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!
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Looking for something to watch today (other than football)?
Try this: Buffy is coming back today and launches with an 18 hour marathon on LOGO TV-- then it will air regularly on weeknights at 6 & 7PM. More next Thursday, but thought I'd share some good Whedon news for a change.
Happy New Year all-- let's make 2010 the biggest and best year ever.
posted by Jeanne Stein @ 11:02 AM7 comments
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Holiday in between Mario here:
It's the seasonal doldrums where we're bookended by Christmas and New Year's. Not much going on unless you're working 9-1-1 duty or retail.
To liven things up, Mark Henry from the League of Reluctant Adults posted a video of the men in the League, plus Robert Pattinson, doing a Jib-Jab Chippendales Holiday Dance. I'm the handsome one with the lemon in his mouth.
The holidays do build a thirst so a bar is the natural place to hang out. These are supposed to be the Greatest Bartenders in the world. While they do amazing stunts, the greatest bartender is the one who would let me drink for free.
Saw the George Clooney movie Up In the Air. Really enjoyed it. Nice to see a movie that spent more on characters and dialog than special effects. Even though I don't speak German, this trailer is better than the American English version.
Anna Kendrick who plays Jessica in the Twilight series did a great job as a budding gung-ho exec who discovers the brutal waters of corporate life are not for her.
Holiday Greetings - Part DeuxMonday Mario wished you happy holidays—now it’s my turn. I’ll be in AZ for the holiday visiting my daughter. It’ll be the first trip my husband and I have taken that doesn’t involve a book thing in about four years!!! Needless to say, I’m looking forward to it.
When I get home, it will be back to writing. I’ve missed my routine.
Here are three Christmas pictures for your viewing pleasure.
The first is a Christmas tree made from books. The Adelaide Hills Council Library Service in Woodside, South Australia put this one together. The tree is made from used books for the body, magazine pages for the stars and cassette tape for the tinsel--all old library stock left over from the last book sale. That's what you call recycling.
The second is a Christmas tree decorated with books. Chicklet Books' display is part of the Princeton, NJ Merchants Window Display. The booksellers at Chicklet, also made a menorah out of books.
And what would Christmas be without Santa! Lady K has him captivated. Wonder what's on her list?
Hope she (and all of you) have fun this holiday, stay warm, enjoy time with your family and friends. Just think, in a little more than a week, we start a new year with all its magnificent possibilities.
Xmas has pretty much been turned into an excuse to BUY, BUY, BUY even though most of us have more than plenty. Which leads me to one of the scariest shows on television:
While we can gaze in derision on the poor saps and the mountains of crap they've piled around themselves, I feel a pang of sympathy, especially when they amass junk for a project they'll get around to finishing (or starting). Artists are prone to this optimistic rationalization. Check out writer and painter Juliet Blackwell on Pens Fatales where she discusses the odd things she's squirreled away. Wine corks. Plastic pizza tables. Altoid tins.
I plead guilty to "collecting" junk for artistic purposes. Namely because I have a thing for glass bottles. When I first started to paint seriously, I went through a bottle period. Here's one of my watercolors. I had garage shelves crammed with bottles of all kinds which I threw away--excuse me, recycled--when I moved from Texas.
Bottles use high quality glass and the designs are created to promote a certain esthetic. I love liquor bottles (the best part is emptying them). So I'm collecting assorted bottles to eventually turn into lamps. Eventually. Some day.
I have many more bottles in boxes stacked out back. Of course, I am not a crazy hoarder. Any of you have collections of stuff for future projects?
Score! Back in November I had posted the video for Ataque de Panico (Panic Attack). This week the Internet was abuzz with the news that the video had gone viral with over a million hits and the director Fede Alvarez secured a $30 million deal from Sam Raimi, whose credits include Spiderman. Not a bad investment from Alvarez as the video cost $300 to make.
For those who missed it the first time around, here it is in all its CGI glory.
We got SPAMMED! Jeanne's blog last week attracted a comment from 123 123 (whose profile was not available) in an obvious ploy to post a link to Asian Escorts. We at Biting-Edge weren't at all offended, rather amused by this waste of time. We're certain our readers are not the ideal target market for these ladies. Or are you?
If you have problems getting into a jolly Christmas spirit, we have the solution for you.
What Day Is It?
Well, my friends, my mood has lifted considerably. Or at least it had until I was backing out of the garage and watching some guy behind me walking his dog and didn’t realize how close I was to the side of the garage until I clipped it.
Anybody ever hear the godawful noise those metal post thingees make when you bend them? Shit. I got out and looked and it was bent all right. Then I looked at my bumper. Pulled the sucker right out on one side.
Well, the car still works so I went ahead and ran my errands. Then I came home and called Don the Garage Guy who installed the door and he sent John right over and it only cost a hundred bucks. Even serviced the door which hasn’t been done since it was installed so thanks to them and John.
My car will be a different story, I’m sure. But I plan to wait until AFTER the holidays to tackle that problem.
Remember that scene in 2001 when the ape picks up the bone and looks at it and starts waving it and the next thing you know, he’s using it to bash other apes? Well, the octopus might be the next evolving creature… watch this.
And speaking of fish, a big literary fish is about to close:
E&P and Kirkus Reviews to Close as the Other Nielsen Trade Papers Are Sold
By RICHARD PEREZ-PENA
Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews, two venerable chronicles of the newspaper and book publishing industries, are closing as their owner, Nielsen Business Media, gets out of the trade publication business.
Nielsen said Thursday that it is selling The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek, Mediaweek and other publications to a joint venture of Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners. But Kirkus and Editor & Publisher simply will go out of business. Nielsen intends to hang on to some print properties, including Contract magazine and Progressive Grocer.
And a sad note Jenny Rappaport is closing her agency:
Owner Jenny Rappaport writes: "It is with a great deal of sadness that I announce that The Rappaport Agency will be closing for business at the end of the year, due to economic reasons. I have been privileged to get the chance to work with amazing people over the last four and a half years, many of who I am proud to call my friends. In the coming weeks, I will be wrapping up outstanding submissions and putting things in order."
Writer pal extraordinaire Richelle Mead got married. Here’s a pic she posted on her blog and as she usually does, she looks beautiful. Richelle is not only talented, she’s sweet, generous and we wish her and her new husband all best wishes.
Mario mentioned the B&N benefit we participated in. Here’s another pic. This one of Anna and Felix vamp ducks decorated by our own “tot” and photographed in front of the store’s book display. Such talent!!! Love the fangs. I, of course, assumed custody of both. Can’t trust what Mario would do with his…
Note I made sure there was a discrete distance between Anna and Felix. He has roving hands---er---wings...
Our critique group had an unofficial dinner a week or so ago before hitting Kathy Gansemer, Warren’s talented wife’s, jewelry show at L'espace. We took a group pic and here it is.
Got the cover copy for the next Anna installment, Chosen:
It’s been almost a year since bounty hunter Anna Strong became a vampire, but as she’s about to discover, her greatest powers have yet to be unleashed…
Though Anna has become accustomed to the fact that she’s now a vampire, she still enjoys the illusion of being human. So when she suddenly notices that her primitive urges are getting harder to control, she’s worried. Then, she’s attacked, narrowly escaping with her life. The only person with enough motive to want her dead is her old foe—Warren Williams. But another more dangerous enemy lies in wait.
What Anna doesn’t know is that she’s far too valuable to kill. For she’s been chosen to shape the destiny of the vampire race—and all of mankind…
“Anna Strong lives up to her name: equally tenacious and vulnerable, she’s a heroine with the charm, savvy, and intelligence that fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison will be happy to root for.”—Publishers Weekly
“There are more books about young female vampires...but it’s safe to say Anna Strong is contending for leader of the pack.”—The Denver Post
No cover ART yet, but will post as soon as I get it.
I’m making a promise to those who have signed up for my newsletter through the website. Next year I intend to post every month. So, if you haven’t signed up, head over now and do it. I will have a contest giveaway every month to make it worth your while.
I will post a short message next week since it Christmas and I doubt anyone will be waiting breathlessly for my ramblings. BUT, I want to thank all of you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and supporting Mario and I in our efforts to amuse, shock and entertain. We look forward to 2010. Who knows what surprises await?
posted by Jeanne Stein @ 4:51 AM16 comments
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Hungry kitties, plus one of Time's Best
Colorado is famous for its cougars (i.e. mountain lions) though usually in Denver, cougars mean those women in Cherry Creek with big blond hair and big, fake...you know. Here are the more well known cougars, cruising for brunch in nearby Conifer. Yikes!
The Bookfair at the Barnes & Noble Pavillions was a nice way to spend Friday night in the city. Jeanne and I bookend Jen Long, from Colorado Humanities & The Center for the Book.
One of the bennies in being a writer is that you rub shoulders with a whole bunch of interesting people. Years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Paolo Bacigalupi, seen showing his good side at the last MileHiCon. Even sober, Bacigalupi is an intense guy.
No surprise that his debut novel The Windup Girl was listed by Time magazine as one of the ten best novels of 2009. Most awesome.
Win stuff! Mystery pals Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman are real-life PIs. They're running a contest over at Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes where you can also learn cool stuff like how to tell if people are lying.
Another bout of shrinkage in the publishing world. Kirkus Reviews is getting the ax.
More sad news in a different venue. The great Frank Frazetta is one of my favorite artists and I've tracked his career since the early 70s. Now come to learn that his son, Frank Jr, was arrested for allegedly trying to steal $20 million worth of his father's work--using a backhoe to break into the family museum. Junior's story is that he was going to take the paintings to a more secure location.
Is anyone else feeling stressed? I know it’s early, and I know I shouldn’t be, but damn it, I am!!! In fact, Concord Cal’s Charlie Brown tree just about epitomizes my attitude.
I have to admit, though, it makes more sense then spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on an extravagant display. I kind of like it. In fact, I’m feeling better just looking at it. Charlie Brown lives.
What’s new in the world?
Amazon’s Breakthrough contest is back with a YA category:
For the third year, Penguin Group is joining Amazon in their Breakthrough Novel Award contest--which will now add a second prize for young adult fiction. The contest, which starts January 25, will also now be open to novels that have been previously self-published (to not penalize all those existing CreateSpace customers). Alas in a less heralded change the promised advance to the winners has gotten smaller: originally promising a $25,000 advance, this new contest's two winners are assured $15,000 advances each. (Sales of the three contest-related books published so far by Penguin imprints--Bill Loehfelm's FRESH KILLS; BAD THINGS HAPPEN by Harry Dolan; and THE WET NURSE'S TALE by Erica Eisdorfer; have been quite modest to date.
They will accept up to 5,000 entries each in the fiction and young adult categories. The "professional" judges evaluating the three finalists (selected by Penguin editors) are author Tana French, agent Julie Barer, and editor Molly Stern for general fiction, and authors Sarah Dessen and Nancy Werlin, agent Amy Berkower, and publisher Ben Schrank for young adult.
And a CA Federal Court dismissed Meyer Infringement case:
In a California Federal Court, Judge Otis D. Wright II carefully read and compared Stephenie Meyer's BREAKING DAWN and Jordan Scott's THE NOCTURNE and dismissed Scott's case alleging copyright infringement.
As Judge Wright summarized, "plaintiff simply argues that the works are similar in three particular respects: the marriage sequence, consummation of the marriage on a beach, and the childbirth." In comparing the works, he finds that "the plots and themes in the subject books have little in common," "the settings and characters in the two works are vastly different," oh and also, "the characters are similarly different."
Marriage, consummation and child birth…THOSE were the basis of Scott’s suit? Can anybody say “Frivolous”
A Stephen King story I really like from Shelf Awareness:
"Gosh darn, I feel almost as popular as Sarah Palin. I'm not sure if she would get a standing O in Vermont," said Stephen King to a crowd of more than 800 fans at an Under the Dome event hosted by the Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Wednesday night.
"You people who are here tonight, go to Northshire Books, and buy that sucker out to the walls," King advised the audience. "Any independent bookstore is a treasure, but this is a very special place to have in the heart of Vermont."
The Rutland Herald reported that "King ended by taking a poke at his own fame and how well he is and isn't known. He said he had been stopped in an Oregon supermarket by an older woman who told him she recognized him and didn't respect what he did. 'I like uplifting things like that Shawshank Redemption.'
"I said, 'I wrote that one, too.' She said, 'No, you didn't.'"
File this under TV movies that will be better than the actual book: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is being made into a miniseries. Check out the possible concept art.
The book's Twitter stream announced that they would be adapting Seth Grahame-Smith's novel for a miniseries.
There still seems to be a lot of confusion generated by the Harlequin Horizons/DellArte fiasco. Michele Gagnon in her blog sums up the difference between vanity and self-publishing. Here it is in a nutshell:
Which brings us to the difference between self-publishing and vanity-publishing. With self-publishing, an author keeps any and all profits made from sales of their book. With vanity publishing, those profits are split with the publisher--you pay them to print the book, then they take a cut of the earnings. Hence, the new Harlequin venture is undoubtedly vanity publishing.
League of Reluctant Adults founder Mark Henry has a unique campaign going - Save Amanda Feral. Click on the link and check it out…and the reasons behind the campaign. Browse on down and see what I had to say about the series. As a writer, I’m hoping this works. Who knows which of us will be next? It’s the underside of the business.
Okay, let’s end with some eye candy. This happens to be the 75th anniversary of the dawn of the Jockey Brief. I kid you not.
BTW, Soccer star Christian Ronaldo (below) is replacing Beckham as the new Armani model.
So, here’s the question of the week: What’s your favorite Christmas (or holiday) show or cartoon? Let’s make this a campaign to restore Jeanne’s holiday spirit!!
posted by Jeanne Stein @ 6:41 AM10 comments
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Fanged satire, Celtic shwag, and what's left of the Force Mario here:
Twilight fever has pretty much taken over the world.
As expected, didn't take long for Hollywood to cash in with a related vampire spoof. If anyone has seen Transylmania, chime in with a review.
I predict this movie will to go to video by the end of the week.
Shoulda left it alone, George. One of the ongoing controversies in fandom is the argument that George Lucas screwed up Stars Wars. From Ewoks, the icky incestuous attraction between Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, the lousy remake of Episode IV, and pretty much everything in Episodes I, II, and III, diehards fans have a beef with Sr. Lucas. Local screenwriter and producer Alexandre Philippe hopes to capture that contemptuous spirit with his work-in-progress, the documentary The People Vs. George Lucas. Philippe encourages anyone with an opinion (and video) to submit a rant (pro or con) to his official website.
This last Saturday, the Lighthouse Writers Workshop sponsored the December Writer's Buzz: People Vs. George Lucas Poetry Slam. The prize, a collector's set of Star Wars action figures. (What else?) The poets included Denver's Poet Laureate Chris Ransick and Lighthouse Executive Director Michael Henry.
While the ensemble Boba Fett And The Americans didn't win the slam, they stole the show. (Check them out on Facebook) Here's a sample of their zaniness from another venue.
Need a rear admiral, stat! Every vocation has its lingo, including the doctors and nurses working the emergency room a.k.a. The Knife and Gun Club. If you're wondering what CTD, GPO, and UBI mean, or if you're a GLM, read this essay from the Smithsonian Magazine.
Sucks getting old. Biting Edger from NY, Lorri Mark, sent shared these pics. Bottom line, time marches on and it shows.
Don't forget. Jeanne and I will be signing at the Barnes & Noble, at the Pavillions in the 16th Street Mall, downtown Denver. This Friday, December 11, at 6PM.
posted by Mario Acevedo @ 4:34 PM5 comments
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Sons of Anarchy Lives!!!
My favorite TV series (maybe of all time although Wiseguy with Ken Wall was really ahead of its time and is right up there with my all time favorites) renewed for a third season (but not coming back until Sept 2010!!)
Did you see the series finale? Gemma on the lam, Jax’s baby kidnapped, Zobelle a rat (one who got away—at least for now) and the ATF bitch still causing trouble.
WOW!!!! How can I wait until September???
Cool pic by Facebook pal William Forsche
Everyone recovered from tryptophan overdoses? I’m still experiencing them since I LOVE turkey sandwiches… I had dinner at the home of good friend Clay who along with another San Diego transplant, Sam, did all the cooking. Pics at end.
Ever wondered what a marketing department does? Most authors I know certainly have.., but here’s a tongue-in-cheek New Yorker article that I fear may be closer to the truth than we would like to think…
And for Jane Austen fans, a New York Times’ article to tickle your imagination.
New Theory Offered on Jane Austen’s Death
Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF Published: December 1, 2009
A British medical researcher believes she has answered the longstanding question of what killed Jane Austen— and it wasn’t her foreboding of today’s wave of Austen-horror mashup books. The Guardian reported that Katherine G. White of the Addison’s Disease Self-Help Group has written an article for Medical Humanities magazine in which she says that Austen probably died of tuberculosis caught from cattle. Ms. White examined correspondence from Austen, who died in 1817 at age 41, as well as recollections from her family, and concluded that she probably did not die of Addison’s disease or lymphoma, as medical researchers and biographers have speculated. “While lymphoma would be one possible cause of the exhaustion, recurrent fever, bilious attacks and rheumatic pains described by Austen,” Ms. White wrote, “disseminated tuberculosis affecting the joints and liver — probably of bovine origin — would offer a simpler explanation.”
Syfy has signed on to pick up 13 episodes of "Haven," a thriller based on Stephen King's novella "The Colorado Kid."
"Haven" reps the first project to be produced for Syfy outlets around the globe (except Canada and Scandinavia).
That's because Universal Networks Intl., the newly rebranded global channels unit of NBC Universal, had already signed on to co-finance the Stephen King drama "Haven."
Universal had secured the exclusive pay TV rights across the globe, except for the U.S., Canada and Scandinavia. Now, Universal Networks Intl. domestic sibling Syfy adds a U.S. outlet as well.
E1 is the studio producing and distributing "Haven."
AND James Marsters is going to appear in a new SyFy series called "Caprica." He appears briefly in the trailer here.
Here’s a pic of the third Anna Strong book published in Norway. Title translates to Blood Keeper….
And all three so far:
For the writers out there, from one of my favorite sites The Writer’s Forensics Blog:
Cocaine and Pepper Spray: A Lethal Combination?
Posted in Cause & Manner of Death, Poisons & Drugs, Police Procedure by D.P. Lyle, MD on
November 25, 2009
So you’re out for an evening of doing fuzzy rails with your buddies and on the way home you’re pulled over by the police because you’re having a little problem staying between the lines — pun intended. Of course the officer will ask for identification but your coked-up brain will misread this as a threat so you go off on the officer. A word of warning — this is never a good thing to do to someone who carries a gun, or in this case, pepper spray. So the cop, rather than shooting you, sprays you with pepper spray and you go down never to rise again. Then people stand around a hole in the ground and talk about what a good guy you were and what a jerk the cop was for killing you with pepper spray. Could happen.
I know Mario mentioned this in his blog, but it is worth repeating—for those in the area, December 11 Barnes & Noble is partnering with Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book in a Holiday Bookfair benefit. Here’s the voucher and complete schedule. If books of any shape and size are on your shopping list, please consider purchasing them on December 11. Mario and I will be in attendance at 6 with goodies to share. We’d love to see you.
Pics from Vickie-- don't they look like they are having fun?
And some from our feast:
Host Clay with hubby in the background (the one NOT at the sink working)
Cooks Clay and Sam
Our beautiful table
Guests Brent and Rick Digging In!!
Not too late to share pics of your own--send them to my website. After all, from Thanksgiving to New Years, it's all just one big holiday, right?
A BIG PS-- I said in the beginning that Ken Wall starred in one of my all time favorite shows--Wiseguy.