To all the Moms

Grr-argh (sung like the ending credits to a Buffy episode) I just spent the last 20 minutes looking for a book. Not any book, that would be easy, I have scads, heaps, mountains. Nope, I was looking for a particular hardback anthology with a story in it that came to mind when I decided to write a Mother’s Day post. I looked on my upstairs shelves… the fact that this particular book is a special size hardback with a pretty dustcover made it easy to see that it was NOT on the shelves. I went downstairs to search… I remember where it was in my bedroom while I was growing up. For some reason it was under the bed. Don’t ask me why, I really have no idea! It’s not like I was hiding it. I bought when I was a teenager shopping with my dad in 1995, at Sam’s Club! Ha! So I remember where I bought it and where I used to keep it, but unfortunately not where it is in the present.  I have books on multiples shelves, books in stacks and the worst part, books in boxes! Part of my goal for The Book Tart is to catalog my books… But I’d rather read them than count them and organize them, which is why it’s nowhere near completion! I want minions to do it for me. Or better yet, single(that’s important :p some of them aren’t available), Mr. Romance cover models, that would get hot and sweaty, scratch that! They might damage my books. So, just warm enough to take off their shirts and move my books around and build me bookshelves. *sigh* A girl can dream…. I decided to check the only part of my collection that is alphabetized to see if by any chance I had the book in paperback too. Wonder of wonders, I do! Yay! *confetti* “A Holiday of Love” anthology with stories from Judith McNaught, Jude Deveraux, Arnette Lamb and Jill Barnett. (all excellent! I adore holiday short stories.)

 

Front CoverThe story by Jude Deveraux is the one that popped into my mind when I wanted to write a blog for Mother’s Day. The title of this short story is Change Of Heart and it’s delightfully fun …. Yes, the heroine is a mom, she’s a nurse. I really loved the relationship between the mother, Randy and her son, Eli. The way Eli goes about matching up his single mom, who loves to read romances, with a proper man, who he thinks will take care of his mother when he goes away to school, is nothing short of creative genius!  The story is part of Deveraux’s  Montgomery-Taggert series. It’s 87 pages of short, sweet, sexy and laugh out loud fun. I fell in love with all the characters. Randy may be a bit of a daydreamer but she has a core of steal. And Frank Taggert is strong and stubborn and lonely. And Eli, even after 16 years, I remembered that kid. I want him to get his own story. I have read this book a few times over the years. And though I don’t know where my hardback is, I do own 2 copies of the book. If you enjoy funny, sexy contemporary romance, I highly recommend Jude Deveraux.

I’m not sure why this story came to mind first. There are other books with moms as the heroine. And my mom is nothing like the main character in Jude Deveraux’s story. She’s not a single mother. Or a nurse, she always told us if it wasn’t bleeding we were fine! But she is strong and determined like the character Randy… She and my dad have been together for almost 34 years. They have 5 children, I’m the eldest. We were on vacation once and a lady in our hotel looked at my mom and all of us kids and asked if we had the same father!  Mom said, We were all the mailman’s kids. Which is true, our dad is a mailman. I’m actually not certain if Mom said that, or just told us she wished she had. My mom is my hero! She raised us 5 kids and taught us to value our relationships with each other. My mother is one of my best friends. And my siblings are too. She made sure we spent time with each other while we were growing up, that activities didn’t pull us away from spending time as a family. To this day, we are more than family, we are close friends. My sisters and brother and I have a weekly conference call to catch up because we live all over the country. I have heard people say that they can’t stand their siblings or they fight with their mom. That’s not my case, I am very blessed and I am so very thankful to her. Continue reading “To all the Moms”

New Releases May 8th, 2012

Yay! It’s Tuesday. Which means it’s new release fiction day. The Book Tart database has over 140 mainstream new releases listed for today. My geeks are working on a way for me to add books that the database misses… But I can’t yet 🙁 If I’ve missed a book though, please email me and I will call it out on my fb and twitter and add it to the database when I have access. I am trying to make The Book Tart as complete as possible.

We are also working on the ability to add books you are interested in to a personal wish list… Cause I WANT that for me! lol

Oh! and if you are going to buy any of these books online, consider selecting one of the buy options on the book’s page. My links are affiliated and I get a tiny kickback- to buy more books 🙂

Click here to be taken to the release list for today 5/8.

 

Some books released today are….

Abandon Book 2: Underworld  by Meg Cabot Meg Cabot’s Underworld, Abandon Book 2

 

Broken Illusions: A Midnight Dragonfly Novel  by Ellie JamesBroken Illusions by Ellie James

 

City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments)  by Cassandra Clare City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

 

Covenant Child  by Terri Blackstock Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock

 

Enchanted  by Alethea KontisEnchanted by Alethea Kontis

 

Hard Magic (The Grimnoir Chronicles)  by Larry Correia Hard Magic by Larry Correia

 

Home by Toni Morrison Home by Toni Morrison

 

My Not-So-Still Life  by Liz Gallagher my not-so-still Life by Liz Gallagher

 

Passion (Fallen)  by Lauren KatePassion by Lauren Kate

 

The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group  by Catherine JinksThe Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks

 

The Hunt  by Andrew FukudaThe Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Until I Die (Revenants)  by Amy PlumUntil I Die by Amy Plum

Romantic Times Convention Contest

 I brought back some amazing stuff from the Romantic Times Book Convention and wanted to share. This prize includes the book bag all attendees were given at registration in Chicago and all the swag inside 🙂

 

 

A RT Booklover Convention book bag

The May RT Book Reviews magazine

Sabrina Jeffries’ historical romance To Wed a Wild Lord

Lynda Hilburn’s novel The Vampire Shrink

Various bookmarks and promo materials

The contest runs from Sunday, May 6th to Sunday, May 13th. You receive entries in the contest by commenting on this post and answering the following question- What book did you just finish? You can also receive entries by tweeting about the contest and liking The Book Tart on Facebook.

Good Luck! And may the odds be ever in your favor :p

 

(((hugs)) The Book Tart

Continue reading “Romantic Times Convention Contest”

My first contest winner!

Yay! I had over 30 entries in my Stacey Kade contest. Some of them were multiples from people who commented on the website, facebook and twitter and I used the very scientific method of writing everyone’s names, from all the different sites, down on scrap paper, they got more entries if they responded multiple ways :p and I put them in a bowl and closed my eyes and picked one. Drum roll please….. The winner is …. Danielle Pelot!!! I will be contacting you for your mailing addresses and send your prize right out 🙂

Thank you to everyone who commented and tweeted. Thank you to Stacey Kade for writing the Ghost and the Goth series and re-posting the contest to her fans. This was a lot of fun… But next time I’m using Rafflecopter :p

 

(((hugs))) Queen of Tarts

 

Resuming my recap of the Romantic Times Convention

Rats! I ran out of “r”s I was trying for alliteration in my title *snort* Well, here goes…. Back, back in time ( only a few weeks, I’ll bring you back to where I found you, honest) back to Thursday morning, April 12th. Where I last left off our heroines (Lisa, the Maid of Tarts and me)  lol Well, after we went to the Karaoke party- at 9am in the morning!!! We popped into Club RT and tried to enter our names into all of the prize drawings offered. The Book Tart offered 2 prizes, a cherry tote bag with a fuzzy blanket made by Lisa, and another tote with an Amazon gift card and assorted goodies. There were some amazing gift baskets! I am soooo not lucky- and won zip. Lisa won the Stacey Kade prize 🙂  In the signed tote bag (which we are giving away as a prize! comment on the previous post by midnight 5/5 to be entered) were some goodies, Lisa shared  the amazing pink, blue and purple eyeshadow and we used it for our Saturday night costumes- you’ll see a pic when we get to Saturday. Lisa then went to the Wild and Wacky Party hosted by Kayla Perin and Jamie Rush aka Tina Wainscott. Their party is always a blast! But I was trying to network and learn so I went to a panel on social media and group blogs hosted by The Nine Naughty Novelists. It was a great workshop. I took a lot of notes and our roomie Dawn was a guest on the panel! She is a reader and blogger extraordinaire. We met her last year at RT and I invited her to be our roommate this time around. It ended up being a perfect fit. She’s stuck with me indefinitely now 😛 I can call/text her anytime and say “Dawn? help!” and she does. If you love to read steamy romance check out her blog at http://daydrmzzz.blogspot.com/

 

 

Next on the agenda was an Author Chat with Jeaniene Frost, Nalini Singh and Charlaine Harris. All in one room! I was over the moon excited. I love all of them and own all their works, even the ones in anthologies. Ha! lol It was so fun to listen to them talk about their books.

 

 

 When I came down off cloud 9 from the thrill of being in the same room as them 🙂 We went to the Steampunk Gathering. I had packed a steampunk outfit, unfortunately my zipper broke at my bust. Grrr! Big busts can be a bain (hey, look, alliteration attempt again) Now, I have to share a pic. Look to the left… Yum! A great guy who had NO wardrobe problems is  Scott Nova, in his steampunk costume. There wasn’t much to it…. It was just right! I <3 Scott, I met him last year when he was competing in the Mr. Romance competition. Yep, I voted for him. I enjoyed catching up with him this year. Continue reading “Resuming my recap of the Romantic Times Convention”

Stacey Kade New Release Giveaway!!! #TheBookTart

Yay! *happy dancing* Stacey’s has two, count em, TWO! releases May 1st. The trade paperback release of Queen of the Dead, book 2 in her Ghost and the Goth series. And the final book in the trilogy, Body & Soul, is out in hardback !!!

So in celebration The Book Tart is having it’s first giveaway. We have an autographed book bag. No, *shakes head* silly not signed by me. Really signed by Stacey, the Maid of Tarts won a gift bag from Stacey at the RT Convention a few weeks ago and because we love Stacey we have her autograph on most of our personal collection- so she generously donated the book bag. (thanks Girl!) a $10 Amazon.com gift card (To help buy one of the new releases:) a cute feather hair extension and a lip gloss and bookmark, and the first book The Ghost and the Goth and some swag from The Book Tart too!

 

 We ADORE Stacey! We met her at the beginning of her career at a Romantic Times Convention in Houston, TX. I think…. In 2007. It’s been awhile! lol It has been so fun to watch more people discover the amazingness of Stacey and we can say honestly we knew her way back when :p Check out her website at http://www.staceykade.com/ and if you are near Vernon Hills, IL  go to her book release party tomorrow night. ( I wish I could go!)

Definitely read the series if you haven’t yet. Highly recommended. (We’ll review it when the review section of our site is operational. lol)

Oh! how do you win? Well, comment on this post. Comment on The Book Tart’s facebook page post and RT the tweet at the bottom of this page. You could be entered 3 times! I will draw a random entry on Saturday, May 5th. Good luck!

Romantic Times Convention recap part 1

Ok, finally I am trying to recap my experience at the Romantic Times Book Convention in Chicago. I have been home for 2 weeks and should have written this a week ago while it was fresher (is that a word?) in my mind! Lol but my mind was NOT fresh- it was exhausted and it’s taken me this long to get my groove back-ish. Cause now I’m suffering from allergies and getting in a funk AGAIN! :p Alrighty- enough with the excuses, just write this thing.

My girl, Lisa, and I met up in Chicago on Monday afternoon, April 9th. I was so excited to see her! We live in different states and though we talk on the phone, it’s amazing to actually be together. We spent Tuesday doing a quick touristy trip through a bit of Chicago. We went on the Blue Line. I’m originally from Montana, and now live in Colorado, so I’m not used to the public transit system and got a kick out of the shuttle and was all big eyed and impressed waiting in the terminal and listening to an acapella group singing. They would pause while the shuttle went by and then start again. I loved it! We shopped at the Water Tower Mall and got pics with cute mannequins. Lisa puts up with my camera addiction! Lol I adore photos. Grrr! WordPress won’t let me add the manequin photos right now… I will try later.

Next we grabbed a taxi and went to The Lincoln Park Zoo and had a great time wandering around admiring the big cats and giraffes and meerkats. Then we went to downtown Chicago and ate a delicious dinner at Mia Francesca’s and had to pop into a few stores looking for sweatshirts, cause we were FREEZING! It was 50 degrees and windy and getting colder and we weren’t dressed appropriately lol We finally found Wrigley sweatshirts and wore those to the Cubs game and we still FROZE. It was fun though and the field is absolutely magical. Then it was time to gear up for the convention!

We have attended the Romantic Times Convention since 2005. We LOVE this con. And this year was its highest attended yet, over 1500 readers, writers, and industry professionals. We adore RT because it’s a group of people who share the same passion, we love to read, we love romance… When you meet people at the con you can become instant friends. And you get to interact with the authors who bring us their wonderful stories. I am a huge fan girl and squeal when I meet my favs. I would guess it’s 98% women, I really have no clue on the breakdown, but the majority of the attendees are women. And that is so fun! Being in hotel with a bunch of women who are excited about reading and meeting authors and chocolate, yes, there is a lot of chocolate at the convention. Lol We don’t have much time to eat, we run, run, run to all the workshops and panels and sometimes live on chocolate. This year we tried to be better prepared and had healthy options in our room, but still, I ate a bunch of chocolate!

We hit the ground running on Wednesday morning. I was a stressed out mess! The Book Tart site had just gone live approximately 12 hours before the convention started and I was planning on promoting it and passing out swag and doing a giveaway and the site was and is still just a baby, crawling not running, yet. So, I was a bit of a disaster. But Lisa and our roomie Dawn tried to keep me calm and my head on. It has a tendency to pop off, like a Barbie :p We registered and got our goodie bags, went through the goodie room. It’s a room where you get to pick wander through and pick out approx 10 free books! It’s like a candy shop for readers. Then we went to the Welcome Party and afterwards I went to a marketing class, which had a lot of good info and I took notes, but most of it is for future me, when the site isn’t in its infancy. Oh, and I also set up my spot in promo alley with The Book Tart swag. I bought cute pens and book marks and rub on tattoos and chocolate kisses.  I learned a lot on what works and what I should do next time. My book marks are super cute, but they don’t advertise what this site does and the New Fiction Release database.  Sooo, for future cons I will be better prepared.

 

We absolutely HAD to go to the Intergalactic Bar and Grill reader party. We’ve never missed it. Linnea Sinclair and her crew host a fun game and give away great glowy gifts (say that five times) I got to be the designated extrovert, hence the headband with tinsel lol and both Lisa and I were holding the Hunk Card (ours was a picture of Ben Bowder from Stargate- yumm! Remember him in Farscape? I loved that show) when our table answered the Jeopardy style question correctly, so we got to pick a prize. We both picked books by the SAME author, accidently! The covers and blurb got our attention. I grabbed the first one and Lisa picked out the second book in a series by Alayna Williams. We didn’t realize until we sat back at the table and compared them! Lol we will keep you posted in the review section (when it’s working!) on these books, they look really good.

Wednesday night was the Ellora’s Cave Hip Hop party. Lisa and I love the night parties cause we like to dress up. But for this party, I couldn’t think of what to wear so I was not costumed and a bit bummed.  Many people didn’t have that problem and there was a mix of 80s costumes and hip hop. But my favorite was Lila Dubois and her friends in track suits. And Yes, I have pictures :p Ellora’s Cave gave out amazing swag! Everyone had track pants and t-shirts on the back of their chairs. They are very comfy- Lisa and I actually wore our pants with our Wrigley sweatshirts on our flight home.

After the party, Lisa, Dawn (our most excellent roomie) and me got into our pjs and wandered the hotel at midnight looking for the YA Slumber Party. We were late cause we couldn’t find it :p Honestly! I could swear we checked the room we finally found it in first and it was empty- some sort of time continuum shift caused it to not be there when we looked the first time and when we tried again 15 minutes later- it was there! But we had a giggling good time wandering around a quite hotel in our pajamas (Dawn and Lisa had on socks and slid on the marble floors!) and then we found the party and ate junk food and watched a slipper fashion show .

Thursday morning we got up early and went to the Mystery Chix and Private Dix morning mixer. Free books and pastries, yummy for me. Side note- if you are an author who sponsors these mixers please consider providing a gluten free option. Lisa couldn’t find anything to eat at most of the events.

We popped into the Nine Naughty Novelists & Smutketeers & Cover Model Karaoke party. The karaoke machine kept spazzing out but the singers were troopers and had fun.

Ack! I’ve only made it to Thursday morning and I written 1200 words. I’m sure I need an editior :p but I’m going to call it quits and finish this recap tomorrow night.

Goodnight and (((hugs))) The Queen Of Tarts

Romantic Times Book Convention Here I Come!

Ready or not… mostly not! Lol I seem to procrastinate and order everything last minute and pay expedited shipping cost and STILL didn’t get some of my costume pieces in time *boo* But I am sitting in a hotel in Denver, CO trying to finish this blog and upload a quickie vlog, before I get a few hours sleep and hop on an airplane in the morning to fly to Chicago and the convention. I am both excited and supremely stressed out! And feeling not quite ready, but there isn’t much I can do now. So I need to just let go…. I am so absolutely NOT good at that.

Oh… ummm, in the vlog I have a bit of an accent. I didn’t notice until I re-watched the vlog and didn’t have time to film again. And I know I look different than my first vlog- I like to play with my hair, long, short… one time I might wear one of my many wigs! About the accent…. It pops up randomly! I blame it on having braces at an impressionable age and being obsessed with the Anne of Green Gables movies and having to enunciate with the metal mouth. I am from the U.S. but I sometimes sound like I rule my own little kingdom of Tartlet or some such, which works for me, cause, I’m The Queen of Tarts!

 

I will be at the Romantic Times Book Convention in Chicago all this week, here’s a link http://www.rtconvention.com/ . It is so fun! I am bringing costumes and books to be signed and plan on buying too, too, many books and having an absolute blast! I will also be promoting this website… I have a lot of SWAG, bookmarks, temporary tattoos, the cutest little pens, candy and a book bag filled with goodies for a random drawing sometime during the week. I will pick up goodies from other people and plan on putting together a bag to give away from this site at the end of April! Yay! I’m sure it will have books too…. :p

I have decided that my website in not only a baby elephant, cause it’s taken over 2 years to come to be… but my newest analogy is cookie dough. Have you seen the last Buffy episode? I really think you can find an applicable Whedonism for most situations lol . Here’s what Buffy said “I‘m cookie dough. I’m not done baking. I’m not finished becoming who ever the hell it is I’m gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day, I turn around and realize I’m ready. I’m cookies. And then, you know, if I want someone to eat m- or enjoy warm, delicious, cookie me, then that’s fine. That’ll be then. When I’m done.*snort* I love Buffy! The Book Tart is cookie dough, all of the ingredients are here… chocolate, sugar, egg and whatever else is in cookies! Side note, my daddy makes the best thin chocolate chip cookies *sigh* and now I’m hungry at midnight in a tiny hotel room! Frack!

 

 

Where was I? Oh, yeah, cookie dough…. So the website isn’t done baking, but the ingredients are here, I’m so excited about the database, and I WILL catalog all my books, and share my convention pictures and we WILL review books, we’re just not quite there yet. No warm, melty cookies, yet. But they’ll be delicious and worth the wait. So, keep checking back on my adventures in reading, and elephants and cookies.

And now it’s after midnight and I need to sleep….

Goodnight, The Queen of Tarts

 

 

 

 

It’s a Website!

Soooo, Here goes- my first attempt at blogging. My virgin try. *snort* that word always makes me laugh. And yet, it is appropriate, cause this is my first blog, my first website. This website has been a dream for me. I’ve been calling The Book Tart my baby elephant, cause it has been in the works for a couple years, almost 2! It’s taken so long because it became a bigger beast than originally intended. Lol but my baby is finally here! So, Happy Birthday to me… Which makes me think of Eeyore, my favorite Winnie the Pooh character; he’s just so spectacularly gloomy! “No gaiety, no song and dance, no “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush”. But don’t worry about me, Pooh. Go and enjoy yourself. I’ll stay here and be miserable, with no presents, no cake, no candles.” I will figure out how to give presents and host a giveaway my first month as a blogger. I have (embarrassingly) many duplicates of really great (mint condition) books that I accidently purchased 2 or more copies of- I want to share. And as a bonus for me, make more room on my over stuffed shelves. It’s a win-win!
Oh, I need to warn ya’ll up front, my mind is chaotic! It’s a mess, really. I have thought bunnies hopping though my head and sometimes they behave and stay on track, but other times they see something interesting that totally derails my train of thought and sends my off on a rabbit trail and sometimes I fall down a hole into Wonderland. Sooo, don’t be surprised if I start out talking about books and then chocolate and then cupcakes (yummm!) and other seemingly random things. It’s the damn bunnies! Now we can sing- “Bunnies aren’t just cute like everybody supposes. They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses. And what’s with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for anyway? Bunnies. Bunnies. It must be bunnies! I adore Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Once More With Feeling is epic.
Ok- I’m back. I had to go to YouTube and find that song, I’ve Got A Theory. In future blogs when I write, Bunnies, It must be bunnies. You can have the song stuck in your head too. I’m generous like that, you can thank me later.

What was my point? Oh! Yes, welcome to The Book Tart. Make yourself at home please. Visit the My Collection page (it’s a work in progress) chat with me in the Forums, and definitely visit the New Release page and make yourself a “Maybe, Baby” wish list of books you are excited for. You can save the list or print it and take it with you to your local book store. If you have one  Please support independent bookstores. I live in the boonies and my book shopping is done at my grocery store, Walmart, Target and online. I miss bookstores…If you have a local book store, I’m so jealous! I love wandering around in a store and browsing the stacks. And, I got off track again! Silly Rabbits.
The Book Tart is a celebration of all things fiction. I have a large collection of books, mostly romance, and a few years ago, as I was pondering my many stacks and piles, I thought it would be nice to catalog them and organize them and stop buying so many duplicates! And then that idea morphed into “Why don’t I have a place where I can share my passion for fiction and organize my library and share what I read with other readers who could get ideas on what to try next and recommend books and authors to me that I have missed and I will get new books to read! I’d love new ideas for books to discover. And, while I’m dreaming big- why not have a database of new fiction releases? My favorite day of the week is Tuesdays, new release day. And I have become tired of searching the internet trying to find out what books are coming out when. I can’t be the only reader who would appreciate that kind of list, right? And, that, my friends, is what added so much time to the arrival of The Book Tart. I am absolutely not tech savvy at all and I needed a lot of help. I adore Badass Builders, my web geeks, for working with me and making, what was just a glimmer in my eye, into a reality.
I love to read! That’s really putting it mildly- I live to read. And I hope you come along on this journey with me as I try to organize my books and read books and share my opinions and dreams.
(((hugs))) The Book Tart