Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cyber-Launch Book Party for ARMED & MAGICAL

This is it! Welcome to the Cyber-Launch Book Party for Lisa Shearin's second Fantasy novel, ARMED & MAGICAL! Do be careful. The goblins look like Chippendale dancers, but they do have fangs. Also, the trolls are a little cranky at having to get up so early this morning.

Lisa's in a bit of a jam, which Susan Grant once told me is called 'Deadline Hell.' So, I swiped a Lisa Shearin interview from her page at Penguin. If you want to read my review of ARMED & MAGICAL, click on Lisa Shearin's name in the directory. All things Lisa Shearin can be found there! ARMED & MAGICAL hits the bookstores Tuesday, April 29th.


Now, sit back and enjoy the Penguin interview:

A Q&A with Lisa Shearin, author of Armed and Magical

Armed & Magical is set in a traditional fantasy world, replete with elves and goblins. But what's so refreshing about your novel is the first person narrator, Raine Benares, an elven sorceress. Raine has *attitude*! Why did you decide to put a heroine with contemporary sensibilities in a Tolkien-esque world of swords, horses, and magic?

Anyone looking at my bookshelves can see that I love genre fiction: fantasy, detective, action adventure, mystery, romantic comedy, crime capers, and political thrillers. I think that over the years they all just sort of merged in my head and Raine Benares and her world was the result. I simply wrote the type of books I wanted to read, but couldn't quite find. Well, that and Raine didn't give me a choice.

Mixing contemporary sensibilities with traditional fantasy was a hard line to walk. I resisted doing it for as long as I could, but I finally gave in. Raine's voice just wouldn't be forced into traditional “fantasy speak,” and third-person was out of the question—Raine let me know that in no uncertain terms from day one. Once I started writing in first-person, I immediately found her voice, and I really knew I was on to something when my other characters started coming out of the woodwork as if they heard their cue to come on stage.
Armed & Magical also has a romantic element, with Raine juggling the attentions of Mychael, a handsome elven spellsinger, and Tam, a sexy goblin. I think we've all seen Orlando Bloom as Legolas enough to understand the appeal of an elf, but a goblin is an unusual choice for a love interest. Can you tell us more about your goblins? How are they different from the traditional ones?

I wanted to do something different with my elves and goblins. I have two finished manuscripts in my office closet that I consider practice books for what I'm writing now. In those books, I went with the more traditional idea of elves. In fact, the character that eventually became Raine was an elf princess, of all things. Knowing Raine now, I look back on that and it cracks me up. When I started writing Magic Lost, Trouble Found, I decided that not only should Raine be non-royal, she should be from a family of criminals, and she has to work for a living. No hoity-toity elves for me (at least not for Raine and her cousin Phaelan). However, there will be a hoity-toity, pure-blood, high-elf mage in Armed & Magical, named Carnades Silvanus.

And as to my goblins—most of the goblins in books that I'd read were short, gnarled, and had a bad case of post-nasal drip. Again, I wanted to do something different. I asked myself why couldn't goblins be gorgeous? Why couldn't they be tall, lean, silvery skinned, and wicked sexy? And while I was at it, I thought fangs and long black hair would be a nice touch. (Heck, they don't call it “fantasy” for nothing.) My goblins are just your basic dark-eyed, smooth-talking, dangerous bad boys who you probably wouldn't take home to meet the parents.
You and your husband are members of a fencing club; no doubt this real world experience is very helpful when writing novels set in a place where swordplay is the norm! How has your knowledge of fencing made its way into the books? Do you and your husband block out fight scenes together?

Since I've begun writing Raine's adventures, unfortunately I haven't had the time to get back into the fencing gym. But I have five years of fencing experience to fall back on (my Olympic weapons of choice are the foil and epee). And while I was working on the manuscript that would become Magic Lost, Trouble Found, I took private rapier and dagger lessons, and took a lot of notes for future book use. My fencing coach, Wes Caudill, helped me block out the fight scene in the first chapter of Magic Lost, Trouble Found, and is always available for any and all of my combat-related questions.

Like Raine, I like to be creative in my fighting style. Though unlike Raine, I've never used a rose bush branch as an offhand weapon. I prefer the more traditional offhand weapons: a dagger, a second rapier (fighting with a pair of rapiers is also known as a “case” of rapiers or Florentine style), a dueling cloak (though I never quite got the hang of that), but what was just too much fun was a rapier and a bullwhip. Yep, you heard me right. Believe me, nothing distracts an opponent like a six-foot whip wrapping around their blade. Hmmm, a bullwhip. That sounds like a weapon Raine would like.
Going back to Armed & Magical, can you give us any hints about what's next for Raine Benares?

The action in Armed & Magical picks up a week after Magic Lost, Trouble Found ends. Needless to say, Raine isn't going to catch up on her sleep anytime soon. By the end of page three, Raine's already got big problems—an assassination attempt on the archmagus, an encounter with an enemy from her past, and an entirely too public display of her Saghred-enhanced powers. Later, Tam has not one, but two, deep dark secrets from his past that he'd rather keep buried. (Of course they don't stay that way.) Piaras is now a Conclave college student studying spellsinging, and that voice of his attracts way too much of the wrong kind of attention. Mychael has his hands full with Raine, and with trying to keep her from falling prey to the darkest side of the Saghred. Let the fun continue!


*End of Penguin Interview*


Lisa just got back from the Romantic Times Convention in Pittsburg. Here she is at her table-

Doesn't she look hot in red? Bet her husband thought so! To learn more about Lisa and her books, pop over to


On with the party! I got into a major fight with my Happy Helpers, Junior (redhead) and Angelica (Kick-Butt Heroine-in-Training) over music. Naturally, I wanted Weird Al and his hit single, Weasel-Stomping Day.


However, I was shouted down and now Soulja Boy is in the party room, rocking out. I hope they don't mind getting yanked into an alternate reality. Be sure to click on the link below to watch their music video and buy their album! They really are awesome!

And now I shall wave my fairy wand and zap you through the Transdimensional Vortex Chamber! Watch your step and please be respectful of my younger friends (the under-18 crowd.) Remember, if you want to be entered into the drawing for signed copies of MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND and ARMED & MAGICAL, and related goodies, your comment must be linked to a working email. Thank


Kimber An said...

“Oh, good grief, I never get these shindigs cleaned up and ready to go on time. Oh, well, this is Lisa’s second Cyber-Launch. She’ll probably understand.” Kimber An stands in the middle of the party room with clipboard in hand. “Angelica! Pop over to the Lord of the Rings universe and bring back some elves.”

Angelica snaps a mock salute. “Aye-aye, Oh Captain My Captain!”

Kimber watches her march through the Transdimensional Vortex Chamber. “I swear she’s going to sprain something one of these days doing that.”

Junior stomps out of the shadows with mop and bucket in hands. “Well, I’m finished cleaning the trolls’ bathroom and I hate you!”

Kimber pats her back. “You’re young. You’ll get over it. Now, go find me some regular goblins. We might get some regular Fantasy guests in here who can’t handle Lisa’s Chippendale-Dancers-with-Fangs-Goblins.”

“Why do I always have to get the goblins?” Junior whines and stomps off.

Kimber yells after her. “Because I’ll tell your mommy on you if you don’t!” She studies her clipboard. “Hmmm, the shipment from the Intergalactic Bar & Grill isn’t here yet, but I think the Super-Turbo Coffee Maker is…”


“Oh, crap.”

Anonymous said...

*tick* *tick* *tick*

Is it nearly time yet?


Robyn said...

*Robyn enters, sets Triple Overload Split-Yer-Pants Brownies on the table*

I want Weird Al!!! I want Weird Al!!!

In lieu of that, can I dance with the Chippendale goblins?

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Congrats on the new release, Lisa! Cool party, Kimber An! I've got my dancing shoes on and I'm ready to shake it and hopefully not break it. ;-)


Lisa Shearin said...

(Lisa runs in with her husband’s laptop under her arm. Her laptop went kaput at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Pittsburgh last week.)

Thank you, Gwyneth!

Kimber An, hon -- this author needs some coffee and some of your world-famous, tribble-sized muffins. Are they out of the oven yet? I brought a cup of my own brew to get me started. I'll be over at the corner table. There's a plug over there, right? I'm on deadline for Raine's third adventure -- The Trouble With Demons. If anyone wants to sit and visit for a while with me, just come on over to my "desk away from home." ; ) I’ll be only too glad to take a break.

Anonymous said...

I brought chili. Do goblins even eat chili? I completely didn't think to ask beforehand.

Thanks for hosting, Kimber An! I like the decor.

Congratulations, Lisa!

- Shana

Lisa Shearin said...

Thank you, Shana! If it's got meat in it, goblins will eat it. They're definitely carnivores. ; )

Kimber An said...

Chili? Just don't feed it to the trolls. Last time they had chili, Canada thought we'd launched chemical weapons and almost declared war.

Kimber An said...

Hi, Owlfish, Robyn, and Gwyneth! Thanks for coming!

Oh, yeah, Lisa, there's a plug-in near every table. I never know when an author will visit, yanno.

Kimber Chin said...

Hey all!
I brought bullwhips for everyone!

After Lisa's interview, I'm thinking that every woman needs a bullwhip (and a goblin).

Lisa Shearin said...

Honey, every woman should know the fun of cracking a bullwhip. ; ) Raine will be using one in future books.

Anonymous said...

Goblins, yes, trolls, no, when it comes to chili. Chili is even more complicated than I'd realized. (How I have missed potlucks!) I wonder what elves think of chili?

Tia Nevitt said...

Ok, I swung by my old hometown of Phoenix on my way to Alaska and snagged some some chips and salsa. Watch the salsa--it makes good jet fuel too! Angelica might want to swipe some; I know that the price of jet fuel is through the roof.

Now I think I'll hover over Lisa and watch her type like an annoying little sister.

Kimber An said...

"Gee, I dunno, Owlfish."

Angelica leaps out of the Chamber with Mr. Spock on one arm and Tuvok on the other.

“Angelica!" Kimber faces her. "How many times do I have to tell you – they’re Vulcans. Not elves!”

“They’ve got pointed ears. Can’t Tuvok stay at least? He looks great with his shirt off.”

Kimber points to the Chamber. “Go! Bring Legoles.”

“Oooh, Legoles! You got it, Babe.” Angelica leaves the Vulcans and vanishes back into the Chamber.

Kimber rolls eyes and groans. "Trekkies."

Kimber An said...

Welcome, Tia! Don't forget to point and ask lots of silly little questions over Lisa's shoulder.

Tia Nevitt said...

I hope she left the Vulcans! After all, they were probably once elves.

Tairis Algenon Horatio Anders said...

OK who brought the Cherry Brandy and the Twinkies??? sheeeze!!!!

*Tairis slaps Black Blade by Blue Oyster Cult on the CD player, graps his crate of Samuel Adams and slopes of to a corner of the room!!*

Writer Babs said...

*Babs sneaks in to set her goodies down on a table before going back to Creative Writing class in the real world*

"Hokay, sorbets over here ... ice cream over here..." She sets out her homemade creations.

"What kind of ice cream do elves like? How about goblins? I once saw Bobby Flay make turkey ice cream on 'Iron Chef'. Would that be appropriate?"

Linnea Sinclair said...

Congrats on your release day, doll! It was a total hoot hanging out with you at RT. I'm thrilled to have met you and hope we can get together and be wild and wacky (with Stacey) again.

I'm up to my patootie (and beyond) in deadlines, laundry, requested crits/quotes, laundry and deadlines. I hope your computer woes are fading. Again, big fat furry congrats on a GREAT book! Hugs, ~Linnea

Lisa Shearin said...

Thanks Linnea!!! I can't wait to get back together with you and Stacey, either. Perhaps in that beach writers retreat. Jeez, I love that idea. I'm up to my wazoo in deadline, and then there's the Book Release Party next Tuesday night at the B&N in Durham, NC. And yep, I will be wearing that flawless purple taffeta blouse you "twisted my arm" to make me buy.; )

Hugs, Sweetie!!

Kimber An said...

"Hi, Linnea!" Kimber waves, but a banging sound keeps her from bringing over a tray of coffee and muffins. She sees the cave trolls trying to get through the door. "Oh, no! I told you guys, you're too big for the party room. Now, get your butts back down to the beach. And stop clubbing the rancors and asteroid worms over the head."

A pale-faced female with wires sticking out of her steps up. "We are Borg. You will be assimulated."

"Yeah, yeah, maybe later." Kimber hands her a coffee cup. She finds a goblin waiter near the bar. "Who keeps letting the Sci-Fi people in?"

Meanwhile, someone's cranked up the music and it's shaking the chandeliers.

Anonymous said...

I can tell this is a fantasy party (or possibly science fiction, now that the Vulcans are here). The music's loud but I can still hear what everyone is saying!

Mmm, muffins and cherry brandy, my favorites!

Tia Nevitt said...

Did someone say music? For a medieval party, we'll need a lute, a lyre, a tin whistle and a bodhran. Unfortunately, none of those instruments get very loud, so we'll just hook 'em up with pickups and crank up the volume.

A hornpipe, anyone?

Jenny Schwartzberg said...

I brought Noodle Kugel. Lisa, I bought your book the other day and devoured it last night. Yum!! I want more! How in the world is Raine going to get free of the Saghred and can it be destroyed? How is she going to choose between Tam and Mychael? Questions, questions....

Lisa Shearin said...

Hi Jenny,

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Yep, that's the word I most often get from readers: "devoured." I love it! ; )

Megan said...

I am here! *sets a giant quiche on the table* I dunno why I brought quiche, I guess it just seemed tasty and kinda breakfasty to me.

Oooh, dancing goblins...

Kara said...

Walks in and puta samon on the table.(the good stuff from the market)

"This is fun does everybody just not have stuff to do in the morning?"

Anonymous said...

Some of us are just wrapping up for the day! (When not busy celebrating, of course.)

- Shana

Kara said...

"Or ya know it could be another time zone"

Goes to the table with the food and eats...

Kara said...

"Wrapping up the day I just got back from school!"

Christina said...

Congratulations! This was an interesting way to kick things off and the little intro was cute too, even if the dancers have fangs.

Kara said...

"It is, was wondering how this would work."

Kara said...

"bye, I have food in the oven and i have to finish all the Elizabeth Haydon books in a week. They always said i was a fast reader...

Kara said...

"I have 2 days to finish 1 book. I'll come back if I can though.""

Lisa Shearin said...

(Lisa looks up from her laptop keyboard and waves) Hi Megan! Thank you, Christina!

Kimber An said...

Kimber An is serving drinks from a tray. Suddenly, a mummy's head comes flying through the air and lands right in the middle of her shot-glasses, splashing brandy all over Gandalf. She looks to see one of her own characters, Delano, has swiped Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber and is battling Darth Vader. She groans.

Meanwhile, a headless mummy staggers around, still smoking from the top.

Kimber sets down her tray a little too hard. The rest of the brandy douses a Ringwraith. She picks up the mummy's head and tosses it back. "Sorry about that, Bob."

The mummy screws his head back on and staggers away.

"Well, I'm only glad Michelle Moran wasn't here to see that."

Megan said...

Aw, poor mummy! Can I get some of that brandy?

How goes the writing, Lisa? I'm having a spot of writers block lately, meself. The joys of final papers and all that.

Lisa Shearin said...

I have about three pages to go on Chapter 30, and then it's on to Chapter 31 -- the last one! WOOT!
The action in these last chapters wears me out, ; )

Robyn said...


Well, you warned me about the fangs.

Lisa, I LOVED the idea of wicked sexy bad boy goblins. Are there other conventions you've turned on their ears?

Sara J. said...

Have to get back to work, but just thought I'd bring this by for everyone...

*sets down a chocolate cake with mousse layers in the shape of a very attractive goblin* ;)

Congrats Lisa, and have a great launch party! I'll dance my way back to my workstation, but I'll be thinking of you all having fun! Thanks Kimber :)

Megan D. said...

Good job Lisa! I bet you'll knock these last pages in no time.

I'll be heading off to my internship soon, though it pains me to leave such an awesome party. I'll be dancing all the way there (can't dance once I'm there, people don't like it when you dance around cabinets full of ancient pottery).

Once again, congrats to Lisa on writing yet another amazing book. Can't wait for everyone to read it so the discussions can begin!

Kimber An said...

" much chocolate..." Kimber An shoves Sara J's cake into her mouth as she pursues Delano and Darth Vader.

Delano hooks Vader's hilt and rips the lightsaber from his hand. Tossing away his own saber, he shoves Vader against the wall. "I saw you ogling at my wife!"

Kimber settles hand on Delano's forearm. "He's wearing a mask. How can you tell he was ogling at your wife?"

"He was breathing hard!"

"Darth Vader fried his lungs in a lava pit. He ALWAYS hard now!"

"Oh." Delano sets Vader down and brushes off his cape. "Sorry about that. Want a Scotch?"

Kimber watches the two Bad Daddies stride to the bar, pull out stools and sit down.

The hot goblin barkeep slides two shot-glasses down to them.

"So," says Delano. "How do you keep the boys away from your little girl?"

Vader sips Scotch through a straw in his mask. "I freeze them in carbonite."


Kimber An shakes her head and walks away.

Lisa Shearin said...

Thanks Sara and Robyn!

In addition to hot gobins, there are no hoity-toity elves in my books -- well, with the exception of a character in Armed & Magical -- Carnades Silvanus, a high-born, pure-blood elven mage. You guys will have to let me know what you think about him. ; )

Kimber An said...

Oh, he was too cool, Lisa. Calculated, cruel, and with a nasty habit of popping in on Raine when she was, ahem, in vulnerable positions.

kara said...

you keep on droping his name and its bugging me! not all off us can go to Pittsburg catch a hockey game and buy a book!

Lisa Shearin said...

Just a few more days, Kara. ; )

Anonymous said...

It's the middle of Passover, passover the fermented-at-all- wheat/rye/spelt/etc....

{as for nasty things to go to characters, George RR Martin noted that he bumped off a character when the character was using the latrine...}

Kimber An said...

Oh, that happens in the trolls' restroom all the time. That's why they get their own and noooo one wants to clean it!

Michelle Moran said...

I just got back from a dentist's appt and thought -- shoot, the cyber-launch... MUST...MAKE...IT...TO...CYBERLAUNCH...

So even though I'm all Novocained up, luckily no one has to hear me slur, Congratulations, Lisa!!!! Instead they can read it ;]

Kimber An said...

Well, just as long as you missed the part in which Darth Vader lopped off the head of one of your mummy friends...

Thanks for popping in, Michelle! I feel for you. I'm going to the dentist next month and so not looking forward to it.

Michelle Moran said...

One of my mummy friends DIED? As long as it wasn't Ramesses. I really need him in my next book.

And I've have already pre-ordered my copy of Armed & Magical, and am looking forward to reading it!

Michelle Moran said...

Um... make that I have...

Clearly too much Novocaine... must sleep... but before I go, again, CONGRATULATIONS, Lisa!

Anonymous said...

Oh, is that the time already? Thank you, Kimber An and Lisa, this has been so much fun! I'm sorry I have to run out early on you, but Dramatic Tension is calling me away. Have a great rest-of-party!

Kimber An said...

Bye-bye, Owlfish! Thanks for adding to the lunacy.

Oh, it's okay, Michelle. It was Bob and he just screwed his head right back on. Guess it didn't hurt much since he was dead already.

Anonymous said...

Hey, is there a party going on somewhere around here? Kimber An, thanks for having us over. I brought some warm artichoke dip and crackers- where should I put them? Now, where's Lisa? Congratulations on a terrific book, Lisa, I'm ready for #3! Keep those magic fingers moving!

Lisa Shearin said...

Thank you Michelle & Patty!

Have you ever tried to put on lipstick after novacaine? I usually end up with it on my teeth. ; )

Laurie said...

*puff, puff*

Just got home and had to run right in to check on the party. Looks like it's in full swing. *waves to the hostess*

I'm fresh out of Draxian pastries, but I did grab a few dozen of these yummy tamales from Santa Fe.

*tosses tamales on a large platter*

*watches with wide eyes as a headless mummy and several sexy silver skinned goblins converge and snatch tamales from the pile*

*ponders what a headless mummy is going to do with a tamale*

Lisa, congrats on the impending release of ARMED & MAGICAL. I know it's going to be a hit. The RT convention sounded like a blast. Maybe next year.

*wanders over to the dance floor to try out some very rusty disco moves*

Lisa Shearin said...

Hey Laurie! I'm not sitting in the corner slaving over a hot laptop just because I got a deadline hanging like a hatchet over my head. I most definitely DO NOT dance. Tam's friends have been trying all evening. Un-uh. No one wants to see that. ; )

Anonymous said...

Lisa, did you bring Raine and the gang with you or are they wreaking havoc on Mid? I'd like to see Tam's silver skin. Do you suppose I can meet him? And then of course, Mychael needs equal time! Maybe I can find them battling the Khrynsani somewhere...Tam? Mychael?

Laurie said...

Really, Lisa? I would have thought you very light on your feet...especially with all that fencing experience. LOL

Now me and the Kareoke machine need to stay far, far apart. Kimber doesn't need shattered glass to add to her clean-up chores. ;)

Lisa Shearin said...

Graceful with blades in my hands, but just don't add music. Maybe after a few more ales. I won't dance any better, but I'll think that I do. ; )

Kimber An said...

Hi, Laurie and Patty!

Kimber props hands on hips and looks around. "All right. Who swiped the mummy's head this time?"

Junior points to the kitchen just as a mob of Tribbles come chirping and bouncing out, tossing the mummy's head back and forth.

Yoda leaps atop Junior's shoulder. "Learn the ways of the Force, you must."

"Oh, she doesn't need to learn about the Force, Yoda," says Kimber. "She's Irish."

"Yeah," says Junior. "Sorry I didn't find a goblin, but Yoda makes a pretty good leprachon. Don't you think?"

Kimber rubs the space between her eyes. "I'm sorry, Lisa. I've been tryin' and tryin' to teach my characters the difference between Science Fiction and Fantasy, but it just ain't workin'. Probably doesn't help that I'm often confused myself. Could you possibly get Raine and Tam and Mychael to explain things?"

Kimber An said...

It is now 6:30 p.m. Alaska Time. The drawing for Lisa's book goodies will happen at 7 p.m. Alaska Time. If you want to be entered, please leave a comment linked to a working email address before 7.

Kimber An said...

It is now 7:02 p.m. Alaska Time and the drawing is closed. Once the winner is picked and notified, I'll post an announcement.

Thanks to all who came and especially to Lisa for another great adventure novel! You can party through the night if you want, but I'm putting my littluns to bed now. Following time-honored mothering tradition, I shall collapse in exhaustion directly thereafter. Sweet dreams.

JenD in Victoria BC said...

Damn, I missed it - sounds like it was a great party!