Pop.

The other day my friend Swamp Butt mentioned that one of her co-workers had guessed her age at nearly twenty years younger than she actually is.

“Must be nice,” said I. “Nobody has ever said anything like that to me.”

But Swamp Butt was blessed with superb genes passed down from her father, who lived to be 102; and she has always looked younger than she is. So I shrugged it off.

Only a few days later, I changed into my goin’-to-town clothes (which are only distinguishable from my around-home clothes by the fact that they don’t feature holes and/or paint and/or automotive grease stains). I glanced in the mirror before I left the house and thought, “Huh. I look pretty good for my age.” Buoyed by that thought, I drove to town with a smile.

While I was standing in line at one of the stores, I noticed it was Seniors Day: 15% off. *shrug* Whatever. Didn’t apply to me.

When it was my turn, the cashier scanned and totalled my items, and then asked, “Do you qualify for the senior’s discount?”

That took the wind out of my sails.

“Sadly, no,” I said, summoning my most youthful smile.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

Pop. That was the sound of my bubble bursting.

“Really, really sure,” I assured her. “I’m only 58.”

Then I did a mental head-smack. Shit, if I was going to get kicked in the ego anyway, I should have at least lied about my age and snagged the discount. Apparently I’m only getting old, not wise.

Fortunately, I’m blessed with a huge capacity for denial and and very little concern for what others think of my appearance. After I got over the momentary ‘ouch’, I found the whole exchange pretty funny, and I’m still chuckling about it. (Albeit somewhat ruefully.)

And I still like what I see when I look in the mirror. It’s nothing to do with my face — it’s what’s behind my eyes that counts. 🙂

Anybody else have a face that doesn’t fit their (mental) age?

Book 17 update: Woohoo! LIVE AND LET SPY will be released on October 28/22, and it’s now available for pre-order at all retailers. Pre-order links are on my Books page, and I’ll be sending them out to my mailing list soon!

Revealing!

A while ago on Facebook, I was grumbling about stubborn characters who refuse to do what I want. I promised to explain who was giving me trouble and why, after Book 17 was released.

But meanwhile, here’s a teaser: I’ll reveal the culprit and the “conversation” we had; and I bet you’ll recognize the situation as soon as you get to it in the book!

The culprit: Former secret agent John Kane.

The conversation:

Me: Okay, let’s move this forward.

John: No.

Me: What?!? You can’t tell me ‘no’. I’m the author. I control your every move.

John: I don’t care who you are; I won’t do that.

Me: You sure as hell will!

John: *stubborn silence*

Several frustrating days later, after no writing progress…

Me (wheedling): Come on, John. I spent a week figuring out how to make this work, and it took three chapters to set it up. Just do it, okay? You know you want to.

John: No.

Me (fighting dirty): Arnie would do it in a heartbeat. And he’d make it hot as hell.

John: Good for Arnie. But he’s not here. And I won’t do it.

Me: Yes. You. Will!

After another week of fruitless writing, re-writing, and discarding…

John: It doesn’t have to be this difficult, you know. Just let me do it my way. And I promise… (deep seductive rumble) … I’ll make it hotter than hell.

Me: Gah! Okay, fine! Do it your way… (under my breath) … jerk.

Later…

Me (fanning myself): Whew! Okay, John. You were right, and I was wrong…

And now for another reveal: The cover and jacket blurb are finally done(ish) for Book 17; and we have a release date, woohoo! But I have two options for the cover, and I can’t decide. Please help me by voting for your fave:

Back cover blurb: Secret agent Aydan Kelly is investigating an international arms cabal when drive-by shootings target her lovers, her Director, and Aydan herself.  Her trusted informant delivers the chilling news:  All their covers are blown.

The hitmen keep coming… and they seem to know exactly where Aydan and her team will be.  Someone in the Department is betraying them, and Aydan is forced into a deadly race against time.  Can she catch the traitor and stop the cabal before they slaughter the people she loves?

Live And Let Spy will be released October 28, 2022! If you’ve signed up for my mailing list, you’ll soon receive an email with pre-order links. Plus, I’ll post links on my Facebook author page and here on my webpage as soon as they’re available. Thanks for reading!

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Book 17: Live And Let Spy goes live!