Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Remember Me

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


* Grab your current read.


* Open to a random page.

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


MY TEASER


"Remember Me"  
By Christopher Pike
Young Adult 
 
 
 
 
"We didn't leave the cemetery right away.  We had to decide how we were going to conduct our investigation."
 
~ page 154
 
 
 
Monday, November 29, 2010

Seven Nights To Forever Giveaway

Check out Romantic Crush Junkies blog for a chance to win Seven Nights To Forever by Evangeline Collins.


She offered him one week of pleasure. No more and no less...

Some sacrifices are more difficult than others. 



Left destitute after her father's death, Rose Marlowe has debts to settle and a younger brother to support. But she also possesses an unmatched beauty-one that could command quite a price...

Now, every month, Rose secretly travels from her country home to spend one week at a decadent London brothel, where she's become a sought-after prize. Elegant and accomplished in the art of pleasure, she spends her nights fulfilling the fantasies of the gentlemen of the ton while denying the wish buried deep in her heart.


Then one night a wealthy merchant gentleman walks through her door. Handsome, kind and compassionate, with a lonely soul that matches her own, James Archer is not her usual client. Falling in love with a client, never mind a married one, is unthinkable. Yet Rose can't help but lose herself in his arms as one night becomes seven-and seven nights lead to a chance at forever...

Pearls of Wisdom

Pearls are the first gems known to mankind.  Legend has it that lightening struck a mollusk and, terrified, it spit forth the first pearl.  Another legend holds that while dining with Mark Antony, Cleopatra dramatically removed one of her pearl earrings, dissolved it in a glass of vinegar, and drank it.  It is no legend, however, that the 17th century vogue for wearing one immense pearl earring died along with Charles I, who upon the occasion of his beheading discreetly removed his jewel and handed it over to a loyal follower.

A few pearls of wisdom:

In early times, people thought pearls came from rain - when a raindrop fell into an oyster shell, the mollusk produced a substance that caused the drop to harden.  This belief was partly right.  Pearls are created by the secretions of mollusks that form around particles of sand, not raindrops.  Pearls formed in this way are called blister pearls because they are usually embedded in the lining of the shell and can be cut away to make jewelry.

In the Middle Ages the Chinese discovered that if they shoot a pellet of mud or a tiny piece of twig or bone into a mollusk and return it to its bed for three years, they could "culture" or coax the production of a pearl.  But it was the Japanese who made pearl culture a fine art, by thee early 20th century.

Imitation pearls have existed for centuries; many of the ones adorned the celebrated gowns of Elizabeth I, the 16th century queen of England, are fakes.  These fake or "Roman" pearls were spheres of glass filled with wax and coated with fish scale essence to make them pearly.

 Queen Elizabeth

 Amelie Von Heine

 The Girl with the Pearl Earring

 
 Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn

Queen Alexandra

Flapper
 
 Audrey Hepburn

 
Saturday, November 27, 2010

In My Mailbox



In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review. 



"Vow of Deception" 
by Angela Johnson

contest win
 
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lost Saint

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases you can't wait to read.



MY WEEKLY PICK



"The Lost Saint"
A Dark Divine Novel
Author: Bree Despain
Publisher:Egmont USA
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: December 28, 2010

*Spoiler Alert* - If you have not read The Dark Divine, this synopsis may contain spoilers.
 
Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot—a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger—in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her—not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Taken By Midnight

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


* Grab your current read.


* Open to a random page.

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


MY TEASER


"Taken By Midnight"  
Midnight Breed Series, Book 8
By Lara Adrian
Paranormal Romance


"Jenna felt a tremor vibrate through his fingertips as he spoke.  Her eyelids snapped open and she gasped up at him, stricken by what she saw." 


~page 114
Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Finds


Take a look at the books I discovered this week...



"His Conquest"
Diana Cosby
Historical Romance


Linet Dancort will not be sold.  But that's essentially what her brother intends to do—to trade her like so much chattel to widen his already vast scope of influence.  Linet will seize any opportunity to escape her fate—and opportunity comes in the form of a rebel prisoner locked in her brother's dungeon, predatory and fearsome, and sentenced to hang in the morning.

Seathan MacGruder, Earl of Grey, is not unused to cheating death.  But even this legendary Scottish warrior is surprised when a beautiful Englishwoman creeps to his cell and offers him his freedom.  What Linet wants in exchange, though—safe passage to the Highlands—is a steep price to pay.  For the only thing more dangerous than the journey through embattled Scotland is the desire that smolders between these two fugitives the first time they touch . . .



"Scandal of the Season"
Christie Kelley
Historical Romance
 
For ten years, Anthony Westfield, Viscount Somerton, hasn’t been able to forget the woman with whom he spent one scandalous night. When their paths cross again, he’s shocked to discover Victoria Seaton is an accomplished pickpocket. But Somerton leads a double life of his own. Working on an undercover assignment, he makes Victoria a proposition: pretend to be his mistress or risk ruin. Yet soon he’s tempted to turn their charade into reality and surrender to an explosive passion.

Victoria can’t believe the man who almost destroyed her life a decade ago is now threatening to unravel her secrets. But posing as his mistress at a holiday country party is a game she can play well. For just one look into Somerton’s eyes still weakens her with lust. And with Christmas fast approaching, every kiss they share under the mistletoe only makes Victoria fall more deeply in love.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Big Hair

In the 1770's, French fashion achieved its most ridiculous heights of caprice, nowhere more evident than in women's hairstyles.  During this time hair was stiffened with  flour-and-water paste that whitened it and let it be molded into an array of shocking constructions.  Supported by horsehair pads, the hair was heaped high on the head and arranged in towers of curls.

The flouring of faddish hairstyles required a room in each noble's house to be set aside as a separate "powder" room - behind a closed door flour was blown toward the ceiling and allowed to settle evenly on the wig.  

In battle, with not enough barbers to go around, British officers had their hair powdered and plastered the day before a big battle and slept face down so as not to disturb the elaborate coiffures.


Marie Antoinette topped her freshly built do with a spray of ostrich plumes.  She persisted in encouraging bizarre creations until headdresses combined lace, ribbons, pins, paste, and false hair.
 

Members of Marie's court went so far as to lodge vases of real flowers in their coiffures, and entire stage sets featuring hunters, ducks, and a mill.



Such elaborate styles took hours to erect, so they were redone only once a month.  Over time, unwashed, floured hair became an incubator for vermin rivaling even the hairshirts of medieval times.  To give the ladies a little relief from predatory lice, slits were made in the stiff walls to let trapped insects escape.  


Naturally, a special headdress evolved to protect these hairdos - the therese - which was literally a bag worn over the head.  Women had to kneel to enter carriages, and in 1780, the doorway of St. Paul's cathedral was raised four feet to accommodate female worshipers supporting their own steeples of hair.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WIP Wednesday




My writing is going really well lately.  The heroine I once disliked is now one of my favorite characters.  I’ve polished up some scenes and written several new ones.  Overall, I’ve written nearly 13,000 words since November 1st.  For that I owe a big thanks to Sarah at Heart of Romance .  She's been such an awesome cheerleader!  Her support and encouragement have helped me to meet my word count goals every week.  Thanks, Sarah! ((hugs))

BICHOK (butt in chair hands on keyboard) is my motto.  Even so, I confess I haven’t been writing every single day because:

1)      I went to Disneyland last weekend.  I didn’t think about my WIP at all.  Not once.  I just soaked in the CA sunshine and made magical memories with my DH.    

2)     I don’t write on weekends.  It’s not a 'carved in stone' rule of mine.  If the mood strikes, I write on Saturday and Sunday.  But mostly I keep these two days free to spend with my family or to catch up on my reading.  As every aspiring writer knows, it’s important to read in your genre.


What I've Learned This Month:   

I’m not one to stress over my word count like other writers.  Rather than the number of words or pages completed, I like to focus on the content, pacing, hooks, etc. in each scene.  However, I do see the importance of setting a daily word count goal and sticking to it.  Writing until I reach that magic number has allowed me to ignore my EIE (Evil Inner Editor) and just write. 

Love it or hate it, I write.  Some days I may write more than I planned, but not always.  As long as I’ve reached my word count goal for the day, I’m happy because I know I’m making progress.  If I’m not in love with all of the words, that’s okay.  Anything I don’t like can be fixed.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: In the Warrior's Bed

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


* Grab your current read.

* Open to a random page.


* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.


* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)


* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


MY TEASER


"In The Warrior's Bed"  
By Mary Wine
Historical Romance



"'I do not want to marry any man who seeks me for retaliation against my kin.'  Cullen's face changed; it wasn't a softening but a shifting in his expression from solid determination to hunger."
~ page 113 
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: The Guardian and Treasure Me

 
"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases you can't wait to read.
 


MY WEEKLY PICKS


"The Guardian"
Return of the Highlanders, Book 1
Author: Margaret Mallory
Publisher:Grand Central
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: May 2011
 
After years of fighting abroad, Ian MacDonald comes home to find his clan in peril. To save his kin, he must right the wrongs from his past . . . and claim the bride he's long resisted.

As a young lass, Sìleas depended on Ian to play her knight in shining armor. But when his rescue attempt compromised her virtue, Ian was forced to marry against his wishes. Five years later, Sìleas has grown from an awkward girl into an independent beauty who knows she deserves better than the reluctant husband who preferred war to his wife. 

Now this devilishly handsome Highlander is finally falling in love. He wants a second chance with Sìleas - and he won't take no for an answer.
 

"Treasure Me"
The Legend Hunters, Book 3
Author: Robyn DeHart
Publisher:Forever
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: February 2011

Graeme Langford, Duke of Rothmore, has always been torn between his beloved Scottish homeland and his duty to the English crown. But his is an adventurer's soul and nothing keeps him from his dream: finding a long-lost stone hidden near Loch Ness.

Bookish Vanessa Pembrooke heads to the Highlands looking for traces of the legendary beast--not a husband. Yet when fate binds her to Graeme, it's not all bad: he's the first man ever to share her hunger for adventure. 

As their passion grows, so too does certain danger, and they'll soon risk everything to keep the jewel out of a murder's hands. But can they do so without losing the greatest treasure of all... their love?
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The Heretic's Daughter

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read.


* Open to a random page.


* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.


* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)


* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


MY TEASER


"The Heretic's Daughter"  
By Kathleen Kent 
Historical Fiction 


"You're the liar," Mercy screamed, her white skin turning blotchy and liverish.  "You and your useless son."

~ page 104

  


Monday, November 8, 2010

Writing from the Male POV with Kerri Nelson

Visit Book Boost Blog today to win a Free Class (Mind Your MANnerisms Writing Workshop) and learn all about author Kerri Nelson's Torrid (Whiskey Creek Press) release entitled Pay at the Pump, which hit the virtual shelves this month. 


He’s found the woman of his dreams. She’s the stranger that he can’t stop thinking about. Every week he tends to her car with care but secretly wishes that he could touch her instead.

Will one hot summer fantasy finally become a reality for this university bound Brit? And what happens when she turns out to be one of his university professors?

Get your engines revved up for one naughty ride…

Cash not accepted.

If you like short, erotic adventures from England to Egypt, by this book!  Click here to READ THE EXCERPT and pick up your copy of the book today.

Want More Kerri?  Click here to visit her website.
Follow her on Twitter here.  
Sunday, November 7, 2010

Books, Glorious Books!

For me, finding a great research book is like finding the perfect pair of shoes. My eyes go wide. My pulse spikes. I squeal in delight.

I was at the bookstore on Saturday doing some Christmas shopping when I came across two research books on sale. I saw the super low bargain prices, and let loose a little yelp. And that’s when my DH knew there was no way he was getting out of that store without buying both of those books. Thanks hon, for letting Christmas come a bit early for me.

Here’s what I got so excited about:


THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ROYAL BRITAIN
By Charles Phillips, John Haywood, Richard G. Wilson

Publisher: Sterling Publishing
Release Date: July 2009
ISBN: 1435118359

Explore the history of the British Isles in this unparalleled compendium of kings, queens, and rulers, and trace the development of one of the finest architectural legacies in Europe from earliest times to the present day.

The book opens with a magnificent history of the kings and queens of Britain, shown in paintings, photographs, drawings, family trees, and maps. This is the story of royalty in Britain, from the legend of King Arthur and the mystery of the Princes in the Tower, to the Abdication Crisis of 1936, the life of Diana, and the scandals and challenges facing the Royal Family today. More than 100 biographies are included, plus information on every British dynasty, including the rulers of Scotland, as well as the pretenders to the throne, usurpers, and regents who played a role in the making of the United Kingdom.

The second part of the book focuses on some of the most significant and dramatic historic sites in Britain and Ireland. In-depth features cover over 120 of the finest buildings, from Caernarvon Castle and the Tower of London, to Windsor Castle, Leeds Castle, and Buckingham Palace. Explore the great Norman castles of Dover, Chepstow and Richmond, the royal palaces of Hampton Court and Kensington, and the masterpieces of Chatsworth and Castle Howard. From castles to kings, from stately houses to statesmen and nobles, the legacy of Britain’s past is an intrinsic part of the country today. With over 1,000 illustrations, this expert and comprehensive celebration of British royalty and architecture will delight and inform every reader.


FASHION: The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute
By Akiko Fukai
Publisher: Sterling Publishing
Release Date: August 2006
ISBN: 0760782027

Clothes define people. A person's clothing, whether it's a sari, kimono, or business suit, is an essential key to his or her culture, class, personality, or even religion.

The Kyoto Costume Institute recognizes the importance of understanding clothing sociologically, historically, and artistically. Founded in 1978, the KCI holds one of the world's most extensive clothing collections and has curated many exhibitions worldwide. With an emphasis on Western women's clothing, the KCI has amassed a wide range of historical garments, underwear, shoes, and fashion accessories dating from the 18th century to the present day.

Showcasing a vast selection of skilled photographs from the Institute's archives, depicting the clothing expertly displayed and arranged on custom-made mannequins, Fashion is a fascinating excursion through the last three centuries of clothing trends.
Friday, November 5, 2010

First Line Friday

One of the best ways to hook a reader is to have a killer first line.  A great first line grabs the readers’ attention and forces them to proceed.   Just like a fist impression that goes badly, the first line of a story, if not done well, could be the last line the reader reads. 

If you’re a follower of the Midnight Breed series written by Lara Adrian, then you’ve read some great first lines.  If you’ve never cracked a Lara Adrian book, please do.  You won’t be disappointed.  The Midnight Breed series is a hidden gem amongst the avalanche of paranormal vampire series on the market.  Not only is the premise unique, but the author is a talented storyteller who delivers books that are the perfect combination of romance, plot, character depth, and action.

The latest book (number 8) in the series is TAKEN BY MIDNIGHT, which was released by Dell at the end of September.  

At the crossroads of death and desire, a woman tastes a pleasure no mortal is meant to survive . . .

In the frozen Alaskan wilderness, former state trooper Jenna Darrow survives an unspeakable breach of body and soul. But with her narrow escape comes an even greater challenge. For strange changes are taking place within her, as she struggles to understand--and control--a new hunger. To do so, she will seek shelter in the Boston compound of the Order, an ancient race of vampire warriors whose very existence is shrouded in mystery. Perhaps the most mysterious of them all is Brock, a brooding, dark-eyed alpha male whose hands hold the power to comfort, heal . . . and arouse.

As she recovers under Brock's care, Jenna finds herself drawn to the Order's mission: to stop a ruthless enemy and its army of assassins from subjecting Earth to a reign of terror. Yet in spite of their resolve, a purely physical relationship without strings soon binds Brock and Jenna together with a desire fiercer than life and stronger than death itself--until a secret from Brock's past and Jenna's own mortality challenges their forbidden love to the ultimate trial by fire.

Sounds great, huh?  Well, let’s take a look at the first line.

Life…or death?  The words drifted at her through the darkness.    

I’m hooked!  How about you?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases you can't wait to read.


MY WEEKLY PICK


"Blood of the Rose"
The Tudor Vampire Chronicles, Book 2
Author: Kate Pearce
Publisher: Signet
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2011


When Rosalind Llewellyn had to join forces with her enemy, Christopher Ellis to defeat a rogue Vampire threatening Henry VIII, their alliance led to a surprising passion. Reunited after a years separation, they face a new threat that could destroy their last chance at happiness.
 
Christopher is delighted by the spectacular rise at court of his friends George and Anne Boleyn. But Rosalind suspects Lady Anne is up to no good-she may even be a Vampire who’s bewitched the king. Now Rosalind must fight to keep Christopher from falling under the woman’s mysterious spell. It isn’t until Anne reveals a dark secret that Christopher awakens to where the true danger lies-and he begins to play a desperate game in order to save the woman he loves…
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


* Grab your current read.

* Open to a random page.

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


MY TEASER

"Devil's Highlander" by Veronica Wolff
Clan MacAlpin Series, Book One
Historical Romance

"Marjorie didn't know if she wanted to swat him again or laugh even louder than he had.  All she knew was, sitting there with her hand in his, she felt warmed to her very soul."

~ page 126
Monday, November 1, 2010

Let the Words Flow


BLANK BEAUTY

Beautiful blank pages
kiss our
imaginations
with backgrounds
that demand precision.

Our black letters cross
on tightrope lines,
curving
without wavering
across deep, invisible currents.

These beautiful blank pages
are promises of our
reflections.
Our gentlest strokes
of darkness upon light.

~ from Writer's Journal