Thursday, June 29, 2017

What To Do On a Sunday

What To Do On a Sunday
by Angel Smits

            Last Sunday my fellow Super Romance author Claire McEwen posed a question on her Facebook page.  Now, I didn’t answer or post because, well, I didn’t see it until Tuesday, and the comment was about what you do on a Sunday. 
            If I’d seen it on Sunday, I’d have commented—really—but I didn’t.  But it got me to thinking.  What I do on Sunday’s is actually a very big deal. 
            I work a 9-5 day job as the admin assistant to the plant manager for a large manufacturing plant.  It’s a busy job, definitely hectic some days.  So when I get to the weekend, hectic and busy is not what I’m looking for.  But, working a 9-5 day job also means there are several tasks that have to be done around the house, whether I like it or not. 
            So Sunday’s are the days where I sleep in a little.  The rest of my family can apparently sleep in a lot because I’m usually up way before they are.  I throw on my robe, walk out to the driveway and retrieve the newspaper, and put on a pot of coffee.  This is the quietest time of my week.  I relish every single minute of it. 
            Ready the newspaper is an old-fashioned habit, but a particularly important one for me.  I read nearly every story, every editorial and sometimes the advertising inserts, too.  Depending on when the rest of my family gets up.  Reading a newspaper is relaxing.  I don’t have to worry about the battery dying.   There’s no ads that stop my screen from scrolling down to the next section—I simply turn my eyes or the page.  Yeah, some of the stories are things that I saw online a couple days ago, but frequently this is the entire story, not just the headline, or the grabber paragraph. 
            I get story ideas from newspaper articles.  Those grainy newspaper photos are often the best jumping off place for a tale I want to tell.  So I sit back and enjoy every single minute--heavily laced with my coffee.  
            Eventually, though I do have to emerge from that cocoon.  And often the bridge back to reality is the coupon inserts.  I love coupons.  I’ve saved a lot of money over the years clipping and saving them.  It’s also become a ritual with my daughter and I.  We get out the scissors and clip away, a lot like cut and paste back in school.  She and I get ideas of what we plan to make for all of us to eat in the week ahead, and get reminded of things we haven’t had in awhile. 
            In the afternoon, we venture off to the grocery store.  It’s really the only day I can do it so I’ve resigned myself to it.  And my daughter loves to go.  She started going with me when she was little.  At an early age she learned how to add to the shopping cart.  At least now, she asks.  At two, she just tossed it in and this harried mother never had a clue—not until I was home unpacking bags.  Some interesting things ended up on our menu that way. 

Do we look like intrepid shoppers?
            Over time, grocery shopping became a mother daughter activity.  Sometimes it was the only time we had, just the two of us.   We’ve found that a lot of topics can be fit into the hour plus it takes us to buy a week’s worth of groceries.  And while it’s not private, no one’s really listening to us—and if they are, who cares.  We don’t know them, and they don’t know us.         
            There’s been a lot of sharing going on as we walk those aisles.  I can ask her in produce if something’s bothering her.  And by dairy, she’s filled me in and we’ve hashed out a few solutions.  In canned goods, she might say, “You know mom, I was wondering…”  And as we stroll down the baking aisle and debate which desert to get, we’ve come up with some answers, maybe even some viable solutions. 
            We never consciously decided to make the grocery store our connecting ground, it just happened over time.  And I’m glad it did.  Every parent should have a special time and place with each of their children.  A place where that child feels like they are the only person in that parent’s life.  A place where the relationship is one on one and  you can get to know the individual.  And they can get to know you as a person as well. 

            Is there a special place or event you have in your life where you connect with someone special?  I’d love to hear stories, if you’re willing to share.  And if you don’t have one?  Feel free to think about making one.  It’s definitely worth the effort.  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Have Laptop, Will Travel - And Write.

Kris Fletcher

One of the things I like best about writing is what a portable career it is. For example, this blog post is coming to you from the hallway of my church, where I am holed up while my daughter is in the sanctuary having a voice lesson. It got me thinking about some of the many and varied places I have carried my writing with me over the years. Care to travel down memory lane with me?
  • My office, of course. We've owned three houses over my writing time and I've been lucky enough to claim an office in each one. In fact, when we were house-hunting last year, the list of requirements was pretty simple: same schools for my girls, at least three bedrooms, and an office for me.
  • School concerts. Don't fret - I don't work during the concert itself. But before the music begins? Fair game. Transition time between groups? That works, too. 
  • Waiting rooms. Oh yeah. And exam rooms, while waiting for the good doc to appear. 
  • Hotel rooms, both solo (when racing to meet a deadline) or with the family. Of course, that writing is usually done in the bathroom while everyone else is still asleep :-)
  • Outside. The glider, the Adirondack chairs, the picnic table, the playground - they have all seen
    their share of action.  The car. Not as much as you would expect, given the amount of traveling we do, but the thing is, taking time to write means that I have to let my husband drive. Can you say, watch the control freak totally lose it?
  • Libraries, coffee shops, cafes. Come on. I think those are practically required. 
  • Planes. Again, not as much as you would expect, but since I'm usually traveling with at least one child, most flights have been spent keeping kids amused (and making sure they don't spend the entire flight ringing the call button). But they are getting older, and unlike my husband's driving, they are constantly getting better.
  • Writing retreats. These are the best. Good friends, no distractions, abundant snacks.Does it get any better?
And let's not forget the many times inspiration and plot points have hit in the least expected places - the shower, the grocery store, in the middle of a sermon, during school performances, while cooking dinner - basically, anywhere and everywhere. My family has grown accustomed to having me stop them in the middle of something while I frantically jot a note on paper or dictate a memo into my phone. Sometimes they're not even embarrassed.

I've written on three continents, in at least seven countries, and in more cities than I can count. No matter where the road leads, it seems there's always a story - either one I bring with me or one I find there. Definitely one of the best perks of this gig.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 2017 New Releases from #HarlequinSuperromance

Airman to the Rescue (Heroes of Fortune Valley) by Heatherly Bell

She's off-limits…and perfect for him! 

It was supposed to be easy. Sarah Mcallister was going to flip her late father's house and head back to Colorado for a fresh start. But when her shady contractor gets arrested, taking most of her budget with him, she's at risk of losing everything. Enter Matt Conner…sexy pilot, single dad, Sarah's brother's best friend…and far too good with his hands for her peace of mind.

Moving into Sarah's spare bedroom is just asking for trouble, but Matt's trying to make amends with his troubled teen son, and a key step is finding a decent place to crash for as long as it takes. And the woman needs his help…

Her Amish Protectors by Janice Kay Johnson

She had wanted a simpler life in Amish country… 

The caring community in her new Missouri small town was a healing salve for Nadia Markovic's wounded spirit…until someone broke into her apartment above her Amish quilt shop and robbed her while she was sleeping. The thief made off with all the funds they'd just raised through the sale of her neighbours' handmade quilts. And police chief Ben Slater can't rule her out as the prime suspect. Only her Amish friends are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. People are angry enough to even target her with violence… But while Ben might not trust her, he's committed to protecting her, confusing her feelings for this man who's pulling her apart!

Shelter in the Tropics by Cara Lockwood

She's got nowhere left to run 

After a year of searching, ex-marine turned private eye Tack Reeves has finally located Cate Allen. She's traded in her high heels for flip-flops but Tack would recognize the stunning beauty anywhere. He just needs proof. Posing as a tourist at her Caribbean resort is the perfect cover. Except that the closer Tack gets to Cate, the less his case makes sense…and their intense attraction is only fueling the confusion. When he learns that the mom and her four-year-old son are hiding from her abusive ex, he vows to protect them. But Cate may not let him when she learns why he's on the island…

Unexpected Attraction by Stella MacLean

She swore never to trust him… 

Hardworking single mom Andrea Taylor thought she knew everything about her teenage daughter. She doesn't. Her teen is being bullied, and the school has brought in Jake Polegato to help. But the charming psychologist is the last man Andrea wants meddling in her family affairs. 

Andrea has good reason to despise Jake, but her daughter comes first. Yet as Andrea and Jake work together, she begins to see the man he really is. As tensions turn into undeniable attraction, Andrea finds herself in dangerously unfamiliar territory. Because now she doesn't just need Jake's help…she needs him.

June 2017 Box Set

Harlequin® Superromance brings you a collection of four new novels, available now! Experience powerful relationships that deliver a strong emotional punch and a guaranteed happily ever after.

This Superromance box set includes:

by Janice Kay Johnson

Heroes of Fortune Valley
by Heatherly Bell

by Cara Lockwood

by Stella MacLean

Look for 4 compelling new stories every month from Harlequin® Superromance!

Join to earn FREE books and more. Earn points for all your Harlequin purchases from wherever you shop.
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