Happy New Year!

I am posting because I desperately need your help. There’s a book on my mind, but I can’t remember enough of it to identify it:

It’s epic fantasy, probably written in the late 80s or possibly the 90s. The main characters were a bard and mercenary. They fell in love over the course of the book and had adventures, both together and separately. Because the country was at war, the mercenary (or soldier) did many brave things. He was a bit older, battered and scarred, possibly missing an eye. He was elevated to nobility by the end, and they could not be together officially because (a) she was a bard and (b) she was also barren. It was a lovely, bittersweet story. I’d like to revisit it but I can’t remember who it’s by! (I’m sure it’s not Mercedes Lackey.) Does this ring any bells for anyone?


Oh, and Happy New Year.

Happy holidays

xmas treeYes, that’s my Christmas tree this year (and the actual view into the front garden / garage). The kids did a great job, don’t you think? I mostly supervised.

This is the last post I’ll be making for 2009. Sometimes I do a “best of” post, including my top ten favorite books. I’m not going to do that, mainly because 2009 has been the year of work for me. I’m pleased and proud of what I’ve accomplished but I am not in a ranking mood.

Today I am in a giving mood.

Hell Fire Or if you’re in the UK… *points to the right* Hell Fire UK Gollancz is doing back-to-back releases for Blue Diablo and Hell Fire in the UK. I hope y’all like reading about Texas. In book four (if there is a book four), Corine will be traveling to England, Stoke to be exact, to meet (and help) the oh-so-mysterious Ian Booke. Which means I’ll be planning a trip soon.

So without further ado, I offer you, my dear readers, a chance to win a copy of my Hell Fire proofs. They have been marked in a few places by me. Not many, I will grant you, and not much. This was a fairly clean set of proofs. I will bind these with a ribbon inside a cover flat, so it will be pretty close to a proper book, only personalized, signed, and written on, by me. If that seems like a cool thing to get for the holidays, then you should enter the contest. What do you have to do?

It’s simple. Tell me what you liked most about Blue Diablo. Since this giveaway is for the second book in the series, I assume you’ve read it. If not, and you just want the bragging rights, then I guess you’d better get reading regardless. Cos I will not accept answers like, It has a great cover, or I like the heroine’s hair, or it’s awesomely book-like. Alternately, I will also accept the answer to why you want to read Hell Fire.

And go!

(Winner announced next Monday. You will probably receive it after the holidays, due to slow mail.)

ETA: And the winner is… Meghan! Email me your full name and mailing address, so I can hook you up. Happy holidays, everyone!

Early Christmas finale

So this is the last day of my third annual Early Christmas, where I give you an opportunity to meet authors of books I’ve loved. Next up, we have HelenKay Dimon. Here’s a holiday message she was kind enough to send my way for me to share with readers.

I love Christmas. Decorations, carols, family and friends – it all makes me giddy. Like, break-into-song giddy, but I will refrain (you’re welcome). The other reason the season means so much to me is that my husband used a holiday trip home to his parents in Hawaii almost twelve years ago to propose. Our wedding anniversary is December 12th. That makes this time of year extra special no matter where we are.

I hope you all have a safe and happy season with the people you love and in the place that means the most to you. Happy Holidays!!

–HelenKay Dimon

HelenKay Dimon breathes new life into the contemporary. She writes with a fabulous sense of humor and her trademark is great banter and snappy dialogue to complement her vibrant characters and strong settings. If you enjoy Alison Kent or Susan Elizabeth Phillips, you want to try out HKD. I’ll be giving away three of her books today.

Since HKD didn’t pose a question for y’all, I shall. In light of her very sweet anniversary story, I ask you this. What’s your favorite romantic holiday memory? Keep it PG-13 please! Contest wraps up in 24, as ever. And go!

ETA: And the winner is… Patti! Email me your name and address.

Early Christmas – day 4

So this is the fourth day of my third annual Early Christmas, where I give you an opportunity to meet authors of books I’ve loved. Next up, we have Stephanie Tyler. Here’s a holiday message she was kind enough to send my way for me to share with readers.

Zoo (the husband) and I are power shoppers, mainly because we both pretty much detest shopping, although we like giving gifts. Every year at Christmastime, we decide that we’re doing all our shopping in one night. We leave ourselves about four hours, head to the nearest mall and we shop for everyone on the list. What drags us through is knowing that we’ll treat ourselves to a really nice dinner (aka bribe) afterwards, our Christmas date night.

And what we don’t find out, we get online. I love online shopping! What about you – love to shop for the holidays or not?

–Stephanie Tyler

Stephanie Tyler has been compared to Suzanne Brockmann and Cindy Gerard. Her books are fast-paced and riveting with passionate and intense characters. If you like romantic suspense with a military edge, you will not want to miss her new release. I’ll be giving away four of her books today.

So Steph wants to talk about Christmas shopping. How do you do it? Are you a shopper who starts six months in advance or do you just buy a bunch of stuff in a rush? What’s your strategy and how do you feel about it?

Winner will be announced tomorrow, so you have 24 hours to speak your mind. And go!

ETA: the winner is ..Ina!
Email me your name and address.

Early Christmas – day 3

So this is the third day of my third annual Early Christmas, where I give you an opportunity to meet authors of books I’ve loved. Next up, we have Larissa Ione. Here’s a holiday message she was kind enough to send my way for me to share with readers.

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, but it wasn’t until I had my son that Christmas became truly magical. It’s funny, because I have so many collectible ornaments (like Star Trek ornaments!) but the ones I love best are the cheap, goofy ones my son made in school. Every year I thank God that of the few things we salvaged after Katrina, those ornaments were among them. My very favorite? A gingerbread man made from real gingerbread dough that still smells yummy after 7 years. What about you? What is your very favorite ornament? Happy Holidays!

–Larissa Ione

Larissa Ione writes my favorite new paranormal series. She writes the books exactly as I want to read them. They are dark, gritty, passionate, and she’s not afraid to take risks in her work. What’s even better, she writes about demons. I had never been a fan of paranormal romances because so many of them are about vampires. And I guess I just got over my interest in vamps earlier than most. But Larissa came up with this amazing idea and her Demonica books have so much fabulous world-building, plus her heroes are just delicious. If you haven’t read her yet, you are so missing out.

Larissa wants to talk ornaments, so let’s do that. Share your favorite and why it’s special to you. Winner walks away with her first three Demonica books. Announced tomorrow, like the first two contests. And go!

ETA: the winner is… Paula! Email me your name and address.

Early Christmas – day 2

So this is the second day of my third annual Early Christmas, where I give you an opportunity to meet authors of books I’ve loved. Next up, we have Moira Rogers. Here’s a holiday message she was kind enough to send my way for me to share with readers.

My husband and I bought our first house this year, and having my own house has filled me with excess holiday cheer! Unfortunately it’s done the opposite to my checking account, so this year I’m making all my new holiday decorations from scratch. Not only does it save money, but I get to spend time with Donna, her kids, our husbands and our friends. So help me out and tell me your favorite crafty trick or holiday treat! Here’s wishing everyone a fabulous holiday season and a great start to 2010!

–Moira Rogers

So first let me tell you a little bit about Moira’s work. She writes smart, sexy paranormal romances with crisp characterization, fast-paced plots and super-snappy dialogue. Her dialogue is just about my favorite part of her books. If you like Kelley Armstrong or Patricia Briggs, you should really be reading Moira Rogers. The key difference is that Moira writes in third-person and there’s more sex. But otherwise, the elements those authors bring to their paranormals are found in a Moira Rogers book. Her world-building is fantastic, and her heroes never tread over the line from alpha to asshole. I can’t wait for her next Red Rock book and the Southern Arcana series is fabulous too. How many authors could take a brooding lumberjack vampire hero and make him awesome? (I don’t know the answer to that, but I can’t wait for Adam’s book!)

One lucky winner will walk away with a print copy of Crux and all three of her Red Rock books in e-book form. If you love paranormal romance and urban fantasy, you don’t want to miss out on the chance to try Moira Rogers. Now Moira asked for your craft-y tips, so please help her out! Like the prior, this contest will wrap up in 24 hours. And go!

ETA: and the winner is… Alex Delorme!

Early Christmas – day 1

Hi and welcome to the third annual Early Christmas, where I give you an opportunity to meet authors of books I’ve loved. What’s even better than that? Well, of course, I also give you a chance to win them. This year, I have five amazing authors in the house. First up, we have Carolyn Jewel. Here’s a holiday message she was kind enough to send my way for me to share with readers.

A couple of years ago, I had the bright idea that our extended family should have a white elephant gift exchange. I wasn’t sure how it would work out since the age range is 82 to 5. But what a hit! The love, affection and, yes, plotting during the exchange has come to define our holiday far more than the individual gift-giving. For that time, we’re interacting and having silly fun. So, my holiday wish is that you start or continue a tradition that brings friends and family together.

Do you have one? I’d love to hear what it is.

–Carolyn Jewel

I’ve squeed about her books more than once on here, but in case you need a reminder…

Carolyn is fabulously multi-talented. She writes lush, gorgeous (and different!) historical romances, but she can also turn her hand to dark, deliciously gritty paranormal romance. I have read and loved both, and I’m anxiously awaiting
new books in both subgenres. I especially love her paranormal series because it has witches and demons. If you love Larissa Ione, but you haven’t tried Carolyn’s paranormal series yet, I can’t recommend it enough. She is the ideal blend of action, gorgeous writing, and fantastic characterization, and each work is fresh and fantastic.

That’s the prize pack. One lucky winner will walk away with all those books tomorrow. Carolyn wants to hear about your unexpected Christmas traditions, so let’s talk about those today. This contest is 24 hours only, as we’ll be meeting another amazing author tomorrow. This will be a busy, busy week, so keep watching this space. And go!

ETA: The winner is… kai charles! Email me your name & mailing address, so I can get your prize pack sent.