Sunday, December 7, 2008

Things We Love

by Caren Crane

Back by popular demand (and my personal edict) is one of our favorite authors and Bandita Buddies, Deb Marlowe. This picture of me and Deb was taken at the 2007 RWA conference in Dallas where Deb won the Golden Heart. We may hear something about her GH-winning book today. Let's listen...

We all have them. The little things that ignite a glow inside you and set your heart to skipping in anticipation. Now, I’m not talking about the really significant elements of our lives: spouses, kids, families—I’m thinking of the tiny treats, the singular little splurges that we turn to when our spirits need lifting at the end of a tough job or a long day. These little luxuries might change over time, or with the seasons, but they give us the boost we need—when we need it most.

To get the ball rolling, I’ll share a few of the gifts I give myself when I need a pick-me up.

**My new release, An Improper Aristocrat. You knew I had to work it in here, didn’t you? *g* But seriously, this book is special to me. Here’s a blurb:

Navigating the Nile to uncover the antiquities of Upper Egypt might sound perilous, but Niall Stafford, the Earl of Treyford finds it infinitely safer than sailing the fickle waters of the Beau Monde. He is back in England and on dangerous ground when a deathbed pledge has him delivering an ancient artifact to a colleague’s sister.

Desert bandits are more easily managed than Miss Chione Latimer, but her fascinating mix of knowledge and innocence arouse far more than his protective instincts. Can such an improper aristocrat learn to be the true gentleman that Miss Latimer deserves?


I wanted to create a big romance with a breathless adventure, a story in which the reader followed along with the characters as they chased one clue to the next and was never sure where it would all end up. I was about halfway through when a discussion with an editor derailed me. She questioned the marketability of the idea and advised that I start something else. I considered it. It’s hard to question an industry insider’s advice. So I started something else. But Trey and Chione kept calling me back. How could I abandon my half-Egyptian novelist and her antiquity-seeking Earl? I had to finish the adventure and give them their HEA. So I did. And that book went on to win the Golden Heart and help me land my second contract with Harlequin Historicals. Now, whenever I doubt myself—and boy is that easy to do in this business!—I just pick up this book to remind me to listen to my heart as well as all the other voices.

**The Big Bang Theory
Do any of you guys watch this show? These guys speak to my inner geek. This sitcom is about a group of friends, all career scientists in various fields, struggling with life, love and the pursuit of science fiction memorabilia. Sheldon, the genius physicist with OCD tendencies has got to be one of TV’s greatest characters ever. My pre-teen and I curl up together every Monday night to laugh uproariously at their nerdy antics. A great way to end a busy day!

**A Seasonal Favorite — Sitting in the Dark with a Lit-Up Christmas Tree
Is there anything more relaxing? I’ve loved to do this since I was a kid. I’d sit and stare at the patterns the lights and branches made on the ceiling and dream of what might be under the tree on Christmas morning. Now I sit and let my mind drift. No work, kid’s schedules, gift lists or housekeeping worries allowed. Just me, an evergreen, some twinkly lights and the universe. Ah, peace!

So spill! What little thing do you look forward to with happy anticipation at the end of the day? It could be anything; a hot cup of tea, a little Nutella perhaps? Or maybe a Tim Tam or two? Share your private indulgence! Maybe one of us will add it to our own regime. I’ll give away a couple of copies of my December release, An Improper Aristocrat to commenters!

* * * * * * *
Man, are y'all in for a treat! I got to read this book (because I whined to Deb a lot) in its UK release. It's FABULOUS! And I'm not just saying that because Deb gets up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays to go walking with me, either. *eg*

112 comments:

Stacey Kayne said...

Did I get it???

Joan said...

I'm not sure, but I think this may be a first, where the previous day's guest, grabbed the golden one.

Did you use a lasso, Stacey?

Stacey Kayne said...

He-he-he...got me a western rooster ;-)

Hi'ya Deb! My lil' happy splurges...Dove dark chocolates and boots...happy splurges And research books--I'm such a research geek *g*--just got the coolest book of maps from the Civil War--each page tells of cartographers from both sides and each page is a pocket that holds a map! It's like Christmas on eveery page!!! Oh yeah, a happy splurge :)

Desert bandits...OMG, how cool!! I'm thinking your book will be another happy splurge--sounds FAB Deb!! Cheers on the new release!!

Joan said...

Deb Marlowe, Deb Marlowe, Deb Marlowe.

She who got me HOOKED on Taylor Swift's "Love Story" video.

Your book sounds fabulous and I say hear, hear to sticking to those stories that come from the heart, that have to be told, that give new choices to the romance reader.

I love looking at Christmas Tree lights in the dark too! All the twinkling multicolored lights....MUST be multicolored... the tinsel, the ornaments that are images of our life, for me are symbols of my dreams. Yes, high on that list for me is finding a home for my Roman boys. They are ready and so am I.

Now, where's that You Tube video again?

Stacey Kayne said...

You know it, Joan ;-)

I haven't been a huge Taylor Swift fan--but I love that song and video--gives me shivers every time.

Helen said...

Well done Stacey enjoy your da with him

Great post Caren and Deb I wanna read this book sounds amazing and I agree everyone really needs something to enjoy after a hard day at work or even a tiring and fun day with the grandchildren which I have just got home from and yes I am very ready for a nanny nap at the moment but I will get myself a cup of coffee a couple of Tim Tams and my book and that is so what I enjoy just time to turn off to eveything and get lost in a wonderful adventure and sometimes if at home on my own I really love to put one of my favourite movies on and watch it with no disturbances another treat I enjoy.

Thanks for sharing Deb I will be starting the Christmas shopping tomorrow and hopefully finishing before the girls have their babies and I will defiantly need some me time after that with a good book.

Have Fun
Helen

jo robertson said...

Hi, Deb, welcome to the Lair.

Stacey, you must've stayed online all day to catch the rooster. Well, done, fellow Roser! Joan, I do believe you're right about this being a first-time thing with our previous guest getting the rooster.

Deb, loved your blog topic, and your book sounds intriguing. I think we get so bogged down in the busyness of this time of the year that we forget to even think about the "things we love," much less indulge in them.

My favorite relaxation is the hot, hot bath, complete with candles, bubbles, and a good book.

In the winter, however, my husband, builds a fire every morning so that when I get up, it's all nice and toasty in the family room. Isn't that just too sweet?

limecello said...

Congrats on the GR, Stacey! :D

Hm... the little things? A nice package in the mail. I have to admit I have definite *squee* moments when Tim Tams arrive - just found out they're going to be in the US for about 3 months so I'm plotting ways to stock up :P

Erm - something cute on TV e.g. A Charlie Brown Christmas, etc. Puppies. A nice commercial. A note or call from a friend. :) All those things make my happy. (Oftentimes ridiculously so.) Oh - or my favorite foods. lol.

catslady said...

Love, love, love the cover. And the books sounds good too!

I look forward every night to getting into bed, surrounded by cats, and reading! I also enjoy watching the tree at night and if I take off my glasses I get the most spectacular light show with large glowing orbs blinking on and off.

danie88 said...

I've mentioned these on several past posts lol but here we go...

~a big cup of hot cocoa with lots and i mean lots of mini marshmallows or frozen whip cream

~a good book

~some good music (pretty much anything even hard rock and country)

~chocolate covered cherries i LOVE those and i usually only get to eat them around christmas time...

flchen1 said...

Woohoo! Yay on the GR, Stacey! Mighty fine lasso work there! ;)

Deb, chocolate and books make for a happy day! And nothing like getting some of those in the mail! Yippee!

And limecello, did you say that Tim Tams are coming to the US? Details, please!!

Tawny said...

YAY Deb's in the Lair :-) What a FAB sounding book!

Special induglences? The tree lights twinkling in the background while I curl up on the couch under a warm blanket, a cup of hot chocolate (the kind made from chocolate shavings) and my kids by my side while we watch Christmas cartoons.

sigh... I need to get lights up so I can do this.

And Stacey, go you on nabbing that rooster. You have a talent with chickens *g*

robynl said...

at the end of the day I look forward to sitting down with a Pepsi in hand and enjoying it. Love Pepsi.

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Stacey.

Welcome Deb,
Congrats on the new release. I look forward to taking off my work clothes, a hot shower, a cold Coke, cookies(Tim Tams, Oreos) and spending the rest of the night reading or watching my favorite tv shows.

Fedora, Tim Tams are available at Target until March.

Helen said...

Deb
When will the book be released in Australia I need to note it down so as I can get it.

I think if I were you Ladies that want some Tim Tams you had better get in quick if Target are only going to have them for 3 months

Have Fun
Helen

Gillian Layne said...

See, comments like this make me wonder just how out of touch some editors are with what the reading public wants. Anything that hints of Egypt is an automatic buy for me, and I know so many others feel the same way! So good for you (and all of us!) for sticking to your guns.

I love a hot cup of English breakfast tea, with sugar, at the end of the day. Very relaxing. And I love to cuddle with my cats.

Christine Wells said...

Woohoooooo!!!!! Fantastic to see you in the lair, Deb, sister mine:) Do you know, you've added another thing to the list we have in common because I have often sat in the dark with ye olde Christmas tree for company. Those lights are quite mesmerizing, aren't they? I wonder how many book ideas have percolated happily in your subsconscious while you've let yourself drift.

And I have to give an almighty plug for the fabulous AN IMPROPER ARISTOCRAT. Deb's wit and charm is only rivaled by her characters' and this adventure is an absolute hoot from start to finish. And there were bits that just stole my heart and put tears in my eyes. What a great book!

Did you find the research daunting at all? Because the couple of scenes in Egypt just made me feel like I was there.

Hi Stacey!!! Congrats on the rooster! Great to see you too! Sorry to have missed you--I was away from home the last couple of days.

Maureen said...

The story in your book and the story of you writing your book are both great. Sitting down with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate is a great break for me.

Margay said...

Deb, first off I have to comment on what a wonderful story you told about the journey of this book from concept to publication. This just proves that persistence - and going with your gut - really does pay off. Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

As for things I look forward to at the end of the day, the answer is quite simple - books. I have to read something before I go to bed at night because it just helps me unwind and escape from my daily stresses for awhile. Add to that a little bit of chocolate - any kind of chocolate - and I am good to go.

I hope your book is a great success.

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Banditas and Buddies!

Stacey! You got the GR! Now you have to tell us just what you are going to do with him. I made him help me paint the last time I got him and I've not even seen a glimpse of a feather since! Hmmm, is it rodeo season? He might enjoy that--although I doubt you could scare up a cowboy as hot as those on your covers!

Oh, I love your list of splurges. Chocolate. Yum. Boots--I'm famous for my addiction to men in boots. :-) And research books! Your newest sounds fab! You can never have enough. And not everybody understands how a great research books starts your heart to pumping!

Caren Crane said...

Stacey, you sly dog! Way to sneak to the next day and nab the Golden Rooster. Note to self: watch Stacey Kane as she is quite tricksy. *g*

Also, I think Dove chocolates are extra special because of the happy little messages inside the wrappers. What's more fun than that?

You map book sounds like research nirvana, Stacey. I love maps, too. Hey, is there a Cartographers Anonymous chapter somewhere? I'm sure Deb would join and I would, too! *g*

Caren Crane said...

Joan, you KNOW Stacey used a lasso. How else could she lure the GR to the west? It's cold there right now and you KNOW he's gotten used to basking in the sun Down Under. Fickle bird!

I am a big fan of watching the Christmas tree lights twinkle in the dark, too. I still feel all the Santa magic when I do! *sigh* I think it's official: I will NEVER grow up...

Caren Crane said...

Stacey and Joan, I resisted last time, but now I fear I MUST go watch that Taylor Swift video. I am not a country music girl, but every article I read about her is so fascinating (she's so YOUNG) and the rumors about her dating Joe Jonas are making me extra curious.

Joe Jonas is - to risk being labeled a cradle robber - the cutest thing ever. He has so much charisma! You may all recall that I got to accompany my youngest daughter a Jonas Brothers concert this summer. Those boys have IT in spades!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hey Joan!

Happy to have begun an obsession, especially with something as good as Taylor Swift's "Love Story" That video is wonderful!

I'm with you all the way on multicolored lights. That's what we have to have. We've resisted the urge to switch to a pre-lit tree because all of them have white lights! What's up with that?

We're all ready for your Roman boys! It's past time for them to make their way in the world. I'm saving a special corner of my bookshelf for them!

Caren Crane said...

Helen, your recipe of coffee, Tim Tams and books is a hard one to beat. Of course, my current combination of coffee and Romance Bandits isn't too shabby, either. *g* You guys know how seldom I get to play online anymore! :-(

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Gillian, tea and kitties are a powerfully relaxing combination. What a treat at the end of the day! I think a purring kitty can dissolve any problem. Can you tell I'm a cat person? ;-)

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Helen!

Oh, yes, books and movies do it for me too. I stayed up too late last night sobbing over PS I Love You. But it was happy sobbing!

I have to say, your grandchildren are so lucky! Your love for them comes out loud and clear in your posts. You sound like the most fun grandma ever! My own grandma was one of the most special women in my life--and AIA is dedicated to her. I know she's smiling at me from somewhere.

Caren Crane said...

Gillian and Christine, don't you adore Egypt books? I am a HUGE fan of the Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody books and Deb is, too. Egypt and Egyptology is simply fascinating! I would love more books set in that most romantic of backdrops. We need someone to write a 'DaVinci Code' type bestseller set in Egypt. I guarantee NYC would pay attention then!

Caren Crane said...

Deb, I am so with you on 'P.S. I Love You'. Critics hated it, of course, but I adored it! It is INSANELY romantic and pure fantasy. I was rapt! My daughters adored it, too. Most. Romantic. Movie. EVAH!

Deb Marlowe said...

Jo, Books and a hot bath or a hot fire. Ahh. Plus, your dh sounds amazing. You've got a great model for all of your heroes!

Caren Crane said...

Jo, much as I love a hot bath, I think a fire wins as a Thing I Love. I could stare at a fire as long as I could stare at a Christmas tree! I have great memories of cold winter nights, roaring fires in the fire place and my father playing his guitar and singing us old country and mountain folk songs. *sigh*

Caren Crane said...

Limecello, Tim Tams are here? In the US?! For Christmas? Is this a season thing, like how we can only get Walker's Ginger Royals at Christmas? I swear, it's a racket!

Caren Crane said...

Catslady, hasn't Deb been blessed by the cover gods? Hers have all been gorgeous! And I had to giggle about the special light show sans glasses. I sometimes do the same thing, because I am BLIND without my glasses! I sometimes feel sorry for people with great vision who can't blur their world on command. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Danie, I could go down your list and tick off the items as my faves, too. I was in the pharmacy the other night picking up something in a great hurry and as I stood in the checkout line, guess what was sitting RIGHT THERE by my left hand, taunting me? Chocolate-covered cherries! I almost bought them, but resisted temptation. It took all my will power, because I love them!

So, cream or liquid centers for you? I go back and forth and believe each has its own special charm. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Fedora, I am with you and Limecello on getting things in the mail. Christmas is mostly mail order this year, so packages are turning up all the time! It's thrilling to get each one, since many times I can't tell what is in the package!

I have devoted myself to finding small but meaningful gifts this year. It has been such fun!

Deb Marlowe said...

limecello, I love getting packages in the mail! Even if they are not for me, there's just something about arriving home and finding a box waiting on the porch. It's the possibilities that are addictive, maybe. After all, it could be a research book!

Caren Crane said...

Tawny, please don't mention getting decorations up. I have put up only a couple of things and am already exhausted. The thought of the tree is too intimidating. I hope to get cards written someday, too. *sigh* I need an assistant!

And, um...what's with Stacey and chickens?!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Catslady! I'm laughing because I had to leave the blog for a minute to feed the cat. :-) Even if there is food in her bowl, she won't eat unless you escort her to it. Weird, huh?

And thanks for the cover compliment! Harlequin Historicals has some great covers. The UK version was gorgeous too. You can check it out on my website www.DebMarlowe.com. One reader said it featured the Regency Brad Pitt. LOL!

Caren Crane said...

Robynl vs. Jane: Pepsi vs. Coke. I sense a showdown coming up. *g*

Robynl, in college it was Diet Pepsi all the way - it was all we had in the machines! I still associate Diet Pepsi with studying and being in engineering school.

Jane, I long ago confessed my adoration for Coke Zero. When I gave up caffeine for Lent this year, I had to let my precious Coke Zero go. *sob* I still miss it! I can't believe there is no caffeine-free Coke Zero in this market. Surely it's coming!

Caren Crane said...

Jane, I see I must go to Target. Today. I hope the Tim Tams had made their way to North Carolina...

Caren Crane said...

Maureen, I'm sensing a theme among all of us avid readers: books, chocolate, HOT chocolate. Add coffee and I think we've about got it covered. *g* Of course, they say chocolate triggers the same endorphines as sex, so maybe chocolate and romance go hand in hand?

Caren Crane said...

Margay, isn't Deb's story inspirational? She's a tough girl for sticking to her vision and keeping her Egypt storyline. Of course, I would love to have a whole book set in Egypt, but we'll have to wait for publishing to catch up so Deb can write that one. *g*

There's the chocolate and books again...my theory is gaining gravitas. *g*

Deb Marlowe said...

danie88--Your list rocks! I went through a phase a couple of years ago where I would put a little peppermint schnapps in my hot chocolate at night. My kids were little, it was that phase where you find you are lucky to get 5 minutes to yourself to shower, and it felt like the ultimate indulgence to sip that at the end of a long day!

My mom ADORES chocolate covered cherries. Have you had the Hershey's Kisses with the cherry cordial inside? That's her new fave.

Deb Marlowe said...

flchen1--I'm with you--Tim Tams? We need details!

Deb Marlowe said...

Tawny! Hey, I forgot about the Christmas cartoons and specials! My kids are anxiously awaiting the new one featuring Heat Miser and Cold Miser!

Deb Marlowe said...

robynl--my dh is right there with you on Pepsi. It's his fave. I'm a coke girl, but we've managed to reach a detente. :-) Especially since I"ve had to mostly give up soda. Sob.

Deb Marlowe said...

Jane, bless you for the Tim Tam information. I'm going to Target. Today.

So which TV shows do it for you? Am I alone in my love for the nerdy boys of Big Bang? Or my twisted fascination for True Blood and Big Love?

Margay said...

Yes, Caren, it was very inspirational. I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever find myself in the same position.

Deb Marlowe said...

Helen, I think AIA was released in your neck of the woods in the spring. April perhaps?

So far, all of my books have been released in the UK first. I think Australia gets the UK books right after the UK release.

Which means, of course, that you should be seeing the next book right about now! Her Cinderella Season features characters from AIA and even has a bit of a spin-off adventure!

Deb Marlowe said...

I'm LOL, Gillian, because when I was pitching this book, both editors and agents looked concerned and asked "The whole thing is not set in Egypt is it?"

But that was a while ago and things change. Recently the Harlequin Historical editors blogged at Risky Regencies and they mentioned they would love to see an ancient Egyptian romance! So there's hope!

Kirsten said...

Hi Deb!!! Welcome back to the Lair you beautiful thing you! :-)

Your book sounds fabulous. Add me to the list of those who love Egypt books. Sounds like great fun.

As for things I love...you were reading my mind with the Christmas tree in the dark. It's not quite 6AM here, so the sun isn't up, so I'm doing my Christmas tree lights in the morning, but it still counts because (most importantly!) the kids and hubby are asleep.

Two more things I love: Christmas pageant at church (love seeing the little ones dressed up as angels!) and my daughter's ballet school's annual performance of the Nutcracker. There's something about watching a little three year old bon-bon prance around the stage that brings tears to my eyes every time! Even if I don't know the little bon-bon! This year my daughter was an Arabian Princess. Just priceless to see her on stage.

Kirsten said...

Stacey, that cartographer book does sound pretty amazing! I wish I had one of those!

Deb Marlowe said...

Christine! Our psychic connection is getting downright scary--but fun! It's like having a secret twin all the way across the world!

Thank you so much for the kind words about AIA. They mean a lot coming from a fabulous storyteller like you!

I loved the research! I've been fascinated with things Egyptian forever and this was a chance to really indulge. Plus, while I was writing it, Caren turned me on to Amelia Peabody. When I finished, I went on a massive glom and now I'm in secret lust with Emerson. Don't tell my dh!

Joan said...

My word, it is only 9:30 AM and FIFTY THREE comments!


Joe Jonas is - to risk being labeled a cradle robber - the cutest thing ever.

I don't know much about the Jonas brothers but apparently Mr. Joe broke up with MY Taylor....in less than 27 seconds...by text message.
At least that was what she reported on the Ellen show.

If you ever have an opportunity to watch an interview with Taylor Swift you will find that she is the most centered, down to earth, mature and sweet young lady. She's beautiful and talented and unassuming. I am amazed each time I listen to her talk about her goals.

And she's only 18!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Maureen! Thank you! I think you've hit the universal consensus. Books and chocolate rock--especially together!

Joan said...

We've resisted the urge to switch to a pre-lit tree because all of them have white lights! What's up with that?

Actually, Deb they do make pre-lit mulit-color trees. I bought one this year!

It was so easy peasy to put together! Three sections, no flinging lights around and the bulbs are arranged PERFECTLY for effect. My brand ended up being a bit sparse on thickness of foilage (But it was on sale. Reg. $198 for $59!)My brother called it my Charlie Brown tree, LOL.

But that's why God made tinsel and now it is gorgeous!

Joan said...

I say Egypt rocks...as does Russia...Hungary...the Far East...um, Rome.


Several years ago I read a publishing professionals contention that the standard time periods/settings were what "sold". Well...yeah...if that is all there is to select from.

A good story can be set anywhere and anytime. That's MY story and I'm sticking to it.

Deb Marlowe said...

Thank you, Margay! It's true that this can be a tough business. It's hard to remember that our own voices have merit too.

And reading right before bed is a blessing, isn't it? For me, it has to be a romance. It puts me in the perfect happy place to send me off to sleep.

Deb Marlowe said...

Joan! Multi-colored pre-lit trees? My dh is going to be all over that! Yours sounds gorgeous.

And I confess, I cannot tell those Jonas brothers apart. But breaking up on a text? It's the teenage version of Sex and the City's Break Up Post It!

Gannon Carr said...

I'm all about happy little indulgences. I have always loved to sit in the dark and watch the lights on the Christmas tree, ever since I was a little girl. Magic!

Chocolate is a given, a good romance novel (note: must read AN IMPROPER ARISTOCRAT), Christmas cartoons, a comfy blanket, hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate, wine (hey, just depends on my mood:)).

Tim Tams at Target?! I've gotta get some quick.

Congrats on lassoing the GR, Stacey!

Joan said...

Tim Tams at Target?! I've gotta get some quick.

Watch the news tonight. I bet they report on "an unusual run on Target, spurring a stock market crisis on Tim Tams"

:-)

Minna said...

A hot cup of tea and Fazer's blue chocolates: Christmas chocolate, Geisha, raspberry-cranberry chocolate, Lontoon rae, salmiakki...

http://www.suomikauppa.fi/index.php?cPath=24_38_191&sort=2a&page=2

Deb Marlowe said...

Kirsten!

There's just something about those twinkling lights!

I love the sound of your pageants. I'm a huge fan of The Nutcracker. Here a bunch of the local kids' dance groups get to participate in the Seasonal show in Raleigh, but I love the idea of the smaller, more intimate show--and the little bonbons! I'll bet your daughter was gorgeous! And so excited.

Deb Marlowe said...

Gannon--you've got the perfect recipe! Curling up with a good blanket--love it! My youngest does too--he just saw the commercial for the fleece blanket with sleeves and promptly put it on his Christmas wish list!

Deb Marlowe said...

oooh, Minna, I've had raspberry chocolate, but never cranberry! Sounds divine.

Minna said...

Raspberry-cranberry chocolate is definitely divine.

Claudia Dain said...

Can I say first how much I loved An Improper Aristocrat? I can? I'm so glad you listened to your heart!

The looking at the lit up Christmas tree in the dark is a BIG favorite of mine. It's bliss, no worries, pure pleasure. Big D and I sit in the dark on the couch, his arm around my shoulders, having meaningful conversations like, "It's so pretty this year, isn't it?" "Look at that little star near the top; is that new?" "I really like those snowflake ornaments. They might be my favorites."

Meaningful, huh? In the great scheme of things, yeah, very meaningful.

Louisa Cornell said...

Yee Ha, Stacey!!! You got the Golden One!! Like I said, keep him away from the car keys and the six shooters! It is getting to the point that catching the Golden Rooster is making it onto people's bucket lists!


Hey there Yankee Lady!! Deb is the person who called to tell me I finaled in the Royal Ascot the first time. I wasn't there when she called the first time and the girls in the bakery said "Some Yankee Lady called and said she'd call back." Deb and I laughed because she is definitely NOT a Yankee!

I've already read An Improper Aristocrat and it is FABULOUS!! The characters are so larger than life and so funny and sweet. The story is intriguing and keeps you turning the pages and the love story is HOT! Can you tell I liked it??

The things that make me smile after a long day at Wally World?

Canine and feline therapy! Even if there is a parade when I have to get up and go to the bathroom. Apparently I am incapable of taking a shower or doing anything else in the bathroom without the entire animal contingent in tow.

A long bubble bath with some Andrea Bocelli on the CD player and a really great book to read. Then hop into bed with a hot cup of Earl Gray, the book and the canine and feline bed warmers.

Research books! SIGH!! I can sit and read them for hours. I love looking at my growing shelf of research books. I rub my hands together like a veritable Scrooge counting pennies. Ebay is like a crack house for me. I have a first edition Thackery about the Four Georges coming my way right now.

And Jewitt's 2 volume English Stately Homes??? My copy is over 100 years old and it is like cat nip for me. The descriptions of the homes in Regency speak! SIGH

Ooooh! And SHOES!!! I love shoes - shoe shopping even if I don't buy.

And if all else fails a box of chocolates all for me!! Even better Cadbury's that I phone my brothers to tell them about and then refuse to share even a bite with them!

PJ said...

Tim Tams at Target? Hot damn! I'll be in Charlotte tomorrow. Target here I come! :)

PJ said...

Hi Deb! I'm looking forward to reading your book! My night-time splurges this time of year include hot chocolate or hot apple-cinnamon-spice tea, a sampling of whatever chocolates or cookies I've made that day, twinkling Christmas tree lights, Christmas carols playing softly, snuggling with the dogs and savoring a Christmas romance.

PJ said...

Hope you had a good time, Christine! That menu sounded delicious and I know the company was wonderful!

PJ said...

Louisa, I had to laugh at your animal bathroom parade! It's the same at my house. Anytime I get up to go to the bathroom both dogs are right there with me and heaven forbid I should actually close the door. You'd think somebody was dying from the sounds they make until the door opens again and I emerge unscathed. I'm not sure what they think it going to happen to me in there. LOL!

Eva S said...

Sounds like a great book, one for my Christmas wish list!

I look forward to getting into bed, with lots of chocolate and great books!!

Nancy said...

Stacey, way to go! Joan, I think you're right. I don't remember this happening before.

Deb, I just finished An Improper Aristocrat, and I LOVED it! The novelist heroine, the Egyptian tie-in, the gruff but noble hero, worked fabulously well together. I once saw the Rosetta Stone, and I always think of it when Napoleon and Egypt appear anywhere. I won't give anything away here, but the heroine's backstory was beautiful.

Add me to the list of those sitting in the dark with a lit tree. It's like looking at a piece of fairyland. I sit there and drift and think of people who're gone now but added joy to Christmases past.

Tim Tams at Target? Really?

Caren, please do not mention decorating. We'll be lucky to get the tree up anytime soon.

Deb, I feel for you on the Egypt thing, which I feel adds so much to your book. I sometimes get "I don't know about a contemporary set in England." *sigh*

Donna MacMeans said...

Deb - Sorry to chime in so late. I lent my house as the venue for a group Christmas lunch and the hostess activities wore me out. So I really need those simple treasure techniques!

A good book, of course, is my favorite way to end the day, but your reminder of the Christmas tree resonated with me as well. Ours is decorated with ornaments that carry a lot of memories (no fashion tree for us)so gazing on it in the still of evening is pure nostalgia. I love the memories the ornaments trigger.

And I love your cover! That's a real beauty. Congratulations - can't wait to read the book.

danie88 said...

in chocolate covered cherries im the same... i like both the creme and liquid... they are both just so yummy.... mmmm... now i really want some... *sigh*

Virginia said...

At the end of every day I set down with a good book and read a couple of hours before going to bed. I have got to where I look forward to this. It doesn't seem like the day ends right unless I do this. Hey I may endulge in a little snack while I am at it.

Caren Crane said...

Danie, I'm glad to see someone else sits on the fence about chocolate-covered cherries. I know lots of people who swear one or the other is the best, hands down. I simply can't choose! I love the Cellos with the liquid center sometimes. Other times, I want the thicker cream with just a hint of liquid on top. *sigh* Now I want some too!

Well, since we're all heading to Target for Tim Tams anyway, might as well get some chocolate-covered cherries...

Caren Crane said...

Virginia, if you need a snack idea, I recommend Tim Tams - and chocolate-covered cherries. Both to be found at Target, apparently! ;-)

Caren Crane said...

Claudia, I love your meaningful conversations about the tree. I can't get my poor husband to sit still long enough to notice anything these days. Bad economy, bad numbers at his company and tons of pressure to meet (unrealistic) deadlines. Mandatory 60-hr work weeks! Enjoy every minute of musing about the stars and snowflakes. *g* I look forward to getting to do that one day (if we ever get to retire!).

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Miss Stacey, welcome back to the lair! Can't wait for your visit. You're always such fun to have around, even if I do have to fight you for the cabana boys! Congratulations on collecting the chook!

Oh, no, just realised I missed your visit. WHAAAAAH! Sorry, Stacey, I had visitors and didn't have a chance to get to the computer. You'll have to come back again soon!

Anna Campbell said...

Deb, a huge huggy welcome back to the lair! Although you're always such a wonderfully erudite commenter on our blogs, I'm not sure you ever stray very far from us. Congratulation on the release of AN IMPROPER ARISTOCRAT. I LOVE books set in Egypt - one of my faves of all time is Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase. And what about the wonderful heart-wrenching As You Desire by Connie Brockway. I'm sure yours is about to join that wonderful duo and make it a trio! Congratulations on all your success - I remember I met you when you won the Golden Heart and it was fantastic to celebrate that wonderful success with you!

Deb Marlowe said...

Sorry guys, I'm back!

Okay, do you all know the moment in the Rankin/Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer--the one where the girl reindeer thinks Rudolph is cute and he does an amazing flying leap. "She thinks I'm Cuuuute!"

At my house we call it a Clarice moment (after the girl reindeer) My son gets them when a certain girl watches him at gymnastics. He swears his tumbling is higher and cleaner when she's watching.

That's how I feel when someone like Caren and Nancy and Christine and Claudia say that they liked my book! I mean, come on! They liked my booook!

:-)

Deb Marlowe said...

Sigh, Claudia. Big D is amazing! My dh will stop on his way past to fix or do something and say "It does look good this year, doesn't it?" But then he's off. No snuggling by the tree!

But he makes up for it later. :-)

Deb Marlowe said...

Louisa! I'm so glad you liked Trey and Chione! I was going for the larger than life, sweeping story, I'm so happy it worked for you.

I love the animal parade. My sister has a similar phenomenon at her house. Everywhere she moves behind her is the 3 year old, the dog, and the 8 month old crawling behind. We call her Mama Duck.

Oh, my. Cadbury's. Yum! And now I'm totally jonesing for that English house research book. Something for the Christmas list!

Claudia Dain said...

Clarice moment! I LOVE that. What a way with words. Have you thought about writing a book? *G*

I really did love An Improper Aristocrat. You write the most romantic romances! They just sparkle-- fairy dust all over your heart, glitter on your fingertips.

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi PJ!

Apple cinnamon tea? Oh, that sounds yummy. I'm a huge Chai fan, that's what I usually order when everyone is going out for coffee.

I love a Christmas romance too. I love the anthologies that are out at this time of year. My fabulous CP Sabrina Jeffries has one out--Snowy Night with A Stranger. Talk about cover envy with that one!

Deb Marlowe said...

Eva--I'm sensing a recurring theme here! Clearly chocolate and books is the hands down winner for splurges!

Deb Marlowe said...

Nancy--I'm so glad you liked AIA. That Chione, she really got to me. I had to finish her story!

OMG--I would love to see the Rosetta stone!

Deb Marlowe said...

Donna, your lunch sounds like fun.

Our Christmas tree is the same way. Each kid has his own box of special ornaments and we traipse down memory lane as they hang each one. It's one of the best moments of the season for me.

Tawny said...

My kids are anxiously awaiting the new one featuring Heat Miser and Cold Miser!

There's a new one??? Off to the store I go...

Deb Marlowe said...

Virginia, you're in good company. It seems a bunch of us love to read before bed. Hmmm, let's make posters and start a movement! Sounds like a good cause to me!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hugging you right back, FoAnna!

I adored Mr. Impossible--just as I adore everything Loretta Chase writes! In fact, I was pitching AIA right before that book came out, and when one agent said "Egypt will never fly." I said, "Loretta Chase has one coming out in a month or two!" Of course, I'm no Loretta Chase, but I wasn't above invoking her brilliance!

Do you know, I've never read As You Desire? One more for the TBR pile!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hey Tawny, I just got the scoop from my sister. The Miser Brother's Christmas premiers next Saturday, apparently! We'll be ready!

Tawny said...

YAY!! Miser Brothers Christmas. Thanks, Deb - I can't wait. And now I have a deadline to get the decorations up LOL

Sabrina said...

Deb, I loved An Improper Aristocrat, as you know. It was such an exciting book, and Trey was such a sexy hero! Plus, I loved Chione's exotic past. I love your characters!

And I love Big Bang Theory, too. My dh and I never fail to watch it on Monday and laugh like loons.

My splurge is always lattes. I love lattes. Had one today while I was out. Yum!

Deb Marlowe said...

Sabrina! At last! Someone who understands my fascination with Sheldon! I was afraid I was all alone!

Thank you so much for the kind words about AIA! I'm not going to mention that I know who Cousin Michael is in your School for Heiresses series.

Oops! Now people will be camped at my doorstep!

flchen1 said...

Ah... here's a link to an article about Tim Tams at Target:

http://nymag.com/daily/food/2008/11/tim_tam_chocolate_cookies_land.html

Apparently they're under the Pepperidge Farm brand here... *must go to Target*...

PJ said...

The article says the Tim Tams at Target are available in chocolate creme and caramel. I can't wait to try them! :)

Caren Crane said...

Deb, Sabrina asked me if I wanted to know who Cousin Michael is and I said, "No!" I want to be surprised like everyone else! Of course, since you're critiquing, you don't have the luxury of waiting - but I do! I know I'm a sick puppy, but I enjoy drawing out the suspense. Yes, I was one of THOSE kids who never even tried to peek at the presents! (Unlike some people...BETH!)

Carol said...

Congrats Stacy, just watch that the Gr does not make off with any western whips...Aunty C. has inadvertantly shown him a thing or two!

Relaxing at the end of the day is either my favourite computer game, a book, or just sitting outside (hot evening)talking with DH gazing at the stars,storm, trees etc.
Cheers Carol

kimmyl said...

I am seeing Deb's book everywhere.

My fave relaxation is having a hot bath and reading a book before bed.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Deb--

Sorry to chime in so late-I'm sure you're done for the night! But I couldn't let the subject of indulgences pass me by.

My favorite treat ever is a bowl of ice cream after the kids are in bed. I know, I know. I could be more creative. But eating a single bowl of ice cream without interruption (and preferably WITH a good book in hand) makes me happy on some fundamental level I can't even comprehend.

But I do also love the Christmas tree in the dark. :-) That's a classic.

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, Carol, computer game is a new one for the discussion. What do you play?

Deb Marlowe said...

Thanks for letting me know that the book is out there, kimmyl. That's always a worry that authors have.

Have a great holiday season!

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, Susan, I think uninterrupted is a key word. One time we when my kids were still small, we were having dinner with my father in law. One of the kids dropped something or needed something and I was up dealing with it and my father in law told them to wait and let me eat in peace. My dh laughed and said, "She hasn't had a hot meal in years."
That was a wake up call!

So I get the peace of an uninterrupted bowl of ice cream!

Deb Marlowe said...

Thanks for a great day in the lair Banditas and Buddies!

Keira Soleore said...

Oh yay, Deb!! Welcome to The Lair. In two days, I get to welcome you to my two favorite blogs. This is so cool!!

How's Top Chef? I haven't seen any e-mail on that lately. I missed opening night and the rest of the episodes this month, since there's no Bravo here in Asia.

Deb Marlowe said...

Keira, Top Chef is coming along nicely! :-) I'll email you the juicy details.

Caffey said...

Hi Deb! Nice to meet you! Gosh, this sounds so wonderful! It does sound breathless!!! I so love reading this setting! Congrats on the Golden Heart!!! With those books you have out Deb, are they connected? I love reading books in order! I have to see if they still available.

My end of the day is when hubby sits down to watch TV and I get to cuddle up next to him! Our two cats join us and just enough room for us all! But its routine that they do it each night and join us. Its just so peaceful! I don't watch TV, but I read while he does, its just the feeling and thoughts of being near and surrounded.

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Caffey!

My first two books share a secondary character, Jack Alden. He's a scholar specializing in ancient civilizations, the brother of my first hero in Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss. He gets mixed up in the search for the Pharaoh's Lost Jewel in AIA, and in my third book, Her Cinderella Season, he gets his own book and his own adventure!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Caffey!

My first two books share a secondary character, Jack Alden. He's a scholar specializing in ancient civilizations, the brother of my first hero in Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss. He gets mixed up in the search for the Pharaoh's Lost Jewel in AIA, and in my third book, Her Cinderella Season, he gets his own book and his own adventure!