Sometimes you just have to escape the office. Or, in my case, the house since my office is here. Yesterday, I was invited to join friends for a conference shopping trip. I met Marilyn, Danniele, and Kim of the Writing Playground at Ross early in the morning. The madness started at the dress rack, then continued through the store. We piled up clothes on shopping carts and then headed for the dressing rooms. I think I had to go through 3 rounds of trying stuff on (the Ross limit is 8 at one time in the dressing room).

Now tell me why it is that stores don't understand women better? They have the most unflattering light in the dressing rooms. Harsh, stark, florescent. Heidi Klum would look bad under that light. And since I'm no Heidi, I definitely looked bad. All my flaws seemed amplified. I felt like a whale. A pale whale with limp hair.

Ahem. Anyway, I ended up putting back *most* of what I tried on, though I did find a few gems in the pile. Especially my dress for my publisher's party. OMG, it's gorgeous! And it looked awesome in spite of the lights. When that happens, it's a keeper.

After Ross, we moved on to lunch. Eagle-eyed Marilyn spotted a woman reading a Harlequin Presents and, after psyching myself up, I went over and introduced myself and gave her a bookmark. She seemed pleased to get the bookmark, and I was very happy to meet someone who loves reading HP.

When we finished lunch, the mall and shoe shopping was next. I was pretty good considering how I feel about shoes. I only bought one pair of flip flops.

By the end of the day, I was tired but happy. I had a lot of fun shopping with friends (though Kimberly Lang and I have a problem — we have the same taste. We kept picking up the same dresses, shoes, and jewelry. Perhaps it's no accident we both write for Harlequin Presents!) and I didn't spend too much. I picked up four nice dresses, one super fabulous, and a pair of pants that I've already decided to return (see, Marilyn, told you it'd happen quick!).

Next week, I'll head to the mall again. And probably DSW, just to see what sort of lovely shoes they may have. It's time to start making my list of what outfit to wear to which event. If there are any holes to be filled, then one more shopping trip ought to do it. I hope.

What was the last big shopping trip you went on? Do you have any favorite stores? I love stores like Chico's and White House – Black Market, but Ross is more budget friendly. I think my hubby appreciates that…. 😉

Yesterday's winner: Aimee C! Aimee, email me your contact info and I'll get a signed book into the mail…..

Summer fun

Hey, where are my winners? Click on the contact button to send me your info so I can get these books in the mail to you! 🙂

What kind of summer fun have you been up to lately? I've been swimming a gazillion times — which, really, is a lie. Because I can't swim very well, so to call what I do swimming is inaccurate. Fortunately, I've finally decided that I can take instruction from the hubby. He used to be a competition swimmer, so he looks beautiful in the water. I want to learn to do that too.

We've also been to picnics, barbeques, and out to dinner and movies with friends and family several times. It always seems as if the summer social calendar is much fuller than the fall and winter. I do love summer, but man is it hot in Alabama. Most activities need to take place indoors unless it involves the pool. And even the pool has felt like bathwater lately.

Now, who can tell me how many novels I wrote before I sold one? (Hint: the answer is on the Media page.) One lucky winner gets a book! And tell me what you love about summer where you live!


Thanks everyone for participating! I've decided to giveaway 3 copies since you were all so nice and enthusiastic about the contest. 🙂

Heather Brewer, Chris Roberts, and Janet. You were selected using my special scientific method (aka at random from all the names submitted). 🙂 Please send me your contact information, and I'll drop these in the mail.

Please keep checking back — more books to giveaway next week!!

You know it’s bad when your dad asks why you haven’t updated your blog

That's what deadlines do, apparently! They make you disappear while you figure out the intricacies of emotion, plot, and resolutions to all problems so you can have the HEA. I'm coming down to the wire (and The End) and working pretty steadily. I also have to make time for a little bit of a personal life. 🙂 In fact, the hubby and I watched a program on the Travel Channel the other day about the best hot dogs in the US. Oh dear. I'm not much of a hot dog eater normally, but I've had such a craving the last few days. And my local grocery store sells Nathan's hot dogs, which are Coney Island dogs and were featured on the show. We had them last night — and OMG, heavenly!

There is also, apparently, a seriously cool place in Atlanta called The Varsity which has been selling hot dogs for decades. Now I want to make a quick run to Atlanta for a hot dog. Is that crazy?

Aside from craving hot dogs, I've also found time to mail out books — so if you won a copy of SPANISH MAGNATE, RED-HOT REVENGE from me, it's on the way!! I hope you'll let me know what you think.

I did promise to pick a winner from last week's giveaway! Without further ado, my scientifically approved method has drawn Mari from the comments.

Mari, please email me your contact info and I'll get a signed copy in the mail to you!

Who likes hot dogs? What do you like on them? I'm a mustard and relish gal, but I've had a Chicago dog before and loved all that stuff they cram on top of the dog. My favorite kinds of hot dogs, btw, are all beef in casings (like Nathan's). Not much of an Oscar Meyer/Ballpark/etc fan. What about you?

A rant, and then winners :)

Nothing frosts me more than watching someone who looks perfectly healthy, and who does NOT have a handicapped sticker, pull into a reserved parking spot. I know that people can look fine and yet have a legitimate reason to use that parking — typically, they have a sticker or something to hang from their rearview mirror. I don't automatically assume that someone who looks healthy is taking advantage. I know better because I've had family in that position.

But I still think it happens. And I think the lady who pulled into the handicapped spot at Starbucks the other day was doing just that. She had no sticker, no plate, and no placard.

She sat there for twenty minutes and talked on the phone the entire time. Not only did she talk on the phone, gesticulating and yelling, but she popped her visor down and proceeded to squeeze pimples on her face. No, I am not kidding. Unfortunately, my table was facing that spot, and each time I looked up, there she was, hollering into her phone and picking her face. It was awful.

And what did she do after she'd sat there for twenty minutes while other people had to drive around to find parking? She left and used the drive-thru. Never even came into Starbucks.

People like that give me ideas for characters, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much. But I was angry for anyone who legitimately needed that spot while she hogged it (there is only one). And absolutely stunned that someone would sit in full view of a cafe in which they could see people sitting and pick their skin. Hell, I think at one point she pulled out some tweezers and plucked hair. I'm not certain, but I think so. All while talking on her phone. Amazing, huh?

And now for much more pleasant tidings! I've employed a scientific method (scrambling names and taking mine from the mix) to arrive at my two winners: Rachael Johns and Patricia!! Please email me at contact @ lynnrayeharris dot com with addresses and your choice of prize.

$10 gift card to bookstore (Amazon, BAM, B&N),
Presents trio, selected by moi from my stash,
My debut book when it comes out, signed, along with two other Presents novels (unfortunately, you will have to wait until mid-July or so, but I'm good with that if you are!)

Congratulations to the winners! Keep checking back, because I plan to have more giveaways, especially as we get closer to my new site launch!