Monthly Archives: November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

contentHappy Thanksgiving! Today I’d like to share some silly and not so silly things those of us at Kiss and Thrill are thankful for.

Carey:

BillandElvisSilly: I’m thankful I’m not a turkey.

Serious and Silly: I’m thankful for my husband’s Elvis impersonation. I swear it made me fall in love with him. 

Serious: I’m thankful for my three incredible children and the beautiful world we live in.

Lena:

photoSerious: I’m thankful that my son and daughter will be home for the holiday.

Silly: I’m thankful that my son and daughter will be home for the holiday. (Seeing a trend?)

Krista:Rosie in my chair

The GirlsSilly: I’m grateful for Rosie who always keeps my favorite writing chair warm when I’m not sitting in it.

Serious: I’m grateful for my mom and sisters and all the laughter we share when we’re together.

 

 

 

Diana: 

Silly: I’m grateful for my DVR because it means I can take the time to talk to a friend or get interrupted by a family member and not worry about “missing” anything during my favorite show. The DVR puts me in control of TV, unchains me from the box, and means way less viewing time since it’s on my schedule, not theirs. Plus, fewer commercials. Yay!!Meissen+Figurine+Musee+Ariana (1)

Serious: I am grateful for my husband who is the love of my life, is always there for me, and thinks I’m great even when I’m not. What did I ever do to deserve him?

Rachel:

Silly: Rite-in-the-Rain notebooks for jotting down story inspirations while in the shower or tub.

matanuska glacierSerious: I’m thankful for all the wonderful people who fill my life and give it meaning, most especially, my husband, daughter, and son.

Gwen:

Gwen-ZoeSilly: I’m thankful to my golden retriever for forcing me to leave my home office a couple of times a day.

Serious: I’m grateful that I live where I can pursue my dreams and take that journey with the people I love most in this world.

Sarah:

Silly: I am thankful to Bonita Boarding and Kennel Camp for taking my little hooligans off my hands every morning.

704907FF-54A5-4030-8F6A-E32E8233DA9ESerious: I am thankful for the final safe return of my older brother, from 18 months in the US Embassy in Afghanistan. (In the picture he is holding Flat Stanley, some 3rd grade class drew and mailed it to him. Too cute!)

Manda: 

Silly: I’m thankful to Netflix and Hulu which kept me from losing my mind during my six weeks of mandatory IV antibiotic treatments.

Serious: I’m thankful for the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals and researchers whose hard work cured the infection in my heart so that I can keep on writing the books I love.Old+fashioned+TV (1)

Runner-up:  I’m thankful to my wonderful friends (Lena, Carey, Rachel, Diana, Gwen, Krista, Sarah and Sharon) who also kept me from losing my mind during those six weeks.

Sharon:

IMG_3154Silly: I am grateful for my Canon digital camera which lets me catch my children and their friends in all sorts of situations. All for future bribery/blackmail use, of course.

Serious: I am grateful for my husband and two children who have brought me more happiness than I deserve.

All of us are so grateful for your recovery, Manda. We love you!

If anyone wants to share a silly or serious thing they’re thankful for today, we’d love to hear it.

Up All Night with Harlan Coben

coben7Harlan Coben is no nonsense. He’ll sit down for an interview, give it his all, but he’s not the kind of guy to schmooze or waste time.

I want to keep you up all night”

An air of mystery surrounds him like an invisible cloak. Fangirls flirt with him at conferences, but you can always tell, though he might be flattered, they’re wasting their time. Because the one subject Harlan Coben will stop and talk about is his family and how much he loves them.

I sat down for an interview with Harlan and discussed how his own kids inspired him to write his Mickey Bolitar series. With twenty bestselling novels, every imaginable award, and over sixty million books in print worldwide, he’s a legend.

So much so that if you think I’m nervous interviewing this giant, you’re right. (Please, Harlan, forgive the insertion of an “R” into your last name. You must think me an utter fool, but were nice enough to never even correct me.)

His focus is amazing. Despite people knocking on doors and barging into the interview room, he never missed a beat. I am sure that’s what makes him the powerhouse he is. His take-no-prisoners, stick your butt in the chair and write, attitude means that he’s centered on quality product.

As he says in the interview,  “I want to keep you up all night, I want you to curse me in the morning, and that’s really my job.”

Celebrating Our Veterans

Heroes are important to writers — especially thriller and suspense writers. They are key to making a plot work, for giving us swoon worthy moments, for making our pulses race and our hearts beat faster as we turn page after page.

But no matter how well we write a character, there is nothing that compares to real life heroes. Ordinary people, sometimes with extraordinary skills, all with enormous courage to confront horrific situations and keep us safe.

NJ Coast Guard (c) Diana Belchase 2011

Today is Veteran’s Day, where we honor the men and women in the Armed Forces who so bravely serve the United States. Increasingly it’s a day we forget about. Lost in the maze of ethnic history months, pilgrims, trick or treaters, and holiday sales — all worthy events — we often disregard it as little more than a note on a pre-printed calendar.

But Veteran’s Day is important. So much so that today is also when others in the world also honor their military personnel. Canada, Australia, and Britain call it Remembrance Day but it’s the same holiday.

So often our unsung heroes are never thanked for the sacrifices they’ve made to protect us all. They receive poor pay, tremendous responsibility, dangerous accommodations, and they do it all with a smile. It’s now our turn to say, “Hey, thanks for being there, for serving, for doing for me what I cannot do for myself.”

So, to all our Vets, and also to those in clandestine service where there is no holiday — officers in the 512px-JTACCIA, NSA, FBI, Homeland Security, Secret Service, and too many others to list, I’m sending you all a huge

THANK YOU!

Each and every one of you — whether on the battlefield or behind a desk– work as a team to keep us and much of the world safe. You humble us with your sacrifice. Our debt to you will never be repaid. God bless you and keep you safe.

Please let our vets know how much they mean to you by leaving a comment HERE or below. We’ll spread the word to make sure they are seen.

Romantic. Isn’t it?

The minute Halloween ended, the stores had their Christmas decorations up. Yikes! So now I’m thinking Christmas gifts. And romance. Because, uh, romance writer.

Which got me thinking me of my first Christmas with my husband (a.k.a. The Engineer), back in our dating days. He bought me aftermarket cruise control for my car.

Seriously.

picture of cruise control

Right up there with vacuum cleaners you say?

Well, maybe. Would I have swooned for some jewelry? Oh yeah. But romance is about more than cards and flowers and gems. You can have all that and still end up with a dud instead of a stud. Flowers and jewels are easy outs. Pick one and I’ll probably like it.

Venice jewelry store display

No, the real challenge in my mind—and the real definition of romantic—is knowing your partner well enough to get a gift he or she will truly enjoy. It shows you’ve been listening and have given a lot of thought to what would please.

In that respect, in spite of what his roommate thought, The Engineer’s gift was wildly romantic. We had been driving two hours each way to another city every few weeks for family visits. Without cruise control, I was constantly battling my lead foot and my (then) sporty five-speed to stay within a reasonable speed limit. How much nicer life would have been if I had a newer car with cruise so I could relax. I definitely didn’t need any more speeding tickets!

Well, the newer car was out. We were poor college students, after all. But the cruise control… Who knew you could put something like that on after market? The Engineer, of course! And he installed it too. See? Smart, handsome, and handy with a tool. How could a girl go wrong? 😀

And every once in a while, he gets totally impractical and buys me something pretty that I don’t need. Like jewelry. Which makes it all the more special, because he also understands that sometimes I just want something that sparkles.

What’s the most romantic (or unromantic) gift you’ve ever received?

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