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Read first 2 chapters of Alyson Noel’s ‘Dark Flame’ May 30, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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Alyson Noel just posted another chapter of DARK FLAME, book No. 4 in the Immortals series about Ever, on her website. DARK FLAME is due out June 22, but here’s a tiny snippet from Chapter 2. Go to Alyson’s Immortals website HERE and follow the links to read the entire excerpt plus Chapter 1. Also, if you sign up for her newsletter (instructions at the website) you’ll see these excerpts and other goodies as she releases them. Happy reading for those who want a taste of the next novel!

Haven hurls herself into my car, scrunching her body tightly against the door and propping her feet on the seat. Frowning and glaring and mumbling— a full litany of complaints leveled at me— as I pull out of the lot and onto the street.

“Rule number one.” I glance at her, pushing my long blond hair out of my face, determined to ignore her openly hostile gaze. “You— can’t—tell—anyone.” I pause, allowing the words to sink in before adding, “Seriously. You can’t tell your mom, your dad, your little brother Austin—”

“Please.” She shifts, crossing and uncrossing her legs, tugging at her clothes and jiggling her foot in a way so antsy, so squirmy, it’s clear she can barely stand to be contained here with me. “I barely talk to them anyway.” She scowls. “Besides, that’s a repeat. You already sang that one loud and clear. So, come on, keep it moving, let’s just get ’em over and done with, so I can get out of here and start my new life.” I swallow hard, refusing to be either rushed or swayed, gazing at her as I stop at a light, determined she understand the full importance of this when I add, “And that includes Miles. Under no circumstances whatsoever can you tell him.” She rolls her eyes and fi ddles with her ring, twisting it around and around her middle fi nger, clearly tempted to fl ip it at me. “Fine. Can’t tell anyone. Got it,” she mumbles. “Next, please!”

Other posts about Alyson Noel:

‘Shadowfever’ cover released plus new synopsis of Mac’s story! (and Jericho Barrons?) May 25, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Karen Marie Moning just released the cover for SHADOWFEVER, the final book in her Fever series. It’s due out Dec. 7. She also posted this synopsis! This has me wondering — after you read the summary below —  who is Mac? And how does Jericho Barrons fit into all of this with her? What’s the choice (one that either saves the world or destroys it) Mac has to make? And who is the woman haunting her dreams? Her birth mother? (OK — that’s probably too obvious.) Share your theories with us! And to see KMM’s new SHADOWFEVER page, which has the image and synopsis, CLICK HERE!

“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”

MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals that have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief, while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh — a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King that contains the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac, and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.

Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman that haunts her dreams? More importantly, who is Mac and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse, to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover, to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and make a choice that will either save the world … or destroy it.

Other Fever news:

‘Blood Oath’ author: ‘I made it a book that I wanted to read’ May 23, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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Chris Farnsworth at a book signing in San Diego.

Chris Farnsworth already knows how things will wind up for vampire Nathaniel Cade in his BLOOD OATH series. “The last scene for each book is written, and I know how it’s going to end,” the author said Sunday at a book signing at the Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego. And while he’s not divulging any plot secrets, he is “shooting for a long life” for the series, which launched earlier this week.

Some other thoughts from the former reporter turned screenwriter/author, whose book about a vampire who protects the president and United States against supernatural powers is already moving toward the big screen (CLICK HERE for movie details):

Why his chapters are so short: “It’s kind of the way I think. I want to leave a scene with a good exit or image.”

Where did he get the idea: Farnsworth was reading THE PRESIDENT’S VAMPIRE by Robert Damon Schneck. In that compilation of amazing and bizarre incidents in U.S. history, Farnsworth read that  President Andrew Johnson had pardoned a sailor accused of killing two crew mates and drinking their blood in 1867. He wondered, “What if the president had a vampire?” And then started to build his world of world of spies, subterfuge, politics and monsters.

What did Schneck think? He was “great about it,” Farnsworth said.

Did being a reporter help him as an author? It taught him about deadlines, writing and production. “There’s no such thing as writer’s block when the newspaper deadline awaits,” he said. Working in the news industry also made Farnsworth realize he wanted to spend his time writing about ideas he wanted to pursue vs. a newspaper editor’s ideas.

Where he writes: He’s got a routine. Farnsworth writes and researches at an office near his LA home about 8 hours a day. A good day for him is 20 pages. (Tugging at him:  His “daddy-seeking-missile” — 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Caroline.)

On doing things his way: Farnsworth left the news industry about eight years ago to write novels and screenplays. In between, he sat through countless development meetings about what other people thought his stories should be about. He calls BLOOD OATH his “half-court shot” and said, “If it didn’t work, I was going to be a barista at Starbucks or tend bar.”  But instead, he followed his gut and poured everything he had into his own vision: “I made it a book that I wanted to read.”

Related links:

  • To read a Q&A with Chris Farnsworth CLICK HERE.
  • To read the Washington Post’s review of BLOOD OATH, CLICK HERE.
  • BLOOD OATH makes the New York Post’s “Required Reading” list. CLICK HERE to read.
  • Great profile of Chris and more about the book by The Orange County Register’s Peter Larsen. CLICK HERE to read.
  • Author’s site is HERE. And CLICK HERE for the book site.
  • You can follow Chris on Twitter @chrisfarnsworth.
  • Finally, check out his book tour. It starts in Southern California but he winds his way through a couple of other states. CLICK HERE for book signing info.

    My friend Hieu talking with Chris. (Both worked at OC Register.)

    Me getting my book signed. (Chris and I worked together as biz reporters.)

    Q&A: ‘Blood Oath’ author on his vampire, movie & what part of the novel is true! May 19, 2010

    Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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    Chris Farnsworth

    Nathaniel Cade. He’s a man’s vamp. A killer in a world of twisted and freaky monsters — but you want him to succeed because he’s all that stands between you and evil. Cade is the creation of Chris Farnsworth, a journalist turned screenwriter/novelist who this week released his political thriller BLOOD OATH. Cade is a very special secret agent — a vampire who has protected every U.S. president for the past 140 years. The novel is a fast read, full of action, grisly deeds, political intrigue — and even a tiny bit of vamp romance. (OK — in full disclosure, I received a reviewer’s copy of the book and also worked with Chris as a business reporter a zillion years ago.) We asked Chris to talk about his vampire, movie deal and some of the intriguing characters in his debut novel.

    Q. OK — First off, how does it feel to be living your dream? Because it’s been a long road from journalist to screenwriter to novelist!

    A. It’s all still very surreal to me. The book is on shelves, and people are actually buying it, and I still have trouble believing it’s actually happening to me. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 5 years old, before I even knew what that meant. Now it feels real, even though I’ve been writing for publication for almost 20 years.

    Q.  What was the inspiration for your vampire?

    A. According to an obscure newspaper clipping, President Andrew Johnson — the man who followed Lincoln into the White House — pardoned a sailor accused of killing two crew mates and drinking their blood in 1867. I read about this in the excellent (and well-titled) THE PRESIDENT’S VAMPIRE byRobert Schneck. It got me wondering: what would the president do with a vampire. And suddenly, the idea of a vampire secret agent, working for the Oval Office for more than a century, opened an entire world of stories to me.

    Q. The vampire hero has been hot in movies and books for quite some time. What concerns — if any — went through your mind as you were writing your vampire story and why did you think it could succeed?

    A. I worried about vampire fatigue. It’s easy to be seen as someone just leaping on the bandwagon  to make a quick buck. That’s partially true, of course, but I also wanted to honestly tell an interesting story. Cade and his world are fascinating to me. I was pretty sure other people would find it fascinating as well.

    But I can’t deny that the movie poster didn’t appear to me in my wildest dreams. There’s something very appealing about an idea like this — one that can be summed up so perfectly: “There’s a vampire working for the president, and he’s been fighting the supernatural for over 140 years.”

    Q. What part of the novel is true?

    A. President Johnson really did pardon that inmate, and the papers really did call the inmate a vampire. Aside from that, it’s all fiction. (Of course, if I’m in on the cover-up, then you’d expect me to say that.)

    Q. Why did you make Cade such a stand-up vamp? (He only drinks animal blood etc.)

    A. Cade was raised Christian — specifically, Calvinist. It’s a very unforgiving theology, and at the time he was human, it made fundamentalism look like New Age peace and love. He knows he’s damned. There’s no way to change that. He still believes that this is the plan, and he will do whatever he can to save others from the same darkness that claimed him. It’s this self-loathing that continually battles with his own arrogance, along with his oath, that keeps him stuck so fast to his principles.

    Q. Ghouls, vamps, spies, terrorism, traitors, politics — all of these threads run through the novel. Do you have a fave genre?

    A. I really don’t. I spent most of my school years reading literary fiction, but I’ve always kept a stack of genre books by my bed, too. For a few years, as a reporter, I read nothing but non-fiction. My favorite books range from spy novels to domestic dramas to sci-fi to fantasy to journalism. More and more, I subscribe to the idea that you should read everything that strikes you as remotely interesting. It’s the only way to keep your mind active and alive, and to find new ways of telling your own stories.

    Q. What creeps you out the most in the book?

    A. I am surprised how creepy I find the inner workings of my own mind when they come out into the light. I’d probably have to say, the section where Konrad deals with his sometime-girlfriend Nikki. I’m somewhat troubled at being able to imagine a person that cold and apathetic about the horror he can inflict.

    Q. In your vampire world, vamps usually don’t have sex, but Cade is the exception here. Ever think about him hooking up with a human down the road?

    A. Cade will probably never hook up with a human. He remembers the good parts about being human — which is why he and his sometime lover, Tania, still engage in sex and other human activities. But he can’t escape the contempt of a predator for his prey. Even though he’s sworn off human blood, humans are still food to him — not love. As he says in the book, “You eat steak. Does that mean you want to have sex with a cow?”

    Q. Ever read any of the other vamp books out there, such as the Anita Blake series, Sookie Stackhouse or even Lestat? If so, what’s your favorite?

    A. I’ve read a ton of the vamp novels, even though I try to avoid them while actually working on my own manuscripts. I’m impressed with many. I liked Anne Rice’s series, laughed a lot at Christopher Moore’s BLOODSUCKING FIENDS, and enjoy most of the other fang-based books, too. But my favorite has to be the Joe Pitt books from Charlie Huston, about a deliberately amoral vampire living in New York, making his way between the rival vampire clans.

    Q. How did you come up with the character of Zach? (Why make him so young/a guy etc?)

    A. Zach is the guy I could have been if I stayed on the path I started back in college. Political junkie, hard-working, dedicated, more concerned with results than motives. Also, kind of a prick. I have friends who stuck to the political trenches, and many of them are brilliant. But I realized I was more comfortable watching the game than playing it. Still, it made sense to me that a young cynic like Zach would be the ideal set of eyes to view Cade’s world. He thinks he’s seen it all, and he’s forced to realize he doesn’t even know what’s under his feet.

    Q. Why do you think vampires resonate with readers?

    A. Simple answer: they’re cool. Stay up late, never age, never die, and all you have to do is drink blood? Sounds like a pretty good deal to most people.

    The more complicated answer: we’re scared. Whenever we have trouble facing our fears head-on, we call out the monsters. In the 50s, it was the alien invasion movie. In the 80s, it was the relentless, unstoppable serial killer. And now, we’re dealing with the War on Terror with vampires and zombies. I think we want vamps on our side — again, they’re cool — to deal with the threat represented by zombies — unstoppable hordes of hungry, hostile invaders.

    Q. Will this be a three-book series or are more planned?

    A. I’ve got ideas and outlines for 10 books in the series. I’m not sure how much further I’ll go after that, but as long as people keep buying them, we’ll get at least to number 10.

    Q. There’s lots of talk about a movie. What’s the latest?

    Christian Bale

    A. Lucas Foster’s Warp Films has optioned the rights to the first two books in the series, BLOOD OATH and BLACK SITE. I will be an executive producer and consult on the scripts. Lucas is an amazing guy with a great track record — Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Crimson Tide — and he really gets the material. He doesn’t like to waste time, so with luck, we’ll be going into production soon.

    Q. And if had a say in who could be cast, who would you put in the roles of Cade and Zach?

    A. For Cade, I would love to see Christian Bale. He’s a chameleonic actor who can portray the best and worst in people. For Zach, I always saw Justin Long (The “Mac” in the “Mac and PC” commercials from Apple.) But really, we’re a long way from casting. Anything could happen.

    Q. If Cade, Bill, Eric and Edward faced off, give me order of finish — with the winner listed first!

    A. Cade, of course. He’s simply meaner than all of them. Cade is only really happy when he’s killing something, and he’s a dirty fighter. He’s contemplated moves even other monsters would find unthinkable. Eric would probably put up the most fight, since he’s also got a mean streak, and he’s older. Cade would probably play Bill against him, and then lock them outside during the day before they realized they’d been duped. Edward? I suspect he’d be distracted by some pretty teenage girl.

    Q. What’s next for you? I hear you’re already working on or done with book No. 2. When can we expect to see that?

    A. BLACK SITE, the second book in the series, is off to my agent, and should be with my editor at Putnam within a week. If all goes well, expect it in 2011.

    Q. Finally, you’ve mentioned before that your wife, Jean, kept pulling you back to the computer when you were ready to give up. For aspiring authors, who don’t have a Jean, what advice would you give them when they feel like hanging it all up?

    A. If you don’t have a Jean, you have my sympathies. I would not have made it without her. And as I keep saying, I’m the luckiest man I know. If you’re not that lucky, you can stick to this: it’s possible. Remember, you’re taking a million-to-one shot. That means you might have to miss almost a million times before you hit the target. The path you have chosen is hard. Make it look easy.

    Related links:

  • To read the Washington Post’s review of BLOOD OATH, CLICK HERE.
  • BLOOD OATH makes the New York Post’s “Required Reading” list. CLICK HERE to read.
  • Great profile of Chris and more about the book by The Orange County Register’s Peter Larsen. CLICK HERE to read.
  • Author’s site is HERE. And CLICK HERE for the book site.
  • You can follow Chris on Twitter  @chrisfarnsworth.
  • Finally, check out his book tour. It starts in Southern California but he winds his way through a couple of other states. CLICK HERE for book signing info.

    ‘Blood Oath’ — the president’s vampire — headed for big screen May 18, 2010

    Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment, News, Releases.
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    Movie rights to Chris Farnsworth’s BLOOD OATH —  about vampire Nathaniel Cade who is sworn to protect the president and the United States from supernatural threats —  have been picked up by Lucas Foster, who produced   “Law Abiding Citizen” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

    “Cade has an amazing history, a great attitude and a great set of powers. He is a complete movie figure,” Foster told the Hollywood Reporter.

    Hollywood is saturated with vampire projects, but Farnsworth’s novel “bucks vampire fatigue by focusing on action and bringing in different supernatural creatures,” the Hollywood Reporter says.

    “It’s a big idea and it’s an idea that in the wrong hands could have been cheesy,” Foster said. “He did a very good job of making the reader, and me, buy it. It’s the right tone between thriller and improbable fantasy.”

    Foster also has picked up the rights for the second book in the series, BLACK SITE, which Farnsworth is still writing.

    To read the rest of the Hollywood Reporter article, CLICK HERE.

    BLOOD OATH, which was released today, has received strong reviews:

    • To read the Washington Post’s review, CLICK HERE.
    • BLOOD OATH makes the New York Post’s “Required Reading” list. CLICK HERE to read.
    • Great profile of Chris and more about the book by The Orange County Register’s Peter Larsen. CLICK HERE to read.

    Finally, check out his book tour. It starts in Southern California but he winds his way through a couple of other states. CLICK HERE for book signing info.

    True Blood: Sneak peek video as season No. 3 nears! May 16, 2010

    Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment.
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    Season No. 3 of True Blood starts June 13. Here’s a look at the latest preview trailers out there!

    Alyson Noel shares excerpt from 1st chapter of ‘Dark Flame’ May 13, 2010

    Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Fun stuff, News.
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    If you’re having trouble waiting for the June 22 release of DARK FLAME, the fourth book in Alyson Noel’s Immortals series, take a sneak peak at an excerpt she posted from Chapter One on her Immortals site HERE.

    From book summary: The fourth book finds Ever struggling to help her best friend Haven “transition into life as an immortal — trying to keep her from doing anything that puts them at risk, while attempting to gain control over her enemy Roman, so she can finally obtain the antidote that will allow her and Damen to be together. But when the spell she casts backfires, resulting in a strange, foreign pulse that binds her to Roman instead, Ever turns to Jude and dark magick, desperately attempting to break free of the curse, and ultimately risking everything she knows and loves — including her beloved Damen.”

    Book signing: For those lucky folks in the Midwest, Alyson will be reading and signing DARK FLAME on June 22 at 6 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble #2969 at 118 E. Broadway, Mall of America in Bloomington, MN., 55425. (*Launch event will take place in Mall Rotunda.) If you go, send me your pics and I’ll post on the blog!

    Other posts about Alyson Noel:

    Book video trailer for BLOOD OATH! May 9, 2010

    Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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    Check out the video trailer for Chris Farnsworth’s BLOOD OATH, the first book in the Nathaniel Cade series, which is about a vampire sworn to protect the president and the United States from supernatural threats. It’s due out May 18.  The video caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal’s SPEAKEASY blog, which covers media, entertain and the arts. (CLICK HERE to see what the Speakeasy post said about this video.)

    Anne Rice: Vampire Lestat will ‘always be a part of me’ May 7, 2010

    Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.
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    Anne Rice posted an interesting video clip to her Facebook page today about how she developed the character Lestat in INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and what he represents to her.  Lestat was “the man who could do things that I couldn’t do,” Rice says in the video. He was a person who “could go through life joyfully despite the questions that torment me, the doubts that torment me, the horror of death that torments me.” It’s an interesting clip. Double click below to see it. (Not sure why it takes so long for this to load up but if you double click on this it will take you to YouTube and it should come up — either way — just give it a second!)

    What readers are saying about ‘Dead in the Family’ May 4, 2010

    Posted by Diana McCabe in Fun stuff, Releases.
    Tags: , ,

    I’m busy moving from Huntington Beach to San Diego so haven’t had a chance to read the latest Sookie book, DEAD IN THE FAMILY, which was released today. But here are a few comments from fans on Twitter:

    mistischindele: Just finished ‘Dead in the Family’ by Charlaine Harris..a another winner in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
    EricaBowles: Wooo got the new sookie stackhous novel today and I finished it in 2 and a half hours….what am I gonna do now? ReRead it!!!
    Maggie126: is reading the new Sookie Stackhouse book by candlelight since the power is out. I’m ruining my eyes, but worth it for new Sookie!
    PMRPWNSU: @Worthfghting4 That it is – he cries it as he goes into battle (as recounted to Sookie later, as she’s not allowed to go).
    jewelboxdreams: finished the new sookie stackhouse book! it’s very entertaining, but the pacing is a little frenzied.

    WhisperHello: Lordy the new Sookie book is good. 😀 Good good good.

    Lifeisart83: Finished the best sookie book yet! Omg I cant believe i finished in a day &now i will have to wait for what feels like 4ever for the next 1

    (Have you read it yet? If so — drop us a line and tell us what you thought!)

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