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Archive for December, 2007

Okay, I’m making this a quickie as we are all pressed for time. What part of the holidays are you looking forward to the most? Christmas dinner with the pecan pie? Opening presents? Watching others open your presents? Midnight Mass. Christmas service? Ringing in the New Year…and getting rid of ’07? After Christmas sales?

I’m mostly looking forward to the 29th as my daughter will be back in town then and the whole family will be together. Also, my son has depression and the holidays are hard on him so by the time the 29th rolls around he’ll be better.

So, what about you? What part of the next week tickles your funny the most? Or…anything your dreading? Like dinner at our inlaws? Returning presents? Cooking? Gaining five pounds. I’m already there on that one! 😦 

Hugs, Dianne Castell

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Found this via Anne’s site

Send your thanks to a soldier @ the Let’s Say Thanks site. It’s sponsored by Xerox, takes just a few minutes, but would mean a lot to those serving their country.

🙂 What a wonderful idea.

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And the winner is…

The winner drawn for the copy of Patrice’s upcoming release, SCIONS: RESURRECTION is…Laura J

Laura commented

One book I remember from my childhood as being a favorite is Where the Wild Things Are. My oldest son for his first halloween was Max from the book. I even made his costume.

Laura win’s the copy of SCIONS: RESURRECTION. Laura, I need you to email me @ shilohwalker@gmail.com and put “scions” in the subject line.

Everyone believed vampires were extinct.

Everyone was wrong.

When Ariel Swanson wrote a novel about vampires, she hoped it would exorcise her fear of the creatures that had, not so long ago, terrorized the human population.Instead, it brought her to their attention.

And to the attention of Jachin Black—a man banished from the Sanguinas, a vampire clan, and forced to hunt among the despised humans. For he clung to the prophecy given years ago, of a better way for his kind to live… a prophecy Ariel unknowingly used as the basis of her novel.

Ariel hates and fears vampires. Jachin despises humanity. But the prophesy—and passion—bind them in ways they could never have imagined. Ways that may heal the past, and change the future…


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Ladies, today’s post comes courtesy of Patrice Michelle. And not only did Patrice bring a post, she brought a prize. One lucky reader is going to win a copy of her book, Scions: Resurrection.

Everyone believed vampires were extinct.


Everyone was wrong.

When Ariel Swanson wrote a novel about vampires, she hoped it would exorcise her fear of the creatures that had, not so long ago, terrorized the human population.Instead, it brought her to their attention.

And to the attention of Jachin Black—a man banished from the Sanguinas, a vampire clan, and forced to hunt among the despised humans. For he clung to the prophecy given years ago, of a better way for his kind to live… a prophecy Ariel unknowingly used as the basis of her novel.

Ariel hates and fears vampires. Jachin despises humanity. But the prophesy—and passion—bind them in ways they could never have imagined. Ways that may heal the past, and change the future…

Hmmmmm…. can I win? 😉

– Shi

Patrice Michelle’s Comfort Reads and Holiday Gift Ideas

Thanks so much to Shi for asking me to Guest Blog on Vamps and Scamps!

I’ve had a lot of fun around blog land lately. Many fun discussions were had, from subjects like “my favorite top twelve romances” to “why I think historicals and paranormals aren’t that different from each other”. :o)

One of the things that came out of those topics is a subject I wanted to explore more—all time favorite books. So I thought back to the very first time I fell in love with reading. I was in the fifth grade and wanted to win a prize in my elementary school’s reading contest. I read the twenty books and won the prize, but the biggest surprise to me was that in the process of reading all those books…I fell in love with reading.

With the holidays fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of our favorite reads, those authors or books that we would recommend to friends looking for something new or maybe even a classic. Here are some of my favs. I’ve listed them in order of age reading level in case you’re looking for gift ideas (and linked to the ones I thought you might have a harder time finding).

 

 

Children (early age)

Balloonia – Imagine an entire world where everything, even the people were made of balloons. Children LOVE this book!

The Kissing Hand – Great book for preschoolers about to go to kindergarten.

Elementary to Middle Grade

The Box Car Children series

The Borrowers

Judy Blume books

Encyclopedia Brown series

Chronicles of Narnia

A Wrinkle in Time/ Swiftly Tilting Planet/A Wind in the Door – Madeleine L’Engle

Spiderwick Series – If you liked Harry Potter, young kids will like these books about children discovering faeries are real.

Older Young Adult

Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr
Tithe – Holly Black

Adult Romance

Historical Romance

Jude Deveraux – Remembrance – A reincarnation story that made me cry, not once but three times!
Judith McNaught – Kingdom of Dreams – The kind of story that stays with you forever!

Contemporary Romance
Linda Howard – After the Night, Mr. Perfect, Sun of the Morning
Sandra Brown – Slow Heat in Heaven, Where There’s Smoke

Paranormal Romance
Marjorie M Liu – All books
Christine Feehan – Carpathian books

Urban Fantasy
Patricia Briggs – Mercy series (Moon Called, Blood Bound)

OT from books, but a MUST recommend!

Secret of Roan Inish DVD – For anyone who loves the Selkie legend. A beautiful sound track of traditional Irish music and a great movie for the whole family!

Come on, join in the fun and share. Name a couple of great books to give everyone some cool and unique Holiday shopping ideas!

I’ll draw one name from those commenting for a signed copy of my upcoming Silhouette Nocturne January 1, 2008 release, SCIONS: RESURRECTION!

Patrice

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

You can visit Patrice’s site here to read more about her books. Go ahead, toss out some suggestions. Just a reminder, you can comment and discuss as much as you want (and please do) but contest entries are done by IP addy and get entered only once.

The winner’s name will be posted here on the blog in a few days, so check back to see if you won. You do have to check back in order to claim your prize!

-Shi

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Oops on my part.

Meljean’s contest winner was Lori.

Lori commented

Hi Meljean~
What a great cover! I love it!! I think that you can learn lots of things from reading romance books. I have learned a lot about history that I did not know…of course, at this moment I cannot remember any one thing. I know that things I have read about have come in handy while playing trivia games. Everytime you pick up a book….you learn a little about the place where the story is based.

Lori, I need you to email me @ shilohwalker@gmail.com so I can get you hooked up with Meljean.

Tomorrow we have another guest…Patrice Michelle! Check in tomorrow!

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dn150.jpg***Edited to add… I’ll draw a winner either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. Winner’s name will be posted here.***


Meljean Brook
is joining us today!

And she brought a prize to give away. One lucky commenter is going to win an ARC of Demon Night. Details on how to win down below… but make sure you read the contest disclaimer here on the blog. Remember, we want to keep it fair for all.

And onto Meljean’s guestblog…

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Thank you so much to Shiloh and the rest of the Vamps & Scamps crew for inviting me to talk with you all today! It’s been one of those crazy months, with my little girl coming down with one cold, fever, and earache after another, and needing Mommy to snuggle with her. Which means that most of my writing is getting done late at night (and not much sleeping!) because I can’t manage a laptop and a little girl at the same time. But the upside is that I can read most of my research sources while she’s cuddling with me, and sneak in a category romance now and then.

There’s been some discussion of research and romances around the web lately, but this isn’t meant to bring up that debate. What struck me while I was stuck on the sofa (aside from realizing how easy kids pick up bugs from one another, and at one point: “oh my God, it’s December?!”) was how much I’ve actually picked up because of romances.

One of those categories I re-read was an early-80s Harlequin Presents. I’m not sure if anyone else remembers these, but the Presents line used to have an “Extra” at the end, which was usually a page-long note about something within the story: an item of history, a bit of trivia regarding the setting (usually an exotic one), a quick biography of an historical figure or artist.

I loved those Extras, and many times they sent me to the library, to look up and research more about the topic.

Now, it’s easier to hop online and look up something that catches my interest while I’m reading–it might only be a passing mention of a minor historical event, but chances are that if I don’t have any idea about it, I’ll go look it up when I’ve finished the book.

Over the years, I’ve picked up a lot this way–researching some items deeper than others. And when I’m writing, the same things crop up. For DEMON ANGEL, looking through the history of Rome, I ran across the fate of Dionysus I of Syracuse, who–after some poetry he’d written won an award–engaged in a “debauch that proved fatal” (from Wikipedia).

Now, that wasn’t something that ever showed up in the novel, but just the fun kind of information that I run across and file away for everyday conversations. For DEMON NIGHT, a throwaway description in the prologue like “He’d seen rolls of barbed wire less tightly wound” requires checking that in 1886, barbed wire had a) been invented and b) came in rolls — but it was also something that I was already pretty sure of before I wrote it (thanks to plenty of westerns and western historical romances).

So I’m wondering: what have you learned from romances, and have you been driven to find out them in more depth? Do you have a favorite bit of trivia, something that you’ve used at party conversation, or have you run across anything that surprised you?

And if you’re a writer, do you have any fun items from your research to share that might never have made it into your novels?

Everyone who comments has a chance to win an ARC of my February release, DEMON NIGHT. It’s the third single-title in my Guardians series, and it features Drifter, an outlaw from the Old West turned Guardian–and Charlie, who has been through her own personal hell, worked her way back, and is completely unprepared for the vampires who are determined to transform her.

~From Meljean Brook

http://meljeanbrook.com/

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

It’s me (shiloh) again. All you have to do is join in the discussion below. From those who join in, I’ll draw one name to win the ARC.

Remember, I draw by the IP addy and every IP gets tossed into the hat one time.

Discuss as much as you like, wander off topic…and make sure you admire the cover. It’s a good one.

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Hugh Grant

You.

One of my fav Christmas movies is Love Actually (a lot of you already know that). I was watching it for the millionth time yesterday and it got me thinking… What do I want for Christmas?

It’s tough when you’ve been around as long as I have. I mean there’s always the sweater or CD or DVD but what would really floats my boat…besides losing ten pounds and suddenly looking like Claudia Schiffer.

And, okay, Hugh Grant floats my boat but that’s not going to happen either. So, what else? Last year I got a subscription to Cooking Light, or was that Eating Light? Something light. I think there was a message there and it did get me to Weight Watchers.

I’d love to have the first three chapters of my next book done but that’s not going to happen either and neither is a cook or maid. I hate to clean, would much rather sit here and blog with you all. J

Jewelry’s nice but I always lose the expensive earring…never the cheap one. And Timex watches are so easy to replace the battery and the expensive ones aren’t. And Peeps are out of the question since I dislocated my jaw on that six-month old stale one.

Sooo, what to ask for for Christmas? 

Got any ideas?

What do YOU want for Christmas??

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