Category Archives: Jackie Kessler

#PTALive Melbourne, with Penguin Teen Australia

On Monday 12th August 2013, Penguin Teen Australia hosted #PTALive at their Melbourne headquarters. Among other things, it was to launch their new website. (NOTE: Feedly, my current blog reader, isn’t recognising this URL – or any variations of it. So if anyone finds a compatible RSS feed that will work with Feedly, please let me know.)

Got to be honest, I felt rather odd at the event, because…I’m not really a fangirl. Nothing to do with my age (mid-twenties), and everything to do with my personality. And a lot of the books that were highlighted, I just have no interest in. And for the others, I’m interested in Veronica Roth‘s and Marie Lu‘s series, but I haven’t read them yet. And I’ve only read Richelle Mead‘s first two Vampire Academy novels.

Marissa Meyer‘s Scarlet was featured out of two “underrated” titles. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been selling as well as some of the publisher’s other titles. Which is a real shame, because I rather like the Lunar Chronicles series. Admittedly, I read library copies of Cinder and Scarlet, so I haven’t put my money where my mouth is.

There was a shout-out to bloggers in general, and my site was one of twelve to be visually specified. Yeah, that surprised me, too. And seeing my name among the others really made me stand out, not necessarily in a good way, because I don’t have branding or a specially made banner. My entire blog is much like that.

I’ve been book blogging since 2007. Let that sink in. It’s currently 2013. And I’m rather unprogressive πŸ˜‰

But I digress…

Guest authors interviewed were Will Kostakis (author of The First Third) and Jennifer Kloester (author of The Cinderella Moment). Not entirely sure why, but Jen reminded me of American author Jackie Morse Kessler (also known as simply Jackie Kessler). Maybe because of their initials, and they both write YA fiction and practice martial arts. Also, they’re contracted to the same US publisher (Month9Books)… πŸ˜‰

Anyhoo, it was reported that Melbourne’s #PTALive had the most attenders, beating the other events around the country. Batmanians, unite! πŸ™‚ Also, surprising to learn that Vampire Academy’s biggest market is Australia. Would’ve just assumed the US was. But Australia has a lot of scary fangirl to give, apparently πŸ˜‰

Penguin Teen Australia: Facebook Twitter YouTube Tumblr

Will Kostakis: Facebook Twitter The First Third

Jennifer Kloester: Facebook Twitter Blogspot The Cinderella Moment

PENGUIN BOOKS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO (YA & ADULT)

CONFIRMED RELEASE DATES
Marie Lu – Champion (Legend, Book 3) – 6th November 2013
Richelle Mead – The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, Book 4) – 19th November 2013
Rachel Caine – Daylighters (Morganville Vampires, Book 15) – 20th November 2013

UNKNOWN RELEASE DATES
Nancy Holzner – Hellhound (Deadtown, Book 5) – 29th October 2013 (in the US)
Marissa Meyer – Cress (Lunar Chronicles, Book 3) – 4th February 2014 (in the US)
Jessica Spotswood – Untitled (Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book 3)
Sylvia Day – Captivated by You (Crossfire, Book 4)
Heather Brewer – Soulbroken (Legacy of Tril, Book 2)
Richelle Mead – Untitled (Age of X, Book 2)

PENGUIN USA PUBLISHED IT, BUT AUS MAY NOT
A. D. Robertson – Captive – 22nd October 2013
Lauren Dane & Megan Hart – There All Along – 3rd December 2013
Andrea Cremer – Snakeroot – 10th December 2013
Lydia Kang – Control – 26th December 2013
Rachel Caine – Prince of Shadows – 4th February 2014
J. Nelle Patrick – Tsarina – 27th February 2014
Seanan McGuire – Half Off Ragnarok – 4th March 2014
Andrea Cremer – The Inventor’s Secret – 22nd April 2014
Seanan McGuire – Sparrow Hill Road – 3rd June 2014

[REVIEW] The Road to Hell – Jackie Kessler

Jackie Kessler
The Road to Hell (Hell on Earth, Book 2)
Kensington Zebra (US: 3rd November 2009); Hachette Piatkus (UK: 3rd February 2011)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Jezebel’s BFF is being terribly tortured, and the only way she’ll be released is by Jez returning to Hell. But she was betrayed, so the ex-succubus refuses. The game steps up when the Queen of the Succubi steals the innocent soul of Jezebel’s human lover, and now Jez needs her incubus lover to kill her – and return her to the very place from where Jez has been running.

Jackie Kessler’s character-driven romp has more depth than the surface reveals. Megaera is so psychologically screwed-up, but never stops trying to put Jezebel first. Angel has been forced into a new life the polar opposite of the one she’s been used to, and the way Jezebel warms up to her and mentors her is oddly charming. The plot is kind of minor, but the characters, their decisions and their interactions provide plenty of food for thought, and hopefully Meg and Angel will return for future episodes in this spunky series.

P.S. Yes, I totally had audio thoughts of Peter Griffin whenever Jezebel said, “Shut up, Meg.” πŸ˜‰

[COVER ART] Eric Garcia’s REPO MEN & Jackie Kessler UK News

US re-release cover for Eric Garcia’s Repo Men. The novel was originally published last year as The Repossession Mambo, but has been retitled to match the upcoming film based on the book.

The Repossession Mambo Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Repo Men Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (Worldwide)

In other news, many congratulations to Jackie Kessler. Piatkus has bought the UK rights (and likely Oz rights, too) to the first three novels in the Hell on Earth series. Look for them in the UK in 2011.

Hell’s Belles Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
The Road to Hell Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

November 2009 Releases

Done with October 2009 Releases? Time for November 2009 Releases. And to see further into the future, check the freshly updated Reading Wishlist.

The following US/UK/CA/AU books will be released in November 2009. Release dates are subject to change, so it’s not my fault if I’m wrong πŸ˜‰ Also, not EVERY November book is listed – just the ones I’ve both heard of AND are interested in. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Continue reading

Mead in Melbourne

I think I should’ve been posing on the other side of the table. Oops. Thanks to Penguin staff member Felicity for photographing – you’re a gem πŸ™‚ Yes, kids, I am wearing hobo gloves, but these are from Germany, which makes me Euro hobo-chic πŸ˜‰ Even covered in lint balls and cat fur. Please excuse my lack of make-up, and lack of product in my hair – my ‘do looks much better today.

Monday 14th September 2009: Knox Civic Centre hosted Richelle Mead’s first official Australian readers event, and I proved why I am not fit for public consumption πŸ˜‰ I offered my copy of Eternal Lover up for signing – the same book that I’d won in a contest and was already personalised by the lovely Jackie Kessler. (Richelle contributed to that anthology, so she didn’t just sign another author’s book. That would be weird. Even by my standards πŸ˜‰ )

I’m not good at small talk (I’m good at rambling blog posts, but that’s the power of gobshite passed down to me via Irish ancestors), and I think I mentioned that Jackie is awesome. And that I’m looking forward to reading Hunger (to be published under the name Jackie Morse Kessler). And the thank-you note I left was written on a Jackie Kessler sticky-note. Written with a Jackie Kessler pen.

So I probably came across as a mega-weird Jackie Kessler fangirl. Let’s clear things up: Jackie is indeed awesome. Awesome enough to allow internationals like me to enter her contests to win books and post them out here. Along with the finest author swag I’ve come across. Seriously, this The Road to Hell pen is fabulous. And the sticky-notes came in handy at ARRC09, because I thought it would be decent etiquette to pass out thank-you notes to some authors for attending. Thus why I also gave Richelle a thank-you note.

And I’ve only read one of Jackie’s novels, plus a novella that was in an anthology (A Red Hot Valentine’s Day – I haven’t read Eternal Lover yet). While they are good reads, and Jackie is a darl, I wouldn’t say I’m a fangirl. It’s not nice to weird-out internationals πŸ˜‰

For the record, of Richelle’s books I’ve read Succubus Blues and Vampire Academy, with the others waiting on my shelf to be read. Why I didn’t bring them to be signed? Authors can’t be expected to remember all their readers, so I figured no one else had a copy of Eternal Lover already signed by one of the contributors.

lolcatz photographed Richelle and I whilst Felicity did, so that photo may emerge on the Internets. I don’t think he photographed every reader. Anyway, as I was packing up to go I asked him if this was his first visit to Australia. It was. I said “have a good one”, whilst giving a thumbs-up. Don’t ask me why. I’m not one to draw attention to my fingers. And I’m not usually one to talk to strangers, either.

Thanks to Richelle, Felicity and lolcatz for being polite creatures, and tolerating dear Tezzy.

As far as I know, the next author event I plan to attend is WorldCon 2010, which will take place in Melbourne. Have heard that Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant and Laura Anne Gilman will be attending, and my copy of Staying Dead needs signing and personalising… πŸ˜‰

P.S. Woke up this morning to hear Richelle on Nova 100, chatting with Hughesy, Kate & Ed. The whole interview is available in audio, if you look below the “From the Show” heading. And there’s a 1-minute video excerpt. The caption refers to female vampires “flowering” every 28 days, but I really think Kate’s question referred to vampires ingesting menstrual blood, as well as regular blood from people’s necks. I don’t think vampires themselves actually menstruate. But maybe I misunderstood. Australians generally aren’t good at subtlety (we’re straight-talking, like Family Guy‘s Ollie the weatherman), so when we try it, things get weird…even weirder than our straight-talking πŸ˜‰ Bless Kate and her chutzpah for asking! πŸ™‚

Happy Birthday, Jackie Kessler

It’s December 8th, and Jackie Kessler’s birthday. Hell’s Belles was one of the first books I read in 2008. The Road to Hell is waiting patiently on my shelf to be read.

Give the gift of royalties by purchasing Hell’s Belles, The Road to Hell.

September 2008 Releases

Have you already bought or pre-ordered August 2008 Releases? Onto September then…

Kim Harrison
Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, Book 3)
HarperCollins Eos (US: 2nd September 2008)
Pre-order

There’s no witch in Cincinnati tougher, sexier, or more screwed up than bounty hunter Rachel Morgan, who’s already put her love life and soul in dire jeopardy through her determined efforts to bring criminal night creatures to justice. Between “runs”, she has her hands full fending off the attentions of her blood-drinking partner, keeping a deadly secret from her backup, and resisting a hot new vamp suitor. Rachel must also take a stand in the war that’s raging in the city’s underworld, since she helped put away its former vampire kingpin – and made a deal with a powerful demon to do so that could cost her an eternity of pain, torment, and degradation. And now her dark “master” is coming to collect his due.

Jackie Kessler
Hell’s Belles (Hell on Earth, Book 1)
Kensington Zebra (2nd September 2008)
Pre-order

Once upon a time, Jezebel was a powerful succubus, capable of seducing men and sucking out their souls. But that was before Hell put a bounty on her head. Now her only chance to escape a fate far worse than death is to live as a mortal, losing herself in a sea of unfamiliar humanity, in a place where sinners walk hand-in-hand with saints – a place like New York City. Working as an exotic dancer is a piece of cake for a former demon who once specialized in sex. But she hadn’t counted on meeting sexy Paul Hamilton, a man haunted by his past. Good-bye, succubus; hello, lovestruck. But Hell hasn’t stopped looking for her. The secrets Jezebel holds are the most dangerous of all, the kind every demon in the Underworld would do their worst to protect. Demons are closing in, which is enough to make Jezebel shiver in her G-string. But it’s her love for Paul that’s going to have deadly consequences…

John Ajvide Lindqvist
Handling the Undead
Quercus (UK: 4th September 2008)
Something very peculiar is happening in Stockholm. There’s a heatwave on and people cannot turn their lights out or switch their appliances off. Then the terrible news breaks. In the city morgue, the dead are waking up…What do they want? What everybody wants: to come home.

Suzanne McLeod
The Sweet Scent of Blood (Spellcrackers.com)
Hachette Gollancz (UK: 4th September 2008)
Pre-order

When Mr October, a sexy calendar pin-up vamp, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt is called in and Genny is forced to help prove his innocence, risking her job and the protection it offers – and threatening to expose her own dark secrets. Searching for the killer plunges Genny deep into the hidden heart of vampire society. It’s not long before she realises that she and Mr October are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle between London’s non-human communities…and it’s not just her own neck that’s at stake, but the lives of all London’s supernaturals.

Lilith Saintcrow
Hunter’s Prayer (Jill Kismet, Book 2)
Hachette Orbit (UK: 4th September 2008)
Pre-order

Jill Kismet, Dealer in Dark Things. Spiritual Exterminator. Demon Slayer – it’s not the type of work you can put on a business card. But every city has people like me. Usually the police have us on payroll as consultants, because what ordinary cop can face down a Were or an ordinary shapechanger, or an Assyrian demon? Not to mention the silvers or the Black Mist, the adepts of Sorrow House or of the Middle Way? What ordinary cop stands a chance against a Trader, even? People disappear all the time, it’s an epidemic; some of the disappearances are murder, some are fugitives, some are kidnapped by other human beings. Some of them are even found again. But a good proportion of them are taken by the things that go bump in the night. And then it becomes a hunter’s job to bump back. Hard.

Rachel Caine
Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3)
Allison & Busby (UK: 5th September 2008)
Pre-order

Claire Danvers’s college town may be run by vampires but a truce between the living and the dead made things relatively safe. For a while. Now people are turning up dead, a psycho is stalking her, and an ancient bloodsucker has proposed private mentoring. To what end, Claire will find out. And it’s giving night school a whole new meaning…

Marta Acosta
The Bride of Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, Book 3)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 16th September 2008)
Pre-order

Milagro De Los Santos is having serious problems planning her wedding to fabulous Oswald Grant, M.D. Her future in-laws loathe her, her dog just died, and Oswald’s family has a genetic anomaly that makes them crave blood. Then her extravagant best friend hijacks the role of wedding coordinator, and the secretive Vampire Council assigns conniving Cornelia Ducharme to guide the couple through the ancient vampire marriage rituals. To top it all off, Milagro’s career is on the skids. She’s reduced to ghost-writing the memoirs of a loony little man who claims to be a shapeshifter. And why does Cornelia’s decadent, way too attractive brother, Ian, always show up whenever Milagro is away from Oswald? When a series of accidents interferes with wedding plans, Oswald worries that Milagro is cracking under the pressure. Is she just paranoid, or is a hidden enemy trying to make sure Milagro doesn’t wed the undead?

Liz Maverick
Irreversible
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 30th September 2008)
Pre-order

Katherine Gibbs is engaged. Engaged, popular, gorgeous, and living a life of sheer perfection. This is her best week ever. The trouble is, it’s manufactured. She’s lived this week over and over and doesn’t know it. L. Roxanne Zaborovsky, Katherine’s best friend, is outside looking in. Once again, Kitty’s life is being stolen away by a man as twisted as he is brilliant. This time, there’s something Roxy can do. The barriers of time are like the walls of an apartment – or the bars of a prison – and they can be demolished. She just has to start the jailbreak. Walter “Q” Sheffield is hot, smart, and just the man to free Kitty. A time-anomaly specialist, he can split seconds, erase hours and make the most of a minute. The one thing he can’t do? Relationships. But hate and revenge have Kitty trapped in the vagaries of time, and only love will get her out. And that love must be…IRREVERSIBLE.

Richelle Mead
Succubus Dreams (Georgina Kincaid, Book 3)
Kensington (US: 30th September 2008)
Pre-order

Some days, a girl just can’t catch a break…especially when the girl in question is Georgina Kincaid, a shape-shifting succubus who gets her energy from seducing men. First there’s her relationship with gorgeous bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, which is unsatisfying on a number of levels. It’s not just that they can’t have sex in case Georgina inadvertently kills him (generally a turn-off for most guys). Lately, even spending time together is a challenge. Seth’s obsessed with finishing his latest novel, and Georgina’s under demonic orders to mentor the new (and surprisingly inept) succubus on the block. Then there are the dreams. Someone, or something, is preying on Georgina at night, draining her energy, and supplying eerie visions of her future. Georgina seeks answers from Dante, a dream interpreter with ties to the underworld, but his flirtatious charm only leaves her more confused – especially as the situation with Seth reaches crisis point. Now Georgina faces a double challenge – rein in her out-of-control love life, and go toe-to-toe with an enemy capable of wreaking serious havoc among mankind. Otherwise, Georgina, and the entire mortal world, may never sleep easy again…

Bookmarks & Vlogs

I found Jackie Kessler’s Hell’s Belles bookmark. Just happened to be putting my hanky, lip balm and USB stick on the table, something caught my eye, looked down, and there it was – lying amongst boxes and whatnot. I must’ve finished a book, brought it to the desk for reviewing, and knocked the bookmark off the table. It’s a bit curved, but still functional. But I’m still using Anya Bast’s Witch Blood bookmark, at least until I finish this tome. (115 pages to go, Chris – I made more progress this afternoon thanks to reading whilst eating a big bag of crisps…)

Anyway, I’ve figured out why I want to video blog, if I had the necessary tools. Even though I’ve had broadband since January, I didn’t really start viewing videos until the Rebels of Romance (aka Marianne Mancusi and Liz Maverick) went to Japan, and recorded their experiences. Then yesterday I hit the Flight of the Conchords TV website, and viewed Mel’s vlogs. Then I watched the Bring Me My Hookah! (aka Lauren Dane and Megan Hart) vlogs today.

With the Rebels, vlogging shows off their travels and activities, and they have some good ones. But the Hookahs’ ones really struck me because they were just sitting at their computers talking to the camera. And it occurred to me (slow, aren’t I?) that you don’t have to be doing anything, just as long as you’ve got something to say. You don’t have to take your recorder out and about – you can do it from the comfort of your own home, your own writing nook. And the Hookahs have fabulous writing digs – Megan’s got the classy, cosy office with an ace leather (or faux) swivel chair, and soft music that I imagine is great for when she writes. And Lauren’s just feels like a home – books on the shelves, a window, and a couch…I love that in particular, because at the end of a writing session, you could just collapse for a nap. At least, that’s what I’d do πŸ˜‰

And then it got me thinking of the things I could vlog about. Most of my associates here on the Intramawebs aren’t Australian, and may not have had much facetime with us or heard us in the various media with our real accents. Admittedly my accent’s not particularly ocker, considering that fellow Aussies have asked me if I’m from England (I’m not). But I suppose I have different mannerisms, vocab or ways of speaking and pronouncing that mayhaps others of my kind don’t share. You lovelies could send me lists of words to pronounce, and I could “educate the world”. (Yeah, I go on these little “crusades” occasionally, thinking I can “change the world” or “make a difference”. Yep, delusions of grandeur… πŸ˜‰ )

So I guess now I need to know how to start up: what kind of video recording device – one that’s easy to use and affordable. It doesn’t even need to have much space, because I could record something, and immediately transfer it, thus freeing space on the device.

I’d also need some kind of video editing software. Anyone know what Microsoft Video Studio .NET is? (It just happens to be on this computer.) Would that work? Or what easy-to-use and affordable programme do you recommend?

Anyway, if you could send in your recommendations, that would be fab. Then I could go price-researching and take it from there.

So yeah, if you or someone you know has some sort of video recording device and/or editing software that they no longer want, please contact me.

And thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday, and your support for when I had a bad experience yesterday arvo. Today I went to the shops (just the post office) with no problem, and I felt fine. Thanks for listening to my overreactions (I’m a Cancerian; we’re overemotional people), and reassuring me. You can is made of awesome.

Tezzy’s Guide to Choosing a Bookmark

I’ve lost my Jackie Kessler’s Hell’s Belles bookmark. I finished a book last night, and I went to fetch it to stick in a new book…and couldn’t find it. I first used that bookmark when I was reading the very book it advertises (back in February???), and have been using it ever since.

I needed a new bookmark, and so dove into my swag collection.

When you’re talking giveaways, a finished copy of your book will always be #1. Then ARCs. Because at the end of the day, the content is the most important thing. However, some publishers have better looking ARCs than others – I naturally prefer the ones with cover art. The my next favourite swag is the cover flat: it has the cover art, the summary, and maybe even marketing information. And, if you’re lucky, room for the author to sign it πŸ˜‰

Then my next favourite swag item is the bookmark. However, when I dipped into my swag collection, a lot of things weren’t my preferred size for actually using as a bookmark. Some were too short. Others too wide. And then there were the bookmarks I wasn’t going to choose because of the secksy pictures of the books they’re advertising on them.

I ended up choosing Anya Bast’s Witch Blood bookmark. Perfect size, and the picture isn’t secksy (just pretty).

And thus is Tezzy’s Guide to Choosing a Bookmark.

P.S. The bookmark is currently placed at the end of Chapter 1 of Michelle Maddox’s Countdown. One of the lead characters’ name rhymes with “bogan”, and this may be off-putting. So in my head I’ll just have to think of him as “he”. Sorry, dear Canadian; you may not have been aware. πŸ˜‰

[REVIEW] Hell’s Belles – Jackie Kessler

Jackie Kessler
Hell’s Belles (Hell on Earth, Book 1)
Kensington Books (26th December 2006)
Trade Paperback ISBN: 0-8217-8102-2
Buy

A few months ago I read the first three chapters of Jackie Kessler’s Hell’s Belles, but had to put it aside when I got caught up in library books and their due dates. My sieve of a memory left me doubtful of how well I could remember these opening stages when I picked the book up again the other day.

I needn’t have worried. I’m the first to admit I’m very sceptical. Just because something’s a best seller, or comes with gushy fangirlies, that doesn’t mean it’ll automatically appeal to everyone. But I’m happy to report that this novel did appeal to me. It’s hard to find a fresh voice, but Jezebel’s seems truly original, and flows in a way that seems as though Ms Kessler was wearing her inner demon on the outside when she wrote this πŸ˜‰ Jez’s mindset is reminiscent of “rolling out the red carpet”: when she’s not lusting, she’s emotional, and Hell knows we can all relate to that.

But what really made me enjoy this book was Hell. It’s fire and brimstone, and the demons are categorised. But instead of romanticising demons, Ms Kessler shows them for what they are – red creatures with hooves, and pelt covering their lower halves. And some even have horns.

I don’t know what The Road to Hell has in store for me, but if you’re listening, Ms Kessler – Tezebel wants more Hell πŸ˜‰