Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Hi, all!

Just want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I can't tell you enough how grateful I am for all of you. : )

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Invitation to Knight Agency Event on Thursday!

The Knight Agency is having a Christmas party on Thursday, and you're invited! I'm going to be there, giving away a signed copy of THE PATH OF RAZORS, Vampire Babylon, Book Five. Hope to see you, too. : )

Here's the official invite:

HO HO HO! It's the most wonderful time of the year, and that means it's time for The Knight Agency’s annual online holiday party! Join our agents, authors and TKA Santa for an hour of non-stop giveaways.

This is our most fun, relaxed chat of the year. No worries about what to ask a guest author or waiting your turn to speak -- it's literally a free for all! This year Gena Showalter, Nalini Singh, Maria Geraci, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Shannon K. Butcher, Linda Gerber, Michelle Celmer, Louisa Edwards, Lydia Dare, Joey W. Hill, Jessica Andersen, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Chris Marie Green and Shirley Jump are all giving away signed copies of their releases. Plus we're raiding our book closets and giving out titles by Rachel Caine, Marley Gibson and Cecil Murphey, among others. Oh yeah, and there's a Christmas stocking prize stuffed with books and holiday treats.

Don't forget to mark your calendars!

WHAT: Knight Agency Annual Holiday Lunchbox Chat
WHEN: Thursday, December 16th @ 12:30pm ET
WHERE: The Knight Agency Chat Room --

HOW TO CHAT: Enter any combination of username and password. Login. Your computer must be Java enabled to chat.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Book giveaway and blog appearance!

I'm appearing today on the SOS blog, where Kim, the wonderful hostess, asked me some fun questions about travel, international incidents, and writing. There are free books to be had if you comment, too!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

LOL of the Day

Hey--hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Here's the laugh of the day for me. Oh, my.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New Cover!

First, congratulations to Maureen Emmons, the latest winner of the web site contest!

Second, here's the cover for my January Special Edition release--the first book in my new Billionaire Cowboys, Inc., miniseries...


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last Day for Contest!

Last day to win free books and stuff at my romance web site!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Vegas Valley Book Festival

Okay, here's the dope: You already know I'll be signing at the festival at 12pm Saturday. I'll be in the Fountain Courtyard with other authors for 50 minutes. The address is 401 S. Fourth St., Las Vegas, at the Fifth Street School. Looks like there'll be lots of great panels, displays, and food, so I hope you can drop by if you're a local!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Signing this weekend

This Saturday at 12pm, I'll be signing at the Vegas Valley Book Festival at the "historic Fifth Street School." At this point, I have no more information than that, so I'll be back soon with more details!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Time!

Clearly, this is one of my favorite days of the year. In preparation, I did my movie countdown (see previous posts) and plan to have a pretty chillish day today. I'll be watching football and then readingreadingreading.

I'm excited to start Linda Thomas-Sundstrom's new Nocturne:

And I'm loving Leslie S. Klinger's THE NEW ANNOTATED DRACULA. If you love Bram Stoker's book itself, you would be a fan of Klinger's book, which provides interesting tidbits about history and Stoker's possible intentions with the story. The research itself is astounding.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Countdown #10: I SELL THE DEAD

Here's a fun little Halloween treat for ya.

I had no expectations when I put on this movie. I didn't even know what it was about, aside from the excellent title. Turns out, this is a quirky, lively flick about grave robbers who seem as if they were just kicked out of a Dickens novel.

It has many things to recommend it, first of all the cast, which includes Dom Monaghan (You know--Charlie from LOST and one of the hobbits [My mom thought he was twins with Billy Boyd. That still cracks me up.]. The great Ron Perlman (SONS OF ANARCHY [!]) also has a role. Overall, the film has the dark humor vibe of a long TALES FROM THE CRYPT episode. It uses interesting visuals, such as illustrated panels and collage-type presentations. And, this is going to sound strange, but if you watch HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, you might agree with me that the storyline follows the same frenetic paths. For instance, you have two characters who are sitting down for a chat in a bar (or, in this case, a jailhouse). One starts to tell a tale, and that tale branches off into witty asides and other little stories that all converge at the end. I love it.

It's atmospheric, cheeky, and a surprising bit of a gem. Also, it might be best viewed while having a beer or two. Just sayin'.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Countdown #9: (The original) MY BLOODY VALENTINE

Weirdly, I don't remember much about this movie from the first time I saw it. There's a vague recollection of coal mines and that semi-iconic miner's outfit, but MY BLOODY VALENTINE (MBV) didn't leave much of an impression on me otherwise.

That surprises me, because this movie is actually pretty good. It was really low budget, and it could've been an absolute boring mess, but there's something about the feel of the town/community and the relationships the characters have to one another that elevate MBV above the usual slasher fare. (Unfortunately, the recent remake brings the bar back down, except for the appearance of my lovely Dean Winchester. But that would be another blog entry.)

I referred to the establishment of a mythology in my FRIDAY THE 13th, PART 2 post the other day, and MBV takes care to do that, much to its benefit. And the villain's story is haunting and effective: about 20 years ago, there was a cave-in down at the mine that supports the town's economy. There was one survivor, Harry Warden. In a flashback, we see him as a batshit crazy dude gnawing on an arm while he's trapped in a bunch of debris. Niiiiice. We find out that Harry developed a vendetta against the town because, while the cave-in was happening, the residents were partying away at a Valentine's Dance. He comes back from a stay in a mental institution to slaughter the foremen at the mine.

Cue present time, when the town has manned up and decided to start up the Valentine's Dance tradition again. That's when it looks like Harry has returned yet again.

As a movie geek, it was fun to see things that have shown up in other horror movies. There's the requisite joker character/comic relief who stumbles out of a door covered in gory make-up early on. (Yeah, he's a dead meat.) There's a "Crazy Ralph" (F13th, parts 1 &2) type character who warns the town that they're DOOMED. And, oddly, there's a scene in which characters are playing the same knife-between-the-fingers game that the android Bishop plays in ALIENS...except it's much slower here, with humans.

One of the things I like most about MVB is that there's a good, solid love triangle going on that gives some weight to the story. It pays off very nicely in the end, too. Sure, it has its share of dumb character moments, but this is definitely one of your better slashers out there.

Next up? Perhaps BLACK SABBATH....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Giveaway and Q&A!

If you'd like to win a signed copy of A DROP OF RED, Vampire Babylon, Book 4, is giving one away! There's also a Q&A, and I'm answering your questions today!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween Countdown #8: FRIDAY THE 13th, PART 2

Are you all watching AMC's Halloween Fear Fest? It just started, and it features bunches of scary flicks as well as little interviews with horror movie makers. Right now, they're playing eight of the FRIDAY THE 13th movies, and next week, it's on to the HALLOWEENs.


I'm going to confess this with the utmost humiliation I can muster: FRIDAY THE 13th, PART 2, is one of my fave scary movies. I know it's not a cerebral exercise in movie making. It's not even respectable to like it. But it still makes me jump during some of those dumb cat-comes-through-a-window scenes, and I always get nervous when it comes time for Jason's face to be revealed from under that pillowcase he wears (He didn't get the hockey mask until part 3 and, frankly, I think the pillowcase is way creepier.). The bottom line is that this is a movie I can watch over and over again, just for that scary movie experience that I hope I'm going to get whenever I pop a new movie into the DVD.

Weirdly, I'll even submit to you that a writer of action/suspense might also learn a thing or two by how F13:2 sets things up, but we'll get to that.

You guys know the basic story by now: Horny counselors show up for training at a semi-isolated camp spot. Crazy Ralph ("You're all doomed!") warns them. They ignore Crazy Ralph. Jason does his thing.

But there are some elements of F13:2 that make it a bit better than your average B-horror show. (And we have to consider, here, that this movie came out in 1981, long before audiences became well-versed in scary movie mechanics--SCREAM did a lot to produce a jaded bunch of viewers who know the conventions of a horror flick.)

First, F13:2 does a pretty good job of establishing the "Legend of Jason" in the initial few minutes, even while setting up the tone. I think having this mythos is what gives the series its accessibility, and a good legend lifts one series above the rest.

And this is how they do it: the Final Girl of the previous movie is having nightmares about facing off with and then killing Jason's mom in the last movie. It evens seems as if F13:2 is going to focus on this Final Girl once again, but this time she'll be facing off with Jason, not Mommy.


F13:2 has the brass balls to kill off the Final Girl right away. It throws the viewer off his/her game, because who do we connect to now?

(At least PSYCHO had the decency to kill off its "heroine" mid-way through the film!)

Secondly, F13:2 gives us a true menace. We know that most horror movie franchises, such as the FRIDAY movies as well as the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREETS, degenerated as time went by--the villains became cartoons instead of real threats. Freddy became a bad comedian and Jason became a wrestler who lumbered around in that hockey mask and somehow developed the ability to never die. But in this flick, Jason's got some mystery to him. (There's an entire scene devoted to the Final Girl theorizing about what Jason might be, how he might've been shaped by his mother's death, etc.) Jason's also got a lot of pathos, because before he became that supernatural wrestler of the later movies, he had a pretty average body, and he depended more upon his stalking skills than anything. You can only see one eye peeking out from underneath his pillowcase, and that's a great touch, because you can detect confusion in that gaze. You can see some mental wounds, too. Jason isn't just a generic killer here--he's primal. He's (as the Final Girl says) a little boy trapped in a man's body. Also, when Jason tries to kill someone, he doesn't always do it with the brutish efficiency he exhibited during those later films--there's one time in particular when his weapon breaks. And the Final Girl comes up with a genuinely clever way to entrap him, and his vulnerability to her plan actually makes him a bit more human.

Another great thing about this movie is that some of the counselors are developed with more attention than characters in these movies usually get. They're not *just* horny plot points who're being set up to provide a gory murder pay off (although, yes, some of them *are* just that)--a few of them actually have decent "moments" and lines. Take, for instance, the "comic relief guy." Yes, he spouts silly jokes, but he's got some moments that reveal he's a thinking man, and you get the feeling that he might be fun to hang out with in small doses. Then there's the head counselor. He's got this dry sense of humor that distinguishes him from the other dead meats. And the Final Girl is probably one of my top three favorite Final Girls ever. She's a psychology student, smart, resourceful, and appealing, with a fun sense of humor. She's your best friend from high school, freckled, with strawberry blond hair. But she's not an annoying goody-goody, and that's where some Final Girls fail.

Now, remember when I mentioned that this movie might teach a writer a thing or two about setting up some action and suspense? Just watch the way the movie introduces an undependable car that has a hard time starting. (Jaded viewers will know that this will pay off in the third act, but the car is used as a character building moment for the Final Girl and the head counselor.) Look at the introduction of a spear that will be used during the murder spree. (Big action rule: weapons should be introduced in a setting long before the hero or villain has need of them.) And look at how it's established that the Final Girl has a comfortable acquaintance with how to use a chain saw, so that, when she has need of it, the audience doesn't laugh at the absurdity of a girl even knowing how to turn one of those things on. least, I wouldn't know how to do that. Apologies to the Woman Nation. (Another action rule: don't bring a fighting/survival skill out of left field and give it to your character just because they all of a sudden need that skill to survive. It needs to be established beforehand, even if it's just a one-second shot.) A lot of scary movies don't bother with these simple rules, but it's nice to see it here.

One of the smartest things this script does to escalate the stakes and danger is to send a lot of those counselors off site to a bar, where they party away while a few select dead meats stay behind to get killed. That way, Jason can pick off the victims one by one, like a traditional murder mystery, except we know who the killer is in this one. And the movie does this isolation quite organically, without introducing a snow storm that blocks off the camp or anything like that.

Sure, there are things about this movie that grate on me: some bad acting along with the good. Muffin the dog's dopey appearance at the end (although it does set up a relief moment just before danger springs out again). Worst of all, there's a character who wants to get into a guy's pants so desperately that she practically drools out her dialog. (Gah--that character gets on my nerves.) But those are small potatoes compared to the rest.

Also, I love Jason's look in this flick. He's not so much a monster (as in the later movies) as he is a twisted hillbilly with a peach fuzz beard. You almost feel sorry for him when you see him, even though he's still trying to kill someone.

And that ending? Yikes! If you've seen it, you're probably with me when I tell you that even now, after many, many viewings, I still expect that the head's eyes will POP open and scare the crap out of me.

I've got several movies to choose from next: BLACK SABBATH, the original MY BLOODY VALENTINE, and some J-horror movie that someone recommended to me but I can't recall the name.... See you soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Countdown #7: PEEPING TOM

Based on the title, this sounds like a naughty little nugget indeed, yes?

I'll tell you right now, though, that this is a "classy" horror movie--more of a character study than a titillating tale of the macabre.

According to my Netflix DVD jacket, the director of PEEPING TOM (Michael Powell) also made THE RED SHOES. I haven't seen that movie, but it's a classic, and I suspect that it has the same kind of stylized sets and startlingly colored skies as this flick does. Also, this movie came out the same year as PSYCHO, and coincidentally, it explores the effect that a terrible parent can have on a child. However, in this movie, it's the father who's at fault. I'll leave it to you to find out what he did to make his son into a photographer who gets off on using his camera to record the fright on his victims' faces as he kills them.

What's also interesting is that PEEPING TOM shares the same "type" of hero as we got in Norman Bates--a soft spoken guy who's not necessarily bad looking. He's a bit socially inept, though his attempts at relating to women can be sort of sweet (if you don't know what's going on with him). The guy who plays the Peeper in this flick is almost bug-eyed, but not quite; he's what Peter Lorre might've looked like if he'd been prettier.

If you're looking for a slasher movie, this probably won't do it for you. It's deliberately paced with violence that's more implied than shown. But it's creepy just the same. It's the kind of movie you'd have to watch a few times to fully appreciate, with subtext about our own complicity in crime and sin.

Heavy stuff for Halloween.

I'm in the mood for something much lighter going forward, so I'm returning to a tried-and-true Halloween cheapy that I know will cater to my C-grade Halloween horror movie love: FRIDAY THE 13th, PART 2. Enter Jason!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Halloween Countdown #6: MURDER PARTY

Boy, was this movie different than I'd expected.

From the title, you're probably thinking it's a slasher type flick. I was, too. Instead, it turned out to be a sort of comedy/horror film about "murder as art." This isn't a bad thing, mind you, just...different.

It does have a good Halloween vibe though, starting out with a geek/nerd guy who comes across an appealing invitation to a party. When he decides to attend, he whips up a cardboard knight costume from a box then bakes pumpkin bread, which everyone knows is an absolute requirement to be accepted at any Halloween party.

Surprise--this is not the type of welcoming soiree in which everyone will think you're a cool dude for bringing the pumpkin bread.

What follows is actually, at times, a genuinely funny flick. (Example: as the nerd is traveling to the party, there's a guy on the subway who's rapping at him. Yes, rapping AT him, and the nerd is very scared. I laughed.) When he gets to the party, there's even a girl dressed like Priss from BLADE RUNNER, and that was cool. The characters aren't even the cardboard kind that you'd get from normal slasher fare, and I appreciated that, too.

All in all, it's more morbid than scary, with a great deal of black humor mixed in. Check it out for something...different.

I swear, you guys, I'm going to watch PEEPING TOM next!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Countdown #5: THE DEVIL'S BRIDE

Do you guys love the old Hammer movies as much as I do?

There's just nothing like the atmosphere of these gems--everything from the awesome music to the evocative set design to the fiendish talents of people like Christopher Lee (who played their Dracula) and Peter Cushing (their vampire hunter) just strikes the right chords with me. Especially during Halloween time, mwah-hah-hah.

I have to say that this movie, THE DEVIL'S BRIDE (1968), isn't one of my Hammer faves. That distinction goes to THE VAMPIRE LOVERS. But it's a fun time, with Chris Lee playing an actual good guy. He's a French nobleman (and a hypnotist and cult expert!) who tries to save his friend from devil people. Actually, this film, as well as ROSEMARY'S BABY, is said to have started to the entire "devil movie" trend that followed shortly thereafter. (Credit Robert Osborne from TMC for that tidbit.)

This film is downright quaint compared to the later "devil movies" though. Watch something like BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW and you'll no doubt agree. DEVIL'S BRIDE doesn't have nudity or all that much blood, even though there's a nifty tricked-out ceremony in which the worshipers are all touchy-feely with each other (scandalous!) and in which the devil himself shows up as a goat man.

My favorite part is when Chris Lee is all, "DON"T LOOK AT THE EYES!" when his friend becomes enthralled by a devil guy. It's one of those scenes that was probably totally scary in the 60s, but now it's kind of hilarious and cute. Also, this movie has the distinction of showing me the first villain ever who says, "I shall not be back." That in itself gives it awesome status.

Some of you know that Hammer has been resurrected, and they're making horror movies again. I. Can't. Wait!!!

Next: Okay, I'm finally getting around to PEEPING TOM. I swear.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Halloween Countdown #4: DON'T GO IN THE HOUSE

[MANY SPOILERS, and I think you'll thank me for the warnings]

I'm not sure how to feel about this movie.

In spite of the title, it's not about a haunted house. I'd even like to offer an alternate title for this film.


This is how it starts off: There's a guy with a very bad disco hair-do who works at some place where they wear haz-mat suits or whathaveyou. One of his co-workers catches on fire, but our main character just stands there, watching in utter fascination. If that doesn't clue you in to the major issues that this character, Donny, will be presenting to us, we get him saying, "[My co-worker] wasn't evil, but [the fire] covered him up."

So if you haven't realized by now that Donny relates fire to punishment and sinfulness, you'll figure it out soon enough, after he goes home to a gross, wallpaper-peeling house on a hill and waits hand and foot on his demanding mommy, who's curiously silent. (PSYCHO alert.) Well, it turns out that she's not rotting away in some fruit cellar--she's died within the last few hours (and Donny hasn't noticed).

So Donny freaks out a little before the whispery voices come to him. "You're free," they say.

Naturally, Donny starts sowing those wild oats that have been building up in him over the years. He asks the voices if he can play his (disco!) music loud. So he does, and he jumps on the furniture, too. He smokes a ciggie with wanton glee, knowing Mommy won't catch him this time.

It'd be great if that were the extent of it--if he then buried his mom, whipped that house into shape, then went on smoking and molesting couches. But it is not to be.

Donny, a mild-mannered guy on the outside, starts bringing girls home with him, chaining them up, then burning them alive.

Released in 1979, this is an early slasher film, I guess, even though there's not much slashing. It's not fun at all, either, and I mean that in an "adrenaline rush" way. There are no big scare scenes, no hide-behind-the-pillow moments that make a good horror movie such a roller coaster ride. To its credit though, it really played on my female psyche, making me relate to the victims because they find themselves caught up in situations that could happen to any of us, really. I mean, a fairly nice guy comes into your flower shop, creeps you out a little, then leaves. But when you're harassed by some scary perverts while you're waiting for your bus, the relatively non-scary guy happens to drive by and he offers you a ride, saving you. Then he says he wants to drop his flowers off at home first. That seems fair enough, and, actually, he's not creeping you out that much any more. Then you find out you were being stupid just before you die.

If anything, this movie is a thesis on How Not To Be Dumb If You're a Single Woman.

I think there's additionally a pretty powerful message about child abuse in this flick. The ending scene drives that home, making me think that the creator had something more than just shock-and-burn depravity in mind. There also seems to be a real attempt at a character study. Then again, the kills in DGITH are just so repulsive and mean-spirited. It's one of those films that make you wonder what the hell you're doing even watching it, much less, making it to the end credits.

So watch this one at your peril. It might turn your stomach.

Next? Maybe PEEPING TOM....

Saturday, October 09, 2010


Do you guys ever get bored and tune into the Chiller channel? If so, you know most of the movie are pretty lame, right?

Well, I had a nice little surprise.

WEREWOLF HUNTER: THE LEGEND OF ROMASANTA (WH:TLR) wasn't half bad. What made it especially intriguing is that it's based on true facts (although I'm sure a lot of artistic flair was taken). The beginning credits tell us that, in Spain, 1851, the first serial killer was brought to trial, and in his defense, he claimed to be a werewolf. I wonder if this was the Twinkie Defense of its day.

At any rate, this killer is played by Julian Sands.

Remember when he was in ROOM WITH A VIEW?

Nowadays, he seems to be the go-to actor for all the warlock/sensitive masked or unmasked killer roles available. But he does bring a certain wounded gentleman vibe to his characters, so I'm glad he's working them.

This is how the killer operates--he's a traveling man, he's made a lot of stops, and his M.O. is to seduce women before he kills them with the aid of a partner. As the action starts this time around, Julian finds a victim in a heroine who--I swear to you--looks a lot like Sadie Frost (Lucy) from BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA. The thing was, though, I thought there was going to be a different "final girl"* in this movie, since there was a young chick who couldn't speak. I could just see her trying to scream as the werewolf went after her in the final reel.


I mentioned in my post about THE WOLFMAN several days ago that I'm not super keen on werewolves that are just wolves. Give me a freakish half-man, half-wolf any day rather than the more naturalistic monster. WH:TLR takes the latter approach, but it added to the "true account" framing of the story. And the flick really does have some good atmosphere and suspense. Also, there's some bathtub hotness to recommend it. Oh, and one more thing--when it shows the man to wolf transformation, it's pretty cool in an old-school, fetal monster kind of way.

Next up? I've got DON'T GO IN THE HOUSE and PEEPING TOM coming from Netflix. Let's see which twisted tale catches my fancy first.

* "final girl"-a well-known term in horror movie circles denoting the last prey standing, and it's usually a female, unless the creator is turning the genre on its head. It's normally an innocent girl who finds her strength during the course of all the screaming and "Who's there"ing.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Halloween Countdown: THE BURNING

If you’re in the market for a cut-rate FRIDAY THE 13th slasher film, THE BURNING is for you. Actually, it’s not a bad film, as far as horror flicks go. The acting is decent in most cases, and there are a few jump-scares that worked for me, as the killer is pretty good at hiding and the director is adept at ratcheting up the suspense as the victims approach a likely scenario of doom.

Here’s the basic premise: summer camp. Stories of an old caretaker who got pranked (er...burned) by some former campers five years ago and is running about the forest, slicing and dicing now. Present day campers become total fodder for said maniac.

In my book, FRIDAY THE 13th is a really good horror flick: it contains a lot of menace, which is so lacking in many scary movies. Mrs. Vorhees is way more frightening than the killer in THE BURNING, IMHO, even if this guy's kills are effective. (Tom Savini did the make up, and here’s a rule of thumb for novice horror movie watchers: if you’re looking for the mark of a decent scary flick, go to IMDB and find out which movies he’s done.) Also, FRIDAY THE 13th was canny enough to utilize a creepy score that carried hints of a horror masterpiece in its screaming PSYCHO violins; it also had that “Cheh-cheh-cheh-hah-hah-hah” or whatever sound effect, something that made it stand out from other movies. THE BURNING has your basic cheap pinball-synth music—the kind that makes you think that someone let their five-year-old loose on a keyboard.

But there are some interesting traits that distinguish THE BURNING from its forerunner, FRIDAY THE 13th, which (early on) used the counselors as its dead meat. THE BURNING brings the kid campers into the action. That’s kind of ballsy. And we get to see camp life--not just counselors preparing for the arrival of the campers. And the camp itself? Pleasure Freakin’ Island. The horny teens smoke, read Playboy and Hustler, and engage in frequent brawling. The boy male hornies also are under the guidance of what could be termed The Worst Counselors Evah.

I liked that.

Oh—and here’s the Film/TV Geek orgasm part of the flick: you won’t believe who’s in this movie! I present to you a pubescent Holly Hunter (who’s barely in it, but you can pick her out as one of the potential dead meats), Fisher Stevens, Mark Ratner from FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, and…wait for it…a young George Costanza—but with hair! It’s awesome!

P.S. On a side note, as I anticipated, I haven’t been able to do SUPERNATURAL recaps. It’s just on at a bad time for me, and by the time I can get around to writing down my thoughts, the novelty of the episode has worn off. But I like the new set up with the bros. Don’t you?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Books Giveaway--Vampire Book Club is giving away the first four (signed mass market) books in my Vampire Babylon series--plus there's a fun Q&A where you'll learn more about Dawn, Kiko, and the gang!

Go here!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Halloween Countdown: THE WOLFMAN (2010)

Last year I had so much fun watching a couple of scary movies a week in preparation for Halloween that I wanted to do it again.

And so it begins...

I'm starting off with the most recent version of THE WOLFMAN, with Benecio del Toro and Emily Blunt. (Don't worry--the choices will get quirkier and uckier and far more bottom-of-the-basement quality as I go along.)

I was eager to see this one way back when it had a panel at Comic-Con. Unfortunately, it didn't come out for a while--it was shelved, only to be released this year to little fanfare. I thought it looked like a good companion piece to BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA, a flick that I adore for its operatic overkill and gothic vampire swooniness. I thought THE WOLFMAN would have some similarities: Anthony Hopkins, for one. Crumbling estates, mausoleums, and mist-in-the-woods eeriness for another.

But THE WOLFMAN is somehow not quite as engaging as DRACULA, although it has its moments. For you horror freaks out there (I'm including myself, too), there's plenty of ick and slash. There's even a fantastic sequence with the wolfman running around London that had me grinning with wicked joy. I love me some Victorian London grossness--my ongoing fascination with Jack the Ripper supports that claim.

The best thing about this movie for me was the wolfman design. Forgive me, but I'm not in to werewolves who change in to...well, wolves. Not my thing. I like the messed-up man/wolf creature that emerges by the light of a full moon, a mutant, a real monster who seems pissed off that he got the short end of the pretty stick. And what we get here is a turbo version of the Lon Chaney wolfman. Seriously--this creature does some damage to gypsies and unfortunates who inadvisedly wander through the woods with lanterns eeking out a bit of light while they murmur, "Who's there?" just after a twig snaps behind them.

What was extra special to me about THE WOLFMAN is that Benecio del Toro actually looks a lot like the Frankenstein monster when he's in human form. I defy you to tell me I'm wrong after you get a gander at him with those burned-out eyes and a terrible mop of stringy hair covering that forehead. So Frankensteiny. Oh, and if you're looking for some prime Anthony Hopkins scenery chewing--tah-dah! Right here, my friends. He's just as weird as he was in DRACULA, with all those ticks, blank stares, and, in this case, riveting apple chomping. It's like he wandered over from DRACULA with the craziest parts of Van Helsing still intact. Gotta love the kind of crazy that only Hopkins can bring.

Overall, I'd say this works as a pre-Halloween flick. Great creepy atmosphere. Lots o'blood and carnage. Classic monster mash.

Stay tuned for more movies as we meander through October on our way to the big day!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Here's the cover for the anthology that will contain a new Vampire Babylon short story (as well as works from Simon R. Green and Rachel Caine):

Nice and noir! This will be on sale March, 2011....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vamps, Hunters, and Broad Shoulders

Next week, you all!

Since SUPERNATURAL has moved to Friday nights, I'm not sure about doing a least one that will be relevant by the time I get around to it after the weekend. We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blaze site

I'll be able to write my next Blaze in the coming months--and it's about time, LOL. My last one was out in June, 2009. I can't believe I didn't have one on shelves this year. In fact, I recently received word that my next one is tentatively scheduled for November, 2011!

I still read lots of Blazes though. I love the line, and the authors are fabulous. They even have a Blaze site, and it's got posts on everything from craft to pop culture. Brenda Chin, senior editor, even comes on every once in a while!

Check it out at . They've got giveaways, too!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Just in case I didn't reach my quota of Con goodness this year, I went to Dragon*Con, Atlanta. It's different than Comic-Con, San Diego, mainly because of its size. But, as one of my friends commented early on as we gazed at the towering Hyatt floors with Con attendees hanging over the rails, Dragon*Con is more like a "giant geek dorm."

You heard that right--since Dragon*Con isn't located in a convention center, all the action takes place in five hotels, so it's pretty spread out. However, judging from the sea of people you must navigate, "spread out" doesn't seem like the best description. If you're in any way claustrophobic, this is not the experience for you.

I was lucky enough to be put on three different panels: Vampire Ethics, Out of the Coffin, and Marketing Yourself. Fun was had, and I must say that I learned a thing or two about business from the last one. And do I need to mention the excellent food that I snarfled down during the Con? Not only was there a Guest Room for Con professionals that offered some downright yummy kibbles, but Kasey Mackenzie (RED HOT FURY--read it!) and I went to Ray's in the City for some very fine seafood. I went to Mary Mac's Tea Room for some delectable soul food, as well. Eating is a very major part of any trip, as any one who has traveled with me can tell you.

Besides having the good fortune to hang out with Kasey, I also got to spend lots of time with urber agent and author Deidre Knight, her family, plus the wonderful Marley Gibson and Patrick Burns ("Haunted Highways" on Twitter). My only bummer of the Con was that the Ghost Adventure guys had to cancel.

So it's back into the swing of writing now. I'll be diving into a Special Edition, plus shaping a couple of new projects....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Most recent contest winner

Congrats to Janet Gould, who won my latest contest! I'll have another one up by mid-month, so stay tuned for details. : )

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dragon*Con Knight Agency authors

The Knight Agency (of which I am a proud part) will have a full slate of authors at Dragon*Con in Atlanta over Labor Day Weekend. Check out this page for bios and schedules!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Want to join my book group?

One of my Facebook friends, Jonathan Geisel, just started up a book group for my urban fantasies. I'm hoping that there can be discussions and perhaps some book giveaways in the future, if we get enough people. I'd love for you to join!

Go here:!/group.php?gid=140610505974271&ref=nf

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I have been very bad about keeping up with my blog during this latest deadline, but I've just turned in the third BLOODLANDS book and I can breathe! (For a day.)

I'm taking the rest of the day off. I'm going to READ, baby! I just started ROSEMARY AND RUE by Seanan McGuire and I really want to get back to it. I haven't been so involved in a story for a while. It's about a fae community in San Francisco, and it's engaging and detailed and really creative.

(OMG, I typed "creature" instead of "creative" before I corrected it. Shows you where my mind is still at. I *literally* just sent in Bloodlands 3 a few minutes ago after a last polish.)

Ooo--I'm also reading PERSUASION by Jane Austen, just because I had a craving for... I don't know. Genteel romance? High-waisted dresses? Awesomeness?

Okay. I'm off. Hope you all are doing well. ; )

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Such a Nice Post!

The lovely Juliannette (AKA Annette) kindly posted about me on her blog, so I'd like to point it out! She's also working on a book, so to check all of that out, go to:

I'm so grateful and tickled whenever one of you posts something about me! [Yeesh, what an ego, huh? : ) ]

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Oh, HELL no, NBC.

"NBC just bought a spec script for “Zombies Vs. Vampires.” Deadline Hollywood says:

Zombies vs. Vampires is described as a "fun buddy cop procedural." It is set in a world where zombies are a part of society, controllable with medication. The show's two leads (one secretly a vampire) are cops assigned to a squad specifically formed to deal with "zombie crime"."
-Ain't It Cool News

Nothing more to be said.

Monday, August 02, 2010

INCEPTION mash up trailer

You guys know how I love those You Tube things where clever people make an "alternate movie trailer." Here's one for INCEPTION.

Monday, July 26, 2010


The day after wiped out. Still, there's work to be done! Lots of chapter polishing.

It was a fabulous weekend. The Saturday Fang Girl and Boy panel went really well, and I was honored to be up there with the likes of Jeanne Stein, Richelle Mead, Charlaine Harris, Christopher Farnsworth, Rachel Caine, and Heather Brewer. Afterward, I had lunch with my editor, Ginjer Buchanan!

Yesterday was pure geek-on day for me, as I camped out in Ballroom 20 to see SMALLVILLE, SUPERNATURAL (Yes, I was utterly taken with the broad shoulders and deep, manly voices of the Brothers Winchester), AMERICAN DAD, GLEE, and SONS OF ANARCHY (...Charlie Hunnam.) As for that stabbing in Hall H? I wasn't anywhere near it, but Con gossip has it that the culprit jabbed a pen near his friend's eye because the dude was sitting too close to him. Nice work, Wonderlic. In all the years I've been to the Con, I don't remember anything like this ever happening. Way to set a new standard.

Anyway, great times. : )

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday at the Con

Needless to say, Comic-Con, San Diego, isn't what it once was. Sure, there are more movie presentations and lots of TV, but it feels like the Con is more about waiting in lines lately. As long as one doesn't expect to see too many panels, disappointment won't overshadow everything else.

And that's how I'm approaching the Con these days: pick one or maybe two panels a day that I can reasonably attend and be happy with that. Also, there's a lot of business involved now, too, because I have the good fortune to be on panels and to network with other authors. It's just a different focus for me now.

That's why I won't be posting detailed commentaries on the panels I go to anymore, but I can offer a couple tidbits from the one I did attend today.


I love this Starz program. It's got majorly gratuitous violence, lightning-quick pacing, and enough drama to make a Greek tragedy envious. If you watch the series, here are a few tidbits I gleaned today:

* Andy Whitfield, who plays the title role, has conquered his cancer and is looking great. He's going to hit the gym again to get in shape for season 2. But before that, Starz will air a prequel series (6 episodes) that brings back John Hannah's and Lucy Lawless's deliciously eeeeevil and decadent characters. Spartacus' story will continue after that.

* In the prequel, the character of Doctore will play a really big part, although we won't see his gladatorial match with Theocoles.

* Lucy Lawless says that the prequel opens with "all guns blazing." It's just as packed with drama and action as the first season.

If you can stream this on Netflix, go for it. But, again, it's really brutal. And awesome.

Tomorrow I've got my panel with Charlaine Harris, Rachel Caine, and many other vamp writers in room 7AB from 12-1. A signing follows.
Sunday will be my panel day. Let's hope I get to see SUPERNATURAL and SONS OF ANARCHY!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Comic-Con Tips

Going to San Diego Comic-Con? (If you are, I sure hope you're coming to the panel I'm on Saturday at 12pm!) Here's a tip sheet:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Cover

Here's the cover for my October installment in the new Montana Mavericks series for Silhouette Special Edition. WHEN THE COWBOY SAID "I DO" is the fourth book, and it's a fun "marriage of convenience/pregnant bride" story. The series starts off this month with Christine Rimmer, and that reminds me--I need to go out and buy the book!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mysterious Galaxy Booth (#1119) at Comic-Con!

The fabulous Mysterious Galaxy book store will have a booth on the exhibit floor at Comic-Con (space #1119). Click here to see the featured authors (including me!)....

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Cover Art

In the past, I've gotten queries about the cover art on my Vampire Babylon books. Larry Rostant is the artist, and believe me when I say that I lucked out when he was assigned to me!

For a peek at more of his amazing work, here's his web site:

You can thank him for making you drool to read certain books. : )

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A DROP OF RED reissue day

Today the mass market reissue for A DROP OF RED, Vampire Babylon, Book 4, hits!

Last Contest Winner

Congratulations to the winner of my most recent contest--Dena Walton! She's going to get a big bundle of books.

My new contest and the site updates will be finished soon, so stay tuned....

Friday, June 25, 2010


Hey, you all--today's the last day before I change the contest over at my main site. You still have a chance to win a *lot* of books during my latest contest though!

Good luck. ; )

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Speaking at RWA-SD meeting this weekend!

I'll be doing a "Critique Group Therapy" workshop this weekend with my critique partner Judy Duarte for the RWA San Diego chapter this Saturday. Judy and I are going to talk about how our critique group works, then do some actually critiquing of pages that the RWA members have submitted. Mwa-ha-ha! (Actually, we're very kind--honest but not brutally honest!)

Here's info:

Also, I'm going to be on a big panel at Comic-Con this year. Charlaine Harris is on it, too! (As well as Richelle Mead and other big names who will make me want to just sit there and be intimidated. ). It'll be on Saturday from 12-1.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


It's always a relief when you hit a point in your Work In Progress where you feel as if you're standing on firmer ground. I realized recently that my current WIP--the third Bloodlands book--has a major outlaw element. In fact, there's some Bonnie and Clyde stuff going on--western urban fantasy paranormal style, of course. : ) I'm looking forward to getting deep into that part.

That's what it's all about, writers!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

And they're off...

I'm on chapter four of the third BLOODLANDS book now (post-apocalyptic urban fantasy western, 2011). Phew. I wasn't sure how I wanted to start this one, but I've got the first couple of chapters in place and it doesn't feel sucky. : ) I'll feel even better after I've polished them though.

This one is going to be fun... Bonnie & Clyde type vibe with the heroine and hero... Some pretty dark stuff (What's new?)... New monsters to play with... Revenge and reckoning, paranormal style....

Monday, June 07, 2010

Earworm of the Day

Now, I know that you guys have experienced days when you're trying so very hard to get work done, but it's not happening because there's a certain song playing over and over and over in your head.

Here's mine today:

Thank you, Quentin Tarantino and DEATH PROOF!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Anne Boleyn: Vampire?

I'm a big Anglophile who loves to read about Tudor England in particular. So, in spite of the already played out trend of "What if so-and-so was a vampire/hunter/zomie/whatever," my interest was caught by this upcoming book:

Oh, to see Henry VIII get his butt kicked by a woman/vampire scorned....

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fun Blog Entry

Over at the Deadline Dames blog today, Jenna Black is talking about book recommendations for the summer. Head on over!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CHUCK blog link

Selena, a friend and frequent visitor, has written a spoiler-free appreciation post about CHUCK. I haven't watched the finale yet, but I'm really looking forward to it, especially after hearing how excited Selena is! There's also a contest involved, so you might want to check that out, too.

See you there. : )

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fun YouTube Find of the Week

What if THE SHINING was a life-affirming comedy-drama that made you feel alllllll fuzzy inside as you left the theater?

This is what its trailer would look like:

Whoever did this, you're a genius!

Monday, May 17, 2010


This is what I've been up to:

* Turned in Blaze proposal - check

* Polishing third book proposal pages in latest Special Edition contract - check

* Delved into manuscript for second book on Special Edition contract - check

* Plotting author-generated idea for a Special Edition miniseries with my critique partners, Judy Duarte and Sheri Whitefeather - check

* Slowly thinking of an idea for next Special Edition contract - check

* Gearing up to write the third book in my post-apocalyptic urban fantasy western series (Bloodlands) - check

I'm going insane.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

End of First-Run Days...SUPERNATURAL, etc.

So I finally got to watch SUPERNATURAL. Pretty good, but the ending with Sam standing outside Dean's window freaked me out. What is Sam now? I hope this bodes interesting things for next season. I even wonder if Kripke and company even meant to go there with Sam since SPN was designed to last only five seasons, not six....

What I did like about the eppie:
* intensity--that was some good stuff. And the lonely western graveyard meet was very reminiscent of season two, which I love. I could barely watch while Dean was being hammered by Lucifer. Gah. How dare the prince of darkness ruin that lovely face!!! Dick.

* the Impala. We always knew this car was special, but I really liked how the Impala became a symbol for the love between Sam and Dean. And, yes, it was cheesy how it was the tool that brought Sam out of Lucifer, but it was good cheese.

* the creepy ending. I've already mentioned this, but it merits a second comment. Brrr.

What I didn't love:
* Lisa, the suddenly way important character. I know she always lingered somewhere in Dean's dreamy subconscious as a symbol of what he really wanted out of life. But her reappearance just didn't feel...natural. Know what I mean? All I know about the woman was that Dean had awesome sex with her and she had a kid who could've been his (or still might be? Please don't do that, writers.). I don't feel a true connection between her and Dean--she's just that symbol, not a real person to me.

* Chuck. Huh? Really? God? This dude has a *lot* of 'splaining to do. So God didn't really have a good reason to be absent from all the crap going down? He wasn't being held captive or...something? And, furthermore, he really wasn't absent at all--he was in the thick of all the agony and chaos and he still didn't do anything about it. No wonder the dickie angels didn't fall far from the tree if "Chuck" is such a douche.

In other non-SUPERNATURAL news, some of you have contacted me about HEROES and its cancellation. I haven't watched it for a long time now. I just couldn't deal with it any more. But I hear that there's not even going to be a finale. That stinks. I kept hearing through the grapevine that NBC was even considering a short episode arc that would close things out, so I wonder what happened to have them just pull the series without a swan song.

Also, VAMPIRE DIARIES? Whoa. *That's* how to go out for the summer!

BTW, I'm having major problems with Twitter. For some reason, it's only letting me post sporadically, and I can't seem to contact anyone through their help center. We'll see what happens with that....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

SPN coming up

Once again, I'm unable to post a timely watercooler for SUPERNATURAL. I'll do it sometime within the next couple of days though. Enjoy the season finale tonight!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Viral Laugh

This video is making the rounds, and it was good for a laugh. Witness the Bronte Sisters action dolls. I especially like Anne's sneer.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Among other sad things that happen on a daily basis, here are some images of the beautiful Opryland hotel where the RWA National conference was to be held this summer.

Thoughts and hopes go out to everyone there.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Sneak Peek, Courtesy of Selena and EW

Looks like the SUPERNATURAL water coolers aren't happening lately. Very sorry about that. Time has really gotten away from me!

That's not to say that I didn't finally catch up with the latest episode, which I thought was pretty good. With all the demon play, the eppie reminded me of something we'd have seen in the later part of season 2. It made me warm and fuzzy with the very memories.

Selena emailed me a sneak peek from the EW sight. It's pretty funny:


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New contest--free books!

Congratulations to the latest contest winner, Jung Ja Ahn! She won the Neko print of Red Riding Hood, plus a bundle of signed Vampire Babylon books.

DEEP IN THE WOODS, Vampire Babylon, Book Six, is still on shelves, and the mass market reissue of A DROP OF RED, Book Four, is coming your way in July. That should leave you lots of time for reading, so allow me to help you out with a book packet that includes:

• Books by me: BREAK OF DAWN, Vampire Babylon, Book Three, mass market under the name Chris Marie Green; THE TEXAS BILLIONAIRE’S BRIDE, a Special Edition written as Crystal Green; GOOD TO THE LAST BITE, a Blaze written as Crystal Green, ONE FOR THE ROAD, a Blaze written as Crystal Green that includes another book, DROP DEAD GORGEOUS by Kimberly Raye
• NIGHT FIRE by Vonna Harper
• THE COWBOY by Vonna Harper, PJ Mellor, Nelissa Donovan, and Nikki Alton
• BODY MOVES by Jodi Lynn Copeland
• ONLY WITH A COWBOY by PJ Mellor, Vonna Harper, and Melissa MacNeal

That should keep you busy!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Like a Prayer"--GLEE

Just because Fox screwed up the running time of AMERICAN IDOL and that show ran over, forcing most DVRs to drop the end of GLEE.

Just because the GLEE kids make me happy.

Just because "Like a Prayer" is awesome anyway.

If you missed the end of GLEE Wednesday night, I'm linking to it. Sounds like a lot of people didn't even realize that the last episode ended with this bang:

Friday, April 23, 2010


You've probably noticed that there's no SUPERNATURAL water cooler. That's because I wasn't able to watch it yet. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to accomplish a timely viewing next week, either.

I realized something though. It seems that SPN hasn't been as...enthralling as it used to be. Would you guys say the same? I think it's because we used to have heroes who drove the storylines--they pursued things, charged headfirst into adventures. Now, things happen *to* them and it feels like the episodes are mostly about reaction instead of action.

Or is it just me?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Crit Partner's Book on TV!

This is so cool--my critique partner, Judy Duarte, had her latest book featured on local San Diego TV news. The segment was about beach and nightstand reads, and hers is the last book to be discussed. The guest calls THE HOUSE ON SUGAR PLUM LANE a "comfortable read," like a Ya-Ya Sisterhood type of book. I want to clarify that this fantastic story doesn't take place in the south though--it does have the same community "feel."

Judy has also written MULBERRY PARK and ENTERTAINING ANGELS, both of which have finaled for RITAs! (ANGELS is a contender this year, so huge congrats to Judy!)

Here's the link:

Also, big congrats to the winners of my Bitten By Books event! Renny T and Lisa K should expect their prizes soon....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What's Doin'

It's been a rush during the last few weeks while I've gotten together some proposals for future books. I've done:
* a three chapter/synopsis proposal for two Special Editions
* a small revision for my second BLOODLANDS book (due out in 2011)
* a nineteen page outline for that "paranormal epic fantasy romance" I keep talking about

and I'm starting to polish a Blaze proposal this week, along with revising a Special Edition that'll probably come out in early 2011.

You're probably sensing that 2011 is going to be a big year for my releases. It looks like this so far:

March - Vampire Babylon short story, "Soul Stains," in THOSE WHO FIGHT MONSTERS horror anthology

"early 2011" - all three books in the Cowboy Billionaire, Inc. miniseries for Special Edition?

July - mass market rerelease of DEEP IN THE WOODS, Vampire Babylon, Book Six

August, September, October - BLOODLANDS trilogy (post-apocalyptic urban fantasy western) from Ace

So far, that's eight releases. Gah! Comparatively, I have only five releases this year: two originals, three reissues. I had only two originals this year because my other original releases were pushed to 2011 so we could have "bam-bam-bam" consecutive books on the shelves for the two series. Crazy, huh?

So there it is. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Episode #100! I can’t believe it. I’m trying to think of my favorite installments in this series, and I’d have to say I loved “Mystery Spot,” and then two ending eppies of season 2, when Sam died and Dean sold his soul for him. Those were the most.

What about anyone else? Favorites?

Now, stand with me at the virtual water cooler and let’s gab….

* LOL for the bar scene with Zach talking on one level while the other fired guy is talking on another. Also, why was I getting the vibe that Zach and Stuart could be the Thelma and Louise of the apocalypse, had both of them survived this scene?

* Man, I so wish I could do Cass’s finger trick. I would rule the world!

* Bobby anger is scary anger.

* Okay—I have to say that I was ramped for the “old friend who’d be returning for tonight’s episode” teaser. I’m not that stoked that it’s the lost Winchester bro.

* During the commercial break, I started wondering… What if there was a SUPERNATURAL/BUFFY crossover and the Gentlemen from “Hush” were actually God’s closest angels? Or something. That’s why no one is talking about where He is—because they can’t!

* Straw poll: Will you be seeing the new NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET? I vote meh, except for Jackie Earl Haley. (Does anyone remember him from THE BAD NEWS BEARS, when he played “the hot guy with the motorcycle who’s awesome at baseball”? What?)

* “Blow me, Cass.” The gauntlet—it has been tossed.

* “Lucifer’s gonna wear you to the prom.” Another gauntlet from Dean…and this one lies at Sam’s feet.

* Honestly, Adam is a bit of a vacuum, sucking all the interest out of me. Back to my boys, please.

* All right—the blood barf made Adam more interesting. For a second.

* Oh, oh, the Dean wink. Game not over.

* “Before Michael gets one piece of this sweet ass, he turns you into charcoal.” The final gauntlet right at Zach…plus a knife. Drill, Dean, drill!

* Adam’s not dead? Gah.

So three episodes left? Or is it four? No matter the number, it’s the end of days.

Or is it?

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Got caught up on the programs yesterday, and WHOO-HEE! Are things flying, or what?


First, on SUPERNATURAL, loved the twist with the prophet. And my guess is that we'll be saying "Oh, Dean" a whole lot from this point on. Is Castiel going to step in next week or will the seemingly inevitable Lucifer/Sam vs. Michael/Dean showdown really happen?

As for CHUCK--whoa. And yay! But does anyone really think Shaw is dead? Sure, he got shot. Yeah, he fell into the Seine. Yet we didn't see him on a morgue slab....

Now I'm wondering where Chuck and Sara are going to go from here. But if CHUCK doesn't get renewed for next season, we might not find out anyway. : (

Meanwhile, I'm totally into SURVIVOR this year. I'd fallen away from it until last season, and this time out, the seasoned players are showing us how the game is played. No shortage of bold moves from these guys!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Tonight's SUPERNATURAL....

Sorry, but I can't do a water cooler for SUPERNATURAL this week. I've got guests in town and we're having too much fun eating, bowling, and drinking in ice bars!

Be back with a water cooler next week. : )

Saturday, April 03, 2010

DRONES trailer

I mentioned that, last week, I signed at Borders with the wonderful Amber Benson. In addition to her latest book, CAT'S CLAW, she's also promoting a movie, DRONES. She's one of the creative forces behind it.

Check it out!

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Okay, as if my day hasn’t been sucky enough, they voted my favorite person off of SURVIVOR. I did not need that on top of everything else, island people.

But I did spend much of the night also watching BREAKING BAD, my new obsession, and I have never seen a program that offered so much profound depression and laugh-my-butt-off hilarity in the same hour. Genius show.

On to another program that knows how to do it right!

* I have to say that as much as I hate getting up in the morning, it must be a bummer to awaken with rifles in your face instead.

* “When I come back, I’m gonna be pissed.” And you’d better believe that these boys can come back, Novice Hunter Guy.

* Very, very trippy eppie tonight. It’s actually got some art-house horror vibe to it.

* “It wasn’t perfect ‘til after she died.” Ooooo. Gut-punch line from Dean about Ma and Pa Winchesters’ marriage.

* Lest we forget, the point that Sam is the sweetie and Dean is the one with all the responsibility is emphasized again with Sam’s memory of running away. To him, it was loads of fun. To Dean, it was terrible because it was on his watch. Where do you think this episode is leading?

* Zachariah’s snark is most welcome.

* I wouldn’t normally follow a guy in a creepy wrestling mask, but since it’s Ash, it’ll be all right. Vive le continuity!

* So if everyone has their own heavens, can we indeed have a part in our own “land” where we get to find out the answers to all the questions we’ve been wondering about? (Who was really Jack the Ripper? How did the world really start? Scarlett Johansson—boob job or no?)

* Pamela! Is there any way to resurrect her on Earth?

* Hey, Zach—FAIL!

Dang—I missed the last shot. I know it was someone who was breathing heavily though.

Fun eppie—I liked that we got a peek inside of heaven. And that there’s a way to find out what God is up to. Next week: hardcore coven of hunters?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Neverending Panel

Back in February, I went to a small San Diego fantasy conference called Con-Dor. There, I was fortunate enough to meet new author friends, Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin. These brothers collaborate on a Sci-Fi series, and right out of the gate, their first book, THE UNINCORPORATED MAN, has been nominated for a Prometheus Award. Huge!

They have a great website called the Neverending Panel, where they interview industry pros and present fun geek topics, such as the defense of bad movies. When they asked to interview me, I agreed, even though I have major stagefright. You can see my ten minute clip here, at

Don't laugh at how much I use my hands when I'm trying to explain stuff. :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Signing Today with Amber Benson!

Today at 2pm, I have a signing at the Las Vegas Blvd. Borders with Amber Benson. Her most recent book is CAT'S CLAW, and you probably know that mine is DEEP IN THE WOODS. Both titles sound kind of creepy, huh? Good creepy.

Here's the link:

Thursday, March 25, 2010


It feels like eons since I posted my last water cooler! Wow. In that time, one of my wonderful critique partners, Judy Duarte, finaled in the RITA contest in the Inspirational category for ENTERTAINING ANGELS! It’s a superb book, and I’m incredibly happy that she’s been recognized for her work the second year in a row!

(applause time for Judy)

More applause that SUPERNATURAL is back, please.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty.

I’ve missed those faces. Those shoulders. Those boys.

* Um, that dude on the recliner totally has a hole in his jeans crotch. Sorry, but I noticed.

* Question of the night: If a dead loved one showed up in your living room, would your soft heart melt or would you blow him/her away? You have two seconds to decide!

* Awesome that the cop recognizes Bobby. Smart chick. Also, I never knew Bobby’s last name was “Singer.” I thought it’d be something way more Dickensian like “Demonplugger” or “Crankykickassguy.”

* I just want to know when Bobby’s wife is going to show.

* “You’re a zombie.” “I’m a taxpayer.”
Yup, man, I feel the same way some days.

* And there she is, right on schedule.

* Odd that the milky drool grossed me out more than the brains on the ceiling after Sam dispatched Mrs. Jones. Help.

* I love the Apolo Ohno DayQuil commercial.

* It’s especially sad to watch this because Jim Beaver lost his wife in real life. He wrote a book about it—it’s available from my publisher, Penguin, but I can’t remember what it’s called. Has anyone read it?

* Camera lens blood! Hardcore.

* I hope Bobby hasn’t totally given up on the Winchesters. (My TV feed kept blipping out during this last scene so I hope I didn’t miss anything….)

Next week (Oh, how I love that there’s a next week and we don’t have to wait two more months.): Zach is back.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chiller Auction

For those of you on the east coast--you lucky dogs! You're close to the Chiller horror event. Sounds like it'll be fun. Here's a link to the auction site, where I donated a signed Vampire Babylon set!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vampire Babylon Short Story

I've just gotten word that the anthology that will include my upcoming Vampire Babylon short story has been pushed back to March 2011. I thought it would be coming out in the fall, but there's been a change in distribution for the publishing house--and it's a good change, meaning that it'll be available in more places!

The book's title is THOSE WHO FIGHT MONSTERS, and it has some *really* great authors in it. Here's the list:

C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp

Rachel Caine

Laura Anne Gilman

Chris Marie Green

Simon R. Green

Justin Gustainis

C.J. Henderson

Tanya Huff

Julie Kenner

Jackie Kessler

Caitlin Kittredge

T.R. Pratt

Lilith Saintcrow

Carrie L. Vaughn

What a list! I can't wait to read all these stories. Stay tuned for more info as it comes....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Giveaway at Nalini Singh's blog!

I'm giving away A DROP OF RED and THE PATH OF RAZORS (Vampire Babylon, books 4 & 5) at the fantastic Nalini Singh's blog. I've got ANGEL'S BLOOD up near the top of my TBR and I can't wait to read it! Meanwhile, my blog subject concerns pop culture influences on my writing (like--surprise--STAR WARS. But how the heck does that fit in to Vampire Babylon...?).

Join us here:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wrapping Up

Phew. I would say that there's a day on every manuscript when I go from Commando Robot Girl Mode to "ahhhh, that's better." Today was that day.

It happens after I write those last few chapters, then go back to give them a first polish. After that, there's a definite downslope of the old stress level. Hopefully, after that first polish, the major problems are taken care of. Then I can polish a little more and, soon afterward, off the MS goes to my editor!

I just finished the Montana Mavericks book that'll be out in October (WHEN THE COWBOY SAID "I DO"). Next week, I'll be starting on the second Special Edition book in my current contract because when it's approved, that's a paycheck, baby! After that, it's either my next Blaze proposal or a "wildcard" project that I hope to tell you more about...if the pitch flies!

Have a great weekend. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Busy week! Running around doing stock signings for DEEP IN THE WOODS, finishing the work in progress (the Montana Mavericks Special Edition due out in October), etc.

BTW, Mysterious Galaxy has signed copies of DITW. Here's the link if you're interested in those or in autographed books from my backlist:

And Corey Haim died. How awful is that? They think right now that it was an accidental overdose. It seems we're hearing this story a lot lately. Corey really was a lost boy. : ( RIP.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Signing Tomorrow!

I'll be signing tomorrow with Linda Thomas-Sundstrom, Saturday, at 2 pm at Mysterious Galaxy. (And, yes, I messed up the date in my newsletter. Awesome. It's *tomorrow,* not the 9th! Yikes!)

Linda writes a heck of a werewolf story, and I'll be putting pen to paper for DEEP IN THE WOODS. Here's the info:

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Another chance to win a Vampire Babylon book!

Here's another site that's giving away a signed Vampire Babylon book! It belongs to our very own Selena:

Thanks, Selena! ; )

Book Giveaway on this DEEP IN THE WOODS Release Day!

It's Release Day! Over at the Knight Agency Blog, I'm giving away signed copies of A DROP OF RED, Vampire Babylon, Book Four and THE PATH OF RAZORS, Vampire Babylon, Book Five. Here's the link:

Monday, March 01, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

More ConDor

As I mentioned before, this is ConDor Convention weekend! I'm excited because, today, I get to sit in on a few panels because I only have an autographing session at 2pm. Yesterday, I moderated a panel about genre TV, and we had a great discussion. (Imagine a room full of people who also love SUPERNATURAL and CHUCK and there you go.) Tomorrow, I'll be on a panel about whether genre books like TWILIGHT and Harry Potter persuade mainstream audiences to go genre, too. That's at 10am.

For the most recent news about ConDor, you can go to:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ConDor, This Weekend

If any of you are in the San Diego area, I'll be at the fantasy conference, ConDor, this weekend. Here's my schedule:

February 26, Friday, 12pm – I’m moderating a panel about TV during the last ten years
February 27, Saturday, 2pm – autograph signing
February 28, Sunday, 10am – panel about whether blockbusters like the Twilight saga and Harry Potter draw readers and viewers to SciFi and Fantasy

(Go to for directions and most current information)

Stop by if you're there!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just found this!

Ace/Roc just updated their web site and there's an "essay" I wrote about Vampire Babylon there! To read it, go to

Winner and Knight Blog

The updates for my sites are going up tomorrow, and you know what that means....

New contest!

And it's going to be a good one, I promise, so check in to tomorrow.

Meanwhile, last month's contest winner was Kelly Hobbs, so congrats, Kelly!

I can't believe I forgot about this, but the Knight Agency posted a newsletter article I wrote about writing love scenes to the blog. (Due to space constraints, it had to be edited for the newsletter, so it's published, uncut, on their web site.) To read it, click here on .

Happy reading!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Going the Contest Route

To get published, some writers decide to go the contest route. They enter good contests that provide valuable feedback and, if their work advances, agents and editors see their stuff. This route helped my critique partner, Judy Duarte, get her fine books published, and it's a very valid avenue.

If you want to give it a try, I'll recommend a great contest for you--Spring Into Romance. Here are some details:

~Permission to forward granted~

RWA San Diego chapter is proud to announce our Spring Into Romance Contest

Open to any writer, unpublished in book-length fiction within the last three
years of deadline and uncontracted in book-length fiction at the time of
submission. You must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any
of them to a publisher or any other party prior to the contest deadline.

Submit the first 25 pages of your manuscript (see
for full submission
requirements and rules).

No synopsis required!

Fee: $25; ($20 for RWASD members; $35 for foreign entries)

Eligibility: Not published in book-length fiction within three years
of deadline

Specialized score sheet sections for each category.

First Round Judges: Trained or published. Every attempt will be made
to assign each entry a published judge.

Final Judges include:
Contemporary Single Title Romance: Leis Pederson (Berkley Publishing Group),

Novel w/Romantic Elements :Adam Wilson (MiRA Books),
Paranormal Romance: Megan Records (Kensington) and more to be announced

Send your entries to the proper category coordinators listed on website in
the entry materials.

We'll email you when your entry arrives. If you'd prefer to receive a
postcard, just enclose an SAS postcard with your packet.

Still have questions? Feel free to contact me at

Entries must be postmarked by March 19, 2010
(Local entries can be hand delivered at the March RWASD meeting on March 20,

Go to for complete

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Link Day

Last year, at RWA National, I met the effervescent, talented Kasey MacKenzie. We hung out for a web promo panel, endured a fire alarm evacuation, then had a few snacks in the bar. I'm telling you her name because I think you'll know it well once her first book comes out in July. It's an urban fantasy about Furies, and I haven't read one of those so I'm *really* looking forward to it!

Here's a peek at the cover and ad:

Also, for those of you who haven't checked out the excerpt from my upcoming DEEP IN THE WOODS, Vampire Babylon, Book Six, yet, here's a link to Fresh Fiction:

Have a good one!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I spent a lovely weekend with some college friends. Going from winery to winery in a limo, having a mini spa day, visiting a couple of old haunts up in San Luis Obispo, where I went to college.

That means it was ages until I finally got to watch SUPERNATURAL. Is there ever going to be a season when Dean doesn't make me want to weep for him? And Castiel was as darling as ever, even while chomping on raw meat. But March 25? Seriously? We won't get anything until then???

Meanwhile, I'm totally in to the Olympics. Winter games are so much more fun, I think. First and foremost, I'm tuning in to the short track speed skating. Talk about a nail biter the other night!

A huge shout out and thank you to INCiDeNT, who posted an excerpt of NIGHT RISING, Vampire Babylon, Book One on her site. Here's the link if you want to pay a visit and play the excerpt game:

Hope you all had a fabulous long weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Supernatural...but not tonight

Just want to let you know that I can't blog about SUPERNATURAL tonight. I'm hanging out with friends from college, so I'll be back next week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Giveaway and STAR WARS

I'm guest blogging over at the Knight Agency blog today. It's Valentine's week, and I wrote about my favorite couple--Han Solo and Princess Leia.

Of *course* STAR WARS is going to embody a defining romance for me! ; )

I'm also giving away a signed trade copy of THE PATH OF RAZORS, Vampire Babylon, Book Five, to someone who comments over there. Here's the link:

Hope to see you!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Dark Whispers and More

A link-licious day, including some book giveaways....

At the Dark Whispers blog, you'll see an announcement for the BREAK OF DAWN, Vampire Babylon, Book Three, reissue. Go to

At Cataromance, you'll find a giveaway for Linda Thomas-Sundstrom's new werewolf book!

And here's where you can go to read about the fantastic DEADTOWN by Nancy Holzner, and perhaps win a free copy!

Good luck, everyone!

Friday, February 05, 2010


Well, I’m behind on the watching of my sweet show. But here we are!

Random thoughts….

* Oh, Dean. I had such higher hopes for your dreams. Don’t know what I expected to be going around in that noggin of yours though: plans for world peace? The formula for conquering cancer? Actually, I truly was expecting perhaps a few modestly brilliant, barely formed schemes for fighting the apocalypse. With a dab of roadhouse tomcatting mixed in, I suppose.

* Castiel! It’s been forever.

* Gosh, Nick didn’t stay on the show long. I guess the actor was on the call sheet for Lost and he had to go.

* Fun premise—Anna is the Terminator (She can even do fake voices.) and Sam is John Connor.

* The Prairie Court Hotel—aw, the name makes me totally want to stay there. It’s bound to have towels that are kind of stiff from the kind of cheap detergent they use as well as an old bed that goes “eeeee” when you lay down on it. It would be totally quaint though, with quail wallpaper and a fun little saloon bar in the lobby.

* How many years bad luck do you get for sticking a tire iron through an angel’s heart?

* LOL for “Not another word or I will turn this car around!”

* Interesting to see John Winchester, the I-can-do-anything manly man we’re used to, floundering here, feeling useless amid the other hunters.

* I can’t wait to find out what heaven’s agenda is in all this, because right now, it’s hard to root for the angels, the “good side.” I despise Anna, but in a way that means she became a strong villain.

* Michael? In John? Hmm. And he touched Mary. She’s preggers with Dean, right? I wonder if Michael marked fetus Dean with that touch.

* Neat conversation between the “good sons,” Michael and Dean.

* Did anyone expect Castile to give a shout-out to The Empire Strikes Back by saying “I feel terrible” when he stumbled into the hotel room? Just me?

* The crib of future doom!

That was a touching eppie. : )

My DVR cut off before previews for next week, but I think we’ll be seeing a cupid eppie, right?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

It's Time to Try to Win that $100 Gift Card from B&N!

The contest at Bitten by Books is up now! You have until 11:59pm central time tomorrow to do one of many things on their entry list to get as many entries in as possible. Your efforts could sure be worth it, because one part of the grand prize package is a $100 gift card from Barnes & Noble (along with several signed vamp books from me!).

I appreciate anything you guys can do!

Here's the link:

Good luck--and I hope you come by to chat, too!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Get a head start on contest--top prize: $100 gift card from Barnes&Noble

Want the chance to win a $100 gift card from Barnes & Noble, plus a bundle of my signed books?

The fabulous Bitten by Books web site ( is hosting a release party for the reissue of BREAK OF DAWN, Vampire Babylon, Book Three tomorrow (2/2/10). It starts at 12:00 pm Central time and runs all day and into the night. It ends at 11:59 pm Central on 2/3/10. Not only will there be a contest (see prizes below), but I’ll also be on the site to chat about the series—especially the upcoming DEEP IN THE WOODS!

Here’s what you could win if you participate:
1st prize - $100.00 Barnes and Noble gift card plus all of the following signed books:
Night Rising, Vampire Babylon, Book 1
Midnight Reign, Vampire Babylon, Book 2
A Drop of Red, Vampire Babylon, Book 4
The Path of Razors, Vampire Babylon, Book 5
First Blood, a vampire anthology that includes a Vampire Babylon novella
Twice Bitten, a vampire anthology that includes The Huntress, which was written as Crystal Green

2nd prize - All the following signed books:
Night Rising, Vampire Babylon, Book 1
Midnight Reign, Vampire Babylon, Book 2
A Drop of Red, Vampire Babylon, Book 4
The Path of Razors, Vampire Babylon, Book 5
First Blood, a vampire anthology that includes a Vampire Babylon novella
Twice Bitten, a vampire anthology that includes The Huntress, which was written as Crystal Green

There are several things you can do to increase your chances of winning one of the two prize packages, and here’s the first:

RSVP today for tomorrow’s party at
By doing this, you’ll get 25 entries to the contest when you show up on the day of the event. (Note: If you don’t show up and mention your RSVP AND ask a question, you won’t be entered into the contest.) Also note that this is not the main event link. Those of you who RSVP today will be getting extra entries. Tomorrow, you’ll want to go to the main link at

I hope to see you there. You might also want to check out the site ahead of time to see what else you can do to increase the chances of winning!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I was already on Facebook, and I heard that tonight’s episode wasn’t going to be that great. I’m trying not to let that sway me. Please be good, episode!

* “I would luuuuve…to have the sex with you.” “Sam”’s nerdy, 17-year-old enthusiasm is a good start, methinks.

* Ugh—even by fast food uniform standards, this one is bad.

* A commercial is on, so now’s a good time to tell you that I saw THE HURT LOCKER this week. Fantastic. Afterward, my jaw was sore because I’d been clenching it for the entire movie. Packs a meaningful punch without being at all preachy.

* Oh, my God, Sam flexing in the mirror. Hello, Sam’s arms.

* LOL for Dean having a cow when his precious Impala gets spanked.

* So…is it a bad thing if I have one of those STAR WARS T-shirts?

* This is what happens when GATE kids get bored.

* Ew points for the blood licking!

* Hey—was that the longest running demon barf we’ve ever seen on SPN? That was some heave!

* Can’t wait for THE WEREWOLF.

* Something tells me we might see these teens again. Just a feeling.

Well, yeah. Not my favorite episode ever, but entertaining enough.
Next week: It’s a Wonderful Supernatural Life

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

BREAK OF DAWN Reissue Today--and Book Giveaway!

BREAK OF DAWN, Vampire Babylon, Book Three, is being reissued in mass market format today! If you haven't read the series yet, now's a great time to go out and get 'em! ; )

Also, it's Takeaway Tuesday on the Knight Agency blog, and we're giving away signed copies of NIGHT RISING and MIDNIGHT REIGN (mass market editions, books one and two), so come on over!!!

From the Vampire Babylon series comes the sequel to Night Rising and Midnight Reign

Break of Dawn

Hollywood: It Can Suck the Life Out of You…

After facing off against the lethal Vampire Killer, Hollywood stuntwoman Dawn Madison and her friends are reeling with shock. They’re injured, exhausted, and hurting in every way possible.

For Dawn, the pain is much more personal. She’s learned more about her missing father and long-dead mother than she ever wanted to know—a burden of truth that is straining her sanity. And her conflicted feelings about both her enigmatic boss Jonah, and P.I. Matt Lonigan are only making things worse.

Yet Dawn is still determined to save her father. Her private battle will lead her directly into the Vampire Underground, where she will encounter an unthinkable betrayal. And where, finally, the question of who is truly good and who is truly evil will become a matter of life, death—and undeath…

Break of Dawn, Vampire Babylon, Book Three
1/26/10, Ace, 978-0-441-01839-0

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sleep Writing

If any of you happened to read something I Tweeted this morning, I'll clarify here.

"I scribbled this down last night after a dream: Someone called radio...misrepresenting who they they were born on headboard. HUH?"

I'll confess--not only do I occasionally sleep walk and frequently sleep talk, I guess sleep write, too. When it happens, I'm perfectly aware of it. I even think it's a normal thing to do because, lots of times, I get really good idea when I'm lazing in bed, on the edge of slumberland.

There are times, though, when I'll wake up from a weird dream and it seems very important to write down what happened. It feels *urgent,* really, and while I write, it doesn't even occur to me that what I'm scribbling will make NO FREAKIN' SENSE WHATSOEVER when I wake up.

Of course, this does provide me with frequent doses of hilarity in the morning, when I get to read that insane note to myself. As far as this one goes, I know I was having a dream about my headboard. You know how you're half awake and the things in your room take on a whole new meaning? That. Something on my headboard looked like a tiny snake, and I know this came from a movie I was watching earlier in the night. (THE BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW. Gee, tell me why I'd be having messed up dreams?) As for the part about someone calling and misrepresenting themselves and being born on my headboard and how this connects to a snake? Well, I'm stuck. It's probably Freudian.

And that's what my Tweet meant.