Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Next Best Thing Blog Hop


What is a blog hop? Basically it's a way for readers to discover new authors (new to them anyway) and new books and maybe even new genres. Please

So below you'll find a little bit about me, and my Atlanta-based mystery series featuring Confederate-themed gunshop owner Tai Randolph and corporate security agent Trey Seaver. The series has received multiple starred reviews (thank you, Kirkus!) and continues in March 2013 with Blood, Ash and Bone, available now for pre-order!

I was asked to participate by the lovely and talented Clea Simon, a fellow author at Poisoned Pen Press. In addition to her nonfiction, Clea writes the Pru Marlowe Pet Noir series. Click on the links below to discover the series of which Booklist (in a starred review) said, "Simon excels in creating unique and believable animal characters as well as diverse and memorable humans."


And now we move to the interview portion of the event. Please visit the next writer in the hop, Emma Bolden -- the links at the end of the post will take you right to her answers to this same questionnaire (in which you learn about her collection of poetry and why Josh Groban will be cast in the movie based on said collection).

And now . . . here tis more than you every wanted to know about the third book in the Tai Randolph series.

1. What is the working title of your book?

Blood, Ash and Bone. And since it went to press last night, I think that's the name that's gonna stick.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to explore the my female protagonist’s history, and I decided that a return to her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, would be a great way to do it.  Confederate battles, treasure hunts, and fireworks of all kinds follow.

3. What genre does your book come under?

Cozy noir. I know that's not a real genre -- bookstores will probably place it with the traditional mysteries -- but if it were a real genre, mine would be the definitive example of it. I'm certain of it.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

For Tai, my heroine, I’d pick Drew Barrymore, and for Trey, my hero, I’d get Jason Stratham to suit up.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Smart Southern gun shop owner Tai Randolph solves murder and avoids being homicided with a little help and weapons support from her hot ex-SWAT boyfriend Trey Seaver.

6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

I’m published by Poisoned Pen Press, an independent publisher specializing in mystery fiction.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Six months! And then it took me seven years to revise it into something worth publishing.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Readers have made comparisons to S.J. Rozan's Bill Smith/Lydia Chin stories. Which is a huge compliment!

9. Who or what inspired you to write the book?

I read an article in Scientific American about how certain types of frontal lobe damage caused a peculiar side effect — people became human lie detectors, better able to detect deception than even CIA-trained operatives. Trey’s presence in the books came as a result of that article. I decided such skills would make a formidable detective, but that the other results of such damage — especially the emotional instability and impaired judgment — would make him a dangerous one too.

But Trey couldn't tell his own story. For that, he needed Tai, a spitfire of a romantic and crime-solving companion who needs him just as much (but don't tell her I said that). Together, their peculiar mix of fire and earth, yang and yin, makes for interesting romantic entanglements and an excellent crime-solving partnership.

The story of how they meet -- and proceed to said partnership -- became the first book in the series, The Dangerous Edge of Things.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This shirt.

Now Emma Bolden, tag you're it. Please click the links below to visit Emma's blog (with her answers to this questionnaire and the actual place where you can actually order a copy of her book Maleficae. 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Read It! Wrap It! Love It! -- Jared Sexton's The End of All Things

My recommendation for your holiday gift giving is as timely as they come, since this book is making its debut next week, on Friday, December 21st. And I promise you, it's at the top of my Most Wanted list too -- Jared Sexton's An End to All Things.

I heard Jared read a piece from this anthology, and I was knocked upside the head. Seriously. I didn't see the wallop coming -- I mean, I sensed it, the way you can feel a pressure wave underwater when something big is swimming your way, but when it hit . . . Nope. Didn't see it coming.

I still think about that story -- about the voice, the insistent rhythms, the urgent drive of the first-person narration. The images. The set-up. The pow bang. Beautifully executed, a left hook of a story.

Here's some other things other smart, talented writers had to say:

“The stories in Jared Yates Sexton’s An End to All Things are, indeed, about ends—of relationships, of dreams, of innocence—but they also speak eloquently to the means of these ends. Laced through with booze and betrayal, and populated by half‐witted quick wits and good eggs with bad karma, Sexton’s stories get under your skin, split your ribs, and worm their way heartward.”
-Tom Noyes, author of Spooky Action at a Distance

“The characters in Jared Yates Sexton’s stories are desperate. They are obsessed. They speak a language that is part bar fight, part howl, part brokenhearted country song playing on a skipping vinyl loop. These are stories you want to listen to as much as read, full of fierce and searing and melancholy truths.”
-Chad Simpson, author of Tell Everyone I Said Hi

So keep a spot open on your gift list for this one. December 21st. Go get it.I know I'm hoping I've been good enough that somebody will get it for me.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Join Me For A Book-Happy Blog Hop

There's no gift like a book -- it's an entire universe between two covers. To me, there's nothing more exciting than a new edition to the TBR stack, and I am lucky to have some extraordinary writers and readers in my extended network.

So I'm appealing to the glorious collected YOU out there, and asking you to share your literary gems. Have you written a great book that's available (either in print or e-book)? Got a great book you're excited to recommend? Then you're in the right place.

So, here's a point by point breakdown:
  1. WRITE a blog post recommending a book (include a cover shot and why you like it -- it's totally cool to recommend your own book)
  2. TITLE this post "Wrap it! Read It! Love it!" Save and publish it. Copy the url of the post itself (you'll need it for the next steps).
  3. GO to my Book Happy Blog post (that's this one you're reading right here)
  4. ADD your blog post to the list by clicking the link at the end of my post that says "Click Here to Enter" (it's in blue). You'll be taken to a page that asks for your blog title (put in the title of your whole blog, as in MY VERY OWN BLOG). Then put in the url of the "Wrap it! Read it! Love it!" blog post itself. Enter your name and e-mail for verification purposes.
  5. JOIN the hop. After you've added your blog post to the hop, be sure others can continue on to the next blog in line. Look at the end of my blog post for a message that says Get The Code Here... See? Click that. Copy the code. Then go back to your blog and paste the code you find at the end of your own "Wrap It! Read It! Love It!" post  (be sure you're in HTML mode when you do this). The list of blogs will appear at the end of your post now.
  6. HOP! On the weekend of the Hop, use the linky list to go from blog to blog, reading about new books and meeting new authors. Your post will also have this list, making it easy for readers to "hop" from blog to blog.
I'll be collecting entries starting today through December 13th. Then on the weekend of December 14th through 16th, we'll have a blog hop showcasing all of the fantastic words just waiting to be gifted to someone on your list.

I'll be making a Pinterest board of all the different posts too. Because I love an excuse to Pinterest. And I'll be sharing  on Facebook. So the love just goes on and on.. (PS: This is a kinda techy thing, and I am a not techy girl, so this is also an experiment. Picture bubbling test tubes and maniacal laughter and very shiny tinsel. If you have questions or problems, holler).

And please "hop" with us on the weekend of the 14th-16th. You're sure to find something for yourself or some lucky recipient on your shopping list.

Here's the link: