Monday, March 20, 2017

Character Conversations: A Picnic with the March Heroines


 Welcome to another edition of Character Conversations, where the characters get to do the talking! Today, we’re sitting in with five lovely leading ladies:




Today, the girls are gathering together for a spring picnic. Let’s listen in…

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EMMA: Rory, that potato salad looks delicious!

RORY: Thanks, Emma, but I have to admit – I cheated. My brother, Connor, made it. He’s a chef – owns his own restaurant, too.

MELANIE: Oh, right, I remember reading about him. He’s won some prestigious awards in the culinary industry, hasn’t he?

RORY (nods): A few. And well deserved, too. Here, try a bite.

(The girls all gather around for a nibble and offer up exclamations of approval.)

RORY: If there’s one thing we Irish know how to cook, it’s potatoes.

CASSIE: Ugh, I’m gonna gain ten pounds from this picnic! My trainer in L.A. is going to make me do extra crunches for this!

SABRINA: Oh, don’t worry so much, Cassie. You could stand to gain a few pounds. And nothing can do that better than my southwest steak wraps.

CASSIE: Am I the only one who brought something healthy to this feast? At least we can have my honey-lime fruit salad for dessert.

MELANIE: Fruit salad? Why have that when you can have… (she pops the lid of a plastic carrier) chocolate cupcakes!

EMMA: No offense to the rest of this spread but let’s just skip right to dessert, ladies.

RORY: No way. We haven’t even tried your asparagus salad!

SABRINA: I agree. The cupcakes will wait. Now, pass me some of that sun-brewed tea. I want to see how it measures up to my grandmother’s recipe.

(Rory passes Sabrina a plastic cup filled with tea. She takes a sip and gives a thumbs up of approval.)

SABRINA: Like Gran would say, I like my men like I like my tea – strong and sweet!

CASSIE (groans): I can’t believe you just went there.



EMMA: Hey, I think Sabrina has the right idea. What better way to spend our picnic than gabbing about guys?

RORY: I’m in. So, first question: what qualities are most important to you in a relationship?

MELANIE: Oh, that’s a good one.

RORY: I’ll go first. Loyalty ranks at the top for me, followed by compassion. (grows contemplative) I believe two people can weather whatever life throws at them if they’re in it together, and they have patience and understanding for their partner’s needs and emotions. For me, that’s the recipe to happily ever after. Emma, what about you?

EMMA: Oh, I agree with you, Rory, about loyalty! To friends and family. For me, he has to be good natured and easy going, too. (She drops her voice) I sure know what it’s like when they aren’t. (She brightens again) And family must be important to him. He has to be principled and as far as I’m concerned, he must love animals! (Emma looks Sabrina) Your turn, Sabrina! Being a Texas girl, you can probably give us the lowdown on cute cowboys. What’s most important to you in a relationship?

SABRINA: Honesty and openness. You can’t be afraid to tell the person you love how much you love them. (looks around the group) So, who’s next? And Cassie, don’t think we didn’t see you steal one of those cupcakes! I thought you were sticking to fruit?

CASSIE: (licks the chocolate frosting from her lips) Well, a little sugar never hurt a girl, right? Speaking of sugar, the qualities I think are most important in a relationship are… honesty and willingness to work together. Being open about your expectations in a relationship goes a long way in preventing problems. And working together is just fun. Why wouldn’t any woman want to work with her best friend? Okay, so are we saving the best for last? Melanie, what do you think?

MELANIE: Well, I’d say you ladies all have good answers! But for me, it’s a sense of humor. (Snatches a cupcake and smears some icing onto her upper lip) You’ve got to be able to make each other laugh. When my guy and I do the dishes; I want it to take us an hour because we’re cutting up and having fun. Life is too short. Now it’s my turn, and this one’s harder. What do you think is your best and worst quality in a relationship?

RORY: Oh, no way am I answering first this time.

MELANIE: (laughs) Come on, I could answer the first part of that question for you in no time flat! But that’s not the point. So I’ll take my turn to keep things rolling. My best quality is I’m an effective communicator. (Shrugs her shoulders) Maybe that’s why I became a lawyer. Of course, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not always the best listener when it comes to matters of the heart….but I’m working on that. (Smiles) Okay, I got things started. Now you go, Rory.

RORY: (sighs) If I must. My worst quality is definitely my Irish stubbornness. I get that from my dad…and my brother has it, too. I can be so bullheaded at times. But on the flip side of that, I’m also fiercely protective of those that I love. I think those two traits play hand-in-hand that way.

EMMA: Note to self: never get on Rory’s bad side.

(The girls all laugh.)


EMMA: Well then, I might as well go next. (Emma turns serious) Well, I wouldn’t have thought that this would be a bad quality, but I can be too trusting sometimes. You know, when that trust is misplaced. On the plus side, I like that I won’t compromise my ethics or integrity. No matter what happens, at the end of the day, I have to be able to look myself in a mirror and know that I did the right thing. Sorry, I know that all sounds very serious, so to lighten things up, I think one of my best qualities is my love of animals. So, over to you, Cassie. You live in the public eye all the time by being a famous pop singer. I’m sure you’ve seen the world’s view on the best and worst sides of yourself. What do you think are your best and worst qualities?

CASSIE: The worst? Worrying too much about what other people think of me, my music and my career. I have to be true to myself, then the music comes alive. The best? Hmm...being generous. I love to offer my time and energies to a good cause. But enough about me. Sabrina, you go.

SABRINA: Nah, I’m good just listening to the rest of you talk about yourselves.

RORY: No way you’re getting out of this, so you better speak up.

MELANIE: Yeah, remember, you don’t want to get on Rory’s bad side…

RORY: (laughing) I’ve earned a reputation, I see.

SABRINA: (joining in the laughter) Good point, Melanie! Okay, so my best and worst qualities… I’m always looking for the good in everything. That’s how I knew Tony was the one for me, even back in high school. I could see the good in him that everyone else overlooked. (face blushes) And the worst…hmm…I’m a little stubborn. Okay, a lot. That’s one trait I wish Levi hadn’t inherited!

EMMA: For the record, ladies, no matter your flaws, I think you’re all fantastic.

CASSIE: And I think our secret super power is putting together an amazing picnic lunch!

RORY: I do have a special trick for bribing my brother into cooking for me.

SABRINA: Probably because he’s afraid to double cross you!

(Rory balls up a napkin and throws it in Sabrina’s direction as the girls giggle.)

MELANIE: Well, there’s still plenty of food, and Cassie already took one cupcake. I say we hurry up with lunch before she sneaks another one.

RORY: Sounds good to me!

***

If you want to see how our heroes stack up to their heroines’ take on love and relationships, pick up a copy of each of these romances from Harlequin. Links are on each author’s website here:





and


And before you go - the five of us are offering some great giveaways and features this month!

Most notably, we have our purchase sweepstakes as a way to say thank you to our readers. One lucky person will receive a spectacular Love is Blooming Potter's Passion Prize Pack consisting of a solid-wood, hand-made planter box, brimming with treats for gardening enthusiasts, a garden tool set, tote and folding seat, thirteen “ever-blooming” blacked-eyed Susan garden stakes, three pairs of garden gloves, 25,000 Harlequin My Rewards points, and three previously-released, signed Heartwarming books! (Approximate retail value: $170.) You can enter here.


Purchase* any of our five March releases for one entry for each book and register your purchase here. You can also enter by purchasing the March Heartwarming box set. The sweepstakes runs until March 30th.

* Alternate method of entry available. Please see Official Rules on the entry form for details.
Secondly, we're offering the Love is Blooming Gardener’s Dream Prize Pack. This giveaway is a gardener’s dream come true and arrives in a pretty planter. We’ve included three previously-released, signed Heartwarming books to read while you soak your cares away with the bath salts included in the prize pack after a hard day’s work. (Approximate retail value: $55.) You can enter at the bottom of the Love is Blooming blog post here.



Thanks for joining us and happy spring!

Cerella, Kate, Tara, LeAnne, and Jill





42 comments:

  1. This was so much fun, ladies! I loved getting to know more about Rory, Emma, Cassie and Sabrina.

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  2. This was such a fun picnic with our heroines, maybe our heroes should think about getting together, too! ;)

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  3. Replies
    1. Let's see how Cerella responds! ;)

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    2. The heroes already have something in the works... Stay tuned! ;)

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    3. Oh boy! Gotta love those heroes!

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  4. Fun post, Ladies! What a beautiful bunch of heroines. (I'm a little partial to the authors, too(: What a treat these March books are. Hmm...for some reason I'm craving a cupcake for breakfast this morning.

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    1. I say go for the cupcake! Thanks Carol. Enjoy your day!

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    2. LOL! Carol, the desserts always get you, don't they? But now I'm craving a cupcake too... ;) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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    3. Hi Carol! Cupcakes are good anytime of the day. :)

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    4. We're glad you liked the post, Carol. I agree with Jill, that cupcakes are good anytime. Go for it! :)

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  5. Fun interview gals and a great way to get to know your characters. Thanks

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. We're glad you liked the interview!

      Don't forget to enter the giveaways!

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    2. We had fun! Thanks for stopping by, Sandra!

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    3. Thanks, Sandra! We're glad you enjoyed it! :)

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  6. All y'all blow me away! What a great post! I love all the heroines. They're Heartwarming, so what's not to love. Okay. I have to go bake a cupcake and then I'll be all right.

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    1. Oooh, I've seen pictures of some of your culinary masterpieces, Catherine. I bet you'd make exceptional cupcakes! I wish there was a way for you to get one to me. :)

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    2. We're happy you enjoyed the picnic, Catherine!

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    3. LOL! Catherine, you always crack me up! I'm with Kate - I wish we could steal some of those cupcakes from you. ;)

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  7. Oh how cute. What a nice way to get to know the characters from your books. I enjoyed reading it. Makes me want to gather up my girlfriends and have a picnic.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Laurie! With temperatures in the 80's today, it might be a good day for a picnic. :)

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    2. Thank you for stopping by, Laurie. I wish we had picnic-like weather here, but at least most of our snow is gone again.

      With 80 degree weather, you should go for a picnic!

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    3. The ground still has snow on it here in southern Pennsylvania, but it's melting pretty quickly. I think picnic days are right around the corner! ;) Laurie, you need to have a book club picnic!! :D

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    4. That's a great idea Cerella! Especially since it was 80° here today.

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    5. I heard it got up to 85, Laurie. Crazy weather...but I'll take it! :)

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    6. And here I was happy with my 40 degrees and sunshine yesterday, Laurie! LOL

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  8. What a lovely post! I really enjoyed it! :)

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    1. We're glad you enjoyed it, Krissie! Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Thanks from me, too, Krissie. If you entered the giveaways, good luck!

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  9. Cute post ladies! And I think everyone knows my feelings on cupcakes ;)

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    1. Thank you, Amy. We should have cupcakes at RWA 2017! :)

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    2. There used to be a cupcake and coffee shop near where I'd work, and I loved to go there, get some coffee and a cupcake and write. It closed down a couple of years ago, and I still miss the cupcakes!

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  10. Replies
    1. Thank you, Cynthia. I look forward to your post tomorrow! :)

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    2. Thanks, Cynthia! It was fun to write, too! :)

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    3. Thanks, Cynthia! We had fun writing it. :)

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  11. What a fun post! Well done ladies. Beautiful gardener's dream prize. I'm a big fan of Harlequin Heartwarming books, and reading my first Love Inspired now :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Darlene, and for all your support of Heartwarming!

      If you entered the giveaways, good luck!

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    2. Oh, that's fantastic, Darlene! We hope you enjoy Love Inspired as much as Heartwarming!

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    3. Thanks for visiting, Darlene! Good luck with the giveaway. I ditto Cerella's comment on the Heartwarming and Love Inspired lines.

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