Monthly Archives: February 2008

Leap Day Your Turn

Barbara Vey -- February 29th, 2008

Happy Leap Year!  One extra day to work and not get paid for it…if you’re salaried.  Now it’s Your Turn Friday, where I say what I’ve been reading/listening to and then it’s Your Turn to tell me what gems you’ve been spending your time with lately.

First up is Unlawful Conduct by Pamela Clare.  Sophie Alton is a journalist who is no stranger when it comes to interviewing the criminal element.  Marc Hunter is serving a prison term of life without parole when he has to break out to find his sister and her baby who have disappeared.  When Sophie becomes his hostage, she discovers that Marc is no stranger.

Pamela worked as an investigative reporter and her insights into the harrowing prison system is disturbing.  The scary part in this book, for me, was the idea of being wrongly accused of something, going to jail and having no one believe you.  How easily could this happen to any of us?  Intriguing, thrilling and heart-pounding, this book is sure to be on book club lists.  (And a Happy Birthday to Pamela who is a leap year baby and has had 11 official birthdays.)

Next is Let Sleeping Rogues Lie by Sabrina Jeffries.  Madeline Prescott is a bluestocking and teacher at the prestigious Miss Harris’s School for Young Ladies, but is trying find a way to help her depressed, wrongly accused physician father.  Anthony Dalton, Viscount Norcourt, is a rouge of the first order, but he needs to get his orphaned niece into the school so he can get guardianship of her away from his abusive aunt and uncle.   Madeline and Anthony need each other to solve their problems, but will society’s rules get in their way.

This delightfully, entertaining historical is witty, lively and sexy.  My kind of ingredients for a yummy happily ever after.

In my car I listened to Diane Mott Davidson’s Sweet Revenge.  Goldy Schulz is a caterer who seems to always be stumbling upon a murder.  This time she’s doing a library breakfast when she thinks she sees Sandee Brisbane who killed Goldy’s ex-husband and is supposedly dead herself in a forest fire.  While trying to figure this out, the former DA is found dead in a corner of the library and Goldy is sure Sandee has something to do with it.  

This is the 14th book in this series and listening to it on audio is as good as the first.  Of course, I have all I can do to get past the yummy food Goldy is always cooking up.  This story is mouth-watering good.

Here’s your chance to let everyone know what you’ve been reading lately.  So feel free to share.

Bottom Line:  What do you get when you cross a kangaroo with a calendar?   A leap year!  (Hey, what do you expect, I’m not getting paid for today)

Shoe Envy

Barbara Vey -- February 28th, 2008

Does this man really care what shoes you’re wearing?                

The other day a friend and I were talking about all the books that mention designer shoes and clothes.  "I wouldn’t know Jimmy Choos from Manolo’s," she lamented.  "I just don’t get the big deal."  I have to agree.  I’m sure it’s a matter of person taste and style, but I’ve got a pair of tennies and a pair of black shoes (not counting the summer flip-flops.

Here’s a short Shoe Test.  Match the shoe with the designer:

Isaac $142, Jimmy Choo $435, Manolo Blahnik $555,  Sergio Rossi $257 and Naturalizers $79 (answers at bottom)
A.    B. 

So, when I saw the pictures today of the Paris fashion show, I thought I must be living on another planet.  Japanese fashion designer Junya Watanabe showed this for his Fall-Winter 2008-2009 ready-to-wear collection.  Read-to-wear where?  And if you saw someone walking down the street like this, wouldn’t you run screaming the other way? 

Here’s American fashion designer Jeremy Scott’s idea of ready-to-wear.  I’m sorry, but this is a direct copy taken from Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (and later by Carol Burnette).

To the right, I actually, I think I wore something like this once when I had too much to drink at an art museum party in my 20′s.  I can’t believe I didn’t think to market the look.

This ready-to-wear by Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela looks like she has a spare tire around her neck.  Now, I have heard of spare tires around the belly and this look does make her look thinner, so maybe it’s not such a bad idea.  I mean, it does draw the eyes away from the hips.

Here’s fashion designer Vivienne Westwood’s Fall-Winter 2008-2009 ready-to-wear.  Now after this frigid Wisconsin winter, I just might consider this item to the left.

When I saw the picture to the right, I thought, "OMG, they’re designing clothes for homeless people!"  But it turns out, this is the designer.  Yikes!!

And back to the shoes.  I know there’s a lot of you out there who live for shoes, so maybe you can explain it to me.  What’s the big deal and fascination?  Why torture your feet with devices that cramp, crimp and pinch?  Why is it so important to many stories?  I read about women who live for shoes in books and my thoughts are "vain and empty headed."  Now I do think the shoes are pretty, but all the hype…help me understand.

Answers:  A-Choo, B-Isaac, C-Naturalizers, D-Sergio and E-Malono

Bottom Line:  Are there support groups for people with shoe envy?

Blurbs to Fight the Winter Blues

Barbara Vey -- February 27th, 2008

Will this winter never end?  It seems the weather is main conversation everywhere you go these days.  Snow seems to be in almost every forcast and cold, bitter cold.  You’d think after living all my life in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin I’d be used to it, but I’m not.  I long for the sunshine to warm my bones and allow me to shed the 10 pounds of outer wear that drags me down.  But the good news is that it’s perfect weather to curl up with a good book, preferably one that takes place in a tropical setting.  Here’s the WW Ladies and friends winter reads of the week.

Foul Play: A Sofie Metropolis Novel
by Tori Carrington

Read by Joyce

 Sophie Metropolis is a mid-twenties PI in Astoria, Queens, NY.  In the tradition-oriented Greek-American community Sofie should by now be happily married and raising a family,  but the marriage didn’t happen, so she’s developing her skills at catching cheating spouses and finding lost pets.  Occasionally something bigger comes along with higher stakes and greater danger.   In Foul Play, the Mets are on a run for the National League Pennant, and, along with thousands of others, Sofie is an excited fair-weather fan.  When the wife of the rising star pitcher hires Sofie to find out why he’s behaving strangely, Sofie gets an inside peek into the lives of the rich and famous.  In this case, she’s not happy with what she finds as she realizes the stakes are more than money, but reputations and lives, including her own. 

When you get to page 30 in a book you’ve started and you laugh at least once per page, surely you’re on to something good.  And I was!  The Sofie Metropolis mysteries do make me laugh, and each one gets better.  The thing I like best is that the laughs aren’t just dependent on outrageous slapstick comedy, although there is sometimes that, but on Sofie’s thought processes in her narrative.   The problem with this 3rd book in the series is that now I have to wait months and months to find out what Sofie gets into next.  Mysterious, funny, romantic and sometimes poignant, Sofie will be worth waiting for. 

Helping Me, Help Myself  by Beth Lisick

Read by Loretta   This author, although happily married with a charming 5 year old son, is a published author of several books, but longs for help to change her disorganized household, obtain a more stable financial picture and improve her life.   She begins a year-long self help journey toward those ends by consulting the big money pros and national experts, attending seminars and classes plus trying to avoid their pitches to improve THEIR finances.   Her sparkling sense of humor bounces throughout the chapters of this book making this a fun learning experience for all of us.

These Boots Were Made for Stomping by Julie Kenner, Jade Lee, and Marianne Mancusi

Read by Joyce   From the time she’s a tiny tot until she has to slip into orthopedic walkers, a woman knows that shoes are all about magic.  Put on the right footwear, and there stands a whole new woman.  These three stories take that "whole new woman" idea a bit further when the shoes bought from an unusual on-line site tout they will give a girl her heart’s desire.  And they do…  (, Home of the Goddess Shoestra)   With self-confidence and new found strength, these super-heroines fight off bad guys, save the day, and get the guy.  What’s more magic than that?  

A Wicked Liason by Christine Merrill

Read by Anne

Constance Townley, Duches of Wellford is a widow looking for a new husband.  Anthony de Portnay Smythe is the gentleman cat burglar who now secretly works for the government.  When the two meet in Constance’s bedroom, where Anthony is sent to look for evidence of treason, Constance is sure he’s just a common thief…just very polite.

This delightful Regency historical wraps you up in a cozy relationship with a man who keeps trying to follow his head, but his heart gets in the way.  Their unorthodox relationship (he keeps climbing in her window) and quest to trap the bad guy (who tries to blackmail our heroine into his bed) make this book an enjoyable way to fight off the winter blues and leave you with a warm heart and a smile.

Shallow Grave by Lori G Armstrong  
Read by Joyce
Julie Collins is a PI in Rapid City, South Dakota. She’s tougher than she looks, and softer than she wants to be.  While working on a workmans comp case, she happens upon the remains of a young woman who’s been missing for 5 years.  As in the other two books in the series, she feels a personal obligation to find resolution and retribution for the person lost.  Her investigations take her to a Rapid City strip joint, into a biker gang club house, and out to the reservation.  The intrigues in these stories don’t involve just her current cases; her life and her relationships are as suspenseful and fascinating as the mysteries.   Shallow Grave kept me in its grip till the end, and I’ll be back for more.

Bottom Line:  I really need to make more friends that live in warm places (and have a guest room…and maybe a pool…heated, of course, with a liquor bar with those little umbrellas for the drinks and maybe…)

Money Back Guarantee

Barbara Vey -- February 26th, 2008

Last week I got to spend some quality time with my darling son, Andrew.  He was working in the area, so afterward he took me to a movie…my choice.  This doesn’t always happen, so I was especially excited.  I picked Jumper.  The premise was intriging about a young man who could teleport himself anywhere and then finds out there’s a group of people who hunt his kind (not that he knew there were more like him).  Too bad the movie wasn’t very good.  The plot holes were so big you could drive a semi through them.  My recommendation is to wait for the DVD.  

But, here’s the best part.  During the previews, they showed the new Indiana Jones trailer.  I had goosebumps.  (When Andrew was little, he had the hat and jacket, but I put the kibosh on the whip.)  It was awesome.  The music, the silhouette of Indy, the action and the one liners.  Vintage Jones.  After it was over, Andrew and I both looked at each other and said, "That was worth the price of admission."   We’ll be at the midnight showing on May 22nd.   You can see the trailer here.   

I got to thinking about how many movies I’d seen over the years that were so bad I wished I could have gotten my money back.  And if there were money back for movies, what about books.  Then I remembered that I did see something about a guarantee with certain books that offered your money back if you didn’t like them.

So my question to you is, if you didn’t like a book, would you return it for your money back?  If the quality isn’t there should a person be allowed to ask for their money back?  After reading a whole book, should it be considered used and not available to be returned?  And if the reason it wasn’t liked was because of personal preference rather than quality of content (but isn’t that sometimes measured by personal preference)?

Bottom Line:  It’s been 19 years since the last Indiana Jones movie, but in the immortal words of Dr. Jones, "It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage."  And isn’t that the truth.

Monday’s This, that and the other thing

Barbara Vey -- February 25th, 2008

Like about a billion other people last night, I wasted almost 4 hours watching the Academy Awards on tv.  I have to admit that I haven’t seen  any of the movies nominated.  I just don’t do depressing, sad movies (although I did hear good things about Juno).  The highlight for me were the 3 songs nominated from Enchanted (ok, beside seeing Johnny Depp) and none of them won.  Neither did Johnny with Daniel Day-Lewis taking the best actor award (and what was with the giant hoop earrings he was wearing?)

But on to This, that and the other Thing Monday.  This is your chance to send me news, kudos, and other info relating to the crazy business of publishing.  Just send me an email and I’ll put in what I can.

From Leeanne Davis, reader:  Celebrate Romance started with a group of online readers who wanted to get together and talk about the genre they loved so much.  Jo Beverley was one of the authors who supported it in the early days.    2008 is the 11th year of CR.  It’s a small conference which combines readers and writers in an informal atmosphere that allows them to talk freely about the romance genre, where it’s headed, what they like and don’t like about the books being published today.  Thanks to CR, I have formed lasting friendships with people across the country.

This year we have 24 authors coming.  Each year we get a mix of authors; from established to new.  The authors love the conference since it allows them to interact with readers in a way that no other conference does.  Sabrina Jeffries and Stephanie Bond are our keynote authors this year. (This sounds like my kind of conference Leanne, thanks for the heads up)

Jeff Merkel at Northern Illinois University

From Earl Merkel, author:  It’s been a hectic few days here, largely because my son Jeff is a senior at NIU. I thought I’d share this bit of parental pride (article from Rockford Register Star):

Jeff Merkel stepped out of a classroom building at Northern Illinois University a little after 3 p.m. Thursday into a stampede of people running away from nearby Cole Hall and yelling, “Shooter!”

“I was immediately engulfed by a crowd of students,” he said Friday morning. “I ducked back into the building and went into the last classroom and told them to lock the door and turn off the light. I said, ‘I apologize if it’s not true, but they’re saying there’s a shooter out there.’”

Then, the 29-year-old former Navy corpsman and veteran of conflicts in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan went back outside and headed in the direction from which the other students were fleeing. As he ran, he used his cell phone to call his wife of five years, Mariel.

“I told her, ‘I’m running the wrong way,’ but I had to,” he said. “I know how to do things. I’ve seen this kind of violence.”

As a military medic, Merkel said, he tended to hundreds of wounded troops. Some of them died, including several people in his battalion. “I stopped counting at 14,” he said.

He recruited a couple of people to help him carry three injured students to a central area where the wounded were being treated. He picked up a first aid bag that belonged to a police officer, pulled out gauze and started trying to staunch the bleeding on three of the wounded.

This week’s Newsweek, which will probably hit newsstands tomorrow (February 19), tells a bit more about a remarkable young man who continues to astonish me and his mother.

What a week– and I hope, on so many levels, that there’s never another…(Earl, we’re all with you on this.  Congratulations on raising such an amazing son.)

From Sheila Clover English, Circle of Seven CEO:  As you probably have heard, has decided to allow authors to upload thier book video to their account.  COS put out a video telling people about that. It is on myMySpace blog right now.

I also have put together a couple of handouts for people who are more visual. I have a handout on how to upload the video on Amazon/Connect and one that tells how to make an Amazon/Connect profile.

Please feel free to share it. I really want anyone who needs help with this to have it.  (Thanks Sheila, I’m sure this is very useful info for a lot of authors)

Finishing off the second month of this year to a healthier you.  Hope you all still have the enthusiasm of that first week of January, here’s my health tip of the week.  My 10 minute rule:  If I really want to eat something not normally on my plan, I tell myself to wait 10 minutes and then if I still want it, I can eat it.  99% of the time, I forget about it after 10 minutes (I have a very short attention span).  Remember, I’ll be giving away Subway gift cards once a month and all you have to do is post a comment.

Bottom Line:  I admit that I would have liked Enchanted to win best picture.  What’s wrong with wanting a movie that makes me feel good be the best?  And now I have that song, "That’s How You Know" running through my head.

It’s Friday and Your Turn

Barbara Vey -- February 22nd, 2008

The responses to yesterday’s blog blew me away.  A lot of the comments tugged on my heartstrings and I found myself tearing up.  Real life stories of love found, sometimes lost and found again were amazing and couldn’t help but make even the most skeptical believers in soul mates.  If you haven’t had a chance, go back and read the posts.  Thanks everyone for sharing your stories.  I know I’ll be reading your books with a new perspective.

Now here’s what I’ve been reading this week and then you can post your turn, what you’ve been reading lately.

First off was Susan Squire’s One With the Shadows.  In 1822 Rome, Kate Malone has been on her own, making her way reading Tarot Cards and taking advantage of the gullible aristocracy.  Until she meets Gian Urbano and starts having visions.  Gian is a vampire with a twist.  He coexists with the Companion, a parasite that inhabits the blood.   When Kate picks the pocket of a man with a unique jewel that Gian is after, they must work together to keep it out of the hands of the evil Elyta.

I’ve read this series from the beginning and love the way Susan treats vampirism as a disease of the blood.  Her vampires are essentially human, but The Companion gives them special abilities.  These books suck you into this dark world with tightly woven plots and characters you can really sink your teeth into (sorry, couldn’t resist). 

Then it was on to Return of the Rogue by Donna Fletcher.  Honora Tannach lived a life of physical abuse at the hands of her stepfather until he sold her into marriage to the next laird of the Sinclare clan.  Cavan Sinclare was captured, tortured and imprisoned after battle along with his brother.  He escapes only to return home to find a new bride waiting.  The nightmares of his ordeal, along with his inability to locate his youngest brother, just add to the angst he doesn’t want to share with a wife he doesn’t like or want.

The heroine was meek and skiddish and I was prepared not to like her, but once I put myself in her situation with all the abuse I could never imagine, her way of coping seemed acceptable.  Her gradual changes were believable and the hero’s unforgiveness for his inablility to save his brother, while painful, were understandable.  The villian was my favorite kind, the one you love to hate.  

In my car, I’m listening to J. A. Jance‘s Outlaw Mountain.  Now I picked this up at the library because it was on the new shelf and they just got it in, but it turns out the audio is from 1998.  This 7th book in the series has Sherriff Joanna Brady investigating a body found in the desert, a lost mentally challenged adult named Junior, a jealous co worker, a newspaper reporter with an agenda, a not so nice mother, a young daughter and a lover named Butch.  Did I forget anything?

I love mysteries and I love audio books, but maybe it was coming in the middle of this series that was the daunting part.  The murder happens at the beginning, but by disc 6, so much other stuff happened that when the murder was mentioned again I had almost forgotten about it.  Now maybe anyone familiar with the series wouldn’t have had a problem and maybe reading the book would have been easier.  You might want to start at the very beginning of this series, that’s what I plan on doing.
Now it’s Your Turn.  Let everyone know what you’ve been reading lately.

Bottom Line:  Today is the true George Washington’s birthday.  So remember…You cannot tell a lie today and have a piece of cherry pie.

He’s My Soul Man…

Barbara Vey -- February 21st, 2008

© 2004 Donato Giancola

Some of my favorite books embrace the idea of a "soul mate" for each and everyone of us.  I think of Guinevere and Lancelot (no HEA there, <sob>).  The whole idea of the one ideal person who completes us, who fits perfectly with our body, who would give their very life for us…<sigh>  That has to be the ultimate romantic fantasy. 

Of course, in some of the paranoramal books, that perfect someone has to sometimes wait thousands of years for their better half to come along.  And they’re usually being tortured or at the very least, absolutely miserable until then.  But the big payoff is when, ultimately, they get together and consumate the relationship on their way to the Happlily Ever After. 

And what of us waiting in real life who don’t have a thousand years to wait around?  How would you know who the perfect piece of your puzzle is?  Are there signs to look for?  In the books, there’s usually the electricity of the touch, 
the woodsy scent of him and the lavender scent of her.  

Adam and Sheila

This year, Big Brother is taking the Soul Mate to a whole new level with the season of Till Death Due Us Part.  Julie Chen and gang have matched up 16 singles with their "perfect match."  After watching the first 5 episodes, I’m wonder about the criteria they used….single hetero man, single hetero woman, ok, it’s a match.  Gay man, gay man…perfect match.

Alex and Amanda

Anyone who’s seen Sheila and Adam go at it, can only shake their heads and wonder if the producers were on crack when they put those two weirdos together.  Or was it a genius move to make the show edgier (I’m leaning toward the crack).   And then Alex who has the hots for Amanda , playing touchy, feely in the first couple episodes, but when she starts hanging with Parker, Alex calls her a slut for the way she dresses (really short, shorts and a short t-shirt with her nipples showing!!  Slut!!)  Alex  didn’t seem to mind it when he was rubbing her rump in those shorts.  Alex, you’re a scum bag!

Ok, now you know my guilty pleasure.  It’s like looking at a train wreck, you just can’t look away.

So, do you believe in soul mates?  Have you met your soul mate or do you thing they are still out there?   Would you know them when you do finally meet up?  Do you think there’s electricity?  What makes a soul mate?  Who do you think are the ultimate soul mates?

Bottom Line:   "Soul-mates are people who bring out the best in you.  They are not perfect but are always perfect for you."  ~Author Unknown….Awww

Joyce’s Book Club

Barbara Vey -- February 20th, 2008

Well, that reading dynamo Joyce has been at it again.  She’s managed four out of the five blurbs this week.  I should tell you that Joyce is an Ohio librarian who’s been laid up after knee surgery, so she’s had lots of time to kick back and read.  She’s doing great now walking with a really cool cane that her hubby bought her.  Read Joyce, read.

Evermore by Lynn Viehl

Read by Joyce   For centuries Jayr has been seneschal to Aedan mac Byrne, the only female second-in-command ever.  She has served faithfully, but because she knows her place she can never let Byrne know that she loves him.  Byrne also knows what he owes Jayr as having been the instrument in turning her so long ago, and will never use his position over her to compel her into a relationship she doesn’t desire.  As a team, they run a highly successful theme park in Florida where tourists can see authentic displays of the tournaments and jousting contests of the middle ages.  At night in the off-season, however, ancient conflicts and challenges are met, and those contests are real.   Evermore is A Novel of the Darkyn, a fascinating series in which Lynn Viehl has developed a whole new take on vampirism and sheds an imaginative light on historical events and people.  As in many series, it would be helpful to start at the beginning (with If Angels Burn) to understand the circumstances and characters, but I assure you that would not be painful.  

Her Officer and Gentleman by Karen Hawkins

Read by Christy

Forced onto the streets of London by the age of 10, Christian Llevanth learns to survive by depending on his wits and his ability to fight.  As an adult he becomes a highwayman, known as Gentleman James.  Lady Elizabeth is in London to experience her first season at age 25, solely to please her grandfather.  Known for her intelligence, her wit and her stubbornness, she vows to do whatever she must to keep any man from courting her, as she’s perfectly happy living at Massingale House with her grandfather.     When these two meet for the first time, each secretly acknowledges the chemistry that sizzles between them.  And each becomes confused as something more powerful than they’ve ever known begins to develop between them.  After getting so close to the proof he’s spent most of his life looking for, Christian struggles with his plight for revenge as Elizabeth begins to wonder just how happy she really is without love.    I really enjoyed this book, the follow-up to Her Master and Commander.  With a lot of romance, some suspense and action, this book had me hooked from the beginning.  I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and was still disappointed when it ended.  Karen Hawkins has definitely delivered with this one!

Body Movers: 2 Bodies for the Price of 1 by Stephanie Bond

Read by Joyce   Carlotta Wren was dead – or so everyone thought when a woman with her identification leaps from a bridge into the traffic below.  This case of mistaken identity is just what the D.A. has been waiting for to set a trap for her fugitive father… surely a father would come to his daughter’s funeral.  Between that elaborate scheme, her brother’s problems with gambling, loan sharks and probation officers, and the fact that her identity really has been stolen and used to rack up huge credit card bills, Carlotta’s life can be a chaotic mess.  Add to that a mega-rich ex-fiance, a hunky detective, and a tall handsome funeral director all vying for her affection, and matters just get more confusing.   This second Body Movers story is humorous, suspenseful and sexy, and just more proof that Stephanie Bond writes great mysteries.
How Faerie Dust Is Made by Nita Wick

Read by Joyce   Here’s a little HEA tale that Faeriephiles can enjoy.  Family history has taught Conell, Lord Kilronan, to hate faeries and fear their magic.  When he meets Aisling in the forest and realizes she’s a faerie, he wonders if she’s put a spell on him like the one that destroyed his father, for he can’t stop thinking of her.  Aisling knows nearly from the moment she sees him that Conell is her life mate, and somehow she must gain his trust and convince him that the only real magic is love.   Romantic and sensual, How Faerie Dust Is Made is a cute little story in a cute little book, and a pleasing way to spend and hour or two.  

My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon by Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, P N Elrod, Caitlin Kittredge, Marjorie M Liu, Katie MacAlister, Lilith Saintcrow, Ronda Thompson.
Read by Joyce   The beleaguered honeymooners in this collection of short stories are all troub
led by supernatural interference of some kind.  Written by nine of today’s most popular authors, whether the stories were touching, exciting, funny or all three, I was captivated and entertained by them.  I most enjoy the stories that take me back to the series for which these authors are known, but I like the new creations too.
  Pick a favorite?  No can do. 

Bottom Line:  Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s (or women’s) best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.  ~ Groucho Marx

How to see New York in 30 minutes

Barbara Vey -- February 19th, 2008

I just found out I will be travelling to New York for the Novelists, Inc. conference and while I’m thrilled to be meeting even more talented authors, I have to admit to being absolutely ecstatic about the idea of going to NYC.  Of course, I’ll also finally meet some of the great Publishers Weekly staff that I’ve only talked to on the phone. 

I will be there March 27-31 and there’s so many people I’ve "met" online that I would love to actually see in the flesh.  I’m sure I won’t have time to see everyone, but I plan to fit in as much as I can and sleep when I get back to Wisconsin.

And then there’s the sightseeing.  I know I’ll have to be picky since I’ll probably only have a very small amount of time, but how to choose?  The Statue of Liberty…Time Square…Empire State building…United Nations (I just have to see where they filmed North by Northwest)…Wall street…Harlem…. Chinatown…Ugly Betty’s house…  And the food, don’t get me started. 


And how will I fit in a Broadway show?  How could I possibly pick one?

I need help!!!  I’ve written about this on my MySpace blog and have gotten great ideas (like Spring Awakening), but I’m open to more suggestions.

Any thoughts on "How to see all of NY in 30 minutes?"  

Bottom Line:  I’m watching the "Out of Towners" on dvd to get tips on visiting New York.


A little this, that and the other thing

Barbara Vey -- February 18th, 2008

Now you guys are getting the hang of This, that and the other thing Mondays.  I have lots of news and kudos to pass on.  If you have news, info or high fives, email me and I’ll get in what I can.

First up is author Brenda Novak on her charity auction for Juvenile Diabetes: Just to give you a little background, I have five children, the youngest of which is an insulin-dependent diabetic. In just three events, I’ve managed to raise more than $250,000 (thanks to the generosity of my donors and shoppers).  

The auction is an annual event that runs May 1 – May 31st at my website, and it’s an on-line auction very much like E-Bay. This is my fourth year. PW, RT and Writer’s Digest have all been very generous by donating ad space to help me promote it, so it’s really turning into a "coming together," if you will, of a large portion of the romance industry (and is bleeding over into other genres). Many, many Big Name authors donate mentoring packages, meet & greets, autographed books, gift baskets, trips & stays, etc. And a great deal of agents and editors, some the best in publishing, donate manuscript evaluations (or lunch at National, etc.). We’ve actually had one gal get published through an auction read, and another get a very enthusiastic agent. 


There will probably be close to 1,000 items in this next auction (it nearly doubles every year!). Over 500 are already up for preview at my website (just click on the auction link in the menu bar at the top and in the pull-down menu select "View Items up for Auction.") Nora Roberts has donated a stay at her new inn, Susan Wiggs has donated a stay at her guest house on Bainbridge Island, Jane Porter has donated an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. Lots and lots of really great stuff!  (I checked it out and I want to bid on everything!)

And speaking of worthy fund raisers…a high five to my nieces for hosting an event to raise money for the Avon Breast Cancer walk (a 2 day, 39 mile walk) they will be participating in.  They held a pizza party at a local restaurant and sold raffle tickets for baskets of donated goodies.  Even though I didn’t win a basket, it was a great time for a great cause.  Well done!!  Check out The Pink Ladies webpage, Jenny, Kelly and Sarah.

From author
Gena Showalter:  We just sold the TV rights to Red Handed!!! Here’s what the announcement looks like at Publishers Lunch:

TELEVISION RIGHTS: NYT bestselling author Gena Showalter’s RED HANDED, to Sony Pictures Television (Stargate SG-1), with Dan Wigutow Productions, by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss & Associates, on behalf of Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency.  (I just blurbed about a couple of Gena’s books on Friday and now I’ll have to pick up this one.  Congrats Gena!)

From author CJ West:  22 West Books and LR Productions announced today an agreement to option film rights to CJ West’s 2005 novel Sin and Vengeance. West has been retained to consult on the screenplay in an advisory capacity.

"I’m excited to see the story take this step toward the big screen," West says adding that since he began visiting book groups to promote the book, "Someone at every meeting suggests making the book into a movie and invariably Johnny Depp’s name comes up connected to Randy Black." Mr. West agrees that Randy Black’s insidious nature and unpredictable antics would be well portrayed by Mr. Depp.  (I know I’d go see it.  High five to you CJ!)

From author Sherrilyn Kenyon’s blog:  We just got word that the LOA (Lords of Avalon) comic sold completely out in less than a week. THANK YOU ALL!! YOU GUYS ROCK! I had surgery yesterday and I have to say that this was worth crawling out of bed for. Now back to bed before I keel over. But I had to thank you personally. THANK YOU!!   (I just saw that this book is going in for it’s second printing and this week Dream Chaser hit #1 on the NYT list, double Congrats Sherri!)     

From author Michelle Styles:  I thought I’d let you know that the Romantic Novelists Association (the British equivalent of the RWA) has awarded its annual prizes.  Romantic Novel of the year has gone to Freya North for Pillow Talk.  And Kate Hardy has won the Romance Prize for her Modern Extra Novel Breakfast at Giovanni’s which will be published in the US market as In Bed with Her Italian Boss in April as part of the Harlequin Promotional Presents programme. It is a book with a lot of heart.  (I think I’m going to have to ask PW to send me to this conference next year.  I’ve never been to England.)

Now our other Monday feature, getting everyone into a healthy new year.  Once a month I’ll be drawing a name for a Subway gift card and all you have to do is post a comment to enter.

Author Gerri Russell on Dining out:   
-Order off the appetizer menu for smaller portions
-Think half-portions by sharing a meal or taking half home
-Look for lighter fare or heat healthy meals
-Order off the children’s menu
-Don’t go hungry and have a plan for success by knowing what you want to order before you get to the restaurant
And my tip of the week is another easy r
ecipe.  On box spice cake mix and 1 large can pumpkin.  Mix together,  put in muffin pan and bake about 35-45 minutes.  If you want, you can add raisins…yum.  

BTW, I now have 592 friends on MySpace (I know, I can’t believe it either), so if you’d like to befriend me, come on down.  My next goal is 700.  What do you think…doable??  Is there anyone left??

Bottom Line:  The cardiologist’s diet:  If it tastes good, spit it out.  ~Author Unknown