Friday, July 30, 2010

More About Me

I've been doing a little guest-posting and answering a few questions over at author Brenna Yovanoff's blog! (She, by the way, is the author of the amazing, super-scary book The Replacement, which I will be reviewing here next month! Be sure to stop back by for that!)

Here's the review of The Eternal Ones in Seventeen magazine.

And the ladies over at Readergirlz have been thinking about "courage" all month. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject! (And if you aren't familiar with the Bildungsroman blog, you should definitely check it out, too! It's one of my favorites!)

Oh, dear, I know I'm missing something. Please write in and yell at me if you know what it is!

A Question of Courage

(Photo by Julia Fullerton-Batten)

The fabulous ladies over at Readergirlz have been thinking about "courage" all month. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject! (And if you aren't familiar with the Bildungsroman blog, you should definitely check it out, too! It's one of my favorites!)


(Above: Now you, too, can smuggle items through customs! How exciting!)

Every time I fly into the US from another country, I always see people having their luggage inspected by customs officials, and I can't help but think, "What the heck have they got in there??"

Now I know.

Artist Taryn Simon spent five days photographing contraband smuggled into the US via Kennedy Airport. Bush meat, BBQ guinea pig, drugs, and (my favorite) unidentifiable animal fat are just a few of the fascinating objects removed from people's luggage. 40 of Ms. Simon's photos can now be seen at the NY Times website. Check 'em out and vote for your favorite!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Britain Invaded By Tarantulas!

Oh dear. We've had similar posts in the past. Big, hairy spiders appear to be taking over the planet. (BTW, there's an enormous, bright orange spider hanging outside my office window as I write. I've never seen anything like it.)

Here's the latest story. Two rare Chilean Rose tarantulas have recently been discovered in gardens in the north of England. The gardens in question are only two miles apart, and the spiders are the same age and breed, which has led some experts to suggest that the two probably aren't alone.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The Chilean Rose tarantula spits hairs that can blind humans. Have a nice day!

Read more here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What's Cuter?

Super-tiny octopus?

or . . .

A two-headed bearded dragon with six legs? (Video here.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mexico City's Sewer Divers

Julio Camara (shown above) earns about $500 a month diving into Mexico City's sewage system to make repairs and clear blockages. Spinning pump blades, deadly diseases, and noxious gases are just three of the countless dangers he faces each day. And there's always a chance he'll come face-to-face with a cadaver. Maybe it is the world's worst job. But Julio claims he loves every minute of it. And I think he's awesome.

Read more here.

If you have a REALLY strong stomach, (and I mean really strong), here's a short National Geographic video.

Reviews of The Eternal Ones

So here are a few that have come in!

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review!)

School Library Journal (Starred Review! I'll link to the review when it's available online.)

Kirkus (Unfortunately, you need a subscription to see the whole review, but here's a quote lifted from Amazon: Miller is adept at humorous description. Her keen eye for detail and Haven’s bold maneuvers keep the tale humming along. Yay!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Even Better Than a Capybara

If you're looking for a rodent companion, why not try a porcupine? Sure, you'll need gloves to pet it, but (in my humble opinion) it's the cutest little herbivore around.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dumpster Diving!

If you're visiting New York this August, you may have the chance to do a little dumpster diving. Literally. Pools made from dumpsters will be lined up on Park Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets. Each pool will be eight feet wide, five and a half feet deep, and twenty-two feet long. (Those are some big dumpsters.) There will even be lifeguards, changing rooms and portable showers!

I gotta say, this sounds pretty awesome. Though that particular stretch of street is literally the last place on earth that I'd want to be spotted in a bathing suit. (I used to work around there.)

Read more here!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Do You Expect the Unexpected?

According to a new study (actually a twist on a very old study), people who "expect the unexpected" aren't necessarily more likely to SPOT the unexpected.

Here's the scenario. Study volunteers are told to watch two groups (one group in white shirts, and one in black) pass a basketball from person to person. The volunteers are asked to count how many times the people in white pass the ball.

At some point, while everyone is counting, a person in a gorilla suit walks right through the action. The volunteers are so focused on counting that only half notice the gorilla.

Simple enough, right? Well what if volunteers are TOLD a gorilla might be stopping by? Then things get interesting.

First, test your own skills with the video below. Then click here to read more.

(This should be mandatory training for all future Irregulars.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ninja Monkeys!

(Illustration: CS Jennings)

"The monkeys made their bid for freedom [from a Japanese research facility] by using tree branches to fling themselves one by one over the high voltage electric fence located nearly three metres away.

However, despite the intelligence shown in their great escape, the primates appeared unsure as to what to do with their newfound freedom: the monkeys remained by the gates of the research centre and were lured back into captivity by scientists armed with peanuts."

If there is a fourth Kiki Strike, these monkeys will definitely have a role. Mark my words.

More here. Thanks for the tip, Big K.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bloodcicles and Frozen Insects

These are just a few of the ways zoo creatures here are beating the heat. Want to see a panda eat a popsicle? Your wish is my command.

Washington DC Covered in Vomit-Smelling Goop

The East Coast is sweltering. It's been over 100 degrees for a few days now. So what do we need to make our lives even less pleasant? How about vomit-smelling goop.

According to this article, a truck carrying restaurant oil sprang a leak sometime on Wednesday morning. Soon, U Street was coated with rancid grease. What kind of rancid grease, you ask?

"In some areas, the goop had the texture of what's left in the bottom of the pan when you fry chicken." Mmmmmm!

Cars, pedestrians, and bicycles were sliding all over the street. People who'd fallen were covered in muck.

As nasty as that sounds, I bet it was pretty amazing to see. You can't tell me some foreign government isn't responsible. I blame Liechtenstein.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I've Seen the Future, and It Is Awesome

This video is meant to show some of the things that can be done with 3-D projections onto buildings. Oh my is it awesome. (The water projection! I love it!) It's just a demo video, but some of the actual projections have been videotaped and are pretty durn cool as well.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Who Is Horse Boy?

A man with the head of a horse has been popping up on Google Street View. He wanders the streets of Aberdeen, Scotland, and everyone there has a theory about who he might be. But to this day, nobody knows for sure. And that's the way it should stay.

Read more here.

P.S.: Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Personal Invitation to Teens and Adults

I'm going to be spending a lot of time over at the blog for my new book, The Eternal Ones, which comes out on August 10th! So please drop by, and I'll be happy to tell you who you were in a previous life! (It's a little nuts but a lot of fun.)

The new book and the blog are not intended for anyone under 14. Those of you who haven't quite reached that mark, hold tight. I'll still be posting here regularly, and there will be a new Kiki Strike book soon!

What Are People Saying About The Eternal Ones?

(Above: Somehow I always think they're talking to me.)

Those of you who know I served some time in the ad industry may have a hard time believing this, but I find self-promotion incredibly challenging. I'm posting these awesome quotes (gathered by my wonderful publisher) not only to pique your interest, but to give me the faith to keep chugging away on the sequel to The Eternal Ones. (Almost done!) So please, indulge me . . .

(And to all of you bloggers out there, THANK YOU! I don't know if you realize how much your praise means!)

“Kristen Miller writes beautifully. Having grown up in the South, I have many happy and horrifying memories about rural southern life, and Miller captured them both with flair… Miller’s voice was spot-on.” – Forever Young Adult

“[Haven] she has a strong character and personality, trying to make sense of what her brain and her heart and everyone else is telling her. Romantics will love this because of the resolved ending, and it's a new twist in the "love conquers all paranormal adventure story" genre.” – Afterthoughts

“This book pulled me in from the beginning and I got so into it that I was up till 5 am reading it without realizing it was so late! It was something different than I have read before and will appeal to both YA and adults.” – Froggarita’s Bookshelf

“The story itself was just what I was looking for. A fairly easy and light read with a nice little love story that didn't feel completely recycled from ten thousand love stories before it. I thought the reincarnation stuff was kind of fun and I loved that I was still rather unsure about who to trust until close to the end.” – Ad Absurdum

“What a wonderful story! Don't throw anything at me, but I liked this better than Twilight. It is full of intrigue, romance and mystery. You have to stay up late just to read all of it in one night. Haven starts out as a blah character but quickly develops into one you will miss when you put down the book. Her romance with Iain spans centuries and you won't believe how magically Miller weaves this tale. There is that great Kirsten Miller dialogue that I loved so much in the Kiki Strike series.” – BookHounds

“There were many things that got me hooked to this book, but what I mostly adored was the character development that Miller made happen in this book… I also loved how Miller actually kept me on the edge of my seat during the whole book. When I started to read it, the first couple of chapters made me feel like I already knew how it was going to end. But Kirsten absolutely blew my mind with all of the damn mystery and drama! I found myself literally screaming at it at one point! This is the kind of book where you have to put it down for a minute while you stomp around your house, having a complete hissy fit over something frustrating, like the romantic tension. Honestly, words cannot describe how kick ass this book was, so all I'm going to say is that when The Eternal Ones come out in August, you better be one of the first to get it! You will not be disappointed.” – Naughty Book Kitties

“I was totally and utterly engaged…” – Bookworming in the 21st Century

“I must say I really loved the book. It spoke to me. I soaked in the settings, lived the history, the mystery and the main protagonists…it is rare that a book stays with me so long and deep after I close the pages.” –Fire and Ice

“I loved it… there is great action, and great pacing… I kept thinking I had the twists and turns figured out, but it turns out I am just not that clever. The Eternal Ones kept me guessing.” –Rachel Bateman

“Twilight fans will fall for this addictive story of reincarnation and love through the ages… Miller keeps you guessing right up to the end about Iain's true intentions and leaves the reader hoping for a sequel.” –

“I have to admit that I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed this book… Haven is very interesting - no shy wallflower… I enjoyed The Eternal Ones very much and give it 5 out of 5 stars.” –Michelle’s Book Blog