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.
Years ago I began aseries titled Misadvantures in Matrimony. It was about four girls who formed a Spinster’s Club because they wanted adventures, not marriage. It was to be a 4-book series, and the third book was my favorite because it featured two of the girls and was based on the real-life story of an anvil priest in Gretna Green who mistakenly married the wrong couples to each other.
Here’s my Jaunty post about Blackthorne’s Bride, which ended up being nominated for a Rita award.
I always intended to write the fourth book, and I even began it, but I ended up changing publishers, and my new publisher wasn’t too keen on publishing the fourth book in a series they didn’t begin. So I put Nick and Ashley’s story away.
Readers, however, did not forget. Blackthorne’s Bride came out in 2007, and not a month (okay, maybe there have been a few months) has gone by since then that I haven’t received a reader email or question via facebook or twitter as to when Nick and Ashley’s story was coming. So today I’m thrilled to announce that the 4th book is out!
The Pirate Takes a Bride is Nick and Ashley’s story, and it picks up right where Blackthorne’s Bride left off. I can’t tell you how fun it was to finish this series–except the whole ship thing.
I love pirates, but I wish they didn’t spend so much time on ships. I had to ask my trusty dad to help me with the research again, and you know that means hours of me listening to lectures about wind gage and French versus British naval warfare tactics.
And, of course, Jaunty won’t be happy with me because there’s no porcupine. I tried to sneak one in, but they didn’t live off the coast of Gibraltar, where much of this book takes place.
But the upside of all of this? Pirates! Pirates are pretty sexy, and I think Nick is one of the sexiest of all. He’s just such a bad boy. He and Ashley have a past, and we finally get to find out what he did to make her so angry. Not that she’s without secrets of her own.
Pick up a copy of the book if you feel like a fun, adventurous read. It’s only $2.99 in ebook. Do you love pirates? Why or why not? Comment below to win a copy of the book (digital or print–your choice)! Randomly chosen winner announced Sunday, May 18.
BUY THE PAPERBACK:
Ashley Brittany is living a nightmare. She’s been mistakenly married to the one man she despises. Months ago, Lord Nicholas took her virtue then scorned her. Now, Ashley will do anything to have her revenge . . . anything but expose her ugly secret.
Nick Martingale has a secret, too: he’s Captain Robin Hood, a pirate with a fearsome reputation. But when Nick learns his archenemy, the Barbary pirate Yussef, attacked innocents Nick has sworn to protect, he can think of nothing but vengeance.
Only one person stands in his way.
When I was fourteen years old I was moaning the fact that I would never have a boy friend. It seemed that every time I liked a boy he liked another girl. I was destined to be an old maid.
My mom laughed and sat on my bed and shared a story of what she called her first love, her lost love. I listened as she told me how before she’d met my dad the small Cajun man with laughing eyes and black wavy hair, she had loved a tall blond man that could sing like a professional and when they danced she felt like her feet never touched the floor. They dated under the watchful eyes of my grandmother for almost a year.
My mom was not allowed to go on a date without her mother accompanying them. But it became too much for my mom’s man she loved with all her heart. He asked permission to take her on an afternoon drive, just the two of them. His request was denied. His pride and I guess his honor was questioned. He told mom that he couldn’t do this anymore and that if he wasn’t trusted now he probably never would be so he walked away, saying he would not return but for her to know that he loved her and would never love another.
Broken hearted she moved to New Orleans to live with an Aunt, where she later met my dad, and after a long while they married. Years went by and I was born, and when my grandmother came to help she told my mom that her first love had returned shortly after mom moved to New Orleans, but my grandmother refused to tell him where she’d gone.
Years later she sat next to my dad in the hospital when she heard a familiar voice. She knew without looking up it was him but there he stood in his dress blues, he was now a service man. She said she so wanted to talk to him and have closure, but just then she and my dad were called into the doctors office. He never saw her.
My dad died at the age of fifty-five and my mother came to live with us, many an afternoon she and I would sit on my front porch and she would recount her past, and the stories would almost always turn back to him. She wondered if he’d ever married, if he knew she thought of him? My mom and I decided to look for him, and that we did for years, but every lead turned into a dead end. She died at the age of eighty-four, without closure between she and her first love. But before she died she did find out from her brother, that he had run into the man ten years before and that he’d never married. He told my mom’s brother, the good one had gotten away.
So when I wrote the second book in my Bon Amie Series, SNOW ON MAGNOLIAS, a secondary romance story was born about a young girl and a young soldier, it is one of my favorite parts of this book. Maybe because in my own way I am still trying to give my mom closure.
Have you ever written any personal stories into your books? As a reader do you enjoy knowing the behind the scenes info on the books you read?
Oh by the way that fourteen year old drama queen, did not end up an old maid, I’ve been very happily married to my best friend for 52 years.
Award-winning author, Hattie Mae was born and bred southern, cutting her teeth on cornbread and greens and running barefoot through the canals of her small Louisiana town. So when it came to writing, there was no question as to where to set her books. She’s now writing her fourth book set in Bon Amie, a busy little town nestled in the heart of Cajun country. She’s also published a short story in The Cup Of Comfort For Teachers. The love of books and writing runs in her family, Hattie’s daughter is award-winning historical romance author, Robyn DeHart. When not writing you can usually find her playing with her grandchildren or cooking up some healthy versions of tasty southern fare. She lives in central Texas with her husband and one crazy cat. You can find her online on Facebook, Twitter or via email.
My mom died when I was in my early 20s. She and my dad had been married for nearly 27 years. My father, who was young for a widower, was bereft. We all were, but while my brother and I had our lives ahead of us, my dad had lost his best friend, his partner and soulmate. Never one to give up, about a year later, he started going to a support group for widows and widowers. Little did he know when he joined, that group would not only help him deal with his unspeakable grief, it would prepare him to love again and lead him to the next love of his life.
The woman who would eventually become his second wife (and I must add that I couldn’t have hand-picked a better stepmom) was in that same group. She’d recently lost her husband of decades and had turned to the “Rebounders” for help, too. It was so beautiful to watch two brokenhearted people become whole again and take a second chance at love. While neither could “replace” the other’s first spouse (or my natural mother or my step-siblings’ natural father), our families became whole again, too.
Their story of the healing power of love was the spark for my new book CELEBRATION’S FAMILY. My hero, Dr. Liam Thayer, lost his wife in a tragic accident. While my heroine, Kate Macintyre had never married, she’d still experienced more than her share of personal loss. Just when it seemed like life was at its darkest, they met and love lit the way to a brighter future together.
Just to be clear, my stepmom never goaded my dad into participating in a bachelor auction as Kate persuades Liam (Thank God! I must admit I probably wouldn’t have been as gung-ho about the idea as Liam’s little daughters are in the book. Come on, guys, this is my dad were talking about!). But the healing power of love is at the heart of both CELEBRATION’S FAMILY and my parents’ story. I hope it’s something we can all count on in our darkest hour.
Do you have your own “power of love” story? Or can you think of a movie or book that celebrates healing love? Or just tell me what you think of how they depicted Liam on the cover. Isn’t he gorgeous?! I’ll give away a copy of CELEBRATION’S FAMILY to TWO people who comment.
RT Book Reviews gave CELEBRATION’S FAMILY 4 stars and said, “Thompson’s broken, heartwarming couple are engrossing as they find love after tragedy in this terrific installment in the Celebrations miniseries. Supporting characters like the chocolitier /matchmaker will charm, and the doctor’s twin girls add the perfect “aww!” factor.”
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