Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Prequel Coming Out This Week


Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Interesting Book

Also ordered.

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Interesting Book Debuting This Week

I pre-ordered it.

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade” — a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

STOLEN by Jordan Gray

Get it at Amazon

This is the first book in a mystery series based on Big Fish Games' Mystery Case Files:  Ravenhearst game.  The two characters in the book are amateur sleuths in the small town of Blackpool, England.

Molly is a public relations whiz, and Michael is a video game designer.  The town is filled with eccentric characters and secrets, and tunnels from past smuggling and pirating honeycomb the underground.

This one has to do with a 70 year old train robbery that has ramifications in the present.  I was contracted to write the book under the Jordan Gray pseudonym (I would have to sit down sometime and think long and hard about who I've been over the years, but at least this is one of the jobs I can talk about).  I enjoyed doing the research on this one, as well as introducing the mystery.  Molly and Michael are fun characters and I'm doing the fourth book in the series as well.

Here's a link to a piece I wrote about doing the books.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Car Wrap for Authors?

I keep seeing more and more of these cars.  I don't mean the one above, but other vehicles advertising different products and businesses.  I saw one just this morning.

The specialized paint job is called "vehicle wrap."

And, of course, it got me thinking.  Should authors get a new paint job every year to advertise their latest book?  That seems like a good idea.  But what if you write more than one book a year?  If you write two books, can you split the advertising space down the middle?  But then which side would face passing traffic and which side face pedestrians?  Which would have more of an impact?

Or maybe you could split the car for and aft.  But then which to put on front and which to put on back?  These questions continue to pile up.

On top of that, writers tend to be introverted people.  Would they be comfortable tooling around in a vehicle that looks like you just left NASCAR?  One thing is for certain, your spouse wouldn't ask to borrow your car.

And what if your book totally tanked in the bookstores?  At least you'd be inspired to write a better book next time.

Science of the Future (Fiction, at least)

I found this on Bish's Beat and thought I would share.  Steampunk is the emerging science fiction of choice for several readers.  The primary reason is because the science field has gotten so specific.  Too many fans can't keep up with all the science involved.

As a result, steampunk -- a retrograde kind of science -- has become increasingly popular.  In these books and worlds, science is more easily understood, it somewhat technologically unsound.  And sometimes it nears the realm of magic.

One of the best attributes of steampunk is the look.  It's a combination of Sherlock Holmes and mad scientist.  I like it a lot.

Here's a tour of a steampunk home.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rob Kelly Art

Thanks to Bish's Beat, I just found this site.  Love Rob Kelly's campy covers!

You can find more like this at http://www.namtab.com/ (Batman spelled backward!).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm So Proud of my son Matt!

This is my son Matt.  I love my son, so please don't take this the wrong way.  You see, I gave him directions on how to feed the geese.  I thought he would have had those directions memorized by the time he got to the duck pond.

This is my son's girlfriend.  Man, can he pick them?  Obviously she can.  Must be a match made in heaven.  :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stumptown #4 Coming September 1st

I've been really enjoying this series.  It's taken a while for the initial four issues to come out, but they've all been worth it.  Rucka's writing is lean and mean, and the characters are awesome.  Southworth's art really suits this private eye genre.

If you haven't been keeping up with these books, now is the time to catch up.  I've already ordered the graphic novel because I know this series is one I'll be reading again.

Review for Issue 3 at Bookhound

Review for Issue 2 at Bookhound.

Review for Issue 1 at Bookhound.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A New YA Series by Kathy Reichs

Everybody's getting into the YA market, but I'm looking forward to this one.  Kathy Reichs created Temperence Brennan, a forensic anthropologist based on her own real experiences.  The books spun into the popular TV series, Bones, and has become as successful as the novel series in its own right.

Seems like Temperance has a niece that's about to get mutated!

From the book:  Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.

As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot--if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent.
Fortunately, they are now more than friends--they're a pack. They are Virals.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Welcome to the AMAZING Sport of Baseball!

Yes, this is why I watch.  This could be the greatest catch you'll see in your lifetime.  Enjoy.

Masato Akamatsu:

Throws Right
Bats Right
Flies --- With the Greatest of Ease

Friday, August 13, 2010

Keith Birdsong Art Store

Unbelievably, my friend Keith Birdsong has only just now discovered CafePress.com.  As many of you may know, Keith is known primarily for his work on licensed properties such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Quantum Leap, and many other movie and television franchises.

I've been friends with Keith since 1991 when he told me his first joke.  Over the years, he's retold it several times.  But I put up with it because I like him.  I'm trying to get him up and running on blogging as well, but for now I'm glad he's opened a store over at CafePress.com.

You can find it here.

Here are some of the products he's already put together.

He'll be putting up posters and various other art in different formats soon.  He's got a busy schedule, but I've encouraged him that a lot of folks would like to wear his stuff on shirts or hang it on walls.

BioShock Infinite

I have really enjoyed the BioShock franchise in video games so far.  When it comes to really well developed worlds and chilling enemies, the two BioShock games are at the top of my personal fright list.  Alan Wake currently holds the number one title.

The undersea city of Rapture has just been a blast to explore and fight my way through.  There's something about the 1950s atmosphere of those games that resonates for me.  Probably it ties back to my early roots in reading science fiction.  The possibilities within the game are enormous.

Now there's a third game in development, and it promises to be just as weird and involving.  Columbia is a floating city in the year 1900.  Yep, this looks like true steampunk adventure has made its way into the video games.

You get to play a disgraced Pinkerton agent named Booker DeWitt, which sounds like a lot of fun as well.

For more information, go here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tied-In Writers Produce First Book

There's something for everyone in this book, people, and it comes downloadable for the Kindle or as an oversized paperback copy from Amazon.  Get it here.

Tie-in novels are books based on pre-existing media properties -- like TV shows, movies and games -- and they regularly top the national bestseller lists. But as popular as tie-ins books and novelizations are among readers, few people know how the books are written or the rich history behind the hugely successful and enduring genre.

This 75,000 word book is a ground-breaking collection of lively, informative, and provocative essays and interviews by some of the best-selling, and most acclaimed, writers in the tie-in business, offering an inside glimpse into what they do and how they do it.

Contributors include Donald Bain, Max Allan Collins, Tod Goldberg, Elizabeth Massie, William C. Dietz, Aaron Rosenberg, Paul Kupperberg, Jeff Mariotte, Raymond Benson, Robert Greenberger, David Spencer, Greg Cox, Burl Barer, Jeff Ayers, Nancy Holder, Brandie Tarvin, Alina Adams and William Rabkin.

This book is an official publication of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Expendables Friday

The greatest action movie cast ever assembled.  I'll be there Friday.  I gotta admit, though, in the trailer below you see Stallone "fanning" a revolver.  Folks, there's a reason double-action revolvers were invented, and they were invented 150 years ago.  Looks good on screen, but no weaponsmith worth his salt would showboat like this.

Monday, August 09, 2010


If Mary Roach isn't your favorite science writer by now, well, neighbor, you've been missing out.  A regular contributer to National Geographic and a frequent speaker, Mary Roach is absolutely fantastic when it comes to exploring a topic -- serious, but also with her tongue firmly planted in cheek and a raconteur's ability to deliver a story.

I just got my reader's copy of her new book and I am totally pumped!

Her first book explored the realms of the dead.

Then she moved on to things that went bump in the night.

Then she moved on to the vast unknown frontier of sex.  This book had me totally weirded out, grossed out, and in stitches.

I give you the wonderful Mary Roach!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

I Miss Art

In today's world of PhotoShop, I miss the old days.  Back when artists DREW everything, and when magazines could be counted on to have interior art as well.  Those sporadic images on covers and between them just set my imagination into high gear.  Everything seemed more real, more exciting and terrifying.

Just found this site.  Some of you might enjoy cruising through the art.  Go here.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Beat To A Pulp

This compilation comes from the Beat To A Pulp website that features a new story every week -- for free!  Go there and rummage through the crime/horror/sci-fi/adventure stories they have archived.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Looking Forward To This One!

If you haven't read Westerfeld's first book in this steampunk YA trilogy, you're really missing out.  For a peak at my review on Bookhound, go here.

This one will be out in October.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Gamma World Oklahoma!

Mutants, robots, a gigantic buffalo adventurer/scout who's partnered with a young girl who's not quite human and can turn her hands into weapons!  And she rides a monstrous Mountain Boomer lizard!  Can things get any better than this?

Coming in February 2011!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Just watched this with my kiddo.  Go here for my review.

Secret Agent X

Yep, I just got the writing gig for the Secret Agent X comics from Moonstone Books.  I'm really excited.  Robert Geronimo is an excellent artist.  As soon as I can show some art here, I will.

World War II spy fiction, and we're bringing pulpy goodness with us.  Expect zombies, Nazis, and mad scientist mayhem to dovetail in with more traditional spy biz.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

New Book Release

My buddy Bill Crider has a new mystery novel out today.  It's another in his Sheriff Dan Rhodes series.  If you haven't met Rhodes and the small unit he runs in Texas, you're in for a great surprise.  It's like discovering a new flavor of ice cream.  Longtime fans, like me, will be happy too.

To learn more about Bill, check out his pop culture blog here.

Monday, August 02, 2010