Tuesday, August 27, 2013

THE DARK BETWEEN is here!




At the turn of the twentieth century, Spiritualism and séances are all the rage—even in the scholarly town of Cambridge, England. While mediums dupe the grief-stricken, a group of local fringe scientists seeks to bridge the gap to the spirit world by investigating the dark corners of the human mind.

Each running from a shadowed past, Kate, Asher, and Elsie take refuge within the walls of Summerfield College. But their peace is soon shattered by the discovery of a dead body nearby. Is this the work of a flesh-and-blood villain, or is something otherworldly at play? This unlikely trio must illuminate what the scientists have not, and open a window to secrets taken to the grave—or risk joining the spirit world themselves.


Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Check out the trailer:




To celebrate the release, I'm giving away TWO goodie bags:



You could win a swanky Dark Between tote (yes, an actual goodie bag), which will contain:

--a signed copy of the book
--a Dark Between journal (featuring art from Audrey Eclectic)
--bookmarks
--postcards
--AND a fancy notecard that I brought all the way back from Cambridge, England just for you!

This giveaway is North America only. We're doing things the old fashioned way -- just comment below with your name/some way to contact you and you're entered! Contest ends Tuesday, September 3, at 10:00 pm Central time.

And please stay tuned for details on a Dark Between blog tour and a Novel Novice Book of the Month feature -- more fun and giveaways just around the corner!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Favorites: TV addictions

I have a lot of book-related obligations looming, so how do I cope? Well, I do crack. Actually, I watch TV, but it's just as addictive. Want a hit of some of this?

1. So You Think You Can Dance
Travis and Amy. Holy moly. It's a dance about "an irresistible player" and the girl he's trying to play. I've lost count of how many times I've watched this. The song is perfect, Amy's muscles are mesmerizing, and the choreography from Travis is crazy good. Do me a favor and watch this full screen. I promise you won't regret it!


Go ahead, watch it again! (If you prefer to watch the full segment with intro, dance, and judges swooning, go here.)

2. Scandal
I think my interest in this started with Entertainment Weekly. A feature, perhaps, but it might also have appeared in some sort of "shows to marathon" article. I was intrigued but decided to leave it on the back burner. Then friend/crackdealer Kim Harrington tweeted about being hooked, and I leapt straight into that downward spiral of addiction. Oh, this show. It can be so damn contrived sometimes. BUT . . . it's like a master class on sustaining tension. And the cliffhanger endings? Half the time I feel like I'm going into cardiac arrest. At the center of it all is a pair of star-crossed lovers. They really can't be together and, speaking of addictions, I think they're rather hooked on the drama of their situation. (Olivia Pope says about has much to the man who is actually free to marry her.) Anyhoo, there's something very compelling about Fitz and Olivia, and I like this scene of them sublimating their passion into a mutual awe over the U.S. Constitution:



3. Supernatural
Speaking of friends who deal TV crack, my pal Glenda has managed to get nearly all my childhood friends hooked on this show. The beginning of Season 6 has been weird for me, but "Weekend at Bobby's" made it all worthwhile. Who'd have thought that the best episode of the season (so far) would feature the father-figure secondary character? This scene of him telling Dean and Sam to "sack up" is one of my favorite Supernatural moments ever. (Warning for mild language.)


And how lovely is it that Jensen Ackles directed? *happy sigh*

So . . . what's your TV crack these days? Go ahead, deal it to me. Clearly, I have no self control.

[Cross-posted at Livejournal]

Monday, August 19, 2013

A tea for August

Haven't done a tea post in a while!


When we were in Lucerne, Switzerland, we spent some time in this lovely shop. After poking about and sniffing lots of lovely teas, I chose . . .


A black tea from Indonesia! This Taloon has the characteristic reddish tint of an Assam, but to me it tastes more delicate and requires little, if any, sugar (depending on your tastes). L'art du thé has a website . . . in German. I did find a few U.S. companies that sell Taloon, including Tea Fountain.


I enjoy the Taloon in the afternoon, and it pairs nicely with banana bread and fruit.

For your further enjoyment, I also offer a video. You might call this Tea Horror! (Or Tea Humor?) I've enjoyed Charlie McDonnell's vlogs for a while now, but this is his first actual film. I guess he's all grown up now (he, or his character, at least, lives in an apartment? has a girlfriend?), but he still seems about 12 to me.



[Cross-posted at livejournal]

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Favorites: Kate Atkinson & Jackson Brodie

I just finished one of Kate Atkinson's earlier novels, Emotionally Weird, and it was . . . weird. Had the hardest time connecting to the characters and didn't really latch on to anyone until the last fifty pages or so (when things took a Gothic turn, go figure).

Anyway, it prompted a Google search of Atkinson, because I wanted to remind myself of her education (which, interestingly enough, was almost exactly like that of the main character in Emotionally Weird), and I ran across a few newish things on her website, such as:

1. An Author's Note for her most recent (and very wonderful) novel, Life after Life, which includes this statement:

As a reader I dislike historical novels where I am continually stumbling over an excess of facts although I readily understand the compulsion to include all the fascinating stuff that you’ve spent so much time reading about, but there are few things more uncomfortable for the reader than to be constantly stumbling over the pathologically recondite research of an author.

to which I say, "Hallelujah, Amen!"

2. News (to me) of a 2nd series of Case Histories, with the first episode based on Atkinson's latest Brodie book, Started Early, Took my Dog (which I loved!), plus two original screenplays (written by whom? this scares me). Apparently this already has aired in the UK, so I'm wondering when we'll get it over here? I liked the first series well enough -- Isaacs wasn't my idea of Brodie at all, but in the end he was fine and the plots weren't mangled overmuch. (Though it pained me that they moved the first story out of Cambridge.)

3. This entertaining interview of Kate Atkinson by Jason Isaacs, in which he seems more like my idea of Jackson Brodie than he did in the show. He's very charming, and they have a nice chemistry -- do check it out:



Have a great weekend, everyone!

[Cross-posted at Livejournal]

Monday, August 12, 2013

Settling in

Re-entry has been a challenge, but now that I've been home for a week, my brain seems to be making more of an effort.

Before I left Oxford, one of the students -- who'd endured A LOT of talk about my cat -- asked me if I'd seen this video:



Hee! I'm happy to report that Cedric was quite calm when we returned (thanks to our ace housesitter), but also very pleased to see us. It took him hardly any time at all to curl up in my lap, as you can see:



Another nice thing about coming home ? Receiving a finished copy of The Dark Between in the mail! (No books were harmed in the taking of these photos, I promise.)



I've always loved the cover, but the aqua spine and back add such a wonderful punch of color, don't you think?

The book releases in 15 days! Please stay tuned for more GIVEAWAYS. :)

[Cross-posted at Livejournal]

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Introducing the YA AdVANture Tour!

Four Authors, Five Cities, ONE MINIVAN.

That's right -- I'm doing a wee book tour with Myra McEntire (author of the HOURGLASS Trilogy), Tara Hudson (author of the ELEGY Trilogy), and Tessa Gratton (author of BLOOD MAGIC, BLOOD KEEPER and THE LOST SUN) in a supercool minivan (yes, minivans ARE cool!) to visit bookstores and libraries in the South and Midwest.

Thursday, September 5th: Irving, TX
Barnes & Noble, Frisco, TX @ 7:00 p.m.
Stonebriar Center Mall, Frisco, TX 75034
(972) 668-2820

Friday, September 6th: Little Rock, AR
Barnes & Noble @ 6:00 p.m.
11500 Financial Ctr Pkwy, Little Rock, AR 72211
(501) 954-7646

Saturday, September 7th: Memphis, TN
The Booksellers at Laurelwood @ 7:00 p.m.
387 Perkins Extd Memphis, TN 38117
(901) 683-9801

Sunday, September 8th: St. Louis, MO
Left Bank Books @ 4:00 p.m.
Off-site library location TK

Monday, September 9th: Kansas City, KS
Mysteryscape @ 6:30
7309 W 80th St Overland Park, KS 66204
(913) 649-0000

Won't you come see us? :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Final Oxford 2013 post

We leave Sunday, so now it's the mad dash to settle accounts, pack, and say goodbyes.

*sniffle*

And yet, I am so EXCITED to be home after 7 weeks away! My kitty, my house, my TV, my bed, my quiet work space, my AIR CONDITIONING -- I yearn for them all.

So . . . I'll sum up the last couple of weeks quickly.


Weekend before last we went to Cheltenham! Or near it, at least. Here we are at the highest point in the Cotswolds. Too bad a piece of my hair blew into Steve's face -- any photoshop whizzes out there know how to delete that renegade strand? Anyway, we spent the weekend hiking about, eating good food, and even visiting a castle with friends Liesa (who also taught in the OU law summer program), Becky (who worked at the front end to get the program going), and Liesa's daughter JK (who adds class and charm to every endeavor).


Couldn't leave Cheltenham without visiting the famous racecourse, which you can sorta see at the right.


We returned to Oxford to find our friends Bede, Leigh, DeAnne, Kevin, Glenda, and Brandon nicely settled at Keble College. Frolicking commenced, including a day out punting the Cherwell. (Bede's friend Dominic is managing the pole in this photo.)

We also:
-- climbed the tower at St. Mary's Church
-- visited every pub in Oxford (well, Leigh did, anyway)
-- had a fancy tea at the Old Parsonage
-- ate delicious Indian food in Jericho
-- got rained out during a Saturday evening performance of Merry Wives of Windsor (but four of us went back later and enjoyed the entire play muchly -- one of the best Shakespeare performances I've ever seen)
-- ate delicious Italian food in Summertown, and . . .


walked through Port Meadow to have a Sunday roast at The Trout Inn. Above you can see us at the ruins of Godstow Abbey before our walk back to Oxford.


And finally, since I can't help taunting you with tea photos, here is Caroline, Brasenose's lovely conference manager, admiring the tea tray at the Old Parsonage. After enjoying the "very high" tea earlier with the gang, I had to coax Caroline and her officemate Denise to come out for the same tea experience. We were severely harrassed by wasps, but otherwise it was a lovely afternoon.

I could share a million more photos, but nobody has patience for all that, so maybe I'll put them on Flickr one of these days?

Now, back to packing . . . hope to see you soon!

P.S. I have a book coming out IN LESS THAN A MONTH. Eeeek!

[Cross-posted at Livejournal]