Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Feature Review: "The Perfect Murder," By Brenda Novak

By Becke Davis, RBTB Contributing Editor

“Nobody’s Perfect”

Although I’m sure my husband would deny this, I’m not perfect. No, really – I mean, how boring would it be to have a perfect body, a perfect job, a perfect spouse? Well, okay, I can see the possibilities, but imperfection is a lot more interesting. Some people think a Perfect Ten – say, Gerry Butler – is to die for. In real life, perfection would drive me to kill.

It’s a whole different kettle of corpses when a killer gets away with “The Perfect Murder” in Brenda Novak’s terrifying, adrenaline-charged latest release. Sebastian Costas is obsessed, searching for evidence that his ex-wife and son were murdered by a cop believed to be dead.

He’s down to his last lead when he crosses paths with Jane Burke, a new employee at The Last Stand, an organization run by survivors to help victims of crimes. Jane’s ex-husband, a serial killer, nearly added her to his body count. If she can rescue two missing young women, it will go a long way to relieving her guilt.

When it looks as if the supposedly dead cop might be the kidnapper Jane is after, she joins
forces with Sebastian. Their partnership quickly heats up, but trust doesn’t come easily to either Sebastian or Jane. Yet falling in love is the least of their worries, when one false move could cost innocent lives.

In “The Perfect Murder,” Brenda Novak cranks up the tension to a fever pitch – you’ll be yelling warnings when the villain closes in, as if you were caught up in a scary movie. There are six books in Novak’s nail-biting Last Stand Series, starting with “Trust Me,” “Stop Me” and “Watch Me,” and concluding with “The Perfect Couple,” “The Perfect Liar” and “The Perfect Murder.” Deftly plotted, paced to perfection, Novak’s books are taut and suspenseful – a mystery-lover’s delight, with enough heat and heart for the most devout lover of romance. Lock the doors, turn on every light in the house and . . .

Buy the Book!

You might think I was joking about how scary this book was. I kid you not, I totally embarrassed myself in one scene – thank God I was alone in the house, or my husband would have laughed his ass off when I yelled out “Nooooo!” as if I could stop a potential victim from walking right into the murderer’s trap. What about you? Do you laugh or cry over books, or yell out loud? Do you like to be scared, or are you a chicken, too?
***
COOL! Brenda Novak is hosting the first ever FAN 2010 with #1 New York Times Best-selling Author Christine Feehan March 5-7, 2010! What is this? An amazing party that lasts three days. Check out the details at www.fanconvention.net . Registration is limited to 100, and RBTB's Becke Davis'll be among the FANs!
***
Buon compleanno, Amy Kennedy, RBTB Contributing Editor!

103 comments:

Becke Davis said...

Hi everyone! Brenda will be stopping by in a bit. I forgot to mention that THE PERFECT MURDER will also be featured at Barnes & Noble's Mystery Book Club during the month of December.

Hope you'll stop by to visit with Brenda and me next month! Here's a link to the book club. The thread for Brenda's featured book will be posted on Saturday.

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/bd-p/MysteryGen

debbie haupt said...

Oh Becke, thanks and Hi Brenda. I'm sorry to say that I haven't read Brenda yet but I love to be scared silly with a romantic suspense novel. You know how much I love Lisa Gardner so I think Brenda will be right up my alley. So I'll definitely be picking up a copy of The Perfect Murder so I can be in on the fun in December.
Deb

Becke Davis said...

Hi Debbie! You're in for a treat! I had a hard time deciding which book to write about, because I loved all of Brenda's PERFECT books. They are all very different, but equally good.

Becke Davis said...

P.S. I love your new picture!

debbie haupt said...

Thanks Becke!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas! Grazie, Becke, for introducing us to Brenda's Last Stand and "The Perfect Murder." It's a great compliment that you were torn about which book to feature out of the Perfect trilogy.

I'm wondering about the serial killer. Was he part of another story in the series?

Deb, I'm with Becke! it's really cool to get to see you and your pretty, smiling face! :) I haven't read a scary book in a long time. I'm not sure how I'd feel about it. Though I kind of like the whole serial killer thing in romances. Well, when it's appropriate, of course...

Becke Davis said...

The serial killer in this one isn't in the other Perfect stories - although the series is connected, each book is complete in itself.

BUT Oliver Burke, Jane's husband, is a key character in TRUST ME.

LisaK said...

Ditto to the picture, Debbie!

Hi Brenda, hi Becke! *waves*

I tend to get very emotional with books. There are quite a few that made me cry when I read them first and that still make me cry EVERY. DAMN. TIME. I read them again (although they're all romance, okay, so I know everything will be all right in the end, but still...).

I also can't stop myself when I read something very (or even only slightly...) funny - I often find myself bursting out without even realizing it ... in public places ... with strange people all around me ... looking strangely at me...

I don't particularly like to be scared but I also don't mind - if it's done with a very well-written, entertaining and suspenseful book (I HATE horror movies and would never intentionally watch one. Never. Ever.). Karen Rose is a master in this genre, I think. My former all-time-favourite (before I read Lady Sophia's Lover) is by her: You Can't Hide. The protagonists are great, the romance is great, the murder case is great. Did I mention it's a great book?

Melanie Murray said...

Deb, you're so purdy!

Becke, thanks for bringing this book to our attention! It sounds thrilling and scary and romantic all at the same time.

I love getting caught up in a book to the point where I'm talking aloud to the characters. What's funny, though, is that I hate scary movies! For some reason scary books are a bit easier for me to take...Have no clue how that makes sense but there you.

Also: thanks for mentioning Gerard Butler. I'll be picturing him all day now, and that makes for a very enjoyable Tuesday.

Becke Davis said...

Hi Lisa!

Brenda has been compared to Karen Rose before. I love both Brenda and Karen's books -- I think they have a different feel to them, but both authors write in a highly suspenseful style that is still satisfying to a reader who wants romance.

I'm with you about horror movies -- sooooo not for me. I'll read scary books, although sometimes authors like Stephen King are too much for me. (I love his early books: THE STAND, THE DEAD ZONE, FIRESTARTER, etc. but PET SEMATARY and CUJO freaked me out.)

I do love a tear-jerker, whether it's a book or a movie. Scott O'Dell's ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS was the first book to make me cry, and it hit my kids the same way. The first author to make me laugh out loud -- embarrassingly and in public, in a quiet library -- was James Thurber. It was his short story, "The Day the Damn Broke," but other stories of his cracked me up, too. Another laugh out loud book for me is an old classic: Jerome K. Jerome's THREE MEN IN A BOAT. Love it!

Brenda Novak said...

Hi everyone--

Thanks for the warm welcome! I love visiting Buy the Book. :-)

Becke, I'm glad you explained why you chose THE PERFECT MURDER over the other two PERFECT books. I was wondering. I think my own personal favorite of the three is THE PERFECT COUPLE. I was fascinated by the relationship between Colin and Tiffany because when I set out to do that story I couldn't imagine what would make an otherwise non-violent, good woman go along with what Colin does. I felt like I could understand after writing the book and actually going through the psychology it would require (or one type of psychology that might answer that question). My editor's favorite seemed to be (she might even have mentioned this to me once--seems like she did) is THE PERFECT LIAR. She loves the scene where the villain is on the phone with the hero's mom. I had a great time writing their conversation. So this is great--to see that it all comes down to personal taste. I was really flattered to hear that you thought they were all good!

Brenda

Becke Davis said...

Hi Melanie! I'll be paying for that mention of Gerard Butler. For some reason, my critique partner considers him her personal property. At RWA National, she bonded with Monica McCarty after the two of them played virtual tug-o-war over Gerry B.!

I'm with you on the scary movies. For some reason, both of my kids watch horror movies and then feel compelled to give me a play-by-play, KNOWING it drives me insane. Clearly, they inherited this trait from their father, although he's with me on the thanks-but-no-thanks issue.

The scariest movie I ever saw starred CSI's William Peterson: Manhunter. To me, it was scarier than SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which I also made the mistake of watching. Both of those gave me nightmares.

With a scary book, if it gets to be too much, I'll walk away. With Brenda's books, it's more about suspense and a build-up of tension than being grossed out or horrified. Horror? Not for me. Edge-of-my-seat suspense? Love it!

debbie haupt said...

You know I feel the same way about scary movies, I have always watched them through spread fingers hoping to close them before the nasty scene happens, and yet scary books (as long as they end happy with the bad guy/gal getting his/her just desserts) don't bother me. I mean like I mentioned before Lisa Gardner scares me like nobodies business same for Lisa Jackson.
I only like tales with happy endings doesn't have to be that all elusive HEA but I won't read Nicolas Sparks any more same for Luanne Rice until I know the ending is okay and that's why I read the last page first in those authors I can't trust.
Deb

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hullo, Brenda! Thanks for stopping in. These scenes sound so compelling! And creepy, too, the way evil seems to shake hands w/good in so many ways. But isn't that the fun of the good 'scary' story?

Yes, Becke's been doing a lot of talkin' bout these books. Luckily, it's fun to listen to what she has to say. :)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ah, Melanie, Gerry B and your Romantic Reads column at Heart to Heart. A good day for us all around!!!

debbie haupt said...

Hi Brenda I can't wait to become a fan. The book sounds incredible. I just ordered it now for the December club.
Deb

Becke Davis said...

Hi Brenda! When I said it was a tough choice, I wasn't kidding. I went with THE PERFECT MURDER because it was the most recent release. As I read the three books, with each one I was reading I thought, "This is definitely the one I want to review!"

I went back and forth repeatedly before deciding to go with the release date rather than any personal criteria. There were things about all three that made them my "favorite" at the time of the reading. I highly recommend each one.

It is true, though, that THE PERFECT MURDER is the one that had me yelling out that warning. I had to actually put the book down and make myself a cup of tea before I could continue with that scene. (Hint: I wasn't yelling to Jane or Sebastian.)

Becke Davis said...

Michelle - is that your nice way of saying I've been talking your ear off? Unfortunately, no one has ever accused me of being at a loss for words.

Becke Davis said...

Debbie - I don't want to cut into your Christmas shopping money, but you would love this whole series!

I also like Lisa Gardner and Lisa Jackson -- I know the authors you like, and I'm confident you're going to be adding Brenda to that list.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi LisaK--

I love Karen Rose, too--both her and her work. She came to stay with me a couple of years ago. My youngest son was learning how to do massage from his grandmother, who's been doing it all her life. He's a little entrepreneur (I think he was maybe 10 at the time). So she hired him for a massage and it made him so happy. It was really sweet of her--and funny.

We also did the cover of RT Book Review Magazine together wearing these great fedoras. I still chuckle when I see that picture.

Becke Davis said...

Karen is great. I met her this spring in Cincinnati, and she was also a featured author at B&N's Mystery Book Club earlier this year.

I read her trilogy with Die for Me, Scream for Me and Kill for Me in a binge as we drove to Florida. I told her it warped my mind -- I was seeing psychopaths everywhere I went!

Luckily, as spooked as I was reading Brenda's books, they haven't pushed me over the edge.

debbie haupt said...

Becke one book at a time, okay. Plus it's only money, and you can't take it with you so you might as well spend it on good reading.

deb

Brenda Novak said...

Michelle, you asked about the serial killer in MURDER. When I wrote this book, I did something I wasn't quite sure would work. I redeemed the wife of the serial killer in TRUST ME. For one, Jane would be a bit older than the typical heroine, something I was stuck with because of the backstory and passage of time between the books. Also, Jane wasn't typical heroine material. She wasn't a killer, but she had an affair with her husband's brother while he was in prison. The story starts out with her hubby (Oliver) getting out. Jane's facing the guilt she feels for cheating on him while he was gone (the brother would come over to help her out with mowing and such and they fell into this relationship even though the brother is a really good guy in every other way) and trying to hold her marriage together. Skye, the heroine of the story, is facing having the successful dentist she toppled obatin his freedom (and, possibly, his revenge) much earlier than she'd planned. Jane doesn't believe Oliver is guilty of what he's been accused of doing (he's the father of her child, had provided a wonderful living, etc.) She believes that Skye is lying and has ruined her life. She went from living in a posh community to living in a cheap duplex and surviving by cutting hair at a cheap $10 haircut place. So that's a bit of the backstory. The first book and the last in the series are linked by Jane.

But...I'm glad to hear from most of my readers that they really liked seeing Jane be redeemed. I'm a sucker for redeption and reformation stories myself, so I had a good time working with a bit of an unusual heroine.

Brenda Novak said...

Oh, I also wanted to say that I, too, get every emotionally involved in what I read. I know that I've hit a great bitter/sweet moment, or heart-rending moment, when I tear up while I'm writing a scene. LOL That just happened with the book I'm writing now. It's tentatively titled WHITE HEAT and will be out next October, the last of the three I have coming out next summer.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Melanie--

I'm with you on scary movies. I LOVE psychological thrillers, especially if they're well done, of course. But I HATE slashing 'em up horror flicks.

debbie haupt said...

Ooh Brenda the more I hear about this book the better I know I'll like it.
I actually love the older heroine being a bit long in the tooth myself, plus I love the redeemed character as well.
Deb

Brenda Novak said...

I have to admit that I walked out of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. I was getting so scared I couldn't take it. LOL I should probably go back and watch it now. I bet maybe I could manage.

Brenda Novak said...

Debbie--I agree about wanting to be left with a good feeling. I like emotional books, but I don't like books that try to go too far with the emotional manipulation. LOL

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks for giving it a shot, Debbie. Please let me know what you think. I'm glad you'll be joining us in December.

Brenda Novak said...

Hey, Michelle (waving!). Are you coming back to be part of my diabetes auction this year? Hope so! You were a fabulous part of it last year!

Becke Davis said...

I walked out of Deliverance. Too much for me. And although I only saw A CLOCKWORK ORANGE once, nearly 40 years ago, that one is glued into my brain.

Oh Brenda, I'm glad you went into more detail about Jane's backstory. I was afraid to reveal too much, but I'm sure you've lured in more readers with that peek into Jane's world.

I'm a sucker for redemption novels - never occurred to me it might be a problem for some people.

Brenda Novak said...

Becke--You remind me of myself! LOL I can really talk. My husband reminds me of that whenever he can't get a word in edgewise.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Silence of the Lambs - I love that movie!

I'm a very emotive reader. I cry, laugh, and sometimes have to skim the gory bits if I get too creeped out. I have to admit, though, I do love a good serial killer book. Brenda, this is a great series!

BTW, has anyone ever read Chelsea Cain? Her books aren't romantic suspense, but she's created this amazing female serial killer. Her books are so scary, they're almost unreadable. But really good.

Becke Davis said...

You should all DEFINITELY check out Brenda's diabetes auction - it's for a very good cause and there are amazing items to bid on.

I won a partial critique from the fabulous Anna Campbell, who did a great job at giving me helpful advice without making me feel like a total loser. I'll be donating books to the auction again this year -- the lovely PJ won the items I donated last year!

Brenda - I'm excited to hear about your new series. Can you tell us more about it? When does the first book come out?

Brenda Novak said...

I hated A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Maybe I was too young when I saw it, but I found it very disturbing (I think I was barely 20). My husband (we had just recently been married) hated it, too. It's probably the only movie I can remember from that long ago that I still really, really hate. LOL

Brenda Novak said...

On the redemption issue...it's interesting. You do run into people who are unwilling to forgive a character if they've made a serious mistake in the past. I like my heroes and heroines to be good people, too, but that doesn't mean they have to be perfect. I think they're more interesting when they've lived long enough to have made some mistakes, to have learned from those mistakes and even to have those mistakes shadow how they view life now.

And have I said how much I love Gerard Butler? Count me in on that!

Becke Davis said...

Oh my GOD, Vanessa - my daughter loved Chelsea Cain's SWEETHEART but it was too much for me. I may tackle it again one day because so many people I know loved it, but it's not for the faint of heart. So what books have made you laugh or cry lately?

Brenda Novak said...

Vanessa--You've convinced me to go back and watch SILENCE OF THE LAMBS again. I know it's good--it was TOO good for me at the time. LOL My husband won't even watch the true crime stuff I love to watch so I'll have to rent it and watch it with someone else.... My sons think it's hilarious that I have a stronger stomach for violence than my husband does.

Brenda Novak said...

I've never heard of Chelsea Cain. What makes it so difficult to read? It's really violent?

Becke Davis said...

Brenda - I didn't like A Clockwork Orange, either. It was an amazing movie in many ways but the psychological aspects of it were just too much for me. I wish I COULD forget it.

I'm with Debbie on wanting to know ahead of time that a) the mystery is going to be solved and b) the H/H will get their Happy Ever After. I always feel cheated if the mystery leaves me hanging, or if a main character dies, or if there isn't a happy ending. I don't care if it's shallow, I want to know those things are assured before I invest time in reading a book.

Brenda - maybe the talking is connected to our families. I'm the oldest of five kids, and it's a weird dynamic. No one talks about "interrupting" in my family, because everyone is always talking, ALL THE TIME. Our spouses and significant others (and now our kids' significant others) are always slack-jawed at the volume when we all get together.

Since no one can get a word in edge-wise, everyone just talks in layers. I don't know how else to describe it. Some of the kids talk incredibly fast, too -- out of necessity, I'm sure! Large families are strange, but fun. But I'm glad I was one of the kids and not the parent!

Melanie Murray said...

The only Chelsea Cain book I have is a YA about Nancy Drew but I have to tell you it's WELL worth it. Confessions of a Teen Sleuth.

Becke Davis said...

Brenda - the two main characters of Chelsea Cain's SWEETHEART are a serial killer and the detective she tortured and let live. Think Dexter, with a bullet.

Becke Davis said...

Wow, Melanie - I had no idea CC wrote YA! I'll check it out.

Brenda - You've written a LOT of books. Which are your personal favorites?

Brenda Novak said...

I'm happy to tell you about the new series, Becke! We're calling it the Dept. 6 Hired Gun series because it's based on a private security contractor. The operatives don't do military ops abroad (although they could if the right case came along). Instead, they do undercover operations inside the US (helping the DEA, etc.). We're still working on titles (a little late, I know), but they're currently being called WHITE HEAT, BODY HEAT and KILLER HEAT.

They're all set in really interesting places in Arizona. The first one is about two operatives from Dept. 6 who are sent to Paradise, Arizona (which is really a ghost town). In the story, however, it's no longer a ghost town. A religious cult has set up shop there and the authorities are getting some very worrisome reports about what's happening inside the secretive, gated community. Nate and Rachel have to infiltrate the cult and figure out what's going on--and then stop it, and it gets pretty dicey.

The next book in the series, BODY HEAT, is a personal favorite. Someone is killing illegal aliens as they cross the border and leaving their bodies in the desert to rot in the sun. The heroine, the chief of police of this little border town, is tasked with solving this crime (of course it turns into something handled by the FBI but until they come in its her baby) but she doesn't have a lot of experience with murder cases.

The research for that novel was SO interesting to me. And I really like the interplay between the hero and heroine. The hero is someone from Dept. 6. Because he's from Bordertown, his father calls him for help so he sort of inserts himself in the case, feeling as if he owes it to his mother, who was an illegal alien (his father is a wealthy rancher who took advantage of his mother and there's definitely some tension there about how things went down in the past).

The last book in the first three in this series, KILLER HEAT, is set in Skull Valley, Arizona and revolves around thirty dead bodies found in Dead Mule Canyon (I couldn't have made up better place names so I went with what was there--LOL).

I'm waiting to see what the covers for these books will be like. I hope they're stellar!

Brenda Novak said...

I'm the youngest of five kids and have five children myself. My siblings are loud and talkative and emotional, like me. My kids are much more mellow, like their father. I'm probably the most talkative of the bunch. My mother used to tell me to slow down, but I would reply that it's her fault I talk so fast. Her attention span was seriously lacking. I had to move fast to get it all in. LOL

Becke Davis said...

Wow, the new series sounds FANTASTIC! I like those titles, I'll be curious to see if they change. You had a cover issue with one of the PERFECT books, didn't you?

Brenda Novak said...

Yes, there was a cover glitch. LOL That's why we're hoping to come out of the gate with great titles and covers this time. I should hear about the titles any day. Will let you know. Covers should be forthcoming, too.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Brenda, I love Silence of the Lambs for the fantastic portrayal that Jodie Foster gives. She is so believable and moving - vulnerable but courageous. Anthony Hopkins is so over-the-top as to be almost funny.

Chelsea Cain's characters are incredibly well-developed and written - and very tortured. The hero is forced into a type of emotional relationship with the killer, who is basically in love with him. It's very different. Not easy to read, though.

Becke, I think the books that have made me laugh and cry lately were the last few books in Eloisa James's Duchess series. Also Pamela Rosenthal's The Edge of Impropriety. It was such a wise yet sweet book.

Brenda Novak said...

I've read Pam before (haven't yet tried Eloisa but know I should). Pam's a very talented writer.

You have me tempted to try Chelsea. I'm not sure I could hack it, but I'm really curious! LOL

Brenda Novak said...

Hey, I know that Becke is going to join me and #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Christine Feehan at our first ever FAN 2010 event in March. Anyone else here coming?

It's going to be SUCH a blast. Christine and I have been planning all the parties and events and giveaways. I think we're full--but we're taking a waiting list in case some people cancel. The 1920s river boat where we're holding the event can only accommodate 100 people.

Brenda Novak said...

I also wanted to say that I have a local bookseller who's been a huge fan of my work for a few years now that's offering a great special on the whole Last Stand trilogy. You get them all autographed, gift wrapped and with a free Brenda Novak tote for $50, including shipping. Would make a nice Christmas present. If you're interested, visit www.bookloverscafe.com. Bradley, the owner will take care of you.

Becke Davis said...

Brenda - I'm so excited about FAN 2010! My husband thinks it's hilarious that I'm going to stay on the riverboat (since cruises terrify me), but I think this will be FUN!

He's going to fly out with me and go on a retreat or something, then we'll meet up afterwards and spend a couple days exploring Sacramento. I've only been there once -- went to Old Sacramento and the gold rush towns when our daughter was a baby. In fact, she took her first steps while we were there!

We also went to San Francisco and visited the giant redwood forests. It was a wonderful trip in a beautiful part of the country, so I'm very excited to have a reason to go back!

Becke Davis said...

Vanessa - I've never read anything by Pam. You sold me - I'm going to order that one.

Anna said...

Hey, Brenda!!

You know me-I love to read a good scare (hate slasher movies, but SOL is one of my all time favorite movies--not too sure what that says about me, LOL)--always good to know when I pick up one of your books, I'm in for a fun (and tension filled) ride!! Can't wait for the next trilogy next summer!!!

Brenda Novak said...

Becke--The river boat doesn't actually leave the harbor. LOL It's docked there permanently, right at Old Sacramento, so it's a fabulous setting. Just wanted to let you know that you can leave the Dramamine (sp?) at home. And depending on your arrangements (I'm not sure how the Delta King works doubles vs. singles) you could probably have your hubby stay with you at night, if you wanted.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Anna--Thanks for stopping by. Wish you were going to be available the weekend of FAN 2010 but I know you have fun plans already.

Book Lovers Bookstore said...

Home to all of Brenda Novak's signed books, Book Lovers Bookstore invites you to try one or all of her books. Visit www.bookloverscafe.com to see what Brenda packages are being offered. If Brenda trust us to be the best, can't you?

Sincerely, Book Lovers Bookstore

Princess Bumblebee said...

Hey, Bellas! Welcome, Brenda! I was just wondering what to listen to on audio next and maybe will check out the local library and see if they have any of your books. Sounds very interesting.
Becke, great job on the book review!
Me, I like my books a little suspenseful, but in no way horrifying.
I am generally very empathetic and, so, if someone's gettign killed, then I'm getting killed, hehe. So, no, I will probably never watch "Silence Of the Lambs" or any such movies. Too scary, hehe.
Yes, I do find myself laughing at funny parts or yelling out loud in public places. All those strange looks you get from people are pretty funny, though, hehe. But, hey, maybe we should turn to them and tell them to 'Buy the book" hehe. There you go!

Becke Davis said...

Anna- I'm with you on the slasher movies! I don't understand why anyone would want to see those.

Becke Davis said...

Oh, that's a relief, Brenda. Cincinnati has Tall Stacks festivals periodically, and I've been on the Delta Queen. I'm fine on rivers, it's the ocean that scares me. Can you tell I'm a Midwesterner?

Thanks for telling me about the room situation, but I'm looking forward to hanging out with the girls!

Becke Davis said...

Hi Bookstore!(This is a first -- don't think I've ever spoken to an actual bookstore before . . .) That's quite a deal you have on Brenda's books!

Becke Davis said...

Hi Princess! "I am generally very empathetic and, so, if someone's gettign killed, then I'm getting killed." That's it, exactly!!

Book Lovers Bookstore said...

We like to take care of Brenda the best we can. We'll also be the book seller at her and Feehan's FAN 2010.

Becke Davis said...

I look forward to meeting you! We'll ignore the fact that I work for the competition :)

Becke Davis said...

I don't know if Amy will be stopping by today, but I want to join Michelle in wishing her a very happy birthday!

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Princess Bumblebee--

My books are available at audible.com in audio but they're not on tape (as yet--hopefully that will soon change--LOL).


Welcome to the blog, Bradley. Bradley helps me with my big launch party each year. Last year, he created the best barbecue EVER. I'm craving more of his tri-tip and chicken.

Those who are anywhere close to Sacramento and would like to attend, email me. It's free, and we have lots of free drawings and other giveaways.

Brenda Novak said...

Happy birthday to Amy!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Becke, you are going to love The Edge of Impropriety. It was one of the best books I read in 2009.

Keri Stevens said...

I'm a Novak virgin, but looking forward to reading your books. I'm so impressed with your successful diabetes online auction. I lurked through this year--everything I wanted went over my budget.

I guess I'll just have to raise the budget next year!

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Keri--

I'm glad you're willing to give my books a try. Here's hoping you like them.

Definitely put the auction on your calendar for next year. There's going to be some amazing items up for grabs--and, with the economy, there might be some real steals. There actually was last year. I had one donor upset because her item didn't go for more, but some years it's a buyer's market and some years it's a seller's market. We need both. That way, everyone gets a chance to win, right?

Best of luck!

Becke Davis said...

Hi Keri! That auction is a real roller coaster ride, especially the editor and agent critiques. I started bidding on a lot of those but they went waaaaaaaay beyond my budget. But it might be worth the big bucks for some people, to get a one-on-one with an agent or editor they're targeting, and it benefits a good cause, besides. I'm not sure if it's tax deductible -- do you know how that works, Brenda?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas! Out all day w/ family stuff yesterday, and missed all this! We'll keep going today.

But, YES, Brenda, I'll be back w/another RBTB & Friends group if you'll have me. It was great fun taking part in the Online Auction. I'm looking forward to working w/the two winners of the manuscript reads I donated, whom will be letting me know when they've got their stuff in order. :) And I hope I can offer more stuff this year. Becke's book bag filled w/stuff was awesome, and we had so many great authors donate big stuff, too.

Brenda Novak said...

Because the editor and agent reads are a business expense, I think they're tax deductible--but must add the usual disclaimer that I'm not an accountant or tax attorney. LOL In a charity situation for which you get a good or service for your money, you typically can deduct only the amount you paid in excess of market value. But my auction is a bit different, as it offers career opportunities and I believe that throws it over into the business expense side of things.

Brenda Novak said...

Hooray, Michelle! Glad RBTB will be back!!

And those gals who won your help have a November 30th deadline, don't they? We put a deadline on the writer critiques, etc., so that our donors won't get a manuscript two years from now, when they don't expect it, or when they have other people they're trying to help via the next auction. It's been a bit of a problem in the past (some agents or editors receiving late manuscripts right when the auction is coming around again), so we decided a deadline would be best.

Also, sometimes agents or editors change houses or careers or whatever, so it also protects the buyer. We carried this over for authors and other industry professionals for the same reason. But, of course, it's completely up to you whether or not you want to adhere to it. Maybe you've made your own arrangements?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Brenda, I'm so glad you've remarked on this. Having worked in non profit, I'm a firm believer in the idea that asking folks to volunteer time/talent/items can have a payoff for them that's not only about good karma. That, of course, to me is major in life.

But in the case of your online auction, the karma also comes in the form of opportunities to get "in front of" agents/editors/industry folks and, super important, readers.

For pennies, one can get invaluable critique from folks that otherwise would be hard to touch. Ads and guest blogs at various sites can help an author get in front of great communities of readers.

And simple business sense can be understood by participating, the idea that time and talent is valuable. It helps us learn greater respect for colleagues and maybe even our own talents.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Yes, I forgot about that deadline! But I did make arrangements w/ my winners because of their unique situations, with the caveat that they may have to wait if there are big goin's on for me at the time.

That said, my schedule is a little more flexible than an agent's or editor's; those guys are all about reading manuscripts. So I totally agree that those folks need hard/fast deadlines.

Becke Davis said...

Brenda, for those who aren't familiar with the auction, why don't you talk about why you started it, and how much you've raised so far. It's pretty amazing!

BTW, I'm grinning like a fool - I'm writing this on my laptop in the car as we pass through Indianapolis en route to Chicago. I just got my new broadband card last month, never tried this before. So cool!!

amy kennedy said...

Ugh. So late to the party, but I've been getting ready for 20 plus for Thanksgiving. Thanks you for the birthday wishes Michelle!

I love Brenda Novak, and yeah, Becke -- I yell and cry and moan (not that kind) I get so into books. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
Hope everyone has a marvy Thanksgiving!

Becke Davis said...

Today's your birthday, right Amy? Hope you are celebrating, big time!

amy kennedy said...

No Becke, just getting ready for Thanksgiving. But the day after Thanksgiving, my Mom and sister and I go out and pretend to Christmas shop -- but we really just eat lunch at the River Room in Macy's and drink wine -- that's when I'll celebrate.

Vanessa, I love Chelsea Cain -- she scares me silly.

Theresa N. said...

I love books like this. I'm very interactive with my literature laughing, crying what evers called for...
Theresa N
weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jane said...

Allison Brennan and Kay Hooper's books really scare me, but I like the gory stuff.

kaisquared said...

Hi Brenda and all! I wish I could come to FAN 2010, but the budget is a little tight right now.... and the auction is only 6 months away! Just finished a great turkey dinner with family, and hope everyone at your house is doing well.

Anne B said...

Hi Everyone - AnneB here - Happy Thanksgiving - I've been busy for the past 2 days, so I've missed all the fun here. Great review, Becke, I picked up one of Brenda's other books this fall after someone in the BN Book Clubs mentioned it, but I've not read it (or any of her others yet- that darned TBR pile keeps replicating !) I like some scary stories, but scary movies do me in. Happy Reading

Anne

Pat L. said...

Happy Bday to all the Nov babies out there including my daughter's coming up on Sat.

I do laugh out and cry (sob too sometimes). AS for scary no I don't care for that type.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Becke Davis said...

Hi Pat! I'll second that birthday wish -- I think it would be fun to have a Thanksgiving birthday, but I'd have mixed feelings about a Christmas birthday.

Becke Davis said...

Hi Anne! Which book of Brenda's did you read? As I mentioned, in addition to the three Perfect books, there are three others in the Last Stand series.

Becke Davis said...

Kaisquared - I can relate to the budget tightness. I wasn't going to go, but I finally decided I couldn't miss such a fun event. I'll take lots of pictures and share them with you all!

Becke Davis said...

Jane - I like Kay and Allison's books, too. It's funny, I do like scary and/or suspenseful books, but I can't handle really graphic violence.

Becke Davis said...

Theresa - have you read any books lately that made you laugh or cry? If any of the rest of you can recommend others that really caught you at an emotional level, I'd love to hear about them!

Tracey Devlyn said...

Sounds like an awesome book - as usual!

Yes, I teared up just last night while reading Lisa Kleypas's Tempt Me at Twilight. It's been awhile since a book made me well up like that. Loved it!

Take care,
Tracey

Becke Davis said...

Hi Tracey! I love Lisa Kleypas, too. Do you like scary books, too?

Anonymous said...

Good morning. Sorry I missed this chat.

I have read several of your books Brenda and really have enjoyed them.

I dont like books that are scary. Really enjoy the light funny tales.

Helen L.

Becke Davis said...

Hi Helen! I like both - the scary and the funny. It just depends on my mood.

debbie haupt said...

Hey Bellas and Happy Day after Turkey Day to everyone. Here I sit stuffed and happy after a day spent with family and friends and great full for them all and of course to my efamily here and elsewhere too.
I just wanted to make another brief comment wanted to be sure to get in on the great contest and say hello to all of you.
As I've said before I love to be scared silly with a romantic suspense or intrigue novel and I also love those cozy romantic suspense mysteries too.
I have ordered Brenda's book so I'll be sure to be in on the Dec. book club.
Have a great weekend everyone!!!
Deb

Caridad Pineiro said...

Thanks for sharing this info with us. Sounds like a great book. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Pat Cochran said...

Brenda is the best at scaring her
readers silly and more. In fact,
she is "Perfect" at doing so! I've
read the first two books in this series. I'm looking forward to
reading the rest and getting caught
up with the series.

Pat Cochran

Becke Davis said...

Debbie - I'm glad your going to give Brenda's books a shot. I'll be curious to see which of the three is your favorite!

Caridad - Great to see you here! (Have I mentioned that I love your name? Doesn't it mean Charity or something close to that? Beautiful!

Pat - with each book in the Perfect series, I was sure I'd found my favorite. Now that I've read them all, I'm still back and forth about which I like best. Do you have a fave of the three?

Marjorie said...

It's great that we are talking about this! I am currently reading "Watch Me" & I am enjoying it. I am stickler for reading stuff in order so I will have to start on the "perfect" books soon. I am glad to see that Jane joins the last stand. Her husband was an absolute creep in "Trust Me".

BTW, I am registered to go to the convention in March! I will see you there, Becke!

plus341 [at] comcast [dot] net

ddurance said...

I love losing myself in a good book. It sounds like I could do exactly that in the Last Stand series.

Deidre
deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

Becke Davis said...

Hurray, Marjorie! We're going to have a BLAST!

Deirdre (love your name) - It's an addictive series!

Monica said...

I laugh, cry, jump, sit on the edge of the couch, fidget, everything. I love when an author can inspire the emotions of readers...I read it and take it.

Monica
mojo09226(AT)yahoo.com

Becke Davis said...

That's one of my favorite things about reading romance - the emotions it evokes!