feral Warriors novel (RAWR) and Sable Grace's debut, Ascension!

On the movie front I'm looking forward to Cowboys & Aliens and I AM NUMBER this trailer and tell me what you think! The lead actor, Alex Pettyfer is also tapped to play Jace, in The Mortal Instruments movies and I'm stoked...he's perfect for the role.

So, what are you all looking forward to? Any other suggestions you'd like to add? which books, movies and music are you most excited about?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Silver Phoenix Paperback Giveaway!

on the day of her first betrothal meeting--and rejection--ai ling discovers a power welling deep within her. she can reach into other people's spirits, hear their thoughts, see their dreams...and that's just the beginning.

ai ling has been marked by the immortals; her destiny lies in the emperor's palace, where a terrible evil has lived, stealing souls, for centuries. she must conquer this enemy and rescue her captive father, while mythical demons track her every step. and then she meets chen yong, a young man with a quest of his own, whose fate is intertwined with hers. here is a heart-stopping, breathtaking tale for fans of action, fantasy, and romance--of anything with the making of legend.


hi undies!
it's my turn to ramble here at the
underground and i've exciting news!
Silver Phoenix has released in paperback
and should be available at your local barnes
and noble and hopefully some indies as well.
last week, i found out i was fortunate enough
to be included as cassandra clare's favorite reads
(among some fantastic YA company!) so many of
my paperbacks are featured on end caps at bn.

fyi, these end caps are prime real estate
space usually saved for big time authors, so
to be placed thus is a real thrill!

so in celebration of all this happy news, i'm giving
away copies of Silver Phoenix! how many i give will
depend on how many entries i receive. =) i will give
one paperback for every 20 individual participants.
so if we get 68 entries, i will give away three books, so
on and so forth.

to enter, simply comment.
if you take the time to tweet, fb, blog and
link to this giveaway, you will receive (+3) entries,
increasing your chances to win. simply comment
with a link to your post, twitter, etc. this giveaway
will run through until my next post on 3/8, when
i'll announce the winners. this is open internationally!

good luck, undies!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Like the Old Days (and Appearance)

With the completion and acceptance of “Burn the Night”: the sixth and final book in the Dark Days series, I have completed my contract for HarperCollins, leaving myself, as they politely say, between contracts. Isn’t that a nice phrase? Between contracts? It has the intimation that I will naturally get picked up for another contract in just a couple of tick tocks. So sweet.

Now, I’m just teasing and don’t mean to be condescending. I’ve just l earned that this is a hard business and that there are no givens in this business just because you accomplished something in the past. You have to continue to prove yourself and earn your keep, but that’s my opinion.

A more honest description is that I am “on proposal.” What that means is that I have currently have a book or two or so on proposal with my editor for potential publication. A proposal includes lovely things like a synopsis, book sample chapters, character descriptions, etc. Everything that a person needs to paint a clear picture of what the book is going to look like without actually writing the book first.

There is only one problem with being “on proprosal” or “between contracts”.


There is a lot of waiting in this business and I have learned to be a somewhat patient person, sort of. The one thing that has helped is that I have jumped right back into writing regardless of whether any of the books that I proposed sells. I love these ideas and characters. They are fun to me and they help to keep my mind active.

A funny thing happened as I worked on three books at the same time. I felt a lot freer than I have in a while to experiment, daydream, and doodle. When I was under deadline, I counted each minute that I had and weighed it both in time and money spent toward my goal of finishing a book that my editor was demanding. Now that I don’t have a deadline, I can work and play with anything that I want to play with. The break between contracts has given me the chance to refill the creative well, which is an absolute necessity. I’ve played in urban fantasy, paranormal romance, speculative fiction, and epic fantasy. And I’ve still got some time, so I wonder where my imagination will take me next.

While I always appreciate having the comfort of a contract at my back, this has been a surprising liberating experience in which I have gotten back to my creative roots.

In the meantime, I’m having a small signing/get-together in the Cincinnati, Ohio area if you happen to be in the area and are a fan of the Dark Days series. I will be at Panera Bread Company on Saturday, February 26, 2011 from 2 pm Eastern time through at least 4 pm. If people want me to hang out longer to chat and drink smoothies, I will be happy to stay longer.

The address is: 7150 Houston Road, Florence, KY 41042

The telephone number is: (859) 371-9010 in case you need directions. Don't bother calling them with questions about the event. There are not able to reserve a space for us, but I am confident that there should be enough room for us to be able to comfortably sit and chat. If you have any questions, leave them in the comment field or email me at Jocelynn . Drake @ gmail . com

I will sign books. I will answer questions. I will speculate. I will share secrets. I will bring goodies to hand out. I will look ahead at what's to come. Bring your questions and your own speculations. It's going to be a great time!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sharing a Release Day

My fifth book (Darkest Mercy) comes out in just over two weeks, and I’d like to take this time to talk about what happens at release.

Part of the release process is a calm, graceful* approach to the day when cherubs will appear outside your window, singing of the beauty that is release day. If you take off your glasses, squint a little, and only look at them before the morning tea or coffee, these are beautiful creatures. They each hold a copy of your book. Later in the day, they will deliver this book to a special person who will send you truffles and orchids because it is the book they’ve waited for their whole lives.

This kind of experience is so overwhelming that you need trusted friends to help you cope with the tears of joy. More importantly, you need them in the weeks prior to release.

--big dose of reality--

Release day? Scary. The weeks before release? Mood-swinging madness. This is the time when you call your trusted friends and say “OMG, what if [insert crisis here] and then my entire career will END?” If your friend is not on release too, s/he will say, “No, that won’t happen. Take your head out of the microwave** and calm down.” If s/he is on release, the reply sounds more like, “I know! We are both so CENSOR.”

Yes, my regular critique partner is sharing a release day with me. Oh, and she’s in revisions, and I’m finishing a book right now. We’re both on post-holiday diets.


So really, what I’m saying is that it’s probably best to pretend you don’t see us if we happen to cross your path any time this month. Avoid eye contact. Back away slowly. Don’t be afraid to hide your microwave behind a tower of cookies and cakes if we are visiting you.

On the other hand, if you feel inclined to watch the crazy up close, here’s where I’ll be and where J will be.

Luckily, we aren't in the same places as we share release . . .

* And by “graceful,” I mean complete mood-swingy crazy fits.
** I am watching SUPERNATURAL with my son and the episode where the guy microwaves his head? Scarred me.

Book Trailer:

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