Monday, March 16, 2009

Kay Stockham in the lair

sponsored by Donna MacMeans

Hey, Bandits! I so love blogging with you guys. I feel very wicked wearing my bandit mask! A huge thanks to Donna for letting me come play today.

Sunflowers. Anyone else love them as much as I do? Sunflowers are some of my favorite flowers. Big, small, red, yellow, orange. Doesn’t matter, I love them all. They’re so bright and cheery and happy.

So, when I was writing the wedding scene for my latest release with Harlequin Superromance, HER BEST FRIEND’S BROTHER, I decided to have my non-traditional heroine carry some non-traditional flowers—sunflowers. Yeah, she also had the roses and greenery and all that jazz but I love the cover and how the art department at Harlequin included the sunflowers in her bouquet.

HER BEST FRIEND’S BROTHER is about a girl, a guy, and the chaos and tensions that come when said girl and guy get together and the pregnancy test turns positive. That alone is scary enough but put yourself in my heroine’s shoes. Luke wants to do the right thing even though
he’s living in California and Shelby’s a Tennessee girl through-and-through. But if their relationship fails, Shelby stands to lose way more than a husband. She’ll also lose her life-long best friend, her best friend’s family and the only stability she’s ever known and all the qualities in life she holds most dear. Regrets? Oh, yeah, she has loads of them. Because that’s how things work in situations where blood is thicker than water. No matter how it’s played, divorce is never pretty and Shelby ought to know, seeing as how her parents hold the record in the county courthouse for the most marriages (and subsequent divorces)—to the same person.

The book also deals with some sticky, mother-daughter relationship issues. My poor heroine has her hands full trying to rein in her flamboyant mother, especially when the woman tosses herself atop a casket wearing 4-inch, open-toed stilettos! Shelby and her mother have never seen eye to eye and growing up, Shelby had to be the adult since her mother proved incapable of it. And no, I don’t hate my characters—but torturing them this way sure is fun! The end result is a story I hope you’ll love as much as I do.

Up next from me and the Tulanes of Tennessee series is SIMON SAYS MOMMY which will be released in September, 2009. After that comes Alexandra Tulane’s story, which is the last in the series. I don’t have a title for it yet but it will be released in the spring of 2010.

But back to HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER. One of my best friends and I have known each other since bad teeth, bad hair, acne and first crushes.. We've shared school lunches, had sleepovers and listened to each other cry over some silly things. Do you have a best friend or someone you talk to, someone who has shared those things with you? Tell me a little bit about them. I'll choose a winner from those who post a comment and they'll win their choice of ANOTHER MAN'S BABY or HIS SON'S TEACHER, books one and two in the Tulanes of Tennessee series.
To watch a video book trailer of HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER (and see the gorgeous hunk of a hero!), read excerpts, sign up for my newsletter or chat along with me on my blog and maybe win a weekly prize drawing, surf to . But first, share your comment on your best friend and, possibly, win a prize!


Leslie said...

Hello Kay! Welcome :)

Leslie said...

Did I get him? *g*

My best friend is my dh and next month will be 26 years since we met and 22 years we've been married. So we know each other pretty well. lol

Luke and Shelby's book sounds like a wonderful story.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Leslie! One rooster for you! Congratulations!

Anna Campbell said...

Kay, what a lovely post! Welcome back to the lair! Pull up a cabana boy. And congratulations on the release of yet another great book. I'm sure it will be another hit!

Actually I'm a fairly recent convert to Superromance. I judged a few in the RITA contest over the last two years and loved them. I really enjoy the way the extra pages let you add subplots and secondary characters that really enrich the story. And I love the real-life feel too.

Not that I'm giving up on the operatic pleasures of Presents or Desire or the sexy sauciness of Blaze, but sometimes I must say, a Super is JUST what I want to read.

Helen said...

Well done Leslie enjoy your day with him

Love the sound of your new book Kay and yes I love sunflowers as well they always remind me of the bush here in Australia with the cockatoos and galahs all over them eating the seeds it is really a lovely sight to see although very noisy.

I have some wonderful girlfriends one of them is my neighbour of 30 years Barbara who I could not be without we are always there for each other whether it be a shoulder to cry on or someone to vent with of just plain laugh our heads off she is the best.

I am off to visit you web page now Kay.

Have Fun

Laurie said...

My best friend's name is Paula. We have been friends since 2nd grade. We survived my going to college, while she got married and had children. She stood up in my wedding as I has been in hers. She had 3 children..I had 4. Even though we now live in different states 1500 miles apart we call frequently and get together a couple of times a year. We're both still married! However, she did loose a daughter almost 6 years ago to a blood clot following simple ankle surgery. So Sad!
Youur book sounds GREAT!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey congratulations Leslie! Well done on nabbing the rooster, as well as maintaining that marriage all these years. Twenty-two years is a long time, may you have many more years together to come.

Anna - Well done for you for judging for judging Supers in the RITAs. I generally judge paranormals, but as I entered THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT in the paranormal division this year, I didn't receive any books to judge. I miss receiving that wonderful package of books in the mail. However, the gift of time worked in my favor this year.

Hi Helen! I know you've mentioned Barbara before. Wonderful that you live next door to your best friend. That's a blessing.

Laurie = How wonderful that you've maintained that friendship all these years. I remember the name of my best friend in second grade - Nancy Baggins. But we moved when I was in the sixth grade and eventually lost the connection. So Nancy - if you're out there, drop me a line (smile).

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Kay! Great to see you here! That mask really suits you!

I'm a recent convert to Supers too - they didn't have them in the UK for many years. But, with some of my dearest friends (Beth Andrews and Terry McLaughlin) joining your ranks, I've been making an extra effort to read Supers - and love them!

Outisde of my fabulous Bandita sisters and my Writers at Play sisters, and my wonderful real life sister, I have a few extremely close friends who mean the world to me and would trust with my life, my secrets and my chocolate!

What's interesting is that I have different relationships with each one. Some I see regularly, one I see rarely, but we are like soul sisters. Another one, I swear I have some kind of psychic connection with. Even though we are totally different to look at, people confuse us (she's tall, slim, blonde and blue-eyed!).

And, as cliche as it sounds, my lovely hubby is my best friend - and was for years even before we got together. Those of you who've met him know I'm not just saying that!

And I adore sunflowers! Said hubby is planting some as we speak!

Caren Crane said...

Hi, Kay, welcome back to the Lair! And Leslie, go easy on the GR. He was with Anna C., you know. I'm sure he's exhausted now!

Kay, I have a great BFF from the bad hair/teeth/skin days. My friend Nancy P. and I met in junior high school (so long ago, it wasn't even middle school yet). I spent at least one night every weekend at her house for about 2 - 3 years. I have no idea why her parents (or my mom) put up with that.

We shared everything: heartache, heartbreak, mad crush drama, friend fallouts, friend make-ups, horrible teachers, evil exams. Name an afterschool special and we lived it!

We grew up in Nashville, TN. Now I live in Raleigh and she's in Chicago. We haven't been in touch too often over the years, though each reconnect has been wonderful. Now we've gotten to the point where she's tired of being a workaholic and my kids are almost grown. Now that we (kind of) have our acts together, we have reunited and it feels so good!

I visited her two weeks ago in Chicago and it was just like old times...only better! We talked non-stop for 4 days, made pizza together (a tradition for us), went to great restaurants (which we could rarely do as poor kids in Nashville) and in a major flashback to high school, went to a Fleetwood Mac concert. It was awesome!

So, 30 years of friendship is the rock we stand on now. I love my Nancy!

Kay Stockham said...

Good morning, ladies! LOL Leslie nabbed the rooster, eh? Congrats! (But are you sure you want him this early on a Monday morning?! ;0)

I'm loving the BFF stories. Women have such wonderful relationships with their friends. Where guys don't "get it" our BFF's get the upset and drama of our emotions. It's a good thing! ;)

And I am sooo happy to see several of you have converted to reading Supers! Yeah! I truly love writing for Superromance. I love the vastly different stories within the same line, the depth of emotion and drama. Love it! I hope the fun never stops!

Thanks so much for telling me about your friends. I'll check back in a bit to see who's trying to steal the poor rooster--you bandits, you!


Christie Kelley said...

Welcome to the lair, Kay.

Your new book sounds great. I have to agree with Anna about the super romances. Of all the HQ lines, I do enjoy these the most.

Kimber Chin said...

I moved around a lot as a kid so I met my first 'keeper' BFF first year university. We've known each other 20 years now and have been through SO much.

My other BFF is, of course, the hubby. I fell in love with him at first sight 16 years ago. No one makes me laugh more

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Kay! Welcome to the lair! You wear a bandita mask very nicely. :-)

Her Best Friend's Brother sounds wonderful! I love it when authors really pile on the conflict. And Shelby's mom sounds like a hoot--it's not just any woman who can carry off 4 inch stilettos at a funeral, or has the wherewithal (or balance) to toss herself on the casket while wearing such. Can't wait to read it.

As far as best friends go, I'm probably in the minority in that the oldest friends still in my life go back only to about right after college. But then I'm blessed with three sisters, so between them & the sisters of my heart (just a handful of loved ones I've collected over the years) my heart is full up.

Thanks for visiting the lair today! Looking forward to checking out your books!

RachieG said...

The scene from you book about the casket made me giggle this morning. :)

I think having someone to talk to...(perhaps not in your family) is a must for you to be able to deal with crazy life. It helps once in a while to gripe a little, then all of the grumpy feelings go away. Best friends rock!!

Donna MacMeans said...

Thought I'd share my best friend story. My best friend in high school was my matron of honor at my wedding (she'd married about two months before me). While she stayed in Cincinnati, I moved to Cleveland and our lives traveled along different paths and we lost touch. That was a good 30 years ago.

About three years ago, I noticed a tiny photo in the Columbus paper of a woman wrapped in a scarf and hat with a caption that spelled her name in the same unique way of my friend from high school. I checked the local phone book, found a number and called. Turned out my friend has been living in Columbus, not far from me, for the last 20 years! We met for lunch and although we didn't immediately fall into the closeness of our old friendship, we've kept in touch. I'll be seeing her this weekend at her art showing.

All due to a tiny photo in the paper. Karma!

Treethyme said...

Good morning, Kay! What fun to see you here -- it's as if the Banditas and the Ohio Valley RWA chapter have some kind of synergistic thing going. Hmmm, maybe that's because Donna belongs to both?

I'm looking forward to reading this book, Kay. I've read others in this series, but I would have bought this one for the cover alone! It's gorgeous! The sunflowers were a great idea for a wedding bouquet.

Loved your post! I am still in touch with Kerry, my best friend and writing partner from grades 5-8, and Pat, who was my high school best friend and matron of honor at my wedding. One lives in Chicago and the other in Ft. Lauderdale, so I don't get to see them very often, but Pat and I talk online a lot.

Pat came to Orlando when I was visiting my daughter last fall, and the three of us went to Epcot together. She never had kids, and the last time she'd seen my daughter, she was three years old. That whole visit was like a trip down memory lane -- so much fun!

Treethyme said...

Leslie - congrats on snaring the GR! I love your avatar -- is that a red panda?

I seem to remember they are related to pandas and raccoons (there is one at the Cincinnati Zoo), but I can't remember what their proper name is. Starts with "C"? (Damn those senior moments!)

Treethyme said...

Donna - I love your BFF story! My friend Pat got married two months before me, too, so at 19 she was still a "matron" of honor. Her first marriage didn't last, but her second one has lasted more than 25 years. How great that you were able to rekindle that friendship!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Kay, welcome to the Romance Bandits Lair! Ooooh, I so like it when writers torture their characters. HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER sounds scrumptious!

Donna, what a wonderful story about reconnecting with your friend. The world really IS a small place.

Congratulations on capturing the rooster, Leslie!

My best friends are my daughters. It's so much fun when they're old enough and wise enough to fill that role.

Kay Stockham said...

Oh, I'm loving these stories!

(waves to Donna) Hi, sweetie! Thanks for the invitation to come play. You guys look sooo cool with your masks and capes! ;0)

Susan, the casket scene was one I truly didn't know if I'd be able to keep. I wondered if it was too silly or over-the-top but it just *fit* the story and was such an example of the melodrama Shelby's had to live and deal with all her life. No wonder she's so leery of what happens after the night she and Luke hook up!

I have to head out in a bit to run an errand and pick ds up from school but I'll check back in soon. Keep those comments coming!


Renee said...

I have to agree with Leslie. My best friend is the hubs. We've actually been together 20 years this week. We were teenagers and it was love at first sight. Ha! More like teenage hormones. But he did bring me a jar of dill pickles and a dozen green carnations for St. Patrick's Day (we had only known each other a few days). He still brings me green flowers, and we find ourselves a nice tall greenie (on Valentine's Day I got green roses).

I live in the mid-west and sunflowers are everywhere, fields and fields of them. They are very vibrant and beautiful. I think it is really neat that you use them in your story.



limecello said...

Hi Kay! Thanks for visiting with us today! I really enjoy your books and I've bought "Her Best Friend's Brother" but haven't had a chance to read it yet.
As for best friends - it seems that comes and goes, but one of my closest friends, I've known my entire life. Literally. Our parents were friends before we were born. She's two years older, but we've shared a lot, and although I rarely see her now, we still keep in touch through phone calls, emails, texting, and facebook :P

Also - congrats on the GR, Leslie! I finally got my hands on a computer! :\ the hard drive on my laptop died on Friday and supposedly it will be fixed by Thursday ... >.<

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Kay! Welcome back to the Lair. We Banditas really love your visits. And you always bring such great books to help build our TBR piles!!

My best friend Marion still lives in my hometown and we try to get together every time I come home to visit.

We shared so much over the years and last year we became grandmothers within months of each other!

housemouse88 said...

Hello Kay,

I have had a few best friends over the years. I've moved around a lot and lost contact of a few along the way. We currently reside in Louisa, KY where I've meet a truly wonderful person named Donna. She is one of those people who knows when to talk and when to listen. We both have had our share of ups and downs, but she always makes me smile. Loved your post. Have a great day.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hello Housemouse! I've been through Louisa many, many times over the years traveling from Columbus to Tennessee! Beautiful part of the world.

Virginia said...

Congrats Leslie on grabbing the GR, he does love to visit everyone!

My best friend and I met when we where 5 years old. We have been friends for close to 50 years. We are not as close as we once were but we still keep in touch, through e-mails and cards. She is always there when I really need her. When my parents passed she was there because she said they were her parents too. We were like sisters growing up.

Donna MacMeans said...

Capes?? We've got capes? Who knew? (Grin)

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Renee - This must be your favorite time of year! Your post reminded me that I saw some men in kilts Saturday night at a pizza joint - hubba-hubba! I saw a sign that there were to be bagpipers there as well but they must have finished when I arrived (rather late) to pick up the pies.

Kay Stockham said...

LOL Donna, I figure the masks HAVE to go with little black capes, and, well, the capes would probably go best with silver-tipped stilettos. Just sayin' ;0)

I'm back and loving these stories of best friends. My dh is my best friend as well. Only my cp's know me as well as he does. When I'm down, when I'm angry, when I'm happy. It's great feeling, isn't it?


Beth said...

Hi, Kay! Welcome back to the lair. I can't wait to read Her Best Friend's Brother - I've heard so many wonderful things about this story *g*

My husband is my best friend and has been since we met but I'm incredibly blessed to have many wonderful women in my life as well. The Romance Bandits, my playpals over at Writers at Play, my sister, my mom and my daughters all enrich my life :-)

And I honestly don't know what I'd do without Tawny - I always have the best time with her ;-)

Renee said...

Donna, absolutely! It's like Christmas. :)

jcp said...

I have wonderful friends but my best friend has changed at different points in my life because of distance..different goals in life, etc.

Minna said...

My best friend and I met in elementary school. I really can't imagine having a better friend: she was there for me when everyone else bullied me. Unfortunately we don't see each other very often these days.

Friends The Rembrandts - I'll Be There For You

robynl said...

my best friend is Alberta(Bertie) whom I met 33 years ago. We have been together through thick and thin and even when we have lived a great distance apart. She is such a comfort to me; even over the phone.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Kay!

THANX a bunch to Donna for inviting you!

And yes, silver tipped stilettos do look good with our masks and capes, but for everyday wear, we have our bucket boots. :-)

Cabana boys! Do we have an extra pair of polished bucket boots in Kay's size?!?!


Kay Stockham said...

Oooooh, I love Cabana Boys! LOL I'd like one of him, and one of him, and one of him and--Oh, shoot--Hi, honey, welcome home!


It seems for every stage of life there are new friends but the tried and true are just priceless, aren't they? We love 'em even when we don't always like them over some tiff.


Pat Cochran said...

My best friend is my husband, Ken
(aka Honey.) We just celebrated the
50th anniversary of the day we met
in January. Our forty-eighth wedding anniversary is in April. Honey and I keep all discussions and problems between the two of us. We feel it is divisive to us & our relationship to take our concerns, good or bad, "outside of the house." After our discussions,
if we deem it necessary then we
share any questions with our adult
children or our siblings.

Pat Cochran

Caren Crane said...

Kay, I'm coming to speak to OVRWA in June. I hope to meet you then!

Caren Crane said...

Leslie and Renee (and other whose DH is a BFF *g*), I have to say I don't really get the whole "husband as best friend" thing. I mean, my husband and I are very, very close and share most everything, but really...he's a man. As a woman with three sisters and lots of girl and guy friends, I feel compelled to say that female friendships have a totally different vibe for me than male friendships, no matter how close I am to that man.

Women really do "get" things most men don't. Maybe some men are incredibly empathetic and really can understand women's issues, but I don't know them. *g* My husband is a wonderful spouse, friend, lover and companion, but he isn't my BFF like my girlfriends are. I don't see how he could be. Who would I complain to about him? *g*

Caren Crane said...

Donna, I love your BFF story. How cool that you found your old friend in the newspaper!

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, I love your story too! How cool is that?

Kay, why is there a wild-eyed and trembling cabana boy sheltering under a bush in my back garden? What HAVE you been doing to the poor things?

Christine Wells said...

Hi Kay! Welcome to the Lair. Don't you look great in that mask?

The art department did a fantastic job with your cover for HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER. Sounds like a great book! I bet we all had crushes on friends' brothers or cousins, didn't we? I know I did!

Interesting you talk about friends you've known forever. My best friend (who I've known since I was 10) is about to have a baby and I'm SO excited because I get to have a new little one around but I can give him back when I'm done.

Leslie, congrats on the Golden Rooster!

Kirsten said...

Hi Kay! Just back from work and got a chance to read your blog -- thanks for visiting with the Banditas! I love a book that talks about best friends. I've had a friend since I was two. We don't live close any more, and we keep up sporatically, but when we do make contact, it's a beautiful thing. We go right back to being best friends as if no time has passed.

Good luck with the latest release -- can't wait to pick it up. :-)

PJ said...

Hi Kay! Great to have you here in the lair. I love Harlequin Supers and especially your books. I think I've read just about everything you've published and they're all terrific. Your stories are always filled with wonderful passion and emotion but I have to say, you really put me through the wringer with HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER. It was great! :)

Kay Stockham said...

Me? Torment cabana boys??? Never! I just like lookin' at them! ;0)

PJ! Hey, sweetie! So good to see you here. Thanks so much for the compliment for HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER! Glad you liked it.

Caren, I hope to see you, too, but June is a harsh month! We're usually on vacation then. I'll certainly come see you if I can.


Joan said...

Hey, Kay!

Welcome to the Lair! Sorry I'm so late but the DDJ about did me in!

I've got a great BFF. Since 6th grade. She makes me laugh like no one else can!

Your books sound just right for the TBR pile!

Kay Stockham said...

Hey, guys! I posted this last night but it must not have gone through. The winner is RACHIEG!

Rachie, please email me privately at Congrats! I hope you enjoy!


Kay Stockham said...

Hey, guys! I posted this last night but it must not have gone through. The winner is RACHIEG!

Rachie, please email me privately at Congrats! I hope you enjoy!


Kay Stockham said...

*sigh* and now it went through twice. LOL My computer is messing with my head!

Hmmm.... now where's that cabana boy?....