Well of course there are real monsters, Newt. You're in space, for pete's sake. I wanted to use a quote from Aliens, because I can't wait to see Prometheus. Probably won't see it for several days. Please, nobody spoil me on it. That, or Cabin in the Woods, which I also still need to see.
Been reading a lot lately, or should I say always, but this past set was special, because it was out of my usual boxes. Dark fantasy and existential literary are my go-tos, but it's a good idea to you know, stretch out a bit. So I'll mention two good books that were out of my comfort zone:
WORDS IN THE DUST by Trent Reedy
I snagged myself a signed copy of this when I met Trent at last weekend's excellent Got Books? YA event at Klindt's Bookstore in The Dalles, Oregon. It's a fantastic novel, about a young Afghan girl named Zulaikha, born with a cleft lip and few prospects despite being a member of a loving family. This one's interesting, and heartbreaking, and oddly enough, made me hungry. There's lots of food in it. Food, and injustice, and cultural differences. A great combination.
WIDE OPEN by Deborah Coates
This is an adult novel about an Army Sergeant home on leave to bury her sister. Everyone seems to think the sister committed suicide, only it makes no sense. Something sinister is going on in her hometown in South Dakota, and she's just pissed off and hard-headed enough to figure out what it is. Did I mention she can see dead people? This book features one of the most well drawn settings I've encountered in a long time. The South Dakota locale does more than lend itself to the story, it functions almost as a character unto itself. Isolated and wild. A little bit set in its ways. It sticks with you, and the lead character of Hallie does too.
I'm not much for "cowboy" locales in general, but this one was compelling. And the cover is pretty. If anyone is interested in reading this, let me know. I'll mail it to you.
I'm going to install a sticky news post here in the coming days, in an attempt to make myself update things. Because I suck at updating things.
In book news, I learned that Anna Dressed in Blood sold in Russia and Romania. Cooler than cool, and a few Romanian bloggers asked me for interviews weeks before the news broke. I think they've got the inside track. Also, Girl of Nightmares is going to get a book trailer.
In writing news, I'm closing in on the halfway point in ANTIGODDESS #2. There's probably more to say here but I don't want to jinx it. And besides, I'm really distracted by a litterbox disaster courtesy of my two apparently enormous-bladdered cats. If they don't shape up, I'm going to turn into that kind of cat owner who takes pictures of them in tennis ball helmets and long-necked sweaters. Do you hear me, Tybalt and Mojo Jojo? No? Because you can't read? Dammit. Here's some more contest entry art to cheer myself up: