Monthly Archives: September 2007

I Was a Panelist Virgin

Barbara Vey -- September 30th, 2007

Saturday morning is bustling here at the Hilton.  After a quick continental breakfast, the authors (published and unpublished) are off to seminars, editor appointments, agent appointments, shopping in the bookstore and checking out the goody room.

Roxanne St. Claire, Jennifer St. Giles and Kristen Painter.……Mary Alice Pritchard and Nita Wick

The panel I was asked to participate in was about publicity and marketing.  Thankfully my partner, Heidi Danis, is a professional publicist.  She even came prepared with notes.  I came with a Diet Coke.  That pretty much sums up our styles.  

Heidi lead off with practical tips on getting a press kit together (resume on the right side and good things said about you on the left, although she used different words).   She is an amazing woman who has dealt with some big names in the industry.  My turn came and my advice was pretty much get your name out there any way possible.  Use friends, relatives, internet and don’t be afraid to talk yourself up.  Readers love hearing about their authors and actually talking to one is a real coup.  Well, we didn’t get booed and not many walked out <g> and a number of people actually came up afterward to thank us and said they enjoyed it (and we didn’t even offer candy or anything).  Of course, I likened our on stage presence more to the antics of Martin and Lewis (and I’ll let you figure out who was who).  All in all, it was a wonderful experience and if you need help with publicity, contact Heidi who truly knows her stuff.  (The group photo is of the brave souls who toughed it out until the bitter end.  Real troopers!)

The luncheon featured keynote speaker Linda Howard who talked about how much she hates cows.   And trust me, she really, really hates cows.  

Linda told a story about an average work day for her, trying to write with a deadline looming, a cold February night, and her husband asking for help with a cow stuck in a ditch.  I won’t tell you the whole story (complicated), but it involves mud, a winch (not wench), no flashlight, no boots, lots of trees, a really big hill and no way to find the 4 wheel drive gear.  (Told you it was complicated)   Linda had the room in stitches with the way only a southern maven can tell a story.  My favorite part was when she looked at the cow stuck in the mud and only saw steaks.  (Pictured:  Nancy Knight, Kate Duffy (Kensington editor), Linda Howard and Shannon Short)

My lunch partners included Roland Haas and his wife, Marilyn who is publisher of Arts & Expressions Magazine that celebrates the arts, music, poetry and theatre to name a few and author Kelley St. John (who’s just so darned glamorous and looking forward to a getaway weekend with her hot Cajun (hubby).   Ok, I’m jealous. 


The booksigning was a huge success with several authors selling out of their books including Elizabeth Hoyt (but her sign said, "It’s ok to stop by and talk anyway.") and Madeline Hunter.   Quite a few lucky readers walked away with gift baskets donated by the authors (I was not one of them…<sigh>)  (Pictured:  Kathleen Long, Sabrina McAfee, Lisa Manuel and Janice Maynard)

Bottom Line:  Did I mention that Linda Howard really hates cows?

A Real Live CIA Assassin

Barbara Vey -- September 29th, 2007

Well, made it here safe and sound and it’s nice and toasty warm here.  I can tell I’m going to like Atlanta.  On the plane I was fortunate enough to sit next to Bostonian, John.  He was flying to Atlanta from Boston and through Milwaukee.  Not exactly as the crow flies.  Anyway, John is visiting his cousin and we talk about the things to see and do in Atlanta, but apparently his cousin is content to sit by the yard fire at night and just visit.  I let John know that I plan to pass the Atlanta Braves stadium and give them the chop because Atlanta stole the Braves from Milwaukee.  John turned to me and said, "Yeah, but Milwaukee stole the Braves from Boston."  Oops…guess I forgot about that.  But I quickly got a flight attendant to take our picture and John was smiling again.

Dianna Love Snell, the mastermind of this magnificent event, introduces me to Heidi, the lovely lady who worked so hard to publicize this conference.  Because of unforeseen circumstances, someone has cancelled and they are short a speaker for a panel on publicity and marketing.  And they ask moi to fill in!  Yikes!!  But with an absolutely straight face showing no emotion, I say, "Of course…anything I can do to help."  And all the while I’m thinking, "Who the heck wants to hear what I have to say?"  Heidi and I had a delicious lunch of creamy, seafood soup in a restaurant that has obviously never heard of acoustics, but still manage to decide to do a Q&A for our session in the morning.  

I spent the next hour catching up with Sherrilyn Kenyon who has been on tour with her bestselling Devil May Cry.  She’s in a lovely dress that shimmers dark red and black as she moves with an intricate corset that looks stunning on her.  I love it that she dresses for her fans and herself.  It reminds me of the terrific swan hat she wore at the RWA signing that had her table swarming with fans.  She’s getting so popular that they’re going to have to give her a special table to sign autographs like they do with Nora Roberts.  It was so crowded where she was that it was causing a traffic jam.  Next month Sherri is sponsoring K-Con in New Orleans which is her own convention.  When the sign up started on her site, it sold out in 20 minutes and crashed 4 servers.  That’s some fan loyalty.

We snagged front row seats to hear Roland Haas talk about his book Enter the Past Tense:  My Secret Life as a CIA Assassin.   Roland is a soft spoken, articulate man who speaks fluent German, Russian and English, but he started his talk relating a story about crossing the border from Afghanistan to Iran, being attacked from behind, receiving kidney blows and sent to an Iranian prision and thinking, "Oh crap."  He went on to admit that he was having those same feelings speaking to a group of romance writers which immediately endeared him to all in attendance.  He spoke of being recruited at the age of 19 because the CIA wanted someone who could pass as a hippie traveling overseas.  Roland told of having to get himself kicked out of the military so he could go undercover and his greatest regret was that he could not tell his parents the truth before they died.   While Roland admits there are critics out there disavowing him and the book, the CIA has not said anything about it.  This sounds like a facsinating read that I can’t wait to dive into.  I can’t believe that Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert haven’t snatched him up yet for their shows.  BTW, he did say that Jake Gyllenhaal is reading the book and has expressed an interest in it, so maybe we’ll someday see it on the big screen.  I’d go see it.

At the welcome reception, I caught up with Kate Duffy, big shot editor at Kensington, and talked about the great time we had on the Author’s at Sea cruise.  In the group picture is Jacquie D’AlessandroWendy Etherington and Karen White, all dressed to the nines.

Then on to dinner at the Hi Life, a great restaurant with a wonderful band offering background music.  Since our group didn’t all know each other, we had to say our name and then something that would help others remember our names.  I started by telling them all that the Beach Boys wrote Barbara Ann about me (really…they did),  then we had "Wombat" Celia from Austrailia, Emily (with an E), Carmen (Miranda), Berta (I thought of Alberto VO5), Marilyn (Monroe, of course), (unique) Monique, (darling) Nicki and (I’d love to marry) Sherri.  I’ll sure remember these women.  Their stories of cheap dates, horror movies, how children (and men) find farting hilarious and traumas of childhood kept us rolling with laughter.  Of course, the desert was a nice touch.  
Top picture is Nicki, Monique Patterson (Sherrilyn’s editor), Marilyn Baron and Berta Platas.  Bottom picture is Carmen Green, Emily Sewell, Celia May Hart, me and
Sherrilyn Kenyon. 
Busy day tomorrow…I’m doing Q&As.  

Bottom Line:  Maybe I’ll try the old Jeopardy switch and give an answer and have the audience figure out the question.  And besides, I’m really good at humming the theme song.

Atlanta Bound

Barbara Vey -- September 28th, 2007

Well it’s 6 a.m. and I’m up and ready to head to the airport (as soon as my brother gets his butt over here).  I don’t mind going early, but what to do if the bookstore there isn’t open yet?  I could stand in the Starbucks line.  That should take up about 45 minutes because for some reason they only schedule one person to work at a time (of course, there isn’t much room back there).  And I don’t even like Starbucks, it always tastes burnt to me, but the whipped cream is nice.

I’m headed to Atlanta to the Moonlight and Magnolia’s Conference (I just love the way that rolls off the tongue).  I’ve never been to Atlanta before so I researched it a little.  I’m excited to see where the Braves play, so I can give them the chop (the team was stolen from Milwaukee, you know).  It’s the home of the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic SiteNEW World of Coca-Cola, and the Yellow River Game Ranch and Kangaroo Conservation Center.

Of course, I probably won’t have any time to do any of these things, but it’s fun to know what’s there, just in case.  (Except maybe the kangaroo conservation center…they’re just so cute) 


Well, stay tuned.  I’ve got lots of batteries for my little Fuji camera, so check back for updates on what’s happenin’ in Atlanta.  (picture of Atlanta’s Flag)

Bottom line:  According to Wikipedia…Residents of the city are known as Atlantans. ("Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!)

Their Turn

Barbara Vey -- September 27th, 2007

Here’s the latest picks from the WW ladies as their bodies melt away into nothingness. 

Mad Dash by Patricia Gaffney
Reviewed by Rhonda

Mad Dash is a story about a wife and mother who is going through a difficult time in her life and wants things to be different.  She wants a change of scenery.  I think all women can relate to this story at some time in their lives.  This tale asks the question, "Is life really greener on the other side?"

Mona Lisa Awakening by Sunny
Reviewed by Judy

A tale of passion, intrigue, love, wonderment and understanding.  The hidden beast deep within the soul feels a stirring as the story unfolds.  I cannot stand in the light of the full moon without thinking of this enthralling story.

Almost Dead by Lisa Jackson
Reviewed by Loretta

You need only read the first ten lines of the prologue to Almost Dead to realize that Lisa Jackson has caught you again!  She has created a family full of greed and hate, consistent in their ugliness toward each other.  Hard to decipher twists and turns unwind to an amazing conclusion.  Read it!!

The Shoe Queen by Anna Davis
Reviewed by Judy

Paris — 1920′s — what visions this creates for me.  Artists and writers in sidewalk cafes embracing the elements to create their next poem or painting.  Never before looking beyond the glitz and glitter, The Shoe Queen opens the rest of that time period revealing a wonderful story about life, family, love and secrets.

And I’d like to add my read of the week, Lord of the Fading Lands by C. L. Wilson.  This debut fantasy/romance novel sets up the world of Rain Tairen Soul, King of the Fey and Ellysetta Baristan, adopted daughter of a master woodcarver.  Their paths cross as the Tairen and Fey are dying out.  Rain travels to the mortal city of Celieria and hears his Truemate (the other half of his soul) Ellysetta cry out.  Together they must fight against the evil Elden mages who would enslave all humans.  This book is the first in a series and the ending will have you pre-ordering the next book.  I know I can’t wait.  I hate waiting!!  <pout>

Bottom Line:  I leave tomorrow for Atlanta and the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference.  Don’t be surprised if I start typing with a southern accent.

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks

Barbara Vey -- September 25th, 2007

After years of watching my beloved Milwaukee Brewers baseball team on television, I was finally able to attend last night’s game.  And, oh what a game it was!  The Brewers trounced the St. Louis Cardinals 13 to 5.  My dear friends Mary and Gerry  called with tickets and my darling son, Andrew, agreed to round out the group.  We had nose bleed seats, but still, it was a gorgeous night (the roof was open) and we had a great view of the field.  There was also the added bonus of not having to worry about errant balls or broken bats making their way into our seats in the clouds.  (Of course, the popcorn guy never made it there either!)

So, now here I sit with a sore throat (I can holler with the best of them) and sore knees (I could have walked from home and had a closer parking spot), but I want to write about the thrill of the game and find a way to mix it in with women’s fiction.  It would be a lot easier if this blog were about women’s film…we’d at least have A League of Their Own, but I sure was having a Dickens of a time trying to find women’s fiction books about baseball.  I did find a children’s book called Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey, but it’s not quite what I had in mind.

Even the baseball movies out there only have women as peripheral characters like Major League, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Benchwarmers, Damn Yankees and one of my favorites It Happens Every Spring (although I haven’t seen this on tv in years).   Are there any fiction baseball books that feature women?  Is baseball not exciting enough?  glamorous enough? alpha enough?  Would any of you authors out there even tempted by the thought of bats and balls coming together?  (Yes…cue the visual)

What did I hear you say?  The genre wouldn’t sell?  Well, what about:

Werewolves in the Outfield

Batter Up: A Vampire’s Tale (get it?  Bat-ter.  It’s just not as funny when you have to explain it)

How to Get to First  Base During Football Season

The Sensual Season (Opening Day thru the World Series) 

Ok guys, help me out here.  Even if you don’t write the book, how about a title or two that may spark someone else’s imagination.  I know you’re all dying to get your two cents in, so give me your choice for a winning season…I meant title.

Bottom line:  Here’s the book I want to read right now A Coven with Curses for the Chicago Cubs.  (The Cubbies are ahead of the Brew Crew by 3 games right now….but just wait until I learn those curses).

Conference or Party…that is the question

Barbara Vey -- September 24th, 2007

Long before I started writing this blog, I was a fanatical reader.  Once our library system made it available online, I would order every book on the bestseller list and once I found a writer I liked, I ordered their backlist.  Those I ended up loving, I bought.  (Reading a book a day limits the amount you can buy, but people never tell me they couldn’t think of anything to get me either…I’m obviously easy to buy for)  

So, when I discovered there were conventions you could attend to meet the authors and have them sign their books, I thought I died and went to heaven.  Until a few years ago, I didn’t even know there were such things, so I saved up and went to St. Louis to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention.  It was more than I ever could have imagined.  Real live authors wanted to talk to me and I was so ready to hear anything they had to say.  They were all very gracious and the readers enthusiastic.  The parties a little overwhelming for a first timer, but still well worth the price of admission.

Going this year, representing PW was a little different, but I was still awestruck.  Then to go to the RWA (Romance Writers of America) convention was like rubbing elbows with the elite of the industry.  I know I gawked a lot, even though I tried to act like this was old hat for me.  But when you’re in the presence of royalty (to me anyway) of Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, Suzanne Brockmann, Teresa Medeiros, J.R. Ward, Beverly Barton, Sharon Sala, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Marjorie Liu (I know, I know I could go on forever and forgive me if I didn’t say your name), I’m sure it’s like others feel when their idol suddenly smiles at them and gives a sincere hug.

Lately, I’ve been reading, in various blogs and postings, about if readers and bloggers should be allowed to attend some of these functions designed for writers.  I’m sure, in the beginning, that’s what was intended.  A learning experience, networking, all business.  But, it seems to me, like other things in life, that publishing has evolved.  I’m obviously no expert in this, but the bottom line is that bookselling is a business and business needs buyers.  If these buyers are willing to shell out their hard earned dollars to spend a couple of days hobnobbing with their favorite authors, what’s the harm?  In the process, they may even discover a few new ones.  Lord knows that I’ve discovered more than a few and I’m the better person for it.

Because of the blogs I’ve done while attending these functions, I have received a lot of email asking which I think readers would enjoy more.  I’d have a hard time recommending one over the other, because people have different reasons for attending.  But what an honor for any conference to have so many readers willing to give up their vacation time to spend it with people they consider "friends" through the hours of enjoyment the writers brought into their lives.

I only listed these 2 conference because they are the only ones I’ve attended, but after cruising the internet, I’m blown away by how many conventions involving books there are.  So the question I’m asking is, do you feel reader’s and bloggers should attend conventions geared to writers only?  Is having readers there helpful for feedback and word of mouth advertising?  Is there a specific convention you would recommend (feel free to list others I may not know about)?

Or am I way off base here…always a possibility.

Bottom line:  Anyone ever consider Milwaukee for a convention?  I’ll even buy you a beer and a brat.  (Cheesehead not included)

This, that and the other thing

Barbara Vey -- September 21st, 2007

Normally on Fridays I do Your Turn where I say what I’ve read for the week and then let you all tell me what’s held your interest (or not) during the week.  But since I’ve already done that earlier, I thought I’d still let you get your two cents in, while I mention some other things going on.  So feel free to list your reads in the comments.

I tend to get a lot of emails letting me know what’s going on and I really appreciate it, because I can’t believe how much I miss (story of my life…a day late and a dollar short).  So, I thought I share some news, notes and high fives for those of you, like me, who need to know everything about anything.  But, keep in mind, if it gets to be too much, I’ll get in as much as I can…no promises.  I especially lean toward the "short and sweet" approach.

First, a high five to author Karen Rose who sent me an email at 1:41 am to let me know that Die For Me is now  a New York Times bestseller!!  (of course, I was still on the computer at that time, so I could congratulate her right away).   I met Karen on the Authors at Sea cruise and she offered the most amazing classes in sign language (with the assistance of her delightful husband).  It was SRO.

Next, a high five to Dorchester Publishing for receiving the Publisher of the Year Award from the NYC chapter of RWA.  Dorchester also published Savage Skies, the 100th romance novel of author Cassie Edwards, which is currently on the New York Times bestseller list for the week of September 23. (so a separate high five for Cassie…100, wow…I almost feel like Al Roker should be announcing this).  Thanks for letting me know Erin.

Atlanta is the setting for the Moonlight and Magnolia’s Conference September 28-30 presented by the Georgia Romance Writers.  This is their 25th Anniversary so if you’re in the area, a Book Fair and Signing will be held on Saturday.  From what I hear, Dianna Love Snell is doing an amazing job of coordinating this event.  Happy Anniversary to you Southern Belles!

And, just because JoAnn Ross has been such a great commenter on this blog (and she sent me the link), I’d like to present the trailer to her new book, Freefall coming out in February.  The popcorn’s on me!

Bottom line:  Great…now I’ve got that Tom Petty song, Free Fallin’ stuck in my head.  I hate it when that happens.

Beauty and the Geek Reality Check

Barbara Vey -- September 20th, 2007

Tonight was the 2 hour season premiere of Beauty and the Geek  (you can still catch the episode online).  I admit that this is one of my guilty pleasures that I have proudly watched since the first season.  (I think I have become a reality show junkie) If you’re not familiar with the concept, 9 beautiful, young women and 9 brilliant, geeky guys get to live in a house together, get paired up, share a bedroom and then compete in challenges.  The premise is that they will learn from each other and become a more complete person.  The producers (one is Ashton Kutcher) call it a social experiment and the prize is $250,000 for the winning team.

One of my favorite challenges of the past was the guys buying a swimming suit for the females without having a clue of their sizes.  Then the women had to model them and one bikini bottom was so big on her she said she felt like she had "poopie pants."  The geek’s response was that he couldn’t buy a size zero because that would be like saying she was a negative.  For the women it’s always something brainy.  Once they had to study rocket science and then build a rocket with a plastic bottle and chemicals to make it lift off (I’d tell you what they are, but I’m no rocket scientist <g>).  The winning couple pick 2 other couples who compete head to head to stay in the house, while the loser is booted out. 

The first hour of the show had the love connection of last season, Nate and Jennylee (who weren’t paired up in the show, but they fell in love anyway..awww) interviewing Beauty and Geek wannabes.  This part was hilarious.  They went from city to city, but it didn’t matter…the women were all brainless beauties and the brainy geeks were as socially inept as one expects.  Here’s a sampling of the questions and answers from stereotypical empty headed lovelies:

Q:  Who wrote Hamlet?
A:  What is that?  Poetry?  I don’t know anything about that.

Q:  Do you know who won the civil war?
A:  Who was that between?

Q:  Do you know what the word memo is short for?
A:  What the word memo is short for?  As a journalism major I should know this, right?

Q:  Do you know who won the civil war?  (different contestant)
A:  We did.
Q:  Who’s we?
A:  The United States.  We won everything, we won all the wars.

Q:  What is your IQ?
A:  2.5.  (next person):  slightly over "not too dumb"

Q:  Who is the current vice president?
A:   Are you kidding me?  Pass.

Q:  What is the last book that you read?
A:  The last book?  Well, since I’ve been at school, I haven’t been reading because I’ve been having to, like, study a lot.

Q:  Who wrote Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony?
A:  I don’t read books.  Sorry, I just read magazines.

Q:  Would you marry for money?
A:  Hmm…well, it would depend on how long he would live.

Nifty Nuggets from Nerds:

Q:  What is a corsage?
A:  One of those tight body things they wore in the middle ages.

Q:  What is the sexiest part of the female body?
A:  Well, I’ll be honest, I like a really cute face, but that’s all I’m really seeing lately so…

Q:  What is your love life like?
A:  I don’t really have one.  I’m over half way to being the 40 year old virgin. 

Q:  What part of the female body is the most sensitive?
A:  (long pause)  Feet?  I don’t know.

Of course, my passion for books has me cringing over the book references (and scarier still, the symphony one).  Maybe a dictionary would come in handy, but then again, what is a dictionary but a really big book.

The guys seem more real.  Yeah, maybe they need a little lesson in dealing with social situations, but on the whole seem more sincere (and more than a little horny, poor guys).   The twist this season is the pairing of a male beauty and female geek, which I think is dumb because all the women will naturally gravitate to him leaving the geeks feeling even more insecure.  Ashton…what were you thinking??

So my question is this, are these young women really as dumb as they sound or is it an act to get on the show?  If it’s real, we, as a country are in serious trouble.  Especially those beauties in college, giving these answers.  If it’s an act, they deserve to win the Emmy, each and everyone of them.  And the writers too because this stuff is so funny I laugh out loud and I’m all alone in the house.  Accepting this show for what it is, a comedy, makes it all ok in my book.

Stop the presses!  I just checked out the B&G website and the chat rooms are all buzzing.  It turns out the new male beauty is really actor Sam Horrigan (on the show they list his occupation as party promoter) Sounds like that answers my question about the characters being real or not.  What do you think?  And do any of you authors out there think if you wrote characters this dumb they’d be believable?  (Just curious :)

Bottom line:  Thanks to the geek for letting me know that I’ve been wearing my corsage in the wrong place all these years.

Do You Believe in Fate?

Barbara Vey -- September 19th, 2007

I’ve always been a strong believer in  things happening for a reason.  When I went through a devastating divorce many moons ago, I thought it couldn’t get much worse.  I had to move to a new city and think about different schools for my son.  Now, as I look back, I realize all the people I would never have met, the friends my son would never have made and even the choices he made in that particular high school that shaped the wonderful man he would become.  Would it have happened anyway?  I’ll never know, but that brings me to my thought for the day.

My first roommate in the hospital (I ended up having 3) was a 20 something with a poor self image.  We talked a lot, as you tend to do when you’re stuck in the same room.  She was thrilled about my weight loss, as this is a concern of hers and was excited to talk about strategies, but when I asked her what her dreams were in life, she told me she was writing a book, but, up to this point, was too embarrassed to tell anyone about it.  Boy, did she luck out with me.<g>  I told her about all the great websites that offer support to writers who go it alone and encouraged her to enter her story in the many contests that always seem to be going on.  By the time she was discharged, she seemed to be in a much better place with her self esteem and self worth.  She promised to keep in touch and I hope to someday be writing about one of her books.  So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, we all affect the people we meet in different ways and I’d like to think that maybe in some cosmic way, I played a small part in helping this wonderful young woman on her road to health, happiness and success doing something she loves.

In between offering sage advice and handing out business cards, I did manage to polish off a couple of books while being poked, prodded and continually questioned about my BM’s (really, do they have to ask during breakfast?).  Because I was feeling sorry for myself (I was missing Big Brother 8 after all), I wanted to start with a quick, fun read and I hit the jackpot with Stephanie Rowe’s Sex the Immortal Bad Boy.  Stephanie’s previous book, Must Love Dragons cracked me up, so I was psyched for this new book.  Poor Paige, who was created to do Satan’s dirty work (picture Satan in a gold lame suit with golden bubbles floating around him because he’s auditioning new girlfriends), finds out she’s turning into wraith.  Jed is working for Satan Jr. (who’s trying to oust Daddy Dearest) just so he can keep his brother alive. Fate throws them together when Jed is the only person Paige can touch without killing him.  Sounds like a match made in Heaven (or maybe Hell).  Don’t let the Satan part throw you, this book is delightful and the dialog had me laughing out loud (which had my roommate [number 2] giving me strange looks).

Next up was the suspenseful One Last Breath by Laura Griffin (due out in October).  Feenie Malone, trying to support herself writing fluff news stories after a nasty divorce (seems to be a recurring topic here today), is looking for an exciting news story to get her on the crime beat.  Marco Juarez is an ex-cop, now PI, who’s been trying to find out what happened to his sister (also a cop) when she disappeared 2 years earlier.  They both have info the other needs, but who will end up on top (sorry, but I couldn’t resist).  I’d have to say my favorite part was Feenie taking revenge on her unfaithful husband.  Golf trophies and a .22…classic.

So, tell me, who’s path have you crossed?

Bottom Line:  Don’t tell me who won Big Brother…I dvr’d it and haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.  I really wanted Jameka to win, but it’ll probably be Danielle.  Rats!! 

Disappearing Act

Barbara Vey -- September 18th, 2007

Well guys, did you miss me?  Or was it more like, "Didn’t I just read that same blog…for like the past 6 days?"  

I am now home resting up from a 10 day vacation in a local hospital.  Not to worry….everything is just fine.  You are all stuck listening to me rant, rave, praise and brag for quite some time yet.  (Unless PW pulls the plug on my blog…<grin>)  I’ve got to tell you, though, that I made it a working vacation.  You know those fashionable seersucker robes they make you wear?  Well, they have huge pockets and I had them loaded with my business cards that I freely gave out to anyone who had an empty hand (although there was the time the guy was transporting his urine sample and I shamelessly plugged my blog while pressing my Beyond Her Book card in his empty hand and asking him what books he’d been reading lately.  It’s probably not ever a good idea to ask a guy what he’s been reading as he’s leaving a bathroom…with or without a filled (fully, really) urine container).

So I decided to do a little survey between my manicure and pedicure and asked what people read while away from home in backless gowns.  Because, you know, that’s the great thing about reading, you can do it wearing anything or nothing at all.

The nurse’s station had a copy of Lisa Jackson’s Strangers that was making the rounds.  

Laurie, 39 (who looked years younger and was nice besides, so I had to hate her) was reading a….nonfiction self-help book!  I even offered her my chocolate milk if she would try a suspensful romance, but she said she didn’t have time with a 6 year old and a 1 year old.  I give her a couple more years to come over to the side of the cool kids. 

I even managed to corner the clergy, Hope (real name), who fessed up to listening to Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who Brought Down the House. 

Steve, 47 actually had 2 huge books.  The first was a about Ships on the Great Lakes.  Personally, it looked like a real snoozer to me, but his eyes lit up like Christmas morning  as he explained how they were made and what made them work (think an audio version of a Tom Clancy book).  The Encyclopedia of Space was even bigger, but it actually looked kind of cool to me.  Steve’s one of those guys who knows something about absolutely every subject there is.  I would definitely have him on my Trivial Pursuit team.

The doctors insisted they only read medical manuals, but I saw them eyeing up my copy of Sex and the Immortal Bad Boy by Stephanie Rowe.  (Yes, I’m talking about you Dr. B.)

So tell me, if you knew you were spending a week in the hospital (and were alert enough…don’t give me a lot of what ifs about this), which books would you take?   I’ll tell you what I read tomorrow.

Bottom Line:  Keep your cards and candy (except  maybe Peanut Butter Cups).  When you visit me in the hospital… bring books.  No Nonfiction, thank you very much. (wink,wink Laurie)