Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back Into The Bookstore...

Yesterday was Book Launch Day! Woo hoo! And my new website is up! Life is good. Like, new PRADA kitten heels that go with everything/calorie free cheesecake and a pet parrot who can insult people in Swahili - good.

See that stack of books up there? Those are MY books! I've always wanted to see a stack of my books. And not a stack of the same book, either. I know that seems like a strange fantasy - but it's been in my head since 2nd grade. My brother Nathan dreamed of becoming an architect. My sister, Jenny, dreamed of becoming a foul-mouthed electrician and appearing in one of my books one day. I wanted this.

Each book launch day has been special whether it's my first book or fourth and I've been sober for at least one of them. I always imagine the characters in that book having a red carpet moment, recieving adulation and praise while I stand there in my Maleficent costume and grin like a proud parent.

As I eat my Klondike Bar and drink my Moet Chandon White Star champagne, I think about this family that I created out of thin air. Hard to believe this series started with a dream brought on by indigestion.

It doesn't matter what I do from here. The Bombays will always be real and special (not like "short bus" special, but you know what I mean) to me.

So buy the book, check out the new website and beg me to write in a scene where you loofah one of my characters (Hellion, I still don't get why that's sexy). Me and the Bombays will be right here.

Have a great Fourth of July!

The Assassin

Monday, June 29, 2009

((Hey, I'm on a roll writing my June 2010 release, so I'm cheating and posting a blog I wrote and was published over at www.Everyoneneedsalittleromance.com.
Oh, by the way, it's sort of appropriate, my June release is titled, SHUT UP AND KISS ME.
First Kisses

Do you remember your first kiss? Ahh, I do. I’ve been hesitant to blog about it because it’s one of those . . . extraordinary memories. And by extraordinary, I don’t mean . . . Well, let me just tell you about it.

I was thirteen and spending the night at my grandparents. My uncle, who was only two years older than me, also had a friend staying the night. Ahh, he was a hottie as well as what I considered an older boy. Probably fourteen and a half! After everyone had gone to bed, I heard someone say my name at the door. He said he couldn’t sleep and wondered if I wanted to talk. Yup, we’d shared a bit of dialogue earlier along with a few long lingering stares, but neither of us wanted my uncle to know we were intrigued in each other.

After I crawled out of bed, and put on my jeans, we sought out a place to . . . chat. My grandparent’s house had this old rambling floor plan where the rooms were built on to the structure one by one, but it only had one bathroom. We sat on a sofa, in the room connected to the bathroom. It was the only room away from the bedrooms with sleeping family.

We sat there and chatted for a few moments and even though he appeared as unsure as I was, he leaned in, slowly, and his mouth touched mine. Boy howdie was I nervous when I felt his tongue brush across my bottom lip. All I could think was that my first kiss was going to include tongue. (Hey don’t you remember talking about this when you were 11 and 12?) I opened my mouth ever so slightly, because that’s what I’d heard I was supposed to do, and that’s when it happened. A hiccup exploded from my lips. Not a light, cute noise, either. Nope. It was one that came right from the gut, pounces from the lips, and bounces off the walls. I mean, here was my first kiss, with an “older boy” too, and I got the nervous hiccups. Thank goodness he was sweet and said it wasn’t a problem.

After a few minutes of chatting (well, he did most of the chatting, I was too scared to open my mouth for fear another obnoxious sound would bounce out) he tried again to kiss me. His mouth drew near, his lips touched mine, and this time, the noise that exploded into the room wasn’t my hiccup. Nope, it was my granddad clearing his throat. And I should add that, with the exception of his worn-out tighty-whities, Grandpa was naked and his old-man gut hung over the edge of the weak elastic of his Hanes.

Older boy and myself just sat there on that sofa and stared at my grandfather staring at us. I opened my mouth to say something smart, something like, we were just talking, or something else equally unconvincing since he’d just witnessed the beginning of a kiss, but all that came out was another LOUD hiccup. Cute, older boy, shot up from the sofa and ran back to his bed, and I did the same.

Yup, my first-kiss memory could have been a tad better. Thanks goodness I managed to snag a few better kisses later on. And in spite of the fact that I had a less-than-desirable first kiss experience, I do love writing first kisses.

Not that I make the first kiss all that easy on my characters. Below is an excerpt from GOTCHA! of Macy’s “almost” first kiss. Set up: Divorced and hurt, Macy is finished with men. But when an escaped convict, (Tanks) is after her, and a hot and stubborn cop, (Jake Baldwin) is determined to protect her, she finds herself feeling things she wishes she didn’t. She’ll use just about anything to push him away, even if it includes discussing tampons. (I mean, don’t we all know how much men love talking about feminine protection?)

“I know that wasn’t easy for you,” Baldwin said as he pulled into her drive. His silence had ended right after they got back from buying the tampons. A part of her felt guilty for teasing him.
“I’ll be okay,” she said.
She would be, too. Jake Baldwin had offered her a helping—if exasperating—hand for the last eighteen hours, but it was time for her to stand on her own. Besides, even Jake’s partner seemed to believe Tanks was halfway to Mexico by now. The car had hardly stopped in her drive when she jumped out. Feet on her driveway, she dipped down to look at him though the window. “Thanks for…everything.”
Jake looked over at her as if he didn’t want to leave. “There’s going to be a cop driving by here every few hours. You’ve got my number.” He pointed to her purse, where he’d put his card. “If you need anything, call me.”
“I won’t need anything,” she said, holding fast to the belief that Tanks was long gone.
He took a deep breath. “I want to help, Macy.”
“You did.” But all things must come to an end. And this is it. Sayonara. Adios.
The seriousness in his eyes changed to a teasing twinkle. “I want to do more. But if you start spouting off again about feminine protection, I’m out of here.”
She smiled. Their gazes met, held for one second. She really did respect him.
Two seconds. She could really like this guy. She already liked him.
Three seconds. Crappers. This wasn’t just PMS.
She couldn’t look away. His smile tugged her emotions and tangled them tightly around her heart.
Enough! She didn’t need to start counting on a man to make her feel better. Hadn’t everyone in her life proven this? Heaven help her, the cliff loomed way too close. Jake didn’t loom quite close enough.
“Let’s have dinner tonight,” he suggested. “Somewhere nice. I could—”
“Nope.” She slammed the car door and stepped back, expecting him to drive off. Instead, he cut the engine, got out, and started around the car toward her.
“You’re not getting rid of me that easy.”
She took a backward step and held up her hand. “Yes, I am.”
He kept coming at her, like a man who knew what he wanted and planned on getting it. The way his masculine form swaggered closer brought more emotions banging around her heart. Her lungs: she couldn’t breathe. Her brain: she couldn’t think. Nerve endings throughout her body responded to his smile.
She started walking backwards around the car and, swallowing, forced herself to speak. “What are you doing? Um…if I gave the wrong impression, I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in any—”
He stopped when he was almost on top of her, and she had the craziest feeling he might actually try for a kiss. All sorts of mental voices were screaming Run, but part of her wanted this, craved it. Needed it.
“Seriously, I don’t…”
He looked into her eyes, and she could have sworn he saw things she’d never intended another man to see. That she was a woman hungry for a man’s touch. A woman aching to lean on someone. A…
A woman just like her dear ol’ mom. “I mean, if you got the impression—”
He brushed a finger over her lips. “The impression I get is of a girl who’s scared. One who can be very difficult to put up with. But I think you’re worth it, and I think—” His attention shifted over her left shoulder and his face went stone cold. She tried to turn and see what had brought on the change, but he caught her by the arm.
“Get back in the car.”
He pulled out his gun. “Get back in the car. Don’t argue.”
He pushed her behind him, yanked his phone out of his front pocket, snapped it open, and hit a button. “This is Baldwin. I’m at 417 Jackson Street. I’m going to need backup.”

Yup, poor Macy’s almost-first kiss with Jake gets interrupted when . . . when some crap hits the fan, but hey, at least I didn’t give her hiccups or have an almost-naked relative show up.

So what about you guys? Do you remember your first kiss? Come on, let’s share a little, I told you my story.


Monday Morning Ugh

Did NOT want to wake up this morning. Or maybe it's more accurate to say, waking up was okay, GETTING up was something I didn't want to do. I swear if my company would let us work 4 10/hr days instead of 5 8hr/days, I'd go for it and Monday would be my day off! I think it's the heat. We've hit those 100+ days here in Texas and it just seems to drain the life out of you.

I have a doctor's appointment this morning, so I'm going to be brief. Two things - first, see The Proposal! Excellent movie. Great script. Fantastic acting. Best romantic comedy I've seen in forever.

Second. I've been on my trying to exercise kick again and since the heat makes me not want to go outside, I pulled out some exercise videos I bought last year. Gave one a try last Wednesday. HIP HOP AEROBICS. Hey, it sounded fun. Well........right. Let's just say: there was hopping, and it was definitely aerobic, and I'm pretty sure I threw out a hip (or two - does the other side count as two), but I know I didn't look anything like an MTV video.

What the heck happened? I was a gymnast when I was young - I had balance. I had rhythm. Where did it go? Now, I'm sure I got a workout - and I'm positive the dog loved it. He hopped right along with me, barking - it was like having a little furry drill sargeant yelling at me. But heaven help us all if someone ever had a hidden camera in my house and posted that on YouTube. I'd have to leave the planet. I'm quite sure I'll never be auditioning for SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE.

I don't think it was quite as bad as the Latin dance dvd, but it was very close.

Oh well, must run hop in the shower. Everyone have a great start of the week and an even better end!

Friday, June 26, 2009

It comes in threes

This week I was sadden to hear of the passing of Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson’s longtime sidekick. I grew up watching Johnny and Ed on the Tonight Show – at least when I could coerce my parents into letting me stay up that late. Or sneak into the living room undetected to watch. As a kid I always wondered why Mr. McMahon didn’t get to have a show of his own. All he got to go was sit there and provide chuckles whenever Johnny said something funny. But, as I got older, I began to appreciate how important his role in the show was. He was a wonderful example of how you don’t always have to be the star to be a great entertainer. I love this quote from him: “It’s like a pitcher who has a favorite catcher,’’ he said. “The pitcher gets a little help from the catcher, but the pitcher’s got to throw the ball. Well, Johnny Carson had to throw the ball, but I could give him a little help.’’

While Ed McMahon’s passing was undoubtedly sad, as one reporter put it, “He’s by Johnny’s side again.” A bittersweet, yet comforting thought.

However, when I opened Yahoo! Thursday morning, another celebrity death hit me even harder. Farrah Fawcett. I knew she’d been sick for some time, but something about someone so young and still so vibrantly beautiful passing away struck me.

The fabulous-haired former Charlie’s Angel was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, and her documentary, “Farrah’s Story”, which recently aired gave a very real look into her struggles. I watched and felt tremendously for both her and her family. The only bright spot being that the disease had brought her and Ryan O’Neil back together again, even prompting him to propose marriage. A very sweet thought that he was with her in the end.

And then… a few hours later, the yahoo! headlines (you see where I get all my news now, right?) changed unexpectedly from tributes to Farrah to the shocking news that Michael Jackson had just died.


Considering the turbulent life he’s lead lately, that was the last thing I expected to read about him in the headlines. No matter what your opinion of him was (and mine’s certainly been mixed at times), that was stop-what-you’re-doing shocking. All I can say is that my heart goes out to his three children. And, yes, I’m glued to yahoo! now waiting for the latest reports on just what happened.

So, I’m hoping that’s the three. Because being the hormonal mess that I am, I’m asking everyone – celebrities and non alike – to please just stay put for awhile. ‘K?

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Whatcha Readin'?

Every so often I like to inquire as to what you all are reading out there. All right. So I'm downright nosy when it comes to reading tastes and trends and likes and dislikes. I'm sure you will humor me given my streak of recent bad Karma. There's also the fact that any minute some guy is going to go down to the basement and decide where to begin jack-hammering my cement floor so he can install a baffle shut-off mechanism to prevent (hopefully) my basement from becoming a cement pond. Since I kinda, sorta need to be uh, available, my posting ops will be limited until later in the day. Oh the joys of home ownership.

Yesterday the triplets and I traipsed up and down the basement stairs countless times (okay, so I was counting but I stopped keeping track at twenty-seven) to bring ruined items upstairs and out to the garage to await the arrival of a roll-off dumpster. I still need to pull the stinky carpet off the stairs but that will be the very last thing I do since I'll have the plumbing dudes coming in and out over the next several weeks--my basement job being one of those relegated to when it is raining and the workers can't do their outside jobs.

I also need to locate a place to take my old computer monitors for recycling. I'm ashamed to admit how many I had downstairs.

But in between laundry, errands, assisting Mr. Plumber, pulling weeds and sorting through more paperwork, I'm going to read. And what will I be reading?

In the midst of going through boxes in my basement this past week I came across a book written by Ann Rule titled THE STRANGER BESIDE ME. The book is about serial killer, Ted Bundy. There are, I am sure, tons of books written about Ted Bundy but this one is unique in that the author, at the time a former policewoman turned fledgling true crime writer who lived in Seattle, had been contracted to write a book about the recent rash of killings of young women in the area. During that same time she also volunteered at a suicide and crisis prevention center in Seattle. It was at the crisis center Ann Rule would meet and become friends with a young man who worked the same night shift. That handsome, seemingly caring, young man with the engaging smile and quick wit?

Ted Bundy.

Grizzly, disturbing, baffling, yet altogether rivoting, Rule's book offers a rare insight into the psyche of a serial killer. I'm 'this' close to finishing the book but no closer to understanding the compulsions that drove Bundy or the seemingly laissez-faire way he was able to shift so effortlessly and quickly from 'friend' or 'lover' or the 'nice guy next door' to sadistic, remorseless, sociopathic monster venting his rage and playing out his gruesome fantasies on innocent young women. A diagnosis of anti-social personality disorder might explain the traits such an individual possesses but we still don't know why some people appear to never have developed a conscience. As I said, frightening stuff, but a fascinating read.

I also have a 'reader-lite' book at the ready that I read simultaneously with the non-fiction book I'm reading so I can kick back and be thoroughly entertained. I just finished Sabrina Jeffries, TO PLEASURE A PRINCE and enjoyed it immensely. Downstairs I also discovered a slightly damp Stephanie Laurens book, THE REASONS FOR MARRIAGE, and I just started it a few days ago.

Okay. Your turn. What book is keeping you up past your bedtime or has your rapt attention at lunchtime?

Do share.

~Bullet Hole Bacus~

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to Spell M-I-D-O-L

I'm on a rant today, folks. Sorry about that in advance.

So the British have decided to drop the rule, "I before E, except after C" eh? Mighty big of them, considering they foisted that stupid rule on us in the first place. Not that I ever paid attention to it, mind you. There were so many exceptions it was absurd. Rote memory is the only way to learn that crap.

And what is more bizarre than anything I can make up, people are rioting over this. Thin, middle-aged men with bad haircuts and tweed jackets are coming to fisticuffs over this. There was a guy on the radio yesterday who was screaming about how cataclysmic changing this rule would be. Bring on the apocalypse...if you can spell it, that is.

Personally, I think the British have every right to change English. It is the King's English and they did #@!% it up to begin with. Why don't they take the "u" out of "colour" and "flavour" while they are at it? And what about those stupid "k's" on "knowledge" and silent "p's" on "pneumatic?"

Perhaps I shouldn't complain, because I have a knack for spelling. I've always been pretty good at it. There's a trick to it, like doing math in your head - which is, by the way, something I can't do. But give me a word and throw in a French double twist and I've got it. I'd rather have another talent, like the ability to fly or a knack for not killing every plant in my yard. But no, spelling it is.

So with my love/knack/curse for spelling, you'd probably think I'd be a big fan of the National Spelling Bee, right? You couldn't be more wrong.

Here's an idea; let's take some little kids, make them spend twelve hours a day outside of school studying the dictionary to the point where they pass out on stage from stress to learn words that 1) rocket scientists don't even need to know how to spell and 2) every kindergartner can spell like a champion with spell-check.

Seriously. How is this going to help these kids later in life? It always comes down to medical and latin terms. Okay, so maybe if the kid becomes a doctor, and has no secretary, computer or dictionary, it might come in useful. Oh wait, that's impossible. Who will schedule their tee time?

I've seen documentaries on these spelling bee kids. They sadly watch their friends go play while they are quizzed by stage moms who think that spelling blah-blah-blah will take them somewhere in life. The big Bee is for eighth graders. Then it is over. The kid goes onto high school and can spell, but doesn't know who Beyonce is or how to use Facebook - a mortal sin in teenage wasteland.

Spelling is a useful talent...especially if you are an illiterate Amish newspaper editor. But these days, I just need to know how to spell the important medications...like Midol. Which I'm going off to shoot up now, if I can find a vein.

The Assassin

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PLUMB CRAZY: In Defense of Plumbers

Well, most of you know last Sunday was Father’s day. And what does that have to do with plumbers? Well, my dear old dad is a plumber. Yup, he calls it “shit work.” Ahh, but that man is good at snaking a drain and he wields a mean pipe wrench. His hard work put a roof over our heads and food in our mouths. He’s proud of his profession and he should be.

Nevertheless, when I went to write Divorced, Desperate and Deceived, even though I had originally included a plumber in the first book of the series who was mildly interested in Kathy,(okay he was plumb crazy over her) I was having some serious second thoughts.

I mean, my books are suspenseful and how suspenseful is a plumber’s job? Could I build suspense over what was stopping up the toilet? Can you see a leaky faucet being a big chapter hook that would keep you turning pages? In the beginning, I tried to come up with different scenarios. Maybe he finds a murder weapon in the drain? (Will a gun flush? I was gonna try it with a water gun, but then I couldn’t figure out how I would explain it to my hubby if it did flush and stopped up the john.) What if there’s a finger found in the garbage disposal? (That plumb disturbed me. Hubby’s gonna have to clean that drain out if it ever starts sounding funny, because my hands are not going in there again.) Maybe I should make this book a bit of a paranormal and he discovers a demon in the septic tank. (As bonkers as all those ideas sound, this is really the way my plotting goes in the beginning.) I tried, and tried, but my brain was clogged, so I basically flushed the plumber and was in search of a different hero with a more appropriate profession.

Why? Now don’t go accusing me of being a white-collar snob. But, let’s face it. Plumbers just don’t have great reputations or an exciting lifestyle. People assume If a plumber isn’t cheating you out of money by claiming some pipe needs to be replaced, resealed, or reblown, then they are bent over and giving you a peek at their famous, if not clich├ęd, plumber’s crack.

Now remember, I am the daughter of a plumber. And in defense of that profession, I want you to know that my daddy is an honest man and wouldn’t cheat a soul. Now about the other accusation . . . Yeah, the crack. Well, let’s just say I plead the fifth. But seriously, I don’t think it has anything to do with his profession, the poor man just doesn’t have any hips. But that doesn’t make him any less of a hero. Why if you ask some women they’ll even tell you that he’s quite the lady’s man.

However, since everyone I told that I was considering bringing in a new hero had conniption fits, I had to go back and flush out an idea that would work. And I’m here to announce that I’ve done a good thing. In defense of plumbers everywhere, we now have one hot, very seductive snake-draining hero, with a killer smile. And with hips, of course. (Sorry dad!) The fact that he wields a pistol even better than he does a pipe wrench, makes him a little more interesting than your average Joe.

Ahh, it was a fun book to write and while it doesn’t come out until late November, I got my cover and I decided to share it along with my back cover blurb.

“Christie Craig will crack you up!”
—New York Times Bestselling Author Kerrelyn Sparks

Of the Divorced, Desperate and Delicious club, Kathy Callahan is the last surviving member. Oh, her two friends haven’t died or anything. They just gave up their vows of chastity. They went for hot sex with hot cops and happy second marriages—something Kathy can never consider, given her past. Yet there’s always her plumber, Stan Bradley. He seems honest, hardworking...and pretty handy with a tool.

Plumb Crazy!

Kathy’s best-laid plans are about to hit a clog. The guy snaking her drain is handier with a pistol than a pipe wrench, and she’s about to see more action than Arnold Schwarzenegger. The next few days promise pursuit, passion and some very unhappy hit men. And at the end of this wild escapade, Kathy and her own undercover lawman will be flush with happiness . . . assuming they both survive.

Okay…so there you have it, my next release. And since we’re talking professions, let me ask you guys: What professions do you like the heroes and heroines to have in a book? What’s the craziest job you’ve ever done? What’s your dream job? What job would you never ever do? What’s the craziest job any of your friends have? Come on, share a bit.

~Crime Scene Christie

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Killer Pizza Guy

Those of you who've been reading my blog for years know that I used to be a corporate trainer and traveled all over the country. Now, traveling is an adventure in itself, and I collected many, many stories of frustration and blatant stupidity along the way. I think one of the most interesting things I found was the people that would say "Oh, wow, you get to see so many cool places." To which I replied "You know, the inside of the Hampton Inn pretty much looks the same everywhere."

It's not like I was on vacation. I was working. And believe me, after you've spent an entire day training the untrainable on software AND taking a rash of crap for all the things the salesman "promised" them the software would do and it doesn't, the last thing you're really interested in doing is the tourist thing. I used to laugh when I was in California. People would call and ask what I was doing. I would reply "It's 7:30 pm in California. I'm in bed." Hey, sometimes I was only in a city one night. Why try to adjust your internal time clock? So California 7:30 was 9:30 to me. Plenty late enough to be curled up in bed, the AC blasting, and reading a good book.

We had a great per diem to spend on food, and since I'm not one of those people who has a problem eating in a restaurant alone, sometimes I went out for dinner - just me and my Sony Reader. But more often, I picked up something on the way back to the hotel, knowing I was spent and wouldn't leave again once I'd hit my room and changed clothes. Some days were even worse - I didn't even want to stop on the way back to the hotel. On these nights, I opened the phone book and figured out who delivered.

So I was staying in Providence, RI and had had one of "those" days, so I headed back to the hotel and called for pizza delivery. Thirty minutes later, I got a call from the front desk, saying I needed to come downstairs and pick up my pizza. I said "can't you send him up?" They said "No, it was against the rules for anyone who wasn't staying at the hotel to go past the front desk."

Are you kidding me?

So I have to put on a bra and shoes and go hiking down to the lobby to meet the Killer Pizza Guy. I apologize, in front of the desk staff, for the stupid rule and making him wait, give him a great tip and then turn to the desk. I say "So were you afraid he was a serial killer, carrying a pizza, wearing a stupid pizza place uniform, with the pizza place sticker plastered all over his car, parked right in the middle of the drive?"

The manager said, "I'm sorry, m'aam, but that's the rules. We can't let anyone past the desk who's not a hotel guest."

So I said, "Really, well none of you were working when I checked in yesterday or when I left this morning, but you didn't even look up or acknowledge I'd entered the hotel when I strolled by about an hour ago. I guess if I'd been wearing a uniform that clearly indicated my purpose for being in the building, you would have asked me for ID then?"

Blank stares across the board. Really, do people not get how stupid they sound? If someone there would have said - "it's stupid, but they tell us we have to" then I would have agreed, commiserated with them for having to work for idiots, and gone about my bra-removing, pizza-eating business without even attempting to point out the fatal flaw in their logic.

I think I should start a movement. I'm going to start a petition requiring Common Sense 101 as a requirement for all high school educations.

The only problem is......the obvious lack of people qualified to teach it??????

Deadly DeLeon

Friday, June 19, 2009

They grow up so fast...

My son is 9. Which, I’ve been informed is the new 13. And I believe it. The things he talks about I don’t remember even being aware of until I was a teenager. I’m not sure how I feel about him growing up so fast (Okay, that’s a total lie. I hate it!), but I’ve noticed a few changes in the boy lately, so I’ve put together a list.

Signs your child is about to hit puberty

After a shower he comes running to you saying:
“Mom, guess what? I have back hair! Wanna feel?”

The door to his room is always locked. Always.

Ipod buds have become permanently implanted in his ears.

When you comment on his “cute wittle dimples” he replies with:
“Yeah, I’m a chick magnet.”

There is never any food left in the house. Never.

He says he just saw a video on YouTube and wants to know if a “Master Baiter” is some kind of fisherman.

Girls have gone from “annoying” to “kinda soft and not too bad”.

His eyes seem to be able to roll all the way back into his head. But only when adults are speaking.

You are suddenly “Dude”, his music is “tight”, and his friends are all “gantgsa’, yo.”

He texts you from the next room to ask if dinner is ready.

And the most fun part about all this? I realized I’m going to have a toddler and a teenager at the same time. :O Lord help me.

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm gonna need a bigger dumpster...

This blog post will be short and---well, not sweet. I awoke this morning to a flooded basement of epic proportions. I kinda knew something was amiss when the toilet wouldn't flush this morning. Have I mentioned lately that Iowa is becoming less and less appealing as a place to reside over the last several years? If it ain't six month long winters with one snow event after another, it's 500 and 100 year floods every year.

I've already ordered a dumpster to be delivered and as I type a pump is SLOWLY pumping water out of the basement. Unfortunately, there is more rain in the forecast.

Guess you know what I'll be up to for the next several days...

Hope your week was better than mine.

~Bullet Hole who is going to get the Morton 'When it rains, it pours,' Salt container and use it as a hockey puck while she thinks of ways to put the hurt on Mother Nature~

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lessons From Watching a Wee One


Donna Marie Rogers & Refhater won the pizza cutters!!!!

YEAH! Send me your snail mail addresses at christie (at) christie-craig.com

Thanks everyone for playing along!


CONTEST! CONTEST! Check out the info below:

You know, some things in life you learn once, like don’t stick your finger into an electric socket. Some of them you have to relearn. I did some relearning and had some deep thoughts concerning infant care after babysitting my granddaughter for three days. Below are ten lessons I relearned about being with, and tending to, a precious little individual and some questions you might be able to help me answer.

1) Burping a baby on your shoulder can lead to some very interesting beige splatter patterns down the back of your black blouse. Check before leaving the house.
2) “Aaagoo, gooogooo gaga” may not sound like real words, but without a doubt they translate into, “I love you, grandmother.”
3) Throwing a hissy fit is a natural born instinct to insure we get our basic needs met. Too bad it doesn’t continue to work on husbands for basic needs such as diamonds and expensive shoes. (What? You mean it does work?)
4) One minute to warm up a bottle can feel like a long time when you have a hungry infant who slept longer than she was supposed to.
5) Something weighing less than twelve pounds can rule and rock your world.
6) Nothing is more beautiful or more inspiring than a baby’s smile

7) Lifting a child for hours on end is the same thing as lifting weights, minus the diaper changes, but it’s still a lot more fun.
8) There is something about being around a baby or a puppy that induces your cooing and baby-talk hormone. (To attempt to hold it back is unhealthy. And if your not extremely careful, you will forget and go out in public and use the same gooey sweet tone. I think the guy at the Dry Cleaners now thinks I have a thing for him.)
9) Nothing stirs the soul like the feel of a tiny fist wrapping around your finger. Who knew the nerve endings in the finger go straight to the heart.
10) Never, no matter how tempting , check a diaper by sticking your finger inside it. You’d think this would be the same as the electric socket, but nope!

Why do we do this?:

1) When we’re with a baby, why do we say things, like:
· “I’m gonna get me a bite of toe.”
· “I’m gonna pinch your nose off. Lookie here,” said with the thumb poked between two knuckles, “I got your nose.”
· “You are so sweet I could just eat you up.” (Do those not sound cruel? And then we wonder why they have nightmares?)

2) Why is it that after the first time the “index finger in the diaper” test proves to be positive, do we continue to do it? (Am I the only one who does this?)
3) Why, after a certain age, do we preach to our kids not to talk about bodily functions, but when they are infants, we are constantly saying things like:
· “Are you going poopy? Is my baby going poopy?”
· “I think I heard a toot. Did Lilly Dale toot?”
· “Let grandma hear you burp. Come on, give me a big burp. Oh, that was a good one.” (Now, I yell at my husband and nineteen-year-old for tooting and burping, but I encourage it in my grandbaby. What’s with that?)

Can you tell I had a blast?

Okay, and now I’m hosting one more contest to celebrate the release of GOTCHA! And the prizes are extra special. I was cleaning out closets, (I will blog about this soon—are your closets as cluttered as mine?) and I found the very last two GOTCHA! pizza cutters. You have two chances to win. Chance one: Can you tell me who was Mr. Dudley in GOTCHA? ((DO NOT POST THE ANSWER IN COMMENT SECTION. Send your answer to christie(at)christie-craig.com. Second method to win: Simple post a comment here today. Come on, all it takes is a few minutes to be entered to win the “limited edition” of pizza cutter as well as a notepad and pen and some Christie Craig note cards.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Movie Review - The Hangover

I saw The Hangover this past weekend. I wasn't expecting much - how many times can you do the same story - bunch of drunk guys, and in Vegas, no less? I was pleasantly surprised.

The premise is that a group of three friends are headed to Vegas for a bachelor's party night two days before one of them is due to get married. The groom invites his future brother-in-law also who is very strange and a huge comic relief the entire time. He is so weird it makes scene almost uncomfortable and that's funny. So they go to Vegas, go out, and wake up the next morning with the room trashed and can't remember a thing. They had apparently been drugged. Oh, and there's one small problem - the groom is missing and they can't find him.

They call the girls and say they got comped another night and they'll leave early the morning of the wedding to arrive on time. The entire next 24-hours they spend backtracking through witnesses and ticket stubs trying to figure out what happened in order to find their friend. To say they got in a bit of trouble and some hilarious situations is an understatement. And there was a wrap-up at the end that was great.

If you want a great laugh, this is the movie to see. Like I said, I wasn't expecting anything good at all, and I actually got funny. Very rare - and very nice!

Deadly DeLeon

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Contest! Contest!

Do you have a defining moment, funny or inspirational that you feel led you down a certain path in your life? Send me your moment, 400 words or less, and be entered in a contest to win a basket of books and goodies. The winners will be printed at Killer Fiction. Send entries to: Christie (at) Christie - Craig.com. Winners will be chosen July 1st.

Also, pop over to The Good, Bad, and Unread, and post a comment to win a copy of GOTCHA! We will be giving away two books. See ya there! http://goodbadandunread.com/2009/06/11/duck-chat-laughing-til-it-hurts-with-christie-craig/#more-6739


Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Fun

It’s summer, it’s summer, it’s summer!!!

Okay, so maybe not officially yet, but school is out so that’s good enough for me.
Every summer I make a list of all the cool things the boy and I are going to do now that we’re free. This year, the list is a bit budgetized (is that a word?), but here it is:

1. Great America
Super fun amusement park and water park combo! We usually buy season passes, but I have a stack of coupons we’re going to use each time instead. And I plan on smuggling in PB&J’s instead of buying the overpriced stuff on the inside. Shhh, don’t tell!

2. Tech Museum
Mr. Big’s brother-in-law works there, so we got a stack of free passes. Yay! They always have really cool exhibits – like a earthquake simulator and astronaut gear – and you get to see an imax movie free with each admission pass.

3. Beach Boardwalk
They have free bands on the beach every Friday night, and we have old ride tickets saved up from years of going, so might not even have to shell out for rides this year. Which, of course, means we can spend all our cash on funnel cakes and cotton candy. Mmm… funnel cakes… (insert drool…)

4. Lake Tahoe
Beautiful mountain area with hiking, fishing, camping. Tons of fun outdoors tuff, and decent prices on hotels and rentals houses if you hit mid-week.

5. Giants Baseball
Just call me the coupon queen, but somehow I have discount passes for baseball games, too. This is a fav activity of the boy and the man. Hey, I even found the boy a Giants t-shirt on sale last week to show his team pride!

Oh yeah, and in between all that fun, I think I have a book or two to write. ;)

So, what do you all have planned for summer?

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Civic Duty...

I am serving as a District Court juror in my county of residence for the month of June. Now, given the fact that I'm a former state trooper, former Consumer Fraud Investigator, am a mystery writer and I happen to be employed as a security officer for the legislative and judicial branches of government, one would think I'd get a 'pass' on jury service. Not so.

While the idea of serving on a jury is, in fact, intriguing, the timing has left something to be desired. I'm in the middle of a number of projects. (I know. When am I not in the middle of some half-brained project? Don't answer that. It's more in the form of a rhetorical inquiry...

Anyway, I managed to dodge the proverbial bullet the first week of service as no jury trials were scheduled. This past week, however, I was summoned to appear on Monday for jury selection in a trial that was expected to last at least four days.

I arrive at the courthouse, remember the admonition to leave cell phones in the car, so I hoof it back to the Jimmy and return to the courthouse where I check in and proceed through jury orientation, several breaks, (courts take a lot of breaks) and then the first group of jurors is selected and go through the attorney questioning known as Voir Dire, or French for 'truth telling'. At this point I knew I'd never make it on this jury. For several reasons.

First off, I knew several of the parties involved, as well as a number of the witnesses (the hazards of living in a small town where you know most everyone and they know you), and got the feeling they weren't looking for someone with a background in law enforcement and fraud investigation. Still, it was extremely interesting--and educational--listening to the counsel for both sides as they questioned potential jurors looking for biases or conflicts of interests or other factors that might negatively impact their ability to be fair and impartial. I've been involved in court proceedings many times, but always in the role of witness--and generally for the State. This gave me an opportunity to see up close and personal what goes on in the process of selecting and seating a jury. It was quite fascinating. Other potential jurors in the gallery grew restless. I was rivoted. I only wished I'd brought along my notepad to take notes.

Now that wouldn't draw any attention, would it?

All in all, it was a diverting experience even if I didn't get selected for this jury panel. I have to check in this Friday to see if there is a trial scheduled for next week so I'll know whether to report or not come Monday.

This time I plan to take my steno pad.

I'm curious. Have any of you served on a jury? If so, what was the experience like? Who among you has even been called? How would you feel about serving on a jury?

I was surprised at the amount of nervousness I felt at the thought of the huge responsibility that comes with the power to determine the outcome of a court case and the impact that decision will have on the lives of those involved as well as their families. It's a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly, that's for sure.

Still, I must confess I was a wee bit disappointed that I didn't get the opportunity to serve this time--until I turned the television only to discover the movie Runaway Jury starting.

Oh well. One big perk about being a writer is I can go anywhere I want, anytime I want.

Even a jury deliberation room.

Talk about your 'disorder in the court'!

Have a great rest of the week!

~Bullet Hole~

P.S. My dad celebrates his 82nd birthday this Sunday, June 14th. (He always told us kids the flags flying June 14th were for him.) Happy birthday, Daddy Buck!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Some Random Thoughts From A Disorganized Mind...

Meet Muppet. She's the newest member of the Assassin Family. Muppet is six months old, weighs 4 pounds and I'm pretty sure if you cut her, she'd bleed cotton and gumdrops, unicorns and rainbows.

After nearly a week with her, I think I've got some insight into her empty little brain pan. And here's what I think she is thinking 99% of the time;

1)I LOVE YOU! AND Grass! AND Cat Puke! AND Bubonic Plague! AND Neo-Conservatives! AND...


3)Maybe it I pull on the leash hard, I'll throw up over and over! Ack! Urp! Yay!

4)Why does she scream like that? It's only a shoe/purse/steak/leather sofa/antique chair/Fred Rogers/Van Gogh's original Starry Night/the remains of Amelia Earhart...(insert your favorite here)

This past week was when we were up seeing SGT. Assassin at Ft. Dix. My husband was giving our 8-yr old boy a few lessons in traditional military philosophy;

SGT A: "You know, Jack, an army moves on its belly and walks on its feet. Do you understand what that means?"

Jack: (After thinking for a second) "The Army is made up of penguins?"

I wish I'd thought of that.

All the way to New York, the kids went on and on about how they HAS to see the Empire State Building. I think it was the only thing they knew about NYC - which makes me look bad as a parent. So, after spending about $100 (that's with the military discount, folks) and an hour or so to get to the Observation Deck, this was the conversation we had;

Margaret: "That's it? The Sears Tower is higher."
Jack: "I'm afraid of heights. Can we go now?"
Margaret: "Why is Daddy shaking his head and crying?"

Hope your week is somewhat more...um...something.

The Assassin

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Why Do I Write Humorous Romantic Suspense?



And June 11th, Tomorrow, pop over to this great little site, http://goodbadandunread.com/ and read an interview of yours truly. Who knows, you guys might learn some more of my secrets. All you have to do is click onto the spiked-haired ducks to get to the Chats and Interviews.

Have a great day, guys!!


This blog post is also up at Dorchester's website. I blogged a bit about this a couple of years ago, but considering the subject, it makes a perfect blog to run with the release of GOTCHA! And today, I'm giving away a copy of GOTCHA and a Christie Craig pen and note pad. So make sure you post a comment. Also, make sure you jump over at Dorchester to see how you can win a whole basket of goodies from me.

All it takes is writing about your own defining moment, humorous or serious. Both will work. And if you post one here today, I will count that as a submission.

Also, today I'm guest blogging, plus hosting a contest, over at Romance Writers Revenge giving tips on writing over-the-top characters. And at Everybody Needs a Little Romance I'm guest blogging about my first kiss and giving away prizes over there as well.

Why do I write Humorous Romantic Suspense?

I’m a believer in defining moments. I believe events/situations often propel us to follow certain paths. Recently, I journeyed back in my own life to find the defining moment that could have driven me to write my latest release GOTCHA!

Amazingly, I stumbled across a situation. You see, my heroine in GOTCHA! works at a pizza place. And so did I.

It was 1984, and the beginning of a very dire day. I was caught by six of LAPD’s finest, guns drawn, while I had thousands of dollars strewn around me on a bad hair day. The bad hair is an added little detail that some wouldn’t consider important. But let’s face it, if all eyes, all attention, guns included, are going to be focused on you, don’t you want your hair to look good?

I worked at Pizza Hut in the big city of Los Angeles. The day before, I’d gotten a new perm. Let’s just say the hairdresser could have uncurled me an hour earlier than she did. I woke up late that morning, pulled a pair of shorts under my huge T-shirt that read “Bad Girl,” grabbed my uniform and headed to work with my hair looking like I’d stuck my fingers in an electric outlet.

Anyway, I was at work and other than getting dressed, taking a pee break, and trying to tame my hair, the only thing left to do was count the register drawer. However, when I opened the thirty-minute safe, I found the weekend manager had failed to make deposits, so I had thousands of dollars to count and deposits to fill out. I was pissed. I tossed the money onto the Pizza Hut floor so I could make heads and tails out of the register receipts. I was furiously counting money when I heard a tap on the window to my right.

The first thing I saw was the gun. Now, I’d never had a gun pointed at me, so I didn’t take it well. Then I saw the man behind the gun wore a police uniform. I relaxed a smidgeon, but then I heard another tap. At the window to my left was another officer with another gun. Let’s just say, there were several more taps before I was: 1) motioned to get up, 2) told to hold my hands in the air, 3) told to go answer the ringing phone. (Have you ever tried to answer a phone with hands in the air?)

Turned out, my cook had accidentally set off the alarm. The alarm company called the police. The police saw a crazy woman in shorts and a slept-in “Bad Girl” T-shirt with electric-styled hair, sitting in the middle of the floor, slinging money and they called for backup.

After a long phone conversation during which I tried to convince them I worked there, I was removed from gunpoint. Their farewell warning: I didn’t have an alarm until the alarm company came and reset it. Fine, I said. I had bigger problems, I’d peed in my pants when I saw the first gun and really needed to change clothes.

Anyway, it was after the lunch crowd, empty restaurant, and time for a bathroom break, when an irate man came in, demanding his credit card be returned. We didn’t take credit cards and due to his lack of cash to pay for his meal, my manager had taken his card a few days prior. Suspicious when I heard the story, I’d called to see if the card was stolen. It was. Told to cut the card in half and send it in, I was going to receive a hundred dollar reward. Cool, right?


This irate guy wanted the stolen card back. I didn’t want to explain about my reward, so instead I did what most of you would have done. I lied. I said the card was in the thirty-minute safe, and explained he’d have to wait. (Meaning I had thirty minutes to come up with a better lie.)

He wasn’t happy. And to make his “not-happy” point clear, he pulled out a huge, HUGE, hunting knife and proceeded to clean his nails. So, I did what any normal woman with bad hair would have done. I smiled, pretended not to be panicked by his oversized fingernail cleaner, peed my pants for the second time that day, and hit the silent alarm. But opps…the alarm didn’t work, remember?

So I went to the phone and pretended to answer an order, with my back to the armed credit card thief, (imagine me thinking he was right behind me with knife ready to plunge) and called 911. They gave me a great piece of advice. Hit the alarm.

Try explaining the whole guns at the window to a 911 operator while panicked didn’t work well. The operator then asked one question. Was anyone in the restaurant other than the cook and me and the nail cleaner? I told him no and he said to get my cook, who was in the back making dough, and run out the back door.

I was about to bolt when a woman with a baby came in and seated herself. Now, I’ve always been the “save yourself” kind of person, especially when I blamed the woman for not noticing the man cleaning his nails with a knife big enough to skin Bambi, but . . . there was the baby.

I walked to the booth and whispered for her to leave through the emergency door. I turned around to get the cook and run out the back when two shady looking dudes walked in. For a second, I thought they were with the credit card thief. But nope, one of the two men came sauntering toward me and the other headed toward the bathroom.

I was prepared to explain that we were . . . out of dough or needed to close for mold inspection, anything to get them to leave so I could escape the big knife.

But that didn’t happen, because the shady-looking dude pulled out a gun. Then in an equally shady voice, he told me to get behind the counter. (See what I mean about it being a bad day?)

I promptly made up my mind. If I lived through that, my pizza and perm days were over and I was buying stock in big-people diapers. Then the second man, who appeared to have gone to the bathroom, came charging around the corner with his gun drawn, and they both turned their weapons on the knife-wielding credit card thief. Yup, they were undercover cops 911 had called to my rescue.

I proceeded to drop to the floor, bad hair, wet pants and all, and had myself a cry.
Looking back, I think the whole bad-hair, knife, and gun experience was the catalyst for my writing humorous romantic suspense and maybe GOTCHA! in particularly. I hope you enjoy my

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Why Oh Why?

Do you ever hear something and just go "huh?" You know, that head tilted completely to one side, wrinkled brow sort of "huh?" I think that is why I don't watch the news or politicians. After all, that brow thing creates wrinkles that start to hang around once you're on your third year of 39. But the other day, I forgot to bring the remote to the table where I was working and heaven forbid, the news was on.

That big airline crash had just happened so that was the huge story. And it IS a horrible thing. But then they started talking to some atmospheric genius scientist about the flight path and he says something to this effect:

"That area is well known for its powerful, instantly-occurring storms. We have pockets of that type in the US, but they last only minutes before the plane has traveled through them. In this case, it can last hours and the perfect storm would rip the wings right off the plane."


Okay, is it just me, but if an area is known for sneaky, wing-ripping-off storms, don't you think they could just fly another way? So maybe if that's the only straight route that they have enough gas for, maybe people should fly from Brazil to France via Houston or something.

It's just like the Bermuda triangle thing. I mean really? How many times did a baby have to stick scissors into a light socket before we figured out it was a bad thing? Is the airline industry really so lacking in intelligent employees that they're being one-upped by a woman who carried 7 pounds of baby and 30 pounds of Ben & Jerry's around for months, spent two days in labor, and hasn't slept since the night they conceived?

I used to travel a lot for business, and believe me, I have seen and heard some doozies, but this one floored me. Anyone seen the Blue Collar Comedy Tour? I felt like handing one of those papers to the airlines...."Here's Your Sign."

Deadly DeLeon

Hey Guys,

On Monday, June 8th, pop over to the Book Addict http://www.popsyndicate.com/books to read a funny post about me trying to hide my true colors. I'll be giving away a signed book and a Christie Craig pen and note pad.

Then make sure you guys come back on Tuesday for another post and contest and two other links where I'll be guest blogging and hosting contests as well.

Thanks and have a great day!


Fresh Pick

MAYHEM IN HIGH HEELS was chosen by readers to be a Fresh Pick at Fresh Fiction today! I have to admit, Fresh Fiction is one of my fav writing sites (and, no, not just 'cause the picked me today *g*). They have the best collection of reader contests anywhere that I've found, and I love the articles on what books are new and upcoming. Hop on over and check it out!


Friday, June 05, 2009

What Not to Write

Since I began writing fiction I’ve critiqued a lot of manuscripts. A. Lot. When I first dipped my toes into the writing world, I started out reading chapters for friends, giving them pointers on which scenes were runway ready and which might be better suited to the back of the closet. From there, I volunteered to judge writing contests, and eventually moved on to join published critique groups and run my own manuscript critiquing service. While I always get a thrill out of reading something amazing before it hits bookstore shelves, I have to admit that not every manuscript that’s crossed my path has been star quality. And even the fabulous ones sometimes have glitches that detract from my enjoyment of the story. It’s like I’m reading a Prada, and all of a suddenly a pair of flared 70’s cords pop up off the page. Not cool.

When I was a baby writer (not that I’m claiming to be an old-age writer at this point, mind you) I had a few wonderful published authors take the time to help me out along with way with workshops, classes, advice, and mentoring. I never could have figured out this crazy business without them. So, this summer I’m giving a series of online workshops in an effort to help other writers and pass on the wisdom that’s been passed on to me. I’m currently doing a Query Letter and Synopsis workshop, next month (first week in July) I’ll be doing a class on Surviving National Conference, and in August I’ll be giving a workshop on Polishing for the Golden Heart Contest – or, as I like to think of it “What Not to Write”. (With a healthy nod to Stacey and Clinton on TLC.)

So, as a little teaser (and hopefully some helpful hints to all you Killer Fiction writers out there), I wanted to post a few of my fav quick fix mistakes that I see all the time, even from multi-published authors. These are simple, easy ways to polish up your manuscript that can make a huge difference in the reader’s experience.

1. Repetitive words
If at all possible, try to avoid using the same descriptive word more than twice in the same paragraph. I see this ALL the time. I think we get a word stuck in our heads and we tend to use it more than we should. I know sometimes it’s hard to find fifteen different ways to say, “kiss”, but if every other word is kiss, it makes for very clunky reading.

2. Mitigating adverbs/adjectives
Words like “slightly” or “mildly” should be used sparingly in your manuscript as they really take away from the punch of your story. No hero should be “slightly” intriguing. Go all the way – he’s intriguing. And, there’s not much at stake if your heroine is “a little bit” afraid, right? So, whenever possible, get rid of those descriptors that make anyone or anything less than they are.

3. Action then reaction
Whenever possible, put the character’s reaction after the action they’re reacting to. (Yeah, I’m aware that’s a total mouthful.) If they react first, before the action is shown to the reader, it can be a little jarring, pulling the reader out of the story as she tries to figure out what’s happening. I see this a lot in mystery and suspense manuscripts, as I think the tendency is to want to keep the reader guessing. Which is great with your plot, but not so great when they can’t picture what’s happening in your scene.

4. Tense trouble
One thing I see a lot is trouble with when to use past or past perfect tense with verbs. (past: walked, past perfect: had walked) Simple rule of thumb: If you’re writing in past tense, anything that happened before the point your story picks up should be in past perfect tense.

Those are my top 4 biggies. But, I know we have some wise women of fiction that contribute to this blog, so feel free to post your own pet peeve fiction faux pas. What are some thing that you see a lot of? What jars you out of a story? Any quick-fix tips?

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Easy, breezy installation, my fanny!

The 'EZ' Instructions assured me installation was a breeze. Time after time HGTV showed regular folks just like me laying 'floating flooring' in mere hours. The installation guide pointed out that it would take 'novices' about five hours to lay their product.

My response? I guess that would depend on what the definitions of 'easy' and 'novice' are.

My experience was a wee bit different. In fact, it took this 'novice' and one very courageous and devoted son ten hours one day and five the next to get the flooring down. You can see the results above. It's still without all the trim, but at least the floor is in place.

I hope.

It was hardly the mother-son bonding experience I'd hoped for.

I suppose I should have started with a less ambitious project than a room that has cabinetry you have to cut out around, one pantry door, and three other exit doors. The room was small, I told myself. How hard can it be?

Let's just say the phrase 'isn't this a breeze?' wasn't communicated during the flooring fiasco. By the time I'd finished up Sunday after skipping church (I'll have much to atone for this Sunday) I'd ended up destroying a circular saw before I even got to use it, developed 'hand saw wrist' from having to handsaw all of the boards, sustained nicks and cuts from misses, garnered a swollen left knee, and that wasn't the end of my misfortune.

I went to plug the refrigerator back in after moving it a mere six feet from the kitchen to the family room and the unit would not come back on. I unplugged it and waited a respectable amount of time as I'd heard moving a fridge could screw it up and it had to 'settle' before use. I tried again. Nothing. I called the experts.

End result? I have to buy a new stove AND a new refrigerator.

Yesterday I went shopping for appliances. They're being delivered today.

I reckon this means I'd better get that trim on, huh?


I suppose I should look on the bright side. The refrigerator crashing helped me make my decision about the stove.

I'm going with the one that won't take two weeks to deliver, won't require paying someone to come run a gas line to the kitchen and is a tad bit cheaper. The coil-top electric it is.

Thanks to everyone for their input last week. To those of you who have run into home improvement nightmares, I feel your pain. And for those of you whose experience with laminate flooring was pleasant and uneventful, I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU!

(Just kidding!)

All things considered, I gotta tell you, I'd rather be in Manhattan like the Assassin.

~Bullet Hole waiting for the doorbell to ring and life to return to 'normal'~

P.S. I hear you laughing, Bookmobiler. Hey. I can do normal.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Just A Quickie...

Me and the kids on the Empire State Building. The interesting part is that they begged to go there only to tell us they were both afraid of heights once we got there.

As you read this, I will be driving back from New Jersey to the Quad Cities in one day. That's right, 15.7 hours in a minivan with my two kids, tons of junk food, not enough entertainment, constant bickering and leg cramps. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it? Bet you wish you were me.

We came to New Jersey to visit Mr. Assassin on his three day leave. We spent a day in Manhattan, which caused Margaret to tell us over and over and over that she will be studying music at Julliard and living in New York City. I figure I've got excellent blackmail material since money isn't the issue at Julliard - you have to get in on talent. So each afternoon, I'll be able to tell her how her dreams will die and she'll have to live at home if she doesn't practice her trumpet. I'm totally set for the next 8 yrs.

This is going to have to be a short post, since I'm packing, loading the car and gearing up to wake in six hours for my all day drive from hell with two cranky and sunburned kids.

Next week I'll fill you in on the whole trip. Until then...I'm sure you'll fantasize about being me.

The Assassin

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Can you Pass me a Tissue?...


Billie Jo and Edie Ramer, you both have won a copy of GOTCHA! Send me your addresses at christie @ christie (-) craig.com

Congrats and thank you all sooooo much for visiting. Make sure you come pop over to the Book Addict, link is below on Monday. Then come back here next Tuesday for another contest here and two more links for other blog sites where I'll be hosting.

Contest! Contest! Contest!

Today I will be giving away a signed copy of GOTCHA! along with Christie Craig notebook and a pen. So make sure you post and make sure you come back tomorrow to see if you won. Plus, today I’m guest blogging over at Writing Playground, as well as Wicked Authors and I’ll be giving away the same prizes over there. So please pop over and visit and laugh. You know I’ll make you laugh! And . . . that’s right, there’s more. On June 8th I’ll be at the Book Addict with a funny post offering prizes as well. Oh, to win a basket of books and goodies, pop over to http://www.dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/SpecialFeatures.cfm?Special_ID=2688 to read a funny post and get info on that contest. Oh, come on, you like free stuff and you like to laugh!

Can you Pass me a Tissue?...
Oh come on, why are you running away?

Do you know that Hallmark commercial where a woman, a prior student, visits the retiring teacher, and as she leaves she hands the crusty ol’ man a thank you card, and before she gets out the door, he asks her, “So what did you end up being? A doctor?” And she answers in that soulful voice, “No, a teacher.”

For me, it’s like bam, instant tears. I’m standing there crying off my mascara that took me fifteen minutes to get on without clumping. And I’m not happy! Oh, and I think Hallmark is proud of their mascara smearing, too. I personally think they buy stock in Maybelline Great Lash.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an anti-crier. Crying in itself isn’t all bad. Sometimes, crying can even be cathartic. I’ll admit that I’ve had a time or two when a good cry made me feel better. But, honestly, I’m not big on crying. I’d much rather laugh at my problems.

Now, I have friends who love to cry. They go out of their way to get a good cry. Give them a sad movie or a tear-jerker of a book and a box of tissues and they call that living. Me, I call it leaking. And I’m talking serious bodily fluids.

Tell me a sad story, give me a glimpse of someone else’s grief, or slap a Hallmark commercial on the TV, before I can wrestle the remote control from my husband’s hands, and it happens. First, I feel the heaviness in my chest. It’s like a labor pain, or a bad menstrual cramp of the heart, then the knot of emotion climbs up my throat and crowds out my tonsils making it hard to breathe. (Hey, we humans need to breathe!) Then the stinging pain starts crawling up my sinus cavities. That’s when my chin and bottom lip start to quiver and my vision goes from 20/20 to watery. Then the crap hits the fan when my nose starts leaking. Yup, before my tears ever start to fall, before the Great Lash starts melting down my face, my nostrils produce enough mucus to kill a cactus. Oh, then I go instantly puffy. Why, I give Rudolf a running in the red nose department. And if it’s a really deep-felt cry, then this noise, sort of like a baby bird’s last hungry cry before it croaks, starts bubbling out of me. Let me tell you, I don’t cry pretty!

I envy women who get the slightest little tear in their eyes and people everywhere open up their arms and say, “Ahh, come here. Let me give you a hug.”

Me, when I cry, the puffiness, red nose, and did I forget to tell you about the splotchiness, it all happens so quickly, and when the nose starts overflowing, and plainly put, there are no hug offers being made. People start backing away and pulling out their antiviral lotion. Yup, it’s almost as if I’m allergic to crying.

Those of you who have read my books might remember Sue of Divorced, Desperate and Dating and her non-pretty crying issues. Yup, that’s pretty much me in a nut shell.

I used a bit of my crying issues in my latest book, GOTCHA!, too. My heroine Macy Tucker’s mother is a serious crier. Macy’s mom’s doctor blames it on her being menopausal. Macy believes you can chunk the opausal from the word and just blame it on men. Deep down, Macy knows she has a bit of a weakness for tears herself. As a matter of fact, one of her biggest fears is that she’ll wind up like her mom, co-dependent and on a fourteen-year crying jag.

From Macy’s point of view, men (AKA reasons to cry) are like a great day on the beach. It might be fun while you’re there, but sooner or later you’re gonna get burned. She’s been burned, hurt, had her heart ripped out and given to a small dog with tiny sharp teeth to use as a chew toy. And she’s cried. Boy howdie, has she cried.

But Macy, she knows her weakness and has set limits. Two tissues. That’s right, two tissues are all she allows herself, and all she’ll allow any crying individual. I mean, she’ll hug ya, sigh, but after two tissues, it’s pull your big girl panties up and move on. Macy, much like myself, would rather laugh at her problems than cry over them.

And while I respect that not everyone deals with issues like this, below are a few sayings that I found on the benefits of laughter versus tears. People ask me all the time why I love writing humor and I have to say that the below sayings answer that question:

* Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and the other guy has an even better sob story.
* Laughter is like changing a baby’s diaper – it doesn’t permanently solve any problems, but makes things more acceptable for a while.
* If you laugh at it you can live with it.
* Blessed is the man who can laugh at himself, for he will never cease to be amused.
* Try to make the world laugh; it already has enough to cry about.
* Take time to laugh – it is the music of the soul.
* Your ulcers can’t grow while you’re laughing.

Here’s to laughter, guys! So tell me, do you cry pretty? Are you more of a laugher or a crier? What makes you cry? What makes you laugh? Come on, share a little. I’m giving away a copy of GOTCHA to one lucky commenter. If you have a copy of GOTCHA and would rather receive a copy of one of my other novels, I can substitute it.

Crime Scene Christie

Below is another contest from a dear friend of mine:

Want to see your name on the acknowledgment page of Emily Bryan's next book? Here's your chance! Emily is giving her readers an opportunity to name an important secondary character in her upcoming STROKE OF GENIUS. The winner will receive signed copies of Emily Bryan's entire backlist (including A CHRISTMAS BALL anthology, due out Sept 29th). PLUS you'll be mentioned on the acknowledgment page of STROKE OF GENIUS. The contest begins June 1st and entries close July 1st. For more information, visit http://www.emilybryan.com/.