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  • Friends! Colleagues! Citizens of the Internet!

    I recently got a box in the mail with the first copies of my new novel, Bedbugs, a supernatural thriller about a woman slowly driven to the brink of madness by a bedbug infestation in her beautiful Brooklyn apartment.

    The book doesn’t come out until September 6th, but I’m itching with excitement, so I’d like to give a few copies away.

    So here’s the contest:

    It seems like everyone you talk to these days has some horrible tale of bedbugs that refused to die; of landlords that refused to act; of love affairs that ended in a storm of scratching; of lovely sofa beds that had to dragged out to the curb or burned.

    Send YOUR catastrophic tale of bedbug infestation to BedbugsTheBook@gmail.com. I’ll pick the three best (by which I mean the worst, the most horrifying, shocking, devastating tales of bedbugs) and award the winners with signed copies of Bedbugs. We’ll accept entries until September 1!

    Please spread the word, and look for Bedbugs at your favorite bookstore on September 6th!

  • Honorary Mention: Hills of Mario by Christopher Holthof

    Etsy isn’t just for doilies and throw pillows. It’s got a panoply of nerdery buried in its easy-to-browse interface of homemade craft goods. Just because that person from high school spams you twice a week with her laundry-pin reindeer doesn’t mean that there aren’t 1-ups hidden in the bricks.

    I have a book coming out on Super Mario, so I thought I’d see what Esty had to offer regarding my favorite mustached plumber. Turns out there are over four thousand Mario items: yikes!

    What I expected going in was pillows, bedspreads, scarves, hats, pins, cookies, cupcakes, etc. Old-school pixel art is really easy to convert into crochet or quilting squares, so it’s much easier to capture Mario then, say, Darth Vader. But there’s a lot more than that: tech gifts, snarky things, hard drives shoved into NES games.

    Sure, there are people selling their fan-art Mario watercolors for $500. And there are eight-buck children’s party invitations. But the breadth and clarity of creativity on display is pretty amazing. Take a look.

  • A long time ago (well, last week) in a galaxy far, far away (um, San Diego) Quirk Books attended and exhibited at Comic-Con 2011.

    Preview night kicked-off with a resounding cheer as the fans flowed in from all directions. The costumes were incredible; we were immediately dazzled. But as Quirk Creative Director Jason Rekulak reminded me, "It's not all Storm Troopers and aliens, we've gotta do some work." So we got down to the business of doing business at Comic-Con. We met hundreds of fans, made a bunch of new friends, and sold a ton of books.

    We also hosted two signings. On Thursday, Broet Laureate Brian McGackin signed copies of Broetry: Poetry for Dudes. A few savvy fans identified the cover poem as a parody of "This is just to say" by William Carlos Williams. On Friday, a large line formed to meet best selling author Ransom Riggs. He signed copies of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and posed for a photo with our booth babe, Heidi Milano (dressed here as the Miss P cover girl). Afterward we took Ransom out to dinner to celebrate Miss Peregrine’s extraordinary six weeks (and counting!) on The New York Times bestseller list.

  • Pride & Prejudice

    Sure, you could hang your favorite book up in your living room by nailing it to the wall. But that would be messy, wasteful and your friends would think you're crazy. Instead, scope out Postertext, a Canadian poster company producing elegant works of literary art.

    Postertext takes the actual text from a number of classical works and repurposes those words into beautiful posters. There's seriously something for all wakes of classic literature fans; romance (Pride & Prejudice), adventure (Moby Dick), classic science-fiction (the Time Machine, War of the Worlds). There's even a poster for the Metamorphosis, the subject of Quirk's latest mashup, the Meowmorphosis.

    The posters range from $23 - $35 (Canadian), and come in varying sizes. Check them out!

    Postertext [www.postertext.com]

  • Ah! I am absolutley smitten with these amigurumi custom crochets of Star Trek: The Next Generation's characters by Deviant Art user Smapte! Everyone is rocking a precious smiling face, all except for Worf. Perhaps these dolls are made to mimic Star Trek: Insurrection, and he's currently experiencing jak’tahla.

    Thanks for the tip, Mikey!

    Lil' Trekkies: Star Trek TNG Amigurimi [DeviantArt]

  • When someone says barbeque, there’s always a brief moment of panic for me. As the dessert go-to girl, I will be ostracized for not bringing some sweets. But the idea of desserts in the heat just gives me melted nightmares... that is until I discovered upside down cakes.

    Most of us are very familiar with the traditional pineapple upside down cake. They’re so popular, I distinctly remember being able to make one in my friend’s toy oven. However, there are many other great kinds of upside down cakes. The final product is a sturdy, beautiful cake with intense flavors that doesn’t dissolve in the sun.

     

    Especially since plums and raspberries are in season, this is my new favorite summer cake. Take the ripest, dark plums and combine with the tartest of raspberries (use golden for a little extra flare) to make the flavors really pop against the cinnamon and nutmeg in the cake.

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