Monthly Archives: June 2008

This, that and the other thing Monday

Barbara Vey -- June 30th, 2008

Kurt Russell as Snake Pliskin
To welcome in July, I give you Kurt Russell as Snake Pliskin in Escape From New York…talk about hot, hot, hot.

Tomorrow is July 1st, which means a hectic month of conferences.  The good news is that I thrive on them.  Thrillerfest in New York (July 7-12), ComicCon in San Diego (July 22-28…yes, I’ve been invited, watch out Superheroes!), and RWA in San Francisco (July 28-August 3).  Be sure to stop by and say hi when you see me.
            
                  
Otherwise, here’s the news of the week I’ve heard from you and remember you can send me your news, kudos, happenings and just plain interesting stuff by emailing me here.
                
                                            
                                        
                      
                                      
Fangs, Fur and Fey
From Author Mark Henry:  Fangs, Fur and Fey, the largest online community of published urban, young adult and contemporary fantasy and paranormal romance writers, teams up with the Conestoga Sci-fi/Fantasy Convention  to present this year’s "Con Within a Con", commencing July 25th at the Tulsa Radisson Hotel and Conference Center (Tulsa, OK). Fans of vamps, ghouls, werewolves, demons, faeries and a legion of other fantasy creatures will be in heaven…or hell, depending.
                                 
                  
The Guest of Honor at Conestoga 12 will be the wildly popular Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander seriesClick here for more information.  (OMG, I have been a huge Diana Gabaldon fan forever and am totally in love with Jamie…I want to go, but I’ll be at Comic Con.  Maybe DG will stop by.)

                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                      
Golden Crown Literary SocietyFrom Author Karin Kallmaker:  I’m a long-time reader of your blog and your plea for news that’s a bit unusual inspired me to drop you this note. Though often unmentioned –and certainly that annoying MSNBC poll left no room for a gay woman to respond to any of their choices– a lot of lesbians read romance, just like straight women do. This year’s by, for, about lesbian book awards (The Fourth Annual GCLS Literary Awards) are on August 2 in Phoenix. 
 
The titles are nominated for classic and contemporary romance novels and there are also Mystery/Action/Thriller, Erotica and Speculative Fiction categories, all known to be heavy on the romance.  For a complete list of nominated titles, click here.  (Kudos to all the nominees and Karin, be sure to keep us updated on all the happenings at the awards ceremony.)

                                        

Trust Me by Brenda NovakFrom Author Brenda Novak:  I was just reading all the good news and realized that I should send you mine. LOL Trust Me hit the NYTimes Bestseller List last week.  This is a dream I’ve had since I started writing, so I’m thrilled. I hope it means that readers are loving the first book of my Last Stand series and will be excited for Stop Me, which comes out tomorrow!
 
Thanks for all you do to promote the romance genre, Barbara. And thanks again for pitching in on my diabetes auction. I still can’t believe we raised $252,300!!!! (Congra
ts Brenda for the making the list for the first time!  Having read Trust Me, I’m not surprised.)

Bottom Line:   Thanks to Kurt Russell, I don’t hate Snakes anymore (at least those named Kurt).

Saturday Blurb Special

Barbara Vey -- June 28th, 2008


It’s so exciting to be able to have another edition of Saturday blurbs.  Our faithful readers have given up all other pursuits of happiness just to read and write about the exciting books waiting for you.  So here they are:
                                                                                                                                                                  
JoyceTo Love a Hero
by Mona Risk (E-Book)

Read by Joysann
 
Over two decades after the Chernobyl disaster, American chemist Dr. Cecile Lornier travels to Belarus to undertake the task of renovating the sadly outdated laboratory needed to expedite cleaning the land of suspected deadly carcinogens. This task is the dream of Major General Sergei Fedorin, and working in close contact with Cecile, it seems they will make it a reality.  Less likely is realizing their own passionate relationship.  Between their strong personalities and the differences in cultures, they each decide that personal happiness needs to be discounted so as to not endanger the welfare of the people of Belarus.
 
I have no doubt that Mona Risk was there, for the descriptions of the people and places in Belarus are clear and convincing.  The sense of the unfamiliar makes the story exotic, and a subtle tension was maintained with the trace of fear for an unknown culture and its politics.  I found myself googling Belarus for some of its history, and that means I enjoyed the story a lot.

AnnCatching Kelly by Sue Civil-BrownCatching Kelly

Read by Ann

It’s been eight years since Kelly Burke has seen her crazy family. Suddenly, she finds herself rushing home to protect them from a con man honing in on the family’s finances. Seth Ralston is hiding out on the Burke Family island after injury ended his career and divorce turned his life upside down.  Can Kelly protect her unique family from Seth? Does she need to?
 
Catching Kelly is one of Sue Civil-Brown’s humorous tales set in Paradise, FL. Sue’s unique, off beat characters will keep you coming back for more.  And you’ll find yourself laughing at the antics of the geriatric crowd. Oh the trouble they can stir up.
 
My favorite line: "He’s still at the single-cell stage of development. And what can you do with one cell? Civilizing it is hopeless."
                                                 

EmilyNot Another Bad Date by Rachel GibsonNot another bad Date by Rachel Gibson

Read by Emily
 
Adele Harris believes she is cursed. What else could the answer be? Each date she goes on gets worse and worse, and she’s on the brink of swearing off all men. That is until she runs into Zach Zemaitis, the one who got away. She’s in her home town comforting her pregnant, and divorcee sister when they cross paths. Zach used to be a pro football player, and is now coaching the high school’s team. He has always wondered about Adele, but now just isn’t a good time. His wife died a few years ago, and his daughter just doesn’t make anything easy for him. But when Adele’s niece and his daughter become tight friends, Zach and Adele are pushed together and cannot seem to keep their hands to themselves.
 
I absolutely love Rachel Gibson books. They always keep my emotions whirling. I laugh, I cry, I’m serious; that’s what you need in a good book. Right? Well if you’re in need of a good read, Not Another Bad Date should be right up your alley.

JoyceThe Hollow by Nora RobertsThe Hollow by Nora Robers
Book Two of the Sign of Seven Trilogy (Audio version)

Read by Joysann
 
In the first book three boys make a one-for-all sort of pact as boys do, making themselves "Blood Brothers".  The occasion releases an imprisoned evil, and that year, and every seventh year following, the evil wreaks havoc in Hawkins Hollow, causing destruction, insanity and death.  The boys grow to men accepting the obligation to protect the town and do what they can to end the cycle.  Now, as the 4th visit approaches, three women are drawn to the town, and all six are shocked that they, too, can see the signs.
 
The Hollow continues the story as they work to uncover the 300 year old history that is the foundation of the cycle, and search for a way to end it.  As they work together and protect each other and the town, their friendship builds.  But perhaps more importantly, so do the relationships as couples form and love grows.
 
Since audio books are one of the necessities in my life, I’m always happy to find new material.  I love Nora Roberts trilogies, and listening to Sign of Seven is a pleasure.  Interestingly, the readers have been different, with Phil Gigante reading Blood Brothers, and Marie Caliendo reading The Hollow, and I enjoyed both.  If it were up to me, for the third book, Pagan Stone > (Dec 08), I would have both readers sharing the men’s and women’s roles, repectively.  I wonder how they’ll do it.   
                                          
 The Power of Love
EmilyThe Power of Love by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Toni Blake, Dianne Castell, Karen Kelley, Rosemary Laurey, Janice Maynard, LuAnn McLane, Lucy Monroe, Patricia Sargeant, Kay Stockham, and J.C. Wilder

Read by Emily
 
These twelve authors have come together to show just what the title suggests. They are showing their power of love by writing these stories and donating a majority of the proceeds to the Battered Women’s Shelter of Cincinnati. This anthology is twelve short stories about women and their struggles and achievements. Each novella shows new relationships and battles that everyday women have to overcome. They are all heart warming stories of women who had been beaten down by life’s cruelty, in some form or another. But even though they are down they still find it in their hearts to love and trust again.
 
Power of Love
is full of first-class stories, and authors that guarantee I will touch your heart. These authors have donated their time and talents to help women and children out of life threatening situations. I think the least we can do is support this book, and do our part in helping all we can.

Letters to my Sisters
JanLetters to my Sisters:  Plain truths and straightforward advice from a gynecologist by Ngozi Osuagwu, M. D., FACOG

Read by Jan 

Written in an unusual form, ‘Letters’ is an informative discussion of female diseases and medical conditions.  Sure beats reading a medical dictionary!

Bottom Line:  I’m not sure the gynecologist book is one to be enjoyed with popcorn…for me anyway.
                              
The winner of Kathryn Kennedy’s book, Double Enchantment, from yesterday’s blog is Anne.  Congratulations Anne, you can email Kathryne by clicking here and sending her your name and address.

Your Turn and My Reads

Barbara Vey -- June 27th, 2008

Double Enchantment
I just love to sit outside and read a good book on a warm sunny day.  I especially like to drive to the lakefront (Lake Michigan) and just sit in my comfy car and look at the lake while I read.  Of course, then come other people.   The nerve!  The radios blasting, the bass throbing, the kids screaming.  So, I go home, sit on my couch next to the patio doors and let the warm breeze and sunshine surround me while I kick back with my great summer reads.  Of course, the ice cold drink with the little umbrella really helps put me in the mood.  

Here’s my reads for the week then it’s your turn and you can tell us what you’ve been reading.

My first read this week was Double Enchantment by Kathryne Kennedy.  In magical London, 1844, Lady Jasmina Karlyle tries to protect her mother by sneaking out of the house to return a piece of jewerly.  To cover her escape, she conjures up a double to take her place in bed in case anyone checks.  Sir Sterling Thorn is a were-stallion who’s most valuable assest is to see through magic.  Unfortunately, the aristocracy considers were-animals a very low class creature, unlike the Royals who depend on were-animals to help them rule.  When Jasmina’s double becomes real, havoc ensues and she needs Sterling’s help to put things right again.

This little blurb does not do this book justice.  Even though it’s the second in the series, it stands well on it’s own.  I thought Enchanting the Lady was rich with the world that Kathryne has woven, but Double Enchantment surpassed all my expectations with twists, turns, gnomes and other creatures that will give adult lovers of Harry Potter the fix they’ve been missing since the last book.  Mysterious, witty and sensual.  Don’t be the last to discover this wondrous world.
                                                  


Everything But a Bride
by Holly Jacobs.  Noah Salo was engaged to be married to his childhood sweetheart Julianna.  Nana Salo was thrilled and felt this would break the curse she inadvertantly put on the family years ago.  But when Julianna backs out, it’s up to her younger stepsister Callie, to step in and help Noah through his heartbreak.

This series about a family cursed with wedding disasters does not need to be read in order, but anyone who’s gone through the trauma of planning a wedding will be able to sympathize with the goings on.  Lighthearted and sweet, these books are great to share with the women in your lives.

                       Candy, Corpes and Classified Ads

Candy, Corpses and Classified Ads by J L Wilson.   Molly lived in Tangle Butte, MN and worked at the local newspaper.  When personal ads started appearing in the paper about an old love looking to rekindle the flame, Molly (and others) looked to the recently returned Sherriff JT McCord, who jilted Molly some twenty years earlier.  Having Molly’s ex-husband show up buried near her septic tank didn’t help the budding romance, but when someone tries to kill Molly, things really start to get hairy.

It was a wonderful change of pace having lead characters in their 40s with plenty of past history getting in their way.  And who couldn’t love Molly, with her habit of sorting her M&Ms by color and eating them for their special qualities (red and yellow ones for punch, pink to bolster courage, and brown ones as a last resort).  A delightfully, refreshing, entertaining small town mystery full of characters you want to sit down and have coffee with.

Now it’s your turn to share what you’ve been reading for the week.  We’ve gotten lots of great suggestions, so keep ‘em coming.


Bottom Line:  I’ve never thought of different colors of M&Ms having certain powers since I usually just rip open the bag and dump the contents directly into my mouth.  Which probably explains why my poor brain seems scrambled most of the time.
        

I’m On the Cover of a Romance Novel?

Barbara Vey -- June 26th, 2008

I found this article on the internet this week and felt horrible for this poor man who was obviously taken advantage of.  Please read about his deplorable situation and ultimate decision on how to handle it.

How Did I End Up On The Cover Of This Romance Novel?

Last week at the supermarket, while shopping for my weekly supply of three dozen eggs and 12 pounds of mutton, I spotted a rack near the checkout lane containing several romance paperbacks. Normally, such trash wouldn’t get a second glance from my coal-black eyes, but the sight of one book practically made my chiseled jaw drop. There, on the cover of Dark Passions was yours truly, Duncan Larksthrush, in the flesh.
                                                       

At first I thought it must have been a coincidence. There must be thousands of men with huge, glistening pectorals and shoulder-length golden hair whose steadfast gaze betrays immeasurable fathoms of passion. 

           
Master of Desire

But there can be no doubt it was me. The cover artist must have followed me during a recent visit to my ancestral estate on the tempest-swept promontories of Northern Scotland. Judging from the picture, the sketch was based on the occasion in which I chanced upon Arden, the crofter’s nubile young daughter, kneeling upon a rocky outcropping and picking some wildflowers from the weathered stone. Even though I had only just finished tilling seven acres of firm earth, I knew at once my broad, thewy arms could take her. "You rogue! I shall not allow this offense against my honor!" she cried out, her titian hair uncoiling in the Caledonian wind. As I dipped her low, her pounding heart betrayed her pleas for her chastity, and my turgid manhood would be denied no longer. 
                 

That bastard must have been hiding with a sketchbook in the bushes.
                          

You can understand my smoldering rage. I certainly don’t recall agreeing to have my well-hewn physique splashed across every newsstand and bookrack in town. Admittedly, my schedule has been full lately—I purchased a new leather arm cuff, reclined on an empty beach in my tattered sheepskin boots and full riding gear, waxed and re-oiled my chest—however, posing for the cover painting of Dark Passions definitely was not on my list. But apparently, a rugged, flat-stomached man’s privacy means little to author Stephanie Blackmoore when it comes to the pursuit of profit. 
                

I just hope no one I know sees it. The other blacksmiths would never let me live this down.            
                                   

Dark ObsessionNor can I imagine what would possess someone to depict such a scene. I was certainly far from respectably kempt: Having just finished reaping oats with my scythe, my white, blousy tunic was dirty and tattered. It was practically torn from my shoulders, and the striated muscles of my bronzed torso were exposed for anyone to see. And my errant tresses had slipped out of their leathern knot and clove to my cheek with the dewy sweat of a full day’s labor. Blazes! Had I known I would be fronting a bestseller, I would have taken a shower and put on my nice red shirt, and maybe a tie.
                         

I never asked for this. The life I chose to lead is one of solitude, whether I’m building log cabins in the foggy Ozarks, or tending to my vineyards in the Tuscan countryside. But those blissful days of rugged independence seem to be over. Will I ever again be able to collapse wounded into the arms of a busty field nurse during my town’s annual Civil War reenactment without becoming the poster boy for the next vulgar potboiler? 

                               

Can’t a brawny, brooding man ride his stallion slowly through the fresh-smelling air of a misty forest at dawn and think ruefully back to his tender childhood that seems to him now to exist in another world entirely—without having to constantly look over his perfectly sculpted shoulders?
                                                                
The Care and Feeding of Pirates

No, this is no way for a free and unfettered man with a small fortune inherited from a distant noble relative to live. Therefore, I have decided to weigh anchor and set sail with my crew of strapping young seamen aboard my sloop, The Moonlight Arrow, toward destinations exotic and unknown. Once at sea, as the suzerain’s daughter I have shanghaied from our last port-of-call clings hungrily to my abdomen, her honeyed breath playing about my breast, I will gaze stoically at the horizon from the prow of my ship, where none of those frauds at Harlequin/Silhouette would ever care to find me.*
                    
              
That poor man…now where did I put that sketchbook?
                

                                                
Bottom Line:  Ok, Joyce sent me to The Onion online for this gem.  This was so cleverly done that I think the author may have a future in romance writing.

*Reprinted with permission of THE ONION.    Copyright © 2008, by ONION, INC.
www.theonion.com
(But I put in my own b
ookcovers because we’re all about the visuals)
                                       

Lots to Blurb About

Barbara Vey -- June 25th, 2008

Holy Smokes
Thanks for everyone’s tips and ideas yesterday on how to deal with a dead brain.  I’ll always open to new subject matter, so feel free to suggest topics that inspire, enlighten or just plain bug you about books and the industry.  Email me here.

With that said, here’s the WW Ladies blurbs for the week.  There will be another set on Saturday.  Be sure to stop by.

JoyceHoly Smokes by Katie MacAlister

Read by Joyce
 
Aisling Grey really does want to marry Drake Vireo, but always one or the other can’t make it to the church on time.  If it’s not enemy dragons imprisoning Drake, it might be that the Prince of Abaddon has summoned Aisling to threaten in person.  In her role as Guardian and Demon Lord, Aisling’s responsibilities keep her pretty busy and often bewildered.
 
Holy Smokes is a fun continuation in the magical world of Aisling Grey, and her romance with Drake is usually hot and steamy.  I’ve enjoyed all 4 of the previous books, and I’m looking forward to reading Katie MacAlister’s newest release, Playing with Fire, which is a "spin off", if I may use the term, of this Guardian series.

A Notorious Proposition by Adele Ashworth

Read by Emily
 

Garrett Burke and Lade Ivy Wentworth were lovers, and together they were working with the Crown of England to uncover the missing Martello Diamonds. But when Garrett leaves Ivy in bed while he went to meet an informant, he never expected that would be his last memory of her. Now two years later Ivy, known as a seer among the ton, has come to Winter Garden at the request of the Marquess of Rye. He has invited her to investigate his haunted manor, in search for the diamonds. But in the process she runs into her old flame, Garrett. They work together to uncover clues to the mystery of the diamonds, and their passion is always just below the surface. But when they release it all hell breaks loose. Can they solve the mystery before someone gets hurt, or worse, dead?

 

This book was a fast and entertaining read for me, I was so entranced by it I couldn’t put it down. If you want a passionate romance and a thrilling mystery to solve, this book is for you.

JanDeath Walked In by Carolyn HartDeath Walked In

Read by Jan
 

A fortune in gold coins, rare Double Eagles, come up missing, stolen from a house filled with visiting family, there for an annual party celebrating the owner’s birthday on a cool, foggy February weekend on a South Carolina island. Who needs the money so badly that they would resort to theft AND murder?? Annie and Max Darling (she, a mystery bookstore owner and he, a private investigator) who are restoring a neighboring antebellum mansion are thrust into the center of the investigation after a mysterious call for help from a woman who says she has hidden something there and is later found dying, by Annie,  in their unfinished house. 
             This is a fast-paced summer read, a perfect book for the back porch or beach.  

AnnTo Catch a Kiss by Karen KendallTo Catch a Kiss

Read by Ann

Jazz Taylor faces monsters every day in her special effects studio, but can she face Atlanta cop Tony Sinclair while proving her father’s innocence?  Not an easy thing to do when your father is renowned art thief known as The Master.  As Jazz works to prove her father’s innocence, Tony works to keep Jazz safe.  Could this unconventional woman be the perfect wife?

To Catch a Kiss is a quick, fun summer read.  Karen has created great characters in the independent and feisty Jazz, the conservative, romantic Tony and the delectable Myles.  Bagel, Donovan, Pedro and more add to Karen’s story where parents and children grow up.

                                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                      
                                                     
Street of Dreams
MargeStreet of Dreams by Marianne Stephens – E-Book

Read by Marge

In 2039, Detective
Eileen “Ice Queen” Murphy is one of the few females in the Kansas City Midwest Law Force trying to prove she’s more than just a pretty face. Past hurts and putting up with the “Good O’ Boys” in the force keeps her from having any relationships on the force, which means hiding her overwhelming attraction to Nick Olson. 

Detective Nick Olson, a controlling Alpha male, is partnered with Eileen on a mission to jump back to 1965 before history can be changed. Unlucky in love he must fight the attraction he has for Eileen to protect his heart. 

I liked the concept of this story that you can jump back in time for vacations. Of course,  those that make the mistake to change or escape back in history are chased by the Law Force. The constant bickering between Eileen and Nick was a little nerve-racking, but the story of their mission to bring back the escaped fugitives from 1965 during the East Coast Black Out more than made up for it. Entertaining and well worth the read.
                                                                       

JoyceGrimspace by Ann AguirreGrimspace

Read by Joyce
 
Having indicated that I’m an avid sci-fi fan, someone recommended I read Ann Aguirre’s book, Grimspace.  Wish I could remember who that was, because I’d give her big "thank you!".
 
Sirantha Jax is a navigator, genetically gifted to aid a pilot to negotiate a ship through grimspace, taking lightyears off travel between stars systems. Contracted to the Corps for the duration of her useful life, she’s devastated when she is the sole survivor of crash that kills dozens, and is charged with being at fault. Held in confinement, she knows she’s heading for either an insane asylum or execution.  And then March walks in.
 
Engrossing and thrilling, this well written space adventure is the kind of book that will keep you at the edge of your seat. Grimspace is the first of a series, and I look forward reading more.
 

Ring Around My Heart by Pat WhiteRing Around My Heart

Read by Emily
 
When Alexandra Hayes accepts the public-relations job for BAM Wrestling Company she had no idea what she was getting herself into. Her first thought, upon seeing her client was "that man needs help." Luke Silver, known as Loverboy Luke to his wrestling fans, was a ladies man. And who wouldn’t notice his obvious charms in his skimpy wrestling shorts. Lexi’s new employers want to change the overall image of their company. How can she change Luke’s image from wrestling’s biggest bad boy to league hero, especially when the man wants nothing to do with it or her? But after Lexi and Luke start working together, she sees a man who guards his past to protect himself and his secrets. And when the secrets are reveled will they damage the relationship and position that Lexi has worked so hard for? Or will they bring the couple closer together?
 
Ring Around My Heart is the second of Pat White’s wrestling books. I thought this book was so entertaining. Every time she talked about Luke’s wrestling outfit I had the complete mental picture and couldn’t stop laughing. Wrestling really isn’t my thing, but I totally enjoyed this book.

Bottom Line:  Talk about brain date, I missed my brilliant, beautiful daughter in law, Jennifer’s birthday.  I had it on the calender, thought about calling all day and then completely went blank.  So, Happy Belated Birthday Jen!!  See you soon!

Brain Dead at 6 A.M.

Barbara Vey -- June 24th, 2008

paris hilton
I had this totally awesome blog done for today, really.  I even finished before 1 a.m. and was thrilled I wouldn’t have to get up at 5 to tweek it and make sure it fit on the PW site once it posted.  Then I found out I couldn’t use it.  After squinting my eyes real tight, I read the fine print that said the information I wanted to use was super copyrighted and now I have to wait for permission to use it.  So, today I’ll call and ask.  Because I’ve never done this before, we’ll see how that process works.

But now, here I am at 6 a.m. with a blank brain (at least as far as blog ideas).  I realize that I originally was only asked to write 3 times a week, but I enjoy it and I get a bunch of email if I don’t post something.  For the past hour I’ve been trolling the internet for anything interesting and while there’s a lot out there, nothing that jumps out at me (Paris Hilton as a cartoon character…who cares [actually a nontalking character in the World of Warcraft game, but still looks like a cartoon to me]).

Then I grazed other blogs for ideas, but lots were just personal stuff that wouldn’t help.  I googled weird news and all of a sudden even that didn’t seem very weird or interesting.

So, as I agonize over my couple of hundred words that won’t come, my heart goes out to all of you writers, published and non, who pump out thousands upon thousands of words that, when put together, somehow make sense and I wonder how many times you sat with a blank brain at 6 a.m.
chocolate malt

What do you do?  How do you stimulate the brain cells?  Where do you search?  Or do you just give up sometimes and throw the computer out the window?  Do you cop out and just write about a cartoon Paris Hilton?  Give me tips, so next time I won’t have to resort to this type of lame blog.

Bottom Line:  As soon as Culvers opens, I’m going for a very thick chocolate malt, because somehow, that always makes things better.

This, that and the Other Thing Monday

Barbara Vey -- June 23rd, 2008
Ok, I couldn’t find a panty "thong" picture that I felt was appropriate, so instead here’s this lovely book "thong" that I, personally would get more use out of.

You know it’s a weird week when one of the more entertaining news stories is:  A woman who says she was hurt by her thong panties when a metal clip flew off and hit her in the eye has sued Victoria’s Secret, saying in a TV interview on Thursday that the injury caused her "excruciating pain."  So I’m wondering who I can sue for all the paper cuts I’ve gotten over the years while reading books.

But now the news from you.  Please email me with your news, anything special, different, new, deserving kudos or just plain entertaining.  While I can’t put it all in, I’ll make every effort to.  Click here to send me your news.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                   
Dianna Love and Sherrilyn Kenyon
From author Dianna Love:  We hit the New York Times Bestseller list with Phantom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So, my news for maybe next week – I’m now a NYT best selling author. :)   So many people helped that I will never find them all to thank.  The few friends we’ve told ask, "what are you doing to celebrate?"  I said I’m sending a couple emails and going back to my writing cave because I can’t be playing today with so much on my plate.  But I will lift a Martini (made by Karl) tonight at home.  (Congratulations Dianna!  You always remember your first time and since I just read this book and blurbed about it, I know it’s well deserved.  Oh, and kudos to Sherrilyn Kenyon who co-wrote it, but we all know it’s not her first time.)

                                              

From Kim, webmistress at Eloisa James and Julia Quinn’s bulletin board:  We are having a special auction on our bulletin board.  One of the faithful readers on our BB is having a terrible year. Her husband contracted hepatitis C at age 6 in a heart operation. They have three children. This year he started to go sharply down hill and he recently passed away while waiting for a liver transplant.

This auction will raise money for an educational fund for the children. Please contribute! All auctions end at Midnight EST, Friday, June 27.  (There are terrific items up for auction.  Click here for more information)
             
                  

RWA Rita AwardOk, this last item wasn’t sent to me, but I found it on Diana Holquist’s MySpace blog:  The RITA awards are coming up–the most prestigious award in the romance writing world. There are eight finalists in Single Title Contemporary, and, well, let’s just say it’s getting ugly fast.

This news report from a local San Francisco station pretty much explains it all. Enjoy! And if you run into any of these ladies in a dark alley, be afraid. Be very afraid….

                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                        

                      
>

Trash Talking Romance Novelists

(I thought this was hilarious and obviously so did over 4,000 others who viewed it on YouTube.  Now I really can’t wait to go to RWA…with my Drive By Video™ camera, of course.)

Bottom Line:  Saturday was officially the first day of summer, so will someone explain to me why we had golf ball size hail denting my car?&n
bsp; (Well, maybe it was more peanut M&M size…but still!)

My Reading List for the Week/Your Turn

Barbara Vey -- June 20th, 2008

The Iron Hunt
Another wild and crazy week.  I love seeing the romance community get riled up and come together for the common good.  But, now it’s Friday and time for my reads of the week.  Then you can comment on what you’ve been reading/listening to lately.
                    

First up is The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu.  Maxine Hunt is a demon hunter covered in tattoos that protect her during the day only to peel off her body and become whole at night.  She is the very last of her kind carrying a curse that follows the females of her family.   Grant is a former priest who’s found a way to control the demons.  They work together to protect humans until the Veil weakens and allows a vile creature to escape and roam the earth.

I was first introduced to Maxine and Grant in the anthology Wild Thing, which I highly recommend.  It nicely sets the scene for the upcoming books in this urban fantasy series.  Marjorie’s world is cleverly well constructed and you won’t find any two dimensional characters living there.  Intensive, action-filled adventure with a heroine you won’t soon forget and will have fans clamoring for more.
            
Three Nights of Sin
Then on to Three Nights of Sin by Anne Mallory.  Marietta Winters is at her wits end when her brother is arrested for the brutal murder of a woman.  Taking matters into her own hands, she seeks the help of Gabriel Noble who will help her only if she grants him three favors.  Since she has no where else to turn, she accepts the bargain.

I went into this expecting the usual historical romance that I enjoy reading, but I got so much more.  This reads more like an exciting mystery that I found myself trying to solve only to have twists and turns throw me off.  Enthralling, engaging and sensual.

           A Rake
Finally I read A Rake’s Guide to Seduction by Caroline Linden.  Anthony Hamilton will someday have a title, but his past is riddled with rumors and scandals involving gambling, widows and willing women.  Celia Reece married young, but is returning home after 4 years as a disillusioned widow.  They are reunited at a country house party and even though Celia remembers a kind, childhood friend in Anthony, her dark married years won’t let her contemplate any kind of future happiness while Anthony struggles with his own demons of not being worthy.

I agonized with these characters stuck in the roles they were doomed to play, but thank goodness for happily ever afters, these two deserve it.  Thoughtful and moving.

                                   

Crocodile on the SandbarIn the car I listened to The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters.  This classic mystery has spinster Amelia Peabody taking her inheritance and touring Egypt.  Along the way she comes across Evelyn Barton-Forbes, a young woman intent on taking her own life after being ruined by her lover.  Forceful Amelia insists Evelyn join her on the adventure where they meet archeologist brothers Radcliffe and Walter Emerson.  Through Amelia’s journal, we experience the heat, frustration with Victorian style clothing not meant  for a dig, local cuisine, curses and a walking, moaning mummy.

This highly entertaining, decriptive, well read story made my 7 hour drive bearable.  Elizabeth’s decriptions of sights and smells transported me to an Egypt of old.  This is book one in the series that is now on number 18.   Guess that tells you how good it was.

Now Your Turn Friday.  Leave a comment on what you’ve been reading lately.  Readers are always looking for something good to read, so give them what they want.
 
Bottom Line:  Saw The Hulk yesterday with Andrew.  It give the term "going green" a whole new meaning. 

The Romance Community Gives MSNBC a Piece of their Mind

Barbara Vey -- June 19th, 2008
Gromit really reading a romance novel
Gromit is shocked (and excited) to find out that the cover of his book is wrong and he’s really reading a romance novel.

The MSNBC site probably didn’t know what hit them when the romance community came out in full force yesterday to let them know how they felt about romance novels.  

As I said in yesterday’s blog, it wasn’t so much the idea of the question "Do you read romance novels?" but more the wording of the answers which referred to all romance novels as bodice-rippers.  And, as many stated, by making one answer yes and one answer sometimes (excuse me, but if you sometimes read romance, the answer should be yes), it splits the yes answers.

I just checked the voting now, 46% yes, 31% no and 23% sometimes.  To me, it says 69% read romance.  Let’s see how MSNBC slants the outcome of their biased poll.

Now, those of you who took the time to email MSNBC , I’d like to know if you’ve heard anything back yet?  

The poll is still open and it only lets you vote once, so go over and answer the question if you haven’t already.  It’s only one sentence located toward the bottom of the article.  Click here to go vote.  And, if you’d like to leave a message on their board, Mel Francis started a thread there, here’s that link.  

Top Chef
And, on an entirely different note, I watched the reunion show of Top Chef last night.  I love this show.  They are so creative and my pick, Stephanie, won.  But the interesting thing on the reunion show is the email they answer and one question that I also had was why do they swear so much when they know they’re on television?  It’s not just this show either.  Don’t they realize that their mothers/fathers/relatives/employers will be watching?  Don’t they care?  Don’t they know that it reflects on their character?  Their response was pretty lame, they were caught up in the situation, passions run hot.  

I’m sorry, but that’s no excuse.  I’m hardly a prude, and I can be pretty verbally creative when the situation warrants, but watching a show that seems to be bleeping out every other word is hard on the ears and irritating.  Here’s a tip, read a book, expand your vocabulary, try to sound more intelligent. 

What do you think?  You ok with people on television all talking like drunken sailors?  Do you think the producers promote it to make more interesting television?  (I’ve heard that’s why they supply so much alcohol on the reality shows)  

Bottom Line:  Now that the blog is finished, I have the urge to read a good book, get something to eat, and have a glass of wine.  #%!@, I forgot to stop at the store.

MSNBC wants to know: Do You Read Romance Novels?

Barbara Vey -- June 18th, 2008

Daniel Craig and Romance Novels
Even Daniel Craig can’t believe they used the words "bodice-ripper."

I know what you’re thinking…"Hey, I already read Barbara’s blog for Wednesday," well you did, but this blog is so hot, I couldn’t wait until Thursday to post it.  

I just found out from Mel Francis (via Twitter, see I told you it was cool) that MSNBC has a poll called "Do you read romance novels?"

Now the poll is only one sentence long, tucked away past the middle of an excerpt of Danielle Steele’s newest book, but you all really need to go and find it and respond to it.

While the question itself is important, it’s the choices for answers that will raise the hair on your neck.  Ready? 

1.  Yes, yes, yes!  Bodice-rippers are my ultimate escape.
2.  No way.  I don’t touch those books.
3.  Sometimes while on vacation at the beach.

Bodice-rippers??  Really??  Who wrote this?  Talk about a biased question/answer.  And who actually calls them bodice-rippers anymore?  Has this person ever read a romance or is his/her job just to copy and paste excerpts from books to the internet?  So, ultimately the choice is either to reinforce the misconception of the bodice-ripper, or say you don’t read romance (which we all know isn’t the same thing at all).  Does anyone else feel their blood pressure going up or is it just me?

I say they should have used these answer options to "Do you read romance novels?"
 
1.  Yes, because I’m an intelligent person.
2.  No, because I’m narrow-minded and worry more about what other people think.
3.  Sometimes, because I’m one of those people who can never just answer yes or no.

So, knowing my dear readers as I do, I know I can count on you to go cast your vote (because you can guess how the votes are going right now).  There’s a place at the end to start a discussion and thank goodness Mel Francis did.  Be sure to add your 2 cents there.  We have to set these people straight.

Bottom Line:  Vote here…it’s the American way!