Tag Archives: Jonathan Maberry

WW Ladies/Men Book Club

Barbara Vey -- February 27th, 2013

I can’t believe that next Monday starts the week long Anniversary Bash.  Authors, this is your last chance to offer something up for the readers.  You can register and get details here.  Readers, mark it on your calendar.  The party goes from Monday through Saturday with tons of giveaways.

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joysann

joysann

Trapped by Kevin Hearne

Read by joysann

Atticus O’Sullivan, the last druid in the world, has spent the last 13 years training his apprentice for this time when she can be bound to the earth and become the first new druid in a thousand years. But conflicts from Atticus’ past adventures catch up with him, pitting him against gods and goddesses from several pantheons and some of the Tuatha de Danaan from his own country. But he can’t allow even the beginning of Ragnarok interfere with this important task.

Atticus is known as the Iron Druid, and Kevin Hearne’s series is fascinating excitement from book to book. The characters are fantastic and captivating, and story is written with charm and humor. I best enjoy the laugh-out-loud moments that are frequent and in just the right places, making it a series I want to suggest to every reader.

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Heidi

Heidi

True Love at Silver Creek Ranch: A Valentine Valley Novel by Emma TrueLoveSilverCreekCane

Read by Heidi

Adam DeSantis is back to Valentine Valley after his tour of duty, with the understanding how his grandmother’s health is getting worse and needs him. He is reluctant to go back to where he grew up, especially with his hard upbringing; but his grandmother sacrificed for him, so he must be there for her. Brooke Thalberg has been working hard for her family at Silver Creek Ranch, and there is always more to do. She seems to be wanting something different, something more, but isn’t sure what or how. When her father hires Adam to work at the ranch, Brooke becomes his boss, so the feelings that are making her insides stir, must be put away, no matter how hard it is.

You know how wonderful it is to put on comfortable clothes? You relax, and feel better inside and out. That is how I felt after reading this book. Great all over. And even with the side stories of the grandmothers fighting for the city, and Brooke helping out the local youth in town, it really made everything comfortable and cozy.

Joe

Joe

Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar by Lexi Georgedemonhuntinginadivebar-200x296

Read by Joe

Half-demon Rebekah “Beck” Damian owns a bar that caters to the paranormal residents of Hannah, AL. Beck’s firmly controlled life goes to hell in a hurry when a hot, arrogant Dalvahni demon hunter shows up, throwing Beck into infuriating lust and a load of unwanted trouble. Conall thinks Beck knows something about a weapon that can wound the near-invulnerable Dalvahni. Prickly Beck is bewilderingly attractive to the “unemotional creature of logic” that is the Dalvahni warrior, plus he’s supposed to kill demons, not fall for them. Added for fun and depth are a sweet shifter dog, a depressed vegetarian zombie, a screechy Wampus Kitty, and scores more.

For me this book fit into the moderately interesting category. The humor and snark in it kept me laughing, but there were parts of the romance elements that seemed rushed and odd to me. This may read differently for someone else. Not having read the first two, I don’t know if I would have gotten to book three if it took until now to introduce any weakness for the demon hunters other than human women. It’s part of the reason I never got fully behind Superman. Still, even with some of the leaps in romantic logic that come close to the physics examples given in a Die Hard movie, it was a solid read. A quick one too as there was always action going on.

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Joan

Joan

Untamed by Sara Humphreys

Read by Joan

Amoveos are shape shifters of various clans ruled by a high council, and have pre-designated mates, their one true love that they must find in life. Unlike most half breed Amoveos, Layla Nickelsen knows what she is and is determined to choose her own mate. However, when William Fleury of the Falcon clan shows up in her dreams and then at her farm she begins to find out more about herself and her future.

Untamed is the third book in the Amoveo Legend series. Not having read the first two books, I still was able to easily pick up the story line. It was a very exciting and romantic story with lots of conflict and tension in this paranormal world. I am anxious to read the next book, Undenied.

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Alice

Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas

Read by Alice

David Hillsborough, Viscount Hastings, saves Helena Fitzhugh, whom he’s secretly loved for years, from ruin when he offers her marriage after she is found in an ill-conceived rendezvous with married man. Helena reluctantly accepts, though she’s detested David since their childhood. Surviving an accident in which Helena loses her memory, David lives in fear of her recovery, thus ending the marriage he’s always desired.

I really enjoyed this historical with its twists and turns. It was romantic and charming, and made for an interesting read.

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Ashley

Ashley

The Enchanted Land By Jude DeverauxThe-Enchanted-Land

Read by Ashley

Morgan Wakefield father has died leaving her his ranch in New Mexico but the only way to inherit it is if she marries and lives with her husband there for a year. For shy, simple, plain Morgan this is a nightmare. But then she meets the handsome Seth Colter and proposes a marriage of convenience to him. Together they sent off on the Santa Fe trial where they will encounter dangers they never expected. Just when one challenge is over another occurs and the new lovers will have to fight for future together on their wild and enchanted ranch in New Mexico.

This might be Jude Deveraux best novel! Its an emotional rollercoaster, there are so many surprising twists and turns in the plot, I could not put it down! The Enchanted Land is truly an enchanted novel with adventure, thrills, and a steamy hot romance. It is honestly one the best western historical romance novels I have read this year!

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joysann

joysann

An Apple for the Creature, an anthology of stories edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L P Kelner

Read by joysann

Here is another of those fantastic anthologies that bring together short stories by multiple excellent authors, many of whom are favorites of mine and some who are new to me. ALL of the stories are exciting and chilling. The premise here is learning, whether as student, teacher or innocent bystander in a wide variety of spooky situations.

These incredible authors are Ilona Andrews, Amber Benson, Rhys Bowen, Mike Carey, Charlaine Harris, Donald Harstad, Steve Hockensmith, Nancy Holder, Faith Hunter, Toni L. P. Kelner, Marjorie Liu, Jonathan Maberry, Thomas Sniegoski. Some of the stories are related to a series the author may have going, and some go off in a wholly new direction for the author. Each of these stories were enthralling, and more than a few gave me goosebumps. They make for an excellent read.

Bottom Line:  Been snowing here for 2 days days…good thing it’s bright and sunny in my fantasy world of books.

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Email: bvey@publishersweekly.com

 

Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans

Barbara Vey -- December 17th, 2012

I’ve never gone to a writer’s conference in December, but if you want to attend one in an amazing city, head to New Orleans.  Heather Graham always did this conference over Labor Day weekend, but constant worry about hurricanes had her try a change in the date and I’d have to say it really paid off.

New Orleans in December is a sight to behold.  Gorgeously decked out in all the Christmas glory, the shops even have Christmas vampire and voodoo stuff.  I guess I never thought of the two items in the same sentence.  I’m glad I had a chance to experience it.

If you’ve never attended Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans event, you are in for a treat.  While it’s a smaller conference, the intimacy is what makes it so special. She hand picks her special guest and they all have something unique to offer.  There are the usual panels, but there are also interviews with the big name authors.  The questions and answers are are sometimes surprising, but always entertaining.

David Morrell, James Rollins, Cherry Adair, Jonathan Maberry

David Morrell, James Rollins, Eileen Dreyer, Jonathan Maberry

James Rollins is a New York Times bestselling author, but did you know he’s also a veterinarian?  He still volunteers his services and has found a special place in his heart and books for dogs used in the military.   Jonathan Maberry most notably writes horror, but has been writing a YA series about Zombies (the good kind).  Did you know he was a body guard earlier in his career?  Eileen Dreyer started out writing medical suspense books which would explain her nursing background.  David Morrell, best known for his Rambo series explained why he wanted to stretch his wings and try writing a western.  David feels that it helps the author to stay fresh when he/she tries new things.

Paula Eykelhof, Connie Perry, Joan Schluhafer

Cocktail party time with Paula Eykelhof, Connie Perry, Joan Schluhafer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our audience

Our audience

I was on a branding panel with Joan Schluhafer, Don Lucey from Harlequin and Tony and Tori Eldridge.  Joan is a publicist, Don is the head of publicity for Harlequin, Tori adapts books into tv and movie as a screenwriter and Tony is a movie producer who’s next film The Equalizer will feature Denzel Washington and start shooting in spring.  All very fascinating and I felt out of my league.  They had so many interesting things to say that I was up at the table furiously taking notes to I can pass them all on to you in future workshops and panels I do.  Don explained that Harlequin is serious working with authors to give them everything they need to be successful and Joan (who is the very organized one of the group had meticulous notes and made us all look good.  Me, I stumbled my way through, but was well received which always makes me feel good.

Heather Graham and Shara Waas

Heather Graham and Shara Waas

I met Shara Waas , 2012 winner of Heather’s contest, Giving Back to Your Community.  Shara wrote about working and volunteering with therapy dogs for twelve years and the satisfaction and joy she received from it.  Shara was in awe of the authors and the whole event.  She told me she was thrilled to win and experience this once in a lifetime opportunity.

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Time for the Vampire Ball

Time for the Vampire Ball

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Heather Graham doesn’t just sit back and let others do the workshops, she is the driving force behind the shows put on during the event.  This year’s theme was Vampires on the Titanic.  It was a clever take on the idea that Jack could have been saved if 1) Rose would have just moved over on that plank or 2) the vampires had only made him a vampire and they turned everyone on the ship into vampires, it could be a happy ending.  The show was also dotted with Christmas songs that strangely fit into a doomed ship filled with vampires.

Also attending the conference was Heidi, one of the WW Ladies.  She won the trip from Heather at my Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon last April. Here’s her take on the event:

Cherry Adair and Heidi

Cherry Adair and Heidi

Heather Graham and Heidi

Heather Graham and Heidi

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was really impressed by the variety of panels scheduled during the entire weekend It was really hard to pick one or two to attend. The kick off of the welcome party was amazing. I was overwhelmed by all of the writers, publishers, agents and editors. PLUS to be able to meet Heather Graham, James Rollins and Eileen Dreyer, I think I said WOW a million times. But it was so fun to see them and have a regular type of conversation even though I was gushing like a school girl. James has a special place in my heart now being a Chicago boy! :)

On Saturday, I had the pleasure to hear Jonathan Maberry during breakfast, and it is truly amazing to hear what a unique background he has had. His sense of humor I enjoyed most of all. It made me feel right at home. He asked me later in the day what kind of writer I am. I never looked at myself as a writer, but technically I am now, so that was a really cool revelation.

The panel of speakers later in the morning were so awesome because you really got to hear all of their journeys into writing. I loved that is isn’t all cookie cutter writer stories of their beginnings. Eileen, James and Jonathan had me laughing quite a bit, I had a hard time taking notes. I kept thinking they are like secret agent writers: “trauma nurse by day, romance writer by night.”

The special dinner on Saturday was the most unique experience of my life. I never imagined vampires on the Titanic, but I sure can now!! To know that Heather had her band there, and wrote the play that went on during dinner really showed how much she loves her life. I have such respect for that.

Watching Barbara from the sidelines, talking to everyone at the event, as well as bringing in strangers from the hotel to meet authors, with such a passion and love of reading, was really a hoot. Barbara is truly gifted in her element and it was really fun to witness it.

All in all, it was such an honor to be able to attend this event, thanks to Heather Graham. To be able to meet so many people who love what they do, makes me want to work harder in my life, because I love that I do. I have been blessed to come to New Orleans and it will be an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

Oh, by the way, did I mention the food??? YUMOLICIOUS!!!

It’s obvious that Heidi enjoyed herself and together we explored some of New Orleans including the famous Cafe du Monde and it’s famous beignets.  I looked like the abominable snowman from the shower of powder sugar that loads down the pastry.  Of course, I’d do it again in a heart beat.

The conference ended with a book signing.

Kelli Stanley

Kelli Stanley at book signing

Kate Poole at book signing

Kate Poole at book signing

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Bottom Line: I’ve already been invited back for next year and I hope to see you there!

Weekly Giveaways

From Marilyn Baron:  FREE SWEET ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY WITH LOVE STORIES FOR EVERY SEASON PLUS TWO WEEKS OF FREE READS & PRIZES. Petit Fours and Hot Tamales bloggers have published a FREE anthology called SEASONS AND SEASHELLS just in time for the holidays.  You can read it here.  As a bonus, from December 17-Dec. 28, we will publish all or portions of each short story of our Group Novel on our blog. Author prizes awarded daily plus three great prizes to be announced on December 31. Visit our blog to find out more. Here’s what we’re giving away this year: A $5 Starbucks gift card; A PF&HT cookbook and the grand prize: A lovely pair of sterling silver seashell earrings from Nature’s Jewelry.

From Kristie Cook First, the first book in my series, Promise, is FREE (no end date as of right now) for all ebook formats:  Kindle:   Nook  Also on iBookstore, Kobo and Smashwords

Secondly, 13 other authors and I are doing a Holiday Hullabaloo giveaway with 155 prizes over 12 days, including a $200 gift card at the end. People can start at my website, where it’s going daily until 12/21 (started on 12/10), and the links to the other authors’ giveaways are at the bottom.
Third, I’m giving away a free ebook of any of my books here.
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From Katy Lee:  This week I am holding a Goodreads Giveaway of REAL VIRTUE! It’s just one click to enter, and you can find the link on my website. 
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From Pam, Affaire de Coeur Magazine: 3 contests! Spread the word. Links can all be found on our main page.
2. Kaylin McFarren’s — The Inspiration Behind the Story, Click here
3. Pambling Roads~~DC — have a story you want to share about a trip you have made or your visit to Washington, DC. You could win a “I Can’t Live Without Books” T-shirt purchased from the Library of Congress Gift Shop in Washington, DC. Click here.

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.