Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hump Day Reading (and Breakfast) Recs?


(Look closely. There's a camel on that cover.)

Can you believe I've never read this book?

I know! How remiss of me, considering my affection for camels.

It's not that I don't like Elizabeth Peters--I do. I adore her Vicky Bliss novels. And I've long since devoured everything by her alter ego, Barbara Michaels.

But for some reason, I've never gotten into her Amelia Peabody books. Not really sure why.



Anyhoo, this is what Publisher's Weekly said about The Last Camel Died at Noon:

If Indiana Jones were female, a wife and mother who lived in Victorian times, he would be Amelia Peabody Emerson, an archeologist whose extraordinary adventures are guaranteed entertainment. This time Amelia, her handsome, fearless husband, Radcliffe, and their precocious 11-year-old son, Ramses, are in the Sudan, searching for archeologist Willoughby Forth, who disappeared 14 years earlier with his new wife. Rescued in the desert after every camel in their caravan dies, the Emersons are taken to a lost city where ancient Egyptian customs have been carried into modern times. There, entangled in two half-brothers' battle for the throne, Amelia and family fight for the freedom of the slave class while ferreting out the fate of Forth and his bride, and arranging to escape with their lives. Peters (The Deeds of the Disturber), who also writes as Barbara Michaels, laces her usual intricate plotting with Amelia's commonsense approach to hygiene and manners, and coyly delicate references to vigorously enjoyed connubial pleasures. Combining a fierce affection for her family with indefatigable independence, stalwart Amelia proves once again an immensely likable heroine.

 Sounds pretty good to me. Have any of you read it? Would you recommend it? Are there any other camel-related books you'd like to recommend?

Alternate questions for those of you who don't give a darn about books with camels:

What did you have for breakfast this morning? 

Was it good? 

Would you have preferred something else? (Perhaps French toast with strawberries and whipped cream?)

Because I haven't eaten yet, so I'm looking for breakfast recs, too.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day


I'm remembering. I hope you are, too. :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Confessions of a Lazy Housekeeper

 Some people have imaginary friends. I have an imaginary maid. Her name is Fifi, and she's been with me for years.

I talk a bit more about Fifi today at The Debutante Ball, where this week's topic is Spring Cleaning. (Hey, I don't do spring cleaning, and I had to talk about something.)

Geez, the things you find yourself confessing when you're desperate for a blog topic...

Fifi does imaginary housework for me while I play with my imaginary friends in the imaginary world of my books. (At least the books are real.) After a morning and/or afternoon spent tappity-tapping on my laptop in my "office" (DD's old bedroom) upstairs, I wander downstairs, look around me, and imagine my house is clean. (It helps if I squint.)

How does housework play into your life? Do you love it? Hate it? Tolerate it? Ignore it completely? Do tell!

(Warning: If you have a real maid, my imaginary maid is going to be very jealous.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flying Camels!

So, you know I went to an air show over the weekend. (Well, you know if you read my Monday post. If you didn't, this is the first you're hearing of it.)

But I'll bet you didn't know I came across a camel there. Oh, yes I did! And here it is:


That, my friends, is a Sopwith Camel. (Photo courtesy of TG & his handy-dandy smart phone.) It's a WWI British single-seat biplane fighter, introduced in 1917. Cool, huh? (I think it's hanging upside down so you can see the pretty part.)

And, for those of you not especially fascinated with airplanes, here's a "Soap with Camel":



And for those of you longing for the real thing:


Can I get an AWWWWW?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Taking Rude Poetry to a Higher Plane

Guess what I did over the weekend! Go ahead, GUESS!

Here's a clue:

video


That's "Chuckie" the B-17.

Which reminds me of the poems I, along with my fellow Air Force brats, used to recite to the new recruits on base when we were kids:

Roses are red,
Spinach is green.
You have a nose
Like a B-17.

(Hey, there's a reason we were called Air Force brats.)

Anyway, if you guessed "The air show at The Virginia Military Aviation Museum," you'd be right. The show was called "Warbirds Over the Beach," and it was amazing! Seeing all those old planes in person, and watching some of them fly, was an incredible experience. 

My favorite part? The 84-year-old pilot who flew the Corsair. Wow! In-effin'-credible! Truly an inspiration. 

Not only were there loads of airplanes, but there were also WWII reenactors wandering around in the uniforms and clothing of the era, with encampments set up on the grounds. Even our allies were represented:


If you can't read that sign in the pic, it says "1st Canadia Para Bn. Canadian spoken here. (English understood.)" 

Fun times!

Have you ever been to an air show?

Have you ever made up an inappropriate poem about a body part? 

Would you like to? Please feel free to leave one* in the comments!**


*A poem, I mean. Not an air show. It would be tough to leave one of those in the comments.

**Risque acceptable, crudity not. Not that I wouldn't likely guffaw (loudly) at the crude ones, but out of consideration for my more genteel readers. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Can Be a Real Mother. (With Bonus Cake Pic.)

And I mean that in the best possible way. I even wrote about it over at The Debutante Ball today. Click here to see for yourself.

See, my darling daughter's birthday was yesterday, and it made me realize I have now been a mother longer than I haven't. Wow. How'd that go by so fast?

Anyway, we'll be seeing our Fabulous Firstborn this weekend (YAY!). If I were a good mother, I'd make her a cake like this:


Because she's very into airplanes.

Or maybe a cake like this:


Because she's a super-talented knitter.

Or even one like this:


Or:



Because, yannoh, dragons. And Star Trek. How cool would that be? 

But, alas, I do not have that kind of cake-decorating mojo, so TG and I (and her little brother (who's way bigger than she is) too) will take her out to dinner instead. And get her whatever dessert she wants. :)

What would your theme cake be?

(Mine would be a stack of books. Or a laptop. Or maybe horses. I like horses.)

Have a wonderful weekend! :)

UPDATED to add this BREAKING NEWS: Kimberly Sabatini is giving away an ARC of In a Fix on her blog today. If you'd still like to get your hands on your own copy, click here. Oh, and tell her I said hi. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hump Day Contrariness

How's this guy for Wednesday's camel?


Doesn't this picture just scream "I don't wanna and you can't make me!"

I feel like that sometimes. (Okay, every time there's cooking or cleaning on the agenda.)

How about you? What's the last thing you just did not want to do, and really dug your heels in about?

Or, for the writers among you, has a character ever done this to you (If so, who won? You or your character?)

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Monday Moose

You know what your Monday needs this week?

A MOOSE.


Why, no, now that you mention it, I didn't write a blog post yesterday and schedule it to go up today. Give me a break. It was Mother's Day. I busy eating chocolate truffles ...



... drinking a Blanhattan (a Manhattan made with my favorite single barrel bourbon) ...



...AND dreaming up interesting desserts to be made with this:


I mean, come on ... alcohol-infused whipped cream? And it's chocolate? Wheeee....!

Hmm ... maybe a topping for a nice chocolate moose. ;)

Hope you had a great weekend!

Oh, wait. The question.

Um, what is the best plural for moose?

A. moose

B. mooses

C. meese

D. I never talk about more than one, anyway, so I don't care.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Verifictionary Friday, Anyone?


Hmm. We haven't added anything to the Verifictionary lately, have we? Shall we see what fodder the blogosphere's word verification software has provided?

These may not be real words, but that doesn't mean I can't define them:

asocarma -- What will happen to your ass in the next life if you screw up in this one. 

eariest -- the one with the biggest ears. (Duh. That one was too easy.)

eholi -- what the e-deity is.

epang -- what you get when you surf gourmet food sites long enough to get ehungry.

epube -- um, yeah. Moving right along...

ideack -- someone who is just chock-full of crazy notions.

ivive -- when your iPad lives on and on.

sizedeva -- someone inordinately pleased to be a "0" or even a "00."

slobeg -- opposite of the fast beg, typically beginning with "Pleeeeeaaaazzzze..."


So, have you run across any good security "words" while blog-hopping lately? Do share!

Oh, and if you get a chance, stop by and see me at The Debutante Ball. It's Deb Molly's launch week for The Princesses of Iowa, and she's giving away a copy to one of this week's commenters. I've read it, and it's really good!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Happy Hump Day IN A FIX ARC Tour! Plus, a Very Important Dance Question

So, again I want to thank everyone who participated in the ARC contest. That was really fun for me, and it makes me happy that you want to read In a Fix. Like I said, I wish I had a copy to send to each and every one of you.

Alas, I don't. And, frankly, the postage would kill me.

BUT there is a way (actually, a couple) you can still read early, if you're game.

One of my writer friends, the super-sweet bad-ass Karla Nellenbach, suggested an ARC tour. She even said she'd handle the details for me. You know how happy that makes me?

THIS Happy:


It'll go something like this:

1. If you'd like to read the ARC, it will be mailed to you. (If you happen to live in the US, that is. Out of US-ers, stay tuned. There may still be a way.)

2. When you're finished (maybe taking no more than a week? don't worry--I've been told it's a very fast read), you send it to the next person on the list (name and address supplied by either Karla or me via email). I think there'll be a place inside the book where you can sign your name, so I'll have a Really Cool souvenir when the book gets back to me!

3. Sometime in the future (a little closer to the September 4th release date), mention In a Fix on some social media platform, whether it's your own blog, a Goodreads review, Twitter, Facebook, or a bookselling site, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Just give your honest opinion of it--you're not required to blow smoke up my nether region.*

That's it!

*Bear in mind that "Boy, that's a book all right--it has pages and everything!" is honest. No need to go into painful detail if you think it's a loathsome piece of ... um, dreck.

So, if you're interested in participating (and I'd LOVE it if do!), just email me at linda(dot)grimes(at)gmail(dot)com, and I'll put you on the list. First come, first serve. :)

Oh, and for book bloggers who may live out of the US, I've learned that In a Fix will be on NetGalley soon(ish). If you'd like to read and review it on your book(ish) site, and don't mind reading electronically, let me know and I'll have my publicist put your name on the list of approved readers. 

(In other news, Tor assigned me a publicist! Yes, I've been dying to use "my publicist" in a sentence. Because, whoa, just typing it kind of gives me a little "this is really happening" tingle.)

Let's see, have I left out anything?

Oh, yeah. Today's question:

If you HAD to dance in a public place (we're talking no choice--like, the world would end if you don't), which dance would you choose:

A.  The Charleston

B. The Bump

C. The Hokey-Pokey

D. The Chicken Dance

E. The Macarena

F. I'd Zumba, and pretend it's dancing.

G. All of the above

H. None of the above (heck, the world has to end sometime)

Monday, May 7, 2012

And the WINNER of the IN A FIX ARC is...

First of all, thank you to everyone who entered! It's extremely flattering to have real live people actually want to read my book!

(Okay, I suppose I'd be flattered if any fake dead people wanted to read In a Fix, too, but frankly I'm rather glad I wasn't contacted by any. Because that would be, yanno, creepy as hell.)

So, what I did is write every entrant's name down once for saying they wanted the ARC, again if they follow my blog, and a third time if they played along with the "What do you want Ciel to do for you?" game. (Most made me laugh, and one broke my heart. They were all awesome.)

Then I numbered all the names I wrote down, and went to Random.org to have it pick the number for me. Well, actually, TG went to Random.org, and I told him the number range, and he pressed the button, so it was even more out-of-my-hands fair. So if you didn't win, blame him.

(I was going to toss slips of numbered paper on the ground and see which one the neighbor cat...



 ...chewed up first, but that seemed chancy. I mean, what if the cat tried to swallow it, and choked? Then I'd have to take the time to explain to the neighbors why I killed their cat, and they probably wouldn't be sympathetic, no matter how important I think my ARC Giveaway is.)

And so, without further ado...

(Unless you'd like some more ado? Because, really, can you ever have too much ado? Ado is FUN, especially on a Monday. Because, as a rule, Mondays are kind of crappy. Hmm...does that mean Mondays need further ado-doo?)

*ahem* Sorry. Never mind all that. Try to pretend I never even said it.

Drum roll, please!

Okay, without further-further ado ...

The winner of this very ARC of IN A FIX:



IS ...

#6

Oh, wait. You don't know your numbers, do you?

Okay, the winner is ...

Kerry Schafer!!!



Kerry, if you'll email me your address at linda(dot)grimes(at)gmail(dot)com, I'll send you the ARC. And remember, if you don't like it, just pretend you never got it.;)

Those of you who didn't win, don't be crushed (ha! as if, huh?), because there is still a way to get your hands on an early reading copy. Stay tuned. Later this week I'll tell you how!

And now for today's question:

Would you rather be chased by a grizzly bear or a great white shark? 

Friday, May 4, 2012

IN A FIX ARC Giveaway!

I've had a heart-warming number of requests for Advance Reader Copies of In a Fix. It kind of freaks me out that people actually, yanno, want to read my book.

No, that's not false modesty, which, btw, makes me gag. It's just that when the whole journey to publication takes as long as it has, you (and by "you" I mean "I") start to feel like your book is your secret playmate. The imaginary friend no one else can see.

Then you get these actual physical copies of the book, and suddenly it's real, not imaginary, and other people want to play with your friend!

If I had enough copies, I'd send an ARC to each and every person who wanted one. Alas, my publisher won't let me do that. They have some crazy idea about this eventually being a money-making venture. (Which, I have to say, TG heartily agrees with. He keeps reminding me that he'd like to retire one day.)

Sooo, I thought could hold a simple little contest, and the winner will get an ARC, either signed or not (winner's choice). Heck, I'll even inscribe it however the winner likes.

(Um, within reason. I won't, for instance, write "I.O.U. a million dollars" and then sign my name beneath it. But I will, say, go as far as to call you "Cutie Pie" or "Genius Head" or "My most brilliant blog follower," if that's what you want.)

Anyway, if you'd like a chance to win this ...


...all you have to do is leave a comment telling me so.

You get an extra entry if you follow my blog. (Yes, you can go ahead and follow now, if you don't already. I won't be offended. Heck, I'll probably be flattered.) So tell me if you follow my blog, and I'll add another entry to the pot for you.

And, let's see, something else...okay, I know. My MC's job title is "Facilitator." She fixes other people's problems for a living. As them. (She can do that because she's an aura adaptor--a kind of human chameleon. Click here to read more about the book.)

So, for an extra-extra entry, if you could hire Ciel to fix a problem for you, as you, what would you have her do?

(Me? I'd have her fill in at my first book signing, in case nobody shows up and I'm left sitting there, sweating and smiling awkwardly. Because that's a scenario I'd really love to avoid.)

Contest will be closed Sunday, May 6, at midnight EDT. I'll announce the winner Monday.

P.S. OH! I almost forgot to point you over to my Debutante Ball post. This week we're talking about temptation. Oooh-la-lah! And there are pictures. *nudge-nudge, wink-wink*

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Return of the Camels!

Happy First Hump Day of May, everyone!

So, didja miss the camels? Well, they're ba-aack!

Today's camel seems entirely appropriate to me:


Because, yes, April ate my head. At least, that's what it felt like. Ugh. Ever have one of those months?

But it's over, and I'm determined to make May a much better month. It's already off to a promising start, because something came in the mail yesterday.

I couldn't wait to dig into the package ...



... and this is what I found:


My Advance Reader Copies! 

[For those of you not in the publishing biz, ARCs are the first printing of a book by the publishing house. They're not in absolute final form, but pretty close. These are the copies sent to reviewers (ack! *bites knuckle*) in advance of the official publication date, which, in my case, is September 4.]

Of course, I had to speed read one right away:


All right, all right. I wasn't really speed reading it. I was just fondling it a little bit. Because, yanno, it's a real book!!

I have to tell you, holding your own book for the first time, after the very long journey from writing it to publication, is a very odd feeling. You realize this thing is a separate entity from you, that it will be going out into the world and having a life of its own, with readers you don't even know, without you there to hold its hand.

Er, not to anthropomorphize overly much or anything ...

Still, it's WAY COOL. So, yeah, today I haz a happy. :)

How have you guys been? Anything exciting happen while I've been scarce?