The Wedding Planners continuity debuted last April. It's hard to believe a year has gone by already. This April, you can find a brand new Harlequin Romance continuity, a trilogy actually, called Blind Date Brides on sale. It's centered around an online dating site called blinddatebrides.com, and I'm the author of book 3 which will be out in June.
Sorry for the lack of posts lately. A couple of us have April 1 deadlines and the others are busy writing away. We have a guest blogger, Kimberly Lang, dropping by on Thursday, April 2nd. I hope you'll stop by to say hi!
I'll have a preview of a new trilogy that will start in April. And if I can find my wedding album, I hope to scan in a few pics and post them this week in celebration of my wedding anniversary this week.
I found a page on iVillage where you can design your own wedding dress. It's fun to play with the different styles of skirts, bodices, trims, veils, etc. Go here if you want to be like Serena James of the Wedding Belles and design wedding gowns!
They say that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day and it must be true, because here's a video put together by my (not Irish) husband. Lots of beautiful shots of Ireland and a choir singing Danny Boy (the recording is from a concert choir where my son was a baritone five years ago).
And since we are a blog that deals in romance (lots of gorgeous and romantic men and women), here's a link to a video of the gorgeous men of Celtic Thunder singing Ireland's Call.
And a video of one of the beautiful women of Celtic Woman.
If you didn't catch Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married in the theaters, the movie came out on DVD and Blu-ray this week. This one totally missed my wedding movie radar. That is, I remember hearing about it, but promptly forgot about it. It's not your typical wedding romantic comedy with lots of fluff. It's shot with multiple cameras and there's plenty of dysfunction to go around. Still it looks interesting and Anne Hathaway did receive an Academy Award nomination for her role.
I saw a review of the DVD here on the Washington Post that makes me want to rent it so I can say my 2008 wedding movie watching binge is complete. Or rather, it will be once I see Mamma Mia, too!
Our old house is up on the market finally, and though I'm glad to be moved into the new one, I'm also sad to see this one go. Like the very first house we owned, years and years ago, this one has its own set of memories.
After all, it's the first house my son lived in. We brought him home from the hospital to this house, saw him take his first steps there. Had to wallpaper the kitchen because he threw so much food around (he was a very messy eater, LOL). Now the wallpaper is gone, because he's older now, but the footprint of the memories remain.
Our very first house, in Massachusetts, was a money pit, but my husband and I loved it because it was OURS. We sank a ridiculous amount of money and sweat equity into that place, renovating it into what we dreamed. When we sold it, I cried and cried.
I didn't shed tears this time, but I did leave the house the other day with a heavier heart. It wasn't for the last time--that won't happen until someone buys it--but I know the days when I'll walk through that door and remember my kids playing in the yard or running through the living room, or helping me bake cookies at the kitchen counter are numbered.
Some other family will make their own memories in that house, and I hope they have just as many as we have had. We've left behind the playground for the next owners, and staged it with a few toys in the kids' bedrooms, so they can imagine all the fun their children might have.
Meanwhile, we'll be working on making memories in our new place :-)
First, let me introduce myself. I am Janet Tronstad, the author of close to twenty novels published through Steeple Hill, the inspirational line at Harlequin. I am delighted to blog with your group today, partly because I’ve grown to have a new appreciation for wedding locations while writing my latest book.
A wedding is one of the most memorable days in a woman’s life – that’s true even for imaginary weddings that happen in books. That’s why I gave a great deal of thought to how to make a wedding dramatic in my March ‘09 book, “A Dropped Stitches Wedding.” This is the last book in a four-part series that has a very attached readership so I knew the end of the book had to have a really Big Moment that would leave the readers with a sigh of contentment. It’s the same challenge a bride faces in real life. My question was how to pull that off.
My heroines (there were four heroines in a knitting group and they all played a part in the final book) were young so the wedding would be short on cash, but it also needed to be long on romance. The bride had a weakness for fluffy white chic that she couldn’t afford. In fact, she couldn’t afford much of anything. I decided the cheapest way to pull off a memorable wedding was to find a unique location.
My series is set in California’s Old Town Pasadena, a restored area filled with turn-of-the-century brick buildings, trendy cafes, and – for some reason – shops carrying scented candles and soaps. We were too far away from the beach to do an ocean wedding (since the rest of the books were all set in Pasadena, I thought it was cheating the reader to find my location anywhere else).
And then I remembered there is an old brick building that used to be a firehouse. The location got better when I discovered that an old firehouse in northern California had an old light bulb that had been burning continuously since 1901 (an inventor donated it so that the firemen wouldn’t have to waste time lighting kerosene lanterns at night before they could pull their boots on to go fight the fires). I took the liberty of moving that light bulb to Old Town Pasadena (and made a note of that in the dedication) and instantly I had a dramatic location for a wedding.
Because of the attention that the light bulb was getting, the marriage that was to take place under its glow started to get some buzz, too. The bride’s wedding gown was borrowed, a carriage ride to the firehouse was donated, and the reporters were there to cover it all for the local paper. It was a perfect wedding (in print at least).
My efforts were rewarded when Romantic Times reviewed my book and said it was a ‘joyous conclusion’ to the series. That’s exactly what I wanted that wedding to feel like and I know the location had a part in it.
I’m anxious to know if any of you have found unique wedding locations (either in real life or books you’ve written or read).
This week, we're thrilled to have Love Inspired author Janet Tronstad visiting us! Janet does the "Dry Creek" Series and "The Dropped Stitches" series. Her books are warm and witty and I'm sure Monday's blog will be fun and entertaining.
With additional posts Shirley Jump and Melissa McClone, this week promises to be a good one!
When I was growing up I was all about the princess thing. At Halloween, I never wanted to be something clever. I had to be a character who wore a pretty dress, preferably a long dress. And then of course there's the "romance writer" thing. That goes along with the princess fantasy perfectly.
Still, despite my childhood princess goals and the fact that I've been writing romance novels for years, I had never written a book with a princess heroine until now. Next month, The Cowboy and the Princess will make it to the shelves. I’m pretty psyched about it (more about the book in the weeks to come). And since I wanted to run a contest at my website that plays into the princess/cowboy theme, I hit the Internet. All I can say is the princess fantasy has certainly picked up steam over the years. As the mother of two boys I missed out on this, but there are all kinds of princess gear a girl can buy to make that dream a reality (or as close to a reality as us non-royals can get). There are actually entire stores dedicated to selling princess gear as well as one called Tiara Town where you can get (among other things) replicas of various tiaras worn by Princess Diana, including the one she wore on her wedding day. Or, you can get scepters!
Would-be princesses (children and adults) can buy dresses.
Or jewelry, room décor, party favors, princess outfits for your dog and storage trunks and carousels to hold all those princess outfits.
I wonder if it's too late to act out that princess fantasy…
Maybe next Halloween. Or maybe I'll just write another princess book. Keep watching.
So…if you could be any fairy tale princess which one would it be?
Linda Goodnight's latest book, HOME TO CROSSROADS RANCH hits the stands March 1 or is available at Amazon.
Even though the cover is hokey and 1950's, I promise the book is better!! Let me know what you think.
Here's a sneak preview:
Nate Del Rio heard screams the minute he stepped out of his Super Crew Cab and started up the flower-lined sidewalk leading to Rainy Jernagen's house. He double-checked the address scribbled on the back of a bill for horse feed. Sure enough, this was the place.
Adjusting his Stetson against a gust of March wind, he rang the doorbell expecting the noise to subside. It didn't.
Somewhere inside the modest, tidy-looking brick house at least two kids were screaming their heads off in what sounded to his experienced ears like fits of temper. A television blasted out Saturday-morning cartoons.
He punched the doorbell again. Instead of the expected ding-dong, a raucous alternative Christian rock band added a few more decibels to the noise level.
Nate shifted the toolbox to his opposite hand and considered running for his life while he had the chance.
Too late. The bright red door whipped open. Nate's mouth fell open with it.
When the men's ministry coordinator from Bible Fellowship had called him, he'd somehow gotten the impression that he was coming to help a little old schoolteacher. In his mind, that meant the kind who only drove to school and church and had a big, fat cat.
Not so. The woman standing before him with taffy-blond hair sprouting out from a disheveled ponytail couldn't possibly be any older than his thirty-one years. A big blotch of something purple stained the front of her white sweatshirt, and she was barefoot. Plus, she had a crying baby on each hip and a little red-haired girl hanging on one leg, bawling like a sick calf. And there wasn't a cat in sight.
What had he gotten himself into?
May I help you?" she asked over the racket. Her blue-gray eyes were a little too unfocused and bewildered for his comfort.
Raising his voice, he asked, "Are you Ms. Jernagen?"
"Yes," she said cautiously. "I'm Rainy Jernagen. And you are…?"
"Nate Del Rio."
She blinked, uncomprehending, all the while jiggling both babies up and down. One grabbed a hunk of her hair. She flinched, her head angling to one side, as she said, still cautiously, "Okaaay."
Nate reached out and untwined the baby's sticky fingers.
A relieved smile rewarded him. "Thanks. Is there something I can help you with?"
He hefted the red toolbox to chest level so she could see it. "From the Handyman Ministry. Jack Martin called. Said you had a washer problem."
Understanding dawned. "Oh my goodness. Yes. I'm so sorry. You aren't what I expected. Please forgive me."
She wasn't what he expected, either. Not in the least. Young and with a houseful of kids. He suppressed a shiver. Kids, even grown ones, could drive a person to distraction. He should know. His adult sister and brother were, at this moment, making his life as miserable as possible. The worst part was they did it all the time. Only this morning his sister Janine had finally packed up and gone back to Sal, giving Nate a few days' reprieve.
"Come in, come in," the woman was saying. "It's been a crazy morning, what with the babies showing up at 3 a.m. and Katie having a sick stomach. Then while I was doing the laundry, the washing machine went crazy. Water everywhere." She jerked her chin toward the inside of the house. "You're truly a godsend."
He wasn't so sure about that, but he'd signed up for his church's ministry to help single women and the elderly with those pesky little handyman chores like oil changes and leaky faucets. Most of his visits had been to older ladies who plied him with sweet tea and jars of homemade jam and talked about the good old days while he replaced a fuse or unstopped the sink. And their houses had been quiet. Real quiet.
Rainy Jernagen stepped back, motioning him in, and Nate very cautiously entered a room that should have had flashing red lights and a Danger Zone sign.