Category Archives: Uncategorized

Surprise Cover Reveal

Fragments of Darkness is the second anthology I’ll be a part of this year. Look at this cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Fragments Front Cover

From between the cracks of imagination, among the splinters of the unknown, and upon the winds of mystery, lurk the Fragments of Darkness.

With legends of killer mermaids to tales of Civil War era ghosts, ten passionate story-tellers come together to bring you yarns of fantasy, paranormal, and chills and thrills that will entertain, intrigue, and enchant young adult and new adult readers.

My new short story, Blood & Armor was written specifically for this YA Horror collection, which also features Pat Esden (The Dark Hart Series), Dorothy Dreyer (Reaper’s Rite Series), Melanie McFarlane (Laws of Summoning Series), and many others. Follow us on Twitter using  #FODanthology. Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads shelf as well. This box set will debut on September 13th. Mark your calendars!

Movie Trailer Round Up

Wonder WomanMost of these came out of the San Diego Comic-Con, but others have been out for a while and I’ve only just now had a chance to see them. Since trailers are the back cover blurbs, I can only give my first impressions and what I hope I’ll see in the movie themselves.

Justice League – The wounds of despair still haven’t scabbed over, much less healed, after the travesty that is Bats v. Supes, so I’m can’t quite generate any real enthusiasm for the Justice League movie. It’s nice to see the humor. It’s nice to see that Ben and Gal still have chemistry. Flash was a nice touch, but I’m withholding judgement on Jason Mamoa. He’ll have to do a lot better than look mean and growl to make me a believer.

Wonder Woman – Am I the only one who thought of From Here to Eternity with that first shot? You know what scene I’m talking about except with the roles reversed. I didn’t think there would be so much WWI action, but I loved it all. There still isn’t a whole lot of one-on-one dialog between Diana and anyone else in the film, so I’m still wondering if Gal can act the part, but the action absolutely has me sold.

Suicide Squad  – I can’t root for bad guys on a good day, and I find the Joker boring no matter who’s playing him, but clearly the marketers should get an award for best use of a soundtrack. I watch the movie, but I don’t know how much I’m going to enjoy it.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – Oh, dear. As much as I’m all over a shirtless Charlie Hunnam (or, the actor who should have been Aquaman), this trailer screams glorified music vid. Not sure about this one.

Doctor Strange – Much better trailer than the first one. More action shots, but I have a better feel for the other characters other than Strange. Also, the trademark MCU humor is intact. Nice job. I’ll see it.

Star Wars: Rogue One – This was a sizzle reel rather than a trailer, but if I wasn’t already sold on Rogue One, I am now. The slow motion tracking, the action shots, the behind the scenes shots. It’s a three minute, gorgeous package that expands the SW universe in the movie medium which is where my main interest lies.

What movie trailers have you seen and are you sold?

Holiday Cooking

Cooking Clip artI’m not much of a chef, but around the end of the year, I’ll get an itch to cook or bake something not completely from a box.

For Thanksgiving, when most folks are yammering about their pumpkin pies (which I love) or their turkey stuffing (even better) or their gravy (now I’m just making myself hungry), I pull out my dad’s recipe for Kardiak Kugel (my name for it, not his). I don’t know where he got the recipe. I doubt it’s a family secret or anything, so I’m sharing it with the world. Enjoy!

Here’s what you need:

12 ounces wide egg noodles
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups sour cream
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream

9×13″ pan

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray

  • Cook the noodles

  • Drain noodles and toss with 4 tablespoons of melted butter

  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, sugar, vanilla, 4 tablespoons of cinnamon, and 6 tablespoons of melted butter

  • Add the noodles and cranberries and toss well

  • Transfer noodles to baking dish

  • Drizzle with heavy cream and remaining tablespoon of cinnamon

  • Bake for about an hour (until the golden and the sides are bubbling)

  • Let sit for 15 minutes

  • Serve it hot, warm, or room temp

 

NecronomiCon Report

I came back from Tampa to find a light nip in the air. My con roommate, Dawn Bonnano, would have laughed at me, since I shipped her back to the frozen tundra of Chicago. Yes, I’m a wimp when it comes to cold weather.
Me & my roomie
This year was my first year as a panelist instead of a moderator. It’s so weird answering the questions instead of asking them. I didn’t have a lot of time to attend panels beyond the seven I was on. Yeah, seven. They originally had me on ten, but I dropped three for my own sanity.It was hard to tell which side won the DC vs. Marvel panel with all the fists flying, but the body count indicated a tie. The same with Marvel Movieverse (and TV land). How can Marvel get it so right with the movies, Agent Carter, and Daredevil, but get it so wrong with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Can We Love Heroes Who Use Their Brains Instead of Brawn?, whereupon I risked the wrath of the fandom by ‘fessing up that I preferred RDJ’s Sherlock to BC’s. Yep, that’s how I roll.

One of these things is not like the other
I took a quick peek at the NecronomiProm, which hosted its third wedding this year. Firefly themed! I also accomplished quite a bit of holiday shopping in the dealer’s room. So much geeky stuff to choose from.I’m not sure if I’ll make it back to NecronomiCon next year, but I’m going to try.

Blood Surfer Cover Reveal!

Here at last! The cover reveal for my debut Thunder City novel, Blood Surfer, which is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
*Watch my social media for additional pre-order buy links in the next few weeks.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00027]

Thanks to Deranged Doctor Design, who took my cover from concept to reality.

About the book

Their destiny is written in blood.

Welcome to Star Haven, where the police arrest and imprison alternative humans, if not execute them outright. When outlaw Hannah Quinn saves Officer Scott Grey’s life by bloodsurfing through his broken body, he winds up on the wrong side of the kill line.

Hannah blew any chance she had of escaping Star Haven when she chose to save Scott’s life. Scott has a reputation for killing Alts instead of arresting them. Now that she’s triggered his dormant Alt ability, he’s forced to go on the run with her until she can break his despised Alt power.

Suspicion dies hard after a lifetime of conditioning. Despite the threat to their lives, Hannah finds herself falling for the one man she can’t trust—and Scott falls for the woman who destroyed his life.

With love and mistrust at war in a city where betrayal can earn your freedom, will Hannah and Scott’s tenuous bond be enough to save them?

“BLOOD SURFER delivers a fast-paced tale of danger and romance set in a well-imagined world of vivid characters, superhuman and otherwise. Recommended._ — Richard Lee Byers, author of THE REAVER and BLIND GOD’S BLUFF.

Coming September 7, 2015.

The Rolling Stones in concert

FL Logo I didn’t grow up with The Rolling Stones. As the saying goes, I wasn’t even a twinkle in my daddy’s eye when the Stones first started hitting the charts. By the time I was old enough to explore my own musical tastes, the Stones were already old (well, they were from a 12 year old’s point of view). I knew Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Paint it Black, Start Me Up, and Satisfaction well enough by high school.  Still, when I had the opportunity to see them in concert, I snapped up those tickets like they were gold. I never thought I would ever have the opportunity to see them in concert, and suddenly there they were — practically in my backyard.

Tour LogoThe concert itself – ten times of awesome. They never once stopped for over two hours: Mick strutted around stage, skipping up and down the catwalk like a fashion model, and never missed a note. Ronnie and Keith had huge smiles on their faces the entire time. Charlie started off with a bit of a pout, but he got over it quickly enough.  No one flubbed a lyric, or a lick, or an opportunity to engage the audience. They took all of us on a musical journey through time, and I would join them again if I could.

Ronnie Mick & Keith Charlie

 

Who I Follow

Part of my housekeeping list this year is to reconsider how I follow people on social media. Not necessarily unfollowing them, but considering if it’s necessary to follow them across all platforms. It’s too easy to find yourself bombarded with too many duplicate messages.

So I’m taking a look at who I follow and asking myself four questions:

  • What is this person saying? Who I Follow
  • Is it useful or fun for me to read?
  • Is it the same message, but altered between one platform and another?
  • Do they say it better in 140 characters or in multiple paragraphs?

After I answer these questions, I’ll consolidated a lot of my followers. It should (in theory) make my dashboard/stream/timelines much easier to follow. It will also give me a better chance of interacting with the people I follow and who follow me.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine's DayThe only reason I even acknowledge this holiday is for the chocolate. All sorts of chocolate. Don’t send me flowers, don’t bother me with poems, just give me chocolate. I’m not even terribly picky about chocolate I get. milk, dark, white, gourmet, organic, fair trade. It’s all good to me.

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day gift? Are you as crazy about chocolate as me? Or do you prefer something else?

Still in print

Print Book
Print Book

Even though I adore my new MacBook Air, you can’t curl up in bed and read a book on it. So I gave in and purchased a Kindle on Black Friday. Lest any of you think I’m giving up on print books just because I’ve finally entered the 21st century, I’ve decided that any book series I started in print will be finished in print. I’m a completest that way. So here’s what I’ll still be collecting in print:

  1. The Noble Dead Saga
  2. The Kitty Norville series
  3. The Mercy Thompson/Alpha & Omega series
  4. The Iron Druid Chronicles
  5. The Sanctuary Duet

What book/series/authors will you always collect in print?

Joys of Identity Theft

Thief

If you were to ask anyone in my office who was the person least likely to have her identity stolen, everyone single one of them would have pointed to me. Which only proves one thing: it doesn’t matter how careful you are, your identity can still be stolen.

Last week I joined the 16.6 million people who have experienced at least one incident of identity theft. Being the overachiever I am, I got hit not once, but twice in two weeks. I don’t think the incidents are related, but who knows. Neither time did the miscreants get very far.

The first incided started innocuously enough when I received a form letter from my bank informing me that I had been locked out of my account because an incorrect password had been entered three times. This had happened before and I didn’t think much of it. I reset the password and forgot about it.

Two weeks later, I’m at the day job when I get a call from Human Resources:

HR: So, when can we expect to receive your letter of resignation?
Me: ::blink blink:: I’m not resigning.
HR: Well, we have a claim here for unemployment benefits with your name and social security number on it.
Me: I’m not resigning and as far as I know I haven’t been fired.
HR: Okay, we’ll deny the claim.
Me: Excellent idea.

After confirming with my boss that she hadn’t fired me and forgot to mention it, I called Lifelock:

Me: So, uh, my identity has been stolen. Aren’t you guys supposed to catch stuff like this?
Lifelock: Unemployment benefits is a government program. We’re not allowed to monitor the government.

Oh, the sarcasm that followed (which I’ll keep to myself because that’s not what this post is about) **

I now have a nifty affidavit from the Federal Trade Commission, a police report thanks to Officer McHotness ***, and a seven page checklist of changed passwords. The credit bureaus have been informed and in the end all I lost was a lot of time that I could have used to write. It also could have been a lot worse.
___________

** Feel free to express your own sarcasm in the comments.
***Officer McHotness did start my day off right, but he lost points when he told me I had lovely handwriting, but he couldn’t read it ‘cuz, y’know, cursive.