Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Musings: ALA in pictures, Part 1

Hey everyone!

So I'm back from ALA and Vegas and man, what a trip!  I had an awesome time, and took a LOT of pictures.  So many, that I'll have to recap the journey one day at time or the post length will be ridiculous. Also, the the recap will be mostly pictures, hope you guys don't mind.

So, here we go.  Day 1.

 Arriving in Las Vegas

Literally the first thing I saw after stepping off the plane.  Slot machines.  Yup, I am definitely in Vegas.

The gorgeous lobby of the Venetian hotel.

Trying to find my room.  You have to traverse the casino floor to get anywhere in the hotel, including the elevators to the guest rooms.  I took ten steps away from the front desk and immediately got lost.

Finally I found my room.  Quite possibly the biggest hotel room I've stayed in.  I think my sister's apartment in LA is smaller than this.

After I checked in, I went on a quest to find the gondolas, which I heard were in the Venetian somewhere. There was much excitement when I finally tracked them down (on the SECOND floor of the hotel, think about that for a moment.) and I immediately sent out an Instagram post announcing that I HAVE FOUND THE GONDOLAS.

And yes, the ferrymen do sing.

Then I had dinner at Canonita, a restaurant right next to the canal.  This was my view from my table. Watching the gondolas drift by, listening to the ferrymen's haunting voices while sitting in one of the biggest hotels in Vegas: here was the moment where it all felt very surreal.

After dinner, I spent a good hour just exploring the hotel, inside and out.  In case you were wondering, its gorgeous everywhere.

A stretch of ceiling near the entrance.

Lady with a gryphon.

Random volcano erupting across the street.  Turns out, it was part of a show at Treasure island, another giant hotel, otherwise my level of alarm would've been slightly higher.  

I could have explored further.  Even after an hour, there were still parts of the hotel I'd never been to.  But it was late, and even at 10:00 pm it was still 95 degrees outside.  I went back to my room, cranked the AC down to about 65, and fell asleep to the faint sound of drums from Treasure Island.

And that's part 1.  Tomorrow will be part 2:  ALA, stingrays, and Wookies.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

My second vlog

In which I talk about how I got the Iron King published. :)


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Giveaway: Book Dragon!

Hey everyone!

Who likes books?

Who likes dragons?

Who wants....a BOOK DRAGON?

In honor of my upcoming TALON series, which is, of course, about dragons (you can find out more here), I'm giving away this cute little Iron King book dragon.  He has been handcrafted from polymer clay, sealed with a protective gloss, and initialed on the bottom.  A one of a kind figurine, and he is up for grabs if you are so interested.

Entering is easy.  You should all be familiar with the Rafflecopter thingie below.  Giveaway will run until July 8th, and yes, it is international.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Musings: Vegas bound!

Hey everyone!

Where has the time gone?  It seems I've just come back from BEA and New York, and next weekend its off to ALA.  Not that I'm complaining.  This year's American Library Association get together will take place in a little town called Las Vegas, Nevada.  Vegas, baby!

I'm doubly excited to be going this year because 1.) Las Vegas!  I've never been to Vegas before; it's sure to be exciting, if I'm not blinded by the billions of neon lights.  And 2.) Not to be spoilery or anything, but the book I'm working on right now takes place in Las Vegas. So hey, research!  What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?

This year, ALA will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Convention Center.  My signing is on Saturday, June 28th, from 1-2 pm, at the Harlequin Booth 363.  You can find out more on the ALA website here.  I, apparently, will be staying at The Venetian.  I've never been to The Venetian, of course.  When I got my travel itinerary, I saw the name of the hotel on the schedule and didn't think much of it.  Then, just today in fact, I started searching for pictures of The Venetian for this post and....

Holy cow.  That's the Venetian?  I'm staying HERE?  Surely not, that thing is a palace.  You mean I'll be staying at the hotel with this?

And this?

And this?

In the hotel.  You can take a gondola ride IN the hotel.  I mean, really?  *Checks travel itinerary.*  Yup, it does indeed say I'm staying at the Venetian.  So, yeah.  Wow.  I guess I should take lots of pictures of this trip.  Has anyone been to The Venetian before?  Did you ride the gondola?  Is it as amazing as it looks?  I've heard the gondola drivers will even sing if you ask them to.  =)    

See you in Vegas!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Musings: A tribute to Sage

Hey everyone!

I received an email from a reader who sent me this gorgeous fan art of the three sons of Mab: Sage, Ash, and Rowan.  It is such a beautiful piece that I had to share.

The artist also mentioned that her favorite character in the Iron Fey series is Sage, and that she was heartbroken when he was killed.  She asked that, if I ever had the time, to write a small piece about Sage and put it on my blog for everyone to enjoy.  Since she shared her beautiful artwork with me, I think that is only fair.

Remembering Sage, first son of the Winter Court.

Sage was the eldest of the three sons of Mab, the queen of the Winter Court.  Like his two younger brothers, Rowan and Ash, Sage was tall--taller than either of his siblings--and possessed the unnatural grace and beauty of all his kind.  His long, inky black hair was either tied behind him or left unbound to ripple in the wind.  He had narrow, elegant features and jade green eyes like chips of ice.

Like Ash and Rowan, Sage was a powerful prince of the Unseelie court, able to wield Winter glamour to control snow, ice, and cold.  As the eldest of the three, Sage was heir to the Unseelie throne, and though the likelihood of  Mab ever relinquishing her throne was nearly non-existent, Sage still carried the burden of being next in line to rule.  This responsibility weighed heavily on him, making him aloof and distant from his brothers.  Unlike Rowan, who reveled in the cruel, often dangerous political games, and Ash, who disdained the court and everything in it, Sage took a more pragmatic approach to the politics of the Unseelie.  He played the game not for pleasure or spite, but to solidify his position as the eldest prince of Winter.

His relationship with his two siblings was one of cautious respect.  Sage knew, as heir to the throne, his brothers were his greatest competition for Mab's favor.  Particularly Rowan, whose cruelty was matched only by his lust for power, and whose deadly games required even a Winter prince to tread very cautiously and watch his back.  Sage's  relationship with his youngest brother, Ash, was much less guarded, particularly before Ash met Ariella.  However, after Ariella's death, a bitter enmity began between Ash and Rowan, and Sage distanced himself from his two warring siblings so as not to be caught in their silent but intense battles.

Unbeknownst to everyone, Sage longed to be free of the Winter Court.  He had grown tired of the constant maneuvering and power plays, and knew Mab would not relinquish her throne, leaving him forever locked into his position: an heir that would never be king.  Still, he was far too loyal to abandon his court, and knew he would be a prince of Winter to the end.  His final act was bravely defending Meghan Chase, the Summer Princess, from  the Iron assassins Rowan had let into the castle.  He died fighting, as a true son of Winter should.  And though he would never know it, his death was greatly grieved, both by his mother, Queen Mab, and by Ash, the brother who had always admired him.


And perhaps, by scores of readers like the one above, who was inspired enough to immortalize him in a picture.  So that, even though the eldest prince of Winter is gone, he will never truly die.

I think he would be pleased.

"Belief, worship, imagination--we were born from the dreams and fears of mortals, and if we are remembered, even in some small way, we will always exist."

-Robin Goodfellow, The Iron King

Friday, June 13, 2014

My first vlog: BEA 2014

Hey guys!

So today is Dragon Friday, but instead of dragons, I thought I'd post my first vlog!  Being the overachiever I am (read: I have no idea what I'm doing), I decided that my very first ever vlog would be about my trip to BEA.

And it has dragons in it, so it counts for Dragon Friday, right?

So here is "My trip to BEA 2014" vlog.  Be gentle, its my first time.  ;-)


Monday, June 9, 2014

BEA Dragonhunt winners

Hey everyone!

The winners for the BEA Dragonhunt are in!  I want to thank everyone that entered, who went searching for dragons around the Javits center.  I hope you had as much fun as I did.  :)

So, to business.  The two winners who will each receive a TALON character (Cobalt and green mystery dragon) are:

Camille Bzechffa and Charlee Vale!

And the Grand Prize winner of Ember and the signed TALON arc is:

Katie Butler!  

Congratulations, everyone!  I will be emailing you shortly on where to send your dragons.  Again, thanks to everyone who entered, or even talked about it.  I'll be hosting another contest soon, so be sure to watch this space.  :)


Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Musings: Ninjas! And a few BEA pics.

Hey guys!

Back from BEA!  Wow, what an exhausting but totally fun trip!  I met so many people, saw friends I'd met before, hung out with awesome authors and fans, and was attacked by ninja waiters (more on that later).  It was a blast and now I'm probably going to hibernate for the rest of the month.

This year I took a lot of video clips, and hopefully I'll have my first vlog up sometime soon.  (Aagh, terrifying!)  But for now, here are a few pictures I can share.  Thanks again for another awesome BEA!

I had an interview with Google Play while I was in New York (which was completely unnerving and I was terrified the whole time). Here's me outside the Google office.

And inside the Google office.

Cobalt also enjoyed the Google office.

I only managed to snap one celebrity picture while I was at BEA, but here's me and the stunning Nicky Hilton, who makes me look like a squinty eyed dwarf, lol! Nicky herself was lovely and charming and very down to earth, even when taking pictures with strange midget authors (Me).

So, the highlight of BEA for me was finally going to NINJA New York, which is the most awesome restaurant in the world because it is located in a secret ninja location and run completely by ninjas. The servers are all ninjas, which means they are just as likely to jump out and scare the pee out of you as serve you food.  Me, my agent Laurie McLean, and author Alex Kahler were seated in a tiny room, and they kept popping through the windows and stabbing at us with knives (don't worry, totally fake knives).  It was the most fun I've had in a restaurant, ever (mostly because I'm evil and I loved watching Laurie shriek every time a ninja leaped out at her).  If I'm ever in New York again, I'm most definitely going back.

One of our lovely NINJA waitresses. (She's smiling because she just freaked Laurie out, lol.)

A few of our NINJA dishes. Sumo wrestler sushi and ninja star sushi. Mmmmm.

Um, waiter, I think you left something in my drink.

After dinner, a ninja magician (Ninjician?) came by and dazzled with a truly amazing slight of hand show. I've dabbled in a bit of magic myself, and he was impressive to say the least; I still don't know how he got that potato under that cup.  Thanks for a magical, hilarious, absolutely fabulous experience, NINJA New York!  I shall return, if I can ever find you again.  ;)

So that's most of my BEA pics.  But after BEA, I got a chance to meet a lovely little horse.  Isn't she cute?

And then I went and saw Maleficent, which I very much enjoyed.  It was a visually stunning movie; the faerie world they created could have been the Nevernever.

So goodbye to BEA and New York for another year.  I can't wait to come back.  The dragons also had a great time, flitting about the Javits Center and meeting fans.  I leave you with one last pic, as a reminder of what's coming next.