Friday, July 29, 2011

Pet Peeve

I've got to say, I'm not a fan of the online ads or widgets with sound. Yes, they look and sometimes even sound cool, but I still have a terrible startle whenever a wave or thunderstorm suddenly crashes through my computer. I'm a multitasker, so I then have to figure out which recently opened page has the offending ad, which is often a challenge as many people--this blog included--have a parade of widgets along the margins. It doesn't help that I often listen to music or a podcast while I'm working, so the volume is turned up and really makes the sound effects prominent.  

How about you--YES or NO to widgets with sound?

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Geeking Out

I think I need to get a babysitter.

I am SO geeking out over the new Spielberg that's coming out tomorrow. And check out this movie site The frikkin' home page feels like a trailer. And then there's the actual trailer:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


And the winner of City of Bones is...


Congrats! We had a bunch of great responses, but I had to give the props to Lexi's poetic submission:

What would you do for a Klondike bar?
I would stick my head in a honey jar,
I would whack a football player with a crowbar.
I would immerse myself in a pool of tar,
Even aim to catch a jaguar.

What would you do for that delectable dessert?
I would ignore every Facebook alert,
I would eat ten thousand pounds of sherbert.
I would claim to be a Twilight expert,
Even attend school sporting my nightshirt.

What would you do for that chilly piece of heaven?
I would endure a snooty high-society luncheon,
I would catapult over a bottomless canyon.
I would scale a monstrous mountain,
Even dougie to Rebecca Black's weekend expression.

Care to join me?

Lexi, please confirm your mailing address through the Ganzfield contact form, although I think I already have it.

Upcoming Blog Jog

Hi folks,

Disgruntled Bear will be part of a Blog Jog that starts on Sunday, August 7th. For those of you who don't know what a "Blog Jog" is, it's a series of blogs that link to each other so that people can browse through dozens of sites and see what's out there that might interest them. For those of you who DO know what a Blog Jog is, it's a series of blogs that link to each other so that people can browse through dozens of sites and see what's out there that might interest them.

But you already knew that.

If you have a blog or website you'd like to show off to people, you can find out more about this event here:

Whether you have a blog or not, mark your calendar. Savvy bloggers usually post contests and giveaways, so you could win a bunch of free books, gift cards, posters, a lovely glass angel figurine, etc. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Five Ways that Writing is like Working Out

5. Most people can't make money at it.

4. Talking about it with people who don't do it will almost certainly result in them nodding politely and looking for a way to get away from the conversation.

3. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and the more you can accomplish in a session.

2. Doing either to excess seems to release endorphins and result in a high.

1. Both are a lot easier to do when someone else is watching the kids.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Writing Tidbit #2: Adverbs

Kate cautiously typed the first sentence. Perhaps I should tell people about adverbs, she thought ponderingly. Should I simply tell people absolutely not to use them, or to use them sparingly? Hmm... perhaps I should tell them why editors view them cringingly. 

Adverbs used excessively make a story read amateurishly. They are a very, very good example of "telling, not showing," which is something that writers should avoid religiously. While there are some places for adverbs to be used appropriately, those isolated instances should be chosen consciously. Too many will almost certainly result in agents and editors blithely passing on your submission.

Note from DB: Ugh--that was painful to write and proof. If you or some writer you know has a problem saying no to adverbs, consider joining AA (no, not that one). I'm sure you can stop overusing adverbs; the only question is... how? 

And you know this post wouldn't be complete without:

Friday, July 22, 2011


You don't have to tell people everything, but what you DO tell them should be true.

If you owe people money, pay them promptly.

If you promise to do something, follow through.

Yeah, not a funny post, but it needed to be said. Pity the unfortunate individual who has me thinking about this, for that person has earned the wrath of the Disgruntled Bear.

Oh, yes. Pity.

Happy weekend! Stay cool!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Adios, Borders

It's official--Borders is liquidating, and the book industry is reeling. People in publishing are saying things like, "Now print runs will be smaller, since the publishers will only be selling to one big chain, instead of two."


Just because Borders is closing doesn't mean people will stop buying books. The number of readers and the number of books they read isn't changing. Where they can buy them is. So all this is just kinda like the hysteria that the 24-hour news networks drum up to keep people watching and sell ad time.

If you're an author, one thing that WILL affect you is that, as these final stores close, Borders will be returning the books it hasn't sold. And those returns will show up in the minus column of your royalty statements. But once these are in the system, it's over. People will still buy books; they will just get them from Barnes & Noble, or from Amazon, or from their local indie bookstore.

But hey, if you need some bookshelves--or possibly some oversized, red letters--I bet you can get some cheap.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Giveaway Contest

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments) 
I have a second copy of City of Bones--who wants it?

To enter, post a comment below by midnight, July 26th (EDT) that includes the answer to this:

What would YOU do for a Klondike bar?

Keep your answers clean, people!

The winner is the one who makes me laugh hardest... and who has a US mailing address. Runners-up (worldwide) will receive some book SWAG I've got lying around. And for every link you make to this from your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc., I'll give you one extra chance to win some of that aforementioned SWAG (post links in your comments). Oh, and you need to be a follower of this blog.

It's not just a contest; it's also a way for me to de-clutter my office!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Writing Tidbit #1: Dialogue Tags

     Kate turned the chair backwards before sitting and leaning forward against the rails. "Okay, guys. The thing is, dialogue tags slow things down."
      Jill frowned. "What do you mean?"
     "I mean, if you can use action to indicate the speaker, you don't need a lot of 'she saids' or 'he askeds' in your writing."
     Bob raised his hand. "What about 'exclaimed,' 'responded,' or 'replied?'"
     Kate shook her head. "Avoid them. Seriously. They really don't read well. 'Said' and 'asked' are okay, but it's better to streamline everything. It's one more aspect of 'show, don't tell.' The occasional 'screamed' or 'hissed' is acceptable, too, but don't overuse them."
     Jill snorted. "What about writing your own dialogue in the third person? Isn't that a little pretentious?"
     The sword flashed across the space between them, and Jill's hand flashed up to the thin cut that welled blood across her cheek.
     Kate shrugged. "I don't take criticism well... even implied criticism."

And... scene.

Check back tomorrow for a book giveaway!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Anthology Ideas

UnCONventional is in edits right now, and it's going to be SOOO good! It's already up for pre-order on Barnes & Noble, and will be available for pre-order from most major booksellers in the next month or two, well before we officially launch it in January at Arisia.

Theme anthologies are making a comeback, and we're already considering what to do for the next one.

This is where you come in.

Got any ideas for a theme you'd like to see? Now's your chance to put them out there. Some that I've been playing with are high schools where at least one person has a magical/supernatural/paranormal ability, The Paranormal Cookbook, in which each story would start with a recipe that tied into the action--feeding the hungry werewolf that showed up at the door or the alien baby that emerged from the pod that crashed in the cornfield, that sort of thing. If you'd like to be on the mailing list when we announce our next call for submissions, please put your email address in the SHP contact form.

And speaking of pre-orders, look what's up at Amazon!

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 15, 2011


I've been waiting for this one ever since I set down Paranormalcy last year, and it's almost out! In fact, you can get a Supernaturally hit over at Harper Teen right now:

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How do you write?

When I'm doing a first draft, I make sure I write at least 1000 words a day, every day, until it's done. I'm a huge plotter, rather than a pantster, so I have a detailed idea of where each scene is going before I start it, and I almost always write scenes in order. How about you? Do you have a writing schedule, and how do you do it?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sort of a Waiting on Wednesday

Beth Revis's new book is set to come out in January. I can't wait! Given how the first book ended, I'm not sure how the story will continue. The synopsis on Goodreads doesn't help:

"The plot of this book is currently a secret..."

I mean, seriously, what is that?

At least you can now pre-order on Amazon:
A Million Suns: An Across the Universe Novel

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Check out the trailer for Betrayed, Ednah Walters's sequel to Awakened.

I recently got a chance to read an early copy, and I really enjoyed it. This series is gripping, action-filled, and just-plain-all-out entertaining. Keep an eye out for the release of Betrayed on August 1st (pre-order available here:, and check out the first book in the series, if you haven't already.


Forum (with contests, book trailers, reviews, and giveaways):

Add it to your TBR on Goodreads:

and enter for a chance to win a free copy:

Monday, July 11, 2011

And I'd like to thank...

Acknowledgements are good. And here are some great rules to follow when writing them:

If you're a writer, one thing I recommend is that you keep a Word file called "Acknowledgements." Whenever someone beta reads, helps you with research, encourages you to keep going, or otherwise contributes to your writing, make a quick note of who did what (and for which book, if you have more than one project in the works). Make sure you thank everyone involved with the business side of getting your book published, including your agent and your editor, as well as anyone who works for these folks who makes a significant contribution, like the copy editor who spends twenty hours catching those last typos in the galleys.

It's not hard, and the people involved will cherish it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Stretched Thin

I love writing and editing, but my schedule is SO full these days! So, my question for you folks is, how do you make time for your books?

Personally, I don't watch much TV anymore and I write when the kids are asleep or with the sitter. I also multi-task like crazy and my house is always cluttered, because the priorities are family, friends, and books, not housekeeping.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Hi folks,

I'm writing the next Ganzfield book now, and in the course of research, I found this lovely baby onesie:

ThinkGeek is awesome. 
And bib:

If you know of other really great baby clothes or bibs like this (if you're up on the Ganzfield series, you know who gets to wear this stuff), please post a link in comments.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Samuel L. Jackson is PERFECT for this!

Do NOT play this at work, in front of small children, or around my grandmother.

DO share this with any parents who might appreciate it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Series from Jennifer L. Armentrout

Here's the reason some of us SHP folks have been all teaser-y and cryptic in some of our recent posts: 

Coming in September, 2012

Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time. 

So, you know... squeee! 

It's already up on Goodreads, so add it to your TBR list ASAP. 

Reviewers, feel free to request a spot on the ARC list by emailing your info to: editor (at) SpencerHillPress (dot) com. Please include your name, your blog name and URL, the number of followers you have, and your mailing address for paper copies OR your format preference (PDF, ePub, mobi) for e-ARCs. The ARCs won't be out until next Spring, but if the interest we got in Half-Blood is any indication, the list will fill up fast. 

And feel free to post a congrat to Jennifer on her Facebook fansite:!/jlarmentrout

Happy Tuesday, everyone! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

Keep an eye out for an exciting ANNOUNCEMENT coming tomorrow!

Friday, July 1, 2011


First, the Book Giveaway:

Rebel Angels: Christy and Danielle
Tuck Everlasting: April X
The Tale of Despereaux: coley
Inkheart: Deniz Bevan

Interestingly, everyone has already read the Harry Potter book, so I may donate that to the middle school library here in town. Winners, please send me your mailing addresses through the Ganzfield contact form.

Second, the slogan contest:

Eliza Tilton said...
Winning: It's not all about Charlie Sheen

Andrew Leon said...
Dehydrated H2O -- Just add water!

Momo (Books Over Boys) said...
BEER - now cheaper than gas. Drink, don't drive!

Lexi said...
Manners are for people who aren't witty enough to think of good comebacks

Daniel A. Cohen said...

Time: It flies!*
*Fun not included

Ganzfield: A Minder is a terrible thing to waste.

Congratulations, everyone! Prize winners, please send me your mailing addresses through the Ganzfield contact form. Dan, please let me know which slogan you'd like in your prize pack; they both cracked me up. 

Happy weekend, everyone, and Happy 4th, My Fellow Americans!