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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Naming characters is becoming harder and harder the longer I write. I’m working on my 18th manuscript these days, and man! It’s tough! I STILL don’t have the names of the two main characters down. Especially the heroine. My thought process goes like this. How about Violet? No, Rose. Whoops, used both of those. But Violet would be okay, right? That was many books ago. Nah, forget the flower names. Just did that. How about Kat? Nope, just used Kate. Amity! Amity’s a great name! Oh, crap, just used Ainsley. Too close? Yes. How about Anne? Nothing wrong with Anne. Except Annie. Someone would call her Annie, and then all those songs…the sun will come out…gah!

15-times-michael-scott-was-all-of-us-graduating-f-2-27639-1442861993-0_dblbigAnother toughie is giving an odd or mean character a name. First of all, I come from a huge family, so someone is going to be offended. Did you have to name the hateful mother Linda? Do you really want your aunt to see that? There’s a scene from IN YOUR DREAMS where Emmaline is on a terrible date with a guy who brings his oddball, weepy, overly affectionate sister named Susan. Coincidentally, my editor is also named Susan. I changed it. She thanked me. It was hardly awkward at all.

The hero’s name is always hard, too. It has to be a name I love. I’ll ask on Facebook, and inevitably, someone will suggest my son’s name, my nephews’ names, my father-in-law’s name. No, no, and no.

sfp-nameberry-former-top-10-girls-names-20150304When I was preggers with the Princess (though I didn’t know she was a princess or a prince), I knew what her name would be, if she was a girl. For McIrish’s sake, I pretended to be open to other options. I wasn’t. Sure enough, when the doctor asked what her name was, I just announced it. There was no question. Turned out it was McIrish’s favorite, too.

But when I was expecting Dearest Son (and again, we opted not to find out the gender beforehand), I had no idea whatsoever what the name would be if he were a she. None. The other options for Princess were no longer appealing. If he were a boy, I was going to name him Rory. Except I let McIrish pick, and we ended up with something else, something even more Irish, if you can believe it.

Back to my story. I have two female protagonists. They’re mid-thirties, besties since high school. One is a uptight but very sweet, a worrier. The other is more relaxed, but internalizes her problems and is a master of avoidance.

Got any suggestions? If I go with both your names, I’ll give you a shout-out in the acknowledgements, how’s that?

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

Congratulations, Anita H.! Contact jolysebarnett@gmail.com for your prize!

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

TextMeMaybe_500

I’ve been a romance reader fan of the Jaunty Quills since way back in 2011, so I’m doubly excited to be here as your guest author chatting about ultimate fan experiences and my new release, Text Me, Maybe. Remember to comment in response to the question at the end of my post, too. I’d love for you to have a chance to win my TMM-themed giveaway. I look forward to reading your ultimate fan experience ideas!

Ultimate Fan Experiences

Long before MTV began offering its Ultimate Fan Experiences for music artist lovers, tour operators in New York City capitalized on the cult-classic status of TV shows set there by offering hop-off/hop-on bus tours for Seinfeld and Sex and the City aficionados.

Sure, I liked Seinfeld, but I loved Sex and the City.

On S&TC’s new episode nights, my excitement would mount the closer the time came for my guilty pleasure. After the kitchen was clean, the kids tucked in bed, and lunches made for the following school-day, I’d breathe a sigh of relief, pour a glass of wine and grab the remote to bond with my girls Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte before my husband arrived home from work. When S&TC came to a close after six wonderful seasons, I remained a steadfast fan, attending midnight showings of its two big screen versions. I even read the Sex and the City Series Collector’s Edition cover-to-cover.

Since I also live within an hour of NYC, you can bet your sweet Magnolia Bakery cupcake I made it a priority to participate in a Sex and the City Tour, and that I enjoyed all three-and-a-half nostalgic hours. What fan girl of the show wouldn’t enjoy sipping cosmos, browsing designer shoe stores, and playing S&TC trivia games with a bus load of like-minded peeps?

You might say my S&TC obsession flowed into my decision to join three of my author friends in writing the Christmas in NY Series (CinNY)—a stand-alone yet interconnected set of four novella romances about girlfriends who each find love in New York over the holidays. I’d suspect, too, that both S&TC and CinNY influenced my desire to pen a set of NYC romances on my own after that. There’s no doubt both titles affected my selection of my new series’ name, Single in the City.

As I write this post, the first Single in the City book called Text Me, Maybe, is about to celebrate its entrance into the world. It’s my eighth completed romance in six years of serious writing, and my fourth published. I’ve dedicated just shy of two years of my life to the evolution of this particular story—from seed idea to this past week’s pre-release marketing efforts.

That said, please forgive me for the Jolyse Fantasy Realm dream I’m about to propose, but I’m hopeful you’ll play along for a few moments. That way, we can avoid getting bogged down by silly, practical issues… like supply-demand, time, and money.

Wouldn’t it be totally cool if there were a Text Me, Maybe NYC bus tour?

Highlights of a Text Me, Maybe NYC Bus Tour

  • A stroll along part of J&C’s annual 5K charity run route in Central Park. Readers will recall that Lexie’s motivation to get in shape is sparked by her interest in this event, and that her personal trainer at J&C turns out to be none other than Matthew, the man her Naughty Girl side compares to Mighty Thor with darker, shorter hair.
  • Appetizers and a cocktail or two (virgin or otherwise) at the lovely Bookmarks Lounge, the Library Hotel’s fourteenth-floor rooftop bar located at 299 Madison Avenue where Matthew and Lexie enjoyed each other’s company. Bookish sorts will especially appreciate the bar’s unique cocktail menu, with each drink’s name inspired by famous literary figures or classic titles. There also promises to be an opportunity to participate in a little karaoke competition for interested guests.
  • All-access pass to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, with an optional complimentary excursion focused on the masterpieces featured in Text Me, Maybe, including Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Monet’s Water Lilies murals, and of course, Matthew’s favorite exhibit at the MoMA.
  • Dinner at a five-star restaurant followed by a night out at Broadway’s mega-hit, Wicked. Readers will have fun answering TMM trivia questions following the performance.
  • An endless supply of coffee, Chinese take-out, and ice cream…because Lexie would approve.

Now it’s your turn. What fantasy ultimate fan tour would you wish to experience? The tour can be based on your favorite TV show, movie, book series, video game, sports team, hobby… Feel free to include any highlights you’d want included as part of the tour.

Giveaway: A signed paperback copy of Text Me, Maybe and related author swag, including my homemade lavender sugar scrub. (If winner resides outside the US, a digital copy of TMM will be substituted.) As usual, the winner’s name will be posted Sunday here on the blog, so be sure to check back then. Good luck! J

 

Excerpt: (Lexie’s Hot Yoga Lesson)

“Okay then, for the next exercise, we’ll start with legs waist-width apart.”

She widened her stance, hands on hips.

Matthew glanced at her and leaned close to nudge her right foot out a few inches. “Keep breathing.”

She tingled with awareness. “Hot.”

He slid his hands along the outside of her arms, and a jolt shot through her shoulders and landed in her belly. Whoa. She forced the air out then happily breathed him in. “Relax. Let your arms drop by your side.” He lifted his muscular arms above his head on an inhale and returned to his starting position on the exhale. “Now, do it with me.”

I’d love to. You look like lily pond royalty, but how do I know for sure?

“Bring your arms down to your sides. Nice, controlled movement. Excellent. Nine more times.” He backed up. “Keep going. Nice.” He perched on the edge of the bench, his gaze intent. After the tenth, temperature-raising rep, he grinned. “Very, very nice warm-up.”

“Okay. Didn’t strike me as anything spectacular, but thanks.” Lexie turned to grab her water bottle, stopping when she caught sight of herself in the mirror. She whipped around, towel clutched to her chest. “Why didn’t you say something? I look like a freaking wet T-shirt contest girl! You just let me keep going, watching the whole time, and couldn’t clue me in?”

“Sorry, didn’t notice.” He lifted his water bottle, his throat working as he took a long, deep drink.

“Like hell you are, and like hell you didn’t,” she retorted, struggling to hold on to her anger in the face of his steady, kind gaze. She tossed the towel onto the mat. “Don’t think I’m not into, I mean, onto you.”

Oh God, I could just die. Did I really just say that? It’s not a Freudian slip. It’s not. It can’t be.

“No worries. I won’t.”

The catch in his voice had her turning toward him, melting any lingering anger and frustration.

Why am I going all crazy-girl on him again? I knew I’d get sweaty. Hot yoga. Duh.

She moved toward him, heedless of the consequences, his eyes inviting her in.

Inches from the man she feared could hurt her a thousand times worse than any of the guys she’d ever liked before, a startling realization punched her square in the face. She’d been so wrong about a phrase she’d openly mocked in a lit class discussion about romantic prose.

Weak with desire really was a thing. Because if Matthew chose that moment to kiss her— Crap, if he wanted to roll her onto her back right there on the textured mat—she couldn’t guarantee she’d have an ounce of willpower to deny him.

Author Bio/Links:

A country girl at heart, contemporary romance author Jolyse Barnett is living her own happily-ever-after in Long Island suburbia. Connect with Jolyse and find all her book news at http://jolysebarnett.com.

Other places you’ll find her:

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1HPgEMb

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jolysebarnett/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jolysebarnett/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9788820.Jolyse_Barnett

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JolyseBarnett

 

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 seem to write a lot of books set in the summer. It’s my favorite season, probably because even though I work every day, I still have that feeling of summer vacation. The days are longer, the pace more relaxed. I wrote an ode to my porch on my own blog yesterday—you can read it at www.kristanhiggins.com/blog if you’re interested.

Here are five of my favorite things about the good old summertime.

  1. Riding in the car with the windows open. I love smelling freshly cut grass, hearing the birds, feeling the air rush between my fingers. I love singing along with the radio and having people smile at me when they hear me.
  2. The sharp smell of rain, the darkening sky, the deep rumble rolling across the sky, the flash of lightning reminding me that nature is a force to be reckoned with.
  3. Being barefoot.
  4. Cold drinks. I only like cold drinks in the summer. For the rest of the year, I drink room-temperature water or hot coffee, but in the summer, I probably use a dozen ice cubes a day. Mabe more.
  5. Watering the garden. There’s a Zen sense to this, standing there with the hose, smelling the change in the air as the water hits the leaves, the satisfying darkening of the soil. Plus, the plants look so happy an hour later, all perky and bright and standing up straight.

How about you? Name five things you like about summer, and one of you could win a $10 gift card to Dunkin Donuts so you can get an iced coffee and think of your pal Kristan, sitting on her porch, nursing her own.

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

Dawn A., you’re the winner! Contact PJ at pjsharon@gmail.com

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