Monthly Archives: August 2009

Monday News and Giveaways

Barbara Vey -- August 31st, 2009

Heath Ledger in A Knight
I had a movie marathon weekend.  Something I never do because it cuts into my reading time, but I needed a visual fix of some sort I guess.  Started off with all the Harry Potter movies, Stargate, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, Unbreakable, Good Night and Good Luck, A Good Woman, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, A Knight’s Tale and Enchanted (yes, again).  I think I got it out of my system because I’m picking out the Christmas books I plan to read now.  Lots of news this week, so let’s get right to it.

From Edie Ramer:  Therese Walsh from Writer Unboxed is starting a new Women’s Fiction chapter with RWA. Already, over one hundred writers have expressed an interest in the chapter, including Barbara Samuel, Susan Wiggs and me. :) Though the chapter has already been approved by RWA, it has yet to become incorporated, so it’s not too late to join while things are still at Ground Zero. If you’re interested in becoming a Charter Member, you can email Therese.

From Nicki Salcedo, Moonlight & Magnolias, Conference Committee:   Want some Dark, Bad, Fun? Then join us at Georgia Romance Writers’ 2009 Moonlight & Magnolias Conference October 2-4, 2009.  Registration ends September 15, 2009.  Only a few spots left.  No on-site registration!  Don’t delay.  Register today! 

Featuring keynote speaker #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon, extended workshops on Tami Cowden, Dianna Love and Mary Buckham, Friday Pitch workshop, The Maggie Award Dinner, Saturday craft workshops, and Editor and Agent Appointments. A multi-author book fair and autographing will be open to the public on Saturday, October 3, 2009 4:00 pm to 5:30 p.m.

**New in 2009: Thursday night movie night, intensive Sunday morning craft workshop with Mary Buckham and Dianna Love, Friday meals, genre themed mixers, and much more! Special Guest Barbara Vey from Publisher’s Weekly! (Hey…that’s me!) Check the conference schedule for updates**

Editors and Agents taking appointments
    * Emmanuelle Alspaugh, Judith Ehrlich Literary Management
    * Chelsea Gilmore, Avalon Books
    * Raelene Gorlinsky, Ellora’s Cave
    * Melissa Jeglinski, The Knight Agency
    * Monique Patterson, St. Martin’s Press
    * Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Literary Agency
    * Becca Stumpf, Prospect Agency
    * Denise Zaza, Harlequin Books

Register now.  Do something for YOU in 2009!

Janis Reams Hudson

From author Silver James:  Janis Reams Hudson is a long-time member of RWA and a founding member of OKRWA. As a member, she has served on both chapter and national level in many capacities, including president for both. Her accomplishments and leadership as an RWA and OKRWA member resulted in RWA making her its 1999 Emma Merritt National Service Award winner. Janis is also an award-winning author of over 35 titles.  She brings her skills as a writer, knowledge as a published author, and savvy as a professional to each endeavor she is part of, and fellow romance authors can attest to the incredible mentoring Janis has provided over the years.


Now Janis needs our help. She has advanced, end-stage emphysema and is, at the present time, on a waiting list for a lung transplant.   Recently, she was in the hospital concerning the lung transplant. The medicine she was prescribed caused a serious reaction, and Janis almost died. She spent many days in ICU, but she held on and was eventually allowed to return home. However, since then, she has been back in the hospital again, trying to get oxygen levels at a point where she can be home and back on the portable ventilator, or her liquid oxygen system.  Her condition continues to worsen with each passing month.  Because of her condition and these extended stays in the hospital, her medical bills are skyrocketing.  This website is a conduit for getting donations to Janis’ medical expenses.  Items have been generously donated by individuals and groups. People can place bids on the items on eBay.


We will add more as we receive them. For more information about donating, please contact Peggy Beaty  

Mayor of Port Orchard with Debbie Macomber & her dog, Bogie.

From Katherine Orr, Harlequin:  Debbie Macomber has based her #1 NYT bestselling Cedar Cove series of novels on her real hometown of Port Orchard.  Now Port Orchard is honoring their favorite daughter by Cedar Cove for five days in August.  Cedar Cove Days have drawn people from 37 states and three countries.

LIVE from Cedar Cove Days!! Every shopkeeper celebrating Debbie here—all the teas and bus tours are sold out. Debbie’s fans are having a blast, what a tribute to a great author! 


Monday Giveaways

From TJ  Bennett: Beginning September 2, TJ Bennett kicks off a month of giveaways at IMHO  with guest authors Gerry Bartlett, Annette McCleave, Ann Macela, Heather MacAllister, and Vicki HInze discussing IMHO’s September theme: "Surprising Things I Learned from Reading/Writing Romance," and giving away signed books and a Barnes & Noble gift card.

From Cindy Proctor-King:  Dark romantic thriller author, Cindy Proctor-King, will give away a copy of her September release, WAKING NIGHTMARE at on September 1st on her blog.

Bottom Line:  Maybe I’ll have to think about writing a book based on South Milwaukee so I can meet my mayor and possibly get the key to the city.

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- August 19th, 2009

Barbara took the day off, probably lollygagging around somewhere with some cabana boy on these last few hot days of summer. Do the beaches on Lake Michigan have cabana boys? Well, wherever she is, she’s likely reading a book and paying little attention to what’s going on around her. As long as she’s relaxing and recovering from the excitement of her many summer adventures, she can have off a day or two.

In the meantime, we blurbers have been hard at it, and have some terrific suggestions. Take notes!

Tails of Love Edited by Lori Foster

Read by Joan

If you love reading stories of romance, and/or love critters from small pets to farm animals and beyond, Tails of Love will warm your heart. Ten great authors come together to tell separate tales of love with stories featuring our lovable companions. Each will bring you a joyful smile, and hopefully a laugh, when you read it.

I couldn’t put the book down, and reading it was all the more enjoyable knowing all author and agent proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Animal Adoption Foundation, a charitable organization. The generous authors of Tails of Love are Lori Foster, Stella Cameron, Kate Angell, Dianne Castell, Ann Christopher, Marcia James, Donna MacMeans, Sarah McCarty, Patricia Sargeant, and Sue-Ellen Welfonder. Run to your nearest book seller and pick up a copy for yourself, and one for a friend as a gift.

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Read by Kym

Bess is a child of privilege whose live undergoes a dramatic change when her father is sacked from his job at the Niagara Power Company. Tom is the grandson of a riverman and a riverman himself. Set in a time when the natural wonder of the Falls is being subjugated to man’s thirst for electric power, Buchanan’s historical fiction blends Bess and Tom’s story with that of the river and its glory.

Born and raised on the other side of Lake Erie near Cleveland, I’ve visited the Falls many times and always I am awed by the grandeur. So, I was delighted to score an advanced copy of this book in which they are more than a backdrop or setting–more like an additional main character. The story of Bess, Tom and the Falls kept me absorbed. If you are an historical fiction fan, especially if you are familiar with Niagara Falls, you might want to give the book a whirl.

Bulletproof Texas by Kay Thomas

Read by joysann

The research and testing of a newly discovered bacteria with the potential for medical miracles is the only thing that would get Dr Max O’Neil out into the Texas Hill Country and into the cavern where it was found. The only thing that would get Zach Douglas to work with anyone connected to a pharmaceutical company is the opportunity to explore the cave he was instrumental in discovering. By the time it becomes evident that someone is out to sabotage Max’s work, or even kill her, Zach has already put aside his dislike of her because of her employer, and together they race against natural dangers and sinister intent to secure the bacteria samples before they’re destroyed.

Once again Kay Thomas has produced a page-turning, edge-of-the-seat intrigue, postulating a very plausible "what if" scenario. And while I held my breath through some fascinating scenes, she will not convince me for a moment, even with descriptions of awesome beauty and exciting thrills, to consider spelunking.

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

Read by Ms Faye

Tricks is about five teens and their journey that brings them to a life of prostitution. And though it may sound like a real "downer" of a read, it wasn’t at all. It was one of those books that made your heart pound hard as you could see each step putting these kids on a path that would take them to where you know they’ll end up. Each story is very different. Very. But the outcome was the same. How they dealt with it once they got there was what grabbed your heart and made you hope and made you cry.

Ellen Hopkins is famous for tackling difficult teen topics. Her other book, Crank, Burned, and Impulse have been highly acclaimed. With that said, I don’t always like "highly acclaimed" books, so I wasn’t sure how I would like Tricks. The style of the writing is very unique. It is written in a non-rhyming prose, and at first I didn’t think I would like it, but it ended up being one of the things that made me love the book. It affected me very much, and is one of those books I will never forget.

Beautiful Stranger by Kerry Connor

Read by Denise

Claire Preston was put into a mental hospital against her will. Distressed, she made her escape in the trunk of Dr Josh Bennett’s car, only to find out that a killer was after her. Josh wanted to help Claire, but he needed her trust to find out how to help her survive.

My husband is lacking sleep lately (lights on – me reading this book). I found it riveting, mysterious and never lacking for what was going to happen next. Glad that I don’t have that much excitement in my life!

Renegade by Sarah Parr

Read by Kate

Renegade begins in Constantinople in 1762 where Captain Jonathon Barry has bought his own slave. Jaline is British like Jonathon, but she was sold after she refused to be the mistress to the man who daughter she was companion to. Jonathon travels across the globe looking for priceless relics, and saves Jaline, but Jonathon doesn’t want Jaline to be his slave. When he returns to England with Jaline by his side, he wants to make her his bride.

Renegade is a
well-written book with dialogue between Jaline and Jonathon that is smart and engaging. The respect and care Jonathon has for Jaline is wonderful. The first part of Renegade is spectacular, though I thought things lessened up a bit when the setting brings the reader to London and Parr makes sure to put a different spin on things. Renegade is one luscious historical romance, and I can say with total certainty that the romance genre has a rising star with Sarah Parr.

Grave Goods by Ariana Franklin

Listened to by joysann

When a grave with two bodies purported to be that of King Arthur and Guinevere is found at Glastonbury Abbey, Henry II is determined to dishearten the rebellious Welsh by proving Arthur is truly dead and won’t be returning. Centuries before forensic science was accepted, Adelia was trained to determine cause of death by the examination of bones. Having once successfully served the king, she is summoned to again solve a mystery long hidden.

I love love love this historical fiction of kings and legends and love. I was fascinated and awestruck when I walked among the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey right to the place marked as this grave, and as I listened to Ariana Franklin’s tale unfold, it seemed to me that this story was as perfectly believable as any other.  This is the third book about Adelia, Mistress of the Art of Death, and I’ll be getting the first two, and watching for the next.

Bottom Line:  There’s still time to get quality beach chair reading done, so find a good book and get out there. – joysann

Monday News and Giveaways

Barbara Vey -- August 17th, 2009

I can’t believe some schools are starting today.  When I was a kid, it was always the Tuesday after Labor Day and I was convinced that meant the official end of summer.  But summer is in full bloom and after talking to my grandkids last night, I found out they start today.  They are thrilled (which makes me very happy) and already have their first day of school outfits picked.  Alex, 8, is wearing a Star Wars clone t-shirt and Lydia, 6 will prance around in her Hannah Montana dress (the purple one).  I remember wearing a green sweater, plaid skirt and nylons (the height of fashion).   Anyway, that’s my news and here’s who else I heard from this week.


The Petit Fours and Hot Tamales with Dianna Love (top row, third from left).

From Marilyn Baron of the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales: LUNCH WITH LOVE.  Ten members of the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog bid on and won a lunch for 10 with Georgia Romance Writer and New York Times bestselling author Dianna Love in the 2009 Brenda Novak online auction for Diabetes Research.  Dianna  hosted a fabulous luncheon Sunday, August 2, 2009, at The Blue Ridge Grill in Atlanta, featuring signature Southern specialties. Dianna presented each of the participants with a Dianna Love bag of goodies. The classy black canvas bag, which had Dianna’s logo embroidered on one side, was personalized with the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales logo and blog address.  Inside were copies of her latest release, “Whispered Lies,” which she coauthored with Sherrilyn Kenyon, and other books and goodies, including a blogger’s best friend – a chocolate bar. Dianna was a generous and gracious hostess. The lunch was first class and the company was fabulous. It was an unforgettable memory for a very worthy cause. 

Also from The Petit Fours and Hot Tamales bloggers:  Last Sunday we were notified by the fabulous Jessica Lee over at the Trampy Vamps  that we were the recipients of a really cool award called the One Lovely Blog Award. 
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! We LOVE it and we definitely accept! And now,  we nominate your blog (Beyond Her Book) for the award.

Well, thank you very much.  Congratulations and I graciously accept the award.  It is truly lovely!

If you have newsworthy items or kudos you’d like listed, please email me at

Monday Giveaways

From Susan Hanniford Crowley: Contest and Interview with erotic romance author Ari Thatcher who will give away an ebook of her newest release DEATH BY SEX to one lucky winner on Sunday, Aug. 23rd.

From Author Brian Leaf An autographed photo of actor Peter Facinelli (Dr. Cullen in the Twilight saga movies) to give away.  (Peter did the blurb for the back cover of my Twilight-based SAT prep book).  Just leave a Twilight comment on the blog and Tuesday a winner will be posted who will have one week to claim their prize.   From George T. Anderson, Dog’s Eye View Media Now through the end of the year Dog’s Eye View Media is giving away two books per month (on the 1st & 15th) with our Pick-A-Book drawing. Winners get to choose from any DEVM book, including our newly released The Voluntary Traveler: Adventures from the Road Best Traveled.
From Lisa Amrine Marketing Director, Samhain:  Samhain Publishing has some great news for you!  We’ve partnered with Books On Board to offer two Free Books during the month of August.  They are Lessons in Love by Kat Davies (8/10-8/22) and Yorkshire by Lynne Connolly (8/23-8/30):

These titles are available in PDF, Microsoft Reader, Adobe ePub and MobiPocket. These titles will also be available for the Kindle via

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

Bottom Line:
I’m so glad I don’t have to go back to school and can enjoy summer until every leaf falls from the trees.  Then I start complaining about winter again.

Sunday Matinee

Barbara Vey -- August 16th, 2009

Last day for the local state fair and while I didn’t go and get a cream puff, I just found out that I also missed out on chocolate covered bacon. I’ve got to plan better next year. Instead, time to watch a few book videos to start off your Sunday.

Bottom Line:
I think I gained at least 7 pounds this week just talking about the great food at State Fair and that’s really not fair!

Your Turn Friday

Barbara Vey -- August 14th, 2009

Ok, that’s not me, but I kind of looked like that in 1969.

The news is all a buzz this morning about the 40th anniversary of Woodstock.  Has it really been 40 years already?  They showed the couple who are hugging on the cover of the album and it turns out they got married and are still together.  I want to say there probably wasn’t a lot of ready going on.  I was at Woodstock you know…well, would you believe I just graduated from high school and was working 2 jobs to keep me living the high life with wine and albums.

This is Your Turn Friday, so I think I’ll get out my turn table and put an album on while I read about what you’ve been reading this week. 

Bottom Line: 
Or, you can tell us about your Woodstock adventure.

Good Reads: How Many Can You Claim?

Barbara Vey -- August 13th, 2009

Facebook has become a part of my life strictly by accident.  I was asked to join an author’s chat and the next thing I knew, I had a Facebook page. 

Now, I do enjoy seeing the pictures posted, connecting with family and friends that I don’t always do with phone calls.  (Congrats Sarah on your engagement and wedding date announced on Facebook!)  But it does surprise me how much people use it as entertainment. 

Although I don’t like getting a lot of the application invites (they really clutter up my mail box and I just don’t have time), I did get one from Debbie Richardson that I couldn’t resist:

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – (saw the movie several times, although I might try Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien – (saw all the movies, but couldn’t get past The Hobbit book)
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – (movie)
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling  (Read them all!)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee  (Read the book and saw the movie several times…outstanding)
6 The Bible (Maybe didn’t read it cover to cover, but over the years I managed to finish it)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – (Movie)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell – (Book excellent, movie ok)
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens – (School read…boring)
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott – (Loved the book and different versions of the movie)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy – 6
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller – (Frustrating subject matter, but enjoyed the movie)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – (ok, not all of them, but fave movie…Much Ado About Nothing
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier- (Book and movie)
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien – (Started it 5 times, but couldn’t get through it…not even the cartoon)
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger – (Required for school, boring at the time)
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife (Never read it, but the movie previews look interesting)
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell – (Book and movie, both amazing)
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald – (Can’t believe I missed a Robert Redford movie)
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy-
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams – (Another one I couldn’t get through)
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky-
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck – (Way too depressing for me)
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll – (Book and movies)
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame -
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens -
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis- (Saw Prince Caspian)
34 Emma – Jane Austen (Loved the book and movie…even Clueless)
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen-
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis-
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden (Read it, but didn’t like it.  Too sad for me)
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne – (Read it, pictures and all)
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell – (Another school read that gave me nighmares)
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown – (Read it twice so I could understand it better. Helped when I saw the movie)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving -
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery – (Movie only)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy (Movie)
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – (Read for a book club…very haunting. Movie pretty much sucked)
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding – (School read…hated it)
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan-
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel -
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility- Jane Austen (Loved the movie)
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens -
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley – (Read it several times an am always amazed by Huxley’s vision of the future)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – Mark Haddon -
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck -
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold (Book club selection…everyone hated it)
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas – (Movie only)
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (Read book, but adored the movie)
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville-
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens (Saw the musical)
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker (Saw the movie when I was a kid and always covered my neck when I slept)
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett -
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray (Saw the movie and didn’t care for it)
80 Possession – AS Byatt-
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens – (Read and saw all versions of movie…fave…Scrooged)
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker -
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White – (Read)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom -
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Read every one and saw every movie.  Basil Rathbone was brilliant)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad -
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery- (My son, Andrew, was in the play)
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams – (Book and Movie)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (Several versions of movie)
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare -
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – (Movie)
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo – (Read and saw play…too depressing for me)

Of course, this was the BBC list.  So let’s start our own list.  What would you like to see on it?

Bottom Line:  Well, I did read more than 6 of the books, so it looks like I’m ahead of the BBC curve.

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- August 12th, 2009

It’s State Fair week here and I’m sorry I’m going to miss it.  Not so much the farm animals (I always was a city girl), but the world famous cream puffs the fair is known for.  It makes my mouth water to think about them and with the hot weather we’ve been having, it doesn’t even pay to have someone bring me one home.  It would be a puddle of mush.  Oh well, maybe next year.

First To Kill by Andrew Peterson

Listened to by Ms. Faye

A deep-cover FBI agent has disappeared bringing former Marine sniper and covert CIA operative Nathan McBride is out of retirement and into the fire.  The hero is bad-to-the-bone, but with a well defined sense of honor and integrity.

I felt the book was well researched, action packed and well paced.  I really cared about the characters and found this to be a surprisingly well written debut.  Equal parts great story and well read…everything a good audio book should be.  If you love thrillers with military and FBI agents, guns shooting, things blowing up and a well thought out plot this is a book I can recommend to you.

The Archangel Project by C. S. Graham

Read by Loretta

An Iraq veteran, Tobie Guiness, is given a "psycho" discharge from the navy, although she is far from crazy.  Her only crime is her "remote viewing" ability.  She is hired by Henry Youngblood, a psychology professor, as his assistant in a research program. She meets JAX, a CIA agent deployed to delve further into the special projects she was working on.  Their exploits are more than suspenseful!

Fear, pain, intrigue and panic – all bundled into The Archangel Project will rivet you to these pages.  I found myself staying awake far into the night to finish this book.

Nobody Does It Better  by Jennifer LaBrecque

Read by Denise   School teacher Holly Smith seeks to find her mother in Venice.  Instead she finds Gage Carswell an undercover agent who is tracking a notorious double agent.  Little does Holly know that she is supposedly that agent.   Very mouth watering and contains some moments that dreams are made of.  I couldn’t put down the book even in bed (husband didn’t get much sleep with the light on).  

Dark Slayer by Christine Feehan

Read by Ms. Faye

A new twist the the Carpathian lore gives us a female, Carpathian warrior like no other. Razvan, who has been a villain in previous novels looks to end his life in order to escape being possessed by an evil mage. But, before he could finish himself off he is found by an unusual woman. Ivory is a legend. A vampire slayer with special powers, but the power of most interest for Razvan is the power of a Lifemate. A great villain, a legendary vampire slayer and they are Lifemates.

A lot of beloved characters from past books make it into this one. But, even if you’ve not read any of the other books this one covers enough to stand alone.  Feehan fans are going to be in for such a treat! I read this in one day and it is definitely on my "keeper" shelf!

Last Vampire Standing by Nancy Haddock

Read by joysann

When Jo-Jo the Court Jester arrives in St Augustine FL to ask Cesca’s help brushing up his old vaudeville act for modern audiences, it seems he brought with him an unknown killer. Or perhaps he’s in a conspiracy to eliminate the independent and free-thinking vampire princess. With her sexy vampire-slayer boyfriend Saber at her side, and her old friend Triton magically and elusively influencing her from just out of sight, Cesca hunts for the assassin before his attempts are successful.

It was a lot of fun to get caught up again in Cesca’s exciting adventures. Cesca longs to be an ordinary, everyday, commonplace working girl, and I’m amused by how she tries to exist outside-the-[para]norm box. Though the plot thickens in Nancy Haddock’s second book, her day-walking, sea-surfing, historical tour-guide vampire’s narrative still shines with light and humor, mystery and romance.


Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich

Read by Joan

Stephanie Plum, bail bond tracer extraorinaire, travels the New Jersey Turnpike to Atlantic City searching for her missing Grandma Mazur and a BIG bag of money.  An exceptionally colorful cast of characters accompany Stepanie in a caper that includes a handsome hunk of a man, a horse whisperer, voluptuous Lula and a gangster with a really bad case of hives.

This delightful lighthearted story had me laughing from start to finish.  These books are always imaginative and entertaining which keeps me coming back for more.

Storm of Shadows by Christina Dodd

Read by Mary

The newly banded together Chosen need an ancient prophecy to help guide them in the fight against the Others, and bookish librarian and researcher Rosamund Hall is Chosen Aaron Eagle’s choice to help them find it. As they track the prophecy from Casablanca to Paris, they find the Others have laid traps of their own, using everything from text messages to trained assassins to keep the prophecy hidden.

Christina Dodd brings it all to the table in her new Chosen Ones series. Sizzling romance, amazing action scenes, and an interesting premise of seven ordinary people marked from birth as Chosen to keep the seven evil Others from gaining control of the world. Storm of Shadows is the second in the series, and thank goodness there are seven members of the Chosen so this series will just keep getting better and better.

Deader Still by Anton Strout

Read by joysann

Simon Canderous’ job with the Department of Extraordinary Affairs includes keeping any hint of the existence of the paranormal from the public as he investigates the horrific deaths of dozens of party goers on a dinner cruise ship, all caused by exsanguination. When a beautiful associate from his less-than-stellar past blackmails Simon into stealing a valuable painting from the Museum of Modern Art, Simon scrambles to save his reputation, save his growing relationship with Jane, and save the inhabitants of the Big Apple from what appears to be rampaging vampires.

The department Simon works for brings to mind the HP Ministry of Magic, though it might not be quite so fanciful…  yes, it is. The bizarre situations in which he finds himself, the eccentric characters he encounters, and the crazy lengths he must go to escape peril and prevent mayhem are funny, inventive, and electrifying. I’ll be watching for Simon’s further adventures.

Bottom Line:  Ok, still can’t get that giant cream puff out of my mind.  I still have a couple of days left to try to get there.


Barbara Vey -- August 11th, 2009

Castle tv show
Last night I watched Castle on tv for the first time.  Not sure how I missed this one.  For those of you who haven’t heard of this novelist crime fighter, ABC describes the show as:

… a 1 hour witty drama based on a famous crime and horror novelist who helps the NYPD homicide department solve crimes.

Richard “Rick” Castle [Nathan Fillion], a rock star of the literary world, is suffering from a case of writers block after killing off the main character in his novels and is struggling to come up with a replacement.

Castle had grown weary of having it all, “fame, fans and females”, when he was approached by the attractive Detective Kate Beckett [Stana Katic] of the NYPD to help catch the copy-cat killer staging murders based on scenes from his novels.

Castle is not a traditional investigator and his approach to solving the crimes conflicts with Beckett’s conservative approach leading to much tension and a hint of romance.

Keeping Castle grounded are his mother [Susan Sullivan], teenage daughter Alexis [Molly C. Quinn], poker playing friends James Patterson, Sue Grafton, and Stephen King and his ex wife Gina [Monet Mazur] who is also his editor.

Richard Castle
It hooked me enough that I went back to watch the pilot episode, but could only find the first 13 minutes of it online.  I know I’ll go back for more.   There’s also a novel out now by "Richard Castle" and I’m interested in seeing how it does.  The show was cute and clever (nice touch using real authors), but I’d really like to know how many authors are asked to autograph women’s breasts.

And, if you had the chance to hang around real cops and solve mysteries…would you?  I mean really, with dead bodies and everything.

Bottom Line:  I’ll stick with the books and occasional tv show…no real life stuff for me.

Monday News and Giveaways

Barbara Vey -- August 10th, 2009

Last week was a good news-bad news week.  I was able to get across town to the Apple Store and get my Macbook Pro (which is shiny and new and I promise to never eat while using it).  It was very crowded in the store, but the wonderful specialist took time to set it all up for me and while I was putting in passwords and setting things up, my wallet got lifted (yes, again).  But this time, within an hour, there were calls asking if I charged $5,000 at Best Buy and $5,000 at the Apple Store.  No and no, but the $7 Quality Candy was mine.

So, back I went to the police station (Wauwatosa this time), but they could only take the report.  Now, don’t feel bad for me.  This happens to people all the time, but I have decided to have my purse and computer handcuffed to me whenever I leave the house (which I may not do very often).

Here’s the news I heard this week:

From author Heather Graham:  The Writers for New Orleans is fast approaching and will be held again in New Orleans September 4-6.  There are panels and a party on Friday, pirates on Saturday and appointments on Sunday.  But that’s just a quick version.  Check the link for more details.

From author Jacqui Jacobi:  I have now launched the new Writer to Writer Series on my web page and I’d like to promote this site as a place to encourage new writers by talking to writers who have already been down the roads newbies might face.  At the beginning of each month for the coming year I will be interviewing well established authors. In the middle of the month, on or around the fifteen, I will interview authors who are yet unpublished but have established their presence in one way or another.

I have already posted Jennifer Greene’s interview and have lined up for the year:   Rosemary Clemenet-Moore Roxanne St. Claire Vicki Lewis Thompson Debbie Macomber Stella Cameron Allison Brennen Nina Bhurns Brenda Novak and Lucienne Diver.
Our own blurber Joysann enjoyed her first rodeo this weekend and probably wouldn’t have if she hadn’t have read Tied Up, Tied Down by Lorelei James and blurbed about it Friday.  Not quite what the book offered up, but she enjoyed it anyway.

Another blurber, Dina enjoyed hearing about San Diego Comic Con so much that she drove to Chicago to check out their version.  Alas, no authors there, but she did get to see a few new stars from the upcoming Twilight movie along with a lot from movies made from comic books.

If you have newsworthy items or kudos you’d like listed, please email me at

Monday Giveaways

Author Diane Craver
will give away a free download of Whitney in Charge and a $5 GC to Amazon on August 15th to one lucky commenter, randomly drawn from the comments during that week during her virtual blog tour.

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

From author Magdalena Scott:  My giveaway for August 10:  An electronic copy of The Blank Book, a sweet-paranormal-suspenseful romance.

Lori Brighton
has interviewed author Allegra Gray, stop by for a chance to win her historical romance!

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

Bottom Line:  Oh, my friend, it’s not what they take away from you that counts.  It’s what you do with what you have left.  ~Hubert Humphrey