Something strange must happen to mothers of young children. I remember Kristan Higgins talking about how when her kids were young and how excited she was when a cute actor was on Sesame Street. She’d call her girlfriends to make sure they were watching.
At the time, my daughter was too young to watch Sesame Street, and I think I chalked it up to another one of those weird but funny things Kristan Higgins does.
After four years of watching children’s shows and movies almost exclusively, I think they have messed with my head. I’ve noticed I have crushes on fictional heroes—and not fictional heroes like Jamie from Outlander or Roarke from JD Robb’s In Death series. Heroes like Flynn Ryder from Tangled.
Here he is.
He’s funny! How could you not like that? And he’s a thief who ends up reforming. That’s the stuff romance novels are made of, right? Bad boy hero meets the heroine and changes to be a better man.
And then there’s Terence from Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure.
He’s a great friend to Tinker Bell. I could totally see a Young Adult novel where the best friend Terence ends up winning the fairy heroine.
And I can’t forget Nod from Epic. He’s cute and a warrior. How we do love our sexy warriors in romance novels.
Do you have any crushes on fictional guys—cartoon or otherwise? And if you, like me love Flynn, check out my All Flynn Pinterest board.
Congratulations to our own Kristan Higgins! THE BEST MAN is a New York Times, USA TODAY and Amazon bestseller!
Cheers and confetti all around!
We’re all readers here at the Jaunty Quills and I thought it might be fun to geek out today and chat about some books we’ve read recently. So answer the following questions and let’s chat. I’ll pick two commenters to win a copy of my novella, Her Gentleman Thief.
What’s the best book you’ve read recently? For me, it would have to be our own JQ, Kristan Higgins, Catch of the Day. It was just delightful with a heroine I could relate to (in so many ways) and a hero I wanted to spend a lot of alone time with….
What’s your favorite book series? Is it stupid for me to comment that this is a hard question? Don’t answer that. I can’t not mention Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, but I’m going to disqualify those and make myself pick a romance series, I’d have to say it’s a toss up between JD Robb’s In Death series and Suzanne Enoch’s Lessons in Love.
What does a book have to have to make it on your keeper shelf? I have to not only love the book and the story, but both characters. There have been plenty of books I’ve read where I’ve really loved either the hero or the heroine but not both, but to be a keeper, it’s got to be 100% love fest.
What’s the saddest book you’ve read? I don’t generally pick sad books because I don’t like to deal with much angst when it comes to my reading material, I remember I read a book (many years ago) called The Marriage Bed by Stephanie Mittman and I sobbed through the whole book.
Who is your go-to author when you need to fall into a book and you know they won’t fail to satisfy you with a great story? Suzanne Enoch or JD Robb
So how about you? Let’s talk books and you might win a free one for yourself!
As a special treat today, I asked some of the Quills about their most memorable Valentine’s Days. Here’s what they said:
Shana: When I was in high school, there was one Valentine’s Day that I didn’t have a boyfriend, and I felt so sorry for myself. I moped all day, didn’t get out of my pajamas, and didn’t put any make-up on or fix my hair. This was in the days of lots of make-up and big hair. My mom kept telling me to get dressed, but I was having a pity party. What I didn’t know was that a guy I’d dated a few times had called her and asked if it was okay if he stopped over and surprised me with flowers. He showed up, and I was so embarrassed. It was actually very sweet of him to bring me flowers but being all of sixteen I was too worried about how I looked to be as excited as I should have been.
Nancy: I don’t know that I can single out one most romantic Valentine’s Day in particular. That’s because The Chef is a master at making all Valentine’s Days special and romantic. He never forgets and always brings me a dozen red roses, champagne and the perfect card. Usually, he gives me chocolates, depending on how loudly I’ve proclaimed I’m on a diet. Still, calorie counting or not, there’s always a fabulous meal: lobster or filet with cognac peppercorn sauce. Or Lobster AND filet with cognac peppercorn sauce…. One of the best touches is that he also gives our daughter flowers-a bouquet of pink carnations. There’s something extra romantic in him not only being a great husband, but also being such a wonderful father.
Kristan: My first Valentine’s Day out of college, I was alone in a new city, worked for poverty wages and didn’t have too many friends. Boo hoo! Valentine’s Day with a guy? As probable as running into a Saudi prince at the pizza place on the corner. Imagine my surprise when a beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to work! “From your secret admirer,” the card said. I called my dad and thanked him. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, but I could tell he was smiling. He died that same year. I think of him every day, but I always smile on Valentine’s Day, remembering how dear old Dad made sure I got flowers from someone who loved me a whole heck of a lot.
Kathy: One of my favorite Valentine’s days was when my kids were about 8 and 13 and they got totally into the holiday picking out stuffed animals and chocolates for each other and my husband and I. They even made Valentine’s for us from our dog. It was such a fun time for us all.
Mia: This Valentine date was the first time I’d gone out with this red-headed guy I knew from church and it promised to be a lovely one. He took me to a dance at the Surf Ballroom, a place that epitomized romance in my little corner of the upper midwest. And I did enjoy the evening of dancing, but then he ran out of gas (Does anybody ever really do that?) on the way home (which was about 20 miles away). He had to hike back into town for a can of gas while I froze my tootsies in the cold car (February in Northern Iowa is no joke!) To make matters worse, we were cutting things close on my curfew. I’m a railroader’s daughter. At my house, not being on time was regarded as only slightly less heinous than becoming pregnant out of wedlock! I knew I was going to catch it when I got home.
However, my date was not in a hurry to let me out of the car once we got in my driveway. I managed to pull out of his grasp, but he tailed me to the pool of yellow light at my back door and forced a kiss on me. It was our first date and I really didn’t want to kiss him. I wanted to get inside so I could explain to my folks that it was not my fault I was seriously late. I finally told the guy I didn’t think things were going to work out between us and made a break for it. Then he stalked me for the next six months and made creepy phone calls. So the moral of the story is…beware of red headed men!
Cindy: Worst Valentine’s Day? Most memorable Valentine’s Day? I racked my brains but couldn’t come up with anything. My husband and I have been together since high school. We’re the kind of couple who goes out the weekend before the big day, so we don’t have to fight the crowds. We buy the boxes of heart-shaped Valentine’s Day candy after the big day (when it hits 75% off )because it’s a better deal. I’d call us practical. You might call us boring. But we’ve been together a
long time and hey, it works for us!
Robyn: Valentine’s Day is one of those I’ve had a love/hate relationship with. As a little girl, I loved it because my Daddy would give me sweet cards and my own (small) heart-shaped box of chocolates. I loved that. But with a series of disappointments through high school and college, I pretty much ignored the holiday for a few years. Then I met The Professor. Our first Valentine’s Day together was actually a month before we got married. I was trying to eat healthily so that I could fit into my wedding dress so he went to a gourmet chocolate shop here and bought me sugar-free candies. I thought that was so sweet and thoughtful. Every year he brings me a sweet card (that I know he spend so much time trying to find the perfect one) and roses. I know that might seem too traditional and not creative, but I love it!
Margo: The absolute best Valentine’s Day gift was from my mom. Our kids were about 2, 4 and 6, and Mom called and said she would take the kids overnight if we wanted to make reservations somewhere. Omg, it was hard to know what to do! Stay home and enjoy the peace and quiet? Go to a Red Wings hockey game, drink some beer and go home? (not) When it came down to it, we went to a play, had a late, romantic dinner, and then stayed the night at the Ritz Hotel. In those days when it was non-stop kid stuff, that night out was absolutely heaven!
Do you have a Valentine’s Day memory that stands out? Tell us, and we’ll pick three random participants who will each receive a copy of one of our books. Come on – what was your most memorable (good or bad) Valentine’s Day?
It’s the beginning of a new year and time for all those Best Of lists. My Jaunty Quills want to let you know some of their bests from 2012. These recommendations are not to be missed. Add pine nuts to each, and they’re even better!
Terri Brisbin has a suggestion for Best TV show of 2012—IMHO “Once Upon A Time” is the best TV show of 2012. It draws on familiar mythology and fairy tales, tweaks and twists them, makes characters come alive and shows the power of true love, too. How could a romance author not love a series that does all that?!
Robyn DeHart says, Okay I’m probably jumping on the proverbial bandwagon here, but the best new website of 2012 was Pinterest! I love being able to have a visual collection of recipes and ideas for my house and my biggest obsession, organization ideas! Long before this lovely website came along I used to cut things out of magazines and put them in photo albums, having a way to store ideas of cool things to do. This makes it so much easier and everything is in one tidy location and I can sort to my heart’s content.
Personally, I like to pin pictures of pine nuts.
For Best Book of 2012, Shana Galen recommends THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass–romance, mystery, intrigue, royalty…what more could you want?
Best chocolate of 2012. Okay, I say this as a professional chocolate taster (or as close as one can get to being a professional chocolate taster). I love Lindt, Ghiradelli, Godiva. I love me some of the Whitman’s Sampler, and I love Hershey. White chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, malted chocolate balls, chocolate Santas…I think I probably eat chocolate every day, and I have no intention of stopping. But the best chocolate I tasted this year was in Seattle at Fran’s Chocolates. A salted milk chocolate caramel that tasted like angel tears and unicorn kisses. Try them. I command you. And happy new year! –Kristan Higgins
In 2012 Cindy Kirk discovered J D Robb’s In Death series and was hooked! If you like a suspenseful tale mixed with a health dose of romance, Cindy recommends you check out this series.
Margo Maguire: My most amazing experience this year was surviving a nasty case of appendicitis, in spite of myself. On December 1st, I overcame my denial (yes, denial that I had a serious problem that wasn’t going to just go away) and went into the ER. Within a couple of hours, I’d had an appendectomy, managed to get past a crash in blood pressure, and a post-operative spike in temperature. I went home the following day and walked a quarter mile – and kept at it until I was up to my usual 2 miles a day. Thank heavens for modern medicine! And Hooray for the timing. I didn’t have to do any Christmas shopping this year!
Emily McKay has a recommendation for Best new recipe of 2012—
This is a great pot pie recipe if you:
a) love pot pies (and I do!)
b) are trying to eat more veggies (and I am!)
c) are trying to eat less meat (and, again, I am!)
d) just love ridiculously yummy food (duh, who doesn’t?)
I really can’t stress how yummy this was. The ingredients seem very humble, but somehow the result is amazing. You might be tempted not to make the crust yourself, but I urge you to try. I didn’t roll mine out, so mine looked nothing like hers. I just patted them into big fat circles and plopped them on top of the bowls. They weren’t pretty, but they weren’t around long enough for it to matter.
One question, Emily. No pine nuts?
Best 2012 Smartphone App: Christmas night, Nancy Robards Thompson and her family went to see the Les Miserables movie. While they were waiting in line to get into the theater, they struck up a conversation with the family in front of them. This is where they learned about a phone app called “Runpee.” It tells you the best times to run and er… do your business so you don’t miss anything important during the movie. Among other features, it even has a timer that makes your phone vibrate to give you the heads-up on when you can “go.” It’s available for all smartphones.
Readers, your turn. What’s on your best of list?