Tag Archives: Dianna Love

A Special Thanks to Teachers

Barbara Vey -- March 14th, 2014

-2 Today’s guest is New York Times bestseller Dianna Love. She’s converted her art studio into a writing cave with a huge white board on her big easel and some paintings hanging on the walls. Dianna spend her days crafting Slye Temp romantic thrillers for adults as  Dianna Love, and also co-writes (with USA Today bestseller Mary Buckham) the Red Moon sci-fi fantasy trilogy for young adults as USA Today bestseller Micah Caida.

When I was a kid, I loved school.

It’s true. I know some of you are shaking your heads and wondering how that can be, but you have to understand that we grew up with very little and school was this wonderful place where I could step out of a restricted home life to find a whole new world.

That’s the same thing that drew me to reading. I could dive into a book and explore the world I’d never seen outside of Tampa, Florida, because traveling was limited to fishing the Gulf of Mexico on any day we had free. We fished to feed the family, so it was great that I loved fishing, but I never realized how limited my horizons were until living on my own, which happened at seventeen.-4

I’ve done a lot of things since then, such as building companies that created unusual three-dimensional art, wall murals, and other strange marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies.  When I stopped climbing over a hundred feet in the air, I went from painting faces of celebrities that were sometimes twenty feet tall to writing bestselling books. That’s quite a change, but I only tackle what I feel passionate about, and everything I do can be traced back to teachers and librarians who inspired me as a child.

School wasn’t always easy, but I thrive on challenge and love to learn so it suited my personality.  Even so, there were boring classes, too, which is why the teachers who made a special effort stand out. They are the ones who come into sharp focus when I think of who influenced my life.

About a year ago, I met two such dynamic teachers in New York at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference. We were at a social event that separated writers by their region of the country, so it was nice to find that Dennis Jolley and Justin Jones were also in the Atlanta area. They both write stories for teens and tweens, and were in New York to develop their craft and to network. I’ve had the pleasure of reading their work and I’m looking forward to seeing those books in print when they sell.

Books for Dennis and Justin's students

Books for Dennis and Justin’s students

But these two men were doing something pretty extraordinary back at their high school that I found more fascinating than any writing workshop. They said many teachers complain, “Our students won’t read.” During a discussion of their passion for literature and why they became English teachers, Dennis and Justin came up with an idea on how to share their love of reading with their students. They put their idea into action by creating a four-pronged program. I’m posting a snippet of a post Dennis wrote called Muggles Can Make Magic, Too from the Nerdy Book Club blog:

Step One began with a commitment to having our students read in silence for ten minutes a day. I’d tried this the year before and failed, but I’d learned two things since then. Kids will not read stuff they aren’t interested in – and you have to meet them where they are. I was willing to give it another go. I knew that practice time is essential. Just as an athlete or musician has to practice to improve their skills, a reader must practice on a regular basis.

Continue reading the blog here where my blog will continue permanently on March 19th and comment there for a chance to win Micah Caida books!

 

Self-Publishing Packs ‘Em In At RWA

Barbara Vey -- July 24th, 2013

publish

At RWA in Atlanta, one of the hottest author tracts to follow was the Self-Publishing Tract.  This group of workshops, geared to authors thinking of publishing on their own, was standing room only.  Interest came from authors in all stages of their careers. 

This is feedback from several authors (both traditional and Indie published). The tract was developed by #1 NYT bestseller Barbara Freethy and loaded with top speakers.

Thoughts from New York Times bestseller Dianna Love:
honeymoon
As a hybrid author (I’m published by a New York publisher and I’ve self-published a new book series), I am always looking for ways to improve my craft and my business.  During this conference, I learned things from highly successful Indie authors in this tract that I can actually use for both my traditional publishing and my Indie published books. That’s due to the outstanding line up of speakers for this tract who shared their learning curve and insights.  In the packed standing-room-only room for #1 NYT bestseller Barbara Freethy and NYT bestselling phenom Bella Andre’s Top 10 Tips for Self-Publishing E-books workshop not a word was uttered until someone asked a question.  No one wanted to miss any information shared by the two dynamic speakers who were beyond generous with their knowledge and self-publishing experience.  There is too much information to share here, but rule #1 is “write, write, and write some more.” If content is king in developing a publishing strategy then a connected series is queen, and quality is the foundation for that empire.   One repeated mantra is that Self Publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.  Putting out one novella to “test” the SP market is like tossing a baited hook in one corner of a massive lake and assuming you’re going to land on the mother lode of fish the first time.   (I highly recommend getting this year’s conference recordings.)

During the Beyond the Basics in Self-Publishing: Audio, Foreign Translations, POD, and More workshop, bestselling authors Bella Andre and Tina Folsom shared what they did right and mistakes they’d made (sometimes very expensive) in their drive to expand their audiences with audio and translations.  Even though Tina’s native language is German and she has resources (friends and family in Germany) who can beta read or listen to her books, she still had to battle to end up with a top notch translation, but it can be done.  Bella explained how it’s important to do more than have the audio talent you choose to read a scene of your book, especially if you have more than one POV (point of view) and your books include sex.  She suggested that the final audition include a read of the male POV, female POV and a sex scene, because you may be surprised at how different these can sound even with an excellent reader.   Additionally, there were presentations by Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords.  If I had to sum up all these workshops and chats in one sentence I’d say it was the most engaging, energetic and entertaining (at times) tract I’ve ever attended at RWA.

*Dianna’s latest Indie book is HONEYMOON TO DIE FOR and her next traditional release is RISE OF THE GRYPHON.

Thoughts from USA Today bestseller Adrienne Giordano:opposing_forces-190x300

As an author emerging from my sophomore year of being published, I’m in learning mode as it pertains to the business side of publishing. Whether you’re a traditionally published or indie published author, the self-publishing workshops at RWA (particularly ones given by authors) were outstanding this year.  In the Metadata, Keywords and Back Matter workshop given by Courtney Milan, she stressed the importance of information that comes after the book’s end (back matter).  She suggested looking for indie pubbed authors who are performing well and studying how they’ve handled their back matter (buy links, newsletter sign-up information, Twitter and Facebook links, etc.).

Courtney also discussed the importance of front matter (everything that comes before chapter one). She mentioned that with print books people browse through the review quotes in the front of the book to help them decide whether or not they will purchase the book. With digital books, people may have already purchased the book so the review quotes don’t necessarily need to be in the front. Eliminating the review quotes in the front will get the reader to the start of the book much sooner.

During Self-Publishing for the Professional Author, featuring Julia Coblentz (Barnes and Noble), Mark Coker (Smashwords), Jon Fine (Amazon), and Mark Lefebvre (Kobo), the panelists briefly discussed price points. Mark Coker referenced a Smashwords study that indicated more books will sell at a price point of $2.99 and $3.99 rather than $1.99. With all the talk about price points, I found this bit of information helpful. I think RWA’s self-publishing tract this year was filled with useful information that will help me with both my traditionally published books and my indie published books.

*Adrienne hit the USA Today list with her Indie publication and her latest traditional book release is OPPOSING FORCES.

Thoughts from Amazon bestseller Nancy Naigle:wedding

Here’s a little bit from my experience with the self-publishing track. I was not expecting to see such a strong self-publishing track at RWA, but it sure was a nice addition. I even overheard people saying that the workshops were more beneficial for their career than meeting with an editor or agent. That’s saying something! The track included information on everything from personal experiences to release schedules.

One of the last two sessions I attended on Saturday afternoon was THE NEW HYBRID AUTHOR with Steena Holmes, Lauren Hawkeye Jameson, and Deidre Knight. No different than our financial portfolios…keeping your investment spread across a diverse set of options always makes for a stronger platform. These gals have been there and done that with traditional and self-publishing and I left feeling good about the prospects for those of us choosing that path to own the flexibility of our cash flow and growing our readership with the different formats.

The last session I attended was a PAN (Published Author Network) session that wasn’t listed as a self-publishing one, but sure applied. GIVING TO GET: Creating Free Digital Content to Promote Your Print Book. The interesting thing about this panel was that with traditional publishers we don’t always have the ability to leverage free content or special sales to drive sales. Authors Victoria Alexander, Donna Kauffman and Sally Mackenzie shared some of the innovative ideas they’ve tried from baking cakes and engaging readers with recipes, capsule summaries of your books, and character interviews. Video seems to be an increasingly popular addition to social media as a way to reach readers.

*Nancy’s latest Indie book is OUT OF FOCUS and her current traditional release is WEDDING CAKE AND BIG MISTAKES.  

Thoughts from historical romance author Tracey Devlyn:Checkmate-My-Lord-Cover-Draft-Mar-2012b-1-182x300

A year ago, indie publishing was not even on my radar. I knew myself well enough to know that I needed a team to publish my books. Working a full-time day job didn’t leave enough hours in the day to write and manage all the rest. Well, the last few months have opened my eyes to just how accessible Indie publishing really is for authors now. I went to this year’s RWA conference with the mindset to learn everything I could about the other side of publishing. The new SP tract did not disappoint.

In the From Ground Zero to Best-selling Author in Two Years: the Indie Revolution workshop by New York Times bestselling author Liliana Hart, I learned Indie pubbed authors should kickstart their careers with five different products (short stories, novellas, novels, serials, box sets) + one in the hole. Publish your five items one month and then publish your “one in the hole” the following month. This strategy helps boost your rankings with vendors on 30-day cycles. Once you’ve jumpstarted your career, keep publishing product as often as possible. Ms. Hart strongly recommended to price your stories with a mindset of making a living and to remember that what we do has value. She said an author isn’t going to live off $.99 or $1.99 books. Use lower prices as a marketing tool only. Readers will buy books in the $4.99-$5.99 range.

Other words of wisdom:
Authors need social media to succeed. Some sites she suggested are: Twitter, Facebook, Kindleboards, Goodreads, Shelfari, Wattpad, Triberr, Amazon Author Central (complete as much as possible—for every country!), and Pinterest.
Newsletters — author’s best friend
Blogging — kinda over
Street Teams – her biggest sellers (super fans)
Best Paid Ads – Pixel of Ink, eReader News Today, BookBub

Everything Liliana Hart discussed in her workshop can be found in The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing .

Audio publication was a big topic in the Beyond the Basics in Self-Publishing: Audio, Foreign Translations, POD, and More by New York Times bestsellers Bella Andre and Tina Folsom. Ms. Andre believes audio books are the fastest growing segment in the business.

Audio books – very lucrative part of Ms. Andre’s business; finding the right narrator is key and the hardest part; make sure the sex scenes aren’t read in a super creepy way; audio book covers are designed separately because of their square shape; average cost is $250-350 per finished hours — most novels are 7-9 hours
Translation – German, French and Brazilian Portuguese are the biggest romance sellers.

In Courtney Milan’s Metadata, Keywords and Back Matter workshop, she recommended that indie pubbed authors use http://bookshow.me for Amazon worldwide redirect. Adding your book’s ASIN number to the back of the URL (http://bookshow.me/ASIN) will redirect readers to the appropriate Amazon website (UK, Canada, etc.) for their particular country. Use this feature on your website anywhere you have “Buy” links.

Kboards.com – where Ms. Milan learns a lot of her new and progressive approaches to Indie publishing
Book description – focus on adding “keywords” to your book’s description to help with Amazon searches
Using Bitly to shorten URLs – helps authors keep track of what social media and posts are attracting readers. Customize your Bitly URLs for each social media venue.

*Tracey is co-founder of the Lady Jane’s Salon in Naperville, IL (a division of the New York LJS) and her latest traditional release is the highly acclaimed CHECKMATE, MY LORD.

Bottom Line:  “I don’t believe there has ever been a better time to be a writer.” ~ Barbara Freethy

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- July 5th, 2013

fireworks

Hope you all enjoyed celebrating the 4th of July yesterday.  When my kids were little, we would get up early and decorate their bikes, then walk over to the the grade school.  There was a community wide parade that would come by and you’d join in.  We would all march to the local park where everyone would get one of those little cups of ice cream that you ate with a wooden spoon.  More often than not, their dad would have to go home and get the car to drive us home because the kids little legs couldn’t pedal their hotwheels back (it was a couple of miles).  I miss those days.  But the WW Ladies have been busy reading.

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joysann

joysann

Honeymoon to Die For by Dianna Love

Read by joysann

To prove he is innocent of an assassination, former military sniper Ryder Van Dyke must get an FBI agent into his family’s arms manufacturing business to find who is illegally dealing guns to terrorists. To do this undercover, he actually marries Special Agent Bianca Brady, the agent who built the case against him, and brings her home as his bride. As Ryder helps Bianca uncover dangerous secrets, she not only begins to trust him, but begins to believe in his innocence.

One does not drowse through any of Dianna’s thrilling new romantic suspense novel, for she opens it with high-octane action, and keeps the momentum up straight through. That, along with engaging characters, suspenseful plot, and sizzling romance, kept me reading straight through. While Honeymoon To Die For is third in the Slye Temp series, the story is not dependent on the other books and would make an exciting, romantic read on its own, but I think you’ll go back for the others.

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joysann

joysann

Written In Red: A Novel of the Others by Anne BishopWritten In Red.indd

Read by joysann

Raised in virtual slavery for her value as a prophet, Meg Corbyn escapes seeking shelter and a job as the Lakeside Courtyard’s Human Liaison. Shapeshifter Simon Wolfgard is in charge of the Courtyard and its security, keeping humans away and unaware of the myriad lives within its walls. But Meg quickly comes under his protection too, thereby to the interest of The Others

I read this book 3 times in two weeks, cover to cover. And I’ll read it again soon. I’ve always been entranced by the rich and complex worlds Anne Bishop creates, but this outshines even her other books. The characters are wonderful and mysterious and just plain appealing, and I can’t get enough of them. It’s going to be a long wait for the next book in the Spring.

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Anne

Anne

It Had to Be You by Jill ShalvisIt-Had-To-Be-You-comp-200x322

Read by Anne

Ali Winter is a lovable good person.  She volunteers at the senior center, helps everyone out and dreams of her own flower shop.  Then her boyfriend dumps her and life gets out of control.  Blamed for a theft, she finds she’s in over her head.  Enter Luke Hanover, big city police detective.  He comes home for some R & R and finds Ali instead.  Seems like Luke will have to wait a while to get some rest.

Part of the Lucky Harbor series, this book can easily be read as a stand alone.  Adorable, fresh and fun, Lucky Harbor is filled with entertaining seniors set on helping Ali out.  I dare you not to want Ali as a BFF.  This is one town I’d love to vacation in.

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Joan

Joan

Prophecy Girl by Cecily WhiteProphecyGirl-WEB

Read by Joan

St. Michael’s Guardian Training Academy trains Guardians, a race of secret fighters descended from archangels. When the guardians graduate, their job is to protect humans from soul sucking demons created by Lucifer. Guardians are either Channelers or Watchers, and each Channeler is bonded to a Watcher for life, and rarely does one refuse a bondmate. Amelie Bennett is entering her senior year when something is targeting and killing Guardians. When former graduate Jackson Smith shows up to replace one of the recently killed instructors, Amelie feels that he is her bondmate. Jackson tries to stay away from Amelie, however, as he knows from an old prophecy she will cause his death.

I loved this book from the beginning. Cecily White has created a great story not only for YA but also adults. The story is set in romantic New Orleans so it is not hard to believe that it is part Fantasy, Paranormal, and of course, Romance. I hope to read more about the Angel Academy and the struggle with the soul sucking demons that inhabit the Crossworld.

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joysann

joysann

The Greyfriar by Clay and Susan GriffithThe Greyfriar

Listened to by joysann

Three hundred years ago millions of people were killed when vampires rose up from their hidden lives and occupied much of the northern hemisphere, turning humans into their cattle. Now mankind is prepared to begin the long war to destroy the vampires and recover the lost part of the world. When the heir of the Empire of Equatoria, Princess Adele, is kidnapped, the elusive legendary vampire fighter Greyfriar appears to rescue her.

First in the Vampire Empire trilogy, the audiobook is read by James Marsters, and, unsurprisingly, he rocks. I loved listening to the story, which is a thrilling paranormal steampunk adventure, and the narration and vocal performance make it quite exciting. All three books are out now, and I’m anxious to get to The Riftwalker and The Kingmakers as soon as I can.

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Bottom Line:   “You may be a redneck if . . . your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand.” ~ Jeff Foxworthy

Street Teams

Barbara Vey -- June 17th, 2013

Logo for Dianna Love Street Team

Years before I started with PW and lived in my world of books, I would always email the author (if they had contact information on their website) and thank them for writing their book.  My feeling was, if they could take the time to write a book that brought me some pleasure, the least I could do was thank them for their effort.  To me, a good book is like a gift.  Some wrote me back and I really treasured those emails and a couple of times they must have forwarded my emails to their publishers because I was asked to help spread the word if an author was coming to town, to preread a book and talk to my friends about it or put out bookmarks at my library or bookstores.  I felt honored to give back in some way.

Without knowing it, I was part of a street team although I didn’t know any of the other members.  Thanks to social media, Street Teams now have their own Facebook pages, they’ve garnered friendships, real life meet ups and increased awareness of the authors who work with the members.

When Eloisa James came to Milwaukee to participate in my Reader Luncheon, she took the opportunity to meet up with some of her street team.  According to Eloisa, “A street team is a group of readers who like your work (and you) enough that they involve themselves in support of your career and actual books.  These days, with the shrinking number of book stores, it’s hard to discover new authors. So a street team who promises to go out and talk about your books, sharing their enthusiasm, can be invaluable.  Street teams are generally paid back with promotional materials and a higher level of access to the author (who is, of course, deeply grateful for the help)!  They can be organized by a publisher, such as the Avon Addicts, or by an author.”

I asked Dianna Love why she thinks Street Teams are important.  “Of all the things that have changed in the publishing industry in recent years, one thing never will – the best way to get word out about a book is by readers sharing with other readers.  I know because I’ve always been a voraciou reader who got new authors from friends and shared the books I liked.  I’ve always believed in building my career one reader at a time and that is still true today, so my Dianna Love Street Team (on Facebook) is an expansion of that philosophy. There is NOTHING more important than readers.”

Tonya Kappes thinks Street Teams help authors, “I’m lucky that my team does want to spread the word about my novels. I think they are more apt to do that because they have gotten to know me personally and truly want to help me. My street team not only spreads the words of my novels, releases BUT they keep me going with all of their encouragement. I visit my street team several times a day to check in with them. ”

Tracey Devlyn, who shares a Street Team with authors Adrienne Giordano, Kelsey Browning, Nancy Naigle, Tracy March says that members get a lot out of joining up with authors.  “Members have direct access to the author. Many authors have taken to setting up an exclusive Facebook group page or website page. There, the author shares tidbits of her writing, personal life, deleted scenes, excerpts of an upcoming release, etc. Likewise, members share what they’re reading, what they did over the weekend, and what goofy thing their husband or kid said. Street teams are communities with a common love. Communities that quickly become fast friends.  For every mission completed, members receive points. At certain key point levels, members win awesome rewards from the author. The rewards are a way for the author to express her appreciation for the member’s hard work and passion on her behalf.”

Dianna Love adds “In addition to weekly interactions that I love and inviting author friends to come by for a chat, I’ll be holding monthly drawings for gifts (signed books by me and other author friends, gift cards, monogrammed back packs, Keeper Kases, get their name in a book, Tshirts, Ereaders…) JUST for the Street Team.  In fact, I’m having a Tshirt designed for my Street Team. I’ll offer drawings for them to be a character in a book, too. They’ll be the first ones to get any news and to be invited to special events.  I have plans for meeting with my Street Team members in person during the year as I travel.  Most important is that I want them to know they are appreciated all year long, not just when I have a book out.”

You can join the Street Teams here:

Eloisa James (This is a closed group, read directions on how to get approved)

Dianna Love  (Just started last week)

Tonya Kappes

Tracey Devlyn  (Dangerous Darlings with Adrienne Giordano, Kelsey Browning, Nancy Naigle, Tracy March)

Do you belong to a Street Team now?  How has your experience been?  Are you an author who has a Street Team, if so, how’s it going?  Feel free to add your names and links.

Bottom Line:  Sounds like a fun way to support your favorite authors and get the inside scoop at the same time.

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- September 19th, 2012

I leave tomorrow for Dallas where I’ll attend my first American Christian Fiction Writers Conference.  Christian fiction continues to grow in popularity and I’m looking forward to meeting the writers, publishers, agents and editors who are a part of this organization.  Leave a comment if you’re attending and I’ll try to catch up with you there.  Meanwhile, take a look at what the WW Ladies have been reading this week.

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Anne

Anne

The Curse by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love

Read by Anne

Evalle Kincaid’s life is complicated.  She’s an Alterant, half Belador and half unknown (which scares the heck out of some of the Beladors), her partner, Storm, has gone missing and now evil Svart Trolls start showing up.  She’s working with VIPER to protect humans, but there are those who would like to see her locked away.  Meanwhile, she struggles to learn about her heritage.  With only 2 days to figure things out, Evalle has to ask for help from a black ops human who is no friend to her kind.  Time is running out and the battle is raging in Atlanta.

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This is the 3rd book in the Beladors urban fantasy series.  Evalle is a strong woman who has to overcome enormous odds to stay alive and having a life of her own seem almost unattainable.  I couldn’t help but root for her.  The romantic triangle between Evalle, Storm and Tristan keeps me guessing and I know who I want to be together.  I love a book that keeps me guesses and makes me crave the next book even before I finish the last.  Exciting heart-pounding action combine with an emotional rollercoaster…count me in!

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joysann

joysann

Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson

Read by joysann

Boston in 1765 was a politically troublesome time, and, after a destructive riot destroyed homes, a young woman is found mysteriously dead, without a mark on her. Her father hires thieftaker Ethan Kaille to recover the girl’s stolen brooch, believing that Ethan’s discreet special talents as a magic conjurer will lead to her murderer. Ethan finds himself facing a convoluted mystery, making increasingly dangerous enemies as he goes along.

Colonial Boston makes a fascinating backdrop for an historical mystery. I found the descriptions of the streets and people of the growing new city riveting . Knowing the fears and prejudices toward perceived magic users in that time period, D. B. Jackson’s book keeps a keen edge on the dangers his protagonist faces. Rough and dark and hard as the times, Thieftaker makes for a remarkably good magical mystery.

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Kym L

Kym L

Rev It Up by Julie Ann Walker

Read by Kym

Four years ago, Jake “The Snake” Sommers broke Michelle Carter’s heart when he shoved her away and into the arms of another man. Now a young widow and mother, she’s determined he won’t get the chance to hurt her again. Jake is equally determined to win back the only woman he’s ever loved. When Michelle and her young son are threatened by an enemy of her brother’s, she’s forced to accept Jake’s protection, and he has no qualms about taking advantage of the opportunity to get close to her.

Rev It Up is the third in Walker’s “Black Knights Inc.” series, and though I’m not a motorcycle aficionado, the series seems to be just the kind I enjoy. The book works well as a stand-alone, but Warren refers back to previous story lines and sets up future books just enough to make you want to read them. My advice? Jump on and take ‘em for a ride!

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Sophie

Sophie

The Other Countess by Eve Edwards (Young Adult)

 

Read by Sophie, 17

The Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime and affectionately known simply as Ellie, is a young girl of sixteen whose Spanish mother gave Ellie her high-ranking title before passing away and whose father, Sir Arthur, is an alchemist, hell-bent on figuring out how to turn iron into solid gold, despite failure upon failure.  William Lacey, Earl of Dorset, has, at age eighteen, been the Earl for four years, since he lost his father at age fourteen and, as his first official act, threw out the alchemist on whom his father spent the entire family fortune and the alchemist’s brat of a daughter.  Four years after this unfortunate event, both families still have no money when Ellie meets Will at Her Majesty’s court and realizes that he has no recollection of who she is—instead, he sees a beautiful young lady and asks if he may wear her colors while jousting, a sure sign that he finds her far more enchanting than he did four years ago. But when Will finds out who she really is, he is outraged first by the fact that she didn’t tell him and then because he realizes that even though the beautiful and rich Lady Jane as agreed to marry him, he wants nothing more than to promise himself to Ellie and Ellie alone, to marry her and figure out another way to save his estate—an overwhelming truth that could put his everything he knows in jeopardy.

Eve Edwards writes with so much emotion and detail that I often had to shake myself to keep from feeling as though I had literally been dropped right into the middle of Will and Ellie’s story.  The characters, too, were so intricate and dynamic that I loved every one—except the ones I loved to hate, of course!  In short, I loved The Other Countess, and would readily recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical romance and other similar genres.

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Joan

Death by Diamonds by Annette Blair

Read by Joan

Maddie Cutler has opened her vintage clothing shop in Mystic Falls and things are going well until Dominique Delong, Broadway star and Maddie’s good friend, sends her a package containing a beautiful dress covered in rhinestones. The note enclosed tells Maddie that if she has the dress then Dom is dead. Dominique knows Maddie’s secret, that some vintage clothing speaks to her and gives her glimpses into what happened to the wearer, and Dominque wants Maddie to solve her murder.

This is the third book in the Vintage Magic Mystery series and it’s a fun read that keeps moving. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of these books about Maddie and her special talent, and I’m excited about reading the following two books in the series so far, Skirting the Grave, and Cloaked in Malice.

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joysann

joysann

All Spell Breaks Loose by Lisa Shearin

Read by joysann

Raine Benares possesses and/or is possessed by the powerful, magical, sort-of-sentient soul-stealing stone called the Saghred, and they are not getting along. In fact, the Saghred would like to change its partnership to a powerful goblin sorcerer who plans to take over the world, annihilating the elves, but Raine has to die first, which she has no plans to do. So Raine and her faithful and beloved friends, and an enemy or two, face a horrendous battle for possession of the stone that can end only one of two ways.

I’ve loved the Raine Benares series from the first book, with Lisa’s endearing characters, humorous word play, and lots and lots of magic. All Spell Breaks Loose is action-packed and spell-binding, and thoroughly enjoyable.

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Sophie

Sophie

Ingenue By Jillian Larkin  (Young Adult)

Read by Sophie, 17

Lorraine Dyer has finally become successful—working for the mob, that is, and trying to lure in her ex-best friend, Gloria Carmody, and Gloria’s boyfriend, Jerome Johnson, whose relationship is on the rocks and who are running from the mob after Gloria killed one of their men to save Jerome’s life.  Vera, Jerome’s little sister, and Evan, one of Jerome’s old friends, are trying desperately to find Gloria and Jerome to warn them about the hit man (woman?) who Vera just witnessed killing Gloria’s ex-fiancée, Sebastian Grey, and whose list has Jerome’s name on it.  Clara Knowles got a new job, but the partying it requires of her might ruin her relationship with Marcus Eastman, not to mention her resolve to never return to the taxing lifestyle of a flapper.  But when all of these people find themselves in spots they’d tried so hard not to be in, people get hurt, lives are put in jeopardy, and another party gets involved, one who no one expected nor welcomed.

This riveting sequel to Jillian Larkin’s Vixen is even more dramatic, juicy, and enthralling than its predecessor.  Every character has a scandal, every heart has a weakness, and every head has an ambition—though some less civil than others.  With a plethora of twists and turns, ups and downs, and tons of surprises, you will not be able to put Ingenue down!

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Bottom Line:  Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day….Aarrr!!

Keeper Kase™ for E-Book Autographs

Barbara Vey -- August 28th, 2012

Book signings at book stores have changed.  I’ve been hearing more and more about book stores requiring readers to buy the author’s book at their store or they can’t have it signed.  So if you already bought it or received it as a gift or have an old favorite you’d like signed, you’re out of luck.  The other scenario is the reader has already purchased the book for their e-readers.  What do they do?

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According to Dianna Love who tours with her writing partner, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and draws huge crowds where ever they go, “[Readers] now sometimes walk up shyly, apologizing for having bought e-books. They’ll often ask to have a piece of paper or a notebook signed.  Worse than that, some readers have told me they feel uncomfortable going to signings now that they’ve bought an e-reader because they have nothing to be autographed. They sound embarrassed about not “buying a print book.”

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In order to take the embarrassment out of it, Love came up with the idea of a Keeper Kase™ to hold Keeper Kase Cards™.   The idea is very simple.  Love has covers of her books printed on one side of a 4×6 card and the blurb and a space for signing on the back.  The cards are the perfect size for fitting into a photo album which a reader can personalize for themselves.

Keeper Kase and cards

Keeper Kase and cards

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Not only will Dianna Love be taking these cards with her to book signings and events like Southern Magic Luncheon, Fresh Fiction’s Readers & ‘Ritas and Barbara Vey’s Reader Appreciation Luncheon where readers can have any of these cards signed without feeling uncomfortable about not having a print book in hand, but she will also make them available, by mail to anyone who sends her a self addressed stamped envelope (you can get the details here).

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Dianna has also reached out to other authors who now have cards available to be signed to readers including Colleen Gleason, Anne Elizabeth, Debbie Kaufman, Jeanne Adams, Nancy Naigle and Nancy Northcott.   You can visit their websites for information on receiving free cards from them.

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Since Dianna Love has announce this venture last week, she has received dozens of letters from readers wanting the Keeper Kases and cards.  Some of their comments have been:

 

Naomi – Can’t wait to get one…or two…or a dozen…For friends and family, of course….

Kim – heck we’d even pay for them…

Savannah – Oh wow this is so cool….Going to check it out.

Maria – Great idea! Can’t wait to get mine!! ♥ the Belador Series!

Melissa – I love this!!!

Teresa – Cool!! I love this idea! I will be sending for mine. Thanks.

Cindy – OMG, what a brilliant idea.  I want these!!!

Denise – I’ve missed having books signed. Love this.

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Readers love their books signed in any form.  As more authors offer cards to be added to a readers Keeper Kase, I can see this as the future autograph books I cherished as a child.  It doesn’t take up much room on the bookshelf, but still gives that personal connection between author and reader.

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As a special treat, Dianna Love will be giving away a Keeper Kase filled with signed cards to a lucky commenter today.  Just leave any comment to be entered.  You can also leave questions for any of the listed authors who will be stopping by today to answer them.  Winner will be posted in tomorrow’s blog, so check back.

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Bottom Line:  I’m always looking for great gift ideas that are creative and inexpensive but have a lot of meaning.

 

 

Chicago Spring Fling

Barbara Vey -- April 30th, 2012
Guest speakers Dianna Love, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Simone Elkeles

Guest speakers Dianna Love, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Simone Elkeles

This past weekend I attended the Chicago-North RWA Spring Fling.  Held every other year, it’s one of my favorites and not only because it’s within driving distance.  This sold out conference had something for everyone, an easy laid back attitude and was smoothly run.

 

The writers workshops were well attended and recorded, so no one had to feel like they might be missing something.  After the party atmosphere of RT a couple of weeks ago, Spring Fling was all business as writers were lined up to learn their craft and sell their books to prospective agents and editors.

 

YA author Simone Elkeles was the kick-off speaker and pulled no punches as she told her story of getting published.  She attributes a lot of her success to her local RWA group.  Simone just completed a 3 week European tour, where her books sell extremely well, and she told the story of the a 14 year old girl who stood in line for 2 hours to meet her and then started to cry.  I’d say that’s a pretty good sign that your books are having an impact on readers.

 

After Simone’s talk, the three keynote speakers who included Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Dianna Love did a Q&A for the audience.  The moderator asked great questions that kept the speakers on their toes and the audience entertained.  EX: Do your books start with an idea or an outline?

SEP:  Never an outline.

DL:  I’m a plotter…I get an idea that’s unusual and go with it.

SE:  What’s an outline?

Question:  A mistake you made and how you fixed it?

SEP:  Argued with editor about every revision on first book.  Learned not to argue, just say, “Oh.”

DL:   Told her story idea out loud and someone picked it up.  Keep your ideas to yourself.

SE:  Found out “Perfect Chemistry” cover was a stock photo that was also used as an STD ad.

 

Agent Panel

Agent Panel

There were agent and editors panels, but unfortunately they were at the same time as the bookseller/librarian get-together.  I opted for the latter.  This group was so interesting that I wish I would have had a chance to meet them all.  I did connect with Monique who runs her library’s book club.  They do it kind of different.  A theme is picked and readers can read any book that fits the theme and then discuss it at their meetings.  Monique does provide suggestions for those who need a list to choose from.

Editor's Panel

Editor's Panel

 

 

 

 

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Librarian Helen Pinder

Librarian Helen Pinder

A while ago, I downloaded the Overdrive app for my phone and iPad, but I finally met someone who could explain to me how to work it.  Librarian Helen Pinder from West Chicago was there with her mom (who is a librarian at a different library) and she set me up so I’m now able to download both books and audio versions to my devises.  Can’t wait to try it out at home.

 

I stopped in the Kensington Spotlight where Martin Biro was telling authors not to write for the trend, but hot right now are firemen, cowboys, Texas and it’s always good if a cat is involved.  He assured writers that Kensington accepts unagented authors and all queries are read.

 

Luncheon Keynote Dianna Love related writing a book to fishing (something else she loves).  She grew up with tools instead of dolls and quickly learned she could find any answer in a book.  Knew she was destined to become a writer when she couldn’t write a grocery list without a twist.

 

Barbara Vey and Courtney Milan

Barbara Vey and Courtney Milan

There was a very successful book signing and I was fortunate enough to sit next to Courtney Milan.  She had an app on her iPad so she could sign e-books.   Even though she is a traditionally published author (love her historicals), she also had a self published book that was selling like hot cakes, so she then showed me her credit card reader that attached to her iPad to take payment for those books.  I tell you, I always seem to come away from these conferences learning something new.

 

Lots of smiles from writers who were asked to send in partials and full manuscripts, but I noticed one in particular who was bouncing around because four people asked to see her work.

 

Susan Elizabeth Phillips finished off the conference by telling the attendees that “innovation is the author’s job, not the editor’s.”  She assured everyone that “We are all individuals and one size does not fit all.”  Susan also talked about reviews.  “No one is going to like everything you write, some won’t like anything you write…get over it.”

 

Conference Committee

Conference Committee

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Cici Edwards Workshop Chair wasn't around for the group photo

Cici Edwards Workshop Chair wasn't around for the group photo

 

Awards were given for the Fire and Ice Writing Contest and you can find the winners here.  There also was a silent auction benefiting “Literacy for All of Us.”  The event raised over $4200 and is receiving matching funds from the Sol R. Kaufman Family Foundation.  Kudos to the conference committee for the amazing job they did on a very success Spring Fling.

 

Bottom Line:  Today is National Honesty Day…wonder how many people will participate in this?

 

SCBWI’s Who’s Who of Children’s Book Writing

Barbara Vey -- January 30th, 2012
Chris Crutcher and Mary Buckham

Chris Crutcher and Mary Buckham

Here today as cub reporters are NYT best seller Dianna Love of the Belador urban fantasy series and award winning Romantic Suspense author Mary Buckham.  Mary and Dianna originally teamed up to produce Break Into Fiction™, the book that has helped thousands of writers around the world.  Now they’re entering the young adult market, which is why they were at the Hyatt next to Grand Central Station in New York City to attend the 2012 International SCBWI Conference. 

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Steven Mooser and Dianna Love

Stephen Mooser and Dianna Love

 

 

SCBWI stands for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  Key figures in the children’s book writing industry gathered this weekend to share insights on one of the largest divisions in publishing – children’s books, from picture books to middle grade literature to the massive young adult novel industry.  The conference sold out weeks ago, boasting 1,148 attendees from 19 countries.

 

 

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Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser founded this Los Angeles based organization in 1971.  Stephen and Lin set the tone for the conference with their fun chiding and warm welcome then got down to business quickly with an opening panel that reads like the who’s who in children’s publishing – Jean Feiwel, Senior VP and publishing director of MacMillan, Barbara Marcus, Strategic Innovating Advisor with Penguin, Nancy Paulsen, President & Publisher of Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin) and agent Rubin Pfeffer with the East West Literary Agency.  They all have extensive experience in the industry and represent a gold list of children’s book authors.   The general consensus of this panel was that children’s publishing is robust and looking up.

 

Justin Jones and Dennis Jolley

Justin Jones and Dennis Jolley

Author Chris Crutcher stepped up on the stage next to talk about how you have to write the story in the correct language for the reader to believe the words. He wasn’t talking about a native tongue, but how words are what has made him the most banned author in the country, even as those same words touch teens in a way that watered down text never will.  As someone who has counseled children and families about abuse and neglect for 25 years, it’s immediately obvious that he knows what he’s talking about.  He explained how you can take a painful subject to its emotional peak if you balance it with humor, and Chris is one funny guy.  He shared a true story about a five-year-old patient that broke your heart one minute, had you laughing in the next, then ended with message of hope.  No wonder his books resonate with kids and adults, too.

 

Panels and keynote addresses were given to the entire conference in the ballroom all weekend. Additionally, attendees could choose three of fourteen outstanding one-hour workshops.  Each of the fourteen programs was presented three times on Saturday so you didn’t have to choose between two favorites in the same time slot.  This was not a conference for learning how to craft a query letter or synopsis that you can learn on your own.  This was a conference for professionals wanting information on a specific area of the publishing industry, which meant every minute was packed with information you can’t get anywhere else.

 

Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

SURPRISE!  Lin Oliver took the stage again before we were released from the ballroom to head for our Saturday workshops.  She had teased us earlier that a special “surprise” guest was stopping by.  Not a soul moved from their seat as Lin introduced her co-writer on a new middle-school series – Henry Winkler. The room went wild as he strolled up to the stage, beaming a big grin that we all know and love so well.  Henry told us how he came to write with Lin.  Many remember him as the amazing Fonzi from Happy Days and even later as a producer, but that doesn’t tell you about the genuine and gracious man who is now a children’s book writer.   More than a celebrity author, Henry Winkler has a deep appreciation for what it takes to be a writer and a great affection for his collaborative partner, Lin Oliver, on their Hank Zipzer series.

 

The sessions that followed were presented by the top in the publishing field.  Executive editor, Cheryl Klein of Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic) spoke on revising for the children’s market. Agent Sara Davies of Greenhouse Literary Agency addressed writing for the children’s thriller market. Executive Art Director Martha Rago of Harper Collins explaining how to make your picture book stand out. Agent Ken Wright of Writer’s House shared insights on publishing nonfiction children’s literature.  Executive editor Tara Weikum of Harper Collins walked everyone through the extensive world of young adult publishing.  The distinguished list of speakers didn’t stop there.  Details of this conference are still available at www.SCBWI.org.

 

Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare

After lunch NYT best seller Cassandra Clare of the Mortal Instruments series gave a ballroom packed presentation on the “love triangle” and what works – or does not  – in young adult fiction.

 

Saturday wrapped up with cocktail party with wonderful food stations where attendees could mingle and meet up with others from their regional chapters.  When you join the national organization, you’re automatically registered with your regional chapter.  Justin Jones and Dennis Jolley are two English teachers from Georgia and pre-published authors of children fiction, attending the conference for the first time.   Christopher Cheng hails from Australia and is on the board for SCBWI, which shows you just how international this organization is.

 

Sunday was just as busy with an award ceremony.  The Tomie dePaola Award is given to the illustrator who shows the most promise and the recipient is chose by Tomie himself.  This year’s winner is Yvette Piette HerreraMike Curato won the prestigious Portfolio Showcase competition.  

 

We had more great panels on Sunday then wrapped up with a book signing where attendees could spend extra time some of the stars in this business.   This is one of the most inspirational and informative conferences in the publishing business.  They manage to put on an event that is warm and welcoming with a high level of professionalism.  Definitely worth every penny to attend.

 

Bottom Line:  “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” ~ Emilie Buchwald

 

 

 

 

My Feenix Contest Benefits Schools and Libraries

Barbara Vey -- October 17th, 2011

The past couple of weeks I’ve talked about the different charities that authors support with their writing.  Author Dianna Love found a whole different venue to include schools, libraries and the arts.

Digital entries

Digital entries

Dianna used her character, Feenix, a lovable young gargoyle to stimulate people’s imaginations.  MyFeenix.com challenged high school students and adults to use their creative juices to showcase their interpretations of the character.

There were 3 categories in both divisions, flat art, digital art and 3-d art.  There was no charge to enter the contest, so the field was wide open.  Dianna made Blood Trinity (the first book in the Belador series which she co-wrote with Sherrilyn Kenyon) available to everyone by offering to send it to the school or public library if they needed a copy, to level the playing field.

Judging the entries

Judging the entries

There were 2 rounds of judging before the art pieces made it to the final round held in the art gallery of Alexi Torres in Atlanta, which was judged by 6 different people.  I was extremely impressed by the quality and detail in the work.  While I read both books in the Belador series, I was again reminded that when we read, we all see the characters differently.  None of them really were the vision I had of Feenix, but that didn’t make them wrong….just different.

When I asked Dianna if she felt any particular art entry matched her vision of Feenix, she was quick to admit that she had a totally different picture in her mind, but she was thrilled that so many entered and how they envisioned her creation.  I’m sure a lot of authors would be surprised by the way their fans saw their characters.

Here’s a list of the winners (You can check them out at MyFeenix):

Adult Flat Art
1st – Cara Bevan
2nd – Christine Rossi
3rd – Donna Peters

Adult Digital Art
1st – Cara Stemo
2nd – Andrew Bernier
3rd – Mary (Mia Snow) Nason

Adult 3D
1st – Ann Pressly
2nd – Nikki Overkamp
3rd – Heather Machel

High School Flat
1st – Annelisa Leinbach
2nd – Zachary Meyer
3rd – Sarah Stock

High School Digital
1st – Maddison Authur
2nd – Evelyn Lumish

High School 3D
1st – Drew Shields

Along with prizes and money, each winner won a set of books for their school or local library.

Dianna Love (who is also an artist) explains why she ran this type of contest.

 

Bottom Line:  When books are donated to any kind of library, everyone’s a winner.

Monday Giveaways

 

 

 

From Debby Giusti:  At Seekerville, he big giveaway this week is a $25 gift card to buy books–Seeker books, of course–and a $25 gift card to Starbucks! Thanks, Glynna and Cara, for the great prize.
And remember…we’re giving away a Toshiba Netbook (loaded with Microsoft Office) at the end of the month from a random drawing of all our visitors. Your name is added in the randomizer EVERY time you comment.

BTW, Barbara Vey is guest blogging on Monday!

 

 

 

From Stephanie Barko:   An excerpt & signed paperback of young memoirist Jamie Patterson’s Lost Edens about marriage and denial is yours for a comment at literary publicist Stephanie Barko’s blog from 10/17 through 10/22.

 

From Jill StoneGET LOST IN A STORY giveaways for the week of October 17 – 21: Monday Angela Cerrito –  a copy of THE END OF THE LINE, Thursday Jane Sevier – a digital download of FORTUNE’S FOOL, and Friday Jo Robertson has an electronic copy of either THE AVENGER or THE WATCHER to giveaway!



 

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- September 28th, 2011

Friday I leave for the Central Ohio Fiction Writers (COFW) Conference.  This will be a new conference for me and I’m excited to see that the amazing Brenda Novak will be the keynote speaker.  I’m scheduled for a Saturday afternoon Q&A.  These sessions scare me because if no one has any questions, it can seem like a very long session.  Just in case, I’ll be prepared to talk about what the WW Ladies have been reading.

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joysann

joysann

Alterant by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love

Read by joysann

Evalle Kincaid is trying to locate three of her fellow Alterants to make a case before the Tribunal that they are a legitimate species, not just people who morph into mindless killer beasts that should be killed on sight even before they change. But they’re in hiding, and even with the help of the exciting new man in her life, a shifter named Storm, she’s not going meet the deadline set by the gods.

In their complex urban fantasy, these two dynamic authors have pulled out all stops in creating imaginative, original creatures and characters whom I find most intriguing. The story line is intricate, puzzling and suspenseful, and the action is nonstop. With Alterant as the second book in the Belador series, I’m looking forward with anticipation to the exciting adventures ahead.

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Sophie

Sophie

Don’t Mess With Texas by Christie Craig

Read by Sophie

Nikki Hunt, pretty, blonde, divorced, and lacking in her sense of self-worth, defines the term “starving artist,” and Dallas O’Connor is the strong, handsome, also divorced ex-cop, now PI who recently got out of prison, where he’d spent time with his buddies and coworkers Tyler and Austin for a crime they didn’t commit.  So when Nikki finds her ex-husband’s dead body in her trunk, Dallas is able to look past the fact that she is the perfect suspect and believe her when she says she’s innocent.  Proving her innocent becomes the top thing on his to-do list, but she herself is a close second—a fact that scares Dallas to no end.  Dallas and Nikki hit many rough spots, or as Nikki’s hilarious Nana calls them, potholes along the way, but the humor alone isn’t going to get them through the night alive…

This book was a joy from the start!  Sexy, fun, and obviously well-planned, Don’t Mess With Texas was impossible for me to put down.  Craig’s skill is exemplified by this book, and I’ve already got a waiting list of friends who are excited to read it!

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Paula

Paula

The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato

Read by Paula

Venice, and the glassmaking inextricably associated with it, is in Nora Manin’s blood; Venice was where her existence was conceived, and where her destiny lay. Following the heart-wrenching dissolution of her marriage, Nora impulsively, perhaps instinctively, dispensed with the trappings of her former life in London, and set course for her future in Venice, hoping to connect with, and perhaps unlock, the mysteries of her past. Guided by only by a glass heart crafted by her ancient ancestor and a desire to find herself, Nora embarks on journey that will not only connect her with her rich and remarkable family history, but will propel her toward a future that dreams are made of.

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Having recently visited Venice, and the island of Murano, where exquisite art glass is crafted today as it has been for centuries, the images evoked in this lush story were striking and fresh for me. Marina Fiorato has superbly captured the beauty and lush history of this ancient center of art and culture, while weaving a story with layers of history, intrigue, and romance that is as absorbing and magical as Venice itself.

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Shelby

Shelby

A Lot Like Love by Julie James

Read by Shelby

The FBI wants to Xander Eckhart in the act of laundering money for the mob and their only opportunity will be this Valentine’s Day at his exclusive wine tasting.  So they enlist the help of Jordan Rhodes, a billionaire heiress, to get into the party with Nick McCall as her date/undercover FBI agent.  When Xander sends a Private Investigator to tail the new “couple,” the two are forced to continue their “relationship.”  Eventually it becomes a real relationship, but something more sinister lurks…

I absolutely adored this book!  The suspense, the secrets, and the ever present danger make you not want to let it out of your sight.  The classic relationship of dislike leading to more with a delicious twist attached.  This is a definite keeper, mark my words!
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Heidi

Heidi

Deep Trouble by Mary Connealy

Read by Heidi

Shannon Dysart is on a mission to clear her father’s name, by going to the Wild West from Saint Louis, to find the city of gold. Shannon gets in over her head, when her companions turn on her and leave her for dead. Gabriel Lasley is the cowboy hero who has western smarts and faith to follow. Their adventure turns tricky with every step, and they hope to survive it all and get to the golden end.

The historical western brought out the best adventure to my brain with awesome visual descriptions and the desire to find the treasure. I always find it a pleasure to read a book that has women characters that are independent, faith-focused and driven. I really got my wild western fix with this book.

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Ashley

Ashley

The Perfect Kiss by Melody Thomas

Read by Ashley
Christel stole the perfect kiss from the man of her dreams, too bad that  English society’s rules made courtship and marriage impossible. She was the bastard daughter of an Earl and he was the Earl of Carrick, so Christel watches as he marries her favorite cousin. Nine years later the Earl is widowed and with a young daughter. Christel comes back to be the governess for the girl but neither has forgotten that secret kiss, and they still burn for desire for each other but secrets from each other’s past threaten to ruin their second chance at love.

v
The Perfect Kiss is the perfect love story, full of secrets and treasures, and love and lost. This book was a delightful read that kept me entertained from the first page to the last page!
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Loretta

Loretta

The Protector by Marliss Melton

Read by Loretta

To retaliate against General McClellan for his actions in Afghanistan, terrorists target his daughter, Eryn for death.  Eryn is a school teacher in Washinton, DC. unaware that the FBI has put her out for bait to catch the jihadists and narrowly escapes the first attack.  General McClellan has asked  Ike Calhoun, a retired Navy Seal, to protect her.

I found The Protector by be beautifully written, exciting and captivating, keeping me glued to the pages until the unforseen and unforgettable ending.  Ike’s abiilities and daring-do deeds will astound you as he maneuvers Erin’s and his safety, keeping you gasping at the twists and turns on each page.  Amid all the chaos,- love also grows here!

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Michelle

Michelle

Before I go to Sleep by S. J. Watson

Read by Michelle

Christine Lucas wakes up every morning to a stranger in her bed and no recollection of the last 20 years of her life.  Every morning her husband Ben has to show her the pictures of her life.  Christine trying to piece together what has happened to her begins to keep a secret journal that begins with the words “Don’t trust Ben.”  As her life unravels she unearths the frightening events that led to her amnesia.

This is a great read!  Trying to imagine a life without knowing your own past just left me with goosebumps and a feeling of dread.

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joysann

joysann

Kitty’s Greatest Hits: A Collection by Carrie Vaughn

Read by joysann 

Kitty retains control and gains wisdom in Winnowing the Herd. Through blood and tears, young Cormac learns the family business of hunting creatures of the night in Looking After Family.  In Conquistador de la Noche one of Coronado’s soldiers find darkness instead of Cities of Gold. And a cryptozoologist encounters serious danger in The Temptation of Robin Green.

Kitty Norville is the popular radio host of The Midnight Hour, a talk show dedicated to all things that go bump in the night, and her adventures have taken readers through a whole series of exciting books. Kitty got into this talk-show business because she is a werewolf, and where else can a supernatural turn for advice? I love these books, and the 14 stories in Kitty’s Greatest Hits enrich and give dimension to the fascinating characters Carrie Vaughn created.

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Bottom Line:  Maybe I’ll make a list of questions to ask the COFW…just to keep them on their toes.