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Archive for December, 2011

HNY!

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Winners Out the Wazoo

So, horrid Limecello is horrid. End of that. Here are winners to the past who knows however long. Everyone has until January 10, 2012 to get back to me to claim their prize. Except for the Olivia Gates winners, you only have three days, but I’m emailing you all. (Using the email address you used to comment) – because it’s a sensitive situation.

Let’s work backwards, shall we?

When Theresa Romain guested about holiday movies, she gave away a book. Her winner is LSUReader. You are to email her at theresa @ theresaromain . com to claim your prize.

We were lucky enough to have Delilah Marvelle visit with a fabulous (and traumatizing!) post on her book release day! And her winner was Bella@BeguileThySorrow.

Kim in Hawaii won the signed book from Sarah M. Anderson who shared with us about her book release party and awesome book cake. (So! Want!)

… Holy shit. I haven’t done this since November? *insert much shame and writing in agonies of shame*

Courtney Milan decided on a quirky Author Interview that I only do for the GA&AG spots – and her winner was Lynne Silver. (I believe you have your pick of print or electronic book.)

For the Jill Shalvis Blog Tour we have three winners. They are Mary G, chey, and Karen C. Remember to include your mailing addresses please!

HelenKay Dimon had a new novella come out with Carina Press for the holidays – well Christmas is over, but you know. Keep the spirit alive in your reading! ClaudiaGC and Angie M will definitely be able to do that. ;D

Lovely Nikki Duncan shared a “thankful for” list, and her winner is JoAnne. :X Sorry – I’m not sure it’s even an ARC now but… hey, free book, right?

And the lovely, fantastic, awesome Olivia Gates and her thirteen winners? Diane Sallans, Liz, Tricia, Laurie G, Aemelia, booklover1335, kim h, Linda Henderson, Marika Weber, myrandaroyann, Jen B, Mary Kirkland, and Pomma! Please email me with which book from Olivia’s back list that you’d like to receive.

Winners – when claiming your prize, please write what you’ve won, and that you won it here. (And all pertinent information please, such as, you know, an address if necessary.) It’ll help everyone out. For those who aren’t contacting the author directly, please email me to claim your prize. Limecello dot contest at gmail dot com. You know how to make that work.

Thanks to everyone for your patience! Xoxo!

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It’s time to bid a fond farewell to 2011 and to look forward into 2012.  However, before I can think about looking forward I want to take a glimpse backward.

I had huge hopes of 2011 finally being my year after having had several that weren’t so hot.  Well, while things weren’t horrendous they weren’t as rosy perfect as I would have hoped, but I still managed to read and listen to about 90 different books.

During 2011 I discovered a couple of writers who while they have been around a year or more I just got to.  I discovered Christy Reece who writes romantic suspense, and who had been lingering in my TBR since Rescue Me was first released.  I’m thrilled to say I totally loved Rescue Me, but as I’m basically a book hoarder, the rest of the series still remains waiting for me!

I discovered Karen White, who again had been just laying in my TBR waiting patiently for her turn!  Karen’s book I did in audio because she was coming to my area to sign, and I wanted to be able to say I had “read” at least one book.  Now I know that when I need my women’s fiction fix I have a great read waiting in the ever present TBR!

The last discovery who comes quickly to mind is Tawny Weber.  Ms. Weber writes for the Blaze line, and while at first I wasn’t quite sure what I thought of her by the time I concluded her Undercover Operatives miniseries I was quite ready to delve into the TBR mountain range and see if she might be hiding there somewhere!

While not new discoveries for me I also enjoyed books by Kristin Hannah, Robyn Carr, Elin Hilderbrand, Beverly Barton, Nancy Thayer, and so many more!

With 2011 behind me I look forward to what 2012 is going to bring.  I know there are some unresolved issues to be dealt with in the new year, and have my fingers crossed for their positive outcome, but I know that regardless of what fate has in store for me, my TBR mountain range contains some great reading by the authors listed above and I’m looking forward to some new discoveries in 2012!

How was your 2011?  Was it all you had hoped for personally and reading wise?  Are you setting any sort of goal for 2012?  Is there an author with an upcoming book you’re excited to get? An author you’re going to try for the first time?  Tell all, as inquiring minds need to know!

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Hi Everyone! As you can see I’m painfully behind. It’s… well I don’t want to talk about it. But today we have the lovely and kind Debra Mullins visiting with us!

Grimm vs. Once Upon A Time: Which Is Your Favorite?

When Limecello and I discussed what my post should be about today, one of the subjects she threw out there was TV. Now, I am a storyteller. I am obsessed with stories. Every pastime I have involves stories: writing, reading, TV, movies. Even my new hobby of tracing my family tree keeps me interested because of the stories of the people I am discovering. And with the neat new shows that have cropped up this season, I thought I would bring an ongoing discussion to the internet that I have with my husband every week: Grimm or Once Upon A Time, which one do you like better?

For those who might be unfamiliar with either of these shows (get thee to NBC or ABC pronto!), they have some things in common:

– Both are based on fairy tales
– Both have folks from the Whedonverse involved (meaning Joss Whedon).

When I first heard about both these shows, it was Grimm that caught my interest. First of all, David Greenwalt was one of the producers. You might have seen some of his work—specifically on a couple of shows called Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

The premise sounded cool: a homicide detective who finds out he’s descended from people called Grimms who can see the supernatural beings around us for what they are and hunt them down if needed. These supernatural beings, it turns out, are the basis for a lot of fairy tales told by the Grimm brothers (whose name apparently wasn’t Grimm—a Grimm was what they were, not who.) The show looked a little dark, and that was fine with me. You can catch it on NBC, currently on Fridays.

As far as Once Upon A Time, I had seen ads for it here and there, and I had pretty much dismissed it. A TV show about fairy tales? Another one? Was there something in the water in Hollywood? Weren’t there any original ideas anymore? I wasn’t even going to watch it. Then two words caught my interest and had me setting my DVR: JANE ESPENSON.

Jane Espenson was one of the writers of Buffy. And Angel. And Firefly. (She wrote for lots of other shows, too, but these are my favorites, Whedon groupie that I am). If she was involved, the show couldn’t be the piece of fluff I’d thought it was going to be. So I sat down to watch and was completely hooked from the word go.

The premise of Once Upon A Time is interesting: the wicked queen from Snow White has decided she wants her happily ever after by making everyone else miserable. She does this by making terrible sacrifices and, using a curse given to her by the very shady Rumpelstiltskin, somehow transports all the fairy tale characters to a small down in Maine called Storybrooke, where they all live with no memory of who they used to be, and where time is stopped.

Now you know that can’t be all, right? Of course not. Before the curse was cast, Snow White had just given birth to a daughter who was prophesied to save them all from the curse after her twenty-eighth birthday. The daughter’s name is Emma, and in a heroic move, Emma’s father Prince Charming, while fighting off the evil queen’s guards, managed to shove his infant daughter through the magic door into our world before the curse hit. So Emma grew up here in our world, a foundling, bouncing through foster homes until she grew up to be a bounty hunter.

Yes, folks, Emma literally kicks butt for a living.

But it doesn’t stop there. Seems Emma had a baby when she was eighteen, a son she gave up for adoption. And that son, Henry, turns up on her doorstep on the eve of her twenty-eighth birthday, a ten year old toting a book of fairy tales that he insists tells the truth about all the citizens of Storybrooke. Of course Emma is concerned that the child she gave up is mentally disturbed and takes him home to Storybrooke and his adoptive mother—the evil queen, now named Regina and the mayor of Storybrooke. Uncomfortable with the dysfunctional relationship Henry has with his adoptive mother, Emma decides to stick around Storybrooke until she’s sure Henry is okay. And that’s when the curse starts to unravel. Once Upon A Time is on ABC, currently on Sundays.

Now for my question to you. I really thought Grimm was going to grab me, but so far all our hero seems to be able to do is see the monsters. He has no other super powers that I can see (he’s no Slayer or vampire with a soul). The show has been picked up for a full season, and I continue to watch, hoping Nick will show us something new about being a Grimm. I’m willing to give it a chance, and David Giuntoli, who plays Detective Nick Burkhardt, is pretty nice to look at. Plus, his sidekick on the show is a reformed Big Bad Wolf. Can’t beat that.

But then you have Once Upon A Time, where secrets abound, and questions are answered and new ones asked in every episode. The show is addicting, and I have fun trying to guess who various characters are as they are introduced (Dr. Archie Hopper, the psychologist (aka Jiminy Cricket) or Ruby, the waitress at Granny’s Diner who really loves red and wolves (aka Red Riding Hood). Once Upon A Time has also been picked up for a full season with new episodes starting January 8, 2012.

My husband and I are more drawn to Once Upon A Time, but my college age son and his girlfriend never miss an episode of Grimm. Which one do you like better and why?

Ms. Mullins is also giving away a copy of her newest digital release – a retro release from Samhain Once a Mistress! So tell us – what do you think of Once Upon A Time or Grimm? Or if you haven’t seen either, what do you think about fairy tale stories or shows?

Her love will capture the ultimate treasure—his heart.
Diana Covington is a dutiful daughter with a boring future all mapped out for her. A shipping fortune and lush Jamaican estate that will someday be hers, a husband of her father’s choice. Romance and Caribbean adventure exist only in her dreams, in which the Black Spaniard, El Moreno, plays a starring role.

Until she is kidnapped by the evil pirate Marcus, and her girlish fantasies quickly turn to nightmares.

Alex Rawnsley’s dark Spanish looks makes him the perfect choice to take on the identity of El Moreno. His mission is to bring Marcus to justice, but his heart thirsts for blood. Vengeance for his brother’s murder is within his grasp when Diana’s kidnapping throws a hitch in his strategy.

Snatching her from Marcus’s clutches is easy enough, but what to do with her now? He cannot return her home lest she be taken again. He has no choice but to keep the distracting, innocent beauty aboard his ship. In his cabin. In his bed. The temptation to
make her his own grows stronger by the hour…but opening his heart to love may forever close the door on his quest for revenge.

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Today we have the wonderful Silver James sharing an excerpt with us! Really no other introduction is needed.

If you could go back, do it over again, would you take a chance to find true love?

What if you had no choice?

On her fiftieth birthday, the faerie send Rebecca Miller a thousand years into the past to find her happily ever after with Ciaran MacDermot, Chief of Clann MacDermot, the last Fenian warrior in his line. In the twenty-first century, Becca is old enough to be Ciaran’s mother. In the tenth, she’s young enough to be his bride.

The fae forgot to mention one slight stipulation. The lovers must be bound before the Festival of Light, or Becca will forever disappear into Tir Nan Óg, the faerie Land of the Ever Young.

Will they discover the binding words before time runs out and they’re torn apart forever? Or will their eternal love defeat their Faerie Fate?

Without the words, history is doomed to repeat itself.

SET UP: Becca, the heroine of FAERIE FATE, has been kidnapped by Manannán Mac Lir, one of the faerie kings. In this scene, she meets another faerie nemesis:

“Who are you?” She asked bluntly.

“I am Abhean,” he said. “Harper of the Tuatha dé Danaan.”

She glanced at the pipes. “I thought harpers played harps,” she replied caustically.

A sardonic grin split the faerie’s face. “A harper plays many instruments.” He took her hand and tugged her down to join him on the rock. He sighed, looking her over from top to bottom and back again. “Ah, cailín but I could play you like the finest instrument of all.”

One strong finger traced her cheek as he stared deeply into her eyes and saw the hunger, the longing that lurked in her soul. “But ’tis not me ’twill have the pleasure,” he added, the spun sugar in his voice no longer sweet but burnt.

“What is this place?” Becca didn’t feel polite.

Abhean sighed again. “Land of the Ever Young.” He tilted his head. “This should be a land of peace and joy for all mortals who find their way here. I fear ’twill never be so for you, cailín. Mac Lir thought to do you a favor when he brought you here. He did not want to return you to that other life, the one filled with pain and suffering. Without the binding, your heart would never be whole, so he sought to bring you what peace and solace he could.”

“He tried to seduce me.”

Abhean chuckled, but there was no mirth in the sound. “Nay, cailín. If he had truly meant to do the deed, he would have succeeded.”

“Not bloody likely.” Her lip curled into a silent snarl.

Abhean chortled, truly amused now. “Methinks Manannán Mac Lir underestimates you, Child of the Mortals.” He stared at her again. “Rebecca.” Her name dripped off his tongue like the finest melted chocolate. “Do you know what your name means, Child?” He took up his pipes and began another song, this one not quite so plaintive. He watched Becca out of the corner of his eye.

Becca stared off toward the misty, blue mountains, listening to the music. When Abhean stopped to catch his breath, she quizzed him. “Do you?”

“Do I what?” he countered.

“Know what my name means.”

“I never ask a question I dinnit know the answer to,” he answered cryptically in his sweet, lilting voice.

“So what does it mean?”

“Bound. Or chosen, if you like.” He put his full lips to the reed of the pipe and played again.

Becca gazed at the mountains, her chin propped in the palm of her hand. She glanced at the Harper out of the corner of her eye. A little smile tried not to twitch in the corner of her mouth. These faeries, or Sídhe, or Tuatha dé Danaan, or whatever they were called were an egotistical lot.

“If you are the Harper,” she prodded, “then you must know all the old tales?” She cocked her eyebrow at him, daring him to answer.

The Harper’s eyes glinted with mischievous lights, and he grinned down at the beautiful woman sitting at his feet. The puckish breeze teased her hair, wrapping a silken strand of it around his leg. He sighed. He understood now why the mortal wanted her so much, and why Mac Lir was so determined to keep her. Well, he had his own score to settle with Mac Lir. “Oh, aye, I know them all and wrote most of them,” he hinted.

“Then tell me a tale,” she challenged..

So what did you think? Did you like what you read? Interested in more? Ms. James is giving away one lucky commenter a copy of Faerie Fate – in either print or digital. Winner’s choice! Yay!

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Everyone!

We’ll do “regularly scheduled” stuff later… and winners for everything will be announced on Tuesday.

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Hi everyone! Meet my “second life saver” Theresa Romain! She also responded to my twitter call, and here she is! I’m also super excited about her post – and I hope you enjoy it too! (Can you tell I love randomness? Like love it?) I also had no idea about almost all these movies. I also *small voice* haven’t seen like 99% of them.

Holiday Movies That Aren’t

This time of year, the only way to escape holiday movies is to enter a complete media blackout. But I’m here to tell you: no need for that. You might be tired of It’s a Wonderful Life, but every time a bell rings, another holiday movie is made. And sometimes these are not the movies you’d expect.

For example. Did you know Christmas could be combined with pandemic zombie-ism? German terrorists? Fear of computers? Indeed it can. Let’s take a look at a few holiday movies that hide their red and green.

Creatures

I Am Legend (2007). (Dude! It’s only $5!) This is the movie that inspired this whole list. About a month ago, I told a friend, “I’m in the mood for a holiday movie. Time to turn on I Am Legend!” Her response was something along the lines of “o_O.” But it’s true. The movie focuses on the aftermath of a mutated anti-cancer vaccine that’s killed or zombie-fied most of humanity (but not Will Smith!). Through flashbacks, we see the early spread of the virus and the evacuation and quarantine of Manhattan Island. At Christmas.

Why at Christmas? I think so the filmmakers could have the crushingly lonely Dr. Robert Neville (Smith) walk into abandoned houses and see left-behind trees and presents—all the trappings of a family holiday that will never come again.

So, yeah. This is a holiday movie. With zombie rats!

Runners-Up: Any creature movie set at Christmas will be playing with the fearsome versus the heartwarming. In this same vein (zing!) are Gremlins (1984), Dawn of the Dead (1978), and Batman Returns (1992).

Criminals

Die Hard (1988). Like Dr. Robert Neville, John McClane (Bruce Willis) winds up doing battle instead of roasting chestnuts on an open fire. When his estranged wife’s company is taken over during its Christmas party by bond-hunting terrorists led by Severus Snape Colonel Brandon Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), McClane is the only man on the inside who can help save Christmas. And his wife. And a lot of other people.

Our lesson? Christmas is the time to be with the people you love. Even if that means going through a wad of German terrorists.

Runners-Up: Die Hard 2 (1990) went back to the same well. Lethal Weapon (1987) and Eastern Promises (2007) also deal with crimes around Christmas time—whether for redemption or an extra dose of creepiness.

Classics

Desk Set (1957). Bunny Watson (Katharine Hepburn) adores her job as a researcher for a TV network. But when efficiency expert Richard Summer (Spencer Tracy) gets called in just before Christmas, Bunny’s afraid she and her staff are all about to get the chop. Besides the fact that a character would never be named “Bunny” now (I hope), this whip-smart romantic comedy is startlingly modern. As for the Christmas elements–well, according to this movie, Christmas is a time we all have extra job stress and drink a little more than we should.
Fair enough.

Runners-Up: Oh, so many offbeat classics with holiday elements. In Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944), a young woman drunk-marries a soldier on leave whom she can’t remember, then has sextuplets. In Three Godfathers (1936 and 1948), a trio of bank robbers save the life of an orphaned infant. In The Lion in Winter (1968), medieval royals squabble over the throne of France. In The Apartment (1960)…well, you know what that’s about.

So next time you gather with family or friends for a heartwarming holiday film, see if you can steer them away from Kris Kringle, George Bailey, and Ebenezer Scrooge. There’s a holiday- movie-that-isn’t for every mood.

Got any more oddball films to add to the list? Or just want to share one of your favorite holiday movies? Do tell!

I’ll be giving away a copy of my historical romance debut, Season for Temptation, to one random commenter. SFT has quite a bit in common with I Am Legend—it’s got holiday elements, and the hero is not a zombie. (Ok, nor are the other characters.) You can find out more here.

Guess what? Double bonus! Last week I had a giveaway/contest on twitter as well… and Theresa Romain won it! So *I* will also be giving away a copy of Season for Temptation away. A kindle copy though, cuz that’s how I do. It’ll also be on twitter, but don’t worry – tell me your twitter handle here and I’ll double your entry.

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