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“Bookshops are the most valuable destination for the lonely, given the numbers of books that were written because authors couldn’t find anyone to talk to.”
–Alain de Botton
is a valentine to booksellers and a testament to the power of love and the mysteries of fate and happenstance. It has a lot of ground to cover.
In the midst of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, unconventional debutante Lucy Hathaway risks her life to save a baby girl, raising the orphan as her own while running The Firebrand, a bookstore that caters to suffragettes and free thinkers. Five years later, fate throws her into the path of Randolph Higgins when she discovers the scarred, bitter, divorced man believes his baby died in the fire. She realizes Maggie, the child she saved that terrible night, is his lost daughter.
Now the conservative banker and the fiercely independent Lucy must deal with each other for Maggie’s sake. Despite the resulting clash of wills and differing political views, the powerful attraction that drew them together five years earlier still exists. Can these two stubborn, opinionated people find a way to create a family for the sake of Maggie, risking their own battered hearts?
I would love to meet you! Please mark your calendar for these upcoming events:
1 October 2010 – Poulsbo WA
- Chocolate and Wine with Romance Authors: Susan Wiggs, Sheila Roberts, Kimberly Fisk, and Julia Templeton
- Kiana Lodge, Poulsbo, WA
- Ticket Price: $25.00
- Join Susan Wiggs, Sheila Roberts, Kimberly Fisk and Julia Templeton at Kiana Lodge to support your library! An evening of chocolate, wine and words in a romantic setting. Discuss their writing styles, careers, and stories for an unforgettable evening of fun.
- Click here http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/109614 for tickets and more information.
11-16 October 2010 – Seattle WA
- “The Novel: LIVE!” event to benefit literacy. 36 authors. 6 days. 1 blockbuster novel. For more info please see Words4Women-subscribe.
Firehouse Veggie Chili (adapted from www.marthastewart.com)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound dried lentils, rinsed
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 (15-ounce) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 stewed (28-ounce) tomatoes
- 1/3 cup chili powder
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- salt & pepper to taste
- toppings of your choice–sour cream, chopped green onions, cheddar cheese, etc.
In a large pot, warm the oil. Saute onion, green and red peppers, carrot, jalapeno pepper, and garlic. Stir in 7 cups water, lentils, tomato paste, kidney beans and pinto beans. Add stewed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about an hour. If the chili starts to dry out, add hot water as needed. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately with toppings and corn bread.
A revised manuscript finally wings its way out the door. I’m posting this so you can see 1) this funny cartoon and b) the time stamp on the e-mail.
From: Susan Wiggs Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 4:55 AM
To: my long-suffering editor
Cc: my cheerleader of an agent
Subject: Daisy v. 2
Next step as I stumble through this storyline is the love interest. If you’ve read any of my books, you know he is bound to be a manly man with a manly name.
Manly men have monosyllabic names. It’s a Rule. Deal with it:
Sam. Will. Mike. Rourke. Rand. Greg. Tom. Steve. Ross. Rob.
Here are some manly names you will never see in a Wiggs book, because I’m related to them so I can’t write about them as fictional characters (shudder): Nick, Jay, Jon, Dave…all good names, but too close to home to use.
The initial and final sounds of a male monosyllabic name are like muscular biceps framing a massive chest. I’m not kidding here. Pay attention, you might learn something.
Okay, they can have ONE MORE syllable if you promise to give them really cool surnames:
Ryan Calhoun. Jesse Morgan. Dylan Kennedy. Justin McCord.
If they’re really special and have a following even though their book is not yet written, they might get to have a totally special name:
Julian Gastineaux, anybody? Logan O’Donnell?
FYI – here are some move names you will NEVER find attached to the hero of a Wiggs book: Winston. Percy (even though it worked fine for the Scarlet Pimpernel). Vivian, Uriah, Seymour, Poindexter. To name a few.
Oh, and another thing. The name has to sound good next to their girlfriend’s. The female love interest in this one is Tess (short for Theresa) Lindberg. So I wouldn’t want Jess or Jesse. That’s just too cute.
His surname has to work with the girl’s name too, since she has to live with it the rest of her happily-ever-after life. So, Farraday. Someone mentioned that earlier. I’m thinking Quinn. Quinn Farraday. But maybe not, because Quinn + Tess looks a little suspicious, like someone just made them up out of think air. Lemme think on this.
What are your thoughts? What are some of your fave fictional manly names?
It’s Frustrated Reader month in my in-box. Definitely the most frequently asked question is this:
Q: Why, oh why, did you leave Daisy twisting in the wind like that? Curse you! May you burn in hell! (But after you write Daisy’s story.)
A: WARNING. There are bound to be a few spoilers in my reply. If spoilers bother you, please don’t read! If you don’t mind the spoilers, hold down the mouse button and roll over the hidden parts of the reply to highlight and reveal the text (I’ve written it in white font).
Oh, Daisy. When will you learn? We’ve been following you since you were a troubled child of divorce in Summer at Willow Lake, a pregnant teen in The Winter Lodge, leaving home in Dockside, a college student in Snowfall at Willow Lake, a career girl in Fireside and a busy single mom in Lakeshore Christmas.
And all we’ve ever wanted was for you to find your happily-ever-after.
You keep being pulled back and forth between Logan, the handsome, well-born father of your child, and Julian, the dangerous but adoring adrenalin junkie in search of adventure.
And now this! Somebody’s about to pop the question and we don’t even get to know which one, or what your answer is!
Argh! I could kill you dead right now!
(c) All rights reserved Stephen Le
There is no way everyone is going to love everything that happens to a character in a book. I just hope I can be true and fair to the characters and storylines I’ve set up.
It’s true that there is a major, major unanswered question at the end of Lakeshore Christmas. Daisy finds herself in quite a pickle. A delicious pickle.
The good news is, somebody wants to marry her.
The bad news is, we don’t quite know which somebody.
Do I know who dropped the d-bomb on the train platform? Yes.
Is it who you think it is? Probably not.
Disclaimer: Even though I do know how this is going to go down, I haven’t finished Daisy’s book yet, so it’s subject to change. Sometimes a story goes off in its own direction and I have no choice but to follow.
I have a title I really like: Daisy+Logan+Julian which doesn’t really give anything away. It’s a working title and my publisher tends to change them so I’m not holding my breath.
One thing I can promise: The book will be Lakeshore #8 (after the March 2010 release of The Summer Hideaway).
One of the perks of being a writer is that people send you advance reading copies (ARCS) of upcoming books. How much do we love that, people? I’m going to try to be more organized about posting my recommendations here. I read a lot and I read fast, so sometimes things just speed by.
The Promised World by Lisa Tucker
Lisa Tucker is a good fairy. She was nice enough to have her publisher send me an ARC when she saw that her upcoming novel was on my wish list. Would that all wishes were so easily granted! Her other books possess dark fairytale quality I find mesmerizing, and The Promised World has it in spades. Lisa Tucker writes with compassion and sensitivity about the fine balance between sanity and madness, the cost of secrets and lies, and the redemptive quality of love. This novel is also a first class page turner, with a twisty and absorbing plot that will keep you up all night. Major thumbs up!
A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield. Okay, can we talk about titles here? And cover art? I would have bought this book based on the front cover alone. Totally irresistible. But the real story is between the covers. A smart-alecky narrator with the kind of attitude we all wish we had, Stella Hardesty is a woman on a mission. She’s a survivor of domestic abuse and the proprietor of a small-town sewing machine shop. Her mission–to help other women escape and avenge the violence done to them. It’s filled with danger, humor, suspense and a romance with a boyfriend named Goat. Trust me, you’ll love this one.