Because The Beekeeper's Apprentice is one of my top ten favorite books of all time, and Laurie R. King is a lovely and generous person whose request I cannot possibly refuse, I pass this on for the interest of my f-list:
July finds a discussion of The Beekeeper's Apprentice at the Laurie R. King Virtual Book Club. To mark the occasion, on July 21st we're giving away one of the rare 1994 St Martin's Press first editions to a registered member of the VBC. The book has been in King's possession since publication, and is signed in a hand that was new to the business of autographing books.

The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Laurie King's second novel, was greeted with positive reviews, solid sales, and award nominations. Young Mary Russell--first apprentice, then partner, of the world's most famous detective-turned-beekeeper, Sherlock Holmes--is also the protagonist of seven sequels (The Game; Locked Rooms) which Bantam Books describes as being about "the world's greatest detective... and her husband."

Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of seventeen books and winner of the Edgar, Creasey, Nero, and Macavity awards; Mary Russell has her own Myspace page, with nearly 500 friends.

Links to the Laurie R. King Virtual Book Club, Laurie's blog Mutterings, Mary Russell's Myspace page, and a newsletter signup for future information and updates can all be found at
Laurie adds that "I'm trying to get word out on this; if you think of anyone who can spread it around, please send to them."

So there it is -- have fun!
Some of my favorite grouchy people were born in early January, it seems. First we have Mary Russell on January 2nd, on no lesser word than that of her author editor Laurie R. King; then Sherlock Holmes on January 6th, a date not explicitly given in canon but nonetheless widely accepted among Holmesians as correct due to Holmes's penchant for quoting Twelfth Night.

We know also that Dr. Gregory House was born in early-to-mid January, and seeing that he shares a house number with Holmes, it doesn't seem much of a stretch to propose January 6th as his birthday as well. And then, of course, J.K. Rowling has informed us that Severus Snape was born on January 9th.

Is it an astrological thing to have brilliant, misanthropic, sarcastic, obsessively driven characters born in January, or is there some other logic behind it?
It has occurred to me that a few of my flist may be a bit shellshocked by all the Doctor Who raving all of a sudden, and are wondering whether I've completely lost my mind and will ever talk about anything else. To which the answer is:


Erm, actually that's not quite true. Just expect the DW stuff to be dominant for quite some time to come, because I have loved this show since I was a kid, it was one of the first fandoms I ever wrote fic for (and probably the one in which I've written the most fic, word-count wise -- don't even get me started on the illustrations!), and as you know I'm loving the new series all to pieces.

However, for those of you who couldn't care less about the Who prattle, and are wondering if I will ever get back to the Good Stuff, a brief explanation of where I'm at with regard to my other fandoms:

HP: Waiting for Book VI, like everybody else. Don't feel like speculating any more, even about Snape, until I have the straight goods from JKR Herself.

Alias: Keeping vague tabs on plot goings-on by reading other people's LJs, as am not actually watching the show at present. Understandably somewhat discouraged in my Sweiss leanings at the moment, so not so inclined to write a sequel/second chapter to A Man of His Word the way I'd once thought I might. You never know, though, things could change. Especially if You-Know-Who shows up later in the season as promised (no, not Voldemort).

Lost: Love the show. Have great fun speculating about it. Have developed elaborate theory about the island that I keep meaning to expound upon some day, but haven't got around to it yet. Absolutely no desire to write fic, however. I find the show itself too satisfying, and I'm too interested in the answers that the writers and JJ have to offer, to maintain that feeling of "ooh, I simply must fill in this gap!" that usually inspires plot bunnies.

Sherlock Holmes: Read Locked Rooms and loved it. Looking forward to reading other people's reviews. Still running the RUSS-L list, mostly by approving new members and glancing at the day's digests to make sure nobody is killing each other. Of course, nobody ever is, so it's a pretty low-stress job being ListMom. When was the last time you heard of a mailing list that has run busily for ten years and has hundreds of members, with not one single flamewar in the entire course of its history? This is why I love my Bees. *blows kisses to the Bees* Oh, and I haven't forgot about Case of the Winning Woman, it just requires more research than I have time to do at the moment. (Plus, where does one even start to find out about the terms of Victorian life insurance policies?)

Star Trek: Never again. No, really. I can't see it happening. I just don't care any more.

X-Files: On the other hand, never say never. I still get nostalgic for Mulder and Scully from time to time...

Oops, and almost forgot, which shows where my brain is at:

Kalan Porter: Felt that the Time Had Come to move on. Resigned my quasi-moderatorial status at KP4GU, and my real moderatorial status over at the Red Hot Topic KP board. Occasionally poke my nose in to one board or another to see if there's any really big news, but otherwise, that's about it. Wish him well, though.
I can't believe I forgot to gloat over mention this before, but --

Thanks to [ profile] lrk_mutterings's kindness I have read the new Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes novel, Locked Rooms and you haven't, ha ha ha.

It's really excellent -- not to mention ground-breaking, as King has taken some definite departures from the series norm in terms of the narrative structure, but in the context of the story it makes perfect sense. I can see lots of good meaty RUSS-L discussions coming out of this one...

Also, Laurie, like, totally writes RPF*. Hee!

*Real Person Fic.
I haven't seen this week's episode of "Lost" yet, so please nobody on my flist spoil it for me. This is the first show I've ever watched that I really don't want spoilers for. I think I'll have much more fun that way. And, on a related note, will someone please hit me over the head before I start actually liking Sawyer? I mean, what is up with that? He's exactly the kind of character I usually loathe. And Josh Holloway isn't even my type (though I'll grant that he has nice hair), so it can't be that I'm beguiled by his looks. *is confused*

Secondly, Keane make the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous music I've heard in a long time. I love, love, love, love, love their album. If I had a band of my own, this is the kind of music I'd want to be making -- melodic, piano-based, lyrical, sweet and wistful without being saccharine. Amazing stuff.

Thirdly, I had a wonderful time at Bouchercon, attended a lot of interesting and useful panels on writing/editing/publishing, made some very interesting contacts, and hope--really, earnestly hope--to have some special good news to post here soon. *chews nails*

Also had a rollicking good dinner with Laurie and got some nifty tidbits about the upcoming Russell book, such as:
  • Russell spent more time in San Francisco as a child than she thinks she did. (This explains a lot, actually.)
  • Her father's name was Charles; her brother's, Levi.
  • We will see a flashback to the Accident.
  • As the book goes on Russell becomes increasingly unreliable as a narrator, thus necessitating -- get this -- a section of the book written from Holmes's POV (in third person). Whee!
  • There will be a cameo from Dashiell Hammett.
  • Oh, and it's called Locked Rooms, for anyone who didn't know that already.

    And finally, I have at last crossed the line into complete fangirl idiocy and am driving to Toronto today to see Kalan Porter performing at a local shopping centre (along with Matt Dusk, Shaye, and Jann Arden -- it's a free concert to support breast cancer research). But don't worry too much about my sanity yet: in all honesty, I am almost as excited about meeting Shoebox and some of my other co-snarkers from the TWoP Canadian Idol discussion forum as I am about seeing Kalan live.

    I did, however, turn the icon on this post into a full-sized t-shirt design so I could wear it to the concert and, hopefully, make Kalan crack up (if it happens while he's on stage, so much the better). After the concert I'm going to give the shirt to Shoebox if she wants it... if not, I'll pass it on to one of the other TWoPpers.

    Anyway, I'll only do this once, but it has to be done: EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

    As you were.
    I got an unexpected package in the mail from Laurie King today! And inside was a gorgeous white t-shirt with the cover of The Game on it! Plus, a nifty stand-up promotional card for the book, with the same artwork and a blurb that reads, "This game's too good for the world's greatest detective to take on alone. Fortunately, she'll have some help from her husband." (Hee.)

    There's only one sad thing in all of this.

    The T-shirt is extra large. Which means that, much as I love it, I'll never be able to wear it. It's not long enough for a nightshirt, and much too baggy on me to wear otherwise. It's also too big for my tall skinny husband -- not to mention that it would be wasted on him, as he's not an LRK fan...

    So, I am going to take bids on this one. Not for money or anything material, but for anything else you might have to offer and think I might like: fics, fan art, vids, icons, layouts, feedback, whatever. It doesn't have to be Russell-related: in fact on the whole I'd prefer it wasn't (unless you're a web design whiz offering to do a new layout for The Beekeeper's Holmes Page, in which case I would definitely be interested).

    Leave a comment outlining your idea for a bid, and once the bidding's over I'll look through the ideas and pick the one I like best. Once the winning bidder's delivered the goods, I'll mail them the t-shirt.

    Let the bidding begin!


    Hm. Maybe I should crosspost this to RUSS-L as well...

    Status Report

    Apr. 30th, 2004 10:33 pm
    rj_anderson: (Mary Russell - art by Voxbellin)
    I have not forgotten the Ask-The-Characters meme I posted a couple of days ago, but it might be another day or two before I can get to it. Yesterday I spent all day working on the Snape Essay, and today I used what little spare time I had to make a store for the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mailing list I run, so that the Bees could buy the t-shirts they'd been clamoring for.

    Since I know a few of you on my flist are Russell fans, you might want to check it out:

    The RUSS-L CafePress Store

    All these items are being offered at the base price, by the way -- I'm not making any money off them.

    And in honor of the shop opening, a new icon...
    Oh, I feel so guilty now. But you jealous types are all so funny.

    Seriously, listen. Next time you read a book you really really like by an author you've never heard of before, write that author a long enthusiastic letter telling them how much you liked the book, and why. Then tell them that you've just set up your first website and part of it is a page dedicated entirely to this book by your New Favourite Author. And that you've also started a mailing list to discuss this book. Free publicity! Authors love free publicity! And if they're a Really Nice Author, like Laurie R. King, they will give you perks to show their appreciation and make your job go more smoothly. Like Advance Reading Copies of their books.

    See? Easy-peasy. Except you can't do that with Laurie, because I got there first. Mwah ha ha ha ha.

    *coughs* Anyway, to answer all of you who wanted to know whether you ought to read Rudyard Kipling's Kim before you read Laurie's latest, the answer is that you don't absolutely have to be familiar with Kim in order to understand The Game, but I would still highly recommend reading the Kipling book anyway. Because it's a fun story in its own right, beautifully characterized and rich in atmosphere and full of cleverness and wit. And then you will get an even bigger kick out of Laurie's quasi-sequel, plus you'll have something to tide you over until March 2, 2004 when GAME is officially released...

    There. Don't say I don't do you no favours. :)
    I have just read the ARC of Laurie R. King's latest Russell/Holmes adventure, The Game. The one that's a follow-up to Rudyard Kipling's Kim. The one that won't be published until March 2, 2004. That one.

    And it absolutely rocks. I ate up every syllable. I laughed out loud, I gasped in shock, I grinned like an idiot when I realized my leg had been pulled in several different directions. I wrote Laurie a totally incoherent letter burbling over how much I enjoyed it.

    But now I want to discuss it with somebody and I can't! Wah!
    ...because I just got an e-mail from Laurie King telling me she's mailed me an ARC for her new Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes book The Game! ***SQUEE!!!*** So if some time in the next couple of weeks I mysteriously (ha) disappear for a while, you'll know what happened...

    And speaking of Russell, The Beekeeper's Holmes Page has finally been updated (after eight months of neglect -- oh, the shame!) with new info about the books, upcoming tour dates and appearances for Laurie, revitalized links, and other such cool stuff. And there's an absolutely delicious teaser for the aforementioned GAME, which made me giggle like an idiot when I read it. Oh, this is going to be fun...


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