Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been called "perfect entertainment for a girl's night in" (Booklist), "hilarious and heartfelt" (Romance Junkies) and "the best I've ever read" (Kristan's husband).

Kristan is the mother of two lovely children, the wife of a firefighter and the owner of a very naughty dog. She loves to eat out, watch movies and of course, read.

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This is a blog about this blog.

I joined in 2008, when I was a brand-new, unknown author. Cindy Kirk invited me, and I was so grateful because I’d never blogged before. My agent told me I should probably “get out there.” I didn’t personally know any of the other authors except Cindy, and they had never heard of me.

Since then, I’ve fallen a bit in love with the JQs. My fellow writers here are thoughtful, kind, hardworking, intelligent women. In a day when writer blogs have decreased in popularity and most group blogs have disappeared, we’ve stayed. And we’ve stayed because we love each other, and we love you guys, and the community we have here.

Whenever we see each other at conferences, as we did this past week, it’s a moment of sanity and a rush of happiness at the same time—we all have dozens of friends in the writing community, but the blog binds us in a special way. We write to each other about personal problems, professional issues, familial happiness or turmoil. When one of us hits a milestone or gets a great review, we’re so stinkin’ proud of each other. When Jesse became a mom this past year, it’s fair to say we all had a little god motherly love for Wallaby.

And then there’s you. Our faithful readers who laugh with us, who buy our books, who take the time out of your busy lives to comment on a new book or a guest author. When I wrote my last blog about being fat-shamed, you guys had my back. You share our lives, and you’re part of ours.

I just wanted to say thank you for that. You are so valued, more than I can say.

xox

Kristan 

Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been called "perfect entertainment for a girl's night in" (Booklist), "hilarious and heartfelt" (Romance Junkies) and "the best I've ever read" (Kristan's husband).

Kristan is the mother of two lovely children, the wife of a firefighter and the owner of a very naughty dog. She loves to eat out, watch movies and of course, read.

Kristan's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

Know the word pentimento? I hereby declare it to be today’s Word of the Day.

The wiki definition of pentimento is “an alteration in a painting, evidenced by traces of previous work, showing that the artist has changed his or her mind as to the composition during the process of painting.” The first time I saw the word was as the title of a book: Lillian Hellman’s autobiographical essays, which my parents owned. I skimmed that copy, put it back on a shelf and forgot about it. We had more than enough to read: my parents’ house had nearly as many overstuffed shelves as a small used bookstore.

oldstreetBack to our Word of the Day.  I was in New York with my family when I pointed out a ghostly sewing machine painted on the side of a brick building. My brother—who is and was a know-it-all–announced that the nearly vanished painted ad is called a pentimento. I didn’t believe him because he often made pronouncements that weren’t true. And, hey, why would Lillian Hellman write about ancient advertisements on old brick buildings?

It’s true, he insisted and don’t call them pentimentos. The plural is pentimenti. (He was right about that.)

We’d noticed that form of art in New York—and some really are (or were) beautiful–when we visited our relatives and our dentist, who was also a relic of a bygone era. After that day, I began to spot the ghostly remnants everywhere in the city, ephemeral traces of hand-painted block letters and sometimes even pictures left from long-vanished products or businesses owned by long-dead people. I see those in other towns and cities too.

Even as a kid, I noticed that New York, unlike other cities I knew, held on to marks of its past but kind of carelessly. You’d walk past a few of those monstrous all-glass buildings, turn a corner and see some fancy brickwork on the sidewalk, or actual cobblestones, or a large flat stone that my brother told me passengers used to step onto a horse or into a horse-drawn carriage. (Yes, he was right about that, too. Sigh.) It might have been the neighborhoods we visited, but at least when I was a kid, no one particularly celebrated these leftovers from history. They just moldered along with everything else.

Most of the old wall paintings I noticed are gone–they’re not protected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.  However the past is popular with New Yorkers these days. Now you can go on all sorts of tours where the guides know about the city’s history and point out the details of past lives lingering among the big newer buildings. I love those tours, but I also rather liked it when I felt as if we were the only ones to notice the scrollwork on some iron bars or the faint advertisement on the side of a building. It was a kind of ghost-hunting—and in fact the more common name for those traces of paint is “ghost signs.”

Still, I prefer the name pentimento for them. That makes it seem as if New York itself is the artist, not quite erasing the past as it keeps piling on more layers, covering up the old ones except in special spots where the shape of its history is faintly visible.

If you want to see an example of a New York ghost sign, here’s a very old one in Times Square, uncovered, and then covered again, in 1998. http://www.frankjump.com/press/nypost001.pd and how about a great pinterest board with even more examples? https://www.pinterest.com/glasron/old-painted-building-signs/

When you travel to new places, do you notice unmarked bits of the past? Or is it easier to spot the evidence of history in your own hometown?

***

Today is the release day of The Detective’s Dilemma—set in the 1880s, when New York’s buildings were covered with hand painted signs! And how’s that for a tie-in?

***
Thedetectivesdilemma240x360The Detective’s Dilemma

 Kidnapped by his own target, this crooked cop is having one bad day.

Detective Caleb Walker is foiled by his own industriousness. Determined to capture a criminal, he plants evidence—and is discovered by his higher-ups. Now blackmailed into acting as the strong-arm for a corrupt politician, he visits a poor widow he must convince to surrender her son. Yet something about her stirs his memory, and long-submerged desires. When she pulls a gun on him and demands he switch sides, he’s stunned, annoyed…and intrigued.

No one will take her son from Julianna. Least of all her sinister ex-father-in-law whose abuse damaged her late husband. With the handsome detective smirking in her sights, Julianna must convince him to help her keep her baby safe from the very people holding Caleb in their powerful grip. In a desperate bid, she kidnaps the cynical Caleb—and struggles to ignore the heat sparking between them.

As they pursue answers, secrets are uncovered—including Julianna’s and Caleb’s. Two imperfect hearts together may be enough to win the day. If their enemies don’t destroy them first.

A gaslight historical set in New York City.

“With colorful images, engaging characters and a fine eye for detail, Rothwell recreates the era beautifully.”-RT Bookclub (for Somebody Wonderful)

I’d love to do a give-away of my new book – The Detective’s Dilemma, or any of my New York set historicals! Comment below and win an ebook. Most are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and All Romance Ebooks, a few are Amazon Select only.

My other titles that have at least a scene or two in New York City:
Somebody Wonderful
Somebody to Love
Someone to Cherish
The Earl, the Girl, and the Promise
Powder of Sin
Love Between the Lines 

Kate also writes as Summer Devon. Most of those stories are hotter than Kate Rothwell titles and many are m/m historicals written with Bonnie Dee.

You can find her at:
https://www.facebook.com/S.DevonAuthor

http://katerothwell.com

http://summerdevon.com

 

A link today’s release, The Detective’s Dilemma. http://amzn.com/B010Y0MGO8emma  the title is currently only available on Amazon in Kindle format. 

 

Line for tweeting: Kate Rothwell has a new book out today! Celebrate her new release and her Word of the Day.

Label for the picture of New York:  from NYC Municipal Archives. http://nycma.lunaimaging.com/luna/servlet/ A picture of Delancey Street shot more than one hundred years ago. Notice the Omega Oil sign? What’s old is new again!  

Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been called "perfect entertainment for a girl's night in" (Booklist), "hilarious and heartfelt" (Romance Junkies) and "the best I've ever read" (Kristan's husband).

Kristan is the mother of two lovely children, the wife of a firefighter and the owner of a very naughty dog. She loves to eat out, watch movies and of course, read.

Kristan's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

fun picHSo excited to be here!!!  I’m not going to lie to you, I am all about a guy in a well-worn pair of jeans and a tool belt.  So it’s no wonder in my new contemporary romance, “Made for Us”, that my hero is in construction.  Don’t get me wrong, a man in a suit is a beautiful thing, but…I’m all about some work roughened hands.  Who’s with me?

I feed this crazy addiction by watching a lot of HGTV.  My husband thinks I’m looking for DIY projects for our new house.  I’m happy to let him entertain that thought.  But don’t feel too bad for him, he’s in construction so…he’s not completely clueless.  We bought our first home a little over a year ago and I have to tell you, the way it looks on TV is not the reality.  I found this very distressing.  Our builder was not camera or calendar worthy and no matter how hard I tried, all of my room makeovers too much longer than thirty minutes.

I can’t believe the television lies like that!

MeWe’re slowly making our way through the process though.  And I have come to learn that it is a blessing and a curse to be married to a man in construction when you buy a newly built home.  He sees things that no one else sees – as in every imperfection.  I walked through our home at least a hundred times before we closed on it and pretty much marveled at how perfect it all was.  The day after we moved in?  It was a completely different story.

Now I see walls that aren’t plumb, waves in the drywall, leaky boots on my roof…seriously, I don’t even know what any of that means, but apparently, we have them all!  My dream home suddenly has the makings of a nightmare.  And you know what really gets me – I mean besides the shoddy workmanship?  It’s the fact that THIS guy, isn’t showing up to do the work!  If I have to be bothered by all this crazy un-plumbness, leaks and wavy lines, the least someone can do is send me some eye candy to make it worthwhile, right?

Made for Us FINAL2It was while we were going through this, that I began to write “Made for Us”.  And in it, I made sure MY hero, Aidan Shaughnessy – the building contractor -  was a stickler for details and workmanship.  So it’s no surprise when you read it that you’ll find a lot of that crazy terminology and descriptions.  It made for a lot of fun to live vicariously through my characters and know that somewhere – even in my fictional world – that someone was getting a house that was finished properly AND being built by a sexy contractor!

You’re welcome.

A little more about the book, it’s actually book one in my new series, The Shaughnessys, and what I love about this new series is how much family means to each of them.  When Lillian Shaughnessy was killed, she left behind a husband and six children (five boys, one girl) whose ages ranged from eighteen to ten months.  And rather than this tragedy tearing them apart, it made them closer as they clung together to get through their grief.

At the point that you’re going to be meeting them in “Made for Us”, seventeen years has gone by and we see how the loss of their mother still affects who they currently are.  Each book will not only introduce you to an individual Shaughnessy as they navigate through their life and eventually find love, you get to spend a lot of time getting to know the rest of the family, as well. 

Here’s a little look for you:

“Have you eaten dinner?” he asked casually.

“As a matter of fact I haven’t.  I had planned on grabbing some takeout and going home.  You know, before the whole tire thing.”

Aidan nodded and turned in the parking lot of the local pizzeria. He parked his truck in front and climbed out, walking around to open Zoe’s door.  “This place is the best Italian in town.”  Once Zoe’s feet hit the ground, Aidan turned and walked toward the entrance.

Zoe stood there for a moment, a little shell-shocked. He didn’t ask if she wanted to eat with him or if she even liked pizza! 

“Um…what if I don’t eat Italian?” she said, arms crossed.

So much for going for ten minutes without arguing.

Aidan turned and looked at her as if she had grown a second head.  “What do you mean?  Everyone eats Italian food.”

Zoe shrugged.  “What if I don’t?”  She tried to keep a straight face and not giggle at the indecision on Aidan’s face. He clearly didn’t know what to do with people not just immediately going along with everything he said.

Taking a step toward her, he said, “We can grab something else if you’d like.”

Ah, there it was.  He was actually taking a moment to think about someone else’s feelings.  She considered it for a moment, walked by him to the door to the restaurant. 

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I actually love Italian food.  But I prefer being asked first if I’d like to have dinner someplace, or with someone.”  Before he could respond, Zoe went through the door and up to the hostess, who led her to a corner booth.  Aidan joined her, his expression guarded.

“So that was…what?  You were teaching me a lesson?” he asked as he sat down.

Picking up the menu, Zoe simply shrugged.  “It would have been nice if you actually asked me what I’d like to eat rather than just making the decision for me.”

Aidan was stumped.  What was the big deal?  He was hungry, she was hungry and neither of them had eaten dinner.  They were passing the pizza place, end of story. Aidan wondered why he didn’t just take her home and get something to eat on his own. Trying to get this woman to soften up toward him was starting to feel like more trouble than it was worth. Not that he cared what this woman in her sexy pencil skirts thought about him. No sir.

Do you have a crazy construction story to share?  Do tell!  I’ll be choosing one lucky commenter to win a signed copy of “Made for Us”! 

Thank you for having me here today, Kristan!!

 

Links:

Website:  http://www.chasing-romance.com/

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Made-Shaughnessy-Brothers-Samantha-Chase-ebook/dp/B00UTWFWMA/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaChaseFanClub

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamanthaChase3

Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been called "perfect entertainment for a girl's night in" (Booklist), "hilarious and heartfelt" (Romance Junkies) and "the best I've ever read" (Kristan's husband).

Kristan is the mother of two lovely children, the wife of a firefighter and the owner of a very naughty dog. She loves to eat out, watch movies and of course, read.

Kristan's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

I’ve never been a slender person. Photos from my youth show a very fat baby (nickname: Gorgealina, and no, the Gorge was not short for gorgeous). I was a chubby toddler, then a gangly youth who, despite her long arms (my mom called me her gorilla baby), always had a little pot belly. Sucking in my stomach was a way of life from the age of about ten or so, when a relative pointed out the fact that I had a “gut.”

But aside from my first year on the planet, I’ve never been fat.

I’ve also never been slim. Spanx and control top pantyhose and I go way, way  back. I’m five-foot-eight and a half and weigh (yes, I’m putting it in print!) 154 pounds. I have a large frame, broad shoulders and widely spaced hipbones (childbirth didn’t hurt that much, let’s put it that way). I have a generous rack: a 36-D. In most things, I’m a size large; otherwise, I can split a shirt by flexing my shoulders, like the Incredible Hulk.

And as you may know, I try to balance my sedentary job by boxing with Kyle, my beloved Evil/Cute Boxing Trainer. I run, slowly and awkwardly, but I do it. Four times a week, give or take, I exercise so hard my hair is wet with sweat. At the age of 50, I’ve never been in better physical shape, thanks to Kyle. My doctor tells me my blood pressure is “poster child,” and my cholesterol is normal. I can still wear clothes I bought 10 and 15 years ago. I’ve weighed about the same for the past 16 years.

Overall, I’m happy with how I look. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve liked my looks. McIrish things I’m gorgeous, God bless him. When I look in the mirror, I see a pretty nice face with smile lines around my eyes and a nice smile, despite that crooked tooth. I see a body that has born two children and almost died with one. A body that’s been injured and broken in a few places, but that can still run those miles and do those pushups.

But you know how it is, gang. It would be so, so nice not to wear Spanx. Right? Vanity, thy name is woman, the saying goes, and it’s true in my case. If I lost eight or ten pounds, I’d be thrilled. So I decided to see a nutritionist, to figure out what I could do to trim down just a little bit.

My mistake—he wasn’t a nutritionist. I didn’t read the fine print. He was, in fact, a weight loss coach. He was hugely muscled with popping veins that clearly said My body is my life. What made him a professional, I don’t know. I didn’t stay long enough to find out.

Charles didn’t ask me how much weight I wanted to lose. He told me instead. “You should weigh 130,” he said.

“The only way I could weigh 130 is if I had cancer,” I answered. “I’m hoping to avoid that.”

“Your lean weight is 96.”

“Then I’d be a cadaver,” I told him.

“Well, how much do you think you should lose?” he asked.

“Ten pounds.”

“Then you have a perception problem about your body,” he told me.

That was the end of our meeting. I left, shaken. I thought, Am I really fat? Is he right? Am I wrong to feel good about how I look? Maybe I look worse than I think!

And then, almost immediately, I got furious.

See, the thing is, it’s not easy to be a woman with good self esteem about her looks, is it? That takes serious work in our world, when beautiful, healthy, strong women like Beyonce and Jennifer Lawrence are photoshopped to look thinner. I know women who won’t look in the mirror because they hate how they look. Women who don’t think they can be attractive because they’re not 25 anymore. Women who punish themselves with food, either by bingeing or deprivation. I know a woman who died from anorexia, and women who will die from obesity, decades before their time.

My perception about my body might be wrong. I perceive it to be, first and foremost, strong. The kind of body that’s recovered from a near-death experience, bone breaks, injuries and most recently, pneumonia. This is a body that’s had two children, one quite against the odds. I once carried my nearly full grown daughter an entire block to the emergency room. I lifted my elderly grandfather out of the shower when he couldn’t manage it himself. I still give piggyback rides to the kids who think they might be too big or heavy to be carried anymore. I can walk in heels for blocks and run in sneakers for miles. I can bend down to help someone who’s fallen and reach the highest shelf in the grocery store for the little old ladies who can’t. My body works, I take care of it, and I also occasionally eat ice cream.

I perceive my body to be beautiful. Do I have some extra fat? Yep. Am I obese? Nope. Do I look like a supermodel? Nope. Neither am I anorexic.  I have strong arms and legs, and what McIrish calls your cute little belly. My cesarean scar is  a medal of honor

So if that’s a perception problem, it’s a good one. If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Charles, you may kiss my not-bad ass.

Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been called "perfect entertainment for a girl's night in" (Booklist), "hilarious and heartfelt" (Romance Junkies) and "the best I've ever read" (Kristan's husband).

Kristan is the mother of two lovely children, the wife of a firefighter and the owner of a very naughty dog. She loves to eat out, watch movies and of course, read.

Kristan's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

Beth Bricker, you’ve won a copy of FOOLS RUSH IN! Send me your address to k.higgins@snet.net, and I’ll get one out to you this week.

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