The winner of the Three Wise Women giveaway is Joely Sue Burkhart, who should e-mail me at LynnViehl@aol.com with your ship-to info so I can get these books out to you.
Having family and friends on both sides of the Atlantic makes the holidays a bit hectic, especially when we try to juggle airport dropoffs and pickups with the seasonal school, church, and neighborhood functions. Then there are the translation duties (Ou sont les toilettes?) the minor culture clashes (your children eat breaded fish with cheese and tartar sauce on a bun? Yes? And they do not puke after? No?) and the occasional wardrobe malfunction (Why can't I sunbathe topless in the yard? Don't Americans like tanned breasts?)
I've celebrated my holidays in a lot of different places, including Lackland AFB during basic training. I'd rather be home with the family than anywhere else, but if I had to spend Christmas elsewhere, it would be near Yosemite National Park in California. Ansel Adams got me hooked on the place with his photographs, and when at last I was able to visit, I saw things that my beach-girl brain almost refused to grasp: waterfalls frozen into ten story-tall crystal sculptures, eternities of trees and silence, and mountains so towering that clouds floated below them.
One of my favorite authors, Peter Mayle, shares that same kind of love for Provence in his books, and has a reprint of A Good Year out this month in the stores. You might notice it because it shows Russell Crowe laughing on the cover; he's playing Max Skinner in the Ridley Scott film based on the Peter's book. I'm sure there will be plenty of hoopla about it because of the movie, but I think the book itself is one of the author's best, which is why it's the fourth very cool book of December.
We're going to do the regular Friday 20 today, so if you'd like a chance to win today's giveaway, in comments to this post ask a writing or publishing-related question as usual (or, if you have none for me today, just name a place other than home where you'd like to spend the holidays) by midnight EST on December 8, 2006. I'll draw one name from everyone who participates and send the winner unsigned copies of A Good Year by Peter Mayle and Talyn by Holly Lisle. Giveaway open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.