Ilona Andrews and Jeaniene Frost Book Signing!

I went to the Ilona Andrews and Jeaniene Frost book signing on July 27th. The three of them are awesome people! It was a great experience. Gordon and Ilona are hilarious. They had the crowd laughing the entire time. Between being awestruck and my natural introvert tendencies I had no clue what to say to them when I was getting my books signed. They were cool as hell so it didn’t matter.

IA and JF

They were kind enough to sign more than one copy of a book. I got Jeaniene Frost to sign Halfway to the Grave. I was damn lucky I had that. Most of the Jeaniene Frost books I own are ebooks. I didn’t want to go to a signing and not get a book signed by her. She gave me a cool bookmark advertising the Night Huntress series!

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Gordon and Ilona signed the hardcover copy of Wildfire I bought to get access to the event. They also signed two other paperbacks I brought with me.

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I did record some of the discussion but didn’t have enough space on my phone to record the whole thing. I listened to the recording before writing this, but some things are just based on my memory. I have tried to paraphrase things as accurately as possible. There are a few quotes below which were taken directly from what I recorded.

Jeaniene Frost

What are her favorite characters or her favorite ones to write?

Her favorite character tends to be the one she is writing at the moment. Right now she is researching for an Ian book. Writing him will be difficult because he is “beyond [her] comfort zone.” She writes with a vague plot in mind but most of the story develops during the writing process. Where Ian ends up is a mystery right now, even to her.

Vlad:

She has done a considerable amount of research on vampires. Originally she didn’t want to include Dracula aka Vlad Tepesh in her books. Researching the real Vlad Dracul inspired her. The name Ilona was mentioned in her books as a wife of Vlad’s. Many people thought this was a shout out to Ilona Andrews. It was not. The name Ilona was used because it was historically accurate.

Inspiration for the Night Huntress series:

She had a dream about a couple fighting and they intrigued her. She began to lay backstory to those people. She delved into why they were arguing and why they felt the way they did about each other and what brought them to that point. Eventually a novel was developed. She had no idea at the time that it would become a series.

Possible works in the future:

She is thinking about writing a book or books on Kate from the final Night Huntress book. Chances are Cat and Bones would have small roles in those.

Gordon and Ilona Andrews

Next up:

They are currently working on the last Kate Daniels book where according to Gordon “cool stuff happens.”

They will be doing other books in the Kate Daniels world. Kate and Curran will make appearances but won’t ever be the main characters again.

Next up is Hugh d’Ambray!!!!

After that is the next Innkeeper Chronicles book.

TV Shows:

They would like to have one of their series be turned into a TV show, but there haven’t been any offers. They surmise that it may have to do with the amount of magic used in their books. To make it look good on the screen it would involve a fair amount of CGI which could get costly. They’re definitely open to the idea of a TV show.

How do they write together?

They plot out their books first. Ilona usually writes the first draft. It’s a highly collaborative process for the two of them. They go through everything together and discuss dialogue and fight scenes. Sometimes they recruit their kids to act out certain scenes.

What are their favorite characters or their favorite ones to write?

Ilona: Her favorite character constantly changes. She enjoys writing Desandra because “the woman has no filter.” She likes writing all of the protagonists and used to like writing Aunt Bea. “It’s hard to pick a favorite because they are all amusing in their own way.”

Gordan: Curran is the easiest to write. It’s hard to write Jim because they don’t really know what he’s thinking. Basically it sounds like they don’t dig deep to figure out what makes him tick. He also likes writing Cornelius from Hidden Legacy.

Where did the name Baylor come from?

They chose it because it is a common name in Texas, and that is where the Baylors live.

***Spoilers below for those who are not up to date with Kate Daniels and Hidden Legacy.***

Roland (from Kate Daniels):

No character has one side to them. They thought it would be more interesting to have Roland be more than just a bad guy. There is a part of him that genuinely loves Kate. There’s also the part of him that is obsessed with power. Unfortunately for Kate that is the side of him that tends to matter the most to him. They may love each other but they’ll never have a normal relationship.

Hidden Legacy Series:

They tried to wrap everything up in Wildfire. The publisher wanted a word count that did not go over a specific amount, and they couldn’t cover everything and stay within that word count. The publisher may extend the contract for them to write a fourth Hidden Legacy book if the sales for Wildfire are good. Regardless they will write a fourth book in the series even if they have to self publish. They confirmed there definitely will be at least one more book.

Catalina’s magic (from Hidden Legacy):

Her magic was revealed at the end of White Hot. Nevada had explained that it didn’t work on the people who already love her. Rogan seemed unaffected by it. They explained that he loves Nevada and already views her family as his family, which is why he didn’t get sucked into her story like everyone else. When she used her magic for the trials at the end of Wildfire, only one person was affected by her magic. Ilona explained that Catalina can target specific people with her magic. So it can be one person or a group. It entirely depends on how she wants to use it.

***HUGE SPOILERS for future books. Read at your own risk! You have been warned.***

Hugh d’Ambray:

They want to self publish Hugh’s book before the final Kate Daniels book because for his appearance in the final Kate book to make sense the readers need to know what has been going on with him.

In Hugh’s book, he’s at a low point in the beginning of the book. Somehow he ends up in an arranged marriage, and they develop feelings for each other. Apparently she gives him a hard time. He gives her a hard time back. They continue in this cycle, and this ignites their curiosity for each other.

Hugh and his wife show up in the last Kate book. Kate and Curran are confused because they still view him as the bad guy. Somehow everyone else knows what has transpired with Hugh and that he is okay now. He is there to fight with them against some common enemy. Whether that is Roland or not, I don’t know.

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Freaky Friday: Fannie Tucker’s World of Weird Erotica

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It’s that time of the week again. Already. Did this week fly by or was it just me? Warning: adult content ahead.

Our subject for this edition is Fannie Tucker, author of such gems as:

Ms. Tucker has tackled the Jersey Devil, jungle vines, plushies, ogres, clowns, puppets, magic pebbles, werebunnies, cavemen… basically anything you can think of.

We MacHalos love her! We even created a list at Goodreads inspired by her and Chuck Tingle: The MacHalo Group’s Best Niche Erotica.

She slays it. Some of her naughty tales lean towards horror erotica and some are just hilarious.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of her stories out. They are very short and some are even free with Kindle Unlimited.

Fannie Tucker’s Amazon page.

Until next time, stay freaky!

7ya8izz

Curing My Gamophobia: Authors and Series that Deserve a Second Look

GAMOPHOBIA- the fear of commitment.

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I’m sure I’ve said this before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: I’m REALLY  bad at series. Any series. Book, television, movie, it doesn’t matter. I have this really deep seated anxiety for some reason. I don’t know if it’s because I’m afraid they’ll disappoint me in the end or if I’m just worried that while reading/watching the next installment I’m missing out on something even better. I do know that it seems totally irrational, but I’m such a commitment-phobe when it comes to reading.

This is totally not a new phenomenon for me. No, unfortunately I’ve been like this since I was a kid. I stayed away from TV shows with a continuing story arc, and I didn’t read books that required you to read others in order to understand the storyline (with very few exceptions.) It drove my mom crazy. She always wanted me to read Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern , but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even as a teenager I knew that I would probably love it.  I mean, what’s not to love about dragons and their people who help save the world from an otherworldly menace (that is the basic premise, right?)? ‘Til this very day, I have a secret desire to pick up the first book, but at that time the very idea made my soul clench. It broke my mom’s heart it did. She just couldn’t understand why I was adamantly against starting the series. This commitment phobia is especially hard for me since almost any book produced in the literary world of fantasy and science fiction is almost guaranteed to be part of a series. And science fiction and fantasy books are my jam, people.

I’d like to say that as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth. I still tend to read only the first, and sometimes if it was really good, the second book in a series before moving on. Something that is true, however, is that I’ve come to realize there are many authors out there who write amazing books (series), books that drag you into the world they’ve created and make you wish that you never had to leave and by my not reading those books out of some misguided (though totally involuntary) apprehension I actually will be missing out on something spectacular. To that end, I’ve made a list of a few authors who’ve made me reconsider my unwillingness to enter into a long term, committed (literary) relationship.

1. ROBIN HOBB

Now, I know that she’s been around for some time, but remember me saying I didn’t want to get involved with a serialist? Practically EVERYTHING she’s written had been in this one particular world, though it is broken up into trilogies for the most part. After much back and forth, I  finally caved and read The Assassin’s Apprentice  and friggin LOVED it (my son has now read the entirety of the first series and he also loved it!) After that first successful book, I then read Ship of Magic and surprise, surprise….another amazing book was added to my read list. She creates such a wonderful world and characters, especially the villains. Man, her villains make you want to carve their hearts out with a spoon. If you like character driven stories, you should definitely give her stuff a try. It’s SO good! I need to read them all.

2. JULIETTE MARILLIER

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I read Daughter of the Forest and was not prepared, not at all. It gave me all of the feels and is now one of my all time favorite books. I immediately read the the second in the series, Son of the Shadows and was not disappointed. Juliette Marillier’s work is like reading a fairy tale, only the type of fairy tale where not every princess is rescued by a prince and sometimes wicked stepmothers are well and truly evil. Her stories are a bit like magic, and I kind of love her for that. I need to read all of her works, or at least attempt to read them all.

3. R. Lee Smith

Once upon a time, I was just a young woman who never thought, in a million years, that she would grow to love alien romance (aka erotica.) Actually, let me clarify this, I should say human/non-human erotica. That is until I read this little (haha) book entitled The Last Hour of Gann and it changed my life. After reading this book, human/human interactions seemed so basic. There needed to be more. When you read about two people (just to keep it simple) who come together under such fantastical conditions, who, despite language and physiology, manage to find a way to look beyond and fall in love, well it’s hard to top that in the romance category y’all. All of her books feature this type of character diversity and crazy obstacles to overcome. Yes, there’s usually some violence and abhorrent behavior, and yes, some of her books could be edited down a couple hundred pages, but anyone who can suck a reader in so fully, who can make a reader fall in love with a lizard man, must be doing something right. I NEED to read everything of her’s one day. NEED to, folks.

4. MARTHA WELLS

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Last year our MacHalo GoodReads group had a TBR clean-out challenge. It had to be a book that we had added to our “Want to Read” before the start of the summer (or was it calendar year??) Anyway, that’s not important. What is important is that I happened to read Martha Well’s The Cloud Road and was totally blown away by how good it was. I loved the world she created, with the dragon people and their ways of life (though they aren’t actually called dragons). Again, this is another case of intimidation because there are quite a few books/novellas that take place in this world and she has several other series that may be worth taking a look it. Gah!!! There goes my anxiety meter! However, I think it would be totally worth it to read them if they are anything like the first book of her’s that I read. She’s made my bucket list.

5. NEAL SHUSTERMAN

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Last year I read Unwind and right then and there I vowed to continue that series. It hasn’t happened yet, of course, but that first book still stays in my mind. It had one of the most disturbing and heartbreaking scenes I’d ever read. Ever. The…and then he…then the doctor…and then it all fades to black. Thinking about it now still gives me the chills. If you haven’t read it yet and enjoy dystopian novels ( I know I still do!) you should absolutely check it out. And I should absolutely revisit my vow to read the entire series and maybe check out Scythe while I’m at it.

6. HUGH HOWEY

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I loved Wool SO much once it was finally released as an omnibus (I was aware of the serials… but again, my serial commitment hangup kept me from reading them). I tried to convince everyone I knew (in real life-this was before my book social media days) to read it. I’m not sure how many actually did end up reading it, but those who didn’t then and still haven’t now are missing out. I can honestly say it’s still one of my favorites. However, since then he has gone on the release a ton of other additions to the story. I was little confused at first and have never been totally sure in what order they should be read, but I do know that judging by my love for his first published novel that his other works deserves my attention as well. It’s going on the list.

Honorable Mentions (with specific series):

7. MICHAEL MCCLUNG with his Amra Thetys Series (the first book was really good!)

8. PIPPA DACOSTA with her The 1000 Revolution Series 

9. LINDSAY BUROKER with her Emperor’s Edge Series because Sicarius is bae. 

10. M. C. A. Hogarth and her extensive works in the Pelted Universe

Sam Says (1)

Alright, now I think I’ve said enough…for now. What authors or series will make it on your bucket lists?