…never to forget your anniversary.
My anniversary is coming up, so I thought I’d revisit and update a post for you. This was a fun assignment from my local chamber of commerce. I had to come up with ten romantic things to do in my town. My overachiever tendencies came out, and I listed 11. Comment below–what’s romantic about your town?
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs comes a wonderful companion story to her unforgettable novel Family Tree.
Meet Annie Rush in THE KEY INGREDIENT, my new short story set in Vermont. It’s available exclusively as an ebook, and is the prequel to my new novel FAMILY TREE, on sale 8/9. Pre-order THE KEY INGREDIENT from your favorite ebook retailer – it’s on sale 6/14 – to get a sneak peek at FAMILY TREE!
Every great love story has a beginning. Annie Rush’s started at a food cart in a vibrant city park. Annie, then a film student, came across a ruggedly handsome, charismatic chef serving up gourmet street food to an ever-growing clientele lining up for his creations. Together, Annie and Martin Harlow conceived The Key Ingredient, a cooking show featuring Martin as the star while Annie handles production.
As they travel to Annie’s Vermont hometown to film their pilot episode, she realizes that she might want to create more than television magic with Martin. But does he feel the same way? The weather is miserable, their shoot is a disaster, and the maple syrup just isn’t flowing. While Annie tries to cling to her vision for their show, she can’t help but wonder if she could be as unlucky in work as she is in love. Is she always destined to stay behind the scenes?
Just as some recipes only come together at the last minute with the addition of a key ingredient, sometimes a single moment can change everything—turning Annie’s life into a cornucopia of good fortune, the feast of her dreams.
Here’s how to 1) have a successful pool party and 2) embarrass your teenager IN ONE SIMPLE STEP! #parentingtips #teenagers #summerfun
Print out the list of rules below. Then make a martini, put on the headphones, kick back and enjoy.
Polite language only, please. Swearing makes Susan’s ears bleed. She’s like your grandma, only meaner. If we catch you swearing, you have to wear Clara’s tutu.
No adjusting the music or touching the speaker, especially if you’re wet. Whenever you hear Carter’s favorite song by Katy Perry, you have to stop what you’re doing and dance.
Use your phone only to take photos and to check in with your parents. If you play a game on your phone, we will take an embarrassing picture of you and post it.
If you’re wet, stay outside. We mean wet feet, clothes, hair, nose hairs, everything. There is a Honey Bucket for wet people to use.
Go outside anyway–the beach, the corner village, the trails.
Doors stay closed. No running through the house. If you’ve seen what Barkis does when people run, you’ll understand.
There is a special place in hell for people who chase Lenny.
If you overuse the word “like,” you have to, like, wear the mosquito hat until, like, someone, like, says it more than you.
After 9pm, it’s quiet time. Don’t go near the guest house. There are zombies staying there and they don’t like to be disturbed.
No movies naughtier than PG-13. If you argue over which movie to watch, then the movie will be Bambi.
Be safe about fire. We like barbecued meat, but teenagers tend to be too tough to eat.
Peeing in the hot tub or pool will activate the sensor dye and everyone will know you did it.
You can play with the Airhead, paddle boards and kayak in the Sound, but do NOT let them scrape bottom–especially the Airhead. A floatation device is mandatory. On the paddleboard, use the ankle strap because that’s the floatation device.
You get one drink cup and one paper plate. Put your name on them. If you lose your cup, you have to drink out of Carter’s glass.
Helmets are mandatory. Maybe not for swimming unless you’re super clumsy.
Cleanup happens before the movie. Cleanup means all pool toys, towels, S’mores stuff, dishes, drink stuff, leftover food, extra clothes, dead rats, ashes of former teachers.
Final cleanup happens before breakfast, and you need to be finished with all your stuff in the car by 9:30am.
It’s like finding a four-leafed clover–rare, and lucky. My very thoughtful publisher arranged for me to sign a very limited edition of just six thousand copies.
Why thoughtful? The logistics can get complicated.
- Six thousand blank pages are shipped to me. They filled three shipping boxes.
- I spend a month of evenings signing pages and binge-watching TV series. My binge-watching (the ones I’ll admit to, anyway): Nurse Jackie, House of Cards, The Americans, America’s Test Kitchen, 11-22-63, Confirmation, OJ Simpson.
- For me, the best pen for swift signing is this.
- Some of the pages get a feather stamp, because there’s a feather in my logo. (see above)
- Then I ship the signed pages back to the bindery. I included something sweet in the box and a thank-you note, because my mama raised me right.
- The bindery will insert the pages into the hardcover print edition.
- Et voila! The print edition is ready to pre-order from your friendly local (or maybe not so local) bookseller–Books-a-Million, Eagle Harbor Books, Barnes&Noble.