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text 2017-11-11 17:32
November 11 in the Rhine Valley -- Yet Another Sort of Holiday ... and Party! (Also: Task for Square 11 of the "16 Festive Tasks": Soyal)

In the Rhine Valley, where I live, November 11 has yet another meaning, in addition to (and even more so than) the two holidays we included in the "16 Festive Tasks":

 

11/11, 11:11 AM marks the opening of the carnival season, which ends roughly three months later on Ash Wednesday (this season: Feb. 14, 2018), which in turn marks the beginning of the six-week lent period leading up to Easter.  While the Thursday and the weekend immediately preceding Ash Wednesday are the high points of the Rhineland carnival celebrations, the opening of what is known hereabouts as "the fifth season" on 11/11 at 11:11 AM is a major first highlight which essentially turns the complete centres of the area's cities -- and none more so than Cologne, the Rhine Valley's "carnival capital" -- into one big party zone, complete with people dressing up, the popular carnival music bands' first big stage appearances of the season, the first appearances of the "carnival princes" (three representatives of the major carnival clubs that preside over the whole season's events), and their honor guards (the members of the carnival clubs, dressed up in uniforms initially created to mock those of the Prussian militia -- e.g., see bottom row of photos from Bonn), etc.  To wit (all pictures of today, chiefly taken from the website of our local TV station, WDR):

 

Cologne

 


 

More Cologne photos here -- as well as a short video, courtesy of a Cologne newspaper (Youtube link here; on BL, the video won't show in dashboard view but only if you open this post in blog view)

 

 

Bonn:

   

Bottom row: representatives of the "Bonn City Soldiers"

More Bonn photos here.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Addendum: It just occurs to me that this matches the requirements of the Tasks for Soyal: Like many Native American festivities, Soyal involves rituals such as dances. What local / religious / folk traditions or customs exist where you live? Tell us about one of them. (If you can, post pictures for illustration.) 

 

(Hah.  Talk about game hosts not knowing their own games ...)

 

 

Merken

Merken

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text 2017-10-28 00:06
Surprise, Surprise ...

Excited about the idea of a holidays-themed game?  So are Murder by Death and I.  Before you're getting in gear for exactly the "Twelve Tasks" you remember from last year, though ...

 

-- there just might be a little surprise in the wings after all.

 

Since MR and OB are taking a well-deserved and long overdue break from game hosting this holiday season, MbD and I offered to help out this time around.  So ... watch this space over the course of the next couple of days!

 

Your interim game hosts

 

Murder by Death and Themis-Athena

 



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text 2017-10-20 08:05
Cover Reveal - Holidays Ever After

HolidaysEverAfter_RevealBanner

 

Title: Holidays Ever After

Author(s): Various

Publisher: Carter & Bradley Publishing

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Romance Genre(s): Contemporary Pages: 1581

 

View on Goodreads

 

 

HolidaysEverAfter

 

About the Box Set:

 

 Which holiday hottie will you unwrap first? No matter the time of the year, it’s always the season for seduction! From Spicy to Sweet and everything in between, this sizzling boxed set of TWENTY contemporary romances from today’s New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors will give you tons of holiday hunks to fall in love with. Inside these pages you’ll find everything from sexy strangers and brooding billionaires to marines, firefighters, and the guy next door. Whether you’re in the mood for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, or a New Year’s celebration, this limited edition Holiday Ever After anthology is packed with exclusive, full-length titles to lift your spirits. From Halloween to Kwanzaa, Valentines Day, Norooz, and the Fourth of July, these stories will give your holiday season extra spark and will be the best romantic holiday bundle to hit your ereader this year! Get ready to heat up your holidays when you treat yourself to Holidays Ever After!

 

Preorder Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

iBooks | Official Holidays Ever After Page

 

 

About the Authors:

 

Colleen Charles

colleen-charles-author-image After 26 years in Corporate leadership at a Fortune 500, I discovered people within the organization lacked integrity. I’d always known deep in my soul that I was trying to fit a square peg in to a round hole since I’m the typical creative type. I miss my staff but I don’t miss the corporate world. It’s been said that the Universe will let you know if something isn’t right for you. The first time, it will hit you with a pebble. Then a brick. Then a boulder. Let’s just say that I got flattened. Visit Colleen’s website

 

 

Monica Corwin

monica-corwin-author-image Monica Corwin is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. She is an outspoken writer attempting to make romance accessible to everyone, no matter their preferences. As a Northern Ohioian, Monica enjoys snow drifts, three seasons of weather, and a dislike of Michigan football. Monica owns more books about King Arthur than should be strictly necessary. Also typewriters...lots and lots of typewriters. Visit Monica’s website

 

 

Amy L. Gale

amy-l-gale-author-image Romance author by night, pharmacist by day, Amy Gale loves rock music and the feel of sand between her toes. She attended Wilkes University where she graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In addition to writing, she enjoys baking, scary movies, rock concerts, and reading books at the beach. She lives in the lush forest of Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, six cats, and golden retriever. Visit Amy’s website

 

 

Becca Fanning

becca-fanning-author-image USA Today Bestselling Author Becca is interested in one thing: big alpha male Shifters who know when to be tough and when to be sensitive. She didn't think there were enough of those, so she's been writing about them for the past three years! Her books are steamy with deep characters, suspense and authentic relationships. Visit Becca on Goodreads

 

 

Victoria Pinder

victoria-pinder-author-image USA Today best selling author, Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion. Visit Victoria’s website

 

 

Alexa Padgett

alexa-padgett-author-image With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction. Visit Alexa’s website

 

 

Tuesday Embers

tuesday-embers-author-image Tuesday lives in Michigan, where unicorns are too snobby to make an appearance. She enjoys dandelions, cupcakes and the occasional trip overseas. She also writes fantasy fiction under the name Mary E. Twomey. Visit Tuesday’s website

 

 

Khardine Gray

khardine-gray-author-image Khardine Gray is a contemporary romance author who lives in England with her husband and two kids. She is well traveled, cultured, and a woman with a passion for dancing and ice skating. When not writing you can catch her shopping, indulging on pizza and hot chocolate, or hanging out with her family and friends. Visit Khardine’s website

 

 

Holly Dodd

holly-dodd-author-image Holly Dodd is an award-winning author. Her novel won the 2016 RWA Beacon award for unpublished romantic suspense. Her fans classify her stories as steamy and intense with a little bit of funny and a lot of emotion. Visit Holly’s website

 

 

Liz Gavin

liz-gavin-author-image International bestselling author Liz Gavin’s books have made to #1 in countries as diverse as Japan, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and her home country Brazil, collecting 5 and 4-star reviews. Nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award in 2016, and again in 2017, this RWA member constantly seeks new opportunities to improve her craft. Visit Liz’s website

 

 

Jillian Quinn

jillian-quinn-author-image Jillian Quinn is an international bestselling romance author who likes her females just as alpha as their swoon-worthy male counterparts. Known for her hockey, football, and baseball romance novels, Jillian is a writer and sports fanatic, combining her passion for both hobbies into her books. Visit Jillian’s website

 

 

Courtney Hunt

courtney-hunt-author-image Courtney Hunt is a USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author. She writes the kind of books she loves to read--sweet and sexy contemporary romances with witty humor and heartwarming emotion. Courtney is a die-hard Disney, Harry Potter, and Star Trek fangirl. She lives near Washington DC with her own Prince Charming and their son. Visit Courtney’s website

 

 

Vivi Holt

vivi-holt-author-image Vivi Holt writes inspirational, historical romances with a western flavour. Vivi lives in beautiful Brisbane, Australia with her husband and three young children. Growing up on a farm she learned to love the country life and now she writes about it in her books. History has always fascinated her as well, so writing historical romance seemed a natural progression. She loves horse-riding, hiking, and reading. Visit Vivi’s website

 

 

Kristen Luciani

kristen-luciani-author-image Kristen Luciani is a USA Today bestselling author and momtrepreneur with a penchant for stilettos, Silicon Valley, plunging necklines and grapefruit martinis. As a deep-rooted romantic who prefers juicy drama to fill the lives of anyone other than her, she tried her hand at creating a world of enchantment, sensuality, and intrigue, finally uncovering her true passion. No pun intended… Visit Kristen’s website

 

 

Astrid Arditi

astrid-arditi-author-image If Astrid Arditi could have one magical power, it would be to create time—to write, to enjoy her children, to unpack (she’s moved five times in four years), to sleep in, to learn how to cook, and to hit the gym. Or at least, to locate the one nearest her. While waiting for her magic powers to manifest, she reads, eats way too many cakes, daydreams, and thanks her lucky stars for her whirlwind, wonderful life. Visit Astrid’s website

 

 

Rebekah R. Ganiere

rebekah-r-ganiere-author-image A Bestselling Award Winning Author - Rebekah grew up on both the east and west coasts and currently lives in the Los Angeles area. From the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein to The Stand by Stephen King, Rebekah has always immersed herself in other people's worlds. She began writing in junior high and then found she liked pretending to be other people's characters in high school. Lettering in drama she went on to study theater in college as well. After college she continued acting till becoming a mom. Ultimately, she ended up going back to writing her characters down instead of acting them out, so she could stay at home with her kids. Visit Rebekah’s website

 

 

Jessica Gray

jessica-gray-author-image Jessica Gray is a true romantic. She writes heartwarming and sexy contemporary romance full of true love. All her stories have a happy end. Because if it isn't happy, it isn't the end yet. Her characters are normal, lovable people with all their flaws and challenges. Her heroes are hunky alpha-males who aren't afraid to show their emotions and love that one woman the way she deserves it. Her heroines are sassy, self-confident women who can take care of themselves, but aren't opposed to a man who wants to take care of them and cherish them. Visit Jessica’s website

 

 

Ja’Nese Dixon

janese-dixon-author-image Ja’Nese Dixon writes tales of romance laced with strong women and stronger men. My happily ever afters are meant to inspire. So, if you’re looking for a page turner that will leave you blushing, with your heart racing, and lying to yourself about reading “just one more chapter” then grab a book. Visit Ja’Nese’s website

 

 

Teresa Roman

teresa-roman-author-image If it was possible to be born with a book in her hands, that's how Teresa Roman would've entered this world. Her passion for reading is what inspired her to become a writer. She loves the way stories can take you to another time and place. Teresa currently lives in beautiful Sacramento, CA with her husband, three adorable children and a dog named Parker that her son convinced them to adopt. When she's not at her day job or running around with her kids, you can find her in front of the computer writing, or with her head buried in another book. Visit Teresa’s website

 

 

Angela Corbett

angela-corbett-author-image Angela Corbett is a graduate of Westminster College where she double majored in communication and sociology. She has worked as a journalist, freelance writer, and director of communications and marketing. She loves classic cars, traveling, and chasing her five-pound Pomeranian, Pippin—who is just as mischievous as his hobbit namesake. She’s the author of Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult fiction—with lots of kissing. Visit Angela’s website

 

 

Tour Stops

October 16: Wicked Babes Blog Reviews
Behind Closed Doors
Written Love Reviews
Abibliophobia Anonymous
Loves Great Reads

October 17: My Fiction Nook
Sassy Book Lovers
Lisa's Book Blog @ LEL
Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

October 18: Shh, I Am Reading
Bonkers About Books
Underneath the Covers
Ogitchida Kwe's Book Blog

October 19: Books and Warpaint
Romance Novel Giveaways
I Heart Reading
Liz's Reading Life

October 20: ***Kitty's Book Spot!***
A Naughty Book Fling
Book Lover in Florida
Books, Dreams, Life

Tour Hosted by LoveBound Promotions

LoveBoundPromotionsLogo

 

 

 

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