Monthly Archives: December 2011

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- December 29th, 2011

I hope everyone is enjoying Christmas week.  For me it’s an excuse to turn on the holiday lights, have some Baileys and coffee (with whipped cream, of course) and cozy up with a good book.  I know the WW Ladies have (although I’m not sure about the Baileys).  And this week we welcome two new readers.  Molly, an aspiring writer and Beth, a music store owner.  Both love to read and share their books with you.

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joysann

joysann

Pirate King by Laurie R. King

Listened to by joysann

At the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell goes undercover with a movie company to discover if they might be selling arms and drugs on the black market. She sets sail to help film a silent movie about a film crew filming The Pirates of Penzance overtaken by pirates, only to be overtaken… by pirates? With a crew including a cast of thirteen blond beauties and thirteen pirates and a handful of imitation police constables, and confusion on the high seas, Russell wistfully wishes she was partnered with her famous husband, Sherlock Holmes, so together they could save the day.

Mary Russell is one of my all-time favorite characters, and the series of her “memoirs” are always clever, fascinating and suspenseful. Pirate King is all that, plus a lot of fun. Putting on my earbuds and listening to Jenny Sterlin give her usual excellent performance makes it all the better, and a real pleasure.

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Molly

Molly

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Read by Molly

Natalie Stewart has just returned to New York after spending years at the Connecticut Asylum.  She desperately wants to find a way to fit in.  The problem is, since she was four years old, she hasn’t been able to speak and has no connections in New York’s society.  Given a job by her father at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in acquisitions, she comes face to face with the mysterious and devilishly handsome portrait of one Lord Denbury, that is scheduled to be auctioned off.  By a stroke of luck, the painting will be displayed in the museum for all to see.  But strange things begin to happen as the painting starts to change and call out to her, begging her to touch it.  Lord Denbury is trapped within the painting and yet she sees him walking by day among the streets of New York.  Dark forces are at work that could affect the world.  Only Natalie has the power to help set all to rights and rescue this handsome nobleman from his prison.  But what can one girl do when she has no voice to cry out against the demons that dwell in the dark?

I absolutely adored this book.  The pacing and constant action at every moment kept my pages turning.  I loved both Natalie’s and Lord Denbury’s personalities and I felt like I standing beside them every step of the way.  Hieber keeps the reader on her toes as the mystery deepens.  The vibrancy of Victorian New York that she creates is alive.  I highly recommend this book!
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Beth

Beth

Within the Flames by Marjorie M. Liu

Read by Beth

Lyssa is a shapeshifter hiding in the tunnels below New York.  The last of her kind, she is pursued by evil so great, no one has any defenses against it.  Eddie is sent by Dirk & Steele, a psychic detective agency that’s really so much more, to help her out.  After being alone so long, Lyssa is wary of getting help from anyone, let alone a handsome stranger with abilities of his own.  The race is on as they try to combat the dark forces that threaten human kind.

The Dirk & Steele series is one of my favorite, but I love that each book works well as a stand alone so I can pass them off to my friends.  This book packs a punch and Lyssa’s other self is very special, which makes Eddie’s ability a necessity.  Definitely not to be missed, Within the Flames is intriguing, alluring and heart-thumping.

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Molly

Molly

Twice Fallen by Emma Wildes

Read by Molly

Lady Lillian Bourne found herself the object of scandal four years ago due to a botched elopement.  Now, back in London, she is trying to keep scandal at bay and find a husband.  Unfortunately, scandal seems to follow her as she finds herself locked in a library with one of England’s former spies, Lord Damien Northfield.  They find themselves reacquainted when Damien is summoned to help with some mysterious murders among the elite London society, but Damien finds himself distracted by this beautiful woman who has caught his attention.

I was captivated by this book from the extremely witty dialogue to the wonderfully painted scenery.  I especially found Lillian’s spunk and willingness to march to the beat of her own drummer fantastic.  Emma Wildes tells a beautiful story of passion, mystery and romance set amidst the glittering ballrooms of Regency England.
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Beth

Beth

Nightwalker by Lisa Kessler (E-Book)

Read by Beth

Kate Bradley is a woman scorned.  Her ex is a cheat and she’s done with men.  Calisto Terana has different ideas.  He’s been searching for Kate for hundreds of years and now that he’s found her, he will do everything possible to win her love…again.

This debut novel by Lisa Kessler has everything going for it.  Long lost love given another chance, a man drawn to his soul-mate and a world destined to keep them apart.  Suspenseful and romantic.

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joysann

joysann

The Hollows Insider by Kim Harrison

Read by joysann

Since Hollows Gazette reporter Devin Crossman lost all his hair when he got caught in the crossfire of magical charms during an official bounty-hunter chase, he’s been trying to do an investigative report on the witch agent, Rachel Morgan. Vindictively determined to prove she’s a danger to society, he digs into everything; her work history, her personal associations, whatever magical experience records he can find, and tries to get his suspicions printed and Rachel indicted/convicted of wrongdoing with black magic. The Hollows Insider is the record of all his research and his personal conclusions, plus confidential interoffice memos from Kalamack Industries, Inc., classified descriptions of supernatural species, spells, charm and cookie recipes, and more.

Those of us readers who have been enthralled by Rachel Morgan’s world already know of these things, but this delightful volume brings us details and descriptions that give it more clarity, and makes it a more interesting place to visit. It really is a must-read for fans. If you’re not a constant reader, there are spoilers here, but I find so much enjoyment in the series, I suggest it for all urban fantasy readers.

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Bottom Line:  Yikes!  Out of whipped cream I’ve still got some Baileys left…Santa, where are you?

Free Books for Your New eReaders

Barbara Vey -- December 26th, 2011

Christmas is over.  The food is in left over containers in the fridge, only crumbs left on the cookie plates and all that’s left of the presents under the tree are schnibbles of wrapping paper and stray ribbon.  Everyone is busy playing with their new presents and the number one gift I’m hearing about this year is eReaders whether they are stand alones or on tablets.

 

My 8 year old niece got a tablet and my grandson an iPad.  I’m just thrilled that they both contain eReaders.  Now to fill them.  That’s when the fun really starts.

 

And to get everyone going, I sent out a message on Twitter and Facebook for authors to send me links to their free books today.  Happy downloading!

 

True North by Marie Force

Broken Resolutions by Cheryl Shireman

Hand to Hand by Robert W. Walker

Here’s a site that lists over 3,000 free Kindle books including kids books.

A Writer’s Work is offering free books, today only.

A Free Sampler of the Recarnationalist series by M.J. Rose

Justice Incarnate by Regan Black (Amazon) (Barnes and Noble)

Personal Business by Barbara Sheridan

Last Man on Earth by Michelle Pillow

Gypsy Nights by Mandy M. Roth

 

Well, that’s a start.  Please feel free to add any others to the comment section.

Now tell me, did you receive an e-reader for Christmas?  Did you give one?  Know someone who got one?  What were the reactions? 

 

Bottom Line:  “Tis the good reader that makes the good book.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday Matinée

Barbara Vey -- December 24th, 2011

A special Matinée for YA!

Insight by Diana Greenwood

Meet Heidi Heckelbeck by Wanda Coven and Priscilla Burris

The Hellandback Kids, Be Careful What You Wish For by Laura L Helland/Stolmeier

Until Forever

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making:

When the Lights Go Out

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.

Who Reads a Blog?

Barbara Vey -- December 23rd, 2011

I recently had a conversation with a New York Times Bestselling author about blogs and who they’re for.  Her feeling was blogs, such as mine, are meant for readers.  It should be a safe place for readers to go to and say what they want without the authors butting in with their opinions.  The readers shouldn’t have to worry that what they say will be taken wrong by the author and then have the author come on to give their two cents.

 

While I adore this author and her books, I have to disagree.  I’ve found that in the past 4 1/2 years that I’ve been writing this blog, the feedback I get the most from readers is that they love the interaction with the authors.  It creates a connection and the readers find themselves drawn to any authors who take the time to communicate with them.

 

This is especially true during my March anniversary parties.  Conversations are always taking place, but the site really lights up when an author joins in.  The readers are in awe and feel it’s very special for an author to take time out from their busy day to converse with readers.  I know this because I’ve asked readers.

 

I remember being on author’s bulletin boards, years ago, and talking with other avid readers about the books and characters.  It was fun and interesting, but on the days when the author would grace us with her presence was magical.  The idea that she read what we were discussing and thinking and going through was amazing to me.  That little comment, even once a month, was enough to have me coming back often.

 

I know I’m taking a leap here, but I’m assuming all you authors out there are also readers, so you are more than welcome here with any cap you are wearing.  Feel free to read the blog and even comment on it.  We’re all friends here.

 

Now you tell me.  Are authors welcome to comment on reader’s blogs?  Anyone intimidated by that?  Authors do you feel you have to choose to be a reader or author depending on the blog?  Or can you belong to both?  Readers, do you enjoy hearing authors comments?

 

Bottom Line:  “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot & write a lot.” ~  Stephen King

Unsatisfying Endings

Barbara Vey -- December 21st, 2011

The wonderful writers of WisRWA invited me to their Christmas Party and I happily attended.  There’s something magical about a party where all the guests have something in common with you like the love of books.  We ate, there was a gift exchange (with much oohing and ahhing when someone received  something related to writing or books) and we talked.

 

One subject that came up was the unsatisfying ending to an otherwise great read.  Not that it wasn’t a necessarily happily ever after, but that lingering question of what happened next.  I know it’s been done for years, but I’m not a fan of it either.  I loved Gone With the Wind, but Rhett leaving Scarlett at the end and not knowing what was happening next frustrated me.  (And the sequel, Scarlett, coming out years later didn’t help.)  I guess I like my book endings to be tied up with a little bow.

 

Not wanting to give any spoilers away I won’t tell you the book, just some endings that were mentioned by others as leaving them wanting at the end of otherwise enjoyable books.  First, a man is at the airport waiting for the woman he loves and her child to return to him.  No more pages and no sequels.  The reader doesn’t know if she ever gets off the plane or not.  Next, a woman comes to America searching for her long lost love, never knowing if he has turned into an outlaw.  At the end, the head of the outlaw is displayed, but never identified to the reader.  The group feeling was that after reading the whole book, there should be a definite payoff.

 

Yep, give me a good epilogue any day.  I need that in my books.  I don’t want to have to think about what happens next.  Of course, if I do read a book that doesn’t have an ending, I’ll just make up a happy ending because that’s what I do, but I will be wary about reading that author again. The exception to this rule is a series where I know there will be an answer in the next book.  This too can backfire if the publisher doesn’t want to put out the next book.  I’ve seen that happen.

 

What about you?  Do you absolutely need to know what happens next?  Are you willing to have a book leave you hanging for you to fill in the blanks?  Is it ok with you to write your own ending to books you’ve read? Or is the ending so unsatisfying that you wish they would have left it open ended?

 

Bottom Line:  I can only imagine my reaction if To Kill a Mockingbird had ended with the line, “The jury finds the defendant….”

 

New Nook Free Book Site

Barbara Vey -- December 19th, 2011
Jane Lynch and her Nook

Jane Lynch and her Nook

I don’t own a Nook, but I do have a Kindle and Nook app on my iPad. I have to admit that I mostly use the Kindle because I receive a lot of links to free books from Amazon. I never really thought about what’s available for Nook users. So, I was very interested when I received this email from Stephanie Draven and Eliza Knight.

Have you noticed there are tons of websites for Kindle users, but not so many for Nook users? We wanted break the barrier and bring to light some great deals for readers. Specifically, it all started when Stephanie bought her mother a Nook. When her mother couldn’t find any free or significant deals for books to read on the Nook, Stephanie tried looking herself—and found nothing. We have created this site to offer readers a chance to find the best, most economical reads around—including free—not to mention a suggested splurge item every week.

Nook Lovers isn’t a review site; we’re a website dedicated to readers who own Nooks—not only showcasing great deals on Nook Books but up to date Nook News as well! Apparently, we’re filling a needed niche in the book world because we had more than a thousand hits in less than 24 hours of having the site up.

Nook Lovers features the following:

Weekly Free Reads
Daily Cheap Reads (books under $4.99)
Weekly Splurges (for those times you should treat yourself!)
Nook News (For example the announcement that Nook now allows eGifting of NookBooks!)

I love it when people see a need and fill it.  Just as a side note, the use of Jane Lynch on the Nook commercials makes me sit up and take notice.  It’s gleeful!

 

So, are you happy with your eReader?  Which do you have?  Which do you want?  Which are you giving?  Does knowing there’s a website like this change your mind about which to buy?

 

Bottom Line:  More choices make it better for everyone.

 

Free Giveaways

 

From Karen Marie Moning:  KMM’s $1,000 of ICE.  As a thank you to the fans, join Karen Marie Moning on her Facebook page for her 5th annual 12 days of Christmas extravaganza!  Each day beginning December 14th a beautiful Swarovski crystal will be given away, and on Christmas Day a spectacular grand prize!

 

From the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales:  For the next two weeks, The Petit Fours and Hot Tamales will debut their new blog novel, an original cozy mystery called “The Undercover Librarian.” Log on Daily December 19-December 23 and December 26-December 30 for a fun Free Read and a chance to win daily prizes and two Final Prizes.

Daily Prizes $5 Amazon coupon
Final Winner #1 Petit Fours and Hot Tamales cookbook
Final Winner #2 $25 Amazon coupon
We will draw for the Final winners on December 31.
Spend the Holidays with the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales reading our Latest Blog Novel

 

Ryan Gosling Works in Publishing

Barbara Vey -- December 16th, 2011

Ryan Gosling works in publishing.  At least that’s what the page on Tumblr says.  Of course, there is a small disclaimer announcing, “Why not?  Maybe he could.”

 

What is this strange fascination that book people have with Ryan Gosling?  Just Wednesday, in the blog, I posted pictures from the librarian site, Hey Girl. I like the library too.  Now I see that those in publishing also have a thing for the Ry Guy.  I have to admit that I’ve never really noticed him before, but I think I need a second look with all this hoopla.

 

So here’s publishing’s love letter to Ryan Gosling.

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Ok, no more Ryan Gosling pictures here (for a while anyway).  Besides, what better way to end it than with Ryan all wrapped up for Christmas?  You’re welcome.

Bottom Line:  My tree looks kind of blah all of sudden for some reason.