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, February 25, 2009
Newsflash: I'll be posting here THURSDAY beginning next week.

Now onto the important stuff--

Winner of MBR and magnets-- Vickie! Email me at jeanne@jeannestein.com with your info and your copy of Many Bloody Returns (along with a few other goodies) will be on its way. Thanks to everyone who played and don’t despair—I’ll be holding another contest next week so stay tuned.

Just got the new cover for Retribution:

What do you all think? I must admit, I like this one. Anna's fifth adventure will be released in September. More important, though, is what YOU think.

From MarioLand: Jailbait Zombie released! Get your copy now!

Eos is doing a feature on Jailbait at this link so check it out.

Some items cross-posted from my blog over at The League of Reluctant Adults in case you missed them.

On March 23rd, another Whedon Alum, Nathan Fillion of Firefly/Serenity/Dr. Horrible fame begins his new show on ABC, Castle. We’ll be discussing that on The Biting Edge, too, I’m sure.

Some interesting (at least to me) factoids about bookselling and numbers. For 2008, the top ten books in terms of numbers sold were:

1 Breaking Dawn Meyer, Stephenie 3,310,000
2 Twilight Meyer, Stephenie 3,175,000
3 A New Earth Tolle, Eckhart 3,146,000
4 The Last Lecture Pausch, Randy 2,705,000
5 New Moon Meyer, Stephenie 2,667,000
6 Eclipse Meyer, Stephenie 2,563,000
7 The Shack Young, William 2,551,000
8 The Tales of Beedle the Bard Rowling, JK 1,822,000
9 Brisingr Paolini, Christopher 1,312,000
10 Eat, Pray, Love Gilbert, Elizabeth 1,274,000

For the top fifty list, go here. I think what interests me most is how the numbers fall off after the million + sellers. Number 50 sold 377,000 copies. Also, note the correlation of genre writers to literary/memoir entries. We must be doing something right.

For Tolkien fans, an early unpub’d work is coming out. From the AP:

"The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun," a thorough reworking in verse of old Norse epics that predates Tolkien's writing of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, will be published in May by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. According to Houghton, the book will include an introduction by Tolkien and notes by his son, Christopher Tolkien. J.R.R. Tolkien, whose fantasy novels have sold millions of copies, died in 1973. "The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" was written in the 1920s and '30s, when the author was teaching at Oxford University.


Okay, here’s something REALLY cool: You can help name the new NASA node. Voting will be open from February 19th to March 20th, 2009. NASA will announce the winning name in April 2009.
Choices are:

While I’m partial to Legacy for personal reasons, Serenity is up and away the favorite—You’ll see what I mean when you vote.

Okay, I have to interrupt here- I just saw this morning's newspaper. Some assholes opened up on a Mardi Gras parade injuring 7 people, including a toddler. What the friggin' hell is wrong with people? At least they have the idiots in custody.

Back to the program.

A couple of writing contests for you aspirants out there:

1. Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest

-Write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration.

-No entry fee. But please only submit one story...your best one!

-All entries must be original works in English. Plagiarism, poetry, song lyrics, or characters from another person’s works will not be considered.

-E-mail submissions only. Send entries as .rtf attachments to: baen.nss.contest@gmail.com

-Please put the word SUBMISSION in the subject line when sending a contest entry and QUESTION in the subject line for questions to the contest administrator.

-Please include the following in the body of your email: The title of the work, the author's name, address and telephone number, and an approximate word-count. The manuscript should be an RTF attachment, in standard manuscript format and should be titled and numbered on every page, but the author's name MUST BE DELETED to facilitate fair judging.

-Employees of Baen Books, Jim Baen's Universe, NSS and previous Grand Prize Winner are not eligible. Previous Second and Third place winners are eligible.

-Deadline - April 1, 2009.

2. 78th Annual Writers Digest Competition

Compete and Win in 10 Categories!

* Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious)
* Memoirs/Personal Essay
* Magazine Feature Article
* Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
* Mainstream/Literary Short Story
* Rhyming Poetry
* Non-rhyming Poetry
* Stage Play
* Television/Movie Script
* Children's/Young Adult Fiction

Entry Fee: Poems are $15 for the first entry; $10 for each additional poem submitted in the same online session. All other entries are $20 for the first manuscript; $15 for each additional manuscript submitted in the same online session.

Add $5 per manuscript to all entries postmarked after May 15, 2009. Entries postmarked after June 01, 2009, will not be accepted.

Complete details at the links provided.

Okay onto Whedon news for the week.

Some disheartening statistics just posted on the Buffy & Angel & Firefly website:

"Dollhouse" Tv Series - 1x02 "The Target" fell 15% in the ratings Sunday 22 February 2009, by Webmaster The numbers are disheartening, if not entirely surprising. The second episodes of Fox’s "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and "Dollhouse" failed to improve on their premieres last week, even though Friday’s biggest usual competitor from a numbers standpoint — CBS’ crime dramas — aired repeats.

"Dollhouse" (4.2 million viewers, 1.7 preliminary adults 18-49 rating/7 share), fell 15% in the ratings. This is an almost-typical second-episode slip and the show placed second in its 9 p.m. hour, topped by "Supernanny" (5.2 million, 1.8/5).

At 8 p.m., "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (3.8 million, 1.3/5) was roughly steady, falling a tenth of a point from last week’s midseason return to tie a repeat of "Wife Swap" to place second in the hour. Given it’s a Friday night, neither "Terminator" or "Dollhouse" pop out as a jarringly low rating on the grid. But Fox’s shows are relatively expensive scripted dramas that typically require higher numbers than a competitor’s repeats or newsmagazines such as "Dateline" and "20/20," regardless of what night they’re on.

Damn—I do not want this trend to continue so you’re assignment for this week is to tune in!!!

Here are a few more comments from my Buffybuds on Episode 2:

Dina: Anyone watch this week's offering? I thought it was much worse than the first one and ended up fast forwarding through most of it. I think the episodes will vary greatly depending on how interesting the main story is. Here it had too much of The Most Dangerous Game for me. And Echo as 'girl friend' which is just plain rape so I don't like that either.

Maryelizabeth Hart: A few thoughts about the Steven DeKnight episode: What, no one in the Dollhouse reads? The hunter's fake name was the name of the author of The Most Dangerous Game! Although I speculate that the British chick suspected what might happen, and just didn't care. And if he found the Dollhouse and got in with fake credentials, what's slowing down our friend from the FBI? I did like getting some background filled in on the other rogue "doll." And I agree with Dina that making Echo be in relationships, physical and emotional, is rape -- and I don't think we are meant to support it. I think it's meant to be seen as abusive.

Maria Lima:
As to Dollhouse, I must admit that I have very mixed feelings. (1) VERY skeeved about the premise of the "dolls" (2) 1st ep fell very flat w/me, so much so that I stopped watching after 30 mins (3) Miss the Joss-verse touch (like many of you said) - the quips, the smart snarkiness, etc. (4) As much as I enjoyed ED as Faith, I'm afraid she doesn't have the acting chops to pull off this role--maybe in a few years

Charlaine Harris:
Like most of you, I wasn't sucked in to the narrative of "Dollhouse," but I'll keep watching.

And these are comments by hard core Whedon fans. It does not bode well.

Here's the HULU link to the second episode, The Target, it you care to watch.

I am in a quandary about how to handle two blogs—So here’s the question for the week—does it bother you to have a repeat of some items? Should I skew either blog one way or the other? Do you care? Give me feedback—

Next Saturday on the League, there will be another installment of Writers’ Rooms and a rundown of all new releases by League members. There are a lot of them this week and next. We are talking some damned good writers here, so give them a shot.

I do love contests. I think I’ll solve the problem of where to post a contest by posting it on BOTH—So next Thursday, we'll have a new contest for another cache of FABULOUS prizes.

From the one more thing to worry about file:

Web sites may harm health
Too much time networking online faulted, study finds

Like we have a choice in the matter. Didn't even follow up on this one.

PS Notice I added COLOR to some of the text. I didn't know I could until I noticed an extra little COMPOSE button on this blogger thing. You'd think someone would have told me.... thanks, Mario. Thanks a lot.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
  better than an Oscar
Mario here:

We're in deep promotion PANIC mode for Jailbait Zombie.

And that means...


Anyone can win an Oscar, but a Devil Duck? You're in luck as you have not one, but two chances to win a coveted Devil Duck.

Head on over to the BronzeWord blog. Post a comment and you're in the running.

For another chance at a DD, Amber C is working her magic with an interview of me at AmberKatze Book Club.

Interviews, articles, and of course, a chance for the Devil Duck.


Sunday, March 1, 3PM
Denver Book Mall
32 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203

Monday, March 9, 7:30PM
Tattered Cover on Colfax
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80206

Don't Forget!

You can read Nymphos online at the Eos blog through February 24. Go sneak a peak.

Snark alert!

In the ongoing rumble between literary and genre writers, I add this rabbit punch from Publishers Lunch:

Freelance copyeditor Dave Cole--who has edited Denis Johnson's Tree of Smoke (and his forthcoming Nobody Movie), Aravind Adiga's White Tiger, and many others--is interviewed by a Bellingham paper. "I started with textbook editing, then edited books for the American Psychological Association, then genre fiction like romance novels and westerns, and finally literary fiction. Sometimes I miss my genre days. Those writers are very professional."

What say you guys?
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Today is one of those days when I can’t seem to organize my thoughts. That ever happen to you? Anyway, while I usually have my Weds blog entry up and ready by 6 AM—here it is five hours later and I’m still floundering.

Now Mario just called me with a great piece of news—You can download Nymphos of Rocky Flats for FREE at this link—you heard right—it’s FREE. Kind of an advance promo for his newest book, Jailbait Zombie, due out in a few weeks. If you haven’t tried Felix Gomez yet, jump all over this. I know I kid Mario a lot, but he’s a damned good writer. You really owe it to yourself to take advantage of this limited time offer.

Okay, maybe now I can get going. This will be a stream of consciousness entry so let’s jump in.

Of course, foremost on my mind is Joss Whedon and Dollhouse. Which is perfect because this just came in on today’s Shelf Awareness:

Joss Whedon has won the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America's Bradbury Award for excellence in screenwriting. The creator of hit TV series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dollhouse, as well as the Web hit, Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, will be honored during the Nebula Awards Weekend, April 24-26, in Los Angeles, Calif.

"Like everyone who picks up a pen, I was a rabid Bradbury fan and as greatly influenced by him as any other writer I read," Whedon said. "To receive the award named for him is an honor I'd not dreamed of. In my defense, it didn't exist back then. What did exist were the very lovely, very twisted and very human stories that warped my impressionable mind, and that I have tried, in whatever medium they will let me, to measure up to."

It’s nice to see my hero honored in such a wonderful way.

Which of course, is a perfect segue to today’s theme—Dollhouse.

I have so many links and videos to share I don’t know where to begin—that may, in fact, be my quandary for today. I will start, though, with an interview Joss did on Fresh Air—on NPR. He was a guest on Feb. 12

Then there was this, a video from New York ComicCon.

Another interview with Joss by the New York Times

All leading up of course, to Friday, Feb 13th’s debut. Turns out not to have been bad luck at all. According to Entertainment Weekly:

More than a fair share of Joss Whedon fans tuned in Friday to see the premiere of Fox’s Dollhouse. The mythological drama starring Eliza Dushku attracted 4.7 million viewers — a pretty decent jump over the eyeball levels for The Sarah Connor Chronicles at 8 p.m. (which lured a mere 3.7 million), according to fast national ratings. In fact, Dollhouse helped Fox double its viewership levels among women versus Chronicles and helped the net finish in second place among adults 18-34 and in first place across key male demos for the night.

So what does this mean for Dollhouse’s long-term prospects? Although 4.7 million isn’t that great — Fox typically averages 5.5 million on Fridays — the Whedon drama has a better chance of making it over the long haul if it stays put on the night. In fact, network insiders have long cautioned that if the series were scheduled earlier in the week and ended up attracting these kind of (low) viewership levels, it would have been axed by its second or third airing. So relax, Whedonites — Dushku and Co. appear safe for now.

Chronicles will remain as Dollhouse’s lead-in until Fox runs out of episodes; later, the Terminator franchise will be replaced by Prison Break for its final six episodes.

So, who watched and what did you think?

I belong to a group that calls itself The Buffybuds. Early comments are:

Julie Herman

I'm not getting the mythology yet. Echo has something big from her
past that will come into play, and she was recruited for some misdeed?
but the rest of it is not entirely clear. Still willing to go with it
because it's Joss and he does such wonderful stuff.

Loved seeing Fred. Interesting facial scars. Is she a dollhouse member
who has been imprinted as a Doc? Also love seeing Helo from BG.

Clean your shoes...had to laugh.

I am inclined to like everything I've seen of Joss's so far, so am
more than willing to keep going with him on this. I didn't start
watching Buffy until Season two, mostly because I refused on the face
of it to watch anything with Buffy as the lead character. Angel was
fun, but not my favorite of his shows. Firefly was wonderful and
whoever pulled the plug on it ought to be taken out and tied to the
screen of a spaceship...

Maryelizabeth Hart:

We thought episode #1 was ... okay. It's my understanding from discussion
elsewhere that, like Firefly, this was not Joss's choice for a pilot, or was
otherwise tweaked by the network.

We will stay tuned, at least for a while, because it's made by a great team.
It's not just Joss, but also David Solomon, Tim Minear, Steven DeKnight,
Elizabeth and Sarah, etc..

FWIW, we liked but didn't love Buffy upon initial viewing; really liked
Angel; adored Firefly (space cowboys! such a good match for us!), so clearly
our first responses can vary, and we have a lot of faith in the creative

Laura Condit:

I agree with Maryelizabeth - we weren't blown away by the pilot, but
as it's Joss, we'll stick with it. I'm sure all will be explained in
the fullness of time...


I just watched it and will continue giving it a try. I actually liked
it more than I expected to because I have never particularly cared for
the concept. But the main story was well done and ED was much better
than I expected. I never liked Faith that much and in Tru Calling she
seemed to be kind of a Faith clone. But here she was really good.

And there were just enough mystery scenes to make the underlying story
seem interesting. It was also nice to see Amy Acker though I thought she
was a bit wasted if this were her only appearance but I checked and she
is supposed to be in at least 7 episodes so hopefully her character will

Samantha Sommersby:

Ditto for me. I really loved seeing Amy, I hope they develop her
character more.

Kathy Lynn Emerson:

What just about everyone else has said about Dollhouse---waiting to see. I
think what I found missing was that trademark Joss wit/comic relief. The
body count got pretty high without much to redeem it. And I seem to have
failed to recognize Amy A. Driving myself crazy now trying to think how I
could have missed her. Thanks to whoever identified the cop as the guy from
Battlestar Gallactica. Him, I did recognize, but I couldn't put my finger on
where I knew him from.

Carol Malcolm (my GA friend):

I did enjoy Dollhouse, how about you? It's no Buffy or Angel, but it isn't supposed to be. I didn't read many of the articles that are out everywhere, but I think the criticism of Eliza is unfair. She is much more than a one-trick pony. (I did find her character in the opening scene to be quite Faith-like, but they have been even a bit of a homage). Suspense was maintained throughout the premiere. I feel as though the show has a lot of potential, and I look forward to watching the rest of the episodes.


I liked it. I think it’s going to get better and better. The set is spectacular, in fact, I think I read somewhere it is one of the most expensive ever built for TV. Nice to see Amy Acker, though, if you didn’t know it was her, you might easily have missed her. She was always in the shadows and there’s a nasty scar on her face. I liked the way the show was introduced with Summer Glau and Eliza. Here’s a taste if you missed it:

They also interspersed the episodes of both Sara Connor and Dollhouse with the two actors doing their super chick routines.

A bunch of screencaps from the first episode if you want to check them out--

and a teaser for episode deux.

Okay—that’s it. Now the fun part—email a comment and you may be chosen as the winner of a Trade Paperback copy of Many Bloody Returns—The tie in to Dollhouse, you ask?

We dedicated the book to Joss Whedon with the following: This is dedicated to Joss Whedon, who may never read it, and his enthusiastic fans known as the Buffybuds, who will.

So—contest is open from now until midnight next Tuesday. That gives you time to watch the second episode and comment if you missed the first. PS Here's the hulu link so you can catch up with the first-- thank you Leia for reminding me.

PS—the trade edition of MBR was released Feb 3rd and made the NYT Bestseller list—that’s two for two.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
  post-Valentine's Day
Mario here:

Fellow Biting-Edger Jeanne posted what my writing space looks like over at the League of Relunctant Adults. Among the many comments is that my space looks messy! Messy? It's a sign of genius.

Saw PUSH. Interesting and better than I expected. The movie was shot in China so American audiences get an exotic setting. The premise is psychic espionage and they have a lot of cool innovations, some of which I wish I would've thought of, like sniffers. These guys take an item of yours and sniff it (no panties or bicycle seats), just things like toothbrushes, cups, or jewelry. They get psychic readings and can "see" what you've been doing. Awesome.

Last Monday I attended a Tattered Cover signing of Eli Gottlieb's paperback edition of his acclaimed novel, Now You See Him. He's a local author and ranks a 9.6 on the swell guy index.

Who celebrated Valentine's Day the traditional way? Raise your hands. I spent mine volunteering at El Centro Su Teatro cooking food for 200+ folks who had come for dinner and the stage version of Bless Me Ultima.

Then spent the rest of the evening washing dishes. Valentine's Day, woo-hoo!
Here's fellow volunteer Joan Garcia icing mini brownies (very traditional Mexican cuisine).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009
  Guest Blogger From NY's Comic Con
We have a treat today—a guest blogger fresh from ComicCon New York. You’ll enjoy her adventures—I know I did. Thanks to Krystn for submitting.

Before we begin, though, a word from our sponsor—

Got the cover for the German Edition of the Watcher—Only in German, the title is Dark Kiss. It will be released in April. Also, Droemer just bought the fourth, fifth and sixth books in the series, too!

And Anna will also be published in Norway. They bought the first four books with an option for the fifth. Can’t wait to see those covers!

Mark your calendars: Dollhouse starts its run on Friday following the Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox. Check your local listings for times. We’ll definitely be discussing this next week. In the meantime, here’s a video of Joss discussing Dollhouse at ComicCon.

I’m running a contest on the League of Reluctant Adults— (on which this blog entry will be cross-posted, btw. Many Leaguers were in attendance at Comic Con)

I think this link will take you to it, but in case it doesn’t scroll down to (Still Another) New Member Intro. After you enter the contest, look around a little. It’s a good site.

Okay—now, for today’s feature presentation: The Comic Con Adventures of a Domestic Diva:

Last weekend, I ventured into NYC to check out NY Comic Con. I went bravely off into an alternate universe and had a great time while I was there. For me it was all about the authors and books, and being a huge fan of urban fantasy, this was my weekend hit list:

Sherrilyn Kenyon
Kim Harrison
Jeaniene Frost
Vicki Pettersson
Jocelyn Drake
Caitlin Kittredge
Jackie Kessler
Anton Strout
Carrie Vaughn

Being a mom, I was stalking these guys too:

Mo Willems (The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!)
Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

Late Friday morning, I made a quick trip into NY to get the lay of the land (a.k.a. the Jacob K. Javits Center). I was only able to stay an hour or so, but it was time well spent. I figured out where to park, stash my stuff and take a break. I found the autographing and panel areas. I got registered and had some time to gawk. I was obviously a newbie since I got the "this your first con?" question. Perhaps the dazed and confused expression on my face gave me away?

There were some great costumes (picture Jabba-the-Hut slave girls posing for pictures with Spiderman). An impressive number of people already there (in and out of costume), and I was bummed that I’d have to miss the Anton Strout signing of Deader Still and “NY and Its Authors” panel that evening. But overall, I felt prepared for Saturday and Sunday.

Yeah, right. Let me just say that quick hit on Friday was one of the smartest thing I've every done. Friday was crowded, but Saturday was insane. In the best way! I accomplished all the things on my list and even got in a few bonus items. Of course, I also managed to make an idiot of myself several times (general fangirl dorkiness).

First up was the Kim Harrison signing. I was a completely inarticulate idiot when I talked with her, but I think I seemed normal during my brief discussion with the guy in the leather jacket.

There was a little time before the next signing, so I wandered around a bit. I was ecstatic to find a Deader Still ARC at the Penguin booth. As I reached for a copy, I heard someone say, "I can sign that for you." Yep, it was Mr. Strout. I started babbling at him so fast I could barely understand myself and was beyond geeky. But he was gracious and still signed a copy of the book for me.

Up next, the Sherrilyn Kenyon signing. Thank you, God, for Sherrilyn Kenyon. This is the 2nd time I've been to one of her signings and she always makes you feel like you are her best friend. She is made of all kinds of awesomey goodness. My brief conversation with her was quite possibly the only time I sounded sane during the whole weekend.

Still basking in my post-Kenyon glow, I headed over to the “Sci-Fi, Supernatural and Fantasy Authors” panel discussion with Tamora Pierce, Kim Harrison, Carrie Vaughn, Vicki Pettersson, Jackie Kessler, Alex Irvine, Jeff Somers, John Birmingham, Peter V. Brett and S. C. Butler. Very fun and lots of laughs all in a jam packed room of course.

The next highlight was the Caitlin Kittredge and Jackie Kessler signing of Black and White. I also picked up Mirrored Heavens (signed by David J. Williams) while I was waiting. (Did you know that they give books away FREE at these things?) I managed to appear only slightly "goofy" for this signing. And let me weigh in here on the competition for “Nicest Author in UF,” (NAUF). I think Jeanne and Jackie are just going to have to duke it out in Thunderdome. Jeanne is permanently lodged in my “good people” camp. But I watched Jackie Kessler in action and she was impressive. Picture her trying to quickly set up for the Black and White ARC signing/give away and fend questions from a would-be writer at the same time. Not an impatient word or look to be seen or heard while she rattled off resources and websites for this guy. All this while appearing calm, cool, collected, and interested.

And somehow I managed to pick up a few more goodies.

I inadvertently wandered into a signing of Patient Zero by Jonathon Maberry. I was still basking in Kenyon-y goodness, so I think I was coherent for this one. Patient Zero is a zombie book (yum); one more for the TBR “pile.”

101 Ways to Kill Your Boss by Graham Roumieu. You can open it up to any page and just laugh. Unless of course you’ve never had a boss you wanted to kill. Anyone? Hello?

I snagged a copy of “Take a Chance” # 1 from CE Murphy et al. Very sexy.

And if you have children, you must get Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex. It is a parody of Goodnight Moon and priceless. I would have bought it even if I didn’t have children.

Sunday began a little earlier, with more comfortable shoes and with an ICED coffee (it was 50 F people; in February, in NY)! Sadly, I didn’t get there early enough to get a Joss Whedon signing ticket (Sorry, Jeanne). I did manage to get Vicki Pettersson to sign A Touch of Twilight for me. And if you were wondering, yes, Vicki is as smart, friendly and funny as she is gorgeous

Then it was back into mommy mode for the Jeff Kinney, Mo Willems and Lane Smith signings. What a great bunch of guys. And no children were harmed in obtaining those autographs.

Finally, it was time for the panel I was really looking forward to, “Kick Ass-Urban Fantasy Authors and Their Killer Heroines.” Kim Harrison, Vicki Pettersson, Jeaniene Frost, Jocelyn Drake and Margaret Ronald were, in fact, kicking ass and taking names. The author of The Youngest Templar, Michael P. Spradlin (or the “token male” male as he was christened by Vicki) was the moderator and tried to maintain order. But he was outnumbered by women 5 to 1 and four of them were redheads. The next time you have the urge to curse in front of Jeaniene Frost, say “shucky darn.” She did.

Then it was back-to-back signings from Jeri Smith-Ready, Jeaniene Frost, Jocelyn Drake, Margaret Ronald, and Marjorie Liu. And Jeaniene and Jocelyn were giving away chocolates too.

All this, plus assorted superhero and Sci-Fi goodness.

I finally dragged myself home along with a ton of goodies. It was so much better than I expected. And a big thank you to all the authors for their kindness and to all the other vendors, exhibitors, staff, and volunteers (especially Erin in the lounge) who worked so hard on this. You’re all amazing. Now if I could just figure out what I’m going to read first.

Thank you, Krystn!!! Wish I'd been there--
Sunday, February 08, 2009
  Art's the thing
Mario here:

The reviews for JailBait Zombie are starting to come in.

Check out Fresh Fiction.

Biting-Edge expat, Marta Acosta is running an interview of me along with a contest to win cool stuff. Starts Monday and runs all week. Go to Vampire Wire.

I'm heads down in rewrite mode for book 5. It's vampires versus werewolves.

But I had to take time off from the computer to attend the Dine & D'Art fundraiser for the 35th anniversary of Artsreach. The event was held in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and this is the view of the art exhibition.

I was invited because I had donated a painting. I chose a strong piece and good thing that I did because there was a lot of amazing stuff. (Didn't want to embarrass myself) This work, Drinks: Detail of the Satire Lounge, was the last of my daytime neon urban landscapes before I switched to a looser style and night portrayals. Here is the lovely Denise, one of the volunteers, posing alongside.

My favorite artwork was How 'bout another slice by Douglas Rouse. Seen here with two of the beautiful people at the party, fellow artist (and champion bodybuilder) Chris Schrank and his spunky date, Nicole.

In case you haven't heard, the publishing world is in the throes of nail-biting anguish. And not just because of the recession but also because of the impact of the Internet on publishing. Here's an article about the possibility of Amazon Kindle linking to your cell phone.

On the subject of the recession, here's another victim, the really cool Cheesecake and Crime mystery bookstore in Henderson, NV.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they'd be happy for a while.

But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn't take one more step.

I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

# # #

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again.
So come on: jack be nimble, jack be quick!
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil's only friend.

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in hell
Could break that satan's spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw satan laughing with delight
The day the music died.

Fifty years ago on Feb. 3, Richie Valens, The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly were killed in a plane crash. FIFTY years ago. I love Don McLean’s lyrics.

In more cheerful news, looking for freebies? Harlequin is giving romance readers a Valentine’s gift—free downloads of some ebooks. Go here to check it out.

By now, everybody knows about the miraculous landing of US Airways Flight 1549—From Shelf Awareness: Perhaps because he had other things on his mind at the time, the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 lost a library book when his plane crashed in the Hudson River earlier this month. Extra TV reported that when he called to report the loss, the Fresno State Library not only waived his lost book fee, but "also dedicated a replacement copy to heroic Captain Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger! It gets better--the book was about ethics!"

This guy is a hero in every sense of the word. I’m sure there’ll be a book deal down the line if there isn’t already.

The next Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest is open until this Saturday. The winner of the contest receives a publishing contract with Penguin Group and a $25,000 advance.

Mario and I are now part of The League of Reluctant Adults—sure to be some fun in store with this one. Check it out here. In the next couple of days, Mario and I will post our intros.

And from last week-- thanks to everyone at Cuyamaca College for hosting me. It was a very enthusiastic audience and I appreciated the invitation. A couple of photos of the event--

A group shot of some of my favorite people-- my cousin Ed Cline who is a prof at the college, my wonderful sister, Connie Cline, my best bud, Ron Jessee, and last but not least, my 89 year old uncle George Farineau.

Me, at the podium, looking far more confident than I felt!

Reine Perry, representative of the campus bookstore.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
  Munch, munch, munch
Mario here:


We're in countdown mode for Jailbait Zombie.

Read my interview in The Big Thrill, the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers. I have info that could save your life!

Over at Paranormal Romance they've reviewed The Undead Kama Sutra. See what they've said right HERE.


Join the madness. The new and improved League of Relunctant Adults blog goes live tomorrow. Both Jeanne and I will be contributors. Not for the sqeamish or the easily offended. Everyone else will have a blast.


Fellow novelist, snowboarder and all around super person, Bonnie Ramthun, shared the news that the trailer for her young adult book, The White Gates, has been nominated for a Covey Award. Vote here:

In memoriam:

You've no doubt heard that John Updike passed away last Tuesday. I don't think he ever wrote a paranormal anything but as we are a blog devoted to all things literary, we have to say: so long.

NOw for the weird:

Take from this what you will. I had a dream last Friday night. In it, I took the lightrail which ran from my home across the beaches of Denver (?) to a wooden workshop. After I was in the workshop I decided to visit my friends in the next building over, only now, everything was on stilts in deep water. I was going to swim until someone pointed out that this monster, a cross between a Beluga, an Orca, and a hammerhead was waiting to eat me.

The creature munched on a big crab. I think the munching part comes from a crab that was in the tank of a Vietnamese restaurant I'd gone to that evening. As for the Beluga/Orca/hammerhead, I'm in panic rewrites for my book 5 vampire book (with werewolves!).

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