Friday, July 30, 2010

Guest Author Jenyfer Matthews

Please welcome my guest blogger, fabulous friend and wonderful writer, Jenyer Matthews! Take it way, Jenyfer...

Tis the season for family vacations. Having just begun a five week long round-the-
world vacation with my own two children, traveling from Egypt to northern Minnesota,
got me to thinking about the family vacations I took with my parents way back when.

My children don’t know how good they have it.

For starters, the distance on our vacations these days is generally covered by modern vehicles like airplanes and my children have many distractions to entertain them from the monotony of the journey –like Gameboys and Nintendo DS, CD players, and even TV screens in the seat backs of the plane which display at least a dozen child appropriate movies, plus more games. Snacks are delivered to their seats and there is a bathroom available whenever they want it.

Back in my day, we spent a couple of weeks each summer in the upper Midwest, which we reached by driving up from southern Louisiana. There were no hand-held gaming systems – hell, for many years there wasn’t even any air conditioning. Music? We were lucky if we could catch anything on the radio other than farm reports. I had my bed pillow – which I napped on by sitting on the floor of the car (no seat belts) — and a couple of stuffed animals. Our big entertainment was getting truckers to honk their horns as they went past. If we were feeling creative, we’d make our stuffed animals dance for the people driving behind us. When we got a little older we’d write “Help! We’re being kidnapped!” on a paper bag and hold it in the window and try to look pathetic – which must not have been that effective based on the laughter we got in return (back in those days you could still be fairly sure that messages like that were indeed a joke). I still remember going into Stuckey’s truck-stops with trepidation and associate the memory with my elbows sticking on the tabletops.

Mostly I relied on my imagination for entertainment. I had read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books multiple times and I liked to look over all the farmland we were passing and imagine it as prairie and that I was riding in a covered wagon rather than an old Chevy Impala with hot vinyl seats.

I still enjoy traveling, but these days it’s mostly by airplane. My imagination is still a major diversion – airports and the people I see while traveling inspired my latest book, SEPARATION ANXIETY. I started out wanting to write a chick lit book about a couple of friends who take a trip and have quirky misadventures. My main character, Aurora, ended up wrestling the story out of my hands and dictating it to me in her own voice. It started out a bit more serious than I had planned as a major crisis sparks Aurora’s travels with her best friend Kat, but they end up having a lot of fun along the way as they make their way across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia at Christmastime.

SEPARATION ANXIETY is available in multiple digital formats from ( including for Kindle, Sony, and Apple and if you purchase by July 31, you can get 25% off the cover price by entering SWS25 at checkout. Look for SEPARATION ANXIETY at other major digital outlets and in print soon on Amazon. Do me a favor – even if chick lit isn’t your genre, please request SEPARATION ANXIETY at your local library (end plea).


Sometimes running away is the first step toward finding yourself.

Aurora has spent her entire married life transforming herself from a regular, middle class girl into the perfect society wife. Life seems perfect until she is unceremoniously dumped by her philandering cliche' of a husband just before Christmas - and their tenth wedding anniversary.

Devastated and unable to face the social ostracism or the holiday parties, Aurora and her best friend Kat plan a trip to Amsterdam for a weekend...then decide to keep going. Aurora attempts to drown her sorrows with wine in Amsterdam and Frankfurt, finds her anger in Athens and Cairo, and reclaims her sexuality in Dubai. By the time she and Kat reach Bangkok at the New Year, Aurora is ready and eager to move on with her life.

Planned as a way to escape her pain, Aurora’s travels instead become a journey to a new
sense of self and a whole new world - post-divorce.


I have to admit I feel marginally better once I have eaten a little and take a shower. My world has been turned on end but nothing is going to change if I neglect to wash my hair.

I walk back downstairs wearing my fleece yoga workout set — the most comfortable thing I own — my wet hair combed back from my face. I don’t have the energy to blow-dry it. For a change, I don’t care what I look like.

“That’s an improvement,” Kat says, looking up from the magazine she is reading. “Though I’ve seen you look better.”

“I can always count on you for a kind word,” I say as I sit on the end of the couch and wrap my arms around my knees.

“What are friends for?” Kat says with a smile. “Okay, I’ve been thinking about what we need to do next.”

“I can’t wait to hear this.” Kat doesn’t deserve my sarcasm, none of this is her fault, but she’s too good a friend to call me on it.

“First, you need to find a lawyer. If Bryce is going to walk out on you, then you need to protect yourself and make sure you get what’s coming to you.”

I frown. “A lawyer? I don’t know. That seems so… confrontational.”

Kat looks me in the eye, as serious as I’ve ever seen her. “As opposed to dumping you in a restaurant with his girlfriend hanging on his arm? Do you really think you still owe this guy anything? You give him ten years of your life, become the perfect wife and hostess, and he thinks he can just dump you for a younger model?”

“It could just be temporary — maybe he’s having a midlife crisis,” I argue. “Maybe it’s just a fling.”

“Not your concern,” Kat says. “Get a lawyer.”

“Easy for you to say — you’ve never been married.”

“True. But if I ever were, I’d never let someone walk over me the way Bryce is walking over you. For all you’ve put up with you deserve the house and hefty settlement at the very least. Please tell me you didn’t sign a prenup?”

“No.” I rest my chin on my knees. She’s not telling me anything I shouldn’t have thought of myself, but it’s still hard to accept. “You think he’s really gone? For good? Maybe we could still work things out.”

“Seems to me his message was pretty goddamn clear.”

I close my eyes against a fresh stab of pain and sigh. “I guess.”

“In the meantime, there are some things we need to do,” Kat says. “The first thing is to get the locks changed.”

“Oh, Kat, I’m not sure…”

“Bryce left home. If he wants to come back, don’t you want it to be on your terms? Send a message of your own.”

I nod. “Okay. You’re right. What else?”

“We need to go to the bank and open an account.”

“Why? I already have a bank account,” I say.

“On your own? Without Bryce’s name on it?” She waits a beat then says, “I didn’t think so.”

“Bryce would never be so vindictive,” I argue.

“Really? Are you sure?” Kat asks. “People get pretty funny when money is involved. Think of it as an insurance policy. When you guys settle up, you can declare it and share it if it makes you feel better.”

I can feel my chest tighten in anxiety. Would Bryce really do that to me? Yes, he had left me for someone else, but would he try to leave me destitute as well? I remember how cool and collected he wa as he packed his bags. I thought I knew him, but maybe a little insurance isn’t such a bad idea. “Okay.”

“The last thing we need to do is go shopping.”

“What on earth do I need to go shopping for?”

“You need to get out of the house and forget yourself for a while. A little retail therapy never hurt anyone,” Kat says. “Where’s the phone book? We’ll make an appointment with a locksmith. I’ll bet we can get them out this morning if we pay extra.”

~Jenyfer Matthews
Separation Anxiety - Now Available

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Phew Filosofical Questions...

Since the other week when I wondered why RAGE doesn’t burn calories, a couple of other questions have popped into my head.

I don’t ask Mr. A’s opinion anymore. One time a friend and I were having some serious e-mail back and forth regarding a shoe on James’ Cameron’s Titanic documentary. Seems the shoe is found completely buttoned up – with like, fifty buttons. So, we surmised a foot had been in it. What happened to the foot?

Well, we had all kinds of cool theories – a shark with a snail fork, etc. Then Mr. A ruins all our fun by saying the foot just dissolved in the icy waters over time. Bastard.

So, I spent Sunday trimming poor Muppet again. She looks like a tiny weasel with large, uneven bald spots now. Her hair grows ridiculously fast and mattes up if she sneezes. On the other hand, there is my pug. I wonder why in some animals, their hair is short all the time. The pug's hair grows only one length…ever. Why? And how can I get in on that?

Or maybe we can do what the Chrissy and Velvet dolls did. You remember? A button in her navel makes the hair longer and a button on her back makes it short. Sounds wonderful to me - I'm not using my navel for anything right now.

The second question comes from something a pet shop owner told me when I went to get food for the Beta we had named, “Margaret’s Fish.” The fish guy told me not to over feed the fish because, “Fish will eat until they die if you let them.”

I’d heard this before. It’s an old saw if you keep fish as pets, right? And yet, if that’s true, what about fish in lakes, rivers and seas? I’ve never heard of a fish hatching in the morning and dying by afternoon because it kept eating and couldn’t stop. Why is that?

How is it that some fish cannot control themselves when it comes to gluttony and their inevitable deaths? How come other fish live for years? Do they have some kind of self-restraint that eludes the rest of all fishkind? And how can I apply it to my complete lack of willpower that comes over me when I see a Twinkie?

Psst. I should note that I have never actually attempted to “eat until I die” but there have been times when I thought I was dying from overeating.

Let me know if you have any insight into these strange phenomena.

The Assassin

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Well, it all started when my son calls me up and explains that he needs to come by because he has someone he wants me to meet. He said it hadn’t been planned, but some accidents were a good thing, and basically we had a new member of the family.

Much to my relief, the new member turned out to be puppy. It was little, cute, and had big innocent puppy-dog eyes, big ears and sharp puppy teeth. The mama of this little mutt was a brown Lab. But he didn’t look like a Lab. He had the perfect markings of a Doberman or Rottweiler. I wasn’t a big fan of either breed, but how could I not love the little fellow? He was my grandpuppy, and like grandkids, we get to spoil ‘em and send ‘em home.

Only one little problem. Son’s new job didn’t pan out. Son and the not-so-little puppy showed up on my doorstep again with suitcases, two months of dirty laundry and an empty kibble bowl. Now, I wasn’t in the market for a puppy, but how I could say no? I only had one serious house rule where the puppy was concerned. The rule? Son cleans up all puppy mistakes. Now, looking back, I realize that I really screwed up. I mean, there were so many more rules that I should I have set in the very beginning.

1) Do not eat my furniture. This includes: the kitchen chair, the ruffle of the bottom of the sofa, and the coffee table, all of which have been devoured by the no-longer-so-cute and not-so-little puppy.

2) Do not eat my $100 pair of black conference shoes two days before I leave for Romance Writes of America’s national conference. Wait, let me change that to: Do not eat my shoes, period!

3) Do not hump my sofa cushions. These are to sit against not for you to play out your diverse doggy fantasies.

4) Learn the difference between butcher knifes and teething toys. While I don’t think you’re that cute anymore, I’m not cruel enough to let you devour the knife, and chasing your doggy butt around the house with the sharp side of the butcher knife hanging out of your mouth was not I what considered family fun.

5) Do not feel the need to pre-clean my dishes that are loaded in the dishwasher. I have a cycle that takes care of that.

6) Do not feel the need to distribute all my son’s dirty underwear and socks through out the house, especially when we have dinner guests.

7) No matter how in love you are with me, please . . . please . . .do not pee every time I speak to you. Why does he do this? When hubby or son talks to him he just wags his tail but when I say, “Who’s a cute puppy? You’re a cute puppy,” he wags and pees.

8) Please refrain from bringing inside every pinecone, stick or rock you discover. Ditto for whatever that dead thing was you found behind the shed.

9) Just because you can reach the food on the table, doesn’t mean it’s yours. Did you enjoy the oven-baked fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and spinach? I know I would have if there had been any left!
10) Refrain from using my cats as chew toys. And that scratch you have across your big ol’ nose doesn’t win you sympathy. That should teach you not to treat the felines like sofa cushions.

I would write more, but I have to go out and buy some new black conference shoes now. Next week, I’ll tell you all about the conference.

Have any of you ever had a new puppy you had to house train? Any advice? Any funny stories to share?


Monday, July 26, 2010

How to Get Rid of Your Wife and Get a Free Trip to Jail

Okay, so a friend sent me this story and although I know it should be taken seriously, I just can't. Just call me callous, but this man's wife apparently came home late and he told her to leave. When she wouldn't, he shot her with a shotgun loaded with toilet paper. I swear. Here's a link to one of the news stories:

Man Shoots Wife With Toilet Paper

Now, I know I was just asking last week what was wrong with a couple of men in my neighborhood, but I'm thinking the men in North Carolina might have me beat with this guy. Any thoughts on this one? Anyone? Anyone? I'm still having trouble figuring out how to make toilet paper bullets.

Saw The Sorcerer's Apprentice this past weekend and really enjoyed it. I really like Nic Cage in those adventure type movies and this one was well-done. Nothing spectacular, but a good plot, solid dialogue and great special effects.

Last weekend, I saw Knight and Day. Now, let me preface this by saying that I really don't like Tom Cruise and think he's a nutbag who doesn't like women, BUT I like Cameron Diaz, so decided to give it a try. This movie far exceeded expectation and I loved it. She is super funny. I liked the whole plot, the witty dialouge, everything. Worth the money to see.

And now, it's off to work. ugh

Deadly DeLeon

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sick Kids

This is going to be short today because, as the title of this post says, I’ve been dealing with sick kids.  We’ve been to two different doctors (got a third one scheduled today!) with a different diagnosis at each one. Hopefully third time's the charm! Wish us luck!

In the meantime, I thought I’d pass on some info about a great FREE, online conference for those not able to make it to the big RWA conference this year…

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Not forking out the dough for the RWA Conference this year, with evening wear, suits, high heels and whatever "business casual" means?

Not to worry! Romance Divas is hosting the
Not Going to Conference Conference...
The Conference You Don't Have to Get Out of Bed For!

From July 28-31, come hang out with some terrific, savvy authors -- and you don't even have to brush your teeth (although, seriously, good dental hygiene gets you extra points.)

We'll be hosting panels on:

The Power of Three: A crit group tell-all (Paranormal)

Crystal Jordan

Patti O'Shea

Dayna Hart/Rowan Larke

The Lolitas of STEAMED! Present Writing the Steampunk Romance -more than leather corsets and brass goggles!

Marie-Claude Bourque

Theresa Meyers

Whips, Chains, Slings, Oh My: It Really Isn’t About the Toys (BDSM Erotica)

James Buchanan

Joey Hill

The Great Big YA Panel

Rhonda Stapleton

Shannon Delany

Kiersten White

Carrie Ryan

Linda Gerber

Saundra Mitchell

Lara Zielin

Brenna Yovanoff

Register for free at Romance Divas, then come join us on the forums for the discussions, as well as some terrific prizes:
Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin:
1) erotic e-books, THE SEEKING KISS and TEMPT ME TWICE.
2) a synopsis critique in any sub-genre of erotica/erotic romance.
Jax Cassidy:
1) erotic e-books, DEVIL'S HEART and BRUSH STROKES.
2) book cover design or banner ad
Kristen Painter:
copy of her e-book, ALL FIRED UP
Rhonda Stapleton:
1) STUPID CUPID YA Book trilogy
2) a proposal critique (1st 3 chapters and synopsis) for any genre of book, romance or not
K.B. Alan:
1) The choice of one of her e-books: PERFECT FORMATION, ALPHA TURNED or BOUND BY SUNLIGHT.
2) A $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.
AJ Chase: copies of e-book CAT AND MOUSE
Inez Kelley:
1) e-book package of both MYLA BY MOONLIGHT and SALOME AT SUNRISE
2) The complete Dirty Laundry Series (3 e-novellas) co-written by Ginny Glass aka Wordsugar and Inez Kelley
Kate Pearce:
1) a three chapter ~and~ synopsis critique-any erotic romance, paranormal romance or historical romance.
2) Winners choice, in either print or e-book format (if available), of a set of the Simply series (there are 5) ~or~ a set of the Cowboys (there are 3) ~or~ a copy of KISS OF THE ROSE-readers choice.
R.G. Alexander:
Winners choice of any two e-books from her Samhain or Ellora's Cave back list
Nadia Lee:
Critique of 1st chapter & synopsis-paranormal or contemporary romance
Shelley Munro: Winners choice of any one her backlist books from Ellora's Cave or Cerridwen Press
Ciar Cullen: Winner's choice of any one e-book on her website.
Voirey Linger: A copy of her e-book RISKING ETERNITY
RF Long:
1) a submission package critique (letter, synopsis and 3 chapters)
2) e-books! (details TBA)
Crystal Jordan:
1) 1st chapter and synopsis critique
2) One copy of any e-book off her Samhain backlist (
3) One copy of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (print or electronic, winner's choice)
Jeannie Lin:
1) a first chapter critique, any genre
2) an official BUTTERFLY SWORDS souvenir charm
Elise Logan: Winner's choice of any e-book from her backlist
Marguerite Labbe
1) A critique of an m/m story
2) Signed copies of her m/m vampire trilogy MY HEART IS WITHIN YOU, HAUNTED BY YOUR SOUL and OUR SACRED BALANCE
Seeley DeBorn:
One jar of home made body or face scrub, customized to the winner's preferences and skin type.
For example: Orange Spice Oatmeal, Coffee-Cocoa, Citrus Salt, Lavender Mint, Honey and Flax
Sela Carsen
: a copy of her e-book CAROLINA WOLF
Hailey Edwards:
1) a copy of her sweet fantasy romance ebook, EVERLONG.
2) two five dollar MBaM gift cards
Charlotte McClain:
Copy of her two e-books, LOVE TO DECLARE and ROCK STAR'S RETREAT
Cynthia Justlin: (Golden Heart Finalist!) Proposal Critique (3 Chapters and synopsis)-any genre other than erotic
Lainey Bancroft:
1) signed copies of her contemporary romance, THE TROUBLE WITH TESSA and her chick lit romance COZUMEL KARMA
2) Proposal critique (3 chapters and a synopsis) any genre except Steampunk
Tina Burns-Publisher-Liquid Silver Books:
1) a critique of 1st 3 chapters & synopsis
2) 3 be-book prizes for 3 different winners! Winners choice of any one e-book download from LSB library.
Winner's choice of one e-book from her backlist-see her website for booklist.
Taneasha: handmade jewelry by our own Taneasha-details to come!
Barbara Sheridan
1) Winners choice of one e-book from her backlist-see her website for booklist.
2) Critique of up to 20 pages of either M/M, or M/F romance or erotic romance in various subgenres (contemporary, historical, paranormal or suspense/mystery)
David Bridger:
A copy of his ebook BEAUTY AND THE BASTARD
Victoria Janssen:
3 print books TBA (whatever she finds at the RWA Conference)
Gemma Halliday:
Signed copy of SCANDAL SHEET
Jennifer Leeland/Jennifer McKenzie:
1) copy of her e-book MARKED FOR PLEASURE (Kindle version available upon request)
2) copy of her e-book MARKED FOR DESIRE (Releasing June 29th) (Kindle version available upon request)
3) copy of her e-books The Command Series (Trilogy)
4)copy of her BDSM e-book series (3 from TWRP and 1 from Samhain)
Emily Ryan-Davis:
1) Critique of novella-length (up to 30k) manuscript; any time period, m/f, menage, f/f (m/m not her area of expertise)
2) signed print copies of her anthology: MATING CALL, DRAGON DANCE and DRAGON BOUND
3) e-book copy of CHANGING THUMBELINA
Sabrina Darby:
1) Signed copy of her erotic historical novel, ON THESE SILKEN SHEETS
2) Critique of first thirty pages of any Regency (erotic or non erotic fine, but m/m outside my area of expertise)
Alina Morgan:
1) copy of her e-book The Twilight Deception
2) copy of her e-book The Shadow Unveiled
Debbie Mumford:
1) Critique of a synopsis
2) Winner's choice of any e-book from her back list.
Kimberly Troutte:
1) copy of her e-book SOUL STEALER
2) copy of her e-book CATCH ME IN CASTILE
Sasha Devlin:
1 pair of hand made writing mitts or gloves-style and color TBD by the winner
Julia Knight
Winner's choice of one copy of any of her books available in e-book format

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Curveballs and Rainbows

Monday morning a rainbow accompanied me to work. A complete double rainbow, it kept me company just outside my driver's window as I drove to work, its colors brilliant in the early morning sky. I counted it as a good sign. As well as a promise. Which I badly needed.

Which brings me to the curve ball.

Someone I love very much was diagnosed with a very serious illness just a week ago. To continue the baseball analogy, this diagnosis came out of left field leaving no time to don a catcher's mask or padded vest to prepare for impact. At present my family is just trying to catch up. And get all our ducks in a row for the journey the lies ahead.

I'm blogging from the hospital--a place I'm apt to be spending a lot of time in the next few months. So while I will continue to write and search for new representation, my focus has to be on family at this time. Therefore, I'm taking a short break from blogging so that I can devote my time solely to the needs of family at this time.

I'll still be writing--that outlet will no doubt prove to be an invaluable catharsis in the days to come--and I plan to return here to Killer Fiction once things slow down a bit. In the meantime, Trigger Happy Halliday, Crime Scene Christie, Deadly DeLeon, and The Assassin a/k/a 'Les' have volunteered to fill in for me or draft a substitute blogger to cover until I return.

Until then, keep knocking those curve balls out of the park--and take time to appreciate the rainbows.

~Bullet Hole Bacus~

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Few Thoughts After A Reaaaaaally Long Couple of Days...

I started dieting. Why doesn't rage burn calories? It seems like it should. I use it enough. I think 2000 calories burned per outburst would do. Give me a day where I drink nothing but diet shakes and by dinner I could burn 8,000 calories. In theory, I should lose 150 lbs. by the weekend.

Today I'll be seeing my doctor about a lump on my wrist. Did you know there's a website called The Ganglion Cyst Page? With photos? I don't recommend it. Especially if you are eating clear, lumpy jello at the time. The lump is 1 inch in diameter. It hurts.

What if the lump is fatty tissue? Not content with terrorizing my thighs and waistline, fat has now moved to my wrists. I have fat wrists.

Sigh. Today, I am Life's bitch.

How are you?

The Assassin

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Photo Caption Contest


Patricia, you won the gift card. Please email me at christie( at )

Pop over to for a chance to win eight different books. All you have to do is leave a comment to get entered to win.

Hey guys,

Deadline looms. RWA national conference approaches. So here’s another photo contest for you guys. You know how it works. And yes, the little girl is my granddaughter, the dog is my granddog, and the foot belongs to my son. The turtle is how I feel right now, working all the time.

Leave a comment and the best caption will win a $10 gift card to Barnes & Noble.


Group #1

Group #2
Group #3

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Can Anyone Explain This?

Okay, so I told all you guys about my neighbors whose house caught fire one night and they didn't even ring the doorbell and ask for help, right? Well, now I have two more that I'm having trouble figuring out. The first one has set up a man-cave in his garage. Mind you, the garage is not enclosed, so when I drive by at night, his door is up. I clearly see him sitting in there on a couch, drinking a beer and watching a big screen television. Now, understand I'm not questioning his need to get away. Maybe his wife is a raging "b." Maybe his kids make the Omen kid look nice. Maybe he farts while watching tv and isn't allowed in the house. But see, here's the problem - this is Texas. In the summer. For weeks now, the heat index has put us over 100 degrees. With nary a breath of wind.

What in God's name has him sitting in the garage NOW? Anyone? Anyone?

So I'm writing this blog and it's been thundering for the last hour as a storm is moving in. I see movement out the dining room window (I write at the dining table) and realize it's my new next-door neighbor. Now, he seems like a nice guy, but let me set the stage: He mowed the other day but didn't weedeat, so the edges around the fence and house are four inches higher than his lawn. In his back yard a piece of fence between him and the vacant house on the other side is falling down. One good screw or a couple of nails would put it back in place, but he hasn't even addressed that yet. However, in 100-degree heat, with a rainstorm moving in, he is PAINTING the siding on his house with a two-inch paint brush.

Anyone? Anyone?

Guys, I write fiction and I'm out of thoughts on this one. Truly.

Deadly (Dumbfounded) DeLeon

Friday, July 16, 2010

Is this wrong?

So, Baby Boy is teething. And not just sorta teething, but the doctor informed us that he’s trying to cut at least four teeth all at once. This is one time when I’m not sure I appreciate the overachiever mentality. He’s like living with a teeny tiny person who has 24/7 PMS. Everything pisses him off lately. And we’ve tried everything to alleviate his discomfort – frozen teethers, frozen cloths, frozen bananas. We’ve pretty much frozen anything that fits in the freezer and tried stick it in his mouth. We’re on our second bottle of pain killers (okay, second bottle for him, third for us), and he is putting everything under the sun in his mouth as he tries to chew those suckers through the gum line. My brand new sunglasses now have a line of teeny tiny teeth marks. Which is great, because they match my cell phone screen (his second fav thing to chew on) now. (Grrrr…)

In desperation the other night, as I was downing a glass of much needed Chardonnay, and wishing I could just stick a cork in the baby, I had an idea. I stuck a cork in the baby. I dipped the wine cork (synthetic, so it couldn’t shred cork bits) in the wine and shoved it in Baby’s mouth. Wadda ya know? He loved it. Best teether ever!

The only problem was that I now had no cork for the wine bottle. I briefly contemplated just drinking the entire thing (Hey, it had been a LONG day of teething), but instead I came up with this:

Wine cork in baby’s mouth, baby bottle nipple in wine bottle. This isn’t wrong, is it?

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stupid Dogs and Their Stupid Need to Eat...

I'm out of dog food. Normally, this would not be a problem as there is a grocery store down the street. But it is after 11pm and nothing is open and my dogs are looking at me as though they are starving to death.

Okay, so I look in the fridge. I can always substitute lunch meat or a hot dog to hold them over until morning.

Damn. Apparently, I am out of all processed meats. Apparently, my children and husband have eaten all of it over the course of two days. Oh well, they ARE on break.

I'll just check the pantry. There's always a few slices of bread, or potato chips or Cookie Crisp Cereal.

Uh oh. No gluteny goodness of any sort. I have tea and Grape Nuts. But I know from experience that dogs I've seen eat a dead turtle, crayons and cat feces will snub the Grape Nuts.

Fine. The turn-around should yield something. I always have a can of salsa or at least some peanut butter. That should do the trick. It just has to hold them until morning, when I can get them something.

Hmmmm...apparently, someone had the munchies and ate everything under there, leaving a couple of seriously expired cans of peas and a moldy bagel.

The bassett starts whining piteously. The pug growls while staring at the empty bowl (not easy to do with her eyes on top of her head like that) and the fluffy dog is playing dead (I hope). Crap.

I've got some shopping to do...nothing like Wal-Mart at midnight...

The Assassin

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Special Guest - Suzan Harden

Winner! Winner! We have a winner! The winner of Suzan's tote bag with all its goodies is . . . Donnas. Congratulations! Donnas, please send me your snail mail address - Christie (at) Christie-Craig (dot) com - and I'll get the prize off to you. Thanks again to Suzan Harden for joining us at Killer Fiction. You rocked, girl!

* * *

Hi, Guys,

Please join me in welcoming Suzan Harden to Killer Fiction. Suzan is a dear friend and one of my critique partners. She writes urban fantasy and is thisclose to securing a publishing contract. Her blog, Wild, Wicked and Wacky, is a must read, and her blog today will tell you why.

Take it away, Suzan!

* * * *

Humor is a very subjective concept. All you have to do is compare one of my manuscripts with one of Christie’s to comprehend this. Seriously, it’s like comparing Zombieland to Pretty Woman. If can wrap your mind around that concept, maybe you’ll understand why Christie and I are friends.

But there are times when my logic and her logic don’t mesh. Recently, Christie had a WTF moment over something I did.

Okay, Christie would NEVER say WTF. It was more like WTH. She was quickly joined by Jody and Teri. On the other hand, Faye has lived in New York long enough she will say WTF.

Anyway, back to what I did. Every year for the month of May, Brenda Novak has an online auction to benefit diabetes research. For this year’s auction, she had a little contest each week. The person who put the most bids on items would win a special prize. The first week’s prize was a brand-new Apple iPad. Genius Kid had been salivating over one at the mall a few days before the auction started. So I logged on the auction website and bid. And bid. And bid. On books, on agent reads, on the gorgeous leather Acheron coat Sherrilyn Kenyon donated. In all, I placed nearly 300 bids.

I didn’t win the iPad.

Over the course of the next couple weeks, I watched my high bids get overrun, especially by writers more desperate than me to snag the attention of a particular editor. I’d never won anything in the last three years I’d bid on items at Brenda’s auction. Never.

I checked in on the evening of May 31st. There were 65 items left on my high-bidder list. “Yep, everyone’s waiting until the last minute in order not to go higher,” I told myself and my husband. Heck, I’d used the same strategy many a time on eBay.

My last agent read disappeared. So did the signed hardcover of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Ain’t She Sweet? Another item disappeared at the last second.

Then something weird happened. It’s like everyone else stopped bidding. The auction ended.

I had won 62 FRIGGIN’ AUCTIONS. And a lot of them were multiple-item auctions, like Carly Phillips donating an iPod (hot pink), $50 iTunes gift card plus three of her books.

Then I realized I had another problem. I ALREADY OWNED over half of the books I’d won.

My husband just looked at me. “I thought we were supposed to be cleaning the house out, not adding more stuff to it.” (We’re prepping for putting our place on the market next year.)

I gave him a sheepish grin. “Um, I’ll let you play with the iPod?”

He rolled his eyes. “Ri-i-ight. I’m going to walk around with a hot pink iPod. By the way, how are you planning to pay for this?”

At least, I’d come up with a plan to pay for the auction (let’s just say Starbuck’s won’t be getting quite as much money from me this year) before I addressed my overflowing bookshelf problem with the girls. “Would it be too tacky for me to ask these authors if I could interview them and give away their books on my blog?”

Surprisingly, every writer I’ve asked has been gracious enough to agree to an interview. I’ve given away lots of cool stuff. My husband’s happy that I haven’t taken over more of his office than I already have. Christie and the girls are still laughing over my oops.

And me? I’m jamming on the hot pink iPod while I work on my latest wip.

So, have you had any WTF, or as Christie would say, WTH moments lately. Leave a comment to win

CONTEST: This will be the biggest giveaway yet! I’ve got a beautiful zippered bag with a design based on Monet’s Water Lilies. It’ll be chock full of signed books, bookmarks, pens, notepads, and a cute journal. As for the chocolate (since any decent contest must include chocolate in the prizes), a box of Harry London’s Mints will be shipped straight to your house from the chocolatier.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Difficult People

It's another Monday morning. ugh I think it's universally famous how much I hate Mondays. It's been raining here in Dallas, too, which has lowered the temperature a bit but increased the humidity, so not really a big gain there. You gotta love summer in Texas at 100 degrees.

If any of you are watching America's Got Talent, I guess you saw the debacle that was the final act choosing. WTH????? Why don't they just change the name to America's Got a Bunch of Weird People and all non-American judges. I'm beginning to think the entire thing is a conspiracy to make us look stupid. If this show doesn't get some standards soon, I'm going to stop watching it altogether. I can see freaks in a lot of places live. I don't need to watch them on my television.

So at my day job, it's easy to overhear other people talking as we're in close quarters and the company seems to have an aversion to offices. One girl asked another girl a grammar questions - the other girl answered it properly - and rude girl insisted she wasn't right. She continued to push and aggitate, even though proper girl refused to outright argue. So finally I said "Proper girl is right. It's _____" Rude girl said "But there's two ways to do it." To which I replied "Of course, the right way and the wrong way."

There was much snickering in cubicleville. Why do some people insist on doing this? And what she was arguing about is a universal standard in all writing styles I'm aware of. Jeesh. You'd think with all the things that ARE wrong, she could have picked one of them to argue about.

I'm convinced that some people just want to argue and they'll pick anything to do it with. So how about you - did you watch the final selections of AGT? Do you have a rude girl in your life?

Deadly DeLeon

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Author Margo Candela

Once upon a time I was an unpublished writer, driving up to the San Francisco once a month to meet with a group of other hopeful yet not-quite-published writers. We called ourselves the Sunday Cafe Writers, because, well, we met on Sundays at a café to talk about writing. Yeah, we used all our creative stuff or our books. Anyway, that's where I first met Margo Candela, who is not only a now published fabulous author, but has a brand new book out that I highly recommend everyone go read. Right now. It's that good. So, take it away, Margo...

I've met lots of people who want to be writers, as well as those who are. The main difference between the two groups is that one talks about writing
while the other actually sits down and does it. (There’s also a difference between those who get published and those who don’t, but that’s a whole
other story.)

I majored in journalism because I wanted a job after college and I had this vague hope that someone, somewhere would pay me to write. I learned the Who,What, Why, Where and How formula and after a few years freelancing for magazines and websites, I applied those same principles to my first novel, Underneath It All.

With the publication of my fourth novel, Good-bye To All That, I’ve had plenty of practice and time to figure out how to write a novel. I’ve also
allowed myself to become more creative in how I approach a book, but I always start in the exact same place. No, not blind panic, but with a plan.

Every writer has a secret as to how they get the seemingly impossible done. That’s what writing a novel sometimes feels like, impossible. Between the
beginning and the end, there are tons of details, plots, names, and more to keep track of. But I have a secret weapon which I consider my literary Spanx of sorts—the outline. Yes, like the one your 7th grade English teacher forced you to learn and then graded you harshly on.

I’m the first to admit that outlines aren’t sexy and they aren’t muse friendly either. But when you’re on a deadline and you don’t have time to
take a week’s rest at a sanitarium because your book is driving you crazy, a good outline can save your butt.

I rewrote Good-bye To All That in five weeks by putting in 5,000 word days and sticking to my outline, tweaking it only when absolutely necessary. A three page, 798 word outline made it possible for me to map out a 340 page 80,000 word novel under some of the most stressful circumstances I’ve ever encountered as a writer.

But writers are like junkies, you just can’t keep us off the stuff. We write because we have to and every writer has their own way of making it happen.
For me it is and will always be the humble outline. In fact, I just finished the outline for my next book and I wore Spanx while I worked on it. Why? Well, why not? It worked the last time and I’m sure the combo of the two will make the impossible possible again when it’s time to outline my next novel.

~Margo Candela
Twitter: @Margo_Candela

About Good-bye To All That (Touchstone, July 13, 2010):

Raquel Azorian has worked her way from temp to executive assistant and is this close to a promotion when her boss suffers a very public meltdown that puts not only his future in Hollywood, but also Raquel’s on the line.
It’s not just Raquel’s professional life that’s a mess, her whole family is in turmoil and Raquel is forced to become the intermediary—all while trying
to figure out how to save her job and not derail her office romance with the man of her dreams. Unfortunately for her, the clashing of her personal and professional life is making that rung hard to reach for. When the chaos of juggling so many lives reaches a breaking point, Raquel realizes she’s going to have to choose—success at work or happiness at home. Whatever choice she
makes, Raquel knows it going to cost her, but part of her is still pulling for her very own Hollywood ending.

"Margo Candela combines a cunning wit with a deep understanding of the office politics specific to the entertainment industry to create a frantic
atmosphere and a near breathless momentum as the story barrels toward an ending that's anything but your focus grouped happy fade-out." –Publishers

“Candela captures the ups and downs of Hollywood in her appealing send-up of the cutthroat side of the industry.” –Booklist

"A gutsy marketing assistant tries to play ball with the big boys while also pedaling wildly to keep her neurotic family afloat in this breezy novel from the L.A. writer." -Los Angeles Magazine

Friday, July 09, 2010

It cleans on its own!

Remember the Bathroom Cleaning Saga at my house? Here’s an update. I am beyond happy to report that the automatic shower cleared did, in fact, get installed in my bathroom and, wonder of wonders, someone is actually pushing the button. Not me, even! And… ohmigod, this thing is freaking awesome! It actually just cleans automatically. I know, the claim was right there in the name, but I didn’t believe it until I actually saw it. But it’s been two weeks since my shower saw a sponge, and it’s still sparkling like it was freshly cleaned. I’m psyched.

Now, if I could just get an automatic sink, counter, toilet, and floor cleaner I’d be set.

Anyway, now that the cleaning is starting to get under control, I decided to give the bathroom a little make-over. While I’m dying to hit it with a paint bucket, we’re renting, so pain is a no-go. Instead, I went and did a little mini shopping spree at Target and set to work decorating . Granted, his bathroom is the one the boys use, so Big Boy had a lot of input into the décor (Yeah, the guitars were clearly his idea), but all in all, I’m pretty happy with the colors, and look how tidy it is!

Next on my list of rooms in need of decorating is my bedroom. I’m thinking something in sultry red… updates to follow.

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Same Tune, Different Day

I really don't have a blog topic today so I think I'll just vent. Any objections? I didn't think so.

Last night when I went to bed, it was raining. This morning as I left for work before dawn, it began to pour and I drove in heavy rain throughout most of my commute. I left work at five. Ran into rain the closer to home I got. More heavy rain is on tap for the overnight.

Another fun drive-time looms. Oh. I didn't mention the detour? You see, the route I normally take to work is under water. And it's been under water for 2 weeks. The alternate route adds 15 minutes to my drive time both ways plus ten more stoplights. And immeasurable irritation.

Then there's the basement water watch. You see, city sanitary sewers can hold 2-3 inches of rain at a time, but 6-7 inches? Time to pull on the hip boots.

And next there's my yard better known as the swamp. Earlier this year I did battle with Creeping Charlie. In the places I was successful eradicating the godawful ground ivy, said ground is bare. So, I sewed the bare ground with grass seed. And it washed away every time I reseeded.

And then we come to my garden. Or what was supposed to be my garden. My tomato plants are sad and soggy and, I suspect, may be developing some kind of root rot. The zucchini plants are a sickly green color.

I badly need a getaway. I'd say 'Calgon take me away,' but with my recent history with water, I'm a little nervous about how that might turn out.

Your turn. Anything you care to vent about? Weather. Writing. Politics. Significant others. Terrible movies. Lousy dates. Car woes. Job woes. Whatever. Feel free to get it off your chest.

Next week, I promise to be upbeat and blog about only positives in my world.

Could be the shortest blog post on record...

~Bullet Hole~

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Swedish Vampire Movies and Kids...

Okay, I thought today was Tuesday. Holidays throw me off like that. So, my bad.

Mr. Assassin and I got Netflix through our Wii recently. And last night we finally watched our first movies on it.

I may never leave the house again.

Anyway, the first movie we watched was...can you guess? Go ahead and try...

I'll give you a minute...

"Let The Right One In," a Swedish vampire movie. Now, I know what you're thinking... "How predictable."

Actually, it was very good. It was a movie I'd watch with my daughter, considering the two main characters are 12. It could be a great bonding moment. I imagine it would go a little something like this:

Me: "So, she's a vampire, and she was 12 when she was turned..."

Meg: "What's up with that kid's hair?"

Me: "What, Oskar? Well, it's Sweden. Maybe kids wear their hair long like that. But anyhow...Eli the vampire..."

Meg: "Why doesn't she ever wipe the blood off of her face?"

Me: "I think it's a metaphor for the fact she's a kid and not as inhibited as an adult would see..."

Meg: "Why do all the men tuck their sweaters into their jeans?"

Me: "Really? I'd rather talk about..."

Meg: "This is a long, boring movie. Why doesn't anyone explode?"

Me: (sigh) "I'll put in Twilight..."

The Assassin

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Ten Lessons a Woman Can Learn From a Romance Novel

WINNER!!! Ylime1981. Send me your snail mail address at christie (at) Congrats!

Hey, guys,

Well, when you read this, I’ll be in Alabama visiting my dad. Faye Hughes and I are still celebrating the release of Wild, Wicked and Wanton: 101 Ways to Love Like You’re in a Romance Novel, so today I’m posting an article we did about ten lessons a woman can learn from reading romance novels. Hope you enjoy. Oh, and check out the contests we’re running!

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Ten Lessons a Woman Can Learn From a Romance Novel

By Christie Craig and Faye Hughes

When it comes to fictional tales about love and romance, let’s face it. The romance divas, aka romance novelists, know how to create heroes to sigh over and heroines capable of handling any obstacle in the path of their happily ever after. Romance novelists make it all seem so easy, too—give or take a few vampire attacks, threats of world annihilation by evil aliens and the occasional serial killer bent on revenge, all of whom are vanquished by the last chapter. Too bad real life doesn’t work the way it does in romance novels.

Ah, but what if it could?

Or more specifically, what can a woman learn about love from reading romance novels? Well . . . quite a lot actually. But we’ll start with the top ten lessons.

1. Stop faking it. Hey, we’re serious. Do you think Scarlett ever faked it? Don't you think that if Rhett kept missing the right spot, she would have drawn him a picture? And we’re not talking just about the big O, either. We’re talking about speaking up about what we want and need for our own happiness. After all, romance heroines are not doormats. They don't fake being happy, they find happiness . . . and so should you.

2. Life isn't fair. Okay, now think about it. Romance heroines have parents who die, dogs who come up missing and cats who leave hairballs on the carpeting in the middle of the night. For that matter, some romance heroines get shot, discover crotchless panties stuffed under the seats of their husband's cars, and even get turned into vampires. But what do they do? Well, okay, so they may have a mini-meltdown, but then they pull up their big girl panties and deal with it.

3. Size doesn't matter. Why are you snickering? We’re not talking about the size of a romance hero’s’ body parts here. Nope, we’re talking about the size of our bodies. Happiness isn't measured in cups or pants sizes. Today's romance heroines come in all shapes and sizes, just like real women. What they've learned-and what we can learn from them-is that feeling good about yourself starts from within. And when you feel good on the inside, you look better on the outside.

4. Life is full of surprises. Accept them. One thing about romance heroines, they are always being hit with the unexpected. From a dead body in a Port-a-Potty to discovering you’re the last of a long line of demon slayers, you can bet romance heroines have their fair share of “oh-shit” moments. And then there's the good surprises, like winning a lottery, adopting a baby, or learning that the man who floats your boat is as good in the bedroom as he is in the kitchen. Whether it’s a good surprise or a bad one, life is always changing. Romance heroines learn not to fight change, but to deal with it. It’s a lesson we should all learn.

5. Believe in Yourself. Sooner or later, we all fall victim to bouts of self-doubt. Do we have what it takes to win that big promotion? Do we accept our boyfriend’s marriage proposal? Was going platinum blonde really the right hair color? Oh, yes. Self-doubt is part of the human condition. The problems arise, however, when we lose all confidence in our abilities. Romance heroines know that whether it’s to win their Happily Ever After, or to stop a serial killer, you have to acknowledge your flaws but still find the faith to believe in yourself.

6. Make It Happen. One of the great things about romance heroines is that they never sit around and wait for the good stuff to come to them. No way. They set out to get that good stuff on their own. They set a goal and then they do what they must to make it happen, no matter how many other people tell them they probably won’t succeed. And yeah, sometimes they don’t, but a lot of the time, they do. And even when they fail, the lessons they learned along the way made the journey worthwhile.

7. Distinguish the Keepers from the Creepers. Yes, romance heroines have scoundrel ex boyfriends and lowlife ex-husbands. They’ve been burned, mistreated, stepped on, and used as someone’s chew toy. But unlike so many real life women, romance heroines have come to realize these men have been able to hurt them mostly because they themselves have allowed the men to do it. In other words, romance heroines realize that who they date and who they decide to swap bodily fluids with is there own choice. They realize that if they keep finding themselves with the same disastrous relationship issues, it could be because they are secretly attracted to the wrong type of man and then set out to correct it.

8. Get Rid of the Junk in your Trunk. Be it daddy issues, or a hang up because your mama made you eat all your peas and carrots, we all carry around some potentially dangerous baggage—as in toxic to the building of healthy relationships. You can bet your best bra that romance heroines come with their share of junk, too. However, a romance heroine starts to recognize her own issues and then deals with them before managing to kill off another relationship.

9. Give and Take. Women, by nature, are givers and romance heroines are no exception. However, romance heroines have learned not to be so shy in the taking part of the equation, too. Making sure that you are giving back to yourself, and that you aren’t the only one doing the giving in the relationship is not only the key to a happy relationship it’s the key to making your own happiness.

10. Happily Ever Afters are Damn Hard Work. As authors, we don't make it easy for our characters to achieve their Happily Ever Afters. In the end, though, our characters generally have earned their march off into the sunset, hand in hand. Sure, real life doesn't come with guarantees like a romance novel does, but consider this: If real people put as much time into plotting their relationships and choosing a partner as a romance author spends plotting and choosing her characters, maybe we'd have more real-life happy endings. And whether it’s writing that book, or searching for true love, the thing is, we have to be willing to work for it.

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Okay, guys. Faye and I are running a contest at to celebrate the launch of Wild, Wicked & Wanton. We’re looking for your romantic disaster stories, and we’re giving away a lot of goodies. Go check it out and enter.

This week at Killer Fiction, we’re giving away a copy of Wild, Wicked & Wanton to one lucky commenter. Tell us about your favorite romance novel—when did you read it and why do you love it so much.