Tag Archives: Nancy Naigle

Hot New Tuesday Releases

Barbara Vey -- January 28th, 2014

With so many choices of books being released every week, I’m having trouble keeping up.  This just goes to show you the importance of a great opening to a book.  If it doesn’t hold my interest, I’m more likely to put it down and try something else.  Life’s too short to waste on books that aren’t for me.  Good thing there are so many to choose from.  Definitely something for everyone.

Also, 2 special giveaways today.  Authors will pick the winners who will directly contact the authors for their prizes.  Just comment for a chance to win!

NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author Cheryl Bolen will offer either an autographed copy of Marriage of Convenience (A Love Inspired Historical set in Regency England) or any of her ebooks, readers’ choice.

From Nancy Naigle:  Escape to Adams Grove or giggle with The Granny Series.  One reader who comments “Adams Grove” will be automatically entered in a drawing for an Adams Grove Prize Pack which includes a signed copy of Mint Juleps & Justice!  Compliments of Nancy Naigle.

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At The River’s Edge by Mariah Stewart (Ballantine)

Rooms to Die For by Jean Harrington (Carina Press)

First to Burn by Anna Richland (Carina Press)

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Paradox Lost by Libby Drew (Carina Press)

Cloaked in Danger by Jeannie Ruesch (Carina Press)

Home to Seaview Key by Sherryl Woods (Harlequin MIRA)

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The Forbidden Queen by Anne O’Brien (Harlequin MIRA)

My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M. Cameron (Harlequin HQN)

Blindfolded Innocence by Alessandra Torre (Harlequin HQN)

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The Swiss Affair by Emylia Hall (Harlequin MIRA)

Say I Do by Lucy Kevin (Harlequin HQN)

Highlander Mine by Juliette Miller (Harlequin HQN)

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Going Twice by Sharon Sala (Harlequin MIRA)

Cider Brook by Carla Neggers (Harlequin MIRA)

Love In The Library by Cheryl Bolen

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Mint Juleps & Justice by Nancy Naigle

Burn For Me by Cynthia Eden (Brava / Kensington)

Dark Moon: Spirit Wild by Kate Douglas (Aphrodisia / Kensington)

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Secret: The Elementals #4 by Brigid Kemmerer (Kteen / Kensington)

The Consequences by Colette Friedman (Kensington)

Night Calls by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel  (Book View Café)

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Magic Possessed by Jaime Rush  (Hachette Books)

 

In the Dark by Sally Eggert  (Loveswept)

 

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Free Giveaway this WeekfreeStuff

From Collette Cameron:  Collette Cameron’s Blog Hop Giveaway, January 16th-31st. Thanking and appreciating those who support authors. A truckload of books and prizes from a host of authors, including a kindle paperwhite. Enter here.

 

Bottom Line:  Today is National Kazoo Day.  If you’ve never played one, you don’t know what you’re missing.

 

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.

Death By Chocolate at RWA

Barbara Vey -- July 26th, 2013

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With so much going on, you do have to make the tough choices at RWA.  Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t attend the Death by Chocolate party at RWA, but lucky for you Nancy Naigle did and is the Cub Reporter today.  Author Nancy Naigle (Wedding Cakes and Big Mistakes), lives on a 76 acre goat farm where she juggles a career as an Senior Vice President with a major financial institution with her love for writing. She spends every spare moment working on her next book in hope that her readers will find a little life balance in the pages of her stories, and fall in love with the characters and towns as much as she has.

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Hey y’all! Nancy Naigle here, back after a fun week in Hot-Lanta for the annual RWA Conference and excited to share some of the fun with you. I’m bringing you the update from one of my favorite parts of the week. The DEATH BY CHOCOLATE Party. Yeah! Seriously!

Each year the RWA Mystery/Romantic Suspense Chapter, also referred to as Kiss of Death, throws a bash that tempts the taste buds and brings the best in our genre to the forefront in the Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Ceremony.

 

Look at this spread!
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Chocolate fondue for fruit and angel food cake, parfaits, an assortment of delectable cakes and concoctions and I think my favorite was the German chocolate…no wait, the chocolate cheesecake….no, maybe the fudgy fondue that was so amazing I wish I could have stolen the whole copper pot! I totally fell off the diet, but it was so worth it.

As we noshed on the yummies and chatted with old chapter sisters and made new friends it was fun to look around the room at all of the amazing books that our chapter has published over the past year. There were about six bulletin boards full of covers.  <insert book cover photo>

We had some giveaways, too! Cool Kiss of Death chapter tote bags filled with I swear 40lbs of stuff. Books, champagne, chocolate and more!!

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Then, it was time. The Award Ceremony for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense for Unpublished and then the Published authors.

UNPUBLISHED

Category/Series::                                           Susan Spaulding, Shielded Hearts

Historical::                                                       Deborah Uchida, In A Sea Of Change

Inspirational::                                                  Bethany Mcmanus, Raw Nerves

Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy::             Tina Gower, Identity

Single Title::                                                     Sharon Wray, Rogue’s Escape

Mainstream::                                                   Mary Ann Corrigan, The Art of Deceit

OVERALL DAPHNE Unpublished::                Sharon Wray

 

Joanna Campbell Slan

Joanna Campbell Slan

PUBLISHED 

 

Category/Series::                                           B.J. Daniels, Justice at Cardwell Ranch, Harlequin Intrigue

Historical::                                                       Joanna Campbell Slan, Death  of a Schoolgirl, Berkley Trade

Inspirational::                                                  Elizabeth Camden, Against the Tide, Bethany House

Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy::             Christa McHugh, A Soul For Trouble, Self-Published

Single Title::                                                     Cindy Gerard, Last Man Standing, Pocket Star

Mainstream::                                                   Sandy Parks, Repossessed

OVERALL DAPHNE Published::                                    B.J. Daniels

Congratulations to all the finalists for making this genre sparkle!  You can see the complete list of finalists here.

Hope to see all of you there next year in San Antonio.

Bottom Line:  “Women want love to be a novel, men a short story.” ~ Daphne du Maurier

Self-Publishing Packs ‘Em In At RWA

Barbara Vey -- July 24th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts from Amazon bestseller Nancy Naigle:wedding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BEA Author Breakfast

Barbara Vey -- June 5th, 2013
Nancy Naigle

Nancy Naigle

Today we have Cub Reporter, author Nancy Naigle (Wedding Cakes and Big Mistakes), who was kind enough to share her experience at the BEA Breakfast.  This was a separate event that I didn’t have a ticket to, so thanks Nancy for telling us about it.  Nancy Naigle lives on a 76 acre goat farm where she juggles a career as an Senior Vice President with a major financial institution with her love for writing. She spends every spare moment working on her next book in hope that her readers will find a little life balance in the pages of her stories, and fall in love with the characters and towns as much as she has.


Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler

Book Expo kicked off on May 30th at 8am with the Author Breakfast. This year’s breakfast featured Ishmael Beah, Wally Lamb, and Doris Kearns Goodwin – and a special treat was the master of ceremonies, Chelsea Handler. Not known for her morning, she shared a funny story about her red-eye flight from NYC to Book Expo and counting down the minutes before she could take a sleeping pill…which was impacted by a truck drivers miscalculation of his truck height and the Lincoln Tunnel and things seemed to go downhill from there. She offered to read a passage from her new book, UGANDA Be Kidding Me coming out in October, but then admitted it wasn’t done and she asked for the extension from the podium.

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Doris Kearns

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Ishmael Beah

Ishmael Beah

 

 

 

 

 

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Following Chelsea is not an easy task, but Ishmael Beah succeeded. His debut was a memoir, but this man is a heckuva storyteller and I have a feeling that his novel, Radiance of Tomorrow, is going to be a good one. Doris Kearns Goodwin shared stories about the dead presidents, and then Wally Lamb took us on a time travel, because in the famous words of Kierkegaard. “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” He shared anecdotes about his childhood and how things impacted him to become a writer. Originally charted to have a career in physical sciences, after one too many dead cat incidents (like the time he was caught officiating a mock wedding between dead cats the class was supposed to be dissecting and of course the class through him under the bus as the mastermind!) Wally switched his focus to writing and storytelling, and aren’t we all glad he did? We received a copy of Wally Lamb’s new book, We Are Water, and I can’t wait to read it and share my thoughts.

Wally Lamb

Wally Lamb

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Wally was the only one brave enough to poke a little fun with the master of ceremonies, Chelsea, saying he’d share a story but he was afraid he would embarrass her with the sex parts. When Chelsea next took the podium she retaliated saying that Wally was clearly obsessed with her and wasn’t it too darn early in the morning to talk sex anyway? It was a fun morning and the entire panel gave heartfelt thanks to the booksellers and librarians that are the connection between readers and writers. I echo that sentiment!

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Bottom Line:  Today is National Moonshine Day…nothing like slamming back some moonshine while reading a good book.

Authors Give Thanks

Barbara Vey -- November 22nd, 2012
What are you thankful for?  Author Jeannie Lin is thankful for her healthy twins, Daniel and Mae-Linh

What are you thankful for? Author Jeannie Lin is thankful for her healthy twins, Daniel and Mae-Linh

While I’m a firm believer in giving thanks everyday (there’s way too much to be thankful for then can be mentioned in one day), I asked a few authors what they are thankful for.

Jeannie Lin:  Last Christmas my twins were 10 days old and fit inside a small gift bag. I’m thankful that today, 11 months later, they are happy and healthy with chubby little cheeks.

 

Marjorie M. Liu:  As always, I am thankful for my family and all my wonderful friends, new and old, and for the blessing of being alive in this beautiful world doing what I love and being with those I love.

Daniel Marks:  I’m thankful to have found such grim, gruesome, like-minded readers and supporters, who’ve made my debut year a fantastic experience!

Military Thanksgiving

Military Thanksgiving

Dianna Love:  I’m thankful for every day I can wake up in a country where my family is safe – huge thanks to our military who won’t be home for the holidays. 
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Tracey Devlyn:  I’m so thankful for my supportive and loving husband, Tim. He’s been my rock and friend for nearly two decades and is a huge source of inspiration when I’m crafting my heroes.
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Nancy Naigle:  Thanksgiving always fosters a vivid recollection of the relationships that have come into my life. I’m so thankful for the friendships, experiences and partnerships that I’ve had this year and look forward to the continued opportunities to share the many blessings with others.

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Lisa Kessler:  I’m thankful for my amazing writer friends who are always there to buoy my spirits. Parts of this year were bleak and painful, and yet, they always made me smile and I still finished two more books in spite of the drama.

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Susan Carlisle:  I’m thankful for readers that make being an author the best job ever.
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Today I’m thankful for the crazy set of circumstances that led me to this incredible second career and to all the amazing, talented people I’ve had the honor of meeting along the way.
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And what are you thankful for today?  What especially comes to mind as you gather with family and friends?  Is this year different from others?
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Bottom Line:  “Take a moment and think about all you have and not all you want.” ~ Lori Basterash

Thrillerfest

Barbara Vey -- July 19th, 2012
Nancy Naigle

Nancy Naigle

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Today we have Nancy Naigle as our Cub Reporter from Thrillerfest.  Nancy writes love stories from the crossroads of small town and suspense, Sweet Tea and Secrets. Her most recent novel, Out of Focus, is about a woman caught in a web of friendship and deception as she searches for her son. Nancy lives on a working goat farm in Drewryville, VA with her husband, two dogs and more kids (the four-legged kind) than she can keep count of.

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Tracy March and Sandra Brown

Tracy March and Sandra Brown

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I had an exciting weekend in New York City for ThrillerFest. This conference is the International Thriller Writer’s annual event in celebration of thriller and suspense novels.  Highlights included panels with Sandra Brown, RL Stine, Rambo’s daddy – Dave Morrell. At one point on that panel David Morell had just shared that he was a Sinatra freak and RL Stine proceeded to talk about how much he loved scaring kids and Sandra stopped and said in that sweet, southern twang, “I think I must be on the wrong panel. These two are nuts.” She was a delight and if you think she’s a prissy girl, you should’ve have seen her getting down and dirty on the USO tour to support our soldiers.

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Ann Rule

Ann Rule

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Ann Rule was also interviewed about her 30+ bestselling true crime books. I have to say that it was a spine tingling moment as she shared her true-life experience of working alone in a three-story house on a crisis/suicide hotline where she worked side-by-side with Ted Bundy. Um, yeah…that Ted Bundy.  She said they’d saved many lives on that crisis line and he always walked her to her car, reminding her to lock the doors and be careful. Eek! No doubt her bestseller, The Stranger Beside Me, was nerve-wrenching one to write.

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Romance and Thriller author, Catherine Coulter, kicked off her spotlight with letting us know that she chose the chairs rather than the podium or table for her chat because she was the delivery system for the rockin’ shoes she had on (and they were rockin!). She was adorable, witty and charming. I can’t believe the picture of those shoes didn’t come out. Trust me .. they were fabulous!

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Brad Parks

Brad Parks

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At the ThrillerFest Awards Banquet we were treated to a rendition of “Ghost writers in the sky” by Daniel Palmer and Brad Parks. Both sported bad-guy black cowboy hats and Yippee-Yi-Yayed to a cheering crowd. I have to mention that Brad is sporting a new longer hairstyle that some gals just couldn’t keep their hands out of! You can find the recap of the Dan Palmer/Brad Parks song and dance on YouTube.

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This cub reporter had a great few days in the big city. Only this southern girl could be lucky enough to hail a cab to catch the train and get a Scandinavian with bluegrass blaring from the yellow cab. The show was called the moonshine hour all before noon on a Sunday morning.  Yeeeha!

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Bottom Line:  Who’s idea was it to schedule Thrillerfest and Comic Con at the same time?

 

Killer Nashville

Barbara Vey -- September 26th, 2011
Phyllis C. Johnson, Nancy Naigle and reader/aspiring novelist Joe Phillips of Nashville

Phyllis C. Johnson, Nancy Naigle and reader/aspiring novelist Joe Phillips of Nashville

Cub Reporter Nancy Naigle traveled with Phyllis Johnson to Killer Nashville.  They co-wrote inkBLOT, the young adult novel  just released in July under the pen name Johnson Naigle.

 

Cub reporter Nancy Naigle back on the job at Killer Nashville held in Nashville, TN with my writing partner Phyllis Johnson. While Hurricane Irene pounded my home back in Virginia the weekend of August 28th. Founded by film producer, Clay Stafford, Killer Nashville is growing in popularity and attendance. From forensics experts, advice from debut authors, to a track especially for readers, there was much to be learned and a lot of networking going on for both writers and readers.

 

The Hutton Hotel was the host to Killer Nashville this year. It’s a beautiful hotel and Thursday evening Phyllis and I attended the kick-off event – a wine tasting. This southern girl just didn’t have the palette for the fancy wines we tasted, but it sure was fun.

 

Donald Bain

Donald Bain

Keynote speakers were Donald Bain and Robert Dugoni.  Donald Bain is as funny as he is prolific. (He’s written over 100 books!). If you don’t recognize the name, you’ll definitely recognize his work. Donald Bain has written thirty-seven Murder She Wrote books over the past twenty-four years. He’s under contract for three more and these days he collaborates with his sweet bride, Renée, on those books.

Among his successes is the 70’s mega-hit Coffee, Tea, or Me? In his words, “Fluff can be gold!” He’s done a lot of ghost writing and when asked how he dealt with not having his name on the cover of those books, he said, “I got over the ego of it by dedicating each of those books to myself.” Bain takes a “Say no to nothing” approach to writing. Now that doesn’t mean he says yes to everything, but he considers all offers with an open mind. A good lesson for us all no matter what path our lives have us on.

Oh and one other little tidbit about the wonderful Donald Bain…he’s one heck of a drummer. Don wowed the crowd as he played drums with the Killer Nashville Coffin Bangers band on Saturday night. You rock Don!

Robert Dugoni

Robert Dugoni

Robert Dugoni is one of ten children (5 brothers and 4 sisters) and that must have kept him pretty humble because he is as handsome as all-get-out but he doesn’t seem to realize it. He’s so easygoing I feel like even I can call him Bob now! Even when they introduced him as being “the next John Grisham” he maintained that easygoing manner. It was fun to hear him tease about being one of ten, dipping his toes into the practicing lawyer role but always coming back to writing and the mis-steps along his journey. (After seeing him Electric Slide it’s hard to believe he would have any mis-steps…that boy can move!)

 

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for good dads. So it’s probably no surprise that I was endeared Bob’s stories about his own children and how his teen-age son keeps him grounded. We were treated to a special session on Sunday afternoon where Robert took us through a session on craft. I purchased the hard cover of Bob’s latest novel, MURDER ONE, and he autographed it for me. Squeee! Yes! I may have gone a little “fan-girl” on him. I started reading Murder One that night, and loved it. It’s definitely a page-turner to add to your list.

 

Dr. Bill Bass

Dr. Bill Bass

If you ever get the chance to hear Dr. Bill Bass, forensics pathologist and founder of The Body Farm, don’t miss it. He gave a far from toxic talk on skulls and bones. At one point, holding a skull laced with a knitting needle, he described the source of bullet holes. Phyllis said it looked like a skull-kabob. Don’t you just love the things that go through writer’s minds?

 

There was a mock crime scene set up in the hotel parking garage that was so doggone realistic that it was a little creepy, but it was neat to try to wrap your head around the steps in an investigation to figure out what happened. Blood spatter and smear, beer bottle, cigarette butts, a pillow, and yes…even a body among the clues,  made it a clever way to get our minds working.

 

Workshop panels covered such topics as POV, public speaking, marketing, promo, writing sex scenes (woo hoo) and cozy mysteries. The Mood and Atmosphere panel was enlightening. The panel, including author Tracy March (debuting her DC Thriller Girl Three in Jan 2012) gave examples on using setting to drive the mood in a scene. One important note I took away was:  “The writer writes fifty percent and the reader fills in the other fifty percent.”

Bottom Line:  See…we’re all in it together.

 

Monday Giveaways

 

From Romance University:  Romance University has a full week of awesome Visiting Professors lined-up for you. And lots of GIVEAWAYS!

Mon, 9/26 – Every author out there needs a good editor. No matter who you are; no matter how many books you’ve published. DONNELL BELL tells us why. Donnell’s giving away an advanced reading copy of THE PAST CAME HUNTING to one lucky commenter.  #giveaway

Tue, 9/27 – Like the old song from Journey, KARIN TABKE reminds us to “Don’t Stop Believing!” Karin’s giving away a book of her backlist to one lucky commenter. #giveaway

Wed, 9/28 – Thriller writer WENDY CORSI STAUB shares her delight at this summer’s Romance Writers of America’s booksigning event. Wendy’s giving away a copy of LIVE TO TELL and SCARED TO DEATH.  #giveaway

Thu, 9/29 – In Point of View: Channeling Elvis, best selling author PEGGY WEBB tells how she handles multiple point of views, and why she uses the point of view of a dog in her South Cousins mystery series. Peggy’s giving away three copies of ELVIS AND THE MEMPHIS MAMBO MURDERS.  #giveaway

Fri, 9/30 Romantic thriller author JO ROBERTSON gives us the deets on her new release THE AVENGER and a lecture you won’t want to miss! Leave a comment for your chance to win a download of THE AVENGER and THE WATCHER.  #giveaway

From Susan Hanniford Crowley: On Saturday, Oct. 1st, advertising expert and author of Market or Die, Jennifer Fusco will be on Nights of Passion blog for the book launch of Market or Die: Sensible Brand Building Advise for Writers (Second in her series). She will be giving away to one lucky commenter a book of her Market or Die (Vol. 2)

From Jillian Stone GET LOST IN A STORY giveaways for the week of September 26-30

Tuesday  September 27 Melanie Atkins – a back list ebook
Wednesday September 28 Adrienne Giordano – a copy of MAN LAW and a copy of A JUST DECEPTION
Thursday September 29 Theresa Ragan – SIX PACK DRAWING! Five e-books to five commenters and one print copy of RETURN OF THE ROSE.
Friday September 30 Anne Maire Becker an e-book copy of ONLY FEAR
From Christine Merrill: Harlequin has made my first book The Inconvenient Duchess a free PDF download at Tryharlequin.com

 

 

 

Lori Foster’s Reader & Author Get-Together

Barbara Vey -- June 9th, 2011
joysann

joysann

Hi! Joysann here.

Linda Keller, Lori Foster, Dianne Castell

The 7th Annual Reader & Author Get Together from Lori Foster, Dianne Castell, and Linda Keller was held this past weekend in Cincinnati Ohio, and it was a huge success. The low-cost, casual-atmosphere event brings folks back year after year, but, because word of mouth excites new participants, this year was the biggest yet with about 400 attendees.

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Authors at the Reader/Author Get Together

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Nancy Naigle and me

Designed to give readers occasion to meet with authors in an informal setting, it also provides authors a chance to meet with editors, agents and publishers, and maybe find their golden opportunity. Not to mention the adulation of their avid fans. With a pizza party on Friday evening, and breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, there was plenty of time for socializing, meeting favorite authors, and finding new ones.

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One of the big entertainments of the event is the huge raffle for the gift baskets. This year there were 183 astounding baskets of books and treasures donated by authors, publishers, readers, and even the hotel. Several thousand dollars in raffle ticket sales were raised to benefit a couple of Lori’s favorite charities; One Way Farm (for abused or neglected children) and Animal Adoption Foundation.

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Reader Jennifer Allison

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Reader Jennifer Allison complained that she never, ever wins at the many raffles she’s participated in, but her luck changed here. She was thrilled with the wonderful prize she won, with its gazillion books.

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Each year Lori edits an anthology with stories by herself and other popular authors. This year the authors’ proceeds from the sale of The Promise of Love will go to benefit One Way Farm. These touching stories are written by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Sylvia Day, Jamie Denton, Kate Douglas and Kathy Love.

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This was my fourth trip to Cincinnati for this event, and it was the best year yet.  It just keeps getting better and better, and I’ve already got my calendar marked for next year. I see Lori, Dianne and Linda do, too – posted on the website: “Save the Date for the 2012 Reader & Author Get Together – Friday, June 1 – Sunday, June 3, 2012″

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Bottom Line: Today is Donald Duck Day and I know Barbara (Ms Disney) will be all over this.

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WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- May 20th, 2011

Today I’m off for Atlanta and tomorrow I’ll be giving a workshop on Building Reader Loyalty with Dianna Love for the Georgia Romance Writers.  I’ve thrilled because this is a subject close to my heart and I’ve had the opportunity to visit the GRW before, so I’ll get to see a lot of people I know and meet some new ones.

Kym

Kym

Sweet Tea and Secrets by Nancy Naigle

Read by Kym

Grandma Pearl Lives in Adams Grove and is known for her award-winning chocolate pecan pie and for giving out the best advice, whether you ask for it or not! Her Southern Hospitality and Grandmotherly ways
engulf you like a warm hug.  Shortly after returning home to attend a surprise party for Grandma Pearl, Jill gets a call from her ex-fiance’ that Pearl has passed away.  Jill returns to Adams Grove, to find out she didnt know everything about Grandma Pearl.

I found this book to have a small town, welcome home feel.  Adding in the love of Grandma Pearl and suspense of finding out if Jill and Garret’s relationship works out, and will their lives be in jeopardy, made this book a page turner and a must read!

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joysann

joysann

The Deadliest Bite by Jennifer Rardin

Read by joysann

The romance between Jaz and Vayle is still hot and heavy… and it’s interrupted by an assassination attempt on Vayle right in his own home. The assassin is a young man their seer friend Cassandra says is the reincarnation of one of the two sons for whom Vayle has spent centuries searching. This leads to Jaz and gang racing across Europe to find Vayle’s other reincarnated son, and right to the Gates of Hell to prevent demons from invading the world and chaos to reign.

The Jaz Parks paranormal series has been packed with no-holds-barred action and cleverly imaginative situations. The camaraderie of the engaging recurring characters has been enough to bring me back again and again, but the mysteries and magic are just as captivating. This latest book in the series brought me suspense, passion, laughter, romance, and thrills, all overlaid with melancholy knowing that this is the last. (Jennifer Rardin 1965-2010) (Note: I see now that there are some short stories being released.)

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Heidi

Heidi

Chocolate-Covered Crime by Cynthia Hickey (E-Book)

Read by Heidi

Summer Meadows, owner of Summers Confections has gotten caught up in another murder mystery. This one happens to include her cousin Mae Belle, who has been murdered while planning Summer’s wedding. Summer soon realizes there are more disgruntled clients of Mae Belle’s party planning, and the list of suspects continues to grow. Summer’s April Fool’s wedding day is fast approaching but she has promised to solve the murder before she becomes the next target.

I have simply adored all the characters of this story, and truly appreciated that Summer is like a modern day Nancy Drew. The story is also Christian based, and it’s nice to see that the characters are living to a higher standard. This is a great weekend read!

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Wickedly Charming by Kristine Grayson

Read by Kathy

What happens when the fairy tale doesn’t end “Happily Ever After”? Cinderalla turns out to be a spoiled narcissistic brat who abandons her adolescent daughters. The Evil-Step-Mother is lying low, trying to rebuild her tarnished reputation. Prince Charming is middle-aged, divorced and developing a paunch. But he is still able to turn on the charm as he discovers that Evil isn’t so bad after all.

I really enjoyed this very cute romantic twist on the classic fairy tale. Cleverly conceived, it was as charming as the prince, and made me smile.

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joysann

joysann

The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Read by joysann

There’s another sort of stranger danger when a “zoological anthropologist” comes to Grundy, Alaska, to study the reports of people killed by wolves. He believes werewolves are real, and is trying to prove his theory. That poses a dilemma for pack alpha Maggie, for she finds the doctor deliciously irresistible, but it’s her job to protect the pack and keep them hidden from the human world.

This is a paranormal romance of the cutest order. Just like its predecessor, How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf, it is delightfully amusing and entertaining. Infatuated with the characters and the scenario, I read the books back to back, with hardly a pause between.

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Heidi

Heidi

A Turn in the Road by Debbie Macomber (E-Book)

Read by Heidi

Bethanne Hamlin is at a crossroads in her life. It seems her daughter Annie and her ex-mother-in-law Ruth are also at a crossroads as well. They all decide to take a cross-country road trip from Seattle to Florida so that Ruth can attend her 50th high school reunion. All three women have things to think about and ponder while taking this drive, and it seems that their lives could be on a road to change forever.

I have always enjoyed the Blossom Street novels by Debbie. This book has taken us away from Blossom Street to drive across the country. I related so well to the actual trip and the desire to go off the beaten path, because you never know what wonderful thing may be waiting for you. Why should you follow an itinerary, when you have 18 days to discover new things? That is exactly how the characters approached this trip, even with all their own baggage in their lives that they needed to sort out. Debbie has proved once again that her books can create a feeling of happiness and the joy for a happy ending.

Bottom Line: Adventure awaits in Hot-lanta!

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