Tag Archives: Toni Blake

WW Ladies Book Club Christmas Books

Barbara Vey -- October 25th, 2012

Well, the Christmas commercials are already popping up on television, so it’s time for Christmas books to make their appearance.  I love books about the holidays and have my special ones I read every year, but I’m always happy to add new favorites to the collection.



Holly Lane by Toni Blake

Read by Heidi

Sue Ann Simpkins is facing the holiday season with her biggest challenge of her life. Newly divorced and alone from her daughter, Sue Ann decides to escape to a remote cabin near Bear Lake. Solitude and peace is what she is looking for, until Adam Becker opens the door stating the cabin is his. Adam is looking for the same type of solitude but becomes trapped in the cabin during a snowstorm with Sue Ann. Both struggle with their own feelings and past experiences to look at a possibility that a future could happen for the both of them.

I found the whole story an interesting twist of circumstance that leads two lonely people together. I really enjoyed how the characters struggled with their own feelings and keep questioning whether or not it’s love or infatuation. Sue Ann is a true example of perseverance under pressure, and I admired that.



Mistletoe Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

Read by Joan

Sage Presley, a young up and coming western artist, is furious when she finds out that her Gran is selling the family ranch to a complete stranger. She drives home in a blinding snowstorm to have a heated discussion with her Gran and talk her out of the sale, arriving at the ranch just before a snowstorm causes the electricity and phone lines to go down and the roads to be closed. Sage discovers that her Gran has gone for three weeks and will not be returning until Christmas. To make matters worse, she finds Gran has allowed handsome cowboy Creed Riley, the prospective buyer, to move in for the three weeks and run the ranch.

This book as it was very fun to read and had the needed components for a good holiday read. Entertaining and I read it straight through. If you love a good story with animals, falling in love and finding a soul mate, then this is a book you should read, especially before Christmas.




What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander

Read by Heidi

Camille, Lady Lydingham has one desire for the holiday. She wants to give Prince Nikolai Pruzinsky a traditional English Christmas. Her entire family has left Milton Manor except for her twin sister Beryl, so she hires an acting crew to play her family and staff. One thing she hasn’t counted on is Grayson Elliot coming back after 11 years, when he left with her broken heart. Grayson finds out about the ruse and decides to play along. Even with Camille wanting to marry Nikolai, she realizes her heart has always been with Grayson.

This historical had everything you could want for a holiday: mystery, intrigue, an English Manor, Love and Christmas. You will feel cozy and happy after reading this book. I hope I can read more about this unusual family in future novels.




Together for Christmas by Lisa Plumley

Read by joysann

Casey Jackson views the holiday season with antipathy, so when he’s sent to troubleshoot a pop star’s TV Christmas special in her Michigan home town, he is dismayed to find the snowbound community all dressed up like Santa’s North Pole. The star sets her ordinary sister, Kristen Miller, the task of distracting the agency’s “hatchet man” however she can to keep him out of the way, and Kristen realizes she isn’t going to have the Merry Christmas for which she had been hoping. But Casey and Kristen discover new reasons to celebrate, giving them both a chance for a happy holiday season, and more.

I found Lisa Plumley’s new book very entertaining. The story is humorous, the characters are likable, and the romance is sweet and satisfying. Together for Christmas is a charming and light-hearted contemporary romance that would be perfect for a cold snowy afternoon heading into the holidays.




Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay

Read by Heidi

Lark Chaikin arrives in Last Chance with one goal in mind. To put her father’s ashes to rest. But since her father caused such a stir in the tiny town, her goal may not be met. Stone Rhodes is the town sheriff and is trying to keep the peace among the residents who don’t want Lark in town, and keep the Christ Church Ladies’ Auxiliary from being a pain in their matchmaking. When a murder happens right before Christmas, it seems that Stone, Lark and their families need to not only solve the crime, but heal themselves before it’s too late.

This is the second novel I have read about Last Chance and I love this quaint little town!! It’s so fun to see the gossip fly through the town faster than a text message! I think what excites me the most is when there is a little mystery and intrigue mixed up with the town secrets as well as love during the holidays. It makes a happy mix to read and get ready for the holiday season, just like hot cocoa on a cold night.

We’ll be doing another blog on Christmas books, but feel free to post any Christmas books coming out this year in the comments section.  I know the readers appreciate hearing about them.


Bottom Line:  It’s always the right time to read a book about Christmas.

Lori Foster’s Reader & Author Get-Together

Barbara Vey -- June 8th, 2012


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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