Monthly Archives: December 2012

WW Ladies/Men Favorite Books of 2012

Barbara Vey -- December 31st, 2012

There are best of lists popping up all over.  Best books, best movies, best fashions and more than enough worst lists, but we won’t go there.  Rather than name “Best Books,” we’re going with the WW Ladies favorite reads of 2012.  Now this doesn’t mean the book had to be published in 2012, it just means it had to be read in 2012.  In their emails to me, many lamented the fact that they could pick just one and it was a very difficult decision.  Kym absolutely couldn’t make up her mind.  Regardless, here’s what I finally got out of them.

 

Heidi

Heidi

 

Heidi - Gnome on the Range, by Jennifer Zane

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SheilaSomebody to Love, by Kristan Higgins.

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joysann

joysann

 

joysann – This is too hard…  I don’t like to choose. There are just too many books I really enjoy a lot.  Print book: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Audio book: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

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Susan

Susan

 

Susan - The Emperor’s Conspiracy by Michelle Diener
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Kym L

Kym 

Kym –  I can’t do it! I loved Trisha Ashley‘s newest, Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues, just as I love all of hers. Really liked Grace Burrowes‘s Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight and was also thrilled to discover Rena Gregory’s short story in the Five Golden Rings anthology.

 

 

 

 

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Joan

 

Joan –  If You See Her by Shiloh Walker 

 

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Tammy

TammyFifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James, I loved the whole trilogy as one story.

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Michael

Michael

MichaelTimeless (The fifth book in the Alexia Tarabotti series) by Gail Carriger (audio book)

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Ashley

Ashley

AshleyOne Night Rodeo by  Lorelei James

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I have to agree that’s it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite book I read this year.  There were many that I enjoyed, but the two I talked about most to people were The Escape Diaries by Juliet Rosetti , a fun romp with an escaped but not guilty convict and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, a futuristic adventure that I couldn’t put down.  Neither were all romance, but did have romantic elements.

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Please take a moment to tell me the best book you read in 2012.  It won’t be easy, but I do like to get recommendations, as do all my readers.

Bottom Line:  Remember to check back tomorrow for the link to my new website…it’s launch day!!

Weekly Giveaways

From Pam, Affaire de Coeur Magazine:  Blog Contest with Kat Martin.  Comment and your name will go into the drawing for an autographed copy of Against the Odds to one blog commenter.

A Real Live Website…Finally

Barbara Vey -- December 28th, 2012
Image by Andrew Bernier

Image by Andrew Bernier

It’s nearing the end of the year and we’re all thinking about 2013.  What does it hold for us?  What new adventures are ahead and how can we make it better than 2012.
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Thanks to the (kind) pressuring of my dear friends, I am happy to announce that I will finally have my own website.  What does that mean?  Well, things won’t change for me here at PW.  I’ll still write my blog, do my videos and report on the conferences I attend.
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The website will just be an extension where readers and writers can gather 24/7 to talk about any and everything.  Kind of like the Anniversary Bash I have here every March (btw, I’m already getting that together and once again it looks bigger and better than ever!)
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Starting on January 1st, you’ll find book news updated all day long, notes and commentary from readers like Joysann and Heidi along with what the WW Ladies are now reading.  The Quaantum Book Club which will eligible to receive personalized books for all their members, a community area with author and reader resources, video interviews, and more.
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To help kick it off, there will 365 Days of Free Books.  Every day a different author will offer a book to a reader.  There will be New York Times Bestselling authors, debut authors and everyone in-between offering a variety of genres.  And what would a new website be without an e-reader giveaway.
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So, start the new year right and stop by the Barbara Vey website on January 1st.  I will post the website address on my PW blog that day.
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Bottom Line:  I hope to see you at the Open House where I’ll be serving virtual food and drinks and believe me, no buddy makes better virtual food than me.

Giveaways

From Dianna Love:  NYT bestseller Dianna Love is giving a holiday gift to her readers – a FREE e-book copy of her new romantic thriller – LAST CHANCE TO RUN – “only” on December 28th & December 29thYou can get it here.

Where in the World is Barbara Vey…2013?

Barbara Vey -- December 26th, 2012

Once again I’m amazed at all the wonderful places I visited in 2012 and all the place I plan to go to in 2013.  As I do every year, here’s a list of where I’ll be and when.  If you’d like me to visit your group or attend your event, please email me at barbaravey@gmail.com .  Hope to see you in 2013!

Appearances

January 12 – Florida Romance Writers, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

March 1/2 – NOLA Conference, Shreveport, LA

March 15/17 – SoCal Conference, Santa Ana, CA

April 25 – Cudahy Library Author Event, Cudahy, WI

April 26 – Q & A with Authors, Milwaukee, WI

April 27 – Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon, Milwaukee, WI

May 1/5 – RT Convention, Kansas City, MO

May 29/June 1 – BEA, New York

June 21/23 – RomCon, Colorado Springs, CO

July 17/20 – RWA, Atlanta, GA

Bottom Line:  Looking forward to adding things along the way.

Merry Christmas to All

Barbara Vey -- December 24th, 2012

I’m not sure how many will take the time today to read blogs, but I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

When I was a kid, we would wake up about 5 a.m. on Christmas morning (there were 9 of us).  We’d sneak downstairs and squeal over our presents.  Even though we only got two or three each, the tree look loaded underneath because we all made something for my mom, dad and grandma.  And 9 times anything is a lot.  Of course, my dad would yell for all of us to go back to bed until a decent hour and we would last about a half an hour before racing downstairs again.  Mom would reluctantly get up, but we still had to wait for my dad and grandma.

The time wasn’t wasted as we tried to guess what was in each present.  Mom made hot chocolate while we waited and finally it was time.  Dad handed out the gifts and he was so slow about it.  Everyone got one before we could open them.  Then it was on.  The ripping, the tearing, the screaming (yes, even the boys).  Dad always got Old Spice and mom got hand prints on paper or clay bowls.  Grandma loved lace handkerchiefs.

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When it was time for me to have a family, things changed, but not in my head.  I still got up early and ogled the gifts.  When I was finally able to rouse my boys by 8 a.m., they stumbled down where I had hot chocolate made and Christmas music playing.  There were still lots of presents under the tree and I always counted so they would have the same amount.  I made them open their gifts one at a time so I could relish the moment.  As a mom, I still got the hand prints on paper and clay bowls (which I still have).  They are my most precious possessions.

Now I spend Christmas morning alone.  My kids are grown and gone.  I celebrated with my older son, Keith, and his family a few weeks ago in St. Louis and Andrew I’ll see tonight.  Christmas Day he spends with his dad and girlfriend.  I still get up Christmas morning, make coffee and Baileys (with whipped cream, of course) and listen to Christmas music.  Then it’s time to watch my favorite Christmas movie, Die Hard.

It’s not horrible, just different.  Don’t feel bad for me, I’m very blessed.  Christmas eve is now the special day for family.  We gather at my sister’s house and there’s usually about 40 of us with my brothers, sisters and their families.  The tree is overloaded with gifts and there’s plenty of squealing, laughter and hugging.

If you have a minute, tell me your holiday tradition.  Has it changed over the years? 

Bottom Line:  Merry Christmas to all…and to all a good night!

 

Ready Player One

Barbara Vey -- December 21st, 2012

My son, Andrew, is not my big reader.  His brother, Keith, is.  When Andrew called to let me know he read the most amazing book, I paid attention.  Andrew is an artist, so his  books tend to be smaller and have pictures, but this one was different.

Andrew gave me Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  I immediately wanted to read it because Andrew wanted to talk about it and I love hearing how others viewed the same book I read.  This would be the first book that Andrew and I will have ever had a discussion about.  Movies…all the time, but books…never.

Yes, I know it’s cliche, but I absolutely could not put it down.  I started it at night and finished it the next morning.

When I called Andrew to tell him, he was shocked that I finished it already and he said it took him about a year to read it (he may have been exaggerating just a bit).  I had a bunch of questions and observations and couldn’t wait to hear his side of it.

Ready Player One is listed as science fiction, but it is so much more than that.

I tried to write a blurb about it, but I couldn’t do it justice, so here’s how the publisher described it.

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut — part quest novel, part love story and party virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and teh real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of the ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world.  For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved–that of the late twentieth century.  And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into the happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons.  Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt–among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize.  Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win.  But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life–and love–in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

What did I love about this book?

The hero, Wade, a very ordinary guy in a grim world.
All the references to the 1980s.
The mystery.
The adventure.
And yes, the love story.  Because there is an amazingly sweet love story in this book.

What did I not like about this book?

Nothing.

I would read it again in a heartbeat.  This is the kind of book that screams to have a movie made of it.  I highly recommend it because I want to talk to others about it. What makes this book special is that it’s one of those books that anyone can read.  Male, female, young, old, cranky, happy, there’s something for everyone.  I can’t stop thinking about it and isn’t that the sign of a terrific book?

If you’ve read the book, let me know.  Have you ever had a book recommended that knocked your socks off?  Did you ever get a recommendation from an unexpected source and enjoy it?  Do your kids suggest books to you?

Bottom Line:  So, thank you Andrew for the recommendation and keep ‘em coming.

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- December 20th, 2012

Well, we’re nearing the finish line to complete the Christmas shopping, get the decorations up and mail off those annual newsletters.  Hope you’ve been buying lots of books to give as gifts.  Be sure to get some for yourself…you deserve them!  Here’s some suggestions from the WW Ladies to get you started.

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joysann

joysann

Cowboy Casanova by Lorelei James

Read by joysann

Ben McKay is the one of the huge clan of sexy cowboys that’s seems pretty staid, dependable and quiet, unlike his wild brothers and cousins. But the fact is, Ben discreetly parties out of town in a quiet club – a BDSM club that is exclusive and private. When the new bank president, Ainsley Hamilton shows up there to explore her secret submissive streak, dominant Ben is more than happy to help her experiment, maybe permanently.

Lorelei James has done it again, writing a cowboy romance that sizzles, nearly burning the circuits in my e-reader. I love the McKay clan and all its in-laws and out-laws, and there is always plenty of drama and excitement to keep me turning the pages. Cowboy Casanova is hot and sexy, and brings more to the McKay story. Now I can get started on the more recent story, Kissin’ Tell. (Oh man, I just found there is a brand new e-release, Gone Country. I’ve got some catching up to do!)

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Ashley

    Ashley

Along Came a Duke by Elizabeth Boyle

Read by Ashley

After her father died Tabitha Timmons spent her days being a free house maid to her aunt and uncle, her hands were rough and her clothes were hand me downs. But, what she did have was spunk and a great desire not to marry! However, when a mysterious gentlemen admires her attitude and offers her a solution to her problems, it has Tabitha questioning everything she thought she wanted.

A modern day Cinderella story, full of witty dialogue, and superb characters, It’s a timeless romance story that is a real page turner.   An amazing happily ever after tale!

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Heidi

      Heidi

Gnome on the Range by Jennifer Zane

Read by Heidi

Jane West is a busy single-mom of two very active boys. She works for her mother-in-law Goldie at the local adult toy store. Her weekends are filled with running after the boys and going to garage sales. Once her boys purchase two garden gnomes, her life is turned upside down. Someone wants those gnomes back, and is sending dangerous messages to Jane and her family. Jane’s hot firefighter neighbor Ty Strickland is worried about Jane, even with all the feelings he is starting to have for her. Jane is determined to solve the mystery before someone she loves gets hurt.

It has been a really, really long time where I have read a book and laughed out loud at it. Not only is Jane such an enjoyable character, but her mother-in-law is a stitch and a half!! I think I had a smile on my face the entire time I read this book. I was out drinking coffee between appointments, and two people asked me what I was reading because I was smiling so much. I am itching to read the second book: Gnomeless and the novella for the holidays: Gnome for the Holidays.  I think these books are the best to end the New Year with a BANG!

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Susan

         Susan

The Emperor’s Conspiracy by Michelle Diener

Read by Susan

Charlotte Raven, the daughter of a whore, was surviving in the slums of London by masquerading as a chimney sweep when she was saved by a noblewoman who raised her to be a lady. Charlotte never turned her back on her old friends, though, including the boy who is now a crime lord. When she befriends Lord Edward Durnham’s sister and her sons, she gains Edward’s attention…and his suspicion. After he discovers her underworld connections, she aids him in an investigation to find out who is smuggling gold out of England. This puts both of them in danger.

This book has it all: history, suspense, romance. It’s fast-moving and easy to read. The characters were so well-written, they came alive on the pages. The historical details made it believable and easy to picture the scenes. I didn’t want this book to end.

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joysann

joysann

Poison Princess: The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole

Listened to by joysann

Evie Greene is determined to just stick out the last couple years of school until she can leave her protective mother and take her secret crazy hallucinations away from her affluent home. But in a flash, the world as she knows it ends, and she sees that her nightmares were really prophetic dreams, and the horrors were true. Now she and her companion, tough, brooding, hunky Jackson Deveaux , begin to search for the answers and other gifted young people like them before facing the battle of good against evil.

This is an edge-of-your-seat page turner that totally absorbed me. I listened to Poison Princess on audio, and that only made what was an already terrific story even better. It kills me that there is a wait until the next book in the series comes out – it can only get better.

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Heidi

Heidi

A Cold Creek Noel by Raeanne Thayne

Read by Heidi

Caidy Bowman suffered tragedy as a young girl, and now she stays on her family’s ranch in Pine Gulch taking care of her family and the animals on the ranch. When Caidy’s dog Luke gets injured, she meets new veterinarian Ben Caldwell. Ben’s gruff demeanor ruffles Caidy’s feathers and she has had training around veterinarians. When Caidy finds out that Ben and his family are struggling in a new town and with their own loss, she lowers her guard and invites them to stay on their land. Ben’s only concern is for his children and having them adjust with the holidays, but when he meets Caidy, the feelings between them are undeniable.

This is the type of holiday story that makes you feel good all over. It has heart, warmth, love and the holiday spirit all wrapped up inside.  Raeanne really knows how to create a sense of family with the Cold Creek Series. I really thought this was one of the best ones I have read so far.

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Susan

         Susan

Nightingale by Jennifer Estep

Read by Susan

Bigtime is the home of superheroes, ubervillains and powerful event planner Abby Appleby. When superhero Talon is blinded by ubervillain Bandit and his henchmen during a blizzard, Abby scares them off and takes the blinded superhero to her loft. They become close, but she has her own secrets and transports him to another place and disappears. Now Talon is looking for her – and so is Bandit.

It was super fun to read Nightingale. I’m a huge fan of the Bigtime series and was delighted when Nightingale came out. It more than lived up to my high expectations. Even if you haven’t read the other Bigtime books, it’s a stand alone and you won’t feel confused. I hope Estep will have another one out soon.

Bottom Line:  Books are the gifts that keep on giving.

January in Florida

Barbara Vey -- December 18th, 2012

Yes, I’m finally becoming a snowbird.  Well, a semi-snowbird.  I’ll be spending the month of January in Florida, basking in the sunshine and warming my bones while family and friends are shoveling out their driveways.  And I don’t even feel bad about it.  I deserve it.

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But I won’t only be lying around on the beach.  I plan to meet with as many authors, librarians and booksellers as I can.  I’ve already made lunch plans with author D.C. Stanfa and the Florida RWA have asked me to speak at their monthly meeting.  If anyone else is interested in getting together, please email me at barbaravey@gmail.com and I’ll try to work it in.

What Should I Read Next?

What Should I Read Next?

 

I also plan on reading….A LOT!!  So, if there’s a book that just must be read, please let me know.  I’m making a list now and I’d be happy to consider it.  Suggest one you read and loved or one you wrote or one your friend wrote.  Just make sure it’s a good book with a good story.  That’s all I ask.  Oh, and I don’t care for non-fiction, so stick to the make-believe stuff.

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Bottom Line:  Let the suggestions begin!

Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans

Barbara Vey -- December 17th, 2012

I’ve never gone to a writer’s conference in December, but if you want to attend one in an amazing city, head to New Orleans.  Heather Graham always did this conference over Labor Day weekend, but constant worry about hurricanes had her try a change in the date and I’d have to say it really paid off.

New Orleans in December is a sight to behold.  Gorgeously decked out in all the Christmas glory, the shops even have Christmas vampire and voodoo stuff.  I guess I never thought of the two items in the same sentence.  I’m glad I had a chance to experience it.

If you’ve never attended Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans event, you are in for a treat.  While it’s a smaller conference, the intimacy is what makes it so special. She hand picks her special guest and they all have something unique to offer.  There are the usual panels, but there are also interviews with the big name authors.  The questions and answers are are sometimes surprising, but always entertaining.

David Morrell, James Rollins, Cherry Adair, Jonathan Maberry

David Morrell, James Rollins, Eileen Dreyer, Jonathan Maberry

James Rollins is a New York Times bestselling author, but did you know he’s also a veterinarian?  He still volunteers his services and has found a special place in his heart and books for dogs used in the military.   Jonathan Maberry most notably writes horror, but has been writing a YA series about Zombies (the good kind).  Did you know he was a body guard earlier in his career?  Eileen Dreyer started out writing medical suspense books which would explain her nursing background.  David Morrell, best known for his Rambo series explained why he wanted to stretch his wings and try writing a western.  David feels that it helps the author to stay fresh when he/she tries new things.

Paula Eykelhof, Connie Perry, Joan Schluhafer

Cocktail party time with Paula Eykelhof, Connie Perry, Joan Schluhafer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our audience

Our audience

I was on a branding panel with Joan Schluhafer, Don Lucey from Harlequin and Tony and Tori Eldridge.  Joan is a publicist, Don is the head of publicity for Harlequin, Tori adapts books into tv and movie as a screenwriter and Tony is a movie producer who’s next film The Equalizer will feature Denzel Washington and start shooting in spring.  All very fascinating and I felt out of my league.  They had so many interesting things to say that I was up at the table furiously taking notes to I can pass them all on to you in future workshops and panels I do.  Don explained that Harlequin is serious working with authors to give them everything they need to be successful and Joan (who is the very organized one of the group had meticulous notes and made us all look good.  Me, I stumbled my way through, but was well received which always makes me feel good.

Heather Graham and Shara Waas

Heather Graham and Shara Waas

I met Shara Waas , 2012 winner of Heather’s contest, Giving Back to Your Community.  Shara wrote about working and volunteering with therapy dogs for twelve years and the satisfaction and joy she received from it.  Shara was in awe of the authors and the whole event.  She told me she was thrilled to win and experience this once in a lifetime opportunity.

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Time for the Vampire Ball

Time for the Vampire Ball

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Heather Graham doesn’t just sit back and let others do the workshops, she is the driving force behind the shows put on during the event.  This year’s theme was Vampires on the Titanic.  It was a clever take on the idea that Jack could have been saved if 1) Rose would have just moved over on that plank or 2) the vampires had only made him a vampire and they turned everyone on the ship into vampires, it could be a happy ending.  The show was also dotted with Christmas songs that strangely fit into a doomed ship filled with vampires.

Also attending the conference was Heidi, one of the WW Ladies.  She won the trip from Heather at my Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon last April. Here’s her take on the event:

Cherry Adair and Heidi

Cherry Adair and Heidi

Heather Graham and Heidi

Heather Graham and Heidi

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was really impressed by the variety of panels scheduled during the entire weekend It was really hard to pick one or two to attend. The kick off of the welcome party was amazing. I was overwhelmed by all of the writers, publishers, agents and editors. PLUS to be able to meet Heather Graham, James Rollins and Eileen Dreyer, I think I said WOW a million times. But it was so fun to see them and have a regular type of conversation even though I was gushing like a school girl. James has a special place in my heart now being a Chicago boy! :)

On Saturday, I had the pleasure to hear Jonathan Maberry during breakfast, and it is truly amazing to hear what a unique background he has had. His sense of humor I enjoyed most of all. It made me feel right at home. He asked me later in the day what kind of writer I am. I never looked at myself as a writer, but technically I am now, so that was a really cool revelation.

The panel of speakers later in the morning were so awesome because you really got to hear all of their journeys into writing. I loved that is isn’t all cookie cutter writer stories of their beginnings. Eileen, James and Jonathan had me laughing quite a bit, I had a hard time taking notes. I kept thinking they are like secret agent writers: “trauma nurse by day, romance writer by night.”

The special dinner on Saturday was the most unique experience of my life. I never imagined vampires on the Titanic, but I sure can now!! To know that Heather had her band there, and wrote the play that went on during dinner really showed how much she loves her life. I have such respect for that.

Watching Barbara from the sidelines, talking to everyone at the event, as well as bringing in strangers from the hotel to meet authors, with such a passion and love of reading, was really a hoot. Barbara is truly gifted in her element and it was really fun to witness it.

All in all, it was such an honor to be able to attend this event, thanks to Heather Graham. To be able to meet so many people who love what they do, makes me want to work harder in my life, because I love that I do. I have been blessed to come to New Orleans and it will be an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

Oh, by the way, did I mention the food??? YUMOLICIOUS!!!

It’s obvious that Heidi enjoyed herself and together we explored some of New Orleans including the famous Cafe du Monde and it’s famous beignets.  I looked like the abominable snowman from the shower of powder sugar that loads down the pastry.  Of course, I’d do it again in a heart beat.

The conference ended with a book signing.

Kelli Stanley

Kelli Stanley at book signing

Kate Poole at book signing

Kate Poole at book signing

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Bottom Line: I’ve already been invited back for next year and I hope to see you there!

Weekly Giveaways

From Marilyn Baron:  FREE SWEET ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY WITH LOVE STORIES FOR EVERY SEASON PLUS TWO WEEKS OF FREE READS & PRIZES. Petit Fours and Hot Tamales bloggers have published a FREE anthology called SEASONS AND SEASHELLS just in time for the holidays.  You can read it here.  As a bonus, from December 17-Dec. 28, we will publish all or portions of each short story of our Group Novel on our blog. Author prizes awarded daily plus three great prizes to be announced on December 31. Visit our blog to find out more. Here’s what we’re giving away this year: A $5 Starbucks gift card; A PF&HT cookbook and the grand prize: A lovely pair of sterling silver seashell earrings from Nature’s Jewelry.

From Kristie Cook First, the first book in my series, Promise, is FREE (no end date as of right now) for all ebook formats:  Kindle:   Nook  Also on iBookstore, Kobo and Smashwords

Secondly, 13 other authors and I are doing a Holiday Hullabaloo giveaway with 155 prizes over 12 days, including a $200 gift card at the end. People can start at my website, where it’s going daily until 12/21 (started on 12/10), and the links to the other authors’ giveaways are at the bottom.
Third, I’m giving away a free ebook of any of my books here.
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From Katy Lee:  This week I am holding a Goodreads Giveaway of REAL VIRTUE! It’s just one click to enter, and you can find the link on my website. 
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From Pam, Affaire de Coeur Magazine: 3 contests! Spread the word. Links can all be found on our main page.
2. Kaylin McFarren’s — The Inspiration Behind the Story, Click here
3. Pambling Roads~~DC — have a story you want to share about a trip you have made or your visit to Washington, DC. You could win a “I Can’t Live Without Books” T-shirt purchased from the Library of Congress Gift Shop in Washington, DC. Click here.

Virginia Romance Writers

Barbara Vey -- December 14th, 2012
Barbara Vey sign

The beautiful sign outside the party announcing me as a guest. I wish I could have taken it home on the plane.

When the Virginia Romance Writers asked me to do a workshop for one of their meetings, it was a simple yes for me.  My goal is to meet with every RWA chapter in the country.  I’m well on the way.  But when I checked their website, I found out I was scheduled to talk during their Christmas party.  I was sure I had the wrong date.  After offering to come a different date, I was assured that they, indeed, wanted me to talk at their Christmas party.  So, I get to travel to Virginia, meet the authors, talk for a couple of hours and attend a party filled with food and gifts.  Score!!

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The get together was held in a park in a colonial style building.  The sun was shining, it was warm  and it was way too nice a day for a Christmas party.  I knew I wasn’t in Wisconsin anymore.  They had a terrific sign welcoming the members.

Virginia RWA officers

Virginia RWA officers Left: Suzy Short, Tracey Livesay, Donna Dalton, Lucy Balch, Alleyne Dickens

Virginia RWA

Virginia RWA members

Although the main focus of my talk was Building Reader Loyalty, there was such an intimate connection with the group that it was soon more like a conversation between friends.  We laughed, we cried, we connected and energized each other.  One of my favorite parts is having someone come up to me afterward and tell me they identified with something I said.

Cathy Maxwell and Barbara Vey

Love this picture! Cathy Maxwell and Barbara Vey

The Virginia chapter also held their awards ceremony thanking members for their service including their part in Lovefest which is the romance part of Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville March 23rd.  In addition, they are now accepting entries for their HOLT Medallion contest through January 31st.  Winners and Merit recipients will also appear in a full page ad in Romance Writers Report and RTBook Reviews magazine.

Tomorrow the Virginia RWA will be participating in the  Celebrate With an Author Book Fair in Richmond, Virginia.  20 authors will be signing books.  I’m telling you, this is one busy chapter.

One of the highlights of the day was the gift exchange.  Everyone was gathered in a large circle holding a gift with Mary Ann Clark in the center.  As Mary Ann read a Christmas story, the women passed the gifts to the right or left as was indicated in the story.  You had to see it to believe it, especially when the family’s name was Wright and their were at least 30 people in the story (I may have exaggerated a little).  Kind of sad, though, that we had to stop a few times because someone would end up with 2 gifts because they had trouble figuring out their right from their left.  It was all in good fun and everyone ended up with terrific gifts.

Bottom Line:  I hope I get a chance to come back and visit this enthusiastic group.  It’s contagious.

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- December 12th, 2012

I just heard on the news about all the women having babies induced today just so they would be born 12/12/12.  When I was pregnant, towards the end I just wanted to be over, but I’m not sure I would let a date influence my decision.  Of course, a lot of people are superstitious.  Whatever makes you feel better, I guess.  Less time to read with a new baby, but try to squeeze in a couple of pages and here’s some suggestions for you from the WW Ladies.

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joysann

joysann

Fury’s Kiss by Karen Chance

Read by joysann

Part of what makes dhampir Dorina Basarab so dangerous is loss of control, and the memory loss that goes with it. When her blocked memory is all that can reveal what deadly things happened on an investigative mission, Dorina allows a master vampire with telepathic abilities to explore her mind, exposing more of her past than she wants to know. Ultimately, it all relates to an impending war that involves wizard humans, supernaturals and denizens of Faery.

As complicated as that seems, we faithful Dorina fans know how exciting the involved story might get. There are several characters to know and enjoy, like Louis-Cesare and Mircea, and the crossover from Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series makes it all the more fun. Fury’s Kiss is exciting, often suspenseful, often humorous, and always captivating.

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Joan

A Howl for a Highlander by Terry Spear

Read by Joan

Duncan MacNeill, a werewolf from Scotland, has been sent by his oldest brother, the laird of Argent Castle and the pack and clan leader, to Grand Cayman Island to find the thief who stole the clan/pack’s investment funds. Nothing will keep Duncan from completing his task until he catches the scent of a female wolf. He feels it his duty to let her know he is in the area and offer his protection should she need it. Shelly Campbell, an American werewolf, is on the island to study plants, hoping to find a plant that would stop the shift or bring it on if a person needed to change. After arriving and having spent her own money to rent an expensive beach home, she finds that the university’s money has been stolen by the same thief that stole the MacNeill’s money, leaving the two working together.

This is the tenth book in Terry Spear’s Heart of the Wolf series. Not having read the other books dealing with the MacNeill clan, I found that the book stands on its own. Fun, exciting and romantic, I also enjoyed that the setting was in the Caymans, somewhere you would not expect werewolves to be found, beautiful beaches and tropical breezes. Wish I were there!

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Alice

My Lady Mage by Alexis Morgan

Read by Alice, 14

Against the evil uncle who is her guardian, mage heir to Agathia Castle calls up the Warriors of the Mist to help save her kingdom. An even darker evil exists throughout the kingdom challenging the supernatural powers of Merewen and her champions.

My Lady Mage is the first in a new series, Warriors of the Mist. It is an easy read with passion, love, intrigue, magic and evil. I can’t wait for the sequel.

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Ashley

Ashley

His Unsuitable Viscountess by Michelle Styles

Read by Andrea

Eleanor Blackwell has been running her grandfather swords business since she was 15 years old. She is an excellent businesswomen, and with that she gave up her dreams of marrying and having a family. Yet, when Benjamin Grayson, Viscount Whittonstall suggest a marriage of convenience she starts to rethink what she wants, But being a Viscountess means changing everything about herself, her manners, her dress and her hair! How far will Eleanor go? And will two such unlikely couples work together, especially with an overbearing mother in law?!

His Unsuitable Viscountess, is a passionate love story that displays that everyone gets a second chance at love. An incredible romance that proves opposites really do attract!

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joysann

joysann

Collared (A Gin & Tonic Mystery) by L.A. Kornetsky

Read by joysann

Bartender Teddy Tonica overhears Ginny Mallard take on the task of finding a missing business man, and thinks that it’s probably a bigger job than she’s anticipating as a professional service provider who generally runs errands for busy clients or plans parties. He offers to lend her a hand, and though neither is a PI, they find themselves following leads that get progressively shadier, and even dangerous. Ginny’s shar pei, Georgie, and Teddy’s occasional feline companion, Mistress Penny, have the heavy jobs of keeping track of their humans and worrying about how to protect them.

Collared is the first book in a new mystery series that pet lovers will enjoy. Written with humor, this first taste of the sluething business is bound to get Ginny and Tonica more involved in both mysteries and each other. The dialog can be clever and entertaining, and I enjoyed their interaction. I’ll be watching for the next adventure by L. A Kornetsky (aka Laura Anne Gilman).

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Bottom Line:  Well, today is 12/12/12 and if today is your 12th birthday, Happy Golden Birthday!