Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Not-So-Impressive New Year's Salute

Good lord. Is it really almost the New Year? This should be a big post. A poignant post. A looking back on 2008 or looking forward to 2009 post. Only Tuesday snuck up on me. I was away for Christmas and then I came back and plunged back into the librarian-by-day/writer-by-night routine. I have a book due in less than three weeks. I'm behind. I'm stressed, but motivated. All time, energy, and creativity is directed toward the aforementioned book.

2008 is a blur.

2009 promises to be a blur.

I never keep New Year's resolutions, so why make them?

The ever-awesome Cindy Gerard is guest blogging this week at Babes in Bookland. Go. Partake in her wisdom and wit.

Harlequin now has guidelines for their new TEEN division. Check it out. I did. And yes, my wheels are turning.

My fave sitcom writer, Ken Levine, is highlighting some of his blog's year's best. Definitely worth checking out!

Although I'm not big on resolutions, as a writer, I'm inspired by J.A. Konrath's list. Wish me luck.

This New Year's Eve will be one of two in my adulthood that I am not performing somewhere--either as a singer, dancer, or emcee. The featured photo was taken quite a few years ago--a fun year--at a high-roller party given by the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City. The theme was Mardi Gras. I made the skirts you see here on Gwen and I. The tops are decorated bras. Victoria's Secret, no less. (I was much more adventerous in my youth!)

There were four of us girls total and we performed a choreographed number prior to midnight. Side note: Steve (my husband) was the sax player in the band! Small world!

This year I will be home. Alone. Steve has to work. If I can stay awake until midnight I'll watch the ball drop in NYC or some such stuff, and ring in the New Year with my dogs and cats. Most likely, I'll fall asleep before the big event--party animal that I am.

How are you ringing in 2009?

Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!" ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

From our family to yours...

Happy Holidays and a joyous, peaceful New Year!
Beth and Steve
Cheyenne, Sadie, and Billie

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Note from Nipper Mistletoe

Greetings, gang!

Nipper Mistletoe here. Beth's working, writing, and preparing for Christmas. Since I'm a 'helper' by trade, I volunteered to step in as a guest blogger. Mostly I'm just going to share some of fun stuff. You know. Stuff you don't have time for but do anyway because it's, well, mindless fun.

Want to get in touch with your inner elf? Or at least know your elf name?
Go here. Oh, and be sure to come back and introduce yourself.

If you really want to have some fun, go Elf Yourself. Gee, if you've got the time, you can Elf your whole family. Lots of giggles for you and friends.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Looking for Christmas stories, puzzles, games, recipes, and a Q&A with Santa? Skip over to Northpole.com

In the mood for a Christmas mystery short story? Check out: Here Comes Santa Claus by Bill Pronzini. (It's free! And one of many!)

What about you? Do you have any fun links to share? Nipper's listening!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Need Your Help!

I've joined forces with mega-talent Stephanie Bond to write a feature for Romantic Times BOOK reviews about the 'state of the contemporary romance.'

If you read contemporary romance, I would love your input. You can email your answers privately to: beth@bethciotta.com

1) If you enjoy my books, why do they resonate with you?

2) In general, why do you love the contemporary romance? (What does it do for you that other sub-genres--such as historical or paranormal--don't.)

Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Great News and New Cover!

Happy dancing in Jersey this week!

First, the great news. I just learned that
Everybody Loves Evie has been nominated for a 2008 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. I. Am. Thrilled! Last year All About Evie won the Reviewers Choice Award, so this is doubly sweet for Evie (and moi).

Now, the new cover.
The third adventure in The Chameleon Chronicles -- will hit shelves in March. I shrieked with joy when I received this. And now I'm sharing it with you!

Many thanks to HQN's rockin' art and marketing department! Evie Ever After is now available for pre-order. I do hope readers are as pleased with Evie's journey as I am.

In other news, I'm participating in
Harlequin's Holiday Open House on Thursday, December 11 over at the eharlequin site. Please do join us!

That's the news. I will now happy dance into the sunset.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's The Thought That Counts

It’s December. How did that happen? I’m not ready for the holidays. My stomach cramps just thinking about holiday shopping. It means time away from my computer, from my encroaching deadline. It means fighting crowds, dealing with rude shoppers and frustrated sales clerks. It means agonizing over what to buy for those we love. I hate that. Gifts should be meaningful. Not something we buy in a rush. Not something we purchase out of duty.

Last week a Wal-mart worker was crushed to death by shoppers obsessed with a Black Friday sale. That sickened me on so many levels. It makes me want to rebel against the modern-day version of Christmas. Against materialism. It makes me want to dig deep and adopt the true spirit of Christmas. The spirit of giving from the heart.

This urge is intensified by the sobering reality of this nation’s economic dilemma. So much hardship. Hardship suffered by some I personally know and/or love.

A dear friend of mine sent me a handmade Christmas pin, a charity inspired project. She sends me one every year. I treasure it. Because she made it. Because it’s lovely. Because it comes from the heart.

This year all of my Christmas gifts will come from the heart. Whether personal or professional. Self-made crafts or confections, maybe a personalized story or donations to charities. Sorry. No scarves this year unless I knit them myself.

I hope my friends and loved ones won’t be disappointed. I hope they’ll embrace the same old-fashioned ideals as me.

It’s the thought that counts.

What about you? Do you feel differently this year about gift giving? Yes? No? Why?