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

Unknown-2I’ve got a big birthday coming up this spring, gang. Fifty. Hence, my pictures of fabulous older women throughout this post.

It sounds kind of old, doesn’t it? S’okay. I’d rather turn fifty than die, so… Plus, I’ve never been that hung up on my age. The only hard birthday was when I turned 47, which was how old my dad was when he died. That whole year, I sort of hunched over, waiting for the truck to crash into me, or the icicle to spear through my skull, or the grizzly bears to make it to Connecticut and maul me and then have Willow eat my remains.

But nothing happened, and here I am, 49.

UnknownI’ve really loved my forties, to be honest. The kids no longer needed me to change their diapers or cut their food; McIrish and I could afford dinner and a movie out once in a while. Oh, and I had kind of a fabulous thing happen…I became a published author! This career has been a dream come true and then some, so thank you for that.

But back to my age…I think I’ve learned a few things these past nine and a half years, which I will now be so pompous as to share with you.

Being in your forties is great because you really know who you are. The twenties…hey, you tried on a lot of personalities, emulated a lot friends, learned from mentors. If someone noticed you, you were thrilled. The thirties, you struggled more, realizing that this adulthood thing was here to stay. You had things to prove and worked hard to make your mark. You had to stick up for yourself and make yourself heard.

images

Louisa May Alcott

But in your forties, you’ve arrived. You know what you have going for you, and hopefully, you’ve accepted what you don’t. You’re more content to do your thing and let other people do theirs. It will all wash out in the end.You understand your value. 

It’s easier to admit you’re wrong. Hey, it happens. But you’ve learned how to apologize quickly and sincerely and get over it. You’re also better at accepting apologies.

In your forties, you’ve made lasting, proven friendships. You don’t have time for fake friends or draining relatives. You no longer try to fix them; you just extract yourself from the situation. Your life is half over, give or take. Why waste it on people who make you feel tired or upset or small?

You realize that your influence on your kids is waning. Once, you were the sun and moon to your kids, and their world revolved around you. Not anymore. That’s okay (even if it’s hard some days). You did your best, and you can’t do better than that. Chances are high that your best will result in your kids being pretty good people.

You’re kinder to your body. Health is not a given anymore; you’ve lost friends to disease and accidents—friends your age, friends younger. You realize that if you don’t take care of yourself, things aren’t going to go that well. You start to understand why old people talk about their aches and pains all the time. Because they exist! You’ve come to value sleep more than ever.

Unknown-1You’re kinder about how you look. You’re not all that anymore, if you ever were. You’re a middle-aged woman now, and you’ll never pass for twenty-two again, and you say, “Thank God for that,” and you mean it. Now, when you manage to pull off looking good, you appreciate it more, because every year, there are more wrinkles, more gray hairs, more hairs in unexpected places, more products in your medicine cabinet. And when you don’t look good, you don’t care as much, because your looks don’t define you the way they once did.

 You learn not to rush so much. The thirties were a blur of work and car-pooling and doctor’s appointments, and you’ve learned that you’re not just having a busy week; you have a busy life. Now you can handle it better. This is just how life is, and you’re dealing with it. You know what being in the moment means, and you do it more often.

You’re braver now. You care less of what people think, you speak your mind, but you’ve learned to do it diplomatically. You’re more open to change, because if not now, then when? You start to understand what “seize the day” means. You have adventures.

Unknown-3You realize that love is not done with you. Even if you’ve been married for decades now, you find that your spouse can still surprise you with thoughtfulness, even though most of the time, you can pretty much read his mind. You still feel the sweet shock of mutual love. And if you’re not married, you find that there are people out there who are interested in you, not because you have the shiniest hair or the cutest ass, but because you’re a person of value and intelligence, humor and experience. And if they’re not interested you, you honestly don’t care the way you used to.

May we all live as long and be as fabulous as Betty White!

Here’s a question for you: have you learned anything from the decade you’re in?

I’m giving a book away to one commenter, reader’s choice! Winner will be posted on Sunday. Thanks, gang!

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

SomeOneToLove300A pleasure to have Kate Rothwell (aka Summer Devon) with us today! And she made us a little quiz, no less! 

I write romance and have for over a decade. As Kate Rothwell, I publish historical novels usually set in the 1880s. As Summer Devon, I write everything else, often male/male romance co-written with Bonnie Dee, and usually set in the 1880s.

 I’m also a romance reader. If someone were to force me to pick between those two worlds–reading and writing—it would be a tough choice. I read and love many genres. So hey, the below might seem a bit snarky but it’s fan snark. That makes all the difference in the world. 

Five ways you know you’re the heroine of a kooky contemporary:

  1. You own a dog or cat that was a bumptious stray and now has a pun for a name. It’s either far too large or too small to fit your life. Chances are your pooch misbehaves. At the very least it does embarrassing things when you’re about to host a huge party or when you’re near an attractive man.
  2. Your parents don’t understand your life goals. They show up at the wrong times and are embarrassingly and loudly ethnic/conservative/liberal/wacky-hippie.
  3. The heels of your shoes break—even your running shoes–when you’re near attractive men.
  4. Your underwear goes mortifyingly wrong when you’re near attractive men. Straps break, padding falls out.
  5. A. Your best friend is a woman who’s funnier than you, but perhaps not as pretty or nice.

B. Your best friend is a gay guy who is funnier than you and prettier than you, but perhaps not as nice. 

Five ways you know you’re the heroine of a Regency-set novel:

  1. Your wealthy employer or grandmother who has power over you has a dog that’s a spoiled pug. She feeds it too much cake and expects you to take care of it when the little yapper gets ill. Chances are it will bite you.
  2. No one understands that you actually have life goals beyond marriage and family. Your parents are probably dead. If they’re alive, your father has very little to do with your life and its concerns, and your mother tends to swoon.
  3. Your dancing shoes never fit your feet properly and you hobble through the ball and try to think of ways to escape the attention of attractive men.
  4. Your underwear doesn’t get mentioned–except your chemise because it’s lace and linen and rather pretty. All right, you might notice those stays are painful. Your bodice is unlaced at some point. Unlaced and not ripped.
  5. Your best friend is a woman who is not as funny as you. She is probably prettier and nicer than you. She also sews and dances better than you.

Five ways you know you’re the heroine of a paranormal romance:

  1. Your “dog” talks to you and has red glowing eyes.
  2. Your life goal is to stay alive, or some version of living…death. Whatever.
  3. Parents? Don’t make me laugh.
  1. You wear boots that will allow you to flee your enemies or chase down evil. They might have heels but those heels will never break and as a bonus, you might get to use them as weapons and drive a heel into an enemy’s chest.
  2. Your underwear is made of something that won’t burn. It is black. It is unbearably sexy but you are too busy to admire it and the matching set usually smells pretty bad because you haven’t had time for a shower for weeks. You are too busy fighting/staying alive and/or saving the world/universe.
  3. Your best friend changes shape like other people change their underwear—those lucky, ignorant, ordinary civilians who lead blissfully peaceful lives and can change underwear. If you’re good with a gun, she’s good with a sword. She might end up dead or working for your enemy, so don’t get too attached.

SomebodyWomderful300 You not only get snark from me today, you get a first reveal of my new covers done by the talented Angie Waters! These books were previously released by Kensington. The first one, Somebody Wonderful, was a Romantic Times BookClub Finalist for Best Historical (and features the world’s ugliest dog) is out today!

My historicals usually feature regular people. The hero of Somebody Wonderful is a New York City policeman. The heroine of Somebody to Love is a bi-racial chef.

I’d love to give away any historical title by either Kate or Summer, including the ones I wrote with Bonnie.

http://katerothwell.com

http://summerdevon.com 

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

DSCN7521Lately, I’ve been itching to move. I blame Paris, because when I visited there in November, a few things happened. One, my publisher rented a tiny apartment for me, rather than a hotel, so I got to pretend the place was mine. And two, the weather was phenomenal.

It’s nine degrees as I’m writing this post. We have a couple of inches of snow on the ground. The sky is gray. As all Yankees know, winter has only really just begun.

Sigh.

And so, I go to the Realtor.com and spend too much time looking at places I’d like to live. See, growing up in the same town (we moved six miles when I was five years old, then three more miles when I was seven), and then going to college and living in 100 miles of that hometown, and then to move back here…well, I see now that that may have been a mistake. Had I known that I’d end up back in my hometown, I would’ve lived in Scotland for a year, or gone to University of Hawaii. These days, I have the worst wanderlust known to mankind. I don’t just want to travel. I want to move. Often. I see myself as renting houses around the world (this is all just fantasy, so bear with me).

blog-3First priority (right now, have I mentinoed the temperature here?) is go somewhere warm. Charleston sounds nice. Rhett Butler was from Charleston. How about Savannah? I’ve heard nice things. I’d travel only by bike, and my bike would have a big straw basket on the handlebars. Then, once May or June hits and it starts to get sticky and mosquitoes are carrying off small children, I’d move again.

The Pacific Northwest. Seattle, probably, because the food there is so good. I’d learn to love salmon and walk the hills and visit Susan Andersen, who lives there.

DSCN7311Then, come October, I’d go to Lyon, because I fell in love with that city. I’d rent a little place with a secret courtyard and eat on Rue de Boeuf, because how can you not want to eat on Beef Street? Then I’d go to Italy in November, because I love rain. A little house in Tuscany, what do you think? High on a hill, a place with thick stone walls and a big fireplace. We’d eat cheese and really good bread. Bring a bottle of wine when you come to visit me.

A woman can dream. Or write, I suppose. : )

 

Say you could live anywhere for a few months, just you. Where would you go?

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

Please welcome my friend and fellow Nutmegger Susannah Hardy to the Jaunty Quills! 

Feta Attraction CoverThank you so much, brilliant and gorgeous authors, readers, and porcupines of the Jaunty Quills, for having me here today! It’s a pleasure and an honor—and you can’t say that about too many things. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $15.00 Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts gift card, winner’s choice.

My first book, Feta Attraction, released on January 6. It’s a cozy mystery, the first of a three-book series (and if sales are good, the series could be extended pretty much indefinitely. Fingers crossed). But Feta didn’t start out as a cozy, no indeedie. When the elements of this story began to coalesce in my mind, I envisioned a dark piece of literary fiction, with themes of betrayal, revenge, and murder. It was going to be a crime fiction masterpiece, like that scary Scandinavian stuff I was reading at the time. I had it all planned out. I could picture my mansion and the deed to my own private island in the South Pacific, bought with the proceeds. It was so real…

Ha!

When I started writing, my characters didn’t behave at all like the ones on the crime dramas I watched as, ahem, research. They did what they wanted, and despite there being a murder in the story, it wasn’t dark at all. For a while, I thought I had a romantic suspense. But by the time I typed The End, I knew what I’d produced, and it was a cozy mystery.

So what’s a cozy? Well, it has a lot in common with a small-town sweet romance. All the really juicy stuff happens off-stage. Think Agatha Christie or Murder, She Wrote. Somebody dies, but we only see the dead body, not the violence that, you know, produced the dead body. No heads exploding in showers of blood and bone, no gun battles. The heroine (and, again like a romance, the protagonist is almost always a single woman) must rely on her own wits and her knowledge of the community in which she lives to figure out whodunit and, just as important, whydunit. There’s often a craft element (cooking, knitting, running a cheese shop, etc.) and there’s often a romance, but it develops very, very slowly, over many books. And just like on television shows, and, now that I think about it, romance novels, once the heroine gets married that can mark the end of a series. Not always, but at that point a series is generally winding down.

Modern cozy mysteries have a few other characteristics: warm, inviting, complex cover art, and a title that is a pun. Readers can easily identify a cozy. My story is set in a Greek restaurant, hence Feta Attraction. And yes, not to brag or anything, but I’m really good at coming up with punny titles. A useful skill, now that I’m in the book business. Who knew?

Kourabiedes PicThanks for helping me celebrate my first book release, Jaunty People and Critters! Here is a recipe for Kourabiedes, delicious traditional Greek cookies usually served at Christmas, but you can make them any time of the year. They will keep for more than a week in a tin or other sealed container, and they are lovely with a cup of strong dark coffee or hot tea. Opa!

 

Kourabiedes (makes 4 dozen cookies)

  • 1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, divided
  • 1 pound chopped almonds (I bought whole almonds and whizzed them up in the food processor)
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 3 or 4 cups flour (see below)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter on low-medium speed for 15 minutes (obviously, this is much easier with a stand mixer, but it can be done with a hand-held mixer, in which case you can be daydreaming about Hugh Jackman or Chris Evans while you’re mixing). The butter should look almost like whipped cream. Slowly add the egg yolks, one at a time, then 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, then the almonds, extract, and 3 cups of flour. (Mix on slow speed so you don’t have a big powdery, flour-y mess). Pinch off a piece of dough and roll it into a ball. If it looks too shiny or feels too greasy, add some flour in small increments until you have a nice consistency. Roll cookies into balls larger than a walnut, but smaller than a golf ball, and roll each into a log. Curve each log into a crescent and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. If you don’t feel like playing too much with your dough, just form the balls and flatten the tops slightly. (These don’t spread much, so you can place them fairly close together) Bake about 15 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly, then remove to a rack.

When the cookies are cool, place the rack over the cookie sheet to make cleanup easier, and place remaining 2 cups confectioner’s sugar in a fine-mesh colander or old-fashioned sifter. Dust each cookie in sugar, then go over them again. You want a fairly heavy coating. Enjoy!

Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Feta-Attraction-Greek-Me-Mystery/dp/042527165X/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1419969013&sr=8-1

Website: www.susannahhardy.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004162515783

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusannahHardy1 @susannahhardy1

SusannahBio: Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenage son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.

 

 

 

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

Sue Stewart and Laurie G., congratulations! Contact Erika at erika@erikakellybooks.com. 

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