Tags: vamped

Free short story in honor of Fun Fridays!

In honor of Fun Fridays here on the blog, I'm pleased to post a totally new, totally free short story in my Vamped world.  Shout out goes to Martha and Rowan, who entered the Facebook contest and got to name characters.  I hope you enjoy!

"Fanged" by Lucienne Diver

I heard Marcy yip and leggo the dress she’d had a death-grip on, which was so unlike her that I almost flashed fang at the presumed threat.  Or maybe not almost, from the speed at which the girl eying my blouse drew back from me and found somewhere else to be.

     “Break a nail?” I asked Marcy, wadding up my prize into the smallest possible package, the better to avoid having it swiped away.  It was just my size—small—and color—fire-engine red.  I knew just by eyeballing it that it would fit like a glove.

     “N-no,” she stammered.  Surprised, I left off ogling the shoe selection still available a quarter hour into the Bombshell Boutique’s annual midnight madness sale to turn and assess her freak-out level.

     Her eyes were wide, and her arms empty.  Her heartbeat was, of course, non-existent, us being undead and all.  But I imagined that if she still had a working heart it would be pounding.  Nothing short of structural nail damage or impending doom would cause my BFF to surrender a sales item.  I knew from experience.  I’d been on the other end of that tug of war.

     “Eyes,” she continued.

     “Eyes?” I asked, baffled.

     “They flashed at me.  Glowing amber, like a caution light.”

     “You mean red?” I tried.  Very old vamps sometimes got a red and dead glow about them when crossed.  It wouldn’t be too startling to find another of the fanged and fabulous at a midnight madness sale.  After all, they seemed tailor-made for us.

     “Amber,” she insisted, “like a traffic light.”

     Yellow…amber…it probably wasn’t worth arguing the finer points of the color wheel.

     “Where?” I asked.  “Which girl?”

     Marcy grabbed my arm and started to pull me toward the shoes.  “We’re off-duty,” she reminded me.  “Come on, let’s go check out the kicks before our sizes are gone.”

     More problematic for me than for her, since my feet were a normal size seven, and she had munchkin feet, but I let her steer me in the direction I wanted to go anyway…until another girl howled.

     It was a perfectly human howl of pain and shock, but I pulled away from Marcy and spun to see a girl about our age yank back a slashed arm, blood dripping dramatically on the silver shawl she clutched.

     “Right there,” Marcy said, when it was clear I wasn’t going anywhere.  She pointed to a brown-haired girl just turning away from the commotion, her wild mane of hair bobbing above the crowd as she made her way to the door.

     “I’m going after her.  You talk to the girl who got gouged.  Something’s not right here.”

     “But…shoes!” she wailed.

     “Later,” I promised.

   “When all the good ones are gone,” she grumbled, but she let me lead the way back to the sales table we’d come from.  When she stopped, I kept going.  Already I was losing sight of the shopping slasher.  I could still see her head above the crowd as she power-walked away, the path opening magically before her.  She paused at the entrance when a suited security guy moved in front of her, but I could swear I heard a growl and suddenly he stumbled back.

     He was yelling into his radio as I got there, and I didn’t even realize that one of the cries was for me until I was past and remembered the shirt balled up in my right hand.

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Support my shopping habit and check out my previous adventures from Flux Books:
Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

Also, look for Fangtastic, forthcoming in January 2012!

Day of Rest

A day of rest for the Halloween blog bash...unless anyone wants to continue the celebration with me at my first two stops on The Crossroads Tour at Narratively Speaking and Kit Lit Frenzy (where you might win a signed copy of Vamped).  Check in at The Crossroads for the daily question, the answer to which can be found on one of the participating blogs.  Answer the questions right for all sixteen days to be entered to win an amazing box of swag, including books, a DVD, a t-shirt, gift certificate, etc.

Halloween Blog Bash resumes on Monday with posts throughout the week from Molly Cochran, Sarah A. Hoyt, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Jasmine Haynes and Lynn Flewelling.

Halloween Blog Bash call for a Street Team

I'm going to have the amazing Diana Pharaoh Francis here in just a bit, but first I thought I'd hijack my own blog to put out a call for a street team.

Like fangs?  Like fun? 

Then have I got the series for you!  Whether you're already a fan of the Vamped series or new on the scene, I'm looking for a few good teens (or those who enjoy teen fiction with bite) to help me spread the word about Revamped.  Unfortunately, I don't have enough books left to send out copies to all of the street team, though I have more coming, but I have signed bookplates, posters, crosses, teeth and the like.  I'll sign up as many people as I have swag to satisfy!  If you're a reviewer or blogger who wants a copy, let me know that too.

How does the street team operate?  Help spread the word by posting reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads and the like, blog, tweet or Facebook favorite quotes or comments or whathaveyou, tell all your friends, your bookseller, your favorite fanged enthusiast, donate a copy to your high school or local library or talk to them about carrying it....  Any or all of those are awesome.  Basically, help me put the shout out.

Want to see if the series is for you?  Check it out here: 
Vamped (excerpt) and Revamped (excerpt).  You can also catch some glimpses of my heroine's voice at:

Vampire Chix with "How to Stay Dreamy When You're Dead"
Magical Words with "The Care and Feeding of Minions"
The Mad Genius Club with "Tomorrow the World" (I'm there again today with a post on "Creative Control" in my own words)

If you're interested, e-mail me at varkat at verizon.net with "street team" as the subject line.  Thanks!

Virtual Launch Party and other events

Today I'm over at Bitten by Books with a virtual launch party and giveaway to celebrate the new release of Revamped, sequel to Vamped, both starring Gina Covello, fashionista of the damned. I really, really love my readers, and want to give something back, so...how about an iPod Nano with a special fashion skin?  Click on over to see how you can be entered to win.

I'm also up on Sydney Salter's excellent blog "My Big Nose and other natural disasters" (love the title!) with some relationship advice (such as it is).  She's also offering up a copy of Revamped to one lucky commenter, so stop on by!

If you're an instant gratification junkie like me, and want your copy of Revamped NOW or possibly even sooner, you can find it in the "Teen" section of the bookstores.  The "New for Teens" shelves this week at Barnes & Noble!

And how much do I love my local Borders?


Other upcoming September events:

TKA Chat with Michele Lang (and me)
When: Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:00 PM-10:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).

Agently advice post for Magical Words on September 23

"A Writer’s Diary" for Magical Words on September 30

Link Soup

Happy Labor Day, all!  A few quick links before I'm off to a cook-out in celebration:

A fun slideshow of pics from the NYC launch party for Michele Lang's Lady Lazarus and my Revamped.

Final day to blog or tweet your favorite lines from Vamped or ReVamped for a chance to win a signed copy of the latter.  (Details here.)

Two days left to enter the contest at Stephanie Kuehnert's blog for
Women Who Rock Wednesday, also for a chance at an autographed copy of ReVamped.

Also, I'm over today at Megan Kelley Hall's excellent blog with an interview on everything from my dream cast to my favorite 80s film.  Hope you'll stop on by!

YA Week continues with...me

I decided on a post of my own to conclude YA week here on my blog (unless some of my stragglers come in with guest blogs next week, in which case, I'll extend things).  I hope you've enjoyed the past week's posts and look forward to presenting more theme weeks in the upcoming months.  Stay tuned!

As for my bio, most of you know me as a literary agent for all kinds of commercial fiction, including fantasy, romance, mystery and young adult.  My youn
g adult series featuring Gina Covello, fashionista of the damned, started last year with Vamped and will continue in September with ReVamped (*shameless plug* now available for pre-order!).  Flux has also contracted two more books in the series, Fangtastic and Fangtabulous.  Hope you'll share in the fun.

Better Living through Fiction by Lucienne Diver

They say familiarity breeds contempt.  They say write what you know.  They say I was dropped on my head as a child.  While that last part might be true, I beg to differ on the first two points.

I write a fashionista vampire.  She’s confident, cocky, popular and fashion-obsessed.  Oh yes, and she’s seventeen.  While I will admit to once being seventeen (just yesterday), I was not at the time confident, popular, fashionable or fanged.  I played D&D, wore shapeless shirts to cover up the figure I wish I had now, took extra classes, particularly in art and English, did drama and generally lived the life of a Gleek.  I think what drew me to Gina (my character) was that she was so absolutely alien to me.  My first YA, Vamped, was originally meant to be a short story called “Unlife Style” about a teen vamp who faces true horror when she claws her way out of the grave, totally destroying her manicure, and realizes she’s got to face eternity with no way to fix her hair and make-up.  She decides to save her sanity by turning her stylist and starting an undead entourage. 

I didn’t have to like Gina.  I only had to live with her for about ten pages. Unfortunately, my writers group informed me that “Unlife Style” was more of a vignette and that Gina demanded more.  Not exactly a surprise that my heroine was high maintenance, but did I have to be the one to cater to her every whim?  The short answer is, of course, a resounding, “Yes.”  So, I had to learn to live with Gina.  I had to learn to love her.  Which meant that I had to understand what made her who she was and discover her more redeeming characteristics.  In short, I had to learn tolerance and acceptance for a character who was so alien to the real me.  Gina changed as well, learning to open herself up a bit, becoming more human as a vampire than when she lived and breathed.

It didn’t occur to me until I sat down to write this blog that my path is more or less echoed in ReVamped.  Gina, the girl whose most noble goal is to beautify the world, one person at a time, ends up having to go undercover as a goth…no color palette so speak of, more chains than a bike rack, and don’t even get her started on the shoes….  She’s sure she’ll have nothing in common with the goth gang, but they take to her instantly, particularly Ulric, who wants to be a whole lot more than her new BFF.  She learns a lot of things, beyond what’s messing with the ley-lines and causing outbreaks of violence at her new school.  She discovers that we’re all the same beneath our outer skins.  Whether hair is shorn or dyed, spiked or gelled, whether flesh is pierced, tattooed or untouched, everybody shops.  And whether you’re a biter or a bleeder, all life is precious.

You don’t necessarily have to start out writing what you know, but you do have to come to know that which you write.  For me, familiarity didn’t breed contempt, but understanding and acceptance. 


Special Note: one day left to participate in my mighty minions contest with a chance to win a Flip Video Camera or B&N gift card.  Details are here!  And tune in to Bitten by Books on September 15th for the virtual launch party for ReVamped and chance to win an iPod Nano with a special skin.

Fanged Fiction

Love vampires?  Geek Speak Magazine has a whole "Dead and Doing It" (gotta love the title) wrap up of paranormal romance and other fiction that bites in the night, including the fabulous Vampire Files series by P.N. Elrod, Susan Sizemore's sizzling Primes series and Chloe Neill's awesome Chicagoland Vampires.  Check it out!

Speaking of Chloe Neill, you can support her and Team Cadogan as they participate in Chicago's Hunger Walk this coming weekend.  Details are up on Paperback Dolls.

In other news, I was very excited to come across my French cover for Vamped yesterday.  Voila!