August 11, 2011 • History
Middleton’s gift shop had this outdoor display featuring our book! Thanks guys!
How Southern Gothic can you get? The road to Middleton Place Plantation, just outside Charleston, South Carolina, is lined with live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. When you turn your car into the drive of the plantation, you behold a landscape the way it looked around the birth of the United States.
In recent months, my co-author Denise Kiernan and I have been driving up and down the east coast visiting historic sites associated with the signers of America’s founding documents. It’s our way of promoting our existing Quirk book, Signing Their Lives Away, about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, and Signing Their Rights Away, about the Constitution signers, which pubs Sept 6.
When we have some free time, we’ve been working on a documentary about these sites. So far, in the state of South Carolina, we’ve created a short film about Middleton Place, Hopsewee Plantation, and the Governor’s House Inn in downtown Charleston. All three of these homes were residences of signers of the Declaration of Independence.
We think the videos have turned out pretty well, and we’re anxious to move on to other states.
August 9, 2011 • Fiction
According to Twitter and a number of misc. websites, today is National Book Lover's Day. Hopefully some of you have taken Elizabeth's advice and packed a picnic, or are at least planning to curl up after work with whatever it is you're reading now.
Clearly we love books here at Quirk. In order to properly celebrate this day-of-book-loving, several of us from the Quirk HQ have written about the titles that made us fall in love with books in the first place. From forced high school reading to childrens' books, forbidden horror anthologies to American literary classics, our picks are certainly varied.
Enjoy, and let us know what books made you fall in love in the comments. We'd love to hear about them.
August 8, 2011 • Cookbook: Baking, Cookbook: Drinks
There are a lot of jerks in the world. Hopefully you’ve been left in the dark and not forced to participate in the short-lived tradition of Bros Icing Bros. A drinking game, which was quickly shut down by Smirnoff Vodka, involves handing a bottle of Smirnoff Ice to the victim and forcing the victim to take a knee and chug the entire bottle. Smirnoff Ice is known as an extremely sweet and easy to drink beverage but its association with underage kids makes it a punishment to drink.
We definitely had to “ice some bros” at the Broetry Slam but since drinking games aren’t exactly praised in public, respectable places like National Mechanics, I had to get slightly clever. Move over already shut down by Smirnoff, Bros Icing Bros, it’s time for Slightly Tipsy Vodka Cupcakes with Bros Icing Bros Icing.
Slightly Tipsy Vodka Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vodka (Flavored kind is good in this!)
August 5, 2011 • ,
Yes, that's a copy of The Perfect Drink. Who says you can study cocktails while picnicing?
This Tuesday, take the day off of work. Go for a walk. Play at the park. Spend a day at the beach. Whatever you do, make sure you bring a book and a picnic lunch, as August 9th is Book Lover's Day and the month of August is National Picnic Month.
Prepping for your picnic? Here are some easy picnic food ideas that you can wrap (did you see what I did there?) together quickly. Simply spread, wrap, throw in the cooler and you are good to go.
August 4, 2011 • Crafting
Ah, Shark Week. People sure do love it, and us book folk are no exception. While our friends over at Suvudu (hi Matt!) celebrated Shark Week with this awesome list of terrifying sea creatures from the Star Wars canon, we decided to go with something a little more adorable. Who says sharks can't be absolutely precious?
Kim Knutsson, the proprietor of Tweet & Tweed, crafts super cute little custom birds in an array of designs, from Muppet Show's Bunsen & Beaker to Star Trek's Spock (which I'm sure Night of the Living Trekkies author Kevin David Anderson would love). But my favorite, hands down is the Jaws Bird that Quirk editor Margaret McGuire sent me.
A vacation on Amity Island was cut short as a swim in the ocean found this little bird gobbled up by the infamous giant bird-eating great white shark from the movie "Jaws". This little blue bird is seen peeking out from behind the huge white teeth of that great white shark. If only he had a pressurized air tank and a gun, maybe he could put an end to his terror! Each one of Tweet and Tweed's birds are entirely handmade, resulting in slightly unique variations from bird to bird. They are all created with a bottle cap base, glass bead eyes, polyfil stuffing and awesome accessories.
Now, go celebrate Shark Week with something snuggly. Kim's cute, one-of-a-kind handmade birds will only run you $35. For more information, visit her shop!
August 3, 2011 • Zombies
So thanks to a Kindle & Nook promotion, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies hit #14 on the New York Times eBook list this week. We find ourselves wedged between some good company, hanging out with the likes of George R. R. Martin (#11: A Game of Thrones, ) and Sara Gruen (#16: Water for Elephants).
When Pride & Prejudice & Zombies first invaded bookstores in 2009, there wasn't a separate NY Times best seller list for eBooks. That didn't happen until recently. So this is a first for Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. So to celebrate and thank you for making this happen, we're hosting a little giveaway.
We're giving away ten copies of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After. Penned by New York Times best selling author Steve Hockensmith, Dreadfully Ever After concludes the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies trilogy. For those of you discovering (or rediscovering!) PPZ for the first time thanks to the promotion, here's your chance to find out what happens next.
To enter, all you have to do is tweet (or retweet!) this post with the hashtag #PPZ. I'll select ten of you at random next week, and mail you a copy of Dreadfully Ever After, as well as some awesome posters of the cover.