Saturday, December 24, 2011

What Gift Did You Want Most as a Kid?

Happy Holidays!

Come join me over at FIGMENT FICTION, a fabulous writing community for teens and authors, as I talk about the one gift I would have done anything to get for Christmas when I was a teen. Hop on over and join the discussion about what you'd have prized most. Hint about my answer: It's bigger on the inside...

Merry, merry!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spare a moment for DARKER STILL?

Nominate Your Favorite Books of 2011 for the Teen Choice Book of the Year!

If you enjoyed DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, here's a way to support it!


The rest of the four fields are up to you. :) Thanks in advance for your vote and support of paranormal and fantastical YA fiction!


(Don't worry that DARKER STILL is not listed on their list, just write it in, there are tons of 2011 titles not listed)

Cheers! Happy reading, happy haunting, happy holidays!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

No More Kisses for Oscar's Grave - But I Left One When I Could

As you all are well aware, much of the inspiration for DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul came from Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Considering Wilde worked in many literary mediums, as a playwright and author, he provided me inspiration in my many artistic lives as an actress, playwright and an author. No other literary luminary inspired me in so many different forms as Wilde. Last year, during a research trip through London, Paris, Verdun and Germany, I was able to pay my respect in Pere Lachaise cemetery to my beloved Mr. Wilde. Tradition is to leave notes of affection, and yes, lipstick kisses (which began appearing in the 1990s) upon the Art Deco styled grave.
But no more kisses for Oscar, according to the UK Guardian. The oils have caused damage to the stone, which is a sculptural work of art in and of itself, and the grave will now have a barrier around it.
While I wholly understand the reasoning behind protecting the beloved author's stone from these discouraged (yes, it could have resulted in a fine) displays of affection, I confess, I don't regret, per that tradition, showing my adoration. Here I am paying my respects:



After bestowing the kiss I left a note, under a rock, asking Oscar for his blessing on DARKER STILL.
As I say in the first lines of the Acknowledgement Page of the novel: "My dear Oscar Wilde, thank you for Dorian Gray, and for your genius. I'd like to think that if I had the privilege of knowing you, we'd have gotten along famously. Regardless, I am eternally your fan."
I was quite overcome at the site. I cried, thinking of all the trials he endured in his too-short life. I look forward to revisiting Paris, and Oscar, again, to see his brilliantly restored grave, and to pay my respects at a slight distance, but with no less love.
I know I'll ask for Mr. Wilde's blessing on the rest of the Magic Most Foul saga as I continue writing it. XOXO, Oscar.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

DARKER STILL... A Playlist


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I was asked by an awesome girl with awesome pink streaks in her hair who has an awesome name (Airaseem) at my Anderson's Bookshop signing outside Chicago what music I listened to while writing; if DARKER STILL had a playlist. It does, in fact, and I'd meant to share it publicly (I made mix CDs for the Sourcebooks staff) so thanks, Airaseem, for the reminder.

Now while I'm writing, I can't listen to music with lyrics, so I listen to 19th Century classical music and movie soundtracks. Classical music puts me in the historical mindset of the time-period and soundtracks (like Harry Potter) give a sense of movement and magic in the background. But that doesn't mean that's the only influential music.

Any writer will tell you that half the time spent writing a novel is daydreaming about said novel. I live in New York City, I daydream A LOT on the subway, with my iPod in my ears, listening to evocative music that plays like a movie trailer to scenes from my book that I play in my mind's eye and mull over. THAT process has a soundtrack, and here are the top songs I've listened to while daydreaming MAGIC MOST FOUL saga, songs that on some level have some sort of material or thematic connection to my work. Some of the tracks here are from famous bands, some not, so I hope you'll check them all out. Specifically, Over The Rhine is my favorite hometown indy band from Cincinnati, their music ranges from indy rock to blues to folk, and what I love about them is their versatility and their gorgeous songwriting. Across the spectrum is my favorite Goth / Darkwave / Electronica band, VNV Nation. (VNV = Victory Not Vengeance). I love VNV because it's killer club/dance music (I'm a Goth girl and have been since way back in the day) and the melodies and lyrics are poetic and oh-so-gorgeous. All this stuff is available on iTunes, or you can also support the bands directly from their websites. Happy listening!

Beloved - VNV Nation
Hush Now - Over The Rhine
I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Deathcab for Cutie
Jar Of Hearts - Christina Perri
I Go To Sleep - Sia
Bridge - Lucy Wainwright Roche
In This Shirt - The Irrepressibles
Rhapsodie - Over The Rhine
Illusion - VNV Nation
Standing - VNV Nation

What's your writing and reading soundtrack?

Monday, November 21, 2011

DARKER STILL: ON THE ROAD!


Photo Credit: Jenny at Supernatural Snark

Goodness. What a whirlwind. I think I say that about every book tour, but no, seriously... what a whirlwind. See, I've been going non-stop since World Fantasy Convention at the end of October, right into Strangely Beautiful the musical staged reading rehearsals and performance (it went very well, thank you very much, as soon as I have more specifics I'll tell you but this is not that blog post) and right DIRECTLY the next day into DARKER STILL release day and tour. Whee! (Yes, I'm tired and a little punchy.)
First off, we kicked it all off in NYC. I spoke to school librarians, did stock signings, various bouncings about the city and then we launched at WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn. Which rocks. I mean, it's kind of the best bookstore ever, run by the best people ever. Author and fellow Sourcebooks sister, the awesome Zoraida Cordova did a great RECAP HERE where you can see me in all my regalia and whatnot.


Wall O' Hieber!

Then? Home! Ohio, the land of my birth, and my hometown Barnes and Noble (B & N West Chester) that always takes care of me. A wall of me, in fact, as you see there to your left. I was beyond thrilled that NYT Bestselling author Lori Foster stopped by, Lori not only hosts an amazing conference every year, but she took the time to come and support me at my signing and that meant the world to me. She is one class act, I tell you, and a damn fine author. As many of you know, I am an actress. So the very best part of the whole presentation for me is to read aloud from my work. Accents and all. One of these days I might write a hero who isn't British. Today is not that day. Tomorrow, neither. I've got British heroes stacked up for the next few books, it's a compulsion, what can I say? :)

Hanna of the awesome shirts & talent
And two extremely talented writer gals who I love to cheerlead in their writing journeys, Hanna and Lizzy, were there at the hometown launch to make the night special. Hanna sported one of her amazing shirts she creates for the signings (it's become tradition, and I love it! Lord Denbury is rather flattered too). Thanks also to Hanna and family for the pictures left and above. Huge thanks to Edgewood teachers and alum who made it out to see me, you all mean more to me than I can say. And an extra extra special thanks to my best friend Marijo who came to all of my events and heard all the readings (along with my parents) multiple times. I know, I'm spoiled, they're good to me.

Percy & Alexi by Grace W.
I had the opportunity to do three signings in my home state, the next day I was at Joseph Beth in Cincinnati, (shout-out to my fave Steampunk designer, Angie of Festooned Butterfly, for making it out) and received a VERY special surprise. Remember the awesome artwork of Percy and Alexi I featured on this blog? Grace is from Ohio and I didn't put 2 and 2 together at first, I was too busy complimenting her gorgeous cameo and style, until I was signing the book "To Grace," and she slid this utterly magnificent drawn and painted picture of Percy and Alexi to me upon the signing table. My jaw dropped as I looked at their beautiful adorable-ness in their winter best. "Oh! You're THAT Grace!" I cried, and jumped up to hug her, and said to the crowd of friends, "remember the artist who rendered Percy and Alexi?" (friends and family nodded) This is her!" And I showed off my latest prize and there were lots of 'ooohs' and 'aaahhs'. It's so beautiful! It's now framed on my wall. What an amazing signing present! Such talent!

No rest for the wicked, it was back on a plane to NYC to participate in an amazing panel on fantastical literature at the incomparable Books of Wonder alongside luminaries like Tamora Pierce and Delia Sherman. I had such an amazing time and the store was packed and the crowd was fantastic! Ron Hogan of Shelf Awareness did a fabulous wrap-up of the event. It has always been a dream of mine since I've been in NYC to sign at that store, and with such stars as Tamora Pierce and Delia Sherman by my side, what an honour! (Books of Wonder has all the authors' signed books from this event available for sale!)
In Ohio again, my Dayton signing at Books & Co. was made all the more lovely by the amazing teens I met that day doing presentations at Oakwood Junior and Senior High; some of the most engaging and interesting students I'd ever met. In my first session, there were so many hands raised with awesome questions, I wanted to steal them all and take them with me to any school event I ever do. Some of those eager and intelligent faces showed up that night to the signing, braving a massive rainstorm to do so! The evening at was also made utterly fabulous by the appearance of three of my fave bloggers! Colette of A Buckeye Girl Reads, Dani of Refracted Light and Jenny aka  "Miss Snark" over at Supernatural Snark, click here for an awesome rundown and fab pictures. She's quite a talented photographer, as you can see from that gorgeous first picture!

Then, off to Milwaukee, Chicago and the Twin Cities all in the next three days. It's a bit of a blur, but I was warmed and inspired by talking to two groups of students at Cudahy High School and was thrilled to see some awesomely enthusiastic young folks turn up at my signing that evening at the Cudahy Library along with the "in laws" and my awesomely supportive parner (I really couldn't do all this without him). Then it was an Amtrak train into Union Station, and on to stock signings around and about Chicago, signing the next night at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville. Thanks to the Sourcebooks team for coming out and being supportive and awesome as usual). Cheers and thanks to several high school and to fellow writer/RWA friends in Chicago, blessings and good author Karma to fabulous YA author Stacey Kade for making a two-hour trip to come support the event, and to TRUE-BLOOD.NET for coming in (Mel from a distance) and being AWESOME as usual, but this time in person. Which made it even awesomer! Thanks for the lovely Tweets about the event!

Then the next day it was off to Minnesota sign stock all over the Twin Cities with a reading and signing at The Bookcase in Wayzata, where book blogger and engaging young author Rachel Bongart brought a group of AWESOME fellow writers and readers, the night was made extra special by Rachel and her friends, I was inspired by their drive and story ideas, there's nothing more I love than to see talented young women passionate about storytelling. Kindred spirits, for sure. We all had a great chat about process, ideas, the business, etc, along with Twin Cities friends from my years in area theatre, including members of the Scribblerati Writers' Group. Keep an eye on these writers, they're going places.

Where am I going right now? To take a nice long nap would be nice. But there's no end in sight, really, I've books to write, a musical to revise and deadlines approacheth! Here are the places around and about the country where I have, in the past week, signed stock of Darker Still - if you're in these areas and missed me in person, at least you can pick up a signed book!

Ohio: Barnes and Noble Dayton Mall, Barnes and Noble Beavercreek, Barnes and Noble Kenwood Cincinnati, B and N Newport KY (Only had 1 left on 11/13), Books and Co. Dayton
Milwaukee: B and N Mayfair Mall, B and N Brookfield Mall, B and N Greenfield,
Chicago Area: Barnes and Noble at State and Elm Chicago, Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, Barnes and Noble Oakbrook Center, Barnes and Noble Bolingbrook at The Promenade, Barnes and Noble Naperville, Anderson's Bookshop Naperville
Twin Cities Area: Barnes and Noble Mall of America, Red Balloon in St. Paul (only 1 left), B and N Highland Park, B and N Calhoun Village, Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, B and N at the Galleria in Edina, B and N Eden Prairie Mall, B and N Ridgehaven Mall
New York City: All Manhattan and Brooklyn Barnes and Nobles, WORD, Books of Wonder, Posmans Grand Central (on 11/22)

Support your Indies! Two great places to get a signed copy of DARKER STILL:
WORD has kindly agreed to keep their special order page up!
BOOKS OF WONDER, the best Children's/YA bookstore in all the land, has a healthy stack of signed books they'd love to get into your hands. With DARKER STILL landing on the Indie Next List, I am reminded how important our independent booksellers are to the life of a new series taking its first steps into the world, and I'm very grateful for them.

And yes, ladies, my invention of the word "Denburylicious" has spawned quite the life on Twitter, prompting Sourcebooks to make a badge. The #Denburylicious blog badge has been quite popular among you (and among a few gentlemen as well) and if you want your own, feel free to lift this here, just please link the image to a bookstore of your choice selling Darker Still! And while you're at it, drop @SourcebooksFire a line on Twitter telling them how much you love it, they did a great job.
Speaking of great things, I'm sorry, but how much do I love this really and utterly fabulous and featured review on SHELF AWARENESS? The reviewer really understands the layers and levels I'm working on. This review is a real honour and is so encouraging as I continue on with the series.

Thanks, dear readers! Stay tuned, I promised a fabulous young lady at the signing at Anderson's that I'd post my DARKER STILL playlist! Coming soon!

Happy reading, happy haunting!


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Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Very #Denburylicious Evening

Author Zoraida Cordova reports on our NYC DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul launch! Thanks Z!

The Nightstand: A Very #Denburylicious Evening: As always we're celebrating BOOKS. This week was the launch party for Leanna Renee Hieber's Darker Still: A novel of Magic Most Foul (Sourcebooks Fire)...

(Click the link above to see the coverage of our launch, and the TOUR CONTINUES! Check the Schedule!)

And DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul is easy to find at your local Barnes & Noble Booksellers, it's on the Top Teen Picks Shelf in stores!


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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Official Book Birthday, DARKER STILL!

While DARKER STILL has been seen in some stores already, today is the OFFICIAL book release date, so Happy Book Birthday, Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul ! It's especially easy to find in Barnes & Noble's now that they've moved it onto the "Top Teen Picks" shelves in stores! Yippie! I hope you'll love this book as much as I've loved writing it, there's been some lovely buzz about it and I hope you'll join me for this new, spooktacular journey!
First week's sales for a novel are particularly important so I hope you'll join me in welcoming Darker Still into the world!


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Cheers!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

DARKER STILL in Seventeen, the Indie Next List and More!


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What a banner week for Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul!

First, it's been chosen as a recommended buy by the American Book Association as part of their "Indie Next" list, for the 2011/2012 Kids/YA winter season! YAY! DARKER STILL has also been chosen for Scholastic Book Clubs and also sold Chinese (complex) translation rights via Taiwan!

Then it got an amazing review in SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE!

Then it was featured on the Barnes & Noble Homepage!! (I'm not sure how long this will be up, but as of yesterday, it was. Very excited. Listed under "Cool Books" next to Ms. Oates & Didion. Pretty darn good company! You'll find it these next few weeks on the TOP TEEN PICKS Shelves at B&N! Yay!)

LAST CALL on Preorders! If I won't see you on BOOK TOUR then please get a signed copy of the book via a fabulous independent NYC bookstore, WORD in Brooklyn! Here's the link to Preorder, I'm signing everything this weekend so they need to get their last orders in today so that they'll go out first thing next week!

Here's my DARKER STILL TOUR SCHEDULE! See if Darker Still is coming to a town near you!

Thanks to everyone for your support! I've a bunch of amazing reviews and fun interviews that I've been linking via Twitter and Facebook! I really appreciate the blogging community as a whole, my beautiful Apocalypsies Debut Team, and a bunch of new YA blogger friends who have helped give this book a nice, sweet buzz!

Blessings and as Natalie would tell you... "Find your voice..."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Strangely Beautiful The Musical! Sites and Sounds

Hello friends! Happy to report that The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, The Musical, now has three very important things: A Website: http://strangelybeautifulthemusical.com
A Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/strangelybeautifulthemusical
Please have a listen, follow and "like"!
What's the latest news on the show, you ask? We're doing a private staged reading in New York City next month, and from there we'll continue to smooth out all the details and figure out where it will be put up on its feet in the regional theatre market before bringing it back to NYC when it's ready. If you visit the website you can hear our draft of the beginning of the show!

Strangely Beautiful blessings!

Oh, and ONLY 23 MORE DAYS UNTIL DARKER STILL: A NOVEL OF MAGIC MOST FOUL! Be sure to get in on the action! Signed Pre-orders via WORD NYC! http://tinyurl.com/darkerpre


Cheers!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween Awareness Month: Giveaway Part Deux

WE'RE A MONTH AWAY FROM THE RELEASE OF DARKER STILL: A NOVEL OF MAGIC MOST FOUL!! - Sorry. Got a little excited there. But that also means there's no better time than now to get your signed, personalized pre-order copy via WORD Bookstore to go out to you on release day!


Now. GIVEAWAY #2:


I am running each of my Halloween Awareness Month giveaways via all my different social media presences, so today's giveaway (running until tomorrow, winner picked via Random.org) is up via my Twitter feed. I'm raffling off a copy of CANDLE IN THE ATTIC WINDOW: An Anthology of Gothic Horror published by Innsmouth Press and featuring my short story "At the Doorstep" set in the Magic Most Foul world. (Please note: Booksellers and Librarians, you can order the book for your stores / libraries at 40% off by following that book title link and ordering from Innsmouth Press)


RT my latest tweet about the contest to enter to win.


To get ready for Halloween Awareness Month giveaway #3, be sure to like my Facebook page and stay tuned there.

KEEP IT SPOOKY!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

OCTOBER IS HALLOWEEN AWARENESS MONTH, And I've got prizes.

Ladies & Gents, it's October. My favourite month of the year. You know what October means: NATIONAL HALLOWEEN AWARENESS MONTH!

Fabulous New York things to do this month include:

1. The Great Pumpkin Blaze
2. Boo at the Zoo
3. Embrace your inner Slytherin. (Shouldn't we all?)

To share in the joy of this month, I'm giving you, dear readers, prezzies.
Each week of October I'm hosting a different giveaway, either here on the blog, on Twitter or on Facebook; I'm rotating, so be sure you're following each site.

First off? My partner in crime, the Diana to my Anne of Green Gables, the wondrously talented author, artist, Jill of all trades and princess, Alethea Kontis is featured in a just-released anthology that is very appropriate fare for Halloween Awareness Month:

DEMONS: Encounters with the Devil and his Minions, Fallen angels and the possessed - featuring Neil Gaiman, Kim Harrison, Maggie Stiefvater, William Peter Blatty and the aforementioned Ms. Kontis and many more!


And I'm giving away a copy! Signed, no less! Keep reading for details:

Also, it's only appropriate that I mention Alethea is also the author of the popular AlphaOops H IS FOR HALLOWEEN - which is something everyone should have for their little ones this season. And she is ALSO the author of forthcoming YA Fairy Tale magic twisted and made new as only she can, ENCHANTED. (Yes, you can pre-order it!) No, this is not the last time you'll see us talking about one another's books. She's the "Once Upon a Time" and I'm the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night". Together, we're all your favourite kinds of stories in one.

And so, to kick off HALLOWEEN AWARENESS MONTH I've a copy of the DEMONS anthology, SIGNED BY THE AUTHORESS herself, to give away right here right now.

Extra entries if you Follow Alethea on Twitter and/or on Facebook.

HOW TO ENTER:

All you have to do to enter is tell me your favourite thing about Autumn! (Include follows so I can include extra entries. Winner by Random.org on Friday, October 7th!)

NEXT WEEK?


We'll be running a Twitter contest for a copy of CANDLE IN THE ATTIC WINDOW: An Anthology of Gothic Horror published by Innsmouth Free Press and featuring my short story "AT THE DOORSTEP" which is set in the world of DARKER STILL: A NOVEL OF MAGIC MOST FOUL.


DON'T FORGET!


Pre-orders are up for DARKER STILL at WORD Bookstore; get a signed, personalized (if you like) copy! Also WORD is hosting my 11/10/11 Launch Party at 7pm.



Cheers!! And remember, only YOU can hold Halloween in your heart, and keep it all the year!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pre-Order a Signed copy of DARKER STILL at WORD BOOKSTORE!

Exciting news!

Sourcebooks Fire and I have parnered with the fabulous WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn, New York City, a fabulous independent bookstore, to enable exclusive, personalized (if you want), signed pre-order copies of DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul! If you're interested in supporting my work, this is a great way to do so and also to get an exclusive copy, especially if you can't make it to one of my New York City or Ohio events during release week. At only $8.99 for a Trade Paperback book, it's an affordable holiday gift for anyone and everyone in your life who might be up for a spooky, Gothic, romantic adventure! Please note: put any personalization requests into the comment field of the order.

We're really hoping this book hits big. And with your help, it can. Thanks in advance for your interest and support.

Pre-order a signed copy of DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul - and spread the word!

Praise for DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul --

"Hieber applies some real imagination to the story...A good romp with some effective suspense." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Spooky, tense, and wonderfully romantic." -- Kady Cross, author of The Girl in the Steel Corset

"A spirited Victorian heroine, a hot, haunted painting, and a murderous mystery that brings them together - readers will find Magic Most Foul most fabulous!" -- Mari Mancusi, Award winning author of The Blood Coven series

CHEERS! And, as Natalie would say... "Find your voice..."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker and the New iPad 2 Commercial

Thanks to some nifty folks at Dorchester Publishing, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker can be glimpsed on the bottom center "shelf" of the iPad "bookshelf" in the new Verizon iPad 2 commercial! Check out the video, (pause at .06 because it flies by very quickly) and there sits this beautiful cover!

Neat!!



So now that Miss Percy is on television, it's only appropriate that she take the stage. :) We'll have some very exciting developments in Strangely Beautiful the musical this November!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

DragonCon 2011

DragonCon always defies description. It's one of those 'you just have to be there' sorts of experiences. It's every fandom in SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal converging upon Atlanta with a costumed vengeance. A swarm of geekery and fabulousness, ridiculous and out of this world, DragonCon is exhausting and over-stimulating, thrilling and then sometimes just scary. Like, you know, oh... OMG WEEPING ANGEL.




As always, DragonCon for me is a mixture of business and pleasure. The pleasure is, I'm an uber-fan of certain franchises as you all know (Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and lots of Tim Burton being at the forefront) and the interests that drive my fandom also drive interests and themes relative to my books. And I love geeking out with friends, while still staying true to my job; writing fantastical fiction.




Want to know how I balance these two? The Daily Dragon interviewed me and my beloved author friend Alethea Kontis! Check us out, and how we manage "pro" and "fan"!

On the business front, I got to do readings and signings and sell a bunch of books (Thanks, Larry Smith Booksellers!), network with convention organizers and editors and all that fabulous stuff. And see beloved friends and readers I only see but once a year. Due to my love for Mr. Burton, I got to speak on a Dark Shadows and Nightmare Before Christmas panel (Nightmare is my favourite movie of all time if I was only allowed to pick one), which was great fun, a Scary Fairy Tale panel discussing all our favourite 'once-upon-a-time' themes and how they've been changed and rearranged as well as how we as authors have made them our own brands of spooky-fabulous. Also our "Things that Go Bump in the Timeline" panel allowed the authors to discuss how we use paranormal in our alternate histories.

My aforementioned and pictured dear and fellow fantasy and YA author, Diana to my Anne of Green Gables, Alethea Kontis, brought back her popular Traveling Side-Show where I got to read "At The Doorstep" featured in Candle in the Attic Window: An Anthology of Gothic Horror - a short story that introduces Mrs. Northe from the Magic Most Foul world. That went over very well. And it's up for Pre-Order! Can't wait until November 8th when DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul releases? Go forth and learn about the forces behind my upcoming world!

And yes, oh yes, there were costumes. Which I take very seriously. (As does much of the convention.) As you know from last DragonCon and my rather passionate "Being Romana" post, I pride myself on a darn good Romana II from Doctor Who. This year, the challenge from editor Stephen Segal was Romana's Destiny of the Daleks outfit. The pink coat. You all know I don't wear pink. But I don't turn down a Romana challenge. So, for the love of the Doctor, I bring you the unprecedented me-in-pink, the DragonCon Parade, where I walked with the Doctor Who contingent. (First photo credit: Sarberry)


By the way, I should mention that the first line of my "Being Romana" post is "You never forget your first love". My only purchase at DragonCon was a T-Shirt with a Tardis that says: "You never forget your first Doctor". A shirt has never been so true. Nor do you ever forget the love of your first robot dog.
K-9!!


Romana eyes The Master warily, as she should.







My Romana II alongside Romana I - isn't she great? Aren't we pretty Romanatastic?






















A Theril from Warrior's Gate! Romana's destiny in E-Space is glimpsed...
























Editor extraordinaire and Peter Davison clone (and he who dared me into the pink coat) Stephen Segal in his Doctor "4.5" outfit:
























And let's not forget the Yule Ball and my Narcissa time. I was alas without my Lucius, Draco and Bellatrix as had been planned, and so my awesome Aeternitas friends and I all got together to make sure they all knew how much they were missed. But at least The Dark Lord was there to give orders:










And Unbreakable Vows were Vowed.
(Vladimir Snape / Platform One frontman Vows the Vow)




And a good time was had by all.

NOW KIDS, BACK TO WORK:
Just before DragonCon I finished up the rough draft of Magic Most Foul book II, title TBA, and now it needs some love and editing. So I'm off to another deadline, in the meantime, check out all my upcoming new work!
-"At the Doorstep" In the world of Magic Most Foul, featured in Innsmouth Press' CANDLE IN THE ATTIC WINDOW : An Anthology of Gothic Horror
- Get ready for my Steampunk novella, "The World of Tomorrow is Sadly Outdated" to begin serializing at Doctor Fantastiques Show of Wonders! Subscribe here so you don't miss it!
-ALSO, "A Christmas Carroll" (Strangely Beautiful #2.5) featured in A MIDWINTER FANTASY will be releasing in print in October! The pre-sale is currently 24% off at B&N!!

Huzzah!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leanna's DragonCon Schedule

I hope to see some friendly and familiar faces at DragonCon again this year! My cohorts and I always have such an amazing time. Here is my schedule, please note, I've an author reading!! There will be prizes! So if you only have time for one event of mine, I hope you come to that. :)

Friday:

Panel: PRINCESS ALETHEA'S 2ND ANNUAL TRAVELING SIDE-SHOW
Description: Hella awesome. Readings. Music. Zombie Haiku.
Room: Edgewood - HYATT
Time: 5:30

Panel: DARK SHADOWS
Description: Fans of the Gothic soap opera discuss its enduring legacy.
Room: Montreal/Vancouver - HYATT
Time: 7pm

Saturday:

AUTHOR READING!
Room: University - HYATT
As an actress, I've become known for my author readings, come hear me read from my latest novel, THE PERILOUS PROPHECY OF GUARD AND GODDESS and tease my upcoming book, DARKER STILL: A NOVEL OF MAGIC MOST FOUL! (There will be prizes)
Time: 2:30pm

Panel: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Description: Fans discuss this iconic holiday film. (aka Leanna's favourite film)
Room: Montreal/Vancouver - HYATT
Time: 8:30pm

Sunday:

Panel: SCARY FAIRY TALES
Description: Fables and fairy tales in dark fantasy literature
Room: Montreal/Vancouver - HYATT
Time: 5:30pm

Monday:

Panel: THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE TIMELINE: Supernatural Alternate History
Description: Vampires, demons, ghosts, spirits and other supernatural and preternatual beings... and the alternate timelines they inhabit.
Room: International C - WESTIN
Time: 11:30am

Books will be available for purchase at LARRY SMITH BOOKSELLERS, and as always I will be happy to sign them at the reading or after any panels.

I'll also, as always, be tweeting @LeannaRenee ! Check the #DragonCon hashtags

Thursday, August 18, 2011

DARKER STILL Cover: Once More... With Cover Quote!





















A cover re-reveal for DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, now improved by a lovely cover quote from Kady Cross! Thanks Kady!


"Spooky, tense, and wonderfully romantic." - Kady Cross, author of The Girl in the Steel Corset

This quote joins others on the back cover and interior:

"A lush, Gothic tale that begs for reading." - Sarah Maclean, New York Times bestselling author
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"A spirited Victorian heroine, a hot, haunted painting, and a murderous mystery that brings them together - readers will find Magic Most Foul most fabulous!" -- Mari Mancusi, Award winning author of The Blood Coven series

HUZZAH! The countdown to the Magic Most Foul saga begins!

- Read the first 30 pages
- Pre-Order


Monday, August 15, 2011

Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend 2011



As my artistic cup runneth over with awesome projects and further books to write, I'm going to have to be very picky about what conventions I'm able to do. But here's one I'm going to always do my best to attend; Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend. I attended last year, had a great time, and I just returned from this year's event in Philadelphia. The easiest way to wrap up the spirit of the weekend is that it's wonderful quality time with enthusiastic readers, bloggers and fellow authors in a fun environment filled with panels, treats for readers and bloggers, charity raffles, a huge book signing and plenty of chances to dress up. And you ALL know that's one of my very favourite things.
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Thanks to everyone who made it possible on the whole AAD team, especially Stella Price who was always juggling a million things at once. Thanks to the amazing readers and bloggers I met, the many friends I was blessed to see again, and to the wonderful fellow authors whose work I admire, some of whom I already know and love, some of whom I met in person for the first time. I was very excited to not only be signing the Strangely Beautiful series but also to be there promoting Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul. November 8th will be here before we know it! Extra-special thanks to my other half, he is SUCH a good sport, as you'll see below.

The fabulous Mandi of Smexy Books took this at the AAD Booksigning:






















On Friday night, the Mythos Masquerade was held in mythic splendour. I could not, of course, pass up an opportunity to dabble in my own mythology and portray my version of The Goddess Persephone as I have envisioned her in The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess. She turned out fairly well if I do say so myself, pretty much just the way I hoped (save for all the special effects that would, as I've described her, have her shifting and shimmering colours all the time).


In this costume, I wanted to evoke an essence of Percy Parker but still represent this distinct being who is mysterious, magical and luminous. The shimmering fabric and a lot of glitter helped with luminosity... Isn't it amazing how the mirror has a different expression? The Goddess is magic, I tell you, she is mysterious and her own being...






















Here's my beloved at my side being a good sport and playing a rather perfect young Alexi Rychman... (note the scarlet cravat which gets its own backstory in Perilous Prophecy)... Thanks to Grace at Livre De Amour for this photo!
















The Steamball was a ball between great enterainment in the Olde City Side Show, beautiful vendors and I even got the chance to get my dance on and Goth out a bit on the floor. (My booksigning outfit was my Steamball outfit. Once in regalia, I remain in regalia all day.) And then my sweetheart and I had a gorgeous Sunday in Philadelphia, despite the rain, the art museum is incredible, and so was the awesome vegetarian German food at Brauhaus. Yum.

And now, back to deadline! Magic Most Foul book II is well underway, but deadlines approach, so it will be quiet around here for a bit, but do stay tuned for my DragonCon schedule!

Cheers!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Official Book Trailer for DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul



From the back cover of DARKER STILL:

“I was obsessed. It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I’d ever seen. Everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable-- utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide.

He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I’ve crossed over into his world within the painting and I’ve seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked- bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. And unless I can free him soon, things will only get darker still..."

Read the first 30 Pages of Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Denbury-licious

VITALS:

Name: Jonathon Whitby, Lord Denbury
Age: 18
Nationality: British
Place of Birth: London
Hair: Shoulder-length, wavy, black
Height: 5ft 10"
Eyes: Bright blue or black, depending on which Denbury you're looking at...
Birthday / Zodiac Sign: August 19th, 1862 / Leo
Occupation / Hobby: Lord. And Doctor.
Hero of: Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul and the Magic Most Foul saga

Here played by actor Ben Barnes.
( photo source )

I always cast my heroes and so I cast actor Ben Barnes as Lord Denbury from the very start, but no picture so accurately portrays him as my Denbury as this one does. *swoon*.
And so I bring you, ladies and gentlemen, a new word for your vocabulary: "Denburylicious".
Enjoy.



(Read the first 30 pages of DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul )

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Harry, the Beloved Professor, and the End of an Era



Thursday evening into Friday morning, July 15th, 2011...



So, alongside an enormous contingent of The Group That Shall Not Be Named, we journeyed forth unto the movie theatre to commune with our beloved witches and wizards one last time.


(And several of us ended up in the New York Times)


Anyone who has followed me for any amount of time likely knows the following:


- I default easily, comfortably and rather joyfully to Narcissa Malfoy when dressing for such events.

- I am a Slytherin in ambition, love of spooky things, love for head of house and utterly Slytherin in my fashion.

- I am a Ravenclaw in my politics/social issues. (Sort of a Slytherclaw; I'd be like Luna's black-sheep cousin who would say the same odd stuff she says, only way creepier).


- I am rather enamoured with Severus Snape. (Understatement of century.)


I was utterly taken in and wholly overwhelmed by this film, and also by confronting the fact that I must soon write the final book in my own fantasy series. When moved and overwhelmed I take solace in lists. So. I have seven things to say, because seven is a magical number in every way and if I don't limit myself here, I might just babble on for ages. But I have my own books to write and deadlines stare me dead in the eye. So...


1. Thank you, Ms. Rowling. You are my hero.


2. If a packed-to-the-gills theatre can be reduced to shrieks or sobs just by showing the beloved face of someone we know is about to die in the maddening parade of death that is the Deathly Hallows, something special has occurred that their very images are so real to us that we cannot bear to see them go.


3. F YEAH, Neville!


4. "I've always wanted to use that spell." ... Kick-ass.


5. Dear God. The Prince's Tale keeps scrolling through my mind, over and over again in an aching, heart-wrenching loop.



6. OMG with the weeping. So. Much. Weeping.



7. "Always."

*swoon* *die* *sob* *swoon* *sob* *adoration*


I will Always adore you, Harry, and everyone in your world.



Thank you, J.K.



Forever and Always.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Leanna's Top Ten NYC Tourism Tips

I was called upon by my lovely home-state friends, the Central Ohio Fiction Writers, to put on my tour-guide hat (I used to work as a NYC tour guide) and write up a list of tips for their newsletter as there shall be thousands descending upon New York City next week for the Romance Writers of America annual conference. I thought it might be a good idea if I were to post it here too.
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So, dear visitors, here are a few thoughts from a now native New Yorker. Leanna's top ten affordable musts in NYC:
(In no particular order - note how very few of these adventures cost money)

1. Leanna votes Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center over Empire State Building. -- What's the most impressive building on the whole skyline? The Empire State Building. You can't SEE it if you are IN it. Besides there are a lot of unnecessary distractions with the Empire State ticket. Top of the Rock is simple and efficient, tickets are timed entry for crowd control, it's glass versus the steel cage of Empire, Top of the Rock is all around a better view and experience.

2. A trip to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty. You don't have to go to Liberty Island to appreciate Lady Liberty on the waterfront, Battery Park is a lovely park with nice views, places to stroll and street vendors. If you're short on time, avoid the lines and just wave to Lady Liberty from shore.

3. Ethnic food. Whatever your pleasure, NYC has it, and then some. Don't get stuck eating at chains that you can find everywhere, whether its Little Italy or Little India, there's something unique for everyone. everywhere in the city. If you are stuck in the Times Square area; GET OUT OF TIMES SQUARE. For the Love of God don't eat at Olive Garden, you can do that anywhere! Just head 2 Avenues west, to 9th Avenue for myriad affordable and yummy cuisine!

4. Grand Central Station, 42nd and Lexington Avenue. Just go and take in the interior vista. The Information kiosk alone sports a priceless opal-faced clock. Just walk through, you won't regret it. It's one of the most grand and impressive buildings in the city. Enjoy the beautiful astrological ceiling and incredible arches. Wonderful restaurants there too.

5. Central Park - it's safe, it's beautiful, it's the most important and beloved asset to the city. It's 843 acres of pure man-made natural magic. There's tons of stuff to do inside. The Central Park zoo is adorable and fun, the Conservatory Gardens are gorgeous, be sure to stroll the Bethesda Terrace, perhaps rent a rowboat over the boat pond! You can eat at The Boathouse, it has two restaurants, a pricy nice side and a cheaper other side, perfect options for every mood and budget.

6. The TKTS booth. Want to see a Broadway show? The TKTS booth right in the heart of Times Square is the way to do it for the best seats if you've time to wait in line, BUT, also be sure to check in in person with the theatre box offices of shows you're interested in directly to see if they've rush ticket or ticket lottery options. Each theatre runs this a little differently. There are more ticket options directly through the theatre box offices, in person, than there are solely at TKTS.

7. Downtown stroll: A walk around City Hall Park. NYC's City Hall is a gorgeous building from the early 1800s, and City Hall park is a gas-lit charming space. Gorgeous architecture surrounds City Hall Park, see the unparallelled Woolworth Building (A Gothic styled skyscraper that was the tallest building in the world in 1913) and please visit St. Paul's Chapel, which was the makeshift HQ for rescue workers during 9/11, it has an amazing memorial there and as the chapel is one of the oldest buildings still standing in the city, it has amazing, spectacular history. George Washington prayed there after his inauguration in the city as our first president.

8. South Street Seaport. A fun area of history, museums, shops, cobblestone streets, restaurants with a lovely view of the East River. While you're in the area go up into the financial district just a little bit and try Stone Street for a little downtown glimpse of historic NYC (great bars and restaurants).

9. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. This iconic bridge, the most beautiful in all of New York, (and I think the world) will provide you a stunning, breathtaking view of the Manhattan Skyline as you interact with one of the world's great wonders of engineering, completed in 1883 this massive suspension bridge was the tallest man-made structure in the world when it was completed.

10. Saint Patrick's Cathedral and Saint John the Divine Cathedral. Whether you're in midtown (St. Patrick's) or up by Columbia University campus (St. John) you must at least visit one of these stone wonders of Gothic architecture, they are truly breathtaking buildings and also integral to the history of NYC.
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I've been having a blast diving in to New York City's amazing history as I continue research for my new series of Gothic Victorian Paranormal tales, set in the city that never sleeps, in 1880 (didn't sleep much then either). DARKER STILL: a Novel of Magic Most Foul, releases 11/11 from Sourcebooks Fire. The characters spend a great deal of time within the first edition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art - another place I highly recommend you visit. (It's suggested donation, so pay whatever suits you.)

In closing: New York City is the safest big city in the country. Be alert, but don't be scared. It's a city to be utterly treasured. See you in my adopted hometown I love so much!



(And see you on June 27th for a very special Lady Jane's Salon where I'll be reading from and signing Strangely Beautiful #3, THE PERILOUS PROPHECY OF GUARD AND GODDESS! Admission is $5 or one gently used romance novel, all proceeds to charity)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Steampunk World's Fair, BEA and Marcon

That's right... three major events in three different states in one week... Whew! EVENT #1 WITHIN THE WEEK... SPWF, New Jersey...
First off, Steampunk World's Fair, the biggest Steampunk convention on the East Coast! I knew from my attendence last year that I could expect incredible musical guests, literary guests, vendors, and that the fashion would not disappoint. (And that I'd get to hang out with a bunch of fabulous friends. Thanks Babs at Event-ography for the picture!) All held true again this year. I was thrilled to return to the Library of Lost Literature thanks to the delight that is Stephen Segal and Quirk Books, to read from Perilous Prophecy and offer up a teaser for Darker Still, a Novel of Magic Most Foul!

There was a big author signing- very exciting, please see KatieBabs' fab rundown of the event- and there was even a pro-labor flash mob!

Earlier this year, at the Steampunk Industrial Revolution, author Miriam Rocek and I were discussing the historical and present importance of key female labor union activists. From there was born a 'hey we should do a labor rally' idea and Miriam really ran with it, gathering a talented group of folks to not only rush through the con on Saturday with signs and flyers (Thank you Painless Parker) in a flash-mob, but then on Sunday to an assembled crowd, speakers discussed historical figures and precedents in the Union struggle born of the 19th century. As a member of all three performers' unions; Actors Equity, Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, I certainly feel passionate about the role of Unions past and present. I spoke on Clara Lemlich and the Uprising of the 20,000 to offer a bit of historical context to labor battles we still fight today. Monique Poirer and Pablo Miguel Alberto Vazquez spoke brilliantly on the fluidity of class in Steampunk as an opportunity for dialogue, the progressive side of Steampunk, Painless Parker led us in Solidarity Forever, Ay-leen the Peacemaker taught us about the sugar cane strikes and Eli August wrote a gorgeous song inspired by the Cripple Creek Miner's Strike. A look to the past, a mirror to the present, with anti-union bills either passed or pending in many states in the country today, a huge battle rages within our borders and between the classes. Steampunk isn't just about playing dress-up. Frankly, it shouldn't be. Not that I don't love the dressing up, oh, you know I do. But I want more than just pretty things at my events; I want intellectual discourse and for the world to be a better place than it was in the 19th century and than it is now. Our panel on Envisioning a Better Steam Society certainly addressed that desire and many hard-hitting issues on the grounds of gender, class and race. Led fluidly and always capably by the amazing Ay-Leen and Jaymee Goh of Silver Goggles, I've either attended or been a part of many of these panels and each time I learn more and more and come away with a greater appreciation of the complexity and diverse viewpoints of these core issues- ever deepening and always important.
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THEN... EVENT #2 WITHIN THE WEEK... BOOK EXPO AMERICA, NYC...
One day to change out the regalia and don my business gear for three days with the Publishing Industry during BEA; Book Expo America. I held court at both the Sourcebooks and the Dorchester booth, as well as a stint at the Romance Writers of America booth, where my books went quickly into excited hands- I was certainly excited to sign them too! It was a thrilling few days, with lots of great meetings and a ton of very special encounters. The great thing about BEA is it encourages a ton of bloggers to come in for the event and I met SO MANY wonderful familiar faces in the blog-o-sphere that I'd yet to meet in person. My Twitter feed was very active with excitement and familiar bloggers got lots of hugs. :) I am PSYCHED to report that the 100 Advanced Reader Copies of Darker Still, a Novel of Magic Most Foul were in high demand and were gone in under 20 minutes during my signing. Thanks EVERYONE who contributed to the buzz- I feel very blessed to be at Sourcebooks with this series. I can't wait to share it with you in November. Thanks so much to the many bloggers who I can call friends who have helped get the word out and have shown keen and enthusiastic interest in this book! I've been really thrilled with the many "Waiting on Wednesday" memes that have featured Darker Still so far - thanks, blogger buddies, you make the sun rise in my sky! :)

THEN... EVENT #3 WITHIN THE WEEK... MARCON, OHIO
And then it was off on a long drive with Stella Price and her awesome fiance, a delightful road-trip to MarCon in Columbus, OH. A hometown run is always nice, and it's far better with fun company. I was thrilled to meet the fun and engaging members of the Airship Archon, they were AWESOME co-panelists with me on topics like Victorian 101 and Steampunk/Neo-Victorianism - how it is and isn't like the 19th century, and I look forward to keeping in touch with them and with more of the Ohio Steampunk and Neo-Victorian community.
Oh, and by the way - I'm A Literary Guest of Honour for the Steampunk Empire Symposium in Cincinnati next year! Huzzah! Very, very excited and honoured. -- So, MarCon provided some time with family and friends from long ago, which was a very nice touch to my maddening week.
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Truly, I'm exhausted- but in the good way. I'm out talking passionately about spooky paranormal topics, history and ideas, culture and society, topics big and small throughout geekdom and all with the honour of presenting my own professional work along the way- what could be better than that? Well... writing the next book. And that, I have to do. I'll have a few posts here and there, but it'll be a quiet summer here on the blog and on my various social medias as I attempt to turn in my next two books on time; the last Strangely Beautiful novel and the next in the Magic Most Foul series, and the deadlines close in. So much to do... so little time...
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A STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL DEAL:
For Sony eReader customers! The Strangely Beautiful saga has been bundled in a special deal until June 6th only! Bundle includes books 1-3 in the Strangely Beautiful saga, as well as "A Christmas Carroll" novella (Strangely Beautiful 2.5)! Order Here...
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All right - now, truly, off to work! Cheers and blessings!