Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (52)

Teaser Tuesday

is a weekly event
Sponsored by MizB of Should be Reading

Here's how it works:
Grab the book you are currently reading (anything at all)
Open the book to any random page.
Share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on the page
Please Make Sure They Are Not Spoilers!
(Don't Give Too Much Away)
Just enough to pique our interests

This Week:

Pete couldn't cross into the Black in Whitechapel.  There were too many layers of psychic soot to allow any thin space to exist, caked up with murder and blood and the ashes of London's dead.

Bone Gods
By Caitlin Kittredge
pg 52

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday's Beginnings (66)

How are you faring in reading at the beginning of this week?  Are you starting a new book or finishing one up?

Well, here we are again at the beginning of another week.  I don't know about the rest of you but I got nowhere near what I was hoping to get done in reading over this long weekend.  I was hoping to have more time at home as I usually have around Thanksgiving.  But, we got caught up in the family visiting and special sales at the stores.  Yep, I was one of those crazy people to be out on Black Friday.  I usually get home before lunch, nap, then have the rest of the afternoon to relax.  But this year, with finishing the house and getting ready to move in this coming weekend, we had lots of things we had to purchase.  Nice thing is just about all of it was on sale, a wonderful sale price, and saved us loads of money. :)

So I am working on finishing up Blood Lite II: Overbite.

I did get through Geist by Philippa Ballantine.  If you would like to read the review, CLICK HERE.  I also had a wonderful post today from Philippa Ballantine:  What Came First - the chicken or the egg - World Building or Character Building.  Great post!  Would you like to check it out?  CLICK HERE.

Robyn from The Bookoholic Zone and I have chats going on for Caitlin Kittredge books for the Black London series.  The first book, Street Magic, discussion is already under way.  CLICK HERE to visit and chat with us.

My WANT list...once again I have added 9 books!  Oh this list is amazing.  I don't know what I'm going to do.  It seems to be that I have to flip a 200 sided coin to figure out which book I am going to get next. :)  I love it!

For my up coming week... I don't think I'm going to get much reading done. I will be packing the whole house Thursday and Friday. Moving all over the weekend. Then unpacking Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday I will be returning back to work. I am hoping to be all settled in. Hoping...
Books Received Last Week:

For Review:
The Mason brothers had always been close, but until the day ex-Navy officer Mike discovered he was actually an angel, they had no idea just how close.

This paranormal/urban fantasy novel brings readers along on the Mason brothers' shared journey of discovery, because where one brother goes, the other two follow, sometimes kicking and screaming. Not everything is heavenly for these three men tossed into strange new circumstances without an instruction manual, and being an angel isn't as easy as it sounds. But along with the thorns there are roses, and for the suddenly-immortal Mason brothers, the journey is only beginning.

Robyn and I will be doing a chat on this book starting in the New Year.  Stay toned for the schedule later this month.

Seattle. One minute you're drinking a vanilla breve, the next, some creepy old dude is breathing on you, turning you into a zombie. And that's just for starters. Now, the recently deceased Amanda Feral is trying to make her way through Seattle's undead scene with style (mortuary-grade makeup, six-inch stilettos, Balenciaga handbag on sale) while satisfying her craving for human flesh (Don't judge. And no, not like chicken.) and decent vodkatinis.

Making her way through a dangerous world of cloud-doped bloodsuckers, reapers, horny and horned devils, werewolves, celebrities, and PR-obsessed shapeshifters--not to mention an extremely hot bartender named Ricardo--isn't easy. And the minute one of Amanda's undead friends disappears after texting the word, "help" (The undead--so dramatic!) she knows the afterlife is about to get really ugly.

Something sinister is at hand. Someone or something is hellbent on turning Seattle's undead underworld into a place of true terror. And this time, Amanda may meet a fate a lot worse than death...

I will admit I'm a Feist Fan. :) So I had to get this book as I really want to get back into the world he has created here.  Now I have to find the time to read it.

In the start of this new epic adventure, the RiftWar is done, but a fearsome army of trolls and renegade humans has risen. A traitor who rejects the brutality of his warlike kind casts his lot with the human targets of the aggressors.

So, how are you faring this week?  Does it look like a good reading week?

Here's to you having a great week in words and pages.

Author Guest Post:

I'm excited to introduce you all to Philippa Ballantine, the author of the wonderful new release of Geist the first book in A Book of the Order.  I enjoyed reading this book.  Review HERE, if you missed it.

Philippa has a wonderful post for us today; I do hope you all enjoy, say hello, and take a moment to check out Philippa's site (link at bottom of post) as she has a wonderful site and other wonderful sounding books she has written.

Chicken or the Egg- which came first world building or character building?

For fantasy writers in the creation of a world is a task that they can’t ignore. If you want to play with magic in the epic or high fantasy genre, there isn’t really a choice but to build a world for your characters to play in.

There are two camps when it come to world building: those that create the world first and then drop the characters in, and those that create the character first and let the world evolve around them. I fall into the latter portion of writers.

I know there are a lot of us out there that spend a great deal of time world building. In fact some of them spend so long world building that the writing is almost secondary. They fill reams of paper (both real and virtual) on the history, the cultures, the landscape of their world.

I enjoy a well constructed world as much as the next person, but to me it is always about character.

For example I had a concept for my book Geist, about a powerful female character, bought up in an isolated community, which made her both a little arrogant and entirely socially inept.

The second fact I determined was that I wanted it to be in a world where the paranormal was an everyday and accepted fact.

Yes, for me it is definitely chicken (the character) and then the egg (the world) very close afterwards. To my mind you have to have a good chicken for people to empathise and enter the world through.

The world falls into place around the character. It grows from the challenges and dangers I want to give them to deal with. I fill it in with details—but not too many—of what I have read about in history, and places I have seen in my travels.

World building should be subtle, and so integral to the story that it is seamless. I remember reading a story that—no joke—talked about the geology of the landscape that the characters were passing through. That didn’t exactly lend itself to my enjoyment of the story—in fact it bored me. Such things seem very indulgent and self-serving—like it is more important to show off the work that the author has put into his world building than moving the story forward.

To me, such efforts are about as useful as a tailor flipping the suit they have created inside-out to show how amazing their seams are. We don’t care about that sort of work—we only want it to be a great fit.

For example the runes that the Deacons use in Geist are an important part of the world. They are the only weapons that work against paranormal creatures, but I did not want to dump a whole lot of information on the reader from a great height. So each of the ten runes of Dominion are gradually revealed throughout the book as they are used by the main character, Sorcha Faris. Only later in the book do I explicitly give a laundry list of them. It’s not just about holding back on the dreaded info dump, but also to give the reader a sense of discovery as they go along—and a feeling of an accomplishment as they unravel the story.

A little mystery is not the worst thing to have in your world after all.

We should experience the world through the eyes of the character, and it should only reveal itself in that way. It should never hit us in the face.

So for me it will always be character first, and then the world evolving around them; a world that will challenge them and bring out the best—and worst—in their personality. That is what I find truly interesting—and hopefully my readers do too!

Philippa Ballantine is a fantasy writer hailing from Wellington, New Zealand. In the coming year she will have three books hitting the real and virtual shelves. The first of which a supernatural fantasy, Geist is available now from Ace books. Find out more at booksoftheorder.com and pjballantine.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blog Book Chat (6)...Street Magic

Street Magic
By Caitlin Kittredge

Our chat is starting with the first book in the Black London Series.

I am a little bit of a slacker this past week, Sorry! :(  I kind of got caught up in the holiday mood and visiting with family.  So I am a little behind in posting this link to our chat.

I do hope you all click this link to Robyn's Blog, The Bookoholic Zone, to Chat on Street Magic.  This is a great first book for the series...  CLICK HERE to go to chat.

Thank you and look forward to chatting with you all.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Review: Geist


By:  Philippa Ballantine

Publisher:  Ace

Publish Date:  November 2010

Format:  Paperback 294pgs, Pocket book size

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st book in A Book of the Order

Recommendation:  Yes. Yes! Wonderful fantasy depth and could be loved by Urban Fantasy lovers too.

Book Synopsis:
Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off malevolent hauntings by the geists...

Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha Faris, now thrust into a partnership with the novice Deacon Merrick Chambers.  They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aid a Priory besieged by a surge of violent geist activity.  With them is Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne that Sorcha is sworn to protect, and bearer of a terrible curse.

But what greets them in the strange settlement is something far more predatory and more horrifying than any mere haunting.  And as she uncovers a tradition of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history, Sorcha will be forced to reconsider everything she thinks she knows.  Even if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in the hell is she returning to?

First Sentence:
It was good weather for a riot.

My Review and Summary:
Sorcha is a deacon, with the ability of an Active in the Order, who are to protect the people against attacks and riots of geists.  Geists are a ghost type enemy from the Otherside which possess people to attack others.  Vermillion is to be one of the safest cities against geists as it's surrounded by water and geists can't cross water.  But geists still find a way here...  Every Active is paired with a Sensitive to create a great working team with their own special powers to defeat the different geists.  Sorcha is paired with Kolya, her husband.  After a horrible attack on Kolya, Sorcha realizes she observed some new actions of the geist.  The Arch Abbot calls on Sorcha after using the rune  only to be used in extreme dire need, to talk with her.  But Arch Abbot tells Sorcha she is going on an important mission in an area with escalated geist activity, with a new Sensitive - Deacon Merrich Chambers - who is fresh out of the academy.  Sorcha is not thrilled about breaking in a fresh Sensitive on such a dangerous mission, but takes on the orders.  What Sorcha doesn't realize is Merrick has his dark secrets too, both as a Sensitive and personal.  But will they both be able to keep their secrets buried from each other through the bond they have as a team?  Everything Sorcha believes just might get twisted and she might have to do what she doesn't want.

I truly enjoyed the journey through this haunting fantasy read.  I am one to love world creativity and it's one of many amazingly strong characteristic here.  Philippa does a wonderful job of creating a religious style order with the Deacons.  Although they may not be of the 'religious' beliefs you may think.  They are the ones who fight the geists to protect the world.  I enjoyed watching as this world revealed itself through this book; the ruins for Actives then the Sensitives, the history of the world, and the geists.  And still wonder on the mysteries of it all yet to come.

The characters are another wonderful strength here.  The characters stick to their personalities, but grow in more ways than I had expected, to show other sides I wouldn't have thought to show, making them three dimensional to me.  I enjoyed watching all the characters grow in wonderful leaps in this book.  And the characters secrets start to unfold.

The story Philippa has to tell here is captivating.  There are a few stories with in this book; learning of the characters, the history of the world, and the mystery of what is happening with the changes the geist are showing.  Then the mystery of where the corruption is or coming from.

I would think many who loves Fantasy would enjoy this book along with Urban Fantasy lovers as well.  This book touches on a few different genre, but has a depth to it to make you wonder where Philippa will go in the future and how deep does the venality go.

If you would like to visit Philippa's site and blog CLICK HERE.  Philippa has another series that sounds amazing as well.

I offered to read this book for review to the author, Philippa Ballantine.

This book qualifies for the Speculative Fiction Challenge, hosted by Book Chick City.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (51)

Teaser Tuesday

is a weekly event
Sponsored by MizB of Should be Reading

Here's how it works:
Grab the book you are currently reading (anything at all)
Open the book to any random page.
Share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on the page
Please Make Sure They Are Not Spoilers!
(Don't Give Too Much Away)
Just enough to pique our interests

This Week:

The Young Pretender had enough experience dealing with difficult people to know that giving them what they least expected often sucked the wind out of their sails.  It did indeed seem to work on this particular prickly Deacon.

By Philippa Ballantine
pg 87

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday's Beginnings (65)

How are you faring in reading at the beginning of this week?  Are you starting a new book or finishing one up?

Well, again I have high hopes for the week.  I know its Thanksgiving week here in the US, but I don't do the cooking.  No, it's not really that I don't want to, but all our parents have the breakfasts, dinners, and such at their places.  So I get to do the traveling.  So I am hoping to read in the car. :)  Then I am taking Wednesday off of work to do some stuff with out house, so I'm hoping to get some reading done in the am after my son gets on the bus.  Hoping, as the husband will probably have something for me to do, but there is always hope.

I am working on a few books:  Geist by Philippa Ballantine, Blood Lite II Overbite by Kevin J. Anderson and I still have Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson in the wings here.  I will have Geist done this week and maybe work on Blook Lite II.

I did get some reviews up over the weekend.  If you would like to jump over to read them, click the name here in this list:
     Hell Fire  by Ann Aguirre
     Spellspam  by Alma Alexander

Just in the news here at My World...in words and pages:
   I will have a guest post by Philippa Ballantine on November 29th.  Please mark your calendars to remember to stop back by and check out the great post Philippa will be doing.  I have to say her book so far is rather amazing.  You all should look into it. :)
   Robyn from The Bookaholic Zone and I will be starting our chat on Caitlin Kittredge's three books of The Black London series.  Would you like to see the schedule we have planned?  CLICK HERE.  Hope to see you at the chats. :)

My WANT list... 11 books!! Wow. That is one the greatest weeks I've had in a long time.  Oh this poor list. ;) I really do love the selection I have here.

Books Received Last Week:

Well, can you believe I got NO books!?!?  I couldn't.  It's been a very long time since I've had a week where I didn't buy at least one book.  But, I will make up for it this week. :)  But, my book shelves could use a break from the addition for one week, I guess.

So, how are you faring this week?  Does it look like a good reading week?

Here's to you having a great week in words and pages.

Book Giveaway, Winner!

First thank you to every one who entered for the Signed copy of The Warded Man by Peter. V. Brett.

I went through and tallied up the entries for everyone who entered and had a total of 73 entries.  So I journeyed over to Random.org and entered the max number of 73.  Click the little button and got the winning number...

Now, I want to say before we get to the winner that I think everyone who entered would truly enjoy this book.  So I hope you all go get yourself a copy to enjoy. :)

The winner of a signed copy of The Warded Man is....

Number 16, who is....

Jennifer at Book Noise.

Jennifer keep an eye out. I'll be sending an email your way here in a few minutes. :)

Thank you again to everyone!

Book Cover Released:

by Philippa Ballantine

The second book in the series:  A Book of the Order.

Spectyr is Due Out June 2011.

Stop by Philippa's blog and site to check out more details, HERE.

I really like the gauntlet (glove) with the runes glowing.  And it is nice to see these two characters here on the cover - such an interesting relationship.

I am currently enjoying the first book of the series and really looking forward to doing the review for it.

Guess what book is going on my list of Desired Books...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Book Review: Spellspam


By:  Alma Alexander

Publisher:  Eos Books

Publish Date:  March 1, 2008

Format:  Paperback 454 pgs, pocketbook size

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Series:  2nd book in Worldweavers series; 1st book ~ Gift of the Unmage, REVIEW HERE.

Recommendation:  Yes.  For young readers, young adults and adult too.  This is a fun read of cyber magic in a completely magical world.

Book Synopsis:
What do you get when ordinary e-mail spam becomes infused with magic?

At first, they seemed like harmless practical jokes, but now, for the students at the Wandless Academy, the spellspams are getting worse.  Thea thought she was the only one who could reach through the computer using magic, but someone else is out there, someone bent on more than just stirring up trouble.  Someone with a dark agenda from a whole new world.

This sequel to Worldweavers: Gift of the Unmage ups the ante on a fantasy world that is rich and nuanced, like our own, but with a core of wildly original magic.

First Sentence:
The first hint of serious trouble came, as trouble always does, unlooked for, stealthily, catching everyone by surprise.

My Review and Summary:
It's the next year with everyone back at the Wandless Academy.  A girl, LaTasha, runs screaming from the Library.  To Thea she looked like she had no skin on her face just the muscles.  Thea finds the spam email LaTasha read still on the computer screen; guaranteeing clearer skin than you can image.  Could there be a spell involved?  Here at the Wandless Academy where no one can do magic.  And from through the computers where magic can't affect any one...  Is Thea going to be the one blamed for all these spellspams since the principle knows what she can do?

This book is an excellent second book.  It focuses on the wonderful story more than the setup of the characters and magical world.  I felt there were two additional climaxes to the storyline that went with the main story, almost like two bonus short stories added in.  The spellspams were fun as the way they were worded made me chuckle and as the story went on I wanted to figure out what the spell would affect before I knew the results of it.

Thea and her friends are curious about what they did with the computers last year, as they are a group on magicless kids in a world full of magic - and last year seemed like magic.  They start to investigate more into the unique computer magic. Thea had thought she was the only person that could touch computers in a magical way, but these new spellspams leave her wondering if there is someone else out there like her.

In this book Thea's powers start to grow.  It is also very nice to see Thea stand on her own two feet when it comes to her magical abilities.  She is starting to get better control of what she can do, when to ask for help, and who to ask.  Thea is a young girl starting to grow up.  We also take Thea out of her safe zone of the Wandless Academy which opens up a door to more danger.  The Alphiri are still a shadow in the back of Thea's mind that could jump out and take her at any time.

I enjoyed the characters in this book as well.  Thea's aunt is one of my favorites for the way she talks and her magic.  But I enjoyed the way all the characters interact with each other.  Alma is great at picking up children's views of happenings around them.

This book is great for Young Readers and Young Adults as there is no gory violence and not sexual content.

I received this book from the Author for review.

This book qualifies for the Young Adult Challenge hosted by Home Girl's Book Blog, and for the Speculative Fiction Challenge hosted by Book Chick City.

Book Review: Hell Fire

Hell Fire

By:  Ann Aguirre

Publisher:  ROC books

Publish Date:  April 2010

Format:  Paperback, 315pgs - pocketbook size

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  2nd book in Corine Solomon Novels; 1st book Blue Diablo ~ Review HERE

Recommendation:  Yes! If you enjoyed the first book and enjoy stories with ghosts and demons.  This Urban Fantasy Mystery will be a wonderful read!

Book Synopsis:
As a handler, Corine Solomon can touch an object and know its history.  It's too bad she can't seem to forget her own.  With her ex-boyfriend Chance in tow lending his particularly supernatural brand of luck, Corine journeys back home to Kilmer, Georgia, in order to discover the truth behind her mother's death and the origins of her "gift."

But while trying to uncover the secrets of her past, Corine and Chance find that something is rotten in the state of Georgia.  Just a few miles away, no one seems to know Kilmer exists.  And inside the town borders, there are signs of a dark curse affecting the town and all its residents - and it can be satisfied only by death.

First Sentence:
I'm still a redhead.

My Review and Summary:
Where are we with Corine, Chance, and Jesse?

We pick up where we left off from Blue Diablo.  As promised Chance is heading with Corine to her home town to look into her mothers death.  Kilmer.  The town of Kilmer has a spooky Gothic feel to it, and there are many magic symbols through out the town, even on trees.  Kilmer has many dark hidden secrets of its own along with the towns people who live here.  Corine and Chance work hard to find out what happened to Corine's mother and get tied up in the towns dark secrets, with lots of dead ends.

I enjoyed this book as Kilmer had many scary secrets all of its own.  I wanted to know more about this town, which seems to be stuck in the past, as the story went on.  With this town and the dead ends that Corine and Chance come to kept me wanting more and wondering what was going on.  Ann Aguirre has a great way of writing an action-packed urban fantasy mystery book, and I love it.  The suspense of ghosts and/or magic just kept me coming back for more.  Every time I though we would get an answer we would get a touch but there would be another question to follow.  Ann kept me guessing until the very end.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book as well.  Both the men are back in full form, and fighting over Corine.  I love these men as they both a great possibility to be Corine's significant other.  You are just going to have to read the book to see if Corine picks one.  Corine grows in some ways in this book.  Her powers come to a new level and she pushes herself to use them.  It was interesting to see the develop.  However, Corine gave me pause at times with her reactions to each man when she is alone with them.  But, I quickly moved on from that as I do enjoy both these men.  And there's a great new character we meet here, Shannon.  I am hoping we get to see more of Shannon in future books and hope she helps Corine mature in her relationship and setting roots ways.

The ghost part of the book was always neat for me.  It's not a spooky way, but a different touch, and I enjoyed it.  Once again Ann has written another book I could so easily see made into a wonderful action-packed fast-paced urban fantasy mystery movie. 

I purchased this book for my own enjoyment.

This book qualifies for my Speculative Fiction Challenge, hosted by Book Chick City.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Trailer...

Tyger Tyger Book Trailer:

I read this book as an ARC and loved it.  Kersten Hamilton now has a trailer up for the book.  I hope you get the chance to read it as well.  Yes, it's a YA read.  But don't let that stop you.  Its a fun YA Fantasy read.  If you would like to read my review, IT'S HERE.

But, here's the book trailer for you to watch now...

Looking Forward To...(29)

There are so many amazing books already on the shelves and new ones coming out.

For a list of books yet to be released I'm looking to get, you can also look on my right Sidebar at the ever growing list titled Desired Reads - just scroll down.  Of course there are tones of other new books to come out that are amazing as well, but these ones are part of series I have already started or for one reason or another caught my eye (and haven't seen much on other blogs yet). But I will highlight one here each week.

(mentioned in order of Release Date then Alphabetical if there are more than one book coming out on the same date.)

The Next Book Is...

Soul Hunt
By:  Margaret Ronald
Due Out:  December 28, 2010

I've read the first two books of this series on Evie Scelan.  She is a very unique 'person' with an ancestry that reaches back into the Celtic times, and she has a few hound specialties.  The books have a lot of great Celtic mythology base twisted into a current style world.  I have enjoyed these books.  And I was left with the feel in the last book that Evie's abilities are changing, or growing.  And I want to know what happens to her and her boyfriend.

The reviews of the first two books (just click the title):

The hunter has become the hunted . . .
Without even realizing what she was doing, Genevieve Scelan has made a bad bargain. The Red Sox fanatic and supernatural tracker known as "Hound" for her extraordinary power of scent wishes she could leave magic behind now that she’s eradicated the evil cabal that oppressed Boston’s undercurrent for centuries. But now her talent’s fading, the local adepts’ squabbles are turning ugly, and worse, she’s just discovered that she owes a very large debt to someone . . . or something. And in the undercurrent, debts are taken very seriously.

Evie has until midwinter to pay up . . . or else. So when she gets a job that might save her—even if she’s breaking all her own rules to take it—she can’t pass it up. Now, with danger at her back and uncertain allies beside her, she’ll trace the very bones of Boston itself to protect both the city and the people she loves.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Blog Tour...

Philippa Ballantine, author of the newly released Geist,
first of A book of the Order series. 

I am thrilled to announce Philippa will do a guest post on Monday November 29th right here!  I think it's going to be a great post, so please make sure you mark your calendars to stop back by and say Hi.

If you would like to stop by Philippa's site and watch a great interview with her in which she talks on writing, writing fantasy, and Geist: CLICK HERE.  I think you will be sold on the books from this site, before you even start reading them.

I will be starting to read the book Geist this weekend and have a review posted of the book as well.  I am so looking forward to getting into this book, as it really sounds like a great fantasy read that is right up my alley.

Have you heard about Geist yet?  If not here is the cover and synopsis from Goodreads:
Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off the malevolent haunting of the geists... 

Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha, now thrust into partnership with the novice Deacon, Merrick Chambers. They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aide the Priory with a surge of violent geist activity. With them is Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne that Sorcha is sworn to protect, and bearer of a terrible curse. 

But what greets them in the strange settlement is something far more predatory and more horrifying than any mere haunting. And as she uncovers a tradition of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history, Sorcha will be forced to reconsider everything she thinks she knows. 

And if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in Hell is she returning to?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Interview with Caitlin Kittredge

Today I have an interview for you with a great author, Caitlin Kittredge.  Some of you may know Caitlin from her Nocturne City Series or maybe even the Icarus Project.  I have read and enjoyed her Black London Series. On November 30, 2010 the third book, Bone Gods, will be released.

Lets get on to that wonderful interview...

Me:  Hello Caitlin!  Thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview with me. :)

CK:  My pleasure.

Me:  It appears you have been very busy lately with all the amazing sounding books your working on, recently released, or coming up to be released.  And moving too.  I have been enjoying one series of yours, with Pete and Jack.  The third book of this series is to be released November 30th.  Can you tell us a little bit about your main characters for those who might not have read the series yet?

CK:  Jack Winter is a mage (a magic user who can and does use both lighter and darker sorts of magic) who lives in London.  Jack's also a psychic, who can communicate with the dead as well as see demons, Fae and other creatures who dwell in the supernatural version of London known as the Black.  His ability is strong and it's actually driven him insane in the past.  Pete Caldecott is pretty much his diametric opposite.  She (yeah, it's a thing) is a former detective with the Metropolitan Police who discovered that she had some supernatural abilities of her own that are way more powerful and way more frightening than Jack's ability to cast hexes or talk to ghosts.  Pete and Jack used to be in love as teenagers, but a lot has happened since then, and their relationship is still fragile.  Plus, people keep trying to kill them and a literal demon from Hell has a vested interest in keeping them apart.  

Me:  Jack and Pete have a... unique... connection in the books with the help of their abilities.  But now we have our characters in some predicaments; Jack in a Hell of a place and Pete to learn a lot.  Will we see the characters grow by milestones in the next book?  Any hints you can give us?

CK:  In Bone Gods, yes.  There's a lot of change for everyone involved, including the city itself.  I never set out to write 20 books where Pete and Jack stay exactly the same and the world of the Black maintains the status quo.  It's safe to say that nothing in the books is sacred, including character's lives.

Me:  I read on your blog your to do list you have Black London #4 (Devil's Business), #5 and #6 to write. How many books will there be in the Black London series?

CK:  As many as they'll pay me for.

Me:  The characters have a British accent. Did you live in Britain or do lots of studying to come up with the comments and accent sound?

CK:  I've been to England and have some extraordinarily patient British friends.  I don't get everything right, and I freely admit sometimes I screw up the slang despite my best efforts, but I like to think I improve a little with each book.  

Me:  The relationship between Pete & Jack is great!  I really enjoy the banter they have going between the two of them.  I love that they let all out when they talk to each other.  No love last between the two.  I have not yet read other series by you (although they are on my list to get and read as I have really enjoyed these) but is there anything that fuels the truth behind these characters? 

CK:  I hate cutesy back-and-forth banter couples in fiction (books, comics, film or any other media) who never show each other a real emotion or emotional truth.  I also hate romantic comedies where the female lead won't just say what's on her mind and makes crazy assumptions about her male counterparts, so I think the combination of those two things lead me to the dynamic between Pete and Jack.  Yes, they get irritated and they fight and say horrible stuff to each other, but there's also a profound love and respect between them.  Jack would do anything for Pete and she pays him back by not sugarcoating the truth. Pete as a character is pretty blunt and extremely honest, and Jack wouldn't know how to be tactful if you had a gun to his head.  So they tend to get one another riled up.  

Me:  Do you have that one line, paragraph, page or section you wish you could go back and redo?

CK:  I really wish I could fix the slang mistakes in the first book.  Otherwise, no--I'm behind my writing 100%.

Me:  Any particular section or scene in the Black London Series that you enjoyed the most writing?  What scene was the most difficult to write? Why?

CK:  The scene on the porn set in Street Magic was hilarious, to me.  I was giggling while I was writing that one.  Possibly because on the inside, I'm twelve.  The stuff that delves into Jack's past, when we see his childhood abuse and multiple suicide attempts and drug addiction, was really hard for me to write unflinchingly and not skim over.  Getting down the innermost thoughts of a hard-core heroin addict/abuse survivor does not make for a bright, rainbow-filled writing session.

Me:  Do you have any authors who have influenced you?

CK:  Pretty much everything I read influences me, whether it's good or bad.  The Black London books are my attempt at something like those great British crime novels, where everyone smokes and people get punched in the face quite a bit.  The BBC series Life on Mars (NOT the shoddy American remake) had quite a bit to do with making Pete a cop, and also me deciding that Jack had to be from Manchester.  When I was a little younger I read a lot of the comic books Warren Ellis wrote for Marvel in the 90s, like Excalibur (which technically was about superheroes but owed a lot more to those same crime novels.)  Mike Carey is another fantastic author currently writing London-set fantasy, and Simon Green's Nightside books also had something to do with it.  I'll be a total post-1992 debut author cliche and say Neil Gaiman, as well.

Me:  Any advice to aspiring authors?

CK:  Write a book.  Seriously.  Write and finish a book.  Set yourself a routine, outline if you need to, and make it happen.  If you can finish one book, chances are good you can finish enough to eventually get published.  Also, read non-fiction as well as fiction.  If nothing else you'll get good ideas for future books.

Me:  Is there anything no one has asked you would like to be asked?

CK:  Nobody ever asks me my opinion on unicorns.  This makes me sad.

Me:  What was the last book you just finished?  What is next on you shelf to read?

CK:  I've been re-reading all of David Sedaris's books, and right now I'm reading Already Dead by Charlie Huston.

Me:  Just a fun question, If you could go any where in the world where would you go?

CK:  I've been to a lot of the places I've always dreamed of visiting--London, Belgium, Amsterdam, Kyoto, road tripping across the entire US.  Right now the two trips I really want to take are to tour Ireland or see Moscow and maybe a few other parts of Russia.  And I always enjoy going back to the UK--England is one of my favorite places on earth.

Me:  A fellow blogger and a friend, Robyn from The Bookoholic Zone, whom I've been talking about the books with and will do our scheduled chats with ~ posed a few questions I thought would be great to add in as well.  They are:  She was thinking on the emotions of the characters.  How is Pete going to react when she sees Jack again?  Will she show anger or still care too much about him?  And Jack?  Would he have any emotions left at all from being in Hell that he might still care for Pete?

CK:  Well, you'll have to read Bone Gods to find that out, because to answer any of those questions would be huge spoilers!  Yes, I'm mean like that.

WOW!  Thank you Caitlin.  I really enjoyed your answers.  I learned some great things here about the characters and you.  I am really looking forward to reading Bone Gods very soon.

I would love to wish you the best...in words and pages.  Thank you again Caitlin.


Okay, so as a reader are you curious about Bone Gods?  
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Pete Caldecott is trying to survive in Black London without Jack Winter, her teacher and closest friend.  After Jack was turned into a demon, he went to live far out of reach...in hell.  But for Pete, surviving is no easy matter.  The Black is rife with turf wars between mages and necromancers, the witch-hunting Order of the Malleus has resurfaced, and the gods themselves seem to be at each other's throats.  Then Jack reappears, as the head of hell's army, and Pete has to choose between Jack, and her duties as a Weir--which demand she kill him to save the world from certain destruction...

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