Archive for June, 2006


So I’m suffering from a serious case of butterflies. My first paperback is due out on the shelves next week. *G* I’ve already gotten my thrill for the week~I saw it out the shelves at two places and both places had it displayed vvvverrrryyyy nicely.
Still, I have the butterflies. And I’ve been assured, sadly, that the butterflies don’t ever really go away. Yuck. I’ve heard that from numerous people. Several friends have told me, usually in the same breath, Oh, yeah, I know what you mean. I get those same butterflies. Don’t worry… it’s gonna be fine…
Don’t worry. These butterflies feel like they have steel wings tipped with razors and they are flying around my gut and I get to deal with them for the rest of my life???? But don’t worry.
I might be able to manage it, though. See, I’ve come up with a plan. Move to a remote area with no internet access, no bookstores, no newspapers. I was thinking Antarctica but I don’t like the cold so much.
So I’ve decided somewhere in Montana should work. Montana still has lots and lots of space, right?
If I can’t get online, I won’t be tempted to check my email compulsively every ten minutes waiting for that first email that says, oh man this book sucked! Big time. I won’t check review sites hourly, waiting to read that review, even though I don’t pay much attention to reviews any more. This book is different~I’m entitled to check, right? I won’t keep checking the ranking on Amazon. But those rankings don’t mean much, I’m told. So why do I keep fighting the urge to go look?
So some isolated, cut off place in Montana should work. There, I can take my laptop, sans internet access, and work on my current WIP(s) and worry about whether or not they suck. I mean, I only have about a year or so before one of them releases and the other one…a couple of months. I’ve got a lot of worrying to get to.

*Don’t forget…check out my website for a chance to enter my Sizzlin’ Summer Nights contest.

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Job Myths

Yesterday a woman called me to ask about publishing . She had written a book. She only wanted to publish the one book, had no desire to make a career out of it. Someone at the license plate tax office had given her my phone number. I did the best I could, but she didn’t write romance. Plus, she thought all she had to do was contact a publisher and wanted to know the name of mine. No, I didn’t laugh. She was very sincere. I hope I enlightened her about the world of publishing as I know it.

That got me to thinking about jobs that I know nothing about. How many people roll their eyes when I ask a stupid question concerning their work?

My husband is a licensed paramedic. That’s the highest level that you can go in his field. It starts with ECA, then EMT. EMT-Intermediate, Paramedic and last, licensed paramedic. To be licensed you need so many college hours. To recertify he needs 96 hours in 4 years. They run EKG’s, give drugs, intubate, start IV’s (as an EMT-I, I once started an IV going over railroad tracks and I nailed that sucker!).

Karl and I have been caught in a flash flood, been to shootings and hostage situations. He once had a gun pulled on him. We’ve gone to wrecks when there was a tornado spotted in the area and stood on the highway with lightning all around us as we tried to free someone from the tangled mass of metal. We’ve attempted to breathe life back into babies and held crying newborns in our arms. Karl has repelled over the side of a bridge into freezing water to get to a carload of GI’s before they drowned.

The pay sucks. The hours suck. And invariably when you load someone into an ambulance a family member will ask if there will be someone riding in the back with their sick relative. Even though you want to tell them: No, ma’am, we’re both going to be in the front. We just thought we’d turn the lights and sirens on and haul ass to the hospital. But instead, we just smile and say: Yes, ma’m. Someone will be with him all the time—because they don’t know.

So, is there anything about your job that you want to vent about or inform us that other people get totally wrong? And since this is such a long post and if you’ve managed to get this far, I’ll be giving away a book from my backlist and some Texas Bad Boys Goodies (Sept. release). Not the book but some promo stuff.

Karen Kelley
09/06 Texas Bad Boys/Brava

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Immortal Love?

I have a July 1 deadline on my third vampire book and I’m cruising along, heading towards the end when I realized… I never actually thought of an ending. LOL. I assumed I’d figure that out when I got there, but I’m almost at the end and I’ve got nothing. Not a clue. Part of the challenge of a vampire book, and part of what makes them so romantic, is that someone has to give up their life as they know it to be with the other character. It’s the ultimate sacrifice. So help me out here… whether you read vampire books or not, do you think by the end of the story:

Hero and heroine should both be immortal (eternal love)?

Hero and heroine could both be mortal?

One could be mortal and one immortal?

Do you think a character who becomes immortal during the book should choose it, or be forced to via circumstances? (Like the heroine got shot by thugs so vampire hero turned her)

Take pity on my husband and help me out here… he says he’s worn out discussing vampire ethics with me, especially since they, um, don’t exist. 😀

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Babies ‘R Us?

Mornin’ one and all – This blog comes to you from the road… I left home on Friday afternoon… hope to be home later tonight.

We had a fun but very busy weekend. Friday night – a rehearsal dinner… Saturday – lunch with our daughter and family and a peek at the house they just bought. Simple but nice and a lot bigger than where they have been! Then a wedding Saturday night.

On Sunday, we christened little Ainsley in Athens, TN. Family came down from Knoxville, TN, over from Pulaski, TN, and up from Chattanooga, TN. We all rendezvouzed and went to church together… had lunch afterward. Very nice day.

Last night and this morning I have been babysitting. Which brings me to today’s blog question…

Are you a fan of romances with babies in them? I know we love babies in real life, but how do you feel about fictional bundles of joy??

I’m curious to hear your answers. I’ll weigh in later this evening with my take on the subject!

Hope everyone had a pleasant Monday with a minimum of the usual Monday stuff.

Talk to you soon.

Janice M.

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What would you do?

His Royal Love-Child was chosen by the host at eHarlequin for her “Read with the Hosty” book discussion this month. And I’ve been having a lot of fun talking about it with readers. Adhering to the motto that “immitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, I am shamelessly borrowing a couple of her question ideas for you all because we’re pretty much done discussing them on the board.

You don’t have to have read the book to answer, because it’s not about what my heroine did, but what *you* would do in her situation.

In the beginning of their relationship, Danette and Marcello keep it a secret for several reasons, many of which are Danette’s. She doesn’t want her co-workers to know she’s the boss’s lover in case they see her differently. She’s an intensely private person and hiding her relationship from prying eyes comes naturally. And it excites her at first to have a secret like that from everyone else. But a time comes when it’s not okay with her to keep the relationship a secret any longer. My question for you is…could you ever be in a secret relationship, have you ever fantasized about that kind of thing? Or would you hate the need to pretend indifference in front of others?

Okay, second question…Danette’s friend (not knowing she’s in a relationship and believing she needs to date rather than work all the time) ambushes her with a date at a dinner that’s supposed to be just the two of them. Dee’s question was: has this ever happened to you? What would you do if it did? Would you leave, letting the guy know you hadn’t agreed to the date, or keep the pretense up and let him down gently at the end of the evening? How would you respond to your friend? Would you laugh it off, be angry, a little annoyed, or something else?

I’m really looking forward to hearing what you all have to say as I have a feeling you can get a lot more creative than my heroine. 🙂


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Sizzling Summer Nights

I’m blogging a little early since I’m heading out here in a little bit and won’t be home for a few days.

And once more… ;o) I’m taking the lazy way out. I’ll get back to real posts here a few more weeks.

Today, just posting about my summer contest… details below.

See you all in a few days!

Spend your summer with the Hunters…

Enter here for a chance to win a gift basket. Prizes included will be signed copies of the Ellora’s Cave Hunters books, bath and body goodies, and more. ONE entry per person. Contest is open to readers overseas, but should an overseas winner be drawn, the prize will be shipped economy.

If the email link above doesn’t work, send a blank email to contests@millenniumpromotion.com and put Shiloh’s Summer Sizzling Contest in the subject line~

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I’m not a good name person. Other writers can come up with names for heroes and heroines. People even name their children after these fictitious characters.

Writers are creative, but yet I have the hardest time coming up with names. I think it’s an inherited trait. My full name is Karen Sue. Is that not the dullest name? Even worse, my mother once wrote on my picture “Little” Karen Sue. It’s her fault I’m overweight. She jinxed me.

My husband’s name is Karl. For our firstborn we stuck an ‘a’ on the end of it and she became Karla. Whoa, that took a lot of thinking. My father’s name is Bill so for our second child we stuck a ‘y’ on the end of his name and our son became Billy.

We had gotten pretty good at this but when we looked around at other names in our family we couldn’t come up with anything we could live with. My mother was Laverne–Laverney? I don’t think so. There was an Aunt Wilifred but Wilifredy nor Wilifreda held any appeal. Karl’s father’s name is Alonso. Alonsoy? Alonsa? Where the hell did Karl’s grandmother even come up with a name like that? After a couple of hours of pushing our brains to the limit, Karl and I decided two children were plenty.

When I started my current work in progress I couldn’t come up with the hero or heroines names so I took a break. Karl was getting ready for work and I can’t get a thing accomplished when he’s stomping around the house like a herd of elephants. So I’m watching the morning news when a car commercial came on for Kia. About that time Karl comes into the living room with a bit of toilet paper stuck on his face. I asked what happened and he said he nicked himself. Now, the way I figure it the less brain I have to use the more I’ll have when I get older. Karl left for work and I went to my study to begin Kia and Nick’s story.

Any of you have a good name story? Or were you named after anyone? Any story is fine.
Karen Kelley
09/06 Texas Bad Boys/Brava

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Well, shoot… if that were true, I couldn’t tell you any good tales about the wonderful second annual Reader/Author Get-Together sponsored by our own Dianne Castell and Lori Foster. Who would have believed that last year’s great event could get even better!! I had so much fun seeing friends I met last year and getting to know new friends from this year.

Being all together in one big room with a whole day and a half to bond and be silly was a hoot. From the games to the baskets to the book swap to the book sale and autographing… there was never a dull moment. But there was also plenty of time to relax and chill and just enjoy being with people who LOVE books. 🙂 I’m always disappointed when I look at my pictures, because I never seem to capture all the people I wanted to see. Somehow I missed getting a photo of Cindy Hwang, our visiting editor. I had a cute picture of Joni and her sweet hubby, but it was so blurry I had to delete it. (Possibly because it was so dark in the cowboy bar and the flash stayed on too long.) And some moments were impossible to capture on still film… a video would have been much more entertaining. Can we say Cheryl (Christy’s mom) doing a hoochy coochy dance???

Lori’s son Mason and his son Lucas were there early Friday, but I didn’t get a picture of them either. Sigh… I’m telling all you Scamps and Vamps right now, grab that 2007 calendar and put the second weekend in June down in red ink. Be there! I’m including the Scamps and Vamps group photo in this post, but hopefully by tomorrow morning or later this evening, I will have several photos posted in the photo album on my website http://www.janicemaynard.com.

Hugs to everyone who was there this weekend, and an extra hug to all those of you who wanted to be and couldn’t. We knew you were with us in spirit, and we were all eager to get back to our computers at home, and get back in touch with our many wonderful online friends. A big thank you to all the volunteers who worked so hard this weekend, and a super big thanks to Lori and Dianne who were (quite simply) Superwomen!! Great job and woo! hoo! for more fun next year. Janice M.

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Kate Angell Interview

Howdy all!
We have an interview with author Kate Angell. Her newest release, Squeeze Play, is out this month. She’s a terrific writer and a wonderful person and she’s my and Shi’s agent! We are so very lucky to have her in our lives.

Jennifer – If Squeeze Play was made into a movie, I’d love to see Matthew Fox from LOST play center fielder Risk Kincaid and Heather Locklear play coffee shop owner, Jacy Grayson. They are a bit older than my characters. Yet have ‘the look’ that I’d imagined when creating the two. If I was to date a Richmond Rogue, it would be Cody ‘Psycho’ McMillan, coming up in my next book Curveball. He’s wild, fun. and daring. A true bad boy.

Stacy – Twenty years ago, I tried my hand at writing for New York. It took me that many years to get published. In the early stages of writing, I tried category, romantic suspense, historicals, futuristics, but nothing sold. I then played with romantic comedy, and Calder’s Rose was released in 2002. I doubt I’ll ever write anything dark or edgy. I love a lighter tone to a story, a book that makes a reader smile or laugh.

Writers shouldn’t write for trends. It’s a waste of time and energy. By the time a writer would finish a book, the trend could be long gone. I believe an author should write the book of her heart…and make it marketable. You can write a tried-and-true plot, yet give it your own unique twist. Push the envelope. I read a lot of erotica. I love sexy stories.

I’ve been an agent for twelve years. I was an aspiring author long before that. I knew many of the authors I presently represent today when we were all trying to get a New York contract. I believe I’m good at what I do simply because I’m very empathetic. Being an author as well as an agent, I oftentimes feel worse than my writer when she gets a decline from an editor. I take each rejection very personally. What frustrates me a bit when reading submissions, is coming across a promising story line, yet the writing has no punch. Lots of passive verbs. It reads like vanilla ice cream and I’d like to add some sprinkles.
I love baseball, and follow both the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees.

Emma – If I could write a cameo-role for myself in one of my books, I’d own a sports bar where the athletes hung out after a game and in-between road trips. A place with class, yet casual enough to relax. This cameo role could run through all the books. Most definitely I’d have a love interest!

Judy – I designed the cover for Squeeze Play. It was very visual to me from the onset of the book. I had a friend who does graphic design put it together for me, and Dorchester thought it worked perfectly. Baseball is my favorite sport. I took a chance in proposing the trilogy to Alicia Condon, my editor. At this time, I don’t think there’s another author writing about the Boys of Summer. I wanted to break in with something new.

1.) Of your books that you have published, which is your favorite and why? Every book I’ve written sticks with me after I’ve typed ‘The End’. It takes me eight to nine months to produce a book. That’s a long time to be at the same setting and live with the same characters. I tend to bond with my books. Squeeze Play was truly fun to write. I love summer, baseball, and romance. Risk Kincaid was a very Alpha hero. I took the Most Valuable Player of the World Series and returned him to his hometown of Frostproof, Florida. The most important person in his life was coffee shop owner, Jacy Grayson. I went with the contrast of the major league player and the small town girl. They had a history, and by the end of the book, a future together as well.

Dianne – I’m single and have an animal house. Twelve dogs and six cats. I live on three acres, fenced in, so the dogs have lots of room to run. All the dogs came to me abandoned or abused. I couldn’t turn them away. A female cat wandered in my driveway years ago, skinny and starving. I took her in. Two months later she had five kittens. All stayed. I live in a stilt house, so the dogs live upstairs, and the cats also live inside, within the latticework lower level. Between treats, toys, and doggy beds, my pet food grocery bill is probably as high as a household with eight growing boys! We’re a very happy family.

If you’ve read Squeeze Play, go to my website – http://www.kateangell.com – and enter the contest to win a Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

Thanks, Kate Angell!

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;o) post the cover that is…

It did, it did!

Blogger has been acting screwy all day…or at least it has with me. Anyway, as promised, the cover for Erin’s upcoming release.

For those who missed the announcement, Erin McCarthy is joining us.

Welcome again, Erin!

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