Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Blogging Tips Meme #1

Yep, I've been tagged THREE times so far for this meme. Get used to it; I'm going to try to post different tips each time I get tagged for it. Should be interesting...

It’s very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (Check out especially the * starred ones.)

Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers. Try to make your tip general.

After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends!

Just think - if 10 people start this and the 10 people pass it on to another 10 people, you have 100 links already!

1. Look, read, and learn. *** http://www.neonscent.com/

2. Be EXCELLENT to each other. *** http://www.bushmackel.com/

3. Don’t let money change ya! * http://www.therandomforest.info/

4. Always reply to your comments. ****** http://chattiekat.com/

5. Link liberally — it keeps you and your friends afloat in the Sea of Technorati. *** http://chipsquips.com/

6. Don’t give up - persistence is fertile. * http://www.velcro-city.co.uk/

7. Give link credit where credit is due. **** http://www.sfsignal.com/

8. Pictures say a thousand words and can usually add to any post. ** http://scifichick.com/

9. Visit all the bloggers that leave comments for you - it's nice to know who is reading! *** http://stephaniesbooks.blogspot.com/

10. Thrown in something humorous occasionally, to keep things fun. * http://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/

11. When picking the URL for your blog, think short and easy. You'll be typing it a million times. http://bookslistslife.blogspot.com/

12. Make it fun. http://westofmars.blogspot.com

As for who to tag... (this is going to be the hard part!)

Amy, Wylie, and Lisa.

Special thanks to Lisa for tagging me this time. More of these to come and what I hope will be a neat Thursday Thirteen tomorrow...


Monday, July 30, 2007


Monday Poetry Train: Camp

I'm still exhausted from the camping weekend, so here's a sort-of haiku. Let me know if I actually managed to get the syllable count right. I'm too tired to count that high.

Muscles honed at the gym
Carry me easily
Tempting normality

If you didn't follow the end of the adventures of the Deadly Metal Hatchet, or if you need an update on Summer's Hidden Treasures, scroll on down. It got quiet here while I was gone!

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Sunday, July 29, 2007


Summer's Hidden Treasures Entry Update

Yep, I've crawled out of the woods near the PA-WVA border. I braved severe thunderstorms all by myself in a Boy Scout-issued tent that's not much more than two metal cots, some moldy mattresses, a wooden-planked floor, and an oil cloth over it all.

And I'll tell you die-hards about it later, so be sure to stop back.

If you haven't read all three entries about the Deadly Metal Hatchet, be sure to do so and leave comments. You guys didn't leave much for the Tour Manager to do, you know!

Right now, I want to highlight the entries to the Summer's Hidden Treasure contest. Be sure to check out these books and, where you can, the review authors -- once you've read and reviewed your own Hidden Treasure, of course!

Lauren reviewed Whiskey Sour by JA Konrath.

Cathepsut reviewed Passion by Jude Watson.

Wendy (Wss4) reviewed Resurrection Dreams by Richard Laymon.

Henry Martin (himself a HT featured author!) reviewed The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder, by Henry Miller.

Missy reviewed The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn.

Pesh (via Joely Sue Burkhart) reviewed Survive my Fire, by Joely Sue Burkhart.

Wendy/Wss4 reviewed Mammoth by John Varley.

Dew reviewed Wifework by Susan Maushart

ChronicBooker reviewed The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.

ChronicBooker reviewed The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood.

Wendy/Wss4 reviewed Shade's Children by Garth Nix.

Jarlynn reviewed The Dragon's Loss: I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter.

Megan -- Your Other Left reviewed How to be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward.

Confessions of a Literary Persuasion reviewed Flight 4, an anthology.

John Mutford reviewed Fall by Fury by Earle Birney.

John Mutford reviewed The Tightrope Dancer by Irving Layton.

Scooper reviewed Wraith by Phaedra Weldon.

Just dropping by to say hi:
Milan-zzz, Erin, Robin Mills.

We have the teeniest bit over two weeks left to go in the contest. Be sure to help spread the word about the contest. My thanks to everyone who's done so, and apologies for any typos I didn't catch; I'm BEAT.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007


Byline: Chelle LaFleur -- Screaming

… now that I've pretty well shredded that Alabama band, let me tell you about this t-shirt I got from the good souls who work for Deadly Metal Hatchet. They sent it in size 4X, so that right there tells you they're serious about having me wear it and not use it to wash the car I ain't got. It also tells me that they care about ol' Chelle LaFleur here 'cause let me tell you, having something made in a 4x costs extra bucks.

Now, most of you know all about Deadly Metal Hatchet. They're an okay band, one of those bands you always want on your bill 'cause they'll help pack the joint and if you're smart, you'll take a cut off their merchandise sales, too, 'cause people can't get enough of that Hatchet. They're not dumb, either. They'll be the first to tell you that they'll never be able to pull in more than five thou peoples a night. They're about the Hatchet more than the music, they know it, and they don't care, so long as their merchandise sales are good.

This t-shirt they sent me's got the Hatchet on it, of course. It's sticking out of what my medical editor says is a lung and let me tell you, she had a good old time showing me all the different parts of a lung, all of which are right smack there, right where they ought to be. Anatomically correct and all that.

It's a cool shirt. My medical editor said she'd have stolen it if it were her size, so I got on the phone and tried to mooch one for her. They'll be in the stores soon, so keep your eyeballs peeled for 'em and keep off my medical editor's clothes.

Before y'all go out, though, there's one thing you need to know about this latest Deadly Metal Hatchet shirt. It's a black shirt with white print. White print that glows in the dark and makes fat Creole women like yours truly here scream when they walk down a dark hallway and see their size 4x besom glowing at her.

I told you first, and I told you here. Chelle LaFleur screams. Deal with that fact, and get your own damn shirt. Mine's hidden at the bottom of the pile 'cause if it's not, it glows all night long and keeps me up, staring at all those anatomically correct lung parts.

You heard it first, and you heard it here. Deadly Metal Hatchet shirts and bands from Alabama. Both make ol' Chelle scream.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Thursday Thirteen #39 -- The Hatchet

If you haven't heard, I'm at Cub Scout Camp with half of the Opening Act, so the Tour Manager's in charge around here. Because the power's going to his head, he probably won't honor you with a return visit. I'll have to do that when I get back, so look for a visit from me late into the weekend or early next week. Be sure to sign Mr. Linky even if you don't leave a comment, so I know to visit you!

As for this week's Thirteen... if you were here on Monday for Rhian's poetry train, you'll understand. For those of you who weren't, Deadly Metal Hatchet is an up-and-coming band who have this gimmick: a Hatchet. Their fans are into them more because of the antics of the Hatchet than for the band's music, and for good reason.

Really. Go read the outtake and then come on back. You'll appreciate this all the more.

Thirteen places The Deadly Metal Hatchet's been found

1. Lots of hearts. Deadly Metal Hatchet's not quite the love-song type.

2. A lung (stop back for more about this!)

3. A full stomach, with contents in full detail, some of which a perceptive fan can make out but the rest of which make for unending discussion in fandom

4. A leg

5. In the breast of an otherwise curvy, attractive blonde whose come-hither face has been replaced by a scream of horror

6. Sticking out of the head of lead guitarist Fozzy, who is the only known survivor of a Hatchet attack.

7. Right smack in the middle of Scott's bass drum.

8. A tour case. Rumor has it that the band has put the names of bands they don't overly like on this case, but the truth is that the Hatchet went after one of its own band's cases.

9. A beer keg. All involved agreed it was a terrible waste.

10. The driver of the band's tour bus. This was actually a bit of an inside joke, as they had this driver who almost deserved his date with the Hatchet. He should have been in the Book of World Records for his complaining habit.

11. What appeared to be a CD put out by a boy band. Or a vanilla, generic girl who gyrated more than sang. Or both.

12. The logo for Treble TV, the hot music video channel that refused to play DMH videos.

13. A cover of Rolling Stone magazine. And this was before the magazine's reviewers panned the DMH's first three releases.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Susan Speaks: A Temporary Changing of the Guard

Wow. I can't believe it's here, but it is. Tomorrow, I take one half of the Opening Act off to Cub Scout camp. Four nights in a tent. In a sleeping bag. On a cot. And me with my orthopedically-challenged body. Yep, this is going to be interesting.

(Will I get any sleep, or will I be too uncomfortable? Will my back seize up like it did last Friday when we went to see Harry Potter? Can I handle the physical demands of hiking, archery, rock throwing (yes! Rock throwing!), and BB Guns?) <--- note that I've already refused to do any of the water activities; insidious stuff, water is, supporting my body beyond the point of no return but making me feel like it's all okay. Until it's not.

Rather than let this place go dark, especially since there's a reading contest going on (scroll up) and since I've just introduced Deadly Metal Hatchet to you (scroll down), I'm handing things over to the Tour Manager.

Now, have no fear. I'll be penning all the posts -- or at least typing them. The Tour Manager will post them (at hopefully the right times!) and moderate comments. I suspect he'll leave return visits and stewardship of my feed reader until I get back, however. (I'm betting on 1200+ posts in the reader when I get home. Yeowtch.)

Think of me. Send good vibes to my battered-by-pregnancy (almost five years ago) body. Visit often, so the Tour Manager has lots of comments to moderate. Enter the Summer's Hidden Treasures contest lots of times, so that when I get back and sit down to do the update, I've got tons to update. And have fun with the Hatchet, too. There are two more posts in this series, but I haven't ruled out return visits. Tell me if you want them.

A few other notes... Thomma Lyn, that dear, blessed me with the Schmooze Award. I'll be passing it along, so look for that. I've been having a hard time deciding who to pass this along to, as so many of us have already received it!

Missy, over at The Incurable Disease of Writing, is running a really cool sounding writing contest. Prize is a $10 Amazon gift card -- you can buy yourself a nice Hidden Treasure with THAT, folks!

And lastly, some bummer news. I've decided to end my monthly stop-ins over at Working Stiffs. There are a lot of reasons for this, and it's something I've contemplated for awhile now, and that's all I'll say about it. Suffice it to say that I need to concentrate on this place, so if you haven't noticed the subtle changes that have slowly been creeping in, that's okay. You may or may not notice some of what's planned for my return from Cub Scout Camp, but it should make this place easier for newbies to feel at home and should make you groupies have a more vested relationship with me and our fictional friends.

Yes, I'll be bringing a notebook. Heck, you should see the sorts of outtakes and such that my trip to Niagara Falls two weeks ago inspired.

Now, to not have to act like a Momma Bear and defend the older half of the Opening Act against a real one...

Be good to The Tour Manager while I'm gone!

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Sunday, July 22, 2007


Fiction Outtake: Deadly Metal Hatchet Intro (Post-Trevor's Song Era)

Welcome to this week's Poetry Train! This is a multi-day commitment, so be sure you've got me in your reader. You won't want to miss the fun that's Deadly Metal Hatchet.

Security bought the band a measure of privacy in the club's lobby. That and the fact that Deadly Metal Hatchet, the night's headliner, was still on stage.

"So what do you think?" Daniel asked anxiously.

Val yawned and patted her lips with her fingertips in a gesture of bare politeness.

Mitchell ignored her. "I think their sound sucks, but that could be the venue, not the band."

"How many times did we have that problem," Eric mused.

Mitchell ignored him, too. "They've got a good following," he said. "Does it extend outside of Phoenix?"

"I think so," Daniel said. "I asked JR that, and he said people are talking more about the Hatchet than the band's music, though."

Mitchell stroked his chin and tried to think. If people were more into the band's mascot than the band's music, ticket sales wouldn't necessarily follow. Daniel was hoping that they could find a support act that would bring in some people who otherwise would have avoided ShapeShifter shows. This wasn't necessarily the band to do that.

As Daniel and Eric discussed the Hatchet, Mitchell wandered over to the poster of the Hatchet that Kerri was studying. "What do you think?"

"This is some nice art. Not technically great, but that's part of its success. It's crude enough to make you think this is some guy's fantasy, disturbing as that thought is, but at the same time, that's what makes it. It's easy to relate to."

"I meant the music," Mitchell said, wondering if that was true. Of course he knew that when Kerri was standing in front of a piece of art and you asked what she thought, all you got from her was art.

She shrugged. "It's okay. I like you guys better, but I'm biased."

"Would you get excited about seeing the two bands together?"

"If I could buy a new Hatchet shirt, sure."

He shook his head and told himself she was giving him exactly what he was asking for. Kerri may have kept her radio tuned to KRVR back in the days before they'd met, but that hadn't meant she'd had a clue who he was when he'd introduced himself to her. She wasn't a music fan, much as it pained him to admit that.

They rejoined the band. Daniel gave him an expectant look, which he answered with a shrug. "Talk to JR. I think you might be right that we're a natural fit for each other and with a gimmick like the Hatchet, it's only a matter of time before that band gets big."

"As big as us?" Eric asked.

Mitchell shrugged again. "Not with that sound guy working for them." He gave him a sly smile. "Maybe we should bring whoever it is on tour with us. Not give them the chance to get as big as us."

"I don't think they will," Daniel said thoughtfully. "But the Hatchet sure might."

Mitchell laughed. "Good. We get a piece of their sales, remember?"

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Friday, July 20, 2007


Summer's Hidden Treasures: Week One Update!

Bunches of contest stuff to throw at you before we all go the best-seller route with some dude named Harry...

1. My thoughts are with the Hatchette Group. Their office is scarily close to this week's steam pipe explosion in New York City. While the staff is reportedly okay, I'm sure their lives are a bit upside-down right now, so any good vibes you can send their way will be appreciated. A reminder that Hatchette is a sponsor of Summer's Hidden Treasures, and I've got a box of books here to send you guys as prizes. Be sure to enter -- and to check out some of their great offerings.

2. Today's the release day for West of Mars groupies Christine D'Abo and Joely Sue Burkhart! They have new books out with Ellora's Cave and Drollerie Press, respectively. If you like your romance hot and spicy, be sure to stop by and pick up their books. And if you post a review online somewhere, come on back and enter the permalinks in the Summer's Hidden Treasures contest! Yes, both Ellora's Cave and Drollerie Press are publishers I recognize for contest purposes.

3. Check out the reviews already posted:
Gradiva with The Blue Taxi by N.S. Koenings

Lauren with The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff

Aryn Kennedy with Fashionably Late by Nadine Dajani

Confessions of a Literary Persuasion with Sigorney's Quest by Gordon Snider

Dana with The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff

Dana (again!) with Whiskey Sour by JA Konrath

Missy with Stray by Rachel Vincent

Pussreboots with The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook

Scooper with The Immortals: The Darkening by Robin T. Popp

The Superfast Reader with Magic Casement by Dave Duncan

Wendy/Wss4 with Grave Peril: Dresden Files #2 by Jim Butcher

Wendy/Wss4 (again!) with Lullabye by Patricia Wallace

Jill with Eva by Lucie Page

Wendy/Wss4 (Third time!) with Homebody by Orson Scott Card

Breeni with Protector by Laurel Dewey

and our friends
Mia Romano and
Red Garnier stopping by to leave links 'cause they know they can.

Join the fun, folks!

All of you in the Bay Area, may the ground beneath your feet remain still.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Thursday Thirteen #38 -- Lyric's

Before we get started, remember to check out the Bookworm Carnival over at Dewey's place! She's a 13er, too, so be sure to stop by and say hi on your rounds this week.

Many of you guys liked seeing Lyric in action on Monday, as part of the poetry train. (Go read it if you haven't yet!)

Since Lyric is one of my favorite characters, too, I thought I'd bring you a Thirteen all about her.

Thirteen things about Lyric

1. Lyric is the eldest daughter of Melody Maker, porn queen extraordinaire. Her fraternal twin sister, Allegra, is four minutes younger. Youngest sister Harmony is four years younger.

2. Melody has no idea which of a few candidates fathered her three children. For all anyone knows, there were three fathers. Or maybe only one. The one thing we're all sure of is that men WERE involved. Frequently.

3. Lyric, Allegra, and Harmony were all raised around the porn industry. Pregnancy didn't stop Melody from making films. For awhile. Then she moved behind the camera, into consulting on wardrobe, makeup, and other details. In front or behind the camera, Melody was savvy enough to make sure any movie she was involved with said "A Melody Maker Movie" on the front cover.

4. Lyric and Allegra decided in their teens that they didn't want to be part of adult films. Allegra had no clear plans, but Lyric decided to go to massage therapy school. She figured that at first, she could trade on her famous name to build her clientele, but she'd earn their return business.

5. As a massage student, fresh out of high school, Lyric needed someone to practice on. Melody liked to turn the scene into a film, Allegra was out trying to find a place where she fit in, and Harmony at fourteen was just too young. It was Melody who suggested Lyric find a guy in band, especially since Lyric liked music so much.

6. ShapeShifter was on the verge of taking the city by storm, and Lyric smelled opportunity. Linking to them early would help solidify her reputation as a real massage therapist. After all, any girls who were allowed inside ShapeShifter's inner circle for any length of time were either girlfriends or girls who refused to put out but were valuable in other ways. Lyric was, of course, the latter.

7. Lyric picked Mitchell because he was the quietest ShapeShifter member. Someone as shy as Mitchell wasn't likely to turn a massage into something sexual, and since he barely spoke, he wasn't likely to brag about their deal: free massages in exchange for a spot on the band's guest list. And the occasional ShapeShifter t-shirt. As she got to know him, she was surprised to find she'd developed a loyal friend.

8. Massage was great, but Allegra was still lost and Melody was finally making noises about being done with films. It was Lyric to the rescue.

9. With input from Melody and a silent business partner who became her landlord, Lyric opened a retail shop, Lyrical Pleasures. Allegra had a job, and so did Melody whenever she wanted it. Harmony too, once she was old enough.

10. Lyrical Pleasures quickly became THE place in Riverview. And for good reason: Lyric stocks everything from exclusive and limited-quantity club wear, outfits for strippers and drag queens -- including wigs, shoes, and anything else they wanted -- to lingerie and sleepwear, videos, and, of course, gear and toys for consenting partners. You can be as demure or as naughty as you want at Lyrical Pleasures. She even sells such innocuous things as the most luxurious bath beads she can find.

11. Because of the store and her reputation for discretion, Lyric knows pretty much everything happening in Riverview, from the underground to the top governmental figures and the people who really run the city.

12. Lyric and Kerri have a lot in common. In fact, once the two women meet (thanks to Mitchell, of course, when Kerri complains that Mitchell's reputation as a kinky bastard is overblown), they become fast friends, having Mitchell and ShapeShifter in common, as well as drag queen pageants. Lyric knew Kerri's name long before they met, as Kerri did the makeup for many of her queen friends in her pre-Mitchell days.

13. What's the deal with Trevor and Lyric? She's not one of his conquests, much to his chagrin, although truth be told, he doesn't try very hard. Her reputation as straight-laced and not overly interested in those sorts of relationships precedes her, and that's how she likes it.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Susan Speaks: THIS is a rocking blogger wench?

In the past few weeks, I've been graced with the Rockin' Chick/Wench blogger award a few times. Three, to be exact. (What's odd is that I've gotten three Thinking Blogger Awards, too. Who says the number three isn't charmed? Not this third child!)

and She

have all decided that I rock and roll as hard as Trevor and the gang, something that flatters me to no end. I'm proud to be a Rockin' Chick/Wench blogger. More than you know, especially because Roberta, the originator of the award, mentioned me in her list of recipients. (And yes, whenever I see someone giving ME the props for changing the award to Rockin' Wench, I make sure to correct them. That's all Rhian's doing. I'm graphically challenged.)

But there are times when I don't feel so rocking. No, not that monthly thing (that's definitely playing in TMI zones). It's this contest of mine. The Summer's Hidden Treasures Contest.

Maybe the month-long window for entrants is too long. Maybe it's just that it's harder to establish exactly what a Hidden Treasure book is, even though it seems obvious to me and the Crew working behind the scenes. Finding a book that debuted in a calendar year might be much easier (so stay tuned for next winter! We'll do it again!).

At any rate, I'm finding myself running over to blogs I find that have book reviews that qualify as a Hidden Treasure ... and inviting them to enter. "You've done the hard work; come reap the reward!" I'm telling them.

They are taking me up on this, of course. I mean, have you seen the prize list lately???

It's hard to rock when you're chasing down entrants to your contest, ya know? But when I stop and think about what Trevor would do if he were the one in my place, I know that I'm doing exactly the right thing (although a bit less seductively). Rock and roll is loud and it feels good, but no one said it was non-stop glamour.

Help me make an author's day, why don't you? (yes, our friends published by Ellora's Cave and Samhain and other royalty-paying e-publishers qualify!) In this age when sales mean more than anything else to an author's career, we readers owe it to the good writers to make sure that people hear about them. Here's your chance to point out an under-rated writer AND potentially get rewarded for it.

Besides, it'll make me feel like I really DO rock.

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Monday, July 16, 2007


Fiction Outtake: Lyric and Mitchell (The Early Days)

Mitchell was packing up the last of the gear when Lyric approached the edge of the stage. "Got plans, or can you come be a practice dummy again?"

He perked up, trying to hide his grin. He loved being Lyric's practice dummy; it was the easiest thing he'd ever had to do, and she didn't care if he talked or not. Which of course meant that silence reigned.

"What's the body part of the week?"

"One you'll love," she purred, sounding scarily like her porn-queen mom.

"You are so not getting near my dick," he said, giving her a grin over his shoulder. He turned back fast so he could finish packing up. The others were already gone; they'd packed up and split while he'd been talking to some girls, trying to convince them to buy ShapeShifter t-shirts.

The'd finally decided to blow their cash on some weed and smoke it with Eric and Trevor. And him if he wanted, but given the choices, he'd rather go with Lyric.

"Not your dick, stupid," she said with a laugh. "Your ass. Trust me." She planted a foot on the stage and stepped up beside him. Not that it was a high stage unless you were short. It was the way she did it, like she belonged up there. That's how Lyric was. Everything she did was cool.

Even though he was ready for it, he still jumped when she touched the waistband of his jeans.

"We start here," she said, pressing a bit harder, then ran her hands lightly down his ass and the backs of his legs, stopping before his knees. It should have been erotic. It wasn't. "And end here," she said. "All of this."

"What about my shoulders?"

"Throw in a t-shirt and you've got it." She bent over and picked up the last three cords that he'd left on the stage. "I don't need to pratice shoulders," she said.

He rolled his. "Yeah, but maybe mine need it anyway."

She laughed. "That is a different thing altogether. Best news of all for last," she added, handing the cords over. Mitchell packed them up as he listened. "Mom's out on a date and Harm's at a sleepover. The house is ours. Well, except for Allegra."

Mitchell grinned. This was setting up to be too perfect. Those two other girls could smoke weed all night for all he cared at the moment. He was going to be a practice dummy.

He fastened the case he'd just finished packing. "Let's load this into the truck and head out." He glanced around, trying to see if he'd forgotten anything.

"I need my shirt."

"It's in the truck."

She nodded. "You're driving, then?"

He eyed her. "You're not?"

"Allegra left me here when I told her I wanted to see if you were up for some practice."

Mitchell grinned. "She's jealous?" A jealous twin was one of Trevor's favorite things, no matter that in this case, there wasn't much to be jealous of. Lyric needed to practice. He liked getting free service from her. It was that simple.

"She thinks we're fucking," Lyric said with a tilt of her head, like if it was anything, it was confusing.

"Lyr, no offense, but I wouldn't do you."

She clapped him on the shoulder and handed him the case. "It's mutual, hot stuff."

Mitchell didn't ask the obvious question. Whatever this thing with Lyric was, they both understood it somehow. They'd never spoken about it, but they also didn't need to. She'd made it clear when she'd proposed this deal what she wanted him for: a warm body to massage. All he had to do was put her on a permanent guest list.

He definitely got the better end of the deal.

Reminders: check out Rhian's place for the rest of the Monday Poetry Train -- and join on in! Also, the Summer's Hidden Treasures contest is now in full swing. Are you reading and reviewing yet? Help spread the word... great prizes and great discoveries of new authors await you.

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Friday, July 13, 2007


Susan's Travelogue!

For those of you missing a visit from me after yesterday's Thursday Thirteen fun, or for those of you just plain curious, head on over to Working Stiffs, where my recent absence is explained fully. Be sure to read the comments...

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Thursday Thirteen #37 -- Brotherly Love

Thirteen shows of Brotherly Love

Mitchell takes a lot of guff from Trevor. And for Trevor, for that matter. It's an odd friendship they have and most would say it's crossed the line from friendship into brotherhood. Here's some of the things they do for each other.

1. When Trevor would crash on Mitchell's bedroom floor after being beat up by Hank, Mitchell would never step on Trevor, even as a joke or while half-asleep. Seems simple, but think about it.

2. When the kids at school would make fun of Trevor's constant bloody, unwashed appearance (at least until Patterson Voss threw him in the shower), Mitchell would stand up for him. This was important because as Trevor hid out at Mitchell's house and the beatings stopped, the other kids finally realized that Trevor wasn't a fuck-up at all but was actually pretty cool.

3. Speaking of cool, Trevor made Mitchell cool. Period. Talked him into growing his hair out and piercing his ear. Taught him how to smoke, get stoned, and get girls. And what to do with the girls once he had them.

4. It's well-known that Trevor's a lousy bass player. Yet he sounds awfully good on album. An excerpt from an article on the subject: Voss fixes the room with one of those stares that makes your mouth go dry. "Trevor plays his own parts." No one has the saliva left to ask about the things he's leaving unsaid.

5. Mitchell makes sure that anyone who rags on Trevor's lack of musical talent knows that he's the creative force behind the band.

6. Trevor pretends he doesn't know where Mitchell disappears to during the nights when they're recording. Or why all of a sudden, the next morning, the parts he recorded the day before sound so much better.

7. Before he gets too drunk at parties, Mitchell will drink the beer that Trevor's holding before it gets warm and flat. This works because no one pays that much attention and everyone assumes Trevor's actually drinking. And Mitchell gets blasted twice as fast.

8. When Trevor gets too cheeky, full of himself, or just plain annoying, Mitchell puts him back in his place.

9. Trevor gets too cheeky, full of himself, or just plain annoying so that Mitchell can beat him up and feel good about how manly he is. Or thinks he is.

10. When Trevor decided that running the band's business was cutting into his woman chasing and other rock star duties, Mitchell stepped in and took over. After having watched Trevor for more than a year, he had an idea of what to do.

11. One night during the early, pre-crew days when Mitchell had a cold, Trevor set up his equipment for him. He chased off Eric and Daniel when they tried to help, and then blamed the set-up on some over-eager fan who'd conveniently disappeared.

12. Mitchell's lost count of the number of irate husbands/boyfriends/fathers who've come in search of Trevor. The number who found him is only a handful; one growl from Mitchell and anyone with a brain runs the other way. The handful wasn't lacking a brain, per se. They merely got lucky and found Trevor … at an exposed moment.

13. And then there's that whole thing near the end of Trevor's Song that involves a bed. This is what it means to be a friend.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Have you picked out your book(s) for the Summer's Hidden Treasure contest?

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Susan Speaks: No Time Like the Present

Is your link not on my sidebar?

Think it should be? Or maybe you just want it there?

Say so. Now's your chance.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Monday Poetry Train: Home

By popular demand, Roadie Poet returns:


It's hard to sleep.
The bed's still.
Doesn't vibrate like the bus does
There's no motor noise
Sleeping going on
Behind vinyl curtains
That hide faces
But nothing more.

is Mom's place
The apartment where we've lived
Since I was a kid.
My cross-country trophies are here
And my FBLA shit
From the days
when Mom hoped
I'd be something more
Than just a roadie.

My bag's still packed
I'm ready to go
As soon as that call comes.
They said any day.
Go home.
A week, at most.
Two days, more likely.

And then I can have a new bunk
Hopefully on the top
Middle's okay.
Bottom sucks.

My bed'll vibrate
No quarter needed
And once again,
I'll sleep like a baby.


Here is Roadie Poet's debut, in case you missed it.

Hope you're all reading for the Summer's Hidden Treasures Contest, and that those of you nutty enough to Sweat for Seven are doing nicely. Me, I'm working on some edits that ought to lead to no good...

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Saturday, July 07, 2007


Summer's Hidden Treasures Contest update!

Some more ideas if you are still looking for a good Hidden Treasure Book -- and a few prizes, so be sure to read to the VERY end of this post.

Jimmy Coates: Killer by Joe Craig (HarperCollins / HarperTrophy) [alternate title is Jimmy Coates: Assassin?] nominated by the local mystery bookstore in Waterloo, The Mysterious Affair at Waterloo. If you're in town, go check 'em out.

And nominated by Harper Collins in Canada:
Jon Evans Invisible Armies

Janice Kulyk Keefer The Ladies Lending Library

Claire Cameron
The Line Painter

Barbara Gowdy Helpless

Jacqueline Baker The Horseman's Graves

And now for some prizes:
HarperCollins Canada is offering a prize pack to one Canadian winner. Yep, you gotta be in Canada to discover the goodies. And that doesn't mean visiting, either.

And Nadine Dajani sent a copy of her title Fashionably Late.

You'll notice that this last prize is the only one linking you to Powell's. That's intentional. Also, anything you get by using my Powell's links will go toward the purchase -- not of books for myself! -- but for more prizes for you guys. Just thought I'd make that clear.

Happy reading, everyone!

And speaking of reading, those of you with access to the Niagara Area, The Tour Manager and I will be there on Thursday. Anyone who'd like to meet me/him/us can meet us around 3PM in The Book Depot. $29.95 fills a box.

I know, I know. Like I need more books. Hush. I'm hunting for Hidden Treasures!


Friday, July 06, 2007


Susan Speaks/Booking Through Thursday: The Great American Novel

This week's Booking Through Thursday asks what we think of as the Great American Novel (or, if you're not American or thinking about American novels, to replace American with the country/region of your choice).

I'm sure that this wasn't the intended answer, but after yesterday's Thursday Thirteen, in which I saw a record number of hits here at the Meet and Greet, and in which I saw my name pop up over and over on your lists, I'm sort of feeling my oats and thinking that, in all our minds at least, Trevor's Song fits that bill.

Even though none of you have read it. Yet.

After all, you guys have awarded me with three Thinking Blogger awards (from Milan, Amy, and Robin) and now two Rockin' Wench Blogger awards (Rhian and Red). You come back day after day, week after week, to check in on the adventures of Trevor, the rest of the band, and the fringe characters like Pam and Chelle -- and the new Roadie Poet, who'll be back soon.

I'm honored. I'm flattered. I'm watching my dreams come true, and you guys are helping to fuel that.

I've got a few surprises related to all this, but you'll have to wait until later this weekend from them (Yes, I'm still recovering from the Fourth. YOU try sleeping in the middle of the Science Center's exhibits and tell me how well YOU fare).

Let me just say, for now, thank you. Keep on helping me spread the word and build up Trevor's fan base; the more of you there are on board with me, the better. You guys inspire me and motivate me.

And when it comes to writing a great novel, isn't all about inspiration and motivation?

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Thursday Thirteen #36 -- Thirteen Thirteens

Carol at Thursday Thirteen asked us to help celebrate 100 weeks of thirteening by listing our favorite Thirteens.

Last weekend, I asked you guys which you liked best. Taking that into account, here's my list of the best Thirteens that concern ShapeShifter. And let me tell you, I think the only thing harder than going back over 35 Thirteens to find a limited number would be picking out my favorite outtakes. Please don't make me do that next.

1. Green Hair Week.
I loved this one not just because of what's in it, but because this was the first multi-day story arc.

2. Tour of Riverview
I still refer back to this one a lot, but that's because it's an important one! Not as funny as most, but important nonetheless.

3. Mitchell and Kerri's Farm house
Many of you guys responded to this one. I'm not sure why, unless you really dug the fact that these rock stars live as normally as the rest of us.

4. Trevor's Kitchen
'Nuff said.

5. Halloween.
I think many, if not most of you, came on board after this inaugural Thirteen was posted. You're missing a good one.

6. Loving and Hating the Holidays

Some good, some bad, a lot of fun...

7. The Special Hanukkah Edition

The ladies of Riverview rip it up.

8. The Balancing Meme
The guys show why ShapeShifter rules the Earth. Or at least a journalist or two.

9. Mitchell's Desk
Many of you connected to this one. It's a spot whose mental image is particularly clear to me.

10. Valentine's Day
The boys get their say.

11. The Aftermath of the Earring Debacle
I know the picture wasn't great, but couldn't you ooh and ahh over my earrings?

12. St. Patrick's Day Adventures


And lastly...
13. Mabel
How can you resist a guitar with this sort of history?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Have you picked out your book(s) for the Summer's Hidden Treasure contest?

Happy Fourth, everyone! I will be late with rounds; we are sleeping out at the Science Center tonight. Let's hope it doesn't rain on our fireworks.

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Monday, July 02, 2007


Summer's Hidden Treasures Contest Incentives!

Hi, there. Susan's back in control; Trevor's off chasing a few English teachers around. All I've got to say about that is I'm glad I taught creative writing...

Now, onto the business of the day.

First of all, let me say that I had a busy day yesterday and didn't make all the rounds I usually do. Apologies, especially to those of you kind enough to comment on Trevor's poem. Please give me a few days; one thing I've noticed so far this summer is how busy I've been with the kids. And my new road bike, which desperately needs more miles put on it. Desperately. Good thing I live somewhere hilly.

(No, I will NOT tell the story for a loooooong time yet. Don't ask.)

Before we get to the business at hand, let me make sure I give the biggest kudos of the day to Marcia over at MeeAugraphie. Trevor's poem inspired her to write a bunch of very good haikus, so please check them out and leave her comments.

Yesterday, too, when I stopped at the post office to check my box, I had a package waiting for me. Seems that Hachette Book Group USA sent me some prizes for the Summer's Hidden Treasures contest. I have two copies each of:

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand,

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani,

Seven Loves by Valerie Trueblood,

Lost & Found by Carolyn Parkhurst, and

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell for ten of you lucky winners.

HUGE thanks to the folks at Hatchette Book Group! Support their authors, everyone; maybe one day, I'll be one of them.

How can you resist their generosity? If I have bookmarks left over from any of our blogging author friends, I'll throw some in, as well. That also means that any of you who have promotional material you'd like to get out to a wider audience had better be in touch already...

If you're not sure what a Hidden Treasure book is, head over to West of Mars for a list of suggested readings, compiled by a list of cool authors. While you're there, check out the rest of the prizes already offered and, as well, the list of places who've been talking this cool contest up. Why aren't you? I'll make sure everyone knows about it.

Happy Tuesday, all.

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Poetry Train: Trevor's First Poem

The views expressed here belong to the fictional character of Trevor Wolff, not of the blog owner. For the most part.

I'm sitting here
Candle burned down to a stub
No feather quill or other romantic-assed writing thing.
Just a pen.
That skips.
Cheap-assed thing.

I'm a poet.
I call on my angst.

Now wait a minute.
Who made that rule about poets and angst?
Did anyone ever stop to think about angst?
That it's for losers.
Jerks who're afraid to get over themselves and live life.
Who have to hide in their pretend misery
Or else they're not cool.
And God help 'em if they smile.
But of course, they can't believe in God.

I don't, either.
Don't, not can't.
See the difference?

That doesn't stop me from taking in
What Eric says is God's making.
There's a lot of fun in living
-- even more fun in loving.
Smart people know this.

I'm smart.

Even though I'm writing a fucking poem
Like some wuss, a romantic with styled long hair
And those poofy sleeves that catch on fire whenever you reach over the candle's flame
'cause you like things hot.
Playing with fire's one thing.
It's good.
Catching on fire's another.
It's bad.
I don't have to try that one to know the truth of it, thankyouverymuch.

I'm writing a fucking poem
Like some over-eager kid in an English class.
Which I'm not.
English class was boring as hell
And the teacher always buttoned her sweaters to her chin.
I bet they'd have been fun to unbutton.
And teach her how to live.

I'm Trevor Fucking Wolff.
My band rules the Earth
And I can write a poem when I've got to.

No angst allowed.
No losers allowed, either.
But willing English teachers?
C'mon in.

More from RP, our Roadie Poet, in the next few weeks. Happy Canada Day (a day late) to our friends in Canada and upcoming Fourth to my fellow Americans! I hope you guys are all finding books for the Summer's Hidden Treasures contest; it's a doozy.

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