Monthly Archives: April 2008

Wednesday Book Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- April 30th, 2008

Brenda and son Thad

Tomorrow is the first day of  Brenda Novak’s Auction for Juvenille Diabetes.  There are over 1,000 items available including trips, once in a lifetime experiences, autographed books, jewelry, and special items for writers and readers that will be offered all month.  Everyday will have a "One Day Only" special item and my donation is a day of blogging here at Beyond Her Book.  This is very special since I don’t normally have guest bloggers and you would be able to promote a new release or just talk about yourself for a full 24 hours (see the site for details).  The only day you can bid on this is May 7th, so mark your calendar.

Lots of good books to talk about today, so on to the WW Ladies (and man) book blurbs.

One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost  
Read by Joyce
In this 2nd Night Huntress Novel "Cat" Crawfield has joined a secret government agency to contain or destroy supernatural criminals, especially vampires who abuse and murder unsuspecting humans.  She leads a team of specialists that she herself trained to combat enemies with magically superior strengths and talents.  Since she left "Bones", the vampire who taught her to appreciate her half-human/half-vampire birthright and to use her innate skills, she has become a legend and a threat known as the "Red Reaper".  Her reputation has made her the target of assassins, and she’s pressed to discover who is so desperate to make her dead.   This is another author whose books I’m glad came to my attention.  I recommend reading the first book, Halfway to the Grave, before you try this one, for there’s a lot that won’t make sense without it.  But that is how I want to get into a story anyway, from the beginning.  The story is imaginative and suspenseful, and both books are terrific reading.

The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes

Read by Michael   A most unusual book, and somewhat difficult to describe.  Imagine if you take some ideas from the screenplay from the movie The Prestige, blend in some HP Lovecraft, a little Mary Shelley, and add in the Utopian visions of Robert Owen* – then place the story in early 1900′s London – and add a huge dose of black humor – You pretty much have it.   I thought parts of it were very funny, and other parts a bit crude, but all in all I enjoyed it.  And now I’m wondering if there will be a sequel.   *The reference to Robert Owen is obscure – but I found myself going to Wikipedia several times while reading the book to find out more about various items and plot devices in the book.

Simply Perfect by Mary Balogh

Read by Emily

When Joseph, Marquess of Attingsborough arrives unannounced at Miss Martin’s School for Girls, Miss Claudia Martin assumes he has a daughter or relative to be enrolled. But to her great surprise he brings news of her former teacher and good friend. She is back in England after going on a tour to sing all over the continent, and Joseph has been elected to escort Claudia to town. Although Joseph has an alternative motive for meeting Miss Martin, he has a illegitimate daughter who is blind. After meeting Claudia, he believes that her school could help his daughter gain the independence she needs. When Claudia meets young Lizzie, she can’t help but feel emotions for both child and father. After agreeing to accompany the child to a country estate, she becomes closer and closer to Joseph. In all her 35 years, she has never felt anything like she does when Joseph walks into a room. She is a gentleman’s daughter, but he is a Duke in waiting. Yet, realistically she knows that nothing could ever happen between them. Or can there? 
Mary Balogh is one of my favorite authors, and I have read all her books. Miss Martin had a couple small roles in a few of Mary Balogh’s books. So when I saw that Marys newest book was finally going to tell her story, I was so excited!  The pull for true love was a constant battle between the two characters, but throughout the book, I was hoping they would get together in the end. There were so many trials to overcome that it seemed impossible at times.  Read Mary Balogh’s newest novel and enjoy this timeless romance.

Driven to Distraction (E-Book) by Ashleigh Raine

Read by Marge

Stuntwoman Blaina Triton thrives on adrenaline by dodging explosions, driving by the seat of her pants and jumping off rooftops. She’s smart, bold, wild and lives life to the fullest. Stunt coordinator Jay Williams is stunned to discover that the sexy stranger that helps him on the side of the road and later an anonymous romp back at his place is a part of his stunt crew on the set of the next featured film. Due to a tragic past, Jay doesn’t mix business with pleasure. But that doesn’t stop the intense heat between them from exploding. 
Driven to Distraction is a sizzling romance guaranteed to leave you panting for more. I just loved these characters. This well-written story is action-packed and fast-paced leaving me breathless. I felt like I was right there on the set, what a thrilling ride! I can’t wait to read more from this great writing duo.

ng>Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Read by Joyce   Mercy is a "walker", a North American shape-shifter who has only one other form; hers is a coyote.  Because she is the only walker anyone presently knows about, she is involved in the werewolf community.  In this third book, she is still torn between her desire for independence and her affections for two different Alpha males.  But it’s her friendship with the Fae that draws her into danger, and she is determined to clear her friend of murder charges, even risking herself.   Patricia Briggs has ventured from traditional fantasy into urban fantasy with the creation of Mercedes Thompson, VW mechanic.  It was because I enjoyed the author’s earlier fantasies so much that I was curious to see where she would go in this genre.  Mercy’s continuing story has intrigued me from the first, and now after the third, I’m still wanting to visit her again.  This book in particular is a definite re-reader.  

The Naked Gentleman by Sally MacKenzie 

Read by Emily

Margaret Peterson seems to find trouble wherever she goes. She only asked Lord Bennington into the garden to see if he was husband material, after all he has one of the most extensive plant collections in England. To her regret he was not! But when he wouldn’t take no for an answer, Mr. John Parker-Roth came to her rescue. Unfortunately they were discovered in a very compromising situation by the ton’s biggest gossip. To set matters aright, John proposes to Meg but she couldn’t marry a man who didn’t share her love of plants. That was why she was in the garden with that man in the first place. Although she has declined his offer, they are constantly thrown together by his marriage-minded mother and her frustrated sister. Can the pair foil their relatives plans, or can they make a marriage out of lust and a few compromising situations?    

The Naked Gentleman is Sally MacKenzie’s fourth novel. I had read her previous books and had been anticipating this book’s release. And believe me it was defiantly worth the wait. I loved reading about a heroine that was unsure of herself, clumsy, and just an all around problem maker. Oh, wait, she sounds a lot like me! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have.

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

Read by Joyce   His naval career takes an unexpected turn when Captain Will Lawrence seizes one of Napolean’s ships, and finds among the booty a dragon’s egg, ready to hatch.  When it does so, the young dragon chooses Lawrence, taking them both into the aviator corps to fight from the skies.  His reluctant committment to Temeraire changes his place in the rigid structure of Lawrence’s society, but it’s not long before he’s grateful for the eye-opening and rewarding experience.   The romance of Jane Austen’s Regency England blends with the fantasy of Anne McCaffery’s Dragons of Pern in an imaginative manner that can satisfy the readers of both.  I’m well into the second book, Throne of Jade, and already look forward to getting into the two that follow.

Bottom Line:  Today is Hairstylist Appreciation Day, so look in the mirror to decide if you really do appreciate your stylist (and maybe make an appointment…really, it couldn’t hurt).

Wii Bonding

Barbara Vey -- April 29th, 2008
Barbara Vey Wii Bowling

Barbara Vey Wii bowling

After all the nonstop action of the last couple of weeks, I was looking forward to a little down time.  Sunday was supposed to be spent in jammies surrounded by the dozens of new books I collected at the conferences I’d been to.  But my son called, so I dropped everything to help him out.

Now, don’t go thinking the worst.  Andrew called to say that he just found out Best Buy had a shipment of Wii’s in and he was on his way to get one.  The next thing I knew, I was at his place to help him break it in.  I am not a video game player.  Everything always moves too fast for me and all the buttons on the controllers give me a migraine.

Andrew assured me I could handle it, yet I cringed when I saw the games were all sports related.  Luckily there was bowling and the controller is a lot lighter than a real bowling ball.  You still have to stand and swing your arm (see the great form in the picture?)  But the Wii is brilliant in it’s simplicity.  Even I can do it!  

Three hours later we had played pool, tennis, baseball, golf, shot ducks, went fishing, boxing where I almost knocked out Andrew (really, I was swinging the controller like a mad woman and smacked Andrew with it) and table tennis.  But my favorite was racing cows.  Yes, cows, not  a typo.  You sit on the cows and take out scarecrows, but the problem was I kept running into trees and fences because I would turn my whole body instead of just my controller.  We were laughing so hard, it was definitely a Depends moment.

I love my books, but it was heaven to have a playdate with my son and play sports with him like when he was little.  Well, virtual sports, but laughing together is something that is very real.

Bottom Line:  Mother’s Day is May 11th…hint, hint.

This, that and the other thing

Barbara Vey -- April 28th, 2008

Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees

I’m starting off Mondays with pictures of baseball players, so when I Googled "hot baseball players" I got a Yahoo question from a girl who wanted names and pics of hot players. When this came up for Robinson Cano, I couldn’t resist.
Well, I’m home for 2 weeks before I head off to the WisRWA conference in Green Bay, WI with my Flip video camera.  I’m still downloading videos and I’ll be posting more from RT and Spring Fling.  All the videos are also on YouTube and you can see them all here.

Time for another addition of This, that and the other thing Mondays where you can email me what’s happening.

From author L.Y. Marlow:  Award-winning author L.Y. Marlow of Color Me Butterfly, a book about 4 generations of mothers and daughters that suffered and survived 60+ years of domestic violence and abuse, has launched a national campaign entitled Saving Promise to change domestic violence laws.  The campaign is inspired by Color Me Butterfly which has won 7 awards including the National "Best Books" Award and the author’s granddaughter named Promise whose life was threatened by her own father in a domestic violence dispute. Learn more about the Saving Promise Campaign and pledge your support.  The author is seeking 1 million pledges to take her campaign to Congress to implore them to change laws. (A tragic situation that occurs much too often, check this out)

From Sheila Clover EnglishCircle of Seven Productions now has an online radio station! This past Saturday host David Ewen and author Liz Kreger discussed Liz’s books and her take on the RT convention’s ebook vs. traditional Book Fair. Click here to listen in(I always listen to this stuff while working on the computer…I’m such a multi-tasker.)

From Lori Devoti:  A group of authors who write about shapeshifters (Lori Devoti, Rebecca York, Teresa D’Amario, Terry Spear, Marcia Colette, Jennifer St. Giles, and Michele Hauf) have started a new group blog, Shapeshifter Romance, where we will be blogging about all things shapeshifter—books, movies, theories, you name it. (I just stopped by and things are hopping over there, so stop by if you’re into the furrier things in life).

From author Deborah LeBlanc:  Never let it be said that a small publisher (a very small one, in fact) can’t dream big. BelleBooks, the tiny southern press owned by veteran authors Deborah Smith, Debra Dixon, Sandra Chastain and Martha Crockett, has launched BelleBooks Audio. The publisher’s "studio" consists of a laptop computer hooked up a professional microphone in Smith’s master bedroom closet. BelleBooks Audio plans to release five audiobooks by Fall 2008.  BelleBooks is also launching an ebook and POD division, Bell Bridge Books, focusing on fantasy titles.  (I’m big into audio books, so I’m always looking for great books to listen to)

Enjoying a beignet in New Orleans

From author Heather Graham:  It’s happening again: after Katrina, the first Writers for New Orleans took place at the hotel Monteleone. It’s a little bit of craziness, workshops, book fair, dinners, chats, and parties, all in a holiday weekend. Registration is now open. The conference is totally nonprofit and is known for the best registration bags in the business. Sales from baskets and charity events go directly to the library foundation that is restoring libraries not just in the Big Easy, but in the surrounding, hard-hit areas.  (I love New Orleans and this opportunity to go there sounds too good to miss)

Remember to send me any special news, notes, info, kudos (or just a hot baseball player suggestion) and I’ll try to get them in on Mondays.  You can email me by clicking here.

Bottom Line:  A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.  ~Humphrey Bogart

Laughs, Tears and a Mini Vibrator

Barbara Vey -- April 27th, 2008
Breakfast buds:  Claranne Perkins, Jennifer Clark and Leslie Langtry

At the breakfast gathering, Christie Ridgway took us through her journey to become a published author.  This fast talking dynamo barely took a breath as she had the crowd laughing along with her.

I met Debbie Macomber a few years ago on the Author’s at Sea cruise and then again at a booksigning here in Milwaukee, so I knew how she could entrance a crowd.  Saturday morning was no different.  As I took my seat, I saw Debbie moving up and down the aisles, shaking hands and greeting adoring fans.  If she were running for office, she’d win by a landslide.  

Conference organizers:  Joelle Charbonneau-Blanco and Deb Gross

Debbie talked about following trends in the quest to get published, citing England, TV, movies, catalogs, magazines, news, the internet and even video games as virtual fonts of inspiration.

I snagged a front table at lunch to hear Eloisa James’s story that had me blinking back tears.  It turns out that Midnight Pleasures was written during her pregnancy while she lived with the fear of a premature labor, so she poured her anxiety into her book where her heroine lost the baby at 5 months.  Real life followed the same path and while Eloisa’s baby was stillborn at 5 months, she was revived and is now a thriving 9 year old.  Just like a romance writer to give us a happily ever after.

Eloisa James fan bash at Spring Fling

To the delight of local Eloisa fans, she had a party in her suite and offered prizes, drinks and delicious desserts homemade by her assistant, Kim.  Introductions were a blast with people introducing themselves as "Island girl" and "Irish eyes" their online personas.

Debbie was the dinner speaker and her success in the face of dyslexia was inspiration to all.  My favorite story was of her adventure in Alaska to research a book.  She had to take a prop plane which did mail runs to a remote area and because of fuel issues, they had to

Author June Sproat and daughter at booksigning

know the exact weight the plane was carrying.  Debbie, like most of us, didn’t want to give her real weight, so she opted to go with the stand by…her driver’s license weight.  When the plane taxied, but couldn’t get airbound she started screaming, "I lied!  I lied!"  (I totally can identify with this)

The silent auction was a huge success with everything from critiques (extremely popular) to autographed book by Janet Evanovich to baskets of goodies (favorite was donated by author Jennifer Stevenson, a chest filled with dvds, mini vibrator with extra batteries, dice game for partners, silken ties

Blythe Gifford and Pat White

and after sex mints…really, who thinks of this stuff?).  Over $10,000 was raised for Literacy Chicago.

To finish off the conference was live music and a packed dance floor.

Bottom Line:  I’m still with Debbie and will stick to my Driver’s License weight…no matter what.

Victoria Curran, editor Harlequin and Tessa Woodward, editor Avon

Authors Jenna Petersen and Ann Mace

Authors Connie Cox and Marcia James

Lots more Drive by Videos coming up probably later today, so stay tuned.

Spring Fling

Barbara Vey -- April 26th, 2008

The hour drive to Illinois (on my way to the Spring Fling RWA) shouldn’t have been a big deal, but the final 38 miles of construction were a killer.  Then, one of the tolls was a dollar, but only took coins, so I yelled to a construction worker that I only had a dollar bill and he told me I could drive through and pay it online.  So now I’m afraid the toll police are looking for me because I haven’t paid it yet.  Finally at my exit and I can see the hotel, but because of the construction, I can’t get there.  I need to drive about a mile down the road before I can turn around and come back to enter the makeshift driveway.  What a nightmare!!

While this isn’t the scene in the hotel, this is what it felt like after driving through the construction mess.

Entering this beautiful hotel was like being transported to an alternate universe.  There’s a babbling fountain, lots of seating, wide spaces and a Starbucks in the lobby.  All is now well in my world.  I saw a woman reading a book and immediately knew she was part of the conference.  It turns out that Connie Cox and I have been trading emails since February and I discovered she is a computer genius.  I learned more from her in 10 minutes than I have in the last year.  

Aside from the usual seminars was a Q&A session with guests Debbie Macomber (sporting a snazzy new haircut), Eloisa James and Christie Ridgway.  My camera batteries went dead, so no pics of this, but more tomorrow.  One thing they spoke about was the fact that they definitely listen to their readers and other authors should too.  
DM:  Readers will guide you if you listen.
EJ:  After readers finish my book, I let them vote on an additional chapter they would have liked in the book.  Then I write it and post it on my website.
CR:  The 3rd book in a series I wrote never got published and readers are still asking for closure.  I’ll be writing a novella and just post it on my site for them.

Dinner Buds:  top-Blythe Gifford, Allie Pleiter, Debbie Macomber, Sara Daniel, Victoria Curran.  bottom-Myrna Mackenzie, Lindsay Longford, Margaret Watson


There was an unusual dinner served family style with a huge lazy susan in the middle of the table that was fun to just spin around and I got the place of honor next to Debbie Macomber who told me her dream is to throw out the first pitch at an Atlanta Braves game.  I love my Milwaukee Brewers, but I would have to stand about a foot away from the catcher to throw it.  My hat’s off to you Debbie, if anyone can do it, it would be you.

Joliet Librarians:  top-Pam Kloser, Nancy Martinez, Judy Bonheim.  bottom-Marcia Crook, Darlene Ball

Next up was the librarian/bookseller event.  I love talking to these people because they are so knowledgable and passionate about books (definitely my kind of people).  

From there we headed to the lobby and a huge display of chocolate….covered strawberries, dipped pretzels, chocolate mousse and brownies.  Since it was so hard to choose, many solved the problem by trying one of everything.  

Bottom Line:  Even on your worst day, surrounding yourself with authors, readers, librarians, books and chocolate is the best medicine.

RT Photo Gallery and Your Turn Friday

Barbara Vey -- April 25th, 2008
Come on, you had to know that as soon as I got a copy of this picture it would be front and center.  It is now the wallpaper on my computer, feel free to use it on your computer.

Here is a small photo gallery of some of my favorite shots from RT. Click on the image to see full sized photos: 

Romantic Times Convention Photo Gallery

You can also access more pics on my Flickr page.

Today I’m on my way to Deerfield, IL to attend the Spring Fling 2008 by the Chicago North RWA with special Guests Debbie Macomber, Eloisa James and Christie Ridgway.  According to Mapquest, it’s only an hour and six minutes, but we’ll see.  I’ll be blogging from there all weekend and I promise more fun Drive by Videos.

I lost my wallet yesterday, so I’ll be traveling without ID, credit cards or my before picture (which means the world to me).  So, I might be calling for bail money…please stand by.

Until then, here’s what I’ve been reading this week and then you can post what books you’ve been browsing through.

First up is Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper.  Dani Justice has nightmares about the future.  When a serial killer gets into her mind, FBI Special Crimes Unit run by Bishop gets involved, but will they have time to catch the killer before he takes over Dani’s mind?

This series has grown along with it’s characters.  I always like when they’re brought back into stories so I get a glimpse of what they’ve been up to.  This is a chilling tale that would have been right up Mulder’s alley.

On the plane home from Pittsburgh, I enjoyed Lori Borrill’s Taking it to the Test, a Harlequin Blaze, which means all the Harlequin romance extra spicy hot.  Carly Abrams is a brilliant computer programmer, but when hot, golden boy, Matt Jacobs arrives, he starts getting all the best jobs.  But now the new account will go to the two people who are most compatible by answering a survey.  Carley cheats on the sex part to get the job, but will she be able to deliver on her answers?

This is the best kind of book for airport travel.  Not bulky, fast, fun read with likable characters that make you smile.  Of course, I was hoping no one knew why I was smiling.  The best part was being able to pass the book on to the flight attendant who was thrilled to get it.

Finally, I read Trust Me by Brenda Novak.  It’s four years after Skye Kellerman was brutally attacked in her home.  She now runs The Last Stand, an organization to help victims of crime, along with two friends who are also survivors.  Detective David Willis worked on the case, but still can’t get Skye out of his head.  With Skye’s attacker about to be released from prison, David puts all his energies into proving that the criminal also committed several unsolved murders before he can strike out at Skye again.

This is the first book in the triology featuring the women of The Last Stand.  It’s always scary for me to realize how much evil there is in the world and I love stories where the victims take control.  We also get to see what happens to the family of the bad guy (who always believed he didn’t do it) and the detectives failed marriage (how do you divorce yourself from someone you no longer love but who’s been diagnosed with a disease?).  All these plot points make this book suspenseful and poignant.

It’s been a while, but now it’s your turn to comment on the books you’ve been reading.

Bottom Line:  My Drive by Video with Adrian Paul has made it to his official fan page.  Now all I have to do is find someone to set up my official fan page.

Blurbs are Back

Barbara Vey -- April 24th, 2008

Well, it’s baseball season here in Milwaukee, so I thought I start sharing pictures of our players.  First up is Gabe Kapler, outfielder.  They actually showed this picture on our local news, so it is very relevent to baseball.  Go Brewers!

Now on to the WW ladies book blurbs.

The Duke Next Door
by Celeste Bradley 

Read by Emily

Deirdre Cantor has always been in love with Lord Calder Marbrook, Marquis of Brookhaven. After a marriage of convenience, she vows to make him fall in love with her. Her dominating new husband reveals a shocking secret, and expects her participation. Through their struggles Calder finds himself respecting her inner strength. When a former suitor threatens their marriage, Calder realizes his feelings for his new wife are more than just lust. But did he open his heart too late? 

The Duke Next Door is the second book in the new Heiress Brides series by Celeste Bradley. I read the first, Desperately Seeking a Duke and I can’t wait for the third book, Duke Most Wanted. I had enjoyed Celeste Bradley’s Royal Four series, so I knew that I would enjoy this series too. But I hadn’t taken into account the exciting characters, and attention-grabbing plot line that makes this book an amazing experience. I highly recommend you read all of Celeste Bradley’s books, but most especially the new Heiress Brides series.  (I just finished Duke Most Wanted and I’ll pass it on to you Emily, you won’t be disappointed)

Only With A Cowboy

Read by Judy

Three authors revealing potent stories with a common theme – A Cowboy.

Hard in the Saddle by P.J. Mellor is the story of Madison St. Claire’s adventure or rather misadventure as a “city slicker.”  She is rescued from ruin by a sexy, secretive and VERY  Possesive Cowboy.

The high school sweethearts, Wendi and Mike come alive in Vonna Harper’s Breeding Season.  Having gone separate ways right after high school, their reunion is quite steamy.  This story gives a whole new meaning to the term “Breeding Season”.

Melissa MacNeal delivers a sensual and sexual story.  Banker Jane Cook turns down a loan for Luke McGrew, but saying no to Luke in other things is not so easy.  The Bad Boy and Plain Jane tale has never been told like this before.

Had I known just how sexy, sensual and downright horny Cowboys are I might have made a trip out West to experience the electricity they generate.  (Sexually explicit)

Rogue’s Lady by Julia Justiss 

Read by Emily

Italian beauty, Allegra Antinori, is only a poor relation with a small dowry. But when impoverished Lord William Tavener sees her across a crowded ballroom, he must have her for his own, even though he needs an influx of cash to restore his home. But Allegra only has eyes for her distant cousin Lord Rob Lynton. When William requests that Allegra help him become ton polished and search for a wealthy bride she agrees only because he offers to help her attract the notice of Rob. Yet over time, Allegra can’t help but see the amazing person that lies beneath the rakish demeanor. But when a conflict arises will the new relationship keep the pair together or drive them apart? 

Julia Justiss’ new novel Rogue’s Lady is a fantastic novel whose characters will defiantly capture your attention. Both Allegra and William have so many trials that they need to overcome. But you can tell throughout the book that they are trying to control themselves around each other. You can almost feel the tension when they are together. I hope you enjoy Rogue’s Lady as much as I have. Enjoy!

A Hotel in Paris by Margot Justes

Read by Beverly   Minola Grey is an artist currently living in a hotel in Paris.  Lord Yardleigh, another guest of the hotel is murdered right down the hall from her.  The police come to investigate as well as Chief Inspector Peter Riley from Interpol.  Minola too decides to investigate the murder with the aid of her friend Sally.    Minola is passionate about her painting.  She studies her subjects well and it is with this artist’s eye for detail that Inspector Peter Riley is able to solve the case.  However, it is not just a story about a murder, it is the story of passion.  Minola’s passion for painting and Peter Riley’s passion for Ms Minola Grey.  Engaging and satisfying murder mystery.  

The Kiss by Sophia Nash 

Read by Emily

Georgiana Wilde has been in love with Quinn Fortesque for what seems like forever. He is recently widowed and returns to the family estate and is once again under the spell of “Miss” Wilde. While he was away she had married his cousin and Quinn believes she’s still in love with her dead husband. Can she convince him, her heart beats only for him, before he makes the biggest mistake of his life? 

Throughout the book I was always asking “Does he or doesn’t he?” Unrequited love is love of the worst kind, and Georgiana believes this to be true. But in the end true love always triumphs, or so they say! Enjoy The Kiss Sophia Nash’s newest novel and find what true love is all about.

Bottom Line:  I had baseball cards when I was a kid and none of them looked like Gabe Kapler.  Of course, mine all had baseball uniforms on…why is that again?               

Final Word on RT

Barbara Vey -- April 23rd, 2008
Joyce (who writes Wednesday book blurbs) and Me (look close and you’ll see the tiara I won spinning the wheel).

I made it home from the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Pittsburgh last night minus my leather jacket, which I hope is at the hotel.  It was a very long, action packed week and I thought I’d give you some of the pros and cons of RT 2008.

Cons:  Hotel – While no fault of RT, the hotel was under major construction.  People complained of dust, dirt and noise, not to mention holes in walls, beds standing on their sides and flooded bathrooms due to leaky showers.

Not enough seating at events:  Some conventioneers found themselves wandering around the giant ballrooms trying to find a place to sit.  According to Carol Stacy of RT, the hotel only allowed one RT person to be the contact and she was nowhere to be found when they needed the hotel to add more tables and the hotel refused to do it with out this specific approval.

Not enough gift bags at luncheon:  Beautiful gift bags were given out at the RT Awards luncheon, but not enough to go around.  Carol Stacy told me that normally most people leave the 2 1/2 hour event early, so they announced that the gift would be given only to those who stayed until the end.  Well, it worked and nearly everyone stayed.  This is a good thing…right?  (Tickets were given to those who didn’t get bags for a future gift)

F. Paul Wilson as a butler singing "Hotel California"

Cover model gets weird:  One of the cover models apparently got into a staffer room uninvited and while he was removed and no one was hurt, he only got weirder as time went on.  I sat next to him at a dinner and his strange behavior bothered me so much that I commented on it to fellow guests.  Eventually the police were called and he was taken away strapped to a gurney.  Next day he was back, but was watched closely (he was still being creepy).

An incident with a camera:  An author’s daughter left her camera unattended and another author’s daughter picked it up and apparently took some pictures of her very private body parts.  There was an altercation, name calling and many tears.  The yuk factor on this is very high and hopefully all involved have apologized and made up.

Pros:  Adrian Paul (touching and saying my name, on camera, so I can listen to it over and over again).

Amazing parties with faeries under the sea, vampire ball, pirates bash and boots made for stomping.

Bookseller events by authors filled with food, fun and lots of special giveaways.

Seminars on everything from furred and fanged to erotic dialog given by authors who really know their stuff.

Marianne Mancusi, Fabio and Liz Maverick.  This picture speaks for itself.

A booksigning that had nearly 300 authors suffering from writer’s cramp by the end.

A Mr. Romance competition that had enough whooping and hollering to rival a rodeo event.

Male authors who aren’t afraid of the 100:1 ratio (I’m just guessing about the ratio, but it was close)

Over 1100 of the most incredible people who were there for one reason…their love of romance and all things books.

The Romantic Times Magazine knows how to throw a party and next year it will be in Orlando.  Be there or be square.

Bottom Line:    Ok, I’m star stuck.  I just watched my Drive by Video with Adrian Paul on my 57" tv. 

Winding Down from RT

Barbara Vey -- April 22nd, 2008

Barry Eisler and me

Just wanted to let you all know that I survived RT.  Yesterday I headed to Ohio with Joyce to speak at her library.  It was a great program and I was able to show my Adrian Paul video on the big screen <sigh>  (I never get tired of listening to him say my name).  I spoke to readers and librarians about all things books, authors, publishers and romance.  A very fulfilling night.  And thanks to the generousity of Dorchester and Samhain Publishing, along with lots of goodies from RT, there were tons of books and goodies to give away. 

I’m heading to the airport now to fly home to Milwaukee where I’ll rest until Friday when I’m off to the Spring Fling given by Illinois RWA authors.  I’m so excited to have a chance to use my Flip video some more.  You can look forward to even more Drive by Videos.  I’ll recap the convention tomorrow, but in the meantime, enjoy these videos from the 2008 Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Pittsburgh.

Tina Trevaskis and Sue Grimshaw of Borders Books

Author Shelley Adina

Author Sharon Sala

Author F. Paul Wilson

Authors Marianne Mancusi and Liz Maverick

Michael from Joseph-Beth Books

Author Shari Anton

Author Lisa Jackson

Authors Kathleen Long and Linsey Brookes

Author Gerri Russell, Superfan Morgan Hitchins, Author Diane Whiteside

Authors Ann Christopher and Catherine Chernow

Adrian Paul & More Drive By Videos!

Barbara Vey -- April 20th, 2008

More Drive By Videos from the Romantic Times Convention:

Actor Adrian Paul “The Highlander”

Author Barry Eisler

Chris Keesler, senior editor Dorchester and Author Marjorie M. Liu

Author Anne Elizabeth

Author Lori Foster

Don’t miss the rest of my coverage from the RT Convention so far: