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A blog about books and other things speculative

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The View From Monday - November 18, 2013


It's Monday. This past weekend I nearly finished Dying is My Business by Nicholas Kaufmann. I'm really enjoying it. Unfortunately I had to stop reading just ahead of what I hope will be the exciting conclusion. I think I know what is going to happen, but I'm probably wrong because that would be too obvious. We'll see.

A reminder: The Qwillery is looking for reviewers. If you are interested head to this post to fill out the form.



The View From Monday - November 18, 2013



There are no debuts (that I am aware of) this week.  However there are novels out from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Bloodstone (Rebel Angles 2) by Gillian Phillip;

and

Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War (The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin) by Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.





November 18, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Gothicka: Vampire Heroes, Human Gods, and the New Supernatural (h2tp) Victoria Nelson History and Criticism
Beyond the Rift Peter Watts SF



November 19, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Tyrannia: and Other Renditions Alan DeNiro SF - Collection
The Rapture of the Nerds (h2tp) Cory Doctorow
Charles Stross
SF
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Visual Companion Jude Fisher F - Movie Tie-In
Temporary Monsters (e) Craig Shaw Gardner UF - Temporary Magic 1
The Orphans' Promise Pierre Grimbert F - Secret of Ji 2
Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War Richard Ellis Preston Jr. SP - Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin 2
Dawn of the Aspects Richard A. Knaak F - World of Warcraft
The Great Betrayal Nick Kyme F - Warhammer: Time of Legends
Hercules Fred Van Lente F - Myths and Legends 6
We Will Destroy Your Planet: An Alien's Guide to Conquering the Earth David McIntee SF/Satire
The Severed Tower J. Barton Mitchell F - Conquered Earth 2
Ghosts of Old Edo Miyuki Miyabe H - Apparitions
Watcher of the Dark Joseph Nassise Su/Th - Jeremiah Hung Supernatural Thriller 3
Accidentally Married to...A Vampire? Mimi Jean Pamfiloff PNR - Accidentally Yours 2
Bloodstone Gillian Philip F - Rebel Angels 2
Metatropolis (h2tp) John Scalzi (ed) SF - Anthology
Singer of Souls (e 1st) Adam Stemple UF
Steward of Song (e 1st) Adam Stemple UF
The Curse Keepers Denise Grover Swank H
Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel (e 1st) Ronda Thompson PNR
Doctor Who: Essential Guide to 50 Years of Doctor Who Various SF - Doctor Who
Master of Dragons Chris Wraight F - Warhammer: Time of Legends
The Hermetic Millennia (h2tp) John C. Wright SF - Count to a Trillion 2



November 20, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Thirteen Steps in the Underworld: A Tor.Com Original (e) Su-Yee Lin F



November 22, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Steampunk Adventurer's Guide: Contraptions, Creations, and Curiosities Anyone Can Make Thomas Willeford SP - Crafts


e - eBook
e 1st - First time in digital format
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback

F - Fantasy
H - Horror
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy

Interview with Barbra Annino, author of the Stacy Justice Mysteries, and Giveaway - December 21, 2012

Please welcome Barbra Annino to The Qwillery. Tiger's Eye, the third novel in the Stacy Justice Mystery series, was published on December 18, 2012.



Interview with Barbra Annino, author of the Stacy Justice Mysteries, and Giveaway - December 21, 2012



TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery!  What are some of your writing quirks?

Barbra:  I like to write with a talisman of sorts on my desk that relates to the story I'm working on at the moment. Right now, there's a statue of a gnome standing there, with a pointy hat carrying a sign that reads, "bite me."


TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers?

Barbra:  Raymond Chandler, Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, Stephen King, Alexandra Sokoloff, Christopher Moore, JA Konrath and so many more!


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Barbra:  Pantser. I find that if I don't know what's going to happen, my readers won't either. It makes for a more interesting read, although I have written myself into a corner a time or two. But I find it challenging to write my way out.


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Barbra:  That writing myself into a corner thing I just mentioned. I've been stuck on a plot point for a week or more because I don't plot, and I may grapple with the direction the story takes, but my characters always pull me through.


TQ:  Your most recent novel is Tiger's Eye (A Stacy Justice Mystery 3). What inspired you to write mysteries with paranormal/supernatural elements?

Barbra:  I've been studying alternative religions for years. I'm Irish and that history is steeped in mystery and wonder, and of course, ghost stories. It was a natural extension of my interests combined with my upbringing.


TQ:  Do you base your paranormal/supernatural elements on existing lore, make things up or both?

Barbra:  My books are mostly based on the Celtic pagan path. The spells, herbal and gemstone properties, and gods/goddesses mentioned in the Stacy Justice series stem from those beliefs, as well as the historical aspects of the stories such as in Bloodstone. I do, however create some fantasy in my stories that real life witches cannot conjure.


TQ:  What sorts of research have you done for the Stacy Justice Mysteries? What is the oddest bit of information that you’ve come across in your research.

Barbra:  Oh, all kinds! I've researched ancient texts, sites, languages, beliefs, and laws. I've researched weapons, poisons, herbs, medicine, and food. I went to Ireland this past summer to do geographical research for my fourth book, Emerald Isle, which is set there. Much of my research notes are included in the back of each book. Some of it, I can't go into detail here, because it would reveal a plot spoiler. I guess the most surprising thing for me is when I am researching one subject, it will lead me to other new discoveries and knowledge--often times becoming key components in some dramatic twist that makes the story that much better, I love research!


TQ:  Tell us something about Tiger's Eye that is not in the book description.

Barbra:  Okay, that's a toughie because my copywriters are awesome. I would like to point out that this is a series that should be read in order, because the protagonist (and other characters) grows with each story. Each installment also offers new layers to her past, new secrets uncovered, new betrayals to unveil. In this one, however, she really begins to not only accept her calling, but seizes it, while still making mistakes, that lead to hilarious--and dangerous--consequences.


TQ:  In Tiger's Eye who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Barbra:  This is the fourth book I've actually written for this series. Hands down it has to be a Thor-Stacy tie. Stacy, because I write in first person and I just KNOW her now. Thor, because he's based on my first Great Dane and I have three more right now.

The hardest? Probably the dead guy because he doesn't speak, but he plays a big part. You'd have to read it to see what I mean.


TQ:  Which character in the Stacy Justice Mysteries has surprised you the most?

Barbra:  Birdie, Stacy's grandmother. I never know if her actions are a test or a reveal of her true nature. At least, not until the very end.


TQ:  What's next?

BarbraEmerald Isle, the fourth Stacy Justice novel, will be released in July of 2013. I am also working on a goddess series, as well as several fun shorts.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Stacy Justice Mysteries

Tiger's Eye
A Stacy Justice Mystery 3
Thomas & Mercer, December 18, 2012
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 279 pages

Interview with Barbra Annino, author of the Stacy Justice Mysteries, and Giveaway - December 21, 2012
Stacy Justice is looking forward to a lazy summer of hot dogs and beer; swims in the lake with her Great Dane, Thor; and hanging with her rekindled old flame, Chance. But when she gets a creepy anonymous call hinting that her father’s “accidental” death fourteen years ago was actually a murder, she’s too unsettled to relax. Stacy has blamed herself for his death all along—in fact, it’s the reason she’s fought so hard against being a witch. But who’d want to kill an innocent small-time newspaperman?

That’s the question on Stacy’s mind when she casts a spell that goes horribly wrong. And between the white tiger that keeps appearing out of thin air, the body in the lake, the feisty razor-toothed Chihuahua, and the gun-toting maniac, she suddenly has her hands full once again. But solving the mystery of her father’s death is Stacy’s number-one priority…and avenging it, if necessary, is a very close second.

Continuing the thrilling Stacy Justice saga, Tiger’s Eye drives the reluctant witch deeper into the mysteries of her family’s past…and the darker regions of her soul.



Bloodstone
A Stacy Justice Mystery 2
Thomas & Mercer, December 18, 2012
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 296 pages
(Previously published March 13. 2012)

Interview with Barbra Annino, author of the Stacy Justice Mysteries, and Giveaway - December 21, 2012
All Stacy Justice wants to do is recover from the bizarre couple of weeks she’s had — a whirlwind kicked off by the arson attack on her cousin’s bar, the Black Opal. But just when life should be settling down, a fourteen-year-old girl named Ivy appears on Stacy’s doorstep, claiming to be her sister. Ivy says their mother’s life is in danger and insists that the family’s magic is crucial to saving her. Sure, Ivy has Stacy’s fiery red hair and green eyes — but is she really her sister? And can the secretive teen be trusted with magic?

Then a man is found dead at Stacy’s grandmother’s bed-and-breakfast, and she has no choice but to see where Ivy’s story leads. Strange warnings appear at every turn, including the disappearance of the family’s Blessed Book, and it seems someone is out to kill Stacy — again.

Picking up where Opal Fire left off, the second book in the spellbinding Stacy Justice series dazzles with even more magic, mystery, and mayhem — revealing the dark secrets of the Geraghty clan.



Opal Fire
A Stacy Justice Mystery1
Thomas & Mercer, December 18, 2012
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 282 pages
(Previously published June 28, 2011)

Interview with Barbra Annino, author of the Stacy Justice Mysteries, and Giveaway - December 21, 2012
Stacy Justice is just your average green-eyed, redheaded, twenty-something witch who would rather focus on her job as a reporter than practice the crazy magic her grandmother and great-aunts are into. She’s perfectly content to spend her free time hanging with her cop boyfriend and her gassy Great Dane and helping her cousin Cinnamon run the Black Opal bar. But when the Opal goes up in flames, Stacy may need that magic after all.

The blaze was arson—and Cinnamon is the prime suspect. Determined to clear her cousin’s name, Stacy digs deep into the crime and makes a shocking discovery amid the rubble. It’s clear someone wants her dead— and she’ll have to dodge everything from angry motorists to exploding chickens to survive. It’s time to dust off her so-called magic skills. But will they be there when she needs them?

With its strong, sexy heroine and her razor-sharp wit, and its collection of eccentric small-town characters, Opal Fire introduces a bewitching new mystery series.




About Barbra

Interview with Barbra Annino, author of the Stacy Justice Mysteries, and Giveaway - December 21, 2012
Barbra Annino is a Chicago native, a book junkie and Springsteen addict. A former bartender and humor columnist for Illinois Magazine, she finds the funny in just about everything. Except those Humane Society commercials, which she holds personally responsible for the reason she has three Great Danes.

She lives in picturesque Galena, Illinois where she ran a Bed and Breakfast for five years. Now, she's a happily married freelance writer and Lowe's regular who is constantly covered in dust and paint thanks to an 1855 brick home, which her family shares with friendly spirits. Or not. But that's what people tell her.

She has just completed EMERALD ISLE, the fourth book in the Stacy Justice series.

For more information, visit www.barbraannino.com.

Twitter : Facebook





THE GIVEAWAY

THE RULES

What:  Five commenters each will win one print copy of Tiger's Eye (A Stacy Justice Mystery 3) from Barbra!

How:   Answer The Qwillery's Question: 

You are researching a location for a novel. Where are you going?

Please remember - if you don't answer the questions your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, January 4, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Nancy Holzner and Giveaway - September 21, 2011

Please welcome Nancy Holzner to The Qwillery.

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

Nancy:  I'm not terribly quirky as a writer. That's probably because writing was my day job (reference and how-to books) for several years before I published a novel. To me, writing means sitting down at the computer and getting the job done.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Nancy:  A little of both, but slightly more on the plotter side. I like to start a new project by writing a very loose outline that covers the big moments in the plot: inciting incident, plot point 1, midpoint, plot point 2, reversal, climax. At the early stages, I don't try to flesh it out more than that. My loose outline offers two benefits: (1) It breaks up the novel and gives me goals to write toward and (2) it allows room for surprises to arise during the writing. Those surprises—things you just can't anticipate during the early plotting stages—are the most exciting part of writing. They mean that the novel is alive and growing on its own. If I try to plot too intricately, there's no room left for surprise and spontaneity.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Deadtown series?

Nancy:  Before I published any fiction, I used to read lots of agent blogs. One of my favorite features was when an agent would list pet peeves from query letters he or she received. I guess reading those posts made me feel like I wasn't too far out in left field. One day, an agent wrote that she disliked the phrase “So-and-so wrestles with his own personal demons,” because who else besides you would wrestle with your demons? I decided to take her question seriously, and I started thinking about a character whose job was to exterminate other people's personal demons. And so Vicky Vaughn was born.

TQ:  What sort of research have you done to create the Deadtown world?

Nancy:  Most of my research has to do with the series' background mythology, which is drawn from the stories and legends of the Welsh Mabinogion. Vicky's race, the Cerddorion, is descended from the goddess Ceridwen, who could shapeshift. I began my career as a medievalist (I used to be an English professor), so I have a background in medieval literature. But it's been a lot of fun digging deeper to get more background material for Vicky's story. In Bloodstone, for example, Myrddin Wyllt, one of the precursors to Merlin the wizard from Arthurian literature, shows up to give Vicky and her Aunt Mab some trouble.

TQ:  Why did you set the series in Boston, Massachusetts?

Nancy:  I love Boston. I went to college there, and I lived in or near Boston for several years outside of college. It's an interesting mix of liberal and conservative, traditional and cutting-edge. It's a compact but cosmopolitan city with very distinct neighborhoods. When I needed a setting where people would have to deal with the sudden creation of 2,000 “zombies,” Boston immediately leaped to mind.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Bloodstone (Deadtown 3)?

Nancy:  I always have fun writing the scenes that take place in Creature Comforts, a monster bar in the New Combat Zone (the area between the checkpoints into Deadtown and human-controlled Boston). In Bloodstone, Vicky goes to Creature Comforts on a very serious mission, needing urgently to speak with Axel, the bar's owner. When she steps inside, she finds herself in the middle of a werewolf bachelorette party. It was fun to see how she dealt with the dominance challenges of a female werewolf about to mate while not losing sight of her reason for going to see Axel in the first place.

TQ:  In Bloodstone, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Nancy:  Now that I'm three books into the series, I know the recurring characters pretty well. These characters—Vicky, Kane, Mab, Tina, Juliet, and others—are anchored in the previous stories. It's not that they're easy to predict so much as I'm quicker to recognize how they will and won't act. I guess that means that the hardest character to write in Bloodstone was Vicky's nemesis, Myrddin. Although he's grounded in mythology, it took some time to define him for my story. I had to rewrite his early scenes several times to get him right. There's something crazy about him—being cooped up in a yew tree for 1500 years has left him a little unhinged—but I need to work with him for a while to understand his mental state and not just make him a stereotype of “crazy.”

TQ:  Who is your favorite character in the Deadtown series so far? Has any character surprised you?

Nancy:  Vicky is my favorite character, which is a good thing since she provides the narrative voice. I admire her because she's smart and loyal and far braver than I am. Yet I can also relate to her because she has to make sacrifices and sometimes she's uncertain of herself. The character who surprises me the most is Tina, Vicky's teenage zombie sidekick. She's always saying and doing things I don't expect, often taking the story in a whole new direction.

TQ:  How many Deadtown novels are planned?

Nancy:  I currently have four novels under contract but hope to keep the series going for six or seven books. The fourth Deadtown novel, Darklands, will be out next summer. In it, Vicky travels to Annwn, the Welsh realm of the dead, to prevent the resurrection of a Hellion.

TQ:  What's next?

Nancy:  I'm currently putting the finishing touches on Darklands. When I've turned in that manuscript, I want to write a prequel that explains what happened during the zombie plague that created Deadtown. I envision that as a novella, which I'll release as an ebook along with some other short stories set in Deadtown's world. Outside of urban fantasy, I'm working on a sequel to Peace, Love, and Murder, a contemporary (nonparanormal) mystery that was my first published novel. PLM is currently available as 99-cent ebook, and readers have been asking what happens next. So as soon as I have time, I'll answer that question with a followup mystery.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Nancy:  Thank you so much for inviting me! It's been a fun visit, and I enjoyed the interview.


About the Deadtown Novels

Bloodstone
Deadtown 3
(Ace, September 27, 2011)
Interview with Nancy Holzner and Giveaway - September 21, 2011
They call it Deadtown: the city's quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders - but Victory Vaughn, Boston's only professional demon slayer, isn't exactly human...

Boston's diverse South End is known for its architecture and great restaurants, not its body count. So when mutilated human corpses begin turning up in the area, the entire city takes notice. The killer-dubbed the South End Reaper-uses a curved blade for his grisly work. And even though there's no real evidence pointing to a paranormal culprit, the deaths are straining the already-tense relations between Boston's human and inhuman residents.

As the bodies pile up, Vicky, her formidable aunt, Mab, and her werewolf boyfriend, Kane investigate, only to find that the creature behind the carnage is after something much more than blood...



Hellforged
Deadtown 2
(Ace, December 28, 2010)
Interview with Nancy Holzner and Giveaway - September 21, 2011
A demon is stalking Vicky's dreams-just as several of Deadtown's zombies are viciously attacked and become really dead. And when Vicky realizes she is the only connection between the victims, she suspects that the demon is somehow working through her dreams to become Deadtown's living nightmare.



Deadtown
Deadtown 1
(Ace, December 29, 2009)
Interview with Nancy Holzner and Giveaway - September 21, 2011
First in a brand new urban fantasy series that's "fresh and funny, with a great new take on zombies" (Karen Chance) and "full of dangerous magic and populated with characters so realistic, they almost jump off the page" (Ilona Andrews).

If you were undead, you'd be home by now...


They call it Deadtown: the city's quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders-but Victory Vaughn, Boston's only professional demon slayer, isn't exactly human.



About Nancy

Interview with Nancy Holzner and Giveaway - September 21, 2011

Nancy Holzner is the author of the Deadtown urban fantasy series featuring shapeshifter Victory Vaughn. After beginning her career as a medievalist, Nancy has worked as a high school teacher, corporate trainer, freelance editor, and technology writer. She lives in New York's Finger Lakes region with her husband, Steve. Besides writing urban fantasy, Nancy also writes mystery novels. Peace, Love, and Murder is the first book in her mystery series set in an upstate New York college town.

Nancy's Links

Website and blog
Facebook
Facebook author page
Twitter
Dark Central Station, a group blog for authors of urban fantasy and horror


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will his or her choice of a signed copy of Deadtown, Hellforged, or Bloodstone from Nancy!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

If you were a demon slayer what sort of paranormal/supernatural being 
would be your sidekick? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

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

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

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

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, September 28, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Interview with Gillian Philip, author of the Rebel Angels series - Giveaway -  November 22, 2013The View From Monday - November 18, 2013Interview with Barbra Annino, author of the Stacy Justice Mysteries, and Giveaway - December 21, 2012Interview with Nancy Holzner and Giveaway - September 21, 2011

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