Monday, December 1, 2008

Eloisa James' Special Treat!

by Anna Sugden

Can there be a better way to kick off the holiday season in the Lair than to welcome back one of our favourite guests - Eloisa James?

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Eloisa's latest book in the Duchesses series "When the Duke Returns", find out how to make your holiday special with treats just for yourself ... and be part of the chance to win one of Eloisa's 5 (yes, 5!) prizes.

So without further ado, I'll hand you over to Eloisa.

Thank you, Anna. I'm delighted to return to the Bandita's Lair.

Decembers tend to pass in a whirl of wrapping paper and exhaustion—a month spent creating beautiful memories for other people, most of whom are under the age of consent and are perfectly happy chewing on squeaky toys.

My point is that we often forget something: ourselves. What would make you really happy? As a woman?

My answer is to feel loved. And my prescription is love yourself this holiday. When your children look back over their memories, they'll see it in a whirl of joy, presents, and love. But you're the key to that. The only way you can be the calm center at the heart of their joy is if you yourself are joyful. And the only way you can be joyful is if you are happy with yourself.

Recipe for Self Love

Lingerie. Buy something and wear it under your sweatshirt. The crucial point: you're not doing this for your partner, but for yourself.

Toes. A winter pedicure is delicious, partly because it's a secret known only to you (and perhaps the man you deem lucky enough to kiss your coral pink toes).

Time. That's the main gift you have to give yourself: time. Put on some music, get into the bathtub, and read. I even have suggested reading material: my latest, When the Duke Returns. My duke, Simeon, returns to England after years exploring the wilderness to meet the wife he married by proxy: Isidore. But he takes one look at her and offers an annulment: she’s too beautiful, too sexy, and too angry for him. Typically for a man, he’s underestimating Isidore (not to mention the power of lingerie—see above)!

It’s my hope that in reading how Simeon and Isidore fall in love, even in the midst of terrible problems with water closets (toilets), siblings, a rather horrific mother-in-law and a house renovation, will help you survive your December.

What’s your favorite survival recipe? What do you do to survive in the midst of chaos (and let’s not even talk about Black Friday shopping)?

Don't forget that 5 lucky commenters will win prizes today - Eloisa is giving away two copies of 'Desperate Duchesses', two copies of 'An Affair Before Christmas' and one copy of 'Duchess by Night'.


Janga said...

First time first post!

Janga said...

For those of you who have yet to read When the Duke Returns, I promise that Simeon is enough to make a girl's freshly pedicured toes curl as she soaks in that tub. :)

As for seasonal survival, I escape the chaos by reading (and rereading) great romance novels, burning candles in my favorite scents, and enjoying a glass of Pinot Noir.

Donna MacMeans said...

Well done, Janga. You win the (virtual) Golden Rooster!

For me the perfect reward is going out to eat so as to avoid fixing dinner and cleaning up afterward. Doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be out. Reading is a must as well...and chocolate *g*.

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Janga.

I would get a massage daily if I could afford to, but it's extra nice when I can get one. Spending a day pampering myself helps me survive. I might give myself a mani/pedi and then spend the day watching tv or dvds or reading.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Janga, have you ever won the Golden Rooster before? Congratulations! If you need any hints on handling his royal roosterness, just ask!

Eloisa, thank you so much for coming back to be our guest on the Bandits. We had such a good time on your last visit. And wow, FIVE books! I think you should grow some white facial hair and start wearing red and saying ho, ho, ho. Congratulations on the release of the latest bestseller! I'm sure it will be another mega hit.

It is a mad time of year, isn't it? Sometimes it feels more like a marathon than something to enjoy! My reliable escapes are a little like Janga's - a great romance novel, a nice glass of Aussie red and a deep, scented bath. Aaaaaah. I can just feel the tensions of the day going away.

Minna said...

Congrats on the GR, Janga.

Well, I read, listen to music and watch tv. And eat chocolate. This is really bad time of year for a chocoholic like me...

Aikakone - Hiljaisuus (silence)

Ellanora Joy said...

Eloisa, you must live next door.

This is my life....

terrible problems with toilets... I am desperately trying to toilet train my 2 year old, oh for the day without a puddle on the floor;

siblings... expecting us to drop everything to accomodate their wishes for Christmas

a rather horrific mother-in-law... who announced on my wedding day that 'oh well second marriages are better anyway' (first marriage for us both) is coming to stay;

and a house renovation... now at 11 months living through excavation and construction with a 2 and 4 year old - sanity long gone

Hmmmm, so to escape this chaos I am going to go out with my girlfriends (lots of laughter, lunch and drink), and at home feet in the footspa, ice cold drink, favourite book in hand while my husband keeps the kids out of my hair for some peace and quiet *bliss*

Kim said...

Yay Janga!! Be good to the GR. He loves chocolate and for his tummy to be rubbed ;)

ohh, a pedicure. What a wonderful idea, Eloisa. I just may take that advice.

I second Janga, Simeon does make your toes curl in a delicious way *g*

Rachel said...

Great reminder, Eloisa. I recently had a birthday and, with a similar philosophy, I asked for nighties from everyone. So I threw out my old ones and now have a lovely collection, from slinky ones to pretty ones.

It's something I wouldn't normally prioritize, but as you said in your point about lingerie - I did it for myself and feel good.

So following the philosophy, next on my agenda will be a pedicure and some time to read. :)

Perrin said...

I've already read Eloisa's latest and it is fabulous. Simeon and Isadore are wonderful characters and I think the book is really funny.

Reading a good romance novel is my first choice to relax. My second choice is going to Target(with the exception of Black Friday). No one is there to bug me and I can roam around the isles looking at this and that. And it is better when there is a Starbucks inside.

Keira Soleore said...

((Eloisa)), welcome to The Lair. I'm in India right now, so I'm going to have to wait for the new year before I have the opportunity of reading Simeon/Isidore's story. Gosh, isn't the cover grand? I love it!! And I'm thrilled that next year, your two releases will be fairly close together in the middle-ish of the year.

Perfect reward to ward off a stressful day: yoga stretches followed by meditation. The days, I keep up the regimen twice daily, go very well. The others--not so well.

When all else fails, books work far better than any meds or sleep.

Janga, excellent catch. Congratulations. Now, we have all heave a sigh of relief. The GR's education was sadly lacking, but I'm sure you'll set that all aright.

Helen said...

Well done Janga

Hi Eloisa
I am really looking forward to this new book in the series I have just ordered it and it should be here sometime this week I have loved all of this series and I already love Isidore can't wait to meet Simeon.

I am really going to need some time to relax and treat myself I haven't started any Christmas shopping yet I haven't even bought the Chrissy cards or started making cakes and puddings and to top it all of as everyone around here knows two of my daughters are due to have babies on 13th Dec yes they are due on the same day. So to treat myself I am going to pick up a wonderful romance book a packet of Tim Tams and seeing as it is hot over here a nice cool drink and read till I am relaxed LOL.
Congrats on the release of When The Duke Returns Eloisa

Have Fun

Alli said...

Hi Eloisa,
I find sitting on our back patio, feet up, a cold glass of orange juice (with a nip of vodka *g*) in hand and watching the sky change as the sun sets is both relaxing and inspiring. Or a bath overflowing with bubbles and a good book that takes me back in time works wonders.
Congratulations on the release of When the Duke Returns.


Sue said...

I can't wait to read another duchess story, or rather, read about another gorgeous Duke. And my strategy every Christmas, to survive the heat and avoid family chaos, is to grab a romance, historical of course, and sneak away to a quiet spot on the beach for a couple of peaceful hours.

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome everyone!

Congratulations Janga on capturing our Golden Rooster - he's yours for the day.

I can't wait to read about Simeon - unfortunately, he's not available here in the UK for a bit longer *sigh*.

I like the way you relax - sounds like me, except mine's a glass of New Zealand Sauvgnon Blanc!

Anna Sugden said...

Oh yes, Donna - going out to eat is a wonderful treat. For some reason, since we've returned, we eat in more than we did in NJ. So, going out becomes even more of a treat. Though I admit, my soon-to-retire hubby has taken over in the kitchen!

Anna Sugden said...

Spa treatments - definitely the way to go, Jane!

Hmm, I can see a great day - spa treatment, followed by dinner out and a nice glass of wine.

Anna Sugden said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to pamper yourself, Minna. Is it very cold in Finland yet?

Anna Sugden said...

Oh my goodness, Ellanora, come and sit down in the Lair and take a load off! Let one of our cabana boys, gladiators or hockey hunks bring you the drink of your choice and give you a nice relaxing massage.

That lunch with your girlfriends sounds wonderful. *sniff* I do miss my buddies.

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Kim!

No fair adding to the temptation about Simeon! *grumble, grumble, shipping mishaps, grumble, grumble*

I might just have to go for a pedi just to recover from the sulks!

Anna Sugden said...

What a cool idea, Rachel. Nighties often get overlooked when we think of treating ourselves.

I love Eloisa's idea of lingerie you love under a sweatshirt, just for you. Will have to see if Victoria's Secret ships to the UK.

Anna Sugden said...

Now, Perrin, don't you get in on the act too!

I was wondering when someone would mention shopping for fun with no-one to bug them.

Curling up with a good book is just the best, isn't it?!

Anna Sugden said...

Keira, love, glad you're safe and sound in India. Don't forget to send me Little Ms Wee's name and address for her chocolates.

Interesting about the yoga and meditation. I used to find that when I was doing fitness boxing. On the days I trained, everything went better, especially my writing. My mind was clearer and I was refreshed.

note to self - get back to training!

Anna Sugden said...

Helen - glad to see another one who's had to wait for 'When the Duke Returns'. I don't feel so left out, now.

Sounds like the perfect way to relax and forget about the mad rush to get everything done for Christmas. We could do with some warmth here! Congrats on your daughters - hope their deliveries and safe and pain-free.

Then, your treat will be cuddling those new grand-babies.

Anna Sugden said...

Oh Alli, that sounds wonderful. We like sitting in our new conservatory, watching the sun go down - it's way too cold to be out!

Anna Sugden said...

Sue - sounds like the perfect strategy to me! I love the idea of being on a beach with a good read - though curling up in front of a fire is pretty nice too.

Maureen said...

Hi Eloisa!
It is a crazy time of the year and this year we are having the family Christmas celebration at our house so it will be a little crazier. A good book definitely helps keep me sane while I'm working on my long list of things that have to get done before Christmas.

Maggie Robinson said...

I've stopped running myself ragged. I still decorate, but not as much. Stopped giving huge holiday parties, but still have my family over, which is huge enough. We've decided to draw names for presents, so there goes the crazy Christmas shopping too. Yay!When I want to relax, I write, read or take a hot bath, but not all at once. :)

WTDR is so much fun!

Minna said...

Right now it's raining -no, now it's snowing wet snow- and the snow has melted some. It sure is fun walking on the slippery road -not!

Monty Python: Christmas in Heaven

Gillian Layne said...

I escape to our public library, it's huge, old, and gorgeous, and then afterwords go grab a hot coffee. The joy of my "escape" is that the kids can come with me too and be perfectly content.

Marie Force said...

Meeting Eloisa and hearing her speak were two of the highlights of the recent NJ Romance Writers Conference. Look forward to reading When The Duke Returns and thank you for the wonderful holiday advice, Eloisa. You make a very good point about not letting the stress overwhelm the joy.

Anna Sugden said...

Glad to know you're another one who likes a good book to help chase away the holiday stresses, Maureen. And there's no shortage of choices with all the Bandita books and those of our guests!

Anna Sugden said...

That was our weather yesterday, Minna - today it is crisp and cold, but the sky is blue and the sun is shining.

Anna Sugden said...

Maggie, you sound like you have it all under control.

Our rule for Christmas is very simple - it's the one time of year we don't go anywhere. Anyone is welcome to come to our place, but we stay put! Of course, for us, it's the big family holiday - as we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, so that makes it a big deal *g*.

Anna Sugden said...

Oh Gillian, that sounds wonderful. I love the old kind of public library - I used to go to one in London when we were over visiting, which was perfect!

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Marie! It was great meeting you in NJ. Line of Scrimmage is one of my holiday treat reads this year.

Marie Force said...

YAY! Thanks Anna! Great to meet you, too!!

Dina said...

WTG Janga for snagging the GR.

To survive chaos is ti not let it et to you, that's it. I know it can get crazy, but if we try to look past it, it's not so bad. I tell myself that alo, lol.

Eloisa James said...

38 comments! Hey, guys, it's only 9:30 in the morning...

HI Janga! I love a glass of pinot too. I should have put that in my list!

And Donna, I hear you. Anything not to have to cook. And not to have to shop for food. And not to have to do dishes. And... OK, I'll admit it. I would like to be a Georgian duchess and have a ton of servants. I'm sure that's what happened in a previous life!

Jane, I am so with you on the massages! My problem is that my Puritanical Minnesota upbringing kicks in and I hardly ever have one. And yet I feel so much better afterwards... at peace with the world and much less growly.


Eloisa James said...


I agree re the chocolate/holiday problem. My defense is to eat a little chocolate before I got to any holiday parties. At this point, my favorite: chocolate sandwich! Anyone else eat these? You get some really amazing crusty white bread (Italian or French), cut it open and put in chocolate. Eat happily. Go off to party too stuffed to eat high-fat canapes, and manage to get very drunk because you stick to spiked punch. I highly recommend it!

Ellanora, that sounds like absolute -- well -- motherhood. I'm writing along in my current manuscript and yesterday I gave my heroine a puppy with an incontinence problem named Oyster -- so she would be very sympathetic with you about the puddles!


Eloisa James said...

Yoga! Of course. We would all be better people for some yoga. Or at least, I would. Unfortunately I spend too much time making and eating chocolate sandwiches to do my Sun Salutations...

Rachel, I love the idea of asking for pointed birthday gifts (ie, all nighties). Wonderful!

(Note to self: next birthday, diamonds only. Inform everyone now so they can start saving.)

Helen, I love your two grandbabies due on the same day. I have a friend who married her high school boyfriend. Meanwhile she had introduced her sister to his brother, so they married. And then my friend and her sister had a baby on the same day! Practically twins, really.

Anna's got another great one -- shoppping without taking anyone with you! I love that. Especially if my cell phone is off so no chidren/husband/friends can call.


Eloisa James said...

Gillian has anew one: the public library! I wish I could chime in there, but the library means children (mine), and that means my horror at my daughter's utter inability to keep her voice below a shout.

Hi Marie! That was such a fun conference - thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the talk.

(If you're going to National, skip the luncheon talk, because I think I'm going to riff on the same subject!)

And Dina, I'm with you. Sometimes I think adulthood is that simple: just survive the chaos. Or try to, anyway.

Back later, everybody! My goal for today is 20 pages (eek), so I'd better get typing.


Louisa Cornell said...

Way to go, Janga! A word of advice on the GR. Hide the car keys AND the chocolate!

I cannot WAIT to get my hands on the new Eloisa James novel! I have devoured this latest series. The heroines are smart and heroes are just DIVINE!!

To escape the chaos (I work at Wal-Mart. Can you say chaos on steroids??)

On my days off I usually write, however, at least once a month a take a day off to pile up in the bed with a stack of romance novels AND romantic DVDs some Earl Gray and some chocolate! The house dogs and cats join me and we have a long day of nothing but vegging out. It's great for all of us.

Another way I escape the chaos is to take my rescued dogs out of their dog runs for a long romp and run over my five acres. They are really good at teaching me to slow down and look at every bush, tree and flower. Each one of them came from a bad situation, some of them hours from being put down but they seem to have completely forgotten the past and live very much in their happy, safe now. Great lesson to learn!

KEIRA!!! I am so glad to hear from you. Please stay safe and come home to us!!

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Eloisa - great to see you! Actually, for me it's already this afternoon *g*.

Oooh chocolate sandwiches - and I thought Nutella sandwiches were a treat! (Keira's in India, I can mention Nutella safely LOL).

Happy writing - hope you get your 20pp done!

Anna Sugden said...

Dina - I try, but somehow I don't think my personality lets me *g*. Luckily my lovely hubby is pretty laid-back and I'm learning.

Anna Sugden said...

Aww Louisa - how lovely. My two rescued kitties certainly remind me of the good things in life. My girls are certainly enjoying their new life in the UK.

Your day for you sounds great - apart from the Earl Grey ... LOL. We have to get you on to some decent tea, love.

Christie Kelley said...

Welcome back to the lair, Eloisa! When the Duke Returns sounds fabulous and I can't wait to read it.

Survival guides? I have none.

I'm just getting by on raw adrenaline. After the 4.5 hour return trip from upstate NY took 6 hours, I didn't get anything done yesterday. So today, I'm playing catch-up with the house, the laundry, the day job and maybe this evening the writing job. Plus that lovely trip to the grocery store that awaits me.

Eloisa James said...

Hi Louisa,

I admire your work with rescue dogs so much! I'm having so much fun describing Oyster (the puppy I mentioned above). I even found a picture of him on-line.


Eloisa James said...

Oh Christie -- sounds like a miserable day (though perhaps better than 6 hours in the car?)

hang in there,

CrystalGB said...

Hi Eloisa. For me, it is finding a quiet place to read and drink a capuccino

Buffie said...

Wow, Eloisa is everywhere today!! Great to see you here too!

Hmm. Survival guide. Mine usually consists of pamprin and a glass of wine. Is that awful to say?! Well, that's what I had to do on Thanksgiving Day!!!!

My favorite escape during the Christmas season is to be sitting on the sofa reading a wonderful romance book by the lights on my Christmas tree while sipping hot green tea and sampling my freshly baked goodies. Oh, and no one else is at home!! LOL

flchen1 said...

Ooh, that is a lovely recipe, Eloisa! Reading a romance is my favorite treat; doing that while getting a pedi would be even better :)

Congrats on the GR, Janga!

jo robertson said...

Wow, you guys are hopping today! Eloisa, so happy to have you back in the Lair. Welcome! We all love your books so much. They are truly the antidote for stress or the blues.

I admit I'm a bubble bath girl! I love the water hot and well-scented with lighted candles and, of course, my latest reading book. Oh, and I usually have an iced Pepsi beside the tub because it gets pretty hot in there, literally and metaphorically. LOL!

WTDR sounds fabulous. Would you recommend that your readers begin with the first book in the Duchess series?

jo robertson said...

Forgot to congratulate Janga on capturing the Golden Rooster as the first poster. He's probably quite excited about the impending holidays; you may have to ply him with spiked eggnog!

MsHellion said...

I loved this book! Great stuff! And great recommendations. *LOL*

I recommend: a massage. I love them. Can't get enough of them.

I also recommend: yoga. I go to the gym pretty regularly...mainly because if I don't, I'm even more cranky. The 30 minutes on the elliptical is necessary, but on Mondays and Wednesdays, I do a bodypump class (which makes me feel strong and awesome) and then a yoga class right after, which is my reward for going to the bodypump. It's not as sexy as the paintjob or the lingerie, but being I don't find lace underwear all that comfortable all the time, I'd rather go to the gym and get my "sex appeal boost" that way. Plus with all I'm eating this holiday season, I need the gym!

Virginia said...

My survival is maybe going out to eat a nice dinner, which I don't get to do very often because I have to cook all the time. Sometimes I bury myself in a good book for survival.

Elyssa Papa said...

Welcome Eloisa! I, too, loved When The Duke Returns. It's got such a delicious hero.

When I want to relax, nothing's better than some chocolate and a good book.

(And don't put my name in the drawing...I just won the UK edition of Desperate Duchesses on the EJ/JQ board for a contest there).

Kim said...

Eloisa--OMG! I didn't know you literally ate a chocolate sandwich. When you mentioned that I thought you took two pieces of the chocolate I send you and called that a sandwich. LOL.

Anna--Is nutella good? I've never had it.

Anna Campbell said...

Hmm, Eloisa, I think you just solved my catering troubles. Chocolate sandwiches for everyone!

Kim, Nuttella is chocolate, hazelnuts and sugar. How could it not be GOOD???!!!

Hey, nice to see all the fresh faces here. Thanks for dropping by, guys!

Eloisa, do you plot your books before you start writing or are you a pantser?

catslady said...

Since I was young, reading has kept me sane. No matter what is going on around me, reading a good book takes me away. I love historicals the most, probably because it has nothing to do with the current time and place.

Janga said...

Anna, this is the first time the GR has visited me. He seems to be acclimating well to Georgia, although I don't think he's too pleased to share territory with our Aussie, Skye. He also took exception to our turkey salad lunch, but a bourbon brownie soon had him singing again. And he seems quite delighted with the four-year-old grand and his Invisible Bear.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, have you got an Australian terrier, Janga? My best friend had one and she was the most gorgeous little dog! Feisty! I'd back the dog over the rooster any day! Any way you can share a bourbon brownie with a poor hungry Aussie? And I don't mean the four-legged variety!

Anna Campbell said...

That was the TERRIER was the most gorgeous little dog, not my best friend. My best friend is a human! Really!

Gannon Carr said...

WTG, Janga! You should get the GR to wait on you!

Eloisa, what a treat to see you here today and on RNTV--double the pleasure. ;)

I'm all about self care, but alas, I don't always take the time. A fabulous romance novel, a glass of wine, a quiet house...these are all good. I'll add a pedi, massage, facial and any other indulgence. Those don't happen often, but when they do....bliss!

Eloisa James said...

Hi Jo,

There's no need to start with the first book in my series. The books stand alone, as they say. I try to make sure that though the other characters are around, plot lines don't really get decided, so they're background music to the main plot.

ie, just dive right into When the Duke Returns, if you feel like it!


Eloisa James said...

Hi there, Miss Hellion!

Such virtue. I'm not sure I want to know you anymore. A class and THEN yoga? Geez.... (eloisa slinks off)

BUT -- here's Kim to make me feel better by sending me another package of chococlate! Yes, there are those who are happy because they up their seratonins, and there are those who are happy (moi) because Kim lives next to a gourmet chocolate store and send it along...


Eloisa James said...

Hello there, Anna!

(For those of you not as lucky as moi, may I say that I had the reat of reading Tempt the Devil -- and it's INCREDIBLE? Coming out in January, and with all that fire-burst romance that Judith McNaughts had.

Anyway, I wish I planned. BUt alas, I'm a panser, which is so much more stressful.. I'm too afraid to plan. I think I won't be creative anymore. This leads to tearful editing sessions when characters have to go, but hey, that's the breaks.

Catslady, I agree with you! All the gloom and hysteria on the news (about finances) makes me want nothing more than to read historicals. The kind where every good alpha is a duke, and money's not a problem.


Dawn Halliday said...

So far this has been an incredibly challenging holiday season--I spent Thanksgiving in the ER with my grandmother and have scarcely seen the light of day since.

For seasonal survival (which I already need this season!) I'm heading home today, and am looking forward to hanging out with my family, watching Heroes, and tomorrow I'm getting a pedicure, for sure!

Anna Campbell said...

Eloisa, have you tried the caramel and nut turtles that Kim pushes, uh, sends to her friends? Those things are so great, they should be banned!

I was actually around in the early hours - well, early hours in the US anyway! Not quite early enough to snag the rooster from that sneaky Janga, though! So glad you're enjoying your visit, Eloisa! We always love to welcome you to the lair!

Wow, thanks for that plug! THANK YOU! That means an enormous amount coming from a star like you! In fact, I think you just made my month!

Judith McNaught, no less? I remember picking up Whitney, My Love on a holiday at the Gold Coast in the late 80s where all it did was rain. I read it in one gulp and then turned around and started at page one again, it was that good. Love it when a book sweeps me away like that!

I'm a pantser too - it's a stressful way to work, isn't it? Scary! Like doing the high wire without the safety net. Wish I could work more sensibly!

Hey, Dawn, great to see you here! Sorry your holiday has been so fraught. Hope everything is OK now? Can you have some wine with that pedicure? Sounds like you need it!

danie88 said...

favorite survival recipe? Can I have several? hehe

~a big cup of hot chocolate with lots of mini marshmallows (or frozen cool whip)

~and a good book

that's all i need :D

limecello said...

Well, Janga- you make quite an entrace :P Congrats on the GR!
Thanks for visiting with us, Eloisa! I love your books and can't wait to get some time to read "When the Duke Returns."
As for my survival recipe... I'm in the middle of finals now - wrote and turned in 3 papers yesterday (not to be recommended) - and I have another paper due in 8 hrs. *gulp* After the next one is due Wednesday, I plan on gorging on chocolate, taking a LONG bath, as you said, reading, and SLEEPING. I might also veg out in front of the boob tube, and/or play some wii games with my shiny new system I recently bought and have barely used.
It'll definitely be a lot of "me" time. And, I guess I'll see the family and spend time with them too :P After all, it is the holidays.
Congratulations on the new release! :)

luveurope1 said...

Hi Eloisa! :)
Great blog! I too am a big fan of chocolates, good wine, and massages and pedis.

Unfortunately, being a girl on a budget (i.e. an extremely poor student with loans out the wazoo), I don't get to treat myself as often as I'd like. But this year I am determined that, if I survive this finals period, I'll treat myself to a nice lunch, have a nice glass of wine, and spend some quality time with my girlfriends.

P.S. LOVED LOVED LOVED When the Duke Returns! :) I can't wait for the final two books!

robhap said...

My favourite survival for stress related situations is to float in the swimming pool on a rubber mattress reading one of your romantic books. Plus dream of natures achievments in this romantic world.

Anna Sugden said...

Uggh Christie - I hate it when travel plans do that to you. Hope you get caught up and manage some time to relax.

Anna Sugden said...

Crystal - that sounds perfect.

Buffie - hugs on the need for Pamprin - but glad you could enjoy the wine. I love the picture of you relaxing with the Christmas tree lights.

Anna Sugden said...

Now there's a thought, Fedora - reading while having a pedi!

Jo - I don't like taking books into the bathroom as they end up soggy, although the image of relaxing like that sounds fab.

I know you don't have to read the books in order - but there is a delicious pleasure in reading them back to back.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Eloisa--thanks for swinging by the lair today. We always love it when you visit! And thanks to Anna for bringing Eloisa by!

I loved your suggestion for treating yourself to a little lingerie. Without going into too much embarassing detail, let me just confess that I'm one of those, um, hard to fit women. A pretty bra is something I long for & have rarely had.

I've had my eye on a couple recently but balked at the price. Couldn't quite see paying top $$ for something nobody but my husband & I will ever see.

But I think you said just what I needed to hear. I deserve a pretty bra. For morale purposes, if nothing else. I think I'll go buy myself one. And then I'll buy a copy of When the Duke Returns to go with it. :-)

Thanks, Eloisa.

Anna Sugden said...

Whatever works, MsHellion! Your body pump sounds like my boxing training, so I can see your pleasure.

Hey, as long as I don't have to wear cheeswire knickers, I'm happy!

Anna Sugden said...

Virginia - you can't beat a good meal out!

Elyssa - you're allowed two prizes in one week *g*.

I'm very envious of those of you who have read WTDR. *sigh*.

Anna Sugden said...

Kim - oh yes. Nutella is a chocolate hazelnut spread - delish!

Anna Sugden said...

Anna - can you have a Tim Tam sandwich? That would be a chocolate sandwich chocolate sandwich!

Anna Sugden said...

Catslady - reading and my cats keep me sane!

Janga - sounds like the GR is having a great time at your place. Maybe he won't be tempted to go back to the Aussies.

Anna Sugden said...

Gannon - I think we rarely take the time for ourselves that we should. Today has reminded us all to give ourselves that extra little treat!

Cheri2628 said...

Thanks for dropping by, Eloisa! My favorite survival method no matter the season is to immerse myself in a great romance novel. Getting lost in a book really helps me deal with stress or depression.

I would love to win An Affair Before Christmas because I am delighted to say that I have the other 2 books!

Cheryl (aka Cheri)

Anna Sugden said...

Grrr - now Eloisa is at it. Tempt the Devil doesn't hit the shelves over here until the end of January.

Oh well - I'll have some nice post-Christmas treats to look forward to.

Anna Sugden said...

Dawn - hugs on the fraught holiday. Hopefully, things will ease up for you. Feel free to grab a hunk and relax while you're here.

Anna Sugden said...

Danie - you know what we're like in the Lair - have as many as you like!

Limecello - thank you so much for sparing the time to visit in the midst of Finals Fever! best of luck with your papers - we'll be willing you on for A's all the way.

Anna Sugden said...

Oh my goodness - two poor students. Let the cabana boys soothe your aching shoulders and replenish your studying wells. You'll have earned that nice lunch and the glass or two of wine, luveurope1!

Anna Sugden said...

Robhap - that sounds wonderful. Though I must admit - I have the same luck with pools as I do with baths, when it comes to books!

Susan - of course you deserve a pretty bra - just for you!

Anna Sugden said...

Cheryl/Cheri - losing yourself in a great book really does help. We've noted your wish *g*.

Nancy said...

Janga, you grabbed the golden rooster with your first post! That's a coup.

Eloisa, welcome! I think this post makes a point that's very important, especially for this time of year. Many women put their own needs last. Everyone else comes first. I didn't realize how widespread this problem was until I worked as a weight loss counselor and heard people talk about the difficulty of maintaining their food plans.

I pamper myself during the holidays either with a reading break or a video fest in which I watch several episodse of a favorite TV show back to back.

Perrin, I also love Target. I could just wander around in there looking at things all day.

Helen, wow! Two babies on the same day! It'll be a big month at your house, but what a joyous holiday season.

PJ said...

Welcome Eloisa! Congrats on the release of When the Duke Returns. It's a wonderful story!

I just got home from being out of town for Thanksgiving and am very ready for some pampering. I learned a few years back to always take time to pamper myself a bit, especially during the hectic holidays. I treat myself to a pedicure once a month. It's a wonderful pick-me-up and always makes me feel good, even if nobody sees the end result but me. Another favorite is to put on some Christmas music, snuggle under my favorite blanket, sip a mug of hot chocolate with Kahlua and read a romance.

Anna Campbell said...

Hmm, a Tim Tam sandwich? I think the idea just put the heart attack rate in Australia up by about 90%! Actually I think I'll just eat the Tim Tams!

PJ said...

Congrats Janga! Nice catch! :)

Nancy said...

Ellanora, if you've been living with construction AND two toddlers for 11 months, you deserve a medal. Congratulations on staying sane!

Nancy said...

After the tree goes up, I like to turn its lights, sit in the dark (maybe with carols playing) and just look at it. I often think of Christmases past and Christmases to come and people who're gone.

Don't forget, everyone--special rooster-related news in tomorrow's blog!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Eloisa, sorry to arrive so late to give you a hearty Bandita welcome to the lair! I've just arrived home from Japan so I hope that's a good excuse.

Oh, you spoke right to my heart about giving yourself some pampering during the Christmas madness. We never have time to do that, do we? Can't wait to read WHEN THE DUKE RETURNS. What a treat!

Janga, congrats! I hope that rooster is pampering you today:)

jo robertson said...

Thanks, Eloisa, I just ordered WTDR from Amazon; it sounds just like my cuppa tea! Glad to know I don't have to stick to an order.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Christine, we've missed you! Hope you had a fantastic time!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Eloisa! Welcome back to the lair!

I love your prescription for loving yourself.

One of my favorite indulgences at the holiday is the tradition some writer friends down here in Texas have. Franny, our chief planner, scopes out a restaurant and plans the date. Then we all get decked out in our finest and have a girls' only party. We do a lovely ornament white elephant exchange, drink lots of wine and have "Buttery Nipple" shots for desert. Lots of laughter and good company!

Keira Soleore said...

Vrai and Louisa, we're doing well. No participation or even inconvenience from the terror and horror. And we're recovering from our stomach bugs, too. So all's good. Everyone's having a marvelous time here--lots of laughter and good food. We're already seven people in the house, with many more on the way.

Keira Soleore said...

Vrai, love, I'll get on e-mail in a bit, though there's no hurry since we're out of the country at the moment.

Eloisa, I wish for many beautiful necklaces for you in the new year. I adore each and every one I've seen the past two national conferences.

Margay said...

Books are my survival kit. Whenever I need to de-stress, I curl up with a book. Works every time!

Lara Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lara Lee said...

For the last two months, my mother-in-law has been living with us. She just moved into her new place today. I love her dearly but this is a small place and my computer and writing hours have had to coincide with her schedule.

So, to pamper myself, I'm going to read, write, and stay up playing on my computer as late as I want. And, I'm not making dinner for at least a week! Well, maybe only when my daughter and granddaughter comes to visit. :)

Wonderful blog, Eloisa. Thanks for the reminder.

Anne N said...

Well, many of my relaxation tips would duplicate everyone else's - but the big change for me this season is... I'm actually doing them, instead of just wishing.

My other half is overseas with the Air Force for the next six months, and with a 2 and 4yo (snap with the toilet training puddles!), I have finally, finally realized that I do actually have to come first some of the time! Otherwise the whole family falls in a heap.

So... even though I'm not working, my kids are still spending some time in daycare so I can write and do Christmas shopping, I am making sure to do yoga a few times a week, and I am ALSO treating myself to a massage or a bath or a chocolate and movie once a week.

Sad that it took survival to make me relax! Thanks, Eloise, for reminding us that we deserve it.


Anna Campbell said...

Hey, thanks to everyone who came round today and a specially BIG thank you to Eloisa! Please come and visit us again. We now have a special corner of the lair reserved for you, right next to the bar!

Pat Cochran said...

Hello, Eloisa,

My favorite escape is into a book
when I need relaxation. I'm, at
this very moment, looking at Lady
Isidore's face on the cover of "When The Duke Returns." I just started the book late this afternoon, so I have not gotten
too far.(Page 81) I look forward
to the rest of the book.

Pat Cochran

Leslie said...

To survive I tune the world out and tune into some relaxing music. Or to get me in the spirit I might listen to holiday music.

Caffey said...

Hi Eloisa!! Great to be chatting with you here! I remember first reading your quartet books when a historical romance group I was on with yahoo and they picked the first book for a group read and discussion. We all loved it and did the whole quartet when each came out! You have a voice in your writing that has me totally smiling through reading them, or teary eyed with other scenes. So I get emotionally attached to my historical romance reads. It seems that it yes, takes me within the story but has me feeling along with them. These reads have helped me too through some tough times that I've gone through medically and I honestly think they are the best medicine!

Caffey said...

Oops I got so carried away with my thoughts and feelings in reading these historicals that I forgot to answer how I pamper me! Besides my books (no, no more taking them in the bathtub, I dropped too many to count). I so love the museum we have here, its like 3 blocks down from our house, and I love to visit the second floor where they have all the very older historical pictures. I don't even know all the painters, but I can picture all the pictures!! But I just walk and walk the halls and each time I'm seeing something new! So this is a beautiful way for me to see and feel that beauty around me! Its very relaxing!

Eloisa James said...

Hi everybody!

I was pushed off my computer yesterday by an aggressive teenager, so I'm just picking up now -sorry about that!

Dawn -- huge hugs. I do hope your grandmother recovers and has a terrific Christmas.

Anna - my sympathy! Pantsing is the WORST. I know because I was up in the middle of the night thinking, "OK...what next? *&*! What next?"

And Limecello, dear, these are not the things that we professors like to hear about! 3 papers in one day? I hope you know how to use spell check... good luck with the exams!


Eloisa James said...

Thank you, thank you LuvEurope, Caffey and Jo Robertson for the kind words about my books -- I hugely appreciate it!

And Susan,
My husband wouldn't notice a beautiful bra if I had it on. He's just not a lingerie person. That's exactly why my rules developed: it's for ME, not him!

And Keira, see you at National! I have such a gorgeous new necklace... I adore bead necklaces and this is a doozy.

Everyone, it's been such a huge pleasure to hang out with you. What a lovely community!

kisses all,
and I hope your holiday is as wonderful as you could possibly imagine.


Anna Sugden said...

Sorry guys - the time difference and computer woes scuppered any plans to return yesterday.

Christine - welcome back! Hope your trip was fab!

Suz - sounds like a fab plan to me.

Anna Sugden said...

Margay - oh yes - books are the best survival kit.

PJ - you're a very smart woman. I like the sound of your treat to yourself.

Lara Lee - you deserve an extra special treat. As much as we love our family, there is nothing like having your own space to yourself.

Anna Sugden said...

Anne - hugs on having hubby overseas for so long. And for managing the littlies on your own!

Well done, though, for recognising the importance of looking after yourself!

Anna Sugden said...

*sticking fingers in ears* la la la not listening to Pat telling me how she's reading WTDR!

Don't forget to claim your prize, Pat!

Anna Sugden said...

Leslie - music is a great soother.

Caffey - we love fan girls here in the Lair! Your treat sounds wonderful - I plan to treat myself to a day at the British Library one day soon. And the V&A.

Anna Sugden said...

Thank you to everyone who joined us today - it's been such fun. Now, remember to follow through on treats this holiday season!

Thank you, Eloisa, for another fun visit - hope you got those pages done!