Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reporting from RWA

Kristie here.

Believe it or not, I'm going to talk about something other than my feet - which still hurt by the way, but I'm sure it's getting kind of boring by now.
Instead, I'd rather talk about some of the other moments that have been so thrilling so far. The news is out now that Jane and Sarah were interviewed yesterday for the Today show. We got there early and one of the thrills was being early enough to listen to a brief reading Beverly Jenkins did. I have some of her books. as yet unread, but after listening to her speak and buying the book she did the reading from at the literacy signing last night, it's going to be one of the first books I read when I get home.
Last night we had a party in Jane's room. Details are to remain untalked about but it was a lot of fun! Both Jane and Sarah are such delightful warm people. Angie was there too and she is so adorable and sweet. There were also other great people there.
Today I went outside for a bit of a break by myself and who was there but Madeline Hunter. I had a delightful short chat with her. She is a very funny person and was telling a couple of other conference people and myself a few stories about writing workshops she had attended. The other ladies left and I worked up the courage to tell her how much I had enjoyed her books. Then I worked up even more courage and handed her a card. Now I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but I had oh so much fun on Vista Print designing cards with the blog banner. On the back is a scene from North and South - I'm sure no one is too surprised about that. It turns out she had read the novel years ago by Elizabeth Gaskell and loved it. She didn't know it had been turned into a series so hopefully I talked well enough about it to get her interested.
Another very fascinating conversation I had was with two sisters who were each here to pitch their books to someone. One had written a paranormal and the other sister wrote a medieval. But what was really interesting was when they were telling me they had their father read them to see what he thought and he loved them and wanted more. I thought that was so wonderful that there father was so supportive of them.
I just got back to the room from the Keynote Luncheon. First off, the food was delicious. Then second of all, Alice and I sat a different table from the others and one of the other people at the table had visited the blog and recognized my name. Wow!! You could have knocked me over with a feather at that *g*.
The Keynote speaker was Victoria Alexander and her speech was funny and interesting and very enjoyable. I didn't make the luncheon last year in Dallas and I'm so glad I made it to this one here in SF.
Everyone else has gone on to workshops/meetings - some to listen to Nora Roberts and some to a workshop Elizabeth Hoyt is giving. I think I'm going to take this time to rest. I'm still hours behind on my rest!!
I'm enjoying myself so much - apart from the feet thing. I missed a lot of authors I was hoping to meet last night, but I've got my fingers crossed that I will catch them later. I really do need to make a list of the books I planned on getting but didn't so I can either get the later here or get them when I get home.
And the goodie room - oh my it is filled with wonderful goodies. I've gotten a lot of fridge magnets that I plan on putting on my new fridge. Makes sense right? I've also gotten quite a few cover flats that I want to line the 'library' with at home. I also like them because quite a few are for books not out yet and they are a great reminder of books I want later.
I can't begin to say what it's like to be surrounded by people who love romance. It's like I'm with my 'people'. I know I won't get around to talking to everyone - it's a constant battle against shyness for me - but to know I can go up to a total stranger and start talking books is a wonderful thing!!

I'm sure I'll have more to say soon - but right now I need a bit of rest for whatever tonight might hold.

End of Day One of RWA

Today was the official start of RWA and it was everything great and more. I finally met Samhain Publishing's Senior Editor, Angela James, who had breakfast with myself, Sula, Lisabea, Rosie, Kristie and Alice at Denny's. (hmmm french toast!) Angela is very funny and sweet!

After a great breakfast, I went to get registered where I got my badge, the weekly program, a bag full of books and a quick trip to the goody room where there was so many pens, magnets, and other freebies that would make you giddy.

A very excited thing happened today. Jane from Dear Author, SB Sarah, various other bloggers and romance author, Beverly Jenkins were taped for a segment that will air on The Today show this coming Friday between 8-9am ET. Yes, NBC is in San Francisco reporting about RWA! Welcome to the mainstream! And it is about time!

The biggest event of the night was the "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing Signing with over 400 authors. I volunteered to sell raffles on the floor. I was almost trampled by the Nora Roberts and Sherrilyn Kenyon fans. And they weren't really excited about buying raffles and gave me strange looks as if I was trying to cut in front of them.

After two and a half hours of walking around the room to the point where my feet were about to fall off, I was finally free and was let loose to meet some authors.

Want to see who I met?

Ann Aguirre/ Linnea Sinclair and Me

Alice, Me, Eve Silver (Kenin)/ Diana Holquist/ Me and Linda Wisdom/ Elizabeth Boyle

Me & C.L. Wilson/ Me and Nalini Singh

Ciaralira/Anna Campbell and Me/ Joanna Bourne and Me/ Eden Bradley

The night was an amazing experience because every one of these authors I took pictures with were as excited to meet me as I was to meet them. I met some of my favorite authors and they all were so very, very nice. And I didn't just hold out my hand and introduce myself. Instead, they wanted hugs and even wanted to take pictures of me! I didn't stutter or make a fool of myself. What an incredible night I will always treasure forever!

Katiebabs (KB) **Don't you love the "deer caught in the headlight look" I have in these pictures?**
stay tuned for day 2 of RWA...

UPDATE: The Literarcy Signing made $58,000!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

RWA Day 1 Exhaustion

After trying to sell raffles for 3 hours during the literacy signing, my back is killing me!
I know I should write some insightful and thrilling up to date blog but I am beat.
Tomorrow I promise I will post wonderful pictures from the signing and the authors I met and who are truly wonderful ladies.

More to come...

Katiebabs (KB) *yawn*
Kristie here

Well - I'm back from the Literacy Signing. My body is moving at a great deal less than warp speed. You see - remember the other night when I said about the walking? Well - if you go to Dear Author, you can read Jane's Big News. She rocked in her interview!! So did Sarah and Kassia and Marcella. We know this because some of us went with them to offer moral support. And we walked there. Well, we walked almost the whole way, then there was a mix up and Sarah bravely jumped in front of a cab to hail it down to take us the rest of the way.
After the whole thing which you can read at DA was over, they all decided to walk home. Now this little blogger is not in the greatest of shape and wanted to cab it back SO BAD IT WASN'T FUNNY!!! But every one else was walking so I figured I would too. But - after that walk home and then standing in line for 45 minutes to get into the literacy signing, Feet, those poor little dear things at the end of my legs, that I already slightly abused when I got a manicure for the Toes to treat them, but it turned out to be not such a treat for the little dears, started screaming at me!! Seriously! I'm surprised everyone around me didn't hear them yelling. They certainly let me know they were not very pleased with me. And part way through the Literacy Signing, they quit. Those little dears just up and quit. So what could I do but listen to them and get them back to the room. I missed getting a lot of books I wanted, but I did manage to score a few. I got the book that Beverly Jenkins was reading earlier. What a nice person she is - and almost a neighbour - geographically speaking. I also got Jill Monroe to sign a book for me :). And a got a couple of Hope Tarr books. I got a few more and I'll list them next time. But the biggest score was Shades of Dark by Linnea Sinclair!!!!!! Happy Dance! Happy Dance!.
Now we have something planned for when the Literacy Signing closes shortly. I'm hoping Feet will be happy enough that I don't plan on putting shoes back on them for the rest of the night and cooperate by starting to move again.

I'll be back with more news - and hopefully not so rebellious Feet!

RWA - Day 3

Kristie Here

The fun has begun!!!!!
I was on my way to the elevator when I door opened in front of me. I looked up and yelled out Jill Monroe!!!! Gena Showalter!!!!!!! I can't believe it!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHH. Then I collapsed on the wall. This was my poor imitation of their hilarious Kresley Cole.
I was half serious though - what a thrill to see them. I adore their Author talk to Author videos. And guess what - they look and sound exactly like they do in their videos. And Jill's voice did NOT give me a headache.

Then Rosie, Sula, Alice, Kate, Lisabea and I went to breakfast with the cute and adorable Angie of Evil Editor/Wonderful Mommy. (I don't linking but I'm on a laptop with no mouse and I'm not used to working without a mouse.

More to come later
Right now we are all back in the room talking sex and books!!! Good conversation.


I am off to register for my very first Writers' Conference!


Wish me luck! :D

PS... Screw the potted plants, I really don't need them!

Katiebabs (KB)

Day 2 - a day later

Kristie here. Until things actually get started here I may as well go on and on and ramble about the side stuff. I didn't blog about yesterday yesterday so I'm doing it today. As Katie mentioned we went on a 5 hour tour. Now I'm not much of a sight seeing person so that's enough to satisfy me as far as that goes. I have pictures to show people back home now and that will work.
What Katie didn't mention is the tour director. I don't take many tours - as I don't get away that much and I'm not much of a sight seeing person but I think in the world of tour directors, she has to stand out as one of the toughest. That woman SCARED me. She got on the bus and started out by saying "you people WILL NOT be late getting back on the bus will you? Because if one person is late then that holds up everyone else and I DO NOT want to be behind the other group. Whenever we stopped to get off for some picture taking she would say It's is now 10:13 and we WILL be back on the bus by 10:27. She had me intimidated let me tell you!
One piece of advice to anyone reading this that I learned by experience. if you are going to be doing a lot of walking, do not wait until that day to break in a new pair of shoes. This is not a wise thing to do. I did it and I paid. As if my feet weren't tired enough from the day before, I put on a brand new pair of running shoes, shiny and white. Not a good idea. I should have brought my old broke in, dirty pair of lived in runners. It didn't take long before my feet were sore all over again.
At one point we were on top of Russian Hill and the tour director had anyone who wanted to, get off the bus to walk down as it was too steep to take the bus. Between a very bad case of vertigo and real tired feet, I decided to stay on the bus and meet all the 'walkers' at the bottom. I wouldn't have felt so bad about this decision if a tiny little old lady who had to be in her 80's at least and used a cane got off the bus to hike down the hill. I don't know how she did - I wasn't there, but she didn't seem to be huffing and puffing to bad at all. So I told myself it was the vertigo - it was the vertigo.
Ah well - I was going to write more but Katie and Rosie are have an interesting talk that I'm missing so I will be back later with more :)

Talk to you later

San Francisco Day Two (Pre RWA Conference)

It is about 10pm PT time and I am sitting in the Marriott lobby bar with some of my favorite blogging gals such as Ciaralira, Rosie, Wendy the Super Librarian, Lisabea, Sula, and Kristie. We are all waiting for Jane from Dear Author to arrive. Also among our group, is soon to be published author Carrie Lofty who has her own book, What A Scoundrel Wants, due out in December.

Alys, Tracy, Kristie and I went on a 5 hour tour of San Francisco (Insert your Gilligan comments here) I think my legs are about to fall off, and my face is so windburned that I look like a ripe read tomato. Rather than go on and on about my fabulous day, I think pictures will give you a better idea...

Our ferry, the "Sonoma"/ Alcatraz Island (Ever see the movie, "The Rock"?)

Kristie, Alys, Kate and Tracy

Me in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

Postcard Row aka "Full House" Remember the opening of the show?

Tomorrow is the official start of RWA 2008! *GULP...*
And I still haven't found one potted plant in the lobby to hide behind yet!

Katiebabs (KB)
more to come tomorrow....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

San Francisco - Day One

Kristie here. When last I posted, it was 1:00 in the morning and I couldn't get to sleep. Sadly things didn't get much better. I was still up at 2:00 am and at 3:00 am. I may have dozed off at 3:30, but then the alarm clock went off at 4:00.
It was a looooonnnnggggg day. But as I was sitting in the shuttle bus on the way to the hotel, I thought to myself "fuck me!! I made it all the way to San Francisco by myself!" I think that's the first time I've ever thought 'fuck me' in that kind of way - but somehow it fit!
I met Kate, Alice and Tracy in Starbucks in the hotel where we had to wait for the room to be readied. Then we met up with Ciara in the room and then Sula joined us and we went out for dinner. I was thinking someplace within walking distance. But they conigerie or whatever it is he's called idea of walking distance and mine is a tad different. We walked and walked and walked until my poor feet were screaming at me. I'd had no sleep the night before, a 4:00 alarm clock, a two hour drive to the border, then a half hour wait at customs where they asked it I'd ever been refused entry to the US, ever been arrested and why I was going to the US. Once again I answered to a ROMANCE writers conference. Then I had about a 3 hour wait at the airport in Detroit and a 4 1/2 hour flight! So walking 47 blocks (ok - maybe that's a slight exageration - and I don't care if I did spell that word wrong) - but it seemed 47 blocks - was a bit of a tough slog. But the six of us had a nice time - and now everyone but me is in bed getting ready to sleep so I'm ending right now because it's after 11:00 SF time but it would be about 1:00 am London time.
No author sightings yet - but it was ever so much fun meeting Kate and Alys and Tracy and Ciara and Beth.
Night for now

San Francisco Day One (Pre RWA Conference)

I have arrived in San Francisco, safe and sound! After a 6 hour flight, Alys met me at the SF airport and Tracy soon came in afterwards. Two things about the weather in San Francisco for those who are still packing, it is very windy and cold, around 60 degree. *Brr...* Better pack an extra sweater. Better yet, a parka. Plus, gas is almost $5.00 a gallon! (in NJ gas is $3.85 a gallon).

Alys was our tour guide as we took the BART, which is the handy dandy SF subway system, and we arrived safe and sound at the Marriott where the RWA conference will be held. And the BART is literally around the corner from the hotel! Plus there are 3 Starbucks in walking distance and a huge Old Navy on the same street as the hotel! *G*

Katie and Alys

We were waiting for Kristie(J) to arrive and she came soon after we did! Hugs were given by all and we had coffee and chatted in the Starbucks in the hotel lobby. And you bet I powered up my laptop, because I was going through with drawl, especially from lovely Twitter. That website will suck you in and won't let you go!

I know a majority of people are arriving tomorrow afternoon, but there are some early arrivals such as Sula and Ciaralira! We all decided to eat at a great Thai restaurant.

Menu/My fabulous mojito/The women's bathroom sign cracks me up!

Me and Sula praising my wonderful mojito

This is us after a few drinks!

After a wonderful dinner with drinks and some great books talk, we all finished up the night with big smiles and promises to get together for more fun tomorrow!Kristie/Tracy/Alys/Sula/Ciaralira (I am taking the picture)

Day Two is a five hour tour of the city for Tracy, Alys, Kristie and myself. How much trouble can we all get in?

More to come tomorrow...

Katiebabs (KB)

Monday, July 28, 2008

It Is 6AM...

And I am ready to leave for the airport to catch my plane for San Francisco, and this is how I feel:

At least I can catch a few more ZZZ's on the plane! :D
Next time I post I will be in San Francisco. The place will never be the same way again after my visit. ;D

Katiebabs (KB)

It's quarter to three - there's no one in the place except you and me.

OK - it's not really quarter to three. And I'm here all by myself except for Zina The Princess Not A Warrior Cat.
It is 1:00 am though and I have to get up a 4:00 am in order to start getting ready. But in order to GET up, I have SLEEP first! I've been trying since 9:30 pm. I'm over half way done my plane book so that throws a monkey wrench into the the plans.
But I'm going to try again. I have two alarm clocks set in case one doesn't work. Here's hoping I don't fall into a deep sleep and sleep through both of them!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's soon?????

I remember back when Kate and I started planning on going to San Francisco many months ago, it seemed so far into the future. Now we leave tomorrow!!! We are going early to do some sightseeing first and then the conference starts on Wednesday.
Katie's nervous. I haven't told her yet - so don't say anything to her, but so am I!! Even though I went last year and had THE BEST TIME EVER, I'm nervous all over again.
I'm nervous about getting to the airport in time. The way things are planned, the shuttle bus leaves at 6:00 am and it's about a 2 hour drive to Detroit and my plane doesn't take off until 12:15. But what if something happens?
I'm worried about the actual flight. I'm not a big flyer. Last year when I went to Dallas was the first time I flew in 29 years. I know this because before the last time I flew was when Ron and I went to the Bahamas when Brent was 6 months old. He turned 30 last Tuesday. I don't like the take offs or the landings. I was telling Kate I'm taking a couple of books to reread - favourites I've read before because I know I'll be too nervous to be able to concentrate on something new.
I'm worried that Kate won't like me. We've be on-line buds and partners for months now and got along famously well, but what if it's different in person. I even had a dream she didn't like me.
I'm worried Rosie, another roomie won't like me. Wendy keeps telling her everyone loves me - but maybe she won't.
I'm NOT worried about Wendy 'cause we already shared a room and it was loads and loads of fun - even if she doesn't believe in soul mates and still hasn't read Ride The Fire (see I keep track of the oddest bits of minutia.)
I worry about making a fool out of myself in front of authors whose books I've adored. I came darn close last year when I shared an elevator with Elizabeth Hoyt and almost followed her back to her room. But I think we are allowed one silly fan girl moment. At least that's what I tell myself.
And I keep thinking up new things to be nervous about. If I keep it up, I'm going to be a wreck tomorrow!!
But the thing is - I think we are all nervous to one extent or another. It's normal to be nervous. We wouldn't be real if we weren't. So I'm going to acknowledge I'm scared as hell and then get past it.
At least I'll try.

The Potted Plant: My Nemesis

The picture of the potted plant above is my nemesis. It is a symbol of fear, of being silent and unsure. I had joked a few months ago that I would be the conference attendee who would find a big plant in the lobby of the San Francisco Marriott and hide behind it, peeking in between the leaves, watching everything going on around me. I had thought I left that part of me behind many years ago, but this past week all my fears have come to the surface.

A perfect example is the fact that when I am nervous, I don’t eat. When some are stressed out, they tend to eat everything in sight. As for myself, I stop eating. I have had horrible stomach craps all week because reality has come crashing down. (As for this coming week, who knows what my appetite will be like?) I am attending the 2008 Romance Writers’ Association conference in San Francisco, California and the question I keep acting myself is, do I really belong at a venue such as this? I have two little imps on each side of my shoulder. One is the self assured, head held high, Katie who will go up to anyone and everyone and hold out her hand and introduce herself. But then I have that bad little imp, the former Katie who would make sure her head was down, never make eye contact with anyone and would sit in the corner and make herself as small as she could.

I have tried my best to distance myself away from that person who stands in corners and observes everything that is going on around her, but won’t make her presence known. I am still very much an observer but I made a promise to myself that I would speak up and be heard. I am my own living example of my success. Wherever I go, whether it be the gym, a store or even a gas station, I speak to anyone. I try to go out of my way to be friendly and engage as many people as I can in conversation. Yesterday as I went to the mall to break my checkbook for clothes for this coming week, I found myself in Borders. Yup, I was weak and couldn’t stay away. Some invisible force just seems to push me in there. As I was purchasing a nice frozen coffee drink, I began chatting with the cafĂ© worker who waited on me. A half-hour later we were still chatting. I really didn’t have to go out of my way to talk, but I wanted to, because it is something I need to do. In the past I would have stuttered my order and kept my head down. Now I find myself looking everyone in the eye and speaking coherently.

Another big fear I am about to share, and only a few know of this, is finally meeting some authors that I have emailed back and forth with and have a wonderful relationship on-line (or so I think in my mind). I have this vision that I go up to one of them and introduce myself and they simply stare, smile, say, “Hello, nice to meet you”, and walk away. That is my biggest fear out of all about attending this conference. (worse than actually starting to pack. My luggage taunts me at this very moment)

There are bound to be many others with this fear that I speak of who are attending. I for one will try my hardest to keep these silly fears at bay. As I walk the floor, go to workshops and visit publisher signings, etc… you better believe I will be holding my head held high, look someone straight in the eye, hold out my hand and say:

“Hi, my name is Kate Garrabrant and it is a pleasure to finally meet you.”

**I am also bringing Scootaloo, the My Little Pony that Christine gave to me. She will be my mascot on this adventure. So, if you are attending RWA and see a tall redhead with a colorful plastic pony sticking out of her bag, that’s me! It could be a great conversation starter ;D**

Katiebabs (KB)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Scandalous by Night (Regency Romance Review Number 3)

**This will be my final review before I leave for RWA**

What is in a name? Lately I have been picking up books with interesting character names. When I saw the blurb for Barbara Pierce’s Scandalous by Night and that the hero’s name was Everod (insert joke here) I just knew I had to give this read a try. The last few books I have read by Barbara Pierce have been very enjoyable, and Scandalous by Night is no exception. Even though this is set during the regency era, this is not a subtle and tender love story. Pierce has written a borderline erotic tale between an angry and wild hero and the young woman he wants revenge against for something she had done to him when she was just a child. The great thing is, Barbara does not make her heroine cower in fear even if she is a virgin and the big bad man wants his way with her. She stands up to him and welcomes him to do his worst. She is willing to take her sexual downfall with open arms.

Lord Townsend Elliot Lidsaw, Viscount Everod (quite the long name) also has the nickname of Everhard because of all the good loving he gives the widows and courtesans of the London. Everod is a bit amoral and quite the playboy. He reminds me so much of the Vicomte Sebastian de Valmont that was played by John Malkovich in the 1988 movie, Dangerous Liaisons. From my initial introduction of Everod, I was bound to not like him at all. He is that type of hero that would make the heroine suffer, and then by the last few pages of the story, get down on his knees and grovel for her forgiveness and love. Sorry, I know most like a good groveling hero, but if he is an ass throughout the whole book, those few pages of groveling doesn’t do anything for me.

The reason for Everod’s disdain at life is, because at the age of fifteen he was almost killed by his father who came close to slashing his throat. He even has the scars to prove it. Everod was tattled on by his new stepmother's ten year old niece who found Everod and her aunt getting busy in the gardens. Everod, being only fifteen at the time, couldn’t stop his new stepmother, the Countess Georgette Worthington from seducing him. He succumbed, or rather his skanky step mommy forced herself on him. Her niece, Maura, found them and went to Everod’s father. Everod was banished, and promised revenge on his skanky stepmother and her horrid little niece.

Twelve years have gone by and the rage festers deeply inside Everod. He finds outs that Maura is visiting London and will seduce her and steal her virginity. She will be ruined and her downfall will be an embarrassment to Georgette and his father. This may sound a bit immature especially after a decade, but Everod was used horribly and almost killed, and for that he cannot forgive or forget.

Maura may be a virgin after all, but she is not one of those annoying over the top innocent ones. Maura is very careful how she acts, especially around her aunt Georgette who is truly a nasty piece of work. Maura has continual guilt for what happened to Everod, but she is torn because her aunt has done such wonderful things for her such as giving her a loving home and being very supportive. But Maura knows there is a very different side to Georgette and she must tread carefully.

Everod becomes reacquainted with Maura and starts a very interesting courtship. Even though Maura has a good idea why Everod has gone out of his way to be with her, there is something about Everod that he keeps hidden from everyone. Maura is able to break down Everod’s defenses and shows him she is not in any way like her aunt. And you know Everod has it bad when he wants Maura to use his given name of Townsend.

I find it so unbelievably sexy when the hero longs for his woman to speak his name that he allows no other to use. The turning point in their relationship is when he begs Maura to call him his first name. From that point on, these adversaries not only become lovers but they are also slowly falling in love. Everod’s revenge he had planned for Maura is now a distant memory.

Scandalous by Night is a bit on the naughty side mainly because of the characteristics of Everod and the hot and sexy love making he gives to Maura. Some of these intimate scenes are some I wouldn’t mind giving a try. Ever wish to make love outside in the rain? Pierce gives you your fantasy here which also includes some nice bondage love between the two.

I found Georgette to be a well rounded villain and a woman I wouldn’t want to mess with. She almost got away with the damage she was responsible for, but as most characters of her like, she gets what’s coming to her. Some may be a bit disappointed in the ending because it did seem a bit rushed, but by that point I loved how Everod and Maura were together. I wanted their happiness.

Some historical authors have a tendency to write wallpaper romances and I can promise you that Barbara Pierce is not one of them. Her stories are very enjoyable and luscious with heroes that tend to be a bit underhanded and loose when it comes to sex. But as always, by the end, the heroine has helped paved the way for her man to be reformed and that is one journey I recommend you give a try with Scandalous by Night. (August release by St. Martin's Press)

3.5 stars out of 5 stars

Katiebabs (KB)

His Shadowed Heart (Regency Romance Review Number 2)

Sometimes I find myself in the mood for the lighter side of romance and keeping in tune with Georgette Heyer, I would recommend author, Hazel Statham who writes for Wings ePress books. Her latest novel, His Shadowed Heart is another regency about a marriage of convenience, but this one has a hero who is a bit tortured, and the woman he ends up marrying is much younger than himself. Their marriage is mainly to benefit his young daughter. Why have a governess when you can have a lovely lady as your wife instead?

Richard Moreton, Earl of Waverly can hardly stand his meddling sister, Victoria. She wants him to remarry for his three year old daughter, Julia, so she can have a mother in her life. And since Richard is thirty-four, he is not getting any younger. Richard rather do without marriage since he already has a mistress to keep him happy. Also, Richard’s first marriage was not all that fulfilling.

Victoria has a friend named Diana who has a lovely cousin of nineteen staying with her named Caroline. Caroline is sent back and forth to relatives since she has no money or a place to live since her father killed himself because his gambling losses. Richard meets Caroline but since he comes across a bit too stiff and cold for her tastes, she doesn’t give him another thought. But for some reason, Caroline has made an impression on Richard and the next time they meet, he goes out of his way to dance with her and make pleasant conversation. These two start a tentative friendship and out of the blue Richard proposes to Caroline. This would solve the problem of his sister and London society trying to get him married off, as well as Caroline finally belonging somewhere. And really, why would a girl like Caroline refuse? She has no other options and for a dashing older man like Richard to ask her to be his wife is a dream come true.

There may be no love between these two in the beginning, but there is respect and friendship. Caroline doesn’t even mind becoming a mother to Julia and hopes Richard can find some affection in his heart for her. Caroline thinks Richard still loves his dead wife Elizabeth. Actually, Richard’s feelings for his dead wife are not the ones Caroline believes he has. These two try to become comfortable around each other and Richard soon finds himself falling in love with Caroline. But he was hurt once before and doesn’t want to go through the pain again. Plus, his spurned mistress, Christina, is in the background wanting to make him pay and will drop little seeds of doubt and mistrust into Caroline’s mind.

His Shadowed Heart is a charming historical that begins with a marriage between two strangers who end up falling in love with each other, and deeply. Even though Richard has a fifteen year age difference with a girl who is barely out of her teens, that didn’t stop myself from enjoying this romance. Richard may seem a bit gruff and stiff when we are first introduced to him, but Caroline quickly breaks down his defenses. Caroline is a wonderful character full of life and sunshine. There are some subtle love scenes between the two and even with the fade to black love making between this husband and wife, it very much set the sensuality tone of the novel.

If you are a regency romance fan looking for more reads such as this one, definitely check out Hazel Statham and His Shadowed Heart.

3 stars of out of 5 stars

Katiebabs (KB)

**My third and final regency romance review will be the soon to be released Scandalous by Night by Barbara Pierce. Hopefully I will have it posted later tonight and it will be my final review before I go on my merry way to RWA!**

Friday, July 25, 2008

FYI: Some Stephanie Laurens Goodness!

Spotted at Barnes and Noble for $4.99:
You get both Devil's Bride and A Rake's Vow together!! 2 for the price of 1!!
How can you beat that?

Friday's Child Review

A few months ago I finally picked up my first Georgette Heyer novel, and for the life of me I can’t think of any reason why I waited this long since Heyer is one of the most well known authors of regency romance. Friday’s Child is the perfect introduction to anyone who wants to give Heyer a try. Can a book just be too cute for words? Friday’s Child is definitely a “cute” read with lovely characters and a story that had me laughing from beginning to end. There are no undercover spies or evil villains popping up to do the hero and heroine in. There isn't even any kissing between the hero and heroine till the very end. This is simply a story about a man who marries a childhood friend for convenience. The fun in reading is seeing him come to his senses as he falls in love with his precious wife.

Lord Anthony Sheringham has decided it is time for him to marry and he believes he has found the right woman. Her name is Bella Milbourne and she has been nicknamed the Incomparable by the Ton. Sheringham, or Sherry, as his close friends call him, has known Bella since they were children. He loves her, or so he tricks himself into believing. If Bella marries him, he will come into his inheritance and out from under the thumb of his uncle who he can’t stand. Bella holds Sherry in great affection but turns him down because she longs for another. Sherry’s pride is hurt and promises to marry the first woman he sees, which happens to be a very young, penniless orphan, Hero Wantage.

Hero is very starry eyed around Sherry, ever since they were children, and she thinks he is so very perfect. Sherry puffs up whenever he is around Hero because she praises his various virtues. Hero is a good sort, even though Sherry thinks her name is, “a nonsensical name for a girl!”

When Hero tells Sherry she is about to be cast out from her aunt’s house and must either become a governess or marry the horrid local curate, Sherry decides to save Hero and marry her himself! Sherry has always gotten along very well with Hero and will take care of her as long as she doesn’t cling to him to him too much and allows him the same freedom he had when he was a bachelor. Sherry gives Hero a new nickname, and calls her Kitten since she reminds him of one, “… I think it’s your silly little nose… That, or the trick you have of staring at a fellow with your eyes wide open…”

Soon Sherry marries Hero. Sherry doesn’t keep Hero hidden away, and even introduces her to his various other bachelor friends. Sherry’s friends are a very friendly sort and they welcome Hero into their group with open arms. Things couldn’t be better, until, Sherry bring Hero to London where she feels so out of place. And because of that, she makes some mistakes in society’s eyes and tends to embarrass Sherry. (It doesn’t help that she points out a past mistress of Sherry’s to everyone) Plus, when Sherry’s friend George, Lord Wrotham seems a bit too close for comfort with Hero, Sherry becomes jealous. He is not sure what to do with his Kitten who keeps finding herself in certain scrapes. Hero just wants to help George, who is in love with Bella, but Bella, who I thought was a bit of a B-I-T-C-H, plays with his emotions. Soon there are rumors running all over the place about George and Hero, and Sherry is ready to duel his friend over Hero’s affections.

Friday’s Child is a wonderful tale of regency England by master storyteller, Georgette Heyer. I could not stop laughing at the antics of Sherry and Hero as they try to come to terms as a new married couple. I found myself laughing too many times to count and I wanted to smack Sherry over the head because it took him forever to finally realize he loves Hero as a woman and not just his friend. Friday’s Child is a lovely book with some slapstick comedy that would be wonderful to see on the big screen. If every book by Heyer is like Friday’s Child, I will make sure to pick up the rest of her back list. If you are in a mood for great comedy and endearing characters, Friday’s Child is the book for you!

4 stars out of 5 stars!

Katiebabs (KB) Question- does anyone know what the title means?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I can barely stand it Now!!

So – it’s official. I am now bona fide bouncy! I’m blogging from work – a real big no no for me but I’m so not in the mood to work. I’m too excited and I do not feel like working. At. All. Thankfully we have a summer student in to help us and she is picking up all my slack.

I decided that I would go full out for this trip and get a manicure/pedicure/ eyebrow wax. I’ve had one manicure in my life but never had a pedicure. Let’s just say although I think I will go again, this first one wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences. You combine LOTS dead foot skin, especially around the toes, a client who yelps at the slightest amount of pain, pain that removing LOTS of dead foot skin, especially around the toes and it’s not that good a combination. Add to that I had to hold my legs in positions I don’t normally hold them and people who told me what a relaxing thing a pedicure was, lied. On top of that I felt I was in that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine thought they were all laughing at her because she didn’t speak their language. The name of the salon I went to was Lotus something so you can take by that it was a very similar situation. I’m overly protective of my toes and legs – odd I know – but true and I was sure they were making fun of them – what will dead foot skin and all. But it was well worth it as I catch glimpses of my beautiful dead skin free, very nicely coloured toe nails. The manicure went much better though. I have beautifully matched toe and finger nails. The only problem with the manicure was I was so paranoid that I moved my hands v e r y s l o w l y and didn’t dare put on a seat belt in fear of them all chipped. And I prayed all the way home that I didn’t get pulled over by the cops for not wearing my seat belt. I would have been annoyed as hell paying the fine, but even worse would be explaining that I was wearing my seat belt because my nails were wet.
As for the eyebrow wax, well just as she was finishing up my nails a bunch of people who had appointments came in and I think she forgot. Since I was already convinced they were all laughing at me, I didn’t mention that part and when I got home, I ripped quite a few of the offending eyebrow hairs out myself. Not as good as a professional job and probably more painful but they still pass muster.
But if I’m this excited today – tomorrow is going to be a killer!!

One more thing that different than last time. Last year I told everyone I was going to a writers conference. This year I'm telling them I'm going to a Romance Writers Conference!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ann Aguirre Meet and Greet

What was originally just two people getting together, grew to over fifteen! Last night Ann Aquirre (I felt up her pink Juicy purse) met with her fans, authors, and various bloggers from the tri-state NYC area. We got together for BBQ, margaritas, laughs and of course to talk about books! To help document the night, I had my digital camera to take some picture (until my battery died). But, there were others with cameras! Morgan Doremus, who writes articles for the Romance Times and will be attending RWA next week as part of the press crowd, made sure her camera was ready to go and passed some of these along! What a wonderful night to be surrounded by a wonderful group of lovely ladies! :D

SB Sarah/ Christine & Amy/ Marisa O'Neil, Morgan Doremus & Maria Lokken/
Leanna Hieber & NY RWA Chapter President Elizabeth Mahon

Katie(babs) who really looks much better than this! *at least my boobs look big in my t-shirt*