Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop. Enter whether you've been naughty or niiice. #Prizes #Vibrizzio

Welcome to the Mid-winter's Eve Giveaway Hop sponsored by the I am a Reader blog and organized by Mary at Bookhounds.net.

Things are getting pretty exciting with my upcoming Chick-lit love story with good vibrations, Vibrizzio.

"Lyssa Bates doesn’t need a man. Not when the world is fully-stocked with double A batteries and a wide array of options in Amazon’s health and sexual wellness category."

The big cover reveal will be on January 23---sign up at Xpresso Book Tours---and all sorts of fun things will follow. You can now read a very few teensy excerpts at my website (I'd put them in this post but I'm afraid they might cross a line on the G-rating of this hop).

To enter my giveaway, just follow the link in the Rafflecopter below to check out the full blurb for Vibrizzio at Goodreads---if it sounds like your cuppa, please add it to your to-read list. The prizes are a $5 gift card to Amazon, a choice of eBook (either Three Daves, a New Adult romance, or Divine Temptation, a love story of angelic proportions), and a beaded owl charm bookmark like the ones pictured to the right.

Since Three Daves is set in the 80s, I'll leave you with this super cheesy video that still makes me giggle three decades later. Merry Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More fabulous prizes to be had at these participating blogs:

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A Day Late & a Million $$ Short: Finale #Survivor

And so we have the predictable end to an unpredictable season. Overall I'd say San Juan Del Sur ranks about middling for me amongst all Survivors. It was fairly boring up until the merge, then it got interesting...but in really weird ways. It's dissapointing that of the final five, Natalie was really the only one still playing the game (but props to Jac for the impressive comeback win in the final challenge). It's pretty bad when Nat had to resort to making supposed "big" moves just to do something.

A trend in the game that I'm not personally excited about is the making of big moves simply for the sake of making them. Sometimes they're necessary to get to the finals, sometimes they're not, and I can appreciate a player who's stayed on the right side of alliances the whole way through whether or not they've had to make a big move to be there. Natalie's strength in the game was her subtle play and quiet manipulation. In my opinion she didn't need the big moves to be the strongest Survivor standing.

I was thinking about Natalie's "big" moves, and I'm not sure any of the them actually did anything to improve her position. Let's have a look at them, shall we? (Please let me know if I've left any out).

First was Alec. She said Alec was enamored with Jon & Jac, but he'd already shown his willingness to screw over Jon at an earlier vote. She thought she'd have more loyalty from Keith, which is probably true, but his big mouth was unpredictable and made him dangerous as an ally. Also, Alec wasn't nearly the threat that Keith was in challenges, and we all saw how desperate she was to get Keith out in the final five, so I'm not convinced she improved her position by prolonging unpredictable Keith's time in the game.

Next was Jon. That vote improved her position, but it wasn't really all that big of a move now, was it? The edit showed Missy being hesitant, but come on, she wasn't not going to vote him out. He had the idol that he'd have played the next tribal so this was their very last chance. Getting him out earlier would've been bigger.

Finally, giving the idol to Jac and voting out Baylor. That was pure showboating---which juries are encouraged to reward whether or not the move serves a purpose, so it is good strategy from that standpoint, buuuuut it did absolutely nothing to improve Natalie's position and could've possibly even hurt it. First, she sent someone to jury who absolutely wouldn't vote for her unless Missy landed there on the next vote. Second, Baylor had been her loyal little puppy since they'd met at Exile Island! In no way could Nat trust Jac more than Baylor.

I guess that's all I have to say about this season. I'm looking forward to the White Collar, Blue Collar, No Collar angle for next season! How about you?

Nicki has spoken. 


Two Days Late & a Million $$ Short #Survivor

If Jon has learned one lesson from this game, I hope it's to LISTEN TO HIS GIRLFRIEND! It must've been fun for those two to watch that episode together. Moreso for her than for him.

Since this is my last post pre-finale, I'm going to break down the remaining five from the perspective of a jury member---i.e. if I were on the jury and knew everything I currently know, would I give her/him my vote for the mil at the final tribal council?  This is NOT necessarily how I see the real jury voting.

Baylor - No vote from me. She's been spunky but has been led like a little lamb the whole way through.

Jaclyn - Too wishy washy. No vote from me. It's good to be flexible & willing to make big moves but she relied too much on the swing vote position and didn't build depth in alliances with anybody but Jon, who she knew was a primo target.

Missy - She hasn't been my favorite, but I could see possibly voting for her. She formed solid alliances and made herself the most trusted player, earning valuable inside info. Playing on through the busted ankle and never considering quitting doesn't hurt my opinion of her.

Natalie - She probably deserves the win the most of anybody left. She played a quiet strategy, earning the solid trust of others along the way. I was frustrated that she didn't make her move against Jon earlier, but I can see why she wanted to wait until more of the wildcard players were eliminated before moving against her solid alliance. After seeing how she played the Alec vote off as an accident, I sort of see why she didn't make the bold Jac move last week---but it was awfully risky to hope that Jon wouldn't win immunity. She earns points back for having been the one to beat him after returning from two days at Exile.

The only reason I might not vote for Nat is because of personality. At various points throughout the game, she's come off as mean-spirited and a blatant suck up. It's one thing to get rankled over a competitor that's bested you, but many of her comments about Jon are too personal and just plain mean. Certain of her actions, like giving up rewards and volunteering for Exile, were truly vomit-worthy in their obvious suckuppage. I don't think Survivor winners need to necessarily be nice people, but I do like to see stronger character than what I've seen in Natalie.

Keith - I can't imagine a scenario in which I wouldn't vote for Keith if he made it to the final. Yes, he's made some really, really horrendous mistakes, but he's also shown that he can learn. He was awesome at this week's tribal! He's great at challenges, and let's not forget he found that hidden immunity idol and kept it a better secret than almost any other player in the history of the game. Well, until we found out that he held onto the note, der. But come on, who doesn't love an underdog? Not to mention that in the end, we can see that he's a truly good guy. He was so great with Missy after she got hurt and even won over little Baylor. He made some chauvenistic mistakes earlier in the game but seems to have ended with a decent social game.

Nicki has spoken. Who do you want to see win it all? Who do you predict for a final three?


Two Days late & Still a Million $$ Short: Episode 11 #Survivor

This week, though it was a double episode, I've just got one question - WHY didn't anybody talk about voting out Jaclyn? As soon as Jon won immunity, it was like Jac became invisible. If Natalie was willing to show her hand by voting Alec, why didn't she take it a step further and actually accomplish something by voting Jac, thus weakining her prime target?

As I typed that, I had a thought about a possible reason. Nat knows Jon has a hidden idol...right? Is it possible she thought he might be spooked enough from tribal last week to give it to Jac? She wouldn't have had enough support to split the vote between Jac & Kieth or Jac & Alec, so maybe she didn't want to take that chance??

I give a salute to Reed for playing hard till the bitter end. And dammit, I'm back on the Keith train. He does't have any idea how to do subtle, but he does his best to get into peoples' heads, and he's kicking bum at the challenges against all those young 'uns. If he makes it to the final tribal, I'd give him my vote over anybody else still in the game.



Claiming Excalibur

This week is the promo tour for Claiming Excalibur by LH Nicole, the upcoming sequel to Legendary (featured here during the Realms Faire). Claiming Excalibur's release date is set for December 16. On that day, you'll find excerpts and other fun stuff at my Facebook page.

Today you can:

I asked LH one simple question: If you had to choose one song that best captures the essence of the Legendary saga, what would it be?  Here's her answer:

Meet LH Nicole 

I am a seasoned Pastry Chef in our nation’s capital and a lifelong fairytale (Disney and Grimm) lover, believes in love at first sight, is addicted to 80’s & 90’s cartoons and anything that can capture my ADD-way-to-overactive-imagination. Joan Lowery Nixon and L.J. Smith were the first authors I became addicted to and who inspired me to steal away whenever I could to read and write. 


Legendary is a story I've had in head for years. The idea came to me during an english project about you guessed it- Arthurian legends. My teacher was against web research and allowed us to use textbooks only. I discovered different ways to spell the characters names, including Mordred. There are five spelling variations that I found, and I chose to use one that is much less known: Mordrid.

Other names I kept the same, and some I changed for the sake of the story. My reason for changing the names and/or spellings is this: my Knights of the Round Table, their enemies and allies are very different from what people are used to. I don't want to offend Arthurian purists and the "Arthurianlegend/history."

Legendary is pure fiction, straight from my imagination. I took some liberties with the different stories and incarnations. I changed the things I didn't like to the way I wanted them to be. I changed things to make them my own creation and tell you a new story. Hence Legendry’s summary "everything she thought she knew about Arthurian legends was wrong."

Tumbler * Twitter * Blogger * Goodreads *


#IWSG: I Heart Writing and #FeedTheHungryEH 

Welcome to the December 2014 meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group, brainchild of Alex J. Cavannaugh. I hear there's big news about the new guide a whole bunch of us contributed to, so head over to Alex's or the IWSG website for details.

Last month I told you about my own private NaNoWriMo, in which I vowed to spend 90 unplugged minutes a day writing. I'm happy to tell you that I succeeded in doing just that. I didn't set any word goals, just required myself to move forward each day, so I'm rather surprised to find that during the month of November I added 30K words to my WIP.

I actually found that it was good for me to set an upper limit on my writing time. On the few days when I had hours stretched in front of me to do nothing but write, my progress was sluggish. When I knew that I absolutely had to stop writing at the end of 90 or 120 minutes, I wrote with a greater sense of urgency and  therefore was more focused.

The best thing about this NaNo excercise was that it helped me give myself permission to make writing a priority. Instead of my writing getting lost at the bottom of the never-ending pile of to-do's, it was right up near the top.  And you know what? It's going to stay there through December. Because I'm knee-deep and totally in love with this story---and determined to finish draft one by the end of the year.

Whassup with you this month?

Before you go, please check out the cyber food drive sponsored by MJ Joachim at Effectively Human and consider joining in the effort. All you have to do is post about your local food bank on your social networks Dec. 4-6. I'll be promoting the Northern Illinois Food Bank. #FeedTheHungryEH at my Facebook page & on Twitter.