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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Hi, everyone! I’m so excited to be here and would like to thank Kristan for inviting me.

So onto my topic! Should size really matter?

When I first began writing my Perfect Fit series featuring plus-size heroines, I had no clue how strongly I would relate to these fictional women. As a child, I was short but never skinny. In my teen years, I had never been what someone would call slender. As a divorced adult in my mid-twenties, I’d held a brief stint as the confident “it” girl who walked into the bar and sent all the guys’ tongues wagging, even though I wasn’t thin by definition in my size twelve jeans. Now, as an adult who’s carried two oversized baby boys in her stomach (seriously, my last one was a whopping twelve pounds!), I’m basically what some people would refer to as…

Excuse me for using the F word here. Fat.

faceshotBut who really gets to decide what an unacceptable weight for a person truly is? Society? Hollywood? Ben & Jerry?

Life is too short to NOT love ourselves for having someone else’s version of a less-than-ideal body type. Not only is it a harmful way of thinking, but sometimes we just have to give ourselves a freaking break. Be vulnerable. Be imperfect. None of that makes us worth less.

In Size Matters, my heroine feels very negatively about her weight, but then she’s had her mother nagging her about it her entire life. However, she’s lucky to have her best friend, a curvaceous woman who is rocking it!

There will always be someone out there willing to say something negative about us. But no amount of body-shaming should ever make us feel bad about ourselves. One day, society will catch up to us and see past our size to what makes us special.

In fact, they’re already starting to.

This year alone, there have been some great strides in that direction. Like back in February, when Sports Illustrated made history by featuring plus-size model Ashley Graham on its cover. The purple and orange bikini showed off all of her voluptuous curves, and I can’t imagine a single person out there, especially a man, glancing at that photo and not thinking that she looked sexy.

Not surprisingly, romance novels – written by and for women – have made perhaps the most progress in this area. No longer is every heroine a blond, virginal, size two princess. There are plenty of examples of BBW novels, and BBW authors too! 😉

cover300pixelsAnd although I’m happy to report that Hollywood has begun to showcase curvier women in more prominent film and television roles too, I sometimes, as a viewer, still feel let down by the industry standards. Maybe it’s just my skewed perception, but oftentimes these plus-size women are largely shown in roles that feature them as the frumpy, sometimes witty, housewife. Or the sarcastic, man-hating best friend who can’t seem to get a date. Or the jilted ex-wife who was left behind for a slender, younger version of herself.

It seems to me that these plus-size actresses are rarely depicted as the kick-butt heroine of an exciting new action-adventure movie. Or why can’t they be the hero’s love interest in an upcoming big-screen romantic comedy. Thank goodness for Bridget Jones! But why can’t we have more of these realistic heroines? Why aren’t they being made?

So my question to you is…

What kind of television or film role would you like to see a curvier girl featured in as the heroine of the story?

 Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing for a signed print copy of my upcoming release, Size Matters! This giveaway is open internationally and closes in 48 hours.

Check back on Sunday to see if you’re a winner!

Blurb:

 Size Matters (A Perfect Fit, #1)

The rules of (fake) engagement…

Leah Martin has spent her life trying to avoid temptation. But she’s sick of low-fat snacks, counting calories, and her hyper-critical mom. Fortunately, her popular new bakery keeps her good and distracted. But there aren’t enough éclairs in the world to distract Leah from the hotness that is Sam Cooper – or the fact that he just told her mother that they’re engaged…which is a big, fat lie.

Sam sometimes speaks before he thinks. So what started out as defending Leah’s date-ability to her judgmental mother soon turned into having a fiancée! Now the plan is to keep up the fake engagement, stay “just friends,” and make Leah’s family loathe him enough to call the whole thing off. But Sam has an insatiable sweet tooth, not only for Leah’s decadent desserts but her decadent curves. Her full lips. Her bright green eyes. Yep, things aren’t going quite according to plan. Now Sam has to convince Leah that he’s for real…before their little lie turns into one big, sweet disaster.

Author Links:

Website: http://authoralisonbliss.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AuthorAlisonBliss

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlisonBliss2

Buy Links:

Buy for Kindle https://smile.amazon.com/Size-Matters-Perfect-Alison-Bliss-ebook/dp/B01CYU3L68/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1478497817&sr=1-11

Buy for Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/size-matters-alison-bliss/1123500335?ean=9781455568031

Buy at iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/size-matters/id1093193240?mt=11

 

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 feel very choked up writing this… my last blog at the JQs.

What I want to say the most is thank you. Thanks for tuning in, for reading, for commenting, for wanting books. Thanks for caring about my writing, my career, my family, my woes, my goofy encounters with the UPS man.

Writing is hard work. It can be a little terrifying when things aren’t going well. It can be lonely and frustrating. Sometimes, it’s boring.

But for the past 8 years, I’ve had you guys, my fellow bloggers and reader and writer friends who’ve dropped by for a virtual visit every other Monday, like coffee with a friend. That’s what you’ve been, gang, and that’s what you’ll continue to be.

I’ll miss our cheery little blog. I’ll miss Jaunty, our prickly, self-centered mascot. I know I’ll see you other places online, at my website blog and on social media…but this has been a special group.

Thank you for the honor of your time. Thank you for your kindness. Take care of yourselves! Drop me a line any time.

xox

Kristan

Kristan Higgins

default-logo-200

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

 

 

atlasOkay, okay, woman on the plane. But that wouldn’t make a good title, would it?

I flew out of JFK in New York, an airport I love. Why? Because it has good bookstores, restaurants and that place where you can get a chair massage for 15 minutes. I confess that I really like those. I think that was pretty ingenious, putting a little massage place in an airport to comfort the contorted passengers who’ve been stuffed into an airplane.

I like to eat before flying—unless one flies first class, you don’t get food on a plane anymore. And if one happens to be in first class, well, the meal isn’t going to be great. I like to sit in one of those little restaurants and watch people. I get nachos or a burger, usually. I read, make faces at babies, wave to the people riding on the carts.

cloudsI don’t think airplane seats are big enough for regular humans. My knees are right up against the seat in front of me, and God forbid the person leans back—I make a noise only dogs can hear. I inevitably make a friend on the plane, unless I fly first class, because people in first class don’t want to talk, I’ve found on the few occasions I’ve been up front. Still, that extra leg room…it does erase the dog-only noises, so it’s a trade-off.

I love reading on a plane. Sometimes, I work. If I’m not reading, I play solitaire on the computer, though I lose a lot. I like to watch the flight attendants; it’s nice when they seem like friends.

I also love seeing the clouds from above when I fly. I’m a little addicted to them, to be honest. It’s one of those times when I have the childlike thought that God really must love us if he gave us sky and clouds. I always take lots of pictures of the clouds and then bore my family with them once I get home.

My dad traveled a lot for work. He always said the Hail Mary during takeoff and landing, which I thought was sweet; my dad wasn’t a really religious person. I do the same, more to honor his memory than because I think Mother Mary will perk up and take better care of my plane if I say the right words. Even so, err on the side of caution, right?

utah-readersWhen I get off the plane, I stride through the airport with great purpose and energy. It’s like being on the streets of New York. One doesn’t stroll. One strides. Also, I’m usually going to an event where I’ll see you, my wonderful readers. It never fails to thrill me.

I’ll miss seeing you here on the JQs. Please make sure you’re following me on Facebook and Twitter so we can stay connected, okay? And drop me a line any time at all at k.higgins@snet.net. We have a little more than a month left, so it’s not goodbye just yet. : )

Hey! How about a book giveaway? Go say hi over on my FB page, and I’ll pick five of you to get whichever book of mine you’d like.

With great affection,

Kristan

Kristan Higgins

default-logo-200

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

Dragana, you’re the winner! Email me at k.higgins@snet.net and let me know which of my backlist books you’d like.

Kristan Higgins

default-logo-200

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

stacey_cartoon_v2It’s exciting to be back on Jaunty Quills. I am thankful to Kristan Higgins for having me on. But with my new release, JOCKEYING FOR YOU, I owe Kristan so much more. Unfortunately, in some ways I am like my heroine, Ryder Hannon, who lacks the confidence to fulfill deeply-set goals. And that’s where Kristan comes in.

In the Spring of 2015 my Romance Writers of America chapter, CTRWA (Connecticut Romance Writers of America), brought in a terrific speaker, Michael Hauge, for a two day seminar. The first day of the conference ended with a homework assignment. Our task was to come up with a plotline that externally showed our heroine’s internal (a/k/a emotional) journey. Despite wonderful instructions, I was stumped. I vowed to attend the second day of the conference incognito, if not invisible. Hey, if the teacher can’t see you, they can’t call on you, right?
Wrong. Despite hiding, I was called on to present my idea. Since I’m an attorney, I immediately recalled the horrors of law school. Yes, I was back in “1L Civ Pro” where the professor would be sure to call me out if my hand wasn’t up.

jockeyingforyou1800Luckily, I had mused enough on Michael Haugue’s assignment to have some semblance of an answer ready to go. I warily presented my plot line of a female jockey who had fallen off her horse during a race, and in a horrific way. Her fear of failing again made her leave behind the sport she loved. Her character arc would be very literally trying to get “back in the saddle.”

I was nervous enough to scan the conference room for reactions. Had anyone felt the need to make their way out the door? Apparently, not. Michael Hauge gave me a “good job,” and promptly called on others. I begged my heart to quit banging around in my chest.

Kristan Higgins, another conference attendee, was sitting behind me. Not wanting to interrupt those who were speaking, she passed me a note. It said that my idea wasn’t crazy, and that I should take confidence in both it, and myself. That note not only did give me confidence, it helped me frame a story about what it takes to face down fear of failure.
My fear is failing as a creative writer. I’ve always taken comfort in the logical; exposing my creative side leaves me vulnerable. As a writer, I constantly worry whether I’m creating storylines that are fresh and new, and characters that are as real as your neighbor next door. With support from wonderful writers like Kristan Higgins, and terrific teachers like Michael Hauge, confidence now comes a little easier for me. With every new book I start to write, I have to endure a little less time psyching myself up to get “back in the saddle.”

I admit, there are not too many horse racing romances out there. There aren’t too many female jockeys, either. Or too many attorneys who sideline as romance writers. There are, however, countless other people who also face their fear of failure. And who choose to rise up against it. If they can do it, I can, too.

nrmI do my best to pass this can-do attitude along. A few weeks ago, I took my husband and kids to the Saratoga Race Course, and to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. I explained to them everything I had learned about horse racing, all the difficult—and dangerous—challenges. I hope that trip transcended into something higher for my boys. I want them to learn that challenges aren’t only physical. True challenges are about doing what it mentally takes to cross the finish line.

I know that being a successful jockey, like a writer, takes years of training. It is the opposite of a sprint, it is a long haul. It requires talent, hard work, determination, strength, but above all, confidence. Everyday I learn more how to achieve these goals. And to be like Ryder Hannon, the female-jockey heroine I created.

I’d love to know what spurs you on, and what challenges you’ve faced along the way.

 

nrmamericanpharoahFrom JOCKEYING FOR YOU

 

Jake felt his eyebrow arch up. “Dr. Doolittle, I presume?”

A slow smile spread across her lips.

“How far have you gotten with Handsome?”

“He’ll let me ride him now.”

Jake’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline. “My God, Ryder, you’re amazing,” he exclaimed. With a shake of his head and a hard cough he corrected himself. “I mean, your results with him are amazing.”

Ryder’s grin was now Cheshire cat sized. “Thanks for both compliments.”

Damn. She couldn’t let my mistake go.

Then it hit him. His comment was a slip, but was it really a mistake? Her beautiful face, which had been beaming with pride now had a shy aspect that was even more endearing. She bore a schoolgirl’s blush and averted her eyes from him as she busied herself petting Handsome’s nose.

If only she could stroke me the same way. Though somewhere lower down than my nose. He tensed at the thought. Focus, Jake, damn it! This is business. “Show me,” he said.

She blinked. “Show you what?”

“Show me Handsome Dancer can be ridden. I want you to ride him for me.”

“Now? He’s already had his exercise for today. I don’t want to tire him out.”

Handsome’s head batted her shoulder with a determination that was comical.

“You know,” Jake quipped, “if he actually understands you then you really are Dr. Doolittle.”

“I’m sure he just wanted me to give him an apple.” She wiped a stray blond bang from her hot forehead and looked the horse in one of his eyes. “What are you saying, babycakes? That you want to go on a short ride with me?”

Yes, yes, I do. Jake cleared his throat and gave her a tight smile. “Go ahead, you two. Impress me.”

A few minutes later, he was outside the training track, his hands casually resting on the guardrail while he waited for the show to begin.

Soon, Ryder and Handsome entered the track. He heard her cluck her tongue at the horse, and then watched her lightly kick Handsome’s rear. The horse took off around the track in a fast gallop. The horse’s flight was fluid and astoundingly fast for what was supposed to be an easy go-around. She was doing more than merely riding Handsome Dancer. She was a part of him. One cohesive whole.

Thinking the demo was about to end, he had almost turned around to head back when something caught the corner of his eye. It was a flash of color, a fast burst of brown. What the . . . ? Whipping his head around to the source, he stared open-mouthed at the sight. Handsome Dancer was bolting down a stretch of training track at a speed unheard of for a newbie horse. Or maybe any horse. In all of Jake’s experiences, he doubted he had seen a horse move that fast when not performing in an actual race.

Visit www.stacyhoff.com for more on her books!

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