Tuesday, September 25, 2012

THE NIGHT BEAT, by Gini Koch ~ BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY!

The wonderful Gini Koch (known for her Alien series ) has an intriguing new series, Necropolis Enforcement Files, debuting with THE NIGHT BEAT. To enter to win a free e-book copy of this fabulous new book, answer the following question in the comments section: How would you enforce Prosaic City's night beat?  I'll pick my favorite answer and announce the winner next week.

Take it away, Gini!

Thanks for stopping by on the Necropolis Enforcement Blog Tour of
2012! If you haven't read the first chapter of The Night Beat, hit
Deathless Prose over at my website
(http://www.ginikoch.com/deathlessprose.htm) and check it out. Then,
hit each stop along the way to get more of the story. Missed a stop?
Check the website for the Tour Page
http://www.ginikoch.com/blogtour.htm and get caught up.
And don't forget to get entered to win a copy of The Night Beat at
EVERY blog tour stop along the way! Plus, follow the Tour 'til the end
and get entered for a mega-prize! So, grab your badge -- it's time to
join Necropolis Enforcement!

 Blurb:

  The majority of Prosaic City's residents don't know that their town exists on top of another place -- Necropolis, City of the Undead. For the most part, the two planes of existence manage to remain separate. And when they don't, Necropolis Enforcement has beings in place to ensure the general human population remains blithely clueless.

 Victoria Wolfe is more than just a policewoman. She's an undercover werewolf assigned by Necropolis Enforcement to work Prosaic City Police's Night Beat.

 Victoria's comfortable working the shift where all the weird comes out to play, especially since her partner is also her perfect man.Or would be, if Victoria could ever work up the nerve to tell him she isn't like other girls.

It's hard enough being a werewolf in disguise, but when a creature
 from the Depths of Hell shows up in an alley preferred by junkies,
 bums, and hookers, it's going to take more than just Victoria's
 special gun and werewolf skills to subdue the ancient Sumerian demon.

Especially when the demon is merely the start of what appears to be a
 major takeover attempt by the Prince of Darkness.

 Soon all of Necropolis Enforcement's Undead Brigade is involved in the
fight to stop the Prince's Major Minions from taking over Prosaic City
and the rest of the human plane. But it's Victoria who has to face the
 Adversary and figure out what intricate plan Lucifer has up his wings
 before everyone she cares about is destroyed.

  In other words, it's just another day on the Night Beat.


Excerpt:
         Prosaic City was one of the country's older inhabited burgs. In the
course of its existence it's been rebuilt several times. Because it was built
on top of Necropolis. Which was a bad move by the old-time Prosaic City
Planning Council, but everyone makes mistakes, right? Just because no
one else had settled on the pretty spot next to the water didn't mean
anything, they reasoned, they'd just gotten there first.
         Actually, they'd gotten there last.
         There are points in the world where the occult pull is particularly
strong.Where the ley lines, longitude, latitude, winds, weather, and general
force of both nature and the occult combine with placement in the cosmos and
an entity is formed that shouldn't be able to exist in reality.
         I've heard them called hell mouths, portals, doorways, entryways, and a
variety of other terms. But those aren't really accurate.
        What forms isn't a door. What forms is a city. A city that exists both
in this plane of reality and all the others at the same time. A place that
wasn't built but can never be removed, a power created by everything and
nothing at the same time, something that wasn't born but can never die.
        What my kind call an Undead City.
        In the American hemisphere, that city is Necropolis.
        Necropolis was here first, but most of its residents immigrated over
time.
       The pull from an Undead City is strong. The power in one is even
stronger.
        Prosaic City was built right on top of Necropolis. This made things hard
for the Necropolites and weird for the Prosaics. Due to the way an Undead
City worked, the humans could and did put their buildings and roads and such
on top of things of ours that were already there. So, City Hall and the
city courthouse was right on top of what was considered Necropolis'
Red Light District, which, as the Count said, made poetic sense.
        All the undead can see into at least two planes of existence, and most
can see into more. Vampires and liches can see almost as many planes as a
god.
        Werewolves aren't quite as powerful magically, so we have limits. Which
was okay with me. I had enough fun keeping Necropolis separated from Prosaic
City on a nightly basis.
        Not that I wasn't good at it. I was considered one of the best, if not
the best, at cross-existence. But it had taken me years to hone the skill to
perfection, and that much focus on one skill meant others weren't quite
as sharp. Then again, I never found not being able to look into one of the
levels of Hell without trying to be a hardship. I didn't care for Hell
and never wanted to go there. That I had reasons to go there made it worse.
        We call moving back and forth between the human and undead planes
sliding.
         Everyone has to learn it, it's not natural to any being. Some humans did
it as easily as undeads. They were usually mentally unstable -- not before
the slide, but after. It's hard for a human to see myths and legends and
worse in real life and know it's real. Most minds can't take it if they aren't
prepared.
        However, the younger, the better. That's the main reason changelings
exist.Not to steal babies but to save them. Children who can see the undead
normally have a lifetime of pain and torment ahead of them, unless we
get them first.
        Undeads, by our nature, don't have the same issues. We know the human
plane exists -- at least two-thirds of us were human before we undied. But
seeing the human world superimposed over the undead one was always good for a
headache if your concentration faltered.

Gini Koch lives in Hell's Orientation Area (aka Phoenix, AZ), works her butt
off (sadly, not literally) by day, and writes by night with the rest of
the beautiful people. She writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine
"Kitty" Katt series for DAW Books, the Necropolis Enforcement Files
series,and the Martian Alliance Chronicles series for Musa Publishing. As G.J.
Koch she writes the Alexander Outland series for Night Shade Books. She also
writes under a variety of other pen names (including Anita Ensal, Jemma
Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch), listens to rock music 24/7, and is
a proud comics geek-girl willing to discuss at any time why Wolverine is
the best superhero ever (even if Deadpool does get all the best lines). She
speaks frequently on what it takes to become a successful author and
otheraspects of writing and the publishing business. She can be reached
through her website at
www.ginikoch.com


So--how would you enforce Prosaic City's night beat? Leave your answer in the comments section below to enter to win a free e-book copy of THE NIGHT BEAT!


 Amazon
 http://www.amazon.com/Night-Necropolis-Enforcement-Files-ebook/dp/B008A7ZN7U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346158603&sr=8-1&keywords=the+night+beat+by+gini+koch

Amazon Paperback
http://www.amazon.com/Night-Necropolis-Enforcement-Files-Volume/dp/1477631380/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1346158785&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=the+night+beat+by+gini+koch

Smashwords
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/170081

Barnes and Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-night-beat-from-the-necropolis-enforcement-files-gini-koch/1111591854?ean=2940014716208

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

THE BOOK WAITRESS, by Deena Remiel

Before I feature this week's author, I wanted to briefly talk about a guest post I did for Caris Roane's Wicked Writing Skills blog about revision, which can be viewed here. I've really been grappling with revisions lately, and not many writers talk about it, so I thought I'd compile some things I've learned. So there's that.

But on to Deena Remiel, who I was fortunate enough to meet at some conferences last spring. Deena writes paranormal romance and poetry, and her newest book is THE BOOK WAITRESS, which debuted August 24 and is available on the Kindle. What I love about this book is the protagonist is a librarian! Woo hoo!

Camille Dutton learned early in life Satan was not to be trifled with. Escaping his evil clutches as a child, he's come back with a vengeance for her now.
Derek Galloway's inquisitive nature has led him to be an award-winning investigative reporter and straight into the path of pure evil.

When a child vanishes from a sleepy island town, Camille, its subdued librarian, becomes embroiled in Derek's investigation. A satanic cult has plans for the child, while Satan has plans for Camille and the rest of the world. Amidst evil of the most supernatural and human kind, Derek and Camille find a shred of light and goodness in the form of their budding relationship.

First in the Book Waitress Series, the portal between Hell and Earth will be torn asunder, and it will take everything Camille and Derek have and then some to close it. Satan won't go down easy, but nothing worth everything comes without a price.

Here are Deena's answers to my questions:

Your website bio states that you are a member of RWA National and Desert Rose RWA. How has your involvement in these organizations benefited your career and can you tell us more about your journey as a writer?
Being a part of a writer's group accomplishes many things. First, it keeps me aware that I'm not an island. I have many "sisters" who are doing the same as I am and experiencing the same things I am. They are a source of friendship, support, comfort, and laughter. Every meeting I go to I learn something new about the business or the craft of writing.
I've been writing for a few years now, a minute amount of time in the scheme of things, and it's been a rocket ship straight up the learning curve. Gaining a publisher was a dream of mine. Accomplished that. Self-publishing was another challenge. I've done it, three times now. I enjoy straddling the fence of the publishing industry. I feel like I get the best of both worlds.
 
I know what you mean about those "sisters"-- I'm very lucky to have found some as well, and they're some of the most awesome people I know!
I love the premise for THE BOOK WAITRESS. Can you tell us more about what inspired the idea? What you want your readers to take away from the story?
I adore engaging in thinking about all the "what ifs" of the endless battle between Good and Evil. So I wondered what if, rather than angels or God appearing before us duing a near death experience, SATAN came. Gives me the shivers just thinking about it now. My readers know that whenever I write a story, no matter how dire, no matter how insidious evil is, the good remain sovereign by the end. So, too, in The Book Waitress. But this series is like a TV show on paper. The Book Waitress is a 13-episode show, so to speak. Thirteen novellas, grouped in threes for a full-length novel experience with extras, is what this series promises. I'm thrilled to be able to present it to everyone.
 
Very interesting approach! As you've said, THE BOOK WAITRESS is the first in a series. Is there anything you'd like us to know about the subsequent books?
The next two books have titles! Book #2 - Devil Du Jour Book#3- Demon A La Mode. I'm writing fiercely to get these great continuing stories written!
 
Sounds like you've planned ahead, too! Is there anything you've learned in your writing career that you wish you'd known sooner?
I think all things happen for a reason, so I knew what I knew when I should have. I've learned what I've needed to when I was ready. Things change rapidly in this business, so it's wise to keep up to speed on the ever-changing terrain.

You've definitely done a great job of keeping up! If you were stuck on a desert island, which five books would you take with you?
Empty Journal- to write in!
Nora Roberts- Irish Born Trilogy (I have it all in one book!)
Sherrilyn Kenyon- Acheron
Complete works of Shakespeare
A poetry book
 

Thanks, Deena! For those who want to sang a copy of THE BOOK WAITRESS, click on the link below:
 
 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

STORM and SPARK, Two Great YA Novels by Brigid Kemmerer

I found out about Brigid Kemmerer through a critique partner--and when I went to her website and read excerpts of her books, I was absolutely blown away by her writing. The more I've learned about her Elemental Series, the more I want to get my hands on it. The first book is called STORM, and sequel, SPARK came out on August 28.


Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.
The storm is coming.





Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.

The fuse is lit…









Here are Brigid's answers to some of my questions:

Your website bio states that you've had the four brothers in the Elemental Series inside your head since you first wrote them in high school. How have they stayed so prevalent in your mind since then, and can you tell us more about how STORM came to be?

The first novel I wrote in high school was about four vampire brothers, named Michael, Nicholas, Gabriel, and Christopher. It was a silly story, but I still have most of it on paper. In my twenties, when I really began to take writing seriously, I wrote a few books but was unable tofind a literary agent or a publisher. I couldn’t get those four brothers out of my head – but I didn’t want to do vampires again. I started tossing around ideas that would work with the number four. Four horsemen of the apocalypse. Four leaf clovers. Four, four, four. The fourelements of earth, air, fire, and water seemed to work best—and I had a lot of ideas how I could make it fun. What teenagers wouldn’t want to be able to control the elements?



The best stories definitely come from intriguing concepts, and yours are no exception.The opening of STORM is probably one of the best I've ever read. How do you approach beginnings, and how do you know when a beginning is as good as it can possibly get?

Wow, thank you! I'm a firm believer of putting conflict on every page, and that includes the opening. One of the things I always say during school visits is, "If everyone is getting along, you're doing it wrong." A bit tongue-in-cheek, but it always helps me move through difficult scenes. If everyone in a scene is acting in accord, it's boring, and you can probably leave it out. And this doesn't mean fists need to be swinging. Internal conflict works, too. One of my favorite scenes in Spark is all about Gabriel and a math test.

But you asked about beginnings. I try to open with a character at a point of conflict in his/her life, and the conflict has to relate to the main plot somehow. Sometimes I think people try to open with conflict, but they just start with a scenario that never ties back to anything. ("Hey, writing books say I need to start with action, so let's start with a shootout!") If the action isn't relevant to the plot, what's the point? So that's basically it for me: Conflict + plot in the first chapter. If you can set up both, you're golden.



Fantastic advice--especially for aspiring writers! What do you wish you had known before you became published? Is there anything you would have done differently?

Nothing! I've loved the experience so far.



SPARK is the most recent book in the Elemental Series. What can readers expect from this newest installment?

Gabriel Merrick controls fire, and he is as unpredictable and volatile as the element itself. He's fighting with his family, then caught cheating at school, and struggles with who he is. One night he follows a fire truck and ends up saving someone's life -- only to find himself in the middle of an arson investigation. No one believes him, until he meets Layne, a shy girl with secrets of her own...



Great hook--and you've really captured both the external and internal conflicts really well. What are some other projects you're currently working on?

Right now I'm working on a new project that's more fantasy based. I'm really excited about it, but that's about all I can say right now...


Thanks, Brigid! To snag your own copies of STORM, and the series' most recent installment, SPARK, click on the buttons below:


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

GLAMOUR IN GLASS, by Mary Robinette Kowal

This week's featured author is Hugo-award winner Mary Robinette Kowal. I was immediately drawn to the premise of her fantasy book, GLAMOUR IN GLASS, the second in the Glamourist Histories series:

GLAMOUR IN GLASS

Mary Robinette Kowal stunned readers with her charming first novel Shades of Milk and Honey, a loving tribute to the works of Jane Austen, set in a world where magic is an everyday occurrence. This magic comes in the form of glamour, which allows talented users to form practically any illusion they can imagine. Shades went on to earn great acclaim, became a finalist for the prestigious Nebula and Locus Awards, and left readers eagerly awaiting its sequel, Glamour in Glass, which continues to follow the lives of beloved main characters Jane and Vincent, with a deeper vein of drama and intrigue.

In the tumultuous months after Napoleon abdicates his throne, Jane and Vincent go to France for their honeymoon. While there, the deposed emperor escapes his exile in Elba, throwing the continent into turmoil. With no easy way back to England, they struggle to escape. But when Vincent is captured, Jane is left use her glamour to rescue her husband from prison… and hopefully prevent her newly built marriage from getting stranded on the shoals of another country’s war.

Here are Mary's answers to my questions:

Your website states that you are a both an award-winning author and an award-winning puppeteer. How do you divide time between both professions and has puppeteering played an active influence on your writing life (or vice-versa)?

Since I've spent most of my life free-lancing, I treat each project like another freelance gig, which is essentially what they are. It sometimes involves a fair bit of structured procrastination as I move from puppetry to writing and back. In other words, the one that is due soonest, usually gets priority.

 Puppetry has had a very clear influence on my writing in the way I approach characters and use blocking to convey emotional stakes. Also, frankly, twenty-years of live theater teaches you a lot about the way audiences respond.

 
Very well put! GLAMOUR IN GLASS is a sequel to your first novel, SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY. How is writing a sequel different, and what have you learned in the process?

To my surprise, it was easier. I already knew the characters and the world, so there's less invention required, which lets me just dive into the story. But I also wanted to write a book that didn't require reading the first one so I deliberately wrote Glamour in Glass so that you could go back and read Shades of Milk and Honey as a prequel. This allowed me to avoid the massive info-dump that so many sequels have that the beginning. I just treated everything like backstory and only brought it up when it was necessary to the plot of the new book.
 

What an excellent strategy to avoid info-dump--and it sounds like it worked well, especially since the series has such a great premise! What do you want readers to take away after they finish your books?

I'm writing books that I want to read, so I want my readers to have the same sort of experience that I love in books. I like books that make me cry, at least once, and preferably tears of happiness. So I want them to believe my characters and to be happy for them.

 
Very perceptive-- and it sounds like you really know how to get into the mind of your audience. You also make some of your writing available on your website—a great idea! What led to this decision and how has it benefited you and your readers?

I'm following in the lead of writers before me on that. It gives people an opportunity to sample my work and decide if they want to take a chance on something longer. Where the idea really took off was when I was nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. I was the only short story writer in the category that year and realized that it was going to be very difficult for people to find my work since it was all in magazines. I put up a sampler packet of my published work and the response was amazing.

 
Definitely a smart way to get your work out there.  What other projects are you currently working on? Will GLAMOUR IN GLASS have a sequel?

I'm currently working on Valour and Vanity, which is book 4 in The Glamourist Histories. I pitched it as "Jane Austen writes Ocean's Eleven" and sometimes regret that. Heists are hard. I recently turned in book 3, Without a Summer, which is book 3 and comes out April 2, 2013.
 
To snag your own copies of SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY and GLAMOUR IN GLASS, click the buttons below: