Monthly Archives: July 2008

RWA: Romance and Literacy

Barbara Vey -- July 31st, 2008

Stephanie Lauren, Pamela Spengler-Jaffee, Victoria Alexander
Stephenie Laurens, Pamela Spengler-Jaffee (of HarperCollins and Victoria Alexander

The official start of RWA and people were lined up for registration at 7 a.m.  After waiting in a very long line, I found out that my stuff was at a different location.  I got my name badge, Barbara Bey, close enough.  So, we took a marker and made the B a V (they have since printed a new one spelled correctly).  

The Librarian breakfast is always a wonderful event.  These people know their books and are so enthusiastic about it.  Dorthea Benton Frank was the speaker and she entertained with tales about how she came to writing.  She wanted to buy her mother’s house and they didn’t have the money, so her husband challenged her to write a book to pay for it.  She did.

The Beau Monde and Hearts through History Groups
Historical Group:  Maire Jolie, Hanna Rhys Barnes, Annemarie Hasnain, Deliah Marvelle

The luncheon speaker was Stephanie Laurens who used science to explain why everyone should read romance.  Her ultimate proclamation:  "Read romance or perish."  The librarians at my table were planning on making banners to hang in their libraries.

I stopped by the Beau Monde and Hearts through History gathering.  They had panels like Life as a Roman Centurion, Victorian Clothing, My Lady’s Boudoir, Historical Medicine and Illnesses and Sex through History.  Obviously, these writers do a lot of research and it shows.

Kris Hohls, Barbara Vey and Lucy Abarcia
Kris Hohls, me and Lucy Abarcia

The Literacy Signing had 450 authors signing their books for charity.  It was packed as usual, but some very happy readers went home with arms full of books signed by their favorite authors.  While I was I was there I met Kris Hohls from Germany who does LoveLetter Magazin and Lucy Abarcia from Austraila with Ever After – The Romance Book Specialists.  Once they said they read my blog all the time, I knew we’d be BFFs (best friends forever).

Sherrilyn Kenyon brought along two of the characters from her popular Dark-Hunter series, Acheron (Ash) and Nick.  These guys were very much in demand for photos, so of course, I had to get in line for this.  St. Martin’s had a party after the signing and the first 200 fans that had books signed were invited.  There was a DJ and a cake with the cover of her new book, Acheron.

Acheron (Michael Johnson), Barbara Vey, Nick (Forrest Koig)
Ash (Michael Johnson), me and Nick (Forrest Koig)

Next up was the Romance Bandits party.  This online group had Tim Tams (Austrailian cookie covered in chocolate) since some of their Austrialian members took the long journey here.  I heard one person say it took 3 days with all the airport delays.  No thanks.

The OCC (Orange County Chapter) gave awards away at their party.  The rectangular acrylic blocks were engraved with the winner’s name and catagory.  I’m going to have to write a book so I can win one.


The Romance Bandits

The Romance Bandits

The Orange County Chapter

The Orange County Chapter


Nora Roberts shoes

Nora Roberts Shoes

Now for my special feature.  One of the big topics is what shoes Nora Roberts is wearing.  So everyday I’ll try to hunt her down and get a picture of her feet.  Here’s what she was wearing at registration.

And, for your enjoyment, a couple of Drive By Videos with authors Jill Monroe and Gena Showalter (they are wild and crazy in person too).

Bottom Line:  Since I was wearing my orthopedic shoes, I won’t be posting a picture of my feet.

Authors Jill Monroe and Gena Showalter

RWA: Cold Weather, Warm Greetings

Barbara Vey -- July 29th, 2008
Linda Winstead Jones, Beverly Barton and Linda Howard at RWA
Linda Winstead Jones, Beverly Barton and Linda Howard holding the real reason they love conferences.

I totally packed wrong for this trip.  I’m at the RWA (Romance Writers of America) Conference in San Francisco.  Foolish me, thinking since it was July, that it would be nice and warm here, I’d get by with capris and flip flops. I should have packed flannel and heavy wool socks.  When the temp doesn’t even hit sixty in the summer, I tend to get cranky.  

But I’ll spent the day hanging at the Marriott doing a meet and greet with everyone checking in.  I absolutely love this part of any conference.  There’s squeals of delight as friends who haven’t seen each other since last year (or longer) finally get together.  Or they’ve only been online buds and are meeting face to face for the first time.  Lots of authors work at home with little outside contact for great lengths of time and get to let loose here.

Liz Kreger and friends relaxing at RWA
Liz Kreger (right) and friends relaxing at RWA

I can’t wait until check in on Tuesday because there’s nothing worse than having someone run up to you smiling and saying how great it is to see you and you have no clue who they are.  My memory is mashed potatoes when it comes to that, but after registration everyone will have there name tags on and you just have to glace at their chest to see who they are.  It’s weird, but you get used to it.  Until then, I just smile and apologize and ask who the heck they are.  Faking it doesn’t work well with me.

Saw Linda Howard, Beverly Barton and Linda Winstead Jones.  These three always seem to travel together and were all dressed in red, white and black.  No, they didn’t plan it, but admit that it happens often.  Although Linda Howard told me her top was cherry and Beverly’s was red (look the same to me, but who am I to argue with LH?).

Lori Handeland stopped to say hi, but I didn’t recognize her with her new do.  She always had a little pixie cut, but now it’s long and curly.  I had to do a double take (batteries in camera dead, but I’ll post a picture later).

Everyone is talking about an earthquake in Los Angeles, but I didn’t feel it this far away (thank goodness).

Golden Gate bridge at RWA 2008
Golden Gate bridge and reason it’s so cold…no sun!!

I took the day off Monday because Andrew’s friends, Tonia and Chris live here while he is on a fellowship and they picked me up to take me on a very private tour of San Francisco.  It was such fun hanging with them and this is the first time I’ve had a chance to see the city of a conference since I usually spend my time in the hotel.  Then we went to a Mexican restaurant, drank a Margarita and ate very spicy food (yummy, but a volcano in your mouth).  Of course, we needed an ice cream to cool off with, so Ghiradelli Chocolates it was.  Covering this conference stuff is tough.

Wednesday is the official start and Librarian Day, which I love.  So I have to hustle over there by 7 a.m.   Let the RWA fun and festivities begin!

Bottom Line:  Pack warm outfit no matter the season or bring unlimited credit card to do major clothes shopping.

Comic Con: Buffy the Musical

Barbara Vey -- July 28th, 2008
The Women of Marvel:  "Dark Tower" co-writer Robin Furth, "NYX" writer Marjorie Liu, "Lords of Avalon" writer Sherrilyn Kenyon, editor Jen Grunwald, "Runaways" colorist Christina Strain,"X-Force" colorist Sonya Ovak, "King-Size Spider-Man Special" artist Colleen Cooper, "Big Hero Six" colorist Emily Warren, Irene Flores, Occasional Superheroine blogger and Friends of Lulu President Valerie D’Orazio.

Sunday was the final day of Comic Con and you could definitely feel it in the crowd.  People seemed to be shuffling their feet, moving a little slower, not so frantic to see and do things.  I was definitely one of those people.  After 5 days, I was burned out.  There was no laughing and joking around on the shuttle to the convention center.  It was more like, today is the last day and since I paid for it, I’d better go.

I did meet an aspiring comic book writer, Andrew, on the shuttle and he is trying to break into the business, so I told him to to come to the panel called Women of Marvel which featured two authors who will be at RWA next week, Sherrilyn Kenyon (Lords of Avalon) and Marjorie Liu (NYX).  I sat with him and caught his excitement.

Greg Rutka
There were no celebrity spottings for me today, but I was told I "just missed" the star of Supernatural.  I did manage to catch up with author Greg Rucka, whose novels I’ve been reading for years.  When I mentioned that I didn’t know he had written comics, there was an actual gasp from his fans waiting in line.  I scrambled to say that I did read his regular books and I’d check into his comics, but the crowd started getting nasty.  I think I was this close to tar and feathers.  


The end of Comic Con 2008

The mass exodus of Comic Con 2008

But one of the highlights for me was the last event of the convention, Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  The Musical.  Thousands of fans in a room with six giant screens.  When the episode starts, the crowd goes wild.  There are closed captions so you can sing along.  Cheers for Spike, jeers for Dawn.  When Spike sings that he doesn’t want anything to do with Buffy any more, everyone screams, "Liar!"  It was The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Joss Whedon style.  The show ends and the announcer promises that this will become an annual tradition to end Comic Con.  The party’s over.

Bottom Line:  Never mention that you don’t read comics at Comic Con.

"Dark Tower" co-writer Robin Furth, "NYX" writer Marjorie Liu, "Lords of Avalon" writer Sherrilyn Kenyon, editor Jen Grunwald, "Runaways" colorist Christina Strain,"X-Force" colorist Sonya Ovak, "King-Size Spider-Man Special" artist Colleen Cooper, "Big Hero Six" colorist Emily Warren, Irene Flores, Occasional Superheroine blogger and Friends of Lulu President Valerie D’Orazio.

Comic Con: Cash Only

Barbara Vey -- July 27th, 2008
Jonathan Frakes and Barbara Vey
Me and Jonathan Frakes (Sunday I hope to see Marina Sirtis and LeVar Burton there)

Saturday at Comic Con is supposed to be the busiest, but after 3 days of going, it didn’t seem as crazy.  Maybe I’m just getting used to the crowds and costumes.

I was just strolling around the main floor and saw a man signing autographs (which is very common), but I didn’t recognize him until I saw what he was signing, pictures of Riker from Star Trek:  The Next Generation.  It was Jonathan Frakes(hubby of Genie Francis of General Hospital fame),  but he’d gotten older, gray beard, wore glasses and probably couldn’t fit into his snug one piece uniform any more.  But this is what happens to the rest of us, not to the people who have been in our living rooms for years.  They’re still young, handsome and virile (at least in our minds).  After talking to him and taking the photo, I could still see the spark in the eyes that I remembered and all was well.  

From the reality show Who Want’s to be a Super Hero?  (Me, me)  And very nice people.

The most disappointing thing was seeing stars like Katy Segal (Married With Children) and Lindsay Wagner (Bionic Woman) and having them say no to photos unless I paid $30.  I even offered to put them in the blog, but I guess that’s not worth $30 to them.  And I suppose it was the way it was handled that was unsettling, because when I told both that I enjoyed their work, they didn’t even smile or acknowledge me. So instead, I have pics of some Comic Con fans.

I couldn’t get into a lot of the panels like The Office, Heroes, and Lost because the lines were hours long.  People really camp out forever to see these things.

I was suppose to cover the Red Carpet event at the Hard Rock, The Wrath of Con, but I got bumped from the guest list because they were overbooked.  I heard that MTV brought in a big group.Disappointing, but again, their loss.  

Savannah as Simi


Some of the tamer costumes

One thing that surprised me was the fact that there weren’t as many giveaways as I thought there would be.   It seems like a great opportunity for promotion, but almost everything is for sale and then cash only.  And I’m all about the free stuff.

BTW, I’ve posted additional Drive By Videos at YouTube from the Stargate event.  Click here to watch them.

Bottom Line:  The foot masseuse never showed up, but at this point, I’m now dreaming of a full body massage. <sigh>

Comic Con: Stephen Baldwin Sighting

Barbara Vey -- July 26th, 2008

Stephen Baldwin and Barbara Vey

I waited all morning for the foot masseuse guy to come to my room and rub my feet, but he never showed up.   I really need to get some Dr. Scholls for my shoes because there is major walking going on here. 


I spent a lot of time just walking around the convention floor today looking at the displays and people watching.   All of a sudden, there was Stephen Baldwin! He was hawking his new comic book, The Remnant. Of course, I had to go up to him and say hello.



Jake and Charles Gerli at Comic ConMy kids always loved pop-up books, so when I saw an elaborate pop-up, I had to take a look. Jake Gerli, the Acquisitions Manager (on the left, brother Charles Gerli on the right) for Palace Press were great and Charles told me, “We focus on craft and quality, working directly with artists and studios to create superlative works for fans. The more interactive and creative our books get, the happier we are. Our new pop-up books, like The Spirit are an homage to masters like Will Eisner because it acts as a unique narrative device that literally brings pages to life.”

The panel authors, from left to right: Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld), L. A. Banks (The Vampire Huntress Legend Series), Lilith Saintcrow (The Dante Valentine Series), Kate Brallier (The Boundless Deep), Marjorie M. Liu (The Iron Hunt), moderator Samantha Sommersby (Forbidden: The Revolution), C. E. Murphy (The Negotiator Trilogy), and Justine Musk (Lord of Bones).

The Dabel Brothers Publishing has given me some very special comics to give away.  So one lucky commentor from today will be the winner.  Look for your name in tomorrow’s blog.  Dabel Brothers Publishing from left to right:  Grant Alter, Derek Ruiz, Neil Schwartz, Claria Levin, Anne Elizabeth, and Malcolm Wong.

Meeting Martin Baynton was one of the highlights of my day. Martin is the author of the popular Jane and the Dragon books. "Jane is a medieval middleclass girl being raised as a Lady-in-Waiting, but she’s got much bigger plans for her future! Training to become a Knight is what she’s all about – good thing she’s got a 300 year-old fire-breathing dragon as a best friend."

With this premise, Martin manages to entertain while teaching.  He feels that the young girls of today measure their value by the number of people who know of their existence.  The constant need to accumulate more friends on MySpace and Facebook, the quest to see who gets the most text messages in a day (apparently some girls text themselves so they can tell their friends they have even more messages).  Martin sees these girls searching to become the next celebrity because that’s what will make them seem even more important rather than focusing on things they do well at.

That’s where Jane comes in.  In medieval times contractions were not used, so when fans message Jane and use them or slang or text abbreviations, Jane answers them by saying she does not understand the reference and could they explain.  So the fan has to message back, in correct English, their comments.  Schools have started showing Jane in the classroom for that reason.  The special effects on this show are done by Richard Taylor who won an Academy Award for Lord of the Rings (not too shabby).  I can’t wait to share this with my granddaughter.  Watch my Drive By Video with Martin below (love his accent!).

Bottom Line:  Try going a whole day without using contractions.  It’s It is harder than you think.



Comic Con: Star-STUDded Day

Barbara Vey -- July 25th, 2008

Dakota Cassidy and Barbara Vey
Thursday was truly a star-studded day here at Comic Con.  First off, author Marjorie Liu, after reading about my horrible hair mishap, took me to her special salon here in San Diego where Rachel fixed everything.  I am now happily blond again and even have a lovely manicure.  Of course, at Comic Con that almost stands out because of all the people in costume.  

My very first press junket ever and I get to meet the adorable, talently and very together Dakota Fanning War of the Worlds).  What can I say about this charmer that isn’t evident in her movies?  She came to our table excited to talk about her experience filming in Hong Kong as a teen with psychic abilities and major attitude problems in the movie Push.  Dakota loved playing a character so different from her real self with multi-colored hair and sarcastic tendencies.

Chris Evans and Barbara VeyAlso starring with her is Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) who I got to sit next to.  This sweetie is going to be one to watch for with his quick wit and charismatic way.  He seem to talk from the heart of his love of films and going back to read the book that the movie is based on for more insight into his character who meets up with Dakota to fight the evils trying to contain their powers.  I know I’ll be seeing this one.

The two stars of Sex Drive (Josh Zuckerman and Clark Duke) were there to promote their story of the "last 18 year old male virgin" and his cross country road trip to remedy his problem.  I’ll probably skip this one, but it will make millions in the teen market.

Nicolas Cage did not show up, but the director of his movie, Knowing, Alex Proyas (I, Robot) was there to answer questions.  Actually, this one about a man who sees a pattern in numbers that coinside with disasters looks pretty interesting.  

Richard Dean Anderson on the Red Carpet at Comic Con
Then on to a Red Carpet event on the USS Midway for Stargate:  Continuum.  I’ve got to tell you that standing behind a velvet rope for a couple of hours with other press is no picnic physically, but when Richard Dean Anderson arrived, it was all worth it.

When he got to us, I managed to stutter out a question (please, I’ve been crazy about him since MacGyver and he has only gotten better looking).  The video is below (compliments of Marjorie) and I asked him about his experience on the Simpsons episode when he was kidnapped by Marge’s sisters who ran his MacGyver fan club.  I even got a hug!  And yes, I squealed, as you’ll see on the video.

The rest of the cast was there and I got lots of pictures that I’ll be posting on Flickr.

Bottom Line:   Richard Dean Anderson has just replaced Adrian Paul as my screensaver.  I know…I’m fickle.

Richard Dean Anderson at Comic Con

Comic Con: Still no Luggage

Barbara Vey -- July 24th, 2008
Comic Con James Bond
Daniel Craig wasn’t there, but James Bond’s car was

I arrived in San Diego late Tuesday night, but my luggage did not.  So my first day at Comic Con was spent in day old clothes.  Ewww.  I did shower though, so that’s something anyway.

Since no one is allowed in the convention until 6 p.m., I breezed in on the coat tails of Sherrilyn Kenyon.  She got me an exhibition badge that allowed me into the ginormous hall before the masses decended.  In exchange, I ran errands and helped  set up.  But, I did get to check out some the amazing displays as they were being set up.

Well, after several calls with the airline and hotel arguing over who had my suitcase, it finally arrived in my room.  (I would never last on Survivor wearing the same thing for 31 days)  

Sammie works at the Con, but I managed to get her to start reading romance.  I think we have another convert!

Now, in a lovely new outfit, I headed back to the convention center and met up with fellow PW blogger Heidi Betts who writes The Beat, anything and everything you could possibly want to know about the amazing world of comic books and more.  She invited me to an editorial meeting she was having with her staff of crack reporters.  I want to come to more of these meetings.  It was held at Roy’s Hawaiian Tropical Bar.   I asked for a fruity drink (nonalcoholic because I’m even more hyper with it) with an umbrella.  They give me a pina colata, with an orange slice.  I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t taste as good without the umbrella.  (You can follow Heidi’s take on Comic Con here)


Comic Con crowd
Some of the displays and Comic Con fans

Once the doors opened officially for the special preview event, it was utter chaos, but in a good way.  Although, I heard there was an incident at the Fox booth where they were giving away some great bags of goodies and the crowd got so out of hand they were threating to stop the giveaway.  But no one was hurt and I’m going to head over there today.

I didn’t see anyone famous yet, but today I’m doing a Red Carpet event and I’m hoping to snag Nicolas Cage.  Keep your fingers crossed and I’ll keep my Flip video handy.

Not sure what this is, but it had something growing out of it’s chest.  Kind of Jabba the Hut meets Alien

For my Drive By Video, I managed to sweet talk the Hot Wheels people into letting crawl into their roped off display, so I hope you enjoy it.

Bottom Line:  I’m off to the salon now to try to get my hair fixed, so who knows what I’ll look like in the next video. 

On the Batcycle!

Comic Con: Travel DAy

Barbara Vey -- July 23rd, 2008

Comic Con
Well, I’m finally in San Diego, arriving late last night.  Where is the hot weather I’ve been promised?  I still had to wear a sweater!

Anyway, I stopped in Denver to change planes and met two avid readers who are friends, but never said one word throughout their meal, just read their books.  My kind of people.   Andrea Fuller loves nonfiction and  Lani Spicer loves fantasy.  So, after I made author suggestions, I found out they were cancelling all the rest of the flights to San Diego because of bad weather and I had 5 minutes to run to a gate in the next terminal.  Remember that old O.J. commercial where he’s running and jumping over people’s luggage?  Well, that wasn’t me.  I was tripping over backpacks, lost my shoe, snagged my rolling luggage on a newsstand and smacked my arm on a suddenly opened door (just a small bruise).  The 3 Stoogies could have hired me.  But I did make the flight.

Then my luck changed and I sat next to the most wonderful man who was reading James Patterson (I’ll forgive him for that).  James Smith is a pilot with the military and lives with his wife, IT/artist Sarah (who’s also a vorocious reader), in San Diego.  We talked Comic Con, books and movies.  He even offered me a tour of his base and the jets he flies.  That was the fastest flight ever.  

Like I keep telling you, if you find someone with a book, you are all set.  Just go ask what they’re reading and you have an instant friend (except if they’re reading about true crime serial killers, I might be a little wary).

Now I’m at the lovely hotel, with free coffee in the room, free breakfast in the morning and free internet access (take that New York!).  Of course, because of the last minute flight change, my luggage didn’t make it, but I wore a cute outfit on the plane so I’m all set.  

I’m off to Comic Con (which is sold out) and I plan on doing lots of Drive By Videos, so be prepared.  I’m so excited!!

Bottom Line:   "The three worst things to hear in the cockpit:
The second officer says, "Oh crap!"
The first officer says, "I have an idea!"
The captain say, "Hey, watch this!"~ anonymous

Riding with the Harley Dogs: One Author’s Adventure

Barbara Vey -- July 22nd, 2008

The Accidental Demon Slayer
I’m on my way to Comic Con in San Diego, but I’m proud to pass the blog torch to an amazing author who manages to mix Harley’s, dogs, biker witches and demon slayers.  Congratulations and deepest thanks to Angie Fox for her winning bid to Brenda Novak’s Diabetes Auction.  Now the one and only guest blogger ever on Beyond Her Book…(drum roll please)…Angie Fox.
I’d always known writing would be an adventure, but I never predicted my writing would put me on the back of a coal black Harley Davidson, with an Irish Setter in tow. I’d set out to write a paranormal about a straight-laced preschool teacher turned demon slayer who has to run off with a gang of geriatric biker witches. But my heroine has a smart-mouthed dog that, thanks to her new powers, can talk…and talk…and talk. And I really loved that dog. What’s a writer to do? Well, I went online and learned that there is a nationwide club of Harley bikers who ride with their dogs. So my heroine could have her pink Harley, and her Jack Russell Terrier too. 
Author Angie Fox

And of course I had to meet these Harley riding dog lovers. I called up a few of the members of a Biker Dogs Motorcycle Club and the adventure began. They invited me into their homes, introduced me to their dogs and, like my heroine, the bikers hoisted me up on the back of a Harley, with a dog in tow.  

Things I learned right off the bat:

  • After an hour on a Harley, you’ll walk like John Wayne for a week
  • Helmets hurt when they are worn backwards
  • Dogs love riding motorcycles


Stone, the biker who spent the most time making sure I didn’t fall off his hog, showed me how to ride, invited me to some biker rallies (note to self: don’t wear pink next time), and helped make The Accidental Demon Slayer as real as it can be (for a book about a somewhat sheltered preschool teacher turned demon slayer). 

So just when I thought I was writing fiction, it seemed my made-up characters from The Accidental Demon Slayer weren’t so imaginary after all. One of the bikers I met even has a wife who is a biker witch. I’m wondering if she, like my heroine’s biker witch grandma, wears a “kiss my asphalt” t-shirt and carries a carpet bag full of Smuckers jars filled with magic. Maybe I’ll find out on my next adventure. 

The Accidental Demon Slayer is a new release from Dorchester Publishing.  

Take the What’s Your Biker Witch Name? quiz and enter to have your real name in Angie’s next book.

You can enter by clicking here.

Bottom Line:  My Biker Witch name is Spaghetti Neck Stella Uni-Brow.  Yes, I’ve just made the appointment to get my eyebrow waxed (and separated)

This, that and the other thing Monday

Barbara Vey -- July 21st, 2008
Richard Dean Anderson
Ok, Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver, Stargate) will be at Comic Con sans mullet, but I’ll be stalking asking him to do a Drive By Video with me.

This is the last blog before I leave for my 3 weeks of travel covering Comic Con in San Diego, RWA (Romance Writers of America) in San Francisco and the much anticipated book launch of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s (see the commercial for the book here) Acheron in Nashville.  Just wait until you see who I have lined up for Drive By Videos at these conventions.  Even I can’t believe it.

Tuesday is my travel day, so I’m turning over the reins to author Angie Fox who had the winning bid at Brenda Novak’s Charity Auction for Diabetes.  She wrote an awesome blog, so stop by and leave Angie comments to show her the love we’re famous for here.  And wait until you see her pictures.  They’ll have you smiling all day long.

Other news I received this week:

On the Run by Judith RochelleFrom Author Judith Rochelle/ Desiree Holt:  To celebrate its second anniversary The Wild Rose Press and Editor-in-chief Rhonda Penders wanted a project that would give something back to the community. What could be better for a publisher than a book that would raise funds for a worthy cause, and I was honored to be asked to write it. The result is On The Run, a romantic suspense that focuses on domestic violence. 

All funds raised from sales of this book – from the publisher, author’s royalties and cover artist fee – will go to the Victim’s Advocacy Office of the San Antonio Police Department, chosen because most of the story takes place in San Antonio.  Everyone who buys this book will be contributing to this fund.  The book is available through The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes& Noble, All romance Ebooks, Fictionwise and Alibris.  (What a fun way to help a very serious cause)

The LeBlanc Challenge
From Author Deborah LeBlancLiteracy Incorporated is a non-profit organization on a mission to fight illiteracy across America by reaching out to high school students in all corners of the continental United States.

To help battle these problems, Deborah LeBlanc, the founder of Literacy Inc., decided in 3005 to create an incentive based program that would encourage America’s students to read–the LeBlanc Literacy Challenge.  To participate in this annual Challenge, students must read two books, take an on-line quiz and submit a short essay.

The participant with the highest score wins a grand prize of $5000 in cash, plus an additional $1000 that is given to the school or library of the winner’s choice.  As an added incentive to further education, if the winner chooses to put the $5000 in a college fund, Deborah will personally set up a matching funds program at the college of the student’s choice.  In addition, once the student is enrolled in the university, his or her dedication to education, as made evident through grades and attendance, will be rewarded with additional funds to cover subsequent semesters, all the way through a four-year bachelor’s degree program.  Other prizes include a desktop computer as well as gift certificates to bookstores with values up to $275.  You can read more about this program here(This is a wonderful way to encourage our youth to read.  There can never be too many literacy programs)

I’m always looking for news for the Monday blog that includes milestones, kudos, special events and even important doings in your life (weddings, babies).  You can email me here with your news and while I can’t get it all in, I’ll try my best.

 Bottom Line:  Three weeks on the road with one suitcase.  I’ll be considered either brilliant or smelly.  I’m shooting for brilliant.