The Grimspace Publicity Juggernaut

KICK-BUTT CONTEST! Answer five questions, earn chances to win fabulous prizes.

The official GRIMSPACE quiz*

Ever wondered what job you’d hold down on a star ship?
Uhm, no… *shifty look*
Banana Hammock!

Prize packages

  • Grand Prize: $100 gift card from Barnes and Noble
  • First runner up: $50 gift certificate from Amazon
  • Second runner up: a handcrafted Mexican necklace
  • Third runner up: $25 gift card (or egift card) from Bath & Body Works
  • Fourth runner up: Signed copy of Grimspace

Five winners. Big prizes. What do you have to do to get in on this?

Rules for entry for people with a blog:

  • Step 1: Take the quiz, and then copy the code from MY blog at the top of your post. Grimspace Contest Code. Please don’t use the code that comes from Quiz Soup. It’s rather generic.
  • Step 2: Post your results from the quiz in your blog entry. This can be as simple as typing “I got (blank).” You don’t have to copy the whole description, but you can if you want.
  • Step 3: Add something like “Check out the prizes on Ann’s blog” along with a link here. Publish blog post!
  • Step 4: Leave your link in comments, letting me know you’re done.

For those who don’t have blogs, here’s what you do to enter:

  • Step 1: Take the quiz and post your results in comments.
  • Step 2: Tell at least one other person about the contest.

Feel free to ask any questions in comments. Please note, since the contest prizes are sizable, I do expect you to adhere to the rules. If you don’t, I simply won’t count your entry, so it might be worth your time to double-check. This post will be sticky until Grimspace releases on February 26 and I announce the winners.

Contest is now closed. Winners announced shortly.

Contest-y goodness

**This is not a new post. I’ve just bumped it up because I’m announcing a winner.**

(titles redacted since none of them were selected)

If more than one person picks the right title, they ALL get ARCs. And if marketing makes up their own title, and doesn’t pick one from my list (or if nobody guesses the right title), then I’ll draw a random name. Sound fun? All you have to do is… choose.

Ok, so I finally get to wrap up this contest — the contest that would not end. I got my title today! *drum roll*


Since they chose a name not on the list, I drew a random winner. And that is:


Congrats! You walk away with an ARC of Grimspace.

Look for BLUE DIABLO in bookstores around April ’09.

Your torch has burnt out.

It is pitch black.

You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

If you recognize these lines, then you’re as much of a dork as I am. In case you’re not, they come from Zork, the first computer game I ever played. I was just a little kid, playing a text based game on a neighbor kid’s computer. I didn’t get my own computer until after I graduated from college.

I’ve always loved computer games. I realize that makes me a nerd, but I’m totally okay with that. In fact, I even watch a show that celebrates my nerdliness: Big Bang Theory. If you haven’t watched it, you should really check it out. But you’ll find it funnier if you’re actually a geek yourself. It’s about four eggheads and the hot girl who moves in across the hall from two of them. She’s like the control among all the abnormally smart people. Imagine one of them attending her Halloween party dressed as the Doppler Effect. (Do you even know what that is?) Hilarity ensues.

Anyhow, I digress. This was about video games, specifically this one:

Best. Game. Ever. If you’ve never played a video game in your life, but you like sci-fi, you should check this out. The world-building is fantastic. It has amazing story lines. It has great dialog. Great graphics. It has romance! You even get lucky in this game and fall in love with one of your NPCs (Non Player Characters).

Buy it! Play it! I’m so bummed that I finished the thing, but it was SO good, that I wanted to play it again, right away, with a different character class to see how that was. Del Rey is releasing a line of novels, based on this game world. And the sad part? I kind of want to read them! This shit is just that good.

GOGO MASS EFFECT 2! I’m waiting!


Well, the contest didn’t go quite as I anticipated. The two correct answers I was looking for were: Pinky and the Brain and The Simpsons. There are two questions that very clearly reference those shows: one has to do with a helper monkey, and the other is Brain’s infamous “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” to which Pinky always answers something stupid and hilarious.

However, a couple of you also noted that I come right out and name Supernatural in the first question. This is true, so I will accept Supernatural as an alternate answer. That taken into consideration, I did not receive five correct entries, so I’m giving away two ARCs today.

And the winners are:

Azteclady and Lorelie!

Email me with your addresses and I’ll have my publicist drop your ARCs in the mail. Everyone else, thanks for playing! But don’t despair, you could still win an ARC over on The Bradford Bunch and I’ll be doing a huge giveaway on Dear Author soon as well.

So keep your eyes peeled.

Contests galore

First, don’t miss out on the Grimspace ARC contest over on the Bradford Bunch. That runs until January 27 when I announce the winner(s).

Next, don’t forget — the January favorites contest kicks off today on my author loop, but you can’t enter unless you’re a member of Action and Attitude. That runs until January 30.

And finally, I’m gonna do a 24 hour quickie contest right here, today, as a precursor to the huge extravaganza I’m kicking off on January 27. Here’s the deal. On my FAQ page, there are two cunning references to a couple of TV shows I really like. Figure out which TV shows I’m talking about, and then email me your answers. Once you have emailed me something, post a confirmation here in comments. That way I have a way to track entries and if your email doesn’t show up, I can follow up. You have 24 hours.

Prize, you might ask? Well, if five people or less get the answers right, they’re ALL getting Grimspace ARCs. That’s right; I’m giving away five ARCs right here, right now. If more than five people get it right, then I’ll randomly draw five winners. I don’t want to make it first come, first served because that’s not fair to people who can’t futz around on the Internet while they’re at the day job. Contest winners** announced tomorrow around noon.

As for the contest I’m cooking up for the month before Grimspace releases? I’ll just say this: it’s HUGE. Booty like this hasn’t been seen since the Spanish Main.

So what’re you waiting for? Go read my FAQ page!

**Winners agree they will post a review on their own blogs, someone else’s blog, or some online review forum as a condition of accepting the ARC.

Carrie and me, on threesomes

Carrie: Samhain is running some sort of Ménage à trois anthology contest. I just can’t think of a situation where I could make it work.

Ann: I can’t imagine writing one. I see it as destructive, tbh. Not hot.

Carrie: It’s just not sexy to me. I mean, the fantasy part–sex with two guys, no strings, no emotions — fine. But that’s impossible.

Ann: Sex with two guys isn’t hot for me at all. Well, the idea, I should say.

Carrie: Would work for me. as a fantasy, mind. I know how it would be in real life, and that’s not sexy. Even if you had two guys who kinda like each other and were bi-curious, they’d still just be pawing the woman in the middle! Get off me. 😀

Ann: See, I would be too worried about my butt. You just know somebody has dibs on that in a threesome. I would feel like I was supervising kids, not having hot seks. “What are you doing?! Don’t put that there!”

Carrie: Heh. See, it’s all the eager pawing like that. Poking around. Two men attending to MY needs? That’s ok. But there would be…demands. Not good.

Ann: I think I know men too well to be conned by that fantasy. Two men are NOT looking to selflessly please a woman for hours. They’re looking for somewhere hot and sticky to cram their weenuses.

And there you have it. Our official stance on threesomes. Whadayouthink?


I’ve been following the post over at Dear Author called What It Means to Be a Fan. I’ve read all the comments, many of which are thoughtful and well-considered. But I’m really not interested in the minute gradiations that separate fan from fangirl from fangrrrl to rabid fangirl and so on. It’s the comments more than the post itself that gave me food for thought. So rather than post a long rambling comment over there, I’m going to do it here. (I know, right? Cue the trumpets.)

Anyhow, Azteclady posted this: “You know, I think I’m more likely to become a fangrrrrrl of a writer who can, himself*, separate his* writing from his* identity as a person.”

That’s what I’m going to talk about today. I’m pretty sure I’ve touched on this before, but some things bear repeating. Some authors appear incapable of distinguishing criticism of their written words from personal attack. But I can’t stress enough how wrong that is. A book is not a person; it doesn’t have feelings to hurt. The author does. Duh, right?

But I’ve been surprised at how many authors take comments about their work very personally. I seldom come right out and say something is wrong — I’m a big one for live and let live — but look, this is asshattedness in the first degree. Just because someone doesn’t like something you wrote, that doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It doesn’t mean they’re making a value judgment about your intellect, hygiene, personal appearance, lifestyle or anything else.

Now sometimes readers do cross the line, and start making fun of somebody’s Glamour Shots author photo, the way her husband looks, her old-fashioned hairdo, or her weight. Those are personal attacks. No doubt about it. Unfortunately, as authors with something to sell, we have to show restraint in public and just let shit like that go.

But as long as the reader / reviewer is talking about the book, it’s not a personal attack. I don’t care how much you love the freakin’ thing, if it’s the story of your heart, or you overcame some fierce disability to finish / publish it. Does. Not. Matter.

And you know what? I just don’t have any sympathy for authors who complain readers are mean. How come? you might ask. Well, it’s like this — without those readers, we wouldn’t have jobs. Their money has enabled us to realize our lifelong dream of being published. No, we don’t have to kiss ass or agree with everything they say. Absolutely not. But we do owe it to ourselves to behave in a polite, professional manner.

Now I don’t know if all readers differentiate between being a fan of a certain book and a fan of an author. I’m sure for some people, it’s pretty much interchangeable. I know I have a tendency to want to believe that the person who wrote words that rocked my socks is also the coolest human on the planet. Thing is, if we start with positive expectation — our readers expect us to be smart, kind human beings — why not try to live up to it?

Yes, we’re all human, and nobody’s perfect, but it seems like a waste of time and effort to invest in this us vs them mentality. After all, aren’t we all in it for the books? People brought together by a common love for the written word can’t be so far apart, can they?

I welcome your thoughts on the matter.

Seven Random Things

So that vixen (and mega-talented author) Lauren tagged me…

Seven Random Facts About Me:

1. I have two stuffed penguins on my bookshelf that I use as bookends. I ran out and bought them after I sold to Ace (which is owned by Penguin). Why yes, I am a dork.

2. There’s a noche buena tree outside my office window, known as a poinsettia in the US.

3. I like cheese / vegetable sandwiches grilled with coconut oil.

4. I try very hard never to plan anything beyond the bare minimum, such as getting plane tickets. This includes plotting of books.

5. I just finished my proposal for Doubleblind and Killbox, Jax books three and four. There are few things I hate more than trying to figure out what happens in a book I haven’t written yet. Bucking the process in this way makes my brain hurt.

6. A manicure always boosts my confidence.

7. I like going places by myself.

Now I’m supposed to tag 7 people**: Bettie, Carrie, Ella/L, Gwyneth, Lainey, Lorelie, Michele

**I don’t care if you’ve done similar memes before. If I can do it again, so can you! Ping me in comments so I can check yours out, once you’ve posted it.

Like a Thief in the Night

Like a Thief in the Night
As soon as I realized yesterday was Bettie Sharpe’s release day, I headed over to Samhain and picked up my copy of this novella. And though I had other things I really needed to be doing, I sat down and read it right then.

Why? Well, if you’d read any of her work, you wouldn’t need to ask. See, Bettie has a visceral quality to her writing. She sinks a fist into your gut and won’t let go until the roller coaster stops. Yet she also possesses a certain literate elegance in her use of language. World-building? Check. She gives just enough detail in a novella that we have a sense of place, but without anything like an infodump.

But enough esoteric stuff.

In Like a Thief in the Night, neither protagonist is terribly likable. In fact, I suspect some readers might be put off by the level of violence and the way the hero and heroine relate to each other. I’m not going to give away any details that will spoil, but if you read it, you know exactly what I mean.

But it worked for me. This is a kickass futuristic story, no doubt about it. The action left me breathless, and the dialog is top-notch: quick, witty, and oh-so-smart.

I loved Arden. I also loved that Ms. Sharpe didn’t turn her hardcore heroine into a spun sugar princess, transformed by the power of love. The hero was a match for the heroine, but honestly, this was Arden’s book. Usually it’s the hero I’ll remember, but not in this case. Arden is fierce, people, downright feral in some instances, and Ms. Sharpe conveys the difference in her psyche with a deft, masterful hand.

She also imbues this hard-edged story with a surreal, almost mythic atmosphere. I can’t quantify anymore, except if I were giving it a series title, I might call it something like Grimm’s Cyberpunk. I find myself hoping she’ll write Jack’s story — Arden’s protégé is definitely intriguing.

In conclusion, Ms. Sharpe is an author to watch. If you like gritty, dark, dangerous stories where the threat is real, and things really do go thump in the night, then you want this novella.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go buy it!