Category Archives: Conventions/Tours

Syfy BTS Press Tour – Being Human Set Tour

I was able to attend this year’s Syfy Digital Press Tour (or Behind-the-Scenes Tour) in Montreal where our first set visit was Being Human!

Aiden, Sally, and Josh’s street:
Being Human Set Tour - Montreal SyfyBTS 2013

Their front stoop, walking into their house:
Being Human Set Tour - Montreal SyfyBTS 2013

Some shots from inside the house:
Being Human Set Tour - Montreal SyfyBTS 2013
Continue reading Syfy BTS Press Tour – Being Human Set Tour

Syfy BTS Press Tour – Montreal – Day 1

A couple of weeks ago I was able to attend the Syfy BTS (Behind the Scenes) Press Tour in Montreal, featuring set tours of Being Human and Helix. But the night before was cocktails and dinner with talent from Haven, Defiance, and Ghost Hunters. This is one of my favorite parts of the weekend, as it was last year in Toronto. It’s a casual time to get to know one another in a relaxed setting. I sat next to Adam Berry and Amy Bruni from Ghost Hunters. We had a great time with a lot of stories exchanged and even more laughs.

Here I am with Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves, Adam Berry, and Amy Bruni from Ghost Hunters:

With Adam Copeland (Edge) from Haven

With Lucas Bryant, Adam Copeland, and Eric Balfour from Haven. I have a lot of these!
Continue reading Syfy BTS Press Tour – Montreal – Day 1

Received in April

The following are the books, DVDs, and Blu-Rays I received in April for review and/or giveaways:

Blu-Ray / DVD:
Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 3 Blu Ray
Star Trek: The Next Generation The Best of Both Worlds Blu Ray

The Golden Age of Death by Amber Benson

Amazon / 47 North:
A Private Little War by Jason Sheehan
Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders by Richard Ellis Preston Jr.

BBC Books:
Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow by Tommy Donbavand
Doctor Who: Plague of the Cybermen by Justin Richards
Doctor Who: The Dalek Generation by Nicholas Briggs

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Harper Teen / Katherine Tegen Books:
Pivot Point by Kasie West
The Rising by Kelley Armstrong
Reboot by Amy Tintera
Towering by Alex Flinn
The Dark Shore by Kevin Emerson
Light by Michael Grant

Harper Voyager / William Morrow:
The Arrivals by Melissa Marr
The Dead Run by Adam Mansbach
Magician’s End by Raymond E. Feist

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s / Clarion:
Escape from the Pipe Men! by Mary G. Thompson

Macmillan Teen / Henry Holt:
Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

Mulholland Books:
Point and Shoot by Duane Swierczynski

Tempest Reborn by Nicole Peeler

The Circle by Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg

Pathfinder Tales: Pirate’s Honor by Chris A. Jackson

Penguin / Blue Rider Press:
Angel City by Jon Steele

Pocket Books:
World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War by Christie Golden
Rise of the Gryphon by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The secret of Abdu el Yezdi by Mark Hodder

Tales of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg
The Mist-Torn Witches by Barb Hendee
Bronze Gods by A. A. Aguirre
Dead Letter Day by Eileen Rendahl

Scholastic / Point:
Rebel Spirits by Lois Ruby
Wings of Fire Book Three: The Hidden Kingdom by Tui T. Sutherland

Simon Teen / Razor Bill / McElderry:
SYLO by D.J. MacHale
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

St. Martin’s Griffin:
Destined by P. C. Cast

Titan Books:
Plague Nation by Dana Fredsti

London Falling by Paul Cornell
Grail of the Summer Stars by Freda Warrington
Necessary Evil by Ian Tregillis
Alien Hunter by Whitley Strieber

Tor Teen:
Shadow Grail #3: Sacrifices by Mercedes Lackey
Replica by Jenna Black
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Underland Press:
Cyberpunk: Stories of Hardware, Software, Wetware, Evolution, and Revolution by Victoria Blake

Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince by Nancy Atherton

WMG Publishing:
Snipers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Warehouse 13 Set Tour!

Warehouse13 Set Tour

Last October I was able to go on the Syfy Digital Press Tour. The highlight of the event, for me, was getting to go on the set of Warehouse 13 and meet the cast.

Here are some pics from around the Warehouse!
I had to create slideshows when Flickr messed with the photo settings. Each of the cards below the artifacts has something unique to say about each item. Some of them are quite clever. Sorry that the quality isn’t better. Half of them (the better ones) were taken with my iPhone.

And here I am in and around the office.

And lastly, here are some shots of the boarding house.

Black Howl Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Christina Henry stops by today to talk about her latest book on her Black Howl Blog Tour!

Can you tell us a bit about Black Howl and where we are in Madeline Black’s story?

In BLACK HOWL, Maddy’s got problems on top of problems, as usual. There are ghosts popping up all over Chicago whose deaths have not been foreseen by the Agency prophets. This means that these deaths are outside of the natural order, and it’s up to Maddy to find out who’s behind it all.

Of course, Maddy’s love life hasn’t gotten any easier either. Gabriel is now her thrall, and their happily ever after looks like it’s more out of reach than ever.

Urban fantasy/paranormal novels are popular and widespread right now. What different about the Black Wings series that sets it apart from the others?

The genre has just exploded in the last few years, and it’s amazing for fans of the paranormal. It means there’s something out there for pretty much everyone. I think BLACK WINGS and its sequels are a little bit different because the books are a real mash-up of genres – there’s action, comedy, romance, more action! Plus, while there are more books featuring angels than there were when I first wrote BLACK WINGS, angels remain a fairly small subset of the overall genre.

How many books do you have planned for the Black Wings series?

Right now there are at least six books planned for the series. After that, we will see how much more story there is to tell.

What’s next for you, after Black Howl? Any other stories on the horizon?

I do have an idea for a stand-alone novel and another series, but they are both in the planning stage. I’ve got two books in the BLACK WINGS series scheduled for this year and I’m not sure I’ll have time to do much else!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.

Continue reading Black Howl Blog Tour and Giveaway!

A Wrinkle in Time 50th Anniversary Celebration Tour

A Wrinkle in Time 50th Anniversary Edition by Madeleine L’Engle

This is the first week of the A Wrinkle in Time 50th Anniversary Celebration Blog Tour. The topic this week is: “Remembering your first experience with A Wrinkle in Time and revisiting it now.”

I first read A Wrinkle in Time in grade school. And though I couldn’t recall much of the story, I did have fond memories of Meg, her younger (genius) brother Charles Wallace, the angelic Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. Recently rereading the story, brought back more memories. Loving science fiction stories as an adult, I can appreciate L’Engle’s time/space travel theory inspired by Einstein. It’s explained that a tesseract (their mode of travel) works the same for both time and space. Though, I now wonder why the book is entitled A Wrinkle in Time, when they travel more through space, and only briefly through time.

The story focuses on Meg, Charles Wallace, and their new friend Calvin who travel across the universe to find Meg’s missing father. Meg is awkward and feels like an outsider, which most children feel at some point in their young lives. And though some of the speech is outdated, I could still see the characters and story appealing to young readers. This was one of the first science fiction novels that I can remember reading, along with The Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts. Traveling through deep space, alien cultures, unique alien creatures, and the battle of good versus evil are still favorite subject matter to this day. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this beloved children’s classic.

The 50th Anniversary Commemorative edition features:
• Frontispiece photo
• Photo scrapbook with approximately 10 photos
• Manuscript pages
• Letter from 1963 Caldecott winner, Ezra Jack Keats
• New introduction by Katherine Paterson, US National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
• New afterword by Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter Charlotte Voiklis including six never-before-seen photos
• Murry-O’Keefe family tree with new artwork
• Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery acceptance speech

>Wrinkle In Time Facebook Pages:

Courtesy of the publisher, I have a copy of A Wrinkle in Time 50th Anniversary Edition by Madeleine L’Engle for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US and Canada only. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends February 10. I’ll draw a name on February 11, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading A Wrinkle in Time 50th Anniversary Celebration Tour

Piper Maitland Blog Tour and Giveaway!


The Holidays: An Anti-Stress Kit by Piper Maitland

I awoke the other morning and started to panic: Thanksgiving was only five days away. I opened the refrigerator and started to make room for the turkey (a turkey that I have yet to buy), then I had to go lie down and put a rag over my eyes.

Thanksgiving is an American feast day–it also kicks off the holiday season: football games, pumpkin pie, eggnog, bourbon, shopping trips, gift wrap, hype, resentment, duty, and pressure. And it doesn’t stop until New Year’s Day. Until then, we pile on the agony, heaping expectations onto ourselves.

Even if you love the holidays, it can be stressful. Company is coming, and the Halloween stuff is still out. Dust bunnies are breeding under the dining room table. There’s one roll of toilet paper left. The refrigerator is jammed with Diet Coke and heat ‘n serve bacon. Not only that, I can’t find 10 plates that match, much less remember where I put Aunt Tempe’s bowl, the one with the angry smiley face.

It wouldn’t take a minute to dig through the basement storage room…but…what if the clock is ticking and you already have too much on your plate?

If you have a full time job (or young children or elderly relatives or any number of things), then the holidays can feel a tad hectic. The details can quickly pile up while we prepare food, polish the silver, sweep away dust bunnies, and toughen up mentally for narcissistic Aunt Jean’s nitpicking.

Sometimes I know just how a turkey feels.

If you feel a bit overwhelmed, you are not alone. I’m right there with you. Because holidays aren’t just about food. They can be weighted down with baggage. For some people, entering the holiday season is like stepping into a war zone. You don’t want it to be that way; you want this year to be different; yet Aunt Jean is coming, and the pressure kicks into high gear.

The Internet is buzzing with 5 minute cures, ways to de-stress the holidays.

But…does anything really work?

A few years ago, I added humor to the menu. Laughter is the best antidote for stress. It can be used as a shield to deflect verbal barbs that come your way. I bought a spiral notebook at K-Mart and left it in the entry hall. Each year I asked my loved ones to contribute to a small “Thanksgiving list” — one or more things that make them feel thankful. (I will not stress if Aunt Jean won’t participate.)

I will also strive to maintain a level head about the holidays. I will remember that gatherings aren’t always Rockwellian.

Image courtesy of, (c) Kovacevic

Sometimes real Thanksgivings can be stressful.
But remember that last year’s catastrophe can be this year’s funny bone. Last Thanksgiving, just as my guests were arriving, I set the microwave on fire–and the smoke alarm began to bleat. I couldn’t open the microwave because smoke would fill the kitchen. So Aunt Jean suggested that we could remove the smoke with the vacuum cleaner. It worked.

Piper’s Holiday De-Stressor List:
1. Petting a dog or cat has been proven to lower blood pressure
2. Walk–exercise lowers Cortisol, a stress hormone
3. Add a huge dollop of humor to your menu
4. Literally take a deep breath. Focus on inhaling, exhaling–an instant stress reducer.
5. Draw names to help with small tasks, such as clearing the table, washing dishes, etc.
6. Remember to take groceries to the Food Bank, or participate in a program at your local grocery.
7. Invite a guest who is all alone this year
8. Lower the bar–the one you set for yourself. Not everything has to be homemade, does it? That said, even if your bar is already low, the people around you might have a bar with your name on it–and that bar may be shockingly high. How to deal with that? You can’t. So, buy the frozen sweet potatoes or the dressing at Publix, and call it a day. Do not apologize. Do not explain. And do not take comments (“I hate dressing with sage in it.”) to heart. (See No. 4–breathe.)
9. When you sit down to the dinner table, ask your guests to join hands and to complete the following sentence: “This year, I am thankful for _____.”
10. When the holiday is over, reward yourself–give yourself a gift. It can be time alone or a huge slice of coconut layer cake–and tell yourself that it just might be possible to have your cake and to eat it.

Finally, it helps to remember that the Pilgrims probably got stressed about the menu.

What are your tips to decrease holiday stress? Anything you’re trying this year? Anything you tried last year but it didn’t work?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Courtesy of Berkley, I have a copy of Acquainted With the Night by Piper Maitland for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US and Canada only. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends December 23. I’ll draw a name on December 24, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading Piper Maitland Blog Tour and Giveaway!