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Archive for the month “December, 2014”

Tonight’s The Night!

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Santa Claus is comin’ to town!! Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. Hope Santa fills your stocking with all your favorite things! Fa-la-la, and Tidings of Good Cheer to you all!

More Christmas at the House of 1,000 Santas

Merry Christmas!!!

The Write Stuff

Okay, for those of you interested in such things…few though you may be…here’s another peek at what a 50-year collection of Santas looks like. Because I didn’t get everything put out this year, thanks to an unrelenting editing deadline, these pictures were taken 3 Christmases (and a dozen or so Santas) ago. Things are pretty much the same, except for a bit less this year, because…as I mentioned…deadline! Hope this puts you in the holiday spirit…or makes you want to avert your eyes. Whichever makes you happier.

A full-length photo of my six-foot tall Santa, with no lights out on the tree this time.

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My library tree, with St. Nicholas on top.

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Christmas at the House of 1,000 Santas

The Write Stuff

Since it’s slow this week, due to Christmas being right upon us, I thought I’d share a picture or two, just for fun. The Meara household is famed far and wide–okay, here on our block–for having the biggest collection of Santa’s in theworldneighborhood. When this life-sized guy comes out from his regular hiding spot (under our bed), and takes his place beside the Comfy Chair, I know it’s time for the festivities to begin.

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Big Santa was given to me several years ago by my daughter, who batted her baby blues at the manager of our local Publix, and persuaded him that having spent all her money on an airplane ticket home for Christmas, she had none left to buy her poor mother a gift. Voila! Instant addition to my collection. (Erin said it was so easy, she thought maybe she’d do all her Christmas shopping that…

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On the Seventh Day of Christmas

The Write Stuff

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Wow, I can’t believe we’re seven days into this event already. So many free books, so much fun! eReaders are simply overflowing. It’s a beautiful thing.

I hope you’re all enjoying the event, downloading all the free books and having a nice holiday season. Don’t forget, you can find the link to today’s book in the video under “SHOW MORE,” or you can join us over on Facebook for the event.

Now, on to today’s video!

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On the Sixth Day of Christmas…

The Write Stuff

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Today’s freebie from the 12 Days Event went onto my Kindle App before I could even get posts around for blogs today. I’m super excited to read it because it’s a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. Now I can’t wait for you to read it, too! You can find out what it is by watching today’s video, and/or joining us over on the Facebook Event Page, which has been such a fun time these last few days. We’d love to see you there.

Sorry to make this so short today, guys. I’m coming down with some kind of terrible lung plague and I have to go to Target! Hope you have a wonderful day and that you enjoy your gift for Day Six.

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On the Fifth Day of Christmas…

The Write Stuff

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Today’s 12 Days Author is offering up a nice little bundle of books, including something for both adult and young adult readers! You definitely won’t want to miss this one. Find out all about her in the video below, where you can also grab the links for the books she’s offering, as well as connect with her across social media.

You’re also welcome to join us over on the official Facebook event page, where she’ll be fielding questions from readers throughout the day! We’re having a grand old holiday time over there, so I hope you’ll join us!

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On the Fourth Day of Christmas…

The Write Stuff

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This event has been a lot of fun, and we’ve had so many great people come out to join us. To me, that’s what the holiday season is all about–spending quality time with good people. We have definitely captured the warmth of that vibe this holiday season.

Today’s gift comes from a pretty dynamic duo you’ll definitely want to check out. You can find the links to their books on the Facebook Event Page, or in the “Show More” section on the YouTube video. You can also still grab the books from Day Two and Day Three at this time, so you’ll certainly want to make sure you snag them before they’re no longer free.

Now, on to today’s video!

Thank you to everyone here who has taken time out of their day to join us for this. Like I said above, it’s been a lot of fun and we…

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On the Third Day of Christmas…

The Write Stuff

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The Reader Appreciation Event continues, and on Day Three, Dalisa Lynn is giving away the box set of her Embracing series. You can find out all about it here, and if you haven’t yet joined us over on Facebook for the 12 days of giving, I hope to see you there. Today is also Dalisa’s birthday, so helping spread the word would be a wonderful gift for her, I think.

If you’ve got a Facebook account, you can join us online for the ongoing event right here! Even if you don’t have Facebook, you can still partake, just follow the links in the youtube video to Delisa’s freebie over on Amazon! Thanks to everyone who’s joined us. We’ve had a really great celebration with old and new friends, and we are all grateful to those who’ve joined us by spreading the holiday cheer. Be sure to check back tomorrow for…

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On the Second Day of Christmas…

The Write Stuff

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Hi everyone, and welcome to Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas Reader Appreciation Event. I have no idea who today’s author is, *whistles innocently,* but I hear this Jennifer Melzer person is giving away the first two books in her Serpent of Time series. You can find out more in today’s video.

With ten days left, after today, and still time to take advantage of Starla Huchton’s giveaway from day one, you can grab tons of goodies. It’s a great way to not only discover new books, but meet other readers, so I hope to see you there. You can find the event right here, just follow the link to join us for the all day, every day celebration, and feel free to share with everyone you think might enjoy a few free books in a variety of genres.

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On the First Day of Christmas…

The Write Stuff

I will be posting one of these every day for the next 12 days! Our 12 Days of Christmas Reader Appreciation event has launched! The first author playing Santa today is a favorite, and you’ll definitely want to check out what she’s offering.

There’s still time to join us over on Facebook for the event. Every day another author will be putting gifts under the tree just for you, and you don’t want to miss out. Tell your book-loving friends and family, and please feel free to share the event with everyone you know.

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Today’s Guest Blogger: The Esteemed Mr. Pounce

 

Mr. Pounce

All right, fine.

I can’t believe my mistress talked me into this.

Blogging, I’ve never been party to a more absurd task in my thousand years, and yet here I am, blogging. Praise be to all the gods for this vocal recognition software, otherwise she’d be on her own. Imagine a post from me if she forced me to type. I assume it would appear quite a bit like this: EIT*(YE_PIJDFikop89)_#*)#*)@(Q!*)__+

While I’m sure there are some alien nations to whom that would make perfect sense, the less-than-civilized human race probably can’t make heads or tails of it at all.

And you call yourselves clever. Hmph.

Right, blogging.

Ugh, just saying that word out loud makes my teeth clench. I can’t believe I agreed to this. I don’t even know what I’m supposed to talk about here, or why any of you would even care what I, a once great sorcerer of the Midsummer Empire, have to say. That was so long ago, and I don’t like to talk about it, so don’t ask.

I don’t suppose you want to hear about the bird I watched in the bath for a three hours this morning, do you? It was lovely. Bright red, its wing black-tipped. Completely unaware of my dutiful inspection, I would have caught it had someone left the door open so I could slip out. Then again, maybe not. The master frightened it away with his triumphant bellow from the study.

He finished his novel. Whoop de doo. Maybe one of them will finally clean out my litter pan.

Now she’s staring over my shoulder, reading the words as they appear on the screen as if she can’t hear me speaking them. Snoop. Can’t a cat get any privacy? Out with you, vapid human. To the market for my sardines. I am blogging, and I can’t do it with you eavesdropping.

Ha! She’s offended. Good! It’s not like I ask to listen to all her telephone conversations. The least she can do is leave me alone while I’m broadcasting to the world.

Alone at last, I suppose I should finally tell you who I am, but I am loathe to speak those words aloud. I detest my name. For the last six years I’ve suffered beneath its playful implication, enduring the sing-song caterwaul as she scratches beneath my chin and asks, “What should we do today, Mr. Pounce? Would you like a ponytail holder to bat around the kitchen? Do you want to watch me paint my toenails?”

Because cats love nothing more than to sit around watching paint dry. Please.

Do not call me Mr. Pounce. I implore you. Who names a cat something so dreadful? Who?

If only she knew how absurd she was. How ridiculously insufferable… And yet, I adore her. Don’t tell her so, please. If she ever knew I felt this way about her, she’d never let me live it down. She’d be impossible to live with, always asking for cuddles and kisses, and while I do tend to enjoy the occasional snuggle (I can’t believe I just said that out loud, where is the delete-audio function on this thing?) it would only give her the wrong idea if she knew I actually liked her affections.

I suppose that’s why this curse, the one that forced me from my body into this dreadful feline form so long ago, is apropos. I once thrived on the affections of others; unfortunately those others did not always belong to me, and it was my own lack of self-control that landed me where I am today. Perhaps one day I will tell that story to the master, so he can write it down in one of his books, or maybe I’ll blog it.

Blog. Ugh.

I suppose this isn’t so bad, really. I do love the sound of my own voice, but you know what I’d love right now best of all? A nap. I think it’s time for me to take one. Yawn, and stretch, and all of that. Be gone with you, now, but don’t forget to indulge in the story about my mistress, Siren. Well, really it’s a story about yours truly. I am in it, therefore ‘tis about me, and that is what makes it a good story.

Go on now, off with you. There’s a nice stream of sunlight pouring through the dining room that’s going to be perfect for my snooze.

Mr

To find out more about Mr. Pounce pre-order a copy of Jennifer Melzer’s Siren from Amazon.com. You can also pre-order signed paperbacks from Jennifer Melzer.

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Jennifer Melzer

Fantasy author Jennifer Melzer enjoys spinning elements of the fantastic with strands plucked from the heart. She spent most of her life denying the romantic overtones sewn into her fiction, but awoke one morning and realized every single tales she’d spun somehow revolved around the heart. She has since given into the whim, spinning yarns woven from heartstrings. 

She currently resides in Northeast Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter and a houseful of dragons she must train regularly to keep them from setting fire to the curtains. Nightly she dreams she is laying on the beach watching stars burst over the Atlantic Ocean.

Connect with Jennifer Melzer all over the ‘net!

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The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison

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My Rating: 3.5 Stars

I’ve been putting off my review of this book, hoping my feelings about it would come up a notch, but since that hasn’t happened, I guess it’s time to give it a go. First, I want to say kudos to Kim Harrison for writing a series that kept me coming back for thirteen books. That’s a huge accomplishment, and she must have been doing something right. Her fans are legion, and the series has been a best seller from Day One.

For me, it has never been a 5-star series, but it has always been a steady, reliable 4 stars, book after book. The things that kept me from giving any of the books a full 5-stars related most often to several characters I just did not like. And they were characters I was supposed to like, so they were featured often and extensively. I was caught up in the overall world and complicated plot lines, but those particular characters always stopped me from giving any of the books more than 4 stars.

Having said that, there were also several characters I loved. Rachel Morgan, herself, could be fun and interesting, though a flawed character, to be sure. Still, her flaws made her relatable, and I liked her. Trent Kalamack was a favorite of mine long before it was ever hinted that he might become a love interest. The pixie, Jenks, was always consistently funny and clever, and a staunch ally of Rachel, though never afraid to tell her when she was doing something stupid. And the demon, Algaliarept, was a wonderful draw. Always scary, always complicated, and often funny. Once in a while, he was even touching. Those four characters kept me coming back over and over.

The vampires in this book were not among my favorites. None of them. I wasn’t into the whole mythos, so when the final book, which I had long anticipated, featured them for a huge chunk of the book–probably more than half of it–it was bound to leave me feeling unsatisfied. I really didn’t care a lot what happened to any of them, I’m afraid, so that part of the last book just didn’t work for me.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

What I wanted most was a satisfactory ending to the relationship between Rachel and Trent. And actually, I got it in a way, so you’d think I’d be happier. But to me, it felt rushed and crammed into the last part of the book, and left me wishing I had been along for the ride as they worked out their differences. So. I got the outcome I wanted, but not the fun of sharing it with Rachel. Honestly, it felt like it should have been spread over two books, with the resolution of the vampire story line in one, and the resolution of Rachel and Trent’s story in another. That, I could have enjoyed a lot more.

This is the first book of the series I’ve given less than 4 stars, so you can surmise from that, I consider it the weakest of the thirteen. It was the one I enjoyed the least, anyway. If you’ve read the series so far, you will definitely want to see how it all turns out, and you might have a completely different take on it than I do. So be sure to get your copy. If you haven’t read any of the series, but are a fan of Urban Fantasy, you probably should give it a try. As I say, Harrison’s fan base is enormous, so she had to be doing something right to create that kind of loyalty. I know I kept on reading, even when there were characters and occasional plot lines that didn’t thrill me. And I’m glad I did. It was a good series, overall, and mostly fun. But it deserved a stronger, better-written ending, especially to the long-awaited Happily Ever After for Rachel and Trent. Just my opinion, as always.  

The Witch With No Name

Wednesday’s Author Interview – Jen Rasmussen

 

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Ghost in the Canteen
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Today, Bookin’ It is happy to welcome Suspense/Horror writer, Jen Rasmussen. Can’t wait to see what you’ve got to say this morning, Jen. And folks, if you enjoy this interview as much as I think you will, please consider sharing it via reblogging, Twitter, or Facebook. Jen and I will both thank you. 

NOTE: Take advantage of the 99-cent Kindle Countdown deal Jen’s running this week on Ghost in the Canteen. You’ll love it! 

BI: Jen, can you tell us a bit about how you became a writer? When did you decide that’s what you wanted to be, and what steps did you take to prepare for a writing career? 

JR: Before I became a stay-at-home mom I was doing technical and instructional writing, which is less fun than fiction, but easier to pay the bills with. And although you might not think it, it was fantastic preparation for writing novels. First of all, nothing will teach you that writing is a job, versus some glamorous romantic thing you only have to do when inspired, like writing software manuals.  Read more…

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