Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From wiki commons: folk tale depiction of Father Christmas
riding on a goat; perhaps from Swedish Tomte. I'm going to
give Father Christmas the benefit of the doubt and assume
that is a large doll under his arm there. 
Hey, I just wanted to wish everybody out there who celebrates Christmas a very merry one. And if you don't celebrate, I hope you're having a fun day of kicking back.

I'm in Wisconsin visiting my mom and sisters and nieces and nephew. We are a Christmas-morning-present opening family, so soon, there will be mayhem. Though, not so much if the Santa pictured here visited.

Mr. Crane and I drove all yesterday. I downloaded Stephen King's "The Green Mile" for us to listen to in the car. Wow, King is such an amazing writer. How did I forget that? He's a kind of scoundrely puppetmaster, in the way he creates these crazy flights of description and suspense, managing readers' minds. I can also report that it is not the most Christmassy of stories. Oh well! I'm not the most Christmassy of people.

However, sitting here with my coffee and Internet connectivity, which is, in itself, a Christmas miracle, I feel such a warm feeling for all my friends out there - readers, writers, twitter and FB pals, blog buds and everybody else. Just a warm and thankful feeling for everybody I've had the pleasure of crossing paths with this year. Have a great holiday weekend!

xxoo Carolyn

Monday, December 20, 2010

Annual Christmas letter from Little CJ & giveaway

Little CJ is not bitter toward Mr. Crane due to his
forbidding her to be displayed on the living room wall. 

Oh, wow! Little CJ, my childhood portrait painted by an elderly aunt, has written an annual Christmas letter.

And, she's giving away an international gift certificate prize to one commenter!

Come say hi and enter to win over at Wicked Little Pixie's place.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday MAYHEM

The holidays are a very special time, and some of my pals have been very NAUGHTY WRITERS and are now celebrating it with some wild and wacky and, also, plain old romantic book releases:

Stocking Full of Coal  Click here to read about the story behind this totally kinky holiday romp by the notorious  "Amanda Feral". . . rumors abound as to her real identity being none other than Mark Henry. Nicole Peeler has an excellent write-up about the piece here! PLUS A CONTEST!!!    Nicole Peeler sez  "So yeah, it’s dark. But it’s also - considering it’s about a bruise fetishist and it’s written by a flesh-eating zombie - it's bizarrely romantic." OMG somebody pass the egg nog Purchase and find excerpt here.

Sweet Inspiration Leave it to Penny Watson to go for the bullseyes - Santa's sons. The first installment, Sweet Inspiration, is a fun and delectable read set in a bakery, where Nick and master baker Lucy have duelling cookie making philosophies.  Read Watson's post on "Sexing up Santa" on Babbling About Books here.  The Romance studio sez: "I'm hooked on this series and cannot wait to read the next installment. It has been a few days since I finished reading this magical tale and I'm still grinning from ear to ear." It's available on Amazon, or for less at Wild Rose Press.

The Christmas Fantasy Somebody has FIREFIGHTERS on the brain. And that person is bloggy pal KT Grant, who pens a smutty tale indeed. As Penelope's Romance Review puts it: "If only all of us could have a glasses-wearing, sexy firefighter hellbent on our sexual pleasure for a Christmas present. It would be a very, merry Christmas indeed." LOL. Well, I don't know how Mr. Crane would feel about it! Info and excerpt here. 

His for the Holidays This star studded M/M antho has been getting awesome reviews! I think it's a fabulous bet for a fun holiday read with some of M/M romance's biggest stars. My pal LB Gregg has a short in it, plus Josh Lanyon, Harper Fox and ZA Maxfield. Mandi at Smexy sez: "I can’t recommend His for the Holidays enough. Four really excellent M/M romance stories." Full review here.  Available here

If Walls Could Talk
Check out the really fun interview and CONTEST with Juliet Blackwell, author of If Walls Could Talk, the first in the new Haunted Home Renovation Series...picked by Suspense Magazine for its Best of 2010! It's over at the Biting Edge. 

Where am I? 
I am in holiday mayhem-land myself. But also, visiting some fave blogs this week. 
• On Sunday I was over at Escape Between the Pages talking about my personal holiday disconnect. Lori at Escape has collected a whole bunch of holiday perspectives from people. I'm enjoying keeping up with this series! Find it here
•On Tuesday I visited with Larissa on Larissa's Bookish Life this week! We did an interview and there is an International Giveway of a signed copy of Double Cross. It's here. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snow day!

Look at our poor car! Buried. Luckily, it's on the side of the street
where it won't get towed. Until Tuesday. 

A million cars kept getting stuck. And still are. This
one was pushed to the side and left running and it CAUGHT ON FIRE! Flames were shooting
out its wheel wells. DH and I just stood at the window and watched. I didn't know at first that it had been left running, and I worried being buried in snow could have some combustion 
effect on cars. DH laughed at me. Well, you're not supposed to bury electrical cords under rugs, right? 

Kitty watching the birds at the feeder. Snowy day with many hungry birds to startle
by rearing up on ones hind legs, paws to window. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Notable Books & 2011 predictions for Smugglivus!

What shocking new innovation will Apple unveil in 2011? What confusing concept will President Obama go on TV to explain to the nation? What are a few of the books that yours truly freaked out on this past year?

It's all at The Book Smugglers today! Those sad, sick, book-obsessed yet lovely bloggers have really been doing it up this year for their fabulous SMUGGLIVUS hoe-down. And I'm honored to be one of today's guests.

Happy Smugglivus!!  Woo-hoo! Come visit.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Roundtable & release day

Character Roundtable: Why does UF have more women readers than men?
As part of her fabulous Spotlight on Urban Fantasy, Stella of Stella Ex Libris has invited the characters of the disillusionists series to discuss gender and Urban Fantasy.

See what Simon, Justine, Jordan, Shelby and Carter have to say about female and male protagonists, sex scenes, storylines and more! Plus, there's a international giveaway of Carrie Vaughn's latest! Visit the UF Roundtable here.

Major release action 

Wow, it's a big release day for the league and yesterday!
 First, Dakota has a new contemporary series... 

You Dropped a Blonde on Me by Dakota Cassidy
Dakota is definitely one of the funniest and cleverest writers I know. I'm really looking forward to this series! The blurb:

She was the perfect party-planning, haute-to-the max trophy wife. Now Maxine Cambridge is broke, unemployable and living with her mother and teenage son in a retirement village, with her self-esteem kicked to the curb.

Until her geeky former classmate Campbell Barker returns, all grown-up- and off-the-scale smokin' hot. Campbell refuses to believe Max isn't that smart, funny girl he's crushed on since high school. The more Max tries to show him he's wrong, the more she rediscovers her long-retired mojo. Now, she's ready to throw down some payback on her ex-life and fight for what she deserves...   Visit Dakota's site for vlogs and excerpts of fabulousness here

If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery Series #1)
People are already squeeing about this new series. I love the haunted house mystery angle! Blurb: 

Since she took over her father's construction business, Mel Turner's made quite a name for herself remodeling historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But now her reputation may be on the line.
At her newest renovation project, a run-down Pacific Heights mansion, Mel is visited by the ghost of a colleague who recently met a bad end with power tools. Mel hopes that by tracking down the killer, she can rid herself of the ghostly presence of the murdered man.

Mel's only clue is an odd box she discovers inside a wall at the job site. If she can make sense of its mysterious contents, she might be able to nail a killer—before she herself becomes the next construction casualty...   More at Juliet Blackwell's site

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy Series #6)
OMG, Richelle! The blurb:

The astonishing final novel in Richelle Mead's epic series!

Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them.

Okay, now is the part of the post where I realize all the releases I forgot to mention. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What is it about UF?

 Julie over at the Yummy Men and Kick-ass Chicks blog has a fun and lively consideration of the urban fantasy genre going on this whole week.

Today, she has gathered a truckload of UF authors to answer one question: Why do you write UF?

I'm there, and like the dork I am, I have the longest and most lugubrious answer. As compared to Illona Andrews, who has a super succinct one! There's also Kelly Meding, Vicki Pettersson, Stacia Kane and a bunch of other authors.

This mondo post is only part of the "What is it about Urban Fantasy?!" Week.

Other happenings for "What is it about Urban Fantasy?!" Week: