September 11th, 2009


The Circus Comes to Town: preparing for the weekend.

So—as you all probably know by now—last weekend was the first-ever assembly of the Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show, an amazing conglomeration of incredibly talented people who came together, as if by magic, to help make the book release parties for Rosemary and Rue even more awesome than they might otherwise have been. Seriously, it was incredible. It was like I made a wish-list of everything and everyone I could possibly have wanted to be there, and while I didn't get everything I asked for, I got so much of it that it would be insanely greedy to go "but wah, where's my pony?" I felt loved and honored and truly blessed to be surrounded by so much pure hammered awesome.

Actual, physical attendees who traveled more than a hundred miles to run away with the circus included...

* Amy McNally, from the depths of Wisconsin.
* Vixy and Tony, from Seattle, Washington.
* Betsy "Alice's breeder" Tinney, also from Seattle.
* Brooke Lunderville, from Vancouver, Canada.
* Mia and Ryan, from Portland, Oregon.
* SJ Tucker and K, from here, there, and everywhere.

Our parties were confirmed for Borderlands Books, in San Francisco, and Illusive Comics, in Santa Clara. (The third event, at Other Change of Hobbit in Berkeley, was unfortunately cancelled due to staffing conflicts.) Jude and Alan at Borderlands, and Anna at Illusive, were wonderful at helping to set up timing and guidelines before the events, and without their amazing support, our kitchen party wouldn't have been half as good.

But that's not the half of it.

Mia Nutick (copperwise) is the proprietor and creative force behind chimera_fancies, where she recycles old fairy tale books into works of wearable art. Her pendants are incredible, unique, and highly coveted by those of us who know about her—she's like the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab of jewelry, only everything she makes is a Limited Edition, and that edition is limited to one. Her sale days are sort of like watching piranha go for a cow. A pretty, sparkly, amazingly collectable cow.

Because I love Mia, I asked her if she'd be willing to recycle her review ARC (she does book reviews for Green Man) into pendantry for my book release party. Because she loves me, she said yes. And because she loves everyone, she made more than forty pendants from a single ARC, bringing them all with her down the coast to California. Five were selected to be put into the raffle at our Saturday night event. Various others were claimed by members of the Traveling Circus, because we wouldn't have time to peruse the sale table during the event itself. And all of them were signed by me, making them even more amazingly special. Pendants, handmade made from an ARC of Rosemary and Rue, signed by the author? Pardon me while I flail.

Here are a few of the glorious goodies:

Naturally, not many of them went home with Mia. If you're going all wide-eyed and "want," fear not; I sent her home with a slightly battered ARC that had been sent back to me by a reviewer, and she's going to be making a second batch, this one for Internet distribution. You can check the sale rules and price ranges at chimera_fancies; she's going to be shipping me the pendants when they're done, so that they can all be signed prior to the sale, and expects the batch to be available sometime in the next month or so. I'll post sales announcements here. If batch two is anything like batch one, they're going to be gorgeous.

Mia wasn't the only one contributing to making the event incredible. I contacted Dawn, proprietor of Polidori Chocolates, and asked if she might be interested in doing a line of truffles based around the book. Yeah. Toby-themed chocolates. We went there. We went there like it was a gold-star vacation destination with the possible added bonus of a volcano that we could toss people into for fun. And the results were incredible.

Dawn provided four flavors of truffle that were, quite simply, divine. Our truffle-tasting party on Friday night was an exercise in pure decadence. To quote one of the attendees (Book Love Affair) of Saturday's event: "Take careful note of the box of Polidori truffles, because apparently they were made by God himself. Or that's how they tasted anyway. Polidori must mean 'God of Sweet Things' somewhere."

The flavors, themed after characters, were...

Toby. Espresso ganache with cocoa nibs, enrobed in sweet milk chocolate, and tasting of paradise.
Tybalt. Dark chocolate with a mint ganache, topped with a sharp, surprising ripple of lemon.
Lily. White chocolate ganache flavored with green tea, enrobed in chocolate, topped with a whisper of ginger.
Devin. Chocolate enrobed vanilla ganache with a bite of black pepper, warm, spicy, and wicked-tasting.

There are not words for the incredible awesomeness of these chocolates. Polidori's Etsy shop has been closed for the summer, due to the issues inherent in shipping chocolates when you're a small operation, but should be re-opening soon, and will have the Toby truffles available for your decadent enjoyments. Imagine eating a box of these while re-reading your favorite chapter...yum.

Honestly, I won at event prep right out the gate, and I cannot thank the people involved nearly enough.

Next up...Friday, getting lost in Santa Clara, herding cats, and too much candy corn!
the mourning edition

Word count -- BLACKOUT.

Words: 4,229.
Total words: 49,188.
Reason for stopping: end of chapter nine, time for Eureka.
Music: random shuffle, lots of Counting Crows.
Lilly and Alice: I'm really not sure, which makes me nervous.

I'm finally back to work on Blackout, which has been patiently waiting for me to finish with those silly fairies and come back to my beloved zombie apocalypse. Don't worry, baby, I didn't forget about you, I just needed to finish mopping up the release debris from Rosemary and Rue before I could pay the proper attention. Hopefully, tonight's dose of sweet love and mad virology has convinced you that my affections are still true.

I sort of wanted to keep going until I hit fifty thousand words, but the fact of the matter is, chapter nine is over, and chapter nine ends exactly when and where it needs to end. Anything more would just be word count for word count's sake, and that's not fair to anyone. Besides, my characters would kill me if I forced them to keep going right now.

I love my zombie distopia. I love the Masons. And I love Kellis-Amberlee.

I feel so good about this book right now.