Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: 2005

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Day After

I have no idea what was going through my mind when I bought my husband's Christmas presents. I found him some Chinese Health Balls that you roll around in your hands. He has arthritis and it's supposed to help. Then at another store they had golf balls on sale so I bought him a couple of boxes. Next I came across a golf ball initializer and got it so he could initialize his balls. When he commented that he might have gotten a complex if I'd bought him a new putter, I told him his putter was just fine and still good for a few more rounds.

We had a great Christmas! I think any time you're surrounded by family then you're blessed. Presents are nice, but just having my children home, the grandkids here, that's all that matters. We had lots of good food and a home overflowing with love.

I'll leave the tree up until New Years Day, but I'm going to start writing down my New Year's resolutions today.

How about you? What's the one thing you want to accomplish in 2006? The most important thing on your list? Mine is the same thing every year: lose weight and get healthy. Someday I'll do it. I have no doubts. Want to know why? I'm published. And what's that got to with anything, you ask? Because that was a goal of mine for six years. Because I haven't smoked a cigarette in 6 yrs and 2 months. I remember because I quit on my birthday. That had been a goal for longer than I can remember.

That's the thing about goals. You can't give up on them. Where there's a will, there's a way.

So, what's top on your list?
Karen Kelley
09/06 Texas Bad Boys/Brava

Monday, December 26, 2005

worse present???

Soooo, how’d the present scene go? Everyone get what they wanted or pleasantly surprised by something they got?? A good surprise or a bad one.

Tell us about it. Let’s throw a little contest. Who got the worse present???
Actually, I think I get the prize as my dh gave me a funnel!! I’m not kidding here, a bright yellow plastic funnel. Said he couldn’t find one in the kitchen the other day and thought this was a nice addition. A set of 3.

My kids laughed till they cried, I wore the big one like a hat...I looked like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. I’m considering making the smaller ones into matching earrings.

So, if you think you can really beat out my yellow funnels let me know. The prize is a pink boa. Now that’s a really good present. I might even send you a funnel.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

New Winner!

For a gift pack of my December releases, the winner is...Julia B! Julia...if you already have them, you can choose an alternate book from my backlist...or an advanced copy of WILLING. :)


Monday, December 19, 2005

Hello ladies... and Chad and Mark!

Today is my blog day, and as I promised this morning... here it is... a bit late, but better late than never - right??

I had to do major grocery shopping this morning (A madhouse!!). And since dh is out of town, I had to lug it all in and put it all away myself. I'm such a whiner. :)

Our younger daughter, Anna, is coming home tomorrow along with her hubby, Chris. They celebrated their first wedding anniversary yesterday. They'll arrive in time for dinner and will stay until about 8PM on Thursday. Then they go to his parents' house until Saturday evening. They'll be at their own apartment Saturday night, and then we we'll see them again Sunday for lunch at my mom's in Chattanooga.

Our older daughter is 8 months pregnant and has flatly refused to do anything but stay home, which we all understand. We'll be opening presents with them sometime from the 25th to the 27th... still fine tuning that.

Anna and Chris have requested roast and mashed potatoes tomorrow night. Plus my grandmother's "flop-over" rolls. The rolls are labor intensive, but so wonderful. The house smells amazing when they are cooking.

I also have to make dough for "cut out" Christmas cookies. That is one of those Christmas traditions that no one wants to give up! We'll play Rook after dinner... Chris used to be a newbie, but he has played with us enough now that we are all pretty cut-throat. Ha!

All my shopping and wrapping has been done for awhile, but I have to go out tomorrow and pick up one last gift. We have a stained glass shop near where we live, and every time we go by, my hubby says, "I'd love to have one of those." Our house is old and has big windows, and in his office, he hangs all sorts of pretty colored glass. In mid-November, I went to the shop and talked to the guy. He is making a stained glass piece approximately 10 x 12 inches that will include mountains, sky, a waterfall, maybe a bird or two, etc. I hope it turns out well... this is the only surprise I have for Charlie... his other stuff is practical... either that or books which he asked for.

The picture at the top of this post is our sweet Anastasia! The coat is one of her Christmas presents from Nana and Granddaddy. We gave it to her early so she could begin wearing it. The photo is from last Sunday en route to church.

Well, I need to get back to the kitchen. Looks like there's no hope of a white Christmas for us. Supposed to be in the 50's Saturday and Sunday. Oh well, that will make travel easier.

I hope everyone is having a good week. More later...


Ooops...late with my blog...

I was supposed to blog on Saturday, but I took the weekend off. I didn't mean to take it off from blogging. I really didn't, but not going to the computer had that effect. I feel really silly now, but hope you all will forgive me and if my message gets bumped by another blogger...well that's okay too. :)

We had an awewome weekened anyway...wish you all could have been at some of the parties we went to. Friday night, my sister hosted a caroling party and a few dozen of us tramped her neighborhood serenading her neighbors with Christmas carols. Saturday was the annual family reunion on my dad's side...four generations of family show up to share our joy in Christmas together. We ate, we sang and little ones opened gifts. The family has been meeting every Saturday before Christmas for over 50 years and I've been going since my birth 37 years ago. It's an awesome heritage for my children. Yesterday we spent Christmas shopping and then having dinner with my mom (it's a weekly event for us as she's been ill for quite some time) and that was lovely, even though it meant driving both ways on sheets of ice.

Today, I'm catching up on email and then I'm going to supervise Christmas cards and gift wrapping. I say supervise because the teens do most of the work to save my wrist joints. :)

What are your last minute Christmas preparations?

Hugs to all,

Friday, December 16, 2005

And we have a winner...

:o) nope, I didn't forget...

Jennifer~she posted in Karen's entry on tuesday 12/13. Name was chosen by my daughter.

I'll get in contact with Jennifer once she responds. ;)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Stretched too THIN!!!!

Oh man!

I love the Christmas season but for some reason, this year it's kicking my butt.

Well, it might have something to do with a sick preschooler, sick friends calling me to ask for help, working on THREE different books, and the fact that ... as always... I can't sleep.

Sadly, I'm not getting much accomplished on my book(s). So I think it's time for a plan. Less email, less shopping~Santa's already bought the kids everything in the known universe anyway!~ less play time and just focus on writing.

The good news is... I have finished one book, and a second is coming along really well, but the ideas for that one tie into the next two I plan on writing, and I'm going to go ahead and start them and hopefully they will all flow together.

Christmas is almost here and then things do slow down a little. Soooooo if I can just hold on a little long...and if I can just keep the kids healthy... and NOT ANSWER THE PHONE... I may get some work done.

Don't you all ever feel stretched out to the limit?

And I haven't forgotten... I'll be drawing a winner here in the next few days!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Contest is over ahhhhh

But the winners are:
Sheila---who wrote that her mother gets her brothers the same thing every year
Cindy---Lil Bitchy
These were picked totally at random. You can choose a book from my website Then e-mail me your snail mail address to
Merry Christmas and A Happy Holiday! Now I'm going shopping!!!
Karen Kelley

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Happy Holiday Contest

I love this time of the year! Merry Christmas! And if you have a different belief, then Happy Holidays!

There was a coupon in one of the circulars for $10 off! How neat is that? Then I read the fine print: excluding all jewelry items, all cosmetics, all on sale items, all clearance items, it listed all the brand names in clothes that I'm familiar with, all fragrances, all purses, all hats, all seasonal gifts...the list went on and on. Why didn't they just put, excluding everything in the store?

I've almost finished my Christmas shopping. I still need to buy my son's present. Guys are so hard to shop for. He's 33 and single.

And hubby, I want to get him something fun. Not an easy task. In fact, if you'll tell me what you're getting the men in your family for Christmas, I'll put your name in a drawing for your pick of any of my books, backlist or current release. Excluding (grin) Bachelor Party. This was my very first book---a Precious Gem and I only have a few copies that I'm keeping. But all the others are fair game. So go for it! Has the man in your life been naughty? (Did you chuckle?) Or nice?

The rules and hints:
The gift has to be less than $100 so you can't say a sports car.
Both my guys have a good sense of humor
They're also competitive
I'll pick three winners and announce it tomorrow morning so you have all day.

You can check my books out at

Best Wishes For A Happy Season!
Karen Kelley

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

And the winner is...

Christy Haynes won the "big" prize... and I decided to pick two more names for small consolation prizes... Nichole Lupardus and Nicole Hulst.

I'll let Christy tell you the contents of her "goody" box when it arrives.

Keep watching the blog/and or my website for new contests in 2006. I'll do one contest in early January to celebrate my new book. Then at the end of January/first of February, I'll have a "big" Valentine's Day giveaway.

And don't forget, other blog authors will be giving stuff away this month.

Happy Holidays!
Janice Maynard

Monday, December 05, 2005

You'd Better Watch Out!

I thought we'd start out philosophical this morning... maybe analyze a popular Christmas song like "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". I mean, really... what exactly are we watching out for??? And why can't we cry if we feel like it??? Pouting??? Surely that's a woman's prerogative - right?

And "he sees you when you're sleeping"... what kind of creepy red-suited guy IS Santa. Sheesh!

Ha! Enough of my silly mood... it's raining here in Northeast Tennessee this morning and in the thirties... snow all around us. We may get some tonight.

I'm having one of those days where I have a million things to get done, and I'm having a hard time prioritizing. I woke up with my brain scattered. Some people would say that's normal, but don't believe them :)

1) I'm finishing off the last of some promo mailings for my January book. 2) My vacuum cleaner is on the fritz and needs to go to the shop. 3) I need to look at my Christmas list and make a plan to finish shopping. 4) My dh is home sick and is disturbing my usual peace and quiet. 5) I have to start wrapping pretty soon, or I'll never get it all done. 6) Dh wants to go to a movie later today and keeps asking me to check the times online. 7) We have a small roof leak and are trying to decide if we have to re-roof the whole house (gulp). 8) And the list goes on...

Of course, I would much rather hang out online with you guys, and pretend that it's VERY important to get this blog done. :)

I'm drawing a name for my contest winner tomorrow. Since I didn't send this contest out to everyone on my website contact list, there are far fewer entries this time, so those of you who have put your name in the pot have pretty good odds. Anyone else who wants to enter needs to do so tomorrow before noon.

All in all, it's a Monday... what can I say? We all have to survive them, and hope Tuesday comes along soon!

Stay warm, and don't lose the holiday spirit. I have decided to smile at all the grumpy people I see this week. It can't hurt...

Talk to you later,

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Janice's Contest

I'm giving away a box full of goodies! I've been saving up for this, and I have lots of fun presents to brighten someone's day. One item is for the Christmas season, so I'll be drawing for my prize on December 6.

To enter, send me an e-mail at Put "December Contest" in the subject line. In the body of the e-mail, list the names of the three novellas in Suite Fantasy. With each title, include the names of the hero and heroine. To do this, you will need to pop over to my website ( and read the three excerpts. (They aren't long.) I think the first one does not mention the heroine by name - so I'll give you a freebie. Her name is Katie. The other five names should all be there.

Make sure to include your name in the e-mail. Sometimes I can't tell from the e-mail address who it is. Other than that, just be aware that our December contests are to reward people who take the time to stop by our blog and comment. So post away... :)

And by the way, Suite Fantasy technically has a January 3 release date, but I'm guessing it may show up in some stores earlier, maybe Christmas week. My editor sent me a single copy to look at, so I am still waiting on author copies. What fun!

Janice Maynard

And Speaking of CONTESTS!!!!


The authors of Vamps and Scamps are having one. And it's ALLLLLLL for the readers of the blog.

We'll be giving away gifts, one from each of us... and to different winners. So that means like six or seven or eight chances to win.

Ways to win.... participate... And by participating, I mean more than just a little one line Hello~ Talk to us, comment on the topic of the day, etc.

We'll start drawing winners close to Christmas time, but the more you participate, the more likely you are to win.

Good luck!

Naughty or Nice.... CONTEST

Having a contest....a Christmas one.

Just how well do you know my books...or maybe I should say the way my mind works?

Let's have a contest to find out. Throughout the month of December, I'm holding a contest. If you win, you will win one of two prizes, Christmas Stockings... one with pressies for Nice Girls... and one with pressies for Naughty Girls. And yes, you can try for both, although I won't give two prizes to the same person. But entering both ups your odds of winning. However, you CANNOT enter more than once. I'll be watching the entries and if you enter more than once, your entries are disqualified. Have to be fair.

you can visit my website to skim my titles~

For the Nice Girl contest~

Who is the ultimate nice girl from the books I've written? Yes...I do have a particular person in mind. She's a heroine, not a secondary character. And I'll even give you one more hint... she is NOT from an EC book.

To enter your guess, send an email here.

For the Naughty Girl contest~

Who is the ultimate naughty girl from the books I've written? And again... you have to guess the right one. She's a heroine, not a secondary character. And this heroine IS from an EC book.

To enter your guess, send an email here.

**You MUST send separate emails for each guess. Please don't send one email with both guesses inside. **

In early January, I'll draw a winner from each one, a Naughty Girl and a Nice Girl. The prizes in the Naughty Girl stocking will be something fit for a naughty girl...not telling what! And the Nice Girl contest will be prizes fit for a Nice Girl.

Good luck and have a Merry Christmas!

Note:... I used the cover for Christmas Cara, but that isn't by any means a hint. Cara is probably too sweet to be the naughty girl and she can't be the nice girl either, since I already gave a hint that it wasn't an EC book.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Birthday Cards?

Last night we gave our granddaughter her birthday card with $10 inside. She took the money and left the card. Okay, she's only ten so that's perfectly understandable and we rarely spend much money on cards.

But that started me to thinking. What does everyone do with their cards after they get them? They're expensive! Birthday cards cost around $3-$5 for a decent one.

Most people spend a lot of time searching for the right card. When I get one, do I just read it, then toss it in the trash? But if I'd saved every birthday card I'd ever gotten my house would probably be a fire hazard--said with much sarcasm.

My husband gives me "ahhhh" cards. The kind that brings a tear to my eye. Especially when look at the back and see the price. He could've bought me one of those really small boxes of Godiva for what he'd spent on the card, then just written a note saying how much he loves me.

Cards from my daughter usually have a message that says how much she appreciates that I didn't kill her when she reached her teens. Terrible twos have nothing on a girl reaching puberty. She's 35 now, she can quit apologizing.

Our son actually remembered my birthday one year, but he was broke. He took a paper bag and cut out enough to make a card, tore the edges then burned them without catching himself on fire (I was so proud of him for that). He wrote a silly poem and drew a really bad picture. I still have that card.

One year I cut up a bunch of cards and made a collage, then I made place mats. They have clear plastic at the craft store that you can iron over the front. That works pretty good. You can fancy them up in a lot of different ways. The grandkids seem to like them.

I have one friend who gives me cards with sexy guys on the front. I love this friend! I made a collage of all these men and made myself a placemat. Sometimes doing crafts can be a good thing. Oh, yea!

So, what do you do with all those cards no matter what the occasion?
Karen Kelley
"...romance's rising funny girl."
Sharon Sala on Temperature's Rising

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What do YOU want for Christmas??

What do YOU want for Christmas??

...and how do you let others know THIS--and not the moose-head slippers--is what you want because you really hate those slippers?

Okay, you could tell people who give you gifts that you want such-and-such but that's like handing someone a shopping list. Besides, it's not that you want a specific thing but something in that category and that they pick out.

My husband's great but he's one of those guys who thinks a new Dutch oven is just the perfect gift (got that two years ago). Got the Kitchen Aid mixer last year along with three William Sonoma cookbooks to go along with the fifteen others he bought. Do we see a pattern here? Yep, the man likes to eat and thinks getting me stuff to feed him is his contribution to the situation.

I've tried leaving catalogues around and they wind up in the recycle bin. I drop hints and they go right over his head. I say let's plan a trip and he hands me a recipe.

I could go out and just buy what I want but it's more than what I usually spend but would make a terrific gift from my dh.

How do I get this great guy to buy me something besides a bread maker...I just know that's what he has up his sleeve this year.

Any ideas? Anyone else been down this road?

Dianne...who really is greatful but could use a little bling in her life

Monday, November 21, 2005

November 24

I didn't have to look hard to find a blog topic for this week. November 24, Thanksgiving Day, is one of those rites of passage in my life... I was born on Thanksgiving Day, and this year once again, my birthday falls on Turkey Day. My mom never lets me forget that my advent into the world made her miss out on the traditional dinner that year. :)

But 2005 is more momentous than most... this year is a milestone for me... more than forty, but less than sixty. Half a century... the same number of years as there are states in the union. Do you get my drift??? It's confession time here!! Seeing the number written down or spoken out loud sort of makes me cringe. How did this happen?? Inside I still feel like I just graduated from college. Ha!

Now don't get me wrong. I don't want to stop having birthdays. My two dearest friends died early, one of breast cancer in her thirties, and one of ovarian cancer in her forties. So I am fully aware of how very precious it is to have each hour, each day, each year. And I plan to be an outrageous 95 year old lady one day.

I do feel extremely blessed, and regardless of the "number" on this birthday, I am so very thankful for all the happy moments in my life. I have a sweetie-pie husband and a wonderful marriage, two lovely daughters who make me proud, and a second career that brings me lots of joy and satisfaction!!

And last but not least, I am grateful for the many new friends I have made in the last few years, friends who love and treasure books as much as I do. For all of you online buddies (and some of you I know in person!), I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving with good food, good friends, and family members who don't drive you completely crazy. :) :)

Love, Janice

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Thanksgiving recipes...

You asked for it, so here it is...a chance to share our Thanksgiving recipes. I'll get the ball rolling by sharing one of mine. :) This one is a super favorite with my family and I get mega complaints if it isn't in the dessert spread after dinner. I found it in my husband's grandmother's recipe box and she'd clipped it from a magazine at least 20 years ago. It's just so simple, I love making it!

Eggnog Pie

1.5 cups real egg nog
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tspn sal
1 tspn vanilla
1/4 tspn almond extract
1 cup whipping cream (whipped)
1 - 9 inch crust - baked (shortbread or graham cracker crust can be used too)

Mix gelatin, sugar and salt. Gradually stir in eggnog. Warm over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Watch carefully, stirring from time to time. Do not let milk get hot (no bubbles). Chill until mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon. Fold in flavorings and whipped cream. Chill about 5 to 10 minutes. Spoon into crust. Chill.

It's fabulous, it really is.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?

Lucy Monroe

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Let's do a quiz....

I love quizzes...

I was going to look for a super goofy one tonight, like what kind of women's underwear are you...but it's been a long day and i'm TIRED....

So we'll do this one. I've been saving it anyway.

you are violet

Your dominant hues are red and blue. You're confident and like showing people new ideas. You play well with others and can be very influential if you want to be.

Your saturation level is lower than average - You don't stress out over things and don't understand people who do. Finishing projects may sometimes be a challenge, but you schedule time as you see fit and the important things all happen in the end, even if not everyone sees your grand master plan.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz
Violet, huh? I dunno about playing well with others. But yep, I'm confident~and the little things that stress a lot of people out tend to just amuse me. So it may be sort of right... ;)
What are you?

Monday, November 14, 2005

The coolest, neatest, best presents out there so far are...

I need help! I’ve got to shop for Christmas presents.

So far I’ve bought a down comforter for my husband who’s allergic to feathers. See, this is what writing does to my brain. I have none.

Sooo, I got this great idea.
I’m going to pooch your shopping lists out there and buy what you all are buying. Hey, I figure I write this blog every few weeks and share my very shallow thoughts and now’s the time for you all to pay me back with gift suggestions. What’s everyone buying?

For your kids? Mother in-laws? Aunts and Uncles?

Come on, give. I’m desperate here.

Is there an impossible gift to find this year? I remember driving for two hours and waiting in line two more for a tickle-me-Elmo. Then there was the run on those Cabbage Patch kids. I think they were scalping them for two-hundred bucks a piece. I had three and was really tempted to sell.
I can buy a lot of printer paper with that kind of money.

So, what are you all buying that I should be buying before it’s too late or is it too late already? What’s the tickle-me Elmo of 2005?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

How about a winner

:-) I said contest...I'll give away a prize. Giving away a copy of Hot Spell. If the winner I picked already has one, we'll work something else out. And the name drawn...

Bkwrm26~ I need you to email me. Put Blog Winner in the subject line. email me at

Thank you!

And keep posting, people. Christmas is coming, you never know... there might be a cool pressie for somebody.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Do you like to win?

Vamps and Scamps are thinking of doing contests on the blog.

How do you win? By posting in the comments area.

What can you win? It varies... anything from ebook downloads to books signed by the author...and more. Depends on what we feel like giving away.

How often? Probably at least once a month. The more you talk to us, the better chance you have of winning. of course, we want REAL replies... not just little one line comments.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The geese are getting fat!

~Posted for Janice by Shiloh~


Did you notice? Two auspicious things happened on the morning of November 1. (Okay, make that three - 'cause we all know that Shiloh's wonderful new book, Hot Spell, hit the shelves... you know - the one that's going to sell a bajillion copies!)

But I digress... these other two happenings kicked off the unofficial start to the holiday season. The first event I must mention was of a retail nature. Early that day, Wal-Mart stripped the Halloween aisle bare, reduced all the plastic skeletons and pumpkin carving kits, and replaced them with peppermint candy canes, holly dishtowels, and chocolate snowmen. A sure sign that "you know what" is a-comin'.

The second inescapable turning of the tide showed up in my mailbox - the brand new, wrapped in plastic, heavy as a pound of hamburger meat, glossily photographed Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. As I later found out, there are two versions... this one is deeply into fashion, and they have promised me that my traditional catalog with the "his 'n hers" gifts is on the way.

But the fashion catalog was definitely intriguing! How about a black lace and Swarovski crystal bra for $325.00? The matching panties are a steal at $175. For the man in your life, NM offers a limited-edition 18-karat gold and pave diamond Swiss Army knife for only $6800. Or upgrade to the Executive version with a gold chain and an engraved blade for $50,000. So many choices...

In case you were wondering... fur is still in, despite the PETA people... you might enjoy a black mink capelet for $2600.

If you're on a budget (and who isn't), take home the cute retro "Days of the Week" panties from Juicy Couture. Those will only set you back $58 for the set or $8.29 per day... or $4.15 per cheek!

And last but not least... the Hello Kitty silver necklaces with your choice of charms... Ballet Kitty - $900, Tennis Kitty - $950, or my personal favorite - Ski Kitty - $850.

Often, the latest couture fashions don't really appeal to me, but judging by the beautiful dresses in this issue, romance is back on the boardwalk... lots of velvet, tulle, silk and taffeta... and wonderful, rich colors. I have been known to save these catalogs and use them later to "dress" my heroines. And did I mention that the lingerie pages are alluring as well?!?!?!

Well, there you have it - a hot off the press look at what's available for your holiday shopping pleasure.

In an exclusive arrangement with Neiman Marcus (Tennessee branch), you can visit my website and order from your wish list. Each item will have a 5 percent mark-up, all of which goes straight to my bank account.

And if you are one of those people who had to be told by McDonalds that hot coffee "may" burn the heck out of your private parts if you spill it in your lap... the above paragraph is a joke!!! It always makes me cranky to get sued right before Christmas.

Happy shopping all you Scamps and Vamps, and remember, you can never go wrong with a NM gift card. All denominations welcome, but I love the ones with lots of zeroes. :)

Wishing you all in advance a stress free shopping experience...


Things to be thankful for

Well, it's almost Thanksgiving here in the States.

A day of feasting on turkey or ham, usually involving the female...or the male...whoever does the cooking, getting up at the crack of dawn to slave over the food. Usually involves lots of leftovers that get munched on for a few days after. Makes sense, because after slaving four hours over that one meal, who wants to spend much time cooking afterwards?

So it's just a few weeks away~and after that, the mad rush of the Christmas holiday. I love Christmas, but I don't always put much stock in Thanksgiving.

If there's something to be thankful for, I try to remember to thank God for it regularly, not just on a holiday. However, I probably am not as thankful for things as I should be.

So what am I thankful for...

10) my health~okay, I've had some medical problems and I get sick a couple times a year. But be that as it may, it could be worse. Instead of asthma and carpal tunnel, I could be have really serious things. So even though I'm dealing with the mother of all chest colds right now, I'm basically thankful that I can walk, that I can see, that I don't have to spend the majority of my time at medical facilities or getting gillions of tests run, etc etc etc

9) Nice house, decent cars. Even if we're still paying on them, it's more than some people have.

8) Friends~I don't know if I appreciate all of my friends the way I should. The really good friends that I have are always there and it seems like when something is always there, you start to take it for granted. Friends shouldn't ever been taken for granted.

7) My parents~while we don't always see eye to eye, I know that there are things about me that came from them. My imagination came from my dad, my love of romance and a good story came from my mom, stubborness came from both of them. I am who I am today because of my childhood and while it wasn't always rosy, I like who I am, so I'm thankful for that.

And they've always known I'd become a writer, even when I didn't focus on it so much. My mom, especially. She's always had that faith in me.

6) Nana & inlaws~Nana is the woman who watches my kids four days a week so I can write. This woman is more than a babysitter, she's part of the family. She puts so much into taking care of my kids and I'm thankful for that. My in laws~well, they spoil the kids rotten, and they are almost always there to watch them when a booksigning comes up or something else that I have to do and the kids can't come.

5) My writing~while I do put a lot of work into writing, the ability to write isn't something that I can take much credit for. I've always done it, it's always come naturally. So that's a gift that I was born with, and one I hope I haven't taken for granted much.

4) My editor Pam. She's a doll and she's always been my cheerleader from day one. She slaved with me while I was trying to nail down POV ~point of view~ and she knew when it was essential to the story to get the POV right, and she knew when it wasn't quite so important. My writing wouldn't be what it is today if she hadn't spent so much time with me.

3) the online community of readers and writers that I've gotten in touch with over the past few years. I've made some really excellent friends, people like Mary Wine, Renee, Anni, Vikky, Lora Leigh, Jaci Burton and Dianne Castell, just to name a few. I love being able to talk about books~when you talk about a book to somebody who isn't a booklover, it's just not very fulfilling. Sharing that love of reading with these people, and my love of writing with the writers, it's just wonderful to be able to do that.

2) Faith~ it's gotten me through a lot. Knowing that I'm not alone in life, no matter what, brings a comfort that nothing else can.

1) My family~my kids and my husband. That's the DH with the birds. We took that picture at the zoo and it's one of my favorites. I'm so thankful for him and for our babies. Our kids are the light of my life-they make me laugh, make me want to pound my head, and sometimes, they make me want to cry just by hugging me. My husband, he's my rock, the one person in life that I know will hold steady for me no matter what. He's my lover, my friend, my heart and soul. I thank God for him and for our babies~as long as I have them, I can handle anything.

So there's my list. I could probably list more~I'm especially thankful for Godiva chocolate, Tim Tams, a good book and a glass of wine, but those essentially are little things. I was trying to stick with the big ones.

Want to share your list?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's November 1...been waiting for this day a loooong time

November 1, 2005~official release date for Hot Spell, the Berkley anthology featuring Emma Holly, Lora Leigh, Meljean Brook.... and me! That's my name on the front of this Berkley trade paperback...I still can't believe it.

Even though I recognize the story, and the acknowledgements on the page right before the story starts are mine, I still can't believe it.

I was ecstatic when Her Best Friend's Lover released in ebook form from EC back in 2003... geez, has it been two years? Only two years? Just two years? So much has changed since that first book came out. I no longer work outside the house. I can write any time I want during the day~I don't have to wait until lunch time, or until after the kids have gone to bed. I have my own office, I have website where people go to actually look at my stuff.

And people are actually looking for it. I think that's the most bizarre thing of all.

I have an agent. I've got friends who understand the driving need to actually write stories. People who don't write can't always understand that need and it's so cool to actually know that when I'm talking to one of my friends about these voices in my head, they aren't thinking I need a trip to the shrink. Well, for the voices anyway.... ~G~ I've met some best selling authors and I can actually call them friends. I'm surrounded by people who share my love for stories, whether they write them or read them.

Egads~things have seriously changed. Including Hot Spell, I have 18 books in print. Sixteen are from Ellora's Cave, one from Wings, and one...Hot Spell, from Berkley. And every time I see my books on the shelf, I still feel like giggling. And I'm not a giggler...

So when tomorrow comes and I hit the road to go sign stock copies at the local bookstores, can I do it without giggling or just plain staring at that lovely cover?

Nope... lol... not yet. And honestly, I hope I never get over the rush of seeing a new book on the shelves.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ghosts...Do You Believe??

Ghosts…Do You Believe??

Oh, yeah, I sure do. In fact, I live in a haunted house…just ask my kids.
They won’t stay here by themselves. When they come to cat-sit when we’re away, they three girls come together, keep all the lights on and hang garlic on the front door.

I’d say they were just over reacting but way too often I “hear” stuff like cabinets closing, doors slamming (angry ghost) books falling for no good reason. When I’m sleeping here by myself I keep all the lights on too.

My daughter went to art school in Savannah, the most haunted city in the USA, and stayed in a really old apartment building. One day she could not find her drafting pencil, looked everywhere and finally found it in the bottom of an old art box she hadn’t opened for months. From then on her pencil always went missing and she always found it in that very place. She hand an artsy-fartsy ghost.

Ask anyone who lives in Savannah and they have a ghost story to share. When we stay at this B&B the ghosts love to play with our cell phone and alarm clock.

I’m getting ready to start a trilogy and I’m setting it in Savannah. I see a reforming vampire and a ghostly pirate in my future. Hope the ghosts in my house don’t want to give me too much advice. J

Soooo, does anyone have ghosts in their house? Stories to share?

Have a great Halloween!
Hugs, Dianne

Friday, October 28, 2005

What's in a name?

I've been trying to come up with names for characters in a new book and man is is hard. Names are important aren't they? I agonized over naming my children... never been particularly fond of my own name and I do think that my kids like their names well enough although I named my first son Ryan Michael (love that name) and I thought it was fairly uncommon and sheesh it turned out to be a mega popular name that year and I never did figure out why.

Tim is my second son's name...very traditional and yet I don't hear it much. It fits him...Timothy Patrick and he loves his Irish heritage so he likes his name, too. David Jay is my sixteen year old's name.... he was supposed to be called DJ but he didn't like that so he became Dave...not Davey and he doesn't like being called David. Very strong name...traditional and yet not too common so I'm happy with my choice although I told him once that I had thought about naming him Murphy after an uncle that passed away while just before he was born and he told me Murphy was soooo cool and was miffed that I hadn't name him that.

When I finally had a daughter I realy had a hard time. I knew with three brothers she would likely be rough and tumble and they boys were all athletes so I knew something too girly wouldn't fit and yet I finally had my girl so I didn't want a name that wasn't really feminine and since all the boys had Irish names I wanted to follow that theme. Cara really suits her (Irish for friend and my mom and I are such good friends that I so hope that Cara and I will have the same relationship) so the name was perfect. She seems to like it which is nice, too. The only downfall is everyone wants to spell it with a K.

So how do y'all feel about your name? Would you change your name if you could?

Do the names of characters in a book draw you into the story... make you have a better impression of who the characters are? Make you like them less or more?

Give me your thoughts!


Monday, October 24, 2005

Rainy Days and Mondays

And who says I'm not creative??? Okay - so I stole the title from The Carpenters. But the truth is... that's the state of the world here in northeast Tennessee today. When the alarm went off, I asked my hubby why it was so dark outside???

My deep, burning question for today is - "Rainy Days... Good or Bad?" I've debated this topic many times over the years, and I have concluded that it depends on a lot of variables. If you're at the beach - no question - bad! If you're a teacher with a class of rambunctious kids who want to go out to play, rainy days are the pits. Parade Day - bad. Outdoor wedding - bad. Feeling depressed or mopey - bad. Shall I go on....??

But are there "good" rainy days? I venture to say yes... Imagine a warm summer evening... sitting on the porch swing and watching a violent thunder and lightning storm. Sheets of rain blowing across the sky... the unmistakable smell of wet earth and growing things. Nice...

Or how about cuddling under an umbrella with that special guy and walking the streets of a fascinating city... Seattle, London, New York, or even your own home town.

Who can resist curling up with a long-awaited book and diving in while the rain pours down outside your window...

Ans of course, weather can play a huge part in setting the mood for romance. A noisy, scary storm for a passionate love scene. A quiet rainy afternoon for slow, sweet lovin'.

As I sit here writing this, it's gray and drizzly outside my window. No deluge, just kind of gloomy. I wish I could say I'm going to curl up with a book, but my "to do" list involves several errands out in the real world... which means I'll have to bundle up (it's 38 degrees here), brave the elements, and be a grown-up. Darn it!

On rare occasions, rainy days can put me in the mood for housework... okay - make that "very" rare. :) Today ain't one of them!!!!

Instead of losing myself in writing the next 20 pages of my current novel, I'm off to shop for a new laptop. I'll let you know how it goes.

So - my dear vamps and scamps - if it's wet and depressing outside your window today, I wish you sweet dreams of hot sunny beaches and hot, sexy men. And if the sun is shining on your head today, smile... do something productive... and spare a sympathetic thought for those of us lost in the fog...

Janice Maynard

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The language of love...

Has anyone here read "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman?  It's a fabulous book and I highly recommend it, but it's not what this blog post is about.  My subject header just reminded me of the book.  Really, you should read it.
But let's get back on topic.   What topic, you may ask?  The language of love...physical love that is.
Yesterday was a really hectic day for me...I forgot I had copyedits due until I'm blithely chatting with my mom on the way to take her to the doctor and something I say triggers memory...stress...and a whole bunch of other stuff.  We make a quick stop by my house so I can pick up the manuscript (thank goodness I've only got 130 pages left to go) and off we go to the doctor's office.  I won't get into how difficult it is to hold your mom's hand while she's in excruciating agony while the doctor performs a pelvic exam, but I will say I now know how my hubby felt when I was popping out our children.
Anyway, regarding these copyedits...for the most part they are fine, but the editor questioned every time I used a more "clinical" term for male or female genitalia.  The book she was copy editing was my April '06 historical, Tempt Me.  So, here's what I want to know after having told her to leave all mentions of "penis" etc. in the manuscript.  Do you, as a reader feel the need for more flowery language in a historical when it comes to describing sex?
Obviously...I don't. LOL

Thursday, October 20, 2005

cartoon heroes....????

Am I the only one who has ever seen a cartoon hero and gone.... hmmmmm....

Like the artist in The Iron Giant. Yeah, he's a little skinny, but still, if that was a real guy~artistic, loves kids, sense of humor You get the picture.

I was watching Brother Bear last night with my kids. Now I do have to admit, I am partial to this movie anyway. It's set in prehistoric Alaska~my husband is a native Alaskan, and bears a pretty good resemblance to one of the brothers... Denahi. That's him on the left. And by the way, the picture is copywrighted to Disney, naturally. I just liked it and wanted to use it.

But Sitka and Denahi~now for cartoon guys, they are pretty darn good looking. Am I the only one who has done this... please say no Granted, I do have to watch cartoons. ALOT. With a four year old and a six year old, there's little way around it.

The movie, The Last Unicorn, can't remember his name, but the king's son. He was good looking. The young guy in Lilo and Stitch, the one interested in Nani, Lilo's older sister. Can't remember his name either, but he looked pretty cute in the little red skirt like thing he wore to that fake Hawaiin Luau.

Yeesh... my brain runs along the weirdest tracks.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Top Ten Scary Places in America

Okay~most people who know me know that I'm into haunted stuff. I just think it's fascinating reading about ghost stories that are supposedly real.

One of my favorite things to do around Halloween is go to the haunted houses~you know the fake ones... pay $10 and get scared out of your wits.

I love them.

But I also love reading about the REAL ones...and I'm going to try to visit some of these places someday. These were listed on MSN.COM today.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles, Calif.
The Driskill - Austin, TX
Alcatraz Island - San Francisco, Calif.
Boston Common - Boston, Mass.
Biograph Theatre - Chicago, Ill.
The Spaghetti Warehouse - Houston, TX
Grand Ole Opry - Nashville, Tenn.
The Dakota - New York, N.Y.
Heathman Hotel- Portland, Ore.
Fitzgerald Theater - St. Paul, Minn.

Now, I've never actually heard of some of these. The Driskill? Nope, haven't heard of it. Boston Common~heard of that one. And the Grand Ole Opry, although I didn't know it was supposedly haunted.

Here's some places around where I live that are reputed to be haunted... and some of these... I've been too. Never have seen a ghost, but I have felt some very ODD things at a few of these places.

Waverly Hills TB Sanitorium~ Louisville, Ky. The guy who bought this property recently has spent a lot of time fixing it up... AND he runs a haunted house type of thing around Halloween. Now THAT is cool... a haunted house IN a haunted place. I've been here, and this is definitely one of the SPOOKY places, where you aren't quite sure you really want to be there or not. The picture above is one I found on his website...and the place feels every bit as spooky as the picture looks.

Culbertson Mansion ~ New Albany Indiana. Another old place, reputed to be haunted, and they have a haunted halloween thing in the carriage house. Another cool one, although this place is no where near as spooky as Waverly.

Seelbach Hotel ~ Louisville Ky I haven't ever stayed here, although a few friends have. One said she couldn't sleep all night. There are reports of TVs coming on in the middle of the night, the sound of footsteps on hardwood floors~yet the hotel has carpet down. Just over all spooky feelings. The website actually mentions one of the ghosts that are supposedly seen there.

White Hall Mansion ~ Richmond Ky. I haven't been here... but it sounds cool. The information on the Shadowlands site over more than the official site. People have supposedly seen a woman and a young boy, as well as a baby laughing.

Ten Penny Bridge- Charlestown In. This one is new to me...I haven't heard this and now I'm curious... might have to talk the DH into a field trip.

There's bunches more. Of course, I don't have the time or patience to list them all. I have done some serious mental note taking... i'm gonna go there...and there...and there...

Here's my main destination though

Salem... I love history. And this is one of the most bizarre things in American history. Not to mention all the cool old places in this town.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Is paranormal the new normal?

I have to say that I've always been interested in all things paranormal. One of my faovrite shows is Medium and I had my cards read for the first time this past year and it gave me chills. I did a past life regression that I still get emotional when I talk about it and I'm not at all unconvinced that I was indeed tapping into my past life.

Am I crazy? If I am then it seems that I have plenty of company because paranormal seems to be the new normal.

How about you guys? Do you believe in ghosts, reincarnation, or that a medium can actually talk to the dead? Have any of you had an experience that you would like to share? Something spooky, something eerie or just simply weird or can't explained? Spill... come on you know that you want to.......

Thank you Jamie!!!

See the cool new vamps and scamps logo? My friend Jamie did that for me. She did the other one as well, but then she sent me this one a few days ago.

It looks so cooollll...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I love quizzes... what kind of novel should i write?

I took it a few days ago and got a different answer~of course, I can't remember how I answered...but that one told me I should write romance.

This one... eh... :O? literature... hmmmm... but so much of that BORES me...

However, a quiz is a quiz is a quiz...

LITERATURE! - You have a story...oh yes, you do!
You are not quite sure what it is, but it
burns! It burns to be poured onto the page!
Write! Write I say! And thrill us with your
unique view of the world. YOU are your own

What Kind of Novel Should I Write?
brought to you by

Monday, October 10, 2005

Vacation anyone???

Part of my recent ten day road trip was a mini-vacation. Hubby and I headed over to Isle of Palms near Charleston and did nothing for four days... it was wonderful! We are both of the "fry to a crisp in 20 minutes" variety of homo sapiens, so we always carry a beach umbrella...

We were also laden with books, books, and more books... it's bad enough to have one book-aholic in the family, but when there are two... well, you can only imagine. We sat for several hours each day reading, people watching, and listening to the sound of the surf. In the early morning and the late evening, we walked the beach for a couple of miles each time. This activity was not only for fun, but to walk off the pounds of seafood we consumed. We snacked for breakfast and lunch in the room and went out once a day for a "real" meal. I'm a shrimp and scallop lover... dh goes for crab cakes.

So you get the picture... this was a very low key vacation... but that is not really our usual m.o. Over the years we have been all kinds of places with our kids and without. Do you remember the show "Full House"? One time the guys took the little girls and went to Hawaii. When they got there Danny (the dad) laid out a very ambitious sight-seeing schedule. He got razzed about his "clipboad of fun". That became a standing joke in our family... and we still talk about the clipboard when we are planning something.

In the summer of '94 we spent 5 and a half weeks in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. My hubby was doing 2 books on the waterfalls of each park. I did a lot of the photography. For our girls (and us) that was a magical summer, and it has this "golden" aura in our collective family memory. We had saved up money to do this, and we also consciously went into debt that took us a couple of years to get rid of. I was a school teacher, and hubby worked in the non-profit world, so we were not "loaded". But it was absolutely the most wonderful trip we ever took.

Hubby bribed our girls to keep daily journals, and they still get them out even now and read them. The stories we tell and retell are part of the glue that holds family together.

This past weekend we had both girls, hubbies, and "almost 2" Anastasia visiting with us. It is rare that we can all seven get together, so we treasure the times we can do it.

Looking back at family vacations, I think we tend to forget the fighting, bickering, dirty rest stops, and other low moments... what we remember is the feeling that the open road lay ahead of us full of endless possibilities.

The only thing in my life that I would be willing to spend lots of money on is travel. In fact, I hope I live long enough to see all the places I want to visit before I die! The world is such a vast and mysterious and wonderful treasure... and I truly believe that travel informs us, educates us, and makes us better people.

Right after we graduated from college, dh and I went with a group on a mission trip to Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere. We saw incredible beauty and unimaginable poverty. As young newlyweds, we often worried about having less than twenty dollars in the checkbook, and we surely didn't have a credit card. But even when we perceived ourselves to be scraping bottom, we had only to think back to Haiti and realize that we were blessed beyond measure. We had the privilege of an education, we had health care, we had parents who could have helped out in a real crisis. We had options.

Over the years our income has fluctuated with jobs, kids, and other factors. My dad died at 42, leaving my mom with me in college and three other kids still at home. He and my mom had always dreamed of traveling "someday" when he retired. At that moment, Charlie and I decided not to wait until someday. When possible we were going to travel and enjoy the world that lay beyond our small corner of Tennessee.

Our vacations have taken many forms over the years, some more exciting than others, but any time we step beyond our own front yard we find the opportunity to cement family relationships, learn about ourselves, and refresh our perspective on life.

Well, sheesh, I didn't set about to write a dissertation, but what can I say????
I'm in a "wordy" mood. :)

I want to hear about how "your" family vacations. Beach? Mountains? Disney? Outdoor adventure? Tents? Four star hotels? Relatives? Spill the details, people...

I'll be waiting!!

Janice M.
(who is babysitting today, because the daycare is closed for Columbus Day!)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

What is your squirm factor?

Okay, I've been expecting one of these letters since publishing my first book in the fall of 2003. What kind of letter you may ask? The kind that takes me to task for being too explicit in my love scenes. Why have I been expecting one? Because I know other authors get them and well, I know that I write stories that are blatantly honest and yes...detailed about my characters' sexuality.

Funny thing is, I had never actually received one until yesterday. At which point a reader felt the need to point out that "explicit detail [in regards to sex] is never necessary for good writing."

Plainly, I disagree. In my mind and in my heart...from where all my stories come...some call for very explicit detail while others do not. Her complaint was specifically related to my book READY, but the truth is...she could have been talking about pretty much any of my Bravas. In point of fact though, I am sure there are readers who feel my other single titles and my Harlequin Presents are too steamy as well. I like to be as graphic and detailed about lovemaking in my stories as I am about any other element. Because to me, the sexual relationship between the hero and heroine is as important as their ability to express their love verbally or through other actions. More so sometimes, to be honest.

Frankly, the letter didn't worry me because I firmly believe that not every reader is going to love every story, but her comment got me thinking. You see...while I might disagree with her, I have my own "squirm factor".

For me, that factor is all wrapped up in how intricately entwined with the emotion the sex is. I know other readers and authors have a different measuring stick that makes the sensuality in a story work for them, or not work for them as the case may be. I thought it might be kind of fun to talk about what causes your squirm factor to go into the red zone and conversely, what draws you to a story when it comes to sensuality.

Now, don't laugh...but I'm going to remind you all that this is a public forum with no limitation for viewing that I know of. So, keep that in mind when you are posting your own graphic detail. ;-) My books not withstanding, there are lots of ways to say things without being so blatant my fellow authors decide to toss me off the blog for bringing the topic up.

Hugs and looking forward to your comments!

Lucy Monroe :)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Contemporary Romance... what do you like?

I've got the start of a contemporary on my laptop. I know basically how it's going to start. How it's going to end.

They Meet.
They Fall In Love.
The End.


Actually, I have bit more than that sketched out. But I don't read many straight contemporaries any more. Suspense? Oh, yeah. Paranormal, uh-huh. Fantasy or sci fi? I'm as happy as can be. But not as many contemporaries hold my attention.

There's a million story lines there. I've written a couple. Her Best Friend's Lover. Girl in love with her best friend, pining away... and finally, he falls in love with. Similiar story line in Her Wildest Dreams.

Secret Baby? Well, that SORT of played into Her Best Friend's Lover. Sort of. But secret babies don't hold much appeal for me. My opinion? A man is a dad, he really should know. If he's a decent guy, he will want to know. So I'm not much interested in that.

Prince/Princess falling in love with the pauper? You know, rich person falls in love with poor person. etc etc etc...hummm... nope, this doesn't appeal to me either.

Okay, maybe I'm asking is what do you like to see... what don't you like to see... what are some good straight contemporaries you've read lately?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Seven Things

Just cuz it looked like fun... saw the link on Jaci's blog. and I swiped it.


You all play too.

7 things to do before I die:

1. Take my family to Scotland and see if we can find Nessie.
2. Take my kids to Disney World.
3. Make peace with a certain relative of mine.
4. Write a horror book that has been in my head since I was like 22.
5. Go on a romantic vacation *ALONE* with the DH without us having an argument while we're gone.
6. Watch the sun set in the Rockies with my family.
7. Raise my kids to grow up to be decent, tolerant people with a internal code of morals and honor.

7 things I can do:

1. Make my kids laugh.
2. Make my husband laugh.
3. Make my husband MAD....
4. Take pretty decent pictures.
5. Break three boards with a side kick.
6. Believe in something even though I can't see it.
7. Make an unhappy child smile.

7 things I can’t do:

1. Let go of a grudge.
2. Play the piano, the violin... or anything else that makes music, unless it's a radio.
3. Draw.
4. Sew
5. Fix anything under the hood of a car.
6. Understand hatred.
7. follow directions worth a damn.

7 things that attract me to a man:

1. a love for kids~all kids, not just his own.
2. a great smile.
3. a great ass.
4. a great sense of humor.
5. faith
6. honor
7. tolerating me... and that's pretty damned difficult.

7 things I say most often:

1. bite me.
3. would you let the dog in/out?
4. No, the lady of the house isn't home and no you can't call back at a better time.
5. I love you.
6. uh... no? ~when you aren't sure what the question is... this often works...~
7. uh... yes? ~see above~

7 celebrity crushes

yeesh... i don't watch enough tv to answer this one....

so I won't. you can. instead I'll add in MY twist. this isn't a crush, but if I could come back as anybody~it would be Liv Tyler. She's so damned beautiful, she got to wear all those pretty clothes as Arwen.. and she got to kiss Aragorn. ;o)

Now it's YOUR turn...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Dianne the desperate housewife and other stuff

Okay, I think I’m taking this desperate housewives thing a little too far...I’m redecorating, running up and down the subdivision in my bathrobe and calling my husband Carlos...least I haven’t locked him in the basement.

Just kidding except for the redecorating part and that Dave isn’t chained up next to the hot water heater.

But Bree would be please, I finally ditched my old blue/orange/gray sofa that got ballies. People take less time buying a house then we did picking out this sofa. Dave and I sat in everything with a cushion at Lazy-Boy, then called in our four kids and had them do the same. Took two days and four salesmen. We finally settled on a putty-colored microfiber because the gals on the vampsandscamps loop said that stuff was the best! Thanks, ladies!

I also finished up my part of the anthology, Texas Bad Boys, with Rosemary Laurey and Karen Kelly. You all are going to really like this one! Lots of steam and all the stories are linked together with a mystery and united sisters and three really hot guys.

Some editors are looking for World War II stories. Do you think this is the next thing out there like vampires and paranormal are now?
If you don’t think it is WWII stories, what do you think is the next thing coming?

I’m doing a book signing in Lexington on Saturday with Shi and LuAnn and Toni and about fifteen other authors. It would be great to see some of you at the B&N in Hamburg Pavilion.

Everyone have a good week! Let me know if you’ve become a dh like me?

Hugs, Dianne Castell

Friday, September 30, 2005

I am *so* guilty of making excuses for things I don't get done... for example I was supposed to post a blog yesterday and I didn't...sure I could say that it slipped my mind or that I was too busy or that I didn't have anything to blog about but those would be excuses when the bottom line is that it was my turn. Dianne offerred to blog for me today when I was reminded because I had already given the excuse of why I might not get my post done today and I almost said yes...would have said yes except that I watched an amazing young man named Kyle Maynard on Oprah yesterday who recently wrote a book called NO EXCUSES and ya know why? (Okay I have to pause here because I'm sitting here crying just thinking about him) Swallow, sniff...okay deep breath:

Because this kid was born with only two major joints... neck and shoulders. He is missing legs and arms below where his knees and albows should be. His parents( God how did they know this would be the best thing...and how did they have the courage to do it) never gave him any special help or prevliges. Kyle learned to do everything on his own using what he had. Period.

I was blown away by this kid.

He said that he never made any excuses. The tag line for his book (that I'm going to buy) is:

"It's not what I can do. It's what I will do."

Kyle is going to be on 20/20 tonight and his website is You have got to watch and check out his website. After hearing him speak and hearing his gut-wrenching story you will never make an excuse again. Kyle went to do accomplish amazing things... played football, is a champion wrestler, and goes to college. He can type faster than most people with hands! He is truly an inspiration.

Did any of you guys see him on Oprah? Please give me your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Nothing Lasts Forever, Right?

I have an ongoing series. It's called The Hunters. It is erotic romance, it's paranormal, it's a lot of fun to write. The first book, The Hunters: Tori and Declan came out almost two years ago from Ellora's Cave in ebook. Since then, six books have been released in ebook format. There's two print books out now, each containing two of the ebooks. The fifth story, The Hunters Ben & Shadoe will be out in print any day now.

I recently signed a two book contract with Berkley. This is going to be a spin off series from my Hunters books. The first book there is called Hunting the Hunter and it's scheduled for release in 10/06. Long way off...for now, though, the other Hunters books are still available through Ellora's Cave.

The Hunters seem to be pretty popular with the EC readers. Every week I get lots of emails
When will Mike get a story?
Are they going to be more Hunters?
Is Leandra going to have a story? Is she going to have a story with Mal?
Is Mal going to get is his own story?
I hope you keep on writing the Hunters forever....

Okay, yes, I love getting these emails. That means I did something right. I wrote a series good enough that readers like it. But uh...I can't write it forever.

Which brings up today's topic... SERIES!

I don't think any author should write a series forever. I mean, won't they get bored? Right now, I have roughly two more books planned in this series. Leandra and Mike~MIKE... Not Mal. Mal wasn't ever going to be paired with Leandra. He had his own mate from book 2. He didn't know it then, but I did.

And I also knew in book 4 who Leandra was going to fall in love with. What can I say, I like making them suffer. And nobody would make her suffer quite like the man she tried to kill. ;o)
So Leandra & Mike. Then Mal & Kelsey. I haven't started either of them. Right now, my brain is a little tired from the Hunters' books. It needs a break. I plan on writing Leandra's story first and then Mal's. After that, unless somebody just jumps out at me, that part of the Hunters world may draw to an end. I do have the spin off series with Berkley that I'm working on. The first book is done. The second book is contracted and in the works. I have sketchy ideas for two or three more books if they are interested.

I will tell you, I'm pretty excited about the Berkley Hunters. The world is do indepth, there's a lot of suspense...and I'm also scared to death. What if it falls flat...what if it sucks...but that's just part of it. I did something different~for me~with that book. I just have to hope it works.

I love vampires. I love werewolves. I love anything paranormal, out of the ordinary, but if you keep writing in that world for too long~doesn't that make make it become just a little more ordinary? That's why I don't think series, in general, can last forever.

Here's my reasoning...

  • They can get boring for the reader.
I'm a reader too. I can't tell you how many series I fell in love with and for the first five or six books, I jumped on them the minute they came out. Books seven, eight and nine...eagerly awaited, but I no longer mauled the manager if she didn't have them sitting on the shelf for me. Book, I could wait a week or two. By eleven, twelve and thirteen, well, I was reading them at the library and waiting for paperback, or not even buying them anymore unless it was in the trusty old used bookstore. There are a couple authors who are exceptions to this rule. But in general, for me, after the first few books... well, I will still enjoy them, but I just don't devour them the way I used to. Series can get old. They can get stale. I don't want to see that happen with any of my books. Although I'm sure some people will think it has happened, or that it will happen. It's all a matter of opinion.

  • They can get boring for the author.
YES...this is entirely possible. It's not an issue now, but I get bored writing in just straight romance, which is why I write all over the spectrum. I don't just write contemporary. When, I write paranormal, I don't just write vampires. I don't just write werewolves. I don't always make the guy the vampire. Or the werewolf. That does tend to be the norm. I've also killed off my main characters. Now I've brought them back ~G~in a new world, in a new body, sometimes with a striking red dragon as a sidekick, but I get bored doing the same thing. So it's safe to assume I'll eventually get bored writing in the same series.
  • You start seeing too many similar things on the market.
Right now, the market is full of paranormal books. That's fine. But I like trying new things. Sooner or later, I'm going to wrap things up just I can try to veer off in a different direction. A few weeks ago, my agent looked at a proposal that she said was different from anything she had seen before. Paranormal, yes... more in the realm of dark fantasy, but definitely paranormal. I like being different.

The thing is though, if you start seeing too many books on the market, sooner or later, won't the readers get bored with it? There needs to be a variety.

  • There are other stories the author may want to write.
Lots of them. I know I have other ideas brewing. I have two books left in the Mythe world, possibly more. I still want to write more books in fantasy worlds. I have a two book suspense series that I want to pitch to Berkley that I haven't even started. and I can't until I finish Finding the Hunter. And if the editor is interested the proposal my agent sent her, then there's another book I have to finish before I can start these two.

But nope... sorry. The Hunters won't last forever. That's the bad news.
The good news...
The Hunters as you know them aren't lasting forever. I'll write more in that world, but the books will be different. The focus will be different. My writing style is changing-people who read Hunting the Hunter will see that.

I hope people like the changes. I'm really proud of this newest Hunter book. Nothing stays the same, right?

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Emmys!

The Emmys!

AWK! Okay I admit it I’m a DH junkie...that’s Desperate Housewives in junkie talk.
Every Sunday my kids—who aren’t kids at all because they’re all twenty-something, have jobs and don’t hit me up for money—come home to mooch dinner. And that’s great as long as they leave or sit quietly by nine o’clock so I can watch DH.

So I ask can four gorgeous wise-cracking gals with really, really great clothes who get into more trouble—they sure don’t live in my subdivision--get aced out of Best Comedy by some suburbanites with wardrobes GoodWill would be ashamed of? I know it’s not about the clothes but maybe it should be, least a little. Ever wonder where the people on Everybody Loves Raymond shop? Scary isn't it that such a store exists.

Well, what do you think? Did the right TV shows/actors win the Emmy or not?

What about Best Drama? Lost! Okay, I don’t get it. I’m...lost. I keep thinking that show’s about people getting stranded on a tropical island. But then they find Polar bears and hatches in the ground and something’s out to get them and a guy walks who was in a wheelchair and people lose their memory and they take the kid on a make-shift raft out into the ocean—would you put your kid on a makeshift raft in the ocean? There’s something going on that I don’t get. But it won an Emmy so somebody’s getting it.

Then there’s Boston Legal. Denny Crane, Alan Shore. The two most sexist men on God’s earth. I love it! The camaraderie between these two guys touches the heart. Thelma and Louise do law.

House won for best writing but the main character is so crabby. Is anyone in life really that crabby and not been pushed in front of a bus? I have nightmares about him being my editor someday. And the gal from Medium won for best actress and that’s good because there’s got to be some upside for seeing dead people all the time and living with the crabbiest husband ever. Probably related to that guy on House...I bet I get both of them for editors!

And Monk won! Everybody loves a neurotic. Gives us all hope that even if we are nuts...and we all are...we can make it.

So, what do you think about the Emmys? Agree, disagree? Wouldn’t watch TV if your life depended on it? Can you explain Lost to me?
Diann Castell...who really wants a dress like the one Gabi wore on the Emmys. Actually I'd like to have a body like the one that went under the dress! I probably got a better chance of winning the Emmy.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Desperate Authors Meet James Denton

As many of you guys already know, (because we tell everyone we know and even strangers)sister author Dianne Castell and I spent the night in a private suite with James Denton, Terri Hatcher's love interest on the wildly popular Desperate Housewives. Well, okay, we didn't *actually* spend the night with him.... more like the evening and okay it was a suite at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio and there were there friends and family of his there (including his very cute brother, David) and our friends Judy Flohr and Jody Geison, but why focus on the details, right?

I wasn't nervous meeting him one bit and of course I said amazingly clever and pithy things to him so that he hung on my every word and even began taking notes for future story lines when he found out that I was a rich and world famous author. By the end of the night Jamie (that's what his friends call him) wanted to leave his gorgeous wife and two adorable children and run away with me. Let me give you an example of how clever I was by reliving the moment that we met. The door to the suite opened and there was a camera the size of Alaska pointed in my face and and James Denton extending his hand:

Jamie: "Hi, I'm James Denton."

Pithy me: "I know."

Jamie: Blinking at me expectantly.

Pithy me: Blinking back.

Jamie: "This is where you're supposed to tell me your name."

Pithy me: Still blinking while trying desperately to remember my name while the huge camera records it all for the evening news. Dianne and Judy are waiting behind me no doubt hoping to be as clever as me.

Jamie: Grinning and now shaking his head.

Pithy me with a lightbulb moment: "Oh, I'm LuAnn."

Actually, after the first few moments of being nervous, Jamie and his brother David were so warm and welcoming that we all relaxed and had an fun evening. He posed for about a thousand pictures, autographed anything we wanted and even posed with our books. To top it all off the money we bid for the evening with him was for charity so it was all good.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

So excited about this new blog...

I'm really jumpin' with enthusiasm about being on a blog with these incredible ladies.  Our discussions are going to be fun and maybe sometimes a little out there and I don't know why that appeals to me...but it does. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Vamps and Scamps

Welcome to the blog.

We plan on discussing a variety of topics and we hope you'll join in! There's a variety of authors here, from adventurous historicals and fun, flirtatious contempororaries, breath stealing romantic suspense and heart-pounding paranormals, each author here has something different to offer.

The stories range from sweet and sultry to the dark and steaming erotic romance. You can check out our websites through the links at the side. If you have an idea for something you'd like us to discuss, or just a general question, feel free to email us.

Thanks for dropping by and we look forward to seeing you here often!