My Bookish Ways

Giveaway: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Courtesy of the wonderful folks at Penguin, I have a copy of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness up for grabs for one lucky winner, so please check out the giveaway details, and good luck!

About A Discovery of Witches:
In a sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches became the “it” book of early 2011, bringing Deborah Harkness into the spotlight and galvanizing fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar’s depth to this riveting story of magic and suspense.

**GIVEAWAY DETAILS**
1. You must fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries!).
2. Giveaway is for 1  copy of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness to 1 winner.
3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian addresses only
4. Please include a valid email address
5. You must enter on or before 1/2/12
6. I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in the mail. Please see my Giveaway Policy.
7. Giveaway book kindly provided by Penguin.

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New Releases: Dec. 27th, 2011

Behold the last new releases before the new year! There are some good ones (most release 12/27)-enjoy!

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-fi/Horror:
Wicked Circle (Persephone Alcmedi) by Linda Robertson
The Demi-Monde: Winter: A Novel by Rod Rees
The Demon Lover: A Novel by Juliet Dark
City of Light and Shadow: City of a Hundred Rows, Book 3 by Ian Whates
Ghost Walk by Heather Graham
Empire State by Adam Christopher
Switchblade Goddess by Lucy A. Snyder
Shadow City (Horngate Witches) by Diana Pharoah Francis
77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz
Ghoul Interrupted: A Ghost Hunter Mystery by Victoria Laurie
The Mortal Bone (A Hunter Kiss Novel) by Marjorie M. Liu
Archon: The Books of Raziel by Sabrina Benulis
Hell Train by Christopher Fowler
Silver-Tongued Devil (Sabina Kane) by Jaye Wells
Shadow Heir (Dark Swan) by Richelle Mead
Bedeviled: A Dark Breed Novel by Sable Grace
The Bitter Seed of Magic (A Spellcrackers Novel) by Suzanne McLeod
Warrior’s Redemption by Melissa Mayhew

Young Adult:
The Amanda Project: Book 3: Shattered by Laurie Faria Stolarz and Amanda Valentino
The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn Weingarten

Interview (& Giveaway): Dakota Cassidy, author of Accidentally Catty and more!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend, and I thought, what better way than to kick off the week than to have the incomparable Dakota Cassidy on the blog! Dakota is the author of the Accidentals series, the Hell series, and much more awesomeness. I’ve also got a signed copy of The Accidental Werewolf for one lucky winner, so be sure to check out the details at the end of the post!

Please welcome Dakota to the blog!

Dakota, you’re the author of the Accidental series, the Ex-Trophy Wife series, the Hell series, and so much more! Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
No—it happened purely by accident. Long story short, I stumbled across a review site in the back of a paperback, looked it up online, found out you could get free books for reviews, and sent in a sample review. They gave me a gig, which fed my reading addiction. In the process of all those reviews, I read a frillion erotic eBooks and had a crazy idea one day after watching a Yoplait yogurt commercial. I wrote it. A friend talked me into submitting it. The next batch of madness is what’s become my career. LOL! I didn’t plan it. I didn’t do any of the things aspiring writers do because I didn’t know I should. I just did it. And now look… 

What do you like most about writing paranormal romance/romance and have you ever considered writing in another genre?
I know no one would evah in a million believe this, but I love an HEA. I’m a total gooey marshmallow on the inside and nothing makes me happier than when two people find true love. I also love finding said true love in say, the fiery depths of Hell or with a vampire who eats Ring-Dings. The paranormal aspect and the humor in my writing allow me to create the utterly ridiculous and then take it up a couple of notches. As to writing in another genre—absolutely. If an idea struck me, I’d definitely give it a go. But so far, my heart belongs to romance!

Your books are hilarious! How do you bring the funny over and over? Is there a trick you use to keep your writing fresh?
I really don’t think I’m all that funny, and I truly think that’s been the key for me. The scenes or dialogue I think are a gas usually go totally unnoticed. It’s the stuff that I think is so stupid I should be flayed and strung up at a writer’s convention for that seems to make folks giggle. When I sit down to write, I absolutely don’t remind myself that my label is funny and I’d better produce or I’m screwed. I’m just going with the general consensus and praying no one finds me out.

What’s one of your most unusual writing quirks?
I don’t really have any quirks per se. I do have things I need when I write—like my smokes, a bottle of water and some Zamfir. Yes. I said Zamfir. Don’t judge. He soothes the crazy.

What are a few of your favorite authors?
I love, love, love Nina Bangs, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Karen Rose and SEP.

What’s on your nightstand right now?
Money for services rendered ;)  No. I’m kidding. I’m sort of OCD about organization, so I have a pic of the DH and me at our wedding and an alarm clock. Oh, and a lamp. That’s it.

You have a busy family life and you’re also an animal lover with a house full of pets! How do you juggle a full writing schedule with the demands of a family?
You know, lately, I’ve asked myself the same. For some reason, when the kids were younger, it seemed much easier. Now they need bigger things from me in terms of time. My youngest always seems to need a ride somewhere for some project so he can go to some stupid Ivy League school and rape me of some more cash. Or he’s hungry and wants to go to McDonalds. When he was little, I just sent him to bed. Now, if I do that, he’s going to plot my death.

So I try to think of a future that includes me alive and him paying for my retirement village home in like Albuquerque. LOLLOL! My mom lives with and she’s always chaos in motion. So I try to write at night mostly—when all the little soul suckers have gone to bed. I also make a point of writing no less than 5K a day. I treat this writing gig just like I would a job I’d go to every day from 9-5. But it ain’t easy when you’re mom interrupts you to tell you there’s a Murder She Wrote marathon on.

Dakota, you always look great, and your hair is the stuff of legend, at least with me and Chelsea of VBC (thank you for letting us pet it, by the way!) How do you maintain such fabulousness with such a busy schedule? I can barely find time to brush my hair, so I’m in complete awe!
You two are a rarity indeed. I don’t love having my hair touched and it comes from when I was little. I had kinky curly hair, and my mom used baby oil to get a comb through it. I can still feel the burn of all that tugging! As to the fabulousness, I pay a lot of money for maintenance. A lot. Soon I’ll have to add monthly botox payments to a plastic surgeon if things keep going downhill like they have been. And I don’t look like what you all witness when you see me at a convention or signing. Trust that. I have my hair in a chip clip, no makeup, and my Pajama Jeans on. You’d all be so disillusioned to see the real DC. So.

You’re such an accomplished writer. Is there any advice that you would give to writers struggling to get published?
I appreciate the compliment, but I don’t feel accomplished. I always feel, and always will feel, that I can improve. That no matter what, there’ll always be room for improvement. Not to mention, I feel more blessed than anything else. I’m pretty lucky to have sold one book being the kind of hack I am.

And if I could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers—it would be this: Don’t ever get too full of yourself. The second you believe your own hype is the second someone comes and steals your hype and sells it on eBay. It’s so important to be able to suck up the criticisms that come with this line of work. It’s important to listen. It’s important to remember there’s always someone smarter, prettier, faster, overall better than you. Don’t let anyone steal your dream, but while in pursuit of that dream—be humble, listen to your gut and don’t be a jerk.

Is there any other news of upcoming events or projects that you’d like to share with us (makeup/hair /general fabulousness tips always welcome)?
Never wear the color yellow on your body. EVER. It looks good on like two people in the world. Save it for furniture and walls, flowers—a nice sports car. LOL! As to upcoming releases, I have Waltz This Way in March 2012, Accidentally Dead Again in June 2012, and The Accidental Genie in Nov of 2012!

Keep up with Dakota: Website | Twitter | Facebook
About The Accidental Werewolf

**GIVEAWAY DETAILS**
1. You must fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries!).
2. Giveaway is for 1 signed copy of The Accidental Werewolf by Dakota Cassidy to 1 winner.
3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian addresses only
4. Please include a valid email address
5. You must enter on or before 1/1/12
6. I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in the mail. Please see my Giveaway Policy.

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Review: No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper

No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper
Publisher:
Sourcebooks Casablanca/Sept. 2011
Sci-fi/Fantasy/Romance
3.5/5

England, 1888. The trees are green, the birds are singing, and no one has any idea that in a few hundred years, demons will destroy it all. Joan plans to keep it that way. All she has to do is take out the dark magician responsible-before he summons the demons in the first place. But as a rough-around-the-edges assassin from that bleak future, she’ll have to learn how to fit into polite Victorian society to get close to her target.

imon Grenville has his own reasons for wanting to destroy Alex Reynell. The man used to be his best friend-until his practice of the dark arts almost killed Simon’s sister. The beautiful half-naked stranger Simon meets in the woods may be the perfect instrument for his revenge. It will just take a little time to teach her the necessary etiquette and assemble a proper wardrobe. But as each day passes, Simon is less sure he wants Joan anywhere near Reynell. Because no spell in the world will save his future if she isn’t in it.

REVIEW
When Joan travels back 200 years and lands in 1888 England, a la Terminator, she’s immediately greeted by snarling cerberi and an English Gentleman by the name of Simon Grenville. Joan is in search of the man that’s at fault for causing the fall of civilization, and the horrid world she lives in, and plans to destroy him, in hopes of saving mankind. Turns out that Simon has his own agenda involving the evil Alex Raynell, and he agrees to help Joan in her mission.

The opening scene, when Joan arrives in a dark, rain swept field and must fight numerous beasts to save herself and Simon, really got me excited for this book. Honestly, I expected lots of action, fighting, etc., but the reality was somewhat different than that. That wasn’t a bad thing though! In fact, I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed reading about the lengths Joan goes to in order to fit in to proper society and get close to the man that’s she’s after. On the back of the book, it says “It’s Terminator meets My Fair Lady”. Well, the beginning certainly was Terminatoresque, but we really don’t see any real action until the last quarter of the book, but like I said, that’s ok, because I really liked the characterizations, especially how Simon is drawn to Joan in spite of her rough exterior and less than delicate sensibilities. Joan is hard not to like, and Simon enlists his younger sister, Ellie, in helping Joan fit in, with hopes that it will bring her out of her shell, for it’s Ellie that Reynell had brutalized, bringing about Simon’s wrath and the end of what was a close relationship between Simon and Alex. Simon is a skilled magician, which is part of why he has no problem believing Joan’s story as to where and when she came. There are definitely some sexy bits, so No Proper Lady will definitely appeal to romance fans, but I believe it should appeal to anyone that enjoys a well written story, and the juxtaposition between Regency England and the not so distant future might appeal to fantasy/light sci-fi fans as well (if you don’t mind some serious sexy with your sci-fi.) I’ll definitely look forward to Ms. Cooper’s next novel, No Honest Woman, in April 2012!

Purchase No Proper Lady: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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Giveaway Winner: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I’ve got a winner for my Shatter Me Giveaway!

Congrats to Jenelle Riane (NightBookThief)!

*Winner was chosen using Rafflecopter, has been notified, and will have 48 hours to respond. Thanks to everyone that entered!

Review: Touch of Power (Healer Series #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power (Healer Series #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: LUNA
/Dec. 2011
Fantasy
Healer Series
4/5
Kind thanks to Harlequin for providing a review copy

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life….

REVIEW
I love, love, love Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study (and her Inside Out) series, so was very excited to hear about her new book, Touch of Power, featuring 20 year old Avry, a healer on the run from those that would have her executed because of her power. After healing a child in the town she’s hiding out in, she’s arrested and sent to the guillotine, but rescued by a band of men that value her power. It doesn’t seem to make much sense that people would want to execute a healer, does it? No, it doesn’t, however, healers are thought to the be the cause of a plague that has decimated the human population, to the tune of about 6 million dead. That is why they want to execute healers. However, there are certain people in power that would love to have a healer at their disposal, so there is also a significant bounty on Avry’s head. So, Avry goes on the run with the mysterious (and initially annoying) Kerrick, and his group of friends, and that’s when the story really takes off.

See, Kerrick and Co. want her to heal someone, but this someone is a person that Avry doesn’t have that great of an opinion of (to say the least), but who may hold the key to peace, so convincing her he’s worth healing will be hard. Rival mercs and bounty hunters are around every corner, and that’s not counting the deadly Death Lillies that litter the valley, but there’s more to those than meets the eye too. Ms. Snyder has a talent for storytelling, and she manages to do it very well without a lot of the flowery prose that you see in fantasy novels. I love that, and she really has a knack for getting you to turn the pages. Avry reminded me a little of Yelena in Poison Study, but she’s definitely very much her own woman. There’s plenty of action and intrigue, and some twists that I honestly didn’t see coming, also a bit of romance. Ms. Snyder’s baddies are bad (with maybe a touch of gray, but just a touch), and her good guys are really good. This is so refreshing for me, amongst the dark fantasy full of gray characters. Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some gray, but sometimes a story with a really strong glimmer of hope is much needed! Also, I believe Touch of Power is aimed at adults, but other than some violence and a bit of gore (and sex references, but , but no details-Avery is 20 after all), I really think teens would enjoy it as well. It’s a great start to a new series by one of my favorite authors, and I’ll look forward to continuing Avery’s adventures in Scent of Magic in 2013 (yarg, but all good things, right?)

Purchase Touch of Power: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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Blog Tour (& Giveaway): Maria V. Snyder, author of Touch of Power!


I’m so excited to have the lovely Maria V. Snyder on the blog again today as part of her tour for her brand new fantasy, Touch of Power! Here she lists her Top Ten Book Series and is also offering a copy of Touch of Power to one lucky winner, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end of the post! Also, click here to enter Maria’s contest for the GRAND PRIZE, which is a $100 Spa Certificate! (THe contest winner will be announced on Jan. 19th)

Please welcome Maria to the blog!

MARIA’S TOP TEN BOOK SERIES

This may come as a surprise since I write series, but I don’t often find book series that hold my interest long enough for me to finish. With a longer series, I rarely get past book three. Well, maybe this isn’t a total surprise to my readers as they’ve learned I write only three books in my series and then need to go on to something new and different.

And I don’t consider my books trilogies. To me, a trilogy is just one very long story spread out over three books, which means that middle book is all middle and nothing is resolved (drives me crazy). I like to think each of my books have a beginning, middle, and end with a resolution to the main conflict. There might be a few loose ends, but that’s life people!

Without further…er…ranting…here’s my list (yes, some of these are old – no comments, please ):

10 The Malloreon & The Belariad, by David Eddings

9 The Incarnations of Immortality, by Piers Anthony

8 Dragonsbane Series, by Barbara Hambly

7 Dragonriders of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey

6 The Nightrunner Series, by Lynn Flewelling

5 Percy Jackson & The Olympians, by Rick Riordan

4 The Sword of Heaven books, by Kate Elliott

The Darwath Trilogy, by Barbara Hambly (actually is 5 books)

2 The Morganville Vampire Series, by Rachel Caine

1 The Iron Fey Series, by Julie Kagawa

What is your favorite series?

Keep up with Maria: Website | Facebook
Click here for all tour stops!
Add Touch of Power to Goodreads!
Read my review of Touch of Power

**GIVEAWAY DETAILS**
1. You must fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries!).
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of Touch of Power to 1 winner.
3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian addresses only
4. Please include a valid email address
5. You must enter on or before 1/1/12
6. I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in the mail. Please see my Giveaway Policy.
7. Giveaway book kindly provided by Harlequin.

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Early Review: Raven Cursed (Jane Yellowrock #4) by Faith Hunter

Raven Cursed (Jane Yellowrock #4) by Faith Hunter
Publisher:
Ace Roc/Jan. 3rd, 2012
Urban Fantasy
Jane Yellowrock Series
5/5
Kind thanks to Roc for providing a review copy

The vampires of Asheville, North Carolina, want to establish their own clan, but since they owe loyalty to the Master Vampire of New Orleans they must work out the terms with him. To come up with an equitable solution, he sends an envoy with the best bodyguard blood money can buy: Jane Yellowrock.

But when a group of local campers are attacked by something fanged, Jane goes from escort to investigator. Unless she wants to face a very angry mast vampire, she will have to work overtime to find the killer. It’s a good thing she’s worth every penny.

REVIEW (Please note: This review is relatively spoiler free, but assumes you’ve read the first 3 in the series…)
When we last left my favorite skinwalker in Mercy Blade, there were definitely some strings that needed tyin’ up, so I was eager to dive back into Jane’s world in Raven Cursed. In the 4th book of the series, Jane heads out of New Orleans and back to Asheville, North Carolina to provide security for a parley between the MOC of New Orleans and a master vamp that wants to establish his own territory. Unfortunately, Jane gets way (way) more than she bargains for in Asheville. Rogue weres are killing tourists in horrible ways, and Jane is tasked with taking them out. Easier said than done, especially when Jane feels that she’s responsible for the weres’ rampage.

Strangely enough, this is one of the things that I love most about Jane. Her guilt. Yeah, I know that sounds weird, but she’s such a tough girl; so capable and strong, especially with Beast, that her enduring habit of taking nearly everything upon herself gives her a vulnerability that I can’t help but love. Seriously, sometimes I want to smack her (purely out of love), and say “It’s not your fault!!! You can’t control everything!!”, but I digress… So, there’s the were issue, which really gets bad when she finds out they might be after her best friend (and witch) Molly, and her family. Molly’s hubs isn’t all that fond of Jane for various reasons, so convincing Molly that things aren’t as they seem may prove to be a hard bargain. It really complicates things when Jane finds out that Molly’s sister Evangeline may be dabbling in the dark arts. I really wanted to throttle Evil Evie in Mercy Blade, and it only gets worse in Raven Cursed.

You think there’s a lot on Jane’s plate? There is! But wait, there’s more! Ricky-Bo is in town and is freaking out (understandably) at the possibility of going furry. Doesn’t help that his “mentor” , head of the African were cats, wants to kill him. I’ve always been hopeful for Rick and Jane, and their relationship just gets more complex, and more tender in a lot of ways, as the series goes on. I will admit that Jane and Bruiser’s , ahem, “almost” scene in Mercy Blade was the awesome, (‘cause Bruiser is a hottie, after all), but Rick is where it’s at, and I have no doubt that their relationship will just get more and more interesting as the series progresses. So, there you have it. Rampaging weres, twisty-turny vamp politics, hot shifters (and vamps), some seriously nasty (and witchy) black magic (we’re talkin’ demons here), and Ms. Hunter’s trademark, awesome fight scenes make for a book worth relishing. The Jane Yellowrock series is superb, and they just keep getting better. If you haven’t discovered it yet, I envy you, because you can start with Skinwalker and race right through. If you have discovered it, you’ll love Raven Cursed! This series is a must for any urban fantasy lover!
Read my review of Mercy Blade

Purchase Raven Cursed: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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Interview (& Giveaway): Lucy A. Snyder, author of Switchblade Goddess!

I’m so thrilled to have the awesome Lucy A. Snyder on the blog today! It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of her Jessie Shimmer series, and am so excited for the 3rd book, Switchblade Goddess (out Dec. 27th!). Lucy was kind enough to answer a few of my questions, and she’s also generously offered a copy of Spellbent (Book 1), OR Switchblade Goddess (Book 3) to one lucky winner, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!

Please welcome Lucy to the blog!

Lucy, you have a BS in Biology, an MA in journalism and have worked in many different fields, including editing. You’ve also published numerous short fiction! What made you decide to take the plunge into novel writing?
I wanted to write fiction from the moment discovered the joys of reading; it was Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time that simultaneously hooked me as a lifelong science fiction/fantasy reader and fixed me on the idea of writing genre fiction. But writing a novel seemed pretty daunting once I started to realize how much had to go into one; NaNoWriMo and its support system didn’t exist and English classes focused on poetry and fiction (if they dealt with creative writing at all), so I started out writing short work.

During college, I went to the Clarion workshop fully intending to start writing novels after I left, but once I was there I realized how demanding short fiction is both in terms of the form and the market for it. I decided I wanted to have a solid number of short story credits under my belt before I tried a novel. It was a craft issue for me; I want to be able to write anything and everything: essays, poems, short stories, novels, all of it. I figured if I got to a place where I was regularly selling short stories I’d have enough equipment in my writing toolbox to competently tackle big fiction projects.

This tactic worked for me; I finished my first novel Spellbent, sent a query to my current agent, and six months later I had a deal with Del Rey. And that’s really very quick in the grand scheme of publishing. I know other authors who skipped short fiction entirely and have never written anything but novels, so everybody’s mileage varies. But most of the people I know who didn’t go the short fiction first route wrote several novels before they finally sold one, so everybody still has to do their own writing apprenticeships one way or another. Unless you’re some kind of celebrity, it’s extremely rare to sell a novel if it’s the first thing you’ve ever tried to write.

I’ll admit, I can’t gush enough about your Jessie Shimmer series and was floored at the sheer imagination on display in both Spellbent and Shotgun Sorceress. Also unusual (to me) was the inclusion of many horror elements in an urban fantasy setting. What are some of your biggest literary influences and what would you say influenced Jessie and her world the most?
Over the years, I’ve read a whole lot of authors in a whole lot of genres, and all of them have influenced me one way or another. Ursula K. Le Guin made a huge impact on me when I was younger, but so did Lewis Carroll, Charles Perrault, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Ian Fleming, William Golding, Frank Herbert, Ray Bradbury, Robert E. Howard, William Gibson, Anne McCaffrey, and Hunter S. Thompson. Because I got these really spectacularly gruesome nightmares when I was a kid and didn’t want to encourage them, I didn’t read horror until I was an adult. But once I dove into the dark end of the pool I found a whole lot of good stuff there. For instance, I think people will probably see a bit of Clive Barker influence in parts of Switchblade Goddess. And I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Gary A. Braunbeck.

Can you give us a bit of a teaser for Switchblade Goddess, the third in the Jessie Shimmer series?
Switchblade Goddess is the second half of Shotgun Sorceress; when I was plotting the series out, I envisioned that plot arc as a single book, but the story expanded once I started writing it. Jessie’s nemesis Miko is the title character of Switchblade Goddess for a reason — the book goes into her history and motivations a lot more than Shotgun Sorceress did. Readers can expect this novel to go to some very dark places, but I’ve also tried to balance those scenes with moments of humor and some sweetness in the evolving love story between Jessie and Cooper. As always, the focus is on the adventure.

When you started Spellbent, did you already have in mind the number of books that would be in the Jessie Shimmer series, or did you just decide to see where it took you?
When I initially sold Spellbent, I had in mind a trilogy, with a possible fourth book. But the storyline kept expanding, and now in order to get to all the events I alluded to in the prologue for Spellbent, I need to write at least three more books. I’ve also got ideas for more novels past those, and I’m currently writing short stories that explore some other events implied by the current books.

What is one of your most unusual writing quirks?
I do my best writing in flannel pajama pants and fuzzy socks. If I try to write barefoot and in jeans, or in shoes and in shorts, it’s all wrong and I have to change. The shirt doesn’t seem to matter so much; I should note that I do always wear one, largely because my office window overlooks the street.

What’s on your nightstand right now?
I’m currently reading an advance copy of Seanan McGuire’s new urban fantasy Discount Armageddon; it’s all about cryptozoology and ballroom dancing, and it’s a lot of fun.

When you’re not busy writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
What is this “not busy writing” thing of which you speak? I enjoy watching movies, and playing Scrabble, and going out to good restaurants. Because of my going out to restaurants habit, I also try to spend a decent amount of time at the gym.

It says in your bio that your parents took you on car trips all over the US. If you could pack your bags and go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go, and why?
That’s a hard question to answer, because there are so many places I’ve never been that I’d like to visit: Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Scotland, Ireland, northern Italy … there are too many to list. Of the places I’ve been, I’d love to take my husband and a couple of friends to the Isle of Capri just so I can go, “See? The water really is that blue! I didn’t Photoshop that!” and then we could eat some really phenomenal bruschetta and ice cream and then we could all hike up to the ruins of Villa Jovis while singing songs from “Meet the Feebles”. Okay, the singing and hiking is optional. The bruschetta wouldn’t be.

You write a column on science and technology for writers and also coordinate writing workshops. What advice would you give to struggling writers?
My main advice would be to stick with it. That’s been the biggest difference between the people who’ve gotten published and the people who haven’t: persistence along with the ability to learn from criticism rather than be put off by it or ignore it. I’ve seen talented writers fall by the wayside because they got discouraged, and writers who at first seemed not so talented succeed because they were willing to work their butts off.

Is there any other news of upcoming projects or events that you’d like to share with us?
My next book will be a collection of erotica entitled Orchid Carousals; I’m still working on the stories for it, but it should be out in 2012 from Creative Guy, the publisher who’s produced my collections Sparks and Shadows, Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. A significant portion of Orchid Carousals will be new stories featuring Jessie Shimmer, Cooper Marron and the Warlock. I’m writing it mostly for fun, and I hope readers will enjoy it, too.
Keep up with Lucy: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

**GIVEAWAY DETAILS**
1. You must fill out the form below.
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of Spellbent OR Switchblade Goddess to 1 winner.
3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian addresses only
4. Please include a valid email address
5. You must enter on or before 1/1/12
6. I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in the mail. Please see my Giveaway Policy.
7. Giveaway book kindly provided by the author.

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Giveaway Winner: Night Shade Books Fantasy Bundle!

Squeee! I’ve got a winner for my Night Shade Books Fantasy Bundle (4 titles: Yarn by Jon Armstrong, Zendegi by Greg Egan, The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley P. Beaulieu, and The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells)

Congrats to Susanna P (SusieBookworm)!

*Winner was chosen using Rafflecopter, has been notified, and has 48 hours to respond. Thanks again to everyone that entered!

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