Tuesday, December 3, 2013

COVER REVEAL: THE BOOK OF KINDLY DEATHS by Eldritch Black



Today, I'm excited to finally share the cover for THE BOOK OF KINDLY DEATHS by another of my wonderful authors, Eldritch Black. The elevator pitch for this novel was Coraline meets Tales of Beedle the Bard, which hooked me right away. But it got better: This book totally returned on its pitch promise many-fold times! Not only is it a compelling story with a great lead character, but the prose is both poetic and accessible to all ages. You're in for a treat with this book.

In dressing such an amazing read, the awesome Lisa Amowitz outdid herself on this one!


WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THE MONSTERS IN A BOOK BECAME REAL? 

When twelve-year old Eliza Winter finds a secret room in her missing grandfather’s sprawling, Gothic house, her safe, sheltered life is blown apart. Inside, below a stained glass window where moonlight shines no matter the time of day, sits The Book of Kindly Deaths. 

In defiance of her controlling mother, who has always forbidden her to read anything strange or imaginary, Eliza takes the book. As night sets in, Eliza reads one haunting story after another. And the further she journeys inside the book, the more the boundaries between our world and a shadowy land of monsters and forbidden places begin to blur.

When the strange, crooked man from the book arrives on the doorstep claiming to be a rare book collector and demanding entry into the house, Eliza’s world is turned upside down. To escape him she must dive all the way into the spine-tingling world of The Book of Kindly Deaths to save her grandfather—and write an end to the nightmare she's caught inside. 



Title: The Book of Kindly Deaths
Author: Eldritch Black
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press Middle Grade
ISBN:  978-1939392954
ISBN Ebook: 978-1-939392-96-1
Release Date: 6/10/2014
Formats: Paper, e-book

If you'd like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website. ARCs will ship in or around May 2014.

ENJOY!!!  :)








Monday, November 25, 2013

RELEASE THE KELPIE!!



...well, soon-ish anyway...

As is life, there is a mixed basket of news on this.

First, the pre-orders for the book have been great!  I'm so thrilled... and thank you to everyone who has already ordered a copy!! Seriously, pre-orders are a HUGE help to authors. It makes us stand out to vendors and suppliers...so if you still plan on getting a copy, please feel free to order it from whoever your favorite vendor is.

Less fortunately, we had to change printers to meet the demands for THE KELPIE, so the official release date had to be pushed back until December 17. Which, considering I've long had the release party set for December 7th and other events happening before the 17th, it could have been a disaster.

But because Kate Kaynak and SHP are awesome, I'm getting a very limited early run that I'm able to use for the release party, all local events pre-December 17, and to supply the local vendors who I promised stuff to for the original release.  Also, for those of you who were absolutely depending on the book pre-December 17, let me know and I'll do my best to set aside one of these limited print run books for you.

Most importantly, though, THANK YOU again, to everyone who has been supporting me through getting my very first novel out there and around!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cover Reveal: COPPER RAVENS by Jennifer Allis Provost



Time for another fabulous cover reveal!  And I get to promote two awesome friends of mine with it!

The Book: COPPER RAVENS by Jennifer Allis Provost
The Cover: by Lisa Amowitz!

If you'd like to request an ARC of this most awesome book (and I do insist that you do so!), please go to the following link and fill out the form:

Here are the deets:

Book Blurb:
Sara should be happy.

She has what every girl wants: a man who loves her, a beautiful home, and wealth beyond imagining. She rescued her brother from the Peacekeepers, destroyed the Iron Queen, and doesn’t have to go to her boring job any more.

And yet… Sara still doesn’t know if her father is alive or dead. Her mother hides in the garden, brooding about her missing husband. Her sister, the Inheritor of Metal, is scared of her own shadow, and her brother spends his days fighting and gambling. To add to Sara’s misery, the new queen (gold, of course) is more than a bit crazy, she misses her life in the Mundane world, and, worst of all, Micah wants to have children. A lot of them.

As Sara wavers between happiness and homesickness, a conspiracy emerges against the Raven clan, implicating them in a plot to dethrone the Gold Queen. How can Sara prove her family’s innocence, and become the consort Micah needs her to be, without losing herself in the process?   



Jennifer's bio: 

Jennifer Allis Provost is a native New Englander who lives in a sprawling colonial along with her beautiful and precocious twins, a dog, two birds, three cats, and a wonderful husband who never forgets to buy ice cream. As a child, she read anything and everything she could get her hands on, including a set of encyclopedias, but fantasy was always her favorite. She spends her days drinking vast amounts of coffee, arguing with her computer, and avoiding any and all domestic behavior. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Birthday: EXTRACTED: THE LOST IMPERIALS



While working at Spencer Hill Press, I've gotten to meet and make friends with many authors...even those who I don't edit or work with.  This year, at Book Expo America, I got to room with the fabulous Sherry D. Ficklin. (Okay, I got to room with the fabulous Sherry, Marie Romero, and Michelle Picket... but today we're talking about Sherry...)  In any case, we hit it off and ended up hanging out even more at New York Comic Con.

And today is the book birthday of EXTRACTED: THE LOST IMPERIALS BOOK 1

The book she co-edited with Tyler Jolley.

So, Happy Book Birthday to Sherry & Tyler!


Welcome to the war. The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it. The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens--their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream. Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war. When Lex's girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Tesla Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It's there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both again.

Now Available!

official website: www.thelostimperials.com
Sherry D. Ficklin, Author
http://about.me/sherrydficklin

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Blog Tour: Elizabeth Black



Welcome to the Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour!! A few of my author friends from Broad Universe and I adore Halloween, so we're trading blog posts every other day for this last week of October.

Elizabeth Black is a Broad I've met more recently than the other women on this tour, but I'm so glad to know her now. And I am such a sucker for haunted house stories! I sooo want to go here!

Happy Halloween!!


I Stayed At A Haunted Bed And Breakfast. Twice.
By Elizabeth Black

Yup, I was foolish enough to stay at a haunted bed and breakfast - twice. This B&B dates back to the Revolutionary War, and it sits on a river. I had heard about it from one of my ex's friends, and after much planning I finally stayed there when I was in town for a theater stage crew convention.

The story behind the haunting is as follows:

British soldiers came up the river and proceeded to set the small town on fire, destroying most of it. Soldiers threw torches on the porch of this B&B, which was originally a brothel. The proprietress swept the torches off the porch with her broom. She made a deal with the soldiers. She would house them, feed them, and allow them to use her services as long as they didn't burn the place down. They agreed, and this B&B was allowed to stand whilst homes around it burned to the ground.  The haunting involves the ghost of the proprietress wandering the halls in the dead of night, checking on her clientele and the women to make sure everyone was comfortable. There have been other sightings as well. The B&B itself is absolutely beautiful, decorated in Victorian splendor. It includes a lovely bar and discounted dinners every Friday night. The rooms are beautiful, spacious, and very homey in that Victorian style I liked very much.

The first time I stayed it was off-season in mid-winter. I was in a room overlooking the river. What a view! I enjoyed a delicious meal and the company of a man I met in the bar. He came to the B&B several times per month to enjoy dinner when in town on business. No, I did not take him to bed, although he was very handsome. We ate dinner together. That night I slept well until about 3 am when I heard a party going on in the room next to me. There was a lot of noise. I managed to go back to sleep. At about 4:30 am I heard heavy footsteps walking up and down the hallway. I immediately thought of the ghost of the proprietress stalking the halls checking on everyone and went back to sleep. I wondered whys she wore combat boots, since her footsteps were very loud and heavy. I felt very safe, secure, and comfortable. Not the least bit scared.

The next day, when I went down for breakfast, I told the clerk about the party and the footsteps. She told me I couldn't have heard anything because I had been alone in the building all night. Yeeeahhh!!!!! The party! The footsteps! None of it could have happened!!!

Of course, I had to return. J

The second time I stayed I was with my current husband. While we slept, someone turned on the overhead light in the middle of the night. I was a very light sleeper and I snapped awake the moment the light turned on. My husband snored away next to me. I was far too tired to get up and turn off the light, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up shortly before dawn, the light was off. I asked my husband later about the light and he said he had turned it off before going to bed. He didn't get up during the night at all.

So who turned on the light? And who later turned it off?

I heard those footsteps in the hallway again, and felt as safe as I did the first time.  No party this time, though. At least this time there were other guests in the place. I wasn't alone in the building again.

So there you have it. I had my own ghostly experiences. Granted, I think there were perfectly natural explanations for what I heard. The kitchen was downstairs right off my room and noise from clean-up could have carried up the stairs. I could have mistaken those noises for a party. It's also likely my husband simply forgot he didn't turn off the overhead light. But I like to think I had ghostly experiences both times I stayed.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

My stay at the Kitty Knight House influenced my erotic romance novel "An Unexpected Guest". Here are buy links and an information page.

Fanny Press

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Kindle

Web Site Page:

Here's where to find me on the web. Friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and check out my books! I've included my Amazon author pages for both of my pen names, so whether you're into sexy or spooky, I have stories for you!

Elizabeth Black - Blog and Web Site

Elizabeth Black - Facebook

Elizabeth Black - Twitter

Elizabeth Black - Amazon Author Page
E. A. Black - Amazon Author Page

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31.  Join us all five days for Halloween fun!  Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Blog Tour: LC Hu



Welcome to the Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour!! A few of my author friends from Broad Universe and I adore Halloween, so we're trading blog posts every other day for this last week of October.

I'm honored to have our own Hostess with the Mostest who put this blog together, LC Hu, for today's post! :) And I'm also extremely pleased with this article on vampires because for a long time, I shared her disdain of these particular monsters. I love how she refound the spark of horror!

Happy Halloween!!


Revamping the Vampire, by LC Hu

Happy almost-Halloween, everyone! 

A quick shout out to Trisha for hosting me!  It's great to be here. 

Today, I want to talk about revisiting a classic Halloween monster--the vampire--twice, and what it means to me to reimagine a subject.

We've all heard the old adage "There's nothing new under the sun."  (Or the stars, in a vampire's case.) And it's true--it's hard , if not impossible, to come up with something completely new; even if you think of something that's pretty original, odds are good that someone else has thought of it too.  There's a lot of people pondering a lot of subjects out there. 

So for me breathing fresh life into something old is more about adding a personal touch.  Finding what unsettles me, or interests me, and adding that little bit to the existing monster.  And hitting a common note is just fine--wanted, perhaps, because it will help my audience connect. 

In recent work I've revisited the vampire twice.  I find this a little funny--since outgrowing my Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite phase, I've carried around a little bit of hipsteresque disdain for the befanged blood drinker.  But for the Re-Vamp project, we were doing a tour of all the old, classic, monsters, so I was obligated to revisit the subject.  And for Midnight Carnival shared world project, part of why I tackled a vampire was precisely my disdain; it seemed like a personal challenge, to make this overdone monster interesting to me again. 

Re-Vamp was all about trying to bring the classic into the current, to be both nostalgic and contemporary at once, so for the vampire in my short story "Lump," I read a lot about the origins of the vampire.  I decided to go with the elements that disturbed me: the corpse-like pallor, the distended/bloated belly, elements that hearkened back to people being frightened of decomposing corpses.  Decay and rot are unsettling to a lot of people.  For the contemporary angle, I used situation and location--by the side of the highway, the dark woods, the quandary of helping someone (or something) injured by the side of the road, or leaving it out of fear. 

Being a shared, established world, The Midnight Carnival had established certain rules for vampires already, so I only had so much room to work with: they could be wounded or killed by holy water, fire, sunlight, silver; they were made, not born; they live on blood; they are stronger and faster than humans, and able to heal quickly. So it became the little things about my individual vampire, Carver, that I played with to make him interesting to me.  I tried to imagine how a vampire like that might blend into the human world best, become the wolf in sheep's clothing as best as possible.  What biological alterations the transformation would cause, and what neurochemical or other personality-influencing changes.

His teeth, for example: they are all sharp, like a dog or cat's teeth, even the molars.  The canines are longer, the front teeth more flattened/bladelike, but they are not the two puncturing canines of the classic movie vampire.  They also retract.  The human set and the vampire set are interchangeable, sliding back into the gums, one set replacing the other.  Or his breathing--Carver breathes so he can speak, because I liked the physicality of it, the little obedience to the real world, that you must have air in your lungs and expend it to speak.  It's also good camouflage, when you're pretending to be human. 

And I mentioned mental changes too--it's not clear, in the MC world, if it's a demonic soul outsting a human one to cause the vampiric change, or a virus, or something else, so I went with it being more physical, including alterations to the brain and brain chemistry.  Once upon a time Carver was a very good, upstanding man, a detective with a beloved wife and two beloved daughters, and I started thinking about what kind of a vampire a man like that would become, if you took away his regret and a large part of his empathy and handed him a ravenous, unending appetite for blood. 

…I could go on all day.  Suffice to say, I interested myself in this old, reliable monster again, and had good fun with it too.  In the end, I think that's all it takes to breathe a little new life into the old--have fun with it, go crazy, let yourself break rules or obey them, just learn to enjoy the monster--or whatever subject matter you're revisiting--again. 

#


The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31.  Join us all five days for Halloween fun!  Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Blog Tour: Justine Graykin



Welcome to the Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour!! A few of my author friends from Broad Universe and I adore Halloween, so we're trading blog posts every other day for this last week of October.

Justine Graykin's second post in this tour tickles me to no end. I've been a fan of her Archimedes Nesselrode since she started reading excerpts from it at Rapid Fire Readings years ago. It was an audio book first, and I just don't do audio books. So, when she finally, finally, finally had a huggable book published, I did, indeed, drive all the way up to her release party in New Hampshire so I could immediately hug my own copy. Squee!

Happy Halloween!!

An Excerpt from Archimedes Nesselrode by Justine Graykin

Archimedes Nesselrode, my newly-released novel from Double Dragon, is mostly gentle and whimsical, a tale of an artist with strange and wonderful creative powers.  But these powers also have a dark and frightful side, one which even the artist himself fears.

In honor of the this shiversome season, I offer to the readers of my dear friend Trisha’s blog an excerpt from the book in keeping with that spirit of darkness.

We join the artist and his devoted housekeeper attempting to escape from the vengeful anger of Zarah Trebbiano, the operatic diva whose advances Mr. Nesselrode has rejected.

“Get in the car, Mr. Nesselrode,” Ms. Mare said firmly, “I shall handle this.”
“Oh, yes, get into the car, Michel!” the singer mocked.  “Do as your woman servant says!  Spineless worm!  That is all you are!  Gutless and spineless!”
“That will be enough!” Ms. Mare snapped in an imperiously commanding tone that any school mistress would have envied.  “You will leave immediately and do not dare attempt to contact Mr. Nesselrode again in any way!”
“Call off your dog, Michel,” Madam Trebbiano said, “her yapping annoys me.”
“You are a crude, ill-bred woman who ought to be ashamed of herself, but is too arrogant to realize it!  Now, good night to you!”  Ms. Mare turned on her heel to go.  Her employer had still not moved.
“Ill-bred?” the singer cried.  “This from an illegitimate brat of the serving class!  Oh, yes, I know who you are!  You’re the housekeeper, aren’t you?  Do you think to improve your position by coddling your master?  A bit of advice to you--don’t attempt to bed him!  He is a passionless, impotent fish!”
“How dare you?” Ms. Mare cried in outrage.
“Can’t you say anything, Michel?  No, you pathetic, sniveling poseur!  I should never have wasted my time with you!  You are not a man at all!”
“That will be enough!” Ms. Mare commanded, uncomfortably aware that they were beginning to attract a crowd.  “Mr. Nesselrode, get into the car.  We are leaving!”
“Go on, Michel!  Run with your tail between your legs!  That’s all you’ve got down there!  Go home with your faithful dog!  Perhaps you can reward her with a few limp-wristed caresses!  Or do you prefer little boys?”
“Zarah, shut up!”
The transformation of Archimedes Nesselrode from rabbit to wild-eyed fury was sudden and astonishing.  He spun around to face her and his voice rose into a screech.  “Shut up!  Shut up!  Shut up!”
Madam Trebbiano was shocked speechless, taking a step away from him.  Ms. Mare was frozen, her mouth open.  She had seen him annoyed, fretful, peevish and irritated.  She had never seen this.  His eyes blazed with madness, but not the gentle, harmless madness she was accustomed to.  His face was twisted horribly and malignantly.  The winged snake flew up into the air with alarm and darted over to Ms. Mare, coiling about her legs and cringing, afraid of her own master.
“You summon great passion in me, Zarah!  Oh, yes!  You inspire me with wild emotion!”  He laughed, but it was a fearful, maniacal sound.  “You are fascinated by my magic, eh?  I’ll give you a demonstration!  See what I create in your honor!”  He held out his hands.  To Ms. Mare’s horror they were dripping with scorpions.  If there was any creature which inspired greater loathing in her than spiders, it was scorpions.
Madam Trebbiano’s expression showed much the same sentiment.  She was grimacing in revulsion.  Archimedes Nesselrode, quite monstrously insane, walked towards her.  “Embrace me, Zarah!  I’m all yours!”
“Get away from me!” she cried, backing away.  But she found her retreat blocked.  They were no longer standing on a city sidewalk.  Archimedes Nesselrode had conjured a chamber of horrors.
The stone walls that enclosed them slanted at bizarre angles and intersected with unbearable asymmetry.  The seams where the stone blocks met were cracked and seeping with fungoid slime.  From the slime bubbled shapeless things which crawled and dripped to the crazily tilting floor.  The ceiling was thickly hung with sticky webs which seethed with black legs and bloated bodies.
“Gifts for you, Zarah!” he shrieked, his voice cracked and shaking, “From the bottom of my heart!”  He threw the scorpions at her, and began to laugh hideously.  He became swathed in robes of black and scarlet, and from beneath the folds of the robe erupted monstrosities, deformed and hideous.  Writhing hunks of severed flesh, embedded with eyes, oozing like open wounds, they flopped and crawled around him.  Zarah Trebbiano screamed and clawed helplessly at the venomous creatures that clung to her, stinging her repeatedly.
Stunned with horror, Vivian Mare stared, unable to believe that her timid, sweet employer could have so suddenly mutated into this terrible monster.  It took an act of strongest will power to break the paralyzing spell.
“Snake, for pity’s sake, let go of me!”
My thanks to Trisha Wooldridge for her gracious hospitality.  Archimedes Nesselrode is
available as a paperback through Amazon and as an ebook though most major distributors.  You may learn more about this and my humble self on my website, at justinegraykin.com

About the Author:
Justine Graykin is a writer and free-lance philosopher sustained by her deep, abiding faith in Science, Humanity and the belief that humor is the best anti-gravity device. Author of Archimedes Nesselrode, a book written for adults who are weary of adult books, she is producer of the BroadPod podcast.   She lives, writes and putters around her home in rural New Hampshire, occasionally disappearing into the White Mountains with a backpack.


The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31.  Join us all five days for Halloween fun!  Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween Blog Tour: Vonnie Winslow Crist



Welcome to the Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour!! A few of my author friends from Broad Universe and I adore Halloween, so we're trading blog posts every other day for this last week of October.

I'm thrilled my first post is from Vonnie Winslow Crist, a woman after my own heart when it comes to faery tales and folklore. I just love her post here!

Happy Halloween!!


Ogerhunches and other Goblins by Vonnie Winslow Crist


Goblins are dark Faeryfolk often associated with Halloween. They appear in fantasy literature and film from J.R.R. Tolkien's Hobbit and Lord of the Rings to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter to scary nursery rhymes like Little Orphan Annie by James Whitcomb Riley. And there are so many terrifying varieties of goblins that a Red-cap, Bogy, Padfoot, Barguest, Tankerabogus, Grindee, or Ogerhunch could be hiding under your stairs this very minute!

Not all goblins are as fearsome as Red-caps who wear hats died crimson in the blood of their victims. Nor as frightening as a Bogy who is known to follow people around calling out, “I want my bones.” Nor as unnerving as a Padfoot who walks behind an unsuspecting person, then runs up to his side and roars. Nor as scary as a Barguest with its horns, teeth, claws, and fiery eyes. Nor as dreadful as a Tankerabogus who comes and carries naughty children away to its pit-hole. Some goblins are actually more terrifying!

When I wanted to add goblins to my Young Adult fantasy adventure novel, The Enchanted Skean, I had to decide what my goblins would be called and what they'd look like. Plus, I wanted to give them characteristics which would make them repulsive and fascinating at the same time.

The first type of goblin I created are Grindees. They're smallish nocturnal goblins that travel in swarms of 20
to 30 individuals. Grindees chase down travelers, devour both animals and humans, then steal whatever valuables they possessed. They have glowing orange eyes, mottled skin, elongated fingers, multiple horns, and wide mouths filled with razor-sharp teeth. Able to speak in a hissing, lispy manner, Grindees are happy to let a person know just how much they despise humans – just before they bite them.

When it came to creating the second type of goblin for The Enchanted Skean, I decided to find an archaic word for a frightening creature. One of the fabulous words I found in Jeffery Kacirk's The Word Museum was Ogerhunch. According to Kacirk an Ogerhunch is “Any frightful or loathsome creature, especially a bat.” Well, I'm a fan of bats, so I decided to make my Ogerhunches goblins that looked like forest debris and stumps. A horde of Hunches will sneak up unnoticed, knock their victims to the ground with their branch-like limbs, then suck their juices out with their rootlets. Luckily for the protagonist in my novel, Ogerhunches aren't especially smart and they're afraid of fire.

In the sequel to The Enchanted Skean, Grindee and Ogerhunches are sure to appear. The trick will be to add an even more devious goblin to the mix.

So this Halloween when your doorbell rings and you open your door to trick-or-treaters, keep your eyes peeled for goblins. It's easy to separate them from the neighborhood kids – their ugly faces aren't masks and they don't come off with make-up remover. And remember “you better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear, and cherish them that loves ya, and dry the orphans tears and help the poor and needy ones that cluster all about, or the goblins will get ya if ya don't watch out!”

About the guest writer: Vonnie Winslow Crist is author of a YA fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean, 2 speculative story collections, The Greener Forest and Owl Light, and other books. A firm believer that the world around us is filled with mystery, miracles, and magic, Vonnie celebrates the power of myth in her writing.

Read an excerpt of The Enchanted Skean featuring Grindee goblins: http://vonniewinslowcrist.com/books/the_enchanted_skean_excerpt

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31.  Join us all five days for Halloween fun!  Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Guest Post: Kendra L. Saunders



A few years ago, at the Broad Universe / Spencer Hill Press table at the very first Anthocon, this sweet young woman wandered over. There was chemistry between the bunch of us right away and the group of us table folk absconded with the lovely Kendra L. Saunders for dinner, got her to join Broad Universe, and all promptly bought copies of her first novel, Inanimate Objects, which is a beautiful story of art and immortality in the vein (there's a pun there...) of The Great Gatsby. Trust me, you'll love it!

Then she wrote an entirely different styled book, Death and Mr. Right, which I (and the rest of my friends) also fell in love with.  For entirely different reasons.  In the humorous style of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, Death and Mr. Right is a romp through Boston and beyond with the diva-like Death (recently-made-former agent of nightmares) as he tries to get back his job, the list of the names of the damned that he lost (oops!), and above all, not fall in love.

As you might imagine, things aren't going so well...

Kendra is an awesome person, and she is kindly sharing her awesomeness on my blog with an interview!!  Why? Because Death and Mr. Right is now available for  you to love and laugh milk out your nose over, too!

Thanks for stopping by, Kendra! 

 Oh, thank you so much for having me! And I just wanted to say- thank you so much for The Great Gatsby mention. That's one of my favorite books.

What kind of research went into writing Death and Mr. Right?  What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

While writing Death and Mr. Right, my friend Megan took me to Boston for a full day of exploration and research! We wandered Newbury Street and some of the popular spots, then down by the swan boats, which I guess a lot of people think are really pretty. I found them to be extremely depressing, haha. The most beautiful spot in Boston is the Church of Science, across the street from the Prudential Center. We found it by accident, because it started raining and we made a dash for cover... the reflecting pool in front of the Church of Science is just breathtaking, though, even in the rain. You feel like you've teleported to Italy or something. If Death and Mr. Right becomes a huge cult hit, I want to offer tours of the major locations in the book, and that would be the most important one. I took a lot of pictures of it, which can be found on my facebook page!

Also, during my research, I found out that Pandora's "Box" was actually a jar! That was a cool fact that I had no idea about previously.

You also have a passion for fashion, which definitely seems to find its way into your work.  As the person who is constantly getting notes from her critique group that she adds too much horsey stuff--but generally isn't into fashion at all--I'm curious how you are able to let in just enough of your passion into your writing without overwhelming--and while making it interesting for those of us who normally don't think about fashion? :)

The newest book, The Unlove Spell, has maybe the most of it, because Marling lives in New York City, her friend Kyran is a fashion label obsessed metrosexual and Viktor Arson is a total babe, so we usually hear about what he's wearing. In one part, Kyran says something about standing outside of an Alexander McQueen store and feeling too afraid to walk inside, lest he burst into flames of unworthiness. So there was lots of designer label talk in that one.

I have had the extraordinary privilege to meet a lot of designers that I really admire and have conversations with them in interviews or just while hanging out, and have learned so much. For my freelance work, I talk a lot about fashion (in interviews and articles) and I've been an InStyle subscriber for ten years! So it's very possible that my projects in the future will have more and more of a fashion theme, but generally I try to describe in humorous ways, usually, or with a very light hand. That being said, I recently wrote a short story inspired by one of Zac Posen's photos on instagram, about a designer, and I've been inspired for several pieces by fashion, models, and designers. Music and fashion are my greatest inspirations!

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Of the whole writing and publishing process?  What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?

Definitely for me, writing is a way of processing things that have happened to me. Maybe someone was really cruel and I couldn't react at the time (I'm a slow reactor and very bad at confrontation), so I process it in fiction. Maybe I met a stranger who was intriguing but disappeared from the fabric of my life... I can bring them to life in fiction. Maybe someone is dancing around the edges of my life... I can get to know them through fiction. Maybe there's a place I've always wanted to visit (England, Austria, etc)... fiction is a transportation device. And if I miss a place, a person, a feeling, I can resurrect it in writing. Truly, writing is the best and cheapest way to live a thousand lives.

Also, getting to travel in the name of research and promotion is great. I've had wanderlust all my life and this is the perfect job to allow for that.
  
What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?

My writing space changes from day to day but my favorite place to write is at the Concord, NH Starbucks. I've written most of THREE novels there (and even dedicated Death and Mr. Right to them!) I like to have a latte (no sugar) and a cup of water at the table with me. My doctor made me promise to cut back on caffeine, but the smell of espresso is just magical! I have to have headphones so I can retreat into my mental writing cave. Spotify has become my best friend... it's an online music database that allows you to listen to whole albums or playlists that you create, for free. It's great because the artists don't lose money and you don't have to pay to listen to new albums. I have a playlist for every major project I'm working on, as well as a "soothing" one, a "love" one, a "girl power" one and lots of others! Plus with spotify, you can receive suggestions from other spotify users. Fabio Costa (Project Runway contestant and co-owner of NotEqual) is one of my favorite people to get suggestions from. He has great taste in music and we can nerd out over indie albums together. Feel free to find my playlists and check them out, and be sure to check his out too!

If I'm home, I like to sit in my room surrounded by my stuffed animals. Because I'm a grown up.

What is one thing that most people don't realize about you?


Well, most people don't realize I have an embarrassingly extensive knowledge of Sting's discography. Not even a joke! I have all of his albums up until the lute one, and even some singles. And I have "Soul Cages" on vinyl, thanks to my friend Isaac. I've also seen a couple of his movies- The Bride (which I told the Nostalgia Critic he should review) and Brimstone and Treacle. And yes, I own his books too. He's been a major creative influence on my writing and life. The lyrics from "Soul Cages" are just surreal masterpieces to me. He's a master storyteller.

Also, Andrew Bird wore the scarf I made for him in a music video with Margaret Cho. Look it up! So cool!

What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?

Oh, there have been so many of them! But my greatest was definitely going to New York City in May of this year for BEA, staying at the hip Jane Hotel with my sister, getting dressed up in my gorgeous Dmitry Sholokhov dress and high heels, attending a fancy breakfast as a guest author, taking a taxi to the Javit's Center, signing review copies of Death and Mr. Right to tons of strangers and familiar faces alike, and Dmitry joining me at the event as my guest. It was amazing! We chatted and caught up a little after he arrived and I met his lovely friend Anastasiya, and then we posed behind the Spencer Hill table and suddenly there was a whole row of people standing in front of us with cameras. I've never seen so many cameras in my life! It was a surreal experience. Even Dmitry commented that it was a lot of camera flashes. I felt like a princess or something! Later that evening, my sister and three of my best girlfriends got together with me back at the Jane Hotel for drinks and conversation, and then my dear friend Megan and I took a late-night walk along the waterfront. To have so many wonderful people with me for that event was a beautiful experience. And Dmitry has been such an inspiration for me, both as an artist with a lot of ambition and big dreams and good sense of humor, and also because he was the muse for Viktor Arson in "The Unlove Spell." It was the most magical day of my life! (If you don't know about his work, you should look him up on twitter and instagram, both of which are @dmitrysholokhov )

Now that we have had a taste of your awesomeness, what are the deets about your book so we can all buy it?  (ISBN, where to buy it, etc.)
 Death and Mr. Right drops October 1st. It will be for sale in most Barnes & Noble stores, on amazon and worldwide at bookdepository.com. There are many things you can do to make this funky little book into an indie success. You can call or visit your local bookstore and ask them to order a copy of the book, you can tweet me ( @kendrybird ) with the hashtag #deathandmrright , you can take a picture of yourself with the book and tweet it or instagram it with the #deathandmrright tag... I'm going to feature the pictures on my site, along with a link of your choice, if you'd like. So hit me up!

You've got a very active life in social media, and you promote your work in a lot of untraditional ways.  What advice can you offer other authors who are looking to help promote their books and are trying to get online more?
 Choose two social media platforms that you really like and concentrate on those. Some people try to do it all- facebook, twitter, instagram, blog, pinterest, tumblr, whatever... it gets to be a burden, especially if you're new to it. I suggest you use two that you really like, and use one more for personal contacts and one more for 'fans.' Facebook is great for personal contacts and twitter is great for fans. With facebook, you have more of a human connection, but you also have the gatekeeper of adding people as your 'friend.' With twitter, you speak and anyone in the world can listen. Post about what makes your life unique. Fans and followers want to see things they can't see in their own lives, like places you've traveled, cool people you've met or whatever else. Also, don't be afraid to tweet people you admire. Everyone is so connected now, and there's comfort in that, even for someone 'on top.' I've interacted with Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Ross, Tom Hiddleston and many other of my personal heroes on twitter. So don't be afraid to try talking to one of your heroes!
  
Speaking of your active online life, how can fans (un-creeper-like) stalk you to find out what you're up to and what else they can possibly give you money for? :)
 I LOVE to hear from everyone! My twitter handle is @kendrybird and I'm on instagram @kendralsaunders and update my website regularly www.kendralsaunders.com In addition, the radio interviews I do go up on my youtube channel after they air. I've interviewed Dmitry Sholokhov, Michelle Lesniak Franklin, Fabio Costa, Melissa Fleis, Miranda Levy.. you can hear those on my youtube channel! http://www.youtube.com/KendraLSaunders I also upload video journals there from my travels. Recent ones include my trip to NYC for Death and Mr. Right's signing at BEA, and my adventures at NYFW!
  
What are you working on now, and what other projects can we look for from you in the near future?

I've recently finished writing The Unlove Spell, which is probably my favorite thing I've ever written. It's about a young witch named Marling, who lives in New York City and isn't very good at magic. She tries to put an unlove spell on her former lover, sexy Russian writer Viktor Arson, to keep him from falling in love with anyone else, but she accidentally puts it on herself instead. The story begins five years later, when their paths cross again and she finds out Viktor's family are actually fae royalty. The fae and witches have a long, ugly history, and Marling has to decide... does she really love him, or is that just the unlove spell she placed on herself?

It's a comedy and it's fun and it's set in New York City. It's currently with my very favorite agent, so my fingers are crossed!

I'm also mostly finished with a poetry and short story collection about these two people who are never quite right for each other, but they keep crossing paths in different lives and realities. It's really melancholy and I'm excited about the idea of sharing it with the world!

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by my blog, Kendra!  It's always a blast to hang out with you!

Thank you so much, Trish! You're amazing, and I have so much respect and love for you!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME - Is Finally Here!!



For the good part of about two years, now, my friend and fellow Dragon*Writer, Anthony Francis and I have been working on the DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME anthology--and it finally comes out this Tuesday!!

I am so seriously proud of this baby...there was a lot of beauty and a lot of heartache (some amazing, amazing, amazing stories got sent to us--and we couldn't even fit them all!!) and a lot of time (heh!) and a lot of sweat and blood into this anthology.  I hope you love it as much as we do!

We're planning a bunch of promotional thingama-gigs over the next month or so, so stay tuned. :)  If you happen to be going to DragonCon this year, though, check out our release party at Ray's in the City!  Consider this your invitation!

And just in case you needed more incentive than an awesome anthology, free food, and cool people... well, we're also raffling off this AWESOME stained glass piece from Stained Glass Creations and Beyond!



Now, onto the coolness of this anthology.  Here's the back copy:

Everyone wishes they could get an extra hour in the day.

But what if you could?

What if you had a special device that gave you an extra day every week? You could use it to get ahead at work…unless your boss had it too.

What if you knew a spell that gave you an extra hour every day? You could use it to correct a mistake…or make a new one.

What if you could just stop time? You could accomplish a myriad of wonders…if you only knew how to get time started again.

Time loops and time travel, time apps and time outs, time machines, time merchants, and more can be found passing through these doorways into worlds where time can be spent like money…or where extra time can only be bought at a terrible price.

With stories and poetry by Jody Lynne Nye, Walter Hunt, Erica Cameron, Martin Feekins, Anthony Francis, L.M. Graham, R.E. Gofstein, Melina Gunnett, Betsy Miller, Susan Mittmann, Brenda Moguez, Jenny More, Ira Nayman, Errick A. Nunnally, Kate Saturday, Gayle Schultz, Rich Storrs, Keshia Swaim, Aimee Weinstein, and Trisha J. Wooldridge, Doorways to Extra Time presents twenty twists on the idea that if only we had a little extra time...

We’d have to deal with the consequences.

And here's the Amazon link so you can buy it!

 
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