Saturday, August 29, 2009

Makeover for

If you have a sec, you can swing over to my to check out its new look! I asked Webcrafters to give me something sleek, easy to navigate, clean, and mysterious. They nailed it. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guest blogging today with book giveaway!

I blogged about my Vampire Babylon series at today. I'm primarily talking about the London trilogy and THE PATH OF RAZORS, so there's a book giveaway involved, too. Come on down!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Takashi Miike is more messed up than I first thought

A while ago, I watched AUDITION, a horror film which is known for its shocky twistiness and a truly barf-worthy scene at the end. It was directed by Takashi Miike, who'd developed a cult following for his gore-riddled, disturbing tales, and I hopped on that wagon right quick. It isn't often that I see scary movies that stick with me, and AUDITION still creeps me out when I think of a few key scenes. When the now canceled Showtime series MASTERS OF HORROR enlisted Miike to create an installment for the anthology, a lot of horror fans geek-spooged for days. Now, I'm above spooging in such an undignified manner, but I was dying to see what he'd give us anyway.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, Showtime pulled "Imprint," Miike's installment, from American airwaves, and those legions of geeks went into spasms of gorus interruptus. It was said that "Imprint" was too extreme. However, the episode was eventually released on DVD, thus saving us from an epidemic of horror-fan blue balls.

It took me a while to get to "Imprint," butI finally watched it last night and...*gak.*

As some of you know, I can watch just about anything in a movie--exploding heads, young adults being fried over campfires in sleeping bags, buzzing chainsaws bursting through chests, you know, the usual. But damned if I wasn't hiding behind my hands during this hour-long short-format movie in some parts.

Here's the set up for "Imprint": an American dude in the 1800s goes to a Japanese island where whores ply their trade. Christopher (a hysterical Billy Drago) is searching for his long lost love, Komomo. Then, while a "little person" pimp picks what's left of her nose (Seriously, there's only a half nose on her face--it's that kind of movie), she tells Christopher that Komomo has left the island. He's bummed, of course, but there's no boat until morning, so he chooses to spend the night with another prostitute. Half of her face is...well, melty-looking, hence she's not the highest earner on the island, to put it politely. Bless her heart. Nonetheless, she tries to make Christopher comfortable, offering herself, as prostitutes do. He declines her hospitality, accepting the numb promise of sake instead, and instead of that-there nookie, he asks her to tell him her story.

That's where begins. You see, this woman knows a whole lot about what really happened to Komomo. And as she keeps correcting her story, it turns out that there's way more to her than just sake and hospitality.

The first part of "Imprint" has wonderful buildup: the island, with its tree of hanging red ribbons, is beautiful--oppressive, Asian-gothic, dark with straining mystery. That beauty is frequently punctured by little details like the nose-picking pimpette, as well as a bloated, very pregnant corpse found floating in the water as Christopher's boat first pulls up. The whores are even striking in a garish mockery-of-a-Geisha way, so they're appalling, too, as if they smile while hiding blades under their ultra-upswept, blood-tinged hair. You definitely know something awful is comin'.


Then the story goes off the rails. Totally. And not only plot-wise. It pulls out every grotesque thing you ever hoped you wouldn't see on a screen. A torture scene that goes on forever (and this is where the whole peeking-through-my-fingers element came in). Incestuous scenarios. Child molesting. Fetuses. My jaw kept unhinging as one was piled on the other but, after that torture scene, I couldn't look away from what was happening. Just...couldn't. And the ending features such a WTF twist that it was both balls-out fabulous and kind of huh? at the same time.

The fact that the movie is dogging me today speaks to some of its power. In spite of its missteps, it did leave a lasting impression. But that's what horror does, right? It digs deep and sometimes makes you wonder just what the heck is wrong with it...and you.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mysterious Galaxy

Just a reminder: I'm at Mysterious Galaxy today at 2pm for a signing and Q&A. More info at . Wish you all could be there!

Friday, August 21, 2009


As you all can see, I've added a running Twitter column to my sidebar. (What's listed are my latest Tweets.) By clicking on the link below the column, you can follow me....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Signing at Mysterious Galaxy

I'll be signing THE PATH OF RAZORS, Vampire Babylon, Book 5, at San Diego's Mysterious Galaxy this Saturday at 2pm. If you can't make it, they'll have some signed copies on their excellent web site:

Hope to see ya!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

District 9

I wanted to see this movie before spoilers got vomited all over the Internet, and I'm really glad I took care to preserve my ignorance. (BTW, when did it become so much work to remain unspoiled? Yeesh.) Needless to say, this commentary will be spoiler-free, because I wouldn't want to ruin the flick for you all.

DISTRICT 9 really worked for me because I wasn't expecting one thing or another--the first trailer only showed enough to hook my interest, especially with that alien guy saying he only wanted to go home. And if that tweaked my emotion, it was nothing next to what I got from the movie itself. It delivers on emotional, action-geek, ooky-gore, cerebral levels, too.

I was engaged from the get go, even though you wouldn't think that a story that uses a "documentary"-type approach throughout most of its presentation would lend itself to grabbing you by the heart and twisting. There are scenes in this movie that are so devastating on a personal level (both from the main character's POV as well as the sympathy you feel for some of the aliens) that you can't avoid ye ol' wrench of the guts. It helps that the special effects are seamless, making the aliens seem real. It was only after the film that I realized how good the CGI is.

There are moments where the movie could've been trite, and after you see it, you'll be able to point them out easily. (Avoid this sentence for anything resembling a spoiler if you want, but I'll just give you one hint: cute kids in horror/action movies, just like freakin' Star in TERMINATOR SALVATION.) But D9 never fully goes into cliche territory--it actually kind of teases you with the possibility and dances on the edge of it just enough to give you payoffs to these set ups.

What really stuns me about this film is that is was made for a fraction of the cost of a regular sci-fi/fantasy blockbuster. I did they pull this off when it takes almost $200 million to finance something like TRANSFORMERS? D9 schools Hollywood, and just for that, I adore it.

Just so you know, there's LOTS of splatter to be had. Bodies exploding. Blood hitting the camera. Meat making those wet smacking sounds as it hits people in the face. A ton of it. I'm only warning you. And there's a good deal of F-word action, also, but since this takes place in South Africa, they say "fook" instead, which tickled my funnybone for some immature reason. If you're good with both of those things, this is one you'll want to see on the big screen. So go. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I started Erin's HAUNTING BEAUTY last night, and I love, love, love her voice. The writing is just beautiful, and I feel like I'm floating in the prose. (Does that make sense? It's a good thing!) Can't wait to get further into the story....

BTW, you can still enter at Erin's site to win a signed copy of THE PATH OF RAZORS, Vampire Babylon, Book Five. Go to

Also, I want to note that if you go to the bookstore and browse the fantasy shelves, you'll come upon a new book called SINS & SHADOWS by Lyn Benedict. I had the opportunity to give an advance quote, and you can see my little ol' comment on the back cover! I'm such a geek to be excited about this, huh?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chance to Win a Copy of PATH OF RAZORS!

Erin Quinn, whose HAUNTING BEAUTY is now on shelves, has posted a little interview with me on her blog. You can also enter a contest for a chance to win THE PATH OF RAZORS, so click here to take part!

I have to say, I'm excited to go to the bookstore today to get her novel. Her trailer (which you can find in the previous post) is so evocative, and I love Ireland! Erin is smart and chock full of energy, too--you can read all about her on her web site, also....

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Haunting Beauty by Erin Quinn

I met the wonderful Erin Quinn at this year's RWA National conference, and from the second I saw the cover of her new book, HAUNTING BEAUTY (which is on shelves now), I needed to read it! I'll be diving into it this week, but here's a preview for you....

A mysterious stranger . . .
Danni Jones believed everything about her past—that she was an unwanted child abandoned by her mother. That she was an outcast set apart by her clairvoyance. That she was alone. Then came the stranger. Dangerously seductive Sean Ballagh appears out of nowhere with a startling story that will challenge everything Danni thought was true.

A lost woman . . .
He claims that Danni’s family has been searching for her ever since she
disappeared twenty years ago. He’s come to bring her home to Ireland. But Danni fears there’s more to his story than he dares to reveal. And the only way to find out is by following Sean back in time, to a forgotten past, to a world where nothing is what it seems.

A terrifying legacy . . .
Now, in a land where the mystical and the occult are as vivid as the emerald fields, Danni must rewrite history to save her family, to fight a force more evil than she ever imagined, and to reunite with the one man she was destined for—or live forever in time as nothing more than an ethereal memory, a tragic and haunting beauty…

From Erin, the author:
I fall in love with every hero I write, but there was something about Sean
Ballagh, hero of HAUNTING BEAUTY, that still hasn’t let me go. It’s more than the tall, dark and handsome thing—although Sean is definitely all that. If I had to put a finger on it, I would say it is Sean’s personal struggle to be a good man that completely captured my heart. He wants to do the right thing, but for Sean, nothing is ever easy and doing the right thing means facing a reality that could destroy him.

Enter Danni Smith.

Life has been hard on Danni, but she’s not the kind of woman who rolls over and takes it. She’s forged ahead and, with her little dog, Bean, has found
contentment, if not happiness. She has resigned herself to never knowing who she is, why she was abandoned as a child, or if she has family out there, somewhere. But when Sean appears at her door offering everything she ever wished for—the answers to the questions of her past and the ticket to find her family—Danni must follow him to Ireland, a land steeped with mystery and lore.

Sean delivers the goods—he reunites her with her people—but how could Danni have guessed that she would be meeting herself as a child? Reliving those fateful hours before her whole world was shattered? Learning the secrets that determined her fate? Who is this Sean Ballagh with his beautiful eyes that are as relentless and deep as the sea? And what does he want from Danni? He is more than a messenger, but even Sean doesn’t know the truth about himself.

In HAUNTING BEAUTY, I explored a personal fascination with time and the idea that the past is not set in stone. Mistakes can be un-made, heartache can be transformed into triumph . . . but at what cost? If the past is an elaborate puzzle with interchangeable pieces, when one is altered, how do the others still fit? And how could you be sure that what changed didn’t make everything worse?

I hope you enjoy HAUNTING BEAUTY and you fall in love with Sean as I did. Be careful though, he might break your heart. I love to hear from readers and would be thrilled to hear what you think of Sean and Danni’s story. You can contact me at my website,

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

NINC Blog About Comic-Con Panel

I guest blogged for NINC today about my experience on the Comic-Con panel! Go here to read it. Also, today's the day that PATH OF RAZORS comes out, so I hope you enjoy this next installment in the Vampire Babylon series....

Monday, August 03, 2009

PATH OF RAZORS, Vampire Babylon, Book 5 Out Tomorrow

So tomorrow's the day! THE PATH OF RAZORS, Vampire Babylon, Book Five, is on shelves, 8/4/09!


London couldn’t be further from L. A., but stuntwoman-turned-vampire hunter Dawn Madison knows that her job hasn’t changed—find the local vampire Underground and wipe it out. She and her team have located the vamp’s lair at a private girls’ school and now they have the undead on the run.

But the vicious pack is starting to realize that its greatest threat may be from within its own ranks.

As unrest rocks the Underground, Dawn begins to fall prey to her own dark desires. Never the same since her one moment as a vampire, she finds her psychic powers—and urge to hunt—growing.

Both above ground and below, the line between good and evil is blurring, leading to a confrontation between Dawn who fears her humanity is slipping away—and a beautiful but deadly creature who basks in the suffering of her own kind…

Thank you for all you guys do! Stay tuned for book six, DEEP IN THE WOODS, in March, 2010...