Saturday, March 31, 2007

Old Boyfriends Rock! Literally.

My first serious boyfriend (i.e., the first boy I kissed), was when I was in the eighth grade. Billy was the neighbor of a girlfriend of mine, and even though we didn't go to the same school, we saw each other regularly after school and on weekends. Billy was a guitar playing rocker, even in the eighth grade, with shaggy hair and an actual band (that I can't remember the name of). He called me every night, and though it took it a little while to work up the nerve to kiss me, he did it in most romantic way any girl could imagine - he took me for a moonlight boat ride on the lake, and while we were out in the middle, all alone, he leaned over and gave me a kiss. Talk about your romantic evening! It was a chaste kiss (as were all of them - we were only thirteen, after all) and I'm forever grateful to him for giving a memory like that to cherish.

But as so often happens in the teenage world, we both moved on to other people and other interests, luckily with no hard feelings. And then, last year (thanks to, I got an email from Billy. Not only was I thrilled to hear from him, I was thrilled to learn that he'd never given up his dream of becoming a rock star. :) He now goes by the name Billy Angel, and he's the lead singer in The Rockabilly Band (any Brian Setzer/Stray Cats fans out there? Then you'll know what I'm talking about), and is also a DJ on a local radio station. He has a beautiful wife, and he's living his dream - what more could I guy want?

I just wish I could see him play, one more time, but alas, he lives in Big Sky Country and I live in Gatorland. I think about him from time to time (and I hope he doesn't mind that I just told the world he was the first guy I ever kissed!), and wish him well. Rock on, Billy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Have you seen the new TV show called "Raines"? It stars Jeff Goldblum as a detective who sees and hears the dead. (Gee, right up my alley, wouldn't you say?) I was so excited when I heard about this series because, quite simply, casting is everything, and casting the quirky yet charming Jeff Goldblum as a guy who talks to the dead was brilliant.

I know he isn't handsome in the traditional sense of the word, but I've had a crush on him for years. That wide-lipped, sensual mouth, those slumberous eyes, that playful sense of humor. Plus, he's tall, lean-hipped and looks fabulous in either a suit or jeans. Every time I see him I wonder if he's as good in bed as he is on the screen, and every time the mental answer comes back, "Oh, yeah." At the very least, I'm sure he's a fascinating conversationalist, and any time spent in his company would keep me on my toes.

Anyway, I've seen both episodes of this new series, and I absolutely LOVE it. The twist *SPOILER HERE* is that even though the people Raines sees are dead (crime victims), they're not actually ghosts, per se. They're hallucinations. Which means they can't help him solve the crimes that killed him, because they only know what he knows. They talk to him, but he's really talking to himself. Of course, in the end, all this talking and getting to know his victims helps him discover who killed them. It's witty and clever and... did I mention it stars Jeff Goldblum? :)

Watch it!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Golden Hearts and Playground Parts

The Writer's Playground is a group of 20 women who came together three years ago in the spirit of fun and encouragement. We were a motley crew of diverse styles and genres :), but we cheered each other on, encouraged, nagged, and inspired (the hunks were for entertainment purposes only. Really). Tawny's naughty and Tammy's sweet, Marlene is nurturing and Betty's bawdy, Sheila's a whipcracker and Kimmi's a firecracker... we all have our parts to play, and considering how far apart we are in locations and personalities, those parts add up to a pretty amazing whole. It's truly astounding how far we've come together, and, oh my... what fun we've had while doing it!

Over the past three years our little group has seen some incredible successes: eight of us have gone on to become published, eleven have finaled in the prestigious Golden Heart contest (a total of nineteen times!). One Golden Heart winner, one American Title contest winner, and more smaller contest wins among us than I can possibly count! We must be doing something right, hm?

Plus, we have great fun at conferences! :)

But today I want to give a special shout-out and a huge HOORAY! to my friends Beth Burgoon, Kim Duffy, Carla Hughes, Sheila Mohs, and Anna Sugden for finaling in this year's Golden Heart contest! Anna and Beth will battle it out (once again) in the Long Contemporary category with MORTGAGED HEARTS and ALL OR NOTHING; Sheila finaled in Paranormal with her sexy pirate story, TIME TREASURE; Kim Duffy (writing as Lindsey Brookes) has broken through the GH barrier with her fun Young Adult, MY BEST FRIEND'S A REAL DOG; and Carla has finaled in the Inspirational category with her Roman historical, TO LOVE A GLADIATOR.

I'm so proud of them all, and can't wait to cheer them on at the RWA national conference in Dallas this coming July. You can bet we'll have a wild night, win or lose. These women are all winners in my book!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I Double Dare You Not To Smile!

Check out this picture of my dear, sweet friend, Tawny Weber! (Pay no attention to the "Captain's Wench" t-shirt - Tawny's Johnny Depp addiction is legendary). :) Tawny is holding her first (of many, I'm sure) books, a Harlequin Blaze entitled DOUBLE DARE. The publishers in NYC seem to be raining down manna from heaven and making dreams come true this week!

DOUBLE DARE is what you call a "HOT" read... which makes perfect sense considering who wrote it. Tawny's quite the hottie herself! (It's true - Johnny Depp doesn't know what he's missing). If you wanna read about a naughty lingerie designer out to prove what a bad girl she is, and a sexy undercover cop who can't wait to find out, this is the book for you!

Enjoy the thrill, Tawny, and I'm so glad I get to share it with you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Squeal Heard 'Round The World!

No, it wasn't a high-pitched sonic boom or your smoke alarm going off this morning, it was me squealing when a box of galleys for DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY was delivered to my door! I wasn't expecting them this early, and I was floored!

"Galleys", also known as ARC's (Advanced Reader Copies), are the bound, pre-proofed version of your book that is sent to reviewers and booksellers (a sneak preview, if you will).

Here's a closer view of what the cover actually looks like:

Isn't it cool? I guess this is the official "unveiling" of the cover! The first time I saw it, I thought, "Whoa," but within five seconds I was thinking, "Yeah!". I just love it. All Halloweeny and spooky and cool and funny. It fits the book perfectly, and look at my name on top! LOL

Even better, the back cover copy is not what I thought it was going to be - it's even better! I haven't been able to stop smiling all day!

Holding that actual book in your hand makes an incredible journey finally seem real.

Wow. It's a good day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Paying It Forward Pays Off

A few months ago, I attended a writing conference. There were a lot of agents and editors in attendance, and after the conference was over I wrote an industry article entitled AGENT NEWS FROM NEW JERSEY. My theory was that there were a lot of people out there who were dying to know the details about specific literary agents (there's only so much you can learn from the Internet, after all), but weren't able to attend conferences or fly to New York and find out for themselves. :)

Anyway, I just got a very nice email from a woman named Esther Pemberton, who after reading my article, queried agent Mary Sue Seymour. In the true tradition of happy endings, Esther has now signed on as one of Mary Sue's clients!

Congratulations, Esther, and thanks for letting me know that my article helped somebody achieve something so wonderful! Best of luck in your writing career!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Fifteen And Counting...

My husband and I celebrated our 15th anniversary the other day. Fifteen years of wedded bliss. :) (Really!) Unfortunately for us, our anniversary fell on a day that was filled with family drama and trauma, loaded with angst, and all around crappy. I'll spare you the details, but it was a pretty bad day. At the end of it, both Captain America and I wanted nothing more than to go to bed and pull the covers over our head (together, of course). But in the end, I looked at him and he looked at me, and we started talking about how blessed we were to have each other to help us through days like the one we'd just had. And how we'd had fifteen years of supporting each other, through good times and bad; and how we'd love to have fifteen more, then fifteen more after that.

So I picked up my purse, he grabbed the car keys, and we went out to dinner, even though we were both worn out. He gave me a sweet card and I gave him a funny one, but we gave each other a whole lot more than that - we gave each other smiles and laughs and good memories to wash away the strain of the day. When the sh*t hits the fan, it's really good to have someone you can depend on to tilt the fan in the other direction, at least for a little while.

And you know what else? You don't always have to be the one who needs the fan tilted. Tilting it for someone else makes you feel just as good. So the next time you've had a really bad day, pick up the phone and call someone who might be dealing with some crap of their own, and do a little cheering up. You'll cheer yourself up in the process.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Your Weight On Other Worlds

Ever wonder how much you'd weigh on the moon? I mean, c'mon - weightlessness must be cool! On the moon, you could eat all the chocolate you want and still float like Neil Armstrong, right?

Um, no. According to this INTERPLANETARY WEIGHT CALCULATOR, I'd weigh about 20 pounds on the moon (dag nabbit!), and so would you. I'd tip the scale at around 50 pounds on Mars, achieve my ideal weight on Venus. :)

It's a fun way to spend 2 minutes, and see some great graphics of the solar system. Go check it out!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Specters and Spirits and Ghosts... Oh, My!

I did a guest blog for a friend of mine the other day, Sandy Barkevich. (Thanks again for having me, Sandy!) :) Since I'm up to my neck in revisions and proofing, I thought I'd republish it here as today's blog entry. Here it is:

My name is Terri Garey, and I once lived in a haunted house.

Too dramatic? Okay, let me try again. (Even though it’s true.)


Hi, my name is Terri Garey. Why yes, my name does rhyme, doesn’t it? (Go ahead and giggle. Everyone does. ) I write paranormal romance for Avon HarperCollins. My first book, DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY will be released September 2007, followed by the sequel, WHERE THE GHOULS ARE, in March of 2008. Both novels are about ghosts, voodoo and an extremely unlikely psychic—a former Goth girl named Nicki Styx, who runs a vintage clothing store in Little Five Points, Georgia. Poor Nicki has a brush with death—as in she dies, in case you didn’t get that—and comes back to life as an unwilling ‘ghoulfriend’ to the dead. Nicki finds out that the sweet hereafter ain’t always so sweet, and the here-and-now can be just as tricky. Throw in the hunky doctor who saved her life, some great sex, and a healthy dose of chills and giggles—well, that pretty much sums it up.

There. Was that introduction better? Now you more about me than most of my neighbors do.

So why do I write ghost stories for a living? In large part, because I once lived in a haunted house (see introduction #1). Because I live in the South, where ghost stories and a belief in things that go bump in the night is common (the cockroaches alone will give you nightmares). Because my mother had a near-death experience, and claimed to see angels at her bedside the week before she died. Because my very first crush was on an actor who played a vampire on the classic Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows. Because I never missed Creature Feature on Saturday afternoons. The Addams Family and Munsters reruns were the staples of my childhood, as were the campy old black and white movies like “Abbot and Costello Meet The Mummy”, but X-Files, Medium and Bones are the staples of my adulthood.

In short, because I’ve always been fascinated by the dark side, while clinging to the light with both hands. Which is kind of what happens to Nicki Styx in DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY. I mean, I love to hear about ghosts, but I wouldn’t wanna see one.

Which brings me back to the time I lived in a haunted house (c’mon… you didn’t think I’d drop a juicy tidbit like that and then leave ya hanging, did ya? What kind of “teller of ghost stories” would I be?). So here it is: When my husband and I were first married, we moved into a rental house in an older part of town. My teenage stepdaughter came to me one morning with a bizarre tale of how the bathroom door had opened all by itself, and the ghostly figure of a man had stuck his head around the door and “peeked” at her. Oddly enough, even though she was frightened, she hadn’t felt the need to shriek the house down (which is what I would’ve done), because she said the whole experience was more “eerie” than frightening. The man faded away while she stared, and then she went back to bed, trying to tell herself it was a bad dream.

I, on the other hand, was pretty freaked. So, I went next door to the neighbors, and asked what they knew about the history of our house. They were more than happy to share. It turns out that ten years earlier, the house had been the scene of a murder/suicide. The man who owned it had been quite a “player”, and one of his girlfriends had finally decided that if she couldn’t have him, no one would. So she came over one night, shot and killed him, then shot and killed herself. Creepy, huh? Even creepier was the fact that his body was found in the hallway, outside the bathroom door. I’ve got the actual newspaper article to prove it.

We moved out less than a month later. I just couldn’t take knowing two people had died there under such tragic circumstances, and I kept expecting somebody to pop up and shout, “Boo!” (or worse) any second. The house is still a rental property, which doesn’t surprise me one bit.

How about you? The French surrealist poet Paul Eluard once said, “There is another world, and it is in this one.” Anybody else out there with a ghostly experience you’d care to share?