I’ll be signing PRODIGAL SON with about 500 other authors at the 2014 “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel in San Antonio, TX. The event will take place in the 3rd floor ballroom. The event is open to the public, and all proceeds go to promote literacy. For a complete list of all the authors signing, please visit http://www.rwa.org/literacy.
I’ll be signing books with dozens of other authors, including NY Times bestsellers Christie Craig and Sylvia Day, in Tempe, AZ on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Details below. Hope to see you there!
Saturday, April 5
Tempe Mission Palms Hotel
60 E 5th Street, Tempe, AZ
Last month I stated that one of my goals was to lose weight. It took me a while to get going, but I’m on the road now. Day 16, and I’m down nearly 7 pounds.
Losing weight is not an easy thing. For me, it’s more mental than physical. I have to be in the right mindset to begin. I think about it for several days—process it, I guess—before my brain kind of clicks into place. (It’s the same way I write books.) Once I’m in that zone, I can walk past a plate of brownies without really being tempted.
The reason I am so overweight is because I used to drown my emotional pain by eating. Some people drink, some people turn to drugs or other vices; I ate. I was never happier than when I was on the couch with my nose in a book and a package of cookies in my lap. So I had two addictions: books and food.
The book thing worked out for me.
The food thing, not so much.
Someone once told me I used food to comfort myself, and I believe that is true. So I am striving to find other ways to comfort myself that don’t involve eating. But every day is a challenge. I’m the only one who can move myself down this path with any success. Others can support me and cheer me on, but I am the only one who can do this for myself.
The other day I went to lunch with some important visitors at work. We went to a Chinese place, which is easy for me to fit into my eating plan—except for the eggroll that comes with the lunch special. I love eggrolls, but at this point in my program, I couldn’t see how eating an eggroll would fit. I was talking to my husband about the eggroll the day before the lunch, trying to decide the best way to handle it. And here’s what he said:
“The eggroll isn’t going anywhere, but you are. You have to get on a plane in a few months.”
That is exactly what I needed to hear. The reminder of my goal to fit into an airline seat is something I’ve kept in my mind as I’ve faced other challenges over the past week. When I get stressed, I go for sugar (see my post on candies from your childhood!), but now I remind myself that the candy isn’t going anywhere, but I am. Visualizing sitting in that airline seat and not overflowing into the seat next to me, the seat belt fitting without me having to either suck in my gut or ask for an extender—these are the things that keep me going now. And I’ve found that a nice hot cup of tea can comfort just as well as a bag of gummi berries, for way less calories.
As for the eggroll, I decided to eat it. But I made adjustments to the rest of my meal so that I could make it work with my plan. It was a conscious, thought out choice, not a desperate grab to stifle some emotional pain. I had my eggroll, and I ate it, too. 🙂
Thank you all for stopping by during the 31 Days of Books Giveaway! It’s Day 32 now, and I have to stop writing blogs and start working on those revisions my editor is waiting for. <G>
Here are the winners:
Winner of Day 31 drawing: Alina K. Field.
Three winners of the Grand Finale drawing:
I will be contacting all four winners to find out their choice of book, and the three Grand Finale winners also receive a gift card to either Starbucks or Amazon, their preference. Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you all so much for visiting and chatting with me! 🙂
Congratulations to Margo, who won yesterday’s drawing! I’ll be emailing Margo to arrange delivery of her choice of book.
Well, we made it. This is Day 31 of the 31 Days of Books Giveaway. For the topic, let’s keep it short and sweet: Why do you read romance novels?
For me, it helps me keep up my optimism. I mean, I’m a writer, and I’m always interested in stories, all kinds of stories (except horror—gives me nightmares). But why romance? Because I’m fascinated by the dynamic of male and female. How different they are in the way they think and the way they see the world, and yet how similar. That’s what keeps me reading romances, and also what drives me to write them.
In the end, I love the feeling of falling in love, that issues can be overcome. Reading romances allows me to forget my problems and lose them in something bigger: the pirates are attacking the ship, we’re on the run from the bad guys who want to kill me because I witnessed a murder, or maybe I meet a guy who time travelled from the future in order to save the human race. Those problems are definitely bigger than me trying to finagle an extra car repair from the budget or try and figure out what to get my sister for her wedding. They make my problems seem surmountable. 🙂
What about you? Why do you read romance novels? Comment to be included in a drawing to win a paperback title from my backlist! And remember, on February 1, I will be pulling three names from everyone who commented on the blog in the month of January to win a book and a gift card!
Congratulations to Katt Lloyd, who won yesterday’s drawing! I’ll be emailing Katt to arrange delivery of her choice of book.
We had a flood of comments on yesterday’s blog regarding romantic gestures. Nice to see romance is alive and well out there! Just a reminder, anyone who ever commented on the blog in January will be entered in the big Feb.1 drawing. Three winners will receive the book of their choice and a gift card. This includes Hall of Fame winners.
Okay, on to today’s question: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
This is a tough one. Things that seem like poor decisions in hindsight may actually have led you to a place in your life with things that you treasure now. For instance, I got married very young, and it didn’t work out. Do I regret that? No, because it gave me my children. But one thing I would tell myself is to make education a priority. Had I gone to college, I could have majored in something to do with writing. I’d find a way to make that happen if I could go back. As it turns out, I was able to develop my skills enough on my own to get published, but maybe I could have had a full time job for all these years that was writing related.
What about you? If you could give advice to your younger self, what would you say? Comment to be included in a drawing to win a paperback title from my backlist!
Congratulations to Juli Temple, who won yesterday’s drawing! I’ll be emailing Juli to arrange delivery of her choice of book.
Today’s question (you can apply it to books, TV/movies, or real life): What is the most romantic thing you have ever heard one person doing for another?
For me, it was when my husband (then brand new boyfriend) moved across the country to be with me. He lived on one coast and I lived on the other. We met through work and had a long distance relationship for several months before we realized that stolen weekends weren’t going to cut it, that we had to live in each other’s daily (in the same state!) in order to give this thing a chance. He made sacrifices and left everything he’d ever known because he had faith that we would make it. Here we are ten years later, happily married (and living back on his coast).
My sister told me a story about how her then boyfriend (now husband) secretly took a broken bracelet she adored to the jeweler and had it repaired for her birthday. She loved that more than if he had given her something new.
I also love the part in the movie French Kiss when Meg Ryan’s character Kate sets up the elaborate pretense for Kevin Kline’s Luc that she sold the diamonds for him, and the inspector tells him what she really did.
What about you? What romantic gesture has touched you the most? Comment to be included in a drawing to win a paperback title from my backlist!
Congratulations to bn100, who won yesterday’s drawing! I’ll be emailing bn100 to arrange delivery of her choice of book.
Let’s talk heroines: the good, the bad and the TSTL (Too Stupid To Live).
Heroines are hard for me. Even though I’m female, I identify more with the heroes in my books than the heroines. But there are a few heroines (in books, TV or movies) that I can always get behind. The ones who try hard to do the right thing.
Some of the good heroines:
- Eve Dallas from the J.D. Robb books
- Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the series, not the movie)
- Judith Hampton from Julie Garwood’s The Secret
- Maggie Concannon from Born In Fire by Nora Roberts
- Aislinn from The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Good heroines do what needs to be done, no matter what it costs them. They are women you admire.
Bad heroines are the ones who are too concerned with themselves to truly share in the love story you’re reading. They are unsympathetic people who you actively dislike and would never hang out with if they were real, the ones who make you wonder what the hero sees in them. (No examples here because I’ve purged them from my memory. Bleh!)
And TSTL? There are dozens of those. These are the heroines whose decisions make no sense. They run out into gunfire after the hero tells them to stay put. They go down in the basement with no light on when they know a serial killer is on the loose. They think they can handle everything, only to fall on their butts (or trip over a tree root running through the forest in their nightclothes in the middle of the night). They’re the ones who believe the Jealous Other Woman’s lame story that the hero really loves her, at which point they run away to nurse their broken hearts. Or quit their jobs because the hero is the boss. Or shoot themselves in the foot in some other dramatic, emotional way. They’re the ones who make you throw the book against the wall.
What are your thoughts on romance heroines? Who are your favorites? Comment to be included in a drawing to win a paperback title from my backlist!
Congratulations to Gail, who won yesterday’s drawing! I’ll be emailing Gail to arrange delivery of her choice of book.
Let’s talk about our favorite worlds. One of the reasons we read books is to be transported to a different place, whether that place is a different era, a different lifestyle or a different world/planet all together. When we are brought to a different place in our minds, we are able to—at least for a short while—forget our own problems.
What are some of your favorite worlds?
For me, I adore the Celta world created by Robin D. Owens (not just because her cats can communicate telepathically) and the Harmony world created by Jayne Castle (aka Jayne Ann Krentz). I also really love the futuristic world of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas. That world seems just a few steps removed from ours.
In Eve’s world, the technology seems like something that would really be available in our near future, yet the cops still love doughnuts and people still fall in love and have kids just like they do today. She’s come up with policies that might someday exist, like legal “licensed companions” and “professional mothers.” Race is nothing more than a way to describe someone’s appearance, and people can have all kinds of work done along the lines of cosmetic surgery to change anything at all about their appearance, even eye color. Yet there are still murderers and drug addicts and fast cars and people without morals. I absolutely adore this world, and not just because a man like Roarke can exist there. Which makes me wonder…they have cloning technology, right? <G>
What about you? What are your favorite worlds in the books you read? Comment to be included in a drawing to win a paperback title from my backlist!
Congratulations to Stephani, who won yesterday’s drawing! I’ll be emailing Stephani to arrange delivery of her choice of book.
Today’s debate: coffee or tea?
I am a tea person. I honestly dislike the taste of coffee, though I love the smell. I started drinking tea for a couple of reasons: 1.) To have something to drink when the coffee drinkers were drinking coffee after a dinner and 2.) I’m Irish.
What does being Irish have to do with it? I never realized this until I wrote a workshop about building characters and the traditions passed down through the generations, but one of the reasons I drink tea with milk and sweetener is because that’s how my dad drank it. And where did he pick up that habit? From his parents, who were from—you guessed it—Ireland.
I drink black teas. No herbal for me, though I will occasionally drink chamomile if I have an upset stomach (learned that one from a pediatrician years ago). I will also drink the chamomile straight up, no milk or sugar. The poor chamomile gets lost with that stuff in it. But black teas? They’re fairly strong, sometimes bitter and need the help from milk and sweetener. Note I said milk, not cream. Anyone ever try drinking creamer in tea? It completely masks the taste of the tea, and you find yourself drinking hot creamer. Bleh.
Here in America, we are a coffee society. I will order tea at a restaurant, and I will ask for milk. They bring me creamer. I ask again for milk (as I remove the lemon and honey from my saucer). They look at me funny, but they eventually come back with a small glass of milk. It’s exhausting. However, if you drink coffee, they bring all the fixings, exactly as you would wish.
Now a few years ago, my husband and I went to Ireland. When I went to a restaurant, I ordered tea. That’s it, just tea. Not only did they bring me a big, silver pot of brewed tea (just as they would serve coffee in America), they brought milk and sweetener without me having to ask. My people!
One other fun thing about Ireland: my husband ordered coffee one day and asked for cream. The wait staff looked perplexed, but they eventually brought him some. Apparently one drinks coffee with milk as well.
Now, I’m not dissing coffee. I’m just saying I’m a tea drinker living in a coffee drinking country. My husband occasionally drinks coffee, as does my older son. My younger son has drifted into Tea Land with me. His favorite? Irish Breakfast. <G>
My husband and I went to Hawaii a couple of years ago. We stayed on The Big Island (as West coasters refer to the island of Hawaii), specifically Kona. Of course we found ourselves at a Kona coffee plantation, where my husband tried a blend of coffee referred to as Peaberry. Our tour guide recommended we try the Peaberry without anything in it. Then, if we still wanted to add something after the first taste, we should do so.
My husband tried the Peaberry black, and he was amazed at the flavor. Normally coffee beans grow two to a cherry, flat against each other two halves inside a peanut. But once in a while, the cherry only produces one mutant bean, and this apparently produces a sweeter and less bitter coffee. Because processing the Peaberry is so labor intensive (picking out the mutant beans by hand), it is very expensive, even there in Hawaii. A pound of it cost around $35! We brought some home to my son (just a little package, around $8), and he loved it, too.
So, my name is Deb and I am a tea drinker. My current favorite is English Breakfast and The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee blend, which a friend brought back for me from England.
What about you? Are you a coffee person or a tea person? What’s your favorite? Comment to be included in a drawing to win a paperback title from my backlist!