Monthly Archives: September 2009

Monday News and Giveaways

Barbara Vey -- September 14th, 2009


Great weekend visiting my son and family in St. Louis.  Went to a Cardinals baseball game Friday night and even though they lost, got to sit in a suite.  Heavenly way to watch a baseball game and seeing the arch in the background gave me goosebumps.  Saturday spent the day with the grandkids biking and playing Uno and Battleship while my son and his wife were off to the Harley Rally.  We ate at Sonic (my first time) and my food was gross, although the kids were happy with theirs.  Sunday was Pirate Fest with face painting, archery, snakes, birds and vegetarian sausage (pickles).  Gorgeous weather and great company…can’t wait to go back.

Debut author Michael DeFazio, me and Sue Meyer

And what’s one of my trips without running into an author?  Turns out that my son’s neighbor works with a new author, Michael DeFazio .  They stopped by with brownies, toffee and chips and dip and we talked all things publishing (along with a few Margaritas).  Mike wrote the book with his brother, Paul, and got the idea for the thriller while visiting the Dominican Republic.  Look for it in Wednesday blog.

Now for the news I heard this week.

From Walt Mussell:  I don’t know what I expected when I went to the Decatur Book Festival over Labor Day weekend. I had wanted to go the previous two years, but my wife and kids had wanted to go to the beach instead (not that the beach is a bad thing).  However, realizing that we were staying home this year, I knew what my destination would be. 
 
The Decatur Book Festival, now in its fourth year, has grown into the largest independent book festival in the U.S., This year’s three-day event featured roughly 150 authors from across the country as well as internationally, signing books and presenting workshops.  The keynote speaker was Sir Harold Evans, the former president and publisher of Random House as well as the editor of The Sunday Times in London. There was live music, cooking demonstrations, wine, and a kid’s parade among other activities.
 
However, what was fun was the books.  Lots of them.  Venue after venue after venue of nothing but books of all genres. I loved visiting the tables and perusing all the volumes. I loved watching others do the same (even when it turned out to be a book-loving co-worker who now knows I’m a hopeful writer when I’m not at work).  And, as I helped man a booth Saturday morning for Georgia Romance Writers, I loved watching people come up to the booth and fawn over the authors that were there.   
 
According to reports, the three-day event drew between 75,000 – 80,000 people, approximately 15% more than last year. The organizers already have plans for expansion for next year’s festival on Labor Day weekend.  I can’t wait. 

From Kathryn Tumen, Publicity | Berkley/NAL | Penguin Group:  On the heels of the publication of #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan’s latest Carpathian novel Dark Slayer comes a new episode of “Project Paranormal,” featuring an in-depth look at Feehan and her work. The episode includes a behind-the-scenes interview with Christine Feehan discussing her books as well as a chat with her editor Cindy Hwang detailing how she went from being a fan to Christine’s editor. Paranormal fans will also meet Seanan McGuire, debut author of Rosemary and Rue, the first in an all new urban fantasy series that puts a fresh spin on fairies.

From Aaron at the Hastings Group:  BARNES & NOBLE PROMOTES MAGAZINES USING RECYCLED PAPER NATIONWIDE.  Over 240 Barnes & Noble Stores Promote Magazines on Special In-Store Racks.  Barnes & Noble stores nationwide are partnering this month with Green America’s Better Paper Project and Next Steps Marketing to promote magazines using recycled paper on special magazine racks in over 240 of their largest stores.

The total of ten magazines participating in this month’s promotion include: Tricycle, Mother Jones, Natural Home, Make, Miller-McCune, Mothering, VegNews, Grit, Stanford Social Innovation Review and The American Prospect. This is the second year of the partnership. Since inception, 46 magazines have taken part in the promotions at Barnes & Noble.

As for me…I’m off to Las Vegas on Wednesday for Killer Con.  It’s the first year for this convention of horror writers and I’m looking forward to getting in on the ground floor.

Monday Giveaways

From Susan Hanniford Crowley Pierre Roustan is celebrating the publication of his urban fantasy/horror/thriller THE CAIN LETTERS by giving away a poster to one lucky winner on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 on the Nights of Passion blog.

From Michelle Renaud, Harlequin Teen:
  In addition to our exciting two-book launch of Harlequin Teen, we are also running a sweepstakes where one luck winner will win $10,000.00. The Intertwined Sweepstakes coincides with the release of INTERTWINED by New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter. 

Entrants into the Intertwined Sweepstakes must register at www.intertwinedthebook.com to be entered into the draw.  Daily instant prizes, including copies of Intertwined, My Soul to Take by New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent, Elphame’s Choice by New York Times bestselling author P.C. Cast and HarlequinTEEN T-shirts, may also be won by playing the Intertwined memory game.
   

The Intertwined Sweepstakes opened on August 21, 2009, and users may enter daily through November 16, 2009, for chances to win! 
  

Bottom Line: I picked up three WW readers on my St. Louis trip.  Very successful indeed.

Writers for New Orleans/Dragon Con and Your Turn Friday

Barbara Vey -- September 11th, 2009


I’m leaving on an early flight this morning to St. Louis to visit the grandkids.  Haven’t seen them since Christmas and I’m so excited.  Lots of fun things planned, so I’ll be blogging them this weekend with pics.

Meanwhile, I received write ups on 2 conferences I’m sorry I didn’t get to this year, but now you can hear about what we missed last weekend.

Since Heather didn’t have any pics, here’s one from the 2009 RT of Heather’s group performance of Comic-ula.

From Heather GrahamWriters for New Orleans has just finished up–almost! Well, it’s finished up for others, but, of course, it’s my baby, so we clean up, pack and take a while to get out. The truck just left. We had an incredible time with Kathy Love and Erin McCarthy at Krazy Korner, a fantastic ride down the Mississippi thanks to Helen Rosburg, great panels, lots of fun with the amazing Mary Walkley, F. Paul Wilson, Dave Simms, and Bobbie Rosello playing for our hastily throw-together Pirates! dinner theater.

First off–no storms blew us away. I think some writing friends might have gotten their work to just the right editors, with people telling me after that Leslie, Adam, Helen, Ali, or Eric–or agent Pam Ahearn-ask for their work. That’s a tremendous thrill. And more, of course–everyone was out supporting the incredible city. Ah, me! I’m still here. With just Chynna and Caitlin. We seem to bring some kind of drama with us. When we were about to get on the plane to come here, Chynna had to rush to the doctor with an ear infection. I had to leave her home, and pray she could get here. She did–by Greyhound bus!

So, about to leave once more to get her to college, we stop by the emergency room as we’ve been instructed. She still can’t fly, without serious risk to her ear and future hearing. So, tomorrow, off on Amtrak! Trains are like planes. If we left before tomorrow, we would have to go to St. Louis or Chicago to get from NOLA to California, so . . . .My daughter and I will be bonding on a 52 hour see-America excursion to college! The good thing–what a marvelous time we had here with such good friends and amazing people! I thrilled to death about the good things that happened despite all kinds of illness and family drama–we came for NOLA, a new wave of authors may soon appear in print, and had a marvelous time with wonderful friends who add on each year to give this a special twist! Barb, we sure missed you, but I will never forget you in the airport last year! Hope we can all be together next year. Now, after Chynna makes it to school and her apartment, I’m off to Vegas for Killercon and the amazing effort those folks have put forth!

P.S.  Barbara! Forgot to mention the great breakfast "my people," FRW, sponsored. Tea and scones, and to thank Molly and Kay, Bent Pages!

Steampunkish Liz Maverick, Marianne Mancusi and Leanna Renee Hieber

From Liz Maverick:  Geekfest, performance art forum, alien beer bash, costume party – call it what you will, the 2009 Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia didn’t disappoint its tens of thousands of attendees. TV shows, movies, and of course, books, anchored this yearly homage to the Extraordinary.

This was my first year. I was a Dragon*Con virgin, if you will. (There’s probably a costume for that, but I digress.) When I wasn’t on the parade route, waiting impatiently with my camera for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter brigade to march past, I spent much of my time on or attending panels from the Dark Fantasy track. Organized by Dragon*Con veteran Derek Tatum, it was a perfect example of literary genre overlap gone so very right. Authors from the science fiction/fantasy, horror, mystery and romance subgenres are so rarely given the opportunity to bridge category gaps. Here we shared our views (World-building! Steampunk!) and argued our points (Zombies rule! Zombies suck!) and killed a few stereotypes along the way. Readers discovered new books in subgenres with which they were previously unfamiliar, and authors were treated to an engaged audience. Overall, a brilliant first experience. I know I’ll be back next year—and if you are a reader with a love for genre fiction, start working on your costumes. You won’t want to miss it, either.

Now it’s time for Your Turn Friday.  Please post what you’ve been reading for the week so others will know what to go out and buy.

Bottom Line:  Both conferences sound like a great time and to be added to my 2010 suggestion list.

Banned Books Week

Barbara Vey -- September 10th, 2009


  
September 26-October 3 is Banned Books Week.  The absurdity of banned books cracks me up.  Has any of these people turned on a television lately or gone to a movie theater?  Lots more offensive stuff there.  And,  like you can change a channel on your tv, you can pick and choose the book you’d prefer to read.  No one’s twisting your arm. 

According to the American Library Association"Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where the freedom to express oneself and the freedom to choose what opinions and viewpoints to consume are both met."

I’ll never forget reading Fahrenheit 451 for the first time.  It was a horror story to me…having books burned.  It still scares me. 
    
Top ten most frequently challenged books of 2008

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
  3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
  5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
  7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
    Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
  9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  10. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
    Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group


You can find a list of 100 banned books at the website.  The ALA has events scheduled for the week such as Banned Books Week Read Out! Chicago which includes readings from the books by the authors.  There’s also a Facebook Event,  I Want to Be a Banned Book Author.

See any of your favorite books on the list?  (or on the extended list?)  Would you mind being Banned Book Author?  Or do you agree that some books should be banned?

Bottom Line:  I just may have to take a field trip to Chicago and check this out.

     

WW Ladies Book Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- September 9th, 2009

I’ve been receiving the Christmas books for some time now and I cringe to think of winter right around the corner.  I’m just not ready for summer to end.  Next month the WW Ladies will let you know what’s out there for your holiday readings.  But now, here’s what they’ve been reading.

The Language of Bees by Laurie R King

Listened to by joysann

Sleuth Mary Russell was with her husband Sherlock Holmes when he first met his adult son Damien, of whom he had no prior knowledge, and when that resentful young man walked away, there was no indication that they’d ever meet again. Now, years later, Damien shows up at Holmes’ rural home to ask for help in finding his missing wife and daughter. Their search leads them deep into the madness of a lunatic cult leader, and makes them fearful for their new family’s lives.

I’ve listened and re-listened to all eight of Mary Russell’s previous chronicles at least a couple of times each, and The Language of Bees continues with the same puzzling mysteries, thrilling adventures, and irresistible characters. Laurie R King’s fascinating stories and beautiful, engaging writing style are only enhanced by the narrations of Jenny Sterlin on the audio books. I’ve come to believe that hers is not only the voice of Mary Russell, but exactly that of Sherlock Holmes. Needless to say, I’m utterly enthralled.

Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn

Read by Heidi   Lady Julia returns from an Italian getaway to her Father’s home in Sussex for the holidays. Julia is stunned that one of the houseguests is the one man she hoped to forget, Nicholas Brisbane. One of the guests is found murdered, and it’s up to Lady Julia and Nicolas to find the killer.   I always appreciate a strong woman in a book. I love the fact that Lady Julia is independent, sassy and full of vigor. Unravelling the mystery of this book takes a while, but once it starts to happen, it’s a great ride!!


Ghostland by Jory Strong

Read by Mary

Shamanees Aisling McConaghey had been taught to hide her gifts, so when the church sent a representative to help them with a "task", she knew she would have to be careful and to use all the skills she possessed. Aisling never could have foreseen what would happen when she called the help of Zurael, a Djinn prince and powerful demon. When Aisling and Zurael find they must work together to complete tasks to save their separate worlds, they light a forbidden hunger to bridge their differences and dream the impossible.

Jory Strong has created compelling characters in Aisling and Zureal, and a fascinating and complex post-apocalyptic setting in her latest book. She keeps the action blazing along, and the sex blazes even hotter. If you enjoy paranormal romances with more than just a dash of spice as I do, you won’t want to miss Ghostland.
 

Secrets of the Tycoon’s Bride by Emilie Rose

Read by Denise   Adam Garrison needed a wife – fast, he had a playboy reputation that needed to end.  Lauryn Lowes was the ideal candidate, she had brains, beauty and was already working for him.  But would she accept his "proposal"  -  No!   More than ever he becomes very determined to take her to the altar.   Provocative and very passionate.  I have had several dreams of marrying a millionaire, but, for me, love won out.


Millie’s Fling by Jill Mansell

Read by Kym

After dating a series of losers, Millie has pretty much given up on love. Unfortunately, her new friend, romance writer Orla, is determined to help Millie find her soul mate, and, in the process, use Millie’s life as the plot for Orla’s next novel. Enter Con…and Richard…and…the one man who just might be Millie’s match.

Jill Mansell is an English author whose books have recently been released by Sourcebooks on this side of the Atlantic. All I can say is: "Thank You, Sourcebooks!" Her books, like Katie Fforde’s are peopled by a variety of likeable characters with enough subplots to keep you interested. If you’re a fan of Katie Fforde, Jane Green, or Marian Keyes, you might want to give Jill Mansell a shot.
 

Wed Him Before You Bed Him by Sabrina Jeffries

Read by Marie
 
When Charlotte Page was eighteen she made a life-altering mistake, she wronged a man in an impulsive act that she came to deeply regret, even though it led her to her present life as Mrs. Charlotte Harris, owner of Mrs. Harris’s School for Young Ladies.  Unbeknownst to her, that man is now her anonymous benefactor, the mysterious "Cousin Michael." His masquerade began as preparation for a devastating revenge, but became a labor of love. Now Charlotte desperately needs his help. Can he save her from disaster as his real self without revealing the ugly secret behind his charade? Or will the mistakes of both their pasts tear them apart forever?
  

I don’t want to give too much away, but Charlotte learns a lot as a man from her past resurfaces in her life. Cousin Michael has abandoned her, and she has to make decisions on her own now.  I think that Charlotte grows a good bit in this last book, she begins to realize that she’s held herself away from everyone but Cousin Michael for many years.  I thought that this was a great book and it was a wonderful finish to the series I fell in love with.


Ice Land by Betsy Tobin

Read by joysann

Betsy Tobin has taken the history of the Scandinavian settlement of Iceland and the legends and myths of the Norse pantheon to create a gripping epic fantasy. Freya, the Norse goddess of love and fertility, tells of her quest to find the dwarf-forged necklace thought to have mystical powers that will inf
luence her fate. Woven around her story is that of Fulla, a beautiful young woman torn between accepting her beloved grandfather’s choices for her and her growing affection for a son of his enemy. Their two stories come together in a cataclysmic conclusion that obscures the divide between human reality and realms of myth.

Though I found it slow to start, once I became sympathetic to the characters, the fantasy engaged and kept me turning pages. I was especially impressed with the descriptions of the beauty of Iceland even with its harsh and perilous conditions.

Bottom Line: 
Today is Wonderful Weirdoes Day and I know so many to celebrate with.

Tuesday Notes

Barbara Vey -- September 8th, 2009


Hope everyone enjoyed their day off for Labor Day. Nothing beats a three day weekend.  I finally got to see the latest Harry Potter movie and wasn’t disappointed.  Then I had to see GI Joe and was pleasantly surprised.  I also finished 3 books which I’ll write about on Friday.  Next up, three Christmas books which will be blogged about in a special October blog.  Went to a high school football game and lost my voice, then today watched the Brewers on tv and finished off with the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.  Whew, I’m pooped!

Now the news I heard this week.


From Michelle Buonofiglio of Romance B(u)y the Book Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, readers and bloggers.*  It’s time again for the Unleash Your Story Read and Write-a-Thon for Cystic Fibrosis (UYS) Aug 30 thru Sept 29, 2009, the single-best reason to blow off a month’s worth of domestic chores – and the accompanying guilt – for time spent devouring romance books.

Last year, Unleash Your Story was a month-long challenge for pubbed and yet-to-be pubbed authors; they gathered donations while trying to write more words of their works in progress than a pace-setter superstar author’s set goal.  Readers also joined and set goals of pages or books to read, and the event raised $11K, which the UYS team hopes to raise to a totally do-able 2009 goal of $23K with your help — and an added group of participants — bloggers!  (Get all the info here

From David Ewen:  TAN (Today’s Author News) Magazine interviews authors and provides publishing information. It is FREE and available online at Today’s Author. The magazine editorial/opinion section serves as an open forum for anyone to contribute.

From Joysann:  There’s a website that lists author’s Twitter links allowing readers to quickly and easily connect with their favorite authors.  You can find the link here.

From Me:  Really need YA books to pass out to anxious readers.  Please email me if you’d like your YA book considered.

If you have newsworthy items or kudos you’d like listed, please email me at barbaravey@gmail.com.

Monday Giveaways (on Tuesday this week)

From Marcia Colette:  I’m going to be blogging at Ryshia Kennie’s blog on Monday, Sept 7th and giving away a free e-book copy of my urban fantasy STRIPPED.  (I’m sorry this didn’t get blogged about yesterday, but go back and read the blog today)


From Christine Verstraete:  Christine Verstraete, author of the kid’s mystery, Searching for a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery, (2009 Eppie finalist for the ebook), is having a monthly giveaway.  Visit her blog,  and comment on any of her posts for a chance to win a beautiful English bookmark of Sherlock Holmes! Contest ends 9/30/09.

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:  Found on Twitter, a link to a (slightly disturbing) video of a woman explaining a cat massage. (Thanks to Marjorie Liu)

Sunday Matinee

Barbara Vey -- September 6th, 2009


I’ve discovered that I can’t watch television while I try to write my blogs.  I am too easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, but when I found myself actually watching Martha Stewart make bread, I knew I had to turn it off.  I haven’t baked bread in years and I didn’t want her to suck me back into that whole baking frenzy.  So, instead, let’s watch some videos.

Bottom Line: Ok, now I can turn the tv back on. Better yet, I’ll do Hulu.com for more variety.

YA Book Blurbs and Your Turn Friday

Barbara Vey -- September 4th, 2009


The YA readers are in the house today to offer up their blurbs on the books they’ve been reading.  I’ve just about run out, so let me know if you have a YA book you’d like me to offer to readers.  And it’s Your Turn Friday, be sure to leave a note on what you’ve been reading lately.

Perfect Chemistry By Simone Elkeles
 
Read By Bekah, 17
 
Fairfield High School students are divided by which side of town they come from. And if you mess with the other side of town, you’re likely to get taken down. Yet, Brittany, captain of the cheer squad, can’t seem to get away from the other side. She and her lab partner, Alex, keep getting closer, crossing all sorts of social boundaries. They spend time in each other’s worlds, learning secrets and surprises about each other and themselves. The more time they spend together, the less time they want to be apart. But the world isn’t an easy place when society is telling you’re wrong, and Alex and Brittany find themselves making choices that most teenagers aren’t ready to make. These choices can either lead to happily ever after or the end of everything.
 
This reminded me a lot of Romeo and Juliet, only far more modern. It held a lot of the action in it that most teen novels don’t posses. Still, it was heartwarming and more importantly real. This sort of story could help many teens with the social problems in their lives. It definitely gave me a different view of the way life is.


Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Read by Sarah, 15

Katniss’s life has been made completely different after winning the Hunger Games, a live fight to the death on national television. But Katniss’s victory was a twist from the other gruesome previous years. She shared her victory with her friend, Peeta. The two champions will to live through the games was seen as an act of defiance to the government. And after the victory, Katniss receives a visit from a very important man, telling her that uprisings are brewing because of her simple defiance. Many internal debates rage Katniss throughout the book. Adding onto that, it is revealed that for the next year’s Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta must go back in the arena and once again compete in the Hunger Games, but this time against previous champions.

The sequel to The Hunger Games  is as thrilling and addicting as the first book of the trilogy was. When I read The Hunger Games, I tried to go to sleep before finishing the book but ended up rising in the middle of the night to quiet my curiosity and discover the ending. I’m ecstatic to report that Catching Fire, is just as, if not more hooking then its predecessor. I picked it up and couldn’t put it down till it was done.  I really enjoyed these books because of the tons of suspense and the fact that I could relate to Katniss and her emotions, as we are of almost the same age. I would advise that you be prepared to not get any sleep while reading this book.  I guarantee that your mind will not rest till it knows the ending.

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Read by Maddy, 17

Whit and his sister Wisty were ripped out of their home in the early hours of the morning. The New Order soldiers accused them of being a witch and a wizard. They think that this is crazy and that magic is just in fairy tales. The New Order soldiers force them to go to the highest level jail to wait for their execution. With just an old book and a drumstick they’re taken on the biggest and most important adventure of their lifetime.

This was one of my favorite books I read so far. It was fun to read and I love how the characters were amusing even in a setting that seems depressing. It left me wanting more, and I can’t wait until the next one comes out.

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Read by Alexis, 16

A weird girl doing weird things in normal society. That’s just the began of Dru Anderson’s life story. Her mother died when she was young and now she lives her life going town to town hunting things that go bump in the night. But when her dad gets turned into a zombie and she knows she’s next, only her new friend, unwanted friend and Dru can get her out of this one.

Anything with the words ‘Dangerous, dark and sexy’ on the front and I’m reading it. But it’s also entertaining, funny, mysterious and just a pure good book. I like how even though Dru is just sixteen she can still kick butt.

Dirty Liar By Brian James
 
Read By Bekah, 17
 
Benji needs to get away from his drunk mother and her even drunker boyfriend. In Portland he believes he can have a new life and home with his father and his new wife. But the life he thought he left behind remains lodged in his heart. The lies he tells his new family and himself keep that home he wants so badly from ever emerging. When teenage life begins to sink in, he can’t push away the memories that haunt his every moment. Lies begin to come undone and Benji realizes that the only way to heal is to find acceptance from the father who would rather see him gone.
 
I really enjoyed this intense read. It was so compelling that I didn’t put it down for three hours! The author doesn’t hold back any detail in his accurate portrayal of the mind of a broken teenager. This is a great book for older teens of any gender.

Ballads Of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Read by Maddy,17

Kara is starting high school without a social life and family problems. After Christmas break, she meets Maya and they become fast friends. They start to hang out at Scoville Park, a place where punks, skaters and other groups go to hang out. It was a place where Kara and Maya felt like they fit in, and they made new friends that led
to parties, drinking and drugs. Her friends wrote their ballads in a notebook, and now it’s time for Kara to write hers.

I thought this book was an unforgettable read. It has a lot in it, but that’s what makes it so realistic. It shows teenage life mostly from Kara’s point of view. I recommend this book to anyone who is in high school.
 

Bottom Line:  Giving kudos to the great job the YA readers are doing!

Book Titles That Never Made It

Barbara Vey -- September 3rd, 2009


After reading all your book cover stories from Tuesday’s blog, someone sent me the link to Longmire does Romance Novels.  This guy has a website where he takes the book covers and retitles them.  Nothing malicious, only funny.  Some are quite clever and here’s a few to make you smile. 



  


Bottom Line: 
“The person who knows how to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused." ~ Shirley MacClaine

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- September 2nd, 2009

Yesterday we talked about book cover bloopers, but today the WW Ladies are in the house with their reads for this week.  How do these book covers match up with their blurbs?  Same book or misleading?  And which would you pick up?

Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

Read by joysann

Content living hidden away in Mexico City, Corine Solomon is not happy when Chance, her handsome ex, shows up asking for her help. Corine’s talent for handling an object and seeing visions of events surrounding its owner might lead them to finding his mother who disappeared from the border town of Laredo, TX. As Corine and Chance get pulled into a puzzling mix of international crime and powerful magick, they also find strong companions whose talents, combined with their own, might make the difference needed to save Chance’s mother.

Ann Aguirre’s new series starts off intriguing, and, by the end of Blue Diablo, is downright captivating. Fast-paced and engrossing, I like how Ann writes, and I want to steal some quotes from Corine’s inner dialogue. I was fascinated by the characters, charmed by their camaraderie, and I found the growing quandary Corine faces in her relationship with Chance titillating, not to mention other added attractions. I’m looking forward to next time.


Love Letters by Katie Fforde

Read by Kym

If there’s one thing Laura knows, it’s books; she’s spent years quietly toiling in a bookstore arranging author events and matching books to readers. But an opportunity to help organize a literary festival puts our shy heroine unexpectedly in the spotlight as well as in a bit of a dilemma. You see, when she said she knew the famously reclusive and acclaimed Irish author, Dermot Flynn, she didn’t mean she actually "knew" him, but the festival’s sponsor has taken Laura at her word and now she must produce the star writer.

I love Katie Fforde’s writing – her stories feature women you can relate to, women’s fiction in the truest sense with the bonus of being British. English women’s fiction is different from American writing – more like, "Of course I love you, you daft woman", which I find strangely engaging. If you haven’t read Katie and this story sounds even remotely appealing, I suggest you run to the nearest library or bookstore and pick up one of her books. This one or any one will do.


Secret Sacrifices by Cynthia L Hall

Read by Joan

A wonderful vacation in the Virgin Islands turns into a mother’s worst nightmare with the disappearance of a 10 year old daughter. When she feels no one is making any progress in finding her child, Maggie returns with the help of her old college sweetheart, Matt Sanford. Matt is a former law officer, now turned detective, and Maggie pretends to be married while they search St John’s and the surrounding islands for any information on Tracey.

Cynthia L Hall, a former sheriff department employee, writes a story that involves possible corrupt local officials and a child kidnapping ring. I found Cindy’s romantic thriller to be riveting and thoroughly enjoyable, and look forward to more of her writings.

Never Been Witched by Annette Blair

Read by Mary

The Paxton Island Lighthouse seemed to be the perfect place for Destiny Cartwright to find peace and serenity, at least until she found her matchmaking sisters had given a key to the lighthouse to hunky architect Morgan Jarvis as well. Can straight-arrow and part-time psychic debunker Morgan find anything in common with antique dealer and psychic witch Destiny? Certainly not the hot chemistry they feel bubbling up between them, though the lighthouse ghosts may have some ideas of their own.

Annette Blair builds on her first two books about the Cartwright triplets, Harmony and Storm, with this charming conclusion about the mismatched Destiny and Morgan. I couldn’t help but ache for Morgan and the secret he as hidden for so long, and root for Destiny uncovering it all. Pick this one up and you’ll find yourself coming back to hear Harmony’s and Storm’s stories.

Surrender of a Siren by Tessa Dare

Read by Kate

Sophia Hathaway has jilted her fiancé at the altar and ends up at the docks where she will book passage on a ship to Tortola. Sophia must find Captain Grayson of the Aphrodite so he can allow her on his ship. After much persuasion on Sophia’s part, Grayson let’s her come aboard. Sophia makes quite the impression on the crew and on Gray who has decided to turn his back on his old philandering ways. Gray and Sophia fall for one another but Sophia must decide if she trusts Gray enough to tell him her secrets.
 
I had a rousing good time reading Surrender of a Siren. The majority of the action happens on the ship but there is never a dull moment. Tessa has a wonderful talent at keeping the reader engaged and she excels at this with her characters. Lusty love on the high seas comes to mind.  I could almost feel the wind in my hair and taste the sea salt in my mouth. Gray and Sophia are two people who were lost, adrift in their lives until they found one another. 

Homecoming by Elizabeth Jennings

Read by Jan

Working for her uncle’s conglomerate, Frederica Mansion spends weeks at a time globe-trotting and burning the candle at both ends. No wonder that when she arrives in Carson’s Bluff after flying in from overseas she is exhausted and very ill. Her uncle has Carson’s Bluff, a quiet town that stress and excitement has passed by, in his sights for his newest expansion resort and golf course and has sent Frederica to seal the deal.  The sheriff/mayor, Jack Sutter, his family and the majority of the town  think otherwise and throw up a series of roadblocks including turning off the FAX  to prevent anyone from contacting her.
 
A novel approach to writing, a series of FAXes and emails, had me laughing from the get-go. A light summer read for the beach and those that have vacation days left.

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Dominic by Elizabeth Amber

Read by joysann

The peoples of Elseworld are constantly under the threat of death and destruction by the demons that come in the night, and only the protector and demonhand, Dominic, can destroy them in battle. Now it is time to pass his gift to the next Chosen One, in preparation for his eventual demise. Dominic must find the human woman of EarthWorld destined to mother the next protector, and create a child of promise in a night of lust, passion and the onset of love.

Dominic is another of the tales in Elizabeth Amber’s The Lords of Satyr series, a fantasy that takes place in the mid-19th century based on ancient mythology. Wildly imaginative, darkly intense, and highly erotic, these stories continue to intrigue me. Dominic’s book comes with a bonus story, and, as on previous volumes, the cover is dazzling.

Bottom Line:  I probably would have picked up Dominic first because I like the color green.

Book Cover Woes

Barbara Vey -- September 1st, 2009
Brenda Novak’s invisible name on the cover of her new book (right)

Conventions are wonderful places to hear great news from people, but it also gives everyone within earshot a chance to complain to sympathetic ears about the particular problems they’ve been having with their books.  One subject comes up again and again…the really wrong book cover.

The author’s character is blonde, but the cover model has flaming red hair.  There’s a ship on the horizon, but there’s nothing in the book about the water.  The hero’s face is disfigured in the story, but there’s a gorgeous man there instead.  The author was sure she wrote about adults, but the cover model barely looks 12.  What’s an author to do?

Then, there’s the covers that really go wrong.

Christina Dodd’s 3 armed wonder

I recently got an email from author Brenda Novak lamanting her book cover debacle. "The printer made an error on my book, which comes out this week, and used foil that’s too dark to see against the black background. So when you look at the book, you can’t see an author name, and you see only part of the title (anything in turquoise foil essentially "disappears"). MIRA is having to recall these books and reprint all of them, which is a huge expense."  I’d say that’s a minor wrinkle.

And, of course, the very famous picture of Christina Dodds‘ extremely talented "woman with 3 arms."  Now she can laugh about it, but I’m sure at the time it was horrifying.

Then there’s the website that collects odd book covers and titles, .  I’m sure a lot of thought goes into the titling of books, but when you read some you wonder just what they were thinking. 

 
    
So, what’s your horror story?  They made your heroine look 20 instead of 40?  There’s a picture of a Viking and you wrote a Regency?  You can see the vaccine immunization mark on the hero’s arm when the story took place in the 1500s?

Bottom Line:  I think anything that makes someone pick up your book and look at it can’t be a bad thing.