Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book Launch Party & Giveaway & More

It's day three in Release Week Madness and so far the universe hasn't accidentally twisted inside out. Yay! [I was worried there for awhile.] I must confess, I've been really blessed this week by a number of great book reviews, plus opportunities to write guest post on blogs.

Have I mentioned lately how awesome the blogging community is?


Thank you to everyone who went out of their way to read, review and host my posts in the past several weeks. You are all princes and princesses with halos and angel wings and stardust between your fingers.

So, back to the game of the week. Where's Merrie Today? [I may have to list where I've been for the past couple of days, because I've been a bit busy finishing up my next book. Saw the cover for it and it was SO FRIGGIN' AWESOME that I couldn't focus on anything else for an insanely long time!]

Here goes:

Bitten by Books
From noon to midnight Central Time
Giveaways: $100 Amazon Gift Card and 5 signed copies of AFTERLIFE
Topic of discussion is the quest of immortality.

I discuss the ever-changing journey AFTERLIFE took during its genesis.

Night Owl Paranormal

Also, Night Owl Reviews reviewed AFTERLIFE here.

Tori, the creator of Book Faery wrote an awesome review of AFTERLIFE here.
Here's a snippet:
AFTERLIFE is a unique debut with beautiful descriptions by an insanely talented author who is not afraid to try something new. This novel was refreshing and exciting, and I am eagerly anticipating Merrie's future releases. If you enjoy urban fantasy,and if you want to see a new take on what life would be like if humanity could be almost immortal, then you definitely need to check this book out. You'll regret it if you don't!

I've heard from a few people that their local bookstores were already sold out of AFTERLIFE. I'm really sorry about that. I highly recommend checking with your local stores first, but if they don't have any copies, then try their online stores. Or you could ask the manager to order a few more copies. If all else fails, you can purchase the book on Kindle or iBooks. This is definitely one time when the digital revolution is a good thing!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Release Day & Contest Winners

Well, it looks like I survived my first release day. I must say, it's a pretty wild experience. Cool, but wild. It's like having six million things going on at once and every one of them is super important.

The book is out. Yay! I actually saw a copy tonight over at the local Borders. The Barnes & Noble didn't have their books unpacked yet, but Afterlife is supposed to go on a cool kiosk. I'll go back in a day or so and see if I can get a picture. I kinda felt like a stalker, stalking myself, going around asking where my own book was. I was trying to be all incognito, but my husband kept giving me away. (I'll never make it as a spy if he's with me.)

And here's another episode of Where's Merrie Today:
Today I am over at Dark Faerie Tales, talking about the Quest for Immortality, and giving away 1 signed copy of AFTERLIFE. That contest runs until October 19, so you still have time to stop over and say hi!

I have 2 contests going on that I need to announce the winners. Sorry. I got so busy today that I haven't had time until now.

So here goes:


First, thank you to everyone who participated! I really enjoyed reading all of your comments and getting to know each of you. I hope you stop back! Now, for the winners:

Supernatural Underground:
Daniell: Winner of a signed copy of AFTERLIFE
Natasha17: Winner of a signed copy of AFTERLIFE
BaileytheBookWorm: Winner of a signed copy of HOW TO DRAW ZOMBIES
Donnas15: Winner of a signed copy of HOW TO DRAW VAMPIRES

My blog:
Pacey1927: Winner of a signed copy of AFTERLIFE

Winners: Please note that you have 3 days to contact me or the prizes/books will be awarded to another commenter. You can either leave me your e-mail address in the comments of this blog post or you can drop me an e-mail at: merrie [dot] destefano [at] yahoo [dot] com.

What I think about writing groups

Writing group pal, Mike Duran, filmed this interview with me recently. Yikes. I'm on camera!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Merrie's Very Busy, Extra Special, Event-Packed, Contest-Ridden, Book Launch Week

Well, it's finally here. My book launch week. And every day, I'll be somewhere else. On top of a slew of guest posts and launch parties and MY FIRST NOVEL RELEASE TOMORROW!!! [insert silent scream here]--on top of all of that, I am also finishing up my second novel, still unnamed, and will be turning that in to my editor on Wednesday.

This is the week that sleep is a four-letter word.

So, the games begin. Let's play, Where's Merrie Today?


I'm doing a guest blog post over at Romance University with another urban fantasy author, Elisabeth Naughton
Post title is: Urban Fantasy: Hot or Not?

Stop by and say hello, make comments or ask questions!

Then, I also did a video interview with a fellow writer, Mike Duran, that's running on his blog today. Mike's in one of my writer's groups and his first novel, THE RESURRECTION, is coming out in February, 2011.

So, if you ever wanted to see me in live action [joking! I wouldn't wish that on anyone!], stop by. Some of the things I discuss are: the concept behind my novel, AFTERLIFE: THE RESURRECTION CHRONICLES; why I write urban fantasy; and what I think about writing groups.

By the way, for those of you who aren't familiar with the image used above, it's one of my favorite paintings. Created by Edvard Munch in 1893 and aptly titled "The Scream," I've always felt this picture was a great representation of what a panic attack feels like.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

One more thing I would never do

I can't believe these guys kept driving. In the same direction, that is. I'd have turned around and gone the other way.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

And now, an even longer excerpt from Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles

HarperCollins has a very cool feature on their site called Browse Inside. Now you can read the first 57 pages of Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles here.

Enjoy!! Release date on Sept. 28.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

First chapter excerpt from Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles

I just got permission to post an excerpt from my novel, Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles. (Yay!) So, here's a link to the first chapter. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why I Love Urban Fantasy

Books are my life. Truly. If I’m not reading, or writing, I feel lonely—almost as if someone I loved went missing. Personally, I love urban fantasy and science fiction more than almost any other genre, although I’ve been known to read mysteries and thrillers as well. Why do I love urban fantasy so much? Well, answering that question could take hours, so I decided to tell you the top seven things I love most about the genre.

1. NO SOCCER MOMS: Don’t get me wrong, I think soccer moms are great. I just don’t want to read about them. Regular day-to-day life is boring enough. When I read fiction, I want to hear about women who lead a different life than I do, female characters who can save the world if necessary. Writers like Kelly Gay—with her police officer, Kim Harrison—with her bounty-hunting witch, and Patricia Briggs—with her shapeshifting mechanic, have all shaped and helped to re-define women by giving them roles where they are leaders in their community.

2. GRITTY WRITING: I love noir writing, dark twisted stories and rough characters. I like knowing that the lead character has dirt under his fingernails and that he’s got the skills to fight and win. I crave blood and guts and steamy settings. Writers like William Gibson (Neuromancer) and Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim) and Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files) deliver that and more. And I know that William Gibson is technically classified as a writer of cyberpunk, but I love him so much that I just had to add him in the mix.

3. HOT MONSTERS: I fell in love with monsters when I was teenager. Vincent Price was my hero and I watched his films on a regular basis. Monsters ruled back in the ’50s and the ’60s. Classics like The War of the Worlds (Martian monsters), Dracula (vampires), The Mummy (monsters from the grave), Night of the Living Dead (zombies), and Rosemary’s Baby (demons) have all paved the way for the monster trend we’re experiencing in fiction today. I loved monsters back then and I still love them today.

4. YA LIT: I love literary writing, especially when a story crosses that bridge between poetry and fantasy. YA authors like Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), Malinda Lo (Ash), Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder), Holly Black (Tithe), and Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely) have all hit the literary nail on the head in my opinion. I could read their books over and over, because their stories are so rich and their writing is so lush.

5. MYTHS AND LEGENDS: Myths and legends—which evolve and change with each retelling—touch us on a deep, subconscious level. These primal tales come from our distant past; they’ve been written and rewritten until they’ve become part our collective subconscious—if a collective subconscious even exists. When these stories are at their most fantastical, their raw, visceral elements can make even the most intellectual, left-brained person pause and wonder.

6. PARANORMAL: Life doesn’t fit in a neat little box. There will always be things that we either can’t understand or can’t explain. I believe that the supernatural is forever entwined with the mundane—we just can’t see it for what it truly is. That’s why I love stories with paranormal characters or elements. They allow us to pull back the veil and see what might be on the other side. Paranormal stories force us to consider that there might more to this world than what we can see on the surface.

7. SETTING: Whether the story is set in a dystopian future (like Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins) or in a recognizable city (like New Orleans in my novel, Afterlife), I love it when the setting actually becomes a character. Also known as milieu, this story element adds both realism and believability to the book. This is why setting is so important in fantasy—if the writer misses here, he or she could easily lose the reader.

So, now you know what I love about urban fantasy. I’d really like to hear your thoughts. To get this comment party started, I’m giving away a signed copy of my upcoming novel, Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles.

Just post a comment below to be entered for the book giveaway. Contest ends Wednesday, Sept. 27. Winner to be announced on Thursday, September 28. The winner has 3 days to contact me, or I will award the book to another commenter.

Friday, September 3, 2010

HarperCollins creates global science fiction and fantasy imprint

I just got some awesome news about HarperCollins (my publisher) and wanted to share it. A press release with all the info is below:

NEW YORK, NY (September 3, 2010) – Announced today at Aussiecon IV (the 68th World Science Fiction Convention), Eos Books, a U.S. imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, will be rebranded as Harper Voyager, joining together with the celebrated Voyager imprints in Australia/New Zealand and the UK. The move is anticipated to create a global genre-fiction powerhouse.

“We are already globally publishing some of the biggest names in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, and horror, including Raymond E. Feist, Robin Hobb, Kim Harrison, and Sara Douglass,” said Brian Murray, President and Chief Executive Officer of HarperCollins Worldwide. “Uniting our sister companies in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia/New Zealand allows readers globally unparalleled access to books and authors. This move enables us to offer authors a strong global publishing platform when signing with HarperCollins – whether the acquiring editor is in New York, Sydney, or London.”

The Voyager/Harper Voyager editorial leaders are: Executive Editor Diana Gill in the U.S., Editorial Director Emma Coode in the UK (working with Publishing Director Jane Johnson), and Associate Publisher Stephanie Smith in Australia.

Each country has a vibrant, robust list of science fiction and fantasy icons; merging the lists under one imprint will bring readers around the world access to the masters of these fiction genres.

Two authors, Karen Azinger and David Wellington (writing as David Chandler), have recently been signed and are expected to publish with Harper Voyager and Voyager for a worldwide debut.

The Eos imprint will officially change to Harper Voyager starting with the January 2011 hardcover, trade, mass market, e-book, and audio publications.