The Spy Bride Challenge and a New Release!

It’s a big week here at Bayard & Holmes!

We are proud to announce the release of our first novella, THE SPY BRIDE, in the Bestsellers’ Collection RISKY BRIDES. Bayard & Holmes are honored to join USA Today Bestsellers Vicki Hinze, Rita Herron, Donna Fletcher, Peggy Webb, and Kathy Carmichael, and veteran authors Kimberly Llewellyn and Tara Randel as we each share our unique take on what it means to be a risky bride.

8 novels and novellas. 8 genres. 8 risky brides.

The Spy Bride Risky Brides Boxed Set final Cover

To celebrate, we’re having two contests!

The Spy Bride Blogger Challenge

We are inviting all bloggers to write a post about absolutely anything espionage or wedding related. Link back to this post to be entered in a contest for a $25 Amazon card and a copy of RISKY BRIDES.

Write about your favorite Bond movie, your favorite historical spook, or how you used to spy on your siblings. Tell us about your wildest bachelor party, you favorite wedding, or your worst bridesmaid’s dress. If you manage to write about both spooks and weddings in the same post, you’ll have your name entered twice.

Be sure to link back to the post at our web site so we see your entry!

The winner will be chosen on Thanksgiving Day. I will attach the names of all entries to a shooting target. Then I will blindfold my lovely daughter, DD, and she will shoot the target. The name that is shot will be the winner of the coveted Amazon gift card.

DD ready to determine the winner.

DD ready to determine the winner.

And for our awesome readers . . .

We have some wonderful prizes for you, as well. Sign up for the Bayard & Holmes Newsletter and be automatically entered to win a Secret Decoder Ring, a stash of Ghirardelli chocolate, or a bottle of sparkling wine from Mumm Napa vineyard.

Bayard & Holmes Newsletter Link–Click Here to Enter

Feel free to enter both contests!

Best of luck to all of you. Can’t wait to see your entries!

 

 RISKY BRIDES

 

 

RISKY BRIDES is on sale for a limited time at only $.99 and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Kobo.

 

THE SPY BRIDE by Bayard & Holmes — Spy Thriller Quick Read

With her wedding only days away, a CIA operative and her mother must thwart a top-level traitor before he delivers computer technology to international crime cartels, allowing them to hack US security systems and target thousands of innocents for slaughter.

THE MARKED BRIDE by Vicki Hinze — Romantic Thriller Novel

Nine months after breaking their engagement, Mandy sends Tim, a private security consultant and former Shadow Watcher (spies who spy on spies), an SOS. She’s in trouble. NINA caused the breakup and, though Mandy and Tim have been apart, NINA has struck—targeting Mandy.

THERE GOES THE GROOM by Rita Herron — Romantic Suspense Novel

A jilted bride is arrested for her fiancé’s crimes when he goes on the lam!

THE IRISH DEVIL by Donna Fletcher — Historical Romance Novel

The infamous warrior the Irish Devil was promised a bride by the King of Ireland for services rendered. Faith is as kind as she is beautiful and wants no part of marrying the fierce warrior, but has no choice, and once wed she discovers just how sinful the devil is.

ELVIS AND THE BURIED BRIDES by Peggy Webb — Cozy Mystery Quick Read

Bad boy Jack Jones is finally retying the marital knot! But where is the bride? When Callie and cousin Lovie both go missing, everybody is crying in the chapel. Can canine sleuth Elvis and the Valentine gang find them in time to croon “Love Me Tender” at the wedding?

SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING DEADLY by Kathy Carmichael — Mystery Quick Read

When the groom is found murdered hours before the wedding, can bridesmaid and owner of the Skullduggery Inn, Ashley Sands, clear the bride from imminent arrest? With numerous suspects, all with strong motives, Ash must figure out who-dun-it before the murderer strikes again.

LOVE AT THE SWEETHEART INN by Tara Randel — Sweet Romance Novel

Wedding planner Kara Delaney has had her heart broken too many times to expect a wedding of her own. Lucas Winfield can’t promise forever to any woman. As they work together on a wedding, the attraction is undeniable, but can they overcome their pasts to have a future together?

ALMOST A BRIDE by Kimberly Llewellyn — Sexy Romance Novel

After getting dumped at the altar, Ivy Hammond enters a sexy research study with one rule: don’t fall in love. But with each sizzling assignment, her hot research partner, Kip Lockehart, convinces her some rules were made to be broken.

Hospice: Telling People I See Their Butts

By Piper Bayard

Someone recently asked me what I do as a Hospice volunteer, and I told her that basically, it’s my job to tell people I see their butts.

Hospice is a service dedicated to providing people with the most comfortable death possible. We tend to physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients who usually have less than six months to live. We call ourselves midwives because each of us has felt that overlap between this life and the next as heaven opens to receive its newest child.

image by I. Craig, wikimedia commons

When I first told my friends I was training for Hospice, I got a number of reactions.

1. Uhmm . . . Better you than me.

2.  Wow. I could never do that.

3.  She’s such a Drama Queen that should be perfect for her. (Said behind my back by a catty belly dancer and passed on to me by another catty belly dancer.)

Most often, though, I got a mystified look and a disbelieving shake of the head with the question, “Why?”

The smartass answer? Because it’s easier to deal with dying people than with my teens. Dying people are a temporary commitment, but my teens want to hang out on my couch and eat my groceries forever.

The real answer? Because when my mother was dying, I was all she had. Since my children were young, I couldn’t be with her at the nursing home more than a few hours a day. I really wished someone could sit with her when I couldn’t. So after she died, I realized that was something I could give to someone else.

One thing I’ve learned from my work is that dying people tell the best stories. They are a hoot. I’ll be talking with a woman who looks like the quintessential grandma. You know, the kind that bakes cakes that really do look like Thomas the Tank Engine and flinches at the word “sex” because she couldn’t possibly have ever had it. No grandma ever has, right?

So I’ll be talking to this grandma with wise eyes and perfectly coiffed hair, except for that messy spot that mushes up against her pillow, and she will tell me some crazy stories from the youth her family never knew she had. She thought she was so smart at fourteen, smoking in the bathroom and blowing it out the window, until she opened the door to find her father standing there. She stole away from home at seventeen to elope with a boy, only to jump out of the car at the Washita bridge in the middle of the night and run all the way home, still single. At forty, she and her friend got a wild hair one day and did a “Thelma and Louise” cross-country, but without the flying leap at the end. Ten days later, their husbands both took them back.

image from “Thelma and Louise”

And then there are the other stories. How her mother and father stopped speaking after that night he came home so late, and the family grew cold and distant. How she regretted not marrying that man she left at the Washita bridge. How her husband didn’t really die of a heart attack like she always told the world, but that he committed suicide, and she never knew why.

As humans, we have a deep need to say, “Yes. I was here. Did you see me?” We need to know we did not grow and bloom and die in a vacuum. We need validation, because parts of us are like our butts. We can’t see our butts. We may feel them, but we need a mirror or a friend to tell us what they look like. As a Hospice volunteer, I give people the gift of letting them know I see their butts. Yes. Those parts of you are here, and I see you.

Today, I’m dedicating this blog to Teri Parks, who was born into a new life almost a month ago. She loved to laugh. Not only was she the best Mrs. Claus ever, but she also threw the social event of the season every 4th of July with a dozen fried turkeys, bubble-blowing guns, horseshoes, music, and 150 of her closest friends. The world is a little colder with her passing.

When I went to visit her on her last day, she had the greatest blessing a soul can earn in this life. A room full of loving family and friends, talking and laughing and remembering with her, confirming for her that, yes. She was here, and they saw her. All of her. And she was beautiful.

Do you have witness in your life who tells you they see your butt? Do you do that for someone else?

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

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Aporkalypse – Global Bacon Shortage

When I first saw this, I realized that the extremist Jewish peace organization, Sons of Isaac, and the extremist Islamic peace organization, Sons of Ishmael, have teamed up with activist group, Vegetarians for Peace. The serene triumvirate, in an effort to bring about that elusive thing known on beauty pageants as “world peace,” banned together around their only common belief, which is that bacon is unclean or just plain evil. Calling themselves the Children of Abraham and People Who Love Miss Piggy, they conspired to strengthen inter-cultural unity by somehow creating a drought that led to a shortage of pig feed, which led to a shortage of pigs and will, therefore, create a shortage of bacon for bacophiles around the world next year. This solves any remaining mystery of global warming and gives the rest of the world good reason to stick our heads in the oven.

image from wikimedia

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Monday, we wrote up our Wish-We’d-Missed Connections and asked you which one you thought was false. Forty-six percent of you voted for the “Creep Out on Aisle Nine” as the false story, and you are correct. Miss “Je Ne Sais Quoi” is something that has happened more than once. Also, I’m sorry to say that the pervert described in “Roman Holiday” was one of my first experiences in Rome when I was 15 and as green an apple as ever fell from a tree. I didn’t even have the words to describe what he was doing back then. As for the “Virtual Reality” Cyber-Masher, he/she/it was all too real, though I couldn’t print Holmes’ exact quote on a PG-13 blog. I’ve laughed pretty hard in my life, but this one stands out. Thank you for sharing the moment and  your missed connections with us!

Best Selling Author and Awesome Fellow Larry Enright just released his latest excellent literary fiction, A Cape May Diamond.

Writing is just one activity on the creative continuum. 6 Things I Learned about Writing from Gardening by RWA Hall of Fame Writer Justine Dare Davis.

Last day for Christian Fiction Fall Scavenger Hunt! International Best Selling Author Vicki Hinze shares the details.

Town Turns Tables on School Prank. How one gutsy girl responds to high school bullies. Historical fiction author and publishing attorney Susan Spann directed me to this. Also, Susan has an outstanding interview over at Chuck Wendig’s site, Susan Spann: The Terribleminds Interview.

This one is getting more relevant by the minute. From Knox McCoy, How to Not Be the Worst at Discussing Politics.

From Old Jules at So Far from Heaven, Who has Been an Inspiration in Your Life? Some people do for strangers what most won’t do for their own.

Apparently, Iran’s efforts at creating nuclear bombs and the continued failing of the economy aren’t keeping politicians busy enough so they are now micromanaging school lunches by federally mandating portion sizes. This is one high school’s response to such Nanny State interference.

And no. School lunch prices did not decrease with the smaller portions.

And now for our Poll Daddy campaign-style question of the week.

All the best to all of you for preparing for the rainy days.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

Our Wish-We’d-Missed Connections

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

Last week, two of our favorites, Jenny Hansen and Natalie Hartford, brought to our attention something called the Craigslist Missed Connections. Those are the ads people put up on Craigslist in an effort to find someone they saw in passing, or even someone they know but are too shy to approach.

Holmes and I, who are both happy with the connections we have, are more concerned with never connecting with certain people again. These are a few Wish-We’d-Missed Connections.

Cupid Triumphant by Bertel Thorvaldsen, image by Carsten Norgaard, Wikimedia Commons

Je Ne Sais Quoi

I saw you at Le Cafe Tres Cher. I am the man who was sitting with my back to the wall near the door. You are a tall, dark, mysterious woman. You had on that short red skirt and those lovely stiletto heels. What legs! Our eyes met as you sauntered past me. You had that je ne sais quoi air about you. I nearly gagged. That’s what happens when you don’t shower for three days.

For God’s sake, take some mercy on us. Ask the boys at Fire Station 17 to hose you down and then find another place to drink your damned coffee!

Clean Up on Aisle Nine

You smiled at me when our shopping carts passed in the vegetable aisle. I was startled because you look like a woman I once knew in Europe during the Cold War. You were wearing a green work out suit. Your lovely blonde hair was in a pony tail. You looked so charmingly girlish. I saw you again in the pharmacy section, and then you tried to follow me into the snack section. You smiled again, giving me chills. The last woman who smiled at me like that tried to knife me in the parking lot.

Fortunately, I was too fast for you, and when I tipped over the potato chip rack it blocked your path and I escaped. Find another place to shop, you psychopath! If I see you at my supermarket again I’m going to knock you upside the head with a frozen turkey and leave you unconscious in the refrigerator aisle to die a cold and lonely death.

Roman Holiday

Our paths crossed on the bus in Rome when I was but a shy teenage girl away from home for the first time. The bus was packed, and your body pressed against my backside. I tried to shift, certain a full grown man like you would never be comfortable being so close to an ingenue like me.

To my dismay, there was absolutely nowhere to move in the crush of flesh. But you, however, found the one way you could move, pressing your disgusting, corpulent, ancient self against me over and over. Honestly! What would your wife, children, and grandchildren think of you if they knew you behave in public like Burlusconi with a meter maid? If I ever see you again, you effing pervert, you will wish I was as nice as Lorena Bobbitt.

Virtual Reality

Holmes and I met you in the Scorpion Pit on the virtual reality game our kids got us sucked into. You began by telling my avatar, “You’re hot.”

New to the game and having no experience with cyber-mashers, I was confused, wondering how small you must be to be hitting on a three-inch computer image. While I was trying to picture that, Holmes began repeating back to you all of the pick up lines you were using on me.

Then it was your turn to be confused. You asked Holmes, “Are you a boy or a girl?”

To which Holmes replied, “I’m both. I have girl parts and boy parts.”

You said, “Wow! Really? Do you pee like a girl or like a boy?”

Holmes said, “I do both at the same time.”

Things became more absurd from there. You were clearly fascinated with Holmes’ fictional description of the body functions of a hermaphrodite, and you tried to find out where he lives for half an hour until we tired of laughing at you and blocked you. You are undoubtedly the sickest person we have ever met online. Don’t come near us. Don’t come near our families. Don’t come near our friends, and don’t come near our avatars or you will find out how well a charged up virtual Scarlett Death Arbalest works against a Smith & Wesson.

Three of these Wish-We’d-Missed Connections are real and one is false. Can you guess which one is false?

We’ll reveal the truth on Friday in The End is Near Mashup.

While you’re waiting with bated breath to find out which creep you don’t have to worry about running into, check out some Craig’s List Missed Connections over at Jenny Henson’s More Cowbell and Natalie Hartford’s Life Out Loud.

What are some connections you wish you had missed?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Piper Bayard is a recovering attorney with a university degree or two and a belly dancer from way back. She currently pens post-apocalyptic sci-fi and spy novels with Holmes when she isn’t shooting, SCUBA diving, or chauffeuring her children.

 ‘Jay Holmes’, is an intelligence veteran of the Cold War and remains an anonymous member of the intelligence community. Piper is the public face of their partnership.

© 2012 Piper Bayard. 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.

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Free Sex after 9th Car Wash

When a Car Wash mated with a Massage Parlor in Malaysia, they gave birth to a new Customer Loyalty Rewards Program.

I think the women getting their cars washed only got toasters.

image by MarkScottAustinTX

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order 

I’m a big fan of George Takei, known to many as Sulu from Star Trek. On 9/11, he published a post he wrote on the day after the original 9/11. Reflect

Diana Beebe contemplates the ethics of eugenics and the notion that we are morally obligated to screen babies for “imperfections.” Welcome to Gattaca

A great post by Jon Acuff on what it takes to make it, whatever “it” may be. Miley Cyrus was Wrong

I’m currently reading Duplicity, a military/romantic suspense by International Best Selling Author Vicki Hinze. Really enjoying this book!

Why is it that Chris Brown can beat the crap out of Rihanna and still be popular while Kristen Stewart is tanked over an extra-marital fling? Ellie Ann has solved this mystery. How I Relate to Kristen Stewart

The vote is open in Heather Konik’s Prawn & Quartered Hunger Games! I have nominated River Tam from Firefly/Serenity as the super hero who could kick ass on all the rest. She can kill you with her mind, and no power in the Verse can stop her! Take a moment to exercise your freedoms and vote. 🙂

Girls. They’re not just scary for boys, they’re scary for parents, too. A Conversation about When Baby Girls Become Teenage Girls by Jenny Hansen at More Cowbell.

I am a hard core moderate, and there are few politicians anywhere on the planet who can make me smile, but this one did. This young man is an enterprising fellow from the Bronx. He didn’t have any money for his campaign so he made this YouTube video spoof of Call Me Maybe. I admire and appreciate his moxie. Too bad he didn’t win his primary, but I hope he doesn’t stop there.

And now for our campaign Poll Daddy question of the week.

All the best to all of you for a week of keeping it clean.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

Tactical Bacon? . . . We’ve Got Tactical Beer!

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

Recently, we discovered the ultimate bacon product, Tactical Bacon from thinkgeek.com.

Because who would want to face the Apocalypse, a camping trip, or a simple plate of eggs without 18 servings of ten-year-old bacon efficiently shoved into a 9 oz. can?

When we saw this, our first thought was to hope the Scots aren’t working on Tactical Haggis. Our second thought was to look around our world and notice how many “tactical niches” needed filling.

Inspired, we took a can of Tactical Bacon back to Bayard & Holmes Laboratories where we currently have 10,000 lab rats and four communist Chinese engineers hard at work in our Product Research Division. Their mission? To convert the ordinary into the highly efficient, combat ready tactical products needed to improve the lives of today’s busy world citizens. We are proud to present our premier line of Bayard & Holmes Tactical Products.

Tactical Toothpaste

Sporting a stylish camouflaged tube designed to look like a regular tube of toothpaste, our Tactical Toothpaste is guaranteed to have you cursing as creatively as any Marine gunnery sergeant or Navy boson’s mate in only four days. Be sure to keep a tube handy for those visits to your girlfriend’s parents. And it’s certain to make your teens the most popular kids in summer camp!

Tactical Toilet Paper

Feeling like a wimp? Scared of your boss, your mother-in-law, or the wild rabbits in your yard? Our Tactical Toilet Paper is certain to rough you up and cure even the worst case of Candy Ass. You’ll be asserting your rights in no time.

image from memegenerator.net

Tactical Tennis Shoes

Run like the wind; strut like a badass. You won’t need air soles to float in these shoes!

Tactical Condoms

She’ll know she’s been with a soldier. *wink, wink*

Tactical Thongs

Designed to “cover” your ass and keep the Taliban from spotting you while experiencing those intimate moments sure to arise during tactical operations in foreign countries. Inspiringly shaded in Forest Camo, Arctic White, or Desert Beige.

Portable Tactical Big Screen TV and 60 Horsepower Generator

No backpacking trip would be complete without our Kevlar-shielded, IED resistant 72” screen. Why should you suffer without your sports bar just because you’re camping?

Tactical Beer

Enhance your wilderness TV experience with a case of world famous B&H Tactical Beer. Real badasses don’t tolerate fancy Northern European imported crap. B&H is brewed with arctic glacier water which delicately separated from the indigenous ice of the arctic as an unforeseen benefit of nuclear weapons testing. We also use only the finest hops captured from our competitors’ warehouses where we are unimpeded because they’re way too scared to try and stop us once they see us in our Tactical Tennis Shoes.

Tactical Beer, image by Alexander Olm at flickr.com

This glow-in-the-dark gourmet beverage will double as your Tactical Light Source. Because let’s be honest here. Flashlights are for geeks.

Tactical Dog Food

Between the LSD and the anabolic steroids in this dog food, even a worthless little teacup poodle transforms into a charmingly psychotic attack dog that answers to “Killer” takes out any annoying visitors with a slight lift of your left pinkie. This one is especially useful during this growingly hostile campaign season.

WARNING: Keep this product out of reach of gerbils.

We Bayard & Holmes Laboratories have even developed a line of Children’s Tactical Products.

Tactical Crayons

Our specially designed crayons created by our contract engineers deep in the heart of Magic Mountain are made of hard plastic. They are impossible for your child to draw with, making clean up a snap. These are perfect at home, in the classroom, or for birthday parties because you don’t want to raise some pansy a$$ liberal artist type anyway.

Tactical Children’s Lunch Box

Is your angelic kindergartener being bothered by those demonic third grade boys? To hell with that equivocating guidance counselor. We’ve got your practical, tactical solution. The Tactical Children’s Lunch Box, evening the score for the little kids since about ten days and four hours ago.

Every Tactical Children’s Lunch Box contains a top quality phosphorous grenade cleverly disguised as a Disney Princess or Avengers thermos. Guaranteed to slip unnoticed past the most diligent school crossing guard.

Tactical Brownies, image by jeffreyw at wikimedia commons

Each Tactical Lunch Box also includes a dozen hand-wrapped poison brownies, lovingly crafted in our bakery, that your budding Rambo can share with any enemy combatants he or she might encounter in the elementary school lunchroom.

Place your orders in the comments section below, and keep an eye out for our Tactical Holy Water and the rest of our Tactical Religious Products due out for the Holiday Season.

What Bayard & Holmes Tactical Products would you like in your home? What would you like us to set our lab rats to developing? We look forward to your business.

 

© 2012 Piper Bayard. 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.

One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Dreamers

By Piper Bayard

My parents sat us in front of the TV on that July day back in 1969 and said, “You will want to tell your children about this.” We watched Neil Armstrong take the first walk on the moon, not understanding how remarkable it was, but thinking it was incredibly cool just the same.

Our young lives were filled with Tang and Quisp and astronauts, and since each generation believes the world springs fully formed at the moment of its own birth, we took the moon walks for granted. After all, they happened every few months, and at our age, there wasn’t really a time before. We were certain people would be living on the moon by the time we were adults, using it as a base to explore the rest of the solar system.

And Star Trek? Why not? Even Russians and Americans eventually set aside the space race fueled by the Cold War and shared the International Space Station. Space wasn’t only the final frontier. It was the place where humans stood together in the face of the unknown Universe. The very essence of Star Trek made real.

I am only now fully feeling the possibility that there will be no more moon walks in my lifetime. In fact, I’m fond of saying, “We put a man on the moon with a slide rule. Why can’t we do it again with all of these computers? I’m not seeing any improvement here.”

But Neil Armstrong and the other brave astronauts of those years planted a seed in the minds and hearts of humanity that not only stands for the wonders we can find in the night sky, but for what is possible here on earth. My parents were right. I do point to that moment and tell my children, “Anything is possible if we choose to make it so.”

Image from NASA.

Thank you, Neil Armstrong. R.I.P.

All the best to all of you for keeping the fire burning.