Mary Alice Monroe …
Guests / June 30, 2005

Our highlight of the week was dinner and a show, uh, a signing, yes, that’s it, a signing in Plano. You know the center of the universe (only if you live in Plano, I’m afraid). Our members from Ft. Worth and beyond do argue with me but it is always amusing to stir them up. But I digress… Wednesday, June 29th we had a lovely dinner at the Macaroni Grill with Mary Alice Monroe and her escort, Joanne Crandall. It was wonderful especially when Alex our waiter gave us the jug of zinfandel “on the house.” And it’s always fun to “make your own pasta” because you get to see the REAL tastes of your table mates! Mary Alice likes hers “spicy.” Of course, we had to earn our dinner — by listing and explaining two goals we’ve set to do before we die. When we combined all the things the guests wanted to do it became a truly exciting set of experiences. If you’re curious and I let you guess who had what goal you’d find the goals ranged from visiting La Scala (opera house in Italy for the heathens), visiting London to see the setting of favorite books,…

Plum buzz can last…
Guests / June 30, 2005

Last week I read (in one sitting) Evanovich’s 11th Stephanie Plum adventure and while I whined about her bumbling, I secretly enjoyed every word of it. Good news. I’ve found another polish sleuth with another ensemble cast to make my enjoyment carry over into July. The latest, and second, in Lori Avocato‘s Pauline Sokol series, is The Stiff and the Dead. And it’s a hoot. Pauline, like Stephanie has stumbled into an investigating career. Only she’s not tracking bail jumpers but insurance fraud. This latest case has her falling back on her previous experience as a nurse to track prescription viagra abuse at her uncle’s senior citizen center. She even has a mysterious, elusive and single-named, Jagger, mentor in this investigation business. He appears at the most opportune times and the sexual tingles get her so distracted, she forgets whatever she might be doing. Hhhmmmm….. seem familiar?? Check her out. I think you’ll like her if you’re a fan of Evanovich. Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

What I’m reading…
Guests / June 27, 2005

What am I reading this week? Well let’s see… In paper I finished Lord of Sin by Madeline Hunter (though I may have finished that last week. I don’t remember now. LOL). I also read an advance copy of Holly Jacobs’ September release Once Upon a King. I also read one of the older Silhouette Bombshells Kiss of the Blue Dragon by Julie Beard. And today I started and almost finished Forget Prince Charming by Natalie Stenzel, another older book, from the early books in the Harlequin Flipside series. I had lots of reading time this week, sitting at the car dealer waiting on my car! In electronic, I’m still on Soul of a Witch by Angela Verdenius. This is my before bed read so I don’t get too far each night since I fall asleep. LOL But I’m about 2/3 of the way in to it and it’s really good. In audio, I’m on the last tape of Left behind Book 3: Nicolae. I’m also still working on Lake in the Clouds by Sara Donati. Next in audio is either Nora Roberts’ Key of Light, or Left Behind Book 4: Soul Harvest. I have both ready to go. Visit…

Plum & Grey are definitely not boring
Guests / June 27, 2005

Plucky kick-ass heroines both, Stephanie Plum and Aisling Grey. I have just one problem with them. They kind of fumble around, get involved in things they shouldn’t and make decisions without garnering hardly ANY information. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to think if I was gonna be a kick-ass heroine I’d also want to be smart. Smooth even. In Janet Evanovich’s latest number, 11 if you’re counting, Stephanie decides to quit the bail bond business because someone from her past has threatened to kill her. Granted, she kills a car in all her books, but she has gotten sort of used to that. This new threat forces her to become more introspective and question where her life is going. Marriage, kids, learning to play the cello… Wait!! We cannot have Stephanie Plum decide between Morelli and Ranger. If she did, there would be no more reason to read the series! Speaking of decision making difficulty, Aisling, that’s ASh-ling to you peons not yet corrected by the author herself, is in Budapest this time and still can’t commit to becoming a Wyvern’s immortal mate. Jim, the demon-dog is back, and a good thing since he has become one…

and on a book note — URBAN SHAMAN
Guests / June 27, 2005

I apparently hit a few nerves on my URBAN SHAMAN report. Other readers report that they really liked it. I’m still trying to figure out where it went wrong for me, but even reflecting on my read, I’m convinced it’s not a book that jumps out and does the hoops for me. However, if you like “urban fantasy,” the new catch term for fantasy sent in a contemporary alternate city universe, you might give URBAN SHAMAN a try. Hmm, do you think it is just because I’m not convinced I like this shaman stuff? Although, I did re read INDUSTRIAL MAGIC this weekend; Dennis is a shaman and I liked his bit part. In fact I need to get my copy of HAUNTED to re read. I really like Kelley Armstrong’s work, everything but DIME STORE MAGIC was top notch reading, unlike Kim Harrison who started out strong then wimped on the new book. ::sigh:: so picky. But I still have Harrison on my auto buy list, which is saying I have HIGH hopes for future works. Speaking of books, and putting off doing “real” work, paranormal has been a topic of conversation recently. Most of my buds have joined…

And piglet moves on…
Guests / June 27, 2005

A sad note to those of us who either grew up on Winnie the Pooh, or grew to appreciate it with our children. John Fiedler, 80, Stage Actor and Film Voice of Pooh’s Piglet, Dies – New York Times. Ah, we love the Pooh so much, it is still one of our favorite movies / shows. Speaking of cartoon movies, how many besides us collect the DVDs and videos of old favorites? I noticed our cleaning crew’s daughter and a visitor last week were eyeing the “fun” section of our DVDs. Gwen’s been collecting each Disney one as it comes out — first in video and now in DVD. She didn’t get to see many of them in the theatre but she sure loves to have Disney marathons now. Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Ever wonder what it takes to make your author looks so glamorous on the cover?
Guests / June 27, 2005

I stumbled across Sigrid Estrada Photography when I should have been working this weekend and was reminded of all the great back cover photos I’ve seen in past years with the copyright of Sigrid Estrada. And check out the great travel photos! Wow, I wouldn’t mind the ones with flowers on my walls. I’ve got to find out if she sells her prints. Ah, well. Also follow the link to the Salon article — the fact she irons his shirt is just astonishing. Since it was from 2000, I wonder if she still does it? Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Naughty Girls in town…
Guests / June 23, 2005

Sorry about the delay, but I wanted to get the books finished before I posted and I’ve had a hellacious (good ole southern term I’ve picked up) week. So without further ado — our pictures from last week’s Naughty Girl tour… Back row (from left): Kelley, Sandi and Jackie Charnier (manager of Vista Ridge Waldenbooks, Front row (from left): Julie Leto, Julie Kenner, Shari Shattuck, Gena Showalter. The “Naughty Girls” were touring courtesy of Downtown Press — and each book was contemporary but with a “chick lit” flair. For those readers loving mysteries, LETHAL by Shari Shattuck is the second in her Hollywood series. Hollywood socialite Callie Wilde is on jury duty and stumbles on more than just great shopping during her break. With the help of her lover, Detective Evan Paley, Callie manages to uncover murder in a drug smugglers ring and geisha girls triangle. Gena Showalter has burst on the scene with a plethora of books in her first year of publishing. With AWAKEN ME DARKLY, her paranormal bent glows through. Definitely a book for those who love a bit of romance with their paranormal reading. Julie Leto lends the Hispanic flair with her story set in Tampa…

Finally an Answer to my copyright page question
Guests / June 22, 2005

This may be of no interest to anyone but myself, but I’m going to share it anyway. We’ve talked many times as a group about ISBN numbers, Wal-Mart’s involvement of the evolution of UPCs and copyright pages and what info you can glean from the bits listed there. While researching an unrelated matter on the web (isn’t that always how the most interesting things are discovered) I found the following: Q. I would like to know what the numbers on the copyright page represent that are written:14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 1 2 3 4 5, for example. A. Impression Line. The first group of numbers refers to years (2014 to 2005), and the second group indicates the impression number. The line tells the reader that this is the first impression, printed in 2005. If the next impression were printed in 2007, the printers would mask the numbers 05 and 06 in the first group and the number 1 in the second group, so the following line would appear: 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 2 3 4 5 This would tell readers that it was the book’s second impression, printed in 2007,…

Do you need a Brawny Man?
Guests / June 20, 2005

I really think I’m insulted by this — or at least it has definitely put me off buying Brawny towels. Have you SEEN the “innocent escapes” from Brawynman.com? Good grief, it’s enough to make you barf. The shirt has to go and his sensitivity? And they spent TWO years researching what women really want? I’d just take a man using a brawny towel to do the cleanup!! Okay, enough with the ranting….enjoy the innocence!!! ~sara Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.