I'm pleased as punch for the cover of the second book in my Housewife Assassin series:
The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing.
Launch date: October, 2012.
Donna and Jack are in to all kinds of trouble–the kind of hot mess that can cause an international incident:
A nuclear arms summit, hosted by a politically-connected American billionaire industrialist, provides the perfect opportunity for a rogue operative to assassinate of the newly-elected Russian president on US soil. Acme operative Donna Stone's mission:
Seek and exterminate the shooter, before all hell–and World War III–break loose.
Not to mention what happens when Donna files for divorce.
Throw in a couple of off-the-map school field trips and a few naughty neighbors, you've got a whole lot of fun.
And if you haven't done so already, sign up for my eLetter for a heads-up on the pubication…as well as a VERY special contest I'll be running to celebrate the book's launch.
I'm honored to be part of a group of ten female novelists write about murder and mayhem. If you haven't discovered us already, come on over to MurderSheWrites.com, where we blog about our characters, our crazy lives, and the business of writing.
We are pleased to announce the first ever Murder She Writes anthology, Guns and Roses, a collection of ten never-before published short stories and novellas.
This book — over 150,000 words — will be available next week, in digital format, for Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iPad, and via Smashwords…
For just $4.99!
This was my very first anthology, and I was thrilled to be asked to join in one the fun. I learned that each of my co-bloggers are hard writing, hardworking, solution-solving, cross-the-I's-and-dot-the-T's businesswomen.
Their reputations are proof that they are also among the best writers of our generation.
In Guns and Roses, you'll find romance, suspense, passion, danger–
And a whole lot of fun.
Ranging in length from 10,000 to 25,000 words, each of these stories and novellas are complete tale of suspense and romance — not samplers or excerpts or reissues. They have been written exclusively for this collection.
Here's just a taste of what you'll be getting….
The Housewife Assassin’s Bloody Valentine by Josie Brown
What is CIA contract assassin Donna Stone’s idea of a Valentine’s Day getaway? Certainly not orchestrating a jailbreak out of a Mexican prison for a notorious drug lord. But because he has intel as to the whereabouts of an international terrorist organization planning a Valentine’s massacre, there will be no intimate dinner for two or couples massage for Donna and her ops leader, Jack Craig. Just plenty of sun, surf, submarines, sharks… oh yeah, and sex.
Cynical, bad girl PI Julie Collins isn’t the hearts and flowers type, especially not after she’s spent the last few weeks spying on cheating spouses. So when Julie suspects her man, Martinez, may be stepping out on her, she sees red and decides to take matters into her own hands. Let’s just hope Cupid’s Bow gets to Martinez before Julie does.
Sex crimes detective Selena Black knows high-powered government attorney Greg Keller is the River City Rapist; proving it is another matter. Keller enjoys the cat and mouse game with the blonde detective, and makes sure she knows she’s exactly his type. As every possible avenue of investigation is shut down by the courts or her boss, Selena realizes that if someone doesn’t do something to stop Keller, more women will suffer–and she may be next.
Bobbie Faye’s Whacked Out, No Good, Really Sucky, Hot Mess of a Wedding by Toni McGee Causey
Bobbie Faye Sumrall, Cajun Contraband Days Queen, gun expert, and ultimate professional in being in the wrong place at the wrong time, absolutely positively does not want to go through with the ridiculous wedding that Trevor’s forcing her to agree to, but she soon finds out she has more important things to worry about–like surviving the plot to make her disappear when she’s set up as a fall guy for the theft of a priceless religious icon. And that’s the good news.
When insurance investigator Anastasia Miller sets out to retrieve the rose-hued pink diamonds stolen in a recent heist, she finds herself working alongside former flame, deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Monroe — the man she loved enough to leave behind.
Stranded on an icy road as darkness falls, Holly Henriksen knows she is in trouble. A charming stranger stops to help and Holly decides to trust him, but soon finds out he is harboring a deadly secret.
King of Hearts (A Rough Rider Short Story) by Lorelei James
Deputy Cam McKay is devastated after dealing with a Valentine’s Day murder/suicide in his small county. Will allowing his family to see the dark past that haunts him, help heal him?
Detective Joe Bashir returns to his alma mater to investigate the stabbing death of a male college student. Rumors of date rape and fraternity hazing complicate a sensitive case as Joe tries to balance the demands of the investigation with caring for his elderly father. Help – and possibly romance – come from an unexpected source.
Benjamin Youngblood’s only chance to prove he’s worthy of being a Bullet Catcher is to find and stop an assassin. On probation from the elite security force, Ben has to rely on instinct and brains…and one feisty flower farmer. When Callie Parrish discovers her entire crop of rare black roses has been stolen, she’d partner with the devil himself to recoup her loss. It doesn’t take her long to realize she’s done just that…and the road to hell is paved with poisonous petals and deadly kisses.
For Detective Cash Cantrell, hunting down a University serial killer is as routine as strapping on his gun each morning. Until he comes face to face with meddlesome coed, Rebel Yell Culpepper. He doesn’t know if he should arrest her or kiss her, but one thing Cash knows for sure, Rebel is key to finding the murderer, and the killer knows it too…
This side of the pond may know Daniel Craig as 007, but our British cousins have had the good fortune of seeing him in a variety of great roles that show a softer/more vulnerable/much more ironic side of the actor.
I'd read some fairly great reviews of his 2004 movie Layer Cake, so I decided to check it out. It did not disappoint. Craig plays a bean-counting cocaine middleman who wants to retire from the dirty biz, but gets suckered into doing one last "favor" for the drug kingpin running him.
Lots of plot twists: not everyone is whom they portend to be. Great cinematography, too, and a superlative sound track. The bad guys are complex characters. If it reminds one of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, that's because the movies share the same producers.
'Flix it. You won't be disappointed. Daniel Craig is more than eye candy. He's just desserts, too.
THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK
Murder. Suspense. Sex. And some handy household tips.
I had a great conversation with freelance editor John Rakstraw, which was broadcasted on is Blog Talk Radio show. (Click the icon below. The interview starts about 6 minutes into it.)
One of the topics we touched on was the fact that promoting the book you've written is very important to its success. Why? because there are 180,000 books published each year. How can readers find your book (on the shelf, or online) if they haven't heard of it first?
I truly believe that to stay in the game, authors have to become strong self-promoters. I also believe that, other than editing, the strongest component a publishing house can offer its authors is promotion. Otherwise, why would an author settle for 8-15% of a book's gross profit, when indie publishing (which takes care of online distribution anyway) allows them to hold onto 70% of it?
They auctioned off Marilyn Monroe's iconic white halter dress from The Seven Year Itch. You remember the one: as she stood over a subway grate in front of the Trans-Lux Theater, it billowed up around her thighs. The way it was written into the movie, the object was to keep her cool–
Or was it to make every guy watching her get hot under the collar?
That was the case with her husband at the time: Joe DiMaggio. Afterward they had a shouting match in the theater lobby. She filed for divorce soon afterward.
The dress went for $4.5 million. It was sold by actress Debbie Reynolds, who, besides starring in several Hollywood classics herself (Tammy and the Bachelor, The Unsinkable Molly Brown) has a true appreciation for Hollywood lore. For years, much of her collection was kept at her hotel in Las Vegas, where she performed. A bad real estate investment forced her to sell off various pieces. This time around she also sold Monroe's red sequined dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (it went for $1.2 million, albeit it was projected to bring $200,000 – $300,000), and another of my favorites, Audrey Hepburn's Ascot dress from My Fair Lady, which sold for $3.7 million.
Other pieces sold by the auction house, Profiles in History included:
– Grace Kelly's rose crepe outfit from To Catch a Thief: $450,000 (estimate: $30,000-$50,000);
– Marlon Brando's elaborate coronation costume from Napoleon Bonaparte: $60,000 (estimate: $60,000-$80,000);
– Claude Rains' ivory military suit from Casablanca: $55,000 (estimate: $12,000-$15,000);
– ElizabethTaylor's brown period dress from Raintree County: $10,000 (estimate: $10,000-$15,000);
– Madonna's black evening gown and shoes from Evita: $22,500 (estimate: $4,000-$6,000);
– Mike Myers' swinging '60s suit from "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: $11,000 (estimate: $6,000-$8,000); and
– A high-school graduation dress of Natalie Wood's: $4,250 (estimate: $2,000-$3,000).
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Reynolds a few years back. In fact, it was my very first celebrity interview. I remember her as gracious, witty, and vulnerable: she is every inch a star, but a sweet human being as well. I could have hung with her all weekend, if she'd have let me. Seriously, she is that much fun.
And so candid. She answered all my questions, even the sticky ones. If I find that interview, I'll be sure to post it here.
As I was leaving I mentioned that my favorite of all movies was one of hers: Singin' in the Rain. "I'll sign the DVD, if you have it," she offered.
Stupid, stupid me! Why didn't I think to bring it? I never made that mistake again!
Oh, well. In hindsight, I should have asked her if I could try on Marilyn's dress, just once!
Want to see what all the fuss is about? Just watch the video clip below…