Killer Killbox Contest

So I did some checking… and it turns out that what people want from me is my books. Huh, who knew? I was gonna give away some spray-on hair, a Slanket and an Abdominator, but this makes me rethink my whole marketing plan.

To that end, here’s what you can win this time:

grimspace 10 copies

wanderlust 5 copies

doubleblind 3 copies

That’s a total of 18 winners, right there. 1 person per book. Enter as many times as you like, so long as you’re promoting Killbox with each entry. killbox

*email someone about KILLBOX = 1 entry
*post about KILLBOX on your blog = 2 entries
*do a 5 question mini-interview with me on your blog or site= 5 entries
*make a facebook widget = 3 entries
*tweet about KILLBOX = 1 entry per 100 followers
* other social media= 1 entry
*post cover art somewhere online = 1 entry

Do everything you care to and then tally your entries and post that number in comments. Tell me what you did to earn those entries please.

But wait, there’s more! The grand prize winner will have a character named after them in the fifth Jax book, Aftermath. All winners announced on August 31. Prizes must be claimed within one week. I will not be re-drawing. Thanks for playing, everyone!

ETA: winners… everyone wins! Anyone who commented before August 31 gets the Jax book of his or her choice (no, not Killbox). Just email me the title you want and your address. Grand prize winner = Ashley. Look for your character in Aftermath!

Congrats to all.

Jim C Hines is Awesome

I feel like the world needs to know, so I am doing my part, right here, right now, to spread the word. If you doubt his awesomeness, go read this post. You will have no choice but to agree with me before you’re done. (And if you disagree, be sure to come here and troll in my comments. We love trolls here at www.annaguirre.com; they keep our bridges safe.)

See all the pretty books? I’m giving those all away next week. Why? Because Jim C Hines is awesome! I might give them all to one person. Or to eight different people. I’m crazy like that. It will be utter chaos for the next seven days.

To enter to win, you must play a game. How many of you are familiar with Chuck Norris Facts? (If you’re not, click the link. You’ll figure it out.)

We are, of course, doing Jim C. Hines facts here on the blog for the next week. I will start you out with one.

Jim C Hines is so awesome that when he does a book signing, the books line in up the aisles and dance, like the hot dogs on the drive-in movie screen.

ETA: Winner! TJ takes home all the Jim Hines books. Don’t you wish you were TJ right now? Of course you do. TJ, email me your details.

I have proof that Wal-Mart is the devil

This is going to be long and ranty, so buckle up, children.

I had a lovely stay with the Bree half of Moira Rogers, and I did get to meet the Donna half more than once. She’s fabulous, as is her counterpart. Both their husbands are charming. I enjoyed myself immensely; that part of my trip to Alabama was fantastic. But I needed some alone time to really dig into this book. If interesting people are around, I want to chat, not work, so I removed myself to a hotel for the last few days I’m in town. At this point, you’re thinking it’s all roses, right?

Well, I was writing away today when I got an email from my husband. He tells me there’s a problem with the Peru trip; they require passports to be six months from expiration before they can book the trip. Do I want to miss a company-paid trip to Peru? HELL NO. Plus, I should / need to go to add detail to Shady Lady when I get copyedits back. This is not just a fun trip, though it will surely be that. Assuming I survive the hoop-jumping. So my passport only has four months left on it; it expires in December.

So I immediately use my Google-fu to find an agency that can expedite the order and get me a new passport next week. I find one that is recommended by Forbes magazine. (We leave on August 26th.) Don’t do this if you have any other choice, by the way. It costs an insane amount, on top of the governmental fees. But I am between the proverbial rock and a hard place today, so I start getting things together.

I should’ve known it was not gonna be like a hot knife through butter when it took me half an hour to print all the required forms and documents in the Holiday Inn business center. That was due to computer mess. Note to Holiday Inn, you should NOT buy E-Machines, seriously. These are the jankiest machines on the market.

So I finally get this stuff ready to go. It’s 4:30pm now, but I still need to get a passport photo taken. The agent at the front desk tells me that she thinks Wal-Mart does them, and there’s one right up the road. So I call the Wal-Mart to confirm. The woman on the phone assures me, “Yes, we do passport photos.” I ask, “Is there a certain cut-off time? Like before five or six?” Because I’m not sure how long it will take me to get there. She replies, “No, they do them until 9pm.”

I’m pleased. The cabbie is quick and prompt (later Randy will save my bacon). The Wal-Mart is, indeed, right up the road, so he drops me off, and I promise to call when I’m done. Thus, begins my descent into hell. It started slow. I went into the money center and got a money order. The line was long, but I did get the money order. (I have a checking account, but I literally have no printed checks. I use my debit card for everything or I just use Bank of America’s BillPayer to cut a check for me. So an agency that requires this form of payment, well, it has to be a money order.) I got the $200 MO, government fees for the passport, rush, and the passport card.

This taken care of, I go back to the photo center. Dear Mercy. Nobody was there. I waited 5-10 minutes before she came back and I asked to have a passport photo done. The clerk replied, “I don’t know how to do that.”

Utterly nonplussed, because I CALLED to confirm beforehand, I ask, “Well, can you call someone who does know?”

I wait another 10-15 minutes. The supervisor comes to the back, where I am waiting, once more alone. She says, “What’s wrong wit’ you?” (Awesome customer service by the way. I think she thought it was a complaint.)

I said, “I just need a passport photo taken and I was assured on the phone you could do it at this location until 9pm. Surely someone in the store has been trained. A manager?”

She then gets on the phone to call a manager. I wait another 10 minutes. The manager comes. “Nobody knows how to do this, ma’am, but the girl who is supposed to be working called in to say she’s running late and will be in at 6.”

It’s now 5:30 btw. So I’ve already been waiting close to 45 minutes. I say okay, what’s half an hour more at this point, and I go buy the blue pen I need to sign all the forms and eat supper at Subway. I read some of THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO on my Kindle. At 6:10, I reckon Ebony ought to be at work by now, so I go back to the photo center. Sadly, there is nobody there. Again. I wait until 6:45. She never comes. The manager never checks back on me. Nobody apologizes for my time or inconvenience. Shame on you, Wal-Mart! This is the one at 1600 Montclair Rd, Irondale, AL, btw. Feel free to boycott them. If they couldn’t serve me as promised, they should’ve done something to make up for the trouble I went to.

At this point, I give up. I look for other alternatives, because I must get these photos done today. I speak to a woman at Kinkos and she promises they can help me. I am not feeling hopeful. I call Randy, who comes to get me. We go to Kinkos but it’s almost 14 miles away. In a cab. So, yeah. You can imagine what that cost, there and back.

I do get the photos made. But I lost two hours of my work day, plus all that cabfare, because Wal-Mart is the devil. There are no words for how much I hate them right now.

RWA

It was an amazingly awesome conference, probably the best I’ve had so far, but my expectations are pretty high for NYC. So I say “so far” with great foresight.

I hung out with lots of cool people, didn’t see some people as often as I’d like. Altogether, the conference went amazingly well, considering how fast the board put it together.

I’m now in Alabama, doing a writer’s retreat. And that’s going very well. I might actually survive the summer… and all the incipient deadlines. It’s super hot, here, though, so I don’t want to leave the aircon. How are y’all keeping cool?