Tag Archives: Tekgrrl

Good News for A. J. Menden Fans

Good news for fans of A. J. Menden and her Elite Hands of Justice series ๐Ÿ™‚ From here:

A. J Menden’s second book in the Elite Hands of Justice series, Tekgrrl, just came out in stores and is getting terrific reviews…And Dorchester just picked up the next two books in the series, both scheduled to come out in 2010.

No word yet on titles, but I think they’ll be Fantazia’s and Kate’s stories. Will keep you posted on release dates.

In the meantime, catch up with the first two EHJ novels:

Phenomenal Girl 5: Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Tekgrrl: Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Claim to Fame, New Book Deal & Cover Art

Claim to fame: Dorchester Publishing has included part of my review on their page for A. J. Menden’s Tekgrrl. Only a few words, but I’m credited for them ๐Ÿ™‚

New book deal: From here: Erica Hayes’s Shadowsong, in which a knife-wielding banshee gangster’s quest for revenge on the assassin who ruined her life is interrupted when a deluded fairy sorceress steals her magical song, again to Rose Hilliard at St. Martin’s, in a two-book deal, by Marlene Stringer of the Stringer Literary Agency (World). And I’m happy to announced I received an ARC of Erica’s first novel, Shadowfae, during the week. I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing it soon ๐Ÿ™‚

Cover art: I’ve fallen drastically behind on posting covers. For now, I’m only posting the ones I HAVEN’T seen plastered everywhere, but I don’t follow as many other book blogs as I used to. Sorry in advance if you’ve already seen these, and I’m clogging up your blog feed.

Continue reading

[REVIEW] Tekgrrl – A. J. Menden

A. J. Menden
Tekgrrl (Elite Hands of Justice, Book 2)
Dorchester Leisure (US: 26th May 2009)
Cover by Judy York
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Repressed memories are resurfacing, whether Tekgrrl wants them to or not, in A. J. Menden’s second Elite Hands of Justice superhero romance, Tekgrrl.

The Doctors Clark sent their daughter Mindy on student exchange…to another planet. She adored her Kalybri foster family, and was fluent in the language. But Mindy wasn’t prepared for the devastating events that have been blocked from her recall until now, when she’s almost thirty. There’s got to be a reason for the migraines, and the mysterious voice in her head – and why they’re around now.

Tekgrrl starts slowly, reintroducing readers to characters last encountered in Phenomenal Girl 5. Mindy’s fellow superheroes all seem to be teaming up, and she’s lonely. She has so much for which to be grateful, but instead she’s moping around, except when working on technological projects. The interesting plot points take their sweet time coming.

Then along comes Chapter 17, the most outstanding portion of this novel, and I finally connected. And the reason is all so human – social commentary. Though it takes place on another planet, the events are no doubt happening in real life, and it’s impossible not to feel compassion for Mindy and all the others trapped in that awful situation. It just goes to show that the best kind of escapist fiction is the type that’s not afraid to give a huge dose of reality. It certainly puts things in perspective for Mindy, and should for readers, too.

From there on, the book is a lot more on the ball, with fascinating content and huge twists – prepare to be startled. I unintentionally pulled myself out of the story when I came across the name Doctor Chaos (as it reminded me of Professor Chaos and General Disarray from South Park, thus eliciting laughter), but overall Tekgrrl is a winner. Here’s hoping Aphrodite gets to star in a future novel.

May 2009 Releases

If you’re done with the April 2009 Releases, it’s time to move onto the May 2009 Releases for the US, Canada, UK and Australia. For titles and release dates even further into the future, check my Reading Wishlist.

May’s releases are behind the cut, to spare those of you not interested. I can is considerate, y’all! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kelley Armstrong
The Awakening (Darkest Powers, Book 2)
Hachette Orbit (UK: 4th May 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Chloe Saunders used to be a normal teenage girl – or so she thought. Then she learned the shocking truth – she is a walking science experiment. Genetically altered at birth by a sinister group of scientists known as the Edison Group, Chloe is an aberration – a powerful necromancer who can see ghosts and even raise the dead, often with terrifying consequences. Even worse, her growing powers have made her a threat to the surviving members of the Edison Group, who have decided it’s time to end their experiment – permanently…Now Chloe is running for her life with three other supernatural teenagers – a charming sorcerer, a troubled werewolf and a temperamental young witch. Together they have a chance for freedom – but can Chloe trust her new friends?

Eric Garcia
The Repossession Mambo
Scribe (AU: 4th May 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

In a near future when people live virtually forever, rarely dying of disease or old age, there’s big money to be made in the “artiforg” business – the buying and selling of artificial organs that promise to prolong life. Companies are only too happy to extend credit to anyone with the proper financial means. But buyer beware: if you fall too far behind in your payments, your artiforgs will be repossessed. Like many former US soldiers, Remy makes his living reclaiming organs from debtors who can no longer afford them. He’s one of the best, and business is good until Remy finds himself being hunted by the same people he once worked with, and quickly running out of places to hide. Now, he’s holed up in a deserted building, writing his life story on a beat-up typewriter in the hopes of getting it all down on paper before the Bio-Repo Man shows up to collect on his debts. And what a story it is…

Libba Bray
The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, Book 3)
Simon & Schuster (UK: 5th May 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Having bound the wild, dark magic of the realms to her, Gemma has forged unlikely and unsuspected new alliances both with the headstrong Felicity and timid Ann, Kartik, the exotic young man whose companionship is forbidden, and the fearsome creatures of the realms. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test those bonds. As her friendship with Felicity and Ann faces its gravest trial, and with the Order grappling for control of the realms, Gemma is compelled to decide once and for all which path she is meant to take. Pulled forward by fate, the destiny Gemma faces threatens to set chaos loose, not only in the realms, but also upon the rigid Victorian society whose rules Gemma has both defied and followed. Where does Gemma really belong? And will she, can she, survive?

Lauren Dane
Relentless (Federated Universes, Book 2)
Penguin Berkley (US & CA: 5th May 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Fifteen Families rule the Federated Universes – and Abbie Haws has spent her life battling the system. She’s always been too driven to pay much attention to love. But when she meets Roman Lyons, Head of House Lyons, who stands for everything she hates, Abbie’s attraction catches her off-guard…Their world, Ravena, revolves around born leader Roman, who dreads meeting this defiant – if stunning – rabble-rouser. But sometimes headstrong personalities that collide in public become hot-and-heavy, guilty trysts in private.

Kim Harrison
White Witch, Black Curse (Hollows, Book 7)
HarperCollins Voyager (UK: 14th May 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

The demon, Algaliarept, although banished back into the everafter has infected others of his kind with his interest in a witch who can channel demon magic. Rachel soon finds herself with not one but three hellions on her tail; and one of them is even crazier and more dangerous than all the fairy assassins, weres and vampires on the planet.

Lili St. Crow
Strange Angels (Strange Angels, Book 1)
Penguin (US: 14th May 2009; CA: 19th May 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re travelling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead – but still walking – and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever – or whoever – is hunting her?

Rhonda Roberts
Gladiatrix (Timestalker, Book 1)
HarperCollins Voyager (AU: 20th May 2009)

Left for dead when she was twoโ€š Kannon Jarratt has no idea of her real identity. Nowโ€š twenty years onโ€š she discovers that her mother might be US Time Marshalโ€š Victoria Dupree. Kannon travels to ancient Rome where Victoria is investigating the Hierophantโ€š mysterious leader of the Isis cult. To find her motherโ€š Kannon becomes a gladiatrix in the service of Domitia Crassusโ€š the only person who knows the Hierophant’s identity. Unfortunatelyโ€š all paths are leading her to an epic battle to the death in the arena…

Jes Battis
A Flash of Hex (OSI, Book 2)
Penguin ACE (US/CA: 26th May 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

After a series of brutal murders, Occult Special Investigator Tess Corday is convinced the identity of the killer is locked in her own head. The only question is – how many rules is she willing to break to get to the truth?

Richelle Mead
Succubus Heat (Georgina Kincaid, Book 4)
Kensington (US: 26th May 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Georgina Kincaid has been a bad, bad succubus…which should be a good thing. But lately, thanks to her foul mood over breaking up with best-selling writer Seth Mortensen, she’s been so wicked that Seattle’s รผber-demon Jerome, decides to “outsource” Georgina to a rival – and have her spy for him in the process. Being exiled to the frozen north – okay, Vancouver – and leaving Seth in the cosy clutches of his new girlfriend is unpleasant enough. Then Jerome is kidnapped, and all immortals under his control mysteriously lose their powers. One bright spot: with her life-sucking ability gone, there’s nothing to keep Georgina from getting down and dirty with Seth – nothing apart from his girlfriend that is. Now, as the supernatural population starts turning on itself, a newly mortal Georgina must rescue her boss and figure out who’s been playing them – or all hell will break loose…

A. J. Menden
Tekgrrl (Elite Hands of Justice, Book 2)
Dorchester Leisure (US: 26th May 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

When she was 12, Mindy asked to go to the School like other gifted girls. Her parents sent her to another planet. Today, Mindy’s back on Earth. She’s a mechanical genius with the Elite Hands of Justice, America’s premier superhero squad. She’s been having headaches, though, and not just because her long-time crush is flirting with a team-mate. It’s not because she’s pushing thirty. It’s also not because of the contrary actions of the new Secretary for Superhero Affairs, ex-ally Simon Leasure. No, what’s burning her brain is a past she can’t remember, a past that has been erased. It’s a memory surging closer – in flying saucers. Her worst nightmare is returning, big-time, and only she, her friends and her one true love can stop it.

[COVER ART] Living with the Dead (CA) – Kelley Armstrong & New Pre-Order Links

Cover of the Canadian mass market paperback of Kelley Armstrong’s Living with the Dead. I don’t remember any blindfold, but maybe it’s symbolism…

New Pre-Order Links
Keri Arthur’s Bound to Shadows
A. J. Menden’s Tekgrrl
Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan

[COVER ART] Tekgrrl – A. J. Menden

Yay ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m still awaiting Phenomenal Girl 5 – the shop said it’d take a month to get here, so I’ll still wait until nearly February.

Anyway, check out the tech stuff in the background on the cover – pretty nifty. And the story itself sounds better than PG5 (not that I’ve read either yet), so every thumb’s coming up ๐Ÿ™‚

Sorry I couldn’t find a specific date, nor a pre-order link. Stay tuned…

A. J. Menden
Tekgrrl (Elite Hands of Justice, Book 2)
Dorchester (US: June 2009)


When she was 12, Mindy asked to go to The School like other gifted girls. Her parents sent her to another planet.


Today, Mindy’s back on Earth. She’s a mechanical genius with the Elite Hands of Justice, America’s premier superhero squad. She’s been having headaches though, and it’s not just because her longtime crush is flirting with another teammate. It’s not because she’s pushing thirty. It’s also not because of the contrary actions of former teammate Simon Leasure.

No, what’s burning her brain is a past she can’t remember, a past that has been erased. It’s a memory surging closer-in flying saucers. Her worst nightmare is returning, big time, and only she, her friends, and her one true love can stop it.

Good News for June 2009

Dorchester SHOMI will publish A. J. Menden’s second Elite Hands of Justice novel (following Phenomenal Girl 5), Tekgrrl, in June 2009 ๐Ÿ™‚

[INTERVIEW] A. J. Menden

Meet A. J. Menden, author of superhero novel Phenomenal Girl 5 (Dorchester SHOMI: 28th October 2008). Let’s learn…

Phenomenal Girl 5
Lainey Livingston has just been made a member of the Elite Hands of Justice, the world’s premiere cadre of superheroes. Her work with the Red Knights and the Power Squad was impressive; her apprehension stats are above normal, and her great strength and ability to fly are equally remarkable. But no one gets a free pass to active duty, and Lainey’s next test is going to be her hardest. She’s to train with the Reincarnist. Robert Elliot, the Reincarnist. A magician who has lived multiple lifetimes, he’s the smartest man in the world – and Lainey’s last obstacle. He was personally responsible for seeing Pushstar wash out. But his eyes are the softest, kindest that Lainey has ever seen, and he’s just the sort to knock her for a loop. Lesson #1: Romantic entanglements among crime fighters are super exploitable, and falling in love with a man who “can’t die” is like waving a red flag at a bull. Especially not when the most fiendish plot ever is about to break over Megalopolis like a wave of fire.

Tez Miller: So…what happened to the first four Phenomenal Girls? ๐Ÿ˜‰
A. J. Menden: They were either all killed in the line of duty or retired. Lainey ended up with their name because her powers were similiar.

Workplace relations: yay or nay?
As long as you stay together, it’s okay. But the minute you break up, it’s just going to be awkward for you and everyone you work with. There’s a bit of the answer to this question in Tekgrrl (the second Elite Hands of Justice novel).

Let’s face it: superheroes seem to be wish fulfilment for their writers ๐Ÿ˜‰ But do your characters have any special powers that you wouldn’t want?
Actually, I wouldn’t want the Reincarnist’s powers. The magic part is cool, but the living forever part, no thanks.

I know; think of all the tax you’d have to pay over your immortal lifetime! If you were a superhero, what would your costume be? (Notice how I was nice and didn’t ask for your secret identity ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
Something like Lainey’s, black pants and shirt with a cool black coat over it. I gave Lainey the powers and costume I’d want. See? Wish fulfillment! ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are so many superhero films nowadays. What are your all-time favourites?
Probably the X-Men franchise because I’ve always had a thing for Wolverine.

You have kids, and the younger generation tend to be rather imaginative. Have you thought about plagiarising their ideas? After all, the kids spawned from you, so you could say they’re really your ideas… ๐Ÿ˜‰
Mine tend to like to pretend they’re princesses, fashion models, teachers or moms. They’re not as sci-fi oriented as me yet.

Give ’em time; they’re only young… ๐Ÿ˜‰ You and your family love comic books and graphic novels. What do you all recommend?
Probably my favorite series out there now is Fables. It’s about all of our fairy tale characters living in New York City. It probably has completely messed up my daughter, because if you’d ask her, Snow White does not marry the handsome prince, LOL. I’m also a big fan of the Runaways, which is about the children of a group of supervillains trying to make it on their own. Weirdly enough for those who know me well, I actually like The Walking Dead, which is a survival against zombies book.

Supervillains! Zombies! What’s not to like? ๐Ÿ™‚ You married a fellow creative type, one who works with film. What has he taught you about his medium that you can incorporate into yours, and vice versa?
He tends to think more visual, so I always run the fight scenes past him. He’s also great for bouncing ideas off of.

I’ve seen three of Gordon Ramsay’s shows (Kitchen Nightmares UK, Kitchen Nightmares USA and Hell’s Kitchen), and Hell’s Kitchen is my favourite for its fast pacing and it doesn’t sacrifice plot for…er, character development (though that’s probably not the right term for reality TV). What’s your favourite of his shows, and why?
My favorite is Kitchen Nightmares UK. If you come into Hell’s Kitchen cold, you think, “Wow, is he mean!” In Kitchen Nightmares UK, you get to see all that goes into running a restaurant successfully and how badly those people are messing it up, and then it’s like, “Yeah, you should do what he says and stop arguing with him!” LOL. Then it makes sense as to why he’s screaming at those cooks in Hell’s Kitchen. Especially Matty and Jen from last season. Why he kept them around so long, I’ll never know.

Kitchen Nightmares USA doesn’t have enough Ramsay in it. And he seems nicer to them for some reason. I’m not watching to see him be nice ๐Ÿ˜‰

Since you work on a newspaper, deadlines are the norm. Are you finding it relatively easy to meet your book deadlines, too?
There’s no not meeting a deadline in the newspaper, so that’s kind of how my mindset is.

You share a group blog with fellow OWG member Sharon Ashwood. And now Morgan Ashbury’s doing a weekly column, and Ian O’Neill did something…are you just using it as a forum to pimp OWG members who aren’t I? ๐Ÿ˜‰
No, we do other things on there too! LOL. Sharon’s had a few other writers she knows guest blog, and I host the Friday Writers’ Coffee Break on there each week, where published and unpublished writers and readers stop by to discuss the craft. We also have our random talk days.

You have a Phenomenal Girl 5 soundtrack, but do you need to write in silence?
I’m used to noise (newspaper, remember?) so I usually write to the music. Some of the songs on the soundtrack go to specific scenes, there’s something about the lyrics or the music that evokes the mood for the chapter, and I’ll listen to that specific song on repeat. But there are times when I write in silence too.

Are you an outliner or seat-of-the-pants writer?
I guess I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ve learned to work more with outlines so I know where I’m going and don’t get stalled out trying to figure out what comes next, but my outlines are probably not as detailed as they should be. There’s still parts that should say, “Something happens here.”

I love that! ๐Ÿ™‚ What published works of yours can we look forward to in the future (near and/or far)?
Tekgrrl is the next Elite Hands of Justice adventure! And parts of it even took me by surprise!

In which foreign countries/languages would you most like to be published?
Well, I think it’s already going to Canada, Britain and Australia. I think it would be funny for it to be published in Italian, since the Reincarnist’s spells are in Italian. Would they still be in Italian or would they be translated over to English, so he wouldn’t accidentally be doing spells during his day-to-day activities?

Oz? Must be imports, as Dorchester doesn’t seem to have an Aussie branch, though they list HarperCollins as their Oz distributor… Now for a favourite hypothetical question: for which urban fantasy/futuristic author(s) would you turn gay/straight? (If you say Morgan Ashbury, Sharon Ashwood or Naomi Bellis, I’ll declare you a cop-out ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
I’d say Gail Simone, who wrote the Deadpool comics a while back. She has a strange sense of humour, so we’d probably get along. And I think I read she used to be a hairdresser, so I could change up my ‘do as often as I wanted!

I so need a haircut right now. Can I have her when you’re done? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for dropping by, and have a lovely day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Relevant Links

You can purchase Phenomenal Girl 5 online from: Amazon, Amazon CA & Amazon UK.