Wednesday, February 9, 2011

*drum roll, please* Welcome back the one and only Missssterrrrr Romance! Brad Parks is in the Lair!

by Jeanne Adams
Hey, everybody! Look who's here....the one and only Brad Parks! Welcome back, Brad!

Last year when you came to visit with us you gave us some fabulous insight into what it would be like to be Mister Romance.

I see that the year's been good to you, with some major awards for that debut book you barely mentioned in all the Mister Romance furor - in fact, Faces of the Gone, won the Nero Award for Best American Mystery and the Shamus Award for Best First Mystery. I hear you were the first author in the combined 60-year history of the Nero and the Shamus to win both awards for the same book. That's pretty awesome!

Of course, we're all about awesome around here, so you fit right in. Grins. As you can see, in this picture with Donna, he's WELL acquainted with that rascally rooster, so yeah, awesome. (Aww, he's blushing.)

Brad: Now, Jeanne, you're putting me on the spot. I swear, I had nothing to do with that rooster. Really. Ahem. Okay, so I know it’s local custom here in the lair to end a post with a question. And I know I’m supposed to be flogging my new book – I’ll get to that, I promise.

Jeanne: Flogging? Really? You flog your books? Snork. I know, I know figure of speech, but remember, we've got some erotica writers and readers 'round here, so....yeah. Let's not go there. What were you saying?

Brad: I was saying I was going to break all the rules by starting with a question.

Jeanne: Oooh, rule-breaking! Sign us up! (Mug shots optional!)

Brad: (Brad shakes his head, laughing) Okay, seriously. A question, FIRST. What, oh Banditas, Buddies, staff and cabana boys, is your Rain Man Quality?

Jeanne: Our WHAT???

Brad: Maybe you’re not familiar with what a Rain Man Quality is. It’s a concept introduced to me by a friend, who swears everyone has one if they think about it hard enough. A Rain Man Quality is some kind of bizarre skill, talent or ability that, while not being especially marketable or useful, is nevertheless cool in a Rain Man-ish way. Even if it’s just a parlor trick.

Jeanne: Oh, like Stupid Human Tricks. Grins.

Brad: Exactly! Rain Man Qualities can be savant-like, such as the ability to memorize the phonebook, as the Dustin Hoffman character does in the movie of the same name. But, more often, they are possessed by ordinary people, doing ordinary things in a perhaps-extraordinary way.

My friend’s Rain Man Quality? She can pick the perfect size Tupperware for any leftovers. I have witnessed this: She eyes the (whatever) in the pot, goes to her cabinet, selects a container, then fills it just to the top – but not beyond – without anything remaining in the pot.

Me? I can catch grapes in my mouth. Even when thrown from a great distance. I learned this one day in college, when a friend got a bag of grapes from the supermarket and happened to toss one at me. I caught in my mouth. Then he took a step back and threw another one. I caught it again.

By the time I finally got out of his grape-throwing range, we were on opposite sides of the Grand Union parking lot.

Granted, it’s not counting cards in six-deck Blackjack, but it’s all I’ve got, okay?

Then there’s one of the main characters in my mystery series, Tina Thompson – see, I told you I’d get around to flogging my book eventually. She has one of the greatest Rain Man Qualities of all: She always knows when Carter Ross, the series’ protagonist and her sort-of love interest, is lying.

Carter is an investigative newspaper reporter and something of a charmer – to everyone else but Tina, who sees through him every time, including in excerpt below.

Before I get to the scene with Carter and Tina, I’ll begin with a quick exchange between Carter and Lauren “Sweet Thang” MacMillan, the paper’s newest intern, a honey-haired 22-year-old Vanderbilt graduate. Carter has been assigned to work on a story with Sweet Thang, who has a bit of a crush on Carter, and has just complimented him on his writing as this excerpt begins…

… So I gave my standard writing advice: “Writing is like a muscle,” I said. “The harder you work it, the stronger it gets.” I immediately regretted the metaphor.

"I bet you’ve got the biggest muscle of anyone I’ve ever met,” she gushed.

I coughed uncomfortably. “Well, I’m going to file this thing now,” I said, glancing at the clock. It was 5:45, which was getting to be the time of night when the acid in Szanto’s stomach compelled him to start demanding copy.

“Oh, definitely,” she said. “And thanks for giving me the lead byline. You totally didn’t have to do that.”

“You earned it. Without that interview, we wouldn’t have had a story.”

“That’s so sweet of you,” she said, then added in what was intended to sound like an afterthought: “By the way, some of the interns are getting together at McGovern’s after work for a quick drink or two. You want to join?”

“Sure,” I said too quickly. Then, in the second it took me to consider the implications, I added, “I’ll try to stop by.”

“Cool,” she said, giving me a little wave as she departed. “See ya.”
•••
Sweet Thang wasn’t gone from my desk for more than fifteen seconds before Tina Thompson roared into the same spot. Tina is our city editor. At most newspapers, the city editor is some frumpy bearded guy named Bruno. At our paper, it’s Tina, a too-hot-for-her-age thirty-eight-year-old with curly brown hair, a penchant for short skirts, and abs you could play checkers on.

Her hobbies include yoga, jogging and keeping me in a permanent state of confusion. We were clearly… something. I liked her intelligence, her wit, her sarcasm. And did I mention her abs? We always enjoyed our time together. She obviously cared about me. She even saved my life once – long story.

But I couldn’t accurately say Tina and I were an item, because it had never been consummated by the appropriate adult gymnastics. It was difficult to speculate whose fault that was. There were times when I had been clearly been invited to show her my floor routine but stumbled on the way to the mat. Other times, I participated in the warm-ups then withdrew my name from consideration before the competition began. It all made for a relationship that had never gotten past the preliminaries.

It was just complicated. What Tina wanted out of me was not companionship, commitment or even recreational sex. She wanted insemination. Having spent most her life as a career-driven Alpha Female, Tina had recently decided she was going to try motherhood. And she was sufficiently Type-A in personality that she didn’t feel like wasting time with the whole dating-cohabiting-marrying paradigm. She didn’t want to fiddle around with anonymous sperm donors, either. As she explained it, she wanted her baby’s daddy to be smart, above 6-foot tall and have light-colored eyes – but didn’t want it to be some lanky, green-eyed homeless guy who managed to convince a fertility clinic he went to Stanford. That left her with 6-foot-1, blue-eyed, Amherst-educated me.

She promised it was a no-strings-attached deal. She even offered naming rights. But I was still unsure about it. On the one hand, I had what Mr. Darwin would describe as the male imperative to spread my seed. On the other hand, I was a little conflicted about someday having to explain to Carter Jr. that his mother had been primarily interested in me for the fifty-fifty chance I’d pass on my bone structure.

Like I said, it was confusing. As was the fiercely territorial look she had on her face as she approached.

“Just stop it,” she hissed.

“Stop what?” I said, trying to summon my best innocent face.

“Oh, Carter,” she mocked Sweet Thang’s voice in a violent whisper. “You’re so wonderful. I want to write just like you.”

“What did I do?” I said, perhaps too defensively.

“Oh Carter,” she continued in the voice, “you’re such a great writer. Why don’t you have drinks with me and then come over to my place and write for me all night long?”

“Oh, come on.”

“Writing is like a muscle, Carter? And which muscle is she supposed to think you’re bragging about? Your trapezius? Why don’t you just pull her into the supply closet and ask her to play Seven Minutes in Heaven?”

“Now you’re just being silly.”

“Am I? Or did I just see her give you the little wave?”

“That? That was not the little wave. That was just. . . a wave.”

She closed in and clamped her hand on my chin, lifting my face for closer inspection.
“I thought so,” she said, the whisper getting even angrier. “You have glitter on your cheek.”

“So?” I said, wiping both cheeks quickly.

“So Sweet Thang was wearing make-up with glitter in it. Is that just a coincidence?”

“Glitter has been known to become airborne,” I pointed out.

Tina stuck her fists into her side, glared at me for a moment, then stomped off. Three strides into her stomping, she turned around and jerked her head, like I should have known I was supposed to follow her. I trailed after her. It was either that or get scolded in front of the entire newsroom. She went into the (thankfully empty) break room and was ready for me with an ambush when I entered.

“She’s hitting on you,” Tina hissed.

“Is not.”

“And you’re flirting back!”

“Am not!”

“I heard her saying you gave her the first byline on that story. You want to tell me if she was dump truck ugly with an ass she couldn’t fit through an elevator door you would have done that?”

“She earned that byline…”

“Liar!”

“And besides, if her ass was that big she never would have fit in the booth at the restaurant and we never would have gotten the interview.”

“Don’t change the subject.”

“I’m not sure I know what the subject is.”

“The subject is that every male under the age of ninety in this newsroom has been following that girl around with drool pouring out their mouths for the last month and you, of all people, are not going to join them. It’s improper, it’s unseemly and it’s gross. She’s a child.”

I raised my right hand like I was taking the Presidential oath of office and said, “I have absolutely nothing but the purest of intentions toward that young woman. And I have no indication her feelings for me are anything besides professional admiration.”

“You are and always have been a dreadful liar Carter Ross. You’ve been screwing her with your eyes ever since she got here.”

“I don’t even think I said hello to her until this morning.”

“And let me guess, you let her tag along with you all day long because, what, you’re deeply concerned about the quality of instruction she receives during her internship?”

“Szanto told me to work with her,” I said, still sounding far more defensive than I intended.

“Oh, sure. Did Szanto also tell you to jump in her lap the moment she asked you out for a beer after work?”

Couldn’t exactly dispute that one. Tina sighed and waived her arms in the air.
“Look at you! You can’t even defend yourself! Of course you want to have sex with her. She’s twenty-two. She’s got helium balloons for tits. I should probably be worried if you didn’t want to have sex with her, because it would mean you were dead from the waist down, which would mean you’re absolutely no use to me. All I’m saying is, if you sleep with her, don’t even think about sleeping with me. I’ll find some other guy with good breeding potential to get me knocked up.”
With that, Tina stormed off.

I looked at my only friend in the room, the Coke machine. “Did you get all that?” I asked it.

The machine hummed back at me.

“Just to review,” I said. “A woman who has expressed exactly zero interest in a conventional monogamous relationship just berated me for flirting with an intern. Can you figure out what to make of it?”

The machine hummed some more.

“Yeah,” I said. “Me neither.”

###

Brad: So that’s Tina Rain Main Quality, much to Carter’s distress. (I mean, can you imagine, not being able to lie to your quasi-significant other?).

But now, finally, we get back around to the question at hand. And I’m sure it’s one that’ll get a good conversation going here in the lair:

What’s your Rain Man Quality?

One randomly selected commenter gets a free signed and personalized copy of EYES OF THE INNOCENT!

Jeanne:
And there you have it! Brad's book, EYES OF THE INNOCENT, is just released from St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books. Library Journal gave it a starred review, calling it “as good if not better (than) his acclaimed debut.” For more Brad, sign up for his newsletter (http://www.bradparksbooks.com/fan-club.php), follow him on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/brad_parks) or became a fan of Brad Parks Books on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Brad-Parks-Books/137190195628?ref=ts).

Whew! That was a mouthful! And now, for something completely different, the American Heart Association TIP FOR THE DAY: Take this day as an opportunity to tell your loved one how you feel about them, and share ways that you can support each other’s health and wellness. Get started by taking the My Life Check http://www.mylifecheck.heart.org/pledgepage.aspx?NavID=5&culturecode=en-US

Another winner today will get a GO RED FOR WOMEN pin and a copy of Deadly Little Secrets from me!

112 comments:

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh this simply can not be!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I've found the chook passed out under the table holding the chocolate fountain! :-) C'mere you rascally troublemaker!

Wow Brad, I'm so impressed with your grape catching Rain Man ability.

I guess mine would be that I have a good memory of dates. Not so impressive for a former history major, but as you said, "that's all I've got!"

AC

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey AC! Has everyone cleared out of the ballroom?

Ahh, every one but the rooster, I see. Well, you'll have him for the day then! Lucky you...snork!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey, AC, don't knock that ability to remember dates. I certainly cannot and wish I COULD! (Very helpful when you do genealogy.)

My Rainman ability is that I can read upside down. And backwards.

If the book is facing away from me, I can still read it.

If I'm looking at it, I can start from the bottom of the page and read it backwards, with punctuation, without missing a beat.

*bowing* And that, ladies and gents, is my stupid human trick. Grins.

Maureen said...

Wow, my stupid human trick... Well, I can make a drink name out of anything. And make it sound very, very sexual.

Witness ... The Mighty Mast, The Glittery Hooha, The Facegod...

I do love being the bartender on the Romance Writers Revenge... ;-)

BJ said...

Hmmmm My "Rain Man" ability....
well I do have a thing when I'm lost no matter what I always get where I'm going without asking for directions...it's weird...drives my hubby NUTS....
Oh and with my entire family....mom/dad/siblings..etc...I can always tell when they are lying...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

And darling Maureen, you do it so VERY well.

We all talk 'round here about the famous glittery hoooooha's on the Revenge. Grins.

Never a dull moment....

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BJ, I covet the ability to not get lost - or to recover gracefully when lost so that you end up in the right place! Ha! I'm never lost going a second time (though I may repeat the error that GOT me lost) but that first time? Urk!

And the lying thing. Brad's character makes it seem useful, but I'm not sure I'd always want to know....Grins.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Yes, Duchesse,
There are a brigade of Cabana Boys and Hockey Hunks mucking out the ballroom even as we type. ;-) For the moment, I've put the chook to work helping them. He is not happy. However, I promised him some of Ermingard's S'mores so I expect he will do his share! Boy, those were GREAT cyber s'mores!

AC

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ermingarde knows how to toast them juuuuuust right. As long as she's in a good mood. Grins.

Glad the rooster's helping out since his swaggering around DID spill some of that champagne. Grins.

Cassondra said...

Okay I have never been able to catch grapes or popcorn in my mouth and am a little awestruck at anyone who can.

Brad, welcome back.

LOVE your excerpt. I love mystery series, and now I have to get this one.

I dunno what my Rain Man Quality would be. I'll have to think abou that.

Jeanne, thanks for hosting Brad again!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Happy to do it, Cassondra. I'll mention that you do have a "name that tune" thing going...

Slush said...

Aunty Cindy, I hear the chook can be violent with a chocolate hangover... good luck!

Well... Hello Mister Romance! Loved the excerpt and I like your style.

As far as a Rain Man quality, mine is having an excellent concept of time. I can tell you how long it will take (at any point in the day) to get from point a to point b. Even give you varying options depending on how fast you drive. I can also guess the time at any point in the day and am about plus or minus 10 minutes. It's a gift and a curse! Thanks for the fun question.

@The Duchesse... I cleared out a long time ago. Jensen and I had a few things *wink to take care of.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Slush said: @The Duchesse... I cleared out a long time ago. Jensen and I had a few things *wink to take care of.

Well, well well...speaking of Mr. Romance! Grins.

Although, I'm thinking that in terms of love (this being a Valentine's month post) that having that close a concept of time might not be a plus.... Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Vehl, dahlinks...I'll be off to sleep for a bit. Back in the a.m., when I'm sure Brad will be with us too! Grins.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Hello, anyone home? Well the entry way is clear at least, plenty of workers clearing the fallout from a Bandita Bash. I am not sure about a Rain Man ability for myself. I will have to think on that a while. Right now it is off to work, just wanted to see if anything was left of the lair after the smoke cleared, Ermingarde was getting a little testy when I left the party last night.

Sounds like a great book Brad, I do have a talent for knowing when my kids are not quite on the up and up with me. Maybe that is my Rain Man talent.

desere_steenberg said...

I ll be honest and admit I have no special kind of abilities I am just a regular average person !

I just simply loved this post it was packed full of so much information that I just had to say thank you for sharing and the book sounds delicious !!!!

All of the best and thanks for the great contest
Desere

Anna Sugden said...

YAYYY!! Delighted to have you back in the Lair, Brad, and mondo congrats on your success!!

Hmmm Rain Man talent - will have to think on that one. Off the top of my head - I know that I have a good nose for fragrance. Years ago, when I worked in business, I went on a fragrances course with a top fragrance house. Not only did I come top of the scents exercise (identifying different fragrances), the two perfumes I developed won top prize - the first time they'd had that happen on the course!

BTW - I wish I had your friend's quality - I'm forever getting that Tupperware thing wrong!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi DIanna! It was a heck of a party yesterday, wasn't it? There'll be some woo-woo heads this morning, after all that alcohol. Grins.

Hopefully not too many compromising positions. Snork!

I wish I could always know when my kids weren't on the up and up. Although, I'm pretty clear on that most of the time. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Desere! Thanks for dropping into the Bandit Lair!

YOu said: I just simply loved this post it was packed full of so much information that I just had to say thank you for sharing and the book sounds delicious !!!!

Doesn't the book sound great? The first one was superb - as evidenced by its awards, not just my opinion! - and I'm hearing the second it even better.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Anna! How cool! You said: Not only did I come top of the scents exercise (identifying different fragrances), the two perfumes I developed won top prize - the first time they'd had that happen on the course!

That is amazing! I've got a sharp nose (yes, it IS pointy too!) but not that sharp. Go you!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Everyone, Brad is off getting televised - interviewed actually - about his book. He'll be in the Lair in just a little while.

Grins.

We gots us a celebrity too!

TerriOsburn said...

I missed the ball yesterday but I'm glad I made it over today. I LOVE this excerpt. How did I miss Mr. Parks first visit?!

Now I'm trying to think of my rain man quality. I'm not coming up with anything. I used to have a photographic memory, but drank that away in my 20s. Hmmmm.....

I'll think more and come back. And if I don't win this book, I'm definitely buying it. Great voice!

Deb said...

My husband has a Rain Man quality that amazes me and makes it nearly impossible to play card games or dominoes with him.. He adds and subtracts numbers in his head---BIG numbers---quite easily. It frustrates me to play dominoes with the man because knowing what's on the "board" and in his set, he can tell me what I've got in my set!

I don't think I have a RM quality except...I can read with the t.v. on or most any other noise in the background. Oh, I can read in a moving car, too. Does that count?

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

HI, everyone! You invited him back. I cannot believe it.

He's a troublemaker, I warned you! Oh. I get it. That's why he's so popular around here.

Well, I can sing songs using only the first letter of every word. OSCYS, BTDEL. I hardly ever get asked to do it.

Congratulations on your wild success! Well-deserved. And I'm eager to read the new one.. xoo

TerriOsburn said...

I may have figured out my ability. I can often sing the lyrics along with songs I'm hearing for the first time. I've no idea how I do that.

Hank - Took me a while to figure that out. The Star Spangled Banner. Perhaps Christina could have used your help on Sunday...

MsHellion said...

I have an amazing ability to turn everything into a dirty joke, but I imagine that's just my MAN quality and not my rain man one.

I also have an ability to turn just about any situation into a Harry Potter metaphor OR compare the situation with something that happened in the books. Again, not sure that's rain man--that sounds more along the lines of geekdom or Star Trek Ability.

Those two will have to suffice for now unless I think of anything more applicable.

I'm glad Brad was brave enough to return!

KJ Howe said...

Welcome back, Brad! Are you planning on going to ThrillerFest this July? It'd be great to see your grape-catching abilities live. Congrats on all your success!

Great job on the interview, ladies! I also appreciate the GO RED suggestions.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Terri! You said: I LOVE this excerpt. How did I miss Mr. Parks first visit?!

I don't know, but it's worth going back to read it, as it's knee-slapping-ly funny. Grins.

The books are fabulous, and yep, he's got a great "voice" for mystery, doesn't he?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Heeeheeehee. Hey Hellion! I LIKE that ability! Harry Potter or Star Trek, or even Princess Bride. ("You'd make a great Dread Pirate Roberts!") are always good ways to start the day.

You said: I'm glad Brad was brave enough to return!

Me too! I was afraid we'd scairt him off. Grins.

Brad Parks said...

Aunty Cindy -- Congratulations on getting the GR. And I guess you'll always remember the date -- Feb. 9, 2011. The Day The Chook Lived in Infamy. ;)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*Snorking laughter* Kim said: Are you planning on going to ThrillerFest this July? It'd be great to see your grape-catching abilities live. Congrats on all your success!

Hahaha! We'll get him to demonstrate it in the lobby of the hotel. "Okay, off the column, through the potted plants, nothing but grape..." Snork.

Brad Parks said...

Maureen -- I think my protagonist, Carter Ross, needs his own drink name. You up to the task?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Deb! Y'know, that quality is IRRITATING, isn't it? My DH can do that too. Sigh.

You said: Oh, I can read in a moving car, too. Does that count?


It counts to me! Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Hank! Welcome! You said: HI, everyone! You invited him back. I cannot believe it.

He's a troublemaker, I warned you! Oh. I get it. That's why he's so popular around here.


To paraphrase Phineas and Ferb, yes, yes that's why he IS popular. Grins.

Hey, I saw on FB that you broke a big story last night on the news in your area. Care to share?

Brad Parks said...

Cassaondra -- Think about it. I'm SURE your Rain Man Quality will come to you.

Slush -- I can tell you're handy to have around when the power goes out.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey! Brad's in da Lair! Grins. How was TVLand, Brad?

Brad Parks said...

Dianna -- No WONDER you're hrdwrkmom. My kids are still small but I'm already having a tough time keeping up with all the whoppers they tell. It's amazing what little con artists I'm raising. I have no idea where they get it from.

Brad Parks said...

Desere -- You're here on this awesome blog. You are therefore, by definition, above average. : )

Anna -- That sounds like a great skill. Although we'll have to talk some time about men and cologne. (I vote No... but maybe it's just because I'm afraid to become one of those guys you smell before you see).

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*laughing till it hurts*

Brad said: It's amazing what little con artists I'm raising. I have no idea where they get it from.

SNORK!

Apple/tree. I'm just sayin'

Brad Parks said...

Terri -- You're sweet to call me Mr. Parks. But, asking any of the Banditas who met me at RT, I'm really not deserving of the respect. Hope you win the book! ; )

Brad Parks said...

Deb -- ANY Rain Man Quality that involves the ability to read is a good one in my book! (Get it? Read? In my book? Uhh... yeah, okay, I don't do stand-up for a reason).

Brad Parks said...

Hank, darling! Lovely to see you. As Jeanne mentioned, I was doing TV this morning. The host -- who also does the noon news -- said she was a big mystery reader. First words out of my mouth: "You HAVE to read Hank Phillippi Ryan." Hopefully I made you another fan. :)

Brad Parks said...

MsHellion -- That sounds like my kind of Rain Man Quality. I, uh, tend to like dirty jokes a little bit. (The only negative review I've gotten so far was from a publication that did not like penis jokes... I'm like, what's wrong with penis jokes?)

Brad Parks said...

KJ -- Of COURSE I'll be at Thrillerfest. If you see me, toss a grape in my direction. I'll catch it. Promise.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Brad said: I, uh, tend to like dirty jokes a little bit. (The only negative review I've gotten so far was from a publication that did not like penis jokes... I'm like, what's wrong with penis jokes?)

Snork. Not one thing, Brad. Not one thing.

See why we like him around here? Heeheeeheee

Brad Parks said...

Jeanne -- The funniest thing about my little con artists is that they fool their mother nearly every time. And yet I NEVER fool their mother. I taught them everything they knew and they already do it better than their old man...

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Ah, welcome back to the Lair, Mr. Romance...er...I mean Brad!

I think I'm in love....with Tina! She is soooooooo my kind of gal. Does she want a job as a nurse? I think she'd make a very good one!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

OMG Maureen!!

The Glittery Hooha I have some OB nurses who would order that just so they could say it!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Brad said: I taught them everything they knew and they already do it better than their old man...

Hahah! My oldest is a straight arrow, like his daddy. Narc's on himself all the time. The youngest? Oh, he takes after me, in that he's a biiiiit more sly about things.

So far, I can catch him, but he's learning fast, the little rascal. (fools his Dad some though. Grins)

Maureen said...

Brad - A drink for Ross... It's not terribly sexy... but considering the snippet you posted... The Reluctant Ross.

Or there is always the Ready to Ride Ross, if his human lie detector is right on regarding his interest in the other woman!

Brad Parks said...

Suzanne -- I think Tina might be a little too tough to make a good nurse. Have you ever met a newspaper city editor? They tend to be the kind of people who would just slap a patient in the face and say, "Get over it!"

Brad Parks said...

Maureen -- The Reluctant Ross has some potential. What's in it? Make it strong enough, and I'm sure he'd be graduating to Ready to Ride Ross in no time...

p226 said...

You know... I've been sitting here for a few minutes trying to come up with a "Rain Man" quality. And I've come to the conclusion that any of my abilities, I've had to work to obtain. I really don't think I have one that I was just born with.

Well, maybe one, but it's ... I don't know. It's even less practical than catching grapes, I think. I have an innate ability to understand spacial relations. I can rotate multiple three-dimensional objects around in my head at one time, and clearly view how they will or will not interact. Give me a complex parts assembly, and once I've seen, and become familiar with each part's shape, I can completely assemble them in my head, piece by piece, clearly seeing how each part fits together.

Not only can I do that, but I can do it upside down or reversed.

The only time it's really been valuable to me is in reassembling firearms, or when I was doing construction work, lining out cuts and measuring on the lumber, because I could clearly see how things would be nailed or fastened together to get meet the architect's goal.

Oh, I guess there was one recent situation where it worked for me. My very first try making a kydex holster turned out so well, I've had a dozen people ask me to make holsters for them. And that was all a function of being able to see how the pistol would wind up on the belt and be supported by the kydex.

Other than that, any skill I have, I think I've had to work to obtain.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Brad: They tend to be the kind of people who would just slap a patient in the face and say, "Get over it!"

Uhm...that is often what I and my coworkers have to say! We deliver babies!

Debra Key Newhouse said...

Hmmm. I can cross one eye and roll the other one in circles. Not much of an ability, but can be amusing at times. What a great excerpt! And Brad...7 minutes in heaven in the closet? Sounds like heaven to me. Snicker

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226 said: I can completely assemble them in my head, piece by piece, clearly seeing how each part fits together.

Not only can I do that, but I can do it upside down or reversed.


Ummm...I'd say this was a very USEFUL Rainman quality! I'd love to have it. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Debra! Glad you popped in. You said: I can cross one eye and roll the other one in circles. Not much of an ability, but can be amusing at times.

Snork. Well I think it's amusing just trying to visualize that. :> My dad could wiggle his ears - really wiggle them without moving his face - and sometimes he could wiggle just one of them independently.

As you said, not that useful, but really fun, especially when small children are involved. Snork!

Donna MacMeans said...

Brad - So much fun having you back in the lair AND learning everyone's Rain Man qualities. Love that excerpt. Can't wait to read the book.

My Rain Man quality is that I can rip a phone book in half. Doesn't matter what size. The process has this awe-inspired dropped jaw quality to it.

I much prefer my husband's rain man quality. Close parking spaces to stores, restaurants, etc just open up before him. This is a particularly useful talent in Ohio in the winter.

Donna MacMeans said...

P226 - I bet you're a whiz at jigsaw puzzles (grin).

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Donna said: I much prefer my husband's rain man quality. Close parking spaces to stores, restaurants, etc just open up before him

Oh, this is a fun one. I can do this too. Drives my DH nuts. He calls it my "Parking Karma" Grins.

T.M. Lunsford said...

I can remember an amazing amount of completely useless trivia. It rocks for Trivial Pursuit and Scene It, but can I remember stuff I study for tests (math, science) ppssh, ha! Forget it!

jo robertson said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Brad, and mega congrats on your recent successes!

Loved the excerpt and the clever repartee between Carter and Tina. Sounds like this one's a must read.

Hmmm, Rain Man Quality? I like the idea! Okay, here's dumb, but accurate, one. I can always tell how much food to put on people's plates. Spot on. I never dish up too much or too little, but the exact amount I know they'll eat.

I told you it was dumb! But at least we don't waste any food.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Brad. I'm going to have to ponder this Rain Man ability. I can't think of one at the moment. And that's kind of sad. I think everyone should have at least one stupid human trick up their sleeve. :)

p226 said...

Donna said:
P226 - I bet you're a whiz at jigsaw puzzles (grin).

Ironically, no, not at all. I think because of their two dimensional nature. Most people absolutely HATE the way I do jigsaw puzzles. HATE it. Can't stand to watch me do it. In fact, I hate the way I do them myself, so, I rarely do one.

Because I don't really bother trying to make sense of the image. I take a corner piece. I then make a giant pile of the remaining pieces. I cycle through them one at a time regardless of color or shape to see if they fit. Eventually, I'll hit the right one. Repeat the process for each piece of the puzzle.

Maddening, no? In this case, the method IS my madness. :D

Cybercliper said...

My Rain Man gift is pretty odd - I always know when the phone is going to ring about 15 to 30 seconds before it does. It just a feeling and then PHONE pops into my head. First couple of times hubs didn't believe me until I started telling him - "you answer it".

He doesn't think I have any special gift - just "dog hearing". I'm catching a tone no one else can hear. Still pretty freaky...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi TM! Glad you popped into the Lair!

You said: I can remember an amazing amount of completely useless trivia

I think that's pretty cool, and I adore Trivial Pursuit, so hey. Cool.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Jo! Great party in the Lair yesterday. Thanks for being a Party Mom. Grins. That has so many connotations....snork.

You said: I can always tell how much food to put on people's plates. Spot on. I never dish up too much or too little, but the exact amount I know they'll eat.

Oh, man, I wish I had that or could learn it. It would be SO useful, especially at Thanksgiving! :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226 said: I take a corner piece. I then make a giant pile of the remaining pieces. I cycle through them one at a time regardless of color or shape to see if they fit.

OMGosh, yes, that would drive me mad. :> (Just being honest here!)

Then again, I pretty much hate jigsaw puzzles, so I wouldn't be maddened very often, since I never keep them around. Snork.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Trish, I'll bet you and Cassondra can both come up with something. I just know you will. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Cyberclipper, that's COOL!

You said: I always know when the phone is going to ring about 15 to 30 seconds before it does.

What a nifty gift!

Anna Campbell said...

AC!!!!!!

Brad, what a fun post! I hope you keep visiting us - it's always such a blast when you do. No, not the sort of blast we get from Ermintrude the dragon when she's cranky! A GOOD blast. The book sounds fab! Are you including the Bandits in your prize draw. (At which point Anna Campbell flutters eyelashes winningly. At which point Sven the masseur asks me if I've got something in my eye. Sigh).

Love the Rainman quality riff. You're right - I used to work with someone who could name every since record Frank Sinatra put out and give you the date of release. Luckily I like Frank Sinatra.

Actually I think my Rainman quality is completely nerdy - I've got a pretty good musical memory and I can identify a lot of classical pieces by name. Came in very handy when I was subtitling TV and movies for the Deaf. Those Deaf people got info the hearing people never did!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, and huge congratulations on those major awards! Wow, how cool is that?

Brad Parks said...

P226 -- Can you please come over the next time we get a "some assembly required" play kitchen set for my daughter?

Brad Parks said...

Debra -- Sounds like a handy skill come Halloween time.

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, I can read upside down as easily as right way up. It comes from years of reading Dad's paper at the same time that he read it (it was a family rule that nobody touched the paper until he'd had it and patience wasn't my strong suit!). Means when you play scrabble with me there's none of that annoying stunt of turning round the board. I didn't actually realize this skill was unusual until recently!

Brad Parks said...

Donna -- um, excuse me, I mean:

Ms. MacMeans -- Anyone with the hand strength to rip phone books in half deserves (and gets) my full respect. That's AWESOME. (And a little scary).

Anna Campbell said...

Slush, did you see Tiffany Clare's prize announcement? http://romancebandits.blogspot.com/2011/02/tiffany-clares-winners.html

Brad Parks said...

T.M. -- Sounds like we need to get you on Jeopardy sometime soon.

Brad Parks said...

Jo -- Thanks for the congrats. Now I'm going to put your Rain Man Quality to the test:

How many pancakes do I want?

Brad Parks said...

Trish -- It'll come to you as your falling asleep tonight. (Isn't that ALWAYS when the best stuff hits?)

Brad Parks said...

Cybercliper -- I don't care of that's not remotely practical. That's just COOL. Do you have caller ID in your brain too? That way if it's a telemarketer you can just tell your husband, "Don't bother."

Brad Parks said...

Anna -- It's too bad there's no audio on Romance Bandits. I'd serenade you with Fly Me To the Moon right now. (Then ask your friend when it released).

Helen said...

Well done AC have fun with him

HI Brad
Thanks Jeanne for inviting Brad back today. Loved the excerpt and the Rain Man ability great concept I will have to think on this one it not something that I have thought of before LOL.
Although I do and always have known when my kids are up to something but that could just be a mother thing LOL.

Congrats on the release of the book sounds like a winner to me

Have Fun
Helen

p226 said...

P226 -- Can you please come over the next time we get a "some assembly required" play kitchen set for my daughter?

I'd like to note, that just because I can, doesn't mean I want to. So, no. You're on your own. :D

The people who make kids toys are the antithesis of my Rain Man ability. I think they intentionally design parts that do NOT fit together in a logical fashion.

Minna said...

My Rainman ability is that I can find any second-hand bookstore or flea market. If there is one in town, I can find it. No need to check out the phone book first.

Donna MacMeans said...

P226 & Brad - I think they purposively leave out pieces to the "some assembly required" packages.

Brad - While I admit my talent is a little intimidating - to men especially - it doesn't require hand strength at all. More like ... applied physics. Yeah - that's what it is!

I'm going to have to bop over and order your book. I looked for it when you were in Columbus for RT and blast if you hadn't sold out everywhere. Even at Foul Play. Fantastic way to debut!

Pissenlit said...

Hiya, Brad! I really enjoyed Faces of the Gone though I got some weird looks from my friends as we were all reading on the beach and I kept periodically snickering on my beach towel.

My Rain Man Quality causes friends to ask me to help them move. I can look at something and in my mind's eye, I can tell where it will or will not fit. On one move, while packing up a minivan and a car, my friend thought she'd have to throw out a whole lot of things but I managed to pack it all in...it's like Tetris! :D I don't know if it's part of the same skill but I can also confidently navigate any room in the dark if I've seen it in the light for any amount of time.

My head also seems to be a magnet for all sorts of things like tiny patches of ice, apples, footballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, etc. but that's a different story entirely and not so Rain Man-ishly cool.

Anna Sugden said...

I vote no to men and cologne too, Brad *g*. Though I have to say that fragrance-wise, some of the best fragrances are men's. I have quite a few female friends who prefer to wear men's fragrance because they're fresh rather than floral!

OK - worked out my Rain Man ability. To be able to pack a suitcase so that it closes without it bursting, no matter how much stuff you have. My step-d reminded me of that one!

petite said...

My Rain Man ability would be to transport myself to other worlds and eras.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226 said The people who make kids toys are the antithesis of my Rain Man ability. I think they intentionally design parts that do NOT fit together in a logical fashion.

Amen, brother, amen. Brad, I feel your pain on the kitchen assembly. My youngest, although a boy, loves the kitchen and wants to be an Iron Chef. So, we bought him a kitchen.

ARRRRRRGH! I. Hate. That. Thing.

It makes abhorrent noises, and it's pieces parts are not logical, sequential or correct. Grrr.

Thankfully, he's growing beyond it to actually cooking in the real kitchen, so the abhorrent noises only occur when he truly wants to annoy me.

And I can send him to his room for that offense.

Snork.

petite said...

My rain man ability is to have intuition about happenings and things that will happen.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Okay, Pissenlit, I'm LOL about the "attracting quality" of your head. Ouch!

You also said: I don't know if it's part of the same skill but I can also confidently navigate any room in the dark if I've seen it in the light for any amount of time.

Now that IS cool! I loike it!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cool on the clairvoyance, Petite!

Anna Sugden said...

Hank! Great to see you!

P226 - there's a scientific balance in a case in our living room that needs your help.

Worked out too that my hubby has several Rain Man abilities - he can do the mental math thing like Deb's husband, he can find his way to a place after going there only once (even if that once was a decade or more ago!) and he can name any actor or actress from the past, no matter how 'supporting' they are/were.

Brad Parks said...

Helen -- Thanks for stopping by!

Minna -- It's a good thing you're not on the road with me. Second-hand bookstores (much like new bookstores) tend to bankrupt me.

Brad Parks said...

Donna -- I think physics intimidates me even more than hand strength. You win. And thanks for ordering the book -- FACES is now out in ppb, which should theoretically make it easier to find. Or at least easier to rip in half if you hate it. : )

Nancy said...

AC, congrats on the chook! I didn't know you were a history major. So was I--but my memory for dates, other than really major ones, isn't especially great.

Brad Parks said...

Pissenlit -- I love being taken to the beach! Thanks so much. I worry you only find my find me funny because you've been hit in the head too many times. But, hey, if that's what it takes...

Nancy said...

Brad, welcome back! I thought Faces of the Gone was great. I particularly liked the tone. For example, the bit on page 89 when Carter wakes up, takes stock of his rumpled, fatigued, and hung over image in the mirror and says, "It was like I went to bed as Carter Ross and woke up as Yoda."

Too bad he couldn't do Jedi mind tricks.

I think using that kind of voice without undercutting the suspense requires a balancing act of sorts, and you did a great job with it! I have Eyes of the Innocent already and am looking forward to reading it.

As for my Rain Man ability, it's probably the capacity to remember obscure facts that matter to no one. Unless you're playing Trivial Pursuit. A corollary would be the ability to recognize actors and actresses I may not have seen in anything in a couple of years.

Nancy said...

p226, I test high on spatial awareness, how things fit together, but not to the extent you're describing. I'm good at packing a trunk, basically. And pretty good at jigsaw puzzles, though your method would make me crazy.

I assemble the outer frame and then test pieces to fit based on color matches, working my way inward. I also assemble any big components in the middle when I get bored with working inward.

The boy once gave me a sepia-toned puzzle of a white tiger in snow, 1000 pieces. Took me more than 3 weeks to work that puzzle. Now he tends to go with more color variety.

Only at the very end do I do the "try every piece of appropriate configuration" method.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, I can read upside down but not backwards. Never backwards.

I'm so jealous.

Nancy said...

AC, thanks to you and Jo for riding herd on the ballroom yesterday. It was a big job, complicated by a certain uncooperative feathered resident.

traveler said...

I have premonitions which take place and are eerie.

traveler said...

I have premonitions which are eerie.

catslady said...

Well physically I have double jointed thumbs so can bend them back to my wrist and can still sit frog legged. Other than that, maybe the game thing - I'm good at card games and numbers and words - no one will play boggle with me lol.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooh, Traveler! How cool! eerie premotions welcome here! Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Catslady, I'm trying to imagine the double jointed thing and it's giving me the willies. Snork.

Pretty cool though....

Louisa Cornell said...

Aunty !!! The GR is is SO MUCH TROUBLE !!!

Brad,

Thank you so much for the laugh that made my day! That excerpt had me falling out of my chair with laughter. After the day I've had it was just the thing! I have GOT to read this book. I already adore the characters.

HUGE congrats on the awards! Truly a fantastic feat!

I have a couple of abilities that could be considered RainMan ish, I guess.

I can tell you the name of almost any film if you tell me who is in it or a little bit about the plot. Old movies, new movies, silents movies - I can usually get it.

Like La Campbell I can usually tell you a classical piece's composer in just a few notes.

And here is the one that freaks out the people who work for me. I run a bakery and my decorators do some amazing cakes with some color schemes that you would never dream would work. I have the ability to listen to the color scheme and tell them which color or colors to use to write the sentiment so that it stands out (in a good way! )Even with a color scheme of 16 colors I can pick out the one (or two) that work perfectly. I have no idea why except maybe I have been doing it too long!

So glad you came back to the Lair, Brad. Definitely recommending your books to my friends! (Especially the smart, mouthy dames!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Louisa! So glad you popped in. :> You said: I can pick out the one (or two) that work perfectly. I have no idea why except maybe I have been doing it too long!

Ha! Probably, but I do wish I could do what you and La Campbell do and name that tune in classical music.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Thanks, everyone, for popping by today!

Brad, it was wonderful to have you with us.

We'll post a winner tomorrow....

Grins,
Jeanne

desere_steenberg said...

What a stunning thing to say thank you Brad !