Thursday, January 29, 2009

Book Tour!

Hey--I'm over at the wonderful Gena Showalter's blog today! She was great enough to post information about NIGHT RISING, but you can check out all her new releases, too. She's awesome!

And here's more release information from the Outoftheblogosphere paranormal book tour!

THE WARLORD’S DAUGHTER by Susan Grant
HQN Books, FEB 1, 2009

The war is finally over. But Wren's life is in tatters. The only living offspring of the notorious Drakken Warlord, her genes could very well start a new dynasty of terror. And the Coalition can't have that.

She alone holds the key to finding a legendary treasure. Having seen enough bloodshed, shy, petite Wren vows to destroy it before anyone, Drakken, Coalition or Earth, can get their hands on it - but she'll need help.

The Drakken's ruthless evil turned Aral toward the Coalition years ago. War is all he knows, until he finds passion and love in the most unlikely of women - the Warlord's Daughter. But will trusting each other with their secrets risk not only their hearts, but their lives?

Excerpt: http://www.susangrant.com/books/warlord.htm#excerpt

ABOUT SUSAN GRANT

RITA award winner and NY Times best-selling author Susan Grant loves writing about what she knows: flying, adventure, and the often unpredictable interaction between men and women! When she’s not writing science fiction-romances, Susan pilots 747 jumbo jets to China, Australia, Europe, and many other exotic overseas destinations where she finds plenty of material for her novels.

REVIEWS

"It was SO good. It was wonderful to watch Wren's growth from an uncertain scared young lady into a determined heroine strong enough to be a battlelord hero's woman."-- Kathy's Review Corner

"Grant’s forte is her superbly-drawn and well-developed characters. Her heroes are just the most gorgeously-drawn and sensitive men." --JaceScribbles

Website: http://www.susangrant.com
http://www.the-borderlands.com

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NIGHT RISING, Vampire Babylon, Book One, reissue today!

Hey, all,
Today is the day for the mass market reissue of NIGHT RISING! Ace wants to usher in each book of the newest VB trilogy with a trilogy 1 (Hollywood Underground) reissue. So Night Rising brings A DROP OF RED (book four) in March and MIDNIGHT REIGN will come in July just before THE PATH OF RAZORS (book five) in August. I don't have the date for the BREAK OF DAWN reissue/DEEP IN THE WOODS (book six) releases yet, but I'll definitely be letting you know.

Also, you might want to check out the NINC blog, where I'm talking about "the power of a slap" in fiction. You could win a copy of FIRST BLOOD if you comment....

NIGHT RISING, Vampire Babylon, Book One, by Chris Marie Green



Welcome to Hollywood—after dark…

Stuntwoman Dawn Madison is a girl with attitude—and a lot of issues, mostly about living up to the legacy of her mother, a world famous movie star whose untimely death left Dawn to be raised by her dad Frank, nobody’s notion of single-father-of-the-year. Now that she’s grown up, she and Frank aren’t on the best of terms, to say the least.

Still, he is her dad, and when he vanishes while investigating the bizarre sighting—caught on film—of a supposedly long-dead child star, she comes home to Tinseltown to join the search for him. Working with his colleagues—a psychic short in stature but big in dreams, a beautiful Latina techno-geek, and the P. I. firm’s never-seen boss—she discovers an erotic and bloody underground society made up of creatures she thought existed only on screen.

They are devious. They are deadly. And some of them are dangerously attractive…

(ISBN: 978-0-441-01686-0)

Excerpt: http://www.vampirebabylon.com/excerpt_nr.html

About Chris Marie Green
A long time ago, in a land far, far away (Milwaukee, WI, St. Luke's Hospital), Chris Marie Green (also writing as Crystal Green) joined the world. While moving to Southern California, then Kentucky, then back to California and now Nevada, she amused herself by writing poetry and short stories featuring the ultimate Alpha males--Superman and Indiana Jones. Later, after graduating with a B.A. in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Chris decided to become a professional writer.
While she pursued this goal, Chris worked as an eighth-grade teacher, but resigned in 2002 to pursue writing full time. She creates urban fantasies for her Vampire Babylon series, action-adventure stories, and romances. She also loves to read, overanalyze movies, practice yoga , and travel, and details her obsessions on her Web pages, www.crystal-green.com and www.vampirebabylon.com.

Reviews for Night Rising

“An engaging heroine and a killer mystery. Bring on book two!" - Kelley Armstrong
“A book to die for! Dark, mysterious, and edged with humor, this book rocks on every level!”
- Gena Showalter

“If you like your fantasy with an edge, then you've struck gold. Despite the vampires and other para elements, there is a ring of truth to the biting, no pun intended, allegory. This is a fantastic start to a new series and one you should try to keep up with as it unfolds.”
- Amanda at the Eternal Night Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Fiction Web Site

“Night Rising – Vampire Babylon is the first book in a new trilogy set in the exciting world of paranormal Hollywood written by author Chris Marie Green. Described as a noir-mystery-fantasy series, it is dark, erotic and compelling reading.”
- Amanda at Lovesvampires.com
Chris Marie Green does a wonderful job of bringing this gritty, dark novel to life…. If this is the first installment of the VAMPIRE BABYLON series, I can’t wait to see where [the author] takes the rest of the books.
-Chere, Best Reviews/Paranormal Romance


Green's storytelling prowess is hitting on all cylinders in Night Rising: a brilliantly developed plotline; compelling, realistically drawn characters; and enough ghoulish antagonists, horrific murders and erotic encounters to satisfy fans of all genres. Regardless of categorization, Green's latest is pure, unadulterated storytelling gold. Highly recommended.

-Paul Goat Allen, Barnes and Noble


Website: www.vampirebabylon.com

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Publishers Weekly Blog--NIGHT RISING

This is cool news: my book teaser for NIGHT RISING, Vampire Babylon, Book One (which is being reissued in mass market format on Tuesday), is featured on Barbara Vey's Publisher's Weekly blog today! It's part of a "Sunday Matinee"--because we know that the best part of going to the movies is watching those trailers!

Here's the link if you'd like to leave a comment:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/blog/880000288.html#960039296

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reasons I Have Fallen for SUPERNATURAL

I’ve finished that first season of SUPERNATURAL, and I thought I really should list the reasons I’ve fallen head over heels for this show.

1.As a writer, I’m really impressed with how everything comes together on a storytelling level. This show's a prime example of how to use the Hero’s Journey as a template (After all, it’s no secret that the Brothers Winchester are “Han Solo and Luke Skywalker on a road trip from hell.”). Also, the creators approach urban legends and American folklore in a fresh way, twisting and turning the stories so that we're not quite sure we knew the tales so well in the first place. And the tone? Love. In each episode, we’re shown a weirded-out version of our country's underbelly—the cabins in the woods, the slumber party boo-fests, the tales that defined our childhood and warped the heck out of us. Then those preconceptions are turned on their heads, just as the tales are. Also, I’m happy to see that both the “freak of the week” elements and the mythology are equally strong in SUPERNATURAL. With some shows, one can outshine the other--IMHO, THE X-FILES had amazing “freak of the week” stand-alones (I count among them the truly appalling Mayberry cannibal brothers who played that creepy Johnny Mathis song in their car. Ahhhhh!). But, for me, the mythology episodes weren’t the best ones, especially since the entire X-FILES puzzle was never really solved. SMALLVILLE is the opposite: the show is at its best when it concentrates on Superman’s mythology, and the “freak of the week”s don’t live up to the excitement of seeing Clark become the Man of Steel. However, SUPERNATURAL does a masterful job of twining both elements together, using its mythology to bolster the stand-alone mysteries.

2.As a scary movie lover, I’m totally into the "boo" factor. Loved the takes on Bloody Mary and the Scarecrow/”The Lottery.” And I was very pleasantly surprised by the episode in which Dean is cured from certain death by the faith healer. I didn’t expect them to cover that subject--it seemed rather off-limits--but that episode was sensitive and compelling.

3.As a girl, I like me some Winchester.

4.The pace is always quick, with the right amounts of action and emotion. I’ve really come to care about the brothers and their relationship to Crazy Pa. There are some interesting dynamics happening (especially since you can see on Dean’s face that he already knew Sam was daddy’s fave, even before that nasty-ass demon taunted him with the truth). It’s a great thing when you feel you already know the characters but they keep surprising you. (And, Dean, I adore you!)

4.Sam in a towel.

5.The writers had the awesome juevos to end the season on a screaming cliffhanger, with the Winchester Impala decimated by that truck-driver demon. Holy black eyes!!! I admire when the writers and producers have guts enough to make me yell at the TV...in a good way.

6.Lest we forget, there is this:



I have to take a little break from SUPERNATURAL watching for THREE WHOLE WEEKS, but then I’m all over season two. Oh, man. I’m almost crying because…THREE. WHOLE. WEEKS.

Damn you, Winchesters! Damn you! (Love!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

CHUCK in 3-D Plus Other Odds

You guys know that when CHUCK returns, they're airing it in 3-D, right? Thanks to Selena, I have a site where you can see where to pick up a pair of glasses:

http://www.nbc.com/Chuck/about/news/

As if CHUCK wasn't fun enough, now we've got things poppin' out at us!

Also, the Oscar noms were announced this morning, and I'd just like to say that the Academy has done something I thought they'd never accomplish: they got me to not want to watch the show. I've told you before that my family and I used to get Chinese food, fill out ballots, and make it a major deal. Last year I barely cared. This year I'm actively insulted. I know there are people out there who thought THE DARK KNIGHT was no biggie, but it was the only movie I've watched in a long time that really got to me--and not just because it was a "comic book movie." It takes some talent to present an epic blockbuster and to have the audience realize at some point that the story isn't just about Batman versus the Joker; this movie reflects the world we now live in through allegory far better than a lot of the other "important" movies out there. This morning, I despise Hollywood.

Also, I'm two discs away from finishing the first season of SUPERNATURAL. Funny how TV has far surpassed a great deal of feature films, IMHO.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Behind the Book: Working on BLOODLANDS with THE WORLD IS FLAT

There's research involved with every book, whether it's light or heavy. Sometimes I travel, sometimes I watch videos, sometimes I read.

I wanted to get my mind in gear for a post-apocalyptic future, so I decided to download some audio that would lead me in that direction. This brought me to Thomas Friedman's work, and I have to say that THE WORLD IS FLAT did the trick. The content will help me shape books 2 and 3 in my BLOODLANDS series, when I get into the urban aspects of the future, more than it'll aid in this first book I'm working on now. Still, it got my mind where it needed to be.

This book should be entitled, "Please America, Let's Get Our Butts in Gear," and it's a gentler companion piece to the book I'm listening to now, I.O.U.S.A. (which I'll talk about later). FLAT is about the globalization of world economy, and I came away from it thinking that if we, as a society, don't get off of the laurels we've earned in the past, we're going to be run over by countries that have become very ambitious. For example, the book talks a lot about how India took great advantage of the emergence of "connectivity" and how that has led to their dominance in securing outsourced jobs.

The central metaphor of the world being flat refers to how globalization has made for a more level playing field. One thing I found particularly interesting was the suggestion of how an individual can compete in this new, wider-spread economy: become "special" (someone so good at what they do that they're highly in demand--a sports star, a movie star, etc.), become "specialized" (excelling in a certain niche area), or become "flexible" (be willing to learn and apply your knowledge to new, emerging areas). If we don't follow this advice, it seems likely that we'll be left behind.

Reading this was scary. : )
(But not as scary as I.O.U.S.A.)

I'm not going to tip my hand about precisely how I spun what I learned from this book into my own story (Let's just say most of it has to do with creating a future urban society that's not aping BLADE RUNNER.), but I recommend it for interesting reading about what's happening all around us.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How Is It That I Wasn't Watching SUPERNATURAL from Day One?

Good gosh--I can't believe that I'm just starting to watch SUPERNATURAL on the season one DVD collection. The first couple of episodes seemed familiar, so I think I was initially on board with the series, but for some reason I dropped it. Why?

* Could it be because I love urban legends and the series does a fun job of "flipping" them (in other words taking the concept and spinning them in a different direction)? Couldn't be.

* Or maybe I'm totally into the back-road settings, which make me feel like going on my own scary road trip. Nah.

* Perhaps the hunkaliciousness of the two lead guys had something to do with my tuning out. Um, no.

I just have to chalk it up to too many programs that I was watching at the time or...something.

BTW, did you all see the first BATTLESTAR GALACTICA of the year? HOLY DUALLA!!! My heart is breaking. However, the awesome is on full force, and I'm going to be mighty upset when the finale airs.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

RITA books!

I told you all that I've spent the week away from BLOODLANDS with line edits and author alteration copies for WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN... (Blaze, June), THE TEXAS BILLIONAIRE'S BRIDE (Special Edition, July), and THE PATH OF RAZORS (Vampire Babylon, Book Four, September). So I can't really post about my "process" with BLOODLANDS at the moment, although I have to tell you about a different subject of excitement for me.

I got my RITA books!

For those who aren't familiar with this contest, it's the romance genre's version of the Oscars. The best stories are celebrated and honored, and I have to tell you that it's one of my favorite times of the year. When I receive my judging packet, I feel like I'm ten years old on Christmas morning.

I got some surprising books this year. I can't tell you what they are because, by the rules, I just can't, but I can tell you that four of the six novels are from the "best book with romantic elements category." This means that romance isn't the main focus, although there's a strong romantic angle. I really enjoy this section because it introduces me to some great mainstream authors who ultimately make it to my "auto reading list." One of my other books is from the "Young Adult" category; I chose to judge it because I read so much YA while I was teaching that I discovered a major appreciation for the genre. Actually, I maintain that some of the best, riskiest, most enlightening writing out there is highlighted in YA. The last of my books is from the "historical" category; I grew up reading historicals, and they are the reason one of my careers is in romance.

Time to dig into them!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours, Part 3,008

I'm currently knee-deep in writing the first book in my new BLOODLANDS series for Ace (the paranormal SHANE meets MAD MAX noir--I added that last word just recently because the mystery is stronger than I suspected it would be--yay! That's a cool thing.). I hope to be blogging about things that are "filling my well" as I go along, just as I used to do with the first Vampire Babylon book.

For now, though, I'll start by saying that when it rains it pours. I've noted this before, but it's just funny how the motto never loses relevance. Just as I'm really getting into the groove of BLOODLANDS, along comes work for other books that'll be released this year. I received one line edit (the copy an author receives after the copy editors have gone over it). Then came a second line edit. Then a third delivery, but this one was an author alteration copy (also called a "galley," which is how the manuscript looks before it goes to print. The writer gets one more chance to alter the content.). Yow!

So, for several days, I've got to go away from BLOODLANDS and get my mind in these other stories. But that's life. That's how it always happens. The publishers have a schedule, just like I do, and it's up to me to put aside days to address the work, because I know the copies are coming. It's just that stepping away from the story you're totally immersed in is...GAH!!!

Talk to you this week, you all. :)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Book Giveaway at Lynda Hilburn's Blog!

I'm guest blogging over at Lynda Hilburn's site today, and I'm giving away another copy of FIRST BLOOD, just in case you don't have it. : ) My blog talks about the strange kind of research I get to do as a writer of vampires; specifically, I relate a story about going "ghost hunting" in a pre-Katrina New Orleans haunted house....

If you don't know Lynda's work, her vampire stories are based on a cool premise: vamp psychotherapy. Sounds like fun, and I've got to pick me up some Hilburn.

You can click here to go to her blog.

Hope to see you over there!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

New Contest

Every once in a while I remember to post details about my site contests here. What can I say but "duh"? I guess I'm too busy obsessing about HEROES and Christian Bale's abs. However, this month...

Congratulations to Mina Gerhart for winning the November/December contest! (She'll be getting a set of my Special Edition Kane's Crossing books.)

The new contest features a few things I'd just love to win myself. :) Because of the mass market reissue of NIGHT RISING, Vampire Babylon, Book One, on January 27, I'm giving away: a signed copy of FIRST BLOOD, which you already know contains a Vampire Babylon-related novella. The second part is a copy of THE BECOMING, which the author, Jeanne Stein, was kind enough to sign at a book event we did at Mysterious Galaxy. The third part is a super cute little Japanese Pullip doll. I collect these twee things, and every year at Comic-Con, San Diego, I pop into the booth where they sell them and spend WAY too much moola. Here's a pic of Principessa, the one I'm offering:



This is what she's saying to you: "I totally look like a Tim Burton character, and you cannot resist me. Click on here so you have the chance to win me and those books!"

Thursday, January 01, 2009

How to Start a New Year

Long ago, I got tired of going out for New Years Eve, and when I moved near Vegas, I was even more certain that it wasn’t worth encountering drunk drivers just to count down the last part of a year in a random place. (Hi, I’m New Years Scrooge.)

So, like a lot of other people out there, I decided that the night would be perfect to pig out and have a movie marathon. Seriously, this is my idea of an awesome time now.

Oddly enough, I realized that last year’s choice of a main feature movie, SUPERBAD, couldn’t have been more prophetic for 2008, overall. (It was a good year personally, but across the board, not so good.) That’s why I decided to be more careful about what I featured this year.

Hence, I started the marathon with EQUILIBRIUM, which I hope will encapsulate 2009—a return of balance. Also, I chose it because I heard Christian Bale takes his shirt off, and any time I can see that is an excellent time. Except in THE MACHINIST, but that’s a whole other blog entry.

EQUILIBRIUM is a futuristic tale about a post WWIII society that has taken away human feeling by prescribing an emotion-leveling drug. Bale plays a “cleric,” a top government enforcer who sees that the rules aren’t broken…until he misses his own dosage. It’s part THE GIVER (one of the best books ever, whether you’re looking at YA or adult novels), part THX-1138, part THE MATRIX, and all about Christian Bale taking his shirt off, which is, in itself, very much enough to recommend it. But I liked this movie for more than that. It has a lot of suspense, twists, and my God, there are some fight scenes that put the MATRIX sequels to shame. In particular, there’s one within the first fifteen minutes that kicked my butt. Bale is such a hot rockin’ stud.


After EQUILIBRIUM was over, I popped in RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP, the horror sequel to SLEEPAWAY CAMP, which is a total scary masterpiece. (I’m really not kidding. That movie still disturbs the crap out of me.) This flick was merely okay, as it didn’t come close to living up to the original. I didn’t really expect it to, actually, because the first one was…. Well, there are no words except these. Still, part 2 had some pretty creative killings, if that’s why you watch scary movies.

The next movie, STEP BROTHERS, was never shown, because TERMINATOR was on ION and the lure of it was impossible to resist.

Anyway, here’s hoping for a balanced year for all of us. May the movie marathon predict the year accurately once again—but with better results this time!