Toni’s Book Club: My Evil Valentine

in Entertaining nonsense and profound thought

 

Brought to you by Toni Linenberger
Blonde Betty reviews
The Illustrious  Leader of the Intrepid BBs
3/25/14
 

 

Book Club:  My Evil Valentine by Debra Webb, Vicki Hinze, Rita Herron, Peggy Webb, V.R. Marks, Regan Black, and Kathy Carmichael

Host:  Toni Linenberger

This is a great collection of short stories.  It gives you a taste of each author’s writing style.  It gives you an opportunity to check in with old favorites, or perhaps find a new one.  I’m honored to host a book club chat so we can talk about them all.

I’ve come up with one question for each story.  The author’s name precedes the question for easy identification.  If there is something else you’d rather talk about, add your question into the comments.

  1. D. Webb:  Gina takes an interesting role in this story.  She’s move active in trying to pursue Spears.  What do you think brings drives her role in this story?
  2. Hinze:  This story uses the idea of twins to its advantage.  What did you think of Caroline and Christine’s bait and switch plan?  What is your favorite set of twins in fiction?
  3. Herron:  In an interesting twist the evil valentine is female in this story.  What did you think of the switch?  Were there enough clues along the way to help you figure it out?
  4. P. Webb:  Having a dog as a narrator is unconventional.  What do you think of Elvis’s narration?  What about his help solving the crime?
  5. V.R. Marks:  Tradition is very important in this story.  How does tradition drive the story?  What are some of your traditions that came out of unusual events?
  6. Black:  Amelia takes some risks in this story.  What do you think of her strategy to draw out members of Undercover Identities?  What do you think of John’s reaction?
  7. Carmichael:  By the end of the story we know who done-it, however, the perpetrator is not forced to atone for her crime.  Do you think justice was served?

Please respond in the comments.  Feel free to add any other questions you’d like to explore.

By the very nature of a book club discussion, the following will contain spoilers for My Evil Valentine and all the previous Faces of Evil books.  There are also potentially spoilers for each author’s ongoing series.

 

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy Wolfe March 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Deb,
It is great that Gina is helping Jess and Dan. She is using her skills as a reporter to help them clear Dan name.This is helping her to become better friends with Gina. While she is helping both Jess and Dan she is also very focused on the “big story”. Hopefully, her sources can help clear Dan. Also, Jess is surprised and pleased to have such good friends as Deb and Sylvia. She tends to be more of a loner, keeping to herself. I hope to see more of the friendship between the three women develop. Jess needs support now more than ever with all the things happening with Dan, her pregnancy, and Eric Spears as well as how the investigation into her fathers death is going.

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:09 pm

So true, Nancy! To survive Spears, they’re all going to need each other!

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DeeAnn Kline March 26, 2014 at 1:15 am

I am enjoying Jess making friends because she has always been a loner. It’s interesting to see how these relationships change and grow with each book including her relationship with Dan. Great books in this series by a very talented author.

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Rita Herron March 25, 2014 at 8:03 pm

In Black Roses, I really wanted to write a twist on the excitement of getting flowers for Valentine’s day! What better way than a crazed stalker? Hope you enjoyed the twist!

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:10 pm

I loved it, Rita!

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Kathy Carmichael March 25, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Hi Toni,

Thank you so much for featuring all of our stories!

On your question about the villain in my Skullduggery Inn story, the question you asked was one I asked myself as I wrote it. What the perpetrator had done didn’t amount to criminal activity, at least not to bye point of being charged with a crime. Ultimately, I felt the punishment matched the crime. Did you feel the punishment should have been harsher?

Again, thank you so much for this great discussion!

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:10 pm

I loved it just the way your wrote it, Kathy!

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Kathy Carmichael March 25, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Thank you, Deb!!! And you know I absolutely adore your Faces of Evil series!

I just remembered that my story also features twins 🙂

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Gail Fuhlman March 25, 2014 at 6:41 pm

I would have to say at first I was wondering just what Gina motive was. But as the story goes on I figure that there is more to Gina than meets the eye. I really did enjoy this story,because it bring a lot you didn’t know to light.

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Gail, my editor helped me with Gina. She reminded me that Gina was a top journalist and needed a more meaty part!

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Marijane Diodati March 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm

You are too kind!

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Vicki H March 25, 2014 at 6:18 pm

All of the books are great! I got my set a while back.
And yeah, when Gina first made an appearance I thought she would be the resident b**** but she has grown on my and I thinks she’s ok. If a little uppity, lol.

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:11 pm

You nailed it, Vicki!

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cindy reifel March 25, 2014 at 6:17 pm

I think that after all this time and everything that has happened, there are very few people that Jess trusts. I believe that is why Gina started taking a bigger role, because she knew that Jess needed the support, especially now. I also believe that Tess is just now realizing how desperately she needs Gina’s help, especially now.

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Yes ma’am!!! Shows you love the characters–you got it!

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Marijane Diodati March 25, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Vicki,

When I was little, I wished that I had an identical twin. I thought it would be handy when I got into trouble because either of us could have done it. My twin wouldn’t say that I did it because she would know there would be a time she needed me to say nothing. It wouldn’t have worked well with my mother who probably would punish both of us, one for doing it and the other for lying about it!

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Rita Herron March 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm

I know this comment wasn’t directed to me but had to respond because I do have an identical twin!
Yes, it was fun at times. And we did switch in class and on dates a couple of times.
But instead of blaming each other when we were little for something, my mother would spank us both anyway because she didn’t know which one of us was naughty!

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:14 pm

I’ve met your twin, Rita! You’re both awesome!

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Kathy Carmichael March 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm

I had no clue you are a twin, Rita! Very cool!

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:13 pm

LOL Marijane! My little brother and I aren’t twins but we were so close that often folks thought we were. Whenever one of us got into trouble my mother punished us both!

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Marijane Diodati March 26, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Thanks for responding where I messed up!

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Marijane Diodati March 25, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Deb,

I love that Gina is helping Jess and Dan. It accomplishes two goals. Jess becomes better friends with Gina. As you mentioned, Deb, Jess and Sylvia also are good friends. Jess has been a loner most of her life so having friends is a surprise to her and she is enjoying it. Gina also is an excellent and tenacious journalist. She has sources who should be helpful in proving that Dan is not responsible for the plethora of actions about which he is being investigated. Moreover, as a TV journalist, Gina has the power to influence people. Dan needs the media in his corner!!!

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:15 pm

You are exactly right! Glad you made me show that on the page!

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Marijane Diodati March 25, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Deb,

What do I say? 🙂

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Dr. Linda March 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Debra,
I was a little surprised that Jess gave Gina the interview until I figured out it was a great way to get her side out. And now I am glad to see Gina continue to play a role in Vile.

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Thanks, Dr. Linda! I like Gina! She and Sylvia are turning out to be good friends for Jess!

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Vicki Hinze March 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Hi, Toni! I just responded but guess I did something wrong because my post went poof! I have no idea what happened, but I wanted to say thank you so much for featuring us in your discussion. It was a thoughtful thing to do.

You asked about the twins and switch-and-bait plan. Well, the truth is when I started DOWN AND DEAD IN EVEN, I had no idea Caroline was a twin or that there would be a switch-and-bait plan. But seeing her in her situation made me think. Boy, there are so many tines for all of us that we know what we need to do but we’re weary or terrified or stuck. We need help. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful,” I thought, “if when we’re in these situations, we had someone who could step in and give us the time and space we need to do what we need to do–heal!”

Then I wondered, “How, short of a fairy godmother suddenly appearing (they’re pretty scarce in real life), could that happen?” Christina appeared, and she came up with switch-and-bait plan. (I guess fairy godmothers aren’t that scarce after all, and you never know what form they might take!)

What did I think of it? Honestly, I was skeptical at first, but Caroline and Christina convinced me they would make it work. Considering how much they had to lose, I had to let them try. And they did it! They convinced me.

So much so that I’m now writing Christina’s story!

It’s funny, isn’t it? Sometimes we can’t see the way ahead or how things will ever work out. But they do.

I love it when that happens.

Again, Toni, thank you so much for discussing our stories with your book club. Wishing you all much joy and many…

Blessings!

Vicki

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Marijane Diodati March 25, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Marijane Diodati March 25, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Vicki,

When I was little, I wished that I had an identical twin. I thought it would be handy when I got into trouble because either of us could have done it. My twin wouldn’t say that I did it because she would know there would be a time she needed me to say nothing. It wouldn’t have worked well with my mother who probably would punish both of us, one for doing it and the other for lying about it!

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Toni March 25, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Vicki – You are certainly welcome. This has been a fun exercise for us to figure out how to do a book club blog. I’m so glad you stopped by.

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:15 pm

I love this series, Vicki!

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Regan Black (@ReganBlack) March 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Good afternoon, Toni! This is going to be fun. 🙂

I really liked showing Amelia’s devotion to the ’cause’ of unveiling the harsh realities behind Unknown Identities. John is less than pleased by her willingness to put herself in danger, yet I wanted readers to watch them grow as a team. Taking big risks is the only way to the reward of learning the why and who of UI.

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Regan, the Unknown Identities series rocks!!!!

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V.R. Marks March 25, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Hi, Toni! Thanks for creating this book club today with great questions, too. The folks in Haleswood value tradition which can be a curse as much as a blessing. I enjoyed delving into JC’s past as this story came together.

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Love you VR and love your books!

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Peggy Webb March 25, 2014 at 11:47 am

Hello, Toni! Thanks for putting us in your bookclub discussion. Elvis, my dog narrator/sleuth, was inspired by my beloved chocolate Lab, who had a unique way of communicating without words. Since I live in the birthplace of Elvis Presley, it was an easy leap to create a fictional character whose memories of once being the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll bring a lot of fun to the Southern Cousins Mystery series. Enjoy!

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Peggy, your Southern Cousins series is the best! I love your Elvis!!!

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Debra Webb March 25, 2014 at 11:15 am

Good morning, Toni! You’re right, Gina is taking a more active role! She wants what might be the biggest story of her career! But also, she and Jess have become friends. Gina wants to help both Jess and Dan!

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