Monthly Archives: October 2012

Liz Kreger: One Author’s Battle with Cancer

Barbara Vey -- October 29th, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  We’ve all seen the pink ribbon everywhere.  On food wrappers, clothing, jewelry, ornaments and even the NFL is sporting pink.  There are Breast Cancer Walks, Runs and fundraisers.  But, this horrible disease is more than a month long event for many individuals.  Here is one amazing author’s story of her battle with cancer.

 

I feel like an AA participant.  Hi, my name is Liz Kreger and I’ve been actively participating in the GCB (Great Cancer Battle) for the past seventeen years.  I’d say that pretty much makes me qualified to discuss the subject.  Over the years I’ve been sliced, I’ve been diced, I’ve been radiated and chemoed with inches of my life.  I guess you can call me a walking, talking breast cancer expert.

A lot of people seem to think that breast cancer is a disease that targets older women. Imagine my surprise when the biopsy came back positive.  Me?  Cancer?  Naw!  I was only 35 years old.  I led a fairly healthy lifestyle (if you discounted the occasional junk food orgy I indulged in), worked out regularly and there was no family history.

It wasn’t even a lump that I found, but a dimple.  Don’t know ‘bout you, but I’ve never had a doctor tell me to look for a dimple on your breast.  They’ve always touted “do your self-examinations and watch for a lump”.

Within weeks I had the biopsy (involving numerous four-letter words on my part), a mastectomy and scheduled for chemo … just to be on the safe side.

Mary (sister) and Liz Kreger

Mary (sister) and Liz Kreger

Fast forward seven years to where I about to hit the golden year where I would be considered cancer free … the holy grail for any cancer survivor.  You hit the seven year mark and you’re home free … considered cured, only having to go see your oncologist once a year.  Absolute bliss for anyone going through the GCB.  Then, out of the blue, my left hip began bugging me.  What the hell?  New tests were ordered and sonavabitch!  The cancer had metastasized to my hip.  This time we used radiation to knock it out.

I was carefully monitored after that and within two years, the little suckers were back again.  Now we’re into heavy duty chemo.  Six doses, once every three weeks.  This is where I lost my hair (absolutely everywhere), endured a yucky feeling 24/7, lost 15 pounds (which was okay as far as I was concerned), and this is the one and only time I tossed my cookies.  Peppermint is great for an upset stomach, by the way.  This was followed by weekly infusions of Herceptin in an attempt to keep the cancer off … but no dice.  Came back again and I went through a slightly stronger bout of chemo.  Pissed me off, too, because I’d just gotten my hair back.  Same deal as far as reactions go.

Now its 2012.  I’ve lost count of how many recurrences I’ve had.  Hell, I quit counting after fifteen.  I’ve been on more types of chemo than I can remember and am still undergoing treatment.  We’re to the point of recycling chemos that we’d tried in the past.  I’ve outlasted the oncologist that I’d had for over fifteen years (he retired) and am now working with a younger oncologist who has a number of pretty good ideas.  Don’t get me wrong.  At this point, being a stage four cancer patient, I’m well aware of the fact that my doctors and I are playing the “Let’s see how long we can keep Liz alive game.”  I’ll never live to see a cure, but you know what?  I’m okay with that.  I figure I’m gonna hang around long enough to give cancer a good run for its money … just because I’m a tenacious bitch.

It was while I was in remission that I began writing again.  I joined Romance Writers of America and completed a half dozen books, two of which are published.  Writing has become a part of my life … just as cancer has.  The treatments I undergo cause excessive fatigue so writing sometimes has to take a backseat to rest.  I also work full time, so between that, dealing with cancer and a family, making time to write can sometimes be a challenge.

I sincerely believe I’ve learned a lot about life going through the GCB.  Compassion for one thing and patience.  You learn to think of others and you learn to laugh.  I’ve always said that I have twenty minutes to feel sorry for myself … then get over it.  Life is too short to bemoan your fate.  You deal with it, you overcome the obstacles and you go on.  I’m a strong believer in a positive attitude.

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Liz Kreger currently has two books published with Samhain Publishing.  Forget About Tomorrow and Promise for Tomorrow are romantic space operas.  She’s also part of a project with a group of very talented authors who put together ENTANGLED, A PARANORMAL ANTHOLOGY.  All proceeds are going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and to date they’ve raised over $11,000.00 with that project.  The short story she has with ENTANGLED is an offshoot of a contemporary paranormal which her agent is currently peddling and which hopefully will soon be published.

 

Bottom Line:  When ever I’m around Liz Kreger, I’m filled with a sense of wonder, admiration and tremendous pride.  I’m honored to call her friend.

WW Ladies Book Club Christmas Books

Barbara Vey -- October 25th, 2012

Well, the Christmas commercials are already popping up on television, so it’s time for Christmas books to make their appearance.  I love books about the holidays and have my special ones I read every year, but I’m always happy to add new favorites to the collection.

Heidi

Heidi

Holly Lane by Toni Blake

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Read by Heidi

Sue Ann Simpkins is facing the holiday season with her biggest challenge of her life. Newly divorced and alone from her daughter, Sue Ann decides to escape to a remote cabin near Bear Lake. Solitude and peace is what she is looking for, until Adam Becker opens the door stating the cabin is his. Adam is looking for the same type of solitude but becomes trapped in the cabin during a snowstorm with Sue Ann. Both struggle with their own feelings and past experiences to look at a possibility that a future could happen for the both of them.

I found the whole story an interesting twist of circumstance that leads two lonely people together. I really enjoyed how the characters struggled with their own feelings and keep questioning whether or not it’s love or infatuation. Sue Ann is a true example of perseverance under pressure, and I admired that.

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Joan

Mistletoe Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

Read by Joan

Sage Presley, a young up and coming western artist, is furious when she finds out that her Gran is selling the family ranch to a complete stranger. She drives home in a blinding snowstorm to have a heated discussion with her Gran and talk her out of the sale, arriving at the ranch just before a snowstorm causes the electricity and phone lines to go down and the roads to be closed. Sage discovers that her Gran has gone for three weeks and will not be returning until Christmas. To make matters worse, she finds Gran has allowed handsome cowboy Creed Riley, the prospective buyer, to move in for the three weeks and run the ranch.

This book as it was very fun to read and had the needed components for a good holiday read. Entertaining and I read it straight through. If you love a good story with animals, falling in love and finding a soul mate, then this is a book you should read, especially before Christmas.

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Heidi

Heidi

What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander

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Read by Heidi

Camille, Lady Lydingham has one desire for the holiday. She wants to give Prince Nikolai Pruzinsky a traditional English Christmas. Her entire family has left Milton Manor except for her twin sister Beryl, so she hires an acting crew to play her family and staff. One thing she hasn’t counted on is Grayson Elliot coming back after 11 years, when he left with her broken heart. Grayson finds out about the ruse and decides to play along. Even with Camille wanting to marry Nikolai, she realizes her heart has always been with Grayson.

This historical had everything you could want for a holiday: mystery, intrigue, an English Manor, Love and Christmas. You will feel cozy and happy after reading this book. I hope I can read more about this unusual family in future novels.

 

joysann

joysann

Together for Christmas by Lisa Plumley

Read by joysann

Casey Jackson views the holiday season with antipathy, so when he’s sent to troubleshoot a pop star’s TV Christmas special in her Michigan home town, he is dismayed to find the snowbound community all dressed up like Santa’s North Pole. The star sets her ordinary sister, Kristen Miller, the task of distracting the agency’s “hatchet man” however she can to keep him out of the way, and Kristen realizes she isn’t going to have the Merry Christmas for which she had been hoping. But Casey and Kristen discover new reasons to celebrate, giving them both a chance for a happy holiday season, and more.

I found Lisa Plumley’s new book very entertaining. The story is humorous, the characters are likable, and the romance is sweet and satisfying. Together for Christmas is a charming and light-hearted contemporary romance that would be perfect for a cold snowy afternoon heading into the holidays.

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Heidi

Heidi

Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay

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Read by Heidi

Lark Chaikin arrives in Last Chance with one goal in mind. To put her father’s ashes to rest. But since her father caused such a stir in the tiny town, her goal may not be met. Stone Rhodes is the town sheriff and is trying to keep the peace among the residents who don’t want Lark in town, and keep the Christ Church Ladies’ Auxiliary from being a pain in their matchmaking. When a murder happens right before Christmas, it seems that Stone, Lark and their families need to not only solve the crime, but heal themselves before it’s too late.

This is the second novel I have read about Last Chance and I love this quaint little town!! It’s so fun to see the gossip fly through the town faster than a text message! I think what excites me the most is when there is a little mystery and intrigue mixed up with the town secrets as well as love during the holidays. It makes a happy mix to read and get ready for the holiday season, just like hot cocoa on a cold night.

We’ll be doing another blog on Christmas books, but feel free to post any Christmas books coming out this year in the comments section.  I know the readers appreciate hearing about them.

 

Bottom Line:  It’s always the right time to read a book about Christmas.

Romance: PW Magazine Issue

Barbara Vey -- October 24th, 2012

Attention all of you involved in the romance industry.  Publishers Weekly’s Romance issue will be out next month and they are asking for input from you.  Here’s your chance to have your voice heard.

You only have until tomorrow, so put this on the top of your to do list today.  Please feel free to pass this information on to everyone who may be interested in participation.

Feature: Romance

Issue: November 12
Deadline: October 25
Needed: Editors’ and publishers’ comments on new and resurgent trends in romance, especially erotic romance (looking beyond the “50 Shades” phenomenon), PG-rated romances for the mainstream (non-inspirational) market, and the increased popularity and availability of gay, bi, and ménage romance. Pub dates October 2012 through June 2013. Cross-genre, digital-first/digital-only, and literary titles welcome, but no YA, please. Send quotable comments–not catalog copy–to Rose Fox at rfox@publishersweekly.com.

Bottom Line:  You know you want to be quoted in a magazine.

Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon 2012

Barbara Vey -- October 19th, 2012

joysann

Hi! joysann here. Between the Fifty Shades and Magic Mike phenomena this year, we’ve observed a rising awareness in erotic romance and entertainment in largely female audiences, but for Ellora’s Cave Romantica® Publishing, it’s all old school. EC authors have been celebrating erotic romance for more than a decade, and they have the sales and the cover models to prove it. And for the last few of those years, Ellora’s Cave has been celebrating their authors and readers with the annual RomantiCon, a gala not to be missed.

RomantiCon 2012 was held this past week in Canton, Ohio, just south of EC’s Akron, Ohio, home base. The entire McKinley Grand Hotel (across the street from the historical National First Ladies’ Library and Museum) was reserved solely for the event, and it was a comfortable accommodation for all participants.

Author Cait Miller came from Scotland and Caveman Ryan flew in from South Africa

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Arrivals began early in the week, but the party started on Thursday night with the casual Meet & Greet, bringing together old friends excited to see each other again, and the chance to make new friends. With a good start on the eventual 300 or so attendees, the party was a happy and boisterous affair.

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Authors(l-r)Francesca Hawley, Kathy Kulig, Desiree Holt, and Regina Carlysle presenting Paranormal Creatures: The Good, the Bad, & the Undead

 

In the daytimes, while editor pitches were going on, there were workshops for authors to learn about writing good sexy stories or promoting themselves. And for the readers attending, there were fun sexy games and prizes, allowing an opportunity for everyone to let their hair down a little bit. The workshops were filled to standing room and gathering outside the door was a common experience for these popular classes.

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Nick Soto and Zumba

While all the classes and games were well appreciated, none was quite so enthusiastically attended as the Zumba class on Saturday morning, led by fitness and Zumba instructor, this year’s new “Alpha Caveman” contest winner, Nick.

RomantiCon has its serious business side, which is taken very seriously by the writers who want to keep improving professionally. But it’s also a celebration of fun, beauty and sexuality, and there is little more jubilant than dancing. Enter Ellora’s Cavemen, the cover models/fitness trainers/body builders/dancers. There can’t have been many women there (or men, for that matter) that didn’t enjoy the entertainment provided by these handsome, charming, energetic, enthusiastic professional performers.

Ellora’s Cave CEO Patty Marks with the Cavemen

To some, the chance to invent their fantasies (for writing purposes, of course) in the company of the Cavemen, with other like-minded women, is what makes RomantiCon as exciting as it is. The professionalism of these men lent to EC’s view that all women, no matter age or appearance, are beautiful, and that’s just how they made most of us feel.

 

 

Lisa of Cleveland Exotic Dance danced on stilts among the party goers all evening

And then there were the parties…

 

Friday Night reflected the Mayan calendar’s end of the world with the Last Dance of Your Life Party, with a Carnivale’ quality to the costumes.

Author Shoshanna Evers

 

 

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Cover artist Valerie Tibbs and reader Kate Marcille

Cover artist Valerie Tibbs and reader Kate Marcille

Of course, that had to be followed Saturday night with the Survivors vs Walking Dead Dinner and Awards Banquet. Zombies and zombie slayers were everywhere. Creative costumes, terrific shows by the Cavemen choreographed by Caveman Georgio, demonstrations and entertainment by the Cleveland Exotic Dance group, and dancing the night away by most everyone made both evenings fabulous celebrations.

 

 

 

 

Sunday afternoon was the Romantica® SEXpo and Book Sale & Signing, with 80 authors, vendors and performances by the Cavemen and Cleveland Exotic Dance.

Cleveland Exotic Dance performers

It was a busy, bustling event with high spirits all around. Among the debut authors at the signing were a couple of Cavemen with a new release of their own. Take It Off, by Taylor Cole & Justin Whitfield, tells “the naked truth about male strippers,” and I’m sure I’m not the only one who is a bit curious.

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Authors Justin Whitfield and Taylor Cole

Last, but never least, the party wound down on Sunday evening with the increasingly popular Pizza and Bingo Pajama Party, with lots of prizes for both the games and many raffles. These come with lots of laughs and squee-ing as the prizes are delivered to the winners by the handsome Cavemen who got into the spirit of the event with schmoozy shenanigans to please their audience. At last, I won a prize, and, no, while it was very nice, it wasn’t dishy Caveman David.

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So that’s it for this year. I’ve come home having made new friends, had extraordinary conversations, and have lots of good books to read. It was a terrific weekend and I can’t think of a better time I’ve had at a conference. Next year’s event is already announced and planning has begun on RomantiCon 2013, and I highly recommend the experience to all fans of erotic romance.

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My Saturday night dinner companions: standing – Cover artist Kendra Egert, authors Bronwyn Green, Isabelle Drake; reader Patti Paoessa, authors Ruby Duvall, Brynn Paulin

Happy Birthday Seekerville

Barbara Vey -- October 17th, 2012

I’m over at Seekerville today helping them celebrate their 5th birthday.  We started the same year, so kind of grew up together.  Seekerville is the blog of the Seekers, thirteen published Christian writers. They are all contest winners and finalists who randomly collided on the road toward publication. When they met in August of 2005, NONE of them were published.  Today they all are.

 

Unlike my week long anniversary, their birthday party will last all month with special guests and amazing giveaways.  Please stop by and wish them a very Happy Birthday!

 

Bottom Line:  Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new.  ~ Sammy Hagar

 

 

Meet Gin & Tonic

Barbara Vey -- October 16th, 2012

You all know how much I enjoy flying.  I always seem to get lucky enough to sit next to someone interesting on the plane.  Flying home from Atlanta last night, I met Brian.  He’s a charming and delightful flight attendant for AirTran and travels a lot himself.

 

Gin & Tonic enjoying Jack Daniels

Gin & Tonic enjoying Jack Daniels

Here’s the fun part.  Whenever Brian travels with his friend, they bring along these tiny Barbie dolls (kind of like Polly Pockets) and pose them wherever they are.  Their names are Gin and Tonic (which I think is a stitch).  Not only that, but they also have their very own Facebook page.  When I got home I tried to find it, but it seems there are a kazillion Facebook pages called Gin & Tonic, so Brian, if you are reading this, put your Facebook link in the comments.  Anyway, Gin & Tonic posed for me.  No, it wasn’t in a Gin and Tonic, but Jack Daniels and soda.  They didn’t seem to mind.

 

Our conversation eventually got around to books and Brian travels with a Nook that was fully loaded.  He’s currently reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (which my son, Andrew, has said is a really good book).  Also on his list were Janet Evanovich, Drakula, and all three Fifty Shades of Grey books.  His take was, “Not a very well written book, but I felt I needed to read all three.”  That’s pretty compelling reading when you can overlook the not well written part.

 

Brian’s very favorite book is Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog by Garth Stein.  He highly recommends it and says it is funny and emotional.  Since he mentioned it several times, I promised to check it out.

 

Bottom Line:  Looking for new book suggestions?  Look no further than the person next to you.  You might be surprised to find a diamond.

Cookbooks With Stories

Barbara Vey -- October 12th, 2012

I couldn’t believe that I’ve already seen people walking around with winter coats, hats and gloves.  I am so not ready for winter.  But I have noticed that winter foods are already creeping into the kitchen.  Instead of grilled brats and potato salad, I made a big pot of chili the other day.  I haven’t done that since last winter.  Of course, chili was always what my mom would make when it was time for the football game, so I’m sure some instinct was in there.  But I’m always on the lookout for some new, easy thing to throw together.

 

We’ve all seen the books the fiction books that incorporate recipes in them, Diane Mott Davidson, Joanne Fluke, Louisa Edwards, Jennifer Ross and Krista Davis, to name a few.  But what about cookbooks that include a story?

 

There’s the celebrity cookbook,  Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood.  You not only get that country music cooking, but also personal anecdotes and they even include some recipes from her hubby, Garth Brooks.  A cookbook from First Lady Michelle Obama, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.  A kitchen garden planted at the White House provides ingredients used by the chefs there.  Stories about her gardening experience and glimpses in the White House kitchen.

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Author Pat Conroy offers The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes and Stories of My Life.  He even includes a section on cooking for a funeral.  In The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier, Ree Drummond includes pictures of her family and life on their ranch.  Homey and makes you yearn for wide open spaces.

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Ok, here’s my favorite, easy recipe for vegetable soup that tastes surprisingly good:

1 can minestrone soup

1 can whole kernel corn

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can mixed vegetables

1 can black beans

1 cup of beef or chicken broth or water

Dump all cans (don’t drain) in a big pot and heat.  You can mix it up with salsa or add some cheese to make cheesy vegetable soup.

What about you?  Favorite recipe you’re dying to share?  Favorite cookbook?  Do you like cookbooks better when they incorporate a story?  Or story books that include recipes?

 

Bottom Line:  The best recipe is the one a friend cooks for you and brings over to your house.

 

 

 

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- October 10th, 2012

I had a great birthday this weekend.  Breakfast with my sisters, a movie and dinner with my son, Andrew.  We saw Looper with Bruce Willis, a time travel movie that really makes you think.  Andrew and I saw different things in the movie, I like that.  Now I’m going to check out what the WW Ladies have been reading this week to add to my TBR pile.

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Ashley

Ashley

Return of the Viscount by Gayle Callen

Read by Ashley

Desperate to get full access to her inheritance Cecilia weds a complete stranger, a solider who fought with her father in India. She expected an older and equally desperate man who would spend his time in India and not in England. What she didn’t expect was a young, vibrant and breath-taking handsome man. But can two strangers really fall in love and live happily ever after?

Return of the Viscount tells a non-traditional heart-warming love story. It was very interesting to read a romance where they were already married and to watch their love unfold. A very refreshing and cherishing story.
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Michelle

Michelle

The Spia Family Presses On by Mary Leo

Read by Michelle

This is a Deliciously Entertaining murder mystery ensconced in Olive Oil.

The Spia family grows and harvests Olives, and is best known for their Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The business is threatened when Cousin Dickie is found murdered his first day home from prison.  The entire family becomes a suspect as these recovering ex-mobsters have such a venomous hatred for Dickie.  It is up to Mia and her best friend Lisa to protect the family and find the killer before someone else dies.  Now the killer is targeting them and Mia is starting to doubt the ones she loves.  She is uncovering secrets about her loved ones that will change her outlook forever.

For those of us who enjoy a good meal, you will love the delicious Italian Olive recipes found at the end of every chapter.  I had a great time reading this novel and anxiously await the arrival of The Spia Family Branches Out the next book in this new series.

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Ashley

Ashley

The Cowboy and The Princess by Lori Wilde

Read by Ashley
Princess Annabelle decides to have her first and last fling before she is forced to take the ring.  She flees to Texas to begin her six week adventure before returning to Europe to be married. Brady was your typical loner cowboy, living out of his horse trailer; he thought he had it all. Then “Annie” comes along and both of them have their emotions whirling out of control, but how can they have their happily ever after when she is getting married in six short weeks!

This contemporary romance book has it all! I smiled, laughed, and cried in this heart wrenching love story.  I just couldn’t put it down til I found out if they lived happily-ever-after or not! A must read for all romance lovers. This book is sure to be an instant classic!

 

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joysann

joysann

Hot Head by Damon Suede

Read by joysann

FDNY firefighters Griff Muir and Dante Anastagio have been best buddies since they were kids, always sharing everything, even Dante’s close, loving family. But it wasn’t until 9/11 almost took Dante away that Griff realized that their friendship meant a whole lot more to him than he had known, and for 10 years now he’s remained silent, sometimes even to himself. When Dante needs some fast money, he talks Griff into posing with him for an erotic photo shoot for a gay porn-site, and that opens a whole new reality between them.

I enjoy good erotic romance, and I found the passion and romance in Hot Head convincing and touching, and I am enamored of these two male characters, especially Griff. Damon’s writing is certainly plenty hot, hot, hot, but more compelling was the feeling and compassion written into Hot Head, and, as in all good romance, I loved the hope of a happily-ever-after.

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joysann

joysann

Immortally Yours by Angie Fox

Read by joysann

Just beyond the sight of normal mortals rages a centuries old war between the gods, and the troops are beings with even just a little touch of supernatural. Dr. Petra Robichaud was drafted into the M*A*S*H unit to paste together the broken immortals and get them back to battle. But she has a secret talent that would mean certain death if anyone learned, and when demi-god Commander Galen of Delphi discovers her gift, he will not let her go.

Angie Fox’s new series begins with an exciting premise and the promise of a magical new world. Immortally Yours has interesting, likable characters that kept me entertained, and the writing, as we would expect of Angie, was humorous and fun. I expect to continue enjoying this series even more than I did her last, and look forward to the next book.

 

Bottom Line:  I think instead of celebrating birth-days, we should celebrate birth-months.

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- October 4th, 2012

Yesterday I volunteered to serve free lunches to college kids at UW-Milwaukee.  It’s such an exhilerating feeling to be around them.  Their thirst for knowledge, their whole lives ahead of them.  I hadn’t been back to the campus since I went there 30 years ago and it all looked the same (except for the ways the kids were dressed).  Next time I’m going to take books to pass out along with their lunches.  Fun books to be read when the text books get overwhelming.  Now here’s what the WW Ladies have been reading this week.

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joysann

joysann

Take It Like a Vamp by Candace Havens

Read by joysann

Casey Meyers is wild about her best friend and neighbor, Nick Christos, as he’s so much more to her than gorgeous and wealthy, though she takes pains to not let him know that. However, Nick is aware, and feels the same about her, but he’s constrained by his years on the Supernatural Council, and the laws about vampires and other supernaturals not revealing themselves to mortals. Now he has to decide whether to risk his love and her life to the dangers and politics of his volatile secret world.

Take It Like a Vamp was a fun, romantic read that made me laugh even as I was wishing to be in Casey’s shoes. Part Cinderella, part Pretty Woman (without the hooker part), and maybe a little Sabrina, it’s hard to not dream of the fantasy. Candace’s new paranormal will not disappoint.

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Ashley

Ashley

Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex

 

Read by Ashley

Sally Kent comes from a long line of royal sailors, her family has served the crown for generations that is until her youngest brother decides he doesn’t want to anymore. So in order to save their family name Sally disguise herself as her brother and takes his place on the ship. Sally is an amazing sailor but what she doesn’t count on is a tall, dark, and handsome Cole, who is her Lieutenant, and might just make her blow her cover.

Almost a Scandal is a bold and brazen fast paced romance with a daring heroine and smoldering hot hero! With an explosive danger and red-hot romance this book is most definitely a book to treasure!
m

Heidi

Heidi

Jacked Up by Erin McCarthy
Read by Heidi

Eve Monroe may live up to her reputation as the most up-tight PR agent on the planet, but she can hold her own. Growing up with two brothers in the car racing industry, as well as her father, has made her the woman she is today. She thinks she is happy, that is, until Nolan Ford’s wardrobe malfunction on National Television turns her world upside down. Now she is racing herself to fix the problem while denying her attraction. Because she is good at that too. Until Nolan starts to break open that hard shell of hers, and shows her that she has a softer side, and how he likes it.

I think there are only 3 words I can think of for this book: Hot, steamy, and sexy!! And no pun intended, but I raced through the book, and I definitely liked it!! Thanks goodness fall is here, so I didn’t overheat with this book!
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joysann

joysann

The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig

Listened to by joysann

Augustus Whittlesby has been boring the new French society circles with his awful poetry and dramatic affectations to the point that everyone ignores him, including the secret police. This gives him leeway to spy on Napoleon’s plans to invade England by finagling his way into accompanying annoying American Emma Morris Delgardie to Malmaison to observe the rumored testing of a new weapon. But Augustus’ and Emma’s friendship grows into something more as danger of exposure threatens each in a different way.

The Garden Intrigue is part of The Pink Carnation series, a delightful and fascinating blend of historical and contemporary romance as a modern-day scholar uncovers the 200 year old manuscripts, revealing English spies and their work. I highly recommend listening to these in audio as narrator Kate Reading is marvelous at instilling the already delightful characters with even more life and color, making listening a real pleasure.

 

Bottom Line:  I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.  ~ Anna Quindlen

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Ashley

Ashley

The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens

 

Read by Ashley

Angelica Cynster is attending yet another ball which are usually very dull. Angelica hoped for some excitement but what she didn’t expect was meeting the very handsome and mysterious Earl of Glencrae. And she never in a million years would have expected him to kidnap her! What Angelica doesn’t know is that he is forced to kidnap her in order to save his castle and his clan. Fighting against all odds, Angelica and Earl are desperate to find a way to make it work.

The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae is a sinfully sexy and irresistible book, which breaks away from the traditional historical romance novel. It is a well-crafted and fast-paced book that kept me entertained from beginning to end!

 

Bottom Line:  I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.  ~ Anna Quindlen

Per Jon Stewart, “Read a F**king Book”

Barbara Vey -- October 2nd, 2012

I was watching The Daily Show the other night and Jon Stewart made a reference to the book Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes.  He immediately told his audience to “Yea, read a f**king book.”  It was obvious that many had never heard of the book or even seen the movie, Charley.  I have, which made me feel strangely superior.  Kind of like when you know the final Jeopardy answer and all the contestants get it wrong.

 

It’s always seems odd to me that books that have made a real impression on my life could have been missed by so many.   I know it’s an important book for me when I retain so much of it.  The story affects me in a personal way, has stayed with me for years and I feel for the characters.  They are unforgettable.  There are several books that do that for me including The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee,  1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.  They all made me think and question.  Some scared the heck out of me with their realism.

 

Of course, this is probably why I moved on to mostly romance.  I don’t want to be scared anymore.  I love my happily ever afters.  It’s nice to be comfortable.  I like knowing all will end well and I can have a few moments in my fantasy world.

 

Does this mean I regret my reading past or I will never read a book that makes me examine uncomfortable subjects?  No.  I gained a lot of insight into the world and want to keep informed and up to date.  Talking to people on a variety of subjects interests me and if I wasn’t well versed in it, I might as well lock myself up and just watch some of the crap that passes itself off as reality tv (Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo).

 

Reading a variety of books, discussing and sharing them with others including our kids brings about understanding and can lead to other topics that may never have been breached before.  I wish I could reach out and touch everyone with the gift to love books.  It shouldn’t be considered a burden to read, but a joy.  Something we can share with one another, no matter the genre of the book.

The scariest book I ever read was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  It still scares me today.  All those burning books make me shudder.  I try to do my part by talking about books where ever I go.  I pass them out, I share my love for them, I give them as gifts.  It may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but it feels right.

 

What about you?  Any books made a profound impression on you?  Any you wish you could get others excited about?  Any that made you realize that reading was as necessary as breathing for you?

 

Bottom Line:  “Books can be dangerous.  The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life.’”  ~ Helen Exley