Friday, April 29, 2011

If you can't say something nice...

..write lots of long blog posts that you are then too conflicted to publish!

I have been writing lots of things. I haven't been posting them. Partly because I'm so angry, and I'm not sure it's a good idea to post words written when I'm in such a state. (The Republican party has made me so fiercely enraged these past few months. I would never have imagined I could be so worked up about politics--usually I don't care, a politician is a politician and I don't have much use for any of them. But the right is taking politics to a dangerous place, where lives are being threatened, mostly poor people's lives, who they don't seem to think are worth much. And it makes me sick.)

And sad. I've been very sad. Watching people justify greed and cruelty with creative interpretations of what it means to be a "good" spiritual person is more stomach turning than flat out violence. At least a gun in your face or a punch in the gut is honest.

So yeah. Angry and sad. Not my usual blog mode. I try to keep it relatively light around here, with a spattering of serious, angsty stuff when the mood hits. But the mood has been hitting too often and I haven't known whether to indulge it and let this blog become a wasteland of despair or ignore it and wait until I have something nice to say.

And I'm still conflicted about that, but I will say that I wanted to tell you this story:

My 2 year old son is dancing and singing a lot lately. His favorite songs are from the movie "Tangled." He rolls around in the grass pretending to be Rapunzel and keeps telling me he wants "hair" and pulling at his already longish mane. It is adorable and there's no way I'm forcing him to get a haircut if he doesn't want it. Let it grow until I have to pull it back in a ponytail for all I care.

But then I couldn't help thinking: The right wing politicians would tell me I am being a bad mother for that. They would say I'm deliberately damaging my son's gender identity and attack me the same way they attacked the editor at J. Crew who painted her son's toenails. You know...if they read my blog. If I were someone making enough money to matter to the GOP. Which I'm not. I'm one of the people who are disposable. I was once on food stamps. I once qualified for federal assistance, and I can assure you it was not because I was a lazy, free-loading waste of flesh. It was because I hit a hard time, and that assistance helped me feed my baby while I climbed out of that hard time. And now I make enough for the government to tax me heavily so the U.S. Treasury is definitely getting a lot of bang for their buck in my case.

But without help from our government, maybe my child and I would have starved to death on the street. It seems that's the way today's Republicans would prefer it.

And so even that story was tainted. Blah.

Someday I will be back with actual book-related posts. When that day comes, is there anything you'd like to know? I hate to go all "industry" on you people--since so many blogs do it so much better--but if you have specific questions, I'd love to be given something to blog about other than social injustice. So email me. Or post a comment here, or whatever you prefer to do.

Have a weekend, if you get one. I'll be working in order to pay my taxes because I earned just enough money last year to earn less money than I did the year before because I bumped both my husband and myself into a higher tax bracket<--more sunshine! It's just oozing from my pores lately, I tell ya!

*slides out on a rainbow made of unicorn farts*

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Where I was, what I did

Dear blog,

I've been thinking about you a lot--usually when I'm driving because I often think when I drive, unless it's after nine o'clock at night when most thinking stops--but I haven't had time to write any of the things I've been thinking. I have, however, been writing books (yes, nearly 20k into the second full length manuscript of 2011 because that's how my crazy schedule works right now).

I've also been cleaning up vomit and giving breathing treatments to my pathetically sickly kids. In between sickness, I frolicked on the beach with the family (but the video was erased, so I can't show you how adorable my kids are running from the waves). And I looked at a bunch of houses I can't afford and made an offer on one and am now stressing out about what happens if the people accept the offer and I have a giant mortgage for the next 30 years (please buy books). But am also pretty excited to think about that lovely hillside gardening space and the lemon tree in the back yard so...*fingers kind of crossed*

I've also chatted with my editor at Delacorte, who said that JULIET IMMORTAL Advanced Reader Copies are not going to be going out for a few more months. In the meantime, I'll be collecting the emails of people who write wanting one in a folder. Then, when I'm given the word, all requests will go out as one. (I can't guarantee you'll get one, but I will happily be the messenger. I only have a couple ARCs myself and I'm saving those for a fall librarian giveaway. Details to come.)

And now I'm going to go brush my teeth (split pea soup leaves a NASTY aftertaste), and take my youngest loinfruit to the gym for an afternoon sweat.

Sincerely,

Stacey (who will try to be back soon with something more interesting, but is not making any promises because her non-fictional life is busy, boring, and full of needy sick people)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dead on the Delta: Sneak Peek

So,

My first adult urban fantasy novel, DEAD ON THE DELTA, is coming out in just a few months. This book is both very similar and very different to what my readers have come to expect from me. The first person narrator and the mystery-with-a-twist are reminiscent of the Megan Berry, Zombie Settler, series, but the content is much more adult in nature. It's a darker, grittier, sexier book--though still funny at times according to my beta readers--and I'm very curious to see what my readers will think of Annabelle, my main character, and her world.

(I believe this book is best read by those 15-16 and older. Maybe a little younger, depending on the maturity of the teen, but I'd encourage most 12 and 13 year olds to skip this one for a few years. Not because of the language--since I strongly believe that no teen or preteen was ever harmed by hearing/reading a curse word--but because of frank discussions of sex, use/abuse of alcohol, and the violence surrounding the murder case.)

Anyway! I had a blast writing this book, I am totally in love with every character in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, and I can't wait to jump into book two. I'm outlining that today and tomorrow, and hoping to start drafting on Sunday.

So in honor of starting book 2, I thought I'd share a little of book 1.



Advance praise for DEAD ON THE DELTA: (And can I say that I am BLOWN AWAY by this response. All three of these ladies are Urban Fantasy writing heroes of mine and I am so honored and thrilled that they enjoyed my book. Totally. Thrilled. Silly.)

"A sultry start to a promising new series. DEAD ON THE DELTA sizzles with action, danger, and romance." -Jennifer Estep, author of Elemental Assassins

"Unflinching and unforgettable, DEAD ON THE DELTA gnawed its way into
my heart with writing sharp as fairy fangs. Annabelle's biting wit
covers an uncommonly raw, achingly real vulnerability. Stacey Jay's
steamy bayou world will make readers sweat--in fear for the next
corpse, and in anticipation for a sequel!"
--Jeri Smith-Ready, author of WVMP Radio and Shade

"Everything you could want in an urban fantasy...strong, vivid writing, unique worldbuilding, and a clever, twisty plot."-Stacia Kane, author of Unholy Ghosts

Cover copy:

Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams. Then came the mutations, and the dreams became nightmares. Mosquito-size fairies now indulge their taste for human blood—and for most humans, a fairy bite means insanity or death.

Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans. The hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t. Including helping law enforcement— and Cane Cooper, the bayou’s sexiest detective—collect evidence when a body is discovered outside the fairy-proof barricades of her Louisiana town.

But Annabelle isn’t equipped to deal with the murder of a six-year-old girl or a former lover-turned-FBI snob taking an interest in the case. Suddenly her already bumpy relationship with Cane turns even rockier, and even the most trust-worthy friends become suspects. Annabelle’s life is imploding: between relationship drama, a heartbreaking murder investigation, Breeze-crazed drug runners, and a few too many rum and Cokes, Annabelle is a woman on the run—from her past, toward her future, and into the arms of a darkness waiting just for her. . . .

Excerpt, Chapter One:

Losing your lunch sucks. It sucks even more when you’re not hung over.

My view on upchucking is that you should’ve earned your punishment. But I haven’t earned it, and neither had she. I don’t need those last three years of med school to know the body at my feet was a child not too long ago. Before the animals got to her face, before the bugs crawled inside to investigate the holes the animals made, before—

I barely make the one eighty turn in time.

The guilty contents of my stomach—cherry Pop-Tarts, coffee, and a touch of last night’s burger and fries—spill out onto the damp earth, adding another layer to the stench of the bayou. I can barely smell the body over the stink. A few of the fairies have laid their eggs early this year. They don’t usually drop their sacs until September, but there’s no mistaking the smell of fairy babies baking in the noonday sun. Smells like a homeless man’s crotch.

Not that I’ve ever been up close and personal with a homeless man’s crotch, but…

“Annabelle? You okay?” It isn’t the first time Cane’s asked. His voice is pinched, strained, not the sexy rumble that made my ribs vibrate less than an hour ago. We could still be tangled up in each other, bitching about the heat in my poorly air-conditioned bedroom if I’d only said “yes” instead of “no” to his offer to play hooky.

As my stomach voids itself and I continue to gag, I wish I’d kept Cane in bed. I wish I’d let him call in sick and stay with me, his big hands warm on my skin. But he’s been scaring me. He wants to stick a pin in our relationship and label the specimen.

I fear labels. I fear dead bodies more.

In the three years I’ve worked for Fairy Containment and Control I’ve seen my share of dead things, but nothing like this. I force myself to turn around, take another look. She isn’t much more than a baby and her face is…gone, eaten away by the scavengers our toxic patch of the Mississippi River Delta hasn’t killed yet.

The chemical spills along the river did their part to make the marshland from southern Tennessee down to Mobile unfriendly to living things. The mutated fairies have done the rest. Fairies can live on animal blood, but the Louisiana Fey hunt humans with a terrifying single-mindedness. Still, most people have the sense to keep safe. Almost no one ventures outside the iron grid that runs throughout Donaldsonville.

As soon as it was confirmed that iron repels fairies, the D’Ville city council cut any program not necessary to keeping people alive, declared downtown refugee central, and sunk a million dollars into nailing iron cables to every roof. A sturdy fifteen-foot iron fence completed the protective measures, enclosing the original Donaldsonville of the early 1800’s in a metal cocoon, taking the town back to its roots.

As a result, Donaldsonville is one of the few southern Louisiana towns that still welcomes the Adventurous Tourist to its historic buildings, Cajun restaurants, Delta Fairy Museum, and refurbished town square. Despite the modern day highwaymen that terrorize the roads, tourism is our top source of revenue and everyone in town acts accordingly. We’re friendly, welcoming, and pride ourselves on being one of the safest places in the south. If you score a ticket on an armored shuttle and actually make it to Donaldsonville, you can breathe easy.

This girl shouldn’t have died.

“Annabelle? Annabelle, do you need me to come over there and—”

“No.” My voice doesn’t sound like me. I sound…small.

“Crawl on back, girl, I can get a suit and—”

“No.”

“Come on, Lee lee,” he says, using a pet name in public, a capital offense in the Annabelle Lee dating handbook. In a different context, I might have flipped him off. If he wasn’t thinking about risking his life to come hold my hand and there wasn’t a little girl behind me. A dead girl, but still…

Still.


End Excerpt.

Have a wonderful weekend all,

Stacey Jay