Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We Did It! Burns Night Wrap Up and Another Giveaway!

I am such a Scot freak that I actually joined Ancestry.com to try and find a Scottish ancestor in my blood line. Somewhere! Anywhere! Come on, people! I spent hours and hours on the site, making family trees with more branches than the government. And finally (thank you, God!) I did it! I found my Scottish ancestor.

From the 1600s.

LOL Yep, I had to peel back the generations hundreds of years to find ONE drop of Scottish blood. But hey, I figure that one drop took root pretty hardcore, so I'm full on claiming it as my own.

I'm proud to be Scottish!

And I'm proud of this incredible Burns Night event with Team Kilt, Aidens Angels and all of you. Thank you for being a part of this awesome day!

If you missed any of the posts (which I can understand, since there has been a new post every two hours today!), never fear. Scroll on through them to get caught up. The giveaways will be open until 1/27/12 at 12:01am Eastern.

And as a very special thank you for being a part of the Team Kilt Burns Night event, I am giving away a personalized, signed paperback copy of Between! Simply complete the Rafflecopter entry below, telling me which post of the day was your favorite.

Now I'm off to find a dram of whisky and crawl into bed. Happy Burns Night, everyone!


Wear Your Scottish Pride (and sense of humor)

I'm constantly taking pictures of funny Scottish t-shirts and wanted to share some of them with you!












And one more pic to emphasize the Scots' sense of humor (and renowned penny pinching):

Hope you enjoyed them! Come on back in a couple of hours for the next Burns Night post!

Zach and Aiden Twitter Chat!


So you know how I love the SHADE series by Jeri Smith-Ready right? If not, here's my glowing 5-star review as well as my OMG-Everybody-Vote-For-Zachary post from the YA Crush Tourney.


Zachary Moore is the Scottish hottie from the SHADE series and also has his own fan site, KiltandKeeley.com, which just kicked off this month! How awesome is that?

Aiden MacRae (from my very own Between) is going to be chatting on Twitter with Zach for one hour, starting at 7 p.m. Pacific (10 p.m. Eastern) today. You won't want to miss it!

Be sure to follow both @moore_zachary and @AidenMacRae to stay on top of the conversation. We'll be using the hashtag #FakeScotsmen. And just to avoid any spoilers, Aiden will be chatting as he is in the *start* of Between. And I'm not going to say any more than that! *grin*

If It's Not Scottish, It's Crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrap!

I came across this awesome post by S.G. Rogers, author of The Last Great Wizard of Yden, and loved it so much that I wanted to share it with you as part of our Burns' Night celebration.

In the post, entitled "Under The Kilt," S.G. interviews Cathie Dunn, resident of Edinburgh and author of Highland Arms. S.G. asks the question:

"Is there any truth to the stereotypes about Scotsmen?  Are they really a wild bunch of red-shirted, kilt-wearing, Scotch-drinking, sword-wielding, overly-emotional men?"

I adored Cathie's answer and so will you!

Check back here in another two hours for more Scot-loving posts to celebrate Burns Night!

A Tribute to Eilean Donan Castle and the MacRaes


If you've read Between, you know that Eilean Donan Castle was Aiden MacRae's home growing up. I fell in love with the history of the castle: destroyed in 1719 by the English, then restored centuries later by John MacRae-Gilstrap. Today, Eilean Donan is the most photographed castle in all of Scotland. And rightly so, because it is nothing short of breathtaking. *swoon*

I tried to stay as close to the actual history as I could when writing Between. There is a wealth of information online about the castle's history, including captain logs from the ships who destroyed the castle via cannon in the early 1700s!



The MacRaes were inhabitants of the castle, along with the MacKenzies. Both clans were close allies with the Frasers (shout out to Jamie Fraser from Outlander- woot!). The MacRaes were known for their fighting abilities and agreed to come to Kintail (where Eilean Donan is located) in exchange for providing this service to the MacKenzies, earning them the nickname "MacKenzies' shirt of mail."

The MacRae crest features a strong arm grasping a sword and the word "Fortitudine" which is Latin for "fortitude" meaning "strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage." Quite an apt description of the MacRaes and a fitting family for my Scottish hero!

If Aiden MacRae is your idea of a swoon-worthy hunk, here's your chance to declare your love for him to the world! Giveaway time!!


Enter to win one item of your choice from the Aiden's Angels logo merchandise by answering this question, "What was your favorite part of Between?" If you haven't yet read the book, you can answer by saying what about Between most intrigues you.

Thanks for being a part of the Burns Night celebration today! Check back every two hours for more posts on the awesomeness that is Scotland!

How a True Scot Celebrates Burns Night


My friend, Jim, from Twitter (@ChauvinOn) is a Scotsman currently living in Texas, but he still carries on the tradition of Burns Night with his lovely bride, Juliet.

As a special favor, he put together a lovely recap of what Burns Night looks like for him and his family. Enjoy!

Our Burns Night

A Burns supper is generally a fairly formal occasion in both dress and structure. 
Formal Scottish dress is normal for the gentlemen, for the ladies it is often an evening dress, although some will wear tartan skirts with a white blouse. With lots of formal structured, but often humorous speeches.
For us it is much less formal.
But the food is traditional and good: Scotch Broth to start, followed by Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, and of course a pudding – maybe Sticky- Toffee pudding. Since we don’t drink we have Scotland’s “other national drink” IRN BRU.

Piping in the haggis; is me with the iPod and speakers under my arm, playing “Scotland the Brave” or some other rousing tune. We never stick to the set speech format, but here are a few snippets.

I love “A Man’s a Man” because of its clear vision of a more just world.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

And of course I always recite, “My Love is Like a Red Red Rose”, for my Juliet.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Unfortunately Burns was after Aiden’s time or I am sure he would have sung it to Lindsey. (Cyndi's note: Awwwww! I love that!)

And what better way to end than with the following excerpt from “Tam o’ Shanter”.
But pleasures are like poppies spread, 
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed; 
Or like the snow falls in the river, 
A moment white-then melts for ever; 
Or like the Borealis race, 
That flit ere you can point their place; 
Or like the Rainbow's lovely form 
Evanishing amid the storm. - 
Nae man can tether Time nor Tide, 
The hour approaches Tam maun ride; 



Thank you so much, Jim, for sharing your traditions with us. What fun! And that love song... *swoon* No wonder all the ladies were in love with Rabbie! :)


Don't miss the "Ask a Real Scotsman" Q&A with Fraser McFarlane, hosted by The Mountains of Instead blog, starting at 1pm Pacific, 4pm Eastern!

Enter below to win an ebook copy of Between, just for telling me your favorite thing about Scotland!


Never at a Loss for Words (aka Scottish Proverbs)


It's a good thing that Scots have such a sexy accent since they always have something to say. Here's a list of Scottish sayings I collected from a variety of online sites:

http://www.fife.50megs.com/scottish-sayings.htm
He's the slave of all slaves who serve's none but himself.

The willing horse is always worked to death.

Empty barrels make the most noise.

Better be a coward than a corpse.

He goes long barefoot that waits for dead men's shoes.

If the Lord slight the lady so will the kitchen boys.

Scottish by birth, British by law, a Highlander by the grace of God.

Whisky may not cure the common cold but it fails more agreeably than most other things.

http://www.scotland-welcomes-you.com/scottish_sayings.html
Whit's fur ye'll no go by ye! - What's meant to happen will happen.

Is the cat deid? - Has the cat died? Means your trousers are a bit short - like a flag flying at half mast.

Mony a mickle maks a muckle! - Saving a small amount soon builds up to a large amount.

http://www.scotsindependent.org/features/scots/sayings.htm
A bonnie bride is sune buskit, an a short horse sune wispit: A good looking bride needs little in the way of adornment, and a small horse is soon groomed (i.e. A slight task is soon finished).

Chalk's no shears: literally "chalk is not a pair of scissors." There is a great difference between merely marking out on a cloth a desired pattern from actually cutting it (i.e. Planning to do something is not the same as actually doing it).

Can't get enough? Here are some more sites to whet your Scottish whistle!

http://www.scottish-at-heart.com/scottish-sayings.html
http://www.squidoo.com/scottishwords
http://www.visitrannoch.com/scottish-quotes.htm
http://jimmythejock.hubpages.com/hub/thejockspot_old_scottish_sayings
http://www.allgreatquotes.com/scottish_quotes_proverbs_scotland.shtml

And if you've never seen it before, here's a hilarious skit on Scottish accents!



Another great place to find all-things-Scottish is ScotchPotch.com. Check it out!

Come back here in another two hours for more Burns Night fun!

The Bagpipes! The Accents! Why I Love Scottish Music

Yeah, you read that right. They're pipers and they're bad ass! I first heard the Red Hot Chilli Pipers while strolling through the touristy gift shops on High Street in Edinburgh (which was more fun than should be legal) and I thought they were awesome.

Bagpipes, attitude, accents, what's not to love? In fact, I think the RHCP are so phenom that I'm giving away one of their CDs to someone who comments on this blog post!

But the RHCP (amazing as they are) are not the only Scottish bands I love. Jim Malcolm, Dougie MacLean, Old Blind Dogs and Runrig also top the list. I saw Jim Malcolm in concert a couple years ago and he's currently on a US tour, so check to see if he's coming to your town!

If you've never listened to Scottish folk music, Dougie's "Caledonia" is playing in the background of this video I made of pics from our 2010 Scotland trip.


There's just something about a singing Scotsman that melts a lassie, especially when he's singing the poetry of  auld Rabbie Burns. *blissful sigh*

Leave a comment on this post and complete the Rafflecopter to be entered to win a CD from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers!

Kilts, Hose & Ghillie Brogues... Oh My!

No Scottish love-fest would be complete with a post dedicated to the hotness that is KILTS!


Here's a wee video to teach how to dress like a Highlander in the Bonnie Prince Charlie style (rated G since he's wearing boxer briefs- LOL).

Do you know how many times you're supposed to twist the laces on your ghillie brogues?




Wearing a kilt is an awesome Scottish tradition to be passed down from generation to generation, as shown in this pic I snapped in Edinburgh of a boy and his grandpa.


And if you're thinking, "Hey, we only get ONE sexy kilt picture? Come on!!" never fear. Here's a link to my kiltgasmic post back from the Crush Tourney when #TeamKilt first came to be!


For the Love of Whisky

There are few things more Scottish than whisky, that golden liquid that burns a path down your throat. In fact, the Gaelic word for whisky is uisge beatha, which literally means "fire water." Aptly named, if you ask me.


My friends and I have had a couple whisky tasting parties at my house, which is a complete blast. I highly recommend trying a bunch of varieties to learn what you like and don't like, because all whiskys are not created equal. Wild Turkey, for example, is about the nastiest thing I've ever tasted (next to haggis- LOL).


The diagram above is from the Dalwhinnie whisky distillery in Scotland. Each dot represents a different whisky on the smoky-delicate-light-rich grid. So you can see there's quite a bit of variation. My favorite brand is Macallan Cask Strength, followed by Glenmorangie's Quinta Ruban, then Jura.


The weirdest whisky I've ever tried was Ardbeg, which tasted like licking a campfire. Okay, okay, I've never licked a campfire but you get the idea. I had less than a shot and the smoke flavor stayed with me all day long. Not something I'll drink again, but it was definitely worth doing once.

What about you? Do you have a taste for the fire water? Leave your faves in the comments section!

And speaking of fire, here's a commercial for William Lawson whisky that I love! Enjoy!


Scot Up! It's Haggis Time!

If you've read my bio on Goodreads (or the back of Between), you know it says I love all things Scottish with the exception of haggis. I did actually try it (TWICE!) when I went to Scotland in 2010. It was... uh... not good. LOL Still, it was better deep fried, as most things are.


So the first contest of our Burns Night celebration is going to test the fortitude of your stomach. I won't make you eat haggis, but here's a video on how it's made. At one point in the video, he notes that they have to import the "natural" casings (aka stomachs).

To enter the giveaway, you have to answer why that is (he gives the answer in the video). Listen closely, since his accent is thick!

The winner will receive an ebook copy of Between in their preferred format (PDF, Kindle, Nook, etc).

Queasy? It's time to Scot Up, lads and lassies! You can do it!


Burns Night Kicks Off Now!


Break open the whisky! Whip out the bagpipes! Burns Night, that annual celebration of Robert Burns (the poet laureate and bard of Scotland) is upon us and we have got a ton of fun in store for you today.

Jeri Smith-Ready has teamed up with me and other Scot lovers for an entire day dedicated to the awesomeness that is Scotland, including:

All Things Scottish giveaway hop! Bloggers, write a post about your favorite thing about Scotland, hold a giveaway, and you could win an ARC of SHINE, the last book in the SHADE trilogy! Check out the linky on the FWIW blog to participate!

Get Your Scot On contest! Share your own photos of Scotland, attempts to make (and eat!) haggis, or any Scottish related fun, and be entered to win. Link up your blog on Fictish Delish's site!

A New Post Every Two Hours! Check back here for a new Scottish-themed post every two hours throughout the day. My blog will be hosting giveaways of Between, Scottish music and Aiden's Angels merchandise. Woot!

Ask a Real Scotsman! Q&A with Glasgow Native Fraser McFarlane. Pop on over to The Mountains of Instead book blog at 4pm EST (1pm PST) to join in the fun.

Or if fake Scotsmen are more your style...

Zachary and Aiden Twitter chat! Zachary Moore from the SHADE series and Aiden MacRae from Between will be getting chummy on Twitter beginning at 10pm EST (7pm PST). Be sure you're following both of the fictional guys and use the hashtag #FakeScotsmen to keep up!

Whew! I may need to take a wee nap after all this excitement. Auld Rabbie Burns never had it so good! :)




Monday, January 23, 2012

Burns Night Craziness is Almost Here!


Fill the cabinet with whisky! Make sure your bagpipes are in good order! Burns Night, that annual celebration of Robert Burns (the poet laureate and bard of Scotland) is almost here (Wednesday, January 25th) and we have got a ton of fun in store for you.

Jeri Smith-Ready has teamed up with me and other Scot lovers for an entire day dedicated to the awesomeness that is Scotland, including:

All Things Scottish giveaway hop! Bloggers: write a post about your favorite thing about Scotland, hold a giveaway, and you could win an ARC of SHINE, the last book in the SHADE trilogy! The FWIW blog will be posting a linky soon!

Get Your Scot On contest! Share your own photos of Scotland, attempts to make (and eat!) haggis, or any Scottish related fun, and be entered to win. Fictish Delish's site will have a linky posted on Tuesday for you.

A New Post Every Two Hours! Check back here for a new Scottish-themed post every two hours throughout the day on Wednesday, January 25th. My blog will be hosting giveaways of Between, Scottish music and Aiden's Angels merchandise. Woot!

Ask a Real Scotsman! Q&A with Glasgow Native Fraser McFarlane. Pop on over to The Mountains of Instead book blog on 1/25 at 4pm EST (1pm PST) to join in the fun.

Or if fake Scotsmen are more your style...

Zachary and Aiden Twitter chat! Zachary Moore from the SHADE series and Aiden MacRae from Between will be getting chummy on Twitter beginning at 10pm EST (7pm PST) on 1/25. Be sure you're following both of the fictional guys and use the hashtag #FakeScotsmen to keep up!

We'll be using the #TKBurnsNight hashtag on Twitter to spread the word, so let your friends know about the Scottish celebration coming this Wednesday! Go #TeamKilt and #AidensAngels!!


What can I say? I had to insert a gratuitous kilt picture. LOL



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Now that's just plain funny!

Oh yeah... Justin, eat your heart out!

Bwahahaha!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Marissa Meyer Book Signing Pics!

The first I heard of Marissa Meyer's debut book, Cinder, was from a bookseller at Third Place Books. She recognized me from the signing I did there in August and knew I liked YA books. She told me she'd just finished Cinder and loved it. So I looked up Marissa on Twitter and we started chatting.

News flash: She's really nice! And she's from Tacoma. Woot!

I asked if she was going to do a signing at Third Place Books, but she had one scheduled for the Lynnwood Barnes & Noble instead. So you know I was gonna be there! When she first appeared, I was thrown, since I don't think she looks at all like her author photo on the poster.

She talked about how she wrote fan fiction for several years, then got the idea for a futuristic fairy tale for a contest the fanfic site was running. She didn't win that contest, but the seed of an idea germinated into more futuristic fairy tales, the first of which is Cinder. There are three more books coming in the series, each based a different fairy tale (Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White).

She wrote the first draft of Cinder AND the Little Red Riding Hood book AND the first part of the Rapunzel novel during NaNoWriMo, clocking 150,011 words. Wowza! All while holding down a full-time job and working on a Master's degree. Holy moly, this woman is a super hero. Either that, or she has one of Hermione Granger's clocks that turn back time. Either way, I was impressed.


She's got a degree in publishing and worked in the industry for six years, so when she went out to query, she was ready for the long haul. Lucky for her, she didn't have to run the gauntlet as many do. She got an agent within 2 months (her top pick after receiving three offers), then spent 2 weeks packaging up the presentation for publishers. The package went out on Friday and she had an offer for publication on Monday.

Wowza! You go, girl!

Now she is on a nationwide tour, stopping at a number of different sites across the US to promote the release of Cinder, to sign books and take pics with peeps like yours truly.

It was a fun event and I wish Marissa much luck with Cinder and the rest of the series!