Monthly Archives: May 2013

Cosmo Red-Hot Reads Launch Party

Barbara Vey -- May 30th, 2013
view

View from the party of Central Park

 

I’m in New York for BEA (Book Expo America), but my first night in town I spent at a fabulous event put on by Harlequin and Cosmopolitan at the beautiful Hearst building.  The red carpet event was to launch the Cosmo Red Hot Reads.  Author Sylvia Day was the main attraction as her book covers were flashed on the walls.

 

 

.

Joanna Coles

Joanna Coles

 

.

I did get to meet Joanna Coles, Cosmopolitans editor in chief (and also from Project Runway).  She is stunning in person and I felt sluppy standing next to her (check out her boots in the picture because I had flip-flops on).  I told her that she doesn’t seem as mean as on Project Runway and she said, “Yes I am!”  But I don’t believe it.  She was absolutely delightful and very enthusiastic as she talked about the new Cosmo/Harlequin Mash Up.

.

 

Sylvia Day

Sylvia Day

Sylvia Day will be penning a short story for the August issue of Cosmopolitan.  According to Joanna Coles, “Cosmo readers love fabulous fiction and if you picked up Fifty Shades of Grey then this is the book series for you … This is fiction for the modern girl negotiating modern love – with all its unpredictability and complications!”  Along with the stories in the magazine, Harlequin will be publishing the books under Cosmo Red-Hot Reads.  The  stories will be about 30,000 words in length.  Harlequin’s press release calls them “independent, adventurous women in contemporary settings and feature fast-paced plots, great dialogue and compelling romance.”

.

Great Harlequin people to party with: Diane, me, Lorianna,  Vickie

Great Harlequin people to party with: Diane, me, Loriana, Vickie

 

.

Now the bad news…I filmed the best interview with Sylvia Day and Joanna Coles, but when I downloaded it, the sound didn’t work.  I did try to read lips, but Joanna has that funny British accent (just kidding).  Then I was going to just try to voice over and I was afraid of being sued.  So, I’m sorry I can’t show it to you, but it was really good.  Trust me.

.

 

 

Bottom Line:  Something tells me these books will be in “hot” demand.

If You’ve Never Read a YA Book, May I Recommend…

Barbara Vey -- May 28th, 2013

Don't Turn Around

After 3 years, I finally figured out how to put audio books on my iPhone from the library.  I was so excited about it that I downloaded the maximum of 10 right away.  So, instead of reading books this past week, I’ve been listening to them.

Sadly, half of them I couldn’t even finish.  Either they were boring, I didn’t like the characters or the narrator had an irritating voice.  But, there was a bright, shining star and I have to say it surprised me because it was labeled a Young Adult book and I’m not normally a big YA reader.  I like adult books with adult plots.  Well, I’m here to admit that I was wrong.

Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon is an action packed, heart-thumping thriller.  It’s the kind of book that starts out with a bang and barely gives you time to breathe.  And these are all good things.

Noa is a sixteen year old who’s on her own.  After being tossed around the system for years, she breaks free and finds comfort in her computer and etches out a life for herself as a hacker and a loner.  The day she wakes up on a metal table being injected with who know what, she soon discovers things aren’t as they seem.  Peter Gregory is a bored, rich kid who’s hacking skills has lead him to form an online Allegiance group working for the good of others.  But, one night, he hacks into the wrong site.  With goons breaking down his door, he finds himself on the run.

images-1

It kind of reminded me of War Games.  The first time I saw it, I was so taken in by the amazing things that kids could with computers and keep in mind that the movie is 30 years old.  I still like watching it, even though the technology seems ancient.

When I can’t stop thinking about it, I know it’s been a great read.  Don’t Turn Around is kind of book I’d gladly buy and give to kids.  It’s clever, exciting and heart-wrenching.  This book is on my list for both adults and kids to read, talk about, debate and enjoy.  The narrator for the audio version, Merritt  Hicks, did a terrific job of bringing the characters to life.

After visiting Michelle’s website, I was happy to learn that this is a trilogy with the next book out in August.  Not only that, but a prequel to the story, No Escape, is being offered as a free download.

Bottom Line:  I know what I’ll be doing today.

 

WW Ladies/Men Book Club

Barbara Vey -- May 24th, 2013

I had to laugh when I read that a woman was deciding if she should take down her Christmas wreath today.  I’ve had days like that.  But it is time because it’s the time of year to be thinking about beach reads.  This makes me laugh too because I never read at the beach, but I do enjoy sitting outside and reading.  Welcome to our newest reader, Lesley.  If you would be interested in being a reader, please email me at bvey@publishersweekly.com.  Now, here’s what’s been on the WW reader’s bookshelves.

//

joysann

joysann

Jane, the Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell

Listened to by joysann

Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, Jane Porter defies convention by studying paleoanthropology and accompanies her father to Africa to look for the “missing link” in human evolution. There she is separated from her party and finds herself rescued by an exceptionally handsome and virile wild man with few communication skills but greatly skilled in living in the jungle isolation. As she learns to survive from him, Jane also comes to love the man who names himself Tarzan.

Everybody knows the story of Tarzan written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Now, a century later, Robin Maxwell writes the story from Jane’s perspective, authorized by the author’s estate. The well-written story is thrilling and romantic, and allows Jane to become a whole character, rather than just a feminine foil for the hero that was Tarzan. Having read many of the books in the original series, I loved this story, and listening to it was a real pleasure.

//

Heidi

Heidi

Not Just the Greek’s Wife by Lucy MonroeNJTGW_big

Read by Heidi

Chloe and Ariston were married due to an arrangement between the two families. Three years later, Chloe and Ariston split up due to a misunderstanding of their “contract”. Now Ariston wants Chloe back, but she has made her own life without him. Chloe’s family company is in jeopardy and she must decide whether she should sacrifice her independence and face the only man she has ever truly loved.

I found the struggle within Chloe’s own self, a fascinating secondary plot within the main story of the book. You can feel the love she has always had for Ariston, but what price was she willing to pay for herself and those around her. Ariston is an arrogant billionaire, but you come to care for him and his desire for Chloe. I was also surprised at the end of the book, it wasn’t at all what I had expected.

 

Joe

Joe

Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb61HRjhsSu6L._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_

Listened to by Joe

Years ago, the magnificent dragon queen Tintaglia forged a bargain with the inhabitants of the treacherous Rain Wilds. In exchange for her protection against enemy invaders, the humans promised to protect an unhatched brood of dragons. But when the dragons emerged as weak and misshapen hatchlings unable to fend for themselves, dragonkind seemed doomed to extinction. When even Tintaglia deserted the crippled young dragons, the Rain Wilders abandoned the burden of caring for the destructive and ravenous creatures. They were banished to a dangerous and grueling journey in search of their ancient dragon homeland, the lost city of Kelsingra, accompanied by a band of young and inexperienced human keepers, also deemed damaged and disposable.

.
I went into this expecting the strong characters that I found in the earlier books. The story still drew me in and kept me interested. I liken it to lamenting an old school friendship that isn’t quite the same, but you don’t stop asking them to hang out with you. In the end, a softer ending and the change in characters didn’t keep me from enjoying the book as a whole.

.

 

Kym

Kym

A Little Night Mischief by Emily Greenwoodlittle-night-mischief

Read by Kym
Felicity Wilcox won’t let James Collington take her home. It doesn’t matter that he won it fair and square in a card game — a gentleman would recognize the fact that she and her father are Tethering’s true owners. But James has his own plans for the house; he needs to sell to pay off debts incurred by his less-responsible brother, debts that have forced James to put his own home in hock. And Tethering’s delightful mistress won’t change his mind. Or will she?

“Mischief” was an entertaining read — written in the same light manner as all the best Regencies — so I was delighted to come across an advanced copy of the book. Greenwood’s story is imbued with the same touch of mischief implied by the title, simply a delightful story.

//

joysann

joysann

Colonist’s Wife by Kylie Scott

Read by joysann

Escaping gangsters for testifying in a murder trial in 2088, Louise travels from Earth to a mining colony on a moon of Jupiter, peopled mostly by men. Louise is already contracted as a wife to one of the miners, only to find he died before she got there. In his stead stands her newly assigned husband, Adam, and she resolves to make the most her new life with the apparently dissolute, distasteful man. But things are not as they appear.

Kylie Scott does a pretty fair job of making an old story new and interesting. The characters are likeable and I wanted their romance to succeed, despite their mutual reluctance and hardheadedness. The novella-length story is intriguing and erotic, and a fast, easy read.

//

LesleyA Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLeanrogue

Read by Lesley

Life can change in the blink of an eye. This is a lesson that Michael, the young Maquess if Bourne, learned all too well ten years ago when with the flip of a card he lost everything to his most trusted advisor. Now Bourne is co-owner of The Angel, London’s darkest gambling hell, and he has finally figured out a way to regain his lost land as well as gain revenge against the person who took it from him in the first place. However, when a part of his plot forces Bourne into marriage with his former childhood friend, Lady Penelope Marbury, he gets more than he gambled for. Penelope married Bourne to save her sisters but that doesn’t mean she isn’t going to take advantage of her husband’s position as the owner of the Angel to break free of social strictures and finally learn to LIVE.

This book caught and captured my attention from the beginning. I am a sucker for historical romances but this book offered a view that I was not expecting, but absolutely loved. Sarah MacLean is a true artist and can paint a scene with words just as well, if not better than a painter can on canvas. I found it absolutely captivating!

Bottom Line:  Today is International Tiara Day, a day when everyone can wear a tiara and feel like royalty…now, where did I put my tiara?

Author Sara Humphreys vs Ambercrombie & Fitch

Barbara Vey -- May 15th, 2013
Sara Humphreys

Sara Humphreys

I met author Sara Humphreys at my Reader Appreciation luncheon for the first time and was quickly taken in by her wit and charm.  Last week, she became my hero.

Abercrombe & Fitch CEO Mr. Jeffries said in Salon, “”In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”

Sara Humphrey’s fired back a response in the Huffington Post (which has received over 790 comments).  She took issue with the fact that Mr. Jeffries was sending out a bullying mentality.

“Shame on you for perpetuating the bully on the playground mentality, in the online community and with our youth. The message you are sending is reprehensible and an appalling waste of an opportunity. You could have chosen to use your power and position to promote tolerance and love. Instead, you chose to promote and validate bullies. Your campaign is telling our young people that it’s perfectly acceptable to exclude someone because of the size of their body.

Since when does being thin make someone a good person? All it makes you is thin. Being thin doesn’t necessarily make someone healthy either. In fact, comments like yours only encourage young girls to starve themselves so they can meet some stupid standard that small-minded men like you perpetuate.”

Her message has gotten over 154,000 Likes, over 35,000 shares (on Facebook), 439 Tweets.

Unclaimed.

 

Sara Humphreys has now come under attack for her book covers showing “buff” men.  As any author knows, book covers are chosen by the publisher.  The fact that Sara writes about vampires (which the last time I checked is fantasy) explains the body type used on the covers.  Really, has anyone ever seen a non-buff guy on the cover of a hot vampire book?  Sara recently wrote a blog to counter the negative responses and you can read it here.

.

I also love that Sara did this video as a follow up.

.

.

Sara sums up her feelings by saying:

“It’s not about fat vs. thin or boy body image vs. girl body image.

It’s about kindness vs. cruelty.

We have a choice in how we message to our young people and, in my opinion, he chose wrong.”

It wasn’t easy for Sara to put herself out there, but she said what a lot of us were thinking.  We owe it to our children to talk about things going on in the home, the community, the town, the state, the country and the world.

Bottom Line:  It’s much easier to be kind than cruel and it feels better too.

 

 

 

joysann’s Warm and Cozy Weekend

Barbara Vey -- May 14th, 2013
joysann

joysann

Hi. joysann here. A few weekends ago the weather was just enough cold and sloppy to make sitting at home with three cats on my lap, several cups of coffee with Irish Crème, and a good book or two just the right thing to do. So that’s what I did.

,

What made it even more special was that I get to share weekends like these with my husband. He’s as avid a reader as I am, and it’s my great good fortune that we mostly like the same kinds of books. Read for hours in silence? That’s good. We do it in the same room together.

/,

,

n

This particular weekend was made even more fun because of the books we had and how we read them. Both he and I faithfully follow the Mercy Thompson novels by Patricia Briggs. While he read the newest, Frost Burned, I picked up a new fantasy by another favorite author, Tanya Huff. The Silvered sucked me into this new world she created of werewolves and magic, and I was a goner.

 

.

.

,

We both read like crazy for hours, and when we were done… we traded books. And off we went again. It’s really fun to do this. “What’s happening now?” “Did you like how that happened?” “I can’t wait ’til we can talk about that certain part that I can’t tell you about yet.”

 

 

Michael (2)

Michael

.

.

I know there are couples out there who share really exciting lives of rock climbing or deep sea diving, or enjoying the lights and bustle of the shows on Broadway. That’s pretty wonderful. But, I don’t know… so is a weekend like this.

.

.

.

.

 

Bottom Line: I think it’s romantic.

A Day Off From Books

Barbara Vey -- May 13th, 2013
Andrew and Barbara Vey at the Iron Man 3 Movie

Andrew and Barbara Vey at the Iron Man 3 Movie

Everyone knows I’m a bookaholic, but everyone needs a day off.  Yesterday was my day, Mother’s Day.  Yes, that one day of the year when your children feel guilted into calling you, sending you gifts, spending the day with you and pampering you.  Yes, there is Christmas and all the other holidays, but Mother’s Day just belongs to us women.  Not only those who are biological mothers, but any who take on any mothering role in their lives.

So, it was with gusto that I woke up Sunday morning feeling like a queen about to get my due.  Sure enough, my phone was alerting me to a text, but surprisingly it wasn’t from my son.  It was from a wonderful (male) author (who I’d gladly adopt), wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day.  And the text had a beautiful picture attached.  I realize the days are gone when I’d get cards in the snail mail, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

With my sons grown and gone, there are no more runs to McDonald’s for a free breakfast, but I gladly settled for a call from my oldest Keith, in St. Louis.  We chatted about the grandkids and the way he would celebrate with his wife (trip to Costco, dinner and a fire lit night on the patio).

iron man 3

Finally, I heard from Andrew, my youngest who lives in town and is a late sleeper.  He would be over at 11 to start our Mother/Son Day.  We headed to a fancy theater to see Iron Man 3 (my choice) and it’s the kind of place that serves food and has assigned seating.  Very luxurious with wide seats and side tables.  We watched the previews dissecting them and deciding which we would want to see next (Star Trek won).  Luckily, Andrew and I are huge movie buffs.  He may not be a big reader, but movies are a fun thing to have in common.

We both thought Iron Man 3 was the best one of the series so far.  The dialog is fast paced, clever and funny.  Something we both appreciate and anyone who is a Marvel movie going fan knows to stay until after the credits to see the final scene.

Free Mother's Day dessert at PF Changs

Free Mother’s Day dessert at PF Changs

Andrew and I finished up with dinner at PF Changs to rehash the movie and talk about what’s coming up.  Andrew is an encyclopedia of movie knowledge.  He knows actors, directors, writers and what they are best at.  I’m always amazed, but shouldn’t be by now.  We analyzed the movie posters because that’s his dream job to design them and now the moving posters.

.

But then I made the ultimate mistake, I had that second glass of wine.  I was having such a great time and didn’t even notice it, but I am not much of a drinking, one being my limit.  So, by then it was too late and I found that I could still embarrass my 31 year old son.  I said something that only should be said among girlfriends and Andrew immediately paid the check and went to get the car.

.

Andrew's face says it all after I finished that second glass of wine

Andrew’s face says it all after I finished that second glass of wine

By the time we got home, he tucked me into the couch with some afghans, gave me a hug goodbye and was out the door probably thinking he wouldn’t have to go through that for another year.  I’m sure we’ll still go to movies, but alcohol will no longer be a part of the entertainment, I’ll save that for conferences.

.

So, now I’m back with my friends, books, who don’t judge me and I can visit everyday of the year.  I had a terrific day off and look forward to the next one, but I’m like the cat who ate the cream, happy, content and blessed for what I have.

 

Bottom Line:  I hope all of the women out there had a magnificent Mother’s Day and know in your hearts that you are appreciated every day of the year.

Young Adults Rule at RT Teen Day

Barbara Vey -- May 8th, 2013
Liz Czukas

Liz Czukas

Since I didn’t get a chance to attend Teen Day at RT, YA author Liz Czukas has gracious offered to fill us in as Cub Reporter.  Liz is a freelance writer living outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Ask Again Later (HarperTeen, March 2014) is her first novel.  Visit her website, or follow her on Twitter @lizczukas.

 

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City.  As a Young Adult writer, I love that RT has a track just for the YA Genre, with plenty of fantastic authors on hand.

.
 .

"Survival Tips--Getting Your Characters out of Tough Situations" panel, with J.A. Souders, Cole Gibsen, Kelley Armstrong, Kimberly Derting, and Carrie Ryan, moderated by David Macinnis Gill.

“Survival Tips–Getting Your Characters out of Tough Situations” panel, with J.A. Souders, Cole Gibsen, Kelley Armstrong, Kimberly Derting, and Carrie Ryan, moderated by David Macinnis Gill.

The sessions ranged from marketing to romance, from survival tips to issue books with panelists including plenty of big names in the YA world along with some up-and-comers.  On Friday night, HarperCollins and Avon hosted the Red Slipper Party where tons of authors were on hand for a book signing event where attendees got heaps of books!

 

.

YA Alley (Picture by Morgan Dormus)

YA Alley (Picture by Morgan Dormus)

Saturday was the all-day Teen Day event, starting with the huge book signing featuring YA Alley where all the Young Adult authors were gathered for fans.  The lines for Veronica Roth got so huge, they started giving out bracelets!  Later, teen readers could see their favorite authors talk on some special panels just for them.  The night ended with the Teen Party where authors mingled with readers for chatting, book signing, and even dancing. Kiera Cass gathered fellow authors and fans for a video of her signature dance move.

.

The camaraderie is unmatched, the laughter is non-stop, and the books I got to bring home will keep me reading for months!  RT should be on your list if you love YA.

Bottom Line:  It made me smile to see the YA readers sitting on the floor in the hall with their noses pressed inside their new purchases…they just couldn’t wait to get home to start their adventures.

 

RT Convention Recap

Barbara Vey -- May 7th, 2013

Mallory Braus and PJ Schnyder

The RT Convention in Kansas City celebrated 30 years this past week.  I’ve got to tell you that it’s like a whirlwind here.  Even though there are a lot of people, you quickly learn that the joy of romance is the tie that binds us all together.

There are so many workshops, panels, parties and signings to go to that it’s impossible to attend them all.  You really have to pick and choose and many times get sidelined because you meet friends along the way you want to chat with.  Time flies at lightspeed here.

Thursday started with a morning mixer sponsored by Thomas Nelson, Zondervan and Avon Inspire.  Readers got goody bags and were entered into a drawing for an iPad mini.  Inspirational authors were there to meet and eat with the readers.  I stopped in a panel on Writing Diversity and New Adult.  Sorry, but I still don’t get the get the category.  I think kids just go from young adult to adult books, but that’s a blog for another day.

Diversity panel

While Kensington had an afternoon book spree with their authors, Samhain spotlighted their authors with a safari theme.  Joysann said, “We were welcomed to the jungle where samhain authors chatted with fans, played games like ring toss and photo ops with life size cut out jungle animals, which were really pretty cool. The tiger would look great in my living room.”  The winners were the readers who walked out with lots of signed books.

.

Graphic novel signing

 

.

More than 300 authors were on hand for the E-book, Indie Publisher, and Graphic Novel Expo.  This gave readers a chance to catch up with, not only e-books, but self-published and independent press books along with graphic novel authors.

.

.

.

Laura Kinsale, one of the Pioneers honored

Laura Kinsale, one of the Pioneers honored

Thursday’s big evening event was sponsored by RT Book Reviews and Entangled Publishing.  The special guests were the pioneers of romance, Mary Balogh, Rosanne Bittner, Jennifer Blake, Virginia Brown Robyn Carr, Laura Castoro, Phoebe Conn, Jude Deveraux, Thea Deving Shirl Henke, Laura Kinsale, Patricia Rice, Karen Robards, Bobbi Smith, Janelle Taylor and Cynthia Wright.  Dancing, I’m told, went well into the night.

 

 

Friday Joysann went to the Fountain City Jazz Club Morning Mixer.  She said, “It was a fine way to brighten up an early gray day with a sip of champagne mimosas and a smooth playing jazz trio. Bingo games, prizes and schmoozing with favorite authors made getting out of bed so early worth the effort.”

I attended a luncheon sponsored by Carina Press and we played a fun game where each table of librarians, bloggers and authors had to pick models and then pose their models like the author’s book cover.  My table won and our names were put in a hat for a chance to win an iPad mini and I am happy to tell you that I won!  I absolutely love it and have used it for pictures, videos and, of course,  already downloaded all my books.

Barbara Vey accepting the Melinda Helfer Fairy Godmother Award

Barbara Vey accepting the Melinda Helfer Fairy Godmother Award.

Next was the RT Book Reviews Award ceremony.  I am thrilled to say I was honored with the Melinda Helfer Fairy Godmother Award.  This award is given to a person who has supported romance, but is not a romance author.  The L.A. Banks Warrior Woman Award, which goes to an author who has recently overcome adversity and persevered. This year that honor went to graphic novelist and romance author Anne Elizabeth.  The 2012 RT Editors’ Seal of Excellence for Best Book of the Year, which went to the steampunk romance Riveted by Meljean Brook.  You can find the complete list of winners here.

.

.

.

I was on the Great E-Book Debate panel with Sheila English Clover, agent/lawyer Eric Ruben and author Kris Tuala.  It was standing room only as we debated pricing, process and content.  It’s certainly a hot topic.

Red Slipper

Joysann attended AVON’s The Little Red Slipper Lounge.  Avon’s popular authors made a huge draw with signing free books. Tasty wines and lavish hors douvres were as plentiful as  the lovely books and authors.

Heather Graham’s Freaky Friday Dance capped off the night.  Party goers dressed up freakishly weird, but that’s the idea.

13pic4

Freaky Friday

Saturday was billed as FAN-tastic Day with workshops, a Giant Booksigning and evening parties.  It also was teen day and YA author, Mari Mancusi promised to send me a write up about those events that I’ll post later this week.

rt13expo1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Giant Book Fair featured over 500 authors.  The room was huge and you really needed good walking shoes.  Naturally, readers lined up early and it stretched forever.  Julie Garwood and Sylvia Day’s lines were so long that they had to use tickets to control the crowd.  It’s really fun to go up and down the aisles seeing the wonderful variety of genres, giveaways and promo items.  Smart buyers brought bags and some even rolling suitcases for all their purchases.

 

Jude Deveraux

Jude Deveraux

Yasmine Galenorn

 

jade lee

Jade Lee

.

.

 

Jade Lee celebrated her 50th Birthday with a roast.  Ever the shy, retiring author she is, others entertained the audience with saucy tales of adventures from Jade’s racy past.  Happy Birthday Jade!

.

.

.

 

 

Dreamspinner Prize table

Dreamspinner Prize table

Dreamspinner Press’s party had authors at tables giving away books and great food.  They also gave amazing baskets and several e-readers.  From there it was on to the Carina Press Cocktail party were readers were given a clue to a book and had to find the author.  The final party was a dance party sponsored by Harlequin.

 

 

manager

Ken Blachley

 

 

I did gaze across the room at a party and noticed a man without a shirt, but on closer inspection saw it was really a hotel manager standing behind a book cover.  I couldn’t resist asking him to pose for a picture.  His fellow employees really got a kick out of it.

By Sunday morning, people were moving kind of slow.  Even though many started to head for home, there were still events like author speed dating, how many people can you fit in a bed and celebrating 200 years of  Pride and Prejudice.  The convention ended with Romance at Twilight with romance movies, theater treats and one lucky person winning a free registration to next year’s event.

Bottom Line:  It’s exhausting, but in a good way and next year looks to be even bigger and better when RT takes on New Orleans.

RT Invades Kansas City

Barbara Vey -- May 2nd, 2013

images

I just arrived in Kansas City for the RT Booklover’s Convention’s 30th Anniversary.  The event started Monday with a preconvention of sightseeing and writer’s bookcamp.  It’s a huge Sheraton Hotel and has a walkway that lead to shopping, food and the overflow hotel.  I’m glad I’m not over there because I heard it’s about a half a mile walk and when you’re lugging books and goodies all day back to your room, it can be a little much.  But it doesn’t stop the hoards of readers and writers who attend this event.

There’s something happening all the time and I just managed to get to a few of them on Wednesday because when you come to something like this, you can barely walk two feet without seeing someone you know and you just have to stop and chat for a few minutes.  If you go to the restaurant, you never have to eat alone, there’s readers and writers galore who’d love to talk to you about books.

RT models. Picture taken by Morgan Doremus

RT models. Picture taken by Morgan Doremus

There was a cover model meet and greet that was a special ticket only event, but Morgan sent me this great shot of Men in Tights.  I’m not sure if they were channeling pirates or Robin Hood, but I could hear a lot of hooting and hollering coming from the room.

.

.

.

Authors from The Intergalactic Bar and Grill - picture by Morgan Doremus

Authors from The Intergalactic Bar and Grill – picture by Morgan Doremus

.

.

Authors get together and sponsor all different events.  The sci-fi group put on the Intergalactic Bar and Grill.  There were blow up alien dolls and goodie bags stuffed with books. They challenged readers with trivia questions, so one had to dig out of their memories the details of old movies and TV shows. .

 

Kensington Publishing offered a readers event where they were separated into groups with authors and told to come up with the perfect paranormal hero.  Sorry to say they didn’t send me the final result, but there were a lot of suggestions from the readers so I guess they think about this a lot.

Historical authors - picture by Morgan Doremus

Historical authors – picture by Morgan Doremus

The historical authors were all at Rosie’s  Gulch Saloon.  They were dressed in their saloon finery and readers were given cards with questions on them that they had to get answered by the authors who were stationed around the room.  Then winning tickets were picked for prizes.  But everyone manages to walk away with a goodie bag filled with books, t-shirt, playing cards and other swag.  When you come to these events, you really need to bring an extra suitcase.

The big party of the night was the Ellora’s Cave’s Disco.  Everyone dresses to the hilt and there is food, dancing and even more giveaways.  Ellora Cavemen were there, so there was plenty to look at.  Everyone left tired, but with smiles on their faces.EC Disco

 

 

 

 

 

/

Bottom Line:  I wish I could clone myself to go to more of the things I missed.

Brenda Novak Auction For Diabetes

Barbara Vey -- May 1st, 2013

brenda_thad

The month of May not only brings flowers and the promise of spring, but also the Brenda Novak For The Cure of Diabetes Online Auction.  This auction has something for everyone and is for a wonderful cause.  According to the press release:

Every year, for the month of May, New York Times and USA Today Best-selling Author Brenda Novak runs an online auction for diabetes research. The auction takes a full year to plan and pull off, but it’s a labor of love—an effort to help all the people who, like her youngest son, suffer from diabetes.  Her very first auction ran in 2005. It started small but has grown every year by leaps and bounds.

The Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research is the biggest online event for diabetes
research in the world. Each year, with the help of generous donors–which include some of the
biggest and brightest stars in publishing, like Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts, Diana Gabaldon, Steve Berry and Janet Evanovich–Brenda offers up over 2000 fabulous items, creating a shopper’s paradise. As a cumulative total, she’s raised $1,675,280.

But the auction is more than your everyday charity gala. It’s a blast to participate in–
a real community. They do drawings and give away prizes. Shoppers quickly become donors and donors quickly become shoppers. It’s an outstanding fundraising model!

Here’s to making a difference…

Bret Michaels

Bret Michaels

When asked what makes her auction model work so well, Brenda said, “I think it’s the unique items that are offered, as well as the community. At the auction, readers can bid to win unique experiences–like having lunch or dinner with their favorite author, or staying in their favorite author’s guest house, or reading their favorite author’s book before it’s ever even published. We also offer opportunities to aspiring writers of all genres–and millions of people want to write a book. Some of the most powerful agents and editors in publishing have donated their time to read submissions and give feedback, some with a turn-around time of twenty-four hours! In addition to these unique items, we have everything from trips & stays, to antique jewelry to celebrity items.  Also, the friendships we form, the prizes we give away, and the spirit of fighting back together brings us closer as a community each year. I’m not the only one driving this. We’re all in it together.”

Some unique items include tickets and backstage meet and greet packages with Bret Michaels and Celine Dion, a stay at Nora Roberts Inn, an African safari and hot air balloon ride.  But there’s also jewelry, lunches, trips, and stays in author’s guest houses.  And you just won’t believe all the books offered.  This is a book lovers fantasy shopping trip.

MegCabotBooks

Meg Cabot Book Basket

My offerings this year are a day to be featured on my Beyond Her Book blog, a ticket and hotel stay for the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon 2014 and a complete makeover at a premiere salon in Wisconsin.  You can bid on these items here. Just search Barbara Vey.

No donations are too big or too small, so check it out and bid often.  You’d be surprised what you can get and do some gift shopping while your at it.  Spending money on fun things is easy when you know it’s going for a good cause.

Bottom Line:  “How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment; we can start now, start slowly changing the world!” ~ Anne Frank