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, October 28, 2012
  Who's your bad ass daddy?
Mario here:

What I'm reading. The Coldest War, by Ian Tregillis.

Here's a commercial message to help keep us off the street corner.

I'm teaching at Writers Online Classes. Sign up for, How to Sharpen Your Writing. It's a tough market out there and let me shine a little bit of wisdom by sharing how to add some sparkle to your prose. Whether you choose to scatter that sparkle on vampires, that's your call. We don't judge.

Now to our regularly schedule programming.

The East Coast is about to get pounded by the Frankenstorm, Hurricane Sandy, which in a weird way. gives us a bit of respite from all the campaign hollering.

So to continue giving you a break, let's talk about bad ass characters. What made me think this was this clip I stumbled across from Rocky III, featuring the villain, Clubber Lang. Over the years, Mr. T devolved into a parody, but if you watch this video, you'll see what a bad ass he could play.

Cable TV has also given us a great crop of bad asses, especially Breaking Bad

Starting with, Walter White (Bryan Cranston).

The sketchy and scary, the chief goon Mike Ehrmantraut (Johnathan Banks).

The icy and manipulative king pin, Gustavo "Gus" Fring (Giancarlo Esposito).

And no doubt, the baddest ass cop since Dirty Harry, Hank Schrader (Dean Norris).

 Fans of True Blood and Walking Dead have their faves, so chime in.
Only a few more days to the end of the Lego Ghost Train Contest sponsored by the University of Doom. It's an easy way to snag a great present and take the burden off St. Nick's wallet.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012
  In SoCal
As I mentioned last week, I'm in San Diego for signings at Mysterious Galaxy this weekend, but thought this would be of interest to readers:  

Barnes & Noble, which acknowledged yesterday that hackers had stolen data from pin pad devices in 63 of its stores in September, released a list of the stores along with advice for customers about what to do. See it all here (no pin required). 

And just in case you've forgotten:

Mysterious Galaxy – San Diego October 27 2PM
Halloween Bash!
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite 302
San Diego 92111

Mysterious Galaxy – Redondo Beach October 28 2:30 PM
Halloween Bash!
2810 Artesia Blvd.
Redondo Beach 92078

See you next week!
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Mario here:

What I'm reading:
The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins

Mile Hi Con 44 has come and gone. Many thanks to Rose Beetem for honchoing this big herd of weird cats. I spent the weekend catching up with my fellow writers and fans. Palled around with Stephen Graham Jones, Marne Ann Kirstatter, Julie Kazimer, Paolo Bacigalupi, David Boop, Betsy Dornbusch, Thea Hutcheson, Carrie Vaughn, Molly Tanzer, Quincy Allen, Carol Berg--and as they say--so many, many more.

The Hipster Reading went off surprising well, so much so that we're planning another, more hipster reading, for next year. Jason Heller and bongo-ist Aaron DeBoskey tore it up Friday night.

Author Guest of Honor Cherie Priest shows off her "Castle" Writer flak vest (sans armor plate).

Contest for the University of Doom!

Here's your chance to win this Lego Ghost Train set (for yourself or any of your little ones).

Or a University of Doom window sticker.

How? It's easy! My handsome son Emil will explain it to you at via You Tube.

To post a comment go to the Lego Ghost Train Contest! video.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Mile Hi Con this weekend-

 Mario mentioned earlier in the week that Biting Edge will be all over the con--if you're planning to attend, look for Mario and I (and pal Warren Hammond) presenting at these panels:


Jeanne, Warren 5-6 Writing the Holy trinity of S/F Grand Mesa

Mario 6-7:30 Abuse an Author Grand Mesa

Jeanne, Warren, Mario 8-9 Autograph Alley Atrium

Mario 9-10 Hipster reading Grand Mesa


Warren Noon-1 Genre Mashup/Genre Busting Grand Mesa B-C

Jeanne 2-3 Taking Your Work Seriously

Mario 4-5 Science Travesties in Current Media


Warren 1-2 Author Reading Mesa Verde C 2-3 Autograph table

Jeanne 3-4 Strong Women in SF

Warren 3-4 Forget the Midichlorians & Embrace the Force Mesa Verde A

Love to see you!

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The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

J K Rowling interview with Jon stewart - she's pretty cool!

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Grist for the writing mill:

A new class of electronics can dissolve and disappear on a pre-set schedule, within a few minutes or a few years, depending on when you want them to go away. They could live in the body and deliver drugs, they could stick on the exterior of buildings or tanks, and they can become compost instead of metal scrap--in other words, they turn the common conception of electronics completely upside down. 

Transient electronics, as they’ve been dubbed, are a combination of silk and silicon designed to work seamlessly in our bodies and in our environments. In a new study, researchers built a thermal device designed to monitor infection in a rodent and a 64-pixel digital camera--all from dissolvable material.

Can you imagine? A building or a tank dissolving into compost???? Am I reading that right? How about a body? Wow--  more  here

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I love this time of year. It's so beautiful in the neighborhood--the trees turning, the leaves falling like rain. Next week I'll be in San Diego to sign at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstores. Dates and times as follows:

Mysterious Galaxy – San Diego
October 27   2PM
Halloween Bash!  with S. G. Browne and Tamara Thorne
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite 302 San Diego 92111

Mysterious Galaxy – Redondo Beach
October 28   2:30 PM
Halloween Bash! with Lisa Morton and Hugh Sterbakov
2810 Artesia Blvd. Redondo Beach 92078

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Next week while I'm in San Diego, I'm taking extra time to play with my sister, Connie, my cuz Ed, my oldest SisinCrime buddy, Miyoko, and to work on the new series with collaborator Samantha Sommersby. So if I'm AWOL next Thursday, you'll understand why. I'll keep up on Facebook--at least I'll try.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
  Fangs, hipsters, and a drop through the Stratosphere
Mario here:

It's one week to Mile Hi Con 44 and Biting-Edge will be there all weekend. Besides lots of fantastic panels, catch our Author Guest of Honor Cherie Priest and Toastmaster Stephen Graham Jones at the Friday night Hipster Reading...with Bongos. Get the details from this great flyer, courtesy of artist pal Eric Matelski.

Dog Fight! The 2012 Authors Invitational Photo Dog Fight organized by Casey Halloway. Monday, my family's Shiba Inu, Scout, goes muzzle-to-muzzle with the mutt from Em Petrova. Grrrr! Go to the DOG FIGHT and vote for your favorite pooch, which is Scout, of course.

I do some ghost-writing on the side and one book that I had a hand in was The Natanz Directive, (Thomas Dunne Books) by Fox News security analyst Wayne Simmons and local author Mark Graham (who hired me). The hero of this thriller, Jake Conlin, is called back to active duty and sent to Iran on a black ops assignment to stop nuclear Armageddon. The book is getting strong reviews and features Jake Conlin doing a very macho high-altitude parachute drop that would've done Felix Baumgartner proud.

You're invited. Bonnie Biafore will be reading from and signing copies of her hilarious, Tim Dorsey-esque dumb criminals novel, Fresh Squeezed. Wednesday, 6-8:30PM at Hanson's Grill and Tavern, Denver.

I found this amazing blog Comic Crits where John the blogger writes (or is it draws?)  reviews of books in comic panel form. Here's a sample of his amazing work:

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Thursday, October 11, 2012
  Technical difficulties
Jeanne lost her Internet connection and Century Link is moving at the speed of bureaucracy to get it restored. I also think she's nursing a hangover but I won't mention it.

Thanks for stopping by.

The management

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Sunday, October 07, 2012
  When the Big Man grins...
Mario here:

I've been reading a lot of novels lately in a variety of genres as I try to pin down what makes a good read "good."

What complicates the process is what we determine as "good" is so subjective. Almost all of what I've read lately is not just good, but damn good. Humbling good. Among the titles:

Thread of Hope, by Jeff Shelby

                                          The Financial Lives of the Poets, by Jess Walter

Citizen Vince, also by Jess Walter

                                                                              Wool, by Hugh Howey

Consent to Kill, by Vince Flynn

                                               In Pharaoh's Army, by Tobias Wolf (a memoir)

Then just this weekend I finished (more or less) one book that screwed my mood. The novel was by an award-winning author--recipient of an NEA grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship--and featured lost love and a man scarred by war. With those credentials, I was expecting to be blown away. What could go wrong? Plenty, unfortunately. The narrative read like a first draft. The author was blurbed by the usual suspects and the book's Kirkus Starred review praised it for "extraordinary language." I must have missed something or read a different book by the same title. Jess Walter and Tobias Wolf ka-powed me with their mastery of prose. For a literary writer, the guy in question was a lazy hack.

In another blog exploring the magical sprouting of a breakout book, an agent was quoted as saying, "and then God smiled." In other words, "a miracle occurred." I don't want to slight another author for their success--bad karma and all that--and if someone hits the jackpot, good luck to them.

Still, I wish God wasn't so stingy with his smiles. I know of plenty of good great outstanding writers who have not been given the attention they deserve. Meanwhile, other less talented scribes get heaped with praise and sales. We have the hoopla over Shades of Grey. What puzzles me is all the media carnival about the sexual content, as if no one else had ever written erotica before. Well, here's a nod and a wave of the stinky finger to my naughty and successful writer pals, Lorelei James, Lauren Dane, and Megan Hart.

And this week, on October 9 to be precise, is the release date for Daniel Marks' (né Mark Henry) amazing YA novel, Velveteen. Don't believe me, read this review. Buy bunches of copies. The hardback looks gorgeous. Hate to say this of anything regarding Mark Henry (I mean, have you ever met the guy? It's like visiting the monkey cage at the zoo.), but I'm jealous.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2012
  A House For Sale and a Contest or Two
On my way to Fairplay to write, write, write this weekend. Thought I'd share some goodies I came across this week that may be of interest. 

Have an extra 2.25 million pounds laying around? If so, you can buy the house where Harry Potter was written. Go here for more photos.

I just purchased The Casual Vacancy but it will be awhile I'm afraid before I get to it. Anyone read it yet? What did you think?

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An opportunity featured in Cindi Myers Market News 

Harlequin’s Love Inspired Romantic Suspense line is looking for authors. To find them, the editors are hosting a Fast Track submission process during October. Submit your first chapter and synopsis and get a read in one month. Send your first chapter, two-page synopsis, and a query letter stating how much of the manuscript is complete to LISfasttrack@harlequin.ca between October 15 and October 26. You’ll have a reply by November 26. Love Inspired Suspense features romantic suspense with a Christian faith element. Stories are equal parts romance and compelling suspense, with a faith message woven in. Completed books are 55,000 to 60,000 words. Find more details about the Fast Track Submissions here.

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What are publishers buying right now? This dovetails nicely with the above.  From Publisher's Marketplace:

In September there was...A surge in fiction, driven by romance & women's fiction (which doubled). September fiction was up 25 percent from last year, the highest total ever for this month. Similarly, domestic fiction sales are up 23 percent for the year-to-date...

...As far as reported sizable advances, six-figure fiction deals have also bounced back--driven by that surge in romance. Five of the major deals were women's fiction (none were last year), in multi-books deals, as were three of the significant deals. So far we have logged only two six-figure debuts, which drives a lot of the talk and impressions. (This time last year it was M.L. Stedman's now-NYT bestseller THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS and Rachel Joyce's THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY leading the bid-for debuts).

Full report here.

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And another contest which has a nice $5000 grand prize. This was posted on a RMFW loop by Mark Stevens:

America's Next Author is a huge writing contest with a $5000 grand prize, and is now accepting entries. But more importantly, it's built around a very unique concept: all contest entries will be visible to the public and the winner will be chosen by voters and our panel of judges.

Readers will be able to comment on stories, give feedback to authors, and vote for their favorites. This gives authors a great opportunity to get feedback on their work and build an online following. It's also much more fun and exciting because in regular writing contests, only the winning stories are shown and nobody else ever finds out why they didn't win.

The competition will have eight nomination rounds. Each week, the top-ranked author will be nominated for the finals. And even if a story isn't nominated, it will remain in the contest and have another chance to be nominated each week. During this process, authors can increase their chances of winning by getting everyone they know to vote for their story.

In addition to being read by the public, the contest entries will be judged by a panel of experienced professionals from the publishing industry. These judges will read entries and provide feedback to authors. They will also nominate four additional wildcard authors, adding them into the final rounds of competition.

Learn more and enter the contest here

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After the debacle last week with the pictures I tried to post,  I've given up the idea of posting anymore about the Writers Police Academy. But fellow writer Terry Odell who obviously has a better grip on the vagaries of blog posting has done a wonderful series here .  So if you'd like to see and find out more, check it out.  I'll try with just one more because I loved getting my pic taken with Lee Child.



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