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He Dove Through the Sunroof…

...into My Book

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The first Gulf War began on August 2, 1990. Yes, there was a first Gulf War. I was there, well, I wasn’t there, but I saw it on television. 

I think it was the first time news organizations embedded reporters with the troops. So you could turn on the tv and see the war. The actual war. 

It was the first war in quite a while, if I am remembering correctly, and the technology had been updated a LOT. And it was there to see. We could see the rockets fire from one end and see them hit. 

It was kind of crazy when I think about it now. 

Everyone watched the war, or that’s how it felt. We’d talk about the war while waiting in the grocery store line. We’d talk and dinner. My dad used to call me up to talk about the war. He’d been in WWII and Korea and I think he had…weapons envy. 

I found myself watching all that and thinking…what if…

Now at the same time, well, in between war watching, I was watching Scarecrow and Mrs. King episodes. It caught my imagination, too, and somehow the war and the show began to stir inside my head. I remember thinking if I had a character accidentally get mixed up with a cute spy…

But I started researching and realized the reason Scarecrow belonged to a made-up spy agency. It was against the law for the CIA to operate within the US borders. But that didn’t stop my “what if-ing.” If anything, it made it worse. Lol

All the pieces jostled and shifted inside my head and then…

…my cute spy dove through the sunroof of my heroine’s borrowed car and The Spy Who Kissed Me (originally called Pig in a Park), took off. And when I say it took off, I mean, I typed until the tips of my fingers were numb. It flowed out of me in this rush of words and story. I wrote 500 typed pages in two months. It was the first novel I wrote from start to finish. 

Of course, there was editing involved and I eventually trimmed the story, but it is today, basically the same story it was in 1992 when I typed “The End.” 

Pig in a Park was published online/digital only in 1998. Yup, it is twenty-two years old. 

I switched publishers a year later and it released, still online only, on August 1, 1999. It was picked up by a library publisher (who asked me to change the title to The Spy Who Kissed Me) and achieved hard cover publication on March 1, 2000. Shortly thereafter, it was released in trade paperback and in audio. For a while, the audiobook was a bestseller at truck stops. lol 

older cover art

The second print cover (with L&L Dreamspell).

It had four publishers before I decided to publish it myself. It also had…six covers? I’m not actually sure. I know each publisher had their own cover, so it got pretty crazy and I’ve done three or four versions myself. I tried to track down all the covers for this post and couldn’t. I know I have a copy of each one in storage, but I’d have to wade through the snow and then find the box in storage.  

What really changed things for me and my first novel was when it garnered some amazing reviews and was nominated for an RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice award with six other NYT bestselling authors. It was the first ebook to be nominated and I think it shook things up a bit that it happened. 

Here are just a few of the reviews it received at the time (some of the reviewer sites no longer exist):

“Pig in A Park will entertain you, make you laugh, give your grey cells a bit of a work out, and lift your mood. This book is such a gem and I absolutely loved it. Pig in a Park is FUN in book form.” Manic Readers

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The first print cover.

“Pauline Baird Jones’ debut contemporary, Pig in a Park is a delightful madcap romp that will leave readers eagerly anticipating future works by this amazing new talent.” Patricia Rouse, RT Book Reviews Columnist

“Pauline Baird Jones’ humor is exquisite comic genius! Her characters are phenomenal and colorful as a rainbow. Move over James Bond!” Suzanne Coleburn, The Belles and Beaux of Romance

Pig in a Park by Pauline B. Jones is a lively, sharply-written new cozy…that deserves attention.” Dick Adler, Crime Watch

“. . . . a remarkable new talent… Pauline Baird Jones and her hilarious novel Pig in a Park make their debut. Written in first person, this adventurous romp is a 14 karat gem, and I for one would love to see more from this vastly amusing author.”  Four & 1/2 Stars from RT Book Reviews

“A romantic suspense, action-packed mystery, or a sizzling romance, the choice is yours because Pig in a Park is all three, and more. The plot has as many twists as a kitten-snarled ball of yarn, but Ms. Jones manages to smooth out every kink, unsnarl the impossible, and deliver a book that is absolutely engrossing, engaging, and balm for your funny bone.” Under The Covers Reviews

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Second print cover after self-publishing. (I think.)

Pig in a Park is at once a mystery, a suspense thriller, an action adventure, a comedy, and a romance.  Ms. Jones is a talented author who has a funny, unique way of looking at the world that will delight fans of almost any genre. This is a great book.” Painted Rock Writers Colony

“Pauline Baird Jones bursts onto the scene with an irresistibly fun-filled voice . . . Pig in a Park is the perfect showcase for this highly talented author…The reader will keep turning pages well into the night. Ms. Jones’ sense of humor shines throughout the book, leaving one with a fond memory of fun even after the last page is turned.” Word Museum

“Pauline Baird Jones brings us on a delightfully wild caper through mystery, adventure and love in her debut book. I laughed right from the beginning and was sorry the story had to end. ” The Lover’s Knot

Pig in a Park is one of those books that defies categorization.  It’s romantic, mysterious, adventurous, suspenseful.” Four & 1/2 stars from Affair de Coeur

It was pretty heady stuff for a first book that was only available in digital form, and at a time when everyone was still very suspicious of digital books. There were no eREaders and the audiobook was on a cassette. That’s right, a cassette. 

So why am I talking about The Spy Who Kissed Me today? Well, last week Amazon picked it for a daily deal (ebook only). They picked my twenty-two-year-old book for special promotion and it did pretty well. 

The deal was one day only, so when I decided to write about my personal oldie, I thought I would offer a digital coupon for anyone who missed the deal. For one week, you can get The Spy Who Kissed Me for 50% off, if you use this link: https://payhip.com/b/GdWh and you use this code at checkout: 3A40C1NWEL

In all those years, not everyone has loved my Spy. LOL I had one reviewer say it was too funny and others…well, you can read those reviews yourself on Amazon. LOL But to get the digital deal, you have to buy direct from me. I offer both mobi and epub versions. 

I almost forgot to tell you what it is about! D’oh! Here’s the blurb:

This suburbanite is about to meet a dashing spy…

Designed by Melody Simmons. 🙂

Isabel “Stan” Stanley is stuck in a rut in the DC suburbs. As a wannabe romance writer, she hopes a sexy muse falls into her lap. But she never expected a handsome spy to dive through her sunroof…

Pursued by a hail of bullets, international CIA Agent Kelvin Kapone didn’t have plans to make a friend. But when his latest mission puts him in the bewildering burbs, the charming Stan is a surprisingly strong guide. As he discovers a chilling terrorist plot, Kelvin doesn’t want to admit that he may just need the suburbanite’s help…

Despite her best efforts, Stan can’t break free from the dangerous mission. And while being in close quarters with a sexy spy is getting her great material for her novel, it won’t do her much good if they both end up dead…

The Spy Who Kissed Me is a suspenseful comedic romance novel. If you like high-stakes action, laugh-out-loud scenes, and stories where opposites attract, then you’ll love Pauline Baird Jones’ award-winning tale of espionage. 

Buy The Spy Who Kissed Me to pucker up for a fun, flirty escape today!

Here’s the deal again: For one week, you can get The Spy Who Kissed Me for 50% off, if you use this link: https://payhip.com/b/GdWh and you use this code on checkout: 3A40C1NWEL

Did you learn anything you didn’t know about The Spy Who Kissed Me? 

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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