Join Me at the Book Bloggers and Authors Online Conference

This past spring I attend the Online Book Bloggers and Publishers Conference and you can read about it here. Let me just repeat that it was an amazing experience that has helped me so much as a blogger! In addition, I met some amazing bloggers and authors who I continue to follow, read and learn from. It was worth every penny I paid (which was not a whole lot) and I learned more than I can measure from the conference.  That being said, I am SOOOOO excited for the two day conference that will be online on August 6th and 7th. Now for the really exciting part, I am going to be participating as a moderator. **sqquuueee** Yep, little ‘ol me will be talking and moderating some great panels and get to talk with some of the wonderful people I have gotten to know online over the past several months. So mark your calendars, pay your dues, and plan on being edified (not by me but by the other amazing individuals who will be speaking at the conference).

Goals of the Conference
Authors and Bloggers are both working together online to reach out to readers and spread the word about the books we read and love.  We all face challenges with online promotion that can be alleviated by working together.  By streamlining the process of co-operative work between Authors and Bloggers we can move forward using social media and online outlets to expose more readers to more books.

How it Works –
Never been to an online conference? – Well here is how ours works.  It is hosted through a private Ning.  The panels are audio using Blog Talk Radio and each has a corresponding chat room so listeners can discuss the topic together.  Panels can be heard live and will accept callers and questions.  After they can all be listened to in archive on the Ning till the end of the month. There is a $15 registration fee and spaces are limited.  This 2 day event is a great resource to network and meet fellow book lovers.

We have the tentative schedule for the BBA Online Conference with the announcement of panelists to be added soon.  Friday Night and all day Saturday August 6&7 radio panels and live discussions.  A complete listing of the panels scheduled can be found at Book Bloggers and Authors Website here.

In Times Like These by Emilie Loring

In times of great National Security, sometimes everyday individuals are called upon to put their relationships and lives on the line.  In Times Like These by Emily Loring, Page and Vance as so asked as this novel takes place post WWII, during the space race and cold war in America.  Page Wilburn, after suffering the loss of both parents, her father’s reputation, all the wealth her parents had accumulated and her fiancé because of the loss of wealth, has retreated from living and hides behind shapeless mourning clothes and dark glasses.

When Page is approached by her boss to pose as the fiancée of Vance Cooper, one of the heads of the company and the man in charge of a project of great National Security, Page decides to accept this chance to get out and live a little, never realizing that her life and heart would end up on the line.

Vance has his doubts that the mousy woman presented to him by his boss can be convincing as his fiancée and succeed in fooling the woman he suspects is a traitor that they are really in love.  When Page accidentally receives a mysterious jade pendant as a gift after being followed, both her and Vance must pull together to save their country and their very lives.

I grew up reading Emilie Loring and love her books! In Times Like These is my favorite, Page’s attitude of forgiveness and willingness to take a chance at living after suffering all the loss is inspiring.  Vance is your typical good looking corporate head with a soft spot for his family, what is not to love about that?! As their sham engagement becomes more real and Page ends up in great danger, they have to pull together to protect each other and the country.  Everytime I read an Emilie Loring I am reminded of the great patriotism that existed and continue to exists in the hearts of Americans.  She had a way of inspiring me to want to be a better person, a happier person after reading her books. If you are in need of a little lift, pick up one of her books and enjoy!

Rating:

Title: In Times Like These

Author: Emilie Loring

Format: Hardbound

Page Nos.: 248

ISBN: 0884113566

Publisher: Little, Brown & Company

Release Date: June 1976

Available for purchase: Amazon.com

Reviewer: Jessica

Pioneer Day Rememberance

Not everyone may be aware that July 24th is Pioneer Day, a day for remembrance of all the brave men, women and children who left their homes in the east and traveled across the North American Continent.  Many lost their lives but more survived, showing great strength and the American Determination to accomplish what we set out to do.  Having recently moved from Utah, this day is on my mind because it is a Utah State Holiday.

In addition, this subject is near and dear to my heart because my ancestors crossed the plains pulling a handcart similar to the one in the photo. My great Grandfather, Daniel D. McArthur, led the second handcart company across the plains, a group of 227. Daniel D. would cross the plains five more times assisting other groups to the Salt Lake Valley. The handcarts were only six to seven feet long and five people shared one with a loaded handcart carried four to five hundred pounds. Each adult was allowed seventeen pounds and a child ten pounds, that included bedding, clothes, cooking utensils and personal belongings. (I can’t imagine having to limit myself like that, my book collection alone weighs several hundred pounds.)

The groups crossing the plains dealt with blistering heat, freezing blizzards, drought, dehydration and starvation, not to mention attacks by wild animals, Native Americans, and outlaws.  The trek from Iowa City to Salt Lake City was thirteen hundred miles and each handcart company could only travel an average of eight and half miles per day.

The courage exhibited by these men and women have captured the imagination and hearts of generations of readers. Walk into any bookstore and you will find books set during this pivotal time in our history. It was rough, harsh, and deadly, yet it seemed to bring out the best of people.  Groups pulled together to ensure the survival of all, they would gather to assist in the building of homes and to socialize.

It seems incredible to me as I sit in my air conditioned house writing this that people had the courage to leave everything they knew to travel across untold dangers to a place they had never seen to live a new life.  As the 24th approaches I just wanted to take a second to remember the great men and women who had the courage to tame this large land and pave the way for the life we get to live.

More information can be found at American West and The Fur Trapper.

The Texan’s Wager by Jodi Thomas

When three woman appear at the Sheriff’s office confessing to the murder of a man that can’t be found, what is a sheriff to do? So he raffles them off to any man who can pay the fine with the understanding that the man will marry them.  The Texan’s Wager by Jodi Thomas is the first in the The Wife Lottery series and tells the story of Bailee, sent off by her father to cross the plains and never return, Bailee is the practical one and finds herself married to Carter McKoy, a stranger.

Carter doesn’t like strangers and surprises himself when he enters his name for the wife lottery. When he takes Bailee home he is surprised at how well she fills the silence of his life but he finds it hard to say anything to her.  Bailee invites strangers into the house, causing Carter to worry about sharing everything with her. But when Carter is needed to communicate with the small child who is the only witness still alive from a train robbery, Carter and Bailee will need to pull together to combat the danger that threatens their very lives.

I love The Wife Lottery series but especially Bailee’s story. Bailee’s practicality and willingness to do what needs to be done is great but underneath she hides a vulnerability and a desire to be wanted forever.  Carter’s character breaks my heart and just makes me want to give him a big hug.  Carter, having almost starved as a child, rations his food like he will never have enough and the scene where she serves his entire ration of bread to a guest and Carter almost cries as he watches the bread disappear is incredible in its ability to make you feel all Carter’s feelings.  Jodi’s characters are sympathetic and entertaining.  The three woman are all so different, Bailee the practical one, Lacy the woman-child who speaks her mind and Sarah, the broken angel.  There is also a fourth book that is the story of Two-bits, the child who helps the three out of their danger and her Ranger, Dalton. I highley recommend the entire series.

Jodi Thomas

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Title: The Texan’s Wager

Author: Jodi Thomas

Format: Paperback

Page Nos.: 309

ISBN: 0-515-13400-7

Publisher: Jove Historical Romance

Release Date: November 2002

Reviewer: Jessica