Happy November, everyone! Even though someone forgot to tell Mother Nature to switch off summer and turn on fall – it’s still muggy and the mercury is hanging in the high eighties here in Florida – my heart is giving thanks for this most wonderful time of the year.
I love fall and particularly November. It’s a festive time at Chez Thompson. We celebrate a couple of family birthdays this month; it seems like College Girl can find a few extra days to come home; and, of course, we close out the month with Thanksgiving. I always find myself counting my blessings even more than usual because in November, more than ever, I’m reminded of what’s most important.
To make things even better, I have a release out this month – HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE. It’s the 9th book in my Celebrations, Inc. series. RT Book Reviews gave it 4 1/2 stars and said, ”…Love conquers all in this fantastic, emotional Christmas story. Thompson’s poignant page-turning dialogue is intimate and informative. Her spectacular, stupefied prospective parents who find love in spite of both their dysfunctional family issues are marvelous.”
The story spans Thanksgiving through Christmas. So, if you need a little help easing your way into the holiday spirit, this story might help.
Here’s a little taste of the Thanksgiving scene. The hero, Dr. Nick Ciotti, has arrived at the heroine’s parents’ home after working Thanksgiving Day.
On the porch, Nick could see through the illuminated windows into the dining room where a crowd was gathered around the table enjoying dessert.
Maybe he should’ve texted Becca before he came, but he was already so late that he’d been in a hurry to get there. Now, it seemed pointless to text from the front porch.
He rang the doorbell and heard the sound of running feet and a couple I’ll get its—a herd of children, no doubt—racing to answer the door.
He was right. When the door opened, a small crowd of kids clustered around the threshold.
“Who are you?” asked a boy who may have been six or seven years old. His nose was covered with freckles, and he was missing his two front teeth.
Nick shifted his weight from one foot to another. “I’m Nick. Who are you?”
“My mom says I can’t talk to strangers,” said the boy, who was obviously the spokesperson for the munchkins.
“Probably a good idea,” Nick said. “Would you please go get Becca so I can talk to her?”
“He’s here to see Becca?” a little blonde girl asked. “How come he’s not at his house having Thanksgiving?”
“Because he’s here to see Becca,” the freckle-faced boy said, in that way older and usually self-designated wiser kids talked down to younger kids.
“He’s right,” Nick said. “I’m supposed to come over and have Thanksgiving with Becca. Right here in this house with you.”
The little girl ducked back behind the door.
The freckled kid assessed him for a moment before bellowing, “Beccaaaaa!”
He drew out the aaaa until a startled-looking Becca came to the door.
“Oh! Nick. It’s you.” Her face brightened. “You’re here. How long have you been standing there?”
“Not long. They were just telling me that they’re not allowed to talk to strangers.”
Becca laughed. “Right. Well, uh, thanks, Jesse. This is Nick. He’s my friend. It’s okay to invite him in.”
Becca ruffled the kid’s sandy brown hair.
“You can come in,” Jesse said, stepping back. “But I don’t think we have any turkey left. We have Brussels sprouts, though.”
“What are you talking about, Jesse? We still have some turkey.”
As Nick stepped into the foyer, the kid frowned at Becca and then put his finger to his lips and made a shhhhshing noise. “I’m taking that home. Auntie Bel said I could take it home. He can have the Brussels sprouts.”
“Jesse, you need to share. Nick just got off work, and I’m sure he’s hungry. Believe me, there will be plenty of turkey for you and everyone else to take home if Nick has some. It’s cold outside. Please, move out of the way so he can come in.”
Jesse was either easily convinced or he lost interest, because the next thing Nick knew the boy and his wolf pack had run off, leaving him gloriously alone in the foyer with Becca.
“Hi,” he said, leaning in a little bit.
“Hi,” she repeated, meeting him halfway. “I’m glad to see you.”
He kissed her, and suddenly her lips were the only thing in the world he craved. He was lost in the taste of her cranberry and spice lips until he heard giggles coming from around the corner.
“See!” Jesse said, victoriously. “I told you if we left they’d kiss.” This was uproariously funny to the brood, who were holding their stomachs and throwing back their small heads in laughter. Then, when Jesse started chanting, Kissing! Kissing! his band of mini-minions began following him around the house reciting in unison.
“That’s embarrassing. Sorry. Welcome to Thanksgiving with the Flannigans. You can run now and save yourself.”
I’d love to give away a couple of copies of HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE. In the comments below, tell me something for which you’re grateful and I’ll choose a winner from those who post. Also, I haven’t yet posted the winner to my October 20 blog. I’ll post both winners on Sunday.
Woo-hoo! Today is paperback release day for HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE (the e-book will be available November 1)! Book birthdays never get old for me. However, usually by the time release day rolls around, I’m hard at work on another book. Or in this case, I’m just finishing one. Typed THE END yesterday, I’m reading it over today, and I’ll send it to my editor tomorrow.
Since I’ve been so immersed in my current work-in-progress, I’m almost ashamed to admit that I had to go back and get reacquainted with the hero and heroine of HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE. It was fun and it made me remember why I fell in love with Nick and Becca in the first place.
In that spirit, I thought I’d share eight fun facts about HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE to help you get acquainted with the story.
1. It’s book nine in my Celebrations, Inc. series. Each book stands alone. You can read them in any order.
2. I modeled the hero, Dr. Nick Ciotti, after Adam Levine.
3. I modeled the heroine, Becca Flannigan, after Lily Collins.
4. If you’ve read my other Celebrations books, you might remember Becca from the book A Celebration Christmas.
5. There’s a corgi in the book named Priscilla. She’s modeled after my own corgi, Samantha.
6. I’ve modeled downtown Celebration, Texas after the downtown area in my home town Winter Park Florida. “What?” you ask. “Aren’t Florida and Texas two completely different animals? They might be, but they both share that close-knit, small town feel.
7. Nick is the new doctor in town. So, he asks Becca to show him something that is most typical of Celebration. Becca takes him to the Friday night high school football game because the entire town always turns out to cheer for the team.
8. RT Book Reviews gave HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE 4 1/2 stars and said, ”…Love conquers all in this fantastic, emotional Christmas story. Thompson’s poignant page-turning dialogue is intimate and informative. Her spectacular, stupefied prospective parents who find love in spite of both their dysfunctional family issues are marvelous.”
I know it’s early to talk about the holidays, but since this is a Christmas themed book, tell me your favorite holiday tradition. Or, if it’s just too early to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas, tell me your favorite thing about your community. I’ll give a copy of HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE to one person who posts.
I’m on deadline right now finishing up a Fortunes of Texas book for Harlequin’s Special Edition series. I thought it might be fun to play a round of “Crazy Eights” – that is, I’ll tell you eight things about me, and I hope you’ll tell me eight things about you.
Here are mine:
1. I know every word to every song from Les Miserables, which essentially means I know the entire stage production by heart. I’ve seen the play so many times I’ve lost count (and hope to see it many more). It’s all I can do not to sing along when I’m in the audience. I don’t because I have a very bad singing voice.
2. I am dyslexic and decided to write a novel to prove to myself I could overcome my disability.
3. I have a collection of tea cups and if I had more room, I’d collect tea pots, too. However, the Norwegian and I are phasing into downsizing mode. So, I’ll stick to cups.
4. It took me three years to finish my first manuscript; one year to finish my second; six months to finish my third (My third manuscript won RWA’s Golden Heart under the title of The First Kiss and it was published by Harlequin Next as SISTERS in June 2006). Now I work at a clip of about a thousand words every day and write about three or four books a year.
5. I can’t write to music with words. It has to be instrumental. I listen to the same CD every time I write. It doesn’t get boring. In fact, it’s a “call to order,” telling me it’s time to get to work. My favorite classical piece is Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, 2nd movement, Allegretto. I wish I could write like that piece sounds.
6. I love college football. My favorite team is the University of Florida Gators. Go, Gators!
7. I always wanted to go to college at the University of Florida, but didn’t because my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer as I was making my college decision. Because of that, I opted to go to school closer to home. After a valiant fight, she passed away. I’ve never regretted my choice to stay home for my mom’s final days.
8. I have a new book, HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE, coming out on October 20 (the e-book will be released on November 1). It’s book nine in my Celebrations, Inc. series published by Harlequin Special Edition. RT Book Reviews gives HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE 4 1/2 stars! ”…Love conquers all in this fantastic, emotional Christmas story. Thompson’s poignant page-turning dialogue is intimate and informative. Her spectacular, stupefied prospective parents who find love in spite of both their dysfunctional family issues are marvelous.”
I still have an advance author copy that I’d love to give away. I’ll choose one person who comments below and tells me eight things – or if that’s too many, tell me at least one little known thing about you.
Calling all wine lovers!
Yesterday, Harlequin launched a new line of wines. Yes, you read that right; wine from a publishing house. Actually, it’s quite a clever idea. Who doesn’t love to curl up with a glass of vino and a good romance?
To produce the wines, Harlequin collaborated with Vintage Wine Estates, a small group of vintner families who share a love of wines from the North Coast of California. In the near future, Harlequin hopes to offer food pairing suggestions and recipes to help you celebrate the holidays and time with your friends and family.
When I heard about this new endeavor, I couldn’t help but think about a scene in my November Special Edition, HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE, which will be available in paperback on October 20. A group of girlfriends is drinking red wine while making wedding favors for a friend’s pending nuptials. Now, I’m thinking they might’ve gotten a kick out of Vintages “Wild at Heart” red wine blend.
Are you a wine drinker? If so do you prefer red or white? Bold or mellow? Sweet or dry? If you don’t imbibe, what’s your drink of choice? I’ll pick one person who posts to win an advance reading copy of HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE.
HIS TEXAS CHRISTMAS BRIDE by Nancy Robards Thompson is available in mass market paperback on October 20 and in e-book format on November 1. RT Book Club Magazine gave it 4 1/2 stars and said, “Love conquers all in this fantastic, emotional Christmas story. Thompson’s poignant page-turning dialogue is intimate and informative.”
Earlier this year, my husband daughter and I spent three weeks in Italy. It was a fabulous trip – part research trip for my book The Billionaire’s Betrayal and mostly family vacation and definitely the fulfillment of a dream. I took 6,000 pictures. I’m not kidding – 6,000. I was looking through them the other day, reminiscing about our trip. I’ll spare you 5,994 of my most beloved moments and share with you the Top Six Things I Loved About Italy:
1. Venice – I think it’s the most romantic place in the world. I left a little piece of my heart there. Sister JQs Kathleen O’Brien, Kathy Garbera and I are part of a five-book series called Amalfi Night Billionaires. I set a good portion of my book, The Billionaire’s Betrayal, which is available August 31, in Venice. It was such fun revisiting the places I fell in love with. Kathy’s book, The Billionaire’s Temptation, launches the series on August 17. Mimi Wells’ The Billionaire’s Deception, will be available on August 24. Kathleen’s The Billionaire’s Secret releases on September 14, and Eve Gaddy’s The Billionaire’s Charade wraps up the series on September 21. Just to clarify, most of the Amalfi Billionaire books take place on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. I couldn’t resist having my hero and heroine sojourn to Venice.
2. The cooking class we took in Florence – I learned how to make ravioli from scratch and I also discovered that sage butter is my favorite pasta sauce ever.
3. The way the men look at women – There’s a reverence in the way they look at women. It’s as if they’re beholding a work of art or They’ve just seen the face of the Madonna. There is no place on earth to feel more adored – or attractive – no matter your age, size or shape. That picture over there is some random graffiti in Florence. It says, I love you.
4. The food and wine – the gelato, bistecca, truffles, pesto, pasta, Chianti… I could go on and on.
5. The art – You name it, we saw it: da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Brunelleschi, Titian. All the masters were there.
6. Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Brownings’ Florence apartment, Casa Guidi - It’s truly a hidden treasure. It took a while for us to find the place, even after we’d arrived at the building. For a while the lovely docent, the Norwegian and I were the only ones in the place (College Girl opted out of this one). When the docent discovered that I’m a writer, she encouraged me to sit at Elizabeth’s desk.
What’s your favorite thing about going on vacation? Do you take lots of photos or do you live in the moment?