Wednesday, May 16, 2012 The Story Behind The Success: Lisa Amowitz The Story Behind The Success: Lisa Amowitz: Query Tracker is a site devoted to helping writers who seek agent representation. In addition to the huge database of agent listings, Query... Securing Online Reviews Securing Online Reviews: In today's publishing world, more and more of the burden of publicity and marketing falls onto the shoulders of the author. I've had quite...

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Truth About Hair and Why Indians Would Keep Their Hair Long -- Science of the Spirit --

Thought I'd re-blog this interesting article...I also believe a woman's hair is her glory--and the Eighties were the most glorious time of all.


The Truth About Hair and Why Indians Would Keep Their Hair Long -- Science of the Spirit --

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Canadian Comic Creators Cross Channel to Kill Shakespeare in Bard’s Country

I thought I'd pass along a press release about Kill Shakespere's creators, Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col. I met the duo when I was at the Baltimore Comic Con last summer and am glad to share their announcement. Conor was a riot--he had a crowd around him every time I passed their table and I practically had to beat my way through the masses to buy my copy, which Conor dutifully signed for me. With great flourish, I might add.

So, with no further ado:

Canadian Comic Creators Cross Channel to Kill Shakespeare in Bard’s Country

London, UK - The creators of IDW Publishing’s Kill Shakespeare comic book series look to court controversy this month by bringing their take on Shakespeare and his characters to the birth country of the Bard himself this month on a two-week signing and convention tour of England.

“Colonists” Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col will be appearing at the Bristol Comic Expo as well as the Kapow! Comic Convention this month, along with a number of store signings in London, Manchester, Leeds and Stratford-upon-Avon. Series artist Andy Belanger will be joining the duo for the Kapow! Convention and a London signing. The trip to the U.K. is the final leg of their spring 2012 convention tour, which has seen them make appearances all over North America as well as at the Middle East Film & Comic-Con in Dubai last month.

To prepare for the tour IDW Publishing is proud to announce that they are releasing a fourth printing of Kill Shakespeare Volume 1: A Sea of Troubles. Originally released in April, 2010, this is the first half of the series that pits the Bard’s greatest heroes against his most menacing villains in a quest to track down and kill – or save – a wizard by the name of William Shakespeare.

IDW is also proud to announce that Del Col and McCreery have received their second straight Joe Shuster Award nomination for Best Writing in a comic series. The duo is pitted against such talents as Jeff Lemire and Kathryn Immonen in the category.

“We’re quite chuffed to see what people in England think of our take on the Bard,” says McCreery. “We expect some nay-sayers but we’re eager to show everyone that this project is just as vital a reflection of the Bard’s work as anything coming out of the Globe Theatre or Stratford-on-Avon.”

Kill Shakespeare has been in hot water before after Shakespearean scholar Kimberly Cox denounced the series as “bullshit” and said that “these guys really are helping to kill Shakespeare.” However, the adventure series, which incorporates Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Puck and others, has received high praise from media such as the New York Times, NPR, BBC, CBC and Fangoria. The series has also spawned a 90-minute stage show that debuted in association with Toronto’s acclaimed Soulpepper Theatre company in November of 2011 and is scheduled to tour to various locations across North America this fall.

The current signing schedule includes:

Sat, May 12 – Sun, May 13
Bristol Comic Expo
Wed, May 16
Travelling Man (Manchester)
Thu, May 17
Travelling Man (Leeds)
Fri, May 18
Forbidden Planet London Megastore
Sat, May 19 – Sun, May 20
Kapow! Comic Convention

Published by IDW Publishing, more information about the series can be found at The graphic novel is available at all major comic and book stores and digitally through iTunes or ComiXology.


Conor McCreery
(416) 844-4122

Anthony Del Col

(416) 388-8587

Goodreads G!ve@way Time!

It's that time again! Let's have a Goodreads giveaway!

I'm amping up for my first appearance at the end of the month... Balticon, here I come. I gots my wicked cool stilettos, my killer tee shirts, a gameplan for big awesome hair...and maybe presents for my editors, whom I shall meet in the flesh for the very first time. I get to hang out with my publisher! WOOTS.

The Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention

Memorial Day Weekend     

May 25-28, 2012

But...Balticon is a sci-fi/fantasy con. Do I really want to be sitting behind a table when there will be so much other geekfood around? I suppose we'll have to wait and see.

Going to Balticon? Look for me at the Pink Narcissus Press table, where I'll be promoting Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde along with my Pink Narc sib, Lyle Blake Smythers. He's getting ready to release his novel Feasting with Panthers. We'll be kissing hands and shaking...wait, no. That's not it. Breaking hands and kissing babies? Eh, whatevs. We'll be there doing that thing that we do.

Or just watch for a huge pile of reddish-blonde hair walking around very slowly. :) Those shoes are going to be killer.

I'm holding a Goodreads Giveaway that will run to the end of the month. Wanna copy? Get your karma in...

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton

Bleeding Hearts

by Ash Krafton

Giveaway ends May 31, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

If you're like me and never win a damned thing, there's a second-chance thingie you can consider...Book bloggers can get out my Request a Review Copy page (tab is up on the top) in order to get a review copy of Bleeding Hearts. All you have to do is ask! I don't bite (<--a lie. I really do bite. Bad Habit. Sorry.)

Thanks for entering...and hope to see you in Baltimore!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 Character Connection Character Connection: One of the most common reasons for rejecting a manuscript is when the agent or editor can’t connect with the main character. Somet...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Reviews, News, & Interviews for the Demimonde!

Today, I put myself into solitary confinement to get BLOOD RUSH polished up and ready to go.

There's a lot at stake on my sequel. It seems my editor, whom we call La Principessa, has grown emotionally attached to my original story. She tells me she loves my book. Well, my book loves her back. The sequal is just as much for her as it is for me, now.

I can't let La Mia Principessa down!

So, I've cut myself off from morning television until the ms is in the mail. I've only missed the first few minutes of Good Morning America and already I am jonesing. How can I go a month without Tweeting @SamChampion? He's my Twitter buddy! We have a THING!

Oh, Blood Rush. You're really going to make me work for it, aren't you...

It's not only La Mia Principessa who wants the's also the head editor. I named her My Lord Editor pretty much right at the beginning of our relationship (come to think of it, I also think I promised her blood and souls in the contract...I better check that thing out again). My Lord Editor has decreed that anyone who's given Bleeding Hearts a favorable review--and there are many of you, *hugs* *MWAH* *squee*--may get a Blood Rush ARC when they come out this Fall. See? I'm not the only one who truly loves and appreciates my Demimonde!

I'm also becoming more Blogger savvy...see the different page tabs at the top of the blog? (Yep, I'm pretty proud of myself, too.) Anyone wishing to receive a copy of Bleeding Hearts in exchange for honest review can find my contact details there. Hit me up any way you want. I'm easy like that.

Since I may receive a review or two this month, I'll be setting up a GOODREADS GIVEAWAY of a print copy of Bleeding Hearts. It'll be up soon and run until the end of May so there's plenty of time for you to enter. I'll post the link as soon as it's up.

Finally, saving the best for last again...Niina of For The Love Of Reading mailed me and said she wanted to chat again. She's posted a lovely review of Bleeding Hearts on her blog last month...take a moment to peek at her beautiful blog! Our conversation was even more fun because I included a sneak peak at Blood Rush. Hope you enjoy it...

Looking forward to lots of writing, lots of editing, and my break on Saturday when I go to see LACUNA musical muses. Can. Not. Wait.

(Also, I have pit tickets. I need to remember to wear flat shoes this time.)

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Welcome, Red Tash! (So Speaketh the Girl With Green Eyes)

Today, Red Tash wants to rip out my heart and stomp on it by reminding me I will NEVER EVER get over Egg Shen, the smexiest magician in Chinatown (and I don't say that just because I have eyes like creamy jade. And I DO.)

However, she's a friend so I don't want her to feel badly...why don't you cozy up to Red while I discreetly look for a tissue and quietly sob my heart out?


Recently, I wrote a short story about a mysterious wizard who, through a series of magical events, ends up sweating to the oldies in an exercise studio adjacent the the not-so-mean, but oh-so-fabulous streets of San Francisco.  It's called The Wizard Takes a Fitness Class, and it is the sequel to The Wizard Takes a Holiday.  I'm not sure what the Wizard is going to “take” next.  Perhaps a chance. Hopefully not a trip to the bathroom.  Could be a lover.  You just never know with this guy.

I threw out some ideas for guest post topics related to The Wizard to our beloved Ash, and she stuck her hand into the hat and pulled out the strip that said “Chinatown.”  You gotta respect a lady who ignores “fitness” and “zombies” completely in favor of great shopping and exotic foods.  I know I do! 

So let's talk about Chinatown, San Francisco Edition, shall we?  I've visited more than one “big city” Asian neighborhood, but whenever I hear “Chinatown,” I think of San Fran.  I also think of the classic Jack Nicholson flick, and thanks to that highbrow serving of cinematic fare Meet the Parents, I now hear Robert DeNiro's voice in my head vaguely threatening to take the eponymous Focker “down to Chinatown.”

My most memorable trip to Chinatown had nothing to do with anyone's parents, though.  It was way before we met the Fockers, no one solved any seedy murders, and I was still too cool to dig a sweaty Kurt Russell in a wife-beater (although, come to think of it, Big Trouble in Little China is probably the same universe in which our Wizard lives).

No, the best day I ever spent in San Francisco, by far, was an accidental walking tour.  The friend I was crashing with had to go to work that day, so she pointed me in the direction of a cable car, which I rode half-way to the stars before hopping off in my little pink low-top Chuck Taylor's, with no idea where I was going.

As I walked street after street, hill after hill, discoveries continued to delight me.  San Francisco is like that.  Did I mention hills?  They've got little parks on the tops of them.  Victorian houses called “Painted ladies.”  Beautiful men painted like ladies who call themelves Victoria.  All-in-all, breathtaking. 

If you're not careful, you can wander from Pacific Heights to the Haight, through the Castro, to the Wharf, and end up in Chinatown while you're looking for the famous beat poet mecca, City Lights Bookstore.  Along the way, you will be followed for a bit by young Latino men with basketballs, but although you are a lone white girl in the big city, you're not afraid.  You're a Hoosier.  Your espaƱol may be rusty, but you speak fluent basketball.

In typical Midwestern behavior, I wore an “I love you” shirt that matched my pink shoes that day.  In the exact opposite scenario my racist mother had always admonished me against, I was left alone by the allegedly dangerous roving hordes of inner-city minorities, and, instead, verbally assaulted by rainbow-mohawked white punks at the Wharf.  When they brought me to tears with their taunts, I was too shell-shocked to point to my shirt and say “...but...I love you” in the weak pitiful voice of my inner child, but as I crept away in shame, I realized I'd just had the San Francisco equivalent of a wild animal meet & greet on safari.  I took a photo of them with my Hello Kitty Polaroid iZone and was on my merry way.

Onward and upward, and always foodward, I stopped for fresh-baked sourdough French Toast.  Had coffee with the locals.  After a few hours of happy wandering, turn-by-clueless-turn, I thought I had picked up the same path I'd trod the day before with my resident SF friend, when I found myself in the midst of more screaming.

This time, instead of showy punks posing for photos, I found myself buffeted between short people arguing over the prices of cantalopes and fish.  Oh, man, there were fish everywhere.  And did I mention everyone was shorter than me?  I'm only about 5'5”, myself, so when I say “short,” I mean it.

I couldn't help but smile.  It was like stepping off the placid banks of a country stream and discovering a cold, thrilling current waiting to sweep you off your feet.  I flowed through the crowded street market  of Chinatown until I recognized a grocery, and popped inside.

I'd been admiring the variety of Hello Kitty-themed cookies and snacks for a few minutes, when I realized I was being watched.  A senior citizen, perhaps the “Pop” of this particular Mom & Pop was watching me like I was going to steal something.  Wow!  Mom sure never warned me that this could happen.  It was certainly shaping up to be quite a day.  I bought my Hello Kitty snacks, my Strawberry Pocky, my Kiwi-flavored gummies, and left the store to rejoin the madness in the streets.

 And you know what?  I never did see the Chinatown of that video above.  I'm sure it exists.  I see it on television and in movies, but I've never been there.  My San Francisco Chinatown is all fish markets and Asian apothecaries.  And that's okay.

If I'd had more time, maybe I would have found some cheesy souvenir for my mother or the man I called my “un-boyfriend” back home, but after all that walking and exploring, it was time to meet up with my friend.  Over awesome Italian food, I let her clue me in on all the places I'd been that day.  “That sounds like the Haight!” she'd said.   “Oh, that was the Castro, for sure!”  “Did you like The Mission?”  “Oh, yes, the financial district downtown is always cold—the sun never shines there.”

She apologized profusely for not having the time off to work to have gone with me that day, but I still feel now the way I did then—it was no big deal.  I had fun.  I didn't then and I don't now require company to have a good time.  The world is a fascinating place, and there is nothing like traveling to a new place alone to really highlight how much each of us stands to learn about the world around us, and the vast sea of unique individuals that inhabit it.

Like our mysterious Wizard, I never feel truly alone, no matter where I go.  Maybe I take demons with me, like his magicalness, himself.  Maybe it's the fluent basketballese, or the “I love you” shirt-wearing girl in me.  Maybe it was the echo of Allen Ginsberg, snapping fingers in time to my roving poet's heart.  Or maybe it was just those crazy talking parrots, chittering at me from atop Telegraph Hill.  I don't know and who cares?

Mayhap these shoes were not made for walking, but if ever a city was made to be walked, it was San Francisco.

In the Wizard Takes a Fitness Class, our Wizard walks those streets.  He intends to leave The City a better place than how he found it, but something from his past draws him in like a magnet.  Spells can only repair so much damage, after all.  When it comes to facing the past, sometimes its easier to exercise one's demons, than it is to actually exorcise them.

The Wizard Takes a Fitness Class is currently a Hot New Release in Dark Fantasy, on the Amazon charts.  I'd love for you to check it out, and share with me your own San Francisco walking story.  (I also recommend you read the almost-flash fiction piece that came first, The Wizard Takes a Holiday.  It's free.)

Thanks again to Ash for having me today on my Wizard mini-tour!

Red Tash is a journalist-turned-novelist, the author of The Wizard Tales, This Brilliant Darkness, and coming later this year, Troll Or Derby.  Her website is at, and in addition to short updates about her dark fantasy projects, she posts artwork that she finds inspiring.  Some of it is pretty scary, but she is really a nice person once you get to know her.  She is also on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest, oh my!  There is another Red Tash, but he is a pro wrestler in Australia, so if you have to choose between the two, oh hell--just friend them both.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bleeding Hearts Reviewed at "Once Upon A Quote"

Book blogger (and wonderful new friend) Elodie of the Once Upon A Quote blog has read and reviewed my urban fantasy, Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde. Read her four star review!

I met Elodie on Goodreads and we struck up a wonderful friendship. She's a French reader who studies English in college and she loves Young Adult books. Her blog is a gorgeous reader's santuary...

I recently supported a Kindles For Kids fundraiser and purchased a few copies of Danyelle Leafty"s book, The Fairy Godmother Dilemma. Since Elodie was hungry for new books, I offered to send her one of the copies as soon as they arrive. My children's school and the local libraries in my area will receive the others (except for the one Danyelle will autograph to me, of course!)

That's my favorite thing about writing and's all about telling stories to someone, sharing an idea or an experience. Share a book, and you share a communal experience because you both get to "live" the story.

Thank you, Elodie, for reading and sharing my book with me. Thank you for the review and thank you for caring about my book enough to share it with your readers. I cherish it!

And now...back to work on Blood Rush. Elodie wants that book done. :)