I’m supposed to be writing, but we’ve had some personal stress and the book is coming out, which typically makes me a basket case. I drank a cup of stiff British tea. We’ll see if Bigelow can pull me out of my semi-comma.
First, important announcement: Jeaniene Frost will be joining us in Atlanta for Meet and Greet and signing.
We received our author copies of the Innkeeper Chronicles, Collector edition and they are gorgeous. And huge.
Yesterday we drove to Houston, signed a bunch of your orders, and drove back. I do not like driving in Houston. We should wreck it some more. In interesting news, you remember how I painstakingly explained that library edition of WHITE HOT is not a real hardcover? Yeah, about that, it’s a typical hardcover. We signed about 40 of them and we terribly surprised. So if you prefer a hard cover, order the library edition. You can get it on Amazon, BN, or a local independent can probably order it for you.
We did a radio interview this morning – our first – with a Michigan radio station. It went like this: general questions, pleasant, light talk, “So does this book have a lot of sex? Who is responsible for that?” O_O. I think I nervously laughed, which is so not me. So if you listen to Michigan’s Big Show, that was us this morning. This is what we get for a book with magic sex in it.
Okay, so in the interests of writing about something that is not the book, I wanted to show you some cool pictures of Russian playing cards. When I first saw US playing cards when I was in high school, I asked if there was a set that was less ugly. Which caused no end of teasing from the other students. I didn’t speak that much, because my command of English wasn’t great and I didn’t want to say something rude by accident, but I was so bummed out that it kind of came out. People asked me about “ugly cards” for weeks.
A couple of days ago I saw some Russian cards on sale on Amazon and so I present the evidence. My revenge, twenty-some years too late. 😛
Natasha Johnson says
Yes our cards are UGLY I now want a set of those just to look at! Those innkeeper books are gorgeous and I’m very excited for White Hot! If you haven’t tried it yet Twinnings Irish Breakfast Blend is really good ?
Linda B says
If I played cards I would definitely want Russian ones. To keep from being bored to death?
I like sugar with cream, or milk in my Irish Breakfast. Earl Grey is my default go to, but there are so many wonderful teas out there.
The cards are interesting, much better than boring “regular” cards.
Side note, I have now finished 2 of Devon Monk’s series, House Immortal and the Allie Beckstrom series. I am solidly hooked on her writing.
I wonder how many of her Ordinary Magic series I can get through tomorrow on a 12 hour shift when I have almost nothing to actually do.
DeeAnn fuchs says
There are only 3 in the series. You can do it!
OMFG! I really want Russian playing cards now! Look at those aces!!!
Same! They look amazing!
Also, Innkeeper Chronicles Vol looks great!
It’s almost the 30th. Can’t wait to binge read.
They get FOUR beautiful sets of picture cards! I think I’ll look for a Russian deck to stick in my wish list!
Those look amazing. I noticed that there are no suicide kings or one eyed jacks. In Russian card games, do you have games with rules like that? I only know one or two card games where specific face cards matter so I’m curious.
Those are beautiful! Magic sex is probably not good radio. Lol
Oh wow beautiful!
Love the cards! My entire family plays bridge (younger ones play Spades), so we are always on the lookout for great-looking sets.
This just brought up a memory of My Russian grandmother playing solitaire with her beautiful and tiny Russian cards.
Ooooh, I know the 1st set, we have that lying around somewhere 🙂
I can hardly wait for my Innkeeper Chronicles book to get to me (I got my shipping notification this week!) And those cards are beautiful! (I suspect that’s going to be an amazon purchase for me in the near future…not that I need help finding things to buy LOL).
Already planning a night at home next week for the book release, as well 🙂 It’s going to be a good week!
Karen the Griffmom says
Waiting for mine, too. Hoping it gets here in time for author signing!
Y’all should get them fairly soon. I did the Priority Shipping and got mine Wed or Thursday, I forget now.
Karen the Griffmom says
It’s HERE. Gorgeous and already signed, which was a happy surprise!
Jocelyn Malone says
Those Russian cards are definitely much prettier! I can’t say as I’ve ever stopped to think about it (playing cards are just for playing card games, didn’t consider alternatives) but I can see why you asked :-). I hope you’re feeling peppier soon.
So nice to hear from you!
Those cards are really beautiful ❤️
Angela Shikany says
Since I’m a card reader, I have a thing for beautiful cards. Those are beautiful. Many of the fortune telling decks from Russia are gorgeous too, though sometimes paper quality is iffy.
As a teenager in South Africa a while ago, I found the most beautiful Piatnik Playing Cards – mini and regular size. Now I feel very nostalgic. I know the mini cards went AWOL but not sure what happened to the other set.
The cards look good. Fun for kids and fortune telling if you don’t have Tarots, but I like regular Bicycle type for serious high stakes games. Notified by Subterranean Press, my Innkeepers Chronicles would arrive by Wednesday. I received it Friday. There was a weather delay. I was getting anxious. It is as advertised, excellent. I do miss one picture. The one with the giant elephants and camels.
I should add. The Chronicles are very heavy reading. 3 lbs 1 1/4 oz.
“I do not like driving in Houston. We should wreck it some more.”
So that is why you became an author— REVENGE!
I shudder to think what Atlanta did to you.
Oh yes, DO wreck it some more! Houston has a love / hate relationship with our landmarks and landscape in general. As much as we love our parks, monuments and buildings, we always wonder if we couldn’t have done better and as for the terrain, almost anything is more interesting.
So, remodel Houston to your hearts content. We’ll be watching to see how you do.
(I think I got all my co-writer’s contributions corrected. He greatly resembles your houseguest, but with more toes – 23 at last count. He really does not care to have them examined…)
My polydactyl cat isn’t enamored of our looking at his toes, either, but we have fun showing them to visiting little kids!
Ooh! Just the thing for my Russian speaking mother and niece’s birthdays. Thank you.
The cards are beautiful! You are correct. In comparison, American cards are ugly! Remember, revenge is a dish best served cold…
Pat Crouch says
Yes, Russian cards are infinitely more beautiful than Western cards. So much so that “more beautiful” is inaccurate since the western deck is actually ugly. I collect Tarot cards and I gotta tell you, Russian Tarot cards follow this pattern. Thanks for making so many dreams come true by moving on with the HOT trilogy. I would have loved to hear your interview! ?
Now I want to see Russian tarot cards. (Google images is intriguing, but I don’t trust it…)
In my teens I attended an event where one person led games of tarot poker (extended rules, obviously), which I think was largely an excuse to play with the prettier cards – she brought different decks each evening. And we used to play a variation on hearts as well.
Julia Varga says
My father has Hungarian playing cards like those and I’ve always thought they were pretty.
Just to say I loved the book. We actually got it before the release date 🙂 🙂 I was telling Michial he could read it on the kobo but we would have to wait for the actual book and it arrived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I won’t say much but I love the ferrets 🙂 🙂
Jealous. Amazon tells me my February pre-ordered White Hot will ship June 5!!! And take another week to arrive! Gah.
I’m really excited about the book coming out. Every time I take the tablet out, I think “wish it was here now ???” …
The wait has been sooooooo looooong ???
I treasure your way of writing
Have a really nice weekend ?
First, “cup of stiff British tea.” is that with or without a little Irish to help you relax? 😉
Second, “magic sex”. O_O
Third, consider yourself lucky that no one brought the Playboy playing cards to school. Those would definitely have been more interesting than the cards you saw.
Eva R says
PSA: Sometimes brick and mortar book stores put out books (like White Hot!) a few days before their release dates. I just picked up a copy in my local Barnes and Noble. If you do this, remember to cancel any online pre-orders you may have.
It’s just better to get a new book at the beginning of a holiday weekend when you have time to enjoy it, instead of in the middle of a work week.
You are preaching to the choir. I love beautiful playing cards and had an art nouveau miniature set in junior high into college. They came in a beautiful box and were sadly destroyed in a fire. Then I discovered computers and had kids. I think I need some pretty cards again.
Enjoy the three-day weekend!
Totally agree about Houston traffic! Went to the Galleria today. Saw the round fountain…. as I looked up to the ceiling I could almost see where Rogan would have hid Harper. My mom is about to read Burn For Me. I told her to remember the fountain!
Oh wow those are way less ugly!
Ms. Kim says
Henry VII of England standardized playing cards (which his wife loved to play), with his wife as Queen of Hearts. She was mother of Henry VIII (also she was the last Plantagenet).
I grew up in Austria, home of Piatnik playing cards, and I had pretty much the *exact* same response when I came to America and saw that playing cards looked the same. I was in high school too. 🙂
Love those cards! Hope you and everyone have a great weekend! I am going to be doing lots chores because we have company next weekend and I want to read your book during the week and not worry about the guest stuff.
I remember we had 2 packs of cards when I was a kid in the 50s. They had the regular aces, kings, etc but the back of 1 set was the New York City skyline at night. The other set (which my sister and I were not supposed to even know about let alone play with) featured a very busty young woman posing on a diving board in a skimpy bathing suit and a swim cap, leftover, I suspect, from my dad’s stint in the navy. Molly and I thought the swim cap rather odd as I recall. Ah, midcentury memories!
wow. those are some seriously gorgeous covers on the Innkeeper books. I’d buy ’em just for the covers even if I’d never read a thing you wrote.
I like the cards. They would be great framed in a game room.
Those cards are lovely. My favourite set I actually got through a kickstarter campaign https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/crookedkings/werewolf-bicycle-playing-cards-lenticular-lens-mot
They are werewolves! All the face cards have human and beast sides.
Is “semi-comma” an author-ish pun intended joke? Cuz it’s really kind of funny…
The cards are absolutely beautiful. The first thing I’ve always done in any computerized card game is change the design. It made it so much more fun to look at the card backs while I was playing (barely dressed men made it too difficult to concentrate on the game, so it was usually puppies).
And only 73 hours and 50 minutes until a White Hot comes out… 49 minutes… 48 minutes… ?
Hey, what about an Ilona Andrews set of cards. Curran & Kate for one king & queen, then Dina & Sean, Rohan & Nevada, hmm, who for that last pair?
Silver shark and what a great idea. We add already know they have an awesome artist on tap, just look at those covers.
Well, I have driven in and thru Houston (thru to Waco, Fort Worth and back) and Atlanta. Of the two I much prefer the destruction of Atlanta. I was so thrilled to see the newspaper article about the burning this year of I85 in Atlanta. I figure I will need to make at least one sibling visit trip so I will have the best excuse ever to run my preference which are the back roads thru Georgia and Alabama. Hurrah. Unfortunately or fortunately I no longer have any sibs based in Texas as they are now based on eastern seaboard but still in metropolis areas :-(. However, there is still family in Baton Rouge, sigh, sigh but they may be relocating to Athens for university (Georgia not Greece).
In regards to tea– I like Bigelow’s mint medley and black cherry something which is sold in combo package only. When I want to drink black tea I prefer regular Earl Grey. I do not have a preference for green tea yet as I am attempting to acquire a taste for because my general doctor says better for me caffeine wise than black/ orange pekoe tea I prefer. By the way the water used and the altitude at which tea is made does make a difference in the taste. I do not know about coffee as I am not a barbarian bean drinker.
I think fourth should be George and Sophie.
Alex R. says
Damietta Armstrong says
Ilona and Gordon, of course
Russian cards: Your vengeance in complete. Those cards are beautiful. I never thought much about playing cards, but I certainly see your point. Now I’m curious to know if there are playing cards from other countries as well. hmmm….
My Innkeeper Chronicles are in route. I can’t wait to get them. Of course, I’m very nervous about the delivery. Heavy rain is forecast for every day next week. I’m worried about water damage in route. I’ve had this happen with other books. Sigh.
Just picked up my copy today, can’t wait to read!
So my little sister woke me up by jumping on my bed and chanting “4 days, 4 days…, time to get up and celebrate!”
I may have been counting down every day this whole month ?
Those are gorgeous!
Katie Beattie says
I agree about the cards being absolutely gorgeous. I grew up with lots of playing cards around with all sorts of backs. Including a set which mother must have bought on board the Cunard line when we sailed to America in 1966.
I hope you both have a better weekend with less stress. I realize this is unlikely with white hot etc but my husband and I are really looking forward to the releases….
Jilly Bean says
Feel free to wreak the Humble/Atascocita area. It’s located northeast of Houston off highway 59 (I-69) and FM 1960. With the San Jacinto river and Lake Houston, the meyham potential is limitless.
I searched for the show and there was a link so I listened to the interview. Getting tired of being teased about the election yet? QUITE A BIT of sex, huh? I can’t wait to see the reviews.☺
Set 2 looks beautiful. Actually set 1 looks like the traditional decks we use here as well, didn’t know it was Russian in origin. The newer decks probably look like the American style decks. I agree that the classic ones are much nicer 😀
I was born in the U.K. and emigrated at age 10 and a 1/2 in 1957. I asked why the paper money was so ugly. I still wonder. At a Q & A — which felt more like show and tell, me being the object — I was asked by another child, “Say something in English”. I’d thought several of the questions inane or uninformed, but that flawed me. After an astounded pause I said “Fish and Chips”. I think not even the teacher understood.
Now I’m curious for the US cards.Ours are a lot like these and Im not russian
Amazon wonders why the sudden run on Russian playing cards…
Other Barbara says
We can all listen to Michigan radio interview at https://www.mibigshow dot com … not sure links are allowed.
Karen the Griffmom says
Katie S says
I need two sets of those Russian playing cards. One to keep and look at and one to use as the foundation for a couple of art projects I’m doing!
Safe journeys this month.
Anne in Virginia says
Check with your local Barnes & Noble. Mine (here in northern Virginia) got their copies of WHITE HOT in on Friday’s delivery and I picked up a copy first thing this morning. Of course I had already pre-ordered both paperback and hardcover copy from Amazon and those will come on Tuesday but it was worth having an extra copy early for the weekend reading. Wouldn’t it be fun if they sold out before the actual release date and had to make a big emergency re-order?
Anne in Virginia
Pretty cards! I just wanted to tell you guys how much I love all of your books. They are all fun reads and the heroines have this easy to relate to, rational yet crazy-brave kind of thinking that really draws me in and grounds the character. I can’t come to the meet’n’greets in the US, but I have already pre-ordered the ebooks for White Hot and Wildfire on Kobo. Have a happy long weekend!
Now I definitely want to get some of those Russian playing cards! P. S. love The Innkeeper books.
Rebecca C says
Just received my tracking info from Amazon – my copy of White Hot will be here on Tuesday. Hooray! Now if you were to have a signing & meet ‘n greet in Lubbock, El Paso, Las Cruces or Albuquerque, I’d be there
Grey Foggy Day
Jess T says
Wish I could b with u in Atlanta – it’s a bit far from England though! Please ask Jeaniene Frost for some more Bones and Cat books – your books and hers are the best of the genre
Those playing cards r beautiful – much better than the usual sets
If you require a good stiff cuppa I suggest P&G Tips. It’s available in lots of supermarkets and it is about the only market available tea I’ve found that brews a real cup of tea. If you want to try one from a catalog try Harney’s North Frisian. On the latter start off gently. That stuff could tan leather if you brew it too long. There are days when that is just perfect.
Jaye Longbotham says
Until reading this post I had no idea that you were not a native English speaker; I’d assumed that your Russian heritage was more distant. So I say wow. Just wow. I am so impressed that your mastery is such that you now earn a living as a writer. Plus which (as we like to say), I profoundly enjoy your blog. You and Gordon seem to maintain a pretty grueling production schedule, and yet lovingly feed us snippets and alt points of view here. Thank you. About that face plant thing? Maybe do it? But not at your desk. Pick someplace comfy, and fortified if you like with something even more restorative than tea. Please take care of yourselves.
marci piraro says
The Russian cards are beautiful! Now I want some. Can’t wait for White Hot!
Love the cards. It’s much easier to see their decent/relatedness to Tarot cards with the pictures.
Can anyone tell me why the Innkeeper Chronicles says volume one on it? Didn’t IA say that the series would finish at book 4?
Love the Russian Cards! I can see why you thought US cards were “ugly”!
Question!!!!! If I don’t get the Limited Edition Innkeeper now…. I want to wait until it is done!… am I going to be able to get a 1-4 Special Edition!!!! I want the set, but it is not complete yet!
omg we used to have a set of these or something like when I was little. I completely forgot about them! I wonder if Dad brought them back from a trip or something. I remember loving the fine detail.
I just got my signed and numbered. Of The Innkeeper Chronicles, volume I today!!!!!!!
*does a super happy dance!*
I had it shipped to work and it was sitting in my office when I returned from a long , stressful day of working out of town 🙂
Morgan G says
Sweet. Baby. Jesus. I just received my copy of Innkeeper chronicles!!! #348/750 and I’m absolutely taken. Mail reception was like a lost Christmas. Two of my best friends flipped.
I’ve quietly stalked your blog for the past few years, reading innkeeper,at home and at sea obsessively praying for enough bars that the damn webpage would load before roaming hit again or stark servicelessness. I confess, I’ve never bought a hard copy of any of your books. Everything was e-reader style. So, thank you for making me hopelessly obsessed. It’s a trick to do that. But, once you’ve got me… 🙂 I hope your travels are well, health good, and ideas RIFE.