Happy Holidays 2011!

This year’s CD artwork was inspired (as so many things are) by two of Janet Lee’s holiday ornaments. They are both available in this year’s 2011 limited edition set at Art & Invention Gallery, as well as on Janet’s own Etsy site (for those of us who don’t live convenient to East Nashville).

1. The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year — Glee Cast
2. Mistletoe Blues — Vic Mulkey and The Blue Veins
3. Angels From The Realms of Glory — Annie Lennox
4. Candy Cane — Caspar Babypants
5. Jingo Jango — Bert Kaempfert
6. Fum, Fum, Fum — Mark Baldwin
7. What a Night!– Harry Connick, Jr.
8. Wildwood Carol — Holly Cole
9. Arbolito de Navidad — Gloria Estefan
10. Another Christmas Day — Cliff Richard
11. Lonesome Christmas — B.B. King
12. Il est ne le divin enfantDomingo, Kaas, Fernandez
13. Patapan and Farandole — Kiri Te Kanawa
14. Warm December — Julie London
15. It’s December (And I’ll Be Missing You) — Audrey Hannah
16. December Child — Cyndi Lauper
17. Zwaai Maar Dag Sinterklaasje — Gebroeder Ko
18. It’s A Good Thing Santa Ain’t Single — Aaron Tippin
19. Littlething — Jimmy Eat World
20. There’s Still My Joy — Indigo Girls
21. Christmas Pipes — Celtic Woman
22. The First Snowfall — Bing Crosby
23. This Will Be The Year — Susan Boyle
24. Wheel In The Sky — Journey

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I have a migraine today. Not fun.

We’re going to see the Adam Ezra Group in Roanoke tonight, though, so hopefully it will pass by then. I’m armed with Starbucks & Imitrex, and Joe’s driving.

In the meantime, I’m giving away boxes of books on Twitter. Go tell me your favorite genre, so I know which hat to put your name in!

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It was the first Tori Amos concert I’ve ever been to that I didn’t know all the songs.

That was weird.

Inevitably, though, there was one song she sang that I didn’t realize I needed to hear until the lyrics gave me goosebumps. “Winter” is a good song, but it probably wouldn’t be on my Top 20 list of Tori Favorites.

But it was these lines that chilled me to the bone:

“Years go by and I’m here still waiting
Withering where some snowman was
Mirror mirror where’s the crystal palace
But I only can see myself
Skating around the truth who I am
But I know dad the ice is getting thin…”

Funny, I’ve always thought it was “With a ring where some snowman was.” That makes more sense to me. As a girl named Truth, it makes a lot of sense, really. Especially woven into the fairy tale imagery.

Here’s a video of the song from the 12/5 show. (Man, I remember a time when hunting down $50 bootleg of a Tori show was an adventure…)

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Adam Ezra’s ENCHANTED Easter Egg

If you’re one of those folks who likes to know little background DVD-extras for novels, this one’s for you.

At the end of the acknowledgments for ENCHANTED, I thank the Adam Ezra Group because I wrote most of the acknowledgements while waiting for their show to start at the 8×10 club in Baltimore, MD. I told the guys that I’d write them into the book — they probably thought I was joking. But no!

As it turns out, the show had a pretty small audience, but those who were there were pretty big fans. Along with some New York Times bestselling princess, there was a professional photographer, and Joe stumbled on these videos of some of the songs on YouTube the other day. The sound quality is even pretty darn good. It’s fabulous that I will always be able to go back to that show and relive that moment in my life.

You, too, can finish reading Enchanted and then click on these videos for the full experience.

“Burn Brightly”

“Miss Hallelujah”

“Eddie Whistles”

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Sing For Your Supper

In this new video for their song “Miss Hallelujah,” I think my boys from the Adam Ezra Group cover just about everything we should be thankful for. And so I dub it the official Thanksgiving Day Song of 2012. Please feel free to share this love far and wide!

I hope all of you in America have a wonderful holiday. Take a moment to think about what you love today. And if the spirit moves you…sing for it.

Much love,

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Princess Me?

Confession: I am aware of the infamous Jonathan Coulton, but I do not actually know or own any of his songs. Not because I don’t want to — just because I haven’t gotten around to it.  So when my brand-new friend Jennifer from Capclave posted on my wall that Coulton’s song “The Princess Who Saved Herself” reminded her of me, I looked it up on YouTube. And I found the most fabulous thing.

Ms. Mayo and Ms. Kari’s first grade class was studying fairy tales. So they illustrated the lyrics to the song, and made them into THIS INCREDIBLY BRILLIANT VIDEO.

I should really look into the works of this talented Jonathan Coulton person. Maybe in November when I have some time…

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Small World, Chapter Infinity

A few weeks ago, Joe and I took two rowdy Canadians to see the Adam Ezra Group…a couple of times. By the second event, we were exchanging hugs with the band like we’d known them for years and getting on each other’s Christmas Card lists. Their tour took them from DC down to Florida and Georgia. They swung back up north during their final leg on their way home to Boston, so Joe and I saw them again last night at 8×10 in Baltimore.

It was just like catching up with old buddies–we magically found a parking space and got to the venue early, so we shared hugs with Adam and caught up with Turtle on how Spring Break was and what had been going on in our lives since we’d last (and technically first) met. The news on my part was relatively mundane…I was in the middle of scribbling down my acknowledgments for Sunday, and I’d recently found out that somehow my dear friend Sherri also liked AEG, having discovered them completely separate from me. It’s always fun when that happens.

The set was fabulous, as usual…and though I was disappointed by how few people had shown up on a Thursday night, in a way it was like getting my own private showing. I chatted with complete strangers (they were at my private party, after all) and danced my heart out. The floor at 8×10 apparently has some kind of funky springs underneath it that my knees enjoyed. I sweated my butt off and totally didn’t care.

After their set (and after I stepped outside to cool off and let my hair dry a bit), Joe and I went down to the basement (just like the Basement Song) where the swag table was to chat with Adam and Josh and pick up a CD for Adam to sign to Sherri. I handed Adam the CD and the Sharpie and we talked about my friend who’s this big paranormal romance author, and I spelled her name out, and he signed the cover…and then as soon as he finishes, something in his brain clicked. “Who is this for again? Her full name?”

“Sherrilyn Kenyon,” I said.

“Holy shit! How do you know her?”

“I lived in Nashville for almost 12 years. She’s one of my best friends. I wrote the Companion for her Dark-Hunter series. Wait…how do you know her?”

“Last year we got a call from our publicist telling us she was going to use our song ‘Kill Like This’ for one of her book trailers. Was it…Infinity?”

“Yes! Infinity! The young adult book! Holy crap, I had no idea! When I see her at the end of the month, I’m  going to ask her exactly how she and I both fell in love with the same band at the same time. Crazy, right?”

Adam took the CD he had just signed and threw it away. He grabbed another one off the table, opened the shrink wrap, and began to write a small novel that included at least as many expletives as it did exclamation points. I laughed as I read over his shoulder. “Okay, here,” he said when he was done, “and give her this too.” He gave me a huge hug. “Maybe we’ll get to meet her in person some day.”

“I’m sure you will,” I said.

Adam looked at me for a long moment and shook his head. “God, it’s a small world, isn’t it?”

I agreed. “I guess we were all just destined to meet each other at some point.”

* * *

If you haven’t discovered The Adam Ezra Group yet, now’s your chance. They have quite a few more tour dates on their schedule, and since they’re still sort of “underground” at the moment, the venues are still intimate.

If you’re looking up songs to check out on YouTube, I recommend “Half a Hero” because it’s fun to dance to (and should have been on the Kickass soundtrack), “Another Sunshine” because of it’s brilliantly connected lyrics, “Vision” (also fun to dance to), and “Scandal”, which totally belongs on the TV show “Justified.”

Also, if you have five free seconds and are so inclined, click over to the FedEx Underground Music Series site and “become a fan” of Adam Ezra Group — they’re in the running to win a trip to Memphis and a recording contract…and they actually have a shot. Do your part — support indie artists!

And for the Dark-Hunter fans who might have missed it (like me), here’s the Infinity trailer from last May, featuring AEG’s song “Kill Like This.” This is a great example of a successful book trailer — makes me want to go right out and buy the book again. It also holds a special place in my heart for the guy who shows up 19 seconds in. Some of you know him as Bubba, or Evyl Ed. I know him as the only man with a will strong enough to constantly challenge me on Words With Friends, even if I do win 98% of the time. (Love you, Eddie! xox)

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On the Nomness of Babies

If you don’t laugh at this video, you should probably just go ahead and unfriend me from Facebook right now.

To the rest of you, I say: You’re welcome.

(via: Ron Dickie)

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Blossoms & BBQ

We had a great time with Dickie & Mandy last night. The arrived around 3pm, thus forcing me to stop cleaning and have fun. (Hooray!) We chatted for a while with refreshment, discussing what to do before our 9pm reservations at Hill Country (and the sekrit Adam Ezra performance). Nobody seened to care, so when Joe asked for my vote I didn’t hesitate in recommending Georgetown.

It was the most beautiful day we had all year. 75 degrees with a breeze and fantastic. Traffic wasn’t even that bad. We walked down by the water, back up M street past the crazy line for DC Cupcakes, and then back down to the water again for more refreshment.

There aren’t any leaves on the trees yet, but some of the blossoms are blooming. The Potomac was filled with rowing teams and private crafts and port authority skiffs. The sunset was lovely, and the full moon rose big in the east. And right around 7:30, we headed into the city to find parking before the show. We found a huge garage only three blocks from the restaurant with no problem. There was a huge line at the restaurant…thank goodness for reservations! They let us in early, and gave us choice seating downstairs, right in front of the stage (and the speakers).

It was an amazing show. The food was finger-licking good. Sitting next to the speakers turned out to be a great thing, since many people still felt pressed to try and converse over the music. The band played in three sets with breaks in between, which was awesome, because then there was an opportunity to go check out the swag table and visit the restroom without feeling rude.

The room being what it was, the band just hopped off the stage and came out to mingle with the crowd. I coerced Joe into buying me a shirt (who denies a princess?). He gave me $20 and let me go check out the swag. So I’m looking at the t-shirts, deciding which one I want, and the guy next to me turns aorund and says, “Hey, how are you doing?” And it’s Adam.

“Hey! Thank you SO much for being here,” I started to say.

At which point he just gave me a huge hug. YES, I was a starry-eyes fan girl. Still am. Not ashamed one bit.

I explained to Adam that we’d tried to see him twice before when he came to the area and missed it for one reason or another. And we almost missed him THIS time, since he’s playing in Virginia tomorrow — which we found out about a week after we bought the Enter the Haggis tickets. (The show’s late, though, and close to the house, so we still might try and stop by.) I introduced him to Joe, bought my shirt and had it signed by everyone. All the guys are great. Mandy & Dickie got some CDs and had them signed too. It’s just really hard not to love this band. Especially since their songs are amazing.

For the very last song of the night, Adam and the boys went unplugged and came out into the almost-empty restaurant. Adam sat on a table with his guitar; Turtle grabbed a chair and used the table top like his bongos. And we all sang–of all songs–John Denver’s “Country Roads.”

Mom and Dad probably don’t realize I remember this, but back in Vermont, when I was about four or five, we went to some event where everyone was welcome to sing along. Mom passed around typed pages with all of the song lyrics (which I could read, of course). My favorite song was “Country Roads.” Apart from all those British baby songs my grandmother taught us, “Country Roads” was the very first song I learned how to sing. It still has a special place in my heart. And never before have I seen a band EVER play it live.

You couldn’t have written a more perfect day. It’s the first time Mandy’s ever been to the states, and I was so glad we could show her a great time. I didn’t even mind driving back home through downtown DC. (The princess is always the designated driver.)

I did mind, however, that the parking garage was closed.

We walked around the block until we found a call box, which Joe used to exchange harsh words with some guy who hung up on him twice before calling us a cab from Falls Church. (Cabbies in metro DC have no idea where Ashburn is.) The verdict? We wouldn’t be able to get the car until 7am, and we had no desire to hang out in downtown DC for six more hours. So we took the cab home. Ugh. (That offer to write a story for someone for $80 is still on the table…just drop me a line.)

It’s always an adventure with me. But it was still an amazing night. And now I’m going to take a nice, long, hot shower and get ready for another one.

What are you all doing this weekend?

(Click on the pictures to see the rest of the “DC with Dickie & Mandy” album. More pics from today & tonight forthcoming…)

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Enter the Haggis

I’m cleaning the house (okay, I *was* cleaning the house — I am now officially taking a break to do some writing) because we’re having company this weekend. Tomorrow night, we’re all going to see the band Enter the Haggis.

Since it’s Friday, I’m going to share a song with you. I’ve never heard them play this one live, but it’s one of my favorites. You literary types will enjoy the reference. “Did you rise up for the curtain to fall for the plot?” Brilliant.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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