Tag Archives: thriller

…And That’s My Cover Story

Woohoo! The cover art and blurb for Book 11 are finished! As with any process where I’m involved, there have been some giggles along the way.

Rick Hand of Hand Crafted Images always makes it fun to shoot the cover photo, and luckily he’s got a great sense of humour. He needs it when he’s working with a so-called model like me.

I’ve mentioned my uncanny knack for twisting my face into the world’s goofiest expression at the precise moment the camera clicks. (At least I prefer to think I only look goofy for that instant. If it’s all the time, please don’t tell me – I prefer to cling to my illusions.)

But apparently I also have a gift for twisting my body into poses that make a photographer (and everybody else) go “WTF?!?”

For example, Rick was testing the lighting levels when I did this:

I don’t know what the hell I was thinking but apparently it was something like, “‘Scuse me while I stick this cardboard gun up my own ass. And if I place my left hand just so, it’ll look like a giant schlong hanging out the front of my jeans.

Yep, I’ve got a real gift for modelling.  It’s a lucky thing Rick’s good at arranging me because my sole talent is holding still once he’s got me in place.

Moving on to the title selection:

You probably already know that my geeky OCD personality requires spreadsheets for everything, including titles. I’ve itemized every word that rhymes with ‘spy’, along with a list of common phrases that include those words. So when it’s title time, I consider the themes in the book I’ve just written and try to match up a phrase that works.

But apparently there’s an easier way:  An app at portent.com generates titles automatically based on user-supplied keywords. So I entered ‘female spy’ and sat back to wait for the perfect title for Book 11.

Here are the contenders:

“How Female Spies Make You A Better Lover”: I do my best to make my sex scenes hot, but I didn’t realize I was providing such a valuable service to society. Go, me! *buffs fingernails against shirt and looks smug*

“Doing Female Spies The Right Way”: Is it me, or does Portent seem to have a one-track mind?

“True Facts About Justin Bieber’s Love For Female Spies”: Okay, now they’re just scaring me.

“The 12 Biggest Female Spies Blunders”: This one’s pretty appropriate since Aydan does tend to blunder into situations, but it’s not really the catchy title I had in mind.

“Why Female Spies Are The 51st Shade Of Grey”: Why Portent, you kinky thing! You’ve been peeking through my blinds again, haven’t you?

“Why Female Spies Are Scarier Than Dating Taylor Swift”: I’m not sure what level of fear we’re talking about here. It seems reasonable to be more afraid of female spies, but then again I don’t know Taylor Swift.

“Shocking Ways Female Spies Will Make You Better In Bed”: I’m sensing a theme here…

“How To Fight Lex Luthor Using Only Female Spies”: Superman, are you paying attention?

“How Female Spies Killed Kenny”: I’ve never watched an episode of South Park but apparently Kenny has died in all sorts of creative ways, so this seems plausible.

But I guess I’m just set in my ways. Despite the stellar appeal of Portent’s shortlist, I decided to stick with my spreadsheet even though one of the above titles could probably have made me famous. (Or infamous. It’s a fine line.) So voilà, Book 11:

Secret agent Aydan Kelly is hoping to resume her peaceful life as a bookkeeper, until her director issues an ultimatum: Go undercover as an arms dealer or go to jail for life. But when Aydan realizes her co-worker’s son has been taken by a serial killer, she defies orders in an attempt to save the child.

Neglecting her undercover assignment may cost more than just her freedom. When the gunrunner she’s been baiting threatens her loved ones, Aydan must choose between protecting them herself or entrusting their safety to geriatric amateur vigilantes while she closes in on the killer.

How much will she risk for a child who may already be dead?

* * *

The release date is March 18, 2016, and The Spies That Bind will be available for pre-order in about a week. If you’d like to receive an email notification when it’s available, please click here to sign up for my New Book Notification List.

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Hello From Planet Innuendo

Apparently Mercury was retrograde from June 7 to July 1, which astrologers say is supposed to cause general chaos.  I don’t know much about astrology, but if there’s a planet that governs accidental double entendres, it’s definitely exerting its influence this week.

Friday night I was sitting in the pub with the usual suspects, regaling the crew with tales of our recent search for a good used RV.  I had only one requirement:  a queen-size bed with some space around it.  I didn’t care about the kitchen or living area or anything else.  Just the bed.

(Those of you with dirty minds are getting ahead of me… oh, never mind; whatever you’re thinking, you’re probably right.)

Anyway, we found a trailer Hubby really liked, with a nice big living space and kitchen, only seven years old, yadda, yadda.  But the bedroom was designed for a double bed.  The current owners had put in a queen mattress, but that left only a few inches between it and the wall.  You could still squeeze in, but only if you had skinny legs.  Grrr.

Now back to the pub scene…

Fuelled by some very tasty beer, I was expounding upon the idiocy of the designer who planned the layout of a huge trailer without allowing for a queen-size bed.

“Goddammit,” I ranted.  “It’s a thirty-one-foot trailer, for shit’s sake!  It’s not like the guy who designed it didn’t have any space to work with!  I can’t believe he couldn’t give me just six more inches in the bedroom!”

My rant was completely derailed when my buddy Chris burst out laughing.  “You want six more inches in the bedroom?” he sputtered.  “That sounds like a blog post.  But I want credit!”

So here you go, Chris – this is your five minutes of fame.

After we dried our tears of laughter, the conversation wandered as it usually does and we got talking about cars and buying gas and the oddball sensor in my car that requires the gas cap to be cranked around several times after it’s tightened to prevent the ‘check engine’ light from coming on.

My friend Swamp Butt spoke up:  “Our new car doesn’t have a gas cap at all.  It’s so easy to fuel up.  You just stick it in, pull it out, and you’re done!”

More raucous laughter ensued.

But Planet Innuendo still wasn’t finished with me.  The Calgary Stampede is on now, so everything around here is western-themed.  And wouldn’t you know it; the patron saint of dirty minds blessed me with another gift this weekend:  a completely serious ad from a staid and reputable company, exhorting me to “Celebrate the cowboy in you.”

I might have let that pass if not for the fact that I’d just finished reading an article about how all the health clinics brace for the annual surge in syphilis cases during Stampede.  Save a horse; ride a cowboy!  Give the gift that keeps on giving!  Yaaa-hooo!!!

Needless to say, I laughed myself silly(er).

Did anybody else notice the effects of Planet Innuendo this week, or was it just me?

P.S.  The word ‘innuendo’ always gives me a childish snicker, too.  It sounds like the Godfather describing a sex act:  “In-U-end-o”…

* * *

Speaking of celebrations, I’m celebrating the upcoming release of Spy Now, Pay Later by giving away two signed paperback copies!  If you’d like to enter to win one, here’s the contest link:  https://blog.dianehenders.com/do-you-know-me/book-8-giveaway/.

Look for the first e-book versions of Spy Now, Pay Later at Smashwords and Amazon on July 17.  As usual, Kobo, Nook, and Apple versions will show up later than Smashwords and Amazon… but my distributor promises me they’ve improved their system and it should only be a few days instead of a few weeks.  Time will tell, but regardless, I’ll email notifications to everybody who’s signed up on my new book notification list.

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Filed under Humour, Life