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Monday, June 30, 2008

Catching Up wit Boring...

So this weekend was eventful...and by that I don't mean it was interesting or notable, only full of events. One of those jerky gas guzzling weekends where you find yourself in a new spot every hour, barbecues, Thai food, shopping, more shopping, Birthday get-together, even more shopping.

You get the picture.

I was able to sit my fat ass down on both Saturday and Sunday mornings to get some reading done for my book club (no...not the league book club, that one's kind of taken a back seat to a to-do list that scrolls out across the room and out the door Looney Toons-style.

Sat in a gas line like it was the 70s all over again. $4.09 at Costco is 25 cents less than anywhere around here and so found myself angling with 51 other cars for some savings--and oh yeah...I had plenty of time to count.

Discovered that Jamba Juice's Strawberry Nirvana tastes so much better with a spoonful of peanut butter in it. Just like a pb&j, if it were served in a nursing home and you weren't pissing yourself--which I'm totally not judging you if you are. In fact, piss away!

Cool news over at the League! I'm not giving anything away, but I will say we've increased our sperm count.

My P.R. work for the Fangs, Fur and Fey minicon is starting to spread. Today Barbara Vey is pimping it out over at Publisher's Weekly. Go check that out and comment!

Hmm...

Let's see. Anything else?

Oh yeah.

Today was the 7th day in a row that I hit the gym. It's a lifestyle change so if I can keep this up for 28 days it should settle into habit...or is that how long it takes to kick nicotine? I don't know, but I am feeling better.

One last thing (and I'll have to post a picture at some point). I shaved Chaz bald, yesterday. Now he looks like Dobby the house elf.

Later.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guest Blog and Contest!

J. F. Lewis, author of the urban fantasy STAKED, is guest blogging--right now--at the League of Reluctant Adults. He's also giving away a signed copy to one lucky commenter. You better head on over.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Author in a Hotseat

I'm the object of Bitten By Books' strange obsession with zomedy authors today, all day. Swing by for the interview and ask me a question or just poke me while I squirm in the shackles. One lucky sadist could win a "Mark-ed up" copy of Happy Hour of the Damned (you'll have to go the website to see pics of that monstrosity) or a $30 gift card to Amazon so you can get a book that's not a hilarious descent into zombie hell full of hot necrophilia and senseless bloodshed--I can't really imagine what one of those would be like, but who am I to judge?

See you there!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

An Interview & a Contest

Get over to the League NOW. Dakota Cassidy gives me shit. Do I give it back? Um...yeah. Then we give you shit.

And...I guess I made it out of that zombie mess. I love Blog Like It's the End of the World. Put it on your agenda for next near.

ETA: link fixed.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Portland Was a Mistake

I lost Charles on the bridge. Not in the sense that we got separated but in the way you refer to a close relative when they die. I lost Charles. Like that. 'Cause for sure that's what happened. He died. And he won't be coming back. I always thought it was funny how those stupid people on reality shows seemed to form bonds so quickly, abnormally so. Extreme and unusual situations must call for an escalated sense of intimacy, because I'm feeling the loss. Hard.

As we reached the top of the wreck, we were met by scabrous mass of flesh in a stained magnolia sun dress. The woman--well, she used to be a woman--carried a baby in one arm as she pulled her morbidly obese carcass up the opposite side. She cooed at the thing in vibrato, her moan rattling with loose sputum. Charles tried to maneuver away from her, but she forced the baby ahead of her--well, not really a baby anymore, either. It snapped at the soldier from the zombie's hand like a puppet. A hungry teething puppet. It clamped on to his earlobe before he could slap it away. And I knew in that moment it was over. Charles' eyes changed. One minute horror, the next resolution. He knew. He scrabbled down the rail side of the bridge and tossed himself over. It's not the kind of fall he could survive, or swim away from. If zombies could swim, they'd certainly need functioning limbs.

He didn't scream, all the way down, while I beat the things to stillness with a tire iron. I climbed down the other side and resisted peeking over the rail. There were a few more shambling about but those were slow enough to avoid without too much effort.

I found a motorcycle with a bit of gas left in it. I'm going to try to make it through the city. It doesn't make sense to go back. There's nothing there anyway. Maybe someone made it to the safe house.

Alive...

We're on the bridge that crosses the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon, Vancouver is behind us and Portland looms ahead, a haze of gray tinted in sunset pink only we know that's from the fires and not anything romantic. We're going to have to get out of the car here. The drive was harried enough and mostly on the shoulder with plenty of stops to roll other cars out of the way. Bands of undead roam the freeways picking at meat from burning cars like it's brisket. We've had a few close calls. More than a few.

Kayleigh is running a fever and the dark circles around her eyes threaten to cave into her skull. She's stopped talking. Charles and I are leaving her behind. If I had a gun, I'd shoot her in the head before she had a chance to slake off her soul and hunt. I should have left them both behind in the library, then I wouldn't have to make these kind of choices.

The bridge is impassible.

At least thirty cars are piled on the southbound span, an accident that kept building until it was a wall. The air is thick with the putrid scent of burnt flesh and scrabbling rot. A chorus of moans seems very near, though we see no zombies, right now. I suspect they're on the other side.

We're leaving now. Going to climb the hulking wreck.

If I had a gun, I'd shoot myself.

Update

I'm mobile posting from a car. It's not mine. Driving south on Interstate Five. With me are Charles, an enlisted man from Ft. Lewis (long since overrun with zombie hordes and hazy with smoke, like streets after the Fourth of July), and Kayleigh, a barrista from the local coffee shop. She's shivering in the back.

I found Caroline's car in the parking lot at her work. The door was hanging open.

The building teemed with the undead fuckers. No screams. Bad sign.

I fear the worst.

At last count, Jaye and Anton were down, too.

If it weren't for Charles and Kayleigh, pulling me from the heap I'd become, I'd have died right there. The zombies streamed from the doorway as soon as I got out of the car.

We just passed Maytown, the auction yards are still. Smoke rose in crooked columns on the horizon.

The EBS just stopped dead on the radio. Now, it's all fuzz.

WTF?

The problem with the Emergency Broadcast System is that you have to be watching TV or listening to the radio. Where are the air attack sirens that used to litter small towns like mine? I'm sitting on the floor behind the checkout counter at the library, there are a few people huddled in the employee lounge, none of them librarians--the librarians are all shambling in the stacks. Dead.

When I woke up this morning, the neighbors were in my house. The neighbors? We never even talk to them. We are NOT good neighbors. So you can imagine my surprise when the guy next door bumped into me as I came out of the bedroom. Or maybe you can, since this is spreading everywhere. Steve is his name. Was, actually. He tried to bite me. BITE me. WTF? Luckily, we rarely put anything away, so the cane I used as part of a Halloween costume two years ago was nearby.

Let me tell you, it's rarely pleasant to bash in someone's head before one's first mug of coffee.

There were two more downstairs, one of them didn't have her legs; she bumped into fallen dining room chairs like one of those disabled kids in a helmet. I noticed her first by a nasty trail of sludge draining from those ragged amputations. As I stepped into the stairhall, her head twitched in my direction. One of her eyes dangled from a gash across her face, bouncing against her cheek from the nerve like a tether ball. The other groaned from back near the kitchen, a deep echoing sound that had me scurrying for the front door before I could even think.

Outside was a complete mess. On the front walk, instead of the newspaper, an arm flayed out in a crooked "v", a bit of shoulder attached, probably the paperboy's. The other neighbors seemed to have been dealing with the situation a bit longer, as the streets were nearly void of life--not movement, mind you--but the living. Garage doors left open, empty.

Ours was too. Caroline must have left before it started.

From off to the right, the cul-de-sac, a pack of neighbors scrambled to their feet from around a mound of gore and bones way too big to be just one body, more like five. One of them pointed toward me stretching his dripping arm in my direction. Was he moaning to alert the others? It seemed so. The rushed me at various paces, some quick, others shambling like the zombies of film.

So I ran.

I know what you're thinking. I should have been prepared for this. Me, particularly. We even put together a manual. The League, I mean. A Zombie Preparedness Guide. Where is it? In my office.

And I'm at the library. I can hardly believe I made it here. I swiped this laptop from a local coffee shop. I don't think the owner needed it, unless he could type with his toes.

I'll try to connect with the League. They'll know what to do.

I'm moving on.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lux Interview

Bethany Hensel, the senior writer of Lux magazine, caught up with me at my sumptious waterfront villa. You can read about our conversation here or here. Please note that opening line, truer words were never written.

Oh...and Jesus Christ on a cracker leave the woman a comment or two. She just got herself a TV talk show, for fuck sake.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Book Report: The Accidental Werewolf by Dakota Cassidy



The Accidental Werewolf hit my radar right about the time Happy Hour hit the shelves, it seemed to be everywhere I looked, intentionally, I suspect, and often in much shorter piles on the new release tables, hurting my book's feelings...and mine. Still, who could argue with that cover? So purple (lavender, actually), so cute, so...ironic. I intentionally didn't buy it--oh it was perused enough, I assure you--but to purchase it would be heresy. A comedic paranormal chick-litty type thing? Oh no, isn't that what I wrote? It could stay right where it was, thank you.

Then, by chance, I met the author at the Romantic Times Convention and it was like we were separated at birth--along with one Michelle Rowen. I could see the deviance in her eyes, her words dripping with sarcasm and a vibrating Cathy Moriarty growl. There were subtle differences, of course, my words don't drip as much as they ooze from festering open sores, and my deviance is a tad more malignant. I feared the worst and it was true. Dakota Cassidy was actually nice.

Damn!

You know what that meant; I was required to read her book (and interview her-Saturday, June 14th at the League). Oh, the humanity...or was it humility? So I snatched up a couple of her books at the RT book fair (Cuz yeah, there'll be an awesome giveaway on Saturday, too) and steeled myself.

As it turns out...

The Accidental Werewolf sucked me right in. Here's the rundown: Marty Andrews is an ambitious up-and-comer at Bobbie-Sue Cosmetics, landing the big accounts, upgrading to the ultra-fashionable Lavender suit and uh...wait a minute...sprouting more hair than a chia pet in 100% humidity. It seems the drool-worthy guy who's been hanging around isn't just eye candy, but a furreal werewolf. And, now, so is Marty.

Marty's pleasant persona goes out the window when those canine hormones hit and that's when I fell in love, the minute she went snarky. And those barbs are funny. Nina, one of Marty's associates, is pure spitfire with a pottymouth (and I think we all know I dig that).

Now, I know AW is a paranormal romance and all, and those reviews are supposed to mention the "hero", but I'm not interested in that. Yeah, there's a guy in it. The sex was pretty hot and the situations cracked with an off-kilter humor--the kind I think my readers will get off on. The villains are villainous and the heroine is just like us...clueless, egocentric enough to think we're invincible. Real.

So...here I am. Against my better judgement, pimping Dakota Cassidy's werewolf chuckler--I'd almost be ashamed, if I didn't enjoy the damn thing so much.

Nicely played Cassidy! Nicely played.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Gush: A Celebration of Perverts and Hipsters



It's hard to say exactly when I popped a reading boner for Rayo Casablanca. My best guess is about page 44 of his twisted debut pop-culture massacre, 6 Sick Hipsters. Here's the line that really got my juices flowing (even moreso than the ultra satisfying body drop in chapter one, which I lovingly compare to watching the remake of House of Wax, just to see Paris Hilton bite it--67 minutes 20 seconds into the film--and best done with a living room full of friends, the sound off and the stereo blasting something sweet like Book of Love)...

"At Trisomy 21 all the waiters and waitresses had down syndrome."

Now, excuse me, but if you've stumbled onto this blog from my Amazon page, where I'm forced to be publicly decent, then this might come as a shock, I'm not exactly politically correct (that's not to say that I'm screaming racial slurs or flipping off the elderly) and I don't like my reading material to be either. Nothing stumbles a plotline quicker than a "what about the children" reference, unless it's done with the authors tongue pooching out his cheek like a mock blowjob (thank you Tom Perrotta). Praise Jesus, Sick Hipsters fulfills my naughty needs on all counts.

So what's it about, right?

Well, someone's knocking off hipsters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a serial killer with a pop culture brain like Paper Magazine on fiche. It's up to a gang of coke-fueled, acid-tongued, coffee shop elite to ferret him out. Casablanca blends the sharp wit and pointed social satire of Palahniuk with the cinematic absurdity and pathos of John Waters on a good day (let's say Serial Mom). The book has so many enviable lines that at some point I'll have to stalk and kill the author--and isn't that the ultimate compliment?

Snatch up 6 Sick Hipsters today wherever hipsters shoplift books for a cheap adrenaline rush.

Speaking of Palahniuk, my book club just covered his ode to sex addicts, con artists and colonial reinactments, CHOKE. It seems this guy is all I've blogged about over the last week and a half. The consensus of the group was a resounding "ick", which, of course, left me the lone voice of dissent...again (see Tom Perrotta's Little Children, see also Jeannette Walls' The Glass House). At the very least, Chuck gives you something to talk about, might I bring up the John Grisham debacle of 2007? Granted that choice came from a member who doesn't normally read, so...

Let's end this with the finest book trailer of the year, again for Chuck Palahniuk's Snuff...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Winner and an Update

According to the livejournal poll thingie, Jaye Wells wins the pornification contest and her very own set of anal beads.

Congratulations Jaye!

I've made some decisions about blogging, which at one point was taking as much time to do as I was devoting to my writing. I'm going to post here on Mondays, the League on Wednesdays and there'll be one more thing, but I'm going to hold off on that announcement until I've figured it out.

Anyway, speaking of blogging, I talk about it in today's League post...