Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: March 2007

Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring Cleaning

It’s time to simplify my life and clean out some closets… I have a ton of other author’s books that I’ve accumulated at conferences and never had a chance to read. So I’ve decided to make the pile smaller by giving away a prize pack of books to one random person who posts here Friday or Saturday. Why hoard them when someone else can enjoy them, right? This will be a nice big box of romance novels by various authors for the lucky winner.

To be entered in the drawing all you have to do is post and tell me why you love romance novels. Easy!

I love reading and writing romances because I want a happily ever after, darn it. There is enough misery in the world that sometimes when I read I just want to escape that. I also appreciate the hope they offer that in the end everything will be okay.

I absolutely believe in true love. I believe in second chances. I believe in redemption, and the ability to change and grow. And I believe that what you give out, you get back. Romance has all of that, and I love it.

Have a great Friday and thanks for dropping by!

Monday, March 26, 2007

This and that...

Spring has sprung! Yes, peeps, it is warm and sunny in east Tennessee today, and my yard is blooming all over. Found these two pretty flowers in a red wheelbarrow this weekend. :)

Busy times at our house... hubby and I are off to NYC this Thursday morning (returning next Tuesday). I'm attending a mini-conference Thursday through Saturday noon. The rest of the time my dh and I will be playing tourist in one of our favorite cities. I'll blog about it in a couple of weeks.

We're hoping to see a show, or maybe two. We love to try new restaurants, scope out special exhibits at the museums, and simply walk the streets and soak up the sights and sounds of the great city.

I'm looking forward to seeing my editor and my agent, plus will have a chance to meet some other editors as well. It will also be a chance to renew some old writer friendships and make some new ones.

Just for fun, I'll bring back an inexpensive New York City souvenir for some lucky winner. I'll draw a name at random from anyone who posts between now and tomorrow night. :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday. Even boring chores are a bit nicer when the sun is shining and it is warm outside!

Until later,
Janice Maynard

Thursday, March 22, 2007

This and That

I totally forgot I was blogging today.

So we'll just do a hodge podge kind of thing.

Karen Scott is posting her results from her racism in publishing survey.

I'm still running the contest for Alison Kent's The Perfect Stranger. And there's the BOMContest running thru my blog as well.

Speaking of Alison Kent, she's agreed to do an interview here on the blog and we'll be posting that probably next week. I'll try to remember to post ahead of time when I get a firm date. And...(pardon me while I have a fangirl moment... SQUEAL) Okay, that's done. Lynn Viehl is doing an interview for us, too! For those who don't know me, I'm a total groupie when it comes to anything written by Lynn Viehl, no matter what name she is writing under, SL Viehl, Lynn Viehl, Jessica Hall, Gena Hale... I love them all. But I promise I'll try to let you all have a shot at asking her questions, too. No guarantees.

Spring Break is coming up here and next week, we're heading to Gatlinburg for a few days. I love Gatlinburg, all the touristy trappy stuff, and I love the mountains. It's been a while since we went and we haven't gone any place that far away with the baby bratlet so this oughta be interesting. To say the least.

Had a few books out the past few weeks, released early but hey, I don't care. I don't see me hitting the best seller lists, so I don't care if they hit the shelves early or not at this point. Hunters: Heart and Soul is selling at and Lover From Another World is selling at all the online places.

Okay... did I ramble on enough? Lol. Y'all have a good week...I gotta get to work!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007



Oh, LORD! What a boring subject!!!! And what the hell do I know about technology---about enough to fill a thimble! I mean, my 12 year old granddaughter put up a MySpace for me in half a day and I'd been struggling for weeks! I still can't get it to verify my address so if you friended me and then I ignored you that's the reason. We're going to San Antonio this weekend and I'll get her to show me all the neat stuff and fix my little problem.

But what are they teaching these kids nowadays? When I was in school, you couldn't even take typing until the 10th grade! There were no computers, either. God, I feel so old!

Well, actually I don't. I still feel young--except that my knees pop and I can't turn a cartwheel, but then I never could. I never managed a hula-hoop, either. Those were so frustrating!

I'm digressing.

Technology is so confusing. I'm thinking about taking a course--in something. Trial by error only creates more chaos and confusion and usually locks up my computer.

I just bought a new wireless keyboard and mouse. My hand will be halfway across the pad but the little arrow on the computer screen is still in the same spot. I've thought of many things I could do with the little mouse and not a one has to do with anything technical!

And another complaint I have is with Yahoo! It bounces me at least every couple of days. What's going on???? Okay, do you want to vent today? Complain about anything and everything technical? Well here's your chance to let it out!!! I will be able to feel your pain!!!!

Otherwise, have a good day and thanks for stopping by :)
Karen Kelley
04/07 Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava
Romantic Times 4 1/2 Stars Top Pick!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Alison Kent!

Hey guys!

Alison Kent is going to be joining us for the release of her upcoming book, The Perfect Stranger. Not sure of the day yet, but I'll post it when I know.

Should be in the next week or two.

Hope you can join us~

Monday, March 12, 2007

Only nine days to go!

Only nine days to go until Spring arrives! I can hardly wait!! This has been one long winter I won't be sorry to see go...

Of course, I know that the calendar isn't the last word. I was in Gatlinburg one year on April 2 when we had 24 inches of snow! But come March 21, I'm going to paint my toenails, pack away the coats, and hope for the best. :)

And while we're on the topic of calendars... let's talk about this nasty time change! My poor body can't cope. I'm trying to make myself go to sleep at night, and then when the alarm goes off, I'm groggy and sleepy. I think we should "gain" an hour in the spring AND in the fall!! That's my kind of time change. Of course, it would totally screw up the calendar, but it's all about me - right??? Ha!

At the top of this blog, the pic of the day is Jake's Creek Falls in the Smokies. We were hiking there this past Tuesday, and it was an absolutely perfect spring-like day.

So here's the challenge - hunker down for the nine more official days of winter, and then no matter what the weather, ditch the parkas and gloves and celebrate the official start of spring!

Wishing you all warm sunshine, gentle breezes, and lovely April days.

Janice Maynard

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

It's a Job

I get some of the weirdest comments and questions when people hear that I write for a living. Some are just plain weird, some don't make much sense, and some are downright freaky. Others are just kind of funny and then there are some that make me think.

Every once in a while, there's the kind of question that makes me wish I never told anybody what I did for a the bratlet's school teacher. She found out and now she has me come in couple times a month to work with the kids on their writing assignments. Do you have any idea how hard it is to teach a seven year old how to halfway organize their thoughts for a one page writing assignment? Trust me. It's not easy.

But the comment I hear the most is this one, or some variation of it... Wow, so you're a writer, huh? That's got to be interesting/fun/different/fill in the blank.

Here's the thing. It's a job. Fun? Well, sometimes. But then again, in my previous life, I worked as a pediatric nurse and working with kids can be lots of fun. Sometimes. Different? Weeeellllll....maybe, but I still have certain things that I have to do to keep my job. Meet deadlines. Get edits done, and speaking of edits, I've got the final edits on Hunter's Salvation sitting by chair and waiting for me. I have bosses(editors, readers) sort of, that I have to satisfy otherwise I may not continue to work for them. Meaning I might not sell any more books.

Like any other job, it has its high points. Writing The End, or whatever I'm using to close a particular book, is always a high point. Getting pay checks can be, but since those are never the same, it can also be depressing. Signing a new contract? High point..but it can also be so fricking stressful, I wonder why I do this to myself. What if the book sucks? What if it stalls half way thru and I can't fix it? What if it doesn't make sense? WHAT IF NOBODY LIKES IT....

It has also has its low points. Like edits. Like getting stuck in the middle and trying to figure out where it went wrong. Waiting to hear back from editors, agents, waiting on cover art and stressing over said cover art, because what if it sucks? And if that's not fun enough, try doing it while you're working 40+ hours a week and trying to raise a family and still make time to see the DH and actually have some semblance of a life. I'm one of the lucky ones because I was able to kiss the dayjob bye bye almost three years ago. Lucky enough that I was able to give up a decent, steady paying job and write full time, but there's no guarantee I'll be able to say that in two years. Five years. Ten years. Stressing about that will put me in the dumps for a week, so I just try to focus on the here and now.

My job has it's share of bad days. The characters won't cooperate. Too many of them talking at once, or worse, none of them talking to me at all. For the most part, I've lucked out in the cover department but when you get a bad cover, it can ruin your entire day...week...and every time you look at the cover, you get a little depressed. Authors don't always have much say in how a cover looks, so if it's bad... you're just stuck with it. For years. Seeing a review for a book you worked pretty damn hard on and watching it get trashed. It happens. It's not much fun and as evidenced by some of the blog wars we've seen, some writers decided to let everybody in the known world know that they are not happy about the review and they are out for blood.

It also has its good days. Like an editor emailing you that they are going to be running some extra promo for your book. That's always good. It means the editor believes in that book and they think its going to do well and they want to boost it all they can. You get an email from a reader who tells you that their book touched them-not just that they enjoyed it, but it actually touched them...they connected with the characters, they laughed, they cried and when the book was done, they went back and read it again just because they weren't ready for the story to end.

But in the is still a job. It's not going to suit everybody and yes, it's a job that not everybody can do. But you know what? That could be said for a lot of other jobs out there. I couldn't ever be a teacher. I couldn't be a firefighter. I wouldn't make the best cop or the best lawyer. I can be a nurse and I can be a writer. I'm just glad I'm one of the lucky people out there that actually was able to choose which one I wanted the most...and make a living from it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


HI Everyone!

Have you ever gotten those tingles when you know something good is about to happen? I have a friend who says meditating makes you more aware of psychic abilities even if it's just listening to the "tingles". Meditating helps you to become more aware of what's going on that you might not otherwise see or hear. Developing your sixth sense, so to speak.

Once I had a bad feeling. I was walking through the kitchen and when the feeling washed over me, I stumbled. I knew without a doubt that I had a rejected manuscript in the mailbox. As soon as the feeling hit me, I thought to myself, no way. Not that I thought I was the worlds greatest writer or anything, but I'd sent it to Silhouette and I figured I wouldn't hear anything for several months. It had only been gone 6 weeks. Well, it was out there, and it had been rejected. Side note: Kensington bought this book in three days when I mailed it to them and I got a lot of fantastic fan mail on my first published book: Bachelor Party. It was a Precious Gem.

I think I've mentioned having "feelings" before in a blog. I wondered if anyone knows how to further develop your psychic energy other than meditating. If you do, let me know really fast because we're going to a casino Friday to see Jeff Foxworthy and y'all know I have to play the slots just a little. LOL

Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind has gotten some great reviews!!!! Yea! If y'all buy it, please e-mail me and let me know what you think. It comes out April 1st or thereabouts. Okay, I'm going shopping. We need new blinds in the den, but I'll stop back by this afternoon and read your comments.

Y'all have a fun day!
Karen Kelley04/07 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/Brava
10/07 I'm Your Santa anth/Brava

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Howdy, Chickies!

I'm cheating here. Instead of chatting about a writing topic I'm giving you the 411 on the June Reader/Writer Get-together Lori and I do each year. This will be our third and biggest year ever! We have two agents (Berkley and St Martin) and two agents coming in. Sweet! Okay, I realize if you are a reader this may not tickly your funny but it should! These are the gals that get the work from the author to the bookstore. They are our heroes. And this year they'll give a little talk on what's new and headed your way. Always nice to hear from the powers that be.

And there will be an author cookbook to ogle over and tons and tons of donated baskets to bid on and line dancing Saturday night and a huge bookfair and yummy food and a looooovely hotel and a very relaxed way to sit and chat with authors and readers. All this for $35. That covers your food for Fri night, Sat breakfast and lunch. What a deal! Lori and I take care of the other expenses. And any profits we make for the raffles and bookfair (not all, some goes to B&N) we donate to the YWCA battered women's shelter in Cincy. They will be there too to tell you how they spend the money. Last year we donated 2700! See picture above. :-)

So, if you can make it do! It's fun and casual (I wear pink jeans, T-shirt, gym shoes and cowboy hat!) I'm giving away new hats this year of a different nature. Come and see!

If you have any questions let me know. Need directions just let me know. Register at Lori's site Below is an outline of what's coming your way.

Hope to see you all!!!!!!!!

Hugs, Dianne

Readers and Writers Get Together
Lori Foster, Dianne Castell, Linda Keller
Friday June 1 - Sunday June 3
A portion of the book fair proceeds will benefit the

-- Meet authors Lori Foster, Dianne Castell, and more! (Check the updated list online)
-- Meet agents Jennifer N. Schober, Spencerhill Associates Ltd.
Roberta Brown, Brown Literary Agency
-- Meet editors Rose Hilliard, from St. Martin’s Publishing
Cindy Hwang, Berkley Publishing
-- Meet your online reader friends face to face.
-- Gab sessions, prizes, gift baskets, casual photo ops (bring your camera!), meet-the-author round-tables, pajama parties, used book trade, and more!
-- Book Fair Get the newest releases signed by your favorite authors!
-- For unpublished authors there will be opportunities to have your work critiqued by pubs, your questions answered, networking, etc...
Check for updates!

AND YOUR ROOM ( $99 + tax ) if you stay overnight

ROOMS: Friday night and/or Saturday night -- $99 per night plus tax
To get the $99 rate, tell them you’re with the LORI FOSTER READER AND WRITER GROUP

HOTEL RESERVATIONS: *must register by May 19th*
Call: 1-800-MARRIOTT or 513-874-7335 or Email:
Cincinnati Marriott North
(Just north of Cincinnati on I-75 at Union Center Blvd, exit 19)
West Chester, Ohio, 6189 Mulhauser Rd, West Chester, OH 45069-4842

Friday, June 1th Reception - open to all registered attendees.
6:00 to 11:00 pm register, agent and editor appointments; Reception in the Tri-County Room; refreshments & pizza party provided

Saturday, June 2th Events in the West Chester Ballroom III
8:00 am – donuts, bagels, coffee & tea
12:00 – 1:00 pm – lunch buffet
Barnes and Noble BOOK SIGNING (inside the hotel) 4:00 to 6:00 pm

Sunday, June 3th
“on your own” breakfast with friends or authors (sign up sheets available Fri & Sat)

PUBLISHED AUTHORS only attending the signing: contact Linda Keller directly at or call (513) 755 – 6193
Send letter (email) of intent by May 1st, ISBN and titles by May 11th

PUBLISHED AUTHORS attending the event: please register BEFORE contacting Linda. Send questions to Lori at

Friday, March 02, 2007


It’s still cold and windy here with snow on the ground, and everything looks tired and worn out. The snow is black and deflated, the grass that’s showing is brown and soggy, the sky is a hazy gray, and I’d rather be anywhere but here. To combat the weather, responsibilities, and life in general, my local writing friends and I have started an annual girl’s sleepover. Yes, I mean grown women having a slumber party like a bunch of 13 years olds, complete with music, munchies, and gossip. Only since we are adults (even when we’re trying hard to forget that fact!) we also add dinner and a Sunday spa visit, with massages, manicures, and pedicures. Husbands and boyfriends raised their eyebrows when we decided to do this for the first time last year. Apparently they think it’s slightly odd that women would want to stay up half the night talking and reading each other’s tarot cards. Frankly, I can’t picture men doing the same. LOL.

But it’s been a fabulous way to step outside out all that life expects of me and hang out with my girlfriends for twenty-four hours. We laugh, we talk, we eat, we drink wine. We worry, we dole out advice, we support each other, we confess. We even watched the Justin Timberlake Sexy Back video and generated theories as to what is actually going on in that- aside from him walking around looking smoldering, sexy, and angry. Which really is all that matters anyway.

So what do you and your friends do to catch up? What special memories of girlfriends and childhood friends do you have?

Raising a glass to all my girlfriends, near and far. Thanks for everything!