Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sunday Soup - Happy Spring!

In The Soup This Week... Nalini Singh, Lynsay Sands, Jayne Ann Krentz -- some big hitters this week.

Soup Dish:
Hey guys, sorry about the silence there.  Shortly after my last post I came down with a cruddy cough that I'm still trying to kick. I've been doing the bare-minimum function thing to keep my job and maintain some level of civilization in my house just slightly above "feral". On the plus side, I did a bunch of reading, and a fair amount of wardrobe-planning for RT, which takes up a rather ridiculous amount of brain space for me. Related, I started this post last week and am just now finishing.
A nice write-up on the new Romance documentary, Love Between the Covers. I missed the Seattle screening a couple weeks ago because I was so sick. I'm hoping to get another chance to see it, maybe at RT.

Last week there was some buzz about RWA's stance with Pocket Books regarding diversity in their romance line.  RWA published an update on the issue, and Pocket responded. The interesting thing is that Pocket did not seem to respond meaningfully until RWA basically said, "Do you want to sever ties with RWA? because that could happen." I wish I had caught more of the discussion online, if anyone has good links or a Storyfy on it, I'd be interested.

#RT16 is less than 3 weeks away! Eeee! I have no plan this year. I have a few things picked out on the agenda but right now I'm just showing up and que sera, sera.

What I'm reading

Jayne Ann Krentz's Trust No One was really good. Creepy and believable, and no, I did not think that the hero was the bad guy at any point, which is implied a little bit by the blurb, I think. It's classic Krentz romantic suspense, and by now you probably know if you like her style or not. I do, and this was a great read.

Avon was kind enough to send me a copy of the recently-released Runaway Vampire by Lynsay Sands. I've read and enjoyed a few books from this series, but it's not one of my "must-read" series, if you know what I mean. Even so, this was a fun, satisfying vampire romance. There's a larger series arc going on, some bad guys that the hero was escaping from in the first scene, but this book is perhaps a bit of a detour on that arc. I thought the book stood alone just fine, relying on some basic, familiar vampire tropes which the reader is easily caught up on. The only thing that I thought was weird, that my my fellow Avon readers assured me is just normal for the series, is that the erotic scenes included the vampires sucking blood out of plastic bags. I don't know if this is supposed to be tongue in cheek or funny but it was written pretty straight, as though the characters were getting a sexual charge out of consuming blood from the bag, and it definitely threw me out of the erotic moment more than a little bit. Otherwise, a solid read.

I also got an email entitled "DROP EVERYTHING..." and I TOTALLY DID because it was an ARC for Nalini Singh's most recent Psy-Changeling book, Allegiance of Honor. I will be doing a full-length review for it closer to release date, but here's a spoiler: IT WAS AMAZING. So good. So incredibly good. Go ahead and pre-order right now, you won't be sorry.

Just before I came down with the coughing crud, I attended the Microsoft Women's conference, which was a pretty big deal. One of the best talks I went to was on "GenderSpeak" by Tammy Hughes. I got a copy of her book and zoomed through about 90% of it while I was hopped up on cough medicine. Much of the material was covered in her talk, perhaps more charismatically, but I'm glad to have the book on my shelf -- it has some really good insights. Hardball for Women: Winning at Business.

Otherwise, in reading,  I've started a few things that haven't really caught fire for me, but that could be the fact that I'm not feeling 100%.  I haven't declared anything a DNF, I just keep starting things and moving on to other things.  Meh.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Seleste DeLaney: Rust City Book Con Featured Author

Welcome to your early-bird peek at some of the fantastic authors who are already signed up for the conference. You should note that the "early bird" part of this situation is rapidly fading -- early registration ends in a few short weeks! 
Today I'm showcasing


Hi Julie/Seleste! Welcome back to Alpha Heroes! So far you are my first repeat offender in the 5 Words game -- I'm so glad you liked it well enough to do it again. Would you like to re-introduce yourself? 

Hi all! I'm Julie Particka and Seleste deLaney. To keep things simple on the name front, Julie writes contemporary romance, and Seleste writes "the weird stuff" (steampunk romance, paranormal, romantic suspense with a speculative twist, etc).

I don't have any Seleste releases between now and Rust City (unless magic happens--which it might), but as Julie, I have two new books coming out. First up in March is "Not the Marrying Kind" which is part of the Sutherlands box set -10 sexy stories about a Texas oil family that doesn't break the rules--they make their own. The pre-order and release week price on the limited time only box set is just 99 cents, AND 20% of royalties are going to go to Reach Out and Read, a charity that works to build a foundation for reading by combining books with pediatric care. How cool is that?

And then in June, the last (? Maybe, maybe not) of my Gone Hollywood series, Playing the Perfect Boyfriend comes out. This is a super-sexy unconventional romance about two people who don't believe in happily-ever-after. It is probably my favorite of all the books I've ever written.

That sounds dreamy! For readers who are too impatient to wait for that one, they check out the last release in that series, Blackmailed by the Hero.

Ok, Julie (and also Seleste!) , let's talk about RustCity!

1. Fill in the blank: "I used to be really good at answering interview questions , but these days I'm pretty rusty."

2. Eminem or Aretha? Explain.

Aretha. Nothing against Eminem, but Aretha's music just speaks to me on a more visceral level. She makes me feel empowered and still feminine. (Which if you know me at all, you know there aren't many things that make me really feel like a girl.)

3. Choose One:
I'm confused. And not from around here.

4. What are you looking forward to most at the RustCity conference? I'm so excited about the potential for a hugely successful, all-genre Detroit area con. We have some great genre-specific cons, but they aren't book-focused and authors outside those genres are often pushed to the side. Rust City opens us up to the possibility of something amazing, and I can't wait to see it play out.

5. What is an off-the-cuff association you have with Michigan, Detroit, or Troy?
Home. Plain and simple. I went to college in Indiana, I spent four years living in Colorado, and another...13 in Kalamazoo/Portage. Michigan, and more specifically, the Detroit area has always been home. My family is here, I grew up here. I can't imagine giving my heart to any other place.

6. Your latest work of fiction features a wealthy industrialist and an R&B singer. What's the first sentence? Lacey wanted to shove the mic stand straight up his rich ass.

What's it about? LOL I have no idea. I kind of like the first sentence though.

7. And finally, would you like to participate in the Alpha Heroes Five Words Fiction Game? (Again?)

I'm all over that! Did you say Steampunk?

I totally did, and I'm thrilled to have you play! Your challenge words from the lovely Marie Piper are: raspberry, index, tantalize, world, and hat. The world-building rules for Steampunk are: set mid-nineteenth century, little or no magic, but alternate history without petroleum-fueled technology or electricity.

Part 1 by Lorelei Brown

Part 2 by Marie Piper

Part 3:
Jessa Rawley put the raspberry between her lips, sucking on it slowly, letting the juice coat her mouth before chewing and then swallowing. She might not be a lady-proper or a lady-of-ill-repute, but a girl could always do with a bit of freshening, even if everyone around her thought she was a man.

While her partner blathered about the locals, Jessa peered out from beneath the brim of her bowler hat. The man at the bar had written something during the brief time he’d been seated—and he’d left it behind. Might have been nothing, but… The barkeep picked it up, took one glance at the scribbling, and poured two fingers of whiskey into a glass, sliding the folded note beneath the edge.

She slapped Oates to shut him up. “That bummer you were yammering about’s a Badger, dimwit. We got a job to do.” Standing, she sauntered over and eased the note from beneath the glass. While the amber liquid might have tantalized her tastebuds, Oates couldn’t read. He got the whiskey while she deciphered the messy scratching.

Oates threw back the drink like he was dying of thirst. He wasn’t—he was just a souse. Why the Badgers kept him around, Jessa couldn’t guess. It worked to her advantage though. He was the perfect partner—loud and obnoxious enough that the world never paid any attention to his diminutive companion.

“Wha’s it say?” Oates asked.

The second reason Jessa liked having Oates as a partner? He was dumber than a bag of rocks with a hole in it. “Looks like we’ve got a new job. Analytical engine—and I was wrong. That bummer ain’t one of us. He’s a turncoat.”


Jessa gave a solemn nod, and Oates clenched his hands into giant, meaty fists.

This was just the break she’d been looking for. The Badgers might pay for the engine, but when Jessa turned it over to the Index, she’d never have to set foot in this backwater town again. She could finally go home to New York. And she could do it in style.

A cross-dressing double-cross! That's awesome crossed with fantastic!  Thanks so much Seleste! (and also Julie!)

To find more from this author, please look her up:

Seleste's Website  | Julie's Website | Facebook | Twitter | Seleste's Amazon | Julie's Amazon



Be sure to keep up with all things Rust City 2016, by following it via your own personal social media drug of choice: Facebook |Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr | Instagram | RSVP at the Facebook Event.


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