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Two early presents, really. The first is the gala itself. This Saturday, December 18, 7-9 p.m., the Borders at 4420 Mitchellville Road, Bowie, MD 20716, will host a book signing featuring:

- Rising romantic suspense star Jeanne Adams,

- Bestselling science fiction and fantasy writer Catherine Asaro,

- Break-out historical romance author Grace Burrowes,

- Award-winning children's author Deborah Da Costa,

- Three time Nebula Award nominee and veteran SF short story writer Bud Sparhawk, and

- Me.

Just in time for your holiday buying. And to help you get into the spirit of the holidays, there will be music by Catherine and Donald Wolcott. How can you you go wrong?

The second present arrived in my email earlier tonight: the Letter of Agreement for Dragon*Con 25. Nine months away and my mind is already there.
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Just in time for Halloween, I've updated the JeanMarieWard.com "And Stuff" page with links to two real life ghost stories:

"Everyday Haunts" -- You think you know your neighborhood? Maybe it's time to talk to the resident ghosts. (And check out the great cover J.C. Wilder found for the story. Is that a great door to mystery or what?)

"Real Weird" -- More spooky stories from the most ordinary house on the block.

Happy haunting! And don't forget, I'll be signing Dragon's Lure and Fantasy Art Templates at Tea With the Authors at Constellation Books in Reisterstown, Maryland, from 3-5 p.m., Saturday, October 30. Looking forward to seeing you there.
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Is Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity too crazy for you...or not insane enough?

What you need is a large dose of bacon-loving dragons and bad-assed fairies. To get it, join me for Tea with the Authors at Constellation Books, 303 Main Street, Reisterstown, MD 21136, this Saturday, October 30, from 3-5 p.m.

The event also features my partners-in-crime--er, fantasy--er, fellow writers Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon and Robert E. Waters. The spotlighted books will be Dragon's Lure (which includes my short story "Lord Bai's Discovery") and Bad-Assed Fairies 3: Halfling's Court.

There will be tea, cookies, costumes, readings and lots of fun. Hope to see you there!
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RavenCon isn’t the only thing on my calendar this month. Monday, April 12, barely hours after I return from Richmond, I’ll be reading at the Library of Congress in downtown Washington, D.C. The Library of Congress! You can’t see it, but I’m grinning so hard my cheeks are aching.

The reading resulted from a collaboration between the library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum and Broad Universe, an international organization dedicated to exploring and promoting the work of women writers in science fiction, fantasy and horror. It will take the form of a four-person Rapid Fire Reading featuring Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Sarah Avery, fellow BtV blogger Christine Norris and me. You’ve already seen the poster I prepped when the reading was announced. Now you can read the bios, too, in the hand-out I’ll be using as our program.

But that’s not the only reason I may expire of excitement. I’ve been added to the roster of major authors (like Charlaine Harris!) signing with Nora Roberts at Turn the Page Bookstore Café in Boonsboro, Maryland, on Friday, April 16. My name and web site link seem to wander around the page, but the confirmation of my presence is right there at the bottom of the page: the buy link for Fantasy Art Templates.

I signed With Nine You Get Vanyr at the Turn the Page spring mega-signing in 2007. Nora and the top names sell hundreds of books, and even small fry like me sell in the dozens. This time, there are some new rules. For example, the writers can only sign books purchased at the event. Trust me, that’s a relief. Yes, you sign that much.

Finally, it’s official. I’m on the guest list at DragonCon. Atlanta, here I come. I can’t wait.
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Last week, my friend Ellen Byerrum (center) celebrated the broadcast of Killer Hair, the first of two Crime of Fashion movies on the Lifetime Movie Network. Ellen’s written six mysteries featuring vintage design-loving fashion sleuth Lacey Smithsonian and several plays, not to mention a career full of articles for daily newspapers, magazines and industry journals. Even so, there’s something very special about seeing a movie made of something you wrote.

To mark the occasion, Ellen held a party June 21 at Generous George’s Positive Pizza, a funky Alexandria VA landmark which features the kind of retro chic Lacey revels in. My photos don’t do either the event or the place justice, but at least I captured the big smile on Ellen’s face as the credits faded to black following Killer Hair. The movie and its sequel, Hostile Makeover, are very good introductions to the books. They’re bright, funny and feature lots of great clothes—three of my favorite things. Here’s hoping Lifetime feels the same and picks up Crime of Fashion as a weekly series.




Yesterday it was my turn—well, mine and three good buds from the DC Area Storytellers. Here you see Anthony Stevens (left), me, D. Renee Bagby and Stephanie Burke (right) at our book signing the Parkside in Baltimore MD. The venue and its art were stellar and the company couldn’t be beat. Aren’t Renee and Stephanie gorgeous? Anthony and I…well, we’re good writers too. :)
 
Cheers and smiles,
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If you happen to be in the Baltimore area this Saturday, you might want to drop in at the Parkside Restaurant anytime from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. DC Area Storytellers D. Renee Bagby (also a Samhain author), Stephanie Burke, Anthony Stevens and I will be reading from published stories and upcoming works, and signing and selling our books. Knowing this group, we'll probably manage to get into a fair amount of trouble too. I mean, they serve drinks and food at this place, and I saw Animal House at a very impressionable age. Don't say you weren't warned...
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I just bowed out of Saturday's signing.  What I thought was a cold on its way out has morphed into something involving chills, fever and the mother of sore throats.
But none of this means you should stay home if you were thinking of going.  The Annapolis Borders signing still boast six great authors--D. Renee Bagby, Dana Marie Bell, Stephanie Burke, Monica Bell, Margaret L. Carter and Melissa Schroeder, lots of books and fun for all.
Except me.  :-(  Eat a piece of chocolate cheesecake for me, guys!
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Wheeeeeeee!
I get to hang with my buds in the DC Area Storytellers at the Annapolis Mall Borders in Annapolis, Maryland, this Saturday, February 7, from 2-5 p.m.  Joining me for this signing will be D. Renee Bagby, Dana Marie Bell, Stephanie Burke, Monica Burns, Margaret L. Carter and Melissa Schroeder.  There will be books, there will be giveaways, and most importantly, there will be fun.  Hope you can make it if you're in the area!
Cheers and smiles,
Jean Marie
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Okay, so it's not all mine. But I will be on the road in Maryland this Saturday, September 13, as part of a double signing with seven Washington DC-area authors at Fort Meade's Main PX and the Columbia Borders. And it should be magical.

Four of the authors are fellow Samhain writers--D. Renee Bagby, Dana Marie Bell, Melissa Schroeder and Eve Vaughn. Also joining us are Stephanie Burke of Ellora's Cave and Anthony Stevens of Lyrical Press.

We'll be signing at the Main Fort Meade Post Exchange from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Our signing at the Borders located at 6151 Columbia Crossing Circle, Columbia, MD 21045, will run from 2-4 p.m.  Of course, there will be giveaways and prizes at both locations.

More importantly, at the Fort Meade PX, a very special book will be available for sale: Here Be Dragons (ISBN 978-0-8095-7331-8), a collection of thirteen short stories about the weird and wonderful fan convention known as Dragon*Con written by some of today's top science fiction and fantasy authors. For reasons unfathomable to anyone but the editor, I'm included in that number.  Plus, the copies I'll be selling--and signing--at Fort Meade have been autographed by Jody Lynn Nye and our fearless editor Bill Fawcett as a tribute to our men and women in uniform.

I don't even know if I'll be able to sell them at the Borders later in the afternoon. The book hasn't been officially released yet. It isn't scheduled to appear in most stores until November, and the print run is very limited.

Here Be Dragons is special on a number of levels. In addition to stories by Jody, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Susan Sizemore, Mike Resnick, Todd McCaffrey and me, the collection features the Robert Asprin's last story, finished the day before he died. Ironically, Bob's story doesn't boast a single alien, dragon or elf, just real people doing what comes naturally at Dragon*Con--which can get a lot stranger.

Our Maryland signings, even with me hanging around, will probably be mundane by comparison. But you never can tell. Hope you'll join us and find out.

Cheers!
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Because if you don't, you'll miss the York Emporium's SciFri Saturday with author signings, blooper reels (with popcorn!), a visit from NASA, stand-up comedy, an art show and meeeeee!  I'll be one of the authors signing.  I don't think I'll be contributing to the comedy or the bloopers, but you never can tell.  More details can be found here.
I'll also be appearing at DragonCon, August 29 - September 1.  It remains, in Teri's immortal words, my favorite summer camp for wayward adults.  I don't know my final schedule yet, but it looks like I'll be on at least three tracks.  
In addition, I'll be signing books with six other authors at the Fort Meade Post Exchange and Borders in Columbia, MD, on Saturday, September 13.  I'll be talking more about these signings later, but at the moment it looks like we'll be at the PX from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and the Borders from 2-4 p.m.  There will be giveaways and prizes, and wild and crazy writers.
Oh wait.  Wild + Crazy = Writers.  Guess it can't be helped.  ;-)
Finally, you may have noticed a new link on my LJ page.  A few weeks ago a friend introduced me to BookTour.com.  It's a great resource for finding author signings and events in your neighborhood.  I'll be using it to keep my calendar until I can get my new web site up and running.
Yeah, I'm behind on that too.  LOL
Cheers!
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Specifically, for the lucky librarians attending the ALA conference in Washington, DC, over the next few days.
Courtesy of RWA, I'll be signing free copies of With Nine You Get Vanyr at the RWA booth from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 26.  This is one of RWA's very good deals.  It affords Published Author Network (PAN) members the opportunity to connect with librarians and and get books into their hands--at no cost to the writer!  Ideally, what the librarians read will inspire them to order the author's next book.  And people wonder why I say PAN membership is important.  :D
If Mom's health holds up, I hope to cruise "the Stacks" Sunday and Monday too.  She spent two days in hospital this week and still feels a little punky.  IV antibiotic and saline took care of the medical problem, but it still takes time to recover from the IV.
Tomorrow, if I hold up, I'll be lunching with a few other Samhain authors and editors at the Champps in Columbia, MD.  Then, if I'm still conscious, it's off to a friend's house for a BBQ.  Greg has his doubts.  Naturally, in the middle of everyone's health issues, I came down with another sinus infection.  Gah. 
But it could always be worse.
Hugs and crossed fingers,
Jean Marie
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Three cons and two book signings in two weeks.  Yes, I’m crazy.  You had to ask?

Not only that, I'm crazy enough to post about all three.  With pics!  (At last, you say.)

 

Technically, RavenCon, Richmond VA’s very new science fiction/fantasy con, ran from April 20-22.  But unlike a lot of local sf/fantasy/horror organizations who sit around wringing their hands about where the next generation of fans are coming from, the organizers have mounted a real outreach program.  One that goes out into the local school system and…



Now it’s on to the next challenges.  First there’s the final polish on my ghost cat article, then it’s the beta read of a friend’s first novel.  Part of me is thrilled.  It’s always exciting when someone takes their first writing plunge, but I never know what to say.  It’s all about the sensation of fraud I mentioned earlier.  How can I pretend to be an expert when I know so little? 

 

Fake it.  As usual.  LOL

 

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Sending a big thank you with smoochies to Store Manager Tracy McPeck, her colleagues Stephen and Susan, and all the staff of the Landmark Mall Waldenbooks in Alexandria, VA.  The Landmark Waldens' is my neighborhood bookstore.  Literally.  It's only a mile walk from the house, and I usually make the trek at least once or twice a week.  I suspect this was why Tracy kindly extended the invitation to hold my first signing for With Nine You Get Vanyr at the store March 31.  Either that or my famous puppy eyes routine finally got to her.  :-)
Fortunately, it turned out better than anyone could have imagined.  Friends and family attended in force, prompted by my nagging--er, informative emails and the items I sent to local newspaper events calendars.  One friend read about the signing in The Alexandria Gazette.  She said the item featured a picture of the book too.  (I so need to see a copy of that paper!)
In short, we sold out.  And the store promised to order more.  Well, they have to.  Mother wants three to send to the former chief engineer in her apartment building, her friend the cop and her priest.  And what Reyah wants--er, what Mother wants, Mother gets or there will be consequences.

And the best part--when it was all over, Tracy told me I was her favorite author.  Ever!  It simply doesn't get any better than that.
Hugs and grins,
Jean Marie

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The good folks at my neighborhood bookstore have been kind enough to host a booksigning for me this Saturday, March 31.  The details are:

Who - Jean Marie Ward
What - Signing With Nine You Get Vanyr and Illumina: The Art of J.P. Targete with chocolate, goodies and the chance to win a facsimile Wishstone like the one which plays such a large role in With Nine You Get Vanyr.
When - Saturday, March 31, 1-5 p.m.
Where - Waldenbooks, Landmark Mall
        5801 Duke Street, Space G304
        (Second Floor near Lord & Taylor)
        Alexandria, VA 22304
Tel. - (703)370-6869
Contact - Tracy L. McPeck, Store Manager

Come on by.  I'd love to meet you...and sell you a book.  ;-)

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Jean Marie Ward

May 2017

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