The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Putin Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

By Piper Bayard

Always trying to outshine Stalin, aren’t you, Vlady?

Let me put this in perspective. Putin is invading Ukraine based on the argument that because there are Russian speaking people of Russian heritage in that country, Russia has the right to go in and protect the interests of those people. By that reasoning, we can expect the Mexican army to be setting up camps through the Southwest any day now.

Ah, well. Once Yasser Arafat won it, there were no surprises left.

Vladimir Putin, Dove of Peace image by premier.gov.ru

Vladimir Putin, Dove of Peace
image by premier.gov.ru

See our previous response to the notion of Putin and Peace Prize in the same sentence at B&H Nobel Peace-Through-Ironic-Laughter Prize Nominations.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Proud to say our Monday post, Ukraine Crisis: Vladimir Putin and the Power of Gas, was Freshly Pressed this week. A big welcome to all of our new subscribers!

It Didn’t Start Last Week — Timeline of Ukrainian Invasions

Timeline of Ukrainian Turmoil — Part Two, 2001 – Present

Ukraine in Crisis: Vladimir Putin and the Power of Gas

The Cliffside Rose

The Cliffside Rose

The Cliffside Rose Flash Fiction Contest — Vote Now! When Holmes and I stumbled across this rose on the side of a cliff in the middle of a secluded desert on the day after Valentine’s Day, we challenged our readers to explain this oddity using the words “Dixie,” “witness protection,” and “cheese grater.” We have eight outstanding entries who are vying for your vote. Come by and enjoy the yarns they have spun in an effort to win a copy of DOWN AND DEAD IN DIXIE by USA Today bestseller Vicki Hinze.

I had the honor of guest posting at New York Times bestseller Allison Brennan‘s Murder She Writes site this week. In James Bond vs. The Spook, I share a few things I’ve learned about real covert operatives since I started working with Holmes.

Is this the real Holmes?

Is this the real Holmes?

Recently, numerous bloggers participated in August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest 2014. Three of my favorites are What are Your 21 Layers of Beauty? by Jenny Hansen, Beauty: A Matter of Mind Over Matter by Kassandra Lamb, and Inspiring Beauty Quotes: A #BOAW3 Wrap-Up, Part II by August McLaughlin.

Like Detective Fiction? Thank the Metropolitan Police Act by K.B.Owen at Misterio Press.

Yoga IS for Everyone. A Short Guest Series, Part 2 by Christine Moore.

When so many of us are tired of winter, it helps to be reminded of the beauty. Crystallize – Lindsey Stirling Dubstep Violin Original Song.

Campaign Style Question of the Week:

All the best to all of you for a peaceful week.

To join in comments, come to

Bayard & Holmes

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Putin Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

4th Annual Love a Spook Day – An Insignificant Quaker Woman

By Jay Holmes

Three years ago, my writing partner, Piper Bayard, declared October 31st to be Love a Spook Day in appreciation of the quiet contributions of the intelligence community. In real life, versus Hollywood, not all spooks are highly trained supermen and superwomen who look like Daniel Craig and Scarlett Johansson. Many are simple people who rise to the occasion of their moment in history. Lydia Darragh was one of those people.

Lydia Barrington Darragh

Lydia Barrington Darragh

To learn about this remarkable nurse, midwife, and spy who affected the course of history, please click on the link below, and remember to transfer your subscription. We want to welcome you all to our new digs.

Bayard & Holmes

4th Annual Love a Spook Day

An Insignificant Quaker Woman

The Romance Doctors–Poolside Hussy Defense

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

As a Belly Dancer and a Spook, we represent classic romantic archetypes. Therefore, we are qualified to assist with all of your romance needs.

With the month of romance upon us, Valentine’s Day is looming closer, along with all of its romantic pressures. We here at Bayard & Holmes have set aside a negligible portion of our biting sarcasm to devote ourselves to solving your romantic issues.

What to get for the lady or man for Valentine’s Day? How to pop the big question? How to get your mother off your back about how she didn’t walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death to give birth to you to not see you married? No worries, dear readers, we have answers for each of your questions and dilemmas. Let’s see what’s on your minds this week.

Ellie Ann wants to know what to do about a poolside hussy.

Bennett Sisters boxing Library of Congress

Bennett Sisters, image from Library of Congress

Say I’m at the pool with my hot husband, and a bikini-clad hussy starts staring at him (sure, whatever) but then bends down right in front of him several times (NOT okay). How can I tell her he’s off limits short of a she-bear clawing fight?

Bayard:

Really, Ellie, there’s no need for overt violence, and I’m a bit shocked that you would suggest such a thing. That is illegal, after all. An accidental assault is far more appropriate. While she’s bent over, stand up with your large pool bag and “accidentally” boot her hussy butt into the pool. Remember, plausible deniability is paramount in these situations.

Holmes:

Ellie, assuming he woke up with you this morning, he already answered her. He rejected her in favor of you. Smart man.

But, dear friend, I can’t help myself. Embrace your inner weasel. “Ass Clown” has placed herself in an interesting ethical position. Short of assault, she deserves whatever she gets. Opportunities for fun should not always be ignored.

There are thousands of ways to deal with her without going to jail or answering any civil suits. If your husband agrees, you could simply speak about her derisively as if she wasn’t there. The conversation could include words like “lonely slut” or “desperate whore” or “I wonder how many diseases she has.” If you wanted to be a tad more subtle, he could say, “Wow, if her butt was any bigger she would block out the sun.” Or, depending on the size of her butt, “That’s the ugliest boney butt I’ve ever seen on a human.”

Then you could admonish him with something like, “Sweetie, don’t pick on her. It’s not her fault that she was born like that.”

A water pistol with some nice dye in it might be fun, too. If she’s wearing a dark bikini some white dye would create a charming effect.

We should do no harm to innocents. She’s not innocent so have at it.

We don’t just help happy couples find each other and stay happy, we advise authors about the romances in their books. Texanne is wondering how patient her character should be.

How long does the secondary heroine have to wait after the rotten wife of the tertiary hero leaves him before she makes her move, and what kind of move would be communicative yet leave some room for saving face if it doesn’t work out?

Bayard:

If she’s anything like a college “friend” of mine, approximately 18 minutes, which is how long it took her to drive across town to my newly-ex-boyfriend’s place when I told her I’d split with him.

As for a move? Asking a man about his interests and hobbies, such as his passion for the Civil War, and feigning interest while flaunting a perky, aerobicized butt is a tried and true method. The worst that happens is that he continues to have more interest in General Grant than in her charms.

Holmes:

Her timing needs to be consistent with her character and fit the plot. If not, then you need to explain a new facet of her character and bend your plot.

As far as “how” she gets his attention, I recommend that she put on a skimpy bikini and bend over in front of him three times at the local pool. Just have her watch out for women with water pistols. If you want something more subtle, she could invite him over for lunch, and, depending on how lunch goes, she could progress from there.

Poolside Hussy Sergio Savaman Savarese wikimedia

image by Sergio Savaman Savarese, wikimedia commons

Good luck, everyone, and keep your water pistols handy!

What are your questions for The Romance Doctors? We are here to serve you. And remember, no question is out of bounds, but our answers might be.

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©2013 Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

Gabby’s Hair? What About Those Banana Shoes?

Gabby Douglas, first African-American winner of the Women’s Gymnastics All Around Gold, is confused. Frankly, I’m confused as well.

Gabby Douglas, image from wikimedia by Xxjenesaispasxx

When 16-yr-old Gabby googled herself a few hours after achieving the highest accomplishment in Olympic women’s gymnastics, she found that people weren’t only tweeting about her success, they were tweeting criticisms about her hair!

“Gabby Douglas, you made history w/your impeccable talent and hideous hair.” @BReeMonroe

“We, as a black community, gotta fix Gabby Douglas’s hair.” @Sarocious

“Congrats to Gabby Douglas on her gold metal! Wish I could say the same about that hair! OMG horrible!” @shestaken

Seriously! I never cease to be amazed at people and their priorities.

How can they possibly be criticizing little Gabby Douglas for her hair when there have been far more egregious fashion faux pas from every corner of the Olympic compound?

Take Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Who cares that she won a repeat gold in the women’s 100 meter dash when it’s overshadowed by the fact that her tag was sticking up out of her running shorts when she crossed the finish line?

Then there are the Women’s Beach Volleyball bikini bottoms. What difference does all that hustle and jump make when those ladies have more crack than the entire city of Detroit?

Hello? Men’s track stars? You’re really wearing those banana shoes?

And don’t even get me started on those horses in the equestrian events. Some of them made no effort to restrain their free-flowing tails, showing no respect for the fact that they were jumping more obstacles than average Americans do when collecting their own money from their medical flexible spending accounts.

Don’t these athletes realize that no matter what they do, the most important thing when they are on TV is their hair? Where is the Olympic Committee in all of these uniform travesties? Why aren’t they stopping these fashion fails?

Bottom line? This young lady traveled 20 hours from home to live with strangers so that she could train with a great coach. She left her family and friends to follow a dream at only fourteen. She not only went to school but worked what amounted to a full time job in preparing for this event. She could dye her hair purple, wear it in dreadlocks, or even shave her head and it wouldn’t detract one bit from how lovely she is.

I appreciated the sentiment of this “Pulp Fiction” spoof.

WARNING: EXCESSIVE, EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE, JUST LIKE THE ORIGINAL “PULP FICTION.”

What athletes are impressing you during this Olympic Games?

All the best to all of you for a week of knowing what’s important.

Piper Bayard—The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse