My Bookish Ways

Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters
Quirk/Sept. 2011

FOR RENT: Top two floors of beautifully renovated brownstone, 1300 sq. ft., 2BR 2BA, eat-in kitchen, one block to parks and playgrounds. No broker’s fee.
Susan and Alex Wendt have found their dream apartment.
Sure, the landlady is a little eccentric. And the elderly handyman drops some cryptic remarks about the basement. But the rent is so low, it’s too good to pass up.
Big mistake. Susan soon discovers that her new home is crawling with bedbugs . . . or is it? She awakens every morning with fresh bites, but neither Alex nor their daughter Emma has a single welt. An exterminator searches the property and turns up nothing. The landlady insists her building is clean. Susan fears she’s going mad—until a more sinister explanation presents itself: she may literally be confronting the bedbug problem from Hell.

Alex, Susan, and little Emma Wendt just moved into a new apartment, the second floor of a wonderful Brooklyn brownstone, 1,300 sq. ft, a little under $3, 500/month. Sounds like a steal, right? Maybe too good to be true? It’s perfect for their little family of three, and even if Andrea, their new landlord, seems a bit strange, it’s nothing they can’t handle. Alex’s photography firm, specializing in jewelry, is up and coming, and it’s been successful enough that Susan has quit her job to stay home and take up painting again. It’s idyllic at first, until strange things start happening, and Susan eventually becomes convinced the apartment is infested with bedbugs. Everyone else, including professionals, says otherwise, but Susan has seen the bugs, and felt the bites. Unfortunately, she’s the only one. Is Susan going crazy, or is something more sinister at work?

If you’re someone that gets squirmy reading about teeny little bugs, brace yourself. Bedbugs is a rather short book, but the author manages to pack some serious dread into those pages. Honestly, at first, I didn’t like Susan all that much. Not working, at home with a 3 year old, and she hires a nanny to take Emma off her hands while she proceeds to get…not much done, accept for a few errands and unpacking the house. Ostensibly she’s supposed to be painting, and eventually she does. In fact, she goes on quite a little painting spree that ends up having sinister results. Then there’s her odd landlord, who seems to have quite a few secrets of her own, a friendly but somehow imposing handyman sort of seems to lurk in the background, and it doesn’t help that Alex is becoming more sullen every day. I was absolutely convinced that Susan was going batty, but it’s not so simple, and that’s the fun of this chiller. Slow dread builds into out and out terror, and it’s a heckuva ride. You’ll probably devour this one in one sitting, if you can keep your skin from crawling long enough. Get out your bug spray and give this one a try. There’s a lot to love for thriller and horror fans alike!

Purchase Bedbugs : Amazon |B&N

Interview: Rob Reid, author of Year Zero

Here to kick off the week is Rob Reid, author of Year Zero! Rob is much more than just a new fiction author (he’s also as sarcastic as I am), and he kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of my questions. Please welcome Rob to the blog!

Rob, as the founder of, which created the Rhapsody digital music service, you have a very rich background in the tech industry. You’ve also written books on Silicon Valley and Harvard Business School. What made you decide to take the plunge and write a sci fi novel?
I’ve been deeply interested in writing fiction since shortly after college. I spent the year after graduating in Cairo, as a Fulbright scholar, and began work on a novel in a sort of magical realist style that was heavily influenced by Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude. I never came close to finishing it. But when I got to business school, my first stop was the office that connects students up to alumni for career advice. I was probably the only person in HBS history to ask about writers amongst our alumni – and I was told that there was precisely one! The result was my memoir-ish book about being a first-year student at HBS. There were strongly fictional elements in it (because all of the student characters other than me were “composite” characters who brought together various elements of a number of people that I knew). I graduated and got inhaled by the Internet (becoming an Internet fulltimer quite early – 1995). Next thing I new, fifteen years had gone by! I love technology & hugely enjoyed being an entrepreneur, but I never lost sight of my interest in writing fiction. Then one day my wife & I were traveling around in Colombia, and I kind of spontaneously started writing Year Zero to amuse us both. I kept it up after we got home because we were both having so much fun with it. It took me about a month to acknowledge reality, and realize that I was in fact in the throes of writing a novel full-time…

What would be your elevator pitch for Year Zero?
Aliens seek to erase the ruinous fines on their vast collections of pirated American music by destroying the Earth. A young attorney must use his wits to stop them.

Why aliens?
I considered using Bulgarians, but decided that Bulgarians wouldn’t be believable or terrifying enough. For one thing, Bulgarians currently lack the technology to destroy the Earth if they wish. For another, the “Bulgarian invasion” tradition is quite thin in modern storytelling. Not so with aliens.

What are some of your biggest sci-fi influences?
Stanislaw Lem above all – he wrote some fabulous (and incredibly witty) speculative fiction, mainly in the 50’s, 60’s, & 70’s (although he still puts out the occasional story collection to this day). He lived most of his writerly years in communist Poland, which he fled in 1982. Douglas Adams, certainly. And to a lesser degree, Neal Stephenson.

What do you like to see in a good book?
OK, this will sound trivial, but can we start with CHAPTER TITLES? Writing is such a joy, and we writers are a creative bunch. So I’m always disappointed when a gifted author doesn’t bother with chapter titles. This is a great opportunity to foreshadow, lead, or just share a playful wink with your readers. So why not avail yourself of it, and share just a bit more fun with the folks who are flipping the pages? To me, a great book without chapter titles (particularly one with a particularly witty voice) is like Christmas without stocking stuffers – or a meal at a fabulous restaurant without appetizers. So by all means, give me chapter titles. Oh – and I also like a great plot, writing style, and characters…

What makes you want to set a book aside in frustration?
When an author makes a high-handed attempt to lampoon something that he or she knows essentially nothing about. I often see literary authors attempt this with white collar office culture. There’s plenty about modern business society that can and should be lampooned, even skewered. But so often it’s done by a tone-deaf MFA whose sum total of professional world experience is watching the “Office Space” DVD, and maybe working a few weeks as a de facto embedded reporter masquerading as a temp.

If you could read one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
“And Then We Came to the End” by Joshua Ferris. This is the OPPOSITE of the phenomena that I just described. He takes on modern business society and lands countless punches (often to hysterical effect) because he’s a native of the land that he describes.

Quick! Name something that makes you laugh out loud.
YouTube videos of businessmen slipping on banana peels. Gets me every time.

When you manage to carve out some free time, how do you like to spend it?
Lingering over a home-made supper and a bottle of wine with my wife Morgan and Ashby the Dog.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about upcoming projects or events (or anything at all!)?
I’m writing a series of essays about copyright and piracy in the digital age that will crop up in various venues online and in print. The Wall Street Journal published the first one earlier this summer.
Keep up with Rob: Website | Twitter
Snag a copy of YEAR ZERO: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Interview: Alex Hughes, author of Clean (Mindspace Investigations #1)

I’m thrilled to have the awesome Alex Hughes on the blog today! Alex’s brand new book, Clean (Mindspace #1) just came out (feel free to check out my review at SF Signal), and she was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.

Please welcome Alex to the blog!

Alex, it’s obvious that you’ve loved books since you were a child. What finally inspired you to write your first novel? Will you tell us a bit about your journey?
I actually wrote my first novel when I was very young – too young to know better:-D  I was reading a book one day and decided I wanted to write one. I went to my mom and said, “I want to write a novel.” God bless her, she didn’t even blink. Instead, she said, “Then you should write a novel. Let’s get you a document on the computer.” I think she was surprised when she came back to several scenes a few hours later. After that, one of her answers to me complaining about being bored was, “why don’t you go work on your novel?” My parents never made a big deal about it, but they always made it very clear they thought it was completely within my capabilities. There was a certain childlike joy in writing that first book (all 200 plus pages of it) that now, as an adult many projects later, I’m always trying to get back to.

The process of learning to write a good book, on the other hand, took fifteen years, hundreds of rejections, and more than one crisis of faith. But I stuck with it, I got better, and I learned to do things on purpose. And finally The Call from the editor came.

In Clean, your hero is a telepath in a future Atlanta. Not only is he dealing with mistrust from his colleagues, he’s also dealing with the fallout of a drug addiction. Did you have a particular inspiration in mind while writing him?
I had a friend in college who was struggling to recover from anorexia/bulimia, and going through that process with her was deeply impactful to me. I wanted to write about addiction, but I knew her struggle was complex and deep enough to take over anything I wrote. I knew I needed an easier addiction to understand – and I had just re-read Joan D. Vinge’s Catspaw, a book starring a tortured telepath in a dark future world. I thought, why not write about a telepath struggling with a drug addiction in a dark future world? He could be a detective. And thus the seed of Clean was born.

Clean has a decidedly noir feel to it. What are some of your favorite hard boiled detectives?
The noir feeling is a little bit of an accident – I was going for cyberpunk, like Catspaw, but just couldn’t pull it off. But I grew up on police procedurals – we watched them as a family and talked about them together – so perhaps the final product isn’t so surprising. In fiction, I love Patricia Cornwell’s heroine and J.D. Robb’s heroine. In television, the ones that stand out in my mind today are Nowhere Man, the American version of Life on Mars, The Closer, and the first few seasons of the original CSI.

How about favorite sci-fi novels?
This answer changes all the time. Today I’ll pick Tanya Huff’s military SF series, Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Wen Spencer’s Tinker, The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara, and Jennifer Roberson’s Sworddancer.

What are some of your biggest literary influences?
Robert Heinlein and Anne McCaffrey are two of the big ones, along with Laurell K. Hamilton, Andre Norton, Edgar Allan Poe, and Emma Bull, but every author I’ve listed (and to some degree every author I followed) has influenced my work to a greater or lesser degree.

Is there one book in particular that you recommend to anyone that will listen?
Today I’ll say Catherine Asaro’s Primary Inversion. That book blew my mind. I still recommend it to people, although I’ll warn them the physics can be a bit hard to get through. Still, the depth of thinking about FTL travel and imaginary number mathematics, not to mention the quantum physics shielding programs, are astonishing and ground-breaking. It’s also a damn good story.


What are you reading now?
Honestly? Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Storm. I love the worldbuilding and the angel society she’s set up in previous novels, which is both awesome in the original sense and bitterly tragic.

If an asteroid was hurtling toward earth, and you could only snag five items, what would they be? (Editor’s note: This was supposed to say “snag five items before heading into the underground bunker”, but I dropped the ball. I thought Alex handled this rather nicely, considering.)
Unfair question. We’re assuming the asteroid isn’t going to burn up in the atmosphere, I take it? And will end all life on Earth? Well, first, a spaceship with a good long-term life support system and alien starcharts, obviously. I want to survive the apocalypse, not just view it from a better vantage point. For the rest, I’d burn up as many of my allowed spots on people as possible – starting with Sam, of course, and going through the rest of my nearest and dearest. And honestly, to have a viable breeding pool and continue the human race, we’d need at least several hundred people. Plus the world’s best library of books, music and movies, to keep us from getting bored. And a viable destination…

Hmm. How long do we have before the apocalypse to plan?

Is there anyone (literary or otherwise) that would bring out your fangirl squee if you were to meet them?
Mercades Lackey. Catherine Asaro. Elizabeth Moon. Wen Spencer. Nathan Fillion. And, of course, Aeron (sp?) from Farscape.

In your bio, it says you’re a total foodie. What’s one of your favorite dishes?
Do I have to pick just one? Well, today I guess I’ll pick a healthy option: turkey italian sausage with sundried-tomato red-wine fennel sauce over perfectly-cooked noodles with a side of fresh arugula with walnuts, goat cheese and strawberries with a balsamic vinaigrette.

When you manage to find some free time, how do you like to spend it?
With delicious food whenever possible. I’m also involved in several writers’ groups and an artist’s movement group here in Atlanta. I love getting together with creative people and talking about how to be creative. It revs me up and makes me happy.
Keep up with Alex: Website | Twitter

About CLEAN:


I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars.

My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it—real scary.

Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city—and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.

Book News: September 14th, 2012

I’ve got all kinds of coolness to report for the week in the world of books and bookish things! Be sure to check out some really neat giveaways at the bottom of the post, too!

Articles, excerpts, announcements, etc:

More neat stuff (giveaways, hint hint):

Have a great weekend!

Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams

Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams
Titan/August 2012
Kind thanks to Titan for providing a review copy

Following the trail of several corpses seemingly killed by wild animals, Holmes and Watson stumble upon the experiments of Doctor Moreau.
Moreau, through vivisection and crude genetic engineering is creating animal hybrids, determined to prove the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin. In his laboratory, hidden among the opium dens of Rotherhithe, Moreau is building an army of ‘beast men’. Tired of having his work ignored — or reviled — by the British scientific community, Moreau is willing to make the world pay attention using his creatures as a force to gain control of the government.

Corpses are turning up in Rotherhithe, by all appearances the victims of animal attacks. However, the attacks are not attacks any animal that should be roaming around London (for example, a blacktip shark, common to the coasts of Australia), and one of the victim’s hands and feet were chained, which, of course speaks of human involvement. When Mycroft Holmes pays a visit to his brother Sherlock, and Dr. Watson, with a request for help looking into the mystery surrounding the nefarious Dr. Moreau and the events that took place on a South Pacific island, the detective is certainly intrigued. Dr. Moreau is supposedly dead, and the only man that survived the attacks on the island that resulted in his death has committed suicide by swallowing acid, so he’s definitely not talking. These deaths definitely seem connected to Dr. Moreau’s wicked experiments in altering humans and animals, but how? You can bet Holmes and Watson will soon find out!

This is my first of Titan’s series of new books about the escapades of Holmes and Watson, and I loved it! Told mostly from Watson’s point of view, it follows the dynamic duo as they attempt to infiltrate the lair of a man performing diabolical experiments in order to build his own army. The banter between Holmes and Watson is laugh out loud funny, and the author’s style stays quite true to their original exploits. Their investigation eventually takes them deep into the underground of London where they’re confronted with plenty of man-made beastly creatures. Things never get very deep, and some silliness does ensue, but who cares when a book is this entertaining? The writing is crisp, the dialogue sharp, and the pace unrelenting. If you love old fashioned adventure, and of course, Sherlock Holmes, I think you’ll find much to love about this one.

Purchase Sherlock Holmes:The Army of Dr. Moreau : Amazon |B&N | Indiebound

Interview (& Giveaway): Tad Williams, author of The Dirty Streets of Heaven

I’m beyond thrilled to have the wonderful Tad Williams on the blog today. Tad is the author of a ridiculous number of books (at least 18!!), and his newest book, The Dirty Streets of Heaven, just came out! He kindly answered a few of my questions, and not only proved that he’s still one of the most talented guys in the biz, but also one of the nicest, and he has good taste too (see Adventure Time). The lovely folks at DAW have offered up a copy of The Dirty Streets of Heaven for one lucky winner, so be sure to check out the details below the post.


Portrait by Nina Katz

Tad, I remember reading Tailchaser’s Song when I was a teenager and absolutely loving it. Since then, you’ve published many more novels and short stories. Did you always want to be a writer? Will you tell us a bit about your journey?
I came a bit late to writing, mostly because I was involved in a lot of collaborative creative stuff when I was younger — playing in a band, theater, radio — and the quieter things like art and writing sort of took a back seat. Then, in my mid-twenties, I became more interested in things I could do in my own time, because I was working two jobs while trying to get lift-off on one of my creative interests. Also, about then I moved in with my ex-wife, who had cats, and that spawned the thinking (and, frankly, the incomprehension of how cats could get such a sweet deal for very little effort) that led to Tailchaser’s Song. Once I was offered money to write more books (the Dragonbone Chair series) that became my professional focus. But I could just as easily have been an aging rocker, probably playing county fairs these days.

The first book in your Bobby Dollar series, The Dirty Streets of Heaven, just came out. Will you tell us a bit about it and its hero?
Bobby, also known as Doloriel, is an earthbound angel. At first it’s just business as usual, helping defend the souls of the recently deceased in judgement, but then strange things begin to happen and Bobby finds himself no longer in just a Cold War with Hell, but something bigger and more dangerous and much more mysterious. Bobby tells the story himself, and (I like to think) he’s entertainingly funny while going through some pretty dark, scary experiences.

What do you love most about writing fantasy?
The freedom within classical form. It’s a bit like ballet — you have to know your basics, but if you satisfy those, the sky’s the limit. I also love the scope it gives me to imagine crazy, silly, or terrifying things. And I love worldbuilding. In fact, I’m sure that’s a big part of what attracted me to fantasy in the first place, that idea of Tolkienian secondary reality, making something that seems real, and (even better) people wish WAS real.

What are some of your biggest literary influences?
In no particular order, Tolkien, Vonnegut, Pynchon, Ruth Rendell, Barbara Tuchman, Harlan Ellison, Hunter S. Thompson, Ray Bradbury, Alice (Tiptree) Sheldon, Philip K. Dick, Michael Moorcock, Fritz Leiber, Ursula Le Guin, Theodore Sturgeon, Roger Zelazny, Dickens, Austen, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, W. B. Yeats, and Borges. Patrick O’Brien. Roald Dahl. I could go on for days. Dr. Seuss. Kenneth Grahame. E. Nesbit. Stop me before I name more!

If you could read one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
Wow, tough one. The biggest single influence on me was reading the Lord of the Rings when I was about eleven, so probably repeating that amazing, immersive experience would be the most tempting. On the other hand, the first time I read The Martian Chronicles was also a revelation. However, there is an even stronger (and more sentimental) part of me that might like to have the Milne books (poetry and Winnie the Pooh) read for me again, as in my childhood. I learned sarcasm from Eeyore, and that’s at least as important as any other first.

When you manage to find some free time, how do you like to spend it?
Small free time, reading and hanging with our kids and dogs and watching Adventure Time. Big free time, playing basketball, playing music, going on family driving trips to weird places. Talking crap and laughing with other writers is a big one, too.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about upcoming projects or events (or anything at all!)?
I’m finishing the second Bobby Dollar book, Happy Hour in Hell, and working on a bunch of other projects. Tailchaser’s Song is becoming an animated movie, and the Otherland MMORPG will go online very soon. And please don’t anybody give my family more pets. I have a nearly full-time job as zookeeper as it is.
Keep up with Tad: Website | Twitter

1. You MUST fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries)
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams to 1 winner.
3. Giveaway is open to US addresses only (no PO Boxes)
4. Must include a valid email address with your entry (no need to leave it in the comments, just include it when you fill out the Rafflecopter form)
5. You must enter on or before 9/27/12
6. Giveaway book courtesy of DAW.
7. Please see my Giveaway Policy.

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Giveaway: The Hunchback Assignments Series by Arthur Slade (4 Books!)

To celebrate the Tuesday (Sept. 11th) release of the 4th and final novel in the Hunchback Assignment series, Island of Doom, by Arthur Slade, the author has kindly offered up a SIGNED set of all 4 books for giveaway: The Hunchback Assignments, The Dark Deeps, Empire of Ruins, and of course, Island of Doom. This giveaway is international too, so check out the deets, and good luck!


About Island of Doom:
After previous assignments in London, the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, and the Australian rain forest, this final adventure in the Hunchback Assignments series finds our hero, shape-shifting, masked spy Modo, on his most personal quest. Along with fellow spy Octavia Milkweed, they search for Modo’s biological parents. But when the Clockwork Guild find Modo’s parents first, Octavia and Modo chase them across Europe and North America to the Island of Doom. Joined by memorable characters from the first three books—some lovable, and some who are terrifying and evil—Modo and Octavia dash towards a thrilling conclusion.


1. You MUST fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries)
2. Giveaway is for all 4 books in the Hunchback Assignments series by Arthur Slade (signed) to 1 winner.
3. Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY
4. Must include a valid email address with your entry (no need to leave it in the comments, just include it when you fill out the Rafflecopter form)
5. You must enter on or before 9/27/12
6. Giveaway books courtesy of Arthur Slade.
7. Please see my Giveaway Policy.

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Death Benefits (Digital Short) by Nelson DeMille

Death Benefits by Nelson DeMille
Grand Central Publishing/Aug. 1st, 2011
Kind thanks to the Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for providing a review copy

Bestselling author Jack Henry is suddenly on the brink of bankruptcy. With bills mounting and the IRS calling, he realizes that he has a major problem on his hands. But who is to blame for his declining fortunes? Certainly not Jack himself. The fault, he determines, lies with his agent, Stan Wycoff – who takes 15% of everything Jack makes for doing absolutely nothing.

Jack needs a way out of his dire financial predicament – and fast. And then he remembers that both he and his agent have substantial life insurance policies on one another. If Stan were to die unexpectedly, Jack would cash in…

But can a famous crime writer commit the perfect crime?

The Panther, Nelson DeMille’s newest John Corey book, will be out soon, so to tide us over until then, the author gave us this fun little digital tidbit. Former bestselling author Jack Henry finds himself going over his finances and soon realizes he’s, er, dead broke. His books aren’t quite selling like they used to, and his writing is in a slump. Then he comes across the bill for a premium on a life insurance policy that he took out on his agent, Stan, about 10 years ago, at the same time Stan took one out on him. He remembers how they jokingly pretended to push each other into traffic after getting the policies. Suddenly, with financial ruin on the horizon, and of course, no more access to the comforts he deems so important, he begins hatching a plan to take care of Stan and collect 5 million dollars. After all, Stan isn’t doing his career any good and he could really use the money. He begins to plan murder, drawing on his research for past crime novels (cleverly pulling on advice that homicide detective John Corey gave him).

Death Benefits is a quick, satisfying little read, and of course has the sly humor that I love about Mr. DeMille’s work. Jack is a self-satisfied, spoiled jerk who wildly overestimates himself, and of course, we all know what happens when you do that, right? A quick, fun, deadly delight!

Purchase Death Benefits: Amazon |B&N

Full Blooded (Jessica McClain #1) by Amanda Carlson

Full Blooded (Jessica McClain #1) by Amanda Carlson
Orbit/Sept. 11th, 2011
Urban Fantasy
Kind thanks to the author and Orbit for providing a review copy

It’s not easy being a girl. It’s even harder when you’re the only girl in a family of werewolves. But it’s next to impossible when your very existence spells out the doom of your race… Meet Jessica McClain — she just became part of the pack.

Jessica McClain has been living on her own, away from her father’s pack, for a while now. Doing PI work with her best friend is interesting and pays the bills. Things seem to be going pretty good, until the night she finally turns wolf, destroys her apartment, and attacks a human (luckily not killing him). Now, Jessica is the only female werewolf in the world, and the Cain Myth isn’t helping. An anonymous note sent to her father’s compound one month after Jessica’s birth, claims that she is the Daughter of Cain, the embodiment of evil, and unfortunately, some of the wolves in her father’s pack actually believe the nonsense. Because of this, her new ability to shift will have to be kept secret from all but a few, and that’s much easier said than done. It also doesn’t help that she has a tenacious cop, Ray Hart, after her who is determined to put her away for something, anything, and won’t stop until he does. He smells a rat with the story concocted explaining away the mess in her apartment and is, er, dogging Jessica’s every move. Damage control must be done, and soon, or all hell will break loose.

Full Blooded begins with Jessica making her first change, and boy, is it a doozy! Her father is the Alpha of one of the largest packs in the world, and the presence of a female werewolf sends everyone into a frenzy (in more ways than one). Even her father is not quite sure how things should be handled. He’ll need to figure it out soon, because not only is a lone female the problem, but dissent is brewing within the ranks, and a larger threat is looming. The author spends much of the first half or so of the book with Jessica getting used to her new powers and learning her new place in the world, but when the second half of the book hits, watch out! Amanda Carlson brings a whole new snarling, furry, bristling chunk of awesome. Jessica isn’t only the only female werewolf, she’s much more, but telling you that secret would ruin much of the fun. Suffice it to say that she’s pretty badass and not afraid to show it. In fact, it’s her stubbornness (and courage) that actually almost gets her in quite a bit of trouble a few times. It’s this stubbornness that makes her so likeable though. Sometimes she doesn’t know when to shut her mouth, and I can certainly relate to that :-D Not only does Full Blooded bring on the supernatural kickass that one would expect, it also brings on the sexy. Seriously, there’s a scene in her that will scorch your knickers, promise. Then there’s Roarke, the mysterious mercenary that’s after Jessica for his own reasons, and brace yourself for some of the scariest vamps I’ve read about in a long time. Inevitable comparisons to Kelley Armstrong’s werewolf series will happen, and that’s a good thing, but Amanda CarIson creates a world and werewolf mythos that’s all her own. I had so much fun with this book and it’s been a while since a debut novel has had me this riveted. Luckily, the next book, Hot Blooded, will be out early next year. Trust me, urban fantasy fans, you’ll want to put Ms. Carlson on your autobuy!

Purchase Full Blooded: Amazon |B&N | Indiebound

Interview (& Giveaway): Amanda Carlson, author of Full Blooded

The lovely Amanda Carlson is joining us today as part of her blog tour for Full Blooded (read my review), and I couldn’t be more excited! Please welcome her to the blog! Also, there’s a giveaway for a copy of Full Blooded at the bottom of the post (and it’s international), so check out the deets, and good luck!

Amanda, welcome back to the blog! What have you been up to since the last time we talked? I assume you’ve been busy promoting Full Blooded, yes?
Thanks for having me back. It’s great to be here! I’ve been very busy networking, getting my name and book information out. As a new author, it’s crucial. It’s been a lot of work, but I’m enjoying it. I love chatting, if you haven’t noticed.

What would be your elevator pitch for Full Blooded?
“You have to read this book. It’s full of everything you’d want in an urban fantasy series: action, adventure, sex and great mythological mayhem.” Then I’d vomit from the stress of pitching in the elevator.

If Full Blooded was adapted for the big screen, who would you cast as Jessica (and Ty, and James…)?
I’ve only been asked this one other time, but my answer is still the same: I have no idea. When I write my characters they are such an amalgamation in my mind, it would be so hard to pick the *right* person to encompass all their attributes. I don’t ever picture one clear face in my mind when I write. It’s more like a fun dream state where my characters encompass personality, voice, snark and action all at one time. But I DO have a wicked crush on Tom Hardy.

If we beefed him up, dyed his hair blonde and made him look more like Thor, we *may* have a Rourke. Possibly.

Most folks assume that the main character is the most fun to write for an author. Is that true for you, or do you have a different fave?
Jessica is so much fun to write, it’s true, but I actually enjoy writing everyone. I love changing it up and getting the fun banter going. Danny is really fun to write. I love his accent. And I love Marcy’s zestiness. It’s all awesome, and definitely never boring.

What’s one of your favorite werewolf books or films?
I loved Van Helsing when it came out. I have no idea if it’s held up over time. It’s not a full werewolf movie. I remember seeing American Werewolf in London and being totally freaked out at the time. It might be time to re-rent. I loved the first Underworld movie, Kate Beckinsale is awesome. I was really excited a few years ago for The Wolfman with Benicio Del Toro, but it was a bit of a letdown. I guess the answer is: there are no great “urban fantasy” werewolf movies out there. I think it’s time they make one, don’t you?

What’s next for you?
HOT BLOODED releases in April 2013 and I’m finishing up COLD BLOODED right now. It’s due to hit shelves fall of 2013. I’m having such a blast writing this series. I hope I get to do it for a long time.

Thanks for hosting me, Kristin!! I had fun as usual. For anyone reading, I hope you enjoy the series.
Keep up with Amanda: Website | Twitter

1. You MUST fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries)
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson to 1 winner.
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