Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Please welcome the amazing JoAnn Ross!!

There is not a lot I can say about our wonderful guest today that someone else hasn’t already said and said better. JoAnn Ross is a master storyteller, an incredible talent and a really great person to have as a friend. JoAnn’s latest release, FREEFALL hit the shelves last week and is already on the way to becoming a blockbuster bestseller. I am so thrilled to have her join us in the convertible. Please welcome JoAnn Ross. And don’t be shy. JoAnn loves to ‘chat’ with her readers. And now, here's JoAnn ......

So, anyone read any good tabloids lately? For those of you who’ve been too busy living your own lives, here’s a bit of celebrity news. And since I’d hate to put a pall over Valentine’s Day week, I’m sticking with positive stuff. . .

Posh Spice celebrated her son Cruz’s third birthday at FAO Schwarz in New York City. Among his birthday gifts were a gumball machine, filled with sugar-free gumballs.

Kate Walsh, formerly of Grey’s Anatomy and star of Private Practice, tested out her now husband by having him meet the dog she’d adopted from an L.A. shelter. Fortunately, Lucy the Dog welcomed him with open paws.

Supermodel Bridget Moynahan, the ex of New England Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady, didn’t have any morning sickness or gain any weight while she was pregnant with Tom’s son. (Okay. Heck with feeling the V-Day love, let’s all pause a moment to hate her.)

And speaking of babies, Matthew McConaughey -- who lives in two tricked-out Airstream trailers in Malibu -- and his girlfriend are expecting. He says they’re “stoked and wowed.”

These are all happy news stories that the celebs wanted out. But there’s obviously a downside to fame too, because if you're in the public spotlight, your life is pretty much open season for anyone with a long lens on their Nikon. Or even, these days, the camera on a cell phone. (And let’s not even get into those mug shot photos, which, lets face it, even the most high-minded of us sort of get a guilty kick out of.)

Although we obviously want lots of people to buy our books, most of the writers I know are, by nature, very private people. One of the cool things about my job is that I can go just about anywhere without being recognized. (Okay, there is the fact that I occasionally have to sign information sheets at doctors' and dentists' offices, which means, if I don't floss, my dentist's hygienist can tell on me to other patients.) But, mostly, I can slip under the radar.

So, in the interest of full disclosure, here are ten things I suspect most readers don't know about me:

1) My first job, when I was three years old, was in a roller skating follies. My mother was a chorus line skater (sort of a Rockette on wheels), and since dependable day care was hard to come by in those days, I was made a member of the troop. My pay, a hot fudge sundae and a weekly movie matinee, seemed extraordinarily generous at the time.

2) My early years were spent in a bungalow on Santa Monica Beach, with bulked up bodybuilders from L.A.'s Muscle Beach as babysitters.

3) While still in grammar school, I wrote melodramas, casting my sisters and neighborhood kids in the roles; tickets cost a dime and since I was a prolific writer, box office receipts paid for my first bike.

4) After my mother remarried, I moved to the remote ranching country of Southern Oregon. Because the Cascade Mountains blocked television signals, people were forced to find other ways to amuse themselves. When I was ten-years-old, I led a group of kids to an abandoned cattle slaughter house and convinced them that the blood spattered all over the floor and walls was from murdered Girl Scouts.

5) While in high school, I interviewed local “celebrities” on a weekly afternoon television news/talk show.

6) I worked as a magician's assistant. (And no, I will not reveal how I was cut in half.)

7) I played folk piano in coffee houses, still believe Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind is one of the best songs ever written, but hope never to hear Puff the Magic Dragon again!

8) I married my high school sweetheart. Twice.

9) I have skydived over the Arizona desert.

10) I dearly hope editors never discover that I'd write for chocolate.

So, that's my semi-private stuff. What thing about you would your friends and neighbors be surprised to discover? And to encourage people to share, lucky respondents, chosen at random, will receive an autographed book of their choice from my backlist, along with assorted bookmarks, covers, and a Freefall special dark chocolate bar. They’ll also be entered in a drawing for a traditional South Carolina sea grass basket filled with scrumptious Lowcountry treats. The winners of the baskets will be announced on my website, http://www.joannross.com March 1.

61 comments:

Dara Edmondson said...

That's pretty exciting and unusual stuff! How can I compete? Something very few people know about me: I was ALMOST one of the original Sesame Street kids. I was a little too shy, though.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Hi JoAnn. I jumped off a 30 foot cliff into the Colorado river on a whitewater rafting trip. I thought I was being brave. But skydiving??? I'm so amazed!! I have always wanted to do it but I'm too much of a coward. Talk about the ultimate FREEFALL. (How's that for getting a plug in early??)

Helen Brenna said...

Hey, JoAnn! So fun to welcome you to the convertible today.

I love your Freefall cover. That guy is HOT! Even his lips. Especially his lips.

Anyway ... something a lot of my writer friends don't know about me is that I used to rock climb. Alot. It was my weekend gig after college.

I think the year I first joined RWA, you were president, JoAnn. What year was that?

Betina Krahn said...

Welcome, Joann! I loved your confessions-- what an interesting early life you led. I can see how that would spawn a writer-soul.

And that slaughter house/girl scouts stuff. . . whew. . . glad I didn't know you back then. I'd have been one of those kids who didn't sleep for weeks afterward!

With an imagination like that, your books have to be packed with adventure, danger, and all manner of twisty-turny stuff. Can't wait to get my hands on this one!

Playground Monitor said...

When I was a freshman in college I went on an interfaith council trip to New York City where we studied religion and the arts by going to places like Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We also visited a disco in the Village that was owned by Andy Warhol. That night I got bombed at the disco. And I don't mean I drank too much. I mean someone planted a pipe bomb in the disco and it went boom. I still have a little shrapnel scar on my leg from it.

I love your little-known facts, especially the roller follies and the dead Girl Scout tale.

Dylan rocks!

Marilyn

Elen Grey said...

Just swingin' by to say Hey, JoAnn. Don't hate me, but I didn't have any morning sickness either.

Love, love the skydiving pic! So, what's that like? Skydiving, I mean.

Playground Monitor said...

Well I didn't have morning sickness either. However, my afternoons were less than pleasant.

M

Bailey Stewart said...

Did someone say chocolate?

Okay, what my friends and family don't know is that, as of now, I want JoAnn Ross' childhood. No, really, I was/am boring. Little coward.

Wait, wait - I have one. I believe firmly in ghosts, and in fact we had a poltergeist when I was a child. Only, I was the only one who knew it. *sigh*

PJ said...

Love your books, JoAnn! Can't wait to read FREEFALL.

Wow, what an interesting childhood you had. Murdered Girl Scouts, huh? My dad would have loved you. He was my family's scary storyteller and he was a master.

I've played this game a few times so some people already know this about me but here goes. As a bank employee, I survived two armed robberies unscathed but four weeks before my wedding I was shot in the chest by our armed bank guard when he dropped his gun. No, there was no robbery in progress at the time.

~PJ

joann said...

First of all, thanks for inviting me Cindy! And wow, there are some great stories, too. Dara, I watched the first broadcast of Sesame Street. Too bad you weren't there, but I wouldn't have made the cut given the chance, either. I would've been the kid watching all the other auditions. And taking notes. *g*

Cindy, I loved skydiving. I'd grown up flying every weekend in small planes, but my father would never let me skydive. Then I married young and my husband wouldn't let me. It was the first thing I did after I got divorced. Sorta a metaphorical AND physical jump to freedom. LOL. The coolest thing was coming eye to eye with a red tailed hawk. I don't know which of us was more surprised!

joann said...

Hey Helen -- My sweetie tried rock climbing once. But decided to stick with regular mt climbing. I watch it on Amazing Race -- seems they do it sometime during the season -- and although I understand that it's harder to actually fall off a cliff than it looks, I'd be really scared. Then again, I hate going down ladders!

I think that was JoAnn Ferguson, maybe, who was president. I was RWR editor, but that was back in the ancient '80s, when we carved our books onto stones. *g*

And yes, SEAL Zach is way hot. But Quinn, from Crossfire, is even hotter. At least Cindy thinks so. I'm too close to them to play favorites, but I'll post the secret link to that cover page in a bit and let y'all decide for yourselves!

joann said...

Betina, the funny thing about the slaughter house, was a door slammed shut while we were in there and I'd gotten us all so edgy -- even me -- we ran screaming out across a farmer's cornfield, stalks falling in our path! LOL

Marilyn, you got bombed???? Wow. For once I'm speechless.

joann said...

Elen, skydiving is like flying. When I was doing it, though, as you can see from the pack, we didn't have those cool maneuverable parachutes like they have now. It was a HUGE army surplus one and you had to make sure you put the key in to stop the reserve from going off, or they'd tangle and you'd bounce. (skydiving terminology for hitting the ground and dying.) The suit was way too big for me and the sleeves had unrolled over my hands and I was madly trying to get my hand free and find where to stick that key and my cursing was turning the air at 3,000 feet blue. Well, it was already blue. But you know what I mean. ;)

joann said...

Bailey, I totally believe that about your poltergeist! I've always heard they're more likely to appear to children. My kid once saw his grandmother in his bedroom. It was one of those cases where I'd woken up convinced there was someone in the house, but couldn't find anyone, though Patrick said a lady had been in his room. A couple years later, my sweetie's sister sent him a family photo album and when Patrick saw the picture of his grandmother, who'd died when he was only a couple weeks old, he said, "That's the lady who was in my bedroom." Neither my sweetie nor I doubted him for a minute.

joann said...

PJ!!! That's an amazing gun/bank robbery story. You know, if you put that in a book, no one would ever believe it!!

I had morning sickness every morning, afternoon, and evening of my pregnancy. I even threw up on the delivery table. So now I also have to hate Marilyn and Elen. *g*

PJ said...

Bailey, I actually envy you. I'd love to see a spirit. JoAnn, I think the reason they appear to children is because young minds are so open to the unexplainable.

joann said...

pj, I suspect you're right. My grandda McLaughlin used to swear he'd seen the little people. But he was an Irish bootlegger/storyteller with a taste for his own product, so that story was always a bit suspect, LOL

Anonymous said...

lvoe the cover of the books. love all your books.

joann said...

Thanks anonymous! You reminded me I'd promised to share the Crossfire cover. Although I'm not ready to go public yet, here's the secret URL to the hidden page my sweetie made. (You get REALLY good service when you sleep with your web designer, LOL)

http://www.joannross.com/Page.asp?NavID=116

Bailey Stewart said...

Oh, I still hear/see them. I blame it on my Irish roots. And there isn't any moonshine around. LOL

Going to go take a peak at the cover.

Bailey Stewart said...

Oh my, my, what a rack! I luv it JoAnn - he's so, so, (drool).

anne said...

What diverse experience you have had. Lucky you to try skydiving. The cover is striking and great! Nothing exciting to report from my end. Just that I had no morning sickness and had 2 tiny full term babies.

joann said...

Bailey, how cool that you still see/hear them. My grandda always swore my mother was a selkie, which I'm not so sure about, but it was true that whenever she'd go crazy (well, crazier than her normal crazy), we'd take her to the ocean and she'd be fine. *g*

Anne, another no morning sickness person! How did you do that?????

Thanks Anne & Bailey for the comments about the cover. Yeah, I think he's pretty hot. Of course my FBI heroine never is on a dock by a rowboat in her nightgown in the book, but I figure no one's going to notice her anyway. LOL

jenna said...

Congratulations on your wonderful new release. Looks fab. I enjoyed reading about your unique experiences.
I have had a boring life then. Just normal. Cannot even drive a standard car. Now how bad is that.

ruth said...

I enjoyed reading about your numerous interests. SOunds like fun. I cannot stand heights at all so that leaves out a lot of fun. My late Mom and sister have that problem as well. I love travel though and have been to India, Europe and Israel. Best of success on your new book.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hey, JoAnn! Welcome to the convertible, dear one. Brave one! I SO wish I didn't have a paralyzing fear of heights. I have no problem flying, but put me on the edge looking down and I'm a puddle of jelly. My dad was a WWII paratrooper, and I would love to know what it's like to float through the air under a huge pouf of silk. I'll get myself a copy of FREEFALL and do it vicariously.
I know it'll be exciting. You're one of the best!

PJ said...

LOL! You're right, JoAnn. If you hadn't mentioned the woman on the dock I never would have noticed she was there. Awesome cover!

joann said...

Hey Kathleen! Thanks for having me! The floating part was fun. Unfortunately, unlike the big planes the military uses, as you can see in the background of the picture, this was a little one, so I had to climb out the open door onto the strut with the wind blowing really, really hard. Not helping was the other guy jumping that day -- the guy who's standing next to me -- got scared and climbed back in before I went so we had to circle the desert which gave me more time to wonder what in the world I thought I was doing!

Also, I was so enthralled, that I forgot that I was going to have to land. Which involved a lot of pulled on handles to turn the bulky thing into the wind, which I didn't have time to do. The chute speed was 10 mph and the wind speed was 15, so, since I landed WITH the wind, hitting the ground at 25 mph, which wasn't exactly the high point of my day. LoL At least, unlike what probably happened with your your dad, no one was shooting at me.

Ruth, I've been to Europe and South and Central America, but I have to admit that India would intimidate me!

Oh, and Jenna, I can only drive a stick because I didn't have any choice, since I learned to drive in an MG Midget on the San Diego freeway.

diane said...

Impressive resume. Must feel good to have accomplished so much. I would love to skydive and love adventure, hiking, biking and trying new and interesting ideas.

Cindy Gerard said...

So - I have to ask. the skydiving thing - do you have a feeling of falling or is it more like a feeling of suspension? I know that sounds like a stupid questions but when I've ridden in hot air balloons, I've been amazed at the lack of sensation of movement. It feels like you're standing still and the rest of the world is moving around you.
If skydiving feels like falling, I'd probably have a heart attack before I hit the ground :o(

Debra Dixon said...

Hmm...I guess they'd be surprised to discover I was a "Spotlight" girl for the Girl Scouts. I was a face in their regional advertising, brochures, etc. So I had a tiny little modeling gig when I was a kid.

JoAnn-- Great to have you here today. Loved all the interesting facts about you. Who'd have thunk?

Christie Ridgway said...

Hi, JoAnn! Thanks for joining us. Once upon a time I sat in a bar with you in San Diego...maybe one of the more interesting little known facts about me.

My second most interesting fact was that I did tequila shots with my brother (two whole shots!) in Puerto Vallarta one Christmas...coached by his daughter, my 17 year old niece.

No wonder I love to read...I need to live a little!

Playground Monitor said...

Hey! I had afternoon sickness AND I gained weight. Don't hate me because mornings were good. During my second pregnancy, I depended on Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers to keep #1 son entertained so I could lie on the sofa and feel queasy.

Marilyn

byrdloves2read said...

*pant, pant* Rushing in to join the conversation! I just finished doing our taxes. *big breath*

Okay, what no one knows about me: I was in the Peanut Gallery on the Howdy Doody Show.

petite said...

I am always been the shortest and smallest wherever we go, where I worked, at school. But that is not to be taken lightly. I would love to skydive. Light as a feather.

joann said...

Cindy, when I first let go of the wing and went flying off into space, doing backward somersaults, it was like falling.

Then I remembered I was supposed to do a spread eagle thing and arch my back, which straightened me right out and it was like flying.

Then, once the parachute went up, and I fixed it to the reserve wouldn't deploy, it was like floating, but way more quiet than a balloon, because you don't have the burner. The absolute silence, except for the wings of that hawk, was the most amazing thing to me.

joann said...

Hey Christie! That time in the bar is one of my fondest memories because you were so generous to take me to the beach before I had to go home. (Are you still living there, because I'm visiting the chapter in Oct.)
LOL about the niece training you and your brother to do the shots. Which, btw, I've never done, so that puts you ahead of me in the tequila category!

joann said...

Hey Deb, Spotlight Girl! Glad to be here!

Coincidentally, I just finished scrapbooking a page of my granddaughter in her girl scout vest. I was a Camp Fire Girl. But a Blue Bird first and the annoying thing is that the chirpy Blue Bird song is still in my mind. Along with, thinking about it, Teen Angel.

And wow, the Peanut Gallery's cool, too. Almost like Annette in her mouse ears. :)

Petite, it was way cool. I'm not sure they let people do it the way I did these days because of liability issues. It seems most people jump out attached to someone else. Oh, one funny thing. . . I asked if any of the people they'd taught at their school had ever bounced. They admitted one had. But not to worry, because "the chute got caught on part of the plane, but we cut that part off."

Amazingly, that was right before I got on board. And I took off with them anyway.

Liza said...

Love the new cover! Although I've never been pregnant, I was in the delivery room for my last niece's birth. I got to watch my sister's c-section and was the first to hold my niece.

BTW, love the murdered girl scout story. My friends and I would stand in front of a mirror at midnight and call to the Bell Witch. If you said her name 3 times right at midnight with all the lights out, she would appear behind you in the mirror.

Cindy Gerard said...

JoAnn - I'm posting this from one of your fans who lives in Rome (she also happens to be one of my good friends) Anyway, she couldn't get on blogger and asked me to post this for her. Enjoy!
CG
Ciao JoAnn,

I'm Rossella , I'm writing from Rome, with your stories you make me feel the atmosphere of southern countries, here in Italy: I love your books and thanks for the surprising Italian touch in Freefall!!

What people don't know about me is that I participated to one of the first game show, on a private TV, in 1976,thanks to a friend of mine. I was supposed to win a car but....I didn't even get a" bumper" I never told anyone when it was broadcasted!!

And congratulation for your skydiving. When I went on a small airplaine, pulling the glider with my husband inside , I though It would be so romantic and brave but...I ended up with something morethan morning sickness for 48 hours!!!

Ciao, ciao Rossella

Bailey Stewart said...

There's a woman on that cover? I'll have to go back and look - I was so caught up in HIM!!

Teen angel, can you hear me
Teen angel, can you see me
Are you somewhere up above
And I am still your own true love

Just sweet sixteen, and now you're gone
They've taken you away.
I'll never kiss your lips again
They buried you today

Hmmm, interesting song to have caught in your head ...

joann said...

Bailey -

That fateful night the car was stalled
Upon the railroad track
I got you safely out and then
You went ruuuuning baaack.

then the chorus, which you remember so well.

Then. . .

What was it you were looking for
That took your life that night?
They find my class ring in your hand
You were holding it tiiiight.

Wow. We need to get a life! LOL

As for the FBI agent in the nightgown, yeah, I didn't think anyone would notice her.

joann said...

Oops. That's they FOUND my class ring. Should never drink wine and type.

joann said...

Hi Rosella! Thanks for the lovely words about my books. (And thanks, Cindy, for passing the note along!) And I'm pleased you enjoyed seeing a bit of Florence, which is one of my all time favorite cities in the world. (Sorry I blew up a hotel there!)

I'm still trying to figure out how to spend six months a year there with two very high maintenance rescued doggies that don't travel. I have some pictures from location scenes, including Florence, on my website. Also, I've still going to get around to putting up some of my vacation trips to way fabulous Rome, which I also love.

Bummer about the TV car show thing. As for the morning sickness thing with the plane, that's obviously the same inner ear motion sickness that astronaut got this week that kept him from doing his space walk. My sweetie -- and my kid -- get the same thing; I've watched them go through it and it looks terrible, so you've got my major sympathy!

joann said...

Liza, funny story about the Bell Witch! Where you do live? She's big down here in East TN. I was going to write a book about her, but it had already been done in non fiction, then Elizabeth Peters used her for a fiction story, so I gave up the idea.

Jane said...

Hi JoAnn,
I love the "Crossfire" cover. Quinn's pecs are more impressive than Zach's, but they're both hot. Finn is one of my favorite heroes.

joann said...

Just got two calls from NYC. Thanks to all of you who bought Freefall. With less than a full week out, it just hit the printed NY Times!

Elen Grey said...

Yeehaw! Congrats, JoAnn.

windycindy said...

Hi, This is something I was born with. It isn't a feat or an accomplishment. Only the people
who are the closest to me know this about me! I have a port wine birth mark that is rather large on the left side of my face. At age 51, I have leaned after many trials and errors how to cover it pretty naturally. Please enter me in your drawing.
I appreciate it!
Thanks,Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey = I thought I had the corner on Windy Cindy. At least everyone tells me I am. :o)

JoAnn - YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
You did it.
NEW YORK TIMES Print list.
I'm so impressed. and so happy for you!

Bridget Locke said...

Oh, wow! How fun is this? :) And you lived in Southern Oregon? Cool! I'm from/in Portland, which is basically a different world, but that's really cool.

Things people don't know about me...Hmmmmm... :) You can tell my brain is leaking.


Oh, I can read a 500 page book in less than 3 hours and remember it almost verbatim. That's not necessarily a secret, but I don't like talking about it because people think I'm nuts. :P

And I love your covers. You're a very, very lucky author. I hope when my books get published I can find someone to do yummy covers like that.

Oh and I also collect anything fantasy related, ie, fairies, dragons, wizards, etc. I've got a huge collection, but nowhere to put it. *sniffle*

robynl said...

what most people don't know about me is that I am very shy yet; as children my twin brother and I would hide under the table when visitors came or hang onto Mom's leg all the time(so we were told). I've always been painfully shy until I went through a divorce and had to stand up for myself and then I learnt to talk out but still am shy to some degree. Sometimes when I walk into a room I think 'I'm as good as anyone else' just so I have courage to go into the room and stay there.

Cindy Gerard said...

Well, Ms JoAnn
Before it gets any later I want to thank you for riding with us in the convertible today! We all had a great time. Hope you did too.
I know it's early for those of you on the west coast so this isn't good night. Feel free to post away.
Thanks again, JoAnn
Hugs
Cindy

Jennifer said...

Hey, Joann! Just finished Freefall... excellent read. LOL And that cover... wow. ;-P

Don't worry about the morning sickness thing... I'm right there with you. I was pretty sick with all 5 of my kids. I also threw up during the delivery of the first... something most people don't know. I was so worried about the whole pushing thing... not the pain of labor, just the pushing part. So it was fairly amusing when, after 2 pushes, I started wretching and out he came. My husband still teases me about it.

Another thing about me that is not common knowledge is that I was purposely absent on the day of our school Spelling Bee in 6th grade. I had won the class bee but hadn't given any thought to the fact that I was going to have to stand up in front of the whole school the following week and spell. I was very competitive and wanted to win so badly that none of that was a consideration. Well, being somewhat agoraphobic, I decided to fake illness instead of swallowing my fear and trying my hardest. I knew I couldn't just go in and spell my first word wrong because I'm too much of a perfectionist... but I didn't want to win and then have to go to the state spelling bee, either. So I wussed out. LOL

You'd never know it if you met me today, though. I've gotten quite good at psyching myself up before I have to speak publicly... and I do that fairly often now. No more wuss here! LOL

JoAnn Ross said...

Windy City -- My sister had one of those on her foot. The doctor at the time, when she was a little girl, thought it best to burn it away. He made a mess. I think it could be a very appealing character trait. Maybe something personal only the hero can see because he sees her without makeup.

Robynl -- I used to be painfully shy with people I didn't know so whenever I'd go to a conference I had to pretend not to be. Then one day I was leaving my hotel room to go down to a welcoming cocktail party and while chatting to strangers in the elevator, I kept feeling as if I were forgetting something. Then I realized I'd left my shyness in the room. When I told this to a friend, she'd said that what I'd done was Fake It Til I'd Made It! I'm much better now, but if any of you see me standing alone at a conference, such as
RWA, please take pity on me and and come over and say hi. *g*

JoAnn Ross said...

Hey Bridget! I miss Oregon -- and you're right, Portland's very different from the southern part of the state. I still miss the entire PNW all the time. The people out here in the east are lovely, but they just don't know how to do beaches! What's with all these miles of clean yellow sand.
Where are the sea stacks? The tide pools? The towering piles of driftwood?

And wow, that's fast reading you do! With that memory too, it must've been a real help in school. I can "picture" pages, which occasionally helps when an editor needs me to qualify something in a book, I can picture the page and remember where I got that bit of writing.

And yes, Signet has been fabulous for my covers; I was a little nervous about the nearly naked guy on a suspense cover, (those guys usually show up on historical or paranormal) but then I saw him on two huge posters in the Borders windows on Tuesday and decided the art department knew what they were doing! Good luck with your own writing!!! I wish you tons of sales and a mailbox overflowing with royalty checks!!!

JoAnn Ross said...

Jennifer! Thanks! You helped make Zach a NYT book by buying him his first week out! (And hey, there's still time for the others of you who haven't bought Freefall -- and why haven't you? lol -- to keep him on the list!!!)

I became agoraphobic for a year after being laid off on my 30th birthday. It was pitiful; couldn't even go outside and check my mail. Fortunately my husband and I were starting to see each other again -- we call our divorce Jay's two years off for bad behavior, LOL -- and he really helped me get through it. But it's tough and I admire your obviously hard fought for toughness. :)

joann said...

Sorry, I got a little distracted at the end of the day with my best friend arriving from New Mexico for dinner. ANYWAY, I printed up the responses, stuck them on the garage wall, blindfolded my sweetie (No comments on that one, please! LOL) and had him throw some darts we'd bought at a pub in Ireland several years ago. So, if PJ and Bailey felt a little prick on the night of the 13th, it was because he hit you! If you'd email me at joann@joannross.com which backlist book you'd like, and your mailing address, we can get them out to you!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment. It made a special day even more fun!

Bailey Stewart said...

Thanks JoAnn!!!!

limecello said...

Hi JoAnn,
Sounds like you had a really interesting childhood. N/o, but I'm glad I didn't know you. I never believed in ghosts until elementary school, when we'd just built a giant detached garage. I shut the door, and when my friend and I were shut in the dark, he asked me why I wasn't scared of ghosts etc and spent the new year horrifying me with scary stories.
PJ - even if some people knew that story, its one worth retelling! Wow.
Something most people don't know about me is that I had to sleep with my closet doors closed until well into college. It had to do with the garage part, and watching this strange Cantonese vampire/zombie film where they were blue, and people had to bath in milk with snakes to keep them away, and the vampires would bust through furniture etc to get to you. (I was little - the details are blurry, but the effect was long lasting.)

joann said...

Honey, no offense taken. I totally understand. I still won't sleep with my closet doors open!