Help A Bitch Out

Help a Bitch Out: Tongue In Cheek Indeed!

Rachel writes:

The book I’m looking for is a category romance from the 80s, I think Silhouette Intimate Moments, though I don’t remember it being very suspenseful.  The heroine went to a Romance Novel Convention with her best friend who was an aspiring author, and won a date with a Spy Novelist named Stone Grey/Gray (I think).  That’s pretty much all I remember, except that the best friends book was considered terrible and Stone had a swinging bachelor pad.  I think the book was pretty tongue-in-cheek.

If you could run this past the bitchery I’d be eternally grateful.

Swinging bachelor pad and a Romance Novel Convention? Oh, l so hope someone can name this one.


Help a Bitch Out

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  1. 1
    Julie Leto says:

    I remember this book.  I know I do.  But was it an IM?  JoAnn Ross wrote one…I think it was JoAnn that sounds a bit like this…I will go investigate!

  2. 2
    Lorelie says:

    Okay now that I’m not screwing up someone’s one shot, one kill mojo I can now say:

    Stone Grey?

    Gawd I hope it’s tongue in cheek.

  3. 3
    Julie Leto says:

    Okay, it wasn’t JoAnn.  I was thinking 1-800-HERO, where the heroine was a romance novelist who went to a convention much like RWA or RT and was being stalked and needed a bodyguard.  Wrong book.  Sorry!

  4. 4
    Anonym2857 says:


    The book you are looking for is most likely called THE STEELE TRAP by Betsy Osborne, aka Barbara Boswell.  It’s a Second Chance at Love, #268, From June, 1985.  SCLs were published by Berkley, not Silhouette.  The hero’s name is Steele Gray, not Stone, but everything else lines up.  Heroine’s name is Kerry O’Kaye, kindergarten teacher, and writer pal w/ the painfully bad book is Nina Terasi. Kerry wins the dinner date at the writer’s convention and is supposed to pass the MS off to Steele. The bedroom has a custom-made bed the size of two kings, as he likes ‘room to play around,’ and also sports a 12 foot Jacuzzi w/ piped in music that’s been showcased in Playboy. (induce vomiting).  On the cover, he’s wearing a dark suit and that varnished helmet hair that all males wore in the 80s, she’s looking very prim in a teal dress.  The background is a porch/balcony that is conveniently decorated with teal colored fauna, to match her dress. LOL

    The blurb on the back reads:

    The Steele Trap:  When modest kindergarten teacher Kerry O’Kaye wins a night on the town with bestselling adventure novelist Steele Gray, she’s lured into a “Steele trap.”  One rakish, infectious smile from the renowned Manhattan playboy, one unforgettable evening of pink champagne and expert kisses, robs Kerry of her good sense… and her heart.  Appalled to awaken in Steele’s waterbed the next day – to hear Steele and a journalist discussing her! – Kerry flees home.  Clearly the creator of hard-boiled fictional characters is cynical about love and opposed to commitment. Clearly, though he pursues her intensely, he expects to lure her with passion but escape the clutches of marriage!

    I hope that helps.

    Clueless on the historical stuff, but reasonably decent on the categories

  5. 5
    Rachel says:

    That’s totally it!  Thank you so so much Diane!

  6. 6
    SaraC says:

    Tangentially, two other awesome books that take place at romance conventions are: Die for Love by Elizabeth Peters and Maggie by the Book by Kasey Michaels. Also, not taking place at a romance convention, but rather a sci-fi convention is the awesome book Deep Secrets by Diana Wynne Jones. And one that takes place at a book convention, Issac Asimov’s Murder at the ABA. Gee, I’ve read a lot of books that take place at conventions!

  7. 7
    talpianna says:

    SaraC, there’s a whole genre, practically, of mysteries set at cons.  Romance: not only DIE FOR LOVE, but several of Orania Papazoglou’s books featuring Patience McKenna (reissued as by Jane Haddam)—all have romance-writing backgrounds and titles like SWEET SAVAGE DEATH and WICKED LOVING MURDER.  SF convention: Richard Purtill’s MURDERCON, Sharyn McCrumb’s BIMBOS OF THE DEATH SUN and, though it’s more a reunion than a con, ZOMBIES OF THE GENE POOL.  Years ago, Buck Coulson and Gene DeWeese wrote a couple called NOW YOU SEE IT/HIM/THEM and CHARLES FORT NEVER MENTIONED WOMBATS.  And I’m sure I’ve forgotten a couple.

    P.S. For anyone who cares, I’ve started posting to my blog again.

    language46 —Oh, it’s telling me to go look at Word Wenches.

  8. 8
    SaraC says:

    Talpianna, Thanks so much for that list of books. I’ll have to check them out. I seem to really enjoy the insidery *wink* *wink* tone of most of these books set at conventions. Also, I totally read Bimbos of the Death Sun back in the day. If I ever write a book, I hope I can come up with as cool s title as that.

  9. 9
    rebyj says:

    great list of books to dig for at UBS.

    One of Dara Joy’s includes a sci fi convention. It’s on my keeper shelf and I wish she’d been able to keep writing at that level instead of all the contract craziness that sent her spinning off into outer space..but I digress

    the book…
    Knight of a Trillion Stars:
    Deana Jones has had one of those days: she’s just been fired, sat in something horrible on the train, can’t get her car out of commuter gridlock, and has been soaked in a rainstorm. When she finally drips home, the strange alien waiting on her couch seems almost normal. Lorgan ta’al Krue claims he has been sent on a quest to sort out the cause of some mysterious time and space rifts. Because he is convinced that Deana is connected to them, he follows her to a science fiction convention. (The perfect date with an alien!) When Lorgan realizes the problems are originating on another planet, he whisks Deana with him, and she finds that although Lorgan may be her soul mate, he and his otherworldly ways take some getting used to.

  10. 10
    talpianna says:

    There’s a really old murder mystery by Anthony Boucher, ROCKET TO THE MORGUE, that is set among the California SF-writing community.  I spent some time with them in my youth (their middle age!) and recognize quite a few of them.

  11. 11

    DIE FOR LOVE….definitely recommend. Very very tongue in cheek, very fun. Plus it features the sharp, smart, confident librarian Jacqueline Kirby.

    And also…one of the authors in DIE FOR LOVE makes an appearance in another Peters book, NIGHT TRAIN TO MEMPHIS.

  12. 12
    bungluna says:

    One of Lynsay Sand’s Argeneau vampire books, I think “Single White Vampire”, is set in a romance comvention and has the funniest costume ball scene, involving a cod piece and an angsty vamp.

  13. 13
    lesia says:

    Another mystery set in at a Con –
    We’ll Always Have Parrots by Donna Andrews

    The Meg Langsley books by Donna Andrews have birds in the title, and they are some of my favorite books ever but she also writes another series that is good.

  14. 14
    talpianna says:

    Yes, I like both of Donna Andrews’s series, though the ones about the AI who solves crimes is not as good, IMO, partly because it’s not funny and partly because I don’t know enough about computer technology.

    I forgot PARROTS, IMHO, because it is set at a mediacon.  There may be other books set at mediacons like STAR WARS and STAR TREK cons, but I don’t know of them.  In fact, media have so much taken over the SF con world that there is now a special con called Readercon.

    Why?  because33

  15. 15
    talpianna says:

    P.S. It’s Meg Langslow, not Langsley.

    Since when?  since72

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