Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fantastical Mystery Tour: Spotlight Rachel Aaron

[Check out the spotlight on John Hartness and James Tuck for a chance to win more books!]

Continuing our series of Fantastical Mystery Tour authors is Rachel Aaron, an amazing author and good friend of mine. She told me to tell you that she is an absolute genius and to read her books. *Ahem* Moving on. ^_^ (She really is a genius and you should read her books, btw--I just like picking on her.)

Rachel writes an adventure fantasy series called the Legend of Eli Monpress about a charming wizard thief and all the trouble he gets into. This series is rather hysterical (the first scene includes the main character conversing with a door. Really you have to check it out) but it has a lot of depth and not a little bit of darkness too. If you like adventure fantasy, you should definitely check out Spirit Thief, which is now available as part of an omnibus with the first three books in the series.

I'm carrying on again, so I'll skip to the description of the book.

Eli Monpress is talented. He's charming. And he's a thief. But not just any thief. He's the greatest thief of the age - and he's also a wizard. And with the help of his partners - a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls - he's going to put his plan into effect. The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he'll need to steal some big things. But he'll start small for now. He'll just steal something that no one will miss - at least for a while.

Like a king.

About Rachel:

Rachel Aaron is the author of The Legend of Eli Monpress series, an adventure fantasy about a dangerously charming gentleman thief who also happens to be a wizard, his swordsman, their monster, and the poor bastards who have to try and stop them from stealing whatever they like. The fourth book in the series, The Spirit War, has just been released. You can learn more about Rachel and read free chapters at

Now is the time I give something away! (I'm going to go broke at this rate. LOL But I love you guys and I want to give you chances to win lots of things.) Today I'm giving away a copy of THE ELI MONPRESS omnibus. To enter simply leave a comment on the blogger blog letting me know the first fantasy book you ever read. I'll announce the winner Tuesday July 3rd during the online release party for GRAVE MEMORY. (contest open internationally)

And remember, all authors in this series will be at the Fantastical Mystery Tour on Saturday, July 7th from 4-7pm at the Barnes and Noble on Forest Drive in Columbia, SC. I hope you'll come out and see us in person!

Okay, I'm headed off to FandomFest! The series will continue while I'm gone, so check back. And if you're going to FandomFest, I hope you'll stop by to chat. I'd love to see you!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fantastical Mystery Tour: Spotlight on John Hartness

[If you missed the first post in this series, click here to see more info on James Tuck and don't forget to enter to win a copy of Blood and Bullets!]

For the second post in the Fantastical Mystery Tour series, I'd like to move the spotlight to the amazing and completely unconventional John G. Hartness. I first met John at RoundCon and I've made a point of running into him at other events because this guy is awesome. He's an unabashed redneck who writes about snarky vampires (among other things)--what's not to love? He's had a rather unusual path to publication and considers himself a hybrid writer as he both self-publishes and traditionally publishes his work. I don't usually talk about many self-published books, but John has a voice that will entangle you from the first page. I laughed so much while reading HARD DAY'S KNIGHT, the first book in the Black Night Chronicles, that the head minion came to see what I was reading. John also recently started a youtube book review/interview series where he pairs books with drinks. If you want to laugh, check it out HERE.

And now more about Hard Day's Knight:

Children are missing.

The police are stumped.

Halloween is coming, with an ancient evil on the horizon.

The vampires are the good guys.

This is not your ordinary fall weekend in Charlotte, NC. Vampire private detectives Jimmy Black and Greg Knightwood have been hired to keep a young client from being cursed for all eternity, but end up in a bigger mess than they ever imagined.

Suddenly trapped in the middle of a serial kidnapping case, Jimmy and Greg uncover a plot to bring forth an ancient evil into the world, and enlist the help of a police detective, a priest, a witch, a fallen angel and strip club proprietor to save the world. This unlikely band of heroes battles zombies, witches, neuroses and sunburn while cracking jokes and looking for the perfect bag of O-negative.

Sound fun? They are.  John, being rather prolific, has a good half dozen other novels available in e-book and/or print, including an omnibus of BUBBA the MONSTER HUNTER stories. (Remember what I said about being an unabashed redneck? hehe.)

 And a little more about John:
John G. Hartness is a recovering theatre geek who likes loud music, fried pickles and cold beer. John is an award-winning poet, lighting designer and theatre producer, whose work has been translated into over 25 languages and read worldwide.
John has been called "the Kevin Smith of Charlotte," and fans of Joss Whedon and Jim Butcher should enjoy his snarky slant on the fantasy genre.
He can be found online at and spends too much time on Twitter, especially after a few drinks.
For more information about appearances, signings, and other silliness, feel free to follow John on Twitter (@johnhartness), or on his website

Now it's time for the giveaway! As John writes about snarky vamps, today's question is this: Who is your favorite vampire in fiction and why? Just leave the answer in the comments on the Blogger blog for a chance to win a copy of Hard Day's Knight. I'll announce the winner Tuesday July 3rd during the online release party for GRAVE MEMORY.

And remember, all authors in this series will be at the Fantastical Mystery Tour on Saturday, July 7th from 4-7pm at the Barnes and Noble on Forest Drive in Columbia, SC. I hope you'll come out and see us in person!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fantastical Mystery Tour: Spotlight on James Tuck

To prepare for the release of GRAVE MEMORY and the upcoming Second Annual Fantastical Mystery Tour, I thought I'd start a series to spotlight the Authors who will be participating in the tour. And of course, I'll give away books during each spotlight. Sound good?

Today I'd like to start the series with a spotlight on James R Tuck, the author of the Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter series. I first met James last year at DragonCon before his first book, BLOOD AND BULLETS was released. But Dragon is huge and we didn't have much time to talk. I ran into him again at ConCarolinas, and I have to say, this is one guy you want to hang out with. He is smart and witty and all around fun, so don't let the fact he looks like a scary bouncer intimidate you--he is totally approachable. He is also one of the people who talked me into my last minute decision to join Fandomfest, so if you'll be at the con, make sure you go chat him up.

Okay, enough of my blathering and let's move on to the blurb for James's debut novel, Blood and Bullets:

He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities help him take out any kind of supernatural threat. But now an immortal evil has this bad-ass bounty hunter dead in its sights. . .

Ever since a monster murdered his family, Deacon Chalk hunts any creature that preys on the innocent. So when a pretty vampire girl "hires" him to eliminate a fellow slayer, Deacon goes to warn him--and barely escapes a vampire ambush. Now he's got a way-inexperienced newbie hunter to protect and everything from bloodsuckers to cursed immortals on his trail. There's also a malevolent force controlling the living and the undead, hellbent on turning Deacon's greatest loss into the one weapon that could destroy him. . .

Sound good? I think so! It's definitely on my kindle set to be my next read. (By the way, Blood and Bullets is only 2.99 on kindle right now.) James also has a 'prequel' to the series called THAT THING AT THE ZOO available in ebook, and the sequel, BLOOD AND SILVER that will be out August 7th.

And a little more about James:

James R. Tuck is the author of the Deacon Chalk series from Kensington. He is a former bouncer and a professional tattoo artist in the Atlanta area. He lives just north of there with his lovely wife, two lovely children, and four dogs of varying degrees of lovliness. He writes dark urban fantasy that makes the nerve under your eye twitch.

Now on to the giveaway I promised. I'm giving away one copy of Blood and Bullets to a randomly drawn commentor. Simply leave a comment on the Blogger blog (click the link if you are reading this somewhere else) telling me about the last book you read that you'd recommend. I'll draw a winner on Monday to be announced during the online release party of Grave Memory on Tuesday, July 3rd. (Contest open internationally)

Monday, June 25, 2012

T-Shirt Winners

I have cranked up the random number generator and drawn three winners for the T-Shirt contest. Congratulations:
Maria A.

Thank you everyone who entered! And again, congratulations to the winners. If you will write me at Contests (AT) Kalayna (DOT) Com with the t-shirt design you want as well as the desired size, I'll get those in the mail to you.

In other news, please check the blog tomorrow as I will start a series of contests for the books of my fellow Fantastical Mystery Tour authors. Stay tuned!

Happy Monday everyone.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Second Annual Fantastical Mystery Tour

[If you haven't entered yet, scroll down for a chance to win an Alex Craft or Haven themed t-shirt!]

 You've heard about the Second Annual Fantastical Mystery Tour, right? This massive signing event will feature seven amazing fantasy authors who will give two talks (one geared toward readers and one toward writers),  have a Q&A session, a signing (of course), and will give away several gift baskets. This event also doubles as my official release party for Grave Memory and to celebrate I'll be giving away a NOOK. For one night only, we'll be at the Barnes and Noble on Forest Drive in Columbia, SC from 4-7pm on July 7th. (3400 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29204)

This event was tons of fun last year, and I anticipate it to be even better this year. So, I hope you'll mark your calendars and come out to the event. We'd love to see you there! 

4-5pm: Short panel and an open-forum question and answer with the attendees.
5-6:30pm: Book Signing followed by the drawing for door prizes.
6:30-7pm: short panel geared toward writers and those interested in the writing process.

Attending Authors:
Rachel Aaron
Delilah S Dawson
A. J. Hartley
John Hartness
Misty Massey
Kalayna Price
James R Tuck

RSVP: (not necessary, but gives us an idea how many people to expect)

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fandomfest Schedule

[If you haven't seen it yet, scroll down to check out the current contest for a chance to win an Alex Craft or Haven themed t-shirt!]

June 28-July 1st I'll be in Louisville, Kentucky for Fandomfest. This will be my first time at Fandomfest, so I'm very excited but a little nervous. If you see me looking lost and alone, please come talk to me. (Even if I don't look lost and alone, come talk to me! I love talking to new and old friends alike.)  The panels look great, and I'll be at a table with John Hartness and James Tuck, so I think this will be an awesome conference. I hope I'll see you there. Here is my schedule:

Horror Genre Perspectives from Female Writers (Morrow Room)
Join a discussion with a group of female authors as they explore the horror genre from the context of a woman’s perspective!
Panel Features:   Selah Janel (M), Mandi M. Lynch, SH Roddey, Pamela Turner, Kalayna Price

Using Folklore in Fiction (Wilson Room)
Folklore is at the heart of much of today’s speculative fiction, whether the genre is paranormal romance, fantasy, urban fantasy, or many others.  This panel features a discussion on integrating folklore into your fiction, with a few people that know more than a thing or two about the topic!
Panel Features: Sarah Adams, Tally Johnson (M), A Christopher Drown, Marian Allen, Gail Z Martin, Kalayna Price

World Building Part I: How to Approach It (Taylor Room)
World building elements are a part of all areas of speculative fiction, not just the genres like Epic Fantasy.  But there are always lots of things to think about when designing a new land or world for a story, and this panel will explore the right ways to approach this task.
Panel Features: Scott Sandridge, Janice Hardy, Thomas Paul Barczack, Tracy Chowdhury, Kirk Stevens (M), Kalayna Price

I Want to Be a Vampire: Why the Paranormal World is So Appealing in Books  (Beckham Room)
Team Jacob, Team Edward in The Forks, True Blood in Bon Temps, Vampire academies and Shifters in the military, Hogwarts and magic and don’t for get those Supernatural brothers. It all seems so realistic in the movies and the books hold out attention and more than a few wish they could be a part of the action. We escape reality in various way but lately many media venues have taken up the paranormal charge. Where do you think this genre is heading? Join a panel of authors who will discuss their paranormal work and ask the questions few readers get to ask.
Panel Features: James Tuck (M), Georgia Jones, Rose Pressey, Angie Fox, Delilah Dawson, Kalayna Price

Exploring Genres: Urban Fantasy (Beckham Room)
Urban Fantasy has evolved and expanded over the years, and our panel will take a look at where it is now, and where it is going.  Strengthened by hit TV series, movies, and the exploding popularity of eBooks, urban fantasy is one of the strongest speculative fiction genres without a doubt!
Panel Features: James Tuck, Kimberly Richardson, Richard Kadrey, Angie Fox Carol Malcolm (M) Rachel Smith, Kalayna Price

The Big 6 and Traditional Press’ Place in Today’s Publishing World: (Beckham Room)
Panel Features James Tuck (M), Kalayna Price, Laura Resnick, Michael Williams, Richard Kadrey

Monday, June 18, 2012

Win an Alex Craft series or Haven series themed shirt!

Some of you who've seen me at conventions recently know that I've started selling Alex Craft and Haven themed t-shirts. I was screen printing them myself for the last year, but I finally farmed the printing out to a company so I can keep up with demand. I now have s-xxl in stock and ready for upcoming conventions as well as for sale on the site. ($20 each - free shipping in the US.)

To celebrate the change, and to get the word out about the upcoming book release, I thought I'd give away a few t-shirts. (Everyone likes free stuff, right?) Are you interested?

Entering is easy. Simply mention GRAVE MEMORY's upcoming release or link to the excerpt on Twitter/ your Blog/Facebook/etc. Then return here and leave a link to the mention in the comments section. Each mention between now and Sunday the 24th at 11:59pm will count as an entry (no more than one entry per each form of social media per day.) I'll draw three winners on Monday. Winners will be able to pick one shirt in whichever design they want. (Open Internationally)

Easy right?

Oh, and here are the shirts! What do you think?
Willing to have
a near Death

Fae Investigation Bureau

Terrible backup
Excellent spies
Don't call me

Monday, June 11, 2012

GRAVE MEMORY Excerpt and ARC Winner from Newsletter!

Today I'm very happy to release the first two chapters of Grave Memory. You can find the excerpt HERE. I hope that you enjoy!

Also, it is time to announce the winner of the Grave Memory ARC (contest rules were in June's newsletter). To enter, I asked you to send me the name of Alex's uncle. The correct answer is Nandin, the King of Shadows. I received nearly two hundred correct responses--you guys are awesome. I employed a random number generator, and the winner is:

Karin Anderson

Congratulations! Karin, I'll get the ARC out to you in the next few days. Thank you everyone who entered.

 Have a great Monday everyone, and check back soon, because I'll be releasing a sneak peek of THIRD BLOOD in the next few days!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Remember when I jumped out of a plane?

Remember a couple months ago when I jumped out of a plane? Well, I finally got the video uploaded to share with you. I hope you enjoy!

Happy Wednesday everyone. Oh, and I'll be releasing an excerpt from GRAVE MEMORY in the next few days. Remember, newsletter readers get it first, so if you aren't a member--now is the time to sign up!