Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: July 2006

Sunday, July 30, 2006

"Peachy" Time in Atlanta!

Well, I'm back home... yawn... The conference was a success by my calculations. I had a nice lunch with my agent on Wednesday. Then that evening at the booksigning, I met Jennifer Y.! I love putting names with faces. :)

Thursday morning Dianne, LuAnn, Karen and I gave our workshop on Group Loops, Blogs, and Ads. We were afraid no one would show up, but we had a roomful - about 40 to 45. The speaker for the RWA luncheon that day was Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries). Her speech was cute. That afternoon, Erin and I spent far too much money shopping at Lenox Square. She bought a really pretty dress.

Friday morning I met with my editor. Then went to lunch with a group of the Scamps and Vamps and the Bookjunkies. Please don't kill me if I leave someone out or misspell a name. Here goes - in no particular order... MaryF, Bad Barb, Lynda, Colleen (Lynda's sister), PattiF, Jamie, Stacy, LadyB, Mo, Jan, Heather, Anne-Marie, Elizabeth (LuAnn's mom) and authors Dianne Castell, Erin McCarthy, LuAnn McLane, Leigh Riker, and moi - Janice Maynard. I did take pictures, but the place where we ate was kind of dark, and the photos were not very flattering. Sigh...

Friday evening was the Penguin/NAL/Berkley party. LuAnn, Erin, and I attended that... rubbed shoulders with the wonderful Nora Roberts, among others.

Saturday morning was the NAL booksigning/book giveaway. The luncheon speaker that day was Christina Dodd. Then I went to the Spotlight on NAL which lasted until 4:15, and then I hit the road and headed north. Stayed with relatives in Chattanooga Saturday night and came home tonight. Haven't even unpacked yet... It was a fun conference. This was just my schedule... everybody there had her own agenda. Lots of stuff to do and sometimes it was hard to choose. It was wonderful to see so many of the Scamps and Vamps. Wish you all could have been there. I've "re-started" my Yahoo loops, so I'll be back online tomorrow. Good to be home.

Hugs from the Peach State,

Friday, July 28, 2006


I went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean 2 yesterday with my oldest daughter. Well, the youngest went, too. Although she only woke up to eat and she snoozed happily through Johnny Depp. I planned it that way, too. I love it when my plans work out.

However, I hate cliffhangers. And Pirates ended in a definite cliffhanger. More so than Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.

I mean, I undertand it. It's a concept I've used in my Hunters books, giving a sneakpeak in the final chapter of who I will probably write about next. It's a good way to keep interest, right? I just hate it when others do it to me.

Like Stephanie Plum books, by Janet Evanovich. Seven Up was the worst, when Ranger walked into Stephanie's room that night and it ended right there.

SL Viehl does it all the time with her Stardoc books. I wanted to scream bloody murder at the end of Beyond Varallan. And with Rebel Ice.

Sometimes I wish I had psychic abilities so I could see inside the mind of the author and know what was coming next. Even if I knew, I'd still buy and devour the book ASAP. But the months, or in some cases, years of waiting for the next one sucks.

Can you think of any books or movies that ended up a cliffhanger that you ready to commit mayhem when you read that last sentence and realized it was the last sentence?


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Karen Kelley Muses...

I'm off to Atlanta early Tuesday so Lucy Monroe graciously said she would post my blog. Except I can't think of anything to say---I know, if you've ever met me you wouldn't believe I couldn't find a thing to talk about.

I blogged a couple of days ago on my blog about my sister-in-law. That was kind of interesting, but I don't want to repeat it here. People continually surprise me, though.

I bought a smoothie maker and it worked three times before the motor burned up. By the time I pay postage to mail it in, then return postage to get it back, I could buy a brand new one. That sucks. I think I'll try taking it back to Khol's to see if they'll exchange it.

We have the estimate on our car---the new one that got scraped but we have to wait until corporate calls us. That sucks, too.

I guess this month has been good and bad. I did win the slot tournament, $5,000 in cash and a free trip to Atlantic City in November for a chance to win a million dollars. That was cool.

So, I guess I could find a few things to talk about. How's your month going? I promise I'll read the answers when I get home. Y'all have a fun week and don't forget LUCY'S BLOW OUT PARTY!!!!!

Karen Kelley
Available Now!
09/06 Texas Bad Boys/Brava

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ho, ho, ho...

Color me excited! I'm leaving first thing Tuesday morning for the national Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta. I'll have a chance to meet and chat with at least three editors that I am working with or have worked with. My agent will be there. I'll be attending workshops and helping present one. I'll be part of the literacy signing where publishers donate the books and all proceeds go to support adult literacy efforts. There will be two great luncheons with speakers Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries) and Christina Dodd.

On Friday I'll have lunch with a bunch of the scamps and vamps and the bookjunkys. And I may even squeeze in a bit of shopping at one of my favorite shopping meccas - Lenox Square. And speaking of shopping - guess what? I told you that July 25th is a red-letter day. But do you know what else it is? It marks the "five months 'til Christmas" milestone! Bet you weren't thinking about that. :)

It just so happens that I have actually started my Christmas shopping. Not in a big way, but a few things here and there. Barnes and Noble has been having a big sale... tables of clearance books and also "gifty" kinds of items. I bought my girls a set of blue suede round nested boxes - really cool. They were half price - about $11 I think. For Anastasia I got a cute little china tea set - half price also - $7.50. For one son-in-law I got a heavy hardback book by Marvel that contains a whole bunch of Spiderman comics - regularly $50, I got it for $21.

Then I got a sale catalog from one of my favorite places - Levenger. Found really cool small clocks that show time zones around the world... regular $25-$35... got them for $9.95 each. They will go to my two brothers-in-law. Some other odds and ends I won't bore you with... stocking stuffers, etc. My hubby and I both come from fairly large families, and we all still exchange gifts, so I like to start early and hunt for bargains. Otherwise I would be broke!! What about you - any early shoppers out there?

I'll be thinking about all of you next week and wishing I could tuck you in my suitcase. Even for those of us who are lucky enough to have achieved our dream of becoming writers, it is always a huge, fun thing to see and talk to writers who have been our own faves for years. Imagine bumping into Nora Roberts enroute to the restroom! I know you're all going to have a blast with Lucy Monroe's "not going to RWA blog party". The prizes sound amazing. Try to be good while some of us are gone. No mutiny on the Loop, etc. :)

As soon as I get back I'll be blogging about all the "goings on" in Hot-lanta. Talk to you soon! Janice Maynard

Friday, July 21, 2006

Back from the beach...

We're back from vacation and I had a very relaxing week at the beach in Punta Cana. I absolutely love the Caribbean and could go every week. LOL. People in the Dominican Republic are very friendly and the landscape is an amazing mix of mountains, sugarcane fields, and shoreline beaches.

When I’m there, I spend a LOT of time laying on a lounge chair reading or people watching. Some general observations…

-Husbands should not be trusted to adequately put sunscreen on lily-white women. I saw several ladies with fingerprint-like burn streaks on their lower backs after they let the men wield the bottle. Yikes.

-Resort bartenders don’t understand “don’t make this one as strong as the last.”

-People dribble spit out of their mouths into the pool. Repeatedly.

-A volleyball comes out and so do true colors. Watch out for those mild mannered schoolteachers. They can spike hard, I’m telling you.

-Very few vacationers successfully learn the cha cha beachside given the drink in their hand and the directions being given in Spanish, though many will try.

-Adults shouldn’t ride donkeys in bathing suits.

But that’s why I love beach vacations- everyone is relaxed and having such a good time. The real world seems very far away and there is nowhere you have to be. What’s your favorite vacation spot? Or where would you like to go?

Where do you like romances you read to be set? Exotic locales? Big cities, small towns?

Erin, who is firmly back in the real world :-D

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I didn't forget... I swear!

I just ended up spending half the day in pain.... okay, I'm whining... I spent half the day REALLY uncomfortable after an hour and half in the dentist chair.

But I didn't forget the contest from the weekend.

And the winners are...

CrystalG & bamabelle

Email me @

Thanks to all who entered!

Monday, July 17, 2006

What won’t you read??

Everyone reads something different. Some people love vampires, some wouldn’t pick up a vamp book if it was the last book on earth. Some like to read humorous stores, others think the humor distracts from the plot and romance. Then there’s the erotica stories that are really hot…bad pun…right now but not for everyone just as the inspirational books are really big sellers but certainly not for everyone.
--Amazing that the two biggest selling romance lines now are erotica and inspirational. --
The same for movies…some love the dark scary stuff, others…like me…would rather have a root canal than watch a move like that. I have to sleep with the lights on for months. I won’t watch any movie where someone dies…unless it’s the bad guy.
I need humor, fun excitement, romance!
No fighting, dying, crashing, yelling, scaring, cutting off body parts.
No Jason, Freddie, Lord of the Rings, Autumn In New York for me.

I need Stephanie Plum, Pretty Woman, American President and, of course, Indiana Jones and Captain Jack Sparrow.

Soooo, the question is…
What kind of book will you not read??
What kind of movie will you not watch?

BTW...pretty cool that Texas Bad Boys is on the front cover of RT for September!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

That first moment of attraction...

I'm starting a new book and new books are a lot like new relationships. They're so yummy. I am in love...or infatuated on my way to love and every minute spent exploring this new entity is delicious. The snags are inevitable and like any new relationship, there will be misunderstandings, moments of panic and sheer terror and opportunities to dive in, risks be darned or hold back for fear of going too far, or getting too involved.

I'll doubt the viability of the book more than once and go through a major crisis about half-way to the end, sure that there isn't enough story for a real book, or that the story isn't what I wanted it to be. Does that sound familiar? It's a little nerve wracking to realize how much writing is like falling in love and learning to be a couple.

And it doesn't always work. Sometimes books have to be abandoned (I've never done this, but know lots of authors that have), gutted (done it - hate it - it's like death...or divorce) or re-written multiple times to get the story right. Relationships are like that, aren't they? They don't just have to work to make them something worth sharing with each other and the rest of your world. The same is true for stories. I don't know a single author who thinks writing is easy. Fun? Yes. Amazing? Definitely. Wondrous even. But easy? Nope.

While I was growing up, my mom was fond of the saying, "Anything worth having is worth working for." That's true of a really good book or a truly great relationship. I think romance shows that relationships don't just happen, any more than the books that contain them.

When I was dating my husband, we had many defining moments in our relationship, but one stands out clearly. His family wasn't too happy with the thought of him having a serious girlfriend and they weren't above trying to undermine the relationship. One time, they guilted him into sticking around well past when he said he'd have to be finished helping his sister move so he could come to see me (we lived in different cities). I called him hours after he was supposed to at my apartment and he was finally home. He asked if I still wanted him to come. This was a make or break moment. If I'd said no, he would have let our relationship go, but he had a lot to learn about me and my tenacity.

Of course I wanted him to come. I had some yelling to do...mostly about how stupid he was to think that one screw up was going to end my feelings for him. But the thing is...I knew that relationships aren't without pain, it's what comes after that makes or breaks them. And we both learned something that night. I learned that tenacity was a good thing and he learned that forgiveness was not a Utopian ideal. We've been married 18 years and we are both so very much in love. That was a good night. :)

And when I hit that moment with this book that I want to throw my computer across the room, I'm going to remember that night...I'm going to remember that anything worth having is worth working ... and sacrificing ... for. I'm going to remember that new books don't just happen.

What about you? Can you remember a relationship defining moment? Or a time when you realized the job you love wasn't all sweetness and light but it was worth pursuing despite the pitfalls you'd encountered?

Looking forward to your responses!


Friday, July 14, 2006

Unforgettable Lines & a Contest

I watched Ghostbusters last night. I haven't seen that movie in ages and I forgot how funny it was...

I remember how cool the special effects in the movie seemed when it first came out. Now they look sooooooo hmmm.. cheesy? The wonders of digital effects?

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I love a well written line, whether it's in a movie or a book, or whatever.

Some memorable lines...

You can't handle the truth! A Few Good Men

You had me at Hello. Jerry Maguire

(I'm so disturbed that two of my fave lines are from Tom Cruise movies)

Return of the King is one of my fave movies and it's full of liners I love, but this is my fave.

Gimli: I never thought I'd die fighting side by side with an elf.
Legolas: How about side by side with a friend?
Gimlin: Aye. I could do that.

Tombstone...another good one. I'll admit, I loved almost every line from Doc Holiday in this one. Kilmer just made that role.

Evidently Mr. Ringo's an educated man. Now I really hate him.


There are soooo many good lines out there. Want to share some of your favorites?

* I got a pressie in the mail today...A big box of copies of Hunting the Hunter. And I wanna share... so everybody that participates in today's blog is going to be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a signed copy. Just comment, share some of your favorite lines before Monday morning and you're entered. I'll draw TWO winners on Monday.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


You know one thing that I really... really...really hate?

Going to the dentist. Now it's nothing personal against the dentist or the techs...just going there, having my teeth cleaned...I hate it.

I know there are plenty of others out there who feel the same way. There might be the odd creature that doesn't mind it or enjoys it. Enjoys it. *confusion*

On the flip side, hey, you only have to go every once in a while and if you take decent care of your teeth, it's not a big deal, right? Me, I have several cavities I have to have fixed, but since I haven't been in oh... eight years, easy, I shouldn't complain, right?

There are just so many more things I'd rather do. Cutting the grass would be better. Going to the OB/GYN... marginally better. So many things that are better.

Just out of sheer curiousity...what three things do you hate to do? What three things do you love to do?


Eye Doctor
Cleaning the toilets


Playing with my kids.
Taking pictures of said kids with their dad.

And the really cool thing about the writing... *G* I get paid. Not everybody gets paid to do what they love. So I guess I shouldn't complain overmuch about a measly trip to the dentist. But I will...

Monday, July 10, 2006

An interview with Shiloh Walker

Well, here it interview with our own Shiloh Walker.

1) What's the most challenging part of writing for you: creating characters or coming up with an intriguing and complex plot?

Oh, the plotting… easy. I can create characters all day long, but the actual plotting part is hard for me. I generally am a ‘seat of the pants’ writer, but I’m learning that isn’t always the most time efficient way to write. Actually plotting it out before hand… hard work.

2) Do you ever see yourself writing a non-romance?

Oh yeah… I love sci fi and fantasy. Although I suspect anything I write will always have romantic undertones or romance elements, I have all sorts of ideas that aren’t strictly romance.

3) Would you/have you ever collaborated with another writer to tell a story?

Haven’t ever, but I would, depending on the other writer. A friend of mine, Mary Wine and I have tossed ideas around. Lora Leigh and I both mentioned it at one time, but she’d want to the tell the male POV if we ever did… and so I would. *G* so that won’t work.

4) What are you most proud of achieving in your career?

Just getting published for me is a big deal. What I’m the most proud of, though, has nothing to do with my career. Writing, while it can be a pain at times, is easy for me, mostly. The story usually comes easy enough, the characters come easy...doesn’t feel right have that much pride in something that comes easy. Now ask me about what I’m proud of in my life… *G* I’d say my kids.

5) If you could be any of your characters for just a day (or longer), who would you choose?

MY characters? None of them. Haven’t you seen some of the crap I do to my characters? I kill their husbands, I have them beaten, I give them guilty secrets to hide and agonize over… nope. I know what kind of things I do to my characters and I’m not into suffering.

6) Where do you see the Hunters series going?

Hunting the Hunter is going to be a big turn in the series. I’m looking to make the series deeper, more intense. I want to appeal to a wider range of readers, not just the lovers of erotic romance.

7) can you give any explaination for the following?
1)"don't look down"
2)"don't open the door"
3)"don't answer the phone"
and my "fave"
4)"don't look back"
Why when watching film / reading book / listening to the radio, etc...when hearing any one of the above
saying "DON'T"...that we automatically "DO"??

That’s easy… I can sum it up in two words. Human nature. It’s the same reason when mama told us not to touch the cookies yet cuz they were too hot, we still did it. Humans are generally just nosy by nature and when there’s something down, back, behind, above… we want to know. Even if it means it’s going to hurt to do it.

For more fun visit:

Thanks, Shi, for answering our questions.
Can't wait for more of the Hunter series and best of luck with your career.
Hugs, Dianne

Friday, July 07, 2006

Guilty Pleasures

In next week's issue of TV Guide there is an article about this summer's "guilty pleasures" to watch and it got me thinking about my own guilty pleasures.... the things that I know are bad for me or at the very least a big waste of time but I just can't help myself. Here is my list (at lease a few) of my personal guilty pleasures:

Potato Chips.... is there a more unhealthy food on the planet? And yet I purchase them and can't seen to consume a sandwich without a handful of greasy, salty chips.

People Magazine.... worthless gossip and eye candy but if I'm at the doctor's office People wins out over Time or Newsweek.

Falcon Beach.... a sudsy summer show on ABC Family that I just can't miss. I tell my family that it's for YA novel research but that's bunch of hooey. I like the show.

So make me feel better and tell me some of your guilty pleasures! Do you sneak a Hostess Cupcake into your lunch? Take an afternoon nap? Watch Lucky Louie on HBO? Come on....fess up ;-) Oh and don't say romance novels... no need to feel guilty about that particular pleasure!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

On the radio recently they had a list of “Things women shouldn’t do after 30.” Some I thought were silly- who cares if a 35 year old wants to keep her cell phone in a Hello Kitty case? And others I don’t think a woman should be doing at any age- like getting into a fist fight with another woman over a guy (really, ladies, is he worth all that pulled hair??).

The ones I remember… Things A Woman Shouldn’t Do After 30:
- Shop in the Juniors Department because it still fits
- Wear pigtails (I guess Nicolette Sheridan hasn’t heard this one)
- Get into a fight with another woman (over a guy)
- Swear in front of children
- Keep cell phone in Hello Kitty case
- Have stuffed animals
- Pass out drunk in a restroom stall (I guess by 30 you should know to pass out after you get home)
- Have muffin tops from their low rise jeans
- Wear tongue ring or other facial piercings

So what do you all think? Agree? Disagree? Have any no-nos you’d like to add to the list? What fashion trends really get on your nerves? I think it could be funny for a future heroine to have to somehow confront a list like this, and decide to defy it just to make a point. Of course, that would be when she meets the hero...

My publisher, Kensington, was very generous last week, and I am swimming in ARCs (Advanced Reviewer Copies) for my October Brava, You Don’t Know Jack. I’ll choose a random winner to receive an ARC from those who comment. Thanks for your thoughts!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy Birthday, USA!

With apologies to our international friends... I decided to do today's blog about the 4th. :) Our little town always does a parade and fireworks on the Saturday closest to the holiday, no matter which day the 4th falls on. So... we have already been in celebration mode. Had a really fun parade Saturday morning... bigger than usual, 'cause this is election year, and bunches of politicians had floats, convertibles, etc.

Then in the afternoon, we cooked hamburgers on the grill... at 10PM Saturday night we sat in lawn chairs in our yard and watched the skies light up with sparkle and pizazz. We even let two-and-a-half-year-old Anastasia stay up and see the show. She was fascinated, and said, "I'm not scared". And only covered her ears for part of it. The fireworks were really beautiful.

Now, tomorrow will be low key... maybe we'll catch a movie. This weekend was the first time I had been out of the house for any length of time, so I am looking forward to doing something fun.

Today's blog has a bonus... I have an ARC of "A Very Merry Christmas" to give away. It is the Brava Christmas anthology with Lori Foster and Gemma Bruce. Just drop me a note about how you spend the 4th, and I'll put the names in a drawing. If you are not a resident of the USA, tell me if there are occasions in your country when fireworks are part of the celebration. I'll announce the winner tomorrow evening after eight!

P.S. I am going to try and include two pictures today... one of Anastasia "pretending" to sleep in the hammock and one from the parade.

Enjoy the day off tomorrow, and be safe!

Janice Maynard

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Shameless Self-Interest :)'s the deal. Many of you commented on my blog when we discussed the topic of author websites, what you liked, didn't like and wish you could find. (And THANK YOU for doing so!) One thing that came across fairly clearly to me was that my website is missing something *a lot* of readers like...the FAQs page. Now, I get asked questions all the time and I do plan to use the page to answer queries that frequently get asked via email and in person, but I'd also like to use it to answer some of the questions that readers hesitate to ask for any number of reasons.

So, here is your chance not only to help me make my FAQs page as reader friendly as possible, but for you to have a say on some of its content.

Post your questions here as a comment. I'll be away over the weekend, so can't reply to your comments. But when I get back on Wednesday, I'll take note of all your questions for my website and draw a name from commentors to win some cool prize...let's see, what should that be? How about an American Tourister black softside briefcase/carrybag with Secrets Volumes 6, 8 & 9 tucked inside?

Looking forward to your comments!