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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Blog Hop!

Fun Facts about New Years!

Why should you ring in the New Year with family and friends? It is thought that the first visitors you see after ringing in the New Year would bring you good or bad luck, depending on who you keep as friends and enemies. Keep your friends close and your enemies far, far away!

The Time Square New Year's Eve Ball came about as a result of a ban on fireworks. The first ball, in 1907, was an illuminated 700-pound iron and wood ball adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs. Today, the round ball designed by Waterford Crystal, weighs 11,875-pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and is bedazzled with 2,668 Waterford crystals.

In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families stuff a life-size male doll called Mr. Old Year with memories of the outgoing year and dress him in old clothes from each family member. At midnight he is set on fire - thus burning away the bad memories of the year. 

It's another year over! Can you believe it? Well we authors, readers, and bloggers sure can't. And to celebrate the New Year with bang, we're going crazy and sending out so many prizes, fun parties, experiences, and other goodies, that it's a bit scary. Each author has a favorite New Year memory, book, idea, or way to party and we're going to show you! Can't wait to see you January 1st - 6th!

"What are you on to, checking up on me?" Lachlan narrowed his eyes as his brother sauntered into the kitchen.
Magnus managed to find a reason to come to the family's remote estate, dubbed Sanctuary, every few days for some lame reason or another. As usual, he surveyed the house, checking to see, perhaps, if garbage was piling up or if Lachlan had painted any of the walls black.
Magnus poured himself a cup of tea from the pot sitting on the counter, then opened the fridge to pull out milk and frowned. "If I were checking up on you, I’d point out the lack of quality food in the fridge.” He closed the door and tugged on Lachlan’s hair. “Or that you haven't cut your hair in months; it's as long as a girl's." Magnus pinched Lachlan’s chin. "At least you shaved, but next time use a mirror. You missed some spots.”
"Considering you and the clerks at the stores are the only people I see, I have no need for a cut and style." Lachlan stroked the strip of hair that ran from the bottom of his lower lip to his beard. “I was bored, figured I’d try something different.”
Magnus lifted the back of Lachlan’s old T-shirt. "No lash marks on your back, at least. Saw a movie about those monks who beat themselves with whips in punishment."
Lachlan shoved him away, not that the big guy moved much. "Sod off. Thought you were busy, as you’re so happy to tell me, living life, shagging women, and making up for lost time. Why are you driving all the way out here to check up on me? Making sure I haven't gone over the edge?"
Magnus dropped down into a chair and propped his big, black shoes on the kitchen table. "Holing up here by yourself day in and day out, it's bound to make you mad. You're a pain in my arse, but you're all the family I got. You want to live like a monk, keep punishing yourself for the past, nothing I can do about that. But I don't want to come out and find your rotting body."
Lachlan smirked. "I didn't know you cared."
"I'm the one who's going to have to deal with it."
Lachlan leaned against the counter. "Ah, it's the clean up you're worried about. I promise you, I’ll not be doing myself in. That’s a coward’s way out. I'll live‘til I’m a hundred and deserve every wretched minute of it. Now you can move on."
Magnus tilted his head. "I do care. It's me and you, Locky. That's all we've got."
"Don't remind me, Maggie." Not that he could forget why their parents were dead.
"You’re the only one who hates yourself, you know. It's time to ease up."
"Ease up? I killed our mum, for God's sake. Would have killed you, too, if I hadn’t come to my senses. I'd hate me, if I were you."
“You made a mistake, a big one, but you had no idea that the outcome would be as horrific as it was. It's been almost a year, Locky."
Lachlan kept his expression passive. He didn't deserve forgiveness or release. Or the childhood nickname. "I’m happy working on my projects, being alone, and living vicariously through your exploits. Get any gigs?"
Magnus gave him an exasperated sigh, hopefully giving up on him. "I'm filling in for an ailing drummer Saturday for the Wee Willies. And I've got a date. Not that you'd know what one of those is."
"I know what a bloody date is."
Magnus laugh came out a low rumble. “Oh, that’s right, you learned all about that kind of thing in those chat rooms and from watching dirty movies.” When Lachlan narrowed his eyes, Magnus raised his hands. “I’m not judging you. I watched them, too. We were hot-blooded teenage boys living a life in isolated areas, being home schooled. We had to get our jollies somewhere. But we’re not boys anymore, not being hunted down. It’s time to go out in the world and live.” He raised a thick eyebrow. “And touch women.”
“I’ve no interest in either. I'll stick to my cars, thank you.”
Magnus nodded toward the newspaper on the table. "At least you're keeping up with society. The girl I'm seeing, she's in there. Front page of the Living section.”When Lachlan didn’t move toward the paper, Magnus said, “Go on, have a peek."
She must be a number if he was eager to show her off. Or he was really hot for her. Maybe both. His brother always filled Lachlan in on the girl he was dating, a different one every time. Not to brag, but probably out of an attempt to draw him out into the world. Tempt him.
Dutifully, Lachlan turned to the section. The story featured a winter carnival to raise money for a local girl who not only had muscular dystrophy but had recently undergone a bone marrow transplant. An anonymous marrow donor had saved her life, but medical bills threatened to bury the family.
There, in the background of one a photo of people setting up booths was a petite, dark-haired woman, her shiny hair in a pixie cut that fanned over her shoulders. Unaware of the camera, she held up a large sign while two people hammered it in place. Her profile showed apple cheeks, tight-fitting jeans, and a sweater that molded a great set of knockers.
"Nice," he allowed.
"I haven't even pointed her out yet." Magnus jabbed his finger at the same woman. "Name's Jessie. I've fallen for her."
"That's what you said about the last four or five. Or ten."
Magnus’s mouth turned up in a roguish smile. "Yeah, and I did, temporarily."
"What happens after you've fallen? You just get up? That's it, the feelings are all done?"
"Yeah, like the bubbles going out of a soda after it's been sitting for a while. But there's something about Jessie that I can't put my finger on."
"Well, she's hot."
"She is, but that's not it. Dunno. Anyway, you could come to the carnival—"
"No, thanks. Have fun with your girl. I hope you're using a condom."
Magnus smirked the same way he had. "I didn't know you cared."
"I was thinking of the lass, you horn dog. ‘Twould serve you right, catching crabs or lobsters or whatever."
Instead of taking the bait, Magnus laughed, shaking his curls. Well, sure, he could be in a good mood. He was going to get laid.
Magnus pushed to his feet. "All right, carry on with your wallowing. Might help your mood if you got laid, too."
"Stop reading my mind. Invasive, meddling—"
Magnus chuckled as he headed to the front door. “Nice job on the fifty-five, by the way. Sexy as hell. I’d say the sixteen coats of Marine Spar varnish did the trick." He let the door close behind him.
That’55 Chevy truck was as sexy as Lachlan’s life was going to get. He carried the mugs to the sink but stopped short. The shiny, blood red tile backsplash was wobbling. The floor shifted under his feet. Earthquake? He dropped the mugs back on the table, and the house started spinning. He grabbed onto the back of a chair at the small table, but it gave way. And so did he.
And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.
   But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!


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