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    Friday, January 06, 2006

    Teresa Sings, "A Kiss is Still a Kiss"

    We've talked about a lot of firsts lately--the first time we found out the truth about Santa Claus, the first time we learned about the rather awkward mechanics of sex, our first date. So today I thought it would be fun to talk about our very first kiss.

    I'll never forget mine. I was 14 and on my first official date. We were sitting in the bleachers at a junior high football game when he leaned toward me, his puppy dog brown eyes sparkling in the moonlight. Mine dutifully fluttered shut as his mouth descended on mine. My heart pounded, my toes began to curl and I was immediately swept away by the thought..."Ew! This is disgusting!"

    People often ask how much of our fiction is drawn from real life and I have to admit that when I had Emily Claire describe her first kiss to the hero in ONCE AN ANGEL by saying, "The boy had a tongue like a worm," I was definitely strolling down memory lane. I hadn't been so repulsed since I first heard about the whole hot dog/bun theory of sex.

    Fortunately for me, another date and a different boy taught me what all the fuss was about. I've never believed in indiscriminate sex but I was an indiscriminate kisser. Long before the days of SEX AND THE CITY, my best friend and I kept a log of all the boys we kissed along with ratings from 1-10. Near the top of mine at a solid 9 3/4 were the Rickard brothers--our local version of Bo and Luke Duke. Yes, I'm embarrassed to confess that I kissed both of them. (But not at the same time!) I truly hit my stride one New Year's Eve at sixteen when I kissed 5 boys. I was quite impressed by my tally until I found out my friend had kissed 10! (My list topped out at 25 while hers soared to 50. Not bad for a couple of "good girls" who always made the honor roll, eh? And I certainly hope this is serving as a cautionary tale for all of you with pre-tweens not to let your daughters date until they turn 16!)

    Being no fool, I had the good sense to marry the first perfect 10 that I kissed. He was a little miffed when he found out about my list and our rating system, but I quickly reminded him of the only thing that mattered--His would be the last name on my list!

    Thursday, January 05, 2006

    When Good Celebrities Have Bad Plastic Surgery

    We all have our little guilty pleasures--never missing an episode of our favorite soap, keeping a bag of dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses stashed in our desk drawer, visiting at least once a week.
    If you haven't visited this site before, it explains baffling mysteries of the universe such as:

    Why is Melanie Griffith's formerly svelte upper lip now the size of a Michelin tire?
    What are those Frankenstein-like scars Tara Reid reveals every time she "accidentally" flashes the paparazzi?

    Why did Sandra Bullock's lovely face have no expression in TWO WEEK'S NOTICE?

    And the most haunting question of all--Why does the formerly gorgeous Priscilla Presley now look like Jack Nicholson in BATMAN? Has she been visiting her former son-in-law Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon?

    One quick visit to the site should be all it takes to convince you to grow old gracefully, preferably with your own lips, breasts and other assorted body parts. And for those of you who prefer to ascribe to the current theory that 50 is the new 30, it should hearten you to know that Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee) was in her late 40's when ANDY GRIFFITH began filming--the exact same age Sheryl Crowe is now. (And if you've seen Sheryl Crowe lately, you'll know why that's encouraging.)

    My personal role model for aging gracefully is Annette Bening. When we saw OPEN RANGE back in '03, my husband kept gushing about how beautiful she was. Her face was soft, luminous, full of expression...and more than a few wrinkles. She obviously hadn't had any "work" done and had blessedly remembered that one needs an expression to act. Not since he married me have I been so impressed with my husband's excellent taste in women!

    According to, young celebrities are just as likely to fall beneath the surgeon's knife. Shows like THE SWAN and EXTREME MAKEOVER (past guilty pleasures for some of you, I'm sure) only reinforced the destructive notion that there is only one standard for beauty. What's really sad is that while some of the contestants really did benefit from corrective dental surgery, all most of these women needed were a few fashion and make-up tips from our Lisa.

    Personally, I've spent hours staring at Sarah Jessica Parker's face, trying to figure out why it's considered attractive, yet wildly grateful that it is. Sarah is a lot like Barbra Streisand and Cher were in my youth. They gave me hope because if they could be considered beautiful, then maybe I (with my oversized nose and frizzy hair) could too. To this day, I'd rather look like Barbra than Barbie.

    So now you know my guilty secret and my guilty pleasure. If you're more virtuous than me, you can always visit Some of the most heavily featured celebrities on that site include Demi Moore, Chelsea Clinton, Teri Hatcher and...Sarah Jessica Parker.

    Monday, January 02, 2006

    Teresa Receives a Very Special Gift

    I have received some of the absolute coolest gifts from readers but I recently got something REALLY unique. Lyndsey Lewellen has been a fan for a long time and we had the pleasure of meeting at the Dallas RWA conference. She's an excellent artist and it turned out that AFTER MIDNIGHT inspired her to do this piece of fan art representing secondary characters Portia and Julian, who will be featured in the sequel to AFTER MIDNIGHT (coming September 2006). You can click on the pic if you want to see it in greater detail. My husband (who devours comics and graphic novels) was SO impressed. Now he thinks I've REALLY arrived!