Saturday, November 28, 2009

December Romance Giveaway!

At the Romance Writers of America Conference in Washington, DC this past summer, I acquired too many books that I'll unfortunately never have time to read. My reading habit has a job problem but my loss is your gain!

If you love to read romance, this is the contest for you. I'm giving away four romance novels from different subgenres: paranormal, historical, contemporary and erotic fiction so there's a little something for everyone. The books are in perfect condition, and have never been read.

(generic autographed copy)
Bella would feel better about being born into a family of superheroes if her own superpower was something she could control-or at least use. But static electricity? That's less a power than a jinx. Then she stumbles on two things no supergirl should be without: an ubervillain and a dashing-if shady-stranger named Debonair. Bella's about to learn just how well love and danger mix.

It Was a Scandal Waiting to Happen . . .

Colonel Phineas Bromley is a legend—on the battlefield and in the bedroom. Though he's won many wars, and even more hearts, nothing could prepare him for his new life. When Phin discovers that someone has been pushing his family toward ruin, he assumes the role of a legendary highwayman. Riding out in the middle of the night, hidden behind a mask, Phin heads straight into trouble . . . and into the arms of the ravishing girl next door.

Coming face-to-face with a masked man did not frighten Alyse Donnelly as it should have. Instead, she finds him rather dashing. But her foolish heart has led her into trouble before, and helping a fugitive may mean jeopardizing her own plans, no matter how enticing his kisses. Now, as the danger grows, Alyse must make a choice between freedom . . . and the chance for true love.

Shy No More Worksheet
Name: Jasmine Burns
Imagine the person who intimidates you. Naked. I'm intimidated by Josh Toby, the world's biggest movie star. Who has to imagine him naked? I've seen it on a forty-foot screen.
Breathe deep. Did I mention he's Josh Toby? As his costume designer, I'm supposed to dress him. And undress him. Oh, and my psychic sister Amy, who has never been wrong, named him my One True Love. Breathing is completely out of the question.
Ask for what you want. What I want is for him to stop being so...irresistible! I want not to fall in love with a man who's stalked by the paparazzi, whose washboard abs could cut glass, and whose movie star girlfriend is the most stunning creature ever.
Believe you can do what needs to be done. Then do it. So, all I have to do is believe I can resist Josh Toby. Resist those deep violet eyes, those strong, muscular arms, and the way he makes me feel like the only woman on earth. Couldn't be easier. Yeah right...

Prim, headstrong, and beautiful Penelope is determined to expose the licentious affairs of the ton's randiest rakes. Now one of their powerful number—the unrepentant libertine Jeremy Vaughn, Duke of Kilgrath—has been selected to put an end to the prudish lady's interference. Jeremy's plan is devilishly clever: He will join Penelope's war against immorality, fighting passionately by her side, all the while showering her with anonymous erotic missives designed to titillate even the coldest, most unwilling maid. He will break down her defenses and inflame her repressed desires by escorting her (in the interests of their "noble campaign") to London's most notorious pleasure palaces. And he will visit her boudoir—masked—during the night to school her in the deliciously sinful arts she wishes to abolish. Then he will expose her hypocrisy to the world.

But the handsome rogue's scheme is doomed to go awry, even as the lovely Penelope sheds her every inhibition and freely gives in to his every whim. For in this sensuous game of hearts, it's the seducer who becomes seduced . . .

To enter: Please comment with your email.

+5 entries for following The Book Fiend (old or new)

+4 entries for posting about the contest on your blog

+3 entries as a sidebar on your blog

+2 entries for comments on any post on The Book Fiend's blog.

+1 entry if you are the twittering kind.

Open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. The contest ends on December 7th @ 5pm EST and the winner will be chosen using a random number generator. Please show links.

Check back frequently. More great contests to follow!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Of More Time and Photographic Journeys

November has been a busy month with work and Nanowrimo, so hopefully I'll have more time to blah-blah-blog. My plan is to share pictures of Ireland interspersed with book reviews and whatever else leaks from brain to fingertips to keyboard. I don't want to waste anybody's time so let me get right to it!

With over 250 photographs and hours of video, I can't help but feel I discover a new jewel each time I look at my Ireland pictures. Fortunately, I can't hold you captive on my couch and force you to look at everything. Highlights only. Having said that, I feel my initial post on the Hill of Slane, County Meath is incomplete so I want to add to it.

The Hill of Slane (492 ft.) is a peaceful, dreamy place overlooking one of the loveliest parts of the Boyne Valley, and on a clear day you can see for miles. See the Ireland Pictures post below for a hilltop view. It's where St. Patrick chose to light the Christian Paschal Fire in defiance of Irish King Laoghaire. Next to the cemetery is Slane Abbey, dating back to the 15th century, the reason for the additional post.

At first glance, the remaining two-story stone walls look unadorned, but if you look closely there are faces gazing back at you.

This photograph shows the stone mason's skill at carving and building archways.

Next, we visited Monasterboice, an ancient monastic site with one of Ireland's tallest round towers, church ruins and beautiful Celtic crosses. The original site is said to have been founded in the 4th century by a follower of St. Patrick named St. Buithe. The small community thrived for centuries until it was seized by vikings in the 10th century. The Irish high king of Tara, Donal, regained the territory soon after, and is said to have single-handedly killed 300 of those pesky viking guys. The elaborately carved Muiredeach's High Cross, dating from 922, is in great condition. Once again, we arrived early managing to tour the site before a bus load of people showed up. Tourists...sheesh. :D


Muiredeach's High Cross

If you think you're made of stauncher stuff than the average person, rent a car and make your own way. There's really no other way to travel. Your itinerary and hours are yours. Driving on the opposite side of the road with the driver's seat on the opposite side of the car makes for exciting times and the sheer terror--I mean fun-- of screaming your way through a foreign country along narrow, winding roads the size of a large sidewalk with stone walls on either side with no shoulder going 100 km but feels like warp speed should definitely not be underestimated.

Next stop: Carlingford

Saturday, November 7, 2009


My blogging buddy, Lori, is having a Twilight/New Moon giveaway at Pure Imagination. Whether you're Team Edward, Team Jacob or just enjoying Bella's love story, jump like a spider monkey to Lori's blog and enter to win some awesome prizes!

Ireland Pictures

I'm back! Truth is, I've been back for some time now, but work and the awful stomach ick (my favorite medical term) has kept me from doing most anything but sleep.

Ireland truly is a magical place with breathtaking landscapes and warm, amiable people. We were fortunate enough to have two weeks of spectacular weather after what everyone said had been a "monsoon summer" with three steady months of rain.

We landed in Dublin at seven in the morning, rented a car and headed directly out of the city. Our first stop was Bru na Boinne , visiting the neolithic sites of Newgrange and Knowth. The tombs are older than the pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge in England. The tour was wonderful and informative. It was spectacular to finally see the sites in person after reading about them online for months.

Burial tombs at Knowth

Entrance into tomb at Newgrange


You can actually go inside Newgrange, and they have a simulation of how the sun shines through the opening during the Winter Solstice, illuminating the inner chamber. It was remarkable and if you're planning to go to Ireland, this is a must see. Don't make the mistake I made by not buying souvenirs at the gift shop. I thought I'd be able to find most of what I wanted in Dublin at the end of our trip and thus save our backs from lugging everything around for two weeks, but that wasn't the case. Dublin had great city finds but very little from other areas. The gift shop at Bru na Boinne had beautiful jewelery with the ancient three spiral design which I wish I'd just gone ahead and purchased. There's always next time.

Note the beautiful blue sky!

The next day we went to Hill of Slane. Unlike monuments in the United States, the monuments in Ireland are rarely guarded or roped off. We arrived at Hill of Slane early in the morning, the air crisp and cool, and were pleasantly surprised to find the ruins of the monastery in a large field inhabited by cows. Careful to dodge cowpies, we were able to get close and examine the stone engravings.

More to follow! Hope you come back and visit!
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