Thank you http://www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com/ !!
Now, the blog will run live from Friday, December 19th through Monday, December 22nd so make sure to hop along with us and be part of this amazing collaboration...
And let's not forget the shiny presents involved!
What? *grins* Didn't I mention that before? No? My bad!
1 $75 Amazon Gift Card
To enter the Grand Prize Giveaway, all you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter box and press enter! (One entry per person!) The Grand Prize Winner will be selected on using Random.org! (Box link is below!)
But wait! There's more! That's the overall Grand Prize being given through #HopsWithHearts...whom you can also visit at: Romance Blog Hops!
I'm also offering up a little Christmas Bling Swag from me personally: Ecopies of Timeless Night & Timeless Desire, Books One and Two of my New Camelot series! My winners for this will be chosen randomly by December 24th so make sure to comment!
So, a little insight to moi, and weird insight at that. Ever read a book that resonates so strongly in your psyche, that you're compelled to read it at least once a year? Simply for the feeling of 'visiting' old 'friends', that warm and wonderful feeling a good writer can wring from us if we are lucky?
I first read "Wishes" by Jude Devereaux in 1989. A stone cold Johanna Lindsey Fangirl up til that moment, I admit I'd plucked this book from a bookstore shelf in idle impatience while out shopping with family. The cover was reddish pink, no actual models were used and the back flap blurb piqued enough of my interest to shamelessly attempt to cajole my mum into buying for me. However, I ended up being sidetracked by the hot Mall Santa (I was 19...it happens *lol*) and unfortunately it wasn't til we'd gotten back home that I remembered I wanted that book.
Lo and behold, just days later, on Christmas Eve as our family gathered for the annual "Let's hoover our food like savage beasts before leaving mountains of ribbon, wrapping paper and bows everywhere before deciding, right before clean up, to bail" dinner/show, did I realize that my mom is much more perceptive than I gave her credit for at that time. After our guests leave, mum always allowed my brother, sister and myself to open ONE gift from her and Pops. (sidenote: this still happens and I, for one, love it!)
I chose what I'm sure you've all deduced by now as the book I'd seen at B. Dalton. After thanking the 'rental units and helping to clean up, I ran upstairs and hopped into my warm jammies, burrowed under my covers and planned on reading til I fell asleep.
That never happened!
Something took place on the way to bedtime and I ended up devouring the book, finishing slightly before the sun rose that Christmas morn. With all the subtleness of Lady Gaga, I floated downstairs, tired but oh so...in love. I'd had one night book stands before but until that moment, I'd never felt so...enchanted. Yep. Enchanted. It takes a rare and magical writer to fashion something new out of old fashioned ideals and plots. I mean, after all, originality is NOT doing something that hasn't been before but rather doing with new life, new breath!
Jace Montgomery was a stranger in Chandler. Tall, proud, and ruggedly handsome, he would make any woman's heart beat faster...
Even shy, sweet Nellie Grayson -- Nellie, who thought only of her beautiful younger sister's happiness. With Nellie's tireless aid, Terel Grayson easily became the belle of Chandler, Colorado.
Yet Jace, homesick for his closeknit family in Maine, took immediately to Nellie. For the first time, Nellie was the center of attention. It was a heady, delightful feeling...almost as wonderful as the moment when Jace gave her her very first kiss.
Nellie was sure her romantic idyll would end -- how long could Jace resist the lovely Terel's charms? But with the help of an enchanting new friend, Nellie would discover that her flirtatious sister might not be the woman to win the gallant Jace Montgomery....
Sounds like the typical template for a many romance books, right? And it was that...but it was also SO MUCH MORE!
I don't want to give spoilers away but suffice it to say, that there was compelling and endearing plot points that seduced the mind and soul. It was also the first book I'd read in which the heroine wasn't sleek and slender with the perfect body and face. Nellie was a bit more ...well..just more. Curvy, sweet and intelligent but invisible to so many, even her own family. It was the first romance that showed me that fluffy girls have their own magic as I'm not just the club's president, I'm also a member...it gave me hope. And a strange pride in it.
Now, many years have passed, I'm 44 years old. A bit more jaded, cynical, and realistic. I've hit rock bottom and I've scaled the mountain. I've been many things to many people. I've failed a lot. Then again, I've also succeeded in other ways. I write books now. I'm a productive member of society, a good daughter and sister. A loving and loyal friend. I still make mistakes and dwell in nonsense as much as possible.
But every Christmas Eve, once the company has gone home and the house is clean, once I've brewed some tea and slipped into my funky pj's and taken refuge under the blankies...
Once I pick up that well worn and much beloved book and flip it open...
Well, then I'm just a romantical girl who believes in...
Well...I believe in Wishes.
And I believe they can come true.
Now, my Dear Readers...what about you? Any books you have that you call Old Friend?