Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Links to free and sale books!

I hope that everyone is having a very happy holiday season! In the next couple days I'll probably do a post on some of my favorite books of 2011, but for now, I'd like to point you in the direction of some free and or/sale books by some of my favorite authors as well as a special promotion on one of my own books. I've, unfortunately, not had time to read most of the novellas I'm linking to yet, but like I said, favorite authors, so I have a lot of confidence in their quality. 



First up is a free Kate Daniels novella by the writing team published as Ilona Andrews. Someone just directed me to it, and I haven't had time to read it yet, but it's a limited time offer, so I wanted to go ahead and link everyone. (I imagine that has spoilers for those of you not familiar with the series).




Next on the list is the novella Easy Pickings written by Faith Hunter and C. E. Murphy. They both have a special fan discount on their sites. Which you can find HERE (Faith) or HERE (C E Murphy) This is a cross over novella for only 1.99 by two amazing authors.










Karen Chance, author of the Cassandra Palmer and Dorina  Basarab series has an entire page of free short stories and novellas. She offers warnings of which fall where in the series and will contain spoilers, so definitely go check it out!











Lastly, I'm not sure if I mentioned this before on the blog, but for those of you who haven't checked out my Haven novels yet but are interested and members of Amazon Prime, the kindle now has a new lending library, and ONCE BITTEN is on it! So, if you'd like to 'rent' ONCE BITTEN, it is now available.






Enjoy everyone. I hope you're having a happy and safe holiday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Prince Charming

As many of you know if you've seen me at events (or seen pictures from events), I like conversation pieces on my table. It started with a tombstone I picked up before the release party of Grave Witch and has slowly expanded since then. All of the items I display I can justify as tying into my books in some manner (though sometimes it's a stretch). From the tombstone fitting because Alex is a Grave Witch to my adorable little vamplet because of the vampires in the Haven novels, I consider them appropriate. But I've never actually had a table piece that tied directly into any of the books.

Until now.

Recently I commission artist Angela Woodruff to create a stuffed version of PC from the Alex Craft novels. We had several discussions about what he looks like and his personality before she started working and the end results just arrived today.

What do you think? Isn't he adorable!

I'm thrilled with the results, and he will definitely be making appearances at my upcoming events. I hope you'll stop by and check him out at my table (though he's not a toy so pet him gently. LOL).

If you'd like to look a more of Angela's work, check her out on facebook at Rabid Rags.

Happy Thursday everyone, and for those of you heading out for the holidays soon, safe travels to you.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hallo Deutschland!

There are milestones in every career. In publishing, the first of these milestones is probably the very first time you write the magical words "The End" followed by new markers at each stage of your career. Each is new and exciting, and I'm very happy to announce that today I've crossed one of those milestones.

Today my very first foreign language book hits shelves!


DER KUSS DER EWIGKEIT is the German language version of ONCE BITTEN, the first novel of Haven. As has probably become apparent in previous posts, I don't speak a word of German, so I'm using a translator. But,  to my new German readers who stumble on this post, I just want to say:

Vielen Dank für das Lesen der Kuss der Ewigkeit! Ich hoffe, Sie genießen das Buch! 

(That should translate to "Thank you for reading The Kiss of Eternity. I hope you enjoy the book!" --or at least I hope that's what it says and that I haven't announced I'm a jelly doughnut. ^_^)

Have a great Monday everyone! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reasearch: Folklore

Hey everyone. This is a fly by post as I am counting down the hours (and words) until a looming deadline.

I've received a lot of questions recently about the research books I use in my writing, particularly for my Faeries and magic. Of course, I make a lot of things up (I am a writer after all) but especially in the Alex Craft novels, I like to incorporate some traditional folklore. And as I can't run off to the UK to hear these stories first hand (those that are left in the oral tradition, that is--so much has been lost). My main source for research is from books.

 I've slowly been scanning my research books into goodreads (love their iphone bar-code reader--though some of my books are too old to have bar codes) and I've finally managed to get a decent number of my folklore books scanned into the goodreads system.  Which means I can share them with you!  The ones I recommend most have the highest star ratings, but just because I haven't added stars yet doesn't mean I don't like the book--it might be that I haven't decided yet or just haven't had time to review it recently enough to to make my suggestion (as a whole, I only have a few complete flops on my shelves, but I don't think I scanned any of them into this list).

Anyway, for those looking for more information on Faeries and Folklore, here is a decent list to start perusing.  Enjoy!





Kalayna's bookshelf: folklore


A Dictionary of English FolkloreThe Fairy Faith in Celtic CountriesBritish Goblins: Welsh Folklore, Fairy Mythology, Legends, and TraditionsThe Welsh Fairy Book:Irish Fairy TalesBloody Irish

More of Kalayna's books »




And, for anyone curious, here is my wishlist of books I'm hoping to get my hands on in the futre (at least, the ones listed on Amazon). As I haven't actually read any of them, I can't vouch for their quality, but they do look interesting: Wishlist .

And that's a look into one aspect of my research reading habits. I hope this helps those looking to learn more about classic folklore!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A Signing and the German cover for Grave Witch

Hey everyone. I have two exciting bits of information to share today. The first is that I will be participating in the Booknack's annual Author Festival this Saturday (December 10th). There will be authors signing books throughout the day, and I'm slotted to sign between 5 and 7pm, so if you're in the Rock Hill or surrounding area, I hope to see you there!

As my second bit of news, I'm very excited to share that a facebook friend linked me to the German cover for Grave Witch (yes, a friend found it before I did, these things happen).  According to Babel Fish translator, the German title is Of death entices. (If you speak German and that translation is wrong, please let me know as I'm trusting a computer translator and they tend toward unreliable.) I thought that title sounded skeptical. Thank you Mary Lee for the correct translation of the title as Seduced by Death.  (Gee, I wonder which character the German editor likes best. LOL)

So what do you think?

Personally, I think it's a striking cover, and the model is definitely cute--but I have no idea who he is supposed to be. No dark haired, blue eyed, mustached hunks in this particular book. That is a kickass tattoo though. ^_^

Okay, that's it for me today. I hope to see you this weekend at the signing!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shameless Plug--Goodreads Choice Awards

Hey everyone. I just found out GRAVE DANCE is in the semifinals of the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards in the Paranormal Fantasy section! This is apparently the second round of the competition, so everyone who voted in the first--you totally rock! Thank you!

The selection in this category is awesome--many of my top favorite authors/books from this year are in there. I can't believe I'm grouped in with such awesome writers! To check out all the nominees and cast your vote, click HERE. (I'm not begging for votes because let's face it, there are lots of really awesome books on the list, but if you read and enjoyed Grave Dance, I'd definitely appreciate the vote!)



Choice_logo_90x107

Vote now for your favorite books!


In other news, I saw the cover for Grave Memory today. So pretty. I can't wait until I can share it with you. (Yes, I'm a tease ^_^)

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 is World Hoop Day

Every year hoopers celebrate world hoop day by going out to spread the joy of hoop dance to others. While I plan to attend local outreach events in my community, I decided that this year I'd also attempt to reach all of you out in cyber land. So I recorded a  quick video about WHD, why I love hoop dance, and some very basic starting steps for those interested in picking up the best dance partner you'll ever have--a hoop! And, of course, I jam out a little at the end.

I hope you enjoy:




Happy World Hoop Day everyone!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Changing times--A look at ebooks and the evolution of digital media

Things are changing quickly these days. Some of these changes inspire wonder as new technology entertains us or makes our lives easier. Some inspire dread and fear as many of these same changing technologies seem to be the harbinger of destruction for traditions and institutions we've come to know and love.

And yet, things have always changed. Perhaps not so quickly as they do now where most high-end tech is outdated within six months of hitting the shelves, but they've always changed. In visual entertainment, reels gave way to Beta to VHS to DVD to Blueray/HD and digital. In music, records gave way to cassette tapes, to CDs, and now to digital. Movies/television and music are two popular de-stressing pastimes most people partake in. Reading is another. Should we be surprised that traditional printed books are also moving toward digital in the form of e-books?

The transition between technologies seems to grow ever shorter. I'll admit that though I still have some favorite VHS tapes from childhood, I haven't owned a VCR since highschool, and even my DVD's I find to be a less preferred format to digital which with home sharing and apple tv I can watch anything in my library from any tv (or ipad) in my house with just a couple clicks of a button. I don't have a CD player in my house, and only purchase CDs when I'm at a concert and want to get them signed. Of course, once I get home I import them to itunes and permanently shelf the CD. Movements toward such digital dependence never would have occurred without MP3 players and streaming devices like the apple TV. Now that dedicated e-reading devices are easily accessible and reasonably priced  (the new kindle is cheaper than an ipod nano) will they become the preferred vehicle for reading?

The benefits are much the same with all media moving toward digital. A definite plus is the drastic reduction of physical space needed for storing a collection, which means not only more room in your house, but one can carry a plethora of choices in a small handbag with minimal added weight. The ability to buy digital copies at any time  day or night from nearly any location is also a bonus (though can lead to dangerously impulsive splurges). As a whole one doesn't have to worry about damages associated with previous formats such as scratched cds/dvds or torn/smudged pages.

But there are frightening negatives as well. File corruption is always a fear, though that one is decreasing now that most companies offer offsite backups of purchases, but I acutely remember several friends who lost hundreds of dollars in music when their hard drives gave up the ghost, taking all their digital purchases with them. Some had backups of most of the music. At least two did not. As stated earlier, this is becoming less of an issue as most media providers allow you to redownload previous purchases, but what happens if their company goes under? Or if something happens to their servers? A physical book could get destroyed in fire or flood, but you will never pull a book off your shelf, open it, and suddenly find the book has glitched and is now filled with a jumble of indecipherable code (unless you spontaneously lose the ability to read the language it is written in, I suppose. LOL). Then there are compatibility issues. I'm sure this will eventually be resolved, but most e-stores sell e-books in proprietary formats which other e-readers will not open. If you switch devices (because let's face it, how long do most people hold onto tech these days before upgrading, 3-4 years? maybe less?) you have a possibility of losing access to your previously purchased library. Digital music has become much more standardized, so I imagine other media will be eventually, but when it does, will you be able to upgrade your library or are your purchases lost and stuck in a time vortex?

All of that said, books are different than other entertainment media in a very important way. Music and movies have always required special hardware to be enjoyed and once those formats became outdated not only were the formats hard to find but the hardware needed to play them eventually broke down and replacements became scarce and/or expensive. A physical book is and always has been self contained.  Barring disaster, any book you own will always 'work' when you go to read it, its format will not become outdated, and it will never need to be recharged. The movement toward digital changes that, putting it on the same level as other media. How many of you have found yourself once again buying an old favorite movie because the previous format(s) no longer play with your current setup?

I don't think anyone makes VHS or Cassette tapes anymore. I can't even remember the last time I saw these formats on a shelf. DVD and CD formats can be found, but walk into any store that sells them and you'll probably notice that the sections devoted to them are much smaller. Of course, almost all stores carry less physical product on the shelves than they used to, and bookstores are certainly not immune. The midlist authors are all but gone. New titles have less time than ever to make their mark, and even titles which sell are restocked at smaller numbers.

Hard economic times, increased online shopping, e-books, or any combination of the above could very well be to blame. And yet, studies show that more people are reading more books than ever, and that is being contributed to the rise of e-books and the ease e-readers enable people to impulse buy books. Of course, at the same time, e-readers all but eliminate browsing so while more books are selling, they tend to be only those that make a big enough splash to show up on e-reader charts or under recommendations. With a glut e-books hitting the market every day, breaking in and finding an audience is actually getting harder.

So what will happen to the paperback? Is it to go the way of the Betamax and VHS? Or does its physicality and simple, self contained usefulness guarantee its continued existence? Or, will paperbacks fall somewhere in between, like vinyl records which are feverishly collected and cherished by some but largely forgotten by many?

It's hard to say. I guess only time--and consumers voting with their dollars--will tell.

It has been a little over a year since the last time I discussed ebooks on the blog. A lot of people weighed in on previous print vs ebook discussions, but as it has been a while so I'd like to ask again--get a temperature of the changing situation, if you will. What are your thoughts? E-books: love them? Hate them? Haven't tried them yet? What about print? Are you done with dead trees or will someone have to pry your beloved tomes from your fingers before you give them up? Anyone want to make predictions on the market? I'd love to hear from you, so chime in!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Author Chat With Rachel Aaron and John Hartness

Hey everyone. As you've probably noticed, October has been a month full of events for me. I also have a book due in a couple days--talk about being busy. I apologize for not being around as much as normal. I will attempt to get back on a regular blogging schedule soon.

Anyway, one of my favorite things to do while at an event is to steal a couple of the other attending writers for a quick chat about their books and ask them for some tips for aspiring authors. At RoundCon last weekend, my victims lovely volunteers included Rachel Aaron and John Hartness. I hope you enjoy!


Friday, October 21, 2011

RoundCon This Weekend!

I know I mentioned RoundCon a few posts back, but I'm giving it another post just in case you are in the area and want to come, but maybe forgot or missed the first post. (Besides, it's not like I'm exactly clogging the blogsphere with posts right now--deadlines and some aspects of my personal life are killing me at the moment, but I'll start blogging regularly as soon as I get caught up on everything. Promise. You'd rather books than blogs, right?)

Anyway, RoundCon 2011.1 starts TODAY. The writer's track is new for 2011, so if you're in the Columbia area and want to hear professionals from all different walks of publishing--from nationally bestselling to small press to self published--talk about writing, craft, the business, the market, and I'm sure any topics  you guys might desire us to discuss please make plans to come check out the Con. Seriously, we have several great tracks lined up, but if there is a topic you'd like to know more about or hear our take on (as it relates to writing) we will most likely be more than happy to indulge you. This is a small con, so it's the perfect time to really grill the attending professionals. Besides, writers spend most of their time alone with their keyboards, so when you get us out in public, we sometimes forget to shut-up. ^_^

A full schedule of panels is up on the con website, but here is my official schedule

Friday:

  • Detectives & Mysteries -- 7pm
  • Sex & Violence - Writing Emotional Action Scenes -- 8pm
Saturday:  
  • Writing a Series -- 1pm
  • The New World of Publishing -- 6pm
Sunday:
  • World-Building --11 am
  • Tension - Build it or Break it? -- 1pm

When not on panels, I will likely be hanging out at my table (unless the hotel has a bar and you guys would like to buy me a drink *hint hint* ^_^ ). No, seriously, I have a table for the event which I will be sharing with the fabulous Rachel Aaron.  I'll have free swag, candy, books to sell/autograph, and I might even bring some of the t-shirts I have left over from dragon. If you don't get all your questions answered in a panel, please feel free to stop by the table and chat with us--we don't want to sit there all by our lonesomes. Stop by, chat, pick up free stuff--can't beat that, right?

Okay, I'll stop rambling now. I hope to see you at the Con!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guest Release Day Post: AJ Hartley with Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact

Today I'm wishing a very happy release day to my friend and fellow Magical Words author, A.J. Hartley, for his brand new release  Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact. This book marks the first in a series and AJ's first adventure into middle-grade fiction. I haven't yet had the pleasure to read it, and while middle-grade fiction isn't usually added to TBR, this book certainly sounds intriguing so I plan to pick up a copy soon!

AJ sent me some additional information I can share with you guys, so please welcome him to the blog!



A. J. Hartley:
So you’re a kid: a boy of about 11. You’re in the mall in an unfamiliar city, feeling lost, alone and a bit home sick. You look up and you see a bird in one of the plastic trees. You like birds, so you watch it, trying to figure out what type it is. Then there’s a shadow overhead and the little bird gets hits hard by something much bigger, something hawkish but with leathery bat-like wings and the face of… well, if it wasn’t for the cruel-looking beak, you’d say it was the face of a man.

This is how Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact begins, though the voice is different, and oddly enough, it’s how the story began in my head. It was a half dream, I think, a series of images that popped into my head before I fell asleep proper. I liked it. I had no idea where it went from there, but I liked it, and quickly connected it with another idea I had already had, about a boy looking into a mirror and seeing something inside, something beside his own reflection. I put the two ideas together and added a transitional sequence in which the boy chases the strange winged creature through the mall and into a curious shop selling still more curious (curiouser?) mirrors into one of which the flittercrake (for that is what it’s called) has just vanished…

Darwen is my first middle grades book (and will be followed by at least another two in the series). After publishing 6 adult novels, I decided to revisit my roots, remembering what it was like to lose myself in a story that didn’t centre on what I used to call (not so much hopefully as merely inaccurately) grown-ups. I’m not done with adult fiction, but this is more than a change of gears for me: it’s a lot like coming home.

Q: Who is your target readership for this book?
A: The official answer to that, I guess is, 9-12 year olds, but I expect the readership to be quite a bit wider than that. It’s a fairly dark fantasy, and I think it will push into the YA and even adult crowd as Harry Potter did. The protagonist will age with subsequent books, as I hope my readers will.


Q: What’s the hardest thing about writing for younger readers?
A: Getting the voice right. Kids (understandably) hate to be patronized or treated like they aren’t that bright, so telling stories aimed at readers who are not supposed to be ready for or interested in the stuff of adult books is a bit of a high wire act. At first I worried about making sure the vocabulary wasn’t too sophisticated but I soon realized (at least after R.L. Stine had pointed it out to me!) that that was to sell the book and the readers short. Now I find that 99 times out of hundred I use the word I want and don’t worry too much about supposed ‘reading level.’

-So back to the world and plot of Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact:

Q: How would you characterize the fantasy world of the story?
A: Silbrica is a series of linked locuses, all different, though they tend to the natural, particularly forests. The links are mystical portals like great shimmering mirrors, but there are other connectors—strange, steam-punky trains which move between smoky, deserted stations, for instance. It’s a magical world, but one with echoes of our own, and it’s in crisis.

Q: I take it that all is not well in Silbrica?
A: Right. Strange things are afoot, odd shifts in the landscape itself, and rumors of terrible creatures that have not been heard from for ages.

Q: Monsters?
A: For want of a better word, yes: hulking goblin-men on massive steam powered motorcycles, and blind, headless ape-like creatures who find their way by using the long tongues which protrude from the shark-mouth gashes across their chests…

Q: And what of our heroes?
A: Darwen is a mixed race English boy from Lancashire who fails to fit into the swanky Atlanta private school into which he has been dropped in about every way possible. He makes friends with a farm boy called Rich (but isn’t) and a girl called Alex who manages (I think) to be both the most annoying and funniest character I’ve ever written.

Q: They are the Peregrine Pact?
A: Right, named after the old shopkeeper who gives Darwen the mirror through which he first enters Silbrica, Mr. Octavius Peregrine. He is their expert on everything to do with the world beyond the mirrors, but he’s decidedly odd and may not be completely trustworthy.

Q: So it’s scary and funny?
A: I think so. Of course, my sense of humor is notoriously strange so you’ll have to see for yourself, but yes, I think it’s funny. And the scares and suspense elements are as real as I could make them, using the same techniques as I would in adult fiction. I don’t pull any punches on that score. Kids like being scared. I hope.

Q: When will the next Darwen book be out?
A: Fall 2012. The precise date is still being nailed down.

Thanks so much for telling us about your book, A.J. And again, Happy Release Day!
Have a great Thursday everyone!



British born writer A.J. Hartley got his first taste for archaeology touring sites in Greece and Rome as a child with his family. As an English major at Manchester University he took extra classes in Eqyptology and got a job working on a Bronze Age site just outside Jerusalem…

Since then, life has taken him to many places around the world, and though he always leaned more towards the literary than to the strictly historical, his fascination with the past has continued unabated.

He has an M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from Boston University and is currently the Distinguished Professor of Shakespeare in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As well as being a novelist and academic, he is a screenwriter, theatre director and dramaturg (and has a book explaining what that is). He has more hobbies than is good for anyone, and treats ordinary things like sport and food and beer with a reverence which borders on mania. He is married with a son, and lives in Charlotte.

Find out more at his website www.ajhartley.net or visit the Darwen Arkwright website at www.darwenarkwright.com


 (Edited to add: Guys, I totally fail. I scheduled this post several days ago and it was supposed to automatically go live--except I hit the wrong button. Sorry it's a little late.)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

October Events!

I can't believe it's already October. That said, I have two events coming up that I hope I'll be able to see some of you at.

Next weekend, October 15th and 16th, I will be in North Carolina for the literary weekend at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. I think this event will be a ton of fun not only because of the great writers I'll be there with, but because, well, it's Ren Faire--how can you go wrong with that?

The following weekend, October 21-23,  I'll be in Columbia, SC for RoundCon 2011.1. The writer's track is a relatively new add-on for the convention, so if you have a chance, I hope you'll come check it out. A full schedule of panels is up on the website, but here is my schedule for the con:

Friday:
  • Detectives & Mysteries
  • Sex & Violence - Writing Emotional Action Scenes
Saturday:  
  • Writing a Series
  • The New World of Publishing
Sunday:
  • World-Building
  • Tension - Build it or Break it? 



It's going to be a busy couple of weeks, but I hope I get a chance to see several of you at the events!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Answering your Questions: Alex Craft Series

I'm getting a lot of emails asking how many books will be in the Alex Craft series. The truth is that the answer hasn't been determined yet. Currently, Roc has me contracted for the first three books, but it is my hope that they will want more books in the series because I have a lot more story to tell. I do have an idea how the series will end, but I don't actually know how many books it will take for me to reach it.

Does that make everything as clear as mud? LOL

Have a great Tuesday, everyone.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dragon*Con Schedule

I can't believe Dragon*Con is only 10 days away! This year has gone by fast. At the same time, a lot has happened since last Dragon (and yes, this event is big enough for me that I mark my year by it, lol). Can you believe Grave Witch wasn't yet released last Dragon*con? Now the second book is out too. Unreal.

Anyway, for those of you unfamiliar with Dragon*Con, it is the largest sci-fi/fantasy con on the East Coast. It is held over labor day weekend in downtown Atlanta every year and is a huge, four day affair involving just about every type of geekdom out there as well as an amazing music scene, tons guests and about 50k attendees. It is, in a word, amazing. I love it. And this year I'm a guest with an official schedule and everything. In previous years I didn't know what panels I'd be on until I arrived and I missed several of you who were looking for me. This year, look for me here:

  • Title: Spotlight: Witches
    Description: Explores the role of witches in fantasy literature.
    Time: Fri 05:30 pm Location: Cairo - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
  • Title: Reading: Kalayna Price
    Time: Sat 01:00 pm Location: Roswell - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
  • Title: Spotlight: Dark Faeries
    Description: A writer's roundtable about the sinister side of the "Fair Folk."
    Time: Sat 07:00 pm Location: Montreal / Vancouver - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
  • Title: Spotlight on BelleBooks & Bell Bridge Books
    Description: Whether you're writing about demons, vampires, teens, tweens, ghosts or grandmas, come and see what this dynamic niche publisher is looking for.
    Time: Sun 02:30 pm Location: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
  • Title: Knowing your Audience
    Description: So, you sold a book. Who's your audience? Do you write for your audience or for yourself? How do you discover who your audience really is?
    Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
I will also be sharing a booth in the dealers room which I'll try to hang out at whenever possible, but it's going to be a really busy weekend. I know for sure I'll be there most of Monday afternoon. Speaking of the booth, I'll of course have signed books for sale, as well as free buttons and bookmarks, but just to change things up, I'm also looking into having T-shirts about the books. This is not a definite yet, as I have to check out the quality before I commit to anything, but if you're looking for a Willing to Have a Near Death Experience or Fae Investigation Bureau shirt, I might just have them at the table. ^_^

So, who is going to Dragon this year? I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Free Alex Craft Short and Kita now in audio!

A couple quick announcements today. First up is that I have a free short story featuring Alex Craft (main character of GRAVE WITCH and GRAVE DANCE) up over at Dark Fearie Tales as part of the Fantastic Fables event.  I was asked to involve my characters in a well known fairy tale for the event, so this story is slightly outside the cannon of the series, but it was a fun sketch of a scene to write. The story is called Alex Craft and the Gingerbread House.  I hope you enjoy it.

In other news, those of you who listen to your books can now enjoy the first two Haven Novels in audio book form! Here are quick links to the audible editions of ONCE BITTEN and TWICE DEAD.

Happy Hump day everyone!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Tonight is the Fantastical Mystery Tour event!

Just a quick reminder that tonight is the FANTASTICAL MYSTERY TOUR event at the B&N on Forest Drive in Columbia. This huge, five author event will have two panels, a question and answer session, goodies, a signing, and door prizes--including a FREE NOOK (or equivalent gift card)!  This event also doubles as the official release party for Grave Dance!

Event Schedule:
5-6pm: Short panel and an open-forum question and answer with the attendees.
6-7:30pm: Book Signing followed by the drawing for door prizes.
7:30-8pm: short panel geared toward writers and those interested in the writing process.

Attending Authors:
Rachel Aaron
John Hartness
Faith Hunter
Misty Massey
Kalayna Price




Sound fun? I hope so! I also hope you'll be able to make it to the event. (Time and location again:  Saturday, July 9th from 5:00-8:00pm at the Barnes and Noble on Forest Drive in Columbia, SC.--3400 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29204 phone number: 803-787-5600)

Also, I've been nominated to moderate the first panel, so I need to think up some good questions. Any suggestions?

I hope to see you tonight!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Life as an exercise for writing

Earlier this week, the head minion had a birthday and to celebrate, we ran off for a day at the beach. While walking down the beach, enjoying the sand squishing under foot and the ebbing waves washing over my ankles, I started to think about what that same beach might be like in Alex's world. In her world, more than likely marrow or mermaids would be out amongst the waves or sunning themselves on the rocks. Depending on which folklore you read, that could be a rather delightful sight, or a very dangerous one as the presence mermaids were often thought to foretell storms. Or, other stories tell of them luring mortals into the ocean where they would then drown them and either eat them or trap their souls in pots far beneath the waves. Very deadly indeed.

I then looked toward the land and thought about how in Alex's world the sand dunes would probably be covered in enchantments. Some would be enchantments to prevent erosion of the shoreline, but others would be strong spells meant to help calm storms and protect the surrounding property. Oh, such charms wouldn't be able to stop a hurricane, but it might help lessen the worse of the damage.

Later that evening I went on a ghost tour and heard stories about how pirates were often buried in shallow graves at the tide line. This improper burial was thought to trap their souls, so there are many stories of ghosts wandering the shore--how much fun (as in trouble) could Alex have there?

It was a fun little exercise (especially since I'm currently working on an Alex Craft novel). Nekros is a landlocked state, but maybe Alex will have to venture to the ocean in some book. ^_^

Happy Thursday everyone! And thank you everyone who has picked up a copy of GRAVE DANCE and/or told your friends about the book! (And don't forget, if you are in the Columbia area, the Fantastical Mystery Tour is this Saturday at 5pm. I hope you can stop by. I'd love to see you!)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

GRAVE DANACE Now on Shelves



    Release day is finally here! GRAVE DANCE should now be available at all major bookstores and about anywhere books are sold online. Here are some convenient links to online sellers, or check your local brick and mortar store.


Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy Alex's continuing story! 

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Fourth of July and Winners!

To those in the US, Happy 4th of July. I hope you have a fun (and SAFE--please practice fire safety if you are firing fireworks tonight) fourth of July.

And speaking of causes for celebration, GRAVE DANCE hits shelves tomorrow! I can't believe the day is finally almost here. Some of you have let me know that you have already spotted the book on shelves. Thanks for letting me know. I hope you enjoy the Alex's story!

Thank you also everyone who helped me spread the word about the release in the "Get the Word Out" contest. It was a big success. Now I think it's time to crank up the random number generator and pull some winners, what do you think? Yeah? Okay.

WINNERS (and the randomly drawn entry):
-Gabbie (who tweeted about the release)
-SJ DRUM (who added the book to her sidebar)
-Ezzie (who tweeted about the release)
-Stephanie (who posted on Goodreads)
-Ruacach (who reviewed GW on Goodreads)

Congratulations winners!  Please email me at CONTESTS (AT) KALAYNA (DOT) COM with the subject "WINNER" and let me know which book from the prize pack you'd like to claim and where you'd like me to ship the book (full list of available prizes can be found here). Those of you who entered but whose name was not drawn, I have a consolation prize to thank you for helping me spread the word. Please send an email to the above address with the subject of "Get the word out bookplate" and I will send you a signed bookplate and a bookmark.

Thank you again everyone who helped me spread the word, and I hope you'll continue to help get the word out there about tomorrow's release!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Last day to enter and a tour of Nekros

Hey everyone.  Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to enter the Get the Word Out contest. Thank you everyone who has already helped me spread the word about next week's release of GRAVE DANCE! Winners will be announced next Monday.

In other news, today Alex is acting as a tour guide of Nekros City over at All Things Urban Fantasy for the Deadly Destinations tour. I hope that you'll stop by and check it out this insiders tour of the city.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Get the Word Out Contest: Grave Dance edition

Ten days until Grave Dance hits shelves--It's almost here! I think now is a good time to give things away, what do you think?

For my last release, I posted a "get the word out" contest, and you guys were absolutely wonderful about letting people know about the book, so I think I will beg for your help once again--and of course, there will be a chance to win free books! So what am I giving away? Let's have a look:



What do you think? Quite a score? I have books from all the authors participating in the Fantastical Mystery Tour, a signed copy from one of my favorite YA authors, and of course, my books. In detail, we have:
What do you think? See anything you like?

Okay, good. Here is how to enter to win:


WHAT: The Get the Word out Contest: Grave Dance edition
WHEN: Contest opens today and runs until Friday, July 1st at 11:59 pm
HOW TO ENTER: Help me get the word out about Grave Dance. Blog/tweet/post to facebook about the release. And/Or, write a review of Grave Witch and post it on your blog/amazon/B&N/Goodreads/etc. (review must be posted during the contest dates to count toward entry [edited: extended to reviews posted during June of this year]) THEN post a link in the comments letting me know where you helped spread the word. You will get one (1) entry for each unique location you help spread the word.
HOW WINNERS WILL BE DRAWN: I will use a random generator to draw FIVE (5) winners.  These winners will each get to pick one prize. I only have one signed copy of Wicked Lovely and one Grave Dance Arc, so those will go to the first winner who claims them, but I have access to multiples of the other prizes so they can be claimed by multiple winners.
Open Internationally.

Easy enough? Okay, I hope you'll help me get the word out! Good luck everyone.

(*Books from my fellow Fantastical Mystery Tour authors can be personalized to the winner at the event on the 9th. [Shipping of these books will obviously have to be after the event] Also, the first books in these series are listed, but if you would like a later book in the series, let me know and I can swap it. ^_^)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Final part of the GRAVE DANCE excerpt and news on the release party



  I can't believe we are at 11 days and counting until the release of GRAVE DANCE. Which means it's time to share the final excerpt from the book. The first section of chapter two is now live on the excerpt page. I hope you enjoy!

In the next couple days I'll be announcing my blog tour. Things have been so busy that I'm a bit behind on my scheduling, but be on the look out for dates and locations.




And speaking of tours, have you heard about the FANTASTICAL MYSTERY TOUR? This huge, five author event that will have two panels, a question and answer session, goodies, a signing, and door prizes--including a FREE NOOK (or equivalent gift card)! It will be Saturday, July 9th from 5:00-8:00pm at the Barnes and Noble on Forest Drive in Columbia, SC. This event will also double as the official release party for Grave Dance, so as you can guess, I'm super excited. Here is some more information:

Event Schedule:
5-6pm: Short panel and an open-forum question and answer with the attendees.
6-7:30pm: Book Signing followed by the drawing for door prizes.
7:30-8pm: short panel geared toward writers and those interested in the writing process.

Attending Authors:
Rachel Aaron
John Hartness
Faith Hunter
Misty Massey
Kalayna Price (Hey, that's me!)

As you can see, we have a lot of exciting stuff planned for the event, so I hope you'll stop by. I'd love to see you.

Okay, that's all for today but please stop back by tomorrow--I'll have a huge contest/giveaway announcement!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Special Guest: Lucienne Diver

I have a special guest joining me today on the blog. Please welcome (back) my very fabulous agent who also happens to be an absolutely amazing writer, Lucienne Diver!


Turning Myth to Magic
Every once in a while in life, someone will say something that really makes you think and becomes incorporated straight into your personal perceptions.  I remember one of those moments in college, when an acquaintance informed me that, “When someone asks how you’re doing, they don’t really want to know.”  From that moment forward, I pretty much stopped sharing, unless I knew the person truly cared about the answer, and it really separated out for me true friends from, well, everybody else.  But the most pivotal of those moments probably came in high school with a friend who lived on the next block.  I remember visiting her house and noticing that the bookshelves in the living room held, among other things, a statue of Vishnu, a common picture from Christianity (I forget now but think it was Jesus with the sacred heart), and art from various other religions.  Coupled with the saint metal she always wore around her neck, I had to ask.  Her response, “They’re all just different conceptions of the same God.” 
This blew me away.  It was like the universe suddenly snapped into place.  Of course!  If all the people of the world would just realize this and think of the various religions simply as different paths toward the same goal, Earth would be a much happier and certainly less violent place. 
Which brings me to my book blog and relevance.  When I set out to write Bad Blood, I knew I wanted to use Greek mythology.  I knew that I didn’t want to exclude the other mythologies, cultures and traditions.  Still, I did need to focus, because trying to do everything would accomplish nothing.  As a result, I started researching.  Ever since that day at my friend’s house, I’d been fascinated by comparative religion.  I’d gotten a bit of this in Latin class, which I took in grade school, because we discussed the Greek and Roman pantheons, but that didn’t go far enough.  I got a bit more in college when I took my anthropology classes, especially those that dealt with folklore and myth.  Do you know how many cultures have world-ending floods?  Or resurrections?    
You won’t see a lot of my research in the book, which is what happens so often with research.  You do it so that you don’t get anything wrong, but there isn’t room in a novel to fit in everything you’ve learned…at least, not without it sounding like info dump.  So, you may not realize the work that went into matching up the Greek gods with their counterparts from other cultures, like Hermes being connected not only to Mercury in the Roman pantheon, but to Iemisch, Loki, Coyote, Spider (Unktomi) and all the other trickster gods.   Or the research that went into the backstory of one of my secondary characters, which led me to the story of Liu Lei, the legendary dragonkeeper from Chinese folklore. 
Diving into these old tales was a tremendous amount of fun…almost as much fun as actually writing my heroine Tori Karacis and her death-defying adventures.  It brought me back to my college days, except that turning folklore into fiction is so much better than turning in term papers!
I hope, if you’re inclined to read, that you enjoy my completely non-academic rendering of myth and magic.  If so, help me spread the word!
Bad Blood, first novel of the Latter-Day Olympians
Available June 28, 2011 from Samhain Publishing

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

What's on your TBR?

Writers are readers, first and foremost. A love of reading is what drives most of us to write and to create stories for others to read and enjoy. So, once in a while I like talk about books on my To Be Read (TBR) pile.

Before I go on, I have to say that 'pile' is a rather deceptive word. Try TBR bookshelf. Stacked 2 books thick. I'd post a picture, but I'm almost embarrassed by all the books I want to read but haven't had time yet. There are tons of great books hitting shelves, and I just can't keep up. But that doesn't mean I'm not hugely excited about the books, and Amazon just sent me two new releases I absolutely can't wait to dive into.

The newest additions to the TBR pile? Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews and Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance. Ironically, both are the 5th books in their respective series--series I absolutely adore! I think both books will be skipping to the front of the TBR pile, so all I have to decide is which to read first. ^_~

So what are you reading?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Monday, June 06, 2011

Post con wrap-up and My thoughts about sparkly vampires

[Edited to add: I almost forgot to mention that my publisher is giving at 15 copies of GRAVE DANCE over at Goodreads. Also, if you have a kindle and haven't tried out the Novels of Haven yet, now is the time! ONCE BITTEN and TWICE DEAD are only 2.99 for a limited time during Amazon's Sunshine Sale (I don't know, I didn't name it. Kita would like to avoid that sunshine, thank you. She, unlike Meyer's vampires, doesn't sparkle. She burns.) Okay, back to the scheduled post!] 

I'm back from ConCarolinas, and I had an absolutely amazing time. Hands down, this is always one of my favorite cons--it has been for years (since long before I started hitting the circuit as a guest). Why is it so amazing?

The people. 

Seriously, the nicest, most amazing writers and readers attend this con. As a full time writer I often feel like a hermit. I occasionally go weeks at a time in which I speak to only one or two other humans. This weekend I was surrounded by interesting people and there was always something happening: panels, lunches, drinks at the bar, parties, ect. Unfortunately, that means I didn't spend as much time at my table as I intended. Several of you mentioned having to stalk the table to finally find me. I hope that everyone who was looking for me did eventually find me and I'm so sorry for not being at my table more. Next year I'll schedule hours I will definitely be at the table and post it so no one has to constantly check in vain.

Anyway, that's not much of a post con wrap-up, but I'm still processing everything and I didn't carry a camera, so I'm not sure what I want to write yet and have no pictures to post. That said, I think I'm finally going to tackle the Stephanie Meyer question that inevitably comes up at every fantasy con: What are my thoughts on the Twilight series?

I'll be honest, I usually avoid this topic like the plague because it is so controversial. I read the first book years ago because 1) I like to know what's hot on the market and 2) people were talking about the series and as I don't discuss books I haven't read. (People talking out of blind ignorance annoys me, so I try not to do it myself.) I do intend to read the rest of the series one day, just so I see the whole picture, but I'll be honest, they haven't made it up the TBR pile yet. That said, my opinion is on only the first book, not the series. So, on to my thoughts:

As much as I will join in a laugh about real vamps not sparkling, I have to say that Meyer answered the question of why vamps don't go out in the sun in a very unique way. Her vamps avoid sunlight (or at least being in sunlight around humans) because they are very obviously not human in the sun. It's different, but I have to give her props on originality. Also, while like most American's inundated with pop culture, I often feel like the two most "true" aspects of the vamp myth which shouldn't be broken are the need for blood and aversion to sun, if you go back and study the real lore about vampires, you'll find that in none of the legends did vamps (or whatever blood-drinker the particular culture sports) burst into flames when exposed to the sun. Vampires being burned by the sun didn't come about until the black and white movie Nosferatu, when it is said the filmmakers ran out of money and needed a way to kill the vampire quickly.

Okay, those are my thoughts on sparkly vampires in particular, but what about the book as a whole? I'll be honest, it's never going to top one of my favorite YA lists, but I can't deny the amazing affect the book had on the market. Vampires, which were headed into a decline, rose again to stalk the charts. But not only that, the YA market exploded! There are some absolutely amazing YA series out there such as Mead's Vampire Academy series and Marr's Wicked Lovely series, that probably wouldn't have gotten the reception they had if Twilight hadn't come first. It didn't break new ground--there was already a YA market, but the upswing that market received was amazing.

On top of that, it got people reading.

Teens (and adults!) who otherwise wouldn't consider themselves readers picked up the books (just like with Harry Potter) and discovered that reading was fun! No writer can complain about that. Especially no writer in my genre, as many of these new readers grow up and migrate into the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genre. So again, I have to give Meyer's major props.

Now, if only I could figure out how she did it . . .
(I still say heroin in the ink ^_~)