Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Guest Author - Carolyn Crane (Mind Games)

Interview and Giveaway

Today is a very special day for author Carolyn Crane. It is release day for her debut novel Mind Games. Mind Games is the first in The Justine Jones Disillusionist Trilogy to be followed by Double Cross at the end of September.

Some might call it urban fantasy, I like to think of it as a new hybrid - urban science fiction and I loved it. Many of you may know Carolyn from her witty and eclectic blog The Thrillionth Page (how many pages is that exactly?) She also has a spanking new website at authorcarolyncrane.com where you can find lots of bonus features about the series.

Carolyn has threatened promised to drop in and say hello to commenter's and answer questions, so please make her welcome.  Carolyn has donated a signed copy of Mind Games and I also have two unsigned copies of the book to giveaway, so check out the giveaway guidelines at the end of the post to see how you might win one.

Carolyn put together a great inteview for this important day (an author's work is never done).  A couple of cinemeatic giants (Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck) said it best (cue music) -

Overture, curtain, lights!
This is it. We'll hit the heights!
And oh, what heights we'll hit!
On with the show, this is it!

Sci Fi guy and I had an email interview set up for today, but due to the demands of his Sci Fi media empire and blog celebrity status, Sci Fi Guy was having a hard time getting to it. Well, what is a girl to do? I got on a plane and flew to Canada! Appearing on Sci Fi Guy’s blog on the day of my release is a huge deal for an author! Plus, I’ve never been to Canada. What would it be like?
8:09 am My plane lands in the picturesque Canada airport, which is surrounded by a vast and pristine forest and sky blue waters. From there, I took a twin-engine plane over the wilderness to a small clearing. There, I was met by several Canadian Mounties on horseback who took me to Sci Fi Guy’s rustic log home, which is apparently the style of home favored by the people of Canada.
The home is cheery from the outside. Snowshoes are set on either side of the door, and woodland animals frolick about.
I knock on Sci Fi Guy’s rustic door, wait nervously for him to answer. What is Sci Fi Guy like? Nobody has ever laid eyes on him. I hold my breath as the door creaks open.

Well, he is just as you might picture him! Rugged good looks, light brown hair, a chiseled, determined expression peering out from inside a transparent bubble-glass space helmet. On this particular day, he wears a brown spacesuit and very thick silver gloves. I am immediately put at my ease.

He thanks the mounties, who ride off into the pine forest, and we go inside. The home is comfortable with rustic furniture. Every wall is covered in books, except for the far wall, which seems to be a large console with lots of wires and panels.

Sci Fi Guy: Thanks for traveling all this way, Carolyn. This certainly makes the interview easier, eh?

Carolyn Crane: Thanks for having me. I wouldn’t miss it for the world! And I love your place. It’s so rustic!

Sci Fi Guy: That is the look we go for in Canada.

Carolyn Crane: Does the President of Canada live in a rustic cabin, too?

Sci Fi Guy: [frowning] We have a Prime Minister, not a president.

Carolyn: Oh! [At this point I’m thinking, @&%$! Sci Fi guy is going to think I’m a stupid American who doesn’t pay attention to Canada!]

Sci Fi Guy: I bet you don’t even know his name.

Carolyn: Uh, uh… Dudley…uh…Dudley Do…

Sci Fi Guy: [scowling] Our Prime Minister’s name is Stephen Harper. [Cracks open two Molsons and hands one to me.]

Carolyn: Thanks! [large swig] How do you drink through that helmet?

Sci Fi Guy: I take it off. [Sci Fi Guy takes off his space helmet, puts on a red and black checked cap.] Now I must tell you, your book Mind Games is absolutely brilliant!

Carolyn: Thank you! [My attention is drawn over Sci Fi Guy’s shoulder, to the far wall. Lights have started to blink furiously. What is going on in here?]

Sci Fi Guy: So, tell us about it.

Carolyn: Huh?

Sci Fi Guy: The book! Mind Games!

Carolyn: Well, it’s about a hypochondriac heroine who joins a psychological hit squad, run by a tortured mutant mastermind who is mysteriously trapped in a restaurant…

[loud beeps]

Sci Fi Guy: One moment, eh? [goes to wall and punches a series of buttons. The lights stop.] Okay, where were we?

Carolyn: Well, okay, the psychological hit squad. See, they’re vigilantes who zing their anxieties into criminals, resulting in a total collapse for the criminal—but temporary peace and well-being for the zingers—that is, for Justine and her neurotic vigilante friends. The whole thing is morally questionable. And that’s before the mysteries begin to—

[more beeping from console]

Sci Fi Guy: Hold that thought, eh?

Carolyn Crane: [I stand there watching Sci Fi Guy operate the strange console. Is this connected to his blogging? Something seems to be wrong. Nervously I clink the coins in my pocket, then pull them out and look at them. A Canadian penny, I notice, has the face of Queen Elizabeth II. WTF? Since when did England take over Canada? Could this have something to do with the arrest of Mick Jagger? I really want to ask Sci Fi Guy about it, but he already thinks I’m a stupid American who has no idea what is going on in Canada. Was there a war between the two countries? I suppose it could’ve happened during the OJ trial…]

Sci Fi Guy: Sorry. Morally questionable world. Psychological hit squad. Mutant mastermind. Go on. Do you see it as a funny book?

Carolyn Crane: No, not really. It’s quite serious, but maybe 5% funny.

Sci Fi Guy: I’d put it at 8%. [drains his beer] Here’s what I really want to ask you. You were a blogger, and now you’re an author. I feel like you’re abandoning us. What’s up with the switch?

Carolyn: I don’t see it as a switch, or like, I’m a blogger-turned-author. I think blogging just attracts people who enjoy writing, so you’re going to get a certain amount who write fiction on the side. I’ve written novels for years, though they’ve never been publishable. Also, I pay the rent as a freelance writer. I guess blogging seems like a fun hobby to somebody like me.

Sci Fi Guy: Has being published changed your blogging habits?

Carolyn: Definitely. I’m a lot less inclined to do serious critiques—that seems more appropriate for a reader and reviewer to do, not for a fellow author, especially a new one like me! But I do say when I like books.

[knock at the door. Sci Fi Guy opens it. The Canadian Royal Mounties are back.]

Mounties: Carolyn Crane, we have to take you back to your bi-plane.

Carolyn Crane: So soon?

Mounties: I’m afraid so. [Mounties pause to deliver a warning to Sci Fi Guy about a moose herd in the area - all small children and pets are to be kept indoors.]

Carolyn Crane: Thank you, Sci Fi Guy. I really appreciate your making time for me today!

Sci Fi Guy: [putting glass bubble helmet back on] Thanks for stopping by. Good luck in all your endeavors!

Carolyn Crane: Good luck to you, too, Sci Fi Guy!

Book 2 in The Justine Jones: Disillusionist Trilogy
 
 GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:
  1. Three (3) copies of Mind Games by Carolyn Crane, winners to be randomly drawn. First drawn will receive the signed copy from Carolyn and the remaining two draws will receive unsigned copies.
  2. Leave a comment or question for Carolyn. The restaurant Mongolian Delites plays an important role in Carolyn's story. What's your favourite restaurant or restaurant with an unusual name?
  3. Leave a way to notify you if you should win.
  4. Open internationally (anywhere The Book Depository ships)
  5. Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.
  6. Giveaway open until Midnight, March 29, 2010 EST.
Carolyn Crane is also running a fabulous contest on her website to celebrate the launch of the book.

Trapped in a Restaurant Meme Game

The meme that celebrates the mystery: Why does tortured mastermind Sterling Packard NEVER set foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant?

Prizes:

One randomly chosen player will get $100 toward a fancy dinner at a restaurant of their choice!! (Any restaurant anywhere that accepts plastic or sells gift certificates. You don’t have to choose until you win.) Second prize: $50 toward a dinner.

Visit Carolyn's website for all the details. Ends at 11:58pm CST 4/8/10.

55 comments:

  1. Some might call it urban fantasy, I like to think of it as a new hybrid - urban science fiction and I loved it.

    Urban sci-fi - yeah, I used that term before I switched to futuristic. Doesn't matter, because they're the same thing in my mind, and thus they're both AWESOME!

    And yes, Caz, since dear Doug has alerted the world that your fetching tome is urban sci-fi...I'm a lot more excited about the series now :-)

    (Yes, Carolyn, you are Caz. That would be your nickname in Australia, so mote it be ;-) )

    TezMillerOz at gmail dot com

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  2. So Mote it be!

    Great interview, although I am wondering who influenced who in the crazy of it all. I have a idea...

    ladyrogue@ymail.com

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  3. Carolyn, first of all, congrats on breaking into the business and getting a series out there. That's fantastic. I'm not there yet, but I'm hoping to be soon.

    My favorite place to eat with a funny name isn't a restaurant, it's just a small sandwich shop. It's called the Sensuous Sandwich. It's in the city where I did my undergrad, and where my grandma lives, so I've been eating there since I was a kid. All of my college friends though the name terribly scandalous...that's part of the charm, though, of course. And the Sensuous (which is a chicken/ham/roast beef club) was a very sensual eating experience...as far as sandwiches go.

    Sadly, now I have Celiacs, so I'll never have another Sensuous Sandwich. A sad end to my sandwich shop tale.

    Anyway, I'm really looking forward to reading Mind Games, and I hope it sells well this week!

    ashcro85 (at) gmail (dot) com

    Giveaway pimped out on my blog here: http://www.ashleycrosby.com/blog/2010/03/22/mind-games-giveaway/

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  4. Since I am an International entry the name probably won't mean much to you but it seems to fit with the style of the interview !

    Throbbing Strawberry.

    Its logo is two crossed (very red) strawberries with a flame showing at the top and a crossed knife and egg lifter. The motto is Shake 'n Bake.

    Thanks


    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

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  5. This was a great interview. I'm glad to know SciFiGuy is as good looking in person as he is in his picture.

    My favorite place to eat is called Joe's Farm Grill just a few miles from my house. They bought the land right next to the restaurant so they can grow all of their own produce. They have old fashion picnic tables set up outside (we are in Arizona so we always have outside eating weather) and the place is surrounded by huge trees. They make everything from BBQ pizza to burgers, and my favorite, sweet potato fries. YUMMY! They were even featured on Food Network for their awesomeness.

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  6. Oops, I always forget my email. :o/

    tiahmichelle at gmail dot com

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  7. The hat, Doug! Oh where did you get that hat! It screams "I live in Timmins and I live for shooting partridge!" Kinda clashes with the space suit, though. ;)

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  8. Sean - Doug is a cowboy astronaut billionaire Mountie. All Canadians are ;-)

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  9. Not entering the contest, but thank you, Ms. Carolyn Crane, for this valuable insight into the real SciFiGuy! Congratulations on your book release day!

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  10. Oh, I love everybody's restaurant names. And Tez sez "Doug is a cowboy astronaut billionaire Mountie." LOL! Yes, and Doug, I love that console!
    Also, nice touch, rolling over that plane picture. Not many people know I play tennis atop biplanes, and I had hoped to keep it a secret, but it's only fair for the secrets of yours that were revealed here.

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  11. Damn, wished my Canadian house looked like that. I do love rustic. However I work about 500 yards from Stephen Harper's house (which is not so rustic) so that will have to do.

    Great interview guys. Didn't sci-fi guy at least offer you a Beaver Tail for a snack?

    Don't enter me for the contest either but congrats on a new release, always an exciting day.

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  12. Congrats on the release Carolyn!

    My favorite place to eat is called Taco Villa and truth be told it is more of a fast food place than restaurant. Though you can go in and eat. The name is not all that unique though. Perhaps they should have went with Burrito Bliss!

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

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  13. Canada, ah!
    Your book sounds great.
    Please enter me.
    Thanks

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  14. Love the interview! So funny.

    My fav restaurant is called Shanghai, Chinese food yum. No funny names around here, we do not really have many

    Did he have an ice-hockey things around his house? And were there a lot of maple trees there lol

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

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  15. This book looks so interesting. As far as restaurants with odd names. We had one in town called The Sexy Chicken. lol! It closed before I could get a t-shirt.

    Jase
    vslavetopassionv(at)aol(dot)com

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  16. Loved the interview!

    Best restaurant name: "Rajun Cajun" --the restaurant is a combination of Indian and soul food with a cafeteria setting. I marvel.

    The books looks awesome!

    winterlyre (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  17. If you put near as much creativity into your books as you did this interview, they'll be on the top of my must read list!

    It's not original or even local, but every time I see a 'Panda Express' food joint, I wonder where the panda comes into it... On the menu or working in the kitchen?

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  18. Please don't enter me in the contest, but I just had to say that this is now my favorite interview, ever. This'll be hard to beat.

    Congratulations Carolyn on doing an interview AND exposing Doug's nefarious schemes. I always suspected he was up to no good up there, but giving you that beer proves it! That was no hospitable act - their beer is like a drug to U.S. citizens because it has a much higher alcohol content than what we're used to. *whisper* He probably hoped to get you bombed so you'd spill your guts. I sincerely hope you didn't reveal any of our important national secrets CJ.

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  19. Yummmy prize. I wish my favorite resturant had a cool name but it does not. Its a family owned Italian/Pizza place called Ragazzi. I love going to eat there because its tiny and has personality. We also get our pizza there every friday.

    usignolc(at)yahooDOTcom

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  20. Great interview. Mind Games sounds fabulous. My favorite restaurant is Cracker Barrell. Love their homestyle cooking and browsing through their store.

    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  21. Congrats, the book sounds great and the interview was a riot!

    One of my favorite places to eat is Jason's Deli. It isn't strange or funny unless you know my fiance's name is Jason. So when I say I went to Jason's for lunch sometimes people look at me funny.

    hawkeyegirl at gmail dot com

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  22. s7anna: The Trella sounds cool! And Tam, I was not offered a beaver tail!

    Thanks you guys for coming by with your restaurant ideas! Robin: I have a Fast food taco place I love, too. and Blodeuedd: I'm sure there was a hockey rink in the woods! LOL

    Sean: you think the hat clashes?
    Rebecca: LOL. The beer must be why I was playing tennis on the plane wing!!

    So many great restaurant Names:
    Sexy Chicken (LOL)

    Rajun Cajun (Indian and soul food!?!)

    Sensuous Sandwich (Ashley, so sorry to hear about the no more gluten!)

    Throbbing strawberry (I have to see that logo!!)

    Joe's Farm Grill - can I go there right now?

    Panda Express (ottoerdaughter): LOL. Right, I hope Panda's not on the menu!

    Ragazzi: Yum. That sounds like a sweet little place.

    Cracker Barrell: I forgot about that little store.

    Hawkeyegirl: Love that Jason Deli story.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. You all are making me hungry! Thanks for all the kinds words, too.

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  23. Another great interview!
    My favourite restaurant is the 'Ni Hao' wok restaurant as you can pick your own food there.
    Did you get to ride your own horse or did you have to ride double with a mountie btw?

    (emailaddy in my profile)

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  24. I loved the interview, who knew that SciFi Guy's home was so invitingly rustic, and yet so exciting.
    My favorite restaurant is Cici's Pizza, a pizza buffet. How can you beat all you can eat pizza, I love it!

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  25. I didn't hear about this book until I read this blog but it really sounds different than the normal urban fantasy. Looking forward to reading it!

    Unusual name Pericos which is Parrot in Spanish I believe. It is a mexican restaurant.

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  26. I just love hybrids. My favorite restaurant- Duffy's Crab Shack at Myrtle Beach.

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

    (\___/)
    (='.'=) Happy Easter from Bun!
    (")_(")

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  27. A cross between unban fantasy and sci-fi? Sounds interesting. If I don't win, I'll be keeping an eye out for this.

    Also, isn't the Book ZDepository just awesome!

    madscientistnz (at) gmail dot com

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  28. I keep cracking up thinking of the answer to who is Canada's Prime Minister. "Dudley…uh…Dudley Do… " HAHAHAHA. *wipes tear*.

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  29. I haven't read/seen/heard one bad thing about your debut book, that's seriously amazing.

    One of my favorite restaurants is called "Spicy & Tasty" and that's the type of grub they serve, spicy and tasty, lol.

    jenma76(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  30. Sully McPig: a question! Well, I'll tell you, I rode double. The Canadian wilderness is very treacherous!

    Barbara: A pizza buffet would be awesome and dangerous.

    Tina: Yum! Mexican.

    Mad Sci: I love that Sci Fi Guy said that.

    Janicu: LOL.

    Scorp: That is a great name for a restaurant.

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  31. Great interview. Pleaes count me in. Thanks for the chance.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. This is such an original premise. Can't wait to read it.

    Congrats on getting published!

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  34. Fun interview!

    I've been reading so much about this book, I would love to get my hands on a copy.

    Hm favorite restaurant. Minado is pretty awesome- its a sushi buffet place with many different types of sushi, japanese food (like tempura) and dessert.

    interesting name. i cant really think of any atm. i remember susu, which i first thought sold sushi, but i think they sell cupcakes.

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  35. Great interview! It makes me wanna read the book even more! Yay! So excited!

    Anyway, I do not eat out a lot but when I do it is always Chinese. The best place near my house is called Mandarin Garden.

    tweeted
    http://twitter.com/suan_tian/status/11003264187

    patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

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  36. Another great event!

    Mind Games has been on my list for a while! It sounds "right up my alley!"

    Kate Leger aka YzhaBella
    mleger0546 (@) rogers (dot) com
    Shared on Facebook

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  37. Hmm. My rustic Canadian abode has no roving moose herd or check caps. Perhaps I should rectify that before the Mounties come to call.

    The restaurant angle seems to beg comparison with Douglas Adams. Any similarities?

    Congrats on debut and a sprinkling of fairy dust for mega sales!

    mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

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  38. I've been reading nothing but good things about this book. It's making more and more intrigued.

    I don't eat out much, so I can't really think of a restaurant with a unique name. However, if I were ever to create my own dining hot spot, I would create the "Coockoo Cocoa Shack", which would offer nothing but chocolate based dishes in creative combos and designs.

    gosia727@gmail.com

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  39. Really looking forward to reading this book.

    The restaurant near us is a favorite, not for its name but for the spellings on its menu - I particularly like the "Mexican Rap". It's delicious though.

    sorscifi@mailinator.com

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  40. Just wanted to stop by and say congrats!!!

    My favorite restaurant is the Electric Cheetah, but no need to enter me in the contest. I'm breathlessly awaiting my delivery from B&N. :)

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  41. My favorite restaurant is Macaroni Grill - not terribly swank but I love me some Italian food. Mind Games sounds excellent and I can't wait to read it!

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  42. Great interview! My favorite restaurant is Mark's in Houston, located in a 1920's renovated church.

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  43. Favorite restaurant is called Murphy's and is a family owned and run steakhouse and they serve the tenderest juicy steaks and fluffy baked potatoes( in the little backwoods town of Winchester Texas) you ever want to put a lip to and chow down on..

    Mind Games, we all play them and love the premise of the book Carolyn. Hope after this series takes off like the rocket it seems to be emulating you get more book deals!!

    Thanks Doug and Carolyn both for the best entertainment and photo spread of any interview post out there yet... This one truly made my afternoon!

    jacabur2008(@)gmail(dot)com

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  44. Haha, Carolyn, thsi is the second interview I read of yours, and each one of them cracks me up! I can't wait to read Mind Games as I've heard brilliant things about it, BUT if it is really only 5 or 8% funny, then I'm begging you to please publish a funny book of yours very soon, I want to read something hilarious with your writing style! :-)

    My favourite restaurant is called Hemingway, it is located on the bank of a small lake, so the terrace of the restaurant has an amazing view, and you feel like you are dining on the water! The decoration is very Havana-like, somptuous and tropical, the food are exquisite and the athmosphere is unique (there is also a cigar room and a pianist is playing live!). So it is a really fantastic restaurant.

    +1 I tweeted here: http://twitter.com/Stella_ExLibris/status/11083081232

    +1 and I also spread the word on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000899165880
    stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com

    That was one hilarious interview, thank you both!! :-)

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  45. Hello Mr. Knipe, This is my first visit to your blog. I'm a faithful follower of your fan club pres. and VP (Marta and Rebecca). They didn't steer me wrong. Truly enjoyed this interview and browsing your blog.
    My fave restaurant's name is The CIA (Culinary Institute of America) actually a group of 5 restaurants in one location, Hyde Park, NY.
    salvagin@verizon.net

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  46. When I lived in the UK, there was this 'pub' right across from my flat, called The Cock Tavern. I still get a giggle or two when I think about it.

    Also Carolyn, I've been hearing about this book all around the place (and reading awesome reviews, too) and I must say it sounds like a great, original novel.

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  47. I joined a challenge to read 15 + debut UF authors this year and I found this one to add to the list. It's why I love the blogworld so.

    Favorite restaurants with odd-nick names:
    ~Moose's Tooth Pizza in Anchorage
    ~Tres Margaritas here in my neck of Colorado

    One of my favorite ?? to ask:
    Do you work in quiet or do you keep a background soundtrack going as you work?

    VWinship at aol dot com

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  48. I've been hearing about Mind Games all over the place online. Congrats on the success.

    My fav restaurant at the moment is this pizza place called Pizzeria Delight. I love their calzones. Yum!

    I tweeted.
    http://twitter.com/dawnpnr/status/11203817986


    dawnpnr(at)aol(dot)com

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  49. Dagnabbit, my arch nemesis SciFi Guy has once again beat me to a thrilling debut by Carolyn.

    Carolyn, come back from the dark Northern side! Best of luck on your book and congratulations!

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  50. Favorite restaurant is a place called Rahim's Cuisine, a very good Indian/Pakistani restaurant that makes the food as spicy as you want it!

    Twitter:
    http://twitter.com/jmspettoli/status/11228238172

    spettolij AT gmail DOT com

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  51. Thanks guys, I needed the laugh today! Just because of this interview I am off to get a copy of your book -- after all I am a nice Canadian, that is what we do - and of course drink Molson's and hang with mounties - and thank god I live far away from our "president" My fav restaurant is Cheeks in Bolton, ON
    contestmom AT hotmail DOT com

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  52. I don't have a favourite restaurant, but one of my favourite places to go is Hard Rock Cafe.

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/Sparima/status/11268145533

    spav05(at)gmail(dot)com

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  53. Thanks EVERYONE for making Carolyn so welcome and sharing her good news. Last I heard Carolyn was trekking the wilds of Northern Minnesota.

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For bloggers comments are like water to a man (or woman) wandering in the desert. A precious commodity. I love to hear from everyone and do my best to respond to every post.