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Recap of KISSCON, Kansas City

Join me for a recap of the activities at KISSCon sponsored by Rainy Day Books, Avon Books and Harper Collins publishers.

This was an amazing experience. I’d never been to an intimate setting and book signing like this before. Woodneath Library in Kansas City, Mo, was the location of this event. Chairs and a stage were prepared for 9 authors and about 300 people. This was a free event.

Ok…let me start at the beginning of the day. Ruby and I decided it would be a great idea to support the bookstore that was sponsoring this event. They are called Rainy Day Books and they are a small book store that isn’t a corporate conglomeration.  This was a true floor to ceiling-books everywhere-all genres represented bookstore. They had very nice staff that wanted to help, point out their favorite books and explain up-coming events they have planned. These ladies knew their stuff and were happy and helpful with a heaping bit of make-you-smile. I enjoyed myself immensely.

Next thing on the agenda was the meet and greet of these 9 lovely authors.  Marie Tremayne is the author of Lady in Waiting (watch for the upcoming review here on One Book Two) was the newest member of the panel having only one book pubished at the moment. She also has one in edits and one she’s currently working on.

Lenora Bell and Cathy Maxwell are also historical romance writers except they have lots of books out there waiting to be read. Currently, I’m in the middle of reading What a Difference a Duke Makes (watch for the review here coming soon). While I read Cathy Maxwell in the anthology, Four Dukes and a Devil, I picked up her latest A Match Made in Bed.

The authors that Ruby Lee went to see were Jill Shalvis, Lori Foster and Jodi Thomas.  These ladies all write contemporary romance. Along with these contemporary artists are Lori Wilde, Linda Howard and Alisha Rai.  Granted,  I have never read the works of the contemporary artists, but there were 300+ people sitting in the audience that obviously were huge fans.

After a couple of introductory rounds, the panel were subjected to rapid fire questions.  Some put the authors on the spot by asking them to reveal their secrets if they answered yes to questions that started with “Never, have I ever…”. Audience members laughed at the panelist answers because along with the characteristic of great story teller was the fact they all are great entertainers.

When the speaking part was finished, everyone that wanted a book signed waited patiently in line for their chance to speak with their favorite author.

The final part of the event was the ticketed portion. Ruby and I splurged on VIP tickets to see what that would entail.  We each got a goodie bag (pictured above) and a glass of wine with a side of cheese, crackers and the best darn cupcakes I have ever ate.

All in all, it was a great experience and definitely worth driving 5 hours to attend.  Thank You to all those great authors for making our day memorable.

 

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KISS con in Kansas City, baby!

I am so very tickled to report that One Book Two is going to Avon Romance Books Kiss Con in Kansas City, MO.  Don’t know what KISS con is?  Well, read on!!

 

Avon Books is a subsidiary of Harper/Collins publishing house.  Avon Books represents works in the romance genre with a ton of authors, but TODAY there is an event in Kansas City, Missouri put on by Rainy Day Books.  This event will showcase 9 romance authors and all of them are superstars AND WE GET TO GO!!!  It will be a treat to visit with:

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis writes warm, funny, sexy contemporary romances and women’s fiction. An Amazon, BN & iBooks bestseller, she’s also a two-time RITA winner and has more than 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.

 

Photo by Alexander Petrenko / alexstudio.ch

Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling author of historical romance novels with Avon Romance/HarperCollins. Her writing has won numerous awards including the 2014 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Award for Historical Romance and the 2016 RT Book Reviews Best First Historical Romance award. She recently found out that she’s a finalist in the 2018 RWA RITA contest for published authors in the Historical Short category!

A teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing who has lived on five continents, Lenora currently shares an old farmhouse in the Pacific Northwest with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties named Dorian Gray and Percy Shelley. She loves hearing from readers! Sign up for her mailing list to hear about new books, sales, and giveaways!. She loves to hear from readers!

 

Lori Foster first published with Harlequin in January 1996. Her second book launched Temptation Blaze and her 25th book launched Temptation Heat. Since those early days, Lori has routinely had 6 to 10 releases a year. She’s a Waldenbooks, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author with over 100 titles published through a variety of houses, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martins, Harlequin and Silhouette.

Lori also writes as L.L. Foster publishing books written as Urban Fantasy with a little bit of romance.

 

Linda S. Howington is an American best-selling romance author writing under the pseudonym Linda Howard. After 21 years of penning stories for her own enjoyment, she submitted a novel for publication which was very successful. Her first work was published by Silhouette in 1982. She is a charter member of Romance Writers of America and in 2005 Howard was awarded their Career Achievement Award.

Bestselling novelist Cathy Maxwell, a storyteller since childhood, embraces her writing romance as a way to express her belief that “loving well is the greatest adventure of all,” and to explore her fascination with the Regency period.

The author of twenty-five historical romance novels and four novellas Cathy’s latest THE SEDUCTION OF SCANDAL, the fifth of her Scandal and Seduction novels, has just been published. The others, also set in the Regency period, are quintessential Cathy Maxwell—traditional historicals with a contemporary sensibility and a touch of humor. They are A Seduction at Christmas, The Marriage Ring, The Earl Claims His Wife, and His Christmas Pleasure. Each has appeared for multiple weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list.

 

Alisha Rai writes award-winning emotionally complex contemporary romance novels and is frequently sought as a speaker on a range of topics covering romance and media.
She is the first author to have an indie-published book appear on Washington Post’s annual Best Books list. Her books have also been named Best Books of the Year by NPR, Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, Kirkus, Bustle, and Cosmopolitan Magazine and her novels have won the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for erotic and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, Alisha is traveling and tweeting.

 

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 novels and 13 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

Marie Tremayne graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in English Language and Literature. While there, a copy of Pride and Prejudice ended up changing her life, and she decided to study the great books of the Regency and Victorian eras. Now she enjoys writing her own tales set in the historical period she loves.

Lady in Waiting is Marie Tremayne’s debut romance novel and was a finalist in the GSRWA’s 2014 Emerald City Opener Contest. Its sequel, The Viscount Can Wait, was a finalist in the 2015 ECO Contest. Marie lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

New York Times and USA Today best selling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensic nursing from Kaplan University. She is a member of the Internal Association of Forensic Nurses.
Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie.
A popular writing instructor, Lori is a three time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She’s won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic. Her books have been translated into 26 languages and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill.

 

One Book Two staff that will be in attendance.

Ruby Lee and Nervous Nellie Justice

 

Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis

Jill Shalvis does it again.  Nobody But You is being released tomorrow, which is just in time because Spring is here and love is in the air.

Nobody But YourTitle: Nobody But You
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Cedar Ridge, Book 3
Publish Date: March 29, 2016
Genre:
Romance
Source:
NetGalley

Publisher’s Description:

SOMETIMES YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN…

After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.

Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She’s broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I’m-too-sexy-for-myself guy who’s now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob’s dark intensity makes her want to tease—and tempt—him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Ruby LRuby_Lee 100ee says…

My respect for Jill Shalvis’s writing increases with every book I read.  Nothing But You is the third and final book in the Cedar Ridge series, and I am a little sad about leaving such a beautiful place.  Her vivid imagery and true to life problems that the characters face cause Cedar Ridge to become a very real place in the minds of her readers.

Many people feel that romance books are nothing more than formula writing but Jill badge4v4Shalvis is about as far from formula as you can get.  I love the snarky comments that Jill writes for the main character Sophie.  Every one of them made me laugh and led me to like Sophie a little more.  Jacob is a returning soldier with PTSD, and Jill takes that on with the compassion it deserves.

Jill Shalvis also makes it very clear about how she feels about 50 Shades of Grey with many direct references that don’t paint the book in a good light. They made me look at the story from a different angle, and I agree with many of her comments.

Overall, Nobody But You is a funny, well written, romantic story that I very much enjoyed over my Spring Break.  If you have read Jill Shalvis before, I am sure you are excited for this book release tomorrow.  If you have never read a Jill Shalvis book, you are missing out and Cedar Ridge is a good place to start.


Lucyfer’s Corner

1 paw – Lucy FaceRomance…  I can’t believe that I had to start reading romance again. Ruby felt that the “romantic situations” were a little too hot for Izzy’s young kitten eyes so I had to subject myself to the mush and grossness of human love.  I have never been more happy that Ruby had me spayed.  Who in their right mind would want to deal with all that?  Yuck!


Other reviews…

If you like this book…

My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis

I eagerly anticipate  Jill Shalvis book release days.  I can’t wait to meet her new characters and see what kinds of trouble they can get themselves into.

25317360Title: My Kind of Wonderful
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series:
Cedar Ridge, Book 2
Publish Date: December 22, 2015
Genre:
Romance
Source:
NetGalley

Publisher’s Description: Bailey Moore has an agenda: skiing in the Rockies, exploring castles in Europe, ballroom dancing in Argentina. Now that she has a second lease on life, she’s determined not to miss a thing. What she doesn’t realize is that item #1 comes with a six-foot-one ski god hot enough to melt a polar ice cap. She doesn’t want to miss out on him either, but Hudson Kincaid isn’t the type of guy to love and let go. And as gorgeous as Cedar Ridge is, she’s not planning to stick around.

As head of ski patrol at his family’s resort, Hud thinks he’s seen it all. But never has he run into someone like Bailey. She might look delicate, but her attitude is all firecracker. And her infectious joy touches something deep within him that he’s been missing far too long. Now he’ll just have to convince Bailey to take a chance on her biggest adventure yet . . . something rare and all kinds of wonderful.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Ruby LRuby_Lee 100ee says…

Jill’s characters are special because they aren’t “cookie cutter” people.  That is one of the arguments that anti-romance book people use frequently when they try to make the point that romance literature is not up  to the standard of the other genres.   I have actually had first hand experience with this at a book club Christmas party a few weeks ago.  Everyone was name dropping these “exclusive” book titles that they were reading.  When I told them I was looking forward to the new releases by Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins, they just stared at me and passed over my comment.  They act as if reading is suppose to be a kind of torture that they need to endure to be well-read.  I think it is sad that these people are missing out on tremendous stories that whisk the reader away to another time or place.  They allow us to become other people, if only for a moment.  It is my strong belief that reality 100% of the time is not good for anyone and “these kind of books” make life a happier, sunnier place.

Enough about me and on to this incredible book.  This book is character driven, and they are amazing characters at that.  They have a depth that few authors can achieve and they face things that aren’t “fixed” at the end of the book.  You know these people will continue to face their demons long after the book is over, but they will be able to do it together.  Plus they will continue to have mind-blowing lovemaking sessions that are constructed creatively and, at times, with lots of humor in this book.  The romance would definitely be rated an R+.

However, there is one part of this book that took it from a strong 4 rating to a 5 rating for me.  There is a scene in the book when Bailey and Lily get overwhelmingly drunk while waiting for Hudson and Aidan to return frombadge5v4 a rescue call.  When Hudson arrives to take her back to his place for the night, he refuses to make love to her because she is intoxicated.  He knows that a woman cannot give consent to sex when she is intoxicated.  Hudson and Aidan even have a discussion about how she is off-limits that night.

Jill Shalvis, you are an amazing woman to include this in your book.

In other books that I have read, the mental state of the woman is never addressed and it is considered sexy if a man loses control and “takes” her.  But it is not sexy and it is not legal.  In my other life, when I am not Ruby Lee, part of my job is to educate people about consent for sex.  We teach them that if a person is intoxicated or under the influence of anything, they can’t give consent.  It is a difficult message for some to get when our culture has condoned it for so long.  Another part of my job is to work with those that have been assaulted when they were intoxicated.  It is heartbreaking and something that can never be truly repaired.

So in closing, READ THIS BOOK.  It is sweet and funny with great characters that you will love until the end and after.

I am counting the hours until the next Jill Shalvis release day.


Izzy’s Corner

 ? paws – I can’t rate this book because mom spent most of it covering my eyes.  I know there is skiing, painting and a man that acted IMG_0640 (100x80)stupidly.  I don’t know about the last one for sure but every book I have read with mom so far has a man who has done dumb things.  Boy I a glad to be a female cat.

 


Other reviews…

If you like this book…

You are a person of great taste.  You should also try the Hope Series by Jaci Burton or the FBI/US Attorney Series by Julie James.

All I Want by Jill Shalvis

October has been beautiful this year with weather you don’t often see this close to Christmas. I even got sunburned one day. But no matter how nice the weather is or how beautiful the leaves are, this fall will always be remembered as a season of loss.

24804591Title: All I Want
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Animal Magnetism, Book 7
Publish Date:
October 6, 2015
Genre:
Romance
Source: 
Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionFrom the “awesomely, incredibly talented”* New York Times bestselling author of Still the One, comes a sexy new Animal Magnetism novel set in Sunshine, Idaho, where the sky is the limit when it comes to love.

Pilot-for-hire Zoe Stone is happy to call Sunshine, Idaho, her home base. But her quiet life is thrown for a loop when her brother’s friend Parker comes to stay with her for a week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent is a handsome flirt with a gift for getting under her skin. And the situation only escalates when Parker hires her to fly him around the area while he collects evidence on a suspected smuggler.

Now she has to live and work with the guy. But when they’re in the air, she sees another side of him. He’s driven, focused, and sharp. And while he enjoys giving commentary on her blind dates, she quickly realizes with a shock that it’s Parker who gets her engines going…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Ruby LRuby_Lee 100ee says…

There has been a lot to grieve, but most of it I won’t share to be respectful of the privacy of others. However, there is one heartbreak that I can share because it is completely mine and Lucyfer’s. On Friday, my cat and Lucy’s companion Hobbes slipped from this world peacefully as the cancer became too much. He was a beautiful 14 ½ year old tan and white cat that always rubbed his head on my kindle as I read and sometime got the pages to turn too quickly when he hit the screen with his paw. He loved that.

So on Friday night, Lucifer and I sat alone wondering what to do next. Reading has always been my escape so I picked up my kindle that still had Hobbes hair sticking to it. My heart contracted but I smiled at the silly memories I had of him. I started looking through my kindle trying to find something that I could get lost in and make me laugh. Then I found Jill Shalvis’s new book All I Want.

All I Want is a fun loving stand-alone book in her Animal Magmatism series. However, we still get to visit many of the characters we fell in love with in her previous six books. My first smile came when Zoe opened the door and kissed Parker thinking he was someone else and my first laugh came when this happened:

           “Help!” screeched a feminine voice. “HELP ME!”

           Parker whipped around, automatically reaching for the weapon that he didn’t have at the small of his back because,    oh yeah, he was in running gear with no place to hide a weapon.

           But there was no woman. Just a huge parrot perched on a printer at the front desk.

          “Help!” it squeaked in a shockingly authentic woman’s voice. “I’ve been turned into a parrot!”

         “Peanut, play dead,” Wyatt said. Peanut sighed and tucked her head into her feathers.

         “Good parrot.” Wyatt looked at Parker. “She’s a nut.”

         “Damn, shit, farts,” the bird muttered beneath her breath, making Parker grin.

         Wyatt sighed. “Peanut’s a mimic, and Jade, our office manager, has a bit of a potty mouth.”

         “Boner,” Peanut said, head still tucked into her feathers.

         “Peanut, dead parrots don’t talk.” Wyatt turned back to Parker. “Follow me.”

I was laughing so hard that tears were running down my face. This is what Jill Shalvis’s books do. They make you laugh. They make you open your heart to two imperfect but wonderful characters. They make you fall in love. They make you badge4v4forget about the bad day, the awful boss, or the hole that is in your heart. That’s a gift that not many writers have but Jill Shalvis is filled with it. It’s a gift that she gives her readers.

I loved this book. I loved how each interaction between Zoe and Parker was well sculpted and added to each character. I loved the sexual tension that crackled between the two characters. I loved the witty banter back and forth. I loved the Rated R love scenes and I loved that they rescued 2 kittens that needed a home. Somehow, that Friday night, I felt that Jill had written that book especially for me. So when the happy ending came and the story was over, my heart was a little lighter and little more whole.

Books can be magic. Jill Shalvis’s certainly are.


Other reviews…

If you like this book…

I absolutely love Jill Shalvis so I recommend any of her books including her new series, Cedar Ridge.   Other great books would be The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service by Beth Kendrick and Take Me Home by Nancy Herkness.

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