Monthly Archives: November 2011

WW Ladies Book Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- November 30th, 2011

Today the WW Ladies show off their diverse tastes with tales from sci-fi to contemporary and YA to Christmas.  Any who ever says, “There’s nothing good to read” is certainly not looking in the right places.

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joysann

joysann

Rebels and Lovers by Linnea Sinclair

Read by joysann

Devin Guthrie has contentedly conformed to familial expectations both in interplanetary high society and as the financial expert in the family business, mega-wealthy Guthrie Galactic, but when his 19 year old nephew becomes a target for kidnapping or assassination, he’s quick enough to take to the rough space stations to rescue him. In his efforts, he is reunited with bold and beautiful Captain Makaiden Griggs, an unrequited fascination he developed when she piloted the Guthrie private spaceships. As it becomes a chase of wit, danger and survival, the professional and class inhibitions of the past relax and the two find themselves involved in more than political intrigue and rebellion against the Empire.

When you present me with a well-conceived, well-written space opera, you can plan on my total inattention to anything else until I’ve finished it, and Linnea Sinclair has done it again. Though part of the Dock Five Universe, it stands alone pretty well, but will make you itch to find out what you’ve missed if you haven’t caught the others (or to back and read them again!). Fast, exciting, intriguing, and wonderfully romantic, Rebels and Lovers took me, with great delight, out of this world.

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Loretta

Loretta

aftertaste by Meredith Mileti

Read by Loretta

Mira, and her husband are gourmet cooks who own a popular restaurant in New York.  When their baby, Chloe is born, Mira is enthralled -  her husband is not.  Instead he finds a new love, an employee in their restaurant.  Mira discovers them together, loses her cool, attacks the woman and the court sentences her to take an anger management course, which she subsequently flunks.

We have all heard the saying “she has too much on her plate already” and know it does not refer to food. How Mira faces her “full plate” with uncommon grit, dignity and love, is why I rooted for her from Page l of this outstanding novel.  A heartwarming story unfolds as she discovers what is really important in life and makes this book DELICIOUS READING!.

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Sophie

Sophie

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Read by Sophie

Weird things are happening in Theia Alderson’s life—like the night the burning man fell from the sky, or the fact that the handsome boy in her dreams now suddenly is very real, and attending her school!  Theia is not sure how she’s supposed to feel about Haden Black, and Haden’s mixed signals are not helping—in her dreams, though everything else is extremely creepy, Haden is affectionate and kind and can’t keep his eyes off of her, but at school Haden avoids Theia, and uses his charm to entice cheerleaders (or, as Theia’s friend, Donny calls the popular kids, sneetches).  Despite this, Theia can’t seem to keep Haden off her mind, even when she finds out that he has a (and kind of is) a very dark, other-worldly secret—one that could cost Theia her soul, her friends, and her loving, if overprotective father.  And when Theia’s heart gets her in trouble, it’s going to take Haden’s confused love, her friends’ determinations, an exorcism or two, and a couple of psychics (the legit kind!) to get her out.

Falling Under was a thrill from the first sentence to the very last period!  With a slew of fun, well-rounded characters and details so intricate I could picture where each chapter was taking place and everything that was going on, it would have held my attention for hours on end, if only it was longer.  I applaud Gwen Hayes for this terrific work of fantasy which contains not one “vampire that glitters in the sunshine.”

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Michelle

Michelle

Room by Emma Donoghue

 

Read by Michelle

 

Jack is the narrator of this story and he tells it from the eyes of a five year old boy whose whole life has been lived in one room.  His playmate is “Ma.”  Seven years earlier she was kidnapped by Old Nick and during her incarceration she was repeatedly subjected to his sexual advances that led to her conceiving Jack.  Jack believes that what is real is what is in the Room with him.  Now that he is old enough “Ma” tells him the truth and elicit his help in planning the “Great Escape.”  As their plan unfolds they are thrown into a brand new and bigger world that causes some overwhelming changes.

 

What an unnerving and riveting tale about love that transcends some of the worst imaginable human experiences.  The strength of a mother’s love is an amazing thing, looking at the real life story of Jacyee Dugard we know that that love is possible.

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Heidi

Heidi

1225 Christmas Tree Lane (Cedar Cove Series) by Debbie Macomber
Read by Heidi
The last installment of the Cedar Cove Series focuses on Beth Morehouse and her family. Beth started a Christmas Tree Farm after her divorce from her husband and at this time of year, she is busier than ever! Beth started a new relationship with Ted Reynolds, the local vet, and that will come in handy with 10 abandoned puppies on her doorstep! Not to mention her college-age daughters have come home with plans up their sleeves to reunite their parents. Beth was looking forward to quiet family Christmas, but those wishes may change, especially in a romantic town like Cedar Cove.
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Those who are fans of Debbie’s Cedar Cove Series will be very pleased to see how well she wove the story of Beth and her family around the rest of the town in this last book. It’s nice to see when an author thinks of the fans and wants to make sure all questions of different couples have a final answer. I think that is what I enjoyed the most of this book, not only one happy ending, but many happy endings all wrapped up in one gift!!

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joysann

joysann

Dark Descendant by Jenna Black

Read by joysann
Private Investigator Nikki Glass doesn’t believe in woo-woo stuff, but when she is suddenly thrust among a tough, scary, indestructible group of weirdos she thought were a cult, she learns she is descended from Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the Hunt, which explains her special talent at finding people. She discovers that she and they are immortal, and each has woo-woo talents she can’t deny. When an even scarier group of immortals threaten her family to force her to hunt for people they want to destroy, Nikki quickly ceases to doubt the existence of the descendants of the gods, and works with her own newly discovered talents to confront evil.

There were twists and surprises in every part of this story, and I liked how unpredictable and imaginative it is. Between the suspense, exciting action, and the fascinating characters, I was unable to put this book down. Now I find myself enthusiastic about another compelling series by Jenna Black; I can hardly wait for the next book coming out in April.

 

Bottom Line:  Thanks for the great response to an All Book Christmas and feel free to leave more suggestions here.

 

All Book Christmas

Barbara Vey -- November 28th, 2011

I have decided to make this year an All Book Christmas.  Instead of buying gifts that nobody really wants (green sweater, electric wine opener, heated socks), I plan to give all books for Christmas.

 

The upside is that I’ll get to spend hours in book stores searching for that one special book for each person.  I may even have to sit in the cafe, while sipping a hazelnut cappuccino, and browse through some of them.  There may be people I have to talk to for suggestions and that’s always a great conversation starter.

 

Since I have such a wide variety of people on my list (male, female, young, not so young, wild, innocent, passionate, sensible), I’ll need to hit all areas of the store.  The research may take days…even weeks.  I know it’s a tough shopping ordeal, but I’m up for it.  After all, I’ve been training all my life.

 

So, now I need your help.  Offer suggestions to me for all my categories.  What would you buy and for who?

 

Bottom Line:  “The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television.”  ~Andrew Ross

 

Cyber Monday

I asked who was giving Cyber Monday deals today and here’s a few who responded:

 

Lachesis Publishing are offering 25% off at  by using promo code RevolvingBook123111 on everything at the site

 

Dorchester Publishing:  60% off e-books, 50% audio, 40% off trades.

 

The Sanction Chronicles are offering buy one book, get one free from participating authors.

 

SelenaBlake is offering her third book, Seduced by a Cajun Werewolf, free via ARe and Smashwords.
From Open Road Media today only, every single ebook  is up to 60% off across all major retailers, with some bestselling ebooks priced at only 99 cents! On the website you’ll find some neat recommendations for giving ebooks as gifts, as well as find five short, helpful how-to videos on how to “gift” ebooks through Amazon, Apple iBookstore, B&N, Kobo, and the Sony Reader Store.

 

 

WW Ladies Book Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- November 21st, 2011

Hard to believe it’s turkey week already, but save some time for enjoying some good books in between cooking, eating left overs and Black Friday.  Here’s the WW Ladies reading list for the week.

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joysann

joysann

No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper

Read by joysann

A powerful wizard in his own right, Simon Grenville doesn’t bat a eye when, in a flash of light, a strangely dressed, heavily armed woman appears in the woods of his Victorian estate. When Joan explains that she’s from the future, and has come back in time to slay an evil magician who dooms her world, Simon helps prepare her to pass as a normal society lady. The fact is, the man she’s come to assassinate is none other than his own enemy.

Not having read even the cover blurbs, I didn’t know what I was getting into when I picked up No Proper Lady, so I was thoroughly surprised and pleased to find what I’m wanting to call a Futuristic Historical, as absurd as that sounds. The concept seems fresh to me, and the characters are enjoyable. I didn’t put it down for hours while I was enthralled by this exciting fantasy.

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Loretta

Loretta

 Devious by Lisa Jackson

Read by Loretta

If I am walking down the aisle in this wedding gown to meet him and be married, why is the chapel so dark and cold?  Terror and panic encircle Camille as she is unable to loosen a cord relentlessly tightening around her throat…..is this punishment for her sins?  “Help Me” she tries to call out…..

Lisa Jackson’s novel, DEVIOUS, has layer upon layer of horrors hard to imagine, especially since they occur in a convent.  A killer of a tale…. thrilling this reader from beginning to the startling end!

Ashley

Ashley

My Favorite Countess by Vanessa Kelly

Read by Ashley
Bathsheba is now the widow of the Earl of Randolph and now very, very broke. Her solution is to marry a rich Earl, because her first marriage of “love” turned out to be a disaster. She enters England’s season wanting to find a boring man and live comfortable in wealth. What she doesn’t expect is to be taken by and up and coming Dr. John Blackmore and to feel things she has never felt before. Nothing is going as planned and she doesn’t know if she should trust her heart or just settle for dull life.
My favorite Countess is filled with witty and sassy conversations that kept me amused. Bathsheba is my ideal heroine and by far my favorite countess to read about!

Heidi

Heidi

A Texas Christmas by Jodi Thomas, Dewanna Pace, Linda Broday and Phyllis Miranda

Read by Heidi

This anthology features 4 stories in the Texas Panhandle in 1887
One Wish: A Christmas Story by Jodi Thomas
Sam Thompson has been in love with Margaret Allison since she showed him kindness in grade school. But Thompsons are considered bad news in the town of Kasota Springs. So he lives in the canyons and away from town. But when Sam hears that Margaret’s life is at risk, being the sole mercantile owner in town, he can’t help himself but watch and make sure she is safe. To help her escape, Margaret goes with Sam to his home before a blizzard hits, to keep them safe. But safety is hard to come by, and the killers are closer to them, even with the dangerous storm.

Naughty or Nice by Dewanna Pace
James Elliott III is tracking the pink Bluebonnet flower in the Texas Panhandle, but loses his way and time before the blizzard hits. Independent saloon owner Anna Ross is returning with supplies to town, and finds James hurt and almost frozen. They seek shelter with friends and townsfolk but their judgment of Anna, brings James to the rescue for her, while they are stuck together for days during the blizzard.

The Christmas Bell by Linda Broday
Sloan Sullivan knows the train headed to Kasota Springs is in trouble. No movement and no smoke rising from the train. He heads out despite the blizzard to bring supplies to the stranded passengers. Unfortunately, the one person he didn’t want to see, is stuck on the train; Tess Whitgrove. Tess is proving to the town that she can handle herself, returning from Boston with the town’s new church bell, which needs to be rung for Christmas Day and . But with the terrible weather, it may not happen. Soon, other strangers show up and seem to have other plans, than to get warm and out of the weather.

Away in the Manger by Phyllis Miranda
Local Blacksmith Randall Humphrey had one wish for Christmas. To be alone. Unfortunately, with the blizzard approaching, he is unable to be alone, when he is hired to watch over a niece and her two charges who are coming to Kasota Springs. What Randall wasn’t expecting is the niece is beautiful Sarah Callahan to arrive with three-year-old twins and to be stuck with them when the blizzard hits. After a short time, Sarah and the children seem to warm Randall’s heart.

I really enjoyed how the authors wove the stories around the same location and the blizzard theme. Each story has a unique take on romance all while the goal is to have the best happen by Christmas. It was a cozy, heartwarming story, which really put me in the holiday mood.

Marsha

Marsha

His Darkest Salvation by Juliana Stone

Read by Marsha

Jaden DaCosta has never forgotten the man who rejected her several
years ago.  She insists that  she hates Julian Castille yet there is no
denying this heat between them when chance brings them together again.  Julian is a changed man after spending 6 months in hell and now embraces his shifter nature determined to win back his soul at any
cost.  Julian and Jaden,  who works for the PATU,  Paranormal Anti-terrorist Unit, must find a a way to rewrite their painful history and work together.  They race against time to prevent a catastrophic event that would open the portal beyween hell and the unsuspecting human population.

Juliana Stone weaves a classic good versus evil story,  complete with sorcerers, fallen angels, vampires and demons and it is not always clear who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.  I couldn’t help but find myself rooting for Julian and the woman who
will bring him peace at last.  A twist at the end of the story draws me towards Ms. Stone’s next tale.

joysann

joysann

When Passion Rules by Johanna Lindsey

Listened to by joysann

Alana Farmer is surprised when pressed by her guardian to leave London Society and return to her land of her birth, ostensibly to prevent a succession war, for she is the missing princess of Lubania. Not believing it herself, she is nonetheless put out when the handsome captain of the Palace Guard detains her as a scheming impostor. As things become more dangerous, and passions heat up between them, the puzzles surrounding Alana come apart and her guard becomes her most devoted defender.

An avid Regency historicals reader, I can forget that there is a whole world of intrigue going on beyond the parlors of London’s ton, so I was fascinated to cross into Europe to imagine the courts and societies there. Highly romantic and excitingly suspenseful, Johanna Lindsey writes a delicious and seductive interplay between Alana and Captain Christoph Becker that made my toes curl. Narrator Rosalyn Landor’s rich, aristocratic voice only adds more dazzle to this delightful story.

Bottom Line:  I have Christmas music on already while I read…I know, I’m pathetic, but it makes me feel so good.

 

Monday Giveaways

 

From Jill StoneGET LOST IN A STORY GIVEAWAYS: MONDAY: Mia Marlowe – Winner’s choice between e-novellas A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS or MY LADY BELOW STAIRS. TUESDAY: Tessa Dare – A print copy of A NIGHT TO SURRENDER and an e-copy of ONCE UPON A WINTER’S EVE


From Mia Marlowe:  Mia Marlowe’s guest Farrah Rochon is offering a $10 Amazon or B & N gift card to a random commenter on Mia’s blog.

 

 

 

Saturday Matinée

Barbara Vey -- November 19th, 2011

 

With a special homage to our men in arms:

SEAL of My Dreams

Hometown Girl (The Chesapeake Diaries) by Mariah Stewart

White Series by Susan Edwards

If You Hear Her Series… by Shiloh Walker

 

If you have a book video you’d like considered, please send it to me at bvey@publishersweekly.com with Book Video in the subject line.

Murder and Mayhem in Muskego

Barbara Vey -- November 18th, 2011

Michelle

Michelle

Michelle is one of our wonderful WW Ladies, a bookseller at Barnes and Noble and just attended Murder and Mayhem in Muskego as our Cub Reporter.

This was another successful event, full of aspiring authors, fans and our beloved story tellers.  The day was filled with thoughtful insight, dialogue and humor about the craft.

Karen Kolasa, a sensitive, is a Paranormal Investigator in Milwaukee.  She presented on the topic of Psychic Awareness and Psychic Detectives and broke down the variations between psychics.  Clairsentients can feel energy or emotion like when someone is near you and you haven’t heard them approach, or they can perceive the energy in a room they enter.   Clairvoyants see images, actions or events that are not theirs (the third eye chakra of all seeing). Clairaudients can hear thoughts or perceptions from external influences that often come quicker to them than their own thoughts.  There is an operant theory that everyone is born psychic.  Children tend to be more sensitive to the spirit world than adults are.  Adults can regain their psychic ability through meditation and practice.  In popular media we see psychics working with police but in reality no psychic is 100% accurate.  The abilities that have helped police solve crimes are Post Cognition which is to have a perception of the past you get a feeling as to what’s going on.  Psychometry is getting images, feelings or impressions from holding objects.  Some psychics can do Remote Viewing which is to send their spirit to a different location and sense what may be going on there.  Some psychics can communicate with the dead.

Tom Schreck, Gar Anthony Haywood, Markus Sakey, Jess Lourey, and Dana Cameron

Tom Schreck, Gar Anthony Haywood, Markus Sakey, Jess Lourey, and Dana Cameron

The panel discussion titled Won’t Get Fooled Again – Playing Fair with the Reader was a lively conversation with Joelle Charbonneau talking about needing to find something believable to identify with when building a character.  “You want your character to grow and change throughout a story line, but not changing the essence of who they are.”  Alison Gaylin, A thespian, stated that “for a book to be successful, it needs to end logically, factually and psychologically.  We need to make sense out of the senseless, like picking up a rock and seeing the dark side of life.”  Andrew Grant imagines that he’s telling a story and that the reader sees everything through the characters eyes so the decisions the characters make need to make sense.  Alison Janssen talked of character motivation and that the victim, detective and perpetrator are all connected like a triangle.  Gar Anthony Haywood creates a sketch of each character and loves learning new things about the characters he is writing.

Stefanie Pintoff and Kelli Stanley

Stefanie Pintoff and Kelli Stanley

My Generation – Mysteries in the Past this was a panel of four authors who write historical fiction and they shared the tricks of the trade and how to write within the framework of their time period.  Jeri Westerson writes medieval noir, and she uses history as her timeline which allows the sensibilities of the time period to come out in her writing.  Kelli Stanley writes two hardboiled noir series from 1940’s San Francisco and Roman Briton from the 1st century A.D.  She seeks to entertain and educate and approaches history from a basic humanistic approach showing that the people of the past were people too.  Reed Farrel Coleman was called a Hardboiled Poet by NPR.  His series is set in the mid 1970’s New York.  He shared his philosophical approach of “how long does the present last?  Now is the past.”  We need to be rooted in the assumption that people are people.  We all have similar feelings as well as those of our characters.  Andrew Grant shared a quote from L.P. Hartley, “The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.”

The discussion moved on to Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere – Writing without Borders and was moderated by Jen Forbus from Jensbookthoughts.com.  For fun the panel was also asked to identify a theme song for themselves.  Megan Abbott writes hardboiled noir, which has mostly been a male dominated in the realm of characters so she writes female characters taking on a lead role.  She admitted there are things she “can’t bare to put on the page because I think of my mother reading it.”  Her theme song is “You Can’t Always Get What you Want.”  Sean Chercover tends to be a solitary writer and will use social media as a way to feel connected to his “Tribe” which he deems as the community of writers and avid readers.  One of his theme songs is Dance Like a Monkey.”  Hilary Davidson shared how whatever is going on in the book she’s writing somehow presents itself in her own life.  She sees the Kill Bill Soundtrack as a theme for her life.  Martyn Waites whose theme song is Boy Child, came from the UK especially for this conference, starts out writing from the point of view of wanting to know his topic better.

 

jennifer jordan, Stefanie Pintoff, Duane Swierczynski, Gary Phillips and F. Paul Wilson

jennifer jordan, Stefanie Pintoff, Duane Swierczynski, Gary Phillips and F. Paul Wilson

Next on the agenda was We’re Not Going to Take it – Breaking out of the Traditional where the authors talked more about building a believable character and how to get accurate information.  F. Paul Wilson in regards to researching history posed that “the closer it is to the contemporary the harder it is.”  Luckily with technology we have some tricks on how to verify some of the information for landscape accuracy.  Stefanie Pintoff who has a history in forensics, talked about attending events sponsored by the Citizens Academy which runs courses for people who want to know what the FBI does like finger printing, surveillance equipment, etc…  Within our writing, Jennifer Jordan admitted that “the bad guy doesn’t always know he’s the bad guy.”  When building his characters, Gary Phillips feels it’s important to establish “what is it for that person for them to act the way they do?  What is that one thing that keeps them going?  Some piece of humanity.”  Duane Swierczynski adds that most stories “dictate themselves” and that “your first book is the index for future novels”, which he references from John Connolly.

The last panel, Who Are You? – Characters Can Make or Break a Story had a spirited and humorous banter starting with our esteemed host moderator, Tom Schreck the author whose beloved character in the Duffy Dombrowski novels is a flatulent basset hound.  Gar Anthony Haywood talked of how heroes are well intentioned and he built his character on what de didn’t want him to be.  Marcus Sakey discovered the character as he discovered himself.  He also talked of how everyone in the book, reader included needs to be uncomfortable.  Marcus is also launching a new show on the Travel Channel called Hidden City which airs 12/6/11.  Jess Lourey commented that flaws are more important than the virtues of the character.  Having a little bit of a backstory can keep the momentum of the book going  if you write in a bad guy to your story that is based on a real life baddy, the more accurately you describe them the less likely they will recognizes themselves in the novel.

Michelle and John Connolly

Michelle and John Connolly

The day wrapped up with an interview with John Connolly by Ruth Jordan, author and co-publisher of Crime Scene Magazine.  John is the author of the Charlie Parker series, crime fiction short stories, ghost stories and the acclaimed Book of Lost Things which he recommends to anyone who wants to read.  It is written for adults about children, and is filled with regret.  John started as a journalist in Ireland and attributes his literary inspiration to the works of Ross MacDonald and Raymond Chandler.  John expressed that his “books became a chance for me to look at the world.”  He revisits ideas that interest him.  He views mysteries as a “journey through a psychological landscape that goes through a physical landscape.”  He encourages writers to “find things that trouble you, you’re passionate about or that are strange.”  He commented that “those of us who do anything, we do it to prove a point to someone else.”  He also feels that “you bring your life experience to the way you read a book.  A book changes you.”  He jokingly admitted that Michael Connelly is the son his mother never had.

John went on to say that “ebooks and printed books are not the same thing.  You don’t own an ebook, you have paid for the right to access it.  Books have a feeling of nostalgia.  They are markers for your life.   We hold on to them, they say something about the life you’ve lived.”

The opportunity I have had for the past three years in covering this event has allowed me to meet amazing people, talk books and get an inside look into the great minds of the many people whose books I enjoy.  Thanks again to the Friends of Muskego Public Library for sponsoring such a wonderful event.

Bottom Line:  For the book lover out there this is a must attend conference so keep Muskego in mind next November.

New Jersey Romance Writers Conference

Barbara Vey -- November 14th, 2011

Stacey Adgern is an aspiring author and bookseller.  She lives in New York and is the Cub Reporter for the New Jersey RWA Put Your Heart in a Book conference.

Suzanne Brockmann

Suzanne Brockmann

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At the very beginning of the conference, keynote speaker Suzanne Brockmann talked about the romance writer’s need to find the ‘love place.’  And for all of us devotees to the romance genre, whether readers or writers, the idea of what makes the ‘love place’ is clear.   It’s the inspiration, that thing which drives a writer.  For Victoria Alexander, as she told attendees at Sunday’s bookseller’s lunch, it’s “when she can give a happily ever after to those who can’t find it in real life; and…take people away from their own lives for just a few moments.”
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Lauren Wittig Stacey Agdern

Lauren Wittig Stacey Agdern

For me, the ‘love place’ comes at places like the NJRW conference, where I got to catch up with Eloisa James, Elizabeth Mahon, Janet Gover, Louise Fury, Cara Elliott, Elizabeth Darrach, Kiersten Krum, Hope Tarr, Leanna Hieber, Lisa Dale and Sophie Jordan, and was able to meet both Stephanie Tyler and Kristan Higgins.  The ‘love place’ also was a perfect moment where once again, I was able to watch as a friend of mine won a Golden Leaf award.  This year, the lucky friend was Lauren Willig.
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Lisa Dale

Lisa Dale

Another of the themes talked about at the conference was the question of whether or not to search for respect outside the romance genre.  Luncheon speaker Rachel Gibson said no.  She said that the only places that Romance Authors should search for respect involved the readers who love the genre.  And how should they do that? By writing the best books they can.  Keynote speaker Suzanne Brockmann said differently; that it was our goal as writers to get people to fall in love with the genre.
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Regardless of how you feel on the issue it was pretty clear to me that after seeing  Lauren Willig’s detailed workshop presented on historical research , Stephanie Draven’s awesome workshop on using mythological techniques to improve stories, and Laura Griffin’s tight workshop on Romantic Suspense, that those who stack the deck against the Romance genre wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they did see the evidence of what goes into the books they spend their time badmouthing.
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But in the end, everybody at the conference-whether it was conference chair Marlo Berliner, last year’s conference chair Miriam Allenson; whether it was the wonderful Judi Fennell and the awesome group of booksellers I met at the booksellers lunch, or even author  KT Grant who got to sign at the book signing for the very first time-understood that love conquers all.  No matter how they felt about the need for respect, or where their inspiration for writing romance novels came from, they all spoke about the importance of romance novels at this time in history, and the power of a romance novel to make a difference in people’s lives.

 

Bottom Line:  For me, it’s all about the romance.

Saturday Matinée

Barbara Vey -- November 12th, 2011

 

More trailers from the tube!

Last Chance Rescue Series by Christy Reece

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

The Viper by Monica McCarty

The McCabe Trilogy by Maya Banks

 

If you have a book video you’d like considered, please send it to me at bvey@publishersweekly.com with Book Video in the subject line.

Veteran’s Day

Barbara Vey -- November 11th, 2011

Everyone is talking about it being 11-11-11 today.  The Immortals movie has been using it as selling point since summer.   It’s my nephew Cody’s golden birthday, he’s 11 today.  And it’s TGIF, which makes it a day to celebrate just because the weekend is starting.  But the most important thing about 11-11-11 is that it is Veteran’s Day.

 

I’m sure we all know a veteran.  My dad was in both the Army and the Navy.  He fought in Korea, but he would never talk about it.  I was in high school when a lot of my friends went off to Vietnam.  I even tried to enlist in the Army after high school, but I wasn’t old enough and my mom wouldn’t sign the papers.  I remember being so mad at her that I moved to California.  Of course, I was home after 3 months because I was so homesick, so I guess mom’s do know best.

 

But, I think today should be all about the veterans and our military families.  There are a lot of authors who sponsor special things for the troops including sending books.  Every year our church sends boxes of goodies to the troops.  There are Veteran Day parades and when I was in school we used to have to stand at 11:00 a.m. and face the flag for a moment of silence for our veterans.

 

I received an email from Coupon Sherpa this week listing 35 Freebies for the military today.  They include free meals from Denny’s, Subway, Applebees, Chili’s and Famous Dave’s.  There’s a free donut from Krispy Kreme and discounts at Home Depot, Lowes and Macy’s.  Free admission to attractions and parks and lots more.

 

I know this is a very small token of our appreciation for their sacrifices, but I hope they get a chance to go out and enjoy some of the offerings.

 

Please take this opportunity to thank someone you know or add a tribute to someone.  Who would you like to thank or acknowledge?  You can also list any charity that offers support to the troops.

 

Bottom Line:  “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” -Maya Angelou

WW Ladies Holiday Book Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- November 9th, 2011
Yes folks, it’s that time of year again.  Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is coming up and Christmas is right around the corner.  What better way to get in the holiday spirit than with reading a seasonal book?  I have my favorites that I pull out every year.  Here’s what the WW Ladies have been reading.
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joysann

joysann

His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander

Listened to by joysann

Disinterested in ever marrying again, beautiful widowed Lady Veronica Smithson decides it’s time she discretely take on a lover, and sets her sights on handsome, popular explorer Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, planning to entice him in the three weeks before Christmas. Sebastian, on the other hand, quickly falls in love and wants to wed her. He agrees to an affair, though, and takes her to his quiet country home for the holidays. Unexpected circumstances, however, force them into implying they’re married, and confusion ensues that has their relationship teetering on a family inheritance.

I loved this! The charming characters and their beguiling relationships are fun and enchanting. Adding the confusion of a large family and old English holiday traditions make His Mistress by Christmas a heart-warming story. And listening to Susan Duerden’s talented performance gave me several hours of pure delight.

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Heidi

Heidi

To Santa with Love by Janet Dailey

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Read by Heidi
Jacquie Grey has decided to leave her secure lifestyle with her parents in Dallas, and move to Los Angeles to start a new life. When she stops in Tombstone, AZ; her world is turned upside down in a second. One car accident with sexy rancher Choya Barnett, she discovers her car repairs are more than she can handle. Reluctantly, she agrees to help out Choya at his home and help him with his son, Robbie. The friendship turns into more by an attraction that is strong and growing. Christmas is coming and the magic of the season could make everyone’s wishes come true.
I found the whole story so heartwarming, it really hit the holiday spot in me. Especially the slow growth of the love between the two main characters. The author made the Arizona desert come alive with her descriptive words. I know that this book hits the spot just like hot cocoa does in a snow storm!!
Heidi

Heidi

Mistletoe Wishes by Carole Mortimer, Jane Porter and Catherine George

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Read by Heidi
The Billionaire’s Christmas Gift by Carole Mortimer
Nick Steele would do anything for his daughter Bekka, since his wife died, including finding someone to join them on Christmas Day, his daughter’s birthday. After a disastrous first meeting with her attractive teacher, Nick isn’t sure if he’s ready for a relationship but Beth might melt his cold heart to reconsider.
One Christmas Night in Venice by Jane Porter
Diane Mayer may never be the same since her husband and baby died in a tragic car accident. She returns to Venice after 5 years to bring closure to her life and instead receives the shock of her life! Dominic is alive and thought Diane was the one who had died. When the truth finally comes to the surface, Diane and Dominic realize that they need to put the past behind them, before they can move forward together to their future.
Snowbound with the Millionaire by Catherine George
Georgia wants a quiet Christmas just by herself. She heads to her parents cottage, intending to do just that. But Chance Warner can’t let her get flooded out of her cottage, and insists that she join him in his mansion to wait out the bad weather. But Mother Nature has more plans that just flooding, and soon snow and blizzard type of conditions make it impossible for Georgia to leave. The attraction between her and Chance is not what she wished for, but it might be the exact thing her heart was asking for.
All three of these stories brought the real feeling of romance and Christmas together for me. My favorite of the three was Snowbound with the Millionaire. Imagining being stranded with a hunky rescuer and his dogs in a big mansion, really wrapped up the whole book. This really made me want to read more books for the holiday season!

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joysann

joysann

An O’Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods

Listened to by joysann

Laila Riley decided that her fling with the younger, wild Matthew O’Brien had to end, but when chivied into going with the extended O’Brien relations to Ireland for the holidays, she finds herself in his company again. Matt has no doubts that they belong together and works to prove he’s right for her. With grandmother Nell reuniting with an old beau, the whole O’Brien family gets in on making their Irish Christmas holiday one none will forget.

Sherryl Woods writes an engaging contemporary series about Chesapeake Shores, a small town where everyone is somehow connected to everyone else, and the relationships are convoluted. The focus is on the romances, but real life happens, and the caring and generosity of family makes for stories of warmth and support. Listening to Christina Traister perform, I was quickly enamored of the characters and their gratifying Irish holiday.

 

Do you have a holiday favorite?  Something you have to reread every year?

 

Bottom Line:  My Christmas tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving and I start reading those holiday books.

Hopeless Romantic

Barbara Vey -- November 7th, 2011

I admit it.  I’m a hopeless romantic.  I guess I always knew it.  My books and movies always have to have happy endings.  I cry at weddings, baby christenings and Hallmark commercials.  But now a new television show has brought me to my knees.

 

Once Upon a Time uses the premise that that fairy tales are all true and the characters live in an enchanted land (well, I knew that anyway).  But the evil Queen from Snow White is finally getting her revenge by cursing all the land with a fate worse than death…real life in the present.  The only catch is that time stands still so they are all stuck in the present with no memory of what their lives were before.  They can’t remember anything before the curse and no one can leave the town without bad things happening.

 

We learn that there can’t be a curse unless there is a way to break it and their fate lies in the child of Snow White and Prince Charming returning to save them 28 years later.   Of course, she doesn’t know who she is or what she’s suppose to do, but that’s the fun of the whole thing.

 

They do a clever job each week of weaving the story line through the present with glimpses of the past.  And last night we saw how Snow White and Prince Charming met.  Not quite like the book, but very entertaining.  I can’t believe I spent the whole episode waiting for them to kiss.

 

Now I’m no where near a school girl, but the simple fact of the possibility of true love, love’s first kiss and happily ever after just get me every time.  It’s so refreshing to see a show like this that isn’t about gory police procedure, raunchy sexy inuendo shows, reality shows that show the ugly side of human nature or political commercials.  Many of these unfit for kids (especially the political commercials).  Adults on the other hand, can choose to watch whatever they want.  I do.  In the interest of full disclosure I love Bones and Castle.  My guilty pleasures are Survivor, Big Brother, The Guild (webisodes).

 

The beauty of Once Upon a Time is that the whole family can watch it and talk about it.  They can dust off the fairy tale books and read what they had read to them as children.  Real discussions can happen about where the story is going and how other fairy tale characters may fit in. Be creative.

 

Yes, I can’t get enough of it and it’s been a long time since I can remember being excited about the next episode of anything.  I suppose that means it will be cancelled soon because that seems to happen to a lot of the shows I enjoy.  If you’ve missed the first 3 episodes, they are online.

BTW:  It’s official.  My Barbara Vey Readers Appreciation Luncheon is now online.  You can order tickets for the April 10, 2012 event here and even choose the author you want to sit with.  Read the blog about it and check out the 38 authors attending here.

 

Bottom Line:  I’m okay with being a hopeless romantic and hope I never outgrow it.

 

Monday Giveaways

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From Jill StoneGET LOST IN A STORY giveaways for November 7-11 Wednesday: Candace Havens has a copy of Model Marine to giveaway, Thursday: SEAL OF MY DREAMS ANTHOLOGY: Navy SEAL stories inspired by a Pulitzer prize winning photographer’s photo of a real Navy Seal. And Get Lost in a Story is donating a copy to one lucky commenter! Published by Bell Bridge Books, proceeds go to Veteran’s Medical Research. Friday: Rochelle Staab has a copy of her debut mystery: WHO DO, VOODOO?

 

From Wendy Wax:  Starting this week, Ten Beach Road author Wendy Wax is offering a book a week for each of six weeks, all women’s fiction. This week the winner will receive a copy of Carly Phillips’ new bestseller SERENDIPITY. Saturday morning week two highlights Jill Shalvis’s latest. Enter here and click on Contest News: Enter Wendy’s Latest Giveaway Now.