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!

Posted in books, contest, Hell Fire

44 Responses to Happy holidays

  1. katiebabs says:

    I have 3:
    Seance scene hands down
    I met my future husband aka Hand of God.
    And a dog who can do laundry and call 911 if I’ve fallen and can’t get up

  2. Has says:

    For me has to be the possesed contraceptive cap :D
    I was cracking up big time over that scene.
    Another moment was Corine’s first encounter with Butch.

  3. Simcha says:

    I will honestly say that Blue Diablo is one of the best urban fantasies that I read this year (and I’m not just saying that because the contest). I guess my favorite part of the book was the relationship between Corine and Chance and how it shifted and developed into a real romance. I really came to care for both characters and I’m eager to read more about them in Hell Fire.

  4. Erin T says:

    This book right away does a couple of things that gave it high points in my book:

    First of all the setting was not all in the United States, which is refreshing when I see it anywhere. Corine is living in Mexico before events mean she has to travel to Laredo, Texas, and this is reflected in her day to day life, the food, and the language. Spanish is peppered throughout the dialog, and I’m very glad that I took enough Spanish classes in my lifetime to understand it! I also enjoyed the descriptions of food (ah how I love reading about food).

    The second thing was Chance, Corine’s ex-boyfriend, who is a half (at least) Asian hero. I have a huge soft spot for mixed race characters!. He’s a very intriguing guy – at first he seems very polished and put together, sort of distant, but I think the reader gets this through the way Corine sees him because the book is written from her first person point of view. As the story progresses Corine begins to realize he may not be the person she thought he was. He’s also changed in the year that Corine was away, and there are still feelings on both sides about the other. It’s a little bit painful on both their parts and ultimately I hope things work out for them, but Corine is not quick to forgive at all. They have issues to sort out. I had to agree that Corine wasn’t always the most gracious character, but love is messy sometimes. On the other hand, it almost seems like Chance actually likes her more for it (Disfunctional? I can’t decide. There were a one scene in particular which springs to mind).

  5. Barbara Elness says:

    I enjoyed the descriptions of Corine’s place in Mexico and just getting to know her in the beginning of the book. I liked the attraction shown for Jesse while Corine still feels that pull to Chance as well – it kept me guessing, “is she going to pick one, or neither?” The whole story was amazing and I can’t wait for Hell Fire to learn what happens next.

  6. Donna B says:

    I have to say that sadly until today i had never heard of your books, but from what i have heard about it by reading the above comments has intrigued me so much i really really want to read your books.

    I must also say the mention of a possesed contraceptive cap made me choke on my cup of tea, this i just have to read about.

    Good luck to all who enter. xx

  7. Alex Delorme says:

    What I loved most about Blue Diablo is the relationship between Chance and Corine. I loved that she left him and didn’t just stay with him when she didn’t think she was loved enough. I loved that he really did and still does love her, he just isn’t/wasn’t that good at showing it. I have a thing for relationships and second chances so I am really pulling for them. They both love each other to some extent and I hope this time it will be enough for them.

    Chance himself was a character I was glad for, not just for his personality but also because he is Asian. I love watching Asian dramas and listening to their music and so I loved reading about a hero who was Korean.

    Finally I also liked how there was a whole ensemble of characters who actually contributed to the novel. In some books, it is all about the protagonist and hero but in Blue Diablo there were other secondary characters and they were not just two-dimensional.

    All together it made I book I thoroughly enjoyed and it also made me want the sequel. :grin:

  8. Nozomi says:

    I honestly liked the setting of Blue Diablo. I mean, I liked the whole book overall, but what really stuck out to me was the setting. You described Corine’s living surroundings and I felt like I was there. You described Mexican food, and I wanted to eat it.

  9. janicu says:

    Chance. That was easy! :)

    Also the fight scenes.

  10. Clothdragon says:

    I found you through the blog, (though another blog, I believe) a week or two ago. I ordered Grimspace immediately afterward and loved it. I have been told that I am not allowed to buy any more books until after Christmas, but if yours aren’t under the tree I will be ordering them and I will almost certainly be caught up by the time this one could get to me. –That’s why I want to read HellFire.

  11. Katie says:

    What I loved about Blue Diablo was the action on top of action. I was always guessing what was going to happen next.

    How much more fun can you have that go, go, go action?

    Happy Holidays!
    Katie

  12. Brooke says:

    This was one of my favorite reads this year. :) Corine and Chance have a really great give and take. I can’t wait to see where they end up in Hell Fire. :)

  13. Pamk says:

    I like that she makes Chance open up. He thought he could skate by and she stay with him forever but she felt she didn’t really have his love and that something was missing. So she did what was best for her even though she really loved him. And boy he really has to work to get her back. I love that it wasn’t really easy for him. She my kind of heroine.

  14. e_bookpushers says:

    I think my favorite part of Blue Diablo is how you took tales you could hear if you got someone living in the mountains to tell you stories at night and brought them to life. I love reading myths and legends and your story had a new spin on that for me. I also liked how Corine isn’t the “typical” Urban Fantasy hard fight first heroine.

  15. Michele Lee says:

    I loved Blue Diablo, well, I loved Chance pure and simple. I love his shape, and his attitude, his power, and his character. I love how he interacts with Corine. And I loved the concept of Kel, and his personality as well, but in a way he also makes me uncomfortable. I’m glad he’s in the book and not around me IRL.

    There’s the multicultural aspect as well, but more than that there’s the balls out, Commando feel to it. It’s like you infused it with a little Die Hard and Lethal Weapon to prove girls like explosions too.

    I can’t wait to read Hell Fire, well, for these reasons. To find out more about Chance and Kel (I love that reveal moment) and Butch of course.

  16. Moth says:

    I really, really loved Chance, but I especially loved the scene where he tells her he was awake when she kissed him goodbye and he let her leave him anyway. Chance is so sexy.

  17. Ann Aguirre says:

    Chance fans get a lot more of him in Hell Fire.

  18. Wendy says:

    I honestly didn’t like Chance that much at the beginning but as the book progressed, I admit to him ending up being one of my favorite characters.

    I mostly just like the secondary characters, they’re what made the story for me.

  19. Katee R says:

    I loved how even though I’ve never been to the Southwest, I felt like I had after reading Blue Diablo. For me, the setting of Texas and Mexico really jumped off the pages and pulled me in.

    I also loved Corinne. I know, I know, I SHOULD love her if the book is one of my Top 10 of 2009, but I really, really enjoyed her. I liked her power, and how it wasn’t all good. I liked how sure of herself she was (mostly) and how the history between her and Chance was so tangled and yet they so obviously had feeling for each other.

    Also, Chance! :)

  20. blodeuedd says:

    Oh awesome :grin:
    Well ok I liked it, cos she just felt so normal in a way, even though she clearly wasn’t. I liked the cop, mmmmm, more of him please. Of course I liked Chance too. She could be kickass, gotta like that. I liked the world, how she had survived that haunting past and what her gift did to her

  21. Monika says:

    I love, love, loved the Mexican/border area setting. It really stands out and those little, every day details brought it to life.

    I’m also interested in how the relationship between Corine and Chance pans out. I hope, she won’t torment him for too long.

  22. NatalieT says:

    I really liked Corine’s gift – I thought it was really different and offered lots of opportunities for interesting angles. I really liked the beginning too; the description of her shop and home really drew me in.

  23. Leslee says:

    Boy, do you ask the hard question. There are so many things: Corrine, a heroine who knows her strengths and uses them. She isn’t the kick butt heroine with the leather pants. She is the type of woman that I could be friends with, curvy and competent. Her talent and how she has made it work for her. The ex, Chance who is mysterious and smoking hot. Jesse who I is my fav of the two. I love that Corrine has a past with Chance and has to re-examine that as well as having a fresh beginning with Jesse which makes the triangle so much fun. The fab characters, so unique but very real. The Mexico setting was awesome. I about screamed when I heard the fourth book will be about Ian-I am so intrigued with him. I want to read Hell Fire so that I can find out what happens next!!!!!!!!

  24. Heather Brewer says:

    I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Blue Diablo yet but I have seen many positive comments about and it’s sitting on my wish list as we speak. am hoping for gift cards for christmas.

    from the comments listed i am intrigued, a possesed contraceptive, a seance scene, different locations I can’t wait to read it.

  25. Ann, what did I not like in reading Blue Diablo( not one thing did I not like)? I am a bred, born and raised Texan and lived in Laredo Texas for almost 4 years so the settings and atmosphere you created in the book resonated with me deeply. (I so miss the people, the food and the sounds sometimes.) I also have before all the gang wars at the border and the shootings and stabbings gone across many times into Nuevo Laredo so the start of the book in the sleepy little Mexican town where Corine runs her shop also was something that rang true to my experiences. As to why I wish to “win” your giveaway of Hell Fire notes, simple because have not only fallen in love with the series but would love to have something for my collection of other signed items have in my safe. I truly think this is one of the best book series have read in 30 some odd years because it is something that is so familiar in content and made me laugh and smile and cry because Corine is so easy to follow and Chance is so easy to fall in love with and want to hit over the head in the same breath. The rest of the people you introduce to us as the books go on are like my neighbors. I could go on and on but you do not want to read a major novel..

    Jackie B Central Texas

  26. I am not entering (I haven’t read book 1 yet, though it’s on my shelf – the US ed) but I just had to quietly “squee” at the thought of you coming to the UK.

    Stoke is nowhere near London, but yanno… I can dream. ;)

    Kaz

  27. Arantza C says:

    I liked her power, and how using it has a price. Also at the beginning I wasn’t very fond of Chance, but the more I read, the more I liked him. BTW, I liked the setting and how it wasn’t in NY or Chicago like most urban fantasy series nowadays.

  28. gaylin says:

    Blue Diablo was one of the few books this year I recommended to other people.
    I enjoyed that it was never trite, it didn’t go for easy solutions. They worked and struggled. You remembered that your characters need to eat food! Do laundry! Get tired and sleep.
    I appreciated that Corinne and Chance worked through issues without dropping into bed to have wild sex as a solution. And that while they have worked through some issues, there was no magical solution and la la la everything was fine.
    A good complex read that made me want more.
    I have Hell Fire waiting for me at home, I am saving it for an evening of quiet so I can read it all at once.

  29. emmad says:

    The thing I liked the most is that Corine is not stunningly georgeous. I mean most heroines have the sass etc but they are all so um perfect it’s nice to have a female lead who makes mistakes and isn’t model like in looks. :)

  30. Raelena says:

    I love love love Chance. I also think it is interesting that the setting is in Mexico. That is so different from other books in this genre.

  31. limecello says:

    Your tree is gorgeous, Ann! :D And yay contest! :) [Although I’m not entering this one :X]

    Happy Holidays!

  32. Michelle M says:

    Personally, I love all the tension going on between Chance and Corrine. They’ve got history and lots of chemistry, but I just don’t know if things will work out romantically or if they’ll just decide to be friends. I love the constant dance around each other and I just can’t wait to see how things pan out for them in Hell Fire.

  33. Sharon M. says:

    I’m a HUGE Jax fan and although both Jax and Corine are both strong heroines, Blue Diablo was different that I anticipated. I really enjoyed the way Chance & Corine’s relationship kept you guessing – are they getting back together, aren’t they, what is he going to do to upset her next?

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  35. JessaW says:

    :lol: Awesomely book-like …
    I absolutely LOVE Butch. I like the interaction between Chuch and Eva (they make me smile). I also like Corine’s gift, and the drawbacks to it (nothing in life is free, right?). I had wanted Corine with Jesse then changed my mind to Chance…I still don’t know how I feel about it. Kel weirds me out a bit, but I am glad he was on their side for that battle. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  36. Linda Henderson says:

    I haven’t read the book yet, but I know from everything I’ve read and heard about it that it is awesome. I would love to read Hell Fire because I enjoy reading books that I can really get into, laugh and cry and cheer for a HEA and this sounds like one that will draw me into the story. I enjoy that very much. Have a wonderful and safe holiday season. By the way, your tree is lovely.

  37. Meghan says:

    Hmm, would you take suicide threats? Lol.

    I read books in bookstores or get them from libraries, meaning I’m really discerning about which ones I buy these days; I’ll read maybe 15 books to each one I buy anymore. (Fewer if you count gifts–I’m always buying books as gifts.) But I could tell I was going to buy Blue Diablo partway through. I was sitting on the floor in Barnes and Noble reading it (yes I know they have chairs, but all the comfy ones were taken and I wasn’t going to move once I sat down). So you would think at the point I realized it was going to come home with me, I would have just bought it, taken it home, gotten all comfy, and read it in bed in my pajamas, right? Wrong. Heaven forbid I should have to interrupt your awesome book to ring up at the cash register, and then get into a car crash on the way home because I was trying to read and drive! When I say I couldn’t put it down…that is exactly what I mean.

    Lately the market’s been flooded with urban fantasy, and much of it is forgettable, but Blue Diablo absolutely stood out. At the end of the book, my very first thought was, sequel? Then my second thought was, sequel sequel sequel? Sequel PLEASE, world? I remember flipping back to the beginning to check the publication date and thinking, APRIL 2009? There won’t be a sequel FOREVER! NOOOOOOOOO! I had a wild moment of hope that you maybe lived in Australia and I could order a sequel that I was *sure* existed and I could be reading it within two weeks…but your website said, no. I then ripped through the Jax books, and waited very very patiently (HAH) for Skin Game. But none of them were the sequel. I liked them, but it was like drinking tea (my very favorite beverage) when I’d just tasted crack.* Now I am waiting very very patiently (HAH) for Hell Fire but you could save me the anguish. You could! Oh please! ::waves hands madly above head::

    Also, I do have a special curiosity about proofs; I write (Not professional yet, but I am planning to finish my novel next year. Well. Okay, I said that this year. And last year. It is harder than I expected, and I wasn’t expecting a cake walk, believe me! I am terribly impressed by your backlog by the way**) and so it would be a lovely sneak peek into what I hope is my future (the secret world of proofs!). Now that I’ve declared I write, I really ought to say something about “very” and “really”–I can’t help tossing them all over the place when I get excited (as in I am thinking OMG I COULD GET THE SEQUEL SOON!), but I know to clean them up in the second draft, or something like that–but wait. If I don’t, maybe you will pity (“Wow, that girl uses 3 intensifiers for every verb…poor thing, she’ll never be published, this might be her only chance ever to see proofs, and she wants to be a writer…”). If you are thinking that then I will take it! I have no pride. I have only a deep need for Hell Fire.

    *Not that I’d know. Okay, the metaphor breaks down.

    **No, I am not just groveling out of sequel greed here, haha, though I can see why you might guess that…what I mean is that I have a great deal of respect for anyone who can finish that many novels, let alone good novels, let alone good novels that actually sell.

  38. Brenda B. says:

    Truthfully, :blush: I have not read Blue Diablo but I did just read the excerpt. I was completely drawn into the story and now I will have to get my hands on the book.
    I had not heard of you until this newsltr. I think Hell Fire will be just as great a read. I llike the way you write. I am an avid reader (over 50 yrs) and enjoyed the excerpt of both books. I think Chance and Corrine complement each other. Thanks for this opportunity to enter your contest.

  39. Lori T says:

    Hi Ann~

    Oh, I did love this book and I did love the cover…but to be more specific…I loved so much about it.

    I loved Corine. She was strong and her power was very cool. I liked how she cared enough about herself to make the move to Mexico, but was a such a good person that she was willing to go and help Chance when his Mother was in trouble.

    Then there was Chance. He was just yummy goodness and I like how he showed vulnerability when he went to Corine and how he is working to get them back together.

    Then there is Chuch and Eva. They have a great relationship and they are just fun!

    Oh, then Kel. I just want to hear more about him…he is intriguing.

    Did I mention, hunky Officer Jesse? I hope that we see more of him in upcoming books.

    Blue Diablo is just a great read…it is filled with wonderful characters who pull you into the story and make you root for them and want to learn more and more about them.

  40. Ann Aguirre says:

    You guys can keep commenting but there will be no more prizes. Winner has been announced. Happy holidays.

  41. Lauren says:

    Too late for the contest, but I love the cover art for the UK edition.

  42. Louise says:

    I’m just reading Blue Diablo and i’m just a little curious….what is your connection with Stoke. I’m a stokie and was really excited to see it mentioned in this book. Cant wait to find out more!!

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