Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mash Ups and More Update - November 30, 2010

I was checking the publication dates for some upcoming Mash Ups, etc. and discovered that The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer is being published on December 21, 2010. I love Twisted Histories so this book is on my must buy list.

Sovereign Power. Eternal Pleasure.

Revealed at last in this new vampire saga for the ages: the true, untold story of the "Virgin Queen" and her secret war against the Vampire King of England. . . .

On the eve of her coronation, Elizabeth Tudor is summoned to the tomb of her mother, Anne Boleyn, to learn the truth about her bloodline—and her destiny as a Slayer. Born to battle the bloodsucking fiends who ravage the night, and sworn to defend her beloved realm against all enemies, Elizabeth soon finds herself stalked by the most dangerous and seductive vampire of all.

He is Mordred, bastard son of King Arthur, who sold his soul to destroy his father. After centuries in hiding, he has arisen determined to claim the young Elizabeth as his Queen. Luring her into his world of eternal night, Mordred tempts Elizabeth with the promise of everlasting youth and beauty, and vows to protect her from all enemies. Together, they will rule over a golden age for vampires in which humans will exist only to be fed upon. Horrified by his intentions, Elizabeth embraces her powers as a Slayer even as she realizes that the greatest danger comes from her own secret desire to yield to Mordred . . . to bare her throat in ecstasy and allow the vampire king to drink deeply of her royal blood.

As told by Lucy Weston, the vampire prey immortalized in Bram Stoker's Dracula, this spellbinding account will capture your heart and soul—forever.

Simon & Schuster

The author, Lucy Weston, has a website here. Obviously this is a pseudonym.

Sea Lion Books Announces Acquisition - Richard A. Knaak's Dragon Mound

Sea Lion Books has announced that it has acquired the novel rights to Richard A. Knaak's Dragon Mound, which will be published next year.

Here is the Press Release:


Richard A. Knaak



Sea Lion Books to publish Richard A. Knaak’s original novel “Dragon Mound”, the first book in a new fantasy trilogy.

ATLANTA, GA – (November 30, 2010) – Sea Lion Books announces the acquisition of the novel rights to Richard A. Knaak’s Dragon Mound. This first book of the Knight in Shadow trilogy is scheduled for publication in the Summer of 2011. Richard A. Knaak is the renowned author of and/or contributor to several acclaimed series including; Dragonlance, The Dragonrealm, The Age of Conan, and many WarCraft novels.

In Dragon Mound, the first novel in his new series, two hundred years ago three kingdoms united under the wizard Paulo Centuros to end the dark reign of the sorcerer-king, Novaris. The kingdoms won the hard fought battle, yet the war was not over. A search of the battlefield revealed the dark sorcerer has escaped his justice. Until Novaris is truly destroyed, “even dragons may not rest easy in the forests surrounding the battlefield.” The wizard dispatches the knight Evan Wytherling to find Novaris. His quest brings him full-circle to the battle that began his epic quest. But vengeance is the sword of the dark sorcerer and though centuries have passed, the legacy of his dark power still threatens to sweep over the three kingdoms.

Publication of this series has been a project Mr. Knaak has been plotting for awhile. “This has been a favored project of mine, a tale I’ve looked forward to telling.” Dragon Mound will be followed by Wake of the Wyrm and The Twilight Throne, both are tentative titles. Rich with characters, and fascinating worlds, Dragon Mound is ripe with betrayal, vengeance and a myriad of paths leading to the truth.

“We are extremely thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Richard A. Knaak’s Knight in Shadow Series to life,” said Derek Ruiz, Executive Vice President, and Publisher of Sea Lion Books. Our partnership with Richard is another step in the right direction for Sea Lion Books with our continued desire to bring the best of the best to the book and graphic novel market.

Richard A. Knaak was born in Chicago, Illinois. Today he divides his time between Chicago and Arkansas. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s Degree in Rhetoric he discovered the books of authors Andre Norton, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Roger Zelazny. That discovery prompted him to read more books in this exciting genre and in 1987 his first work was published. Since then, Mr. Knaak has written a vast body of work. Best known for his Dragonrealm, Dragonlance and World of WarCraft books, he has also penned numerous short stories, anthologies, and stand alone novels. His latest novel, World of Warcraft: Stormrage, was released n 2010 and became a national bestseller. Mr. Knaak’s books have been translated into over a dozen languages. Additional information on Richard A. Knaak can be found at his website: http://www.richardaknaak.com/.

Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Sea Lion Books LLC is a newly established publishing house which specializes in all formats—hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market and in urban fantasy and young adult genres. Sea Lion Books LLC recent roster of authors include: International Bestselling author, Paulo Coelho, New York Times Bestselling authors, P.C. Cast, Richelle Mead and Richard A. Knaak plus more to be announced in the upcoming months. Contact David Dabel at 770-696-3452 or David@sealionbooks.com You can visit Sea Lion Books on the Internet at: http://www.sealionbooks.com/

Dear Local Bookstores & Qwill's Qwestion - November 30, 2010

I was going to vlog about today's new releases, but will wait until tomorrow so that I can also include the December 1, 2010 releases. Instead I am going to write to my two local bookstores. There are no bookstores in my little town. In 2 of the towns that border my town there is a Borders and a Barnes & Noble. They are not in the same town. One is east of my town, one is west.  I'd like to address each of them separately.

Dear Local B&N,

Thank you for having most of the new releases on the shelves on new release day. I appreciate it. I really do. I also like how I can check to see if a book is in stock at your store via my computer early in the morning on release day. With new release list in hand I can check off what you have before I head to the store. However, when you tell me that you have a new release at your store, I do expect it to be on the shelves. I don't want to spend 30 minutes hunting around the store with you and then be told that the 3 copies your computer tells you that you have must be a mistake. Possibly it's been mis-shelved because your computer system in not usually wrong.

I like that you have New Release shelves! However, you have books on the new release shelves that are not exactly new releases. Stop facing out so many books in the new release sections. I know that most of them are not new releases and you do too. I imagine we define "new release" differently. This is especially a problem in the Romance section where you have rows and rows of out facing new releases. They take up more room so that it looks like you have a lot of books there, but, really, you don't. Also why do the teens get a Paranormal Romance section and I don't?

I just bought a NOOKcolor. Please let my B&N membership discount apply to Mass Market ebooks. Just a suggestion.

All in all, B&N, you do a pretty good job of having the books that I want when I want them. Your staff is pleasant and knowledgeable. Thank you.




Dear Local Borders,

Oh boy. Where to start. First of all I can rarely check to see if you have a book in your store from my computer on release day morning. It does not surprise me because you rarely have the new releases on the shelves on release day morning. They are often still in the back of the store. That's not fair to me or the authors. In my mind you have an obligation to have new releases on the shelves on release day when your doors open. B&N opens an hour earlier and they have the books out on the shelves and their online information updated. What's the point of having a release DAY if I can't find the book when I come into the store? Yes, I know not everyone must have a book on release day. I'm weird like that. I do appreciate the offer that if I drop off a list ahead of time, the new releases that you have will be pulled for me. That's incredibly nice, but it should not have to be that way.

Your in store computer system is really nice. I like being able to look up books by myself. Other bookstores should allow that also! I do have one complaint about your online information. I can't stand the "likely in store" status that you use. The book is either in the store or it's not. I imagine it's a software issue. Your sales are not updated immediately so you don't know if a book is really there or not. Fix that so you don't appear so mamby pamby. I know it allows you to hedge. "Likely" does  not mean "certainly" so if it's not really there you've got an out. I prefer B&N's "In Stock" to your "likely in store."

Finally, please be better about getting in the new releases that you are supposed to have. I called about a new release this morning. You told me that the book was "In Transit" so you've no idea when the book will actually arrive. Again, your software needs to be fixed. You should know what you have and when it will be in your store on a real time basis.

Other than that I can't complain. Your staff is friendly and as helpful as they can be. Your store is beautiful. Your new Borders Rewards Plus card is awesome. Your café has the best hot chocolate ever! Thank you.




Qwill's Qwestion: How does your local bookstore stack up? Any pet peeves? Any suggestions?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Trailers / Author Proflies for November 30 and December 1, 2010 Releases

Here are some book trailers for this week's releases. I've also included a couple of Author Profiles.

Eternal Flame by Cynthia Eden

Cynthia Eden Author Profile

Dark Side by Jonathan Green

Alexandra Ivy Author Profile

Wish by Alexandar Bullen

The Wolven by Deborah LeBlanc

The View From Monday - November 29. 2010

Happy Monday. I hope that for all who celebrated Thanksgiving you had a happy holiday.  There are quite a few new releases for Tuesday, November 30, 2010, and Wednesday, December 1, 2010. Look for a vlog on with new releases on Tuesday, but only with the Tuesday releases of course.

On Wednesday, there will be a guest post by Nico Rosso, the author of Taken to the Limit, a Sci-Fi Romance. Come back to see what he has to say about romance and answer the question that he poses for a chance at an e-book of Taken to the Limit.

Thursday will be comics, but later in the day than normal since comics are not delivered to the stores until Thursday because of the holiday last week. That's what I've been told. Friday will be the usual Friday photos. Maybe the moon (not again!), or something from the archives, or something else.

Here's a list of the releases for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Remember release dates are subject to change!

November 30, 2010

Werewolf Smackdown*Acevedo, MarioFelix Gomez 5
Silver ZombieDouglas, Carole NelsonDelilah Street, Paranomal Investigator 4
The Bone PalaceDownum, AmandaNecromancer Chronicles 2
Eternal FlameEden, CynthiaNight Watch 3
The Path of Razors*Green, Chris MarieVampire Babylon 5
Dark SideGreen, JonathanPax Britannia Series
Vicious GraceHanover, M.L.N.The Black Sun's Daughter 3
Black WingsHenry, Christina
Devoured by DarknessIvy, AlexandraGuardians of Eternity 7
Bone GodsKittredge, CaitlinBlack London 3
In the Dark of DreamsLiu, Marjorie M.Dirk & Steele 11
Vampires Not InvitedMcCray, CheyenneNight Tracker 3
The Other SideAnthology
Of Love and EvilRice, AnneSongs of the Seraphim 2
Hungry For YouSands, LynsayArgeneau 14
Agent to the StarsScalzi, John
Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy*AnthologyDana Stabenow (Ed.)

*Previously published as a Trade Paperback.

December 1, 2010

The Spirit EaterAaron, RachelEli Monpress 3
Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe RingsBoudreau, Hélène
Wish*Bullen, Alexandra
Night of the VampiresGraham, Heather
Alaskan WolfJohnston, Linda O.Alpha Force 1
Christmas with a VampireAnthology
The WolvenLeBlanc, DeborahThe Keepers 3
Demon's DoorMasterton, GrahamRook 7
Law of the Broken EarthNeumeier, RachelGriffin Mage Trilogy 3
Tempted by FatePerry, KateGuardians of Destiny 3
Alcatraz Versus The Shattered LensSanderson, BrandonAlcatraz 4
Blue Twilight**Shayne, MaggieWings in the Night 11

* Paperback release of previously released hardback
** Reissue

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What I Did on Black Friday - November 27, 2010

I have never stood on line anywhere on Black Friday. This year was no exception. I did go out to breakfast with the small humans. We chatted with other diners who had been out since 3:00 a.m. shopping. They were fueling up for the next round of shopping.

After breakfast, we headed over to a bookstore. I picked up the first three books in the Skinners series by Marcus Pelegrimus. Book 4 was released in October, and I picked it up at release. Sometimes when buying books from a new to me author, I get a book well into a series. Then I pick up the earlier books.

Blood Blade (Skinners, Book 1)
HarperCollins Publishers
(January 2009)
Welcome to the nightmare . . .
There is a world you don't know about, inhabited by supernatural creatures of darkness—vampires, werewolves, and all manner of savage, impossible beasts that live for terror and slaughter and blood. They are all around us but you cannot see them, for knowledge of their presence—so close and so hungry—would surely drive any ordinary human insane.

But for centuries a special breed of hunter has kept the monsters at bay, preventing them from breaking through the increasingly fragile barriers protecting our mortal realm.

These guardians are called skinners.

But beware . . . for there are very few of them left.

Howling Legion (Skinners, Book 2)
HarperCollins Publishers
October 2009
No one said fighting monsters was going to be easy . . .

You can't see them, but they're here: hiding in the pools of shadow outside a Chicago burger joint . . . wreaking havoc in Kansas City . . . feeding in sleazy "blood brothels" that cater to humans who itch to get bitten.

Cole was designing video games when he learned the truth—that foul creatures of the night lust for our blood . . . and our world. Now he's a "Skinner," a member of an ancient secret society of warriors entrusted with keeping the terror at bay. Monsters once chained to the wilderness are suddenly free and descending, razor claws ripping, on the unsuspecting city. No one knows what's coming—but Cole and his seductive partner, Paige, will be the first to dive into the meat grinder.

Teeth of Beasts (Skinners, Book 3)
HarperCollins Publishers
April 2010
Horrible things move through the shadows of our world—bloodsuckers, Full Bloods and mongrel beasts, shapeshifters and minor freaks. For centuries creature hunters known as Skinners have protected humankind. But who protects the Skinners . . . from madness?

Unbeknownst to the human population, a pestilence is raging through an unseen community of low-level monstrosities. What seems, at first glance, a boon for the mortal cause has horrific connotations—as the Skinner team of Cole Warnecki and Paige Strobel races across the Midwest to uncover the shocking secret of the “Mud Flu.” For a nightmare of destruction and blood sacrifice is looming—one born of an unholy meeting nearly two centuries ago—that will pit man against beast, and Skinner against Skinner.


Vampire Uprising (Skinners, Book 4)
HarperCollins Publishers
October 2010
A legendary Skinner has passed. Among the articles he left behind are runes, potions, and powerful weapons to aid in the ongoing war against the unspeakable creatures that prowl the shadows outside normal human consciousness. But there is something else: the remains of a terrifying beast no other Skinner has ever encountered. And it isn't dead.

Skinners, partners, lovers, Cole Warnecki and Paige Strobel are well armed with the tools the late Jonah Lancroft provided. But even his best weapons may not be enough to defeat the monstrosity they now face. A new terror has risen up to infect them both with its virulent malevolence, even as Paige confronts the secrets of her astonishing past. The purest evil walks the world again—the First Deceiver, humankind's darkest nightmare, the self-proclaimed King of the Full Bloods.

I also did a little online shopping. I purchased Zumba Fitness (Majesco) and The Twilght Zone: The Complete Definitive Collection (Image Entertainment).

One of The Twilight Zone openings:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Photo Friday - Food Traditions - November 26, 2010

Another Thanksgiving is over. Thankfully I made a huge turkey so we'll be enjoying turkey sandwiches and leftovers for a while. Part of this year's Thanksgiving for me was passing on some recipes to my children, I showed my daughter how to make my Mom's chestnut stuffing. My son made the veggies. It's a recipe I found a few years ago that has become a Thanksgiving staple for us. Oddly, he likes to make the dish but will not eat vegetables. My daughter made the Cranberry-Ginger Chutney for the first time while I watched and took photos. She did an excellent job.

The ingredients

Cranberries in the pot

Dried apricots - quartered

Brown sugar

Cranberries, apricots, and brown sugar in the pot


Minced ginger and cranberry juice

Almost everything in the pot


The finished Chutney cooling

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating!

It was a light comics week for me. Here are my favorite covers.

IDW Publishing

True Blood #5 of 6

Cover A

Cover B
There are additional incentive and variant covers.

Dracula: The Company of Monsters #4

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

15% Discount at Quirk Classics Zazzle.com Store - November 24, 2010

Quirk Classics is offering a 15% discount at the Quirk Classics Zazzle.com store from now until December 31, 2010 at 11:59pm PT! Quirk Classics is the publisher of many of the Mash Ups you'll find on my Mash Ups and More page including Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Android Karenina, and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

There are shirts, skateboards, mugs, stickers, tote bags and much, much more to choose from. Just use the coupon code QLAUNCHPROMO to receive your 15% discount.

The legal stuff:

15% of the net sale price for http://www.zazzle.com/quirkclassics products will be deducted when the coupon code QLAUNCHPROMO is applied at checkout. The net sale price is the price of the product (excluding shipping and taxes). For Zazzle Custom Stamps, the net sale price is the difference between the price of the Zazzle Custom Stamps (excluding shipping and taxes) and the face value of the postage.  Offer is valid through December 31, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.

Thanksgiving and Cranberry-Ginger Chutney - November 24, 2010

This is one of my absolute favorite dishes that I serve at Thanksgiving. It can be a little spicy or not. Just adjust the amount of cayenne pepper that you add. I suggest that you at least double the recipe because it's really good.


1 1/4 cups fresh cranberries
16 dried apricots, quartered
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons cranberry juice cocktail
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Combine all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Increase heat to high and boil 3 minutes. Transfer
to a bowl. Cool. This chutney can be prepared up
to one week ahead of time. Refrigerate in an air-
tight container.

I don't remember from which cookbook I got this recipe. I believe it's from the Holidays Cookbook by Virgina Hoffman. I'll attribute it properly when I find the cookbook. I have over 1,000 cookbooks so that may take a while. I'll post pictures of the Chutney when I make it later today.

Here's my Thanksgiving Day menu:

Roast Turkey with My Mom's Chestnut Stuffing
The stuffing is delicious. I love chestnuts. I finally learned the secret of roasting them properly last year!

Roasted Potatoes, Carrot, Parsnips, and Brussels Sprouts
Potatoes = red bliss potatoes and sweet potatoes. This is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe. 

My Mom's Sweet Potato Thanksgiving Bake
I don't entirely remember this recipe, but a friend of my Mom's submitted to the newspaper and it was printed a couple of weeks ago.

Cranberry-Ginger Chutney

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
It's really easy and looks nice. The recipe is from the Everyday Food magazine a few years ago.

I also bought a pumpkin pie and an apple pie.

I'll roast the chestnuts this evening and make the Chutney as well. Everything else can wait until tomorrow. I'll be up early to put the turkey in the oven. It's a big bird and needs time to cook just right.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NOOKcolor - November 23, 2010

I ordered my NOOKcolor via my local Barnes & Noble. Just called them up and placed an order. No deposit required. I was told that it would be available on November 26, 2010. They would call when it was in. Yesterday, 4 days earlier than expected, I received the call that my NOOKcolor had arrived. While I had 2 days to pick it up, I went to get it more or less immediately.

Here are the unboxing photos.

NOOKcolor box, cover, and anti-glare screen film kit

The box opens at the bottom to reveal the NOOKcolor and the accessories

My first look at the NOOKcolor in its protective packing sleeve
(that's me taking the photo in the reflection)

Still unwrapped NOOKcolor with its accessories. The accessories are a wall charger and a USB cable that is used both to charge the NOOKcolor by plugging into the wall charger and to connect to a computer. A quick start guide is also included.

My NOOKcolor in its cover.

"Choose an author as you choose a friend." - Christopher Wren

The NOOKcolor has to be charged before first use. When it's plugged in a video starts that welcomes you to the NOOKcolor and explains some of the features and helps you through initial setup. I connected to both my B&N account and my home WiFi network easily, which is necessary to register the NOOKcolor.

My NOOKcolor was fully charged quickly. My guess is that is was almost fully charged when I received it. I had no trouble navigating and found it highly intuitive. I was able to move Adobe Digital Edition (ADE) books to it with ease via the USB connection to my laptop. I'd read about some issues with ADE. I had no problems. I have not tried emailing myself a book to add it to my files. So far my experience with the NOOKcolor has been excellent. the screen is crisp and navigation is easy. I'll write more when I've used it for a while. I still need to purchase a microSDHC card for it. The NOOKcolor can use up to a 32GB card. Each GB holds approximately 1,000 books. That would be approximately 32,000 books. Can you say 'Nirvana?"

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Moon... Again - November 22, 2010

The Moon was utterly spectacular tonight. It was a deep orange. With the clouds moving in front of it, it looked less like our Moon and more like some exotic planet.

The View From Monday - November 22, 2010

This is going to be a less than productive week on the book front. Thursday is Thanksgiving in the US. You may get to see photos of my roasted turkey at some point or my Cranberry Ginger Chutney.  There will be no vlog on Tuesday because there are not many books coming out. Quite frankly, I'm not sure what is going to happen this week. I will try to blog each day, but the holiday may interfere.

Here are the new releases for Tuesday, November 23, 2010.

The Human BlendFoster, Alan DeanTipping Point 1
Night of the Vampires**Graham, Heather
Captive SpiritWindsor, AnnaDark Crescent Sisterhood

** Update - will be published on December 1, 2010.

by Alenn Dean Foster
Alan Dean Foster’s brilliant new novel is a near-future thriller that has all the dark humor and edgy morality of an Elmore Leonard mystery, in addition to the masterly world-building and quirky but believable characters readers expect from Foster. This gripping adventure reveals a place where criminals are punished through genetic engineering and bodily manipulation—which poses profound questions about what it means to be human.

Given his name because radical surgery and implants have reduced him to preternatural thinness, Whispr is a thug. His partner in crime, Jiminy Cricket, has also been physically altered with nanocarbonic prosthetic legs and high-strength fast-twitch muscle fibers that give him great jumping abilities. In a dark alley in Savannah, Whispr and Jiminy murder what they take to be a random tourist in order to amputate and then fence his sophisticated artificial hand. But the hapless victim also happens to be carrying an unusual silver thread that appears to be some kind of storage medium. Ever quick to scent potential profit, Whispr and Jiminy grab the thread as well.

Chance later deposits a wounded Whispr at the clinic of Dr. Ingrid Seastrom. Things have not gone smoothly for Whispr since he acquired the mysterious thread. Powerful forces are searching for him, and Jiminy has vanished. All Whispr wants to do is sell the thread as quickly as he can. When he offers to split the profits with Ingrid in exchange for her medical services, she makes an astonishing discovery.

So begins a unique partnership. Unlike Whispr, Ingrid is a natural, with no genetic or bodily alteration. She is also a Harvard-educated physician, while Whispr’s smarts are strictly of the street variety. Yet together they make a formidable team—as long as they can elude the enhanced assassins that are tracking them.
by Heather Graham
As a soldier, Cole Granger fights to restore peace to a world divided by war and evil. His extraordinary talents are enlisted to prevent the president's horrific premonition from becoming reality. Nothing—and no one—will stop him from fulfilling his duty. Especially the mysterious young woman who claims to be his comrade's sister. Enemy or ally, he can't yet determine. But one thing he knows for certain is that he must keep her close. Very close.
Megan Fox's quest to uncover a family secret leads her to the center of vampire riots in West Virginia. To find the answers she needs—and clear herself of suspicion—she must join forces with Cole. They work undercover to bring justice, but they can't disguise the potent attraction and need that draw them together. Yet trust doesn't come easily for Cole…and when Megan unearths the grim, dark truth, can she trust him to believe her?

by Anna Windsor
Saving humanity from the supernatural has been challenging lately—even for a well-trained earth Sybil like Bela Argos, who must harness the magic of a fractious group of warrior sisters and battle a new wave of paranormal attacks. Another challenge is Duncan Sharp, the hunky NYPD detective who might turn into a demon overnight and devour Bela in her sleep. Still, the darkness taking over Duncan’s body can’t stop the molten heat unleashed by the intense attraction between them.

Duncan has two major problems: First, he has the soul of a suspected serial killer hitching a ride on his vibe. Worse (yes, worse) he’s got a demonic fever raging inside that promises a world of hurt for everybody, especially Bela. Now he’s all about getting even with the demons that put this freak curse in his blood—satanic forces that dare to unleash their savage lust on Duncan’s soul, his city, and the woman he loves.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blue Moon - November 21, 2010

There's a Blue Moon tonight. The Moon is not actually blue. There is a sort of twisted history regarding the naming of the Blue Moon. You can read about it here.  Blue Moons happen... once in a blue moon.

Here is a photo I took of tonight's Blue Moon. It's hazy tonight so the photo is not as sharp as I'd like.

Blue Moon is one of my favorite songs. Here is the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald singing "Blue Moon."

Window Shopping - November 21, 2010

The holidays are coming up so I've been doing some window shopping online. Here are some things that caught my eye.

An Official Doctor Who Tardis USB hub. Who doesn't need a Tardis?

From Think Geek

A Da Vinci Catapult Kit. It works.

An Orrery Kit. I am fascinated by not only the solar system but the mechanics of the orrery.

From Grand Illusions.

Qwill's Qwestion: Is there anything unusual that you'd like for the holidays?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

December 2010 - New Releases

Here is my list of December 2010 releases. This month I've included the gernre or subgenre that I thought fit the book. A key to the abbreviations is below. I'm not sure I will continue to do that. Let me know what you think. Release dates are subject to change. Covers for anthologies are below. If there is something that I've missed, please leave a comment. Also note that this list is always under revision.

December 1, 2010

The Spirit EaterAaron, RachelEli Monpress 3F
Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe RingsBoudreau, HélèneYA
Wish*Bullen, AlexandraYA
Night of the VampiresGraham, HeatherPNR
Alaskan WolfJohnston, Linda O.Alpha Force PNR
Christmas with a VampireAnthologyPNR
The WolvenLeBlanc, DeborahThe Keepers 3PNR
Demon's DoorMasterton, GrahamRook 7H
Alcatraz Versus The Shattered LensSanderson, BrandonAlcatraz 4YA
Blue Twilight**Shayne, MaggieWings in the Night 11PNR

* Paperback release of previously released hardback
** reissue

December 7, 2010

StrangerArcher, ZoeBlades of the Rose 4PNR
Real Vampires Have More to LoveBartlett, GerryGlory St. Clair 6PNR
If Walls Could TalkBlackwell, JulietHaunted Home Renovation Mystery 1PM
Goddess of LegendCast, P.C.Goddess Summoning 6F
Right Hand MagicCollins, Nancy A.GolgothamUF
Love and RocketsAnthologyGreenburg, Martin H. & Hughes, Kerrie (Eds)SFR
Beneath the Thirteen MoonsKennedy, KathryneFR
Alien TangoKoch, GiniAlien 2SFR
Songs of the Dying EarthAnthologyGeorge R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozios (Eds)
Last SacrificeMead, RichelleVampire Academy 6YA
Alanna: The First AdventurePierce, TamoraSong of the Lioness 1YA
Bleeding VioletReeves, DiaYA
The Buntline SpecialResnick, MikeSP
Primal SeductionSomers, SydneyPendragon Gargoyles 2PNR
Wolf FeverSpear, TerryWerewolf 6PNR
Biting the BrideWillis, ClarePNR
The KeepWilson, F. PaulAdversary Cycle 1H
Demon UndergroundWright, S.L.Allay 2UF
Day of the DragonYork, RebeccaPNR

December 13, 2010

The GiftPatterson, JamesWitch & Wizard 2       YA

December 14, 2010

EnticeJones, CarrieNeed 3                      YA
Captivate*Jones, CarrieNeed 2YA
Andromeda Klein*Portman, FrankYA

*Paperback release of previously released hardcover

December 21, 2010

Out for BloodHarvey, AlyxandraDrake Chronicles 3                YA
TempetuousLivingstone, LesleyWonderous Strange 3YA
The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire SlayerWeston, LucyHF

December 28, 2010

Eternal PreyBangs, NinaGods of the Night 3PNR
Killing RocksBarant, DDBloundhound Files 3UF
Deep Kiss of WinterCole, Kresley & Showalter, GenaIAD & Alien HuntressPNR
Bloody ValentineCruz, Melissa de laBlue Bloods 6YA
The Lost SaintDespain, BreeDark Divine 2YA
Ruthless GameFeehan, ChristineGhostwalkers 9PRS
SapphiqueFisher, CatherineIncarceron 2YA
Last of the Demon SlayersFox, AngieAccidental Demon Slayer 4PNR
Crimson WindFrancis, Diana PharaohHorngate Witches 2UF
The Presence*Graham, HeatherPNR
The Good, The Bad & The UncannyGreen, Simon R.Nightside 10UF
HellforgedHolzner, NancyDeadtown 2UF
In Too DeepKrentz, Jayne AnnLooking Glass Trlgy 1
(Arcane Society 10)
Ghouls, Ghouls, GhoulsLaurie, VictoriaGhost Hunter 5PM
A Girls's Guide to Vampires*MacAlister, KatieDark Ones 1PNR
My Fair SuccubiMyles, JillSuccubus Diaries 3PNR
Dark WatersPrentiss, AlexLady of the Lake 2UF
AscensionRoane, CarisAscension 1PNR
Arcane CircleRobertson, LindaPersephone Alcmedi 4UF
Vampire CrushRobinson, A.M.YA
Soul HuntRonald, MargaretEvie Scanlon 3UF
Once in a Full MoonSchreiber, EllenVampire Kisses 1YA
Deadly Little GamesStolarz, Laurie FariaTouch 3YA
Fallen AngelTerrell, HeatherFallen Angel 1YA
Captive SoulWindsor, AnnaDark Crescent Sisterhood 5PNR


December 31, 2010

The White CityBear, ElizabethNew Amsterdam 3              UF

F = Fantasy
H = Horror
HF = Historical Fantasy
PM = Paranormal Mystery
PNR = Paranormal Romance
PRS = Paranormal Romantic Suspence
SFR = SciFi Romance
SP = Steampunk
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult


Friday, November 19, 2010

A Letter from Miss Elizabeth Bennet - November 19, 2010

Today I received a missive from Miss Elizabeth Bennet*. Miss Bennet wrote this letter to warn about the danger overrunning England (where she lives). That danger is dreadfuls or unmentionables or as we know them better - zombies.

It turns out that Miss Bennet has purchased a computer in order to keep all of us apprised of what is happening. You can find links to Miss Bennet's correspondence at quirkclassics.com/zombies. You also can keep up with the digital goings on of Mr. Fitwilliam Darcy, Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Bingley, Jane and Lydia Bennet, Mr. Wickham. Charlotte Lucas, and Mr. Collins. Most of them now have Facebook accounts! Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are on Twitter as well. And for tips on how to be a lady and more, you must read Mrs. Bennet's blog - 19th Century Mombie.

Miss Bennet was also kind enough to send me a copy of Pride and Pejudice and Zombies. Since I already have a copy, I'd like to pass along the copy she sent to one commenter.

The lovely package and missive that Miss Bennet sent:

The Giveaway

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen’s beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton-and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers-and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 10 wonderfully graphic illustrations, this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen’s classic novel to new legions of fans.


What:  One commenter will win a trade paperback copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. The letter and string are not included.

How:  Leave a comment telling The Qwillery what you would do if you spotted a zombie. If you don't tell The Qwillery about your zombie spotting reaction your entry will not be counted.

You can receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your own blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who & When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, December 3, 2010.

-Giveaway rules are subject to change.-

*Yes, I know that Miss Bennet is a fictional character and that the publisher sent me the letter and book. Just play along.

Photo Friday - November 19, 2010

Some photos I took on the 17th.

It's been cloudy most nights lately, but I did manage to snap the moon on the 17th.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Interview with Stephanie Dray - November 18, 2010

Please welcome author Stephanie Dray to The Qwillery.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Stephanie:  I suppose it’s that endings are difficult to me. I hate writing them. Maybe it’s because I don’t ever want to say goodbye to the characters that I love so much or maybe it’s because I want to make certain that my ending has resonance with my beginning. But I’m always happiest at the beginning of a novel than at the end!

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Stephanie:  Some of my favorite writers from the fantasy world are George R. R. Martin and Robin Hobb. Some of my favorites from the historical fiction side are Margaret George, Philippa Gregory, and Susan Fraser King. Truthfully, I’ve been influenced by all these writers. With respect to writing Lily of the Nile, however, I was heavily influenced by Beatrice Chanler, whose book about Cleopatra Selene led me to re-imagine the religious side of her story in a more modern way.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Stephanie:  I’ve increasingly become a plotter, both because I get paid for turning in outlines and proposals and because the planning of a story is quite a bit of fun! With Lily of the Nile, I spent a lot of time re-writing because the work evolved from an alternative history into something that hewed close to history and injected magic realism into the mix.

TQ: Lily of the Nile is the story of Princess Selene, the daughter of Cleopatra and Marc Antony. Why did you choose Princess Selene for your debut historical fantasy?

Stephanie:  I think she chose me. I’m not normally one of those writers who ramble about their muse or talk about how their characters speak to them. However, when it comes to Selene, I truly was inspired. I was trying to write a different book--an alternative history about how the world might have been different if Selene’s brother Caesarion had lived. But Selene kept interrupting my thoughts in first person narrative--something that’s never happened to me before or since.

The more I learned about her life as an orphan, a prisoner of Rome, and a queen in her own right, the more her story touched me, and the more I wanted to memorialize her. Selene isn’t one of the bad girls of history, but she deserves to be remembered.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Lily of the Nile?

Stephanie:  First, I read every fictional account of her life that I could find. Then I went back and studied all the ancient sources and scholarly books about Selene’s life, the most important of these being Duane W. Roller’s The World of Juba II and Kleopatra Selene. After that, it was clear that Selene’s story was indistinguishable from the story of Augustus and I set out to learn everything I could about Rome’s first emperor, his family, and his fate. I’m always looking for an opportunity to visit Rome, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt, so I guess I’ve never stopped researching this period.

TQ:  How important is historical accuracy when melding history and fantasy?

Stephanie:  History matters a great deal to me. For the sequel to Lily of the Nile, I considered fermented rotting shellfish in my backyard to reproduce the recipe for imperial purple dye. But as a novelist, I acknowledge that my first duty is always to the novel. Magic was real for the Egyptians and the Romans, so it is real in my book. If I must slip the timeline a bit so that my protagonist is at the center of documented events, I’ll do it and note it in my Author’s Note at the end of the book. I’m acutely aware that I am not a biographer and I would be happier if other authors were similarly honest about their work.

TQ:  If you could dine with three people from the past who would they be and why?

Stephanie:  Oh, what a delicious question. I’d certainly choose to dine with Cleopatra Selene and Juba II and learn all about their life together; all the things that were never recorded. I’m also fascinated by Thomas Jefferson. I’d be quite honored to just listen to him ramble on about anything he chose, though I might be frightened to tell him what’s happened to the country he helped build.

TQ:  What's next?

Stephanie:  This year will start out with the release of LILY OF THE NILE and the sequel, SONG OF THE NILE will follow in the autumn. I’m really excited about having these books come out one right after the other because I think they tell an inspiring tale about Selene’s journey from the helpless captive of Rome to the most powerful client queen in the empire.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Stephanie:  Thank you so much for having me!

About Stephanie's Book

Lily of the Nile
A Novel of Cleopatra's Daughter

Publication Date: January 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Format: Paperback , 368pp
ISBN-13: 9780425238554
ISBN: 0425238555

Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers...
To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?
From Penguin Group (USA)

About Stephanie
After graduating from law school, Stephanie Dray came to her senses and returned to her first love: storytelling. Using the transformative power of magic realism, she tells the stories of women in history so as to inspire the young women of today. Stephanie remains fascinated by all things ancient and has--to the consternation of her devoted husband--collected a house full of cats and Egyptian artifacts.

Stephanie's Links:

Website:  http://www.stephaniedray.com/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/stephaniehdray