Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday favorites

Favorite thing #1: You know how I love to give away books, so just thought I'd let you know that these lovely people won books and/or swag in the last giveaway:

Tiffany D.
N Marie M.
Tiffany A.
Jenna J.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Favorite thing #2: Amy Plum! If you're still keen for a DARK BETWEEN advance copy, Amy will be offering one for her next Contest Monday. Check her webpage on June 17!

Favorite thing #3: Daylilies!

The top left and bottom right look a lot alike in the photos, but the bottom right is actually more orangey-yellow. They are all very pretty and have just started blooming. Sadly, we will miss their best days while we are overseas.

But that brings me to Favorite thing #4: OXFORD!

We're off again for another summer at Brasenose College in Oxford. This year we're leaving a little early so that Steve can attend a conference in Zurich, Switzerland. (My first time in this country!) In addition to our Oxford frivolities (or "work" as Steve would call it), we'll spend a weekend in Cambridge getting photos and film footage related to THE DARK BETWEEN. Prepare thyself for photo spamming. :)

Now must return to getting the house ready for our wonderful house sitter. (Cedric is very smitten with this individual.)

Any exciting summer plans of your own to share?

[Cross-posted at Livejournal]

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Dark Between ARC giveaway!

The Dark Between hardcover releases in less than three months. Here's the official flap copy:

At the turn of the twentieth century, Spiritualism and séances are all the rage—even in the scholarly town of Cambridge, England. While mediums dupe the grief-stricken, a group of local fringe scientists seeks to bridge the gap to the spirit world by investigating the dark corners of the human mind.

Each running from a shadowed past, Kate, Asher, and Elsie take refuge within the walls of Summerfield College. But their peace is soon shattered by the discovery of a dead body nearby. Is this the work of a flesh-and-blood villain, or is something otherworldly at play? This unlikely trio must illuminate what the scientists have not, and open a window to secrets taken to the grave—or risk joining the spirit world themselves.

Would you like to get your hands on an advance copy? If so, read on!

First of all, if you are a Goodreads member, you can enter to win one of two signed copies that are up for grabs.

Click this link for Goodreads giveaway (International!).

I'm also hosting a U.S. only giveaway here on the blog -- win a copy of the ARC with swag (postcard and bookmark, plus a postcard and journal featuring The Dark Between painting from Audrey Eclectic!):

Read more about the Audrey Eclectic painting of The Dark Between.

To sweeten the pot, I also am including SIGNED COPIES of the following fabulous books:

Elegy by Tara Hudson -- Faced with an impossible choice between the forces of Light and the boy she loves, ghostly Amelia decides to take her afterlife into her own hands and fight back, in this stunning conclusion to the hauntingly romantic Hereafter trilogy.

The Collector by Victoria Scott -- Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of Hell’s best — a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris -- On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Signing at OKC Barnes & Noble with Victoria Scott, Rachel Harris, and Tara Hudson!

To sum up:
-- ONE winner will receive The Dark Between ARC + the three signed books listed above + SWAG.
-- THREE winners will receive The Dark Between swag -- including bookmark, postcards, and journal. (Heck, I'll throw in some Revenant swag, too!)

Click below to enter either through Facebook or with your email address. The widget will then offer you opportunities to increase your entries. It's easy!

(If you can't see the widget, give me your name and email address in the comments and I'll enter for you.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Birthday indulgences

I had the entire weekend all to myself and, after a rough start with tornadoes and storms, it turned out to be a lovely extension to my birthday. Though I did get some writing and housework done, I mostly indulged in my favorite things.

Like tea, for instance. I hadn't yet used my Minton Haddon Hall china, and my indulgent birthday weekend seemed the perfect time to do so. (We visited Haddon Hall during the summer of 2011, and I fell utterly in love with the place. When I saw the china in the gift shop, I had to find a way to make it mine.) For this particular afternoon tea I enjoyed an orange scone from Panera with Lychee Coconut White Tea from Tea Forte. I particularly recommend the tea. It's light, refreshing, and quite good without sugar or milk. (AND it's supposed to make your skin radiant!)

I also spent a fair amount of time in front of the TV. Rewatching Bright Star was particularly delightful -- such a feast for the eyes and ears! But it struck me this time around how Jane Campion's film is really about the drama and angst of young love -- how it can be so fervid and profound, but at the same time somewhat self-indulgent and performative. I could see all that (and hey, I've been there and done that), but I still ached for Fanny Brawne and John Keats. And, as always, watching Ben Whishaw with the cat made me swoony. What is it about men and cats?

Oooh look -- "Hot Guys with Cats"! Heh.

This tumblr is cute, too.


Along with TV, I indulged in reading. I finished The Visconti House by Elsbeth Edgar (in which two teens uncover the mysteries of a crumbling Italianate house), and read the first third of Kate Atkinson's Life after Life (in which, to massively oversimplify, a girl relives her life over and over, adapting as she goes). I'm a huge Atkinson fan, having loved all the Jackson Brodie books as well as Behind the Scenes at the Museum, but I have a feeling this one will somehow manage to be even more fabulous. How will I get any work done?

Finally, I gave myself a present by finally framing (& hanging) a painting created for me by the wonderfully talented Heather at Audrey Eclectic. A while back I sent her an ARC of The Dark Between, and she painted a scene of the three main characters together. I love it so!

Here you can see Kate (plain and pragmatic), Elsie (beautiful and languid -- LOVE the drowsy eyes!), and Asher (handsome and arrogant), sitting in front of Summerfield College, which is based on Newnham College, Cambridge. In the border you see the ghostly images of family members and loved ones who haunt the main characters, sometimes figuratively, other times literally.

The frame is more ornate that I ordinarily might have chosen, but it seemed to fit the early Edwardian setting of the story. It looks wonderful on the wall!

Stay tuned for a Dark Between ARC giveaway in which I might just offer goodies related to this painting. Weeee!

In the meantime, tell me how you've indulged yourself lately, for a birthday or otherwise. :)

[Cross-posted at Livejournal]