Sunday, November 19, 2006


Veterans and Rookies

Yes, that's right.
I wanted to tie in one of my most favorite holidays with this month's contest. And while I just LOVE me some fried turkey, that's not the holiday I mean. In honor of Veteran's Day (tomorrow), and because, well, I'm a Veteran (hey, after TEN YEARS in the Navy, you're darned right I'm a Veteran, and VERY proud of it, thankyouverymuch!), this month's contest is called: Veterans and Rookies.

Here's the deal. You know that Chariity and I both write, and we love it. Really though, at heart, we both are READERS more than anything else. I can only hope that Char is not nearly as bad as I am, because if she is, then her family probably wants to have huge bonfires in her front yard with all of her books. See, I have literally thousands of books. Everywhere in my house. I have a hard time clearing a path in my office sometimes because of all of the books. I read just about every genre that is written. I've hardly ever met a book I didn't finish. And, I think that there is something to be learned from just about any/every book ever written. So HUGE is my respect for authors, that it is difficult for me to ever get rid of a book.

Ok, here's another truth: My books become more than just words printed on paper bound together with a cute cover to me. They become, at the very least, my friends. Sometimes though, they become even more than that, almost like adopted children. Yes, you read that correctly, sometimes I love a book so much that it becomes almost part of my family. Now, I can count on less than all of my digits the amount of times a book has been elevated to 'family' status, but it has happened. Even this last year, you here at Dee&Dee have witnessed it. (We really don't have to turn this into a SqueeFest though, do we? You all know which author/book I mean.)

When that happens, when a book goes from a friend to a family member, I tend to take notice of just about every other book that the author has written. Yes, it happened with Jennifer Crusie (I am Crusified and Burned, baby!). And Susan Elizabeth Phillips (though I'm still working on her backlist). And Ms. Jackson (though, sorry to say, there are only the two right now). I've read everything by Tom Clancy, and John Grisham. I don't know that I've ever read a Sandra Brown I didn't like. These authors have all reached the VETERAN status as writers. They are tried and true, virtually guaranteed to be a page-turner.

But they all started out as ROOKIES. Yes, my beloved Jennifer Crusie, long before the days of her amazing partnership with Bob (God Among Men/GAM) Mayer, started her career with Sizzle. Of course, you can't hardly mention that book to her without seeing her cringe. I know, I've seen it happen. While some authors, like The Cherry, don't start out on a bestseller list, some shoot right to the top. The first romance I ever bought (purchased with my babysitting money at the tender age of 14, I might add) was Whitney, My Love, by Judith McNaught. I have owned at least 5 different copies of that book. It might be that it's a sentimental favorite, because it was, well, my first. But OTOH, it is a damn fine book. As is every other Judith McNaught book I have ever owned. She's a VETERAN, but her ROOKIE book was the one that hooked me.

Do you see where I'm going with this? So this month's contest is all about those Veterans, who were once Rookies. Dig deep, friends, and tell me your stories. I want to know what Veteran authors you will read, just based on their name on the cover. But there's more. I want to know what book of theirs hooked you. AND... I want to know why. Also, I want to know if you've read any good Rookie authors recently, and if so, who are they? (Ok, really, I just want to know what new people you've found and love.)Was Welcome To Temptation your first Crusie, and you just couldn't get over that scene on the dock? Do you now wave goodbye and hello to every state as you cross a state line, just like Lena in gods in Alabama (JJ's Rookie book). Or, like me, can you still picture Clayton's hands as he dried Whitney off from her bath, like McNaught wrote in her Rookie book?

So, these four things must be included in your post. 1)What writing vets you read just cuz of their name, 2)What book of that vet hooked you, 3) WHY did that book hook you, and 4) Know any good Rookies, that you think might one day be Veterans?

Tell Me. And Win.

It's that simple. Oh, and did I mention we will be having a special judge? Well, we will. I'll tell you all about that next week. And the prize? Well, we're giving away a bunch of Rookie books by authors that we're sure are destined for Veteran status. A few of them have been reviewed here (or will be reviewed, as soon as I take a break from NaNo to write up the reviews). Plus, as a special treat, I'm going to include the Rookie books of a few of my favorite Veteran authors. I'll have a complete list posted on the day the contest closes. See, I don't want you to enter just because you're getting cool FREE books. I want you to enter and tell me who makes your head turn, and what it was about those books that turned that head.

Post your comments on THIS POST, or send us an e-mail at Contest will run from when this is posted until next Saturday, 11/18/2006, at 11:59 Eastern time.

Spill your guts.


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