Friday, September 26, 2008

News Of The Weird - Florida Style!

I found my jaw dropping repeatedly this morning at some of the bizarre news stories in today's paper. I even had to read a couple of them aloud to Captain America, as they were just too funny! His comment was, "That's Florida for you." And you know... he's right. Here in the land of hanging chads, beaches, mosquitoes and gators, we do things a little differently. Perhaps a little TOO differently:

A male probation officer wearing a blond wig, black miniskirt, fishnet stockings and no shoes has been charged with driving under the influence and drug possession. Oh, and he's the son of the county's Public Defender (Daddy must be so proud!)

A personal injury attorney and a hip/hop radio station sponsored a free gas giveaway for the first 102 people who showed up at a Wal-Mart gas station. Not only did 3000 people show up, but there was a near-riot, resulting in four separate traffic accidents, and a man charged with battery for hitting a woman who cut in line in front of him. (I'd say this is a clear case of the personal injury attorney creating business for himself!)

Evidently, you should never open your door to strangers who claim they were hired to remove poisonous snakes from your property, because if you do, you might get your hand "accidentally" sprayed with so-called poisonous snake venom and be forced to submerge it in warm water and milk for ten minutes. Oh, and while you're soaking your hand in the kitchen, the snake handlers will be upstairs ransacking your jewelry box. (Like, DUH!)

Hmm... apparently, if you burst in on your ex-girlfriend while she's having sex with her new boyfriend, kill him, chop off his head with a machete and place it on the hood of her car, you can claim that it was the voices that came through the radio while you were listening to rock n' roll oldies that told you to do it. (It wasn't Mick Jagger, was it?)

And finally, some good news:

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West have reached an agreement with the federal government that lets the 50 or so cats (descendents of six-toed cat named "Snowball" owned by the author in 1935) continue to freely roam the grounds of Hemingway's old home, ending a five-year battle that could've had them removed or caged. (C'mon now, doesn't the government have bigger fish to fry than fighting for five years over a bunch of well-cared for, healthy, tourist-drawing CATS?)

Geesh. I love a happy ending...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Brian Hamlin Is My New BFF!

No, Captain America and I are not on the outs, and I've never even met Brian Hamlin, but he is now officially one of my all-time favorite people. Why? Because he's a reporter for the Vacaville, CA newspaper, The Reporter, and he wrote a fabulous review of my book, A MATCH MADE IN HELL , which in turn got picked up by BusinessWeek! Needless to say, I'm thrilled (can you tell?), and very excited. Here's the review, in its entirety:

Brian Hamlin column: Have you been seeing dead people? You're not alone, amigos [The Reporter, Vacaville, Calif.]

Sep. 21--The 'I see dead people' genre seems to be making a growing impact on the quirky world of supermarket paperbacks.

The latest, and possibly greatest, entry in this niche market is "A Match Made in Hell" by Terri Garey (2008, Avon Books, New York, N.Y., $6.99, 373 Pages).

Described as a "paranormal romance," it's much, much more and, like all the best supermarket paperbacks, is filled with everything you never expected to find in Safeway.

Garey, who also penned "Dead Girls are Easy," tells the tale of one Nicki Styx, a vintage clothing store owner who leads an outwardly mundane existence as a struggling businesswoman in Five Points, Ga.

Unfortunately, Nicki has suffered a recent near-death experience and, upon her return to the mortal plane, discovers that she's acquired a somewhat bothersome talent -- she sees dead people. Worse, the aforementioned dead people tend to seek her out with alarming regularity.

Nicki is still adjusting to her newfound skill when a middle-aged woman wanders into her shop to explain that she's been in an auto accident and that her daughter is trapped in the wreckage of their car somewhere.

This, in itself, is a startling revelation. After all, who rushes to a vintage fashion boutique to report a traffic accident?

If you guessed "dead people," you're right on target.

The woman, Lila "Peaches" Boudreaux, doesn't even realize she's dead yet, although she suspects something's amiss because only Nicki can see her.

The woman begs Nicki to rescue her daughter and Nicki, being a helpful soul, agrees to go in search of the wreckage. Nicki also takes a moment to notify her married boyfriend, Dr. Joe Bascombe, and ask him to accompany the ambulance once they locate the car.

With help from dead Lila, Nicki finds the wreckage and directs the ambulance to the site, where Dr. Joe goes to work.

And here's where this supermarket paperback goes from good to great.

Lila's daughter, it turns out, is actually Nicki's twin sister, who is married to Dr. Joe. And Lila is the twins' long-lost mother, who gave them up for adoption when they were babies.

And there's much, more to this complex relationship than meets the eye -- even if you've got an eye that sees dead people.

I know what some of you are saying right now: "Hey, you're giving all the good parts away. What's left for us?!"

Fear not. Everything I've so far related happens before page 35.


Nicki Styx and her sister, Kelly Charon -- Styx and Charon, get it? -- still have to contend with an exceedingly quirky grandmother, a conniving dead adulteress known as Psycho Barbie, a pair of enthusiastic ghost hunters named Spider and Skully, a long-dead Civil War widow and, of course, the minions of Satan.

Supermarket paperbacks just don't get any better than this.

Hey, thanks Brian. You definitely made an author's day today!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ghost Town

I went to see Ghost Town last night, a quirky romantic comedy about a guy who has a near-death experience, and comes back to life with the ability to see dead people.

Hm... where have I heard that plotline before? Could it be because it's the exact same plotline of my Nicki Styx novels? :-)

Granted, Nicki Styx is not a pudgy, middle-aged, depressed dentist who lives in Manhattan, but other than that... (and here is where I state, for the record, that I wrote the first draft of DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY way back in 2004, and it was published over a year ago)... other than that, it had so many similarities to what I'm writing that it was a bit freaky.

For the record, I thoroughly enjoyed it. While I originally found the casting a bit odd (Ricky Gervais is a great actor, but casting a pudgy, pasty British guy as a romantic interest for Tea Leoni - who's a total hottie - seemed strange), but he pulled it off. Greg Kinnear was perfect as the arrogant, pain-in-the-ass businessman ghost who wouldn't leave poor Dr. Pincus alone. Lots of interesting secondary characters, and some really funny moments, mixed in with some deep emotions about life, death and social isolation among the living as well as the dead. I give it 5 stars, if anyone's interested. :-)

I couldn't help but pick apart the similarities, though - the overall theme of the movie is learning how to give of yourself and do the right thing for other people, even though you don't necessarily want to. How "doing unto others" leads to becoming a better person yourself. Interesting concept, huh? ;-)

I'm not claiming plagiarism, because there's no way to patent an idea and I accept that, but there was one particular scene that made my husband and I both gasp out loud and elbow each other in the theatre:

Tea Leoni is an archeologist who asks Dr. Pincus (Ricky Gervais), for his opinion regarding the dental situation of a 2000 yr old mummy. As they lean over the mummified remains, Dr. P. explains how the cause of death was most likely an absessed tooth. He makes the comment about how once infection set in, it was only a matter of time before the Egyptian guy ended up with "pennies on his eyes". Leoni corrects him, saying it would've been a penny in his mouth, because ancient Greeks believed that bodies should be buried with a coin for the ferryman, who ferried lost souls across the River STYX. Um, hello... the mummy was Egyptian, not Greek, so the history was completely taken out of context, and the line of dialogue was completely random and out of place. Hubby was convinced that it was a reference to my books. He's sweet like that. :-)

Anyway, a solid thumbs-up to Ghost Town, whether the script writers have been reading my books or not. LOL

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Have The Bestest Friends...

I got the nicest surprise in the mail yesterday!

My writing buddies Carla Capshaw and Stacey Kayne sent me a very special gift in honor of my winning the RITA last month. They bought in San Francisco the day after we all attended the awards ceremony, so it's really like an awesome present/souvenir all in one!

I had to take a picture of the package before I even opened it - it was SO beautiful! The paper is black and white flocked velvet, and there's an orange beaded thinga-ma-bob that says "Celebrate". Carla wrapped it herself - I told her she needs to go into the gift wrapping business!

I didn't think it could get any better, until I opened it, and found the most awesome coffee mug ever - it even has my name on it! LOL (Some of my friends call me "Spooky") It makes a spooky sound every time you pick it up - isn't that clever?

And isn't it CUTE? I absolutely love it.

I'm not going to use it for coffee, though - I think it will be perfect to hold my "spirits" on Halloween night. :-) (Jack and coke, in case you're wondering! LOL)

Thanks so much, Carla and Stacey! You guys are the best!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins? Be still my vampire-lovin' heart!!

Oh, how did I miss this article in Variety about Johnny Depp playing the lead role in the upcoming Dark Shadows movie?

DARK SHADOWS was a spooky Gothic soap opera from the late 60's-early 70's - a true cult classic. I used to watch it in reruns at 4pm every afternoon when I was a kid, and it was just the coolest!! The lonely, brooding vampire Barnabas Collins, the creepy old house of Collinwood on the coast of Maine, waves crashing on the shore, ghosts, witches, werewolves, secret crypts, fog enshrouded woods - oh, it was every young vampire lovers dream, long before Anne Rice ever put pen to paper.

The idea that Johnny Depp will star in the remake is just TOO fabulous! I cannot wait to see what he does with the role. I particularly loved reading this:

Depp has said in interviews that he has always been obsessed with "Dark Shadows" and had, as a child, wanted to be Barnabas Collins, the vampire patriarch of the series. The role was originated by Jonathan Frid.
See, Johnny? I knew it - we're kindred spirits, after all. :-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh, no.. he di-ent!

Barack Obama did NOT say what I heard he said, did he?

And even more important, he doesn't expect people to believe he meant what he said as just repeating an outdated cliche that nobody uses anymore, as opposed to a direct attack on his opponent, did he?

Oh no, he di-ent!

And oh no, the American public ain't that stupid.

He did.

And it just cost him my vote.

Buh-bye, Obama. I happen to like my lipstick. And I happen to like women who support their children no matter whether their mistakes are genetic or teenage-based, who support their families against bullies, and who aren't afraid to take on the world, whether it's in beauty pageants or politics.

Change is great, and it comes in all colors. Including pink.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Come To The Dark Side, We Have Cookies Contest!

Okay, I admit it - I've never tried to claim that I was "normal", particularly when it comes to Halloween! Technically, summer is over and fall has arrived (I say "technically" because I live in Florida, so the changing seasons are pretty much green, green, green, and slightly chilly).

Even though it's only September, I'm already in a Halloween kind of mood! (I absolutely adore Halloween - it brings out the kid in me. The weird, slightly odd, somewhat "off" kid... ;-) Anyway, this year it's going to be two months of weirdness (September and October), kicked off with my :

Come To The Dark Side,
We Have Cookies Contest!

C'mon... who doesn't like cookies? :-) (chocolate cookies with chocolate pumpkins and chocolate caramel corn and... did I mention the chocolate? lol) Five runner-ups will receive one of these cool little coffin-shaped tins filled with mints, and assortment of goodies from some of my favorite authors! (Wouldn't want to frighten away the trick-or-treaters with chocolate pumpkin cookie breath, now would you? :-)

Drawing will be held October 15, 2009 - just in time to get your goodies before Halloween!

All you have to do is answer the question, "What kind of car does Sammy drive?". You'll find the answer by reading an EXCERPT from the next release in the Nicki Styx series, You're the One That I Haunt (March 2009).

Send me an EMAIL with the right answer as to what kind of wheels a REAL sexy devil drives, and good luck!

(p.s. - just so you know, entering adds your name to my mailing list, but I promise, there will be no spam and no nagging. :-) Just occasional notice of upcoming releases, that's all.

So what are you waiting for, ghoulfriend? You can't win if you don't enter! lol