Monthly Archives: April 2011

Royal Wedding

Barbara Vey -- April 29th, 2011
William and Kate exchanging vows

William and Kate exchanging vows

As I sit here at 4 a.m. watching the Royal Wedding on television, I can’t help but make comparisons to the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Dianna.  Yes, I watched that on television too.  Almost anyone who was around on July 29, 1981 was tuned in.

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Dianna and Charles 1981

Dianna and Charles 1981

It was the ultimately happily ever after that we’ve read about in every fairy tale that featured a prince finding his princess.  The uniforms, the carriage, the cheering masses,   that incredibly fufu dress.  It was the wedding a lot of little girls dream of.   Unfortunately we all know how that ended.  But, at the time, it was a spectacle many of us had never seen before.

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Now, almost 30 years later, it seems like it could have been a prologue in a book with

Royal Wannabes

Chapter One being written today with with the wedding of Kate and William. I’ve always felt a special bond with William as he was born within months of my son, Andrew.  So, while I watched the two of them grow up together, I’ve got goosebumps watching this wedding.  It doesn’t seem possible that our two boys are old enough to be married.

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I think the biggest reason we all are so fascinated with all the hoopla involved is because with all the turmoil and uncertainty many of us live with in our everyday lives, this is as close as we’ll ever get to those fairy tales we read as children and the romance novels we read today.  We all want to believe that happily ever after is out there, somewhere for all of us.

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Bottom Line: Here’s to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge…may they live happily ever after.

Heroes and Heartbreakers

Barbara Vey -- April 28th, 2011

While at RT, I got to catch up with Liz Edelstein the Managing Editor at Macmillan Publishing.  In between handing out bags, T-shirts and water bottles to promote the new Heroes and Heartbreakers website, Liz explained how the new site will feature books from all publishers and work as a reader destination site.  In Liz’s words:

Passion! Crime! Crimes of Passion!  Two new sites have the romance and mystery genres covered for readers and authors alike at Heroes and Heartbreakers and Criminal Element.


Launched by Macmillan (St. Martin’s, Tor, Griffin) but publisher-neutral in content, these two reader-focused sites go beyond book reviews; recently on HeroesandHeartbreakers.com, author Courtney Milan stopped in to debate hero hair color, blogger Robin Bradford went deep into the psyche of the women of Game of Thrones, author Daisy Goodwin offered up The Duchess’s Tattoo short story featuring the Downton Abbey-esque Cora Cash …and then there was that rather spirited discussion about the squickiest words written into sex scenes.


Meanwhile, CriminalElement.com—launched on Tuesday—has Joseph Finder discussing what it’s like to be buried alive, an analysis of the BBC’s Sherlock series, an appreciation of cat and dog cozy mysteries and an original short story by Edgar and Shamus award winner Steve Hamilton.


Daily articles, original stories (writers, they are taking submissions!), pre-release excerpts, and giveaways await!

Bottom Line: Books, authors and giveaways…definitely sounds like a readers wonderland to me.

When Teens Read Adult Books

Barbara Vey -- April 26th, 2011

It’s always exciting for me when people come over to my house to pick up books to read and write about.  Their eyes light up and they are like kids in a candy store.  I have hundreds of books and audio books for them to choose from and some don’t know where to start.  Most say, “I’ll take only two,” but usually end up with at least 10.

Today a mother and her two daughters stopped by.  The girls are 14 and 16, so I steered them to my YA section (I don’t have much organization here, but I do try to keep the YA and the adult books separated).  Mom easily found a stack that appealed to her and as I was entering them in the computer, she kept finding “just one more.”

By the time the girls had their selections in hand, they each had about 8 books.  I noticed that the 16 year old had a number of adult books.  I explained to the mother that it was up to her to monitor what her daughter read, but she assured me that if her girls had any questions about what they were reading, they discussed it.  Fine with me.

After they left, I had more time to think about what I was reading at that age.  Yes, I will admit that I always kept a book hidden under my mattress because it was considered an adult book.  I’m not sure I remember if I understood everything in it, but I know that I really enjoyed it and wanted to read more.  I wonder now if I really did have to hide it or if my mom would have been ok with me reading it.

With the onslaught of adult material on television and in the movies, I suppose it’s no surprise how much kids know nowadays.  Some of it makes me cringe, but, while I don’t hand out the books to the kids without their parent’s permission, I still think it’s definitely up to the parents to monitor what their children are reading.

So, tell me how old you were when you read your first adult book?  Are you ok with kids reading them and at what age?  Do you think it’s different when it’s your children reading it?

Bottom Line: I now wonder if my mom ever found any of those books and just never mentioned it.

Beverly Barton

Barbara Vey -- April 25th, 2011
Beverly Barton

Beverly Barton

I apologize for the lateness of this article.  The PW website was down last week when Beverly Barton passed away, but I didn’t want that event to come in the way of paying tribute to a woman I thought so highly of.

I first met Beverly Barton when I took the Author’s At Sea Cruise in 2006.  She was absolutely delightful and so southern that it tickled the heck out of the Yankee in me.  Beverly brought along her husband but I often found her in the company of Sharon Sala.

I was strictly a reader on the cruise and they were so gracious.  We would sit on deck and they would tell me the most marvelous stories.  I was in awe that two such famous authors would take the time to talk to a lowly reader like me (I’ve since learned how much most authors appreciate their readers).

Beverly Barton, Linda Winstead Jones, Linda Howard

Beverly Barton, Linda Winstead Jones, Linda Howard

After I started the blog, Beverly was a great supporter.  I looked forward to going to conferences and seeing her with her close buddies Linda Howard and Linda Winstead Jones.  It seemed I was always snapping their picture as they returned from a shopping trip.     Beverly, Linda and Linda were known as the Mavens and were often in the role of mentors to the authors of The Writing Playground.

I’ve been a big fan of Beverly’s for many years and I counted 75 books on her website.  Incredible.  There’s even a new one coming out tomorrow.  She was beautiful inside and out and loved by many.

The Maven with the Writing Playground

The Mavens with the Writing Playground

Friday I’ll be in Alabama for the Heart of Dixie Luncheon and when I contacted the group, Kimberly Lang said, “Heart of Dixie has a huge hole in it now.  She was a vibrant and vital part of us, and she’s helped so many find their way in this crazy business.  Beverly mentored everyone in one way or another (she nagged me until I finished my first book and submitted it), and we all loved her.  She had a big spirit and a big heart and we’re going to miss her greatly.”
Harlequin has put up an In Memoriam page for people to leave messages.

Bottom Line: What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. – Helen Keller

Today I am guest blogging at Danger: Women Writing (Lisa Renee Jones, Cynthia Eden, Caridad Pineiro, Donna Grant and Jennifer HaymoreDawn Halliday).  They’ve pulled out all the stops to welcome me and are offering autographed books and gifts to commenters.  Hope you have time to stop by.

Just a Quickie Update

Barbara Vey -- April 20th, 2011

Just wanted to let you know that I will be attending Comic Con in San Diego after all this year thanks to an invite from RWA member Lisa Kessler.  She’ll be my videographer. (I’ll see you there Cal!)  You never know who I’ll meet there.  I’ll also be doing a workshop for the San Diego RWA on September 17th, so sign up if you’ll be in the area.

In addition, I’ll be attending the Heart of Dixie Luncheon in Huntsville, AL on April 30th and I just can’t wait to be around all those southern accents.  It tickles me.

May 17th I’ll be in Detroit talking to the Greater Detroit RWA group.  Please don’t let it snow.

May 21st you’ll find me in Atlanta doing a workshop for the Georgia Romance Writers with author Dianna Love about Building Reader Loyalty (something I’ve been blogging about the past 2 days).

Then it’s off to New York for the BEA (BookExpo America) May 23-27th.  I get chills…they’re multiplying (great, now that song will be stuck in my head) when I think about all the wonderful things I’ll be seeing here.

I’m moderating a romance panel and also will be sitting on a panel for the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books at UW-Waukesha June 17th & 18th.

Back to New York for RWA June 28 – July 1 with a stop at Lady Jane’s Salon that Monday.  Don’t miss it if you’re in town.

DragonCon has asked me to be on a panel, so I’ll happily return to Atlanta September 2-5.  This is one wild and crazy party.

Central Ohio Fiction Writer’s Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio September 30 – October 1st has invited me to participate on a panel.  My first time there so it’ll be special.

October 20th I’ll head back to Ohio for an author luncheon given by the Medina Library.  Yes, I’ll do anything for a library.

I think that’ll do it for the year, but I’ve already got 4 events already lined up for 2012.  WooHoo!!

But today I’m guest blogging at Seekerville and they’re giving away 24 books just for commenting.  It’s a great deal you just can’t pass up.

If you see me at any of these events, please stop me and say hello.  I’m an old fashioned woman and while online stuff is fun, I love the face to face meets.

Will you be attending any of these conferences?  Feel free to mention the conferences I’m sadly missing this year and link to their pages.  Remember, I’m always looking for Cub Reporters to cover the events I’m not able to attend.

It’s also been mentioned to me that there’s no contact info for me on this page, so you can email me at barbaravey@gmail.com

Bottom Line: I think it’s time I start looking for a social secretary.

Destroying Reader Loyalty

Barbara Vey -- April 19th, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about earning reader loyalty and today I want to talk about destroying it.  After the 60 Minutes expose on Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea, I was sick to my stomach.  Not really so much because I was shocked someone could pass off fiction as non-fiction or the fact that Mr. Mortenson became a millionaire through his fabrications.  We all know it’s been done before.

No, I am more outraged because this book has been pushed upon our children as required reading in schools.  What do we say to them now?  How are teachers explaining that adults lie and cheat for profit after preaching the wonderfulness of this book?

The wrongness involved only taints any goodness that may have come out of this since the majority of the money never made it to Afghanistan, going instead to promote his books.  And it looks like none of the profit from these books goes back into the charity.

Last year I bonded with a 7th grade class.  We had a book club and did a Skype talk with the author.  The kids were thrilled and engaged.  When I had them fill out a short questionnaire about their reading habits, the book picked as the one they hated the most by 100% of the kids was Three Cups of Tea.  The number one reason for disliking it…well, as one student put it, “Booooorrrrring!”  Yet this is what the adult educators feel will enrich our youth.  I say it makes them hate reading.  Give them something they can enjoy and want more of.

Now with this debacle, I can just imagine the kids saying, “See, it was a waste of time reading this book.  The guy’s a liar and the school made us read it.”  Ok, I don’t know for sure that’s what they’re saying, but I’m sure some are thinking it.

You can tell this hit a nerve with me because I think if you’re writing nonfiction it should be true by definition.  And it’s one thing to lie to me because I’ve become almost immune to it, but don’t lie to the kids.

Bottom Line: I’ll stick to my fiction and HEAs thank you very much, I know they’re make-believe going in.

Reader Loyalty

Barbara Vey -- April 18th, 2011

One of the great things that always comes out of the anniversary bash every year is when I hear from readers after they receive their prizes.  It really doesn’t matter what the gift is as much as winning something and you could almost hear the squeals of delight coming through the computer as the winners posted on Twitter and Facebook.  I also got several emails.

One reader received the Kindle with the donating author’s book downloaded.  She said it was the kind of book she’d never read before and would never pick up in a bookstore.  She doesn’t “like” that genre.  But once she started the book, she “couldn’t put it down” and went on to order the author’s backlist.

Another Kindle winner quickly downloaded several free books and when her husband took an interest in the eReader, she put a book on for him.  He has already read 4 books (first time he’s read a book in years) while she’s contemplating buying another device for herself.

But eReaders weren’t the only things given away, some readers were surprised by the authors who went just a little further and sent t-shirts, chocolates and other items along with their books.  One reader told me that upon receiving a book with a custom bookmark, she immediately put down the one she was reading to dive into the prize.  She was shocked to find out that she loved paranormals (which she refused to even look at before).  Next shopping trip found her coming home with 2 more books from the author.

One reader received several books from an author and took them to her book club to share with her friends.  Now there are 5 readers enjoying an author for the first time and they’ll get together to talk about the books, swap them and have already decided that they will use the next book that comes out by that author as their book club selection.

There’s something to be said for free samples.  It’s like when you get that free pizza sample at the supermarket and then buy the product because it tastes so good.  Give a reader a free book and most times you’ll end up with a loyal fan who touts your virtues to others.

I’ve already received 5 emails from readers asking for the date for next year’s anniversary bash (it will be March 5-10 so save the date) because they plan on taking vacation that week so they can “party on the blog.”  Several readers even got together this year and formed the group Friends from “Beyond her Book” Party on Facebook and quite a few authors have joined them.  They are avid readers always on the lookout for new books and authors to read so feel free to come over and mix with them.

Today I see that they posted a list of the authors who participated in the anniversary bash this year.  It just goes to show how giving away just one book goes a long way to building reader loyalty.

Bottom Line: Today is National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day…I celebrate that almost everyday around here.

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- April 13th, 2011

Yes, there’s more RT stuff to come, but I thought we’d break it up with a word from our WW Ladies. They’ve been busy reading the books I go to conferences for.  More on RT tomorrow.  Until then…

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joysann

joysann

Love Bites by Tori Carrington

Read by joysann

In conjunction with a series of disappearances, bodies are turning up with the cause of death of exsanguination. While she’s not sure she believes it herself, PI Sophie Metropolis is drawn into investigating some scary and dangerous stuff when the strange man her neighbors think is a vampire hires her to prove he is not responsible for the murders. Sophie works on the perplexing mystery, while the confounding men in her love life keep her head and her heart in a spin.

In Love Bites, Sophie’s turmoils continue to intrigue and amuse while providing a fascinating puzzle to contemplate. I’ve enjoyed all of the Sophie books, finding her and the cast of quirky characters to be likable, and the mysteries to be perplexing. Fast, funny, provocative, mysterious, charming and sexy, these words describe both Sophie and the books in which she lives.

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Heidi

Heidi

Deadly Intent by Kylie Brant

Read  by Heidi

Macy Reid is a tough forensic expert with past ghosts that haunt her everyday. She wants to find kidnapped 11-year-old Ellie Mulder before it’s too late. Kellan Burke is a man who can get under Macy’s skin, especially when they need to concentrate on the task at hand.

A book can bring the best emotions out of you for a romantic suspense. You become tense for a kidnapping, as well as the romance between the main characters. I love the fact this can curl my toes in more ways than one. Looking forward to continue the story in Deadly Dreams.

Sheila

Sheila

A Match Made in Court by Janice Kay Johnson

Read by Sheila

After a shocking crime leaves six-year-old Hanna homeless, Linnea Sorenson must fight Matt Laughlin for custody. Virtual strangers to each other, they share a love for their niece. A court order throws them together more than is comfortable. As if that’s not enough, they also have to fight other family members, and past demons, to protect Hanna. When desires flare, Linnea and Matt long not just for love but family.

I loved that the romance in A Match Made in Court centers on a child. Janice brought the couple together so delicately and wrote the book after seeing too many domestic violence stories in the news.  Their ache to give Hanna a home plucked my heartstrings. I often read Harlequins to escape brutal reality, but the strength and depth of the two characters drew me into this story.

Kym

Kym

Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson
Read by Kym

When Autumn Haven met pro hockey player Sam LeClaire, he bedded, wedded, and promptly ditched her in a Vegas hotel room. The brief union resulted in their son, Conner, whom she adores, but Rachel believes Sam incapable of being a true father. Can the playboy skater prove her wrong and, in the process, gain the heart of the woman he now realizes is the only one for him?

Confession: I used to actually write the release dates of Rachel Gibson’s books on my calendar, sometimes going to the extreme of haunting the aisles of Borders a day ahead of time in the hope they’d have the books out early. Read “Any Man of Mine,” you’ll understand my devotion. As with all of her books, it delivers an engrossing story with characters you’ll grow to care about.  And if, like mine, your Borders is no longer around, at least we have Gibson’s books to console us.

Heidi

Heidi

Hunter’s Fall by Shiloh Walker

Read by Heidi

Nessa had a near death experience that has changed her. Her memory has been effected and being a Hunter has taken on a whole new meaning. Just when she needs to go into battle, her most pressing Demons are within herself. Dominic thinks he is going crazy, dreaming of a woman who he has never met, and yet they are connected deeply. Dominic must find Nessa before more damage can be done, and connect their souls forever.

I found Nessa’s witch powers fascinating,  as well as her inner struggle with herself and the person she became. The power between Nessa and Dominic, and their pull for each other was haunting and beautiful.

Edie

Edie

Wild Desire by Lori Brighton

Read by Edie

Prim Scotswoman Beatrice Edmund has accompanied her cousin and his bride to India, where they’ll stay with the bride’s studious cousin. Her first night there, a drunken man invades her bedroom – while she’s bathing. He turns out to be the studious cousin. The action and danger continue as she helps Colin Fitch try to keep the villain from getting his hands on an artifact that gives the finder great powers.

This was a triple treat – a love story and an adventure with paranormal elements.  It’s Indiana Jones meets a proper Englishwoman who isn’t all that she seems. And neither is he.  I found the  evocative, and edge-of-the-seat story kept me reading into the night.

joysann

joysann

Downstroke by Desiree Holt (e-book)

Read by joysann

Country super-star Dallas Creed is making a come-back after a three year hiatus, but when a sniper takes shots at him, it appears someone doesn’t want him to succeed. Charley Roper, the owner of one of the best protection services in the business, is hired to be Dallas’s bodyguard and to find out who wants him dead. One big problem: Charley promised herself she’d never have anything to do with the gorgeous, charismatic Dallas Creed since he broke their engagement twenty years ago.

Downstroke was engaging from the start, and I couldn’t put it down. I found it very enjoyable as it is full of some of my favorite elements: mystery, suspense, sexy protagonists, erotic romance, and cowboys.

Heidi

Heidi

Skin Heat by Ava Gray

Read by Heidi

Geneva Harper comes from a old Southern Family where tradition and money are the most important things. Neva prefers to be a veterinarian and live on her own. She hires Zeke Noble, a man who disappeared from their small town, and is prone to gossip about his past. There is more to Zeke than meets the eye. He has a talents around animals. As a killer starts to claim victims, it looks like they have things to protect and save before everything is destroyed.

I found Zeke’s past secrets to be fascinating and his animalistic nature to be such a key role in this story. Neva has such a big heart, it’s no wonder her love for Zeke grows in such a unique way. The mystery was riveting.

Bottom Line: Yesterday was Drop Everything and Read Day…how did I miss this?  Oh, yeah, because I was reading.

RT: Readers Rule

Barbara Vey -- April 12th, 2011
Eric, Anne, C.H., Kim

Eric, Anne, C.H., Kim

I was hopeful that Thursday wouldn’t be so technically challenging and was off to breakfast with Anne Elizabeth, C.H. Amirand, their agent Eric Ruben and Kim from Hawaii.  Anne in charge of Graphic Novel Day on Friday and is the in house expert since she writes a column about it for RT.  C.H. gave me a copy of her new book that was recently featured on the WW Ladies blog.  Kim gave me a pack of Hawaiian goodies that was much appreciated since that’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to Hawaii.

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Christie Craig & Faye Hughes

Christie Craig & Faye Hughes

There were a ton of workshops and I stopped in to see Christie Craig and Faye Hughes Confession of a Romance Writer, but I’ll tell you, if you ever get a chance to go to one of these events, it’s almost impossible to get from point A to point B without running into someone who has a question or just wants to say “Hi.”  I would have liked to attended all the events, but with sometimes 17 things scheduled at the same time, it would be nice to have a couple of clones.

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Mystery Chix & Private Dix

Mystery Chix & Private Dix

Series Romance Authors

Series Romance Authors

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I stopped by the Mystery Chix & Private Dix mixer in time to get a quick picture.  Then on to the Lights, Action, Party! The Series Romance Way.  Every event offered an opportunity for readers and authors to mix it up and get better acquainted.  Of course, all the wonderful prizes they offered were extremely well received.

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After a fun lunch with Candace Havens and friends, I hit up the Reader’s Entertainment Hollywood Mixer (are you starting to see a theme in these parties?).  There were giant Oscars and gift bags were given to readers.  Some readers also received little Oscar statues to present to their favorite author.
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Olivia Gates came all the way from Egypt to accept her award

Olivia Gates

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RT gives out their own awards for best books and the winners who weren’t in attendance for the Awards Ceremony were able to send in a video.  You can find all the winners here.

Olivia Gates came all the way from Egypt to accept her award for To Tame a Sheikh (she assured me that she has never actually met a Sheikh).

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Heather Osborne of Samhain

Heather Osborne

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Samhain Publishing offered a Steampunk Tea.  Becoming a recent steampunk fan myself, I thought the decorations were delightful.  Authors came dressed for the part, goggles and all and the readers loved it.  It was a full house.

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Beautiful faeries from the ball

Beautiful faeries from the ball

The evening ended with a Venetian Masquerade Faery Ball.  There was a Faery Court on stage and everyone who dressed for the occasion could participate in the costume contest.  Let me just say how amazing some of these outfits were.  There were faery wings made of feather, lights and lace.  The winner was chosen by applause and I must admit that I was disappointed.  While a small dog with faery wings is cute, it shouldn’t win first place.  It in no way matched up to the imagination that went into some people’s outfits.  Next year I hope they put in a rule that an adult is the only one eligible to win.

Bottom Line: Since I’ve never earned my wings, I had to attend the party wingless…maybe next year.

RT Finally

Barbara Vey -- April 11th, 2011
Now this is the way I like to start a conference, hugged by Jason Isaacs. Oh, yeah, Sheila English wiggled her way in the picture.

Now this is the way I like to start a conference, hugged by Jason Isaacs. Oh, yeah, Sheila English wiggled her way in the picture.

Finally back on line.  I goofed on my flight home, so I’m now at a Days Inn next to LAX.  Good news is free wi-fi so I can finally post a blog.  Let me try to catch you up on what’s been going on since I arrived at the RT Booklovers Convention in Los Angeles.

Wednesday was the official start and people and their luggage filled with costumes started arriving.  Newbies are offered the RT Virgin session that explains the way things work.  There are three different tracks you can follow, reader, writer and bookseller/librarian.  Workshops and panels are offered for all three and then there are the social events sponsored by authors and publishers.  Veteran RTers and authors Jade Lee and Anne Elizabeth had a full house for RT Advantage, or as some people like to call it:  The Jade and Anne Elizabeth show!  As usual, Anne Elizabeth gave good advice on how to best negotiate the wild and wacky world of RT while Jade provided the comic relief and handed out cool stuff!

Megan Frampton & Liz Edelstein

Megan Frampton & Liz Edelstein

I started the day with breakfast with Liz Edelstein and Megan Frampton of Macmillian Publishing.  They offered a t-shirt and bookbag in the official book bag of goodies.  Then they wandered around the conference and anyone they spied wearing the shirt or carrying the bag got a special gift of a water bottle, books and other goodies to promote their new reader friendly online group Heroes and Heartbreakers.

While we we chatting, Megan noticed Joanna Bourne and since I’m still talking about how much I enjoyed The Spymaster’s Lady, I immediately went to her table and asked her to join us.  She admitted that she was pleasantly surprised by how well her book was received.  Another author meet I can check off my list.

Victoria Alexander & Kristen Painter

Victoria Alexander & Kristen Painter

I had to go to the goodie room to see all the amazing baskets put together by the authors.  They are free giveaways that you just need to fill out an entry form for.  Ok, I admit that I did put my name in for a few, but when they offer great books, chocolate and wine, they got me.

I tried to make it some of the sessions, but I’ve got to tell you that you can’t go two feet without walking into another author.  I stopped to chat with Cathy Maxwell, Sabrina Jeffries, Heather Graham, Victoria Alexander to name a few.  Then it was time to meet Vida Enstrand of Kensington Publishing in the Lounge.  We talked about authors, books and promotions coming up that I’ll be soon announcing on the blog.

Wilmer and me on the set

Wilmer and me on the set

But here’s a special event that I hadn’t planned for.  Sheila English was doing an interview with Howard Gordon (executive producer of “24” and “The X-Files) about his new book, Gideon’s War and needed a videographer.  I grabbed my trusty camera and microphone and we headed off about three blocks where we discovered they were shooting a pilot for a new NBC show.   Sheila did her interview and Howard graciously allowed me to do a Drive By Video with him also.  Then Howard invited us to watch the filming.  I’ve never been on a movie or tv set before, so I was total fan girl.  The main actors were Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter and also appeared in The Patriot with Mel Gibson) and Wilmer Valderrama of That 70’s Show.  We got to put headsets on and listen to scene unfold.  It’s going to be a cop show that has twists like Inception and Sliding Doors.  I really hope it gets picked up because I’ll be an instant fan.  After the scene was over, Jason came over to meet us and agreed to a Drive By Video with me.  I was mesmerized by his piercing blue eyes and to die for accent.  He was extremely tolerant of my babbling and completely charming.  Someone has to use him as their inspiration in their next book.  Because of the time, I only got my picture taken with the delightful Wilmer, but he was delightful and I can see why he has such a fanatical following.

Linnea Sinclair (center) & cast of her movie

Linnea Sinclair (center) & cast of her movie

Intergalactic Bar and Grille was overflowing with wine, tiaras and hunks!  The cast of Linnea Sinclair’s movie Down Home Alien Blues was there and added to the hunkiness and the fun.  As usual it included hilarious trivia questions, antics by hostesses, and good participation by their victims…er, customers!  Hostesses included Linnea Sinclair, Jade Lee, Nathalie Gray, Karen Miller, Cricket Starr, Marcella Burnard and Janet Miller.  Oh, and there was a duck toss too!

Bloggers from Carina Dinner

Bloggers from Carina Dinner

Before I knew it, it was time to head off to the Carina Publishing dinner that they offer to bloggers.  Angela James and Malle led us to a wonderful steak place that smelled wonderful.  But the best part was having 10 of us together to fuss over our favorite books.  I got some great suggestions of books I missed and I promised the group I’d try.  As much as I read, I’m always amazed at how much I’m not reading.  So, as soon as I finish them I’ll be writing about them in the New to Me blog.

Bollywood, Ellora's Cave style

Bollywood, Ellora's Cave style

Ellora’s Cave held an amazing Bollywood Party.  They hired a dancing troupe to entertain the audience.  To keep the fun going everyone was offered dance lessons which kept the dance floor packed.  There were gifts and other goodies that had many proclaiming this the “best party ever!”

Meanwhile, back at the hotel, my troubles continued with inconsistent internet connections, no hot water for showers, stuck elevators and spotty cell phone connections.  The computer wouldn’t recognize my video camera, so I couldn’t download anything.  I have it with a tech person now trying to save my Drive By’s.  Keep your fingers crossed. I couldn’t even Tweet and that is unacceptable!

There’ll be more on the conference all week.

Bottom Line: My motto today is smile, smile, smile and the heck with the rest of it…do your worst.