Saturday, November 29, 2008

Books as Gifts and MORE!

A couple of my publishers and other organizations I am connected with are having either sales or charity events so I figured I would list them here in case anyone was interested.

ARE - All Romance eBooks is taking donations for Conservation International. Only $5 in donations will qualify you to select a free gift of either 2009 Wallpapers or a 2009 Wall Calendar. Click on the graphic below to get more info...

Zumaya Publications is having a Holiday Book Sale! Titles will be rotated everyweek so feel free to check more than once. Sale begins 11/21/08. Info below. And click on the graphic to go to the store site.

'TIS THE SEASON! And with books being one of the greatest gift ideas anywhere, anytime, there's plenty of reason to be jolly.
Books, compared to other forms of entertainment, are relatively inexpensive. They last a long time, and you can enjoy them more than once. You can trade them for other books, or share them with friends. Most important, they take you to places you might never have been before, where you'll meet fascinating people and enjoy fabulous adventures on this world and others far more economically than a Prius.

For the next three weeks, beginning Friday, November 21 through December 12, our best-selling books will be on sale for 30% off, and shipping is absolutely free in the US.

And last but not least - Yard Dog Press is also having a Sale~!

It's our first ever

That's right we aren't even trying to make an actual profit we're just trying to get some cash flow heading in our direction.
And we have books for adults and children, role-playing games and the card game. There is something at YDP for everyone on your gift list and at these prices you can't help but save yourself some money and still give a great gift.
We all know the holidays are coming up and that the economy is in the toilet. We have bills to pay just like you do and right now our cash flow problem can help you with your holiday shopping needs. Now I know you can just go to Wal-Mart and buy a bunch of cheap crap to fill those bags and boxes but you know what Wal-Mart is rich! They don't need you money and we do!
Look, I'm going to make buying books from us for the holidays easier than ever.

From now till January 15th (so you can use any holiday money you get to buy the books at these prices) we will be holding our first ever GIANT MEGA CASH FLOW SALE!!!

What's on sale? All perfect-bound books for the time period mentioned above will be $2.00 off the already unbelievably low YDP price. My Meisha Merlin Titles—Strange Robby, Recycled, Chains of Freedom and Chains of Destruction—will be on sale for $10.00. How's this for a deal—if you buy all three Chains books you can get the brand new Chains of Redemption for the same $10.00 price tag. In other words you can get all three Chains books for $2.00 less than you'd normally pay for two of the books. Such a deal!
Also on sale for the same $10.00 price tag, Best of the Bubbas of the Apocalypse. That's right. This book has all the best stuff from the other four BOTA books. What a great gift for that friend or family member you want to introduce to the BOTA universe.
Chap books, murder games, and the card games aren't on sale, but would make great holiday gifts and are already priced to move.
Here's the big deal…

…buy more than $50.00 of any merchandise and we'll throw in free shipping!

That's right buy sales items, buy things that aren't on sale; it doesn't matter because the minute your ticket goes over just $50.00 you get free shipping and handling.
And how's this for a deal? You have a friend or family member you want to send a gift to but you don't want to deal with it?

Then for an extra $6.00 we will wrap your book and ship it to that person on your gift list by priority mail.

Think about it, you can do all of your shopping on line, you don't have to leave the house and fight your way through the stores, you'll save money, you'll give the best gifts they'll get, and you'll make me happy and after all that's what's important to me. You just go to, go through the catalogue, make your selections, and then either e-mail Lynn ( or me ( and we'll get your order rolling. You may pay via PayPal after contacting us, or you can give us your credit card info. If you prefer, you can just send us your order and a check made out to YARD DOG PRESS. Mail it to 710 West Redbud, Alma, AR, 72921-7247.
Either way, we’d be as happy as elves if you’ll let us fill your order.

Have a happy holiday!

So if you'd like to give a book to someone you love, this is the perfect time!

Happy reading, ya'll!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas Cottage

Do to life, time constraints, what have you, I haven't done any movie or book reviews for a while. But, I will be doing one today as this little movie is unusual enough and off the beaten path enough it needs all the help it can get. Besides, it stars Jared Padalecki and since he is in part responsible for my OBSESSION with the TV show Supernatural, I want to do my part. And I wouldn't do it if it wasn't worth watching anyway. :P

Premise: (Based on a True Story) Thomas Kinkade goes home with his brother for Christmas to find out all is not well in the town or at home. Already dealing with some dissatisfaction at the lack of direction his art is going in, Tom must now also deal with the failing health of his mentor and the coming unknown foreclosure on his mother's home and more.

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Peter O'Toole, Aaron Ashmore, Ed Asner, Richard Burgi, Marcia Gay Harden (Loads and loads of familiar faces in this one!)

Review: As I stated above, this film is based on the real life experiences of famed artist Thomas Kinkade. While you may not recognize his name, you will definitely recognize his art. For years it has embodied winter, Christmas, and all other sorts of life settings always imbued with the soft tones of light.

The movie deals with a pivotal point of Mr. Kinkade's life. One he wanted to share with us. This is not a young children's family Christmas movie. This is more a slice of real life Christmas (though even real life can at times appear over the top) and so it is for a more mature audience. A great family film for teenagers and adults. There is some language and adult themes, so beware, just basically think of it as PG-13 and choose accordingly.

This story is about Mr. Kinkade, but also about his family, his mentor, his town. About the things we forget and shouldn't, about those we can rely on, about making amends, making choices, but most of all remembering what is important -- community, family, love.

If you have ever cried during a film, I suggest you keep some hankies handy. I was teary eyed about 90% of the time and even my hubby succumbed toward the end. A lot of acting gems in this film. Many totally unexpected and some very very subtle.

Jared does a great job, though I think if they'd given him a little more of Kinkade to work with, it could have been even better. (Found out later that they did!! Those scenes were all deleted. *sigh* Should have kept them in... Go Jared!)Peter O'Toole was fabulous. Richard Burgi had some utterly amazing moments, the best I've ever seen from him. Even the cliched roles, the types of people you normally expect to meet in large group setting/dynamics were done well, and some again with flaring moments that added a lot but if you blinked you might miss them. Many subtle little touches, giving the whole a depth you'd not expect from a first look.

This is a journey of discovery, not only for Mr. Kinkade but for all others involved. And though the road was hard and some were lost, the light found in the end and the people touched by it would carry them forward for the rest of their days. Sometimes it is the little things that change the world.

A truly touching film and an intimate revelation of what shaped Mr. Kinkade into the wondrous artist he becomes. A definite soon to be Christmas Classic.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Auto Killer Aura

I've owned a lot of cars in my time. Of our household, my car is normally the least used, its main function to ferry me to and from school/work. And most cars I've owned have actually performed marvellously with very little problems. However...

When they go, they go BIG! It's almost as if in order to serve me and give me the least amount of problems, they save up all those little bits and let them grow and grow until one day - WHAM! Major issue, kaput, done, gone, money-pit-if-you're-crazy-and-really-want-to-keep-it bad.

My first car was a used Mustang I drove back and forth to UTA. One day on the way back home I hear this gigantic BAM sound and was forced to pull over to the side of the freeway as the car would not go anymore. I'd thrown a rod. It was but the first Auto Death I would suffer.

I've destroyed transmissions, engines, assemblies, if its big I've done it in. And every time it has been totally out of the blue. No warnings, no little hints, just utter and total death.

Friday found the latest victim. My poor Black Ion... Halfway to work I went to shift gears and got nothing. Tried again, got only engine reving noises. Pulled into a parking lot on momentum realizing something was totally amiss. Got a little freaky when I parked and could move the stick shift without using the clutch in any direction I wanted. Oh dear!

Over three hours later, hubby and I had the car at the Saturn dealership. Knowing my killer aura and the fact the car was now paid for and out of warranty despite the low miles, we're having to weigh how much cost we want to absorb before just giving in and getting another car. Already we know the damage is related to the transmission, never a good sign. They have to do diagnostics on it and will take a while -- just to look at it is $100. So starving by this point, we go have lunch and run errands, the day pretty much shot by this point. In comes the call - the gear shift assembly casing fell apart. At least it wasn't the transmission. The price to fix it is below the threshold we'd calculated so we give the go ahead. Should be Monday/Tuesday before they get the part and can fix it. Awesome! Curse averted!

Or so I thought...

Saturday we're scrambling to get to a rental place and get a car before they close at noon so I have wheels to go to work in Monday. Got that settled and the car home and are about to go to lunch when in comes a call from the dealership. They got the part early, fixed the problem, took it out on a test drive and shifting into first and second gear is a little difficult. Did we have a problem with those two gears before? Uhm, no? Could be a piece of the assembly went into the second chamber of the transmission, but to find out would be a whole lot more cash and that's just to take a look. Or you could just take the car as is now. Could drive fine forever or could have the same problem again tomorrow -- no way to tell. Ever get that horrible sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? Sigh...

So off we went to look at cars! (Hubby gets very paranoid about me being out and about so no way was he going to let me drive a possible breakdown tomorrow car - I wasn't feeling too great about it myself. And of course we'd already spent over $1k so far. Grrrr) I'd actually spent a couple of hours the day before doing some research on cars I'd been wanting to do trying, thinking of possibly getting a hybrid and looking for some cheap wheels. Hybrids are cool and depending on the one you're looking at, quite fuel efficient, but the price tags are not on the cheap and that's just for the basic model. One thing we learned yesterday was that the basic price is never one you will find when you go to buy. As multiple places get a hold of the car after it leaves the factory, they do stuff to it, and every time they do something, the sticker goes up. I wanted to check out the Toyota Yaris which starts at $12K. (Would have loved to check out a Smart Car, but with their waiting lists, I knew there was no way I could get one that DAY, so that was out.) All the Yaris's in the lot had been souped to $17K minimum. Dang! And since I needed a car NOW it wasn't like I could order the base model and wait for delivery. Grrr.

Drove a couple of used models as they were pushing those pretty heavily and the warranty for the POT is 7yrs 100K miles which is a lot longer than the standard warranty. Also with my aura of death, sounded like a smart thing to have. Still we looked at new and used - the used ones he was showing were low mileage 2008's. Didn't feel comfortable in the Yaris so the guy had me try out a Scion. Oooo pretty pretty metallic red! Felt strange, but I liked. (I kept trying to shift. Have been driving manual transmission for 20 plus years, so automatic is taking some getting used to.) So...many hours later, I ended up with a car. Didn't get lunch till about 4:30PM eek! (Surprised I didn't eat someone's arm. But then I was freaking enough as it was.) And I have wheels again! Woot!

Now to find where all the buttons are... Ugh... :)
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