Posted by Joan Kayse Aug 13 2012, 1:19 am in Jo Davis, Joan Kayse, kristan higgins, Lisa Tapp, RWA conference, Self-publishing, Susan Sey, Suzanne Ferrell
It should say “How I Went to Conference and Didn’t Bring Grayson a Present”.
Yep, you guessed it. This is Grayson aka The Monkey Cat here. I thought I deserved equal time on this blog thingee Mom does since Cricket got a turn not to0 long ago. (Rubs paws with glee). Let’s get this puppy, er, kitten on the road!
Mom had lined up a BORING topic on …well, who know what it was on, the point was it was boring.
So I stole….er, borrowed…her diary from her recent trip to the RWA Conference in Anaheim, CA. Let’s just see what she was up to while we kitties languished in our naps back here.
DAY 1: Flying out WAY too early. Really, planes are awake at 5:30? Wait in Chicago not too bad…they had McD’s Diet Coke!!! And $5 Skittles. Sheesh! Arrive at John Wayne Airport. Wow, the palm trees are SO pretty! Sorry, FL but they outrank yours. Hotel is nice, walk a freakin’ mile and half to the McD’s “just down the road” for a, you guessed it, Diet Coke. What’s that across the street? It’s feakin’ Disneyland! Time change claimed me 7:30 their time. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
GRAYSON: Um, what’s wrong with zzzz’s? And really Mom…this addiction to Diet Coke…we need an intervention.
DAY 2:A Freebie day. My roomie Lisa along with Suz Ferrell and Jo Davis rent a car and drive to Laguna Beach. One word: AWESOME!!! Park by beach was gorgeous. Where does California get all these beautiful plants? The Pacific ocean is COLD but the sand was perfect. Looked around the artsy community and at the lifeguards…yummy. Enjoyed an Irish pub with the cool ocean breezes. Sigh.
LT and Me!
GRAYSON: Sand? Did somebody say sand? Oooooo…I love me some fresh sand. And what are lifeguards? Are they like tuna treats? Yummy, we like tuna treats…and salmon…and chicken.
Day 3: Me and the bestie went to Disneyland, the original “House of the Mouse.”
GRAYSON: MOUSE????? (Falls into pounce position)
Tried to take it in stride as the birthplace of all that is Disney but…after many years of visiting the much larger and varied Disneyworld, a bit of a disappointment. Course, didn’t help that I got a park map in FRENCH! Plus was meeting Barbara Vey and her friend Sheila and sharing Mickey waffles.
Tuesday evening, met with Banditas Jeanne, Susan and Suz for dinner. Nice, and relaxed and lots of fun. Was especially glad to see my little duckling from St. Paul.
GRAYSON: (Spins in circle) Duckling? What duckling? Do they taste like chicken?
DAY 4: Returned to Disneyland with Susan Sey, aka Duckling. Enjoyed spending time though she did get a bit grumpy. (Don’t care what she says, she looks like “Ta da! I am a Dwarf” presidential candidate. Disappointed that I couldn’t find any Mickey souvenirs for my baby cats.
GRAYSON: Ears, perked up! Is that like prezzies???? What’s WRONG with that place!
Enjoyed a drink with Kristan Higgins and the Literacy signing! It was HUGE!
DAY 5: Down to business at the conference. PRO retreat turned out really nice. Big moment came with Keynote speaker Stephanie Laurens. Spoke on writers having control, having say on the path to getting their stories out. Think Norma Rae. The energy was, well,energizing! Ate chicken served with new perspective. (On writing pathway, not the chicken).
Had a hallway massage, LOL. Couldn’t help but laugh when lady next to me said to surfer boy massage guy. “I can take a lot…..of pressure” Yes, I am evil.
DAY 6: Great workshops. Sat in on Michael Hague. Lunch included….chicken and a bread basket with a note that said “Contains Gluten”. Really? Even my baby cats would know that!
Agent appt. went fine. Asked for a partial of the Irish Myth Warriors first book. Hope for quick response. Hope for a YES!
Attended St. Martin’s reception. Chatted more with Duckling, other interesting folk. Discussed self-publishing trend with a duo of agents. Interesting that THEY are forming their OWN pathway to this venue. Um, writers don’t need that now. Felt sorry for them and ordered them another drink. And wow, lobster pot stickers! Yummy.
GRAYSON: (Stomach rumbles) What is this lobster of which you speak?
DAY7: Kind of a laid back day. Went to some booksignings, chatted more with my peeps about self-publishing. Formulating plan, feeling excited. Decide that diversity is key to solid career. Hmmmmm. Went to a Goodreads presentation. Interesting, interesting, confusing, but interesting.
Missing my babies so much!
GRAYSON: (Sniff) We’re missing you too Mama!
Lovely GH/RITA ceremony. Congrats to all the winners!
DAY 8: On my way home! New energy! Have decided to self-pub my three Roman historical romances! Continue traditional path for Irish boyos at this point but ready for this new path!
GRAYSON: (Running around, leaping, chasing tail, mewing) Mama’s home! Mama’s home! Better than tuna bites).
Joanie opens door. Grayson sits watching her, twitches a whisker.
GRAYSON: Sure am glad she’s back! LOVE that she is excited about this writing thingee she does….whole reason? Maybe she can stay home with me more Watch for annoucements about The Romans! I’ll help!
So what about you? Have you found new authors in the self-pubbed world? What led you to them?
Ever had to leave a pet behind for vacation? Do you bring your pet’s souvenirs?
Posted by Joan Kayse May 6 2012, 12:47 am in HQN, kristan higgins, Somebody to Love
Today we welcome back a Lair favorite and my number one stalked author, I mean really neat-o, cool, groovy friend Kristan Higgins. She has another of her fantastic books out SOMEBODY TO LOVE and it is not to be missed! Recently we got together with her hero and heroine Parker Welles and Thing One, aka James to see what makes them tick. Here’s what they had to say.
Joan: Parker, five questions for you. First one, What are you afraid of?
Parker: Aside from bad things happening to my son and those I love, I’d have to go with a coffee shortage; rodents in my clothing; and dressing like my cousin.
James: You left out commitment.
Parker: Oh! Thing One! I didn’t notice you there.
James: Always lovely to see you, Parker.
Joan: What’s your favorite poem, Parker?
Parker: Very funny. I take it you’re referring to my brief stint in jail. To answer your question, it is no longer “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”
James: Is it “The Raven?” Kind of sums up your feeling on relationships…just pointing that out.
Joan: If a book were written about your life (and I know a good author ) what would the title be?
James: Let me answer that one, Joanie, if you don’t mind. The Holy Rollers and Their Cute Little Author!
Parker (sighs): Ignore him, Joanie.
Joan: Parker, what was the last thing you ate?
Parker: Oh…um…peach cobbler.
James: Off my abs, Joan. Hence the hesitation.
Joan: What three things would you want with you on a desert island?
Parker: Ah, these whimsical questions of yours! Aside from a fully stocked boat, you mean? An e-reader; Beauty, my dog; a fridge to keep my wine cool, and…hm…
James: Say it, Princess. You’d want me armed with nothing but a bottle of sunscreen.
Parker: James, try to rein yourself in, buddy. There are people reading this. (Pauses) But yes, that would come in handy.
Joan: Okay, James, since you’re so eager to talk—
Parker: He always is, Joan.
Joan: Where will you be in 5 years?
James: In Parker’s bed. (Winks. Joan’s cheeks blush adorably.)
Joan: And, uh, James, your favorite tool?
James: You tell me, Joanie. Have I mentioned that I like older women?
Joan: Uh…uh…uh… (Swallows hard, then clears throat) Do you like karaoke?
James: Absolutely. I recently serenaded Parker with a smokin’ hot version of “Afternoon Delight” in front of all her friends.
Parker: I missed that. I believe I was racing for the door…
Joan: First thing you thought about when you woke up this morning?
James: How beautiful Parker is, even with that little puddle of drool under her cheek.
Parker: Seriously, James. People are reading this. We’re not in your closet any more.
Joan: Have you read the Hunger Games? Seen the movie?
James: Yes to both, though there was a lot of making out going on during the movie, so we missed a fair bit.
Parker: Right. People said the movie was sad, but I didn’t get that.
James: Because you weren’t watching the movie, Parks.
Parker: No. No, I wasn’t. (Smiles contentedly)
Joan: A few questions for Kristan, now, if you two can find something else to do…
James: We definitely can.
Parker: See you in a bit, Joan. Um…please knock if you need us again.
Joan: Kristan, what makes you, you?
Kristan: God made me, Joanie. Also, my parents’ excellent if slightly twisted gene pool, a happy childhood and an obsessive love of Rhett Butler.
Joan: If you won the Lottery, how much would you give to Joan…er, what would you do with it?
Kristan: Oh, I’ve had this planned for years, which is ironic, since I don’t play the lottery. That being said, I’d build a wing in honor of the children’s hospital where my son’s life was saved and where Princess Perfect, my daughter, was also born. Then I’d give a bunch of money to all the charities I love: Save the Children, Heifer International, Hole in the Wall Gang. And then I’d buy a yellow Mini Cooper just for me. (I’m thinking of doing that, Lotto or no Lotto. Am a little weary of Mom-mobiles, you know?)
Joan: Best movie you’ve seen this past year. Why?
Kristan: Bridesmaids, come to think of it. It had so much tenderness and heart, it was outrageously funny and yet very poignant, too. Maybe it wasn’t the best in terms of Important Film-Making but it was the one that lasted longest in my heart. Also, it had cupcakes in it.
Joan What game show would you like to be on?
Kristan: America’s Next Top Model, Middle Age Edition. I think I have the smeyes down cold.
Joan: What animal to do you fear meeting in the woods?
Kristan: Well, as you know, Joanie, I live out in the boonies, and we have some very dangerous animals: bear, coyotes, fisher cats…so you can probably tell that my answer is the utterly terrifying hummingbird. Last year, one swooped right at my eye, it’s hideous, razor-sharp beak practically dripping venom, so I did what any good mother would do: hid behind my daughter. Phew! That was a close one!
It was great having you all here today. Enjoy this excerpt from Somebody To Love:
She was lying on the steel bunk, an old magazine with a picture of Cameron Diaz covering her face. “‘Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred,’” she said, definitely a panicky edge to her voice.
“Your attorney’s here,” Officer Dewitt said, unlocking the door.
Parker jerked upright, hitting her head on the top bunk. “James!” She hurtled across the cell, and before he knew it, she was in his arms, hugging him hard, and though she smelled a little dank from her time in the basement, it was sure better than that other smell, and man, he hadn’t felt anything this good in years, her hair silky against his cheek, her body pressed against his.
“Parker. Always lovely to see you,” he murmured, hugging her back.
“James, oh, James, thank God you’re here,” she blurted into his shoulder. “That man over there, he pooped on the floor, and holy halos, there was so much of it! He hasn’t stopped chanting that horrible poem for hours, and if I don’t stop reciting ‘Charge of the Light Brigade,’ I’m going to kill myself.”
“I’m afraid you have to stay overnight,” James said.
She pulled back, eyes wide with horror.
“Just kidding,” he said, grinning. “You’re free to go.”
Thanks for having Parker, James and me here today, Joan! It’s always wonderful to hang out with the rowdy Banditas! What are some of your answers to the questions? Be sure to sign up for our newsletter for a chance to win our Members Only prize basket for May which will include a signed copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, named one of the six best romances of 2011 by Barnes & Noble, and chocolate, too! Thanks to everyone for stopping by!
*Me and Kristan…guess who is who?
Posted by Donna MacMeans May 1 2012, 12:14 am in Anna DeStefano, Cara Elliott, Casey Daniels, coming attractions, Ellen Hartman, J. A. London, Karen Kelly, Karyn Gerrard, kristan higgins, May, Sandy Blair, Sister Pact, Trish Milburn
It’s an exciting month in the lair! Not only do we have some fabulous guests chatting alongside some fabulous banditas – we also have a launch party! Trish will be introducing another in her Teagues of Texas series on May 4th. Doesn’t this cover just make you smile ?
Don’t forget to check out the contests offered for May at the bottom of the post. Prizes, prizes everywhere!
On Wednesday, 2nd May, we have great Aussie authors Ros Baxter and Ali Ahearn visiting the lair as Anna Campbell’s guests. Ros is a debut author and Ali is better known to the Banditas and Bandita Buddies under her Medical Romance persona Amy Andrews. (www.amyandrews.com.au <http://www.amyandrews.com.au> ) Ros and Ali are sisters and they’ve written a wonderful book together called SISTER PACT.
On May 3, Anna Destefano chats with Nancy about Anna’s new release from Entangled Publishing, HER FORGETTEN BETRAYAL.
Don’t forget Trish will be launching THE COWBOY SHERIFF on the 4th.
May 5th – We have the lovely Cara Elliott launching the second book in her “Lords of Midnight” trilogy, TOO TEMPTING TO RESIST!
May 6th – Prepare to have laugh. Kristin Higgins is joining us with SOMEBODY TO LOVE.
May 7th – Have you ever had the urge to travel back in time? How about forward in time? Karyn Gerrard joins us to talk about her unique time travel, TIMELESS LOVE.
MAY 16th – What’s a girl to do when she gets kicked out of hell and only has a week to steal a soul? Easy, she heads straight for the delicious corruptible looking cowboy sitting at the bar and all hell breaks loose. USA Today Bestseller, Karen Kelly is in the lair with WHERE THERE’S SMOKE. (and that cover is sure smoking )
May 18th – Casey Daniels is back! Can’t wait to see what she’s working on this time. It’s bound to be fun.
On May 21st Superromance author Ellen Hartman joins us to discuss her latest release THE LONG SHOT!
May 28th – JA London joins us with a debut YA paranormal DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN, The first novel in the Darkness Before Dawn Trilogy
May 31st – What a way to wrap up a month. Sandy Blair joins us with her print release of her book THE KING’S MISTRESS. (Another gorgeous cover!)
We do give a monthly prize of books selected from our newsletter subscribers. Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss out!
To celebrate the release of her novelette, “The Chinese Bed”, in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE which is available on 7th June, Anna Campbell is giving away THREE copies of this wonderful anthology to lucky readers. All you need to do is email Anna on anna @ annacampbell.info (remove the spaces) with the name of the hero and heroine of “The Chinese Bed.” Just a hint – you might find the answer here: http://annacampbell.info/chinesebed.html
The contest closes 30th June, 2012, and entry is open internationally. For more information, please check out Anna’s website at: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html
To celebrate the June release of THE CASANOVA CODE, Donna MacMeans is choosing a name from her newsletter list to receive a cherry blossom pendant necklace from the Smithsonian Institute(cherry blossoms play a role in the book). To see the necklace and to enter, go to www.DonnaMacMeans.com and sign up. A winner will be chosen for both May and June.
Posted by Joan Kayse Apr 8 2011, 7:27 am in kristan higgins, kristan higgins HQN, My One and Only
Everyone’s been busy as bees spiffing up The Lair for one of our fav authors, Kristan Higgins! Lucien has been particularly happy, going around with a silly grin on his lips and growling when Demetrius starts polishing his shield. Kristan? Anything you want to share about your last visit?
Ahem, anyhoo she’s brought along a transcript from an interview I did with the hero/heroine of her latest Harlequin release MY ONE AND ONLY. Let’s see if we can get a peek into the story of these two wacky kids. Take it away, Kristan!
Just when she thought she had life and love all figured out, divorce attorney Harper James can’t catch a break. Bad enough that she runs into her ex-hubby, Nick, at her sister’s destination wedding, but now, by a cruel twist of fate, she’s being forced to make a cross-country road trip with him. And her boyfriend back at home is not likely to be sympathetic. Harper can’t help that Nick has come blazing back into her life in all of his frustratingly appealing, gorgeous architect glory. But in Nick’s eyes, Harper’s always been the one. If they can only get it right this time, forever might be waiting—just around the bend.
1. Do you have a tattoo?
Harper: I fail to see how that’s any of your business.
Nick: Not at the moment, Joan. But I’m seriously considering a small rooster over my heart.
2. Do you have a nickname?
Nick: Harper likes to call me snooky bear during our more intimate moments.
Harper: Sure, I do. It’s that, or “the accused.”
3. Dogs or Cats or Komodo dragons?
Harper: Dogs. Really, just dog. Singular. Coco’s rather superior to the rest of the canine world. Aren’t you, sweetheart?
Nick: Is Coco a dog? I thought she was a squirrel.
4. What is your favorite food?
Nick: Let me answer that one for you, Harpy. Human hearts, right?
Harper: Nick’s is clear broth and dry toast.
Nick: Only because you’ve given me an ulcer, dearest.
Harper: Sac up, Nick. Can I get a cheeseburger? Very rare?
5. Are you ticklish?
Harper: No comment.
Nick: Yes, she is. So am I, Joan. Just in case you’d like to give it a try.
6. What is your favorite love song ever?
Nick: “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.
Harper (snorting): Wow. So original, Nicky. Mine is “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones.
7. What did you last text message say?
Harper: It was from my boss, Theo. “Y R U not here?”
Nick: Mine was from Harper. It said “Me so horny. Meet me in the bathroom.”
Harper: Ignore him. He forgot his Ritalin today.
8. Do you collect anything?
Nick: Ex wives.
Harper: Death threats.
9. Do you believe in ghosts?
Nick: Oh, I’ve been haunted for the past 12 years.
Harper: Nick! That’s so romantic! Have you been drinking?
10. Who is your favorite movie star?
Harper: Who’s that brawny Scot? I like him.
Nick: She’s only saying that because I’m neither brawny nor a Scot.
11. What is your number one bad habit?
Harper: I’m sitting next to it.
12. Top 3 wishes?
Harper: I wish Nick would stop touching me. You’re doing that on purpose, aren’t you?
Nick: Yes. Get over it. I wish Harper would break up with that boy-toy she’s dating, admit she still loves me and apologize for sticking a knife in my heart 12 years ago.
Harper: I’ll stick with my first answer and wish it two more times. And my boyfriend is not a boy-toy, just for the record. He’s a firefighter. Know what I’m saying, Joan? Firefighter. Big. Strong. Brave. He can carry me.
Nick: Shut it, woman.
13. Favorite Girl Scout cookie?
Harper: Ah, those little venture capitalists are always selling something, aren’t they? I usually order the Thin Mints and stick them in the freezer.
Nick: Where she stores her heart. I like the Samoas, personally. But I buy a box of everything.
Harper: Of course you do. Because you’re such a prince. Have the Vatican made you a saint yet?
14. Best and Worst Personality trait
Nick: I might be a little stuck on the past. Maybe I work a little too much. And I love too deeply.
Harper: You’re really going to say that? In public? People read this blog, you know.
Nick: Moving right along, Joan, My best traits would be I’m loyal, funny and great in the sack.
Harper: Well. I’ll allow those last three. The ‘love too deeply,’ though…What are you, Bella? Edward’s calling. Your blood smells so sexy.
Nick: She’s stunted, Joan. Introspection was never her thing.
15. What are you scared of?
Harper: Well, I wouldn’t use the word scared.
Nick: She’s terrified of being alone. Which is why she’s dating the human equivalent of Lassie.
Harper: And you’re afraid of ending up like Larry King, a string of ex-wives behind you, an empty yet fabulous apartment in front of you.
Nick: I’m hardly Larry King, Harpy. You always exaggerate.
Harper: And you always rewrite the past and make yourself look like the wounded hero.
Nick: And you love to bolt at the first sign of crisis.
Harper: And you love to—you know what? Bite me, you overbearing idiot.
Nick: Don’t tempt me, you stunted shell of a woman. (Pause.) Want to grab dinner?
Harper. Seafood okay?
Nick: Sounds great. Hey, this was fun, Joan! Thanks for having us.
Well, you two run along while we and the BB’s discuss more questions for you. What about guys? What other questions would you like to ask Harper and Nick (wait a little bit for Nick I’m um, practicing my tickling ) or for that matter, the awesome Kristan Higgins? Ready, aim, fire those questions!
Posted by Anna Campbell Aug 10 2010, 4:18 am in Anna Campbell, Books I'm reading, Elisabeth Boyle, Jo Beverley, Kate Carlisle, kristan higgins, Miranda Neville, Sarah Maclean, Susan Sey
by Anna Campbell
As all our regulars know, I’ve been travelling for the last month. I went to Denver for RomCon (had a wonderful time) and to New York and Washington D.C. and then Orlando for RWA Nationals. Home again to a horrible dose of jetlag! Off next week for the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Sydney. Then, thank goodness, I get to stay home for a couple of weeks until the Brisbane Writers Festival at the start of September.
So I hear you saying – she’s going to blog about her travels!
I did a surprising amount of reading in that month of extreme busy-ness. Partly because I was stuck at airports/train stations and a book is a great companion at such times. Partly because I had a run of really great books to keep me entertained!
So I thought I’d share the highlights of a month of reading with you.
As you know, there have been a spate of Bandita releases lately. I picked up Kate’s new book, THE MILLIONAIRE MEETS HIS MATCH, and Susan’s debut MONEY, HONEY at the RWA literacy signing. Both corkers and worthy of the ‘written by a Bandita’ banner! LOL!
Susan’s is a wonderful romp about a former jewel thief and the FBI agent who caught him. Very 1940s screwball comedy with some wonderful dialogue and hot sexual tension. Patrick is gorgeous!
Kate’s is a luscious classic category romance where the heroine enters the hero’s employment to seek revenge and of course finds herself helplessly caught in a web of unwilling attraction. YUM!
But of course, you all know how great both those books are!
I also had a couple of lovely discoveries in my reading.
The first is the first adult novel from Sarah Maclean. NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE is a delicious souffle of a book. I love stories about good girls who discover their inner vixen and this is a classic. Lady Calpurnia (Callie) is firmly on the shelf at 28 and even worse, everyone around her considers her a cardboard cutout of virtue, about as exciting as a mug of lukewarm milk.
She sets out to live a little, with the help of her dream man, the Marquess of Ralston. The Marquess is immediately intrigued by Callie’s mixture of wildness and innocence. He isn’t sure whether he mean to protect or seduce Callie – and whatever he does only seems to cause mayhem. Great fun!
This book sat on the New York Times list for five weeks when it came out and it got a lot of buzz on the net. Having read it, I’m not surprised. It’s a wonderfully entertaining read, as sparkling as a diamond!
Another author who I have known personally for years but strangely had never read is Elizabeth Boyle. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of her next book MAD ABOUT THE DUKE which is out at the end of September.
This is another sparkling comedy about a widowed countess who mistakes the Duke of Parkerton for an impoverished solicitor and employs him to find her a duke to marry. She has pressing reasons for marrying a duke and James finds himself so enchanted to be seen as an ordinary man, he can’t bring himself to tell Elinor the truth.
As you can imagine, with a setup like that, the plot soon spirals into the funniest of farces, brimming with mistaken identities and pranks and mischief and chaos. I found myself laughing out loud at this story. I brought back HOW I MET MY COUNTESS from RomCon – I’ll be digging into that very soon.
Now for two books I knew would be good and which didn’t disappoint.
Kristan Higgins was a very popular RITA winner this year for TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. THE NEXT BEST THING was one of the giveaways at RomCon and I snatched it up – like many of Kristan’s books, it’s a warm, family-based comedy with a deeply emotional core. In this case, Lucy Lang is a young widow who is crippled by grief years after her husband’s sudden death in a car accident. Her husband’s brother, Ethan, has been a constant source of comfort and strength, but their relationship profoundly alters when she decides it’s time she starts dating again.
As in all Kristan’s books, wildly funny, eccentric characters surroundthe hero and heroine, but it’s the central love story that will have you sniffing into your pillow late at night when you finish this.
Last but not least, I read and thoroughly enjoyed Miranda Neville’s second historical romance for Avon, THE WILD MARQUIS. Miranda has guested a few times on the Bandits and she’s always a fascinating and entertaining visitor. As many of you would remember, she used to work for Sotheby’s in their manuscripts and books section. THE WILD MARQUIS uses the Regency book trade as a fascinating background for the love story of family black sheep Chase and impecunious bookseller’s widow Juliana Merton.
These characters were so alive, they leapt off the page, and this book kept me awake into the night at conference to finish it. As many of you know, conference leaves a person very short of sleep so that’s an indication of how I devoured this story. I really look forward to the next book in the Burgundy Club series THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT, out at the end of September.
So what have you guys been reading in my absence? Any recommendations? I mean, it’s not like I have a big TBR pile – it’s not big, it’s GARGANTUAN!!!
Posted by Joan Kayse Jun 16 2010, 4:15 am in Joan Kayse, kristan higgins, kristan higgins HQN, romance bandits
posted by Joanie T
Helloooo, Banditas! How are you? It’s so wonderful to be back here in the Lair, shooting the, er, breeze with my old chums! But, since the theme of this blog is honesty, I must admit something…I’m really only here because I’m dying to come to the Romance Bandits party at RWA National. You hear the rumors, right? The cabana boys, the frozen drinks, Nora Roberts on karaoke singing Endless Love…who wouldn’t want to come? And last year, according to rumor, Joan Kayse won the Girls Gone Wild flashing contest. I wasn’t supposed to tell, but in the interest of full disclosure, I felt I had to. Sorry, Joan.
I jest, of course. Joan asked me to pick a theme for today’s blog that would be relevant in some way to my upcoming release, ALL I EVER WANTED (isn’t that the best cover?). I figured honesty would be a good one.
One of the things I love about this book is, of course, the hero. Ian is a man incapable of lying, even when lying might be a good idea. Ian is honest to a fault…he can’t schmooze, he doesn’t sugarcoat anything, refuses to play along with anything. So different from Callie, who feels the need to make everyone like her. Callie will do just about anything to keep on the sunny side, overlook anything, go to any lengths to paint people in the most flattering light. She just can’t dislike anyone…especially her boss, Mark—the guy she’s loved since time immemorial. He’s got to be a good guy. He just has to be. ’Cause she wouldn’t love him otherwise, right?
Staying positive is not easy for Callie, especially when we meet her. See, a few months ago, she had a five-week relationship with Mark, and it was perfect. For her. For him, not so much. He broke up with her, saying the timing wasn’t right, and now, the morning of Callie’s 30th birthday, it seems maybe the timing is finally right. And it is. Just not for her. Mark’s in a relationship. Yep. He’s met someone else
Don’t you hate when that happens? Oh, lordy, that’s the worst romantic feeling there is, I think. Things used to be so perfect…and now, let’s be honest, things rather suck. You’re still in love. He’s moved on. You’re still thinking about him every waking moment…he’s feeling no pain.
And so Callie, who’s extremely honest when it comes to her feelings—extremely honest and, er, open—falls apart. In line at the DMV. In front of everyone. She can’t help feeling things so acutely…it’s just how she is! Blubbering out her woes to her sister as she waits to renew her license, taking comfort from the strangers in line (well, some of the strangers), Callie suffers from what one gentleman calls “emotional diarrhea.”
Oh, the hu
manity! We’ve all been there. Want to hear a story? Of course you do. That’s why you’re here, right? Back when I was a youth, my boyfriend of about a year took me out to dinner. Nice restaurant. He actually called me and asked, too…the whole “Are you free on Friday night?” It was so freakish and bizarre and romantic, I should’ve sensed a tremor in the Force, if you will. But I was obtuse (am obtuse?), and so I figured a marriage proposal was coming my way.
Oh, squee! I bought a new dress, called my best friend, got a haircut. So, so exciting! Off we went to the restaurant. Boyfriend and I been a little itchy and scratchy lately, sure, but we loved each other! Mostly! So this had to be the night he’d pop the question, yes?
Um…nope. Not so much. He proceeded to tell me he thought our relationship had run its course and it was time for us to break up.
And here’s what I said. “I don’t think so, pal. No. Nope. Not gonna happen.” Because, first of all, I had bought a new dress for this occasion, and it was a killer dress, and I was not going to have it become my breakup dress, I can assure you! Secondly, I loved this guy! Right? I had to, right, because we’d been together for a year! So, in a nutshell, I basically refused to let my boyfriend to dump me. Even if he was a jerk. Oh, no. We were going to stay together, dang it, and we were going to be miserable, thank you very much!
See, like my heroine—who is more like me than any heroine yet, I think—I really thought that if I did everything right, I’d get the results I wanted. I had yet to learn that we can’t force people to act the way we think they should. Sadly, we don’t get to control other people (such a shame!). My boyfriend and I stayed together for a few more awkward months before I finally let him pull the plug. It took a while to really and truly be honest about that one—things just weren’t going to work.
It’s hard to be honest sometimes, don’t you think? Whether it’s with ourselves or with others…admitting that maybe someone isn’t the best friend or coworker, maybe. Admitting that we have to do better on some front. That maybe it’s not someone else’s fault…it’s ours. Ouch! I hate that, don’t you?
So tell me…when was it tough for you to tell the truth? Were you ever in a situation like Callie, unable to stop being honest…and blurting out way too much information to the masses? I’ll pick a commenter and send her an advance copy of All I Ever Wanted.
And as always, thanks so much to the lovely Joan for inviting me to be here. It’s always such a pleasure!
Posted by Joan Kayse Jun 1 2010, 4:45 am in carrie lofty, June Coming Attractions, Kris Kennedy, kristan higgins, maggie robinson, pam palmer, vanessa kelly, virna depaul
We Banditas enjoy vacations as much as anyone but we don’t take the summer off….too many stories in our vivid imaginations to take a break. And boy, do we kick the summer off right this month!
On June 2nd, Anna Campbell hosts debut historical romance author Maggie Robinson – or is she perhaps appearing as her alter ego Margaret Rowe? Maggie will be giving away a signed copy of MISTRESS BY MISTAKE.
And that’s just the beginning of a bountiful week.
Virna DePaul is visiting on the 3rd. Virna’s debut, CHOSEN BY BLOOD, is out with Berkley in 4/11 and she’s sharing her insights as she goes through the process of sold to debut. She’ll talk about Challenging Your Editor or Agent – when it’s really okay to speak up.
We end this first week on a high note with a return visit from Carrie Lofty on June the 4th. Our very own Christie Kelley talks with Carrie about her new release SONG OF SEDUCTION
On June 7th Loucinda McGary hosts Vanessa Kelly to talk about her sizzling new release SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL.
Swing by the Lair on June 12th and see how a teenager who already has social issues deals with the suddenly acquired ability to interact with ghosts. YA author Maureen Hardegree chats with Nancy about HAIN’T MISBEHAVIN,
Maureen’s new novel from Bell Bridge Books.
The 16th of the month yours truly hosts a return visit with RITA award winning author Kristan
Higgins to talk about honesty and her most recent release “the next best thing
”. I’m fairly certain we can get her to spill about her August release “all I ever wanted
”. (Yes, I have started a FB campaign for my kitten Cricket to be featured on her next cover. Hey! It worked for Betty White!).
On the 21st, Kris Kennedy visits with us to talk with us about her latest THE IRISH WARRIOR.
Pamela Palmer is visits on the 27th, talking about Writing on the wild side – or Where do you come up with this stuff? And her latest release, RAPTURE UNTAMED which hits the shelves June 29.
We have one contest this month.
Anna Campbell has a mini novella called ‘Upon a Midnight Clear’ in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF REGENCY ROMANCE (released on 24th June in the U.K. and 27th July in the U.S.). To celebrate, she’s giving away two signed copies! All you have to do is email her on email@example.com and name two authors other than Anna Campbell who have stories in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF REGENCY ROMANCE. You might find the answer in her June Latest News: http://www.annacampbell.info/latest.html or on the publisher’s website: http://www.constablerobinson.com/?section=books&book=the_mammoth_book_of_regency_romance_9781849010153_paperback The contest closes 31st July, 2010 and for more details please visit her website: http://www.annacampbell.info/contest.html
Whew! What a month! So fill up the lemonade (or margarita) glass, plop under a beach umbrella and prepare to have fun!