The Mage in Black - Jaye Wells

If, like me, you loved this . . .

nominated for Best Novel on the British Fantasy Awards 2010 longlist

Then you'll *LOVE* this!!!

out March 30th

Read chapter one of The Mage in Black here - you really, really don't want to miss this one, so go now and read! Then go buy the book, if you haven't already! I'm not kidding you, The Mage in Black is one smokin' hot story . . . fun, fast, and packed with fantastic fang-filled action . . . did I hear someone mention Giguhl? Yep, well, the shopping channel addicted demon is back!!! Woot! And on top form; you're never going to believe what he gets up to, and with whom. *g*

Oh, and don't forget to check out Jaye Wells' blog for the GRRR (Great Re-Read Red month) where you can catch up on Red-Headed Stepchild, and leave a comment to win one of 4 copies of the fantastic The Mage in Black. Hurry though, the contest ends soon!


Plus if anyone's looking for any more book recommendations, then look no further than the British Fantasy Awards 2010 longlist for Best Novel. There are some fabulous books nominated, and these are ones I've read and can thoroughly recommend. Which leaves me with a few still to get my reading teeth stuck into :-)

BONE CROSSED, Patricia Briggs
FROSTBITTEN, Kelley Armstrong
JASMYN, Alex Bell
THE AWAKENING, Kelley Armstrong
TURN COAT, Jim Butcher

oh, and . . .

THE COLD KISS OF DEATH, Suzanne McLeod. Yay!

Many thanks to whoever for the nomination. I'm grateful and proud to be in such great company. Many congratulations to everyone on the list!

Full disclosure: Jaye and I crit for each other, so I can honestly tell you that I've seen this book 'drafts' and all. It was great then (damn her *gnashes teeth*) now it *shines*! :-)

New Deal (with titles)!



Jo Fletcher, Gollancz’s Associate Publisher, has acquired World Rights in three more supernatural thrillers by Suzanne McLeod. The agent was John Jarrold.

These books continue the series set in London and star Genevieve Taylor, a Sidhe who runs into supernatural crime, dark romance and trouble at every turn. The provisional titles are THE SHIFTING PRICE OF PREY, THE HIDDEN RUNE OF IRON and THE SHARP BITE OF RITUAL.

Wow!! I'm over the moon!! With many thanks to John, to Jo at Gollancz, and also to all the fantastic readers who have bought my books - with all of you being so wonderful, I now get to write more adventures about Genny, Finn, and Malik and you all get to read them!! *Does the mega happy dance*

Charlaine Harris Interview & Event

If you’ve been reading my blog, you can’t fail to have noticed that I got to interview Charlaine Harris during the UK leg of her current tour thanks to my wonderful publishers, Gollancz. I was absolutely thrilled to meet Charlaine and chat to her, and also very nervous, but I really needn’t have worried as Charlaine is a wonderful lady, very down to earth, very funny, and totally awesome.

This is how my day went.

I caught the train up to London, arriving early as you do for anything important (those leaves on the line can cause problems when you least expect them :-)). Being early, I’d arranged to meet up with tweeter @Has_Bookpushers to collect our tickets for Charlaine’s evening event so we wouldn’t have to brave the queue later on. Hasna was super and let me drag her off to the nearby Japanese Café (a great place for sushi!) where we had a quick lunch, with a healthy side order of ‘Bookpushers’ Book Chat’! During said ‘chat’ I teased Has horribly with my ARC of Charlaine’s upcoming book Dead in the Family, and she smartly retaliated by producing Patricia Briggs’ Silver Borne – which she’d lucked into buying early – and which somehow found its way into my bag. *looks innocent*

US Cover shown

Then I left Hasna at the cinema where she spent a happy fang-filled afternoon with Edward, Bella and Jacob while they sparkled, loved and growled their way through New Moon. A film high on my Films To Be Watched list #1, so I almost felt green-eyed with jealousy about Hasna’s afternoon plans . . . if it wasn’t that I’d already got a better offer.

‘C’mon, get to the good bit,’ I hear you shouting!!

Right! Well, I waved goodbye to Hasna, walked round the corner into Leicester Square and—

—bumped right into Charlaine Harris!!

Charlaine, along with BFF Paula, and @Jon_Weir (Gollancz’s fantastic publicist #2) were on their way to the BBC for an interview. Jon introduced us all, and we all said some lovely hellos [with me looking rather shell-shocked, apparently :-)] then said we’d all see each other later, and off they went.

Feeling bouncy and happy that I’d actually met Charlaine, I went in the opposite direction to Gollancz’s offices to meet up with the fabulous Jen, whose job it was to look after me (which she did exceptionally well, thanks, Jen :-)). Jen took me to the hotel where I was going to be interviewing Charlaine – a beautiful, classy place in the heart of Covent Garden.

I was to interview Charlaine in the hotel’s ‘Tiffany’s Library’: a snug, wood-panelled room with a roaring fire, heavy floral curtains to keep out the chill, and comfortable, overstuffed furniture that begged you to curl up with one of the Sookie Stackhouse books conveniently left lying around *g* ... oh, and not forgetting the camera, a big, grey furry microphone, various lights and other unidentifiable (to me anyway) equipment that the film crew had positioned strategically around the room.

Once Charlaine arrived back and everything was ready, the film crew positioned both of us strategically too!

Charlaine sat in a cosy chair next to the huge fireplace, while I sat opposite her, with the cameraman and his camera almost perched on my shoulder. Since there was only the one camera, Charlaine was going to be filmed during the interview, while I was to be filmed later. This set-up was quite a relief for the anxious, camera-phobe me and meant I could concentrate on Charlaine and asking the questions. *phew*

First off, Charlaine and I were asked to chat so that the crew could get the sound levels right for recording our voices. Of course, nerves meant I sat there with my list of questions clutched in my hand while my mind short-circuited, but Charlaine put me right at ease when she asked about my two dogs. We talked a bit about them, her own three dogs, and London :-).

Once the crew were happy with the sound levels and had adjusted the various lights, we started the interview. I know my first couple of questions were quite jerky; after all it’s not every day I get to interview an all time favourite author of mine, especially while being recorded. But Charlaine was lovely and very encouraging, and it wasn’t long before I relaxed and began enjoying interviewing her. She gave some really great and fun answers, despite the fact that many of the questions were ones she’d no doubt been asked many times before (like who *is* Sookie going to choose! ) and not just in the past, but that very same day. #3

Now I would have loved to ask Charlaine all the questions from my blog – many of which I wanted to know the answers myself :-) – but there wouldn’t have been enough time. The questions I did ask (which had been thought up by FX and Gollancz, along with a couple from my blog) were great. There were some general ones about the books, True Blood, and Charlaine and her writing; some about Dead and Gone (the 9th Sookie book); and some about Dead in the Family, (the 10th Sookie book due out in a couple of months, and a fantastic book). And of course, there were questions about Sookie, Eric and Bill— their families, their pasts and their futures!

Which was where it all got very interesting! How do you ask a question, and more importantly how does Charlaine answer, without giving too many spoilers away? Well to find out how, you’ll need to watch the videos of the interview when they go live.

Once the interview was over (all too quickly it seemed :-( ), Charlaine very kindly signed one of her books for me, thanked me for the interview and then hurried off to get ready for her evening event.

Which left me at the mercy of the film crew.

Since the camera had been on Charlaine during the interview, and so that I wasn’t going to be just some disembodied voice asking questions, the crew now wanted to film me! Luckily by this time, I felt so relieved that the interview had gone smoothly, that my camera phobia took a back seat for once. Which was a good thing, as this was where it all got slightly surreal. I ended up sitting on the sofa, and prompted by Jen – who had taken careful notes about my ad-libbing – I asked all the questions again. Then after each question I stared into the eyes of Miles (one of the film crew) while I nodded #4 and smiled and pretended he was Charlaine answering me. Which was sort of fine . . . once I got used to it . . . and he stopped pulling faces at me *giggles*.

After all that came the more relaxed part of the day (for me anyway) – Charlaine’s evening event at the Prince Charles Cinema. I met up again with Hasna, and her friend Jen (who took all the pics of the event here – Thanks for letting me use them, Jen :-)), and also said hello to pals @LizUK, @Gergaroth, @jberlyne, met their friend @Esssjay and had a great chat with Michelle, another big fan of Charlaine’s.

Hasna & Jen (and my shoulder on the left there :-) )

The event started around 6.30 with a short clip from an upcoming episode of the fab True Blood series, after which Charlaine took the stage and gave a very interesting and entertaining talk about her books, True Blood, and her writing. Then Charlaine answered the audiences many questions (including the one about whom Sookie might choose . . . and if you were expecting a spoiler . . . well, Charlaine didn’t spill the beans!).

Has & Jen & Audience!

Both the talk and questions were filmed by the same film crew as at the interview, so hopefully there will be a video of the event to look forward to, sometime soon; although I don’t have any insider info on that yet. After the talk and questions, came the book signing for all the audience— which made for a long, long, loooong queue of very patient fans.

And then after a really fabulous day, I said goodbye to everyone and it was time to go home . . .

Sadly I had a camera-fail day, and this is the only picture I have of me with Charlaine, but hey, I look happy :-)

#1 - I know, New Moon's been in the cinema for a while, but I’m more your DVD type of girl. And please don’t hate me, all you Team Edward people, but even though I’m a total fan of the fang , I’m sorta leaning towards Team Jacob.

#2 - @Jon_Weir is fab, as anyone who’s met him knows, and is so open to bribes *g* I begged asked him if I could meet Charlaine while she was here – hey, if you’ve got connections, no harm in using ‘em, right? – and he finally said yes when I promised to Tuckerise him in my next book . . . so long as he could be hot, hunky and heroic (not that he isn’t already ) Of course, I said yes! And he’s even keen to die horribly, like hot, hunky heros are want to do . . . when evil authors let their imagination run away with them. *cackles* A win-win situation for me .

#3 - Before my own interview with her, Charlaine had been to the BBC, done a phone interview with a magazine, and also filmed a piece with Sky TV. She’d already had a very busy day (not to mention a busy week!) but she answered every question with such thoughtfulness and humour that you’d never have known.

ETA: Here's the link to the BBC interview Charlaine did that day :-)

#4 - Which will explain why I might occasionally have this weird look on my face and why I’m doing a good impersonation of one of those nodding dogs you see staring out at you from the back window of the car in front

Winners - Dead in the Family ARCs - Charlaine Harris

The winning question as chosen by Orion/Gollancz was asked by Sandra from Long Beach, CA.

Sandra aka Sweet Lady asked:

If Sookie was a real person whom she knew personally, what advice would she give her about her love life?

Sandra's question was asked of Charlaine during her evening Q&A session at the Prince Charles Cinema. Sandra wins ARC # 1 courtesy of Orion/Gollancz.

The winner of ARC # 2 [my carefully pre-read copy :-)] as drawn by is Lee W.

Lee said:

Question: As it seems like the with each book we grow closer to the unthinkable "end", do you find it hard to end the Sookie saga? Or is something you just know and it's gotta be that way?

I know some of us would like to follow sookie through her life, until she's old and gray (and the vampires are looking as hot as ever) but i think that might be one of those "too good to be true" things. Can't Wait

Many congratulations to both of you!! Please send your snail mail addresses to contest [at] spellcrackers [dot] com - replacing [at] with @ and [dot] with . as usual - and your books will be posted out to you. Please send me your details by Wednesday 17th March 2010. Thanks.

Thank you to everyone else who entered, and commiserations to those who didn't win. There were some fabulous questions which made the choice very difficult. Not to mention there were quite a few about a certain favorite vampire [did someone just mention Eric?? and did that someone, or someones want to know more about him and his past?? ... well, if so, then Dead in the Family is going to be the book you will want to read!

Which is a very small spoiler, and a very big tease ... sorry folks *g*

Charlaine is a wonderful, lovely, funny lady, and I was thrilled to meet and speak with her. I'll post more about Charlaine and my meeting her soon.

Thanks again everyone for entering :-)

The Bitter Seed of Magic : #3 - Cover Released

Here's the cover for The Bitter Seed of Magic : # 3 - isn't it gorgeous?

That's the White Tower - the oldest part of the Tower of London - behind Genny. The White Tower is the original square fortress started by William the Conqueror around 1080. Perched on the wall next to Genny are two of the Tower's Ravens. And yes, they play a part in the story :-)

Yay! The cover gods a.k.a. Gollancz' art department have been *good* to me! Thank you, Gollancz!

Win an ARC: Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris

Contest now closed!

Thank you to everyone for your questions, there are lots of great ones in the comments.
Please don't leave any more questions for Charlaine as they won't be counted.

Don't forget to check back on the 10th to find out who wins the ARCs.

Read about my interview with Charlaine Harris here!

Want to win one of TWO ARCs*


by Charlaine Harris?

Dead in the Family is book 10 in the Southern Vampire Series featuring Sookie Stackhouse. Not published until May, this is your chance to get your eager, readerly hands on an early copy and find out just what happens next to Sookie, Eric, Bill and all our other fav characters after the end of the brief but deadly Faery War before anyone else.

Is that y'all screaming saying 'TELL ME MORE' ??? *g* Then here's what you have to do ...

Charlaine is coming to the UK for a short tour [details here] and yours truly is going to have the honour of interviewing her on the 9th March before her London talk and signing event.** Yay! The interview will be videoed and will be posted at a later date on the Gollancz website for all to watch. Double Yay! :-)

Now where there's an interview, there needs to be questions, and who better to ask them than my fellow Charlaine/Sookie Fans :-).

So, to enter to win an ARC of Dead in the Family, leave me a comment stating what question/or questions [max 5 per person/comment] you would like me to ask Charlaine about her Southern Vampire books on your behalf, including any questions you might want to ask about her new book, Dead in the Family. ARC 1.

Okay, now here's the rules ...

1 comment which must include at least one question, up to a max of 5 questions in that one comment, and only one comment per person - please leave your name [real or cyber] and place - e.g, Sarah or Snookies from Manchester - so if your question is the winner I can tell Charlaine who the question is from :-) = 1 entry

Help spread the news about the contest with a mention of the giveaway on your blog/live journal/myspace/facebook/twitter#1/etc - Each link = 1 entry.

Email the link/links to the mention to: contest [at] spellcrackers [dot] com - [please replace the [a] with @ and [dot] with . as per usual :-) ] Do not post links in the comments section. This is VERY IMPORTANT - any links posted into the comments section will be deleted and will not count as an entry. Only Emailed links will count#2. All I want in the comments are questions for Charlaine please - anything else will just be confusing for my meager organisational abilities, sorry.

Contest is open to all, and open internationally. Contest closes 5 pm Sunday 7th March UK time.

The winning question will be chosen by Gollancz and myself. The prize will be ARC 1 of Dead in the Family. Our decision will be final. Please remember that Charlaine might not answer the winning question if she feels it could be spoiler'ish.

There will also be a random draw from all the entries/links via and that person will also win an ARC of Dead in the Family. ***ARC 2.

Winners will be announced here on my blog after 10th March. If prizes are not claimed within 7 days, then new winners will be redrawn by

ARCs are for personal use only - not to be re-sold.

Any and all questions could be asked of Charlaine, not just the winning one. If your question is not the winning one, but is used as well, this will count as an extra entry in the random drawing.

So, not only do you get a chance to win the newest fabulous Sookie book and read it before anyone else, but you also get a chance to have Charlaine answer those burning questions you've got about her Southern Vampire books. Now, what are you waiting for - go leave me your questions, and get posting!

Read chapter one of Dead in the Family

ETA: There is another chance to win an ARC here at Dear Author, plus Patty Briggs, and 3 of my first book! Yay!


* Advance Reader/Review Copy [Cover is different to that shown]

**OMG! I'm going to be interviewing Charlaine Harris, one of my all time favourite authors!! *squeees while doing the manic happy dance* A dream come true thanks to my wonderful publishers - Gollancz!

*** This one is my copy and has been read [carefully] three times [yes, it is *that* good!! *g*]

# Just send a link to the first tweet - multiple tweets count as one entry.

#2 Email addresses will not be kept after the contest and will not be used for anything other than the contest.
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