Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Giveaway: A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid

A Christmas Home
by Greg Kincaid

Visit Greg:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Goodreads
Shelfari

Published: October 2012
Publisher: Crown
Genre: Christmas
Paperback: 240 pages
Rating: 4

Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Laura, like Todd, has disabilities of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd—with the help of his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas—trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her.

Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity. The local government is struggling to meet its obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss delivers the bad news. Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year. But what will happen to all the animals?

As the Christmas holiday approaches, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs. Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn. All this seems overwhelming unless you’ve got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.


Series:
A Dog Named Christmas
Christmas with Tucker

PeekAbook: a movie version too...



My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): woof (with major tail wagging)
Entertaining holiday read that presents the Christmas spirit well with likable characters. And, if you are a dog lover you will enjoy this more.

--~ Book Giveaway courtesy of publisher ~--

WIN this book (print).

Open to all.

Offer ends: December 31, 2012

TO DO:

Comment below with a holiday greeting, story or joke.

AND, leave your email (if I don't already have it)

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Contest has ended - winner is here

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~*~

* review copy courtesy of publisher

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Songs of the Season 2012


Songs of the Season
Event production by
Random Magic Tour
Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Dec. 10-25, 2012

Welcome to the Songs of the Season music hop!

You're invited to join us every day from December 10-25, to enjoy a virtual round of caroling (in my case - dancing).

You can visit another blog each day to find another wonderful music selection, handpicked by a great host - Schedule

~*~

Grab a cup of cocoa and listen and watch my selection for your enjoyment!

Some Nutcracker favorites...



These marionetes are just as lovely to watch as the ballet...



And here is a little something for you...

--~ Book Giveaway courtesy of publisher ~--

Nutcracker
by E.T.A. Hoffman
illustrated by Maurice Sendak

WIN a copy of this book!

Open to US only

Offer ends: December 31, 2012

TO DO:

TELL me what your favorite holiday song is during this time of year.

AND, leave your email (if I don't already have it)

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Contest has ended - winner is here

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~*~

* image source: victorian carolers

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winners for December


Here are the winners for giveaways that
ended December 16, 2012
during the I'm Your Man event

Thanks to all contestants!

Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

Winner: Freda

Fifty Shades Darker by E L James
Winner: Alicia

Fifty Shades Freed by E L James
Winner: Mary

Story of O by Pauline Réage
Winner: none - no entries


~*~

* to see the original giveaway offer, click on the prize title links

* I will email winners for mailing addresses within two weeks.
Winners, feel free to contact me with your info if you don't get my email
or if you are just too darn excited and want to let me know -- like NOW ;-D

* contest policy

* keep in touch with my giveaways and learn about other book giveaways by subscribing via email on my sidebar (you may want to go digest mode)

* if not this time, maybe next time

--> check out the current giveaways and upcoming events on my sidebar


Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Blast Giveaway: The Stone Guardian


When myth becomes reality, reality becomes a nightmare.

Like any other teenager in America, Ashley just wants a normal life. But growing up in an orphanage for the insane is anything but normal. After endless therapy and increasing medication, her nightmares have only gotten worse.

Probably because they’re not nightmares.


The Stone Guardian
by Theresa McClinton
Just released: December 12, 2012

When Ashley’s mysteriously abducted, she finds a reality even less normal than the orphanage. And she discovers something else—she’s no ordinary orphan. Faced with enemies thought to only exist in fairy tales, Ashley discovers she possesses a powerful Maya bloodline. She’s the daughter of an ancient Maya Guardian, whose duty is to protect the Stone of Muuk’ich, an enchanted relic blessed by the gods. But first she must get it back from Sarian, a power-hungry demigod who slaughtered the last guardian—Ashley’s mother. Without the stone, all will be lost.

When she meets Arwan, a hot Belizean time bender, his delicious olive skin and dark eyes make her feel a little less alone. But his gentle whispers and reassuring touch might not be all they seem. How can she balance love and duty when it’s up to her to prevent the rising of the underworld? Especially when the guy she loves might be its crown prince…


INTERESTED?

Head over to Theresa's site to enter to win this book and her other goodies here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dreaming of France - 6


Dreaming of France
meme created by An Accidental Blog
join this week's round and add your link here

Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to my blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it. Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again.

~*~

Today I will feature a Christmas window display in Paris - Dior Noël au Printemps.

Take a look at these lovelies - 74 dolls dressed in specially created iconic Dior outfits by the ateliers of the House.



Such a sweet treat to see these fashionable marionettes in action.



LOOK, behind the scenes...



~*~

* image source doll

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I'm Your Man: end credits

I'm Your Man
a virtual book event
December 4-9, 2012

THANK you dear readers for joining me for this virtual book event.

Please note all giveaways end December 16, 2012.

~*~

Special thanks to:

E L James for signing her books

I. Martinez for donating Story of O by Pauline Réage

~*~


~*~


Call Me Irresponsible
performed by Michael Bublé

Call me irresponsible
Call me unreliable
Throw in undependable, too

Do my foolish alibis bore you?
Well, I'm not too clever, I
I just adore you

So, call me unpredictable
Tell me I'm impractical
Rainbows, I'm inclined to pursue

Call me irresponsible
Yes, I'm unreliable
But it's undeniably true
That I'm irresponsibly mad for you

Do my foolish alibis bore you?
Girl, I'm not too clever, I
I just adore you

Call me unpredictable
Tell me that I'm so impractical
Rainbows, I'm inclined to pursue

Go ahead call me irresponsible
Yes, I'm unreliable
But it's undeniably true
I'm irresponsibly mad for you

You know it's true
Oh, baby it's true

~*~

* image source mr grey ecard

* PicMonkey was used for some graphics creations for this event.

-!.! I'm Your Man schedule !.!

Fifty Shades of Mr Darcy


Fifty Shades of Mr Darcy
a parody
by William Codpiece Thwackery

Lizzy Steele had been brought up to be a proper lady with perfect manners, skilled in conversation, and well respected in the community. But when Mr. Elliot Bingley comes to court Lizzy's sister, she is given the opportunity to learn a somewhat different skill set upon her introduction to his friend, a Mr. Christian Darcy. It only takes one chance meeting with this tall, dark stranger for Lizzy to be lured into Darcy's secret world of lascivious practices and lusty urges. Drawn like a moth to his flame, Lizzy is the mistress of her own undoing, for Darcy has made no protestations of love; indeed, his intentions were made plain from the outset. But even the most innocent and well brought-up of young ladies have urges, and as Lizzy learns that a riding crop isn't just used for going for a canter on her pony, a whole new world is revealed to her—shaded black and leather-clad.

~*~

LOL - thought this was one of the funniest parodies being presented for the Fifty Shades series ;-D

-!.! I'm Your Man schedule !.!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Darker Than Grey


Something to consider after reading the Fifty Shades series...

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

Story of O
by Pauline Réage

The classic erotic novel, THE STORY OF O relates the love of a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer for Rene. As part of that intense love, she demands debasement and severe sexual and pychological tests. It is a unique work not to be missed.

WIN my copy of this book!

Open to those over age 18.

Offer ends: December 16, 2012

TO DO:

SPREAD the word - tweet, facebook, blog, etc about this giveaway

In comments make sure to tell me what you did.

AND, leave your email (if I don't already have it)

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Contest has ended - winner is here

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~*~

*image source mr grey ecard

-!.! I'm Your Man schedule !.!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Another Mr. Grey


Yes, another Mr. Grey who has his own kind of sexual proclivities as well. I first discovered him in the movie, Secretary, which is based on the short story of the same name written by Mary Gatskill.


~*~

Bad Behavior
by Mary Gaitskill

A trade paperback reissue of National Book Award finalist Mary Gaitskill’s debut collection, Bad Behavior—powerful stories about dislocation, longing, and desire which depict a disenchanted and rebellious urban fringe generation that is searching for human connection.

~*~

Secretary by Mary Gatskill
Excerpt:
The typing and secretarial class was held in a little basement room in the Business Building of the local community college. The teacher was an old lady with hair that floated in vague clouds around her temples and Kleenex stuck up the sleeve of her dress for some future, probably nasal purpose. She held a stopwatch in one old hand and tilted her hip as she watched us all with severe, imperial eyes, not caring that her stomach hung out. The girl in front of me had short, clenched blond curls sitting on her thin shoulders. Lone strands would stick straight out from her head in cold, dry weather.

It was a two-hour class with a ten-minute break. Everybody would go out into the hall during the break to get coffee or candy from the machines. The girls would stand in groups and talk, and the two male typists would walk slowly up and down the corridor with round shoulders, holding their Styrofoam cups and looking into the bright slits of light in the business class doors as they passed by.

I would go to the big picture window that looked out onto the parking lot and stare at the streetlights shining on the hoods of the cars.

After class, I'd come home and put my books on the dining room table among the leftover dinner things: balled-up napkins, glasses of water, a dish of green beans sitting on a pot holder. My father's plate would always be there, with gnawed bones and hot pepper on it. He would be in the living room in his pajama top with a dish of ice cream in his lap and his hair on end. "How many words a minute did you type tonight?" he'd ask.

READ the complete story here.

~*~


I'm Your Man
from movie sountrack of Secretary
performed and lyrics by: Leonard Cohen

~*~

* image source mr grey ecard, mr. grey (James Spader) from Secretary

-!.! I'm Your Man schedule !.!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mr. Grey is taken


Book 3 of the series find Mr. Grey quite taken by Anastasia. But no worries, their story continues to amuse.

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

Fifty Shades Freed
by E L James

When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees.

Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.

Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Ana’s deepest fears turn to reality.

This book is intended for mature audiences.


WIN an autographed copy of this book!

Open to those over age 18.

Offer ends: December 16, 2012

TO DO:

As the wife of billionaire Mr. Grey, Anastasia, gets to wear beautiful bracelets by day and cuffs during nights of passion-making.

SEND me a link to a picture of a bracelet you think would befit a wealthy wife.

AND, leave your email (if I don't already have it)

Participant entries:

vvb's pick:

Abby's pick:

Freda's pick:

Mary's pick:


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Contest has ended - winner is here

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~*~

*image source for participant bracelets are sourced in comments, mr grey ecard, bracelet

-!.! I'm Your Man schedule !.!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hero

While reading book two of the Fifty Shades trilogy you will come to a couple "hero" moments. What woman could resist those kind of moments?

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

Fifty Shades Darker
by E L James

Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

This book is intended for mature audiences.


WIN an autographed copy of this book!

Open to those over age 18.

Offer ends: December 16, 2012

TO DO:

SEND me a link to a picture of a romantic hero.

AND, leave your email (if I don't already have it)

Participant entries:

vvb's hero:
Captain Awesome from tv show Chuck

Alicia's hero:
Superman from tv show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Mary's hero:
Drover from film Australia


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Contest has ended - winner is here

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~*~


Hero
performed by Enrique Iglesias
lyrics by Enrique Iglesias, Paul Barry and Mark Taylor

Let me be your hero

Would you dance
If I asked you to dance?
Would you run
And never look back?
Would you cry
If you saw me crying?
And would you save my soul, tonight?

Would you tremble
If I touched your lips?
Would you laugh?
Oh please tell me this.
Now would you die
For the one you loved?
Hold me in your arms, tonight.

I can be your hero, baby.
I can kiss away the pain.
I will stand by you forever.
You can take my breath away.

Would you swear
That you'll always be mine?
Or would you lie?
Would you run and hide?
Am I in too deep?
Have I lost my mind?
I don't care...
You're here tonight.

I can be your hero, baby.
I can kiss away the pain.
I will stand by you forever.
You can take my breath away.

Oh, I just want to hold you.
I just want to hold you, oh, yeah.
Am I in too deep?
Have I lost my mind?
Well, I don't care...
You're here tonight.

I can be your hero, baby.
I can kiss away the pain, oh, yeah.
I will stand by you forever.
You can take my breath away.

I can be your hero.
I can kiss away the pain.
And I will stand by you forever.
You can take my breath away.
You can take my breath away.

I can be your hero.

~*~

*image source for participant heroes are sourced in comments, Captain Awesome, lady reading

-!.! I'm Your Man schedule !.!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meet Mr. Grey


Christian Trevelyan Grey is the male protagonist of the trilogy and Anastasia Steele's love interest. Young, handsome, intelligent, business-savvy, charming, and the CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. Upon further acquaintance with him, and later on a relationship, Anastasia finds out that there is a "dark side... -per wikia (read more)

With the movie production of this book there have been many suggestions as to who would best play the part of Mr. Grey. The top three actors in the running to-date seem to be...

Ian Somerhalder

Matt Bomer

Aleksander Skarsgard

His story begins here...

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

Fifty Shades of Grey
by E L James

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.


WIN an autographed copy of this book!

Open to those over age 18.

Offer ends: December 16, 2012

TO DO:

SPREAD the word - tweet, facebook, blog, or other social network related outreach about this giveaway

In comments make sure to tell me what you did.

AND, leave your email (if I don't already have it)

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Contest has ended - winner is here

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~*~

* image source keep calm, ian, matt, alex

-!.! I'm Your Man schedule !.!


I'm Your Man: schedule

I'm Your Man
a virtual book event
December 4-9, 2012

HELLO and welcome to my December virtual book event that will feature some books that include love - of a different sort.

If you have not already read the Fifty Shades trilogy, this will be your chance to be teased and tortured (well, not too) to finally pick up the book or to win a signed copy from me!

I must admit - I am in the group that enjoyed the series. ;-)

If you read the trilogy, let me know in comments some of your thoughts on it and you will be eligible to win a secret prize at the end of the event (include your email).

~*~

Schedule of events:
book list and giveaway links will also appear on this post
details and links will be filled in after posted
per usual links are also on the sidebar


Dec 4:
Welcome & schedule

Meet Mr. Grey

Dec 5:
Hero

Oct 6:
Mr. Grey is taken - aww shucks!

Dec 7:
Another Mr. Grey

Dec 8:
Darker than Grey

Dec 9:
Fifty Shades of Mr. Darcy

End Credits

Dec 16:
Giveaways end

Dec 17-ish:
Announcement: giveaway winners

Books featured:

Fifty Shades of Grey
by E L James
autographed paperback
signup for giveaway here

Fifty Shades of Darker
by E L James
autographed paperback
signup for giveaway here

Fifty Shades Freed
by E L James
autographed paperback
signup for giveaway here

Story of O
by Pauline Réage
signup for giveaway here

Bad Behavior
by Mary Gaitskill

~*~


I'm Your Man
performed by: Michael Bublé
lyrics by: Leonard Cohen

If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you
If you want a partner
Take my hand
Or if you want to strike me down in anger
Here I stand
I'm your man

If you want a boxer
I will step into the ring for you
And if you want a doctor
I'll examine every inch of you
If you want a driver
Climb inside
Or if you want to take me for a ride
You know you can
I'm your man

Ah, the moons too bright
The chains too tight
The beast won't go to sleep
I've been running through these promises to you
That I made and I could not keep
Ah but a man never got a woman back
Not by begging on his knees
Or I'd crawl to you baby
And I'd fall at your feet
And I'd howl at your beauty
Like a dog in heat
And I'd claw at your heart
And I'd tear at your sheet
I'd say please, please
I'm your man

And if you've got to sleep
A moment on the road
I will steer for you
And if you want to work the street alone
I'll disappear for you
If you want a father for your child
Or only want to walk with me a while
Across the sand
I'm your man

If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you


~*~

* Thanks to E L James for participating in a book signing at Books Inc. in San Francisco on September 25, 2012 - you rock!



Monday, December 3, 2012

Dreaming of France - 5


Dreaming of France
meme created by An Accidental Blog
join this week's round and add your link here

Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to my blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it. Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again.

~*~

Today I will feature a painting by french artist, Pierre Auguste Renoir.

Strawberries
by Pierre Auguste Renoir
featured in
The William S. Paley Collection:
A Taste for Modernism
September 15, 2012 - December 30, 2012
de Young Museum

This was the one piece that spoke to me from the exhibit. The lushness of the berries and soft edges makes this piece delectable.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Dreaming of France - 4


Dreaming of France
meme created by An Accidental Blog
join this week's round and add your link here

Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to my blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it. Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again.

~*~

Today I will feature a DVD I watched over the weekend.


Le pacte du silence
France 2003
Directed by: Graham Guit
Starring:
Gérard Depardieu as Joachim
Élodie Bouchez as Gaëlle / Sarah
Carmen Maura as Mère Emmanuelle
My rating: 4

Per imdb:
Everyone has a secret. Twins Sarah and Gaëlle near 25; for ten years, Sarah has been a fundamentalist Carmelite in a Brazilian convent, and Gaëlle has been in prison for a heinous crime.

Sarah comes to the attention of Fr. Joachim, a priest and physician; he can find no cause for her debilitating abdominal pain. When Sarah and he are transferred to Paris, Joachim looks for Gaëlle, now on probation and finding no respite from society's approbation. An enterprising reporter is digging into Gaëlle's life, the mother superior of Sarah's convent hovers over her, and Joachim investigates the phenomenon of twin's symmetry.

Is there any release from the past


My two-bits:
Slow thriller with a schlubby-turns-sexy main character (character reference mentioned in previous Dreaming of France post) that is Gérard Depardieu.

This movie left me with a HUH? at the end. Makes you want to go back and rewatch to figure out which twin is which.

There were scenes shot in Paris, but unrecognizable to me. Just goes to show. I gotta go travel back to explore more parts of town...

Take a peek:



Monday, November 12, 2012

Dreaming of France - 3


Dreaming of France
a new meme
created by An Accidental Blog
join this week's round and add your link here

Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to my blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it
Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again.


~*~

Today I will feature another movie I saw during the French Cinema Now Fall film presentation.


A World Without Women
France 2011
Directed by: Guillaume Brac
Starring:
Constance Rousseau as Patricia
Laurent Papot as Juliette
Vincent Macaigne as Sylvain
My rating: 5

In its brief but eventful runtime, this film knowingly delineates a complex parent-child relationship and explores how each party goes about seeking romantic connection.

Patricia and her daughter Juliette have rented a cottage in a lazy beachfront town. The former is flirtatious with men, verging on desperate, while her pretty and intelligent child is more timid and careful with her affections.

Both of them play a back-and-forth emotional tease with Sylvain, the flat’s schlubby proprietor, and the resulting psychological effects on all parties are presented with subtlety and impressive acting.


My two-bits:
Loved that this took place at a seaside location - wonderful views.

As the description says a schlubby character, Sylvain, is the focus in this story. Suprisingly this focus the women have on Sylvain makes him a very appealing and attractive man despite the schlubbyness.

Take a peek:



 
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