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drey's birthday bash winners!

June 30, 2009
Wow! I'm totally overwhelmed by the number of entries for my birthday giveaway! Thank you so very much for the birthday wishes, and I hope you had fun participating in my little guessing game... =)

Anyhoo. There were a total of 171 guesses. Out of that, only 4 were for the correct date, which is June 8th. The four entries were from:

So, Randomizer went to work, and the grand-prize winner is...


Beth gets to pick three of the 12 books up for grabs! Congratulations, Beth!

Next up is...

jemscout425 gets to pick two of the remainder 9 books (after Beth picks)! Congratulations!!

The third winner is...

Carol gets to pick one of the remainder 7 books. Congratulations!

Emails have been sent, please reply with your mailing information. Picks can be made in the comments section, so the other winners know what's no longer available. Thank you for playing along with me!!

This leaves me with 6 books in the pile. And I feel bad about Ladytink_534 being left out (since there were only 4 entries)... So... if it's alright with the 3 of you (please comment & say so!), I'm going to let Ladytink_534 pick a book, too. No email on this one, since it's totally dependent on the winners. =)

The books:
furies of calderonacadem's furycursor's furytouch of twilighthouse of gaiantempting dangerfirst familybonemans daughtersthe terrorfiftyadmissiongirls in trucks

Note: First Family, Boneman's Daughters, and Admission are ARCs. The rest are paperback.

Tour & Giveaway: 103. Gena Showalter's Seduce the Darkness...

Today's tour is for Gena Showalter's Seduce the Darkness... LOVE the cover!

About the book:

The war between otherworlders and humans changed Earth beyond recognition. It also saved Bride McKells's life. Before, the gorgeous vampire was a target for every fanatic with a stake and a crucifix. Now, she's free to roam the streets -- and desperate to find others of her kind. One man claims to have the answers she seeks.

Devyn, King of the Targons, is a warrior and a womanizer, and he makes no secret of how much he wants Bride -- and how dangerous he could be to her in every way. An avid collector of women, Devyn easily seduces human and otherworlder alike. Until now. Not only does Bride resist him, but she leaves Devyn feeling something entirely new...a bone-deep need bordering on obsession. Her blood is the key to curing a vicious alien disease, but helping Bride uncover her origins will compel her to choose between electrifying passion and a destiny that could tear her from Devyn's side forever.
About the author:
Gena Showalter sold her first book at the age of 27 and now, four years later, is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirteen books, with eleven more on the way in a thrilling blend of genres: breathtaking paranormal and contemporary romances, cutting edge young adult novels, and stunning urban fantasy.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, MTV, Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated in French, Italian and Korean. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.

drey's thoughts:
Bride is a vampire. And, it seems, the only vampire in town. How can that be? She doesn't know. She can't remember... Not only that, she has a problem--a vampire who can't keep blood down would, don't you think? In any case, I like her. She's brave and strong, but also vulnerable. When she meets Devyn, she doesn't quite know what to make of him, or his attitude. He's brash and cocky, quite sure of himself. And doesn't get it when Bride turns him down.

The storyline here is not just (alien) boy meets girl, they fall in love, and live happily ever after. There's the requisite boy-and-girl-have-to-figure-out-they're-in-"love" part, boy-is-separated-from-girl-and-is-miserable part, and the girl-saves-the-day part. The supporting cast here is varied and interesting--I had trouble remembering who was who, as well as who was what, since there are apparently lots of aliens (& cyborgs!) in the world. And don't forget the don't-have-sex-with-them-or-you'll-catch-a-deadly-disease-that-you'll-spread-to-everyone-else-you-have-sex-with aliens... Holy cow, talk about unsafe sex!

There are quite a lot of things that are different in this world, even if it's set in "our" world, even if there's vampires & you think you know vampires, even if it is a romance novel. And I liked it. Read on to win your own copy...

Thanks to Pocket Books, I have two copies of this book for you, if you live in the US or Canada (no PO Boxes, please!). To enter, comment on whether you've read any of Gena's other books (& if you have, did you like 'em?). I haven't, but will check at least some of 'em out, based on this one... As always, +1 for following, +2 for sharing this--do come back & let me know what/where.

Do it all before 6:00pm CST July 13th! Good luck!

Tour & Giveaway: 102. The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips...

June 29, 2009
the devlin diaryNext up on the tour block: a book set in Stuart England & modern-day Cambridge... Read on for details & surprises!

About the book:
London, 1672. The past twelve years have brought momentous changes: the restoration of the monarchy, a devastating plague and fire. Yet the city remains a teeming, thriving metropolis, energized by the lusty decadence of Charles II's court and burgeoning scientific inquiry. Although women enjoy greater freedom, they are not allowed to practice medicine, a restriction that physician Hannah Devlin evades by treating patients that most other doctors shun: the city's poor.

But Hannah has a special knowledge that Secretary of State Lord Arlington desperately needs. At the king's Machiavellian court, Hannah attracts the attention of two men, charming courtier Ralph Montagu and anatomist Dr. Edward Strathern, as well as the attention of the powerful College of Physicians, which views her work as criminal. When two influential courtiers are found brutally murdered, their bodies inscribed with arcane symbols, Hannah is drawn into a dangerous investigation by Dr. Strathern, who believes the murders conceal a far-reaching conspiracy that may include Hannah's late father and the king himself.

Cambridge, 2008. Teaching history at Trinity College is Claire Donovan's dream come true -- until one of her colleagues is found dead on the banks of the River Cam. The only key to the professor's unsolved murder is a seventeenthcentury diary kept by his last research subject, Hannah Devlin, physician to the king's mistress. With help from the eclectic collections of Cambridge's renowned libraries, Claire and historian Andrew Kent follow the clues Devlin left behind, uncovering secrets of London's dark past and Cambridge's equally murky present, and discovering that events of three hundred years ago may still have consequences today....

A suspenseful and richly satisfying tale brimming with sharply observed historical detail, The Devlin Diary brings past and present to vivid life. With wit and grace, Christi Phillips holds readers spellbound with an extraordinary novel of secrets, obsession, and the haunting power of the past.

About the author:
Christi Phillips is the author of The Rossetti Letter, which has been translated into six foreign languages. Her research combines a few of her favorite things: old books, libraries, and travel. When she’s not rummaging around in an archive or exploring the historic heart of a European city, she lives with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is at work on her next novel, set in France. Find her online at her website,

drey's thoughts:
I got my copy on Thursday evening, and didn't get a chance to pick this up until late Friday night (after I got home from Transformers 2)... I couldn't put it down. Seriously.

Hannah Devlin is a strong woman--her father, husband, and child are all dead, and her mother's lost her wits. With no manly man to help and protect her family, Hannah does what she can--treat the poor's sick to help keep her household going. One day she is waylaid by the King's Secretary of State, to treat the King's mistress--because she is the only one who knows an effective remedy (courtesy of working alongside her father all those years). Once at court she is drawn into a web of intrigue, and when bodies start showing up around her, she starts wondering if her father's death was really accidental...

Claire Donovan is a new-to-Cambridge history professor who finds Hannah's diary in one of the libraries and gets drawn in to the mystery of a female physician during a time when women weren't allowed to practice medicine. Then one of her colleagues shows up dead. The one she punched in the face in front of a roomful of witnesses, of course.

I really liked Hannah's story--it drew me in and kept me captivated. Claire's, not so much--until the end. Just because it felt like her story had to be there, so that you could get to the end and the "ta-dah" moment... However, Christi Phillips did a fantastic job weaving the story together and telling it from both viewpoints (even if I had to wait for it to pick up with Claire's), which makes this a worthwhile read.

Fun stuff!

Read an excerpt!

Thanks to Pocket Books, I have two copies of this lovely book for you (only if you live in the US or Canada--no PO Boxes, please)! To enter, comment and tell me why you'd like to read this book. +1 for following, +2 for sharing. Do it all before 6:00 pm CST July 12th! Good luck!


night gardenerSo sorry this is late--I was totally brain dead last night, & didn't get around to putting Randomizer to work... Anyhoo... That's all done now, so here goes. There were 5 books up for grabs. One winner's a given. Twelve people tweeted, so two more books were added to the pot. So. Randomizer selected three people (out of the 79 entries), and they are:

Congratulations, ladies! =) Emails have been sent, please reply with your mailing information by end of day Wednesday! Thank you for swinging by!

Didn't win but want the book? Click on the cover to purchase from Amazon.

Tour: 101. John Marco's Starfinder...

June 28, 2009
starfinderStarfinder is John Marco's first foray into fantasy for the Young Adult audience. The world is a mesh between technology and mythical creatures--where airships fly and centaurs don't. With a dividing "line" between them called the Reach.

Moth is an orphan who lives in Calio, the highest city in the world. It's also closest to the Reach. When his "guardian" Leroux dies, Moth sets off on an adventure--ala Frodo in LotR, but not quite as scary--to bring Leroux's pet kestrel back to the other side of the Reach, and hopefully, to try to return her to her original state (clue: NOT a bird). Accompanying Moth on his runaway journey is his best friend Fiona, who also happens to be the Governor of Calio's grand-daughter.

Once they cross the Reach, they find out that the world is VERY different from "their" side. There are mermaids! Dragons! Centaurs! And, always, the Skylords. Who are bent on finding the children and the Starfinder that Moth inherited from Leroux.

Starfinder is a good read--it's got interesting characters, a story that flows well, & a good plot. Having never read John Marco's adult fantasy series, I don't know how this effort compares (so don't ask). I liked it, but it hasn't supplanted my favorites. And who knows? In a few years, the little man might actually want to sit through this one.

Title: Starfinder
Author: John Marco
ISBN-10: 0756405513
ISBN-13: 978-0-7564-0551-9
Hardcover: 326 pages
Publisher: DAW, 2009

john marcoAbout the author:
John has been pecking away at an old portable typewriter since he was a little boy, coming up with his first stories at around ten years old. He's all grown up now, but the little boy's still there--the one who loves imagination and exploration, and loves to tell stories. Just like Peter Pan, writers never really grow up. He lives in Long Island with his wife and son, and can be found online at his website,

If you'd like your very own copy, click on the cover to purchase from Amazon.


Here we go again! =) Time to announce some winners!

the demo tapes

First up - the winner of Shapeshifter: The Demo Tapes is...

holly's inbox

Next! Holly's Inbox goes to...

Congratulations! And thank you for checking out drey's library! Emails have been sent, please reply with your mailing information by end of day Tuesday.

Want the books? Click on the cover to purchase your own copy from Amazon!

Tour & Giveaway: 100. My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel...

my forbidden desire
It's tour time! Today's tour is for Carolyn Jewel's My Forbidden Desire, a paranormal romance.

About the book:
Alexandrine Marit is a witch in mortal danger. An evil mage craves the powerful, mysterious talisman that supplies her magic, and the only person who can keep her safe is a dark and dangerous fiend called Xia. With his fierce animosity toward witches, he's hardly the ideal bodyguard. Yet as days turn into nights, she can't deny the white-hot passion between them.

Xia hates witches. They enslave and mercilessly kill his kind. But he's been ordered to protect Alexandrine, who, to his surprise, has a spirit he admires and a body he longs to possess. With the mage and his henchmen closing in, Alexandrine and her protector must trust the passion that can unite them...or risk losing everything to the enemies who can destroy them both

About the author:
carolyn jewelWhen not writing, Carolyn Jewel is a Database Administrator. She lives in northern California with her son, three cats, a border collie, several chickens, and some sheep. She has been writing stories ever since she could scribble, and now that she's grown up (mostly), she writes historical and paranormal romance. Find her online at her website,

Carolyn does the Proust-lite:
  1. What is your idea of earthly happiness? ~No more bills to pay, happy children and lots of chocolate. Oh, and a gorgeous view. To be more prosaic, some of my happiest moments have been unexpected. Looking out the window to see a lovely view. A moment when my son and I connect in some way or when I catch a glimpse of the wonderful man he’s growing up to be.
  2. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? ~Setting aside tragedy as an obvious answer, as well as things that cause unhappiness for my son, nieces and nephews, unhappy people tend to spread their misery. It’s difficult to be around them without taking that dark cloud with you. Time spent around such people is my definition of misery.
  3. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in fiction? ~Lucy in Charlotte Bronte’s Vilette. Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind are two that come readily to mind. Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird.
  4. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in real life? ~My mother and my sister. My mother was one of ten children and is the only one of them to graduate from college, and this despite the fact that she lost most of her hearing as a young child and got through elementary and high school by lip reading. It wasn’t until she met my father (when she was in community college) and he realized she couldn’t hear that she got a hearing aid. My sister is one of the most generous people I know. When my son was born, she drove all the way to San Francisco every Thursday to visit us. As a result, she and my son have a very close and special relationship. I’m lucky to have her for a sister.
  5. What sound do you love? ~Anything Blues or Flamenco.
  6. What sound do you hate? ~My son has this high-pitched mosquito whine on his phone which adults are not supposed to be able to hear. Well, my hearing is just fine, and that sound HURTS!
  7. The quality you admire most in a man? ~Humor.
  8. The quality you admire most in a woman? ~Humor.
  9. If not a writer, you would be a miserable something else.
  10. What is your favorite swear word? ~Heck or maybe fudge.

drey's thoughts...
Even though I don't usually read paranormal romance (I believe I've read one or two up to this point), I thought I'd give My Forbidden Desire a whirl, based on the yummy cover (what can I say? I'm a sucker for toned, if not totally ripped, abs...).

The action starts right away, with Alexandrine finding her long-lost (thought dead) brother in her apartment, and the heebie-jeebies crawling up the back of her neck and arms. Apparently, this happens when bad things are about to occur, usually to her... When Xia walks through the door, it's hissing-&-spitting time. Her brother convinces her that Xia's not there to harm her, but to protect her--from mages who want the talisman she's wearing.

My Forbidden Desire is full of action, for a romance novel. Good story, good plot, good chemistry. I just wish Alexandrine's name, wasn't. =)

Something fun...

Thanks to Hachette, there are up to 5 copies up for grabs. Enter if you live in the US or Canada, and have something other than a PO Box address. For this contest, I'm mixing things up a little. Every 10 people who participates gets another book thrown in the mix. To enter, you must share this giveaway--make sure I can check it out. Comment and let me know what you did & where. Followers will get an extra entry. And every additional share (not your initial-that's your contest entry) gets 5 extra entries. Do it all before 6:00 pm CST July 11th! Good luck!


June 26, 2009
urban shamanDay 9 of my birthday bash giveaways is over, and Randomizer has selected the winner of C.E. Murphy's Urban Shaman! The lucky ducky is...


Congratulations!! Please send me an email with your mailing information by end of day Monday. Thanks for swinging by, everyone!

Didn't win, but want the book? Click on the cover to purchase from Amazon.

Giveaway: Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons

June 25, 2009
off seasonAre you ready for this next book? Hachette has up to 5 copies for you lucky ducks...

About the book:
Acclaimed novelist Anne Rivers Siddons's new novel is a stunning tale of love and loss.

For as long as she can remember, they were Cam and Lilly--happily married, totally in love with each other, parents of a beautiful family, and partners in life. Then, after decades of marriage, it ended as every great love story loss. After Cam's death, Lilly takes a lone road trip to her and Cam's favorite spot on the remote coast of Maine, the place where they fell in love over and over again, where their ghosts still dance. There, she looks hard to her past--to a first love that ended in tragedy; to falling in love with Cam; to a marriage filled with exuberance, sheer life, and safety-- to try to figure out her future.

It is a journey begun with tender memories and culminating in a revelation that will make Lilly re-evaluate everything she thought was true about her husband and her marriage.

Check it out:

This giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only, no PO Boxes, please. To enter, comment and share a "song"--y'know, one that evokes emotions--good, bad, or indifferent. One of these for me, is Rindu by Sheila Majid. A heartbreakingly beautiful song about loss that catches my breath every time I hear the first few notes.

Every 10 people entered gets another copy thrown in the hat. So tell everyone. *grin* As always, +1 for following, +2 for sharing... It all ends at 6:00 pm CST July 8th, so get moving! Good luck!

ps: check out West of Mars--Win a Book for more Off Season giveaways! Love those gals!

Another winner!

June 24, 2009
shimmerAnother day over, another winner picked... =) Today's winner will receive an ARC copy of Eric Barnes' Shimmer, thanks to Unbridled Books! I know you're all on tenderhooks waiting, so... Randomizer says Shimmer goes to:

Congratulations!! Email has been sent, please reply with your mailing information by the end of day Saturday. Thank you for swinging by my blog! =)

Didn't win but want the book? Click on the cover to purchase your very own copy from Amazon.

99. Death's Daughter by Amber Benson...

Calliope Reaper-Jones is hiding from her family. You would, too, if you wanted to live a normal life... Especially when your family runs a huge corporation, and your dad is Death. So she puts herself under a Forgetting Charm, and lives a rather lack-luster life in NYC.

However, before she knows it, Callie is dragged from her "dream-world" and dumped into a competition for dad's job--because he's been kidnapped. Not only does she not want the job (except for the saving-her-dad thing), the competition comes in the form of Daniel, who's also the Devil's protege... Callie has to complete 3 tasks before she's deemed worthy of stepping into dad's shoes, all while being hounded by Daniel and Detective Davenport (who's investigating dad's disappearance).

Death's Daughter has a myriad of characters from various mythologies. LOVED Cerberus' pup (Callie called her Runt. Really.), and thought Kali was hilarious, if a bit overdone. It's quite the rollicking adventure, and definitely entertaining. However, Callie got on my nerves. Quite a bit. She's feisty, alright, but she's also whiny. And bratty. And clueless. And yet she manages (by the itty bitty tips of her fingernails) to cling on to her mission, and survive. All while figuring out whodunit. If it weren't for the supporting cast and humor, I'd probably have put this book down.

Thank you to Theresa from Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' News & Reviews for my copy!

Title: Death's Daughter
Author: Amber Benson
ISBN-10: 0441016944
ISBN-13: 978-0441016945
Paperback: 359 pages
Publisher: Ace, 2009

98. Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine...

feast of foolsFeast of Fools continues the story of Claire Danvers and the Morganville vampires. In this installment, her parents have decided to move to Morganville (not something that most people do, but still!), and Amelie's "father", Mr. Bishop, shows up with them. Sinister characters abound in this fast-paced, thrilling showdown between the town's established vamps--with even power-tuggers coming together on the same side against the new threat--and the "visitors"...

The feast in question is a huge ball, where every vamp is required to attend, and bring along a "guest". Claire's beau, Shane is "invited" by a visiting vamp, and Eve is ticked off when Michael invites Monica. Claire finagles a way in when she finds out her parents are both attending, and somehow (because she's a smart, SMART, kid) figures out how to get the town clear of the danger the new vamps present. Now, will she have the time to do it?? Read it & find out! =) I'm now waiting on Lord of Misrule--it's on the library list! Check out the series if you like vamps, even if you're not a YA reader. Seriously.

Title: Feast of Fools
Author: Rachel Caine
ISBN-10: 0451224639
ISBN-13: 978-0451224637
Paperback: 256 pages (per Amazon--I forgot to look before returning to the library!)
Publisher: Signet, 2008


June 23, 2009
april & oliverThe next birthday bash giveaway has ended, and Randomizer has done it's duty. The one Hachette-provided copy of Tess Callahan's April & Oliver goes to...


Congratulations, Pam! Email has been sent--please reply with your mailing information by end of day Friday.

Didn't win but want the book? Click on the cover to purchase your very own copy from Amazon.


June 22, 2009
devils in the sugar shopphantom limbsthe singing and dancing daughters of godI hope y'all had a great weekend, and a good Monday. Ok, so for some of you it's Tuesday, and for other's it'll be Tuesday before you see this... I'm slacking off!! Anyhoo, this thanks-to-Unbridled-Books 3-pack of Timothy Schaffert's books goes to...

Congratulations, Katie! Email has been sent, please reply with your mailing information by the end of day Thursday! And Thank You to everyone who entered, and who're still waiting to see if they've won in my other birthday bash giveaways... If you haven't entered, why not??

Want the books? Click on the covers to purchase your very own copy from Amazon.

Oh, & don't forget the other giveaways ending this week:
Tess Calahan's April & Oliver ends tomorrow!
Eric Barnes' Shimmer ends Wednesday!
C.E. Murphy's Urban Shaman ends Thursday along with Holly Denham (Bill Surie)'s Holly's Inbox!
Susan Helene Gottfried's Shapeshifter: The Demo Tapes ends Friday!

97. Shimmer by Eric Barnes...

shimmerShimmer tells the story of Robbie Case, and his company, Core Communications. Built on a flawed technology, he nonetheless has managed to build Core into a multi-billion-dollar company in just three years. But the amount of hands-on manipulation that's required to keep Core going is starting to wear Robbie out. And if that isn't enough to stress about, Robbie also worries about what'll happen to his friends--the ones who were there in the beginning, the ones who're doing their darnedest to keep building Core, so that when grace gets here, they're all filthy rich.

Except that they won't. Because Core's success is a fraud. One that Robbie perpetuates because he doesn't know what else to do. And because he's actually a good guy, he's built a whole framework behind the scenes to keep things afloat. As long as money's rolling in, and his own Internal Audit team doesn't figure it out, Core can keep going.

Shimmer is a kinda-sorta technology read. Being a geek--yes, I was a mainframe programmer in a kinda-sorta previous life--I chuckled at the references, and commisserated with Core's programmers. (geeks unite!) However, you do not require anointing into geekdom to enjoy the story, and I did. There was enough of a plot going (Is he going to make it? Is he not?), and the characters were interesting, if sometimes a little stereotypical, and I liked the ending.

Want more? Check out my giveaway (hurry, it ends on Wed!), along with a guest post from Eric himself!

Title: Shimmer
Author: Eric Barnes
ISBN-10: 1932961674
ISBN-13: 978-1932961676
Paperback: 281 pages (ARC)
Publisher: Unbridled Books, 2009


June 19, 2009
secrets to happinessThe giveaway for Sarah Dunn's Secrets to Happiness is over, and the winner is...

Thank you so much for stopping by my birthday bash! Email has been sent, please reply with your mailing information by the end of day Monday.

Didn't win, but want the book? Click on the cover to purchase from Amazon!

Birthday bash - day 10! Susan Helene Gottfried & Trevor Wolff share some thoughts...

birthday bashI love Susan. Not only does she come by to bring my birthday bash to a close, she brings along a friend! And not just any friend--she bring Trevor. Yummilicious (as imagined) dude fresh off the pages of Shapeshifter: The Demo Tapes... mmm...

Susan says:
When I was six, I decided I was going to be an author. When you're six, there's only one sort of author in the world, and that's the best-selling variety. Mid-list, self-published, struggling… Those are concepts for adults. As far as a kid's concerned, any published book is a huge success. They're all best-sellers.

In the simplistic world view of a kid, being an author (and therefore a best-selling author) that also meant one important thing: I'd be rich. Loaded. I'd have power around town; I'd have my assistant get me reservations in the swanky restaurants, the ones that mere mortals had to wait six months for. I'd have a huge mansion, on at least ten acres. No neighbors in sight. A staff to run it all. And gates. Don't forget gates; nothing says power and best-seller like gates.

I'd get free tickets, be in the front row to every rock concert I wanted to go see. My name would open doors.

I'd be Somebody.

Even through college, I used this dream to fuel my passion. I'd cut pictures of mansions for sale out of the back of the New York Times magazine. I was going to be the main breadwinner; I was going to have a house-husband who could do whatever he wanted while I spent my days writing books. At night, we'd go out. A club. An arena. An outdoor ampitheater. At least one concert every night, VIP all the way. I'd be in the thick of it -- and it would be all music-related. Of course.

And my wardrobe! Oh, I'd actually be fashionable. Skinny, of course, and decked out in clothes featured in Vogue.

That was my drive, my motivation.

And then, something happened. Maybe it's that I went and fell in love with a computer geek who made enough money to buy us a nice house, even if it's far from mansion (let alone gated) status. Somewhere in the excitement of this new life, I lost the need to be treated like the rock stars I write about.

One thing I didn't lose, though, is the drive to be a best-selling author. That's not going anywhere so fast.

Nope. What is gone is the whole Be Somebody angle. The desire to have people point at me when I go out in public and whisper in awed tones, "There's that writer! I love her books!"

That hasn't changed. I'd love it if more people loved my books. What writer wouldn't? And sure, it'd probably sell some books if I was picked out of a crowd at a hockey game and given a mention as a local celebrity. Put up on the Jumbotron as I coolly waved and kept talking to the person beside me.

But in truth? I like the idea of being an anonymous face in the crowd. I like not having to worry about paparazzi in our celebrity-obsessed society. I like that no one has to rub it in my face that I'm a lousy dresser. I like not having to worry about stalkers, about the safety of my husband and children. I can stand in line at the grocery and be relieved that I'm not seeing my own face looking back at me from the cover of a tabloid. Yes, it's true: one of my nightmares in life is that someone I went to high school with will sell the skinny on who I was back then…

Hey, if the Tour Manager knew me way back in seventh grade and married me anyway, I couldn't have been all bad, right?

We'll never know. The beauty of being a writer in the world today is that it's a low-key job with a high-profile payout. No one needs to see my face in order to believe in the words inside my book. In fact, maybe it's better if you guys don't see me. That way, you'll never look at my author picture and go, "What is she wearing? If there's ever someone I want to stuff behind a gated home, THAT is the prime example!"

You know, come to think of it, if you guys would buy enough copies of The Demo Tapes so I could afford a stylist, the world would be a better place… I don't need a better home, or seats in a fancy restaurant. Just some clothes. That's not too much to ask for, is it?

Susan, Susan, Susan... When I was six, I wanted to be a fighter pilot. And do the whole Top Gun thing... In my simplistic world, if I didn't like you, I'd just push the trigger. & fly off. Way fast. *grin*

Trevor butts in ('cuz he just can't not butt in):
So, Susan's supposed to be blogging for drey 'cause it's drey's birthday and all. Isn't that how it's supposed to be?

Supposed to be sucks.

For those of you who can't figure it out, I'm Trevor Wolff. Susan writes books that I get to star in. You should read them, even if you can only buy one so far. But first, read what I've got to say. Then go buy our book.

I love birthdays. Not that getting older is such a great trip. So far, it's pretty much sucked. Getting sleep on the road is harder, even though now my band, ShapeShifter, has this bus we roam around in. This bus has got bunks, but I think they're too much like coffins so I sleep up front, on the couch under the TV. Or I try to sleep. It's not so easy when you're vibrating, youknowwhatI'mtalkinabout?

Used to be, I could crash anywhere, anytime. Not like Mitchell; he's the king of sleep. If he's the king, that means I can be the prince, but since Trevor Wolff's no prince of anything, that means I can't even try to sleep better. So I make do. I'd rather make out.

And girls. I love girls. Here's one good thing about getting older: the younger girls, the ones without … experience? They don't look as good anymore. Suddenly, I want a woman with curves on her. I want someone who can turn our hour together into something mutual. Who knows that part of the getting is giving, and it's better when we both give and get.

And when we're cool about leaving on time, leftover cake in hand. Trevor knows how you girls like your cake. I'm telling you now, you don't need cake when you've got Trevor, but whatever. Some of you like both. Smart.

Now, as for drey. You see, drey's got a birthday. That's why I'm honing in on Susan's guest post here. 'cause, see what I just said? Trevor Wolff loves himself a girl who's got some experience and some living under her belt. Not to mention something to fucking say.

That's drey.

Know what else is drey? I've taken a peek at those e-mails she and Susan toss back and forth. She's one of them always happy chicks. ALWAYS happy. It's probably a pain in the ass in real life, but I've seen the rest of Susan's e-mail. There's not enough happy people there, or people raving about our book. Count on drey to fix that. She always makes Susan smile, and when Susan smiles, I get to star in really good scenes. Or my new Word of the Minute, or whatever Susan decided to call it. Check it out. I'm digging the comment trail. Maybe if the band tanks, I oughta do comedy.

ANYWAY, Mitchell's Mom and Susan and even Mitchell's big sister, Amy. They like to say that with age comes wisdom. Trevor here doesn't know about that. He just knows that you women get better with age and he likes to like you all the more.

Happy birthday, drey. Come on over for some love, Trevor style. Ever wanted to howl like a Wolff? I'll be glad to show you everything you need to know, and then some.
About Susan:
If you can't tell from the guest posts above, Susan Helene Gottfried is an author. *grin* Her other passion is music. Find Susan online at her website,, and her blog, The Meet and Greet.

One copy of Susan's book is up for grabs, if you live in the USA. To enter, 'fess up: Were you ever in a band? Were you ever a band groupie? Wanted to be in a band? Or be a groupie? =) I've never been in a band. But would've gladly traded my left hand to be a groupie for a-ha. *blush* What can I say--I was young... As always, +1 for followers, +2 for sharing this giveaway. Remember to let me know where & how. This giveaway ends at 6:00pm CST June 26th, so dig up those deep dark secrets now! lol! If you don't want to wait till next Friday to find out if you've won--or if you really don't want to share those secrets--click on the cover to purchase your own copy from Amazon!

96. Crossed Wires by Rosy Thornton...

June 18, 2009
Crossed Wires is the story of Mina, who works for a call center handling insurance claims, and Peter, a Cambridge geography professor. They "meet" over the phone when Peter calls about an insurance claim. The first of several, actually. And somehow just talking strikes a chord in both of them. But, living in separate cities--he in Cambridge, she in Sheffield--they brush off that connection, and go on with their lives.

One day, Mina calls Peter after hours--to tell him something about his insurance claim, and they start talking. Which leads to more calls, and more talking... Crossed Wires builds the romance slowly, gently, kinda like a lazy river moving along as it will. Supporting characters include their children--Mina's a single parent, Peter's widowed with twins--and friends and family, which makes this book feel like a story about their lives, as opposed to a story about them. Pick it up for your beach bag.

Title: Crossed Wires
Author: Rosy Thornton
ISBN-10: 0-7553-4555-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-7553-4555-7
Paperback: 343 pages
Publisher: Headline Review, 2008

More winners!!

Boy, I LOVE doing these posts!! =)

jack with a twistFirst up, the winner of Brenda Janowitz's Jack with a Twist. There were a total of 81 entries for this lovely book, and the lucky duck is...


the host

Next. Stephanie Meyer's The Host... From a total of 92 entries, the 3 copies are on their way to...

Karen H in NC!!

Congratulations, everyone! Emails have been sent, please reply with your mailing information by the end of day Sunday. Thank you for stopping by!

Didn't win but want the book? Click on the covers to purchase your very own copy from Amazon!

Replacement winners...

So, Leslie already has a copy of Jennifer Haymore's A Hint of Wicked, and I never heard back from Maria D., so the replacement winners are...

Emails have been sent, please reply with your mailing information by the end of day Sunday! Thank you for stopping by!


last night in montrealIt's time to let you know who's been picked (by Randomizer, of course!) to receive my copy of Last Night in Montreal, by Emily St. John Mandel... And the winner is...

Congratulations!! =) Email is on its way, please reply with your mailing information by the end of day Sunday!

Didn't win, but want the book? Click on the cover to purchase your very own copy from Amazon!

BTT - Fantasy and Sci-Fi...

I can't believe it, but the last BTT I actually made it for was in April. April!! Sheesh. But, I saw today's (& it's STILL Thursday!) topic, and just HAD to do it. So there. =)
This week at Booking through Thursday, they're talking fantasy & sci-fi:
One of my favorite sci-fi authors (Sharon Lee) has declared June 23rd Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Day.

As she puts it:
So! In my Official Capacity as a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I hereby proclaim June 23 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day! A day of celebration and wonder! A day for all of us readers of science fiction and fantasy to reach out and say thank you to our favorite writers. A day, perhaps, to blog about our favorite sf/f writers. A day to reflect upon how written science fiction and fantasy has changed your life.

So … what might you do on the 23rd to celebrate? Do you even read fantasy/sci-fi? Why? Why not?

Fantasy is my favorite genre. I loved epic fantasy because it meant that, even when the book I was reading is read, there's more--you're not done till you're done. Well, unless you're reading Feist or Jordan... =P Urban fantasy is a new-ish take on the genre, and I love it because, well, it's easy to identify with the basic world. And everyone's a person who's human, and those who aren't, used to be.

Fantasy lets me get lost in the worlds the authors spun--worlds with magical creatures, or just magic. Worlds where nothing is impossible, yet there are rules governing how things work. You could say the same for sci-fi. Yet, I've never quite gotten into sci-fi as much as I have into fantasy. Not sure why, really. Maybe that's something I need to read more of?

As for celebrating... Hmm... My TBR pile is not shrinking any time soon. But I do have a children's fantasy to read (Starfinder, by John Marco), and Naamah's Kiss (by Jacqueline Carey) just showed up yesterday. So, maybe I need to finish reading the books I'm reading now, and get to at least one of those two sometime (later!) this evening. =)

And as a shout out to those who write my favorite genre--without you I'd truly be lost--here are some of my favorite authors, in no particular order:
Michelle Sagara/Michelle West
C.E. Murphy
George R.R. Martin
Patrick Rothfuss
Carrie Vaughn
Ilona Andrews
Terry Pratchett (I cannot, and have never been able to, turn down a Discworld novel)

Birthday bash - day 9! C.E. Murphy answers some rambly questions...

birthday bashHave I mentioned how much I like C.E. Murphy?? I'd swear I have, but if not, here's my correction to that awful oversight - I REALLY LIKE C.E. Murphy!! =) She's kind enough to answer some of my (very) rambly questions, and has a surprise for y'all too... Read on!

c.e. murphy
drey: How did you come up with such diverse heroines? Joanne/Siobhan the cop/mechanic, Margrit the lawyer, and Belinda the queen's "doer"... All three are such strong women, even if Joanne took a while to come to terms with her "gift"... How much of them are you, or those close to you, and how much is completely made up?

C.E.: It's somewhat alarming to say "um, well, they just sort of appeared in my head this way, fully formed" but to a degree it's true. Jo's the most like me in voice, although she has a whole host of issues I entirely lack. She's also really the only one who has any of my characteristics--we share some favorite drinks, for example--but she also drinks amaretto coffee, which I think is utterly nauseating. So the bits of me that are in her aren't exactly a flaming sign saying HI THIS IS CATIE ONLY IN A BOOK TEE HEE HEE! :)

urban shamanthunderbird fallscoyote dreamswalking dead
Interestingly--or maybe not, since she was the first published character--Jo was the hardest to pin down. Margrit really /did/ arrive fully formed. I was in the shower and suddenly I was thinking about this black woman lawyer who ran in Central Park at night, and wham, there she was. What she has in common with me, probably, is ambition and/or a determination to see things through. I think I might get on well with Margrit in real life.

As for Belinda, I always knew her only redeeming quality was her loyalty, that everything about her was defined by ruthlessness. So I sort of hope she hasn't actually got very much in common with me, except, um. We both have brown hair! :)

drey: Speaking of Joanne, what brought about WALKING DEAD (book #4, to be released in September)? Was it always planned, or one of those hey-I-have-a-huge-need-to-tell-more-of-Joanne's-story thingies?

C.E.: Oh, the series was never intended to end with book three. I've got nine books planned for the Walker Papers. The delay between books three and four was just--I write a lot. I write a lot and I write fast, and one of the things I was concerned with as someone who writes both a lot and fast was I didn't want to get pigeon-holed into being The Person Who Writes The Walker Papers. This is particularly true because it's a 9 book series. I didn't want to only have it out there because people get very attached and I wanted to be able to tell other stories. So there was a natural break point after book 3, and I already had HEART OF STONE written, so I very much wanted to get another series out there before I went back to writing Joanne. And the Negotiator books were only a trilogy, and my publisher was eager to put them all out in the space of a year, so I felt that worked very well for me and my goals as a writer.

drey: And on the topic of series continuation, will there be more Margrit? And Eliseo, Janx, Alban, etc.? I'm assuming there will be more Belinda?

C.E.: There will not be any more Margrit. There will almost certainly be more Old Races books in the (comparatively distant) future, but Margrit and Alban's story has been told. Someone asked me the other day if the Negotiator sales hadn't been as good as we hoped, if that's why there weren't going to be more, and I was floored. The sales were just fine! I finished telling the story, that's all!

heart of stonehouse of cardshands of flame
You're more likely to see Janx and Daisani and some of the others than Margrit and Alban. I'm doing the occasional short story for the Old Races, and eventually I hope to put together an anthology of those, but no, for the foreseeable future (ie, until the Walker Papers are finished), there won't be any more Old Races novels.

As for Belinda, your guess is as good as mine. I'll be writing a proposal for more books in the Inheritors' Cycle this summer, so hopefully my publisher will pick those up and that story will continue.

drey: You write such diverse worlds, along with the diverse heroines. How did you come up with them, and how do you keep them separate?

C.E.: *laughs* Man, the truth to this sounds so *boring*, but here you go:
When I wrote URBAN SHAMAN (first of the Walker Papers) the explosion in urban fantasy hadn't happened yet. All that was out, really, were Laurell K. Hamilton's books and Jim Butcher's books. So I said, ok, we have a vampire hunter and a wizard, and they're both extremely good at what they do. I need something different. A shaman is different. A shaman who *doesn't* know what she's doing. Okay... and then I ran with that.

The Old Races were born from a love of the Beauty and the Beast story and a particular dislike of werewolves and therefore a real desire to not go down that road. I just wanted something nobody was doing, and I thought a world that had gargoyles would probably also have *other* magical creatures, so I put together this idea of the five surviving Old Races: dragons and djinn, selkies, vampires and gargoyles. And Margrit, like I said, leapt into my head fully formed, and she was obviously the heroine for these books.

the queens bastardthe pretenders crownAs for the Inheritors' Cycle, I've been an Elizabethan history buff since I was a little kid, so writing something set in that era was always something I wanted to do. I'd expected the story to adhere much more closely to actual history, really, but I've had an awful lot of fun with how it's diverged.

Keeping the worlds apart isn't at all difficult. They're just so *different*. I did spend a while wondering if Margrit and Jo were in the same universe, but they're really not. The magic in Margrit's world is very much physical, with all the different races, whereas the magic in Jo's is very, very much spiritual. So yeah, they're just totally different universes.

drey: And speaking of writing - how did you get started? Is it something you've always wanted to do?

C.E.: I'm one of those people who always wanted to be a writer. When I was very very small I was going to be the first woman Senator from Alaska, and a writer. Or an astronaut and a writer. Or a lawyer and a writer. The "and a writer" was always there, and it sort of turned out that no, actually, I was going to be a writer "and a", rather than the other way around. :)

I was six years old the first time somebody told me to keep writing, so in a way that's how I got started. As for published novels, I went to the Colorado Gold writers' conference in Denver in...2001, I think, and it really lit a fire under me. I went away from it saying if I was going to pursue a writing career I needed to actually *do* it, and fourteen months later I had my first contract. But I'd been writing my entire life, you know? URBAN SHAMAN and several others were already finished at that point.

drey: You write novels and graphic novels. Which is more fun to write? =) Why?

C.E.: Oh, jeez. They're *totally* different. GNs might be more fun 'cause they're shorter. :) And it's awesome beyond *belief* to send somebody pages full of words and to get back pages full of pictures!
And, the Proust-lite to bring up the rear:
C.E.: Bahah. Thank you for this; I've always wanted to get to answer these questions. :)
  1. What is your idea of earthly happiness? A long walk on a sunshiny day with good friends or family is just about my idea of perfection. Anything with sunshine and friends is a win.
  2. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Loneliness.
  3. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in fiction? Anne of Green Gables. Menolly of the Harper Hall. Sarah Connor. I could go on forever. :)
  4. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in real life? Margaret Sanger, who was an American suffragette and birth control advocate. She founded what would become Planned Parenthood.
  5. What sound do you love? Laughter.
  6. What sound do you hate? At the moment, my cat yowling because she refused to eat breakfast and is now insisting on telling me how miserably hungry she is....
  7. The quality you admire most in a man? Humor, wit, intelligence.
  8. The quality you admire most in a woman? Same as above.
  9. If not a writer, you would be a professional photographer, probably. Or an actor.
  10. What is your favorite swear word? Embarrassingly, it's probably "frak" or "frell" or possibly "puckernuts", though I don't use that one as much as I used to.

Thank you so very much for stopping by! I LOVE your writing, and will definitely have to check out the rest of the Walker Papers series... Can't wait for #4!! Find miz Murphy online at her website ( and blog (! And check out her bibliography ( too... Whew!

Giveaway!!urban shaman
C.E. is kindly offering a mass market copy of the Walker Papers #1 - Urban Shaman. #4 (Walking Dead) is coming out in September, and if you haven't read this yet, here's your chance to win a copy of the series beginner! This is open to anyone who has a mailing address (don't you just LOVE her?), so go ahead...

This might be a bit rambly... I really really like the covers to these books... So, to enter this giveaway, comment & tell me--have you read these? If you have not, would you pick 'em up just from the cover? I sure would! =)

+1 for following, +2 for sharing (come back & tell me where, please)... This yummy goodness ends 6:00 p.m. CST June 25th, so move along... Good luck!
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