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, January 30, 2011
  The Season of the Witch

Mario here:

Years ago I read The Chalice and The Blade by Riane Eisler. That book illuminated my thoughts about the origins of the Bible and civilization's shift from a matriarchal to a patriarchal society. Now, after tens of centuries with men in charge, it seems we're about to let women have the reins again.

I'll follow that premise by starting with this statistic from a recent Sisters in Crime survey of mystery book consumers: 68% of all mystery buyers are women. For fiction in all categories, 64% of the buyers are women. The only genre where the numbers of male and female buyers are equal is nonfiction.

And who's writing fiction? Romance was of course always regarded as the woman's genre. No surprise there. Until recently, women writers who wrote mystery and thriller tended to publish under a gender-neutral pseudonym. Not any more and currently, the mystery genre is split about 50/50. My fellow scribes of Urban Fantasy are overwhelmingly women. Science fiction is still regarded as a men's genre though from my experience, it's split down the middle between genders for both readers and writers.

So the majority of readers and writers in America today are women. And coincidentally, so are most of the college students (at 59-63%). In fact, the percentage of women college students continues to rise. Even though higher education is regarded as the gateway to success, fewer and fewer men are attending college, though no one knows why. More than half of the American workforce is female. True, across the board, salaries are not equal but that is changing with women leading the way with higher-paying entry jobs.

So what does this mean? As the dad of two sons (college grads I have to mention), I'm not sure. But throw this into the stew pot.

While the number of teen moms is going down, the numbers of women having babies without getting married is climbing and is now 40%. I have to qualify that number because it doesn't take into account the number of women living with the kid's dad.

When I was growing up, I had a number of friends with sisters who had been shunted away for having a baby out of wedlock. Today, the term "wedlock" is avoided, as it implies that there is something shameful about a woman having a baby without getting married. Likewise for tagging a baby as "illegitimate."

Once upon a time, cohabitation i.e., "shacking up," was called living in sin. Now it's no big deal.

A woman's place was in the home.
The traditional marriage contract was set up for the benefit of the husband, with the promise of financial security keeping the wife in her place. Historically, a woman could be condemned as a witch if she refused to get married and was punished accordingly: whipped, branded, drowned, hanged, or burned at the stake.

As women gain the financial upper hand, they are rejecting the traditional marriage arrangement, 63% believing marriage is necessary versus 75% of men. We're wired for companionship and women are not turning away from men, but insisting on more casual relationships. A man seeking a younger partner has been the cultural norm, now older women are proudly embracing their cougar status.

Of course, men claim they are necessary for propagation of the species but this article from Environmental Graffiti says not so fast.

Who knows how this trend will affect society? Maybe not that much and like always, it will take two to tango.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
  New Year, New Hair, New Headshot
I have lots of amusing (at least they were to me) videos to share this week-- but first. Mario's post about writing made me think about my own process. I've decided to attempt something new for me-- writing two books at once. The eighth in the Anna Strong series, Haunted, and a stand-alone mystery/thriller. So many of my author friends have two or three series going at once, I feel like a laggard. I'm using Sarah Domet's 90 Days to Your Novel, a Writers Digest book, as a template. I'm on week six. I brought my first plot outline to critique group last night for the mystery and the comments were generally good. (If I didn't get any negative feedback, I'd know they weren't paying attention.) Anyway, I'll post progress reports along the way.

Next, a couple of blatant self-promotion items. Had a new headshot done. I long ago decided I would never let an old headshot be used for my books. I've been shocked too many times by meeting an author I would have mistook for her mother because the picture on her books was at least thirty years old. So, here's the unveiling.

Credits: Photography: Kelly Weaver Photography
Hair and Make-up: Debbie Ritch
Jewelry : David and Diann Wacks

Men have it so easy. Mario can use his shot for as long as he wants. In the many years I've known him, his hair hasn't changed at all--well, except for maybe getting a little thinner and a lot grayer. But basically, he looks the same-- damn him.

So, would you buy a book from this woman?

Just got this yesterday, the cover for the anthology Chicks Kick Butt in which I have a story, Superman. It's an Anna Strong story, actually a peek into the seventh book, Crossroads, as I adapted this story from a scene in that book. It's available for pre-order now from Amazon here .

All four anthologies I have contributed to come out in the next few months:

March -- Whedonistas

Along with Vampires: The Recent Undead

And in June, a novella in Hexed

And the above mentioned Chicks Kick Butt...

One more bit of promo, though this time not for me...our League of Reluctant Adults pal Mark Henry is coming to Denver in honor of his Road Trip of the Living Dead's release in mass market paperback. As Mario put it, he will be reading from his book and generally being inappropriate. The fun begins at 7 PM on February 11 at the Broadway Book Mall.

Okay, now onto the entertainment part of our blog-- (I know, you're sighing in relief. But I don't do this a lot, do I?)

Just mentioned last week that our Buffy turned 30 on January 19th. Well, for once something good came on her birthday...well, more precisely for Sarah Michelle Gellar. Zapit reports:

CBS has ordered a pilot for a new show called Ringer, which is about "a troubled young lass on the run from the mob. She assumes the life of her wealthy twin sister, only to find out that said sibling has a bounty on her head as well". Gellar is set to play the troubled young lass and the sister as double-duty on the new show, according to Vulture.

The pilot was written by Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder, who have evidently worked as writers on Supernatural.

The last issue of Buffy, Season Eight hit the stands last week, too. Go here for a recap (and spoilers). If any of you are following it, what was your reaction to the big shocker?

Okay-- for your viewing pleasure, several nonsensical pieces I came across this week:

My Blackberry Isn't Working-- British humor at it's best

From Police Procedure - only Mario can truly appreciate how drunk this woman is

Heads down-- Perils of the MegaReader

One idea from Flavorwire -- What to Do with Your Books After the Internet Apocalypse

Okay, have I entertained you enough for one week? What's going on in your world?

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Sunday, January 23, 2011
  Quit your bitchin' and get to work

Mario here,

My sons gave me an iPad for Xmas, which makes for a handy way to watch Netflix.

One show that I haven't yet decided if I like is Showtime's Californication. David Duchovny's character, Hank Moody, has writer's block, which is fueled by his anxieties despite his publishing success and a movie deal. As expected, the show takes liberties with the life of a professional writer. Unlike Moody, I don't have panic attacks, nor do I have difficulty cranking out the word count. On the other hand, I don't have women chasing me for sex. (Hmmm...maybe I should get writer's block.) One plot complication I don't understand is that Moody claims to be a New York writer and hates living in Los Angeles. So, why doesn't he move back?

Here's a glimpse of the show in a funny Russian over-dub.

The show's premise hinges on Moody's writer's block. As a professional writer--meaning that if I don't write and write well, I don't get paid--I can't afford to mollycoddle myself with writer's block. And neither can any one of my writer friends. Many of them astound me with their work ethic. For me, 2000 words is a good day. I know writers who manage 4000+. Paolo Bacigalupi posted that he once did over eight thousand. Amazing and somewhat intimidating. That and his many awards.

Which leads me to digress for a bit about creativity. Being this is the age of the Internet, I Googled creativity process. The website Directed Creativity flayed the creative process to the point of eye-glazing absurdum. No matter what model you use--or more likely, don't use--when you write, your creative process probably overlaps many of the proposed creative steps. I find that a good way to get creative is to apply this acronym: BICHOK--Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. I once heard Chuck Palahniuk address the issue of performing a task he wasn't keen on doing. He applied the dictum: Thought follows action, which at first seems like a backwards way to tackle a problem, much like Fire, Ready, Aim. But in fact, the take-away is: Don't wait to get inspired; Get to work now. Which is the best way to attack writer's block.

I've mentioned in an earlier post that this year I challenge myself to not only keep writing but also paint more. With that in mind, let's build a little forward momentum by going backwards, much like a pitcher doing a wind-up. I've posted some of my watercolors in Facebook that I did when I first started painting professionally. Hope you like them.

Don't forget our Bad sex in writing contest. Ends this Thursday, Jan 27. Prizes!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
  The Game Begins

HAPPY 30th Birthday Buffy!!!

Trailer for HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones leads this week's movie and book news.

The Game Begins

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Then onto a couple of articles about one of my favorite literary and movie characters: James Bond.

First, from the Huffington Post :

KINGSTON, Jamaica — A new international airport for private jets and small commercial aircraft was unveiled in northern Jamaica on Wednesday, named after the British thriller writer who invented the literary and cinematic super spy James Bond.

Ian Fleming International Airport is close to the scenic retreat where the late author reportedly wrote all 14 of his books about the elegant, crafty spy. The property is now an exclusive resort owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who is credited with introducing reggae great Bob Marley's music to the world.

Followed by this from the BBC :

The new James Bond book, written by thriller author Jeffery Deaver, will be called Carte Blanche.

The title and cover were unveiled in Dubai where parts of the book are set.
US writer Deaver said the novel - to be published in the UK on 26 May - posed "the looming question of what is acceptable" in security matters.

Sebastian Faulks and John Gardner are among other authors to have written officially-sanctioned Bond novels since creator Ian Fleming's death in 1964.

Deaver, 60, whose best-seller The Bone Collector was made into a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, said giving an agent carte blanche on a mission "comes with an enormous amount of trust and constantly tests both personal and professional judgement".

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Anyone who knows me, knows I'm also a tremendous Sherlock Holmes fan. I found this on the ebookseller site:

Orion is to publish a new full-length Sherlock Holmes novel, written by Alex Rider author Anthony Horowitz, after he was selected by the Conan Doyle Estate...

Further details about the title, to be published in September, are still to be revealed, though it will be "a brilliant mystery novel, stripped back to the original style of Conan Doyle", according to the publisher.

Brilliant, huh? We'll be the judge of that!

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Let's see, what's next?

Now THIS is an interesting twist. From ereads :

HarperCollins authors – have you read your Ten Commandments lately? How about the Seven Deadly Sins? You’d better bone up on them. It seems there’s a morals clause in your publisher’s contract. Not moral rights, mind you… We mean morals. Your morals.

New language in the termination provision of the Harper’s boilerplate gives them the right to cancel a contract if “Author’s conduct evidences a lack of due regard for public conventions and morals, or if Author commits a crime or any other act that will tend to bring Author into serious contempt, and such behavior would materially damage the Work’s reputation or sales.” The consequences? Harper can terminate your book deal.

Not only that, you’ll have to repay your advance. Harper may also avail itself of “other legal remedies” against you.

If this is true, Mario, you'd better be on your best behavior!! Especially since you keep finding little gems like this to send me... I could rat on you.

Besides, why he sends things like this to me, I have no idea.... I am the most even-tempered, tolerant person I know. You all agree, right? RIGHT?????

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Lot's of statistics floating around this week. Sisters in Crime commissioned a study on the public's mystery/crime fiction book buying habits. Highlights here from Shelf Awareness:

Bricks-and-mortar stores still lead the way in mystery/crime fiction sales, and women over 45 constitute the majority of buyers in the genre, according to a collaborative study, "The Mystery Book Consumer in the Digital Age," released this week by Sisters in Crime. The survey was designed to offer an overview of the mystery/crime fiction book-buying landscape, using research based on publishing industry data gathered and interpreted by Bowker's PubTrack division.

The study found that the majority of mystery/crime fiction buyers are women (68%) over the age of 45 (66% ). Buyers in the 18-to-44 demographic purchase 31% of the mysteries sold.

Some 48% live in the suburbs, 27% in rural areas and 25% in urban areas. The South accounts for 35% of sales, followed by the West (26%), Midwest (20%) and Northeast (19%). 

Bricks-and-mortar stores sell 39% of all mysteries, with library borrowing accounting for approximately 20% and online purchases 17%.

The full report can be found here

USA TODAY listed it's 100 top sellers for 2010 here . No real surprises.

And Nora Roberts is the latest author to enter the Kindle Million Club, joining Stieg Larsson and James Patterson as the third writer to surpass a million paid copies in Amazon's Kindle Store.

Twilight fans, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will host a special International Fan Event to coincide with the April release of The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide. Little, Brown will select one fan from the U.S. and one from Canada, and is partnering with the Twilight Saga publishers in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Taiwan and the U.K. to find each country's lucky Twilight fan. The 10 winners will receive an advance copy of The Official Illustrated Guide and have the opportunity to talk extensively with Meyer. 

The official rules for the sweepstakes to select a fan from the U.S. as well as one from Canada) can be found here .

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Found this via Publisher's Lunch:

Lynn Hirschberg offers an "exclusive first look" of the making of David Fincher's version of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO for W Magazine . According to the piece, Steven Zaillian's script departs considerably from the book: "Blomkvist is less promiscuous, Salander is more aggressive, and, most notably, the ending--the resolution of the drama--has been completely changed. This may be sacrilege to some, but [scriptwriter] Zaillian has improved on Larsson--the script's ending is more interesting."

Mara has the right look, that's for sure, but I get a little nervous when they start talking about a more "interesting" ending. Salander is MORE aggressive? How much more aggressive could they make her? I'm not at all sure about this one.

I guess that's it for this week. I must admit, though, I'm very disappointed we haven't had any bad sex entries yet. You can't tell me every sex scene you've ever read has been wonderful. Remember, I'm not talking about your personal sex life. I know the old saying, the worst sex I've ever had was... wonderful....but surely, you've read a sex scene in a book and came away shaking your head at the absurdity. If you can't remember the book to look up the exact phrasing, paraphrase. We'll accept it. We're easy.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011
  ...don't let the bedbugs bite

Mario here,

As president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, I was duty bound to fly to New York City for the MWA national board meeting.

This was my third trip on behalf of the chapter. While I anticipated the reunion with the rest of the board, as well as dinner and drinks as only the Big Apple can do, what I didn't expect was bedbugs. Yuck!

Seems Gotham City is infested by the bloodsucking invertebrates (I write about vampires; I get the irony). While we are staying at the swanky Roosevelt Hotel, that was no guarantee we wouldn't get munched on by vermin, especially since the hotel is mentioned in the BedBugRegistry. But management assured us that they had no problems with bedbugs.

Still...besides not wanting to be bedbug chow, I didn't want to risk bringing the dirty little critters home to Denver.

I tore my bed apart looking for the creatures. Nothing, fortunately.

As suggested by the Bedbug Registry, I kept all my clothes wrapped in a garbage bag and elevated off the floor. And I hung my luggage and clothes in the closet. Overkill? Perhaps.

Now, while I had no unfortunate run-ins with bedbugs, the same can't be said for Whiskey Sours. Such an evil concoction, especially when they attack in gangs.

Don't forget our Bad Sex in Writing Contest.

We'll have awesome prizes. Stuff you may have to store in that special drawer everyone pretends they don't have. Even Redbook Magazine gets into the naughty act.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011
  New Year, New Contest
Hi all-- to start things out this year, Mario and I decided to have a contest The idea sprung from this:

Rowan Somerville is the author of two novels, The End of Sleep and this year's The Shape of Her, described by the Economist as "deceptively simple in plot and singularly musical in its voice, it is a study of the place where our past has become our present. A summer read to be kept – and visited in the dark days of winter..."

Last month, the novel followed authors including John Updike and Norman Mailer in winning the Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction award …with one killer sentence – "like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her" – the novelist Rowan Somerville demolished all comers and secured this year's coveted…award.

Which brought up an interesting point. Who would you nominate for a bad sex in books award (notice I added “in books.” Don’t want any disgruntled husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, etc etc coming after us.) Send in an example (we won’t name the book or author) and the winner (chosen by Mario and I) will win a prize...a prize sure to be appropriate to the topic. Anyway, here are the rules--well, RULE...find a really bad sex scene and submit it in comments. It can be raunchy or ridiculous or both. This is an adult blog. We'll run the contest for two weeks. So you have until Jan. 27. We're cross-posting this over at the League, too, and that group is REALLY twisted so you'll have to dig deep to beat them!!!

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What do you think of these motion comics? Anyone bought one?

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Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby 'could be filmed in 3D'

The Great Gatsby has been adapted for the big screen in the silent, monochrome and colour eras, as well as on the small screen, and even in a version for Korean audiences. Now F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel of the gilded jazz age could be set for a turn in stereoscopic vision after director Baz Lurhmann said he was considering filming his new adaptation in 3D...

The new Great Gatsby is set to star British actor Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, the manipulative and shallow New York socialite of Fitzgerald's famous tale of the roaring 20s. Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly in line to play the title role, one made famous by Robert Redford in the 1974 version, with Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Fitzgerald's narrator.

Huh?? 3d??

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Starts tomorrow...

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Just got the table of contents for an anthology coming out in June-- Chicks Kick Butt.

Introduction by Rachel Caine 11

Shiny by Rachel Caine 13

In Vino Veritas by Karen Chance 35

Hunt by Rachel Vincent 59

Monsters by Lilith Saintcrow 85

Vampires Prefer Blondes by P. N. Elrod 112

Nine- Tenths of the Law by Jenna Black 136

Double Dead by Cheyenne McCray 167

A Rose by Any Other Name Would Still Be Red 194

by Elizabeth A. Vaughan

Superman by Jeanne C. Stein 208

Monster Mash by Carole Nelson Douglas 230

Wanted: Dead or Alive by L. A. Banks 263

Mist by Susan Krinard 281

Beyond the Pale by Nancy Holder 309

I'll post the cover as soon as I get it.

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I can't believe I missed the Cape last weekend (let me know what you thought) but I was up in Fairplay at a writer's retreat. It's also hard to believe we actually get any work done with a view like this out the sun room window, but we always manage.

Writers in residence this weekend were Linda Hull, Susan Smith, Vicki Law, Carol Berg and a good representation from my own critique group, Tamra Monahan, Warren Hammond, Terry Wright and moi. Check out the Hand Hotel if you're looking for a quiet weekend away. It's great and in the little town of Fairplay is a candy and gift shop, the Chocolate Mousse , with the best homemade fudge and candies and fruit butters I've ever tasted.

Anyway, a few pics of the gathering of the clan as we prepare to start our day of "work".

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Monday, January 10, 2011
  Hot and fresh on a cold, snowy day

Mario here:

It's the start of another week, and we're buried in snow. But that won't stop us from sharing the good news.

First, several weeks ago we posted the release of Cort McMeel's debut novel, Short. Well, Cort called to tell us the first print run had sold out. Already! Congratulations. Here is Cort signing stock after his recent appearance at the Colfax Tattered Cover.

Next up, local writing pal, Julie Kazimer, has sold another urban fantasy novel, The Body Dwellers. If you haven't done so already, follow her blog, The Never Never News, and get the skinny on all the weird and pervy doings in Fairytale Land.
One thing that really chafes us writers is when we bust our tight little behinds to turn in work to our editors and we wait. And wait. And wait. So what happens? What's keeping our editors from pouring love over our precious manuscripts? Shalom Auslander spills the beans in his article Excuses, Excuses in Tablet, A New Read on the Jewish Life.

Here at the Biting Edge, we're not big on New Year's resolutions. If you have to do something, then start right now. But for 2011, I've decided to be more diligent in slinging paint and creating new work. My newest inspiration in Gregory Manchess, whose work you may recognize from tons of fantasy book covers. Here he creates something fantastic for Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time - Lord of Chaos.

Starting this Thursday, our newest contest: Bad sex in modern literature. Jeanne will provide the details. Enter and win cool swag.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011
  Back in the saddle...
Wow--it's harder to wrap my brain around work than I thought. It's amazing what a couple of weeks off does to the work ethic. I got kind of used to being on holiday.

But it's a new year and I've got a new book to write so here's me jumping back on the wagon.

Speaking of books, heard from my pals at Mysterious Galaxy and Chosen made the best seller list for the year. Thank you San Diego.

Mysterious Galaxy was also featured in this nice piece on Shelf Awareness just this morning.

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It's been awhile since I had any info on the Whedonverse. Are you following Buffy Season Eight? I don't want to give away too much, but if you're interested in a shocker, check out what happens to Ripper.

Joss Whedon Passes on Buffy Reboot

The Internet exploded in anger Thursday at news that Warner Bros., Atlas Entertainment and Vertigo Entertainment are planning a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer film without Joss Whedon, maestro of the 1992 film and 1997-2003 TV series.

Whedon himself fanned the flames, advising fans to "leave me to my pain" in a witty missive.

But Whedon was offered a chance to be involved with the new Buffy — and passed.

According to studio insiders, he was approached last year after Buffy rightsholder Fran Rubel Kuzui and husband Kaz Kuzui began developing a remake with Vertigo. After presented with the opportunity, Whedon decided he’d rather work on other projects (he’s making Marvel Studios’ The Avengers). Producers then began searching for a writer and late last year hired actress-turned-scribe Whit Anderson. The unknown Anderson, with only bit film appearances to her credit, came up with a take on the Buffy myth that was strong enough after a couple of drafts to lure Atlas, which partnered with Vertigo to set it up at a studio.

Fox, distributor of the 1992 movie, had first crack, but passed, so Warners slid in, betting that Whedon or no Whedon, Buffy can still slay at the box office.

The Cape

Following her 2002 acting debut on "Angel," Summer Glau has starred in the kind of TV series and movies that prompted fanboys to call her the new queen of sci-fi. Glau has appeared on cult favorites such as "Firefly," "Terminator : The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and "Chuck," but on Jan. 9, her new series, the superhero drama "The Cape," premieres on NBC. And her starring role as Orwell — an all-seeing, tech-savvy superheroine — will not only cinch that "queen of sci-fi" title but also mark her greatest opportunity to win the hearts of mainstream TV audiences. Wonderwall visited Glau on the set of "The Cape" for a chat about her background as a dancer, becoming a superhero and her loyal fans.

This looks like a pretty good series.

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‘Operation Dark Heart’ Author Sues for Uncensored Edition

WASHINGTON — A former Defense Intelligence Agency officer whose Afghan memoir was belatedly censored by the Pentagon filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to have the book’s full text restored in future printings.

In September, the Defense Department spent $47,300 to purchase and destroy the entire first printing of “Operation Dark Heart” by Anthony A. Shaffer, asserting that it contained classified information.

The book was hastily reprinted with many passages blacked out and has become a best seller. But unredacted advance copies of the book, among a few dozen distributed by St. Martin’s Press before the Pentagon’s intervention, are still for sale on eBay for $1,995 to $4,995.

Read the full article here . I think Mario should have included some secrets in Nymphos.

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And for my fellow writers who need a bit of inspiration for the new year, a collection of rejection letters received by bestselling authors. Some pretty well known names among them. Go here .

Talking about inspiration, here's what Hemingway's first editor told him at the Kansas City Star: "Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative." Hemingway later referred to that list as "the best rules I ever learned for the business of writing."

Sounds like good advice to me, too. Here's to a new year of powerful writing.

Late Breaking News: Congratulations to Lynda Hilburn, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer and pal--

Lynda Hilburn's VAMPIRE SHRINK, DARK HARVEST, and an untitled third book in her Kismet Knight series, featuring a psychologist who treats vampires after being drawn into their secretive and seductive lair, originally published by Medallion Press, and which found success as No. 1 sellers in Kindle's vampire romance and ghosts & fantasy categories, to Mark Smith for republication by Silver Oak in the US (Quercus's new line with Sterling) and Jo Fletcher Books/Quercus in the UK, by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group (world).

Well deserved and about time!!

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Sunday, January 02, 2011
  Heads down and plow into 2011

Mario here,

It's the first week of the new year and we at the Biting Edge are already slogging forward. As proud members of the fantastic and utterly amazing League of Reluctant Adults, we won't hesitate to blow...the trumpets about what to expect from us this year.

But first, let's toss a glance in the rear view mirror at my favorite reads of 2010, over here at the Tattered Cover blog, Between The Covers.

Back to League business.

Available right NOW!

If you want your zombies quirky, weird and hilarious, go straight to Mark Henry, author of the outrageous Amanda Feral glamour zombie novels. Amanda Feral wrote her own story (with Mark's help), not surprisingly, a kinky naughty novella, Stocking Full of Coal. Writing as Daniel Marks, he's also contributed to a YA anthology, Kiss Me Deadly.

Dakota Cassidy volleys the snark with her new series, the Ex-Trophy Wives, starting with You Dropped A Blonde On Me.

You can already get Carolyn Crane's first two books of her Disillusionist trilogy. Double Cross has been nominated for a fistful of awards to include Goodreads Best Urban Fantasy for 2010.

Stacia Kane might be fair-skinned but her books are dark...and amazing (as she is). That's why she's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Goodreads Author. Check out her Downside series, Unholy Ghosts, Unholy Magic, and City of Ghosts (up for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Urban Paranormal Fantasy).

What can we not say about our pal, Richelle Mead? International bestseller. NYT Bestseller. USA Today Bestseller. She's so poised, gracious, and unassuming though we all know Richelle is probably the hardest working scribe-to-the-Muse in the League. Already a blinding success, her Vampire Academy YA series is about to go super-nova!

Cherie Priest continues to bust loose with her wildly-acclaimed steampunk series, first with Boneshaker and now Dreadnought. Later on in the year, expect Ganymede that continues her Clockwork Century story line and Bloodshot, book one of her new Urban Fantasy series.

K. A. Stewart got a starred review from Publisher's Weekly for A Devil in the Details. Must be a reason. Perhaps that it's a damn good read? We heard it here.


We're not supposed to have faves among the Leaguers but how can you not get all sloppy about Nicole Peeler and her Urban Fantasy creation, Jane True? Tempest Legacy was an RT Top Pick and her Tempest audiobooks are the perfect companions for a road trip with your mother. We promise.

If the cold has got you blue and numb, then no worries as Diana Rowland will get your blood piping hot with, Secrets of the Demon, book three of her Demon Summoner series.

J.F. Lewis strides along with Crossed, book three of his Void City series (sounds a lot like where I live, Five Points). Plus, he's got Welcome to the Void t-shirts for sale. They might get you some needed street cred.


Molly Harper is going to sink her fangs into us with her first werewolf book, How To Flirt With A Naked Werewolf. Later on in the year, expect the fourth book in her Jane Jameson Nice Girls Don't vampire series.

The impossibly productive Caitlin Kittredge will launch her Iron Codex YA series with The Iron Thorn. If you can't wait until then to get your Kittredge fix, then scoop up her Black London series.

Last year, Michelle Rowen tore it up with releases in her Living in Eden series, YA Demon Princess series, and contemporary romance. Before she's had a chance to catch her breath, Michelle is sprinting into 2011 with a new vampire series, starting with book one, Nightshade.

Anton Strout pounds us with Dead Waters, book four of his Simon Canderous series. Sources tell us it's the perfect Valentine's Day gift for your sweetie pie.


Michele Bardsley will cast her spell with a new series featuring wizards and witches. If you can't wait, then buy her Cross Your Heart Vampire series. Each and every book if you love happiness. Check out the Times Square billboard pic on her Minions website. Welcome to the dark chocolate side. *snort* A funny, funny lady.

Sonya Bateman uncorks the genie...sort of. This month, conjure some small bills and get a copy of Master and Apprentice, the sequel to Master of None.

Let's hear it for Jaye Wells, the bad den mother of the League. She continues the snark and darkness with the third book of her Sabina Kane series, Green-Eyed Demon.


Kevin Hearne is going to slay us with a one-two-three combination of his Iron Druid Chronicles. First, Hounded, then in May, Hexed, and a month later, Hammered.

Who would've thought that one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse would look like Jackie Kessler? Well, not really. Jackie only gives it to us hot and dark in Rage.

Celebrate the summer solstice with the release of Kat Richardson's latest in her Greywalker series, book six, Downpour. How can someone as nice as Kat have such fun playing with so much noir and evil?


While you're toasting by the pool, indulge with Kelly Meding's third book of her Dreg City series, Another Kind Of Dead. Until then, download the anthology, A Glimpse of Darkness, for her short story.


Jeanne Stein serves us the seventh installment of her Anna Strong bounty-hunter/vampire series, Crossroads. She's also in several anthologies, Whedonistas (March), Hexed (June), and Chicks Kick Butt (sometime during 2011).

We end this broadcast with Dave Barry's Year in Review: Why 2010 Made Us Sick.


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