Nancy’s Notebook

RARM

 

 

 

HAPPY READ A ROMANCE MONTH!

August 2015

 

Dear Readers,

 

Happy Read A Romance Month! Thanks for joining in the celebration.

 

One of the happiest moments of  any romance writer’s life is that day she (or he – we do have some men in our ranks) gets The Call delivering the long awaited news that she’s sold her first book.  It’s a dream come true and a moment of great joy. I’ll never forget the day my own writer dream came true.

 

In late January 2003, my agent sent word that a publisher was very interested in seeing the completed manuscript of my women’s fiction novel REINVENTING OLIVIA, of which I’d only written three chapters.  “How soon do you think you can finish it?” she asked.

 

I said something stupid like, “Give me a couple of weeks.”

 

“So I’ll tell him he can expect the complete on February 2?” asked the agent.

 

“Absolutely,” said the wide-eyed writer.

 

Come February 2, I’d reached my projected end-of-the-book page count, but I still had more story to tell.

 

I know this is a terrible thing to admit, but since the publishing industry sometimes moves at an absurdly slow pace and February 2 was a Sunday, I was sure the editor wouldn’t expect me to deliver it on the weekend.

 

WRONG!

 

TelephoneThe editor called my agent asking about the book.

 

See Nancy type.  See Nancy type fast in long marathon sessions. See Nancy scratch her head and wonder how she could have so much story left to tell when the book should ‘ve ended fifty pages ago.

 

As if that weren’t bad enough, my little cat who was the queen our backyard decided to go on a royal adventure.  Normally, this would have been fine, but this was an animal who never missed a meal.  In her three-year reign of the land, she never strayed farther than earshot.  When she didn’t show up for breakfast, I was concerned, but I forced myself to focus on writing.

 

The next day she was still missing and  I was frantic.  At the time, we lived on a busy downtown street and . . . Well, you can imagine the logical assumption.  But a quick road check, proved “fine” and I tried to focus on wrapping up the story.

 

Around two o’clock that afternoon, I was fixing some tea and noticed a huge raccoon sitting on a lawn statue in our back yard.  Florida raccoons prowl at night.  They rarely come out during the day unless they’re sick or very hungry. . . this one was particularly cheeky (not to mention about three times the size of our tiny cat). I opened the back door to shoo him away, but he just sauntered over to the cat food bowl for a snack.

 

He was still hanging around when my husband got home from work. As I watched my husband try to shoo away the varmint the phone rang. The caller ID flashed a long distance number where the publisher who was interested in my book was located.

 

IT WAS THE EDITOR.

 

raccoonPicture me talking to this editor for the first time, while I watch the raccoon charge at my husband.  The fate of my publishing career was on the line (literally), and I was watching a rabid raccoon chase my husband through the backyard.

 

I don’t remember exactly what I said to the editor  something about having the manuscript to him the following day, which I did – I finally got smart and figured out if an editor cared enough to call and goad me along he was probably seriously interested in my book (Hello?!?).

 

My husband and my cat made it through the battle unscathed; the rabid raccoon moved on; and I got THE CALL for my first sale a week later. I guess you could say we all lived happily ever after.  This story still brings me such joy.

Many thanks to Bobbi Dumas and Lorelei’s Lit Lair for including me in this fabulous celebration! Please check out Bobbi’s Read a Romance Month blog www.readaromancemonth.com). It contains a master calendar showing when your favorite authors will be talking about the Joy of Romance and giving away special prizes.  Also check out Lorelei’s Lit Lair www.facebook.com/loreleislitlair ) she will be recommending her favorite authors all month long and they will be giving away prizes each day. Think of it as an additional chance to win! I’m giving away a prize through Lorelei’s page on August 24. So be sure and check out her page www.facebook.com/loreleislitlair )This is where you can find Lorelei’s Lit Lair Read A Romance Month essay    http://bit.ly/1JMTWCY )

 

 

 

Recommendations:

Eve Gaddy - Eve Gaddy is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than eighteen novels. Be sure to check out her latest THE BILLIONAIRE’S CHARADE, available this month.

Cindy Kirk –  THE MD’S UNEXPECTED FAMILY is the latest book in Cindy’s fabulous RX for Love series.

Renee Ryan -  THE MARRIAGE AGREEMENT is the ninth book in Renee’s lovely Charity House series.

Mimi Wells -   Mimi writes fabulous romance and new adult books. Be sure and check out her latest novella THE BILLIONAIRE’S DECEPTION, part of the Hot Amalfi Nights collection, available this month.

 Pamela Labud Check out Pam’s books for wonderful stories of love and adventure.

Questions For The Author:

1 – Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy: IMG_3057 In May, my husband, daughter and I spent three weeks in Italy. I’d always dreamed of seeing Venice and it more than lived up to my expectations. We stayed in a magical apartment called Ca’ Venexiana in the Dorsoduro neighborhood. Enjoying my morning espresso on the private courtyard that opened onto a quiet canal brought me supreme joy.

 

2 – Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy:

New York City holds very special, happy memories for me. When I was fifteen, I won a contest and the prize was a trip for two to New York City. My mother and went and we had the time of our lives. Sadly, I lost her to breast cancer, but every time I go to NYC (which is about once or twice a year these days) I always feel like she’s with me. NYC 2015

 

Flute3 – Tell us about a sound that brings you joy: My daughter plays the flute and she’s very good at it. She actually got into college on a music scholarship and was the principal flutist in her university’s orchestra. Hearing her play (both practice and perform) fills me with such joy, it sometimes brings tears to my eyes.

 

4 – What recent book have you read that brought you joy: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak Why? It was my favorite book as a kid and remains high on my list today because it embodies the joy of using your imagination.Where the wild things are

 

Sammy's 7th birthday5 – And for fun, the joy of choice ;o  ~  Corgis! Corgis and more Corgis!  My nine-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi Samantha brings me so much joy! I love that dog so much it’s ridiculous. In general, Corgis are a good natured breed. They always look like they’re smiling.

 

 

 

 

Bio

nancyNational bestselling author Nancy Robards Thompson has worked as a newspaper reporter, television show stand-in, production and casting assistant for movies, and in fashion and public How to Marry A Doctorrelations. She started writing fiction seriously in 1997. Five years and four completed manuscripts later, she won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award for unpublished writers and sold her first book the following year. Since then, Nancy has sold 30 books (8 single title novels; 18 category romances; and 4 novellas), which critics have deemed, “…funny, smart and observant.”  She lives in Orlando with her husband, daughter and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Please visit her website at NancyRobardsThompson.com, connect with her on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/nancyrobardsthompsonbooks and Twitter @NRTWrites.

 

Happy Read A Romance Month!

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

 

 RARM

 

HAPPY READ A ROMANCE MONTH!

 

Dear Readers,

 

Happy Read A Romance Month! Thanks for joining in the celebration. This year’s theme is “The Joy of Romance.” Since one of the happiest moments of  a writer’s life is that day she gets THE CALL delivering the long awaited news that she’s sold her first book, I thought I’d share my story.  It’s a dream come true and a moment of great joy. I’ll never forget the day my own writer dream came true because there’s a funny story attached to it.

 

In mid-January 2003, my agent sent word that a publisher was very interested in seeing the completed manuscript of my women’s fiction novel of which I’d only written a few chapters.  “How soon do you think you can finish it?” she asked.

 

I said something stupid like, “Give me a couple of weeks.”

 

“So I’ll tell him he can expect the complete on February 2?” asked the agent.

 

“Absolutely,” said the wide-eyed writer.

 

Come February 2, I’d reached my projected end-of-the-book page count, but I still had more story to tell.

 

I know this is a terrible thing to admit, but since the publishing industry sometimes moves very slowly and February 2 was a Sunday, I was sure the editor wouldn’t expect me to deliver it on the weekend.

 

WRONG!

 

TelephoneThe editor called my agent asking about the book.

 

See Nancy type.  See Nancy type fast in long marathon sessions. See Nancy scratch her head and wonder how she could have so much story left to tell when the book should ‘ve ended fifty pages ago.

 

As if that weren’t bad enough, my little cat, Baby, who was the queen our backyard decided to go on a royal adventure.  Normally, this would have been fine, but this was an animal who never missed a meal.  In her three-year reign of the land, she never strayed farther than earshot.  When she didn’t show up for breakfast, I was concerned, but I forced myself to focus on writing.

 

The next day she was still missing and  I was frantic.  At the time, we lived on a busy downtown street and . . . Well, you can imagine the logical assumption.  But a quick road check, proved “fine” and I tried to focus on wrapping up the story.

 

Around two o’clock that afternoon, I was fixing some tea and noticed a huge raccoon sitting on a lawn statue in our back yard.  Florida raccoons prowl at night.  They rarely come out during the day unless they’re sick or very hungry. . . this one was particularly cheeky (not to mention about three times the size of our tiny cat). I opened the back door to shoo him away, but he just sauntered over to the cat food bowl for a snack.

 

He was still hanging around when my husband got home from work. As I watched my husband try to shoo away the varmint the phone rang. The caller ID flashed a long distance number where the publisher who was interested in my book was located.

 

IT WAS THE EDITOR.

 

raccoonPicture me talking to him for the first time, while I watch the raccoon charge at my husband. The fate of my publishing career was on the line (literally), and I was watching a rabid raccoon chase my husband through the backyard.

 

I don’t remember exactly what I said to the editor  something about having the manuscript to him the following day, which I did – I finally got smart and figured out if an editor cared enough to call and goad me along he was probably seriously interested in my book (Hello?!?).

 

My husband and my cat made it through the battle unscathed; the rabid raccoon moved on; and I got THE CALL for my first sale a week later. I guess you could say we all lived happily ever after.  This story still brings me such joy.

Many thanks to Bobbi Dumas and Lorelei’s Lit Lair for including me in this fabulous celebration! Please check out Bobbi’s Read a Romance Month blog ( www.readaromancemonth.com). It contains a master calendar showing when your favorite authors will be talking about the Joy of Romance and giving away special prizes.  Also check out Lorelei’s Lit Lair ( www.facebook.com/loreleislitlair ). She is recommending her favorite authors all month long and we are giving away prizes. Think of it as an additional chance to win! I’m giving away a prize through Lorelei’s page on August 24. So be sure and check out her page ( www.facebook.com/loreleislitlair ). This is where you can find Lorelei’s Lit Lair Read A Romance Month essay    (http://bit.ly/1JMTWCY)

 

 

Here are my recommendations:

Eve Gaddy - Eve Gaddy is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than eighteen novels. Be sure to check out her latest THE BILLIONAIRE’S CHARADE, available this month.

Cindy Kirk -  THE MD’S UNEXPECTED FAMILY is the latest book in Cindy’s fabulous RX for Love series.

Renee Ryan -  THE MARRIAGE AGREEMENT is the ninth book in Renee’s lovely Charity House series.

Mimi Wells -   Mimi writes fabulous romance and new adult books. Be sure and check out her latest novella THE BILLIONAIRE’S DECEPTION, part of the Hot Amalfi Nights collection, available this month.

Pamela Labud - Check out Pam’s books for wonderful stories of love and adventure.

 

Questions For The Author:

1 - Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy: IMG_3057 In May, my husband, daughter and I spent three weeks in Italy. I’d always dreamed of seeing Venice and it more than lived up to my expectations. We stayed in a magical apartment called Ca’ Venexiana in the Dorsoduro neighborhood. Enjoying my morning espresso on the private courtyard that opened onto a quiet canal brought me supreme joy.

 

2 - Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy:

New York City holds very special, happy memories for me. When I was fifteen, I won a contest and the prize was a trip for two to New York City. My mother and went and we had the time of our lives. Sadly, I lost her to breast cancer, but every time I go to NYC (which is about once or twice a year these days) I always feel like she’s with me. NYC 2015

 

Flute3 - Tell us about a sound that brings you joy: My daughter plays the flute and she’s very good at it. She actually got into college on a music scholarship and was the principal flutist in her university’s orchestra. Hearing her play (both practice and perform) fills me with such joy, it sometimes brings tears to my eyes.

 

4 - What book have you read that brought you joy: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak Why? It was my favorite book as a kid and remains high on my list today because it embodies the joy of using your imagination.Where the wild things are

 

Sammy's 7th birthday5 - And for fun, the joy of choice ;o  ~  Corgis! Corgis and more Corgis!  My nine-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi Samantha brings me so much joy! I love that dog so much it’s ridiculous. In general, Corgis are a good natured breed. They always look like they’re smiling.

 

Bio

nancyNational bestselling author Nancy Robards Thompson has worked as a newspaper reporter, television show stand-in, production and casting assistant for movies, and in fashion and public relations. She started writing fiction seriously in 1997. Five years and four completed manuscripts later, she won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award for unpublished writers and sold her first book the following year. Since then, Nancy has sold 30 books (8 single title novels; 18 category romances; and 4 novellas), which critics have deemed, “…funny, smart and observant.”  She lives in Orlando with her husband, daughter and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Please visit her website at NancyRobardsThompson.com, connect with her on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/nancyrobardsthompsonbooks and Twitter @NRTWrites.

On New Releases…

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Celebration's Family (2)

Today is release day for my book CELEBRATION’S FAMILY (the paperback is available today; the e-book version will be available on February 1)! Please join me over at the Special Edition Authors site for a Q&A about the book and to see how you could win a $10 Amazon gift card.

On Good Recipes…

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

buttersquashCarrotSoup

 

Joanne Weir’s Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

1 butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
4 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Cut the squash in half from top to bottom and place it, cut side down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Bake until the squash can be easily be pierced with a knife, 50 to 60 minutes.  Allow it to cool slightly.  With a spoon, remove and discard the seeds.  Scrape the pulp from the skin.  Discard the skin.

Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until soft, 7 minutes.  Add the paprika, cumin, turmeric, and coriander and continue to cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the squash, carrots, sugar, chicken stock, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until the carrots are soft, 20-25 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes.  Puree the soup, in several batches, in a blender until it is very smooth, 3 minutes per batch. Strain it through a fine-mesh strainer back into the pot, and gently reheat. If the soup is too thick, add some water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the yogurt in a small bowl. Season it with salt and pepper, and stir well.
Ladle the hot soup into soup bowls, garnish with the cilantro and a drizzle of yogurt, and serve.

 

 

On Throwback Thursday Photos…

Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Barbara and Nancy (2)

 

My mother and me, a long time ago. Oh, how I miss her.

 

On What’s Up Wednesday…

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

 

What I’m reading: HEARTBURN by Nora Ephron

What I’m listening to:  Barton Hollow  by The Civil Wars

What I’m grateful for: My writing career and lots of opportunities coming my way!

What I’m obsessed with:  Promoting my book CELEBRATION’S FAMILY, which will be released on January 21, 2014.

What I’m cooking: Butternut squash and carrot soup

 

On Celebrating the Birthday of a Fabulous Woman…

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

With Violets cover

 

Today is the birthday of French Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot (born January 14, 1841, Bourges, Cher, France; died March 2, 1895, Paris), driving force behind the Impressionist movement and real-life heroine of my book WITH VIOLETS.

From the back cover of WITH VIOLETS:

Paris in the 1860s: a magnificent time of expression, where brilliant young artists rebel against the stodginess of the past to freely explore new styles of creating—and bold new ways of living.

Passionate, beautiful, and utterly devoted to her art, Berthe Morisot is determined to be recognized as an important painter. But as a woman, she finds herself sometimes overlooked in favor of her male counterparts—Monet, Pissarro, Degas.

And there is one great artist among them who captivates young Berthe like none other: the celebrated genius Édouard Manet. A mesmerizing, breathtaking rogue—a shameless roué, undeterred and irresistible—his life is a wildly overgrown garden of scandal. He becomes Berthe’s mentor, her teacher…her lover, despite his curiously devoted marriage to his frumpy, unappealing wife, Suzanne, and his many rumored dalliances with his own models. For a headstrong young woman from a respectable family, an affair with such an intoxicating scoundrel can only spell heartbreak and ruin.

But Berthe refuses to resign herself to the life of quiet submission that Society has dictated for her. Undiscouraged, she will create her own destiny…and confront life—and love—on her own terms.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Berthe! Morisot's work2

On Defining Yourself…

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Lizzie Velasquez was once called the world’s ugliest woman by some very ugly people, shortsighted people. After watching her TEDxAustinWomen, I think she’s one of the most beautiful, inspiring women I’ve ever seen. Please watch her video. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

On Good Recipes…

Posted by on Jan 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Chicken Marsala

Healthy Chicken Marsala

 

Serves 4Hands-On Time: 35mTotal Time: 35m

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 chicken cutlets (1 1/2 pounds total)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed

Directions

  1. Place the flour on a plate. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. One cutlet at a time, coat the chicken in the flour (tapping off any excess).
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook the chicken until golden, 3 to 5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the mushrooms and 2 tablespoons water to the skillet. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the Marsala and cook until reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the broth to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the butter and swirl until melted. Return the chicken to the skillet, add the parsley, and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, steam the green beans in a steamer basket in a large saucepan until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve with the chicken and mushroom sauce.

On Guest Editors Talking Shop…

Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Susan Litman

Please join us today over at the Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills. Harlequin Editor Susan Litman will be talking about what it’s like to produce the Fortunes of Texas series and oversee a six-author continuity. http://jauntyquills.com

On Fun Happenings On Another Blog (part one) …

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The waiting is the hardest part (2)

The next couple of days fun things are happening over at the Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills blog (that the collective blog to which I contribute). Today, I’m blogging about how waiting for answers is one of the hardest aspects of a writer’s career. Tomorrow we welcome a very special guest: Harlequin Editor Susan Litman. She will be talking about the brand new 2014 Fortunes of Texas series (I have book #5 in the series) and what it’s like to edit a six-author continuity. Please join us! I’m giving away a prize!  http://jauntyquills.com/

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