Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen: Your Next Stop is San Francisco

"Parts of Unmasking Maya read like a love letter to San Francisco."
- Mallory, The Daily Quirk

Hello my little hoppers! Here's a question for you. Which of the following people is not a San Francisco fixture?

  • A man who hides himself behind leafy branches on Fisherman's Wharf and randomly jumps out to scare tourists
  • A very tall man (6'4 or 6'5) who rides around town on a unicycle
  • A drag queen called Peaches Christ who holds stage productions recreating classic films
  • A man whose entire face and bald head is covered with a spiderweb tattoo who walks around in a sailor suit
  • None of the above

Scroll down to find the answer at the bottom of this post.

Ah, San Francisco. I really do love my adopted hometown. It never gets too hot or too cold, the people are friendly, the architecture is beautiful and there's always something going on. Jazz festivals, craft expos, street fairs, theatre in the park, organic and locally produced food fairs, you name it.

Those who've never had the chance to visit the city by the Bay may assume it's populated mostly by soft-spoken artsy folks in hemp clothing. While there are certainly a fair amount of people in San Francisco who would fall under this category, the population is really very diverse. You've got your modern day hippies but you've also got your grittier hipsters, your cultured intellectuals, your starving artists, your yummy mummies, your corporate clones, your skilled tradespeople, etc. In short (haha, yeah right) San Francisco just as diverse as any other city. What makes it different is that people seem to be more expressive here than any other place I've ever lived before.

If people want to express themselves musically, artistically or politically, they tend to just go for it. And quite often they'll find a receptive audience or a kindred spirit. Well... this depends on how you're expressing yourself and where you're doing it. Might not be the wisest idea to perform your interpretive dance in the Financial District.

Here are some pics that I think are a good representation of the city:

Another thing that makes San Francisco unique is its close proximity to Silicon Valley. The company headquarters for companies such as Google, Apple, Yahoo!, eBay and Facebook are all within an hour of the city. I have to say I'm a bit in awe of the minds behind these companies. These people, who have changed our world in a such major way (can you imagine what it would be like if Google suddenly ceased to exist?) they fascinate me. And they were the inspiration for Derek, the love interest in Unmasking Maya. While Derek is straight-up Silicon Valley, Maya is much more San Francisco. Her quirks, her talents and her artistic flair ensure that she fits right in - although she doesn't always feel this way. She's got some issues that girl.

And there you have it. Hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into the city I love so much. And if you've never been here before, I hope you're able to visit in the future. Just remember...

"If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair."

I couldn't resist! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out this YouTube video.

As promised, I'll answer the question at the top of this post, and the correct answer is: None of the Above. All of these eccentrics do indeed live here in San Francisco.

In the spirit of celebrating all things San Francisco, I will be giving away a $20 gift certificate to Benefit Cosmetics, which, in my opinion, is the best cosmetics company ever. Use the Rafflecopter thingie below to enter. This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide. Good luck, thanks for reading and be sure to check out all the other fabulous blogs on the hop including the ginormous Grand Prize!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to WIN the Girly Books Blog Hop GRAND PRIZE HERE!

Hello, my little blog hoppers!

I hope you've all been hopping around to the various blogs participating in this hop because there are some truly terrific prizes to be claimed, not to mention some fun and fascinating blog posts to read!

Now hold onto your hats because here's what you'll get if you win the Girly Books Grand Prize:

  • A copy of Around the World in 80 Dates (your choice of format) and a $20 Starbucks card courtesy of Christa Banister
  • Three e-books from Natalie-Nicole Bates for her books: Change of Address, Back to You and See Me
  • An e-book copy of Sign of the Times from Susan Buchanan
  • An e-book copy of The Curious Bookshop and some bookmarks courtesy of Jennifer Chambers
  • A $15 B&N gift certificate from Laura Chapman
  • A PDF of The Cinderella Substitute from Nell Dixon
  • A $25 Amazon gift card courtesy of Carmen Falcone, author of A Vengeful Affair
  • An e-book copy of Fourteen Days Later from Sibel Hodge
  • An autographed copy of Grace Unexpected from Gale Martin
  • An autographed copy of Binding Arbitration and some bookmarks from Elizabeth Marx
  • Some fun Fashioning a Romance swag (bookmarks, magnets, etc.) from yours truly, Libby Mercer
  • A $10 Kobo gift certificate from Nash Nordon
  • Some delicious German chocolates from Savannah Page, author of When Girlfriends Make Choices
  • An e-book copy of Forever & Ever, Amen from Liv Rancourt
  • An e-book copy of Always & Forever by Chantel Rhondeau
  • An e-book copy of Winter of the Passion Flower courtesy of Annie Seaton
  • And last, but certainly not least, a $15 Amazon gift card courtesy of Julie Valerie

Not too shabby, huh? I only wish I could enter the giveaway! Here's a peek at the covers of all the books in the Grand Prize kitty:

Good luck, everyone! I'm afraid that only US residents will be able to win the grand prize this time around. Next time I'll make sure we've got a couple of different options so we don't have to exclude anyone. Thanks for hopping and be sure to check out all the posts on the Linky list. There are prizes galore and loads of truly terrific posts too!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Just Checking In

Hello my little starlings!

I know, I've been abandoning my blog something awful as of late. I've just been so busy guest posting on other blogs that I'm afraid this one hasn't gotten the attention it's deserved. But never fear. This is about to change. In less than one week's time, the second Girly Book Blog Hop will be live and it's going to be pretty mega, I think. We're doing a Grand Prize this time. Loads and loads of fabulous stuff to give away! So be sure to check back. It officially starts on Thursday at 12am, PST. Hope to see you then.