Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Interview & Book Giveaway

I just finished a cool interview with Kathy Harris over at Divine Detour, where some of the things we discuss include, "Who was the inspiration for Omega, the dog in Afterlife?" and "Did I know that I wanted to be a writer as child?" and "What's my next writing project?"

I had a lot of fun chatting with her. On top of being a fantastic Blog Master and Incredible Interviewer, she also happens to be a fellow German shepherd lover. So, of course, she scored big points with me. Anyone who loves animals get lots of points from me.

So, anyway, you should stop by her blog and say hi. We're giving away a signed copy of Afterlife, but the book contest only runs through December 30.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pardon my dust (cough cough)

I've thought about it for a long time and it looks like I'm finally ready to break up with WordPress. We never were very good friends anyway. I don't know about you, but every time I wanted to try something new--like adding a picture somewhere on my site or adding a YouTube video of MY OWN book trailer (sorry for the caps there, didn't mean to shout)--I would spend hours trying to figure it out. Then in the end, WordPress would always win. I was never able to put a book trailer on my website, even with an honest to goodness, real website designer helping me.

So, I'm back with my old love, Blogger.

Blogger and I have been tight for years. He NEVER gives me any lip when I want to add another sidebar or photo or HTML.

But, unfortunately, this all means that I'm in the process of abandoning my current website here, creating a new website here and redesigning my blog (you know, the one you're looking at right now) and, at the same time, I'm creating a new site to feature my debut novel, AFTERLIFE, here.

So, I apologize for all the cyber dust. There are a lot of links that don't work yet. And there are some pages without text. And there are even some pages with Greek text (non-sensical words like xljcouren lekjoruen rlj eoruen erlel).

In the near future, everything will be shiny and sparkly and all the links will actually lead somewhere. I promise. Even though right now, it all seems a bit like getting lost in a maze created by M.C. Escher.

By the way, if you didn't know it, Escher influenced the creator of the movie, Inception.

The image shown above is called Relativity and it was done by M.C. Escher. You can buy a print of it here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

AFTERLIFE is recommended read

UF_Chat, the brain child of @InkGypsy, is a lively Saturday afternoon Twitter chat about everything that falls into the urban fantasy category. I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed as a guest, which was great fun!

On top of that, UF_Chat made AFTERLIFE a recommended read. Woo hoo!

You can read all about it here, plus I'll let you know as soon the transcripts from my on-line Twitter interview are up.

Also, a blurb from InkGypsy's Amazon review, which is posted on the UF_Chat site:
“It’s #UFchat’s* recommended read for the end of 2010 and we can’t wait to speak to Ms. Destefano about how she built and crafted this wonderful novel, with its very real and complex characters, twisted mysteries, wonder-full urban darkness and the cities of the dead. I only have one question: can we have more please?!”— Ink Gypsy on The UFChat Blog

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Afterlife Playlist

Writers need inspiration. Lots of it. In the below playlist, you'll hear a small collection of the music that I listened to while writing Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles. Even though the main character, Chaz Domingue, studied music and played a mean saxophone, I chose a different type of music to get in the mood.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Top Ten Christmas Movies

This is a list of my favorite Christmas movies. I go on a mad mission in the month of December. I feel I must watch each and every one of these or I won’t be able to get in the spirit of the holiday.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life
I first saw this in a film class in college. First, we all heard the story behind the movie—how Jimmy Stewart wanted to quit acting, but the director convinced him to star in one more movie—then we saw the film. We all sat, crowded into it an auditorium, and I couldn’t help but think that this was how movie-goers saw this for the film for the first time. I fell in love with the movie and have loved it ever since.

2. The Bishop’s Wife
Who wouldn’t enjoy watching Cary Grant bumble around as a dangerously handsome angel, falling in love with a woman he’s supposed to be helping. Loretta Young glistens as the object of his affection, albeit always faithful to her husband, the bishop.

3. While You Were Sleeping
Sandra Bullock rescues the man she thinks she loves, although he falls immediately into a coma. In the process, she finds herself enchanted with his family—and his brother, played by Bill Pullman—and for the first time in years, she doesn’t feel lonely on Christmas. This one melts my heart every single time I watch it.

4. Christmas in Connecticut
Did I love this movie because the main character was a writer? In retrospect, it’s hard to say, but over the years this story of a columnist, Barbara Stanwyck, who must pretend she is a great cook and homemaker (I can relate to that dilemma) has become one of my favorites.

5. Home Alone
He’s a brat and he needs a spanking and, yet, you find yourself rooting for Macaulay Culkin before his family even lands in Paris. Completely alone, unless you count that dastardly tarantula (shivers), Culkin sets a trap for holiday thieves that makes me laugh until my sides hurt. Every. Single. Time. I. Watch.

6. Meet Me in St. Louis
Judy Garland at her most charming. She sings, she dances, she falls in love—literally. Her director in this film was her future husband, Vincente Minelli, and this was the first time the two of them met. This tale of a family who lives in turn-of-the-century St. Louis captures al the romance of the era.

7. Scrooged
For some reason, this is my favorite version of A Christmas Carol. Starring Bill Murray and Karen Allen (remember her from Raider’s of the Lost Ark?) star as lovers who went their separate ways years ago. Murray went on to become a lonely, wealthy TV executive, while Allen became a tender-hearted social worker who runs the local homeless shelter. Murray is given a second chance when their paths cross again.

8. Little Women
My favorite version of this movie stars Claire Danes, Winona Ryder, Christian Bale and Kirsten Dunst. Set during the Civil War, this tale of a young woman who wants to be a writer is heart-warming, to say the least. Of course, I never could figure out why Jo (Ryder) didn’t fall in love with Laurie (Bale), but then I can’t figure out why Bella doesn’t love Jacob either.

9. Elf
Adorable. Simply adorable. Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel (one of my favorite actresses) are just so cute in this film about a real, live elf who leaves the North Pole to find his true father. By the end of the movie you just want to give Ferrell a big hug.

10. The Family Man
A little bit like A Christmas Carol, this film stars Nicholas Cage as a rich man who gets a chance to see what his life might have been like, if he had made different choices along the way. Also starring Tea Leoni, one reason I love this show is the fact that it adds that element of an alternate universe—and I do love alternate universes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Magic runs deep during Harvest...

At long last, I have permission to share the back cover copy of my next novel. Titled Feast: Harvest of Dreams, it releases on June 28, 2011.

Here's the back cover copy:

Halloween is a bad time to return to the woods…

Madeline MacFadden (“Mad Mac” to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she’s always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.

But Maddie doesn’t remember the dark parts—and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area’s terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the Harvest…the time to feast.

Once again Maddie’s dreams—and her soul—are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during Harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own…


I can't wait to show you the cover. But for now, just imagine something REALLY awesome!

One of my favorite Christmas songs

This song began as a poem, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the Civil War. Longfellow had suffered great loss at the time--the death of his wife by an accidental fire and the severe wounding of his son in the war. And yet, despite his own personal tragedy, Longfellow was able to still believe in the oft-used phrase, "Peace on Earth."

May you have peace and joy in this Christmas season.

The name of this song is, I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day, and this version is performed by Casting Crowns.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Song by Coldplay

Just in time for Christmas, here's a new song by my favorite band. Christmas Lights by Coldplay, available on iTunes.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The best Afterlife party pack ever

The lovely folks over at the I Smell Sheep blog (Katie and Amber) posted an interview with Yours Truly [I know, I can't believe it either]. But maybe, even cooler than learning why I chose New Orleans for the location in Afterlife or what I think about writing from a male POV, is the awesome Afterlife Party Pack they are giving away.

Here's what they've got in their giveaway treasure chest:
Mardi Gras mask and beads
Zatarians red bean and rice
A jar of Liquid Light
An adorable, plush German shepherd puppy

Now that's what I call a party pack!

And all you have to do is post a comment on their blog to enter. So mosey on over to their fab blog. This contest ends on November 1.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Funny stuff for Freaky Friday

Just thought I'd post a few funny, yet weird things for Friday.

Here goes:

Who loves zombies? Apparently, Sears loves zombies!

And the funniest, yet somehow creepiest, video of a dog that you will see today:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Afterlife Evolution

I wish I was one of those people who could slam out a book in three months, whose first draft was pretty near perfect. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The truth of the matter is, I drive my writing group nuts. What book is this, they’ll ask after I start reading a few pages for critique. Oh, it’s the same book, I’ll tell them, just completely different.

I have a tendency to write and rewrite and then write some more, changing names and moving characters around and slashing plot lines. While it might seem like I’m having a great time, throwing away thousands of words at a time, I’m not.

I’m driving everyone I know, me included, nuts. They probably all wish that I would take up something meaningful to do in my spare instead of write. Something like playing miniature golf. Or raising bonsai trees. Or studying organic chemistry.

Just in case you don’t believe me, listen to the genesis of Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles.

In the first draft—under the title, White Burn—this story took place on Mars. (Do I hear snickers already?) It was a detective story, where the main character was tracking down a cult leader who had stolen a serum that could raise the dead. Besides falling into the hands of a dangerous cult leader, this serum also happened to be stolen by a gang leader, which led to one grisly gang war—a little bit like The Night of the Living Dead. Only on Mars.

Needless to say, that book didn’t garner much attention from agents or editors.

In the second draft—under the title, Once to Die—the story was moved to Los Angeles. Here, I had a homicide detective, a woman named Addy, chasing a serial killer who could raise the dead. This story must have been tighter and better written, because at least a few editors talked to me at this point. They even smiled. Right before they told me, no way were they going to publish this book. One of them was even kind enough to give me a few pointers. He said something like, try setting it in the future and throw out everything except the resurrection drug.

I confess, I’m the brooding sort, so I mulled and groused over his well-meaning rejection. I thought about it for so long that I actually came up with a story idea based on that simple one-line suggestion.

In Afterlife, I built a future where the technology for resurrection has been around for awhile, long enough for it to have a serious impact on our culture, our major world religions, our family system, our judicial system, you name it. After working on the story for a month or so, I realized that if I removed this one small element—death—from our culture, it changed everything.

Writing the actual book took me about a year and a half, with the prerequisite three-to-four month period of writer’s block tossed in the mix. Once I found my agent, Kimberley Cameron, she sold my book in a relatively short time period to Diana Gill of Eos/HarperCollins. I think we sold the book in August, 2009, and the book came out in September, 2010.

Afterlife is a Hydra of sorts: one part urban fantasy, one part romance, one part science fiction, one part mystery. It’s a tale about a man who watches over people during that fragile first week after resurrection, when memories from previous lives are still sifting to the surface. And it’s a story about the woman who has just resurrected, who holds a secret in her subconscious that could change the world.

But for me, it’s a story that tells me that my wild and disorganized writing process somehow manages to work. Even though I drive a lot of people nutty along the way.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Getting in touch with your inner monster

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I love monsters. I fell in love with them when I was just a kid. Vincent Price ruled the cinema in the ‘60s, and nearly every movie had some sort of creepy villain in it. So I was thrilled when artist, Jack Ruttan, offered to turn me into a vampire. I mean, isn’t that every woman’s secret desire? Immortality, eternal youth, an interesting dental plan.

Believe it or not, he didn’t stop there. He made me a zombie too. Now I’ve got two new monster avatars. Look out, world. Monster Merrie is here.

Anyway, I’m not the kind to keep all the cool toys for myself. I like to share. So I asked Jack to tell us a little about himself. I wanted you to find out how you can get your own scary avatar.

Jack's interview is below:

MERRIE: What is your background as an artist?
JACK: I'm self-taught. My mom was a watercolorist.

MERRIE: Well, you are definitely talented. If anybody wants to take a peek at what Jack does when he’s not drawing monsters, here’s a link to his website. Jack, why did you decide to start drawing monster portraits?

JACK: I thought it would be fun for Halloween. Actually, twittering with you, hearing about your book, How to Draw Zombies, gave me the idea. Then I had the brainstorm of thinking wouldn't it be cool if a lot of people zombiefied or monster-ized themselves just for Halloween, and sensed a business opportunity.

MERRIE: I think it’s a great idea! Everyone should get zombiefied. What’s the next step for you?

JACK: I'm going to set up an online web store, and zombify people for a fee (see below). It's a little late, and I wish I had the idea earlier, but I wanted to do this eventually to try and sell my usual watercolors, and this was a good push to get me started.

Monsters are a challenge, because I normally try to draw cute and charming things. But I love monsters, even though my parents would take me to the student counselor when I drew them. So, I've censored myself a bit. It's fun to get back into them, because I love horror movies and comics, not to mention "Rat Fink," Topps Bubblegum cards, and those bizarre cartoons from the 1960s. I'm getting in touch with my inner monster.

But it's actually a bit of a challenge, cause I want it to look like the person, and be fun and scary at the same time. Also make sense when shrunk to a tiny twitter icon.

MERRIE: I’ve always loved monsters too. What type of monsters do you like to draw best?

JACK: Some of the ones I mentioned above. I like Orcs and alien beings. Also dinosaurs and cryptids. Godzilla and his friends. Almost anything really, because I'm really just getting into it.

MERRIE: Well, I’m glad you are! Where can people find out more about your art?

JACK: At my website, also my sketch blog, and now my tumblr, which is sort of like my giant version of twitter. I like the web obviously. See my webcomic done in collaboration with R. Gagnon: The Skinny Nameless Punk.

MERRIE: If someone wanted to get their own monster portrait, approximately how much would it cost and how long would it take?

JACK: I'm thinking $20, and give me a day or two. For $35.00 plus $3.00 postage and packing, I'll send them the watercolor original, which will measure 9 x 9 cm, and be prettily matted (that will take a little more time). I've also got a Paypal account. Not sure how that works!

Send me a shot you want zombified or vampirized. Pets, even. $30 if it's more than one person in the picture. Three or four, we'll talk. Also other commissions!

MERRIE: If someone wanted to get their own monster portrait, how should they contact you?

JACK: You can e-mail at: jack [dot] ruttan090 [at] sympatico [dot] ca. And you can visit my Twitter profile here.

Thanks SO much for stopping by today, Jack. These profile avatars are creepy and cool and beyond awesome! I hope I start seeing them all over the place soon. The world needs more monsters.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Freaky Friday Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone who participated in my Freaky Friday contest. I enjoyed all of your answers. (I love monsters!)

I ran the contest through a random number generator to determine the winners, and here are the winners:



Winners, please contact me via e-mail by the end of the day on Monday. My e-mail is: merrie [dot] destefano [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Thanks again!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Freaky Friday Giveaway

The wind is blowing and leaves are falling off the trees. October is here and that means that Halloween will upon us soon. (Insert spooky music here.)

In honor of Halloween and all things that go bump in the night, I'm going to give away two spooky, yet inspiring, books: HOW TO DRAW ZOMBIES and HOW TO DRAW VAMPIRES. Both of these books were co-authored by Mike Butkis and me.

How can you win one of these books? Glad you asked!

Here are the rules:

I will give away one signed copy of How To Draw Zombies and one signed copy of How To Draw Vampires today, each to a different person.

To enter, you must:
1. Follow this blog
2. Post a comment, telling us about your favorite monster.
3. Mention this post on either Twitter or Facebook

Contest will run for 24 hours and will end tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 9) at noon. Winners will be announced tomorrow. Winners must contact me at: merrie [dot] destefano [at] yahoo [dot] com by Monday, Oct. 11, or their prize will be forfeited.

Thanks for playing!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

SFRevu Review & SciFiGuy guest blog post

It's Thursday and we have another episode of Where's Merrie and What's Going On With Afterlife?

This is what's been going on in the past several days:

AFTERLIFE: THE RESURRECTION CHRONICLES just got an awesome review over at SFRevu. You can check it out here.

Also, I'm guest blogging over at SciFiGuy today. We're discussing the intersection between faith, science, and the supernatural. Stop by and comment for a chance to win a signed copy of AFTERLIFE!

There's another cool review of AFTERLIFE over at the Whispers of Dawn blog, by fellow writer, Sally Apokedak. Sally writes for the YA audience and I was glad to hear that she gave AFTERLIFE a thumbs up for YA readers. Yay!

Another really fun review of AFTERLIFE was posted at the ismellsheep blog. I also have an interview coming up there on October 26, so be sure to stop back then.

Also, the folks over at Nocturne Romance Reads did a really great interview with me last week. [I LOVED their questions!] You might need to scroll down to the middle of the page to find my Q & A.

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm currently working on a reader's guide for AFTERLIFE. Also, if you're considering choosing AFTERLIFE for your book club, please let me know. I'll send you a pack of signed book plates. Just post your e-mail address in the comment section and let me know.

And thank you again to everyone who's been reading AFTERLIFE! You all rock!

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.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why I Love Urban Fantasy

I'm guest blogging today over at Book Faery. Talking about why I love urban fantasy. And we're giving away an advance reader's copy of Afterlife. Stop by and check it out!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly or What I Learned on My Trip

I just got back from a ten-day trip to Illinois, land of my youth. It began with a battle between my plane and a herd of thunderclouds. Fortunately, my plane won. Along the way—despite time zone differences and the temptation of home-baked pies—I managed to learn a few things, things I probably should have known long ago.

Here goes:

1. Family is a good thing. I may have written a book (Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles) where the future paints a bleak picture for families, but in reality I treasure mine. They’re wonderful and I wouldn’t trade them for a warehouse full of clones.

2. Cicadas can drive you nuts. They may seem romantic, when you live a thousand miles away, but in reality they’re irritating as hell. You can hear them whirring and humming and buzzing in the trees, even when you’re inside the car with the windows rolled up and the music turned on.

3. Be prepared. At any point in time, a 45-minute flight can turn into a 3-hour flight. In the future, I vow to carry snacks, Dramamine, Xanax and the Book of Psalms with me on every plane. Yea, though I fly through the valley overshadowed by thunderstorms…

4. Hot, humid weather feels great. For about two days. Then it feels a little bit like hell. Then it feels a lot like hell. Then it makes hell seem like a vacation.

5. When stressed, brownies function almost exactly like Xanax. Take note, however, that this method of therapy requires a month of hard exercise to work off the added weight.

6. My house is never as nice as the house I’m visiting. I vow to accept that fact and move on. I will not lust after big back yards, garages, plush carpets, multiple bedrooms, basements, spacious kitchens or walk-in pantries. I. Will. Not. Lust.

7. When flying, real books trump iPads, iPods, laptops, Kindles, eReaders, Nooks and cell phones. All those cool techno gadgets have to be put away during take-off and landing, which can add up to almost an hour of flight time. I purchased a copy of Michael Connelly’s 9 Dragons for my 2 return flights.

8. I need to find a better kennel. Dogs should not smell like urine. Ever. My car should not smell like urine, either. Dogs should be given all their meds, on time. Left-over meds (including those that weren’t administered and were quite expensive) should be returned when dogs leave the kennel. Grrrr.

9. I don’t really like traveling. Wait. I already knew this one. Okay, let’s say that traveling isn’t all that bad, but coming home rocks. Big time.

10. My house is a mess. I left in a flurry of 1,001 last-minute details, so I didn’t have time for my traditional “clean the house before you leave” ritual. In retrospect, I truly understand the beauty of my obsessive traditions.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thirteen fairy tales you never heard about

1. Jack and the Cornstalk

2. Three Blind Flies

3. Snow White and the Seven Drive Through Restaurants

4. Sleeping Beauty’s-Only-Skin-Deep

5. Hansel and Gretel Don’t Live Here Anymore

6. The Three Little Lemmings

7. The Blizzard of Oz

8. The Little Mermaid Chair

9. Goldilocks and the Three Aliens Who Pretended to be Bears

10. Alice in Blunderland

11. Beauty and the Bodybuilder

12. The Elves and the Jimmy Choo Shoemaker

13. The Emperor’s New Cloak of Invisibility

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Price of Freedom

When my father finally came back from his quest he was no longer my father. The horrible thing is I wasn’t myself either. I wish it was easy to explain, wish I could put it all into a neat and tidy box, wrapped up in pretty paper and ribbon. Wish I could sit down and open that box by myself someday, to see if the end somehow mirrors the beginning, to see if there was any foreshadowing that I could have picked up on.

But the bottom line is there was a price for my father’s freedom.

And it was me.

I don’t belong to him anymore. Don’t belong to anyone now.

It took years for me to buy my own freedom, hiding bits of copper and silver that I earned on the streets. Took even longer for me to unlearn my new foreign accent, to replace it with something liquid and elegant, something that flows off the tongue. And then there were the months spent practicing the fine art of Kundow, the local combination of dance and self-defense.

And finally, with my face painted, I donned the traditional dress of a warrior princess and performed every night down at the Painted Pony. Knowing that one day he would walk in the door.

I saw it in my dreams and I knew it would happen.

The end of my father’s quest was destined to be the beginning of mine.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book signings and events

In between getting ready for a vacation and writing another book, I've been trying to set up some book signing and events. Everything is still coming together, but here's what I have so far:

Sept. 15: Book review on Bitten by Books

Sept 28: AFTERLIFE Release Day!! Woo hoo!
This is the day Afterlife will be available for purchase, although you can pre-order the book before then.

Sept. 30: Afterlife Launch Party on Bitten by Books
Stay tuned for details. We'll have some sort of contest with cool giveaways and copies of my book.

Oct. 17: Book signing at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92111

2 p.m. to ???

Oct. 30: Fantasy Tea at Paris in a Cup
Book signing, author Q&A and a discussion of fantasy, plus a lavish luncheon--all hosted in a jazzy New Orleans theme
Paris in a Cup
119 S Glassell St
Orange, CA 92866
ph: 714-538-9411

Friday, August 6, 2010

The adventures continue

Here you can read about my editor's adventures at Comic Con. I'm thinking she (the lovely and talented Diana Gill) had a good time. My fave part of her post: When she talks about Shirtless Kirk. Yeah. You gotta read it find out...

Afterlife excerpt

I just got permission to post an excerpt from my upcoming novel, Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles. So, here's the teaser copy from the first inside page:

Babysitting 101: Don’t turn your back on a Newbie. Especially on Day One.

I rounded a corner and found her, kneeling in front of the burial tomb of a legendary voodoo queen. She stared at the stone slab as if it belonged to her; she was running her fingers through a fresh pile of Mardi Gras beads left by pilgrims seeking favors from the dead, a puzzled expression on her face.

I picked her up, checked her pulse, sheltered her in my arms for a moment while my head cleared. “She’s fine,” I said to myself, as if I needed some sort of reassurance.

But deep down inside I knew that wasn’t true. There was something wrong here, too much information was trying to get through. Almost as if whoever did her jump didn’t know what the hell they were doing.

I was too tired to care about another Newbie whose life just got mangled and torn in Fresh Start machinery. Too tired to realize that there might be more going on here than just a rugged jump.

It was the first mistake I would make on this case. But that didn’t really matter. Because I was about to make plenty more.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My star-studded journey to Comic Con

My journey to Comic Con 2010 began and ended with a star-studded bang. On my first night, I attended an awesome cocktail party hosted by my Eos/HarperCollins editor, Diana Gill. Set in the plush, ultra-modern Se San Diego Hotel, luminaries included Jocelynn Drake, Mario Acevedo, Richard Kadrey, Guillermo del Toro, and John Picacio.

Friday morning, we headed downtown on the train, where we merged with the other 150,000 attendees. Our trek to the Mecca of all things sci-fi and fantasy led us to the steps of the San Diego Convention Center. Here, the train signs were suddenly written in Klingon.

The whole experience felt like entering Dr. Who’s tardis. That convention center looks one size from the outside, but I swear the inside is really an unending, ever-expanding universe. There is no way you can see it all, although you want to. Row after row of stunning artwork and T-shirts and books.

At times I didn’t know whether to look at the booths or the attendees—their costumes were so awesome. Below, artist, Justin C. Orr's sister poses as one of his cartoon characters.

And then there were the panels. I waited in line for more than an hour to attend the following panels: V, Fringe, and Vampire Diaries. Part of the wait was out in the hot, Southern California sun. Was it worth it? You bet. Each of those panels rocked! I’ll be posting more about the panels in another blog.

Then there was the Eos Bite Me panel. I had the opportunity to speak along with authors Tanya Huff (the Victoria Nelson novels), Mario Acevedo (the Felix Gomez detective-vampire series), Jocelynn Drake (Pray for Dawn), Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim), Lauren Kate (Fallen series), and Marjorie M. Liu (In the Dark of Dreams).

The crowd was fabulous. They waited patiently for the panel to begin.

And they asked awesome questions.

Afterward, we all signed books and got a chance to personally meet those who attended our panel. That was one of my favorite parts of the conference. I love meeting new people, and especially those who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy. One reason the book signing event went so smoothly was because the staff from Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego was fabulous!

And just when you’d think that my experience at Comic Con 2010 couldn’t get any better, it did. Saturday evening, my editor, Diana Gill, took me out to dinner to the Jsix restaurant. I honestly don’t have words to describe how incredible the food and service were. From the salad to the bread to the scallops, and how about that pasta? Yes, followed by crème brulee.

Neither one of us wanted to leave. Because right about when we were digging into our fabulous spread of delicacies, Diana spotted another scrumptious delicacy just outside our window. Spike (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) otherwise known as James Marsters.

But it didn’t stop with one Hollywood star. We just happened to get seated right in front of the annual Comic Con red carpet party, hosted by SyFy and Entertainment Weekly. Cameras flashing (okay, most of those flashes were me, attempting to get a good shot), TV cameras rolling, interviewers going over their questions, and fans everywhere, sometimes screaming.

Who did we see? Honestly, who didn’t we see? I took notes for awhile, then couldn’t keep up.

Here is who we saw, close enough to touch—if only we had the technology to reach through a glass window: Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic (Castle); Eric Bana (Star Trek); Patrick Warburton (Rules of Engagement); Julie Benz (Dexter); the cast from Vampire Diaries (SQUEE!); the cast from V (again, SQUEEEE); Cedric Daniels (The Wire); Kevin Sorbo (Hercules); Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory); James Callis (Battlestar Galactica)—again SQUEEE!; Zachary Quinto (Star Trek); Zachary Levi (Chuck); Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side); Sasha Roiz (Caprica); and Pauley Perrette (NCIS).

I’ve lived in the L.A. area for 20 years and I’ve never seen such a line-up of stars before. And the best part for me was the fact that they were all stars in genres that I love.

So, Comic Con 2010 truly was a star-studded festival that exceeded my expectations.

I’m hoping that CC 2011 will be even better.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Comic Con Costumes

Comic Con is all about the costumes. I didn't always know what or who these disguised conference attendees were supposed to be, but I definitely knew which costumes I liked best.

Below is my favorite. Believe it or not, I saw this one while walking to the convention center on the first day.

Likewise, the group of costumes below all win the Best Costume Award in my book.

This black creature and his charming girlfriend posed for us while we were in line for the V and Vampire Diaries panels.

Here we see my favorite group of super heroes, in color this time.

This sweet little red-eyed vampiress attended my book signing.

And yes, there were monsters everywhere. Saw this menace while we were--guess where--yup, in line for V and Vampire Diaries.

Saw this group of super heroes while trolling the convention center floor.

This adorable creature walked by when we were in line--still waiting for V and Vampire Diaries. When asked what he was, he replied in a sweet, soft voice, "A demon."

And last but not least, these two little furry super heroes were on duty protecting the crowd. Who were these masked marvels? Chemical sniffing dogs.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sometimes you just need a hug

I survived Comic Con 2010. There should be badges or buttons or firework displays for this. From riding the train to standing in hour long lines to shouldering your way through crowds, the experience was sometimes overwhelming.

But it was always fun. And I honestly never heard one person complain. It didn't matter how long we had to wait to get in to a panel--whether we had to stand in the hot sun or whether the restroom was on the other end of a fathomless hallway--everyone was patient, everyone was courteous, everyone was super-human awesome.

Even the super heroes, themselves. And you know, they had crimes to stop, bad guys to catch. Still, everyone swathed in fur and polyester and latex remained calm. All it took was a polite, "May I take your photo?" and they would stop what they were doing and pose.

Although they did always remain in character.

Like these guys from The Event. Couldn't get them to crack a smile, no matter how hard we tried.

Even on the train.

We were crammed in like sardines, animals and humans and creatures from other planets, elbow to elbow. Still, we all kept our cool. Even when my 11:00 p.m. train stalled three times, making the ride back to Fashion Valley take an hour instead of ten minutes. Even when the train signs were written in Klingon.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a time when the nerds of the universe (and, yes, I AM one of them) were the coolest guys on the planet.

I can't wait to go again next year.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Afterlife review picked up by USA Today blog

So sorry. I have been dashing around, getting ready for Comic Con (still not finished packing--Yikes!) Anyway, I almost forgot to share a cool thing. That review of Afterlife that I mentioned yesterday (the one by Fresh Fiction) got picked up by the USA Today blog.

Insert SQUEEEEE here.

Now, back to packing...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fresh Fiction review of Afterlife

Just saw a new review of Afterlife on the Fresh Fiction for Today's Reader blog. Here's a snippet:

"Destefano takes the power of life and death away from the master himself. Characters question if technology and life should be mixed and altered when they remember a shorter lifespan was originally given to them.

Defying death is portrayed well in AFTERLIFE, the first of the Resurrection Chronicles, but can Destefano continue to give us more within her gothic city of New Orleans? Her unique imagination gives us a great first story and readers something to look forward to in the rest of the series."

Needless to say, this is all still very surreal to me. For more than a year, I sat in a room by myself and just made stuff up. I got let out occasionally--for good behavior and to take a bath--but mostly I just hung out with my imaginary friends, the characters in Afterlife. Now they're all grown up and playing with other people. They don't even call anymore.

Seriously, I'm blessed to be getting awesome reviews like this one and I'm extremely thankful for each and every reader. Thanks so much for the review and for taking the time to read my book!

Confessions of a fan girl

I must confess, the more I look at the schedule at Comic Con, the more my fangirl tendencies come out. Pardon me while I squee! I just found out about the following panels:

* The Vampire Diaries Screening and Q&A [yes, Ian Somerhalder will be there]

* Warehouse 13 and Eureka [I LOVE Eureka]

* V Screening and Q&A [Can't wait for the new season to start!]

* Little Lulu Fan Group [Okay, here I'm really a nerd, but I just adored Little Lulu comics when I was a kid. That and Superman. Quite a mix, huh?]

* Reading with Brains: The Rise and Unrelenting Stamina of Zombie Fiction [My only question here is: why isn't Robin Becker on this panel? That girl wrote a stunning zombie book: Brains: A Zombie Memoir.]

* Spotlight on Ray Bradbury [I cut my sci-fi teeth on this guy's books. He rules.]

* Panel of the Living Dead: Surviving the Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Onslaught on Xbox 360

* Falling Skies [The new TV series by Stephen Spielberg]

* The Big Bang Theory [absolutely, the coolest nerds on the planet! Included in the panel will be uber-sci-fi-star Wil Wheaton]

* USA Network's White Collar [Unfortunately, I'll have to miss this one. I'm crying already.]

* Welcome to The Future: Are You Sure You Want to Stay? [Do I like dystopian fiction? Yes!]

And of course:

* Bite Me: Evolving Urban Fantasy Beyond the Vampire Phenomenon [The panel I'll be on]

* What's Hot @ Harper: A Special Sneak Preview of Upcoming SF, Fantasy, Urban Noir, Horror & More [Hosted by my editor, Diana Gill]

I know I won't be able to make it to all of these panels, but a fangirl can dream right?

Awesome free stuff at ComicCon: HarperCollins panel

I just saw this over at the Eos blog and had to share it. (It was just too cool to keep a secret!)

HarperCollins will be having a special sneak preview of all the upcoming science fiction, fantasy, urban noir, horror and more: In other words, all those books we love! AND they will be giving away some fabulous stuff to EVERY person who attends the panel--hosted by none other than my super-human editor, Diana Gill.

All the lovely details are below:


Saturday, 7/24, 6:30-7:30pm:

What's Hot @ Harper: A Special Sneak Preview of Upcoming SF, Fantasy, Urban Noir, Horror & More— Want to hear about The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan? Get a sneak preview of the next Kim Harrison? Meet some of the Eos and Avon authors and hear about their upcoming books? Plus get free stuff (including a chance to win a new e-Reader, so you can enjoy all of Harper's 'e' offerings)? Then don't miss this panel on HarperCollins's upcoming sci-fi/fantasy/horror titles and more! Moderated by Diana Gill, executive editor, HarperCollins Publishers, with authors . Room 26AB

YEP--We're giving stuff away at this panel! Every attendee will receive the Eos 2010 sampler, which has excerpts from 25 current and upcoming books ranging from science fiction all the way to paranormal romance. PLUS we'll be giving away galleys of upcoming books, some special editions,and your chance to win an E-reader! So before you head out to dinner, come to the Hot at Harper panel!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Our little menace to society

Just got back from an urgent trip to the vet. Imagine having an ear infection with ears this big. Poor baby.

Meanwhile, Caleb the Wonder Dog is doing well. Two hundred dollars later, we returned from the vet with a bag full of meds for our little menace to society. He's currently sulking in the living room, probably dreaming of how nice it would be to have different owners--people who never take him to the vet or make him take medicine.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blade-Runner Beauty

Yesterday I dashed over to South Coast Plaza to pick up some mascara. Surprisingly, I discovered my local Sephora had been transformed into a high-tech stage for Blade-Runner beauty. Anybody besides me remember how Darryl Hannah put her eye make-up on in that movie? Well, here a team of experts were using an air-brush to apply make-up on volunteers. During one portion of the demonstration, a spokesman even said it was like having your own personal Photoshop.

For a long time, I've wished that I had my own personal sci-fi Photoshop geek to follow me around in real time, adjusting my clothes to make me look thinner. Just like they do for models on magazine covers. As if those girls really need to be thinner.

Anyway, the company that makes this super cool, space-age, high tech, sci-fi make-up is Temptu.

Since they also had some killer temporary body tattoos, I did some online research and found the following photo. According to the text that accompanied the image, Temptu developed a "resin-based temporary tattoo paint," a product used by actors in films. I love it! But then I've loved tattoos for a long time, so no surprise here.

I guess the real question here is: how long before I buy all this stuff?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Afterlife giveaway

Today I'm giving away another advance reader copy of Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles over at the Supernatural Underground. Yay and double yay! So stop over there and check it out! Be sure to bring your imaginary friends with you.

Here's a clue about my post:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Afterlife book reviews

The advance reader copies for Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles have only been out for a short while, but there are already two great reviews up online.

By Angela over at TheSciFiChick.com.

Here's a short blurb from her awesome review:
"The plot is complex and inspired. The mood is dark and suspenseful. It’s rare when I’m so impressed by a debut. And this science fiction novel definitely took me by surprise. The narrative is fast-paced, jumping around among several key characters’ point of view. So readers see what’s coming a bit before Chaz, building suspense and excitement. The mystery builds to a climactic ending, offering several surprises. And I finished the book with a smile, loving every bit of Destefano’s thought-provoking tale."

By Tez Miller over at Tez Says.

Here's a snippet from her fab review:
"Merrie Destefano has crafted a premise that’s powerful in its simplicity. The perfect blend of urban fantasy and science fiction, there are characters to cheer for and settings that spook. From the City of the Dead to the Underground Circus, from gen-spikes to liquid light, from dogs to their human counterparts, Afterlife has so much to love, and the second Resurrection Chronicle can’t come soon enough! (No cliff-hanger ending, though – it’s a gorgeous standalone.)"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Some fun stuff

Since I haven't written anything here in awhile, I thought I would post some fun stuff.

BOOK BLOGGERS: Want to review a HarperCollins book? Check out this list of contact info.

SUPERNATURAL UNDERGROUND: Check out the latest post over at the Supernatural Underground. Terri Garey spills the beans on how fun the latest RomCon 2010 was. Plus she's giving away some cool books if you enter her contest today.

COMIC CON: There's a cool post over at the Eos Books blog. Lots of info about the upcoming Comic Con author panels in San Diego. And there will be some awesome give-aways! Check out the full article here. A snippet is below:

PANEL: 3:00-4:00 Bite Me: Evolving Urban Fantasy Beyond the Vampire Phenomenon— Some of the top names in urban fantasy gather to discuss how to evolve the urban fantasy genre beyond the vampire phenom, spurred by the mass commercial appeal of The Twilight Saga and True Blood. Authors include Tanya Huff (the Victoria Nelson novels), Mario Acevedo (the Felix Gomez detective-vampire series), Merrie Destefano (Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles), Jocelynn Drake (Pray for Dawn), Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim), Lauren Kate (Fallen series), and Marjorie M. Liu (In the Dark of Dreams). Moderator: Diana Gill, executive editor at HarperCollins Publishers. Room 8

AFTERLIFE GIVE-AWAY: And, last but not least, stay tuned. I will be giving away another advance reader copy of Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles this Friday over at the Supernatural Underground.

TWO DAYS LEFT: Quick reminder: Only two days left in @TheSciFiChick's Twitter-only Afterlife ARC giveaway. Details here.

Meanwhile, have fun and stay safe. Recent rumors say that the schedule for the zombie apocalypse has been moved up. It's now on for next Tuesday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

One More Chance

You can see what it was like the day I got my advance reader copies of Afterlife. First, Caleb had to check out the books.

Then, Joshua had to give them a once-over.

See, they've both been waiting for a long time for their hero—a black German shepherd named Omega—to show the world just how cool dogs are. And now, Omega and all the human characters in the book are ready and waiting for real humans to read their story.

So, if you're one of those humans who wants an advance copy of Afterlife, there's a cool Twitter contest going on over at The Sci Fi Chick's site. Head on over to her site and check out her book giveaway rules. Oh, and by the way, you're going to fall in love with her dog, Lois Lane.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Winner of AFTERLIFE ARC announced!

The WINNER of the Comic Con Costume Contest is Tori [Book Faery]. CONGRATULATIONS!! Tori, please DM me your full name and address and e-mail on Twitter. I'll be sending you an advance copy of Afteflife: The Resurrection Chronicles.

Thanks so much to everyone who read the Comic Con post and commented. I loved reading all of your answers! I wish I could have given an ARC to all of you. Just an FYI, I ran everything through a randomizer program to find the winner.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to Comic Con

Last year about this time, I was scrounging for Comic Con tickets. I wanted to go so bad I could taste it. I’m not sure what I thought would happen when I got there. Maybe I’d see some cool costumes, listen to some awesome panels, find out what new TV shows and movies were going to come out. Maybe I’d meet an editor and impress him/her that my book would be perfect for his/her publishing house. Maybe I’d sign a contract, right there.

Okay, I know publishing doesn’t really work like that, but a girl can dream, right?

It wasn’t long after Comic Con, however, that my agent, Kimberley Cameron, landed me an awesome two-book contract with Diana Gill of Eos/HarperCollins. Now here I am, a year later, with a stack of advance review copies of my debut novel—all sparkly and shiny and each of them looking for a home. Almost like a litter of puppies.


On top of that, my Comic Con fever never went away, which is a good thing. Because I just found out that I’ll be speaking on a panel this year—me, speaking. And then, people, probably listening. Big difference in a year. Big very cool difference.

So what I want to know is, if you were going to Comic Con, what costume would you wear?

To sweeten the pot and to get a few brave souls—okay, I know you’re out there, I can hear you typing on your keyboard when you’re supposed to be reading this—to post a comment, I’m going to be giving away one of my puppies…I mean, one of my advance copies of Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles.

I’m even going to give you ways to earn extra chances at winning.

+1 point for commenting in this post
+1 point for linking to this post on Twitter
+1 point for linking to this post on Facebook
+1 point for blogging about this post and linking to it
+2 points for following this blog

Remember to tally up your points and tell me what you did in the body of your comment. Contest to win an advance copy of Afterlife closes at midnight on Sunday, June 20th.

If you’re going to Comic Con, stop by and say hi! Really. I’m pretty friendly almost all the time.

And here’s some info I grabbed off the Eos Books blog about the panel I’ll be on:

BITE ME: Evolving Urban Fantasy Beyond the Vampire Phenomenon

Panelists: Richard Kadrey, Brom, Marjorie M. Liu, Jocelynn Drake, Merrie Destefano [that’s me, just in case you accidentally fell asleep somewhere between the top of this blog and here], Tanya Huff, and Lauren Kate

Tired of Twilight? Want something beyond the Vampire Diaries? Never fear! Some of the hottest authors working explore what's happening in urban fantasy and the paranormal beyond the pale bloodsuckers we know and love.

Friday, 7/24, 3:00-4:00 p.m. PST, Room 8

Okay, that last guy was scary. He deserves a post all to himself.