Monthly Archives: August 2012

Winners of Keeper Kase Cards™

Barbara Vey -- August 29th, 2012

We had wonderful conversations about Keeper Kases™ and cards for ebooks yesterday and several authors offered prizes for those leaving comments.  Here’s the lucky winners:

 

Dianna Love will give away a signed copy of THE CURSE, coming out Sept 18th and a Keeper Kase™ loaded with all her available cards – Mel

Nancy Naigle will give away an OUT OF FOCUS Keeper Kase Card™ AND the Advanced Reader Copy of Sweet Tea and Secrets that’ll be out in September – Jennifer Mathias

Nancy Northcott will give away a download of RENEGADE that will be out November 6th and a signed Keeper Kase Card™ – Nomad

Colleen Gleason will give away one of the following e-books to the winner chosen and her signed Keeper Kase Card™
Siberian Treasure
The Vampire Voss
The Shop of Shades and Secrets
Night Forbidden (writing as Joss Ware)
Sanctuary of Roses – Tiffany

Jeanne Adams will give away a “Dark and….” giftie – that’s Deadly Little Secrets (print book), a copy of her Keeper Kase Card™for Deadly Charms (out in Oct), and a bag of Starbucks Dark roast coffee!! – Heather Hyre-Cieutat
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If you are a winner, please send me an email at barbaravey@gmail.com with Winner in the subject line.  Please include your name, street address and email address.  You have one week to claim your prize and all prizes will be mailed out by the authors.  Congratulations to everyone!

 

Bottom Line:  “Always give an autograph when somebody asks you. ” ~ Tommy Lasorda

Keeper Kase™ for E-Book Autographs

Barbara Vey -- August 28th, 2012

Book signings at book stores have changed.  I’ve been hearing more and more about book stores requiring readers to buy the author’s book at their store or they can’t have it signed.  So if you already bought it or received it as a gift or have an old favorite you’d like signed, you’re out of luck.  The other scenario is the reader has already purchased the book for their e-readers.  What do they do?

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According to Dianna Love who tours with her writing partner, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and draws huge crowds where ever they go, “[Readers] now sometimes walk up shyly, apologizing for having bought e-books. They’ll often ask to have a piece of paper or a notebook signed.  Worse than that, some readers have told me they feel uncomfortable going to signings now that they’ve bought an e-reader because they have nothing to be autographed. They sound embarrassed about not “buying a print book.”

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In order to take the embarrassment out of it, Love came up with the idea of a Keeper Kase™ to hold Keeper Kase Cards™.   The idea is very simple.  Love has covers of her books printed on one side of a 4×6 card and the blurb and a space for signing on the back.  The cards are the perfect size for fitting into a photo album which a reader can personalize for themselves.

Keeper Kase and cards

Keeper Kase and cards

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Not only will Dianna Love be taking these cards with her to book signings and events like Southern Magic Luncheon, Fresh Fiction’s Readers & ‘Ritas and Barbara Vey’s Reader Appreciation Luncheon where readers can have any of these cards signed without feeling uncomfortable about not having a print book in hand, but she will also make them available, by mail to anyone who sends her a self addressed stamped envelope (you can get the details here).

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Dianna has also reached out to other authors who now have cards available to be signed to readers including Colleen Gleason, Anne Elizabeth, Debbie Kaufman, Jeanne Adams, Nancy Naigle and Nancy Northcott.   You can visit their websites for information on receiving free cards from them.

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Since Dianna Love has announce this venture last week, she has received dozens of letters from readers wanting the Keeper Kases and cards.  Some of their comments have been:

 

Naomi – Can’t wait to get one…or two…or a dozen…For friends and family, of course….

Kim – heck we’d even pay for them…

Savannah – Oh wow this is so cool….Going to check it out.

Maria – Great idea! Can’t wait to get mine!! ♥ the Belador Series!

Melissa – I love this!!!

Teresa – Cool!! I love this idea! I will be sending for mine. Thanks.

Cindy – OMG, what a brilliant idea.  I want these!!!

Denise – I’ve missed having books signed. Love this.

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Readers love their books signed in any form.  As more authors offer cards to be added to a readers Keeper Kase, I can see this as the future autograph books I cherished as a child.  It doesn’t take up much room on the bookshelf, but still gives that personal connection between author and reader.

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As a special treat, Dianna Love will be giving away a Keeper Kase filled with signed cards to a lucky commenter today.  Just leave any comment to be entered.  You can also leave questions for any of the listed authors who will be stopping by today to answer them.  Winner will be posted in tomorrow’s blog, so check back.

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Bottom Line:  I’m always looking for great gift ideas that are creative and inexpensive but have a lot of meaning.

 

 

Have Four Letter Words Become Socially Acceptable?

Barbara Vey -- August 27th, 2012

I have to admit that I love trolling Twitter and Facebook.  I learn a lot of interesting things and there are links to great articles and ideas I may not have seen otherwise.  It’s enjoyable to keep up with some of my favorite people and discover new ones.  Unfortunately, it’s also a way to disconnect with some.

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When did it become okay to just say whatever you want however you want?  I’m specifically talking about four letter words.  Now I have no problem with reading them in stories or hearing them in movies when it goes with the character.  My problem is seeing them printed out online coming out of the mouths of people who want to be in the public eye.  Every time I see an author spouting off on any social media site with swear words I cringe.  Don’t they realize how many potential readers are out there seeing this or has everyone become so immune to this behavior that it doesn’t matter anymore?

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Now I’m no prude and I’ve got quite the vocabulary myself.  I’ve been know to lay it all out there when my emotions get the better of me.  But I tend to do it in private, with people I know and who know me.  There are times and places for everything.  It’s expected in certain adult shows or comedy acts.

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I don’t think I’ll ever get used to some of the reality shows on television that have contestants ranting to the camera constantly streaming vile comments about the other players.  Really?  Is this how you want to be remembered?  And while I realize that most of it is done for ratings, it saddens me that it’s become so acceptable and even expected.

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It seems much more relevant for me in regard to authors.  They are the ones I follow the most and yes, I guess I do expect more out of them when they are in public.  It’s one thing to be with your friends and that’s part of your personality, but it’s quite another when you are selling a product that you’d like to appeal to a broader audience.  It’s so easy to turn someone off to you by a simple word.

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What do you think?  Is it ok for authors to say whatever they want anytime?  Does it matter anymore what kind of colorful language you use?  Is it socially acceptable now?  Does it turn you off when you see an author swearing online?  Or in public?

Bottom Line:  You are in the word business.  Choose your words wisely…at least in public.

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- August 22nd, 2012
Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

I’d like to dedicate today’s blog to an amazing reader, Maggie Mae Short, who passed away on Monday.  I met Maggie Mae at Sherrilyn Kenyon’s K-Con convention several years ago.  She was always so positive and enthusiastic.  Maggie loved books and enjoyed sharing them with other readers.  Her smile and happy disposition will be sorely missed.

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The WW Ladies weigh in on their reads of the week.

joysann

No Longer a Gentleman by Mary Jo Putney

Read by joysann

Napoleon’s defeat is all that Cassie Fox’s life is about, and when her London spymaster sends her into France to find word of a lord missing for ten years, Cassie contentedly assumes her disguises and begins her search. Lord Wyndham, Grey Sommers, had his carefree, womanizing, devil-may-care days abruptly halted when he was cast into a dungeon ten years ago. When Cassie frees him, Grey is a different man, and the passion that rises between them determines their paths when they return to England’s society.

I was quickly drawn into reading No Longer a Gentleman, and, once there, hated putting it down till I was done. Between the desperate risks, the potential consequences of their actions (both physical and emotional), and the discouraging likely outcome of their relationship once back in society, it was enthralling, turbulent and romantic read.

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Ms Faye

Ms Faye

A Perfect Knight For Love by Jackie Ivie

Read by Ms. Faye

Thayne MacGowan has enough to worry about with his brother ruining the family and past love to rescue, but fate threw in a woman he’d be forced to wed and bring with him. Amalie has changed her identity to escape an arranged marriage, just to fall into a forced one. But how married are they when he doesn’t even really know who she is?

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Ah, I love a tall, well-muscled Scotsman just like the next girl, but let me say that Thayne is barbaric in all the right places!  This story moves at fast pace and brings you into a whirlwind of romance and adventure.  I love the chemistry between the hero and heroine, it was dreamy, humorous at times and sweet,  just like all good historical romances should be!

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Heidi

Heidi

Sugar Rush by Donna Kauffman

Read by Heidi
Leilani Trusdale left the hustle and bustle of the NYC culinary world, and returned home to Sugarberry Island off the coast of Georgia. Leilani opens a cupcake shop and relishes in the quiet of her successful endeavor. But when her former boss, handsome and successful Baxter Dunne shows up unexpectedly, he turns her life completely upside down. Now Leilani has a choice: deal with her feelings towards Baxter and the rumors that followed her when she worked for him, or send him packing.
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This book intrigued me by the acknowledgements and who Donna thanked (hint-some major Food Network stars, WOW!), and the premise of a woman owning a cupcake store and the fantastic flavors she created. However, the book wrapped around my brain with all the wonderful characters in both settings, as well as starring in a show about the culinary world. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Fantastic read wrapped up the end of the summer.
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Ashley

Ashley

My Lady Rival by Ashley March

Read by Ashley

Alexander Laurie is a merchant, a very wealthy merchant, but never the less still a merchant, who should not mingle with the upper-class. So what does Alex do? He buys a house in the middle of the exclusive Belgrave London. He plans to blend in with the nobility and marry his sisters off to aristocracy and better the family name,  that is until, Miss Willa Stratton steps into the picture. Not only is Willa the daughter of his business rival but she is also very charming and very beautiful. Alex will soon discover that love doesn’t always go as planned…

My Lady Rival is a very addicting and emotional story, with a sexy masculine hero and a cunning and daring beauty. March is easily becoming my new favorite author! This is a must read for all historical Victorian romance lovers!

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joysann

Casket of Souls by Lynn Flewelling

Read by joysann

Seregil and Alec find themselves caught in the court intrigue surrounding the princess heir and into a dangerous spy-game in which they could be accused of treason. Seemingly on the side, their compassion has them investigating a mysterious deadly catatonia afflicting lower-class children, but soon begins touching affluent adults with death. When it becomes apparent that the two inquiries might coincide, Seregil and Alec scramble to find the answers before death extends to the royal family.

Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner series has been a favorite fantasy read for me for ages. I love the relationship between the Seregil and Alec characters, and love watching how they work together to resolve problems in their world. Casket of Souls is a fascinating, mysterious, magical addition to a marvelous series.

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Heidi

Heidi

Sex and the Single Therapist by Marcia James

E-book read by Heidi
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Sex therapist, Dr. Ally Skye works to help those who have troubles in their relationships. But when her close friend Pam Shaffer is accused of her husband’s murder; Ally collects her friends to launch her own investigation to clear Pam. Detective Zack Crawford is a brooding, cynical man who has been hurt before in relationships. One look at Ally, and he falls hard. His struggle with his feelings and keeping his professional life in line is his focus. Zack is hoping to solve the case before Ally and her friends get hurt, and hopes to see where his feelings take him.
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I first found out about this novel, thanks to Barbara Vey’s Reader Appreciation Luncheon. I read the excerpt and was HOOKED!! Not only are the characters in this book unique and different, but Ally’s clients are a hoot too! The line of the front of the cover “crime solving was never this sexy” truly lives up to the name!!
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Bottom Line:  “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  ~ Dr. Seuss

Authors After Dark

Barbara Vey -- August 14th, 2012

I hadn’t planned on attending Authors After Dark in New Orleans, but a chance phone call with author Jade Lee on Tuesday had me on a plane Wednesday.  Spur of the moment adventures are so much fun.

“Authors After Dark focuses on the reader-author relationship through education of titles, genres and books in general. It is a true reader con, putting readers wants and needs at the forefront, and caters to all types of readers of romance, fantasy (including urban fantasy) and horror.”  After being there for 5 days, I can tell you it’s true.  The readers definitely come first and they travel from all over the world to attend.  I met a couple of ladies from Australia who brought over 40 boxes of Tim Tams with them.  They even gave me a couple.  There were visitors from Norway, Canada and England.

 

One of my favorite things was the phone app that was available.  Once downloaded, it offered the complete schedule and map.  You could also customize it for yourself and set it with reminders.  With so much going on, it really came in handy.  I’d love to see this at more events.

 

Humorous Writing Panel

Humorous Writing Panel

There were panels for everyone, but they were so popular that some were standing room only.  Readers took advantage of seeing their favorite authors up close and personal.  One reader told me that while she came to see Joey Hill, she was thrilled to meet so many new authors and bought many of their books.  There were readings by authors divided into genres, so you could hear historicals, westerns, paranormal, urban fantasy and more.  Everyone was included as evidenced by panels, reading and authors featuring BDSM, M/M and GLBT: Alpha/Beta.

 

Another favorite activity were the field trips.  These were special ticketed events that had authors hosting tours around New Orleans.  I’m told they sold out in 5 minutes because they were small groups.  There were ghost tours, garden tours and  Royal Street tours.

 

One main event was the Masquerade Ball.  I should mention that there was a corset shop on site and a tattoo salon.  This was evident when you saw everyone dressed up.  It hurt my ribs just seeing all those corsets, but it didn’t seem to bother the guests.  They were dressed beautifully with a few going the creepy route as voodoo dolls.

voodoo priestess and doll

voodoo priestess and doll

 

Whitney reader

Whitney reader

 

winner of best shoes

winner of best shoes

Kris Cook and Melissa Schroeder

Kris Cook and Melissa Schroeder

Janet Breakfield and Runere McLain

Janet Breakfield and Runere McLain

Steampunk tea

Steampunk tea

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There was a steampunk tea and as a fan of steampunk, I loved seeing the costumes.  The creativity is amazing and everyone really got into their roles.

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The booksiging is always a popular event and the packed ballroom proved that.

Mark Henry

Mark Henry

 

Diana Rowland

Diana Rowland

Damon Suede

Damon Suede

I lunched with the New Orleans romance book club, Heart to Heart.  These women know their romance.

Heart to Heart Bookclub

Heart to Heart Bookclub

 

It wouldn’t be New Orleans without something special going on.  The Red Dress Walk for heart disease packed Bourbon Street in a sea of red.  All for a good cause.

Red Dress Walk

Red Dress Walk

 

Bottom Line:  I’ll be back in New Orleans in December for Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans…save some beignets for me.

 

 

 

 

 

Bookseller Best Awards

Barbara Vey -- August 10th, 2012

At the RWA conference the Detroit RWA chapter annually gives out their Bookseller Best Awards.  This is a contest for books published in 2011. The Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America wishes to congratulate the winners of the 2012 Booksellers Best Award.
Inspirational Category -  Long Trail Home – Vickie McDonough
Young Adult – The One That I Want – Jennifer Echols
Erotic Romance – Heat Waves – Susan Lyon
Single Title – Whisper Falls – Toni Blake
Short Historical – A Gentleman Never Tells – Amelia Grey
Short Contemporary -  A Win-Win Proposition – Cat Schield
Long Contemporary – The Texan’s Bride – Linda Warren
Traditional/Sweet Romance – Beach Rental – Grace Greene
Novella – Compassion Can’t Wait – Carly Phillips
Paranormal/Time Travel/Futuristic – Haunting Embrace – Erin Quinn
Romantic Suspense – If You Hear Her – Shiloh Walker
Long Historical - The Orchid Affair – Lauren Willig
Best First Book – Beach Rental – Grace Greene


Bottom Line:  Congratulations to all the finalist.  More books to add to the TBR pile.

RWA: And the Award Goes to:

Barbara Vey -- August 8th, 2012
Barbara Vey Vivian Stephens Industry Award

Barbara Vey Vivian Stephens Industry Award

 

At RWA there are several awards given that aren’t for writing books.  I know because I received one.  In a luncheon award ceremony, the Romance Writers of America also presented awards to a librarian, bookseller, and several service awards.

 

While it feels kind of funny to toot my own horn, I can’t not mention that I was privileged to receive the Vivian Stephens Industry Award.  This award is given to “one or more professionals in the romance-publishing industry, who is not a writer, who has contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner.”  It gives me goosebumps to think that they mean me.  It’s a very humbling experience to be honored in this way by an organization I have so much respect for.  For those of you who may have missed it, my acceptance speech is right here.

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Janeen Solberg-credit Bruce Wilde

Janeen Solberg-photo Bruce Wilde

 

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Other awards given were to Janeen Solberg, Manager, 
Turn the Page Bookstore, Boonsboro, Maryland for Bookseller of the Year.  She arranges all of the store’s events and hosts its book club. Solberg also arranges romance-friendly book signings and is known to enthusiastically recommend romances to the store’s patrons.

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Mary Moore

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Mary Moore, Reference & Adult Services Manager
Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Huntsville, Alabama was named Librarian of the Year.  She was a Branch Manager for Huntsville’s largest city branch when she first started working with the local chapter of RWA, the Heart of Dixie chapter. “From the moment we opened the Bailey Cove Branch Library, I knew we needed more romance fiction. I could never keep enough in stock—paperback, hardcover, large print. Plus, romance readers are fast readers. You always need new stock to keep the customers coming back.”

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Laura Hayden

Laura Hayden

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Emma Merritt Service Award Recipient was 
Laura Hayden.  Laura has published twelve novels, four short stories published in anthologies, and one non-fiction book about Nora Roberts. She served on the RWA Board of Directors and also was the Awards Ceremony Chairperson nine times. Besides writing, Hayden owns and operates Author, Author! Bookstore and has served six times as the Conference Director for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference.

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RWA Service Awards are intended to honor major commitments of service to RWA and are presented for the accumulated body of effort a volunteer may make during a lifetime.  The following 3 individuals were recognized.

Natalie Damschroder

Natalie Damschroder

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Natalie Damschroder has been a member of RWA since 1995 and, in that time, has served on theassociation’s PRO Steering Committee. Natalie also compiles the Contests & Conferences column for the Romance Writers Report, RWA’s magazine.  She’s published works including 8 romance novels (with four more on their way), 7 novellas, and 14 short stories.

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Dorian Kelly

Dorian Kelly

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Dorien Kelly, an RWA member since 1995, served eight years on the Board of Directors (with one term as president of the association).  Kelly is the author of more than 19 books and is currently co-authoring books with Janet Evanovich, as well as working on solo projects.

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Diane Pershing

Diane Pershing

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Diane Pershing joined RWA in 1990 and served on the association’s Board of Directors from 2004–2009. She was president of RWA from 2008–2009.  Diane is the author of more than 19 books published by Bantam Loveswept and Harlequin.

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The RWA Veritas Award Recipient
 (for the article that appears in print or in another medium that best depicts the romance genre in a positive light) was given to Denise Schipani for “7 Life Lessons from Romance Novels,” Woman’s Day.  You can read the article here.

 

Bottom Line:  It was an amazing week.  Thanks RWA and members for giving me memories I’ll never forget.

 

Tragedy Hits Too Close to Home

Barbara Vey -- August 6th, 2012
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

By now you probably all have heard about the senseless shooting at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI.  This was only a few blocks from the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon in April.  Everyone is reeling here.  These kind of things do not happen in my area.  How many times have you said that?

 

I grew up in a time when kids ran around the neighborhood playing outside until dark when our parents would start yelling for us to come in.  Even then we wanted to stay out in summer because dusk meant you could start playing Red Light, Green Light, I hope to see a ghost tonight!  I know it was a simpler time (at least it is when you’re a kid).

 

We had our share of scares though.  I was in high school during the race riots and remember running to the neighborhood  store to stock up on food and discover the shelves bare and people grabbing everything not nailed down.  We had to stay in the house and watch the events play out on tv, but even that pales in comparison to what I feel now.  Total terror.

 

The recent shootings in Colorado scared me enough that when I finally gave in to friends to go to the movie theater to see Dark Knight Rises, I couldn’t enjoy the movie.  Every time I saw someone move I had to look at them.  I was distracted and yes, frightened.  I don’t want to feel that way.  I don’t want to stop taking my grandchildren out in public because I’m afraid some idiot with guns and an incomprehensible agenda will be lying in wait.

 

I’m glad I’m home for the next month so I can hopefully calm down a little and try to put things in perspective, but how can you when something this horrific happens in your own backyard?  Is it any wonder that I’d rather lock my doors and curl up with only my books for company?

 

I will try to be more diligent and aware when I finally do go out.  I want to visit my grandchildren, but am now thinking twice about taking a trip at this time.  I love to fly, but loath going to the airport.  I love to be around people, but now I find myself being more wary.

 

I have no answers, only a lot of questions.  I wish it wouldn’t have happened here, but then I wish it wouldn’t happen anywhere.  My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the Sikh community.

 

How do you cope with all that is going on?

 

Bottom Line:  “Nothing good ever comes of violence.” ~ Martin Luther

RWA: Brenda Jackson Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Barbara Vey -- August 3rd, 2012
Brenda Jackson and hubby

Brenda Jackson and hubby

According to the Romance Writers of America, “The RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a living author in recognition of significant contributions to the romance genre.”   This year that honor was bestowed upon Brenda Jackson. 

 

Brenda started her career in 1994 and became the first African-American author to have her book published for the Harlequin/Silhouette Desire Line.  She also became the first African-American to make the USA Today and New York Times best seller lists for the series romance genre.  2012 became even more impressive when Brenda was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for A Silken Thread.  She has 94 books in print, but will soon hit the 100 book mark.

 

As Brenda took the stage at RWA, a montage of pictures flashed on the jumbo screens.  My favorite part was Brenda receiving a friendship ring, at age 15, from her future husband.  It was so romantic and romance was the reason we were all at this conference.  I’m thrilled that Brenda will be attending my Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon in April.

 

 

Bottom Line:  A well-deserved award for a very special lady.

RWA: Free Book Signings

Barbara Vey -- August 1st, 2012

One of the most popular events at RWA is hands down the free book signings.  Publishers separately open the doors to readers and offer free books signed by the authors.  The lines are long, but it is so worth it.  You get up close and personal time with your favorite authors and a free book to boot.  Readers come prepared carrying boxes and pulling suitcases to load up with their treasures.  Here’s a few of the many authors who signed at these events.

Karen Rose

Karen Rose

 

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

 

Lori Handleland

Lori Handleland

 

Allison Leotta

Allison Leotta

 

Abigail Sharpe and Kathy Fawcett

Abigail Sharpe and Kathy Fawcett

 

Anne Elizabeth

Anne Elizabeth

 

Erin Knightley

Erin Knightley

 

 

Hope Ramsey

Hope Ramsey

 

Jessica Scott

Jessica Scott

 

Kate Pearce

Kate Pearce

 

Maggie Mae Gallagher and Angie Fox

Maggie Mae Gallagher and Angie Fox

 

Mari Mancusi

Mari Mancusi

Mia Marlowe

Mia Marlowe

 

Shelli Stevens

Shelli Stevens

 

Theresa Meyers

Theresa Meyers

 

Tracey Devlyn

Tracey Devlyn

Victoria Alexander

Victoria Alexander

 

Yasmine Galenorn

Yasmine Galenorn

 

Bottom Line:  Getting a free book signed by the author is like Christmas morning.