Friday, October 30, 2009

Make Your Pet Famous (Sort of)

John Ceepak is the star of Chris Grabenstein's Jersey Shore mystery series, and though we don't see eye to eye on a number of social issues (I'm a cad, he's not), me and The Still Missing Famous Author are big fans of John, Chris, and the series. So when we got this email from Chris today, we thought we'd pass his contest on to everybody. Help save animals! Play name that pet...

"Want to see your cat or dog's name immortalized in the next John Ceepak mystery and support Animal Rescue, too? Now through November 20th, for $10 per chance, you have a shot at naming the cat and dog in ROLLING THUNDER by contributing to The Artemis Project, a non-profit animal welfare group in New York City. Buy as many chances as you want—the more times your favorite name is in the pet food bowl, the better you chance of being selected.

"To enter, just click on this link.

"Fill in the amount you want to donate ($10 per virtual raffle ticket), select the appropriate buttons, and down in the box that says DEDICATION or GIFT write in the following:

CONTEST: (PETNAME)—CAT (or DOG) Or send the pet's name and species along with a check payable to:

The Artemis Project
318 West 77th Street #1B
New York, NY 10024


Two lucky winners will be chosen right before Thanksgiving—on Friday November 20th. The winners will also receive an autographed first edition of ROLLING THUNDER when it is published in May 2010."

When I find TFA's checkbook, I'm sending in a ticket for his lab Murphy. Maybe buy a new car, too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Famous Author Missing

OK, I can't hide the facts anymore. I'm tired of covering for him. Plus, if he doesn't show up pretty soon and finish our fourth adventure, my life could be in danger. Let's face it, as a fictional character, I'm pretty much at the man's mercy.

Where the heck is TFA?

He was last seen Friday. Our favorite scribe was in his chair playing Mafia Wars, this stupid internet game where you collect weapons, armor, vehicles, and gangster pals, then battle other crews and commit serious crimes for cash and loot. Yeah, I know, it sounds like fun -- kind of a seriously illegal game of violent Monopoly -- but it's a game, for crying out loud, and I need TFA back at work.

That was five days ago. When I complained back then, he took his computer, climbed in the car and drove off. Only one sighting since: This photo was allegedly taken at a Mexican bar and grill in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I'm thinking the palm trees and blooming hibiscus rule New Jersey out. Could be a head-fake. Knowing TFA's drinking habits, however, he's probably still wearing the sombrero.

Please tell him to come home and get back to work.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Redhead of the Week Makes Me Laugh

In her new book, comedian Kathy Griffin is said to reveal "intimate details" about growing up with a dysfunctional family in suburban Illinois, bombing as a young comedian in L.A., plastic surgery disasters, and even her much publicized divorce. It's not a mystery, really -- maybe a crime drama -- but we thought her marketing approach was interesting enough to pass on.

Look what we found on Kathy's website.

"Sign the Oprah Petition! We absolutely must get Kathy's book on Oprah's book club. Let Oprah hear all of you fans out there! Sign the petition now."

The feature story on her site has a link where you can sign her petition. Good luck with that one, Kathy.

We also found this on her website:

Can you believe it? Bravo will be airing Kathy's 7th stand-up special in what now has become a tradition. Her latest special, currently titled Balls of Steel (although last minute name changes have happened before so stay tuned) was recently taped in San Diego during two sold out shows.

As to what you can expect from Kathy's latest, she says "There will be a lot of foul language and sniping, a lot of opinions...a little fact, but I don’t really get bogged down by facts.". Look for the special on November 3rd.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Redhead of the Week Ran from Fame

Born in Torquay, England, model Lily Cole began her modelling career when she was fourteen. She was walking through the streets of Soho after a hamburger with friends when scout-turned-actor Benjamin Hart approached her about modelling. Cole ran away, but later changed her mind and was signed on with Storm Models, the mother agency of models such as Kate Moss.

Cole's big break came in 2003 when she caught photographer Steven Meisel's eye. It was on that photoshoot, her first 'only girl' story for Italian Vogue, that Cole was catapulted into the spotlight as one of the leading new faces of the year. Since then, Cole has worked with many other prominent photographers, including Craig McDean, Nick Knight, Juergen Teller, Arthur Elgort, and Irving Penn.

Cole is featured in top fashion magazines such as Vogue (American, Italian, British, Japanese and Korean), Citizen K, and V. She has also appeared on the cover of Numéro and three for British Vogue. In November 2004, the British Fashion Awards named her 'Model of the Year'. Additionally, Cole has appeared in advertising campaigns for designers such as Chanel, Christian Lacroix, Hermès, Longchamp, Cacharel, Topshop, and Anna Sui Cosmetics, as well as being the face for Moschino's perfume 'I Love Love.'

She is a common sight on the catwalks of the international runway circuit and has walked many top shows—Chanel, DKNY, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few.

Thanks to Wikipedia and Ann O Dyne, AKA Marshall-Stacks

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Robert Crais Talks About Joe Pike

As you people know by now, my boss The Famous Author is a big fan of Robert Crais. He's read all the books. He met RC on a mystery convention panel. He stole a story RC told him privately and ran it all over the internet for two years! TFA has no shame.


So the other day TFA opened his email and there was word from RC about a new essay he wrote. Called The Man Behind the Sunglasses, the essay is all about Joe Pike. If you're a fan, too, you'll love RC's take on Elvis Cole's tough-guy sidekick.

A shorter version will appear in THE LINEUP, a collection of essays edited by Otto Penzler to be published by Little, Brown next year, but you guys are getting it here first because -- well, TFA stole it and is putting it up here. Or at least the start. TFA wants you to visit RC's official website to actually read the whole thing.

The Man Behind the Sunglasses
by Robert Crais

The sunglasses, twenty-four/seven. The eerie silence. The red arrows driving him forward.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Joe Pike.

Tens of thousands of women (and more than a few men) would happily take him.

I don’t need to be a mind reader to know this. Like Elvis Cole, Joe had always gotten a lot of mail, but a tsunami of email flooded my website when The Watchman was published. They wrote, “I love Joe Pike,” but not in a way suggesting they were simply fond of him or maybe kinda crushing on him. Both then and now, the women who write to Joe are feral.

They say, “I WANT Joe Pike.”

Which means, because it’s oh so easy to infer their dripping fangs and pheromone fog even through the filter of internet fan mail, “I’d suck the marrow from his bones.”

I first saw Joe Pike at the Florida Drive-In Theater in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Would have been one of those triple bills Southern drive-ins are famous for. I would have been a kid, snuck across the marshy fields to slip between rows of sleeping cars, the cars wired to speaker trees like tethered cattle. The darkness was my friend, masking my entrance to that wonderful old theater.

I remembered him years later when I created the characters and story that would become The Monkey's Raincoat. Gun fighter eyes in a face burned dark by the sun; his eyes as cold as an empty heart. Humorless lips. Your worst nightmare if he paints you with his rattlesnake gaze.


To read the rest of RC's essay on his character Joe Pike, click here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Redhead of the Week Likes Props

Playing nightly at The Luxor in Las Vegas, Scott "Carrot Top" Thompson has made a seven-figure success out of his red hair, but if you check out his official website, Scott thinks he's a pop culture icon because his humor -- specifically, his clever use of props -- is right up there with Jonathan Winters and Steve Martin.

Whatever, dude. You're my redhead of the week.

We did find another view, which begins, "Prop comedy king Scott “Carrot Top” Thompson is not really known as the funniest comedian by today’s standards."

Read more from David Matz of The Northern Star the all student-produced, independent media at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill.