Whatever holiday(s) you are – or are not – celebrating this season, I hope all the best for you and yours. <3
Whatever holiday(s) you are – or are not – celebrating this season, I hope all the best for you and yours. <3
Hi friends! Today we have a lovely post from author Beth Yarnall! If you’re like me, and still have gifts that need to be bought, these are excellent gifts that you can feel good about for various reasons. Yay!
(And note – all the pictured items, I’ve linked to the product pages as well for your convenience. They’ll all open in a new window. :))
Literary Gifts That Give
On my blog every year during the holiday season I post about gifts that do more than show the recipient how much you care, they give back to society in some way. They might be made in the USA, creating and maintaining jobs here at home. Or they might be made from recycled, reused, renewable, or repurposed materials. A portion of the proceeds might be donated to a charitable organization or carry the Fair Trade Certified label, meaning they help producers in developing countries to earn a fair wage from the products they make and promotes environmental sustainability.
I’ve chosen a special selection of products for you today on A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet that have a literary bent and would make great gifts for any reader.
Featuring iconic and often out of print book covers, Out of Print has a wide variety of products from t-shirts, to notepads, to phone covers made from the book covers of classic, cherished reads. They work with artists, authors, and publishers to license the images for their products (no copyright infringement!). For every product Out of Print sells, one book is donated to a community in need through Books For Africa. This Pride and Prejudice tote bag is one of my favorite gifts and it’s made right here in the USA in Brooklyn, NY. Triple the gift giving goodness! (Out of Print mission statement link)
For the gentleman, these cuff links from Uncommon Goods are made from text found in vintage books. The text is reprinted onto archival paper to preserve color and quality, and sealed under glossy, waterproof resin. The hardware is crafted from recycled silver. Each piece is hand made by Betsy and Stephen Carr in Asheville, NC and would make a smart gift for the man in your life. Uncommon Goods features many gifts made from recycled, repurposed, reused, and renewable materials. Most of the products they feature are handmade right here in America. And at check out you can add a one dollar donation to one of four charities such as City of Harvest, RAINN, American Forests and Women for Women .org. Giving multiplied! (Uncommon Goods mission statement)
To help raise awareness that books continue to be challenged and banned here in the United States, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom designed bracelets featuring the covers of frequently challenged books. The adult size bracelet features The Color Purple, Go Ask Alice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Annie on my Mind, Howl, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The child size bracelet features Annie on my Mind, To Kill a Mockingbird, King & King, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Blubber, and Captain Underpants. A portion of the sales of these bracelets designed by American jewelry designer, Carolyn Forsman, go to support the Freedom to Read Foundation.
If you’re like me you have a lot of books. Purchase these bookends from the American company Present Time through Gifts That Give and a portion of the proceeds from the sale will go to the charity you choose. That’s right, you choose the charity. Gifts That Give features many products from cosmetics to stationary to table wear and entertaining and everything in between. One dollar out of every five you spend goes to the charity of your choice such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and The Red Cross to name a few. Gifts that Give.
Gift giving is joy that can be multiplied and spread to help others. I hope I’ve helped give you some ideas for that hard to buy for person on your list (or yourself!) this holiday season. Happy holidays and luck to you in the new year.
Beth Yarnall writes mysteries, suspense and the occasional hilarious blog post. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Rush, is available in paperback and ebook. Beth lives in Southern California with her husband, their two sons, and their rescue dog where she is hard at work on her next novel. For more about Beth Yarnall and her books please visit her website.
Disclaimer: Although the gifts and charitable information in this post are presented in good faith and believed to be correct, neither Limecello nor I make any representations or warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of the information or the business practices of the mentioned charities. Thank you.
Ladies! (And gentlem[a]n? No seriously – are there any dudes who read this blog? I want you to fess up. You might get a cookie. No joke.) Anyway. Today we’ve got awesome author Maggie Robinson visiting with us! Double bonus (which I first somehow typed as “donus” which obviously must mean I have donuts on the brain…) Margaret Rowe is here too! ;D Funny how that works, eh?
We also can tell just how fantabulous Ms. Robinson-Rowe is, because I’m being… well, me+. (I’m on “sick-brain” still and it’s after midnight and I’ve been very sleep deprived.) Haven’t you guys missed me?! Anyway, the point is, I feel comfortable being insane in the introduction.
I’m sure Maggie now regrets this and will never guest again. So I hope you guys make the most of this, okay?!
Lime, thanks so much for having me here to talk about Lord Gray’s List, the first book in the London List Trilogy. And thank you also for doing your annual online charity drive. You’ve proven what one person can do, and provided me with a blog topic as well, LOL.
The London List is my fictional Regency newspaper, a kind of combination National Enquirer/craigslist, but it also serves as a charity for trouser-wearing termagant Evangeline Ramsey. She has so many requests for help that she can’t possibly publish everything or she’d be cutting down swaths of forest for newsprint. So she has a little private business on the side, matching employees and lonely hearts and collectors with the objects of their desire. She’s sort of a fixer, but she ignores her own needs until hero Benton Gray comes along. Here’s what he thinks after they’ve worked side-by-side for a week:
Ben could see Evie’s breath in the air as she stomped in irritation at the curb. She reminded him a little of an unbroken thoroughbred, all lean lines and attitude. But according to her, she’d never be broken to bridle.
Ben wouldn’t even bother trying.
Evie was a shrew. A confirmed spinster. True, she could be soft-hearted with all her cases of people to place and protect. He’d now seen the drawers full of begging letters for which she took no coin. What kind of businesswoman was she? She was more like some demented fairy godmother.
Anyone looking less fairy-like would be hard to find. Although perhaps his mother’s tales of sweet, inoffensive winged creatures dancing at the bottom of the garden were at odds with some of the older legends. Some fairies were spiteful—clever and capricious, quick to trick the unsuspecting innocent into giving up their best chance for happiness. Or even their babies. Ben drew the line at thinking Evie would kidnap a child, but he could see her meting out her own brand of justice from her Fairy Court in solemn pronouncements and punishing seduction.
Right now she wasn’t speaking to him, not even thanking him as he helped her into the hack. Which he shouldn’t have done, as she was still in her trousered disguise. The merchants on the street would think it very odd.
The street lights had been turned on, and Ben saw people locking up and scurrying home to their suppers. The List’s office was dark, the new window glimmering in the gaslight. A raggedy girl selling roasted chestnuts tended the flames on her brazier at the corner, and if Ben weren’t so full he would have asked the driver to stop. The carriage lurched through the thick evening traffic, the familiar sounds and smells of London Ben’s only stimulation. Evie seemed determined to ignore him despite their working so seamlessly together just hours before. How was it that the glow of their mutual accomplishment had dimmed so suddenly? One minute they’d been chuckling over their ale, and the next Evie looked ready to chuck him out in the street.
He’d insulted her independence, he supposed, but really, she was just a lady beneath her clothes, even if she chose not to act like one. She might have a walking stick and be taller than the average man, but it wasn’t as if she fenced and boxed and built up her slender limbs. Anything could happen to her as she walked the chill streets of London. Anything at all.
Yesterday it was the shattered window, when she wasn’t even out in the elements. What if she’d been cut by flying glass, or worse yet, conked on the head with the brick?
Perhaps some sense might have been knocked into her, but Ben doubted it. She was the most stubborn, most vexing creature he’d ever met. His usual tricks to charm women were proving useless, but damn him if he was going to sit across from her like a lump as she shot daggers at him the whole way home. So he took a time-tested, easy route.
“What for?” she asked, suspicious.
Ben grinned. “I don’t really know. It seemed like the right thing to say.”
Ben is an easy-going guy, and Evie is anything but. Her difficult childhood has honed her independence, and made her aware of injustice. She’s really a crusader, and Ben shows her he can be every bit as dedicated as she can, with especially deep pockets. Ben thinks the way to win Evie’s heart is through generous donations to her causes—but he really won it despite her resistance long ago. Kirkus Review called Lord Gray’s List “a charming, fun Regency romp that combines an innovative, compelling plot with characters that jump off the page and a hot, captivating romance that will tug at heartstrings.”
During the holiday season, a lot of people wonder what kind of difference they can make to those less fortunate. I support two local food banks all year, and wish I could do more. Wow, what if I’d won the recent big lottery? Think of the good I could have done! (Of course, I would have had to buy a ticket, LOL) What charity would you like to give unlimited support? I’ve got a signed trade paperback of Lord Gray’s List for one commenter, and a $25 donation to their cause.
As if I needed any reason to like Maggie more. I, obviously, am fully behind this giveaway. In fact, no need to hang around. The winner is drawn… and it is ME! (And you know what’s sad? I had a moment’s pause and wondered “is that grammatically correct?” And then I thought “damned if I know – that was my worst subject and it’s my blog so I can mess up if I want to. And feel stupid. Which is why I’m drawing so much attention to it.)
… I’m never formatting posts ever again. I also thought about deleting all/most of this in the extremely lengthy times I had to wait while my broken computer chugged along… but I figured I’d leave it so you guys know what I’m like with less of a filter. You see why I schedule so many guest posts? It’s to save you from me. And while I was doing this I saw the next cover is up, so here’s Captain Durant’s Countess – you’re welcome. 😛
And you know – speaking of saving and all, in a real way – what charity would you wish to donate to? Inquiring minds want to know! (Not just for the usual, but hey – SMSG13, 14, and so on will be upon us sooner than we think!)
Oh and, uh, for anyone who might be wondering – no, I’m not the winner. I was joking. It’s going to be one of you.
We’ll do “regularly scheduled” stuff later… and winners for everything will be announced on Tuesday.
Hi everyone! Meet my “second life saver” Theresa Romain! She also responded to my twitter call, and here she is! I’m also super excited about her post – and I hope you enjoy it too! (Can you tell I love randomness? Like love it?) I also had no idea about almost all these movies. I also *small voice* haven’t seen like 99% of them.
Holiday Movies That Aren’t
This time of year, the only way to escape holiday movies is to enter a complete media blackout. But I’m here to tell you: no need for that. You might be tired of It’s a Wonderful Life, but every time a bell rings, another holiday movie is made. And sometimes these are not the movies you’d expect.
For example. Did you know Christmas could be combined with pandemic zombie-ism? German terrorists? Fear of computers? Indeed it can. Let’s take a look at a few holiday movies that hide their red and green.
I Am Legend (2007). (Dude! It’s only $5!) This is the movie that inspired this whole list. About a month ago, I told a friend, “I’m in the mood for a holiday movie. Time to turn on I Am Legend!” Her response was something along the lines of “o_O.” But it’s true. The movie focuses on the aftermath of a mutated anti-cancer vaccine that’s killed or zombie-fied most of humanity (but not Will Smith!). Through flashbacks, we see the early spread of the virus and the evacuation and quarantine of Manhattan Island. At Christmas.
Why at Christmas? I think so the filmmakers could have the crushingly lonely Dr. Robert Neville (Smith) walk into abandoned houses and see left-behind trees and presents—all the trappings of a family holiday that will never come again.
So, yeah. This is a holiday movie. With zombie rats!
Runners-Up: Any creature movie set at Christmas will be playing with the fearsome versus the heartwarming. In this same vein (zing!) are Gremlins (1984), Dawn of the Dead (1978), and Batman Returns (1992).
Die Hard (1988). Like Dr. Robert Neville, John McClane (Bruce Willis) winds up doing battle instead of roasting chestnuts on an open fire. When his estranged wife’s company is taken over during its Christmas party by bond-hunting terrorists led by Severus Snape Colonel Brandon Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), McClane is the only man on the inside who can help save Christmas. And his wife. And a lot of other people.
Our lesson? Christmas is the time to be with the people you love. Even if that means going through a wad of German terrorists.
Runners-Up: Die Hard 2 (1990) went back to the same well. Lethal Weapon (1987) and Eastern Promises (2007) also deal with crimes around Christmas time—whether for redemption or an extra dose of creepiness.
Desk Set (1957). Bunny Watson (Katharine Hepburn) adores her job as a researcher for a TV network. But when efficiency expert Richard Summer (Spencer Tracy) gets called in just before Christmas, Bunny’s afraid she and her staff are all about to get the chop. Besides the fact that a character would never be named “Bunny” now (I hope), this whip-smart romantic comedy is startlingly modern. As for the Christmas elements–well, according to this movie, Christmas is a time we all have extra job stress and drink a little more than we should.
Runners-Up: Oh, so many offbeat classics with holiday elements. In Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944), a young woman drunk-marries a soldier on leave whom she can’t remember, then has sextuplets. In Three Godfathers (1936 and 1948), a trio of bank robbers save the life of an orphaned infant. In The Lion in Winter (1968), medieval royals squabble over the throne of France. In The Apartment (1960)…well, you know what that’s about.
So next time you gather with family or friends for a heartwarming holiday film, see if you can steer them away from Kris Kringle, George Bailey, and Ebenezer Scrooge. There’s a holiday- movie-that-isn’t for every mood.
Got any more oddball films to add to the list? Or just want to share one of your favorite holiday movies? Do tell!
I’ll be giving away a copy of my historical romance debut, Season for Temptation, to one random commenter. SFT has quite a bit in common with I Am Legend—it’s got holiday elements, and the hero is not a zombie. (Ok, nor are the other characters.) You can find out more here.
Guess what? Double bonus! Last week I had a giveaway/contest on twitter as well… and Theresa Romain won it! So *I* will also be giving away a copy of Season for Temptation away. A kindle copy though, cuz that’s how I do. It’ll also be on twitter, but don’t worry – tell me your twitter handle here and I’ll double your entry.
Erm, so you know this was supposed to go live last week. And Leslie Dicken’s excerpt was supposed to go up today. That… obviously didn’t happen – so my apologies to you all, and to Nikki Duncan especially, who was very understanding and kind. Although I should say I did this on purpose, right? Because a “being thankful” post is much for fitting for this week. 😉 So yes. It was all part of my master plan. >.>
It’s not my “common practice” to include author photos, but, you have to agree that Nikki is ridiculously adorable there, right? Love it! So without further ado, the post!
It’s about that time of year. You know, where we gather around a table with family and friends and talk about the things we’re thankful for. Our Thanksgiving is going to be a little different this year, so I thought I’d share my top ten thanks here.
1. I get to write, which I love, and be published.
2. For a publisher and editor I love.
3. For rockin’ awesome covers. The latest of which are Tangled in Tulle and Illicit Intuitions.
4. For family who distracts me from work just enough to keep me from staying buried all the time.
5. For Martial Arts coaches who take it easy on me when kicking my butt. See videos here.
6. For a hubby who supports my writing as well as my Big Red habits (it’s a soft drink).
7. For the conferences I attend and the friends I make at them.
8. For every day my computer decides to NOT crash. Those days are not fun.
9. Even for smartass kids who think they’re funny and seem intent on sending me into cardiac arrest with their bizarre deformities that require stressful doctor visits and apparently painful surgeries and then there are the death defying stunts performed while driving down the road.
10. For the fact everyone is healthy and happy and mostly sane.
Tell me what you’re thankful for and be entered into a drawing for an eARC of Tangled in Tulle. The winner will be chosen at Random and announced Wednesday the 16th to make sure everyone has a chance to play.
You can read more about Nikki and her books at www.NikkiDuncan.com.
Isn’t that a great cover, and an adorable title too? As for the winner I’ll also put the name in a new post as well, but you know it’s always good to check back at the blog. ;D I’m going to have to think about my “10 Thankful Fors…”