Today I’m in San Antonio for the RWA National Conference. I’m meeting up with writers I only see once a year, talking to readers at the Literacy Autographing and pretty much just relishing being surrounded by books and people who love books!
I’d like to know about your favorite books. Maybe the first one you read that got you hooked on reading (for me it was Johanna Lindsey’s Fires of Winter) or maybe the a recent title that you couldn’t put down (Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe). I’ll pick one commenter to win a copy of my latest release IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT.
Summer is a time of endless days, of chasing fireflies and toasting marshmallows over camp fires. I have so many fond memories from when my kids were small, but one summer memory stands out–the day our friends down the block got a slip-n-slide. We’d just gotten the girls dressed up for something–I forget what it was now–and had to leave in about ten minutes. But Daughter #2 wanted to go down the block to watch her friends with their new toy until we had to leave.
I gave her permission along with strict instruction not to get her clothes wet and she hurried off. I busied around getting ready to go to wherever it was we were supposed to be. When we were all set I called my friend to ask her to send Daughter #2 home.
“Um…she’s on her way,” my friend said.
“Well…you might want to get outside to meet her.”
“Why? Did she get her clothes wet?” I asked. It was the last thing I told her not to do.
“No, her clothes aren’t wet. She’s not wearing any.”
Sure enough, Daughter #2 was hightailing it home, bare as an egg, with her dry clothes held extended before her so as not to become damp should they chance to touch her thoroughly wet little body.
I couldn’t scold her. She had obeyed me to to the letter. We were however late to wherever it was we were supposed to be (which for a railroader’s daughter like me is always a trial but I really can’t remember where we were off to, so it can’t have been that important.) However, the sight of a naked little girl running home is etched indelibly into my brain.
What’s your favorite summer memory? Share it with us and you’ll be entered in the drawing to win an ARC of my upcoming Once Upon a Plaid.
Many would count Katherine Douglas fortunate indeed. Laird William Douglas is broad-shouldered, gentle-handed, everything a lass could dream.
But after four years of marriage, Katherine still knows little of what goes on in his heart. And she has yet to bear him an heir. The distance between them is too great—and so she flees over the snowy highlands to Glengarry Castle, home of her childhood, to set her husband free.
But William won’t let his wife slip away without a fight. Before long, he’s at her father’s threshold himself, witness to the rumbles of discontent in Glengarry, the bright joy of Yuletide at a family hearth, and the hidden needs of his own beloved…
…is LauraL! Congratulations, Laura! If you’ll email me privately at KOBrien@aol.com, I’ll get the Amazon gift certificate out to you asap! Maybe you can get your first little item for your Pink Poodle party!
A huge thanks to everyone who stopped by to share birthday anecdotes–and my apologies for not responding to each one of you sooner! I admit to partying too hard…a trip to Charleston, a soggy day at Universal seeing the new Harry Potter attractions, waaaay too much food… But your happy birthday wishes and your wild, wonderful stories added so much to my day!
Today is my wedding anniversary. Seven years ago I felt like I wouldn’t be able to continue writing romance when my first marriage came to an end. It shook me to my core because I have always really believed in things like forever and happily-ever-after and suddenly I had concrete proof that they didn’t exist. I hope that doesn’t sound too melodramatic but to me it was the end of a belief system that I had always held dear.
Enter my longtime friend Rob. We had always talked via email–this was the days before the massive social media we have now–and he gave me a nice safe place to talk about these fears and mainly what he did was just be my friend. Slowly our friendship turned into something more and we were married four years ago.
We’ve had a real adventure since then moving from Texas-to-California-to-the United Kingdom. And it has only strengthened our love for each other.
Every year we try to do something traditional for our anniversary and this year we went to Paris. It was the first trip there for both of us. Surrounded by one of the most romantic cities in the world with the man I love made me realize that my faith in happily-ever-after has been fully restore.
What about you? Have you ever had your faith shaken? Did you come out on the other side of it stronger?
I’m giving away an electronic copy of any of my titles to one lucky commenter today.
In 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.
When 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.
Hotel 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!