Friday, December 31, 2010

First Foot Your Way Into a New Year

As midnight looms Auld Lang Syne, credited to Scottish poet Robert Burns, is sung by all. The song, with its universal appeal, has been adopted by people around the world as a way to bid a fond farewell to the old and welcome the new with open arms. Kiss your friends, hug strangers, and shake the hand of your enemy, all while sharing toasts with whisky.

And now the real party begins with first-footing!

First-footing takes place in Scotland and by some in northern England - we do it where my cutie comes from. It's a custom that has been around for a long time. Roots to this tradition go asfar back as the Viking invasions and have changed little. How it works is that the first person to enter a home after midnight has passed, should be male with dark hair and carrying tokens cementing good luck for the residents. A lump of coal, whisky and an oat cake are the most common gifts to offer and in return, uisge beatha, water of life (whisky), and food are shared, and then leave by the back door.

Sound fun? It is because throughout the night, as long as the chilled limbs can move, and one more dram can be shared, first-footing continues, house to house, party to party.

So, how about you?

Do you or your family have any traditions attached to New Years that have been going on for donkey's years?

Have a good and safe holiday!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fun Facts and Figures to End the Year

I love writing down my thoughts on the Tilly Greene's Hot Thoughts Blog and you who visit make it worthwhile - big thank you's to each of you for taking the time in your busy day to stop by for a read.

Well, 2010 is almost done, woohoo, and in celeberation, I thought I'd share a bit about you guys that I know and is fun.  Who knows, maybe you'll see yourself in some of these ipso facto's.  Okay, let's get started with where you guys are from.

People in 87 different countries visited this blog, with the most coming from the US, Canada and the UK - not really all that surprising - and after that it is Germany, Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines and Finland.  Just for fun, I looked at the ten countries with the least visits and found them fascinating:

Cayman Islands
Dominican Republic

The Naughty Thought for Monday's seems to be the most popular segment, followed by The Big Huge Reader Contest [which was a blast] and Hump Day Reflections.  The favorite single blog, of which was written in 2007, and also the most used search term [outside of various ways to spell Tilly Greene and Hot Thoughts] was about the Real Dolls [Real Male Doll is what's used the most often] - yup, call me surprised.  As for writing the blog, that was all BBC America's fault, but also rather interesting.

Now, when it comes to Search Engines, Google is top and after that is Yahoo and Bing.  Browsers weren't that much of a surprise either with I.E., Firefox, Safari, and Chrome at the top.

Okay, one more, that's it - promise :-)

It's devices - kind of.  Our Operating System can sometimes give a hint of what inanimate object we spend so much of our time with.  Well, here you go:

Other Unix
PlayStation Portable

See what I mean about devices?  6 of those listed above are portables.  Hmmm, interesting, yes, but don't start talking about the demise of the computer.  Windows was almost 6x larger than all the other OS's together.

The computer is still king!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's That Time

Because I don't cook, my cutie and I made a deal when we first got married: Every year I would learn and master one dish.

While it hasn't been easy, I've done it, and this year it's a Roasted Chicken. There were others I tried and would have added, but they were really just very slightly different [as in chicken taco vs beef taco and the cutie did bbq the chicken] from something I already knew how to do. The chicken thing has been all right to do and I can usually make a fried rice and chicken korma with the left overs - three meals, done! I like those numbers.

The recipe I followed was found on and is called 'How to Cook a Whole Chicken: Best and Simplest Way Ever'.

Love the internet.

Here's the basic instructions:

* Preheat over to 400/F
* Clean out and dry off your chicken
* Spread about 2-3 tablespoons of butter [or olive oil] all over with you hands
* Salt and Pepper the outside and some on the inside as well
* Rosemary and/or other herbs can also be added
* Place chicken breast up on a rack, resting inside a roasting pan, and cook

Timing is 65 minutes for a 3.5 lb chicken and 8-10 minutes for every pound over that.

What I did was cook for the 65 minutes, then turned the chicken so breast was down, and cooked for another 10 minutes. Moist and delicious.

So go forth and cook a chicken, make multiple meals from it, and relax with a book while it's all going on. Enjoy!

Thank you to The Broke-Ass Bride for the cute pic!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's Not Too Late...

You can still enter the 13 Days of Bloody Kiss'mas Extravaganza 2010!

My prize is being drawn on the 28th of December and here's a small hint of what you're playing for: is playing host along with Wick'd Reads.  You can enter as often as you want and better your odds by sharing the news around various social networks - nice!

Quick, go get your name into the mix, you might end up with some stuff from England if you win my bag :-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Enjoy your holidays, however or wherever you celebrate them.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #12

Well, hopefully all the shopping is done, but in case you're a last minute 30 minute dash person, here are some fiction treats to check out for those left on your list.  These are interesting and could be filed under the "take me away" reads.

An Object of Desire by Steve Martin
I like him.  I have through all of his various stages in his career and this one, the author who enjoys art, is particularly interesting.  He claims to know a little about that world, but isn't an expert, and yet has quite a personal collection.  None of that matters, what does for this recently released novel is that you'll be taken on a trip into NYC's art world.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris and illustrated by Ian Falconer [of Olivia fame]
Think Aesops, fables, lessons that make you laugh and maybe learn something while you're doing it.  We bought this for our niece and, of course, I took a peek - and wanted more!

The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise: A Novel by Jill Stuart
A bit of England via the select group who reside in Tower of London.  I can't tell you how many times we've been to the tower bridge and saw a glimpse of those who live there, or a beefeater mentions they live on sight.  It is intriguing to think of all that happened there and they have their milk delivered like everyone else.  Well, not quite, but close :-)

The Case of the Missing Servant: From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator and The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing: From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator by Tarquin Hall
A window overlooking India through an elder man who wears custom safari suits and flat caps.  I read the first one and can't wait to read the second.

Jo Nesbø is a Norwegian author that is actually rather difficult to find in the US, but hopefully not for long.  There are two series, but I heard first about the Harry Hole ones, so why not start there.  The Redbreast is the first one translated and available [although in limited numbers].  Think WWII in Norway.

The Red Queen: A Novel (The Cousins' War) by Philippa Gregory takes you back even further in time, back to the War of the Roses and Allison Weir even further with Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine.  Both authors write fantastic fictional accounts of what happened way back then.  I missed The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A Novel by C W Gortner and am intrigued. 

Isn't that how it, finding a new author or new to me subject matter, sometimes starts?

And finally there's the recently released Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff.  There's been lots of chatter about this book and I'm looking forward to reading an account that allows the truth to rise above the rest, be it good or bad.

Now it's time to sit back, put your feet up, and relax into a good read - tomorrow is going to be crazy!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #11

The cookbook aficianado is never ignored for the holidays.  Remember, they're the ones supplying everyone with fabulous fare, in fact, they're probably busy in the kitchen right now!  So here's a few gems just for them.

The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food--Before the National Highway System, Before Chain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, When the Nation's Food Was Seasonal by Mark Kulansky actually came out last year, but it's still sitting on my list to give to the perfect person.  You see, the cutie and I were driving through a horrendous rain storm, and we were listening to NPR until it was lost.  I can't remember what the show was, but they were talking about this book, and it sparked both our interest - enough that it's been sitting in it's own note on my iTouch since we landed in a hotel.  Anyway, think of it as your grandma's cookbook - all those recipes that were often verbally handed down for generations.  It's a great addition to any kitchen.

Next up is kind of along the same lines.  It's called One Big Table: 600 recipes from the nation's best home cooks, farmers, fishermen, pit-masters, and chefs by Molly O'Neill.  The product description from Amazon describes it better than I ever could:  "an informative and heartwarming refutation of the demise of American home cooking. Ten years and many miles in the making, this collection celebrates the nation's culinary diversity, both ethnically and agriculturally, and offers a uniquely intimate look at what home cooking in America is truly like today. O'Neill crossed the country, interviewing home cooks and spending time in the kitchens of recent immigrants. The results are enticing recipes that intertwine family stories, personal histories, and food. From stuffed Danish pancakes in Utah to tamales in Santa Fe and Vietnamese shrimp pancakes in Mississippi, this eclectic collection showcases the best this country has to offer. O'Neill also includes old-style American fare, including black-eyed pea and mustard greens soup, corn chowder, campfire trout, and bluegrass bass with Kentucky caviar. Sidebars abound on everything from black sea bass to Johnny Appleseed, Elvis to shrimp. As engaging in the armchair as it is in the kitchen, this book is an enduring testament to our historic traditions and the new culinary forays being made by American home cooks."

Simply divine.

Now, I saved the best for last, best as in it's the cookbook for those new to the kitchen.  The How Not to Cookbook: Lessons Learned the Hard Way by Aleksandra Mir.  Everyone needs to start someplace and this one sounded like a good jumping off point.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #10

Do you have a budding fashionista at home?  Intrigued by fashion yourself or know someone who is and need a little guidance?

The Fashion File by Janie Bryant with Monica Corcoran Harel has recently released and would fit the bill.  Bryant opens the closets on Mad Men, and takes the lessons learned into a place the modern woman can utilize.

Another fun and interesting fashion read is Fifty Dresses That Changed the World from the Design Museum.  There's also a shoe one and for anyone interested in fashion and how important it actually is will like reading these books.

How about some advice from a designer.  One I recently quoted in regards to writing and possibly covers [although I can't remember where] as well is Coco Chanel.  A book that came out last year, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman, could be the best choice of all.

Oh, the quote went something like:  Before you leave, look in the mirror, and take one thing off.  Makes sense to me.

Maybe the good life is what the fashionista is interested in, discovering snippets of chicness past and often forgotten.  If that's the case then the recently released Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins is the perfect match.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #9

Ooo, it's a few days until Christmas, are you ready with a copy of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore?

There are loads of them, but let me point in the direction of a few I like to read, reread, and send out as gifts.

Being a fan of creative paper construction, I enjoy both Niroot Puttapipatt's [above] and Robert Sabuda's [below].  They are very different and yet both are full of character and delight.  Each turn of the page is a new surprise and builds the excitment that is, especially for kids, the 24th.

And yet another different look at 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is from Will Moses.  I wish he'd do more books because I enjoy them all and love giving them to others.

I don't know about you, but I am so ready for The Night Before Christmas and yes, Christmas!

Just a few more days to go and plenty more books to suggest :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #8

What to get a reader is a mystery...wait, mysteries, everyone loves a good mystery!

Here's one for you:  What writer recently released a book with the son of his first character as the hero?

Tom Clancy!

Dead or Alive takes off from where Teeth of the Tiger [2003] ended, both with Jack Ryan, Jr as the lead.

Actually, it looks like Clancy has brought other Ryan family members into his Jack Ryan/John Clark books before.  Jack's dad, Emmett is in Without Remorse.  Very interesting.

A couple other good adreniline rush reads are Warlord by Ted Bell, it came out in September, and is part of the Alex Hawke series.  Another is Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane, which was released in November.

I haven't forgetten about the Science Fiction crowd.

Surface Details by Iain M Banks was recently released and is a space opera sure to please the most discerning reader.

Earlier this year Stephen Baxter had Ark, a follow on from Flood, released and is a good read - duet if your Sci Fi reader hasn't read the first.

A third choice from the recent release shelf is the hard core Sci Fi Hull Three Zero by Greg Bear.

Told you I didn't forget this group :-)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #7

Don't laugh, but do, and remember your fan of the comics - young and old.

There are two entirely different and yet similar books for them to choose from and both with come with DC Comics nod of approval - couldn't be better than that!

The first one comes from Taschen who have compiled a big comprehensive book called 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking by Paul Levitz and it's got it all.  There is "year-by-year timelines that fold out to nearly four feet and biographies of the legends who built DC make this an invaluable reference for any comic book fan."  They won't ever need anything else to feed the fun gene.

Ahhh, but there's actually more, and a bit different with DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book by DC Comics and Matthew Reinhart.  The latter is a real king in the land of paper engineer's and is there because he creates some real magic.  This book would definitely please your budding or established comic fan.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #6


There, I mentioned eReaders as a potential gift, however, that information is out there, everywhere, and it's up to the reader to decide what works best for them.  I, on the other hand, am waiting for the perfect Tablet to come out and they are starting to trickle out now.  The iPad isn't for me because of its size, but there are others that intrigue me, and I will be testing them out [in stores] to see which, if any, fit me best.  For now, here are a few I'm looking at, and already discarding.

Dell Streak
5" Out Now!

Samsung Galaxy Tab [immediate music]
7" Out Now!

Borders Velocity Cruz Tablet
7" Out Now!

Blackberry Playbook
7" and expected to be released early 2011

HP Slate 500 Tablet PC
8.9" Out Now!

All that said, I'm thinking there are going to be some really good prices on eReaders this holiday so know what you want, and keep your eyes peeled.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #5

There's always time to renew traditions and make new ones, so how about combining the two.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is played on tv, through dvd's, in the theater, and read through books.  We know the story like the back of our hands or do we?

The Annotated Christmas Carol: A Christmas Carol in Prose by Charles Dickens, Michael Patrick Hearn, and John Leech will give a new view on the old tale.

I love 'The Annotated Books' series.  They aren't quick reads, but they are full of unique insights into books in the past.  I have books in this series on Hans Christian Andersen, The Brothers Grimm and the one on Classic Fairy Tales.  The joy of these is that each time I pick on up and read a chapter, I learn something new.

Another route to go would be A Christmas Carol: A Pop-up Book by Chuck Fischer.  He is a wonderful paper engineer [Christmas in New York, Angels and Great American Houses to name but a few] and this one was just released.

There are other picture book versions by wonderful illustrators Lisbeth Zwerger and Brett Helquist that are also good.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #4

Have a biography or autobiography nut to get something for?  Maybe a fan of literature?

Autobiography of Mark Twain Volume 1 [of 3] is out!

Twain wanted it to be published 100 years after his death and it was worth the wait.  The man pulled no punches, much like in his fictional work, and nothing he wrote was taken out by an outside editor - good or bad.  Even though the people he goes after are gone as well, their relatives are just as upset as the people themelves would have been.

There happens to be another book, a memoir, that might fit a different literary fan and also happens to be  recently released - release dates are always good to know when buying for a booklover.

Someone who enjoys reading about England, the aristocracy, the Mitford Sisters, or those who want to take a trip into another persons world will like Wait for Me! by Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire.

The product description on Amazon says it best:  "...chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood in the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with Adolf Hitler and her controversially political sister Unity in 1937, to her marriage to the second son of the Duke of Devonshire. Her life would change utterly with his unexpected inheritance of the title and vast estates after the wartime death of his brother, who had married Kick Kennedy, the beloved sister of John F. Kennedy. Her friendship with that family would last through triumph and tragedy. Wait for Me!, with its intense warmth and charm, is a unique portrait of an age, and an unprecedented look at the rhythms of life inside one of the great aristocratic families of England."

You might want to also include a copy of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman or The Duchess, a movie based on her life starring Kiera Knightly and Ralph Fiennes - I liked both.

Other unique biography/autobiographies recently released are Jay-Z's Decoded and Life by Keith Richards - ooo, the things you'd learn in these.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #3

The calendar is brimming with parties and functions and you can take an hors d'ourves or sweet treat, but they take time to make, and sometimes - like during the holidays - time is the one thing we are shy of and what we do have we want to spend with our family and friends.

So, if you have a party to go to and you'd like to take the hostess [really the host family] a gift, then a great book to give would be The First Noel by Jan Pienkowski.

It can be viewed as a traditional book with shadow boxes or you can tie the front and back covers together [ribbon attached for this option] and view it in 3D.  There is a loop on the top of the spine to help you hang it high or it can be used as a centerpiece.

Really, there are many ways to view Pienkowski's cut work in The First Noel, and the price is great.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #2

For the Science lover or plain curious about everything person you need to shop for is not without options this year in the non-fiction side.

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray, with Nick Mann, is a great option.

"An eye-opening, original collection of gorgeous, never-before-seen photographic representations of the 118 elements in the periodic table.

The elements are what we, and everything around us, are made of. But how many elements has anyone actually seen in pure, uncombined form? The Elements provides this rare opportunity. Based on five years of research and photography, the pictures in this book make up the most complete, and visually arresting, representation available to the naked eye of every atom in the universe. Organized in order of appearance on the periodic table, each element is represented by a spread that includes a stunning, full-page, full-color photograph that most closely represents it in its purest form. For example, at -183˚C, oxygen turns from a colorless gas to a beautiful pale blue liquid.

Also included are fascinating facts, figures, and stories of the elements as well as data on the properties of each, including atomic weight, density, melting and boiling point, valence, electronegativity, and the year and location in which it was discovered. Several additional photographs show each element in slightly altered forms or as used in various practical ways. The element's position on the periodic table is pinpointed on a mini rendering of the table and an illustrated scale of the element's boiling and/or melting points appears on each page along with a density scale that runs along the bottom.

Packed with interesting information, this combination of solid science and stunning artistic photographs is the perfect gift book for every sentient creature in the universe." [from Black Dog & Levanthal]

A companion piece to the book is a just released deck cards, what a great to learn, study, or discover the periodic table.

The above is a fantastic book and so is Voyage to the Heart of Matter: The ATLAS Experiment at CERN by Emma Sanders and Anton Radevsky.  I know, I can find a pop-up for just about everyone :-)  Anyway, the experiment going on underground between France and Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider, is very important.  The goal is to discover and understand all they can about the birth of our Universe.  This could be a very overwelming subject, science term heavy and now CERN and Radevsky [paper engineer] have come together to put the experiment on your lap.

If you have a science junky, a person who likes to spend time with the stars, or someone like me - a pop-up fan - this is a great, unique, book to gift them with.  A real gem.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #1

From now until Christmas [12 Days but not the real 12 Days of Christmas or the song version either, just the 12 days leading up to Christmas :-)] I thought I'd pass on some book or book related ideas for pressies for others or yourself.  I should take a moment to make a confession:  Some of these suggestions I own, some I'll be doing for someone else, and some are on my personal wish list, but no matter which list they are on, they are all great books.

So, to kick it off, with the first of the last two films coming out, let's go to Harry Potter - a series of books enjoyed by all age levels. 

You can see the various cover art HP went through over the years at Bloomsbury, but here's my opinion and part of why it's here.  I thought the British Children's Covers were good, I was always a bigger fan of the Adult Cover versions, but a Signature Line with covers by Scotland based renowned linocut artist Clare Melinsky were released this November in paperback only - probably to celebrate the end of the line.

They come as a boxed set, CD [read by Stephen Fry], or individually.

Now, if you've visited my blog often, then you'd be in the know - as in know my passion for pop-up books and would therefore not be surprised to see me mention Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book: Based on the Film Phenomenon by Bruce Foster and Andrew Williams, which was recently released.  While I haven't been a fan of the previous HP pop-ups, this one looks good.

If you don't have a fan of Harry to look for, but maybe a young ballet enthusiast, then think about Swan Lake Ballet Theatre.  Great book, theater setting and characters, and CDs set by Jean Mahoney and Viola Anne Seddon.  Little ones will enjoy playing ballet and fall into the music through the story.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Destiny Blaine's 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour has landed!

Hi, Tilly,

Thank you for allowing me to be your guest and for joining us on Destiny Blaine's Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Tour.

Today, I’m promoting my latest release, Waking up the Arguably Dead, a new novel from Passion in Print. Waking up the Arguably Dead is a ménage paranormal romance with comic relief. While writing this manuscript, I felt an unexplainable tug to keep Drake and Addison monogamous. However, Martin (Addison’s neighbor) found a way to pursue her and while his unusual tactics aren’t exactly what I would find appealing in a man, he somehow won Addison’s heart.

Drake Valentine owned it from the start.

Drake is an Alpha male but he isn’t the typical Alpha I normally write. He has a softer side and knows from the moment he meets Addison , she belongs to him. Blountville , Tennessee wouldn’t have been his choice location for mate hunting but Drake lands in this rural area and later discovers someone in his family played a very important role in why he was drawn there.

Waking up the Arguably Dead is a Dark Paranormal MFM Romance with comic relief elements. Readers will get a glimpse inside my hometown as they flip the pages of this Passion in Print novel. They’ll see what I see while driving down Blountville's Main Street and they'll discover a country store, while somewhat fabricated, where many of us pop in for an ice cold soda and good conversation.

Waking up the Arguably Dead introduces readers to Granny Myrtle, a spunky little old woman who is several characters all wrapped up in one. I created Granny from a few country grandmothers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at least once. As for Addison : Well, I don't know anyone quite like our heroine but she sure is one lucky gal. Read the book and find out why a lot of girls in these parts might be a little envious.

In this novel, you’ll meet Melissa, the LPN over at the local physician’s office. I’m happy to say she is true to form. No, there isn’t a Dr. Michaels in Blountville, but Melissa lives here. She’s a saucy little vixen who knows what she wants and doesn’t care to tell everyone how much she’s enjoyed getting it. The first name has been changed to protect the promiscuous and as far as I know the real ‘Melissa’ never worked a day in her life. You'll like her. She's full of surprises.

Since Waking up the Arguably Dead is a ménage romance that almost wasn’t, I wanted to reach out to your readers today and ask a few questions:

Do you read more erotic romance with M/F romance elements or ménage romances? If you read ménage, what limitations do you have? Is there such a thing as one too many?

Leave a comment here today. I have a special snail mail package ready to deliver to one lucky commenter. One random winner will be chosen later this evening.

Thanks so much for allowing me to be your guest, Tilly!

[Entirely my pleasure, darlin' - always looking for a new read and am adding this one to my TBB list for Christmas :-) TG]

Waking up the Arguably Dead by Destiny Blaine
Passion in Print
MFM Paranormal-Vampire
Buy eBook or Paperback here!

Waiting to Die Can be Such a Drag

Martin Cartwright's neighbor receives disheartening news. She's dying. As far as Martin can tell, Addison has never looked better, but when daily sightings of his beautiful neighbor become few and far between, Martin realizes Addison isn't too keen on living. And he decides to help her get on with dying.

Martin plans to scare Addison into living. Unbeknownst to him, someone is watching with similar goals. Only Drake Valentine's interests in the lovely Miss Deveraux vary from Martin's ambitions. Soon, Addison must choose between living in the shadows of sickness and stepping into the darkness where she's always been drawn.

Addison Deveraux stared at her family physician for several minutes, unable to speak and incapable of processing the information he relayed. She focused on the white walls around her. She skimmed over the medical licenses and board certifications, eventually narrowing her gaze on the overstuffed plastic brochure rack housing material about common medical problems. The entire time, she remained faintly aware of her doctor’s monotone voice. An avid movie enthusiast, Addison disconnected from the moment and recalled a recent flick she’d watched.

She remembered one scene in particular where a woman learned of her life-destroying health circumstance. Thanks to modern day technology, the character slipped into a mindboggling funnel surrounded by noise typically found in a seashell. The echo intensified and the room scrambled into spinning pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

On the big screen, the actress sobbed. The doctor calmly provided information about the disease for which she’d been diagnosed and the woman finally zoomed in on those fated words: “You’re dying.”

Addison blinked. “I am?”

“Addison,” Dr. Michaels began gently, “Haven’t you heard a word I just said?”

She swallowed. “No, I was…” Thinking about dying.

“Addison, this isn’t something you should take lightly,” Dr.Michaels stressed, leaning over his desk. An older man with salt and pepper hair, Dr. Michaels wore tinted large-rimmed glasses and resembled someone who might have been chosen to portray a physician delivering detrimental news.

Addison watched his mouth move. His words hummed all around her, beating into her ears like a hollow drum. “Treatment is something we should discuss together. This isn’t the end and that’s it.”

Boom. Boom. Boom. The maddening tempo gained momentum.

Advice slipped from his lips but the words ran together in a never-ending slur. “Think of diagnosis as a transition. By the time you’ve processed the information I’ve given you, you’ll be ready to face the days ahead. In the end, you’ll be much better off.”

She gulped. There it was. The dreaded statement, You’ll be much better off.
How many times had she attended a funeral for one of her grandmother’s friends and heard the same thing? Mary Lou Cornell went to a better place. Dan Bradley was much better off after both arms and one leg were amputated.

Carla Sue Davis found Jesus after living on the streets and working for some pimp who decided to repay her years of servitude with continual beatings. And Barbara Jo Jones faced death the same way she’d faced living; always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

No indeed, Addison refused to walk down the same road chosen by Granny Myrtle’s best friends, or her cousin Gertrude, who for some reason received her bad news and decided to kick the bucket, before the bucket smacked her upside her head. No way. Addison planned to do a little better for herself. She’d die on her own terms.

The way Addison met death was her decision. Since she had a choice in the matter, she planned to go on out there and greet death—take her fate by the horns and ride the daylights out of it.

Yep, it was time to get on with dying.

Copyright © 2010 Destiny Blaine

Buy eBook or Paperback Link:

Destiny Blaine

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Contest Reminder

13 Days of Bloody Kiss'mas Extravaganza 2010 has started!

Have you entered?

There are many great prizes to be won and daily giveaway, but here's a small hint of what you're playing for from me: is playing host along with Wick'd Reads.  It's going to be a frolicking fun ride to the end - so says the "Red Hot Erotic Fiction Mistress" - ME!  Love that title!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Special Guest is Coming!

This Sunday a very special guest will be here and I hope you enjoy their visit!  They're asking some very interesting questions, comment, and you're up to WIN!

No hints other than: Fabulosity!

Different Christmas Traditions Around the World

Recently Amazing Facts posted a blog, 20 Different Christmas Traditions from Around the World, and I thought I'd share a few of them here - but go read all 20, maybe add a new tradition into your mix this year.

In Swedenfamilies celebrate the Christmas holiday with various family-oriented traditions, beginning with attending church on the first Sunday of Advent. Children anxiously count down the days until Christmas using an Advent calendar. On Dec. 13, also known as St. Lucia's Day, Swedes celebrate the patron saint of light, in which the eldest daughter in a family dresses in a long white gown and serves coffee and treats to her family members. Many Swedish families pick out Christmas trees together one or two days before Christmas. They decorate the tree with an array of candies, glass ornaments, pinecones and figurine gnomes. A midday meal is served on Christmas Eve, in which families participate in the tradition of "dipping in the kettle," where each person dips their bread into a kettle of thin broth in remembrance of hard times when food was scarce. They follow with a smorgasbord of lutefisk and a variety of good eats.

In Russia, whether it's the solemn rituals and family togetherness, or the fact that Christmas celebrations were banned until 1992 after the 1917 Revolution, [they] hold Christmas very close to their hearts. Although Christmas celebrations are beginning to be replaced by the Festival of Winter, there are plenty of people who follow the old Russian traditions that stem from the Orthodox faith. Traditional Russian Christmases are centered on religious observation, in which families say special prayers and fast until Jan. 6 (Christmas Eve). Then, they have a bountiful 12-course meal called the "Holy Supper," which honors the Twelve Apostles. Christmas Day is celebrated on Jan. 7 and is traditionally a day for church services and a dinner that usually consists of goose and suckling pig.

Holland has many well-known Christmas traditions that center around Sinterklaas, who makes his appearance on St. Nicholas Day on Dec. 6. A red robed Sinterklaas atop a wheeled sleigh that's led by a white horse travels by ship from Spain to Amsterdam's harbor. He's greeted by the mayor and the people of Amsterdam when he arrives and he proceeds in a parade through the streets. It's tradition for Dutch families to celebrate St. Nicholas Eve at home with a feast and a letterbanket, which is a cake shaped into the first letter of the family's last name. At nighttime, children set their wooden shoes by the fireplace and fill them with hay and carrots for Sinterklaas' horse. Children tell their parents how good or bad they've behaved that year, and well-behaved kids will awake to nuts, candy and other gifts in their shoes.

Told you they were interesting and this is only a few, go check out the rest here on Amazing Facts.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

When is 9" Too Much

When it's a shoe!

Parmar in the UK is getting ready to put out Sky Heel, which has a 9" heel.  I personally wouldn't wear them, then again, I don't wear any heels, but these in particular look stupid.

Can anyone walk in these and look graceful?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Don't Know What To Do Tonight?

The Bloody Kiss'mas gang will be chatting it up on the PSI-FI Radio program tonight at 8:00pm est [7 central and 5 pacific] - stop by and have fun!

Oh, and ENTER here, often!

The Last Judgement is Filled with Sexy Gays

Actually, let me be more specific, in fact, let me quote: 

"Elena Lazzarini, a researcher from Pisa University, believes the enormous fresco is replete with homosexual imagery, including a man being dragged into Damnation by his testicles and kisses and embraces between male figures." [1]
My entirely personal opinion on Michelangelo, the artist, is that the women he created who were strong and capable creatures.  They never appeared to me to be weak-willed, even when depicted in moments of weakness like The Pieta.  His sculpture of David also depicted the man as strong, determined, and confident.  I think Michelangelo was inspired by what he felt was inside a person and placed it on the outside as beauty, but if that element ever went away, they'd still survive.

Who cares if the models were gay and found in bathhouses with or as prostitutes, Michelangelo created a beautiful fresco on the Sistine Chapel ceiling and walls.  Maybe some folks are having problems facing their own last judgement and must therefore try to tarnish another. 

I've never seen the Sistine Chapel, although I hope to next fall.  If you are interested in reading more of what Lazzarini has to say, then pick up a copy of her book:  Nudity, Art and Decorum: Aesthetic Changes in the Art of the 16th Century.  It sounds like an interesting read, although I can't find it for sale anywhere.

On a side and yet related note:  The myth about Leda and the Swan [Michelangelo's depiction to the right is one of my favorites of his] was actually what inspired my 'Mythological Messes Redux' series - the need to give someone [Leda in this case] a new ending.  Oh, and Leda and Zeus are the two characters in the short Together Again?, while two of their twins [who aren't really twins] are the heroes in Double Punch.  I guess you could say the series is where my love for art and Ancient Greek myths join forces.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Let's Chat about AAD!

December 8th at 1:00pm est there will be doing a radio show at Books Beyond Boundaries Blog Talk Radio show and it will be both a live talk to listen to, and a chat room to talk in and ask questions!

Shall be fun!

Meggendorfer Prize 2010 Goes to...

ABC3D by Marion Bataille, A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Book Press!

The prize is awarded every two years at the Movable Book Society Convention to a paper engineer for "outstanding pop-up and movable book published" [1] over the previous two years.

Do you have a youngster learning their ABC's?  Maybe a pop-up lover?  Enjoy unique books?  Then check this out:

Told you it was fun!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Naughty Thought for Monday

As a kid, Lego's were my all time favorite toys.  I remember when my mom made a playmat - a large white canvas rectangle with water for the boat, streets for the bus, and a spot for the houses and schools with a playground of course.  It was the ultimate and, even though I was beyond playing with them, I mourned when we gave it all to a young girl who'd house had burnt down.  Not right then, but like a week or two later, although I wouldn't have taken them back.  [It was a good lesson moment :-)]

Anyway, the other day I saw a pic pass through my Google Reader, and went right on by with just a little bit of What was that? in my head.  For some reason, okay, pause in the writing, I typed in BDSM Lego and there it was, the scene I saw and made me think how much my favorite toy has changed.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Special Christmas Edition Movie Talk

The holiday season is building up and some folks listen to music, decorate, cook, and/or watch movies to feed the fun.

I'm the latter.

My movie choices run from b/w sap to contemporary camp and I love them all.  Here are those on my shelves and will be watched in the next couple of weeks.

Miracle on 34th Street, the original version with Maureen O'Hara and Edmund Gwenn.  Everytime I go into NYC, leave Penn Station, and see Macy's across the way, I think of this flick.  I know, it should be Thanksgiving that makes me think of it, but no, it's seeing that particular store that does it - no matter what time of year.

Now, there's a routine to the next two, most likely because my sister and I used to watch them at our Grandparents house, one after the other.  First is Holiday Inn and after that is White Christmas.  OMG, I can't sing or dance, but both of these are my all time favs - no matter what time of year.  Seeing a theme here?

The last one I'll recommend you watch, I will be, is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!  To put it bluntly, the Griswold's just do it for me.  My memory genes are dead, but I can quote a few lines from this one.  The cat in the tree?  Aunt Bethany's pressie and Uncle Lewis's hairpiece?  Todd and Margo?  Cousin Eddie?  OMG, Cousin Eddie and the "shitters full" ... hilarious ... no matter what time of year!

Why do I keep saying that?  Because a favorite flick is timeless :-)

Anyway, you know what I'll be watching over the next couple of weeks, and most likely more than once.

Ho Ho Ho - fun time is here!

Okay, those are my favs, what are yours?