Monthly Archives: October 2010

Tina’s memoirs and giveaway at Paperback Dolls

Tina, Deadtown’s favorite zombie, is writing her memoirs. She may be only 18, but she’s been through a lot, getting zombified and learning about demon fighting and all.

As part of their Zombie Week celebration, Paperback Dolls have posted “Waking up Dead,”  an excerpt from Tina’s memoirs. Leave a comment describing a time you had a rude awakening, and you can win a prize pack including a signed book and a Zombie Girl Sex Kitten necklace. (Yes, you read that right. What can I say? Tina picked it out.)

ETA: I wrote this post kinda late last night and realized this morning that I wasn’t clear about how to enter the giveaway. Please go to Paperback Dolls (click the “Waking up Dead” link above) and leave your comment describing a rude awakening there. They’re running the contest and will pick the winner. Sorry for the confusion!


Trick or Treat!

Halloween is serious business in my neighborhood, an area of closely packed houses built in the late 19th/early 20th centuries.  It’s where everyone—and I mean everyone—in Ithaca and the surrounding towns goes to trick-or-treat. The first year we lived here, we were nearly overwhelmed by the number of kids who rang our doorbell. The next year, my husband bought a clicker and we sat out on the front porch with our tub of candy. He counted each trick-or-treater who visited our house. And twice I had to head to the store to buy more candy.

Over the years, the number crept up . . . 476 . . . 504 . . . 553. Last year we had 605! This year, we’ve got 25 pounds of candy ready to give away, along with a separate bowl for vegan kids. (Ithaca, home of Moosewood Restaurant, has lots of vegans.) We’ll sit out on our front porch, talk with the neighbors, admire the kids’ costumes. (My favorites are the wide-eyed little ones who aren’t quite sure what’s going on.) My mother-in-law is coming to visit from Pittsburgh—for years we’ve told her about trick-or-treat night here, how it’s like a huge neighborhood party, and now she’ll get to see for herself. The forecast is for a chilly evening, so I’ll have quilts and hot cider ready to keep us warm on the porch.

I suppose we could buy a couple of pounds of candy, and then turn off the light and go inside when we run out. But Halloween here is too much fun for that.

Walking Dead Week continues

You’ve got lots and lots of chances to win books at Dark Central Station this week. Here’s what my fellow bloggers and I are giving away there:

Wayne Simmons: Two signed copies of Flu—a zombie apocalypse horror novel set in Belfast, Ireland—to two lucky winners.

Thomas Emson: A signed copy of Zombie Britannica, a zombie novel set in the U.K., and one of Skarlet, a scary tale of evil vampires in London—both to the same winner.

Nancy Holzner: A signed copy of either Deadtown or Hellforged (winner’s choice).

Christina Henry: A signed copy of Black Wings, her debut urban fantasy novel that’s coming out from Ace next month. I had a chance to read a prepublication copy, and here’s what I wrote for a blurb: “A fun, fast ride through the gritty streets of magical Chicago, Black Wings has it all: a gutsy heroine just coming into her power, bad-ass bad guys, a sexy supernatural love interest, and a scrappy gargoyle sidekick. Highly recommended.”

Erin Kellison: A signed set of her books Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall, which Publishers Weekly called “a blend of suspense and paranormal romance.”

Sean Cummings: At least one signed copy of Funeral Pallor, the second book in his fun, Canada-based urban fantasy series featuring Valerie Stevens.

There’s something for everyone! And entering is easy—either leave a comment on a post or send an email. See individual contests for details.

By the way, I’m planning a big giveaway on this site throughout December, similar to last year’s Countdown to Deadtown contest, to celebrate the release of Hellforged at the end of that month. Details to come!

Tips for Trick-or-Treaters: How to Deal with a Zombie Attack

Photo by Mark Marek Photography

For my Tuesday post at Dark Central Station, I pulled up an old guest post I wrote last year on what to do if you get attacked by zombies while trick-or-treating.

Safety tips are always important, of course, but even more important is the chance to WIN A FREE BOOK! Read and comment on my DCS post, and you can win a signed copy or either Deadtown or Hellforged—your choice. (Just so you know: Deadtown is available now, but it’ll be several weeks before I get my copies of Hellforged.)

The origins of Deadtown

Today I’ve got an article up at The Magical Buffet, a cool website that describes itself as a place “where spirituality, politics, and pop culture collide.” And that’s an apt description for a site that covers art, mythology, food, movies, science, religion and spirituality, the paranormal, and a whole lot more. It really is a buffet, with something for all interests.

Magical Buffet founder Rebecca Elson asked me to write an article about how I came to write Deadtown. That article is now live on the site. So if you’re interested in what led the creation of Deadtown and Vicky Vaughn, read about it here.

It’s Tuesday . . .

And that means it’s my day to post at Dark Central Station. Today I’m talking about writing a scene in layers. Hope to see you there!

Book lovers’ heaven


Image from Nigel Beale, Nota Bene Books


Ithaca is a book town, and I’m a book person. So it’s a match made in heaven each October and May, when the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library put on one of the biggest book sales in the U.S.  More than 250,000 donated items—books, movies, CDs, old vinyl albums, magazine, sheet music (but mostly books)—are up for sale at a warehouse that belongs to the Friends of the Library and is used exclusively for the book sale.

It’s an amazing sight. The photo above shows only about half the room. You walk in, and it’s just rows and rows of packed bookshelves. The aisles between them are nearly as packed with book buyers. Book dealers camp out in front of the building the night before the sale opens, to get an early shot at the rare books in Collectors’ Corner. (No kidding—we counted a dozen tents one year.)

The sale takes place over three weekends, and each day the prices go down. By the final day, you can buy all the books you can cram into a plastic grocery bag for a dollar. (My record is 43!)

This year, I found quite a few urban fantasy novels—enough to keep me reading happily until the spring sale—along with some literary novels I’d been wanting to read, a few mysteries, and a bag full of opera videos. The books are currently stacked on my kitchen table, waiting for me to figure out where to store them in our already-crammed bookcases. And I’ve started a bag for my next round of donations to the sale. I look at it more as a book-rental program—I buy inexpensive used books and then donate them back. It helps keep my book-filled house from getting too chaotic.

I gave my husband a Kindle for his birthday this year, and one of the first things I did with my new iPhone was download iBooks and read a whole book on my phone. But I love the book sale, right down to the slightly musty, old-book smell that envelopes you when you step inside from a cool October afternoon. I love the way it supports reading, and how you never know what you’ll find as you browse its offerings. I love the fact that Ithaca, a town of 30,000 people, supports a used book sale that sells 500,000 books each year (!) to benefit its public library. The book sale is one of my favorite things about this town.

Image from Nigel Beale, Nota Bene Books

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