Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

We're MOVING!!!!

Come visit us at our new home!

If you have this blog bookmarked, please update the link. :o)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Give Away!!!

Waving Hi!!!!
So, what did y'all do over the Labor Day weekend? And are you finding it as difficult as I am to get back in to the groove of working? LOL I feel as though I've been gone forever--and I took my laptop with me! Sometimes I think it's chained to me at the ankle--laptop to one, scales to the other.

Double Dating With The Dead is available!!! Yea!!! The Morgue The Merrier is available!!!! Yea!!!! I have excerpts and videos on my website if you want to know more www.authorkarenkelley.com The reviews have been fantastic!!! Okay, okay, I have to publicly apologize once again to my writers group who told me---like forever ago---that my strongest voice was in writing hot romantic comedies. They must've been right because the reviews coming in for these two books, and Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind, have been great.

I have three copies of The Morgue The Merrier to give away! Just say hi or what have you or make a comment so I can put your name in a hat and I'll draw tonight at 10pm central time the three lucky winners. If you already have a copy, you can still give it away as a gift. Think about it---an autographed copy of TMTM by THE Karen Kelley is worth $6.99 plus tax!!!! Unless you buy it at a discount store or a garage sale, slightly higher if you live out of the United States.

Good Luck!
Karen Kelley
Available Now!!! Double Dating With The Dead/Brava
Romantic Times 4 1/2 Stars!!!
Available Now!!!The Morgue The Merrier anth/Zebra
10/07 I'm Your Santa anth/Brava

Monday, August 27, 2007

Is it fall yet???


Okay - I admit it... I'm a wuss when it comes to hot weather. I have to slather on SPF 40, I hate to sweat, and my face turns an ugly tomato red when I have to be outside for any length of time. Now, if I could be at beach under a pretty striped umbrella with a breeze off the water and my favorite new book in my lap - well, then I could embrace the whole "hot as hell" idea.

But on my home turf, I'd just as soon not see the mercury hit 90+. My hometown is Chattanooga, and when I talked to my mom the other day, she said Chattanooga had set an "all-time" record of 105 degrees. It had never before ever been that hot in all the years of record keeping.

But enough is enough! The grass is brown. You can burn your hand just opening the metal storm door, and the neighbors' cats are drinking out of our bird baths and terrorizing the pretty finches. Sheesh!

It's so bad that I have almost given up dreaming about hunky heroes and started fantasizing about crisp October days and warm, wooly sweaters.

And by the way, If any of you EVER hear me complain this winter about how cold it is, just shoot me! I'd give my right arm just about now for a pretty six inch snow or even one of those dreary, rainy November days. I guess the grass IS always greener...

We've got some family plans for Labor Day and then it will be back into the writing trenches for me. I'm working on a fun new proposal which I hope will get a nibble of interest from somewhere! And then I have my next contracted book due November 30. And after that it will be Christmas!!

So there you have it, lots of whining from me even though (don't say it too loud) the temps today aren't supposed to get out of the eighties!!

Some of you know that I just got back from a family wedding in Orlando. We spent one day at the Magic Kingdom and despite being baked and wilted, had a great time. Because of my bum knee I had to wear my dorky white tennis shoes instead of my pretty red sandals, but I can only suffer for fashion to a degree. And at least my feet didn't hurt. Mickey is a great guy but a bit short for me. :)

Hope everyone has a great week... and please drop by to share your fantasies of fall with me. We can only dream...

Janice

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Interview with Marjorie M. Liu


Coming up!

Putting out a call for questions. If you read Marjorie's work and have questions, your chance to ask them is coming up.

If you have one that you'd like me to use in the interview, email them to me @
shilohwalker@gmail.com and put QUESTIONS for MARJORIE in the subject line.

I will say this, that lady has had some of the best covers I've ever seen.


:o)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

why i'm glad life isn't like a romance book

Last week, Karen Scott had a post about how romances make our expectations unrealistic. (yes, there are still people out there harping on this...geex, they need to get a life.) You can read the post here, BUT... don't read it at work. Karen's blog could probably get you in trouble.

I like reading romance. Love it. But would I trade my life for the lives of a woman who lives between the pages of a book? Nope. Not a one. Not Cherijo (yeah, she is sci fi, but she's like my fave heroine so she's on the list) Not Eve (yes, ladies, I'd pass on a chance to be married to Roarke) not one of the ladies from the BDB books(JR Ward), even though I love to read them and not one of the ladies from the Irish Jewels trilogy, even though I would love to live in Ireland.

Why not, you ask?

Oh, lots of reasons. Here's a few

  • Cherijo is married to one heck of a guy but when she's ticked off or in danger, her husband can use his mind to control her body. That would seriously piss me off.
  • Eve is constantly getting all these gorgeous coats, only to get them ruined by blood, gore and grim.
  • I'd never been able to keep my Ben & Jerrys safe from the BDB books. They get hurt, they turn to ice cream to smear on the wounds. Sorry, that's a waste of good yumminess.
  • As much as I'd love to live in Ireland, I can't see me falling in love just to help some cursed fairie prince.

So that's from those books.

Some random ones....

  • How many romances heroines have either suffered a big trauma before the book starts or during the books as part of her 'dark moment'?
  • A lot of the men are written to almost to perfection. I don't want perfect. Would make me too aware of how unperfect I am.
  • I don't resolve issues well, or quick. Romances tend to have nice, neat resolutions.
  • Alpha men can be nice to read about but in real life, I'd kill them. I like my DH just fine. He's a mix of alpha and beta and I wouldn't take it any other way. Sorry, I don't see the typical alpha as the ultimate father, husband, etc.

Do I like romances? Yep. Do I want to live in one? Oh, hell no.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Last Plans for Summer




Summer? Was there a summer?? Holy cow, we’re down to the last two weeks and I have no idea where it’s gone! Why can’t winter fly by this fast? I never get nearly as much done as I planned, though that’s pretty much the way of life no matter what time of year it is.

But now that it’s down to the wire I’ve got to cram in a few more things before the leaves fall and there’s that first chill in the air. First I’m going to wear all the white stuff in my closet before I sadly put it away and drag out the fall clothes that I look retched in. I cannot wear fall colors. A deep pink or rust is about it. The rest...blah and I look like a baby elephant in jeans.

We’re definitely having ribs on Labor Day and doing the home-made ice cream thing once more. And I’m hitting the final sales on summer clothes to get a jump start on next year...if there’s anything left. Seems that when I try this all the leftover stuff looks so shabby and picked over.

And I’m running around in bare feet as long as I can get away with it and using my little yellow and white purse a few more times and enjoying the final burst of flowers.

So, what do you have planned for the end of summer? What are you determined to get done before we say good-by to the lazy days and jump into fall and football and getting ready for the holidays?

Hugs,
Dianne
DianneCastell.com
The Morgue the Merrier
Kensington Zebra 9/07

PS—I’ll be giving away I’m Your Santa signed copy (by all three authors Lori Foster, me, Karen Kelley).

Friday, August 17, 2007

And the winners are...

The two winners who won free ebook downloads of Skin to Skin are....

Jodi, who commented
Good questions. I'm off to Samhain to check out more info on your book.

and Bernadette who commented,

Really looking forward to the book :) Thanks for the interview!

The winner of the $15 Gift certificate for Mybookstoreandmore is

Physmom who commented

Hi Bam, I am looking forward to the release of your book. If I didn't have family in this weekend I can guarantee I would be curled up reading it.

Ladies, if you all can email me at shilohwalker@gmail.com and put BAM's contest in the subject line, I'll hook you all up with Dionne. Again, Jodi and Bernadette won Dionne's ebook, Skin to Skin and Physmom won a gift certificate.

Thanks for joining in guys, and Dionne, thank you for doing the interview. Best of luck with Skin to Skin!

Shi
http://shilohwalker.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Interview with Dionne Galace...aka Bam...

Maybe I should say The Infamous Bam. If you've been in romance blogland for long, you've probably seen her around. Seen and run in fear... just kidding, just kidding. ;o)



Dionne, aka Bam, has a book coming out from Samhain here soon, Skin to Skin and besides doing an interview for us, she's also give away prizes. Three of them...downloads of Skin to Skin and $15 gift certificate to My Bookstore and More and the winner of that GC can buy Dionne's book on Friday, as well as mine...just kidding (although I think that sounds like a bang up list)



How do you win? That's easy. Just comment... BUT your name is only going into the drawing once and by name, I mean one person per ISP~I am keeping track. Only way to be fair to everybody.



Dionne will swing by during the day so feel free to ask questions!



And on to the interview...



Vamps and Scamps Blog Interview with Dionne Galace:


**All of the questions in this interview were suggested by readers at Dionne aka Bam’s blog. Thank you!


V&S: I’m curious, what’s the one thing you would never write? It can cover anything from a sexual situation to a plot too done to just something you wouldn’t want to tackle.


Dionne Galace: Oh damn. I don't really like to say "never". I do enjoy taking the so-called "tired" plots and putting my own twist on it. In fact, I was just wondering the other day what I could do with a "secret baby" or an "amnesia" story. That might be kind of fun.




V&S: How do you get Bam from Dionne Galace?


Dionne Galace: Ha-ha. You don’t. When I was a kid, I used to drive my poor grandmother crazy 'cause I would go around hitting and destroying things with a stick. She said I reminded her of Bamm-Bamm from the Flintstones, so it just kind of stuck. My friends and family still call me Bam. It's just easier to pronounce than "dee-OHN".




V&S: Is there a subgenre you’re dying to write in - witches, vampires, Urban Fantasy etc - and if so, what is it and are you going to try it?


Dionne Galace: I’m actually working on an urban fantasy series right now featuring a woman

with a "strange" gift and her elf sidekick. They own a detective agency. I've got the first four books plotted and outlined. Now I just have to write them.




V&S: If you could be any romance book female lead who would it be and which book (if it’s a series)?


Dionne Galace: I always really liked Esme from Eloisa James' books. She was just a secondary character, but I really liked how spunky and fun she was. I believe she shows up in Duchess in Love, Fool for Love, and A Wild Pursuit. Her lover Sebastian, the Marquess of Bonnington, is still my favorite romance hero to this day.




V&S: It’s 50 years in the future and the only thing you regret in life is an unfortunate tattoo on your ass. What does the tattoo say and why?


Dionne Galace: Well, damn. It's a playboy bunny. It's purely red and right on my tailbone. It looks like it was branded onto my skin. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But I don't even want to be thinking of myself as an 80 year old grandmother with a playboy bunny on my tailbone.



* * * * *

Thanks, Dionne. I'm ready to read Skin to Skin now.

Monday, August 13, 2007

48 Reasons to Read Today's Blog


Mornin' one and all - Hope your Monday is off to a decent start. Today's photo has no particular story behind it, just something to tickle your funny bone. My daughter took it when Anastasia and Ainsley were in the tub being silly.


I'm yawning today... hubby and I watched part of the Perseid meteor shower last night. We left the house around 11 and drove thirty minutes out in the country to a camp... very dark there - no streetlights. We saw 22 meteors in an hour and ten minutes. Pretty cool! Our favorite one was super bright and very slow as it arced across the sky.


But enough of that! Let's get to the reason you are reading this blog today. You know how car lots and furniture stores have big sales to "make room for new inventory"??? Well, lucky for you, my keeper shelf simply has to make room for more books. They are taking over my bedroom. So, even though it pains me deeply to part with these, I am having a contest to give one lucky person 48 trade size romances!!! Yep - You heard me... if I did the math right, that is over $672 worth of books. And they can all be yours!! Plus, these are some of my favorites, so there is not a dud in the bunch!


Here are the rules. 1) This is a snail mail contest. All entries will be mailed to Janice Maynard, P.O. Box 4611, Johnson City, TN, 37602. Your entry must include your name and address (info kept totally private by me). It must be postmarked by August 31st. I will announce the winner in my September 10 blog... and of course, I will notify the winner personally if you choose to include your e-mail in your entry.


One caveat - I almost always open my contests to everyone regardless of where they live, but this time I must limit it to the USA. This box will be very heavy, and I will send it via Media Mail which is not available for overseas purposes. Sorry...


How to enter... your completed entry will consist of a simple list of 11 books. First of all, list my 9 Janice Maynard titles, 8 of which can be found on my website. Do not include any foreign editions. The Christmas book only counts once, even though it came out in trade last Christmas and is being re-released in mass market in October. The ninth book is the new one coming out in January 2008 (not yet on my website). But if you go to www.myspace.com/janicemaynard, you can see that cover and title as the big profile picture.


The tenth and eleventh books are written by my alter ego ELizabeth Scott. Elizabeth does not have a website, but you can see those two titles at www.myspace.com/authorelizabethscott.


Questions? I hope not!! But you can post them here if I have omitted any important details. I'm leaving Wednesday for a wedding in Florida, so I won't be able to answer questions after Tuesday afternoon. Hopefully, I have made this crystal clear, but you never know...


Now for the part you all want to know - the list of prize books. Here they are in no particular order... although they are more or less in order by copyright date, because - yes - I am that anal. :)


Behind Closed Doors


Wilde Thing


Standing in the Shadows


Bad Boys Online


Unexpected


Jingle Bell Rock


Bad Boys to Go


The Wilde Side


The Secret Life of Bryan


Perfect for the Beach


Bad Boys Next Exit


I Love Rogues


Smart Mouth


Undercover


Drive Me Crazy


Southern Comfort


Houston, We Have a Problem


Merry Christmas, Baby


Bad Boys With Expensive Toys


Wicked Women 101


Mouth to Mouth


Just a Hint Clint


Star Qualtiy


The Bane Affair


The Shaughnessey Accord


The Samms Agenda


The Beach Alibi


The McKenzie Artifact


Hello, Gorgeous


Beach Blanket Bad Boys


A Date with the Other Side


Honk if You Love Real Men


Taking Care of Business


Return to Me


3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys


The Night Before Christmas


'Til There Was You


The Hard Stuff


Hot Spell


Valentine's Day is Killing Me


Three


Wild Ride


When Good Things Happen to Bad Boys


Dead and Loving It


Bayou Bad Boys


Drop Dead Gorgeous


Sexy Beast


Her Best Friends' Lover




Good luck!




Janice Maynard

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Back to School

Thank God. Seriously. I need to get back to my routine. Today was the first day for my rottens to go back and any minute now, i'll find that illusive routine again.

So here's a totally off the wall question for you.

If you could have any power, (think super power) what would it be by and why?

Me, I'm trying to decide. I wouldn't want to see the future. I try not to worry about the future because that messes up today. Wouldn't want that. I don't want to live forever. Life wouldn't have the same beauty, IMO, if it was anything other than fleeting. We wouldn't be able to appreciate it. Wouldn't want to be a vampire. I'm a nurse, I know all about the things people do to their bodies and I couldn't move past it. Don't want to have magick or anything like that either.

I think I can honestly say that not only do I enjoy my life, I love it as it is. Changing me, or adding some weird power, would change things. I don't like change.

Going to get back to work now... my brain is dead for the heat so I dunno how much I'll get done.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

contest

I'm doing a contest for my newsletter group---you can join at www.authorkarenkelley.com It's in three parts and if you enter each contest your name will be put in a drawing for a $25 gift certificate from Amazon. I think I'm giving away a book (Hell On Wheels) and a T-shirt this week.

Anyway, I thought if any of y'all wanted to enter, the first question does the last frame in the video for Double Dating With The Dead say. Now, this is the very, very last frame. Which means you need to watch it to the end. The video is on my website (see above or below) Send your answers to kskelley@classicnet.net with contest #1 in the subject line.

If you don't want to join my newsletter group, that's okay, too, you'll still be in this drawing, just not the one for $25. Yes, I was desperate and needed something to blog about.

Y'all have a nice day!
Karen Kelley
Available Now!!! Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava
Romantic Times 4 1/2 Stars Top Pick!
09/07 Double Dating With The Dead/Brava
09/07 The Morgue The Merrier anth/Zebra
10/07 I'm Your Santa anth/Brava
www.myspace.com/authorkarenkelley
www.authorkarenkelley.com

Monday, July 30, 2007

What Do You Miss?

I've been thinking about books I used to read and books that are no longer available. If you've been reading romance for any length of time, you know that publishers and lines come and go. Between us, we could probably list 25 different series or lines that have started up and then disappeared. And it's frustrating if you've found books you really like and then "poof" they are gone!



I miss the Precious Gem romances, for example. I got my start there, and so many authors I know went from writing PG's to other places. Precious Gems were great because they were very inexpensive, and I know a lot of women have a hard time buying as many books as they want to read each month.



I miss the old days when Nora Roberts wrote for Silhouette Special Edition. I adored her category romances and couldn't wait until each new series unfolded.



I miss the Harlequin Duets (or Love and Laughter). They were cute and funny, and some great authors wrote for them, including, for example, Lori Foster's "Annie Get Your Guy."



I miss Harlequin Temptation, and I'm glad to hear that Blaze will be including the new mini-line Blaze Blush... more lighthearted, funny stuff, but still sexy.



I miss Dixie Browning... don't know if she is still writing or not, but years back, she wrote some of my favorite Silhouette Desires. And in that vein, I also miss Celeste Hamilton. Family circumstances took her away from writing, but she penned lovely books for Desire as well.



You know I always like to use a photo or two on my blogs, but all my pictures are on my computer that crashed two days ago. Let's hope that the Geek Squad can recover them for me. :)



So, chime in on this subject all you readers out there. Let's take a moment for nostalgia.



And on another note - what with keeping the babies and hubby getting sick and then leaving town for a week, I completely forgot to pick my blog winner from July 16th. Drum roll please - she is Michelle B.! Michelle - I think I have your address, but send it to me just in case, please. (jesm13@aol.com)



Hope everyone has a great week!



Janice Maynard

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How to be a Diva

If you’re going to be a writer you have to learn how to be a Diva. There are certain rules you need to follow or you’ll stumble and believe me, it would be disastrous if you stumbled. You might never make top Diva status. You’ll be stuck with the stigma of only becoming a minor Diva. I’m shuddering at the thought.

Don’t for one minute think it will be easy, either. Only with help from my very good friends am I getting close to attaining Divahood.

Rule number one: Being a Diva has to start on the inside. Close your eyes and feel it. If you can’t quite picture it don’t fret. It takes time and patience. Practice every single day. I’ve found that sitting at my computer, incense going and a glass of wine close by, helps create the Diva mood.

Now, think to yourself. I am a writer, therefore I am a Diva. Tilt your nose ever so slightly, head high, shoulders straight. You might have to shake your shoulders to loosen up. Careful if you’re well endowed. I strained a shoulder doing this once. It really took away from my Diva moment.

Rule Number Two: Only after you’ve achieved inner Divahood can you move to the next step. Yes, the outer Diva. It’s so easy to make a faux pas so I caution you to be extremely careful.

Start at the top. The hair-do. This is a must. It should be a little poofy, but not so poofy it hangs on tree branches or birds decide it looks like a great place to make a nest. It also shouldn’t be perfect.

Ahhh, I can see the raised eyebrows. I bet you were thinking every hair had to be in place. No, that’s for Top-level Diva’s. For now, just concentrate on lower-level, believe me, it will still be worth it.

And remember, I’m cringing here---no, absolutely no, sparkle stuff in your hair. If it glitters, get rid of it.

Rule Number Three: Okay, I’m assuming you have the hairdo down so we’ll move on to the make-up. Muted colors work well, but apply with a heavy hand. No blues (shuddering here). Soft browns and beiges work well.

Deep red lipstick is THE color of choice and always carry an extra tube in your purse. Then when you go to the lavatory (note I said lavatory not bathroom or can---learn the Diva words!) anyway, while you’re in the lavatory make sure you freshen your lipstick.

Especially if other women are present. You can make some very striking poses as you lean toward the mirror thus enhancing your Diva image. Another caution, sadly to say, I once saw a Diva Wannabe applying her lipstick and she leaned to far forward falling into the sink. Not a pretty picture. I doubt she ever fully recovered. Even worse, the dreaded wet line across your stomach.

Rule Number Four: This is probably the single most important rule. Always wear nail polish. Again, the deep red color works well.

Learn to talk with your hands. Flutter them to the right, flutter them to the left. I know you’re dying to try it so go ahead. Fun isn’t it? Another warning, though.

I know, it’s so hard being a Diva. So much to remember.

When you’re fluttering your hands about be very careful not to smack the person next to you. They never fully appreciate when you explain you’re only being a Diva. In fact, they can be quite irate, but enough about that little incident.

Rule Number Four: Diamonds are a Diva’s best friend. Two on the right hand and two on the left. You may count a wedding ring. And where might you get these diamonds, you ask. Wal*Mart. Unless you’ve reached one of the Upper Crust Diva levels you fake it ‘till you make it.

Think about it, if you’re a writer people assume you must have money (Oh Lord, holding side and laughing here) so the diamonds must be real. It doesn’t matter that you only paid $10 a ring.

Now, this is where we go back to the reason for rule number one. Remember the inner Diva? Yes, I can almost see the light bulbs going off. If you’ve been practicing and working on the inner Diva you can wear fake diamonds and get away with it. You now have the confidence to do anything, dahling.

Rule Number Five: The clothes. They should be loose and flowing. When you flutter and wave your hands they should flow with your movements. Think butterfly---back and forth. You can practice with a tablecloth until you feel confident enough to make your purchases. Or you can pretend you’re Scarlet O’Hara and use the curtains.

Rule Number Six: The shoes. Diva shoes are a must. Heels. Nothing sensible. If you don’t have the right shoes the rest of your ensemble will not work.

Rule Number Seven: The talk. Diva’s speak soft and smile a lot. Not a wide smile. Show you’re interested in others but remember deep down it’s still all about you, honey.

And raise your eyebrows a lot. But do not pencil your eyebrows to your hairline in the hopes you’ll look wide-eyed. You’ll have the wide-eyed look all right. More like a deer caught in headlights. That can be really scary to non-divas.

Rule Number Eight: The walk. Practice at home wearing full costume. Place one hand out to side, palm facing the floor (one hand only!) two and you look like you’re walking down the runway of a cheap strip club. Chin up, but not too high. Too high and you slip into snobbery. You want to be able to see the little people not step on them. Now flowwwwww as you walk forward. Bright sunlight is better so your fake diamonds glitter. Don’t flash them toward high traffic areas though. You wouldn’t want to be responsible for a pile-up because you’ve blinded everyone.

Okay, now you’re ready to go out and meet your public. You are a writer, you are a Diva. Now go forth and conquer the world!

Life should be about having fun!

Karen Kelley
Available Now!!! Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava
Romantic Times 4 1/2 Stars Top Pick!
09/07 Double Dating With The Dead/Brava
09/07 The Morgue The Merrier anth/Zebra
10/07 I'm Your Santa anth/Brava
www.authorkarenkelley.com

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cravings!



When you all go off to intentionally buy a book or maybe you pick up a book because you see it like I do when I’m at the market. That usually means I’m off snooping books instead of laying claim to a pound of ground beef or carrots or the like.

The question is, why am I there? Sometimes I’m on the hunt of a specific book that’s out but mostly I’m just shopping for something good to read. Oh, I might have heard that this is a good read and that’s great but most of the time I’m looking for a book that I’m in the mood for.

Yep, I get book cravings like I get Peep cravings and I have no idea why I get either. Maybe I need the sugar high or a mystery high or a good laugh or be wisked away to Europe, the Caribbean, Alaska, Happy Springs, Texas.

So the question today is... What sort of book are you in the mood for right now?
What book are you so not in the mood for?

As for me, right now I’m in the mood for love and mystery...mostly because that’s what I’m writing. I have about a hundred more pages of
Hot and Bothered to finish up. The cover fits. It looks like a hot night in Savannah and a little mysterious.

Here’s a partial list to get your craving juices flowing.

Vampires Dangerous Heroes Reincarnation
Love and War Love and Laughter Revenge
Terms of the Will Bad Boys Presumed dead
May, Dec romance Bad Girls Marriage of Convenience
Rags to Riches Doctor Nurse Time Travel
Chick Lit Lady Lit Tropical setting
Love & Mystery Amnesia Mistaken identity
Twins Changing Places Hidden Baby

Have a great Sunday!
Think of me writing like a mad-woman to get this book done. The last hundred pages are the most fun. It'll be a good writing week!

I’ll draw a name from the responses for a The Morgue The Merrier (Kensington Zebra) tote that’s out in September with Karen Kelley and Rosemary Laurey.

Hugs,
Dianne
DianneCastell.com

Thursday, July 19, 2007

And our winner is....

Ilonda... who commented

Thaks for a very interesting interview. I have no questions for Meljean but I would highly reccomend that she gets around to reading Marjorie M Liu's Books - MML is an excellent writer of superheroes :) Take it from a superhero addict LOL


Ilona, is Superwoman your fave, too... cuz of the lasso? ;o) Email me at shilohwalker@gmail.com and I'll get you in touch with Meljean.

Thanks ladies!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Interview with Meljean Brook...


V&S: Other than paranormal, do you see yourself writing for other genres? Do you enjoy reading other genres?

Meljean: I don’t think that I could write anything that didn’t have an element of the weird in it. The closest I could come in romance is -- maybe -- a gothic historical romance; straight contemporary isn’t for me, but I think the tone of a gothic might be fun. And I’ve been dying to try my hand a steampunk-flavored romance for a while.

And I’m a huge reader in and outside of romance -- and I’ll go for any kind of sub-genre in romance, from suspense to a fluffy historical. It all depends on my mood.


V&S: When did your fascination for superheroes begin?

Meljean: Oh, wow -- when I was three or four, easily. I blame Saturday morning cartoons, and shows like Superfriends, Spider-man and friends, He-Man and Voltron. It’s always been there -- so I think it was natural that I lean toward writing and reading stories containing characters with super-human powers, from vampires to witches to angels.

And what has always interested me in those stories is the human core of it -- not necessarily the “super” part (which is great fun), but the part that anchors them and makes them relatable to a reader, and someone that we want to cheer on. Whatever it is that, despite the superpowers, still makes them human at the core ... and that plays really well in romance.


V&S: What won't we see in a Meljean Brook story?

Meljean: This is a tough one -- I’m willing to do just about anything if it fits the story. I probably won’t ever have the hero/heroine sleep with another character during the course of the book. I probably won’t have many big misunderstandings, just because my characters seem to talk a lot. I won’t ever NOT have a happily-ever-after (happy endings are just wired into me, like superheroes.)


V&S: Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?

Meljean: Oh, wow. I wish I had time to read. I have a huge to-be-read pile on my shelves right now, and it’s full of names like J.D. Robb, Marjorie Liu (superheroes!), Linnea Sinclair, Lora Leigh, your Hunters: Heart and Soul. Lots of historicals, from Kleypas to Carla Kelly. Other names that I really love are Anne Bishop and Jacqueline Carey, Neil Gaiman ... okay, this is becoming a huge paragraph.

If it’s dark and sexy, I probably want to read it.


V&S: Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

Meljean: I have a set schedule, but my brain doesn’t always follow it. There are times in the day when I sit down to write and not much comes out; then I’ll be trying to fix dinner or something, and I’m like: oh my gosh, that’s what I was going for! and then have a few pages come out smooth.

I burn dinner a lot.


V&S: What was the inspiration behind the Guardian series?

Meljean: There were a couple of different inspirations that led directly into the Guardians -- one was Batman and Wonder Woman. I’d been writing fanfiction about them, but was growing tired of using other characters, so I was thinking of writing an alternate-universe fic where I flipped their roles around.

I’d also read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman to death; I love that book, but my favorite part was the interaction between the demon and the angel. It wasn’t a romance, but it was a strange sort of friendship that really intrigued me.

And I was also taking classes on Milton, and so that just got really deep in my head. Taken all together, it just kind of mixed with some ideas that I’d been playing with for a while, and came out as a really fun, kick-ass demon heroine, and kind of a long-suffering fallen angel hero who just can’t help himself around her. But the world was bigger than they were, and gave me lots of stuff to play with -- I’ll be playing for a while, I hope. I’m just having way too much fun.


V&S: Who is your favorite superhero?

Meljean: Wonder Woman -- it’s the lasso.


V&S: Thanks for joining us, Meljean.
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You can visit Meljean's site here. I can tell you from experience, she's got some yummy Guardians.

If you have other questions for Meljean, please ask away... she'll drop by the blog when she can!
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Updated to add....
Meljean has offered to do a book giveaway. All you need to do to win is drop a comment below. You can comment as much as you want, HOWEVER your name(s) will only be entered once into the drawing for the prize.
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UPDATED again to add... the contest part of the comments has closed. A winner's name to be posted shortly. Feel free to continue asking or commenting... Meljean will come answer questions, promise.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday, Monday...


Hope everyone is having a good Monday. It's so muggy here, hardly worth going outside when you can sweat standing still!

I'm keeping Anastasia and Ainsley (3 1/2 and 1 1/2) for a few days so mom and dad can get away for an anniversary trip. We've already trashed the house - toys everywhere, but we're having fun!! :) DH headed off to work, but he'll get to roll on the floor with them when he gets home this evening.

A and A just went down for a nap, so I'll try to get a few things accomplished. I e-mailed my July '08 book to my agent. Feels good to have it done - all but the final polish.

Thanks to all of you who have bought Improper Etiquette! Since RT's reviewer didn't get the review turned in on time, and since NAL didn't do ARC's, I feel like the book has been orphaned. But I do appreciate all of you die hard readers!!

We have a family reunion in Chattanooga coming up this weekend. Hope it cools down by then, but I'm not counting on it.

Oh, and by the way, we tried to get a pool for the girls this past weekend - one of those hard plastic ones - but everyone has already started clearancing summer stuff and we came up empty handed. Got to make room for those blow-up snowmen and Santas, I guess - sheesh!

Don't forget to check out the contest tab on my website... I'm giving away a tote bag from the June Get-Together. www.janicemaynard.com.

And if you have MySpace, please come friend me... www.myspace.com/janicemaynard.

I feel like being generous, so I'll draw a name from today's posters and give away a pair of Karen Kelley's cool "alien" earrings. They are really fun.

Talk to you soon,
Janice Maynard

Thursday, July 12, 2007

13 Reasons I'm Glad I Didn't Go To Dallas

It's convention time.

I really had no plans to go to RWA's national conference this year, although my agent keeps telling me I need to try and go sometime. I might. If I stay in RWA. It's debatable now sadly.

I'm not going to get into the reasons about that if. Most of it is probably stuff that readers don't much care about anyway.

But in honor of nationals... I'm listing reasons why I'm glad I'm not there. An informal Thursday Thirteen of sorts.

  1. Considering the decision that came down from the board, I probably would have lost my temper. And it's an ugly temper.
  2. I saved a heck of a lot of money by not going.
  3. I saved a heck of a lot of money because I didn't have to worry about my wardrobe.
  4. I saved myself the headaches of standing in lines or being surrounded by people. It's been established I'm not exactly a people person.
  5. I got to stay home and get roped into a Virtual Workshop, thanks to PBW. (insert sarcasm... )
  6. I didn't have to worry about missing flights, losing luggage or dealing with airports.
  7. I get to stay home in my comfy jeans.
  8. I didn't have to worry about transporting the whole family to Dallas for a week. Hey, I got little kids... I don't need to be away from them that long... (and that would get expensive, taking them with)
  9. It's hot enough in the Ohio Valley. I don't want to think about how hot is in Dallas.
  10. When I eat chicken this week, it's going to be good barbecued and grilled...not the catered stuff that usually doesn't taste as good as it looks.
  11. I didn't have to worry I'd embarass myself if I got to meet Nora Roberts. I would have (wince) squeed.
  12. I had time to go and pester my friend Lora Leigh and get the efile for her next Breed book. Nyah nyah nyah nyah.... Jaguar's Kiss.... mine all mine.
  13. And last but not least...both Psych and Monk start back up Friday. I'd hate to have missing that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

HI Everyone!
I'm off to the RWA conference in Dallas, Texas. Woo-hoo, the Lone Star State---oh, wait, I live here :) Okay, so it's only a 2 hour drive.

I can't wait to meet up with friends, go to workshops, and the awards ceremony!!! Nope, I'm not a bit excited---yeah, right.

If you're going, and you see me, be sure to say hello! Those who aren't going---I'll miss you!!! :( I'll think about you each and every minute.....Okay, I'm lying. I won't think about y'all while I'm gone.

Speaking of which, what do you say to someone who asks how you're doing. You know, "Hi, how are you doing?" Especially if it's a clerk in a store whom you've never met. Admit it, don't you want to sometimes say:

"Oh, Lord, I'm doing awful--just awfulllll! My back aches, my feet are killing me and my damned hemorrhoids have flared up. The guy I went out with last night was a real sleaze bag---but you know how it is when you've had one too many *snort*. I think he must've had crabs, too. Do you have any Blue Star ointment?"

Someday that clerk might just catch me at the wrong moment.

Y'all have a good one!
Karen Kelley
Available Now!!! Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava
Romantic Times 4 1/2 Stars Top Pick!
09/07 Double Dating With The Dead/Brava
09/07 The Morgue The Merrier anth/Zebra
10/07 I'm Your Santa anth/Brava
www.authorkarenkelley.com

Monday, July 02, 2007

Improper Etiquette




Well, the year is officially half over. Ack! How did that happen??? It feels like Christmas was only yesterday!!!

July seemed like a long time away, and now here it is... and today I am happy to announce the release of IMPROPER ETIQUETTE. I'll be doing a booksigning in Radcliff, Kentucky, this Saturday the 7th along with Lori Foster whose book, SIMON SAYS, officially hits the shelves tomorrow! So it will be a fun day, and Dianne Castell will also be there along with a couple of other authors.

Our home town celebrates the 4th on the weekend before the holiday, so our crew (minus Anna's hubby) came up for the festivities. We enjoyed the parade Saturday morning and some really good fireworks that night.

I've included a couple of pictures of Ainsley and Anastasia. Ainsley looks cute in these photos, but Sunday morning she fell face down on our driveway and skinned up her brow, nose, and cheek. Poor baby looked pretty rough when they left. (Wondering what's in her left hand?? She picked up a rock from the gravel, and carried it as her prize all morning!)

Hope everyone has a great week. If you are lucky enough to be off on Wednesday, have a great 4th as well! And if you should happen to wander by a bookstore (cough, cough), well - you get the picture. :)

And as for me, I'll be heading out to buy Simon Says tomorrow!

Happy Summer,
Janice

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Shifting Gears

I usually work on two or three things at once when I'm writing. It's normal for me. I can't focus on any one book for longer than a few hours, so it's not unusual for me to go from writing on a contemp to a paranormal to suspense.


But lately I'm having to switch to a different gear altogether. I'm writing a historical set in the colonial period for an anthology releasing next year from Berkley. The anthology is called Private Places and I got to admit, writing a historical is different. I stop in the middle of something totally mundane...the heroine's horse through her, she's in pain but she can't exactly pop a tylenol, can she?


Bathing? She needs a bath, but it's a tedious process. Showers are a no-can-do. I get in the rhythm of this story, but then I have to change to a different story and I have to switch gears all over again.


Hopefully I'm not in over my head.

On a different note, Hunter's Salvation releases next Tuesday, although I think it's popping up here and there already. There's an excerpt below... hope you enjoy!

* * * * *

The moment she saw him, she froze. Only for a second, though. Her eyes narrowed and she started towards him. There was a shadowed bruise on her jaw line. Didn’t look like she’d even bothered to try and cover it
He looked away from it in time to see her fist flying towards his face. He could have moved. She was quick for a mortal, but not quick enough. Vax didn’t bother though. Her fist clipped him on the side of his face and his head snapped to the side with the impact. If he hadn’t his weight braced, he probably would have toppled off the bike.
“Pretty damn strong for such a skinny thing,” he said, turning his head and spitting a mouthful of blood onto the pavement. With his tongue, he touched the cut on the inside of his mouth.
“Well, I’d feel better if I’d knocked you unconscious, you son of a bitch.”
“I’m sure you would.”
Her chin went up and Vax wouldn’t have been surprised if she decided to slug him again. Instead, she just curled her lip and sneered at him. “Didn’t I tell you to leave me the hell alone?”
“If I’d left you alone to begin with, you’d be dead.” He said it in a flat, cold voice, but if he expected it to slow her down or cool her fury, he was expecting too much. Most people tended to try to backpedal a little if they heard the word dead.
Not her. She just tossed her head and propped her hands on her hips. “So?”
The way she snapped out the short, simple word sent a cold, chilly finger down his spine. “So. You don’t care if you live or die?”
“Yes, I care. I’d prefer death, thank you. I just want one thing before it happens and you interfered tonight. Don’t do it again.” With the last words, she jabbed her finger into his chest with each one. She spun away on her heel.
Hell. Tough little cookie, aren’t you? He couldn’t help smiling a little. “Miz. Warren…it is Miz Warren, right?”
She didn’t even slow down. Jessica Warren came right on walking across the street, her shoulders back, the shiny blonde locks bouncing up and down with each step.
“What happens if they kill you before you do that one thing?”

* * * * *

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This and That

I feel lazy. Probably because I haven't been writing on a book every day. It's a good kind of lazy, though. The kind where you look around and see the world in a different way. I feel as though I can focus a little better on my surroundings. There's something to be said for stopping and smelling the roses.

I'll draw one name from the comments I get today and mail the winner a The Morgue The Merrier T-shirt.
Good Luck!
Karen Kelley

Monday, June 25, 2007

Nothing But Red

I wish nonfiction, essays or poetry was my thing. This is a very worth while cause and who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and inspiration will strike.

But posting this is one sure way I can help... soooooo.....

(found via Karen Scott, who found it via Bam) pasted as copied from Bam's blog.

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Hello, Friends. Our guest author for today, Skyla Dawn Cameron, is not here to talk about her work, writing, or personal life (although that stuff’s fun too). She would like to take this opportunity to introduce to us a very special project she is working on that will benefit our disenfranchised and persecuted sisters all over the world. Why is she doing this? Well, let’s give Skyla the floor, so she can tell us all about it. Sisters and Friends, please give a warm welcome to Skyla.

The Inspiration – On April 7th of this year, seventeen-year-old Dua Khalil Aswad, of Northern Iraq, was pulled into a group of men–some of them family members–who tore off her clothes, then beat and stoned her to death. The ordeal took about thirty minutes, and though the police witnessed the event, they didn’t intervene. All this was recorded on camera phones by several members of the “audience” and if you’re really curious, you can find the video on both CNN’s website and YouTube. Her crime? Dua Khalil was of the Yazidi faith, and she was seen in the company of a Muslim man that her family believed she intended to marry. She was brutally murdered to preserve the “honour” of her family.

One month later, popular filmmaker Joss Whedon posted his utter outrage at Dua Khalil’s death–as well as the larger issue of violence against women in general–on a fan-run news blog, Whedonesque. You can find the post in it’s entirety here, but to quote the bit that inspired the title of our project:

Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself. I’ve always had a bent towards apocalyptic fiction, and I’m beginning to understand why. I look and I see the earth in flames. Her face was nothing but red.


Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself. I’ve always had a bent towards apocalyptic fiction, and I’m beginning to understand why. I look and I see the earth in flames. Her face was nothing but red.
As you see, among his words was a call to action. I was inspired to organize a response from some of us.

What We’re Doing – We’re putting together an anthology of short stories, essays, poems, and art work, called “Nothing But Red.” The book will be produced as both a trade paperback and an eBook through Lulu.com with the proceeds going to Equality Now. The book will be released on April 7, 2008 (the one-year anniversary of Dua Khalil’s death). We are pleased to announce, officially, that the first essay in the book will be Joss Whedon’s original post, “Let’s Watch a Girl Get Beat to Death.” Our website is currently located at nothingbutred.wordpress.com.

What We’re Looking For – People to both contribute work, as well as offer assistance as volunteers.

Contributions: Submissions will open August 1, 2007 and close November 1, 2007. Although inspired by Dua Khalil’s death, submissions need not be about her specifically; we’re looking for responses to the issues Whedon raised, such as violence against women and the inherent misogyny in all cultures. This could be a short story about a woman standing up to domestic abuse. It could be an essay on the continual need for feminism. It could be a poem exploring the brutality of honor killings.

What we aren’t looking for are ten thousand word rants attacking religion, politics, or men in general. We all have strong opinions about things, but let’s try to be grownups about this, m’kay folks?

For further submission guidelines, please visit the “Submissions” page on our website.

Organizers: We have about a dozen people right now organizing things behind the scenes. Although it’s a fantastic, dedicated group, when submissions start rolling in, we’ll probably need more help. If you have any specialized skills, such as editorial experience, PR/marketing experience, website design etc, and you’d like to volunteer your services, we’d greatly appreciate it. We’re also open to anyone who just feels like helping out by brainstorming ideas, proofreading, etc. Please, if this has inspired you to act, email me and I’ll invite you to our discussion group. Even if you don’t know what you can do to help, I’m sure you have something of value to contribute–even if it’s just acting as a cheerleader.

Who “We” Are – I’ve been using the collective “we” here a whole lot, and before you think that I’m a crazy person referring to her cats, let me assure you that there are several people other than me involved in this. There are a dozen organizers so far from across the world, all brought together by a shared desire to do something positive to promote equality. We range from multi-published writers to university students, people with experience in book design to professionals in various fields. I (Skyla Dawn Cameron) am the head organizer, and I have a background in similar ventures: I’m heavily involved in my local writers’ organization and I’m currently chairing Public Relations for their first conference. We’re all serious about this project and dedicated to seeing it through.

How You Can Help – You can volunteer to help organize NBR by sending me an email at SkylaDawnCameron@yahoo.ca. That would be, like, really awesome. You can also help by simply spreading the word. Attending any writer or artist events? Going to any activist meeting? Please visit the page on our website called “Spread the Word” for some beautiful flyers that can be downloaded and printed. We also have a Cafepress storefront set up (we don’t make any money from the designs) where you can purchase a T-shirt, tote bag, mug, etc.

Another way to spread the word is to blog about it, and if you do it this week, you can win a prize…

Post something on your blog or website, a message forum, or wherever else you can think of, then post a link to it in a comment here. As thanks for your help, next Tuesday afternoon (June 26), I’ll randomly draw a name, and the winner will receive a free eBook of RIVER (my award winning debut novel) in their choice of one of the supported formats and a $15 Amazon GC from Dionne.

Huge thanks to Dionne for letting me plug this project here!

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Note from Shi....not sure if the contest deal is still going at Bam's, but hey... we don't need prizes to do a good thing, right? So spread the word.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

ReaderWriter Get-together 2007!

Scamps and Vamps having fun!














At Rodeo
Go Billi Jo, Go LuAnn!
Book cover quilt
Yippeeeeeeee LuAnn!!!!





Joni the winner!
Basket Raffle







Limo ride!









So this is what the inside of a limo looks like!


The Reader Writer Get-Together 2007 is officially over. Lori and I turned over the check to the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter last Monday and this year was bigger and better than ever in more ways than one.

We raised over $4200 for the shelter, over two-hundred for the animal shelter and we’re still getting numbers from the sale of the Write Ingredients for the troop donations. As I’ve said so many times before and will continue to do so... Thank You to all the volunteers who made this event possible. Thank You to all who came.

Every year the event gets bigger and we hope better. Love the Eighties Trivia Quiz with Erin McCarthy, Ride a Cowboy Save a Horse by the Vamps and Scamps and LuAnn McLane and Billy Jo teaching line dancing. That the Rodeo sent a limo to pick everyone up to go line dancing on Saturday night was an added treat. Thanks LuAnn for getting that together.

Lori and I are already working Get-together 2008 and with great suggestions from you all. We’ll add more author rotations, and listing pen names for authors who write under more than one name.

But even with all that goes on at the event my favorite part is simply talking with readers and authors face to face. Most of the time I’m behind this computer writing a book or emails or blogs etc and don’t get all that much chance to see you one on one. And even if I do run into authors at RT it’s so busy there’s no kick-back time to talk about your family, job, books you like.

But the event is different, least I hope so. Just sitting and chatting is the very best part for me. I remember when Lori first suggested we do this, she said how many do you think we can get to come. We decided that 35 was a good number. We’d have fun, talk, eat, Lori and I would put together a few baskets and that would be it. And now look! J

So, my question to you all is… What is your favorite part of the event? And if you didn’t get a chance to come, why would you want to? Or not?

I have a few totes left from the event and will give two away from postings to this blog. If you already have one you can give it to a friend.

Hope to see you next year. In 2008 the event will be the first weekend in June, the 1-2. Mark your calendars.

Hugs, Dianne
DianneCastell.com

Monday, June 18, 2007

Jolly Old England...and Scotland!




















I promised a bit of an England blog, so here goes! We had an absolutely awesome trip. Left Atlanta on May 18th and returned late in the day on the 29th. When we flew out, we connected at Gatwick with a flight to Manchester. Our adventure began in the north with the lovely Lake District. We did some fun walks and hikes and the flowers were unbelievable... rhododendron that were like trees, not bushes! Saw lots of Wordworth sites.

Hadrian's wall impressed all of us...

Next it was on to Edinburgh. We had fabulous weather and even got sunburned. The Edinburgh Castle was so impressive, and we even hiked to a vantage point outside of town where we could see the entire city and the Firth of Forth. Beautiful yellow flowers I had always read about but never seen... gorse.
As we headed south again, we skirted along the east coast of England... miles of rugged, unpopulated coastline. Visited the Holy Island of Lindisfarne which is only accessible by car at low tide... otherwise, the road is underwater.

As we made our way throughout England, we saw famous cathedrals at Durham and Lincoln and saw several Cotswald villages. One of our favorite spots was Stratford Upon Avon. We toured Shakespeare's birthplace, and even rowed on the river.

Loved the Roman baths in Bath (where else!). And it was cool to see the huge double stone circle at Avebury.

In Oxford we ate lunch at the pub (Eagle and Child) where C.S. Lewis used to hang out. Then we did a three hour walking tour that was absolutely fascinating. The university is made up of 39 individual colleges. The most prestigious of all of them is Christ Church College... twelve prime ministers have graduated from there. The student dining hall is where scenes from Harry Potter were filmed. Inside each little cluster of buildings were beautifully manicured grassy courtyards.

We ended our trip in London. We'd had lovely weather up until then, but on Memorial Day (their Bank Holiday) it actually spit snow on us. (After drenching rain the night before and more rain that afternoon after temps rose.) One of the London tabloids ran a headline the next day that said "Don't Put Those Coats Away! Bank Holiday Colder Than Alaska!"

Emma Keatley (whom many of you know from the Scamps loop) actually managed to find me in the crowds at Buckingham Palace. We had time to chat and take photos, and Emma brought me a bagful of fun gifts.

This is a vastly edited version, but if I told you everything, we'd be here for days!!
I'd better get back to work on the book that's due at the end of July. Hope everyone has a great week.

Janice

Beach!

We got back from vacation late Saturday night. Sunday we had a birthday dinner for the baby bratlet...she dove into the cake. I literally mean dove. She did a belly flop onto it. The girl does like her sweets.


I've got some updates on websites, some paperwork crap that I hate and some writing to get done, but I wanted to share a picture with you all.


This is from Gulf Shores, Alabama and man, their beaches are amazing.

I didn't get as much reading done as I'd like, although I did read some of Eve Vaughn's Reinventing Chastity from Samhain. Got a lot of good research material and a lot of sun. All in all, it was a great vacation.

But now it's back to work...anybody else going anywhere fun this year?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

excerpt

Enjoy!

DOUBLE DATING WITH THE DEAD Karen Kelley
Release Date: September 2007 ISBN-10# 0-7582-1765-X ISBN-13 978-0-7582-1765-3

Trent Sanders drove up the circular driveway and stopped in front of the old weatherworn hotel. Oh, God, it was worse than he could’ve ever imagined. He sat in his dark green sedan for a few seconds, just staring at the place, willing it to go away.

It didn’t.

This was where he’d be living for the next two weeks.

The two-story monstrosity sat on a quarter of the block. The paint had peeled long ago. A sign in front hung from one hook, some of the letters faded. Trees and overgrown shrubs gave the place plenty of privacy...along with a spooky feeling.

It was definitely an eyesore. But haunted? Not likely. Just old and tired. He could certainly see where it got the reputation, though. Hell, even he’d heard of the legend of Garvey County.

A legend was all it was, though and in the next two weeks, he’d prove it. Selena James would not make a fool out of him.

Every county had some kind of nonsense perpetuated by teenagers and handed down through the ages to scare the kids who were climbing up the hallowed ranks from preadolescence to the sacred teens. The story would grow over the years until it was so blown out of proportion it verged on the ridiculous.

Now kids, he could understand. Older kids always loved taunting younger ones. It was a given fact. Hell, he’d pulled his share of pranks on his brother Tye. But when adults jumped in and tried to make a dollar off people’s fears, well, he had a real problem with that.

Especially when it cut into his schedule.

And cut it did. Staying here for two damn weeks with a so-called psychic nutcase just to prove there were no such things as ghosts really irritated him.

He climbed out of his vehicle and grabbed his suitcases from the back.

Miss James was going to regret ever challenging him to stay in this dump. His agent had come up with the perfect publicity stunt—debunk Selena for the fraud that she was by writing a book that would expose her to the world. Not only would he prove there were no ghosts, but he’d have enough information on Selena James to fill a book. It was the perfect revenge.

He strode up the creaky wooden steps. The realtor had given him a key to the hotel. It was beyond him why anyone would want to lock this place. It might be a blessing if someone broke in and accidentally burned it to the ground.

After setting down his suitcases, he unlocked the door and pushed it open. Muted light came through the grimy panes and landed on the equally grimy sheet-covered furniture.

The hotel was even worse on the inside.

Leaving his suitcases where they were, he walked farther inside the spacious foyer, his footsteps leaving tracks in the dust.

How the hell were they going to be able to stay here for two weeks? It would take that long just to make the downstairs livable.

He looked around the room, noting the registration desk with cobwebbed cubbyholes where there had once been room keys. His gaze moved past the desk, landing on the staircase. Even though it was covered with a film of dust, he could tell the workmanship was magnificent.

He stepped closer, running his hands over the smooth surface, then dusting them off. In its heyday the hotel had probably been pretty grand. Now she was just a tired old woman in a faded, tattered gown that was sorely outdated.

“Boo,” a woman said in a very dry, sultry voice from behind him.

He whirled around. For a split second he thought the place might actually be haunted. But if he was seeing a ghost, he hoped she didn’t vanish anytime soon. She looked pretty damned sweet as she stood in the open doorway.

No, not sweet. Nothing about her looked sweet. She was earth, wind and fire all rolled up into one magnificent woman. The combination was sexy as hell.

Slowly his gaze traveled over her, past long black hair that draped over one shoulder to kiss a breast. She was like nothing he’d ever seen with her loose white shirt, bangles at her wrists and a multicolored full skirt.

Selena James looked even better in color than she had in the grainy black-and-white photo above her weekly psychic column in the newspaper.

He wondered if she knew that with the sunlight streaming in behind her, the skirt she wore was practically transparent. He didn’t think he wanted to tell her. He rather enjoyed the view. Payback for the very public challenge she’d issued in the paper just because he’d said she was delusional—on television.

A twinge of guilt flickered over him. He quickly dismissed it. The woman was delusional. There were no such things as ghosts or people who talked to ghosts.

“Did I scare you?” she asked in a mocking voice, one eyebrow lifting sardonically. She swept into the room, and shadows blocked the view of her legs.

A shame because he could’ve looked at Selena James’s legs a lot longer.

“I don’t scare so easily.” He casually leaned against the balustrade and crossed his arms in front of him.

“But then you’ve never stayed in a haunted hotel,” she said.

“I can’t stay in a place that’s haunted since there are no such things as ghosts.”

As she stepped closer, he could see her eyes were a deep, haunting violet, her features pure, patrician, and she was tall. Maybe five-eight. For some reason he’d pictured her much shorter.

When she breezed past him, he caught the scent of her perfume. It wrapped around him, begging him to follow wherever she might lead. She was definitely a temptation, but one he’d resist. After all, she was the enemy.

She faced him, and his heart skipped a beat. Knowing she was the enemy didn’t make her any less alluring and sexy. Probably the reason she had so many followers who faithfully read her column. She was like a spider, weaving her web for the unsuspecting fly. But he knew her game and wouldn’t be drawn in. No, Miss James had finally met her match.

Definitely tempting, though.

Man, he’d been spending way too many hours closeted away in front of his computer while he finished his last deadline, then been consumed with promotion for his current release, Ghosts and Other Guff. Dating hadn’t been a top priority.

Two weeks alone with Selena might not be so bad. She was hot, definitely hot. He wondered how hard it would be to entice her into his bed. At least then his stay here wouldn’t be such a waste. It was an option worth considering.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Great weekend...











Lori and Dianne did a fab job as usual of putting together a wonderful weekend in Cincinnati. It was great to see old friends again, and especially fun to finally meet some online friends face to face.

I have essentially been gone since May 18th, so I am absolutely drowning under work and family stuff. But it's good to be home and back online.

I'm including some photos. I hope to blog about my England trip later this month.

Hope everyone has a nice week!

Janice M.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

dragon.jpg


Time for the Thursday Thirteen!


13 reasons why I shouldn't have agreed to help out a friend




  1. When I go in to cover at the office, I always get stuck doing a to-do list. I hate to-do lists.

  2. I always end up with at least one super rude person on the phone.

  3. I always forget how to schedule appointments. I'm a nurse~I know patients. I don't know scheduling programs.

  4. I never get any work done... MY work, that is.

  5. This coming weekend is the Lori Foster get together and I've already got enough to do without playing nurse.

  6. I attract obnoxious people. At a doctor's office, I'm expected to be nice to them.

  7. I CAN'T SLEEP IN!!!!!

  8. I'm expected to dress semi professional. My idea of professional is jeans and a blazer. The doctors disagree.

  9. I gave away all my nursing uniforms so I'm stuck wearing said professional clothes.

  10. Did I mention I can't sleep in?

  11. I could be working on my flower beds... if I hadn't said yes.

  12. I have too much work to do to be working on anything but my books.

  13. I don't get to do as many TTs as I'd like.


Don't forget to leave your link with Mr. Linky!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Garmin

Karl and I are notorious for getting lost. I had a booksigning in Dallas once so we left 3 hours early and barely got there on time. We are so directionally challenged.

We bought a Garmin Friday when we were in Wichita Falls. I told Karl I'd drive home, which is about 20 miles, while he did the initial hook up. I wanted to see how well it worked. So anyway, we get it all fixed up and we're ready to use it. This is too cool. This really nice woman came over the little device and told me when to get off the highway, then she told me to turn onto the street that would take me home.

Except they closed off part of the street so it's quicker to go another way. So I did.

Then this really snotty woman came over the Garmin and said "reconfiguring". Then she told me to turn on Spring street, but I always turn on Crafton----so I did. Then the snotty bitch said "reconfiguring" again. Karl asked if I was going to let her talk to me like that.

I gave her the finger.

Yeah, I'm one tough mama. LOL

As long as she gets me where I'm going, I don't care that a computer generated voice gets pissed at me. I think this must be the revenge of the computer geeks. I can hear them now---yeah, if they screw up, lets tell them they screwed up. Even better if a man is driving! It will be worse than having his wife sitting in the passenger seat!

Seriously, I think we're going to love the Garmin. I know I feel more confident about driving to one of the bigger towns now.

Thanks to everyone who ran out and bought a copy of Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind!!!! The feedback has been fantastic. I absolutely love writing Steamy, Sexy, Funny romances and I'm thrilled y'all like Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind. My next release is already up at Amazon and B&N. So cool seeing my books there. You can check out all my covers and excerpts at my website (listed below).

Have a great day!
Karen Kelley
Available Now!!! Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava
Romantic Times 4 1/2 Stars Top Pick!
09/07 Double Dating With The Dead/Brava
09/07 The Morgue The Merrier anth/Zebra
10/07 I'm Your Santa anth/Brava
www.authorkarenkelley.com

Sunday, May 20, 2007

And the winner is....

Stacy!

Stacy's posted started out...
Hey Rachelle! Great interview :)God I wish I personally knew some sexy guys LOL.
Good luck with the contest.

Stacy, email me at shilohwalker@gmail.com so we can get you in touch with Rachelle for your prize.

More interviews coming up...We've talked with Meljean Brook, Dionne Galace (the infamous Bam for all you blog hoppers out there) and more.

Thank you!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Author Interview...Rachelle Chase & a contest!

V&S: What did you think of your first RT?

Rachelle Chase: It was an awesome experience! I got to hang out with a lot of great authors, including one of my favorites, Robin Schone, as well as fellow SECRETS author, Calista Fox. Plus I met lots of wonderful readers, new authors, and got some great photos with the cover models.

And speaking of the models, I’ve just launched the SEX LOUNGE Finding Derek CONTEST (www.FindingDerek.com), which seeks the American male who most resembles the hero in my new erotic romance, SEX LOUNGE. So I’m hoping some of the models I met, as well as other hunky guys, will participate. So if you know any sexy guys, please send them over – or stop by, yourself, to enter to be a judge!

I needed a week to recover from RT when I got back home but I can’t wait for the next one …


V&S: Can you tell me about the Dreams & Desires anthology from Freya’s Bower?

Rachelle Chase: Dreams & Desires is an awesome anthology featuring short stories by Jenna Bayley-Burke, Faith Bicknell-Brown, Amanda Brice, Sela Carsen, Gemma Halliday, Candace Havens, Zinnia Hope, Jackie Kessler, Susan Lyons, Richelle Mead, Debbie Mumford, Rhonda Stapleton, Bebe Thomas, Emily Veinglory, Sasha White, Lois Winston, Shaunna Wolf, Kit Wylde, and myself.

The stories range from sweet to spicy. My story, “Romance For One,” about a woman dining alone at a restaurant who gets a pleasant – but unexpected – surprise, is in the spicy category. But here’s the best part: None of us, including the publisher, profit from the book. All proceeds from the book go to a battered women’s shelter in Florida!

V&S: I saw on your site that you’re going to be a guest author at the online Romance Writing Book Group @ BN.com. What’s this group about…who can come?

Rachelle Chase: Author Leigh Michaels hosts the book club. In her words, here are the details:

“The BN romance writing bookclub is open to everyone with an interest in romance novels – writers and readers. You can visit the site to get the gist of what’s going on, then register (all you need is an email address and a password, and it takes about 60 seconds to sign up) and then you can post and ask questions. Since the previous discussions remain on the site, new people can jump right in where we are, or go back through the previous discussions in whatever order they like. We encourage posting writing assignments and/or very short sections of a manuscript for reader feedback.

The book club has been operating since January, and every two weeks we focus on a different subject (but previous discussions remain on the site). So far we’ve talked about heroes and heroines, secondary characters, conflict, plotting, point of view, and dialogue. Right now we’re spending a couple of weeks with author Jenny Haddon, the president of the Romantic Novelists Association (the UK equivalent of RWA). She writes romance as Sophie Weston and has also written a new guide to punctuation, so we’re talking about mechanics right now.”

May 15, 2007 – May 28, 2007, I’ll be the guest and the subject will be love scenes and sensual tension. It should be great fun, so I hope everyone will join us!

V&S: If you could be any one of your characters, which one would you choose?

Rachelle Chase: Hmmm. I don’t think I’d actually want to be any of my characters, as they are all so very different from me but I think one of the ones I had a lot of fun creating was Nichole Simms in SEX LOUNGE. To take her from passively recording her sexual fantasies in a notebook about a sexy client named Derek to actively acting them out with him, once he finds the notebook, all the while keeping it believable and emotional and, eventually, leading to love … well, that was a challenge for me. One I totally enjoyed.


V&S: Can you give the readers an idea of what kind of stories you write?

Rachelle Chase: I was joking with a fellow writer the other day and said “I write Inspirational Erotic Romance” because, while my stories have very explicit sex and are very hot, I think they are tame in comparison to others out there. Meaning, I do not use exotic sexual positions, ménages, BDSM, polyamory, etc. There are many authors who can do this well, but I am not one of them.

Instead, I take everyday people who somehow find themselves in erotic situations. Like, Bobbie, in SIN CLUB, who thinks she’s doing a striptease for her boyfriend, only to discover it’s her neighbor she’s beckoned to her bed. Or Sharice, also in SIN CLUB, who thinks she’s called a guy she met outside a club, only to discover much later she’d misdialed.

Then, I mix in control issues and lots of internal conflict over what my characters thought they wanted vs. what they got, and weave in the external plot, all the while keeping the sexual tension high and consistent throughout the book.

That’s what I think a reader can expect when they pick up a Rachelle Chase book.

Shiloh, Vamps & Scamps, thanks so much for having me on your blog!

Thank YOU Rachelle!

FYI...Rachelle will be giving away a copy of Sex Lounge to somebody in the comments... so if you have questions or comments, post away. I'll draw a winner sometime in the next few days.