Monday, December 28, 2009

Top Ten Vampire Romance Books

Just because I don't read a lot of vampire fiction doesn't mean I don't like it. I have been reading about vampires since I read Interview with a Vampire decades ago. I have read Bram Stoker, the Vampire Diaries, Twilight and many others in between. I remember when finding a book with vampires as main characters was hard to do – thus most that you did find were just really well done novels with engaging stories, great characterizations and worth involving yourself in.

The Dark Series
By Christine Feehan

Two types of vampires populate this series: the alpha males who seek their true mate to hang onto their souls and the soulless beings they can become if they lose those souls. The series combines a wild mixture of passionate, soul-searing love with mindless, bloodsucking terror. The horror and romance combine to make a heady mixture of tales with a real kick.


Interview with a Vampire
By Anne Rice

Rice's vampires are unique, in large part because they were first in many ways, but unique because they are not caricatures. They are good. They are evil. They are tragic. They are wicked. Louis' self-loathing combined with Lestat's hedonism take you on an exotic journey through a world where the vampires are aliens who live among us.

The Southern Vampire Mysteries
By Charlaine Harris

So much to love in this series that mixes deep woods sensibilities with gothic darkness. The series has more than just vampires, but the premise began with them and Eric (vampire Sheriff) remains one of my top favorites. With ten books in release and another three on the way, a television series and more – what's not to love about the steamy, southern gumbo that is the life of Sookie Stackhouse in the little town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.

The Last Vampire
By Christopher Pike

Suspecting the detective she killed in self-defense is stalking her, a vampire becomes a high-school student to befriend the detective's son, with whom she falls in love. Sita is an ageless vampire who brings a unique perspective to her story. Written more than fifteen years ago, the series embraces vampire mythos with a depth of passion and feeling. Sita's return to high school is marked by her self-awareness that takes her beyond the typical high school dramas.

Lost Souls
By Poppy Z. Brite

Brite wrote this novel when she was 19 years old and I rank it among some of the best that I've ever read. A book packed with teen rage, violence, drug abuse and darkness speaks to the angst of the teen soul. In the novel, Nothing (the character's name) goes to New Orleans to learn about himself and his vampire family. The tale is a thrilling combination of fear and horror that engages you with the dark and brooding tone.

Those Who Hunt the Night
By Barbara Hambly

Hambly is one of my favorite fantasy authors and this vampire novel is one of those sleeper hits that you almost forget you have on the shelf until you stumble across it in the middle of the night looking for something to read. In Edwardian London, someone is hunting vampires during the day while they sleep – defenseless and killing them. The vampires bring in an Oxford professor named James Ahser to help them whether he likes it or not. The former agent for the British government is strong-armed by the vampires who threaten to do away with his wife if he doesn't - so what is the man to do? The tale is exquisite and definitely worth reading repeatedly.

Undead and Unwed
By Mary Jane Davidson

More chick lit than vampire novel, this book is laugh out loud funny. Betsy is an out of work secretary who is flattened by an SUV and wakes up a vampire. The woman's complaints coupled with her unique place, as a prophesied vampire queen is so ironic that even when you are gaping in shock, you can't stop laughing.

The Blood Books
By Tanya Huff

Take an ex-cop with an eye problem turned private detective, her former partner on the force and a vampire who just happens to make his living writing bodice rippers and you have the perfect ingredients for a noir series that tempers humor and romance with horror. The novels were actually turned into a TV series for a while which was as enjoyable as the books themselves!

Accidentally Dead
By Dakota Cassidy

I love humor, Cassidy always delivers on the humor quotient with a good dose of romance, and you have to read it to believe it fun. Nina Blackman is a dental assistant who is bitten by a patient and wakes up to find out she's a vampire. Makes you wonder what kind of medical insurance covers that!

Dracula
By Bram Stoker

Of course he makes the top ten, he did it first. What I love about this novel is that many of the mythos we associate with the vampire are founded in this book. What most don't seem to recall is that Stoker's vampires could move by day, they just didn't have their powers or very much of them. The novel is a must read for anyone who loves the vampire, the passion and the darkness.

Did your favorite vampire novel not make the list? No worries, I haven't come close to reading them all and I've gotten a lot pickier about what vampire novels I will read as time goes on. So feel free to share what your favorites are or even your own top ten!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Snips and Clips: Kitty, Khristmas and Kibitzing

Happy Sunday everyone! Sorry for no Smackdown yesterday, I was sucked in by a story that I couldn't stop writing and when I finally did take a break from that, I got sucked in by a book that I couldn't put down. On our post-holiday trip to the bookstore, what to my wondering eyes should appear but Carrie Vaughn's latest Kitty Norville novel: Kitty's House of Horrors. The book is scheduled for release January 4, 2010 according to Amazon so I snatched that little Christmas present right up for myself.

Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn is a wonderfully inventive and engaging author. It is hard to believe that this is the seventh Kitty Norville novel, but this fun, engaging series is a seven-layer dip of fictional charm. Revelations about her world come in drips and droplets that gather together to fill a bucket (this is so much better phrased in the most recent novel). Her first novel was released in 2005. The title caught my husband's eye and he thought it was something I would enjoy, and he was not wrong. In the first novel, Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville, Book 1), we meet Kitty Norville who is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station.

In a twist on werewolf tales, she is neither out of the closet nor in charge of her pack. In fact, she's pretty far down on the totem pole as packs go. She begins dispensing advice via her late night show and gradually, what goes bump in the night begins to bump up her ratings. It isn't long before she's in hot water with the supernatural community and with the supernatural hunters – including one guy who calls in to let her know he's coming to kill her. The moment I finished the first book, I was dying for more. Here we are five years and six books later and you know what?

I want more.


Kitty's House of Horrors

Confession time, when I first read the blurb about the next Kitty book, I spluttered and I stuttered. A reality show? Really? Kitty Norville agrees to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shape shifters, vampires and psychics. However, her publicity stunt soon turns into a fight for life.

I have never been a fan of reality television, yet I found myself reading the 'staged' sequences of the book with an eagerness that bordered on voyeurism. Vaughn gathers together some of the more interesting characters that Kitty's encountered in previous novels while adding a few more to the mix. Kitty's nascent skepticism and snark keeps the commentary amusing even as the unease and worry grows.

What I found fascinating is even though Vaughn tells you via Kitty that this reality show is going to turn into a horror show, the horror of it is a cold, dark insidious thing that strips away the complex characters to their cores – revealing basic, raw emotion that is painful and engaging at the same time. Without revealing what happens, I will say that the author surprised me more than once and I love how she keeps adding new dimensions to the relationships between the readers and Kitty.

High marks for Kitty's House of Horrors. If you haven't jumped on the Carrie Vaughn train, pick up The Midnight Hour and get started, you have a wonderful journey in front of you.

Final thought: More please?





Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!



Thank you for being a part of the Daily Dose this holiday season! A very Merry Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So You Want to be a Deadly Spy?

Chuck is absolutely one of my favorite series. I adore the writing, the characters and the ability it has to have me laughing out loud in one moment and gasping in the next. Season three begins this January just a few days after season two comes out on DVD, season one is already available. The following clip is from the season two DVD release and I'm still giggling over it. Enjoy Adam Baldwin as Colonel John Casey in this Chuck season two DVD exclusive clip: John Casey Presents "So you want to be a deadly spy?"



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

BlogTalkRadio Show: What's Hot in Romance?

Last night I had the pleasure of visiting with author Cat Johnson on the fabulous "What's Hot in Romance?" Blogtalk Radio Show. The first thirty minutes are devoted to author Hope Tarr (she was an absolute delight to listen to) and I learned a lot about her that I didn't know before. I am in the second half of the show! Be sure to check it out!




Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice: Feel the Magic!

The Daily Dose welcomes author Jo Lynne Valerie to celebrate the Winter Solstice with us today! Jo Lynne is a fascinating woman and a fascinating author. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do!

Let me start by saying I have been a fan of Heather Long and have been following this blog, just waiting for the moment when I'd be asked to guest. When the offer finally came, I was all over it! *winks* Thanks for the invite, Heather! *waves to Heather*

That said, let's talk about the Winter Solstice! There are powerful energies and traditions behind this astronomical holiday known to most simply as the first day of winter. But oh, it is so much more than that...

Now, the energy around us is deep and rich, vibrant with a sort of silent keening that can only be associated with one day and night phenomenon - Winter Solstice! I call it a phenomenon because in its most basic scientific definition, the Winter Solstice is considered a phenomenon as the sun will reach the highest northernmost point it will all year, and we will have the shortest day and longest night we will have, all year. Whenever astronomical arrangements like this occur, you can be sure energies on earth are high! And when energies on earth are high, so is our potential to tap into magical energy. Here are some simple ways you can feel the magic, this Winter Solstice.

BURN A CANDLE ON WINTER SOLSTICE

This is a practice associated with nearly every winter holiday: Christmas and Hanukkah being two that come readily to mind. But did you know the lighting of candles on or around the Winter Solstice dates back to the belief that although daylight hours are short on Winter Solstice, it is time to celebrate the return of the light (we'll gain small amounts of sunlight after the Solstice, starting with one minute increments, daily) and to actually "call" and "hold" the light?

Something very cool and powerful happens when we observe this tradition. We capture a little solar light and magic for ourselves, in the process. We feel healed and and revived, enlivened and energized. Who doesn't want that?! Here's what to do.

Light a white candle on the morning of the Winter Solstice (I light mine at sunrise) and say these words aloud:

Solstice sun, rising in the sky
Power of light now draws nigh
Soon it will be the longest night
Solstice energy, bless my life


Traditional candle colors to use are white to symbolize light itself, green to symbolize enduring life even in the cold of winter (hence the evergreen tree at the holidays!) or a rich red for protection and health during the winter months. If you would like to, and it you can do so safely, you may keep a candle burning continuously all day long, from sunrise to sundown on the Winter Solstice. Older cultures would keep their candles and more specifically, their Yule Log burning from sunrise all through the Winter Solstice night.

MAKE A WINTER SOLSTICE BLESSING OIL

This essential oil aromatherapy blend not only smells delicious, but it has magical properties, too! You will need a tea-lite candle oil warmer or a cold-air essential oil diffuser. Either one of these devices will spread the scent of your blend. You'll need three essential oils. The essential oils and cold air diffuser can be found at most health food stores; the tea-lite candle burner can be found at large discount department stores, at body-care stores and $1 stores.

Essential Oils to Use

15 drops pine essential oil (for protection, good health and vibrant life)

15 drops orange or tangerine essential oil (for blessings, joy, harmony and happy home)

5 drops cinnamon essential oil (for protection, good luck and prosperity)

If using a tea-lite oil warmer, start with 2-3 TB fresh cold water, then drop your oils on top. Warm with a candle and enjoy the fragrance. If you want to get fancy, you may add a thin slice of fresh orange and one cinnamon stick. Expect this presentation to be admired. *winks*

Note: Do not allow essential oils to directly touch your skin, as irritation may occur.

I hope you've enjoyed this Winter Solstice post! And a hearty thanks once again to Heather Long for having me.

- Jo Lynne

Jo Lynne Valerie is an Award-Winning-Paranormal author. Her first book, A Tale For All Seasons (a compilation of four novellas) was released in September of 2009 and her follow up book, Phoenix Rising was released in December 2009 on Amazon for Kindle. Ms. Valerie is a former magazine editor and currently teaches various metaphysical classes in Rochester, New York, where she lives with her family and is at work on her next paranormal novel. Her website is www.JoLynneValerie.com and her blog can be found at www.JoLynneValerie.blogspot.com . Ms. Valerie is also active on Myspace, Facebook and Twitter.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Snips and Clips: Saying Goodbye to 2009

Good morning and Happy Sunday! It's been a few weeks since our last snips and clips, with Sundays devoted to our holiday blog giveaway! 2009 is racing to a close and 2010 is just around the corner. It seems so hard to believe that we are a decade into the 21st century when we feared computers would crash as the dates rolled over from 1999 to 2000.

It's been a hard year, marked by profound change and loss. We bid farewell to so many celebrities this year. Personally, we said farewell to two wonderful pets, including our beloved Murray who was just shy of his thirteenth birthday and to my husband's grandfather who spent 98 years as the bedrock of four generations. We elected our first black President and observed history in action as he was sworn into office.

This has been a year of achieving goals and setting new ones. It's been a year of challenges, change and characters. I have to say, I think this has been one of the most exciting years personally and professionally. So please join me as I glance back at the year and the moments real and fictional that stand out to me.

Sad Celebrity Farewells

We said goodbye to too many celebrities this year including Natasha Richardson, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Henry Endo, Patrick McGoohan, Ricardo Montalban, John Updike, Clint Ritchie, James Whitmore, Ron Silver, Andy Hallett, Bea Arthur, Dom Deluise, David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Karl Malden, Walter Kronkite, John Hughes, Senator Ted Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Mary Travers, Soupy Sales and Edward Woodward. Thank you for being a part of our lives.

Moving Character Deaths

This is a year where we bid goodbye to many great characters on television from George O'Malley on Grey's Anatomy to Edie Britt on Desperate Housewives to Vicki on the new CW series The Vampire Diaries. These weren't just stunt deaths, at least not from a storyline perspective – they were compelling with their deaths causing ripple effects for the characters that we are still experiencing.

New Take on Old Franchises

I picked up a copy of Star Trek on DVD and I continue to be delighted by the film's fresh take on a franchise that's over 40 years old. The casting was well done, the simple mention of Admiral Archer and his prize beagle a fabulous nod to the short-lived series Enterprise and the story, the story was an amazing use of time, Leonard Nimoy's Spock and a new birth for iconic characters like Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, Scotty, Bones and more. It builds on forty years of history and the timeless wonder of friendship forged through years of working and surviving together. This film could not have been possible without all the decades before it and yet, it takes what was old and makes it new and fresh again.

Great Books

This was a great year for discovering new authors (not to mention publishing a couple of novels of my own). Among the authors that I discovered or rediscovered this year:


  • Candace Havens

  • Rosemary Clement-Moore

  • Michele Bardsley

  • Shannon K. Butcher

  • Nikki Duncan

  • K.F. Zuzulo

  • Cat Johnson

  • Jo Lynne Valerie

  • Robert J. Sawyer

  • Shirrin Dubbin

  • Buffy Christopher

  • Debra Kayn

  • Deidre Knight

  • Leanna Renee Hieber


And more than I can remember to add here, I'm sure and these are just the authors I "started" reading this year. It doesn't include authors that I've followed for years.

Great Television

This was a year of great new shows too beginning with Chuck on NBC. The show's second season threatened to be its last, but fans who enjoyed the wry and delightful show with its mixture of comedy, drama, romance and high adventure pitched in with the help of Subway to save it (season 3 returns January 10th!).

Nathan Fillion's delightful series Castle debuted in the Spring of 2009 with just ten episodes that hooked the entire family. Fillion is author Richard Castle and he uses his connection to the mayor to work with Detective Kate Beckett after the police detective provides him with rich inspiration for his new series "Nikki Heat" – ABC renewed the series and every episode of the second season has been fabulous to watch, not to mention the novel tie-in when they released Heat Wave in September.

Eastwick debuted this year and while it's already been canceled, I found the show to be fun and fresh and refreshing. They dodged a lot of predictable bullets and I could only wish the network gave it longer to find its footing. In syndication The Legend of the Seeker takes a fresh look at Terry Goodkind's epic series including the powerful romance between Richard and Kahlan. The second season kicked off this Fall and has so far outlived my wildest expectations!

Dollhouse was renewed by Fox against all odds for a second season and this high-concept science fiction show continues to challenge and intrigue viewers. While it's second season will be its last, Whedon is really going the extra mile to weave a powerful novel through the 26 episodes of the first and second seasons combined.

ABC's FlashForward is another high concept science fiction series that takes its lead from Robert J. Sawyer's novel of the same name. Despite the intensity of the first episode, there is something compelling about every episode that follows as we try to figure out – can the future be changed? Do they want the future changed? How will some futures be averted while others embraced? At its heart it is a completely human drama that I can't get enough of.

The CW network gave us The Vampire Diaries based on L.J. Smith's novels and despite some skepticism on my part, I've thoroughly enjoyed the supernatural drama with its fully-formed characters, challenging storylines and delightful production values.

All of these new favorites join old favorites which remain as fresh this season as they were in previous years such as Smallville (a genuinely delightful surprise as this season re-engaged me fully), Supernatural, NCIS, Bones, Grey's Anatomy, House (which recaptured my interest this year) and Gossip Girl (yes, a totally guilty pleasure).

Spotlight On Features
When I launched the Daily Dose in June, I had no idea how much fun I would have with this blog from the guest bloggers to the general commentary. I have to confess though, one of my favorite aspects of this blog is our monthly Spotlight On features from interviewing authors to book bloggers to cover artists, editors and more. I am hoping to bring you many more interviews and features in 2010.

What are some of your favorites from 2009?


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday Smackdown: Gandalf versus Dumbledore

Ah the beauty of the holiday season! We kick off our last week in a countdown towards Christmas with last minute shopping, sending holiday cards and sadly, a head cold for the midget. Today's smackdown is a look at the great wizards of two fabulous series. Both wizards inspire, guide and are tremendously powerful in their own right. I can hardly choose between them and cannot compare them as which is more powerful or which is more inspirational. Therefore, I ask only that you choose which one is your favorite. I know which one is mine.

Gandalf the Grey (later the White)

Gandalf is a fictional character with major roles in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Gandalf appears as a wizard, member and later the head (after Saruman's betrayal and fall) of the order known as the Istari, as well as leader of the Fellowship of the Ring and the army of the West. In The Lord of the Rings, he is initially known as Gandalf the Grey, but after assuming leadership of the Istari, he becomes known as Gandalf the White.

Albus Dumbledore
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is a fictional character within the Harry Potter novels written by J. K. Rowling. For the majority of the series, he is the headmaster of the Wizarding School Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As part of his back-story, it is revealed that he is the founder and leader of the "Order of the Phoenix", an organization dedicated to fighting the main antagonist of the series, Lord Voldemort.

Great Deeds
Among Gandalf's great deeds is guiding the Fellowship, saving Faramir, defeating the Balrog and hiding his possession of the third Elven ring of power for centuries. As a guide to young Frodo and the other Hobbits, he inspired greatness. He chose to leave Middle Earth with the other ring bearers including Frodo, Bilbo, Elrond and Galadriel.

Dumbledore, like Gandalf, inspired greatness in his students and acted as secret keeper for the Order of the Phoenix. His deeds are many, including defeating one of the most powerful wizards. Dumbledore was far more passive, choosing peaceful methods and reason above outright shows of power. He served as a foil for Voldemort for decades, fending the dark wizard off until Harry was old enough to face him directly. Dumbledore's death was by his own choice, a necessary sacrifice.

Neither wizard sought greatness, yet they both served to inspire the heroes of their novels and left a legacy of wisdom, spirit and determination.

Which of these two is your favorite? Which of their actions had the greatest impact? What do you remember most about them? I have no prize to offer this week and only invite you to play for fun.

Fairy Tale Smackdown
Cinderella stole this prize easily with the majority of readers supporting the rags to riches tale and the triumph of a kind heart. In particular, most favor the modern retelling of the tale in the Drew Barrymore film: Ever After. Congratulations to PamK who won the drawing for the $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. Please send me an email so I can get this certificate on its way to you, Pam!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Taking a Break Today

Due to unforeseen life events (i.e. holiday parties, edits, work and more), we're taking a break from our regularly scheduled Daily Dose. But because you stopped by, I wanted to make sure I shared with you the awesomeness that is the:

Iron Man 2 Trailer!

Be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Magic of Christmas: Books

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Whether you call it Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or simply: the holiday season. I love this time of year from the hustle and bustle of shoppers to the profusion of Christmas lights springing up like a verdant field of wild, glowing flowers in the night. Some areas are decorated to the nines, with specialized themes or stories told in imagery while others are simply lights spilling out like gems for the night sky to admire.

Finding the Perfect Gift

The season is a challenge to how much you know about the people you love. Do you find them the gifts they asked for? The gifts that they would appreciate? Do some items stand up, waving their arms and yell: I would be perfect for him or her! The retail stores are packed to the gills with new items from clothes to books to music and electronics. Video games are often popular and the tried and true stuffed animal remains a seasonal favorite.

It doesn't matter that the stores have been laden with holiday ornamentation since October (and sometimes even earlier). They take on an ethereal shine when we are in the thick of the holiday shopping. We examine each item with care giving as much thought and consideration to the Jack Sparrow nutcracker as we do the thick, plush blanket and the warm snuggle of holiday pajama. We take the time to look at the crystal and how it catches the light as we do the fat turkeys, hams and roasts that beg to be served for the holiday supper.

It is a time of magic and wonder as more people donate their time, their energy, their money and their items during the holiday season than any other. We ask ourselves: would she like this? Would he appreciate that? What do I get him or her? How do I make that magic of the holidays happen so that when they open the gift, that warm, rosy pleasure spreads up from their bellies to light up faces brighter than any star decorating the top of a tree?

That is the challenge of the holiday season. This season, I've picked out a few gifts for people that I know will make them smile, will make them laugh and in some cases, even jump up and down with the simple joy of it all. The sound of the ripping paper, the fire crackling in the fireplace and the music of the holidays drifting through the air – yes, I do so love this time of the year.

Giving Books

It is a sure bet that I will give books at the holidays, I always do. From picture books to young adult reading to romantic suspense, science fiction and even a zombie or two this year, I will sort through the stacks at the bookstore to find the perfect book for each of the members of my family. They know they will get at least one and I work so hard to match book to personality and taste that I am often rewarded with thrilled smiles in the weeks to come as they read those books. Therefore, my holiday picks for gifts this year (and in no particular order) are:

*The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
*The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
*The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
*39 Clues: Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
*The Dog Who Thought He Was Santa by Bill Wallace
*Iridessa Lost at Sea by Lisa Papademetriou
*Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
*Imager's Challenge: The Second Book of the Imager Portfolio by L.E. Modesitt, JR
*No Regrets by Shannon K. Butcher
*First Lord's Fury (Codex Alera Book 6) by Jim Butcher
*I Shot You Babe by Leslie Langtry

And those are just a few. What books will you give this year?


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway: Celebrate!

Since we began the giveaway on Black Friday, the Daily Dose with the help of many fabulous authors has given away more than 30 gifts to the friends, sons, daughters, brothers, mothers and fathers of loved ones who nominated them for gifts. What began as a desire to give back some this holiday season has turned out far better than I could ever have imagined! As we end our holiday giveaway, we have just one final giveaway left.

Today, I am offering five copies of my latest e-book novel: Prime Evil for the ones you nominate. Come away with me to the farm rich countryside of Northern Virginia as hedge witch Chance Monroe fights for her way of life when serial killer Randall Oakes returns from the dead. Chance must confront a troubled past, a supernatural adversary and a sizzling passion that has lain dormant for years.


Prime Evil

Nearly a decade ago, Randall Oakes left hedge witch Chance Monroe for dead. Now he’s back along with her ex-lover, Jack. The FBI wants Chance in protective custody, but Chance knows it won’t be enough to protect her from Oakes. Connected to the earth, Chance must rely on her supernatural senses and her own wits to survive this game of cat and mouse.

Read an excerpt.

About the Author

Prime Evil is Heather Long's first full-length novel, following the successful fantasy romance Remembering Ashby, Long delights her readers with an urban fantasy where nature and danger collide.

Heather Long lives in North Texas with her husband, daughter and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel: The Forgotten.

Giving Back

I firmly believe in leaving the world better than I found it. I hope that our holiday blog giveaway has left your holiday better than I found it. I am donating a portion of the profits for every copy of Prime Evil sold or given away to the World Wildlife Fund in a continuing effort to give back to the world we live in.

The Rules

1. You comment on the blog in order to be entered into the drawing.
2. You must include whom you want to give the gift too. You do not have to name names or post their email information, just a short blurb about what they mean to you or why it’s important they receive it. You can be a real secret Santa as well.
3. Each drawing will last 24 hours unless otherwise noted. (7 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST)
4. Winners will be notified by email so make sure I have that or access to it via your profile. Upon notification, you let me know whom the gift is going to.
5. You may only win one giveaway, once you win one you cannot enter into anymore.
6. Spread the holiday cheer for everyone celebrating Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas and more.

Let Heather Long and the Daily Dose be a part of your holiday plans. Enter to win this fantastic book for someone you love! Entries close at 7 a.m. Central on Wednesday, December 16.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway: 13 to Xmas

Today, I would like to introduce you to a new author who's novel is coming out next summer. Author Shannon Delany of the upcoming 13 TO LIFE (YA paranormal series from St. Martin's Griffin, June 22) created this bookmark for our Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway. The bookmark features hematite (the small silvery beads), pietersite (the larger lozenge-shaped blue bead) and two sparkly beads (because if it's YA and paranormal it has to sparkle. The gemstone beads are significant; the blue pietersite is specifically tied in to part of Shannon's debut novel and specifically symbolic.

To quote from the book, Jess Gillmansen (Shannon's narrator) says:

"It's also called Tempest Stone. People say it's good for a lot of stuff, like dealing with change and transformation. Oh. And your gall bladder, I think. Or spleen." I shrugged, slipping it back into my pocket. He definitely looked interested now. Maybe he had spleen issues.

Since writing her novel, blue pietersite has become increasingly difficult (and expensive) for Shannon to get, so this book mark is one of a very limited quantity that Shannon will be gifting.

About Shannon Delany

She began writing in earnest when her grandmother fell unexpectedly ill during a family vacation. In 2008 her greatly abbreviated version of 13 to Life (written in just five weeks) won the grand prize in the first-ever cell phone novel contest in the western world through Textnovel.com .

Shannon was thrilled when St. Martin’s Press offered her a contract for a series about her 13 to Life characters. She expanded on the cell phone novel version, adding the subplots and characters she didn’t have time to during the contest. As paranormal as werewolves seem, the grief Shannon used to build Jess’s character is something she personally experienced with the loss of her own mother. Focusing on Jess and Pietr’s story of loss, love and dramatic and dangerous changes, Shannon came to better grips with her own struggle. The resulting novel has earned her blurbs from authors she respects most.

Previously a teacher and now a farmer raising heritage livestock, Shannon lives and writes in Upstate New York and enjoys traveling to talk to people about most anything.


13 to Life

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she is relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.

Book Trailer


The Rules

1. You comment on the blog in order to be entered into the drawing.
2. You must include whom you want to give the gift too. You do not have to name names or post their email information, just a short blurb about what they mean to you or why it’s important they receive it. You can be a real secret Santa as well.
3. Each drawing will last 24 hours unless otherwise noted. (7 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST)
4. Winners will be notified by email so make sure I have that or access to it via your profile. Upon notification, you let me know whom the gift is going to.
5. You may only win one giveaway, once you win one you cannot enter into anymore.
6. Spread the holiday cheer for everyone celebrating Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas and more.

Let Shannon Delany and the Daily Dose be a part of your holiday plans. Enter to win this fantastic bookmark for someone you love! Entries close at 7 a.m. Central on Tuesday, December 15.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway: Kitty Came Upon a Midnight Clear

What do you get with a werewolf named Kitty, a radio show and a fresh look at werewolves in literature? The answer is Carrie Vaughn's exciting first book in the Kitty Norville series: Kitty and the Midnight Hour. My husband picked this up on a whim because the title sounded like something I would read and as usual, he was right. I adored the fresh take on werewolves and supernatural politics set against the backdrop of a night time talk radio show.

Vaughn captures the nuances of talk radio, but adds wonderful spice with Kitty's very "normal" reactions to the supernatural world in which she exists. Today, Carrie Vaughn is giving away an autographed Kitty and the Midnight Hour with a bonus homemade CD of the playlist.

I think whomever you nominate for this gift is in for a real treat. Kitty and the Midnight Hour is the first in a series of six published novels with the seventh being released this January. If you're looking for a fresh take on werewolves, supernatural politics and sexy, fun humor, this is the series for you.

Kitty and the Midnight Hour

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station?and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it?s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew?

The Rules

1. You comment on the blog in order to be entered into the drawing.
2. You must include whom you want to give the gift too. You do not have to name names or post their email information, just a short blurb about what they mean to you or why it’s important they receive it. You can be a real secret Santa as well.
3. Each drawing will last 24 hours unless otherwise noted. (7 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST)
4. Winners will be notified by email so make sure I have that or access to it via your profile. Upon notification, you let me know whom the gift is going to.
5. You may only win one giveaway, once you win one you cannot enter into anymore.
6. Spread the holiday cheer for everyone celebrating Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas and more.

Let Carrie Vaughn and the Daily Dose be a part of your holiday plans. Enter to win this fantastic book and custom CD for someone you love! Entries close at 7 a.m. Central on Monday, December 14.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday Smackdown: Fairy Tale Style

In honor of The Princess and the Frog today, our Saturday Smackdown features two classic princesses that have inspired generations of girls for more than half a century each. Arguably, since both are based on classic fairytales that are centuries older than their animated counterparts, their influence is considerable on classic and modern romantic literature.

Fairy Tales

The beauty of a fairy tale is the transcendence from everyday life to a magical place or time where happily ever after is not only possible, it is required. As a culture, we love fairy tales; we love the idea of the underdog triumphing, of true love's first kiss and of love at first sight. We believe in men who will slay dragons to be with the one they love and of men who see beyond the shallow and innocuous to the true beauty that is within. You will find all of these qualities in our two superb fairy tale contenders. However, it is up to you to choose which one is the better.

One lucky commentator will win a $10 gift certificate to Amazon next Saturday just in time for that last minute shopping!

Cinderella

At a tender young age, Cinderella's father remarried a duchess to give his motherless child a mother and sisters. His title and wealth were a boon to his new wife, but she and her daughters often resented the close relationship Cinderella had with her father. When her father perished, the Duchess now controlled the household, the wealth and the position. She banished Cinderella from her fine rooms, fine clothing and possessions to live as a scullery maid, keeping care of her boorish sisters and cruel stepmother.

Despite her stepmother's every attempt, Cinderella's spirit remained strong. She found pleasure in the simple joys and worked tirelessly. When the King summoned every eligible maiden in the land to a ball for the Prince in hopes that his son would choose a bride, Cinderella's wicked stepsisters were all flutter. Of course, Cinderella wanted to go as well and since she was technically an eligible maiden, her stepmother couldn't forbid her.

Unfortunately, she did place numerous roadblocks in the way, loading her up with chores and preparations so that by the time of the Ball, the young girl would be too tasked to go. In the Disney Classic, Cinderella's animal friends finished her dress for her with cast offs from the sisters. Sadly, it was those cast offs that gave the wicked pair an excuse to shred the dress and abandon the miserable girl to her sobs as they flounced off to the Ball.

Enter the Fairy Godmother who gives Cinderella a wonderful wish from her fabulous gown to her pumpkin turned coach and animals transformed in coachman, footman and horses. She sends Cinderella off to the ball with the admonishment that the magic will evaporate at midnight. Thrilled to have this wonderful experience away from her drudge of a life, Cinderella arrives quietly at the palace.

The Prince is taken with her quiet shyness and gentle beauty. They dance, they talk and they share a wonderful evening, but at midnight, she flees from him and leaves only a glass slipper behind. Thus begins the Prince's quest to find the beautiful girl who so captivates him. Every woman in the land tries on the slipper and with a few mishaps (and in the bloodier versions sliced off toes), Cinderella is finally found and the shoe fits.

She and the Prince are wed and they live happily ever after.

Sleeping Beauty

In a faraway place, two Kings are the closet of friends. Nevertheless, one King (Disney calls him Stefan) and his wife are desperate for a child. When the Queen finally gives birth to a healthy baby girl, there is much rejoicing. The King invites everyone from far and near to come and celebrates the little Princess. She is betrothed to his good friend's young son: the Prince Phillip. The party is in full swing, with the good fairies giving their blessings only to have the third and final blessing interrupted by the arrival of Maleficent.

The dark fairy Queen was apparently left off the guest list by either accident or design. She is quite insulted at having been so left out of the festivities and uses her own dark magic to curse the baby. She promises that on her sixteenth birthday, the girl will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. That is her gift. The third fairy cannot undo the curse, but she does mitigate it. She says the princess will sleep, not die, until true love's kiss can wake her.

Now in the Disney version, Aurora is secreted away with the three good fairies to a humble cottage deep in the forests. She is rechristened Briar Rose and raised by her three old aunts. She enjoys wandering in the woods, gathering food, singing to the animals and living the simple life. The fairies keep her hidden so that Maleficent cannot force the curse to come true. They hope if she can make it through her sixteenth birthday without pricking her finger, then the curse will be broken.

Of course, Briar Rose encounters Phillip one afternoon and the two strike up a friendship and an attraction. The Prince has not seen his betrothed since he was a child and has no interest in marrying a stranger. He goes to tell his father of his plans, but the King is not interested in Phillip's infatuations. He wants Phillip to marry Aurora, end of story. Phillip heads back into the woods to meet with Briar Rose at the cottage, but finds it dark, cold and forbidding.

Maleficent has finally located the Princess and is laying in wait. She and her goblins take Phillip captive, chaining him in the dark castle, far away from Briar Rose whom he learns is Aurora. Maleficent uses her magic to lure Aurora to the top of a tower, where she pricks her finger and collapses into a deep sleep. Maleficent rubs it in that Phillip will be old and infirm before she will let him go – because only his kiss can rouse the sleeping Princess.

With the help of the good fairies, Phillip breaks free and armed with the sword and shield of Valor, he battles his way free of Maleficent's Keep and through the thick thorns barricading Aurora's castle. There, he confronts Maleficent in all her evil glory as she transforms into a dragon. In epic conflict, he slays the dragon and finds his way to Aurora's side where he wakes her with a single kiss. The pair then lives happily ever after.

Modern Magic

These tales continue to enchant with their timeless tales of magic, adventure and love conquering all. Which fairy tale reigns supreme? Only you can decide. Tell me, do you believe in magic?

So it's smackdown time, post your choice and all comments count towards winning a $10 Amazon gift certificate. The winner will be notified via email next week.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway: Come to Ashby and See

Remembering Ashby is a tale of love and passion that began as the backstory for the upcoming novel The Forgotten. As with all stories, it took on a life of its own. Melanie and Adam are very dear to my heart and their love story is one of sweet romance, rich history and tender passion. Today, I want to share this romance with someone you love. You may also enjoy the free short story that follows it and leads to the sequel. Discover Forget to Remember on my website.

Remembering Ashby

Peace among the clans has been nonexistent for the past centuries. But now that clan Lairds have decided to summon the God-touched people from their magical Isle to perform the rituals of Beltane to bless the peace talks between the clans, peace is within reach.

Melanie is honored to be chosen as one of six maidens to represent the Goddess at this important event. She is meant to be a vessel for the power of the Goddess while forgetting the failures of humanity during the festival. She knows should be concentrating on her part as a Maiden of the Hunt, yet she cannot banish the handsome Scot from her mind. Running in the Hunt is as sacred as the Goddess herself, and should her desires be known, there could be dire consequences for her and the clansman. However, she can’t find the will to deny his pull.

The mists of the Black Mountains enhance the excitement of their forbidden love while providing an escape from the Islanders encampment. Can they give in to their desires at the expense of their destinies?

Especially once The Sorcerer discovers their dalliance…

Reviews

Coffee Time Romance REVIEW

Heather Long creates memorable characters and a stunning storyline in Remembering Ashby. The way she depicts Melanie, I could visualize the expressions she bestows with each of her encounters. I could share in the sensation that Melanie felt when told she would be transported to a dangerous land. Adam’s struggle to capture her essence, and love her, is clearly shown in his actions. Ms. Long paints a land not hard to envisage in the mind. I really enjoyed the romance of Adam, and Melanie, and found it one that leaves a lifetime commitment.

Cherokee
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More


RT Book Reviews

This enchanting and heartfelt story will leave you breathless. It's an eloquent tale of two people coming to terms with their destinies. The well-written dialect and vivid descriptions make it easy to immerse yourself in the novel.

--Gail Purszkowski

Star Rating: 4 Stars - Sensual-ecataromance
By emilyh


Heather Long writes an exciting tale of forbidden love with a Scottish tone. The chemistry between the two main characters is sure to tantalize the reader.

Book Trailer



The Rules

1. You comment on the blog in order to be entered into the drawing.
2. You must include whom you want to give the gift too. You do not have to name names or post their email information, just a short blurb about what they mean to you or why it’s important they receive it. You can be a real secret Santa as well.
3. Each drawing will last 24 hours unless otherwise noted. (7 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST)
4. Winners will be notified by email so make sure I have that or access to it via your profile. Upon notification, you let me know whom the gift is going to.
5. You may only win one giveaway, once you win one you cannot enter into anymore.
6. Spread the holiday cheer for everyone celebrating Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas and more.

Let Heather Long and the Daily Dose be a part of your holiday plans. Enter to win this fantastic book for someone you love! Entries close at 7 a.m. Central on Saturday, December 12.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway: Frolic and Play, the Paranormal Way

Good morning, the weather outside is truly getting frightful as the cold snap seems to be here to stay in the United States. It was 25 degrees Fahrenheit in Texas yesterday morning -- brrrrr cold. But we've been handing out some hot books to ward off the chill all week and today is no exception. Joining us for today's giveaway is author Shirin Dubbin.

I met Shirin via Twitter over the summer when her book Keeper of the Way released. The story was delightful and the author even more so. I now count Shirin among my very dearest friends, few others out there really get me and she is definitely one that does. We often joke we're sisters from another mother. Her giveaway today is a wonderful combination of fae and vamps and weres, oh my! So let's frolic and play, the paranormal way! All books will be sent via Buy This Ebook For A Friend option on Fictionwise.

Check out the great eBooks that Shirin has picked out:


Keeper of the Way

Aftermath cleaner, Nia Mora, is destined to die--tonight. Severin, the inscrutable and utterly delicious harbinger of death has already arrived to bear witness? but damn his duty. He will not stand by and watch. Not when Nia Mora may be the Fae's last hope of survival. Damn Severin and his heroic delusions. Fae-tech mogul, Zan Wynn, is equally drawn to Nia'Mora and as the quintessential--yes, those are your panties dropping--bad boy he can't be bothered to play fair. Oblivious to her doom, Nia Mora's concern is for the missing Way, the very essence of the Fae and the reason they are trapped in the mortal world. That and the small matter of remaining single when she can't deny Severin's power over her or Zan Wynn's hypnotic pull. But is the nefarious Wynn a second potential mate or the prelude to her destruction?

Blood Vice

Business has never been better for hit man Karl Vance. Boston is awash in mafia blood, and Vance has a certain fondness for blood. He's a master vampire--one of the most powerful of his kind. Having sworn to never again feed on the blood of innocents, Karl preys instead on Boston's criminal underworld. Which makes him a valuable asset to those who deal in death. Maria Ricardi intends to use that asset to its full extent in order to gain power within her patriarchal crime family. Vance thinks he's been hired to keep track of the family's princess, but she's got a plan to get her hands dirty and earn the respect she deserves. And she's not above using their instant attraction to get what she wants. That driving ambition draws the attention of a rival clan's newest and most dangerous 'consultant.' Alejandro Delgado, Vance's centuries-old nemesis. Delgado zeroes in on the one chink in Vance's armor--his fondness for the headstrong Maria. When she becomes enslaved by Delgado's unnatural kiss, only one thing is certain. Vance has to decide which he wants more. To settle the score--or rescue her soul.

Moon Called
Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

The Rules

1. You comment on the blog in order to be entered into the drawing.
2. You must include whom you want to give the gift too. You do not have to name names or post their email information, just a short blurb about what they mean to you or why it’s important they receive it. You can be a real secret Santa as well.
3. Each drawing will last 24 hours unless otherwise noted. (7 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST)
4. Winners will be notified by email so make sure I have that or access to it via your profile. Upon notification, you let me know whom the gift is going to.
5. You may only win one giveaway, once you win one you cannot enter into anymore.
6. Spread the holiday cheer for everyone celebrating Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas and more.

Let Shirin Dubbin and the Daily Dose be a part of your holiday plans. Enter to win this fantastic book for someone you love! Entries close at 7 a.m. Central on Friday, December 11.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway: Do You Hear What Ian Hears?

Personally, I'm having so much fun with our Holiday Blog giveaway and today we are featuring author Nikki Duncan and her tremendous Sounds to Die By. Nikki is a great writer, a fun friend and definitely someone I enjoy talking to and reading. Give this tremendous e-book to someone you love this holiday season. The best part of the book is it is just the first in the series of her Sensory Ops so there are more hot tales to come.

What did I think of Ian and rookie FBI agent KIeralyn?

Sounds to Die By has a pulsing, rhythmic beat that mixes Boston sensibility with Miami sound machine to create a passionate movement that sustains throughout the novel.


Sounds to Die By

Rookie FBI Agent Kieralyn Beckett is in a delicate position. Her team refuses to buy into her theory that a string of kidnappings is connected. If she pushes too hard, they’ll discover the latest victim was her college roommate and boot her off the case. A garbled recording is the only evidence, and there’s only one man who can decipher it. The hard part will be convincing him to take the case.

Blinded as a child, NSA “listener” Ian Cabrera spends the majority of his time analyzing data while secretly searching for his father, a missing CIA operative. His plate is full, but Kieralyn’s passion and determination, as well as the erotic beat of her heart, spark his interest. So does the mention of his father’s code name on her recording.

There’s only one way to follow this new crumb-trail of clues without tipping her off about what he’s really after. Convince her she needs him to be her undercover partner, despite his handicap. Between her eyes and his ears, they make one beautifully orchestrated team. Every time they touch, though, the arousal they generate creates one red-hot element of distraction…

Book Trailer




The Rules

1. You comment on the blog in order to be entered into the drawing.
2. You must include whom you want to give the gift too. You do not have to name names or post their email information, just a short blurb about what they mean to you or why it’s important they receive it. You can be a real secret Santa as well.
3. Each drawing will last 24 hours unless otherwise noted. (7 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST)
4. Winners will be notified by email so make sure I have that or access to it via your profile. Upon notification, you let me know whom the gift is going to.
5. You may only win one giveaway, once you win one you cannot enter into anymore.
6. Spread the holiday cheer for everyone celebrating Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas and more.

Let Nikki Duncan and the Daily Dose be a part of your holiday plans. Enter to win this fantastic book for someone you love! Entries close at 7 a.m. Central on Thursday, December 10.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway: Red Kissmas

Smoking hot romance and fierce Spartan warriors are the main ingredients in these two tales of red-hot passion by Deidre Knight. Discover fresh characters and vibrant, emotional storylines. Knight's Red Fire and Red Kiss are tremendously smart and fun books to read. They kindle the imagination and are ideal for snuggling up with on a cold winter's night.

These books are ideal for fans of paranormal romance that like their stories engaging and smart heroes and perceptive heroines. Deidre has graciously offered to give away these two outstanding novels to someone you nominate. Give the gift of passion this holiday season.

Learn more about the Gods of Midnight:



Red Fire
A thrilling new series featuring seven immortal Spartan warriors protecting mankind— and confronting passion along the way...

Eternity has become a prison for Ajax Petrakos. Centuries after he and his Spartan brothers made their bargain for immortality, Ajax struggles to maintain his warrior's discipline. His only source of strength is his hope that he will soon meet the woman once foretold to him--the other half of his soul, Shay Angel.

Ajax searches for his destined mate on the haunted streets of modern-day Savannah, but he isn't the first to find her. Shay, the youngest of a powerful demon-hunting clan, can see the monsters that stalk the steamy Southern nights--an ability that draws the deadly attention of Ajax's worst enemy. As Shay and Ajax race to solve a chilling prophecy--one that could spell Ajax's death if they don't succeed--a fated passion arises, threatening to sweep away everything in its path.

Red Kiss

The Spartans wage fierce wars-but nothing matches the battle within their hearts...

Spartan slave River Kassandros can transform into any weapon. After a bloody battle, he's forever a dagger-until a mortal can release him. Drawn to this blade, Emma Lowery draws blood with it and frees River. But even as they fight off intense passions, a sinister power arises to destroy them. To protect humankind, they may have to make the ultimate sacrifice-and lose their chance at love...

The Rules

1. You comment on the blog in order to be entered into the drawing.
2. You must include whom you want to give the gift too. You do not have to name names or post their email information, just a short blurb about what they mean to you or why it’s important they receive it. You can be a real secret Santa as well.
3. Each drawing will last 24 hours unless otherwise noted. (7 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST)
4. Winners will be notified by email so make sure I have that or access to it via your profile. Upon notification, you let me know whom the gift is going to.
5. You may only win one giveaway, once you win one you cannot enter into anymore.
6. Spread the holiday cheer for everyone celebrating Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas and more.

Let Deidre Knight and the Daily Dose be a part of your holiday plans. Enter to win these fantastic books for someone you love! Entries close at 7 a.m. Central on Wednesday, December 9.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway: Maggie Christmas

Last week, the Daily Dose gave away Rosemary Clement-Moore's The Splendor Falls, this week we're offering the trilogy that earned Rosemary a RITA during the recent Romance Writers of America national convention. Her trilogy of books focusing on Maggie Quinn, a high schooler with a gift, a grandmother, stable parents and a hot young grad student who's interested in her.

The young adult series begins with Prom Dates from Hell where Maggie struggles with her awakening gifts and senior year (and not necessarily in that order). Hell Week follows Maggie through her first semester at college and the infamous hell week associated with pledging a Greek house. The third and final installment in her Girl vs. Evil trilogy is Highway to Hell and a Spring Break gone awry.

These books are laugh out loud funny, deliciously written and terrifically engaging. All three are autographed by the author and available as a gift to the person you nominate. Learn more about these terrific books:

Prom Dates from Hell

From School Library Journal: Under normal circumstances, Maggie Quinn would want nothing to do with the vicious, elite clique at her high school. But when the jocks and their girlfriends start falling prey to a series of situations ranging from embarrassing to potentially fatal, not to mention reeking of sulfur, the school newspaper reporter can't ignore the story.

In addition to being a Nancy Drew wannabe, Maggie has inherited her grandmother's sixth sense, as evidenced by the demon appearing in her dreams. Although she is initially reluctant to believe that anything supernatural is going on, her partnership with a paranormal-studies college student who is in one of her father's classes eventually leads her to a salt-throwing showdown with the demon and his minions at her senior prom. Maggie's transformation into a butt-kicking demon hunter is well drawn as is the budding romance with her partner. The pair launch into a routine set of investigations to reveal a weak backstory accounting for the origins of the demon that will not compel readers to suspend disbelief. The main draw of this book, however, is Maggie's sarcastic tone, which is dripping with wit on nearly every page. Sharp writing and a satirical portrayal of the high school social scene make this an enjoyable read in the vein of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."—Emily Rodriguez, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL

Hell Week

“[Teens] will devour Hell Week.”—School Library Journal

Maggie Quinn has battled an ancient demon, faced down psychotic cheerleaders, and saved her best friend from certain death, but nothing can match this. Formal sorority recruitment, otherwise known as rush.

And after facing hellfire, infiltrating sorority rush should be easy. But when she finds a group of girls who are after way more than “sisterhood,” all her instincts say there’s something rotten on Greek Row. And when Hell Week rolls around, there may be no turning back.

“Maggie’s snarky humor and quirky personality keep this novel’s first half light, but the second takes a dark page-turning twist as Maggie is forced to figure out the ancient source of the sisters’ power.”—Kirkus Reviews


Highway to Hell

Maggie Quinn was expecting to find plenty of trouble with Lisa over Spring Break. Give a girl a bikini, a beachfront hotel, and an absent boyfriend, and it’s as good as a road map to the dark side. But Maggie doesn’t have to go looking for trouble. Trouble has started looking for her. One dead cow and a punctured gas tank later, she and Lisa are stuck in Dulcina, Texas—a town so small that it has an owner. And lately life in this small town hasn’t been all that peaceful. An eerie predator is stalking the ranchland.

Everyone in town has a theory, but not even Maggie’s psychic mojo can provide any answers. And the longer the girls are stranded, the more obvious it becomes that something is seriously wrong. Only no one—not even Maggie’s closest ally—wants to admit that they could have been forced on a detour down the highway to hell.

The Rules

1. You comment on the blog in order to be entered into the drawing.
2. You must include whom you want to give the gift too. You do not have to name names or post their email information, just a short blurb about what they mean to you or why it’s important they receive it. You can be a real secret Santa as well.
3. Each drawing will last 24 hours unless otherwise noted. (7 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST)
4. Winners will be notified by email so make sure I have that or access to it via your profile. Upon notification, you let me know whom the gift is going to.
5. You may only win one giveaway, once you win one you cannot enter into anymore.
6. Spread the holiday cheer for everyone celebrating Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas and more.

Let Rosemary Clement Moore and the Daily Dose be a part of your holiday plans. Enter to win these fantastic books for someone you love! Entries close at 7 a.m. Central on Tuesday, December 8.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Daily Dose Holiday Giveaway: Angels We Have Heard on High

Thomas E. Sniegoski is one of my favorite authors. I had the pleasure of interviewing him in September. The multi-published author has titles that range from young adult to urban fantasy to comic books and graphic novels. He's even turned his pen to an Angel novel or two.

In honor of the holidays, he's giving away autographed copies of his Remy Chandler novels and his Owlboy novels for the kids. The series follows Billy Hooten who dreams of being a superhero. It's a fantastic set of books for parents and kids alike. Sniegoski is one of those rare authors that creates rich, vibrant characters that you imagine could walk off the page and have a conversation with you – when they aren't smiting the bad guys.

A Kiss Before Apocalypse

Boston P.I. Remy Chandler has many talents. He can will himself invisible, he can speak and understand any foreign language (including the language of animals), and if he listens carefully, he can hear thoughts.

Unusual, to say the least - for an ordinary man. But Remy is no ordinary man - he's an angel. Generations ago, he chose to renounce heaven and live on Earth. He's found a place among us ordinary humans; friendship, a job he's good at - and love.

Now he is being drawn into a case with strong ties to his angelic past. The Angel of Death has gone missing - and Remy's former colleagues have come to him for help. But what at first seems to be about tracing a missing person turns out to involve much more - a conspiracy that has as its goal the destruction of the human race.

And only Remy Chandler, formerly known as the angel Remiel, can stop it.

Dancing on the Head of a Pin

Still mourning the loss of his wife, fallen angel Remy Chandler has immersed himself in investigating dangerous supernatural cases. His latest: the theft of a cache of ancient weaponry stolen from a collector who deals in antiquities of a dark and dubious nature. The weapons, Remy knows, were forged eons ago and imbued with unimaginable power. And if they fall into the wrong hands, they could be used to destroy not only Heaven but also Earth.

Sniegoski is currently working on the third Remy Chandler novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread, and plotting a fourth. Stay tuned to this website for more information.

Billy Hooten Owlboy

Billy Hooten is a weird kid. He gets beaten up a lot, and spends the rest of his time doggedly trying to build a robot. One day, Billy Hooten hears a cry for help coming from the cemetery that borders his backyard. Against his better judgment, he runs toward it. And after that, everything changes for Billy Hooten. Because Billy Hooten, you see, is Owlboy. A quickthinking, goggle-and-feather-wearing superhero who protects the bizarre and monstrous citizens of Monstros City, a city that exists under Billy's hometown of Bradbury, Massachusetts. But is Billy truly worthy of the moniker Owlboy?

The Rules

1. You comment on the blog in order to be entered into the drawing.
2. You must include whom you want to give the gift too. You do not have to name names or post their email information, just a short blurb about what they mean to you or why it’s important they receive it. You can be a real secret Santa as well.
3. Each drawing will last 24 hours unless otherwise noted. (7 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST)
4. Winners will be notified by email so make sure I have that or access to it via your profile. Upon notification, you let me know whom the gift is going to.
5. You may only win one giveaway, once you win one you cannot enter into anymore.
6. Spread the holiday cheer for everyone celebrating Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas and more.

Let Tom Sniegoski and the Daily Dose be a part of your holiday plans. Enter to win these fantastic books for someone you love! Entries close at 7 a.m. Central on Monday, December 7.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday Smackdown: Holiday Style

It’s Saturday Smackdown time again here at the Daily Dose and I wanted to take a moment and thank all the authors who have contributed so far to the Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway and to the wonderful mothers, sisters, brothers, friends, mothers-in-law, grandmothers-in-law and more who have nominated the people in their lives to receive these great gifts. I really wish I had something to give to each and everyone!


Today, we take a short break from our giveaway to play Smackdown holiday style, but the giveaway will be back tomorrow with more gift certificates, more books, more movies and just more to share!


Saturday Smackdown: Holiday Style

Last month I posted my family’s Top Ten Holiday Flicks and Sara Reyes over at Fresh Fiction and I got into a debate on what I left off! It turns out, my Christmas list isn’t everyone’s. So we’re bringing the debate to you this week in an extra big, fun holiday smackdown. You pick the top movie, you let us know what you think and you will win a holiday movie of your choice (provided it is available on Amazon)!

Home Alone vs. A Christmas Story

Home Alone: Love him or hate him, but it’s every parent’s nightmare to forget your child and it’s every child’s dream to get the run of the house to themselves. So when his family leaves behind Kevin while they all hustle off to Paris for the holidays, major hijinks ensure. Kevin learns that as annoying as his family is, he loves them and that his crazy neighbor is just as lonely as he is. The stunts to keep the thieves out of his house are hilarious and Joe Pesci is a riot.

A Christmas Story: Set sometime during the holidays in 1940s Indiana, Young wants only one thing for Christmas, the Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Lightning Loader Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock.. He carefully plans, how to lay the groundwork for this while avoiding the dreaded rebuff, but hears "You'll put your eye out!" anyway. His relentless struggle for the one true gift is accompanied by many other stories and amusing details, a tongue-on-frozen-pole triple-dog dare, facing the local bully, the notorious leg lamp, the Santa slide, Peking Duck for Christmas, and more!

Both stories feature young men determined to make the most of their Christmas, both are resourceful and both are learning more about Christmas than they knew before. So is it Kevin or Ralphie for you?

Holiday Inn vs. White Christmas

These two movies have so much in common, not to mention Bing Crosby that it can be tough to choose between them!

Holiday Inn: In 1942, America was at war and Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby delivered this fantastic song and dance film scored by Irving Berlin and featuring the original “White Christmas” song release. Astaire and Crosby play partner/rival song-and-dance men who compete for the hand of their performing partner, played by Virginia Dale. After Crosby loses, he moves to the Connecticut countryside where he creates a resort that is only open on holidays and puts on the shows with the help of Marjorie Reynolds. Dumped by Dale, Astaire makes a drunken arrival at the inn on New Year's Eve and dances with Reynolds. He decides she'll be his new partner, but doesn't remember what she looks like, setting off a frenzied search at every subsequent show while the once-bitten Crosby does his best to steer him off track.

White Christmas: The music is a good reason to load up this classic, but then so are Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Set in the years after World War II, the duo has become a popular performing act, doing the circuit. They even hook up with a pair of sisters in a corny, cooky romantic subplot. But the real kicker is when they get word that their General, the man they followed into every battle during the War is in danger of losing his Inn in Vermont. Kaye and Crosby bring all their fellow soldiers in, jam packing the Inn and performing for free – why? Because they love him. What better reason is that?

The comparison between the films is obvious, the first was originally aired in Black and White and Astaire’s dancing is truly unmatched, but the music, the hilarity and songs are all there. Which one would you choose?

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation vs. Christmas with the Kranks

Two very different families and two very weird Christmases result when you get these people together.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: The third film in the National Lampoon Vacation series, we find Clark determined to have a fantastic Christmas despite his family and their attitudes as summed up in this quote: “Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!”

Christmas with the Kranks: The Kranks are that great suburban family that do up Christmas right every year, but then their daughter decides she is going to work with the Peace Corps in Peru, so the couple decides to avoid all the holiday gruff and bluff and skip the decorations. Their neighbors led by a hilarious Dan Ankroyd are bound and determined to get them back on the Christmas track (anyone who has a homeowner’s association can really appreciate this crazy mania). While nowhere near as funny as John Grisham’s novel “Skipping Christmas”, the film definitely touched my funny bone – particularly when they are frantically trying to get Christmas ready for their daughter who is now coming home.

The craziest things happen at the holidays. So is it National Lampoon or the Kranks for you?

Bonus: Share your favorite version of A Christmas Carol

So it's smackdown time, post your choices and all comments count towards winning a holiday movie for yourself. The winner will be notified via email next week.

The Hollows vs. Future Atlanta
Last week's smackdown pitted world against world and the race was neck and neck finally falling only slightly in favor of The Hollows. Hats off to Kim Harrison and Ilona Andrews for creating such incredibly vital worlds!

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Daily Dose Holiday Blog Giveaway: A Strangely, Beautiful Gift

Capping off this fabulous week of holiday blog giveaways is Leanna Renee Hieber. Leanna paid a visit to the Daily Dose for a fabulous conversation about her beautiful Victorian fantasy.

Today, Hieber is offering a signed copy of both of her books and a $10 dollar Barnes and Noble gift certificate as an exquisite gift package for someone you nominate.

Discover her beautiful books:

Visit The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow-white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered a portal to a new life, an education far from the convent—and an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death….

Discover Dark Nest

Winner of the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in published works of Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance in the Novella Category

Chief Counsel Ariadne Corinth has just found out her long-time lover, the powerfully gifted Chief Counsel Kristov Haydn, has died. Newly evolved psychically gifted humans have been sent by the Homeworld on a space mission aboard two distinct “Nests”. Relationships between the Light Nest and the Dark Nest have faltered and Ariadne is sure there’s something insidious behind it. In a matter of hours, Ariadne must find out what really happened to Kristov, unite her people to discover vast new powers the Homeworld denied them, or else submit to genocide.

The Rules

1. You comment on the blog in order to be entered into the drawing.
2. You must include whom you want to give the gift too. You do not have to name names or post their email information, just a short blurb about what they mean to you or why it’s important they receive it. You can be a real secret Santa as well.
3. Each drawing will last 24 hours unless otherwise noted. (7 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST)
4. Winners will be notified by email so make sure I have that or access to it via your profile. Upon notification, you let me know whom the gift is going to.
5. You may only win one giveaway, once you win one you cannot enter into anymore.
6. Spread the holiday cheer for everyone celebrating Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas and more.

Let Leanna Renee Hieber and the Daily Dose be a part of your holiday plans. Enter to win these fantastic books and gift certificate for someone you love! Entries close at 7 a.m. Central on Saturday, December 5.