Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blame It On Billy

There was a trending topic on Facebook the other day, asking people about the first concert they ever attended. It got me thinking, and it got me remembering. :-)

My first concert was when I was 14, and while I can't remember the actual name of the band, I do remember the when, the where and the why. You're looking at him right now: my very first boyfriend, Billy.

Billy was my first serious crush, my first kiss, and the first teenage boy to ever tell me he loved me. (Can I hear an "awwwww...."). He lived in my neighborhood, was a year or two older than me, and gee - he had a garage band! I used to spend Saturdays hanging out at his house and listening to them play, and when he got his first real gig at a local apartment complex, I was there, as his biggest fan. I can't really remember why we broke up, but I do remember it as being amicable - no major drama, just growing up and moving on, I suppose. We eventually lost touch, of course, because right after high school, Billy struck out on his own looking for those "bright lights and big city".

I'm happy to say he found it, or at least his own version of it, and has been in several bands over the years. He's still making music out in Montana, both as a rock-n-roll deejay on local radio, and a solo performer. He tracked me down a couple of years ago, and I was thrilled to hear from him. He now goes by the name of Billy Angel, and though his hair doesn't look quite the way it used to :-), he's still the same sweet guy I remember: kind, funny, devoted to his wife and to the music he's always heard in his head.

I've been asked many times about the musical references I use in my books, the bands I love and follow (both old and new) and basically just how I got so into music. I have eclectic tastes when it comes to bands and am always open to variety - if I like it, I like it, and if I don't, no way am I going to accept your friend request on MySpace, no matter how many times you send me one! :-p (If I do, though, I will.)

While the easy answer as to why I like rock-n-roll so much is just that I just enjoy it in general, the real answer is that I blame it on Billy. :-)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

HORNS: A Novel by Joe Hill

As the Rolling Stones once said, "You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need". That's how I felt about Joe Hill's HORNS. Once I got past the first scene, which I found a bit confusing (horns? a girl pigging out on doughnuts?), I couldn't put this book down, and actually had to force myself to put it aside and parse it out in small doses to make it last longer.

You see, one morning, after Ignatius Perrish spent the night "drunk and doing terrible things", he woke up with a hangover, a raging headache, and a pair of horns growing from his head. Not just any horns, but horns that had the power to make total strangers want to tell him their deepest, darkest thoughts. What he learned wasn't so great - everyone in the small town he grew up in believed he'd gotten away with brutally murdering his girlfriend a year earlier.

What drew me in and kept me there was how I honestly didn't know for quite some time whether Ig's horns were real, or just a figment of his tortured imagination. I loved how I wasn't sure myself whether Ig had murdered Merrin or not, and whether every evil thing that the secondary characters confessed to him was just part of an overall guilty psychosis. I found myself truly looking forward to each new character encounter, just to find out "what evil dwelt within the minds of men" (and women).

By the time I got to the middle of the novel, I could see where the author was flagging a bit, but I didn't hold it against him - I really wanted to see where it went and what would happen to poor, tortured Ig. I wanted to know if Merrin was the good girl she seemed to be, or if she, too, had the Devil inside. Joe Hill is obviously a fan of old time rock-n-roll, and the song references got to be a bit much (I had to roll my eyes at a particular plot point involving the Devil in a blue dress), but this was SUCH a good exploration of the evil and the good contained within the human heart, and our ongoing struggle to determine which side is going to win. Hill's writing style was so simple, yet so poignant, that I found myself reading certain passages over again ("The corn whispered frantically, spreading false rumors about him." "The wind caught her hair and did pretty things with it.")

As an aside, I'll point out that Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King, and (no offense to Mr. King), this was easily as good as anything his father has ever written. It was clear to me, however, that this book reflected the author's own style and voice, not his father's.

I will admit I found the ending a bit frenetic and somewhat fantastical, but again, it IS a horror novel, and after all the buildup, it could hardly be something as easy as "the bad guy got his, and they all lived happily ever after". As the song goes and as Hill's characters ultimately discovered, you can't always get what you want, but you get what you need. In this case, that goes for the reader, too.

Despite a few flaws, this one is going on my keeper shelf, and unlike many second novels, I think this one was far better than Hill's first (A Heart-Shaped Box).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Here, There and Everywhere

The first quarter of 2010 is almost gone, and I find myself busy planning the rest of my year before it gets away from me. I've got several trips scheduled, but before I say when and where, I want to point out to any Internet burglers or bad guys that my house will NOT be empty while I'm gone! I have a full-time housesitter, a neighborhood watch, an alarm system, a very loud dog and two hissing, spitting, extremely territorial cats for you to deal with!

The next three months are just the usual family stuff (birthdays, out-of-town relatives, a college graduation) plus some writing deadlines I cannot miss: Book #1 in the new series is due April 1st, and I will have to immediately begin work on Book #2 to have it delivered by the end of the year. In between I'll be doing A) revisions B) copy edits C) back cover copy and D) proofing of galleys for Book #1, then start the process all over again for Book #2.

I am, however, planning a week at the beach to relax and regroup in mid-April, and cannot WAIT to watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico with a drink in my hand!

July will be busy, as I will be flying out to Denver for the RomCon Conference, a three-day readers/writers extravaganza, during which I will sign books, chat with readers, and participate in such delightful silliness as "Speed Date An Author" or play a game of "Were-Squares" (in which two reader teams go head-to-head attempting to detect which werewolf & shape-shifter authors are telling the truth and which are lying through their canines). Sounds fun, doesn't it? Before the conference, I'll be spending a few days exploring the Rocky Mountains, which I've always wanted to see but never have.

Home for two weeks, then I'm off again, this time flying to Nashville for the annual Romance Writers of America Convention, being held in the world-famous Gaylord Opryland Hotel, July 28-31st. I'm flying out early then, too, so I'll have extra time to spend with writing pals I don't get to see any other time of the year. This conference is the biggie of the industry: workshops, meetings, multiple booksignings, meetings with agents, editors and other industry professionals, and the ever-popular RITA and Golden Heart Awards. (Can't wait to see who wins this year!)

August will find me re-grouping and working hard to finish Book #2 before jetting off to London in September for a real vacation... we'll be staying with friends in Cambridge and plan to do the "tourist thing" to the fullest, exploring the great cities of London and Cambridge as well as venturing out into the surrounding countryside to check out Hampton Court, old abbeys, stone circles and life in Merrye Olde England. (Maybe I'll be inspired enough to write a classic historical like The Scarlet Pimpernel, hm?)

October will be full as well, as I'm planning on going all out again this year on my annual Halloween festivities, including a fundraiser for a local children's charity, but before the ghoulies and ghosties arrive, I'll be attending yet another conference, Necronomicon 2010, a science fiction, fantasy and horror convention being held in St. Petersburg, FL, Oct. 22 – 24th. I've never attended a conference like this one before, but it promises to be fun: panels, workshops, costume parties and ghoulishly themed get-togethers like the Eye Scream Social, a Scavenger Hunt, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog and something called "Filking", though I have no idea what that is! I only hope I don't get eaten by a zombie (or a grue) while I'm there.

By the time November and December roll around, I plan on being exhausted, yet will still have to make it through the holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas will be right around the corner!

And there you have it, my year in a (very long) nutshell. There may very well be some other events and activities that arise. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vampires Read, Too - The Story Behind The 69 Eyes and Dead Girls Are Easy

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Finnish glam/goth rockers, The 69 Eyes. A friend sent me a link last year to the "Live At Tavastia" videos on YouTube, and I was hooked. I friended the band on MySpace, and to my surprise, got a reply directly from Finland's Prince of Darkness himself, their lead singer, Jyrki69 (Jyrki Linnankivi). It's pronounced "Yurkee", if you're wondering. :-)

You see, I hate to blow the band's badass cover, but they're actually a bunch of really nice guys, and Jyrki was dropping me a note to tell me that he'd read my books, and that one of them had provided a little inspiration for a song he'd written for their new album, which they were working on at the time. He didn't tell me which one, and I didn't ask, because he evidently wanted it to be a surprise. Since I've never been one to peek at presents before they're given, I was happy to wait and see what happened next. We corresponded a bit, which was very nice, and I learned a lot about Jyrki and the band in the meantime: gold-selling artists with a career that's spanned over 20 years, fan clubs in just about every country in Europe, and still the original group of guys who have yet to burn out and fade away. Jyrki himself is a well-read, articulate, art aficionado with a degree in Chemistry and a "Young Person of the Year" award for his work with Unicef. (I don't know why I even bother to write fiction, because THAT is just the kind of stuff you can't make up, people!)

At any rate, the wait was worth it. The debut single from their current CD, Back In Blood, was titled DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY and it was simply awesome, as is the rest of the album. The song was then turned into a music video, which debuted this summer on You can see it, and listen to it, right here.

The Eyes then took the Australia, the US, Europe and the UK by storm with a follow up tour promoting the new CD, during which I got to meet them all in person. I posted all the pics on my blog back in October when it happened, but this, of course, is my favorite one - Jyrki and me, with Jyrki holding up a copy of Dead Girls Are Easy, which all of the band members signed.
While they were in Croatia during their tour, they did several interviews with the local media, and here, for the first time, is Jyrki telling the story of how he found the book in a bookstore, thought the title was cool, and bought it. The Croatian to English translation leaves a bit to be desired (through no fault of the lovely Ivy Sataic, who conducted the interview - it's more of a Google problem), so I'll reprint the portion about the book right here:

IVY: And when we talk about art we cannot bypass books, which leads us to the song "Dead Girls Are Easy" after the same named book. What attracted your attention in the book to name the song after it?
J69: I get inspired in many ways. It can be the name of the movie or it can be a painting or picture in the magazine. Something that just got my attention. So one of these days I was walking around the book store and I noticed the Dead Girls Are Easy book and was like, "Wow! The title is cool." I bought the book. Then at the same time we were writing new music, so that title really fit as a song. Later on I had to think about what the hell that could mean as the song obviously is not the straight reference to the book. I actually have all Terri Garey's books, which is pretty cool stuff, and I can't wait if they're made into movies. But I mean, in general, Dead Girls Are Easy was a really cool expression and I just started to think what it could mean and what it could mean as a chorus in a song, so I started to build it up like that.
So there you go. Truth really IS stranger than fiction, in SO many ways.

I love The 69 Eyes--for their music (their drummer, Jussi, puts Tommy Lee in the shade, and all three of their guitarists, Bazie, Timo-Timo, and Archzie, are masters of the craft) their originality, their showmanship, and their kindness. As Jyrki pointed out in yet a different interview, good guys can wear black, too. :-) Buy their CD, and get bitten!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Addams Family - A Musical

I'm not much for musicals, but this is one Broadway show I wouldn't mind seeing! I loved and adored the Addams Family - Gomez, the creepy but adoring father, Morticia, the sexy but loving mother, and irrepressible Uncle Fester, oh my! I will even admit to having a strange crush on Lurch, the zombie-like, monotone behemoth of a butler. I wanted Thing (a disembodied hand) to live in a box in my bedroom, and I wanted to brush the hair of Cousin It (even though I couldn't understand a word he was saying).

What's tipped me over to the musical side here though is not so much that I loved the TV show, but the Broadway version's casting is PERFECT: Nathan Lane as Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia. For those who don't recall, Bebe Neuwirth played cold, controlling wife Lilith in one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, Frasier, and Nathan Lane was absolutely brilliant as an over-the-top drag queen in one of my favorite movies, The Birdcage. Not only do they both look the parts of Morticia and Gomez, but they're wonderful actors, and anybody who knows me knows my opinion that casting is everything.

I'm buried under a deadline at the moment, but I'm definitely considering a trip to New York for this one!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Beautiful Cause, A Beautiful Day

Thought I'd post a few pictures from the Walk To Defeat ALS, which I participated in this past Saturday. It took place downtown near the river, and the turnout was fabulous, as was the beauty of the day. While it was sad that all of us were there because we'd lost family members to this horrible disease, it was extremely uplifting to know that we were there to make a difference, to hopefully keep future families from going through what we all went through.

Several hundred of us walked in a long line, laughing, chatting and appreciating that we could do what our loved ones no longer could (even when they were alive), which is WALK. Walking is something we all truly take for granted. I try to do it every day for my health, but it's also a great way to unwind and enjoy life.

This final shot is of my wonderful brother-in-law, his lovely wife (my sister), me, and my sweet husband. I think my mom would've liked it, don't you?

Thanks so much to everyone who came out and participated! And the rest of you? Go out and take a walk!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

I saw this commercial for the first time last week, and it's got to be one of the most effective, clever (and hilarious!) commercials I've ever seen. Not only did the name of the product itself stick in my head (which supposedly doesn't happen until you've been exposed to an ad a minimum of seven times), but it worked! I'm going to buy some for my husband (he won't use it, but I'm going to buy it anyway, just to see how it smells). Way to go, Old Spice, for figuring out how to motivate women into buying an exclusively male product!

Personally, I've never been an Old Spice kind of girl - I prefer the smell of Calvin Klein's "Obsession" for men - but I know how important smells can be in evoking memories and feelings. My first boyfriend wore English Leather, and to this day I can't smell it without thinking of him.

So here's the obvious question, ladies: What does YOUR man smell like? :-)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

London Calling...

(Hit the play button before reading this post. It's more fun that way.) "London Calling' by The Clash is one of my "oldie-but-goodie" favorites, and it's particularly appropriate today for two reasons:

1) I just got off the phone with one my dear friends who lives in Cambridge, just outside of London, and
2) I have plane reservations to go there in September! Woot!

Yes, the hubby and I are going to do the "American Not-So-Much-Werewolves-As-Tourists in London" bit, and are flying in for 10 days of sightseeing, fish-n-chips, and a bit of 'God Save The Queen". No doubt we shall be gobsmacked and chuffed to bits by our visit (that means amazed and thrilled), and shall do our best not to get too knackered and arrive tickety-boo (that means not too tired and with no problems).

Don't you just love the way British speak? I do.

So, off we go, and Bob's your uncle. (And that's that!)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Another Random Excerpt - "Uninvited"

Like most published authors, I have a few old, unpublished manuscripts under the bed (technically, they're on my hard drive, but the point is, they were never published). One of them, called UNINVITED, is a modern day ghost story about a young woman fleeing an abusive husband, who moves into a house that turns out to be the scene of a murder/suicide, and haunted by two different ghosts, both the murderer and the victim (ooo, spooky!). And just so you know, this is based on a true story, which I've mentioned on my blog before. So here's a scene from UNINVITED, in which the heroine has called in a paranormal investigations team (4 guys and a psychic) to help her figure out what's going on:


The lights on the electromagnetic field detector flashed bright green, then red. Dave stopped, fiddling with the dials. “Baseline reading was .4mG. I’m getting spikes up to .9, and down to .3.” He spoke for the benefit of the video camera as much as ours.

“He was surprised.” The psychic, Maureen, came up behind me. Her soft statement had an otherworldly tone to it, bringing us back from the safe world of science. “He didn’t think she’d do it.”

She moved down the hallway, Dave and Steve making way while keeping their eyes on their instruments. At my bedroom door, she stopped, then turned, searching the air around her.

“Is the EVP recorder on?” Steve’s sharply hissed question betrayed his excitement.

Maureen ignored him as she addressed herself to the shadows. “Spirit, tell us why you linger.” Her voice was like honey, soothing and full of ease. She lured an answer from the air as though inviting confidences from her best friend. Closing her eyes, she swayed slightly, her rosary clutched in both hands. Even in the dimness I could see her fingers moving on the beads.

Utter silence, save for whatever Maureen might hear. I felt nothing this time... saw and heard nothing. Somehow I knew that Parker was drawn to Maureen instead of me, concentrating his ethereal efforts on someone whose earthly spirit reached out to him, a potent lure for a phantom forever trapped in a hell of his own making. A chance to communicate with the world of the living again, however briefly.

“Guilt, and remorse.” Maureen opened her eyes. “He feels very badly about something -- no, someone. He feels very badly about someone, but I don’t know who.” Surprisingly, she smiled. “He likes you, though, " she said to me. "Your aura’s just brightened.”

Sure enough, I felt a whisp of ice on my cheek. I shrank against Adam and stayed there, avoiding the sweeps of Dave’s metered amplifier.

“Another big spike here,” he said, for benefit of the camera. “.9 and fluctuating.”

“I don’t think you need to worry about this gentleman. He isn’t out to do anyone any harm.” Maureen’s grin turned decidedly naughty. “But I get a very clear impression that he likes the ladies... Jody, in particular.” Apparently unconcerned, Maureen turned and entered my bedroom.

I righted myself, determined not to be afraid of a flirtatious ghost. Since I’d seen him at the séance, I’d felt no menace from Parker. He was in death what he’d probably been in life, an ineffectual shadow of a man – reduced to peeping through the mist at the physical world he no longer had access to.

Parker wasn’t the reason I was here tonight. Holly Townsend and her overwhelming anger - her tortured, unquiet soul was why I was here.

I wanted to set her free. To prove to myself that no one person can so influence your life that you’re driven to acts that forever doom you to an even more hellish existence.

Imagine -- living out eternity in the house of the lover you killed, doomed to feel all that turmoil and jealousy over and over and over again – driven insane by the knowledge that you’ve killed a person you once loved, and lost everyone you ever loved in the bargain. Crazy as a loon, and dead to boot.

Giving Adam’s hand a squeeze, I let go of him to follow Maureen into the room. She was standing at the head of my bed, looking toward the window. As I watched, she staggered, catching herself with a hand against the wall.

“Oh, there’s terrible grief here.” Maureen shook her head, steadier now. She trailed her fingers over the wall, moving slowly toward the closet. “Sadness,” she whispered.

Next to my dresser, she stopped, and put up a hand, signaling the rest of us. “Wait there, please.”

I stood in the doorway, Adam at my shoulder. I could hear Jim’s camera equipment humming as he hoisted it higher, keeping it trained on Maureen.

She closed her eyes and stood in the quiet darkness, listening. Crossed her arms, she hugged herself as though cold. “Don’t be afraid. We won’t hurt you.” Anyone hearing Maureen would have thought she spoke to a frightened animal or a small child. “We’re here to help."

Her breath was indrawn on a hiss, and as she let it out, she spoke more urgently, this time to the humans in the room. “She doesn’t like us being here.”

No one questioned the pronoun usage, accepting the switch from ‘he’ to ‘she’ without question, for the feel in the room was very different from the earlier encounter.

And then, though I willed it not to be so, I saw the first dark coils of shadow moving in a far corner. I was frozen with fear, for the black tendrils oozed up the wall, spreading like a stain in the gloom.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Incubus Rising (Part 2) - An Original Short

Incubus Rising (Part 2)
by Terri Garey©


(Incubus Rising is an original work of erotic fiction by Terri Garey, written for my entertainment, and yours. An incubus, according to legend, is a male spirit who comes to women in their dreams, inciting them to all sorts of lascivious behavior, both awake and asleep. Good thing we no longer live in the age of the Inquisition, where you could be burned at the stake for having erotic dreams, isn't it? This is a snippet from the story of Ash, a demon of desire, and so we begin...)


This one was dark, as dark as her dreams. Lashes black as soot lay against delicate cheekbones, hair a spill of ebony against the creamy whiteness of linen sheets. Should they open, her eyes would likely rival the night with their mystery and depth. At least, I would wish them so.

I leaned in and brushed her lips with mine. My tongue slipped within to sample the softness of her own, savoring the taste of loneliness, of tears - the emotions that had drawn me to her from the darkness.

She had not stirred with my kisses, but that would soon change. I dipped into her thoughts as easily as her lips, and let the essence of her dreams overtake us both.

Her breasts were beneath my hands, warm mounds topped with ripe raspberries, though they needed no such sweetness. Her belly was flat and taut, tapering to a veed valley of black curls, the pale folds of her womanhood peeping coyly from the brambles of desire. Round was her bottom and curved were her hips, smooth skin smelling of pampering and flowers.

I was lost to her, and lost in the newness of my lust. It would wane, as it always did, but for now it was all.

She stirred beneath my hands, arching against my hardness. A gasp escaped her, but that was all the quarter I would give, capturing the next within my mouth as I settled myself between her thighs, sighing with satisfaction as she spread them for me. I drove myself home, unwilling to prolong the moment, and it was then I realized -as always - that I was not the conqueror, but the conquered.

She kissed me back, a willing participant in our pleasure. I drank deep of her softness, letting her tongue war with mine as I possessed her femininity, deeply and fully. I held myself still within her, letting her lead the way, feeling the ripples that moved within her warm depths. Her nipples were hard, rising to my lips. She welcomed me even deeper into her warmth, whimpering her need as she tossed her head against the pillow. Her arms came around me, her hands kneading my shoulders, her palms soft against my skin.

I let her dream pull me even deeper into our mutual yearnings, beginning the thrusting that would give her what she needed. Her legs came hard around me, trapping me in place as I drove home again and again, reveling in her unrestrained heat. Beneath me, she writhed and gasped her pleasure, dampening my shaft with the dewy offerings of her body.

While I... I burned, stiff with a need that could never be eased.