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 ^_~)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The absentee writer reveals her ConCarolinas schedule

Hey guys. Sorry for the total media silence recently. There has been an utter lack of blogging, tweeting, and facebook and I owe several of you emails. I'm hoping to catch up on email before I leave for the con this weekend, but if I can't reply to everyone, some emails might be answered next week--But don't give up on me! I promise I read every single email and I will reply. (Unless the black void of cyberspace ate the email. If you don't hear from me by the end of next week, you might want to re-send.) As far as twitter and facebook: good news! This weekend is ConCarolinas--one of my favorite small regional cons--so I should have plenty to tweet about in the coming days.

If you'll be at the con (and if you're not planning to, you really should consider it) I'd love to meet you/chat. The organizers have scheduled a great line up of panels (and Panelists!) for the writer's track this year, so I'm very excited. Here is my panel schedule:

Saturday 10:00am (Ballroom A): Magic in the City - Trends in paranormal/urban fantasy fiction.
Panelists: Carrie Ryan, J. F. Lewis, Kalayna Price, Jana Oliver, Pamela K. Kinney, Gail Z. Martin,
Marcia Colette

Saturday 06:00pm (Keynes): Vampires Suck! -  Are vampires overdone or are there still ways to write fresh vampire fiction?
Panelists: Theresa Bane, Kalayna Price, Rebecca Carter, Faith Hunter, Gail Z. Martin, J. F. Lewis

Saturday 07:00pm (Keynes): Howling at the Moon - Creating characters that are werewolves or other were-creatures.
Panelists: J. F. Lewis, Marcia Colette, Faith Hunter, Kalayna Price, Gail Z. Martin, Pamela K. Kinney

Sunday 01:00pm (Ballroom A): Mythology & Folklore - Borrowing from the past for your writings of the future.
Panelists: Gail Z. Martin, Jana Oliver, Kalayna Price, Stuart Jaffe, Natania Barron, Mason Lavin

Sunday 02:00pm (Ballroom A): Truth is Stranger Than Fiction - How you can use today's headlines in your genre fiction.
Panelists: Chris Berman, Kalayna Price, Harry Turtledove, Wendy S. Delmater

When not on panels (or attending them, really, you have to check out the schedule--it's going to be a great weekend) I'll probably be at my table in the writer's area. I also intend to hang out with the Magical Words gang at their Drop-in lunch gathering Saturday from 1-3pm at Boardwalk Billy's (located just across the pond from the conference hotel). This is an informal social event, so think about joining us for lunch!

I hope to see many of you this weekend. Happy hump day!