Tag Archives: Desiree Holt

What the Author Recommends…

Barbara Vey -- September 26th, 2013

authorsrecommendingbooks

I just got my ticket for the Southern Magic Reader Luncheon.  This was one of the luncheons that made me want to start my own.  What makes it special is the southern charm that is served with the meal.  I’ll be a “Special Guest” along with award winning audio book narrator, Tavia Gilbert.  The wonderful Jeaniene Frost will be keynote and welcome speaker is Ella Grace/Christy Reece (a twofer).  It’s November 1st, so hurry and register.  But in the meantime, here’s what some authors enjoy reading.

 

r is for rocketmixing it upAndrew Peterson recommends R IS FOR ROCKET by Ray Bradbury.

Maggie Shayne loves MIXING UP A MEMORY by Jena O’Connor, because it’s about the five Haggerty sisters, who are inspired by my own five daughters, and because it’s my firstborn’s fiction debut. But I also love it because it’s a warm, charming, upbeat, family story, the first of the Sprinkle of Faith series.

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-7-5Desiree Holt recommends the entire McCarthys of Gansett Island series by Marie Force. Love stories just the way you want them and so well written.

Kate Hewitt recommends The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. This is such a compelling and thought-provoking read, with very real and heart wrenching relationships. I read it practically in one sitting!

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sign off-4Mary Buckham loves Patricia McLinn’s Sign Off. The debut of a new mystery series with finely developed characters, whip-sharp dialogue, and setting that makes you want to step into the page, put this on my keeper shelf.
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Danielle Monsch highly recommends Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale. This is not an easy read. It demands you engage both your mind and your emotions and will leave you wrecked and drained by the time the HEA occurs, but it is by far the most satisfying and rewarding romance, one that will stay with you over 20(!) years since the first time you read it, and one you will read multiple times as it finds a home on your keeper shelf.

Eye of the Needle.
Just a miracleLaurie Gifford Adams recommends Just a Miracle by Zita Christian. Zita does an excellent job of building a world where you care about the characters and what happens to them because they are real and their conflicts are accessible. Her command of the time period brings the story to life in an authentic way.

DV Berkom recommends Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. Ken Follett’s book about a German spy in WWII and the woman who has to stop him began my journey in the thriller genre and I never looked back. It’s masterful storytelling and was one of the first books I’d read with a heroic (but realistic) female protagonist. Talk about hooking me instantly.

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-2Maggie Mae Gallagher recommends Across A Moonlit Sea by Marsha Canham. This is one of my all-time favorite books. Thanks to Ms. Canham I know what it feels like to stand aboard a privateer vessel and sail the Atlantic.

Katharine Ashe recommends THE CHOCOLATE KISS by Laura Florand, a deliciously magical contemporary romance set in Paris with wonderful characters and a sparkling, sexy story. It left my mouth watering and my heart completely satisfied.
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Bottom Line:  I read Eye of the Needle when it first came out in 1978 and it’s still one of my favorites that I reread.

Joysann’s Interview on CBS Sunday Morning – Afterword

Barbara Vey -- March 25th, 2013
joysann

joysann

As I, joysann, blogged on Friday, yesterday CBS Sunday Morning had a great little story on Ellora’s Cave Publishing, and did absolutely wonderfully with the interview with author Desiree Holt. With only a quick shot behind the scenes, a brief exchange with EC CEO Patty Marks, and very brief glances at the gorgeous cover models (waaay not enough!), it was still a fun few minutes.

This particular CBS Sunday Morning show was about unusual businesses and their successes, intended to be a brief lighthearted look. It was not supposed to be an in-depth story about the publishing industry, or the moral implications of erotica, or the value of women’s fiction in all its genres. And Bill Geist made it a fun story for a little informative entertainment. I think any positive exposure to romance fiction is good for the industry.

This has been an interesting two weeks of anxious anticipation waiting for this segment to broadcast. I’m delighted with the segment, for Ellora’s Cave and for Desiree. And though my little interview wasn’t used, I am glad I got to be part of it, even behind the scenes… equal parts disappointed that I didn’t appear in the segment and grateful that I didn’t have a chance to make a fool of myself. I imagine I’ll have an opportunity for that another time.

 Bottom Line:  It still was an experience to remember.

Joysann’s Interview on CBS Sunday Morning

Barbara Vey -- March 21st, 2013
CBS Sunday Morning

CBS Sunday Morning

joysann

joysann

 

This coming Sunday, March 24, the CBS Sunday Morning news show will be doing a segment on Ellora’s Cave Publishing and I, joysann was there to witness it.  Last week CBS Correspondent Bill Geist and his crew flew into Akron, Ohio, to tour the EC offices and warehouse, and interview CEO Patty Marks about the unusual and successful business of publishing erotica and their trademarked Romantica®.

Bill Geist interviewing Author Desiree Holt

Bill Geist interviewing Author Desiree Holt

 

Along with Patty, they also did an interview with one of EC’s most popular authors, Desiree Holt, who has written and published over 130 books. Another interesting fact about Desiree? Along with producing exciting, sizzling romance fiction, she is a 76 year old widowed grandmother. For some reason some people find that incongruous. I just find her brilliant.

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Bookcover Photo Shoot

Bookcover Photo Shoot

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So this is the story CBS Sunday Morning will be broadcasting. For my part, well, I was invited by EC to be one of three reader/fans to be interviewed for the segment, and I am enthusiastically both of those things. I was delighted!

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Bookcover Photo Shoot

Bookcover Photo Shoot (Photo Courtesy of Ellora’s Cave)

 

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I dragged my friend Joan Short, another reader/fan, into the EC offices, and while waiting for our turns to be interviewed, we were invited to watch a bookcover photo shoot, put together to film how it’s done. That was interesting, too. With the need for romantic looking covers for the books, the subjects are gorgeous. There were two lovely young women, and, of course, some of the famous Ellora’s Cavemen. Yep, it was fascinating.

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Bill Geist and the Cover Models

Bill Geist and the Cover Models

I’m looking forward to seeing the story on Sunday Morning, seeing the interview with my friend Desiree, and of course, seeing how the news crew saw the photo shoot.

CBS Sunday Morning March 24 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

 

joysann & Ellora''s Cavemen

joysann & Ellora’s Cavemen (Photo Courtesy of Ellora’s Cave)

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Bottom Line: For myself, I can only barely remember what gracious Bill Geist asked me, and goodness knows how I answered, but there it is.

Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon 2012

Barbara Vey -- October 19th, 2012

joysann

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Nick Soto and Zumba

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

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

Ellora’s Cave CEO Patty Marks with the Cavemen

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

 

 

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

And then there were the parties…

 

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

Author Shoshanna Evers

 

 

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Cover artist Valerie Tibbs and reader Kate Marcille

Cover artist Valerie Tibbs and reader Kate Marcille

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

 

 

 

 

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

Cleveland Exotic Dance performers

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

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Authors Justin Whitfield and Taylor Cole

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

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

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

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- April 13th, 2011

Yes, there’s more RT stuff to come, but I thought we’d break it up with a word from our WW Ladies. They’ve been busy reading the books I go to conferences for.  More on RT tomorrow.  Until then…

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joysann

joysann

Love Bites by Tori Carrington

Read by joysann

In conjunction with a series of disappearances, bodies are turning up with the cause of death of exsanguination. While she’s not sure she believes it herself, PI Sophie Metropolis is drawn into investigating some scary and dangerous stuff when the strange man her neighbors think is a vampire hires her to prove he is not responsible for the murders. Sophie works on the perplexing mystery, while the confounding men in her love life keep her head and her heart in a spin.

In Love Bites, Sophie’s turmoils continue to intrigue and amuse while providing a fascinating puzzle to contemplate. I’ve enjoyed all of the Sophie books, finding her and the cast of quirky characters to be likable, and the mysteries to be perplexing. Fast, funny, provocative, mysterious, charming and sexy, these words describe both Sophie and the books in which she lives.

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Heidi

Heidi

Deadly Intent by Kylie Brant

Read  by Heidi

Macy Reid is a tough forensic expert with past ghosts that haunt her everyday. She wants to find kidnapped 11-year-old Ellie Mulder before it’s too late. Kellan Burke is a man who can get under Macy’s skin, especially when they need to concentrate on the task at hand.

A book can bring the best emotions out of you for a romantic suspense. You become tense for a kidnapping, as well as the romance between the main characters. I love the fact this can curl my toes in more ways than one. Looking forward to continue the story in Deadly Dreams.

Sheila

Sheila

A Match Made in Court by Janice Kay Johnson

Read by Sheila

After a shocking crime leaves six-year-old Hanna homeless, Linnea Sorenson must fight Matt Laughlin for custody. Virtual strangers to each other, they share a love for their niece. A court order throws them together more than is comfortable. As if that’s not enough, they also have to fight other family members, and past demons, to protect Hanna. When desires flare, Linnea and Matt long not just for love but family.

I loved that the romance in A Match Made in Court centers on a child. Janice brought the couple together so delicately and wrote the book after seeing too many domestic violence stories in the news.  Their ache to give Hanna a home plucked my heartstrings. I often read Harlequins to escape brutal reality, but the strength and depth of the two characters drew me into this story.

Kym

Kym

Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson
Read by Kym

When Autumn Haven met pro hockey player Sam LeClaire, he bedded, wedded, and promptly ditched her in a Vegas hotel room. The brief union resulted in their son, Conner, whom she adores, but Rachel believes Sam incapable of being a true father. Can the playboy skater prove her wrong and, in the process, gain the heart of the woman he now realizes is the only one for him?

Confession: I used to actually write the release dates of Rachel Gibson’s books on my calendar, sometimes going to the extreme of haunting the aisles of Borders a day ahead of time in the hope they’d have the books out early. Read “Any Man of Mine,” you’ll understand my devotion. As with all of her books, it delivers an engrossing story with characters you’ll grow to care about.  And if, like mine, your Borders is no longer around, at least we have Gibson’s books to console us.

Heidi

Heidi

Hunter’s Fall by Shiloh Walker

Read by Heidi

Nessa had a near death experience that has changed her. Her memory has been effected and being a Hunter has taken on a whole new meaning. Just when she needs to go into battle, her most pressing Demons are within herself. Dominic thinks he is going crazy, dreaming of a woman who he has never met, and yet they are connected deeply. Dominic must find Nessa before more damage can be done, and connect their souls forever.

I found Nessa’s witch powers fascinating,  as well as her inner struggle with herself and the person she became. The power between Nessa and Dominic, and their pull for each other was haunting and beautiful.

Edie

Edie

Wild Desire by Lori Brighton

Read by Edie

Prim Scotswoman Beatrice Edmund has accompanied her cousin and his bride to India, where they’ll stay with the bride’s studious cousin. Her first night there, a drunken man invades her bedroom – while she’s bathing. He turns out to be the studious cousin. The action and danger continue as she helps Colin Fitch try to keep the villain from getting his hands on an artifact that gives the finder great powers.

This was a triple treat – a love story and an adventure with paranormal elements.  It’s Indiana Jones meets a proper Englishwoman who isn’t all that she seems. And neither is he.  I found the  evocative, and edge-of-the-seat story kept me reading into the night.

joysann

joysann

Downstroke by Desiree Holt (e-book)

Read by joysann

Country super-star Dallas Creed is making a come-back after a three year hiatus, but when a sniper takes shots at him, it appears someone doesn’t want him to succeed. Charley Roper, the owner of one of the best protection services in the business, is hired to be Dallas’s bodyguard and to find out who wants him dead. One big problem: Charley promised herself she’d never have anything to do with the gorgeous, charismatic Dallas Creed since he broke their engagement twenty years ago.

Downstroke was engaging from the start, and I couldn’t put it down. I found it very enjoyable as it is full of some of my favorite elements: mystery, suspense, sexy protagonists, erotic romance, and cowboys.

Heidi

Heidi

Skin Heat by Ava Gray

Read by Heidi

Geneva Harper comes from a old Southern Family where tradition and money are the most important things. Neva prefers to be a veterinarian and live on her own. She hires Zeke Noble, a man who disappeared from their small town, and is prone to gossip about his past. There is more to Zeke than meets the eye. He has a talents around animals. As a killer starts to claim victims, it looks like they have things to protect and save before everything is destroyed.

I found Zeke’s past secrets to be fascinating and his animalistic nature to be such a key role in this story. Neva has such a big heart, it’s no wonder her love for Zeke grows in such a unique way. The mystery was riveting.

Bottom Line: Yesterday was Drop Everything and Read Day…how did I miss this?  Oh, yeah, because I was reading.