Brand New Reader Dinners Planned!

As you can tell from the picture below, I really really enjoy meeting my readers and sitting down and having a meal and a drink and just chatting.  To me, nothing is more pleasurable than relaxing with friends over a good meal and that’s what I’m planning on doing as much as I can in the first half of 2011!

Jane with reader Lanette and her crew at lunch in Georgetown
Jane with reader Lanette and her crew at lunch in Georgetown

I can tell you right now I’ve got plans being hatched and events being discussed for:

  • Ann Arbor
  • Chicago
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Green Bay
  • Milwauke
  • Kenosha

Are you in any of these areas?  Does a Girls Night Out or a Reader Dinner sound fun?  Make sure you keep checking back for more details, or email me to ask that you be put on an event invite list so I can make sure to get you all the details once we’re ready to go.   In some cities I’m speaking at a library, other places I’m doing an RWA workshop, and other places I’m joining a book club, but if I’m coming to your area, I’m also trying to plan a dinner with you!

For my Canadian friends…I do think we need to put something together for you all.  I’ve been studying my reader mailing list and I’ve a great group of Canadian readers and I want to see you.  Let’s figure this out!

Lastly,  because I have three unclaimed prizes from my contest last week (why don’t you folks check back to see if you won?!?), I’m going to give them away now.   This is a super short one day contest that starts tonight and ends Tuesday morning at 8 am PST.  Want to win one of these cool Mystery prizes?   Tell me 5 things about a person you love and you’re entered!

I’ll get you started with my own 5 about my middle son Ty, a sixth grader:

I lovethat Ty’s his own person and likes what he wants to like without caring if it’s cool.

I love his  shaggy blonde hair and the way he smiles

I love how he wants to live with me  in my basement when I’m old (I don’t have a basement).

I love that he was more afraid of sea turtles than sharks when surfing

I love that he’ll tell me he loves me a dozen times a day.


  1. Minneapolis!!! That’s only about three hours from me, so I will definitely to make it if you go there! 🙂

    Five things about someone I love – my mom!

    1. She’s extremely patient
    2. She’s very empathetic, always putting herself in someone elses shoes and teaching me the same!
    3. She’s funny
    4. She’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet!
    5. Her eyes because they’re a pretty blue and I have them too! 🙂

  2. Hi, Jane!
    Thanks for remembering your Canadian fans! We don’t forget you either!
    As for those 5 things to list, one that comes immediately to mind is my girlfriend, Susan:
    1.She’s generous with her time and energy (always baking/cooking for the senior across the street, etc.).
    2.She’s always there for you when you need her (and even when you don’t need her).
    3.She makes her friends one of her priorities (so we have girl days/weekends several times a year).
    4.She isn’t afraid to give me and others a kick in the pants verbally if she thinks we need to hear it. (As IF I could stop her, LOL!)
    5.She is well-organized and shares the benefits of that (like when she organizes a family reunion for over 100 people).
    I guess I have to stop at 5, since that’s what you asked for. I’m sure I could come up with several more reasons, plus there are many more people deserving of this honour too. I am blessed.

  3. 5 things I love about my friend Jessica:
    – She loves my children like she loves her own child
    – She is an amazing baker and is most often baking something delicious to share with others
    – She won’t let anyone tell her that she ‘can’t’ achieve a goal
    – She is generous with her time and is constantly offering to watch my girls so that I can go to dr.’s appointments (I’m 37 weeks pregnant) without them or just have some time to myself
    – She almost always answers her phone when I call

  4. What a fun contest! 5 things I love about my daughters:

    1) Their sweet faces and big smiles!

    2) How caring they are and considerate of others.

    3) Although I only work 4 days a month, I love how they get sad and pout when they know I have to go to work. This makes it clear to me, they appreciate the fact I am a stay at home mama, and I love that!

    4) I love how they can be total girlie girls one minute and the next they are T-Rex’s…and the roaring is included! What a combination!

    5) How brave and strong my oldest daughter was when she recently had her heart procedure done. What a trooper…I couldn’t have been that brave at age 6!

    I’ve gotta add a 6th:

    6) Watching my girls’ faces light up with joy as they read ME a book. They are so proud and confident of themselves and that is a wonderful feeling to see as a parent!

  5. My five things would be about my daughter Erin.

    1. She carries purses big enough to carry a small child inside.
    2. She loves shoes.
    3. She’s a wonderful mother.
    4. She loves meatloaf.
    5. She played soccer for about 13 years.

  6. Five things I love about my boyfriend, Derrin:

    1. He doesn’t need approval from anybody else. He does what he wants, and I admire the strength he possesses to be able to do that.

    2. Yet everyone loves him because he’s such a chill, friendly guy. You can’t not get along with him.

    3. He’s probably the only person I know who’s a bigger Longhorns fan than I am. And more athletic than half the team too.

    4. I love his his soft hair, soft hands, and soft lips. Physically, there isn’t anything that doesn’t stun me.

    5. He finds everything to love about me, even at times where it feels like there’s nothing to love. He loves me most when I’m at my worst, so he sure as ever deserves me at my best.

  7. Five things I love about my husband Paul:

    He can fix anything

    He makes me laugh, even when he’s driving me crazy

    He is a wonderful father and an even better grandfather to our three grandsons

    He is hard working & honest

    He still loves me even though I am twice the girl he married 🙂

  8. Favorite person in the world — my sister:

    1. we dont always get along perfectly, but in the end, we always love each other
    2. she is helpful
    3. she finds love in everyone
    4. she always has my back
    5. and she understands me better than anyone else in the world

  9. Even though my son may only be turning 11 on Veterans Day and he’s a 5th grader, he has more heart and a beautiful soul than anyone I’ve known.

    Five things I love about my son Ricky:

    1. He’s such a loving son. Say’s he loves me all the time and has a loving spirit. Searches me out no matter where I’m at just to give me a hug.

    2. He can crack me up at any moment no matter what mood I may be in.

    3. He holds the door open for complete strangers and will give $10 he found on the ground to the Veterans who are collecting donations.

    4. He makes straight A’s & B’s and does his homework without putting up a fuss.

    5. He has given me the most wonderful gift of a lifetime, being my son and allowing me to feel I’ve done a good job being a mom so far. He brings out the best in me.

  10. I absolutely love my children and could not single one out. They are my sunshine.

    What I love about them…

    1. Both are carrying great grades in school.

    2. They give the best hugs.

    3. They make me so proud watching them play their sports.

    4. Listening to their laughter when playing together just makes me smile.

    5. They tolerate me going to Goodwill now and then.

  11. Hi Jane,

    Sound like your are getting ready for tons of fun in 2011.

    Five great things about my sister:
    She can always make me smile 🙂
    She is so very patient
    She always helps people
    She is always there for me and loves spending time with her kid sister 🙂
    She is a great listener

  12. Oh yes! Come to Canada! We’d love to see you (and not that I’m pushing for Montreal or anything, but it’s a lovely city with European flair).

    Five things I love about my four kids:

    1. They have given me more joy and laughter in the past 23 (almost 24) years than I could ever have imagined.

    2. They are smart and hardworking, not afraid of challenges

    3. They all have huge hearts and give of their time easily

    4. I get the most amazing hugs…

    5. They look out for each other

  13. I think you should add Nashville to your list. It is such a fun city and would be a “good fit” with She’s Gone Country.
    Five things I love about my husband
    1. He helps around the house.
    2. He provides for our family.
    3. His eyes.
    4. His sense of humor.
    5. He puts his family first.

    Hope you have a great week!!

  14. I’m so excited you will be coming to Chicago!! Not too far from where I live 🙂

    5 things about someone I love…. my daughter Dylan 🙂

    1. She loves to dress up in at least 10 different dress up outfits every day.

    2. She came up with the word “Pajammies!” Combination of Pajamas & Jammies. (Even my husband calls them that now)

    3. She has no idea how beautiful she is and that her eyes & smile melt hearts everyday.

    4. She loves to help and has a servants heart.

    5. She loves me with all her heart! And always has plenty of kisses for me!

  15. Five things I love about my husband:

    He lets me be me and accepts me with all my faults.

    He always provided for me and the raising of our three sons and continues to help them out now that they are grown.

    He’s thoughtful and caring and puts us all first and foremost.

    He’s the first to help out with moral support and helping around the house, picking up things at the grocery store or suggesting we go out to dinner if I don’t feel up to making it.

    He’s a good friend to everyone he knows and is the one who volunteers to help them out no matter what it is.

    My husband is from Montreal so if you planned a meeting there, I would try very hard to be there as well. Lucky girl…I am.

  16. What a fun one…it’s very hard to pick one person, but I’m going for my daughter, Rebecca (age 12) today!

    1. She loves hugs.
    2. She loves to please people.
    3. She follows the rules.
    4. She has a kind heart and is very empathetic.
    5. At bedtime, after her 50th hug, she’ll say, “oh mom, I just love you”.

    Have a great day, Jane. Tousle Ty’s shaggy, blonde head today!

    Shannon in Tustin

  17. I love my son Kenny, he turns 20 tomorrow, loves that he speaks his mine(without hurting someones feelings)works hard, and says before he leaves anywhere,I love you mom. The last one is he’s always in my corner, giving me the confidence that I need to keep going.

  18. 5 things I like about my husband:
    -He’ll wash and fold clothes
    -He picks blackberries for me
    -He’s patient with me
    -He hikes with me
    -He washes and cleans my car

  19. here are just five of the things I love about my amazing husband, Michael…

    1. He makes me laugh more than any other human ever has!
    2. He is truly the most patient on the planet!
    3. He is so goofy himself that I can finally be usual goofy myself without being self conscience.
    4. He can fix any and all “tech” issues I have happily, and there are many!
    5. When I’m having a tough day, he will cheer me up by telling me “It’s you and me against the world”.
    6. He moved to Minneapolis with me from the East coast because I wanted to move back home, and he drove the entire way!

    Okay, so there are six, but I almost kept going!!

  20. Oh, if only I still lived in the midwest. I didn’t even discover your books till I moved out east. Hope you’ll keep making your way across the country. You’re always welcome in DC! 🙂

    Here are 5 things I love about my younger son, Micah (age 2 1/2):
    1. The way he puts sentences together to ask and answer questions.
    2. The way he runs to greet me when I pick him up from school.
    3. His need to do everything by himself, no matter how long it takes him.
    4. How he memorizes songs from all his CDs and shows.
    5. The way he cuddles at bedtime and then wants to be tucked in from head to toe.

  21. I agree with Melissa (#20), you’d be welcome in DC!

    I think this is a fun contest. I’m having a hard time picking one person, but the person who came to mind first is my mom so I’ll stick with her.

    5 Things I Love About My Mom, Stephanie

    1. Our shared love of reading. We love to read the same types of books so we’ll often pass them back and forth and have great discussions about them.
    2. Her dedication to family…she raised two kids more or less on her own and for the past four years she’s also taken on the task of taking care of her elderly parents
    3. The way she raised me to believe in myself and be happy with who I am without compromising myself to fit someone else’s expectations of me.
    4. Her positive attitude, she doesn’t sweat the small stuff and she’s able to take pleasure in the little things.
    5. That even though she’s my mom, she’s also one of my best friends.

  22. I’ll pick my daughter Sara:
    1. I love that she works as a teachers assistant at Easter Seals, a pre=school for children with special needs while she goes to school at night for Special Education and also runs what is called the Teen Club, for teenagers and young adults with special needs to meet, do activities together and socialize.
    2. I love that she can laugh at the most annoying situations.
    3. I love that when I call her, no matter how busy she is, she will get back to me.
    4. I love that she has so much energy.
    5. I love that she still lives at home even though I know that she will be gone before I know it.

  23. Very hard to pick out just 5 things I love about my daughter Molly but here goes –
    1. She is her own person and has never bowed to peer pressure.
    2. She is a loyal friend – sometimes to a fault.
    3. She has a wacky sense of humor.
    4. She keeps me young with her amazing memory and questions about past events.
    5. Makes the best lemon meringue pie!!

  24. Five things I love about my son!

    My son shows his love a little different, he doesn’t want you to hug him anymore but did when he was younger.

    He is very smart and is away at college right now.

    He up and bought me a Kindle all out of the clear blue, which I always said I would never need one because I love the feel of the paper in my hand as it works out I love the Kindle.

    When he is home in the summer he will go over and set with his grandfather while his grandmother does her shopping.

    He does their yard work for them.

    He sent me an email last week saying that I raised him right because he is the only male in college that will clean their bathroom.

  25. Ann Arbor! Yes please! =)

    5 things I love about my 10yo son:
    1. He’s not afraid to talk to anyone.
    2. He is an old soul in a very modern world.
    3. He loves cars – talk about them, riding in them, looking at them, and playing with them.
    4. He still loves to hug me.
    5. He’s got a soft spot for those less fortunate than him.

  26. Five things I love about my Father:
    1. he taught me calculus.
    2. he’s funny
    3. he taught me how to change the oil in my car
    4. he’s a gentle soul but was tough when he needed to be tough.
    5. he loves me!

  27. Great picture. Looks like a fun group of ladies.

    5 things I love about my husband, Russ.

    1. He has helped me through my darkest days.
    2. He eats salad and steamed veggies for dinner just so I can stay on my diet.
    3. He has become my best shopping buddy, even picking out clothes for me.
    4. He has defended me against his friends and family when they tried to split us up.
    5. He has full trust in me and even allows me to be friends with my ex-husband.

  28. My Mom!
    1-She is independent and strong
    2-She is super smart
    3-She doesn’t play mind games and gives her opinion freely
    4-She always plans trips and together time for our large, ginormous family
    5-She has touched so many lives with her generosity…she makes me want to be a better person.

  29. 5 THINGS about Dakota my Daughter that I love..
    1. I love how she has always been so independent.
    2. Her hair is the same color as mine.
    3. Being 4 she loves to read everything even though she has no idea what most words are.
    4.She will take care of you when you are hurt or sad.
    5. She loves her dresses and dolls.

  30. Jane,
    What a great idea!!

    I love my Montana Babe(Candle team) family because:

    1. They accept me for me.
    2. I have my own identity with them.
    3. They are happy and in turn make me happy.
    4. They are genuine (and that’s rare these days)
    5. They are truly caring and positive people making me want to be surrounded by that all the time 🙂


  31. Jane,
    What a great idea!!

    I love my Montana Babe(Candle team) family because:

    1. They accept me for me.
    2. I have my own identity with them.
    3. They are happy and in turn make me happy.
    4. They are genuine (and that’s rare these days)
    5. They are truly caring and positive people making me want to be surrounded by that all the time 🙂


  32. Ann Arbor!
    I am a romance writer. I attended the workshop in Orlando at RWA you did with Liza Palmer and Megan Crane. It was my favorite.

    I would love to see you again.

    Willow James

  33. I so enjoy reading your blogs! Here are 5 things I love about my son:
    1. He tells me he loves me all the time even when his friends are near.
    2. He is kind hearted and nice to others.
    3. He is a very coachable kid.
    4. He loves to sleep with the dog on his bed.
    5. He makes me laugh!

  34. Cindy- LOVE your post and I totally agree with you!

    Jane, this is such a great post. 5 things I love about my daughters:

    1. Their laugh- always makes me laugh.
    2. How the simple things make them happy.
    3. They love to do stuff just like me.
    4. They are my favorite shopping partners.
    5. The way they cuddle with me.


  35. 5 things I love about my mother:
    1) her beauty;
    2) her committment to her family;
    3) her relationship with my dad;
    4) her love for God;
    5) her creativeness.


  36. I love my brother because
    1) He is a great person, full of integrity and loyalty
    2) He loves his family and works hard
    3) He loves to tease but he is funny and kind, not mean
    4) He is generous
    5) He lifts my spirits when I get down.

  37. My 8 yr old, Isabella

    1. Loves me more everyday
    2. Always laughing even when she is not being funny
    3. Says I am skinny even though am not
    4. Loves to be outside
    5. Enjoys good eating and it better be “sit down and not drive thru”

  38. Yay for Minneapolis!

    And who cares about a prize, it’s just fun to participate, though so tough to choose just one, but I’ll do Patrick, my 6 year old:

    1. When I screw up he sometimes says, “Aw, Mom, that’s ok.” (in a condescending, “gee mom, you’re kind of an idiot” but still endearing and compassionate way).

    2. His sisters drive him NUTS, but when one of them is hurt or sad, he is aches to make it right.

    3. His early start in school was a struggle and he has worked hard and kept a great attitude and is now on track.

    4. His smile melt my heart even more than when he was a baby.

    5. He loves books, and I even though we don’t pick the same ones, it is still a love to share.

  39. Five Things I Love About My

    1) He’s a gentleman.
    2) When I look at the way he treats my sister-in-law, I think there are nice guys in this world.
    3) He will get up at 2 a.m. if his cat meows for attention or a treat.
    4) He’s incredibly funny.
    5) He named his first born after our Dad.

  40. Hi Jane! So glad you’re coming to Minneapolis! Five things I love about my daughter:

    1. She makes me laugh.
    2. She loves animals.
    3. She can text really fast.
    4. She loves the rain and snow.
    5. She is a great friend.

  41. hi Jane! Super looking forward to seeing you in Frankfort next month. And not that I’m schmoozing or anything but I’m going to say my 5 things about you because you rock!

    1. Jane is one of the most generous people I know.
    2. Jane has an amazing smile and flashes it all the time. It’s one of those ‘reaches the eyes’ kinds of smiles and it fills the recipient with such joy.
    3. Jane LOVES her kids in such a great way. Hard to describe but the joy she takes in her kids fills me with joy.
    4. Jane can WRITE!!
    5. Jane has great taste in clothes 🙂

    Hugs to you, girl! Have an amazing week.

  42. I love my mom, because:
    1. She’s my mom and I wouldn’t be who I am with out her.
    2.She supports me in all the crazy things I like to do
    3. She is so generous, loving, & caring
    4. She gives great hugs
    5. I can trust her.

    Have a great week Jane!

  43. Hi again Jane ~ I know I just said I was going to sleep, but wanted to comment here first…
    5 things I love about my boys
    1. their smiles
    2. being able to make me laugh & cry at the same time
    3. their innocence
    4. having pajama days with them
    5. snuggling with them at bedtime:)

  44. Hey Jane,
    You are so great! Always making it fun! Your kindness and generosity! You really do rock!

    I want to Thank you for doing Big Friends and Family Contest. It was wonderful of you to pick all 89 special and deserving people. My Friend from high school received her package, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    I am glad and sad at the same time. I am sad I didn’t get to go to the Emerald City to meet you, but glad I stayed home, my husband went back in to the hospital. He is better now! Thank goodness! We have had a lot going on!

    I hope I will get the the chance next time to meet you!

    This one is for my husband,
    I love him so much!

    Five things I love about him…

    1. He is always ready to help anyone. He is Kind and Honest.
    2. He is a Great Husband and Dad.
    3. He is so Strong, but Loving and Caring.
    4. He is willing to follow my lead. (to make life interesting, we tried snowshoeing and kayaking with the kids last year, and had a great time)
    5. His blonde hair(what is left of it) lol!
    6. I was suppose to stop at five but
    ‘He is a Wonderful Man'(my Man)

    Have a Great Time and Safe Travels! Wishing You and all your Boys the Best!

  45. Great contest!
    5 Things I love about my partner:

    1. Every time I do the laundry, he thanks me for his clean clothes.
    2. He cooks for me every night.
    3. He treats me with respect.
    4. Every morning when I come out of the bathroom dressed and ready for the day, he always says “You look so nice”.
    5. His honesty and integrity.
    We have been together 14 years and he treats me better every day. 🙂 I’m very blessed.

  46. You have the most creative contests, thank-you for helping us remember the good things in life.

    Here’s a shout-out to my sister-in-law because:
    she loves my brother (hard to do, sometimes)
    she loves my mother (Really hard to do, sometimes)
    she has a gentle soothing voice (different than us hard-to-love people)
    she is organized
    she is patient.

  47. 5 things I love about my best friend.
    She is a great listener.
    She loves books as much as I do.
    She is always there when I need her.
    She is a great mom.
    She has a great sense of humor.

  48. My mom is a fan of yours and introduced me to your books. I love your writing.

    This is for my unborn daughter who will be here in less than two weeks.

    1. I love the way she has brought our families together.

    2. How she has motivated me to continue my education for nursing degree.

    3. The very first kick she gave to let me know she was here and doing fine.

    4. How she has given me an inner peace and a feeling of love that I’ve never known I could have for someone who isn’t even on this earth yet.

    5. And I love her for being her.

  49. Okay everyone! I’m closing the contest and announcing the winners. Hopefully you who win today will get me all your info before I leave for Spokane.

    #1 Amber

    #39 Mary M

    #45 Jill W

    and a bonus winner….

    #27 Janine

    Congrats to the winners!! Hope everyone has a wonderful day.

  50. Yeah! I made it. I’ll email my contact info now. Thank you so much Jane! You always have such wonderful and fun contests.

  51. Jane i’m interested in when and if you come to ann Arbor MI. Put me on that list please. I’ll be of course checking back here as well


  52. Hi Jane,

    I just wanted to say that it would be very cool if you ever have a chance to visit your readers in Vancouver, BC! I will be there for sure.

    Take care,

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