Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: February 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Random thoughts...

You know how Martha Stewart always talks about "a good thing"? Well, today I decided to blog about two very good but unrelated things!

The first is that on Thursday I saw in my backyard the first crocus of spring - cheerful yellow, and sturdy enough to endure the cold days that are sure to follow! Yeah!! That means the rest of the flowers won't be far behind. In fact, when I was in Knoxville on Friday at my daughter's house, she actually had lots of daffodils in bloom. Ours are "up" but it will be awhile yet before we have any blossoms.

Still, it's hopeful to know that warm spring breezes are in the near future!

And now for my second good thing... when we were in DC last week, we had time to sneak in a trip to the old Patent Building... it now houses the Portrait Gallery and the Museum of American Art. These are not on the mall with most of the other Smithsonian Museums, so you have to go a bit out of your way, but they are definitely worth it! We spent a couple of hours there and loved every minute of it.

I took some photos of my favorites, but this one picture caught my interest in a special way. It reminds me of how much we all love to read. Moms and Dads reading to their children is one of the best ways to ensure future success in school and to create a lifelong love of books. My dh and I loved to read to our girls as they were growing up...

In addition to my parents reading to me, I had a great aunt who would take me to the Bookmobile and who would also buy me books and let me read books off of her shelves. (Not all of which were appropriate!!) But I grew up absolutely adoring books and reading, and I can't imagine my life without either.

So, this painting is a nice reminder of one of life's simple but most profound joys...

Tell me ladies - were you reading at an early age, or like some people - did you become a pleasure reader later in life?

Tell us your story. :)

Janice Maynard
(off to read a good book...)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The art of procrastination

Procrastination is an art. Do you know that? I've got it down to a highly refined art, but I just discovered that Jaci Burton is better at it than I am. And I thought I was really good. I mean, I started a personal blog just to help me in my procrastination endeavors.

When I get home from dropping kids at their various places, school, sitter, preschool, I always have the best intentions. I'm going to sit and write. But then I decide I'm going to check email. And then I realize I hadn't looked at PBW's and I can't go a day without checking her blog. Then I realize I'm kind of tired and I need a laugh to pick me up, so I visit Dear Author, Karen Knows Best or It's Not Chick Porn. But once I've gotten a good laugh, I realize I need to get serious and focus on the book, so I go see what words of wisdom Alison Kent has. Then I wonder what kind of trouble Sybil is in.

Then I realize I need to check and see if they are shipping my new book yet... yes, I know, it's not due out for another month... so? Then I wonder how many more people did a search for ARC OF LOVER REVEALED BY JR WARD and I go check the blog stats on my blog, Trivial Pursuits. And then I figure since I'm still online, I need to visit Lora's forum and see if I missed anything.

By the time I've done all of them, I look at my email and realize I'm supposed to be blogging here today and once I get that done, I PROMISE I'll get to work... right after I check my email again.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Romance is in the air!!!

Good Morning!

I love everything about romance. I love the fact that my wonderful husband is my very best friend and that we have so much in common. I love that he will stop on the side of the road when he's on his way home from work and pick me wild flowers.

I love romance books. Will the next book I open be the one I lose myself in? Will the author transport me to another time, place or world? Will she make me laugh or cry? Or both? I want to be swept away. I want to be a part of the romance.

Yes, it's going to be in the 70's all week in Texas so spring is in the air :) At least until Sunday when we have a cold front coming through. Okay, I know a high of 58 would be a heat wave to most people, but it's still cold to most Texans.

I'm just finishing up a bonus book. Yea, a little unexpected gift to readers for an anthology I'm in. Once March is behind me, I'll have a little breathing room. Yeah, I know, I said that last month but I really think it might happen this time. Then the last part of March--around the 27th, Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind comes out. I always get so nervous when a book hits the shelves.

My editor sent me some extra copies of Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind--woo-hoo!! I'll give one away today from a randomly chosen comment from today's blog. ALSO, I'll announce the winner tonight around 9pm central/10pm eastern time--on the blog. I'll be going to the post office in the morning if the winner will e-mail me their address I can mail it tomorrow. The last contest I had, the two winners didn't contact me. I'd really like to give a book away so if I'm not contacted by 10pm Wednesday night, I'll draw a different winner. You can contact me at

Good Luck!
Karen KelleyAvailable Now! Hell On Wheels/BravaAvailable Now! Texas Bad Boys/Brava04/07 Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Do You Care What They Wear?

Well, do you care what your characters wear or is it just extra baggage? I often wonder. Okay, in something like The Devil Wears Prada (I really liked that move. Clothes to die for. Made me want to burn my wardrobe.) the clothes thing is really important as that’s the setting. But what about other stories? Do you care if your heroine is in jeans or a skirt? Red blouse or white? Your hero in jeans or khakis? T-shirt or polo? If it’s formal and there’s a tux involved I get that. If the dress is important to the situation you have to know but what if it’s just a plain old day in the story?

When is info too much info? I just finished an historical and the clothes description bored me to tears. I don’t care what color the gloves and what they were made of but that’s what they do in historicals so you get a feel for the time and people. Except the description took me out of the story more than added to it and I found myself skipping frilly petticoats and perfumed hair stuff.

So, how much do you want to know? How much time should I devote to the clothes thing? Do you care what they wear?

And as a side note and since we’re on the topic of clothes... Has anyone bought anything really spiffy for spring? I’ve got my eye on another purse...I’m purse nuts!

What do you think??

Hugs, Dianne

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

And the winner is....


Ellie asked... Do you enjoy all genres or is there a most favorite, such as mystery or paranormal.

Ellie, I need you to email me at & put blog contest in the subject line!

Thanks everybody, and thanks to Bad Barb as well!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Interview with Bad Barb

The infamous Bad Barb, even...

I would have had this posted earlier, but my server through me off for some reason. I'm really starting to dislike them.... gggrrrr....

Onto the interview~

For those not familiar with Bad Barb, she's a reviewer who likes to lock authors in closets. I had the wonderful idea to turn the tables on her and lock HER up. OKAY... Okay... I didn't really lock her up but if she threatens me with that closet, I dunno what I might do. ;o) On the Scamps and Vamps look, and other place... I've seen people ask Barb where she got her nickname from, how she gets all the ARCs she gets, who she has locked up and more. So today, we're asking her!

FYI, if you have questions for Barb, related to things like reading or reviewing or authors, feel free to ask. To make it more fun, I'm giving away a prize to one reader that participates today. BTW, I define participation as joining into the discussion... asking questions, offering opinions...something like... Hey, How ya doing... isn't going to quite make the drawing. So ask away. Ask as many questions as you like, however, names only go into the drawing one time.

First questions and Barbs answers are below!

V&S) What author that you have not met would you like to meet?

BB)There are two, Carole Mortimer who writes for Harlequin Presents, and Miranda Lee who lives in Australia and also writes for HP.

V&S) Where did you get tne name "Bad Barb" from?

BB) I actually got the nickname from Stella Cameron. I met her on the Writerspace email loop back when it started and there was a contest at Diana Palmer's web site that I wanted to win, and someone else did too (Janey) and we kept going back and forth saying what we would do to get the prize and I can't remember what I said but after that comment Stella said, your bad, your bad Barb and it stuck. :)

V&S) Do you really own a pair of handcuffs?

BB) I will never tell. hehe

V&S) How did you get started reading romances? How about reviewing them?

BB)Started reading Harlequins when I was 14, although there were a few books I picked up in the library that had some romance in it when I was ten. I would read the book while waiting to meet my mom for lunch and there was a book rack in front of lunch counter. :)

Lori Foster actually got me started, I had met her at the WS email loop and she asked me if I had read everything she had written so far and I said yes, ( I have been reading her since the very beginning) and she sent me In Too Deep and I reviewed it at Amazon and BN and a few other authors liked what I did and they started sending me stuff.

V&S)If you could get any author locked up in your closet, who and why?

BB) I couldn't lock up just one author, I would lock up all my favorites and keep them in there so they can keep writing.

Got more questions? Ask away. Come on... you know you want to get back at her for how often she teased you about those ARCs....


Monday, February 12, 2007

Valentine's Day - Not just for lovers!

You would think a romance writer would be all about Valentine's Day and great romantic stories... and I must confess, I relish a good February 14 love story as much as the next person. But who says Cupid's holiday can't be for everyone???

My theory is this... if you don't have a significant other in your life this year, then spoil yourself. Buy something frivolous or treat yourself to a massage or a movie or anything else you enjoy. Psychologists tell us it's important to love ourselves, so why not make Valentine's Day something to celebrate, regardless of whether or not you are part of a couple.

And I'm all in favor of remembering friends on this day. My hubby's secretary is a single woman... we plan on giving her a box of chocolates as a gesture of how much we like and appreciate her!

So get out there ladies (and gents) - celebrate with your honey if you have one, and if it's just you and a bottle of wine, don't let it get you down... do something fun for someone you know, and don't forget to treat yourself to a crazy, extravagant, unexpected Valentine's gift that's all your own.

Hugs and kisses from me!
Janice Maynard

(The picture today is one of MY special valentines, Ainsley... on her first birthday. She's holding the plastic cell phone we gave her - it was one of her favorite gifts! :)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Stuck in the Bowels of Editing Hell

So I'm gonna be mostly lazy and post an excerpt from Hunter's Salvation, the book I'm editing.

This isn't Mal and Kelsey's book, but I was reading it over and wanted to share. I don't often actually what I write. Most times, my opinion is... eh... okay. I know I can write, but I don't always think what I'm writing is any good. I actually like this excerpt, though.


“Two thousand years and you’ve never once wished you’d been born the son of a Roman merchant? Grown up to become a soldier?”

“Not once.” His fingers threaded into her hair and fisted there. His dark blue eyes stared into hers as he murmured, “Not for even one day. Not for even one second. Because every second, every day was just that much closer to you. Everything I have done has brought me here. Brought me to you. For you, I would have gone through a thousand year of slavery, ten millennia of solitude. If I had you waiting for me at the end of it all, it would have been worth it.”

Kelsey felt her heart melt. She felt all gooey and syrupy inside and when he lowered his face towards hers, she pushed up onto her toes and met him halfway. Their lips met, a slow, gentle kiss. When he pulled away, Kelsey wouldn’t have been surprised if her legs gave out and she ended up in an ooey, gooey puddle right in front of his size thirteens.

“Not one day,” he repeated. “There is much in this life that has confused me, much that has left me angry, empty, even cold with terror and fear. But one thing I do know, all my life, everything I have ever done has led me to you. Undoing what I am would have broken that path. I may have never found you.”


FYI, if you're a TT blogger, my TT is at my personal blog this week.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Winner and a Survery and an ARC

LoisC, who said.... Loisc said... Love your books and great interview.

Lois, if you'll email me at I'll get you in touch with Angela about your prize. Thanks, everybody!

Also, for the authors, if in the crowd, passing the word along via Karen Scott's request.


Racism In Publishing, How Does It Affect You?Are you an African American author who’s been published for at least one year? If so Karen Scott wants to hear from you.She’s conducting a survey based on the racism within the publishing industry, and whether or not it’s as prevalent as some believe. She’s looking for black or African American authors who have been published for at least one year.She would like to know about your specific experiences within the industry thus far. She wants to know how AA authors feel about the current shelving policies, and niche marketing. She wants to know who you feel is to blame for the problems that you face. She also wants your suggestions on how things can be improved upon.In all, there are twenty questions in the survey, and all that she asks is that people be as honest as possible. Confidentiality is assured if requested, but for the findings to yield more weight, she would request that she be granted permission to directly quote from the answers given by the authors.She’s hoping to poll at least 100 AA authors, in an effort to ensure that a fair representation is achieved.If enough authors agree to partcipate, (and depending on the findings) the results may well be sent to representatives within media and press. No promises that Oprah will hear about it, but all efforts will be made to get the message out.If there are AA authors out there interested in participating in this poll, please e-mail Karen at hairylemony @ gmail. com (without the spaces) with the subject header ‘Please send me the survey'.The deadline for the survey to be completed and returned to Karen is March 1st 2007


Also be sure to check out Erin's blog, if you'd like a chance to win an ARC of Hunters Heart and Soul. I'm giving one to the raffle she's running to help raise money for breast cancer.


Hello Everyone,

Hey, did y'all watch Montana Sky last night. Oh, man, that was sooooo good!!! I didn't care for the first movie but this one went way off the I-loved-it meter. The banter between the hero and heroine was fantastic.

I'm hoping they continue to make more romance movies. Wouldn't it be great to see our favorite heroes and heroines come to life? I can't wait for the next one.

I've just started working on new proposals. Karl and I plotted together this morning. Yes, I've dragged him into the world of romance. And he loved Montana Sky, too. He's a great sounding board, though and has some pretty good ideas.

I have a ton of business stuff to catch up on so I guess I'd better get back to that. But since I haven't had as many contests lately, I'll do one here. I'll give away two promo packages with the alien scented soap and alien earrings that people have been getting such a kick out of, bookmarks and whatever else I can find to stuff in an envelope. All you have to do is stop by and say hi :) or make a comment. I'll choose two winners before I go to bed tonight.
Good Luck!
Karen KelleyAvailable Now! Hell On Wheels/BravaAvailable Now! Texas Bad Boys/Brava04/07 Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Interview with Angela Knight

Interview with Angela Knight! Those of you that like hot romance might be familiar with AK's work. She's one of the authors that led me to EC and she's got some of the best vamps around.

Angela will drop by to answer questions, so if you have any, ask away. I'll also be drawing a winner for a signed book from Angela. To enter, just join into today's discussion. Everybody that participates will be entered in the drawing.

On to the questions.

V&S) What is your favorite part of writing?

AK) FINISHING!! LOL! Seriously, I love it when I discover something about the story I wasn’t expecting. Surprising myself is always fun. So is making myself cry or laugh or get horny. :>

* * * * *

V&S) Have you ever based a character from a family member or a friend?

AK) Well, yeah. Caroline in “Galahad” is based on Dakota Cassidy, my buddy the romance writer/former beauty queen. And every hero I write has some of my husband in him.

* * * * *

V&S) If one of your books was made into a movie, who would you pick to play the hero and heroine?

AK) Tough question. Angelina Jolie could play Faith Weston with George Clooney as Jim London in MASTER OF WOLVES. LOL! As if…

* * * * *
V&S) I just have to say that Jane's Warlord was one of my all-time favorite stories by you - hot and sexy. I also adore your vamps. Do you or will you ever write under a different name, maybe for young adult or sweeter romances?

AK) Nah. I couldn’t do sweet if my life depended on it. If I used another pen name, it would be to go DIRTIER.

* * * * *

V&S) How do you think your vision has changed since you started writing? Do you see yourself as always writing romance?

AK) I’ll write romance as long as publishers continue to buy it for me. But my work is getting more epic fantasy. If I could interest an SF publisher, I’d probably give that a shot. I love science fiction and fantasy

* * * * *
V&S) You have written about some very strong, independent women who are not afraid to go after what they want - do you have any real life inspiration for your female characters?
AK) Yep. My sister, the real Angela. She’s intelligent, determined, yet compassionate. She’s not afraid to stand up for herself, unlike me, and if she decides to rip you a new one, you’d better run.
* * * * *
V&S) What inspired you to make Vampires out of the knights of the Round table? Will there be more books in this series? (I really hope so)
AK) Oh, absolutely. I love the Mageverse series, and I’m not done with them yet. When my editor asked me to do a vampire series, I knew I wanted to do something different than what everybody else was doing. I loved Arthurian legend, so that’s what immediately leaped to mind.
* * * * *
If you haven't read Angela before and want to check her books out, be sure to visit her website
Any questions? Ask away....

Friday, February 02, 2007

Bled Dry

I’ve avoided posting the back cover copy for BLED DRY because I think it gives away a bit more of the plot than I wanted to before BIT THE JACKPOT hit the shelves, but I’m sure some of you have guessed what’s going on with Brittany and Corbin anyway. I left some pretty hefty clues. ;-) The back cover copy is going up on my website this weekend, but I thought I’d post it here first, with a very short excerpt below it. BLED DRY is a May release, the third in my Vegas Vampires series.

Only in Vegas can a one-night stand with a vampire beat the odds-from the national bestselling author of Bit the Jackpot and High Stakes...

Hooking up with a vampire has its risks-but getting pregnant usually isn't one of them. Tell that to Brittany Baldizzi, who finds herself in the family way with no father in sight. After their one night of passion, vampire Corbin Jean Michel Atelier disappeared off the face of the earth-or at least off the Vegas strip...

Corbin is a vampire with a cause, secretly trying to find a cure for his condition. But when he finds out Brittany is pregnant with his child, Corbin can't keep his parental instincts from trumping his bloodsucking ones. Even when showing his hand could cost him the woman he can't help but love...

By Erin McCarthy

“Well, it’s not the flu.”

Brittany Baldizzi watched her general practitioner tuck her hair behind her ear as she stepped back into the room. Perched on the edge of the examination table, Brittany was seriously confused. “An ulcer then? I’ve felt this awful nausea for weeks.”

Not an ulcer.” Dr. Hopkins smiled. “You’re pregnant.”

“Excuse me?” The room went stark white and a buzzing rang in Brittany’s ears. “Pregnant? I can’t be pregnant!”

There was no way. It wasn’t possible.

“Have you been practicing abstinence?” Dr. Hopkins asked with a rueful shrug.

“Yes, I’ve been totally abstinent.” How in the hell could she be pregnant?

Dr. Hopkins raised her eyebrows. “Really?”

Okay, so that wasn’t completely true. “Well, mostly. I’ve only had sex once in the last six months.” But that had been with Corbin Atelier, and that didn’t count because he was a vampire.

“Once is all it takes.”

Normally. When you were having sex with regular, mortal men. “But…” Brittany rubbed her head. “He can’t have children.” She didn’t think. Of course, he had never really said he couldn’t have children. But neither had he suggested birth control.

“I’m sorry this is such a shock, Brittany, but obviously he can have children, because you are definitely pregnant.”

“Well, I had no idea.” That vampires had sperm.

Which was a stupid assumption on her part. After all, hadn’t her brother-in-law sworn to her up, down, and sideways that her own biological father had to be a vampire? But she hadn’t put two and two together when she and Corbin had been talking that night.

Though to be to totally honest, it wasn’t like she and Corbin had devoted a whole lot of time to conversation when he had climbed in her bedroom window and asked for blood. She’d given him her blood and her body, and now he had given her a baby.

Holy crap.

It really would have been nice if he had warned her his boys could still swim.

By the way, if you’re going to the Romantic Times convention this year, I just found out that Bled Dry will definitely be at the book fair, even though it’s a May book. Berkley gave permission for the early release. Yay! :)