Tag Archives: Rhys Bowen

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

 

Love is Murder XII Mystery Conference

Barbara Vey -- February 21st, 2011

Our own WW Lady, Michelle, is the Cub Reporter today who attended the Love is Murder Conference in Chicago.  Michelle also works part time at Barnes and Noble.

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Joe Finder

Joe Finder

In lieu of the written page I spent the weekend with the creators of whose worlds I lose myself in so often.  It started with a panel on How to Write and Maintain a Series Character.  Tasha Alexander explained her novels have two stories, the story that is the plot and the story of the character.  As a series goes along you learn more about your characters.  Joe Finder talked of how character transformations are different in a series versus a stand alone.  In a standalone the hero’s life is completely transformed, series characters evolve over time.  July Hyzy talked of how a series is propelled by what the character is striving for, almost like the series continues because the characters haven’t gotten to where they want to be yet.

Ted Krever, Libby Hellmann, Michelle

Ted Krever, Libby Hellmann, Michelle

Next was a lively Author Chat moderated by Libby Fischer Hellmann.  Libby’s book Doubleback was a book I blurbed on last year which sparked conversation of her new release Set the Night on Fire.  Jon Land, who is on the board of Thriller Fest in New York, talked passionately about scene development and the process of writing.  He believes that he is not writing to the conscious mind, but to the reader’s imagination.  He shared the advice he got from his editor once, “Every scene you write, know where the light is coming from, that is how you will write your scene.”  Shane Gericke talked of visualizing exactly what he is writing as if it is real life.  Being able to see, hear, taste and smell the scene helps with his descriptions.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been such a literary sensation that I just had to go to the Librarian Book Discussion with Monique Flasch, Susan Gibberman, Marlene Leonardi and Patricia Ruocco.  Questions of morality were the topics as the book’s main character is a computer hacker.  Can a hacker have morals?  The reader starts to justify the actions of the heroine, but the reality of people other than Big Brother watching us certainly leaves one wondering what is really safe in cyberspace.

The afternoon concluded with a discussion led by Rhys Bowen who has won numerous

Rhys Bowen

Rhys Bowen

awards including the Edgar and the Agatha.  Rhys talked of reading a Tony Hillerman novel some years ago which inspired her “to write what I like to read, a story that takes you some place.”  She shared how she experienced Ellis Island and the emotional overload she felt, “A place that has known great joy and great sorrow.  I wanted to get a feel of this in a book.”  Thus began her Molly Murphy series.  A very inspiring and successful author who shared that “you have to get it right” when researching for novels.  She admits that only 1/10 of what she researches makes it into a book, but the fact that she knows the other 9/10 makes it a stronger book.

After dinner we retired to the hotel bar where we laughed and enjoyed the company of Libby Hellmann and Deb Brod.  We met Jon Jordan the publisher and editor of Crimespree Magazine, which happens to be produced in my home town of Milwaukee.

On Saturday, the morning began with a youth fiction round table that included Jennifer Turner, Keir Graff, Claudia Whitsitt, Kathleen Ernst, Amy Alessio, B.A. Binns, Albert Bell and F. Paul Wilson as the moderator.  Young adult fiction has become very popular so the question of why do you write YA generated a vast amount of discussion.  Albert shared that he enjoyed reading with his kids when they were younger which led to his interest in writing YA.  Paul wanted to write something his grandson could read so he took his Repairman Jack character and started writing about him when he was 14, leading to the present day man in his series. B.A. writes for the “reluctant reader.” She feels that her protagonists can have a lot of problems in the stories because young people get that people have problems and don’t mind reading it.  Claudia spent 31 years as a special education teacher and talked of the kids that find reading difficult or who are reluctant.  They are the ones will identify with the characters and there is a healing that occurs for them.  Kier talked of respecting the intelligence of kids at any age.  Jennifer’s son begged her to write something he would read which started her endeavor into YA.

So what logically follows a YA discussion?  Yep!  Sex and Death!  Sherrill Bodine, Laura

Sex and Death panel

Sex and Death panel

Caldwell, Patricia Rosemoor, J.L. Wilson delved into their world of sex and intrigue while a sometimes tongue tied Tom Schreck tried to dig deeper into their erotic undertakings.  Ann explained that sex and violence needs to change the story, otherwise it doesn’t work.  She talked of there needing to be an “emotional crescendo.”  Patricia, author of 89 novels admits that writing sex scenes are emotional and that she needs to be in a certain mood to write them.  Sherrill goes as far as champagne, chocolate and low lights to set her mood.  All the ladies agreed there is a difference between love scenes and sex scenes.

The theme continued with a panel discussion of Naughty in History with Tasha Alexander, Rhys Bowen, Francis McNamara, Sarah Wisseman, and D.M. Pirrone as moderator.  Discussion started with how a writer needs to know the rules of the time.  Tasha, whose novels take place in the Victorian Era, notes that people often married for business and had affairs which were discreet but acceptable.  Rhys who writes in Edwardian times talked of King Edward having numerous mistresses and his only rule was they had to be married.  This way if there was a child conceived it wasn’t an issue.  Ottoman women were found to use the items of their oppression (veil) to gain freedom.  It was easy to meet a lover in public because no one could see their face.  The panel also discussed the social attitudes and language changes over time and how important it is to get the information accurate as a reader will be easily turned off by a discrepancy.

Jon Land

Jon Land

After lunch it was on to thrills and Horror:  How to get the Oh!  No!  Marcus Sakey talked of his love of making the lives of his characters bad, beating them up and then making their lives even worse.  He tells the story in two parts, what happened before the bad thing, and what happens after the bad thing.  In his writing of the ‘bad guy,” he doesn’t feel they think of themselves as bad guys, it’s their willingness to go through anyone to get what they want which is the pure evil.  F. Paul Wilson talked from a series standpoint that the reader knows the main character will survive, so you need to build other characters to have bad things happen to.  Jamie Freveletti shared that she will be writing under a cover of the Robert Ludlum Estate and working within their framework.

James Strauss was the guest speaker at the Love is Murder Tea and he had me wondering just how far of a reach does Big Brother have.  Having experience with the CIA and writing espionage thrillers his words are compelling.  He was a writer on the HBO series Deadwood, now writes for the TV show House and three years ago wanted to become a novelist.  He shared with the audience his prediction for the future of books, eBooks and marketing.  To resist technology, a writer won’t be successful.  He talked of making yourself findable with Facebook and Twitter.  He predicts that storytelling isn’t going away and that people will continue to pay for stories, it is about how to reach the readers that will impact a writer’s success.  His other tidbit for success was to be entertaining, and entertaining he was!

The evening ended up with Those Were the Days Radio Players doing a live performance of Old Time Radio.  Then J.A. Konrath hosted Quiz the Stars.  He stumped the panel of authors by reading passages from their novels and seeing who knew their own work.  F. Paul Wilson is still convinced he didn’t name a character Mackenzie.

The conference was a wonderful experience.  The passion they have for their work is so inspiring, as well as their perseverance.

Bottom Line: The insight of the authors is invaluable and I will take the memories with me.