naomi_jay: (pen and paper)
So many things! Let us start with the promo-ish things:

WILD is free for Amazon Prime members right now. Free stuff is awesome. Free stuff about werewolves and drugs is especially awesome. So if you want to enjoy some awesome free stuff, WILD might be right for you!

Ethan Banning is here to save your Christmas (should it need saving). ICE, ICE BABY is my Ethan Christmas Special, in which he almost has a completely nice Christmas Eve, marred only slightly by a corpse. Like my other two Ethan short stories, you can read this without having read AFTERLIFE or DEMONISED.

I've read some really amazing books recently and you should read them too! Carolyn Crane's Disillusionist trilogy is definitely one of my top picks for the year. I adore Jusine, the heroine, and the concept is very fresh, very dark, and very cool. If you like PI books, you might also try LM Pruitt's Taken, There's a touch of the supernatural, but this is mostly a straight-up crime novel, and I loved it.

If, like me, you've heard of SOPA but didn't really know anything about it, you might want to check this video out from TotalBiscuit, and enjoy his strangely sexy voice telling you how we're all doomed if this passes.

Kit Whitfield has been analysing opening sentences of classic books. Her blog is worth reading anyway, because she's very smart and very funny, but this series has been really fascinating.

Laura Bickle is counting down the Twelve Days of Nerdmas, which involves steampunk corsets and Cthulhu sweaters, and is therefore amazing.

And that's it! Happy Monday!
naomi_jay: (Objection)
(I was going to make this a Writerly Wednesday thing, but I have guest blogs to post, so... I don't think it matters too much. Anyway).

So! I've been reading Carolyn Crane's Disillusionist books for the past couple of weeks. It's a trilogy; I won the first two from Bastard Books, and it's already up there with Stacia Kane's Downside Ghost books as series of the year for me. It's brilliant. Crane's writing is wonderful, the storyline and characters are fascinating, and I adore Justine, the narrator/heroine. She's a woman of principal with a moral compass she doesn't ignore, and it's a refreshing change from the typical UF heroine. Justine gets ahead, makes friends, and wins by trusting her instincts, being a good person, and doing what she feels is right, regardless of the personal cost. I really love that.

Spoilers ahead! )

That doesn't lessen my dropped-jaw reaction to Otto. Has Justine really underestimated him so badly? Are there clues I missed or willfully overlooked? This is the problem of an unreliable narrator - we just can't be sure. If anyone else has read these books, I'd love to know what you think.
naomi_jay: (sparklethulhu)


So I can't remember how it came up...Possibly we were watching a promo for the new Silent Hill game and I was all,"Pyramid Head, what's his deal? How does he get through doors?" and stuff, and I decided what the world needs is a comic strip of Pyramid Head in the rat race. You know, dealing with bills, taking his cat to the vet, trying to eat his wife's delicious casserole but being unable to so they have a row about how he doesn't appreciate her and is he trying to say her cooking is horrible or something?

Maybe such a comic strip already exists. I don't know. If not, it should. Of course, this picture does not depict Pyramid Head, but Cthulhu. However, the potential for a cross-over where Cthulhu is Pyramid Head's impossible-to-please boss is highly appealing. 

This post was brought to you by two hours' sleep. Don't try to understand it, okay?
naomi_jay: (whale)
So I was reading this news article this morning about prehistoric whale fossils in the Atacama desert (which is cool enough all by itself) and I happened upon this line:

Other unusual creatures found elsewhere in the fossil-rich Atacama Desert include an extinct aquatic sloth.

Guys! An aquatic sloth! You don't even know how much I love that idea. Here are two things you may not know about me:

1. If I were to be an animal, it would probably be a sloth because they are adorable, they sleep for about ten hours a day, and they have an "arboreal browsing lifestyle." You tell me anything that's better than living your life in a tree sleeping and eating. Because I can't think of it.

Adorable!

2. I love the TV show Walking with Beasts. I watch it every time it's on and I especially love the episodes that focus on aquatic prehistoric animals and giant animals. You know, like giant rhinos and giant ponies and giant sloths, say (you may now also understand why I love films where giant things fight other giant things. I just love it when animals are giant).

So, with my established love of sea monsters and sloths, obviously the aquatic sloth is the animal made for me. It's a sloth, it's marine, and it's prehistoric. It's my spirit animal, guys.

Look, I know raptors are cool and all, but if we're going to bring back any extinct animals, I think it should be the aquatic sloth. Who's with me?
naomi_jay: (dragon girl)
I fancied a break from urban fantasy so I picked up a traditional fantasy called Lord of the Changing Winds, which I was really excited about because it's all about gryphons, and I'm still hung up on gryphons from my Mercedes Lackey days.


Unfortunately I couldn't get past chapter two. The prose was far too flowery for my tastes, and everyone had unpronouncable names, which meant I just mentally called everyone Hank to save time. After I got halfway through chapter two and realised I'd read two entire pages without having a clue what was going on, I gave up. One for the charity shop.

So then I picked up my phone (and its Kindle App) and tried Jenny Pox.

It...I don't know what's going on with this girl's arms, but it really bothers me. Anyway, it seems okay. A little meandering to start, but I like the concept. The obvious love interest looks like he's going to be dull as hell, but I could be wrong. And because I like to mix up ebooks and paperbacks, I also started White Jazz this morning.

This has really gripped me, although it takes a few pages for the narrative style to make sense. I can't help hearing Rorschach's voice as I read. It's that kind of stilted, stream of consciousness speaking. Probably good reading whilst I'm working on an Ethan book. And secretly I would love to write this kind of gritty, nasty noir stuff, but I just don't think I could.

Anyway, that's me. Anyone else reading anything good at the moment?
naomi_jay: (pale girl)
So Kyle is working stupid late shifts this week (2pm-11pm), meaning A) we won't really see each other except in passing whilst one of us is asleep and B) I'm going to have to cook for myself this week. I know! I've become really spoilt over the past two years. Kyle is an excellent cook, and whilst I'm not awful, I'm nowhere near as competant. And frankly, the idea of getting home and slaving over the oven when I could just get home and start writing doesn't really appeal. I don't like things that interfere with all that glorious writing time, like cooking and cleaning and working.

This is my amazing solution:


I'm going to make the world's biggest batch of chili tonight and live off it for the rest of the week. And since I've been obsessing over Tesco's butternut squash, honey, and sage soup this weekend, I'm going to make a butternut squash chili. I found a pretty straightfoward recipe. I'll need to change it up a bit since I hate onions and refuse to cook with them. They're weird, okay? I think they're weird. And I'm substituting beef broth for stock in order to make the recipe Harcombe-diet friendly. I also don't have a Dutch oven, but I assume cooking it on the hob will achieve the same end result. I'll probably also swap corn for courgettes because I love courgettes more, and it's my chili, dammit.

Anyway. I always get ridiculously excited when I decided I'm going to be all homely and stuff, despite the part of me that's all like "cooking? Are you mad? Have some cheese and get writing!" so I'm quite looking forward to making this. I've never cooked with butternut squash before though, so who knows, it could all go horribly wrong. But finding out will be an adventure!

naomi_jay: (Black dog?)
So the DARK HUNT tour is nearly over. Sob! I've got one more official guest blog to do (for the wonderful Quinn Smythwood; check out his free Halloween read - it's awesome!) and there may be some extra posts here and there throughout November, but that will be it. Luckily, as [livejournal.com profile] dwgjust reminded me on Twitter, DARK HUNT itself will be available for many years to come!

You can still go and comment on any of the blogs throughout the tour and be in with a chance of winning (among other things) T-shirts and ebooks. Behold!


And remember that everyone who comments anywhere is entitled to a free copy of SILVER KISS - we'll be sending out Smashwords vouchers for those at the end of the tour.

If you missed any of the tour stops, the schedule is here on the Queered Fiction site. I've been rambling on about my favourite fictional werewolf girls, Ayla's own fictional werewolf heroine, Katrina Pagan, my reasons for setting this book in Paris, some of my hopes for the future of the Urban Wolf books...and lots of other stuff too, so go and take a look, leave a comment, and you are guaranteed to win something brilliant. I promise you.

naomi_jay: (ethan)
We interrupt the DARK HUNT blog tour (although that is still going on and there is still loads of chances to win awesome free stuff) to bring you an important Ethan Banning-related announcement.

GONE TO THE DOGS, an Ethan Banning short story, is now available on Amazon US and UK. Huzzahs! And of course, it's at a low, low price, because money into Ethan does not go.


After PI Ethan Banning is kicked out of his favourite bar, he figures the night can't get much worse. Naturally, he's wrong. A trip to the dog track, a meeting with a wannabe femme fatale, and a revenge scheme gone wrong leave Ethan high, dry, and depressingly sober. And that's after he's been mistaken for a hobo...

Some random facts about GONE TO THE DOGS:

1. As with UNGRATEFUL DEAD, this is set before the events of AFTERLIFE, so you can read it without having read any other Shoregrave books.

2. Unlike UNGRATEFUL DEAD, there are no paranormal elements in this story at all. It's just Ethan, his wit, and a bunch of greyhounds.

3. Nothing bad happens to any dogs.
naomi_jay: (cubewich)
(I never promised these blogs would be intellectual.)

1. What if Dr Suess wrote The Call of Cthulhu? Dude. I would have been all over this as a kid. I'm pretty much all over it as an adult.

2. Katy Perry - ET



I don't care for much of her music, but I love this song. I especially love this remix:



And, I don't know, there's just something I really like about Katy Perry. She's like a cartoon character.

3. The Yogscast. I don't play Minecraft, but Kyle does and therefore I blame him entirely for my current obsession with the Yogscasts. We spent all day yesterday watching this, and then we went to bed and watched some more like the freaking grownups we are.

4. Toffee apple cider.


I don't like cider when it tastes like cider. I love it when it tastes like toffee apples (although carbonated drinks don't agree with me, so I can only manage about one bottle a week, which is frankly probably more than enough given the amount of sugar in the stuff).

5. Editing! I edited an upcoming novella for Damnation Books called The Noctuary and it was amazing! I got in a bit of a fit over the weekend about writers who want to be published, rather than wanting to write, but The Noctuary helped me get over that. It's a haunting, atmospheric beauty, and when it's available to buy, I will be pimping the hell out of it.

naomi_jay: (wayward son)
So I ate a tub of Phish Food last night to celebrate finishing Night Breed, and now I'm off work sick. Coincidence? I think not. Anyway, this means Fergus and I have lots of time to scour the internet for stuff, and this is what I found:



It's Escher! In Lego! For comparison, here's the original:



I think that's pretty damn awesome. It makes me feel slightly better about the whole ice cream thing.

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