Archive for the ‘Kristan Higgins’ Category
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?
It was a dark and stormy night. Well, okay, it was a dark night, as most nights are. I was oh, maybe eleven or twelve years old. All of a sudden, the door to my bedroom opened, and my mother was there. “Kristan? Kristan? It’s time we had the talk.”
“But I’m dreaming about unicorns,” I may have mumbled.
“Too bad.” And there, in the pitch dark, Mother perched at the edge of my bed and informed me in as fast and clinical a way as possible, where babies came from. In a previous blog, I may have mentioned that I was a late bloomer, only receiving my first kiss just two (fine! three!) short years after I got my license. But apparently, I’d made a comment to an aunt about God sending them another baby and how nice it was. I know I was happy—another cousin to play with and command! Good old God! And hey, who was really to blame with my blissfully naïve ignorance? Mom was the one who dragged us all to church every week. God did everything, right?
Well. Not everything, apparently. In one, long run-on sentence that seemed too horrific to be true, Mother Mine whipped out words that I’d previously only seen scrawled on the seats of the school bus. I listened in utter silence and shock until she ran out of breath. Then there was only the sound of the wind.
After a few minutes, I spoke. “That’s not funny.”
“I’m going to bed,” she said. “Good talk.” Then she left me to my doomed night.
Life thereafter was quite gross. First of all…my parents! Oh, the humanity! How could I ever look at them again? There were three of us, so three times, that utterly disgusting act had occurred! Boy, they really must have loved kids to go through such ickiness. Then the horror mushroomed. My grandparents had nine children. My youngest uncle was just about the same age as I was, so that meant…!!! And what about all those cousins of mine? Apparently they too had started out in such a terribly undignified fashion! Why hadn’t anyone ever adopted a baby in our family if this was what they had to go through to become parents?
It wasn’t until I starting reading romance novels that I realized there were reasons other than the biological imperative to, um…you know. Even so, it took me quite a while to be able to read one of those scenes without dying a little.
Years and years later, my own beloved Princess Daughter asked me to confirm a rumor told to her at school about where babies came from. I took pride in the fact that I could tell her with the lights on. Her reaction: “Mommy, no offense, but I don’t care how in love you are. That’s disgusting.” (She is still currently planning to adopt all her children.)
So where were you when you learned the facts of life? And if you’re a parent, how’d you do telling your own kids?
I saw this game on Facebook and thought it would be fun to play here since we love authors and books. The Rules: list fifteen authors (poets included) who’ve influenced you and made an impression. Don’t take too long to think about it. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.
Here’s my COOL FIFTEEN list:
VICTOR HUGO – For LES MISÉRABLES alone Hugo will always be on my best-loved list.
EMILE ZOLA – Nineteenth century France is one of my passions. So many things about that period speak to me – the Impressionist painters, post-Haussmann Paris, the literature… One of my favorite writers is Emile Zola. Like Hugo, Zola provides a vivid window into this world.
JANE AUSTEN – What’s not to love about the original romance writer and her body of work?
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD – Nick Carraway had me at chapter one. When I reached the end of GATSBY, I was hungry for more Fitzgerald.
ALICE HOFFMAN – She’s brilliant with magical realism.
SYLVIA PLATH – The way she weaves words and turns phrases brings me to my knees. In my book, she’s a literary goddess.
JK ROWLING – Harry, Ron and Hermione are like personal friends.
DOROTHEA BENTON FRANK – She speaks to the southern girl in me. I want to be her when I grow up.
TRACY CHEVALIER – The beauty of her smart books takes my breath away.
NORA ROBERTS – Nora is the one who made me want to write romance. Her well-crafted storied still sweep me away.
As an author, one of the perks of the job is meeting other writers and getting to know them beyond the pages of their books. It’s only natural that some of my favorite authors have become my friends. I dedicate this portion of “15 Cool Authors” to them:
KATHERINE GARBERA – Kathy was the very first published author I met…way back when. We became acquainted through our local RWA chapter. Since then, she’s became one of my very best friends. I’ll never forget the day I met Kathy. It was my first RWA chapter meeting. I was nervous and unsure of why I was even there. It just happened that on that same day, Kathy walked in with the cover of her very first book (THE BACHELOR NEXTDOOR wasn’t even out yet and she’d just received the cover flat). I was awe struck. Standing right in front of me was a living, breathing author, who was so talented, yet so personable and approachable. She made me feel as if I’d always been part of the chapter. Her smart, sassy prose hooked me from the get go and her sweet personality has made her friend for life.
CINDY KIRK – Cindy and I met at my first RWA conference. Synchronicity had a hand in our friendship when by chance we found ourselves at the same luncheon table two days in a row (amid 2,000 women and no assigned seats). We were both unpublished, but dogged determined to change that. We became fast friends and corresponded over the years – mind you, this was pre-email, back in the prehistoric days of the telephone and letter. Now, Cindy is not only a good friend, she’s my plotting and brainstorming partner. Her books are fun and heartfelt and I always look forward to reading her next release.
CATHERINE KEAN – Catherine writes rich, beautiful historical romances. I’ve always described Catherine’s books as “jewel boxes” full of exquisite treasures. Her beautiful touch has influenced my work, too, since she’s been my critique partner for fourteen years.
KATHLEEN O’BRIEN – Kathleen is the wise woman in my life. She has such a poetic soul that radiates from the pages of her books. She was an established author when I met her. Now, I am so very fortunate to call her a friend and brainstorming partner.
KRISTAN HIGGINS – Kristan is fabulously funny and talented, and she has one of the most generous spirits of any writer I’ve met. Her Rita-winning novel “Catch of the Day” was the one that hooked me. Now, I count the days until next Kristan Higgins release.
So, there you have it…my Cool 15. I’m dying to hear who’s on your list. Since I’m celebrating being part of a group of six more very cool authors who have each crafted books in the latest FORTUNES OF TEXAS series (I’m book five out of the six-book series – book one launched this month. My title FORTUNE’S UNEXPECTED GROOM will be released in May 2012), I will give away the first two titles in the FORTUNES OF TEXAS series: Karen Templeton’s FORTUNE’S CINDERELLA and Marie Ferrarella’s FORTUNE’S VALENTINE BRIDE to one lucky person who posts their own 15 Cool Authors list.
A few weeks ago, a blogger asked the Jaunty Quills to participate in an event where authors shared a favorite book they were reading. I wanted to participate in the worst way, but I’d just finished a deadline for a Special Edition continuity, which went quickly into edits and by the time I contacted the blogger, the calendar for that event was full. I was so disappointed because I happened to be reading UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, by our very own Kristan Higgins, and I was looking forward to dishing about this book because it’s so darn wonderful!
Kristan first hooked me with her Rita winner CATCH OF THE DAY. That was shortly before we became Jaunty Quill sisters. Since then, I’ve devoured every single one of her books. Needless to say, I was counting the days until I could get my hands on UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.
What a treat! In vintage Kristan style, she had me laughing out loud, rooting for quirky, loveable Cordelia “Posey” Osterhagen and drooling over misunderstood bad boy Liam Murphy. I’m a sucker for a reunion story – especially when it goes to the tune of girl falls for boy, boy barely realizes girl exists; boy and girl grow into man and woman and finally get it right. However, even after widowed father Liam brings his teenage daughter home to the town where he grew up, he and Posey still have a lot of baggage to unload and roadblocks to break through…baggage in the form of a terrible misunderstanding at the prom that left Posey brokenhearted and roadblocks in the form of Posey’s buxom, quasi-celebrity cousin who always seems to be in the way.
It makes me smile even thinking about the book. It also has me thinking… We all have at least one “Liam” lurking in our past (even if it didn’t lead to a happily ever after). Tell me about your “Liam.” Did you ever see him again? Did it end up working out or did it remain a case of unrequited love/lust? I will choose one lucky winner from those who post to receive a copy of Kristan’s UNTIL THERE WAS YOU so you, too, can get lost in this fabulous book.
In the romance novels of my formative years, all the heroes had coal-black eyes (impossible, of course…dark, dark brown, sure. Black…no.). Heroines, on the other hand, had only jewel-tones: sapphire, emerald, topaz, the occasional turquoise. This matched their ruby lips quite nicely, as well as their pearl-like teeth.
When I was a youth, I dated a guy who had really pretty eyes…blue. Or green. Or bluish-green? Anyway, what I remember more than his actual eye color was the number of times women exclaimed, “Oh, my gosh, you have the most amazing eyes!” I found this quite irritating. My own eyes are brown. I consider them to be my best feature. I have pretty good lashes (thanks, Dad!). My family is Hungarian—to me, a quintessential Hungarian feature is big, expressive eyes. When I’m sad, as I was recently due to the death of my beloved dog, I can’t stand to look in the mirror, because I look so dang tragic. My son and one of my nieces, on the other hand, have what I call “smiley eyes.” They always look mischievous, these kids. If they’re up to something, we can always tell. Heath Ledger had smiley eyes. Usher does, too. So does my own sainted husband.
When I think back on my hero and heroine’s eye color, I come up with this: Sam & Millie: hazel/brown. Malone & Maggie: blue/gray. Trevor & Chastity: brown/blue. Callahan & Grace: blue/I forget. Ethan and Lucy: brown/brown. Ian & Callie: blue/brown. Nick & Harper: brown/green. Malone and Ian both had very pretty blue eyes, and their womenfolk fixated on the color appropriately.
More important to me, though, is the mood of the eyes—I’m doing line edits for My One & Only, and I keep coming across the phrase “gypsy eyes” for Nick. That’s because when I was first writing this book, I dreamed about the characters, and Nick looked an awful lot like Robert Downey Jr. (sigh!). And come one…RDJ has beautiful gypsy eyes, don’t you think?
Sad eyes get to me, too…Callahan and Sam both had those downturning, lovely eyes. I’m a sucker for this type. Russell Crowe, Kyle Chandler…purr! I find myself stifling urges to make them smile, because the transformation is so deeply satisfying. (Does anyone have their phone numbers, by the way?)
Contrary to many romance novels, eyes can’t change color. No one’s turquoise eyes, for example, can actually darken to sapphire. But irises do expand with attraction, so it might look that way. And it’s amazing, I think, how much emotion can be conveyed in a gaze—I mean, can’t we all tell when our significant others are bored or amorous or stifling laughter, even when their poker faces are on?
Do you have a preference for eye color or shape? Are eyes the first thing you notice? Post a comment, and I’ll give away a copy of Just One of the Guys, which I hear is in short supply (but which Harlequin is kindly reprinting at this very moment!). Trevor had hot fudge eyes in that one…perfect for Chastity, who loves dessert.
Those last fifteen minutes must’ve been the longest. Compressed in a chute, you are leaving the place that had been your refuge but was almost your grave. For the first time in more than two months, you are completely alone, away from the men who possibly saved your life, who kept you going, the only people on earth who can understand what you’ve endured. For sixty-nine days, you’ve been in an uncertain stand-off with death, and now…now, you only have fifteen minutes to go. Fifteen minutes until the rest of your life.
From the second the disaster occurred and for sixteen days thereafter, the families of the Chilean miners had nothing but hope. That’s a long time. Imagine the prayers, the bargaining, the rationalizations of just how it really was possible that your husband, your father, your brother, your son had survived. It could happen, sure. But the hours passed. The days crept by. The third day…the fifth…the tenth…the fifteenth…the sixteenth. The families must have been told to prepare for the worst. Imagine picturing your husband, your son, dead and alone, a half mile beneath your feet.
And then, on the seventeenth day, the miracle. The note said, “We are well and in the shelter…The 33.” Chile—heck, the entire world—was joyfully stunned. A mountain fell on those miners, they were trapped a half mile underground, and they were still alive. All of them.
The immediate question was how to get them out? Even one rescue would be miraculous…but thirty-three? The messages from the miners were heart-wrenching: “We ask that you rescue us as quickly as possible, and that you don’t abandon us,” the shift foreman said. “Don’t leave us alone.” The answer from Chile’s President Pinera: “You will not be left alone. You have not been alone. The entire country is with you all.”
Indeed, the entire world was with them. And in this day of war and suspicion, of bickering political parties and Internet bullying, how often does the world come together? Chilean flags were flown around the world, candles were put in windows, prayer vigils were held. The families of the miners moved to the work site, Camp Esperanza—Hope—to wait together. The oldest miner, married for 30 years, learned that his wife was camping half a mile above him. Concerned, he urged her to go home. Her response: “I’ll leave here when you do.”
For weeks and then months, the world waited. A tiny tunnel was drilled, supplies were lowered…food, water, air. A camera allowed us to see those ghostly images of the unexpectedly cheerful miners, singing Elvis Presley songs, asking the score on soccer matches, sending messages to their families. One watched, via fiberoptic cable, his wife giving birth to their daughter.
But how would they get out? The initial estimates for their rescue was Christmas Eve, but thanks to a Pennsylvania-based company, the drilling went better than expected. Still agonizingly slow, still difficult, drilling through virgin rock. Would the tunnel hold? What if the capsule twisted while en route? Would the winch operate, would the cables snap? It would be the deepest rescue ever attempted…and it would be attempted thirty-three times.
On October 13th, the world held its breath. And then, one by one, they were strapped into the capsule called Phoenix—the bird that rises from the ashes. The President of Chile was there, the First Lady, the rescue workers, doctors, EMTs, and of course, the families—wives, parents, children, grandchildren. As the first miner came into the sunlight, church bells rang throughout Chile. Children were sent home from school. The world wept with unadulterated joy. Each man was given a Chilean flag inscribed with their names, and they wore shirts that on the front said, “Thank you, God” and underneath, “Because nothing is impossible with God.” On the back, the shirts read “In whose hands are the depths of earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also.”
Over and over, the capsule descended into darkness and rose into light. “Welcome back to life,” was the greeting they received. One miner hugged his wife, then fell to his knees to offer thanks. Another kissed his wife and asked, “How’s the dog?” Some ran to the rescue workers and greeted them in elation; others held their children and cried. All were greeted by the President. All were taken to the hospital, where they watched and cheered as their fellow survivors ascended.
Every one of them was rescued flawlessly. Everyone was healthy. Every single one.
Before Oprah and Larry King, before the book deals and movie rights, before October 13th becomes a Chilean national holiday, those miners were alone in the dark. The families were told that this would likely be a recovery mission, not a rescue. After all, even if the miners had reached the shelter, there was only enough food for two days. And half a mile beneath the surface of the earth, the miners had to at least consider the thought that the world up there figured them for a lost cause. One day after the disaster without a sign from above. Three days. Seven. Ten. Fifteen.
But somehow, instead of despair, those above and those below chose hope, and theirs is a lesson in unity, in perseverance, in courage and faith. But it’s also a lesson in love.
There was a second note found on that seventeenth day, something more personal. It was from the oldest member of the group, the one whose wife waited with such steadfast and unswerving hope. This note said: “I haven’t stopped thinking about all of you for a single moment. I love you, and I will see you soon, and we will be happy ever after.”
Dios los bendiga a todos, Los 33! Viva Chile!
As I have freely admitted on this blog before…okay, just those words alone have my sister Quills wincing. Last time I made an honest confession, one of them politely suggested that our readers don’t need to know everything about my process. I believe this was in reference to the blog in which I admitted to making out with my hand in order to get the first kiss scene just right. Well, too bad, girls! Here we go again!
I recently moved my office. Up until a few weeks ago, my office was a ten-foot square room in our basement…no heat, no windows, more than its fair share of mold, despite my best efforts. I had a space heater, a bookcase and a bowl of Hershey Nuggets with almonds. But no more! I said a fond(ish) farewell to the Pit of Despair, as I called it, and moved above ground.
Now I get to work in daylight, gang! I have windows—plural! And not just that…it’s an entire, if very tiny, apartment. Little bitty kitchen, bathroom, and a nice sunny room with two skylights. Right now, it’s furnished with a chair, a table and a lamp…oh, and yes, a bowl of Hershey Nuggets with almonds. I have no phone and no wifi, which cuts down on the distractibility factor, not to mention no laundry beckoning, no weeds taunting me. And it’s just down the street a little bit, so the commute is on a woodsy path through the lovely back yard of my neighbor’s house.
But the best feature is the absolute privacy. Previously, if I was (just for an example) making out with my hand, I had to worry that McIrish might wander in and give that puzzled, disappointed stare he’s mastered over the years. Now, though, I have a whole apartment in which to walk, talk, laugh, cry, etc. I can stand in a doorway. Sit on a counter. Roll on the carpet if I want to.
This makes it much easier to get into the spirit of my latest book. In fact, I sort of feel like I’m single again. And not just single…sort of like I’m dating someone who very much resembles this guy. Froooww! My character’s name is Liam. I know! Do you love it? The first thing I do when arriving at the apartment is gaze upon a few photos of Mr. Hottie here. Okay, okay. More than a few. More like…fourteen. At any rate, Liam and I talk, bicker, exchange insults. We may even kiss pretty soon (well…you know what I mean). Am I forty-five years old, married for nearly 20 years? Yep. So?
Recently, McIrish came over to check in. He heard voices (well, a voice, anyway). “Hey, hon,” he said. “How’s it going?”
“I’m terribly busy and very important,” I answered.
“Who are you talking to?” he asked.
“My boyfriend,” I replied. “Leave us. We’re in love.”
“Do you want lunch?” my sainted husband asked, clearly unfazed.
“Okay,” I said. Because, as wonderful as Liam may be, he has yet to make me a sandwich.
Too Good To Be True, my fourth novel and winner of the 2010 Romance Writers of America RITA Award, is about a woman who pretends to be in a relationship. I can totally see where she gets it.
Have you ever made up a boyfriend? Imagined yourself in a scene from a book? Come on…be honest. Haven’t we all been Scarlett on the road to Tara, listening to Rhett ask for a kiss? Which scene in a book or movie really made you want to be that woman in that particular moment? Do tell!