Nancy Robards Thompson

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Award winning author, Nancy Robards Thompson has reinvented herself numerous times. After earning a degree in journalism, she worked many jobs including newspaper reporter, television show stand-in, production and extras casting for movies, and several jobs in the fashion industry and public relations arena.

She started writing fiction seriously in 1997. Five years and four completed manuscripts later, she won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart award for unpublished writers in July 2002, and sold her first book the following February. Since then, Nancy has found Nirvana doing what she loves most – writing contemporary and historical women's fiction and romance full-time.

Nancy has fourteen published books (published as Nancy Robards Thompson and Elizabeth Robards), which critics have deemed "…funny, smart and observant." Her novels have been translated into Dutch, Italian, French, Polish and Korean, among other languages. In October, she contracted with Harlequin Books to write three more Harlequin Special Editions, which will be released in 2012. Most recently, she contracted with Harlequin Special Edition to contribute to their on-going "Fortunes of Texas" series. That book, tentatively titled "An Unexpected Fortune," will be released in May 2012.

For more information, please visit her website.

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I’m just back from the Romance Writers of America’s national conference in San Diego. The Norwegian went with me. After the conference was over, he and I headed north for a couple of days before heading home. Here are the top five highlights of the trip (with pictures!):

1. Image (6)RWA offers great workshops and opportunities to hear inspiring speakers (such as Robyn Carr’s Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech – check it out here). However, spending time with friends is by far my favorite part of the annual conference. I’ve met some of my best friends through RWA and these friendships are still going strong after decades. Many of us live in different cities and states. This is our chance to catch up.Image (5)

2. This year, I received a pin for writing my 25th Harlequin (I’ve written 34 books in all). I received it at Image (7)the Harlequin party (which is always a highlight of the conference in itself). My editor made the night extra special and took me to dinner before the party and then we indulged at the “VIP Suite,” a special experience for NYT best sellers, award nominees, and those who’ve reached special milestones. I remember attending my first conference. I was unpublished – actually, at that point, I hadn’t even completed a manuscript. I had a head full of ideas and a heart full of hope…little did I know. I am a walking testament that dreams do come true.

3. Our last night in San Diego, the Norwegian and I were able to have dinner at Juniper & Ivy, the Image (8)restaurant of Top Chef winner Richard Blas. It was such fun and incredibly delicious. We ate way too much because everything on the menu sounded delicious. One of the highlights was an appetizer – deviled eggs served on meringue. I found the recipe here, if you’d like to try them at home.

Image (9)4. We headed north and spent a night with my brother and his girlfriend in Half Moon Bay. We had more fabulous food, wine and company. Note: They happen to have the coolest chicken coop in the world. What a luxury to have fresh eggs every day.

5. Finally, we made our way to San Francisco. We only had a day there. So we made the most of our time. First, we drove Image (10)down Lombard Street. After we checked into the hotel, we headed to Fisherman’s Warf for Crab Louie salads. Next, we took a San Francisco Bay cruise. I love opportunities to learn about a city’s history and what makes it special. The cruise was narrated and took us from the Golden Gate Bridge, past Alcatraz and all the way down to the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. We learned about those landmarks and everything in between. After the cruise, we had Irish coffee at the famous Buena Vista (believe it or not, it was chilly. I had to keep reminding myself it was mid-July). In case you’d like to indulge, I found the recipe for that, too. We capped off the trip with a visit to Cafe Trieste. Back in the day, it was a haunt of the Beat poets and Francis Ford Coppola wrote a good portion of the screenplay for The Godfather here. City Lights Bookstore was right around the corner. We stopped in and soaked up the vibe.

 

I must confess, the Norwegian was the planner. He arranged most of the fun we had after the conference (Except for Juniper and Ivy. Top Chef fan that I am, I found that one!)  We packed a lot into the post-conference “vacation” time. I was exhausted, but looking back (and sharing it with you), I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

 

How do you like to spend your vacations? Do you like to have a plan and Go!Go!Go! Or do you like to relax and go with the flow?

 

I picked up some very cool note pads with vintage romance novel covers. I’ll give one each to four people who comment below.

 

 

Nancy Robards Thompson

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Award winning author, Nancy Robards Thompson has reinvented herself numerous times. After earning a degree in journalism, she worked many jobs including newspaper reporter, television show stand-in, production and extras casting for movies, and several jobs in the fashion industry and public relations arena.

She started writing fiction seriously in 1997. Five years and four completed manuscripts later, she won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart award for unpublished writers in July 2002, and sold her first book the following February. Since then, Nancy has found Nirvana doing what she loves most – writing contemporary and historical women's fiction and romance full-time.

Nancy has fourteen published books (published as Nancy Robards Thompson and Elizabeth Robards), which critics have deemed "…funny, smart and observant." Her novels have been translated into Dutch, Italian, French, Polish and Korean, among other languages. In October, she contracted with Harlequin Books to write three more Harlequin Special Editions, which will be released in 2012. Most recently, she contracted with Harlequin Special Edition to contribute to their on-going "Fortunes of Texas" series. That book, tentatively titled "An Unexpected Fortune," will be released in May 2012.

For more information, please visit her website.

Nancy's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

fireworks

I hope you all had a great Independence Day! I’ll admit it, this holiday brings out the kid in me.

When I was young, my brother and I used to spend summers at my grandmother’s house. We always had a good, old fashioned Fourth of July celebration. The family would gather – aunts and uncles and cousins. My uncle would make homemade vanilla ice cream. We’d grill burgers and dogs and we’d watch fireworks. They lived out in the country and there was plenty of room to run around and have fun just being a kid.

That was ages ago, but I was remembering those good times this weekend as we celebrated the nation’s birthday. Our festivities started on Sunday evening and lasted through Monday night. On Sunday, it was just The Norwegian and me. Our neighbors across the lake always go all out and put on a fireworks extravaganza. Someone in their family must be a pyrotechnics processional because it’s like watching Disney fireworks in my own backyard– without the hassle of fighting the crowds and traffic.  It’s that good! This year they floated a platform out onto the lake and proceeded to outdo themselves yet again. I sat on the back porch breathless, uttering, “Wow!” and “Did you see that? Can you believe it?” The show went on for about an hour. Even after the finale, the kid in me didn’t want it to end.

Monday, we joined friends for a cookout with their big, energetic, fabulous extended family (there were about twenty-six of us in all). I was so honored and happy to share the holiday with them. There’s so much love in that family.  It was profoundly touching to be with them. We enjoyed delicious burgers with all the fixings and sides. The adults talked about life and bemoaned the stifling humidity while the kids played ping pong and basketball and had fun the way cousins do when they get together.  As night fell around us, we settled into lawn chairs to watch more fireworks. For a few glorious moments, the sound of the laughter and the smell of the cookout mingling with the smoky sulfur of the fireworks transported me back to a time when things seemed so much simpler – to a time when my biggest worry was how much longer my uncle had to crank the turn on the ice cream maker before we could dive into the frosty goodness.

With all that’s been happening in the world lately, it was heaven to relax on the back porch and spend time with friends and enjoy good food and be grateful for life’s simple pleasures. How was your holiday?

Nancy Robards Thompson

default-logo-200

Award winning author, Nancy Robards Thompson has reinvented herself numerous times. After earning a degree in journalism, she worked many jobs including newspaper reporter, television show stand-in, production and extras casting for movies, and several jobs in the fashion industry and public relations arena.

She started writing fiction seriously in 1997. Five years and four completed manuscripts later, she won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart award for unpublished writers in July 2002, and sold her first book the following February. Since then, Nancy has found Nirvana doing what she loves most – writing contemporary and historical women's fiction and romance full-time.

Nancy has fourteen published books (published as Nancy Robards Thompson and Elizabeth Robards), which critics have deemed "…funny, smart and observant." Her novels have been translated into Dutch, Italian, French, Polish and Korean, among other languages. In October, she contracted with Harlequin Books to write three more Harlequin Special Editions, which will be released in 2012. Most recently, she contracted with Harlequin Special Edition to contribute to their on-going "Fortunes of Texas" series. That book, tentatively titled "An Unexpected Fortune," will be released in May 2012.

For more information, please visit her website.

Nancy's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

Congratulations, Trudy Miner! You’re the winner of the $5 Amazon gift card I gave away on June 7. Please email me at NRobardsThompson@yahoo.com. and give me an email address where I can send your prize.

Nancy Robards Thompson

default-logo-200

Award winning author, Nancy Robards Thompson has reinvented herself numerous times. After earning a degree in journalism, she worked many jobs including newspaper reporter, television show stand-in, production and extras casting for movies, and several jobs in the fashion industry and public relations arena.

She started writing fiction seriously in 1997. Five years and four completed manuscripts later, she won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart award for unpublished writers in July 2002, and sold her first book the following February. Since then, Nancy has found Nirvana doing what she loves most – writing contemporary and historical women's fiction and romance full-time.

Nancy has fourteen published books (published as Nancy Robards Thompson and Elizabeth Robards), which critics have deemed "…funny, smart and observant." Her novels have been translated into Dutch, Italian, French, Polish and Korean, among other languages. In October, she contracted with Harlequin Books to write three more Harlequin Special Editions, which will be released in 2012. Most recently, she contracted with Harlequin Special Edition to contribute to their on-going "Fortunes of Texas" series. That book, tentatively titled "An Unexpected Fortune," will be released in May 2012.

For more information, please visit her website.

Nancy's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

 

more love

I’ve started and stopped this blog post so many times I’ve lost count. I’ve had a hard time finding the right words. Yet, writing about something else didn’t feel like an option either.

I live in Orlando. Last week was a tough one. Three horrific tragedies happened one right after the other: first, the heartbreaking murder of a promising young pop star; the next night, the nightmare of the Pulse nightclub massacre unfolded. It’s the deadliest mass shooting in American history. That was followed by the devastating death of a toddler, who was snatched by an alligator from the shoreline of a Disney resort under the watchful eyes of his parents.

My heart goes out to the families of Christina Grimmie and little Lane Graves. Both were so young with so much life ahead of them. Not to diminish the magnitude of their deaths, because both are heartbreaking, but for me, the Pulse nightclub shooting hit a little closer to home.  Literally.

pulseIt happened in my old neighborhood, within walking distance of the house where my husband, daughter and I lived for fifteen years. It was the neighborhood where our daughter was born. The club is right down the street from the house where she learned to walk and talk and sleep peacefully through the night. It was the neighborhood where she went to elementary and middle school. There are parks where children run and play and laugh. It’s a place where people mow lawns and walk dogs and wave at each other. It’s neighborhood where I always felt safe.

It’s a tightly woven mixture of commercial convenience and established homes on brick streets lined with ancient live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. Even though we now live across town, it’s still my neighborhood. I still shop in that area. My friends live there. I left a piece of my heart there when we moved. So, it sort of feels like we didn’t move away.

I’ve never been inside Pulse, but our lives were all around it — our grocery store, our hardware store, our Target, Einstein Bagels and 7-11. The week before the shooting, my daughter and I stopped for iced coffee and tea at the Dunkin Donuts right next door to the nightclub. As we sipped our drinks, we had a fleeting conversation about how Pulse, which is located on the busier  thoroughfare that borders our old neighborhood, had always been a good neighbor. People seemed to have fun at the club, but patrons were never rude or rowdy or loud. People went to Pulse because they felt safe there. Owners Barbara Poma and Ron Legler opened the club back in 2004 to honor Barbara’s brother who died from complications from HIV. Pulse had always been a “safe place” (Barbara’s words) for people to mix and meet and be themselves.

maxres defaultIt was surreal to see a portion of the usually busy Orange Ave. blocked off and Anderson Cooper reporting live. I hope no one ever has to see the national news media broadcasting in front of the 7-11 where you bought your child cherry-Coke Slurpees on ordinary Friday afternoons to kick off carefree weekends in your safe neighborhood. Until a week ago, this was a place where no one imagined a monster would barge in and take innocent lives. It’s so senseless and heartbreaking. I still can’t wrap my mind around it.

I won’t get into the politics of gun control (though I do have strong views and I’m sure you do, too. Since this is a safe place, I’m asking you, please, out of respect for everyone, not to discuss politics here. Just please don’t. Not today. If you feel strongly, please write to your legislators and tell them how you feel. In fact, I hope you will write to your senators and representatives and make your voice heard.).

I’m not I’m not going to go on and on about how hard it is to feel safe now (though, that is a very real struggle for many). I’m going to close with the positives that I’ve seen happening in my community.

People lined up and waited for hours to give blood, which was initially in demand. However, the turnout was so strong that the blood banks were at capacity within 24 hours of the call for donations. They actually turned people away, asking them to make an appointment and return later in the week. Others donated food and water for law enforcement officials, grief counselors and friends and families of those touched by the tragedy. Churches opened their doors to people of all faiths and lifestyles. Groups have organized to protect and support the families of the victims so they can bury their loved ones with dignity. A cemetery has donated plots for each of the 49 victims and the city is helping with burial expenses. An art supply story has put out a call for artists to donate art work that memorializes the victims and encourages people to reflect on kindness, love and human decency. They’re giving artists the supplies they need to create the works, which will be organized into a traveling show.

Dr. PhillipsWhile sadness is palpable, and I suspect it will be for a long time, there is an air of kindness all around. I’ve seen the very best in people in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy. Orlando, the city beautiful, may be a little bent right now, but we are not broken. We will persevere, and most importantly, we will band together and prove that hate will not win. From the ashes of tragedy, we are rising above and proving that love always negates hate.

In honor of those who lost their lives, please hug someone you love and be kind to others. I’m sending love and hugs to each of you.

 

 

 

Nancy Robards Thompson

default-logo-200

Award winning author, Nancy Robards Thompson has reinvented herself numerous times. After earning a degree in journalism, she worked many jobs including newspaper reporter, television show stand-in, production and extras casting for movies, and several jobs in the fashion industry and public relations arena.

She started writing fiction seriously in 1997. Five years and four completed manuscripts later, she won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart award for unpublished writers in July 2002, and sold her first book the following February. Since then, Nancy has found Nirvana doing what she loves most – writing contemporary and historical women's fiction and romance full-time.

Nancy has fourteen published books (published as Nancy Robards Thompson and Elizabeth Robards), which critics have deemed "…funny, smart and observant." Her novels have been translated into Dutch, Italian, French, Polish and Korean, among other languages. In October, she contracted with Harlequin Books to write three more Harlequin Special Editions, which will be released in 2012. Most recently, she contracted with Harlequin Special Edition to contribute to their on-going "Fortunes of Texas" series. That book, tentatively titled "An Unexpected Fortune," will be released in May 2012.

For more information, please visit her website.

Nancy's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

IMG_6361

Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to meet up with some old friends I haven’t seen in ages. It started with a graduation party for a life-long friend of College Girl. The family is like family to us.  The girls’ kindergarten teacher was at the party.  It had been ages since we’d seen the family and the former teacher. It was heavenly to catch up!

Then a week or so later, I had lunch with one of my best high school buddies. We live in the same town, yet we only manage to see each other a couple of times a year, if we’re lucky. She owns a business and I’m on perpetual deadline. When we get together, we promise each ourselves we won’t let so much time pass before we get together again. But what I love about Robin is she understands quantity isn’t as important as quality.  I appreciate the way we don’t count the days between visits. Or maybe a better way to say it is we don’t let it take away from the time we do see each other.

A few days later, I had a good, long-over-due lunch with a friend I made when College Girl was in high school. We’ve made a concerted effort to keep in touch even though our kids have long since graduated from high school and moved into new chapters of their lives. Despite the fact that we’re empty nesters (or maybe because of it), we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. But we don’t give up on the friendship.

Are you seeing a theme here??

IMG_6365Yesterday, I got to see ANOTHER friend — my best friend from 4th grade. Trina and her family are in town for a Disney vacation.  The last time Trina and I saw each other we were in our early teens. We lost touch after we went to different high schools, but we reconnected a few years ago through the magic of social media. Now, she lives on the west coast and I’m in Florida. While FaceBook is a wonderful way to keep up with someone, it’s not the same as sitting down face-to-face with a glass of champagne (or in our case a couple of flights of sparkling wine and a cheese tray) and filling in the blanks of those lost decades.

It was fabulous! We caught up on what we’ve been doing and where we are now. We talked about our kids, our husbands and careers. We reminisced about the past – about our old school uniform and how the gold blazer, with its crested breast pocket, looked eerily similar to that of a certain national real estate group. We remembered playing in the lawn sprinkler on those hot Florida afternoons and how we both adored our 4th grade teacher. We talked about the good times and even recalled some of the times we got into trouble. I won’t tell on Trina, but I’ll fess up to the time when I was so excited that I knew the answer to the question our teacher asked and I raised my hand so fast that I lost my grip on my pencil. It flew across the room and hit the wall. I got a “hullabaloo” demerit for causing a ruckus. I was sooo demoralized.  (snort)

After we finished laughing about that, we burst into song (I’m not kidding) as we remembered the words to a ditty our teacher taught us to help us with a memorization assignment. We sang it together right there in that wine bar in the middle of the afternoon (and no, it wasn’t because we’d been day drinking – the entire flight only amounted to one healthy glass of bubbly). I can’t remember what I had for breakfast last Tuesday, but I remembered every single word to that song. In that instant, all the years melted away and we were in 4th grade again.  I remembered exactly why Trina had been my best friend.

As I drove home, the first bands of Tropical Storm Colin were blowing into town. The sky was gray, but my heart was warm as I thought about friendship and how good it is for the soul. I even thought about people who’ve walked into my life and exited just as fast, never to be seen again. I thought some of them might’ve become friends, but, for one reason or another, the acquaintance didn’t “take” the way it did with Trina and the other life-long buddies I mentioned above.  I realized that some people pass through our lives to teach us a lesson – maybe it’s to remind us to be kinder to others or to set our boundaries and not allow ourselves to be used or mistreated.  I suppose we need those “almost” friendships to help us appreciate the true friends who stay and touch our hearts in priceless ways — even after — no — especially after decades have passed and you sit down on a cloudy Monday, toast your friendship and pick up right where you left off.

Have you ever reconnected with anyone from your past? How did it go? Was it fun (I hope so!) or was it awkward? I have a $5 Amazon gift card for one person who comments below.

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