Lion’s Testicles Makes it to The Ellen DeGeneres Show

March 11, 2014

Hey, if Ricky Gervais has a copy of Melissa Haynes’ LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show then what’s stopping you? This story of self-forgiveness in the wilds of a South African animal preserve is one that will touch your heart. Animals really are the best teachers…and so are those adorable blond game wardens…


And now we’ve sold out on Amazon Canada and US. WoOt. Melissa Haynes sends Ellen a heartfelt THANK YOU!


Melissa Haynes, Jimmy Fallon, and Lion’s Testicles.

October 29, 2013

TesticlesSo remember when I wrote about LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES made #1 on Jimmy Fallon’s Books Not To Read sketch, and all the insanity that ensued? Well, never let it be said Behler authors don’t have fabulous senses of humor. Melissa Haynes has been so overwhelmed with well wishies and Amazon CA and Amazon US selling out a couple times, she decided she needed to thank Jimmy all proper like…

And in light of Melissa’s great sense of humor, I’m giving away a free e-book copy of LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES to the first 10 readers who share Melissa’s video to their facebook page. Email me the link to your facebook page ( as your contest entry.

Jimmy Fallon – You Rock (I think)

September 6, 2013

TesticlesOk, so I have to tell you about my wild week. I awoke to my beautiful author, Melissa Haynes, telling me about Jimmy Fallon’s show Tuesday night and his segment about THE 10 TITLES NOT TO READ. WTF, sez I. Well, guess who was #1? LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES.

Ok, a little about the  title.  We made a very conscious decision with this title – even after long barky discussions with our distributor about changing it. They were afraid we may offend someone. Huh? This coming from the same fabo distributor who distributes GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP? Hello? Long story short, I held my ground because it’s the very heart and soul of the book. and it’s a South African saying that means to take foolhardy chances. And hey, isn’t better to take foolhardy chances than to take no chances at all?

Ok, so that’s exactly what we did here. Talk about playing with a lion’s testicles…

So now we have Jimmy Fallon mentioning the #1 title to millions of viewers. Holy sweetbreads. Can we make lemonade out of this? Well, I guess I shouldn’t have worried. The book apparently sold out on Amazon/ Canada, and Amazon/US. Melissa’s blog blew up and she’s inundated with people emailing her to say how fabulous it is.

Our site has blown up as well, with LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES being the #1 search. Additionally, Becky Mushko’s Peevish Pen site blew up with her review of Melissa’s book. So lotsa people have inquiring minds…

So I contacted the producers on Jimmy Fallon Show with a very tongue in cheek email about how we all had a huge giggle over it all, and prompted all sorts of attention, and that it only seemed fitting to have our author (who is freaking drop dead gorgeous) on the show to redeem herself. I explained the title’s origin and how it was obvious that everyone connected with the show had mastered the art of playing with a lion’s testicles, given the popularity of the show.

The show’s booking agent contacted me and said my email was one of the most entertaining of the day, and we’re now in discussions about having her on the show! OMG. Holy pickle livers!

So here’s the segment in all its glory. I can’t help but wince a bit because Melissa’s book is so amazing. But at the end of the day, you have to be able to laugh because life is too short to get your Vickie Secrets in a twist. That said, I hope we kick ass with this.

Let this be a lesson to all you wonderful authors out there – life is stranger than fiction, and you have to be ready to ride the big wave. Yes yes, I’m mixing metaphors. So sue me. Or better yet, send my name to Jimmy Fallon…

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

July 1, 2013

reading kitteh

Melissa Haynes, author of LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES, wrote a wonderful article in Hello Vancity, a popular social media magazine in Vancouver about the 7 steps of skipping out of your comfort zone. Huzzah to that. While it’s probably lots easier and safer to stay put, we can’t really grow. Escaping our comfort zone is where real living happens because we’re daring to do something different, along with accepting all the consequences of those actions. Yah, it can be scary, but as Melissa says, a life of trying is better than a life of regrets.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda is a terrible way to look back on your life.

And this is why I honor all you writerly beings out there. You stepped outside the safety net of your normal life and made a conscious decision to do something different – write a book. And because of that decision, you opened new doors to a whole different world of writers, conferences, writing classes, agents, editors, new friends…the list is endless.

Stepping outside our comfort zone can be a huge thing or baby steps. Whatever choices you make, embrace the fact that you decided to greet a new day doing something new, which can be hard for you. As Melissa says in her article, there is no perfect time to lean into the uncomfortable, the new, the downright scary – but something in your life has become a catalyst for change, and now it’s time to embrace the new experience with the intent of learning and improving. Bravo!

For Melissa, life met her like a speeding train when she went to South Africa to work on an animal reserve. She thought she was saving the animals with a handsome, barely tolerable game warden. Hah. An excellent summer read for those who have loved and lost, delayed their mourning, and harbor a secret desire to do something really, really insane. Go. Buy. Read. Be brilliant!

Do I Need a New Book? Yes, you do…

June 24, 2013

need a new bookAnd since we have established this fact, may I suggest our newest release:

Testicles-smLEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES is excellent reaching for the beach/vacation/avoiding work/general malaise. We’ve rated this as a 3 on the Boxes of Kleenex Scale, and a 5 on the Laugh ‘Til Your Abs Hurt Scale, as author Melissa Haynes travels to South Africa to volunteer on a game reserve, blithely believing she’s helping save the animals when, in fact, they end up saving her.

So yes, you need to buy a new book. This book.

It’s Teach Your Kitteh to Read Day

April 20, 2013
reading kitteh

This kitteh is channeling the lions. I’m sure of it.

Pick up your copy today!

Thank you, Becky Mushko!

Reading: The Perfect Addiction – Learning to Play With a Lion’s Testicles

April 1, 2013

quit reading

Last time I said that, I finished the damn book. At 2 a.m…

And speaking of addiction, I highly recommend picking up a copy of LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES by Melissa Haynes. I couldn’t put this down, either. I laughed my fool head off and cried through a box of Kleenex.


Wazzit about? Well, let me tell youse…

Melissa didn’t fit the typical picture of one who volunteers at an animal reserve. Even though she arrived in South Africa, excited to give of her time and energy, she also brought a heavy heart of unresolved grief over her mother’s death three years prior.

The animals taught Melissa far more than she could have ever learned on her own. The lions nearly made a meal of her, but they also challenged her to face life without fear. Her daily battles with a very cranky, dung-and-tree-branch- flinging ellie taught Melissa humility and respect, and she ended up growing very fond of her at the end of her stay. Even Harrison, the ever-faithful bucket of bolts, spit, and glue, managed to teach Melissa a thing or two about faith and struggle by keeping her out of danger from charging rhinos and hungry lions.

The hartebeest couple was the hardest because they were utterly devoted to each other, and Melissa checked up on them every afternoon. When the female got sick, it brought it all full circle for Melissa:  hoping and praying she would survive, watching her mate protect and comfort her for days, and then her final passing followed by butchering her carcass to feed the lions. Even the gorgeous, burly ranger at her side didn’t hurt too much either – even if he was about the crabbiest man she’d ever met. It was as though this experience was written for Melissa to make her come to terms with the guilt and pain over her mother’s passing.

LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES is an unforgettable story in which Melissa faces the animals of South Africa and returns with a happy, healthy, and blessed life.

Moving Day: Hello new little folder

May 15, 2012

I have this little ritual that I take extra special cherry-on-top pleasure in:  Moving Day.

No, I’m not moving to a new batcave; this is far less dramatic, but no less important. I have a folder in my email program called Submissions. General queries go there. When I ask for a partial or full, they get their own folder within my Submissions folder. If I pass on the submission, I move the folder to the Delete folder. If I offer a “folder” a publishing contract and the agent agrees, I do this little happy dance by moving that folder into my Authors folder.

They are no longer a submission, but one of the fam.

I love this little ritual of welcoming the new folder to my gang of Authors because I’m excited for that folder’s future. What fun will we have together? How will this little folder explode with its possibilities and have readers falling over themselves to read it?

The editing process is where I get to really know the author, and he/she to know me. It’s where the lovely little folder blossoms into a living, breathing thing of gorgeosity.

I have to say that this one really got to me. It had a rough start, but I was sufficiently interested in it to suggest a rewrite. A month turned into seven, and I forgot about the little folder until early last week when I was cleaning out my email program. “Seven months,” I growlz, “meh, move it to the Delete folder.” And I did.

Funnily enough, the very next day the agent popped in to say hello and to present me with the fully re-written prize. So worth waiting for. LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES by Melissa Haynes made me scream with laughter and weep like a baby. I began reading it Friday night and finished it Saturday afternoon. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.

Melissa’s book sits at the same banquet table as EAT, PRAY, LOVE, but, without a doubt, should sit at the head of the table because Melissa writes with so much more depth, and soul, and grit. Anyone who has ever had serious regrets, fear, and guilt MUST be prepared to read this book. If you’ve ever loved your mother, you REALLY must have this book. If you’ve ever volunteered, or are thinking about it, I ORDER you to buy this book.

Set in South Africa, Melissa volunteers at a game preserve her mother’s death. She brought a lot of heartache and mental baggage with her. Yet, her experiences of dealing with pain in the ass game warden who would love to send her packing, a saucy elephant who flings branches and ellie dung at her every day, some lions who believe she’d make a tasty meal, a gator who has the same idea, a very mismatched couple who had to be separated from their respective herds because they kept killing their members, storms, washouts, near-death, and bouts of euphoria over an African sunrise, represent both harsh and gentle lessons Melissa needs to confront in order to fully live her life.

It’s a beautiful unfolding that exposes deep pain, fear, and guilt (which made me weep through a box of Kleenex) and comes full circle to a life lived wholly. Guess it’s no small wonder I have “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King rummaging through my head.

Hakuna Matata, Melissa. Well-freaking-done, and welcome to the Authors Folder.

%d bloggers like this: