reviews Wide Open

I have to say, I love this review so much I should probably marry it:

I never grew tired of hearing the different ways Hallie described how cold the ghosts made her feel, of how angry or confused or ineffectual she felt, of the different freak storms. And I loved the dialogue. It came off as both very realistic and very true to the characters. People don’t speak in full sentences. We cut each other off, trail off without finishing, get scattered and distracted, forget what we were saying, refuse to say what we mean or mean what we say, and live and die by subtext and subtlety. Coates has mastered realistic dialogue and made it colloquial without being grating or difficult to read. She doesn’t have to describeher characters in minute detail because the way they speak, the words they choose, and the things they leave out reveal everything you need to know about them.

Wide Open Blog Tour Week Two Schedule

Here’s the rest of the schedule for the Wide Open Blog Tour.  Hope you’re enjoying it so far!

Monday, March 19th

Tuesday, March 20th

Wednesday, March 21st

Thursday, March 22nd

Friday, March 23rd

Saturday, March 24th

Sunday, March 25th

Monday, March 26th

And, that’s it!  Hope you enjoy the guest posts, the reviews, the interviews and the giveaways.  I’ll be posting a few other interviews in the side bar and probably doing a review roundup at some point.  Whew!



Wide Open Deleted Scene #2

Here’s another deleted scene from Wide Open.  If this scene still existed, it would be right at the beginning, except, of course, it doesn’t exist.  Not anymore.

The advertisement was for an alternative energy company called Uku-Weber. The picture, which was most of the ad, was divided into thirds–the same scene across the entire picture.

The first third showed thick gray clouds, jagged lightning and prairie grass flattened by lashing rain.  The second third was all ice and blowing snow, the sky leached gray-white.  The final third was gentle in contrast, soft-focus sun, brilliant green prairie grass, leafy green trees.  In the center was a long, low building which looked both modern and classical with open columns, large windows and a courtyard filled with painstakingly chaotic wildflower gardens. Beyond the building were windmills, a millwheel and a long row of slanting solar panels.

Underneath, it read, “Harnessing the weather for a better future.  Uku-Weber.  West Prairie City.  South Dakota.”

“Everything all right?”

A man in a blue TSA uniform with thin, slicked-back hair along a receding hairline approached her from the security area.  She realized she’d been staring at the Uku-Weber ad for several minutes.

She cleared her throat.  “Yeah.  I thought–you know this Uku-Weber?” She jerked a thumb toward the ad as if that had been the point all along.

The guy shrugged, watching the few remaining people from Hallie’s flight struggle past them.

“Ad just went up three days ago,” he said.  “Someone told me it’s a local Rapid City fella.  Some guy who left, made a fortune or something and came back.  Paper said last week he’ll be hiring two–three hundred people when it’s all up and running.”  He shrugged again.  “West Prairie City’s, I dunno, like the middle of nowhere.  You’d think he could have started that company right here.”  He shoved his hands in his pockets and tipped back on his heels.  “You looking for a job, are you?” he asked, taking in her boots, her rumpled fatigues, her short-cropped hair.

“I–no, not really,” Hallie said.  Eddie’s ghost hovered off her right shoulder, radiating cold no one but Hallie could feel. “I thought the name sounded familiar,” she said.

“Hmm,” the man said with a brief tilt of the head.  He turned back to his station as a clattering group of men in cowboy hats and blue jeans approached the screening area.

They reminded Hallie of every rancher she’d ever known–including the women–checkered shirts, hats with signs of wear along the brim and at the crown, denim jeans that fit like they’d been washed a thousand times, the entire security procedure an object of confusion and disdain though each of them had probably been through it a dozen times before.

Oh, yeah, even if this was not how she’d imagined it–never imagined Dell being dead, never imagined ghosts–she was definitely home.

The images in this post are used under Creative Commons licenses:

  1. Prairie WindmillJeff Slater (CC BY-NC 2.0)
  2. Wind Turbines in Beaumont KansasBrent Danley (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Wide Open Blog Tour Week One Schedule

As I’ve mentioned previously, my publicist at Tor, Alexis Nixon, has arranged a pretty extensive blog tour for the release of Wide Open.  So extensive, in fact, that I’m not going to even attempt to list the whole thing in one post.  Here, forthwith, is the schedule for Week One:

Monday, March 12th

Tuesday, March 13th

Wednesday, March 14th

Thursday, March 15th

 Friday, March 16th

Saturday, March 17th

Sunday, March 18th

And that’s just the first week.  Whew!

Thank you to each of these bloggers and websites for hosting a bit of the Wide Open blog tour.  It’s a privilege, but also fun for me to see all these different websites–some of them I knew about, some of them I didn’t.  People talking about books.  How could that fail to be awesome?

More Wide, More Open

As the publication date for Wide Open approaches (March 13th!  Less than two weeks away!) there are things going on in different places on the web: polls, giveaways, reviews.  I won’t post links to everything, but I’ll try to put up polls and giveaways.  Oh, and interviews and guest posts.  And some of the reviews.  And I’ll put them all here, on the website with the occasional pointer on Facebook or Twitter.  You can look or not.  Click or not.  It’s all up to you.

Going on now:

Tor/Forge Spring Fantasy Collection SweepstakesTor/Forge is giving away a whole bundle of books, including Wide Open.  You subscribe to their newsletter to enter.

Bookreporter Spring PreviewWide Open is one of the featured books.  There will be giveaways of Wide Open and the other featured books through March 20th

RT Book Review March Cover PollWide Open is one of the top covers for March.  There’s a poll where you can vote for your favorite.

Cornell Alumni MagazineWide Open gets a mention in the March, 2012 issue



Wide Open Deleted Scene #1

I was thinking about some fun posts to put up here in the weeks surrounding the release of Wide Open.  And while I was thinking about it, I happened, for one reason or another, to go back to an old draft, which contained several scenes that are no longer in the final version of Wide Open.

I thought, why not put up a few (relatively) non-spoilery deleted scenes?  So, I am!

For the next three weeks or so, I’ll put up one short scene a week.  I hope they’ll give you a bit more of the flavor of Wide Open, a sampling of the setting and the characters, and a glimpse at a slightly alternate universe version of the story.

An hour and a half later, Hallie hit the strip off I90–lights and parking lots and IHOP restaurants.  Another mile and a half, a turn off the strip onto a business route, the Viking sat at the end of an old strip mall.  It’d once been a chain motel, sold locally and still rented about thirty-five rooms–not that Hallie’d ever stayed in any of them, though half her high school graduating class probably had.

There were a dozen cars in the lot, a good number for early Sunday evening.  Hallie spotted Brett’s silver Honda up near the entrance.  She locked the pickup; tinny strains of music drifted across the parking lot.  Not a band, not on a week night–radio maybe, some kind of recorded music, anyway.  As she put her hand up to open the door, two airmen from Ellsworth tumbled out, laughing like they’d just heard the funniest joke in the world.  They recovered quickly and grinned at Hallie.

“Hey sweet–”  one of them began, but Hallie brushed by them into the bar.  She’d been to Afghanistan.  She saw ghosts.  She didn’t have the time of day for Ellsworth boys anymore.


Brett’s voice wasn’t loud, but it carried.  Maybe a half-dozen tables in the entire room were occupied.  The bartender was wiping glasses and watching a football game on the television at the end of the bar.  “Lorie’s in the restroom, I think,” Brett said as Hallie sat.

The waitress was already there, laying a cocktail napkin on the table and saying, “What’ll you have?”

“I don’t know,” Hallie said.  “Bring me whatever.  Beer.”

The waitress sniffed like she expected smarter people, though Hallie couldn’t imagine why.  It wasn’t as if the Viking was anything other than a dark old bar with old smoke soaked into the table tops, red glass hurricane candles, and spindle-backed chairs with the arms worn smooth from thousands of hands.

“I’m so glad you came!” Lorie’s voice coming from behind her, startled Hallie so badly that she almost knocked the beer out of the waitress’s hand.  She covered running her hand along her chin and around the back of her neck, but the waitress glared at her and she figured she’d be lucky if she got any kind of service at all the rest of the night.

Lorie swung around to the other side of the table, signaling to the waitress, who ignored her.  She said, “Excuse me,” and went to the bar, where she flirted with the bartender for a minute or two before coming back with a soda and a basket of popcorn.

“Hallie–” Brett began, but before she could get farther than that one word, Hallie cut in.

“Look,” she said, “I could use some help.”  She’d been thinking about this on the way over, about how to control the conversation, to talk about what she wanted to talk about, not the psychological ramifications of Dell’s death or her time in Afghanistan.

Lorie leaned forward eagerly.  “You want us to find out about that deputy?  You two would be perfect for each other.  I know he’s a little uptight.  I mean I don’t know it, but people say…”

“Lorie, let her finish.”  Hallie could hear a low-key tightness in Brett’s voice, like she was worried where the conversation might be going.

Tough shit, Hallie thought.

She tried to imagine them while she’d been gone–laughing, talking, riding in local summer rodeos and climbing into 4x4s with lean young cowboys in boots and hats that cost more than their pickups.  It hurt a little to picture that, because if the world had been fair, been far different than it actually was, Dell would have been there, Dell would have been riding that bay mare she raised herself, the only one who could give Brett a run for her money in the barrel races, the only one–

“I want to know everything you know about Pete and Martin.”

The images in this post are used under Creative Commons licenses:

  1. Prairie Flower and badlandsMykl Roventine (CC BY 2.0)
  2. Abandoned farm equipmentAshleigh Bennett (CC BY-ND 2.0)