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?
The Romance Writers of America’s annual conference is right around the corner. I leave Monday for a week in New York with most of the Jaunty Quills and my other writer friends. I’m really looking forward to it. However, I’m still working on deadlines and packing. I’m a bit anxious about a workshop I’m presenting with my buddy and sister JQ, Kathy Garbera (it’s all together, but I always get pre-presentation jitters). And, of course, I’m wanting to spend time with my hubby, who will be on his own for the week.
Trying to get it all done and not short anyone or anything always leaves me feeling woefully inadequate, like I’ve left someone or something hanging. So, in the midst of the craziness, I thought it might be a good time for us to talk about the things we do right.
I admit, I had to stop and think hard to come up with this inventory of “good.” So, please put your thinking caps on, because I want to hear your “Right List,” too.
Here’s my list :
I gave up tanning – I grew up in Florida. The beach is forty-five minutes away. I used to bake myself in the sun. We’re talking baby oil on a tanning blanket. But I’ve since seen the light and I stopped doing that about 22 years ago. My legs may be mushroom white, but they’re healthy.
I’ve learned to let go of things that used to drive me crazy – I wish I could say I’ve arrived at a state of Zen, but I’m a work in progress. Along this path, I’ve learned to breathe deeply and the phrase “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys” has become my mantra.
I’ve learned that I always benefit by planning ahead.
I make it a priority to get a minimum of 7 – preferably 8 or 9 – hours sleep every night. Of course, there are those times when I don’t get in all my ZZZZs, but I try not to let it happen often because when I’m sleep deprived, the whole world feels like it’s falling apart.
I’ve stopped waiting for special occasions to wear my favorite perfume, use the good china, and buy flowers. Little touches make a big difference.
I know the things that make me feel better when life feels out of control: a hot bath or shower; plenty of sleep (that one’s worth repeating); I clean house when I’m stressed because messiness makes me more stressed and I find cleaning up very gratifying ; I take a hiatus from social media.
I’ve stopped comparing myself to others. Because that just stinks. We all walk different paths. Accepting that has made the biggest difference in my life.
Last, but not least, I’m a good mom. Even though College Girl is away at school, she will always be my baby.
How about you? Please share so we can celebrate the things you do right.
Nancy’s latest book HOW TO MARRY A DOCTOR is abailable in mass-market paperback and e-book.
In my new book HOW TO MARRY A DOCTOR (July 2015 Harlequin Special Edition) Dr. Jake Lenox and his life-long best friend, Anna Adams, make a bet that that they can find each other’s soul mates within five dates.
Jake said, “…Let’s agree that the first one who succeeds in making a match for the other wins.”
Anna wrinkled her nose. “Knowing you, you’ll let a good woman go just to win the challenge. You’re so competitive.”
“But if you think about it,” he said, “who will be the real winner? One will win the bet, but the other will win love.”
Little do they know, their soul mates have been right in front of them all along.
Friends-to-lovers story is one of my favorite kinds to write. I love the idea of a man and a woman building a relationship on a foundation of friendship. There’s something so solid about it since they’ve gotten to know each other from the inside out.
In celebration of Jake and Anna’s five dates to “true love,” here are five behind-the-scenes facts about the story:
1. Kate Walsh and Jake Gyllenhaal were the inspiration for Anna and Jake.
2. In the story, Anna drives a yellow VW Beetle. That was my first car – and it didn’t have air conditioning.
3. Dr. Jake Lennox makes a brief appearance in my bachelor auction book, CELEBRATION’S FAMILY.
4. I make a Pinterest board for each book I write and pin pictures of my characters, their clothing, the book’s setting and anything else that might serve as a visual for the story. Before the book is published, Harlequin authors have to complete an “art fact sheet” for the art department to use when they’re designing the cover. I usually send them links to the pictures I pin during the course of the book.
5. Before Jake and Anna discover that they’re each other’s perfect match, they had to go on some bad blind dates. I may or may not have drawn on personal experience for a couple of the dates poor Jake and Anna endured. Haha! Hey, you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince, right?
Have you kissed (or simply dated) any frogs? Tell me about your worst or best date and I’ll give two people who post a copy of HOW TO MARRY A DOCTOR (e-book or print, your choice) so you can read about my –er– Jake’s and Anna’s bad dates.