Archive for the ‘Chris Marie Green’ Category
Hot Seat Interview with Chris Marie Green
13 Days of Halloween Edition
I set up the Hot Seat room with Halloween Party and put out various Halloween themed Cupcakes and hot chocolate. I have the Cabana Men all dressed up as various Scary Movie Heroes. Once she’s settled in we start the interview.
(Whoo! Let’s party!)
*turns on the music and then turns it down to be heard*
1) Thank you so much for wanting to do the Hot Seat! Would you say Halloween is one of your favorite holidays?
CMG: The favorite! Halloween is the perfect storm for me—nights begin to get chillier, leaves start turning color, I feel like making soup and chili and hearty food, and…of course…scary movies! But the movie thing is pretty much all year-round, LOL.
SI: And now I’m hungry and want a sweater, lol.
2) I know you put together an awesome list of scary movies every year. What would you say is your top ten scary movies?
CMG: Fun! Okay, here goes (and these aren’t in any particular order)…
Friday the 13th, Part 2 – but I love part 1, too. Can I get a two-for-one here? <g> I’m a huge, warped fan of 80s slasher fare, and these two movies just really work on a dread/suspense level for me. Also, the woods are just scary.
Session 9 – Slow-burn freakout fest. The setting, an abandoned, haunted insane asylum, is full of a horror that you can feel through your TV. And there’s real tragedy to this movie. Perfect, all-around “ghost” story.
Don’t Look Now – The last twenty minutes are the scariest I’ve ever experienced in a film. It’s another slow-burner like Session 9 and it’s “arty,” but at the end, all the weird, scattered things that have been going on collide in an OH MY GOD conclusion.
Psycho – The granddaddy of ‘em all. When Norman crashes through the fruit cellar door at the end, wearing his mother dress and mother smile, I go “eek”! And then I get nightmares. I wish I could time travel and see this movie when it first came out and no one had any clue what was in store!
Alien – A house of horrors in space with extremely efficient, amazingly designed killing machines on the loose. The oppressive atmosphere is great, but then there’s the “who is the monster hiding in now, and when will it pop out?” angle. Slick and terrifying.
The Ring – When I first saw this, I had my hands over my eyes for the last half hour, dreading the appearance of Samara. And all that strange video imagery? Ahhh!
The Vampire Lovers – An old fashioned yet edgy vamp movie with all the B-movie beauty of the best Hammer films!
The Blair Witch Project – After watching this, I couldn’t sleep for weeks. I was so sure the witch was outside my bedroom window, and that’s because the mythology in this movie is so fully developed.
Halloween – This encapsulates the spirit of the holiday for me. The autumn leaves, the trick or treaters running around in costumes, and…Well, maybe I’d skip the unkill-able serial killer. And the soundtrack! Yikes, but in a good way.
Black Christmas – The original from the 70s. Just the prank phone calls alone are enough to make me lock all my doors. And the killer hiding in the sorority house is completely unnerving.
SI: *Makes notes of movies to avoid* Well except for Alien. Weird thing is I can watch the Alien movies but not all the others.
3) We know the rules of scary movies. What are your top five rules to survive a horror movie?
1. When you hear a strange noise in your house, don’t say “Hello? Who’s there?” RUN.
2. At night, always know where your weapons are. Fire pokers, kitchen knives, golf clubs… Use ‘em.
3. If you’ve just been attacked in an isolated location, you might want to think twice about the country bumpkin in the rat-trap pickup who offers to give you a drive to “my maw’s house. We used to operate a sausage factory in the basement!”
4. If the kid you’re babysitting tells you there’s a monster in the closet, believe him.
5. Make friends with the weird girl at school who wears black, has super messy hair, and is into conspiracy theories—she’ll end up saving your life after all your friends die in a monster attack at the popular kid party.
SI: Don’t forget the flamethrowers, baseball bats, that voodoo priest/crazy witch you kidnapped for such occasions. Oh I intend to you use them, you bet your bippy! This one ain’t going down without a fight! Can’t I just knock that guy out and steal his car? If they saw monster does this mean we run and set the house on fire?
4) We know the horror/scary movie stereotype. Which would you say is the most annoying?
CMG: The joker among the bunch of college kids who are renting a house by the lake for a weekend. He is desperate to get laid. He doesn’t know how to get laid. He will make jokes about everyone else getting laid until he is the third person to get ganked by the serial killer.
SI: Can’t we just make him the first person to get ganked so he can stop talking about sex? Or maybe the talker should go first? No it’s that girl who’s all whiny and insists on running in heels, wait…
5) What would you say is your top three horror/scary movie villains?
CMG: 1. Pennywise in IT. Like I wasn’t already afraid of clowns?
2. Bride of Frankenstein because she is rocking a look! Her hair is gorgeous, her lipstick is perfect, and I love how she moves when she’s first resurrected—just like a shrouded raven.
3. Last but not even least, the main villain in DON’T LOOK NOW. I can’t describe who it is because the impactful ending relies on surprise, but I absolutely cannot watch the last twenty minutes of that movie. Can’t. Do. It. Not unless I want serious nightmares!
SI: You just had to mention IT didn’t you? I love that description; like a shrouded raven. <3. I don’t think I want to know.
6) You’ve written some awesome action packed books. Tell us about the Vampire Babylon series.
CMG: Thanks! When I started this series, I set the action in Hollywood. I won’t ruin the reason I did that, just in case there are readers who haven’t read it here, but the heroine is also an ex-stuntwoman whose father has gone missing. All the mysteries and L.A. mythology were solved in by third book, but then I was asked to write three more. So the vampire hunting team, who’d come up against an underground bloodsucker organization in Hollywood, moved on to London, where they had to track a second underground. These vampires had more to do with fairy tales in an all-girls English school. After the series ended, a few years passed, and I got the itch to do some self-published work. So I dove back into the VB world and wrote two novellas, RAISING THE DARKNESS and IN BAD SPIRITS. RAISING THE DARKNESS takes place on Samhain, so you know how much I loved writing that! IN BAD SPIRITS is set around Christmas time. Even though these continue the series, they also reboot it, so new readers can step right in. <G>
SI: If you haven’t read this series run and get your copies.
7) Out of all the paranormal creatures that you’ve written who would you say is top dog and why?
CMG: I’m going back to my very first urban fantasy book for this one! Under my Crystal Green name, I wrote THE HUNTRESS for the action-adventure Silhouette Bombshell series. It was about a woman who had to learn how to hunt vampires because a Transylvanian tribe of female bloodsuckers had stolen her boyfriend during a raid on a small village. I loved those female villains—they were mindless, I-want-blood-and-you’re-not-stopping-me monsters. Hard to kill. I based them on Dracula’s brides but they were far more feral!
SI: Isn’t it cathartic writing villains like that?
8) I know you have written a Ghost story. What can you tell us about it? What can we expect?
CMG: Yes—in February, 2014, my new Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series comes out with Penguin Roc! ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG is the first of three books (I’m finishing up the third now!!!). They center around a ghost from the 80s who haunts the truth out of people who may or not have committed a crime. That sounds pretty heavy, but there’s humor in it in much the same way SUPERNATURAL balances darkness and humor. Having a ghost out of her own era was really fun—and you’ll be happy to know that I based her on Ginny Field, the feisty, smart heroine from Friday the 13th, Part 2, LOL.
9) What do you have coming up that will end up on our Must Buy list?
CMG: I am so excited about KICKING IT, which is a Penguin Roc anthology with a bunch of great authors—I’m honored to be a part of the line up. Faith Hunter, Rachel Caine, and Shannon Butcher are just three of the writers who contributed novelettes. We were all given one story condition: each one had to center around a pair of shoes or boots that the heroine or villain wears. I’ll give you a hint about my novelette: if you’ve read any of my urban fantasy or dark fantasy books, you might recognize the main character. My story is called “The Girl with No Name,” and she wakes up in a bedroom, not knowing who she is, but wearing these crazy, vine-like boots…
SI: So. Excited. There are no words.
10) Please tell readers where they can find you on the internet.
Thank You so much for doing the Hot Seat. I have the Cabana Men escort her out, bringing the treats with them.
Former vamp hunter Dawn Madison hasn’t been the same since she retired from the life. She’s tired and drained from injuries sustained during the team’s last stand against the dragon, but when the clock strikes twelve on Samhain, everything changes. It seems that someone has sent raised-from-the-dark creatures after her, and they’re out for blood—as well as Dawn’s life…
(First published in the Undead for a Day anthology.)
99 cents, exclusively on Amazon until early 2014! http://tinyurl.com/py3ckk7
If you prefer a print version, here’s where to go… https://www.createspace.com/4459292
Chris Marie Green is the author of the urban fantasy Vampire Babylon series from Ace Books and the upcoming Ghost for Hire series from Roc (Feb. 2014, Only the Good Die Young), which features a fun-loving spirit from the 80s.
She tries her best to avoid international incidents whenever she takes a break from her first love, writing, and cheats on it with her other true love—traveling. She has an alter ego named Christine Cody, who wrote the dark fantasy Bloodlands trilogy.
(from Chapter Three…)
Dawn got out her cell phone, opened the doors to the balcony wide, then went outside to watch the moonlight play on the restless waves below.
Kiko answered on the third ring. “What? What?”
“Sorry for waking you up, but we’ve got some excitement around here.” Dawn’s smile was so big that it was making her cheeks hurt, but in a good way.
“Cool excitement?” Kiko asked. “Not-cool excitement? What?”
She could just picture his little person’s body jumping out of bed as he ran for his clothes, their hunting days still with him, even if they were long gone.
“It’s cool excitement,” she said, glee in her voice. And she’d never really ever done glee.
To think—she had an inner cheerleader in her and she’d never even known it, not even when she was growing up and doing her best to piss her life away with every rebellious act she could think of. Of course, that rebellion had led to a short career as a stunt woman, which had led to vampire fighting, but that wasn’t here nor there.
She told Kiko about her stroke-of-midnight soul stain lifting. “I don’t know what’s going on, but how awesome is that?”
Like Costin, Kiko was on immediate alert. “I suppose it’s cool.” Then, “You don’t think there’s something fishy about your happy-happy-joy-joy thing? This is Samhain, for God’s sake. If it were any other night, I’d just think you accidently swallowed some Ecstasy.”
She stayed quiet, but, naturally, Kiko didn’t.
“Okay, what I mean is this—you know how there’re different versions of Cinderella? There’s the Disney take. The squeaky clean, Yay!, glass slipper, everything is weddings and chirping birds—you know, the whitewashing of just about every other version of the stories that came before. And I’m talking about dark stories where the frakkin’ stepsisters cut off part of their feet so they’ll fit into the slippers, and where those sweet little birds aren’t so sweet at all and they punish those bitches by pecking out their eyes.”
“Your point is?”
“That there’s only one happy-Yay! Disney version of the story while the rest aren’t so nice. Odds are, Dawn, that you don’t have any kind of happy ending version of your soul stain going on during Samhain.”
Nothing like a good dose of Geek Kiko to put things into perspective. Even so, she couldn’t stop loving the absence of heaviness in her, couldn’t help but to lean on the balcony railing and smell the brine-laced air and think of how lucky she was to be alive after all the shit she’d gone through in life.
Maybe, after everything she and the team had been through, something good had finally happened and this had nothing to do with screwed-up magic, like Kiko and Costin thought. Maybe her therapy had kicked in—
Her ears picked up a sound from down the beach. Somewhere in the night, there was a cry, but these were the final hours of Halloween and the kids were out in full force, so she went back to listening to Kiko.
“Sure, we wiped out those Undergrounds,” he said. “But our vampires weren’t the only bloodsuckers out there. There’re different lines, and some of them could be into magic. We’d be stupid to dismiss the idea. And we know that there’re hundreds of other supernatural creatures out there that might be up to all kinds of mischief tonight.”
She laughed, but then stopped. Dawn’s mother was one of those creatures Kiko was talking about. Eva Claremont had come under the sway of what they thought might be a demon and they hadn’t heard from her since.
But now that Dawn’s soul stains had gone a little lighter, thoughts of Mommy Not-So-Dearest didn’t get to her as much as they had before. She had spent a long, long time trying to forget about that woman.
Now it seemed so easy.
“Besides,” Kiko said, “you know better than anyone that some of the cold cases Natalia and I deal with at the agency have a certain…stench…about them, too.”
“Not everything is supernatural, Kik.”
“I’m not saying that every old robbery or lost love case we deal with is otherworldly, but there’re some screwy things we’ve come across, and Natalia shoves those cases right out the door. She doesn’t want a thing to do with them.” He and Natalia were trying to be “normal,” now that they’d gotten married. “What if one of those cases left some magic behind and it had a ricochet effect on us or our friends on Samhain? Magic doesn’t always aim straight, you know.”
She could hear him moving around on the other end of the line. “You’re overreacting, Kik.”
“No matter what’s going on, I’m getting right on this.”
“Natalia’s not going to like it.”
“Let me worry about that.”
He hung up without another word. Typical Kiko. He was probably already dialing up this house’s landline so he and Costin could have a conversation.
She tucked her cell into the pocket of her jeans and kept leaning on the railing. Three-two, one…Yup, there went the phone.
The waves seemed to get louder, but maybe that was because she was really starting to listen to them. Meanwhile, she thought she felt the dragon’s blood swirling on her right side, restless.
Screw you, she thought. Did you really think you were going to get another chance at taking over the world?
She started to leave the balcony to see if Costin had come upon any paranormal news through the supernatural conspiracy chat boards that usually consumed Jonah’s attention.
But then she sensed, more than heard, something on the beach close by.
She wasn’t psychic like Kiko or Natalia, and she wasn’t a spirit like Costin, but Underground fights had sharpened her human senses. It was just that she hadn’t used them for a while.
Turning her ear toward the faint sound she thought she heard—swish, swish, like sand under a set of paws that were coming this way—she leaned over the balcony, straining to hear some more.
Just as she realized that she did hear something and they sounded a whole damn lot like running steps, she backed away from the railing—but not before a wire looped around her neck and her body was yanked over it.
She barely had time to scream as she grasped the railing, the wire gnawing into her neck as she hung there, clinging and paddling her feet, kicking at whatever had attacked her.
They were pulling on that wire while Dawn choked, trying to slip one hand into the noose while holding on with the other. Her vision got cloudy and, instinctively, she turned her head, baring her teeth, using the only weapon she had on her.
But before she struck, she saw a face… An old man with sideburns, pale, puckered skin, and white eyes that looked like they’d rolled into the back of his head. His mouth was in a pruned “O,” as if he was about to scream, too.
The messed-up sight of him made her forget all about biting, and he took advantage of that, putting more force on the wire, even as he reached with his other hand to Vulcan pinch her neck.
A memory flashed by, adrenaline-quick.
London, an attack on their headquarters, another pinch at her neck—
Gathering her guts, she bit his hand, sinking her teeth deep and letting go of the balcony at the same time.
A yelping sound was all Dawn heard from him just before her stunt woman training came back to her, powered by muscle memory. Midair, she twisted her body, flailing with a hand and catching on to one of the trellises that decorated the side of her home.
The wire whipped off her neck, and out of the corner of her eye, she saw it fall to the ground. But her attacker still held onto her, his hands wrapped around her waist.
For a reeling, moonlit second, she hung there, the trellis cracking, threatening as her attacker’s grip began to loosen. She kicked back at him, but a pair of teeth sank into her shoulder—human teeth—and she yelled.
As the old guy bit her again and again—as if it wanted to eat her—the trellis broke an inch, another, and Dawn brought up her elbow, smashing it into her attacker’s temple.
He reared back, and that was enough to break the trellis, sending them both tumbling the rest of the way.
They hit the ground, and Dawn’s lungs pushed out all the air she had. But adrenaline was animating her, forcing her to her feet so she could grab the piece of trellis that had cracked off. She brandished it like a staff to ward off this…thing.
Not a vampire. What was it?
She looked around, gaining her bearings, and her mind began to function properly.
Three of these things, she thought.
All dressed in black, hunched and circling her. The old man who’d attacked her was face-first on the ground, making animal sounds of pain, and Dawn realized that he’d fallen on something that had injured him.
The other two were shaded by a shadow cast by her house, but Dawn could still see the whites of their eyes and how their arms were curved at their sides as they breathed, in, out.
Were they growling at her, too?
Hellhounds, she thought.
No. These were human-like creatures, not dogs.
Then another possibility. Fast and furious zombies? Revenants raised from the dead by something or someone on Samhain?
Whatever these weirdos were, they were angry, and they weren’t stopping, as the guy who’d been lying on the ground rolled to his side, revealing the blood on his stomach where he’d landed on jagged, pointed rock. Even so, he crawled over the sand, as if homing in on Dawn at all costs. He left a trail of blood, and even if he was making a sad attempt to get at her, he was still covering some ground.
“What the hell are you?” she whispered, and she had no idea why she’d even tried.
She thought she heard one of them—the shortest and smallest one—make a twisted sound from the shadows. It made no sense at all, but something about the voice kicked in a thousand awful memories that swirled together: Vampires and blood…
Out of habit, Dawn broke the trellis stick in two, forming a cross.
Turned out crosses didn’t work on these guys, but when the two creatures who were standing on their feet rushed Dawn, she was ready, lifting up the two ragged sticks and aiming at the things’ left sides, where their hearts would be.
They didn’t seem to give a shit that she was about to stab them. In fact, the freaks ran right into her sticks, impaling themselves.
Dawn jumped away so fast that she fell to her ass, crab-scrambling backward, sand flying out from under her.
They were still coming.
And now that the two things that had been in the shadows had emerged into the moonlight, Dawn could see more of them.
One was an even older man with a bald head, withered skin, and those rolled-back eyes. He was holding a chain.
But it was the other one—the smallest—that Dawn couldn’t stop looking at.
Familiar…Light hair, a slight overbite, high cheekbones…
It couldn’t be. Not when the team had blown up the Underground in London and Lilly Meratoliage had been in the midst of the explosion.
Dawn didn’t have time to figure it out, because the girl was holding what looked to be nunchucks, and even with a stake in her, she was gearing up to attack.
Shitshitshit. Dawn wished she had those stakes back so she could use them again. Stabbing the left side of a Meratoliage—one of the dragon’s custodians and bodyguards—didn’t work, because the family was genetically bred to have their hearts on the opposite side of their bodies.
Shit times a hundred.
The rock-impaled sideburn man on the ground was still groping at the sand as he mindlessly advanced toward Dawn, but she didn’t worry about him—not when the even older bald guy had started to spin his chain at his side and when pseudo-Lilly was starting to run at Dawn, grasping her nunchucks in one hand while dropping to all threes, just like a hellhound that Dawn had initially mistaken the group for.
Her mind raced now. What to do? How to fight these creatures?
And with what?
She grabbed the only thing available—the sand. Two handfuls of it.
The girl arrived first, and Dawn held her breath, then hurled a fistful of sand right in the she-creature’s face.
She reared back, making a guttural sound, whipping her head back and forth and blinking those awful white eyes as they seemed to roll even further back in her head. Her mouth was still shaped in a scream.
But Dawn didn’t notice for how long, because the old man with the chain was approaching with more methodical malice, his blank gaze trained on her like weak lasers. He spun the chain around his head, like a lasso, and Dawn had the feeling that he was ready to duck the other handful of sand she’d planned to throw at him.
She steadied her breathing, trying to think like a stunt woman—no, a hunter—again.
Then she knew what to do.
Just as she was about to jump-flip to a stand and use her legs to windmill the guy off balance, something exploded from behind her.
Or maybe it was just the beginning of an explosion, a projectile fired from a weapon, because right in front of her, the old man burst into a mess of sprayed blood.
Dawn took cover, curving her arms over her head as she got into a ball, then looked up to see what the hell had happened.
The first thing she noticed was that the girl was gone, and so was the sideburn man who’d fallen on the rock. Had he retreated while Dawn wasn’t looking?
Had the girl?
The second thing was that Jonah had walked out from behind Dawn and was already inspecting the pool of gore that the old bald man had left behind. Jonah held a grenade launcher with one hand as, with his other, he picked up the bloodied chain.
Dawn grimaced, then said, “What was that, Jonah?”
As he turned to look at her, she thought for a moment, “What if it’s not Jonah? What if Costin is still in his body?”
But then, in the moonlight, she saw that his eyes were blue, not the topaz color that indicated Costin had taken him over, and relief sighed through her. She liked her Costin peaceful, not as the berserk warrior who had once followed the dragon’s orders before he’d been recruited to take the vampire master down.
Meanwhile, her soul stain didn’t react one way or the other, although the dragon was beating inside of her again, as if sarcastically slow-clapping at the sight of blood.
Jonah flashed her one of his charming smiles. “You’re welcome, Dawn. Are there any more freaks around?”
“Not that I know of.”
When she stood, her knees were weak. God, it’d been a long time since she’d thrown down.
But a tiny thrill shooting through her made her wonder if it’d been too long.
She went over to the remnants of the old man, but she didn’t get too close. The dragon was getting more excited.
“Thank you,” she finally said to Jonah. Grudgingly.
“You all right?”
“Of course I am.” Dim bulb. She didn’t need him to be saving her ass.
“I was taking a break from Costin and the research. I came upstairs to see how you were doing and heard a stir outside, so I raided the upstairs weapons locker.”
Ever since defeating the dragon’s bloodline, they hadn’t been on high security. All their doo-dads and items of destruction had been stored away.
Were things about to change?
Jonah asked, “How many were there?”
“Three altogether. Two now.”
Dawn looked off into the distance, then down to the trail of blood that the injured old man with the sideburns had left. Her shoulder, where he’d bitten her, ached. Probably she should clean the wound right away because God knew what kind of chaos could result from a revenant bite.
If that’s what she’d just tangled with.
She turned to Jonah. “You’re not gonna believe what I think I saw.”
Before she even told him about Lilly Meratoliage, Jonah had an appetite in his gaze, and Dawn was shocked to realize that she felt it, too. The soul stain had wiped out so much feeling from her before that she’d blocked out most other emotions. Including boredom.
Including the craving of a hunter who would love to come out of retirement tonight…
From RAISING THE DARKNESS, A Dawn Madison Vampire Babylon E-Novella
Exclusively at Amazon until early 2014!
CONTEST: Giveaway: Leave a comment about your favorite Halloweeny scary movie for the chance to win a signed copy of NIGHT RISING, Vampire Babylon, Book 1 from Chris! Contest runs until one week from now.
Your Comic Book Alter Ego!
By Chris Marie Green
Okay, admit it. Who here has ever imagined themselves as a superheroine with their own awesome comic book story? Maybe your tale has a bit of angst and drama to it, but in the end, you know your girl is gonna win.
I have to say that I’ve gone there, and my favorites are…
1) Elektra. Because she’s freakin’ badass, and even guys don’t like to mess with her. Yeah, she’s sometimes more like a dude, with her emotional unavailability (except for Daredevil, really, right?) and her assassin take-no-prisoners ‘tude. Just dare your frenemies to mess with you when you’re in Elektra mode.
2) Sara Pezzini. As one of the wearers of the parasitic Witchblade, Sara had a sucky life sometimes, but she wears weapon and its responsibilities well. I have had days when I thought that, if I could just look as good as Sara Pezzini, I would rule the world. You know how it is when you have a good hair day. How about a good body day? Also? Kick-ass wo-man.
3) Raven. True, this spawn of an interdimensional demon has total issues, but if you’re going to have PMS, you might as well have the teleporting and empathic superpowers to go with it. Also, if you watch Teen Titans Go! (Eee!), you know that Raven would be hilarious to hang out with because she cracks really good sarcasm-laden jokes. Much appreciated.
It probably comes as no surprise that in my newest book as Chris Marie Green (PLUG!), The She Code, my main character Mandy has a comic book alter ego. And why not? She’s a twenty-two-year-old wannabe comic penciler, and her “other personality” is named Luka, a vampire/wolf hybrid. Whenever things get too heavy for Mandy with the dad who has just reappeared in her life, the novel goes into “Luka territory.” What I mean is that the book has comic panels to show Luka’s story, and they reflect Mandy’s own story, too. There are sketches, as well (also by Billy Martinez of Neko Press Comics), and those introduce what Mandy refers to as “the she code”—rules that govern how women coexist with each other.
As geek-girls, you all will be able to spot the many, many pop cultural references in the novel (comic, movie, book…just about everything!). And I’m sure you can relate to the rules, as well as the main story, which is all about how a long-time friendship deteriorates just as new ones are made in your early twenties. Those days were a time of great change for me, and I’m sure you’re story is much the same…
So do you all have any comic book alter egos? Who and why? Someone who comments will win a signed copy of Chris’ Night Rising, Vampire Babylon, Book 1! Winner will be chosen in three days, so stay tuned! Also, I hope you join me over at WattPad.com for a free, four-part serial short story that’s connected with The She Code. Part one of “Yes Girl” will go live Friday, 8/23, so I hope to see you there for reading and fun!
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/mfonclj
Chris Marie Green is the author of the urban fantasy Vampire Babylon series from Ace Books and the upcoming Ghost for Hire series from Roc (Feb. 2014, Only the Good Die Young), which features a fun-loving spirit from the 80s.
She tries her best to avoid international incidents whenever she takes a break from her first love, writing, and cheats on it with her other true love—traveling. She has an alter ego named Christine Cody, who wrote the dark fantasy Bloodlands trilogy.
GothicScapes is a new “primarily digital venture” from three urban fantasy authors, Chris Marie Green (AKA Christine Cody), Nancy Holder, and Linda Thomas-Sundstrom. “Urban Fantasy (x) 3” is their official motto, and what it means is that they are three authors who’ve banded together under one brand to bring you fun, emotionally touching, action-filled, paranormal stories three times a year, three novellas per collection!
There are many wonderful things about being an author.
One is that we get to make things up all day and spin them into stories that other people hopefully love to read. Two, we get to wear our pajamas and write in bed.
Three, we get to go to conventions!
Just this year, GothicScapes authors Chris, Nancy, and Linda have been to Con-Dor, Comic-Con San Diego, Dragon*Con, and most recently, Stan Lee’s Comikaze. It was only at the last one that we were able to officially debut as GothicScapes Gals.
Yes, that’s us in our GothicScapes shirts and smiles. We were on a panel called “Kiss Them or Kill Them?” and it was about the differences between paranormal romance, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, and horror. Mostly, we talked about relationships in the first two, and what a girl would do with a vampire in, say, paranormal romance as opposed to urban fantasy. (You can use your imagination there. <g>)
It’s always such a delight to meet people who come to the panels and signings. As you can see, much fun is had:
That’s our own Nancy Holder, trying out a new look. And she’s got our first cover in hand. Lovely on both counts!
As we start off this venture, we’re centering our anthologies around holidays, starting with Samhain, and every story in this first collection, UNDEAD FOR A DAY, features undead creatures who roam the holiday night. We’ll be following this book up with another soon after—STRANGE SPIRITS, which will be released in December. That one will revolve around Christmas and the naughty and nice creatures that come with it.
But first…UNDEAD FOR A DAY, GothicScapes #1, coming to your e-reader in October!
Samhain. All Hallow’s Eve. A night when zombie-like revenants can be raised by a magic-using, ancient family to exact revenge on the hunter who wrecked their underground kingdom… A time when a redheaded blackbelt pits herself against warmongering witch clans… A holiday that allows the Underworld to open and the creatures to pour out, their freedom governed by a gentleman’s agreement between the forces of Light and Dark.
Welcome to UNDEAD FOR A DAY, a collection of three novellas from a trio of reader favorite urban fantasy writers: Chris Marie Green, AKA Christine Cody (Vampire Babylon and Bloodlands series), New York Times Bestseller Nancy Holder (Wicked and Teen Wolf series), and Linda Thomas-Sundstrom (Vampire Moons and Wolf Moons series).
“Raising the Dead” by Chris Marie Green (A Dawn Madison Vampire Babylon novella) reunites you with former hunter Dawn Madison, who hasn’t been the same since she retired from the life. She’s tired and drained from injuries sustained during the team’s last stand against the dragon, but when the clock strikes twelve on Samhain, everything changes. It seems that someone has sent raised-from-the-dark creatures after her, and they’re out for blood—as well as Dawn’s life.
In “Into the Fire” by Nancy Holder (A Story of the Favored,) Bridget Flynn leaps into a bonfire and goes from Samhain year wife at the first stroke of midnight to widow on the last. Caught in the middle of a feud between rival magical Houses, Bridget raises a battle force of her own. But can she survive in the midst of hot-tempered witches intent on destroying each other?
“Trapped in Stone” by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom takes us to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, where the forces of Good and Evil are playing a game of Chicken with one man’s soul, and the woman he loves is a major player in a challenge that has continued for a century.
We hope that you’ll give us a try and that you come back for more. As a giveaway, we’d love to send three books to a winner—one surprise, signed backlist book from each GothicScapes author! To win, just leave a comment or let us know what you’d like to see in paranormal fiction in the future!
Thanks so much for reading, you all!
Twitter @ChristineCody, @NancyHolder
My fabulous friend Chris Marie Green, multipublished author extraordinaire has put together a world building workshop. Here are the links:
I’ll be doing it on my own.
I Do Stuff!
Hi, all! And thank you to Selena for the opportunity to take part in this fun blog marathon.
I decided to write about sidekicks, mostly because they’re some of my favorite secondaries to develop. Yes, villains are meaty and dangerous, and without a protagonist, there’s no hope for the world. But sidekicks… Ah, sidekicks bring great balance to a story because they can be the heart, humor, and a breath of welcome relief between all the moments of conflict and intensity.
Consider what the movie Aliens would have been without Hudson, the wisecracking, rude, panicky marine who falls under the command of Ripley. On one hand, we have those aliens—perfect killers—screeching around killing everyone. On the other, we’ve got a perfect heroine—a mainly straight-to-business placeholder for the audience as she uses brain and brawn to battle the enemy. Hudson straddles the middle of this movie, making the viewers laugh when we need to the most, and actually even acting just like most of us would if we were to find ourselves in the same horrific situation: slightly hysterical and flailing in utter disbelief. (“Why don’t you put HER in charge?”) Even though Ripley saves the world, Hudson is the one who saves the audience’s sanity and soothes their nerves with his outbursts and comic asides.
Now, I write an urban fantasy series called Vampire Babylon, and I have my own sidekicks who serve just as much of a purpose as Hudson did. During the course of six books, one novella, and most recently, a short story (see below for details), my sidekicks have not only helped my heroine, Dawn Madison, save the world—they’ve helped to save her sanity in a variety of ways.
First, there’s Breisi Montoya. We meet her in Night Rising (book one) as a lab nerd—a kick-ass one at that. She’s the logistical brains behind the vampire hunting team that sets out to conquer a Hollywood underground lair. She’s a woman of few words, but when she says them, they have some impact on Dawn, who’s been in sore need of a female mentor ever since her mother, a silver-screen legend, suffered a brutal and very public death years ago. Breisi is a soulful sidekick—an Obi-Wan Kenobi of sorts. Instead of humor, she cuts the tension by placing Dawn firmly back in reality just as she’s about to go off the edge.
Then there’s Kiko Daniels, the team’s psychic and resident cut-up. As a “little person” thespian, he tends to “ACT!” quite a bit during the underground hunts. However, Kiko is no mere comic relief. The guy can use a revolver and any number of vampire-hunting weapons, and he can interview a suspect like no one’s business. And as for his “ACTING!”? He’s pretty good at using that skill, too, when it’s time to thrown a suspect mentally off balance. In many ways, Kiko is the younger brother Dawn never had, and the two of them have a deep, easy, goofy relationship that Dawn has never found outside of this vamp hunting circle.
All in all, while finding tragedy in life, Dawn actually finds a family in this group, and that’s an important point about sidekicks, I think. We love them for what they contribute to our heroes (or villains)–we love them because they add something our bigger stars are missing.
But, most of all, we love them because, in all the craziness, they make us, the readers, feel better, as well.
March release: A Vampire Babylon short story in the horror anthology Those Who Fight Monsters. Chris’s entry is entitled “Soul Stains” and it takes place after the events of Deep in the Woods, Vampire Babylon, Book Six.
Dawn Madison, ex vampire hunter, has been lured out of retirement by the sighting of an old, presumed-dead Hollywood starlet in a decrepit Vegas showroom. But is this entity merely a ghost? Or is it one of the escaped, mortalized Hollywood Underground vampires Dawn vowed to wipe off the face of the earth, even at the threat of returning her own soul to darkness?
Author’s bio: Chris Marie Green is the author of the Vampire Babylon series, which includes Night Rising and A Drop of Red. In 2011, Ace will publish her new post-apocalyptic urban fantasy western noir Bloodlands series under the name Christine Cody. You can check in with her on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ChrisMarieGreen ), Facebook(http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Marie-Green/1051327765 ), MySpace (myspace.com/vampirebabylon), or her blog (http://crystal-green.blogspot.com/ ).
Contest: Comment to be entered to win a signed copy of Book 6, Deep in the Woods in the Vampire Babylon series. Good Luck!
Don?t worry I?m not going to do massive spoilers. I can?t do that to my friends on the West Coast or in Australia who haven?t seen it yet. Normally I don?t really blog about TV shows. I just say this is what I?m watching and leave it at that. But this time I wanted to do something. I know people have been wondering why Chuck and not say Law and Order or Heroes? Honestly I don?t know. What I do know is that I?m grateful to NBC for keeping the show alive (Pleeeaaassse give us a whole 22 episodes season, pleeeeaaassseee).
To be honest I didn’t watch in the beginning. Too many freakin shows on at the same for me to watch. But I became curious after reading my friend Chris/Crystal Green’s Chuck recaps (her show recaps rock!) on her blog. Then I saw one episode and was hooked. I had to see them all.?Chuck isn?t a show that many will get. It?s not as complicated as Lost or as flashy as 24. It didn?t get lost in its mythos like Heroes did. At the core of the show, at it?s heart, the show is about Chuck and those that Chuck loves. His family. He may not be an uber spy like Bryce Larkin (Dear God, Matt Boomer is gorgeous) nor is he as suave as James Bond. He does bumble and fumble but he means well. In his heart of hearts he is a good guy, a sweet guy. He may not be your first choice but he is the guy who will go over to your house with your fav ice cream and a playlist of all your favorite songs if you?ve had a hell of a day. He?s the guy who will be there for you no matter what.
Chuck is the type of guy who will do the right thing no matter how much it hurts him. He?s the guy who will sacrifice it all for those that he loves even if it means risking his life. He is all about family: Ellie, Awesome, Morgan, Sarah and Casey. Yes, even Big Mike and, um, well, Jeff and Lester. Yeah them too. And that?s what we love about him. He?s loyal to a fault, good hearted, well meaning and a sweetheart. And yeah he?ll dress up for Comic Con and drag you along but you?ll have a hell of time there. He?s a dork but he can laugh at himself and he can fix your computer, pretty snazzy, I know! LOL.
Chuck is neither hip nor the hot, happening, it show of the moment. It just is. Season 3 had its ups and downs and there were gripes but this finale shows us yet again why we love the show, the writers and actors. There was action, humor, moments that made our hearts melt and there was a pay off (those wicked, infuriating, clever, wonderful writers). Looking back I feel as if over the seasons it?s been a natural progression, very organic, never hurried. The writers took their time. Nothing felt crammed in or over the top to me. There didn?t seem to be a need to outdo last week. Although for a moment there, some episodes made me wonder if I was watching a season finale and they didn?t tell us. LOL.
I for one think 3 months or however long we?ll have to wait for the new season is too long. But it?s worth the wait. This TV show Chuck is a keeper. And I can?t wait to see where they take us. To me the finale didn?t feel like an ending, it felt like just the beginning of a new chapter. Sorta like Supernatural, a reboot of sorts. Okay enough of my blathering. I return you now to your regularly scheduled program whatever that may be.
I?m blogging at TRS Blue today. Stop by, leave a comment and be entered to win 5 Changeling Credits. Good luck! http://trsblue.blogspot.com/ (Warning Adult Content)
Oh and watch White Collar on USA Network (or whatever channel it airs on where you are). How can you resist those gorgeous blue eyes of Matt Boomer’s? Seriously, he?s just gorgeous. I said that already didn?t I? Am I drooling? Sorry. *blush*
I wrote my Vampire Babylon series for a few reasons. I wanted to:
- flesh out a hunter who was kick-ass yet vulnerable.
- have fun with a group of characters (and I do mean the quirky kind) who would serve as a hunting team.
- do a bloody, gritty, neon-on-the-dark-rainy-streets infused mystery.
- create some vamps of a different stripe.
So I started playing around with an idea that fused many of these elements. Since I?m pretty much a storage unit for pop cultural tidbits, I took all of the above, mixed it with a ?Charlie?s Angels? type boss (who?s also a bit of the Phantom of the Opera), resurrected one of the most well-known urban legends of the silver screen (the ghost boy from THREE MEN AND A BABY), and gave it a spin.
Poof?my first Vampire Babylon trilogy was born, stretching awake through (and under) the gothic, noir streets of Los Angeles.
But here was the thing?this story about an erotically charged Hollywood Underground was so big that I knew I wouldn?t be able to tell it all in just one book. So I looked at HARRY POTTER and how J.K. Rowling used a mythology that spanned seven books?stories in which the big bad villain wasn?t put to rest until the very last installment. I looked at the fascination with LOST. And I decided that my story would be best served by using a longer trilogy arc.
It was chancy. Although there?s a central mystery that?s solved by the end of each book, there were mystery, mythology, and character threads that wouldn?t be tied up until the third book. But in NIGHT RISING, MIDNIGHT REIGN, and BREAK OF DAWN, I feel like things did come to a satisfying close?
Until Ace asked me to write another three books.
And I was ready, because I had a yen to explore one of the most haunted cities in the world?London. Also, I had an idea for some vampires who had a lot in common with certain fairy tales. Basically, this second trilogy features what I consider to be the scariest vampires of all?young girls who are lured by an older man making promises to them. Promises he, of course, has no intention of keeping. And, let?s be honest?you never want to tick off a teenaged girl. (I would?ve been the biggest nightmare vampire of all, way back when!)
The first two books, A DROP OF RED (book 4) and THE PATH OF RAZORS (book 5), show you a different underground than the Hollywood one, and the trilogy will be closing out with the third installment, DEEP IN THE WOODS (book 6), on March 2, 2010. I had such fun doing this trilogy?I got to travel to London, where I blocked out scenes in Highgate Cemetery and Southwark. And when you get to research something as interesting as the effect fairy tales have had on society? Icing on the cake.
If you?ve read the previous five books, thank you from the bottom of my arguably dark heart. : ) If you?d like to start, the books are out there just waiting for you to snag them?much like the things that exist under the ground, watching, waiting?wanting.
I?ll be giving away a signed copy of THE PATH OF RAZORS, Vampire Babylon, Book Five, to someone who comments on this blog. Check back tomorrow for the winner!
Chris Marie Green
(I tried my best to be spoiler free for those of you who haven?t yet experienced the awesomeness!)
There are some shows you watch just to be entertained.? These are superficial, pass-the-time programs that leave no mark on you.? In fact, by the end of the season, you have trouble recalling some of the episodes.? You do not relate to the characters at all.
Supernatural isn?t that show.
Take two brothers who have daddy issues, mix-in their opposites-are-fun-to-watch chemistry, put them on a road trip filled with ghost stories, pathos, demons, and the apocalypse, add a dash of gorgeous hunk of men and you?ve got a Thursday night full of awesome.? And lest this all should sound very glossy, it?s not.? This show has made me laugh because I love the characters so much.? This show has thrown me into the pit of despair because of the decisions those characters make.? This show has scared me because, unlike some mainstream TV programs,?Supernatural refuses to pull its punches?there are always consequences for actions, and that?s the genius of the drama here.? We go through the hole to a dark, frightening, sometimes hilarious Wonderland with our avatars, the Winchester brothers, and we suffer right along with them.
I?m only a recent convert.? For some reason, I didn?t know how fantastic this show was at first.? But then I heard all the whisperings on the ?net about this storyline or that character on?Supernatural, and I was intrigued.? People would tell me that I?need to tune in, so I obeyed.? And happy I am.
Why?? Here are a few reasons:
1.The storytelling doesn?t get any better than this.
The seasons all have their own arcs and climaxes, but the creator, Eric Kripke, had a full vision for the entire series.? That means we have a lot of satisfying continuity, such as the payoff of several mysterious elements that showed up in earlier seasons (for example, Croatoan and the Meg demon).? Also, along with the longer arcs, we get great twists on ghost stories and urban legends we?ve heard before, but they?re all solved Winchester style, with smart-ass cracks from brother Dean and puppy-dog sympathy from brother Sam.? The series treats its audience with respect; I mentioned that it pulls no punches, but it also strives to be clever.
2. The series never lingers too long on a mystery.
Supernatural knows just how and when to solve something.? Just when you think a plot is played out, another twist will come along and keep you very, very interested.
3. The writers have juevos.
They have the guts to explore things that might scare a lot of other staffs.? For those who?ve seen the series, I point in particular to Sam in season 4.? And Ruby.? And Bela.
4. And just in case you?re not yet convinced?
Dean and Sam are hot.
I recommend first renting the DVDs.? You?ll want to know everything about the Winchester brothers and what they?re facing.? Believe me, it?ll be worth the investment.? : )
Chris Marie Green, who writes urban fantasy, also creates romances as Crystal Green and writes a blog entry about Supernatural every time a new one airs (www.crystal-green.com).? Her latest release is?The Path of Razors, Vampire Babylon, Book Five, which continues the adventures of Dawn Madison and her vampire hunting team.? Book Six,?Deep in the Woods, will be released March 2, 2010.? To learn more, you can go to her Web site at?www.vampirebabylon.com or follow her at Twitter at?http://twitter.com/ChrisMarieGreen.
There always comes a time when someone asks me just what my Vampire Babylon series is.? A ?paranormal romance??? Or could it be categorized more appropriately as an ?urban fantasy??? Because the two subgenres offer a reader different experiences, I?m ready with an answer.
Why?? First, there?s a pretty big difference between PR (paranormal romance) and UF (urban fantasy).? It?s the romance, baby.? Romance is the element that offers the highest stakes in a PR.? In urban fantasies, the highest stakes element is saving the world.? However, both types can contain either element, but the emphasis on one or the other can vary.
More differences?? Urban fantasy usually has a more acerbic wit and most of the time uses first-person point of view, though this isn?t always the case; my Vampire Babylon series uses third-person point of view for the heroine, and the vampires and other characters get third-person points of view, also.? PR seems to maintain a third-person point of view balance between the hero, the heroine, and maybe a villain or subplot character or two.
More food for thought: UF can contain more graphic, grittier violence while PR usually has a lower level of violence.? For UF, the supernatural element is ominous whereas in PR, the supernatural is normally more intriguing or alluring.
When I started writing the Vampire Babylon series, I had no idea it?d be called an urban fantasy.? I wanted to play around with an old-school vamp hunter who goes after some entrepreneur-minded fangers.? I wanted there to be mystery, action, blood, and a touch of romance, like a vampire Indiana Jones movie that takes place in an erotically charged Underground as well as up above in the nourish, faded, grotesque glamour that is Hollywood.
Then, as the series continued past the initial trilogy, the setting moved to London, which offered a chance to explore that old-school vamp hunting to an even greater degree, with fairy tale elements and gothic trappings.? As the label of ?urban fantasy? gained steam in the marketplace, I could see that Vampire Babylon fit comfortably into the subgenre, especially since my heroine definitely fits into the UF mold: feisty, strong, and complete with major real life issues that conflict with her burgeoning?and sometimes reluctant?hunting career.? Slaying is an albatross around Dawn Madison?s neck but, at the same time, it?s forced her to grow as a person, which sounds weird, considering that her humanity is deeply in question at the moment in book five, THE PATH OF RAZORS.? She?s gone from a somewhat bratty and sarcastic ex-stuntwoman on the skids in NIGHT RISING, book one, to a full-fledged, more intense monster whacker.? Her boyfriend is what you could call a possessed vampire.? And her mother might be even more messed up than Dawn is.
Yup, urban fantasy.? It?s Halloween all year around in this dark subgenre.
Contest:? A random winner will be chosen from the comment section in two days.? I?ll be sending an autographed copy of A DROP OF RED, Vampire Babylon, Book Four, to someone who posts here, so comment away!
Chris Marie Green/Crystal Gree
Vampire Babylon: http://www.vampirebabylon.com/
A DROP OF RED, Vampire Babylon, Book Four, by Chris Marie Green
A bloody good time…
Hollywood stuntwoman-turned-vampire hunter Dawn Madison is tired to the bone and beyond. Along with her comrades-in-arms, she managed to wipe out the Los Angeles Vampire Underground. And in doing so, she uncovered not only her own dark family heritage but also a terrible truth about the man she loves. Now all she wants to do is get to the next bloodsucking community, taking care of business with them, too.
Luckily, when it comes to battling the undead, there’s no shortage of Undergrounds.
When a new one is found in England, Dawn and the team are dispatched to carry the fight from the flash of Los Angeles to the seemingly staid and stolid streets of London. Dawn knows by now how deceiving appearances can be-and she is about to find out that it’s not only the beautiful people of Hollywood who are willing to bargain with evil…
About Chris Marie Green
A long time ago, in a land far, far away (Milwaukee, WI, St. Luke’s Hospital), Chris Marie Green (also writing as Crystal Green) joined the world. While moving to Southern California, then Kentucky, then back to California and now Nevada, she amused herself by writing poetry and short stories featuring the ultimate Alpha males–Superman and Indiana Jones. Later, after graduating with a B.A. in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Chris decided to become a professional writer.
While she pursued this goal, Chris worked as an eighth-grade teacher, but resigned in 2002 to pursue writing full time. She creates urban fantasies for her Vampire Babylon series, action-adventure stories, and romances.? She also loves to read, overanalyze movies, practice yoga , and travel, and details her obsessions on her Web pages, www.crystal-green.com and www.vampirebabylon.com.
About Vampire Babylon
The first book, NIGHT RISING, was released as a trade paperback by Ace in February, 2007, and reissued in mass market format on January 27, 2009. The second trade book, MIDNIGHT REIGN, hit shelves in February, 2008, and will also be reissued in mass market format in July, 2009. The third book that closes out this initial trilogy, BREAK OF DAWN, came out in trade format September, 2008 (mass market reissue date pending).? Ace is reissuing each book in the first trilogy to introduce the second trilogy (books four through six, which will be released in trade format).
The Vampire Babylon series uses trilogy arcs to tell one basic story, much like the way JK Rowling used seven books that didn’t solve every plot thread book-by-book to tell Harry Potter’s story. While each individual novel focuses on a central mystery that’s solved by the end, the three books together build character and mythology arcs/mysteries until everything culminates in the third book. Each trilogy repeats this pattern.
Release dates for the second trilogy, which continues the adventures of Dawn and team, are as follows:
A DROP OF RED, Book Four, March, 2009
THE PATH OF RAZORS, Book Five, August 2009
DEEP IN THE WOODS, Book Six, date pending