Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nominations Needed, Please!

I KNOW I've been MIA lately both here and on everyone else's blogs. My blog guilt is stressin' me out. But I iz sooooo bizzy lately! Hopefully I can play catch up on some of your blogs over the weekend.

Unfortunately, being busy means I almost missed this email and I would have kicked myself had I done so.

Audible logo

Dear Beverly,

We're comparing notes and compiling reviews to determine the Best Audiobooks of 2008, and we'd love to hear your thoughts. Nominate your favorites by sending us an e-mail – – with the title and author of the books you think deserve to be in the running for Audiobook of the Year.

We'll collect the most popular nominees, and, starting next week, put them to a vote so you and your fellow AudibleListener members can declare the winner.

We'll announce your choice for Audiobook of the Year on December 4 along with our Editors' Picks for the Best of 2008.

Make sure your voice is heard — Click here to send us your nominations!

– The Audible Editors

NOTE: Only audiobooks released in 2008 will be eligible for the title of Audiobook of the Year. Make sure your nominees fit the bill by double-checking the audio production's copyright.

Now, you may have your own preferences, and that's okay. But if not, might I beg you plead for make a few suggestions? After much deliberation (damn, it was hard to choose between Highlander books!), here's the email I sent to Audible. Please note the required subject line. And also note that they gave no guidelines, so I just said what I felt needed saying! Hee.


Subject: Best of 2008 Nominations

Series, Romance:
Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning, narrated by Phil Gigante

Individual book nominations in Romance:
The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning, narrated by Phil Gigante
Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning, narrated by Phil Gigante

Series, Fantasy: Paranormal:
Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris, narrated by Johanna Parker

Individual book nominations in Fantasy: Romance:
From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris, narrated by Johanna Parker

And, you didn't ask, but I'm nominating Phil Gigante as Narrator of the Year for his amazing performances in the Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning

Of course, you would want to use your own format for your email. Oh, and PLEASE DO IT NOW (as in RIGHT NOW) since I actually received the email on Tuesday the 18th and I don't know how many days they'll be taking nominations. I'm fairly certain that next week's voting will be for members only, but the email doesn't say anything about only members being able to nominate audio books. So PLEASE send those nominations in!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

She Did It, She Really Did It

Anyone who has read Faefever could not possibly forget the MacHalo. Well, before including it in the book, KMM built a prototype just to make sure the idea was feasible. Today on KMM's blog, we finally see EXACTLY what she envisioned to protect Mac from the Shades.

Here is Karen Marie Moning wearing the MacHalo:

KMM with MacHalo

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yeah, I'm A Sexist

While there've been a whole lot of female singers past and present who had a song or two I liked, there are only a handful that I can honestly say I CHOSE to listen to.

A glance through all the drawers in my CD chest will show Lorrie Morgan's Greatest Hits, Wynonna's Greatest Hits, and The Judds Greatest Hits filed alphabetically along with all the CDs from male singers/groups (except for Garth who gets his own drawer). And if I took the time to look through all my old LPs, there wouldn't be too many more in there either- Carole King's Tapestry, Janis Joplin's Pearl, Heart's Dreamboat Annie, Four Sides of Melanie, and... hmmm... I don't remember any more so maybe that's all.

Yeah, I'm a sexist when it comes to music. Always have been, probably always will be. I just prefer to listen to and sing along with male voices. The deeper tones are more pleasing to my ears and kinder to my vocal chords (My singing would make your ears bleed, but I love to sing anyhow).

So it's rather rare that a female singer starts growing on me so much that I keep going back to YouTube to play her songs over and over again.

I'm talking about Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. Here she is singing live at the 2007 CMA's with an entire audience of her peers and fans entranced with every note and every word that flows from within her:

And here she is singing live with Bon Jovi. Just listen to how her voice twirls and whirls around, through, over, and under his, which elevates BOTH their voices.

As you just heard, the reason I picked those two particular videos was because they were live and they make it clear that Jennifer Nettles does not need a studio engineer to give her voice that rich, unique sound.

Here's a few of the songs from CMT Crossroads in 2005. I remember thinking before this episode aired that I just HAD to watch it because I could NOT picture Sugarland and Bon Jovi singing together. But it ended up being where I first started to pay attention to Jennifer Nettles.
It's My Life
Something More
Wanted Dead or Alive
Just Might Make Me Believe
ADDED: Cool, found it! Who Says You Can't Go Home live premiere on CMT Crossroads

Oh, and speaking of Bon Jovi, I think my favorite all time song of theirs is Blaze of Glory (from Young Guns 2). Although, now that I think of it, I wonder if that's because it has such a Country influence.

You know, I probably should stay the hell away from YouTube for awhile and actually use all that time to maybe write a commentary or two or even READ another book. It's just ridiculous how much time I've been spending over there lately because I've been in the mood to listen to music. Or maybe I should get some work done. Meh.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oops, I Did It Again

Back in 2006 at the Rt Con in Daytona, there were a lot of truly amazing panels that I am so glad I did not miss. But hands-down, the most memorable one was the Vampire panel with Charlaine Harris, Maryjanice Davidson, and Laurell K. Hamilton.

Rt Con 2006- Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson, Laurell Hamilton

I was not alone in saying that they should take their act on the road! The hilarious way they interacted with each other, which showed an underlying warmth and a genuine affection and respect, had everyone in the room in stitches.

That Con is also where I decided to give Harris' Southern Vampire series another chance. As I've said before, I read the first one and just felt it moved too slow for me. But, after seeing the throngs of adoring fans of Ms. Harris and finding her to be so absolutely charming in person, I realized that I needed to go back and revisit Sookie.Me with Charlaine Harris

Well, thanks to Johanna Parker's brilliant narration of the audio books (see my index), I realized that I just wasn't hearing the "Southerness" of the books when I read them to myself. The problem boiled down to me using my clipped, Midwestern voice to read (which works well with LKH's ABVH series) instead of the smooth mellifluence found in Ms. Harris and Sookie's Southern charm as so wonderfully portrayed by Parker.

So, ever since that first Southern Vampire audio book (Book 5- Dead as a Doornail, although I did go back to read book 4- Dead to the World), I cannot wait for each new audio release. And now, with the HBO series, True Blood, I get to see the stories from multiple POVs. Although, I admit that I had my doubts about it since I SO identified Sookie's voice with Ms. Parker's portrayal but, through sheer luck, Anna Paquinn's Sookie sounds close enough to Johanna Parker's Sookie that I was able to make the transition fairly easily.

Anyway, I don't remember where I found the link, but Marta Acosta's VampireWire pointed me to this auction that recently appeared on eBay:

This is your chance to purchase immortality . . .

or maybe not . . .

New York Times best selling author

Charlaine HarrisCharlaine Harris

will allow the winner of this charity fundraising auction to

"Name a Character"

in the next book of her hugely successful

Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse) Series


This very special opportunity has been generously donated by Charlaine Harris and all proceeds from this auction go directly to the American Heart Association - Greater Southeast Affiliate.

The highest bidder will win the naming rights for one character in Ms. Harris' next book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series featuring Sookie Stackhouse, a psychic cocktail waitress in rural Louisiana. Charlaine Harris has received numerous awards and recognitions, and currently all 8 of her books in this series are in the top 25 on the New York Times Paperback and Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers Lists! If you are a fan, you also know that this Sookie Stackhouse series is the foundation for "True Blood," a current HBO hit show.

The character's chosen name must be mutually agreed to by the winner and Ms. Harris and the auction winner will release all rights to the created/chosen name's use within the specified novel. Additionally, if the character is named after an actual individual, the said namesake must agree to the use of their name. There is no direct or implied financial benefit for the winner or any namesake. At this time, the release date for the next novel in this series is undetermined, but will likely be within the next 12 - 18 months.

If and when the bidding exceeds $1,000, all future bidders must be pre-approved. To gain approval, please click on the Pre-Approval Request link that will appear at the top of this listing and provide your full name, e-mail address, phone number and a statement confirming you are at least 18 years of age. Approval will be granted at our discretion and will be based partially on your eBay feedback rating. We will contact you if we need additional information and will notify you upon approval.

Thanks to Charlaine Harris, we are thrilled to offer this incredible opportunity to be a part of literary history. Bid high knowing that your enthusiasm will aid the American Heart Association - Greater Southeast Affiliate!

Now, here's where the REALLY interesting part (at least to me) comes in...

Allow me to point out a couple of facts about that auction...

First of all--- IT'S OVER!

And second of all---



Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Feel the Power, Part II

Last year, I wrote that, if I ran a television network, I'd be very selective about the type of commercials I'd allow to run.

Well, in that post, I embedded the seven William Lawson's ads. But little did I know that one day I would unearth an elusive EIGHTH one!!

And if you thought that one was good, you'll be in a kilt-lust coma by the time you finish watching the other seven.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So while I was over at the world's greatest timesuck (YouTube) I came across a couple of other commercials that I feel are worthy of my TV network. It probably will come as no surprise that they are also ads for alcohol.

This first one is just breathtaking:

Damn, those Guinness folks are creative:

Oh, and I might add some cultural programming to my network. With that in mind, enjoy Vagina (The Dance)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There Were No Losers Last Night

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
-Martin Luther King at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (August 28, 1963)

And that is what happened last night.

But it wasn’t until this morning that I realized... TRULY REALIZED... what the impact would be of having a Black man elected to the Presidency of the United States.

Yeah... DUH, Bev... he’s been Black all along, how could you not know?

Look, I made no secret that I was against many, if not most, of the Obama/Biden economic plans, but you see THAT is what makes MLK’s words so profound. THAT is the fulfillment of MLK’s dream— to me, Obama wasn’t a Black man running for President, he was a MAN running for President. Period.

But this morning, I saw film of all the Black men and women watching Obama’s acceptance speech with tears of joy on their faces. Repeated over and over again from people from all walks of life- from Black newscasters to just average, everyday Black supporters- was that “For the first time, I can TRUTHFULLY tell my son/daughter that, in America, you can be anything you want to be.” Then, after, listening to snippets of Dr. King’s speech throughout the morning, a speech I’ve heard a thousand times, I got it. I felt the awesome enormity of this historic milestone. And I have to tell you that MY tears started flowing too.

Or as John McCain said about Obama in his gracious and heartfelt speech last night, “...his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.”

And the thing is, it’s not just the Black population that has been inspired by Obama’s election. It’s EVERY minority, and it’s women; it’s people in OTHER countries, and it’s young people of EVERY race.

So, you know what? I think Obama’s election WILL bring about a change for the better. He has excited and united a whole lot of people that felt apathetic toward and disenfranchised by the government of this country and hopefully they will continue to vote, to care, to be involved, to be motivated to make their lives better.

So, now I say to President-Elect Obama, Vice-President-Elect Biden, and to the overwhelmingly Democratic Congress: keep the momentum going-- MAKE THINGS BETTER. You've got a clear path, with few checks and balances. You have no partisan excuses; there’s nowhere for you to point the finger of blame when entitlements are added to important bills. Do right by this country, and leave us in better shape than we were when you took the helm.

As John McCain went on to say, “Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.”

John McCain November 4, 2008:

Barok Obama November 4, 2008 Part 1 of 2

Barok Obama November 4, 2008 Part 2 of 2

Oh, and Arkansas? Consider yourselves slapped upside the head. WHAT were you thinking?! And California? You guys just plain confuse the hell outta me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

LKH's Anita Blake TV Pilot

From Television Business International (via SciFi Guy)

Lionsgate to produce Anita Blake for IFC
US cable network IFC has commissioned Lionsgate to make a two hour sci fi pilot based on vampire novel Anita Blake.

The series, which is based on a series of erotic fantasy books by Laurell K Hamilton, is set to be executive produced by X-Files and Final Destination producer Glen Morgan.

Craig Cegielski, EVP, programming and sales, Lionsgate International Television, told TBIvision that the Rainbow Media-owned broadcaster will air the two hour pilot next year, before deciding whether to order a full season. "It's a sexier Buffy The Vampire Slayer," he says.

Hmmm... looks like it's more than just speculation this time, huh? But IFC?! How odd.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Haunted Jeff Files

DISCLOSURE: The following should NOT be construed as a political statement in ANY WAY!

At least not by me.

Now my brother-in-law, Jeff, who forwarded it to me? That's a whole 'nuther ball of wax.

The reason it's in a scroll box is because it completely creeps me the hell out and I don't want to view it accidently. Seriously, the hairs on the back of my neck try to climb up over my head when I look at it. But it certainly falls within the spirit of the season, doesn't it?

Now, to get that image out of your mind, let me direct you to Gennita Low's blog where she's got a freakin' hilarious pic that is too big for me to fit here. And yes, I'd think it was funny no matter who was in the driver's seat. Man she's got some unbelievably funny and/or pervy pics throughout her blog! I think I'm going to have to add her to my Google Reader.

And now, I start my end of month work crunch (which I should have already started) so I doubt I'll be around much over the next week. I'll TRY to keep up with Google Reader subscriptions as best I can, though I may not take the time to leave comments.