Friday, February 25, 2011

And the Winner Is...

There were 8 official entries. I used to choose a winner, and the winner is Lana, who was commenter #8. Lana, send me an e-mail that includes your mailing address and you will receive a copy of FORCE OF HABIT.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Interview With Alice Loweecey and a Giveaway!

FORCE OF HABIT is the debut novel by my friend Alice Loweecey.

Below is a blurb of the novel per Alice's website:

After ten years in the convent, Giulia Falcone now works as an investigator for the foul-mouthed former police detective Frank Driscoll, for whom she harbors some romantic feelings. The duo are hired to find the person who is stalking and threatening a local wealthy businessman and his fiancée, but Giulia soon attracts the stalker’s attention. This debut mystery by a former nun contrasts a humorous narration with the realities of Giulia’s adjustment to her new life outside the convent walls and her low self-esteem.

Alice took time out of her busy schedule for an interview with me:

1.) Did you loosely base your MC on your own life as a former nun?

Very, very loosely. The similarities are: She was a Franciscan nun, and so was I. Giulia is much more uptight and repressed than I ever was. However, some nun traits are universal and enduring. For instance, about fifteen years after I left the convent, a priest told me I still “stood” like a nun.

2.) What genres do you prefer to write in? (I’ve read some of your horror, which was excellent, btw)

Thank you! I’m a horror writer in my heart of hearts. I didn’t know that I had a knack for mysteries until I started to write one. I’m also a huge post-nuke dystopian fan—I’ve read just about everything in that sub-genre. My next project (besides more Falcone & Driscoll books) is a Young Adult dystopian.

3.) Is this book the first in a series or is it a standalone? Do you have other series planned or just stand alone novels?

I have a contract for three books in this series, with potential for more. Giulia, Frank, and Sidney (their perky admin) are easy and fun to write. I can imagine several more books about them. Then there’s the paranormal and the horror and the dark fantasy and… My “to Write” file keeps growing!

4.) Do you have any writing rituals or habits?

I’m a confirmed outliner. I wrote my first book as a pantser and it took forever. When I decided to try mysteries, I knew I’d be lost without an outline to plant clues and remember suspects. Now I won’t start a book without one. I’m also an anal-retentive researcher. I can get lost for hours looking up details and scenes and floor plans and all the things that help me to visualize a scene.

5.) What is your best piece of advice for aspiring or unpublished writers? ( I ask this question quite often)

Never give up! Never surrender! (With thanks to the movie Galaxy Quest.) I had some brain-melting setbacks in my drive to see my name on a shelf in a brick-and-mortar bookstore. There’s a file folder on my desktop with approximately 185 rejections in it for three different books. It was a long, hard road—but if it was easy, then seeing my book on those shelves wouldn’t be as sweet.

 Also, find some fellow writers, online or in meatspace. No one understands writers like other writers. I’m part of the Absolute Write Water Cooler, and they’re some of the best people I’ve never met (in person). This business is like the roller coaster from Hell sometimes, and fellow screaming coaster passengers make it easier.

I'd like to thank Alice for taking time for the interview. You can find out more about Alice and her work here. FORCE OF HABIT is now available in stores and online. 

Giveaway: For a chance to win a signed copy of FORCE OF HABIT by Alice Loweecey, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment. Also, please list your e-mail address as follows: your e-mail (AT) wherever (DOT) com, so you won't get junk mail. The contest is open to everyone in the U.S. only please. The contest will end on February 24, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Good luck. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on February 25, 2011.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Winner of A Discovery of Witches Is...

There were 5 official entries. I randomly chose a winner, and the winner is Kara, who was commenter #1. Kara, send me an e-mail that includes your mailing address and you will receive a copy of A Discovery of Witches.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Discovery of Witches: A Review and A Giveaway

Title: A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness
Hardcover: 592 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult
Release Date: February 8, 2011

A summary from the author's website:

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.

For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

My review:

Diana Bishop is a professor and a witch at Yale whose life spins out of control after she puts her hands on the alchemical manuscript, referred to as Ashmole 782. There are four groups of beings in this novel: humans, witches, vampires, and daemons. Diana becomes fast, but reluctant friends with Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist and 1500 year old vampire.

A group comprised of three witches, three vampires, and three daemons, known as the Congregation, want to question Diana as to how she was able to find the bewitched Ashmole 782. With the help of Matthew and the Knights of Lazarus, she travels from Oxford to New York on an unexpected adventure. Lots of research and detail went into this novel--and it shows. A Discovery of Witches will appeal to fans of paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

To find out more about Deborah Harkness and her work, click here.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a copy of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment. You do not have to be a follower. Also, please list your e-mail address as follows: your e-mail (AT) wherever (DOT) com, so you won't get junk mail. The contest is open to everyone in the world. The contest will end on February 14, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Good luck. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on February 15, 2011.

Disclaimer: As per FTC guidelines, I received a review copy of A Discovery of Witches from Penguin/Viking. I did not receive any endorsements of any kind, whether that be monetary, gifts, etc.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The House Eaters...

THE HOUSE EATERS by my blogging pal, Aaron Polson, is now available at Virtual Tales and Amazon, in either e-book form or paperback. Aaron is a fantastic writer! And if you haven't read any of his work, then you need to click on his name above and order some of it--right now. ;-)

THE HOUSE EATERS is a YA horror novel about high school senior, Nick Gillingham, who suspects sinister forces in his house may be the cause of all of his problems as of late.

To find out more, click here. Or to get a signed copy from Aaron, you can email him at:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Winner of Taken by the Others Is...

There were 12 official entries--plus one extra for each follower of the blog. I randomly choose a winner, and the winner is donnas, who was commenter #1. Donnas, send me an e-mail that includes your mailing address and Jess will send you a signed copy of Taken by the Others!

Thanks to all who entered. With this being a writing blog, I never planned on having so many giveaways, but it seems to be happening anyway--stay tuned for all kinds of things. :-D

Also, my officially blogoversary was January 26, 2011--one week ago. Four years going strong! I hope to have many more to come.