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Grief in Storytelling

I'm hard at work on STEALING THUNDER. The number 2 book in the Darkness Paranormal series that I'm writing. As in STEALING DARKNESS, this book deals considerably with grief. It's a recurring theme for most of my work, mostly because of the truth of the emotion. InSTEALING DARKNESS, the grief is over an unseen loss and how it relates to her own inability to save someone. But in STEALING THUNDER, the grief has several avenues. The first is Graham's coming to terms with the loss of his mother, a loss he thought he dealt with long ago. For Grace, it's watching a friend slowing fading away. And for a little girl, it's dealing with the grief of watching her mother die and knowing there's no way to stop it.

People automatically think that grief is something that happens after death. But in fact, from the moment we realize the finality of a situation we are forced to deal with our own mortality, and the inevitability of loss. I've often heard people say that i…

In the name of research... Boston

Okay, so I had a bit of respite with my blogging, but after a discussion this morning with a fellow writer about Boston I knew I had to post. About two weeks ago we took the kids to Boston by bus for the day. The bus eliminated the need for expensive and hard to find parking and assured us of door to door arrival and departures from Fanuiel Hall and Quincy Market. Shopping Mecca. So, what does this have to do with writing?

Well, other than a nifty bit of research time I came to realize in my discussions that Boston is a place that I'm passionate about. My love affair with the city goes back to when I was about eight and my Mom took me for my first trip to The Garden to see the Ice Capades. Back then, Maine didn't have an arena big enough to hold the spectacular, so if you wanted to see it you had to go to south. Coming in from the North meant a bird's eye view of the Constitution and arriving through the North end, or the Italian neighborhood. Now, with the super fantastica…

I have been remiss...

I have not posted in awhile and I'm sorry. But frankly, life interrupted everything. Including my writing. And that always weighs heavy on me. My writing is more than an aspiration to be published, it is in fact a chance to release some of the accumulation within me. It is cathartic. And while not everyone who reads my writing would find it this way... I find writing to be stimulating, intellectually, emotionally, engaging. It brings me back within myself. It makes me real to myself even when the characters on the page are not. I'm sorry I've been away...
Something I saw this morning. It was an interview with Peter Jennings Wife and daughter. They were there to talk about the compilation book of interviews about him and their second reason was to bring to the forefront the fact that there is very little funding directed toward lung cancer even though it continues to be one of the largest proportionally devastating types of cancer out there, but because of the mythic disbeli…

Home from New Jersey

and a wonderful time was had by all! Or at least all three of us that were rooming together. I must say that they put on a wonderful conference and probably the best when it comes to getting industry news and offering the opportunity to meet with editors and agents and picked up some great books.

For those looking for some good reads... try this on for size!

Get out your asbestos gloves, cause Annette Blair has created a very, very hot book! If you haven't read this book yet... run right out and get it. You aren't getting my copy. Ms. Blair has created wonderful, funny and sexy characters that charm more than each other, they charm the reader. It was one of those books that you can't put down til it's done. But when it's done you're sorry that it's over. Thanks Ms. Blair for the ride!

Ugh! It's 4am

You may be wondering what I'm doing up at the unforgivable hour? I'm getting ready to go to New Jersey. Yup! As Willie says (and he gets quoted often at my house)... We're on the road again. This time we're headed for the New Jersey RWA Conference in Iselin, New Jersey. Diane Amos, Deb N. and I are headed south, fueled on by coffee and cheap take out food. We do this quite often and have found that we travel quite well together. We've become good friends, bonded by long hours on the road, an ability stand each other for indeterminate periods of time and a love of writing romance. So, if you see my newly place www.TeaganOliver.com sticker on the back of my truck headed south then honk. Oh, and never mind about the sticker being crooked. That's what happens when hubby and I try to freehand things. I'll fixed the blasted thing when I get back.

If you are in New Jersey on Saturday, October 6 from 4-5:30 and you love Romance then check us all out at the Sheraton …

Farewell and thank you...

Miss Moneypenny has exited the building... Now, I'm not the fanatical James Bond fan that my nephew is, but I have a very healthy dose of admiration for the films. After all, I grew up in the seventies and my Dad was a big spy thriller fan. I must say that the character of Miss Moneypenny always fascinated me. In essence she was a true heroine. I always suspected that she was the one who kept the Agency running. She kept things on an even keel, she managed the top men in the government, kept their secrets, charmed them and did it all while looking absolutely fabulous. I read an interview this morning about how she when she took on the role in Dr. No in 1962 (still one of my absolute favorites) she had a couple of stipulations. The first was that Miss M have a past and the second that Director Terrance Young not make her into a frumpy secretary. Her long time friendship with Roger Moore came through in the comfortable yet sizzling dialogue.She had style and class and the chemistry b…

Dark days...

Most of you know that I'm a huge Gilmore Girls fan. Even now that it's off the air I continue to enjoy the reruns. Well, one of the episodes recently featured Luke's dark day. This was the day every year that he retreated from society and mourned his father. It was the day that he allowed himself the chance to feel the pain and show respect. For me... this is my dark day. Four years ago I lost my mom to colon cancer. I can't really believe that it's four year because I feel like she was just with me yesterday. I mourn her, I miss her and I keep going... that's what she would have wanted. You've seen me post this advice before, but I'll continue on as long as there is breath in me... make your life an example of being kind and generous to others. Pay it forward, commit random acts of kindness and just listen... whatever you feel is appropriate. But most of all, hug your mom... because you never know when you might not get another chance.

Get in the Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month...Yes, I know it's not October yet, but it doesn't hurt to be proactive when it comes to your health. This year was a big year for me... not only did I have my second colonoscopy, but I had my first mamogram. Neither were half as scary as people believe. The mamogram took seconds and didn't hurt at all. The best part of it was the peace of mind that comes with the knowlege from proactive. So, with October so close... here are just a few things to keep in mind and I got these from the pages of Shape Magazine and an excellent article entitled Your Healthy Brest to-do List by Ginny Graves, a freelance writer. I would highly suggest checking out their October issue on the stands now with Cheryl Crow on the cover. It's a fantastic issue filled with information and ways to support a great cause... 1. Do your self examination... and do them often. The more often that do them the more likely you are to notice small changes before they b…
As writers, it’s our nature and our job to sit back and watch… to become a memory tape of sorts. We record events for emotions, responses, causes and effects and we infuse those reactions with our own to create work that will touch the very core of others, to make them live and experience, and in some cases re-experience, life.

This post started out as a way for me to retell my experience that morning on September 11, 2001. But as I started I realized that my emotions can not even begin to mirror those of the people in New York, Washington or Pennsylvania or at the loved ones at home across the country on that day and the days that followed. I am humbled by the sacrifice and bravery and heart that was given and received by those involved. My heart goes out to the families of those lost...

In honor of The Pink Heart Society's Male Monday...

And since they were so RIGHT to pick Gabriel Byrne as their choice for today's Male Monday recipient... I'm posting some of my favorite Gabriel pics...
The first time I really noticed him was when I saw Stigmata. Stigmata is one of those movies that you're not sure you want to watch because you know it's not a lighthearted movie, but if you watch it for just a moment you are sucked in until the very gorgeous last scene in the garden.
You definitely see a side of him that is tough, but vulnerable and defiant yet loyal. So, of course... he became Sullivan, my hero, in the book that I'm working on now. He just has that ability to play characters that straddle the line between good and bad and that is just what I wanted to portray in Sullivan. Someone who on the outside looks bad, but then you glimpse the bit of him floating in the undercurrent and realize that there is a much deeper man there then first thought.
I've mentioned this little none film before, but if yo…

Books I wish I'd written...

I know that there have to be other writers out there who have experienced this... you buy a book, you stay up all night reading it... and then you wish you'd been the one to write it. Well, this week I went to Borders to use my trusty $5 coupon they had sent me and I picked up my much wanted Eloisa James book... on the way out I spied The Forever Summer from Suzanne MacPherson. Now, the cover was cute, but for some reason I found myself drawn to the book. I picked it up... read the back and found it to be quite funny sounding, plus it had a ghost whisperer and a mystery and a romance... all my favorite things. So, despite being unfamiliar with Ms. MacPherson's work I picked it up and headed for the counter. It wasn't until I sat down on my lunch break to find that from the first page I was completely hooked... by first page I mean the acknowledgement... she had dedicated it to the checker chicks and guys at Safeway and suggested that a party was due on aisle 9.
Now... For …

Check out my Florida Slide Show!

Road Trip! Party On, Dude! Excellent!

Road Trips!
I love them! Always have! And for those of you who don't know... my family and I went to DisneyWorld this summer. Yup, we were those crazy Mainers who went in August during that spike of 95+ degree weather. And to make matters much more interesting we did it as a road trip! It was Maine to North Carolina the first day from 2am to 6pm and then 6am to about 4 the next day to Orlando. A very long trip, but it was a fun one! So, just to pass the time we started making a list as we went... I thought that I'd share it with you all...

The Best Breakfast: This was at the Waffle House in Fayetteville, NC. Many thanks to the ladies and they were wonderful to a bunch of haggard Yankees who showed up.
The Biggest Toll Booth: There is some debate, but we believe that it was actually on 95 between Delaware and Maryland. It looked like an airport it had so many lanes and was a collosal huge building... of course, I couldn't find the camera in the mess around my feet to take pict…

A FANTASTIC new find!

Check out The Pink Heart Society Blog hosted by some great category authors! www.pinkheartsociety.blogspot.com

Where I'm going to be?

September 21st ~ Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library~
Literary Luncheon with yours truly Click here for more info!
Please come and enjoy lunch with me!

October 6th ~ NJRWA Literacy Booksigning ~ Iselin, New Jersey
I know it's a hike... but it's a hike well worth it. I've been attending this particular conference for several years and it's well worth the drive. The booksigning never fails to showcase the best authors across all genres of Romance.

Soon to be announced... Rhode Island Romance Writers. They've asked me to come and speak with them about how to create the perfect Anti-hero!

Universal themes in writing romance

I've been thinking about themes a lot. The are everywhere and certainly in every book that we read, but somehow, sometimes, authors miss that this is an integral part of their books. First, let me explain what I mean when I say universal themes. These are the words to identify what are the natural progression of a character throughout the story. These are the lessons learned, either during the pages or the influences that create the character we are introduced to on page one. I think that there is a misconception between the idea of theme and form. There are those that criticize romance stating that the writing is formulaic. They believe that all storys follow some unseen guideline leadings us to the exact same spot as everyone else. But theme suggests that while we all hope for the happy ending that perhaps our journeys are what separate us and make us individual.



If you've ever seen a Disney movie then you've seen a universal theme. Cinderella is transformation, beauty an…

Archeology

Or as it is otherwise known at my house... trying to recreate your life's work after your computer crashes and you haven't backed it up lately.

You would think I'd learn. This certainly isn't the first time I've had this little disappearing number happen on me. But I truly think that it comes from being an optimist. I charge bravely in believing that the worst can't possibly happen to me... again. And of course, it does. This time it took a week to get it back and a couple hundred dollars. Also a scolding by several who said... just leave the computer alone and write, will you!

There is a sort of fall cleaning about it. They were able to save my documents, but in order to get them back I had to go through them first. I also had to add my favorites again which meant weeding through the blog addresses that don't work or those who haven't updated in quite some time. And then, there is the demise of my email address book...
This is by the far the worst loss so…

Becoming Jane... becoming a fan

Short of winning Powerball and the 300 million... I've got to take my entertainment from a much more realistic manner. That being said, I just got back from seeing Becoming Jane with my daughter.

For those of you who have been living on another planet or have been on vacation (like I was) and have not heard about this movie... then shame on you. For anyone who sighs at the name Mr. Darcy or relishes the banter, wit and intelligence of Ms. Austin's books, then this is a must see.

Never mind that that the movie is filled with the same spectacular scenery and locations that stir the heart and soul, there is a absolute endearing quality to all the relationships within the movie. It is through this insight that we see the inspirations of her heart and can truly know the motivations that pushed her to write.

We as writers know our own motivations, they are the nightmares, the daydreams, the mindless chatter and the single significant conversations that have us reaching for the comp…

BEACH BUM BOOK BONANZA CONTEST

Yup! I'm entering my latest contest into the Beach Bum Book Bonanza! For anyone who signs up for my new yahoogroups reader list at teaganoliverreaderslist@yahoogroups.com I will put their name into the monthly drawing for a bunch of goodies. In celebration of my latest release I'm giving away a download of The Three Truths of Katie Talmadge... it's been getting great reviews and it's the perfect summer read. Love, hope and a little magic all in one great story! Also, I'm giving away a book thong (sorry, not a better word for it yet...) that is one of my own fabulous creations along with a charm bracelet that I am specially making to go along with the release of Three Truths. (When you read the book you'll find out why this is so appropriate!) So, if you want to get in on the action and have a great read for those long summer nights then go ahead and sign up... And don't forget to check out The Three Truths of Katie Talmadge on my website www.teaganoliver.com

Phew!

THE THREE TRUTHS OF KATIE TALMADGE IS NOW OUT!
It's hard to believe that it is actually available. I sold this book on my birthday almost two years ago! Let me give you a bit of a peek at what it's about... Katie Talmadge is perfectly content with her staid, predictable... sometimes boring life. Yes, she could definitely use a helping hand in the little flower shop that she runs in Salem, Massachusetts. And sometimes there just aren't enough funds to cover all of the extra costs and repairs that have to be done. But for Katie, having a routine means safety and consistency. So... with just one week until Halloween and Salem in it's usual scaling up of events for the holiday Katie gets the surprise of her life when Rita Thorton enters her shop. Rita is every eccentric aunt, odd relative or just plain charming-but-slightly-batty-and-loveable person we all have in our lives. And Rita is on a mission. She's convinced that Katie has one week to discover three very big trut…
What have I been working on?
Well, once I got over the fact that June had arrived I began to hyperventilate when I realized that I had much to do to get ready for my next book launch. It's due out in July and it's the second book to come out, but it's the first that will be coming out as an ebook and as a trade paperback size.
Just a bit about the book...
Title: The Three Truths of Katie Talmadge Genre: Contemporary, Sweet Paranormal Setting: Salem, Massachusetts... 1 week before Halloween
Now, let me explain about the above information. I had no idea that they would stick with that title or I'm sure that I would never had titled it anything so long. It went through many incarnations, but I had always heard that editors rarely take you titles so I thought that I was safe. I just wanted something catchy to get the attention of the editor. They decided to keep it... go figure....

The genre? I know. I know. There are those out there who are wondering what happened to my suspe…
Today was Mom's birthday.

Now, I don't blog as much about her as I did after she died, but she is still very much in my thoughts. I don't think there's a week that goes by that someone doesn't mention her. And that is powerful... wouldn't we all like to think that someone would talk fondly of us after we've passed? That someone remembered you and wished you were there? Somehow, I think that's a bigger accomplishment than anything else I could ever do... well, maybe with the exception of my kids :)

Anyway, this is my unofficial hug your mom day. I wish I could.

Just a little heartbroken...

Elizabeth Ogilvie has passed away.

Now, I'm sure that quite a few of her are asking who I'm talking about... Her first book was published in 1944 and her books are still being republished today by Downeast Books here in Maine to the delight of scores of New Englanders who love her books.

Let me explain... my mother was a incredible fan of Ms. Ogilvie's books. My mother grew up in a small fishing community and she identified with the characters of Ms. Ogilvie's books. She passed that love on to me and the first romances that I read was Elizabeth's. All of her books centered around fishing families struggling with the day to day existence on an island off the coast of Maine. They were hard working, hard playing and hard loving families and her books contained such rich descriptions that the reader was transported to the island.

She was an early series writer and as I read I saw her characters grow up and and grow old. They fought, they loved, they mourned and they marr…
And whose life isn't made better with a truly big trophy..." Loreli Gilmore

Yes, I'm quoting Gilmore Girls again... mostly because I believe that when it comes right down to it they are able to strip away so much of what is truly annoyances and fixate on the really important stuff... like a big trophy... or recognition of doing something well... or sometimes, it is simply need for a good bit of reassurance that you aren't totally screwing things up.I'm having one of those days when I could really use a truly big trophy. People who don't write as you do (i.e. family, friends, kids, neighbors) sometimes think that if you sell you are automatically shifted to a higher level in the publishing industry... that no matter what you do it will be snatched up and published to rave reviews and that it can be done without any effort at all.

Not...

I sold two books within six months from each other. The first came out in January... the second comes out in July. I have no real…
Well, the book signing was a success... at least I think it was. Frankly, I was so nervous that it was hard to judge it because my knees were knocking so bad. Many thanks to my family for showing their support and to my daughter who was alright with my leaving her birthday party to sign books at Borders. The borders staff was wonderful and tried very hard to put me at ease. I really appreciated all that they did... And thank you to all who stopped by to talk with me. It makes the nerves worth it. In case you are wondering who the man is in the picture with me... it's my dad! Much love to the guy who taught me that there are truly men out there who can be called a hero. They don't make them quite like my dad.

New Signing Date!

Thanks to the St. Patrick's Day storm my first book signing for Obsidian was cancelled... this was especially hard for me, not because it was my first, but because it means so much to me to sign for the local people who have supported over the years in my dreams of being published. I owe them all so much.

But thanks to those persistent folks at Borders they have asked me to come in and do a signing for them this Friday night from 4-6 pm on March 23rd. This is a big night for the Borders in Brunswick as they are having a reception for local educators and some Harry Potter events... something for many! So, the weather forcast for Friday is looking good... hope to see some of you there.

Bowdoin College's Hidden Gem...

One of the great things about living in a town the size of Brunswick is that there are wonderful little spots that go missed on a day-to-day basis, but every once in awhile you happen across them and they blow you away and how wonderful they are... the Peary-MacMillan Museum on the Bowdoin College Campus is just such a gem. I went on a field trip today with my son's class to visit the museum and... despite the absolutely frigid temperatures (Very Arctic like) it was a great day. The museum is housed in Hubbard Hall, one of the beautifully maintained buildings set around the college green. We were greeted by a friendly staff who immediately put the kids (and chaparones) at ease. They didn't even mind that the kids excitement was barely contained at times. We split up into group and followed Robert E. Peary and Donald B. MacMillan's voyage aboard the Bowdoin and then eventually, aided by the Inuit, to the North Pole. MacMillan didn't make it all the way there, only Peary…
I'm working on promotion for my booksigning on St. Patrick's Day. I stopped by the library to track down a book I read a couple of years ago called Shameless Marketing for Brazen Hussies by Marilyn Ross. I came across it originally when I was looking for the Guerrilla Marketing Books. Shamless Marketing is all about two things... Empowerment... as in tackling things that may seem out of your grasp and making them work and... 2. Making it easy... great ideas that aren't overwhelming. The book is set up well and it really is geared for anyone out there who has a product that they are trying to market. It gives great tips, suggestions and examples to get your product in the hands of those who will truly enjoy it and appreciate it. For those writers out there who hate promotion... pick it up... it's worth it.
In my quest to find suitable music to write by I came across a podcast from Marc Gunn called appropriately enough... Marc Gunn's Pub Songs. I got it on iTune, but I'm sure it can be gotten other places. If you like interesting pub music check out his podcast. I've never heard celtic music that incorporated cats into his songs. He does an amusing version of the Old Dunn Cow that is rousing. Check out his music at www.marcgunn.com

Okay,

So this is so not one of my pictures... I happened to be there during July and not during Mardi Gras, but the beads? Well, the beads being thrown from balconies happen alllllllll the time....

Right, Diane?!

Laissez les bon temps roullez

For those of you who celebrate the awe of Mardi Gras... let the good times roll!

I was lucky enough to visit New Orleans during the 2001 Romance Writers of America conference. The city was beautiful and welcoming and I had a wonderful time... I'd show you the pictures, but you know what they say... what happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans...

;)
If you are having problems getting a copy of Obsidian at your local bookstore, please let know. I'm trying to track down any problems and I may be able to direct you to another store that may have it.TeaganOliver@yahoo.com

Also, I've a booksigning coming up on St. Patrick's Day. Very fitting for those of you that know me. It's at Borders in the MerryMeeting Plaza, Brunswick, Maine from 11-1. For those of you that are interested in writing romance I will be giving a talk at Maine RWAat the Bookland Cafe, Cooks Corner Mall from 1-2, just a mile down the road. The topic is Creating the Believable Anti-Hero: A stepped approached to a believable villian. There is a small fee of $5 for the meeting, but if you are interested in beginning to write romance or if you've started and need a little support or help, then there is no better group than Maine RWA to help you find your way.

Da Bears...

Yes, I get a lot of flack for it. In a state filled with Patriot fans I am a Bears fan. But let me clarify that a bit. I'm a 1985 season Bears fan.

What?

Let me also say that I am not a statistic quoting, know-all-the-names-of-the-players football watcher. What I am is someone who appreciates two very important things... A team that makes you root for them. They are characters that make the game come to life for everyone... including non-card carrying football fans. These are the guys that suck you in and give the game the personal feel that I find so hard to get with any kind of sports on TV. It's a name recognition thing. The '85 Bears were stars at this. With Payton, Perry and Ditka... no one can quite reach the level of accessibility that these guys had. They were larger than life (In Perry's case, more so) and they're antics made them even bigger. Superbowl Shuffle anyone? Saturday Night Live "Da Bears" that still comes up when they are mentioned in my…

So where am I at...

Despite the fact that last week was a killer week which included two trips to the emergency room with my son and about 6 hours of sleep total in three days... I'm doing pretty well. Yesterday was the official launch date for Obsidian and while this is greatly exciting I've found that as nerve wracking as I thought trying to sell the book to an editor was... trying to sell it to the general public is worse. Somewhere along the way I convinced myself that this would be a breeze. I have a background in publishing, albeit non-fiction. I've been through at least eight book launches and two software launches that I can remember and not one of them was nearly as scary as launching my own book. All my knowledge is useless unless you can get your book in front of a receptive audience. And let's face it... I love my family, they've been the most supportive people I know... but I don't think that there are several thousand of them out there waiting to buy my book. What do…
The reviews have been coming in for OBSIDIAN and they are very exciting. It's a bit unnerving to think that people are saying such great things about my writing! I'm loving it.

Coffeetime Romance says:

4 cups!

"Suspense, romance and intrigue this story definitely has all three. Ms. Oliver has done a fantastic writing a book that will have her readers eating up ever moment of this tale. This story will have you by the seat of your pants. So make sure to put it on your list of books to be read."

Romance Review Today says:
"An interesting and mysterious tale, OBSIDIAN will keep readers intrigued. "Harriet Klausner says:
"OBSIDIAN is an entertaining investigative romantic suspense that hooks readers..."Yeah for me!
I received a flyer in the mail from the campground that we stayed at when we were in Pennsylvania last year. We had been there before a couple of years before that when we took the kids to Hershey park. At that time my husband thought I was nuts to drag him so far from the park for a chance to camp about 30 minutes away. I did a lot of research and came up with a place called Mountain Creek Campground. It's a beautiful place at the base of some mountains with a lazy little creek that runs through the lower part of the campground. The first time that we were there the kids were very little and we were in a tent. Despite high temps we had a wonderful time so when we decided to head toward Gettysburg last summer we knew where we wanted to stay. This time we'd upgraded and bought a tent camper with a nice awning and sleeps plenty with space to share. We were excited as we drove the 12+ hours to get there. We set up next to the stream and dreamed exploring the area the next day. Bu…
I was eavesdropping at the grocery store the other day when I heard something very interesting. A man came through with a book by NY Times Bestselling Author. The cashier looked at it as she was scanning it and asked him if he'd read anything else by the author. He had. Granted, this is a very mundane conversation, but what surprised me most was when the customer commented that he liked the authors books because his style changes continually.

As writers we are told to define our voice, to create work that is recognizable. The customer was saying that he liked it when the writer mixed it up, chose a different genre (In this case they were suspense and what I would describe as women's fiction, not romance). He said that he got tired of authors who continually write the same book in a different setting.

Good point.

In a world of fast turn arounds, small shelf lives and Guerilla Marketing, the idea of changing your identity isn't something that is vastly promoted... And yet, here…

Just a few notes on the new year...

As the new year arrives and only 16 days until my book ships I find myself feeling like one of those rocket fireworks that has just been lit and is merely waiting for the fuse to get to the desired point for launching. I am breathlessly excited to the point of sleeplessness. Not that I sleep much as it is, but the weight of 12 years is bearing on my shoulders. This has been a long time coming and I only hope that there won't be those that read the book and wonder why I've bothered.
I know it seems a bit childish of me to admit to being scared as to what the critics will say, but I care greatly for what my family thinks after all this time.

I've spent some time reading today. Now, for most this would be nothing, but for me it is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Since I started truly dedicating myself to the writing I can count on one hand the days when I put it all aside to just enjoy reading a book. Two of those days have been spent reading Eloisa James.

If you haven't rea…