Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kay Thomas is BULLETPROOF in the Lair!

by Suzanne
Oh hey, y'all! Give me a second to finish putting on my Kevlar vest. There! Now I'm ready to sit and chat with my good friend, Kay Thomas, who once again has brought us another intriguing book with bullets flying.

Suz: Kay, welcome back to the Lair. BULLETPROOF TEXAS is your second novel for Harlequin Intrigue and this is set, of course, in the Hill Country of Texas. Tell us a little bit about this book.

Kay, eyeing the vest: Sure, Suz. Thanks so much to you and the Banditas for having me back in "the Lair" today.

The bulletproof action continues when a pharmaceutical research scientist and a brooding caving guide are forced to work together extracting cancer-eating bacteria from a flooding Texas Hill Country cave. As the sparks fly and passions rise, so do the dangers when a competitor decides this potential cure shouldn't see the light of day--and is willing to kill anyone who gets in the way.

Suz: Can you tell us how you came up with the idea for BULLETPROOF TEXAS?

Kay: My family and I were in Carlsbad Caverns a couple of years ago for Spring break. I was listening to an audio tour that talked about cancer-eating bacteria found in Lechuguilla, another nearby cave. This bacteria is showing promise for cancer treatment in the research world. From the moment I heard the details of the discovery, I was fascinated with the idea of setting a romantic suspense novel against a cavern backdrop. I'd just finished a manuscript with a biomedical edge and a pharmaceutical company's machinations as part of the plot that would later be my debut novel, BETTER THAN BULLETPROOF (Harlequin Intrigue, January 2009). This new idea seemed the perfect fit for a sequel.

Suz: Your hero in BULLETPROOF TEXAS, Zach Douglas is a Park Ranger with a fascinating background. Can you tell us how you used it in the book?

Kay: Zach is the twin brother of Tammy Douglas from BETTER THAN BULLETPROOF. In the opening scene of BULLETPROOF TEXAS he makes the discovery of a lifetime (Devil's Hollow Cavern) and gets the news of Tammy's murder, both within moments of each other. The next scene takes place three months later. He's quit his job with the park service and is now a free-lance caving guide for the heroine, Maxine (Max) O'Neil.

Suz: Maxine O'Neil isn't your typical research scientist. How has she had to prove herself in her field and why?

Kay: Max is a woman with the body of a "Hooter's girl" and the brain of a rocket scientist. On the surface she appears to have it all. But her success has come at a huge price and her personal life is a wreck. She's just left her unfaithful fiance' at home in New York.

As a top pharmaceutical researcher in her field, her looks have been a handicap and she isn't always taken seriously in this "boys club" because of her stunning appearance. Over the years she's developed a very "hard case" personna. From the moment she and Zach first interact, there are fireworks.

Suz: The relationship between Max and Zach sizzles on the pages, are you finding it harder or easier to pack both steamy romance and plot into the category size books?

Kay: In this case it was easier to write because these characters just couldn't keep their hands off each other. Their relationship is more intense from the beginning and their personalities dictate a more physical relationship from the start.

Zach is angry with himself that he's attracted to a woman who infuriates, yet fascinates him at the same time. What he feels for Max breaks through the wall he has put up since his sister's death.

Max is drawn to Zach despite all her best intentions to keep him at arm's length. She's very aware of her responsibilities on this project and being in charge at Devil's Hollow, plus she's just broken off her engagement. She doesn't feel she's in a good place for a relationship or a casual fling because of how it would look to the others on her research team. But all those objections fall away once she and Zach start spending time together. Their chemistry is unstoppable.

Suz, grinning at Kay: Okay, since we're good friends, I know you did some interesting research for BULLETPROOF TEXAS. Want to tell our readers how far you went to be authentic in your story?

Kay, rolling her eyes at Suz: Oooh, I knew you were going to ask me this. : )

Much of the book's action takes place in a cave and since I'm too claustrophobic and too chicken to try actual "on-my-belly-in-the-mud" caving, my husband and I went to a rock climbing gym for the climbing part of the research. I was determined to feel my rear end in the rappelling gear-to feel the exhilaration of sliding down that rope and to get great pictures for my website. (For the record, my agent begged me not to do this! She thought I might get hurt. I assured her I would be fine! Note to self. Always listen to your agent.)

After the initial stomach churning experience of climbing to the top of the thirty-foot wall, (Did I mention I have this thing about heights, too?), I was having a fabulous time. Once I got over the nausea and rappelled down a couple of times, I was feeling very proud of myself...quite accomplished. What had I ever been afraid of? My husband was "on belay." He does lots of this kind of stuff a lot, so I wasn't worried.

A few minutes later, on my last climb of the afternoon we had a major "equipment malfunction." I was about twelve feet from the ground and my rope kinked. The ascender thingie (that keeps you from falling) jammed and I plummeted straight down. Flat on my back. The earth moved. Some of you may have felt it there in Australia. I scared those teenagers running the place half to death. Not to mention my sweetheart. It wasn't pretty.

After an MRI and multiple hours on a massage therapist's table, the doctor decided I did not have a compression fracture and cleared me to travel. For a month I had been planning (and packing) for a big writers' conference in San Francisco that started a few days after my umm...tumble. The doctor gave me a raft of muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories and pain-killers to get me through RWA National. This conference is always a wonderful and wild time, but a backache in high heels, even when you haven't fallen on your rear the week before.

Suz glances over the rim of her glasses in that omnipotent way of hers: And what did you ultimately learn from this adventure?

Kay, laughs: Well, this could be a whole other blog post about how I learned not to be stupid while researching.

Number one. About my agent.
Always listen to your agent. After I fell, the first thing that ran through my head (as I was lying flat on my back and trying to breath again) was: "My agent told me not to do this. I should've listened."

Number two. About my research.
Always, always in these kinds of situations rent the "how to DVD" and
interview the hot athlete. Have your picture made with him for your website (The photo of my behind in that sling is something that will never see the light of day!)

Number three. About my husband.
When I've had an MRI because my husband thinks he dropped me, I can buy as many pairs of shoes as I want and he won't say a word. In fact, he may ask if I want to buy a purse to go with them! However, I do not recommend this as a path to Jimmy Choo.

Number four. About myself.
I am a writer. I do not necessarily have to experience things to write about them. (I know, not exactly an epiphany, but apparently I need to be reminded of this "truth" from time to time!)

Suz: BULLETPROOF TEXAS is Kay Thomas's second novel from Harlequin Intrigue and is on US store shelves this week. Romantic Times gave BULLETPROOF TEXAS 4 stars calling it "taut, tricky and worth the read." Cataromance gave it 4 ½ stars calling it "non-stop action, nail-biting suspense and fiery passion." Her debut novel BETTER THAN BULLETPROOF was released in the US in January and in Australia in March. For excerpts, to enter Kay's April contest, and more please visit

Kay: So, readers, what’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done against good advice? Or if you really don’t want to share that particular experience ‘cause trust me, I know we’ve all had some “never-want-to-think-about-it-again” adventures. What’s the best thing you ever did against good advice?

You’ve already heard about one of my sillier moments. Now for the best thing I ever did against good advice….I got married! I’d only known my husband seven weeks when he proposed. Some friends thought we’d lost our minds. But I knew this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Twenty-one years later—we’re still together and ridiculously happy. Not listening to those friends was the best thing I ever did against good advice!

So…your turn…best thing you’ve done against good advice or silliest mistake made against good advice? One random commenter will get a copy of my new Harlequin Intrigue, BULLETPROOF TEXAS.


Anna Campbell said...

Is he mine?

Anna Campbell said...


Sorry, one shouldn't CROW over winning the rooster. But yanno, cock-a-doodle and all that jazz!

PinkPeony said...

Hi Suzanne & Kay...I rode the "carousel" above one of the sewer treatment vats on campus when I was a freshman in college...very stupid. My friend fell in...had to get shots at the health center.

PinkPeony said...

Congrats, now, GR must have his own computer keyboard at your place so he can hunt and peck out his own manuscripts. :)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Kay, great blog! And I've got to say you wrote the accident bit like a suspense novel - even down to the foreshadowing! A bit like you were Julius and your agent was Mrs. Caesar telling him not to go out on the Ides of March. You just ended up bruising your 'ide. Ahem! Glad you were OK - man, that could have been really serious although it makes a great story as you do your blog tour! Any pain is worthwhile for a great story, yes? NO???!!! Also love the story about your husband and you deciding so fast you were meant for each other. Way cool! Congratulations on the release of Bulletproof Texas. It sounds like a fantastic read - and what an intriguing premise. I wonder where you'll go next. Wherever that is, I hope you'll come back to the lair to tell us about it!

Suz, wonderful interview as ever!

OK, I've been putting off the evil moment where I have to do some writing. I've put the GR in the corner reading a cookbook (I'm hoping I can get him to do dinner!). Hasta la vista, gals!

Kay Thomas said...

Wow, Anna. Congratulations. Good morning or good evening? Um...what time is it over there in your neck of the woods? I get twisted around trying to figure this out. It's just after midnight here.

Anna Campbell said...

Kay (yeah, I haven't gone to be good yet - that pesky rooster keeps interrupting me asking where the measuring spoons are!), it's about 3:30 in the afternoon on Thursday here.

Kay Thomas said...

Wow, PinkPeony
I know I shouldn’t laugh, but that is hysterical. (Only because no one was hurt!) A sewer “spa” treatment...I bet you had the best story on campus your entire college career!

Kay Thomas said...

Ah, Anna, thank you. I’m thrilled to be here.
Suzanne made the interview so fun and easy. We had an awfully good time working on this. I want one of those bulletproof vests she’s wearing!

And yes…“bruising my ide” is right….more like brusing my hiney..but thank you for making it sound so elegant and literary. I need all the help I can get! ; )

I’m tickled you like the premise of BTX. I had a blast doing the research and writing - despite the minor um…set back there with the rock climbing business.

Thanks for the timing update. Y’all are almost 15 hours ahead. I don’t think I ever had that nailed down before.

Now about that rooster. Does he really cook? I could use some help in the kitchen.

Pissenlit said...

Congrats, Anna! I think the BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-ing is quite acceptable.

Oh my, I'm somewhat claustrophobic as well so spelunking is right out for me too! I thought indoor rock climbing sounded okay but uh, now I'm not so sure. Yikes!

A friend talked me into doing a charity stair-climb of the CN Tower with her. Everyone else told me I was crazy. I should've listened to them. They said the average person can climb it in 25 minutes. It took me 1hr 3mins 6secs(it says so on the shirt I got!) because the grey walls, grey stairs and the echo-y sound in the stairwell set off my claustrophobia and I was near hyperventilating half the time and my hands were shaking and one of the paramedics stationed at periodic intervals checked to make sure I was okay. Actually, if I remember correctly, the paramedic was kinda uh...maybe it was okay after all. :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Morning, y'all! Congrats on nabbing the wiley bird, Anna!

Kay, I stole the Kevlar from Cassondra's store of weapons and defensive merchandise hidden in the Lair's depths....If we sneak past her, maybe, just maybe we can find one for you, too! (Amazing the stuff you can find in the Lair late at night....see there's Demetrius' backup sheild for those wild shield sledding parties...extra loin cloths for the cabana boys, in case, well you know, something gets spilled on it....scented oils in Sven's cabinet--dang man keeps the key around his neck!)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Okay, enough covert ops in the Lair...

My silliest thing I did against good advice? The first time I snuck out of the nursing school dorms to go partying on a week night with my girlfriends....they didn't tell me we had to go down to the basement of the nursing school, built in 1906. Okay, that was creepy enough...then we had to sneak out through the morgue........with two bodies in it.

Nightmares even the alcohol couldn't get out of my mind for a while!

flchen1 said...

LOL! Congrats on the GR, Anna! Hope he makes something yummy for dinner ;)

Kay, thanks for the terrific interview--I loved you and your husband's story, and wow, the things you do for research--yikes!

As for what I've done against good advice... I mooned over the wrong guy for far too long and invested far too much of myself in a relationship that was one-sided. Ah well, live and learn! ;)

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Anna.

Congrats on the new release, Kay. Do you have a growing Jimmy Choo collection? The best thing I did against good advice was quitting my job even though I didn't have another one lined up. Everyone told me that I should hang on a little longer until I had time to look for another job, but I was so miserable that I had to leave. I was a happier person after I quit and the stress of finding a job was much less than the stress of my previous employment.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Pink Peony...a Carousel over the sewer treatment plant? At what point was THAT a good idea? Ick...and besides cringing at the microbes in it I'm LMAO over it too!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ack Pissenlit...thanks for the warning, I'll check that CN climb off my to-do list. That would trigger my claustraphobia, too!! Congrats on actually making it. I bet that teeshirt is a prized possession!

Kay Thomas said...


My hat's off to you for the stair climbing. Whew! I am not a graceful stair climber. The stair stepper at the gym is beyond most of my coordination abilities.

Claustrophobia is tough stuff. My heroine Max in BTX has it, too. I could really identify with her fear of closed in spaces…And the hyperventilating. That’s terrific you were able to get up the tower. A hunky guy can make all the difference, right?

Kay Thomas said...

Thanks Flchen1

I love doing research. It’s one of my favorite parts of the writing process. Folks are generally very helpful when they find out you are writing a book. And sometime they'll tell you all kinds of stuff they probably shouldn't! ; )

“Live and learn” – that’s so true.

Kay Thomas said...

Hey Jane
It’s wonderful to see you here.
Sadly no, I do not have a “growing Jimmy Choo collection.” I don’t think my body could handle the stress. : )
I love your story. I’m so glad things all worked out well for your job.

Laurie said...

When I was in HS, my parents were away on vacation and my great aunt was babysitting. I had to get the "perfect" dress for a TWIRP (The woman is required to pay)Sadie Hawkins style dance. She told me that I couldn't go. So I drove to Green Bay (35 miles) even though a snow storm was expected. Of course, on the way home, I ran right into it! I ended up in a snowbank BUT luckily no injuries and no car damage! Another motorist stopped, struggled and got us out. (Wisconsin)

I just tried wall climbing (Carolina wall) this past weekend with my 3 sons! We had a great time!! No incidents! We also did frisbee golf and ended up covered in ticks!! To end the day we went canoeing & paddle boating on a lake filled with alligators. (Florida)

Helen said...

Well done Anna be sure to hide any Tim Tams you have around otherwise that is what he will eat for dinner and maybe let you have one LOL

Great interview Kay and Suz.
What a story Kay I am such a scardy cat I would have googled anything I needed to know or talked to people who had done this sort of thing I am sorry you got hurt but glad you are OK now but good on you for having the courage to do it.

Truthfully I am such a chicken if someone advised me not to do things I probably wouldn't do them, but I met my hubby when I was 15 and he was 17 we got married 5 years later and lots of people said it wouldn't last but we have just had out 32nd anniversary and are still really happy. I knew when I first started going out with him that he would be the one I wanted to be with forever and so far it has been great.

Congrats on the new release I look forward to picking them up and reading them

Have Fun

Gillian Layne said...

Suzanne, this is a great interview! :)

Wow, Kay. Guess this was a "Friends don't let friends climb mountains?" story? Your premise sounds amazing and since my husband's in medicine I love all things science, so I'll definitely be grabbing this book. And I keep hearing about the Hill Country of Texas...I feel a road trip coming on.

My biggest personal adventure was going up Pikes Peak--I have a mortal fear of heights but didn't want to miss my girls seeing it, and I was all into "Never let them see Mom too scared to do anything". My dh was holding my hand and whispering encouragement the whole trainride up. What saved me at the top (where I just wanted to lay on the ground and clutch the dirt) was my oldest daughter getting a bit of altitude sickness. I was so concentrated on her the fear just went away. The ride down was exhilarating. (Dh says he has permanent fingernail marks on his hand, but men as such babies...)

Kay Thomas said...

Mornin' Suz

Cabana boy loin cloths?! Okay, I totally missed the cabana boys last time I was here…Too busy yakking. But I’m keeping my eyes peeled this time. Don’t want to miss them. they serve mimosas?

Yes, sneaking into the basement morgue would give any girl the willies. But finding bodies? I would have had nightmares for months. Did you scream when you found the bodies or just gulp and run?

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Laurie

Yes, I know the TWIRP dance and needing the perfect dress is of course the perfect reason to 'break rules' (in a teenager's mind). I have one of those, too! Did you get caught? It sounded like maybe she never found out? I'm so glad you were safe in the accident.

As for paddle boating with alligators and frisbeeing with ticks...that makes me shudder. You're one brave (and crazy!) woman. : )

Anonymous said...

Hi Kay! Thanks for visiting the Lair. The story sounds fascinating, but I'm appalled that you got hurt at a rock gym. Those places are supposed to be incredibly safe (and as a former rock climbing instructor, I know how safe they SHOULD be) but if there isn't good staff or they don't show you how to use the equipment right....well, I'm incensed on your behalf that you got hurt!

I've done quite a bit of adventuring (in my YOUTH mind you -- nothing for the past 15 years or so!) but managed to escape without any dramatic stories. I guess because I'm such a chicken I always follow the rules and do what I'm told!

I guess the best thing I ever did that was, um, not exactly within the employee handbook, was to fall for one of my fellow outdoor instructors. On our first trip together, I was his boss -- but that didn't stop me from throwing myself at him! :-) We've been married now for about 11 years.

Good luck with your future research, Kay! Maybe you should write a book about a surfer? In Hawaii?

Joan said...

Hi Kay! {waving madly from KY}

It's so wonderful to have you back and even MORE so since I had the pleasure of meeting you in Dallas a couple of weeks ago. (She's as charming and beautiful as her picture)

Ok, I can truthfully say, I've never met a wall I wanted to climb. To me the walls God would have wanted us to climb had steps.

Your books sound fantastic and I can't wait to read them (psst...Suz...grab me a vest from the lock up)

And yeah..careful on the research. Maybe you should stick with "wardrobe malfunctions" instead of "equipment malfunctions" :-)

Speaking of which..Demetrius, I do not care if you want to fit in with this century...pull that loincloth IS your undewear!

Louisa Cornell said...

Aha! La Campbell wins the GR. You can crow all you want just don't get him started. Your neighbors will storm your castle with pitchforks!

Kay, thank you for my laugh for the day. While the book sounds amazing, the story of your "research" expedition takes the cake. The lengths a writer will go to - putting your a** in a sling - literally!

A hundred years ago, when I was much younger I went spelunking in a number of caves in Mississippi and Louisiana. We have some great ones here in Alabama, but I haven't done those yet. My nephews are bugging me to go.

It is quite and experience! Especially when you crawl down this narrow cave tube and come into a huge cavern where the walls are moving. Then you find out WHY the walls are moving - bats. Lots of them. Shudder!

The dumbest thing I ever did against friends' advice was to go skiing down an Austrian mountainside after only one lesson. You know those cartoons where the character ends up looking like a giant snowball with skis sticking out at odd angles? That was me! My friends were laughing so hard they could barely get the snow off of me to see if I was okay. I got the last laugh. The very concerned (and very handsome!) ski instructor carried me back up to the ski lodge and stayed with me to make sure the doctor said I was okay. I spent the rest of the day in front of the fireplace being plied with cocoa, hungarian chicken and black forest cake. So there.

The smartest thing I did that people warned me against was to spend money I didn't have on a ticket to Austria to audition for one of a dozen spots at the prestigious Mozarteum in Salzburg. It changed my life and the ONLY person who told me to go for it was my late husband. Everyone else predicted failure. And I say again - SO THERE!

I can't wait to read this book, Kay. I love stories about the endless possibilities of science and nature and a red hot love story is ALWAYS a plus!

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Helen
How are those grandbabies?
Thanks so much for your kind words. Now as for being a scardy cat – “this could be dangerous” is my new mantra and google, my best friend! But when it comes to going with my gut about relationships- I think knowing yourself and your own heart is awfully important. Congratulations on 32 years!

Beth said...

Welcome back to the lair, Kay! Bulletproof Texas sounds fantastic! Congrats on your second release :-)

Yikes on the rock climbing
accident! So glad you weren't seriously injured.

The best thing I've done against good advice? Well, when I was 19 I met a great guy who happened to be ten years older than me. My mom told me it was okay if we dated but I shouldn't marry him because with the age difference it wouldn't work out.

Six months later we were engaged and six months after that, we got married. On Monday we celebrated our 18th anniversary :-)

Sometimes Moms don't know best but if you tell my kids I said that, I'll deny it *g*

What's next for you? Are you working on another Intrigue?

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Kirsten

It’s great to be here. And I’m so glad you like the sound of BTX. Thanks too for your concern about the gym. I do believe the place was safe – it was more the perfect storm of bad things happening all at once and that is was me. If it’s the bizarre and unusual, I’m a magnet.

Love your story about how you met your husband. Congratulations on 11 years!!!

Now about your surfing idea. I love love love Hawaii. That’s one thing I would NOT research on google!
I'd have to go there...

Diana Cosby said...

Hi Kay,
I enjoyed your blog and like you, I'm claustraphobic. Oh man, what a fall. Glad you're okay. My sincere best on your latest release! *Hugs* May sales soar!!!


Kay Thomas said...

Good morning Joan

And thank you! It’s good to see you again. I had so much fun at Dreamin in Dallas with you earlier this month.

Speaking of wardrobe malfunctions - there is a major one in Bulletproof TX. Max has a problem with a “critter” in her bedroom and well…I won’t give away the scene but it was inspired by a rat in my bedroom a few years ago. Yikes!

We were having a major cold snap, my husband was traveling for work at the time and I was going slightly nuts. A dear friend came over to help me deal with it and it was a comedy routine. We had a golf club, a shovel, a barking dog, and two screaming kids (omigosh…Laurie this is why you are one brave woman in my mind…alligators and ticks no less!)

For the record. I was fully clothed at the time and it was a very G rated incident but when a couple of my writer buddies heard about it they said…oh, that needs to be in a book. So….

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Gillian Layne

I'm so glad you find the premise interesting. You’ll love the Hill Country. It’s beautiful. I lived in Texas for three years before I ever saw it and then I was like, oh…this is what everyone is talking about. It’s truly lovely.

I hear you on the fear of heights but isn’t it amazing how our kids can just focus us, no matter what?

LOL on your “men are such babies” comment. Why do guys have such a thing about us squeezing their hands? (Okay, reality check...I think I almost broke my husband's during labor and he didn't say a word...bless him) : )

Kay Thomas said...

Hey Louisa Cornell

Glad I made you laugh.

Bats?!! (shudder) Oh my!! Thankfully we only saw one or two in the caves I walked through. Carlsbad and Inner Space. Bats are up there with rats in my mind. {Please see my reply to Joan, I have this thing about rats.} : o

Love both your stories – handsome ski instructor, hot cocoa and black forest cake. Yes, that turned out very well.

And your audition in Austria….That going with your gut is so important. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense but you just KNOW! What an affirmation of trusting yourself. And that your late husband was encouraging you to “go for it”, too, when no one else was. Sounds like he was a wonderful man.

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Beth

Thanks for the congratulations. It’s great to be here.
Right now, I’m working on some Intrigue proposals. I appreciate your asking.

Happy Anniversary! I love hearing the story about you and your husband. And don’t worry, your secret is safe with me about moms not ALWAYS knowing best. I have teenagers, too!

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Diana
Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Suz makes it so fun. Looking forward to reading HIS WOMAN. It’s in my ‘TBR mountain.’ : )

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Fedora!! Always a pleasure seeing you in the Lair.

As for mooning over a particular man, I think we've all either done that OR had a friend we tried to warn not to do that. Hopefully, like you, we learn from it before anything ugly really happens!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jane!

Congratulations on finding the new job. Leaving a stressful situation and feeling good about it is great, isn't it?

Virginia said...

Congrats Anna, WTG! Have fun with him!

The dumbest thing I every did was dating my best friend EX when I was advised not to. I will just say this much it turned out really bad. It was a big mistake!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Laurie!!

Paddle boating with gators and frisbee flying with ticks, girl we seriously need to talk about exactly what constitutes a good time, even with nephews!!

joysann said...

Hi Kay,
I might be able to read about being in a cave, but you so ain't going to get me in one. I'll happily live that adventure vicariously. Even driving through the Eisenhower Tunnel numerous times when I lived near there didn't cure me of the claustrophobia. Pulling oxygen into your lungs through eye-balls just doesn't work.

Congratulations on your new release; I wish you all the best.

Addison Fox said...


Congratulations on your new release - I just picked it up on Tuesday and can't wait to dive in!

As for things I probably shouldn't have done....probably taking you purse shopping on Canal Street!!! :-) It's a wonder your husband still allows me to come into your home!!!


Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Kay - Loved your blog! The premise for BTX sounds fabulous and ...sorry...I was chuckling away at your rope adventures. Next time you'll have to take our rappelling expert, KJ Howe, to handle those ropes - that is if we can coax her out of the rainforest treetops.

I've done some really stupid things in my time (which is probably why I write humor) but none have had bad consequences that I can recall. I swear I have a posse of guardian angels softening my landings. The first thought that came to mind about acting against advice was marrying so young - but that has lasted (which is probably why I write sexy).

Kay Thomas said...

Hey Virginia
Now you know wisdom is gained only from making mistakes. Sounds like you’ve gained some remarkable wisdom there! ; )

Kay Thomas said...

Hey there, Joysann
Thanks for stopping by. Claustrophobia is a biggie for a lot of people, isn’t it? Your post reminded me of that Sylvester Stallone movie – Daylight. {It had rats too!} : 0

Kay Thomas said...

Addison! Thanks for dropping in. Purse shopping with you was the highlight of my trip to NYC. And you know my husband loves you for the deals we found. Ahh…what a day! I’m looking forward to doing that again soon! Hope you enjoy BTX….I’m really looking forward to your WARRIOR ASCENDED next Spring.

Minna said...

Advice? Well, if I had listened to certain peoples so called advice -or opinions- I would have never taken the chance to study at the university.

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Donna MacMeans

Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you think BTX sounds interesting.

I like your story about you and your husband.

Yes, I definitely feel like I’ve had some of those guardian angels in my life, too. I’d like to transfer some of them to my children at this point!

I saw this great quote the other day, I’m not sure who said it… “If you think education is difficult, try being stupid!!!” Makes me smile and cringe at the same time.

Diana Cosby said...

Kay Thomas wrote:
Hi Diana
Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Suz makes it so fun. Looking forward to reading HIS WOMAN. It’s in my ‘TBR mountain.’ : )

~Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy Duncan and Isabel's story! Enjoy your day!


Colleen Thompson said...

Great blog. Loved your caving story! Last year I flew in a glider to research a book. My mom and son were both at me over it, but I wasn't a bit sorry. :)

catslady said...

I love your sense of humor. Ages ago on vacation we took a horse ride up a mountain (I don't ride). Going up was fine but coming down not so good. The nonspeaking guides traded my horse for one of theirs. I thought there was something wrong with mine but I should have heeded the fact they were laughing. My horse fell!! I was within feet of going off a cliff! Luckily I only sustained a cut under my armpit (stung like h#ll the rest of the trip).

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Minna
Good for you “for going for it!” Knowing yourself…that’s so important.

Kay Thomas said...

Hey Colleen Thompson

A glider?! Whew…that’s where the heights thing would have gotten to me. You sure there wasn’t some handsome instructor you could have quizzed about this?

Thanks for stopping by. Congratulations on your Rita nomination for TRIPLE EXPOSURE!

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Catslady

Thank you! I love to laugh.

I’m sorry to hear about your holiday horse mishap and I can’t believe the guides did that to you! How lucky you didn’t go over the edge. Still, an armpit cut sounds incredibly painful. What a vacation souvenir?! Ouch!

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Kay,

Like you, my special circumstance
deals with marriage, also. Honey
and I met in 1959, and he knew
that evening that we would one day be married! He asked me to marry
him several times but I kept putting off making a decision. Why? I'm six years older, I'm Hispanic & he's Caucasian, some
of his family and lots of my friends were against the marriage.
Also, this was Texas in late '50s,
early '60s where such a marriage
was a societal no-no! I finally
agreed, he asked my parents for
their blessing and my hand, and
last week was anniversary # 48
for us!

Pat Cochran

Cassondra said...

Kay, welcome to the lair.

I, for one, admire you for facing down your fears and doing stuff so you can write about it with authenticity. Those among us who rappel will know if it's right. And I'm with Kirsten. That should not have happened at that gym. I was reading it and went "WHAT???!!!" I used to teach people to rappel and I'm sorry you were just getting the hang of enjoying the exhilaration when that happened.!

I've set myself a mantra...even when things don't turn out so well, I try to not give up on trying new things because then I feel like my world shrinks a little. Not always so easy to get back on the horse, but I keep trying.

Stupidest thing I ever did that somebody told me not to--that's a toughie. Maybe get on a horse nobody else had been able to ride. Stubborn, I was. Hit the ground too, more than once. No breakage, thank goodness, but it could have been worse.

Ya know, not too many people have told me not to do stuff....I'd have to think I guess. If I wanted to try stuff, people around me usually said, "go for it." Or if they didn't, it was usually their fear talking, rather than their sense. I'm fortunate that my husband has always encouraged me to go for anything I wanted to try.

Your books sound great, especially BTX, so since I have to go by the bookstore anyhow this afternoon...(whistles, looks innocently busy)...

Cassondra said...

Pink Peony....

I HAVE to ask...why was there a carousel over a sewer vat into which one could fall? On a campus no less????

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Pat
Thanks so much for sharing your story. Congratulations to you and Honey on your 48th wedding anniversary! There are a lot of anniversaries being celebrated here this month! : )

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Cassondra
Good advice that…Always getting back on your horse. I think sometimes it’s friends’ fear “for us” that drives the misguided advice. I know in my case it was. (Still glad I didn’t listen about getting married!)

About the rock climbing gym…well…hmm.

Thanks for checking out BTX! Please let me know what you think. I don’t use the word “thingie” in the book to refer to any climbing gear…I promise. : )

p226 said...

Stuff I've done against good advice? Oh wow... where to start.

Crossing a ledge. (fell off the cliff)

Diving from another cliff. (it was a rush though)

Dating that chick I now refer to as .. "Satan." (She literally burned me in effigy. A big p226 made from 2x4s and my clothes. And one of my motorcycle helmets.)

Turn three at Summit Point Raceway. (that hurt)

Saying "Fine. I'll carry the damned radio." (I of course didn't consider that PRC77 radio comes with two spare batteries, the crypto module, two spare crypto batteries, and an antenna that makes you a target)

Saying "Yeah, ok, I'll go out with the scout unit." (with fast-movers inbound with 1000lb bombs just a *tad* too close)

Attempting to boogie board in a hurricane. (This is how I learned you can fly for short distances in 80mph winds if you position the boogie board just right)

Ok, I'm gonna stop. This list can go on for DAYS.

Anna Campbell said...

Update on the Rooster's cooking skills, pizza called at 0900 hours.

Pissenlit, that climb sounds like a nightmare - with a handsome hero at the end, so perhaps I should say a gothic romance instead! Ack!

Suz, dang! Thought I'd burnt the extra loin cloths. They never seemed particularly NECESSARY to me! ;-)

Helen, I love that your high school romance became a lifelong love affair!

Gillian, good on you with the mountain climb!

Anna Campbell said...

Kirsten, love your lifelong love affair story too!

Louisa, you always crack me up! And you definitely did emerge the winner!

Beth, another lovely love story!

Pat, congratulations on 48 years! That's fantastic!

These comments are really warming my heart and I thought they'd be full of embarrassing incidents. Although I must say I laughed at Kay and the Rat!!!

Anonymous said...

Stupid thing, huh? Does husband #1 count? LOL

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Kay!! How's my Thriller buddy doing? :-)

Wow, I have to say, this plot sounds fantastic!! I can't wait to read it. And the cover is very hot, too!

But your research story made me cringe. Owwwie!! I can't believe you still made it to National and wore high heels all week. You're made of sterner stuff than I, my dear!

I can't tell you anything I've ever done against good advice. Not because I've never done anything but because there are too many bad choices to pick from!! I'm just glad I made it out of my twenties alive and relatively healthy. :-)

Yo, Anna!! Way to cock-a-doodle-doo!

Kay Thomas said...


Thanks for stopping by. Not sure if I should say "you are one lucky dude" or "geez, was your guardian angel out taking a long cig break?"

Hmm..."Satan" as a former girlfriend? Boogie boarding in a hurricane? On second thought, maybe that angel was out chain smoking to deal with the stress!

Glad you are here and safe to tell the tales.

Kate Carlisle said...

So many great comments, y'all!

Louisa, ugh, bats!! {{{shivering}}}

P226, LOL!! I want to hear more!

Arkansas Cyndi, ROTFL!!!

Pat, what a lovely story!

Kay Thomas said...

Hey Arkansas Cyndi

Thanks for stopping by. Like we said earlier, learning from our mistakes is the path to wisdom. And in some cases....much better men!

Kay Thomas said...

Hey Kate Carlisle

It’s wonderful to see you here, too! Mega congrats on your NYT bestseller. I’m so excited for you!!!

I’m glad you like the cover for BTX. I was really tickled with it.

For clarification…those shoes I bought for National after “the fall” were flats! None of my ‘cute conference shoes’ with a heel would do. But I found some fabulous ones. As Addison and my husband will attest…I have a black belt in shopping- backache or not! : )

Kay Thomas said...

Anna Campbell,

The rooster doesn't cook? I'm so sorry. Did you have to use a fire extinguisher or just open a window?

Anna Campbell said...

Well, at one stage I told him we'd have roast chook with all the trimmings and he was very quiet for all of about five minutes! Which counts as majorly subdued for our dear little roosterette!

Kay Thomas said...

Anna C

Well, I should think that might have given him least for a moment.

Of course pizza is always such a cozy option. And my kids think it's a food group!

p226 said...

P226, LOL!! I want to hear more!Fine, fine.

Eating my wife's malted Easter eggs not five minutes ago. (It didn't hurt quite as much as falling off the cliff, but the margin was slim)

The Wasabi Incident. (too long to explain and too painful to remember)

Believing that I could make the turn at the bottom of a 9% 1/4 mile grade on my tenspeed without ever touching my brakes. (You believe the neighbor let me lay there unconscious for 20 minutes without so much as lifting a finger? Some people. Hrmph.)

I mean, my lack of good judgment is well rooted in history.

For example, in first grade I learned that I could run farther and faster than my teacher, principle, and guidance counselor. I would've made it all the way home had the grade school not been adjacent to the high-school. It was the captain of the high school football team that eventually took me down. But hey, I gave him a run for his money too. And a fight I'm sure he'll never forget. I hit hard for a first-grader. And the guy had 11 years and at least a hundred pounds on me. :(

Even earlier than that... age three I think... I remember my friend saying I'd get in trouble. But that did not deter me from making a "brick factory" out of dad's cherry 1969 SS Malibu Chevelle and it's brand new blue metallic flake paint job. Mom thought that was poor judgment as well, I think, considering that she actually packed me up and took me to ANOTHER STATE when she'd found what I'd done. She assumed dad would just kill me when he got home.

In military high school, an officer "stuck" me with something like 80 demerits on finals week. That meant 80 hours marching around the school's quadrangle with a rifle at right-shoulder-arms. Despite my complaints that this guy had really screwed me over on my ability to study for finals, my friend suggested that whipping this officer wasn't in my best interest. It was rather unfortunate that I happened to find the guy right in front of the commandant's office.

Seriously... this list can go on forever.

Anna Campbell said...

P226, don't stop there!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Just popping in before starting dinner...(Had lunch and a shopping trip with Jo there's something silly I did, today...let Jo go baby clothes shopping with me...ACK the checkbook will never be the same!!!) and Anna, I'm making Beef Stroganoff if you and the GR are still hungry!!

P226...Did your mama have a standing prn dose of Valium? And boogie boarding in a hurricaine? My husband loved to go to the beach during hurricaine warnings when we lived in Florida. That ranks right up with hit pyrotechnics display every fourth of July!!

PJ said...

Hi Kay! Congrats on the new book release. I'm looking forward to reading it. I knew authors were serious about their research but yikes! That's taking it to new heights (or depths)! lol! Glad you were okay!

Okay, two bests against advice. Hubby was 19 years older and twice divorced when I met him. I was 24 and everybody told me I was crazy to marry him but I was crazy in love and he was my best friend and soulmate. We were happily married for 25 years until he passed away in '01 and the people who warned me against marrying him spent those 25 years holding us up as the perfect example of a great marriage.

In 2001 I began posting at a message board for women over 40. The next year the women on the board planned a girls only getaway to Chicago. Again, family and friends said I was crazy to fly to Chicago to spent a long weekend with women I'd never met. I went and had a wonderful time. Eight years later...those women are some of my dearest friends and would fly to my side in a heartbeat if I needed them. We still get together annually, in a different city each year.

Jo Davis said...

Hi Kay!
Can't wait to read the new book! Sounds exciting and your hero is yummy. :)

I can't think of what advice I did or didn't follow, for the better or worse. I'm sure there's something, but I'm blank.

I just wanted to pop in and say hello! :)

Jo Davis said...

Hey Suz!
Now, what's this? you don't like me spendin' your $$? He he. :) You gotta admit, those were some CUTE things we found for your grandyoungun'!

Ok, got one-- the worst thing I ever did against good advice was to marry my first husband. Shiver. Wish I'd listened! But I've had my current dh for almost 20 years now! :)

Kay Thomas said...

Hey PJ
Thanks very much for the congrats. The stories you shared are both so beautiful. I love that you knew your husband was your soulmate before your married him. And your message board. I know it’s rare but what a wonderful thing when online friends can grow to be such good “real time” friends as well.

p226 said...

Ok, AC...

We were warned that a tactical battle with military windex on the officer's decks probably wasn't a smart thing to do. But I had my buddy. I HAD him. I KNEW which way he was going. So, I set up my ambush at a corner where two passageways on ship intersected. The moment he popped around the corner, he was MINE. I was gonna DOUSE him in the stuff. So head popped around the corner, and I "opened fire." Five quick squirts of windex, right in the face. It glistened like diamonds on the silver eagles on the colonel's collar. My friend was running the other way down the passageway. I think I heard him say "holy shit!, did you just squirt my commanding officer?"

Yeah. That sucked.

And then there was my "hiding place" on ship. Under the catwalk. I never cared about "clear the decks" announcements. It was always safe from jetblast and rotorwash from the helos and harriers coming in. So, I ignored better judgment. And the warnings to clear the decks. And when they tested the CIWS (6 barrel rotary 20mm cannon) a few feet from my head and I nearly jumped overboard, I saw the error of my ways.

Oh... and then there was all the black powder in North Carolina that summer... must've been... oh, fourteen. Made a heckuva boom. Broke some neighbor's windows. That sucked.

Oh, and I remember someone saying "you probably shouldn't launch model rockets that close to the airport" as a kid. Yeah. I launched anyway. And I distinctly remember thinking "that model rocket sounds INCREDIBLE." Except, it wasn't the rocket. It was harriers on approach. I got "the visit" by frowny faced guys in suits. I was 12.

Drinking liquor on a railroad trestle, giggling while freight trains passed inches away at 40mph.

Oh yeah... diving from the same railroad trestle at midnight, with cops on both ends of it. I washed up on the bank about a half mile down river. They never caught me. But it was cold and wet, and it sucked.

I can do this all night. Really.

Kay Thomas said...

Hey Suz

Oooh, I bet you found some fun stuff with Jo. I was here with the loin-cloth wearing cabana boys, drinking mimosas. Everyone took very good care of me.

Kay Thomas said...

Hey Jo Davis

Thanks so much for stopping by. I know what you mean, I tend to want to wash all those poor judgement calls out of my mind like a bad hair day. But we decided earlier that 'mistakes make us wiser and bring us better men.'

Speaking of good men….I cannot wait to read your new book that comes out in May. UNDER FIRE and your wonderful Firefighters of Station 5. Whew, they're so seriously every sense of the word. ; )

Kay Thomas said...


Oh my. I revise that earlier statement. Your poor little guardian angel. He was just overwhelmed with the workload! : )

Kay Thomas said...

I’ve had such a great time here today. Suz, thanks for inviting me, arranging everything and making it so easy. (I’m completely spoiled from all the lovely cabana boys.)

Y’all, thanks for your interest and encouragement about BULLETPROOF TEXAS. I appreciate you letting me be here today to tell you about it.

And thanks for sharing your stories. I was expecting to hear mostly funny, silly stories and I did! But it was such a treat to hear the wonderful stories of how you sometimes went against a really good friend’s (or your own family’s) advice to marry the man of your dreams or fly around the world or across the country for jobs or to meet online friends who would become best friends. To take control and change your lives. Such an affirmation to me about trusting one’s own heart and intuition.

Many thanks again for having me in the Lair-
My very best to you and Happy Reading-

Kay Thomas

Anna Campbell said...

Kay, always a pleasure to have you visit. Come back and see us again, ya hear? Good luck with Bulletproof Texas. Sounds like a great story!