Yay! I get to be the first to wish you all 'HAPPY NEW YEAR!' Here we are on the last day of 2009--and it was a year for the record books. Record unemployment, record floods, record snowstorms. Personally, I won't be all that sorry to see '09 in my rear-view mirror. I always feel a sense of optimism and hope at the beginning of a new year. Like the brand new desk top calendar on my desk, I'm presented with a shiny, new year--a clean canvas to do whatever I chose to do with it--and a diverse palette to draw from and decorate each day. A new year simmers with endless possibilities.
Since weather forced us to delay one family get-together, we'll be celebrating tomorrow. Today and tonight I get to spend the last day of the year with the triplets. We have a big day planned. We're going thrift-shop browsing, catching a matinee of Avatar, and then we'll head back home before the revelers hit the highways and biways for an evening of football, (GO CYCLONES!) games, and finger food. How are you spending this New Year's Eve and New Year's Day?
Once again, from the Dangerous Divas here at Killer Fiction, have a safe, wonderful, upbeat, and fabulous New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Posted by Kathy Bacus at 8:37 AM
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
So, I got the kids a ping pong table.
Okay. I got myself a ping pong table but made it look like it was from me. What?
Of course, putting the ping pong table together is another matter. Fortunately, I have male friends with tools in the form of Todd, with Bernie's drill. So, once Lisa and I made sure Todd had lots of help (does it matter that it's in the form of two 9-yr old boys?), we went back upstairs and opened up the chocolate peanut clusters, yelling down every now and then, "Hey, you okay? Do you need help?" (Does it matter that we didn't wait for an answer?)
This is what Todd overheard Jack and Logan say during the four hours of "fun" putting the table together:
Jack: Wouldn't it be great if we had a robot who builds ping pong tables?
Logan: Yeah. But what would suck is that we'd have to put the robot together first.
Todd did a great job. Of course, we had to try it out first...to make sure it was safe for the kids...ahem. Eventually, the kids tackled us and took away the paddles (did you know that 9 year old boys are very, very quick?) so we slouched upstairs and had to settle for beer.
We have warned them that on New Year's Eve, once the adults start doing vodka shots, the ping pong table is ours. I just hope we can fight em off.
Happy New Year,
Posted by Leslie Langtry at 2:29 AM
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
(Previously seen at BookLovers Blog Spot)
1) The thing I mostly dreamed about being as a child was adopted.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t abused, or mistreated. I was just a misfit—the girl sandwiched between two brothers. I didn’t make farting sounds with my arm pits, I didn’t ask people to pull my finger, and I didn’t make weekly trips to the emergency room to get stitches. I’d catch Alabama toads and pretend they were princes; my brothers would catch them to blow them up with firecrackers. While I had my head in the clouds daydreaming, everyone else scratched their heads trying to figure out what was wrong with me.
2) The weirdest food I’ve ever eaten was toad soup in a dirt-floor restaurant.
Believe it or not, my brothers were not behind this. I was in China with my hubby and we were being treated to a fancy buffet. Hubby, a semi-germ freak, wouldn’t eat anything, so being polite I felt obligated to eat. They put just a spoonful of the unknown variety of soup in my bowl for me to taste, when I nodded my approval they dipped a huge serving into my dish and the drowned toad, cooked whole, head propped up on the lip of my bowl and its legs dangling over each side of my dish. I politely bypassed the soup to eat the fried snake. Hey…at least it didn’t look like a snake.
3) My favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon is with a fishing pole in my hand.
Yup, I’m a closet fisherman. Very few people know that I love to fish. But I have to tell you there’s something about sitting beside a body of water with a pole clutched in my hand that brings on story plotting. I’ve gotten so many book and scene ideas while waiting for my bobber to bob. The whole dead guy in the Porta-Potty scene in Divorced, Desperate and Deceived, well, I was sitting on a boat reeling in a fish when that idea hit. How I got from catching an ugly fish, to a corpse reading a bird magazine in the Porta-Potty is even beyond me, but I’ll betcha I was dying to pee at the time. Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t take the sport of fishing seriously. Hubby says I fish hard, because I demand silence because it will scare the fish away. Also, I’m never one to set my pole down. I mean, what if I got a bite, I want to have that pole in my hands. This is battle and no way am I’m going to let the fish win. This said, I don’t like to touch the fish, so I need hubby to take it off my hook. And then I have him toss the fish back in the water, setting it free. Oh, I love to eat fish, but not the ones I catch. I have a rule, if I have to look anything in the eyes, I can’t eat it—which was the big problem with that frog in China. That thing was looking right at me.
4) The three things I suck at mostly are wrapping gifts, sewing, and spelling/spotting typos.
Not only do I suck at wrapping gifts, I hate wrapping gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I love giving, I just hate wrapping. I swear, no matter how hard I try to make them look “department-store” pretty, when I’m done with them you’d assume a man wrapped the dang thing. Seriously, I’m wrapping impaired. I think whoever came up with gift bags should win a Nobel Prize. Now sewing? Oh gosh, I’d rather clean someone’s toenails than have to use a sewing machine. Even a needle and thread has a negative effect on me. I pay the dry cleaners to hem and sew on buttons. Spelling? Yup, I know I’m a writer and people assume that writers should be able to spell. But not this dyslexic writer. Spell check and I are best friends. Of course it often lets me down. My two biggest typo/spelling errors were: (pre-published) in a scene where my hero in DD&Delicious had been beat up, thrown over a bridge and shot in the shoulder and was hiding out behind a shed and I had him “look down at his bloody shirt.” But in an unpubbed contest, I accidentally left out the letter “r” in the word “shirt.” The contest judge made the comment: “So he has internal issues, too?” The second typing faux pas was in a blog where I wrote that I was going “public” with a confession. Well, I mistyped and left out the “L” in the word public and honestly, it was not a “pubic” type of confession.
5) The worse thing I ever did to my husband (according to him) was get an emergency hysterectomy six weeks after I demanded he get a vasectomy.
I swear, he was furious. You’d have thought I personally went after his Mr. Johnson and the boys with a pair of wire cutters. He acted as if I’d decided to have this procedure just for fun and to somehow lessen the significance of his little snip-snip. I mean, if I could have gone back in and unsnipped him I would have. Amazingly, it took him longer to recover from his quick out-patient procedure than it did for my “full-blown, gut her open and yank out body parts” surgery.
So there you have it, five things you didn’t know about yours truly. What I’d like to hear you guys is either, what you dreamed about being as a child, what’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten, what’s your favorite Sunday afternoon pastime, what you suck at, or what’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to your hubby or boyfriend. Come on, let’s share and laugh a little.
Posted by Christie Craig at 5:57 AM
Monday, December 28, 2009
Thought I'd just do a random stuff post today, as my mind is sorta all over the place. First off, I want to get some complaints off my chest so I can start the new year fresh and sunny:
1. Vista sucks and so does Bill Gates for not providing an upgrade to Windows '07 for that crappy, ill-tempered piece of junk they forced onto the computer buying public.
2. Sony sucks for saying they have no driver available that works for the Sony Reader with Vista and have no intention of creating one.
3. BTW - Thank you to the guy living in his parent's garage who was smarter than Sony about their own hardware and software. I can now use my reader again.
4. HP sucks for bragging that their laser printers can last 10 years or more, but telling me that I need to replace my 8-year old printer that works perfectly b/c they don't "feel" like creating a printer driver for Vista or '07. (Side note: c'mon guy in your parent's garage - I have a really big doorstop right now)
So now that the complaining is out of the way, I feel much better. Did anyone watch The Sing Off last week? It was really interesting - all acapella groups and I swear sometimes you could not tell there wasn't a band. Here's my favorite (although they took second) - The Beezlebubs, a college group from the Boston area. They were great singers and fabulous entertainers.
Have a great week!
Posted by Jana DeLeon at 7:26 AM
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
This has been a tough year for so many families. My household hasn't remained insulated from the reality of a stressed economy, unemployment concerns, and the on-going challenges of having to do more with less. It's the signature of the times.
So this Christmas season I find particular comfort in the fact that the reason for this season is one constant that never changes. It's not diminished by dismal economic outlooks or depressing weather forecasts. Its message is not diluted by political correctness, congressional high-jinks, or pop culture. Its meaning is not marred by dissenting opinions or opposing perceptions.
Christmas is...what it is.
It's the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
It's faith, family, and friends.
It's a time to relax, reflect, rejoice, and just BE!
At least that's what my Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
My wish for all of you at this holy, reverent, and joyous time of year is that your holiday is filled with all the blessings and wonder Christmas represents.
Be safe. Be happy. Be healthy. Be thankful.
Posted by Kathy Bacus at 7:33 AM
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
1. I'm grateful for a book cover that says just how I feel sometimes. Okay, most of the time.
2. I'm grateful for extra sharp cheddar cheese. Can't really imagine life without it, actually.
3. I'm grateful for Michele and Lisa, who helped me Xmas shop and made me laugh when I suggested killing random, fellow shoppers on the count of three.
4. I'm grateful for Malbec wine, duct tape, guinea pigs and ibuprofen...not necessarily in that order.
5. I'm grateful for my sister, Jenny and my niece, Emily - who surprised me with a clean house today.
6. I'm grateful for my mildly retarded basset hound, Luke Skywalker Thompson, who sacrificed himself by eating an entire bag of Dove Milk Chocolates so I wouldn't have to. The thoughtful hound even ate the foil wrappers so as not to leave a mess.
7. I'm grateful for my Spot Bot, because I'll need it tomorrow (see #6).
8. I'm grateful for friends like Deadly Deleon and Todd W. who allow me the excuse to knit stuff like a turquoise, gargoyle ski mask and a Henry Rollins doll.
9. I'm grateful for Patton Oswalt.
10. I'm grateful for bosses named Kathy, agents named Kristin, amazing assistants named Kim, supernatural web designers named Kimberly...wait, do you see a pattern here or is it just me?
11. I'm grateful for Vicks Vapo Rub, and googly eyes - 2 things that are vital to my sanity.
12. I'm grateful for Mr. Assassin and his sense of humor and the two, weird and wonderful kids he gave me.
13. I'm grateful for GLEE, especially Sue Sylvester, who seems to be using my diary as a script.
14. And most of all, I'm grateful for all of you. Without you...no one would read this blog (and that would suck).
Posted by Leslie Langtry at 2:40 AM
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Now because I’m on still against the wall, on serious deadline, I’m going to post my part of my blog that Fresh Fiction ran a couple of weeks ago. So enjoy and make sure you leave a comment so I know I’m not alone out here in the blog world.
Ten Things a Christie Craig Hero Would Never Say
Recently I blogged about ten things a Christie Craig heroine would never say. Well, living in an equal opportunity world, giving the male gender their equivalent time in Blog Sphere—hey, I love my heroes!—it’s only fair that I tell you the things their testosterone-laden counterparts would never say. Then for kicks, I’m gonna explain why one of my yummy guys would never let those words slip from their lips. Please note, that I didn’t say they wouldn’t think the words—my heroes are still men, they are just smart enough to never say them. Or at least smart enough to only say ‘em once.
1) “Wanna hear me make farting noises with my armpits?”
We all know men are just little boys at heart. And we love it when they are nervous and go out of their way to impress us. But a CC hero has come to understand that what impresses his homies, i.e. burping lyrics to songs, clearing out a room after ingesting a bean burrito, isn’t always appropriate behavior with his woman. At least not until after the honeymoon.
2) “Sure I said I love you, but you didn’t think I really meant it, did you?”
No hero of mine is gonna lie to get you in bed. They don’t have to pull that trick. Their sexy grins and hot kisses make it hard for women to say no. When they say I love you, it’s not just talk. Don’t take that to mean that my heroes are jumping at the bit to take on the ball and chain. Chances are most of my characters, heroes and heroines alike, are a little commitment phobic. That just makes watching them fall smack dab in love more fun.
3) “Sorry babe, that guy has a gun and I found the spot under the bed before you did.”
It’s not that a CC hero isn’t afraid. They know they’d better bring an extra pair of undies because there will be a couple of shit-in-your-Hanes moments, but when the crap hits the fan, there is nothing they wouldn’t do to keep the woman they love safe.
4) “Sure I believe in foreplay, I can do anything for 45 seconds.”
Let’s face it, ladies, men are into whamming and bamming, and accidents do happen—even in my books. However, not only does a CC hero know that if he wants seconds, the original entrée better be worth re-sampling, he knows that making his woman happy is a big part of his pleasure. Yes, to a certain extent this is due to his ego, but underneath that is a man who really wants to make his girl happy.
5) “Love your meatloaf, too bad it’s not as good as my mama’s.”
It’s not that CC heroes don’t love their mamas. My heroines know that how a man treats the other women in his life is how he will eventually treat them, but to put it bluntly, my heroes aren’t stupid. And comparing their woman’s cooking to their mama’s is a mistake they would never make. At least not more than once.
6) “Are you bloated or have you put on a few pounds? Shouldn’t you let me finish that cheesecake for you?”
For the sake of repeating myself, CC heroes are not stupid! And I’m not going to try to give you the sale’s pitch that love is blind, but when a hero really loves his girl, her flaws, like his, are part of the package. He didn’t fall for her because she’s Barbie. Chances are he’s had Miss Perfect in his bed and found out she didn’t fit into his life. He wants a real woman.
7) “Isn’t that woman’s work?”
It’s true, my heroes are a tad macho. But it’s not machismo that keeps a man from helping with the dishes or scrabbling an egg, it’s insecurity accompanied with stupidity. Sure a CC hero has a few insecurities, they’re human, but you gotta know he’s man enough to wield a spatula and a drying towel.
8) “I wasn’t cheating, I was just checking her for ticks.”
Without doubt, a CC hero isn’t a cheater. Oh, you can betcha he’s good looking enough that he gets propositioned, and he’s human enough that he’s tempted. But it goes back to that stupid issue, and I don’t mean just him this time. He knows that the woman he loves isn’t ignorant enough to believe the “checking for ticks” excuse, and he also knows part of the reason he loves her is because she came with her own can of whoop-ass and cheating is a sure fire way to get her to open that can.
9) “Is my butt too big?”
Don’t get me wrong, my guys can still be caught stopping by a full-length mirror while naked, flexing a few muscles, and mentally calling themselves “hot stuff.” They are, after all, men, but my guys aren’t conceited or spend time worrying about how they look, they didn’t go looking for the mirror, it just happened to be there.
10. “I know it’s our first date, but would you like to be introduced to my very own Mr. DoLittle?”
Now, it’s not that my hero isn’t as eager to get my heroine in the sack as the next guy. If you ask any of them, sex on the first date is gooder than grits. But they have class, and would never rush a girl. I won’t let ‘em, because frankly the sexual tension is best when you have to wait for it. Also, while my heroes wish I wouldn’t tell you, but like most men they do name their boy toy. But no hero of mine would call his penis Mr. DoLittle. My heroine, in one of her sassy moments, very well may call it that, but chances are, she hasn’t gotten the opportunity to meet the fellow yet and is just being a bit of a smartass. Which is something my hero likes about her, darn it.
Okay, there you have it. Ten things a CC hero would never say. And what I’d like to hear from you is, what do you think a romance hero would never say? Come on, let’s have some fun.
Posted by Christie Craig at 5:50 AM
Monday, December 21, 2009
I know, it's not quite Christmas yet, but I won't see you again until it over.....so Merry Christmas!
No, these aren't my cats, but they were so cute that I couldn't resist posting them. I can't believe they feel asleep wearing those hats!
I actually got my Christmas present a little early this year - last week as a matter of fact. I've been having to hold it in for a couple of weeks, but finally everything is done and finalized and I am not super-duper excited to say that:
I have accepted a two-book deal with Harlequin Intrigue!
I think I have been reading the Intrigue line for half my life and can't tell you how excited I am to get the opportunity to write for them. My first Intrigue will be out early 2011 (best I know right now) and it is a complete departure from my other books in that Intrigue doesn't do humor. So I got an oppotunity to do something I've always loved to read - write a gothic romance.
I simply love Barbara Michaels, but I am SO not worthy of writing a single-title gothic. I am totally geeked to get to write a creepy, spooky sort of romance. Here's a little teaser:
Olivia Markham makes her living by renting haunted houses and then writing about them. So when she leases the haunted laMalediction, she expects that writing her new book will be business as usual. After all, she’s a woman who has lived on her own since the age of seventeen and who writes ghost stories to boot. Nothing much unnerves her—that is until now. LaMalediction and the house’s mysterious new caretaker have her distinctly unsettled. Although she’s certain she’s never set foot on the estate before, Olivia recognizes that she has been dreaming about this house for years. Haunted by these dreams, she’s determined to figure out her connection. But someone is just as determined to see that she doesn’t.
So Merry Christmas to me - there's simply nothing like a book deal for Christmas!
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!
Posted by Jana DeLeon at 9:33 AM
Friday, December 18, 2009
T-minus one week and counting… is everyone ready? I’ve loaded my Amazon cart at least three times, and I still have stuff left to buy. I’m hoping to get some of those last minute deals… hoping there’s still stuff left on the shelves…
I’ll admit that this year I went a little overboard on the gifts for Big Boy. Mostly because I have a sad feeling that this ma be his last Christmas where he still believes in the big guy in red. He’s 9, and already a lot of the kids in his class at school have given up on that notion. At Big Boy’s last birthday party that was the big issue of debate. They were split 50/50 on the issue. Finally they called me in to put in my two cents.
“I know, let’s ask Ms. Halliday!” they said. “Ms. Halliday, is Santa real or is Santa really our parents?”
My very diplomatic answer? “I believe in Santa.”
Which had half the kids smirking with an “I told you so grin” and the other half rolling their eyes and shooting me knowing looks.
I remember when I found out the truth about Santa Clause. I was absolutely crushed, in tears, arguing with my mom for a good hour that it wasn’t true. “But what about that letter he wrote?” I protested. Surely that was proof! I mean, it was postmarked “North Pole” - how could my parents have possibly done that?
So, I’ve been dreading the day that Big Boy figures it out. I’ve been so careful. I disguise my handwriting on the gift tags of boxes from Santa. I have special gift wrap that Santa uses to wrap presents that I hide away so he doesn’t recognize it in our closet. I type out a letter to him from Santa on “official north pole” stationary every year.
But this year, I think he’s outsmarted me.
This year I did the bulk of my Christmas shopping online during Baby Boy’s naps. Click, ship – easy. I even got amazing Cyber Monday deals! I was so proud of myself. Only I forgot to clear my history. Along comes Big Boy to borrow my laptop, and he immediately goes to Amazon, checks my cart, my ordering history, and recently viewed pages. Doh! So, um, yeah, he pretty much saw everything that “Santa” is bringing him. On my computer. Sigh.
Well, all I can say is the guy in red had a good run. And I’m already practicing my “I wasn’t lying about Santa, I was preserving your childhood!” speech for Christmas morning. Wish me luck!
And I hope everyone enjoys their holiday of choice this season!!
~Trigger Happy Halliday
Posted by Gemma Halliday at 12:10 PM
Thursday, December 17, 2009
A week until Christmas Eve day! It's down to the wire for most folks. Shopping. Housecleaning. Travel plans. Baking. Every family has its own holiday traditions and they generally include the preparation of holiday goodies.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the food. I anticipate the the treats that accompany the holiday season as much the youngsters anticipate the arrival of a certain jolly fat man with a long white beard.
Unfortunately, I'm no Martha Stewart. So I keep my Yuletide yummies sweet and simple.
If you have young children, roll out, cookie-cutter sugar cookies for decorating are absolutely required. At my home other old favorites are fudge (peanut butter and chocolate), peanut butter balls, almond bark cereal cookies, marshmallow treats, divinity, and basically anything edible you can cover with chocolate. Plus, of course, pie, pie, and more pie!
What are you known best for in terms of holiday treats? I'd love to try something new. Any 'can't fail' recipes you can share for those of us...domestically challenged? What will be gracing your holiday goodie table this year?
Okay. Now I've gone and made myself hungry. Good thing I've already got cookie dough in the fridge!
Good luck getting that last minute shopping and holiday prep done!
Posted by Kathy Bacus at 9:36 AM
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
That's right, an M203 Grenade Launcher. Could I get that tricked out with a nice mahogany case and green laser sights? There's this idiot who speeds on my street when kids are walking home from school. I need to teach him a lesson about how a Daewoo blows up.
Oh, and throw in the stud holding the launcher...just for fun.
2) A medically-induced coma. I am not kidding. I figure that's the only way I'm going to get any sleep. If you could throw in a Grey Goose Vodka IV, I'd be much obliged. If it's not too much to ask, I'm sure Terri O could use one too. Maybe we could share a room?
3) Painless, surgery-less liposuction. My husband has lost weight and buffed out over in Iraq. I'm going to need this before May. Throw in a neck lift and you'll never have to bring me another gift.
4) A snow-shovelling, carpet-vacuming robot who cooks like a native Italian and isn't afraid to use a LOT of cheese. Do I even have to explain this one? I didn't think so.
Oh, and world peace, duh.
Posted by Leslie Langtry at 2:35 AM
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
WINNER! Catslady, your name came out of the hat. Send me your snail mail address at christie (at) christie-craig (dot) com
You read my list of things a CC heroine would never say. Now come read my list of things a CC hero would never say. I'm giving away a book, too! http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=2183
I'm also doing a double today. Drop by www.tjbsopinion.blogspot.com and read about how I feel about Christmas, the stress and the fun. I'm also doing a book giveaway there.
This blog was recently published over at Novelthoughts, but due to deadline haze, (this is a serious condition) I'm posting it here for my regular readers to enjoy. And I just know you guys are witty enough to come up a few more things that a romance herone will never say. So come on, let's have some fun, post away. One lucky person who leaves a witty saying will win a ten dollar gift certificate to Barnes & Noble.
Oh, oh, and if any of you haven't read my first book in the Divorced & Desperate series, Dorchester has put it on their stocking stuffer sale for a real bargin: $2.99. They also some other great books. But it ends on the the 16th, so pop over and check it out: http://www.dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/Genre.cfm?L1=2&L2=49
There’s a question I’ve been asked by several readers: Is there anything your heroines won’t say? Now, I think most of my readers mean that my heroines are a tad outspoken, but in a good way. At least I like to think that’s what they mean. Nevertheless, the question deserves answering. And the answer is a definite yes. There are things a Christie Craig (CC) romance heroine would never say. Here is a list of ten and for kicks I’m even going to tell you why they’d never say them.
1) “Hey, Mr. Hot-Stuff, are you looking for a doormat? If so, I’m your girl.”
Now my heroines appreciate a hunk, they even like the slightly macho types. But guys, don’t even think about leaving any footprints here. CC heroines own their own can of whoop-ass and they don’t hesitate to open it when needed. My gals are never doormats.
2) “Say what? You don’t want to wear a condom? Oh, that’s just dandy, I’m sure the 45 seconds of “not-quite” pleasure I’ll get from you is going to be worth raising your child alone and dealing with any STD you might be sharing.”
Okay, my heroines might say this, but it’s gonna be said in complete sarcasm and right before that can of whoop-ass comes out, because they know that any man who wouldn’t be eager to protect them, isn’t their hero.
3) “The shit has just hit the fan! Well, I guess it’s over now.”
A huge requirement for a CC heroine is to know how to wear a pair of rubber gloves and use a can of Lysol to remove any flying crap, because nothing, nothing gets in the way of my heroine’s goal. Sure she might have a weak moment, but if she needs that fan to blow, it’s gonna blow and if she doesn’t know how to take care of crap, she learns the moment that brown stuff hits the blades.
4) “You want me to do what? Kick my cat to the street because you don’t like him and he doesn’t like you? Well, you betcha, just let me lure him out the door with his catnip.”
Before I sign up a hero or heroine to work in a book, my cats and turtles have to give them the thumbs up. Any one, fictional or real, who can mistreat an animal is one step below the stuff that grows in public toilets.
5) “Don’t worry, I’m sure my sister lied when she said you copped a feel and suggested you two bump uglies. She’s no better than the tramp neighbor that lured you into checking her for ticks that time I walked in on you two.”
Now, most of my heroines know the bitter taste of betrayal from a man. They’ve been cheated on and done wrong, but they are not stupid. They know when it walks like a chicken, squawks like chicken, it’s time to ring its ever loving neck, remove its innards, and cook it until it doesn’t bleed anymore.
6) “Listen here, Mister, if you want to have some of this fine body and perfection, you’ll toe the line, do what I say, and consider yourself lucky.”
While my heroines eventually earn their sense of self-confidence, but no heroine of mine thinks she’s “all-that.” Women who think they walk on water, generally end up swimming with the sharks in a septic tank. Plus, perfection is downright boring. Give me a character who hates something about her body, who wishes her cup or pants size were a bit different, and you’ve given me someone I can relate to.
7) “You don’t like my hair, the cup equivalent of my girls, or my pants size? Don’t worry, that’s nothing that a trip to the saloon, a visit to the plastic surgeon, and a starvation diet can’t handle. Because while I love you just like you are, I completely understand that I need to change.”
While my heroines might want to change something about themselves, deep down they know that a man has to love them for themselves. If he wants Barbie in his bed, she’ll give him the one her brother microwaved with his popcorn when she was twelve.
8) “It’s okay if you continue to miss the spot, I’ll just practice faking it so I won’t hurt your ego. We all know sex is really all for men anyway.”
My heroines want, need and love a man’s touch. Ahh, but it has to be that special man. And if he needs directions, she’ll tattoo them on his ‘gear shift’ if she has to, but she’d done faking happiness and playing pretend.
9) “Would you please show me the place I’m supposed to throw in the towel, because my stud muffin just walked out of me, and I’m nothing without him.”
CC heroines really love their men. But even the dark moments I’m required to write at the end of my books (My editor forces me to write them.) these women know that they and they alone are responsible for their own happiness. Even when they’re certain that their man is gone, they pull their big girl panties up, strap their bras on the last hook, and keep going, because giving up isn’t an option.
10) “If it doesn’t come easy, it obviously doesn’t have my name on it. Because I only do easy.”
Romance heroines in general learn something that all of us need to know. Happily ever afters don’t come easy. My heroines are forced to defend themselves with singing fish, toilet tank lids, and tampons. They fight when they have to, they admit their mistakes when they’re wrong, and they forgive those deserving forgiveness. When these girls walk into the sunsets, they’ve earned it.
So there you have it. Ten things my romance heroines would never say and the reasons why. You guys are obviously romance readers, so today what I’d like to hear from you is what you think you’d never hear a romance heroine say.
Posted by Christie Craig at 5:43 AM
Monday, December 14, 2009
You know, ever once and a while, I think about all the tremendously important stuff going on in the world and then I think about my blog posts, which usually feature books, authors, pets or whatever interesting thing I've discovered on television. And I wonder, for just a second, if I'm not pulling my weight as a human being.
Then that second passes and the 4 billionth news story about Tiger Woods comes on EVERY national news station and I forget about it. Seriously, people, is there not anything more important than giving a bunch of whores the spotlight? That's what they want. Why else would you sleep with a rich, famous married guy if not for money, fame or both? And why does our society reward them by giving them huge $$ for magazine features and posing naked or whatever? It's pathetic that you can have zero moral compass and make millions while decent people struggle every day BECAUSE they have values.
I'd just like to hear anything on television, anything at all besides, mistress number 892 comes forward, he sleep with me while his dog was in labor, tiger woods woke up today and didn't brush his teeth for a full twenty minutes.
Shame on the entire world for placing any human being on a pedestal. It turns out badly every time. Especially the rich and famous.
Maybe in the spirit of the Christmas season, parents can teach their children that the real heros of this world are the men and women fighting over seas for the freedom that we enjoy every day, or the social worker who makes 18k a year and works 100 hours a week trying to save children from abuse. Where's their pedestals? Where's their million dollar magazine ad.
Okay, rant over. Here's my Christmas challenge to each of you - find someone who does good things - it doesn't matter how simple - and do something nice for them for Christmas. It can be as small as a piece of candy and a card that says you appreciate them, but this world really continues because of those people. Not the ones who can hit a little ball into a hole.
Deadly (Disgusted) DeLeon
Posted by Jana DeLeon at 11:44 AM
Friday, December 11, 2009
Since it's been a few weeks, I thought I'd share some pics of Baby Boy. He's doing great – growing like crazy! He's found his thumbs, learned how to scratch his head, and makes cooing sounds to join in every conversation I have. He's also, thankfully, learned how to sleep through the sound of Mommy’s keyboard clacking. ;)
I found my thumb!
The Elvis lip
Can my smile get any bigger?
Squishy sleep face
Why is Mommy always pointing that little black box at me?
Okay, I showed off my baby. Share your pics of yours! (two or four legged!)
~Trigger Happy Halliday
Posted by Gemma Halliday at 5:00 AM
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Posted by Kathy Bacus at 10:24 AM
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
This is a Henry Rollins doll. I'd hoped to have him done in time for this blog, but he has no tattoos, face or even a head yet. So you'll just have to imagine it. You should've seen me explain to a group of elderly women at my doctor's appointment; "Oh, he was the lead singer of Black Flag - you know - the punk rock group from LA in the '80s?" Actually, it was somewhat easier to explain than Jana's demon ski mask, and almost as much fun.
The doll is a gift for my friend Todd W. (for some reason, I have a lot of friends and one cousin named Todd), who is quoted at the beginning of chapter 13 in STAND BY YOUR HITMAN. He had an amusing thing to say about howler monkeys. I promised the doll to him for his birthday last month. I'm a smidge behind. I've decided that for my next project, I'm making a Steven Buscemi doll wearing a pink, demon ski mask.
Speaking of HITMAN, here's a picture of me and my sister, Jenny, or Sami from HITMAN as you know her. Of course, Mom just wanted a cute Thanksgiving picture of her two little girls. Sami called me "Dumbass" and, well, you can see what she did next. That's a weird thing, having your baby sister grope you on a holiday. Or maybe that's normal.
Jenny/Sami texts me every Saturday about 6a.m. when she's up and working on a crossword puzzle. This week's question was, "What was that book, 'Guys and Dolls' - the one about drugs?" I responded, "Valley of the Dolls was the book about drugs. Guys and Dolls was a successful musical about a loveable bunch of gangsters." My sister replied with, "FANKS BUTTDART!"
We're supposed to get a crazy blizzard tonight (oh, it's Tuesday as I write this - in case you're keeping track), with 8-12 inches of snow, white-out conditions, 50 mph winds and subzero temps. All day long the weather folk screamed, "We're all gonna DIE!" I suppose I deserve that for still living here.
Stay warm, where ever you are.
Posted by Leslie Langtry at 2:47 AM
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Leona, you won the $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble. Please send me your snail mail address to christie (at) christie-Craig (dot) com.
Thanks everyone for playing along.
Below is part of the special feature that Dorchester posted on their website. I'm running a contest on who can tell me why they think they could be a Christie Craig character. The winner will win a soft, cuddly bathroad and a copy of my book. (See a picture of bathrobe at the site above) And I've only gotten a few essays. So come on, send me those short essays, approximately 400 words, at christie(at)christie-Craig (dot) com
Note: Only the Bravest Need Apply
1) Flaws, Wonderful Fabulous Flaws
Yeah, I know some people think heroes and heroines need to be gooder than grits, perfection at its best, to be the cream that pops up in a pot of homemade soup. But I’m here to tell you that I’ll take a flawed character over the do-gooder every time. Why? Because perfection and do-gooders are boring as watching toenails grow.
I need someone who is too stubborn for her own good, Divorced, Desperate and Delicious, someone who can’t stop fidgeting, Divorced, Desperate and Dating, someone who holds grudges for over 20 years, Divorced, Desperate and Deceived. I need characters who speak before they think, who put their tootsies in their mouths so many times that they have footprints on the roofs of their mouths. I need someone who makes mistakes, but is then willing to pay for them, because I never give my characters a break.
2) Lots of Emotional Baggage
I need something to work with here. Did your ex get caught on camera playing pin the secretary to the elevator wall? Did your ex decide he made a better girl than a guy and start waxing and wearing your thong underwear? Did your ex toss you aside for an old fat woman who didn’t even have money? If so, let’s sit down and have a heart to heart, because you just might be my kind of character.
3) A Willingness to Compromise, Improvise, and Be Flexible
You need to know from the get-go that nothing is going to happen the way you plan it to happen. That’s not going to be chocolate in that Godiva box. And honey, if you find yourself in a bad situation, weaponless, don’t just stand there and be a victim, find something to use. What about that singing fish hanging on the wall? Hey, have you ever seen what a toilet tank lid can do a man’s head? And for Pete’s sake, if you find a dead guy in the Porta-Potty, just pick yourself out a tree to do your business.
4) Secrets—The Dirtier, The Better
Did your mama swap husbands more often than she changed purses? Is your mama a bit of a teetotaler and a hypochondriac—and in truth you’re a bit like her? Was your daddy’s ugly mug on the most wanted list for the FBI? Hey, are you not who you say you are, but you’re really an undercover FBI agent hiding out in the Witness Protective Program? If so, boy howdy, do I have a position for you.
5) Family You Don’t Mind Poking Fun At
Now, I don’t want you to be mean, because you gotta love these people, but let’s face it, I write humor, and I’m gonna need someone who I can use for comedic relief. Plus, if you are being upfront about being flawed, there’s a good probability that you come by it naturally. The wormy apple never falls that far from the tree, if you understand what I’m saying. Plainly put, if you don’t have someone in your family tree I can poke a little fun at, then I’m gonna have to have all my fun with you, and that can be a hard row to hoe.
10) A Willingness To Risk It All
At times, just saying alive is gonna keep you busier that a cat covering up crap on a marble floor. And it’s gonna get really bad because there’s going to be a lot of crap hitting right at the end. Don’t blame me, it’s another thing my editor insists on. He calls it a black moment, only sometimes it last a hell of lot longer than a moment. You might even think death is imminent. The thing is, happily ever afters don’t come cheap. You gotta work for them. But here’s the thing, the promise I make to you and all my readers, you will get your happy ending. You’ll find the love of your life and when it’s all said and done, it’s gonna make one hell of a story.
Posted by Christie Craig at 5:23 AM
Monday, December 07, 2009
‘Tis the season for Christmas parties and cheer, and what could be better than a romance reader’s Christmas party with a #1 NYT Bestselling Author as the honored guest? Well, aside from there was also food and wine!
Legacy Books in Plano, TX (close to Dallas) has a romance reader’s book club that meets the first Tuesday of each month. The group is hosted by romance bookseller extraordinaire, Kathy Baker. The group is comprised of readers and writers and we have a fabulous time each month, drinking wine and talking romance.
Last Tuesday was our Christmas party and we had as a special guest none other than one of my favorite authors – Debbie Macomber! Here’s a pic of me and Debbie:
Have I mentioned that I own ALL of Debbie's books? And that I told her that she needs to write some more cowboys? And that's she's super nice and gives wonderful speeches?
It's all true.
Merry Early Christmas to me!
Posted by Jana DeLeon at 8:17 AM
Saturday, December 05, 2009
I don't know how many times I've sat through a conversation that's begun with a variation of this sentence: "I don't know how anyone could ever stand to wear a thong. Who wants a piece of string up their butt?"
It's always the butt. Never the ass.
Maybe that says plenty right there. I don't know.
What I do know is that I rarely speak up in these situations. I merely smile and hold my counsel.
I bet you've figured out why. Yep, I wear thongs. When I don't wear a thong, I'm wearing a G-string. It's what works for me. They stay put. I never have to turn my back to my car as I get out of it while I pick at the seams that just bunched up. There's no need to casually hook my finger through the denim of my jeans and give a practiced flick to settle the cotton/nylon/silk/lace/leather/whatever back into place, all the while trying to be cool and completely un-self-conscious.
That's not why I don't speak up, though. It's not that I think talking about my panties is too revealing. Or beneath me. Or that I don't want to open myself to further ridicule. Or to hear that so-and-so's husband agrees with good old Fred Durst (the frontman of Limp Bizkit, a band I personally don't like, but this fits so we'll shamelessly talk about Fred and, for once, not make fun of him) and that bikinis or tangas or hell, even granny briefs are sexier than a thong. Or a G-string.
I keep quiet because it's easier. The speaker is almost always set in her bikini/boy short/tanga/granny panty way. She doesn't want to change. She wants to hear other people agree with her. She wants to feel safe in her views of women's skivvies, and thongs and G-strings aren't safe. It's that simple.
But me, I threaten the club. I'm the maverick, the outsider, the bad girl who thinks not having panty lines is a bonus to the lack of pickin' at the crack. No one wants to hear that you adjust pretty fast to the feel of a thong or G-string. That wearing snug pants makes you stop feeling the strangeness that much faster. That when you're having an illicit adventure with the Tour Manger, a G-string can be tucked into cleavage that much easier…
Okay, so that last part didn't happen to me. That sort of situation is exactly why I write fiction. (But Susan, don't you do research? Well, maybe. I'm the one who keeps quiet, remember?)
Yes, I keep quiet even though I could be the one who introduces the shock! the outrage! the scandal of being the bad girl! into the group. I could be the wild child, the one who'll dance on top of the bar when we go dancing. Maybe I was the one who snuck under the bleachers with that hottie from the football team, the one with those doe eyes and luscious lips.
But maybe I'm what I look like: the girl in the jeans and fleece tops who looks more likely to run through the guys' flag football adventure at the local elementary school's field. You know her: the one who's likely to pick off the ball and run into the endzone and start celebrating while all the guys stop and stare not just at the girl's audacity but the fact that that girl had some moves.
Maybe none of that really matters. Maybe I'm neither woman. Heck, I'm not even sure either woman truly exists; human beings are more complex than that. It's also human of us to need to compartmentalize our fellow humans into those simple, easy pigeonholes that way.
All in all, it comes down to this: I know who I am. I know why I wear thongs and G-strings. I know about the lack of panty lines, the chafing, the feelings of sexiness and the way when you look in the mirror, sometimes it seems that maybe letting it all hang out isn't the sexy choice.
Maybe I don't speak up because it would destroy the silent superiority I feel toward these women, who use safe words like butt instead of ass. Maybe it's the flip side: that I know speaking up would only ruin the solidarity among women who don't want their minds changed. Maybe I keep quiet because ultimately, I just don't care what they think, one way or another. Or maybe I keep quiet because while I don't agree with their views, I want to belong to the club. Keeping quiet allows me at least a measure of delusion. For a few seconds there, keeping quiet lets me belong.
Because no matter what we're wearing up against our little girl parts, we all want to belong.
Posted by Christie Craig at 5:19 AM
Friday, December 04, 2009
Last, year I posted a free holiday read for a limited time on my website, so I thought I’d share it again this season. Only this time I’m only posting it here on the blog. Why? Because I like you. ;) So, here’s an excerpt of CHRISTMAS IN HIGH HEELS. Hope you enjoy! (Now I’m off to load my Amazon cart with Christmas goodies… I love online holiday shopping!)
CHRISTMAS IN HIGH HEELS
“Maddie, what is that?” a deep voice asked behind me.
I looked up at the green sprig I was currently pinning to the ceiling of my boyfriend’s living room.
“Yeah, you know, you’re supposed to kiss under it.”
I felt a pair of large, warm hands at my waist as I strained forward on my stepladder. “I know what it’s for. I just don’t get why you’re risking life and
limb to stick it to my ceiling. Whoa, careful,” he added, grabbing my hips as I
teetered to the left.
“Use your imagination, big guy,” I responded, stepping down to face him.
“Hmmmm.” He looked up. We were standing directly underneath the green sprig. “Good point.”
He leaned in close, his warm breath hitting my lips just a second before his
mouth did. He tasted like coffee and the rocky road ice cream we’d had for
dessert. Yum. I kissed him back. Hard. With tongue.
“So,” he said when we finally came up for air. “What’s on the agenda tonight?”
I nipped at his lower lip. “Use your imagination, big guy,” I repeated with a
Tonight was Christmas Eve. Our first together. Not that it was the first
Christmas Eve that had passed since we’d started dating, but it was the first one
we’d spent together. In fact, it was the first holiday of any kind that we’d really
Jack Ramirez was tall, dark, and handsome with a capital H-O-T. He was
also a homicide detective with a captain who tended to call at all the wrong
times. Like on my birthday when our opera tickets had gone to waste over a
double homicide in the West Hills. And last Valentine’s Day when he’d made
reservations at this romantic, little Italian bistro with drippy candles and
everything. Then had to cancel when some stockbroker got hopped up on one
too many triple lattes and shot his partner in their office downtown. And then
there was Halloween. My best friend, Dana, had thrown this huge costume
party, and Ramirez and I were supposed to go as two-person horse. An outfit
that doesn’t work so well when the front half gets called to a triple homicide near
So, when Ramirez had sworn on his grandmother’s grave that his captain
was not only not calling him in this Christmas but was also in Vancouver visiting
his mother, I immediately made the agenda for our evening. Ramirez, me, and a
nice romantic evening at home. Quiet. Alone.
Possibly even naked.
And from the look in Ramirez’s eyes, I’d say he was totally on board with that plan.
He leaned in close again, doing a sort of deep growl thing in the back of his
throat, before his hands snaked up my sides, pulling me taut against a six-pack
Budweiser would kill for.
I planted my lips squarely on his, nibbling again until we both started panting like Dobermans.
But just as his fingers began flirting with the button fly of my jeans, the
“William Tell Overture” rang out from my purse.
“Hold that thought,” I told him, quickly locating the offending cell and
hitting the on button.
Want to read the rest? Download the .pdf version here:
~ Trigger Happy Halliday
Posted by Gemma Halliday at 12:08 PM
Thursday, December 03, 2009
I totally spaced off blogging on Thanksgiving. I ended up having to drive my kid back to college that morning and it slipped my mind big time. And today I'm late posting due to a family medical appointment that lasted longer than anticipated. Sawwree, guys!
So. I did it. I didn't intend to, but I did it. I went out on Black Friday. One of my daughters and I were seduced by the Black Friday ads and incredible bargains and decided to try our luck. With the kids' video game television beginning to go funky, I decided since the price was right, the time was right. Merry Christmas! We get to the store before five. The LCD HDTV unit I had my eye on was also of considerable interest to many other bargain hunters. I get in the line indicated by the store employee. I was cool about the whole thing. I figured if I got one of the TVs, great, if not, no big deal. That was my attitude.
Posted by Kathy Bacus at 4:07 PM
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Posted by Leslie Langtry at 2:01 AM
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Okay, because I enjoyed all your answers so much, I decided to give away one grand prize, the $10 gift card and two copies of one of my older releases. (If you have all my books, I'll substitute it with a copy of one of my writing buddies books.) The names went into a hat and the grand prize winner is: MsHellion
The two winners of my older releases are" Alyce and Mariska.
Please email me your addresses and choice of older release, at christie (at) christie-craig (dot) com
Thanks again to everyone who played along. Oh, don't forget to pop over to Novel talk Thursday (link is below) for a very funny post and a chance to win a copy of Divorced, Desperate and Deceived. And I'll be doing another giveaway next Tuesday. See ya!
Okay, I promised contests for the next few weeks to celebrate the release of Divorced, Desperate and Deceived, so here’s something a little different. Just for fun let’s answer some questions that might bring about some interesting/ telling and funny insights about ourselves. I’ll even go first. One lucky commenter will win a ten dollar gift card to Barnes & Noble. So make sure you post.
1) What’s the strangest thing you ever had take up residence in your purse?
CC’s Answer: A napkin-wrapped, shriveled-up pickle. (My grandma was the type who couldn’t leave anything at a restaurant, so she dropped it in my purse for safe keeping. Oh, it was safe. I found it about a month later.)
2) What’s the worst thing you ever did to your hair?
CC’s Answer: It’s a toss up. It was either let my mother highlight it or my friend cut it when we were four. (Both looked equally bad, although one was green and one left me with no bangs.)
3) What’s the first thing you notice about a man?
A: His eyes
B: His smile
C: His butt
D: Other (Tell me, tell me, tell me!)
CC’s Answer: His smile, shortly followed by his shoulders. I’m a shoulder girl. Can’t you tell that all my heroes have a nice set of shoulders to lean on?
4) If you had to leave one of these items at home, which would it be? Why?
A: Your Panties
B: Your shoes
C: Your phone
D: Your credit card
CC’s Answer: My phone. It’s the only thing I could borrow from a stranger if I needed it. (My first inclination was to say my panties. Seriously, who would know? But then, if it’s one of those bad-luck days, I’d get into an accident, like my mama always said I would if wore holey underwear. Notice bra was not one of the choices, because I would never, even consider going outside without my girls being supported.)
5) What do you think is the most important accessory for an outfit?
CC’s Answer: A feel-good attitude
6) What would you like the Gate Keeper in heaven to say to you as you enter?
CC’s Answer: You did exactly what you were supposed to do. By the way, we have a new typo-free computer waiting for you and your grandma is waiting for you with another pickle. (I always miss her at the holidays!)
7) Tell me two things about one of your most embarrassing moments?
CC’s Answer: The front seat of a car and a flashlight. (Yes, it’s probably what you think it is but, hey, I was married!)
8) What’s sexier to you:
a. A man who brings you flowers
b. A man who helps you with the dishes
c. A man who writes poetry
d. A man with an earring
CC’s Answer: A man who helps me with the dishes. (Hey, how many of you have read Weddings Can be Murder?)
9) If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be?
CC’s Answer: A beach house somewhere that the days are warm but not hot, and the nights are chilly but not cold.
10) What outfit do you feel expresses your style the most?
Answer: A comfortable pair of jeans, and a bright-colored blouse, and a blazer. If I’m at a conference I’ll be wearing a hat.
Okay, make sure you leave a comment to be entered in the contest. And answer a few of the questions. Let’s have some fun getting to know each other a little bit better.
Oh, and December 3rd I'll be over at http://novelthoughts.wordpress.com/. This post, Ten Things a Christie Craig Character Would Never Say, is must read guys. Plus I'm giving away book.
Posted by Christie Craig at 5:46 AM