Posted by Jeanne Adams May 9 2013, 2:27 am in Allison Leota, Barbara Vey, Beyond Her Book, dianna Love, Eloisa James, James Rollins, Jeanne Adams, Sabrina Jeffries, Sharon Sala
In April, for the second year in a row, Publisher’s Weekly blogger, Barbara Vey held a fabulous Reader Appreciation Luncheon. Now, ya’ll may not know Barbara’s story, but she’s a reader. A BIGTIME Reader, just like most of us.
I’m probably not telling the story exactly right, but a few years ago, Avid Reader Barbara went on a Reader/Writer cruise. She ended up sitting next to an exec from Publisher’s Weekly – also known as PW, one of the biggest reviewing magazines/websites in the nation. (Barbara thought the gal was an editor)
When the woman engaged her in conversation, Barbara ended up telling her exactly what she thought was wrong with publishing. The woman was so enamored of Barbara’s style, she contacted her a few weeks later and asked her to do a genre fiction blog for PW. After asking her son what a blog was, Barbara agreed and the rest is history.
Grins. Yeah, try writing that into a book and see if your editor lets it pass! I can hear it now…”That wouldn’t happen in real life…”
So, the fabulous blog, Beyond Her Book was born. You can check it out here, at http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/beyondherbook/
Then, Barbara, reader gal extraordinaire decided she wanted to acknowledge the READERS. Yep. Another great idea came into being. The inaugural year of the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon - 2012 – featured Heather Graham as the keynote. (Fabulous speech, btw) Barbara, in her modest way, figured it would garner about 50 readers.
More than one hundred showed up. (On the right is Bandit Favorite, Dianna Love, with Barbara’s Sisters!)
This year, James Rollins was the keynote (pictured at the beginning with Barbara Vey herself), and TWO hundred people showed up. There were door prizes for readers, and book-swag from authors. Every table featured an author, including yours truly. :> (Bandita Trish Milburn was there last year as well.) Frequent Bandit Guest Authors were in the audience both last year and this – Dianna Love, Sharon Sala, Jana Oliver, Sabrina Jeffries, Lori Handeland, Angie Fox, Eloisa James, Diane Kelly, Cherry Adair and many more – and I’m sure the competition for those tables (by authors) and seats at the tables of favorite authors (by readers) will be in high demand next year as well.
Next year, in the lovely month of April, in the fascinating city of Milwaukee, Barbara will hold her third annual Reader Appreciation Luncheon. The very special Debbie Macomber will be the keynote.
Hopefully, new pals of mine, like Liz Lincoln, Allison Leota, Eileen Dryer, Maggie May Gallagher, Denise Swanson, Jerol Anderson, A.Y. Stratton and others will be there again, because I had an absolute BLAST getting to know the readers and some of my fellow authors as well!
Y’know, we have such a great time here on the Romance Bandits Blog, and I hope we never forget to thank YOU, our readers, for reading and having fun not only with the blog itself, but with our books. Every chance we get to meet you, from the Buns and Roses Tea, to things like Barbara’s Reader Luncheon, to Romantic Times’ RT Convention, to RWAustralia, to the Literacy Signing at the National RWA Conference, is a chance to thank you for being interested in what we write.
The stories we tell have meaning because you enjoy them, you buy them, you pass the word to friends and fellow readers that a book is fabulous, a great read, or something you won on the Romance Bandits blog and never expected to enjoy….but did!
So, Thanks. A LOT.
And if you just happen to be in Milwaukee next April, I hope you’ll come sit at MY table, have a great lunch and enjoy hearing Debbie Macomber talk. I hope you win door prizes galore. Ha! (Even MORE that you win here!)
I promise, if you sit at my table, not only will we have fun, there WILL be great swag from me too. Snork!!
So Bandit Buddies, do you like these kinds of events?
Have you ever been to a literacy signing, or a book signing at a book store?
Do you like your books autographed, or do you prefer to keep them pristine?
If you use a Nook, Kindle, or read on your computer, do you like the Keeper Kase Cards that both Nancy and I offer, along with Dianna Love and several other authors? (These are signed postcards that you can keep like you would keep an old-fashioned autograph collection!)
I signed several Kindles and Kindle covers, as well as a Nook or two. Would you ever have your favorite author sign your e-reader?
(Photos are all by me or used with permission from Barbara Vey Reader Luncheon Photos)
Posted by Anna Sugden May 7 2012, 11:35 pm in Anna Sugden, Bandita Booty, Eloisa James
Sorry again for the delay in announcing this!
Without further delay, the lucky winner of this fab prize pack is …
Please send me your snail mail details using firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make sure your prize is on its way to you asap.
Posted by Anna Sugden Apr 9 2012, 12:14 am in Anna Sugden, Eloisa James, memoir, Paris in Love, running away
It’s always a pleasure to welcome back Lair favourite, Eloisa James. We’re especially pleased to have Eloisa in the Lair this month, as she’s back from her year in Paris and here to tell us all about her new book. I know many of you followed Eloisa’s daily updates on Facebook and are as excited as I am to read Paris in Love.
So, without further ado, let me hand you over to Eloisa …
Thank you so much for having me back to visit, Banditas. I really enjoy visiting the Lair and chatting with everyone here.
Did you ever run away from home?
When I was eight years old, I tucked a box of Saltine’s under my arm, trudged out my front door, and headed across the mile of farmland that stood between my grandma’s house and mine. Her house represented Heaven, with boxes of chocolate and a television. My house, on the other hand, had brown rice, bean sprouts, and lots of books. Not to mention the two younger siblings I was expected to babysit.
Paris in Love is the story of the second time I ran away from home. My flight followed a tough year: my mother had died of ovarian cancer, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks after her funeral. Did you know that France is a paradise for chocolate addicts? My grandma would have loved it. Why stop with a box of chocolates? You can buy a box made from chocolate, a chocolate Eiffel Tower, a chocolate chess set…
This time I didn’t leave alone. I swept up my husband and children; we sold the house and the cars; we rented an apartment on the Internet and took off for Paris.
People always say that you can’t run away from your problems. I think you can. Studies show that the happiest people in the world are those who value experiences over material possessions. Being away from home helps bring into focus the most important things you left behind.
I have never forgotten the stab of pure love I felt at the sound of my father’s voice calling to me from a car while I sat in a dark ditch, sobbing and eating Saltine’s. In Paris, I discovered a love of life that encompassed my husband, my children, and my writing career that had been swallowed up by anxiety and stress.
If you could run away to anywhere in the world, where would you go? Would you go to Paris the way I did (not even speaking the language), or would you feel more comfortable in an English-speaking country such as Australia? Would you choose to be exotic, elegant, or comfy? What would you hope to discover by running away?
One lucky commenter today will win a special Paris Prize Pack and a signed copy of Eloisa’s When Beauty Tamed the Beast!!
Don’t forget that our Members Only Prize bundle this month and next month features a highly sought after ARC of Paris in Love!! So, make sure you’ve signed up for the Members’ Den!!
Posted by Susan Sey Apr 1 2012, 12:44 am in Anna Campbell, coming attractions, contest winner, Donna MacMeans, Eloisa James, Grace Burrowes, guest blogger, interviews, JD Tyler, Jessica Andersen, Kate Walker, maggie robinson, Mari Mancusi, Miranda Neville, Susan Sey
Welcome to April, & we’re not fooling! There are tons of treats & hijinx to be had in the lair this month. Here’s a quick preview of what’s in store….
WE HAVE GUESTS!
On April 2nd, our own Anna Campbell hosts Lair favorite Miranda Neville! Miranda is coming back to us to cause general mayhem & talk about her wonderful new Burgundy Club book CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE. A lot of romance fans have been hanging out for Minerva’s story and it’s about to arrive. Huzzah!
On April 3rd, Suzanne Ferrell brings JD Tyler to the lair to talk about SAVAGE AWAKENING, the second full book in her Alpha Pack series. She and Suzanne will discuss JD’s sexy wolf shifter, Arik Savage, and all the newest developments in the world of the Alpha Pack. Will Arik meet his mate or find himself a victim of secret experimentation claiming more than one shifter?
On April 4th, Anna Campbell’s back with Maggie Robinson who will tell us about her latest release MASTER OF SIN. Maggie writes a really hot historical so we’re expecting the windows of the lair to steam up when she starts talking about her latest hero Andrew Rossiter.
On April 5th, if she escapes from the chaos of having her house totally revamped–walls knocked down, kitchen replaced, etc.—Kate Walker will be talking about the publication of her latest Presents Extra title–THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES– and celebrating being 60. In book terms, that is.
On April 6th, Jessica Andersen returns with the penultimate Nightkeepers book, MAGIC UNCHAINED. Join us for a chat about the hunky hero, Sven (no relation to our equally hunky Sven, alas) and his magical familiar.
On April 9th, Eloisa James will be back in the Lair to chat about her fabulous memoir, PARIS IN LOVE, and the year she spent in Paris.
On April 18th, Trish will host Mari Mancusi, who will be celebrating the re-release of her zombie post-apocalyptic YA, Tomorrow Land. Can true love survive the apocalypse? How about the walking dead?
And finally, on the 27th, Grace Burrowes comes to the Lair to discuss the latest release in her delicious Windham series, LADY MAGGIE’S SECRET SCANDAL.
It’s sure to be an exciting month,so don’t miss a day!
WE HAVE CONTESTS!
First of all, a great big round of applause for our very own Anna Campbell & Donna MacMeans, both of whom are finalists in the Birmingham Southern Magic Chapter Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Anna’s finaled with MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION and Donna with REDEEMING THE ROGUE. Congrats, ladies!
Now, for your chance to win something wonderful, check out Anna Campbell’s CATCH UP ON A CAMPBELL contest! During the months of March and April, Anna is giving FIVE lucky people the chance to win a book of their choice from her backlist. That’s CLAIMING THE COURTESAN, UNTOUCHED, TEMPT THE DEVIL, CAPTIVE OF SIN, MY RECKLESS SURRENDER or MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION. Just email Anna at email@example.com and tell her which book you’d like and you go into the draw. The contest closes April 30th, 2012, and entry is open internationally. For more information, please check out Ann’s contest page: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html
And don’t forget our monthly prize bundle for one of our lucky Romance Bandits members! This month’s Members Only prize bundle will include:
*An Advance Reader Copy of Eloisa James’ PARIS IN LOVE!
*A copy of MAGIC UNCHAINED from Jessica Andersen
*Your choice of one book from Kate Walker’s backlist!
*A copy of COWBOY TO THE RESCUE from Trish Milburn!
*A copy of FRAIL BLOOD from Jo Robertson!
*Your choice of MONEY HONEY or MONEY SHOT from Susan Sey!
WE HAVE EVENTS AND APPEARANCES!
Ever want to see a bandita in person? Here’s your chance! Our own TRISH MILBURN is all over the map this month! Catch her at the following events:
April 10, at the Barbara Vey Readers Luncheon in Oak Creek, WI
April 11-15, at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Rosemont, IL
April 21, at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest in Bowling Green, KY
It’s going to be a wild ride this month, so buckle up and we’ll see you along the road!
What are YOU looking forward to this month?
Posted by Anna Sugden Sep 8 2010, 10:32 am in Anna Sugden, Bandita Booty, Eloisa James, Jo Beverley
by Anna Sugden
Quick reminder to the following people to claim their prize from Eloisa James’ visit:
Becket Hampton Warren
You won a copy of Pleasure for Pleasure!
Please send your snail mail details to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, so I can pass them on to Eloisa.
Posted by Anna Sugden Sep 5 2010, 3:45 am in Anna Sugden, Bandita Booty, Eloisa James, Jo Beverley
by Anna Sugden
I know, I know! I’m so sorry! I meant to post this weeks ago!
Anyway, a kind soul reminded me that the prizes from Eloisa James’ visit haven’t been announced. So, without further ado …
The random number generator has picked out the following lucky winners:
Becket Hampton Warren
You have all won a copy of Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa.
Please send me your snail mail addresses and I will pass them onto Eloisa. You can contact me at email@example.com
Posted by Anna Sugden Aug 6 2010, 5:54 am in Anna Sugden, Eloisa James, fairy tales, Jo Beverley, Kiss at Midnight
by Anna Sugden
I’m delighted to welcome back a huge Lair favourite, Eloisa James!
I’m sure many of you, like me, have been following her fabulous snippets about life in Paris, as she and her family spent the past year living over there. Wonderfully evocative, each piece was like being there and experiencing it along with her (without having to actually go there – joke – sort of *g*).
You’ll be pleased to know that while in Paris, Eloisa was also hard at work to bring us another book. She’s here today to talk about her newly released Kiss at Midnight and fairy tales.
So, without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Eloisa:
Thanks, Anna. It’s always fun to visit the Banditas!
I grew up on a steady diet of fairy tales. My parents read them aloud to us, and then sprinkled Arthur Lang’s Blue, Green, Brown Fairy Books around the house. But much more importantly, fairy tales truly interested my father, Robert Bly. Years later, when I was in graduate school, he wrote a long analysis of one such story, called Iron John. When I was a child, he was just breaking in the fairy tale analysis, as it were. I have a distinct memory of being challenged to give a psychological explanation of the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.
My current novel, A Kiss at Midnight, seems a natural development from my childhood; it’s my own version of Cinderella. After all, having parents who prompted me to analyze fairy stories means that I found myself wondering what on earth that prince was thinking to choose his wife at a ball? Would I accept a man who could recognize me only by the size of foot? (Answer: Absolutely not!) And just how evil was that evil stepmother?
I had a wonderful time writing A Kiss at Midnight. My heroine Kate is a feisty, funny version of Cinderella: not a victimized scullery girl, but a young woman placed in an awful situation, and making the best of it. My fairy godmother, though she doesn’t wave a wand, is just the kind of godmother we all wish we had. And the Prince…well, Gabriel turned out to have many reasons for that ball, and falling in love with Kate was not one of them. I tried to take my father’s lessons to heart: rather than creating a saccharine sweet version of the original story, I thought about the choices my characters faced. I think I succeeded; Publishers’ Weekly called A Kiss at Midnight “a candy floss comic romp around a core of heartache.”
So what’s the one element of Cinderella that you think absolutely HAS to be in a rewriting to make it worth reading? Another way of asking the same question: what’s your favorite element of the Disney movie or any other version? And—channeling my father here—why is that one element so important? The great thing about literary analysis is that there are no wrong answers, so go for it!
Eloisa has very generously offered FIVE prizes of a signed copy of Pleasure for Pleasure to five lucky commenters!!
Posted by Anna Sugden Dec 24 2009, 4:43 am in 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, Anna Sugden, Bandita Booty, Eloisa James
by Anna Sugden
Lots of prize-winners today – 3 lucky people get a Parisian trinket from Eloisa James.
Hrdwrkmom aka Dianna
And the winner of the extra prize of the Banditas’ Twelve Days of Christmas goody is …
Please send your snail mail details to Anna at Annasugden dot com and I will ensure you get your prizes – remember Eloisa won’t be posting hers out until the new year!
Posted by Anna Sugden Dec 22 2009, 6:27 am in 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, Anna Sugden, Eloisa James, Paris
by Anna Sugden
I’m delighted to give everyone in the Lair a Christmas surprise – we have a special guest today. All the way from Paris (yes, the one in France, not the one in Texas!) is Lair favourite, my good friend, the awesome NYT best-selling author, Eloisa James.
As many of you know, Eloisa and her family are spending a year in Paris. Even I, an avid Paris-hater (and we won’t mention the Parisians *g*), have been captivated by her daily tales of life in the French capital, which she has been posting on Facebook.
So, with great pleasure I hand you over to Eloisa who will share with you a special piece about her time in Paris.
Thank you Anna and Banditas. It’s great to be back here.
My study looks out over a small, quiet street called Rue du Conservatoire. This morning the snow is coming down fast, slanting sideways and turning the gray slate roofs opposite the color of milk. Since I grew up on a farm in Minnesota, this makes me feel at home. I found myself thinking about peeling potatoes for a hearty soup.
That’s when I got a jolting sense of vertigo. After all, I grew up on a farm outside a town of 2,242 people, though my father was a poet and not a farmer. One year we had no money (poetry is not lucrative), so my mother took down the dining room curtains, which had sailing ships on them, and made my sister and me new dresses for the first day of school. My prom party was held in a gravel pit, and I earned the money to buy my prom dress by waitressing in DeToy’s Supper Club.
Paris is a long, long way from the polyester dirndl skirts worn by DeToy’s waitresses.
And yet it’s still me, sitting here, looking out at snow, which is falling in that directed, intense sort of way that happens in Minnesota and apparently in Paris as well.
Sometimes life turns a corner and you catch a glimpse of time passing, as if you were in double time, both a teenager in a farm town, and a woman in Paris. And the current you is one that the Midwestern teenager would never have envisioned — at least, I wouldn’t have. Skipping anything that has to do with an unflattering mirror, what about you? What’s happened to make you sit up and think: Is this really me? Can this be happening?
What’s one thing that’s happened to you that you never would have envisioned when you were ten years old?
Three commenters will be sent frivolous Parisian souvenirs – pocket mirrors adorned with glittery Eiffel Towers, bringing with them a whiff of la vie Parisienne, not to mention snow. And please join Eloisa’s Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/EloisaJamesFans) to follow her daily adventures in Paris.
Anna: And don’t forget, we’re still doing the 12 Bandita Days of Christmas! One of the three lucky commenters Eloisa chooses will also receive their special Bandita goody!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jul 10 2009, 4:10 am in Anna Campbell, Captive of Sin, covers, Eloisa James, Nicola Cornick, Twilight
by Anna Campbell
One of the best bits of having a new book out is seeing the cover! Well, it is if you’ve been blessed the way I and other Banditas have been blessed by the cover gods (very capricious deities who must be placated with much worship and regular offerings of Tim Tams).
A couple of weeks ago, I got the final version of the cover for my 27th October release, CAPTIVE OF SIN. And I can’t wait to show it to you.
I just LURRRRVVVVVE it. So much going for it. I think he’s really handsome. I think she’s really pretty. It’s not cheesy at all. The stepback picture says something about the relationship. Why? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to see but the two of them looking at each other longingly certainly fits.
It’s one of those half covers – there’s a fashion for them at the moment. So the picture of the hero peeks out in a come-hither way from the stepback (I’d come hither! Hither me now, mister!). The white is textured with twining roses and it’s a lovely pearly color and the red is foil and really stands out against it.
I’m absolutely delighted, as you can imagine!
Covers are such an important part of a romance novel – obviously not as important as the deathless prose inside but still highly significant. I actually like a clinch cover if it’s well done – not so keen on girlies on their knees looking up worshipfully just before they you know. Especially when those covers always seem to be set in unlikely places – the deck of a tossing ship or on a rock near the sea where the protagonists are about to be swept away and I don’t mean by passion.
One of the reasons I like a clinch cover and why I think they’ve never gone out of style, in spite of how people whinge that they’re clicheed and embarrassing, is that they scream romance. You know just what you’re getting when that hunk and that willowy chick are clutching each other on the front of a book. My mother always made me laugh. She used to call it the girl in the nightie and the man with the flowing hair and the bare chest. The flowing hair isn’t so big anymore but, yep, I’d say the nightie and the lack of shirt are still there. Six packs rule!
All of my covers have been clinches. Great clinches! Even TEMPT THE DEVIL which featured the gorgeous and omnipresent Nathan Kamp’s face on the cover had a clinch on the stepback. A clinch by the seaside, but at least they’re both upright and well above the waves. I’m not really expecting them to be washed away unless there’s a tsunami some time soon.
So I started thinking about recent covers I really liked. That’s always fun – much more fun than polishing a manuscript! What’s unexpected is none of the covers that really took my eye lately are clinches. By the way, Bandita covers are exempt from this survey – gorgeous as they are!
My first selection is almost as omnipresent as Nathan Kamp. I think the cover for TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer is an absolutely brilliant piece of marketing. The rich colors, the pale arms, the red, red apple like something out of a fairytale. Yum! It’s simple but it’s so effective and evocative. Another apple cover I think is really clever is Jennifer Crusie’s WELCOME TO TEMPTATION. Back in the year 2000 when that book was published, that cover was revolutionary with its simple apple with a bite out of it on a plain red background.
Another set of covers I think are really great are Nicola Cornick’s BRIDES OF FORTUNE trilogy, out June, July and August this year. Nicola’s a lair favorite and I love her books. But even without knowing that, I’d pick up these three beautiful books with their rich colors and elegant images. Speaking of fashions in covers, people chopped off at the chin or the nose seem to be the thing at the moment. But I think these are particularly nice examples. I’ve only got room for THE CONFESSIONS OF A DUCHESS with its intensely red dress on that lovely patterned wallpaper background. But check out the other two, THE SCANDALS OF AN INNOCENT and THE UNDOING OF A LADY.
My favorite recent cover, though, is for a book by another lair favorite, Eloisa James. I think this cover for THIS DUCHESS OF MINE is breathtakingly romantic. Eloisa always gets lovely covers but on this occasion, the Avon art department excelled themselves. That soft pink really takes my eye – especially in a sea of more overtly sexy images.
So what conclusion have I reached after this lightning survey of recent covers? There are obviously certain things I like. To my surprise, it’s not half-naked hunks although I must say they’re pretty appealing too. But when I’m picking favorites, I seem to go for apples (who knew?) and headless women in pretty dresses. Not the answer I thought I’d end up with at all!
Oh, and I absolutely love my covers especially the CAPTIVE OF SIN one. Which features neither a decapitated chick (hide your eyes, rooster, I know you hate to see ‘chick’ and ‘decapitated’ in the same sentence) nor a piece of fruit. Perhaps that can count as my shirtless hottie selection.
By the way, you can find the blurb and an excerpt from CAPTIVE OF SIN (including another chance to drool at the pic) on my website.
So what do you like in a cover? Love or hate clinches? Love or hate the headless brigade? Do you have a favorite cover? Let’s talk romance novel covers!
I’m flying to Washington D.C for RWA today so probably won’t be in much but I’ll get back to answer comments as soon as I can.