Friday, February 27, 2009

Oscar Wrap Up

Last weekend was the Oscars, which, as I explained to Mr. Big, is like the superbowl of fashion. I gather chips, snacks, cocktails, and settle in on the sofa for a full afternoon and evening of star gazing. Yes, I watched every pre-show (and even the E! pre-preshow). The red carpet walks, and the entire awards show. Forget who won best sound editing or best foreign short film – the real winners and losers that night were the stylists! So, here are my Oscar fashion awards 2009:


Best Accessories on a Supermodel




Heidi Klum
Anyone else may not have been able to pull this off, but I love the multitude of bling on Heidi’s arm!

Best Use of Geometric Shapes to Confuse Paparazzi



Amy Adams
As if the red and black geometric thing warring with the fussy gauze drape weren’t enough, that necklace looks so heavy, I’m surprised she can stand upright. (Especially considering she probably hasn’t eaten anything in days to squish herself into that dress!)


Best It’s-Not-A-Baby-Bump-It’s-a-Belly-Bulge




Whoopi Goldberg
What was she thinking? Okay, I get that not everyone in Hollywood has to be a size two. And, as we get a little older, bellies aren’t always washboard-flat. But … it’s gauzy leopard!


Best Human Rainbow Maker



Anne Hathaway
This was probably my favorite gown of the evening. Very simple structure, not a lot of fuss, but shimmery and glitzy enough to definitely say “I deserve an Oscar!”


Best Wallflower



Beyonce
Please tell me she didn’t just make a dress out of the curtains.


Best Couple I Wanna Be When I Grow Up



Brangelina
Elegant, understated, yet surprisingly graceful. Even though I have to hate Angelina just a little for looking that fabulous after having twins.

Best Pose



Evan Rachel Wood
How long do you think she practiced that hand-on-hip thing in the bathroom mirror?


Best Bed Sheet Masquerading as a Gown




Jessica Biel
Tell me this doesn’t look like she just wrapped a bed sheet around her mid section a couple times and called it a day. And the messy, flay-away hair does nothing to convince me she didn't just come from some all nighter at the motel across the street.


Best Use of Leftover Fabric




Marisa Tomei
This dress looks like they got to the end, realized they way over purchased on fabric, and just kept pleating. And pleating. And pleating…


Best Dead Animal



No, I’m not talking about Mickey Rourke (though, by the looks of him, he almost qualifies…), but his beloved dog, Loki, a pictures of whom Mickey wore around his neck all evening.

Best Cleavage



Sara Jessica Parker
For a girl with cups at the way beginning of the alphabet, she makes the most of them. And by that grin on Ferris Bueller’s (I mean, Matthew Broderick’s) face, I’d say he approves.


And last but not least…

Best Attempt to Shove Body into a Gown Two Sizes Too Small




Penelope Cruz
I love, love, love this gown, and would totally have sucked it in, too, in order to wear it. But, it was clear in every interview she gave that Penelope might look hot, but she couldn’t actually breath. (Just check the pinched expression here!) I seriously thought she was going to hyperventilate when she went up to accept her Oscar.

Anyone else have favs or faux pas to report?


~Trigger Happy Halliday

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Keeping it in the Family

I've blogged about my family before--much to their chagrin, I expect. I consider myself supremely fortunate in the children I have been blessed with. They're are amazing people--and even though 3/4 of them are triplets, each are wonderfully different and individually awesome.

The trips and I enjoy a number of shared activities. Games, movies, long walks, food, the outdoors, horses, God, family, apple pie, chocolate, and so on...

It's particularly gratifying, too, when a shared interest brings you closer together. Such is the case with my son, Erick. Yeah, the kid who got his car sideswiped several weeks back and is still waiting on the insurance settlement. Poor guy.

Anyway, Erick has always had a gift for art and drawing. He also is a very capable writer, winning a prestigious writing contest sveral years ago sponsored by the Veteran's Administration. Erick is studying graphic design and studio arts. He is also my web-designer. He has designed every website I've had and under the auspices of his 'SwankyStudios', he is currently developing a new website design for KathyBacus.com, as well as new ones for several new writing personas/projects I'm working on.

In addition, Erick and I are embarking on another project. We are collaborating on a series of children's books! I will provide the text (with Erick's input) and Erick will provide the illustrations. (The only thing I'm capable of drawing is a horse.) We're both very excited about the concept and are very much enjoying the process involved in the conception, planning and development of the idea. We're really looking forward to the actual pencil to paper aspect of the creative process, as well. But beyond this is the creative give and take we get to experience as we bounce ideas off each other seeking to put together this ambitious project.

I'm hopeful for a pretty nifty outcome. But I realize the real reward is the time we share during our 'book talks' and the enduring memories we make.

And if we make a few bucks from our joint venture?

All the better.

~Bullet Hole Bacus~

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And You Thought I Was Weird...

I'll be the first to admit it - I have a real weakness for squeezy stress toys. I've got it bad. And the only place you can get them is through some company giveaway. I'm down to zero right now and I'm in need of a fix.


Which is why I was trolling the net the other day, checking out business catalogs looking for squeezy things. Why can't you just buy them? You can't! Not unless you want to buy at least one thousand or more and slap a logo on it. I think I only wrote books so I'd have a reason to buy a gross of promotional squeezy toys.

Anyway, I came across this site that had some really cool promotional stuff. But the further I got drawn into it, the weirder the squeezy stress thingys. I was so impressed, I thought I'd share a few with you. And yes, these are actual squeezy stress relievers. I am NOT making this up. (I'm not even sure I could.)




This is the perfect stress reliever for those people who have:

A) Never given up hope that the Earth is flat...at least in places

B) Watched too much "Roly Poly Oly" with their kids and have left reality as we know it

C) Overly zealous fans of Bizarro Superman...nuff said



If you are a follower of my blog, you will know why this one, a Hypothyroid Gland, is my favorite. If not, you probably will just think I'm very, very odd.

Now, this one is the perfect stress reliever if you really, really hate Easter Island. And what's really interesting about that, is there must actually be people like that since this is an actual promotional item in actual promotional catalogs. (All I know is, I'm gonna have to set a future book there so I can get a bunch of these made up!)


This is the actual brain of that guy who wears the rainbow wig at the football game. Apparently he is so unbelievably irritating that they made this squeezy stress toy in his honor. I totally get that.


This one is interesting. It is a prostate gland squeezy toy. And if it isn't stupid enough to just have a prostate gland as a stress reliever, they went and cut it open because they thought it was too dull to depict a whole one. And by the way, I KNEW there were seeds in there! I just knew it! And people called me crazy! Me!

And here it is. The piece de la resistance. A squeezy stress toy ass. And it's not even a whole one. It's like, only the ass cheeks. I guess I could understand an endocrinologist putting her name on a squeezy thyroid gland for her patients (and if you know of one who does, please send me their address because I need one). And I could justify a proctologist with a stress relieving cross section of a prostate gland. I guess. But what the hell is this?


I'm open to suggestions. Your thoughts?


The Assassin


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Whispered Sweet Nothings

Contest: What has some man said to you that made your heart sigh, or made you snort in laughter? The most romantic and unromantic will win prizes.
Oh...Virginia and CrystalGB are both winners of an autographed copy of Would-Be Witch. Email me at website address. christie (@) christie-craig . com



February is the month of love, chocolate, roses and red undies. It’s the month of whispered sweet nothings that will melt your heart . . . or one-liners that send you running off, snorting your Dr. Pepper through your nose because of the need to laugh at some man’s obnoxious, underhanded attempt to get you naked.

God love ‘em. Sometimes I think men were created just to amuse us and offer us something to talk or blog about. But girls, we gotta stop being so hard on them. Seriously, we all know that men just don’t excel at showing their emotions and in most cases, they’re even worse at putting those emotions into words. Now, this doesn’t mean we should stop laughing at them, but just give ‘em a little break every now and then.

I’m not saying that some men aren’t champions at talking their way into a woman’s panties--men who whose sweet words are meant to melt the bra hooks right off of us. But even if they are hound dogs, wanting just one thing, you have to give ‘em credit. A man who knows how to liquefy a woman’s heart with a good line is a man who has worked at his craft. He knows what a woman wants and how to deliver. Well, the words anyway; why, just because a man can deliver a line, doesn’t mean he can really . . . deliver.

Nor am I saying that ALL sweet nothings are spoken with ulterior motives. Once in a while a man may just have something sweet to say. I’m not going to attempt to guess the odds of that really happening, but it does happen.

However, even a few verbally talented men with ulterior motives are worthy of our affection. Face it, there are decent men who care about us, but still want to get us naked. I won’t lie, this pretty much describes my hubby, and probably ever romance hero I’ve ever given life to in my novels.

In my next book, Gotcha!, released in June, Jake Baldwin is always putting his foot in his mouth. And my heroine Macy is surprised he hasn’t lost a tonsil as he swallowed the dang thing. Like the time Macy, who is determined not to fall for Jake, tells the half-naked hero, “I’m not sleeping in this bed with you with only a thin pair of cotton boxers between me and your best friend.”

Jake just grins and says, “He could be your best friend, too.”

Macy’s always accusing Jake of being crude and God love that man but he thinks it’s a compliment. (And for that matter, don’t most men?)

Ahh, but you gotta love Jake, and Macy does. Why? Well, if we’d be completely honest with ourselves, we’d admit that we all would like our man to want to get us naked. We just want them to express it in a loving, less crass, from-the-heart manner. And to express it when we want them to express it—with the right words--and after they’ve taken out the trash and told us how special we are. (Hey, it doesn’t mean we’re difficult, we just know what we want.)

Why, my hubby has said a few things to me through the years that left me thinking I’d marry that man again in a snap. Then there are the times when I start to think that, but he goes and says/does something else that has me questioning if men and women aren’t two different species and should never hook up.

For example, this past week, the day before Valentine’s Day, he asks me out right. “Baby, you are so good to me. You name what you want for Valentine’s Day and it’s yours.” I think about it and tell him I want a coupon for $250 to use as a shopping spree before I go to upcoming writing conferences. He nods and says, “It’s yours.”

But when I get the homemade coupon, it reads. “To my love, $250 to use as you so see fit—and if you want to use it for bills or groceries, that’s okay, too.”

Ahh, but let me tell you, he’s said some very romantic things to me, too. Some of them have even brought a tear to my eye. About a month a go hubby came in and said he’d read something online that appeared in Women’s Health magazine that was so true " Every man wins the lottery when he gets a woman to love him" Hubby shot me a sweet smile and said, “I won the lottery.”

Just last night, Hubby came in and gave me a hug. It was a little tighter and lasted a little longer than usual. When he let go, he said, “When I pulled into the driveway, I saw our neighbor pull into his. When I got out of the car to walk into my house, I saw our neighbor walking into his. And it occurred to me that my homecoming was going to be heck of a lot sweeter than his.”

My neighbor’s wife died last week. Damn! I got a tear in my eye, both for my neighbor and for knowing hubby was genuinely happy I was here.

Yup, every now and then my man knows the right thing to say and do—not that he doesn’t manage to screw up sometimes. A couple of weeks ago when I read him my Valentine’s blog about what love was to me, the man cried. Seriously, he had tears in his eyes. My heart swelled with emotion, then he said, “Hey, you want to go upstairs? I have a rooster I want you to meet.”

I gaped at him. “That was so crude! How could…how could you say something so crass when you just got tears in your eyes at something sweet I wrote?”

His answer, “Well, that’s why I said it. You threatened my masculinity when you made me tear up, and I figure this helps me get it back.”

MEN! Can you see how all my heroes are created in his likeness?

Okay, so there you have it. What has your man said to melt your heart? What has he, or any man, said to you that made you snort Dr. Pepper through your nose?

I’ve got prizes for the most romantic sweet nothing and then the most unromantic. Both winners can choose from one of my novels, or if you have all those, I’m offering up Colleen Thompson’s novel, Head On or Gerry Bartlett’s novel, Real Vampires Get Lucky. Plus, there’s a little something extra. So, come on, play along.



Crime Scene Christie

Monday, February 23, 2009

Stupid Bosses

I promised you stupid bosses, and I don't want to fail to deliver. If you remember my post about stupid interviews, well that boss is also one of the most idiotic people I have ever worked for. Let's take a couple of minutes to talk about "David." David was the only person left after the merger of four companies that hadn't gotten a promotion to management yet, so they gave him one. Awful for his employees as he's not really qualified to manage anything including himself. David had to be the most inefficient person in the entire world and he spent most of his time assigining work then taking you off when you were halfway through and assigning you to something else. Now, with accounting, that's a HUGE waste of time. That means someone else has to "recreate" in their mind everything you've already done or start over or YOU have to recreate it in your mind when you pick it up again a week later. Accounting is not like doing a puzzle. You can't just pick up where you left off and everything's fine.

So he wasted our time all the time. We had this joke among the staff that he didn't even scratch his head efficiently. He had this reach over move that looked just like a monkey - yep, if he was scratching the left side of his head, he did it with his RIGHT hand. Picture it - right arm all the way over the top of the head, scratching the left side. Now do you get the monkey comment? One of the employees said one time she wondered how he scratched his _____ - from behind? (you get the idea)

In addition to many other issues, like asking you to specifically describe what was wrong with you when you called in sick (he stopped that one after the pregnant girl described something hanging out of her butt), and picking his nose and wiping the boogers on the underside of his desk, David would also do things like come down to the cafe when we were all eating and ask things like "can I sit with you, or are you talking about me?" To which I would always reply, "it's our lunch hour, David, why would we waste it talking about you?"

Fortunately, David was fired...but not for incompetence, or grossness, or even asking people personal questions about their bodily functions. No, David was fired for stealing a key to the VP's desk and going through his records one Saturday because he was afraid the other managers might be getting paid more than him. Another manager caught him, reported him to HR, and the rest is history. The real kicker - he was making MORE than the other managers.

Next week, I'll tell you about the VP and his ridiculous 2:00 am toilet bowl episode.

So what about you - stupid boss story to share?

Deadly DeLeon

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kimberly Frost

Winner, Winner, Winner!

Virginia and CrystalGB are both winners of an autographed copy of Would-Be Witch.

Email me, CC, at my website christie (@) christie-craig ( . )com with your snail mail address and I'll pass it along to Kimberly.


A big Texas welcome to Kimberly Frost who is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky poster today. Guys, I haven't read it yet, but I bought this book because I've heard so much praise about it. So make sure you post a comment. Take it away Kimber!

CC



Since childhood, the Would-Be Witch heroine of my Southern Witch series, Tammy Jo, has been told that she is not supposed to fraternize with anyone named Lyons. Unfortunately, the black-haired, blue-eyed wizard, Bryn Lyons, is the only person in town she can turn to for advice.
Here’s an abridged scene between Tammy Jo & Bryn:

“You’re wet and cold. I wouldn’t want you to catch pneumonia,” Bryn said, reaching for me again.
I slapped his hands away and stepped back. “Just a darn minute. Last I checked I could dress and undress myself.”
“Sure, but wouldn’t you be warmer if I helped?”
My jaw dropped open. I was in the middle of a crisis with people in a fever-coma. I was counting on Bryn Lyons to be my savior, not some normal red-blooded guy who noticed that frostbite had my nipples hard as arrowheads.
“Look, I’m in trouble.”
“Clearly.”
“And I didn’t come here for you to put your Urban Cowboy moves on me.”
He grinned and folded his arms across his chest. “Tamara—”
“It’s still Tammy Jo!” I snapped and pointed to the door. “Out.”
“Is this your house?” he asked with mock curiosity.
I scowled at him, which made him smile.
“I’ll be in the hall. Call me if there are any spots you can’t reach.”
I flicked him with the towel as he left.
There was no lock on the door, so the Indy 500 pit crews had nothing on me as I stripped. I wrapped myself in his plush monogrammed bathrobe and tossed my wet clothes in the oversized dryer. I pulled on the socks, feeling very vulnerable.
Outside, I found Bryn leaning against the wall waiting for me.
“You’re a lawyer, right?”
“Is this a trick question?”
“I need to hire you.”
“All right.” His eyes roamed over me from head to toe. “What would you like to give me as a retainer?”
About all I had left was tumbling on the high heat cycle, and somehow I had a feeling my bra and panty set wasn’t what Bryn had in mind since I wasn’t in them anymore.
“We’ll have to sort that out later.”
“Sounds promising.”
“Hey! I have a real problem here. Stop giving me the Sylvester the Cat look. I’m not Tweety. I need serious help.”
“I’m listening. Unlike some of the men in your life, my intelligence doesn’t disappear in the face of non-cognitive pursuits.”
I cocked my head.
“I can lust and think at the same time. Tell me your problem.”
I spilled the story.
“You need a counterspell,” he said.
“I don’t know one. And I’m afraid if I make one up, it’ll go wrong.”
“That’s a reasonable fear.”


In the comments section, please answer one OR both of the following questions for a chance to win an autographed copy of Would-Be Witch:

1.) Have you ever dated a guy your family disapproved of? If so, how did it turn out?

2.) If you could cast a magic spell, what would it be and why?

For more information and to read excerpts from the Southern Witch series, visit: http://www.frostfiction.com/

Warm Wishes,
Kimberly

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gemma Latest Fashion Accessory


Yes, even though this pic of me is a little blurry, that is exactly what you think it is – a baby bump. :) In an unexpected twist, it turns out that Mr. Big and I are expecting a little bundle of joy. She (everyone think pink here for me, ‘k?) should be making her appearance near the end of September, and I couldn’t be more excited.

As anyone who has been following my relationship with Big knows, this was a bit of a shocker. In fact, I’m pretty sure Big had at least three heart attacks when he found out. (I’m proud to say I only had two.) Remember that episode from "Friends" where Rachel tells Ross ‘we’re pregnant’? Yeah, it was kind like that. Wait, maybe I can even find a clip on youtube… Yay, I did! Okay, here it is. This is what it was like:



But, after the shock wore off, we both got super excited and, I’ll admit, I already have my entire cart at Target Baby filled with adorable little pink things. (So, if it’s a boy, he’s gonna have some issues later in life. Seriously, think girl thoughts.) And, I realized I need everything, because it’s been almost ten years since I last did the baby thing. Just long enough to have forgotten how uncomfortable being pregnant is. Let me just tell you, morning sickness bites. Especially when it’s morning, noon and night. And, how is it fair that, thanks to said morning sickness, I’ve lost five pounds, but my pants are already so tight I had to go buy maternity stuff? And I’m only two months along! Sigh.

So, if anyone has an advice for surviving early pregnancy, I’m all ears. (Or, if you have links to any baby sites full of cutsie little outfits, I’m collecting those as well!)



~Trigger (and baby) Happy Halliday

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crash and Burn


I must not be living right.

Several months ago both my washer and dryer went kaput within a week of each other requiring me to purchase a replacement set. This time it was my laptop and desktop.

I can't seem to do anything half-way.

Thank goodness the 'puter lasted long enough for tax prep.

Alas, it was time to upgrade. Now I'm not a computer whiz. I like to say I know just enough to be dangerous. (This applies to many other areas of my life, as well.) Also being somewhat--uh, fiscally conservative--I wanted to make sure I got the best bang for my gigabyte buck.

I checked online for deals, browsed the weekly ads, checked the reviews, asked my son's advice (the nearest thing to a computer geek I have in residence) and decided on a HP Slimline Pavilion desktop. I love it! I can't believe the speed. It's like going from a Fred Flintstone foot-powered stone-aged dinosaur to a compact, yet fast and responsive, sportster.

Sweet!

Because I'm--thrifty--I ended up getting an inexpensive Acer laptop to haul around with me. It does everything I need it to do and I didn't spend a fortune on it.

I'm all set to write. Right?

Let's see. There are FAFSA forms to file (in triplicate), mid-term exams to take, term papers to research and write, and an office that still needs major work.

So here's the plan. Today I devote to the aforementioned tasks leaving the weekend free to write, write, and write.

What are your plans for this weekend? Oh, and any 'sweet' Valentine's Day gifts you received you want to gush about? Any writing news you'd like to share? A great movie or book to recommend? A gripe, complaint, observation you'd like to get off your chest?

I'm feeling mellow today. Must be the sunshine and increased processor speeds.

How's it going in your neck of the woods?

~Bullet Hole Bacus~

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where Am I? How Did I Get Here? Hey, Is That Cake?



I love this sign. I took the picture at the Denver Airport. It's so encouraging, "75 Feet! You Can Make It!!!" And by the way, it has nothing to do with the blog.

Working on revisions is always a bit of a shock. This is because my fabulous editor, Lovely Leah, reminds me that I am, indeed, a moron.

Oh, she doesn't mean to do this. It isn't her intention at all. It's just the truth when I realize that she knows more about my book than I do. Maybe I'm the only author with this problem.

Leah is the one who gave me my favorite edit ever when in GUNS WILL KEEP US TOGETHER, she asked me to "take out any reference to bear sodomy. Ick." I love that.

But she tripped me up this time with a comment where she told me it was a bit of a cheat to have Coney tracking a guy because they put a chip in his head. I scratched my head for a bit. I put a chip in Vic's head? When did I do that? Why did I do that? And is there one in my head? If so, why isn't the #$*!ker telling me where the hell my car keys are???

A careful re-reading of the ms proved that I did, in fact do this, even though I had no recollection of doing it. Doesn't that sound a bit pitiful? Is it possible I suffer from short-term memory loss and am easily distracted?

HEY! Is that a Ho-Ho right here in the living room??? WOO-HOO!

Where was I? Oh yeah. My tertiary, double-secret probation dementia.

Now back to work. I've got a chip to remove and replace with...with...well, something else.

To the salt mines!

The Assassin

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Life According to Google





Well, I’ve been in a cave lately, a very deep, all consuming cave called deadline.

It sucks you in and the world around you ceases to exist. It’s you and the work.

I ignored friends, “Sorry guys. I know I’ve missed our lunches. Has anyone gotten a divorce, had an affair, or got arrested these last few months that I need to know about? Give me the highlights.”

I ignored family and family responsibilities. “See, Son, I told you no one would know that you’d worn the same underwear twice. And look at cha, you’re wearing those missed meals well.”

I ignored frivolous hygiene rituals. Seriously, if the French can get away with it, why can’t I?

And if I did venture out during deadline hell? Well, life may have went on around me, but I was unaware. When I wasn’t typing the words, I was thinking about the next chapter, or I was rewriting that last paragraph in my mind.

The words, “Get it Done” played through my head like a mantra. However, I’m thrilled to report that we did it. Faye Hughes and I just finished our book, Wild, Wicked and Wanton: 101 Ways to Love Like You Are in A Romance Novel. You can look for it on the shelf of your favorite bookstore in February of 2010. I have to tell you, this is the first non-fiction book I've written that is as wacky and funny as my fiction.

So now to get back into society. Well, at least for a week, because another deadline looms. Ahh, but I want to make the most of this reintroduction into my life. But first, I’ve got to know what I missed. I remember vaguely someone saying they’d read a blog about my book. Someone else said they spotted a new review.

So I do it--to catch up on life, to discover what I may have missed, I Googled myself. (And holy mother of pearls, was I surprised.)

I’ve been a busy girl! Let me share with you the highlights that I too have missed in my life, but Google filled me in on.

Christie Craig’s life according to Google:


Christie Craig puts on a tattoo on day four of the Republican National Convention.

I can only imagine where it is, because I can’t see it, and I gave up full length mirrors ten pounds ago. Jeepers, my husband is gonna be so upset when he finds out. It’s not the tattoo guys, oh, he doesn’t like tattoos, but he’s gonna go ballistic when he finds out that I attended the Republican Convention. Oh, yeah, I’m in trouble.

Committees reported making payments totaling $15,000 to Christie Craig for the following services:
· Events/Catering
· Legislative Session
· Purpose Not Determined
· Staff/Political Consultants


And just what was my job title? I mean… Just exactly what kind of an event did I cater? And “Legislative Session” we’ve all heard about the kind of sessions politicians are into. ”Purpose Not Determined” kinda leads me to think I did something I won’t be telling my mama about. (Or hubby!) And “Staff/Political Consultant,” this can’t be good! But hey, they’re not going to get me for tax evasions, I reported the income.


Store Manager Christie Craig said, “Wal-Mart’s community support goes far beyond charitable giving.

What the hell? I’m a manager of a Wal-Mart and I still can’t get my books in all their stores? What the heck is up with that?

Bike Tour riders make Ventura stop: Ventura: Ventura County Star
Rob Varela / Star staff Tom Harvey of Burbank, left, and Christie Craig pedal on Rincon Parkway toward Ventura in the California Coast Classic...


Hey, I’m glad I’m still staying in shape? Maybe I can get that full length mirror and find that tattoo now.

Providence Baptist Church
Christie Craig: Providence Baptist Church: College Ministry Intern
.

Well, I guess I had to repent for some things. I mean, I did attend that convention!!! But…shh, do they know I also write romance? And what about the side job of Event and Catering?

AND NOW FOR THE TOP NEWS THAT CONCERNS ME THE MOST:

Christie - Craig: Obituary - Upload photos – Your Announcement...
(16 January 2009) CHRISTIE — CRAIG. Suddenly, but peacefully, died at home, on 6th January, 2009.
(Sorry, BookMobiler!)

See what deadlines can do to you?

So…what’s new with you? Have you Googled yourself lately? Have you ever googled yourself? Let’s see who can find out the oddest, most wacky fact about themselves that they didn’t know.

Oh, come on, have a little fun.

Crime Scene Christie
P.S.
Next week I'm holding a contest. The most romantic, and non-romantic thing your boyfriend/hubby/guy who just wanted to get lucky ever said to you. So be thinking about it. I've got gifts for the most romantic, and non-romantic.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stupid Is As Clients Does

Terry S - You were the Valentine's Day drawing winner! Please email me through my website (janadeleon.com) and provide your mailing address and who you would like the book autographed to, and I will send out your Valentine's package.

So last week I talked about stupid interviews, and I was going to segue into stupid bosses this week but I had a situation come up with a client about a week ago and I just had to share. I'm a technical writers for a software company at my day job, and I wrote a set of custom documents for one of our clients. The product that the documents were for is one that produces pdf printouts with barcodes that you fax along with backup and the system automatically files it for you in a digital storage system. Very cool if you do a lot of paperwork (especially government). Since we had no way of knowing whether printers would be available in every classroom, I printed out the pdf scanning documents and merged them into my training guide so that they could see an example and the instructor could explain how to organize the pdf copies along with their original documents before scanning.

So I get an email from the training manager wanting to know if I have the original pdf's used for my training guide because the clients would like to have the digital file. I said I did but I was not in the office that day, could they wait until Monday. He thought so and I figured we were done. A little while later he emails again. This is what he said (paraphrased):

You are going to get a laugh out of this one. I got an email from one of their managers saying that they were going to have an employee scan the pdf files and attach them to an email to send to me so that I knew exactly which documents they wanted.

I emailed back and asked "At that point, what would I be sending back?"

I almost fell off my chair laughing. So the client wants a digital copy and they're going to SCAN the document (thus making a digital copy) to tell us which digital copy to send them. Wow! So far that is the Stupid Comment of the Year. Might take a lot to best that one.

So any of you work with clients/the public? Got a stupid story to share?

Deadly DeLeon

Sunday, February 15, 2009

And the winner is...!

The winner of the autographed copy of FIANCE AT HER FINGERTIPS and the Burpee Tote Bag is: LuAnn! LuAnn, drop me an email at kcbacus@hotmail.com with your name and addy and I'll ship those items off to you right away. And a big thank you to everyone for stopping by Killer Fiction this week to celebrate Valentine's Day '09!

~Bullet Hole Bacus~

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love... according to kids


The winner of an autographed copy of ALIBI IN HIGH HEELS, along with some yummy Valentine’s Day candies is conley730!!! Conley730, email me your snail mail address and I'll get your prize out to you ASAP. gemmahalliday (at) gmail (dot) com.

Happy almost Valentine’s Day everyone! (And for you superstitious types – Happy Friday the 13th!) I hope you’ve all stocked up on chocolates and little conversation hearts. Myself, I’ve spent the week racking my brain for a good V-day gift for Mr. Big. So far, coming up with nada. Any last minute suggestions for me?

While you mull that over, here are some totally adorable tips on love from a group of kids age 5-10. (No, I didn’t interview them myself, but, man, I wish I had!)


WHAT IS THE PROPER AGE TO GET MARRIED?

"Once I'm done with kindergarten, I'm going to find me a wife." (Tom, 5)

WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?

"On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date." (Mike, 9)

WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?

"You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her a big ring and her own VCR, cause she'll want to have videos of the wedding." (Jim, 10)

CONCERNING WHY LOVE HAPPENS BETWEEN TWO PARTICULAR PEOPLE:

"No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That's why perfume and deodorant are so popular." (Jan, 9)

ON WHAT FALLING IN LOVE IS LIKE:

"Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life." (Roger, 9)

"If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don't want to do it. It takes too long." (Leo, 7)

ON THE ROLE OF GOOD LOOKS IN LOVE:

"If you want to be loved by somebody who isn't already in your family, it doesn't hurt to be beautiful." (Jeanne, 8)

"It isn't always just how you look. Look at me, I'm handsome like anything and I haven't got anybody to marry me yet." (Gary, 7)

"Beauty is skin deep. But how rich you are can last a long time." (Christine, 9)

CONCERNING WHY LOVERS OFTEN HOLD HANDS:

"They want to make sure their rings don't fall off because they paid good money for them." (Dave, 8)

CONFIDENTIAL OPINIONS ABOUT LOVE:

"I'm in favor of love as long as it doesn't happen when 'The Simpsons' is on television." (Anita, 6)

"Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I have been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me." (Bobby, 8)

"I'm not rushing into being in love. I'm finding fourth grade hard enough." (Regina, 10)

THE PERSONAL QUALITIES NECESSARY TO BE A GOOD LOVER:

"One of you should know how to write a check. Because even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills." (Ava, 8)

SOME SUREFIRE WAYS TO MAKE A PERSON FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU:

"Don't do things like have smelly, green sneakers. You might get attention, but attention ain't the same thing as love." (Alonzo, 9)

"One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it's something she likes to eat. French fries usually work for me." (Bart, 9)

WHAT MOST PEOPLE ARE THINKING WHEN THEY SAY "I LOVE YOU"

"The person is thinking, Yeah, I really do love him. But I hope he showers at least once a day." (Michelle,9)

HOW TO MAKE LOVE ENDURE:

"Spend most of your time loving instead of going to work." (Tom, 7)

"Be a good kisser. It might make your wife forget that you never take out the trash." (Randy,8)


So, who has some tips of their own to share?


~Trigger Happy Halliday

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love is in the air--and it stinks!

As a Valentine's Gift to one lucky commenter, I'm giving away an autographed copy of my out-of-the-box romance FIANCE AT HER FINGERTIPS, along with a handy little Burpee seed tote. Just leave a comment and one of my triplets will pick the winner! Good luck and Happy Valentine's Day!


It's 'that' time of year again. I'm not talking about tax time, or FAFSA filing deadlines, or even the cold, snowy, endless month of February. No. I'm talking nearly naked infants with bows and arrows, bouquets of roses, chocolates, romantic candlelit dinners and good wine.

For those of us currently--unattached--who witness the seemingly endless workplace delivery of VDay goodies to various employees, it's fitting that this year Friday the 13th precedes the day known as the most romantic day of the year.

Or for the single and searching, the suckiest day of the year.

In my job I wear a uniform and work mostly with guys. One of my coworkers came up to me last week looking very serious.

"I have a question for you," he said.

"Okay. What?" I responded.

"What would you like to get for Valentine's Day?"

"Come again?" I said, somewhat confused since the guy is happily married to a lovely woman.

"I'd like a woman's input. What would you consider a really nice Valentine's Day gift?"

The lightbulb finally illuminated my brain fog. He wanted gifting advice. Boy, had he ever come to the wrong place.

"As long as it's not a hubcap, shop vac, or socks, I'd be thrilled," I responded, listing some of the 'special gifts' I'd been treated to by my ex.

"Huh?" He stared at me.

Move on, Kathy, you so don't want to go there...

I tapped my chin.

"How about paper?" I said. "Reams and reams of paper? Or toner cartridges? An external hard drive would be nice. " I paused. "I've got it! If she's really special, you gotta get her a Kindle 2."

His stare got glassier.

"A candle? Women like candles that much?"

I shook my head. "A Kindle! You don't know what a Kindle is?" I asked, my turn to stare.

He shook his head.

"It's a electronic device used to download and read books," I explained. "It's the wave of the future in publishing. It's lightweight, compact, and just cute as a button."

He looked at me for a moment.

"And you think all that stuff is romantic, huh?" he finally said and I could just imagine what he'd left unsaid: No wonder you don't have a boyfriend. "Uh, thanks for the help," he added and moved on.

Sigh.

So how would you have answered my coworker's question? What would you consider a "really nice" Valentine's Day gift?

And just to satisfy my nosy Nellie side, next Thursday be prepared to divulge what your significant other treated you to--and vice versa--for Valentine's Day. PG rated material only, please! ;)

Don't forget to leave a comment so you're in the running for the book and bag!

Have a fantabulous Valentine's Day!

~Bullet Hole Bacus~

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What If Sami Worked For Hallmark?



I was thinking, if Sami from Stand By Your Hitman got a job writing greeting cards, it might go a little something like this:



They say blood is red
But in veins it looks blue
And the heart isn’t heart-shaped
What the fuck is that all about?

Happy Valentine’s Day Dumbass!



Happy Valentine's Day to you, my friends!

Love,
The Assassin

Love & Romance

Gillian Layne you are the winner of my Valentine's Day Week contest. Please email me at: www (.) christie-craig (.) com and let me which book you will be wanting.

Thanks everyone for playing along! Happy Valentine's Day!

Oh, on Friday, I will be guest blogging over at Jenyfer Matthews blog site: http://www.jenyfermatthews.com/blog/ Please pop over and learn how I deal with people who need to be gently educated on the romance genre. Okay...maybe I wasn't so gentle, but they deserved it!!! Bless their hearts.

CONTEST! Post a comment today and be entered to win the prize of: one of my books, a "silly" pen, a pack of note cards, and some yummy chocolate.

Also, please pop over to: http://www.examiner.com/x-3098-Houston-Romance-Novels-Examiner
and read my interview. (You might learn things about me that you didn't know.) If my interview isn't on the front page hit the word "previous" and it will take you to my article. Now for my blog . . .

LOVE AND ROMANCE


I don’t consider myself an honest-to-goodness expert. Not because I don’t feel qualified in the topic. Why, if I’ve earned a degree in any subject in this college called life, I’d have a masters in . . . The Matters of the Heart. The only reason I don’t think I’m a true expert is because love is a tricky son of a witch. Love sometimes befuddles me. It comes in all stages and degrees. It makes us laugh; it makes us cry. It makes us bare our souls and it turns some of us into stone—cold fear hits at the first glimpse of this mighty emotion, and some lock their hearts away, refusing anyone passage into their lives.

Love is all-consuming, it’s beautiful, it’s the cream in life’s cream puff. It’s the prize in the box of life’s Cracker Jacks. It makes us strong; it makes us as vulnerable as a new born child left alone in a snowstorm. Love is the thing that most people, facing the end, will measure their lives upon. Unfortunately, in so many cases, love comes with an expiration date.

Some could argue that short-term love was never really love at all. But try telling that to the person in short-term love. Some think that it takes two hearts to be a true love. But try telling that to the person who has given their heart and received nothing back.

Some believe it takes years for love to grow; others believe love happens at first glance. Some believe that you can truly love only once. But tell that to a young mother and widow, who finds a hero willing to help raise her child and build a life with her. Tell that to the elderly couple who found each other in a nursing home.

Some will insist that love heals all wounds—that with love there is nothing that cannot be conquered or overcome. Others will tell you that that little tidbit is the biggest pile of horse crap they’ve ever heard. That love alone is never enough.

So love confuses me. However, this so called masters degree in love that I feel I’ve attained stems from both personal experience and from an in-depth study. In my study, I’ve written not one but almost fifteen theses on love. Yup, I’m talking about romance novels.

I’ve created 19th century heroines, who found their hearts taken by Native Americans who refused to love. I’ve penned stories about women who fell in love with a man determined to take the child she considered her own. I’ve created heroines who talked to dead people and fell in love with a half-fairy whose only fear were ghosts. I’ve written about a nervous puker falling head over heels in love with a sympathy puker. Every character, every story taught me something about love.

Personally, I’m known the beauty of this sweet emotion. I’ve experienced the chills and the thrills of lust which is so often love’s companion. I’ve been used and abused by the one person who was supposed to love me. I’ve suffered from a broken heart. I’ve watched my parents with over twenty years in a marriage, walk away from each other and the life and love they had built. I watched a beloved aunt, divorce the same man three times--and marry him four. I’ve held hands with my sobbing grandmother as she watched them lower the body of my grandfather, the man she’d devoted her life to for over sixty years, into the cold ground. I’ve lived with, and loved my own hero for twenty-four years. I know the sweet intimacy of making love to same man for the thousandth time.

So what has all this taught me, what is it that I really believe about love?

I believe love and relationships are like the plant in my window sill—without food and water, it will flat-out die.

I don’t believe love solves problems, but I believe love can instill in us the ability to work through them--even if it takes three divorces and four marriages to find what works.

I don’t believe love is 50/50, but it’d better be about give and take or it will pack its bags and skedaddle.

I believe the “firsts” that we experience in love—the first touch, the first kiss, the first “TIME” are mind-blowingly awesome. Almost as wonderful and seeing an elderly couple—married for fifty years—holding hands as they make the last of their journey though life . . . together.

I believe a lot of people walk away from a real love so they can re-experience those firsts. Sadly, they have forgotten that the real prize is the kind of love they just left—that what our hearts are really seeking is someone to make this journey with.

I believe love comes with a price—death being the highest, but it’s a price worth paying.

I believe some people suck at love—the cheaters, the abusers—and they don’t deserve it.

I believe love is a gamble—we sometimes can’t tell the keepers from the creepers—but it’s a gamble worth taking—no matter how many times we get our butts burned.

I believe love is an enigma.

And last but not least, I believe love makes fools of us, but only a fool doesn’t want it.

So there are my thoughts on love. What do you believe? Would you please share?

Come on, this is Valentine’s Week and today I’m giving away one of my books, a pen, a pack of note cards, and some chocolate. So . . . don’t be shy. Post a comment to be entered in my contest. And make sure you come back tomorrow to see the winner posted at the beginning of my blog.

Crime Scene Christie

Monday, February 09, 2009

Holding Your Tongue

Terry S - you are the Valentine's Day winner! Please email me through my website janadeleon.com and give me your mailing information and who you would like the book autographed to!

Job interviews are always a pain. I hate doing them. Most people don't know how to conduct an interview and they either resort to the standard questions or they wander around in the weeds, not knowing what to ask at all. And then there's the ones that ask the truly ridiculous and you're left wondering if you should just shoot back what you're really inclined to say because you're not certain you want to work for someone that stupid. Let me give you some examples of me interviewing when I first graduated in accounting. I was living in Louisiana at the time, but interviewing in Dallas and staying with my aunt/uncle to look for a job.

Me (answering phone call at my aunt's house): Yes, I'm still looking for a job.
Him: I see on here you're live in Louisiana. Can you come to Dallas for an interview?
Me: Um, you just called me in Dallas. (And at that time there was ONE phone exchange for the area)
Him: Haha. Yeah, I guess I did. Well, we're a construction company and we've done quite a bit of development around the area. In fact, we're the designers for Texas Stadium.
What I Said: That's nice.
What I Wanted To Say: Idiot! You put that big hole in the top and when the sun sets the shadows are so bad, you can't even see the game on television. Not to mention that all forms of inclement weather pour in there. You stink as architects.

(next disaster)
Him: So, you're an accountant?
What I Said: Yes.
What I Wanted to Say: No, I'm a hooker, but I thought the dress code for accountants would be more fun.
Him: So if I asked you to tell me what an asset is, what would you say?
What I Said: Me.
What I Wanted To Say: You, with a brain.
Him (smiling): That's clever. So what would you bring to the company if hired?
What I Said: (a bunch of boring accounting stuff)
What I Wanted To Say: A set of good interview questions.

My first job turned out to be in the commercial real estate department of a bank, and my boss (that I inherited through merger) was THE biggest idiot on the face of the earth. One day, I'll have to do a blog just for him. Every time he needed to hire a new accountant, he'd go through this huge drawn-out process of reading HIRING THE BEST and picking the "best" questions for the job. Then he'd send me and the other accountant to greet the interviewees. I have no idea why, but we used it to our advantage. You see, someone (who must have had a sense of humor) wrote a book called KNOCKING 'EM DEAD, which just happened to be all the perfect answers to HIRING THE BEST, and co-worker and I had bought a copy. Soooooooo, when we met the guinea pig, we gave them all the answers to the questions idiot-boss was going to ask.

So what about you? Do you have an interview story you'd like to share? I'll probably do boss stories next week, so save any boss stories for then.

Deadly DeLeon

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Valetine's Week Contest


Next week is Valentine’s week! As romance writers, this has got to be one of our favorite holidays, and to celebrate we’re giving away free prizes every day. Books, goodies, candy – tons of great stuff! So, stop by Feb 9th-Feb 13th for a chance to win a different fab prize every day! All you have to do to enter is comment on that day's post. One random winner will be drawn each day.

Good luck!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Tickle Me Elmo

First of all, Vegas was fabulous! Mr. Big and I had a great time – even won money on the superbowl! (Though, I’ll admit, I was mostly in it for the funny commercials.) The first night we visited Fremont Street, which is the old, historic part of Vegas where the original casinos used to be. (In my mind, there are lots of mobster bodies still buried in the foundations.) It was the coolest! The original ‘60’s d├ęcor of the old casinos (not to mention original 60’s cigarette smoke still permeating the walls) was so cheese-ball retro awesome, and the huge screen they have over the entire canopy of Fremont street was lit up with music videos that made the entire crowd stop and stare at the sky. Very sci-fi freaky. The next day, we must have walked the full strip at least three times (being molested by guys handing out hookers' cards every three feet. Seriously, they were relentless. I guess something about me just screamed “I’m looking for a cheap blonde for the evening.”) and stopped at every casino along the way. We checked out the Eiffel tower at the Paris, the gardens at Caesars, the fountains at the Bellagio, the live lions at the MGM, rode the roller coaster at the New York, New York, and saw the Beatles Love show at the Mirage. (Check out the pic of me and Mr. Big at the show. Isn’t he cute?) It was a blast. I love that town.

And, while I was out experiencing the neon madness of Vegas, my Mom was at home, continuing on her quest for Mr. Right. When I got home, her latest story had me in stitches! I laughed so hard I think I peed a little.

Okay, right after college, my mom met this lovely guy, who we’ll call Elmo, and started dating him. It was the sixties, he was a musician, very groovy times had by all. However, school, jobs, etc. took over and the relationship was short lived.

Fast forward to now. As I mentioned, Mom’s dedicated herself to finding Mr. Right this year. In an effort to find a stud and not another dud, she made a list of all her past boyfriends with a column indicating why she broke up with them. Most had really good reasons in that column. All but Elmo. It seems circumstances just weren’t in their favor at the time. So, Mom being the resourceful thing she is (and never one to leave an opportunity unexplored) she looks him up online. And finds him. He’s still a musician, has a grown kid, still lives in the area. They decide to meet up for coffee. He arrives in a Ferrari. Mom is SO glad she looked this guy up.

And, as the afternoon wears on, she says it’s just like no time had gone by, The conversation flows naturally, they reminisce about old times, and, there’s even a little flirting going on.

Flirting that continues via email. And phone conversations. And leads to another coffee date. And Mom’s really wondering why she broke up with this guy in the first place, and how easy would it be to pick up right where they left off. They both feel incredibly comfortable with each other despite the 40 year absence. So comfortable, in fact, that Elmo confesses something.

(Oh yeah, this is where it gets good.)

Elmo fills Mom in about his lifestyle. His alternative lifestyle. Turns out, Elmo has a thing for being tied up… and then tickled.

Tied up. And tickled.

Mom frowns. Bites her lip. Tries her best not to laugh. Thanks the gods for helping her dodge that bullet (or feather duster) years ago.

And the next time he emails her for a coffee date, she replies with: Sorry, I’m tied up that day. Besides, coffee doesn’t really tickle my fancy.


~Trigger Happy Halliday

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bullet Hole's 'Trading Spaces' Saga continues...


Remember last week I blogged about switching my office and bedroom around? I left off with a loveseat in my Jimmy waiting to be unloaded when two of my college kids got home.

They arrived home—naturally thrilled to be moving more furniture—and we headed out front where I’d backed the Jimmy and set about unloading the loveseat. Or so I thought.

Let me backtrack a bit. That same day an older gentleman and I had loaded the loveseat with relatively little difficulty so I figured three of us could easily slide it back out.

You can probably guess what happened next.

Does the word ‘wedged’ conjure up any pictures? Yep. That’s right. The THREE of us got the loveseat hopelessly wedged in the back of my Jimmy. It wouldn’t budge. Even worse, it was stuck in such a position that it was hanging over the tailgate of the Jimmy and I couldn’t close the back door and that meant the interior light remained on. Did I mention the temperature outdoors was hovering around 10 degrees with a windchill of negative 20 at the time and my brother (my go-to-guy in situations like this) wasn’t off for another hour? I had to keep my vehicle running in order to keep the battery from running down.

Some time later my brother arrives and accurately assesses the situation: Little Sis has done it again.

We go to work on the stubborn sofa-ette. We unscrew the legs, figuring it will facilitate the extraction process, only to discover one of the legs is missing. Now I know for a fact it had four legs when it went into the Jimmy, so I reckon it’s come off somehow in the push/pull process. We continue. My Jimmy has (or maybe I should say ‘had’) one of those black screens that is attached to one side of the vehicle that you can pull across and fasten to the other to cover items stored in the back of the vehicle. The loveseat not only got hung up on the rod that makes up that device, but the rod actually impaled itself into the wood beneath the loveseat and began to rip away the black screen canvas material attached to the handy rod. We had to shove the loveseat back into the Jimmy to remove the rod mechanism. This was not a quick, easy procedure. Once we finally separated the canvas curtain rod thingy from the loveseat, we managed to slide the loveseat (which seemed much heavier coming out of the Jimmy than it did going in) out and carried it in the front door.

“Where is this going?” My brother asked. (I’d failed to inform him of my little room switcharoo.)

“Uh, the kids’ TV room,” I answered.

He frowned.

“Don’t you have a loveseat in there already?” he asked.

“Well, yes, but you see…” I then explained my activities of the previous weekend.

“So we have to move another loveseat out of the TV room before we move this in?” he summarized, the look on his face similar to mine when I realized the loveseat was hopelessly wedged in the back of my vehicle.

“You’re quick,” I said, feeling praise was in order.

He lifted a dubious eyebrow.

Once the old loveseat was safely moved to my office and we’d moved the ‘new’ one into place, it was time to put the legs back on.

Remember that missing leg?

The one that was on when we slid the loveseat in the Jimmy and, thus, logic demanded it must be somewhere in the Jimmy or around the Jimmy. Yeah, that leg.

Well, I searched that vehicle high and low, in and out, up and down, took everything out of it twice and guess what? No leg. Not anywhere.

Okay. Think, Kathy, think. Where could it be?

I called the place I purchased the furniture item, explained, told them what door I’d backed up to when we’d loaded the item. The guy (who happened to be the same one who helped me load the loveseat and—shocker here—remembered me) promised he’d check personally and call me back. He did.

No leg.

Okay. I’ve got a like new loveseat that matches my southwestern-theme room, but I’ve only got three legs. I started visiting local places: Walmart, Farm and Home, True Value, Coast Hardware. Zero legs. I call a carpet and furniture place just down the street to see what they suggest. The guy asked me the brand of loveseat. I have no clue. It’s big and comfortable and goes with my southwestern motif, I tell the guy. I hear his sigh through the phone line. I explain I have the leg . I describe it to him.

He responds he has two ‘junk’ legs I can look at. So I run down, leg in hand, and hope in my heart and what do you know? Much to my amazement, one of the legs is an identical match! I give him a five dollar bill for his time, hurry home, screw the legs on the loveseat before one of them disappears, and collapse onto the cursed loveseat.

Who knew a simple room rearrangement could go so wrong?

Martha Stewart I ain’t.

Next week’s installment of Murphy’s Law moments from the Heartland will feature the surreal scenario when a daft, clueless driver pulls out from a grocery store driveway, sideswipes my son’s car, shoving him into the curb, wails “why did you hit me?” and her equally demented husband arrives on the scene only to go postal on my son, escalates on yours truly, and continues his tirade with law enforcement.

‘Oh, it’s a beautiful week in the neighborhood.’

And today? Today I plan to stay safe and sound inside my humble little abode and not venture outside my door.

It’s scary out there.

So how was your week?

~Bullet Hole Bacus~

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Things You Shouldn't Come Home To...


For those of you who don’t know, I have recently taken a day job. It is a long story that I’ll go into another time. Anyway, it’s an awesome job and I’m really enjoying it. And yes, I’m still writing my books, so don’t worry. By the way, did you know that sleep could never, ever be overrated? Yeah, I was surprised too.

The cool part is that I get to wear all those abfab clothes and shoes, and carry all those handbags I haven’t used in years. Somehow, a pair of Carlos by Carlos Santana platform sandals doesn’t work with a t-shirt and sweatpants.

The weird part is coming home to my kids, who seemed like “just kids” before but now resemble little people who were visited by the Responsibility Fairy. They do their chores and homework. Why didn't anyone tell me I just had to go back to work to get that???

The first day I came home, I flung open the door, awaiting my hero’s welcome. Both kids looked at me and mumbled, “hey,” before going back to whatever they were doing. That was somewhat anti-climactic. I went straight to the phone and called my mom to apologize for doing that to her all those years.

Mr. Assassin must have threatened them with the Bore Worms (“NO! Not the Bore Worms!) because since that day, they have leaped into my arms as Stepford Children.

Mr. Assassin had to go back to work after Cmas break, so we revisited the nostalgia of our youth and turned our children into latchkey kids. And they’ve done very well. Miss Margaret texts me when she and Jack get home. And then proceeds to text me every five minutes regarding Jack’s personal hygiene, his general mood and how many bowel movements he has. She goes on to rat him out on everything even remotely bad he might be doing.

I am working on resolving this issue.

So imagine my surprise when I arrived home last night to find both kids just inside the door, shifting nervously as if they were running a heroin ring using the basset as a drug mule. It went a little something like this:

Me: What did you do?

Margaret: Mom, don’t be mad at us!

Uh oh.

Jack: Can we have another dog?

Margaret: There’s a surprise in the basement!

Not only did I breathe a sigh of relief, but I decided I had to work with them on their surprise-there’s-a-dog/Joe-the-plumber/dead hooker-in-the-basement routine.

So, I follow them downstairs while Margaret tells me they found a stray Pug and brought him in.

Jack: We saved his life!

Margaret: Yeah! She could’ve frozen to death out there and there’s no collar, so can we keep her?

Me: That’s a Shih tzu.

Margaret: It is? I thought it was a Pug.

Me: That doesn’t look anything like Lucy. That dog is thin and has lots of hair.

Margaret: So can we keep it?

Me: (Picking up the dog) No. Sara and Doug across the street would miss Herkey. (Continue carrying dog upstairs and dialing cell phone.)

Jack: What? What do you mean? (He says that a lot. It’s really annoying.)

That’s right. My kids stole the neighbor’s dog. And she happens to be the PTA president. I am so screwed.

The Assassin

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Catch & Release Program

Hey guys,

Tomorrow, I’ll be guest blogging over at TJ Bennett’s place.
http://tjbsopinion.blogspot.com/

And I’ll be blogging about … “What a woman really wants.” So make sure you pop over and learn what some hot looking bad boy, named Calvin, taught me about romance. TJ is also giving away a fabulous Valentine’s Day giveaway of a Romance Roundup Gift Basket of autographed books. So pop over to check out the contest. See ya there!

CC



I think I’ve told ya’ll that my inability to avoid the weird/downright bizarre situations is hereditary. Seriously, crap just happens to me and my family. My mom really did lose her teeth on Continental Airlines, and I swear she accidentally stole a car. And the bomb story about my dad is true, I swear it! I don’t know why, but these things happen to us. Like the time I came within an inch of being arrested for being an illegal alien while crossing the border from New Mexico to Texas--never mind I’m blond and green-eyed. Or the time I got caught holding a bag of weed by the police. I was innocent on both counts.

But this blog isn’t about me. Nope. Today, I’m gonna share a story about my son. Poor guy. Of course, I think the duck is really the one I should be offering my sympathies to.

You have to know that my son is an animal lover. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of injured animals we’ve taken in. Today, I have a rabbit because someone at my son's employment was going to make stew out of the domesticated, but stray hare who had mistaken the plant store as an all you can eat buffet. When my son worked at the feed store he brought home a pet chicken that someone dropped off. He wasn’t about to let Ramon take it home because it would have been de-feathered and deep fried. So we found the pet chicken a home at a private school that boarded farm animals—thank God neighborhood regulations refused to let us keep it, or I would have a chicken keeping the rabbit company.

Kittens, dogs, turtles, birds, and then there was the caged raccoon that he bought home in my husband’s car. Have you ever smelled caged raccoon? That stench doesn’t go away for a long, long time. But this story isn’t about him bringing home the raccoon or that stench.

A couple of weeks ago, my son went fishing. He bought himself some worms and went to a local pond. Sitting on the banks, a group of ducks came up. One duck that my son named Ol’ Frank was especially friendly. Now according to my son, Ol’ Frank was . . . well . . . old. He sort of looked gray around the bill area. Son took a liking to Frank and no doubt about it, Frank took a liking to my son’s worms.

Every few minutes my son would toss the ol’ guy a worm. Then after something snagged my son’s bait, he pulled his reel out and baited his hook. Before he could pick up the pole and toss it back in, Ol’ Frank spotted the worm.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Frank was hooked, running away, dragging my son’s pole behind him. Son felt terrible. He grabbed his pocket knife, chased down the duck and pole and cut the line. He tried to convince himself that the duck would be okay, but poor Frank had started running around in circles, quacking to the duck gods, with a hook in his mouth.

Remembering that the duck was old and could die if he stopped eating, Son manned up. He knew he had to get the hook out.

He chased the duck, in circles, finally caught the very upset, unhappy fowl with a fishing wire hanging from its mouth and brought him back to his tool box. Now, Frank wasn’t too keen on being picked up. He started quacking up a storm, flapping his wings to hell and back and feathers were flying everywhere. Son sat down on the grass, locked the pissed off bird between his legs, and tried to figure out how he was gonna get the job done.

Of course, it wasn’t as easy as telling the poor bird to open wide. Son finally gets the duck’s month open, saw the hook had gone completely through the poor duck’s tongue. To say Frank is unhappy is an understatement. Son was trying to be gentle, trying not to cause a scene, but that’s hard not to do when you have a squawking duck locked between your legs, your hand in his mouth, and the feathers are raining down all around you. Son was sure if Frank had been talking English, there would have been a bunch of four letter words involved but who could blame him?

Then son heard something behind him, he hoped someone stumbled by to help, but nope. We Craigs are never that lucky. Instead, the entire duck population had come to Frank’s rescue. Yup, standing behind my son was at least a dozen of Frank’s homies. Fearing being flogged by a bunch of ducks, Son took out his wire cutters and got busy. The pack of ducks were holding guard, as if debating whether or not to attack. Son claimed it was sort of like one of those westerns where they tell the doctor if the patient dies, they’ll do him in.

Finally, the hook was removed and Frank was released. Of course, son claims the darn bird wasn’t a bit appreciative. Son packed up his fishing pole, tossed Frank all the leftover worms, and came home. Once he arrived, he asked the question. “Why does weird crap always happen to us?”

I sighed and told him he should be happy he doesn’t have false teeth. And if he ever does, don’t ever get on a plane.

So there you have it. My son’s fishing trip gone bad.

Anything happening around your neck of the woods? Do you think I could add this to a book? Speaking of books, have you read any good ones lately? I need some recommendations; life around here has been too crazy.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Thing That Make You Go "Huh?"

I was at the local RaceTrac getting gas yesterday and have been meaning to snap a photo of a sign there that I can help but think is incredibly stupid. Here's a photo of the Racetrac. You can see it's your standard large-scale service station:

This Racetrac happens to sell alcohol, and there's this sign in the window that I can't help but laugh at every time I go into the store. It's hard to see because the sun was reflecting on the window at the time, but see the sign right above the ATM machine?

The sign reads "BEER TO GO"

......as opposed to????? Drinking your beer at the counter, or maybe by the coffee service bar? Cleaning off a stack of cola cartons and having a seat? Taking a six pack into the bathroom?

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm certain there's some stupid law that says that since this isn't a bar, alcohol can't be consumed on the premises and that's where this sign is leading. But does anyone else think this is funny except me?

And what about you - seen any stupid signs that made you wonder what law they were trying to cover with it?

Lastly, after much cursing and even more hair loss, I have a book trailer for TROUBLE IN MUDBUG. Check it out!


Have a great day!

Deadly DeLeon

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Dreams & Desires Vol. 3


Happy release day to me! The Dreams & Desires Vol. 3 anthology comes out today! Dreams & Desires is a collection of dozens of short romance stories by a fantastic group of authors put out yearly by Freya’s Bower. It’s unique, and a project I’m always proud to be a part of, because 100% of the proceeds from this book are donated to help victims of domestic violence. All the editing, stories, cover work – everything! – associated with the book have been donated, so it’s an incredibly great collection for an incredibly great cause.

My contribution this year is a short story called “Watching You”. Here’s a short excerpt…

9:07pm. She walked in her front door. Dropped her briefcase on the floor, kicked off her shoes. Heels. Always heels, this one. Dale wondered if maybe she had a height complex. From a distance, he judged her to be petite, no more than 5’3”. She was slim and compact, not a surprise considering how many hours he’d watched her put in at the gym. Ten in the last week. Even he had to be impressed by that.

She pushed a button on her answering machine and a mechanical voice told her she had no messages. Not, of course, that Dale could hear it from his car across the street. But he knew there were never any messages by her body language, the way she quickly turned away from the machine, the way her shoulders slumped ever so slightly forward. The way she never called anyone back. He wondered why she kept checking day after day.

She crossed into the kitchen, obscuring Dale’s view for a moment. He took the opportunity to readjust his binoculars, wiping a single bead of sweat from his forehead. It was easily ninety, even with the sun setting behind him into the San Francisco Bay. He would have killed to flip on the AC but was afraid the engine running might attract attention. No, better to suffer the heat. The last thing he needed was some yahoo calling the SFPD on a peeping Tom.

She emerged from the kitchen, crossing in front of the windows again, a glass of wine in hand. Something white and dry. He knew she didn’t go for that fruity shit. He’d been a step behind her at the supermarket yesterday when she’d purchased the bottle.

He shrugged his tight shoulders, sweat dampening the back of his t-shirt as he watched her flip on her stereo. Her head rolled back, her eyes closing, her body instantly swaying ever so slightly to the rhythm. He wished he knew what she was listening to. Jazz? Beethoven? Some pop singer? He had no idea. But in his mind, he liked to pretend it was a smooth Sinatra standard. Light, clean, classic. It fit her.

She carried her glass of wine into the bedroom, her movements fluid as the music made her tense shoulders loosen. She worked too hard. Most lawyers did, but he could tell she was driven in a way that just making associate at age twenty-five, or partner by thirty wouldn’t ever be enough for her. Something inside drove her. She was single minded, relentless. She would never quit, never stop, never be satisfied with less than everything. He admired it. And yet, at the same time it was exactly what made him know he needed to be here. That as much as he knew it was wrong to follow her, to track her every movement like some sort hunter with his unsuspecting prey, he had to do this. Had to watch her. Had to follow her. Had to be that shadow, just waiting for the right moment.

Still swaying to the music, she slowly pulled her blouse over her head, exposing a lacy, pink bra that made Dale shift in his seat. This was his favorite part of the night. When it was just the two of them, alone. When she was relaxed and uninhibited. He felt like he was seeing the real her, the real Isabella. Not the tough defense council, not the stylish urbanite, and not the dutiful daughter. Just her. Bella.


And him.

She reached down and unzipped her skirt, letting it fall to the ground in a pile.

“Wash day, honey?” he whispered to himself, noting the plain, white cotton panties she wore beneath. Not that he minded. He shifted in his seat again. She had the kind of body that didn’t need lace to dress it up. She could have been in polka dots and still made him swell against his zipper.

She turned, her back to the large, floor to ceiling windows that flanked the walls of her loft. Then undid the clasp on her bra, letting it fall away to reveal the smooth expanse of her bare back.

Dale held his breath. What he wouldn’t give to make her turn around right now.

Instead, she crossed the room, disappearing into the bathroom.

He let out a long breath through his nose as if to cleanse himself of her image. He knew she’d spend the next twenty minutes in there, bathing, then emerge wrapped in a towel, slide beneath her silk sheets, set her alarm, and fall asleep.

Dale set the binoculars down, wiping the back of his hand across his forehead. Jesus, it was hot. He pulled his little notebook from his pocket.

9:26pm. Bubble Bath.

He leaned back against the torn headrest, flipping on the radio, listening to the Giants game while he waited for her to finish her nightly ritual. When she was done, he’d drive back to the shitty little apartment he’d rented two blocks away and close his eyes for a couple hours before being back here at dawn again.

He’d close his eyes, but he was never sure if sleep would actually come. Lately, all he saw behind his eyelids were images of her.

Her.

Always her.

He breathed in deeply and could swear he almost smelled the soft, floral scent of her bubble bath.

Soon. It would all be over soon.

The one thought that kept him sane. She’d become his whole world, his every thought. He didn’t know how much more of this he could take.

Soon…




Interested in reading more? You can order a copy of Dream & Desires at amazon.com or directly from Freya’s Bower: www.freyasbower.com.


~Trigger Happy Halliday