Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Okay-- personal stuff first. Got a nice review in RT for Blood Drive—4 ½ stars! Jill Smith said: Besides delivering a terrific tale of supernatural sleuthing, Stein expertly unveils the emotional first-person conflict driving Anna as she struggles to face the reality of her new vampire existence while trying to hold on to her old life. This second chapter provides edge-of-your-seat thrills and a high-octane emotional punch. It's a keeper!

Check it out in the July issue. And (hint, hint) the book is available now for preorder on Amazon and B & N. as well as your favorite Indie, of course.

Okay, Mario—what happened to the male attendees at OpusFest? Or were only big breasted women allowed in? Jeez—

Now, on to really important stuff. I put together some brief impressions of the season finales for shows I watch that have a supernatural/ paranormal theme. Let me know what you think.

Lost: good one with a real twist. Last scene not a flashback, but a flash forward. Wonder if next season will start on the island or back in the states? Hated to see Charlie die.

Smallville: want to bet that Lana set up that car bomb herself? How else would she be able to escape Lex? She’ll be back! And is Chloe becoming more super hero-ish herself?

Heroes: glad to see big brother turning out to be a good guy after all. But Siler is back on the loose.

And last, though no supernatural stuff here, Veronica Mars: Huh? For a season finale it would have been a downer. For a SERIES finale it sucked. However creator Rob Thomas hints that VM may be back on the big screen. He hedged his bet, though, by saying he might not be able to “sell a movie based on a little-watched TV series." Come on, Rob, what about Firefly? Keep up to date here.

Here’s an interesting article from the New York Times if you’re interested about the making of a bestseller. Really poses more questions than it answers. It's always been a matter of debate among authors. Do readers or the publishers make a best seller?

However, speaking of best sellers, the Elaine Viets Stand In Tour is doing something right. Check out the bestselling titles for April at reporting member stores of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association:

1. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
2. Hunter's Moon by Randy Wayne White
2. The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin
4. The Woods by Harlan Coben
5. Spanish Dagger by Susan Wittig Albert
6. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith
7. Simple Genius by David Baldacci
7. The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
9. Withering Heights by Dorothy Cannell
10. Murder with Reservations by Elaine Viets

Mario and I are participating in one next month here in Denver.

More book news:

From the LA Times: the jury in the Clive Cussler/Crusader Entertainment case rendered a balanced decision that faults--and potentially awards money to--both sides in the case. The jury found that Cussler breached his contract and should pay Crusader $5 million. But they also found that Crusader owes Cussler $8.5 million for rights to a second book in the Dirk Pitt series that was not made into a film, and they gave Cussler back the film rights to his books. Judge still needs to approve the jury’s findings.

The Authors Guild issued an alert to members about a change in standard contract language at Simon & Schuster that would effectively provide for perpetual rights. The wording is interpreted as meaning a book would be considered in print even if it existed only on the company’s database. The guild is asking its members to consider excluding Simon & Schuster imprints unless they agree to use industry standard terms.

Finished Charlaine Harris’ newest ALL TOGETHER DEAD. It’s the best one to date. Darker, edgier with a great twist at the end, I loved it! And speaking of Sookie, here’s a picture of Anna Paquin who will be playing Sookie in the HBO series, True Blood. Perfect!

And last but not least. This from Vamprowler: Sexy, Subtle Deluxe Fangs. Love it! Order here.

Remember, sports fans, to tune in Friday for the first Biting Edge Freaky Friday contest. You never know what you might win....

PS thanks to SexScenesatStarbucks for her most excellent suggestions about blogging. You gave me a lot to think about and I appreciate it!
Monday, May 28, 2007
  Fluffing up
I attended OpusFest this weekend and learned a new term, fluffing up (or down). More on that later. I was told that OpusFest is heavy on the fantasy costuming, about half Star Wars, the other Celtic/Pirate as we see here:

With exotic belly dancing thrown in:

Including alien costumes representing the Tantooie cantina:

And Klingon culture:

I had a wonderful conversation with this woman discussing astrophysics and cantilevered bridge design:

I think some of the guys at OpusFest might have been in costume but I didn't notice any.

I talked on several panels about writing and had the priviledge of meeting these two new authors of sci-fi fantasy: Gaddy Bergmann and James Strickland. Check 'em out.

What's sci-fi horror without some Mexican queso? Dig it.

CONTEST ALERT! Jeanne Stein and I are organizing a fantabulous writing contest of epic proportions! Think Moses parting the Red Sea. Superman arriving on Earth. PeeWee Herman looking for his stolen bicycle. Get your fingers and keyboards ready. We'll be offering prizes so coveted that we're forced to keep them under wraps for now. Here's a sneak peak:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sadly, Marta has decided to leave the Biting Edge. She wants to turn her promotional efforts elsewhere and we wish her the best. I must admit, her decision came as a surprise. The blog was the brainchild of Marta and Mario who invited me to participate. I was reluctant at first. I wasn’t sure I had the time or the inclination to write a weekiy column. But I’ve come to actually enjoy the process. And I often find myself filing articles away to use in posts—things I think might be of interest To me, the blog was something to offer the readers of my books. A glimpse into my life, tidbits to share on the writing business, bits of Buffy and Joss trivia.

Marta feels the opposite—that a blog should be the vehicle to attract readers to our books. We simply hadn’t built up an audience fast enough. I am probably the naïve one here. I’m constantly amazed/horrified/confused by this business. But I’m here for the long haul and good or bad, I’ll keep plugging along until somebody tells me to stop.

Good luck, Marta. Thank you for inviting me to participate in The Biting Edge and know you’ll always have a place here to share you accomplishments and your thoughts. Please drop by now and then and say hello.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
  This is coffee
I spent this weekend going over the revisions to the manuscript for book three. I couldn't imagine remaining stuck at home with such beautiful weather so I schlepped my manuscript with me and took a ride on my bike. Besides getting out of the house, a change in scenery stimulates the brain (draft beer helps). First stop, the Ogden Street South pub, a friendly joint long on character. I got through eighty pages.

Afterwards, I headed north to the Aviano Cafe, a place I discovered a couple of weeks back. It's upscale though casual and serves the Best Cup of Coffee in Denver. Here's their welcome mat.

Doug the barista brewed this awesome latte that kept me going for another hundred pages. Now this is a cuppa joe.

Then time to go home and make dinner. One of the reasons I got married was that I didn't cook, not even toast. Well, a couple of life detours later, here I am divorced and my youngest son living with me again. A former hamburger man, the fear of Mad Cow Disease means he's given up red meat so I cook a lot of chicken and this, Fruit Fish. Whaddaya think?

Finally, thought it's not food related, this trailer for ThrillerFest will get your appetite going to write mayhem and murder. CLICK HERE
Friday, May 18, 2007
  Move along folks
Not much to add today. I'm dashing into the city and will drop by Book Passage and Stacey's to sign copies of my novels.

CBS is doing a vamp romantic drama next season. I thought I read that another network was doing a zombie show, which will be a challenge. Zombies, while, captivating, lack dramatic momentum. They're terrible with dialogue and they simply don't work in costume dramas because their wardrobe is so damn monotonous. Still, it is the Year of the Cannibal Zombie (TM), and zombies do have a real cachet now.

Tomorrow I'm speaking to the American Association of University Women about stereotypes in fiction. I think I'll bring up our preconceptions that all zombies want to eat our brains.

Here's an interview with a zombie about the difficulty of acting in contemporary film. If you're a zombie and thinking about a career in acting, please note that "stunt zombies" get paid a much higher rate.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
  Michael and Me
Breathing a sigh of relief, I sit down to type out this week’s entry with a light heart. The manuscript copy-edits for Watcher are in the mail! Of course, now I have to worry about the impending release of Blood Drive. I got my first review-from Harriet Klausner. Here’s a link to it if you’re interested. Now I’m anxiously waiting to see if and when I get any others. What a business…always something to give you hives.

But on the other hand, I was tickled to death to read the dedication to Many Bloody Returns, edited by good friends and fellow Buffybuds, Charlaine Harris and Toni Kelner. Here it is:

This is dedicated to
Joss Whedon,
who may never read it,
and his enthusiastic fans known as the
Buffybuds, who will

As a total Joss Whedon geek, I couldn’t be more pleased. Wouldn’t it be a trip if he DID read it? and an even bigger thrill if he liked my story??? A girl can dream.

From last week: Fox has indeed picked up the “Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Should air this fall.

And about those virtual book tours for Elaine Viets? Chris Goff here in Denver is organizing one at Murder By the Book for 12:00 Noon on June 23rd. Can’t wait to participate. It should be a blast!

Okay, one last thing. Those of you who know me know that I HATE to get my picture taken. I am the most unphotogenic person on the planet (except when photographer Kelly Weaver takes my picture and then she has the magic of photo shop or something.) Anyway, at RT this year there was this absolutely gorgeous man walking around. He’s a model for one of the romance lines. Mary Stella and I couldn’t take our eyes off him—so, imagine our delight when he came over to our table. I managed to resist my natural aversion to cameras for the chance to stand close to this guy. He even smelled good. So, for your viewing pleasure here's Michael.

Sunday, May 13, 2007
  Hey ladies!
This weekend I was a panelist at Romancing The Rockies, my first romance writers conference. Years ago I heard an essay on This American Life where the reporter Robin Epstein also attended a romance writers conference. Expecting a legion of fluffy-headed writers obsessed with the cliched: girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy again and live happily ever after story line, Robin instead found a community of dedicated, supportive and serious writers.

I owe my modest publishing success to Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, half of whose members are romance writers. So I wasn't surprised by the reception I got at Romancing the Rockies.

I had the privilege of meeting outstanding and prolific writers such as the keynote speaker Susan Wiggs.

I also met the interpid sci-fi author Linnea Sinclair, who when she gets wound up, lets loose with her joisy goil accent. Don't let her elegant looks fool you, she can kick your ass!

Linnea says, ENGAGE...your brain and start writing!

Turn to your left. A line up of the usual suspects. Second from the left and looking guilty as hell, is our own Jeanne Stein.

As one the four men guests at the conference I was raffled off. Expecting a night of debauched entertainment at the hands of an erotic writer (for research purposes) I was able to fulfill her dirtiest fantasies...by cleaning the gutters of her roof.
Friday, May 11, 2007
  Book Biz, Vampire Flicks, and Vampire Fiction Reviews

BOOK BIZ: It's been a busy week for me since I did two book signings, guest blogged at BookSeller Chick, and was interviewed at Midnight Moon Cafe about Midnight Brunch.

VAMPIRE FLICK: Vampires are still all the rage, and Oscar-winner Hillary Swank has just bought the rights to Fangland. I dunno. I guess she's a good actress, but she still makes me think "90210." (This is what I tell store clerks when they ask for my zip code.)

A little more interesting is that Gregor Jordan has been signed to direct "The Informers," an adaptation of a Bret Easton Ellis story that features rock stars and vampires in L.A.

VAMPIRE FICTION REVIEWS: If you enjoy vampire fiction, you'll want to check out the beautifully designed LoveVampires site. This site has thoughtful, informed reviews on all the latest releases, and recent reviews include new books by Lynn Viehl, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Christopher Moore, and Kelly Armstrong.

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
  The Writing Game

Got my copyedited manuscript for Watcher to review last week. Since I thought all I was going to have to do was review, I gave myself one week off to recover from RT and work on the new book. I should have looked at the sticky notes attached to the pages. I have some rewriting to do. Now when I complained about it to Susan Mackey Smith, my co-chair for RMFW's writing contest, she said: "I'd like to have such problems." And, of course, she's right. I'm lucky to have a manuscript to rewrite, lucky to be published, and lucky to have an editor who gets it. So while I can't promise not to complain ever again, I want it made known that I do consider myself fortunate to have fulfilled a lifelong dream. I am a published author and that is something.

By the way, the contest is still open for unpubs so go to RMFW.org and get the details.

An article in Shelf Awareness on May 4th caught my eye. It said:

Friends of Elaine Viets are rallying to help the author, who suffered a stroke several weeks ago, to promote her first hardcover, Murder with Reservations, part of the Dead End Job series. The aim is to hold events by proxy. Among the suggestions: authors can place a stack of Viets's books on their tables during their own tours and post an image of the book and a note on their website or blog; and booksellers can set up a party for Viets. Breakthrough Promotions is the organizer.

Elaine is a well-known and loved mystery author who is said to be recovering well. One of her concerns after suffering the stroke was that she would not be able to promote her first hardcover. She is a lucky lady to have such devoted friends.

And on the TV front: Word is the Fox execs are very happy with the pilot for Sarah Connor Chronicles. Sarah Connor is played by Lena Headey (Imagine Me & You) Thomas Dekker (Heroes) will play John Connor and Summer Glau (from Joss Whedon’s Firefly) plays the role of Cameron, a fellow student at 15-year-old John’s high school. Josh Friedman ("War of the Worlds") is aboard to pen the pilot and serve as executive producer of the series. The series will take place in the fictional time frame between the second and third "Terminator" features.

Sounds like something right up my alley.

One last note-- this weekend Mario, our good friend Lynda Hilburn and I will be speakers at the Romancing the Rockies conference here in Denver. If you're attending, stop by and say hello.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
  Deport me, I'm Mexican

It's Cinco de Mayo and you know what that means. Some bigoted yahoo complains about the damn illegals coming north to 'Merika, stealing all the jobs (like brain surgeon and Shuttle pilot), and then having a party. The guy probably complains about St. Patrick's Day as well.

Here in Denver we have a huge Cinco de Mayo fiesta and I thought I'd invite you for a looky-loo.

Nothing says Victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla (the season for the celebration) like a giant roll of spinning toilet paper.

What would Cinco de Mayo be without merengue and the Dentyne Ice dancers?

I'll be you didn't know that what kept the Mexican peasant army well-nourished during the fight against the French was the almighty turkey leg. Or not.

You're not seeing triple. It's the high-speed trans-fat delivery system more commonly known as the Funnel Cake.

I'm sure this guy is pondering his career options.

Besides food, we love the music and can't help but move our feet. If you look closely, it seems like this woman's unmentionables are around her ankles. I hate when that happens (not really).

From the cute:

To the bizarre:

Figures that Planned Parenthood has to insist TWO free condoms because someone tried to take the whole box.

Viva Mexico! Viva tequila! Viva big hats!

Friday, May 04, 2007
  Book Clubs, Book Reviews, and More

BOOK CLUBS: Midnight Brunch was selected as Catalina Magazine's Book Club Read this month. I'll be answering questions all month about my Casa Dracula series, so join the club and ask away.

BOOKLOONS: If you like to win free books, then BookLoons is the site for you. They list dozens and dozens of contests with prizes that include iPods, Sidekicks, gift certificates, and back catalogs. Bookloons will be hosting a contest for my books, too!

Here's a preview of their Midnight Brunch review: "Midnight Brunch is the delightful sequel to Acosta’s debut novel, Happy Hour at Casa Dracula. It’s filled with another generous helping of smart and hip satire and a cast of characters who are as quirky as they are charming. The best part of the story is of course Milagro, whose zest for life is addictive... Here’s hoping that Milagro and friends will be back for a few more adventures."

COMING AND GOING: Welcome home to Jeanne from Houston! I hope she'll be sharing gossip about authors who behaved badly, authors who required bodyguards, and anything else fascinating.

On Monday, I'll be guest blogging at BookSeller Chick's site about genre-bending authors. BookSeller Chick also had a link to graphic artist R. Black's website. (See image above.) I love his bold, funny, retro comic style.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
  Still Recovering--
I started this blog on Sunday in the Houston airport eating a McDonald's fish sandwich. My husband always looks appalled when I try to order McD’s at home.
I DID resist the french fries, though.

There is no particular order for the names and comments following. Romantic Times is a conference you have to experience to believe. It's truly a one of a kind con for both writers and readers.
I've attached the book covers for each writer's latest so here goes:

Writers I met for the first time:

JACKIE KESSLER- sharing promo tips in the airport awaiting our flights. Can’t wait to read her, Hell’s Belles. Great title, great cover, terrific person. We hope to do something together next year on a writing panel.

MICHELE SCOTT - shared a harrowing ride to the airport during which we made a half dozen wrong turns, missed the airport turn-off another half dozen times due to really sucky signage on Houston freeways and made it with only minutes to spare for Michele’s flight. They do not make it easy to navigate the airport from the rental car return, either. If you have any bags weighing over ten pounds (hello, a book lovers convention, remember. Everyone had at least one extra bag for books) you had to go down one escalator and then up another to get to the airport shuttle. Houston, you do have a problem.

VICKI PETTERSSON – Bless her heart, ran into me several times and had nice things to say everytime. She’s as talented as she is beautiful.

Writers I call Friends:

– what can I say. Lovely person, great writer. New Sookie book, All Together Dead, was available at RT. It’s on the top of my TBR pile.

- An author from Australia who also writes for the small press that first published me, ImaJinn, besides her other projects. Her latest book made one of the BIG Best Seller Lists. She is so nice, and quiet, like me (the quiet part, I mean.)

– Another gorgeous redhead (she and Vicki Pettersson.) Met her here in Denver when we signed with Mario at the Book Mall. Succubus Blues was a big hit at conference. The pictures below were taken by her husband, Michael, and posted on her blog. The first was our signing in Denver, the second, at RT with Charlaine.

There were several others, but these are the writers I spent some time with and would recommend you try their stuff.

The other really nice part of this conference was reconnecting with Sharron Tan, a reader and aspiring writer I met last year. I expect we’ll here about her before too long. Candy Lyons, Sharron’s friend and co-worker at Borders is also an aspiring writer and Sharron tells me her stuff is good.

One of those moments writers dream about. Renee Sweet, a reader and aspiring writer, approached me and said how she loved my book. I still get goose bumps when someone does that. Just like at the book fair when people actually walked in to the book room and said it was to meet me! And to ask to get a picture, no less. Thanks to all the above for making RT special.

Next time-- got the cover for my third book. It actually does not suck.
Last thoughts: Spider Man 3 starts Friday.

Here's a link to Harry Potter trailer that's pretty cool.

And an article from UPI/Enertainment
says: CBS may spice up fall lineup

LOS ANGELES, April 28 (UPI) -- Los Angeles-based CBS reportedly is thinking
of spicing up its fall schedule with new shows, including one about a
vampire detective.

The show "Twilight" is just one of several shows in the sci-fi/fantasy
field CBS may be looking at, The Daily Variety reported Saturday.

"We went into this development season saying, 'Let's throw out the
rulebook'," said CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler. "We have an
incredibly strong schedule. What better time to take risks ... and try some
really surprising and unique projects?"

Hey, CBS, I have three other vampire series for you to try...Mario's, Marta's and mine!

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