Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “new vampire books”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KRISTEN AND ALSO NIGHT MOVES!

TODAY’S BREW: Beer For Breakfast. (only in my mind)

By Julie

TODAY IS KRISTEN’S BIRTHDAY 

AAAAAAND

IT’S THE RELEASE OF NIGHT MOVES

Night Moves (Night Songs Collection, #2)

SO PRETTY, RIGHT?

I say this about it on Ye Olde Goodreads:

From the driven-to-the-brink and pushed off the brink Melanie to sextastic Erin, from sure and steady Ryder to self-important jerk Drake, these characters push you to keep reading to see what the hell they’ll do next. A cast that somehow manages to fit together with an incredible realism, they drive each other to do things that keeps the pages turning. Part love story, part fish out of water, part vampire sexiness, part wild crime adventure, this is a book with a plot so interweaved and twisted together, you’ll be happy to be its next victim.

Kristen deserves you to buy her book for these reasons, among others that she won’t tell you because it would sound sucky coming from someone other than her best friend. BUT THESE REASONS:

  • She is drained like a dirty pool at the end of summer from writing these books because she busted her ass, her brain and her heart to do it.
  • She works hard at EVERYTHING. And people who work hard deserve your support.
  • It’s a good fucking book.
  • IT’S HER GODDAMN BIRTHDAY FOR CHRISSAKES.
  • Every time she goes on a trip, whether it be a day trip or to Vegas for “research,” I tell her to buy me a present, and she does.
  • One time when as teenagers, we waited outside for concert tickets for too long and still didn’t get them, Kristen told the cashier that this “sucked big hairy dog balls.” You want to read this book for that reason.

HERE IS HOW YOU DO IT:

ON THE AMAZON MACHINE: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Moves-Songs-Collection-ebook/dp/B00J7YSU5W/ref=la_B00GFY14O6_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395792704&sr=1-5

AT THE BARNES AND THE NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/night-moves-kristen-strassel/1118909138?ean=2940045761086

FROM THE SMASHING OF WORDS:http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/418092

In short, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND BOOK BIRTHDAY, KRISTEN! Nikki Sixx/Tristan wanted to wish you one, too.

And I made you this cake! Not really!

the bachelor party cake I made for my fiance. ;)

I love you, Kristen, and I hope both your birthdays are wonderful ones. Long live the cougar.

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Closing the Door: Finishing a Series

Today’s Brew: Pumpkin Spice. The girl at Bed Bath and Beyond told me peppermint K cups were coming and she lied to me. You can’t lie to me about peppermint anything, people.

by Kristen

***IMPORTANT UPDATE!*** I just got a call from the Friends of Plymouth Council on Aging buying presents for seniors who don’t have any family, like I had mentioned in my last post, and Radius Nursing Home, 123 South St, Plymouth, MA has a tree that you can take tags off of to buy gifts for seniors just like you would for needy kids. Even better, my phone call brought this tree to the attention of the FPCA so now they can help make sure everyone has something to open on Christmas.

***

I didn’t actually type the words “The End,” but on Tuesday night I finished writing We Own the Night, which is the last book in The Night Songs Collection.

Holy crap.

I just stared at the computer screen in shock. My writing journey began with Callie and Tristan, even before I started writing these books. I’ve had these characters with me for close to fifteen years. Some of you may know, I used versions of this story to make my mind stop racing about all the crap I had to do during the day so I could fall asleep.

It’s the strangest feeling to put these “people” away in a box under the bed and move on without them. We had all of our firsts together.

  • This was the story that I was compelled to write, and on the third try, I actually completed a manuscript.
  • I told other people I wrote a book and share these characters with people, even people I didn’t know.
  • We got representation!
  • We got rejected! I revised the story until it became the version that is available now.
  • We published together!

It’s been an incredible ride, and these characters have become a part of who I am. My life has changed in ways I never could have imagined since Julie and I  started working together towards this goal. When I read Because the Night, I can see exactly where I was when I wrote it. I was having a hard time making decisions, because I wanted something that no longer existed. As I move on the series, I see major themes that like looking in a mirror. Writing We Own the Night put me through the ringer, and I have to wonder if it was because I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any hot vampire rock stars in my bed. I wish that part of the story would come true.

Of course, there’s still plenty of editing to do. I’m still doing promo on Seasons in the Sun and Because the Night. Night Moves, which will be available in March, is back from the editor. So I still have plenty of work to do with Callie, Tristan, and Blade.

I’m not going to lie. I left the door open a crack. The story is all wrapped up, but there are possibilities.  I also have a couple of stand alone books that fit in this word that star different main characters.

Even more remarkable–I managed a happy ending. If Callie can do it, we all can. 🙂

How To Discipline Your Vampire: Getting To Know Mina Vaughn

Today’s Brew:  Cherry Chocolate Swirl, as God intended

by Kristen

How To Discipline Your Vampire

When Mina Vaughn raised her hand in the NECRWA Supernatural Character panel and told us all about her book featuring a dominant schoolteacher who spanked the hell out of a vampire, I knew right then and there I had to be friends with this girl.  Later that day, she and I had lunch together at the world’s coolest lunch table (also featuring Eric Rubin and Tiffany Reisz), we exchanged contact info, and I got my wish.

I was lucky enough to get a crack at How To Discipline Your Vampire before its August 19 release date.  Not only do you get some supernatural BDSM, but you also get a sweet love story.  I asked Mina a couple questions about the book, her writing, and herself, and here’s what she had to say.

K:  Thanks for joining us, Mina!  Tell us, how did you start writing?

M: I’ve always written.  Even when I was a kid, I’d script out my playdates.  😉  I took some creative writing classes in college but didn’t really start writing in earnest until I turned thirty.

 K:  I giggled a little when I saw you scripted your play dates! That isn’t a surprise to me after reading the book!  Who is your favorite character in How To Discipline Your Vampire?

M: Cerise.  It meant a lot to me to have a strong and confident heroine.  Lots of heroines are strong, but most second-guess themselves and don’t fully understand how wonderful they are.  I think this is to keep them from coming off arrogant.  But Cerise is hot, she knows it, but I hopefully don’t think she comes off as self-absorbed.  She’s cool, funny, and powerful.  I love her.

 K: Which character did you create first?

M; William.  I wanted to imagine a guy who’d make your every fantasy come true.  Lots of thought went into this guy, for sure. 😉

 K: Besides William, who are your top three vampires?

M: 1)  Spike from Buffy

2)  Edward from Twilight

3)  Eric Northman from True Blood

 K: Now, you’re hanging out with those three vampires for a night. What do ya’ll do?

M: Wild ass foursome at a Coldstone Creamery.  Ice cream, toppings, and sexy vampires.  All night.  Sticky sweet goodness.

 K: What vampire superpower do you wish you had?

M: I want to be able to not sleep.  I have too much to do!  Sleep is a waste. I love it, but I’d love to not need it.

 K: Oh my God. I love sleep so much. I don’t know if I could live without it!  More superpowers: You are a self proclaimed shoe whore.  What is your favorite find ever?

M :A pair of Tory Burch leather lace-ups marked from $300 to $100.  I nearly died.  Wore them to both NECRWA and RWA Nationals and people went gaga over them.

 K: They were pretty badass. What has been the best part of your journey to publishing so far?  What has surprised you?

M: Everything has been amazing, but the people I’ve met along the way mean the most.  My agent Jessica Sinsheimer, my editor Micki Nuding, the whole Gallery/Pocket team I met in Atlanta, and of course the writer friends (like you) who I met at conferences.

 K: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

M: Don’t be afraid to be different, and keep trying until something clicks.

 K: To wrap things up, I’ll ask my favorite question. What are you dying to share that no one else has asked you about so far?

M: I’m dying to see people liking a non-alpha hero.  I’ve heard some good feedback so far about how refreshing it is to see a guy who just wants to worship at your feet instead of growl and brood.  I’m excited that my William may be a different kind of swoony hero, and I hope other people think so as well!

Thanks for having me, Kristen!

Mina Vaughn Portrait   Kink with a wink. Author of How to Discipline Your Vampire, coming August 19, 2013 from Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Star. Repped by Jessica Sinsheimer.

RUNNING HOME COVER REVEAL & The Best Review EVER

TODAY’S BREW: PUMPKIN LIKE NOBODY’S BUSINESS, BABY!

By Julie

Every author has fantasies about being on talk shows and red carpet events for their books. You can’t even tell me you don’t, I wouldn’t believe you. This, this right here, is one of those dreams for me. A 5 star review from people who know stuff about books, with a picture of my cover on it.

BECAUSE HERE YOU GO FOLKS! THE COVER OF RUNNING HOME IS IN YOUR FILTHY LITTLE GRASPS RIGHT NOW!

Along with a review by @OpeningLine Literary ‘Zine that I am printing and having framed and shall make sweet love to whenever I want.

Running Home by Julie Hutchings 

5 Stars

Review by Frances Button

Running Home is a book that has been missing from my shelf for many years. A new release from author Julie Hutchings, it is an urban fantasy novel full of addictive charm, engaging, self-aware characters, and a well-researched, powerhouse plot. In truth, the recent craze of urban fantasy novels has largely passed me by, as those I have read have left me dissatisfied. This is not the case with this story. It may not be my typical genre, but Running Home is definitely my kind of book.

It tells the story of Eliza, a small town girl in backwoods New Hampshire. On the plus size of the clothes rack and the wrong side of twenty-five, her life is simple, steady, yet ultimately dull. A pragmatic girl with an unhappy history, Eliza accepts her lot in life, mainly because she’s afraid of losing the one thing she still has: her best friend, Kat. As unremarkable as Eliza thinks herself, she manages to catch the undivided attention of the local bookshop owner, Nicholas French, and their whirlwind not-quite-romance takes our girl’s life down an entirely different path.
Pithy, tongue-in-cheek and adventurous, Hutchings has woven a world you can believe in: a new way of seeing the ordinary. Her villain, Chris Lynch, is delightfully repulsive and I wouldn’t kick her Nicholas French out of bed for all the money in the world. Her protagonist, too, is my kind of girl.
It is rare for me to really connect with female protagonists but, with Eliza, it was effortless. I loved her snippy, self-deprecating remarks about how well she was taking the revelation that vampires existed. I loved that she sucked in her stomach the way woman (myself included) are wont to do when they’re in a dress that’s a shade too tight. I loved that she had a backbone, and that romance didn’t reduce her to a quivering wreck of helplessness. I loved her.
The magical blend of character sensibility and unique mythology sucks you into the world of Running Home and doesn’t release you from its thrall until the last page. Although, at times, the reader will be screaming for Eliza to take just one. more. step. in her assessment of her relationship with the creature-comfort-loving Nicholas, the book carries you on a fast-paced, believable journey of self-discovery and fantastical fates. When the Sophie’s Choice of endings reared its ugly head, I was genuinely worried as to how it could possibly resolve itself in the way I wanted it to.
This is a book that is pure fun and definitely worth your time. This is a book you will care about. This is a book you want to read.
While some might compare Running Home to another, well-known urban vampire fantasy franchise, for me, the choice is clear. Never a fan of the book-that-shall-not-be-named, I was reserved when picking up Hutchings’ latest work. I will never regret that I did. I honestly can’t remember a time when I’ve enjoyed a vampire novel so much. In my opinion,Running Home far exceeds its genre’s peers in imagination, quality of writing, character development and every other category you might hope to name.
I stayed up all night to finish it.

They Like Me! They Really Like Me!!

Today’s Brew:  Gypsy Cold Care Tea and OJ.  I’m siiiiiiick.

Kristen Strassel is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Larsen Pomada Literary Agency in San Fransisco.

Is that not the sexiest sentence you have ever read?  It’s all true.

It all happened very fast and I have to keep reminding myself this is for real!  Someone retweeted that Pam was looking for Paranormal Romance. That’s Immortal Dilemma, so I sent her a query and her requested amount of pages.  That night she requested a full manuscript.  I sent it off and sat on pins and needles, hoping that she would love my characters and story as much as I loved writing it.

Last night, I was working on Seasons In The Sun (the prequel to Immortal Dilemma) when the phone rang.  It was Pam, offering representation!  I accepted.  Now we begin a whole new journey.

I haven’t had a chance to celebrate yet.  When she called, I was sitting in my Muppet PJ bottoms finishing up my Walmart knockoff Kraft mac and cheese (not because I’m poor, because I’m sick and I wanted it.)  I spent a good portion of the night calling friends to share the good news and wandering around the house aimlessly not exactly sure what to do with myself.

I had to let Callie, Tristan, Blade, and the gang know that they have real jobs now and people are paying attention to what they do.  I’m sure they won’t improve their behavior just because you’re watching, and I’m sure you don’t want them to.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me so far on this journey!  All of your feedback and comments on Immortal Dilemma and all of the blog posts here mean so much to me and Julie.  Next mission:  Getting Immortal Dilemma perfect for sale and publication and readying Julie so she can make this very same announcement regarding Running Home!

Look at us go!

image

Imagine our surprise and happiness when we discovered this! This is from the Authonomy site. Thank you to anyone who has supported our books!

Kristen and Julie

Ellie Morgan, meet Kings of Leon

TODAY’S BREW:  tea.  just regular black tea.  that’s okay sometimes.

(Note from Kristen:  I couldn’t embed video in this post like I thought I could, so to hear the song, click on the links.)

So, I have a revolving soundtrack to my life, as I am sure many of us do.  Since writing Running Home has encompassed a major portion of my life, even before I became partially unemployed, it has its own soundtrack, too.  It’s not always one that I expect…I listen to so much Rob Zombie, (doing it right now at Kristen’s), it would be natural to assume he appears in there, but shockingly, he does not. Much of the time I will hear a song while driving, the only place I occasionally get to hear grown up music, and it just fits into something I am working on, like it naturally gels with my brain.

The one time I actually heard a song for the first time, and was inspired to write a scene from scratch, was with Kings of Leon’s “Closer.” I still remember how I had to remind myself to relax because I was freaking out to get home and write when I heard it.  I listened to it about 15 times in a row.  Still do, actually.  My five year old likes it, too, thank goodness, or I would never hear the end of it every time I start it over.  “Closer” is one of the major inspirations for my novel.  It just opened up a lot inside me, and really had the same tone and feeling that this novel has. If a song could play when you opened the cover, this is the one you would hear when you open the theoretical cover of Running Home.  It almost makes me cry how perfect it is.

But one scene in particular was born because of this song, would never have existed if I hadn’t become a little obsessed with it.  So, here it is…from Chapter 26…

I awoke from the most gratifying sleep I have ever had with not a hint of drowsiness in my body.  I felt tingly with life, ready for anything.  But I knew exactly what I was most ready for.

I swung my legs out of Nicholas’s low bed, and grabbing a sweater he’d left in a heap near the door, ventured to the kitchen.  The back door still wasn’t perfectly aligned, so it squealed as I pulled it open.  The workboots Nicholas wore to shovel were at the door.  I slid into them like a child playing dress-up.

This was no game.  I had no time to waste.  He was coming.

I walked out into the cold, crunchy snow and still darkness, across the vast lawn that rose into the hills, topped by the larger than life forest.  The night was bruise black but for the immense full moon that appeared so close I wanted to reach out and touch its cratered surface.

Then something more incredible came into view.

He appeared, rising over the hill as he trudged through the snow at the edge of the woods.  The silver moon illuminated him, a halo around his silhouette of curls and luminescent face, an angel.  The rest of his powerful frame began to appear over the hill.  He was shirtless, wearing only the ordinary black jeans from days before, so out of place on such an inhuman creature.  The angles and curves of his herculean body glided across the snow, radiating power and agility.  He was a god, a beastlike angel, moving between worlds in one night.  I could not even lust after his perfection, so extraordinary and otherworldly he was.

As he grew closer I realized how I gawked, paralyzed by his flawlessness, and went quickly to him, but he crossed far more ground than I in the short time.  He stopped, inches from me.  His scent was of blood and earth, like a jungle cat would smell.  I breathed relief, knowing it made him whole.

That’s enough!  No more book for you!

Thank you, Kings of Leon, who I think are always fighting nastily with each other, but they did great things for me.

Callie’s In Over Her Head

To continue the Ferris Bueller analogy, life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around, you may miss it.  And as you can see from our last post, teenage girls can get in over their heads pretty quickly when left to their own devices at rock concerts.  And here is what happens to Callie out at a show for an evening.   This is an excerpt from Chapter 50:

I hit the bathroom door a little too hard and felt conversation stop on the other side.  I smiled nervously at the women in there smoking.  Smoke filled my nostrils and fogged the whole bathroom, but not too much for me to see one of the girls wearing the very same dress I was wearing.  And the same shoes.  The salesgirl from the store!

“I knew it!” she said, with a too-friendly smile.

“Hi,” I mumbled, and closed myself in a stall, eyes shut.  When I opened them, the visual I had to match the smell in there was Immortal Dilemma graffiti and stickers all over the door.  I rolled my eyes, and tried to just ignore it all as I just stood in there.  I needed just a minute to breathe, even this air, and remind myself that this was all for Blade, and me, and not about anything to do with Immortal Dilemma, or Tristan.  I wouldn’t let it be that.

I opened the door, knowing that the salesgirl and her friends were still there, but went about my business, washing my hands and not looking too nervous I hoped.

“So, it’s true, then?  Immortal Dilemma’s playing here tonight, right?”

I pursed my lips and looked the one who had spoken in the eyes.  “No.  No, they are not.  Have you seen the flyers?” I said pointing at one of the flyers on the wall advertising Blade’s show that night.  She smiled at me, like we had a secret, and I went back out to the bar.

On the way there, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of the people in this rather excessive crowd thought they were catching an impromptu Immortal Dilemma show.  How many of these girls were here for Tristan?

How much did I have to do with that?

“Is there anywhere we can be a little more…private…for a minute?” I asked Blade over the loud music when I got back to him and the small crowd that he had amassed. He smiled at me and nodded.

I followed him up a flight of winding stairs near the back of the club, where things were much quieter, and the crowd had thinned quite a bit.  My mouth was dry with nerves that Blade had noticed how many of this crowd was wearing a little too much leather, black eyeliner, and other Immortal Dilemma garb.

He quickly turned on the staircase, and I gasped with surprise as he caught me up in his arms, bending me backwards over the railing, and kissed me with such intensity that I forgot where we were, or that anyone else even existed but him and I.  When he let me go, it took me a minute to open my eyes.  I could feel my dumbstruck smile.

“Did I thank you for coming tonight?” he whispered in my ear.

Follow Kristen on Twitter!  @Kristen Strassel

Read the synopsis for IMMORTAL DILEMMA here.

Thank You!!!

TODAY’S BREW:  we are both doing hard time on water.  Don’t love it.
Deadly Ever After has been alive and kicking for a whole month!  We are ECSTATIC about the interest all of you have taken in the foolishness we have posted.  More importantly, we could not be happier in the support we have gotten thus far for our first novels.  Your encouragement is appreciated like you would not believe.

We are psyched to have actual followers! I mean, it’s just us!  The people we have had the chance to interact with from all over the world in just one month is nothing short of inspirational. For the first time, we feel a real sense of community with other writers, and we owe it to you.

Feel free to comment, on any old thing!  All of your opinions are sought after, at least by Kristen and Julie.  Your input has everything to do with the success of our writing careers, so don’t be shy!  We can take criticism like champs…we want it, even.  Tell us what you would like to see more/less of, or how you feel about the excerpts we have posted.  Tell us what works for you.  We pore over this blog like it’s a tiny little bird that we have to feed every hour.

Next, we want to hear from Russia.  That’s right, the ol’ hammer and sickle is very quiet!

Thank you all again, and keep reading!

Making Writing Real: AKA I Have No Time

Julie’s side of the story:

TODAY’S BREW: anything hot I can find

I had a date!!!  This may seem like Bridget Jones Diary, if I had ever read/seen that, but it’s not.  As you may have heard, my husband and I had a real live date last night for the first time since October, when we celebrated our 10th anniversary…super old!  Last night there was a boat, and beer, and crazy spectacular food from the Driftwood here in ye olde Plimoth, and if you haven’t been there you are doing yourself a great disservice.  Even if you are not a resident of this country, put it on your to-do list.

So, not only did I get the opportunity to tell people that I am in a state of constant glee from sending out my first agent query…hooray!…but I was able to think outside of my four walls and two kids and think on my very own second book for a bit by default.  Running Away is the sequel to Running Home, and I have had it in the works for some time.  Actually, it was originally just part of the first novel, but then I realized that it was absolutely its own storyline and setting, and I had gotten a lot of work done on it.  Yay me!  But I lost it a bit in the whirlwind of finalizing book one, and starting this blog with Kristen, who is tireless and nearly impossible to keep up with, and working on Immortal Dilemma, and agonizing over agent queries and such.  So now, it is game on once again!  Time to dig in and get excited about new endeavors, when I am still in the other endeavors, and thinking of even more endeavors.

As Kristen may have mentioned, this requires a lot of time that we don’t necessarily have.  It also requires inspirado, which may or may not be a real word, and devoting the same energy and attention to building a story that we gave our first books.  Possibly more so, just to be sure that we are consistent, and creating something worthy of our readers, not something that feels like an afterthought.  That is, assuming we have readers.  A lot of assumption happens around here.

Kristen and I are nothing if not eternal managers.  Middle management and upper management have their perks.  We can organize time like lunatics.  Bad analogy…I would think true lunatics have no real sense of time.  But you know what I mean.  It is time for us to create schedules and lists, which we love like regular girls like shoe shopping.  (Note from Kristen:  shoe shopping is pretty rad, too.) What works for us really well is the simple art of giving ourselves deadlines, like this is not just a hobby, and really adhering to them.  Making our time together truly happen, and using it wisely is the non-negotiable.  We get together a minimum of twice a week, and talk all day long, (yes, all day long via text), to make writing a constant presence.

And there you have it.  If anyone is wondering how in hell we manage to do this in real life, its because we absolutely make writing a constant presence.  We plan on doing it, we talk about doing it, we check on each other, we jot down our ideas, and we treat it like that very first boyfriend/girlfriend you had in high school…you did other things, but it was all background noise to that feeling you had when you were with them.

With alllll of that being said, my point is, whether your writing book one or two or ten or just writing a conversation you thought of and maybe have no place for, make it happen all the time.  Yes, all the time.  While waiting for your happy meals.  While sitting in your car.  While showering.  While feeding the dog.  And tell someone about it.  That’s what makes it real.

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