Friday, June 29, 2012

Please join me in welcoming the talented and fabulous Melissa Bourbon Ramirez!

P.S.  And don't forget to check out my new book and start to a brand new series, UNBREAKABLE BOND - available now for Nook!

Take it away, Melissa...


Thank you, Gemma, for having me here today!  I’m super excited to announce that Sacrifice of Passion was released last week.  If you like romantic suspense, you can’t go wrong with this $2.99 read.  It’s thrilling and oh, so sexy! 

I also had Bare-Naked Lola come out about a month ago, and this book is so close to my heart.  Lola is like a good friend, and I love, love, love hanging out with her while I write her stories (yes, even this one, which takes her to a nudist resort!).  Think sexy, sassy, smart Stephanie Plum-like stories.

Today I have to share something readers email to me all the time.  Friends ask me.  Even my mother wants to know…

Will they or won’t they?
Gah! When are Jack and Lola going to ‘DO IT’?
Enough torture already! Put the in bed together!

Readers get as frustrated with Jack and Lola and the sizzling sexual tension built up between them as I get writing it!  But my dilemma has always been about how to keep the sizzle alive after they do the deed.  I mean, the anticipation is the great fun, right?

I remember the fizzle after the sizzle with Moonlighting’s David and Maddie.  Things just weren’t the same. **sigh**

It’s just not the same, is it?

I’d love your help.  If two characters have great sexual tension and they finally do the horizontal salsa, do you like them torn apart again to build up the conflict to a frenzy a second time, or do you prefer their relationship to stay sexual and have the conflict arise (no pun intended!) in other ways?

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this!


Bare-Naked Lola



Barnes & Noble:

Sacrifice of Passion

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

No Green Thumb Required

It won't be long now!

Last year's garden was a dismal failure. Maybe it was because of the extreme heat. Or, perhaps, my heart just wasn't in it. Either way, the phrase "be fruitful and multiply" did not describe my gardening prowess last year. So this year I debated some time before deciding whether to try, try again. Ultimately, the part of me that can't abide failure decided that I would once again try to grow vegetables. Nothing fancy. Just a few tomato plants, a couple of hills of squash, and some pepper plants. A small, modest, manageable garden.

So what did I end up with? An unlucky thirteen tomato plants, six hills of zucchini, and way more pepper plants than I'll ever use.

Zucchini anyone?
Naturally, the weather turned Hades hot and dry as, well, dirt, and, as a result, I'm probably spending more watering the vegetables than I would if I purchased them on a nice, relaxed Saturday morning stroll at the Farmer's Market.

Which poses the question:  Why do I keep doing this to myself?

I know. I know. When these puppies start coming on and I've got fresh tomatoes for bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches and I pair them up with corn on the cob, and I've got zucchini to grill or make bread with,  it will all have been worth it.

I hope.

And while we're on the subject of the great out of doors, I thought this was kind of freaky. I'm a big walker. I take a pretty ambitious walk every day--sometimes twice a day. I'm fortunate that I live very near a facility that has huge, towering trees and nice wide sidewalks and is generally deserted in the early morning and the evenings. The morning following a storm complete with thunder and lightning and very loud, very close BOOMS!, I took my walk and noticed tons of shredded bark along one section. Being the clever, observant former cop type that I am, I discovered that one of the trees had been struck by lightning and apparently the force of the lightning sent long strips and chunks of the tree bark up to fifty feet from the tree. Here's the tree:

Okay. So maybe this isn't earth shattering stuff, but I still thought it was kind of cool.  But hey. I don't get out much.

Any gardeners out there? How does your garden grow? :) And anybody have any storm/lightning experiences to share?

Me? It's a hundred degrees here again today. I'm off to water my plants.

~Bullet Hole~

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How I published my first book: Or, everything I know I learned from George Costanza

I’ve always loved to read, so it was no surprise to anyone when I eventually decided to write a book of my own. When I did, I attacked it head on. I planned, I worked, I outlined more than any woman should. The end result? I wrote three mysteries that didn’t sell.

I don’t know how many of you watch Seinfeld, but there is a time in George’s life where he decides what he’s been doing hasn’t been working, so he decides to do the opposite. That’s what I did with my books. I’d been writing serious mysteries, with lots of science and research involved. They’d generated some interest, enough to almost, almost sell. But nothing quite happened.

To take my mind off the latest mystery making the rounds with agents, I decided to write something completely different, a funny paranormal romance where I could build my own world and make up my own rules. I fell in love with the idea of a preschool teacher who is forced to run off with a gang of geriatric biker witches and The Accidental Demon Slayer was born.

Instead of a 20-page plot outline, I had a 5-page list of ideas, one of which included “but little did they know, all the Shoney’s are run by werewolves.” Instead of following the rules, I broke a few. Instead of painstakingly writing over the course of a year, I giggled my way through the book and had a complete manuscript in five months.

The opening chapters did well in contests and caught the eye of an editor, who asked to see the whole thing. That same editor bought the book less than a week after I finished it. That book even ended up spending a few weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

While I’m not sure Seinfeld is the best place to go for life lessons, I really do think there’s something to be said for following your instincts – in writing and in everything else.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Mating Dance--Then and Now

By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye

I have three teenagers, and have adopted most of their friends. I’m surrounded by kids. When it came to the whole dating thing, my kids were kind of late starting and I’m glad because I’ve found out that kids don’t date anymore.

What? Everything screeches to a halt (insert sound effect here).

We’ve all seen it… yes, and most of us have done it a time or two. Granted, for me, it was twenty-four years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. You’d see someone you liked the looks of, you’d look away when he caught you looking at him. There was a lot of peeking over the rim of your beer, martini, or soda (depending upon your age and taste) and then you’d either spent a lot of time praying he’d make the first move or you would. He’d approach you… or in my case, I usually went to talk to him. You would chat and see if you have anything in common other than attraction. The bad ones were glaringly obvious. A donkey laugh, the guy who only talks about himself, BO—the list of strike out scenarios is endless. But, if you got along and no one else attracted you as much as he did and vice versa, before the end of the night he’d have your phone number. This led to waiting and praying for him to call.

Okay, so let’s say he called and asked you out. Are you free on Saturday night? Probably not because you dated more than one guy at a time.

After dating for a few weeks or months, you have the talk about exclusivity. Then if you both agree not to see other people, you have to turn down all other requests for dates.

One day I was talking to my sixteen-year-old daughter, Twinkle Toes, reminiscing about my dating life and told her this scenario.

She was appalled. “You were a slut?”

“Of course not.” I was shocked my own daughter would even think such a thing. “I never told them I’d date them exclusively and I certainly wasn’t sleeping with any of them. I was playing the field.”

Twinkle Toes gave me that you’re-older-than-dirt-and-can’t-possibly-relate-to-anything look. “Now you’d be considered a slut.”

I tried not to take this personally and probably rolled my eyes. “Why?” I was truly curious. How could dating more than one guy at a time make you a slut? Is the word slut suddenly synonymous with popular?

“Because that’s not how it’s done. If you go out with someone, you’re going out. If you see anyone else, it makes you a cheater and a slut.”

“You don’t date?”

“Sure, but only one person at a time. You see a guy you like and he likes you, and you exchange numbers. You text, he asks you out, and then you change your facebook status.”

“In this scenario, have you seen each other?”


“Well, how do you even know you like him?”

“You text.”

“So you’re not even talking? Why text when you can talk on the phone?”

This is where Twinkle Toes rolls her eyes and leaves the discussion—at least in mind if not in body.

“I just don’t get it. How do you know you even like him until after you’ve had a few dates?”

“You chat on Facebook, you text, sometimes you Skype.”

“Do you hold hands and hang out and talk?”

“If you’re going out, yeah.”

“But not until then?”


Which explains why my daughter has had three boyfriends in less than a year with quite a few months in between each break-up. She didn’t get to know they guy before they were exclusive and after a half dozen “dates” she figured out they weren’t for her or vice versa—then they’d break-up.

What occurred to me was in the modern-day scenario, there isn’t much there to break-up. Yet it’s considered a break-up and the one who got dumped takes it very personally.

It was much easier when you just didn’t call the guy any more. If I went on a handful of dates and didn’t really, really like the guy, I’d tell him I just wanted to be friends and move on or he’d simply fall off my radar—no break-up, no long texting session, no awkwardness, no heartbreak—disappointment maybe, but not heartbreak.

Now there’s relationship drama before there’s even a true relationship. I don’t get it. Why the rush to change your Facebook status?

Can anyone explain this to me?

What is this going to do with the Contemporary Single Titles Romances? Am I going to have to start adding Facebook Status Change ceremonies in all my books? Is there such a thing as a love triangle anymore?

Is this the way it is in adult dating too? My thirty-something single friend says it is. What do you think?  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Louisiana Longshot - Available Now!!!!!

It seems like it's been forever in coming, but Louisiana Longshot - the first book in a new humorous mystery series - is finally available!!!!!

The ebook format is all that is live at the moment and only at Amazon and BN. I promise I'm working on Apple, Smashwords and the print version and hope to have them available soon! If you're looking for one of those file types, please keep an eye on my website (I SWEAR, I'm going to update it) and/or my Facebook page/Facebook author page, and I promise to update as more formats come available.

So without further ado, here's the premise:

It was a hell of a longshot...

CIA Assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever - in Sinful, Louisiana.

With a leak at the CIA and a price on her head by one of the world's largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element. Posing as a former beauty queen turned librarian in a small, bayou town seems worse than death to Fortune, but she's determine to fly below the radar until her boss finds the leak and puts the arms dealer out of play.

Unfortunately, she hasn't even unpacked a suitcase before her newly-inherited dog digs up a human bone in her backyard. Thrust into the middle of a bayou murder mystery, Fortune teams up with a couple of seemingly-sweet old ladies whose looks completely belie their hold on the little town. To top things off, the handsome local deputy is asking her too many questions. If she's not careful, this investigation may blow her cover and get her killed.

Armed with her considerable skills and a group of old ladies referred to by locals as The Geritol Mafia, Fortune has no choice but to solve the murder before it's too late.

Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at BN.

In other good news, I've just accepted another 3-book contract with Harlequin Intrigue, so you'll have more spooky bayou stories coming in 2013!

Deadly DeLeon

Friday, June 22, 2012

It's summer!

It's summer!

It may only be the first official day of summer today, but it's certainly felt like it for a while now. In fact, the temps hit triple digits in DC yesterday and the day before. Thank goodness I was safely ensconced in my air-conditioned office.

But my in-laws were not. They're visiting from California and have been sightseeing downtown. In the heat. The crazy triple digits heat. The crazy triple digits heat with humidity.

They live in Northern California, about a mile from Gemma, actually. And my 11-year-old twin niece and nephew have never experienced humidity before. So it was a rude awakening. But they've also never experienced DC before, so that won out. They just tried to stay indoors at museums as much as possible.

It's fun having the twins here. I've been using them for their brainstorming abilities, however. (They need to earn their keep.) Dani, the heroine in my mystery series is named after my niece, Daniela. And naturally, she's a fan. (Unless she's just saying that to get Auntie Amanda off her back, but I hope not.)

Anyway, my nephew decided it's unfair that his twin sister has a character named after her, so he wants me to name one after him. After all, he pointed out, he shares his first name with both my husband (his uncle) and my brother (not his uncle), so it would be appropriate. And he really, really wants the character named after him to be the murderer in my next book, Pas De Death.

(Oh, did I mention? Soon Robin will be the only Killer who's not a killer, since my heroine and pals are going to solve their first murder mystery this winter. Although it will actually be summer in the book. But it'll be released this winter.)

Hmmm...the murderer? Really? Why would he want to be the bad guy?

Of course, I'd say the same thing about someone wanting to be the murder victim. Last month, the naming rights to the murder victim in Pas De Death were auctioned off in the Brenda Novak charity auction to raise money for diabetes research. I'd billed it as a chance to get revenge on someone by having them killed off in a book. What I didn't expect was for the winner to want me to use HER name! But hey, who am I to judge? She paid good money for it, so I'm happy to oblige and kill off YA book blogger Jen Runkle from the At Random blog. I just want to make it clear that I'm not an unhinged author upset over a bad review or something and trying to get even. Jen actually likes my books! LOL

And I'm not REALLY killing her, of course. Just fictionally. And it's just a name. So I don't know...maybe I will have my nephew/husband/brother's namesake character kill her. What would you do?

Anyway, since it's now officially summer, I'd be remiss if I didn't help you find some great summer reading. Check out the middle grade and young adult mystery and suspense suggestions over at Kiss & Thrill.

And today's the last day to load up at the Booklover's Buffet. Over 150 e-books on sale for just 99 cents each. The only buffet where you won't gain a pound! (Although you might drop a few if you buy from the Amazon UK site. Ba-dum-bum!)

And did you know that Pointe of No Return is now available for the Kindle, on smashwords, and in print (as opposed to just for the Nook)? Grab your own copy today!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Me & Magneto Need To Hook Up

So I think I might be a superhero.

I say this at 4:10  in the morning, one week into basically working two full time jobs (one fulfilling a three book contract for Simon & Schuster and one selling luxury cars-- all so I can afford to pay for an obscenely expensive private school for my gifted-special-needs child). But that's not why I'm a superhero. That's just why I'm tired.

I'm  a superhero because I can stop watches with a single touch. Well, that's not exactly takes several touches. In the past I usually had to wear the watch almost every day for about two weeks to a month. But still, the battery would always die. I noticed the problem when I was in my late teens. Every watch I wore would stop. At first I assumed I was buying defective watches so I'd return and exchange them. But after this happened about six times in year I gave up wearing watches. I tried again when I moved away for college but I had the same problem. The battery would just die. Eventually a doctor told me that a very small number of people have very high levels of magnetism in their skin. These people can't wear battery operated watches because...well, they stop. Since then I've read other articles that say it's not magnetism in the skin but electricity in the skin or body or maybe even static electricity. Whatever it is I have long since accepted the fact that if I need to know the time I need to have a cell phone.

The thing is, years ago, I read something that said this is a condition that sometimes become more...well, powerful with age. I didn't believe that when I read it. To be fair, no one believes any of this when they read it. There are countless message boards with people asking other users to help them explain why they stop watches when they wear them and countless responses to these posts which basically tell the asker that they're making the problem up. I obviously have reason to believe that they're not but...worse with age? Why would it become worse with age? And honestly, since I don't wear watches anymore it's not an issue I spend much time thinking about anymore. I don't even remember the name of the doctor who explained the whole magnetism-in-the-skin thing to me. I've just adjusted and moved on.

And then on June 8th I got a new smartphone and unlike the last time I didn't get a silicon protector case for it (which I usually buy simply so it won't break my phones when/if I drop them). I did get a leather case with a clip so i could wear it on my body while hiking.

Two days ago I discovered that my new cell phone battery wouldn't hold a charge. Okay, that happens. The problem was obviously that I got a defective battery or a defective charger or even a defective phone, right? I took it to Verizon. They tried to charge the battery with their charger. Nothing. So I bought a new battery that is supposed to have double the life of a regular battery...which also means it's double the size so it won't fit in those protective silicon cases, which means the only thing between me and the battery is a thin layer of plastic. I didn't think about this. At this point it still hadn't occurred to me that maybe I was the problem. It did occur to me that maybe the phone was the problem so I made sure they tried charging this new battery using my phone in the store before I bought it. They did, it charged, life was good.

And now this new battery won't hold a charge. It was only just now that I started to think about how similar this was to my watch problem. I started thinking about how I had the phone on my lap most of the day (about 8 hours) at work while I learned about the car models I'm expected to sell and for even more hours while I worked on my manuscript.  I thought about how there really wasn't that much between my skin and this new battery.

So I woke up at 4 in the morning and I Googled: "magnetism in skin stops watches"and one of the pages that turned up was on The question/comment was as follows:

Do your cell phones stop working?I am one of those people who can't wear a watch because it stops working. I have had three cell phones go bad on me in the past 2 years ( could not hold a charge anymore - i even bought a new battery for it...). I was wondering if any of you who have trouble with the watches stopping, are also having trouble with cell phones.  

Well yes, some of us are having problems with our cell phones. Then I found another article about "Supercharged People" People who can stop washing machines, destroy appliances and whatnot. It's rare enough that not many scientists have bothered looking into it (if something's rare enough to only affect a very small number of individuals there is no grant money to be had). But one Oxford Scientist studied one of these people and did discover that this woman had ten times the normal amount of static electricity bottled up inside of her. She thought it was because she wasn't eating enough vegtables. I eat vegetables all the time. 

One woman said that her condition gets worse when she's annoyed or I guess that makes her like a super sexy Hulk or something (note to self-never have sex on top of a washing machine). 

Maybe I'm stopping cell phone batteries because I've been a bit stressed lately? Maybe because I've started writing erotic fiction? 

Or maybe there really is just some very weird problem with my phone that screws up the batteries after its had them for a while.

But for now I'm assuming I'm a superhero. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wild, Wacky Wisconsin, Wedux!

Wonce again, we went to Wild, Wacky Wisconsin for a Woadtrip!
It was a short vacation to Lake Geneva and Milwaukee, and it did not disappoint.  Here are a few of the highlights:
At the Animal Gardens...
The Accursed "Kittens for Adoption" Room.  Note the look on her face... This is a bad, bad place. Never take a teen girl there...

The statue of Romeo, the Serial Killer Elephant in Delavan, WI.  Over the course of his career, he killed 5 people.  When he died, they built a statue in his honor in Wisconsin. 

A very long sign devoted to a brick road.  You'd think it was made of human gallstones, unicorn testicles or something special to get a sign like this.  But no, it's just a brick road in a small town in Wisconsin.

REAL HARD EVIDENCE that brother and sister can still have fun together!!!  They will deny it - but this is proof that it happened!

According to my children, the MAIN reason for going to Wisconsin - Cheese Curds!  Sometimes, they had several orders as one big meal.  What?

Did you know flamingos bend this way? 

 My favorite - a bird who looks like a cartoon villain!  I want one!  I would name him Smedley.

My daughter thought this meant that, like Pat the Bunny, she could Pat the Jaguar... I actually toyed with slipping the zookeeper a twenty to see if it was possible.

Mr. Assassin and I were so excited!  A statue of Fonzie in Milwaukee!!!  The kids posed, then asked, "Who's this guy?"  Sigh.  Nick at Night has failed a generation.

At the restaurant - this was in the bathroom.  You touch the heart thingy and alarms go off.  Meg posed, then asked, "Who's this guy?"  I told him her grandma had this centerfold in her closet when I was a kid.  She said, "He's hairy. Gross."

 How was your vacation?

The Assassin

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day and Why Dads Make Perfect Heroes

Winner!  Cheryl, email me at christie(at)  CONTEST!!  Today one lucky person who leaves a comment will win an ARC of Blame it on Texas.

I hope you guys enjoyed Father’s Day and celebrated all the great dads in your life.  My dad lives in Alabama, so I gave him a call early Sunday morning to wish him a Happy Father's Day.  As I've mentioned in previous blogs, my dad has been a great inspiration for me, both as a writer and as a person, and I love chatting with him. I love spending time with him, too.  As a matter of fact, at the end of this month, I’m heading to Alabama, to spend some time with him. However, this year as I think about great fathers, my hubby included, I’m also thinking about Blame it on Texas, aka book two in my Hotter in Texas series of humorous romantic suspense novels from Grand Central/Forever.  It debuts August 28th.  So, why was I thinking about Blame it on Texas?  Well, mostly I was thinking how sometimes the greatest dads start out knowing absolutely nothing about being a father—like Rick Clark, the hunky cop who is the hero in the book's secondary love story.

Now, I love Tyler, the hero in the primary love story in Blame it on Texas.  While he's a great uncle to his nieces and nephews, and will no doubt be a great father to his own children when he and Zoe have them, Rick is already a dad . . . although a very insecure one.  I'm talking insecure as in "I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing here and can somebody please help me figure it out before I do something really stupid and end up hurting this little boy?"  The someone he chooses to ask is Ellen, who was the heroine's best friend in Only in Texas, book one of my series.  Ellen is a single mom and from Rick's viewpoint, she is a walking, talking encyclopedia of how to be a great parent. 

Plus, she's got a killer smile and a pair of lips he's just dying to taste. 

Rick is a cop for Miller PD and the partner of Tony O'Connor, the hero in the secondary love story in Only in Texas.  Rick likes to think of himself as a playboy and, yep, he is master at flirting and has little trouble with relationships.  But Rick isn't a playboy by choice; he is only one to protect his heart.  He keeps falling for the wrong woman and the last time he fell, his heart got shattered into pieces so he's sworn off commitment for good.  He'd done his best to help Candy, his ex and the mother of his son, Ricky.  But Candy likes to party a bit too much, and falls back into her old ways once she leaves Houston for New Orleans  She's been extorting cash from Rick with one sob story after another, although he knows in his soul she's not spending the money on their son but rather feeding her habit.  He's in the middle of suing her for custody when he learns his son isn’t even with her right now, but with Candy’s mother close to Houston, who doesn’t even want the boy. 

Ricky is a devastated little boy who feels abandoned.  Rick has never felt so out of his depth, both as a man and a dad, as he does when the teary-eyed Ricky arrives.  Lucky for Rick, though, he has Ellen to lean on.  Ellen who knows just which kind of books to read to a child, Ellen who knows just what kind of food to get a scared little boy to eat.  Rick has a lot to learn about being a good dad but he definitely gets there by the end of the book, and he more than earns his title as hero.

Now I'll be honest.  I love writing about bad boys who lose their hearts to a good woman and strive to become a better man.  However, before Rick loses his heart to Ellen, he loses it to his son, who makes him want to be a better dad . . . and a better man.  Ellen can't resist him and I don't blame her.  He darn near stole my heart, too, and I'm sure he’ll steal yours.

So, how was your Father's Day?  Any special dad stories to share?  What do you think of bad boys who transform into dads so great they melt your heart?  Hit the Comments section and let me know your thoughts.  I’ll be giving away another ARC of Blame it on Texas to one lucky person who leaves a comment.


Monday, June 18, 2012


I recently spent three days at my mother's house, babysitting her ancient Pomeranian, Amber, while my mother jetted off on a much-needed vacation to Vegas with friends. Amber suffers from congestive heart failure and can no longer walk for any appreciable distance. Knowing the poor beast had to be bored out of her mind being stuck at the house, I loaded her up in the stroller I found in my mother's garage (the same one I used for my own kids when they were young and we visited my mother) and we set off for a stroll around the neighborhood.

As we passed a woman walking her own dog, she did a double take and said, "Oh! I didn't realize at first that was a dog in the stroller."  I supposed she'd initially thought I'd mated with Chewbacca and given birth to some type of hairy-faced offspring. : ) A few people driving by smiled at us as they passed.  I know I probably looked goofy pushing a dog in a stroller, but I really didn't care.  I was making an old, sweet dog happy and that's what mattered. 

We'll do funny things for love, won't we?  We'll go out of our way, inconvenience ourselves, sometimes even do things we abhor to make those we love happy. The things we'll do for love is one of the themes in DEATH, TAXES, AND EXTRA-HOLD HAIRSPRAY, book #3 in my Death & Taxes series, which will be released on June 26th.  In this book, my heroine - IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway - searches for a wig for her beloved boss, Lu "The Lobo" Lobozinksi, who has lost her hair due to chemotherapy treatments for cancer.  Buying a wig might not sound like much of a task, but given that Lu wears a strawberry-blond beehive, finding a wig that looks like her real hair is next to impossible!   But Lu's hair doesn't just have altitude, it has attitude, and Lu just isn't the same woman without her beehive.  Tara is bound and determined to find just the right wig, no matter what. 

How far would you go for those you love?  What funny or unusual or difficult things have you done for those you love?  We'd love to hear your stories!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

School's Out!

School's out for the summer... yay!  No more getting up at the crack of dawn to drag the 12 year old out of bed.  No more fighting Angry Mom traffic to drop him off every morning at school.  No more homework taking up hours of my time every afternoon (yes, I know it's HIS homework, but tell that to his teachers who require parental involvement at EVERY step of the way still).  And no more obsessively checking his grades online every day, refreshing to make sure no teachers have lost any assignments before report cards are due.  (You'd be surprised how often this happened last year!)  Life is good here in the Halliday household.

I'm incredibly proud to say that my son not only survived his first year of middle school, but made honor roll 3 out of 4 quarters.  (He's not the self-motivated type yet when it comes to academics, so this was  HUGE accomplishment for him.)  Even more shocking - I survived his first year of middle school!  It was a year of big changes.  No more "playdates", now his friends just come over to "hang out".  Girls now "hang out" with boys.  Packing a lunch is unheard of.  (And my wallet is always empty from cafeteria fees.)  He and his friends now (gulp) leave the house on their own to go places around town.  It's been an adjustment on my part. 

 And just when I feel like I've got this whole middle school thing down... my son tells me he's doing two summer camps this year.  One is at the high school and the other is at Stanford University.  High school and college this summer?!  When did my baby grow up on me?    

~Trigger Happy Halliday


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Bond Girls by Gemma Halliday

Bond Girls

by Gemma Halliday

Giveaway ends June 20, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It could happen...

I had to share this story with you. I found it today at the website of one of our state's papers. It seems a writer from Des Moines wrote a story about a school teacher who became shipwrecked with a sixteen year old student. She submitted the novel and was summarily rejected by forty agents and something like fourteen publishers. So, she decided to go the self-pub route and put the book up on Amazon. And the book went viral--and, as  the article says, "the big boys came calling." She now has a "good seven-figure" deal, sold the movie option and has a second book coming out in 2013.  Here's the link in case you want to read the article yourself:|topnews|text|Frontpage

This is weird timing. I've been going through several completed manuscripts lately and have been mulling over whether to put them up. They're not humorous romantic mysteries. Not at all. I have a middle level young adult humorous paranormal, a romantic suspense, a western historical romance, and a police procedural that is the first in a new series.  After consulting with the experts (aka the Dangerous Divas at Killer Fiction) I'm seriously debating dusting them off, sprucing them up, and publishing them. Who knows? Maybe one of these books will go viral and the big boys will come calling on Bullet Hole. Hey. Stranger things have happened. What do you all think? Is the publishing world ready for books from me that so don't tickle the funny bone? 

Oh. And before I go, I wanted to let you know that Calamity Jayne, the first book in my Calamity Jayne Mystery Series is available for download at Smashwords and it's freeee! Hopefully the offer will make its way to the other vendors soon. So, pass the word!

And stay tuned for new release news!

Have a super Thursday! Me? I plan to dream of seven figure contracts and my very own personal publicist.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

All in the Family

I come from a family of visual artists. My grandmother never made a living at it. Back in the day, women didn't work outside the home. But she's paint murals on the walls of her dining room. And when she'd tire of them (usually in a week or two). She'd paint over them and start fresh. This was also a woman who would take her daughter dress shopping at completely unaffordable designer boutiques, sketch up ideas in the dressing room, and then go home and make dresses herself.

My dad, her son, ended up being an illustrator, back in the days when every ad agency had artists on staff. And I ended up getting a glimpse of this over the weekend. One of his old friends from the ad agency has been cleaning out his basement - and finding all kinds of original art, as well as campaigns that my dad worked on thirty and forty years ago. Can you say Mad Men?

It's been so neat going through all of his work - and seeing that he did much more than I ever realized, especially in inks and other techniques (whose names elude me at the moment). You see, I was never an artist. My dad offered to teach me drawing when I was a kid, but I was more interested in reading books or playing Atari. I kept thinking I'd get those lessons some other time, but he died when I was 17. I never knew him as an adult, so these paintings are even neater - it gives me a look at him as a professional, doing what he loved to do.

And wouldn't you know it? There are about eight oil paintings of Greek myths. I'm thinking I have to somehow include them in the marketing for my new series, which is based loosely on mythology (the gods are fighting a huge immortal war). So thanks, dad. That art came just in time. And all that time I spent reading books worked out, too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What A Week!

By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye

It’s been a crazy few weeks in the Kaye household. My son, Tony graduated from High School on Sunday! I told him we were either going to have a graduation party for him or a wake—the choice was his.

I am eternally grateful he chose to graduate. It’s not that I was worried about his grades, his grades were fine, it’s just all the little things one has to do to graduate like pick up the cap and gown, turn in his service hours, pay the fifty dollars for the Chemistry book that disappeared, and that last pesky little detail—registering for graduation.

Both my mother and Stephen’s flew up from Florida on Friday, which meant I spent the entire week suffering from PMS—Pre Mother(s) Syndrome. Yeah, I’m told I turn into a witch before they come. I end up spending the entire week catching up on cleaning, laundry, trying to figure out what the hell to cook and generally being psychotic. Can you blame me?

On Saturday we took the whole gang to Longwood Gardens for the day—it was lovely. My sister-in-law drove down from Buffalo, NY and met us there and came back for the graduation.

Finally it was graduation day! We all pile into the car and go to the local college auditorium. Tony was in Choral Ensemble so he had to get up and down a few times to sing, then he walked across the stage and got his diploma! Cheers rang out and I wiped my brow. One down, two to go.

Of course we were too far away to get a decent picture, so I thought, that’s fine, we’ll go out on the grounds and get some beautiful ones with him. I was actually looking forward to taking those pictures you see every family take—Mom, Dad, and Graduate, entire family and Graduate. You know those pictures—the ones I’m not posting because my dear son ran up to us and said, “See you at home, I’m taking off to beat the traffic.” We got this one before he faded into the crowd. 

My son is the type to show up an hour early just so he can get the perfect space for a quick escape. Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Tony was home and had changed into his shorts and his favorite T-shirt long before we made it home. Hence no cap and gown pictures except the few my husband was able to snag before Tony took off like someone lit his tassel aflame!

The party was wonderful and to top off the week, today my 85 year-old stepfather is on an Honor Flight from Tampa, Florida bound for Washington D.C. to see the World War II Memorial. My mother (who would have flown up with him if she hadn’t already been here for Tony’s graduation), my entire family, and I are going to meet George (AKA, Pop) at the WWII Memorial and spend the day with him and the other 69 Vets on the Honor Flight.

If you haven’t heard about Honor Flight Network it’s an amazing program where they fly WWII Vets and their spouse or a guardian from all over the country to Washington DC and bring them to the World War II Memorial so that they can see THEIR Memorial. For information about donating or volunteering for Honor Flight Network click here. We are losing WWII Vets so quickly, it’s a race to get them all to DC.  

Pop and Tony have always been close and I think Tony was more excited about Pop’s Honor Flight than his own graduation. Maybe this time I’ll be able to get pictures of both of them.