Through the magic of random.org, the winner is
I’ve emailed you, so watch your in box and spam filter. Or just email me your mailing information.
Now, go enter the contest for Susan Crandall’s PITCH BLACK plus a surprise.
Where Quiet Dignity is on Indefinite Hiatus
Today’s contest is for a signed copy of Susan Crandall’s Pitch Black PLUS a surprise.
In an effort to give her newly adopted teenage son, Ethan, a fresh start, Philadelphia journalist Madison Wade relocates to a small Tennessee town. When Ethan goes on a camping trip with three other teens and returns without their chaperone, Ethan’s past casts him as suspect in a crime. The secrets Madison uncovers as she tries to clear her son brings danger from unexpected places and puts her at odds with the local sheriff — a man who has been trying to win her heart.
Let me just say that I LOVE Romantic Suspense, and this storyline is exactly what I love. I would totally steal this book if Susan hadn’t sent it to me so I could give it away to deserving blog readers such as yourself.
Keep the lights on bright for PITCH BLACK! — Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author.
Prepare to be thoroughly captivated by Crandall’s PITCH BLACK world! — Karen Rose, New York Times bestselling author.
In addition to Pitch Black, I will send along a surprise. Maybe another book. Maybe a little something from one of my two favorite stores in Petaluma. Total surprise even to me. Maybe it will have something to do with the title, maybe not. It just depends how I’m feeling. Maybe I’ll send along something silly from my other favorite store in town that has some awesomely cool silly stuff. You won’t know because it will be a surprise!
To enter this contest, leave a comment with a way to contact you. In your comment, please answer the following question:
You have this weird neighbor that you have never, ever seen in daylight. He came over once when you were having a block party and the festivities went on late into the night. He’s tall, good looking but extremely pale. He has a lime green iPod. He’s an extremely good dancer and appallingly good at Trivial Pursuit. It is now 12:01 AM. You are alone in your room. It is PITCH BLACK because there’s a total eclipse of the moon and you are in bed unable to sleep until you know who won the 1974 World Series. You just happen to have your weird neighbor’s phone number and a fully charged cell phone. You call . . .
What happens next?
If you prefer, feel free to answer the question as if the weird neighbor is a woman.
Just make something up. Or go for it. Or something.
This contest is open until end of Monday, December 14. (Pacific Time)
ETA: Comments are now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!
This contest is also for three signed books — but one winner will rule them all. Which books you ask?
::Rubbing hands with Holiday glee::
The Raven Prince
There comes a time in a Lady’s Life . . . Windowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant male on horseback nearly squashes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits…
The Leopard Prince
The One Thing a Lady Must Never Do . . . Wealthy lady Georgina Maitland doesn’t want a husband, though she could use a good steward to run her estates. One look at Harry Pye, and Georgina knows she’s not just dealing with a servant, but a man. . .
The Serpent Prince
When the Devil Meets an Angel. . . Country bred Lucy Craddock-Hayes in content with her quiet life. Until the day she trips over an unconscious man — a naked unconscious man — and loses her innocence forever . . .
Ahh. Don’t they just sound wonderful?
To win all three of these signed novels, leave a comment about . . . uh . . . Heh. Answer this question:
If you were a shape shifter, which animal would you prefer to be? A raven, a leopard or serpent? Please support your answer with evidence. Feel free to make it up. Or whatever.
Please leave a way for me to contact you if you’re the winner, otherwise you have to commit to check back here to see if you won. Contest open until, uh, Thursday 12/10/2009.
This is Thirsty. She is a ewe who got that name because she was at one time a bummer lamb (that is, a lamb whose mother rejected her). Bummer lambs need to be bottle fed using some milk replacer such as LambLac. She was quite ill and for a while we didn’t think she’d live. But she did, and once she was healthy, she was one thirsty lamb. Hence the name Thirsty. When she was very small, when she wasn’t in the house, she was on the deck. Eventually, she was moved into the field with the rest of the sheep. She was quite vocal when she thought it was time for her to be fed. Thirsty is pretty much the Alpha ewe — the one the other sheep follow.
In case you’re wondering why I have posted her picture here, the answer lies over at Katibab’s Blog. I would very much like to have my own demon sheep.
It’s the holidays and I’m in a giving mood.
So, here’s what I’m giving out today.
Three (3) copies of Veronica Wolff’s Lord of the Highlands. Signed. Did I mention they’re signed by the author herself?
What’s the book about you ask? Well, I decided to interview the book to find out.
Yours Truly: Hi and welcome to my blog. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to find out what you’re about. Can you describe yourself?
Lord of the Highlands: Thanks so much for having the three of us here. //riffling of pages//
YT: Pick a representative to speak, OK, it’s hard to understand you when you all talk at once.
LotH: Only time and a woman’s love can liberate him.
YT: Oh, that sounds good. Say, what do you look like?
YT: Wow. You’re kind of hot. Is that sword heavy?
LotH #1: Yes. Did you know Veronica Wolff’s Scotsmen are pure temptation — USA Today bestselling author Sandra Hill. ?
LotH #2: He was her one true love. He just lived in another century.
YT: Just like Alexander Skarsgard is my One True Love. Only he doesn’t live in another century. He lives in Los Angeles, which is worse.
LotH #3: An online dating service may have pronounced Felicity "unmatchable" but she’s determined– and destined– to find her perfect mate. All it takes is a mystical deck of Tarot cards to put her dreams to the test.
YT: I think that dating service was wrong about– oh. You mean the heroine of the story? OK. Hmm. So what happened with the Tarot cards?
LotH #1: Light a candle. Choose a card. And old Scotland is only a wish away. . .
YT: OK, just a sec. schwippppp. Is vanilla scented OK?
LotH 1,2 and 3: pages riffling
YT: Well hold on. I don’t like that card. Wait. Right. Got one. The Knight of Pentacles. Ooh, armor. Now what?
LotH #1: Scarred by betrayal, Will Rollo lives to defend the monarchy against traitors. . . and he rides alone.
YT: Hey, just like the Knight of Pentalces!
LotH #1: The last thing he needs to contend with is a love-struck woman. So when Felicity appears, spirited by magic, Rollo’s determined to crush all tender feelings for her. But as passion binds them in a dark era, where witchcraft is punishable by death, Rollo must make a daring choice: send Felicity back to her own time, or endanger both their lives.
YT: I have a really great idea. I’m going over to random.org and getting a number between 1 and 324. When I get back, you guys tell me the first sentence of that page.
LotH 1-3: silence
LotH #2: Chapter 23.
YT: OK. Two sentences.
LotH #3: The feel of the minister’s hand repulsed her.
YT: Ooh. A bad guy! Let’s do that again!
LotH #3: Very loud page riffling
LotH #2: A man alone is no man.
LotH #1: Thank you for having us in your lovely home even though the inside of your bag is very dark. And your desk is very dusty. We are looking for new homes now. Can you help us?
YT: Yes, I can.
Dear blog readers, please leave a comment about what you like about Scotland or would probably like if you were there. Or make something up. Three of you will win a signed copy of this book. Leave me a way to contact you or check back soon to see if you won.
ETA: This post is now closed to comments since a winner has been declared!
Today, author Wendy Tokunaga is visiting my blog and talking about her new book, Love in Translation. Woot!
Wendy Nelson Tokunaga is the author of the novels, MIDORI BY MOONLIGHT (St. Martin’s, Available Now) and the forthcoming LOVE IN TRANSLATION (St. Martin’s, November 2009). Her novel, NO KIDDING, won the Literary/Mainstream Fiction category in Writer’s Digest’s Best Self-Published Book Awards in 2002. She is also the author of two children’s non-fiction books, and has had short stories published in various literary journals. Wendy signed her two-book deal with St. Martin’s just as she was beginning the MFA in Writing program at the University of San Francisco in 2006. Along with her MFA, she also holds a BA in Psychology from San Francisco State University. In her spare time Wendy sings bossa nova, cool pop, jazz standards and Japanese songs accompanied by her surfer dude husband Manabu on electronic keyboards. They live with their cat Meow in the San Francisco Bay Area, a short walk from the Pacific Ocean.
The San Francisco Chronicle called Wendy Nelson Tokunaga’s debut novel, Midori by Moonlight, a “terrific first novel.” Now she’s back with her second book, Love in Translation, which again explores the themes of Japan and Japanese culture and being a stranger in a strange land, which have played a major role in her life and writing.
Love in Translation
by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga
Trade Paperback $13.99 ($17.99 Canada)
240 pages St. Martin’s Griffin
Available: Now (Published November 24, 2009)
Web Site: www.WendyNelsonTokunaga.com
For anyone who’s ever dreamt of finding love and family in an unexpected place…
After receiving a puzzling phone call and a box full of mysterious family heirlooms, 33-year-old fledgling singer Celeste Duncan is off to Japan to search for a long, lost relative who could hold the key to the identity of the father she never knew. Once there she stumbles head first into a weird, wonderful world where nothing is quite as it seems—a land with an inexplicable fascination with foreigners, karaoke boxes, and unbearably perky TV stars.
With little knowledge of Japanese, Celeste finds a friend in her English-speaking homestay brother, Takuya, and comes to depend on him for all variety of translation, travel and investigatory needs. As they cross the country following a trail after Celeste’s relatives, she discovers she’s developing “more-than-sisterly” feelings for him, although his mother seems to have other plans for her son. But it is when Celeste learns a Japanese song called “The Wishing Star” that things begin to change for her in ways she never expected, leading her to ask, what is the true meaning of family? And what does it mean to discover your own voice?
A delightful novel about love, identity, and what it means to be adrift in a strange land. This story of a search has an Alice in Wonderland vibe; when Celeste climbs down the rabbit hole, one can’t help but follow along.
–Michelle Richmond, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Fog
An amusing story of one woman’s quest for her father and the improbable path of love.
–Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Wednesday Sisters
Tokunaga… describe[s] Japanese culture in absorbing detail.
Witty, lighthearted and charming story of finding love in an unexpected place.
A delightful plot with wonderful characterizations.
–Affair de Coeur Magazine
–RT Book Reviews Magazine
Love in Translation Video Book Trailer
Video created and produced by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga
Music written and performed by Manabu Tokunaga
The fictional song becomes a reality! Listen to the Love in Translation original theme song, “The Wishing Star (Nozomi no Hoshi)” Music by Manabu Tokunaga, Lyrics by Hiro Akashi and Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, Vocal by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga.
Download at Wendy’s website
Download on iTunes
Love in Translation Audio Drama Podcast Hear the dramatic excerpt
Q: What inspired Love in Translation?
Many things. LOVE IN TRANSLATION is my cockeyed valentine to Japan, which is a place I’ve both loved and loathed, a place that has fueled both fascination and frustration. And it is also a place that has had a huge impact on my life and writing. I also wanted to explore what it means to be a gaijin (foreigner) in Japan and the benefits and downsides of that status and what happens when a gaijin sings in Japanese. I also am fascinated by the concept of the homestay, (something I never experienced), and how that would impact someone as an adult who grew up in foster homes and who never experienced a real family.
Q: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing instead?
I’d be singing. Before I started writing fiction I wrote songs, sang lead and played bass guitar in my own bands. Later on I got into singing Japanese karaoke. And further down the road I took voice lessons from a great Japanese jazz singer. I learned so much from her and was able to take my singing to a whole new level. I began to sing jazz standards with my husband accompanying me on keyboards. We play low-key venues once in a while but usually we just practice for fun at home.
Q: What were some of your favorite books as a kid?
I loved Edward Eager’s “magic” books: “Half Magic,” “Magic by the Lake,” “Seven Day Magic,” “The Well Wishers,” etc. I also was a voracious reader of all of A.A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh” books. And another of my favorites was “The Summer Birds” by Penelope Farmer, about a group of children who teach themselves how to fly. A few years ago I went on a hunt on the Internet for some of these books since I didn’t have my own copies any longer and now have added them to the bookcase in our family room.
Q: Which craft books have inspired or helped you throughout your writing career?
There are many and some are not technically “craft” books such as “The Resilient Writer: Tales of Rejection and Triumph from 23 Top Authors” by Catherine Wald. Others include “bird by bird” by Anne Lamott, “The First Five Pages” by Noah Lukeman and “The Art & Craft of Novel Writing” by Oakley Hall.
Q: What do you consider the heart of your story?
My stories seem to have several “hearts,” or at least I see them that way. In LOVE IN TRANSLATION it’s how Celeste Duncan, a woman without a family, finds one in a foreign culture. It’s also about the power of music on the soul and heart and the meaning of finding your own voice, both in the singing sense and the identity sense.
Q: What comes most naturally for you to write, dialogue? plot? character? What’s the hardest?
Easiest for me is plot and that’s what I try to spend time sorting that out on the first draft. I also like to “talk out” my plot to friends and keep refining it that way. The most difficult is slowing down and spending time on description. I don’t care for long passages of description, but you must have some. So I try and strike a happy medium, but it isn’t easy for me.
Q: What has brought the greatest joy since you were published? The greatest angst?
I’d say the greatest joy is having readers who appreciate your writing. And the greatest angst is in working hard to keep those readers and gain more.
Q: What do you love about being an author?
There’s so much that I enjoy. First, it’s great to be paid for something you love to do. But I also find it inspiring to help other writers. I enjoy telling my story of woe on my road to publication and let others know that they don’t need any special connections to the publishing world in order to get published. I like to promote the message that you should never give up. And if you work hard, keep at it and be flexible, your publishing dream may come true. I also like helping other writers make their work the best it can be.
Q: What’s one piece of writing advice you’ve found valuable on your journey to publication?
That often you won’t discover the real story you’re trying to tell until the revision process.
Q: What is your favorite food or cuisine?
I guess it won’t surprise anyone that I love Japanese food. And, while I do like sushi, I particularly enjoy ramen (the Japanese take on Chinese noodle soup), niku jaga (beef and potato stew), Japanese-style pasta, and yaki ika (fried squid), among many other dishes.
Q: How do you promote your books? Are you going on tour for this book? Any upcoming signings?
I do a lot of my own promotion for my books, much of it online. I’m on MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, have blogs, a website, etc., etc. It’s fun, but it can be overwhelming sometimes. I actually was dreaming in Tweets the other night and I often spend way too much time thinking about what my Facebook status should be. I generally do readings and signings in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have events coming up for promotion of LOVE IN TRANSLATION in early December in San Francisco, Half Moon Bay and Corte Madera, which are all listed on my website. And I may be doing some more in January. At some of the events I’ll be performing “The Wishing Star (Nozomi no Hoshi)” the “theme song” from LOVE IN TRANSLATION, which is the fictional song portrayed in the book brought to real life. I also really like appearing at writers conferences and I’ll be at the San Francisco Writers Conference in mid-February. I’ll also be teaching a class called Your Novel: The Road to Publication at Books Inc. Opera Plaza in San Francisco in January.
Q: What’s next for you?
I’m working on a novel that is a different departure for me: it has very little to do with Japan!