Looking Toward 2012

Well, Christmas has come and gone. And the New Year looms before us. Do any of you make New Year’s resolutions? I have several. I definitely want to find more reading time. I want to get healthier—which includes walking, joining a gym, and eating better. I want to be a little more on top of my deadlines. I could go on, but that’s probably enough goals for the New Year.

You know at Shadow Falls Camp they have what they call quests. Each camper needs to have one, or sometimes two, that they are working on.  Holiday, the camp leader, sort of keeps tabs on these quests with each of the campers. In a way, these quests are goals, and in nutshell, New Year’s resolutions are the same as goals. So, do you have any quests?

As I approach the New Year, I’m working very hard on book four in the series. And yes, we should have the cover and all the other stuff that goes with it really soon. However, what I do have now is the official back cover blurb for Taken at Dusk:

Step into Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with supernatural powers. Here friendship thrives, love takes you by surprise, and our hearts possess the greatest magic of all.

Kylie Galen wants the truth so badly she can taste it. The truth about who her real family is, the truth about which boy she’s meant to be with—and the truth about what her emerging powers mean. But she’s about to discover that some secrets can change your life forever…and not always for the better.

Just when she and Lucas are finally getting close, she learns that his pack has forbidden them from being together. Was it a mistake to pick him over Derek? And it’s not just romance troubling Kylie. An amnesia-stricken ghost is haunting her, delivering the frightful warning, someone lives and someone dies. As Kylie races to unravel the mystery and protect those she loves, she finally unlocks the truth about her supernatural identity, which is far different—and more astonishing—than she ever could have imagined.

Holiday Traditions

This is a special time of year for so many of us. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, it is a time for families and traditions. Certain traditions are pretty standard with every family, like the giving of gifts, a family meal, or remembering loved ones who live far away.

We have several holiday traditions at our house. Like every year, we have a family photo taken with Santa. So, do you think I’m too old to sit on Santa’s lap? I have news for you; you are never too old to sit on Santa’s lap! It is one of our very favorite traditions, and I look forward to it every year. We have a whole box of family Santa photos, so I thought I’d share a very special one with you. This photo has my grandmother in it, and can you believe it was the first time she ever sat on Santa’s lap?

Another Holiday tradition in our house is that we put clues on the gifts we give to one another. Then, everyone has to try to  guess what is in their gift before they open it. Believe me, it isn’t always easy to come up with clues! But that is all part of the fun.

Then, of course, there is Christmas dinner. I look forward to this all day long! We always have turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, the works! Oh and the desserts! Our Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the pecan and pumpkin pies. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it!

So, what are your Holiday traditions? Anything really unusual?

Winner!

The winner of last week’s Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card giveaway is Caroline! Congratulations! Please contact me at cc(at)cchunter(dot)com with your snail mail address and your preference for the gift card (Amazon or Barnes and Noble).

Day 12 of the Twelve Days of Bookmas Contest!

Last day to win! So good luck, and follow the links at the BookEnds blog for more clues http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/.

Clue to Day 12 (written by Jessica Faust):

I had just finished my very first interview in book publishing. I was nervous, excited and overwhelmed by New York City, tall buildings and the prospect that I’d just discovered my dream job. As with any publisher, when walking through the office there were books and posters everywhere, and I couldn’t get enough of seeing what types of books they published and who they published. Some of the authors I was already a fan of, many I’d never heard of. However, what really made the experience was when I got off the train to head home that afternoon, I noticed a gentleman walking next to me carrying a book. A book I had just seen a poster of in the offices where I interviewed. I can remember that moment as vividly as if it were yesterday.

What was the book and who was the author?

My Clue: The author of this book died when he was 77. (Remember my clue is only one of many.  To read the other clues go the BookEnds blog and follow the links.)

Answer to Day 11: Footwear News and/or InStep Magazine

 

Day 11 of the Twelve Days of Bookmas Contest!

You time is running out, and I want you to win so badly! This is a good one. Again, check out the BookeEnds blog for more clues http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/. Readers are winning. It could be you this time!

Clues to Day 11 (written by Jessica Alvarez):

Name one or both of the magazines Jessica Alvarez interned with in college.

My clue: Both magazines cover something that most women love to buy. (Remember my clue is only one of many.  To read the other clues go the BookEnds blog and follow the links.)

Answer to Day 10: Virginia Woolf

Day 10 of the Twelve Days of Bookmas Contest!

You’ve made it to day 10! BookEnds has already given away nine cool prizes. Only 3 more chances to win. So, check out all the clues, not only mine, but the clues on the other authors’ Web sites. The rules and links can be found at the BookEnds blog at http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/.

Clue to Day 10 (written by Lauren Ruth):

I’ve always loved literary fiction. There’s something exquisite in an author’s ability to inspire new waves of thought in narration. I love being introduced to new worlds I’ve never seen before, new situations of beauty or horror or sorrow that I know, the minute they enter my mind, I’ll never forget as long as I live.

But it takes work, literary fiction. You can’t just relax and passively read through Chopin or Chandler or Vonnegut. For literary fiction to really do its job, you have to pay close attention and really lend your whole self to the text for a while. This can be an astonishing and mind-altering experience, if you let it. However, literary fiction exists on a spectrum, with the low end being upmarket commercial fiction and the high end being (cue earsplitting, hysterical scream) modernist literature.

There is one particular author of modernist literature whose work I simply can’t get through. Ever since I ignorantly took a college intensive on this author in my senior year of college, thereby allowing him or her to effectively hijack my life, I have disliked the work of this very highly-acclaimed author of modernist literature. I will be haunted by it as long as I work in publishing, since modern authors quote him or her all the time.

Who is this author?

My clue: Words created using some of the letters from both first and last name of author: Van, rig, floor. (Remember my clue is only one of many.  To read the other clues go the BookEnds blog and follow the links.)

Answers to Day 9: Phyllis Whitney, Jane Austen and William Shakespeare.

Day 9 of the Twelve Days of Bookmas Contest!

Only four more days to win cool prizes in the BookEnds Twelve Days of Bookmas Contest! So get busy and put on your thinking caps. You can win, I know you can! Also check out the links at the BookEnds blog http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/ for more clues.

Clue to Day 9 (written by Kim Lionetti):

What three authors has Kim chosen to read more than once?

My clue: It takes 42 letters to spell all three names. (Remember my clue is only one of many.  To read the other clues go the BookEnds blog and follow the links.)

Answer to Day 8: Sarah Addison Allen. The Peach Keeper and The Girl Who Chased the Moon.

 

Holiday Magic

I love this time of year! Just look at all the twinkling lights and decorations adorning everyone’s homes and even the malls. This is a special time of year, a time of wonder, and time of goodwill. And who represents the magic and wonder more than the guy in the red suit? You know who I’m talking about. Santa Claus. Yup, the guy in the red suit, black boots, and sporting a long white beard.

This classic image of Santa has been around in North America since the 19th century. But truth is, the tale of this old guy giving out gifts has existed in many different cultures for ages. Saint Nicholas, as he is also known, can be traced back to 4th century Greece.

In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklass, carries a book listing names of children who have been good or bad. Dressed in red, he rides across the rooftops at night on a gray horse delivering gifts to deserving children. Then there is Father Christmas in England who dates well back into the 17th century. So you see, Santa Claus, in one form or another, has been around for centuries and in many different countries.

I don’t know about you, but I believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In other words, there can’t be as many stories about this kindly old man without there being some truth in it. So, I confess, I believe. I know adults don’t usually believe in Santa, but I do. At least I believe in the idea, the symbolism of the man. I believe in the magic of the season.

Every year, we give gifts to our friends and loved ones. We also receive gifts that remind us how special we are to others. And that, my friends, is magic. See, Santa’s magic does exist, so maybe the big guy does, too. All I know is that I’m not taking any chances. I’ll be watching out, making sure I’m more nice than naughty. And I’ll try not to pout or cry.

So what about you guys? Do you believe in the magic of this season? And since it is the season of gifts, I’ll be giving away a gift of a $15 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Entrants must be in a country where the cards are acceptable to win.

Merry Christmas!!!

Friendship Winners!!

Wow, you are lucky to have such great friends! Because there were so many wonderful and touching comments, I have decided to give away 5 copies of Born at Midnight. So the winners are Izzy900, Lucero Guerrero, Jacqueline Talento, Amanda Corliss, and Katia. Please e-mail your snail mail address and the name and address of your friend to cc@cchunterbooks.com.

Day 8 of the Twelve Days of Bookmas Contest!

What was that on the eighth day? Oh yeah, eight maid-a-milking! Now what would you do with that? I guess if you really liked milk…but BookEnds is giving away much cooler prizes than that in their Twelve Days of Bookmas Contest! So good luck!

Clue to Day 8 (written by Jessica Faust):

While traveling to speak at the New Zealand Romance Writers Conference (amazing by the way), I had a lot of time to read. I mean A LOT of time to read. That’s 30+ hours of plane time. Luckily for me, I was two books behind on one of my all time favorite authors. Who is that author and what two books was I behind on reading?

My clue: One title contains a name of a fruit. The other title has more than four words in it. (Remember my clue is only one of many.  To read the other clues go the BookEnds blog and follow the links.)

Answers to Day 7: 1) The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, 2) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstren, and 3) 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

 

 

Day 7 of the Twelve Days of Bookmas Contest!

Here it is, Day 7.  You’ve been wracking your brain trying to think up the correct answer every day for a week now. You should be finding this easy by now, right? No? Well, didn’t I say at the very beginning that we weren’t going to make it easy? But you can do it. I know you can! Just think about my clue, and visit some of the other author links to their Web sites and their clues. And if you need a refresher on the rules, go to http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/.

Clue for Day 7 (written by Jessica Faust):

Working in publishing means I read all day, in one form or another. If I’m not reading queries, a client’s new contract or industry blogs, I’m reading exciting requested material from an author I’m planning to offer representation. When I’m not reading all of that, I’m reading something new to review on my blog. I used to read a book or two a week for pleasure, even all through college. Now, I’ve had to cut out almost all pleasure reading—I watch TV instead as a way to turn off my brain for a while. But when vacations come around, I plan my reading list like a new bride plans her honeymoon wardrobe. And then I tell all my friends and colleagues about what I just can’t wait to read and not criticize. This Christmas break, I’m planning to read three books I just can’t wait to get my hands on. I’ve spent extra time picking them out because I can’t risk choosing something I’ll regret. Which three books are my Christmas selections for 2011?

My clue: One of the three word titles scrambled: hmetaptgoralire(Remember my clue is only one of many.  To read the other clues go the BookEnds blog and follow the links.)

Answer to Day 6: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare.

Day 6 of the Twelve Days of Bookmas Contest!

Gosh! Thanks so much for hanging in there. I know it can be frustrating if you can’t find the answers, or if you find it, but aren’t the first one to post it at the BookEnds blog. But today could be YOUR DAY! Someone has to win, right? Why can’t it be you?

So, make sure you understand all the rules by reading them at the BookEnds Literary Agency’s Web site: http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/. It would be even more frustrating to discover you’d misunderstood the rules.

Remember, post your answer on the BookEnds blog (http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/search?q=resolution%5d) and NOT here on my blog.

Good luck!

Clue to Day 6 (written by Kim Lionetti):

What works were Kim’s wall art excerpted from and who were their authors?

My clue:  One author’s first and last name scrambled:  shrlnloaliep.  (Remember my clue is only one of many.  To read the other clues go the BookEnds blog and follow the links.)

Answer to Day 5: Wendy Douglas’ Shades of Gray and Brenda Coulter’s Finding Hope.