Nicole Peeler's Blog, page 6

January 7, 2013

[image error]I’m super excited to announce that Kevin Hearne will be doing a PUBLIC presentation here at Seton Hill!

Here’s the deets:

Date: January 8, Seton Hill University, Cecilian Hall, main Administration building. There’s a campus map and directions on the website.

Time:  7 pm

Subject: “The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of Epic Fantasy & What Other Genres Can Learn From It,”

With signing and reception afterward, starting at 8. Books will be on hand to buy and you can indulge in some of Seton Hill’s AMAZING cookies. They’re made with crack, I swear!

I will also be wandering around, so I can sign any babies and/or bums. Also books, I suppose. But definitely say hi if you attend!
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Published on January 07, 2013 05:45 • 53 views

December 25, 2012

Tempest RebornHello my darlings! I thought all of you deserved a Christmas present, a teaser from Tempest Reborn. This scene is from quite early in the book, so it doesn’t give anything away. Enjoy! And let me know what you think. :)

[Gotcha,] the creature said, almost gleefully. And just as the Red got close enough for me to see the hungry gleam in her emerald green eyes and smell the sulfur on her breath, the Red disappeared with an audible pop.

The White roared in confusion, rushing toward where its mate had just been, but like a ghost in front of it, there arose the glittering golden form of the monks’  manifested power. This time it was in the shape of a phoenix, and it glided toward the White on silent wings, an act which seemed to confuse the White even more.

The ivory, pearlescent dragon skidded to a stop, snapping its jaws at the phoenix flying toward it.

That gave me just enough time to reinvoke the labrys and run forward a few paces, where I took what I hoped was a Xena-like power stance—my feet spread about shoulder’s length apart as I held the labrys with both hands, its power coiling up inside me like I was winding a Jack-in-the-box. I’d come up with a plan in that instant. It was either a really good plan, or a really dumb plan, but I wasn’t going to know which until I did it.

Ryu joined me a second later, adding his strength to my own. I think it was only then he realized how puny it was, in comparison with how powerful I’d become.

“Get back!” I yelled at him. “Get back and shield yourself!”

I flicked my eyes to him, to make sure he obeyed, and I saw his indecision. I’d hidden behind him for so long, no wonder he couldn’t imagine a scenario in which he hid behind me.

This time, I went ahead and yelled, “Ryu, get back! You need to protect the monks! I have a plan!”

My words about the monks snapped the baobhan sith into action and he turned on his heel to dart back toward the door.

I turned back to the White just in time to see the glittering phoenix run straight into the dragon’s face…and disappear.

Realizing he’d been fooled, the White galloped toward me with a roar of irritation.

Anyan, I prayed. If you’re in there, stop this now.

But the dragon kept coming, breathing out those jets of powerful air that hit my shields like a Mack truck.

“Anyan!” I shouted, done with prayer. “Stop!”

My words did nothing. They didn’t even appear to register with the creature.

With a heavy heart, I played my card.

Opening my arms wide at the very last second, when the White was nearly upon me, I let all that power I’d been coiling blast forward. It caught the White square in the chest, lifting the dragon off its feet and sending it crashing down, a dozen yards behind it, where it skidded on its back toward the end of the helipad.

It lay still for a few minutes, and I prayed I hadn’t killed it.

“Anyan!” I shouted again. Maybe it would get to its feet, and the White would be knocked out, and Anyan could take control, tell us how to get rid of the White…

But when the dragon finally did rise, it was to gaze at me with green eyes full of hate.

Carefully, I invoked phase two of my plan. I held my trembling knees still with an iron engagement of will, and I made the labrys blaze as if that hit with which I’d just leveled the White was merely what I had on for starters.

The dragon’s green eyes narrowed as it assessed its chances, alone against the champion. And then it slipped backward, off the end of the building, beating a hasty retreat.

Only when it was far out of range did I let my knees unlock, sending me downward in an ungainly slide.

The truth was, I’d blasted the White with everything I had, and then bluffed more power.

“Jane!” Ryu said, catching me as I toppled the rest of the way to the ground. My ex hugged me close, telling me what a great job I’d done.

I guess that, technically, we’d won that round.

But I’d felt only loss when confronted with the White’s cruel jade eyes.

Happy Holidays my lovelies! Mwah!


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Published on December 25, 2012 04:00 • 166 views

December 22, 2012

Howdy folks! It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate consumerism and overeating. Yay!

I’ve had a few people ask me what I’m buying people this year, so I thought I’d do an Xmas edition of Things I Like.

I’m always a big fan of buying people music, and here’s what I’ve been listening to. First off, and rather obsessively since I first heard it at my hairdressers a few months ago and Shazzamed the shit out of it, is the Lumineers. They’re so fun!

And speaking of fun, one of my fave albums of this year is, indeed, Fun.

I am always and completely obsessed with The Gaslight Anthem, and their latest album, Handwritten, is sublime:

I do like to send out books, too, and the books I’ve sent out this holiday season include Christopher Moore’s Sacre Bleu:

And DeLillo’s White Noise, which I think is a must read for anyone living today who likes to think about shit:

I’m also a big fan of the boxed set as a present, especially if you’re pretty confident that the person will enjoy the book. And Gail Carriger’s fabulous Parasol Protectorate series just came out in a boxed set:

Here’s other book recs:

Mystery: Juliet Blackwell, Elizabeth Peters, Sophie Littlefield, Victoria Laurie, Kate Carlisle, and this beauty, for the person who has read everything:

For Urban Fantasy: Jaye Wells, Kevin Hearne, Diana Rowland, Mark Henry, and the classic Diana Tregarde series, by Mercedes Lackey.

For you YA-ers, this little gem will brighten any sick (in the head’s) child’s day:

Or an adult’s, as I loved it.

For something completely different, a book that I gobbled up because it’s as beautiful as she is, Rachael Herron’s Life in Stitches:

And, finally, for anyone out there who read Fifty Shades and thought, “but nothing really happens???” you can buy something by Denise Townsend. She’s filthy, and lots happens. They happen all over each others’ faces, in fact.

As for where I did my shopping, I bought almost everything from one place this year: To say I’m obsessed is an understatement. It has the best stuff, ever, and it’s all completely random and cool. In fact, I was just in a very chic boutique in Haight Ashbury, in SF, and I was all, “Seen this stuff on Fab, yawn.” ;)

So there’s a few recs for your Xmas shopping, or for you, as I believe a big part of surviving the holidays is with head phones on, reading a book. :)

Anything you’ve read/listened to/enjoyed this year you would like to share?


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Published on December 22, 2012 07:01 • 45 views

December 19, 2012

When I last left you, I was asleep on Juliet’s table. It happens! Probably more often than we will ever know. The next morning dawned bright and early (emphasis on bright and early), and Sophie took me to what might be the Coolest Place on Earth: the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland.

Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland

Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland

It was designed by Julia Morgan, the same lady who designed Hearst Castle and the first woman to gain entrance to l’École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. And it’s an AMAZING ode to death…….. Not that you’d know by the festive decor.

Stunning entry...

Stunning entry…

And it DID win 2009′s Best of the Bay award for “Best Place to Spend Eternity.” I find this award hilariously inappropriate for so many reasons.

I find this insanely hilarious.

I find this insanely hilarious.

Like most writers, I am fascinated by things like death and cemeteries and I’ve visited a LOT over the years. But I’ve never seen anything like this. The place is full of exquisite detail. Unlike somewhere like Highgate, which is chaos, this is uniform even as nothing is the same–not the carvings, or the pillars, or the placement of the various urns.

All the details!

All the details!

And some of those urns were in the shape of books…

The urns were all sorts, including books...

The urns were all sorts, including books…

And there were all sorts of open, green spaces with decorated trees. There’s also tons of natural light and I’ve never been anywhere as peaceful as I found this place. Although we did have a hilarious moment where I asked Sophie what sort of tree that was, and she gave me a funny look and said it was the little known “multi-fruit true, which grows both pears and apples, and is native to California.” I gave her a wide-eyed stare for at least three and a half seconds till I realized she was taking advantage of my innocence and naivete. That scandalous Sophie!

I want to live here, amongst the fake trees and the dead.

I want to live here, amongst the fake trees and the dead.

Sophie also uses the Chapel of the Chimes and the huge surrounding cemetery to find names for characters, a practice I love doing, too. And you can’t help but want to tell the stories of the people interred or memorialized within, especially when you’re confronted with things like this–stories begging to be told.

Begs to be told...

Begs to be told…

After our AM constitutional, we went back to Sophie’s and worked, worked, worked.And then Sophie took out her enormous meat to massage it with a garlic poultice she’d made the night before. Soon she covered it in bacon, ready to be baked. But it wasn’t yet time for dinner…

It was time for a taco truck and dress shopping with Rachael, naturally! The taco truck was delicious, although they did try to kill me with a burrito that was bigger than an anaconda. It was perverse. Here’s the evil on wheels:

Street meat!

Street meat!

Then we went dress shopping in San Francisco, at Bettie Page in the Haight. I did not find a dress, but I did get a contact high from all the smoking hippies and a terrible craving for Ben & Jerry’s, which I curbed, not least because Sophie’s enormous meat awaited us.

And boy, did it await us! That night our friends came over to partake of Sophie’s meat. It was the annual Christmas dinner of the Pens Fatales, although we were short a few Pens. But we had enough food for hordes, of course, and we ate a lot of it. We also might have drank a lot, and for some reason I made everyone watch this video of John Tavolta and Jamie Lee Curtis:

I’m not sure what inspired that video, although the ridiculous burrito followed by Sophie’s enormous meat probably had something to do with it. We ate a LOT that day, and I distinctly remember lying on the floor at some point, moaning I’d never eat again…

Until the next day of course. We wrote all morning, being Very Good Girls. But then we were less good girls, when we went to the Merritt Bakery in Oakland. Merritt’s will not let you bring laptops, but they will serve you one of my all time favorite things:

Fried chicken hurling itself onto a waffle, presumably in heaven.

Fried chicken hurling itself onto a waffle, presumably in heaven.

Fried chicken and waffles. Oh sweet baby Jesus. Here’s the real thing:



Ironically, because we couldn’t bring our laptops, we came up with the Best Idea Ever. It was Julie, Sophie and me, although Rachael was with us in spirit. And I can’t talk about what we came up but it’s genius and amazing and wonderful and a group project which we’ve all been secretly in our heart of hearts preparing for all our lives. Or something. But really, we were so excited about it and I really think inspiration hit because we were eating fried chicken and waffles, with lots of butter and syrup, because that is a sacred act guaranteed to bring us closer to the divine.

Or just angina.

After lunch we worked more, then Sophie and I went out on a date to a Spanish restaurant. I love these ladies for so many reasons, but one of the big ones is we never run out of things to talk about. And the things we talk about! So bizarre and wide-ranging. I adore them.

I think you’re probably sensing a pattern, by now, and the next morning was no exception. Soph and I got up and went on a long walk over HUGE hills to get bagels, and then back again by Oakland’s lake. Then we went over to Julie’s to work, then we went for Thai food. It’s definitely the food I miss most living where I do, but that’s not to blame Pennsylvania. I don’t think you could source the ingredients to make a salad like this anywhere but California:

Grapefruit salad.

Grapefruit salad.

After we ate (and spent all morning plotting our Super Sekrit Project), Sophie took me to the airport. I finished Christopher Moore’s Sacre Bleu! on the way home. I loved it. And I had some drinks to go with it, as, on the way to San Francisco, I’d given my seat up so a nice couple could sit together. It’s a long plane ride to be stuck apart, and I’m feeling romantical at the moment. Anyway, she turned out to be a Southwest stewardess in disguise, and she gave me all these drink tickets.


It was like karma that gave booze! I passed two to my seatmates and kept the other two for Gin o’Clock, which my liver needed like a perforation or two.

And eventually I found myself in Illinois, where I’m bonding with family and writing. But I am writing, and part of that’s because I was with the girls. I know it sounds ridiculous to fly across the country to write in various friend’s kitchens, but it was so worth it. They are a reminder of how to write (they are such professionals where I am still so much a fumbler in the dark) and why I write–I write to meet people like them and to spend time with people like them. They’re really as much muses as they are friends, and it was funny that I was reading Sacre Bleu while there, which is all about a muse.

I am not getting overly sentimental. I think I might still be drunk on laughter (and not the Glenfiddich, really). So that was my latest trip to Oakland, and I already have another planned for this summer.

What about you guys? Where or with whom do you find your inspiration?

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Published on December 19, 2012 19:32 • 26 views

December 17, 2012

Hi folks!

I’m in California at the moment, soaking up the love of some of my favorite people, Rachael Herron, Sophie Littlefield, and Juliet Blackwell. It’s all a bit of a mad debauch, which is exactly what I needed post-semester’s end. At the same time, being around my serious author pals is a great way to switch back into writing-mode from teaching-mode, something I definitely need to do as I have SO MUCH to write this break.

But before I insinuate it’s all work and no play, we are definitely managing to play. A lot. Here are some of the highlights…. :)

Let’s start with Humboldt Fog, one of my two SF food obsessions…It’s a blue goat cheese. Heaven on bread? It was waiting for me when I got to Rachael’s house. Love!

Best cheese ever? A serious SF obsession.

Best cheese ever? A serious SF obsession.

Also waiting for me was my new friend, Clementine. It was love at first full body press:

My new friend, Clementine.

My new friend, Clementine.

After a fab day at Rachael’s, we eventually moved on to Sophie’s, where we ate Indian food and made author piles:

Author pile!

Author pile!

I do love an author pile!

That's my

That’s my “gah” face. :)

And the next morning Sophie fed me bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon. I am a simple soul, and that basically means we are now engaged. At least in my world.

Sophie keeps feeding me bagels and lox. I LOVE HER.

Sophie keeps feeding me bagels and lox. I LOVE HER.

Sophie also bought an enormous piece of meat, which Julie couldn’t stop handling.

Julie can't get enough of Sophie's big meat.

Julie can’t get enough of Sophie’s big meat.

And speaking of enormous, no trip to the Bay area is complete without the requisite visit to Good Vibrations, not least to see their collections of antique vibrators. I get flashbacks to “The Yellow Wallpaper” era hysteria treatments, and we had some great talks about these issues as we wandered around, me poking my finger into all the toys (I can’t be taken anywhere).

Antique vibrator display at Good Vibrations, Lakeview. A trip to SF isn't complete without visiting a GV store.

Antique vibrator display at Good Vibrations, Lakeview. A trip to SF isn’t complete without visiting a GV store.

Then I went back to Julie’s amazing house. It’s amazing on a number of levels, not least of which is the fact that you never know what you’ll find lurking in the corners:

You never know what you're going to find stashed in a corner at Julie's house.

You never know what you’re going to find stashed in a corner at Julie’s house.

Then we were made a real French dinner by a real Frenchman, including french butter. I’d been listening to Chris Moore’s The Fool while driving to IL so you’ll have to excuse me for the added swearing.

Fucking french butter for fucking french food. (I've been listening to Chris Moore's The Fool again, obviously)

Fucking french butter for fucking french food. (I’ve been listening to Chris Moore’s The Fool again, obviously)

Dinner was moules frites and it was GORGEOUS!

Dinner is prepared!

Dinner is prepared!

For dessert we had ananas flambé, which is French for lighting a pineapple on fire.

We're here to light your pineapples on fire.

We’re here to light your pineapples on fire.

The results were delicious. And then I fell asleep on the dinner table (no joke).

Post incineration.

Post incineration.

So that was the first two days of my visit! Needless to say there has also been much plotting and planning and talk of the best way to murder people and how to get them caught by clever sleuths and lots of jokes about enormous meat. Oh, and burritos. But that’s later in the visit!

More to come soon……….. ;)

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Published on December 17, 2012 08:47 • 63 views

December 7, 2012

It’s been a crazy week here at Casa Peeler, with all sorts of ups and downs. Mostly ups though, and some huge ones, including FINISHING THIS SEMESTER’S GRADING.

So I’m feeling pretty awesome about the world and my place in it. So awesome, I thought I had to share my feelings with you…



And if you also feel like sharing, how do you celebrate those special moments?

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Published on December 07, 2012 12:16 • 64 views

November 23, 2012

With the manga version of “Something Wikkid This Way Comes” out this week on iTunes (more platforms to follow), from Yen Press, I’m sharing some of Cassandra Jean’s glorious interpretations of the girls from Triptych.

And I’ve saved the most titillating for last. Holy titillation, Batman!

Don’t hate me because my manga is beautiful. Go buy it and let me know what you think of Yen’s interpretation. ;)

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Published on November 23, 2012 04:00 • 41 views

November 21, 2012

Here’s another teaser from the manga version of “Something Wikkid This Way Comes,” out this week on iTunes (more platforms to follow), from Yen Press and featuring the amazing Cassandra Jean’s art.

This is a slightly sexier teaser, which for spoiler purposes I will claim is Shar channeling the eternal Molly Bloom and her epic affirmation at the end of Joyce’s Ulysses.

It’s not really, but it work. ;) And it’s hot, right?


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Published on November 21, 2012 04:00 • 52 views

November 19, 2012

Exciting news! The manga version of “Something Wikkid This Way Comes” is out this week on iTunes (more platforms to follow), from Yen Press. Yen did such a great job, and found a phenomenal artist to draw Cappie and the girls. So, I thought I’d give you some teasers that illustrate how gorgeous Cassandra Jean’s art is for this thing. So today, Wednesday, and Friday, stay tuned for some titillating art samples.

Emphasis on the first syllable. ;)

The first image is one of my absolute favorites, and “amazeballs” is about all I can say about it. I LOVE IT. The devil, throughout this comic, is in the details, and this gives you a great example of how this idea works. Enjoy and let me know what you think! :)

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Published on November 19, 2012 11:22 • 65 views

November 6, 2012

Hey folks! Just found that our little Jane has been nominated by RT Book Review Magazine for Urban Fantasy Protagonist of 2012. She’s with some VERY good company on this one, alongside Richelle Mead and Diana Rowland’s characters.

A TON of other members of the League of Reluctant Adults are on there, as well as a bunch more nominated in the YA category. Basically, RT proves again that…

League Rules. :)

And if you’re wondering, I will be at the RT Convention this year, doing a ton of panels and workshops. Hope to see you there!

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Published on November 06, 2012 11:31 • 70 views