Tuesday Quizzes are back – so who died? – guessing closed

It’s another year of quizzes!  After some consideration I am going to keep the format pretty much the same as before, except I may decided to give away more random prizes to participants.  Take your best guesses, be entered to win a prize.  No cheating (using the web to help find answers) or copying.  You have til Sunday to enter.  All extras can be found here.

Every year the first quiz is  about the authors who died the year before. I know my clues may be vague, but I think I helped with at least one title reveal.  You’re welcome 🙂

Leave your guesses in the comment section.  You only need to guess one to be eligible for a prize 🙂

Writers lost in 2013

1. This master of dialogue died at his home in Michigan at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke in July.  I home he’s enjoying his Rum Punch wherever he is. Elmore Leonard

2. This 47-year-old died after a 3 year cancer battle.  Mitch Rapp is now alone in his fight against terrorism.  Vince Flynn

3. This British author “was the eleventh woman and the oldest person ever to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature”.  She died at 94 ,perhaps her Golden Notebook close at hand.  Doris Lessing

4. This Scottish author died at 59 after a very short cancer fight.  He missed seeing The Quarry in print by weeks.  Iain Banks

5. He he became the first Hispanic to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction before collapsing of a heart attack at age 62.  I hope the Mambo Kings are Playing Songs of Love for him.  Oscar Hijuelos

6. This 85-year-old priest wrote more than 120 books, including at least 10 steamy novels making the  New York Times bestseller list.  I hope he’s enjoying a sip of Irish Whiskey with the angels.  Andrew Greeley

7.  This author/illustrator was one of five writers to win two Newbery Medals before dying at 83 of a stoke.  I hope The View From Saturday is a good one.  EL Konigburg

8. This conservative political thriller heavyweight wrote 17 bestsellers before he died at home in Baltimore, where he was part owner of his beloved Orioles.  The Hunt for Red October still goes on.  Tom Clancy

9. Before her death at 69,  this long-time romance writer, the first American Harlequin author, admitted to plagiarized Nora Roberts.  My Americana series remained intact.  Janet Dailey

10. This sci-fi author and screenwriter died at his home on Los Angeles at the age of 87.  He is, indeed, Legend.  Richard Matheson

Happy Guessing!

Top Earning Authors Quiz – guessing closed

Every year I ask you to try and rank the authors by the amount of money they’ve made in the past year (I have my sources ;)).  I think it’s too tough that way so I’m switching it up a bit this year.  Good luck!

I hope that you’ll try your hand at my (mostly) bookish quizzes every week, but it’s okay if you just want to play when the quiz interests you. If you play you are eligible for a prize at the end of the round. For all of the details, click here. Submit your answers in the comment section – I will stop by and hide them throughout the week but try not to copy off anyone else :)  You have til Sunday to guess.

No need to know all the answers, one guess and you’ll be eligible for a prize. No Googling- this is for fun!

Choices-Danielle Steel, Jeff Kinney, James Patterson, EL James, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, John Grisham, Suzanne Collins, Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, David Balducci, Bill O’Reilly, Rick Riordan, Dan Brown

My one word association for each author may not help you but it’ll be fun for me 🙂

1. Hot – EL James, $95m

2. Overrated – James Patterson $91m

3. Hungry – Suzanne Collins $55m

4.Gas-Bag- Bill O’Reilly $28m

5. Elegant – Danielle Steel $26m

6. Wimpy – Jeff Kinney  $24m

7. Tired – Janet Evanovich  $24m

8. Busy – Nora Roberts  $23m

9. Puzzler – Dan Brown  $22m

10. Master – Stephen King  $20m

11. Thrilling – Dean Koontz  $20m

12. Lawyerly – John Grisham  $18m

13. Solid – David Balducci  $15m

14. Mythological – Rick Riordan  $14m

15. Magical – JK Rowling $13m

Happy guessing! Answers to last week’s quiz here.  Leaderboard here.

An evening with Taylor Stevens, author of the Michael Munroe series

Over the last 13 years I have grown fond of living in the Cleveland area.  We have a great lake, we have an outstanding park system, our suburban schools are excellent, the cost of living can’t be beat, we have the best medical hospitals at our beck and call…I could go on and on.  But one thing we don’t have an abundance of is bestselling authors popping in on tour.  I was lucky to see Beth Hoffman a few weeks ago and tonight I had to make a choice between bestselling authors.  Can you believe it?  Janet Evanovich and Taylor Stevens were speaking half an hour apart and as much as I tried to make the math problem work I knew I’d have to choose.  Taylor made it easy for me by inviting those on her email list to join her at TGIFridays from 5-6:30 before going to the library to speak from 7-8:30.

This was my second time meeting Taylor, the first time at Bouchercon last October, but this time I got to hear her speak so I was able to learn more about her growing up all over the world in a cult.  If you want to learn more that life you can read the second book in the series (The Innocent), a book Taylor calls a thrillerized version of her life. “If it’s in that book, it happened, yes.”  I admit that I still have to read this one, but it has moved to the top of my list. Here are a few pics from the evening.


taylor1 taylor2 taylor3

If you get a chance to see Taylor speak you should take advantage of it.  She is so open and really enjoys talking to people and sharing her experience with you.  If you don’t have to opportunity to see her in person you should sign up for her email list.  She shares publishing secrets and gives a lot of insight into how the industry operates.  Sign up for her email list here.  I had a fantastic evening and am so happy that I chose Taylor over Janet 🙂  I’ve got a signed copy of her latest, The Doll, ready to give away soon!

I’m Famous!

Okay, well I’m not really famous (at least not yet), but I’m playing famous in a new book that came out last week!  In 2003 a friend of mine, let’s call her Julie, asked me if I’d read a book she had written.  Of course, I said yes, and she gave me and several others her book.  After we read it she wanted our opinion and even had us all get together to talk about it.  A mere 10 years later and she’s a published author – with the book I read those many years ago.  When I received my book last week I was honored to be mentioned in the dedication.  It was so sweet of her.

IMG_12580The original (can you believe I still have it?!) and it’s official published version.


I haven’t read the book yet (I have a few commitments first) so I’ll tell you a little about Julie.  We met through the social group New Clevelanders and played Couples Euchre once a month.  Julie and her husband Ed were favorites of Jason and mine and we were lucky to call them friends.  Julie and Ed are such a fun couple, always challenging themselves and enjoying life.  I loved being around their spark.  They moved to Texas several years ago and we miss our competitive euchre games and fun evenings together.

You can follow Julie’s blog or follow her on Facebook.  You might see me around there too 🙂

We bought a new computer and nothing is working right 😦  Sorry about the photo quality and cropping.  I’ll come back and fix it when I can get around on this new computer better.  And I started Bloglovin at the same time and am having all kinds of trouble.  I hate change when it makes more work for me!

Snapshot Saturday – Me, Me, and Me

To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link here. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Just a few shot from around Bouchercon

Had a few minutes to chat with Karen Olson and she was as sweet as expected.

Jason and me at the opening night event at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The adorable Chelsea Cain gave me a special gift when signing my book.  You’ll have to check back next week to see what it was.

I’m having a blast at Bouchercon. I still have 1 1/2 days left on my mommy vacation and I plan on savoring every single minute.  Next week is birthday week, so I’ll be doing giveaways along with my mini conference recaps.

Scholarly Authors Quiz – guessing closed

Last week’s quiz was just too easy, so this week it’s all about educated guesses.  Match these authors with what they studied in college. 8 points each.

You have until noon Saturday to submit your answers as a comment.  Comment will be hidden until I post the answers.  No Googling!

This round starts today and will last til the end of March.  The person with the most points will win a B&N gift card (total $ based on # of total participants, so please play) and a randomly selected participant will win a fun prize from me.

Have fun and Good Luck!

1. John Grisham        C. Accounting

2. Stephen King          E. English

3. Jean Auel                A. Business Administration

4. David Baldacci       D. Law

5. Michael Connelly    G. Journalism

6. Anne Tyler               K. Russian Studies

7. JK Rowling              I. French

8. Nicholas Sparks     L. Business/Finance

9. Norman Mailer       F. Aeronautical Engineering

10. Barbara Kingsolver    H. Biology

11. Elizabeth Peters      J. Egyptology

12. Danielle Steel           B. Literature & Fashion Design

Details and Leaderboard here.  Last week’s Hero Quiz here.

The post where I gush about Thrity Umrigar & a winner

Last night I was supposed to meet Bonnie at Thrity’s book signing, but on the way her car came in contact with another car whose brakes didn’t work.  Seriously?  Who is driving if their brakes don’t work?  Not to worry, she’s fine, and I missed seeing her.  Next time.

I have never read any of Thrity’s six books, but I have seen lots of love for them from other bloggers and I love to go to book signings, especially local authors.  I had no idea what to expect, but let me start by saying that Thrity was warm, personable, smart and engaging, and this may be my favorite author signing.  She read two passages from her new book, The World We Found, both of which were beautiful, and then spent an hour, graciously taking questions from the 75 people who were there.  Oh, wait, before she did any of that she heaped generous praise on the other Cleveland authors who we were there.  Sarah Willis, (Pulitzer Prize winner) Jim Sheeler, Loung Ung, Karen Sandstrom, Susan Grimm were in the audience.

I am terrible at taking photos at these events.  You can barely see Thrity up front, but on the upside, Sarah Willis is in the last row, closest to the camera.

So, why is India born Thrity a professor at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University? The answer is here.  That’s right she heard this Joan Baez song and decided at 21 to come to Ohio and earn her graduate degree at The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!).  One brave Clevelander pointed out that a map might have put her somewhere else since the Ohio River is hours from Columbus, but anyway…She calls this decision absurd and whimsical.  She’s been in the Cleveland area for 30 years.

When asked the requisite, who are your influences, question she answered with Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison (Thrity’s first job after college was in Lorain, where Morrison was born).  She says both have a true understanding of human psychology.  She says she’s also influenced by music and poetry, which she has written her whole life.  She spent years as a journalist because she could write and get a paycheck and feels optimistic about the future of journalism, although she had harsh words for the 24 hour news stations calling them laughable and dangerous.

A few memorable things she said about writing

“You write because it’s an act of discovery.”

“The magical part of writing is when you get lost in the woods.”

She did spent quite a bit of time talking about India, the effects of globalization and why it is so rich with stories.  The admirable people of Bombaby live on the edge and with such bravado that the stories are there for the plucking.

I really could go on, but this is already long.  I suggest you check out her book tour  to find out if you can see her in person.  You won’t regret it. I am so excited to read her book because she was such wonderful author to spend a few hours listening to.  I am pretty sure I’ll feel the same way about her books.

So, who got the signed copy of Thrity’s new book?

It’s JoAnn of Lakeside Musing!  Congratulations 🙂

Writers Lost in 2011 Quiz – guessing closed

Tuesday Quizzes are back!  Are you as excited as I am?  My first quiz of the year is always writers that died the year before.  Writers being loosely defined in some cases 🙂  10 points for each correct answer.

You have until noon Saturday to submit your answers as a comment.  Comment will be hidden until I post the answers.  No Googling! 

This round starts today and will last til the end of March.  The person with the most points will win a B&N gift card (total $ based on # of total participants, so please play) and a randomly selected participant will win a fun prize from me.

Have fun and Good Luck!

1. Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum are the feline stars of The Cat Who Series created by this author.  Lilian Jackson Braun (6-20-1913/6-4-2011)

2. This English author wrote the beloved Redwall series.  Brian Jacques (6-15-1911/2-5-2011)

3. She won both the Hugo and Nebula awards as well as being inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.  Her most recognizable series was set on the planet of Pern.  Anne McCaffrey (4-1-1926/11-21-2011)

4. This journalist, author and famous atheist was a regular contributor to Vanity Fair.  His autobiography, Hitch-22, was published in 2010.  Christopher Hitchens (4-13-1949/12-15-2011)

5. This American expatriate YA author is best known for his book Ridley Walker.  Russell Hoban (2-4-1925/12-15-2011)

6. Famed comic book writer who co-created Captain America.  Joe Simon (10-11-1913/12-14-2011)

7. This Irish-born British author wrote 7 books including Damage, the basis of the 1992 Jeremy Irons film of the same name.  Josephine Hart (3-1-1942/6-2-2011)

8. A British author best known for writing The Sheep-Big, the book the movie Babe was based on.  Dick-King Smith (3-27-1922/1-4-2011)

9. This beloved cartoonist wrote the long-running comic, Family Circus.  Bil Keane (10-25-1922/11-8-2011)

10. The screen legend wrote a few books about weight loss and jewelry and a children’s book titled Nibbles & Me about her time as a child star.  Elizabeth Taylor (2-27-1932/3-23-2-11)

Head Shot Quiz – guessing closed

Have you ever laid a bestseller down and when you went back to pick it back up hours or days later a big, shiny face was staring up at you?  I admit, I hate it.  I don’t see any reason for it, but some of the biggest names in fiction disagree.  See if you can tell me who these head shots belong to.  5 points each.  Submit your answers as a comment before noon on Saturday.

Please play along with us.  For everyone who plays an extra $ goes to the winner and the everyone is entered for a special prize.  Just leave a comment with your guesses and don’t google the answers.

Rules & Leaderboard here.  Last week’s Beginnings Quiz here.

1. Jodi Picoult

2. Dean Koontz

3. Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz

4. James Patterson

5. Nora Roberts

6. Dennis Lehane

7. Tess Gerritsen

8. Vince Flynn

9. Fern Michaels

10. Daniel Silva

11. Brad Thor

12. Harlan Coben

13. Barbara Delinsky

14. Sherrilyn Kenyon

15. Richard Russo

16. Nicholas Evans

17. Sandra Brown

18. John Sandford

19. Tami Hoag

20. Nicholas Sparks


An Hour with author Leah Stewart

I love to meet authors.  For book bloggers and writers they are celebrities.  My local library brought Leah Stewart, author of 3 books, to talk to us and answer questions.  I am over halfway through her latest book (and the first one I’ve read) and I’m loving it.  It is about a woman’s identity and how it changes once she becomes a mother.  Given my nine months of motherhood I relate.  I hope to have it finished and my review posted in the next few days.

Leah talked about her writing process.  When she started Husband and Wife she had a 3-year-old and a 7 month old at home.  I am in awe of that!  It took her a little over a year to write and was her easiest writing experience because she knew the story before she started writing.  Her second novel, The Myth of You & Me, took her 5 years to write because she had no clear vision, just the suggestion from her editor to write a contemporary story about a woman.  She offers the advice to know the story before you start writing.

If you’ve read Husband & Wife she based physical likeness of the Rajiv character on Naveen Andrews View Image.  A few authors she feels are important because she connects with them personally are Austen, Eliot and Fitzgerald.  She had just finished reading a Sarah Dessen book and My American Unhappiness.  She does not like the labels of chick lit or women’s fiction, but understands their marketing value.

She was asked if she was happy or sad when she finished a book and she said, “I’m so happy when I’m done.”  I loved the honesty.  When she was asked the most important quality for a successful writer to have, her answer was perseverance, determination, or the inability to stop doing it.

I really enjoyed her talk and the easy way she listened to the questions and took her time to answer them completely, not just giving stock answers.  She describes her books as ambiguous, moral situations.  Husband & Wife centers on infidelity and she told us right up front that she has no knowledge of her husband cheating on her!  It’s fiction people.

She likes twitter and if you’d like to find her @leahcstewart.  Or on her website.  I thought the evening was wonderful and that she was a delightful speaker.   I do hope you will check her out.