Nicole Peeler's Blog, page 6
November 4, 2012
Hey folks! Today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite (and easiest to prepare) hors d’oeuvres. I have a theory that the best food in the world always has less than five ingredients. I am constantly proven wrong on this theory, but occasionally I’m proven right. Like with this recipe, that only has three ingredients: chopped pecans, goat cheese, and honey.
First, you want to engage in some rigorous stretching to warm up those balling muscles. Or, just dump your nuts into a bowl.
Next, take your goat cheese out of the fridge. You want it cold for maximum rollability; room temperature balls will get all runny and saggy. And nobody likes saggy balls!
When you’re ready to roll, pinch off about 1/4 of your cheese log–about a golf ball sized serving. Next, invoke Andrew Marvell and “roll all our strength, and all/ Our sweetness, up into one ball”…
And then roll your ball in your nuts.
The final step is the money shot. Drizzle yo’ honey all up top your balls. You don’t have to be fancy, I just squeeze about 2-3 tablespoons of honey right on top of each ball, so it oozes down to coat everything in its unctuous sweetness. Mmmm. Sticky.
Here are my honey covered balls in all their golden glory:
Normally I serve them on a slightly fancier tray, but these were for transport to a party. And they DO transport beautifully and can happily sit in your fridge or a cold car for a few hours or overnight.
I like to serve my balls, meanwhile, with these crackers. The cinnamon-sweetness really brings out the tartness of the goat cheese and warms up the honey:
And just because I can, a close up of the money shot. Oh yeah, drizzle that honey…
This hors d’oeuvre could not be simpler, but I do have to warn you: it will bring all the boys to the yard. So be sure to slather yourself a cracker before your balls disappear into someone else’s mouth.
Cuz we all hate it when that happens!
October 29, 2012
I’m pretty sure I have a trapped audience, what with Sandy coming in strong on the East Coast. Stay safe, all my peeps out there, and if you still have internet access I hope this cheers you up.
For everyone else, enjoy your Halloween! With the storms, I know that a lot of places have pushed trick or treating back till Saturday, which means we basically have a whole week to revel. So take advantage! It’s the best holiday EVER (after Thanksgiving) as it’s all about dressing up, letting out your inner wild thang, and eating candy. What’s not to lurve????
And if you ask me “trick or treat,” here’s what I’ll give you:
Hehehehe!!! Stay safe and dry and hope your pumpkins don’t float away!!!
October 18, 2012
Here’s some more me, y’all! Plump and perky as ever. I should come with a whipped topping. (Yes, I’m still feeling a bit crazed from lack of sleep)
First off, we have an awesome video I did for RT and the FABULOUS Morgan. She’s the best interviewer EVER, although you can get a sense of how terrified she is of what I’ll say next. Which I think we both agree is part of the fun!
The best part of this video is my friend’s head popping up right at the beginning then realizing he’s on camera and bolting. I nearly peed myself when I saw that.
You can also see the panel I did! I didn’t really get into stride until after I’d already blathered a bit. It was my first NYCC and I was in total con shock, and of course was almost late to the panel. New York makes me late, all the time, which throws off my midwestern promptness and leaves me all vaklempt. Anyway, here’s the link, but I warn you it’s looooooong! There are also much more fabulous, famous people than me on this bad boy, such as Kevin Hearne, Faith Hunter, F. Paul Wilson and others. So you can always just ignore me and bask in their glory. That’s sort of what I did when I was there!
So that’s probably more me than any of you ever wanted to see. But it was fun! And hopefully I’ll have recovered from all that fun by Monday . . . . . . . now it’s time to sleep. At 8 pm. Don’t judge!
October 16, 2012
Just got home last night from NYCC and was it ever a blast. I gave away tons of books (thanks for that, Orbit!), did two signings, spoke on a panel, and had meetings meetings meetings. My lovely editor Devi Pillai took me and my agent out to a fabulous dinner, and we talked about some very cool things. Hopefully I’ll have something to share, soon! Meanwhile, here’s the crowd at our panel way before we even started speaking. It ended up being standing room early with the guy at the door turning people away:
Of course every single one of them was there to see ME. Or not, but it was still cool. Actually, they were all there to see Kevin Hearne, who was SO MUCH FUN TO MEET. I knew he would be tons of fun, but he was even better than I expected! And if you haven’t read his books already, get on them! You will love, love, love them.
Besides doing tons of cool work stuff, NYCC was also super fun. My friends were over from the UK so we all shared an apartment, and I also got to see one of my oldest and dearest friends, Wendy. We also went to the Yen party, which was in a karaoke bar that was all private karaoke rooms…what a trip! We had this big room with all these couches and a couple of TV screens, and two microphones we could pass. There were also phones to order drinks which were then sent to our room. And everyone at Yen was AMAZING, with Kurt Hassler the ultimate host.
But that isn’t the only upcoming release I have to crow about. Because I have TWO coming up myself, and I have some covers to show you! The first is for Jane True Book Six. It is, I think, the hottest cover yet. I LOVE the black and there are DRAGONS and Jane looks HOT. Right????
You can click above to find the Kindle link, although the paperback link doesn’t exist. If you DO click on it, can you give it a “like”? Thanks!
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL, FOLKS. For even crazier things are brewing in my always chaotic career. After all, you may be wondering what I was doing hanging out with the folks from Yen, the manga publisher?
Because I gots me some manga coming out, that’s why! The short story with Triptych, “Something Wikkid This Way Comes,” is to be released as manga. Spicy hot manga. And I mean SPICEH. Here’s the cover to prove it. Don’t faint, y’all!
So what do you guys think? I, for one, am EXCITED.
September 28, 2012
Just a post telling you where I’ll be in the upcoming weeks. Next weekend finds me at BOUCHERCON, the crime convention. I’m not speaking there, just going to schmooze and see my friends, but I will definitely be around if you want something signed. Let me know on FB, on Twitter, or here in comments that you’d like to meet, and I will do what I’m famous for: hold court in the bar.
The following weekend I’ll be in Manhattan, for New York Comic Con! There I will be appearing, and I’d love to see you. For those only going Friday, I’ll be autographing at the Orbit booth at 4:00 pm. Then, on Saturday, I have the following events:
Myth Mixology: How Urban Fantasists Create the Perfect Cocktail
Date: Saturday, October 13
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
Speakers: Allison Pang , Anton Strout , F. Paul Wilson , Faith Hunter , Kevin Hearne , Kim Alexander , Nicole Peeler , Theo Lawrence
Many New Yorkers know their Manhattans, Cosmos and Long Island Iced Teas. While the average happy hour drink takes gin, rum or vodka, these authors spice things up with mystics, witches, daemons, Celtic gods and other magical beings. Join top-shelf authors, F. Paul Wilson, Kevin Hearne, Theo Lawrence, Anton Strout, Faith Hunter, Allison Pang and Nicole Peeler, as they discuss the elements of mythology that go into making your favorite cocktails of urban fantasy. Moderated by Kim Alexander from Sirius XM radio.
Sci-Fi / Fantasy
MYTH MIXOLOGY: How Urban Fantasists Create the Perfect Cocktail Autographing
Date: Saturday, October 13
1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
Location: Autographing Tables 2, 3 and 4
Speakers: Allison Pang , Anton Strout , F. Paul Wilson , Faith Hunter , Kevin Hearne , Kim Alexander , Nicole Peeler , Theo Lawrence
Come meet authors from the MYTH MIXOLOGY: How Urban Fantasists Create the Perfect Cocktail panel! There will be one line to see all the authors, starting at Autographing Table 2. Please note, guests may only sign one item per person.
NYCC has also made this awesome mobile app, on which you can create and track your schedule. Awesome!
So hopefully see you at either of these events. If not, I’ll be at RT and Dreamin’ in Dallas in the fall, for sure. And probably a few others.
September 13, 2012
It’s an anthology called CARNIEPUNK, in which I have a story called “The Inside Man.” Here’s the announcement from Publisher’s Weekly:
CARNIEPUNK, an anthology which combines the carnival setting and the world of urban fantasy, a place of deception, where monsters wait silently in the dark, featuring short stories by authors Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Seanan McGuire, Rob Thurman, Delilah Dawson, Kelly Gay, Kevin Hearne, Mark Henry, Hillary Jacques, Jackie Kessler, Kelly Meding, Allison Pang, Nicole Peeler and Jaye Wells, to Adam Wilson at Pocket, for publication in August 2013, by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media.
Fun! Huzzah! Yay!
September 8, 2012
Sorry I’ve been sooooo bad about blogging. Everything’s been crazy and blogging is always the easiest thing to conveniently forget to do. But there’s been tons going on at Casa Peeler; here’s what I’ve been up to:
School started! This semester I’m teaching two composition classes (a basic composition and our Writing About Literature for our English majors) and doing my usual MFA duties (teaching a class on building author platforms and mentoring). I’m also doing an independent study with three students that will culminate in them doing Nanowrimo. They’re all students who did my Urban Fantasy class last semester, in which they plotted out a novel in a “worldbuilding book.” Now they have to write it! Should be fun (at least for me).
I went to Anaheim/Oakland for RWA! Well, I went to Anaheim for RWA. But I went to Oakland to visit Juliet Blackwell, Sophie Littlefield, and Rachael Herron. It was a BLAST. There are pics up on my Instagram, including loads of Juliet and me acting like children at Disneyland. The whole trip was wonderful and RWA was very cool.
I went to NOLA for AAD! Which was awesome, obviously, although I came back exhausted. A lot of my friends from Shreveport now live in NOLA, and the rest all came down to see me, which was amazing. We had loads of fun, and I hung out a ton with my author friends, too. So I was doing double duty on the socializing, as well as the eating. But it was such a great time and it was SO good to be back in Louisiana and New Orleans, places I’ve come to love very much.
I sold a graphic novel! Yes, a graphic novel, of “Something Wikkid This Way Come,” the short story involving Triptych. It’s going to be manga, through Yen Press, and the initial artwork I’ve seen is already amazing. I’m so excited about this! We’ll hopefully be doing something cool for it at New York Comic Con. Because…
I’m going to New York Comic Con! I’ll be doing a panel on Myth Mixology and some signings, and generally mootching. So be sure to come see me if you’re in the area!
I’ve written a short story for an anthology I can’t talk about yet! But it’s going to be super cool and the announcement should be up shortly, and you’ll hear all of us hollering about it. I can tell you it’s another Triptych story, so if you like the girls, you’re in luck!
Other than that I’ve been working working working working working. In that order! And my soundtrack to all that work has been the new Gaslight Anthem CD, Handwritten. I may be a little obsessed. Here are a couple of tracks to make your Saturday that much brighter:
Enjoy your weekend. I’ll be working.
July 22, 2012
Hello my pretties! I’m just back from London. I was up with the birds, and have been impatiently waiting for the soup fog surrounding Greensburg to lift, so I can take my walkies.
In the meantime, I will say hello to all of you.
Being in the UK was fab, as ever. I’ve got tons of pics up on my Facebook (feel free to add me as a friend), but here’s a wee album for you in the meantime:
That first morning at Heathrow, I met up with Heather Osborn, of Samhain Publishing fame. She was in town for a Romance convention in Wales, so we shared an apartment. That night my friends came over and we played Cards Against Humanity, which was AMAZING.
The next day we went to Highgate Cemetery with Suzanne McLeod. It was so much fun and very inspiring. That night we met up with people from her publishing company, and we were also met by my friend from York, who came down to spend the week with us.
The following afternoon we went out to all the comic and books shops, then we met up with one of my fave human beings, Philip Palmer, and our wonderful editors from Orbit UK.
Friday Heather left for Wales, and I had a girls night out with my friends. It was wonderful to see them and catch up and be a bit mad together. Saturday, he and I went shopping for SHOES, and then we went to see Agatha Christie’s The Moustrap, the oldest running play in history. It was very fun, and good research for both of us.
Sunday we went to a BBQ at my friend’s in Whitton, after meeting some of his friends at a comic expo near Russell Square. We came back to Heather, returned from her own travels. Monday he went back up north to prepare for my impending visit, and Heather and I went to the V&A. It rained all day, so we weren’t able to do some of the things we wanted, but we still had a very touristy day wandering Knightsbridge and going to Harrod’s.
Tuesday Heather left for the US, and I left for York, to stay with the boy for a few days. We had a wonderful time wandering around to our favorite haunts in York and discovering new ones. We also took a day trip to Scarborough again, and I beat him at crazy golf. The day was windy and gorgeous, and I absolutely adore the seaside. So it was, altogether, just a little bit perfect.
I finally had to leave, though, and I had a typically harrowing experience of broken down trains, being towed by a recovery engine named Thunderbird (!!), barely making my flight, getting hung up at Newark for an extra few hours, then coming home to find my suitcase had been brutally gang inspected by TSA. I didn’t get home till around 2 AM that night, but as if to make up for it my car service sent a stretch limo. Watching the driver put my raggedy ass taped up suitcase into the back of that limo made up for everything, and I giggled for at least five seconds before I passed out in the backseat.
But I’m alive, although already missing the UK rather desperately. Luckily I have much to distract me, like a SHIT TON of work and, even MORE distracting, RWA is coming up!
Yes, my friends, in two days I pack up again and go the other way! I’m flying to Oakland, where I will be meeting up with Rachael Herron and Juliet Blackwell to drive to Anaheim, where RWA and Sophie Littlefield await. Our gang will be back together, undoubtedly causing havoc, and I can’t wait.
I will also be taking part in the charity literacy signing! Here’s the info:
2012 “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing
Wednesday, July 25, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Anaheim Convention Center, Ballroom (third floor)
Proceeds from book sales go to ProLiteracy Worldwide, Read Orange County, and Literacy Volunteers—Huntington Valley.
No outside books are allowed in the event.
I’d love to see you there if you can make it!
July 8, 2012
Obviously everyone and their mother has been in touch about the ending of book five, so I thought I’d share with you the story of how that ending evolved.
The interesting thing is that Tempest’s Fury wasn’t supposed to end that way.
Instead, I’d had a neat, pat ending that would have resolved everything. In the original version, book five ended with everyone alive and well and the person who became the White was the person everyone expected.
In fact, that was how the outline read until the very second I sat down to write it. I read over my outline and started writing along with it, just like I always do.
And then my brain said, “Nope, that’s not how this book ends.”
I said, “Yes it is. It’s right there! In your outline!”
But the brain wasn’t having it. “That ending sucks. Can’t you see that?”
“It does not suck! It’s awesome! And it wraps everything up!”
And that was the problem, as my brain proceeded to reveal to me. That ending did wrap everything up. It was entirely expected, and exactly what “should” happen. There were, however, two problems with such an ending.
1) It was boring.
2) It left me up shit creek for book six.
Basically my plan for book six, amorphous as it was, went something like this:
Figure some shit out.
Battle some shit.
And that’s honestly all I had. When I would actually devote some brain power to figuring out what the shit was they’d figure out and/or battle, I really couldn’t come up with much. I’d tell myself I wasn’t writing the book yet, that such details would come when I started focusing.
But sitting there, about to write an ending that was all neat and clean, I realized that the problem I’d set up with that “neat” ending was one of stakes. There were none.
Indeed, the reason I couldn’t figure out what would go down is because I hadn’t set myself up for anything to go down. At least not anything that really mattered. It’d be another book in which Jane figured stuff out with the help of her friends.
But book six couldn’t be another book, because it was the last book. Since the beginning, when I wrote six columns to plan a six book arc for this series, I knew Jane had to start the series one way, and end it another way. She had to be a true hero by book six.
All of which made it obvious what had to happen. Jane had to face book six alone, without the people who had become her crutches. Only then could Jane become whom she is, my very Nietzschean desire for our little halfling.
After I realized this, I denied it. I said to myself, “That’s ridiculous. You can’t do that to everyone. It’s too intense. People hate cliffhangers. They like nice, easy books that don’t hurt.” So I went back to my original outline and I started writing.
Again, the writing sucked. But I persevered, and and wrote another few hundred words, before I finally gave up. Keep in mind that all of this was happening while I was in London, staying in my little flat in Bloomsbury that I love so much. I can’t remember exactly, but I think my friend had gone back to York a few days before to tend to his cat, although he definitely returned that day. But I know I was alone when I realized all of this. So, naturally, I thought I had lost my fucking mind. I kept getting up and cleaning things, as I do when I’m distressed, saying to myself, “This would change everything! It’s huge! You’d give everyone a heart attack and you’d totally destroy book six!”
Then, somewhere between scrubbing the toilet and snaking the drain, I realized that the ending I was envisioning didn’t ruin book six, it gave me book six. Suddenly, I had stakes. Suddenly, I had a way for Jane to demonstrate how much she’s grown and just what she’s capable of. Knocking away her crutches was going to hurt, but it was necessary.
Not that I didn’t still think I was crazy. So I called my agent, spending massive amounts of money to be told I was not, indeed, insane. And as I told her my new idea, it all made perfect sense. I suddenly had the ending–the ending that had to be, the ending that gave me a springboard from which to write an amazing book six.
And book six, if I say so myself, is amazing. We see Jane become herself, using her own, special strengths in ways that defy all the powers that be and that make her into a true champion.
Coming into her own could not have happened if I hadn’t ended book five the way I did. My friend returned that afternoon to find me a babbling mess as I told him I was changing everything. He nodded sagely, then nipped out to the comic shops because I may have been gibbering and he was giving me time to write. Then he returned early, and kept trying to talk to me as I finished that ending. I threatened to eviscerate him, and he shut up. Then I wrote and wrote and maybe cried and then I knew I had an amazing book.
A book that might not be easy, and might not be wrapped up in a neat little package. But I can show just what Jane is made of in book six, Tempest Reborn.
I think you’re going to like our evolved, independent Jane. I know I do.
And now, our wiener! First of all, I can’t even begin to count how many times I cried reading all your GORGEOUS comments about Jane and the series. I am a weeper, to begin with, but you guys are seriously THE most amazing fans a girl could have. Jane feels loved, I feel loved, and she and I love you guys right back. I wish I could give ALL of you a present, but authors don’t make that much money anymore. So without further ado, the completely randomly chosen wiener is:
Yey Tenaya! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your choice of five massmarket paperbacks and your address and I’ll have them Amazoned to you!
June 25, 2012
It’s been an insanely busy time here at Casa Peeler, as usual for my summers. The thing with academia is that we have the summers off, yes, which is awesome. But we have to cram our summers full of all the things–especially the writing–that we can’t do during the semesters we’re teaching. For me, there are also a lot of big conventions and conferences that are a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. So every time someone gives me a blank stare and says, “But you’re on vacation!” I kind of want to bite through my own wrists.
But it IS summer, and I am getting to do all the things I love, like write and travel. A few weeks ago, my friend from York came to visit, which was so much fun. I ended up really taking the five days off, which was amazing. I normally do some work every day, so to take a real vacation felt both very scary and very awesome. But I think it came at exactly the right time, as I really needed some distance on a few things I’d been working on (especially book six edits), that I wasn’t allowing myself by working all the time.
So he flew in and we mooched around Greensburg and Pittsburgh, a bit. He declared the comic store Phanton of the Attic, in Oakland, one of the best in the world, beaten only by Gosh, in London. So if you’re in Pittsburgh or from the area, and haven’t checked it out, there’s something to put on your list.
Then I surprised him with a trip to DC. It was, of course, very hot, but we had a wonderful time. It’s the perfect city for a few days of exploration, even though it has enough in it for a solid month of nonstop tourism. But what’s great about DC for a short break is you can park your car at the hotel (granted, for roughly a gajillion dollars) and then you can walk everywhere. Which is exactly what we did. And there’s nothing like seeing those iconic monuments in person. How many times have we seen them in the news, or destroyed in Sci-Fi movies, or setting the stage in history textbooks? Even visitors from other countries, like mine, has grown up with images of them, and it’s so fun to see them in person.
DC’s also a hip, happening city, with tons of free stuff to do. You can also get GREAT weekend rates at hotels. It’s one of the only cities that cheaper at the weekend, as all the legislators and their staff go home.
But I think the best thing we did was the Spy museum, which was an absolute blast. I’m always leery of kitschy museums, but this one was well worth the 20$ admission. It was a great blend of fun and fact, and did a great job of reminding its visitors that spying isn’t really “cool.” It’s playing with the lives of not only the individual spies, but the people impacted by their machinations. I had a great time, and really recommend it. Here’s a few pics from our visit.
We kept thinking everything was the White House, until we finally saw the White House. All the buildings are so iconic, but it was still embarrassing for me, as the American of our pair.
“Oh, right, THAT’S the White House…”
The Lincoln Memorial is probably my favorite, for a lot of reasons.
One of our best memories of the day was spending a good hour with our feet in the fountain at the Sculpture Garden. It was very hot, we’d been walking for absolutely hours, and our break was well deserved.
So that was DC! Then we came back here for a few more relaxing nights, then he left and I launched myself back into work. I finished my edits for book six last Monday, and then on Tuesday we launched into our MFA Residency. That was a blast, as usual, and it was great to see all our graduates walk across the stage on Sunday. I learned loads, as I always do, and I loved sitting in on a module taught by Victoria Thompson, about building a mystery world. It was so fun, and had loads of great advice applicable to all genres.
All in all it’s been a super crazy month, and it’s only kicking off my summer. The next two months will see me in Chicago, London, York, San Francisco, Anaheim, and New Orleans. Then another semester begins.
But in even bigger news, and probably what most of you are reading this post for, is news on book five, Tempest’s Fury. It’s out tomorrow!
Which means I MUST hold a contest, right? Of course. I haven’t had time to organize one of my usual gift baskets, so this release’s prize will be any FIVE mass market paperbacks (the books that cost $7.99 or less on Amazon) of your choice.
What’s the contest? Just comment below about why you like the Jane True series. I’ll pick a random winner on Friday, July sixth.
So that’s comment below about why you like the Jane True series and you can win five mass market paperbacks of your choice. And that’s all! Looking forward to hearing from people what they think of the book and can’t wait to hear what you think of the series!