Monday, October 17, 2011

Seekerville Welcomes Guest Blogger Barbara Vey!

Debby Giusti here!

Monday is the start of a new week, and what better way to start this week than by welcoming Barbara Vey back to Seekerville. If you don’t know Barbara, read on. You’ll quickly learn about a wonderful woman who loves books and readers and writers and who does everything in her power—and she wields a lot of power—to match the right reader with the right writer’s books.

After a happenstance encounter on a cruise ship with a top echelon executive for Publishers Weekly, Barbara landed a job as the voice of Publishers Weekly’s online romance blog, Beyond Her Book. Barbara just celebrated her birthday so let’s welcome her back to Seekerville with a chorus of “Happy Birthday to you” and lots of hugs!

We’re kicking up our heels today with a Fall Fling. Main Street has been cordoned off. No cars allowed. We’ll be dancing in the street, celebrating our new Seekerville home with cotton candy and funnel cake, clog dancing, face painting for the kids, helium balloons, and clowns. Maybe Captain Jack Sparrow will stop by if, on the count of three, we all say, “Pretty, please.”Grab a cup of coffee and line up for the breakfast buffet as we chat with Barbara

Thanks for having me back to Seekersville and Happy Birthday! This is quite the party you have going on here.

Today I thought I'd tell everyone the story of how the WW Ladies got started. The WW Ladies are a group of readers who read some of the books sent to me and then write blurbs about them for my Beyond Her Book blog. They also include a couple of sentences about what they liked about the book.

When I first started writing my blog, I would go to the library and check out a book, read it and write a little something about it. Since I never really liked doing reviews, I decided to just write about the story and how I felt reading it. After I attended my first conference, I discovered that publishers and authors would send me their books to read. I never realized what a floodgate I was opening.

Books started pouring into my house. There were so many that I had to get a post office box so my poor mailman didn't end up with a back injury. I read as fast as I could, but couldn't make a dent in the TBR piles. Finally I packed up a box of books and took them to my Weight Watchers meeting and asked some of the women to help me read and write about the books. That was the day the WW Ladies were born.

Since that day I have met librarians, booksellers, students and avid readers who have joined the ranks of reading the books and writing the blurbs for my blog. The one thing they all have in common is their love for books and respect for the authors who write them. (Photo left: WW Lady Joysann, librarian)

Many live in my area, so they come to my house with empty book bags, but after perusing the 3 book rooms I have, leave with many choices including audio books. The only rule I have is that they can choose an author or a genre they love, but the also have to take a book that they wouldn’t normally read or a new author. Most of the time, they love the extra book and are surprised by that fact. The usual response is, “I never would have picked up that book and I’m really glad I did because now I want to go back and read everything she’s written.” This also leads to recommending the books and authors to their friends. (Photo left: WW Lady Loretta, 86)

My youngest reader is 10 and the oldest is 86 and they all do a spectacular job of informing other readers about what’s available out there. This is absolutely a winning situation for everyone involved. (Photo left: Youngest reader Alex, 10)

Thanks, Barbara, for fostering reading and for hooking readers up with writers and vice versa. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in 5 drawings held throughout the day. A total of 25 books will be given away so be sure to tell us what you think about book reviews? Do they help you select a new read? Are you more apt to choose a book because of comments made on a blog or review site or is word of mouth the selling factor for you? What is the most important thing you want to know about a book before you buy it. (Photo left: Debby, Barbara and Janet, RWA 2011)

Breakfast is served…pancakes, waffles, scramble eggs, bacon, home fries, an assortment of muffins and berries, juice and coffee. Naturally, grits are included!

The big giveaway this week is a $25 gift card to buy books--Seeker books, of course--and a $25 gift card to Starbucks! Thanks, Myra and Cara, for the great prize. And it includes Myra and Cara's books as well. Check it out here.

And remember...we're giving away a Toshiba Netbook (loaded with Microsoft Office) at the end of the month from a random drawing of all our visitors. Your name is added in the randomizer EVERY time you comment.


  1. Happy Monday and Happy Birthday Barbara! It must be awesome to have a job like yours. I love visiting your blog on PW and I loved the party you gave earlier this fun!!!

    I personally think reviews are extremely helpful and if I see a ton of rave reviews from people I know I'm more likely to buy a book or at least add it to my swap wishlist. Likewise if I see people who I know have similar tastes to me who hated a book I'll probably steer clear. I can't believe all those books that you have to read and write about but it looks like you have a great team to help you. :-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  2. Oh Captain Jack...pretty please with a cherry on top and a bottle of rum. ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  3. I'm much more likely to read a book if it's rec'd by people I know.

    One I've thought about recently was Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. EVERYONE I knew was reading it and LOVING it - talking about how well written etc. And it was.

    But I didn't read the back of the book first to know that it's a subject matter I wouldn't normally read [mom with cancer] because of my own personal history.

    That said...

    I read the whole thing because by the time I realized it just might not have an HEA, I was sucked in :p. I cared too much not to finish it!

    I read her new one and reviewed it tonight - very different topic but as well written :).

    Hoping Captain Jack will stop by!

    And wowzers! I wanna stop by your house! THREE book rooms?!

    Oh my cow!

    I'm getting my two bookcases this week so I can start on filling them up [and a third coming sometime soon...]

    And I LOVE that your youngest reader is 10!!! How awesome is that?!?!

    Oh and...


    Had to sneak that in there ;).

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

  4. Hi Everyone!

    Isn't it exciting having Barbara with us again! Did you see all the books she has in her house? Oh my gosh! A reader's dream come true. Wish we lived close...

    I love word of mouth recommendations. Some gals in my town read a book a day. Whenever I see them in the grocery store, the first thing I ask is what they recommend. Of course, I pass on my favorites...all the Seeker books!

    I'm heading to bed but hope to be up early for the Main Street Fall Fling. See you in the morning!

  5. Happy, happy birthday, Barbara, and thank you so much for all you do to get books into the hands of readers. A story that isn't read has no power to entertain or edify the reader.

  6. Coffee pot's set.

    Happy Birthday, Barbara!!

    I confess I don't read many reviews. I go to the inspirational section of the book store and read back cover blurbs. I read Seeker/Seeker Friends books. I read books that get recommended on this blog. And I have some favorite authors I've read for years.


  7. Oh my, if I lived in town, I would so love to follow your model of book reviewing with people and with the rule of one you know you'd like, one you wouldn't have picked up on your own. What a cool rule. Alas, I live off the beaten path in the middle of nowhere so not feasible.

    I brought chocolate for the other night owls but unfortunately, somehow it's all disappeared. Weird.

  8. I do read reviews although I'm not sure if they really influence me. I tend to like to read on certain topics and I learn what themes are in the fiction from the reviews.

    Not sure if you mean professional reviews or Amazon customer reviews? Some customers have been in the habit of bashing the latest in an author's long-running series. I have read some of those books and enjoyed them. I don't think Amazon reviews are much help because there are so many of the author's friends reviewing, it seems.

    I will say that I've read some books because they were on the bestseller lists. I find I don't always agree with the sales figures they have generated, though.

    Nice to see you, Barb! I'd love to win a book. We can never have too many, can we? lol

  9. Happy birthday, Barbara (and Seekerville, too!)! :D

    As a book blogger myself, I absolutely love the whole book review system! If some of my blogger friends have reviewed a book and note that it's a new favorite or that they loved it for some reason, it definitely makes me want to read it, too, because a lot of us have similar tastes and appreciation for a good story. :) I sincerely hope that my review on my blog (and on "The Borrowed Book" blog that I contribute to, as well as other sites I post my reviews on) have helped others in finding new authors and/or books to try. And if they've already read the book, I hope that my reviews might give them a new perspective on the book and are enjoyable to read on their own.

    There are so many people who are involved with blogging and other social media enterprises, and I think it's great that publishers and authors are using these new venues to spread the word about their books! The Internet has become a one-stop shop for discovering authors and sharing a love for the written word. :)


    P.S. Here's my blog URL, if anyone's interested in checking it out! ;)

  10. While we're talking about stacks of books you know you'd like and books you wouldn't have chosen....Am I the only weirdo that has a huge, daunting TBR pile but the books vying for my attention are books I've already read, several times even? I guess it's like a comfortable friend, I know I love them and want to spend time with them over putting my shy self out there and finding I don't click with the new people. Hmmm, my shyness extends into book reading evidently, never thought of it that way til I just wrote that.

  11. Happy Birthday, Barbara! Loved hearing about your blog!

    Book reviews play a huge role in my decision to read a book. The first thing I want to know before I read a book is, "does it have a happy ending?" It's hard to find a review that will reveal this since, I guess, it's considered a spoiler, but I usually read the first and last sentences anyway before I buy. Maybe that's cheating, but it hasn't spoiled a read for me so far. :)

    That breakfast menu has me craving grits now.

    Oh, and in a blatant attempt to bribe Cap'n Jack into attendance, I'm sneaking rum cake onto the breakfast buffet in his honor. :)

  12. And I probably ought to answer the question!

    I take personal recommendations most seriously and only if I've heard the person admit to me that they haven't liked a book (and not necessarily ripped it to shreds or anything). I won't take a writer's online recommendation of books too seriously, because I know how tricky it is to say anything ill about a fellow "coworker" somewhere as public as the internet. Same thing with endorsements.

    I know that there are book review blogs that just say they won't review anything unless they'd give it 3 stars or more, (my policy is I won't post publicly anything less than 4 stars because authors are my "coworkers") but it still gives the impression that "they love everything" and that makes me feel like they aren't a critical reader and therefore I tend to trust them less.

  13. Happy Birthday Barbara,

    I love your Library. I like it when someone suggests a book to me. In particular I like their enthusiasm and this gets me interested to read it too.

    Thanks for the post,

  14. Oh, and please Barbara enter me in your generous draws.


  15. Melissa, you're not the only one that loves rereading. My TBR pile (not including Kindle books or ones I'd like to get from the library) now totals 30, but I'm dying to reread three or four of my favorites. Half of my TBR pile is borrowed, so I feel obligated to read them first, but as soon as I can, I plan on revisiting those "old friends" and getting reacquainted. :)

  16. I give reviews some consideration when deciding what to read, but I'm more likely to read books that my sisters and close friends recommend. I'm totally jealous of your 3 book rooms, I currently only have 3 bookshelves!

  17. I love your site, Barbara!

    And yes, I usually choose my books by review. I have Powell's Bookstore 'Pick of the Day' sent to my e-mail and I have a folder (on e-mail) where I put the reviews I like. Then I find them in the library or order them. Sometimes I use the list when I need a Christmas present or a birthday rpesent, so there are some (nature books, history of cooking/quilting/guns/ etc.) that I've saved so I can remind myself what a good rpesent that book would be for someone I know.
    I also get a lot of reviews from School Library Journal and ALA magazines. :)
    Amazon reviews are iffy. There are some books I've thought were HORRIBLE, but have awesome ratings on Amazon. Usually the hot new YA series.

  18. Amber, love your blog!! Now I have a new place to stop and read about books... :D

  19. Melissa I NEEDED some chocolate,try to keep better track of it next time. Now I have to settle for candy corns.
    I read a few reviews but too many can be confusing.
    My big question. How do you all have time to read AND write?
    My small question: Do I have to retype my e mail address to be entered in the drawings or is just making a comment enough?

  20. It's usually the book summary that makes me want to read a book --or a book cover that catches my eye and then pulls me in with the summary (e.g. "The Healer's Apprentice" by Melanie Dickerson, or "The Lady of Bolton Hill" by Elizabeth Camden). After that, I do try to read a couple reviews, but they aren't primary.

  21. Happy Birthday, Barbara...I loved your posting today.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  22. Happy birthday Barbara.
    That is such a neat idea to have others read and review books. I just love reading and reviewing.
    Have a lovely day,
    Trinity Rose
    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

  23. Thanks, Helen, for plugging in the coffee. The first cup tastes great! Just what I needed this morning.

    Thanks for reading Seeker books, Helen! Also glad you're making plans for ACFW mentioned that in a blog comment not too long ago!

  24. Barbara, great to see you in Seekerville. I love the fact that one of your readers is 10. (I have a nine-yer-old in the house that needs a push sometimes. My 14-year old, on the other hand, loves to read. He is currently reading what he considers his first romance book: Twilight.)

    Does a review help? Yes, it gets me to look at the book. From there, though, I need to look at the blurb and see if I would like the subject.

  25. Barbara Vey has been invited to attend the ACFW Conference in 2012!

    I know she'll love meeting everyone, and you'll love getting to know her in person.

    Those of you who have attended ACFW in the past, be sure to let her know how warm and welcoming the people are and how much fun she's sure to have.

  26. Barbara- I hope your birthday has been as great as you are! 3 book rooms!!! And my husband thinks I'm book crazy because I have two book cases and a TBR table that's piled high. You're definitely my role model!

    Your WW Ladies sound wonderful, and I'm sure all the authors you feature on your blog appreciates the time you give helping them promote their work.

    I do read reviews occasionally, but usually I go by reading the back book blurb and then I read the first page or so. Also, I do buy books when they are written by someone I know. If a friend recommends a book, someone whose judgement I trust, then I definitely look for that book.

    Breakfast is lovely Seekerville, and definitely include me in all the raffle drawing today. I've got to go to work now, but I'll party in spirit with you. :)

  27. Cathy,
    I don't often read Amazon reviews, or at least not to make a book selection. I do read them if I'm questioning whether to buy a product. Books are different. Reading tastes differ.

    I used to read all the top best sellers. Now that I have to budget my reading time (trying to be a good time manager), I'm more selective.

  28. Amber wrote: The Internet has become a one-stop shop for discovering authors and sharing a love for the written word.

    I agree!

    Thanks for spreading the word about the books you love...

    Thanks to all of you who review or blog or spread the word in any way about Seeker books. Your support means so much to us!

  29. Natalie!

    Another GRITS gal!!!

    Thanks for bringing rum cake. Captain Jack is probably sleeping in this morning. Hope he stops by later.

  30. Gatorade...

    Three book shelves. That's a great book collection. Stick around Seekerville and your home library will grow!

  31. Mary Cline...

    You don't need to add your email addy. Each comment will enter you in the many drawings we're having.

  32. Renee, Thanks for following the blog. The readers who write about the books love what they do.

    Carol, awesome about the bookcases, but boo to the Cards. Time for us to move on to the undefeated Packers. :)

  33. Erica, nothing better than sharing a book with a friend. That's what my "blurbers" try to do.

    Helen, we do write about inspirational books too (along with everything else) if you decide to give my blog a chance.

    Melissa, my house is open to everyone, so if you're ever in the neighborhood...

  34. It's still early, but Seekerville is getting ready for the Fall Fling. We've stopped traffic on Main Street and are setting up booths.

    The parade will start at noon EST along with the first drawing.

  35. Happy Birthday, Barbara!!! Three book rooms??? Wow...that would be like living in a library. *happy sigh just thinking of it*

    Thanks for stopping by and telling us how you got started! I love that your readers range too. :-)

  36. Ah, Barbara, mon petite!

    It has been too long, my darling, but then, any time away from you and my beloved Seekers is too long.


    So I am here, your barista, a lover of many things, coffee among them.

    And a spot o' rum is never looked at askance. Clog dancing?

    I brought my shoes!

    Funnel cakes?

    I feel the carnival surrounding me!

    Let me take care of your coffee needs and perhaps...


    A bit of cake, as well!

    Let the party ensue!

  37. Cathy, my not reading reviews is just a personal thing that I've had since childhood. I don't like spoilers and there always seemed to be them in the reviews I read, so now I avoid them.

    Amber, I totally agree that if you and the reviewer have the same taste in books, that's a terrific match. I tend to love book recommendation from friends who know what I like. Good luck with your blog.

    Natalie, I love HEAs too and that's all I'll read. That's what so great about romances, they always have an HEA or they don't deserve the title romance. I leave the depressing stuff to Oprah.

  38. Janet, I'm with you, I seem to get the best recommendations from friends and their enthusiasm.

    Melissa and Natalie, I just wrote a blog about comfort reads and I'm with you. There are certain books I read over and over.

  39. Captain Jack...

    Be still my heart!

    You're up bright and early. And lookin' good, I might add.

    Natalie brought the rum cake. Be sure to thank her!

  40. Gaterade635, it won't be long before you need more shelves!

    Virginia, keeping a folder with gift ideas is great. I'm always forgetting things like that. Thanks for the tip.

    Mary, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to read and write. I have books all over the house, audio books in my car and always something in my purse...even on my phone. I'm never caught without something to read. I even read while waiting in line.

  41. Lady Dragonkeeper, I love a good cover. I'm drawn to it (and a good title). I'm always thrilled when a good story follows.

    Karen K., thanks for stopping by today!

    Trinity Rose, that's why I love stopping by much love for the written word.

  42. As I read back through the comments, I realized that the one I made aroun 3:00 a.m. didn't show up! That's what I get for doing anything at that hour. Someone, please pass the coffee. IV infusion of a dark roast would be nice about now, lol!
    I love those WW ladies. They have had a significant effect on my TBR pile.
    As for other reviews, I read to get the overall gist of opinions sometimes, but usually a friend has told me about a book.
    Now I'm off to find some coffee. I'll check back in and watch the parade later :)

  43. I'm late to the party, but I'm bring fried dough sprinkled with powered sugar.

    Welcome to Seekerville (again) Barbara!!! I think the WW group has the most wonderful job in the world. And I'm glad to see you don't shred a book in your column. Writers are sensitive souls even if our hides are tough.

  44. Debby, you are an early riser like me, I just finished posting my blog.

    Walt, congrats again on your Maggie win at Moonlight and Magnolias.

    Dianna, thanks for stopping by before work. This is a great place to start your day.

  45. Jessica, I do sometimes feel like I'm living in a library. Good thing I live alone so nobody else is bothered by the stacks of books.

    Barista Jack, just in time...I'll have a large coffee and funnel cake to get this day started!

  46. Debbie, it was so nice seeing you the other night and finally meeting your husband. Zumba!! 3 a.m. you should be sleeping. :)

    Cara, fried dough with powdered sugar...Yum!! Authors are my favorite people, so no need to upset them.

  47. Happy Birthday, Barbara!

    I'm with Helen, I don't normally read reviews to decide if I want to read a book (same with movies). I go to the book store or online book store and read the back cover blurb.

  48. Debbie K,

    Loved the blog you did as Barbara's Roving Reporter on the recent Moonlight and Magnolias Conference.

    Great picture of Walt and his wife, Mo!

  49. Hi Rose, I'm with you. I hate the way they ruin some movies with reviews.

  50. Barbara, Wonderful to have you back in Seekerville! Happy birthday!!

    We love to party in Seekerville! Besides celebrating our fourth birthday, we're psyched to celebrate your birthday today!

    I brought caramel apples, crunchy and tart on the inside covered with soft, sweet, chewy caramel.

    Thanks, Barbara, for sharing the story of how the WW Ladies became readers for the Beyond Her Book blog! Love the span of reader ages!
    Your blog is a service to readers and writers alike. So thank you, Barbara, for all you do to promote romance.

    I have auto-buy authors but I'm always eager to read a book someone recommends.

    Fun to see you in NYC!

    Hugs, Janet

  51. Happy Birthday, Barbara, and welcome back to Seekerville! Your overstuffed bookshelves remind me of the many visits to libraries to pick out just the right read for an upcoming week. Due to my dad's job, we moved around a lot when I was growing up -- the first thing my folks would do in each new town was find a church and get us all library cards! How I miss the long lazy summer days of reading book after book after book!

  52. Hi Debby and Barbara and Happy Birthday Barbara!

    I use reviews when I'm in the gray about a book. It looks like something I might like, but from the blurb it also looks like I might struggle with the hero or heroine. That's when I turn to the reviews to see what other readers are saying.

    Can't wait for the parade at Noon!


  53. I like reading what others have to say about books, but when choosing a book I usually go by what's new from Christian publishers and my favorite authors.
    I am excited about this giveaway!
    Lisa Nelson

  54. Happy Birthday, Barbara! What fun to read your post today. I loved seeing Mary Coneally's book in the pile. :) I thought I had a lot of books. Until I saw your pictures. :)

    In the past, I read books that friends recommneded to me. I am trying to branch out in what I read, so I'm finding reviews to be more helpful in selecting new (to me) authors to read.

    If I go into a bookstore, I take a quick look at the front cover, but it's what's written on the back that has to grab me before I purchase.

    I love that you have your readers pick one book they know and one they don't. What a great way to expand horizons.

  55. Melissa, I don't know if it makes you feel better, but my TBR pile includes books I've already read too. So glad I'm not alone in that. :)

  56. Janet, NY was a blast. I too have my auto-buys, but I love to be surprised by a new author.

    Glynna, I always looked forward to summer vacation. I'd come home from the library with a ton of book and hole up in the privacy of my room to go on all kinds of adventures.

    Kirsten, whatever helps you find the kind of books you're looking for is a good thing.

  57. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you Happy birthday dear Barbara, happy birthday to you.

    Trust me, you are blessed to get the written version rather than the sound of my voice. LOL

    Have a great day Barbara and welcome back to Seekerville. I'm always impressed with a tbr pile of books like yours. That would be my dream job. smile

    Oh my, I just bumped into Captain Jack. He's looking for you. Wants to have a chat about your blog.

  58. Hi Kirsten!

    Saw a huge book on Naval History the other day at BJ's (like Sam's Club or Cosco) and thought of you!

    How do you divide your time between non-fiction and fiction reading?

  59. Lisa, I always liked the lists that said, "If you like this author, try this one." Just another way to find someone new.

    Jeanne T., my readers are always pleasantly surprised when they discover a new author or genre. Loretta, 86, read her first paranormal and loved it!

  60. Ah, a wonderful job, Barbara, and happy birthday and welcome back!

    I love, so when I get on there to check availability or prices, how can I not help noticing the gold stars beside the title? Well, I scan what people have written, and for the most part, the reviews are balanced between likes and dislikes, which doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. It just means it won’t fulfill everyone’s whim. And what book can?

    Sometimes there’s a majority of rave reviews with a couple 1-3 star reviews sprinkled throughout. Most of the time, at least one of those is due to Amazon’s, or the seller’s, slow shipping; or the fact that the buyer didn’t read enough information and bought one thing, when they thought it was something else. So the reviews, the stars—they’re all pretty subjective.

    Love this giveaway. ; )


  61. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraOctober 17, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Hey everyone! Happy Birthday Barbara!! I discovered your site earlier this year when you had that awesome party! I had so much fun. What a great job reading books for a living. How do people become readers for you? I think it would be really interesting. I have to go to work but I will try to stop by on my lunch break and I will be back later tonight. Hopefully Captain Jack stops by. " Pretty Pretty Please!!"

    I brought some teas to go with all the great food!


  62. Hi Lisa Nelson,
    Do you play the accordion? My BFF in high school had taken lessons all her life. She hated it, at that point, but I loved to hear her play.

  63. Hi Jeanne,

    Branching out, as you mentioned, to new genres and authors is always good. I'm in a book club, and the selections are often reads I wouldn't have picked on my own. Many of them have been keepers!

  64. Janet and Barbara,

    I'm agreeing with you on the lazy days of summer reading as a kid. Nothing better! A stack of library books and all the time in the world.

    Ah, youth!

  65. Barbara -


    You know the Cards scored more points than the Rams did yesterday...

    You can keep the Packers ;). I'm really more of a baseball girl myself anyway.

    I need to clean that room out. All I really wanna do is read [after a nap of course].

  66. Welcome, Barbara! And Happy Birthday!

    I like both word of mouth and the written reviews--but the written ones that sound like the reader really enjoyed the book, more than a 'this is what happened in the book' review.

    Stop by Capn Jack. Pretty please. ;-)

  67. Happy birthday Barbara! Thanks for sharing your story with us! What a great sounding job you have!


  68. The Bounce House is being set up. Looks like great fun for the kids today.

    Carmel corn and Janet's carmel apples. YUM!

    Smell the funnel cakes?

  69. A big, hearty, WELCOME to Barbara!

    And that just goes to show that meeting the man of your dreams isn't the ONLY reason to go on a cruise. What a great story of how you fell into the job you love, Barbara.

  70. Happy Birthday, Barbara! I can't imagine all of your books. Did you say three rooms? Wow!

    After reading so many books and writing all those reviews, do you have one book/author who really stands out? It doesn't have to be your favorite. Just a book you'll never forget.

    Christina Renee

  71. Happy Birthday Barbara!!! I'd love to win! I love your awesome topic.I really think reviews help me choose which book I want to buy.
    Rose M.

  72. I think I'm more drawn by what the story is about and seeing if I like how the writer writes, how the story flows than a review. I

    've gotten books where people said this is the greatest and it wasn't. I probably would come more listening to someone tell me about a book and why they liked it over a written review.

  73. Whitney, you're right, you have to keep an open mind when reading Amazon reviews.

    Loves 2 Read Romance, thanks for stopping by and hope to see you later.

    Carol, pouring salt into the wound. I worked for the Brewers in 1982 when they went to the World Series and baseball has a special place in my heart.

  74. Hey Sparrow,

    Haven't heard from you in a while are you stuck on that island again.

  75. We are all so fortunate to have Barbara Vey as an ambassador to readers everywhere. I've seen her in action, walking up to strangers to talk about reading and everyone loves to talk to her. I am definitely influenced by someone telling me about a book, but I've also picked up many books because of the amazing WW ladies (and young men like Alex!) who read constantly and share their feedback on the books.

    Great blog, Debbie, and congrats on your new series. Can't wait to get a copy of The Captain's Mission that just hit the shelves this month.

  76. Blogger must not have had enough birthday or funnel cake at the Fall Fling! We'll take another run at it... :)

    GOOD MORNING and Happy Birthday Barbara! Welcome to Seekerville!

    Loved hearing this story. Thanks for sharing it. I didn't realize you had YOUNG readers (Hi Alex!) - I write Middle Grade Adventure. Should I send my book? :)

    What would a Fall Fling be without Capt Jack - soooo Pretty please?!

    Thanks Debby - this is just too much fun.

    Have a blessed day everyone (gracious - I'm #73 I think. Wawzah!)

  77. Happy Birthday, Barbara! So glad you joined our birthday celebration. The more, the merrier I always say, LOL!

    I loved your story about your readers! Who'd've imagined WW meetings being so much fun and productive. I so wish you were in my meeting group. Makes me think about handing out books at my next meeting though. What better way to market?

    Thanks for being such a great friend of Seekerville, Barbara. We love having you with us and the food Debby serves is just so not WW!

    Beautiful fall day for a great block party. I wish there was a gracious way to tell my boss I have other plans for the day...

    Don't think he'd understand.

    Have fun everyone!!

  78. Patty, always nice to hear when someone really enjoys a book.

    Edwina, I love my job!

    Pam, thanks to the cruise I now get to meet many men of my dreams. :)

  79. Wow, 73 comments already?

    Birthday Blessings, Barbara. What can I say? I love alliteration.

    I think reviews are helpful but then I write a lot of them. I tend to post on Amazon and B&N because of the increase in e-book sales.

    For my own reading, I tend to rely more on reader reviews these days than outside reviews. I also struggle with the fact that review "stars" don't tell the whole story.
    I tend to give specific reasons why I like a book when I write a review so look for those reviews but not to the extent where they tell the whole story.

    Can't wait for the fall fling to get going! The weather here is beautiful.

    Peace and see you later!


  80. Happy Birthday, Barbara,

    I like the idea of having your readers pick a different genre. I like different genres and the new worlds they open up.


    Maybe that's why I like to write different genres too.

    Your reviews-- a couple sentences--sounds so much simpler. I've read reviews where it felt like someone writing the book again.

    Thanks for coming by

  81. Did I hear Caramel Macchiato?

    Pumpkin Spice Latte?

    Espresso... straight. Harsh. Dark.

    I'm here, my beauties! Whatever your coffee desires be.

    Did Sandra steal my cloak again? Where in the village would Sandra hide a pirate's cloak...

    I have to check out this village a little more thoroughly... I do not know all those little hideaways that brought me much comfort on the ISLAND...

  82. Christina, one of my favorite comfort reads is Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, but I could never pick a favorite author...too many to choose from. :)

    Rose, thanks for stopping by and good luck with the contest.

    Tina, reviews are very subjective and luckily we don't all like the same things. Something to keep in mind when reading reviews.

  83. Dianna, great to see you here. Everyone can read about your support of libraries and schools through art on my blog today.

    KC Frantzen, while I accept all books, I can't guarantee that they will be read or written about, but you can send it to me at PO Box 438, South Milwaukee, WI 53173 and mark it for Alex.

    Audra, my feeling is to share books with everyone I can, so I take them with me everywhere.

  84. Julie, readers love to share their love of books and it sound like that's why you write the reviews. Keep sharing.

    Tina, I hate long reviews that tell everything. I want some surprises when I read the book.

  85. Barb said: Pam, thanks to the cruise I now get to meet many men of my dreams. :)

    lol! I hadn't thought of it that way, but that is SO true.

    Whoo-hoo! Bring on the cruises!

    And...somebody pass me some funnel cake. I LOVE funnel cake with LOTS of powdered sugar on top! Yum!

  86. What a wonderful story! And I enjoy writing reviews because I feel an immediate sense of accomplishment. It takes a lot less time to write a review than a novel :-)

    It's wonderful what you get to do, Barbara- and I absolutely LOVE that you are encouraging reading for all ages. I have a houseful of readers and it's such a blessing

    Hi Jack (waving with a little wink just between the two of us) :-)

  87. Btw, Happy Birthday, Barbara
    LOVE the comment you made about the 86 year old who loved her first paranormal.

    Oh man- I want to be like that at 86. Open to discovering something new :-)

  88. Funnel cake? Did someone say funnel cake? Mmmm...perfect with some of Cap'n Jack's French roast.

    Barbara, kudos for all you do to help promote our work to readers. Thanks for coming by to share your birthday with us!

  89. The highlight of 2011 has been meeting Barbara. Thank you for your support of romance.

  90. Melissa, I know what you mean. I'm a repetitive reader of my "keeper shelf"... I'm the same with movies. If I LOVE it, I add it to the collection and watch it once a year or so...

    But I push myself to read new things too, because it helps me see outside the box. And I read out of genre. And ABA and CBA.

    And I make myself read books that are non-fiction to give myself a glimpse into other worlds. Wall Street... Big business... Life stories of big names... Warren Buffett... Rudy Giuliani...

    And I brought CAKE!!!! Okay, we have a cake selection... Jack's here?



    We have chocolate cake with white cream filling and dark chocolate glossy frosting....

    (A fave at the Yankee-Belle Cafe, btw!)

    And carrot cake... SO SEASONAL!!!


    White cake with lemon filling and whipped cream frosting decorated with white chocolate lemons...

    And yellow sprinkles.

    So festive!

  91. Rum cake???

    Natalie, cara mia, ti voglio bene!!!

    You are my one true love, yes! It is true.

    And did you, perchance, leave a little liquid rum in the bottle?

    They designed this village with no bar stools in sight.

    An oversight, for sure.

  92. The party is really swinging already!

    Happy Birthday Barbara!

    I love that you ask people to pick up a book that they wouldn't normally read. That's one of the reasons I enjoy doing book reviews - I've read many authors that were unfamiliar, and explored genres I wasn't sure I would like, and in the process have found some great new reading friends.

    Now, if I could just get my TBR shelf a little emptier....

  93. Barbara,

    Loved the story behind how you were led to the PW's blog and how you recruited your readers. It left me smiling.

    Happy Birthday!

  94. I'm in for the rum cake and the grits. Brought my own brand of coffee. (Foldgers) No frills in my cup please.

    Instead of book reviews, I read an excerpt. If the writers voice and style appeal to me, I choose based on the blurb.

    I don't read anything in first person. All those I's give me a headache. (My apologies to any authors who write in this POV.)

  95. Hi Debby!

    I wonder if the book you saw was the History of Navy our Foundation published. It's a huge coffee table book. We call it our "Special Collections."

    Side bar: Our office is one door over from the Navy Dept. Library. One of our favorite things is when someone walks in, looks around at our two bookshelves and asks if this is the library. I'm always tempted to say: "Yes, please come in and browse. After over 200 years of service this is all the Navy has collected of our history." But I don't. I'm nice and direct them next door.

    Now to answer your question. Actually, I'm pretty lucky in that if I'm researching something for work I can go next door and read all the non-fiction I want. So, I don't have to divide my after work time, I can read during my 6:30 to 3:00 on-the-clock time.

    If it's something I'm working on for my own project. As long as it's Navy or Marine Corps related the same thing applies. Our office is about promoting Naval History, so if we're doing that it's all covered, even trips to Quantico to raid their archives and library.

    When I'm home, it's just a matter of what I feel like reading, or need to read. So, I don't really have a set schedule. If there's a great book about SEALs that I just got then I'll read that one (because honestly there's nothing better, even in fiction, than the true lives of Navy SEALs). Or if there's a terrific new Debby Giusti book in my TBR stack that I'm dying to read I'll grab that one.

    I hope this makes sense, and answers the question.


  96. Barbara, I had the chance to listen to speak at the Emerald City Conference last year. What an inspiration!

  97. Maybe after reading this post, I'll try a book recommended by Barbara and her WW ladies.

  98. Hi Barbara! (waving madly from GA)
    It's always exciting to be at a party with you...and if you're there, it's a Party!

    I love to read book reviews...and a lot of times I'm enticed to get the book and read it. Other times,if the cover grabs my attention, I read the blurb & decide for myself. Then if I like the book, I tell everyone in a book review of my own...and a review on Amazon.

    Debbie, thanks for having Barbara on today and for putting out such a great breakfast...the coffee's getting low, maybe it's time to put on a fresh pot. (g)

  99. Wow! what an amazing group! It sounds like a ton of fun!

  100. I agree with Renee: The reviews are helpful!

  101. I would love to be a part of a roup like that because I love to read!

  102. Debby,

    To answer your questions: I rely heavily on reviews when choosing a book by an author unknown to me. That probably outweighs word of mouth, except when it's a trusted friend's recommendation whose tastes I know and who knows mine. But most important for me when buying is familarity with the author.

    Loved your Fall Fling name. Our nearby community just celebrated its 33rd annual Fall Fling a week ago. The Seekerville events sound the same. What fun to celebrate twice in one month.

    Thanks for another informative post. I didn't know about Barbara's blog.

    Happy Birthday to Seekerville.

    By chance do you have any gluten free waffles already on hand? If not, consider that my contribution to the breakfast feast.

  103. Thank you so much for posting today Barbara! Sounds like such a fun job! Great also that you have young people involved in your program!

    Amanda Barratt

  104. Ah, Pepper...

    The wink.

    Cara mia, one wink... You are my spice of the day, darling!

    And speaking of spice...

    Not spicy novels, my tastes these days run to gentler tomes. Stories of heart, soul and emotion.

    And worthwhile romance, of course. Ah. You think a rogue like myself has no place for romance????

    Wrong, swashbucklers!

    In my line of work, I simply have MANY places for romance!

    What's going on in that festival tent? Fiddle music? Bless my Appalachian soul!

    Pepper, join me in a reel, darling.


  105. Oh Jack, be still my heart.

    Dancing with my favorite pirate to fiddle music?

    I'll put some shoes on for the occasion ;-)

  106. Welcome back, Barbara!! I'm so glad to see you here today helping celebrate out birthday. And to celebrate yours a bit late. :)

    Thanks for sharing how you got strated blogging! Your shelf looks a little familiar to me. :)

    What a fun day, Debby! Lots of fun prizes.

  107. Way back in the last millennium, I chose books based only on browsing book shelves.

    But then book blogs appeared, and now I'm constantly adding books to my TBR list just because I saw it on someone's blog. Totally changed the way I buy books. And the more I see it on blogs, the more likely I am to read it if everyone keeps saying it's good. What is that, literary peer pressure? :

    And THREE ROOMS of books? Oh, wow!

  108. Oh my goodness Barbara, I would love to come to your house and "check out" books. That would be fun. Love the idea you shared your passion of reading with WW.

    Happy Birthday Barabara. What is the date of your birthday? Mine is the 20th of this month.

    On to get the coffee!

  109. The blog was very interesting! Sounds like a great group of readers!

  110. Pepper, reading just makes everyone so much more interesting to talk to.

    Mia, thanks to Debby for inviting me to the party.

    Tina, so sweet of you to say.

  111. Had to be away from my computer for about an hour...hated to be gone.

    Looks like everyone is making Barbara feel right at home.

    The band is starting to warm up for the big parade at noon.

    Lunch follows.

    Did everyone get breakfast? I'm headed to the coffee pot for another cup!

  112. Jan, what fun is an empty tbr pile?

    Cara G, I'm always happy to make someone smile. :)

    Bridgett, excerpts are a great way to see if the book is right for you.

  113. Hi Dianna,
    Thanks for stopping by Seekerville today! And thanks for bringing Barbara to M&M some years ago when we first met. You told me she was wonderful, and you were so right!

  114. Sherri, loved Emerald City, thanks for the kind words.

    Sandy, great to see you here and loved our time in NY.

    Ashley, I love my readers.

  115. Amanda, kids are the future. We need to get them to love books now.

    Missy, nice to see you here. Can never have too many books.

    Sally, "Literary Peer Pressure" I like that. :)

  116. Hi Julie Steele,

    BTW, Jamison Steele is the hero in THE COLONEL'S DAUGTHER, which I'm finishing this week. Love his and your last name! :)

    Do you think ebook readers rely more on Amazon reviews? I've got a hunch they do, although it's just my gut feeling.

    Anyone want to chime in?

  117. Patsy, my birthday is on the 7th and my doors are always open to readers.

    Kelsey, thanks for the birthday wishes!

  118. Ah, Bridget, mon petite...

    I will talk third person to you all night, cheri!

  119. Thanks, Babara, for providing your mailing address...expect more books this week! :)

  120. Pepper, me love...


    Why spoil it?

    Leave the shoes off.

  121. Bridgett,

    I love excerpts too! Even the first paragraph is often enough for me to fall in love with the story and the author's voice.

    No first-person books on your TBR shelf? Interesting. I love first-person mysteries. Harlan Coben is one of my favorite suspense authors, and he writes in first person.

    Some authors are mixing POVs. They'll use first person for the protagonist, and then switch to third when they're in the villain or secondary character's POV. I believe a James Patterson novel was the first time I noticed that technique (One of his books with the 3 women. Forget the series.) At first, it threw me. Now, I just keep reading and don't give the switch a thought.


    I was just grimacing at my TBR list a few minutes again, bemoaning the fact that I couldn't read more than four books a month, when I saw your book shelves in the blog above. HOLY FREAKIN' COW!!!! Made me want to turn around and go right back to bed ... WITH A BOOK!! Great system you have there, Barbara, and a real key to your sanity, I'm sure!

    DEB, great post as always, my friend, and you asked the question how do readers select a book???

    WORD OF MOUTH is HUGE to me. If a friend recommends a book highly enough, I will more than likely look in to it. But the top reasons I buy a book are:

    1.) WORD OF MOUTH!!!

    2.) I like the cover and/or jacket blurb and/or first paragraph.

    3.) It's won awards.

    4.) It has a ton of 5-star reviews.

    Barbara ... I hope it's a fabulous day, week and and year for you, my friend!!


  123. Welcome Barbara! I do like to read reviews if the book is by an author that is unknown to me.
    I would love to have a dream job such as that and THEN get to share it with my friends! How wonderful!

  124. I forgot to ask to be entered.
    lostie815 at hotmail dot com

  125. Kirsten,

    You live a dream life, my friend. Working next door to the Naval Library. Be still my heart!

    If I visit DC one of these days, may I stop by and visit?

    Navy SEALS! HOO-AH! They're my heroes! Of course, all military guys and gals are heroes in my book!

    Thanks for mentioning my get an extra slice of birthday cake! :)


  126. CaraG...

    Thanks for mentioning gluten-free! Yes, honey, in cyber land everything is gluten-free and tastes just as good as the regular stuff!

    No problems when you're eating your way through Seekerville!!! Enjoy!

  127. Donna, you're in the drawing.

    Everyone's in the drawing...

    We're giving away 25 books today.

    This week's giveaway includes two $25 gift cards, thanks to Glynna Kaye and Cara Lynn James. Everyone who comments is entered.

    The BIG BIRTHDAY BASH SEEKERVILLE OCTOBER GIVEAWAY is a TOSHIBA NETBOOK!!!! Every time you comment, your name is added to the drawing!!! Whoo-hoo!!!

    Good luck, everyone!!!

  128. Debby, I can't wait to read your new book with the Steele hero. There is a reason I call my husband the "Man O" for Man of steele.

    I have put The Captain's Mission on my Kindle for my reading list for Bali. I was told to make sure to pack plenty of reads to make the time pass for the 30 hour flight. Yes, you read right.

    I think savvy Amazon readers read the Amazon reviews but know there is a wide range of opinions. But I think having the reviews right there when you order makes it hard not to look at them. Does that make sense?

    Caramel? Anything with caramel is on my list. I brought a Brown Mountain Sugar Cake to sell at the bake sale. There is a bake sale. Surely there is a church having a bake sale at the festival.

    Peace, Julie


    The Library is open to the public and is fantastic. Sometimes I just go over (under the pretense of working) and just look through their collections.

    The Navy Museum is also on board the Navy Yard, so there's lots to see.

    JAG is right across the street. And there's a Marine Colonel over there I'm basing a hero on.

    If you let me know a few days in advance, I can put you on the VIP list so you don't have to go through the Visitor's Center. Or, you might be able to get on with your military ID.

    Stop by anytime! :o)

    Thanks for the extra piece cake!! But your books are worth mentioning without it. :o)


    P.S. I completely agree, it doesn't matter what uniform they wear the men and women in any service are super heroes!

  130. Speaking of which do any Seekers have Kindle books coming out in the next two weeks? I am caught up I think but need to add books to my Kindle for the 30 hour trip to Bali!

    Must go and check everyone's website. Good thing I have my smart phone so I won't miss the parade while I search!

    Peace, Julie

  131. Julie,
    Thanks for baking the Brown Mountain Sugar Cake. Looks yummy!

    Actually, we're having a cake walk in front of the bookstore. I see Captain Jack's trying to sneak one of Natalie's Rum Cakes!

    Shame on you, Jack!

    Man O Steele! Your hubby is one lucky guy!

    BALI!!!! You're going to BALI!!!

    Oh my gosh! Do tell more!

    Thanks for downloading THE CAPTAIN'S MISSION! Hope it helps pass some of that 30 hour flight. I'll be praying for your safe travel and fun, fun trip!

  132. Kirsten, sounds great! We can tour in the morning and then "do" lunch and talk books! How fun would that be!

  133. Did Debbie say there was a parade? Can we enter our floats?

    Wouldn't it be fun to have a float highlighting our favorite books?

    Jack? Are you within shouting distance? I'd like a piece of that rum cake, please!

  134. Sounds super fun, Debby! For lunch we can go up 8th and I and you can walk by the Oldest Marine Barracks.


  135. In fact, I'll even get some of the guys from 8th and I to join the parade in Seekerville. Marines excel at parades!

    Here they come in they're dress uniforms and shoes that reflect better than a mirror. Just tell them where to line up, Debby.


  136. Barbara, the way you've grown your reviewer base is cool. Great job. Thanks so much for being on Seekerville.

  137. Oh yes! Marines always make a parade!

  138. Oh, my stars, Ruthy! The chocolate cake is delicious! Thank you!

    Barista Jack, great to see you, my island friend! You make any day a party! I'll have a cappuccino with my slab of cake.


  139. Ah, lass! Deb, my love, mi amo, me darlin'... just a nip, ye know.

    A slice to get me through the day.

    One slice.

    Tina would get me a slice. And she'd feed it to me....

    Tina loves me.

    All right, all right, back to the cafe, but if anyone finds it in their hearts to wish a slice of cake on this vagabond heart, I'll be across the way making ladies happy.

    Serving coffee. Of course.

  140. Jan...YES, FLOATS!!!!

    Kirsten...YAY! Marines marching in our Seekerville parade. I've got goose bumps!

    Line up in front of the fountain near the library. We parade along Main Street and end up in front of City Hall.

    Barbara is the Grand Marshal. She'll be wearing a tiara and waving to all her fans and friends!

  141. Jack...are you marching in the parade?

  142. Sister is getting married in Bali the first weekend in November. We are staying in a resort where there are little huts made of teak for each couple.

    To tell you how exotic the trip will be, I will give you the shot and med list, Debby, because I know you will appreciate it!

    Malaria pills
    Japanese Encephalitis shot series
    MMR booster for adults
    Whopping Cough
    HepA and HepB

    I know I am forgetting something but I just love telling folks I get to take a Japanese Encephalitis shot!

    But it is going to be very interesting for sure. We haven't done that part of the world and are only going because someone in the family needs to give my sister away. Her first wedding at the age of 46!

    All right, I will put my cake in for the cake walk.

    Jack, think about joining us in Bali. You would fit right in!

    Peace, Julie

  143. All right, all right....

    I'll be in the parade, but I WILL NOT prance around wavin' that stupid baton...

    Get somebody's bloke of a husband for that one, mates!

    But yes... On the cafe wagon... With beautiful women surrounding me?

    And butter rum coffee????

    Debby... Barbara... For YOU I will sacrifice.

    And how's that slice of cake coming???

  144. Julie,

    Your trip and your sister's wedding sounds like a romance you need to write.

    Sorry about the shots.

    I'm googling Japanese Encephalitis.

    CDC states:Only domestic pigs and wild birds are carriers of the Japanese encephalitis virus.

    Ah, doesn't Captain Jack have a parrot?

  145. Jack, promise you'll behave during the parade, and we'll have three slices of Natalie's Rum Cake waiting for you at City Hall!

  146. Barbara's getting ready for the parade. When she comes back I hope she'll tell everyone about her next BIG, EXCITING NEWS!!!!

    Think Fantastic Readers Appreciation Luncheon!!!

    Barbara, can you fill Seekerville in on the plans?

  147. Mmm... what an amazing breakfast! I'm going back for seconds!

  148. Oh! Um... right! I was supposed to talk about book reviews. Um... when I read them, they are helpful. I mainly go by the back cover blurbs, but if that doesn't work for me, I'll read a few reviews. I know a lot of people do read reviews and that's amazing! And helpful to authors! So, thank you, WW reviewers! Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the goods out there... to get books sold!

  149. Cara Lynn, fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar? Is that a euphamism for a doughnut?? :D

  150. Donna, thanks for stopping by and good luck in the contest.

    Julie, with Amazon reviews you have to just be aware that anyone can write anything and they do. Sometimes they don't make sense, but you just have to weed through them.

    Mary, nice to see you here and I am blessed with my great readers.

  151. Debby, I've never been a grand marshal before, but I love wearing tiaras!

  152. Welcome Barbara, and Happy Birthday!! I so enjoyed when you visited Seekerville a while back, so am glad to see you return. ~ I don't regularly read reviews by folks I don't know, but recommendations from family and friends carry a lot of weight for me in choosing a book to read. And....maybe it's the "child" in me (taught kindergarten for years) but the cover and title of the book are what usually capture my attention first! Also if it's one of my favorite authors, I'll always try to purchase their books. ~ Debby, thanks for being our hostess today, and these GRITS are yummy!! ~ Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  153. Linnette, thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Julie, Bali sounds amazing!

  154. Debby, thanks for mentioning the Reader Appreciation Luncheon. I can't believe I forgot to say something about it.

    Giving the luncheon has been a dream of mine for many years. 39 authors from all over the country will be attending here in the Milwaukee area on Tuesday, April 10, 2011. Heather Graham will be the keynote speaker. There will be door prizes, a booksigning and raffles benefiting local libraries. The website for ordering tickets will be up November 1st and I'm expecting it to sell out fast.

    I wrote about it in my October 7th blog if you want to check it out. More info coming soon.

  155. Oh my! So many comments!

    Hi, Barbara!!! I met Barbara at the Heart of Dixie Readers Luncheon this year, in June.

    Barbara is really cool, and she promotes the romance genre to her bosses at Publisher's Weekly, so we should all fawn over her and thank her! Or at least be nice to her. :-)

    I am sometimes influenced by reviews. If I see a book, read the blurb, and it sounds interesting, sometimes I will read a few reviews just to see what others had to say about it. But if I know the author and already like that author's books, I will read it no matter what the reviews say.

    I have heard people say that if all the reviews are positive on a certain book, they don't trust that, because they assume all the reviews were written by friends of the author. While this may occasionally be true, it certainly isn't true all the time. But I don't have to worry about that, because there are always people who get my books for free for review and hate it and enjoy trashing it. But you know, some people become intrigued by polar opposite reviews and will want to read a book just because of them. So I guess it's all good. Now if I can stop reading my reviews, I'll be okay!

  156. CatMom, the covers to books get to me first too. They draw me in.

  157. Hi Melanie, the Heart of Dixie Luncheon was amazing and I had a wonderful time. Only read your good reviews and toss the rest. :)

  158. The parade is lining up...

    Time for the drawing for our first winners of the day....

    Band...drum roll, please!


    Myra Johnson donated One Imperfect Christmas – HELEN WINS!

    Ruth Logan Herne donated Mended Hearts – DIANNA SHUFORD WINS!

    Pam Hillman donated Stealing Jake, Ebook, either Kindle or Nook — JEANNE T WINS!

    Mary Connealy donated Out of Control– BRIDGETT HENSON WINS!

    Tina Radcliffe donated Oklahoma Reunion, print or Kindle – SANDY ELZIE WINS!!!

    The next drawing will be at 3 PM EST!
    Good luck, everyone!!!

    Let the parade begin!!

  160. I'm not gettin' rid o' me parrot, Lass!

    Not even to join Julie in Bali...

    Although if her husband happens to be delayed....

    Taken ill...

    Poor bloke.

    I'll bring the rum, lass, and yes...

    Though you haven't asked...

    I've had all me shots!

  161. Oh, wow! Yes, reviews do play a big part in my choice of reading material. If it's an author that I know I love and will read anything by her than reviews don't make a difference to me. If it's a new-to-me author I always read the book blurb to see if I think the plot and characters strike my interest. Usually I visit the author's website to learn about the author her/himself. If it's a book already out I definitely read reviews. If an author whose work I love endorses the new book/author then that makes me want to try the book. Every once in awhile I will get a book strictly on reading an author's blog. If I feel like the author could be a kindred spirit then I'm quite sure I will like the book without reading other people's reviews. It usually never fails.


  162. Love, love, love the randomly stacked books in the pictures. It makes me homesick for those hole-in-the-wall floor to ceiling stacked used bookstores. I always feel like I'm going to find rare treasures when entering one of those places. Whenever I find one of those out-of-print books and purchase it I wonder how the author feels knowing that at least one soul is still reading her/his books. :)

  163. Barbara, thanks for telling everyone about your upcoming Readers Luncheon. I'm planning to be there and hope other Seekervillagers will be able to attend.

    Waving to Debbie Kaufman, who's made plans to be there, as well!

    Should be a fantastic day!!!

    Thanks, Barbara, for organizing and hosting such a super event for readers!

  164. Hi, Barbara and Debby. So glad you visited, Barbara.

    Book reviews, as with movie reviews, may propel me to do a little more research, but I don't usually buy based on reviews. After all, everyone LOVES Redeeming Love. I bought it three years ago and still haven't been able to get into it. Collective gasp, I know. I'm sure I'll finish it some day, just not today.

    However, if I find a reviewer who tends to be on the same wave length as me, well, then their review just might have me reaching for the credit card:-)

  165. Happy Birthday, Barbara!

    I have to say that I so appreciate book reviews. They proved so valuable to me that I wanted to start writing them myself - mostly on books that I've purchased. I love doing them!

  166. Absolutely, book reviews impact when I buy a book or even ask for one to review. But it does matter on which reviewer I go to for a suggestion. I have very rarely gone wrong when I read a book someone I value their opinion on, loved it.

    So neat that Barbara has brought in other readers, that is quite the TBR stack!

  167. Sylvia, I agree. I sometimes think my condo looks like a bookstore. I should just hang a sign outside my door.

    Mindy, I used to feel I needed to read a book all the way through, but now if a book doesn't grab me, I move on to something that does.

    Marji, if you love writing reviews then I say go for it!

  168. Whoo-hoo! Validation. Thank you, Barbara.

  169. This comment has been removed by the author.

  170. Happy Birthday, Barbara! I love seeing the books stacked around your office. I'm battling that a bit myself as I've recently moved to a smaller house and lost my formerly ample shelf space. I'm hit and miss with reading reviews, but I do use them when I'm looking for a new author. I try to expand my favorites list every year. Thanks for your post!
    Lyndee H

  171. Are we having lunch now? :) That breakfast looked great, but I got here a little late for that.

    That's so neat about the WW Ladies group reading the books.

    Oh, I noticed one of Mary Connealy's lovely books peaking out of that stack in the second book picture. Is it Sharpshooter In Petticoats?

  172. Lyndee, thanks for stopping by and I'm getting used to tripping over books. :)

    Sylvia, I believe that is Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

  173. Hi Barbara Vey! *waving*

    Fun interview!!! You always inspire me with your passion for romance books and connecting readers to books that they'll love!

    Thanks for all you do for the genre...

    You rock!

    Lisa :)

  174. I am largely driven by book covers - wow, does that make me sound shallow???? I can't resist a great eye catching cover, but the blurb has to do the work then to seal the deal!

    Otherwise, I rely on word of mouth and I include book review blogs in that category, particularly when I know that person has a similar taste to me :)

    Happy birthday Barbara! I can't get over your pile of books!


  175. Comments and book reviews definitely help me decide if I will read a book or not, however just the back of the book cover is sometimes enough for me. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  176. Jack, dear
    You don't need a baton to prance. It appears to be inborn
    But it's cute
    Goes with the eyeliner very well.

    and I'm trying to type short comments since I have a wounded right hand- but it's tough. To type short ;-)

  177. Debby:

    I have a surprisingly small amount of experience with building floats, but I used to take my band to parades.

    How about a Seekerville a band??
    We need brass, reeds, strings, and percussion. So everybody show up at the head of the parade lineup, and we'll add some pomp!!!


  178. I LOVE PARADES!!! And I'm so glad I got away at lunchtime to say "HEY" to all o' youse!

    Jack's being a rascal... Why am I not surprised???

    Ooooo rum cake... now I know why. I LOVE butter rum cake. And Italian creme cake. And oh my stars, is there cake I don't like???

    BARBARA!!!! Waving madly to you, LOVE THE BEYOND HER BOOK FLOAT!!!!

    Who made all those tissue flowers? Whoa. Julie??? REALLY???

    Who knew?

    Enjoy. I'll be back for more sustenance... Oh my gracious sakes to Betsy, is that MYRA DOING THE MAMBO WITH JACK????

    Captain Jack... Not HER Jack.

    Oh, we are in Soooo much trouble!

  179. Oh, goody, goody.

    What can be better than winning a Myra Johnson book!!

  180. Pepper,
    Sorry about the hand. Hope you mend quickly. I've been wearing a hand brace can be a pain to type with, but I got a better one that allows my fingers movement.

    it's good to keep the comments short. Jack has a hard time comprehending them. That's why he keeps the bird.

  181. Drum major, Helen! You're leading the band. Great marching music!

    Look at those handsome Marines! Waving to all the military heroes!!!

    Doesn't Barbara look fantastic riding on the seat of that Corvette convertible! She's giving the Queen wave.

    Spreaking of...where is our Grammar Queen?

    Here come the floats...

  182. Hi Barbara,

    Whew 180 comments already! Don't have time to read them all right now but wanted to jump in and say I LOVE book reviews! Many times it's why I buy a new author. When I see the same book over and over on blogs with good reviews, I have to try it!

    Thanks for your great work for authors!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  183. Barbara, wow your 86 y.o. friend read a paranormal! How fun. That's not my normal genre of choice to read, but I've read one. Maybe two.

    Debbie, I've never been in a book group, but it must be fun to read books you might not otherwise read. Having more and more friends who are writers is expanding my scope for what I'll read (I confess, I don't know that I'll expand into certain genres, like exotica), but I'm learning to enjoy and take good things from various authors.

    Oh, and Captain Jack, it's a fallish pumpkin spice latte sort of day where I live, so if you'd fix me up one of those, extra venti, my heart would be ever so happy. I might even leave you a little bottle of rum, if you make it up just right.

    I also eat gluten free. I love the cyberfood because not only is it calorie free, but it's pain free on my tummy. Yea!

  184. Oooh, I just read down to the bottom. Thanks so much for the book, Pam. How do I follow up with you?

  185. All the food booths are open for business...

    Foot-long hot dogs...

    Burgers and fries...

    Barbeque sandwiches...

    Grilled chicken and ribs...

    Brunswick Stew...

    Corn dogs...


    Corn on the cob...

    Baked beans...

    Loaded baked potatoes...

    Cold slaw...

    Cotton candy...

  186. Tina got me with the short comments and Jack's bird. Too funny!

  187. Happy Birthday Barbara! Thanks for all you do for writers and readers! (And thanks to all your helpers as well!)

    Reviews are not always a deciding factor for me in terms of book buying; I've had too many that have had great reviews but didn't work for me. If a reviewer whose taste I trust gives a book a big thumbs up I am more likely to take a second look at it. However, I have been known to NOT buy a book if a review gives me warning that it contains an element that is a hot button issue for me.

  188. Mambo???? ME???? Only behind closed doors!

    Wow, what a party we've got goin' on here! Barbara, it's great to have you back in Seekerville, and thanks for telling us more about your wonderful readers. Knowing how much trouble I have keeping up with my own TBR stacks, I can't even imagine working my way through yours! Definitely NOT a one-woman job!

    BTW, I'm currently reading Julie's latest, A HEART REVEALED. That gal sure knows how to heat up the romance!

  189. Hello Seekerville and Barbara!! As one of the WW Ladies, I can say without a doubt, it's better than Christmas to go to Barbara's and find new reads!! Personally I think Barbara needs oxygen tanks in her book room, because there are so many choices, it can take your breath away!! And it's thanks to Barbara, that I discovered some of my favorite authors, which are from Seekerville!! So hooray to my new friends from Seekerville! :) I hope you all have so much fun at this celebration today!! What a great way to spend a Monday! :)

  190. Hey, I was just cruising down Main Street and noticed we also just opened a dunking booth.

    Our first dunk-ee is Captain Jack. Who wants to throw the first pitch?

  191. Jeanne T,

    Book clubs are fun! The one I belong to is church based. We all did a retreat together and then decided to meet monthly as a book club.

    Of course, we spend most of the evening chatting and catching up on what's new in our lives. And we always have great food! Then we settle down and talk about the book we read.

    Barbara has started book clubs in high schools and neighborhoods in her area. Great way to encourage reading!

    Thanks, Barbara, for all you do!

  192. Oh ME, Myra
    I still have one good hand I can use ;-)

  193. Hi Lisa, nice to see you here and dreaming of your mom's oceanside condo. :)

    Helen W., I'm with you on the book covers.

    Hi Kathy, thanks for stopping by and good luck with the contest.

  194. Hi, Barbara!!
    Great to see you here.
    I definitely pay attention to reviews on blogs. I have been introduced to several new authors by reading blogs.

  195. I have to agree with Erika. If a story isn't read, it has no power to entertain or edify.

  196. Barbara, your library looks fantastic. I would love to have a library like that.

  197. Hi Heidi,

    Great to see you at the Fall Fling! Hop on one of the floats and join in the parade.

    Heidi often reviews the inspirational titles on BEYOND HER BOOK! Thanks, Heidi! We appreciate everything you do!

  198. Susan, thanks for stopping by and I'm sure the new authors appreciate your support.

    Jeanne T., always fun to try new genres. Never know when something exciting comes along that you may have missed.

    EC, it's nice to be warned about something that may not appeal to you. My son does that for movies for me. He knows what I don't like.