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    Sunday, September 18, 2005

    15 Things You Never Think You'll Do Until You Go On a Booktour

    1. Eat a large ribeye steak in bed at 10 PM

    2. Watch an episode of MY FAIR BRADY on VH1. (Yes, this is the new reality show starring 47-year-old Christopher Knight, a.k.a. Peter Brady, and his 22-year-old love Adrianne Curry, who went directly from winning the title of America's Next Top Model to guesting on Surreal Life 4 where she met and fell in love with the former child star.)

    3. Watch "Peter Brady" wearing nothing but boxer shorts being paddled by his 22-year-old lover while he yells, "Thank you, Bubble Queen! May I have another?"

    4. Try to jab out your eyes with the complimentary hotel pen

    5. Spend an hour at a Sharper Image store trying out every gadget and massage chair in the store

    6. Get both feet caught in a Sharper Image foot massager and briefly panic

    7. Drink 2 Chocolixir dark chocolate milkshakes from the Godiva store in one day

    8. Stay up all night because you've had too much chocolate

    9. Call your husband weeping hysterically because they sent home one of your favorite contestants on ROCK STAR: INXS

    10. Learn how to play Spider Solitaire on your computer

    11. Play Spider Solitaire on your computer until your hand curls into a spider-like claw

    12. Accidentally get cherry crush toenail polish on lovely hotel duvet and try to wash it off with nail polish remover, which only succeeds in smearing stain until it resembles something on CSI

    13. Turn duvet over to try and hide stain

    14. Get lost on second floor of hotel while looking for ice machine and suddenly realize the long deserted hallways bear a striking resemblance to the Overlook Hotel in THE SHINING

    15. Fall madly and passionately in love with each reader who took time out of her own busy schedule to attend signings in Louisville and Charlotte, including these lovely ladies in the pic above from the Louisville Romance Writers AND my very dear friend, Elizabeth Bevarly, who picked me up at the Louisville airport, ate dinner with me and acted as my official driver for the duration of the evening. Wuv you, Liz!!!

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    Teresa's Wardrobe Malfunction

    Okay so I'm scheduled to go on THE SCENE, our local TV station's version of REGIS AND KELLY. I know my segment is next so I'm standing behind the control booth watching as the oh-so-charming hosts engage in some witty banter and introduce me as their next guest. I usually wear a suit for such appearances but I'm in a casual mood this afternoon and shoot for something funkier--a pair of black pin-striped pants, some chunky silver and black jewelry, and a slightly translucent white shirt. I don't think you'll be able to see through it in this lighting but just in case (as my Mama always taught me) I wear a white bra. (Although during my SEX IN THE CITY phase, I probably would have dared to wear a black bra.)

    As they focus the camera on a display of my books, my mind starts to wander. Then the host begins to joke about his female co-host posing for one of the covers and holds up the stepback cover for AFTER MIDNIGHT. Suddenly out of nowhere, all of these frantic cries of "Nipple! Nipple! NIPPLE!!!" erupt from the technicians in the control booth. (And if you've never heard a group of men shouting "NIPPLE!" in unison, I assure you that it can be VERY disconcerting.) Fearing the worst, I immediately glance down at my own chest.

    But it seems they weren't worried about my nipples. Apparently the FCC regulations since the Janet Jackson debacle are so strict that they feared retribution for exposing my hero's rather robust nipple. I gently pointed out that it was a MALE nipple and we'd all seen numerous shirtless young men wading through the New Orleans floodwaters in the past few days. They mopped their collective brows in relief.

    Several years ago my best friend had a car accident and I just happened to be the first person to come along after it happened. I stuffed her in my car and rushed her to the emergency room. We're in the exam room waiting for the doctor and suddenly she hisses at me, "Give me your underwear!" "Huh?" I say. Turns out she had violated that most sacred of all parental dictates--Always Wear Clean Underwear In Case You Get In An Accident. Not only was she not wearing CLEAN underwear. She wasn't wearing ANY underwear at all. So there we were in the exam room with me frantically wiggling out of my panties so she can shimmy into them. I can only imagine what the doctor would have thought had he walked in at that moment!

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    He's a tramp, a scamp, and a bit of a vamp...

    With or without a soul, Spike from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is my all-time favorite vampire. (I started to say "fictional vampire", then realized that would be redundant.) Spike, with his soulful eyes, biting wit, and self-deprecating humor could definitely tempt me to try love at first bite. (And my oh my, what about those cheekbones???!!!)

    Spike (as portrayed by the incomparable James Marsters) arrived in Sunnydale early in the second season with his lunatic lover Druscilla in tow. Introduced as the definitive Big Bad, no one could have guessed his character's journey would lead him to fall deeply and irrevocably in love with Buffy, proving just how quickly loathing can turn to love when one's nemesis is a diminutive blonde with a martyr complex and a weakness for creatures of the night.

    Their sizzling chemistry was explored in Season Four in the episode "Something Blue" when a heartbroken Willow inadvertantly cast a love spell on the vampire and the Slayer. To the horror of Buffy's friends and family, Buffy and Spike begin to nuzzle each other's necks and pick out china patterns for their wedding. In Spike's piece de resistance, the Season Five episode "Fool for Love", the pre-vampire Spike is revealed to have been a sensitive soul, something of a mama's boy who was christened "Spike" and "William the Bloody" not because he was so fearsome but because he wrote poetry so bloody awful it made you want to drive a spike through your forehead. (What writer who has ever been reviewed by KIRKUS couldn't identify with that?) This episode also revealed that by the 1980's Spike had metamorphosed into a leather-clad vampire so preternaturally cool that Billy Idol stole his platinum locks and rebel's snarl.

    Spike won my heart for keeps at the end of this episode when he marched up to Buffy's house with shotgun in hand, determined to purge his life and heart of the Slayer forever. Instead he ended up letting her cry on his shoulder while he awkwardly patted hers. More tingles ensued when Buffy and Spike finally consummated their attraction with a swoon-worthy kiss at the end of the legendary musical episode, "Once More with Feeling."

    What I'd like to know is: Who is YOUR favorite vampire of all-time? Do you prefer Angel's Heathcliff-style brooding to Spike's caustic sarcasm? Did Frank Langella's smoldering DRACULA tempt you to leave your balcony door unlocked or would you prefer to have Gary Oldman's untrimmed fingernails caressing your throat? Does Louis or Lestat light your fire? Do you prefer the laid-back Southern gentleman Bill from Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series or the cunning and elegant Jean-Claude from Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake books? In a fictional world where every vampire has a little bit of soul, who would YOU be most likely to greet at your front door with those two immortal words, "Bite me"???