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!

Sunday, November 30, 2008
  Man vs. bird (and a plug for zombies)
Mario here:

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. Thought I'd share my tale of this year's bird. After last year's mishap with the T-day dinner I got from Boston Market, this year I decided to save some cash and get a dinner from Safeway.

Here's the bird and box o'fixings. The way this was packaged, it seemed like some kind of government disaster ration, a FEMA turkey dinner.

The box o'fixins opened. (Everything but dinnerware and mooching in-laws)

Uh-oh. I didn't open the box until Thanksgiving day and the instructions said to defrost the bird 2-3 days. Even though I had kept the bird defrosting overnight in the lettuce crisper, I blasted Mr. Gobbler in the microwave to make sure. Then into the oven along with the mashed potatoes and stuffing from the box o'fixings. Okay, so far so good. I was about to say, Mission Accomplished, but the last time someone said that...well, you know the rest. (Doesn't the bird look like an alien embryo?)

Take no prisoners. The ravaged bird at Jennifer Mosquera's house.

And cheers! (My handsome sons are on the left. Everyone else are a bunch of hungry drunks.)

What's a get together without one disaster? While we were busy drinking and playing Rock Band, Bartlebee (the little dog at the bottom) jumped on the buffet table and pushed one of the pumpkin pies to the floor. Gideon, the pug, ate the whole pie.

Since we are the Biting-Edge, and not Rachael Ray, here is a little undead news from our friends over at Vampyres Online. In case you missed the cinematic event of the decade, check out Vampire Chicks with Chainsaws. I'll bet she doesn't bother with a turkey dinner from Safeway. (Apparently they didn't have the budget for fangs.)


Mark Henry, urban fantasy author, zombie enthusiast, and snark stylist, has relaunched his website. Visit to get your freak on.
Thursday, November 27, 2008

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

Bob Dylan

Can't think of a better way to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

See you next week.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
  It's a caper!
Mario here:

When the city of Denver announced that it would be celebrating it's 150 birthday by honoring 150 "unsung heroes", artists Jennifer Mosquera and Russ Wright thought that our artist friend Eric Matelski deserved to be one of those heroes. So Jennifer and Russ enlisted me to write the nomination for Eric's application. (The reason was that I'm good at writing fiction.) We had to get a lot of personal background on Eric and his wife, Amy, used her feminine wiles to get that info without tipping off her husband. Numerous drafts of the nomination were emailed back and forth. We were such sneaks.

Did it work?

Eric was surprised when the city contacted him about the award. We did it! Here are Eric and Amy at the ceremony. Read what the Rocky Mountain News wrote HERE.

It's alive!
Biologist Doris Taylor and her team at the University of Minnesooota have tested a reanimation process using rat hearts. First they flushed the cells of a heart. They repopulated the extracellular matrix with stem cells from a recipient rat...and got the reanimated heart to beat. One problem of organ transplant is tissue rejection by the recipient and Taylor's hopes this reanimation process will eliminate such rejection. But there's always the law of unintended consequences.

From the files of Life always trumps Art.

Even a zany writer like Tim Dorsey would've been called out by this story as too outlandish for fiction.
(photo Denver Post)
Vanessa Burdiaga bought this 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass at a police auction for $400. Sure the car had a flat tire, bullet holes, and evidence stickers (and no keys) but Burdiaga thought it was a deal. Someone at the auction recognized the car, claiming that he'd been shot in it. As proof, he provided a set of the missing keys (which he sold to Burdiaga for $40). Once home, she cleaned the car and tossed out a couple of blood-stained bandanas, suspicious metal pipes, gloves, and an empty bottle of booze.

Two days later, a Denver police detective shows up and confiscates the car, claiming that it was evidence in a murder investigation. And he made Burdiaga recover the items she'd trashed.

Big Oops in releasing the car to the auction. Do Over in the evidence chain of custody.

Hmmm, what defense attorney couldn't tear the police a new one if this car is introduced as evidence?

Meanwhile, Burdiaga is waiting for her refund from the police.


Amber Chalmers interviews our favorite werewolf author Carrie Vaughn on the blog, Amberkatze. Very cool. Prizes. Check it out. Tell 'em Mario sent you.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Mario and I had fun yesterday!!

No, not that kind of fun…

We were interviewed on a Douglas County Library program called: Authors @ Douglas County Libraries. The host, James LaRue, is the Director of the Douglas County Library system. The program has won an Emmy, and the site, www.thenetworkdc.us, has actually won FIVE. Anyway, David Schier and his excellent crew did a great job of putting us at ease in front of the cameras. The program itself will go up in January so I’ll let you know when. It’s a chance to see Mario in something other than a bathrobe. In fact, here is a preview.

And here we are ready for our close-ups!!

Now, on to the regularly scheduled program:

So how did I like the newest Bond, you ask????

I LIKED it!! Non-stop action. IMHO, Daniel Craig is the Bond Fleming envisioned—a blunt instrument. Maybe not physically (no dark hair, Hoagy Carmichael face) but Craig has the Bond coldness down pat. Anybody else see it? What d’ya think?

Another new vamp movie that looks good: Let The Right One In." Based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, here's what my favorite unofficial critic (Derek Tatum of the LitVamp group) has to say:

My friend Carol told me that "Let The Right One In" was playing in
Atlanta, and I was already visiting Paul this weekend, so we went to
see it. It is a brilliant film, easily the best vampire movie since
"Interview With The Vampire," and honestly, "Let The Right One In"
plays better as its own thing and not just as an "adaptation of a
book." The movie leaves out some of the events of the book, but
interestingly enough, leaving those events out did not detract from
the overall story. The movie nails the spirit of the book - even some
of the camera angles and the color palette of the film are exactly as
I imagined them.

And two other reviews if you're interested: Denver Post
and BlogCritics.

And since he mentioned Carol who is also a friend of mine, here's a more heartening perspective on Dollhouse that she sent me.

In other news, the Amazon/ Penguin Contest is back. From Shelf Awareness:

The e-tailer's Breakthrough Novel Award competition will return for a second year, open to new manuscript submissions as of Groundhog's Day, 2009, and once again they will partner with the Penguin Group. Amazon calls the first contest "enormously successful," despite the tepid response from the marketplace to the August release of winner Bill Loehfelm's FRESH KILLS. (Loehfelm's book has sold approximately 4,000 copies through outlets tracked by Nielsen Bookscan.) But Penguin has acquired rights to four of the other ten finalists: Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan (Amy Einhorn Books, July 2009); The Wet Nurse's Tale by Erica Eisdorfer (Putnam, August 2009); The Butterflies of Grand Canyon, by Margaret Erhard (Plume, January 2010); and Casting Off, by Nicole Dickson (NAL).

This year's contest will accept up to 10,000 submissions (double the number from last year) during a seven-day window. The professional judges reading and selecting from among the final three contestants include authors Sue Grafton and Sue Monk Kidd, agent Barney Karpfinger and Penguin Press editor-in-chief Eamon Dolan. Last year the judges had to review the final top ten manuscripts. And though there will be twice as many submissions, half as many books as last year will get "reviewed" by Publishers Weekly (500 "quarter-finalists"). Hewlett Packard has not returned as a sponsor this year.

Contest site here.

The latest in the Rowling copyright infringement case (from Shelf Awareness):

RDR Appeals Rowling Ruling
NEW YORK — A publisher who lost his bid to print a Harry Potter encyclopedia written by Grand Rapids native Steven Vander Ark will appeal a federal judge's decision that the book constituted copyright infringement on author J.K. Rowling, court records show.

Lawyers for Roger Rapoport last week filed a notice of appeal seeking to overturn a judge's ruling and the imposition of $6,750 in fines against RDR Books, a Muskegon-based company Rapoport owns and operates.

The article goes on to note Rapoport has nothing to lose in appealing. The judgment against the company was small.

Lots of good discussion following last week’s blog about Twilight. Haven’t started the book, and will probably not go on opening night a la Quantum, but do plan to go. Those of you who will see it this weekend, be sure to share your opinion.

Gina wanted to know who the big guy was standing next to Mario in their bathrobes err--smoking jackets—

Mario responds: I didn't note his name because I forgot what it was. He's from the UK and a really nice guy. He wasn't on the program.

So big, really nice guy from the UK-- if you see this, let us know who you are!! :-)
Monday, November 17, 2008
  Biting at the World Wide Web
Mario here:

Last week I had mentioned my trip to Murder & Mayhem. Here we are, the new Rat Pack (we wish!) smoking cheap cigars outside the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee. From right to left: JD Rhodes, Joe Konrath, Blake Crouch, Sean Chercover, and me in the Broncos cap.

To celebrate the 150th birthday of Denver, the Rocky Mountain News published twelve stories by local authors in a collection, A Dozen On Denver. Last Friday, the Rocky hosted a reception (with plenty of bottled water--if you had a real thirst, go somewhere else) to acknowledge the writers, editors, and supporting staff. Here are two of my author friends who contributed work: bestselling culinary killer Diane Mott Davidson (left) and hard-boiled mystery writer Manuel Ramos (right). To read the stories or listen to the MP3 readings, go HERE.

If you check out the right side of the Biting Edge blog, you'll see plenty of links to other blogs and websites. So I decided to wander over there and see what's up with their corners of the World Wide Web.

Biting Edge ex-pat Marta Acosta gives us contests and the low-down on upcoming fantasy movies such as a werewolf Russell Crowe, and the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, starring Keanu Reeves. My first reaction: oh no. I've seen the trailer and my reaction is now: OH NO! The CGI department worked overtime and it shows.

Over at Midnight Moon Cafe, AE Rought writes about her brush with the supernatural during a recent trip to her brother's grave. Afterwards, follow the link on her blog to her author's webpage. She writes contemporary and urbanfantasy romance so don't be surprised to see pictures of shirtless, hunky cowboys.

Next, prolific NYT bestseller fantasy author, Sherrilyn Kenyon. Check out her awesome book trailer for Acheron. Tag line: The strongest steel is forged by the fires of Hell!

How could I not mention our favorite werewolf author, Carrie Vaughn. Carrie dishes on Vampires. Werewolves. Talk Radio. Enjoy.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Countdown to Quantum of Solace... I can hardly wait!!! In fact, we watched Casino Royale this weekend just to get in the mood! Here's a good 007 website to check out. Are you planning to go see the newest?

Not so good news (once again) about Dollhouse. This is taken from an aricle in the Observer:

"Dollhouse" Tv Series - Fox Sets Midseason Schedule, Whedon Fans Shed Tear

Says in part: With television schedules becoming year-round events, Fox has gotten an early jump on the network competition by announcing their mid-season lineup... and if you’re a fan of Joss Whedon, prepare to be disappointed. Mr. Whedon’s latest series, the Elisha Dushku-starring spy-thriller Dollhouse, has been stranded on Friday nights at 9 p.m. If that time slot sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because it’s where shows generally go to die (just ask CBS’ The Ex-List) and where Mr. Whedon saw his last Fox venture, Firefly, meet an early grave…

Adding insult to injury, Fox is placing the sputtering Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fridays at 8 p.m. as a lackluster lead-in for Dollhouse. All of this spells predictable doom, which is a shame since the recently released trailer for Dollhouse makes the show look pretty good; a deft mix of Alias, the Bourne movies and James Cameron’s Dark Angel series. Needless to say, "Save Dollhouse" fan campaigns are already underway.

Something for the writers out there--the newest in identification processing…what do you think? The comments are as interesting as the article.

Cast of Twilight looking decidely UNvampirish...

I'm adding a PS here: Twilight has also just been released. I haven't read the books (should I admit that) but I am considering going to see the flic just so I know what all the fuss is about. Anyone else? Here's a VF review for you reading pleasure.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
  Mayhem and Murder
Mario here:

Just got back from the last of this year's book promo trips, specifically, to Milwaukee.

But first, last Wednesday, I was the guest author at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics of the Naropoa University in Boulder, Co. (Me? Aren't you impressed!) Naturally, I had to give away an infamous Devil Duck. Here are the creative writing students, mostly poets, crowding around the relunctant recipient of the DD.

Now, on to the reason for my trip to Milwaukee: Murder & Mayhem, sponsored by the Muskego Public Library. Guest of Honor, Dennis Lehane.

Milwaukee proved to be one of America's best kept secrets. Here's the view of downtown from my window at the swanky Iron Horse Hotel.

I got there Friday afternoon and once we authors started our confab, it wasn't long before we began drinking. Afterwards we carpooled to Muskego (since the scheduled limos never showed up) and continued drinking during the reception in the library.

That night we piled into Jon and Ruth Jordan's house (the Jordans of CrimeSpree Magazine) and were allowed to bob in the famous bathtub of beer.

The Jordans live in an awesome, funky house above a huge machine shop. The house is crammed with pop culture kitsch and hundreds of mystery books, to include these two titles from a familiar schlub.

Saturday, we returned to the library. After lunch, we retired across the street to drink behind a convenience store for the First Annual Muskego Beer in the Alley Fest (As you can tell, drinking was a continued theme this weekend) Here is the Master of Liver-Punishing Ceremonies, Joe Konrath (right), with acolyte Blake Crouch.

Though she denies it, you have to work hard to catch Lori Armstrong without a bottle in her hand. Here, pulling their weight during the Beer in the Alley Fest: Lori, Sean Chercover, and Marcus Sakey (with the shaggy hair).

Saturday night, we authors were treated to an open bar (natch) and dinner, followed by massive piles of chocolate (and more booze) at the Jordan's. This gives you a good idea of the Jordan's house (Sean Chercover, left, and Jon Jordan, right).

One of the great authors I met was B. Clay Moore. He writes screenplays and graphic novels (including the uber-cool Hiwaiian Dick series). Check out his work at Sneaky Previews.

Lastly, on my way home, look at what I saw on display in the airport newsstand.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Day late...blame it on election hangover.

What is the old saying about people dying in threes? Last week, Tony Hillerman. This week Studs Terkel and Michael Crichton.

From Shelf Awareness and the NYT:

Studs Terkel, Listener to Americans, Dies at 96

NYT Obit: Studs Terkel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose searching interviews with ordinary Americans helped establish oral history as a serious genre, and who for decades was the voluble host of a popular radio show in Chicago, died Friday at his home there. He was 96.

NYT obit here.

Michael Crichton dies: Builder of Windup Realms That Thrillingly Run Amok

Michael Crichton, who died on Tuesday at the age of 66, was like a character in a Michael Crichton novel. He was unusually tall (6 feet 7 inches), strikingly handsome and encyclopedically well informed about everything from dinosaurs to medieval banquet halls to nanotechnology. As a writer he was a kind of cyborg, tirelessly turning out novels that were intricately engineered entertainment systems. No one — except possibly Mr. Crichton himself — ever confused them with great literature, but very few readers who started a Crichton novel ever put it down.

Full obit here:

I think the first Crichton novel I read was Coma. Scared the shit out of me.

Something fun: a link to a "literary witches" quiz.

If you're into Danielle Steele, she's blogging now. Check it out here.

And, from my Georgia friend, Carol Malcolm, this treat-- a Dollhouse trailer.

So what's going on in your world?
Sunday, November 02, 2008
  Men of Mystery
Mario here:

I just back from the OC, specifically Irvine, CA (Orange County), a guest of the ninth annual Men of Mystery conference. Thanks much to Joan Hansen for the invitation.

Last year I arrived a day early and the hotel was dead. So this year I brought homework, watercolors, and a sketchbook and expected to spend Friday night in my room. Little did I know that this year, the hotel hosted a huge Halloween bash. Not surprisingly, I stayed in the bar, admiring the workmanship of the costumes. Good thing the weather was warm or all the young women in their skimpy costumes would've caught chest colds. Think a very R-rated (though just barely) Bacchanal.

This was my second Men of Mystery and I was treated like a prince. The king of the conference was the headliner, Andrew Gross, who co-writes with mega bestseller James Patterson.

(Ladies, Andrew is tall, handsome, and very married.)

I got a chance to again hobnob with fellow writers, Sean Doolittle, Mark W Danielson, Troy Cook, Sean Chercover, and Brett Battles.

My table had a drawing for one of the infamous Devil Ducks. Here's my minder, Linda Renner (left) and the winner of the DD, Amy Myers (right).

After the conference, we were graciously treated to a reception and dinner in a nearby condo. Here's the lobby. Very OC.

In other news, check out my article on mystery writer Robin Burcell in this month's THE BIG THRILL.

If you haven't had enough Halloween treats to satisfy your cultural junk-food fix, click on over to Mark Henry's postings on the League of Relunctant Adults blob.

Jeanne is officially a Halloween Vampire Queen. Read all about it in the Examiner.

Finally, my hotel room was especially swanky and this was the first time I've played with a bidet.

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