Monthly Archives: August 2013

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- August 30th, 2013

Harley Davidson

Things are hopping this weekend in Milwaukee.  It’s Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary and that means we have bikers from around the world visiting our city.  There are Australians who flew into Los Angeles to pick up bikes, Austrians started riding in Texas and Germans started their rides in Las Vegas.  While there are events all over the city, the lakefront (home of the Harley Museum), is the loudest.  Between bikes, bands and people who just want to be part of the festivities, you really need ear plugs.  We welcome the bikers with open arms and people actually stood on freeway over passes with signs and waved as the visitors arrived.  I might have to put a book down today and check it out.  Meanwhile, here’s what the WW Ladies have been reading.

biopicDown Range by Lindsay McKennaDown Range

Read by Barbara

Captain Morgan Boland is a top Navy sniper and so is Navy SEAL Jake Ramsey.  When a dangerous Taliban regional leader needs to be stopped their names are chosen.  Since these two have a lot of history, the danger isn’t just in the mission to Afghanistan.

I love the idea of women in the military and the fact that an actual Navy SEAL has recommended the book says a lot about the research and authenticity of the story.  I even enlisted in the Army after high school, but my mom wouldn’t allow it (you had to have your parent’s permission at that time).  This book is adventurous and riveting, plus a romance to die for just made this summer a lot hotter.

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joysann

joysann

Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire

Read by joysann

Though Verity Price came to New York to establish herself in competitive ballroom dancing, she’s never stopped following her family’s traditional occupation as cryptozoologists, keeping the monsters of the world safe and undiscovered. But the Covenant of St George is coming, and if they begin a purge of the supernaturals of the city, they’ll paint the town red. But there is one thing the Covenant folks want more than dead monsters, and it’s Verity.

Seanan McGuire has got a fun urban fantasy series going here with this second InCrypted novel. Verity and her family and friends are likeable and interesting, the supes are creative and entertaining, and the plot exciting and suspenseful enough that I couldn’t stop turning pages. With its little spot of romance and sprinklings of family mystery, I’m delighted to discover related short stories on Seanan’s webpage.

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Dark LycanNatalieDark Lycan by Christine Feehan

Read by Natalie

The Lycans and the Carpathians have little to do with each other.  The fear of a mixed race (half Lycan/half Carpathian) drives the Lycans to kill anyone who is both.  Rogue packs and vampires force Fen to feed from a Lycan hunter that he befriends. He doesn’t realize that he will mix his blood with the Lycan and go from hunter to hunted.  His lifemate is a Dragonseeker and Carpathian, very old and powerful.  Together they try to figure out who is killing whole packs while also trying to keep Fen’s secret from the Lycans.

Dark Lycan is not only part of the famous Carpathian series, but is book one of a new trilogy within the series. I love the direction of this series that feels evolved and fresh and there’s a lot of important information that fans (like me) will want to have but others can still enjoy it if they haven’t read any Carpathian books. I was surprised at the epic fantasy feel while still very much a romance.  Two big thumbs up on a fresh take on one of my favorite classics.

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MaryVicious by V.E. SchwabVicious

Read by Mary

EO’s (ExtraOrdinarys) have special powers. But, this is less about good versus evil and more about what’s bad and what’s worse because not everyone who gets a superpower what’s to use it for good.  Victor and Eli are best friends, roommates and brilliant. They are in a school for the gifted. They know about EO’s, though EO’s are unconfirmed by the government. Victor and Eli devise a way to make themselves EO’s through near-death experience and it works. While each has his own power, an accident causes Eli’s love to die while she helps Victor. Eli is consumed with the need for revenge.

Just like real life, there’s a little of good and evil in each of them and this
is easily the best book I’ve read so far this year.  I still can’t stop thinking about it.  I felt compelled to keep reading page after page as the author cleverly foreshadows and drops hints that made me squirm to know what happens next.  Extremely compelling and utterly captivating.

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susanGideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David BarnettGideon

Read by Susan

Gideon lives in a small village but dreams adventures like the ones he reads in the “penny dreadful”.  When his father goes missing he looks to author/adventurer Captain Lucian Trigger to help. On his way there he runs into Bram Stoker who believes a vampire may be at work here, then he stops at Einstein’s where he finds a remarkable mechanical girl who can think and talk and who escapes with Gideon.  Their adventures take them to London where Lucian is not what he appears.

This is a steampunk mystery and romance with some paranormal.  Betrayal, espionage and mystery lead Gideon on the adventure he’s always wished for. But be careful what you wish for.  This was my first steampunk novel and I loved the alternate history, the gadgets, and the mechanical girl, who did not start out mechanical.  This was a thrilling and great adventure that I was glad I had a ticket to.
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NatalieThe Incrementalists by Steven Burstthe Incrementalists and Skyler White

Read by Natalie

People, who are immortal in a way,put their memories and consciousness into other bodies if they die.  They have an organization that helps them stick to their goal which is to make the world better, a little at a time.  But, one person’s idea of how the world could be better can clash with another.  And if they make the wrong call it can have a devastating effect on humanity.

This reminded me of the movie Inception as far as its complexity and intricate storyline. I was able to follow what was going on well enough even though I was given bits and pieces until it all came together as one picture.  It’s challenging, but since I enjoy puzzles it was my cup of tea.  Thought provoking and intriguing!

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Bottom Line:  Ok, my motorcycle riding days may be over, but like other things in life, I can enjoy looking at them.

Authors Recommending Books

Barbara Vey -- August 29th, 2013

authorsrecommendingbooks

Today is the first day of what I hope will become a regular feature on Beyond Her Book.  Authors will be recommending other books.  They can be current reads or favorite past reads.  I also encourage you to leave your recommended reads in the comment section, so other readers can add to their TBR pile.

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firelightDarkfever

Elizabeth Hoyt recommends Firelight by Kristen Callihan (Historical Romance) “Callihan is an amazing new author! Her Victorian London is mysterious, weird, and exciting. Her heroine is kick-ass, her hero dreamy and forbidding at the same time, and the romance singes the pages. I simply can’t wait to read the rest of this series!”

Maggie Mae Gallagher recommends Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. (Urban Fantasy)

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Once Upon a TowerEileen Dreyer recommends Once Upon A Tower by Eloisa James. Eden's Sin(Historical Romance)

 

Barbara Bettis recommends Eden’s Sin by Jennifer Jakes.(Western Historical Romance)

 

 

 

Gnome on the RangeThe Lotus PalaceMichele Callahan recommends Gnome On The Range by Jennifer Zane. (Contemporary Romance)

 

Amanda Berry recommends The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin. (Historical Romance)

 

The winner of the Random House gift basket with Complete Me by J. Kenner from yesterday is Jennifer Yarbrough.  Please email sgrimshaw @randomhouse.com with your name and street address for your prize.  Congratulations!

Bottom Line:  Come back Friday to see the books the WW Ladies are recommending this week.

New Releases This Week

Barbara Vey -- August 28th, 2013

new releases

As promised, here are the new releases for this week.  This feature will be on Tuesdays starting next week.  All new releases can be sent to maggiemaepw @ gmail.com with New Release in the subject line.

This is the schedule I’m striving to maintain starting on Monday on so you’ll know what to expect every day.  WW Ladies will be Friday this week.

Monday and Friday:  Blogs about news, books, conferences, rants and Cub Reporters  (Don’t forget to let me know about giveaways or free books by emailing maggiemaepw @ gmail.com for inclusion on Monday’s blog.)

Tuesday:  New Releases

Wednesday:  WW Ladies Book Club

Thursday:  New Feature – Authors recommend books they’ve enjoyed (Authors send your recommendations to maggiemaepw @ gmail.com with Recommendations in the subject line.)

If you need any other info including contact info, where to send books, Reader’s Luncheon, Romance Webcasts and Podcasts, check out my website at barbaravey.com

Complete Me

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As a special treat today, Random House has offered a special give away, gift basket giveaway for J Kenner’s COMPLETE ME – part of her NYT bestselling series featuring Damien Stark.  Just leave the comment, “Complete Me!” for a chance to win.  I’ll post the winner tomorrow with a contact email for Random House and they will directly send the gift basket to you!

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Now here’s the books premiering this week:

The Lotus PalaceTHE LOTUS PALACEImmortally Ever After
by Jeannie Lin
Release Date: 8/27/13
Harlequin

IMMORTALLY EVER AFTER
by Angie Fox
Release Date: 8/27/13
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press

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Notorious AthertonNOTORIOUS ATHERTONDangerous Curves Ahead
by Patricia Rice
Release Date: August 27 ebook Oct 8 print
Publisher: Indie


DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD
by Sugar Jamison
Pub Date: 8/27/2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

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License to LoveLICENSE TO LOVE
by Gina Robinson
Pub Date: 8/27/2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

AFTER THE KISS
By Lauren Layne
Release Date: 8/26/13
Publisher: Random House

 

 

 

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Layout 1Don’t forget to register for the Romance Webcast on September 17th.  It’s FREE and you can listen live or later on iTunes.  Featured panelists from Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Kensington will be on hand to discuss heroes, love of romance, ebooks and more.  You’ll also have a chance to submit your questions during the life webcast and follow along on Twitter with #romancereads.

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Bottom Line:  You shouldn’t make excuses for NOT reading a book, you should make excuses TO read a book.

 

Romance Novel Convention

Barbara Vey -- August 26th, 2013

rnc opening

The RNC (Romance Novel Convention) was held in Las Vegas recently and it killed me not to go.  My mom loved Vegas and I actually took her to Killercon one year.  But, lucky for us Cub Reporter, Elena Dillon, was on the scene and reported on this brand new convention.

elena dillonElena Dillion is the author of the Young Adult Suspense novels “Breathe” and “Crushing”. Loves to read about love, courage, sacrifice and is a sucker for an amazing hero. She has always been fascinated with the South with it’s beauty and history.

Elena Dillon

Elena Dillon

What a great introduction to Reader/Writer Conventions. Jimmy Thomas and InD’Tale Magazine put on a fabulous event in Las Vegas at the Golden Nugget. I had never been to one of these and I wasn’t even sure I was going to go due to my schedule but I’m so glad I did. The classes were informative and helpful. I really enjoyed Liliana Hart’s “Indie Revolution” class. I learned so much in just an hour from things she said like “Series sell. Make everything you write a series.”  Afterwards I spoke to her and she generously gave me some ideas for my current projects.

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Ana, Michael, Mimi

Ana, Michael, Mimi (Pics by InD’Tale Magazine)

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Moving on to Heather Moore’s “The Art of Writing Amazing Novella’s”.  Based just on her recommendation of “Think of 5 things that need to happen in your novella,” people immediately started plotting out their projects.

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TJ MacKay of InD’Tale Magazine did a whole hour on “Selling Yourself: Personal Promotion 101”.  Just the little exercise she did recommending that we “visualize yourselves as the confident woman you want to be” helped me that weekend when I had to stand up in front of a room full of people and speak! Whew. Thanks, TJ!

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dancingAs far as entertainment we were treated to illusionists, quick change acts, belly dancing, singer/dancer performances, an awards show, a Mr. Casanova contest, a costume ball and a wedding performed by Jimmy Thomas. Can’t get much more romantic than that.
A costume rental company was on hand so you could dress up for the ball in period attire for a reasonable price.  Come to find out they insisted on dressing you in your costume before the ball so you looked just right. We all definitely felt like a pampered ladies.

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Jennifer Ashley and Lorraine Heath with friends

Jennifer Ashley and Lorraine Heath with friends

Saturday was the book signing and a chance to meet fabulous readers. I was so happy to see teenage girls looking for their favorite authors, not just adults. There were some wonderful authors on hand, such as, Catherine Bybee, Victoria Vane, CJ Ellison, HP Mallory, Heather Moore and Belinda Boring.

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roneRone Awards were given out.  Congratulations to all the winners!

2012 RONE Award Winners:
Contemporary:  Married by Monday – Catherine Bybee
Contemporary: Cops, Jocks and Cowboys: (tie)  Not Quite Dating – Catherine Bybee
Show No Weakness – Joyce M. Holmes
Erotica:  The Perfect Score – Kellie Kamryn
American Historical:  Beautiful Bad Man – Ellen O’Connell
Historical, Pre Medieval: The Highlander’s Reward – Eliza Knight
Historical, Post Medieval:  The Duchess War – Courtney Milan
Historical, Novella:
The Governess Affair – Courtney Milan
Novella, Short Story:  Hotter on the Edge: Anthology – Erin Kellison, K.C. Klein, Jessa Slade
Fantasy:  Merlyn’s Raven – Rose Vanden Eynden
Paranormal:  Nightfall – Norah Wilson
Time Travel:  Dreamspell – Tamara Leigh
Suspense/Thriller:  All Fall Down – Julie Coulter Bellon
Science Fiction:  Clockwork Blue: The Lumiere Chronicles – Gloria Harchar
Mystery:  Sea of Secrets – Amanda DeWees
Inspirational:  A Legacy of Lies – Stephenia H. McGee
Young Adult:  Breathe – Elena Dillon
Young Adult – Paranormal:  Embrace – Stacey Rourke

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It was a great event and I had a wonderful time and plan on going again next year. Who knows what they’ll have planned?

Bottom Line:  Looks like I may have another convention to put on my schedule for next year.

GiveawaysfreeStuff

From Mia Marlowe:  20Days/20Books Celebration on my blog.  Many guest authors and grand prize is a Kindle Paperwhite.  Just leave a comment to be entered.

If you’d like your giveaway posted, send me an email to bvey @ publishersweekly.com

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- August 23rd, 2013

In association with the WW Ladies, I’ll be doing something new, a list of books coming out that week.  Starting next week, this feature will be on Thursdays.  All emails with info can be sent to:  maggiemaepw@gmail.com with New Release in the subject line.  Here’s the list I got this week, but I’m sure it will start getting longer soon.

Romancing Lady Stone by Delilah Marvelle-4

Release date: August 20, 2013

Say Yes To The Duke by Kieran Kramer -6

Release Date: August 27, 2013

 

The Perfect Ten by Dianna Love, et althe perfect 10

Release Date: August 19, 2013
 

 

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joysann

joysann

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

Read by joysann

When the groom’s best man encourages a stop to her wedding at the altar, Faith Holland leaves her family’s vinyard home for a few years to pull her life together. When she returns, she finds Levi Cooper is the worst man ever to come across, but as he is now Police Chief, she seems to run into him everywhere. But now there is time to see past their history and find there might have always been a little something more.

I’m in love with Levi, but I can’t compete with Faith and I don’t want to. They deserve to find each other in this delightful romance. Filled with humor, passion, compassion, and heart-warming love, I laughed and I wept, and it wasn’t from the wine.

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Joan

Joan

The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin

Read by Joan

When a shipment of gold and jade is stolen from a security warehouse, traveling entertainers are suspect and thief catchers close in. While performing a beautiful sword dance, Wen Li Feng catches the eye of the most famous thief catcher Zheng Hao Han. She runs and Han sets out to bring her in, believing she was involved in the theft. He soon discovers he is in for a long and intriguing chase.

Based on a poem, Jeannie Lin has written a wonderful story that takes place in 848 AD China during the Tang Dynasty. Not knowing much about China, I found the characters and the settings drawing me in as did the movie Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, only with a happily ever after ending. The Sword Dancer is exciting and enchanting right from the first page.

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Michelle

Michelle

A Bride For all Seasons by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, BrideRevised_smRobin Lee Hatcher (Anthology)

Read by Michelle

Women traveling far distances to marry a men they have never met was refreshing and humorous.  The owner of The Hitching Post Mail Order Bride Catalogue rewrites the correspondence of the men and women to match exactly what the other needs.  Almost like “Dear Abby” of our time.  One story was Clay, who disliked children, was deceived by letters from Luvena , her sister’s four children, omitted from correspondence but fell in love with each one of them.  Turns out his father was never there for him and feared being a father.  The children and Luvena were just what Clay needed to be complete.

Reading about the year 1870 with Mail order brides is a feel good book. I found it refreshing and fascinating to read a clean book free of swearing and sex.

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joysann

joysann

The Red Plague Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

Read by joysann

Archibald Clare is a mentath, a brilliant logistician, a rare talent that is almost magical. Emma Bannon is magical, a powerful Sorceress Prime dedicated to serving Britannia and the queen. Together they hunt for the insane researcher who is trying to create a WMD by raising a plague that will not only destroy enemies, but devastate Britain as well.

The Red Plague is the second book in The Bannon and Clare Affairs, and it is an intriguing venture into a steampunk world. With the first book, The Iron Wyrm Affair, the world and the relationships between the several different important characters become established, and though it stands alone, I couldn’t wait to get into this one. Exciting, mysterious and compelling, Lilith Saintcrow has me looking forward to more.

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ann.jpg

Anne

Tin Angel by Kat Martin and L.J. Martin (Read by Rebecca Cook)513Pr2zaLDL._SY346_

Listened to by Anne

Jessica Taggart leaves Boston for the Barbary Coast when her father leaves her a restaurant.  Problem is, when she arrives she finds a brothel in it’s place.  Jake Weston is the partner in this business and doesn’t need anyone meddling.  She’s looking for adventure, but headed for trouble and Jake is stuck trying to keep her safe.

This is an older book, but should not be missed and Rebbeca Cook does a fine job narrating.  The only book that Kat wrote with her husband, western writer L.J. Martin.  Set in the 1800s west, the brothel theme is glossed over by Jake being ultra protective of his “girls” and helping them get better lives if they want it.   Tin Angel is a delightful, charming romp  Maverick style.

Bottom Line:  Off to St. Louis to read with the grandkids since I’ve packed lots of books!

Librarians Police Library

Barbara Vey -- August 22nd, 2013

I caught this video online and thought it was adorable.  I especially love that the librarians are like I remember (well, without the badges), but that’s just part of the fun.  They take their jobs seriously, but it’s all so silly you can’t help but smile.

M&D 2013 Sabotage from Mike and Duane Show on Vimeo.

Here’s the video explanation:  While knock-off versions of the Beastie Boys’ sabotage video have been a popular venture for music fans for years, there’s a new one that’s kind of neat. Chicago-based comedy musicians Mike Ferbrache and Duane Freeman recruited a group of middle-aged librarians for their take on “Sabotage,” complete with criminals hell-bent on stealing books and (probably) incorrectly re-shelving the books themselves, those a**holes. It’s a simple enough premise, but the way that the totally grown-up lady librarians took to filming is just a joy to watch, and makes the clip that much more heart-warming. [via Laughing Squid]

Bottom Line:  Librarians do it with class…and badges.

The winners from yesterday’s blog to win boxed book sets are:  Cathy Perkins, Danielle Estes and Toni.  Please send me an email at barbaravey @ gmail.com and I’ll hook you up with the authors for your free books.  Congratulations!

Boxed Set Madness

Barbara Vey -- August 21st, 2013

The hottest thing I’ve seen around lately is the boxed set of ebooks.  A group of authors get together to sell one of each of their books in a set, but the neat thing is that they don’t even have to be the same genre.  Some of them are, but others offer the readers a taste of different genres.  Readers come out winners because for usually under $1 they can own 6-10 books, sometimes written by award winning authors and find some new ones to read at the same time.  The upside to this is the opportunity for authors to have the set sell so well that it hits the NY Times Bestseller list.

I asked a few of these groups about the experience of getting these books out there with so many different personalities to work with.  Representing their goups are Dianna Love, Debra Webb and Jana DeLeon.

BV:  Why did you pick the group of authors you did?

DL:  With the exception of one person who was invited because she’d built a substantial following and wrote in our genre, this group of authors had some prior connection to someone in the group.  We’ve met each other over the years through publishing and at events.  The key element was to have a group authors who a) have an established reader base because they all publish quality stories, b) were savvy businesswomen who would step up to get the word out about the set and c) great personalities (no whiners or divas). Plus each of our authors truly cares about her readers.

DW:  When putting together the Dangerous Desires box set choosing the authors to invite was an easy task. Not only are they good friends but they’re all amazingly talented authors! Most are veteran writers who have a decade or more in the business!

JD:  The Indie Voice is more than just a group of authors who collaborated on a boxset. We are a ten-member LLC dedicated to promoting indie publishing and authors. Four of the members met at a conference and decided to start an author support group. The other six members were recommended by existing members and voted on by the group. We wanted authors who produced high quality work and were interested in or already making a big splash in indie publishing. Most of us write romance or a romance hybrid, but some of us also write in other genres, so we’re not genre specific.

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BV:  How is it working out?

DW:  The project went together smoothly! The hardest decision was the cover art. We went through a couple of versions before we got where we wanted to be. Working together has been a joy!

JD:  Absolutely fantastic! It’s an incredible group of women with so many ideas between us that we’ll never have time to execute them all. Being in the group has elevated all of our writing and motivated us to push our careers to another level. The boxset sold so many copies that we hit the USA Today list two weeks in a row and the New York Times list at number seven.

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DL:  We have an author dream team.  The enthusiasm for this project has been amazing and there’s a high level of expertise for anything needed.  If a problem arises, everyone jumps in from all directions with a solution or suggestions.
 
BV:  What’s in it for the reader?

JD:   When we released our boxset, readers had a chance to pick up eight full-length novels for only .99. That’s a great opportunity to try a broad sampling of authors for a very low price. We also have a weekly newsletter that provides sales information on indie books as well as reviews of indie books. We want to promote high-quality indie works

DW:  The readers are at the heart of why we decided to publish this project. All involved are multi-published authors. Every book we have the luxury of writing and publishing is because of the readers. We wanted to show our appreciation by offering five full length novels and two bonus novellas for a low price. We’re planning to do this a couple of times each year from now on. With the future projects we’ll be writing new stories that will only be available in the collections.

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DL:  The reader gets a chance to read “new to them” stories that have been vetted, because we picked the best books for this project.  On top of that, the reader takes home a mother lode of ten full-length novels for pennies.  THE PERFECT TEN box set is available on iTunes, Nook and Kobo and Amazon for 99¢ . Plus we have events planned this week, like The Perfect Ten Facebook Party on Thursday with tons of giveaways all day.

BV:  What’s the benefit to the authors?

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DL:  Authors have always gone into anthologies to reach new readers.  This is like a mega-anthology except that instead of shorter novellas ALL of our books are full novels, everything from romantic suspense to urban fantasy to romantic mysteries to paranormal and even a sci-fi young adult bonus book.  We’re introducing all our readers to each other’s books.

JD:  Exposure. Readers that might have never bought an individual book by an author in the boxset, read the book in the boxset and went on to buy other books by those authors.

DW:  As established authors each of us has an audience of readers who enjoy our stories. Publishing the box set allows us to provide our readers with the opportunity to try new authors at a really good price. Any time an author gains a new reader it’s a huge benefit. Working together we can reach out to folks perhaps we haven’t reached before.

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BV:  What has the experience been like (good and bad)?

DW:  This has been a terrific experience with a group of ladies who are kind and generous and, as I said, huge talents

JD:  The experience has been incredible. We are all now New York Times bestselling authors, and we acquired many new readers. The only downside is finding the time to execute all the new ideas generated by the group.

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DL:  We’re right in the middle of our launch week and we’re having a blast.  Our box set screamed up the rankings the first day and is still climbing.  We hope to reach the #1 spot.  The readers are posting everywhere to say thank you. What’s not to love about that? :)

BV:  Would you do it again?

JD:  Our boxset, To Die For, was a temporary release only and pulled from sale after a month. We have already discussed doing another boxset soon. We have completed two other collaborations since the release of the boxset. The first collaboration is Summer on Seeker’s Island, a romance anthology set on a fictional tropical island off the coast of Florida. The second collaboration is a non-fiction work called The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing, which provides indie authors a blueprint of information needed to develop a successful indie career.

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DL:  In a heartbeat if it was with this group of authors.

DW:  Absolutely, look for My Evil Valentine next February!

BV:  Please feel free to offer any other things I may have missed in my questions or that you think may be important or interesting to the readers.

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DL:  These box sets normally are on sale for a very short time, so readers should buy as soon as they see it or risk missing the deal.   There’s never been a better time to be a reader.

I’ve ordered all the sets for my e-reader and plan on giving a few away as gifts (thoughtful, fun and the price is right!).  Even you can win a set.  Just post a comment and we’ll give away one of each set of boots to three different readers.  Winners posted tomorrow, so check back.

The Perfect 10Dianna Love, Sandy Blair, Misty Evans, Adrienne Giordanno, Mary Buckham, Alexa Grace, Tonya Kappes, Nancy Naigle, Norah Wilson, Micah, Caida

Dangerous DesiresDebra Webb, CJ Lyons, VR Marks, Vicki Hinze, Peggy Webb, Kathy Carmichael, Regan Black

The Indie Voice (Name of group of authors, not title of box set) – Tina Folsom, Dorien Kelly, Jana DeLeon, Colleen Gleason, Jasinda Wilder,Debra Holland, Denise Grover Swank, Theresa Ragan, Liliana Hart, Jane Graves

Bottom Line:  Food may fill your tummy, but a full e-reader will fill your soul.

News Flash! Cover Reveal!!

Barbara Vey -- August 19th, 2013

News Flash

Can someone please explain to me the importance of cover reveals?  I know that it is when the publisher (whether traditional or self) shows the public what the book cover will look like before the book officially comes out.  But why is this important.

As a reader, I really don’t care.  If it’s an author I read, I’ll most likely get the book anyway.  If it’s a new author, it will depend on the book itself.  Seeing the cover ahead of time isn’t going to sway me.  I understand that covers sell books, but it’s the hype of the “cover reveal” that I don’t get.

I constantly get emails announcing cover reveals and think, “Well, that’s nice.”  But I’m never sure what anyone wants me to do with it.  I can talk intelligently about a book after I read it, but how in the world am I suppose to be able to recommend a book based only on the cover?

Maybe I’m expected to just show the cover and not really talk about it.  I also see it a lot on social media where it’s like breaking news that the cover will be revealed.

So, help me out here.  Am I missing something?  What exactly should a cover reveal do?  What is its purpose as a special announcement as opposed to just saying this book is coming out.

I’m sure there’s a logical explanation and I’d love to know what it is so I can explain it to others.

Do cover reveals sway you into choosing a book?  Do you look forward to it more?  Have you done cover reveals and what has been the feedback?  I’d really like to know.

Bottom Line:  There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts. ~
Charles Dickens

GiveawaysfreeStuff

From Author Ava MilesDon’t Soy With Me, Don’t Toy With Me Contest.  To help celebrate the second release of her Dare Valley Series FRENCH ROAST, Ava Miles is having a huge contest. From August 19- August 30th, anyone who signs up for her newsletter will be automatically entered in a drawing for some fabulous offerings from Dare Valley.  Sign up here.

Save the Date

Barbara Vey -- August 16th, 2013

Back to school special

Sometimes big ideas come from just a passing thought.  I’ve been noticing online the mad rush for parents to get their kids off to school for the start of the school year.  Whether they are going to kindergarten or college, there’s ton of stuff to buy and do.  Even if they aren’t parents, they still are bombarded by all the retail stuff.  But once the kids are settled in their routine, hopefully everyone has a few minutes to put their feet up and enjoy a book.

With that thought in mind, I thought it would be fun to do a Back to School Special.  I offered authors the chance to give their books away to grateful readers by posting my idea online.  Within 24 hours, over 100 authors responded with several hundred books.

So, this is a heads up to save the date, September 3rd (the day after Labor Day is when we started school when I was a child), for the Back to School Special.  Make sure you let everyone know it’s going to be happening because people hate missing giveaways.

Authors, if you have a book (print or ebook) to give away, send me an email (barbaravey@gmail.com) and include:

Your name
Your website link
Title of book
How many books you want to give away and the email address I can give the winner.

I won’t be handling any of the books.  Winners will be posted with the author’s email and they can contact each other direct.  This is another wonderful way to readers and writers to connect.

So, whether you like to read or write books (or both), mark your calendar for September 3rd for your chance to win some terrific books.

Bottom Line:  Who doesn’t love receiving a new book?

Disliking a Book

Barbara Vey -- August 14th, 2013

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I’ve had an interesting conversation with a friend about books.  No surprise there.  The fascinating thing was that instead of asking me what I liked in books, she asked me what I don’t like.  I’d never thought about it from this angle and it was really different to look at this subject backwards.  This is how I feel about the personal choices I make on my own time.  So, here’s the 5 things that make me, a reader, not like a book.

1.  Unlikeable characters

I really need to like my hero and heroine.  If the hero is flawed, he has to be redeemable.  I recently started a book where the hero and heroine both displayed bullying tactics.  Definite turn off.  As a reader, I couldn’t finish the book.  I didn’t want to waste my time even to find out if they were redeemed because bullying is something I can’t tolerate.  The heroine can’t be “too stupid to live.”  The old going into an abandoned building when everyone told you not to doesn’t fly anymore.  I find it hard to cheer for an idiot posing as a heroine.

2.  The Cover

I know this is harsh and it’s not the author’s fault, but many times I peruse the internet and bookstores looking for new and interesting books and if the cover doesn’t interest me, I don’t even bother picking it up or reading the blurb.  This is the reader in me.  If the cover looks cheap or cheesy, my mind is telling me the writing may be also.  This doesn’t mean it is, but it is a perception thing.  I see this especially in self published books.  Writers really need to be aware that the cover is the first look many readers will have of their book and we all use first impressions to guide us.

3.  Breaking the Rules

It drives me crazy when people do or say things out of character.  The author puts the readers in a world and lets us know the rules, then breaks them.  It’s something that has me scratching my head and makes me go back to reread things to see if I understood them wrong.  When I find that I’m right, it frustrates me no end and I’m not happy with the book or the author.

4.  Bad Things Happen to Kids

I realize that bad things happen to kids in real life, but I don’t want to read about them in my books.  Sometimes I can take it, if it’s not graphic and the book has come highly recommended.  The interesting thing is that I have no problems with adults being tortured, just not kids or animals.  Maybe I need to talk to someone about this.

5.  I Don’t Like the Author

Another not really fair thing, but it’s my right as a reader whether I want to spend my valuable time reading a book that was written by someone I’ve seen act appallingly to readers.  We’ve all seen the backlash of movie stars who have done something publicly and what happens to their careers.  With the speed of internet, things are spread about authors too.  They are in the public’s eye more than ever and they should remember it.  I’m sad to say there are a few authors who totally turned me off after meeting them.  There is absolutely no need to be rude…ever.

This is an extremely personal blog of my own reasons to dislike a book.  I would never post anything bad about anyone’s book because that is not fair, but I’m more than happy to share what I like.  If everyone looks inside themselves, I’m sure they have reasons not to read a certain book. 

What turns you off to a book?  Do you find the need to finish a book you started if you don’t like it? 

Bottom Line:  “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” ~ Jackie Robinson