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.