Monthly Archives: July 2009

Bad News

Barbara Vey -- July 28th, 2009


I know I promised you all a special Thrillerfest video today.

Unfortunately, my laptop has been stolen and it contained all the video.  I am just sick about it.  I had it in my bag in the overhead compartment of my plane from San Diego yesterday, but when I got home it was gone. I am still hopeful it will be returned by have spent the night changing all my passwords.

I am working with the airline now and hope to have some resolution.  In the meantime, I’d like to thank everyone for their kind words of support.  I’ll keep you updated, but learned a hard lesson, I will now back up everything with flash drives.

Bottom Line:  Add GPS to laptop computer and have name engraved on it.

Comic Con: The Final Day

Barbara Vey -- July 27th, 2009


The final day of Comic Con should be filled with people so tired they can hardly stand up.  And it is, but they are all the exhibitors.  The fans seem to have as much energy as the first day.  The minute the doors open for  business, the place is swarming like an ant colony.  The big rush is to the Warners Bros. booth where they give out the biggest bags I’ve ever seen.  When I hold it on my shoulder, it is as long as I am tall.  It isn’t long before it is filled with swag (all the free stuff they give away) and by Sunday they want to give almost everything away because they don’t want to drag it home again. 

It’s not long before a lot of booths are offering up 1/2 price items and it’s so tempting to buy, buy, buy, but once you get home, what exactly do you do with the 2 foot sculpture of Wonder Woman?  Even the stand up cut outs are up for sale, so War of Warcraft figures and Star Wars figures are flying out the door.  Less to pack up and send home for the vendors.

It’s Kid’s Day, so rug rats rule and you have to be extra careful not to trip over any.  Personally, I feel sorry for the kids because they mostly only see knees and butts and that wouldn’t be a fun day for me, but most don’t seem to mind.  I managed to sneak into the New Moon booth for a quick picture on the throne even though the line wrapped around the area.  Wolverine was a big Kodak moment also, but I’m not sure if it was because of the character or the likeness of Hugh Jackman (I vote Hugh).


Carrot Top Joshua Jackson Lou Ferrigno

Still some celebrity sightings like Carrot Top, Joshua Jackson and Lou Ferrigno.  But most of the big guns seem to have left the building.  Lots of lines for the final giveaways for Twighlight items like character buttons and playing cards.  I did manage to snag a few Christmas presents that I’m excited about but can’t mention in case certain people decide to read the blog today.


One of the highlights for me again this year was Buffy, the Musical sing along at the very end of the day.  The room was packed with Buffyites who know all the words to the episode and emulating the Rocky Horror Picture Show cult status, wave parking tickets and shout out to the screen at appropriate times.  It’s a feeling a comraderie that can only be experienced if you are there.

But, in the end, it was a very successful Comic Con, judging by the weary, satisfied smiles of those who exited the convention center when the final call was announced.


Bottom Line: 
Don’t forget about the big Thrillerfest Drive By Video™premiering tomorrow.  It’s hilarious and you’ll have your chance to vote on the male author you’d like to see as a cover model.  There will be prizes.

Comic Con: True Blood

Barbara Vey -- July 26th, 2009


Today seemed to be True Blood Day at Comic Con.  When you opened your hotel door, there were Do Not Disturb signs with the True Blood logo.  At Starbucks, the coffee cup holders blazed with True Blood.  The lines formed outside and crossed the street for the True Blood panel.  Another event I couldn’t get into because I refused to sleep outside overnight. (I know, I’m a wuss)

But with so many in line, there was more room to move around inside the convention center.  They even move some of the events to my hotel because it’s getting so big.


There are authors signing like Max Brooks (WorldWar Z) and Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Predudice and Zombies).  But mostly there were stars…both current and not so current.  I talked to Nichell Nichols (Uhura)  from the original Star Trek and reminded her that we met 22 years ago at a Star Trek convention.  She hugged my 15 year old son, Keith.  Then there was Jeff Conaway (Kenickie of Grease) who looked a little rough around the edges after his much publicized bout with rehab.

Jon Favreau was promoting Iron Man 2 and Joss Wheadon for Dollhouse, but I couldn’t get near either of them.  Thank goodness others got some great pictures to share.

One more day and I hope my feet can hold up.  I wish I would have worn a pedometer because I’m sure I put on more than a couple of miles.


Jon Favreau Nichelle Nichols Jeff Conaway

 
    
Bottom Line: 
Tuesday find out why author Michael Gear would make a hot cover model when the Thrillerfest video premieres.

Comic Con: Day of Starlight

Barbara Vey -- July 25th, 2009
Me and Gollum from Lord of the Rings

Lots of star sightings on Thursday and since pictures speak louder than words…enjoy.

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man Gene and Nick Simmons Edward James Olmos

    
           
Nora Moore reports on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party:

The event was a fun, light-hearted good time where attendees could relax and enjoy a childhood hero. People were dressed as the turtles as part of the event and there was a short movie (a little over an hour). The movie was an adventure that combined the original cartoon incarnation as well as the most recent incarnation to team up against Shredder when he goes back to the turtle "prime" (the comics) in order to destroy all TMNT ever created (all the incarnations of the turtles over the years). The turtles are supposed to live in parallel alternate demensions. There was laughter and cheers with the interation of the characters. What made them funny was that each set of characters acted as they did in their variations. The comic book turtles even narrated their fight scenes… I’ll be happy to tell you more tomorrow. Hope this and the pictures help. I even included one of me next to the 1988 toy display (top row). I had some of those toys as a kid.


A fan with all her treasured books for Sherrilyn Kenyon to sign James Rollins wins award for Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull Author Marjorie Liu and her ardent Comic Book fans


Adam Baldwin from Chuck Seth Peterson from Burn Notice and Heather Savannah as Artemis

 

Bottom Line:  Yes, I know I missed Johnny Depp, Signorney Weaver and John Lithgow.  I’ll try harder today.

Comic Con: Eureka!

Barbara Vey -- July 24th, 2009
Twilight’s Robert Pattinson on the Jumbotron

Another amazingly beautiful day here at Comic Con in San Diego and I wonder what kind of night the people had who slept outside just for the chance to see the Twilight panel.  The line wound  around forever and finally crossed the street to continue in front of my hotel.  These are some seriously dedicated fans. 

Lucky for us, my roommate, Kim, was able to get into the viewing via the backdoor and got some photos of "the event."  As she was walking backstage she ran into Signorney Weaver and her entourage of about 30, but they wouldn’t let her take a picture.  Rats!  Kim lasted only an hour at the panel because of all the screaming (she’s kind of a wuss).

There were even Twilight lookalikes in the crowd to take pictures with when the real thing was impossible to get to.

And just in case you’re wondering…no…I did not see Johnny Depp.  Please, they’d still be giving me CPR.  I heard he was only there for a 1/2 an hour and I was probably in the Starbucks line at the time.


I did manage to get to the Ultimate Fantasy panel where authors Jackie Kessler, Caitland Kittridge and Marjorie Liu spoke among others.  The line is still a little blurry for me with urban fantasy, dark fantasy, regular fantasy and paranormal, but, once again, a good book is a good book.


Erica Cerra , me and Joe Morton of Eureka

For dinner we went to the Carpe Diem from Eureka and I actually had a Eureka moment.  Sitting at a near by table was Mayor Henry Deacon (Joe Morton) and Deputy Jo Lupa (Erica Cerra).  They were absolutely delightful and of course, I had to meet them (after they finished eating) and got a picture.  I might have to go back there today to see who else will show up.

Bottom Line:  Don’t forget about stopping by the BHB blog Tuesday to see the exclusive Thrillerfest Drive By Video™ and find out why Jon Land got out his guns.

Comic Con: Preview Night

Barbara Vey -- July 23rd, 2009
Sheriff Carter of Eureka and me

Spa day was wonderful.  I got my hair done, manicure and pedicure and I feel like a new woman ready to conquer Comic Con.  Then on for a quick bite at the Cafe Diem.  Yes, they transformed a local restaurant into the Eureka tv show eating spot.  The clever menu boasted food named after the SyFy Channel shows.  I’ll be going back there again.

Jeremy Lassen of Night Shade Books and Craig Engler, Sr. V.P. General Manager of SyFy Digital

The convention officially opened at 5:30 p.m. for Preview Night and if the outside line was any indication, it’s going to be a wild week.  It snaked back and forth for blocks.

Once inside it was like fish swimming upstream and heaven help you if you tried going the other way.  Not too many costumes yet, just convention goers trying to snatch up all the free stuff in sight.  And there was plenty available.  Comic books, novels, posters, pins, bags and food.  Warner Bros. was again giving away the giant bags with Harry Potter on them, so anywhere you walked, you were banged on from all sides.


When I finally managed to make my way out the door at 8 p.m., I saw a sign that said "The Line Starts here."  Turns out it was for the Twilight panel that will take place on Thursday.  There were tents set up and tons of sleeping bags.  When I got up this morning I took a picture of the line from my hotel room.  It is scary out there and I have to walk past it.  Looks like I won’t be able to get in.  Oh, well.

Bottom Line:  Don’t forget about Tuesday when you can find out why Steve Berry unbuttoned his shirt for me.

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- July 22nd, 2009


Well, San Diego is as beautiful as I remember it being.  Today is spa day to me.  Hair, manicure, pedicure and maybe a truly lovely massage.  (I can dream can’t I?)  Anyway, I’m off, so here’s the WW Ladies working hard.

Cold Pursuit by Carla Neggers

Read by Heidi   Jo Harper has been sent back to her hometown after an embarrassing incident with the Secret Service. Waiting for the smoke to clear, a stepdaughter of an ambassador has gone missing. While searching for clues and battling the bad weather, her biggest challenge becomes her heart, thanks to Elijah Cameron: military man and her first love.   This cat and mouse game is wonderful for all thriller readers. The twists and turns keep you guessing, but Carla leaves you wanting more. I felt like the theme to Jaws was playing in the background of my mind while waiting for the cat to strike the mouse. Dah-dum, Dah-dum…. ooh! The bad guys are coming!!

Darkness Calls by Marjorie Liu 

Read by Kate
  

Maxine Kiss is a hunter of zombies, demons and truly evil beings. Her body is a wonderland of tattoos that come to life after dark. Maxine has finally found true love with Grant Cooperon, former priest and in charge of the Coop, the local homeless shelter. Grant is called on his own mission to China and save a friend while Maxine must fight for her life against an evil being bent on destroying her.

 
Darkness Calls is one riveting book and Marjorie Liu is an incredible, great writer. The action is very intense and there are many scenes that deal with the psychological horrors that reside in all of us. The desperation Maxine feels as she deals with her past and unknown future is one that kept me  reading and anxious for the next terror Maxine will have to endure.


Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
 
Listened to by joysann
   
Expatriate American journalist Julia Jarmond is assigned to write an article on the 60th anniversary of what is called "the roundup", the days when French police began to arrest thousands of Jewish families from their homes and ship them to the death camps in Poland. As she researches the history of those atrocities, she gets particularly captivated by the story of one little girl, whose life somehow touches her own. But though she is distracted by the emotional impact of the story she’s writing, she has her own life to live and hard choices to make. 
     This story was not the usual kind of story for me, but I’m very glad I found it. It is moving, heart-wrenching, horrifying, touching; I will remember it for a long time. I’m also glad I listened to it; the reader Polly Stone did an excellent job, giving the story a richer quality that I might not have found reading it on my own, making it more bearable and more rewarding.


Secret Desires of a Gentleman by Laura Lee Guhrke

Read by Emily

Phillip Hawthorne thought he’d never see Maria Martingale ever again. Two years ago she would have married his brother if he hadn’t paid her off. So what is she doing in the building right next door? Maria, daughter of the Hawthorne family chef, had decided to open her own bakery. If only she knew that Phillip lived right next door. Even though Phillip treats her abominably, you can tell there is an underlying affection that he feels for her. But will he get up the nerve to tell her how he really feels, or will her push her away with his arrogance?
   
I love the idea of a self made woman, seeing as how women in this time period are so reserved and refined. Maria is definitely a character that you can relate to, and is one that pulls at your heartstrings. You feel so bad for her, trying to tell Phillip how she feels, when all he can show her is haughtiness. This is the third book in the Girl Bachelor series, and for me it is definitely the most enjoyable.


Thriller 2 Written by 23 Thriller Writers
Edited by Clive Cussler

Read by Loretta

This book is advertised :  Stories You Just Can’t Put Down -  and it’s true.  Each chapter is a new thriller making you try the next story and the next.  For summer reading, it is a perfect choice, since you are never really in the middle of a big book -  but always beginning the next exciting and totally different set of thrills.  A wonderful collection showing off the abilities of the best 23 authors, who are tops in the suspense business.


The Dance by J. Goodman

Read by Michelle
 
Tom Wiley and Anna Perez are two homicide detectives hot on the trail of a psychotic serial killer.  What they don’t know is his lover is a demon.  Plunging into the world of the supernatural they uncover what truly motivates their killer.
 
The culmination of an overactive imagination, a sadistic serial killer and the demons that have stared in my nightmares, and you have The Dance.  It’s a good read that kept me up a few nights.


Stakes & Stilettos by Michelle Rowen

Read by Christina

Thierry is Sarah’s ancient vampire lover.  Sarah is head over heels for him despite his seeming coldness.  She gets into her usual amount of trouble, getting staked, rescued by a mysterious masked man and cursed while at her high school reunion. 

I loved this book! It was full of Michelle’s trademark snark, jam-packed with action and keeps you turning the pages right up to the cliffhanger end. But don’t despair the next book Tall, Dark, & Fangsome, is due out in September. 

The King’s Daughter by Barbara Kyle
  Read by Joan
    
A tale of intrigue, tragedy, and triumph set in 16th century England, during Queen Mary’s reign.
   Ms. Kyle’s wonderful imagintion and solid research combines in a fascinating and riveting story. She easily satisfies all of us who love history, mystery and romance. I loved this book! Her writing is vividly descriptive – I felt the raw emotions, was able to picture with ease early London and environs and even imagine the smells! It was difficult to put down!  More, please, Ms. Kyle.


Deadly Intent by Camy Tang

Read by Heidi
    
Naomi Grant has trouble surrounding her. Dr. Devon Knightley is also in hot water. Both are suspects in a murder at Naomi’s spa. They can either trust each other to find a killer, or they can both keep their secrets and end up dead.   I adore Camy’s writing. And this book is a new style for her. I wasn’t disappointed. The twists and turns of the book were so juicy! I couldn’t read it fast enough, if that is even possible. Fantastic read for the summer!!

Bottom Line:  Time to go and meet with Sven.

Save the Date!

Barbara Vey -- July 21st, 2009
View from my room

Next Tuesday, July 28th will be the world premiere of a very special Drive By Video™ that I put together at Thrillerfest.  It’s starting 8 super men authors and tells a story.  This is a not to be missed event.  There will be prizes and a poll (a la American Idol). 

Now I’m off to discover San Diego before the craziness of Comic Con starts tomorrow.

Bottom Line:  I love playing tourist!

Comic Con, Here I Come

Barbara Vey -- July 20th, 2009


Another travel day for me.  My flight leaves at 6 a.m. and I’m leaving DC for San Diego and Comic Con.  It’s going to be hard to top last year’s hug and Drive By Video™ with Richard Dean Anderson, but I’m going to try.

Meanwhile, here’s some giveaways that you should check out:

From Sheila M. Goss:  To celebrate the release of my young adult book The Ultimate Test: The Lip Gloss Chronicles Vol. 1, visitors to my site have a chance to win a Lip Gloss gift pack.

From Roberta Beach Jacobson:  Win a copy of Dogs: Funny Side up by Nola Lee Kelsey.

From Dianna Love:  On Tuesday, July 21st in Charlotte, NC – NYT best seller Dianna Love will hand out free raffle tickets at the Borders (6801 Northlake Mall Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216 – PH 704-596-4382) from 6:30-7:30 pm then draw names for readers to receive a free BAD Agency tour shirt, a monogrammed Dianna Love tote bag and the critique of the first 5 pages of your story (for writers). 

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:  Save the date…Tuesday, July 28th for the premiere of an exclusive BHB video!

RWA: Golden Hearts and Ritas

Barbara Vey -- July 19th, 2009
Kira, Marilyn, Kimberly, Alexandra and Danniele

For the 3rd year in a row, I breakfasted with the Writing Playground on Saturday morning.  When I first met this quintuplet group, none had a book published.  Now Kira Sinclair and Kimberly Lang both have books out and Danniele Worsham is up for a Golden Heart award.  Marilyn Puett has been published in True Romance magazine and Alexandra Frost is closing in on her goal.  We all agreed that next year we would meet on Friday because 8 a.m. is too early after all that dancing the night before at the Harlequin party.

Morgan, from the RT Reviews website, asked me to pick an author to interview, so I asked Hank Phillippi Ryan.  She kindly agreed.  We filmed outside in the bright sunlight with the wind blowing, but Hank managed to stay put together while I looked like I’d been in a tornado.  It was great fun and I’ll let you know when it is set to air.

There was some excitement during the week beside the RWA conference.  First the fire alarm went off in the Omni Hotel where I was staying and we had to evacuate and then it happened the next day at the Marriott.  I was in the middle of lunch and extremely reluctant to leave.  But I did.  Both were false alarms…thank goodness.

Then finally it was time for the big night…the Rita Awards given to published romance fiction novels and Golden Hearts for unpublished romance fiction manuscripts.  Lots of glitz, glamour and bling as the RWA members brought their finest to the ball.  And the Golden Heart winners are:

Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe told me they were wearing their bridesmaid dresses.

Contemporary Series Romance: Second Chance for a Family by Kim Law
Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure:  Romance or
Retribution
by Jamie Michele
Young Adult Romance: Stage Fright by Shoshana Dawn Brown
Historical Romance: Butterfly Swords by by Jeannie Lin
Regency Historical Romance:  An Inconvenient Marriage by Sara Ramsey
Inspirational Romance: Kitty’s Fire by Kelly Ann Riley
Paranormal Romance:  First Grave on the right by Darynda Jones
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements:  Death, Taxes, and a french Manicure by Diane O’Brien Kelly
Romantic Suspense: Only Fear by Anne Marie Becker
Contemporary Single Title Romance:  Easy Money by Vivi Andrews

The Rita Winners Are:

Jenna Petersen and hubby, Michael

Contemporary Series Romance:  A Mother’s Wish by Karen Templeton
Contemporary Series Romance:  Danger Signals by Kathleen Creighton
Young Adult Romance:  Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Historical Romance:  The Edge of Impropriety by Pam Rosenthal
Regency Historical Romance:  My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne
Inspirational Romance:  Finding Stefanie by Susan May Warren
Romance Novella:  The Fall of Rogue Gerard by Stephanie Laurens
Paranormal Romance:  Seducing Mr. Darcy by Gwyn Cready
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements:  Tribute by Nora Roberts
Romantic Suspense:  Take No Prisoners by Cindy Gerard
Best First Book:  Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
Contemporary Single Title Romance:  Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson

The Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Alison Hart.

An all dessert reception followed the Awards and was well received by all (judging by the crush of people).

Bottom Line:  It’s almost impossible to get chocolate off of a sequined jacket.