Monday, October 29, 2012

Media Monday--It's Almost Time...

Tomorrow is the release date for Iced. Who has two thumbs and is excited? This girl.

I came to the Fever series late--as in after the fifth book came out. And I'm willing to admit, I read the first one and went "What is the big deal about?" I didn't get it. I didn't like the lead character. I didn't like the writing. I just wasn't impressed.

But then I forced myself to read the second book. And that's where it took off.

Now, I'll be upfront and say I'm not a big Dani fan. There's nothing wrong with her, I'm just not a huge fan. But that may change. I wasn't a fan of Mac at the beginning of her story but she grew on me. I'm hoping Dani does the same.

I am NOT hoping for a Dani/Ryodan hook-up. Because I want him, lol. But seriously--not hoping for a hookup. There's plenty of available men in the series, including the mysterious Dancer. Dani can have one of them.

So, is anybody else out there excited about the new Karen Marie Moning?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Winged Wednesday--Cover Reveal


Some of you may have already seen the cover for Winged. Some of you may have not. Some of you may have seen the cover for the next book in the series, Uprising. Some of you may have not.

Well, here's your chance to see them both.



Next week we're going to talk release dates--which depend a lot on whether or not I can recover from the great editing snafu of October 2012. And the fact that I have so many that I need to date them is something really, really sad. Anyway--next week, release dates!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

True Crime Tuesday!

Better late than never, right? This past week has been super hellacious, which of course means the blogging has taken a hit. It sucks that the blogging is like the first thing to go whenever my schedule gets too full, because I really do enjoy doing it, but when you're all but dead on your feet, something has to give.

And speaking of dead on your feet, who wants to read about The Axeman of New Orleans? As usual, material is pulled from TrueCrime library, where you can find all sorts of interesting stuff.

The Axeman of New Orleans

Andrew Maggio, a barber in the city of New Orleans, had just received his draft notice. It was May 22, 1918 and World War I was on everyone's mind. Andrew wasn't keen to go to war, so he went out drinking that night. When he returned just before two o'clock in the morning to the place he shared with his brother Jake, he noticed nothing unusual. But then, he wasn't in much of a condition to notice anything at all, and that would soon come back to haunt him. Compared to what he was about to experience, a draft notice would seem like a mosquito's bite to shark attack.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

True Crime Tuesday

It's True Crime Tuesday again! What do you get when you add sex to murder? A campy, yet slightly cruesome nickname. As always, the original material is lifted from True Crime Library, and all rights belong to them.
 
 
In post-war Britain, it certainly seemed for many that sex was something that was rarely seen and barely ever heard. Sex was a concept shrouded in secrecy. Yet society's suppression of it meant that exponents of the world's oldest profession were rarely short of customers.

Likewise, in the dimly lit back streets of England's capital city, married men were prepared to pay for the kind of services which "nice girls" such as their wives would not provide. Duke's Meadows, on the banks of the river Thames in Chiswick, West London, was one such spot, crudely nicknamed "Gobblers" Gulch' by locals in reference to the sexual practices said to be popular there. However, something considerably more sinister than the usual discarded prophylactics greeted police as they patrolled the towpath early on the morning of June 17, 1959. They stumbled across the body of a woman, sat up against a small willow tree, her blue and white striped dress torn open to reveal her breasts and some scratches on her throat. She had been strangled.

To find a dead body abandoned nearly naked in a public place was shocking even for experienced detectives, suggesting this was different to the crimes of passion, violence or avarice that police were used to. Yet despite house-to-house enquiries, interviews with prostitutes, pimps, taxi drivers, and night shift workers, no strong clues were found as to the killer's identity. As the case slowly went cold, Elizabeth Figg and the strange case of the semi-naked corpse were forgotten. It would be more than four years before anyone had cause to mention her name again.

Claiming as many as eight victims, Jack the Stripper, like BTK, after almost half a century may still be out there. Or like his namesake, Jack the Ripper, he may baffle crime buffs for many decades to come.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Media Monday: Oh, the New Shows

As I'm writing this I'm watching the first episode of The Mob Doctor. I'm not thirty minutes in but I'm fully committed. Because it's good. It's really, really good. The characters and setting are authentic, the acting is good, and since I was a huge fan of Sister Act, I was happy to see Wendy Makenna in action.

What else am I loving so far? Well, of course I'm still a fan of The Good Wife and Revenge. We can't forget 2 Broke Girls and How I Met Your Mother. In addition to those, we've got the new shows Partners, Elementary, and Nashville. So I've got a nice mix of comedy and drama going on. I'll occassionally watch The Voice and I'm super excited to see Smash come back later this year.

What about you guys? What are you excited to watch this season?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Random Thursday--Good God, Am I Tired

That's the long and short of this post. I'm evidently so tired I left my flashdrive at home, which is making work more than a little difficult.

So I started looking for quotes for Winged. And now I've also got the plotting and opening for the second book in the series, Uprising, going through my mind. I'm going to be up to my elbows in work today, because I MUST WRITE SOME FRANKIE. I'm shouting at myself, not you guys.

Don't get me wrong, I love Frankie. Love, love, love her--the series, even though darker than either Jude or Cari, is so much fun to write. I think I'll always associate Cari with a rough part of my life, which diminishes some of the joy. And Jude is...well, Jude. But Frankie and the gang are just full of awesomeness. And their story is going to blow people's minds.

But I have the most intense feeling if I don't get the entire series of Winged out, my head may explode. Or I'm going to miss out on something really amazing. Either way, bad things will happen.

So, I'm going to keep working myself to the point of exhaustion, because I feel everything will be worth whatever is waiting for me at the end. I feel there are going to be some truly astounding things that come out of these books.

I just got to write the damn things.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Winged Wednesday--Behind the Book

I'm in the odd position a lot of people are these days--I grew up going to church, where the Bible and its contents are expounded on at length--and then I went to college. Education tends to beat religion out of people. I'm not saying this to criticize education or religion or imply that those who can manage to juggle both are somehow better than those who can't. I say this because it's something I struggle with, something I know a lot of people struggle with--the church (and that's the church in general, not any specific flavor) almost always takes a literal interpretation of the Bible. And yet science and modern archaeological discoveries have proven repeatedly that a literal interpretation is not possible.

There's also the very real problem that throughout the course of history, the church (again, general, not specific) has elected to not include materials in the Bible because they didn't fit with the image the church was trying to project. You add in mistranslations and outright lies (James I of England and the whole witch thing) and at best you have a flawed document with major plot holes, at worst you have outright lies.

One of those books that didn't make it in to the Bible is the Book of Enoch. I've referenced it before and I probably will repeatedly, because it plays a huge part in the overall series arch of Winged. It tells the story of angels who looked down upon the people of earth, including the women, and wanted to be a part of it. They married women, fathered children on them, taught things like the art of war, divination, how to craft weapons and so on. Their children were larger than normal people--what some might call giants. In the eyes of God, these angels betrayed their purpose--they didn't watch over humanity, they didn't protect it: they corrupted it. This is the main reason why God turned them away, why he refused to allow them to reenter his presence for all eternity. According to Enoch, God flooded the Earth to erase these children of angels, these monsterous giants, so humanity once again had a chance.

We've all heard the story of Noah and the Ark. Most people have heard the story of David and Goliath--a giant among a race of giants. Both of these episodes are better understood with the information given in the Book of Enoch. So why isn't that information there?

Because it wouldn't fit with the safe, sterile image of angels the church wanted to present--continues to insist on presenting. Never mind the fact that one of the scriptures constantly touted is about God making man in his image--logic stands that God didn't just throw things together and hope for the best. There has to have been trial and error, room for improvement and growth. There also has to be some kind of blueprint to work from, something to goal for.

Why wouldn't it be creatures who have been around for millenia--like, I don't know, angels? Creatures who were also quite possibly created from the image of God.

And what about emotions, free will, personality? Again, even if you're going with blind faith, take a moment to think: where did God get the idea for anger, for pride--things that were already in place when Lucifer fell? And what about love, longing? Everything has to come from somewhere. Why wouldn't he work from something he already knew about?

Now having said all that, is it so hard to believe angels would look down on humans and long for them? To love and want to be with something/one so similar to theirselves but yet just different enough?

A lot of Winged hinges on not just the idea of humans who aren't quite humans anymore fighting demons, but on their interactions with the angels and archangels they meet. There are other themes, but at the end of the day the books come down to one question: what would you do for love?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

True Crime Tuesday!

Time again for True Crime Tuesday! This week, I'm doing another name most of you should know. And unless I'm mistaken, he was up for parole recently.

Many hardened criminals blame their crimes on their parents, but few have as clear a case as Charles Manson. His mother was an alcoholic prostitute who sold him for a pitcher of beer. In and out of reform school as a youngster, he had an IQ of 109 and became a kind of institutional politician and manipulator by age 19.

From then on his continuous scrapes with the law landed him in prison. His record there described Charlie as having "a tremendous drive to call attention to himself.

On March 21, 1967, Charlie was released from prison in California. He was 32 years old and more than half of his life had been spent in institutions. He protested his freedom. "Oh, no, I can't go outside there...I knew that I couldn't adjust to that world."

Charlie started to attract a group of followers, many of whom were very young women with troubled emotional lives who were rebelling against their parents and society in general.

This was the core of the Manson Family execution team who he ordered to kill pregnant actress Sharon Tate, her wealthy house guests, and the well-to-do LaBiancas.

Charlie was trying to start a race war and vet himself as a prophet of doom.

Read the rest of the story at the True Crime Library.

Source material taken from trutv.com, all rights reserved

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Random Thursday


Things that are awesome in my life right now:

I won the "meet your ex with their new significant other" round of life. Because I'm awesome. And I got to laugh in his face when he asked if I still had his phone number.

The hot bartender is now single. This sucks for him, really, because he's a great guy and it was one of those breakups where she just went, "This isn't working out" and never really clarified why. And she's doing the whole "let's still be friends" bit on top of things. So he's pretty angry right now. And while I'm not going to hit on him (although I did shamelessly use him as a buffer against a drunk, horny, businessman last night), at least now I can ogle him guilt-free. Because even in my mind I can't lust after a hooked up guy and not feel guilty.

I told my boss I was going to be out of town for an entire month next year--and he just went, "Okay." Seriously. This is the man who will harass me over the nature of my doctor appointment until I'm forced to embarrass both of us by saying in front of half a dozen people that I have to get a Pap smear, and all he said was "Okay." I must have caught him when he was in a REALLY good mood. I'll probably have to remind him half a dozen times between then and now but it's on the books.

I'm back to work on BORROWED. Time for me to hunker down and get some work done. I'm actually getting a headache just thinking about it but that could also be the remnants of vodka from last night. We'll have to wait and see on that one.

And now--on to the writing!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WINGED Wednesday

This is really just a placeholder post--my brain is not in a happy place right now. It's not in a sad place, but it's not in a happy place either. It might be my weird sleep schedule, but who the hell knows.

Anyway--for the next however the hell many weeks (which I should probably really calculate--one more thing to do), I'll be devoting Wednesday to character sketches, history tidbits, and yes, religious stuff, all leading up to the release of Winged in February.

Next week we'll start with the backstory and basic idea of the series. So hold on to your hats, folks--we're about to start rocking out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

True Crime Tuesday

In honor of Frankie Post (who is crime fiction, not true crime--or at least I hope not--I would have some serious explaining to do), Tuesdays during the month of October will be devoted to true crime. Each week I'll highlight a different case or individual. To start us off, I picked one most people should be familiar with and who was "kind" enough to make a stop in my hometown--Ted Bundy.

The Early Years

Theodore Robert Cowell was born on November 24, 1946 to Louise Cowell following her stay of three months at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Vermont. Ted's biological father, who was an Air Force veteran, was unknown to his son throughout his life. Shortly after his birth, Ted and his mother moved back to the home of his grandparents in Philadelphia. While growing up, Ted was led to believe that his grandparents were his parents and his natural mother was his older sister. The charade was created in order to protect his biological mother from harsh criticism and prejudice of being an unwed mother.

At the age of four, Ted and his mother moved to Tacoma, Washington  to live with relatives. A year after the move, Louise fell in love with a military cook named Johnnie Culpepper Bundy. In May 1951, the couple was married and Ted assumed his stepfather's last name, which he would keep for the rest of his life.

Following high school, Ted attended college at the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington. He worked his way through school by taking on several low-level jobs, such as a bus boy and shoe clerk. However, he seldom stayed with one position for very long. His employers considered him to be unreliable.

Although Ted was inconsistent with his work outside of school, he was very focused on his studies and grades. Yet, his focus changed during the spring of 1967 when he began a relationship that would forever change his life.


In 1968, after his girlfriend graduated from the University of Washington, she broke off relations with Ted. She was a practical young woman and seemed to realize that Ted had some serious character flaws that took him out of the running as "husband material."

Ted never recovered from the break-up. Nothing, including school, seemed to hold any interest for him and he eventually dropped out, dumb-founded and depressed over the break-up. He managed to stay in touch with her by writing after she returned to California, yet she seemed uninterested in getting back together. But Ted became obsessed with this young woman and he couldn't get her out of his mind. It was an obsession that would span his lifetime and lead to a series of events that would shock the world.

Murder on the Run


On Saturday night, January 14th, few of the sorority sisters could be found at the Chi Omega House. Most were out dancing or at keg parties on campus. It wasn't unusual for the sisters to stay out late, since there was no curfew. In fact, it was pretty normal for the girls to return in the early morning hours. However, none of the sisters was prepared to confront the horror that awaited them back at their sorority house later that night.
At 3 a.m., Nita Neary was dropped off at the sorority house by her boyfriend after attending a keg party on campus. Upon reaching the door to the house, she noticed it standing wide open. Soon after she had entered the building, she heard some movement, as if someone was running in the rooms above her. Suddenly, she heard the footsteps approaching the staircase near her and she hid in a doorway, out of view. She watched as a man with a knit blue cap pulled over his eyes, holding a log with cloth around it, ran down the stairs and out the door.


To read the rest of the story (as well as more on Bundy's background, arrests, and eventual execution), go to <crimelibrary>, a part of the TruTV website.

This material was excerpted from the above mentioned website. All copyrights belong to its author, Rachael Bell.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Media Monday--Review of PITCH PERFECT

I'm alive! I know, some of you may have thought I fell off the face of the earth. But I was just chained to my computer, doing my best to finish Winged. Which I did, on Thursday. And now I'm back to work on Frankie and Borrowed, so everybody hold on to your hats--things are about to get more than little wild.

But, in order to celebrate my success over yet one more bout with the writing demon, my friend and I went to dinner and a movie on Friday night. And lucky me, my city was one of those that got Pitch Perfect an entire week early. And for once, there is no sarcasm in that sentence at all.

I got excited about Pitch Perfect back in June, when Rock of Ages came out and one of the trailers was Pitch Perfect. I've been anxiously awaiting the release date and when I found it I could see it an entire week early, I didn't even hesitate. I was on that like white on rice--which, now that I think about it, has to possibility for being a confusing and misleading statement. But I digress.

Pitch Perfect is one of those light, feel good Hollywood movies where everybody ends up finding their place, the nerdy guy gets the girl, the evil girl learns the error of her ways, and the lovable rebel understands the value of friends. Yeah, on the surface, it's pretty darn light.

But you set all that shit to music, with the word "acapello" thrown in? And it becomes laugh out loud funny.

And when you have people who can actually sing? Even fucking better.

Seriously--it's almost unfair. They can already act. Now they can sing? I feel like there's a distinct inbalance in the distribution of creative genes. But since I can't do anything about that, I might as well appreciate it.

Are there some moments where you think to yourself--"Did I really just see that? How the fuck did people even think of something like that?"? Yes, yes there are. Minor spoilers, but if you're uncomfortable with the sight of vomit, you're going to want to avoid this movie. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

But for every one of those moments, there are plenty of others where the dialogue and acting is legitimately funny. Anna Kendrick really does shine, from her beginning as the counter-culture/rebel girl without a cause to her end as...well, if I tell you I'll ruin it. And all those funny bits of Rebel Willis that you see in the trailer? Those aren't even all the funny parts. There's plenty more spread throughout the film like little nuggets of joy, which is just the way comedy should be doled out.

All in all, Pitch Perfect is absolutely worth seeing, more than once, if you want me to be brutally honest. And if I get my word count for the day, that's just what I plan to do.