You know those wonderful videos that show kids left alone in a room with a marshmallow they’ve been warned not to touch? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7LN96jEXHc
They’re hilarious. The agony of waiting is all over their adorable faces.
Unfortunately, some studies seem to show that the ability to delay gratification (resisting a marshmallow now in the hopes of getting a bigger, better treat later) may predict “better outcomes” later in life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_marshmallow_experiment
I say “unfortunately” because, if these studies are right, I likely will be living under a bridge someday, eating my marshmallows out of cat food tins. When it comes to delayed gratification….well, let’s just say I probably won’t be chosen for the Olympic Patience Pentathlon team.
Ironically, both the books I have coming out next week are about patience. About waiting for true love, no matter how long it takes.
RECLAIMING THE COWBOY, the fifth in my Superromance series THE SISTERS OF BELL RIVER RANCH, is about Mitch Garwood and the mystery woman who broke his heart almost eight months before.
My new Montana Born Homecoming novella, THE LONG WAY HOME, is about Joe Carlyle and his high school sweetheart, who married someone else eight years ago.
In these books, my characters must learn patience and forgiveness. When they do, their courage definitely pays off—not in marshmallows, but in love, redemption and Happily Ever After.
I’m so excited about the releases that I can’t wait to share a little with you. (Surprised?) Here’s an excerpt from THE LONG WAY HOME—in which Joe comes face-to-face with Abby for the first time in eight years:
He certainly hoped he didn’t look as disoriented as he felt. He closed his mouth, a good first step, but if he didn’t start talking in the next couple of seconds, she’d know how much power she still had over him. Enough power to render him mute.
Frantically, he felt around in his mind for some clever comment, just as he might feel around in the dark for his keys if the house were on fire.
But he didn’t have anything ready. He had honest to God believed he’d never see her again.
His first impulse was to try to get cute. “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world…”
But no… Casablanca? He might as well burst into tears, or fling himself into the sawdust and kiss her feet. Nothing said “you broke my heart, you faithless harlot” like quoting Casablanca.
But he had to say something, damn it. He picked up the pencil on the desk, though he didn’t need it, just to have something in his hands.
“Abby Watts,” he said. Not exactly diamond-sharp repartee, but at least she couldn’t read much into that. Simple was better than clever. Safer.
She shook her head. “No, not Abby Watts. Abby Foster.”
“Oh? You didn’t take your husband’s name?”
“I took it.” That small smile still curved her lips. “But I gave it back.”
Gave it back? He hesitated, reluctant to jump to conclusions. “How is that done?”
“The normal way. We got divorced a couple of years ago.” She lifted one shoulder. “I legally went back to Foster, and he found someone else to be Mrs. Blaine Watts.”
She sounded so matter of fact, as if divorce, and losing Blaine to another woman, didn’t bother her very much. He wondered whether her calm was an act. Abby Foster hadn’t been very good at acting, or lying, back in the old days. But who knew what skills she might have picked up in her years as Mrs. Blaine Watts of New York City?
Just because she looked heart-stoppingly the same didn’t mean she really was the same. She’d been living on the other side of the country, as another man’s wife, for nearly a decade. That would change a person.
Heck, he’d stayed right here in Marietta, in the family business, even in the family home—and look how different he was.
“Really,” he said stupidly. “He remarried, huh?”
He drummed the pencil on the desk blotter, wondering why he had to fight for every line in this conversation. Once, they’d been able to talk all night long.
Problem was, the news truly shocked him. If she divorced two years ago, that meant their marriage had lasted only six. It hardly seemed possible that she’d broken his heart—both their hearts—for something that lasted only six years.
But, again, the silence had stretched too long. He needed to say something.
“How about that. “ He dropped the pencil and scooted his chair back, as if to rise. “Divorced already. That didn’t take long.”
Something tightened in her face. “I guess time is relative,” she said. “It seemed like an eternity to me.”
How about you? Are you the patient type? Or do you struggle with delayed gratification, like me? Can you remember a time when patience paid off?
Because it’s a double-release month, and I’m double-excited, I’m giving away Kindle copies of both these books AND a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly chosen commenter today.
How They Met Themselves, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, watercolor, 1864
Not long ago the Norwegian and I were out for dinner when a complete stranger approached me and asked if I had seen the show Breaking Bad. I hadn’t, but he told me that Anna Gunn, the woman who plays Skyler White on the show, was my doppelgänger.
I looked her up when I got home. I could see a vague resemblance in the photograph. Of course, it piqued my curiosity about the show, especially since it has garnered so many awards. I started watching it and now I joke that I have a serious meth addiction. Really, I don’t. And I know drug addiction is no laughing matter, but the show’s writing is incredible and the acting is superb… But I digress.
They say everyone has a double. I guess mine might be Anna Gunn – sort of. We’re not identical. Our noses are completely different, and once I started watching the show and saw a more dimensional version of the actress, I thought she and I resembled each other less. Sometimes I think mannerisms and certain expressions make people similar even if they don’t look alike. In fact, that’s one of the story lines in my book, Celebration’s Baby, which will be out in April 2014. A secondary character, Maya, lost the love of her life years ago. He died in an accident and she hasn’t been able to love since. Fast forward years later, a man who reminds her of her old love shows up. She can’t decide if she’s attracted to him because he reminds her of her dead lover or if her heart is truly ready to love again.
He’s not exactly a doppelgänger, not in the true sense of the word. Then again, the meaning of the word has changed over the years. In folklore, doppelgängers are perceived as sinister versions of a person – an evil twin. In the old days, when you saw your doppelgänger, it was a harbinger of bad luck or an omen of death.
But, of course, the contemporary meaning of doppelgänger is simply a look-alike. Doppelgängers are a running gag through the sitcom How I Met Your Mother: at one time or another, the characters have spotted uncanny look a likes of each other, except for Barney (Neil Patrick Harris’s character). The absence of his doppelgänger is used as a significant plotline, which I won’t spoil in case you haven’t seen the show and want to.
Who’s your doppelgänger?
Celebration’s Bride is available now!
RT Book Reviews gives Celebration’s Bride 4.5 stars and says, “Thompson’s reality TV show setup rocks the pages with its quirky cast. Her couples’ imperfections make them realistic and alluring….”
Celebration’s Family - February 2014
Celebration’s Baby - April 2014
Hellloooo? Hello? Is anyone here? Oh! Readers, you are here. In that case, it’s rather rude of my Jaunty Quills to abandon us. They claim they are working at a conference, but we know the truth, don’t we!
We know they will all sip champagne and feast on bon bons while pretending they are hard at work planning a new year of fascinating blogs. Ha! I think we all know who really keeps this blog running.
And of course there are the awards they are hoping to receive. Cindy and Shana are up for the Bookseller’s Best award and former member Emily is nominated for the Rita. They say they are happy just to be nominated, but I think we all know the truth—they will scratch out eyes and claw their way to the podium to snatch those awards out of the hands of the presenters. Not a pretty sight, dear readers. Not a pretty sight.
And finally, Kristan. Dear, dear Kristan. She will be speaking at a luncheon on Friday. What will she say? You will have to stay tuned. Suffice it to say that I helped her a little (wink, wink—read: a lot) on this speech. I mean, I practically wrote it for her.
But while the JQs are away, we can have fun, readers. I’m vastly entertaining, you know. Tell me, if you were attending a massive booksigning, like the one in Atlanta this afternoon, which author would you make a beeline for?
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.