I’m back! Did you miss me?
You didn’t notice I was gone, did you? No, no – don’t deny it. I can see it in your guilty face. Fine.
(comes back through door)
But seriously, let me talk about the last week. I went on vacation – visiting family in South Carolina – and that vacation was poorly situated overtop of the release date for The Oldest Trick. I did manage to put up a post about that while I was away, but there were a few things I missed, so I’m here to catch up. First, though, let me provide you with my Roadtrip Stats!
I have driven from Boston to Hilton Head, South Carolina about twenty five times or so. The last two times, I’ve actually driven myself (and my family). In case you haven’t had the opportunity to journey that far down I-95, let me give you the statistics for this last trip.
Best: North Carolina
Worst: New Jersey (by a mile)
Best: Maryland (honorable mention: Connecticut)
Worst: North Carolina (I’m looking at you, “South of the Border” signs)
Best: Delaware (I mean, assuming you get over the bridge in one piece)
Worst: Virginia (Holy tailgating, Batman!)
Best: Connecticut (what few there are)
Worst: Virginia (I have seen things I cannot un-see)
Honorable Mention: New Jersey, for having the most batshit crazy rest stops in the western world. I mean, they’re fairly clean, but I’ve never run into a traffic jam in a rest stop except in New Jersey.
Best: South Carolina (ran into a guy from Pennsylvania in SC who swore he had gone through a time vortex. $2.10 a gallon?)
Worst: Connecticut (The sign said “REGULAR UNLEADED: Blood of First Born + tax”)
Next time I do the trip, I’ll report my findings. I’m pretty sure Jersey is smarting from its upset from the “Worst Drivers” category and clearly Massachusetts should get in there at some point, too. But Virginia…wow. Just amazing.
- Michelle Hauck’s blog hosted me, wherein I write about sequels.
- AFE Smith hosted me, too, so I discussed conflict.
- Another shout-out to Bishop O’Connell, who let me talk about Guilty Pleasures on his blog.
- Liana Brooks put me up on her Impulse Buys of the Week blog, too!
- I’ve got ten reviews on Amazon for THE OLDEST TRICK! Come see what people who got the Advance Reader Copies thought!
A big thank you to Liana, Michelle, AFE, and Bishop for letting me sully their blog-space with my ramblings, and thank you to all the kind reviewers out there, too!
I keep getting people asking me about print copies. I have been assured that they’re coming, I just don’t know quite when. When I know, I promise I’ll let you know, too! In the meantime, I leave you with this dancing chipmunk:
Hi, everybody! So, yes, I’m acting like a broken record about the upcoming Writers of the Future Anthology (Volume 31), but that’s only because it’s crazy awesome and you should all get it. Not for my sake, either – my fellow winners are an amazingly talented bunch and you should get in on the ground floor here. I’ve got two for you today.
First is Steve Pantazis’s story, “Switch,” about a cop addicted to a high-tech new drug trying to solve the murder of a kid who was high on the self-same drug – a drug that accelerated the human mind to its highest potential. This is a dark, gritty tale long on style and suspense and you’ll get a kick out of it. Also, the world is the same as Steve’s novel Godnet, which means the world-building is top-notch (and I’m a sucker for good world-building, let me tell you).
Next…well…next is Sharon Joss’s story, “Stars That Make Dark Heaven Light.” She is the grand prize winner this year, and it is very much deserved, as this story is a simply magnificent tale of growing up, finding your place, and learning to love. Oh, and aliens and genetic engineering, too. Great, great story that you simply must read. For now, listen to the first bit:
Elsewhere Among My Very Talented Friends…
Steampunk author Beth Davis Cato has a new short story out: The Deepest Poison. If you liked The Clockwork Dagger, you should check it out!
And as For Me…
Iron and Blood, the thrilling second half to The Iron Ring is released in a little over a month. Pre-order now! Also, keep an eye on this space: I’m going to be announcing a giveaway contest soon, just as soon as I come up with a cool idea for one. I will also be at the Barnes and Noble Prudential Center in Boston MA on May 9th from 2pm-4pm signing copies of the Writers of the Future Anthology. W00t!
Exciting times, no? Go forth! Support authors! Read much!
Today, I’d like to throw a little plug in for one of my fellow authors over at Harper Voyager Impulse: Liana Brooks! The cover of her first, full-length novel THE DAY BEFORE has just been revealed. The book itself will be released on April 28th. Here’s a teaser for the book:
Friday May 17th, 2069
Alabama District 3
Commonwealth of North America
With an asthmatic wheeze the engine died. It figured. Stuck in a man’s craw, it did. This truck had been his daddy’s and his pappy’s, and before the Commonwealth government forced him to replace the diesel engine with the newfangled water doohickey, he was certain he’d pass the truck onto his son.
He’d been playing under the hood of trucks since he was six and now he was stranded. Embarrassing, that’s what it was. He climbed out of the cab to check the engine out of habit. The ice blue block of modern fuel efficiency stared back. Three hundred bucks it’d cost him, straight from his pocket.
Oh, there was a government subsidy, all right. A priority list. Major Population Centers, they said. Unite the countries of the Commonwealth on a timeline, they said. And what did all that mean?
It meant the damn Yankees got upgraded cities and free cars before the ink was dry on the Constitution and what about the little man? Nobody thought about the working class. No one cared about a man covered in oil and grease anymore.
He thumbed his cellphone on. No reception. Figured.
So much for the era of new prosperity. He’d hoof it. There was a little town about five miles down the road where he could call Ricky to bring a tow truck. It would have been cheaper to pay the diesel fines than get all this fixed.
Off schedule. Over budget. Son of a –
He stared at the distant trees. Well, it wasn’t going to get any cooler.
He grabbed his wallet and keys from the cab of his truck. The tree line looked like a good spot to answer a call from nature, then he’d see if there weren’t a shortcut through to town. A meadowlark sang. Not a bad day for a hike. Would’ve been better if it weren’t so dammed hot, but at least the humidity was low. He wouldn’t like to walk in a summer monsoon, not at his age with arthritis playing up.
Under a sprawling oak he unzipped his pants. As an afterthought, he glanced down to make sure he wouldn’t stir up a hill of fire ants.
A hand lay next to his boots.
He blinked, zipped his pants slowly, and turned around. “Hello?”
Cicadas chirped in answer.
“Are you drunk?” The quiet field that looked so peaceful only moments before was now eerily sinister. He nudged the hand with his foot. It was swollen and pale and crusted with blood, just like a prop out of a horror movie.
Maybe it was a good idea to run to the next town.
A body is found in the Alabama wilderness. The question is:
Is it a human corpse … or is it just a piece of discarded property?
Agent Samantha Rose has been exiled to a backwater assignment for the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation, a death knell for her career. But then Sam catches a break—a murder—that could give her the boost she needs to get her life back on track. There’s a snag, though: the body is a clone, and technically that means it’s not a homicide. And yet, something about the body raises questions, not only for her, but for coroner Linsey Mackenzie.
The more they dig, the more they realize nothing about this case is what it seems … and for Sam, nothing about Mac is what it seems, either.
This case might be the way out for her, but that way could be in a bodybag.
A thrilling new mystery from Liana Brooks, THE DAY BEFORE will have you looking over your shoulder and questioning what it means to be human.
Liana Brooks once read the book GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and noted that both their biographies invited readers to send money (or banana daiquiris). That seems to have worked well for them. Liana prefers strawberry daiquiris (virgin!) and will never say no to large amounts of cash in unmarked bills.
Her books are sweet and humorous with just enough edge to keep you reading past your bedtime.
Liana was born in San Diego after bouncing around the country she’s settled (temporarily) in the great wilderness of Alaska. She can be found on Twitter (@LianaBrooks), on FaceBook, and on the web at http://www.lianabrooks.com.
The blog-tour excitement beginneth! I have a post up on Liana Brooks’ blog, so go check it out now!
Liana is a fellow Harper Voyager Impulse author and we share the same editor. Her novel, EVEN VILLIANS HAVE INTERNS (Heroes and Villains, Book 3), will be release in print tomorrow, the same day as THE IRON RING will be released virtually. I encourage you to check out her book and her blog.
Oh, and a big thanks to Liana for the signal boost!