Archive for January, 2007

In the next few days, either Thursday or Monday, we’ll be doing another author interview.

This one will be with Angela Knight and she will stop by to answer any questions you might have. And…. a prize. :o)

Check back in a few days! I’ll post when I know for sure.

Sometime in February, we’re turning the tables and interviewing somebody who is almost infamous when it to comes romances, reviews and stalking authors. ;o) And who might it be? Bad Barb, of course.

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Every fall, our famous local radio announcer gives us that phrase in a booming voice to get our “Big Orange” blood pumping… and though fall is long past, and the game next weekend is NOT in Tennessee, I think all of us Vols are hearing those words in our sleep. 🙂

I must confess, other than the occasional party, I’ve never been a rabid Super Bowl fan. But this year all we Tennessee folk will be glued to our TV’s watching our local “son”, Peyton Manning, lead his impressive team in the Super Bowl.

Peyton Manning was a star at the University of Tennessee, and not only for being a mega-talented athlete, but also for being an all-around decent guy. Ten years ago, while he was still a student, he and Coach Phil Fulmer posed for a poster that would benefit Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. My hubby was the director of the Friends at the that time, so I got to tag along. It was a picture perfect spring day. We rented horses at Cades Cove and rode six miles up to Spence Field. After a lovely picnic in a movie-worthy setting, Peyton and Phil posed for their photo with the famous peak “Rocky Top” in the background.

The twelve-mile round trip on horseback left an indelible impression on my posterior (ouch!), and since it was my first real horseback ride, the creek crossings were a bit scary, as was almost getting knocked off my horse when she/he decided to lurch sideways under some rhododendron bushes!! But all in all it was such a fun day, and I have lots of great pictures to remember it by.

With our boy Peyton posed for glory next Sunday night, I couldn’t resist posting my “claim to fame” photo. 🙂

Chime in and tell me your SuperBowl plans… or lack thereof!

Janice Maynard

P.S. Play With Me is on the shelves if you’re looking for something to read. (Grinning diabolically…)

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Hi Everyone!
I’m on deadline crunch right now so I’m cheating and posting an excerpt of Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind…….enjoy!
She’d made it. She was on Earth.
And she’d met Sheriff.
A sound on her door drew her attention. Just like last night. Maybe it was Sheriff again.
“Are you decent?” he called out.
Decent? Was he asking her if she was suitable to copulate with? She wasn’t sure about all the customs. Maybe it was best to ask if your partner would be a worthy mate.
She thought she might be a decent partner. Yes, she was almost sure of it.
“Yes, I’m decent.” She sat tall in the bed, her body tingling with anticipation.
His gaze was fixed on the tray he carried as he balanced it and the cups while pushing on the door at the same time. When he looked up, his eyes rounded. The tray dropped from his hands, splashing brown liquid on the floor and breaking the white cups.
“I thought you said you were decent,” he croaked.
“Wouldn’t I make a decent partner to cop…have sex with?”
“No?” Her bottom lip puckered.
“I mean yes…but no. Damn it, I thought you meant you had your clothes on.” He bent and picked up the cups and tray. “I have to get a mop.” Grabbing her dress off the back of the chair, he tossed it to her. “Would you please put that on before…before…”
“Before what, Sheriff?”
“Before you find yourself with more trouble than you bargained for. I’m only human.” He turned but before he left called over his shoulder, “And my name is Mason not Sheriff.”

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Peanut Butter and Sugar!

Peanut Butter and Sugar! 

Howdy Peeps!
Today I want to talk about how you personally get through the crappy times. What do you do to escape for a bit when you feel like your head is ready to explode?

As many of you know, my husband isn’t well and that’s really a bummer but this post is not about sickness, we’ve all have been there and done that ourselves or with loved ones. This is about coping.

What do you do to escape from some crappy thing going on in your life?

Maybe your daughter brought home the biggest looser east of the Mississippi? Or your mother-in-law is coming for a month visit. Or you got the boss from hell. Or you husband just ran off with the cupcake next door?

Whatever it is, we’ve all been through the crappy times and need to get away and regroup so we can go on. I’m not taking about flying off to Vegas…though that would be great…but a little escape time to think about something else besides strangling your doctor, daughter, MIL, boss, husband and cupcake.

I sooooo wish I thought escaping was taking a good long run, working up a good sweat, going to the gym, doing yoga. But, alas, I resort to more basic things…like a jar of peanut butter, the sugar bowl, a big spoon, and reruns of the Gilmore Girls. 

I park my fanny in front of the TV, crank up Stars Hallow, spoon sugar into my pb jar and lose myself for an hour. And for me it works! A little R&R and I can face the world again…least try to.

So, what do you do when you really need to get away from it all?

Hugs, Dianne

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The Rules of Writing Romance

The hero should be fantastically good looking, rich and sensitive.

The heroine should be younger, less well off financially than the hero.

There must be a Happy Ever After

You must tell the story from the woman’s POV.

You must write what you know.

You must…

Okay, enough of that. Do you all know there are rules to writing romance? I did some investigating online and found lists that range from 2-3 rules, to ten or more. I flipped thru writing manuals, checked out some onine workshops, and read alllll sorts of rules. Some rules that applied fifteen or twenty years ago don’t nessarily apply now. Some rules that apply to romance, in general, won’t work in the erotic romance subgenre (like the hero and heroine can’t have sex after meeting…even if they hated each other at first sight). By that rule, menages would be out, wouldn’t they? Some people suggest that you write what you know. Other suggest you let your imagination be the guide. I’ve heard a dozen times over that the heroine can have a traumatic experience in her life, ie: rape or abuse, but it should happen in the past, not during the story itself.

The one rule I saw everywhere I looked was this one, They must live Happily Ever After. As far as I’m concerned, that HEA is the only hard and fast rule in writing romance any more.

I like to break rules, though. I don’t know if I do it subconsciously or not. But for some odd reason, my brain just works that way. In Touch of Gypsy Fire, the heroine is raped during the story. Not on the page, it happens off scene, but it does happen and I couldn’t take it out of the story and still maintain the plausibility of it. I couldn’t remove the circumstances of the book that led to the rape because then it wouldn’t have been the same story. It wouldn’t have been my story.

The blurb for I’ll Be Hunting You seems to break the one hard and fast rule of romance:

What happens when a woman loses the man she was born to love? Tori doesn’t know. Declan has been her lover, her friend, her confidant — now he is gone. With grief and heartache driving her insane, Tori has become a liability to those she knows and loves.Until a fellow Hunter arrives on her doorstep with a mysterious message. You must go…Tori doesn’t want to go anywhere. But now she can’t resist. What is waiting for her is something she never dared to hope for.

Relax… it is a romance. I didn’t break the one rule that I consider to be the hard and fast, unbreakable written in stone rule. But kind of worrisome, isn’t it?

Then there His Every Desire, the book I opened with the line, I want your wife. No, I’m not using adultery as a plot device and it’s not a marriage in name only sort of deal. It’s about a criminal that beats his wife, and the hero trying to save her. But I still broke a rule, the hero fell in love with a married woman.

I’m not even going to talk about what I did in Voyeur…

The point of all of this is that rules, certain rules, can be broken. But you want to leave the reader feeling satisfied and pleased at the end, even if a few tears were shed on the way.

Writers out there… what rules have you broken? Readers… what rule or rules, in your mind, are the ones that can’t be broken?

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Covers and characters

I got my new cover in for Hunters: Heart and Soul. This book actually has two stories in it. All the characters have appeared in one or more Hunters books before now.
The first story, Heart of A Hunter is the story of Mike and Leandra. This one was easier to write. I knew Mike was going to pair with Leandra in book four. I mean, the lady shoots him. Who else am I going to pair him up with? 😉 Yeah, I’m weird that way.
The second story is Soul of a Hunter is about Mal and Kelsey. This one-not so easy to write. Mal isn’t the easiest character. He can be a bully. He can be a pain in the butt. Which makes Kelsey the perfect mate for him, IMO. (Sorry, shadoe!) Kelsey has the unique ability of ignoring Mal. Or at least convincing him that she ignores him. She’s more aware of him than lets on. She’d have to be, since I’ve known from book 2 who Mal’s mate was going to be.
Characters can be the weirdest thing. A friend, Jaci Burton, was blogging the other day about secondary characters barging in on her stories. She asked if this happened to other writers. Seems the general consensus was yes. It sure does happen to me often enough.
Lets see…. I had an elf take over a fairy tale that I was writing. I had a dragon take over a fantasy. I had a sexy Irishman take over a story when the woman was already in love and happily married. Okay, so the husband died, but still…
Right now I’m working on a dark fantasy/alternate reality type of thing. It’s going…okay. I just now started dusting it off and reading through the first few chapters, fixing this, fixing that. But all the while, I keep hearing these voices in my head. There’s an ER doctor, there’s a DEA agent, one thinks his lover is going insane, the other guy is planning to do something illegal. And here I am trying to focus on one story. Just one. Yeah, right… like that’s gonna happen.
And to top it all off? There’s this character in my current WIP, one that’s contracted, which means DEADLINE. He keeps catching my attention. But I don’t even know what is going to happen in chapter four of this WIP. And he’s trying to seduce into thinking about his story already.
Man, I got wwwaaaayyyyy too many voices in my head.

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My web-mistress is putting together a new website for me. It won’t be up for a while, though. I’m sick of the bright colors on mine—and blue…and the cartoon look. What was I thinking???? LOL I was trying to add that bit of comedy since I put a little humor in every book. Now I’m putting a lot. At least, I hope I’ll make people laugh.

Web design: Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind has an alien in it who comes to our planet and we get a glimpse of how she views earth–and the hero. My Sept release, Double Dating With The Dead, has a psychic and a skeptic living in a vacant hotel for two weeks with two sex-starved ghosts. My story in the anthology, The Morgue The Merrier—also coming out in Sept.— has a dead Elvis impersonator. I’m in another anthology in October and it’s a straight contemporary comedy.

So now I have aliens, ghosts and straight contemporary. They’re comedies and they’re also very sexy. No wonder my web-mistress is going bald. Try fitting that into a web design! LOL I think we’ve decided on mystical. It’ll be a nice change from cartoon.

I’m giving away an arc of Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind (okay, next book gets a shorter title!!!!) to one lucky person who makes a comment—because how else will I put your name in for a drawing–duh!

Karen Kelley
Available Now! Hell On Wheels/Brava
Available Now! Texas Bad Boys/Brava
04/07 Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava

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I’m in deadline dementia here, so I’m going to do a lazy blog and post an excerpt for my January re-release, A Date With The Other Side. If you missed this story the first time around in trade size, it just hit the shelves this week in mass market paperback size. In May the connecting book, Heiress For Hire, will be out in mass market too. Have a great Friday!

From Ohio’s most haunted town…
by Erin McCarthy
The man gave a whole new meaning to the words rise and shine.
Shelby stood with her hand still on the doorknob to the blue bedroom, the one where the ghost of Nanny Baskins resided, and took a long lingering look at the sleeping male form on top of the white eyelet spread.
The naked man, mouth dropped open on a soft snore, his black hair sticking up, had one hand on his bare broad chest. The other was slung carelessly on the pillow. He didn’t look familiar, not a single bare inch of him.
Gran had forgotten to tell her that she’d let the room again.
Yet Shelby couldn’t help but be a tiny bit intrigued by this tenant. It wasn’t quite nine am yet, and he may have been sleeping, but his thing-a-ma-bob was ready to start the day with a bang.
“Hey, Shel, you gonna let me in or not?” came Brady’s undulating teenage voice. “Bad enough you made us do this at the crack of dawn, but now you won’t let us in?”
Shelby started to back up, bumping Brady and his girlfriend Joelle, as she retreated, still keeping one eye on that bed. Or an eye on what was on that bed, anyway.
It had been so long since she’d seen a man naked, she’d almost forgotten what they looked like. Besides, her ex-husband had never looked like that sleeping. She might not have left him if he had.
“Sorry, Brady, we’ll have to move on to the next stop on the tour.” She tried to keep her voice down so she wouldn’t disturb Naked Wonder.
Brady didn’t take the hint. Tossing back his blue hair, he rolled his tongue stud around. “Huh?”
Shelby wondered if kids were still dying their hair Easter egg colors or if Brady was sadly dated. Fashion came late to Cuttersville, Ohio. Sort of like getting a flyer in the mail and the sale is over. Cuttersville was always late for the sale.
So even if Brady was way out of style elsewhere, in this town he was a rebel. He was also her cousin, which was why she was letting him take the Haunted Cuttersville Tour at nine in the morning free of charge.
“Shh,” she ordered, flapping her arms in her white tank top, giving herself a whiff of her deodorant. “I’ll explain in a minute, back up.”
With a little luck, she could get the door closed before…
“Who the hell are you?”
Too late.
Shelby shot Brady and Joelle, who were straining to see around her, warning looks. Then she closed the door in their faces, leaving her alone in the room. With him.
Turning around, she said with a smile, “I’m Shelby Tucker. It’s nice to meet you.”
The man was sitting up, and he’d pulled the eyelet spread over his lap, but he hadn’t taken into account that eyelet spreads by nature are full of many holes. Small and large, affording her interesting glimpses of golden skin and dark hair. Not the comforter of choice for preserving modesty.
He was still hard. As a rock. That was the only reason for the spread to be sticking up like that, unless it was his knee she was looking at. The spread hooked him through one of the large holes when he shifted. Nope, that was no kneecap, no siree.

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Happy New Year – 2007

Happy New Year! We all watched the ball drop last night and then headed off to bed. With little ones in the house who wake up at the first light of dawn, we needed our sleep.

We’ve had a fun weekend… Caroline, Jamie and the girls left just after lunch today to head back to Knoxville. Anna and Chris are still here, but I slipped away to write the blog while they are watching the Tennessee game (with Charles).

My DH’s birthday is today, so we had presents this morning… I made his birthday cake from scratch… a new recipe for white cake and caramel icing. Yum!

So here are my resolutions… I DO believe in making them, but I try not to make them too numerous or too hard.

1) Read more!! I absolutely love to read, but the last couple of years have been so busy, my “pleasure” reading has waned. I need to turn that around.

2) Try to wean myself from regular Coke to mostly Diet Cokes. (This will be hard, because I hate diet drinks, but all those Cokes have lots of calories.)

3) Figure out a better filing system for e-mails I have printed out and also for other writing related paperwork. I am a very organized person, but I haven’t got a good handle on a filing system for my writing.

I may have a few more resolutions floating around in my head, but those will do for now!

I am excited this week, because tomorrow is the official release date of “Play With Me”. I’m offering a related contest. If you buy a copy and send me a copy of your sales receipt dated January 1-7, I will enter you in a drawing to win a $25 gift card to B&N. Second prize is having the cost of your book reimbursed. If you don’t want to buy the book at this time, you can send me a snail mail note to that effect and I will enter you in a drawing to win a copy of A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. Mail all entries to P.O. Box 4611, Johnson City, TN 37602. I’ll draw the winners on the evening of January 15th. Good luck and thanks in advance to those of you who enter. 🙂

That’s it for now… we all have a clean slate ahead of us in the next 365 days. My wish for all of you is lots of good reading, fun with friends and family, and the courage to meet life’s challenges.

I look forward to a wonderful year “online” with all of you!!

Janice Maynard

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