When I first became a writer, I had no idea readers might be interested in my life. I figured if they read my books, they’d probably already know more about me than I might be comfortable with. (Not that my stories are in any way autobiographical, you understand. It’s just that authors can’t help living through every character that dances from their heads to their laptops!) But I was assured by my publishers that I needed to share with readers on social networks, through my own website and here at JQ.
As it turns out, it’s fun. I enjoy making friends online. Writing is pretty solitary, so I treasure my cyber-buds as much as my ones IRL. But I haven’t told all.
Today I thought I’d share 3 things you might not know about me. Here goes:
1. My body chemistry is a little weird. I can drain a watch battery in less than a month unless I put a moleskin patch between my skin and the metal. Like I said, weird.
2. I was a homeschooling mom for 6 years. We teamed up with other families for science and art classes. And since the DH was working for an airline at the time, when we took field trips, we took field trips! Our girls have seen aquariums in most major cities, visited art museums and the Smithsonian, and have had valid passports since they were six and eight years old.
3. I’ve often wondered if I didn’t have a smidge of clairvoyance. For example, when I was a kid, I used to draw a scruffy little black dog all over the margins of my paper. I’d never had a black dog. Didn’t know anyone who did, but this small creature attached itself to my psyche and my notebooks with a vengeance. Fast-forward to 1998. I went to the local pound to look for a dog for my parents who had recently lost theirs. An eight pound poodle mix had been languishing there for about a week, shivering and terrified. However, when it saw me, the dog came running, pawing the air as if it was my long lost friend. I recognized her too. She was my little black dog and we were inseparable for the next 12 years.
So now it’s your turn. Share 3 things about you to be entered in my drawing for 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…
Pop over to my website to read the first 3 Chapters!
And be sure to share your 3 things!
I know, I know. It’s not even Halloween yet. In fact, I’ve barely put away my summer flip-flops! But for some unknown publishing reason, Christmas books come out in early October.
I suppose I should be thankful that we have a holiday season to rush. After all, did you know that celebrating Christmas was once banned in Scotland altogether? It’s true! In 1640, the Scottish parliament passed the following law:
“The kirk within this kingdom is now purged of all superstitious observation of days… therefore the said estates have discharged and simply discharge the foresaid Yule vacation and all observation thereof in time coming, and rescind and annul all acts, statutes and warrants and ordinances whatsoever granted at any time heretofore for keeping of the said Yule vacation, with all custom of observation thereof, and find and declare the same to be extinct, void and of no force nor effect in time coming.“
Fortunately, the law was partly repealed in 1686 and the revelry could begin again. That’s one of the reasons I set my Once Upon a Plaid, so much earlier–in the 1500′s, in fact. That way there was no rumble in the background about what sort of celebration was legal or not.
So Glenngarry Castle in full-blown Christmas revelry is the canvas upon which I painted my story. You’ll be treated to the full 12 days, starting with Hanging of the Greens on Christmas Eve and crowning the Laird of Misrule through to Hogmany and Epiphany!
You won’t find a Christmas tree. That was a Victorian era import from Germany. But in Once Upon a Plaid, you will enjoy feasting and games and the resident fool’s version of “How the Robin got his Red Breast.”
And I hope you’ll also enjoy William and Katherine’s love story. It’s a little different than most romances. For one thing, they’ve already been married (to each other!) for four years. But Katherine is barren and if there’s one thing a laird needs, it’s a quiver full of strong sons. She’s determined to petition for an annulment so Will can marry again and sire an heir. William, however, has other plans.
He loves Kat too much to let her go and is determined to woo his wife back to his side and his bed! The book hits the store shelves tomorrow, but if you’d like a taste today, click here to read the first 3 chapters!
Some of the early reviews on Goodreads have declared William truly “drool-worthy.” I’d love to know if you agree after reading the first three chapters.
But for now, let’s get a conversation started. Every family has their own special traditions for holidays. What makes the holiday bright for you and yours? (This can be for any holiday, so even if you want to share how you celebrate National Pizza Day, please chime right in!)
Wonderful news! Kensington is running a limited time special on my Spirit of the Highland series! Right now, you can get my Scottish novella, Plaid to the Bone FREE!
Available at these fine etailers:
“Plaid to the Bone and the Spirit of the Highlands series by Mia Marlowe is the perfect read-a little humor, a little romance, a little sex and a little mystery all rolled into a tale of the Scottish Highlands.” ~ The Reading Cafe (October 2013)
And Plaid Tidings, the novel that was named a Rita Award finalist, is being offered at only $2.99–a whopping 63% off the print price.
Also available in the following formats:
“Marlowe has penned a wonderful tale, rich in romance and wit. Replete with memorable characters and a touch of Scottish legend, this well-written romance is both poignant and highly entertaining. Not to be missed by fans of Scottish Regency.”
~ Kathe Robin/RTBOOKReviews, 4 1/2 STARS! (October 2013)
I don’t know how long these offers will last, so please hurry! I’m so excited to bring these two stories to you at such a great value. If you like these books, you’ll love my upcoming Once upon a Plaid (October 2014). This Christmas story truly is the “book of my heart.” You can pre-order it now, or if you’d like to be notified when it’s available, please sign up for my newsletter!
Discussion question: What favorite author did you discover after you got to try a FREE read?
When I was a kid, Labor Day signaled more than the official end of summer. It meant my white shoes were headed back to the closet till next year. Some people take it even further and refuse to wear white ANYTHING once September rolls around.
Who makes up these rules? How did it get started in the first place?
Desert dwellers have known for millennia that light colored clothing was cooler. That sort of makes the white in summer rule make sense. But it gets hot in September here in southern Missouri. Why should an arbitrary date determine what goes on my body?
During the Regency Era, light colored clothing made a statement about a family’s wealth and standing. It meant they could afford the frequent laundrings needed to keep muslin bright and servants to do the dirty work that would keep the ladies’ dresses clean in the first place.
Then there’s the theory that geography is destiny. In the US, the Northeast, which does cool down nicely come fall, is the hub of fashion. Some experts theorize that if the fashion centers were located in say..Miami, then the no white after Labor Day rule wouldn’t have had a chance in h…a very hot place.
Of course, what do I know about fashion in the first place? Only this week, my DH had to point out to me that I was wearing my shirt wrong side out. Wearing white after Labor Day sort of pales after that, doesn’t it?
How about you? Do you have a fashion pet peeve? Do you follow the No White Rule? What’s the worst fashion faux pas you’ve committed?
Want to try Mia’s newest release? Check out an excerpt from The Warning Sign here! And no, it doesn’t look like either Sara or Ryan are wearing white at the moment, does it?
Garages sales are a time honored way of clearing out the attic while putting a little cash in your pocket. I served as my mom’s garage sale minion last weekend and thought I’d pass along the jewels of wisdom we acquired in the process.
- Pick the hottest weekend of the summer. Ok, maybe it’s not the best strategy, but I have to say the near 100 degree temps did not hurt our turn out one bit. Of course it did mean the buyers came out early to beat the heat. I arrived at my folk’s house at 6 in-the-mortal-AM and the first carload of bargain hunters was right behind me. Later in the day, if we’d been thinking, we’d have put a cooler of bottled waters at the end of the drive way and sold them at $2.00 a pop.
- Have your sale on a weekend near the first of the month. Well, we didn’t do that either. We scheduled our sale for the first weekend after we got all the stuff we intended to get rid of together and organized. But the principle is sound. People who are paid monthly have more disposable income right at the beginning of the month.
- Price your items ahead of time. We had colorful little stickers on almost everything, but every garage sale minion knows those numbers mean next to nothing. Expect to dicker. It’s part of the fun. We did really well with a rack of decorative items by simply announcing to buyers that everything on those particular shelves was only $1.00. After that, the bric-a-brac flew down the driveway. And the clothing table was a hit when we settled on the $1.00 an item sweet spot–especially when we told buyers that a two piece outfit counted as one item! Shoes sold well when we let people know the right one was free with purchase of the left one.
- Help your buyers find what they’re looking for. It’s like Amazon saying “If you like Author A, you should try Author B.” If a guy buys one brass spittoon, be sure he sees all the other brass spittoons you have to offer. My mom unloaded 7 spittoons that way. What she was doing with that many spittoons in the first place remains a mystery, but at least they’ve all found good homes now.
- Have fun! Be friendly and people will tell you the most amazing things while they pile up your unwanted junk in their longsuffering husbands’ arms. I got a fairly decent recipe for BBQ sauce and a detailed explanation of how to make a poultice for dry eyes just by being a good listener.
Several buyers said ours was the best sale they’d been to all summer. In two days, my parents cleaned out their odds and ends and put an astonishing $1300 in their pocket. I say astonishing because there were no big items. Nothing sold for over $30.
Which made me wonder why those buyers thought it was such a good sale. We didn’t have a lot of tools or furniture or fancy household gadgets. Mostly we had things my parents no longer needed or couldn’t use, but we offered them with a smile and an opportunity to sit in the shade in front of our oscillating fan and chat for a while. And that’s definitely good.
So how about you? Do you have any surefire garage sale advice to share? What’s the best buy you ever made at one?