Monthly Archives: November 2008

Black Friday but it’s still Your Turn

Barbara Vey -- November 28th, 2008
Circuit City ad
Really, would you buy anything from a place using this ad?

Yes, yes, I know yesterday was Thanksgiving and it’s always on on Thursday, but that didn’t stop me from thinking it was Sunday all day long.  I don’t know if it’s because almost everyone is off of work or the nonstop football on tv, but even after I got home to write the blog I was thinking to do the Monday news.  Instead it is Your Turn Friday.  Of course, with the short week (holidays will do that), I don’t know how much reading you’re getting in.

Today is also Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year.  A Thanksgiving tradition in my family, after the big meal, is to pass around the ad papers for the best deals the next day.  This year we had 35 (about half) of our immediate family there and everyone was armed with notebooks and their own ad papers with their names scrawled in big, black letters.  After the lists are completed, groups are formed and it is decided which person will cover which store.  Then they take the orders from the rest of the family.  Very efficient.  Two or more each go to a different store to save time and money.  Kohls, Target, Wal-Mart, Menards and Sam’s Club to name a few.  And I did notice that no book stores had early bird specials.  Why is that?


Black Friday
Can you spot my family in this crowd waiting for the store to open?

After everyone completes their assigned lists, they all meet at a local restaurant for breakfast and to divvy up their purchases.  Calculators come out and money is exchanged.  Personally, I won’t be in the 4 a.m. group waiting for the doors to open, but I will be waiting at the restaurant to hear all the stories and pick up the things from my list. 

So, were you crazy smart enough to stand in line at 4 for a store to open?  Is there any bargain good enough to get you out so early?  Or do you wait until the crowds are smaller?  Do you feed off the frenzy that Black Friday instills?  Or do you do all your shopping online?

And after you answer any or all of those questions, be sure to let us all know what you’ve been reading lately.  Remember, people are looking for that special book for a gift for someone or even for themselves.  Help them out by recommending something you’ve enjoyed.

Bottom Line:  Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.  ~Author Unknown
  

Happy Thanksgiving

Barbara Vey -- November 27th, 2008

Wishing all my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving!

And for your entertainment, here’s a clip from one of the funniest shows on tv past, WKRP in Cincinnati.  This clip is from their Thanksgiving show where the radio promotion was to deliver turkeys from a helicopter.  But someone thought turkeys could fly.  Enjoy!

Bottom Line:  Eat, drink and be merry…for tomorrow we diet!

Early Christmas Greetings from the WW Ladies

Barbara Vey -- November 26th, 2008

Wolfbane and Mistletoe
I know a lot of Christmas books have been out a month or so already, but the WW Ladies are offering up some of them before the biggest shopping day of the year.  Yes, Black Friday is almost upon us and while you’re searching out those bargains, check out these holiday books for stocking stuffers.  This is only the beginning, as we’ll be adding to the list in the weeks ahead.  (BTW, here’s the link to all the Black Friday Specials)


JoysannWolfsbane and Mistletoe Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner
  
Read by Joysann
  
When I see four of my Must-Read authors headlined on a hardcover book, there are no options for me. This cover reads "New York Times Bestselling Authors Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Keri Arthur, Carrie Vaughn and others". The eleven other authors include old favorites and new (to me) discoveries, and the book is an amalgam of genres to suit any reading preference. Some light, some dark, all are holiday tales highlighting those favorite mythical beings with tails. The "and others" included are: Donna Andrews, Simon R. Green, Dana Cameron, Kat Richardson, Alan Gordon, Dana Stabenow, J. A. Konrath, Nancy Pickard, Karen Chance, Rob Thurman, and Toni L. P. Kelner.

Getting into the spirit of the season, I was delighted with all the entries. While most are stand-alone stories, some are founded on long-running series that I follow avidly, and enjoyed all the more. It’s my thought, however, that anthologies like these should come with very visible "spoiler alert" notices.

DinaTo All a Good Night by Donna Kauffman, Jill Shalvis and HelenKay DimonTo All a Good Night

Ready by Dina

Unleashed
by Donna Kauffman

Emma Lafferty has started her new business and is hired by a CEO billionaire to watch his pets during the holidays. She expects to enjoy a quiet Christmas in her temporary opulent surroundings, but a winter storm traps her and an unexpected visitor, the CEO’s great nephew named Trevor inside. Emma is there to protect the animals and house, but Trevor is looking for some very important papers and did not plan on a beautiful pet sitter to disrupt his plans.

From the moment that Emma and Trevor meet in the dark corridor, with their flirtatious and charming ways, you are eagerly waiting to see what happens next. Their romance is such a delight to see unfold and I enjoyed how their personal space would became one.

Finding Mr. Right by Jill Shalvis

Brilliant chemist Maggie Bell has found Mr. Wrong too many times and with another lonely Christmas almost here, she decides that it’s time to change course and seeks out someone who seems totally wrong for her. Jacob Wahler is a rough and rippling contractor who is nowhere near Maggie’s type, so she thinks. One night of fun and satisfaction with Mr. Wrong makes Maggie wonder if he really was wrong for her, all she knew is that one night with Jacob was not enough.

I was loving every word! I didn’t want to put it down, but I had too, sleep is needed for work. Sexy, electric, funny and upbeat, I could really see this happening, they were a perfect fit for each other, but they needed to find that out. The secret looks, then the touch and that was it. I was chuckling out loud with their words and emotions towards one another and like I said, I didn’t want the story to end. Mr. Wrong is not always who it seems to be, he might be Mr. Right after all. I love early an Christmas present.

Can You Hand Me the Tape? by HelenKay Dimon

Natalie Pritchard is desperate. It’s a week before Christmas and she’s lost the naughty tape she made for her now-ex-boyfriend. She’s so desperate, in fact, that she’ll turn to her nemesis Spencer Donovan for help. The sexy criminal defense attorney would be only too happy to assist—but can Natalie afford his price?

I loved how the conflict between Natalie and Spencer is so visible, yet the warmth they learn to feel or admit for each other is so touching.

Sweet romance, charm and humor fills these pages. Each story holds its own, but you will not want to stop til you have finished and you will want more. I just adored each and every word and think Christmas should come more than once a year.

EmilyA Wallflower Christmas by Lisa KleypasA Wallflower Christmas

Read by Emily

 

Rafe Bowman never expected to marry, but to further his career he heads to London to meet Natalie Blandford. After arriving, he realizes that he needs to learn the rules of society to impress Natalie and her family. When the four Wallflowers start matchmaking, who knows what will happen. Rafe is soon pushed towards Natalie’s cousin turned chaperone, Hannah Applegate. She doesn’t think that Rafe is the right man for Natalie, but Christmas magic works in the most unexpected ways.

 

Lisa’s characters are always so witty and full of life, and A Wallflower Christmas is no different. I was entranced by the first five books in the Wallflower series and couldn’t wait to read this one. It sure didn’t disappoint. I loved the way Lisa incorporated all the other Wallflowers stories and an update on their lives. For all of you who love the Wallflowers, you can’t pass up a great story like this.

LorettaChristmas at Sea Pines Cottage by Sally Smith O’RourkeChristmas at Sea Pines Cottage

Read by Loretta
 
A charming, sweet story written from the perspective of a DOG, who feels himself a complete failure since he was the only pup of his litter who did not make the grade of becoming a hunter due to his fear of gun shot noise.   Instead, he becomes the beloved companion of a disabled veteran and a member of his subsequent family, keeping them safe and sound.  The family enjoys the Christmas holidays by making their simple cottage sparkle with a large tree covered with lights, mistletoe, and candles, and filled with wonderful cooki
ng smells and enjoying special traditions.   One of his comments is : "I smiled to myself " – and as an aside – "because dogs don’t smile, you know.".  But this book will make YOU smile and feel happy to have read this special book.
      The Magical Christmas Cat JoysannThe Magical Christmas Cat by Nalini Singh, Erin McCarthy, Linda Winstead Jones, Lora Leigh
  
Read by Joysann
   
In Stroke of Enticement by Nalini Singh, Annie is a school teacher, and her students are shifters. What she learns is that being different doesn’t have to mean being lonely.
   Erin McCarthy made me laugh while reading her story about one of three sisters finding she’s already fallen for the guy she’s met only once, in Christmas Bree.
    Linda Winstead Jones’ Sweet Dreams was suspenseful while Ruby’s nightmares brought a demonic presence closer to reality, and making her doubt the mysterious neighbor who’d begun to interest her.
   Another in The Breed stories is presented by Lora Leigh with Christmas Heat. Haley is a witness to a deadly conspiracy, and her protection falls to an enforcer with whom she shares an attraction that could flame a mating passion.
    I genuinely enjoyed these stories; I found them warm, engaging, and entertaining. But I came away feeling a little like a P T Barnum mark because anything to do with cats was a token gesture, and a holly sprig might have been waved in the general direction of the book to inspire the idea of Christmas. I’m fairly certain it was a marketing decision, for these talented authors’ stories stand well without the holiday gimmick.  
DinaA Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your A Scrapbook of Christmas FirstsHolidays by Cathy Messecar, Terra Hanger, Trish Berg, Leslie Wilson, Karen Robbins, Brenda Nixon

Read by Dina

This nonfiction book is full of fresh ideas and practical ways to weave delight into Christmas holidays. Discover how to bring harmony to this busy month. There are great tips on family traditions, gift giving, connecting generations and so much more.

Very beautifully done and so delightful, this book is filled with touching stories that leaves you heart with a warm glow, some tasty recipes and tradition memories both old and new.  A lovely gift for anyone for many years to come.

EdieHave Yourself a Naughty Little Santa by Karen TabkeHave Yourself a Naughty Little Santa

Read by Edie

Hot-blooded Kimberly Michaels has forced herself into an emotionally frozen mold of a commercial real estate shark.  But for one ecstatic night she lets her wild side loose with a hard-bodied stranger. The next day she’s on her way to Evergreen, CA, to buy ou the town that’s depending on the Christmas season to put the townspeople in the black.

Ricco Maza’s family was saved by Evergreen after his no-good father abandoned them.  He’ll do anything to save the town even when their adversary turns out to be the petite blonde who gave him a night of passion he wants to repeat.  Often.   This book has everything!  Emotional and sexual tension combined with suspense and a heartwarming holiday, Have Yourself a Naughty Little Santa is the perfect book to put you in the holiday mood.

Well, this list should keep you busy until Saturday when I post part 2 of the Christmas tales.  I’ll expect you all to post on Your Turn Friday the books you bought on Black Friday (or at least have been reading).

Bottom Line:  Take time tomorrow to give thanks for all the goodness in your life (and there really is more good than bad…make a list).
   

Time Again to Play: Where in the World is Barbara Vey?

Barbara Vey -- November 25th, 2008
Scotland
I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland, but I don’t suppose there’s a conference there I can attend.

It’s that time of year to start thinking about the conferences coming up for next year.  I’ve already been invited to several, but I’d really like to try some new ones.  So here’s your chance to let me know what your group has going in 2009.  There are so many of you I’ve met and look forward to seeing again, but there are many more that I’d love to meet.  So much to talk about and so little time.

In 2008, I attended RWA, RT, Love is Murder, K-Con, Comic Con San Diego, Thrillerfest, NINC, Spring Fling, WisRWA, Lori Foster’s Reader/Writer get together and Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans.  I travelled the U.S., saw the sights and met some amazing people (and don’t forget the Obama rally I accidently stumbled into at Thrillerfest).

Fabio and Barbara Vey
Fabio and me at RT (has me in a chokehold)

While I concentrated on books and authors, I swooned over Adrian Paul and Richard Dean Anderson.  I also got to interview Dakota Fanning and Chris Evans about their upcoming movie Push.  I was slighted by Katy Segal and Lindsay Wagner because I wouldn’t pay the $30 to talk to them.  I was tossed out of New Orleans by hurricane Gustav, but I did get to try military ready to eat packs.

So what’s in store for me in 2009?  Some conferences I’ve already been invited to are NY Comic Con in February, DC for the Virginia RWA in April, Comic Con in San Diego in July, Dragon Con in August and WisRWA in Green Bay in May and Moonlight and Magnolias in Atlanta.

And while my travel budget is limited, I’m still open to suggestions.  Where do you think I should visit in 2009?  What does your group have going on?  Where are you traveling to in 2009?  And keep in mind that I’m always up for warm weather adventures.

 
Bottom Line:  If Hugh Jackman or Daniel Craig will be at your conference, sign me up.

News and Notes for Monday

Barbara Vey -- November 24th, 2008
Andrew Bernier and Barbara Vey
Andrew and me seeing Twilight.  Andrew held the iPhone and took the picture just to bug me (he always looks good on pictures, while I look like I spent a month on Survivor).

Well, Andrew and I finally saw Twilight Sunday afternoon.  There was a pretty good mix of people in the theater, but I could hear the teens giggling and explaining to a friend that Twilight isn’t as scary as Harry Potter.  I haven’t read the books, yet, but I do plan to some day.  The movie was beautifully filmed and I could feel the anguish of being the new kid at school, high school drama and the uncertainty of young love.  Of course, the vampire angle kind of kicks it up a notch. 

I guess I expected more action, but I wasn’t disappointed, I think I’m more anxious to see what happens next.  Andrew, on the other hand, was frustrated with the dialog.  He said he felt kids didn’t really talk that way (he’s 26 and a high school teacher), but he will be seeing it again with his girlfriend because he’s sure she’ll love it, even though Johnny Depp isn’t in it.  Those of you who read the book and saw the movie, how did you feel it translated?  Should I have read the book first?  Did you like it and would you recommend it?

But it is Monday and here’s the news I heard this past week:

Walleye Madness at MidnightFrom Annette Fitzgerald of The Book Exchange:  New Year’s Eve in Port Clinton, OH we have a large festival called the  Walleye Drop, literally thousands attend this.  Our new store location is right in the middle of this festival.  We will be working closely with the local businesses and will have a large quantity of gift baskets that will be given away throughout the night.  If you are interested in donating some promo material (print books, key chains, emery boards, pens, magnets, specialty promo items, etc) feel free to send them to us.  Please send no more than 20 items, we aren’t looking for bookmarks or business cards at this time as we have quite a bit of these already and will throw some into each basket.  Please have these to us no later than Dec 15, so we’ll have enough time to get the baskets together.   We are accepting all Genre’s so feel free to spread the message. (Ok, I had to include this just because the idea of a Walleye Drop cracks me up.)

Moonquest by Mark David Gerson

From author Mark David Gerson:  Moonquest won the New Mexico statewide book award for best fantasy/science fiction.  It will be featured in special displays in bookstores and libraries across the state, including in all New Mexico Borders outlets.  This is the 5th award for Moonquest(Congratulations Mark David!)

Samhain Publishing
From Angela James, Executive Editor, Samhain Publishing:  BooksOnBoard, the premier ebook retailer, has entered into definitive agreements with Samhain Publishing LTD. and Lexcycle, Inc. to make the entire Samin romantic fiction catalog of ebooks available on Lexcycle’s Stanza.  Stanza is the hightest rated and most popular ebook reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch.  "This provides a giant step forward for many of our customers," said Bob LiVolsi, BooksOnBoard CEO, "Now, our readers will be able to buy, download wirelessly and read ebooks from Samhain’s best selling authors such as Lora Leigh, Jess Dee and Lorelei James from their iPhones."  (I have an iPhone and love the Stanza.)

Afterlife by Douglas Clegg

From author Doug Clegg:  I invite you to enjoy my novel, Afterlife–for free.  More than 14,000 readers online have been enjoying this special Halloween treat so far.  (A free book, right at your fingertips, the price is right)


Marjorie M. LiuFrom author Marjorie M. Liu The very talented and prolific Adam Minter is an American journalist based in Shanghai, whose work has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, and many other prestigious publications (though he hardly likes to brag). He blogs daily over at Shanghai Scrap, where — much to my delight — he has posted an interview with me about writing in China. Take a gander, and while you’re there check out the rest of his blog, which is one of the most balanced, informative, and entertaining resources about China that I’ve had the pleasure to read.  (According to Marjorie, the sci-fi market is huge in China, so all you writers find a way to get your stuff over there!)

If you have any news, kudos, special announcements, free online books, events for charity, or anything interesting or out of the ordinary, you can email me at barbaravey@gmail.com

Bottom Line:  I can remember being a teenager when West Side Story came out and how it affected me (same basic theme, high school drama, the anguish of forbidden young love…but with singing and dancing).  And I wonder if Twilight does that for the teens of today.


Did you see Twilight?
Loved it!
It was ok, but the book was much better.
Not yet, but I will eventually see it.
No. I only read the books.
No, I hate vampires.
Other…Please post comments on Beyond Her Book blog.
  

Twilight Time

Barbara Vey -- November 21st, 2008

Twilight the movie
I’m going to see Twilight tomorrow with Andrew.  Neither of us read the book, so we have no clue what to expect.  Andrew thinks there’s been too much hype for it to be any good, but I’m optimistic.  No doubt the theater will be filled with teens and tweens, but I’m hoping most will have gone to the midnight show (we’re going at noon).  Of course, it’s always fun to sit in a full movie house to get the reactions from others (as long as they don’t talk during the movie…don’t even get me started on that).  I’ll report back next week.

I’ll probably read the book after the movie so I can see what was missing.  When we saw Quantum of Solace last week (loved it!), they had a preview for a new Jake Gyllenhaal movie, Prince of Persia.  It looked pretty good and then Andrew told me it was based on a video game.  But then so was Lora Croft Tomb Raider and that wasn’t bad.  But I was thinking more about the fact that they seem to be making more movies about video games and comic books then of reading books. 

I know the Secret Life of Bees is out and people loved that book, but Harry Potter isn’t due until next year, so what other book is due out as a movie?   And what books have you read lately that you’d like to see made into a movie?  Or what about Hollywood writing something original and not using a book?  (Or not recycling another old tv show)

But it’s also Your Turn Friday and that means it’s your turn to tell everyone what you’ve been reading lately.   Go ahead and make those recommendations. 

               
 
Bottom Line:  Now my  biggest decision.  Which of the above T-shirts should I wear to the movie?

National Buy a Book Day

Barbara Vey -- November 20th, 2008
Barack Obama
President-Elect Obama also writes books, so I’m sure he’s all for you going out and buying one or ten.

The other day I found Editorial Ass, a blog written by Moonrat, a self-described recovering editorial assistant.  While giving her take on the dismal book sales of October she offered up this suggestion:  

Buy a book this weekend.

Just buy one.

Buy your sister a book instead of a sweater for her birthday; buy your friend who can’t even make toast or boil water a beginner’s cookbook; buy your company’s receptionist a novel you liked because most people probably ignore him/her (it’s always a her, though, isn’t it?) and you’ll make his/her day.

Buy your holiday gifts now. Instead of a CD for your brother, buy him a book on his favorite recording artist.

Instead of going to the library this one week buy the book you were going to read–it might only be a difference of a couple of bucks in the end. One day this week, make a peanut butter sandwich, skip going out for lunch, and buy a paperback.

Got an anniversary? Skip chocolates; fiction is sexy.

Got a non-reading friend with a birthday? Buy them a book and tell them it’s high time they got over it. Or, more kindly, that you’re doing it to sponsor your own future writing career. Or blame me if you must; I can take it.


I think this is a great idea.  Kind of like the Great American Smoke Out, where one day everyone stops smoking, there can be a day where everyone buys a book.  Now this isn’t to say they can’t/shouldn’t buy books other days too, just special day where even people who don’t normally buy books make an effort to get out there and do it for the common good.  More to bring attention to the idea that books make great gifts (even for one’s self).

So, as I write this, Moonrat’s latest blog has her apologizing to a librarian who was upset about the part suggesting not going to the library one week.  Everyone knows I’m a huge library fan, but people need to lighten up.  You can still go to a library and buy a book in the same week.  Goodness knows, I’ve done it enough.  I have many librarian friends and I know that circulation counts, but without the publishing industry in business, there would be no new books to put in the libraries.

I’ve always given books as gifts (yes, the big joke in the family is that I read them first, but that way I can tell them how good the story is). 

Now take this idea for what it’s worth and give yourself permission to spend the money for the greater good. 

Bottom Line:  I’m going out today with my list and gift cards to buy, buy, buy and who knows, it may even be for you!

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- November 18th, 2008

Storm Born by Richelle MeadYahoo now has a section with events in your city, so I was checking out the happenings in Milwaukee.  I don’t go out a lot and haven’t been to the downtown bars in many moons.  So I was shocked to see that Victor’s on Van Buren was listed as having Ladies Night and a dance contest.  You have to understand that Victor’s was "the place to be seen" when I was 21, but has become known over the years as menopause lounge (it’s where a lot of men go who are attending conferences).  Maybe I’ll stop in and see if I recognize any of my old buds.  And there is that dance contest.


JoysannStorm Born by Richelle Mead   Read by joysann   Is your garden haunted? Got a nuisancy poltergeist?   As adept at using a gun as she is a wand, Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire, and she uses both magic and arcane methods to force evil Otherworld denizens out of her human world. Able to cross through the barrier, she is asked to rescue a girl that had been kidnapped by fairies. The task forces Eugenie to reconsider her views of the Otherworld, and she finds she influences the lives and the deaths of the sidhe more than she imagined.   Richelle Mead starts her new Dark Swan series with a wild blend of urban fantasy and fairy-tale magic. Beguiling, the story immediately drew me in, and I was happy to stay there. Though Richelle makes the fanciful seem pretty straightforward, I enjoyed the discombobulation of falling down the rabbit hole. 

EmilyScandalous by Night by Barbara PierceScandalous Night

Read by Emily

 

Twelve years ago Lord Everod’s reputation and life was ruined by one small 15 year old girl. But when he is on the verge of marrying another, Maura Keighly steps back into his life making this second chance seem impossible. Everod sets out to seduce and ruin her, but his plans backfire when he finds himself falling for Maura. To his dismay, his own friends are taking the girl under their wings, trying to protect her from his ‘unwanted’ advances. Through it all, Everod still has an ever building rage toward the young woman that could ultimately be both their downfall.

 

This is the fourth novel in Barbara’s Carlisle series. I had been looking forward to reading Everod’s story, and now that it is out I can bluntly say it didn’t disappoint. The characters aren’t two dimensional.  They jump off the page feeling completely real. They show their true personalities and like all people, you love one side, while hating the other.  I immensly enjoyed Barbara’s newest novel and fell in love with her remarkable characters.


JanMy Sisters by Ann RothMy Sisters by Ann Roth

Read by Jan

Three sisters, gone their separate ways and no longer close, are reunited at their childhood home upon the unexpected death of their estranged mother. Each had suffered abuse from her while growing up, not physical but verbal and indifference,  that had shaped them into the scarred young women of today. While cleaning out the house and preparing for a yard sale, they touched on  long-forgotten memories and forced them to face the painful experiences that had influenced their lives.   It’s all about relationships…I enjoyed seeing how each sister faced her shortcomings by looking into the past.

StaceyThe Rogue and the Rival by Maya RodaleThe Rogue and the Rival by Maya Rodale

Read by Stacey

A man wakes up to discover he’s in an Abbey and has been tended to by what he percieves as a vision of loveliness.  A young woman finds herself nursing an injured man back to health before she takes her vows.  Nuns, Abbesses, Negligent Chaperones and tattered reputations abound.   One of the things I’ve come to love are the books where multiple layers of meaning exist to defy the expectations of those who seem to think genre fiction is meaningless.  ‘The Rogue and the Rival’ is one of them.  Maya tells a story of fate and destiny-of whether we make our own or whether we are forced to make do with the reputations society bestows upon us.  The stage upon which this story is told is, of course, filled with almost photographic discriptions, amazing characterization and clever dialogue.  I just want to see what she does next.

Show No Mercy by Cindy Gerard
Loretta Show No Mercy by Cindy Gerard

Read by Loretta

Gabriel Jones and Jenna McMillan are brought together when they are hired to protect a "high risk client during his flight to Argentina.  Gabe remembers Jenna from a former assignation and Jenna comes to find a story for her magaine in the States.

Sparks fly in all directions – provided by guns, bombs, torture and romance with a capital "R."  This suspenseful and romantic story will keep your eyes glued to the page.  An unusual and unexpected ending is the frosting on this book!

DinaOnce Upon a Thanksgiving by Holly JacobsOnce Upon a Thanksgiving by Holly Jacobs

Read by Dina   Samantha Williams, is a divorced mom with 3 boys, a daughter and a very demanding cat.  So, as if trying to work and raise her family was not enough, she has now volunteered to do a Thanksgiving pagent at the kids school.  So there is no time to even think about a relationship anytime soon or so she thinks until she meets up with an old childhood friend Harry Remington, who turns out to be the new interim principle at the same school. Harry is enjoying spending time with Samantha’s family as friends, but he realizes how he misses what a real home can be.   Samantha and Harry were very affectionate toward one another and they let their passions open up and not think about the past. I loved it how Harry was not afraid to show his feelings toward a woman with kids and that he could not love only Samantha, but her children too. &
nbsp; I thought Holly did a wonderful job of making you feel part of the family, just with her words. 

JoysannLiving with the Dead by Kelley ArmstrongLiving with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong

Read by Joysann

When Robyn Peltier finds herself relentlessly pursued by a despicable homicidal stalker, she turns to her supernatural friends Hope and Karl for help. At the same time, homicide detective John "Finn" Findlay looks to his own supernatural talents to find the killer. Since Finn’s suspect is Robyn, the predators and prey revolve in increasingly tighter circles.  
  This engrossing Women of the Otherworld series book is a complex, multi-point of view story that allowed me no escape (in a good way).  Kelley Armstrong just keeps getting better and better.


EmilyInnocence Unveiled by Blythe GiffordInnocence Unveiled by Blythe Gifford

Read by Emily
 
When a mysterious and secretive trader, Renard, comes to her door, Katrine de Gravere barters lodging in her home for his much needed wool.  Who knew when she allowed this stranger into her home, she would be taking the greatest risk of all?  Katrine needed the wool to keep her looms full, and her business intact.  Her father had been arrested under false pretenses, and he needed her to keep the family business alive.  Renard, hopes no one finds out why he is in this little town. When he makes Katrine the promise to bring her wool; who knew that he’d be drawn into her life and ultimately her love?

The reasons why Renard is sneaking around this little town seem so obvious, but the outcome isn’t what you expect.  I was enthralled by the mystery and delightful characters.

Bottom Line:  Dancing shoes…check, ID (they do look at it at the door)…check, dust off little black book…check, Advil…check.  All ready for Victor’s.  Oh, and bought new tube of Ben Gay.
  

Would you ever return to old stomping grounds?
After 30 years? Not on your life!
Sure, I’m nosy and have to know what’s going on.
Not tonight…it’s Dancing with the Stars.
Maybe, if I could get some friends to come along.
Definitely, I’m wild and crazy.
Other…Please post comments on Beyond Her Book blog.
  

Intelligence vs Ignorance for Heroines (or it’s ok to hide when a really scary guy is trying to kill you)

Barbara Vey -- November 18th, 2008
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine
If Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) told me to stay put while he went after the bad guys, I’d trust him.

Lately I have been a reading machine.  I barely finish one book and I’m picking up the next.  But here’s the thing that’s been bugging me lately.  When there is a killer on the loose and the hero says, "Stay here," why does the heroine never listen?  They are always following a few steps behind the hero and to me that says she is an idiot who doesn’t listen, thinks she knows best, and wants to get killed. Or they are told not to leave the house because the killer is out there waiting for them and they sneak out anyway.  (This happened in the last 5 out of 6 books).  I say just kill her and get it over with. 

There is a big difference between being an ignoramous and being brave.  Brave is when you have a fighting chance (like Dana Scully, Lora Croft or Wonder Woman) and ignorant is being related to dumb and dumber.  Ok, I realize that sometimes to move the story along it is necessary.  But couldn’t she have a reason not to obey.  Like maybe he forgot his gun or she remembers something that will help him beat the criminal or she’s the sharpshooter/karate expert and just never mentioned it.  Not just because he’s so bossy, so I won’t listen and that’ll show him.

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman doesn’t need an Alpha Male…she can kick some major butt

I do suspend belief when I read and I love fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi, but these books I’ve been reading are contempories.  No one has any special abilities and I think their brain functions must die in a stressfull situation.  I remember one time when my ex was working nights and I was home alone with the baby.  I was on the phone with my sister and saw someone trying to get into my kitchen window.  I called the police and they told me to hide, which I did with my baby in a locked room.  I wasn’t about to go out there with a baseball bat and hit him over the head (which is what I would have like to have done). 

It’s kind of like the horror movies when the kids are in the haunted house and people are being picked off one by one.  Why don’t they all stay in the same room until help arrives?  No, they go into separate rooms and usually alone.  If that’s going to happen, just give me a reasonable reason for it.  Something my mind can accept (had to go to the bathroom, only phone is in another room, the person really wants to die). 

I want my women characters to be smart and reasonable.  Capable without being stupid and not so stubborn that she can’t listen to reason.  I even like it better when they are the ones to solve the problem. 

Well, maybe it’s just me and my current frame of mind.  In that case,  just ignore me, but know that if we’re ever trapped in a haunted house together, I’m sticking like glue to the whole group.  No potty breaks for me.

Bottom Line:  Just like in Star Trek…never wear a red shirt.  The guys in red shirts always die (really, watch the old episodes).


Would you go after a killer?
Yes, if I had a gun and wasn’t afraid to use it.
No way, I’d call the police and let them deal with it.
Maybe, if I was a blackbelt and my life insurance was all paid up.
Other…please post comments on Beyond Her Book blog
    

Enjoy this movie trailer from the movie Scream. They tell you what not do do to become a victim of a scary movie. (I actually enjoyed this movie even though I don’t like horror films).

Tainted Perspectives

Barbara Vey -- November 15th, 2008
Mary Higgins Clark on author
I wasn’t reading a Mary Higgins Clark book, but this is such a nice picture of her on the author’s cruise I attending a few years ago.

I love reading.  It’s my number 1 sport/activity/fun thing to do.  I’ve read while others shopped, while I waited for my kids to ride the roller coaster, even at movie theaters when my friends stayed and watched the movie that I couldn’t take anymore. 

And while I love books, there are very few that I dislike.  I may like some more than others, but that’s personal preference.  Right now I can’t get enough paranormal and historical and if it’s a paranormal/historical, all the better.  I even reread books when the characters become so real to me that I have to visit them again.  Usually I can find something I like in almost every book I pick up.

While I was in the hospital I read 5 books.  I was disappointed in every one of them.  Characters I didn’t like, plot holes a mile wide, boring story lines.  Once I got home I picked up a book by an author I’ve read for years and once again felt that tug in my heart at reading something made me feel good again.  I knew I would be rereading this book.

After I tried to write blurbs about the hospital books and couldn’t think of anything nice to say, I took some time to mull this over.  I wasn’t at my best in the hospital, but was this enough to taint the enjoyment of the book for me or were they just crappy books?  I’ve read some of these authors before and enjoyed their stories.  After all, once I was home, in my own bed, the book I was reading came alive for me.  I was relaxed and felt good. 

Now, I don’t want to return to the hospital to test this theory by reading one of my favorite books there, but I decided to give those 5 books another chance in the future. 

I wonder how many books have gotten bad word of mouth because of the time, place and frame of mind of the reader?  I’ve blogged about my opinions of reviews in the past (and everyone has their own idea of their merits or not), but this was almost like a test case for me. 


I’ve always been of the mind that there is a reader for every book (even if it’s not me) and we are very lucky to have so many to choose from.  Books take me somewhere special and I treasure each one that does that for me.  So here’s to giving second chances.

Bottom Line:  Maybe if I would have had the fancy drink with the little umbrella in it while I was in the hospital, I would have enjoyed the books more.

  

Would you give a book a second chance?
Yes, if I had the time and felt there were circumstances that tainted the first reading.
No, I’m too busy and if I didn’t like the first time, I still won’t like it the second.
Maybe, if I talked to people and they saw something in it that I may have missed.
Other…(answer this in the comments section of the Beyond Her Book Blog)