Monthly Archives: June 2009

Gearing Up For Thrillerfest, RWA and Comic Con

Barbara Vey -- June 30th, 2009

Thrillerfest 09
Yes folks, three continuous weeks of conferences from one end of the country to the other, but I think I’m up for the task.  Heck, I’m already packed and I don’t leave until Monday and I even managed to have a nasty abscessed tooth pulled before I go.  (Thank you Vicoden)

First I’ll be at Thrillerfest in NY.  "International Thriller Writers Inc represents professional authors from around the world. ITW’s annual celebration of the thriller world is the largest event of its kind, a meeting place for authors, readers, budding writers, and publishing industry professionals."  With authors like Sandra Brown, Brad Meltzer, David Baldacci, David Morrell, R.L. Stine, Lisa Gardner, Heather Graham, Dianna Love and James Rollins (to name just a few), this conference will keep me hopping.  One of my favorite parts is the Awards Banquet where they give out the award for the worst Amazon Review.  It is absolutely hilarious!

Romance Writers of America Conference 09
From there I’ll be off to Washington, D.C. for the RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference. "The mission of Romance Writers of America is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. RWA works to support the efforts of its members to earn a living, to make a full-time career out of writing romance—or a part-time one that generously supplements his/her main income."  While boasting a membership of over 10,000 members, the RWA Literacy Signing draws over 500 authors for the 2 hour free event with all proceeds to benefit literacy.  Speakers at the special events include, Linda Howard, Eloisa James, Janet Evanovich, Stella Cameron and Anne Stuart.  While there’s tons of fun things going on, I like the Rita and Golden Hart Awards.  Everyone dressed to the nines and only the red carpet missing.

San Diego Comic Con 09
The final leg will bring me to San Diego Comic Con where I got to hug Richard Dean Anderson and the rest of the Stargate crew last year.  I’m still waiting for them to announce the big names, but with over 140,000 attendees last year and sold out this year, Comic Con promises to be a happening place.

Holy cow, I get tired just thinking about it, but I know my second wind will kick in once I’m on the road.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  Let me know where you’ll be or if we’ll have a chance to run into each other.  I look forward to spending time with old and new friends at these events.

Bottom Line: 
I did get one new pair of shoes, but I know I’ll never be a match for the likes of Nora Roberts and Linda Howard in that field.
   

Monday News and Giveaways

Barbara Vey -- June 29th, 2009

From author Brenda Novak:  In a year when most fund-raisers are down by 30% or more, Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research set a new record, coming in at $270,611! That’s nearly $20,000 more than last year. The grand total raised in all five years is over $750,000. Definitely check it out and register as a shopper so that you’ll receive the various announcements that will get you ready to participate next year, when this event should break the ONE MILLION DOLLAR mark.   I recently toured the Diabetes Research Institute and actually met with the scientists doing the research and feel very encouraged.  I believe I will see a cure in my lifetime, which will be the fulfillment of my fondest dreams.

Recently I heard from author Erin O’Riordan that she would be visiting Milwaukee.  When we got together and she told me about her new book, I knew exactly the location she needed.  We drove to the East Side and there it was…the shop in her book.  I did an adorable Drive By Video™ with her husband, Johnathan, but I messed it up somehow (I’m really sorry), but the good news is that Erin went back to the location and did one herself that can be viewed on her Facebook page.  It was so exciting for me to be part of the process and I can’t wait to read how Milwaukee is described in her version.

From Jodi Rosoff, Associate Director of Publicity,  Berkley / NAL / Penguin Group:  Great news for British fans of paranormal romance!  Waterstone’s is now offering a sampling of e-books by several Penguin Group (USA) paranormal authors who are not currently published in the UK.

Some of the authors included are:
Barbara Bretton, Lynn Kurland, Yasmine Galenorn, Michele Bardsley, Robin D. Owens, Sunny, Rob Thurman, Diane Whiteside, Jean Johnson, Shiloh WalkerLynn Viehl and  P.C. Cast.


From author Kristen Painter:  This week Launching A Star kicks off its annual contest for unpublished authors of romantic fiction.  In the past two years, more than twenty-five LAS finalists have received requests from acquiring editors and agents, resulting in at least four sales.  The contest offers nine specific categories, including three that are new this year – Romantic Suspense, Inspirational and Romantic Novellas.  Submit the first twenty-five pages of your manuscript for a chance to have your work reviewed by two of the industry’s top editors and agents, or win the top prize, a star named in your honor.  For full details and rules, check it out here.

Monday Giveaways


From author Delilah Marvelle:  The campaign is called Save the School of Gallantry Series.  I’m also having a contest, which everyone can post everywhere.   From August 4 until August 28, anyone who e-mails me with the School’s quote from Lesson  27, will be entered to win one of three $50 Visa Cards.  Winners will be contacted via e-mail  by September 10th.  You can check out the details here.

Author Cindy Procter-King is giving away her Canadian-set romance, HEAD OVER HEELS, on July 1st, Canada Day.  Check it out at Nobody Writes Better.

Author Dianna Love will be in NY Monday, July 6th at Lady Jane’s Salon for a reading of her newest NY Times Best Seller Whispered Lies.  She will be giving out free BAD (Bureau of Defense) t-shirts to lucky winners.

Anyone interested in being included in this Monday Feature may email me at barbaravey@gmail.com.  Include one sentence to describe your giveaway and your website address.  Subject of email:  Monday Giveaway

Bottom Line:  "He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever." ~ Chinese Proverb

Sunday Matinee

Barbara Vey -- June 28th, 2009

Milwaukee Brewers pull out a 7-6 victory over the Giants last night, so time to celebrate with the Sunday Matinee.  Book videos to entertain and want to read.  So pop open a cold one, grab the popcorn and let the action begin.


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Bottom Line:  Michael Jackson’s death was Twittered, Texted and Facebooked bogging down all the sites…is this the face of news reporting in 2009?

Your Turn Friday with the WW Ladies

Barbara Vey -- June 26th, 2009

Since I’ve been reading a lot of unedited manuscripts, I haven’t had much time for just fun reading, but I thought I’d let the WW Ladies have an extra go this week since they’ve been busy picking up my slack.  Then it’s your turn to let everyone know what you’ve been reading lately.

Prime Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Read by Jan

TV reporter Charlotte Mc Nally (AKA Charlie), whose job is on the line in an effort to boost ratings, following up on leads after two unsolicited email informers end up mysteriously dead and, in the process, uncovering a wide-spread pharmaceutical industry fraud.
 
As an award-winning investigative reporter herself, Hank Phillippi Ryan brings personal experience to her lead character.  Another ‘new’ author to me and I know I have discovered a ‘keeper’. In addition to PRIME TIME on sale this week, Ms. Ryan has FACE TIME coming out in July and AIR TIME in August. She writes a fast-paced novel that will keep you guessing the outcome to the last page. I can’t wait!  Engrossing, thrilling and heart-thumping.

Eternal Moon by Rebecca York
  Read by Heidi   PI Renata Cordona has put herself in harms way to bring out a murderer.  Jacob Marshall is drawn to protect her.  Both have secrets and realize they are life mates. A killer watches and waits to destroy them so that the world becomes the ultimate prize.   A new paranormal experience for me with werewolves. I loved how the past swirled into the present with this book, and how the characters were connected in past lives. Very cool. The suspense is what brought it all together. A fantastic read for summer!

Tall, Dark and Deadly by Lorie O’Clare

Read by Marie

Grace Jordan traded her big-city badge for life in the slow lane in Rockville, South Dakota. Grace wanted some place quiet and safe to raise her daughter, but when young women keep turning up brutally murdered she has a serial murder case and a drop dead gorgeous FBI agent on her hands.  Justin Reece is a Special Agent with the FBI and a Rockville native. He never intend to return to Rockville for longer than a week at a time, but when young women started turning up brutally murdered he gladly accepted the assignment to hunt the serial murderer that was wreaking havoc on his town.  

This was my first Romantic Suspense by Ms. O’Clare and it was an exciting ride that I didn’t want to end. It was hard for me to put this book down at the end of the day, the characters are strong and compelling, and the bad guys are extremely bad. I was thrilled to see that there is going to be another installment coming out at the end of September, Long, Lean and Lethal, and it looks to be just as exhilarating!

His Son’s Teacher by Kay Stockham

Read by Jan

It’s the end of the school year and Jennifer Rose, along with her fellow teachers, announce their plans for exciting eventful summers… ONLY Jennifer’s have been sidetracked following a divorce from her cheating physician husband and subsequent depression and weight gain of 35#. Enter, Nick Tulane, successful gym owner and businessman whose 8 year old son Matt needs a summer tutor to help him keep up with math and reading. Nick has a secret past, but finally opens up to Jennifer who is not only able to help him and Matt, but he, in turn, helps her with weight loss/workouts and a boost in her suffering self-confidence.
 
I love learning something new in my readings and this book was no exception. Anyone familiar with Irlen’s Syndrome, a form of dyslexia? Yes, I had to GOOGLE it, too. It’s been 30, 40, maybe 50 years since I last read a Harlequin romance–and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You’ve come a long way, Harlequin!  This won’t be my last.

Now that the WW Ladies have done their job, it’s up to you to comment on your latest reads.

Bottom Line: 
Next week is the 4th of July already and I’m in charge of the Taffy Apple Salad.  Maybe I should make a practice batch.

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- June 24th, 2009


The summer beach read season is upon us and here’s some picks from the WW Ladies (and Gent) for the week.

Knight in Blue Jeans by Evelyn Vaughn
 
Read by Stacey 
 
The Comitatus is an UltraPowerful secret society which has lost it’s way.  Smith Donnell is a man who lost everything when he left.  Including Arden Leigh, the woman he loved.  But when he’s brought back into her life, will he be able to show her that he didn’t leave her by choice ?
 
Evelyn Vaughn’s books always feels like coming home.  The suspense of this first book in the series puts me on the edge of my seat, her characters walk off the page and face larger than life dilemmas that seem heavy on their shoulders.  But with strength, honor and true understanding, they persevere and allow love to save the day. I cannot wait to see where this series takes me.

The Beach House by Jane Green
  Read by Heidi   A historic beach house on a Nantucket Island Bluff becomes the center of attention in this story. Nan takes out an ad to fill her home with renters for a summer, to avoid losing it forever. Those renters all have stories to tell and life to heal from. The magic of Windermere House may be just the thing everyone needs, or it could all fall apart when the past comes home.   This is the perfect summer read! The characters were expertly woven together, I felt like I was cocooned under a summer blanket, all comfortable and happy. I could picture this house on the bluff and the people coming for the summer. Oh, to be able to live near Nantucket and experience it firsthand. I may just have to go and visit.

The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow
Brilliance Audio

Listened to by joysann

The only thing Molly Marx knows for sure is that she didn’t commit suicide, so as her family, friends, and the police search for the correct conclusion, she’s observing from the duration. She can see, hear, and know the thoughts of her precious daughter, her beloved parents and sister, the husband she was trying to reconcile, even his girlfriend. And her own love… She learns more about herself through their eyes, blended with her own memories, and discovers she had been more significant than she had known.

I think everyone wonders, at sometime or another, what will go on after she is gone, who really grieves and how, what is said, how life continues without her in the picture. Sally Koslow wrote a moving story with this idea, without it becoming dreary or maudlin. Instead I found it witty, suspenseful and cleverly crafted. Listening to it was pleasure, with reader Tanya Eby Sorois finding just the right voice to make Molly real.

Red Hot Lies by Laura Caldwell
 
Read by Loretta

Inez Mitchell, an attorney and her fiance, Sam, are involved ini their final wedding plans.  Suddendly, she is unable to reach Sam, who just seems to have dropped off the face of the earth.  Coincidentally, negotiable bonds worth 30 million dollars are also missing from her employer’s safe.  Inez’s wealthy client and close friend, Forester Pickett, is found dead in his bed, of an apparent attack, on the same day Sam is missing.

A well crafted novel, rich in suspense – sinister forces kept me glued to the pages.  A most unusual thriller story, scary and sexy.

The Last Patriot by Brad Thor

Read by Michael

Scot Harvath is a former Seal who has also worked for Homeland Security. Now on his own, he finds himself in the middle of a fascinating adventure that is a combination of intrigue, action, and archeology.  In between battles with terrorists, there are puzzles to solve in an old book once owned by Thomas Jefferson. The secrets
hidden in this book could cause a great disruption in the Middle East.

This is the seventh book in this series, but it stands alone, so there is no need to start at the beginning.  But if you enjoy this fast-paced action-adventure as much as I did, you may want do just that.

Love on a Harley Anthology by Rebecca Andrews, Debi Farr, Billie Warren Chai, Patricia Frank, Diane Davis White, and Deborah McGillivray

Read by Tammy

Secrets and Lies by Rebecca Andrews – With blackmail, cover-ups and lies from a past event bringing them together again, Wess McKade is hired as a body guard for lingerie model Ella Preston, and they see if they can pick up from where they left off a decade ago.

Leader of the Pack by Debi Farr – On her way to a "Come As You Aren’t"party, Charlie, dressed as a hooker, gets a flat tire. Assistance comes from a "cop", but at the party she discovers the truth about her
rescuer, who is also a guest.

Hitting Paydirt
by Billie Warren Chai – When they meet again, Mary Victoria and Craig find there are still some romantic feelings between them that they’d had to abandon years ago, but their future isendangered when Mary Vic’s work as an oil driller is endangered by the threat of sabotage.

Teaching Love by Patricia Frank – Schoolteacher Jen has put her car ina ditch when a Harley riding Good Samaritan Dan comes along, and there is attraction between them. But both have been widowed, and while Dan is reluctant to get involved, Jen is ready to find love, and iswilling to teach him to love again.

The Man Rides a Harley by Diane Davis White – Attorney Duke Mansfield is hired to defend accountant Susannah Davis who is accused of embezzlement. Neither wants to get close to the other, but they can’t
seem to resist.

Bad to the Bone
by Deborah MacGillivray – After 20 years away, Jocelyn returns to her home town to sell the upper-class family house where she grew up. Gabriel, having risen in circumstances since his youth, is determined to buy that grand house. Upon meeting again, they each begin to wonder if the feelings for the other kept secret long
ago can come to life now.

I really enjoyed the 6 stories from Love on a Harley.  It was an adventurous ride filled with humor and romance and everything inbetween – what a great way to spend the summer days!

Master of Craving by Karin Tabke

Read by Edie
 
In the third Blood Sword Legacy book, Stefan de Valrey is left injured and unconscious on the battlefield, the friends he thinks of as brothers captured by the Welsh.  He must find a way to liberate them. When he saves Welsh Princess Arianrhod from being raped on her way to meet her betrothed, he plans to use her as ransom.  They both have objectives that make it imperative they deny their intense attraction to each other — her betrothal and his need to trade her for the Blood Swords. Stefan’s been tortured by experts, but not being able to make love to Arianrhod is another form of torture.
 
These two passionate, strong-willed and loyal characters kept me turning the pages to see what they would do next.  The historical details, danger and twists adds layers to the story that kept me up late reading it.  This is a thrilling, sensual and highly satisfying read.

Tribute by Nora Roberts

 
Read by Joan     Cilla Mcgowan, a former child star, leaves the glamour of Hollywood to pursue a more satisfyingcareer restoring older homes. Thirty years ago her grandmother, a famous and beautiful screen actress, died suddenly at her Virginia farm house and the family is left with many unanswered questionsand hidden secrets.  An unknown someone seems to want it to remain in its state of decay and accidentshappen that destroy and undermine the beautiful work Cilla is doing.  A near fatal accident to a good friend and old love letters are found in the attic. I pulled an all nighter reading this book.  The characters are superb, even down to the sweet ugly dog, and the fascinating story line kept me guessing as I turned each page. A budding romance, betrayal,and much more all combine for a spell binding tale.

Bottom Line:  "A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend."  ~ Author Unknown

Are YA Books Just for Kids?

Barbara Vey -- June 23rd, 2009


I recently received an email from Lauren Baratz-Logsted regarding the pros of adults reading YA (Young Adult) books.  Now, I was a Harry Potter fan from way before it became popular.  Since I cruise libraries constantly, I’m always on the lookout for new and different reads.  As I read it, I kept thinking,  "This is the best kept secret ever!"

Slotting books into catagories has long since been a necessary evil, in my opinion.  I can understand how it makes it easier to find the books you already like, but it also can stop some from discovering new and exciting new books that they may not have tried before.

In her BibliOpinion blog, Laren defines YA fiction:

For one thing, it’s far different than what most of us grew up with. When I was growing up, kids read kids books, then graduated to coming-of-age stories like To Kill a Mockingbird or A Separate Peace, books where the narrator is telling a story about childhood from the perspective of an adult. Mostly, by the time we hit adolescence, we made the switch to adult books. By the time I was into my early teens, a typical weekly reading list might include The Exorcist and The World According to Garp—adult books written for an adult audience. Back then there were also writers who mostly wrote for kids or adults, no switch-hitters.

But all that has changed in a post-Harry Potter world. Adults began to see  that there might be value in the form of entertainment or enlightenment in reading books shelved on the other side of the store. And yet many remain resistant to the idea, preferring to regard something they haven’t even tried as something necessarily less than.

Today’s YA fiction, in the overwhelming majority of cases, is written from the authentic point of view of a YA, not employing the benefit-of-old-age trick. That’s the real critical difference between it and adult fiction. But the beauty of the current YA landscape? Everything you see on the adult side of the store—literary, mystery, romance, comedy, you name it—it’s all there on the YA side, but with one more critical difference: because the audience is still discovering the newness of the world in terms of events and ideas, the writing somehow manages to match that newness by being fresh. (You can read the entire blog here)

I have to agree.  Nothing makes my heart beat faster than kids getting excited by and talking about books.  When YA readers stop by my bookroom and plunk themselves down on the floor to puruse the books available, I’m in heaven.  And the best part is when they tell me their parents and friends parents are reading them also.  What a wondrous and delightful thing to share with kids of al ages.

So, tell me…do you read YA books?  What do you think of them?  Have you started writing them or are you contemplating the idea.  Is this another phase or something here to stay?  What YA book would you like to share with others?

Bottom Line:  Many thanks to Lauren for offering to share this topic with us today.

Monday News and Giveaways

Barbara Vey -- June 22nd, 2009

Here’s the news I heard this week.  Please feel free to send me any news, happenings, events, charities or kudos to barbaravey@gmail.com

From author Annette Blair:
  I Heart Albany.  With my brainstorming buddy and awesome-writer friend Jeanine, I drove for three hours on Friday to Albany from New England to attend the Capital Region RWA’s “A Writer’s Toolkit” Conference.  Jazzed to be on the two-speaker docket with Angela Knight for Saturday, I was greeted by friends Jen and I hadn’t met yet.  Everyone made us feel right at home.
  

Friday night presented an extra treat, a panel made up of agents Miriam Criss and Steven Axelrod with Heather Osborn from Tor Publishing. As a result of that panel, I finally came to understand the meaning of Steampunk as a genre.  What will they think of next?
   

Over the weekend, I got to spend some quality time with Heather from Tor, a great lady and a knowledgeable editor.   On Saturday, Angela taught us about action scenes—all kinds of action, wink, wink—with a great, eye candy presentation.  I gave my characters and storymapping workshops, about peopling our stories, plotting them, and keeping things moving.  No sagging middles in our stories, thanks anyway.  From the company to the meals to meeting new and old friends, the Albany Conference was a bright spot in my busy schedule and I’d attend again in a heartbeat. Kudos to the conference committee, and thanks for thinking of me.

   

From Ellora’s Cave:  Ellora’s Cave Publishing was presented with the Trailbazer award at the Romantic Times Convention in Orlando.  Carol Stacey (Publisher of the RT Book Lovers Magazine) when presenting the award:
   

The impact that EC has had on the book industry for both ebooks and the erotica genre.  EC established that e-books are not only a viable format but that they can be lucrative for both the publisher and the authors.  EC also proved to be the mainstream publishers that there is a market for e-books hence setting the stae for the e-book revoution of today.  They are also responsible for setting the erotica genre on fire!

From author Jacqueline FranksThe Authors After Dark Paranormal weekend is a reader-focused event for lovers of paranormal romance, sci-fi romance, fantasy and urban fantasy romance, and horror romance that is set up with readers in mind, on  October 23-25th  at the Holiday Inn in Suffern New York.
 

Readers can look forward to several panel events on vampires, demons, shifters, ghosts, witches, fey and many more subjects, as well as author and series specific mini parties. Friday night is our welcome cocktail hour, complete with a mix and mingle game time. Then we’re having our candy shop pajama mixer, featuring a make your own sundae ice cream bar, caramel apples and a hard cider tasting from a local area winery, as well as tons of door prizes! Saturday’s party is a masquerade ball, complete with a fantastic dinner, a wine tasting from the country’s oldest winery, Brotherhood Wineries,  and a DJ spinning 80’s music and indie dance all night. Prizes for costumes will be given, as well as several fantastic door prizes.
  

The book signing will feature 30 authors, including Jacquelyn Frank, Sunny, Joey W. Hill, Jennifer Armintrout, Rosemary Laurey and Georgia Evans, as well as several small press authors.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to win the offered raffle baskets. This year’s raffle charities are the A C N (Animal Compassion Network) and a local no-kill shelter, Pets Alive. We have more than 25 baskets available from attending authors and authors that cannot make the event this year including Melina Morel, Mark Henry, Alexandra Ivy and Larissa Ione among many others.

Monday Giveaways:

From author Diane Gaston: Diane’s Diamonds of Welbourne Manor contest continues. Enter by June 29 for a chance to win a signed copy of Innocence and Impropriety.

Anyone interested in being included in this Monday Feature may email me at barbaravey@gmail.com.  Include one sentence to describe your giveaway and your website address.  Subject of email:  Monday Giveaways

Bottom Line:  ‘I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.’ ~ A. Einstein.

Sunday Matinee

Barbara Vey -- June 21st, 2009

Yesterday I got to spend some time with my son, Andrew, and we talked for hours.  Finally, he made some homemade kettle corn and we watched The Transporter.   It was a silly action film, but so much fun to watch.  Think Mystery Science Theater 3000 without the robots.  Anyway, it’s time for some serious film, so here’s the Sunday Matinee for this week.

Breakpoint by JoAnn Ross


Perfect Chemistry
by Simone Elkeles

Something About Her by Jeannie Ruesch


Breathe
by Lisa T. Bergren

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing by Allison Bottke



Talking to the Dead
by Bonnie Grove


So Beautiful
by Leonard Sweet

Bottom Line:  A father carries pictures where his money used to be.  ~Author Unknown

Happy Father’s Day!!

Saturday Breakfast (Book) Club/YA Style

Barbara Vey -- June 20th, 2009


It feels good to have a couple weeks of normalcy before the craziness of three straight weeks of conferences again.  July brings Thrillerfest in NY, Romance Writers of America (RWA) in DC and Comic Con in San Diego.   But until that starts, let’s enjoy the latest from our YA readers.

Jake Ransom and the Skull King’s Shadow by James Rollins

Read by Christian, 12
   

Jake Ransom is your (above) average boy next door. When he fits two halves of a Mayan coin into a hole in a museum exhibit, he and his sister are transported into a mixed-up ancient world of Mayans, Chinese, Romans, Neanderthals, super-cool alchemic crystals and, of course, good and evil. Even though the place may hold clues to his archeologist parents’ mysterious disappearance, Jake needs to find a way out — unless, that is, the T-Rexes, giant scorpions, or the Skull King don’t slaughter him first.  
  

Jake Ransom and the Skull King’s Shadow is an excellent book with strong, intriguing characters, especially Jake’s sister, Kady, who helps him get out of some extreme fixes. The awesome plot and subtle humor kept me reading it until I finished it in one sitting. The downside? We’ve got to wait a whole year till the sequel, Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx.

Razor Girl by Marianne Mancusi

Read by Alexis, 15

Molly Anderson does what anyone person that lived underground for six years and survived the apocalypse would do; go to Disney World! Although it may be hard to make it all the way to Florida when she has to worry about the man eating zombies and the ex-boyfriend that she broke the heart of six years ago. Molly has something that no one else has that may just help her, razor sharp, retractable nails and ocular implants that her conspiracy theorist father put on her to help her fight before he left. Now she has to go on an adventure to find her dad in Disney World and save the world.

I was so excited to read another marvelous book by the wonderful Marianne Mancusi. I usually don’t like books with zombies in them but this book actually grabbed my attention from begining to end. It reminded a bit of the movie I am Legend but with a whole new twist.

Black and White by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge
Read by Sarah, 14

A Shadow superpower, is currently fighting a number of things both internally and externally. Externally there is her former friend Iridium, a Light superpower, who continues to commit crimes in the city of New Chicago. Internally, Jet fights her own superpower. Both of these conflicts escalate throughout the story. Jet and Iridium’s past is slowly revealed chapter by chapter, and by the end of the book the past and present’s effect on the future of New Chicago is shown.

I really enjoyed this book mostly because of the characters. The characterization of Jet and Iridium is prominently displayed throughout the story as you see them grow and eventually begin to really think about the world around them. Also I liked this sci-fi fiction because the authors released the reader into the futuristic world slowly, instead of flooding the reader with a totally ultramodern setting where they must learn many things about the future society. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys supernatural and/or futuristic sci-fi novels.

The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson

Read by Meghan, 17

For Princess Theresa-Maria of Pfaffenstein, a life of luxury is something which she is accustomed to, but is not always welcomed. Tess prefers working as a wardrobe mistress for the International Opera Company in Austria, her identity concealed from everyone but her aunts living at the Pfaffenstein castle. When hard times fall on her family, the aunts sell the dilapidated castle to Guy Farne, a wealthy Englishman who bought it to create the fairytale life for his fiancé, Nerine. Guy employs the opera company to perform for a long week at the castle, and he cannot help but feel drawn toward the optimistic and sincere wardrobe mistress, whose background remains unknown to him and the opera cast. As Guy and snobbish Nerine plan for their upcoming nuptials, Tess tries to remain hidden in the background, putting all her thoughts towards the opera. Nerine and Tess each hope for her fairy tale ending, but only one fairy tale will take place.

The Reluctant Heiress is yet another novel which I thoroughly enjoyed by Eva Ibbotson. Her diction and imagery are so unique that I found myself drawn towards Vienna as if I could see it right in front of me. This romance novel held all of the charm I expected it to. I thoroughly recommend it.

Leftovers by Laura Wiess

Read by Maddy, 17

Blair and Ardith are best friends who experience the life changing moments of growing up. Ardith has a  neglectful home life that allows her to do pretty much what she wants, and Blair’s family is all about their image and how people see them. From being busted by the cops, teased in school and first kisses to being told to stay away from each other and planing revenge.

Written as if Blair and Ardith were talking to me, this book really got me thinking. It’s tragic but possible. I know that some of the things they experienced I have too. It’s all about growing up and learning to deal. Shocking and surprising I recommend this to anyone who is in high school.

Lord of Misrule By Rachel Caine
 
Read By Bekah, 17
 
Claire lives and attends school with some very interesting people, some of which happen to be vampires. In Morganville vampires and humans lived in harmony until an ancient vampire named Bishop came and began to cause some deadly trouble. After a costume party where there was the attempted murder of the towns only hope at continued peace a war begins to brew. Claire and her closest friends are immediately drawn into the chaos where they find themselves rescuing their nemeses and confronting old enemies. It isn’t long before Claire finds herself questioning where the line of good ends and
bad begins. All she knows is that in a town where vampires and humans live together, trust is a precious and dangerous thing.
 
This was fantastic in such a dark and humorous way. The bravery in Claire is humbling when one imagines what she has to go through at such a young age. Her actions in the book almost remind me of the part some young people played in past wars: their roles were small but had a tremendous impact. Now, I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Bottom Line:  When kids read books…all seems right in my world.

Your Turn Friday

Barbara Vey -- June 19th, 2009


You pick up a book and start reading it and realize that you already read it.  It happens to me all the time (a little less now that we have the book database to help), but this week I discovered several books that I’ve read and never wrote about for some reason or other.  I apologize to the authors for not getting to them sooner because I enjoyed them all, but I did have a head injury, you know (ok, I promise not to use that excuse anymore…at least for a while).  So, while some of these may have been published a while ago, doesn’t make them any less enjoyable.

Bound to Please
by Hope Tarr.  1460, Scotland and Brianna MacLeod finds herself in charge of her clan.  She needs to cement that claim by having a baby and picks her enemy, the extremely masculine Ewan Fraser to be the daddy by kidnapping him for his services.

This entertaining quick read is perfect for that rainy afternoon when you want to be in a far off place dreaming about kidnapping your very own alpha male.  I know it’s one of my fantasies.

Extreme Exposure by Pamela Clare.  Journalist Kara McMillan is a single mom with a mission to get to the truth.  When she meets up with State Senator Reese Sheridan, the sparks fly in more ways than one.  Things get dangerous when Kara gets a little to close to the truth and attempts are made on her life, while a political scandal brews.

Pamela always seems to get the heart pounding and this was the first in her I Team series.  Sensual, thrilling and exciting.  Turn the air-conditioner up for this one.

Dancing with the Devil by Laura Drewry.  1882 Texas and Deacon knows he’s not welcome when he visits old flame Rhea.  While he’d like to convince her he’s turned over a new leaf, it’s not that easy when you’re the devil’s son.

I normally don’t like books about the devil, but I read Laura’s first book, The Devil’s Daughter and was caught up with the time period and goodness inside the heroine.  Deacon is a little more difficult to like, but having the devil as dear old dad can be a bummer.  You’ll root for Rhea to come around to see Deacon trying to overcome his past and don’t we all deserve a second chance?

Ok, now it’s your turn.  What have you been reading or what have you read in the past that you’d like to share with everyone.  Not every book has to be a new release for it to be a great read.  Please share.


Bottom Line: 
Note to self:  Write down everything about the book before picking up that next one.  Hard to do, but I am trainable.