Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Clash of Exes

Gina Robinson returns to the Lair with the debut of her new Agent Ex spy series. She'll also chat with us about what we think marriage to a spy would be like.

Welcome, Gina!

Like most writers, I read voraciously and broadly. I've always loved a good spy thriller, whether it be in novel or movie form. As for spy heroes--James Bond, Jason Bourne, Jack Ryan, Jack Bauer, James Clayton--they have a sexy mystique about them. They're handsome, athletic, intelligent, witty, good with a gun, great with their hands, alpha males. What's not to love?

Hmmmm . . . good question. The more I thought about it, the more I realized spies might make great lovers, but do they make great soul mates, partners, and husbands? There are a lot of potential downsides to marrying a spy. Spies are always gone. Always in danger, which can translate to putting those they love in harm's way, too. They're professional liars and they hang out with beautiful fellow female agents as well as femme fatale enemy spies. You never know where they are. They seldom make it home for dinner and when they do, they're often disheveled. They drive like maniacs. And they're always looking over their shoulder.

Thinking what it would be like being married to a spy like Bond sparked the idea for my new Agent Ex series from St. Martin's Press. But because I love Agent 86 Maxwell Smart as well as Bond, I put a lot of humor and lighthearted fun into the books, and poked a little bit of fun at the spy thriller genre.

And while most spy thrillers are written by men for men, I decided it was high time to gear a spy book toward female readers, which means focusing on the romance and the personal relationships of the spies and their love interests.

The books in the Agent Ex series are all reunion books. The "Ex" refers to spouses who are well on their way to being ex spouses. The first book in the series, The Spy Who Left Me, November 2011, takes place in Hawaii. Here's the back cover blurb:

THEY WERE UNDERCOVER LOVERS

If there’s one thing that can ruin a vacation, it’s running into your ex. Just ask Treflee Miller. If she’d only known that her husband Ty would be here in Hawaii—muscular, sun-bronzed, and infuriatingly gorgeous—she would have brought the divorce papers for him to sign. But life is full of surprises when you’re married to a world-class spy…

NOW THEY’RE STRANGERS IN PARADISE

Ty Miller can understand why his wife is tired of playing Mrs. James Bond. He’s never home, he’s always on a mission, and he’s usually surrounded by exotic informants. He has to admit that the perfect spy makes a pretty lousy husband. But for the sake of Ty’s security and Treflee’s safety, they can’t blow his cover. Not here. Not now. Not when his longing is so strong, her lips so tempting—and his enemies so close…

Excerpt:

There are two things a girl would really rather not experience on her Hawaiian vacation—the monthly curse and a run-in with her soon-to-be ex. For the first time since puberty, Treflee Miller had managed to dodge the first. She was staring at all six-foot-two well-muscled, lying, spying, ran-out-on-her inches of the second as he hefted her cousin Carrie’s bags up the steps of the Big Auau Sugar Plantation’s lanai.

He’d bleached his brown hair to a sun-streaked blond and grown a goatee, but it was him. The corner of his mouth curled into that sexy half grin of his and his eyes danced with flirtation as he stared at Carrie, not seeing Treflee.

Treflee flushed, feeling an unexpected jolt of jealousy. Whether she wanted him or not, he was still her man. Her mouth fell open into what was surely an unflattering gape. What was he doing here on her vacation? Shouldn’t he be playing spy boy, not bellhop, on something other than U.S. soil?

Damn! She didn’t have the divorce papers on her. Technically, he wasn’t legally her ex-husband. Yet. He’d run off on another top-secret mission without signing the final paperwork. If only she had them with her, she’d make short work of her still-married status.

***

Here's the trailer:

The Spy Who Left Me from Visual Quill on Vimeo.

For more information on Gina and her books, check out her website.

What about you? What do you think it would really be like being married to a world-class secret agent? What upsides and downsides can you imagine? One winner today will receive either Spy Games or Spy Candy (winner's choice) from Gina's backlist.


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Don't forget we kick off Trick or Treat in the Lair with a BIG announcement on October 14. Be sure to join us on this special red letter day and learn the secret the GR is doing his best to uncover. Trick or Treat culminates on October 31 with a special treat--but you'll miss the beginning unless you're here on the 14th!

67 comments:

Jane said...

Welcome Gina,
I imagine it would hard not knowing what he's doing at any particular or where in the world he is and him being away so much would put a strain on the relationship.

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, people are starting to talk about you and the chook? He gets all misty eyed when we mention you!

Gina, welcome back to the lair. The new book sounds great and I love the title. Hmm, married to a spy? I rather like the idea. If ever I locked myself out, he could pick the lock and get me back inside. He'd have a super car to take me places (although sadly we'd probably be shot at when we got there). I suspect he'd leave me shaken AND stirred!

marybelle said...

I think it would be horrible. Imagine all the lies & excuses. No thank you. On the other hand he would be out of the house more.

Helen said...

Jane he is really enjoying it at your place

Gina
I love the sound of these books I need to get them.

I have to say that being married to a spy I think would be very worrying you would never know where they are who they are with and what is happening to them I think I would be a nervous wreck and I am grey enough already LOL. But I do love reading about them and their adventures.

Have Fun
Helen

Maureen said...

I think it would be tough to be married to a secret agent but would you even know he was one? I imagine he would be gone a lot which would be difficult but then you would never feel like you were neglecting him.

Minna said...

What do I think it would really be like being married to a world-class secret agent? Even if he would be able to tell you what his job really is, you could never really know where he really is when he's working or if anything happened yo him, you might never know.

Nancy said...

Jane, congrats on snagging the rooster! People cope with absent and secretive spouses, particularly in the military, but I'm with you in thinking that would be very difficult.

Nancy said...

Anna, "shaken AND stirred?!". Bwahahaha!

Interesting point about the car. I wonder what Bond drives when he isn't using In MI-6 car.

The lock picking would definitely be handy.

Nancy said...

Marybelle, I woukd dislike the secrecy, too. But yes, as you say, he woukd be out from under foot a lot!

Nancy said...

Helen, I love spy tales, too, but I also think marriage to a spy would involve a lot of worrying.

Nancy said...

Maureen, good point about whether a spy would come clean with his wife about his job. Yes, it's tough to neglect someone who isn't around much. I wonder if I would feel a need to hover when he was home.

Nancy said...

Minna, the not knowing if something went wrong would be one of the worst parts of marrying a spy.

EilisFlynn said...

That's a great video, Gina! And the book sounds great. Hm, it would be frustrating being married to a spy (provided you even KNOW he's a spy). You'd practically have to have an entire life planned on not having him there, and have him pop in from time to time. No wonder your heroine wants a divorce! Can't wait for the book!

Laurie G said...

I'd rather not know that he was a spy. I'd be too nervous that something bad would happen. I'd rather think that he was out of town working. I couldn't handle the unknown, dangerous aspect of his job.

Best wishes with your writing!
Spy Games sounds intriguing!

Gina Robinson said...

Good morning and thank you all for the warm welcome! Special thanks to the Romance Bandits and Nancy for having me as a guest today. I always love being a guest here :-)

Gina Robinson said...

Many of you mentioned secrecy as a downside of being married to a spy. That's part of the conflict in the book. I think that would be extremely difficult, too.

My father-in-law worked a black-box project for Boeing for many years. He was always on the road and unable to tell my mother-in-law where he was going. Hmmm . . . maybe he was a spy >

Nancy said...

Hi, Eilis--

Yes, there's the whole knowing issue. Your description of his popping in made me think of helicopter parents. i guess he'd be a helicopter husband?

Nancy said...

Laurie, I tend to worry, too. I'd do a lot of it if the dh were a spy. If I knew.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Gina!!! Welcome to the Lair!!

Jane, Congrats on the GR!!

Gina this sounds like a great new book, and the whole married to a spy thing....could be interesting.

*Back to the cave...*

TrishJ said...

Wow. Reading a story line involving this plot air be exciting, but I dont think I could do it. The secrecy would just kill me.

Gina Robinson said...

Anna--
I never thought about never needing a locksmith again :-)

Gina Robinson said...

Jane--
Not knowing what he's up to is probably a good thing when you're married to a spy LOL. But I agree, I don't think I'd like that in my marriage. But it is fun to write about and imagine.

Gina Robinson said...

Marybelle--
Yes, the lies would be tough. Actually, that's the theme of the second book in the series, Diamonds Aren't Forever, that comes out next June. I just got the cover art for it yesterday and it looks cute. I like my cartoon covers.

Gina Robinson said...

Helen--
I agree, not knowing who they are with would be tough. Especially since a spy like James Bond tends to hang out with beautiful and dangerous women.

Gina Robinson said...

Maureen--
Good point. In some ways, there'd be a little less day-to-day marriage maintenance.

Gina Robinson said...

Minna--
Yes, all that secrecy and not knowing would be hard. I'm a worrier, or so my dh tells me. Fortunately, he has a nice, safe office job.

Gina Robinson said...

Thanks, Eilis! I hired a local company, Visual Quill in Issaquah, to do the video. They're really creative and great to work with.

Gina Robinson said...

Thanks, Laurie! I love the fantasy of the spy life. I've always loved reading spy stories and watching spy movies and shows. But I have to agree that I don't think in real life I could stand the danger, either.

Gina Robinson said...

Thanks, Jeanne!

Gina Robinson said...

Nancy--
Helicopter husband--I like it!

Rebe said...

This sounds like so much fun!

Yes, it would be awful being married to a spy. And what if you had kids? Imagine trying to explain Daddy's job without having a 4 year old blurt out "Guess what MY daddy does!"

Gina Robinson said...

Trish--
The secrecy seems to be what most of us think would be tough. Is he really off on a secret mission, or just on a fishing trip with his buddies? It would be hard to know.

Gina Robinson said...

Rebe--
LOL!

MsHellion said...

The upside would be he'd always have a tux in his closet for any last minute social engagements. The downside is that he'd probably be unavailable for said engagement due to missions, and you'd feel like your husband was actually a figment of your imagination.

I wouldn't pick a spy for a husband myself--1.) I wouldn't want him nosing in my business and knowing everything about me; 2.) I wouldn't want him to be dismissive because I didn't have any secrets worth knowing either (damned if you do, damned if you don't issue.)

HOWEVER, I do find spy love stories hilarious. I just read one a couple weeks ago--and loved it. So I'll enjoy reading how this heroine handles her spy and loves him anyway. :)

Nancy said...

Gina wrote: I don't think in real life I could stand the danger, either.

I couldn't either. I prefer my danger intense but vicarious.

Cathy P said...

I would be worried about him constantly while he was gone. I'm sure there would be a lot of lies and deceit to protect me and any kids we might have. He would be a wonderful lover while he was home though. I couldn't live with strain like that though. I would eventually have to file for divorce.

Nancy said...

Cathy P wrote: I'm sure there would be a lot of lies and deceit to protect me and any kids we might have.

The comments along this line today have made me think of the movie True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. The deceit would be tough, I think.

Gina Robinson said...

And he'd probably look dashing and handsome in that tux, too!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ms. Hellion said: The upside would be he'd always have a tux in his closet for any last minute social engagements.

Snork....very true, Hellion! Your "downside" is also true.

*visions of Ahhhhnold in True Lies...*

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Gina, Welcome to the Lair!

Big THANX to Nancy for inviting you. Your new books sounds like tons o' fun. But in real life, NO WAY Aunty would be married to a SPY! Not good hubby material in Aunty's opinion. EXCELLENT "fling" material, however. ;-)

Congrats on the GR, Jane! 2 days in a row? NYC may never be the same.

AC

Nancy said...

Aunty Cindy wrote: But in real life, NO WAY Aunty would be married to a SPY! Not good hubby material in Aunty's opinion. EXCELLENT "fling" material, however. ;-)

Bwahahaha!

Indeed.

Beth Andrews said...

Welcome back, Gina! Love your cover and The Spy Who Left Me sounds fabulous! Congrats :-)

This is so funny because my husband and I were discussing this the other day! I can't remember how the subject was brought up but we were talking about CIA agents and I said they probably have to give up a lot in their personal lives.

Sonali said...

Gina, Congratulations on your latest release! The Spy Who Left Me sounds like a fabulous read.

Married to a spy - the ups would be the thrill, excitement, the adventure, fast cars and exotic locations. The down side would be everyone trying to kill me and my husband.

Anna Campbell said...

And, Gina, think about it - you could find out if the neighbours really ARE talking about you! He'd have all this cool listening gear. Mind you, that could be a mixed blessing!

Gina Robinson said...

Aunty Cindy--
Thanks for the welcome!

That's what we love about fiction, though, isn't it? We get the thrill of something like experiencing being married to a spy, without having to live with the real life consequences.

Heather said...

I think it would be pretty interesting. If there is a spy out there like Chuck from the NBC show, send him my way ;)
Yes there would be worrying, but I would imagine things would never get boring, and time together would always be amazing!
Maybe he could get me a job as a spy too? Or a spy's assistant? Oh the traveling could be so much fun, especially with a private jet!

The new books sound amazing! Count me in! I can't wait to read them :)

Gina Robinson said...

Beth--
What a funny coincidence! So glad you like the cover. Danielle Fiorella did a great job with the design and I love the sort of retro spy drawings by Greg Paprocki.

Gina Robinson said...

No, I don't think I'd like to know what the neighbors are saying about me, really, either. They probably wonder why I spend half of my days in yoga pants.

Gina Robinson said...

Thanks, Heather!

I love Chuck. If I weren't married, I'd like to meet a spy like him, too.

Gina Robinson said...

You know, many of you have brought up a good point--if our spouses were really excellent spies, we could be totally unaware of their true profession. It's possible some of us are married to spies unaware ;-)

My husband takes a lot of business trips to China. Hmmm . . .

Leni said...

I think it would be a pretty ordinary life with the exception that you can not tell people your true identities.

Barbara E. said...

I think being married to a spy would not be fun - they'd be galavanting all over the world, running across sexy secret agents, and they'd have to keep things hidden so lots of lying going on. Now if I could be a spy too, and we could work together, that would be cool.

Di said...

I think it would be tough - they'll be gone at a moments notice, they can never tell you where they're going or when they'll be back, they'd miss a lot of occasions, they may not come home at all.

Nancy said...

Hi, Beth--

Glad the post was timely! :-)

Nancy said...

Sonali, I think the thrills and excitement would wear thin for me after a while, what with the trying to kill us and all.

Nancy said...

Anna, good point about the snooping gear! Maybe some plastique, too . . .

Nancy said...

Heather, Chuck was cute, wasn't he? Did you know Matt Bomer and Brandon Routh were both on that show?

Nancy said...

Leni, I suspect a husband who was constantly in danger away from home would like "ordinary" the rest of the time, don't you?

Nancy said...

Rebe--

Sorry I didn't see your comment earlier. Kids do have a way of blurting things out, don't they?

Nancy said...

Barbara, I'm with you. I'd rather take the risks together than sit home and worry.

Nancy said...

Di, I think it would be tough, too.

Nancy said...

Ms. Hellion, these are all great points. I love action-packed spy stories, but I also enjoy the funny ones.

Kaelee said...

I read mainly romance but this book sounds most interesting. Spies, romance and humor. Great combination.

I don't think I could stand the stress of being married to a spy. It would drive me crazy worrying about if he was still alive. I know spies in movies always seem to have lots of money but I wonder if it is the same in real life. Another downside is can he really quit his job and be safe?

Nancy said...

Kaelee, re: the money--I doubt spies are really paid at a rate that takes into account their risks. It's fun to think of the glamorous lifestyle, though.

Nancy said...

Trish J--I don't think I could do it either.

Gina Robinson said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by! It's been fun today discussing what it would be like being married to a spy. Thanks again for having me as a guest.

TxDee said...

I think trust would be a huge issue on both sides of a spy marriage, and the effort to build a relationship that could stand constant separation and different lifestyles would be big as well. I want to read your book to find out how that works out for your H/H.