Category Archives: Jeanne C. Stein

June 2011 Releases

Done with May 2011 Releases? Here are June 2011 Releases. To see further dates, check Reading Wishlist.

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January 2009 Reads

A reminder that if you’ve got your mitts on the January 2009 Releases, you may as well move on to the February 2009 Releases.

And now for the 8 books I read in January:

Rogue – Rachel Vincent “…quite a cracker. Rachel Vincent has well and truly mastered the art of the end-of-chapter cliffhanger…and likewise for the end of the novel…wow…” Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

The Summoning – Kelley Armstrong “…the freshest, most compelling novel Kelley Armstrong’s written for quite some time…The author’s stepped her characterisation up to a new level.” Buy (US) Buy (CA) Buy (UK)

The Becoming – Jeanne C. Stein Buy (US) Buy (CA)

Blood Drive – Jeanne C. Stein “Anna Strong takes on a very human problem…a step up…” Buy (US) Buy (CA)

Eve of Darkness – S. J. Day “The author’s angels and demons are well-crafted and original, as is the worldbuilding…There are a lot of possibilities, so this series could end up longer than just the three (so far) contracted novels. I hope so.” Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

The Watcher – Jeanne C. Stein “…better than The Becoming…” Buy (US) Buy (CA)

Undone – Rachel Caine “…hits hard with the kind of keen plotting sure to lift heads. Keep an eye out for the ‘shock troops’, and what follows is an absolute cracker of a read.” Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

City of Ashes – Cassandra Clare “…look out for the delightfully creepy Silent City, a haunting setting to remember – awesome.” Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

[REVIEW] The Watcher – Jeanne C. Stein

Jeanne C. Stein
The Watcher (Anna Strong, Book 3)
Penguin Ace (US & CA: 27th November 2007)
Buy (US) Buy (CA)

Sorry, kids; I can’t muster up the energy to review right now. So in short: better than The Becoming, but not as good as Blood Drive.

[REVIEW] Blood Drive – Jeanne C. Stein

Jeanne C. Stein
Blood Drive (Anna Strong, Book 2)
Penguin ACE (US & CA: 26th June 2007)
Buy (US) Buy (CA)

Anna Strong takes on a very human problem in Jeanne C. Stein’s Blood Drive.

Anna’s brother died whilst still a teen. Now his girlfriend wants Anna to find her runaway teen daughter, Trish. Anna doesn’t like Trish’s mother, and dislikes her all the more when she investigates Trish’s disappearance – why she left, and why her friend has been murdered.

More of a mystery with paranormal elements, those elements include Anna and the police chief being vampires and a school teacher being a werepanther. (That’s not a spoiler: look at the gorgeous cover art by Cliff Nielsen.) Considering that I was big on crime fiction before discovering urban fantasy, this novel wasn’t a problem for me, and it’s even a step up from its not-quite-engaging UF predecessor, The Becoming. Be warned: Parents more than anyone else may be freaked out by the content.

I’m not quite connecting with this series, though this installment appealed to me more than Book 1. I have Books 3 and 4 waiting on my shelf, so will stay tuned…

[REVIEW] The Becoming – Jeanne C. Stein

Jeanne C. Stein
The Becoming (Anna Strong, Book 1)
Penguin ACE (US & CA: 28th November 2006)
Buy (US) Buy (CA)

Okay, in all honesty, I couldn’t be arsed writing a proper review. But I’m enjoying Book 2, Blood Drive, much more.

Bad Week to Be a Cat

Evening naptime. He’s had a bad week on account of he doesn’t like loud sounds. And the old shower being removed and a new one put in – those count as “loud sounds”. In comparison, being photographed with the cover postcard for Jeanne C. Stein’s Legacy, and Kathleen Nance’s Day of Fire book, is relatively peaceful.

Happy Birthday, Mario Acevedo; Meme & Links

It’s July 6th – Mario Acevedo’s birthday. He’s a top bloke who shares the Biting Edge blog with Jeanne C. Stein – what I love about it is they blog about stuff that others aren’t blogging about. Anyway, give Mar (can I call you Mars?) the gift of royalties by buying/pre-ordering his works:

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats
X-Rated Bloodsuckers
The Undead Kama Sutra
Jailbait Zombie

Because Leah tagged me:

1. I hate the color…yellow
2. I hate the TV show…Mark Loves Sharon (haven’t seen it, but it looks like the biggest pile of wank)
3. I hate the taste of…fresh fish (though canned tuna, crabmeat and whatever’s in fish fingers are still fine)
4. I hate the smell of…fish
5. I hate the word…shizzle
6. I hate the sound of…the kids next door
7. I hate the song…“Soulja Boy”

Oh, and I’ve added more links to my WordPress‘s sidebar. If you want to do a link exchange, I’d be happy to participate.

What Grinds My Gears

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?

*When unpublished/uncontracted writers say they’re writing a “book”. No. You’re writing a story. You’re writing a novel. You’re writing a manuscript. But until you’re contracted or published, you’re not writing a “book”. At least not until you’ve finished a decent first draft.

*When in interviewers, the interviewer asks the author to “tell us about [insert title here]”. At the start of all my interviews, I post the book summaries. If summaries are not available, then of course it makes sense to ask the question. But if the information is readily available, it just comes across as a lazy question. Your readers aren’t as dim as you think we are.

*In celebration of the new James Bond book, blog favourite Jeanne C. Stein at Biting Edge found some trivia: For instance, did you know that Ursula Andress and George Lazenby (who, btw, best fits Fleming’s physical description of Bond) were both dubbed in their movies? Their accents were considered too hard to understand. I’m not pissed at Jeanne – I’m pissed at film studios who insist on dumbing down their content. I believe that people aren’t as stupid as people think we are, but of course there’ll always be some bad eggs who’ll spoil the whole breakfast. But clearly my knickers are in a knot particularly because I love foreign accents, and don’t find them difficult to understand. When the Pope visited the US this year, we got some TV news reports down here syndicated from American TV stations. They subtitled the freaking Pope! And he was speaking ENGLISH! And his words were clearly audible! I’m not much for religion, so I wasn’t paying all that much attention to his message, but I could distinguish the words clearly. I reiterate, folks: Audiences are not as stupid as you think we are!

Jodi Picoult in Melbourne

I don’t know which of Allen & Unwin (publisher) and Angus & Robertson (bookseller) is to blame. Arrived in line at Angus & Robertson in Melbourne (360 Bourke St) an hour early. Was informed that Ms Picoult would only be signing the new book, Change of Heart. None of us in queue was told this on the phone when we called, and we’d brought about two books each from home (we weren’t going to bring out the whole backlist; just our most favourites). So of course we all had to fork out for the newy (many thanks to my sister who bought it for me).

We were told to write our name on a Post-It to stick on the title page, so Ms Jodi would know how to spell our names. She even asked me what mine is short for. Bless our Aussie way of shortening names to as small amount of syllables as possible because we’re so lazy… 😉

Anyway, we soon were told that we could line up again with any other books we’d brought and another photo. Which we did, because the line moved along really fast: no stopping to discuss her novels with her. But we’ve read her books, we swear! So theoretically we needn’t have bought the newy after all as she was cool enough to sign her backlist. Maybe Allen & Unwin or Angus & Robertson had overestimated the crowd numbers.

Nevertheless, the photo at the beginning of this entry is my photographic evidence. Ms Jodi has a better hairstyle than me, but mine’s a better colour (have never coloured it and don’t intend to in the near future) 😉 We’re both leaning to the left, though I was probably supposed to lean inward…but we all know that I’m wonky/lopsided/imbalanced/unbalanced 😉

So tell me about your book signing experiences. Is it normal that you have to buy the new book if you want something signed? Or is this just some weirdo Australian thing because rarely does an international author sign in Melbourne? Or was this just a one-off?

And now onto the rest of my day. I didn’t buy any more books, but I did photograph some so you have proof that your books are on Australian shelves. If yours isn’t in my photos, I most likely didn’t see it. I normally crop out as much of the background as I can, but this time I left some bits so you can see your shelf neighbours:

Angus & Robertson (Melbourne)
Gwen Hunter’s Shadow Valley

Borders (Melbourne Central)
Mario Acevedo’s The Nymphos of Rocky Flats and X-Rated Bloodsuckers and Jennifer Armintrout’s Possession
Jeanne C. Stein’s Blood Drive
Eve Kenin’s Driven
Jeaniene Frost’s Halfway to the Grave
Marianne Mancusi’s Moongazer
Liz Maverick’s Wired
Jennifer Armintrout’s Ashes to Ashes
Anya Bast’s Witch Fire

Feel free to share the photos with the authors; I couldn’t be bothered emailing the links. (It’s been a long day.)

Host of CBS’s Late Late Show, Craig Ferguson’s American on Purpose, about living the American dream as he journeys from a small town in Scotland to the entertainment capital of the world, stumbling long the way through several attempts to make his mark, written “in the hope that it will inspire other alcoholic punk rock drummers from Scotland to find their true place in US late night television,” to Michael Morrison at Harper, with David Hirshey editing, for publication in fall 2009, by Richard Abate at Endeavor (world English).

If you’re a Scottish musician, you move to Australia (Jimmy Barnes, part of AC/DC, that Colin guy from Men at Work, etc). And Scottish comedian Billy Connolly did marry an Aussie… Come on, Scots – you know you belong in Oz; not the US… 😉

Tez Interviews Jeanne Stein

Meet Jeanne Stein, author of the vampire novels The Becoming, Blood Drive and The Watcher (Penguin: November 28th 2006, June 26th 2007 and November 27th 2007 respectively). A story of hers also features in Many Bloody Returns (Penguin: September 4th 2007). Let’s learn…

The Becoming
Thirty-year-old Anna Strong is a bounty hunter–tough, confident, at the top of her game. But when she is attacked one night in a parking lot, her life is inexorably changed. She awakens in the hospital to find she has become Vampire and her destiny is no longer with the living, but among the undead. With her mentor, the vampire doctor who treated her in the hospital, she strives to make sense of it all. But then her home is burned to the ground, and her business partner and best friend is kidnapped. Anna suddenly finds herself alone on a quest to save more than her missing friend, but herself as well.

Blood Drive
Anna Strong is a vampire caught between two worlds. She clings to what makes her human, her family, her job, her lover. But the pull of the undead is a siren song becoming impossible to resist. She discovers she has a niece, Trish, a child caught up in the worst kind of human nightmare. To save Trish, Anna may have to surrender to the animal side of her nature. Concepts of good and evil are no longer clearly defined as Anna must determine who is the real monster—a human who preys on children or the vampire who tries to save them.

Many Bloody Returns
This patchwork anthology of 13 new vampire stories proves that heavyweight contributors can give some substance to a relatively slight theme. Writers with serious vamp credentials craft stories around the concept of birthdays for bloodsuckers.

The Watcher
For a newly made vampire, Anna is a hard case. That’s why she’s become a Watcher–one of the enforcers who keep supernatural criminals in check and deliver just punishment when necessary. But Anna is still fighting to control the raging fury of the vampire within her… Her self-control is tested when her lover–a DEA agent–disappears. In The Watcher, Anna is forced to battle a witch with ulterior motives, a vengeful Mexican drug lord, a psychotic hit man nursing a grudge and her own demons. But if there’s one thing Anna has learned to handle, it’s trouble.

Tez Miller: Word on the street is that your work started off with small publisher ImaJinn (former home of Keri Arthur and Lilith Saintcrow). How did it end up at Penguin? Did an agent organise that, did you do the pitching yourself, or were you head-hunted?
Jeanne Stein: I’d been writing a long time before getting that first contract and that was with the same Colorado publisher as Keri and Lilith–ImaJinn Books. The Becoming was released in 2004 and I used that book to query an agent. My thinking was that if an agent liked what he read, he might be able to sell subsequent books to a New York house. Imagine my surprise when that agent (Scott Miller of Trident Media Group) called and said he wanted to resell The Becoming to Ace Books. To make a complicated story simple, that involved coming to terms with ImaJinn’s editor. I share royalties with her for The Becoming and Blood Drive and bought out the option for the third Anna Strong book.

Sounds complicated. Good thing you’ve got that great agent 🙂 Your books are published under the name Jeanne C Stein. Why the middle initial?
Good question. One I’m going to answer very cryptically–the “C” stands for my middle name which I never give out. Can’t tell you why I use it. Habit, I guess.

Your protag’s name is Anna Strong. Does her surname say something about her personality?
Yes. And it’s close to the name I really wanted to use–Hannah Storm. Of course, that name was taken by a famous CBS anchorwoman so I had to come up with something else. Now I love the name.

Damn you, CBS! 😉 A story of yours features in a popular vampire birthday anthology, Many Bloody Returns. How did the project start? Were you invited, or did you ask politely (and if so, was there any bribing 😉 )?
I was invited into Many Bloody Returns to take the place of an author who had to drop out. Lucky for me, unlucky for that author. The book has done quite well and I’ve gotten such good response from readers about the character, Sophie, that my editor suggested I come up with a proposal for a book of her own. I’m working on it now.

Aw, we’re feeling the love 🙂 Are your vampire creations emo, or do they try to make the best of a bad situation?
Actually, it’s the direct opposite of what Anna is. She was angry at first at what happened to her. But she’s a realist and determined to live her life on her own conditions. One of the most important, was retaining contact with her human family. She is able to feed safely so the hardest part is trying to maintain her relationship with her human business partner and spend as much time as she can with her parents and now, her niece. She knows her time with them is limited since at some point, it will become obvious that they are ageing and she is not. But I make it a point to explain in the books that becoming vampire does not change the type of person you are, only the physical aspects of the body. So morally and intellectually, you are the same person you were before the change.

The Anna Strong novels have sold to Germany; yay! In which other foreign countries/languages would you most like to be published?
I suppose any country with an interest in urban fantasy. I haven’t yet seen the German editions and I really can’t wait to see what covers they come up with.

Are things progressing to get your books published in the UK, and therefore in Australia?
You know, that’s all in my agent’s hands. I hope the answer is yes.

Note to Mr Miller: Sell, sell, sell! We’re deprived in Oz 😉 *ahem* Do you outline your works, or do you work on the fly?
I don’t outline. I know how a book is going to start and I know how it’s going to end. I have an idea of the new characters I plan to introduce along the way. After that, I let the story tell itself.

You share a joint blog with Mr Mario Acevedo. How did you meet, and why get together instead of having separate blogs?
Mario and I go way back. Eight years or so. We’ve been in the same critique group for that long. I wasn’t keen on doing a blog–couldn’t imagine anyone would be interested in my opinions about anything. But Mario said we had to do it because it’s another marketing tool to use to reach new readers and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Now I find it’s fun–it’s very unstructured. Mario is the funny guy and I’m the straight (wo)man. I use anything and everything that catches my eye during the week. Movies, books, anything to do with Joss Whedon (my hero). So far, I haven’t resorted to listing what I ate for breakfast or how many loads of laundry I have to do. When I reach that point, I’ll quit.

See, that’s where I differ from other urban fantasy writers–my hero is Seth MacFarlane.
Thanks, Tez, for a very entertaining bunch of questions!

Not a problem, lass.

Relevant Links

You can purchase The Becoming online from Amazon, Amazon CA and Amazon UK.

You can purchase Blood Drive online from Amazon, Amazon CA and Amazon UK.

You can purchase Many Bloody Returns online from Amazon, Amazon CA and Amazon UK.

You can purchase The Watcher online from Amazon, Amazon CA and Amazon UK.