Archive for May, 2006

Make Me Swoon!

At one of the luncheons at the Romantic Times convention the guest speakers were with a production company. We took a survey asking us what we’d like to see on DVD’s. They showed pictures of possible leading men. I did think it odd they didn’t show leading women. I think if you didn’t have a strong leading woman the movie would fall flat.

So what book would you choose? The Wolf and the Dove, Shanna, Whitney My Love, Johanna Lyndsey’s Mallory series are some of my fav historicals. Contemporaries would probably be Jake by Sharon Sala, Sandra Brown just about anything, Iris Johannson’s The Ugly Duckling and any of her historicals and of course any book by the scamops and vamps authors!

What about the racier books that are out right now? They could heat up my screen any day!!! Yep, I would definitely have a lifetime subscription.

So what book would you like to see made into a movie?

In Other News: My may contest is about to end but look for my next one starting June first to celebrate the release of Hell On Wheels. W00-Hoooooo!!!!! I’ll be giving away a sterling silver and diamond bracelet but you have to be a member of my newsletter group for this one. You can find all the info at my website (url in my sig line).
Best Wishes!
Karen Kelley
Available Now! HELL ON WHEELS/BRAVA (It’s been spotted in some stores!)
09/06 Texas Bad Boys/Brava

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Thanks to y’all who posted 😉 I randomly chose Jamie as the winner. Jamie please send me your address so I can send you a “fun in the sun package”.

I loved all of the suggestions and now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer has officially arrived and the pools are open! Lather up the sunscreen and dive in!

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More RT Pictures

The first pic is the Aussie party…Australian booksellers. We were invited as they sell a ton on Bravas in Australia. Kathryn Falk, owner of RT, is in the orange dress. Notice how everyone has on a Texas Bad Boy pink hat! Kathryn wore hers for two days. 🙂 Go, Kathryn!

The second pic is Lori Foster and Karen Kelley at the Aussi party.

The third is LuAnn at the fairy ball. She looked lovely! Even did a spell but, alas, Toby Keith did not appear. 🙂

The 4th pic is Lori and me doing a radio interview at WROD Daytona. The guy is Tony Welch. We had a great time.

The fifth pic is Billie Jo at the fairy ball. What a great outfit. She’s bringing it to the June get-together. More fun pics! Wait till I put a pink cowboy hat on her head.

The last pic is Rosemary…my dear roomie, showing what it feels like to be at RT…Dead! We had 14 huge boxes in our room filled with promo stuff. We could not walk between our beds. Next year we’re talking two suits and having parties etc. If you can make it to Houston we’d looove to see you.


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She really is fabulous. JoAnn Ross is one of my very favorite people, not to mention a fantastically talented and prolific author. I was so happy when she agreed to do a blog interview for us and I agree with her…readers on the Scamps, Vamps & Spicy Romance loop asked a ton of wonderful qeustions, but I think JoAnn selected some really great ones to answer.

Without further ado…I give you…JoAnn Ross…

Wow, what a lot of great questions!! I want to stress that it was extremely difficult to choose, so my selection process was mostly random. Which pretty much describes everything about my writing. 🙂

1) Is Emma Quinlan’s friend Roxi from Cajun Heat getting her own story? Or Bobby Jefferson from Blaze? ~ Judy F

I’m so glad you asked that, Judy! ::g:: Because it gives me a chance to tell you that Love Potion #9, my novella in the BAD BOYS SOUTHERN STYLE anthology, will be out the first of July. After Katrina blew away her shop, Roxi moved Hex Appeal to Savannah, another of my favorite cities. Emma and Gabriel also make an appearance. You can see the cover, read an excerpt, AND even watch a hot Bad Boys Southern Style video on my website at http://www.joannross.com/. As for Bobby, I haven’t planned a story for him, however, I’ve learned never to say never!

2) Will there be anymore trilogies in the future? ~ Chad

Yes. But that’s all I can say about it at this moment. ::g:: Oh, I can tell you that you just might be seeing more of Brendan, from my Irish trilogy and OUT OF THE STORM and BLAZE, and Father Mike, Joe’s brother from OUT OF THE STORM. (Both men are harboring dark and dangerous secrets from their pasts.) Stay tuned.

3) One of the things I like about your books is the Louisiana bayous are the setting of many of your books and in fact many of them have been set in the fabulous city of New Orleans. Why the fascination with this location? Has Katrina had any affect on your writing and do you plan to set future books in these locations? ~ Barbara

New Orleans is fabulous, isn’t it? Even now, with all its current challenges, it’s still like no other city in America. I fell in love with it back in the early 90s when we spent Christmas there. After that first visit, we’ve gone back every chance we get, including many visits to the bayou country where the Callahan Brothers trilogy, and BAYOU BAD BOYS is set.

And yes, Katrina had quite an effect. I was well into a book set in the city when Katrina hit. We’d been down in the Mississippi Gulf area for a library fund-raiser the Saturday of that weekend when the storm began to turn. We made it back to TN Sunday night, and I was glued to the television all Labor Day, watching the tragic destruction. I kept going back and forth on what to do since my book centered around crooked cops, corrupt politicians, the mob running gambling/prostitution boats in the Gulf, a battle between good and bad voodoo and — oops — a huge hurricane hitting the city. By late Monday night I’d come up with a new romantic suspense set in Wyoming about a serial killer (the man who was once the boy raised by wolves), which became IMPULSE.

I’m now back to work on the New Orleans book — and passing a good time with way sexy bad boy cop Nick Broussard — which will be out in February or March of 2007. (It no longer has a hurricane.) The title on the excerpt in the back of IMPULSE is FALLEN, but I just received word last week that may change. I’ll announce the new title on my website as soon as I know it myself. And wow, that ended up a long answer! LOL

4) Jo Ann, if you could meet any of the characters in one of your books, who would you want to meet? (and why?) ~ Erin the Innocent

Hey, Erin — One of my favorite heroines, of FAIR HAVEN, has the same name as you! As for meeting my characters. . . Wait! You mean they’re not real? Then who are all those people who’ve been hanging around my house for the past 23 years? 😉

5) How much research do you do? Patti

Tons. I changed majors five times in college, so each time I start a book, it’s like having someone actually pay me to change majors again. Remember, in Tootsie, where Dustin Hoffman tells his agent that he’s not merely any tomato, he’s a BEEFSTEAK tomato? We’ll that’s how I write; I’m sort of a “method” writer who has to be inside every character’s skin in order to write them. (Which, since I’ve had serial killer books due December 30th two years in a row, has made for some rather strange Christmas seasons! Even my dogs started acting edgy around me while I was writing the Flamemaster’s death row scenes in BLAZE.) Anyway, working this way means that I eat what they eat, listen to the music they listen to, and pretty much need to know everything they know. I read approximately 25 books on fire fighting and arson investigation for BLAZE, and even passed a written sample certification test.

6) What is the most fascinating thing you’ve learned about the writing process, and/or the most fascinating thing during your research for one of your stories? ~ Stacy

The most fascinating thing, to me, about the writing process is that twenty-three years and ninety-six books later, I still have no idea how I do it. I only know that some days it works. And others, like a baseball pitcher who loses his mechanics and doesn’t have the foggiest idea why, it doesn’t. Fortunately there have been more good days than bad.

Thanks for inviting me, Lucy, darlin’. I only wish we’d had room to answer everyone. These were all truly great questions!

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Without a doubt, summer is my favorite season. Baseball, swimming, grilling…. and I love going barefooted. The top in my little VW Bug will stay down until the temperature dips below sixty. The lawns are green and the flowers are in bloom. On Friday nights my husband and I drive down to the Ohio River where we dine outside at a tiny marina that serves a delicious fish sandwich and has a live band.

My question to you is: what is your favorite summer activity? Reading by the pool? Playing corn hole or volleyball in your backyard? Going to the beach? Fishing? You tell me 😉

I have a summer time prize package for one of the bloggers…. I’ll pick randomly from the summer activity suggestions.

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Now it’s Saturday… no breakfast mixer this morning. Do we “sleep in”? No – not us! Instead, we’re up bright and early for an al fresco meal on the pleasant terrace overlooking the ocean. Five Scamps plus Lori and Susan Stephens met with the Australian booksellers for a fun and interesting meal. Heck – I could just sit and listen to those “Down Under” gals talk with that cool accent. 🙂

The next part of the day was a lesson in endurance – a 4 1/2 hour booksigning!! An enormous room with 100+ authors. Controlled bedlam… Afterwards Lori and Dianne packed up and headed for the airport. Rosemary went into hibernation, and LuAnn, Karen, Susan, and I went in search of food, since we hadn’t had lunch! Back to the hotel as quickly as possible to get a seat for the Mr. Romance cover model competition. Nothing like a little eye candy! It was a great show, and the winner gets to be on the cover of an upcoming Harlequin novel. Kate Duffy of Kensington Publishing and Abby Zidle of Harlequin HQN were two of the judges.

After the “pageant”, it was off to another reception and then on to the Dorchester Publishing Racin’ Rock and Roll party. Racing decorations, good dance music, and pizza and popcorn made for a fun and informal evening. I gave up about 10:45 to go back to the room and pack. It was no easy task to get all our “loot” organized. Lights out at midnight, up early Sunday morning, and off to the airport at nine. A great first RT experience and a fun and productive week. Now I’m off to unpack and get back in the routine. ‘Til next year!

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We’ve made it to Friday – are you tired yet??? Lots of stamina required!! Friday morning’s breakfast mixer was sponsored by Kensington Publishing. Free books, door prizes, and meeting authors. Lori, Dianne, Rosemary, and Karen signed books and chatted with readers and booksellers. One wall of the room was glass and opened onto the terrace overlooking the ocean. Really nice ambiance.

Several of us went to another breakfast afterwards since the authors hadn’t had a chance to eat. Later in the morning we visited the jam-packed goody “hallway” and dropped by Club RT to enter for some of the fabulous gift baskets. At noon we all gathered for the RT Awards. Our own Ms. Lori Foster won the prestigious Career Achievement Award for Contemporary Romance. She wore a beautiful silky black dress with tiny polka dots topped with a pretty crocheted black sweater. Her acceptance speech was sincere and polished and just the right length, and she came back to the table holding this cool trophy like an Oscar. 🙂 I snapped the photo in this blog just as Dianne and Lori were heading for the airport, so she was wearing her “comfy” clothes.

Friday afternoon I had some new professional photos made. My hubby has been nagging me to get some new ones done. I hate being photographed, but I was okay with how they turned out. Friday at six we went to a reception hosted by eight Avon authors. More free books and autographs and cute finger food. Then on to the Faery Ball, Dinner, Dance, and Costume Competition. LuAnn dressed up every evening, as did Billlie Jo and her sister Yvonne, and Danny (from Germany) They looked great! I have tons of pictures, so I’ll try to post some on my site as I get a chance. Stay tuned for Part 4.

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When I left you… we were getting ready to attend the Wednesday party at RT. Elloras Cave provided fun table favors. We had cool “glasses” (drinking – not eye) with some kind of battery in the base that made them flash colored lights. They looked really nifty in the big semi-dark room. We also got free calendars and goody bags. The food was strawberries and pound cake with melted chocolate. Yum! The Elloras Cave “guys” wandered around the room making friends and giving many woman a “sigh”. 🙂 LuAnn and I couldn’t resist getting a photo with a couple of them! We didn’t stay ’til the bitter end. After all, we girls need our beauty sleep.

Thursday morning began with a breakfast hosted by Mary Janice Davidson. Afterwards, Karen Kelley and I walked on the beach. The weather was beautiful, and my only complaint was not having enough time to enjoy the lovely setting. I did, however, take a few minutes to watch the Mr. Romance cover model contestants play beach volleyball. They were gorgeous, but as LuAnn pointed out, not all of them were athletes. Ha! But who cares if they couldn’t hit a volleyball??? Another luncheon, and then LuAnn and I tried to get a brief nap. Afterwards we went to a “fun” workshop hosted by Kayla Perrin and Tina Wainscott. They quizzed all the cover model contestants with funny and naughty questions. Another brief reception after that and then Heather Graham’s Caribbean Pirate dinner and dance. Check back for installment number 3!

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Hey, guys! I’m back from five days of business, fun, business, and more fun in Daytona Beach. The 23rd annual Romantic Times Booklovers Convention was an amazing and exhausting experience. This was my first time to attend, and I was very impressed with all the planning that goes into such a huge event. I’ll give you the highlights, and if I’m lucky… I’ll show you some pictures as well.

I flew in on Tuesday afternoon… hit a snag right off the bat. LuAnn and I were supposed to be roomies, but the Hilton booked us in separate rooms. We both stayed up until 11PM waiting for the other one to arrive. Sigh… We didn’t figure it out until the next morning, and then I had to move rooms, because the one they gave LuAnn had an ocean view and mine overlooked the heating and air units. 😦

The only event Tuesday evening was an informal “luau”… it was supposed to be outdoors on a terrace overlooking the ocean, but rain forced the event inside. (The only rain all week, though.) The room where they set things up was too small for the crowd, so I grabbed a bit of food and stayed just an hour or so. Vegged in my room after that.

Wednesday morning after I moved rooms I met with nine other authors from the Georgia Romance Writers to “stuff” goody bags. We hosted an ice cream social for booksellers later that day. At 11 I went to a workshop. At noon LuAnn and I attended the “Salute to Waldenbooks” luncheon, and then at 4 I did a workshop with Lori and Dianne. Bookseller event from 5 to 6 and then dinner with Dianne, Rosemary, Karen, and Susan Stephens (a delightful Brit who writes for Harlequin Presents). The evening wrapped up with the Ellora’s Cave fantasy party from 9 to midnight. (More about that later in the next installment.)

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Ways to Waste a Day

So I have 26 days to go before I’m going to be indisposed for a little.

I have about 12 days to go to meet yet another personal deadline that I set in preparation for the two week period, roughly, when I’m not going to be writing. And I’m only about 1/3 of the way there.

Is that motivating me at all to go get some work done?

Uhhhhh…. nope.

Here’s suggestions on how to waste a perfectly good writing day…. or any day when you’re putting off what you need to get done.

1) Check your email. Often. You never know, maybe the editor sent you the artwork for the book that is due out in less than a year. Or the editor has spoken to the agent and has decided to buy the two proposals you sent in. So you just never know.

2) Rearrange all the books on your book shelf. Not that they are going to be any easier to find, since you can’t remember your organization system anyway.

3) Blog hop. Visiting your favorite blogs can easily kill two, three, four hours. Of course, it tends to make my back sore, sitting still so long, but hey…

4) Flip through the TV channels and ask nobody in particular why there is NOTHING on, when you have more than 300 channels. How is that possible, by the way?

5) Go to get laptop out…and decide you really need to do something online. Doesn’t matter what, just something to avoid sitting down and working.

6) Flip through the list of names you compiled for cleaning services. Hey, getting my house cleaned IS important. And I have to get estimates, right?

7) Go outside and water the grass. Check the lilies to see if any more bloomed since three hours ago.

8) Take a nap. Now I’m not really tired, but I like naps.

9) Sit down to work on WIP, and realize that you are hungry. It’s not like that piece of chocolate actually counted as breakfast, right?

10) Finally sit down to try working, one more time, and realize that after procrastinating half the day away, you really are tired. And you really do need that nap this time.

So there are a few days to waste an entire day. Now I need to go check my email… again…

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