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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images-1In the past seven years, I’ve traveled probably ten times more than all the previous years in my life, and I’ve gotten to be pretty efficient at traveling. Hence, Higgins’s Tips for Traveling!

If you’re going anywhere that requires a bag that you can’t carry on the plane, take two suitcases: a carry-on and a checked bag. If you can avoid the checked bag, good for you. I cannot, as I am a clothes whore. Recently, my best friend went to Scotland. Her luggage was lost due to a computer glitch affecting 20,000 passengers throughout Great Britain. Her suitcase was only located after she got back home two weeks later! She had nothing with her. No moisturizer, no deodorant, no clothes, no jammies, no undies. Don’t let this happen to you! Divide your clothes and shoes (and toiletries) so that if your luggage is lost, at least you have a couple of outfits and the basics in toiletries. You can also avoid the heavy bag charge this way, though you’ll get charged for the checked bag, too. Six of one, half dozen of the other. Do know the airline policy on bags so you’re not surprised with all those secret charges.

Put everything that contains liquids in Ziploc bags. If you’re carrying on a bag, you have to take out all that stuff at the security check, so keep them in an outer pocket of your suitcase. Don’t be that person who has to dig through her suitcase to find her hairspray. Remember the 3.5 ounce rule: you can only carry on fluids (shampoo, for example) in a 3.5 ounce container. You’ll have to take your laptop or tablet out of its case and put it in a bin. Wear shoes that are easy-on, easy-off. Bring a bottle of water on the plane. The thimble they’ll eventually serve you isn’t enough.

Don’t pack at the last minute. You’ll take more than you need, and you’ll forget something important. Roll your clothes, don’t fold them. They take up less room and wrinkle less. Trust me on this. Bring one or two dryer sheets for static cling purposes. Also, if you get those white smears of deodorant on your clothes, the dryer sheet will take that right off. Pack your shoes on the  left side of your suitcase, so when you’re towing the suitcase through the airport, they’ll be on the bottom. Your clothes will stay neater that way.

Try to multi-purpose your outfits. That black dress can be worn with a cardigan and flats for day, heels and a fabulous necklace for night. Instead of two outfits, you were smart and only took one. And speaking of cardigans, they are your friend. Even if you’re somewhere hot, the hotel may well be frigid. Ditto the plane. 

If you’re a nervous flyer, try to get a seat on the wing. Supposedly, you feel turbulence less there.

imagesWhen you’re going through the security check-in line, take the line furthest to the left. It moves faster.

When you’re trying to log onto the internet at an airport, and the wife isn’t free, add “?.jpg” at the end of the url you’re trying to get. I’ve heard this works, but I can’t say for sure.

Tie a ribbon onto your suitcase so you can identify it when it comes off the trolley. Most suitcases look the same.

For work trips (like the upcoming Romance Writers of America National Conference in San Antonio), I decide on what I’ll be wearing for each day; usually, two outfits a day. I list what I’m going to wear on my itinerary, bag and label the jewelry in Ziploc bags. That way, when the unholy hour of 6:00 a.m. arrives, I know what to put on and avoid stuporous moments staring into my closet.

Bring two clothespins with you. Maybe you need to hand-wash something. You can hang it up to dry now (or use those clip-hangers, if the hotel has them). Maybe your curtains don’t close all the way and that outside light is shining in your eyes. Clip them shut. I also bring a nail file, band-aids, Hollywood tape and safety pins. 

Should you have a penchant for slutty shoes (as does this author), bring a golf ball and roll it under your feet at night as a foot massage. Bliss! Also, a bar of Ivory soap at the bottom of your bed is supposed to prevent foot cramps. Don’t know if that’s true, but I guess it’s worth a shot.

12109_2_bardessono_fsa-gHotel air can be very dry. Bring Visine. Also, teabags soaked in cold water, then applied to your eyelids in the morning can make up for that late night. Slather on the moisturizer at night. Hotel moisturizer tends to be pretty light.

Bring a bunch of fives and ones for tipping the doormen and bellhops, and don’t forget to tip the housekeeping staff every day you’re there. They work hard for a living.

Do you have any good tips for traveling? Feel free to share!

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

Kate S., come on down! You’ve won a book from PJ! Shoot her an email at pjsharon64@gmail.com to collect. 

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

2013 RWA conference picLet the fireworks commence! It’s always lovely to have PJ back at the Jaunty Quills!

Happy Birthday USA! And thank you, Kristan, for having me as your guest on this lovely Independence Day. It’s always an honor to be here. Since my recent release, PIECES of LOVE, a Contemporary YA Romance, is about a teenage girl embarking on a seniors cruise with her grandmother—only to find an unexpected romance—I thought I’d talk with your readers today about a theme near and dear to my heart, VACATION! Yes, ‘tis the season for planning family trips, romantic getaways, and beach excursions—also known as the perfect opportunity to pick up a new book, in my opinion.

Here’s a short synopsis of the book in case you’re looking for your next beach read: Sixteen year-old Alexis Hartman wants nothing more than to play her guitar and get high, hoping to escape the pain of losing her sister. But when her second arrest for pot possession leads to her mother’s break down, Lexi is sent to stay with her grandmother for the summer. While embarking on a Mediterranean cruise hardly sounds like punishment, being forced to face her demons and falling for a guy she may never see again, gives Lexi a chance to discover what it means to love someone—even when you have to let them go.

I know…it sounds a little heavy, but I’m told that’s how YA readers like it. Hopefully I added just the right amount of lightness and humor to give you a break from too much angst and drama. For me, there’s nothing more relaxing than laying in the hot sun on a sandy beach, listening to the waves crash, and escaping into a steamy romance or an epic family drama (I believe I’ve read more than one of your books in such a locale, Kristan, LOL).

Med Cruise-StromboliLike my character Lexi, I never imagined a cruise would be the place for me. Seasickness being one factor. Fragrance sensitivity, and an unnatural and overdeveloped desire for “alone time”, being the other.  So three years ago, when hubby couldn’t get away and his mom wanted to cruise the Mediterranean, I reluctantly agreed to go with her. I know…tough life, right? What an adventure! Seventeen days touring such cities as Rome, Dubrovnik, Barcelona, and Ephesus. We saw the Greek islands, toured the Vatican, and sailed past the cloud-shrouded Stromboli, all the while enjoying the wonderful food aboard ship (yes, you do gain ten pounds), and getting a taste of the culture in the fourteen ports we visited. I took notes every day and captured hundreds of pictures, knowing I would eventually find a story to tell and not wanting to miss a single minute. PIECES of LOVE was born from that trip. I even wrote and recorded a theme song! (You can listen to part of it on the book trailer or download it from i-Tunes).

Now it’s your turn. I’m always interested to hear how people decide where to take vacation. There are so many fabulous places to choose from! Mountains or beach? Cruise or island destination? Adventure trip or bum around at the poolside bar kind of vacation? And who do you bring with you? Is it okay to leave the kids behind once in a while and plan a romantic getaway? I’m not averse to even ditching my honey on occasion and taking a girl’s time out with my sisters or best friend. We all need time to decompress from the hectic lifestyles we lead, and sometimes, a few days away from work and family can be as therapeutic and rejuvenating as a week at the spa. Speaking of spas…have you ever been on a spa vacation? It’s definitely on my bucket list! Although I may be a nature girl at heart—one who likes camping, hiking, kayaking, and strolling on a beach at sunset—I can clearly see the benefits of splurging on a massage or a facial to get me in relaxation mode. And don’t get me started on umbrella drinks!

PJSharon_PiecesOfLove_HROr maybe you’re one of those people who prefer to spend their vacations at home. Often termed a “staycation”, more and more people are opting out of traveling, and who can blame them? Whether to avoid the expense—or the inherent dangers these days—many families plan their time off around household projects and day trips. My husband and I do this often. We live in an 1840’s farmhouse out in the Berkshires, so there are always endless projects to be done and a day trip in any direction can lead to some fun, artsy locales that won’t break the bank.

When we do decide to blow town, we try to get away for at least one week together per year. Sometimes it’s a simple camping trip, but the destination vacations we’ve taken to places like Beliz and Costa Rica have been the most memorable. Luckily, we like the same things, so there’s always an adventure/nature theme to our travels. This summer, we’ll be visiting my oldest son in northern California and taking a road trip up the Pacific Coast. So looking forward to it!

So tell me, readers, what’s your dream vacation? Any big plans for this summer? What books will you be taking along?

Leave a comment below to be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy of any of PJ’s books. (Contest open to US residents only. Contest ends at midnight Sunday, July 6th)

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

rosaclara1The heroine of the book I’m writing now is a wedding dress designer. It was inevitable that I’d write someone who does this type of work, because I have a thing for wedding dresses. I view them as works of art. If there was a museum of wedding dresses, I’d become a member, and I bet Shana Galen would, too.

To learn about the world of a wedding dress designer, I visited a woman who does just this for a living. Her workroom overlooked a brook and a beautiful forest. She had a huge white table and drawers and drawers full of lace, appliques, beading, swatches. She told me she has 54 shades of white just in her studio. It was like a playland, and I could’ve stayed there forever. I know a little about sewing, and I’m a big fan of Project Runway and Say Yes to the Dress, so throw wedding dresses in the mix, and I was in heaven.

I brought my Princess Daughter as a faux bride so I could see how Dianne went about designing a dress. We left with three sketches that we may or may not whip out when Princess meets her Prince (and after he does the seven years of hard labor required to win her hand in marriage, of course). She likes the retro, Jackie Kennedy type, for now, at least. We’ll see!

poofydressWhen McIrish and I were engaged, I was unaware of the fanfare that often goes along with buying the Dress of Dresses. I went into a bridal salon with my mom and told the lady I’d like to try on dresses. “You need an appointment,” she said (not terribly politely).

“Well, we’re here now. Can we just look?”

Ten minutes later, I was in a wedding dress. I tried on two others. They were all very pretty. I looked at my reflection and asked myself which one I thought my dad would’ve liked the most (he had died two years earlier). I picked that one. The whole process took twenty minutes.

My dress wasn’t expensive by any stretch. That’s one problem I have in writing this book; it feels morally wrong to me to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a dress you’ll wear for six hours. (I have a moral line in the sand for shoes, too…as much as I love shoes, I can’t bring myself to spend a lot on them. I will never have a pair of Jimmy Choos or Christian Louboutins, as much as I love fondling them in the store).

mermaidI remember one episode of Say Yes to the Dress in which a young woman—who had flown in to New York on Daddy’s private jet—spent $24,000 on her dress. While I’m sure the family is generous with charities (I sure as hell hope so), I couldn’t help but imagine her buying a dress that cost a fraction of that one, and giving the rest to Save the Children or Fisher House, you know?

But for the purposes of my book, and given the level of her skill and creativity, yes, my designer will charge gobs of money for dresses. I guess I have to get over my reverse snobbery.

What do you think about wedding dresses? Did you adore yours? Has your daughter bought hers yet?

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

Both of Kristan’s 2014 releases were nominated for the prestigious Kirkus Prize, which is given to books that received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews.

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