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Archive for November, 2011

That’s what happens  – you ask such questions – when you’re being cheeky with a long wee hour chat (think 11:30 PM- 2:00 AM) with your dad while enjoying an Argentinian Malbec. Or at least I do, which is why you all stick around because you have no idea what sort of WTFery I’ll come up with. Full disclosure my dad (most of his family) is extremely religious. The mention was something about the second coming and … anyway he was telling me about something people said at his “old man Bible Study.” It’s super cute – he’s the young whippersnapper toddler as most(?) of the members are in their 80s or older.

But that’s just the context. We’re not going to discuss religion. What I am going to talk about, however, is winners. And how your weekend was.

So the winner Viki S. you win the kindle copy of Deceiving the Protector by Dee Tenorio, and S.J. Drum you win the kindle copy of If You Hear Her by Shiloh Walker. Please email me with your information/what address you want the book by Saturday, December 3rd please to claim your prize. You can use the contact tab at the top of the blog. Thanks and enjoy!

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving if you’re in the States? Did you shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Any family drama?

Need I babble about other things? Somehow those numbers are going to go up, and you’re going to help me! Rah rah!

Whatever. O_o

*NB: Olivia Gates’s winners will be announced soon too, so get your last minute comments in on the proper posts! Content matters!

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A few years ago, well, okay, RomCon 2010, there was a panel that was rather controversial. It was… I think about reviewing books? Something like that. But all the talk became all “books are babies.” Apparently it was an author/reviewer panel. I don’t know who the reviewers on the panel were. I do know there were people from SBTB, DA, TGTBTU, and JR at the conferences, and none of them were on that panel. I’m not commenting on the panel, just bringing up an observation someone made to me. I didn’t go to it.

I believe it was actually a (the?) reviewer who said people shouldn’t leave “negative” reviews because books are the author’s babies. I’m gagging a little as I write it. I realize it’s a lot of work to write a book. In fact, at this point in my life I doubt I could write a book, even if I wanted to. (Which I don’t.) While I don’t have any kids… I’m going to say the two – writing a book and giving birth – are not comparable. Authors who have done both, please feel free to jump in here.

I have, however, read a lot of books, reviewed them, beta’d them, and so on. And worked with a lot of kids. Generally not babies, but inner city, at-risk kids, from K-12. (Usually I work with K-5 in whatever setting.) I definitely don’t treat books the same as the “babies.”

Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of “Happy Book Birthday!” tweets on Tuesday, which is generally when new books are released. This… totally skeeves me out. The whole book = baby, being born thing… *shudders* it kinda turns my stomach.

What are your thoughts? Am I being too sensitive here? I’m really curious as to what your opinion is if you’re a reader. And if you’re an author. If you’re both, mind letting me know under both hats?

I really wish I had an image to share with you. I even googled various phrases searching for such an image, and nothing. (And people, doesn’t the fact that there are no pictures in google images for any of those phrases telling? Stop! Please! So yeah. Now you know how I feel. I didn’t want to share my opinion in the fears it’d color yours, but I can’t help it. I’m also more than fine with you disagreeing with me.)

I know Tessa Dare did an experiment of sorts when that panel happened, and she diapered one of her books and observed. (Heh.) But I’m not going to try to find her twitpic or whatever client she used from ~16 months ago.

Speaking of “social experiments.” I’ve got a favor to ask of you, please. Do you have a Macy’s nearby? Do you ever go to it, or would it be possible for you to go? I want to you go check and see if they’ve got/are carrying the Giambattista Valli collection. Regardless of if they do or not, please let me know your general whereabouts? I’m curious. Here, the one we went to, there was nothing, and the clerks even looked at me beyond blankly.

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Holiday Wish List

Oops this one’s on me – Sandi is supposed to have the last Saturday of each month as her day… :X But I didn’t see it when I was scheduling posts/didn’t think she had it written yet, so pretend she wrote the months as “November turns into December” okay? Pretty please?

As October makes it’s turn into November and the holiday season people are starting to think about their Christmas gift giving.  I am among them.  Not only am I thinking about what I’d like to give to certain members of my family I’m also thinking about what I might like to receive.

With the variety of e-readers now offered by Amazon I’m considering getting one for my daughter in law.  That way she could share my books, and I could easily add some more to hers when an occasion arises, or the mood strikes.  For my youngest son and my husband I’m considering IPODS because neither has one, and especially if my husband had one we could perhaps dejunk the many CD’s we’ve collected over the years .  Still pondering what to do for my oldest, and of course until I whip out some form of payment nothing is cut in stone.

As for me I’m always wanting the latest greatest gadget.  Currently I’m in IPAD lust, but that’s just not really feasible for me for this holiday season.  I’ll settle for some good books and or gift cards to buy said books with.  What books should I ask for?

What’s on your holiday wish list?  What are you considering giving to others? Hope everyone has a great stress free holiday season!

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I have this special fondness for Thanksgiving being on the 24th of November. There’s no particular rhyme or reason, but it just seems right to me. Like Thanksgiving is meant to be on the 24th. Sure, sometimes it’s on different days – that’s how the calendar works. I’m sure each and every one of us also has something to be thankful for. Sure, some of us have it better than others. (And most of us reading this blog have it better than many parts of the world… but that’s a dangerous game to play.)

I think today’s post, though, is absolutely perfect, and fitting. Sarah M. Anderson prompted me to do the mini SMSG drive for the Pine Ridge Reservation. (I can’t seem to escape it – actually watched Imprint last night (the indie film not the… other horror?), not knowing about the location/specifics.) But really, I can’t say anything better than Liz. For such a small effort, I think we did fabulously, everyone. Anyway, Liz commented on my original post, and I asked if she’d be willing to blog about the experience, giving to the Reservation, and here it is.

I don’t know what it’s like to go to bed hungry. I never lived with anyone growing up except my two parents. My mom stayed home with us kids while my dad worked. My brother and I had closets full of clothes, shoes, and toys. We were warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Now, I can say that my children don’t know what it’s like to be hungry or cold or wonder where their parents are. I know that we’re blessed and I’m grateful every day for the life we enjoy. And I’m never more aware of just how blessed we really are until I see programs like 20/20s report on the Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation’s children. My nine year old daughter Rachel and I sat together and watched the show. Throughout, she kept saying “it’s so sad”.

The first thing she said to me when it was over was, “Mom, I want to send them my hats.” We looked up the websites mentioned on the 20/20 website, settling on one that would accept hats and gloves and also books for children of all ages. That weekend, we went shopping and purchased hats, gloves, and books (baby, toddler, and elementary age) to add to the freshly washed, gently used items we had at home.

I told her that there were several hundred kids on the reservation that had little or no winter clothes. She looked down at the hats and then up at me with her big blue eyes and said, “We only have six.”

I gave her a hug and said, “Six isn’t a big number, but those six kids will be thankful to get those hats this winter. So it might not seem like a big deal, but it will be a big deal to a handful of kids.”

I know that there are many people who did more than we did – who gave money or boxes of clothes and supplies; but I couldn’t look at my daughter and say – well we can only do “x” and it won’t matter in the whole scheme of things. Because in truth, every little bit counts, but only if the “bits” make it where they’re needed. We did what we could and tried to fill a need as we were able.

Grown men can learn from very little children—for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show them many things that older people miss.” Black Elk

Today, I’m thankful and humbled to be part of the romance community, where I get to meet and mingle with wonderful people like you. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you have a wonderful day. ❤

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Beverley Kendall, who runs The Season has this wonderful post up: RAINN: Comment for a cause. It’s there for an extremely sad reason – the Penn State incident(s) – but the thing is we can do our best to make a bad situation better. RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) is the charity she’s donating to – and she’ll be giving 50 cents per comment through November.

All it takes is a comment, and you can do some good. I think everyone knows what’s gone on at Penn State… but even if you don’t – do please stop by The Season Blog post and leave a comment.

Thanks so much!

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Erm, so you know this was supposed to go live last week. And Leslie Dicken’s excerpt was supposed to go up today. That… obviously didn’t happen – so my apologies to you all, and to Nikki Duncan especially, who was very understanding and kind. Although I should say I did this on purpose, right? Because a “being thankful” post is much for fitting for this week. 😉 So yes. It was all part of my master plan. >.>

It’s not my “common practice” to include author photos, but, you have to agree that Nikki is ridiculously adorable there, right? Love it! So without further ado, the post!

It’s about that time of year. You know, where we gather around a table with family and friends and talk about the things we’re thankful for. Our Thanksgiving is going to be a little different this year, so I thought I’d share my top ten thanks here.

I’m thankful…

1. I get to write, which I love, and be published.
2. For a publisher and editor I love.
3. For rockin’ awesome covers. The latest of which are Tangled in Tulle and Illicit Intuitions.
4. For family who distracts me from work just enough to keep me from staying buried all the time.
5. For Martial Arts coaches who take it easy on me when kicking my butt. See videos here.
6. For a hubby who supports my writing as well as my Big Red habits (it’s a soft drink).
7. For the conferences I attend and the friends I make at them.
8. For every day my computer decides to NOT crash. Those days are not fun.
9. Even for smartass kids who think they’re funny and seem intent on sending me into cardiac arrest with their bizarre deformities that require stressful doctor visits and apparently painful surgeries and then there are the death defying stunts performed while driving down the road.
10. For the fact everyone is healthy and happy and mostly sane.

Tell me what you’re thankful for and be entered into a drawing for an eARC of Tangled in Tulle. The winner will be chosen at Random and announced Wednesday the 16th to make sure everyone has a chance to play.

You can read more about Nikki and her books at www.NikkiDuncan.com.

Isn’t that a great cover, and an adorable title too? As for the winner I’ll also put the name in a new post as well, but you know it’s always good to check back at the blog. ;D I’m going to have to think about my “10 Thankful Fors…”

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Hi everyone! As you can see HelenKay Dimon was unable to guest with us on Thursday – she’s had a lot on her plate, and spent a lot of time at the vet with her 14 year old dog :\ – but all should be better now, thankfully, and she’ll be here next week! Yay! BUT! Now, we have my good friend Cathie visiting with us! Some of you “know” her because she’s written some reviews, as Cathie M, but here she is again! (Oh and yes, I know I didn’t match up the covers – but that’s because I’m crazy and I like them evenly distributed throughout. Or, images at least. Also, typos, if they are any, sorry! I just did a strict copy and paste. :X)

Its a joy to be able to post here on Lime’s blog! As reading is a favorite of mine, especially traditional regency romances lately, I wanted to talk a bit about finding Indie re-released books. I use the term, “Indie” to mean eBooks that authors independently publish, that are not with an established eBook publisher that has a site online that publishes multiple authors. (Some Indie authors do name their own publisher name for their books but there is no site, or its basically a link to their site and only their books). As a rule, just look up the name of the publisher the author gives and you can usually determine that way. There’s so many small publishers that its hard for me to keep track to know whats out there so most of these I found from recommendations from readers letting me know about them or discovering them from searches, reviews and just them popping up when I am looking at a genre of romance in general on Amazon.

I’ve also read quite a few of those who released their books for the first time and some awesome. I could write for hours about those! So I thought I’d stick with the re-releases for this post. Know that my likes may so vary than others. Lime and I tease each other because one book for her can be a fab read and me not so! (and I’m so not a picky reader so we laugh about that!). I for one, am not expert in this, but wanted to share my experiences since for me lately, its been harder for me to spend $8 on just one eBook when I have discovered quite a few great reads for much cheaper! I love the re-releases that I missed of authors earlier books! Remember traditional regency line? Those were the category size prints of sweet to warm regency romances from Zebra and Signet regency romances (no longer have those lines). I find them so much a comfort lately and had missed them when they were out in print. Too those earlier historical romances of authors we read now that we missed?! Some authors are re-releasing them as well. I’ll give some examples below but the prices can be awesome, often as .99 cents! to $2.99. As a general rule for me, I stick to $2.99 and less for the eBook re-releases. That’s just me but some have re-releases at $6.99 and higher of their re-releases which for me is tough since I like to read lots!

I suggest you download a sample of the eBook you may want to read from Amazon or Smashwords. I do mostly because I hate when no covers are included. Its a huge pet peeve with me! I figured if I was in the store buying a print, there be no way I’d buy a book without a cover and same goes with eBooks. I have bought them before without a cover and requested a refund because of that, so now I always download a sample from Amazon or Smashwords first. (If you use BN, I believe they have samples too but I’m more familiar with the Kindle program than the Nook program. Many in the beginning have seem not to have their covers, it but I seen more improvement lately with them having them. When I get the sample, I can check if the cover is included. If its not, I look to Smashwords to see if its available there and I can always add the cover if they left it off. The samples there seem longer at Smashwords and I get a real feel for the story. There are quite a few authors tho, that publish their Indie books on Amazon only and no covers and I’ve sampled them and started out so good but they haven’t put on Smashwords or other non-DRM sites for me to get so I sadly haven’t bought them and missing out on some good reads. I’ve too found some of the Indie books over on All Romance eBooks (ARe). I’m not sure if there are more places that sell them non-DRM.

So here are some .99 cents re-released earlier historical romance reads that I loved with short descriptions and longer descriptions are at the links! (no particular order and I limited myself to 5 or this post would never get done, there’s lots I loved out there!) I’m not sure how to figure out length of books on Amazon so I check word count over at Smashwords and seem to category lengths except for one that is full length novel. So a couple questions for you, what have you found in regency, historical or anything in romance as a bargain price that you recommend? And too any other places you know to go for Indie books?

Lady Silence by Blair Bancroft

After more than six years of war, Colonel Damon Farr wants only to retreat into his library and forget the world. Instead, he is confronted daily by the mystery of a young woman with a secret past and no voice. He calls her Lady Silence. Is she a fraud who has wormed her way into his life? Or is she the spark to resurrect a soul lost in battle and teach him the meaning of love?

Lady Dearing’s Masquerade by Elena Greene

Lady Dearing became society’s most notorious widow after kissing a stranger at a masquerade but his seductive voice still haunts her dreams. Sir Jeremy Fairhill has given up hope of finding her, but when he investigates the infamous widow who’s taking in children from London’s Foundling Hospital, his sense of duty clashes with a dangerous passion for the elusive, alluring Lady Dearing.

A Proper Companion by Candice Hern

Robert is a rakish earl recently betrothed to a beautiful young girl in her first Season. Emily is an impoverished spinster hired as a companion to his grandmother, the dowager countess. Robert agrees to help his grandmother find a husband for Emily, but how is he to bear the thought of her in another man’s arms?

Conor’s Way by Laura Lee Guhrke

To save her farm, Olivia needs a man who’s not afraid of hard work. But after the Civil War, men like that are rare, and she has to hire ex-boxer Conor Branigan for help. The hard Irishman doesn’t plan to stick around, but Olivia sparks dreams of what he’d lost long ago. When her farm is at risk, he has to stay to save it, but can he let go of the past and make a new life, or is it too late?

The Hanover Square Affair by Ashley Gardner (aka Jennifer Ashley)

(Note, this is a historical mystery series, first book in the series. I love her historical romances and got hooked on these too!)

London, 1816 Cavalry captain Gabriel Lacey returns to Regency London from the Napoleonic wars, his career ignominiously over. He stumbles onto the case of a kidnapping, the accused a prominent MP. Lacey’s search for the girl leads to the discovery of murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underworld. At the same time, Lacey must face the everyday troubles of his own life.

Too, doing a search today, I found Nicole Jordan’s Velvet Embrace at .99! I’ll stop now, so its your turn now!

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