Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tuesday Musings...Merry Christmas!

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet in the snow, stood puzzling, how could it be so?  It came without ribbons.  It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled 'til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.  What if Christmas, perhaps, doesn't come from a store.  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."

Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Musings...

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
Albert Einstein

Saturday, December 15, 2012

New Review: TBR A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

From Amazon.com:

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares. Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.
There is a pile, that is actually a pretty impressively large pink and orange box, filled with a lonely pile of TBR's.  The dreaded To Be Read Pile.  Innocently enough, this pile began as a place to gather the books lovingly purchased at a local bookstore's closing.  Then, as these things often do, it took on a life of it's own.  A sad almost Island of Forgotten Toys kind life.  New inhabitants arrived sometimes daily.

This is where A Brush of Darkness ended up.  It had always been on my radar.  I love a good cover, and when this book originally had it's book birthday, there was a bit of buzz about the outrageous (cover your eyes for heaven's sake!! *sarcasm*) outfit the main character, Abby had on.  This amused me, and had to check it out to see what the fuss was all about. 

The story piqued my interest, and became a line on my must read list.  Which lead to, unfortunately, a trip to the TBR pile.  (Cue the dreaded music!)

Fast forward to last week.  Stuck in my book slump, feeling simply annoyed with the few I had close by, I ventured towards that poor pile of lonely books.  And there it was.

Two days later (give me a break here, my one year old likes Goodnight Goon and Where's Baby's Christmas Present right now!!), I became blissfully recharged in my reading vacation status.

Rarely do I actually read almost every single word of the book I'm currently reading.  But, I devoured Abby's story like it was my favorite pretzel covered in dark chocolate covered with M&M's with a side of Dr. Pepper.

My, oh my...from the moment Brystion walks into Abby's life (she also better hide that enchanted iPod from me.  Just sayin.), the smolder and shivering made it almost impossible to put A Brush of Darkness down.  Add to that a missing Protectorate, a horny lil unicorn, an overprotective angel, and a host of OtherWorld drama that somehow manages to build a world without having to over explain every single detail and you have the perfect solution to a book slump.

And the steamy?  Sigh.  Sexual tension is one thing, but this is tangible run your fingers all over and enjoy every single secong "no regrets" that never seems to end.

The best part of waitng so long to get on board?  The next two books are already out.

Oh, yeah....

Check out the In The Dreaming website for more info...


Friday, December 14, 2012

Different Ways

Ever notice that you can ask two different people directions to the same place, you often get two entirely different routes?
Are they both right?
As I've journeyed along my bellydance path, I often find that different teachers suggest similar techniques for some moves (a shoulder shimmy is pretty standard) but have variations as well.  For that shoulder shimmy, do you just isolate the actual shoulder itself, or can you use the pectoral muscles to add sharpness?
Early on, one of my teachers (who I loved dearly!) taught a beginner's second level class.  It was fun, but in all honesty, it felt like I was doing the same movement over and over without the next level growth I had been expecting.  Move your shoulders back and forth only advanced to place your hands in a doorway to help isolate your shoulders. 
This wasn't necessarily wrong, but I realized that I needed more.  I learned differently, and processed things better when I had technical instructions. 
Just using your "shoulders" to shimmy produced a soft, gentle shoulder shimmy.  Adding in the pectoral muscles gave the movement power and allowed accents to bring it to another level.
Was either of these wrong?  Nope.  They were both right. They just produced different results and increased my dance "vocabulary."
Art is somewhat subjective, and having the basic tools mastered allows you to bring different levels to your creation. And learning from different teachers only expands your vocabulary.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas On Wherever Island Excerpt Tour & Giveaway!!!

An outrigger cut through the surf. The tallest boys ran into the waves and pulled the boat onto the sand. Through the crowd of children, Marti saw a tall, sturdy man in red shorts and a T-shirt jump from the boat. From the neck up he was a traditional Santa. White beard and red hat contrasted his black skin. Cliff and Marti watched children receive small gifts and candy from the boat and rush off.
Cliff called out. “Does Santa Mon have presents for big children?” He took Marti's hand and drew her close to Santa, whose puckish grin and green eyes reminded Marti of the Chicago ticket seller.
Santa nodded. “Christmas is a time of giving. So true. What gift does the gentleman have for his beautiful lady?”
Marti felt her face flush and wondered if Cliff blushed in the dark. How embarrassing that the Santa thought they were a couple. Cliff knelt and scooped wet sand. With a smile he stood and placed a perfect white scallop shell in her hand.
“A fine gift for your lady.” Santa nodded, pushed his boat into the water and called, “Merry Christmas to all,” and was gone.
Marti smiled at Cliff. “Ah...thanks.”
He looked at her. “Santa Mon was right. For a beautiful lady.” He leaned forward.
She turned to the side and his lips met her cheek. In this amazing romantic setting a handsome man kissed her and she desperately wanted to kiss him back. But she refused to be seduced by a tropical moon and ocean breeze. A vacation fling was not her style. She was loyal. She was loyal to Ben and ignored the voices inside her head reminding her Ben was with his wife.
Cliff whispered, “I'm sorry, Marti. That wasn't a good idea.”
She nodded and dropped the seashell. He bent and stuffed the shell in his pocket.
The hotel desk clerk walked past, calling in a sing-songy rhythm, “Time for Christmas cake! Santa Mon's lucky Christmas cake!”
Marti began to follow him.
“Wait!” Cliff took her arm. “The sun is ready to drop below the horizon. You must watch.”
“Yes,” the manager said, “you may see the green flash.”
“That's not real.” Marti was sure she'd read the green flash was a myth.
“The green flash is real.” Cliff nodded. “If you see one, they say your life will never be the same.”

About The Author:

Amber Polo has had a lifelong love affair with libraries and dogs. A fascination with lost ancient libraries and curiosity about why werewolves outnumbered dog-shifters in literature inspired her new urban fantasy series filled with librarian dog-shifters.


"Released" Book One of The Shapeshifters' Library celebrates St. Nicholas Eve as a magic night for the dog-shifters. They celebrate in the old style with wassail, gingerkucken, and old fashioned traditions.  Share their fun. Read The Shapeshifters’ Library Book One.



Enter to win a copy of The Shapeshifters’ Library, a Starbarks Coffee Hound mug, plus some treats for your favorite dog.


Rafflecopter Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy links for Released:

Book Trailer for Christmas On Wherever Island: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4enl721U0s