Good Spies Finish First!

The votes are in, and the title for Book 12 will be “Kiss And Say Good Spy”!  I’m pumped because that was the title I’d originally chosen for it (before I second-guessed myself).  I would have been happy with any of the other titles, too, but it’s cool to see I was on the right wavelength from the start.

Many thanks to everyone who voted in the poll!  Even if you didn’t vote for “Kiss And Say Good Spy”, your vote was still important – it helps me understand people’s preferences better for future books.  And I’m looking forward to lots of future books – I love writing!

I’m lucky enough to enjoy all parts of it, including the hours and hours of editing (yes, I know I’m a freak).  I also amuse myself by setting mini-challenges for each book:  “Can I include (fill in oddball item) in this book somehow?”

In Book 10 I challenged myself to include “ballistic rutabagas”, which became the name of an alternative music band.  In Book 11 the challenge was alien porn (kindly suggested by @SomeRandomGuy); and I’m proud to say I found a way to work it into the story.  Tastefully, of course.  *snickers*

But Book 12’s challenge, inspired by @SueSlaght’s blog post Short-Beaked Echidna Australia’s Fast Tongue, was a little trickier:  Include a short-beaked echidna, also known as a spiny anteater.  (For those unaware of the short-beaked echidna’s claim to fame:  It has a long, amazingly fast tongue and a four-headed penis.)

I had originally thought I might use an echidna as a villain’s pet, à la Ernst Blofeld in the James Bond classic “You Only Live Twice”.  That idea was shot down when I researched echidnas and discovered that they don’t make good pets because picking them up causes them intense stress and can injure them.

But my research also revealed that there are exceptions to that rule.  F’rinstance, there’s at least one short-beaked echidna that enjoys being picked up… in fact, he enjoys it a little too much.  He had to be retired from his career at a zoo because he kept getting a giant erection every time he was handled.

You can imagine where my mind went with that:  a villain’s pet that pops an enormous boner at inopportune moments.  I so, so wanted to write that!

But I didn’t.

See, I have a modicum of… well, I hesitate to go as far as to say ‘good taste’, so let’s just stick with ‘restraint’.

I did, however, manage to work the echidna into the story.  Challenge = Met!

So if you’re burning to know how a short-beaked echidna fits into a spy thriller:  The release date for “Kiss And Say Good Spy” is August 1, and preorders will be going live by the end of this week for the e-book versions (paperbacks will be released later).  If you’ve signed up for my New Book Notification list, you’ll get an email with links to the preorders as soon as they’re available.  I’ll also announce them on the Books page and my Facebook author page.

And…

I’m a little late with this since Canada’s 150th birthday was July 1, but one of my readers (Ethel: thank you) sent me this link and I thought everyone else might get a kick out of it, too.  It’s a music video created a few years ago by our favourite Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, and his brother Dave:

Welcome to Canada, eh?  🙂

Now… off to ponder Book 13’s challenge…

23 Comments

Filed under Writing

23 responses to “Good Spies Finish First!

  1. Drae

    Love all of this series and anxiously await each new edition. I know it takes a much longer time to write each one than it takes us to read them as they are published. Just want to say “thank you” for making a good series to read. I envy your creativity and want to encourage you to “keep at it”.

    Like

    • Thank you, Drae – your encouragement means a lot to me! I only wish I could write as fast as you can read. 😉

      I’m hoping Book 13 will roll off the presses much more quickly than Book 12. We’re (mostly) settled in our new home now, so I hope to get some quality writing time now that the upheaval has subsided!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a surprise and cheering wildly for the inclusion of the echidna. I love it Diane and so many thanks for the link to the post. I’m grinning ear to ear and will have my credit card ready on Aug 1 of course.
    I will admit to some envy at your love of writing. My enthusiasm is currently waning. I wonder if one can purchase writing vitamins? 🙂

    Thanks again. This really made my day!

    Like

    • I’m glad you’re smiling! 🙂

      And I think if writing vitamins were a “thing”, they’d fly off the shelves. If it makes you feel any better, it’s not unusual to get the first year of blogging under your belt and then lose steam. It’s that difficult ‘tween’ stage where you’ve written all the topics that just fly off the top of your head, and it gets harder to come up with new ideas. Hang in there!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not change the subject and best wishes for your new book. But watching the above video I was reminded of my first contact with Canadians and it was a good one. When I was flying for the Navy, a lifetime ago, one day a Canadian ASW aircraft appeared on the flight line. Their crews to do fly “alongs” with us and them to cross train in ASW. They had been there for about a week when some of them pulled me aside, while walking across the hanger deck, and asked if I would mind giving them a tour of the “art” in Florida. Translation: they wanted to go bar hoppin’ (or Juke’n as it was called those days). Why they thought I would know where to go is still a mystery. Not really. Also they knew I had a car and you never want to juke while traveling in a taxi. I won’t detail the odyssey but It was big time fun and those brothers could put it away.

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    • What a wonderful memory! It sounds as though your Canadian brothers had a great “art guide”, and I’m sure they still remember the evening happily… assuming they were capable of remembering anything after partaking liberally in Florida’s “art”! 🙂

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  4. “So if you’re burning to know how a short-beaked echidna fits into a spy thriller:..” Only on Diane Henders’ blog would you read this…

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  5. Wow! The progress chart certainly has come alive! And August 1! It’s not long now! I’ll have to get right on binge-reading the series if I’m gonna be done in time for “Kiss and Say Good Spy!”

    Woohoo! Congratulations again! And richly deserved as well. You tho rock, thithta!

    Like

  6. Nice video, Diane. I loved Canada when I was there; although I only saw the area surrounding a certain waterfall, it was still great!
    And I’m still in awe of you and your books! I’m still struggling with book one… mind, knowing what to write is half the battle I suppose…

    Like

    • Yep, it always helps to have an idea in mind. You write lots of short stories about your various superheroes and gods/goddesses, so maybe you could start a book from there. I always find the ideas start to flow if I ask myself, “What would happen if…” and then put together some bizarre combination of players and/or possibilities. Maybe one of your superheroes could team up with one of your gods or goddesses to save the world… or take over the world…. mwahahahaha!!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. el Tea

    Happy Sesquicentennial to all you Canadians. Have a great year! I had no Idea that 🇨🇦 Canada Day 🇨🇦 is so close on the calendar to US’s Independence Day. I also didn’t know your country is so young. Seems like y’all are doing quite well for being so young. You’ve figured so much out so quickly. I’m jealous. Mind if I join you? This place may be unlivable in a couple of years- maybe sooner. That island sounds really nice. I think it could use another artist, couldn’t it? Do Canadians celebrate with parades, speeches, picnics and fireworks too?

    Congrats on a good name for Book 12. Seems like hubby knows how to operate a camera. Since no werewolves are lurking, maybe you can skip a step and make a temporary cover permanent?

    Like

    • LOL! No werewolves in this one, but our camera doesn’t focus very well so the picture isn’t quite clear enough to make me happy for the larger versions of the cover. Once the money drain from our new house slows, we’ll look at buying a new camera that actually… *gasp* …focuses!

      We do celebrate with all the bells and whistles (and fireworks), same as you, and we have a LOT to celebrate. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be Canadian!

      And hey, Vancouver Island is the art mecca of Canada – tons of artists and artisans live here, especially on the smaller islands that surround the main island. It’s a wonderful place to live and create art! If you like city living, Victoria is beautiful; and if you like the idea of solitude and off-grid living, how about a cottage on a 1/8 share in 70 acres of waterfront property on gorgeous unspoiled Lasqueti (pronounced Laskeedy) Island? https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Single-Family/17188245/LT-3-BOAT-COVE-LASQUETI-ISLAND-British-Columbia-V0R2J0-10-Lasqueti-Island-Zone-5. Only $369,000, and that’s in Canadian dollars. It’s only accessible by ferry, but that might be a plus if you’re looking for an artist’s retreat… 😉

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      • el Tea

        Wow! It looks fabulous. If I lost half the space I now own, all the equity in my home, plus spent half of my lifetime of savings for retirement, and if I could survive the loss of my rental income as well as my teaching, it could all be mine. Of course, my living costs would need to be severely cut from a current stranglehold budget, and nothing could ever need repair, nor could I ever need medical care- yup, I’ll move any time now. If I were 40 years younger and made of money I’d jump at the chance. But I need to alter my focus to market my work better and to spend more time with fellow artists- not find a retreat. Ah well, dream on.

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  8. Yey a release date. I will read it in ebook as usual while I impatiently wait for the paper back version which will also be read before being placed on the bookshelf with the others.

    My bookshelf is getting a little bit over crowded. I was thinking maybe I should get a new one, but there is a possibility of being taken on permanently in my current temporary job, and if that happens my mother has decided that I need to move closer to the job and her, she has even started looking at flats for me. I’m sure a new bookcase would be cheaper but who am I to argue with my parents.

    With your mind pondering challenges for book 13, I’m tempted to toss the idea of a tall leggy blonde woman who seduces hellhound and forces Aydan and hellhound to admit there true feelings for one another and said leggy blonde gets bumped off, but as I picture myself as said leggy blonde, Im not sure a death scene would be as good as I think it would as well they just die.

    A girl can dream, mind my own bad boy will be back in my life in a couple of months and as he tends to get jealous easily I shall have to keep hellhound as my fantasy, after all it’s not like aydan or my bad boy an object too much.

    Sorry for bad spelling if any but currently on a bus couldnt wait to respond

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    • I’m sure Hellhound would be thrilled to make the… *ahem* acquaintance… of a leggy blonde! 😉 Dunno about the death scene, though. Hmmm.

      I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your new job… and your new flat if it comes to that. You made me laugh with the “I’m sure a new bookcase would be cheaper” comment! As always, thank you so much for buying both versions of the book – it makes me happy to know I’m filling up your bookcases!

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      • You can thank my ocd brain, I had the ereader first, but I’m sure one day it will die on my and kobo will just say oh sorry you will have to buy them again to go on a new one. If they are on the bookshelf I will always have them. And as a bonus the black covers look sexy, they are on the top shelf so people do see them first. Even my boss when I worked from home commented on them when we had a Web cam chat.
        Plus I think being on the top shelf is fun as they are a little bit adult in places hehe.

        I think audio books are great but as the listener we don’t think how much work goes into it

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  9. Cait Needham

    So excited about “Kiss and Say Good Spy” and planning on spending a day (maybe a day and a half) reading it. It seems that when a new book comes out, I read the series from the beginning….I wish the series was all on recorded books (Audible would be great) then i could listen. It’s almost as good as reading.
    August 1st can’t get here soon enough. I have something to look forward to when I get back from Moldova. YEAH

    Like

    • So glad you’re excited about it! I’m slowly getting the series into audiobook format – Book 1 is available as an audiobook but I haven’t started Book 2 yet because it’s such an expensive and time-consuming process. Soon, though… 🙂

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