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September 2011


All content © 2007-2011 Jama Rattigan. Please do not reproduce in any form without permission. All rights reserved.



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Nov. 22nd, 2010

like them apples

ve have a vinner!


Velcome Vamps!

Time to give away the Blessed ARC!

This is of the utmost importance, because the longer it stays in my possession, the more I vant to suck your blood, the more obsessed I become with the letter "V" -- voles, venom, vipers, vitriol!

*sips blood wine*

Thank you all for entering. I salivvvvvvvated uncontrollably reading about your favorite red foods.

There were juicy strawberries,


ravvvvvvishing raspberries (fingers taste good, too),

D. Sharon Pruitt/flickr

a raft of tomatoes,


spicy, bubbling spaghetti sauce,


and one of my all-time favorite vices, cherry pie.


Several of you were enamoured with that luscious Southern favorite, Red Velvet Cake. Oh yes, all excellent choices!


The carnivvvvvores threw down a slab or two of rare beef steak. The bloodier, the better.


But when all was said and done (i.e., when the Random Number Generator spoke), the vinner's red food of choice was decidedly PINK:


Now, I'm happy to announce that the ARC of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith goes to --

WINNER HERE!Collapse )

Nov. 18th, 2010

celebration soup

soup of the day: holler loudly by cynthia leitich smith and barry gott!

*Warning: The following post may be too loud for readers with sensitive ears. Please wear adequate protection such as noise reduction headphones, earmuffs or earplugs. However, the consumption of loud foods (chips, crackers, raw carrots, crisp apples) is highly encouraged. ☺

alphabet soup bears enjoying the loudest book in the world.

"five . .  four . . . three . . . two, one . . ."

Wahoo! Yahoo! Two Big Hoots and a Holler!

While we're at it, Yippee Ti Yi Yo yerselves to the nearest hitching post so I can yell tell ya about a brand new picture book just released a week ago: Holler Loudly by Cynthia Leitich Smith and Barry Gott!

If you've got clean ears, chances are good they're already ringing with the good news of this rollicking Southwestern tall tale about a boy named Holler who was born with a BIG voice. So big, and so LOUD was his cry that "every hound dog in the county rolled up his ears and tossed back his head to bay . . . So LOUD the armadillos woke from their naps and the turkey vultures dropped their feathers."

Read more...Collapse )

Nov. 8th, 2010

birthday bear

win an ARC of blessed by cynthia leitich smith!



Are you a fan of feathers, fur, fanged fiends, blood thirsty vamps and villians?

By special arrangement with the un-dead, we are pleased to offer an ARC (advance review copy) of Blessed (Candlewick, 2011), the soon-to-be-released third book in Cynthia Leitich Smith's New York Times best-selling YA gothic fantasy series!

It's the perfect way to celebrate the 163rd birthday of Bram Stoker, author of the most famous horror novel ever, Dracula (1897) -- Cynthia's original literary inspiration for Tantalize (2007), Eternal (2009), and Blessed, which unites the casts of the first two novels. 

Now, I must confess I don't read many dark fantasies populated with vampires, were-creatures, or shape-shifters, because the mere mention of blood makes me ravenous for red foods (I devoured three gallons of ketchup and five quarts of raspberry jam after reading the first chapter of Twilight). 

But I made an exception for Tantalize, because it features Sanguini's: A Very Rare Restaurant, inherited by smart, funny, red-cowboy-booted, 17-year-old Quincie, who is seduced by a fiendish vampire chef de cuisine, Bradley Sanguini. "Wickedly delicious and deliciously wicked."
In Blessed, Quincie's story continues. Now undead, she must "adjust to her new appetites, she must clear her best friend and true love, the hybrid-werewolf Kieren, of murder charges; thwart the apocalyptic ambitions of Bradley Sanguini . . . and keep her dead parents' restaurant up and running." No small order, with the prospect of "hundreds of new vampires on the rise and Bradley off assuming the powers of Dracula Prime." But she does hire a new chef and adds Zachary to her wait staff -- can they save the world as well as Quincie's soul?

Stock up on garlic now! (photo: mksavage/flickr)

Sounds tantalizing, no? If you're seriously salivating over the prospect of more amped-up vamps, generous servings of diabolically delicious suspense, romance, wit and gothic gore presented in a contemporary setting, enter this giveaway post haste! Be among the first of your blood thirsty friends to revisit Sanguini's for some veal tartare, breaded pig's feet in Merlot and onion cream sauce with fettucine Alfredo, blood and tongue sausages with new potatoes, rice pudding blood cakes, or its signature dessert, chilled baby squirrels simmered in orange brandy and bathed in honey cream sauce (infused with Brad's own blood, of course)!

Oh, yum. Who'd have thought a baby squirrel among friends could wreak such ungodly havoc? And you have to love a main character who says, "Menu was my first language." *swoon*

Okay fiends friends, to enter, just leave a comment here (with your contact info if you don't have an LJ account), mentioning your favorite red food. You can also send me an email: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot com), with "Blessed Giveaway" in the subject line. Deadline for entries is Sunday, November 21st, open to U.S. residents only.

Meanwhile, file your fangs and help yourself to a vampire cupcake in honor of Bram Stoker's birthday:

Coveted by both predator and prey (photo: little blue hen/flickr).

If you so desire, chase it down with some bloody wine:


♥ Find out more about Blessed and Cynthia's other books at her official website and blog, Cynsations. A media kit for Blessed, which includes an interview with Cynthia, can be found here.

BLESSED by Cynthia Leitich Smith
published by Candlewick Press
Official release date: January 25, 2011
YA Gothic Fantasy for ages 14+, 480 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4326-3

*Red rose petals by ~Brenda-Starr~/flickr

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan's alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

Feb. 10th, 2009

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soup of the day: eternal by cynthia leitich smith


Feeling a tad thirsty?

Or are you simply out for blood?

Satisfy both cravings with Cynthia Leitich Smith's brand new, darkly delicious gothic fantasy, Eternal (Candlewick, 2009), officially out today! Woo Hoo!

*rubs neck*

          ETERNAL by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2009),
          Young Adult Gothic Fantasy, 320 pp.
I just read a titillating excerpt from the book and I'm hooked, or shall I say, I've been sucked in. The story is told in the alternating viewpoints of Miranda (a shy, but beautiful teenager who loves acting and just wants to be noticed), and Zachary (her guardian angel, who just happens to be in love with her).

While trying to save her life in a cemetery one night, Zachary inadvertently allows a vampire to turn Miranda into one of the undead. It's not just any vampire, though, it's the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul. He takes Miranda for his new princess, and she suddenly has more power and popularity than she ever dreamed possible in her new life as a member of the eternal aristocracy. And because Zachary revealed himself to Miranda while attempting to rescue her, he falls from grace and must walk the earth as a mortal.

As Miranda becomes an unwitting accomplice to the King's evil schemes, Zachary infiltrates the castle under the guise of her personal assistant in an attempt to save her soul. Set in Texas and Chicago, the fast paced narrative about the forces of good vs. evil is populated not only with vampires and angels, but werebeasts and shapeshifters, and of course, it is liberally spiced with glamor, smoldering passion, and Smith's diabolical wit. In this dark realm, is redemption even possible, and, if so, at what price?

Eternal is a companion novel to Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007), which takes place in the same world, but with a different set of characters. The third book in the series, Blessed, where the characters from the first two books crossover, is now in the works. Smith counts among her influences, Bram Stoker's Dracula, C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, and Dickens' Tale of Two Cities. In Eternal, she also touches on some of Stoker's core themes, such as corruption, the role of women and the role of Christianity.

Ready to help me congratulate Cyn? Don't worry if you didn't have time to sharpen your fangs. Today's celebration soup, served in its own coffin, is all there for the sucking, wickedly delectable in the absence of a suitable neck. Assume any guise you please, drink your fill, then fly on over to your local indie or fave online bookseller, and score your copy of Eternal.

Today's Special: Tomato Clot, seasoned with garlic and stake sauce
(especially tasty with a side of necktarines).

Read an excerpt of Eternal here.

At Cynthia's award winning website, you'll also find a Reader's Guide and an excellent interview with more background details about Eternal.

Finally, an excellent trailer created by Shayne Leighton can be viewed here.


*An alphabat a day keeps the werebeasts away.

**Soup coffin constructed by Count Rattigan, who was driven into a Draculinean frenzy playing with his table saw, saber saw, and compound mitre saw.