Tag Archives: Duffy Brown

9th Annual Reader & Author Get Together

Barbara Vey -- June 11th, 2013
joysann

joysann

Lori Foster with a quilt displaying her book covers

Lori Foster with a quilt displaying her book covers (photo by Kathy Andrico)

joysann here, reporting on RAGT 2013. When best-selling author Lori Foster announced that the Reader & Author Get-Together registration website would open on March 4th, no one imagined that 3 or 4 days later they’d be announcing there were literally only a few spots left available. That’s about 500 people. By the 14th of March, Lori announced that registration was filled, and the hotel had maxed out. This shows the popularity of this wonderful annual event. Lori Foster, Duffy Brown, and Linda Keller have been hosting this casual, fun filled weekend these 9 years, and the $50 Reader Registration Fee is incomparable. A function staffed by volunteers, they’ve put on an irresistible event every time. Just north of Cincinnati, it easy for attendees to access from all directions.

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Kim Jacobs of Turquoise Morning Press

Kim Jacobs of Turquoise Morning Press

Things were done a little differently this year with programming geared more toward entertaining Readers and giving them the opportunity to meet with the people who write for them their favorite books. Different publishers and authors hosted gatherings, interviews and parties in various meeting rooms, providing treats, games and lots and lots of prizes. It was a winning situation for everyone. For the rest of it, there were buffet meals and music and dancing and many, many giveaways and prizes.

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Because in recent years so many attendees have arrived on Thursday night ahead of the event, the authors of this year’s anthology benefiting animal rescue hosted a “Meet and Greet” with fun and food for everyone. Animal Attraction is written by Lori Foster, Jules Bennett, Heidi Betts and Maisy Yates, with all the proceeds going to the Animal Adoption Foundation of Hamilton, OH, a charitable organization.

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Author Darynda Jones and joysann

Author Darynda Jones and joysann

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There were two book signings, one on Friday night for independent authors, and one on Saturday for those that are traditionally published. It was interesting to see that many authors showed up in both places, available to meet their readers.

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Aspiring author Natasha Mitchell

Aspiring author Natasha Mitchell

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I got to meet with so many wonderful people, both readers, and authors, and aspiring authors, several of whom I’ve had the privilege of meeting before. One young aspiring author I met is 13 year old Natasha Mitchell, who seemed very enthusiastic with everything going on. She’s working on a YA Sci-Fi Romance with interesting aspects. Go, Girl, and much success!

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Authors Nancy Naigle, Duffy Brown, and Tonya Kappes

Authors Nancy Naigle, Duffy Brown, and Tonya Kappes

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On Sunday morning I got to do a fun thing, and that was join authors Duffy Brown, Nancy Naigle and Tonya Kappes for Tea with Three, held at Duffy’s home. Quiche and pastries and coffee and, of course, tea were served in a lovely garden on a beautiful morning. It was a charming ending to a very busy weekend.

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Outside of all the wonderful people one meets at these RAGT weekends, the biggest entertainment is the huge charity raffle at which everyone keeps hoping “Pick Me! Pick Me!” About 250 raffle baskets were donated by authors, publishers, publicists, reviewers, the Marriott Hotel, and some enthusiastic readers. The baskets and bags were gorgeous, and attendees happily opened their hearts and their wallets to buy raffle tickets. ALL proceeds from the raffle go to One Way Farm Children’s Home. And the final count on raffle tickets sold: an amazing $13,000.

Another $1400 was raised just by simple donations from generous people to an effort to Support Our Troops.

Bottom Line: I’m thinking Romance Readers and Authors have big hearts

WW Ladies Book Club

Barbara Vey -- November 28th, 2012

Hi There! joysann here. Barbara’s off being a lady of leisure somewhere and has asked me to post the book blurbs this week. I find this is that awkward time of year when I can’t decide whether to read only holiday books or indulge in a variety of reading pleasures. Fortunately, this week’s blurbs provide several terrific choices. There goes any dents in my TBR pile… not that I’m complaining. Happy reading!

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Joan

 Iced Chiffon: A Consignment Shop Mystery by Duffy Brown

Read by Joan

Savannah raised and recently divorced, Reagan Summerside is left with only Cherry House, a Victorian fix-it-upper, and a pile of mounting bills. Her ex and his good-looking attorney, Walker Boone, took everything else. In order to survive she has been selling off her furniture, and without trying, Reagan has started a consignment store that her aunt names the Prissy Fox. Without telling her ex, she and Aunt Kiki borrow his Lexus to move a water fountain she sold, and they find the ex’s girlfriend dead in the trunk. Determined to hang onto her home and not wanting to pay Walker Boone’s excessive attorney fees, Reagan knows she will have to find the killer before he does.

This is a new mystery series that I have been looking forward to reading, and I really did like Iced Chiffon. The fact that the author actually works at a consignment shop peaked my curiosity even more. I cannot wait for the next book to come out in 2013; I do wonder if Reagan will fall for Boone.

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Heidi

Heidi

Werewolf in Denver: Wild About You Series by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Read by Heidi

Stillman Lodge in Estes Park near Denver is a private hotel, the perfect place for a conference where werewolves can meet, be themselves and work together. Were blogger Kate Stillman agrees to debate political “bad boy” Duncan MacDowell about werewolf segregation. Kate and Duncan are delayed getting to the conference by a huge blizzard and are stuck in a remote cabin, where their attraction to each other is conflicts with their beliefs and loyalties to their organizations. But as the conference continues, they need to decide whose side is the best, while keeping their feelings aside for the good of all.

Even though this isn’t a holiday book, it certainly put me in some holiday spirit: with the blizzard, the fight of opposing sides, all wrapped up in a beautiful lodge. I thought this book would be super serious, but there were so many enjoyable funny sides to this book, that it really went full circle for me. I am looking forward to the next installment of the Wild About You Series: Werewolf in Alaska.

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Kym L

Kym L

Queen’s Ransom: A Sofie Metroplis Novel by Tori Carrington

Read by Kym Lucas

Sofie Metropolis is having a hard time finding the holiday spirit. First, one of her suitors has been deported and the other is playing “now you see me, now you don’t.” Next, she’s somehow managed to acquire yet another lost animal case. Oh, sure, finding Rudolph the reindeer should be easy enough, but when a Greek tycoon tasks the frappe’-gulping PI with finding his kidnapped daughter, Sofie discovers it will take more than iced coffee to get through Christmas alive.

Because I’m a big fan of — okay, sucker for — holiday tales, and also have met Lori and Tony Karayianni (the couple who together write as Tori Carrington), I welcomed the opportunity to read this, their sixth Metropolis novel. As usual, the pair made me long for an ice-cold frappe’ despite the chilly weather. In Queen’s Ransom, the Karyaiannis have gifted us with a holiday tale that’s light on the tinsel, but rich in fun. Now, where did I put that frappe’ recipe?

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joysann

joysann

Charming Freaks by Koko Brown

 

Read by joysann

This fun title holds two erotic novellas:

Charmed – Chloe enjoys the most amazingly realistic erotic dreams starring a handsome Tristan Smythe, only to discover she isn’t dreaming. She has married Tristan during a whirlwind Las Vegas vacation, and now finds herself wondering if his vampiric intimations indicate he’s crazy or she’s crazy, or if her choices were somehow magically influenced.

Nerds Are Freaks Too – Computer nerd Leo has kept his feelings for his best friend Roxanne under wraps for years, but when she hints that she’s looking for something a little less vanilla in her sex-life, Leo knows he can give her what she needs, and more. Now he just has to convince her.

Both of these erotic stories are titillating, but I have a fondness for those beta-male types that sneak up in nerd stories and end up so appealing. Those guys are never quite what you expect them to be. Koko has delivered some sexy fun fantasies.

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Heidi

Heidi

His Mistletoe Bride by Vanessa Kelly

Read by Heidi

When her long-estranged grandfather asks her to leave her Quaker background and return to England, Phoebe Linville made the brave decision to leave America and return by ship, knowing that things will be different. When she arrives, she is met with an unusual request from her grandfather; to marry Major Lucas Stanton. Lucas is handsome and irresistible to Phoebe, and she isn’t sure the marriage is the best idea, but caught in a compromising position, they don’t have a choice. Their stubbornness could cause them not to find true love, especially during the holidays.

This historical brings all the traditional feelings of the holidays, along with family beliefs both from England and America. I found Phoebe delightful with her headstrong ways that had her standing up against her stubborn husband, as well as her seductiveness with him too. The entire book felt full of love, laughter, family, elegance, and happiness, all while dreaming of fancy clothes and sparkling jewelry. A perfect holiday treat to read.

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Joan

Rescue My Heart: an Animal Magnetism Novel by Jill Shalvis

Read by Joan

Adam Connelly was always in trouble growing up and, after a tragic accident, he enlists in the National Guard. He leaves behind a broken-hearted Holly Reid, who tries to move on, but makes some unfortunate choices until returning to run her father’s ranch in Sunshine, Idaho. Adam Connelly has also returned after his years of military service, specializing in search and rescue. Adam still suffers some PTSD from his time in the military, but with the help of therapy, his family and current work training and working with search and rescue dogs, he is doing better. When Holly’s father goes missing she reaches out to Adam to help her find him before a huge snow storm hits the mountains.

This is the third book in Jill Shalvis’ Animal Magnetism series. Though I have not read the previous two books, Animal Magnetism and Animal Attraction, I felt I did not need to have read them to enjoy this story. I enjoyed this book as it deals with what our soldiers can go through and how animals can be a comfort and great therapy for them or anyone.

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Heidi

Heidi

A Cowboy for Christmas: A Jubilee, Texas Novel by Lori Wilde

Read by Heidi

Lissette Moncrief is facing more loss than she cares to think about. Her husband dies in Afghanistan and leaves all his benefits to his half-brother Rafferty Jones, a man she never knew about. Now, she learns her little boy Kyle is slowly going deaf, and she has no extra money for his health care. As she feels her world crumbling, she runs her car right into Rafferty’s pickup truck. Rafferty is in town to offer help, and she wants none of it, no matter how attractive Rafferty the cowboy is.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It put me in such a holiday mood, even with the seriousness of loss and love of a sick child. I admired Lissy’s character so much. She shows so much strength, love and drive to help her little boy. The secondary story line of Lissy’s mother-in-law Claudia not only creates conflict, but shows the strength in Lissy. This book has motivated me to read more from Jubilee.

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Bottom Line: Whatever I choose to read on these cold, dark evenings heading into winter, I’ll be snuggled down under a nice warm afghan and a couple of cats. Toasty.

 

Lori Foster’s Reader & Author Get-Together

Barbara Vey -- June 8th, 2012

joysann

Hi. joysann here again to tell you about the Annual Reader & Author Get-Together.

Lori Foster, Duffy Brown, and Linda Keller started this little “Get-Together” near Cincinnati eight years ago to be just what it sounds like. They invited a few authors and put out word to a few fans through a loop, and somewhere between 50 and 100 people gathered at the Cincinnati Marriott North to enjoy an informal opportunity to meet and visit.

 

Now the hotel is overrun with 500 book enthusiasts for most of two days, and it’s become quite an event. Readers can meet favorite and find new authors, authors can work at building their readerships and meet with editors and agents, and everyone can simply enjoy a couple of days of fun in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Lori says she believes that a big part of the sense of community that develops is from the huge ballroom, open for the whole of the event, allowing participants to come and go as they please, providing plenty of seating, and allowing friends to gather and visit.

Author Island hosted a Country Western costume party with games and prizes

This year there were two book signings: Friday evening with Digital, POD, and other non-traditionally published authors, and those with donated print books to giveaway; Toni Blake, Jill Shalvis and Shiloh Walker. Saturday was the traditional book signing, sponsored by Barnes and Noble, open to the public, and taking up almost every foot of the hotel’s huge open atruim and into the restaurant and bar. Author Sherrilyn Kenyon signed at both events, with her excited die-hard fans waiting patiently for their turn to meet her.

At these events Lori Foster has been organizing an anthology book with donated novellas by herself and other authors, the proceeds of which go to a charity of her choice, this year benefiting the AAF – Animal Adoption Foundation – a no-kill animal shelter in Hamilton, Ohio.

Four of the five Love Bites Authors; Brenda Jackson, Lori Foster, Jules Bennett, Virna DePaul

Love Bites includes stories by Lori, Brenda Jackson, Catherine Mann, Jules Bennett, and Virna DePaul. It’s a remarkable endeavor.

In fact, the whole event is remarkable in that it is an high-energy, inexpensive event which packs a lot of punch for the money. A $50 registration fee includes a pizza night, 2 delicious buffet meals, and a Saturday morning Continental breakfast. One wonders how that can possibly be, but talking with Lori and Duffy Brown, one learns that the whole operation, which runs like clock-work, is done with very dedicated, enthusiastic and inventive volunteers, and the support of sponsors, like Liquid Silver Publishing, Turquoise Morning Press, Secrets Craving Publishing, Samhain Publishing. All of it…registration, the welcoming committee, raffle coordinators, transportation, troops donations coordinator, and official photographer, all of the work is done by volunteers.

One of the biggest features of the event is the Raffle Drawings. Everyone loves winning prizes, and when the money for the raffle tickets goes entirely to a special charity, donations are generously made. There were 175 raffle baskets donated this year from authors, reviewers, agents, editors, publishers, enthusiastic readers, and even the Marriott Hotel. The funds raised were donated to The One Way Farm Children’s Home, a non-profit organization that cares for the abused, abandoned, neglected, troubled youth, and children with disabilities. And the funds raised on this occasion? Nearly $11,000. Quite remarkable.

Lori Foster, Duffy Brown, and Linda Keller, and their intrepid fleet of volunteers are already planning for next year’s event, finding ways to make it run even more smoothly and provide the best of reader entertainment. Watch for registration in January… this year it sold out in less than one week.

Bottom Line: Lori? Duffy? Save me a place for next year, please.

Bootleg, Babes and Bodies at Duffy’s Speakeasy

Barbara Vey -- June 5th, 2012
joysann

joysann

Hi, it’s joysann here.

When the Ravioli, Manicotti, Cannelloni and Pepperoni Families, et al, meet up for a Mystery Dinner at the hottest juice joint in town, it’s going to be murder. Sixty or so early attendees visiting Cincinnati, Ohio, for the Annual Reader & Author Get-Together were invited to author Duffy Brown‘s home on Thursday for a fun-filled evening, playing their roles and trying to figure out “whodunnit”.

Hoochie Coochie Cannelloni (author Keri Stevens) rouged her knees and danced to all that jazz

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Gangsters and flappers and counterfeit money galore kept the action going while guys and dolls searched for clues and shared their secrets. It was great entertainment for everyone involved, even though the end of the outdoor party was a bit rushed when the thunder and rain blew in. Duffy and her family worked very hard to write a mystery and set it all up so everyone could have a good time, a good Italian food buffet, and bootleg hooch.

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My Pepperoni Family: L-R: Joan Short, Kym Lucas, Alina Federspiel, Kathy Andrico, Rosie Murphy, Niny Negron, author Annette Blair

 

Author Duffy Brown

Speaking of writing mysteries, Duffy Brown’s new Consignment Shop Mystery series will be out this fall with Iced Chiffon.

Having worked for several years in one of the Snooty Fox Consignment Shops around Cincinnati, Duffy found interesting material there with which to work on her books. And since so many Get-Together attendees enjoy finding deals at consignment shops, she arranged a bus tour to those shops, providing beverages and box lunches through the few hours it took. It was delightful; I found the grandchild-sized girl clothes especially dangerous to my wallet. I wasn’t the only one who found treasures impossible to pass up, which wasn’t a bad thing at all, considering.

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Consignment Shop Shoppers

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Donna Speigel & The Snooty Fox

The owner of these shops, Donna Speigel, uses proceeds from sales to help fund the Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati, which she founded, a special school for children with disabilities like spina bifida and cerebral palsy. This brings us back around to the Annual Reader & Author Get-Together, from which a percentage of bookfair sales will be donated to the Conductive Learning Center.

More on that exceptional event to follow…

Bottom Line: It was Elorana-the Eliminator Pepperoni