Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between

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Book Signing in Alexandria, VA

Thursday, March 29th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

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.  ;-)

Posted 11 years, 10 months ago at 12:14 am.

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Samhellion Celebrations

Sunday, March 18th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

Just in case you missed all the squeals of delight, it’s official, Samhain Publishing has been recognized by Romance Writers of America.  This is a major achievement for any small press.  It’s doubly impressive in this case because Samhain achieved it less than 18 months after opening its doors.  WTG, Crissy & Co.!
Also sending a shout-out to 

 on’s publication of his “Space Burps”.  Less than 1025 characters (including spaces) and it’s still hilarious.  it also got a big boost when featured it in their Clicked section.  Now where did I hide the good bottle of cyber-champagne…


Posted 11 years, 11 months ago at 4:14 pm.

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Catching Up

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

You can always tell when it’s sorta kinda related to writing biz on this blog.  The Vanyr cover shows up.  LOL
This will be relatively short and painless.  Promise.
First I’d like to thank Catherine Chant and the good folks at RWA’s From the Heart for their wonderful author profile.  I sound good and the book sounds great.  Cathy, I swear, you must be related to Christopher Chant.  Your interview and Denise Pattisons newsletter (52 formatted pages) are nothing short of magic.
Second, for all the fans out there, what fan sites do you visit most often?  Not fanfiction sites, but places where it’s okay to advertise.
Since With Nine You Get Vanyr may be the first commercially available novel to present fanfiction in a positive light, I’d like to target a few of my advertising pennies to the sites where fans–and presumably a few fanfiction writers–congregate.  Make no mistake, we are talking pennies here.  Fortunately, most Internet ad rates aren’t too bad.  Yet.  (She groans.)
On a writing note, drafted a 4000-word, real life ghost story called “The House Least Likely”.  *user wipes sweating brow*  We talking major relief here.  Since last fall, RL has been a jackhammer.  Short as it is, “The House Least Likely” is the first creative thing I’ve been able to finish in ages, and it feels good!  I’ll ship it out as soon as I get the necessary permissions and do my final line edit.  Meanwhile, I plan on getting back to Highway from Hell tomorrow.  At last!

Posted 11 years, 11 months ago at 12:55 am.

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Fan Girl Squee

Monday, March 12th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

It’s official.  Sunday has just become my favorite night of the week.  First The Dresden Files at 9 p.m. followed by an hour with Vickie Nelson, Henry Fitzroy and, er, Whatsisname-the-Cop (guess you know who I was rooting for in the books) and their Blood Ties and, coming in April a tape of Henry’s “dad” in swashing his buckle in The Tudors.  
Talk about a hot line up.  I’d like one each of Kyle Schmid, Dylan Neal and Paul Blackthonre, please.  (I’ll get to Jonathan Rhys Meyers in a few weeks.  Gotta save something for dessert.)  Yes, I’m sure the dh will object, but together we’ll outnumber him.  I can’t wait to see who they (ahem) dig up for the Sookie Stackhouse series.
What’s even better is both The Dresden Files and Blood Ties capture the vibe of the books really well.  All the hot guys in the world won’t keep me watching if the writing isn’t there.  And so far, the writers for both series have done extraordinarily well, even when the characters don’t look quite as I expected.  Kyle, for example is a lot prettier than I envisioned Henry–not to mention that glorious halo of hair.  (In the books, Henry wears the cropped hair typical of his father’s court.)  But Kyle is short (check out those heels  LOL), and the knife edge balance of cute as a button and dangerous as all get out is handled very well.  
The funny thing is, if I were doing Fantasy Casting, I’d cast him as Armand in Anne Rice’s vampire series.  Jonathan Rhys Meyers or even Jonas Armstrong, the BBC’s new Robin Hood are a lot closer to my vision of Henry F.
Not that I’m complaining about Jonas in Robin Hood, mind you.  How can I complain about a show that manages to be both funny and topical.  Every time the writers make a point that it’s wrong to use somebody else’s “Holy War” in the Holy Land as an excuse to shaft the folks back home or deprive them of their civil rights, I want to stand up and cheer.  The show’s helping to raise another generation of rabid believers in individual rights on both sides of “the pond”.  Saturday’s become almost as good as Sunday–even if I do giggle a lot about the comb-over.  But I’m just mean that way.
So *user rubs her hands together* where have they been hiding the fan fiction?  You don’t suppose they’ll do another batch of eps and invite Michael Praed along for the ride.  Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Posted 11 years, 11 months ago at 12:08 am.

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Buttons & Happy Dances

Saturday, March 10th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

Isn’t it pretty?  It’s all pink and shiny and it’s mine, Mine, MINE!
Well, actually, it’s Teri’s and mine–for this year, at any rate.  With Nine You Get Vanyr scored an Honorable Mention (#2) in the sf/fantasy book category of Love Romances Ebook Cafe’s 2006 reader’s poll.  I’ve been grinning ever since I heard.
Samhain did well too.  The Cafe’s readers rated it as the year’s best publisher, and Samhain author Bianca D’Arc scored two top prizes: Best ShapeShifter Book and Best Paranormal Author of 2006.  WTG, Bianca!
I will now return you to your regularly scheduled Saturday programming.  I need to go pet my precious.  While I’m at it, I should probably pet my Preditor and Editor button before it starts feeling neglected.  With Nine You Get Vanyr placed second in the sf/fantasy category there too.  I guess the novel has become the Avis of 2006.
Well, I do plan on trying harder.  ;-)

Posted 11 years, 11 months ago at 12:56 am.

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Reed My Lips

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

My dad isn’t turning in his grave in Arlington National Cemetery.  He’s spinning 48X.
For eleven years during the Vietnam War, Major then Lieutenant Colonel John J. Ward served as the registrar–or chief administrative officer–of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  He was the person responsible for making sure everything ran smoothly and according to code.  I was born in the old hospital and put to bed to the sweet lullaby of Army regulations and manuals describing a thousand and one proven methods to strip, dessicate, burn, uproot and eradicate English ivy.  
Why was waging all-out war on a vine my father’s personal obsession?  It looked so pretty growing up the hospital’s red brick walls.  It reminded Little Me of pictures I’d seen of Williamsburg and Monticello–like a big house in the country with rolling lawns all around.
But, as my father patiently explained, the purpose of a hospital isn’t to look pretty on the outside.  The purpose of a hospital is to help people–especially people wounded in the service of their country–get better.  To do that it has to be clean and solid.  Ivy tendrils poke holes in the brick  Rainwater seeps through the holes into the walls, growing molds and fungi that make even well people sick.  Squirrels and birds, rats and mice make their homes in the leaves, and climb through the windows into the soldiers’ rooms.  
Are encouraged to climb into the windows by recovering soldiers bored out of their minds and desperate for a friendly face.  Even if it’s furry.  Even if it only wants their scraps.  Even if it carries fleas and ticks and other things that hurt people who are already hurt.
My dad didn’t just oversee the ivy’s removal.  He ensured the workmen obliterated every scrap of ivy protein from within seeding distance of the old hospital.  He established a defensive perimeter of concrete at the foundations and deployed exterminators to wipe every trace of vermin–fungal, vegetal, arthropoidal, avian or mammalian–from within the hospital walls.  At home in “Splinter Village”–the old wooden housing units left over from World War I–we fought a never-ending war against the cockroaches breeding in the crumbling drywall.  But that state of affairs wasn’t acceptable at the hospital.  Not for him.  Not for the base commander.  Not for the surgeon general of the Army.
It’s not acceptable now.  It’s a shame and a disgrace.  But it’s only the latest atrocity in a criminally long tally.  
But I digress.
Towards the end of his life, my dad turned into a knee-jerk conservative/control freak.  (Yeah, he was all that before, but only on the job.  At home he was human.  Mom had him trained.)  He died in 2002, and I often wondered if 9/11 wasn’t part of what killed him.  I saw firsthand the effect the Pentagon attack had on friends in the military.  It was like the very roots of their world had been torn out from under them.  They recovered their footing.  My dad was 87.  He couldn’t regroup.
When The Washington Post finally, finally broke the scandal that’s had those of us associated with the human side of America’s military grinding our teeth for years, my first reaction was totally petty.  I wished my dad had lived to see what his precious Republicans had done to the hospital he helped make a model of the best and brightest American medicine had to offer.  My knee-jerk reaction, if you will, followed quickly by profound gratitude he didn’t live to see it.  The suffering and neglect of his comrades in arms would’ve burned through his soul like acid.
But as the administration has spun out their denials and Congress slowly, slowly lumbers off its collective ass to “study the problem”, I’ve decided I wish something else entirely.  I wish the ghost of my father, in the form of the angry cornered tiger of an old man he became or, better yet, as he is now–jaw hanging slack in his decomposing face, blue dress uniform in tatters on his skeletal form–would rise up from his grave to seek out every one of the damned vermin who allowed this to happen and terrorize them into making it right.
Then I wish him the peace of another job done right.

Posted 11 years, 11 months ago at 1:43 am.

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Absentee Apologies

Thursday, March 1st, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

No, you haven’t been imagining things–or the lack of things, like responses to emails.  *sigh*  My mom’s youngest sister died on Monday, and I’ve been scrambling ever since.  Greg and I are heading up to Pennsylvania for the funeral first thing tomorrow.  Will try to catch up when I get back.
I’m sad about my aunt.  She was one of the nice ones in a family not known for the gentle sweetness of its women.  But she had been diagnosed with metastic cancer a few months ago, so I can’t say it’s a surprise.
Things are far more nervewracking for

.  His mom’s taken another turn for the worse.  Please, keep them both in your thoughts.


Posted 11 years, 11 months ago at 2:19 am.

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