Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay... I'm finally gonna do it..................
By this time next week, THE ADULTERER'S UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO FAMILY VACATIONS will be up for sale at all the usual places. I'm hoping to have it available in paperback form in a month.
And I'm a nervous wreck.
This is my first, non-Bombay book. And it's a totally different book than my Bombay books. First of all, it's very naughty. There's a lot of explicit sex in it. This means that no relative of mine (possibly including people at work I'd have to look at every day) can never read it. Really, I'll be misinterpreting snickers at family gatherings for the next year.
Second - it's a bit controversial. I know, I know, the Bombay books were considered controversial too. But this one is different. Two married people have an affair on a family vacation. Three out of my four early readers loved it. One hated it. I don't NEED to be loved by all my readers. And I tend to laugh at the wacky reviews on Amazon. But this person HATED it. That scares me a little.
Third - I'm just a nervous wreck. I'm just that way. Every time one of my books came out, I cringed. Reviewers always liked them but that didn't matter.
But this time is different. I'm doing it myself. There's no editor to say I can't have a reference to bear sodomy or that it's blonde not blond (which, by the way, I still don't get). It's 100% risk and it's all on me if it flops.
So we will see what happens. I'll give you an update. Once I come out from under the couch, that is...
Posted by Leslie Langtry at 3:58 AM
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Hey, y'all. Come on in. This is my office, the place where I write all my Christie Craig and Shadow Falls novels. Or, as I like to think of it, it's the place where the magic happens. And before Hubby comes running in here, thinking I'm sharing too much with you guys again, I need to clarify something. I don’t mean that kind of magic. I’m talking book-writing magic. And my magic happens here in my office. Well, sometimes it happens in the shower. And I’m still talking about book-writing magic.
So, that's my office and all the crazy, wonderful things I like to keep in it. Now it's your turn. Tell me, what do you surround yourself with? What does your personal space hold? Do you collect anything?
Posted by Christie Craig at 3:30 AM
Monday, February 27, 2012
It’s almost spring. The temperatures are rising, the trees are filling out with green leaves, the flowers are beginning to blossom. The birds and the bees are flitting about, doing what birds and bees do best. And we all know what that is, don’t we? Wink-wink.
Of course spring also means it’s tax season. People, too, are flitting about, rounding up their financial records and filling out forms, hoping to get their tax returns filed on time.
The birds and bees may seem to have nothing in common with taxes, but there are a surprising number of similarities between the two. Yep, in many ways, doing your taxes can be a lot like making love. For instance . . .
1. You can do it alone, but you get more benefits if you do it with someone else.
2. If you aren’t quite ready when the time comes, you can ask for an extension.
3. It’s sometimes complicated and messy.
4. The rules are constantly changing.
5. The more you give, the more you get in return.
6. You feel great when you finish.
7. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, you can consult an expert.
8. You can do it on a bed, a table, or a desk.
9. Advance planning can prevent surprises.
10. If you don’t want to do it the old-fashioned way, you can do it electronically.
Can you think of any other similarities between sex and taxes? Share them with us! (Thanks to Christie Craig for suggesting this funny blog topic! Gotta give credit where credit is due!)
DEATH, TAXES, AND A SKINNY NO-WHIP LATTE, book #2 in Diane Kelly's Death & Taxes series, releases March 1st! If you haven't read book #1, DEATH, TAXES, AND A FRENCH MANICURE, you can get it now in electronic format for only $2.99! Visit Diane at www.dianekelly.com, wwww.facebook.com/dianekellybooks, and www.twitter.com/dianekellybooks.
Posted by Diane Kelly at 12:01 AM
Saturday, February 25, 2012
NEVER GIVE UP—NEVER SURRENDER!
I still remember the day my dot.com company dragged us all into the conference room on Friday afternoon—pay day—and announced there would be no pay checks distributed at the end of the day. Not today—and not ever again. We were summarily dismissed and suddenly found ourselves unemployed--with no way to make up the money that was owed to us. It was devastating, to say the least. I feel powerless and weak and alone.
Fast forward 10 years and bring on the déjà vu when I opened my mailbox to find a royalty statement from my long time, traditional publisher. While the statement clearly stated I was owed thousands of dollars, there was no check inside. The publisher was having financial difficulties, just like my dot.com and chose not to pay what it owed its employees.
But this time, I wasn’t going to just lay down and die. Maybe I’d never see a dime from that publisher, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t make a dollar on my own. And so, as my agent worked tirelessly to get the rights back to my books, I started researching how to publish these backlist titles on my own.
Skater Boy is the first of these books to breathe new life online. My very first YA—contemporary romance--and a book that’s always been close to my heart. (God, I loved those skater boys back in the day!) I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to see it up for sale on Amazon, B&N, and the rest--and know, without a doubt, I’ll get paid for each and every download. I love that I got to choose my own cover. I love that it will never go “out of print.” And the fact that I can offer it for half the price the publisher was charging—total bonus!
I know I will never get that last check from my dot.com company. And there will never be a royalty check in the mail from my old publisher. But you know what? Their failure is not mine. I’m determined to make the best of a bad situation and not only make back what was stolen from me—but then some! And whether I succeed or fail, well, at least I know I never gave up. I never surrendered.
About Skater Boy
Dawn Miller is sick of being good. Her parents have scheduled her to within an inch of her life and her popular friends can only think of hooking up and shopping. She's ready for a serious boyfriend, and it's definitely not the obnoxious rich boy everyone wants her to date.
Then she meets Starr, the headmaster's rebellious daughter who refuses to play by the rules. The differences between them are night and day but Dawn is fascinated. Starr introduces her to a world she didn't even know existed: indy record stores, all night raves, and cute skateboarders who hang out underneath a parking deck downtown.
Skateboarders like the gorgeous Sean, who's sweet, smart, and curiously serious --everything Dawn's always wanted in a boyfriend. Soon she finds herself head over heels and doing the unthinkable, lying to her parents and friends. Deep down she knows her parents will never approve of this boy from the wrong side of town...and her secret life is finally catching up to her. Will Dawn be forced to choose between the girl she was and the girl she is meant to be? And if she chooses, will she lose her skater boy forever?
Two time Emmy award winner Mari Mancusi used to wish she could be a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another bloodsucking profession--journalism--instead. Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens, including the award winning Blood Coven Vampire series published by Penguin Books. When not writing about creatures of the night, Mari enjoys traveling, cooking, goth clubbing, watching cheesy horror movie and her favorite guilty pleasure--videogames. A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and dog Mesquite. You can find her online at www.marimancusi.com.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Don’t tell my editors, but I’ve been playing hooky all week. I’ve been up in snow country visiting my sister and her family. We’ve had a weirdly warm year here (much like Bullet Hole’s), so there wasn’t a whole lot of snow, but there was enough to make the ground white, which was a total novelty for California people like us. My 11 year old got to try snowboarding (on manufactured snow at the resort) for the first time (along with my brother, who ended up limping and groaning for Advil the entire rest of the trip), and Baby Boy say snow for the first time in his life. Oddly enough, thanks to cartoons, he knew exactly what it was. He even laid down in the most pathetic little pile of slush ever (more mud than snow really) and moved his arms and legs up and down saying “Angels!”. Slush angels? Then he decided he was going to make a snowman. A very teeny tiny snowman. (I guess they look smaller on TV.)
Then we went sledding. It was a hit at first, until Baby Boy thought it would be more fun to pull Mommy in the sled than have Mommy pull him. He’s two and I’m pregnant. As you can imagine, we didn’t go very fast after that.
Next, Big Boy had to have a snowball fight. Here he is crafting the perfect snowball to pelt his mother with. (Luckily, I have good reflexes. I ducked. Unfortunately, my poor boyfriend was behind me. What ensued was an all out snowball war.)
After I couldn’t take the cold anymore (and I won’t say how embarrassingly short an amount of time that was), we went inside the lodge and played pool. This is probably my fav picture of the entire trip. My sister cleaning up at pool with her 6 month old strapped to her in a kangaroo pouch. The child has a total future as a pool shark.
So how was your week? Anyone else getting snow in their part of the country?
~Trigger Happy Halliday
Posted by Gemma Halliday at 10:03 AM
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining about this winter--or lack thereof. In fact, I'm almost giddy that we've made it to the last week of February and not once have I had a white-knuckle commute to work or back home. Not one.
Okay. I'm probably going to jinx myself and next week we'll end up with the worst blizzard on record. But until then, I'm going to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather and ground cover that is your basic brown rather than blinding white.
I had to run my Jimmy up to the garage for the fifth time for an oil leak. (Amazing isn't it how every time it's something else that's leaking and has to be fixed??) Anyway, on the walk back home as I made my way up the front driveway--observant person that I am--I noticed several spots of green sticking out from the wood mulch. Upon closer observation I discovered that the green in question happened to be the tulips and crocuses I have on the south side of the house.
Now I'm no plant expert. Far from it. But isn't it a wee bit early for these guys to be poking up out of the ground?
What's up with this weather? What has your winter been like? Are you seeing signs of spring at your place? If winter took a holiday where you live, did you miss it?
Next week is our girls' state basketball tournament. And historically we have LOUSY weather. I'm gonna knock on wood that old man winter is on a white sand beach somewhere enjoying a beverage that comes with a cute little umbrella.
Posted by Kathy Bacus at 4:00 AM
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Hi everyone! I'm so excited to introduce my friend Cynthia D'Alba to everyone here at Killer Fiction. Cyndi and I met six years ago at a conference in Florida and have been meeting up at conferences ever since--she's one of my all-time favorite people. Please make her feel welcome, she's such a doll, I knew she'd fit right in! I can't wait to read Texas Two Step so I'm off to preorder it right now.
This post is proudly a stop on the TEXAS TWO STEP Blog Tour. For a complete listing of all stops on this tour, please visit here. All contests are for U.S. residents only unless otherwise noted. Comments left on this blog will be counted toward the Texas Two Step Faithful Follower Gift Certificate. To see a complete listing of Blog Tour Prizes, click here. Be sure to check out the freebies. Yours for the asking as long as they last.
Thanks and BIG HUGS to Robin Kaye for hosting me today. I met Robin way back in 2006 when we were both unpublished. Since that time, I’ve watched Robin become a major contemporary author and I get to say…I knew her when! ☺ Thanks Robin.
Today marks the seven-day countdown to the release of my debut, Texas Two Step. If this is the first time you’ve stumbled across my OMG-I-HAVE-A-BOOK-BEING-PUBLISHED tour, I’m glad to see you! For the past week, I’ve been posting installments of Texas Two Step-The Prequel. In today’s episode we continue The First Date. Click here if you want to read today’s episode and for links to earlier installments.
Mitch and Olivia (my hero and heroine from Texas Two Step) meet and date during college so I thought today we should talk about college dating. It can be brutal, can’t it?
When I was a freshman at the University of Arkansas, all the girls were required to live in dorms and could not pledge sororities until their sophomore year. Freshman guys could pledge fraternities, so there was no lack of fraternity parties to attend and lots of pledges needing dates. The freshman class came from all over the state. Sure, some people knew others in the class but mostly we were strangers to each other. Honestly I didn’t make that many friends in classes I took. I was pre-nursing so classes with guys were limited. When it came to dating, blind dates were commonplace. But remember, we didn’t know each other so how did we link up for the date?
The dorm I lived in was four stories. Guys weren’t allowed in our rooms except for certain times of the day or week. (I don’t remember the criteria that governed boys in our rooms but yes, it was a long time ago!) When a guy came to pick up his date, he would call her room to tell her he was downstairs. Since the vast majority of these dates were for frat parties, the lobby would be packed with guys picking up dates. But remember, lots of these were blind dates. We didn’t have a clue what the date looked like. So you’d hear lots of clothes descriptions. “I’m wearing a yellow shirt and a pair of khaki pants”, then the girl would describe what she was wearing, “I’m in a denim skirt and tan top.” So when she hit the lobby, she’d be searching for a yellow shirt and khaki while he was looking for a girl in a tan top and jean skirt. They’d connect and off they’d go.
However, it was not unheard of for the guy to lie about what he was wearing. He wasn’t in a yellow shirt and khaki pants but he knew what she wore to look for her. Why would they do this? Can you guess? The guy was checking her out FIRST. If she wasn’t to his liking, he wouldn’t “claim” his date and could sneak out the door! Seriously. Here’s this girl wandering around looking for a guy in an outfit that didn’t exist. Horrors!
Luckily this never happened to me. But I know plenty of guys who used this ruse to slip out on a date. Cads, don’t you think?
So what was the worst date you went on or heard about? Make us laugh. Or Cringe. Or go hunt up some guy from college who left you standing in the lobby as he sneaked out.
Today’s TTS Blog Tour Prize
Many guest bloggers can offer a copy of a backlist book to be given away as a potential prize for a blog commenter. As a debut author, I don’t have a backlist. But I do have some awesome author friends who have stepped forward and offered one of their books as a prize.
Today’s TTS Blog Tour Author Sponsor is Indie Press Author Margery Scott. Margery is offering her book, Devil’s Harvest, to one lucky person who leaves a comment. To find out more about today’s Blog Tour Sponsor, you can visit her Website, Twitter or Facebook.
To learn more about me check out these links:
Website , Facebook, Twitter, Group Blog, and Personal Blog
And if those aren’t enough, sign up for inside scoops and special contests by receiving the newsletter I share with my blog buddies.
Remember! Leave a comment for a chance to win Margery’s books!
Texas Two Step is available for preordering at Samhain, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
I will be forever in your debt if you would buy it!
Tomorrow, I’ll be at Romance University talking about finding names for your characters. The Prequel will continue on Thursday. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Today, fabulous mystery writer, Aimee Thurlo is guest blogging and will tell us all a bit about her work and her process. Aimee writes for Harlequin Intrigue as well as single title mystery series, some of which have been optioned for television. I have to apologize up front, because despite my best attempts, blogger is insisting on putting too many spaces between paragraphs. I finally gave up and had a glass of wine. :)
Posted by Jana DeLeon at 7:00 PM
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Stephanie Queen Interviews David Young, the not-so-young hero of The
Throwbacks, a romantic comedy mystery.
SQ: So tell me…
David: What’s with that “not so young” crack anyway?
SQ: Let’s face it, you’re middle-aged.
David: No need to belabor the point. You have me spending the entire novel trying
to face that fact.
SQ: It’s important since you’re trying to romance a much younger woman.
David: You mean she’s trying to romance me, don’t you? Hey, maybe you should go
back and read the book again.
SQ: Nonsense. What’s wrong with Grace romancing you?
David: You mean aside from the fact that I’d have to fight off every young buck that
lays eyes on her and she has this notion about raising a swarm of children, living in
the suburbs and having me retire from my crime-fighting career?
SQ: Yes, aside from all that. And aren’t you too old and too serious to be playing
David: I thought I was supposed to be the dashing crime-fighting hero of this story?
SQ: Yes, but you’re the dashing, yet long-suffering with a self-deprecating wit type
David: Great. How many books are in this series?
SQ: Tell me about the Scotland Yard disgrace?
David: You’re full of fun questions aren’t you?
SQ: Stop your whining. Let’s hear some of that self-deprecating wit.
David: [Long-suffering sigh] If I must. I went rogue and murdered a bad guy, but
since I had good reason, the Commission took pity and exiled me to the one place on
earth I could go back to and call home. Boston.
SQ: That wasn’t very witty.
David: Where I met the one woman who was like kryptonite to my career and my
well-being. Grace. She was not simply a charmingly clueless knockout, but possessed
a disarming genuineness, and was naturally and unselfconsciously sensual. In short,
she was the most dangerous human being in the world for me. She had to be a
good twenty or so years my junior, and not the sort of woman I could enjoy a nice
comfortable, tidy, uneventful semi-retirement with, calmly relaxing and gliding
through my golden years.
No. She would give me a heart attack—after torturing me with her energy and
enthusiasm while I try to keep up with her. She wouldn’t understand a thing about
me—and I would know nothing of the youthful generation she came from.
We had nothing in common.
Except mutual excitement
SQ: I see. Sounds dire.
David: Oh, don’t worry. In the end…
SQ: Stop! Have you never heard the word SPOILER? Interview over.
Please leave a comment on your thoughts about May-December romances and why
they work or don’t work. Include your e-mail address and you could win a free e-
copy of The Throwbacks!
Author Stephanie Queen writes romance novels while lying on a pink velvet divan
popping chocolates all day. (Well, not really, but I love the visual.) For more
information check out her website at www.StephanieQueen.com.
Posted by Amanda Brice at 2:39 AM
Friday, February 17, 2012
As I ever-so-often do, I was Googling myself yesterday. (cue the chorus telling me to set up a Google Alert for my pen name)
I was actually looking for some new reviews, but instead I came across something that I think is way cooler than a review.
Diesel E-bookstore lists Codename: Dancer as one of two books in the "More From This Category" on the listing for The Secret of the Old Clock! Yes, THAT Secret of the Old Clock...as in the very first Nancy Drew book EVER!
Raise your hand if you've read this one. (I should see all hands in the air...if you haven't, you should definitely do so, since it's a classic. I think it should be required reading as a young girl for all women who grow up to read or write mysteries.)
Needless to say, my jaw dropped when I saw that. Seriously? WOW! Now, I happen to think that my heroine Dani is a little hipper than Nancy and that the books would appeal to a slightly older age group, but if you write mysteries for teens, you can't really do much better than to be compared to Nancy Drew. Whoohoo!
As we all know, the author responsible for the Nancy Drew franchise is not actually any one author, but rather a number of authors ghostwriting under the pen name Carolyn Keene. Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, hired writers, beginning with Mildred Wirt (later Mildred Wirt Benson), to write the manuscripts for the Nancy Drew books. The writers initially were paid $125 for each book and were required by their contract to give up all rights to the work and to maintain confidentiality. Benson and Harriet Adams (Stratemeyer's daughter) are often credited as the primary writers of Nancy Drew books under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, but many others have used the pseudonym as well.
Over the years Nancy has undergone many changes and updates. Originally she was 16 years old (although a high school graduate), then in later years her age was changed to 18. Different series over the years have included the original books ("The Nancy Drew Mystery Series"), as well as "The Nancy Drew Files," "Girl Detective," "Nancy Drew on Campus" (where she finally goes away to college and breaks up with Ned) and "Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew" (which is the chapter book version aimed at 7-year-olds).
The other day I attended the grand opening of the American Women Writers National Museum, a new museum that is opening in Washington DC to honor our nation's most distinguished women writers. As the president of Washington Romance Writers, I was asked to introduce myself and name my favorite American woman writer. I always hate that question. It's like asking you to pick your favorite child. But being a mystery writer I decided I had to go with Carolyn Keene, which elicited a sigh of agreement from many of the people in attendence.
The founder of the museum is most excited about her "50 State Project" where she features a different state each week. When I mentioned I would be blogging about the opening, she asked if I could ask my readers to nominate women writers from their states to be showcased.
So who would you nominate? Leave a comment by 9 pm EST on Sunday and you'll be entered to win an e-book copy of both The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene and Codename: Dancer by Amanda Brice!
Posted by Amanda Brice at 3:42 AM
Thursday, February 16, 2012
And that's what I want. I want to feel in control of my life. I don't want anyone to hand me anything or prop me up. Next to my son, this book has become my primary focus. As a single mom who works at home I tend to crave social interaction with other adults but lately I've been turning down invitations left and right so I can spend more time with my characters.
Oh, and I've stopped dating. That may not sound like a big deal but it is for me. I've come to realize that I frequently use dating in the same way other people use drugs and alcohol. When I'm wrapped up in a budding romance that involves trying to figure some guy out and stressing over my nails, my hair, my make-up, my waxings and so on, I'm not thinking about the things that scare me...like launching my own book. It's probably why I've always been so fond of "transition men," too. When I leave a relationship that means something to me I tend to look for someone who can distract me from that pain...just like an alcoholic who tries to fix a hangover with a Bloody Mary. So no dating until I get this thing released. Not only will the temporary absence of men make me more productive but it will ensure that when I do go out with the next guy I'll know that I'm with him because I genuinely like him, not because I'm using him as a means of not dealing with other issues in my life.
So men of LA? You're going to have to look elsewhere for a while, at the very least until March 2nd. That's the day I'll be launching my next book: Vanity, Vengeance & A Weekend In Vegas. I've been playing with the title but I'm going to be sticking with this one. I like it and it was a collaborative effort between me and my twelve year old. I'll give him a cut of the revenues...which is to say that I'll pay for his private school tuition...which is to say I'll be spending all the revenues on him.
top selling book has sold 70,000 copies (some of those being paperbacks & hardcovers, others being ebooks and audiobooks). My goal is to sell at least half of that this time around. It's actually a huge goal for a self-published novel but if I'm going to do this I might as well aim for the stars.
If you haven't checked the book out yet, go to The Vanity, Vengeance And A Weekend In Vegas Blog Site and read the prologue and chapter 1 and 2. On Friday the 17th I'll be releasing chapter 3 on that same site and then on Friday 24th, chapter 4. If you like what you read I hope you'll share it with your friends (if you don't like it, shh!).
--Kyra "Fashionista Fatale" Davis
Posted by kyradavis at 12:52 AM
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
My one and only trophy, 1992 Women's Winter League, 2nd Place
It's fun when my son's friends come over and scream, "COOL GUN TROPHY (11yr old boys always speak in all caps)! Is that your dad's?" I get a special thrill when Jack shakes his head and says, "No, it's Mom's." You should see their faces. It really is precious.
I used to shoot handguns competitively. I lost out on first place to a female cop - and I don't feel too bad about that. The leader of our group was an elderly woman who was retired Secret Service - which was very cool.
Yesterday, I found out I won Blogger of the Year at The Book Boost. That is very cool. This gun trophy is lonely. It needs a friend. While I wait, I trolled the internet looking for the coolest trophies ever.
I guess this award would go to the guy who takes bites out of donuts in the break room, then puts them back when he discovers they are filled with a purple, viscous fluid. And if you work in an office with a break room, you know this guy. And yeah, he'd deserve a mouthful of purple viscous fluid.
Posted by Leslie Langtry at 4:08 AM
The first place winner of my Valentine’s Day Contest is Corrie! You have your choice of a Kindle Touch or a $99 Amazon gift card. Please contact me christie(at)christie(-)craig.com with your preference and mailing address. Congratulations!
Congratulations to the five second place winners: Kristi, Brandie, Nooreensbooks, Anneliese, and Bodaisy. They all have a choice of an e-copy of Born at Midnight, the first book in my young adult paranormal Shadow Falls series or a cool Shadow Falls t-shirt. Email me at christie(at)christie(-)craig.com with your preference and mailing address. You must live in the US or Canada.
Posted by Christie Craig at 12:01 AM
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The rules are simple. You tweet or Facebook about the release of Murder, Mayhem and Mama at Amazon; Twitter users must include the hashtag #Christie-Craig@Amazon, and then leave a comment on this blog telling me you Facebooked or tweeted about MM&M’s Kindle release, and then answer one of my five questions about romance. (The questions are below.) By the way, I answered all those questions myself. And I’m still blushing about some of my answer, too.)
1. What draws a woman to a man?
As a woman and as a romance writer I’ve given this a lot of thought. What contributes to that indefinable lure that draws one person to another? I know I like a man with wide shoulders, a sexy grin and eyes . . . eyes that twinkle with humor and heat. I remember the first time I met my hubby; what’s more, I remember the exact instant that his blue eyes met mine. My mom was trying to set us up, but I had just walked away from a bad marriage and I didn’t want to be set up. I didn’t want a man in my life--period. However, there was a little jolt of something when my gaze met his. Something that made me want to look longer, but almost a sense of rawness that demanded I look away. It’s as if I knew he could see too much in my gaze, that with just that one glance, he’d know what I felt and what I thought. And what I felt and thought was . . . Wow. I don’t want this, but if I did . . . Wow. You can guess that wow eventually won over.
2. What’s the most romantic thing a man has done for you?
Then there was the honeymoon cabin he rented with a fireplace in the bedroom because I’d once said that making love in front of a fireplace would be so romantic. We had to crank down the air conditioner to light that fireplace on our wedding night, but I was right. It was amazing.
However, I think the most romantic gesture he’s ever done was something he said about seventeen years after we were married. Though I have to admit that at the moment he said it, I didn’t think it was going to be so romantic. I thought . . . well, let me just tell you.
We were out having dinner and he’d been a little quiet, and then he looked at me and said, “You are not the same woman I married.” My heart stopped, I felt blindsided, and didn’t think I was going to like where this conversation was headed. I knew I’d put on a few pounds. And I’d put a lot of time in on my writing career. Had it hurt my marriage? Fear nearly had me choking on my egg roll.
With a serious look in his eyes he continued, “I married a young woman; she was a little vulnerable and a lot scared to trust anyone. She was practically a girl who didn’t really know what she wanted out of life. And look at you now. You’re a writer who has a passion for what you do, one who has faced more rejection, who has shown more courage to chase her dream, than anyone I know. I’m so proud of you.” See why I love this man? You know, I may not have given my fictional heroes my hubby’s abs (Sorry, babe), but I gave each and every one of them his heart, his sense of humor, and his ability to make a woman feel loved.
3. What’s the worse date/romantic disaster you’ve ever had?
Okay…this is about hubby, too. You see, as much of a hero as he is, when we were first dating, he was trying too hard. And you know what happens when you try too hard, don’t you? You mess up. Well, we hadn’t been dating long and he took me to his place. We were going to cook dinner together and have a quiet evening. At that time he was still doing the gentlemanly thing of opening and closing doors for me. I had a bag of groceries in my hand and when I went to get out of the car, he was already opening the passenger door for me. I stepped out and he closed the car door with a solid thud. A solid and painful thud.
I looked at him and calmly asked if he would open the door.
He calmly asked, “Did you forget something?”
I calmly nodded my head even thought I was gritting my teeth.
“What did you forget?” he asked.
Wincing, and no longer able to handle the pain, I said rather loudly. “My hand.”
He’d shut my hand in the car door. Our quiet evening was spent with an ice on my fingers.
And yeah, in spite of that, I still married him. And I would do again in a heartbeat.
4. If you’ve been married for a while, what sweet things does your spouse do that makes you fall in love with him all over again?
Hubby doesn’t drink coffee, never has. But every night he grinds my fresh coffee beans and sets up my coffee to brew at 6:30. He even sets out a cup, a spoon and my creamer. One morning I woke up and there wasn’t any coffee made. He’d forgotten. I started grinding my coffee beans and I hear him running down the stairs. “I’m sorry,” he called out as hit the bottom of the steps. He made me stop making the coffee and he did it for me.
“You know I can make it,” I told him.
“I know,” he said. “But I like spoiling you.”
And he has and does. I personally think it’s because I forgave him for slamming my hand in the car door. LOL.
5. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for your Valentine?
Yes, I’ve done the sexy nightgowns. The whipped cream. (Hey, it was research for a scene.) I’ve baked pies that he loves, cooked his favorite foods. But as crazy as it seems, I think the most romantic thing was that whenever he would go away on a trip, I would put love notes in his pockets and hidden in his luggage. One time, he called me a few days into a trip. “You didn’t put notes in my luggage,” he said, sounding hurt.
I knew then that those silly notes had meant something to him. The funny thing was that I had put them in his luggage, but just not in both suitcases. He’d come in while I’d been hiding them, and I didn’t get to put as many of the little love notes in there as I normally did. So I told him to look in the other suitcase. He did.
Ahh, love, it’s funny how the little things can mean so much.
Happy Valentine’s Day, guys! I wish all of you love and laughter. Go hug someone today—be it your spouse, a child, a parent, or just a friend. Let the people you love know it. And make sure you enter my contest and help me get the word out about latest baby, Murder, Mayhem and Mama, now out at Amazon.
Posted by Christie Craig at 12:01 AM
Monday, February 13, 2012
I was driving in Fort Worth the other day and happened to pass the Hangman’s House of Horrors, a former meatpacking plant that is turned into a haunted house each Halloween. The building sported a huge banner that read “Open for Valentine’s Day.” I found myself chuckling at the very idea. A haunted house on what is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year? Yeah, right. Because nothing says “love” like a traipse through an old factory full of dismembered body parts and crazy rednecks terrorizing you with a chainsaw.
But then I realized that maybe they were on to something. Love is actually scary, isn’t it? Love makes a person vulnerable. It’s terrifying to give our hearts to someone, to trust them not to toy with it or trample on it or betray it. And when it comes to settling down, to picking a partner for life, it can be frightening to wonder whether we are making the right choice.
When I think back to when my husband and I became serious about each other all those years ago, I recall the things that drew me to him. He seemed to understand me in a way no one else ever had, and he accepted me for who I am, tolerating my many flaws, irritating habits, and idiosyncrasies without suggesting I should work to change myself. He had a cat, which meant he was caring and compassionate, not a macho sh*thead. He had an understated but warped sense of humor, too, which I found to be a lot of fun. He drove a Toyota Tercel sporting a bumper sticker that read “You may not remember me, but I’m wearing your underwear.” How could I not fall for him?
But the biggest factor that told me back then that he was THE ONE was that the thought of spending the rest of my life with him didn’t cause me to suffer an anxiety attack. With my previous boyfriends, I knew deep in my heart that things could never last, at least not happily. I’d tire of them or they’d tire of me. There were things about them I couldn’t live with long term and/or things about me I knew they wouldn’t be able to live with.
Did any of you have the same experience? What made you know your partner was THE ONE? What is the most scary thing to you about falling in love?
DEATH, TAXES, AND A SKINNY NO-WHIP LATTE, book #2 in Diane's Death and Taxes Series, will be released on March 1st! Book #1, DEATH, TAXES, AND A FRENCH MANICURE, is in bookstores now and is currently only $2.99 in digit format!
Posted by Diane Kelly at 12:01 AM
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
I am all about food. Seriously. I wanted to be a chef when I was in high school. I was determined! The Culinary Institute in Napa was on my radar. But my dad said, “Why don’t you go to college for two years and then you can transfer?”
Sneaky dad. It was a question, sure, but it was really non-negotiable. Two years later, I said, “Two years are up, Napa here I come!”
To which he replied, “But you’re halfway there, why don’t you just finish?”
And so I did. I met my husband, discovered a passion for teaching, and gave up my dream of being a chef. Quite a few years, and five kids later, I discovered a new dream: writing. But food is never far from what I write.
In the Lola Cruz mystery series (Bare-Naked Lola comes out in April), the Cruz family owns a Mexican restaurant. And in my Magical Dressmaking Mystery series, Southern comfort abounds...quite often in the form of fried fare.
Tex-Mex, which means ReFried Beans and Fried Tortillas
Peach Cobbler (okay, it’s not fried, but it might as well be!)
I could go on and on, but you get the gist. While there aren’t many strictly foodie scenes, food plays a bit part in an awful lot of my books.
From A Fitting End:
In a daze, I wandered to the kitchen. Cornbread. I needed some cornbread. And fried okra.
From Deadly Patterns (coming October 2012):
“Hmmm?” Her attention never wavered from the kitchen where I could see the mess of okra I’d bought at the market spilled over the counter and Josie pouring half a box of cornmeal into a gallon-sized baggie. I didn’t have fried okra, so she was going to make some.
In case you’ve never tried fried okra, here’s how it’s done:
Wash a mess of okra and cut into bite size pieces.
Toss okra bits with mix of egg and tiny bit of water.
Now toss in a baggie filled with cornmeal.
Fried in frying pan, taking care to let okra brown on one side before turning...or... spray with olive oil cooking mist and bake at about 390 degrees, turning, until browned.
Eat this instead of popcorn! Really. It’s pretty tasty.
~ Melissa Bourbon
Blurb: A Fitting End
Former Manhattan fashion designer Harlow Jane Cassidy has a gift for creating beautiful dresses. But when Harlow becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation, she’ll more than her sewing skills to unravel the mystery…
Business is booming at Harlow’s custom dressmaking boutique, Buttons & Bows, even with the presence of her great-grandmother’s ghost hanging around the shop. But thanks to the fast approaching Margaret Moffette Lea Pageant and Ball, Harlow has her work cut out for her when Mrs. Zinnia James hires her to make her granddaughter’s pageant gown.
With the debutant ball getting the whole town of Bliss, Texas into a tizzy, Harlow knows her dress has to be perfect. But when a local golf pro is found stabbed to death with dressmaking shears, the new deputy thinks Harlow and Mrs. James conspired to commit the crime. Now Harlow has to finish the dress on time and clear her name before the next outfit she designs is a prison jumpsuit…
Read an excerpt
Barnes & Noble
Praise for A Fitting End
“The second Dressmaker’s paranormal Mystery is a fun family affair… Fans will enjoy Harlow Jane’s amateur sleuthing with advice from her late great-grandma and the Texas posse while also seeking two degrees of Robert Redford.” ~ The Mystery Gazette
Friday, February 10, 2012
Yes, my blondeness just hit a new high. I had no idea. But she as right.
I was on the New York Times Bestseller list!
First, I refreshed the browser about fifteen times, making sure there was no mistake. then I got my glasses, to make sure I was indeed seeing my name on the list. Then I jumped up and down with sheer glee (silently, as my toddler was napping next to me). I always thought I would cry when I hit the NY list, but honestly I was all smiles. Big, ear to ear smiles. ISee, ’m not what you’d call an overnight success. This had been several long years in the making - several hours of tears and heartache over missed deadlines, lost editors, closed publishing houses, bad covers, and teeny tiny advances. To say I was grateful was a huge understatement. Like saying I’m only a little blonde. ;)
Having hit two big lists in one week I had to celebrate. Unfortunately, I’m still battling morning sickness, so dinner out was a no go. No champagne for me either. And I’m honestly too tired to go dancing or out to do anything physical lately. Finally, I deiced on the one way to celebrate that could never let me down – shopping. I went to Macy’s and bought the prettiest, coolest, best handbag in the store, making myself for once not even look at the price (which, for a thrifty Scottish girl like me is really saying something).
Then I stopped by the jewelry department and bought a couple of sparkly things on clearance, too. I couldn't help it. I had a coupon! :)
~Trigger (and handbag!) Happy Halliday
Thursday, February 09, 2012
I'm a small town girl. Much like Tressa Jayne Turner, the cockeyed cowgirl whose misadventures figure prominently in my Calamity Jayne mystery series. And, like Tressa, horses were my life. My idea of culture growing up was the rodeo and the horse show. Yeehaw!
Later, as a state trooper who worked security at the state fair, the grandstand shows and the odd concert introduced me to stage entertainment. (Plus, I got to get really close to the stage and performers. Funny how a badge and a sidearm can make that happen.)
Next I discovered musicals and added a bit of sophistication to the good-ol'-girl persona.
I had never, however, been to a ballet performance. It's not because I don't care for dance. Or music. It's just that I...hate mimes. Yep. I can't stand mimes. They rank right up there with clowns on my "Things I Loath List". So, the idea of three hours of sitting and watching what basically amounts to 180 minutes of mime to tell a story didn't exactly trip my trigger.
But recently I had the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone when the Moscow Ballet presented a performance of The Sleeping Beauty at the university two of my triplets attend.
And I loved it!
Of course, it didn't hurt that I knew the story that was being told and didn't have to guess at what was going on. The performance was flawless and engaging and the afternoon flew.
I also got a kick out of all the mothers who brought their own little ballerinas to watch the performance. That alone was worth the price of admission!
When have you stepped out of your comfort zone and tried something new? What was the outcome? Uplifting and rewarding or disappointing and a drag?
Speaking of trying new things, remind me to tell you about the time(s) I volunteered to drive in a demolition derby. Or the time I decided to try water skiing before I learned to swim. Or the time I smoked a cigar at my State Patrol District meeting to protest the "good ole boys club".
Er, maybe not.
Posted by Kathy Bacus at 4:44 AM
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Happy Wednesday! I find myself grinning a bit this morning because the cover for my latest book, Immortally Yours, has found its way into my inbox.
This is the first of a new series. It's a dark comedy/urban fantasy about a group of paranormal MASH surgeons. The heroine is a thoracic surgeon, drafted from her practice in New Orleans to serve with a bunch of misfits. Luckily she meets a hot demi-god to sweeten the deal.
Isn't that always the way?
But, hey, it would be a real short book if we didn't give her a hot hero to push her buttons and challenge her a bit. I'd like to say I did up close and personal research with a smoking hot demi-god, but I'm still trying to find one. Rest assured, this is an important element of "realism" and I won't rest until I find my demi-god. In fact, if any of you would like to do your own hot demi-god research, all in the name of good books, that would be even better.
Oh and the summation as it stands right now. I'm not sure this is the exact copy that will appear on the back of the book, but it is the latest version I have and I'm sure it's pretty darned close:
Posted by Angie Fox at 9:15 AM
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye
A few years ago my husband and I went on a double date with my dear friend, Hope Ramsay and her husband to see my first David Wilcox concert. We sat in the front row and I was so amazed by this man’s guitar playing, I found myself paying as much attention to his hands as I did to his words and music. I left the concert thinking that David Wilcox was quite possibly the happiest man on the planet. Never before had I seen someone so thrilled to play songs he’d probably played a million times. After the show, Hope and I spoke to him and I was so touched by his words and the reverent way he talked about his music, his writing, and his life, I found myself in awe of his home-spun existentialism.
Since my first David Wilcox concert, I’ve become a huge fan. Today I was hard at work but feeling uninspired so I turned on my David Wilcox playlist and did my best to find my joy. I remember being so moved by David, during his concert, I felt as if I was meant to be there. I was desperately in need of inspiration, and spending a few hours watching a gifted performer, listening to him talk about how he writes, what he writes, and why he writes it, was exactly what I needed to feed my starving muse.
I left the concert with my head spinning—I counted four blog topics I couldn’t wait to explore. But the thing that really touched me again was the way David Wilcox played with such delight. He walked out on stage carrying a guitar and wearing a long-sleeved navy blue sweater, a pair of faded jeans, and the most joyful expression I’d ever seen—he practically glowed. Before every song he’d tune his guitar and gaze into the rafters with a look of pure exultation, I was envious. David Wilcox had exactly what I’d been searching for. I want to feel that same elation I saw in him when I work. If someone should see me writing at Starbucks, I would hope to look half as happy as David Wilcox looked every time he started playing a song—as if he was thanking God for the gift of his talent, his guitar, and every single person in the audience. I want to learn what it takes for someone who writes and performs for a living to find so much joy in what was probably just another day on the job?
I’m taking a lesson from David Wilcox and finding my joy. I love writing. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do for a living. I wonder if lately I’ve gotten so bogged down in the business end of writing, that I’ve missed the magic that happens when I’m creating. I am going to step back and rediscover why I feel the need to create characters, the world they live in, and the emotions that drive them. I want to experience the joy that comes from losing myself in a story. I want to figure out how to gather and store the drops of magic so I can swim in it every now and then. I want to look up at my ceiling fan and instead of seeing the dust gathering on the blades, be blinded by the light of inspiration. I want to be the woman at Starbucks writing on her laptop computer who makes everyone wonder what she’s doing wearing such a radiant smile. I want to walk into my office every morning eager to create a world of happily ever afters. I will do that. I’m inspired.
So please tell me, how do you find your joy?
Posted by Robin Kaye at 3:06 AM