Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006

And the winner is.....


TJ said... I am so excited to read it... it's the next on my list!Teri

TJ, if you can email me at, I'll get you in touch with Jaci.

Thanks everybody!

PS..Blogger is being a pain and won't let me load the cover pic of Surviving Demon Island. Guh.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Jaci Burton's Surviving Demon Island

She’s all curves and combat boots.
He’s six feet of lean, dangerous male.
Join them in a game of survival
That’s as real—and hot—as it gets.
What’s America’s top female action star doing on a tropical island shrouded in secrecy? To Gina Bliss, competing in a survival-type reality show is a nice change from fending off on-screen villains. Until she meets real-life action hero Derek Marks. A survival specialist in a tight black T and sexy stubble, he’s arousing every bad-boy fantasy she’s ever had…and testing her survival skills to the max.
Martial arts, jungle warfare—Derek’s done it all. But his latest mission is more dangerous than a stick of dynamite. Try telling that to the sexy, adrenaline-pumped actress who’s got his libido racing off the charts. As the heat rises between them and real-life violence erupts, suddenly Derek and Gina are on the run…and when they uncover a secret so explosive it could blow the lid of their so-called reality show, these two unlikely heroes are about to discover what surviving’s really about….

Did I tell you that I got to read SDI early? :O) It's excellent.

If you're wondering what SDI is about, I talked to Jaci about it and here is some of what she told me.

Where did the idea for SDI come from?

I actually got the germ of the idea when I was watching an HBO special on the the making of Mr and Mrs Smith. Angelina Jolie did her own stunts in that movie, and thought...hmmm, what if an actress who was very physical, did her own stunts and loved action and adventure was put on an island for a reality show and came up against something paranormal, like demons? Then I matched her up with a demon hunter, and Surviving Demon Island was born.

How many books are in the series?

Not sure yet. It depends on how well the series does, but there are a LOT of demon hunters, so it could be a lot of books. *grin*

Can you tell us what the next one is about? And naturally... when do I get it...*G*

wellllll, I don't want to give away too much about the second book or the characters in that book until people have read the first one. But the second book takes place in Australia, one of the demon hunters is a lead character, and you'll get it when it finishes copyedits, of course *g*

You've written some books with your husband. How did that come about?

I made him write the first one with me, with encouragement from some of my readers. We really enjoyed it so wrote another one together. Despite the constant nagging and fighting, it's fun to write with Charlie.

What else are you working on right now?

Too many things to count. I'm doing revisions on the second Demon Hunters book, working on a single title Berkley Heat, and a novella for Samhain Publishing. Ack

Thank you, Jaci!

Jaci has generously offered to give away a $10 gift certificate to Amazon, so if anybody has any questions or comments... I'll draw a winner from those commenting sometime in the next day or so. Jaci will drop in to answer any questions! You can check out her site here


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas! Winner of the last faves...

Merry Christmas!

A day late...hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful holiday with your families and loved ones.

The last of the faves contest, $15 to My Bookstore and More and a free download of any of my Samhain books...

The winner was Ddiane

I love ebooks because I can buy it now and don't have to wait or go to a bookstore. I have them all on my palm handheld which is a godsend because with multiple doctor appointments, I'm never without a book.

Ddiane, email me at and I'll get the info for your prizes to you.

Thanks everybody for playing and make sure you check back periodically~alot of free books given away here.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

interview Lucy Monroe!!

Hey Peeps! Merry Christmas Eve!!!!!!!!!
Hope you all enjoying family and friends. I want to wish you all a terrific Christmas season and thank you all for the wonderful support. Your enthusiasm for my O'Fallon series overwhelms me. Thanks a bunch!

As a real treat today...

Here is an interview by our own Lucy Monroe. Gives you a chance to see what makes Lucy tick and find out about her great family and faith. Lucy Monroe is a real inspiration and very neat author.

1.) What inspired you to start writing paranormal stories?

I had this scene in my head. It’s the final scene of Ty and Frankie’s story in UNLEASHED. And anyway, I couldn’t let it go. I knew I had to write their story. So, I carved some time out of my writing schedule and did it. Once I got going in their world I realized it was a place I wanted to spend a lot of time and pitched the idea of writing paranormal historical romance to Berkley and my editor was really keen for me to do so and that’s how MOON AWAKENING came about.

2.) Now that you have released books in three different genres, which is your favorite?

I really love them all. Each sub-genre of romance gives me an opportunity to explore different themes, characters and storylines. If I had to give one of them up I’d cry. I really would. LOL

3.) If you could switch places with one of your heroine who would it be and why?

Amanda from The Real Deal, because Simon reminds me so much of my dh and he’s the only man I want to be with. ;-)

4.) What is the most fascinating paranormal creature for you and why?

Definitely the shapechanger because there’s this wonderful mix of human sophistication and the primitive. My alpha hero has a reason for being so instinctive and not always led by logic. My heroine can be stronger physically than normal and still vulnerable to her mate. It’s all just very delicious to me.

5) Lucy, are you going to write any more historicals?

My current plan is to write historical paranormals. However, I do have one last straight historical release to be published by a smaller press at the end of next year. Annabelle’s Courtship is about a feisty bluestocking and the rather clueless (but incredibly sexy) Scottish nobleman that decides she’ll make the perfect wife.

6) How do you juggle the diff genres that you write?

I try to take some time off between each book, though that doesn’t always work. The hardest thing to juggle is time spent promoting the books, not the writing itself. I’m always telling stories in my head and writing them is such a joy to me – but the business side of writing can overwhelm me sometimes.

7) How many hours a day do you write? How many hours do you devote to promo?

Not enough any more and too many. Not kidding.

8) What does your family think of your writing?

They’re very supportive and proud of me. It’s an absolute blessing!

9) What is the thing you love most about writing? What do you like least?

I love most spending time with my characters and seeing their stories unfold in my head. I like least not having enough hours in the day to write all the stories I want to.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

FAVES... Contest #3...and a winner

The winner from Thursday's faves contest is Cherie.
Cherie said...
Guardian of Honor by Robin Owens which hooked me on the Lladrana series
Cherie, if you can email me at, i'll get your prize out to you!
Today's contest is more books, specifically ebooks.
I love ebooks. Yes, I love print, too. I love holding the book in my hand and I love bookstores, going and picking out the books.
But I also like ebooks. Why?
Several reasons. With ebooks, when I find the book I want online, I don't have to wait for it to be delivered. I don't have to worry that it's out of stock or that the bookstore hasn't put it out. With ebooks, I can carry 100 of them in my purse. Can't say that with print books.
So yes, I love ebooks. I have a pocket pc that I carry with me and it's loaded with probably forty unread books and a couple of old faves. I don't have to worry that I'll finish one book and have nothing else to read while I'm waiting at the doctor's office...the books are right there at my fingertips.
So who here reads ebooks? Why or why not?
If you haven't ever read ebooks,t oday will be your chance to try. I'm giving away a gift certificate for $15 to Mybookstoreandmore, as well as a free download of any of my Samhain books. To enter, just tell me in the comments whether or not you read ebooks. If you do, tell us why... maybe we can convince some of the non ebook readers to give them a shot.
Contest open until hmmmmm... well, I'm not going to get online to check things out or draw a winner on Christmas, so we'll let it run thru Christmas Day and end at midnight, EST Christmas night. I'll draw the winner Tuesday.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Character careers

A lot of you know Kathy Love and I have created a fictional vampire band, The Impalers, The band will be written into our future books, and the character Ren D’Antoni will actually be the hero in Kathy’s fifth vampire book, due out in early 2008. We both absolutely love music, and are thrilled to be able to play in our fictional world of musicians, but generally speaking, there is resistance from publishers to have musicians as heroes in romance novels. They also aren't always thrilled to see professional athletes, artists, models, celebrities, and things like chefs.

Yet if you’ve read Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson, or Lori Foster, you know athletes make amazingly sexy heroes!

The reason usually given to steer clear of the above is that it’s hard for the reader to relate and empathize with someone in such a different lifestyle, and that creative professionals tend to be moody and difficult to live with. I suppose there is also a fidelity issue, since musicians and athletes are on the road so much. Personally, I see it as more of a challenge to write heroines in the above professions- it’s a little hard for the average woman to dredge up sympathy for the rich and beautiful model who just can’t be happy. Or is that just me? LOL.

But on the flip side, one of my favorite books I’ve written, and one of the best received by readers, is Heiress For Hire, where the heroine is rich and beautiful and spoiled. But I think what Amanda showed was that it’s easy to be a brat when you’re raised the way she was… but at the core of it, she is a very loving and giving person. That is her achievement as a human being.

So for me, I think it’s all in the execution, and all in who the character shows themselves to be as a person. I don’t care what they do for a living.

Are there certain professions or settings you just wouldn’t want to read about? Would a musician or athlete for a hero turn you off a story? What about a hero in a traditionally female profession?

Have a great holiday everyone!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thirteen Books I read over and over...

And I forgot it was Thursday and time for the Thursday 13.

1) Stardoc by SL Viehl

2) Irish Jewels Trilogy by Nora Roberts (yeah, that's 3 books, I know)

3) Endurance by SL Viehl

4) Natural Law by Joey Hill

5) Elizabeth's Wolf by Lora Leigh

6) Dream Shadow by Mary Wine

7) Lover Eternal by JR Ward

8) Mage Winds trilogy by Mercedes Lackey (yeah, that's another 3)

9) Stephanie Plums books (okay, that's... 12? yep, 12 books)

10) Blue Moon by Laurell K Hamilton

11) Dream Man by Linda Howard

12) Ceremony in Death by JD Robb

13) Passion by Marilyn Pappano

If you want me to add your blog to today's 13, just leave a link to your 13 in comments and I'll add you in.

Other TT places to visit...

Sci Fi Chick

Milady Insanity

Erin (the not so innocent... *G*)

Favorite BOOKS! and a winner...

The winner from Tuesday's contest is Joye. She commented My mother who is 82 is hard to buy something for because she has just about everything-doesn't cook anymore, doesn't wear fancy clothes. I need Joye to email me at with the words FAVE THINGS in the subject line.
Today we're going to talk about my favorite books. Have I mentioned that I love books? I don't always get to read as much as I'd like. I have little kids, a husband that recently switched to night shifts three days a week and it seems like my list of things to do grow longer every day. Now deadlines play into my reading time. When I'm under the gun, I'm too frazzled to focus on reading that much.
Even when I'm not hearing the ticking clock, I don't always read as much as I should. There are times when I'm so worn out from looking at words all day, relaxing with them didn't sound that much fun. But then I realized my brain was getting creatively tired. A writer needs to read almost as much as she needs to write. Plain and simple. It recharges the brain batteries.
I had to take some time off from writing this year because I had to have surgery on my hand. It was probably a blessing in disguise. It freed up several weeks for me to do nothing but read. I finally got some books out of my TBR pile. Some went on my keeper shelf. Some didn't. I did some rereading of old faves.
I'm going to give away a couple of those faves...
For today's Fave Things contest,
Stardoc by SL Viehl
For the record, my favorite series EVER. I think everybody who can read should read it.
Elizabeth's Wolf by Lora Leigh
Very hot, very very fave from her.
Dream Shadow by Mary Wine
her Dream series is excellent, especially if you like kick ass heroines
The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
Shelby writes some of the most beautiful romances. I adore her, even though I'm jealous ;o)
Surviving Demon Island by Jaci Burton
Because I'm such a sweet, loving girl, *choke* I got an early read of this. Okay, okay, stop laughing, I'm as far from sweet as they come, but Jaci loves me anyway and let me read early. It's awesome. Mortal Kombat meets Survivor, Jaci style.
And since I'm talking about faves, I'll also give away a copy of my fave from my own books, Touch of Gypsy Fire.
To enter, just tell me the name of a book that you would give away. Not because you didn't like it. But because you loved it and want to share. What's the book and why would you give it to someone? What made it so special? Post the answer in the comments section and I'll draw a winner Saturday.
Contest open until 12/22/06, midnight EST.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Favorite Things

Bookmarks and lotions and dark chocolate kisses...ebooks and red hots and signed books from a friend... these are a few of my favorite things.
Okay, so I'm no song writer, but you get the idea. These are some of my favorite things. I love buying them for me. I love getting them. And today I'm going to take a page out of PBW's book and give away some of my favorite things.
Be sure to check back in every couple of days~for a couple of reasons. To see if you won, because you have to email me to claim your prize. And to see if there's another contest. I have three planned.
Today's prize is candy from one of my favorite stores, a little locally owned place called Schimpff's. And since I reckon I ought to promote my Christmas book, I'll also send you a signed copy of All She Wants, from Ellora's Cave and Pocket Books.
To enter, tell me who is the hardest person on your list to buy for. Or just leave a name in comments if you don't have a hard person. Contest is open until midnight, EST, tomorrow, 12/20/2006. Next contest will start on Thursday and it involves some of my favorite books...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Seasons Greetings!

Mornin' Scamps and Vamps... this is a momentous occasion. :) My last blog of 2006. When I write this next time it will be January 1, 2007. Hard to believe!

We have a houseful of company right now... I've included a photo of our immediate clan at the top of this blog. We were going to open presents tomorrow morning, but there was a mass revolt... I was outvoted, and now we're opening all the loot in just a little while.

But first we have to eat the coffee cake that's getting ready to come out of the oven. Yum!

This blog goes out with a special wish to all my online and "in the flesh" friends for a very Merry Christmas...

And to my Jewish friends - a Happy Hanukkah...

Part 2: Well, I didn't get finished... had to stop for opening presents. Now the livingroom floor is buried under paper.

It is beautiful here today... blue skies and very warm. Doesn't feel like a white Christmas, but it's great for "playing" outside.

Hope everyone gets lots of good books for Christmas, and more importantly - lots of time to read them!

Happy Holidays to one and all!

Janice Maynard

Friday, December 15, 2006

And the winner is.....


Traveler, if you can email me at ! I need your addy.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thursday Thirteen and Contest...

Just a reminder... if you haven't entered the scavenger hunt at ... time is running out. Ten prizes in all.

Thirteen Things Left to Do Before Christmas

1…. Bake Cookies with the Kids.

2…. Wrap the presents BEFORE Christmas Eve.

3…. Take the kids to the zoo in Cincy or Indy to see the lights.

4…. Wrap the darn presents BEFORE Christmas Eve

5…. Make sure I've got batteries for all the presents and the camera.

6…. Wrap the frickin presents BEFORE Christmas Eve ( I know I didn't buy THAT many)

7…. Remember the Christmas party at Church this coming Sunday.

8…. Wrap the presents BEFORE Christmas Eve and buy some drambuie to get me through the night, just in case I don't wrap them ahead of time.

9…. Buy my dad's present, and his girlfriend something. What do you buy for the dad's girlfriend, anyway?

10. Wrap the presents BEFORE Christmas Eve ( are you seeing a theme here? I'm an excellent procrastinator)

11. Mail 1, 2, 3...maybe 4, okay no more than five more presents to friends.

12. Forget wrapping. I'm just throwing them in a pile on the floor. They'll end up there anyway.

13. Buy the drambuie. Even if I don't need it Christmas Eve, it will be nice to sit down and have a drink with the DH once everything is done and Santa and his elves have left.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Needless to say, I'm a procrastinator of the highest caliber. I never remember to get things done on time and I don't even remember to do lists. So I never remember what I wanted to buy. Nonetheless, I love Christmas. It's my favorite time of the year... and now time for the other contest.

I'm still getting the pressies together, but either next week or this week, I'm going to do a "favorite things" contest. As in... these are a few of my favorite things... Christmas-y. Sort of.

I'm taking a page out of
PBW's book and giving away some of the books that I love above all others. Also some candy. A gift certificate or two. Not sure what else yet. Just have to wait and see.

But while I'm getting things together... what are some of your favorite things? Christmas or otherwise. I'll draw a winner from comments today and give away a signed print book from my backlist, reader's choice so long as it's available to me!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's The Best Time of the Year!!!

Are we having fun yet???? LOL December is crazy but I can't help loving it. It has to be my favorite time of the year. I've been super busy with deadlines but I've taken the time to do some shopping. Word of caution---never go to the mall on a Saturday in mid-December. Bad mistake. I don't guess I've ever done that before. I don't think I ever will again LOL

Have y'all bought a lot of presents? I always think I'm finished but then see something my daughter will like (she's so easy to buy for!). But then I have to buy something else for my son so I won't feel guilty (he's soooo hard to buy for!). Girls are just so much fun to buy for, though. Especially girly-girls.

I think I shop too much sometimes. Nah.......

Speaking of which--I have a cute little purse with bath products inside that I found at Kohl's. I'll add a book and a holiday candle for a little relaxation and it'll go to one lucky winner, drawn at random from the list of comments today.

Happy Holiday!
Karen Kelley
Available Now! Hell On Wheels/Brava
Available Now! Texas Bad Boys/Brava
04/07 Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Reality vs Fiction

Howdy, Peeps!

I write humorous type stories. The kind that makes you laugh and are good for a few hours of fun escape. If it’s go for the joke or go for the hankie...I always do joke. That’s what I write and that’s what I read.

But what about the non-humorous side of writing and I don’t mean the editors and agents part. How much reality do you really want in your romance books?

I’ve done cops and cowboys and lawyers and doctors and even did a wounded soldier coming home. But where’s the line?

I got this from RT and wanted to know your views. Would you read about people dealing with the aftermath of 9/11 or a family picking up the pieces after Hurricane Katrina? What about a story about a POW soldier who returns home from Iraq? Of the heroine who feels guilty because a fellow soldier she was serving with died in battle?

Are these too heavy or are they interesting? Too much like reading the front page of the newspaper or timely and current?

Would you buy the book?


Friday, December 08, 2006

Love Doesn't Conquer All??

At least not according to a survey I read. It said that 30% of American men said they would break up with a woman solely for this reason…

They don’t like her pet!

I had to laugh at this because my new release, BIT THE JACKPOT, has a heroine with five pets- three dogs, two cats. Seamus, the hero, is a vampire, and doesn’t exactly hit it off with all of Cara’s fur babies. Have you ever ended a relationship because you couldn’t stand a pet? Did you issue a “Me or Fluffy” ultimatum? What was the final thing that sent you over the edge?

I think if I was truly interested in someone, I could deal with an obnoxious dog or a pet bunny with a smelly cage. I could even handle a tarantula. Just keep the lid on. ;-)

To celebrate BIT THE JACKPOT hitting the shelves, I’ll choose a random winner from everyone who posts and send out a copy.

Happy Friday,

Reminder about Christmas Contest

Thru one of my other websites, we're running a Christmas scavenger hunt.

Chances to win one of ten prizes....

Christmas Contest
Scavenger Hunt

Running thru the month of December

Here's your chance to win one of ten prizes.
Winning is easy. All you have to do is find the candy cane hidden on the participating author sites. Write down what page you found the candy cane on each author's site and email the list to the contest coordinator. Ten winners will be drawn.

EXAMPLE: After Midnight Contest's Page.
You can't just put I found the candy cane on the After Midnight Site. We need to know where.

Email for the contest coordinatior ( )

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Mountain Top Experience...

Greetings, Scamps! I should probably come up with a scintillating topic for today's blog, but to tell you the truth, I am pooped. Just got in last night from a nine day road/air trip, and I am staring at piles of luggage just waiting to be unpacked. But if I start unzipping suitcases, I'll see the dirty laundry, and from there on out, it's a downward spiral! :)

So instead, I'll blog a bit...

My hubby had to go out west for some meetings, so I tagged along. His expenses were all covered, so I only had to buy my plane ticket and food. On Saturday the 25th, we drove to Cincinnati (you'll see why later) and got a direct flight to Vegas. By the time we made it to our room, we were so tired. That three-hour time change meant the folks in Vegas were still partying when we were brushing our teeth and tumbling into bed.

The next day, we explored the small city with the big reputation. Visual overload everywhere you go! Ate lunch at one of Wolfgang Puck's restaurants... rode the monorail from one end of town to the other... peeked in the lobby of some of the fancy hotels... saw a Cirque du Soleil show that night.

Monday morning we checked out and hit the road, driving north and east toward Utah. Passed through a corner of Arizona on the way. Arrived at Zion National park about 2:30. Now we are on Mountain time which is only 2 hours different from Tennessee.

My hiker husband wanted to get out and explore the park ASAP, so we put on our boots and headed up the Angels Landing trail. It is rated "strenuous", and normally that word would make me say a big "no", but he really wanted to do it. You hike two miles pretty much straight up with an altitude gain of 1500 feet. That's the equivalent of a 150 story building!!

It was snowing and the wind was strong, but the views were phenomenal.

Got back down in time for dinner. His meeting started early the next morning. Tuesday was messy weather-wise, so I shopped a bit in the tiny town of Springdale at the park's entrance. Wednesday was clear but cold. I stayed in the room until after lunch and then decided to do that same trail again. (Am I crazy, or what?!?!?) But it was so amazing, and with the sun out, I thought I could get better pictures. Unfortunately, the hike was just as hard as it was the first time.

The trail is wide and very safe, but there are sheer drop offs. I respect heights, but am not really scared by them, so I was okay. Although I did pass a handful of other hikers, there was plenty of solitude and stunning vistas. The valley is surrounded by massive peaks, and from the vantage point of the steep trail, it was almost like being in church. In this picture, I was sitting with my back against the cliff face and looking out over the valley. (In truth, I was trying to catch my breath for the rest of the climb!!)

Thursday the meetings ended at noon, and we headed back toward Vegas. Took a detour on the way so I could see Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. Way cool!

Checked in at the Holiday Inn Express and took a shuttle to the Mandalay Bay Hotel for a Brad Paisley concert. My dh is NOT a country music fan, but he loved it. Brad is a phenomenal guitarist and puts on a kick butt show. Terrific fun. (We bought tickets at the last minute and lucked into a couple of seats that were in "spittin' distance" of good ole Brad.)

Up and out Friday to head to the airport...flew back to Cincinnati... losing three hours on the way.

Saturday, I was at the Barnes and Noble in Westchester for a booksigning with a bunch of other authors including LuAnn, Rosemary, Toni, Lori, Kay, Shiloh, J. C., and more. Great to see everybody!

Afterwards we caught a late afternoon matinee of The Santa Clause and had dinner at the Fish Market. Yum!

Sunday morning up bright and early to drive back to Knoxville. Stopped at our daughter's house... she was having a Christmas open house, so we had some yummy food.

At last, drove the final two hours home and crashed here about 6:30 last night.

Now you can wee why the suitcases are still waiting to be unpacked.

I have to get myself in gear and clean up the debris so I can get the house in shape, decorate, and start wrapping.

I missed all you guys while I was gone! Glad to be back in my own bed!


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Okay, I see these things all over the place and my friend Jaci told me what it was.... so I'm gonna give it shot.

1) I get to get rid of these stories inside my head. Writing is the one thing that shuts them up and it's cheaper than therapy.

2) While I can't exactly work in jammies (have to leave to take the kids to school and the sitter) I don't have to wear business attire or nursing uniforms. BIG Yippee.

3) I get to meet other people who finally understand the fact that yes, there are stories in my head and nope, i don't exactly know where they came from

4) I can buy pretty much any book I want, without guilt, and smile at my husband and say, but it's for research!!!!

5) I've gotten to meet some of my favorite writers that I've read for years.

6) I can finally play on the computer all I want and it's justified.

7) I get to meet people who love romance as much as I do.

8) I get to travel as much as I want and can afford, or as little as I want to...

9) I get to bribe friends into giving me early trading my stuff for theirs.

10) I got to see an excerpt from one of my books in Cosmo magazine.

11) If I want to take off a day or two... or a week...I can.

12) If somebody totally ticks me off, I can pound out my anger on the keyboard... killing them on paper. Nice, neat and LEGAL... without all the moral problems.

13) And last but not least... I love what I do. It's what I always dreamed of.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I'm BACK....

Well, mostly... still not reading much email and I'm not really working, although there is this ghost of an idea I've been playing with. Will have to see how it turns out. FYI, surgery sucks. I really did like the drugs, though. Talk about la la land. Hopefully the carpal tunnel symptoms will clear up now. So far, they seem better.

Got to tell you, though, I've gotten some serious reading done while I've been recuperating. And I needed it. Man, my brain batteries needed the recharge, so I guess the surgery wasn't a bad thing.

So far, in the past 10 days, I've read

I See You by Holly Lisle
Sex and the Single Ghost by Tawny Taylor
Harmony's Way, Tanner's Scheme and Dangerous Games by Lora Leigh. :O) And these aren't due out for a while, although Harmony is popping up on some book shelves.
Pictures of You by Shelby Reed
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

Today, I'm going to get caught up on the In Death books by JD Robb. I'm a little behind, reading Origin in Death, and I think I still need to read Memory and Born. I've also been reading Alison Kent's Complete Idiots Guide to Erotic Romance.

All of the books were great, but I'd have to say that my faves of these were the Holly Lisle, Shelby Reed and Lora's Harmony. What have you all been reading?

Also had an ebook release this week from Samhain Publishing. Talking with the Dead was originally at Triskelion Publishing, but I expanded and revised it.
Surrounded by death, a man with a terrible gift reaches for life.
A horrific tragedy blasted open a door in young Michael O’Rourke’s mind—cursing him with the ability to talk with the Dead. Nearly two decades later, Michael has moved from victim to survivor, using his abilities to seek out those who would go unjudged.

With his gift, he talks to those who’ve died violently and seeks out their killers. Only once he’s found the murderer, can the victims be at rest. After his last case, the only thing he wants is peace and he hopes to find it in the small town of Mitchell, Indiana. But something is horribly wrong—the dead are waiting for him there, as well.
***CHRISTMAS CONTEST*** check out my other group site, After Midnight, ten prizes in all. And I think that catches me up on everything!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Guilty Pleasures

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Karl and I were sort of naughty--no, no, no, not that! We called the kids and told them we loved them but we weren't going to be home for the holiday. Was that bad or what? We felt like little kids doing something we weren't supposed to do.

But you see, we had free tickets to see Loretta Lynn in concert (she was absolutely fabulous!) and entry into a slot tournament. I cannot pass up a slot tournament. We had to go right by Billy's house so we did end up spending Thanksgiving with him and his girlfriend. That was nice. Our daughter and her family were going in the opposite direction.

But then we crept out of the house early the next morning and played all weekend and had the best time! I didn't take any work whatsoever. That was a first in a very long time. I didn't realize how often I take something to work on. When we got home I felt refreshed and eager to write.

Karl and I don't "escape" that often. I highly recommend it. For us, we love to go to the boats---The Horseshoe. We always feel pampered and it's a party atmosphere, the rooms are suites (I could do without the mirrors on the one wall!)

That's our guilty pleasure. Where is your favorite place to go? Wherever it is, I'll add a gift boxed scented candle to one lucky winner who adds their fav place. It doesn't have to be with someone. Maybe you just like to curl up with a good book? I'll announce the winner tonight.
Karen Kelley
Available Now! Hell On Wheels/Brava
Available Now! Texas Bad Boys/Brava
04/07 Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava

Sunday, November 26, 2006

So, did you or didn’t you...

Shop Black Friday that is. Did you brave the malls? WalMart? Stand in line freezing your backside off to get a Wii or another must-have toy? Elbow, trip, push, gouge you way to a sale rack for that best sale ever? And did you get it or wind up empty-handed. My son waited for four hours—from 3 AM to 7 AM for that Wii thing!! 

Yep, this is the time of year where we spend forever shopping for just that right present. Weeeeell, maybe I shouldn’t use we as I’m doing terrible in the present department!

So tell me, what great prize you got so I can be totally jealous? What special thing for that special someone you know will really make their Christmas morning because it’s what they want and your wait and search made it all worth the effort?

And the price?? What totally terrific price did you pay? I heard someone got a personal DVD player for 39$! Holy moly!
What a find!

Tell me your Black Friday tale!

Monday, November 20, 2006

An Attitude of Gratitude...

For those of us who live in the U.S., Thursday is the day we pause to count our blessings. In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to blog about the good things in my life...

1) I am grateful for our 2 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, and 2 granddaughters. They are at the top of my list of blessings.

2) I am thankful for extended families. There may be squabbles and disappointments over the years, but they are still family.

3) I am grateful for friends. When I was a Brownie Scout, we learned the song, "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold." I think we need to add a verse about special online friends, as well!

4) I am thankful for health. When you lose friends and family members to cancer and other terrible circumstances, you more fully appreciate how precious a gift it is to have good health.

5) I am thankful to my Creator for the wonderful home we call earth. I love the measured change of the seasons, and the little miracles of nature both large and small. From the quiet buzzing of the honey bee on a summer morning, to the fragile, fleeting beauty of a rainbow, to the mighty roar of a powerful waterfall, we live on an amazing planet.

6) I am grateful that love is always stronger than hate. And that even in the midst of the most hopeless situations, there is always someone who keeps the tiny flame of hope alive.

7) I am glad that friends and family forgive me when I make mistakes, and I am grateful to have a God who forgives as well.

8) I am grateful to wake up each morning and know that it is a new day, unblemished and fresh.

9) I am grateful for the innocence of children. When I was teaching second grade, I worked for weeks with my crop of enthusiastic seven-year-olds on the play version of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. We put it on for the parents two days before the holiday, and it produced laughs and tears as we all saw the event through "the eyes of a child".

10) I am grateful for challenging work. I loved teaching, but it is a really wonderful gift to be engaged in the career I have dreamed of for so long.

11) I am grateful for my fun and creative husband. The love and support he gives me is interwoven through each of the previous ten items on this list.

My litany of blessings could go on for pages... the country of my birth, the strength of the human spirit, books and movies, technology, the softness of a baby's cheek...

On any given day we can look around us and find people who are better off than we are and people who are worse off. Our challenge is to operate from our little niche on the planet and play the hand we are dealt. Return anger or indifference with kindness. Offer a smile in the face of rudeness. Give, expecting nothing in return. Be ready with a helping hand when others stumble.

Have an attitude of gratitude and reap the benefits of a blessed life.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, and may the calories in the feast you consume be vaporized before they land on your thighs!


Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Setting... Does anyone really care?

The third book in my O’Fallon series, I’ll Be Seeing U, is out and the setting is O’Fallon’s Landing (a little river town on the Mississippi I made up) right outside Memphis. I loved writing about these four great guys but now it’s time to move on and the next books are set in Savannah, meaning I’m going from made-up place to an actual place. What was I thinking??

And I’m here to tell you that using a made up place is one heck of a lot easier then the real deal! If you make it up, it’s name the streets whatever you want. Put the police station, library, grandma’s house wherever it suits you.
But now...holy is Savannah! It exists, I cannot put a bank where St. John’s church stands and I can’t put a rowboat on the Savannah River unless I want it run over by a freighter.

As I sit here looking at the map of Savannah plastered over my computer I’m thinking...holy moly, is it worth it??? Okay, I know Savannah is worth it but is me setting my book there worth the effort. If I just made up Savannah, call it Sweet Tea or something equally southern would that work as well?? Sure would be easier. ‘Coure I couldn’t use all the neat stuff that makes Savannah unique either. Hummm...

So, the question is… What do you all think? Do you like reading the made up towns? you like reading about New York, Las Angeles, Vegas, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Ohio?
What works for you all?
And...what is your favorite setting?


Monday, November 06, 2006

Give Me a "V"!!

Okay - I know we're not supposed to talk politics on this blog. I promise - no party bashing from me! But I want to urge every one of the Scamps who live in the USA to get out and vote tomorrow. Our political process has flaws, of course, but it is still one of our great strengths and one our important privileges. Whenever I cast my vote in any election, I can't help but think of Thomas Jefferson and all those other visionary guys who had a dream of a democratic system that would make all citizens equal.

I will say that I'm going to be SO happy to see an end to the political ads on television. I swear I have most of them memorized word for word. I heard a statistic about the money that has been spent across our country for TV ads this time around, and it is far, far more than in the last presidential election! My hubby likes to stir things up, and he says we should be like some countries who give every candidate X amount of money for their campaign, and no one can spend any more than that. Hmmm...

One thing that has really been "different" this time is an avalanche of pre-recorded political phone calls. I am not exaggerating when I say we've had as many as 25 or 30... and some of them have been from big guns like Rudy Guiliani and Fred Thompson. Ha! Wonder what they would do if I called them and asked for an autograph. :) And by the way - those calls are exempt from the rules about the "Do Not Call List".

My DH is going to be on the road tomorrow, so the two of us did early voting last Thursday. We stood in line for 40 minutes, and the guy "guarding" the line said they had seen at least 600-700 people at that location during every day of early voting. I hope that means a huge voter turn-out this year.

If you're not a registered voter and should be, shame on you! Nothing you do as a citizen is any more significant than being part of the process. It's the only way to make our voices heard and to be a part of the solution to national problems.

So get out and vote tomorrow... and when you press that red button to finalize your choices, remember the heroes who struggled and fought to build a nation and a government by the people, for the people!

(Feeling all red, white, and blue in a good kind of way!)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Where do you get your ideas?

A question a lot of authors get asked (and I'm no exception ::g::) is: Where do you get your ideas?

When someone asks this, I'm never sure they really want the answer, 'cuz it's involved, yeah? I did a whole series on it on my Amazon plog, but I think most readers, reviewers, interviewers mean, "Where do you get your ideas for the plot of the book?" when they ask the question. I think maybe because a lot of people assume the plot comes first. And for some writers, it does. But for me? The characters always come first. And somehow the plot develops from them.

That could mean that the plot is a natural progression from the place in life my characters are at when I meet them. It could also mean that I look at the characters and ask the question, "How can I cause them the most trouble?" I mean a book that has no conflict for those characters you come to love is pretty boring, right? So, I set out to cause them trouble...or facilitate them causing each other no end of complications.

But I think people want to know where the idea for those complications come from...and the answer is everywhere, but mostly some kind of imaginative morphing on a theme from reality. You've heard the adage that truth is stranger than fiction and well, it's an adage because it's right!

I'll read a newspaper story, hear someone talking in the mall, see something on the news, read an interview or article in a magazine and my imagination gets sparked. Something like, "Oh, wow...I can so see that happening to Jillian (my heroine in my current WIP)." And thus a plot or scene is born.

The plot or plot elements often come from research. When I went to Vancouver B.C. to research their film industry ('cuz that's where Jillian is working), I came away with tons of ideas to complicate my plot and develop a more intricate story. The same thing happened in my merc trilogy as I researched Army Rangers and mercenaries...comments my interview subjects made sparked entire storylines. Very cool, you know?

So, the answer is that I get my ideas by spinning real life through a very fertile imagination. You may never recognize the germ of actual happening in the story I write, but maybe one of the reasons so many readers have said my books feel so realistic is that deep at their heart, the stories are real.

There is nothing imagination can conjur that can compete in sheer fascination appeal with truth.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Title Game

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I love writing. I love being able to make my living as a writer. I mean, how many jobs are there that let *figuratively* kill off the people who totally tick you off? How many jobs let you work in your jammies all day long, if you want? I can take a break when I need it, I don't have people breathing down my neck, or stealing my pens, or the cokes I left in the fridge.

Pretty close to the ideal job. At least for me.

But like alllllll jobs, there are the down sides. Deadlines are stressful. Worrying if your editor is going to like your book~very stressful. Will the readers like it? This redefines stress. There's promo, which can be a pain in the butt. And there's the days when the story just isn't flowing, the characters are screaming at you, or worse, not talking at all.

But the worst? UUUGGGGHHHHH... blurbs and titles. I hate blurbs, but if I can hammer out the basics, I can do okay. Then there are titles. I really, really hate the titles.

A title, after the cover, is the attention getter. If you don't have a decent title, will the book tank? Romance titles can be really tricky. You don't want something that reminds people of the days of bodice rippers, purple prose, etc etc... You want to make sure the title somehow conveys something important about the book.
A good title is crucial. Fortunately the title for the book I just turned in, the title sort of came naturally. About a Hunter that doesn't really Hunt any more and his own salvation is more or less what happens in the book. That one was easy. I wish they always were.

You have to find something between Love's Anguished Rhapsody (and no, I don't know if that's a real title) and Spot the Spotted Dog. Something romantic, without being boring or overly flowery. Something clever, funny, evocative.... egads, it's no wonder I hate coming up with titles. I've often run screaming to a friend or one of my editors pleading for help when it's time to title the book.

There are some titles that were so clever, I remember them even if I never read the book. Like the book I saw at the library last week. I Gave You My Heart but You Sold It Online. I don't see myself reading it, but it's a memorable title.

Some good titles...
Dance with The Devil
Dead Witch Walking
Dead Until Dark
Love Lust and Pixie Dust
What are some titles that stick with you?

**just as a side note, I'm going to be temporarily abandoning you all...I have hand surgery coming up (another one of the downsides to be a writer...carpal tunnel) but I'll be back in December. **


Sunday, October 29, 2006

You Know You're a Bookaholic When...

Howdy, Peeps!
I found this great list and looooved it! We are all totally bookaholics with different traits. Read the list below and find out which ones you are. I’ve listed mine at the end. Do you have any traits to add?
I think this means we’re all a little nuts!

1) You haunt the bookstores waiting for that new release, and the clerks ask you if you'd like to set up a tent.
2) You pack all your books for a trip but forget your underwear.
3) Before you buy a purse you make sure a paperback will fit inside.
4) You become murderous when you discover a friend lost a book you loaned her.
5) Your twin sons' names are Rhett and Ashley.
6) You look forward to jury duty because you'll have all that waiting time to read.
7) You call in sick so you can finish reading a book.
8) You can't pass a bookstore without stopping.
9) When you move you have more boxes labeled "books" than anything else.
10) You plan a day of shopping around all the bookstores you want to visit.
11) Your kids holler from the other room with something they consider a dire emergency, and you say, "Wait until I finish this page."
12) Your car is broke down, and it doesn't really matter because your favorite bookstore is right across the street.
13) You're sitting in the bathroom at 1:30 a.m., crying over the ending of your current read, when you know you have to be up at six to drive 150 miles and spend the day on your feet before driving back.
14) You read at red lights and get honked at because you were so engrossed that you didn't notice the light had turned green.
15) It's 2am and you think "just another chapter" and do the same thing at 3am when you know you have to get up in 4 hours and work.
16) You deliberately get to the bus/train station early, or even worse, just miss the bus/train so that you have more reading time.
17) Your significant other runs into the room to make sure you're alright because he heard you wailing so hard over a sad read he thought you were dying.
18) You try reading and walking at the same time.
19) You don't really mind if you get stranded anywhere as long as you have enough books while you're there.
20) You start haunting your mail box when you're waiting for a new book to arrive and can't do anything useful until the mail has arrived.
21) You start fabricating excuses as to why you can't go out with your friends when you're in the middle of a great book.
22) You dash out and sit in the park and read during your lunch hour (or sneak in a few chapters at your desk).
23) You start thinking of the characters as real people.
24) You get a friend or relative hooked on romance so you'll have another place to get books, but unfortunately it doesn't work quite right and they start borrowing from you.
25) You start up conversations with people in the bookstore who just look like they're dying to read a good romance but are having a hard time finding one.

Here is my list: 4, 6, 8, 12, 15, 17(except laughing not crying),19,21(except writing instead of reading),23(the biggest one of all!), 25

Friday, October 27, 2006

Me and V

I feel like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth between a November 1 deadline and my sister’s wedding (I’ll blog about that next time!), but we managed to squeeze in a Halloween party for my daughter’s birthday. Costumes mandatory. I actually convinced my mother to dress up- well, actually, it was the big-eyed “please?” from her granddaughter that did it. :-) My mom was a bag of M&Ms, and a darn good one at that. It’s the first time she’s worn a costume in over forty years.

I love dressing up, love candy, and love having the daylights scared out of me, so Halloween is a favorite holiday of mine. I was also born on a Friday the 13th, so I guess it’s no surprise that I love all things eerie and weird. As you can see from the picture, I was a geisha (though I skipped the white make-up, figuring I’m pale enough naturally) and my hubby was the creepy villain from Vendetta. That mask he wore was seriously disturbing, because he didn’t look like himself at all, which I guess is the point. LOL. And that's fake hair, by the way. He really enjoyed answering the door and watching the pizza delivery guy jump back three feet. Our puppy wore a mini kimono that matched mine. It’s totally ridiculous, but she looked adorable and actually kept it on for an hour, though we couldn’t get her still long enough for a decent picture.

Do you like to dress up for Halloween, and do you go for scary or funny? What the most creative costume you’ve ever seen? Got any good tips on easy, inexpensive costumes?

Have a great Friday! I’m glad to be back chatting.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

And the winner is....


Lisa F.

Lisa, email me at and I'll get in touch with Sunny!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sunny's Interview, Part 2

and blogger is being screwy and I can't post the pretty cover pic... oh well.

REMEMBER! Anybody that comments or has a question will have a chance at winning a signed book from Sunny!

On to the interview...

What do you have planned besides the Mona Lisa books?

Well, LOL, I’m going to be busy continuing Mona Lisa’s stories for a while. A short novella, Mona Lisa Three, comes out in the January 07 Berkley anthology, OVER THE MOON, headlined by Angela Knight and MaryJanice Davidson. MONA LISA BLOSSOMING will quickly follow in Feb 07. Then MONA LISA CRAVING in 08, and on down the alphabet, MONA LISA DARKENING, etc. Thinking for a title for Mona Lisa X will be quite the challenge, but that will be years from now, thank goodness.

Lucinda, Prince Halcyon’s sister, introduced in my two novellas (A second anthology with Patricia Briggs and Eileen Wilks will be out probably next summer) will spin off her own series next fall in LUCINDA, DARKLY, book one in the DEMON PRINCESS CHRONICLES. Please visit my website for excerpts.

I've got to know... is it weird having two authors in the house? I know my husband and I would drive each other nuts if we both wrote. Well, I drive him nuts anyway... ;o)

Actually, it was what allowed me to write. A false belief that, hey, whatever I write, my acclaimed author husband, Da Chen, can “fix up” for me. A totally wrong misconception…what I write is pretty much it. But it allowed me to write out that first draft, blissfully, joyfully. And then I was done. AND I HAD WRITTEN A BOOK! And just doing that…actually writing a book when I’d believed all my life I’d never be able to…gave me the greatest confidence boost.
I’ve always edited Da’s books. And now he edits mine. And it’s great, although, I must confess, a little awkward in the beginning. After reading my first manuscript (Mona Lisa Awakening), he looked up with this dazed and shocked expression on his face and said, “Sunny, you are a naughty, naughty girl.”

LOL, I blushed, but thought it was great. First, because it told me that the love scenes were hot. Second, because I’d never been seen as a naughty girl before...kinda neat, now.

If you want to read more about Sunny's books, check them out here.

I'll post the winner later this week, so make sure you check back. You have to respond via email if your name is drawn. I'll draw a random winner from the comments sometime this week.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Any Nature Lovers Out There???

I have to confess... Fall is one of my favorite times of year! Nothing is more beautiful to me than that brilliant blue October sky framing a kaleidoscope of colorful fall leaves...

We've had a fun October thus far. Our kids came up one weekend, and we went to a pumpkin patch and let Anastasia (almost 3) pick her own small pumpkin. She loved it! Ainsley was too little to get in on the action, but she did appear to be fascinated with the big orange ball! !

Our house is surrounded by large mature trees that put on quite a show this time of year. I really enjoy being in the midst of my own mini-forest... at least until I have to start raking. :(

I always buy mums and pumpkins to sit by the entrance to our house... no one uses the front door, so this is the side of my house.

I am glad I live in a part of the country that has four distinct seasons. Although I might fantasize about living on a tropical island, I think I'd get bored if the weather was the same every day.

This past weekend we went hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. They had some terrible wind damage about a week ago. Some locations in the park had wind gusts up to 100 miles an hour! Lots of damage that will take some time to repair. The leaves were lovely where we were yesterday, but we counted at least 8 or 9 trees down across the trail... some quite large. Anastasia thought it was quite an adventure to find a way through the branches! She also had fun exploring the log cabin at the end of our hike.

So how about you guys? What do you enjoy about fall?

Janice M.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy Birthday to me *grin*

And no, I'm not telling my age. I don't feel as old as I am though. I got a letter from AARP wanting me to join. I felt a little older when I saw my name on it. I chuckled when Karl got one a few years ago. It wasn't nearly as funny when mine came in the mail. I mentioned my age to my 10 year old granddaughter and her mouth dropped to her chin and she exclaimed that was really old. I admit, I did feel a little older then, too.

I think the old saying that we're only as old as we feel stands true and I feel really young---well, except when my knees pop. I remember when I was really young and I'd pop my fingers. That was fun. Popping knees aren't.

I could make a list of why growing older is fun, I guess.

And then again, maybe there aren't any good reasons.

Okay, I guess there are some things to be said for growing old. I don't have to clean my room if I don't want to. I can go shopping and actually spend money on myself. My house is almost paid off.

Karl says I'm not getting older, I'm getting better. I just think he wants to play golf this weekend. That's okay, though. I'm going shopping--because I can.
Have a good day!
Karen Kelley
Available Now! Hell On Wheels/Brava
Available Now! Texas Bad Boys/Brava
04/07 Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Kathy Garbera interview!

Howdy, Peeps! I've known Kathy for years and just had dinner with her in Atlanta when we did RWA. She writes for Harlequin and Kensington. Keeps a gal busy!
Sooo, here's Kathy!

From Jennifer:

1) What do you like to read?
I like to read romance, of course! But also outside the genre I have a few favorites. Nelson Demille who writes these big thrillers with real characters, he also always has a really nice romance in each of his books.

Nick Hornby who writes relationship books from a guy's point-of-view. I love seeing the other side of the coin and his books are great for doing that. Plus he's not afraid to go to really dark places in his characters.

2) Did your reading habits/preferences change when you became a writer?
Yes, they did. I used to read all romance and that was it. Mainly just series books, but since I sold I've branched out to read other genres and other types of books. For once thing a lot of the series lines I used to read are no longer being published--Harlequin Temptation and Bantam Loveswept.

3) How do you relax?
By spending time with my family. I love to cook so when I'm on deadline I save up recipes I want to try and when I finish a book I spend a couple of weeks trying out new dishes! I love shopping for clothes and new things for my house. It doesn't stress me out at all and I love nothing more than a day at the mall trying on clothes.

From Diana:

1) Kathy, do you have a favorite hero and heroine from the books that you've written?

It's so hard to pick one hero and heroine as my favorite. I think each one is my favorite in the moment of writing the book. Right now, I'm working on a 'mistress' themed book for Desire and I love my hero and heroine. She's an heiress with a penchant for scandal and he's her family's business rival with a taste for revenge. It's so juicy and fun to be in their world!

From Amy:

1) Do you do any research for your books?
Yes, I do. It depends on the subject matter how much research I do. I tend to research as I'm writing a book instead of doing it in advance. I like to be totally immersed in whatever book I'm writing. For one of my Bombshells--The Amazon Strain--I interviewed this college professor who's been going down to the Amazon for twenty years. He'd written a book about Jungle Survival which I really enjoyed but I wanted to get specifics that would fit my scenario. That was great fun and he was a very fascinating man.

2) From your books, who is your favorite hero?
I have to say I love all my heroes. But I have a special place in my heart Rafe Santini--the hero from my first Desire.

3) Have you ever wrote a character based on someone you know?
Not really. Sometimes a situation with someone I know will make me start thinking of a story idea but it's never really based on them.

From Barb Smith:

1) In what ways is your Brava writing different from your category writing.
That's a great question. The Brava writing is different because I'm able to go a lot deeper emotionally with my characters. The Bravas are also more complex and I can really develop my secondary characters.
2) With the demise of the BOMBSHELL line in Silhouette will you still be writing that type of book for one of the other series lines?
I'm really going to miss the Bombshell line! I don't have any plans to write suspense for any of the other category lines. I am going to be writing one of the Harlequin-NASCAR books. I'm also going to be adding a little more suspense to my Brava books.

3) Any thoughts you would like to share with readers about the demise of the BOMBSHELL line?
I loved the line. I like the fact that women were kicking butt and falling in love. I thought the heroines really embodied the struggles that all women face and I'm so sad we never found the readership we needed to continue.

From Emma:

Yes! For Desire I've written a couple of series as well as for Bombshell.

The Tycoon's Lady and Tycoon for Auction are spin-off books not really a series but they are set in the same world.

I did five books in a series called The King of Hearts about a mob capo (boss) who asks for forgiveness with his dying breath. He is given a chance to redeem himself by matchmaking. He has to unit in love as many couples as people he murdered in life to get into heaven. Those titles are In Bed with Beauty, Cinderella's Christmas Affair, Let It Ride, Mistress Minded, and Rock Me All Night.

Then I did a series set in Vegas called What Happens in Vegas. This is a spin-off from Let It Ride. Those titles are His Wedding-Night Wager, Her High-Stakes Affair, and Their Million-Dollar Night.

For Bombshell I wrote two books in the Athena Force series Exposed and Exclusive. These books have the same hero and heroine.

For Brava I'm writing another book featuring a member of the O'Roarke family that you first met in Body Heat. This book will be about Andi's brother Liam.

The first Bombshell I wrote was the most difficult. All the books are hard in different ways but Exposed was one I really struggled with. Mainly because the line hadn't launched yet and the editors and powers-that-be kept trying to decide what the books should be like. So they were dialing the romance up and down.
No I've never been to RT but I am planning to go to Houston next year!
I started writing in '93 and sold my first book in '96. So a long time! More than 10 years!
My family is very supportive. My husband talks about me and my writing to everyone he knows. And he's a great supporter of me at home. Helping me out with the kids and protecting my writing time. My parents are the same way.
The five words that sum me up are friendly, funny, compassionate, passionate, and driven. Why? Well, I think that life is too short to be mean and not get along with others. I think humor is the only thing that keeps us sane and that if you're bored by something it's not something you should be doing.
Once I get the characters hammered out its not hard at all. Each of my characters are so different. They are really the ones who drive the plot and the dialogue so each time it's different.
I actually don't give too much physical description unless it affects the scene. If they are standing close together I'm probably going to mention his height and build. I'll mention eyes when they make eye contact at some point.
At the end of my work day, I spend time with my family. We go on a walk or play games with each other. Then after the kids are in bed my husband and I spend time together. I usually read for 15-30 minutes before I turn off my light for the night!
I'd love to meet Baroness Orczy who wrote the Scarlet Pimpernel series. She was writing smart empowered heroines way before anyone else.

>From: "KimW"
What is the one thing you've always wanted to do, but never had the courage to try?

Sky-diver or deep-sea diving. I love the thought of both of these activities but am pretty sure that the fear in my gut would keep me from attempting them!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

And the winner is....


Alissa, email me at and I'll get in touch with you about the prize.

Thanks to everybody that participated!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Interview with Sunny~ Part One!

I'm going to break Sunny's interview up into two parts, one today, and the rest will be posted next week. Sunny has offered two signed copies of The Hard Stuff anthology as a prize. I'll select a winner from each day.
How do you win?
Comment. Question. I'll draw the winners. HOWEVER, you have to check back on the blog to see if you win. I'll draw a winner and if you don't email me back within three days of me posting the winner's name, you forfeit your prize. SO CHECK BACK.
:o) I'ved read by Mona Lisa Awakening and her novella in The Hard Stuff both are excellent.
And on to the interview....
What does your writing space look like?

Well, that’s a hard question because we just moved, and my new writing space hasn’t been set up yet. I’m in limbo waiting for my desk and new computer to arrive. When they finally do, I can settle into this little 8X12’ sitting room just off the master bedroom. It has a tiny, high, side window, but is very quiet, very private. In our old house, I wrote in our bedroom, my desk facing out two large windows into our backyard.

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a story that immediately has to be written?
In my early writing days, yes. I’d wake up with my characters “talking” and I’d get up and work for a couple of hours. But then I’d be too tired to do any writing the next day. I’ve found that the most productive lifestyle is a boring and stable, consistent one. Good solid sleep the most essential, getting up around 10am, then writing while fresh for the next 4 hours, until around 2 pm. 1,500 – 2,500 words a day. Then it’s time to play chauffer for my kids, driving them to and from their after-school classes.

Tell us where the idea for the Mona Lisa books came from.

Where most of my ideas come from. My husband. He grew up in China, and he’s always telling me these fascinating stories from our Chinese culture. Like the one about the Moon Festival, which just passed, on October 6th. To celebrate this holiday, the people in China make these round moon cakes and eat them to give thanks for the autumn harvest, and to honor the Moon Goddess, a deity that they believe resides in Paradisal Heaven. When humans sleep, she flows down to Earth and binds two lover’s hearts together with a silk sash. When they awake, the bound hearts will find each other. Something about the moon seems to fascinate Asian people, myself no exception. This gave birth to the concept of “Children of the Moon,” supernatural creatures that are the truth of what the legends of werewolves and vampires are based upon. Beautiful abused warriors suffering under the rule of cruel Queens, with kidnapping rogues, a dark and danger Demon Prince, and Mona Lisa, a young human Mixed Blood Queen discovering who and what she is. Discovering love…more than one…for the very first time.
I know you didn't start writing until recently. Had you always thought about doing it? What made you start when you did?
Becoming an author, especially the hot and spicy kind, is a total, unexpected, surprise. Chinese parents don’t encourage their children to become writers. They encourage them to become doctors. So I grew up and became a family practice physician.
had tried writing a short romance in college, twenty years ago, as part of English 101 homework…and had failed miserably. Then after my husband sold his memoir eight years ago, I tried writing about my own childhood. The writers’ group I read it at ripped it apart. Critiqued it harshly enough that I did not write again for the next seven years. So, I’d tried twice and failed both times. I told myself I was a reader, not a writer, and devoted myself to doing what I seemed to do best…developing other people’s talent. I edited my husband’s books, and watched my kids flourish, getting small acting roles on Sesame Street, Saturday Night Live, and a Fuji commercial.

Then, one day when my son was six, he was listing everyone’s talents. When he came to me, he had to pause and think for a long time. He finally said, “Mommy drives really well.” It was a wake-up call for me. I realized at that moment that my kids didn’t really appreciate me. And they wouldn’t respect me unless I developed my own talents, instead of focusing solely on theirs. I set out to see, once again, if I had any. Talent, that is. In particular, writing talent. Nothing short of that kick in the pants would have motivated me to try writing again.
But this time around, I’d learned some important things. My husband had dragged me to Robert McGee’s 3-day screenwriting seminar in Manhattan, on “The Art of the Story.” Before, when I tried to write, it had been with vague ideas, and even vaguer\n characters, in mind. The writing seminar, my first, taught me to define my characters, define my world, to do my homework and write down a composition book full of physical details, character strengths and flaws. Even go so far as to create a back story for each of them, so that you knew who they were by where they came from, what they’d gone through. Then box this group of people into tight situations and let them creatively wriggle out of them. And go from turning point to turning point, or rather, situation to situation until you reach the end of the book.
When I did this, defined my characters in minute details and exact specificity, and did the same with their world—defined their specific powers, their set rules—and boxed them into nasty, tight situations…well, suddenly, the stories just came easily, because I knew them so well, I knew how each would react. And when I hit the love scenes…the words just would not stop pouring. I was like stopped-up syrup that suddenly became unplugged. Things…words…emotions…just kept gushing out. And I went from writing a romance…what I’d originally intended…to suddenly finding myself writing erotic romance. Oops.

And that's it for this week. You can read the rest next week. If you want to read more about Sunny and her books, check out her website.
the cover pic above was found at Sunny's website.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ho, Ho, Ho...

Welcome, ladies and gentleman, to the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season! Ignore all those pumpkins and mums and you'll begin to notice the encroaching signs of lights, trees, etc.

And to get you in the spirit... (drum roll please)... "A Very Merry Christmas" has hit the stands. Thanks to those of you who have already bought a a copy... hope it puts you in the mood for some Christmas cheer. :)

"A Very Merry Christmas" includes Lori Foster's story about Marci, who is the sister of the heroine in "Bad Boys of Summer". My novella is a "Red Riding Hood lost in the woods" story, and I hope you'll fall in love with the "wolf" who finds her. Rounding out the anthology is a story by Brava author Gemma Bruce.

December seems like a long way away, but with a big "to do" list, it will be here before we know it. I'm blogging instead of writing, so I'd better not let Bad Barb see this!

I've had company all weekend, and I am a bit zapped... the first of them arrived Thursday afternoon at 3 and the last of them just left forty-five minutes ago at ten a.m. Lots of fun, but sort of a madhouse at times...

Which leads me to today's question - Do you like books with a huge cast of characters, or do you prefer a story that rests pretty much exclusively with the hero and heroine and their developing story? Or does it depend on what type of book it is?

I've heard editors say that it's easy for secondary characters to deflect attention from the main story, but on the other hand, readers sometimes get attached to the minor characters and want to hear more. So where do you weigh in on the subject? I'd love to hear your answers!

I'm hoping this Monday isn't too stressful for all our vamps and scamps. You all deserve a great start to the week, and if you don't get it, there is always chocolate...

Until later,

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Intriguing Books...

I love to read. Romance and non-fiction mostly, but I enjoy mystery, some sci fi and even a western or two on occasion. One of my favorite things about reading is how one book can lead to another. You know how it discover an author you just love and read her whole backlist. But that's just the beginning...reading one book leads to reading others in (for me anyway) much more surprising ways.

I remember reading my first Jayne Ann Krentz book because she had a cover quote on a book I loved. Yes, I came late to her party (only started reading her about 8 or 9 years ago), but I now have all of her books for all of her pseudonyms (except the McFaddens - I so cannot afford $300 to read a short contemporary) on my keeper shelves and most have been re-read at least a half a dozen times. I've since read other books *because* they had a cover quote by JAK. I "discovered" Lora Leigh in an anthology I bought for another author who was in it. Lora is now one of my ultimate favorite auto-buy-instant-read authors. I've found a surprising taste for entire subgenres because an author I loved writes for them. Who would have guessed I'd like vampires or m/m romance or cowboys? I wouldn't have...and wouldn't have picked up books with those elements except they were by authors I already loved and yep, a new love - this time for a type of book - was born.

In non-fiction, the same phenomenon happens to me, but for different reasons. I don't usually find an author I'll read everything they've written (though there are a few), but I do discover new books to read because they are mentioned in a way that makes me want to do so in the current text. It's pretty cool. Inspiring even. That's how I discovered, "The Sexual Teachings of the White Tigress" - a book about women warriors from 3,000 years ago who believed that their physical and mental strength was tied to their sexuality. Tell me that doesn't sound absolutely fascinating? It also gave me added dimension for the heroine in the current Brava I'm working on. It's all good.

I **LOVE** reading!!! :)

I know we share finds a lot, and we've talked about all-time-favorite books on here before, but what I'm wondering is if you've had a find that suprised you? Like me with the vampire books. What prompted you to read the book/s in the first place and what are they?


P.S. For anyone who might be interested...TAKE ME is in bookstores now!!! Yippee! I love this's my unashamed fave of the trilogy and one of my alltime personal faves period. And it received a 4.5 Stars Top Pick from RT. Made me grin for sure. :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Follow me?

Do you follow your favorite authors? I don't just mean if they go from category romance to romantic suspense or historical to paranormal romance.... I mean, if they leave the genre altogether?

This topics seems to be popping up a lot lately. I remember reading a letter in the RT mag from a reader who seemed pretty miffed because her favorite historical author had gone on to suspense.

I know I hate when my favorite author can't/don't/won't write any more in one particular genre. I've been waiting forever, it seems, to read another book like Nightseer, written by LKH. She originally planned on it being a series, but the first one didn't sell enough for the publisher to pick it up. A couple of other authors had to let series die out because sales didn't justify the publisher picking up another book.

If an author wants to keep getting contracts, she might have to change to fit into the current market. It sucks sometimes, but hey...if the books don't sell, we don't get paid. Plus, I know that I get bored writing a certain genre for too long. It's one of the reasons I bounce around.

I've written...

light bondage
doctors who fell in love with the man believed to have killed her brother
half breed vampires
reincarnated witches
bored, arrogant businessmen
fallen angels
redeemed demons

I think I got most of them. But you see what I mean? I can't just write one thing. Although I do like writing vampires, if I just write vampires, my brain gets bored. I can't focus. I can't get into the story. I can't love my characters. If I can't love my characters, how can I expect readers to love them?

Plain and simple fact. A writer has to love what she's writing. I can't necessarily say that she has to think her story is the most amazing thing ever written (that's arrogant and I think most of my stories aren't that great) but I do love the genres I write in. I get into them. That's how to get a reader to get into them. Because that is the kind of story that will suck them into it, one that's written from the heart.

I can't speak for other writers, but I do have to wonder if one of the reasons some authors leave a certain genre is because of this. They get bored. They have to try something new. It's good for them. And in the long run, I think it's good for readers too. Even if they don't like the new road the author chose to go down. It might save them from a buying a book that the author didn't put her heart and soul into. That's when the author lets the reader down, when she forces herself to write a book she doesn't really care to write.

But back to my original question... do you follow your authors? There are a few I'll follow even if they decide to start writing westerns. Westerns bore the hell out of me... unless its written by Lora Leigh, Nan Ryan or Cheyenne McCray.

What about you?