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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Who do you want beneath the Christmas tree?

Thor. Yum. 'Nuff Said.

All wrapped up in nothing but a big red bow lounging beneath my Christmas tree? Oh yeah. It's the hair, the scruff, the muscles, and oh yeah the attitude. The cocky swagger, the deep laugh.

Sigh...

You? What fictional character, book or movie, do you want lounging beneath your Christmas tree in nothing but a big red bow?

Today's giveaway: (1) Dark Desires of the Druids: Murder & Magick (2) $10 B&N gift certificate--leave a comment to enter to win!

Susan Macatee
Caroline Clemmons
Nicole McCaffrey

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Favorite Christmas Song

You have to have one, so what is it? Are you the classic type? Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby

The new renditions? Amy Grant, Jessica Simpson

The quirky ones? I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, Dominick the Donkey, Snoopy vs. The Red Baron

Religious ones? Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night

My choices are 1, 3, 4...I do not like Amy Grant, she ruins every song she redoes with her sleepy voice and even tempo. As for other remakes, there's something about the classic version you grew up with that makes it the best.

What about you? What are your favorites?

Today's giveaway: Shadow State--leave a comment to enter to win!

Susan Macatee
Caroline Clemmons
Nicole McCaffrey

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Stories: Blog Hop Weekend

Let's face it, holiday stories are awesome. Well, I like them at least. As early as July there are Christmas stories. But every year a new crop springs up--series, individual stories, one-offs--you name it and there's a Christmas theme.

Why?

Are they as popular as they seem to be? There are a number of types of Christmas stories; sweet, sexy, humorous. What binds them? The tradition of Christmas and the holiday spirit. A lonely girl any time during the year is bad enough in a romance, but during Christmas? Horrors. But by finding her hero during the holiday season makes the romance all the sweeter.


Today's giveaway: a Victorian fan and a copy of Dark Desires of the Druids: Murder and Magick (e-book or print your choice)--2 winners, so leave a comment to enter to win!

Susan Macatee
Caroline Clemmons
Nicole McCaffrey

Monday, November 21, 2011

Things I'm grateful for

I recently heard that of the top 3 things people are grateful for, technology is #3. I'm very grateful for technology, don't get me wrong--it allows me to keep in touch with family and friends distance and the general business of life have made it difficult to keep in touch with.

But in my top 3? Hmm, interesting. I'll leave it off the list for now. I'm grateful for:
Health
Family
Work--both the job and friends I've made in my time here
Writing career
Online writing friends--I may never have met you in person but don't think I don't appreciate you!

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guest: Rebecca Royce

I have actually had my ideal dinner.  It happened five years ago.  My oldest son, now six, was just under one year old when my husband and I decided to take a trip to Europe.  (Yes, I am insane. I did spend a ton of time on the trip longing for my baby who was back in the States with my parents.) But I digress…

We went to Paris and London. Paris first with a stop over afterwards in London before we went home.  One of our first nights in Paris we ate at a restaurant called Guy Savoy.  To this day, it is probably the best meal I have ever had.  But, even beyond that, the whole evening was like a magical dream. 

We were in Paris, eating the best food I’d ever put in my mouth, and feeling like we were in a dream.  This was, ironically, not my only trip to Paris. I had been before and hopefully will get to go again.  But nothing will ever replace how extraordinary that night was and that incredible dinner.

For me, it was a life experience I’ll never forget.  As a friend of mine once said “a life memory.”
A life memory, I like it! It doesn't matter how many times you've been to a place, it's the memories that count. Thanks for sharing, Rebecca!

Blurb:
Eighteen years earlier, Charma lost her destined soul mate. Convinced he must be dead, she kept her fears to herself so as not to destroy the morale of the Outsiders who already live with a shaky prophecy as their only guide.
Dr. Jason Randall is a man used to getting what he wants. There has never been a problem he couldn't out think or a situation he wasn't capable of handling.
Now they are both hunted by not one but two demons as they lead the slowly forming group of Outsiders out of the darkness and back into the light. The two strong souls will have to decide if prophecy alone is enough reason to stay together through insane odds...or if love is their true fate.

Excerpt:
Jason shook his head. This wasn't going to be easy. Maybe her arrival was a good thing. Maybe she was another piece of the puzzle he needed to solve his dilemma. "Self-loathing, the woman I've invented to come here and cause me tremendous pain as a way to punish myself for killing a man who assaulted me in the parking lot." Jason gestured around the hillside. "This whole thing is one giant guilt trip."
Standing up, her eyebrows pressed inward, and she held a confused look in her eyes. They seemed to be searching for something but he wasn't clear on what.
Finally, she spoke. "Listen to me very carefully. So much of what you just said makes no sense to me and we have zero time to sort it out. I'm not sure how to convince you that what I'm about to tell you is the absolute truth but it is. This is not some grand illusion. Not really."
"That's just what a falsehood that didn't want to be proven wrong would say."

About Rebecca:
As a teenager, Rebecca Royce would hide in her room to read her favorite romance novels when she was supposed to be doing her homework. She hopes, these days, that her parents think it was well worth it.

Rebecca is the mother of three adorable boys and is fortunate to be married to her best friend. They live in northern New Jersey and try not to freeze too badly during the winter months.

She's in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and tries to use all of these elements in her writing. She's been told she's a little bloodthirsty so she hopes that when you read her work you'll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. Rebecca loves to write series because she loves to see characters develop over time and it always makes her happy to see her favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In Rebecca Royce's world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Monday

First, I'm over at Unusual Historicals talking about pets in the Victorian Era. Well, dogs mostly.

Second, The Scandalous Victorians are doing a Black Friday Blog Hop Extravaganza! Interested? If so, answer the following questions:
  1. Do you write in the years between 1837-1901 on any continent on Planet Earth?
  2. Do you have something to give away? Book (e- or otherwise), gift card, swag?
  3. Do you have the time to post not only a short blog about the era, Black Friday, Thanksgiving traditions, or Holiday shopping? AND put up the rest of the stops on this weekend long hop?

If you answered YES to the previous three questions, then welcome! Drop me an email so you can be added to the list.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Guest: Liia Ann White

First off, big thanks to Isabel for having me today! My pleasure, Liia Ann. And I have to say, I love your 10 things! Not a fan of chick lit movies, either. Classic romances, yes. Action with a believable romance, yes. Today's nerve-grating, embarrassing chick-lit? Nope. Alas, I think we're in the minority given the popularity of both the books and movies.

When I was asked to do this post about 10 things people don’t know about me I was a bit stumped and wondered if I could come up with 10 things – I’m a very honest person – if you ask something, I’ll give you an honest answer. In cases like this my honesty backfires.

1.    I had my first short story published when I was 15.
2.    I have a handbag obsession. It’s the most girlie thing I indulge in – if I see a gorgeous handbag, I just can’t pass up buying it.
3.    I’ve never eaten pork. And now that I’m Vegan, I never will.
4.    I LOVE sharks, especially Great Whites. I’ve been swimming with sharks before (sometimes not on purpose) and one day will go on a cage dive with Great Whites.
5.    I have vitiligo – the disease that causes depigmentation of the skin. Luckily I’m so pale that it’s not particularly noticeable from a distance. But up close (and to me) they’re clearly visible.
6.    Of the 26 years I’ve been alive, I’ve slept in the same bedroom for 23.
7.    I saw a UFO when I was 10.
8.    I saw a ghost/demon thing when I was 16.
9.    I didn’t have my first haircut until I was 5. I was almost bald until then.
10. I LOVE horror movies and HATE chick flicks. A bit odd for a romance writer right? But if you put a chick flick on, I’ll leave the room. I do not enjoy romance films at all.

Blurb:

Elora’s parents mysteriously disappeared when she was fifteen. She vowed to find answers – discover what really happened to them. But after twenty-five years of travelling the world she has come up empty handed. Feeling tired and lonely, she settles down in the city her best friend, Caleb, calls home. To lead a regular human existence for a while; like he does.

One problem; they’re not human. They’re Different – a rare supernatural race known for their beauty, strength and supernatural abilities.

Elora is lead to a man by a series of visions. Cue Kadin; powerful, sexy and also Different. He is her match – her soul-mate. Her life has never felt so complete.

But it’s not all good news. Elora must now deal with a rogue demon Elder hell-bent on taking over Lucifer’s reign over Hell. To succeed she needs to steal Elora’s power. When she’s facing the fight of her life, can Elora really trust Kadin?
Excerpt:
After a morning of wandering around the house, getting used to the surroundings again, I needed air. Walking through the woods that surround the house, I inhaled deeply. The fresh scent of pine, moist dirt, and running water filled my nose. Being surrounded by nature was relaxing. Birds chirped in the distance and animals scurried away as they heard me coming.

Only a few steps in, I found the large eucalypt I'd been looking for. My parents planted it here for me, so I would always have a piece of Australia with me at this house. In Perth, eucalypts grow everywhere. The expansive bushland behind our home was a virtual eucalypt forest. With a push of energy to my legs, I jumped and flew to the top branches of the sixty-metre high tree. Nestling against the trunk, I closed my eyes, listening to the leaves rustling in the light breeze.

In complete peace, I watched the sun set on the horizon. Beautiful shades of orange, pink, and yellow danced through the wispy clouds surrounding the city. Though nothing compared to the beauty of home, this came pretty close.

The air temperature cooled quickly once the sun disappeared. Around me, owls hooted, other birds fluttered, and rodents ran from tree to tree. Leaning forward, I looked at the ground, preparing to return to the house when my phone rang in my pocket. It was Caleb.

I flipped it open, and Caleb's voice came loud. "Where are you?"

"Where am I, exactly? Sitting on top of a tree in my back yard."

Author Bio:
I’m an Aussie writer, born and bred in Perth, WA.

I love all things paranormal. I spend my childhood daydreaming about far off lands and living in my own little fantasy world. I watched shows like ’Unsolved Mysteries’ and read books on witchcraft, fairies, demons, ghosts and all other sorts of supernatural creatures, including mutants (I love X-Men).

I’m a complete geek and collect Disney and Star Wars memorabilia.

When not writing, I can be found reading, playing video games or spending times with my adorable doggies.

I’m a big animal lover and vegan. I live in Perth with my family, which includes two adorable dogs, two birds and a handful of feisty fish.

I’m always interested in meeting new people, so drop me a line!
Links:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Guest: Elise Hepner

Fairytale Retellings
For as long as I can remember I’ve been devouring fairy tales both old and new re-tellings. When I first got big into reading a book a day in middle school it was my go-to genre making my shelves lined with fairy tale goodness. It’s only natural that this fun and addicting habit would translate to my own work at some point. Now I can’t seem to beat the fairytale writing bunnies off with a stick—maybe not even a flame throwing. So for now, I’m going for it. I’ve released two fairytale re-tellings of my own with Ellora’s Cave and I have at least two more planned for this year.
In honor of my obsession I’ve decided to share some of my favorite fairytale retellings from middle school until now. Much of my middle school reading was more mature than it should have been anyway—I was determined and naughty. Not much has changed. Here we go:
Tanith Lee’s White as Snow
Francesca Lia Block’s The Rose and The Beast
Anything by Donna Jo Napoli
Alison Tyler’s  Alison’s Wonderland
 All of these books represent a special time in my life and I read a good deal of them over and over every year. Much of the content in these books changes meaning as I grow older, gains depth and emotion. It’s fun watching the same words evolve in my brain every year. Neat that books can change a person’s emotions while the words themselves don’t move or adjust. When I was a teenager, The Rose and The Beast was very angsty, dark, and full of twists. Now, I can see past it into the light spots, points where the every story evolves into a point of peace.
Even with the Sleeping Beauty Series, it’s not so much about titillation and eroticism as it is a journey for a woman who’s forced to find herself despite everything going on in her insane world. What are some fairytales that you’ve enjoyed with multiple meanings throughout your life?

Blurb:
White runs from her prison of a past and enters into a sexual deal with seven men that alters the course of her life for eternity. Caught between her need to take control and making up for her serious lack of good sex, she enters a wonderland of kinky possibilities with men who show her that Prince Charmings come in all shapes and sizes. For White and her men—once upon a time doesn’t cut it—three or four times sound just about right.

With each partner—not always one at a time—White beats back her trust issues. But the shadow of her past comes back to haunt them all. Now she must introduce them to her personal battle, hoping they’ll fight beside her as their sinful nights turn into hellish days. Happily ever after isn’t by the books anymore.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Interview with Mark Harmon

Sunday, November 6 at 9pm on USA network airs “Certain Prey” staring NCIS lead Mark Harmon. I was given a unique opportunity to participate in a telephone conference interview with the handsome Mr. Harmon and bring to you all today a rundown of what transpired:
John Sanford’s Prey novels feature a male cop protagonist that has been a successful businessman, dresses sharp and chases the ladies without remorse but what Lucas Davenport likes best is being a cop and hunting down the criminal. Mr. Harmon is very respectful of the original material and hopes he has brought to life as accurate a representation of Lucas Davenport as possible.
Mr. Harmon considers the characters of Lucas Davenport and his character on NCIS of Leroy Jethro Gibbs as different as can be both personally and professionally. Davenport has a darker side than Gibbs and while they might get along during the course of a case it is unlikely they’d associate outside of the law enforcement world.
One of the highlights for Mr. Harmon was playing against two very strong – if ‘bad’ females in Certain Prey. These are two ladies people will enjoy with their sharp tongues, quick wit and clever tricks.
As to NCIS: he feels that the work has never become routine and with the camaraderie with the other actors it continues to be a pleasure to work on NCIS. No one on the NCIS set phones in their acting – everyone is present and generous with the work.
I went on to ask a hypothetical question and asked what Gibbs would think if McGee and Abby and Tony and Ziva broke his rule 12 (never date a co-worker). He took a moment to consider the questions and said that these things happen in the work place and as long as they all continued to be as professional at their jobs as they have always been he doesn’t believe it would be a surprise to Gibbs.
Perhaps a glimmer of hope for the ‘shipper’ fans there!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Interview with Mark Harmon

Yes. That Mark Harmon. Currently known as Leroy Jethro Gibbs of NICS and Lucas Davenport of USA's upcoming TV movie based on the book by John Sandford, Certain Prey.

I've read maybe 16 of the current 21 Prey stories and have enjoyed each one. I'll catch up on the newest 5 soon. Honest!

So this interview, which lasted 32 minutes (and I recorded it all!) involved others asking questions, I just filled in for a NCIS buddy who couldn't make it. She was the journalist invitee, but to take her place? I was all over that!

Some of the questions asked were about Certain Prey and some about NCIS, since it is the #1 scripted TV show out there. I'll post some of the answers tomorrow, but don't forget, Certain Prey debutes this Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 9pm on USA.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Guest: Dana Littlejohn

No country girl here!
Hello everyone,
I am Dana Littlejohn, multi-published author of erotic romance. I was asked if I could travel anywhere in the world where would I go, outdoor or city inspired. I consider myself an avid traveler. I go on a trip outside my state at least three times a year. So as I thought on the question a list of places I would to go sprang up rather quickly. I also noticed as I mentally went over the list, although they were mostly outdoor oriented places none of them were very forest-like.
None of my ‘yes, I’d go there’ spots were nature inspired at all. Now I don’t have an issue with nature. I think it is beautiful. I appreciate the beauty in all kinds of trees, flowers, the greenery of a meadow and even how pleasant a really kept golf course looks. I just don’t want to partake in it hands on.
I’m so not into bugs flying around me, leaves, webs, branches touching me and especially coming across some weird exotic plant or bush that make me sneeze, choke or scratch. I feel like if I don’t go into its environment than I don’t have that issue. I can see pictures, paintings, sculptures or any other renditions of nature people want to throw at me and I will “oooh and ahh” the same way they do when they see it in real life. I’m perfectly cool with that. I do believe that some things in life one must experience for themselves in order to really appreciate it, but I’m not interested in appreciating nature in an up close and personal fashion.
My mental list consisted of places like Paris to view the villas, architecture and sample the food. I also have Italy, Ireland, most of the Caribbean and several states I have plans to check out in the same manner, but there are no hiking trips, camp outs or ‘roughing it’ activities to be found at all. My idea of roughing it is grilling in my back yard using paper plates! (which, by the way, my husband doesn’t allow me to do. After an incident a number of years ago, he no longer allows me to touch his grill. I can only come close to it to bring him necessities.) I have no to desire to catch, conquer or kill my food before eating it. In fact the thought makes me consider being a vegetarian so that won’t be an issue. I’m just not that person. I mean, I love the look, the whole jeans tucked in the rugged leather boots with the fur. The flannel shirt hanging open with a tank top and a really cute belt, maybe something shiny to give it a little bling…very chic and fall-like. I could probably work that, too, just not in its native environment.
I’m a confessed girly-girl. It drove my sons crazy and puts a damper on my husband’s need to visit the outdoors every fall. The thought of sleeping in a sleeping bag on the ground when I know there’s a perfectly good bed somewhere waiting for me makes my face twist in some crazy formation that is not cute. I am so over fishing it’s not even funny. I used to fish when I was a kid and found then that although I like to eat fish, I never want to catch and handle it again. I would starve if that was my way of life. I am a fan of the boots. Dark brown leather, laces up the front, warm fur peeking out the top, very fashionable with the right ensemble, but I’m so much into the ones that zips up the sides that make your legs look sexy more. J Oh! And I can’t even express how mad I would be if I broke a nail trying to put something together, start a fire, gather wood or anything outdoorsy like that.
When I go to the Caribbean I plan to sightsee and sip Mai Tai’s by the beach while eating food indigenous to that island. No hiking through their marshes will be involved. When I get to Paris, Ireland and Italy I have every intention on renting some type of native transportation device.
Wherever I end up around the world provisions will be in place to keep my ‘girlyness’ in tact and I won’t be visiting anywhere they have more than three trees gathered in one place, a span of grass that exceeds a half an acre or that shows possibility of me not sleeping in a queen size bed. J
Thanks for having me!
Dana Littlejohn

BLURB:
Jerri Ivory was over divorce cases, but when your boss asks you to do him a favor...

During the important case, her boss is killed and she becomes a suspect all while she is trying to get to know Felix, a man her friend Linda hooked her up with. With all the mayhem going on in her life can Felix slow her down long enough to show her they were meant to be?

EXCERPT:
Linda nodded. “Yes, ma’am, Pumpkin. Her mother was a flower child back in the sixties so she ended up with a name no one can say without practice. Pumpkin is just simpler,” she explained.
Bob and Helen looked at each other, then nodded a greeting to her.
Pumpkin waved at them. “Hi.”
Felix chuckled. “Then Pumpkin it is. Hi,” he said, offering his hand.
 Frieda barely nodded at the older couple then pushed Pumpkin out the way to shake Felix’s hand.
“How are you, Felix?”
“I’m fine, Frieda. How are you?”
“I’m doing much better now,” she said, flashing him a smile.
Linda bumped her out of the way, breaking their handshake. She pulled Jerri in front of her. “And this is my friend Jerri.”
“Jerri? I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman name Jerri. Is it short for something?” Felix asked.
“No. My mother had a major crush on Jerry Lewis when she was young. When she found out she was pregnant she announced to my father that whatever the baby was she was naming it Jerri.” She shook his extended hand and shrugged. “Needless to say my father was not happy about it, but here I am anyway, Jerri Ann Ivory.”
Felix laughed. “Does he call you Jerri?”
“Oh, no. He gave me my middle name and always called me Annie.”
“Well it’s a pleasure to meet you, Jerri.”
Author bio:

Dana Littlejohn was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but has called Indianapolis, IN her home for over 10 years. Her love for writing started as a young girl in junior high school where she discovered her first romance novel. Falling in love with love she started writing her own ongoing story in weekly installments to entertain her friends as they passed it around the lunch room.

When she became an adult she put her love for writing on hold to do the start a family, but in 2003 with encouragement from her husband she picked up her pen again. This time she has no intention on putting it down. To date she has written 3 full length novels, 11 novellas, 36 short stories and has had her stories in 3 anthologies under her own name and a pseudo for another genre. Her do-do list grows daily and the ideas flow freely. Keep an eye out for what she has coming next.

http://wwwauthordanalittlejohn.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @authordanalittlejohn

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