Tag Archives: DragonCon

Leaving for Dragon Con this Week

Barbara Vey -- August 29th, 2011

Thursday I leave for Dragon Con.  I have mixed emotions as I enjoy the event a lot since it is heavy on fans, but I hate the set up that has you trudging from hotel to hotel to hit all the events.  I was looking over the schedule and it looks like I’m in for a treat this year.

 

There are quite a few authors going that I already know and will be happy to reconnect with Charlaine Harris, Susan Sizemore, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Laurell K. Hamilton.  Here’s the list of attendees, so let me know if there’s anyone special I should be stalking…I mean talking to.

 

I have my dream list of celebrities I’d like to meet, but with all the rules in place at Dragon Con, I’m not sure how close I’ll get.  Carrie Fisher, Mary McDonnell, Wil Wheaton, Colin Ferguson, Eddie McClintock, Ernest Borgnine and Christopher Lloyd to name a few.  Of course, my number one pick is William Shatner, but we go way back to the very first episode of Star Trek in the 60s when my friends and I would all stay home and watch the show on Friday night before we’d go out.  Our official weekend started with Star Trek.  So, if anyone has any pull with any of my wish list, please let me know and I will be forever in your debt.  Check out the whole list and let me know if there’s anyone else that you’d like me to try to catch up with.  I’m wearing my tennies and could probably take them in a foot race.

 

Bottom Line:  I know I should be packing all my costumes, but I’ll leave that to the professionals and just plan on taking a lot of pictures instead.

 

Monday Giveaways

From Romance University: During the week of September 5th, Romance University will have a book giveaway. Author Adrienne Giordano is giving away copies of her September release, A JUST DECEPTION, to three lucky commenters, plus some hand-crafted bullet jewelry. Stop by on September 7th for your chance to win and to help Adrienne break her rankings addiction.

From Mia Marlowe: Visit Mia every Monday (and other days too!). Mia spotlights fellow authors with interviews and original posts. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win not only a free read from her guest, but also one of Mia Marlowe’s backlist!
August 29th Bonnie Vanak and her new Nocturne The Shadow Wolf
September 5th Shana Galen and one of PW’s top 10 picks for fall, Lord and Lady Spy
September 12th Ashley March and her new Romancing the Countess
September 13th MJ Putney and her new exciting new YA title, Dark Passage
Sept 19th Linda Wisdom and her totally smokin’ Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend

From Romance UniversityKieran Kramer is offering a Regency-inspired porcelain tea bag rest along with some “tea time” goodies and a signed copy of CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MARRIAGE to one commenter at Romance University!

Just a Quickie Update

Barbara Vey -- April 20th, 2011

Just wanted to let you know that I will be attending Comic Con in San Diego after all this year thanks to an invite from RWA member Lisa Kessler.  She’ll be my videographer. (I’ll see you there Cal!)  You never know who I’ll meet there.  I’ll also be doing a workshop for the San Diego RWA on September 17th, so sign up if you’ll be in the area.

In addition, I’ll be attending the Heart of Dixie Luncheon in Huntsville, AL on April 30th and I just can’t wait to be around all those southern accents.  It tickles me.

May 17th I’ll be in Detroit talking to the Greater Detroit RWA group.  Please don’t let it snow.

May 21st you’ll find me in Atlanta doing a workshop for the Georgia Romance Writers with author Dianna Love about Building Reader Loyalty (something I’ve been blogging about the past 2 days).

Then it’s off to New York for the BEA (BookExpo America) May 23-27th.  I get chills…they’re multiplying (great, now that song will be stuck in my head) when I think about all the wonderful things I’ll be seeing here.

I’m moderating a romance panel and also will be sitting on a panel for the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books at UW-Waukesha June 17th & 18th.

Back to New York for RWA June 28 – July 1 with a stop at Lady Jane’s Salon that Monday.  Don’t miss it if you’re in town.

DragonCon has asked me to be on a panel, so I’ll happily return to Atlanta September 2-5.  This is one wild and crazy party.

Central Ohio Fiction Writer’s Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio September 30 – October 1st has invited me to participate on a panel.  My first time there so it’ll be special.

October 20th I’ll head back to Ohio for an author luncheon given by the Medina Library.  Yes, I’ll do anything for a library.

I think that’ll do it for the year, but I’ve already got 4 events already lined up for 2012.  WooHoo!!

But today I’m guest blogging at Seekerville and they’re giving away 24 books just for commenting.  It’s a great deal you just can’t pass up.

If you see me at any of these events, please stop me and say hello.  I’m an old fashioned woman and while online stuff is fun, I love the face to face meets.

Will you be attending any of these conferences?  Feel free to mention the conferences I’m sadly missing this year and link to their pages.  Remember, I’m always looking for Cub Reporters to cover the events I’m not able to attend.

It’s also been mentioned to me that there’s no contact info for me on this page, so you can email me at barbaravey@gmail.com

Bottom Line: I think it’s time I start looking for a social secretary.

Gearing Up for Conference Season

Barbara Vey -- March 21st, 2011
I wish I were traveling to all these places, but I'll be staying in the U.S.

I wish I were traveling to all these places, but I'll be staying in the U.S.

Finally, my favorite time of year is almost upon us.  No, not Christmas.  Since my kids are grown and gone, my favorite time is conference time for all things book related.  While my schedule isn’t as full as last year, I’ve got some great things coming up this year.

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In 2 weeks I’m headed to Los Angeles for the RT Booklovers Convention.  This puppy is huge with lots of authors and readers.  There’s panels (yes, I’ll be on one), book signings, an award ceremony and of course, parties.  Lots of parties including a vampire ball and faerie ball.  Dean Koontz will be there as a special guest and the fan favorite cover model competition.  And did I mention that it will be in Los Angeles?  I’m just hoping I have enough time to stop at Disneyland.  After all, I am a kid at heart.

At the end of April, I’ll be headed to Huntsville, AL for the Heart of Dixie Romance Readers’ Luncheon.  I’ve never been there and I’ve heard it’s a great time.  Another new event to break in.

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I also get to go to BEA (Books Expo America) in New York.  I was only there for one day a couple of years ago and I had a blast.  It’s so exciting with tons of authors, publishers and any with anything to do with publishing.  I was like a kid in a candy store and I was only in the exhibit hall.  This year I’m hoping to go to some of the actual sessions.

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The other big conference in New York will be the RWA (Romance Writers of America). I’m honored to be on a panel there this year.  Their book signing is amazing.  It’s free and open to the public with all monies from books sold going to literacy.  It gives me chills to see fans lined up to meet their favorite authors and discover new ones.  Although this is a working conference for many of the writers, there always seems to be time to socialize and the publishers parties are to die for.  I’m expecting a lot since the event is on their home turf.  And I’ll also get to attend Lady Jane’s Salon where they have authors read from their own books in a very cozy atmosphere with an audience of enthusiastic romance fans.

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In between, I’ll be flying to Detroit to give a workshop to their GDRWA members.  I love the intimate gatherings and getting to know both the published and unpublished authors in the group.  There’s also the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books where I’ll be on both a panel and acting as a moderator for a panel of romance authors.

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I’ve been invited to do a workshop with author Dianna Love for the GRW in Atlanta.  Since I’ve gotten to attend a meeting of theirs in the past, I know the talent in this group.  Excited to visit with all of them again.  I’ll be in Ohio twice this year.  Once for their reader luncheon and once for their Central Ohio Fiction Writer’s Annual Conference in Columbus where I’ll be doing a workshop.  More people to share the joys of Facebook and Twitter with.

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I do admit that I’m in withdrawal because I won’t be able to attend the San Diego Comic Con, but I will be at DragonCon in Atlanta and it’s unique fan based style.  Always an experience and such fun.

If I win the lottery, I’d love to attend Moonlight and Magnolias, RomCon, Novelists, Inc., Thrillerfest, Emerald City, WRW, New Jersey Romance Writers  Conference, Crimebake, WisRWA and many more.  But it’s always fun to dream about and hopefully some people will step up to be cub reporters for the events I cannot attend.  I know my readers love reading about the events they can’t always attend and I’m honored to represent them.  I try to report back what it’s like to be a reader living the dream.

Here’s where I’ll be this year:

RT - April 6-10 Los Angeles

Heart of Dixie Romance Readers’ Luncheon – April 30 – Huntsville

GDRW – May 17 – Detroit

GRW – May 21 – Atlanta

BEA - May 23-26 New York

SEWFB - June 17-18 Waukesha

Lady Jane’s Salon – June 27 – New York

RWA – June 28-July 1 – New York

DragonCon - September 2-5 – Atlanta

Central Ohio Fiction Writers – September 30-October 1 – Columbus

Ohio Readers Luncheon – October 20 – Medina

Bottom Line: I think there should be a magic card, just for me, that lets me travel to every single conference.

Join me on Facebook and Twitter.

Romance Takes Center Stage at PW

Barbara Vey -- September 7th, 2010

Rose Fox

As noted on Rose Fox’s Genreville blog yesterday, “As of today, PW no longer has a mass market reviews section. But don’t panic, because we’re going to keep reviewing mass market titles; we’ll just do it according to genre. In order to do that in the way that makes the most sense, our 9/6 issue inaugurates our romance reviews section, which I will be editing henceforth.”

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This is much welcome news to the genre who sales comprise 65% of mass market.  Romance has been getting a bad rap for years with snide comments about some of the covers and titles, but the fact remains that the majority of the reading public would rather be reading a happily ever after.  And, now Publishers Weekly will be making it even easier to help pick a great book to read with all the romance reviews in one section.

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So, congratulations to Rose for heading this project and super congrats to the Romance Industry who are one step closer to the getting the credit and kudos deserved for a job well done.

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Barbara Vey and Neil Grayston of Eureka

Me and Neil Grayston of Eureka

And on the last day of DragonCon, I finally got to meet one of my favorite actors when Neil Grayston (Fargo) of the SyFy Channel’s Eureka showed up.  He and his wife, Ali, were delightful and she’s an avid romance reader.  Yea!!  I definitely left the con on a high note.

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Other news for the week:

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From Danielle L. Jackson, Sourcebooks: September 6, marks the official launch of AustenAuthors.com, a labor of love started by two Sourcebooks Landmark authors, Sharon Lathan and Abigail Reynolds. Noticing the success of group author blogs in the romance genre, they decided to gather up some of their fellow Jane Austen Fiction comrades and start a group blog!

Other authors joing the blog are Susan Adriani, Marsha Altman, Marilyn Brant, Skylar Burris, Jack Caldwell, Carolyn Eberhart, Monica Fairview, Regina Jeffers, Cindy Jones, Sharon Lathan, Kara Louis, Kathryn Nelson, Jane Odiwe, C. Allyn Pierson, Abigail Reynolds, Mary Lydon Simonsen, Heather Lynn Rigaud, Victoria Connelly, J. Marie Croft and Lynn Shepherd.

Let us know what you think about it!

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From Marilyn Baron: The long-awaited sequel to the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog novel, Aspen Exposé, debuts Monday, September 6. Join us for three weeks of espionage, suspense, intrigue and sizzling romance as the Petit Fours shake things up with their unique spin on an original serial thriller. FBI agents Rachel, Tom and Jack are back to face a white slavery ring, a dangerous Colombian drug lord and their own passions. Log on  to daily from September 6 through September 23 for a great read and a chance to win a copy of our hot-off-the-press cookbook, Cooking with the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales and a $25 gift certificate to your choice of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million or iTunes. Just leave a comment to be eligible to win. The more you comment, the more chances to win. Prizes will be drawn September 24 and September 26.

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From Tara Taylor Quinn: I have embarked on a three month international blog tour with more than fifty stops, ending with a charity even on December 4th in Phoenix.  During the tour I am going to be raising money for Strengthen Our Sisters. Two years ago I wrote a novella based on the life and work of Sandra Ramos, founder of Strengthen Our Sisters, the nation’s first battered women’s shelter. This year, after more than thirty years in existence, and with ten houses filled to capacity with battered women and their children, Strengthen our Sisters has lost $400,000.00 in donations. Staff members are working without pay to try to keep the battered women in homes. Sandra will be making guest ‘appearances’ on the blog tour.  If all you can afford is time, PLEASE JOIN US on this tour. We’re trying to build a combined energy that heals in and of itself.  Comment on the blogs.  Lend your support.  Let these women know they aren’t alone.  Let them know that women all over the world understand.  And care.  Let’s give them strength.  And if you have extra pennies to donate, that’s great, too.  Click here for more information.

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From Jeanne Chybik: I wanted to share with you our new webisode series, Medallion Mondays, starring Josh “The Ponceman” Perry, and guest-starring “Big” John McCarthy, Road Warrior “Animal”, and actor Doug Jones. It’s a hilarious parody of life in the Medallion Press offices. Check it out! (I watched it and thought it was hilarious.  I’m looking forward to more.)

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Lindsey Prevett, Penguin Publishing: Penguin Group launched a new monthly radio series called The Literary Life. Completely written, produced, and hosted by Penguin employees, The Literary Life features literary fiction and nonfiction from bestselling, critically acclaimed authors and fast-rising newcomers. It’s hosted by Jake Morrissey, Executive Editor at Riverhead Books.  Each episode will debut on the last Tuesday of the month.

In addition to candid interviews with authors, regular segments on The Literary Life include: Inside Publishing, featuring a publishing personality giving a behind-the-scenes look into the book industry; Writer’s Rant, where authors are given the floor to vent; and Penguin Mix Tape, featuring interviews and performances by musicians-turned-authors.
The debut episode of The Literary Life is now available for listening here and is downloadable from iTunes.  In this episode, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, author of the new bestselling memoir Composed, answers questions and performs “The World Unseen.”  Maile Meloy, author of the bestselling collection Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, and Doug Dorst, author of The Surf Guru and Alive in Necropolis, discuss the art of the short story. Sloane Crosley, author of the bestselling essay collections I Was Told There’d Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number, rants about punctuation.

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Monday Giveaways

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From Liz Maverick:  Kindle is offering a freebie of my book, Crimson City. You can get it here. Enjoy!!

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From Jennifer Martin, Samhain Publishing: Happy September! Here are Samhain Publishing’s freebies for this month on Nook and Kindle. The first date is the day the book price flips to $0.00 and the second date is the final day and the original price will go into effect again.

Begin Date

End Date Book Title Author
9/1/2010 9/14/2010 The Pearl at the Gate Anya Delvay (AKA Anya Richards)
9/15/2010 9/28/2010 Compromising Positions Jenna Bayley-Burke

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Bottom Line: Romance in the news…and it’s not even Valentine’s Day.

DragonCon: Fans Rule

Barbara Vey -- September 6th, 2010
Trying to make your way around DragonCon

Trying to make your way around DragonCon

DragonCon has to be experienced to be believed.  While much smaller than the San Diego and New York Comic Cons, this fan fest has been around for over 20 years.  These die hard fans come to see and be seen.

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Personally, I think the costumes are even more elaborate than other cons and there appear to be more of them.  I really wonder what the ratio of dress-up vs us regular t-shirt wearing gawkers is.  There’s also not the big movies and TV presences of Comic Con, but there are still plenty of panels and stars to be seen.

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Denise and Courtney

Denise and Courtney

Being true to my adventurous self, even before I attended the opening minutes of DragonCon, I found a lump in the sidewalk and managed to trip over it.  I tumbled down 2 stairs, flipped over like a cat dropped from  a balcony and all I could think of was, “Don’t fall on my face.”  (If you remember, I did that last year.)  I spent the day limping around and by night I needed to see the paramedic on staff.  Lucky for me, it was Courtney who’s an avid reader, so while she explained the painful blood blister under my big toe nail wasn’t life threatening (only painful), I would live.  On top of everything else, I was dehydrated so I was taken to the VIP area (which is full of food, drink and really cool people) and signed in as a guest of the delightful artist Denise.  I’m happy to report that I’ve been healthy ever since, so thanks Courtney and Denise.

Ready for the parade

Ready for the parade

There’s a big parade on Saturday morning.  Fan’s walk behind their favorite authors and people group together like pirates, military and even a group of Lady Gaga wannabes.  While extremely entertaining, the crowds are daunting with much shoving and jockeying for position.  I would have loved to have opted for a seated viewing area, but maybe sometime in the future.

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The longest lines appeared to be for Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Stargate and Star Trek.  But plenty of panels offered up something for everyone.  Film festival, Walk of Fame (stars), Comic’s Artists Alley, Art Show, catagories like Paranormal Track, Podcasting, Reading Sessions (featuring some of our favorite romance authors like Leanna Renee Hieber, Gillian Summers, Jana Oliver and Mari Mancusi), Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time (WOT), Robotics, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Literature, Science, Asian Cinema and Culture, Skeptics, Space, Tolkien’s Middle Earth and Whedon Universe.  Whew!  There was also a Writer’s Track and Writer’s Workshop.

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Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jonathan Maberry, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jim Butcher, A.J. Hardy, Nancy Knight and

Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jonathan Maberry, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jim Butcher, A.J. Hartley, Nancy Knight and Kevin J. Anderson

I did attend the New York Times Bestsellers Tell All with Sherrilyn Kenyon (who was also the conference’s Guest of Honor), Kevin J. Anderson, Nancy Knight, Jim Butcher, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jonathan Maberry and A.J. Hartley.  I have to say that this was the most entertaining author panel I’ve been to in some time.  Nancy Knight did a tremendous job as moderator with questions that kept the panelists on their toes.  (I plan to use some of them at upcoming events.)  When the authors were introducing themselves, Jonathan Maberry announced, “Hi, I’m Charlaine Harris.”  When discussing their first NYT books, Anderson proudly claimed that his STAR WARS “Jedi Academy” books were the three top-selling SF novels of 1994.  When Knight asked the authors about the favorite book they wrote and their favorite book written by someone else, there was considerable groaning.  Butcher likes his Dead Beat with zombie dinosaurs.  Hamilton’s favorite is Charlotte’s Web.  The next question was about their most embarrassing moment as a writer.  Hartley admitted that someone commented on his “guest” tag saying, “You’re a guest and I never heard of you…you must be a writer.”  All writers agreed that the best advice given to them was “Don’t stop writing.”

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The worst part about Dragon Con is that the events are held at several different hotels, so you’d better be in pretty good shape to get around.  It isn’t easy to go from an event at the Hyatt, to the Marriott and then have 5 minutes to truck over to the Sheraton.  It’s a must to plan wisely.  The convention even offers Eternal passes.  One man told me he bought his several years ago for about $200 and now they go for about a thousand.  He figures he’s already gotten more than his money’s worth and plans to attend to many years to come.  DragonCon is definitely a labor of love.

Author Jeannette Cogdell

Author Jeanette Cogdell

Author Leanna Renee Hieber

Author Leanna Renee Hieber

Author Sherrilyn Kenyon

Author Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Bottom Line: My only celebrity sighting was Gil Gerard (in the parade) and Rene Auberjonois (from Star Trek, The Next Generation) and he only shook my hand.

Airport Reads and Your Turn Friday

Barbara Vey -- September 3rd, 2010

I always look at spending my time at the airport as research time.  Yes, I’m traveling again and this time I’m in Atlanta for DragonCon.  My first time here, so I’m a Dragon Virgin (is there a word for that?).

As I made my way through the Milwaukee airport, I’d stop along the way and check out what everyone was reading.  Sometimes I’d try to be stealth like and just glance at the cover, but I don’t see well for distance, so I usually just go up to the person, introduce myself and ask them.  99.9 % of  the time, people love to stop and talk about what they’re reading and why.  It doesn’t seem to matter that a perfect stranger is asking.  The important thing seems to be that someone cares.  (I won’t even talk about that .01% person…I think she was just having a bad day.)

This trip I met Stacy, 22, who was reading Karen Kingsbury’s Just Beyond the Clouds.  She said she’s read all Kingsbury’s books and was enjoying this one.  “It’s an older book”, she told me, “but that doesn’t make it any less interesting.”  Hardball by Sara Paretsky was Mary’s (58) choice.  She loves the mystery and adventure of V. I. Warshawski.  Samantha, 23, was clutching her copy of Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love).    She liked the movie and wanted to try the new book.  Samantha says she’s always willing to try new books by new authors and depends on recommendations of others.        I also saw (from a distance) Louis L’Amour, Steig,

I was saddened to see no romance books that I frequently enjoy.  And there’s so many of them out there.  Romantic suspense, paranormal, historical, science fiction, fantasy, contemporary, thriller,  and more.  They could have been there…stuffed in bags maybe, but not out in the open that I could see.

Alex and Sherrita in the airplane

Alex and Sherrita in the airplane

I did meet up with Sherrita, who’s on a flight crew, but was just heading back to Atlanta for a few days of relaxation with her dog and her man (not necessarily in that order).  She was reading Saving CeeCee Honeycut by Beth Hoffman.  Sherrita picked it up at her local library because of the pretty cover and is enjoying it.  We talked about the wealth of books out there and I’m happy to say that she decided to read for the WW Ladies.  In front of me was Alex, who’s from Wisconsin, but heading to Atlanta for DragonCon.  When she heard us talking about books, she wanted in, so the 3 of us plan to meet at DragonCon and compare book notes.  Not to be outdone, Hunter, sitting across from me, is a pilot who loves thrillers and just discovered David Baldacci.  While he prefers nonfiction, he’s willing to try a few fiction books I’ll be sending him.  Hunter says the pilots love to pass the books around to each other.

All this brings me to a brilliant idea I just came up with.  From now on, I plan to travel with various books (signed by the authors if I can get them) and pass them out to readers I notice at the airport.  It will be a terrific way to expose them to new authors and genres and help build that author/reader bond.

Today is Your Turn Friday.  What have you been reading lately?  You now know what their reading in their airport, so give these weary travelers some great book ideas.

Bottom Line: I plan to pick up whatever’s available at DragonCon and then be prepared on my upcoming trips.  I expect to go home with empty bags, but fill others with hope, dreams and happily ever afters.