Brenda's my long-time friend, mother of five, and wife to hottie Ted. And she's flat-out the nicest person I know. Oh, yeah, and the author of 32 books. She also sponsors a hugely successful Online Auction for Diabetes Research.
Brenda, I know the auction is a project near to your heart. Can you tell us a little about it?
Third Auction Coupon winner is our very own Bandita CAREN CRANE -- yay, Caren!!
Brenda: When my son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at five years old, I knew enough about the disease to realize he would require constant care, but the long list of side effects really threw me. I thought if we gave him insulin, and he suffered through the many fingertip pricks and shots, he'd be fine. Unfortunately, that isn't necessarily the case. Diabetes affects every major organ--your heart, your kidneys, your liver, your nerves, etc.
THE FIRST WINNER OF THE $25 COUPON FOR BRENDA'S ONLINE AUCTION IS . . . JANE!!! Congratulations.
Then I thought about the number of people facing the same risks and knew I had to fight back. I decided it might be smart to do an event on my web site so that my fans and publishing friends could participate--and the idea for my auction was born. This will be auction #5. Last year, we raised $252,300. This year we're shooting for $300,000.
We have over 2,000 fabulous items up for auction, many of which you can't get anywhere else. And this year we'll have something new--$1 "Buy it Now" opportunities for aspiring writers. This will enable them to get their work in front of some of the most prestigious agents and editors in publishing for only $1. I will randomly list these items throughout the auction--it could be in any category--and the first person to find such an item will be able to buy it for only $1! There will be other fun $1 "Buy it Now" auctions for those who are not writers.
Jo: Wow, Brenda! I love the new $1 “Buy It Now” opportunity! I've participated every year in the Auction since its beginning and love the excitement of bidding and the good feeling of knowing my money's going to a worthy cause. Can you tell us some of the items that are up for bid this year?
Brenda: One of my personal favorites is Anna DeStefano's Coach handbags. Who doesn't love a good handbag? LOL Or Dianne Despain's antique jewelry. I just got an antique cameo worth $600 from Kathryn Caskie. There are meet and greets with editors and agents, a fabulous painting from my all-time favorite artist Marilyn Sears Bourbon (I own three of her paintings and want more!), a whole list of fabulous offerings from Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianna Love and Mary Buckham, a complete collection of Christine Feehan's wildly popular DARK series (all autographed), a stay in Nora Roberts' inn, opportunities for people to name a character in various authors' books (authors like legal thriller writer John Lescroart!), lunch with Barry Eisler in San Francisco, a handmade quilt from Anne Stuart, and over 100 autographed books from Booklovers Bookstore, including an autographed copy of one of the best books ever written--CLAN OF THE CAVEBEAR by Jean M. Auel.
The second winner of the $25 Auction Coupon is, ta da -- CrystalGB. Congratulations!
I could go on and on. There's SO much in this year's auction--something for everyone. And these items make unique gifts. You could immortalize your friend, sister or mother by buying the "name a character" item. How fun would it be to give that away?
Jo: You can find out more about the auction and the items for bid at Brenda's website --http://www.brendanovak.com/auction.shtml. Check it out! You don’t have to wait until May 1, when the auction officially starts to see what’s available and plan your strategy for bidding. The Romance Bandits have a basket up for Auction this year and we’d love one of our readers to win it!
Now, let's hear something about your new series, Brenda. I know the books are The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Liar, and The Perfect Murder. The titles are so intriguing. Tell us more about them.
Brenda: I'm excited about these books! They're all part of my Last Stand series that began last year with TRUST ME, STOP ME & WATCH ME, but they're only loosely connected, both to the series and to each other, so they also stand on their own.
In THE PERFECT COUPLE, Zoe Duncan’s thirteen-year-old daughter goes missing from her own backyard while home sick from school and private investigator Jonathan Stivers is called on to help find her. But he's never had fewer leads to work with--and is sure of only one thing: Sam was taken by someone close to the family. He has no idea how close until he realizes that the “perfect” couple next door is anything but...
Jo: Ooooh, I love the premise of that story! Additionally, anyone who buys a copy of THE PERFECT COUPLE in the first week it comes out and sends Brenda the receipt will have the opportunity to join her fan club and receive a Brenda Novak tote with goodies. See details at http://www.brendanovak.com/ THE PERFECT COUPLE comes out Tuesday, July 28 so you'll need to buy it between July 28 and August 5 to be eligible.
Brenda: THE PERFECT LIAR is about obsession. After air force captain Luke Trussell goes home with the wrong kind of woman, he's falsely accused of rape, putting his career and his reputation at stake. He didn't force his attentions on the woman who's been coming on to him for months, but she has the bruises--and the DNA evidence--to make her claim convincing. And Karina Harter is determined to have him, or make him pay.…
In THE PERFECT MURDER, investment banker Sebastian Costas is trying to unravel the truth behind the murder of his ex-wife and son. The evidence suggests a murder-suicide, but something he heard the week before the killings won't allow him to accept that. He believes her second husband, a cop, killed her and the boy, then faked his own death. But proving it isn't easy--or safe.
Jo: These books sound wonderful. Look for THE PERFECT COUPLE's release on July 28.
Okay, now for a quick personality test. Will the REAL Brenda Novak please weigh in with her answers?
1. Favorite food? Thai food--Yellow curry (spicy ) I also love pizza, but I know that would make me sound like too much of a kid, sort of like picking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
2. Preferred sleeping wear? Comfortable underwear
Jo: No need to elaborate!
3. Hugh Jackman or Daniel Craig?
Hugh. I think he’s gorgeous, but I’m sort of mad at him right now. LOL I was planning on offering a day on the set and lunch with him as part of a promotion for my next book, and his publicist got involved AFTER I had it all lined up and screwed it all up. So sad…
Jo: Ah, now, that just breaks my heart. Hugh's quite popular in the Lair and as you can see, we're on a first name basis with him.
4. Favorite non-romance writer?
Wow--too many to pick just one. Margaret Mitchell is probably my all-time favorite. I think she’s as good as Charles Dickens at characterization. Someone who's still alive and writing? Philippa Gregory would be one. I read THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL while on a three-day drive to Cabo San Lucas with my entire family (yes, we drove!) and couldn’t put it down. Janet Evanovich is considered mystery, so I guess I can name her, too. :-)
5. Most romantic place in the world?
Prague. I visited the city last year and was captivated by its beauty. More than any other European city I’d seen on this particular trip (we drove through Germany, France, Italy, Monoco, and Austria, too) it felt we were stepping back to a far more romantic time and place. The famous Charles Bridge, which connects Old Town to Mala Strana was simply magnificent. And there seemed to be such an upbeat air to it all (whereas Venice had the feel of decay and ruin that made me depressed).
Thanks for joining us today in the Lair, Brenda.
Our final winner for a $25 Auction coupon goes to . . . wahooo!! RUTH C. Congrats, Ruth.
Brenda and I have some special prizes for our Bandita readers and friends.
First, throughout the day we’ll choose 4 random posters to win a $25 off coupon for Brenda’s Online Diabetes Auction. Check back often to see if you've won. Meanwhile check out the auction items at Brenda's website.
Second, at the end of the day one lucky poster will receive a free autographed copy of STOP ME, the book that was just nominated for a Rita.
Okay, readers, it’s your turn to weigh in. Ask Brenda anything you want to know about her career path, writing process, the auction, or her books.
Or, if you’d like to play the game, what are YOUR answers to the five questions above?
And don't forget to come back to see if you've won the $25 Auction Coupon!