Book review: It Happened Under the Mistletoe by Valerie Bowman

It Happened Under the Mistletoe (Secret Brides, #3.5)It Happened Under the Mistletoe by Valerie Bowman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


House party. Bored Viscount. New to the ton country relative. Trapped in a silver closet because they are both fleeing over-eager suitors.

And. They. Fall. In. Love. With. Each. Other’s. BRAINS.

Good banter, quick action that doesn’t feel too quick for a novella. LOVED IT.


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NIU receives CLIR Hidden Collections Grant!

I am so pleased to announce that Northern Illinois University, in collaboration with Villanova University, has received a CLIR Hidden Collections grant to further digitize our dime novel collections.

My first grant application to digitize dime novels was submitted back in 2004. And I tried again in 2008. Which led to the Digital POWRR project, eventually. I’m proud that we finally achieved funding for making these materials more fully available to scholars and the public, with a lot of metadata for people to play with, too!

ETA: Here is the link to our pilot project for these materials.

Our Metadata Librarian, Matthew Short, and Demian Katz from Villanova University are involved along with myself and some of our support staff.

From the project summary:

The Albert Johannsen Project: Digitizing the House of Beadle and Adams and their Nickel and Dime Novels ($448,893)

Northern Illinois University; Villanova University

Project Summary:
Northern Illinois University (NIU) and Villanova University (VU) propose to digitize the dime novels of Beadle & Adams, the first and most important publisher of the format. The project will involve digitizing Albert Johannsen’s personal collection, acquired by NIU in 1967, and will include related publications from VU’s special collections. A total of 5,400 dime novels will be digitized and made freely available to read and download via the website Nickels and Dimes. In addition, the project will incorporate metadata from Johannsen’s The House of Beadle and Adams and their Nickel and Dime Novels (1950), one of the most significant works of dime novel scholarship and bibliography of the 20th century, including relationships between stories, editions, and authors. This will be published as open linked data on and include digital holdings information, which will be used to coordinate dime novel digitization across multiple institutions.

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Verity Extra! – 2017: Love and Lasts


verityextra2017It’s a short, intimate Extra! today. Join Deb and Erika as we introduce our topic for 2017. We’ll be mirroring 2016’s theme of “firsts” by talking about “lasts” and endings. We’ll talk about the final appearances of companions, Doctors, behind-the-scenes folks, and possibly other items! But we don’t want a year of downers (let’s face it, many goodbyes are sad sad sad), so we’re balancing that with the theme of “love”. We’ll also talk about love in Doctor Who as well as things we love about it!

And of course, we’ll be talking about series 10 when that airs. Hooray for new episodes of our show!

What firsts and loves would you like to hear us yammer on about? Let us know in the comments!

Here’s to a happy 2017 for all of us!


Download or listen now (runtime 22:09)  

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126 – The Return of Doctor Mysterio (Yeah!)


verityepisode126Our last first of the year is the first episode of 2016 (finally!), “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”. Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, Liz, and Lynne for an almost-full set of Verities discussing this comic book pastiche and whether it succeeded wildly or failed mildly.

Did you love this Christmas special? Did you think it was just okay? Did you see it in the theatre? Let us know all these things (and anything else you have on your mind about this year of firsts) in the comments!


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Book review: Vixen in Velvet by Loretta Chase

Vixen in Velvet (The Dressmakers, #3)Vixen in Velvet by Loretta Chase
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Ravenclaws fall in love…

Simon is a Lord, stuck minding his poet cousin.

Leonie Noirot is a dressmaker, raised and educated as a lady in Paris before a cholera outbreak killed her parents and wiped out the world she knew. She and her two recently married sisters own a dressmaking shop.

Leonie want’s Simon’s Botticelli. She’s gonna do a makeover on Lady Gladys to get it. If Lady Gladys doesn’t become a splash, Simon gets 2 weeks with Leonie, alone.

This is the setup, which I’m enumerating so that you know there is one. But most of this is lots of excellent description of clothing interspersed with a budding relationship between two people who clearly belong together yet deny that because they think they aren’t allowed to be in love as that would be bad for their respective roles as Responsible People within their family spheres.

Responsible People deserve love, too. AND pretty dresses.

Very satisfactory read.

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125 – Genocide of the Daleks

New Verity!

verityepisode125We did it! Join Deb, Erika, Liz, and Lynne as we discuss the very last first for the year. We’re finishing off series one with “Bad Wolf” and “The Parting of the Ways”. We talk about this two-parter as well as its place in the context of all of new Who as a season-ender, and it gets a little personal as we discuss how Doctor Who has impacted our lives.

What do you think about these two eps? Do you think they’re the best example of RTD’s finales? And how did you take the regeneration? Was it your first? Or was this process old news to you? Let us know in the comments!


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Extra! – Verity! Looks in the Mirror (Again!)

ICYMI, we pull back the curtain…

verityextrapodcasting2It’s another introspective Verity! Join Deb, Erika, Lynne, and Tansy as we take our turn talking about the genesis of the podcast and what we’ve gotten out of/learned from it.

Have you listened from the beginning? Or started recently and dipped back to old episodes? Do you think we’ve changed or grown? As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


Related links:
Quinn Rose
SF Squeecast
Galactic Suburbia
Total Party Kill
Our interview with Louise Jameson
Two-minute Time Lord
The Audio Guide to Babylon 5
Tansy’s books

Download or listen now (runtime 1:24:24)  

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Writing Excuses! In which I discuss ensembles

Our ship is massive and amazing.

A post shared by Lynne M. Thomas (@lynnemthomas) on

Remember the Writing Excuses cruise & retreat I was on? Well, the Writing Excuses podcast episode I was on is live!

Reblogged from their site:

Lynne M. Thomas joins us to continue our discussion of the Elemental Ensemble, which is one of our favorite elemental tools. It’s not just for heists. It adds interest, emotion, and lots of plot possibilities to everything from sense of wonder to the hard-hitting issue.

Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

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Book review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible ThingsFuriously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m an occasional fan of The Bloggess’s blog, so got this as an ebook from my local library. Thoroughly enjoyed this; it’s memoir from her blog posts, mostly about attempting to balance the constant internal chatter of anxiety/depression with, yanno, living. Somehow.

Plus taxidermy. (Trust me, it makes sense in context).

I laughed, I cried a little, it was cathartic in ways that worked for me.

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Verity 214 – Walkin’ to Paris

New Verity!

verityepisode214As the end of 2016 nears, we’ve come to our final classic Doctor Who story of season one. Join Deb, Erika, Liz, and Lynne as we talk about the season one finale (and whether it really deserves the term finale). Also, Lynne is in Chicago, Liz has some epic Happy Thing Flail, Deb uses the blessed term “fanthrpological”, and Erika mentions Lazy Doctor Who probably too many times.

What did you think of the Doctor’s first season, and of “Reign of Terror” in particular? Let us know in the comments!


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