Bronze Gods Blog Tour

Bronse Gods tour banner

April 30th – The Nocturnal Library
May 1st – Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings
May 2nd – Jenny @ Supernatural Snark
May 3rd – Mary @ Book Swarm
May 6th – Melissa @ Books and Things
May 7th – Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I’m excited to announce that these fine bloggers will be hosting us (Andres and me) for the Bronze Gods tour. You won’t want to miss this, readers. We’re not doing interviews. We’re not doing guest posts. Instead, you’ll get a sneak peek at the personal correspondence between our hero and heroine, Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko. This will be almost like a short epistolary story enriching the sexual tension present in Bronze Gods. Since these notes are sequential, you’ll want to start at The Nocturnal Library and check in at all the blog stops so you don’t miss any of the banter.

But that’s not all. We’ll also be including sample pages from the inspectors’s case files. If it’s bizarre or entertaining, we’ll pull it out of the archives and dust it off for your amusement. There may also be giveaways.

I hope you’re as excited as we are about this! And many thanks to the lovely, generous bloggers who agreed to take part with special appreciation for Maja who organized it all and Jenny who made this lovely banner!

See you on April 30th.

MacTeen Author Extravaganza – Powell’s

extravaganza

Six MacTeen authors are banding together for an exciting one-day reunion at Powell’s Bookstore in Oregon! It promises to be a raucous party, and we hope you’ll join us!

Where: Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, Beaverton, OR (Portland)

When: Wednesday, March 13, 7 PM- 9 PM

What: Not just your ordinary panel, we’ll be having quizzes, prizes, refreshments, and swag galore. And a lottery! One lucky reader will win a tote bag full of our signed books!

Why: To reunite a bunch of Macmillan YA authors who grew to be friends on tour, and to make friends with YOU.

Who: This is the exciting part:

Ann Aguirre ~~ Enclave, Outpost, and forthcoming Horde
Jennifer Bosworth ~~ Struck
Jessica Brody ~~ 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, and Unremembered
Elizabeth Fama ~~ Monstrous Beauty, and forthcoming Plus One
Lish McBride ~~ Hold Me Closer Necromancer, and Necromancing the Stone
Marissa Meyer ~~ Cinder, Scarlet, and forthcoming Cress

Come on, party people! Post your response to this awesome news and you could win your choice of any book mentioned above. I’ll announce the winner on Friday.

*Void where prohibited, no purchase required, do not taunt happy fun ball. Note: if you choose a book that isn’t out yet, you’ll get a preorder, not an early copy.

Sorry about the delay, folks! I had some bad things happen last week.

Winner = Sam Baskin!

At long last, RT

So I promised to give a recap, but until now I have been overwhelmed with homeshooling my kids, recovering from travel, a sore ankle, and finishing up / turning in a book. Now that equilibrium has more or less been restored, I am ready to recount my adventures, such as they are.

I set off early on Tuesday morning. My husband drove me to the airport and hd breakfast me with me there. At the security checkpoint, we had a lovely airport good-bye kiss. From there I went and waited for my plane.

I had good air karma. I sat alone in my row and the flight was quiet. I landed on time in Orlando, then had no trouble catching the shuttle to the rental car place. Once there, I didn’t wait long and then, upon hearing I was an author, the clerk upgraded me to a cherry red Mustang. Sweet!

Since I didn’t know the area, I got a GPS, which would prove invaluable. I did a fair amount of driving. I set off for Azteclady’s house, as I had plans to hang out with her that evening. Sadly, I forgot to get change for the toll booths and I only had larger bills. I was going along merrily following the GPS. It told me to get on the highway — and I did. Imagine my horror when I came to a toll booth with no cashier, exact change only, and a line of cars behind me. It was ONE lane. So I did what any rebel in a Mustang would do; I blew through that and continued on my way. I had to do it once more until I finally came to a booth where I could get change (thank goodness!) I don’t like the law-breaking.

I watched my rearview mirror for any signs the cops were after me but nobody seemed to care. I arrived at Azteclady’s house with no problems. Once there, we hugged, admired my swag, talked, and then I fixed some supper: homemade pasta sauce and spaghetti. It was pretty delicious.

By that point, it was getting dark and I didn’t want to be roaming around a strange city late, so we said farewell and I input the address of my hotel. That drive went smoother because I had change.

In about half an hour, I’d reached the Wyndham, which was holy-fuck big. The thing I liked least about it was that it didn’t have a bar in the lobby, which was the one thing I liked about Pittsburgh. But service was good; I got checked in swiftly, and the bellmen brought all my boxes to my room, no trouble.

Then I called Lauren to find out where the party was and headed over there. The place was packed when I arrived, I chatted briefly with a number of people, but spent the most time with Diana Rowland, Cynthia Eden, and Larissa Ione. Diana is awesome in person. So funny and easy to be around. Cindy is so gorgeous that it’s not fair she can write. Oh, and she’s fun, too.

Around midnight, I realized I had been going for about twenty hours and staggered off to my room.

Wednesday… I did a SF panel with CL Wilson, Jade Lee, Catherine Asaro, Isabo Kelly, Stacey Kade, and Linnea Sinclair. Leanna Renee Hieber moderated.

It was great, but long, and my ankle was really swollen by the time it was over, so I had some quiet time in my room afterward. I went to dinner with a bunch of the Bradford authors, along with our fab agent. I drank a huge margarita and ate grilled shrimp. I remember laughing a lot, as I was seated between Lauren Dane and Laura Bradford.

That took us late into Wednesday night. I went to the party thing that night and tried to dance. Megan made fun of me because I couldn’t do much footwork. Anya asked me if I would sit on a panel she was on; Patrice had a couple of people cancel and they thought I would be a good fit. I’m always happy to help, so I sat on a paranormal panel first thing Thursday morning. I stayed for the next panel because it had Jeri Smith-Ready on it, and I loooove her. I must admit, she didn’t talk as much as I’d hoped.

After that I geared up my GPS and hit every bookstore within a 50 mile radius. I signed so much stock that my hand was cramping. I also managed to find The Dust of 100 Dogs, which had become something of a vision quest for me. See, I asked about it at every bookstore Laura and I went in San Diego. I did the same thing in Florida. The Borders where I finally found it didn’t have many of my books, but I was glad I went because I was dying to read that freakin’ book. Glee! It is now mine. I ordered a meatball sub and went to bed early; all that driving wore me out.

Friday morning, I called the bellman to help me haul all my boxes to the party room, and wonder of wonders, he did! The party was much lower stress this time, due to Lauren, Cindy, and the great staff. I was remarkably chill about the whole thing. We had a huge turnout, people seemed to have a great time, and Jane reported that our line was longer than Disney. Cool!

I enjoyed a brief chat with Mark Henry and others. After that, I meandered into the lobby, where I ran into Larissa Ione. I am not quite sure how it happened (though I am thrilled by it), but we sort of fell in for the day. We went to the HQN thing together, talked, went to the pool party together and drank sangria. It was late afternoon by the time we parted company, and now I like her even better than I did before. She is a funny, smart, wonderful, charismatic person, and I have the biggest girl crush on her. Shhh, don’t tell. A number of cool people stopped to chat with us: Jenna Black and Diana Rowland, to name a few.

At that point, it was time to get ready for the big official Bradford gathering. Anya was sick and couldn’t make it, but the rest of us were there: Cindy, Nick, Vivi, Stacey, me, Lauren, Megan, Laura, Beth W. and Beth K (if I forgot anyone, I am v. sorry, it was a big table!) Lauren had picked a great place. It was a steakhouse but all the food was yummy. Our table was raucous and delightful. Cindy and Nick bailed earliest because they wanted to get ready for the vampire ball.

As for me, well, it was after ten. I’m not an exciting person. I had a new book in my room, purchased when I went to sign stock, and it was one I had been waiting for (It was the new Elizabeth Hoyt!), so I went to read it. Funny when you consider she sat and chatted with me at Club RT on Wednesday afternoon. Oh, did I forgot to mention that? I had club RT with Elizabeth Hoyt. Squee!

So I read her new book and went to bed.

The next day, I got up early and went to pick up Azteclady, who wanted to attend the book fair. We had a nice breakfast, and then it was time for me to take my place at the table. I signed a lot of books, and met a lot of readers. People took my picture. It’s always so weird for me when people want to do that. I’m like, really? OK. If you’re sure.

I bought a few books in there, waited my turn for checkout and then found Az. I also found my conference cronies: LB, LD, MH, and AB. Along with AB’s husband J, we went across the street to Perkins, where we had a long ass lunch.

After that, I absolutely could not face anymore conference stuff, so Az and I ran away with our books. She took me to a couple of bookstores I’d missed, where I signed stock and got an iced coffee. I had pie from Perkins for dinner, hung out with Az and watched a movie, and went to bed early. In the morning, we didn’t really do much of anything. We killed the day being lazy together, as only two friends can be.

In the afternoon, we set out for dinner with Lisa and Joe at the Polynesian. Joe was kind enough to give us directions once we got to Disney. After we found the place, it went without a hitch and we got seated super fast. The food was delish and the company even better. Joe and Lisa are hilarious people; I love their stories. Az and I headed back to her place after a nice meal; more chilling ensued.

I got up early the next day, knowing I had to leave, but I was sorry to go. She’s someone I miss very much, and I do, right now. Sniff. But I had to be brave. Into the Mustang I went, for Sharon Shinn awaited.

I made the drive back to Disney, hooray for the test run the day before! And reached her hotel shortly before the appointed time. I parked and watched for her. When I saw her come out, I circled around to the entrance, she climbed in, and we were off.

I had scoped out a shopping center, just outside of Disney on the Buena Vista side, so I was confident we could find a restaurant that sounded good to both of us. She perked up at the mention of Pizzeria Uno, so we headed in there. At noon, there was no trouble getting a booth and it was quiet enough that we could talk easily.

Which left me going, OMG, I AM HAVING LUNCH WITH SHARON SHINN. (See this post if you are unclear what that means to me.) I am not sure how I managed to make coherent conversation in the beginning. I kept wondering does the waiter know he’s bringing pizza to a famous author?! Eventually I settled into this warm, I don’t believe this is happening, glow. We had a really wonderful conversation; she’s a lovely person. And by the time the lunch was over, I really felt like we were friends. I mean, not besties or anything, but we had talked about some things that I wouldn’t share with just anyone.

So that’s how my trip ended: I was still glowing when I got back to Mexico City later that day and even the swine flu couldn’t bring me down.

The trip in review

So I was up extremely early on Friday morning, like 3:15. I got in the shower and got ready quickly. I mean, how much primping do you really need before hopping a plane to Tijuana? I was of the opinion that clean was good enough. My stuff was all ready; I had gathered it the night before. Then I had some Special K and waited for the rest of my family to get moving. Yes, I made all three of them take me to the airport. It didn´t faze the youngest kid. He chattered merrily about Pokemon all the way to the airport. There was no traffic to speak of at that hour, which makes Mexico City seem muy apocalyptic. Driving through the empty streets beneath a dark sky called up all my best zombie outbreak paranoia. Needless to say, that was fun.

They dropped me off at National Departures, where we all exchanged hugs and kisses. Since I had printed off my boarding pass the night before (go me!), I did not have to wait at the ticketing counter. Instead I got ahead of all the suckers who were waiting, and I slid like a greased amphibian through the security check. (Actually, I gimped. My ankle swelled from all the walking and it was hurting like a bitch. Took me ages to limp down to my gate. Like an idiot, I had forgotten to take any pain medication before leaving the house. Luckily I had it with me.) Anyhow, I was there super early, so there was a considerable wait for my flight. I tried to read, but I was too sleepy to focus. Dozing ensued. It was interrupted, however, by the arrival of a particularly grungy male who swigged Pepto, ate Saltines, and then compulsively picked his nose. Why do people do this? Trust me, sir, even if you pick your nose with your eyes closed, I CAN STILL SEE YOU.

The plane arrived on time, and I had been put in first class, even though I didn´t pay for it. Sweet! I sat by myself in the third row, also fantastic. Not so fantastic, the stupid sore ankle. By the time they brought the drink cart around I was in some serious agony. The altitude and pressure changes had made my whole foot swell until you couldn´t see any of the bones. Tasty! I took my medicine, which alleviated the pain, if not the swelling. I figured I could only grin and bear it.

Other than my foot, that was one of the best flights I have had the privilege to experience. It was so quiet. No crying babies. No annoying children. No hacking cough man. No constant peers ambling up and down the aisle. I slept a bit.

We put down at Tijuana a bit earlier than expected, and I was out of there like a shot. Very efficient. I got my Greyhound ticket for San Diego and hopped on the early bus. I had told my agent I probably wouldn´t catch the 8:45, but I so did. The pain medication allowed me to increase the speed of my gimping!

It took quite a while to pass through the lines at the border and go through immigration. Then I got to walk down to the bus terminal in San Ysidro, which is not the happiest place on earth. Next time, I think I will take the trolley from there, but I thought since she was planning on picking me up at the Greyhound station downtown, I had better not experiment with my ability to take the trolley successfully. Waited half an hour and then took the bus to San Diego. That trip was super fast, which meant I arrived an hour early for my pickup.

I decided to get my hair done and called a local salon I had scouted out the night before, just in case the gods were kind and I got in early. As it happened, they could take me, so I gimped over to Horton Plaza. (I tried to take a cab, but the cabbie wouldn´t drive me, even though I told him I had torn ligaments in my ankle, and he could see it was bruised and swollen.) So I made the walk. The pain meds were wearing off by then. That walk kind of sucked, but I did eventually arrive at Trade Secret in Horton Plaza, where they did a fab job on my hair. (Thanks, Ashley!) As I was coming out of the mall, I got a text from Laura, wanting to know if I was close.

I called her and told her my location, so she came to pick me up, very relieved that I had the sense not to get swept into the abortion demonstration half a block away. From there, we went to this awesome brew pub restaurant for lunch (totally cannot remember the name) where I had a kickass cup of lobster bisque and a BBQ pulled pork sandwich (with coleslaw on the bun!) Totally yummy. We lingered and chatted and generally had an awesome time. From there, we hit three bookstores, where I signed a good amount of stock. In every bookstore we visited, BLUE DIABLO had good placement in the New Paperbacks rack, generally at eye level too. Very exciting. I bought some books as we went, but I´ll do a book pr0n post later, showing off my stash. Around 5, we headed for my hotel, which was lovely, peaceful and totally out of the way. Laura was fascinated by it, as she had never been there. The quiet really worked for me. I got checked in, changed, and put on some makeup, so I would look presentable for the signing.

After that, we headed out again, and went to one more bookstore to sign stock. At that Borders, they had 14 copies, and Rob was really cool! He was very excited to see both of us, and he had me personalize a book for him. He said he had read the first two chapters of Grimspace in some email SF book club! That was cool, too.

Onward then to Mysterious Galaxy. We got there just after half past 6. The other author, Linda Thomas-Sundstrom , was already there. She had brought her husband, cupcakes, and some friends, which was cool. She is acquainted with Laura, so they chatted while I book-shopped. I had brought a list and the vast majority of the titles I wanted should be on those shelves. After a while, the fab staff at MG noticed my determination to find these books before the signing started at 7pm, so they went to work locating the ones I wanted. (I got a signed Patricia Briggs!!!) By the time I was done, I had a huge stack.

The signing went well. We had a good turnout, and people seemed interested in what we had to say. Jackie Barbosa was there, yay! I signed a fair number of books, some of them special orders from customers who couldn´t attend. That was cool. I also signed and personalized books for a couple of fans (*waves to Scott & Rachael), which the awesome Patrick took care of shipping for me. Everyone at MG was fantastic, but I have to give special mention to Patrick. He is just wonderful!! So friendly, positive, and supportive of my work, I swear I had a buzz from his warmth by the time I left. But that´s not all: through Patrick, I also discovered that Grimspace has gone into its second printing. I had NO idea!! But as Patrick was having me sign stock after the signing, he commented casually. ¨Oh these two copies of Grimspace are signed first editions. They must be left over from Comic-Con last year.¨ While I was mentally scrambling, he gave me other books to sign, flipping deftly to the correct page. I stammered out, ¨First editions? Does that mean there´s a second?¨ He nodded, and I asked, ¨How do you know that?¨ So he flipped the page to the copyright and pointed to where there´s a 2 after the 1, in that long string of numbers. Well, holy crap! I was totally elated and stunned. Nobody told me! Shouldn´t someone have told me?! But hells to the yeah, that was some UBER exciting news. Patrick also predicted I will be going to hardback in the next few years, which made me heart him all the more. (Not because I really want hardcover per se, but his faith in the fact that I will succeed to that extent made me very, very happy.) He also helped us carry all my books out to the car, which earned him a big hug. He´s now my favorite bookseller in the whole world. They also gave me a mounted BLUE DIABLO poster Rosanne from Penguin had sent them to publicize the event.

Jackie agreed to have drinks with Laura and me, so we first tried Cheesecake Factory, but it was hella busy. PF Chang´s was almost that bad. A brainstorm occurred to me. I mentioned there was a restaurant at my super quiet hotel, called Citrus, and I put forth that we might enjoy a quiet meal there. Everyone agreed, and Jackie said it was on her way home anyway, so we stopped there. Sure enough, the place was very peaceful. We were seated right away. The food was tasty, and the conversation even better. By this point, I was seriously flagging (and my foot was freaking huge), so after hugs, I stumbled off to my room, where I called my husband to let him know I was still alive, and then fell into a coma until 7:45am.

I showered quickly, got ready, and then went to wait for Laura in the lobby. She picked me up time, of course. We went to the best breakfast place EVER. If you´re in San Diego, you really shouldn´t leave without going Brian´s. In many visits, I have yet to order anything that wasn´t delicious. But in particular, their breakfast is fantastic. I love their omelettes and scrambles. The portions are enormous, though, so maybe split the food whoever you´re with. After a nice breakfast, we went to what may well be the coolest bookstore I´ve ever been to. Bookstar is located in an old theatre; it´s owned by Barnes & Noble, but style-wise, it is in a class by itself. They retained all the old decorative touches, so there´s a marquee outside, and it´s all very retro cool. I wish I had taken a picture, but dude, there was stock to sign inside! They only had four books left, which meant they had sold some (good!), but I signed what they had and bought one more book for the road. At that point, Laura dropped me off at the bus station. I waved cheerily, and trotted inside with my book-full carry-on bag, my purse, and my giant BLUE DIABLO poster. Let me tell you; that earned me some interesting looks.

I got there at 10:55, was buying my ticket at 11, and it was apparently my lucky day. The cashier called outside to tell the bus driver to wait, so I gimped quickly out the first door, where I climbed aboard for the next bus to TIjuana. We left presently after, but there was one more person who had to chase us. He caught us at the corner, and the driver let him on. I had some nice conversations in Spanglish with a man heading to visit his son in Guadalajara. He spoke in English; I replied in Spanish, so we both got to practice our foreign language skills.

It´s always much quicker getting out of the US than trying to get in. It took less than an hour to get to the airport in TJ. They didn´t even check my passport. I did push a customs button, and got a green light, which is good because they may have been alarmed at all the books in my bag. Yes, aduana officer, it is true. I am a book mule.

Anyhow, that meant I was seriously early for my 4pm flight. However, this is where things get super fun. As I was passing through customs in Tijuana, one of the officers spied my poster. She squealed; I kid you not. She called out my name. I thought, at first, that she had just read it, but she hurried over to shake my hand. She didn´t recognize me, but my name, she knew. She wanted to tell me she has read my first two books and she is very eager to get BLUE DIABLO as well, particularly because she knows it is partly set in Mexico. We had a nice conversation, and then she waved me through the line. Woot, my first special treatment as an author! I am considering carrying a big-ass poster everywhere I go now.

I was stopped outside the money exchange as well by a passenger who recognized my name. She made conversation with me as well. (How cool!) Then, I changed my dollars to pesos and headed to my gate, which wasn´t far at all. The last (and coolest thing) that happened at the airport came around 3 when I started to get peckish and decided I better have a sandwich before getting the plane. I went over to a cafe, where the the lady at the counter saw my poster and asked about it. She told me she loved to read, so I dug into my bag and got her a copy of BLUE DIABLO. I signed & personalized it for her, but refused to take any money. Hey, I´m not selling books out of my luggage! So she made me a delicious ham and swiss sandwich for free (thanks, Claudia!) to say thanks for the book. She said her husband would be excited she had met me.

From there, it was more waiting, and then the flight home. It wasn´t quite as peaceful as the prior journey, thanks to a small child with a whistle. But really, I had no enormous complaints. We landed on time; big thanks to Interjet, I will surely fly them again. I took a bus to the terminal, and found they had dropped us off right by the exit. Yay! By this point, my foot was huge again, but the high doses of pain med left me not feeling a thing. I took a taxi home, and soon exchanged hugs and kisses with my family, who seemed to miss me a lot. All in all, it was an amazing trip, and as I look back, I cannot believe how much I packed into those hours.

Where in the world is Ann Aguirre?

Ordinarily, the answer to that would be:

“At my desk, writing.” Or “On my Ibook, writing.”

But as I whoop it up during the first week of Blue Diablo‘s release, I have emerged from perpetual hermitage to run amok in San Diego with my fabulous agent, Laura Bradford.

Insanely early tomorrow morning, I will catch a plane from Mexico City and land in Tijuana, where I will avoid all offers of illegal drugs and/or carnal pleasures, and make my way to San Diego to meet up with Laura. From there our revelry will know no bounds, as we sweep San Diego in a stock-signing Bacchanalia.

And then there’s this…

Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Blue Diablo signing at April 10 at 7pm
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite #302
San Diego, CA 92111

If you live within reasonable driving distance of Mysterious Galaxy, please come see me because I would love to meet and chat with you, and I so rarely get the chance.

sharon shinn…

Is all that and a bag of chips.

She totally chatted with me for an hour and a half before our panel. (I had a panel with her! *dies of bliss*) Then I sat next to her at the signing. Her line was a sight to behold and I had a few people stop by as well.

I know I had a goofy happy smile on the whole time, but hello, I was sitting by Sharon Shinn! It wouldn’t have mattered if people had been throwing fish at me. I’d have still been beaming. The fact that I had a few books to sign was just frosting on the cake.

It’s so awesome when your idols turn out to be every bit as amazing as you have imagined over the years. Today was pure win.

San Fran flash 2

All my books went in 35 minutes, signed and gone. Woohoo! I signed a book for Marjorie Liu and met Meljean Brook. Double woo! So many cool people stopped to see me… was so glad to see Gennita again. I missed her after RT. I’m full of such happy buzz right now.

Anyhow…
Laura wins the mega-pack! I emailed her already, so now I just need her address before morning.

Must get ready for the Penguin cocktail party now.

An invitation

Dear Readers,

On July 22nd at 7:30pm, I will be at Dallas’s in NYC. Katiebabs tells me it’s a great place and perfect for our purposes, which is a reader – author jamboree. I hear they have great food at reasonable prices, tasty BBQ and yummy margaritas. They also won’t raise a brow if we’re a little rowdy and raucous.

This is an open invitation to anyone who lives in the NYC area or will be in the vicinity on July 22. This is open to authors, readers, aspiring authors, pretty much anyone who wants to show up and eat BBQ and drink margaritas with us. If you bring your copy of Grimspace along, I will happily sign it.

To sum up, you are invited to:

The author-reader BBQ rendezvous

When: July 22
Time: 7:30pm
Where: Dallas BBQ (Times Square)
241 West 42 Street
Located between 7th and 8th Avenues

I’ll make sure to get there early, so you won’t ask for our table and the servers will be like, huh?

If you think you might come, post a comment here. I need to get a headcount so I have a rough idea of how big a table to ask for! Hope to see you there.

RSVPeeps:
A.Lau
Ann Aguirre
Ann M
Christine
Katiebabs
Liz Maverick
Maria
Mariana
Marisa
Megan
Renee
Rich
SBSarah
Stacey

And now for contests:

Win a copy of Hidden here

Win a copy of Hotter After Midnight here

News you can use (reminders)

In case you forgot, you have but a few short hours left to enter the Monthly Favorites contest on my message board.

I’ll announce the winner in my monthly chat, tonight at 7pm central. I’m also going to be giving away at least one Wanderlust arc, so even if you haven’t entered the Monthly Favorites contest, it would behoove you to attend the chat. You never know what might happen.

Edited to add:
I’m doing a lotto thing for the arc. You’ll all pick a lucky number between 1-100 and type it into the the chat window, so it’s officially recorded for posterity. Then I’ll use a random number generator to come up with the winning “lotto”. Whoever comes closest (either under o over, this isn’t The Price is Right) will win an arc of Wanderlust. Fun, right?