Saturday, November 28, 2009

Urban Fantasy Weekend Report

INTERVIEWS and EVENTS at SciFiGuy.ca: 

Coming this week on Wednesday, December 2, I have a special guest post with the two Kelly's - that's Kelly Meding (Three Days to Dead) and Kelly Gay (The Better Part of Darkness) who will both be here to talk about their post-debut release experience.



This past week it has been my pleasure to interview Kathryn Smith and Lilith Saintcrow. Find out more about their latest releases and future projects. I have a giveaway for Kathryn Smith (both books from The Nightmare Chronicles) that ends Monday night and a giveaway of Betrayals, Lilith Saintcrow's newest YA release. Check the interviews for details.


Last week I spoke with Deborah Cooke/Claire Delacroix and the giveaway of a complete set of the Dragonfire series is still open until Monday night as well.


For Star Wars kiddies, the giveaway of five copies of Draw Star Wars®: The Clone Wars™ ends Monday night.

Remember to check my Author Events and Interviews schedule posted on my left sidebar for the most recent updates.


AUTHOR and BOOK NEWS:

FREE READS:
INTERVIEWS:
Virna De Paul has sold the first two books in a new paranormal romantic suspense series about a unique special ops team whose members include a shapeshifter.

Suzanne Johnson sold urban fantasy novels Royal Street and the sequel River Road to Tor as part of a two-book deal. Royal Street is scheduled to be published in fall 2011. Royal Street was a finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Award compeition. Publisher Marketplace had this [via Dark Faerie Tales] -
ROYAL STREET, in which a female wizard guards the border between Hurricane Katrina-beset NOLA and the Beyond, facing down a voodoo god and locating her missing mentor, and RIVER ROAD, in which she solves a series of cross-species murders as the River Styx bleeds into the Mississippi, and deals with a shapeshifting partner, undead Jean Lafitte, a newbie werewolf boyfriend, and a neighbor with a sinister agenda, for publication in 2010. 
Gena Showalter has started on the next Alien Huntress romance and is calling it Ecstasy in Darkness. Yasmine Galenorn is working on Blood Wyne the ninth book in the Otherworld series which is Menolly's third book. It would appear from her blog that third Vampire Memories book by Barb Hendee will be called Memories of Envy.

Gail Carriger says the date for the third Parasol Protectorate book Blameless has been moved up to September 2010.

Betrayals, the second in the Strange Angels series by Lilith Saintcrow will debut at #5 on the New York Times Children’s Paperback Bestseller list for Dec. 6th. Shadowland by Alyson Noel has landed me at #17 on the USA Today Bestsellers list.

In my interview with Lilith Saintcrow this week I asked about Flesh Circus and the future of the Jill Kismet series and here is what Lilith had to say -
Flesh Circus came from a conversation with my writing partner Mel Stirling, about why circuses are creepy. It's kind of a deep breath before we take the plunge into Heaven's Spite and Angel Town, which are the last planned books in the Kismet series. The last two books are really what I've spent all this time in Kismet's world gearing up for. We've seen a lot of hellbreed, and Jill suspects that the "other side" is not as opposed to Hell as we might assume.
In my interview with Kathryn Smith this week she revealed that like many urban fantasy/paranormal writers she is joining the young adult writing fraternity -
I am currently working on a Young Adult series for Harlequin Teen under the name Kady Cross. It’s a steampunk superhero book and so far has been a lot of fun!

CONTESTS:

WORLDWIDE:
  • Stumbling Over Chaos has a great giveaway of four signed copies of Soul of the Wildcat by Devyn Quinn, a new shapeshifter romance. Open until 7 pm CST, Friday, December 4.
  • Amberkatze's Book Blog has a terrific contest with Jennifer Rardin including two autographed copies of Bite Marks, one autographed copy each of Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Another One Bites the Dust and Biting the Bullet. Ends tomorrow so enter quickly.
  • Pat's Fantasy Hotlist has a blockbuster Del Rey/Bantam Spectra giveaway including -
- A signed copy of China Mieville’s The City and the City
- A signed copy of John Birmingham’s Without Warning
- A signed copy of Naomi Novik’s In His Majesty's Service
- Robert V.S. Redick’s The Red Wolf Conspiracy
- Peter V. Brett’s The Warded Man
- Terry Brooks’s A Princess of Landover
- Harry Connolly’s Child of Fire
- Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge’s Black and White
- Alan Deniro’s Total Oblivion More or Less
- Catherynne Valente’s Palimpsest
- An Advance Reading Copy of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Galileo's Dream
US and CANADA:
Suburban Vampire has a giveaway of How to Date a Vampire by Sophie Collins

CHECK FOR DETAILS:

Nancy Holzner is having an extravaganza of a contest to celebrate the launch of her forthcoming urban fantasy Deadtown. She'll be giving away a prize a week right up to release day. Here’s what you can win:
December 8: A Deadtown coffee mug (retail value $12) and a signed copy of the book.
December 15: A Deadtown tote bag (retail value $14) and a signed copy.
December 22: A 0.6 liter Sigg water bottle sporting Deadtown’s cover (retail value $20), plus a signed copy.
December 29: The Big Day calls for a big prize, so I’m giving away a Flip Mino HD video camera! This small, slim, lightweight camera records up to 60 minutes of HD video and shows off Deadtown’s cover. Its retail value is $199. Plus, of course, a signed copy of the book.
The contest begins on November 24 and ends on December 28 at 11:59 P.M. Eastern standard time.

Check out the extensive Urban Fantasy Giveaways Roundup at All Things Urban Fantasy


MEDIA:

Author and Blogger Reviews:
The Vampire Diaries is on hiatus until January 10.

I know the trailer for Bitch Slap has been out quite awhile but this past week they released an HD version. While they refer to the movie as a throwback to the B Movie/Exploitation films of the 1950s - 70s, it strikes me more as a Quentin Tarantino style spoof. And in the spirit of urban fantasy I think these are definitely some kick-ass ladies. The movie releases in January. If you are in to cheese this is sure to please.



COVERS and ART:

KMont at Lurv à la Mode has a Cover Spotlight: Fantasy, Fabulous Fantasy including the next Jacqueline Carey cover.

Far from the land of her birth, Moirin sets out across Tatar territory to find Bao, the proud and virile Ch'in fighter who holds the missing half of her diadh-anam, the divine soul-spark of her mother's people. After a long ordeal, she not only succeeds, but surrenders to a passion the likes of which she's never known. But the lovers' happiness is short lived, for Bao is entangled in a complication that soon leads to their betrayal.
Tez Says has a preliminary cover for Wired by Robin Wasserman, the third book in her YA Crashed series and the Canadian/UK cover for Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong.

Kay at The Infinite Shelf has posted a series of painings featuring women reading title The Beauty of Reading

ImagineFX magazine contains a list of the 50 Best Living Artists, citing them as "the most innovative, influential and altogether mega fantasy and sci-fi artists alive today." They offer brief writeups of each artist named above as well as showcasing some of their awesome artwork. [via SF Signal]
Here's their list:
  1. Frank Frazetta
  2. Ralph McQuarrie
  3. Moebius
  4. Craig Mullins
  5. John Howe
  6. H.R. Giger
  7. Drew Struzan
  8. Syd Mead
  9. Andrew Jones
  10. Brom
  11. Boris Vallejo
  12. Linda Bergkvist
  13. Marta Dahlig
  14. Donato Giancola
  15. Dave Gibbons
  16. Rodney Matthews
  17. Dave McKean
  18. Jon Foster
  19. James Jean
  20. Bob Eggleton
  21. Todd Lockwood
  22. Yoshitaka Amano
  23. Brian Froud
  24. Frank Miller
  25. Greg Hildebrandt
  26. Bill Sienkiewicz
  27. Ryan Church
  28. Michael Whelan
  29. Simon Bisley
  30. Dan Dos Santos
  31. Melanie Delon
  32. Jason Chan
  33. Adam Hughes
  34. Jim Lee
  35. Roger Dean
  36. Stanley Lau
  37. Masamune Shirow
  38. Stephan Martiniere
  39. Justin "Coro" Kaufman
  40. Justin Sweet
  41. Mike Mignola
  42. Daniel Dociu
  43. Greg Manchess
  44. Katsuhiro Otomo
  45. Hayao Miyazuki
  46. Chris Foss
  47. Peter Andrew Jones
  48. J.S. Rossbach
  49. Tara McPherson
  50. Jason Manley
Cover art featured here this past week at SciFiGuy.ca included:



AROUND the BLOGOSPHERE:

Vampire Spoof [via Loving True Blood in Dallas]


Strictly for readers of a robust disposition, here are some of the passages highlighted for particular attention by the judges of the Literary Review's 2009 bad sex in fiction prize [via The Guardian UK]

Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings has Free Reads and Giveaways Roundup for 11/25/09 as well as late November releases with review links.

Mid-week urban fantasy news round-up at Literary Escapism

Derek Tatum of Mondo Vampire talks Goth over at VampChix.

RKCharron has a fun post collecting a wide range of author experiences with rejection letters.

Ellz Reads has a mid-week recap of Intervierws and other urban fantasy news

"Best of" Lists:
Over the next month or so I imagine we will be seeing quite a few postings of Best of the Year and Favourite Reads etc. Lists are a great way to find books you may have missed or simply a fun way to compare your own picks.


QUOTABLE QUOTES:

Comparing a reader full of e-books to a room full of paper books is like comparing a pocket shrine to a temple; we are still monkey-like enough to be awed by size and number, and a good library trips the same circuits in my brain as a house of worship. I thrill to books en masse. This is the one place where my environmentalism is overruled by my decadence. If I could, I would swim in my books like Scrooge McDuck in his pool full of coins.
 - Rose Fox in a post at SF Signal about the pros and cons of ebooks

Teen daughter bought Rocky Horror soundtrack then discovered true horror--realizing she now owns an album her mother knows all the words to.
  - Kelley Armstrong on Twitter


CANDID CAMERA:

Marjorie Liu on her visit to the Forbidden City


Kristin Cashore with some of her favourite things.


OK this isn't Seanan McGuire but her cat with an ARC.



Friday, November 27, 2009

Guest Author - Lilith Saintcrow (YA as Lili St. Crow)

It is with great pleasure and special congratulations that I welcome Lilith Saintcrow here today. Betrayals, Lilith's second book in her Strange Angels young adult urban fantasy series was released just last week and will debut at #5 on the New York Times Children’s Paperback Bestseller list for Dec. 6th. On top of that. the next book in the Jill Kismet series - Flesh Circus (love the title) came out this week in the US and hits shelves next week in Canada.

Lilith answered a whole lot of my questions on very short notice and I very much appreciate it. Lilith will be dropping by to answer your questions, so if you would like to ask her about her young adult fiction, urban fantasy, other series or works, please leave a comment.

Mini-bio: Lilith Saintcrow was born in New Mexico, bounced around the world as an Air Force brat, and fell in love with writing when she was ten years old. Lili lives in Vancouver, WA with her children, a houseful of cats, and assorted other strays.

You can read an excerpt of Flesh Circus here and Betrayals here. You can find out more about Lilith Saintcrow and her books at her website here. You can also read my reviews of Night Shift, Hunter's Prayer, Steelflower, and Strange Angels.

And last but not least, I will draw one name from among the commenters  to receive a copy of Betrayals. Open to anywhere that The Book Depository ships (more details at the end of the post).


SFG: Betrayals, the second book in your Strange Angels young adult series has just been released. You’ve stated that you had never planned to write young adult fiction. Tell us how that came about. What has the experience been like and what feedback have you had from your teen readership?

I ended up writing Strange Angels because I was asked to. I never thought I'd write YA because my stories tend to be very dark, and the people in them cuss and have sex. Bad things happen to them, too. So, I never thought a YA publisher would want to have me on board.

But an editor over at Razorbill actually asked my agent if I was interested in doing young adult, and I decided to give it a shot. I had to Have A Talk with the editor before we ever started talking contract, just to explain that I write what I write and they aren't going to get sweetness and light out of me, and that we might not be a good fit because my characters are, well, flawed. And human. And foul-mouthed. But the editor was behind me all the way, and I've been pleasantly surprised. I think the YA genre has freed up a lot in the last five-ten years; maybe people are finally waking up to the fact that kids say rude things and are curious about their bodies.

The experience has been, frankly, awesome. Teen readers respond just like adult readers do, with perhaps a little more energy and enthusiasm! I decided early on that I would approach the YA books like any other book—just tell the truth, tell the story, don't punk out, and let the Reader decide. And it's worked out pretty well. Teens are exquisitely sensitive to BS. They have to be—they live in a pretty stressful world where their time and schedules, and sometimes even their bodies, are not their own, and they are very sensitive to adults trying to con them. You have to have as little BS (or patronization) in the book as possible, or it will turn them off very quickly.

SFG: Can you give us an overview of Betrayals and the series and where it is heading? Would you consider writing another YA series?

Betrayals is where my heroine starts to enter the larger world of things that go bump in the night, and where she realizes that her training—as much as her father tried to prepare her for survival—is maybe not quite up to par. So she's starting all over in a whole new world, and having to make some decisions very quickly—who to trust, who not to trust, what to keep secret, what to reveal. The series is heading into some very dangerous waters; the third book, Jealousy, was difficult for me because I had to revisit some nasty things from my own teenage years. I'm starting on Book 4 of the series now, where Dru has really come into her own, and there's going to be a lot more action. It's like dominos—I like to set a situation up very carefully so that when I touch the first one, the chain reaction is all prepared.

I would definitely write another YA series. It's so fun. I already have a couple of ideas, but my editor is encouraging me to just concentrate on Strange Angels for now.

SFG: Your website/blog denotes you as a “Writer on the dark side”. How do you live up to that label and what is it about urban fantasy that attracts you?

That was actually a joke that turned into a tagline. The things that come out of my head and onto paper are very dark. I'm fascinated with extreme situations, psychological deconstruction, questions of violence and redemption. So my husband at that time made a joke about how I was way over on the Dark Side, and the joke just grew until I threw it up as the tagline on my website. It's pretty tongue-in-cheek too. "Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies." I laugh at myself a lot whenever I see it. You can get so serious and stuffy that you end up getting boring; I like to avoid that. Balance it out.

Urban fantasy attracts me because of the possibility for ambiguity, both moral/ethical and in gender roles. You can do a lot of subtle tweaking of situations to bring that ambiguity to the fore. Take Jill Kismet, for example. She commits murder every night in the name of protecting the innocent. What, if anything, separates her from the things she hunts? How would a person deal with that kind of job? What makes her keep going? These are things that fascinate me.

SFG: Your newest Jill Kismet novel, Flesh Circus is out in the next few days. A very provocative title. Please tell us a little about that and about the series and its future.

Flesh Circus came from a conversation with my writing partner Mel Stirling, about why circuses are creepy. It's kind of a deep breath before we take the plunge into Heaven's Spite and Angel Town, which are the last planned books in the Kismet series. The last two books are really what I've spent all this time in Kismet's world gearing up for. We've seen a lot of hellbreed, and Jill suspects that the "other side" is not as opposed to Hell as we might assume.

When those two books are done, I suspect it might be time to take a break from Kismet for a while. I'm not done with her, there are still things I want to say with her...but I need to take some time off. Each Kismet book is very draining, they come from a very dark place where hope is more of a liability than a saviour.

SFG: You have quite a few different books and series under your authorial belt. Where would you recommend a reader new to your writing start first. Which book, which series?

That would depend on what a reader likes. For those who like paranormal romance, I think The Demon's Librarian is the best place to start. For those who like fantasy, Steelflower is a good introduction. For urban fantasy readers, I really like Redemption Alley.

I write in different genres because I'm always trying new things. I like different genres for different things, and I love playing around.



SFG: In addition to your many novels, you are an active short story writer and contributor to anthologies. What do you like about the shorter form? Is it less or more of a challenge than novels?

The short form is, for me, far more difficult than the long novel form. In a short story, there is no room for error. Every word has to pull much more weight, and cramming a complete story arc into just a few thousand words is difficult for me. In novels, you can't have excess weight either, but there's more room.

I do like the tight focus of the shorter form, though. Stories that can't quite carry the weight of a novel, like things you see through a keyhole, are fascinating.

SFG: What other new projects do you have on the horizon?

Let's see...there should be another romance, titled Carcajou, out soon. I'm in a lot of anthologies—there's a Jill Kismet story in Justin Gustainis's upcoming Those Who Hunt Monsters as well as stories in the Chicks Kick Ass and Girls Guide To Guns And Monsters anthologies. I have an essay, titled Ambiguous Anita, in the upcoming Ardeur, which focuses on Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Plus there is the next in the Strange Angels series, Jealousy, and a new Jill Kismet, Heaven's Spite, coming out next year. There are other things, but that's enough for now, right?

SFG: Book covers are always a hot topic and your different series feature some very non-conventional urban fantasy designs, I’m thinking Dante Valentine and Jill Kismet series covers in particular. Is there a story behind the designs? Would you have preferred the more typical tramp-stamped kick-ass heroine type covers?

Oh, God. A lot of people don't realize that authors have no say in covers. Maybe bigshots who consistently make the NYT Bestseller List get some input, but I have never really gotten any input on covers. They're presented as a fait accompli to the author. There's this curious perception that the cover means the author, and that is so not true. We're just as surprised as you are, most times.

That being said, I've been lucky. I was part of the Orbit US launch, and the cover redesigns moved my Valentine series from paranormal romance to noir-ish urban fantasy. Which I think was a great thing. A lot of readers felt a little jarred by the fact that the Valentine series is not a traditional romance in any sense, and it also doesn't have a clear-cut HEA. The ending is hopeful, not entirely happy. It was the right ending, but it was not a romance ending. So the covers were, I felt, far closer to what the books actually contained, as well as being distinctive.

I've had great, great cover luck with my larger releases. And I'm very happy about that.



SFG: You have mentioned on occasion that you are a visual writer and you are also a photographer. Do you ever use your own photography as inspiration for places and characters?

It's funny, because I am so visual, but the photography never really makes it into the books. It's more of filling my creative well with certain types of sensory input. I like to go out at night and take pictures of alleys and broken buildings and deserted streets. The loneliness of the urban landscape at night fascinates me, and a lot of my books are set in that territory. But the photos don't ever make it in there. They're more like throat-clearing, or collages that I use to get in the mood. Plus I think better while I'm moving, so there's been a number of times when I've been out walking at night with the camera and suddenly a plot tangle comes clear or a character starts talking. But none of the actual photos have ever inspired anything. I just like them.

SFG: We’re all readers here so we are all curious what you like to read when you have time and what you are reading now.

I read everything. I'm omnivorous. Nonfiction, fiction, any genre, I'll read it. It just has to interest me. Lately I've read a lot of Anne Stuart and some Stieg Larsson, my version of light reads to smooth the sharp edges and keep my brain occupied. I've just started a collection of Yehuda Amichai's poetry (each one is a jewel, a perfect little thing) and I'm plowing through some Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Jane Tompkins to massage the brain cells. I am also somewhat of a WWII (Eastern Front) buff, so I'm reading Mark Mazower's current book about Germany's administration of European territory after conquest. My bedside reading is Herodotus's Histories right now. Like I said, I read a little bit of everything. The world is a reading banquet.

SFG: If you could be a supernatural creature, which one would you be?

I rather like being human, despite all the ills that flesh is heir to. If I had to choose...maybe a phoenix. God knows I feel like I've resurrected myself a million times so far. But that's life, isn't it?

SFG: Tell us five things about yourself that no one knows.

Can there possibly be, after all these interviews, five things nobody knows? Hm. I'll try.
  1. The word "cake" always sounds dry to me. It literally dries my mouth out.
  2. I can never pronounce "vegetables" correctly. I stumble over the "b".
  3. I am haunted by the idea that I'll wake up and my writing career will have been a dream. I love it so much, I am so happy, that it seems like it might vanish at any moment.
  4. I cry every time I read the hospital scene in Dead Man Rising.
  5. My favourite movie of all time is Dead Poets Society.

Thanks for interviewing me!



The pleasure as all mine Lilith!

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:
  1. Leave a meaningful comment for Lilith.
  2. Open to anywhere The Book Depository ships.
  3. Leave a way to notify you if you should win.
  4. Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.
  5. Giveaway open until Midnight, December 4 EST.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another Twilight (Breaking Dawn) Spoof

The Twilight spoofs just keep coming. Here is how Breaking Dawn should have ended. [via SciFiWire].

Cover Art - "Her Vampire Husband" by Michele Hauf

Michele Hauf revealed the cover for Her Vampire Husband, the third book in her Wicked Games paranormal romance series following The Highwayman and Moon Kissed. The book releases April 2010.


She may resist his bite, but she can't resist his charms...

Werewolf princess Blu Masterson won't allow her seductive vampire husband to consummate their marriage with his bite, marking her forever. Alone in a secluded estate with her sworn enemy, Blu curses the marriage arranged to bring their rival nations together, especially since Creed Saint-Pierre calls out to her most feral desires.

When Blu uncovers her pack's secret plot to destroy the vampire nation—and Creed—she is forced to confront her growing feelings for her sexy undead husband. Will she choose the only life she's ever known or accept his vampire bite?


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Guest Author - Kathryn Smith (Dark Side of Dawn)

I personally first came across Kathryn Smith's books with her vampire series Brotherhood of the Blood which was one of my early forays into paranormal romance. A great read if you haven't tried it. Kathryn has a new urban fantasy series called The Nightmare Chronicles, the first book, Before I Awake was released last year and the follow-up Dark Side of Dawn hits the shelves today.

I hadn't read either of the books in this new series until recently and I was quite taken with the unique and original Dream Lands concept and the idea of a person as a 'Nightmare', a half-human and half supernatural entity.

Kathryn is here to tell us more about the new book and her writing and has offered to answer your questions. Anyone leaving a comment or asking a question will be entered in a drawing for a set of the two Nightmare Chronicles books. As usual entry details are found at the end of the post.

Short Bio:
My first book was published in 2001 through Avon Romance. Since then I've published over a dozen books and made the jump from straight historical romance to paranormal historical romance. I've also become a USA Today bestselling author! In 2008 I embarked on a new adventure with the publication of my first romantic urban fantasy series, The Nightmare Chronicles. And yes, I'll still be writing historical paranormal romance as well. Why give up a good thing when I can have my cake and eat it too?


SFG: Dark Side of Dawn is the second book in your Nightmare Chronicles series and is just hitting shelves today. I love the play on words in the title by the way. Tell us about the series and especially about the Dream Lands and the main character Dawn, who is a Nightmare.

Thank you! The series is about Dawn Riley, who is the half-human daughter of Morpheus, God of Dreams. Technically Dawn shouldn’t exist, but she does! She has the ability to walk between the two worlds, and because of this she’s blamed for the ‘thinning’ of the veil between the waking and dreaming worlds. As a ‘Nightmare’ it’s her duty to guard humans while they’re in the Dreaming, but there are those who feel the Dreaming needs to be protected from Dawn!

SFG: The world-building in the Nightmare Chronicles is a very different and unique from the usual supernatural who’s who of vampires, shifters, demons and angels. What kind of research did you do for the series?

I’ve always had an interest in dreams. When I was younger I mentioned to a friend that I’d had a nightmare, but then I “changed it.” She was a psychology major and looked at me rather intently. She asked if I knew anything about lucid dreaming, and of course, I didn’t. I was amazed to find out that not everyone can change their dreams, so that is probably what really got me interested in the subject. I don’t do as much lucid dreaming as I used to. Now, I just let my dreams play out. Regardless, I fell in love with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics and devoured the entire series. In college I studied ancient mythology. I also have books on dreaming and on therapy through dream analysis. Very interesting stuff. From these interests the idea for Dawn first bloomed.

SFG: What’s scene or moment in Dark Side of Dawn did you enjoy writing the most? Your favourite character?

My favourite scene is the one my husband thought the most disturbing. It’s the one where Dawn turns into “mother” when she’s attacked. My more macabre side came out for that, I guess. My favourite character is Verek, whom I would love to write about some day.

SFG: How about a Canadian connection question. Your character Dawn is from Toronto and you are originally from Nova Scotia. Any particular reason for picking TO?

I chose TO because my husband and I lived there for about a year and a half. Actually, we were north of the city in Maple, but to this day we still talk about our fave Indian restaurant and bakery that was there. We miss the Wonderland theme park, and the friends we left behind. So, making Dawn a Canadian was my way of giving a shout out not only to the country I'm proud to call home, but all the family and friends we have north of the 49th.

SFG: You also have a long-running vampire romance series, The Brotherhood of the Blood. Can you give some highlights? Can the books be read as standalones?

The Brotherhood of the Blood is a 5 book, 1 short story series about a group of medieval mercenaries who stumble upon a silver chalice, drink from it (thinking it’s the Holy Grail) and are turned into vampires with the blood of Lilith in their veins. The story line arcs throughout the stories, but you don’t have to read them in order – expect Night After Night should be read last since it brings all of the vamps together at last. The series was a lot of fun to write – and the one I get the most fan mail for!


SFG: in addition to your urban fantasy/paranormals you write Victorian Romance and Regency Historicals. Can you give us some highlights and maybe a recommendation for romance readers?

When I first started writing I wrote Regency Historicals, my personal favourites are the Ryland Brother series (For the First Time, In Your Arms Again, In the Night and Still in My Heart). Then I did the Brotherhood series (personal favourite – Let the Night Begin) and became reacquainted with the Victorian age, which is the setting for my new ‘series’ -- something that I refer to as my ‘Victorian Soap Opera’. The first book in that new world is called When Seducing a Duke, and just came out in October. I think this series is darker than my Regency books, something that might be hard for my earlier historical readers to get used to.

SFG: What new projects do you have on the horizon?

I’ve turned in the 2nd of my new historical series and am currently working on a Young Adult series for Harlequin Teen under the name Kady Cross. It’s a steampunk superhero book and so far has been a lot of fun! I’ve got a couple of other projects floating around, but I’m on a strict deadline for the next few months. I also have a lot of readers asking for more vampires or historical paranormal from me, so we’ll just have to see what happens there. I’d love to do it, so it will depend on whether or not I have the time, and if my publisher wants them!

SFG: We’re all readers here so we are all curious what you like to read when you have time and what you are reading now.

I love to read! I have a huge to-be-read pile. I like to read Young Adult fiction, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror... I just like to read! Right now I’m reading a book for a quote, which I’m quite enjoying, and I’m getting into Ilona Andrews’ work. Next up is Boneshaker by Cherie Priest.

SFG: If you could be a supernatural creature, which one would you be?

An angel. Maybe a slightly fallen one.  I love the whole idea of an inner struggle between good and evil. Characters that are morally ambiguous are so very interesting.

SFG: Tell us five things about yourself that no one knows.

This is difficult as I’m a pretty open book! I’ll give it ago.
  1. As a child I had a habit of cutting my own bangs. At 13 I shaved the sides of my head to look like Cyndi Lauper. Mom hid the clippers after that.
  2. When I was two I apparently told my family that I had a ‘real’ family elsewhere and described them in detail. Later, I was distraught, saying that my parents had been shot! My open-to-anything mother was – and still is – convinced I was talking about a past life. Since the alternative is to think I’m nuts, I guess I’ll side with her. I have no memory of any of this, but my oldest sister remembers.
  3. In high school I had a huge crush on Jim Morrison, despite his having died before I was born. I also had a thing for Alice Cooper. My favourite AC recording is the “From the Inside” album – all about the inmates at an insane asylum!
  4. My family was poor. We didn’t get a bathroom until I was 5. Consequently I have a deep and abiding aversion to outhouses. This extends to port-a-potties as well.
  5. My first crush was Shaun Cassidy. I was 5, he was 18. Shaun, if you’re out there, I’m still waiting.

Thank you Kathryn for taking the time to answer our questions and spending time with us. I think urban fantasy fans will be delighted with the Nightmare Chronicles. I certainly am a fan and of the Brotherhood of the Blood series as well. Check them out folks!

And now for the giveaway. I am giving away a set of the two Nightmare Chronicles books Before I Wake and Dark Side of Dawn to one lucky winner.

Giveaway Guidelines:
  1. To enter leave a comment or question for Kathryn Smith about her writing, her books or her new series. That's it. Easy peasy.
  2. Open to anyone anywhere in the world The Book Depository ships to.
  3. Leave a way to notify you if you should win.
  4. Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.
  5. Giveaway open until Midnight, November 30 EST.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Anita Blake Movie a No Go

Laurell K. Hamilton on her blog today announced that the IFC TV movie of the Anita Blake series will not be going forward. She further says -
It has been frustrating watching other shows in the genre I pioneered go on the air while we didn’t, but in the end I believe most things happen for a reason. I would rather have no television show than a bad one.
I would say LKH is none too happy about the situation and like many I find the cancellation news disappointing as well. It is interesting that the author continues to brazenly trumpet "the genre I pioneered" stance. Do you agree?

What other urban fantasy or paranormal series would you like to see made into a film or movie from some enterprising studio?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cover Art - "Bound by Darkness" by Annette McCleave

Annette McCleave has the cover for the second book in her Soul Gatherers series. Bound by Darkness releases May 4, 2010. In my review of Drawn Into Darkness, I called it "a strong debut bringing together both solid characterization and a winning story line. Urban fantasy romance fans will likely want to add the Soul Gatherers series to their stable of guaranteed enjoyable reads." You can read my review here. An eye-catching cover that nicely complements the first book.


Soul Gatherer Brian Webster has long lived with the guilt of his failure to save his teenage sister. When another girl dies in his arms as she protects an ancient coin from a demon, he takes up her cause. The coin is one of thirty pieces of silver paid to Judas. United, the coins are a dark relic of immense power, and in the wrong hands, they could destroy civilization.

Lena Sharpe is on her own mission to find the Judas coins. A Soul Gatherer by day and a thief by night, she’s negotiated the most important deal of her life. When Brian intervenes and kidnaps her to obtain the coins, she attempts to escape. But the brazen warrior is unrelenting, as he is fearful that the beautiful felon has made a pact with the devil himself. And he’s not entirely wrong.

Bound together by burning desire and a similar darkness in their hearts, they race against time to recover the missing coins. But as the truth behind Lena’s bargain surfaces, Brian is faced with a desperate choice—save one or save many.


Urban Fantasy Weekend Report

INTERVIEWS and EVENTS at SciFiGuy.ca: 

Deborah Cooke/Claire Delacroix was here for an interview this past week talking about her two current releases, Guardian and Winter Kiss. Check it out as well as the giveaway for a complete set of the Dragonfire series.

November 24 - Author Kathryn Smith will be here to talk about Dark Side of Dawn, the second book in her new urban fantasy series the Nightmare Chronicles.

November 26 - Lilith Saintcrow will be visiting to discuss not one but two November releases - Betrayals the 2nd book in the Strange Angels YA series and Flesh Circus, the 4th Jill Kismet novel.

December has an exciting mix of guests with debut urban fantasy authors Kelly Gay and Kelly Meding,  the incomparable Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Canadian young adult debut author Alyxandra Harvey.

Remember to check my Author Events and Interviews schedule posted on my left sidebar for the most recent updates.

Don't forget that for those readers out there with kids, the giveaway for five copies Draw Star Wars®: The Clone Wars™ is still open until November 30. A perfect stocking stuffer for Christmas!


AUTHOR and PUBLISHING NEWS:

FREE READS:

Nicole Peeler thanking fans and reading from Tempest Rising.


Lynn Viehl on her Paperback Writer blog advises -
Want to read a novel by an award-winning writer as it's being written? Author Holly Lisle is giving away the first draft of her new novel, TalysMana, to readers by e-mail. There's no cost involved, you just have to sign up by name and e-mail here, and you'll receive the book one scene at a time as she writes it.
Kelly Meding happily announced that Suvudu will be posting some original short stories from her Three Days to Dead universe -
... over the next ten days, two original short stories of mine will be posted in five parts on the Suvudu site. Part one of story one is now live! Both stories are set in the same world as THREE DAYS TO DEAD. Story 1, The Hoarder, is set four years ago, when Evy was still a rookie Hunter. Story 2 (which will premiere Nov 25), Pride Before Fall, features a Hunter named Tybalt who we meet briefly at the end of THREE DAYS TO DEAD.

Keri Arthur in her most recent newsletter announced a free read on her website of one of her earlier novels With Friends Like These. Here are the details -
I've decided to put one my older books up as a free read on my website. This is very different from anything else that I've written--mainly because it's male point of view. It's set in Melbourne, like my Riley series, but it's a very different tone and features some totally over the top characters--and I do mean over the top!

The hero-- Harry Phillecky (he was a Harry long before those other Harrys came along and got famous)--is a half elf working as a photographer who gets involved in investigating the disappearance of a siren. Lets just say that fun and danger ensues.

The first chapter is up on my website, and one chapter a month will follow until the book is finished. It will also be available as a pdf, so you can download it and read it wherever you want. Hope you enjoy it :)
More excerpts from the forthcoming Deadtown by Nancy Holzner.

Tempting Persephone has a great list of links to excerpts including Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop.

INTERVIEWS:
Jessa Slade reveals a little about her followup book to Seduced by Shadows. In Book 2 of the series, FORGED OF SHADOWS (June 2010), Liam Niall’s soul was winnowed down to rotting pulp during the Irish Potato Famine.  Though he has honed himself to a fighting edge when we meet him, that hunger is still inside and makes him vulnerable not just to the demon that took him but — decades later — to his heroine.

In an update on Laura Ann Gilman's various projects apparently The Vineart War, Book 2, is going to be called Weight of Stone and is tentatively scheduled for an October 2010 release. The first two books in Laura's Retreivers spin-off series Paranormal Scene Investigations were previously announced as Hard Magic (May 2010) and Pack of Lies (February 2011). The third book has been titled Tricks of the Trade (December 2011). Laura also writes as Anna Leonard and has a paranormal romance out in April 2010 called The Hunted featuring a selkie romantic interest. Are selkies the new vampire?

Kelly Gay had some exciting news this past week about a new YA series she has just sold. Here is the announcement via Publishers Weekly
Kelly Gay writing as Kelly Keaton's DARKNESS BECOMES HER, (GODS and MONSTERS, Book 1), in which a hardened teen on the run searches for the truth about her monstrous heritage with a group of misfit kids in a post-apocalyptic New Orleans, a city state now run by the creatures of the night, to Emilia Rhodes at Simon Pulse, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2011, by Miriam Kriss at the Irene Goodman Agency (World).
A Glimpse into the World of Marjorie M. Liu at Project Paranormal
                                                                                               
           
This is a fun book trailer for Jill Miles Gentlmen Prefer Succubi:


Kim Harrison has some freebies for the forthcoming Black Magic Sanction Hollows book. Visit Kim's website for how to get yours.

Devon Monk announced the sale of two books in a brand new series -
DEAD MAN'S MOON and STRANGE HUNT: In the steampunk America of the 1800's where strange creatures, machines, and magic aim to claim the same scrap of land and sky, sometimes all a man can count on is his honor, his word, and his claws.
If you haven't been following the Harlequin Horizons brouhaha this week, Ilona Andrews has a list of links to some of the more interesting commentaries. John Scalzi also weighs in on the issue.

Linda Robertson reports that she just signed a contract for the fourth installment in her Persephone Alcmedi urban fantasy series (Vicious Circle & the forthcoming Hallowed Circle and Fatal Circle). It will be called Arcane Circle.

And here is Melina Morel's brand new trailer for her forthcoming book Smolder:


Romance Book Wyrm profiles a new fantasy romance trilogy by L.J. McDonald that debuts next year. Gena Showalter has the blurb for Unravelled the next book in her YA series following Intertwined. Dark Faerie Tales has publishing news on book deals and Books to Watch (3)

The book trailer for Born of Ice by Sherrilyn Kenyon, the third book in her League series releasing December 1.



CONTESTS:

WORLDWIDE:
  • Michelle Rowen is sponsoring a very cool writing contest. Just click the graphic for details.Open until December 15.


US and CANADA:
  • Ellz Reads has a giveaway for Fallen by Lauren Kate. Ends December 4
  • My Blog 2.0 has a giveaway for a copy of the Immortal anthology. Open until November 30.
  • Blog with Bite has a giveaway of Bound to Shadows by Keri Arthur. Open until November 29.
US Only:
  • Patricia's Vampire Notes has a giveaway of Dark Stranger by Susan Sizemore. Open until December 10.
  • The Story Siren has five copies of Night World No. 1: Secret Vampire; Daughters of Darkness; Spellbinder and five copies of Night World: The Ultimate Fan Guide to give away. Open until December 1.
CHECK FOR DETAILS:
  • RKCharron has a giveaway of King's Under the Dome and a good list of contests around the blogosphere.
  • Author Michele Hauf is running her Ulitmate VampList Contest to update her amazing database of vampire books. Some great prizes.

My Favourite Books has a contest for the complete 2009 lineup from Angry Robot Books including Moxyland, Slights, Nekropolis, Book of Secrets, Angel of Death, Kell’s Legend, Winter Song, Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero and Sixty-One Nails. Open until November 24.

Donna at Fantasy Dreamers Ramblings has an excellent roundup of contests around the blogosphere.

MEDIA:

Authors Sound Off:
Reviews of the New Moon movie at The Book Smugglers, Tor and Bloody Bookaholic. Tor.com reviews 2012.

Filming on the much anticipated HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones has concluded. A Dribble of Ink has the story.

Derek Tatum at Mondo Vampire selects his Favorite Top 10 Best TV/Movie Vampires of the Decade

A fun animated movie How to Train Your Dragon coming out next Spring


SciFi Wire reports -
FOX has confirmed that Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe will channel Robert Pattinson's Twilight character Edward Cullen in an episode of Fox's The Simpsons, "Treehouse of Horror XXII," which will lampoon the vampire franchise, Zap2It reported.
The exclusive Stephenie Meyer appearance on Oprah in three parts:




PROMOTION:



I received this announcement from Damnation Books about their line-up of books for release on December 1st, 2009. This small press has a wide range of horror, SF, paranormal and more.
  • One of Nine by Bruce Golden—short science fiction story
  • Demon Legacy by Kelly Brigham—paranormal horror novel
  • Jars in the Cellar by Lee Clarke Zumpe—horror short story
  • Deadly Affair by Collette Thomas—Book 2 of the Todd Hollow Series thriller/erotica novel
  • The Crimson Tower by Alex Marshall—dark fantasy short story
  • Better Off Alone by Yolanda Sfetsos—horror zombie short story
  • Afterlife by Naomi Clark—vampire paranormal novel
  • Phoenix and the Darkness of Wolves by Shane J. Cummings—dark fantasy novella
  • Betrayal by Michele Acker—Book 1 of the Blood and Ashes series—dark fantasy novel
  • Donny’s Day by Brandon Berntson—horror novella
  • The Merkabah Rider: Episodes 1-4 by Edward M. Erdelac  western/paranormal novel
  • Dannevirke by Sean McLachlan—short story historical horror/dark fantasy
  • Godiva in the Firing Line by Robert Appleton—science fiction novella
These titles go live at 12:01 a.m. on 12-01-09 with variable pricing enabled. With these books we are updating our variable pricing model to where book prices rise per download by twenty-five cents (on our website only).  All currently available books on variable pricing will revert to their full price at that time.

Short stories are available as ebooks only. Novellas and Novels are available in ebook and paperback.

We will also be offering another free book starting on December 1st. This one is Christmas Day of the Dead by Yolanda Sfetsos with cover art by George Silliman.  Who can resist zombies during the holidays?

COVERS and ART:

Nalini Singh has bunches of covers of foreign editions of her books.

Orbit Books has another behind the scenes look at the creation of a book cover featuring the forthcoming Bitten In Two by Jennifer Rardin.

SF Signal does a MIND MELD: The Most Memorable SF/F Book Covers as selected by a range of professional illustrators, editors and bloggers.

The Infinite Shelf gather covers with a wings/butterfly theme.

Tez Says has the UK cover for Hell Fire by Ann Aguirre.

The Book Smugglers talk about and show covers from the new Gollancz paranormal romance line of  books coming next year from the UK publisher.

Melissa Marr has unveiled the cover for Radiant Shadows, the fourth book in her young adult Wicked Lovely series due for release April 20, 2010.

Hunger for nourishment. Hunger for touch. Hunger to belong. Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.

Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.

Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in Melissa Marr’s next volume of Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.
Lucy A. Snyder also has a a cover for the sequel to the forthcoming Spellbent called Shotgun Sorceress.


Irene Gallo from Tor talks about the creative development of Stubby, the Tor.com rocket

Dark Faerie Tales has the cover and book trailer for Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams

SciFi Wire reports that Frank Frazetta's original cover painting for the Lancer paperback edition of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Conqueror sold this week to a private collector for a reported $1 million, according to Spectrum Fantastic Art. That's four times the previous record price for a Frazetta painting, which was $251,000, paid for the cover to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Escape on Venus in 2008.


Jackie at Literary Escapism discovered the cover for Vampire Mistress by Joey W. Hill,  the 5th book in her Vampire Queen series.

Cover art featured here this past week at SciFiGuy.ca included:

AROUND the BLOGOSPHERE:

Well apparently the Kindle is finally coming to Canada. Does anyone care? Are you prepared to lay down the pricey payment for the device and signup with a telcom provider to facilitate downloads. And don't get me started on DRM.

Patricia Altner has November Vampire book releases over at VampChix.

Author Justine Musk has a fascinating must read post "the happy death of “genre vs literary” in the world of the Technorenaissance". Thanks to RKCharron for the heads up.

SF Signal had a link to an AbeBooks sale of two books I always wanted to see (and would love to own). They are the 1953 edition of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 in a signed limited edition (200 copies) made of asbestos and the 1980 edition of Stephen King's Firestarter also done in asbestos and limited to a signed limited edition of only 26 copies. They can be had for the bargain price of only $31,810 USD.



At Grasping for the Wind, Inside the Blogosphere has bloggers answering the question - "What are the worst or most disappointing endings in science fiction/fantasy novels? Why?"


CANDID CAMERA:

Alyson Noel at Shadowland signing.