Tag Archives: Mary Buckham

What the Author Recommends…

Barbara Vey -- September 26th, 2013

authorsrecommendingbooks

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Authors Recommending Books

Barbara Vey -- September 5th, 2013

authorsrecommendingbooks

Welcome back to our new regular feature, Authors Recommending Books.  Want to know what authors read in their spare time?  Check it out here.  Want to know what your favorite author is reading?  Ask it in the comments section and I’ll try to get the answer for you.  Good books aren’t always just new books as you can see here.  Authors can send their recommendations to maggiemaepw @ gmail.com.

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The Best ManJeanne Adams recommends The Best Man by Kristan Higgins.  Kristin blood_trinityhas a knack for pulling the heartstrings even as she gets the reader involved with her quirky, funny and fabulous characters.  You get to know the town, the family and feel a part of every story she writes.

Tracey Devlyn highly recommends Blood Trinity by Dianna Love and Sherrilyn Kenyon. I love the entire Belador series! Evalle is bad ass and the sexual tension between Evalle and Storm keeps me turning the pages.

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9780451235527_TakesAWitch_CV.indd13187657
Shirley Jump highly recommends Carolina Home by Virginia Kantra. I love everything she writes! She never fails to make me cry!

Tonya Kappes recommends It Takes a Witch:  A Wishcrafter Mystery by Heather Blake.  Heather  delivers a page turning mystery with many subplots that tie right into the main plot. Blake has built a magical world full of whimsical characters and creatures with a fun loving witch family in the Enchanted Village. Blake will have you wondering who did what and laughing all at the same time.

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Flashpoint
Leaving HavenAllison Leotta recommends Kathleen McCleary’s Leaving Haven.  The first chapter starts with a woman leaving a much-wanted baby at the hospital, and the rest of the book goes back in time to reveal why she did it.  This is an emotionally charged and incredibly plotted story about friendship, love, betrayal, and consequences.

Adrienne Giordano recommends Flashpoint by Suzanne Brockmann. Flashpoint is part of the Troubleshooters series and was the first book I read by Suzanne. After reading it, I went back and read each book in the series and love her flawed characters.

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English GirlMarilyn Baron recommends The English Girl, by Daniel Silva sign-off-320(Suspense and Foreign Intrigue). I love Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon character—master assassin, art restorer and spy—and this novel may be the best yet in his series. Mystery, mistresses, mayhem and great writing. This book has it all.

Mary Buckham loves Patricia McLinn’s, Sign Off. The debut of a new mystery series the finely developed characters, whip-sharp dialogue and setting put this on my keeper shelf.

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Lady AwakenedBeauty and the Bounty HunterAngie Fox recommends Beauty and the Bounty Hunter by Lori Austin (who also writes as Lori Handeland). Sweet, sexy and funny – with a plot that knocks westerns on their ear. I never knew what was going to happen next and I loved every minute of it.

Jeannie Lin says “The last book that blew me away was A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant. A widow in a desperate situation enlists a young nobleman to provide her with an heir that she can pass off as her late husband’s. The emotion between the hero and heroine built page upon page and felt so achingly real that you believed and hurt for them through every moment.

The winner of yesterday’s wonderful gift basket from Nancy Naigle is Crystal Fulcher.  Congratulations!  Please contact Nancy at nancy @ nancynaigle.com to claim your prize.

Bottom Line:  “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” ― Jane Austen

Boxed Set Madness

Barbara Vey -- August 21st, 2013

The hottest thing I’ve seen around lately is the boxed set of ebooks.  A group of authors get together to sell one of each of their books in a set, but the neat thing is that they don’t even have to be the same genre.  Some of them are, but others offer the readers a taste of different genres.  Readers come out winners because for usually under $1 they can own 6-10 books, sometimes written by award winning authors and find some new ones to read at the same time.  The upside to this is the opportunity for authors to have the set sell so well that it hits the NY Times Bestseller list.

I asked a few of these groups about the experience of getting these books out there with so many different personalities to work with.  Representing their goups are Dianna Love, Debra Webb and Jana DeLeon.

BV:  Why did you pick the group of authors you did?

DL:  With the exception of one person who was invited because she’d built a substantial following and wrote in our genre, this group of authors had some prior connection to someone in the group.  We’ve met each other over the years through publishing and at events.  The key element was to have a group authors who a) have an established reader base because they all publish quality stories, b) were savvy businesswomen who would step up to get the word out about the set and c) great personalities (no whiners or divas). Plus each of our authors truly cares about her readers.

DW:  When putting together the Dangerous Desires box set choosing the authors to invite was an easy task. Not only are they good friends but they’re all amazingly talented authors! Most are veteran writers who have a decade or more in the business!

JD:  The Indie Voice is more than just a group of authors who collaborated on a boxset. We are a ten-member LLC dedicated to promoting indie publishing and authors. Four of the members met at a conference and decided to start an author support group. The other six members were recommended by existing members and voted on by the group. We wanted authors who produced high quality work and were interested in or already making a big splash in indie publishing. Most of us write romance or a romance hybrid, but some of us also write in other genres, so we’re not genre specific.

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BV:  How is it working out?

DW:  The project went together smoothly! The hardest decision was the cover art. We went through a couple of versions before we got where we wanted to be. Working together has been a joy!

JD:  Absolutely fantastic! It’s an incredible group of women with so many ideas between us that we’ll never have time to execute them all. Being in the group has elevated all of our writing and motivated us to push our careers to another level. The boxset sold so many copies that we hit the USA Today list two weeks in a row and the New York Times list at number seven.

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DL:  We have an author dream team.  The enthusiasm for this project has been amazing and there’s a high level of expertise for anything needed.  If a problem arises, everyone jumps in from all directions with a solution or suggestions.
 
BV:  What’s in it for the reader?

JD:   When we released our boxset, readers had a chance to pick up eight full-length novels for only .99. That’s a great opportunity to try a broad sampling of authors for a very low price. We also have a weekly newsletter that provides sales information on indie books as well as reviews of indie books. We want to promote high-quality indie works

DW:  The readers are at the heart of why we decided to publish this project. All involved are multi-published authors. Every book we have the luxury of writing and publishing is because of the readers. We wanted to show our appreciation by offering five full length novels and two bonus novellas for a low price. We’re planning to do this a couple of times each year from now on. With the future projects we’ll be writing new stories that will only be available in the collections.

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DL:  The reader gets a chance to read “new to them” stories that have been vetted, because we picked the best books for this project.  On top of that, the reader takes home a mother lode of ten full-length novels for pennies.  THE PERFECT TEN box set is available on iTunes, Nook and Kobo and Amazon for 99¢ . Plus we have events planned this week, like The Perfect Ten Facebook Party on Thursday with tons of giveaways all day.

BV:  What’s the benefit to the authors?

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DL:  Authors have always gone into anthologies to reach new readers.  This is like a mega-anthology except that instead of shorter novellas ALL of our books are full novels, everything from romantic suspense to urban fantasy to romantic mysteries to paranormal and even a sci-fi young adult bonus book.  We’re introducing all our readers to each other’s books.

JD:  Exposure. Readers that might have never bought an individual book by an author in the boxset, read the book in the boxset and went on to buy other books by those authors.

DW:  As established authors each of us has an audience of readers who enjoy our stories. Publishing the box set allows us to provide our readers with the opportunity to try new authors at a really good price. Any time an author gains a new reader it’s a huge benefit. Working together we can reach out to folks perhaps we haven’t reached before.

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BV:  What has the experience been like (good and bad)?

DW:  This has been a terrific experience with a group of ladies who are kind and generous and, as I said, huge talents

JD:  The experience has been incredible. We are all now New York Times bestselling authors, and we acquired many new readers. The only downside is finding the time to execute all the new ideas generated by the group.

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DL:  We’re right in the middle of our launch week and we’re having a blast.  Our box set screamed up the rankings the first day and is still climbing.  We hope to reach the #1 spot.  The readers are posting everywhere to say thank you. What’s not to love about that? :)

BV:  Would you do it again?

JD:  Our boxset, To Die For, was a temporary release only and pulled from sale after a month. We have already discussed doing another boxset soon. We have completed two other collaborations since the release of the boxset. The first collaboration is Summer on Seeker’s Island, a romance anthology set on a fictional tropical island off the coast of Florida. The second collaboration is a non-fiction work called The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing, which provides indie authors a blueprint of information needed to develop a successful indie career.

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DL:  In a heartbeat if it was with this group of authors.

DW:  Absolutely, look for My Evil Valentine next February!

BV:  Please feel free to offer any other things I may have missed in my questions or that you think may be important or interesting to the readers.

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DL:  These box sets normally are on sale for a very short time, so readers should buy as soon as they see it or risk missing the deal.   There’s never been a better time to be a reader.

I’ve ordered all the sets for my e-reader and plan on giving a few away as gifts (thoughtful, fun and the price is right!).  Even you can win a set.  Just post a comment and we’ll give away one of each set of boots to three different readers.  Winners posted tomorrow, so check back.

The Perfect 10Dianna Love, Sandy Blair, Misty Evans, Adrienne Giordanno, Mary Buckham, Alexa Grace, Tonya Kappes, Nancy Naigle, Norah Wilson, Micah, Caida

Dangerous DesiresDebra Webb, CJ Lyons, VR Marks, Vicki Hinze, Peggy Webb, Kathy Carmichael, Regan Black

The Indie Voice (Name of group of authors, not title of box set) – Tina Folsom, Dorien Kelly, Jana DeLeon, Colleen Gleason, Jasinda Wilder,Debra Holland, Denise Grover Swank, Theresa Ragan, Liliana Hart, Jane Graves

Bottom Line:  Food may fill your tummy, but a full e-reader will fill your soul.

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

 

 

 

 

When Librarians Meet Authors

Barbara Vey -- October 1st, 2010
Hanging Peppers at Pike's Place Market

Hanging Peppers at Pike Place Market

I couldn’t have picked a more picture perfect day to land in Seattle.  Mary Buckham picked me up at the airport and we quickly dumped my luggage at the hotel so she could take me on a whirlwind tour of Seattle.
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The lush greenery, the blue water (all over) and white capped mountains all looked postcard perfect.  Mount Rainer rising over it all was breathtaking.  The idea of floating bridges kind of scared me, but I tried not to show it.  I did pass up driving in the mountains because, yes, I am chicken.  So, we stayed in the city and spent hours tramping through Pike Place Market.

in the city and spent hours tramping through Pike’s Place Market.
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I didn’t realize how huge that place was.  There are shops and stalls that cover 3 floors.  There’s lot’s of art, crafts, jewelry and flowers.  It seems like miles of beautiful flowers that were so reasonably priced that I wanted to buy just bunches and bunches of them.  And the food!  Everything you can imagine.  Lots of honey, jellies, jams, tons of fresh fruits and vegetables and then the fish market.  A great tourist attraction is when they start throwing the huge fish to each other.  People gather all around to snap pictures.  I wish I would have had more time to explore, but we had a library event to get to.
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Authors at King County Library

Authors at King County Library

King County Library is the second largest library system in the country.  Library Public Programing Coordinator Debbie Schneider is the organizer extraordinaire of the event that she co-hosts with Mary Buckham.  This fourth annual event introduces librarians to authors.  Set up like speed dating, there are tables, labeled by genres, that are assigned authors.  Every 15 minutes the bell rings and librarians change tables and get to meet the writers to learn about them and what they’ve done and are working on.   This gives the librarians a chance to see what’s new out there and find some new and exciting choices of reads to buy and offer their customers.  It’s a definite win-win situation.

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While I met some authors that I can’t wait to try, I was also thrilled to see some authors there who I already knew and enjoy

Librarians at King County Library

Librarians at King County Library

their work like Julia Quinn and Jane Porter.  The librarians walked away with loaded gift bags, books, stuffed animals, t-shirts and bookmarks.  But the definite highlight was the chance to interact with the authors that they can now go back and recommend to their patrons and to me, that’s the most precious gift an author can get.
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Today is the start of the Emerald City Writers Conference and I can’t wait to get started.  The library event was the appetizer and now I’m ready for the main course.
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Bottom Line: I did get to see the Space Needle and it was truly amazing.