Tag Archives: Victoria Alexander

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.

Heidi

Heidi

Holly Lane by Toni Blake

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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.

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Joan

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.

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Heidi

Heidi

What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander

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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.

 

joysann

joysann

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.

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Heidi

Heidi

Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay

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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.

RWA: Free Book Signings

Barbara Vey -- August 1st, 2012

One of the most popular events at RWA is hands down the free book signings.  Publishers separately open the doors to readers and offer free books signed by the authors.  The lines are long, but it is so worth it.  You get up close and personal time with your favorite authors and a free book to boot.  Readers come prepared carrying boxes and pulling suitcases to load up with their treasures.  Here’s a few of the many authors who signed at these events.

Karen Rose

Karen Rose

 

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

 

Lori Handleland

Lori Handleland

 

Allison Leotta

Allison Leotta

 

Abigail Sharpe and Kathy Fawcett

Abigail Sharpe and Kathy Fawcett

 

Anne Elizabeth

Anne Elizabeth

 

Erin Knightley

Erin Knightley

 

 

Hope Ramsey

Hope Ramsey

 

Jessica Scott

Jessica Scott

 

Kate Pearce

Kate Pearce

 

Maggie Mae Gallagher and Angie Fox

Maggie Mae Gallagher and Angie Fox

 

Mari Mancusi

Mari Mancusi

Mia Marlowe

Mia Marlowe

 

Shelli Stevens

Shelli Stevens

 

Theresa Meyers

Theresa Meyers

 

Tracey Devlyn

Tracey Devlyn

Victoria Alexander

Victoria Alexander

 

Yasmine Galenorn

Yasmine Galenorn

 

Bottom Line:  Getting a free book signed by the author is like Christmas morning.

WW Ladies Holiday Book Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- November 9th, 2011
Yes folks, it’s that time of year again.  Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is coming up and Christmas is right around the corner.  What better way to get in the holiday spirit than with reading a seasonal book?  I have my favorites that I pull out every year.  Here’s what the WW Ladies have been reading.
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joysann

joysann

His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander

Listened to by joysann

Disinterested in ever marrying again, beautiful widowed Lady Veronica Smithson decides it’s time she discretely take on a lover, and sets her sights on handsome, popular explorer Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, planning to entice him in the three weeks before Christmas. Sebastian, on the other hand, quickly falls in love and wants to wed her. He agrees to an affair, though, and takes her to his quiet country home for the holidays. Unexpected circumstances, however, force them into implying they’re married, and confusion ensues that has their relationship teetering on a family inheritance.

I loved this! The charming characters and their beguiling relationships are fun and enchanting. Adding the confusion of a large family and old English holiday traditions make His Mistress by Christmas a heart-warming story. And listening to Susan Duerden’s talented performance gave me several hours of pure delight.

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Heidi

Heidi

To Santa with Love by Janet Dailey

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Read by Heidi
Jacquie Grey has decided to leave her secure lifestyle with her parents in Dallas, and move to Los Angeles to start a new life. When she stops in Tombstone, AZ; her world is turned upside down in a second. One car accident with sexy rancher Choya Barnett, she discovers her car repairs are more than she can handle. Reluctantly, she agrees to help out Choya at his home and help him with his son, Robbie. The friendship turns into more by an attraction that is strong and growing. Christmas is coming and the magic of the season could make everyone’s wishes come true.
I found the whole story so heartwarming, it really hit the holiday spot in me. Especially the slow growth of the love between the two main characters. The author made the Arizona desert come alive with her descriptive words. I know that this book hits the spot just like hot cocoa does in a snow storm!!
Heidi

Heidi

Mistletoe Wishes by Carole Mortimer, Jane Porter and Catherine George

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Read by Heidi
The Billionaire’s Christmas Gift by Carole Mortimer
Nick Steele would do anything for his daughter Bekka, since his wife died, including finding someone to join them on Christmas Day, his daughter’s birthday. After a disastrous first meeting with her attractive teacher, Nick isn’t sure if he’s ready for a relationship but Beth might melt his cold heart to reconsider.
One Christmas Night in Venice by Jane Porter
Diane Mayer may never be the same since her husband and baby died in a tragic car accident. She returns to Venice after 5 years to bring closure to her life and instead receives the shock of her life! Dominic is alive and thought Diane was the one who had died. When the truth finally comes to the surface, Diane and Dominic realize that they need to put the past behind them, before they can move forward together to their future.
Snowbound with the Millionaire by Catherine George
Georgia wants a quiet Christmas just by herself. She heads to her parents cottage, intending to do just that. But Chance Warner can’t let her get flooded out of her cottage, and insists that she join him in his mansion to wait out the bad weather. But Mother Nature has more plans that just flooding, and soon snow and blizzard type of conditions make it impossible for Georgia to leave. The attraction between her and Chance is not what she wished for, but it might be the exact thing her heart was asking for.
All three of these stories brought the real feeling of romance and Christmas together for me. My favorite of the three was Snowbound with the Millionaire. Imagining being stranded with a hunky rescuer and his dogs in a big mansion, really wrapped up the whole book. This really made me want to read more books for the holiday season!

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joysann

joysann

An O’Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods

Listened to by joysann

Laila Riley decided that her fling with the younger, wild Matthew O’Brien had to end, but when chivied into going with the extended O’Brien relations to Ireland for the holidays, she finds herself in his company again. Matt has no doubts that they belong together and works to prove he’s right for her. With grandmother Nell reuniting with an old beau, the whole O’Brien family gets in on making their Irish Christmas holiday one none will forget.

Sherryl Woods writes an engaging contemporary series about Chesapeake Shores, a small town where everyone is somehow connected to everyone else, and the relationships are convoluted. The focus is on the romances, but real life happens, and the caring and generosity of family makes for stories of warmth and support. Listening to Christina Traister perform, I was quickly enamored of the characters and their gratifying Irish holiday.

 

Do you have a holiday favorite?  Something you have to reread every year?

 

Bottom Line:  My Christmas tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving and I start reading those holiday books.

Sunday Matinée

Barbara Vey -- September 4th, 2011

While I’m out scoping Dragon Con, I thought you might enjoy some book trailers.  I’m off filming a couple of Drive By Videos now, so be sure to catch them in tomorrow’s blog.

His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander

Nearer Than The Sky by T. Greenwood

The Piranha Assignment by Austin S Camacho

Baer Truth by Linda McMaken

CRAVE by Karen E Taylor

 

If you have a book video you’d like considered, please send it to me at bvey@publishersweekly.com with Book Video in the subject line.

Bottom Line:  I actually catching quite a few book trailers showing around the hotels at Dragon Con myself.

LA Story

Barbara Vey -- April 6th, 2011

Well, I landed in Los Angeles Monday safe and sound for the RT Booklovers Convention.  I had a wonderful flight and sat next to an amazing woman who has her own research and marketing firm.  I learned tons about focus groups that I think would apply to romance, so I’ll be putting that to use soon.

Zombie toe nails

Zombie toe nails

Once here, I felt like LA was trying to tell me to go back home.  I was wiped from being up so early that I felt a nap was in order, but the pounding in the next room put an end to that.  When I called the front desk, I was told it would end in about 4 hours, so they offered to put me in another room.  The bellman came up and moved me to another floor only to have the elevator break down and I was stuck inside of it.  Yes, I do suffer from claustraphobia.  Finally got out and felt I needed a little pampering with a pedicure.  Well, the coral polish I wanted turned out to be teenie bopper neon redish pink.  Yikes!  Then they sold me a cheap pair of sandals that fell apart before I made it to my room, so I tripped over them and fell.

I’m glad to report that I’m still in one piece and was saved by Anne Elizabeth who insisted I needed a glass of wine to settle down.  It did help.  But I have to tell you that next my phone died, my computer refused to connect to the internet and the air conditioning isn’t working in my room.  All this and the conference doesn’t officially start until today.

Rebecca Brickler and Jean Perry

Rececca Brickler and Jean Perry

But I did spend Tuesday evening in the lounge where I met up with RebeccaBrickler and Jean Perry, two aspiring authors I met when I was the guest speaker on a conference call set up by Dan Blank’s We Grow Media group.  They live in LA and stopped by for a face to face meet up.  Rebecca and Jean were thrilled to meet some of the authors attending the conference and received some valuable tips on their journey to become published authors.

With all the networking I did, one of the new sites I learned about is from Sheila English of Circle of Seven who has a newly revamped reader site that has everything a reader might want called Readers Entertainment.  It has different genre channels in case you want to just check out a certain genre, there are blogs, book reviews, podcasts, author interviews, events, contests, videos and right now, during RT you can go there, read their daily blog on what’s happening  and comment for a chance to win a Kindle! The site is reader focused and I think it will be the number 1 reader destination site of 2011.   While I’ll be blogging about my experiences here at RT, they will also have daily RT blog going.

Victoria Alexander and Kristen Painter showing off their new book covers

Victoria Alexander and Kristen Painter showing off their new book covers

I called it an early night (after a couple of Kahlua Colatas) because I need to be fresh for my  7 am breakfast meeting.  Ah, the joys of convention going.  With RT in full swing, I need to be fully rested to keep up with all the goings on.

Don’t forget to check Monday’s blog to see if you were a winner of the Romance Trading Cards giveaway.

Bottom Line: Thanks to my hairdresser for reading my blog and fixing my orange hair to a much more natural shade.

Audio Book Readers

Barbara Vey -- February 18th, 2011

I have been absolutely giddy the past couple of weeks because Brilliance Audio has been sending me a ton of audio books.  Now, I’ve always loved to read real paper books and will continue to do so, but there are times when it’s just not convenient.  While driving a car, walking, doing dishes, and late at night when my eyes seem to give out and start watering so I can’t read the print.  Today I want to talk about the readers on audio books.

I especially love listening to them with the lights out.  It seems to really put me in that time and place and clearly let’s me understand how important the right reader is to a book.  I started off with an older book, but new to audio, Jennifer Crusie’s Charlie All Night.  Not sure how I missed this book in print because I thought I read them all.  It was a contemporary love story about a young woman working as a producer at a radio station and the man who temporarily fills in as a DJ.  Since I was focusing on the reader, I’d have to say Aimee Jolson did a fine job.  It was clear what was going on and who was saying what.  No strange dialects that take me out of the story.

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Next up was the historical by Lisa Kleypas, Then Came You.  There’s something I find so lovely about a British accent and Lisa’s story was fun, fascinating and exciting to listen to.  She has a way with witty dialog and the reader,  Rosalyn Landor, nailed it.  I was completely enchanted and would definitely listen to it again.

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Unfortunately, not so much with the reader for Victoria Alexander’s The Perfect Mistress.  I have been reading Victoria for years and while the story was about everything I love in historicals, the reader, Jennifer Dixon, offered no change in her voice to alert me to which character was talking.  I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman, so I spent a good part of the time thinking, “Wait…who said that??”  It was very distracting and a disservice to the book.  (Which has a gorgeous cover.)

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I’m currently listening to Treachery in Death by Nora Roberts in my car.  I already read the book, but I’m now listening to it because this reader, Susan Ericksen, is amazing in defining the characters and when she does Roarke’s Irish lilt, I swoon.  It seems I make more car trips just to listen to the book.

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At home I’m in the middle of How to Woo a Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries.  Another favorite author, but I find myself somewhat put off by the reader, Sarah Coomes.  I’ll admit that I’m no expert when it comes to the different British dialects, but while the story makes the characters out to be well to do, the reader’s voice sounds more Cockney to me.  Sort of Eliza Doolittle before her transformation.   I find the story fascinating, so I may also read the book later to see if it changes how I liked the book overall.

The best reader ever for me is Jim Dale who does the Harry Potter books.  I always know exactly who’s talking.  It amazes me how he can come up with a slightly different voice for each character.  I read once where he works many hours getting just the right sound for that person.  It works wonderfully.

Just like how different people like different books, others could love the audios that just didn’t do it for me or not care for the ones I loved.  Once again, while I enjoyed all the stories (so please, read them or listen to them yourselves), I was concentrating on what I thought the reader brought to the table. But I’d love to hear what you think?  Do you enjoy audio books?  Does the reader matter to you?  For authors:  Do you listen to your books in audio form?  Have you been pleased or disappointed about your books were interpreted (you don’t have to use your name)? Is it like when you have no control over the cover of your book?

A number of my readers are trying the audio books out, so you’ll be seeing their takes in the WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs.  Many thanks to Brilliance Audio for making these available.

Bottom Line: My personal preference is unabridged audio.  I want to hear every word the author wrote.