GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep: May 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Phoenix Comicon 2013: Interview Author Kevin Hearne + Giveaway

Phoenix Comicon 2013 was action packed with authors galore! We got the chance to sit down and chat with NYT bestselling author Kevin Hearne. This is one UF series you need to read! 

Katie: Hello Kevin, so wonderful to see you again here at the Convention! How has life and writing been treating you over the past year? 
Kevin: It's treated me remarkably well. I've finished six books and now I'm contracted to write seven more—one Star Wars novel, three more Iron Druid books, and an epic.
Katie: Wow, Wow, Wow. A Star Wars novel?! You gotta tell me more! 
Kevin: Well, since I'm under an NDA I can't tell you much except what's been publicly announced: I'm writing a standalone adventure set between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back featuring Luke, Han, Chewie, and Leia. 

Katie: The Iron Druid series has been a stellar hit for the reading community, what's been the most exciting thing, for you, being here at this convention? 
Kevin: I get to hang out with fabulous humans like Cherie Priest and Delilah Dawson and my other writer friends. Writers so rarely come out of their caves. It's nice to be social with other writers and visit with the readers who make it all possible.
Katie: Do you all plan evenings out? Cause mayhem in the streets of Downtown Phoenix? If so, I'm totally in! 
Kevin: Mostly we grin at each other and then realize after about two minutes that we don't have a drink in our hands. For social misfits that's a bloody crisis. So we go somewhere to get some liquid courage and then resume grinning. 

Katie: You sit on a number of panels with fellow authors, what's the most interesting piece of information folks can learn during one of these sit downs? 
Kevin: I'm not sure that I ever learn things myself because I'm usually too occupied with geeking out to process anything. A panel could be laying down some profound stuff but I'd miss it all because my brain would be going OMG I'M CONVERTING OXYGEN TO CARBON DIOXIDE IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO JOHN SCALZI.

Katie: Do fans ever ask if you can personally practice magic? 
Kevin: Ha! Yes, I've had a few. Some are convinced I'm a Druid or starting my own religion.
Katie: Which, you totally are. Ok lesson one of being a Druid, teach me something. 
Kevin: In the forest you're always being watched. It's not paranoid if it's true.

Katie: The next edition in your series, Hunted, hits shelves next month (June) what can we all look forward to? Spoilers please?!  
Kevin: There was about a twelve-year gap between TRICKED and TRAPPED, but HUNTED picks up about two minutes after the end of TRAPPED. We'll meet some old enemies and old friends, but also get a new bad guy, a new good girl, and oh my god cravats and what lies beyond the library of graphic novels...!
Katie: New bad guys? Are they hot. This is VERY important! 
Kevin: t is? Well, he thinks he's hot. Whether that's true or not is debatable.

Katie: Did you have posters on your wall growing up? If so, who and why? 
Kevin: I didn't, actually. I think I had paintings by my grandma on the walls. All the stuff I wanted to look at was in comic books. POW! and KER-BIFF!
Katie: Well then I must know, favorite comic arc?  
Kevin: I love CHEW by Jon Layman and Rob Guillory. I'll take any arc of theirs right now. But in days of yore I loved The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman in Sandman.

Katie: If every time you walked into a room a song would play, what would be and why?
Kevin: "Calling All Crows" by State Radio. It makes me happy and you kinda have to groove to it.

Katie: To date, the best costume you've seen at this convention? 
Kevin: Leeloo from the Fifth Element. The girl spoke in tongues and everything. Biiiiiig bada-boom.
Katie: Chicken, goooood! 
Kevin: Multipass!

Katie: You know we have to do some rapid fire questions! Sit back and hang onto your chair! 

Katie: Terrible nickname or a terrible tattoo?
Nickname. Because if I have to get stabbed hundreds of times with a needle I'd damn well better look pretty afterward.

Katie: Captain Malcolm Reynolds or Captain James T Kirk? 

Katie: Rule Earth or Mars? 
Mars. I'd get far fewer complaints that way, considering the population.

Katie: Sexy Nurse or Sexy Teacher? 
Sexy teacher. I'm married to one.
Katie: Yeow! Winner, winner chicken dinner! 

Katie: Design a watch or a suit? 
Katie: First gadget it would have?
It would deliver programmed messages on the hour from 6am to 6pm and nothing else.
6 am: "Your ass is gonna need some coffee if you're gonna deal with this shit."
7 am: "You might wanna take a shower as a public service."
8 am: "Hell YES it's time for more coffee."
9 am: "If you don't write a thousand words today I'm going to leap up offa your wrist and punch you in the mouth."
10 am: "The dogs need to urinate on other people's plants. Take 'em for a walk."
11 am: "Get off Twitter and write something!"
12 pm: "It's lunchtime, but don't stop writing if you're in the groove. And don't stop believing. Hold on to that feeling. And what the fuck are street light people?"
1 pm: "Your Pandora channels are getting stale and you need to make a new one but don't spend more than five minutes dicking around. You have a book to write."
2 pm: "Oh, you're tired? Well, allow me to retort. Chuck Wendig wrote three books and a blog this morning and he's a gourmet cook too. Keep working!"
3 pm: "Woohoo, it's happy hour, my man!"
4 pm: "Hey, you see this mess in the house? You better clean this shit up before your wife gets home."
5 pm: "Time to get started cooking dinner. Remember that you're supposed to use vegetables this time, all right?"
6 pm: "Okay, dude, you can relax now. Get yourself a comic book and geek out."

[Sorry folks, we had a nerd moment and just don't care!]

Katie: Jog or Speed walk? 
Do I have to?

Katie: Bagel or Muffin? 
To quote Aerosmith back in their days of coke and whiskey, "You ain't seen nuthin' till you been down on a muffin."

Katie: Learn battle techniques from a viking or a ninja? 
Viking. I want to drink in the mead hall afterward.

A BIG thanks again to Kevin for talking time out of his busy schedule to chat with us! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Phoenix Comicon 2013: Interview Author Marsheila Rockwell + Giveaway

I Smell Sheep got the chance to meet up with the amazing author Marsheila Rockwell at Phoenix Comicon 2013. We hope you enjoy this fun interview! 

Katie: Hello Marsheila, amazing to see you again! How has life been since we met at this same time last year? 

Marcy: Hi, Katie! It’s great to see you and the I Smell Sheep crew again, too! Things have been super busy since last Phoenix ComiCon. My latest Dungeons & Dragons Online novel, Skein of Shadows, came out in July 2012. Then I had two books out in early 2013. The first, Tales of Sand and Sorcery, is a collection of my Arabian-flavored sword & sorcery stories put out by Musa Publishing, all of which center around two women warriors, Shaala and Kij. The second, Bridges of Longing and Other Strange Passageways, is a collection of short stories and poetry from the first fifteen years of my writing career, and includes multiple award-nominated pieces. I’m working on some fun collaborative stuff, and still plugging away on my paranormal profiler series. And, finally, I’ve been contracted to write the first three books in a series based on a pretty cool comic book property, the first of which will be released later this year. I really wish I could tell you more about that one, because I’m very excited about it, but unfortunately, I’m gagged by my NDA until the publisher gives me the go-ahead. Hopefully soon, though. FX! 

Katie: You sit on a few different panels at the convention; tell me a little more about the panels in general and why folks should sit in? 

Marcy: I’ll be doing my usual panels - a couple of writing advice/critique sessions, one on genre poetry, and one on writing tie-in fiction. In addition, this year I’ll be doing some panels on the mystery/thriller/suspense and horror tracks, since my writing involves a lot of those elements, especially the new stuff I’ve been contracted to do, as well as some other projects I have in the works. You should sit in because all of my fellow panelists are smart and know their stuff, and most of them are funny, too, so you will learn new things and be greatly entertained in the process. Plus we’re cute, and snappy dressers, to boot. ;) 

Katie: Do you see a lot of the same authors at these conventions and have friendships formed? 

Marcy: You do tend to see a lot of the same faces, and friendships inevitably form, so in many ways, conventions aren’t just business opportunities for writers, they are annual reunions with people who are near and dear to you that you might not get to see very often otherwise. I’ve made some incredible, life-changing friendships on the con circuit, most notably with the ever-awesome and funny Gini Koch and with the super-talented and also amazingly sweet Jeff Mariotte (with whom I am currently collaborating on some Very Exciting Things). 

Katie: If someone wanted to ask a question at a panel, is there an open mic policy or is it a sit, listen and learn experience? 

Marcy: Most panels have a Q&A period, but it sort of depends on the moderator – some will encourage questions throughout, and others prefer that questions be held until toward the end of a panel, so that the panelists have a chance to say everything they want to say. Speaking as a panelist, though, we love questions – it means you’re actually in the room to hear us, and not just getting a good seat for the panel that comes after ours, heh. 

Katie: What's the best part of coming to this convention, for you personally?

Marcy: There are so many great things about this convention, it’s hard to pick a “best.” First off, they treat authors like rock stars here – they have a wonderful con suite, liaisons that bring us food and water and will watch our tables when we’re not there, good promotion, the works. Phoenix ComiCon is definitely my favorite con of the year, for that reason alone. But I also get to see and spend time with a lot of dear friends (like Jeff and Gini), and the guests and attendees are unfailingly awesome, and the whole thing is incredibly well-run and not (yet) so crowded that my agoraphobia kicks in and I have to hide under the table, rocking back and forth and crying. So that’s always a plus, heh. 

Katie: I turn on your car stereo right now, what's the first thing I would hear? 

Marcy: Depends on whom I was chauffeuring last. If it was my eldest son, probably an All That Remains CD. If it was my two youngest, probably the soundtrack to The Hobbit (they love “Song of the Lonely Mountain” and have it memorized, to my alternating amusement and despair). If it was me, usually something from the 80’s. I think I have The Waterboys in there right now. 

Katie: Have you ever walked the floor in costume? 

Marcy: You mean aside from my author costume? Heh. No, but if I did, I’d want to go as either Wonder Woman or Donna Troy. Probably Donna Troy, because it gets cold in here! 

Katie: During the zombie apocalypse, what fictional character would you want watching your back? 

Marcy: Duh. Daryl from The Walking Dead. He can watch the rest of me, too. ;) 

Katie: Would you rather fight Neo from the Matrix or Blade from…well Blade? 
Marcy: Neo. Because I’m a writer, I’m used to manipulating imaginary worlds and characters at my whim. I’d have control of the Matrix in no time, and use it against him. I’d probably keep him in a box and make him recite lines from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure for my amusement. 

Katie: Now we move into the Rapid Fire round! Sit back, relax, and answer with the first thing that pops up! 

Katie: Lucky Charms or Fruity Pebbles? 

Marcy: Lucky Charms. Because magically delicious! 

Katie: Crest or Colgate? 

Marcy: Crest. But only the gel kind with sparkles. Because everything’s better with sparkles. (Except vampires, obviously.) 

Katie: Deep fried or oven baked? 

Marcy: Deep fried. 

Katie: Coke or Pepsi? 
Marcy: Diet Coke. With Splenda. 

Katie: Captain America or Iron Man? 

Marcy: Can’t I have both? Pretty please? 

Katie: Peach Pie or Strawberry Cheesecake? 

Marcy: CHEESECAKE!!!!!! 

Katie: Puppy or Kitty? 

Marcy: Kitty. 

Katie: Sexy Pirate or Sexy Military man? 

Marcy: This one’s easy, since it’s a well-documented fact I have a thing for guys in uniforms. Military all the way, baby. 

Katie: Thanks for sitting down to chat with me, anything you would like to add before we wrap? 

Marcy: I’d just like to a) say thanks again for giving me a chance to blather on about myself, and b) recommend to any of your readers who are at all local to the Southwest to make the effort to get to this con – it really is one of the best around, and you won’t be disappointed, I promise! 

Marsheila Buy Links: 

Skein of Shadows: 
The Shard Axe: 
Legacy of Wolves: 
Bridges of Longing: 
Tales of Sand & Sorcery: 
Website-Blog-FB -Twitter  

Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell was born [redacted] years ago in America's Last, Best Place. A descendant of kings, pilgrims, Ojibwe hunters and possibly a witch or two, she spent the first few years of her life frolicking gleefully in a large backyard that is now part of one of the nation's largest Superfund sites. Perhaps that explains her early penchant for fantasy and horror - the first book she ever read (at the tender age of three) was Frank L. Baum's "Ozma of Oz."

Marcy sold her first short story to Marion Zimmer Bradley while in college and her first novel to Wizards of the Coast in 2005. She now lives in the desert in the shadow of an improbably green mountain with her Naval officer husband, their three sons, the requisite black lab, and far too many books. In odd moments stolen from her family and her writing, she can be found browsing eBay for Wonder Woman/Girl figures or Seabees sweetheart jewelry from WWII.

One lucky winner will receive their choice, signed copy of either Tales of Sand & Sorcery or Bridges of Longing

To Enter, please leave the following in the comments below. 
1. Would you rather join Marsheila in fighting Neo or take on Blade? 
2. Do you follow us? Let me know and you get double chances of winning!
3. Your Email Address
Contest Ends June 4th at midnight

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Phoenix Comicon 2013: Interview Author Gini Koch + Giveaway

Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini have learned the ins and outs of Washington politics, not to mention how to prevail in intergalactic war and foil dangerous plots. But, in the aftermath of Operation Destruction, the Gower girls’ powers are burned out, the entire A-C population has been “outed” as the aliens living on Earth that they are, and, worst of all, ACE is nowhere to be found.

Then murder and mayhem are served up at an important dinner party at the American Centaurion Embassy, and when the dust settles Alpha Team and the Diplomatic Corps have more problems than just a dead Congressman. 

Is there a single criminal mastermind—or multiple enemies—behind all the conspiracies that want Kitty dead and the A-Cs gone or co-opted to become the War Division?

The return of the best assassins in the business, the reappearance of two individuals long-presumed dead, Agent Malcolm Buchanan felled by something no one can identify or cure, and new technology that can block even the most powerful empath on Earth ... all of this means the game’s officially afoot.

Then Vance Beaumont comes to Kitty with a wild theory that someone is systematically killing off the House of Representatives….

It’s up to Kitty and the rest of the gang to find out what’s really going on and why. But will they be able to stop the killer or killers before the rest of the U.S. House of Representatives become casualties? And will the replacement Representative for New Mexico’s 2nd District, who happens to be Jeff Martini, be the next to die? 

Katie: Hey Gini, we meet again! Awesome to see you here in Phoenix! How have things been since we last met at this same time last year?
Gini: Crazed, babe. Absolutely crazed. But in a good way. Lots of books done (though not as many as I’d have liked), lots of things going on, my love affair with Nathan Fillion is still going strong, and I still have what’s left of my sanity. It’s not much, but it’s there.

Katie: You sit on many panels at the convention, tell me a little more about the panels in general and why folks should sit in? 
Gini: Well, they’re fun, they’re informative, I’m on them… Basically, panels are a way of getting to get to know the guests a little better, to see us live and in person, and to have some fun. There’s something for everyone at Phoenix Comicon, but if you aren’t sure what to go for, just try the nearest door. Or go to my panels. I guarantee a good time. (Especially my Evening Erotica panel with Jordan Summers. We GUARANTEE a good time!)

Katie: If a reader only had the time to attend one panel, which would you recommend? 
Gini: My Author Spotlight on Sunday, May 26, at 3pm. All me, all rolling. I have no filter. It will be fun. Guaranteed. (Again with the guarantee. Because I’m that darned confident. LOL)

Katie: During the panels, folks get to ask questions. What's the one question you hear constantly and what makes it so important? 
Gini: Um, the question I hear the most is “when is the next book coming out” and it’s important because it shows that readers want my books. 

Otherwise, it’s really hard to pick just one question because many get asked frequently. Aspiring authors all have similar questions – and I did, too, when I was where they are – and readers have similar questions, but there’s always some that stand out. And similar isn’t bad, similar just means that you have the same questions and interests as a lot of others.

Katie: For writers, just starting out, what does the convention offer panel wise? 
Gini: Oh, wow, tons. There’s a full author track, with more than one session going at a time. Live critique – awesome author Marsheila Rockwell and I are doing one session on Saturday, May 25, from 7:30-8:30pm – social media, how to’s, genres and humor and world building, oh my, and more. There’s just tons for aspiring authors at this con.

Katie: You're also a huge comic nerd, have you thought about writing a comic book?
Gini: Yes, I have, and I have the story idea and everything. I may have even found an artist. Now the key is one big word: time. Well, two big words: time and money. Should we ever get the time, I’ll probably do a Kickstarter to see if there’s interest in the graphic novel, but it’s totally a goal of mine.

Katie: With all these costumes walking the floor, who's the best you've seen to date? 
Gini: Last year there was a set of folks who came as some of the Avengers – Tony Stark, Black Widow, and the Hulk – and they were great. There were a couple amazing Rogues there, too. I think Phoenix Comicon’s costumes are easily as good as any I see at San Diego Comic-Con, so expect to see a ton of great cosplay going on here.

[Belle and Snow White were the best! muuuahahahaha]
Katie: What would I find under your bed? 
Gini: Cats, dust, captain’s drawers, and night clothes. It’s all glamour over here.

Katie: You get a hall pass for one night, what fictional character are you going out with? 
Gini: This is a question? Really? As if you don’t know? Wolverine. If he’s not available, Captain Mal. If he’s not available, Richard Castle. If he’s not available I’m throwing a fit and will get all three.

Katie: You know we have to do some rapid fire! 

Gini: I live for rapid fire!

Katie: Coke or Cherry Coke? 
Gini: Both! And Dr. Pepper!

Katie: Sticky or Pokey? 
Gini: My Little Pony

Katie: Hairy Back or Hairy Chest? 
Gini: Hairy chest, but I will not turn away a hair back. I love me some bears.

Katie: Bra or No Bra?
Gini: Corset  

Katie: Peeps or Mounds? 
Gini: Mounds

Katie: Cartwheels or Summersaults? 
Gini: Watching Jean-Claude Van Damme or Sam Rockwell do the splits

Katie: Warp speed or Worm holes? 
Gini: Power Cubes

Katie: Top hat or Monocle? 
Gini: Neither, I’m not into Mr. Peanut. Browncoat, all the way.

Katie: Gini, thanks so much for chatting with us yet again! You've been a part of this website from the very beginning, the friendship and love has been amazing. We send it back at ya a million times over! 
Gini: It’s always great to be here and you know I love me my Sheep!

Author Bio:
Gini Koch lives in Hell’s Orientation Area (aka Phoenix, AZ), works her butt off (sadly, not literally) by day, and writes by night with the rest of the beautiful people. She writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series for DAW Books, the Necropolis Enforcement Files series, and the Martian Alliance Chronicles series for Musa Publishing. As G.J. Koch she writes the Alexander Outland series. She also writes under a variety of other pen names (including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch), listens to all kinds of music 24/7, and is a proud comics geek-girl willing to discuss at any time why Wolverine is the best superhero ever (even if Deadpool does get all the best lines). She speaks frequently on what it takes to become a successful author and other aspects of writing and the publishing business. She is also the Lead Editor at Raphael’s Village, an online, nonpaying ’zine. Because she wasn’t busy enough, Gini’s added on featured guest columnist, reviewer, and webcaster for Slice of SciFi and It’s Comic Book Day. She can be reached through her website at


Gini is hooking one lucky person up with a signed, personalized copy of winner’s choice of any one of the following: Alien Tango, Alien in the Family, Alien Proliferation, or Alien Diplomacy. Plus a set of cover magnets, cover postcards, and signed flyers!

To enter:
1. Tell us the best costume you've ever seen
2. Do you follow us? If so let us know and you get double entries!
3. Your Email Address
Open internationally.
Ends June 3rd at midnight! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Movie Review: Top 10 reasons to see Hangover III

The Hangover Part III (2013)
100 min - Comedy
Release: 23 May 2013 (USA)
Director: Todd Phillips
Writers: Todd Phillips, Craig Mazin
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis

This time, there's no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.

If you liked the first two then you will love this one; especially if you loved Mr. Chow. You see a lot of Mr. Chow in this one <G>. I went with my husband and 12 year old daughter (yeah, I know. Parenting fail) and we all laughed and had a good time. I must admit I haven’t seen the second one yet, but I don’t think it matters. There were plenty of references to the first two movies and at the end there was a nice cheesy Wolfpack music montage. Whether or not you should see this in the theater versus renting… depends on how you feel about these types of movies. You get exactly what it advertises; including the beheading of a Giraffe (no Giraffe was hurt in the making of this movie) and a lot of cursing. Make sure you stay for 
the 2 minute extra scene after the credits roll…

Top 10 reasons to see Hangover III

11. Someone needs to burn this place to the ground.

10. I’m killing Dougs today

9. I’m *#$;#*@*#%;!;&*)$)@* Chow #*%&#)(@)!;@)@ #*&amp; @*@*&# @((#*#$!$#@!

8. This is the best day of my life!

7. I love cocaaaaaaaaaaaine!
6. You don’t talk to madness

5. F***ing spit in your own hand!

4. I’m invisible!

3. I’m saying hello, were dogs!

2. Red lollipops

1. Seriously? have you seen him?

3 ½ “*%#@&*^$@^*” sheep

Sharon Stogner

May 28 new releases in Speculative fiction!

May 28 new releases in Speculative fiction! 
Got some winners. You can alwaya find the links to these books at the bottom of the site and in a scrolling gadget on the right side bar. Don't stare at the gadget for too long or you will get booknotized by all the covers and next thing you know you will own all of them! (that wouldn't be a bad thing... until the bill came)

now go forth and read...

Comic Review: The Deep Sea One Shot from Dark Horse

Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray 
Artist: Tony Akins
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Genre: Action/Adventure, Horror, Science-Fiction
Publication Date: May 22, 2013 
Dark Horse Comics

Format: FC, 32 Pages
Price: $2.99
UPC: 7 61568 22662 1 00111

Paul Barry’s obsession with the ocean took a turn when his crew’s vessel was lost in a deep sea descent mission—with his crew inside. Fifty-five years later, with the recovery of the ship, Paul is about to discover the horrific mysteries of time and the abyss. From the pages of Dark Horse Presents.

* By acclaimed writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (Creator-Owned Heroes, Jonah Hex).

* From Wonder Woman artist Tony Akins!

This is classified as a one-shot, which means it is a self-contained story, but a resolution to the story line isn't really reached in this installment. One could even say it was a slight cliff hanger. The Deep Sea originally appeared in Dark Horse Presents. For those of you who don’t know about Dark Horse Presents, it is an ad-free, 80 page monthly showcase of new and popular talent and it is a great way to discover new comics.

When I first started reading the story I believed it to be just another time-traveling, worm-hole sort of story, and then at page 17 it took a pleasantly surprising dark turn. Before this turn of events, the narrator, a very old Paul Barry, is telling the story about his deep sea exploration team that disappeared 55 years ago. It has resurfaced and he is on his way to get answers about what happened that day. He is still haunted by the loss.

The backstory is explained well, but this makes the text bubbles heavy. They are still easy to read though. The artwork is crisp, bright and adds depth (haha, see what I did there? <G>) to the story. I am left wondering what the consequences of their discovery will lead to. 
The comic ends with an interesting two page “Sketchbook” by the artist Tony Atkins. He explains some of the factors in bringing the story to life and a little about his drawing process. It also includes many early sketches. 

3.5 “Make it right” Sheep

Sharon Stogner (edit by Kalpar)