Monday, May 12, 2008

Brenda Novak's in the Lair!

  1. Guest of Jo Robertson

    Today we're so lucky to have my good friend and all-time wonderful person Brenda Novak returning to visit us. Brenda will talk about her new trilogy that's coming out this spring and summer as well as discuss her annual Juvenile Diabetes Auction, which began May 1 and continues through May 31. It is doing fabulously already. Pop on over to http://www.brendanovak.com/ and check it out. There's something for everyone.
  2. And don't forget to check out Week 1's prizes below in the one-year anniversary of the Banditas!

    Now heeeeeeerrrre's Brenda!

    As a writer, I always get asked whether I write from personal experience. In ways, I do, and the new series I’m kicking off this summer is a perfect example of that. TRUST ME (May 27th), STOP ME (June 24th) and WATCH ME (July 29th) are based on a fictional victim’s charity in Sacramento called The Last Stand. The three heroines met at a victims' support group after each one experienced a different kind of violence. They’re determined to heal, to fight back and to help others do the same, which is why they decide to start The Last Stand.
    Trust Me (The Last Stand Trilogy, Book 1)

    In TRUST ME, Skye Kellerman was attacked in her own bed. She managed to fend off her knife-wielding assailant, but now her would-be rapist is getting out of prison. Early. And Skye knows that Dr. Oliver Burke hasn’t forgotten what her testimony cost him.

    In STOP ME, widower Romain Fornier lost his reason for living the day his daughter was kidnapped and murdered. When the killer got off on a technicality, he used a gun to mete out his own justice. Now that he’s out of prison and free to return to his Cajun roots, the last thing he wants to learn is that he might've killed the wrong man. But that’s exactly what Jasmine Stratford of The Last Stand has come all the way from California to tell him.
    Stop Me (Last Stand, Book 2)

    In WATCH ME, Sheridan Kohl was just a teenager parked at the lake with a boy named Jason when a stranger wearing a ski mask shot them
    both. Sheridan lived, but Jason died—and the stranger was never caught. Twelve years later, Sheridan has learned a thing or two about investigating crime. She returns to her hometown, intent on achieving answers at last. But someone doesn’t want the truth to come out. Someone who is willing to resort to murder. Again.
    Watch Me (Last Stand, Book 3)

    While my fictional charity is geared toward violent crime, because I write romantic suspense and thought it would be fascinating to see these women tackle some very interesting and difficult cases, the concept of using personal passion to motivate came from my own desire to make a difference to those struggling with diabetes.

    Six years ago, when my youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1, I felt hurt and wanted to fight back, too. Desperately. I just didn’t know how. I had five kids at home and some very tight book deadlines. B
    ut then I attended a silent auction at the local elementary school and realized that I could do a similar event on my Web site, where I could utilize the traffic I’d already established.

    In my first three auctions, I managed to raise a combined total of $250,000, and the 2008 auction looks as if it will at least match that amount. A shopper’s paradise, it will have plenty of items to fit every budget from a drumhead signed by a whole slew of famous music artists (Michael Jackson, Ringo Star
    r, Bruce Springstein, and far too many others to list) to a treasure trove of miscellaneous items donated by aspiring author Lauren Hawkeye. And that’s not all. For those who are aspiring to become a novelist or to advance their writing career, there will be AMAZING opportunities. Many of the most powerful agents and editors in the business have donated evaluations—some with the promise of a 24-hour response (which is unheard of in the publishing industry).

    How does it all work? Just like E-Bay, except this auction runs at www.brendanovak.com/ and only through the month of May (May 1 – May 31st). Visit that URL to register. When the bidding is over, you can pay with Paypal, credit card or personal check/money order. In most instances the donor even picks up the shipping. And the person who places the highest number of bids over all, even if that person doesn’t win a single item, will receive a fabulous prize package including a brand new camcorder (worth over $1,000), Your Name in My Next Book, an autographed copy of TRUST ME, and chocolate (lots of chocolate!).

    Check out the auction, and while you’re at my Web site, enter to win a spectacular trip to Port Orchard and Bainbridge Island (sponsored by Allison Brennan, Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs and myself), and receive a $10 gift certificate you can use toward your auction purchases.

    Here's to making a difference!

    Brenda Novak

What cool items have you won in past charity auctions? Do you think this “wave of the future” will eventually overtake traditional fundraising? Do you prefer on-line shopping to brick & mortar shopping?


Thanks for joining us today, Brenda. Readers, be sure to check out Brenda's auction and leave a comment on today's post to be eligible to win an autographed copy of Brenda's May 27 release TRUST ME, the first in her Last Stand trilogy.

117 comments:

Jane said...

Hi Brenda,
Is there still a problem with bidding for the one day auctions? Did you approach your fellow authors or did they volunteer the prizes and their time? I think traditional fundraisers will still be the norm, but online charity auctions will allow more people to participate. Good luck.

Carol said...

Congratulations Jane ...the GR is on his way...
Have a great time!
Cheers Carol

Esri Rose said...

D'oh! I was so close this time!

This is what I get for getting back from a late show and watching my own YouTube video over and over instead of coming over here.

Someday, the GR will be mine. Oh, yes...it will be mine.

Donna MacMeans said...

Brenda - How wonderful to have you in the lair. I've been a fan of yours since your historical days.

I've bid in your auction, but have never won anything. THis year, I've offered a critique to support the cause. I definitely think your fundraiser makes a difference. Thank you for investing so much time and energy in this venture.

I don't think online auctions will replace traditional fundraisers. There's something about being able to see & touch the merchandise - plus the "competition" factor that drives up an item's price. But that's okay. There's more than enough need for both *g*.

Donna MacMeans said...

Congrats Jane on the bringing the rooster home.

Esri - I love seeing your photo at the top of the comments *g*. Better luck next time.

Bunny B said...

Oh, I've never went to a charity auction before. I usually shop at normal brick-and-mortar stores. I do online shopping only if it's something that I can't get here or if it's cheaper.

Anna Campbell said...

Brenda, I hope all this talk of a mythical rooster isn't worrying you! We're quite normal really. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Jane, he's back with you. He seems to have faves at the moment! Esri, you are getting seriously scary! I think it's about time you wrote another book, my friend! ;-)

Brenda, welcome back to the lair. I missed your last visit. I was swanning around the UK, visiting stately homes and hoping a Scottish duke would steal me away to the Highlands. Sadly, Scottish dukes were clearly on holiday that month! Maybe I should have gone to the MacBahamas.

Your new books sound absolutely fantastic. I got shivers reading about them even with the blurbs. The one about the guy coming out of jail - eeeek!

And I so admire what you do with the auction. I always feel so privileged to be involved. This year, if anyone's after some help with the first three chapters and a synopsis, I'm offering a crit and a signed copy of UNTOUCHED. And Donna's there too. Not to mention a whole basket of Bandita goodies!

Christine Wells said...

Brenda, welcome to the Lair! What a wonderful thing you're doing, holding that auction. Wish you the best of luck with that. It sounds like there's something for everyone (including a Bandita basket, so get bidding, everyone!)

Congrats on nabbing the Golden Rooster, Jane! I wonder if this is the start of another winning streak!

Caren Crane said...

Brenda, I am a great admirer of your fundraising efforts. I think online fundraising is definitely the wave of the future! People really don't care to be "bothered" with fundraising efforts, in my experience. Most people would MUCH rather give someone money than even five minutes of their time!

At our kids' schools, they have gone almost exclusively to "phantom" fundraisers. In those, the school basically says, "Hey, stressed-out parents, we promise you won't have to sell any gift wrap, magazines, nuts, candy or fruit if you send us a wad of cash NOW." Most parents are thrilled to do it! *g*

PLEASE NOTE: I do have a Girl Scout troop, so we do still have to peddle cookies. But those are, you know, almost FUN to sell. Who doesn't love cookies?

Best of luck with the auction, Brenda!

Caren Crane said...

Oh, and JANE, please tell the GR that you will not be providing room service any longer. He is getting quite spoiled!

Gillian Layne said...

Congrats on the GR, Jane!

Brenda, your auction is supporting a very worthy cause and I wish you the very best of luck. :)

Carol said...

Brenda,
Your books sound marvelous!

$250,000 is an incredible amount to raise to help fight Juvenile Diabetes, we are all fortunate that parents like yourself take a leadership role and really make a difference.
I hope you raise heaps of money to help lots and lots of children.
I will certainly head over to your site and checkout the Auction.

Cheers

Carol said...

On another matter...on the RWA-USA website the Golden Heart finalists have photo's up...
we can see a lovely photo of doglady...


Cheers Carol

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Brenda--

Thanks for being with us today! I'm really intrigued with your new trilogy--I love romantic suspense. And I love the way your personal work with a foundation informed your creative process. It's so interesting how personal experience finds its way into fiction. I'm not even published & I've had many, many family members take me aside for an anxious discussion about exactly how real my characters are. :-)

Your auction this year looks fabulous. Congrats on a wonderful showing & I hope you raise all sorts of money for the cause.

Susan

p.s. Hey, Esri, I was in Barnes & Noble this weekend & saw your book on the shelves--COVER OUT. Yay!

PJ said...

Welcome Brenda!

I commend you on your tireless efforts on behalf of Juvenile Diabetes. I hope you set records with this year's auction.

I've participated in both "real life" fundraisers and online fundraisers. I bid for and won some awesome author gifts during an online fundraiser for a Hurricane Katrina family. I don't think online fundraising will eradicate traditional events but I do think we'll be seeing more such charity events online.

Good luck with your upcoming series!

Brenda Novak said...

Wow, you ladies get up early. Good thing my husband forgot his passport and I had to make a mad dash to the airport at 5:00 a.m. to get him on his plan to Dubai (business trip). LOL Otherwise, I'd just be rolling out of bed right now.

Jane, you mentioned a problem with the one day auctions? I'm not sure what you mean. There's some confusion by shoppers over there occasionally because those items come up for bid and end the same day, and they're scheduled throughout the month. The only problem is that people want to bid before the auction actually opens. Fortunately, my friends and associates have been VERY generous on the donations. I've been blown away by the responses I've received.

People are GOOD!!!

Brenda Novak

Buffie said...

Hey there Brenda! I must say this new triology sounds fabulous. I just love a triumph story!!!

I really must applaud you for all you are doing to raise awareness and money for diabetes. It takes a very strong woman to not only say you want to do something to help, but to actually roll up your sleeves and do it.

doglady said...

Congrats on the GR, Jane! You might need to put him through a little decorum boot camp as he is being quite obnoxious from all accounts.

Brenda, I think I said on another blog that this cause is near and dear to my heart as my critique partner, Erin, has Type 1 diabetes. I have really enjoyed browsing the site and deciding what to bid on.

And your new trilogy sounds fantastic. I love books like this in spite of the fact I live in the middle of nowhere. ALONE! However, as I have nine rescued dogs in dog runs in the backyard I think I am fairly safe.

I am relatively new to online shopping and fund raising, but I do think it is the wave of the future. Our local animal shelter does an auction and dinner every year as a fundraiser and they have started posting the items online so people can shop there and at the actual event. Last year I was fortunate enough to get Stephanie Laurens to autograph a book for me and another one for the shelter's auction.

And yes, Carol, my photo is up on RWA. Trust me, ladies, one should never underestimate the power of really good makeup and a terrific photographer where my photo is concerned! LOL

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jane! You snagged the Golden Rooster again! He's really likin' visiting with you and Carol. Hmmmm, a conspiracy afoot? Or would it be that he's fallen a-fowl of some wily ladies? Grins.

Brenda, WELCOME to the Bandit Lair. I hope Jo explained all the craziness about our Golden Rooster for the first poster of the day. He's becoming quite legendary, that bird. Grins.

Roosters aside, we're so happy to have you here. I love the sound of your new trilogy. I just put a note in my calendar for each of the release dates so I can be sure to get them hot off the presses. I've admired your work for years now and esp. like your website. I found StoneCreekMedia from your site and several others I liked, and had them do my site as well. Loved the re-design they did for you too.

BTW, if any of you are looking for great web designers, Amy Knupp and her DH Justin are quite good and well-priced for all that you get. :> www.stonecreekmedia.com

As to auctions, I really like doing them online, or in person. I also like shopping in brick and mortar stores. Its fun to have both options, don't you think? I love your auction, it's really fun and I'm incredibly impressed by the items, the volume and the money raised. Go YOU!

My cousin's son has JD and we support him in a walkathon and several other ways, and my DH and oldest son just did the DC Walk for JD with Laborers International Union of North America. Pretty cool! Hopefully one day soon, they'll find a way to restart the insulin production and ameliorate the effects, and find a cure.

Great interview, Jo!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Doglady, you are being far too modest. It's a great picture. :>
I ain't buying that biz about makeup and lighting. Grins.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Brenda, welcome back to the Lair. It's always good to have you here!

And Jane, congratulations, on capturing the GR.

Brenda's fellow authors have been extremely generous in volunteering their time and prizes, as have the editors and agents. For a writer, those are tremendous items to bid on.

BTW, the Romance Bandits have a great basket for bidding. Pop over and check it out. It's awesome and our own Tawny Weber put it together for us with donations from many of the Banditas.

jo robertson said...

Hehehehe, Esri, I delayed posting the blog last night so that readers would have time to see if they'd won any of the prizes from our anniversary celebration.

Be sure to scroll down and check those out; you may have something!!

Esri Rose said...

Brenda: What a wonderful thing you're doing!

Reading your new series synopses gave me goosebumps. You sure don't have any problem giving your characters a hard time, do you? :D I particularly like the Cajun one.

Jo: I do prefer online shopping to brick and mortar shopping. It's so much easier to find what you want. Except for clothes. Someday, someone will come up with some way to easily scan your physical measurements, and then you can have your clothes made to order online. That's the day I cease to go farther than my yard.

Anna: I'm scaring myself. But I'm done with my biggest promotion push and back to finishing book 2 as of today (unless those radio interviews come through).

Doglady: Went and looked at your photo on RWA's site. You look like a singer!

Susan: Eeeeee! Cover out! Thanks for making my day!

jo robertson said...

Funny you should mention Brenda's historical -- Of Noble Birth -- it was the first book I read of Brenda's. I got to read the manuscript form and I remembering thinking, "Wow, this gal's going to be published."

In fact, Brenda was the one who kicked my (metaphoric) bee-hind to start writing myself!

jo robertson said...

Bunny, for me the price is always the bottom line LOL. I do like to get a good bargain. Sometimes that's the best part of the purchase -- uh, yeah great Jimmy Choo's -- (stage whisper) and they were only $500. Hehehehehe

Esri Rose said...

Jo: What? Huh? Did I win something? I know I gave stuff away.

Help me -- I'm clooooless!

Brenda Novak said...

Sorry for the delay, ladies. I had to get my kiddies off to school.

Hi Donna (waving)! I'd love to write some more historicals. I have a 7-book series in my head, if only I could find time to write it and (hopefully) sell it! Maybe someday....

Your items is doing great on the auction, by the way. I appreciate your support!

Esri Rose said...

Oh, you're talking about the rooster. I got it!

(sigh) You Aussie gals make it so hard.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Bunny--Charity auctions are lots of fun. Especially mine--LOL. I just gave away a bunch of drawing prizes yesterday in honor of Mother's Day. My birthday is coming up, so I'll probably do it again. I just pull random names from the people who've been shopping. I'll also do it on May 27th, the day TRUST ME comes out.

jo robertson said...

Anna, Brenda's been extremely persistent with her auction. I've watched her from the beginning and she's worked so hard every year. And it's paid off. Can you believe that basically one woman has driven this auction to such success?? Now, I believe you have an assistant, right, Brenda?

I get involved every year in the bidding. I tell my husband it's because of the worthiness of the cause (my SIL has Type I diabetes), but (shhhhhh) I really think I've become addicted to on-line bidding. It's loads of fun!

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Anna--

I'm so glad you like the sound of the new books. I really enjoyed writing these. Actually, I'm currently writing three more in the same series which will come out back-to-back next year. The first one is called THE PERFECT COUPLE and is about a couples killer.

Brenda Novak said...

Something I wanted to mention...there are so many writers here, that I wanted to make you aware of my next contest, which is going to be AMAZING. Some lucky person is going to be able to take his/her best friend on a Caribbean cruise. Beginning June 1st, I'm going to accept submissions. All you have to do is write a short paragraph explaining why your best friend is deserving of such a trip. I'll pick a semi-finalist each week through the summer, and the public will vote on the winner, which will be announced August 31st. It's called That's What Friends are For!

I hope you guys will consider entering it. It's going to be fun!

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks for the welcome, Christine. That Bandita basket is a good one, all right!

jo robertson said...

Caren, I so agree with you. Most of us are so busy that it's hard participate in fund-raisers that require actual attendance at the auction. I love that I can sit in my home (hot cocoa and laptop handy) and bid anonymously on the items.

Don't get me wrong. I do love touching the items, but when it comes to the editor and agent reads, it's a great deal. The first year I won a read from Beth de Guzman at Warner (now Grand Central Publishing) and she did a great job on giving me invaluable feedback on my manuscript. She asked to see the whole m/s twice!!

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Caren--I'm one of those frazzled moms you mentioned. I don't want to sell flower bulbs or cookie dough or magazine subscriptions. My friends are all tapped out because of my fundraiser. LOL I just want to write a check and be done with it, but they get my kids all jazzed up to win the prizes, and they put on the hard close. LOL I have a neighbor who bought 5 magazine subscriptions from my son so he could win a prize. LOL

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks Gillian and Carol. I'm glad you're going to hop over to check it out. There's something for everyone (in every price range). If you like costume jewelry and other trinkets, definitely visit the section called Lauren Hawkeye's Treasure Trove. Lauren in an author from Canada who's been an absolute Godsend. She's volunteered countless hours to helping me load all the pictures on the auction, which was a daunting task considering we have 1400 items!!

jo robertson said...

Yes, Caren, I always go into Girl Scout cookie SHOCK at that time of the year. I can order at the door from the little girl down the street, at the grocery story from the one standing outside, and from my granddaughters. Yikes, Girl Scout cookie overload!

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Susan--

Thanks for the kind words. I'm really glad the new books sound intriguing to you. I have coupons for $1.00 off each book. If anyone here would like me to send them some, just drop by my Web site and send me an e-mail with your snail mail address.

jo robertson said...

Doglady, aka Pam, does having your photo up on the RWA website for your GH finaling make it seem so much more real?? What a thrill.

Brenda Novak said...

I agree with you, pj. I think we'll see a lot more stuff on-line.

And I believe we will set a record this year. We're almost up to what we raised last year. At the close of auction, we'd raised $143,700 (a $10,000 donation from a large company came in afterward, so technically we raised $153,700 in 2007). So far, we're at $136,000, and we're not even halfway. I really think we *might* reach our goal of $300,000.

jo robertson said...

Susan, if you like romantic suspense, you'll enjoy Brenda's. She's a good writer to analyze and take apart her books to see how she structures her plots and weaves her characterization so seamlessly throughout the story. She's a very tight writer. This new trilogy sounds intriguing to me.

I love stories where the heroines fight back for a cause (First Wives Club was one of my favorite movies) and are strong women who overcome difficult circumstances.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Buffie--

What a great way to explain these stories--triump stories. That's exactly what they are, but I had never really thought of them that way. I always talk about fighting back, etc., but these women not only fight back--they win!!

Brenda Novak said...

Hi doglady--

You sound like a brave woman! I'm not sure I could read suspense if I lived out alone, dogs or no dogs. LOL Hopefully, you'll enjoy these.

I've noticed many school auctions doing as you mentioned--putting the items online, then following up with an actual event. It's great out these things can be mixed so everyone can participate, not just those available on a particular evening.

J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jo robertson said...

PJ, I agree that online auctions won't completely replace live ones. But what do you think about book buying?

I purchase almost all of my books on Amazon (oops -- unintended plug there), but some of my close friends love to walk around the store, touch the books, pick them up and flip through them, reading bits here and there. What do you think?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Brenda, that's awesome! $300,000! Wow.

Hey Caren, I wish my son's school would OFFER that phantom thing. I sometimes feel besieged by the paper, cookies, Hoops for Heart, etc. We do Hoops for HEart, but the other stuff....arrrgh.

Now Girl Scout Cookies on the other hand...YUM. I'm with Brenda on those. Order from the girls in the neighborhood, at the storefront, in front of Target, then call my friend who was insane enough to be cookie mom and say "Do you have any more thin mints?" Grins.

J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jo robertson said...

Brenda, the support of friends, readers, writers, agents, and editors has been overwhelming, hasn't it?

Their generosity really does confirm my faith in the basic goodness of people.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Jeanne--

Actually, I'm completely lost about the rooster. LOL Jo will have to explain it to me so I won't feel so lost! :-)

Thanks for the compliments on my website. I'm actually having it redesigned right now. It'll be very interactive--a virtual tour of the offices of The Last Stand, which is the victim's charity upon which my new series is based. It was supposed to be up by now. It's all ready to go--and I LOVE it--but they're trying to mix the html with the flash and struggling through some problems (my web gal only updates in html).

Anyway, I think it's pretty spectacular. Check it out in a week or so. It should be up by then. The guy who designed it is named Jeremy McCain from McCain Productions. He's AMAZINGLY talented and I'll be happy to pass our his e-mail if anyone wants it.

Brenda Novak said...

Esri--The Cajun one (STOP ME) is my personal favorite. I'm hoping reviewers/readers will like it, too. I was really excited to learn that TRUST ME received 4.5 stars and a TOP PICK from RT. We'll see what they have to say about STOP ME....

Brenda Novak said...

Jo--Glad you mentioned the agent and editor read. They're fabulous opportunities. And this year many of them have promised incredibly short turn-around times (some are promising only 24 hours from receipt!).

The really exciting news is that we've had people sell their first book through the auction. We've also had aspiring writers connect with really great agents. I'm excited to see what might happen this year....

Brenda Novak said...

I smile every time I think of Jo reading OF NOBLE BIRTH. She was the chairman of the English Department at the high school nearby. I was just a housewife with four little kids at home--and a whole lot of dreams. LOL It was very nice of her to take the time to read what I'd written--and to encourage me. I'm glad she's off on her own soon-to-be-published adventure!

jo robertson said...

Wow, Pam, I just popped over to the RWA site and your GH finalling picture is tres sexy!

And good on you for getting Stephanie Laurens to contribute an autographed book for your charity!

Jeanne, you just couldn't resist the pun, huh? Sounds like your family is very generous with their time in supporting this worthy cause.

Brenda's visited us before, but I forgot to mention the Golden Rooster this time. You'll probably remember, Brenda, that it goes to the first person to comment on the day's post.

Brenda Novak said...

LOL Jo. You're a great bidder--you always choose really smart things to buy. :-)

I did have an assistant this year, and I also had a volunteer who probably put in almost as many hours. I mentioned her already. She did the pictures. Anna has been a Godsend, a jack of all trades, and will become even more invaluable to me as we move into June and I rely on her to wrap up the auction so that I don't blow my whole career by falling ANOTHER month behind. LOL

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Jo--

Where buying books are concerned, I like to do both. If it's an author I know and trust, I want the ease of quickly ordering her book on-line. That way I know it's coming and I don't have to remember to get out and buy it when it is released. I also don't have to worry about driving all the way over to the store to find out they've already sold their last copy. LOL

However, if I'm searching for something, and I'm not quite sure what, I have to have the actual bookstore. Nothing is more fun than meandering down the aisles, picking up this and that and eventually deciding on something totally new.

jo robertson said...

Oops, sorry, Esri, that comment was meant for all our readers. Some folks have won prizes that are posted BELOW Brenda's post.

jo robertson said...

OMG, Brenda, a couples killer is one of your 2009 books?? Does that mean a killer of only couples or couples who kill?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks for the great compliment on my work, Jo! I know you're a picky reader, so it means even more. LOL I wish I could say that I do everything I do on purpose, but I only write what I would find interesting to read, you know? I'm careful never to read "How to Write" books because they intimidate me. They make me want to throw everything I do subconsciously into the conscious arena, and it's very hard to juggle it all there, if you know what I mean.

Brenda Novak said...

The generosity has indeed been amazing, Jo. And sometimes those who have the least to gain will contribute the most. It's really confirmed my basic belief that people are wonderful (over all). I've had very few people turn me down.

Brenda Novak said...

I don't think you had the golden rooster when I was here last. It's been a while....

Brenda Novak said...

LOL I knew you'd catch me on that, Jo. This couple kills together (but doesn't necessarily kill other couples). :-)

jo robertson said...

What a wonderful prize, Brenda. Do we follow the details on your website (www.brendanovak.com)?

jo robertson said...

Wow, Brenda, it's May 12 and your proceeds are already at $136K! That's awesome.

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Brenda! I'm so excited about your latest series - I really loved your DEAD series.

Congrats too on the success of the auction - your hard work and devotion to the cause is an inspiration to us all. And it's such fun to look at all the prizes and bid!

I like online shopping for most things, mainly because I don't like shopping unless it's for books or shoes. One of the great things about going home is online grocery shopping - heaven! I order books online, but have to admit, there is something about being in a bookshop that still appeals to me.

jo robertson said...

OH, Brenda, I'm so sorry about the golden rooster. Since you'd visited before I assumed (and you know what they say about THAT!!).

I explained in an earlier comment, but just to add to the folk lore -- one of our readers commented as the first one of the day and mentioned getting "the rooster" and the idea just took off.

I don't remember exactly how, but since then it's been a competition to see who gets the little guy, some plying him with food and wine, some spoiling him in outrageous ways -- all to get him to stay in the States or Down Under. He's quite spoiled, as you may imagine.

jo robertson said...

Wow, Brenda, you modest wench! You never mentioned TRUST ME got an RT 4 1/2 stars top pick! That's great. Congratulations. Now I REALLY can't wait for it.

Hey, remember, readers, one of you has a chance to win it when it's released on May 27. Lucky you!

jo robertson said...

Writers, if you're thinking of bidding on an agent or editor read, it really IS the best buy. The first year, they were a little pokey getting around to the reads, but as the auction's grown, they've gotten really good. It's a great chance to put your m/s at the top of the slush pile.

Me, I can pass up baubles and bangles, vacations and pictures, but a READ?? Now that's a great bargain.

Brenda Novak said...

For the That's What Friends are For contest...the details will be on my site. There's a little blurb about it up now, but it doesn't open until June 1st, after I close the current awesome giveaway. For those of you who haven't entered, it's a trip to Bainbridge Island and Port Orchard, Washington. Allison Brennan, Susan Wiggs and Debbie Macomber are all contributing to make this a very wonderful experience. The details for this giveaway is posted now--and I'm currently taking entries. With only two weeks (or so) to go, don't delay. This includes airfare, accommodations, tea with Debbie, a stay in Susan's guest cottage, massages, food, entertainment. It's going to be so fun--I wish I could enter. LOL I'd love to hang with Susan and Debbie for a while (Allison lives by me and is kicking in for the airfare so the winner won't actually get to see her).

jo robertson said...

I'm with you, Brenda, I like buying books both ways. Most on-line suppliers give you a discount if you pre-order. Okay, so it's a lousy 5 percent, but really when you order as many books as I do, it adds up.

BTW, you can pre-order Brenda's book (or any of the wonderful Bandita books coming out in June -- Jeanne's Dark and Dangerous and Donna's The Trouble with Moonlight) by clicking on the image of the book. (Uh, if I did the click-throughs correctly)

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Anna--I'm so glad you liked the DEAD series. I've had some wonderful feedback on those books. Hopefully, you'll like the characters in The Last Stand just as well.

My daughter finds some really amazing items--and really incredible prices on-line. I don't have the patience to surf long enough but she's trying to make a convert out of me. I once ordered all my Christmas presents through SkyMall and had to return every single one. LOL I decided I would never mess with on-line shopping again, but I think I'd be okay if I'd only get the knack for it.

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks for explaining about the rooster. LOL I should've hopped right on this morning. I think I would've had it hands down. :-)

jo robertson said...

I have to get over to Curves now (picture me kicking and screaming), but I'll be back in an hour or so.

Brenda's is lurverly having you here today. Readers, ask Brenda ANYTHING -- doesn't have to be about auctions or on-line buying -- she's a veritable font of knowledge about writing and publishing.

Cheri2628 said...

Brenda, I think that you are doing a wonderful thing with the charity auction. You have created a fun way to support a worthy cause. Thanks for explaining how it all works.

PJ said...

Jo, I love wandering through the aisles of a bookstore, touching all the books, admiring the covers and reading the back cover blurbs. Unfortunately, the only "bookstore" here in my small town is Wal-Mart and their book aisle is nothing to write home about. Consequently, I've been buying most of my books online. The only drawback, for me, to buying online is that I'm all about instant gratification. I'd much rather be able to run to a store on release day and buy a book than wait on the mail to deliver it, which when I think about it, is pretty ridiculous. I mean, I'm the girl with the tbr ROOM, for pete's sake. It's not like I don't have anything to read! LOL!

Have fun at Curves. I'll be kicking and screaming my way there later this afternoon.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Brenda!

Your new trilogy sounds fantastic and I hope you set a new record with this year's auction!

Congrats on getting the GR YET AGAIN, Jane! While he's there in the Big Apple, maybe he could drop in on some publishers? Maybe scratch around on certain editors' desks and move Bandita submissions to the top?!?! Just a thought...

AC

Jennifer Y. said...

Just wanted to wave hello and tell Brenda that I LOVE her books and think the auction is a wonderful thing!

As for the questions:

What cool items have you won in past charity auctions?
I have never won anything.

Do you think this “wave of the future” will eventually overtake traditional fundraising?
It does seem to be gaining in popularity, so who knows?

Do you prefer on-line shopping to brick & mortar shopping?
I like both...each has its pros and cons.

Anna Campbell said...

WOW, Brenda! That's SOME prize! Um, can published authors enter? ;-)

Pam, you sure scrub up nice!

Brenda, congratulations on the TOP PICK!!!!

terrio said...

Dang, I read this this morning but didn't have time to comment. Now it's all crazy. LOL!

I won a blog design in an online auction raising money to send some lucky writers to Nationals. Worked out well. I've never won anything else besides some thing on eBay.

I think this is a great idea and such a worthy cause. The items you have are incredible. Thanks for all your hard work and best of luck raising more money than ever before!

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks Cheri2628.

Just got my own exercise done, Jo. Did a bit of critiquing while riding my exercycle. I love killing two birds with one stone (almost as much as I love cliches! LOL).

Loucinda--I'm glad you like the sound of the new books. As I mentioned, I have $1.00 off coupons, so email me with your address and I'll send you some (could save you $3.00 total as you can use one with each book).

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks so much, Jennifer. I'm flattered that you like me work (and nothing sound better to an author! LOL).

As for you never having won anything from a charity auction...we'll definitely have to remedy that. LOL You're missing out on lots of fun! At least enter to win the trip to Washington. That's quick, easy and best of all--FREE!

Brenda Novak said...

Anna--Published authors can definitely enter! I'm expecting some very eloquently written essays! LOL

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Terrio--

Glad you had a good experience with your other on-line auction--and thanks for supporting mine.

I'd personally love to win one of those vintage typewriter key bracelets. Too bad, as the administrator, I can't bid! Wah! Wah!

Cherie J said...

I have entered charity auctions before but unfortunately have not won. I think they are a wonderful way to raise money for worthy causes.

jo robertson said...

Brenda, I've had some bad experiences buying things on-line too. My sister gets all her clothes at Coldwater Creek (?) and they look fabulous on her, but when I've ordered, they either don't fit or look awful. Fortunately, it's easy to send things back.

PJ, I have a TBR room too!! My husband keeps wondering why I continue to buy books when I have so many to be read. Poor man, he just doesn't get it.

jo robertson said...

Wow, Terrio, a blog design!? That's a great prize.

Jennifer, keep commenting on Romance Bandits -- you're sure to win something sooner or later. We're giving away lots of prizes this month. And maybe you'll win Brenda's new book!

jo robertson said...

Okay, friends, I'm LOL at Brenda.

She's the ONLY person I know who can critique a manuscript while she's on her Exercycle. Really!! She read my first ever partial on the machine. It was awful, but her comments were awesome.

I'm shallow. I only watch TV on my exercise machine.

jo robertson said...

I"m with you Cheri, I never mind bidding on cause-worthy auctions because, no matter what, I know my $$$ will go to a good cause.

And it's tax-deductible.

jo robertson said...

Ouch, Cherie, for spelling your name wrong. My fingers are faster than my brain, apparently LOL.

Keira Soleore said...

(((Brend)))--hi!! Good to see you here. Guest blogging takes time, and you as usual make time in your incredibly busy May schedule for it. So, thank you, thank you for stopping by The Lair to tell us about your latest books.

Banditas, Brenda's auction may work like eBay, but it's better than eBay by far. The focus is on books and all things books (like a toteful of goodies from Sherrilyn Kenyon, a bracelet of old typewriter keys, a full read by Hillary Sares). OMG! I went a bit mad in there recently, and checked just now to see that I holding my spots very nicely, indeed. An African safari might be in our future?!?! What ho!

Keira Soleore said...

Carol, you just missed holding on to the GR by a few minutes. Jane, yay, on nabbing him from Carol. Esri, better luck next time (a night of no sleep and fast typing).

limecello said...

Hi Brenda,
I think what you're doing is fabulous! I'm still a student so I haven't participated in many auctions, much less won items - but this past year I bid on and won a bar review course, paid for all with student loan money :P.

Brenda Novak said...

Jo, working while I exercise is actually easier than watching TV for me because TV doesn't require the same level of concentration. I'd wimp out if I was watching TV and get off long before my work-out is done. LOL You're awesome to be able to keep yourself moving.

Keira--You're a doll. Thanks for the warm welcome. I love to blog. I've met so many cool people this way, some of which are now my best friends. Glad you're holding your own with the auction.

When I first started the auction, I was torn over whether to do it on E-Bay to try and take advantage of every little bit of traffic I could. I'm glad I decided not to. I was afraid we wouldn't be able to establish a real identity separate from them, and I wanted to grow this thing from year to year, wanted it to be something people became familiar with and looked forward to. I've been pleased with the software I went with instead. Although I'm not much of a techie so it probably does all kinds of things to make my life easier that I don't even know how to utilize. LOL

I got a Blackberry for Mother's Day yesterday, by the way. It's going to be challenging enough to learn about all the bells and whistles that go along with that. LOL

Brenda Novak said...

Way to go, limcello! Winning is always nice--especially when it's something to further your education!

Brenda Novak said...

On the reading room--I have tons of bookshelves, but now I find myself buying books and planning to read them, realizing I'll never have time, and so I give them away in my goodies boxes (the mystery boxes I give away to those in my fan club at my Web site). It's hard for me to put them in the box because I keep thinking, "I might get to it someday." LOL

I'm heading to Germany at the end of the month and will finally be able to read a book for pleasure. I'm going to try TWILIGHT to see what all the buzz is about.

Has anyone else read that book yet?

Brenda Novak said...

Jo--Sandy Britton from our RWA Chapter (and my mentoree for this year via last year's auction) just told me to try Coldwater Creek. They have a store in the Arden Fair Mall. Did you know that?

jo robertson said...

I didn't know that about Coldwater Creek, Brenda. Maybe actually trying things on would help LOL.

Brenda and other writers, do you find that you have less time to whittle away at that TBR pile when you began writing in earnest? I certainly do. How about you working women (including stay at home moms -- hardest work I EVER did). How do you carve out a niche for your writing? I must admit I could NOT do it when I was teaching full time.

Brenda, you'll love TWILIGHT.

jo robertson said...

Congrats on the Blackberry, Brenda. I must be the only woman in the western world who doesn't have one LOL. There are things on my antiquated cell phone that I don't know how to use :-D.

My daughter Shannon got an ipod. Me, I got yellow roses from my husband's garden. My favorite kind!

jo robertson said...

Limecello, that's a great gift and you dropped it so casually. Does this mean you're ready to take the bar exam?

PJ said...

Brenda and Jo, I hope you enjoy checking out Coldwater Creek in person. CC and Chico's are my favorite places to shop!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Had to LOl about editing on the exercycle. Yikes! BTW, I love Coldwater Creek too, but not for dresses. :> They just don't fit my shape. Jackets though...

Limecello, you must tell us about that bar so we can be busy here in the Lair visualizing your incredible success as you sit for it! Grins.

Jo, I carve out time to read for sanity's sake. but I don't read RS while writing it. I'm looking forward to diving into Brenda's first in this series after I turn in my next on June 1. Until then...fantasy or paranormal or historical for me... Ha!

Brenda Novak said...

Jeanne--

I'm the same way. I don't read the genre I'm currently writing. Lately, I've been really enjoying straight historicals. And Jo's writing one that sounds really interesting. :-)

Jennifer Y. said...

Jennifer, keep commenting on Romance Bandits -- you're sure to win something sooner or later. We're giving away lots of prizes this month. And maybe you'll win Brenda's new book!

That'd be cool...but I mainly meant that I haven't won anything at auctions :o(

I haven't been able to participate in Brenda's because of lack of funds, but I hope to someday. I have heard a lot of great things about the items up for bid...plus the cause is a great one!

jo robertson said...

I hear you Jennifer. My first year on Brenda's auction, I'd saved up my pennies. I overspent (that's a WHOLE other story), but the second year, I planned very carefully to get what I wanted. And it was just so much fun. In the early days of the auction, some of the editor/agent reads went for a surprisingly low price.

Jennifer Y. said...

Hmm...I think I will start saving now...that's a great idea...and then maybe by the time next year rolls around, I'll be able to bid on some of the great items she always has.

Brenda Novak said...

Jennifer--

It was for people like you that I really wanted to do some raffle items--but just couldn't get around the gambling laws. Because it's on the Internet, I can't do it (I could've had a raffle that only people in California could enter, but I didn't want to restrict it). Anyway, that's a bummer because someone could've won a really great package off a $5 investment, you know? I thought it was a great idea--but not worth going to jail. LOL

Anna Campbell said...

Brenda, I haven't read Twilight, but I've heard lots of great things about it.

Jo, it's really sad how since I've been writing for a living, I'm not reading as much. This year, one of my resolutions is that I was going to read more. So far I've stuck to it. Reading really feeds into my creativity so I feel in a way it's an investment in my work anyway!

Jennifer Y. said...

I thought it was a great idea--but not worth going to jail. LOL

I understand and we would never want that! I hope you didn't think I was complaining...LOL.

jo robertson said...

Me, too, Anna. And, unlike many writers I DO like to read what I write at the time. I think it's sort of atmosphere for me, gets me in the mood.

But, sadly, I don't ready nearly as much as I did before I began writing full time a few years ago. I read every night when I go to bed, usually about 30 minutes to an hour, and about 30 minutes if I get a nap. But that's all I can get in.

Trish Milburn said...

Brenda, thanks for hanging out here with us in the Bandit Lair today. We met briefly at RT when Anna DeStefano introduced us.

I greatly admire what you do with the auction, and I'm happy to see it grow each year.

Your trilogy sounds wonderful and yet scary. That being attacked in her bed one might freak me out as that's one of my fears, though I think those books that tap into very real fears are very powerful books.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I agree Trish, about tapping into those fears. Brrrrr!

Oh, and Jo? I don't have a Blackberry. The cell phone annoys me enough. I like to THINK in the car. Ha! But with kiddo's I have to have it for safety and to be the Mom Contact if the school needs me. :>

The last thing I want is a Blackberry. A hammer drill, on the other hand, or a nail gun, would be QUITE welcome. Bwah-ha-ha! I think I'm one of the few woman in America whose husband can safely shop at Home Depot for any holiday and I'm happy. My Dad still asks if I don't want a Nordstrom or Victoria's Secret card or something...usually I say no, Barnes adn Noble or Home Depot.

Grins.

doglady said...

Checking back in, ladies (and p226 and the GR)

Brenda, I have read Twilight and it is truly a wonderful read.

Did I mention that in addition to the outside dogs, the inside dogs (a chihuahua and a dachshund) and four cats - the largest of which weighs in at 24 pounds - I also sleep with a three foot machete by my bed (usually after reading one of your or Karen Rose's books!) I also have a medieval battle axe, a tomahawk and a Cherokee spear hanging over my fireplace. Of all those things people are the most frightened of the chihuahua! Frodo is small but mighty and he hates everyone except his Mama!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Good Lawd, Doglady! I'm not coming to your house unless I call ahead! Grins.

Trish Milburn said...

Brenda, Twilight is fantastic. I can't wait for the movie this winter.

Kirsten said...

Brenda, I'm so sorry I missed most of your visit! Thanks so much for swinging through the Lair, and even more for your work with the auction. My FIL has Type I diabetes, and there's a lot of it in both our families, so I'm a big supporter of the cause.

As for auctions, they are definitely the rage around here! I love your auction, which is unique and has things you can't get anywhere else. On the other hand, I've already been to three auctions in the past month (preschool, elementary school, and church) which is a little much. They have some cool things, but I've spent way more than I needed on things!

I guess my best auction win was a gorgeous photograph by a local artist. My goofiest was a vase that no one else bid on that my husband thinks came from the Beetlejuice set.

jo robertson said...

A great big wonderful thanks to Brenda for being with us in the Lair today! And to all our readers for your great comments. Stay tune for the winner of Brenda's May 27 book TRUST ME.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Jo, I'm so disappointed to have missed Brenda's visit! I've been checking her site, and hope to be able to afford to bid on some things :) So much to buy and read! Heh!

traveler said...

Brenda,
What a great auction! It must be gratifying to be successful and have this special event every year. Best of luck.