Re-Create A Cover Contest - Entry

Posted by Elizabeth Ryann on 7:08 PM in , ,
Princess Bookie is hosting an awesome contest over at her blog.  All you need to do is recreate Mandy Hubbard's cover.

I'm totally laughing right now because Mandy's cover is awesome and I love it, plus I don't own Photoshop.  But I AM committed to winning cool books AND a My Little Pony, so I did what I could using images stolen from Google and Picnik.

The description of Mandy's book, as stolen from Amazon because I am all about the copy and pasting today, goes a little something like this:

Kayla McHenry’s sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla’s secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin’ do.
Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year’s supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla’s wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend.

So anyway, here goes.  My original entry for the recreated cover is (left here for posterity since I've made edits to the entry):

And here's my modified submission, since we were allowed more time.  I decided to continue the manic theme, but threw in a touch (just a touch!) more polish:

Yes, I know it is amazing.  Because I have thrown absolutely everything but the kitchen sink into this sucker.  It's okay.  You guys may go ahead and tell me you love it anyway. ;^)

P.S. This is the picture I wanted to use SO BADLY, but I couldn't figure out how.  My gift to you:

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RomCon! Books Edition - BIG OL' CONTEST

Posted by Elizabeth Ryann on 10:16 PM in , , ,

Okay, so I've been winning a lot of books lately (all the RomCon books totally count because I won the tickets for that too), and so I think it's time I share the wealth.  The box of books from the conference has finally arrived and what that means for you guys is: A contest!  Whoo!  I have a number of doubles, so I think the best option is to do one grand prize (that'll be this entry) and then a number of smaller prizes over the next few weeks.  Because to be perfectly honest, I'm awful at getting to the post office and shipping things.  So let's not test me all at once with that.

What's the prize?  Why, it's some fancy loot from RomCon, including but not limited to the things pictured below.  There will likely be a few extra surprises in there:

- Laura Kinsale's The Prince of Midnight
- Laura Kinsale's Uncertain Magic
- Laura Kinsale's Midsummer Moon
- Laura Kinsale's Seize the Fire
- Brenda Novak's The Perfect Murder
- Jeaniene Frost's Destined for an Early Grave
- Kristan Higgins The Next Best Thing
- Linda Lael Miller's McKettricks of Texas: Tate
- Judith Arnold's Meet Me in Manhattan (Advanced Reader's Copy)
- Samhain Publishing T-shirt
- RomCon 2011 mouse pad
- RomCon pen
- RomCon tote bag

To make it the most fair for people who are already followers, and who have assured me they're totally cool with me just giving them the prize, I think we'll go with a points system.  So, here's how to snag some points to enter:

1. Leave me an email address in the comments of this entry at which to contact you if you win. This one's important, guys.  And the only step that's actually required. (+1 point) [Note: If you feel uncomfortable leaving your email address, just let me know an alternative method of contacting you. Like Twitter DM or something.  That's a perfectly acceptable substitute.]

2. Follow this blog. (Already a follower? +2 points!! New follower? The link's in the column to the right. +1 And hey, welcome!)

3. Follow me on Twitter. (Already a follower? +3 points! If you're new? +2)

4. Tweet this contest. (+1 point - I'll go with the honor system here. You don't need to provide a link.  But you can do this step as many times as you like.  No, really, you can.  Don't let me limit you.)

5. Blog about this or otherwise write something getting the word out. (+2 points!)

6.  Add up all your points for me. (+1 point)

That means you can have a max of ten entries/points in the contest, or a minimum of one.  Make sense?  If you do something that's worth more points, cool!  Delete your earlier comment with your old points total, and make a new comment with your new points total.

By entering into the contest, you agree that you are over the age of 13.  Also the contest is limited to the continental United States (Sorry, Territories. And international friends.).  Contest opens now, and ends Friday, August 6th, at 5:00 pm PST.

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RomCon! Authors Edition

Posted by Elizabeth Ryann on 10:46 PM in , , , , ,
I have a confession to make: before RomCon, I only had one signed book, and it was one that the author coerced me into buying when she spotted me at Borders and proceeded to personalize it for me. Since the book is significantly awful (think literal bodice ripper, with multiple episodes of head trauma, passing out, sexy starvation, and imprisonment), my BFF Liz and I trade it back and forth as an entertaining gag gift.

However, when we saw the list of authors who would be coming to RomCon, and how many of our favorites were on there, we kinda geeked out.  I mean, NALINI SINGH! I love her.  And it turns out, she really is the sweetest, and she speaks with a great accent, so she's both entertaining and fun to listen to.  And just to make it really clear: I think she is the bees knees and ridiculous levels of awesome.  So I told her so, multiple times.  And then she was in the room two doors down from ours, and we had to make sure she understood that we just loved her, but were not psycho or stalking her, since it is, at times, a fine line.

The other author we were really psyched to chat up was Julia Quinn, and she was just fabulous, fun, and friendly.  I arrived a little late to her intimate chat (because Liz arrived after I did and was having issues with the hotel not recognizing her name and refusing to send a shuttle to pick her up from the airport), and Julia was great, and kindly disregarded my emergency texting throughout the session.  Then she stayed afterwards and chatted with us, since Liz arrived at the very end, and I think Liz is an even bigger JQ fan girl than I am. She signed all of our books and took hilarious pictures, and was just generally as lovely as can be.  Lovely enough that I'm willing to share this extremely unflattering, but hilarious, photo:

Luckily, we also took a normal picture:

Then there was the opportunity to meet new-to-you authors, or rather, many opportunities to hang out with any and all authors, some of whom were new to you.  Two of my favorites were Meagan Hatfield and Jessa Slade, whom I hung out with during the Build a Hero workshop, which was extremely fun.  We sat around brainstorming the perfect paranormal hero, as a group, for two hours. Which means basically just giggling and making smart literary choices.  You can see a glimpse of some of Team Awesome's work (and my handwriting!) at Jessa's write up here.  It turns out that many of the characteristics that are popular in designing a hero are being tall, dark, handsome, and scared of matches.  Who knew?  Our hero, Shikar, came in second place (perhaps because he lacked that fear of fire?), but only because we weren't allowed to vote for our own hero.  Our group was by far the largest and felt the strongest about him, but we were foiled by that last-minute rule. Oh, well!  It was still a blast, and Shikar was awesome.  As was our entire group.  Seriously.  This might have been my favorite activity.

I met so many authors, so many of whom were just so lovely, that I feel compelled to go out and buy their entire backlist now.  I mean, I ended up on the shuttle with Elizabeth Hoyt, Cindy Gerard, and Lori Foster going over to the hotel from the airport.  It was just that kind of trip, with tons of unlimited access to authors.  In that particular case, Elizabeth was lovely and introduced me to everyone and we chatted about conventions and her daughter, and how difficult it can be to pack for these things.  I ended up accidentally stalking Cindy Gerard for awhile on Friday, running into her at almost every activity, until we just started laughing because we kept ending up at the same tables.  When we went to the book signing on Saturday, which we were told in advance we were only allowed to bring three of our own books to, I was expecting lines.  Nope, not at all.  Just more author hanging out time!  It was so awesome.  I apologized to Jo Beverley for accidentally sleeping through her intimate chat, and she laughed, forgave me, and gave me some stickers.  Elizabeth Boyle was adorable, and got so excited at meeting two other Elizabeths that she insisted on taking an Elizabeth picture with us.  I wish I had thought to take one too, but I was distracted in the frenzy of having so much fun.  Nalini Singh chatted with us for awhile, and revealed the cover art for Archangel's Consort (it's gorgeous).  She'd also had the foresight to buy some sparkly purple pens for the occasion, so all her dedications are extra fun (and personal - she wrote different funny things in each book I had her sign).  Anna Campbell is so much fun, and has such infectious energy, that you can't help but be giggly and cheerful when hanging out with her. I chatted with one of my new favorites, Veronica Wolff (who writes paranormal Scottish historicals, straight Scottish historicals, and has an upcoming vampire young adult series! Also, her middle name is Elizabeth, so she is clearly awesome). I briefly spoke to Jeaniene Frost and sat with the lovely Meljean Brook for a bit, and it was all just so surreal and awesome that I don't think I can properly describe it.  And so many of the authors felt the same, I can't tell you how many confessed how excited they were to meet Christine Feehan (who was also fun and awesome).

Basically, I'd recommend this conference for the authors alone.  They were all so fabulous and wonderful, and I met so many awesome new people, that the whole trip was more than worth it.

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Posted by Elizabeth Ryann on 11:47 PM in , , , , , ,
So I went to RomCon this past weekend, and it was absolutely fantastic, full of hilarity and awesome times.  As with most awesome times, I went with my friend Liz.  I'm sure some of you have picked up on that recurring theme by now, since y'all strike me as a group with really great reading comprehension.  And since tons of stuff happened that I'd love to chronicle, I think I might make this a two-part post.  Or maybe three part.

Our journey started several months ago, when we wondered if there were a super girly convention that we could attend, along the lines of the Star Trek convention in Vegas, and we concluded that romance novels were just about the girliest subject about which one could convene.  So we plugged in Romance Convention into Google and discovered the inaugural RomCon this year in Denver.  It sounded like exactly what we had hoped for and we started to get giddy.  Then we saw that tickets were $125 each, plus the cost of travel, hotel, and food.  So we rethought that plan.

Fast forward a few months, and I managed to win two tickets to the event from Sue Grimshaw, the Borders Romance Blogger, on Twitter, and our summer vacation plan was back on.  The planning went through several variations, but eventually it all ended up working out, and the experience was absolutely amazing.  Have you ever imagined what it would be like to just sit, and chat, and hang out with your very favorite author(s) for hours on end?  Then take home tons of books, many of which are personalized with hilarious messages?  Then you have imagined RomCon.  It was just really great, and I'm so glad that we got the chance to go.

So I think I talked myself into making this a three-post topic, so for now I'll leave you hanging about the authors and the books, and just give you a taste of how fun and funny the actual event was by reliving it through pictures:

More hilarity to come.  Stay tuned!

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Petals and Thorns - Review

Posted by Elizabeth Ryann on 8:05 PM in , , ,
When my friend Jeffe Kennedy asked if anyone wanted an ARC of her lovely new ebook Monday night, I immediately said that I did.  I don't actually think I'm capable of saying no to free books, but free books written by friends that feature the Beauty and the Beast archetype?  Yeah, I'm definitely not strong enough.  And to ensure that her contractual obligations are fulfilled,  I agreed to write a review of Petals and Thorns, her erotic novella under the pen name Jennifer Paris.  (Side note: Isn't her cover super pretty?)

More after the jump:

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Being Awesome, Flash Mob Style

Posted by Elizabeth Ryann on 9:35 PM in , , , ,
So my best friend and I have this symbiotic relationship where we fully support each other's awesomeness, and being more awesome, and doing awesome stuff.  Essentially, we are committed to enabling awesomeness within each other.  Because we are so dedicated to this idea, we've been doing some fairly hilarious things lately, like flash mobbing.  If you've never seen a flash mob, check out this one, which is one of my very favorites:

So you get the idea, right?  Basically a group of people "spontaneously" start dancing and then wander off.  I LOVE flash mobs.  I watch almost as many of them as I do cat videos on YouTube.  So when my BFF learned about a flash mob featuring songs by Lady Gaga (whom she adores), we were all over it.

Despite some disorganization in the prep and rehearsal process, the first one turned out pretty darn awesome, I must say.  You can see me at the 3:25 mark and my BFF at the 4:27 mark. She's wearing a white hoodie because she's crazy smart and wanted it to be easy to spot ourselves in the crowd.  We're in the bottom left in the aerial shots:


P.S. I have no idea where that camera was.  Despite appearances, it really was not all up in my grill.

A couple weeks later, we received an email offering us the opportunity to reprise the awesome at a top secret Hollywood party.  Figuring we already knew the choreography and that there would be free food, we figured why not?  And that is how we came to be part of the flash mob at the Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards honoring Sylvester Stallone.  Sadly, the video of that event is NOT awesome, so I won't inflict it on you guys.  But it was still fun to do, and we DID walk away with this awesome picture, so it was totally worth it:

What have you done lately just because it's awesome?

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