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I am so ready for the WEDDING to be here. In the meantime, here’s something to share. It’s Elizabeth and her cousin Joelle, circa 1989. It’s almost as if they knew what the future would hold:

cute overload

cute overload

Wedding hair 010

Elizabeth, my one and only daughter.

It’s really a very sweet post by Elizabeth, about why she can never read my books.

I am very inept at doing things on Facebook, but I managed to publish a note on my profile. Since I’m much more comfortable with WordPress, I’m pasting it here.
Rules:
Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I don’t know how to use all the features on my Nikon D-80 but I’m too impatient to read the manual.
2. Barkis’s dog trainer is an expert in the sport of Schutzhund.
3. Jay is my first husband.
4. I used to be a Mean Girl in high school when I played field hockey. ūüė¶
5. I write the first draft of every book in longhand.
6. I don’t really know how to do things on Facebook so this note might go in a black hole.
7. I’m supposed to tag people in this note who tagged me, but I’ve no idea how to do that….just figured it out! And now I’m going to do it by going through the alphabet backwards, just because.
8. One year, I didn’t have enough money to justify entering my novel in the RITA contest.
9. When we incorporated, my first act as president of Susan M. Wiggs Inc was to get a corporate account with Seattle Chocolates.
10. I call my parents every day and talk to both of them.
11. Speaking of old people, Jay and I have dinner together almost every single night, but sometimes we eat at 5:30.
12. My childhood dog, Pepper, won a blue ribbon for “most beautiful” in a school dog show. She was a Dalmation.
13. I love to ski but I’m picky about the weather.
14. I can see Mount Rainier from my house.
15. I have an extensive collection of rare antique golf balls in my living room. And 2 sequoias trees in my yard.
16. My girlfriends and I tell each other everything. Seriously, everything. Are you listening, guys? EVERYTHING.
17. I don’t keep any secrets from my husband.
18. My basement creeps me out.
19. I’m glad Bush is gone and hope Obama stays true to liberal ideals.
20. My favorite radio shows are “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “This American Life.”
21. I randomly send Seattle Chocolate Truffle bars to faraway friends and business associates.
22. I love burning CDs and sending them in greeting cards to friends.
23. There are two TV stars living in my neighborhood, but I would never say who.
24. It bugs me to use “texted” and “friended” as verbs, as in, “I friended you on Facebook and then texted you about tonight.”
25. It took me 5 minutes and 24 seconds to type this list–I timed it on the computer. And I’m not going back to re-read my answers.

 
the view from here

A few random Qs from my publisher… What's your fave?

What is your favorite flower?

Magenta cyclamen. In the dead of winter, I can always find a few secretly blooming in my garden.

 
What are you reading now?
Identical Strangers¬†by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein. It’s a memoir by twins who were separated at birth and adopted by strangers, and never found out until they met for the first time as adults.
 
Who is your favorite Harlequin author?
That is SO not fair, because my favorites change along with my moods. When I have a rotten cold in the middle of winter, it’s tea and toast and Betty Neels. For a feel-good girlfriend book, I love Debbie Macomber, but when I need a sexy cowboy, it’s Linda Lael Miller all the way.¬†If I’m in the mood for an alpha male, Nora Roberts or Linda Howard fills the bill.¬†Jennifer Greene for a good cry. If I have a hankering for¬†military guys, it’s Merline Lovelace and Suzanne Brockmann…see what I mean? I could go on like this all day.¬†
 
How many books have you written?
30-ish. I stopped counting after thirty because it was making me feel old.
 
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Right here, right now. It’s a boring answer, but¬†I’m really lucky to live where I do.¬†There’s a pristine beach about ten yards from my window, a dead-on view of Mount Rainier, sailboats, kayaks and motorboats on the premises, a pool and deck,¬†a big garden twined with pathways, a primeval rain forest 1/2 mile down the road, a cafe in the neighborhood with great lattes and pizza, a vintage movie house within walking distance and all the fishing, birding and beachcombing, sitting and reading and dreaming you could want. Provided I’m doing a good job with my deadlines, every day feels like a vacation.
 
Before becoming a writer, what did you do?
Wrote and illustrated¬†long, angsty unrhymed poems, skied in the Matterhorn, rode the Orient Express,¬†played center on my field hockey team, spoke French, played the cello, drank pastis in a cafe in Trieste with dangerous people, sneaked into a Rolling Stones concert,¬†flirted with my master’s thesis advisor, taught Euclidean geometry, Calculus and long division,¬†stole my sister’s boyfriend and married him, became a vegetarian, learned to dance the Cotton-Eyed Joe, made the first cut of the Teacher in Space program, taught myself Fair Isle knitting and counted cross stitch, faux finished every wall of the house, campaigned for John Anderson, ignored my mother’s advice, gave birth without anaesthesia, read Georgette Heyer’s complete oeuvre, gave my hair to Locks of Love, rode a bicycle down the volcano Haleakala, sang in a church choir, told my sister sorry about the guy and had a laugh, became an adult literacy volunteer,¬†lived in a tract home in the ”burbs and read romance novels aloud while nursing an infant, because I was trying to teach myself the craft while bonding with the infant. Then I sold my first book, and everything changed…
 
Do you have a new book coming out?
Always. My latest is¬†Fireside. I’ll have several historical reissues this year,¬†and then¬†Lakeshore Christmas¬†in October.
 
What is your favorite food?
Pizza with melanzane (eggplant), served in a tiny cafe in Amalfi with a view of the sea and a glass of San Pelligrino, shared with the abovementioned laughing husband.
 
Do you have any pets?
Barkis the Wonderdog, a young Doberman with floppy ears and a stubby tail and a desperate need to be petted at all times.
 
What is your favorite romantic movie?
It’s a tie– “Harold and Maude” and “Last of the Mohicans” (the Daniel Day-Lewis version). Runners up: “Terminator” and “Speed.” Really.
 
This year is Harlequin’s 60th Anniversary. Do you have any special message you’d like to pass on?
Girl, you are lookin’¬†hot¬†for a sixty-year-old! Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s working well for you.
 
Your turn! How would you answer? Click “comments” and post there!
What’s your fave?

My friends and family don’t read my blog. They get enough of me in person. So I will list a few of the gifts I’ve bought for people this year. I can’t say who in case they are reading my blog on the sly.¬†

Girl gifts are easy. This seems to be the Year of the Bag (whereas last year was the Year of the Glove). Here are two options that will have you saying, Orla who??? My friend Deb showed me this wonderful stuff from Tutela. All on my own, I discovered Jane Marvel.

Girls who are extra good might get a cashmere bathrobe. It’s the one thing you can be pretty sure your girlfriends will not buy themselves, which is tragic, if you ask me. Maybe we all need this affirmation ball¬†to tell us how great we are.

Here’s a book I love for big kids! And for nieces, this perfect, perfect little bauble.

for the stylish boater

for the stylish boater

ear flaps add that certain je ne sais quoi

ear flaps add that certain je ne sais quoi

Guys. Argh.¬†They hate everything¬†except golf carts, sports cars and¬†stuff I can’t say on this blog. But they have to get dressed in something, right, so maybe this Lighthouse Keeper’s jacket? Or¬†how about¬†a dorky hat for the son-in-law-to-be? And of course, toys are aways appropriate–try a bow-and-mallow marshmallow shooter, a lighted Frisbee¬†or perhaps a radio-controlled airplane.

 

yo Dad!

yo Dad!

Parents will tell you they don’t want “stuff.” Meh. Get Dad the quinessential Life: The Classic Collection¬†photo book, a pair sustainable slippers and some Woodhouse Chocolates, and you’re done, so there. Make Mom a calendar out of family photos–even more fun, get your sister on the phone and work on it together. Also give her some Chocolate Vitale European Drinking Chocolate. Trust me on this. Then call the best salon in Mom’s town and get her a certificate for a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage and hairstyle. She’s your mom, okay?¬†

So that’ll get you started. Tune in tomorrow to find out how you can really make an impact with your shopping.

Three things I’m grateful for:

  1. my funny, big-hearted sister
  2. a good night’s sleep next to a warm husband
  3. autumn beauty, courtesy of Jay’s cell phone
from Jay's talented cell phone

from Jay

What are you grateful for today?

Win a trip to Willow Lake! I’m not kidding. Check it out here: http://www.eharlequin.com/swinvitation.html?swid=100006

Win a trip to Willow Lake!

In stores now!Today is the official release of Snowfall at Willow Lake. Enjoy!

Aaaand…First-time author Patry Francis also has a new book out today. It’s on my TBR. Check it out:

‚ÄúThe new questions and revelations just keep coming‚ĶReaders will be heartily rewarded.‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒLadies‚Äô Home Journal

When new music teacher Ali Mather enters Jeanne Cross’s quiet suburban life, she brings a jolt of energy that Jeanne never expected. Ali has a magnetic personality and looks to match, drawing attention from all quarters. Nonetheless, Jeanne and Ali develop a friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities THE LIAR’S DIARY (Plume / February 2008 / ISBN 978-0-452-28915-4 / $14.00) is the story of Ali and Jeanne’s friendship, and the secrets they both keep.

Jeanne’s secrets are kept to herself; like her son’s poor report card and husband’s lack of interest in their marriage. Ali’s secrets are kept in her diary, which holds the key to something dark: her fear that someone has been entering her house when she is not at home. While their secrets bring Jeanne and Ali together, it is this secret that will drive them apart. Jeanne finds herself torn between her family and her dear friend in order to protect the people she loves.

A chilling tour of troubled minds, THE LIAR‚ÄôS DIARY questions just how far you‚Äôll go for your family and what dark truths you‚Äôd be willing to admit‚ÄĒeven to yourself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patry Francis is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize whose work has appeared in the Tampa Review, Colorado Review, Ontario Review, and the American Poetry Review. She is also the author of the popular blogs, simplywait.blogspot.com and waitresspoems.blogspot.com. This is her first novel. Please visit her website at www.patryfrancis.com.

THE LIAR’S DIARY
By Patry Francis
Plume Paperbacks / February 2008 / $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-452-28915-4
Readers Guide available at www.penguin.com
For more information or to schedule an interview with Patry Francis, please contact Laurie Connors, Plume Publicity
212-366-2222 / laurie.connors@us.penguingroup.com

Oh, fun! The Winter Lodge¬†is up for a Reviewers Choice Award from RT Book Reviews. It’s up against some of the best books of 2007. I am in good company–every single author in this category is one I regularly read and love, so there’s really no down side to this. Here’s the whole list:¬†¬†

Best of luck to us all!

what’s on my mind right now:

Join me on Facebook. You won’t be sorry.

I tend to spontaneously give stuff away to readers and libraries. Join the fun here. Really.

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