Monthly Archives: May 2008

Getting Ready for Summer Book Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- May 31st, 2008

The other day I blogged about the USA Today article not mentioning romance books on their summer read lists.  Well,  they need to think of romance in broader terms, like when it’s added to mystery, suspense, paranormal and historicial, among others.  Here’s a few that belong on your beach blanket.

Another edition of the Saturday WW Ladies Book Blurbs. 

The Silver Spoon by Stacey Klemstein

Read by Joyce
 
She doesn’t know why, but in the two years since the Observers arrived on earth, Texas waitress Zara Mitchell has dreaded the day when she meets one.  The nightmares she suffers seem to her to foretell personal disasters to come.  When the first alien she sees in person comes into her diner, the place is demolished in an explosion that she survives only because of his protection.  And that’s only the beginning of Zara’s troubles.
 
I’ve always enjoyed alien invasion stories, and I haven’t found one I’ve liked in quite awhile, but here’s one.  With The Silver Spoon, the "what if" question is raised again in an imaginative manner, giving the story a fresh and provocative approach.  My curiosity is piqued, and I’ll be getting the second book, Eye of the Beholder, to satisfy it.     
 

Gentlemen Behaving Badly by Michelle Marcos

Read by Emily

Mina Halliday found a job in an infamous brothel, offering her writing talents to the madame. Her writing was sensual and brought men in droves to meet “Lollie” the seductive woman writing these letters. But she had ulterior motives. She had to catch the gentleman that falsely accused her father, and sent him to jail. In the process, she meets Chief Constable Salter Lambrick. He is investigating a murder, and the deceased was found with one of Mina’s letters in his pocket. After assuring himself that Mina is not the killer, the two work together to uncover the real murderer. In the process, Salter finds himself drawn to Mina, but she doesn’t think that Salter really likes her. He sees her as a means to an end. If she helps him, then the case will be solved quicker. But Salter really has fallen for this mouse of a woman, but can he convince her before it’s too late? 
                                                                                                        

Michelle Marcos is a new author making a big splash. Gentlemen Behaving Badly is one to put on your “to be read” list. It has mystery, intrigue, passion, and murder. What more do you need? I loved Mina, and how she had to overcome her dowdiness to become a seductive woman. Not many can pull off a scheme like that. 
                                                       
The Widow by Carla Neggers

Read by Jan
 
Not even married a week and Abigail Browning found herself a widow, her husband, Christopher, shot to  death on their honeymoon at his boyhood home in Mount Desert Island, Maine. 
                      
Abigail, a homicide detective for 7 years with the Boston police force, returns on their anniversary after receiving an anonymous call that may or may not help to solve the murder.  Many of Christopher’s friends and neighbors clearly do not want her there snooping around. One of Chris’ good friends, Owen Garrison, still has feelings of guilt that he wasn’t able to save him in time. He joins Abigail (in more ways than one!) in an attempt to discover the truth behind the mystery of Chris’ death.
 
I’ve not read Carla Neggers’ books before, but will definitely seek them out now –an exceptional story teller.

Sucker Bet by Erin McCarthy

Read by Joyce
 
Having been a proper reserved lady, Gwenna Carrick has decided to grow a backbone.  After being "protected" and sheltered by her now ex-husband and her brother for the last 900 years, she’s going to take a chance and get involved with people on her own, even mortals.  The first mortal she meets she finds to be an amazingly attractive, compassionate, and virile police detective she encounters at a murder scene.  Could they have something together, or did she just meet him on a particularly bad day?
 
The convoluted and incongruous society of the Vegas Vampires has been a lot of fun to watch evolve, with its whacky characters and peculiar problems.  Besides, I love the gorgeous book covers.
                                                                            

Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake by Laurie Brown

Read by Emily

Paranormal Investigator, Josie Drummond was hired to prove that there was a ghost living at Castle Waite. But she can’t find any trace of paranormal activity and as she’s breaking the news to her employer, a manifestation appears of t
he most incredible specimen of a man. It turns out that this ghost is the ninth Earl of Waite, Deverell Thornton, and he needs Josie’s help. It seems that the family estate needs an influx of cash, and he proposes they travel back in time to find the missing emeralds that were stolen from the family. They travel back to 1815, and Josie has to learn etiquette, manners, and deportment before making an appearance at the country house party. The only problem is that Deverell is still a ghost, and the human Dev is tempting beyond belief. They have to overcome a series of obstacles before Deverell and Josie have to return to the present, but does she chose to remain with the tempting Dev, or return to the present where she belongs. 
                                                                

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially the time travel aspect. Throughout the book, I was thinking to myself, “I wonder if she’s going to stay in the past or go back to the present?” Now I won’t reveal what happens, but I was on pins and needles until the very end. 

Bottom Line:  I’ve got my summer books ready, now I just need it to actually be summer (I’m sick of wearing sweaters).  
                                

My Audition with Barbara Walters

Barbara Vey -- May 30th, 2008

Barbara Walters

The original "Babawawa"

Last night I had the honor of hearing Barbara Walters speak about her controversial book, Audition, sponsored by the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops.  Local Milwaukee news anchor,  Kathy Mykleby (check out her Drive by Video) hosted while a packed house sat mesmerized by the journalism royalty.

Barbara explained that she wrote the book for her developmentally disabled sister, Jackie, who she was constantly embarrassed by when she was younger and was always angry with because of her disability.  As a matter of fact, she named her adopted daughter Jackie, so her sister would also have a baby.

And speaking of her daughter, Barbara is quick to point out their rocky relationship and how Jackie ran away from home and Barbara was encouraged not to report it because of the media it would get and what that might cause her daughter to do in rebellion.  An unthinkable position for any mother.  The good news is that Jackie grew up and is now running an outdoor therepy program call "New Horizons," for troubled teens. 

Barbara also admits that she has a lot of regrets, like not following through on a crush on Clint Eastwood when he asked her to stay for dinner after an interview.  While she’s not nervous about doing interviews, in real life she doesn’t drive a car and "can’t make up her mind" (her daughter blames it on her being a Libra).  She doesn’t want a movie made about the book because she doesn’t want anyone to play her sister, mother or father.

Lori Anderson and Jeanette Klitzke
Handshake collector Lori Anderson and friend Jeanette Klitzke.  Lori shook my hand after learning I met Lisa Ling and shook her hand.  A first for me.

Then microphones are set up for audience questions.  Here’s my chance to be an ace reporter (since HarperCollins refused me an interview…the nerve!).  I quickly spit out my gum, introduce myself and throw in PW’s name hoping she’ll take me a little more seriously.  I thank her for my nickname, Babawawa, which she acknowledges with a smile and a shrug.  Now my hard hitting journalistic question… "Barbara, since you’ve admitted to "have done it all," what romance book have you read and enjoyed lately?"   Pausing to think about it, she tells me she mostly reads nonfiction to prepare for her interviews, but she can read her good friend, Danielle Steele’s books in about 20 minutes.  She also takes a moment to thank me for PW’s great review and I say, "You’re welcome."  Interview over.

So what hard hitting journalist question would you have asked Barbara Walters?

Bottom Line:  I think Barbara Walters needs to interview some romance writers so she can read some good books.  After 70 plus years, she’s due for her "Happily Ever After."


WISN News Anchor Kathy Mykleby Discusses Barbara Walters


Barbara Walters fans Amy Braun-Gross and Shelly Clumpner

Summer Must Read List

Barbara Vey -- May 27th, 2008

Circle of Seven Productions
Sheila Clover English of Circle of Seven Productions recently blogged about USA Today’s prediction that there will be no romance for the summer of 2008 (ironically the ad on the page was for Harlequin).

Says Sheila:  "Okay, they might see a couple, but they are totally down playing that there is ANY romance to it. Romance and summer? What?! What idiot would put those two things together? Summer is for reading books! Literary books. Books that improve your mind. Books written by authors who faked memoirs. Books people will read sitting on the beach, sipping a lovely drink with an umbrella in it, thinking about men burned in an arson fired, or conservative politics or how to suck at golf. That’s what Americans want to do during vacation.

No one wants to spend hours soaking up the sun, reading about knights in shining armor, star-crossed lovers, vampires lovers, werewolf lovers, arranged marriages gone good, women being swept off their feet by men who can’t live without them, other worlds with dark, mysterious men and the women they long for. Who wants that?"  (Read all of Sheila’s blog here)

Ummm….me (raising my hand).  While I can pretty much enjoy reading just about anything with a romance (romance books offer a variety of sub genres) any time of the year, I absolutely love the idea of the house windows all open and the breeze swaying the curtains.  One hand holding the book and the other reaching for my long, tall, cool drink with the little umbrella in it.  And as I’m lounging on my recliner while inhaling the scent of fresh mowed grass, I can be transported anywhere.  At the end of my journey, I can breathe a satisfied sigh of relief that they all lived happily ever after.  Now that’s my idea of a summer vacation.

So, tell me, (and USA Today), what do you think should be the summer must read list this year?  It’s your list and you can name as many as you want.

Bottom Line:  My tbr pile is as tall and wide as me, so I’m planning on a long, hot summer.  Oh, cabana boy…

Honoring Our Own

Barbara Vey -- May 26th, 2008

Memorial Day
Memorial Day commemorates United States men and women who died in military service to their country.  It was started to honor Union soldiers of the Civil War, but after World War I included casualties of any war or military action.

It used to be held on May 30th and I can remember it being called Decoration Day.  While I can understand the excitement of a three day weekend, I guess I still find it offensive to use the day to picnic or sleep late without first taking a minute out of your busy day to thank them (and their families) for their ultimate sacrifice.

Then I say, party on, because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have these freedoms to celebrate.  

Please feel free to post the name(s) of your family and friends for us to honor or just say thanks.

Bottom Line:   To my dad, who, while he didn’t die in battle, served in both the Army and Navy and fought in Korea where he lost many friends.
                

Saturday Special Book Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- May 24th, 2008

Sawyer from Lost

Sawyer (from Lost) reading a book not yet blurbed on Beyond Her Book

                                                                                                                           
As promised, here’s the new Saturday edition of the WW Ladies Book Blurbs.  They’re getting a lot of books read and want to share them with everyone.  Your comments are always welcome.
                                                                            
EmilyFast and Loose by Elizabeth BevarlyFast and Loose by Elizabeth Bevarly

Read by Emily 

When Thoroughbred trainer Cole Early arrives in Kentucky for the Derby, he is annoyed that there are no open hotel rooms. But a stroke of luck finds him a small bungalow to rent for the two weeks just in time. When Lulu Flannery let her friend talk her into renting her house for derby week, she didn’t think that playboy Cole Early would ever be the renter of her small house. She is immediately concerned about the party boy wreaking havoc in her home, but instantaneous sparks fly when Cole asks Lulu to be his “buffer,” for two weeks to keep the other women at bay. She tries to stay immune, but she can’t control the flames when Cole is near. But will his rich, playboy status push Lulu away, or can his charms bring her back and convince her that love is worth all the risks? 
                                                           
I absolutely loved The Thing about Men and when I saw this book on the shelf I had to read it. A devilishly handsome man who loves animals? What could be better? This book has a great story, and not only do you get to read about Cole and Lulu’s romance, but Lulu’s best friend Bree, finds love in the least likely of places. But will the man she’s looking for ultimately be the man she wants? Read Fast and Loose to find out. I highly recommend it.

JanThe Devil’s Bones by Jefferson BassThe Devil

Read by Jan
 
Shades of "C.S.I." and Patricia Cornwell’s "Body Farm"!  As a forensic anthropologist, Bill Brockton attempts to determine whether a woman’s charred body was accidental or arson after a murder, using the University of Tennessee’s ‘body farm’. There he torches a body to observe how fire consumes flesh and bone. A visit to a crematorium introduced me to ‘everything I wanted to know about cremation’  and then some  On another trip to a Georgia crematory where the owners had run out of  money he found numerous bodies laying  around in varying states of decomposition. (Remember a couple of years back when that actually happened?)  Further attempts on his own life add to the action. I quite enjoyed this book…’twas right up my alley.

                                                                                         

EmilyClose to Perfect by Tina Donahue Close to Perfect by Tina Donahue

Read by Emily

Stripping down to his birthday suit, while swimming in his private pool shouldn’t have caused any problems for Josh Wyatt. But when you’re rich, handsome, and in the public eye, there are always paparazzi around. Josh’s assistant has the bright idea of hiring a bodyguard until his unseemly pictures are yesterday’s news. And Josh was all for it when he sees the person they have decided to hire. Ex-cop Tess Franklin thinks Josh’s popularity will draw the attention to her family’s small bodyguard business, bringing higher profile clients. But once meeting the devilishly handsome man, she can’t keep her thoughts or hands to herself, much to the distress of her ex-cop father. He can’t see that Tess is a grown woman, who knows what she wants. Right? Well, once the story blows over, Josh has a hard time convincing Tess that love is the greatest risk, but Tess doesn’t believe that Josh really cares, will he convince her? 
                                                   
I know that you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the moment I passed by this book on the shelf at my local bookstore, I immediately did a double take. Oh My Gosh! The man on the cover was so cute! I know, I know, back to the blurb. Ok, well. I loved the tension between the two characters in this book. You can almost feel the passion between them. Josh is the self-made rich, pla
yboy, but once meeting Tess he can’t be see his future and hers together. This makes for a truly great read.
                                                                      

Wolf Tales V  by Kate DouglasWolf Tales V by Kate Douglas

Read by Deb

Wolf Tales V continues the saga of the Chanku.  Packmates Ulrich Mason and Baylor Quinn are on separate missions to help two women discover their Chanku Legacy.  Ulrich finds you’re never too old to find true love Millie West, while Baylor helps to bring out the beauty in a beast and finds his soul mate in Manda Smith.  Meanwhile, Millie and Manda share a long lost bond of their own.  A missing piece to this puzzle is yet to be discovered and he is closer than anyone realizes.  

I can only imagine that Wolf Tales VI will reveal more secrets, exploits and loving.  An erotic series I just can’t seem to get enough of.

                                                                     

JoyceVirgins and Martyrs by E. L. MerkelVirgins and Martyrs by E. L. Merkel

Read by Joyce

When a women’s clinic is bombed, Detective Lieutenent Aria Quynn investigates the relationship between the right-wing group, The Centurions of the Lord, and the claims made that a 12 year old girl is miraculously conversing with Mary, the mother of God daily.  With these and the accompanying media frenzy, the situation is as potentially explosive as the cause of the investigation.
 
Virgins and Martyrs was spell-binding, and I tried to read it all in one sitting till my eyes crossed.  The mystery of the criminal investigation was very suspenseful, and the controversial issues of women’s rights, religious freedoms and media responsibility made the political intrigue feel immediate and frightening.  I will be watching for the next Aria Quynn book.

                                                      

RhondaTwenty Wishes by Debbie MacomberTwenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber

Read by Rhonda

A group of widows of various ages get together on Valentine’s Day.  They’re depressed and decide to make a list of Twenty Wishes – things that they wanted to do that weren’t necessarily goals, but more wishes.  Like Anne Marie who who always wanted red cowboy boots.

I found this book to be sweet, inspiring, whimsicial and just plain heartwarming.  It makes me want to write my own list of twenty wishes.

                                                                               
LizTwilight by Stephenie Meyer 
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Read by Liz

Bella is the new kid in town and in school.  Edward is the unusual boy she is attracted to.  It just so happens he is a vampire.  But when a group of tracker vampires takes notice of Bella, it’s up to Edward and his group to save the day.  

Twilight is a young adult, vampire novel.  I don’t read YA, I don’t read vampire books.  I devoured this 500+ page book in a few days – barely sleeping.  Both Bella and Edward were compelling.  Edward could pretty much melt your knees (if you read standing up).  It’s also one of the sexiest books I’ve read in a long time, and the most they do is kiss a few times.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!  (It should be noted that this series will be made into a movie soon)
                          
I hope you enjoy this extra day of book blurbs and my undying gratitude to the wonderful readers who make it possible for so many books to get the exposure they need and deserve.
                                  

Bottom Line:  May 24th is Brother’s Day, so a special Happy Brother’s Day to my baby brothers John, Tom, Bob and Bill.  Sorry, no cards in the mail since the price of stamps went up.  Enjoy this blinky one.
                                     

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Your Turn Friday

Barbara Vey -- May 23rd, 2008

Trial by Fire by Jo Davis
It’s Your Turn Friday, so I’ll tell you what I’ve read this week and then you can let everyone know what’s held your interest lately.  Don’t forget, tomorrow I’ll be posting another edition of the WW Ladies Book Blurbs.  Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve been reading this week.

Trial by Fire by Jo Davis.   Lieutenent Howard Paxton is a firefighter at Station Five.  Kat McKenna is a teacher who stumbles onto a fire in progress.  The sparks fly when they meet, but the vengeful arsonist who’s watching has other plans for them.

I recently got a email asking if I’ve read any good fireman books and the next day this book arrived.  It wasn’t the hot firefighter fluff I was expecting.  The arsonist is distrubing, the fires horrific and Howard and Kat both have a lot of baggage that makes their relationship rocky at times, but all together it makes for a five-alarm read.  This very riviting, sensual story is the first in a series about the firefighters at Station Five.

Duchess by Night by Eloisa James
Duchess at Night by Eloisa James.   Harriet, Duchess of Berrow is a young widow who longs for adventure.  When her friend, Isidore, Duchess of Cosway, decides to make her absent husband jealous so he comes home by visiting a notorious country home, Harriet thinks it time she has some fun.  Lord Strange is known for his unusual houseguests, but when "Harry" Cope arrives, Strange finds he’s oddly drawn to the young "man."

I managed to finish this delightful tale in a day (ok, I did nothing else), but I felt so good doing it.  To be able to wear the simple clothing of males after the layers and layers that women of the ton had to endure, was pure heaven to Harriet (and I just remember the pain of nylons and garters and girdles).  The houseguests were of theater and science and wealth, so lots of entertaining conversations.  I want to live in the worlds Eloisa creates with her characters.  Just can’t seem to get enough of this witty, delectable, delicious Duchess series.

Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton
Blood Noir 
by Laurell K. Hamilton.  Anita Blake, Federal Marshal/ vampire executioner/ necromancer decides to help out friend/werewolf/stripper Jason.   Jason’s father is dying and Anita agrees to act as his girlfriend so his dad will finally accept him for who he is.  Meanwhile, the hotel they are staying at is mobbed by media trying to get the story on a president hopeful’s son, who just happens to be a dead ringer/former classmate of Jason’s.  The resulting scandal could threaten Master of  the City (and Antia’s main squeeze) Jean-Claude’s power.

I’ve been a LKH fan from the first Anita Blake book when I read it described as "an R-rated Buffy."  And I have even reread the first seven a couple of times.  Blood Noir is the 16th book in this series and it definitely has gotten bloodier and sexier as the series has progressed.  I’ve stuck with it even though some of the books appeared to be heavier on erotica than on the mysteries I was used to. While I long for the adventures of the earlier books,  Blood Noir’s mystery story line has given me hope that LKH is heading back to her roots with a full course of Anita’s necromancer/Federal Marshal job and leave the sex as dessert.  

Ok, now you can post what you’ve been reading lately.

Bottom Line:   Today is National Taffy Day.  I’m off to the Post Office to see if anyone sent me any…and then I’ll make my dentist appointment.
                      

Indiana Jones and the Midnight Show

Barbara Vey -- May 22nd, 2008
Opening night for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Tim Karth, Abby Bordak and Andrew Bernier ready for the big night

Well, the time was 11 p.m. on a Wednesday night and I should have been home in bed reading a good book, instead I was making my way to the South Shore Cinema for the midnight showing of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the fourth installment in the series.  

My darling son, Andrew, dragged me along with his friends (as part of my Mother’s Day gift) to experience the splendor of Harrison Ford (ok, he didn’t have to drag too hard).  

The movie is over and was well worth the price of admission to any Indy fan.  Just hearing the music does it for me.   I love that they allowed Indiana to get older and the female lead isn’t young enough to be his granddaughter.  The story takes place in the 1950s with the fear of Communism, the Russians and the threat of nuclear war.  Some scenes may seem a tad familiar, but they still work.  There’s a lot of little inside jokes from previous movies and the dialog and mannerisms are pure Jones.  I may even go see this again this weekend.

Bottom Line:  "It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage." ~ Indiana Jones to Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

WW Ladies and Friends Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- May 21st, 2008

Sleeping with Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner
Time for another Wednesday WW Ladies Book Blurbs, but here’s the good news.  Because I have so many great readers, we will also be blurbing on Saturdays.  So, stop by then to find out about even more great books coming to a book store near you!

DinaSleeping with Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner

Read by Dina
 
The great title should be enough to get you interested in reading the book. 
Claire Doolittle with the help of her husband Jack or lack of, has fallen into a marriage rut with family life.  Her happy life has not been what she thought it would be.
 
This is a fun and cleaver (sorry couldn’t resist) way of showing how married life can be at times.   I can relate to some of the things that were written and can laugh about them now, thanks to Jenny Gardiner.  Sleeping with Ward Cleaver will happily keep your fingers turning the pages until you reach the end.

LorettaLadies of Liberty by Cokie RobertsLadies of Liberty by Cokie Roberts

Read by Loretta

A woman’s point of view – most unexpected in the year 1810 or thereabout, but so refreshing.  Cokie Roberts has researched letter upon letter to make Ladies of Liberty come alive for us.

These ladies were at home, raising large families, running the homesteads, while the husbands were becoming presidents, big time figures in the legislature and ambassadors to France and England, trying to untangle the boycotts and embargos on our good and the dissension regarding slavery between the North and South.

The ladies wrote voluminous and news filled letters daily – to which their husbands responded.  What a voice they were!  Considering that in the year 1810, women were not even allowed to own property – they did keep abreast of current affairs and were not silent about them.  

Cokie Roberts’ comments are fun and she has given us a learning experience regarding our American history – and a delightful book!
                                                                       

EmilyOne Real Man by Janette Kenny One Real Man by Janette Kenny

Read by Emily

After waking up with all his money gone, Gil Yancy wants revenge on the little strumpet that stole from him.  He makes his way to his new home and business, Rocky Point Ranch, and is stunned to find that his business partner is dead, and the man’s widow is none other than the thief he’s been after.  Josie Andrews is amazed to see Gil after all these years.  Forced together by her late husband’s business contract, Josie and Gil defiantly feel an unspoken attraction. Gil soon realizes that the night Josie stole from him, she took something else of his too. Josie knows that this man could be her one and only, but she is scared to give her heart. If she is willing to give her heart, he could take everything she holds dear. Will their differences cause a rift, or somehow bring them closer together? 

Janette Kenny is an up and comer on the western romance front. Her previous book One Real Cowboy was released early last year and has made quite the splash. She portrays her story so well and to me the characters come alive right before my very eyes. I can’t wait to read more of her books. And I hope you enjoy One Real Man as much as I have.
                                      

The Heat of the MomentAnthologyIn the Heat of the Moment

Read by Beverly

I never know what type of book I will get from Barbara to read.  I am not particularly a fan of short stories but this group of stories kept me up at night just to finish them.  The Heat of the Moment  is a collection of short stories about fire and each of them inspired by the heroes of the 2007 San Diego Wildfires.  Every one of them was worth reading.  Some of them were fiction, some were not.  If  nothing more, it gives you an opporturnity to see the various styles of the writers.  I particularly liked the short story by Margot Justes as this was a prequel to the first mystery she wrote involving Minola Grey. ( I read her first novel  A Hotel in Paris: a Minola Grey mystery and this filled in some questions I had concerning Minola). 
 
Proceeds from the sale of this book will offer aid to those heroes through the support of the "Fire Safe Council of San Diego County".  Buy it or borrow it – just read it!

JoyceKitty and the Silver Bullet  by Carrie VaughnKitty and the Silver Bullet by Carrie Vaughn

Read by Joyce
 
Though banished under the threat of death by her former alpha, Kitty Norville sneaks back to Denver for a family emergency.  Her presence is noted, however, when her radio talk show, "The Midnight Hour", is selected by a celebrity stage actress as her means of outing herself as a vampire.  Kitty and Ben are dragged into a dominance war involving vampires and werewolves, and more than their own lives are at stake.
 
The "Kitty" books continue to be engrossing and suspenseful, and I’ve enjoyed them a lot.  As long as Carrie Vaughn keeps them creative and entertaining, here is one fan of "The Midnight Hour".

RhondaTaking Flight by Connie Cox
Taking Flight by Connie Cox
Read by Rhonda

Lawyer Lacey Seivers returns home for her high school reunion.  Hank Chandler was her best friend growing up and now works as a crop duster for Lacey’s father. Hank is trying to raise his ten-year-old son, but sees Lacey in a new light when she comes back to town.  

This cute loves story asks the question, what’s more important…a successful career or finding true love?

                                                                      

His Favorite Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren 
His Favorite Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren
Read by Emily

Gabriella St. George is not your normal young lady. After being raised as a gentleman’s bastard, she agrees to a generous offer from a distant relative to be introduced into society. She meets Anthony Blake and is immediately entranced by the seductive rogue. He invites her into his bed but she refuses, she wants his heart and name, or nothing at all. Even though he is determined to stay a bachelor, Gabby is sorely testing his resolve. Can she tempt him to matrimony or will he refuse her and stay a bachelor forever? 
                                                  
His Favorite Mistress is the final book in the Mistress series. It was a little strange reading about a 17 year old heroine, but after the age was mentioned, you really didn’t notice it. I enjoyed the book very much, and I hope you read the Mistress series. I know you’ll love it.
                         
Bottom Line:  Definition of a blurb – a brief advertisement or announcement, esp. a laudatory one.  Yeah, I think it fits here.
                                                     

Just How Smart Are You?

Barbara Vey -- May 20th, 2008
How smart am I?

Hmmm, how smart am I?

We haven’t had a fun quiz for a while, so we’re due.  This one is purely for fun and will only take a minute to complete (ok, maybe 2 minutes for my brother) and I found it at the All The Tests site.

1: Do they have a 4th of July in England?
     Yes     No

2: How many birthdays does the average man have?
 1        66        72

3: Some months have 31 days; how many have 28?
 12        1        6

4: How many outs are there in an inning?
 2        3        6

5: Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow’s sister? 
Yes        No

6: Divide 30 by 1/2 and add 10. What is the answer? 
25       70        35

7: If there are 3 apples and you take away 2, how many do you have?
 1        2        3

8: A doctor gives you three pills telling you to take one every half hour. How many minutes would the pills last?
 60        90        120

9: A farmer has 17 sheep, and all but 9 die. How many are left?
 17        8        9

10: How many animals of each sex did Moses take on the ark? 
1000        499        0

11: How many two cent stamps are there in a dozen?
 6        9        12 

I love these kinds of tests.

Here are the answers for the weak-minded:Homer finds out how smart he is

Q. Is there a Fourth of July in England?
A. Yes, it comes after the third of July!

Q. How many birthdays does the average man have?
A. 1 – Just one!

Q. Some months have 31 days; how many have 28?
A. 12, all of them!

Q. How many outs are there in an inning?
A. 6, three per side!

Q. Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow’s sister?
A. No – because he is dead!

Q. Divide 30 by 1/2 and add 10. What is the answer?
A. 70, (30  divided by 1/2 equals 60! Takes some thinking…..

Q. If there are 3 apples and you take away 2, how many do you have?
A. 2, you took them, remember?

Q. A doctor gives you three pills telling you to take one every half hour. How many minutes would the pills last?
A. 60  -    Start with the 1st pill, 30 minutes later take  the 2nd, then 30 minutes for the 3rd.

Q. A farmer has 17 sheep, and all but 9 die. How many are  left?
A. 9

Q. How many animals of each sex did Moses take on the ark?
A. 0. Moses didn’t have an ark, Noah did!

Q. How many two cent stamps are there in a dozen?
A. 12. There are twelve 2 cent stamps in a dozen! 

Well, how did you do?  Don’t be shy…share.  I got one wrong (divide 30 by 1/2) and I really thought about that one too!  But then, like I said, I love these tests.

Bottom Line:  Your fun break is over…back to work.
                

This, that and the Other Thing

Barbara Vey -- May 19th, 2008

Marjorie M Liu and cousin, Trina, meeting for the first time in China.

I’ve been following Marjorie M. Liu’s blog since she’s been in China for the past month.  She takes amazing pictures and video and you really get the insider’s view of China.  Here’s her entry for May 12th: 

Um, we just had an earthquake. 

With an initial magnitude of 7.8, epicenter located 60 miles outside Chengdu.  Beijing felt the quake, and so did Shanghai.  I was at the computer and started feeling dizzy staring at the screen — like everything was moving.   Which was exactly the case.  I’m on the 24th floor and the entire building was swaying.   

I’m officially creeped out.   I hope everyone is okay in Chengdu. 

Of course, we now know the devastation there and Marjorie documents everyday life in China through the eyes of one actually living there.  You can read it here.
                                                           

Armed Forces Day

From author Rowena Cherry:  Last Saturday’s Armed Forces Day program on Internet Voices Radio  (you can listen to the radio show here) featured RomVets (Romance authors who have served in the armed forces).   Lynn Hardy says that servicemen and women are desperate for books to read during their downtime and her organization,  Dedicated to our Defenders is there to meet the need.  Lise Fuller’s husband, Tom (who was on leave and joined the broadcast) agreed from his own experience.  (Another great cause to support) 

                                      

The Debutante Ball

From author Jenny Gardiner:  GOT PEARLS?  How about a debut book slated to launch in 2009 by a major publisher? The Debutante Ball , is launching a Debutante Search for a group of five debut women authors for the 2009 Debutante Season.

The Debutante Ball is a popular group blog (grog) of six debut authors has attracted a loyal following with publishing insiders, media and readers, and hosted such notable "guest debutantes" as John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, Meg Cabot, Meg Tilly and Sex and The City’s Evan Handler. The 2008 Debutantes will pass their tiaras to the 2009 Debutantes in September.
                              
Applicants must have a debut book slated to launch in 2009 by a major publisher or established small press. Deadline for applications is July 1. Click here to submit your application.  (Crud, I don’t have a debut book, but I love wearing a tiera.)
Wyoming Manhunt by Ann Voss Peterson

From author Ann Voss Peterson:   My March Harlequin Intrigue, Wyoming Manhunt, hit the Border’s Group bestseller list for series romance (aka the Waldens Bestseller list).  It sneaked on at number ten.  It’s the first time I’ve been on the list, so I was pretty excited.  (The first time is very special, so congratulations Ann!)

That’s the news for this week and remember, if you have any special news, kudos, high fives or interesting stuff in general, send me an email.  While I can’t promise to get everything in, I’ll do my best.

Bottom Line:  My news…last night at 11:30 I just got my 1,000th MySpace friend.  I feel so special.