Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Release Day!

Go forth into the world this day and procure a copy of The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker! Huzzah!
My CONTEST launches today... DETAILS
Latest reviews and interviews (note which ones contain giveaways)
Interview at Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Books (one of my fave interviews, with unexpected questions)

Interview at Darkly Reading (includes giveaway)

Charming review at Buckeye Girl Reads - I love how this review is organized

THANKS to these wonderful bloggers and reviewers that I've been linking to these past weeks and will continue to link to as more posts go up - they have given me their time, their energy, are participating in all sorts of release week and Blog Tour festivities with me - They are the reason Strangely Beautiful has flown boldly out into the world and they are such a blessing to me.

THANKS in advance for your support release week! You'll find The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker out in all your major bookstores, likely on Borders new paperback tables and definately on Barnes & Noble's "New Paperback" towers!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Darkly Luminous love...

Ohio sure is keeping me busy! I've spoken to classrooms all over southern Ohio and made a bit of time to visit my Cincinnati Shakespeare Company cohorts and see Tony Kushner's Angels in America in a stunning production at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati.

The Reviews are pouring in! The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker's recent highlights:

THANKS Mel and Liz at True-Blood.Net, the Original Fansite of HBO's True Blood for again proving to be such champions of Miss Percy. (And for being in love with Alexi. Not like he needs the extra ego... But it flatters the author...) They're doing a book giveaway in addition to having written such lovely reviews as these:

From Mel:
"Book two of the trilogy is as beautifully written and intricately plotted as the first, providing a gripping story that’s alternately heart warming, thrilling, sad, funny, romantic, and generally wonderful." ... "Reviewing the Strangely Beautiful series is such a challenge because it not only defies description (is there a word for romance-mystery-Victorian-mythological-gothic-adventure?), but the story is so densely woven that to reveal almost any detail is to spoil something else. Here’s the gist: I cannot recommend this book, this series, or this author enough. If you love a good story, if exquisite writing is your thing, if you want to laugh and cry and feel when you read, then join me in being completely lost to Miss Percy."
From Liz:
"Have you ever read a book that literally filled you up? This book has everything to meet your literary needs: mystery, joy, sweetness, terror and sadness." ... "The story’s climax is everything you could expect from Hieber. Terrifying and heartbreaking and as is always the case in war, costly. Leanna Renee Hieber is an artist and her words paint masterpieces, but don’t take my word for it. Read both books yourself and see if you can escape her magic. I’m betting you’ll be just as enchanted as I am, but fair warning – Alexi is mine, stolen from Ms. Hieber when she wasn’t looking."

-- Alexi has his dance card quite filled, it would seem, come next year's Academy ball...

Thanks to Stacey at Publisher's Weekly Beyond Her Book for this great blurb:
"What I loved the most about this gorgeously written installment of Percy’s tale was witnessing our heroine’s journey from a timid girl to a confident woman. A close second was the peek I got into the lives of the other members of the guard and their predecessors. Leanna’s way of making these characters seem real makes their life and death struggle against the forces of evil that much more compelling. I cannot wait to see what this talented writer does next." - Stacey for PW's BHB

The Darkly Luminous love continues - Thanks to these wonderful reviewers for their valuable time and their kind words:

Fantasy Literature

Smexy Books

Brooke Reviews

Book Faery

Darkly Reading

Lurv a la Mode

Passionate Booklover

Tuesday, April 27th is release day! You know I'll so dearly appreciate your support during that critical time that is release week! The books will be easy to find on Barnes & Noble's new paperback towers and on the new paperback tables around Borders.

Cheers and blessings!

Monday, April 12, 2010

VERY BIG (and Strangely Beautiful) News...

UPDATE 6/13/10:
CONGRATULATIONS to musical director Kenny Seymour and the cast of Memphis for winning the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical! Memphis also won Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score! We are so excited to have Kenny on the Strangely Beautiful team!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, the most interesting and exciting news I can possibly offer...

As seen on Publishers' Marketplace:
Report of Option Agreement Sale:
"Musical stage rights to Leanna Renee Hieber’s, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker described as a Victorian “Ghostbusters” about an eerie young woman whose skin is white as snow and the cadre of characters who believe she may be the key to an ancient prophecy, sold to Mt. Clair Entertainment to be adapted by the author with music and lyrics by Kenny Seymour, Jim Abbott and Nicholas Roman Lewis."

Further press details on the option agreement, care of Nicholas Roman Lewis:
"The ghostly, Gothic Victorian Fantasy The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker is heading for the legit musical stage. The author Leanna Renee Hieber will write the book of the musical with music and lyrics by Kenny Seymour (Broadway credits include music direction for Memphis and arrangements for The Wiz) and Nicholas Roman Lewis (creative development for The Alchemist and They Call Me La Lupe) with additional orchestrations and arrangements by Jim Abbott (Wicked, Bombay Dreams, Disney’s Tarzan)."

Oh. My. Goodness. How about that?!

So. If you haven't read The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, now is the time to do so. Buy it. AND this couldn't have better timing as we count down to the continuation of the Strangely Beautiful series on April 27th. Make sure you're on board for The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker. Buy it.

Well, like the saying goes, you can take the girl out of the theatre... But you can't take the theatre out of the girl. I suppose I wasn't meant to entirely walk away from that magical possibility that is a darkened stage after all. What I've heard of the music composed so far is haunting and gorgeous!!!! I'll be starting work on the script in the coming months. (I do have to get out there and sell Darkly Luminous, you know)

The Strangely Beautiful joy of returning to a childhood dream...

We had our first production meeting today, backstage of Memphis at the Shubert theatre, Nicholas, Kenny and I. I am joined in this venture by two wonderfully talented men, and I could not feel more blessed. And as I was on my way down 44th street, I have to say... I walked past The Majestic theatre, past The Phantom of the Opera and my whole life unfolded before me, all my childhood dreams, and it was everything I could do not to weep with amazement.

You see, I started writing my first book when I was 12 years old, a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, because I was obsessed with that Broadway show. I fell in love with the theatre and began my trajectory towards becoming a professional actress. And I always kept writing. My two loves have always gone hand in hand. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my great loves would come together like this, that when I stepped backstage inside a Broadway theatre for the first time today, it would be for the first production meeting of the musical of MY book... the book of my heart, Miss Percy's book. A ten year labor of love, come to this unexpected new possibility. For her, and for all those who feel they are marginalized in society, who feel alone and disconnected, and wonder why they find beautiful things others think are strange... this show, once it comes together, it will be for you. And it will be full of magic. Because things like this just don't happen every day.

Um... and can I just say that we talked about holograms at the production meeting?! For the ghosts. *muppet flailing* THIS. IS. SO. COOL.

I just have to take time out to give a big shout-out to God. God brought gifts into my life, surrounded me with blessed and talented people, and has brought it all together for this incredible moment. The show may never get off the ground, but nothing can take away the incredible fact I never thought I'd get this far to begin with - and how much of a joy it is to dream and dream big. As an adult I don't tend to dream as big as I did when I was a kid. But I'm now reminded to dream as big as ever. You never know what might happen.
And huge thanks to Nicholas Roman Lewis, who wrote this wonderful paragraph for our press releases, words that are truly music to an author's ear:
"Kenny and I had been looking for a musical project for at least two years. Leanna's book had enthralled me from the moment I first read it as a manuscript so it was literally always on my desk staring at me. I knew this would make a wonderful musical but perhaps slightly daunting, after all, the book is full of ghosts, magic and murder. And then I thought, "the book is full of ghosts, magic and murder...this MUST be a musical." The characters and epic nature of the story lend themselves to song and I knew that Kenny shared my desire to incorporate sweeping cinematic themes with traditional musical theater styles. The icing on the cake is I think every writers dream; a lead character white as snow and strangely beautiful....I think I hear a song."

Counting down!

Oh my goodness, it’s two weeks until release day!

I’ve been keeping quite busy, between work on set and in the media tour studio where I had one of the best days ever with Queen Latifah who is straight up the coolest, most wonderful woman EVER – I mean, Tim Gunn, Queen Latifah – I’m getting SO spoiled by awesome celebrities. I was also got paid to ice skate all day in Central Park while filming a day on The Dark Fields. I love my side jobs.

And I love my next book. The Darkly Luminous race begins!
Beginning April 26th the Darkly Luminous Haunted London Blog Tour begins! Come along for the tour to learn about all the real ghost stories I use in the book and read exclusive excerpts! And there’s a new giveaway each day! See the schedule.

I’ll be heading home to Ohio in a week, where I’ll be speaking to my alma maters Edgewood High School (where I get to see one of my favourite young and talented authors Sammi) and Miami University, and also at Lebanon School, where I get to see another of my favourite young authors Hanna – a writing tournament winner who single-handedly lobbied to bring me in to her school and has been running quite the countdown to release day. She rocks.) And then I get to have a party in my hometown Barnes & Noble on April 27th. Then it’s the RT Booklovers Convention! Then it’s back to New York for more events. Then Jersey! Then Arizona! Then the world! *giddy exhaustion just thinking about it*

Strangely Beautiful and Darkly Luminous Honours:
1. I got the call that The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker is a finalist in the “Mainstream Novel with Romantic Elements” category of the Write Touch Awards! Yay!

2. AND The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker ALSO finaled in the 2010 Orange County Book Buyer’s Best Awards! Go Percy go!

3. The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker gets 4 stars from RT Book Reviews Magazine! The review:
"The second book in the Strangely Beautiful series is delightful. This ghostly, Victorian fantasy is well written with a unique mythology. An intriguing and atmospheric tale with an enchanting romance that is finally consummated. Readers should start with book one to get a feel for the haunting backstory." - Reviewed by Gail Pruszkowski

Other lovely Darkly Luminous reviews on the web:
4. Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Books
5. Larissa’s Life

More beautiful Strangely Beautiful reviews on the web:
6. Parajunkee's View
7. Book Faery
8. My Blog 2.0

In life news:
Congratulations to my beloved and fabulous author friend Marianne Mancusi and her wonderful husband, Jacob Beach. Traveling to Texas for her beautiful wedding and seeing the bluebonnets in bloom across the countryside was magic. Pure magic. I love these two. AND THERE'S NOTHING BETTER THAN DANCING GOTH AT A RECEPTION! This is the second time VNV Nation’s “Beloved” has been put onto a wedding playlist because I was in attendance. I’m going for a record.

Leanna’s upcoming schedule:
The Romantic Times Booklovers Convention: April 28-May 2, Columbus
If you’re in Columbus Ohio for RT, come see me at one of my many panels and appearances – I’ll be at the Intergalactic Bar and Grille, a panelist on the "Move over Vampires and Werewolves! There are New Creatures Stalking the Night" panel, the "Fantasy Romance, Two Flavors that Taste Great Together" panel, the "Kick-Ass Fight Scenes" panel, I'll be playing Jane Austen for Sabrina Jeffries' Regency Bingo - fun! I'll be signing books at the big BOOK FAIR, hosting Lady Jane’s Salon starring bestselling authors Linnea Sinclair, Delilah Marvelle and Sabrina Jeffries, the Dorchester publisher's spotlight and at the Dorchester Author/Bookseller Party and dance party!

And New Yorkers, I’m reading and signing at both Lady Jane’s Salon (May 3) and KGB Fantastic Fiction (May 19th), so I hope to see you there!

Stay tuned for Very Big (and Strangely Beautiful) News...