SOLD! The day I got THE CALL

May 11, 2015 began like any ordinary work day. Up at 4:30 am, hair and make-up completed by braille, dogs fed, Hubster fed, and backed the car out of the garage by 5:20. Cruised to work on auto-pilot. Noticing the Blue Bandit was low on fuel, and that I was a few minutes ahead of schedule because of light traffic, I decided to fill the gas tank after I had already turned in the opposite direction of the station.

As I drove down the dark road, I passed a sneaky sheriff deputy parked in the median with his lights off. Hubster thinks I drive like a bat-out-of-hell, so I prudently checked the speedometer and wondered where he gets those ridiculous notions. At the first opportunity, I u-turned and puttered back by the deputy’s car. Hahaha! I hoped he didn’t think I was driving suspiciously.

Stopped at the intersection, I figured out that I was in the wrong lane, and turned right on red which is allowable in Florida, but with the PoPo lurking I got a little nervous.  I finally made it to the gas pump and fished for my purse, only to come up empty-handed.

Oh, crap! No purse meant no wallet, no driver’s license, no insurance card. AND, a block away sat a sheriff deputy who could probably sense my catastrophe.

Paranoia set in. I’m going to get a ticket, I’m going to get a ticket, and I’m going to run out of gas on the home way. Because, when I say the Blue Bandit is low on gas, what I really mean is “The gas fumes are about to run out, y’all.”

Inching the Blue Bandit past the deputy for the third time, I aimed my best Jedi mind vibe at him. “This isn’t the suspicious car you’re looking for. She can go about her business. Let her move along.”

Petrified, I arrived at TDJ without incident and reached for my phone to call Hubster. My blood congealed. Not only had I forgotten my purse, I’d left my phone on the kitchen counter.

I was unplugged from the universe at large. How would I get through the day without a watching a cat video on Facebook? Or checking personal email? Oh, my God! I wouldn’t get any text messages.

I was facing a technological zombie apocalypse. My guardian fairies refused to materialize my phone, no matter how much I begged through-out the day.

At the end of the work day, I thought, “Hahaha! Wouldn’t it be funny if today, of all days, was the day I got THE CALL and didn’t have my phone to answer it?”

I laughed all the way home. (It could’ve been the gas fumes.)

In IM withdrawal, the first thing I did when I entered the house was treasure-hunt my phone. I might’ve hugged and kissed it, but I can’t be sure because I got distracted by the missed call from a strange number and the glaring voice mail alert. Thinking a telemarketer had called, I hit play to clear the message.

Then I heard Ann Leslie Tuttle’s message and I nearly dropped my Precious, errr my phone because Oh my freaking God! , Harlequin Nocturne’s Senior Editor had called.

“It’s Harlequin! It’s Harlequin!” I knocked Hubster on the shoulder hard enough to push him over and interrupt his live video gaming.

Hubster remarked, “I don’t read romance, but even I know who Harlequin is. This is good, yeah?”

“This is very good!”

In my excitement, I couldn’t hear the phone number Ann Leslie provided, so I needed to replay the message. Only, I accidentally deleted it instead.

Holy crap! I lost my very first CALL message. Oh, the horror. Oh the devastation!

Oh, the lack of sympathy from Hubster, who snarked, “How did you lose the message all ready? Wait, I forgot who I’m talking to.”

Running around the kitchen, I hollered, “What do I do? What do I do?”

Hubster said, “Hit the call back for the missed call.”

Oh, yeah. I knew that.  Apparently unexpected excitement turns me stupid.

I immediately connected with Ann Leslie, and my day ended on a higher note than it had started. I’m pleased to announce that I have sold my paranormal manuscript HOWLIN’ HEARTS to Harlequin Nocturne in a two-book deal.

So, even bad starts can lead to big grins. And, I haven’t stopped grinning yet.

In further news, after a pow-wow with our cell service provider, Hubster was able to restore my deleted CALL message which is now hanging in a place of honor in my “cloud.”

 

 

 

Everything Butt

Kristal Hollis:

Life in the Boomer Lane tells what the BUTTS are all about….

Originally posted on Life in the Boomer Lane:

cat-call

A recent study out of The University of Texas at Austinanalyzed men’s mate preferences and found that men prefer a woman with a 45.5 degree curve from back to buttocks. Allegedly, this degree of curve signifies an ability to “better support, provide for, and carry out multiple pregnancies,” in addition to having a striking resemblance to Jennifer Lopez.

Before you toss off your panties and start rummaging around for your old protractor and compass, pretend that you actually want to know about the details of this research and keep reading, instead of measuring.

‘“What’s fascinating about this research is that it is yet another scientific illustration of a close fit between a sex-differentiated feature of human morphology – in this case lumbar curvature – and an evolved standard of attractiveness,” David Buss, a University of Texas at Austin psychology profess, and the study’s co-author, said in a press release distributed…

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The Call of the GOLDEN HEART

The RWA® Golden Heart® contest is a H-U-G-E ta-do for unpublished romance novelists and authors from all over the world enter. To become a finalist is akin to Cinderella getting to go to the ball. I’ve dreamed of it ever since I attended my first RWA® conference in 2010. After beau-coup writing workshops, critiques, re-writes, more critiques, more re-writes, a few tosses in the garbage and then pulled out again, I found my groove and gained the courage to enter. On 12/6/14. Now, all I had to do was wait. For three months and twenty days.

3/26/15 is the Golden Heart announcement day. Yep, by the time it finally got here, I had no fingernails left. The moment I hit the submit button to release my entry, doubt rushed in. What if people think it’s crap? What if they don’t like my voice? What if, what if, what if.

Three months and twenty days is a long time to play the What If game. I write paranormal. I came up with some pretty scary What Ifs.

Warp ahead to 3/25/15. Tons of advice poured in on what to do and what to expect on “The DAY.” I went to sleep that night, just wondering . . . what if.

When I woke up, I immediately checked my phone . . . as if I would’ve gotten the call in the middle of the freakin’ night. There were no missed calls. Already, I was disappointed.

Got ready for work, sending out positive thoughts for everyone I knew who had entered. Realized half-way to the office that I had forgotten my coffee. I never forget coffee. Decided I must be showing early signs of dementia, made a mental note to call my doctor–then promptly forgot.

I arrived at the day job around 7am. Check my phone again. No missed calls. I turned it off and turned it back, then called my cell phone from my office phone just to make sure it would ring. It did, so I sat it right next to the mouse on my desk where it was easily reachable, should it ever decide to ring again.

I stared at it. Hard. Willing it to ring. Since I was up at the crack of dawn, every one else should be too whether or not they were bright-eyed and bushy tailed. I certainly wasn’t.

Obviously, I had no idea what time the BODs would start their calls. I have no sense of time, whether it’s zones or daylight savings. By 10:00am, I figured everyone in the world had received good news but me. I gave myself until 10:30, and then I planned to tuck my phone into my purse and dream of next year’s chances.

At 10:28, my phone rang. My heart stopped. “Oh, shit!” The display flashed a number from the San Diego area. I thought if it was a freaking telemarketer I just might reach through the phone and strangle them. I said “hello” so quietly, I wasn’t sure the caller could hear me.

I wasn’t entirely convinced that this wasn’t a sales call until the woman said, “I’m from the RWA Board and I’m calling with good news.” I burst out with “Oh My God! Are you serious?” Thank goodness I have an office, not a cubicle, and the door was closed. I wrote her name down, Helen Kay Dimon, before I started shaking so bad that couldn’t read my handwriting. She went through the rest of the information, to which I continued to respond, “Oh my God, Oh my God.” At one point, I told her that I might pass out. Good thing I work with doctors. Anyway, we got through the conversation and said our good-byes. I don’t know how long I sat in my chair staring at my cryptic handwriting with no idea what I wrote or what she said after “your entry Howlin’ Hearts has finaled in the Golden Heart Contest.”

All I could think was, they liked my story. They really like it. For an author, that’s the best feeling in the world.

Congratulations to all the finalists. I’m honored to be in your company.

~kristal

What Do Women Really Want?

Kristal Hollis:

Life in the Boomer Lane demystifies the ultimate mystery…

Originally posted on Life in the Boomer Lane:

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Reader’s Note #1: The following post is about yet one more expensive blob of scientific research  To the question “What do women really want?” some men will answer “Money,”  others will answer “Who the hell knows?” and those of a more prurient bent will answer “Seven inches or more.”

Reader’s Note #2: Life in the Boomer Lane recently posted  a commentary on “The Universal Hot/Crazy Matrix: A Man’s Guide to Women.” She has noticed since then that this remains far and away her most popular post to date, indicating to her either a serious interest on men’s part to understand women or a serious belief that hot women are crazy.  This post may serve to demystify.

Here goes with the post: A study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin recently found that while men were attracted to nice-seeming women upon meeting them,  women did not feel the same way…

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THE QUEST ~ Breathing Fantastical Life into Reality TV

Originally posted on Smart Girls love SciFi:

SHOWSHEET_TheQuest-2014_640Reality TV has invaded the fantasy realm.

In 2012 the hubster and I were glued to the History Channel’s debut of Full Metal Jousting, a reality game show where contestants lived and practiced as if they were knights of a medieval kingdom and underwent weekly challenges of full-armor jousting. Now this was the type of reality TV that I was delighted to sink my teeth into without reservation. Although the angle was historical, not medieval fantasy, I knew that it wouldn’t be long before some clever minds would be inspired to think outside the box.  And so they have…

THE QUEST, the love-child of a production team who produced the LOTR trilogy is a reality game show that takes contestants into the fantasy kingdom of Everealm. There, the contestants, called paladins must learn how to fight and defend the kingdom from the evil forces of Verlox, and in doing so…

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Award Winning SciFi and Paranormal Romance!

Kristal Hollis:

Congratulations to Veronica, Alyssa, and Kathy on their awarding winning releases!

Originally posted on Smart Girls love SciFi:

A quick congratulations to the finalists and winners of the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards! I thought it would be fun to highlight the books of most relevance to our blog. 

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Paranormal and Futuristic Romance Category

Winner:

escapefz

Escape From Zulaire by Veronica Scott

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.

Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of civil war. Someone has pulled some serious…

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Hollywood’s Hottest Bachelor is a Werewolf

Sitting in the neuro imaging center bereft of my purse, containing a book, my iPad, and my iPhone—because the office staff was freakishly concerned that I would smuggle such items into the toothpaste sized cylinder I would be stuffed into for twenty minutes—I noticed the July 14th edition of PEOPLE magazine on the coffee table in the waiting room. Generally, I don’t pick up mags in medical facilities because of … you know … germs! But, I was bored and the flashy headline HOLLYWOOD’S HOTTEST BACHELORS! made me reckless.

Actually it was Joe Manganiello (Alcide Herveaux from HBO’s True Blood) on the cover.

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I snatched it up and had to move a few seats over because I wanted to enjoy Joe’s hottness without the weird woman next to me steaming my shoulder with her heaving breathing. Can I just say, c-r-e-e-p-y!

Anyway, PEOPLE magazine supposedly showcases HOLLYWOOD’S HOTTEST BACHELORS ages 20 to 60+. Notice I stated “supposedly.” I got up and asked the receptionist for my glasses, stowed in my confiscated purse because I didn’t quite trust my first impressions.

The glasses didn’t help.

I’m not sure who the editors at PEOPLE polled or how they define HOTTEST. Apparently their concept differs from mine. Not saying those gentlemen are hideous, but for me the title of HOTTEST is false advertisement. Except of course for Joe. They got that one right.

Leafing through the magazine I did find an advertisement featuring Liev Schreiber and thought, Holy Smokes, now he’s HOT! Why isn’t he on the list? Then I noticed the ring on his finger. Oh, yeah. He’s married. So are all of the really HOT men in Hollywood already  taken? Except for Joe?

Who’s your HOTTEST celebrity? And what do you find attractive him or her?

Fizzle to Sizzle: TV’s Paranormal

Originally posted on Smart Girls love SciFi:

TrueBloodOriginally, I planned to dedicate this post to TRUE BLOOD, a series based on Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries featuring Sooki Stackhouse. I had high hopes for the series’ final season. Especially after a drawn-out sixth season that fell flat in the entertainment department, for me. However, the hubster and I found the premiere to be the worst episode in all the seasons. For us, it seemed that the writers and actors put very little effort into the episode, and we had to wonder if they just couldn’t muster the motivation since they’ll be unemployed after the finale. Honestly, if the entire season is that poorly put together then it would’ve been better to have not brought back the show.

The one caveat that did pique my interest was the switch up with the actor portraying James. In season six, Luke Grimes played the charming, goody vampire who developed…

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MALEFICENT ~ You stole what was left of my heart.

Originally posted on Smart Girls love SciFi:

images (2)MALEFICENT~ touted as Disney’s most iconic villain ,finally gets her vindication. But, not in the way you may think. This summer’s visually stunning blockbuster opened to mediocre, at best, reviews where film critics bemoan the lack of plot.

I have a different take, as most often I do. The element that the film critics are missing isn’t plot, but adrenaline-charged action sequences. After all, Maleficent is supposed to be  the embodiment of pure evil. Magic and mayhem and epic battles have become essential selling tools in Hollywood, especially after the Harry Potter phenomenon and, I believe, many people expected this grandiose indulgence. I remember the exact moment in the film when I realized this movie was deviating from that expectation. And that’s when I really got excited.

You see, this movie isn’t about a woman scorned or revenge. It isn’t about jealousy, vanity, or greed. MALEFICENT is a love story.

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How to Look Beautiful, Dead or Alive

Kristal Hollis:

{Reblogged} Life in the Boomer Lane tickled me funny with this …

Originally posted on Life in the Boomer Lane:

Jill-Kargman

Throw out every single beauty product you haveJill Kargman, the daughter of the former chairman of Chanel (BIG money, access to all of the best beauty secrets on the planet) has revealed in the New York Times every single beauty procedure and beauty product she uses.  Let’s skip over the fact that Jill doesn’t allow the sun to touch any part of her face or body. As she attests, her goal is to look like a corpse.

Let’s also skip over the fact that Jill starts her day at 5:30 at the gym. She takes a 6AM SoulCycle class.  SoulCycle is named that because it goes so fast that it rips the soul out of your body and sends it spinning into oblivion. Plus you lose about 30 lbs every time you do it.

(Note to readers: At approximately the same time that Jill is…

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