A Romance Writer’s V-Day Confession….

For a romance writer and self-proclaimed #HEAjunkie, I’m rather unsentimental when it comes to this particular date in February.

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And I don’t think I’m the only one. Show of hands, please, who is pretty much over this day?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the days of everyone-in-class-gets-a-Valentine-in-a-shoebox. But Valentine’s Day as an adult? It’s kinda ick, amirite?

The cynic in me says it’s because I’ve somehow managed to not be in a committed relationship on every single 14th of February my entire adult life…

(Yeah, sure, play armchair therapist over that one.)

But honestly, I think there’s something to be said for celebrating love every single day of the year. And not just romantic love. We only get this one chance at life, after all, so celebrate what makes it worth living.

Today, my Valentine is…

  • Dry shampoo

  • Geriatric Poodle Kisses

  • The half-smushed salted caramel chocolate cupcake waiting for me once I press “publish” on this blog post

  • My ridiculous and super pink flamingo coffee mug

  • This dust storm we’re having in west Texas today (because it’s gonna make for a killer sunset tonight)

  • Some Omaha steaks thawing in the fridge

  • Annnnnnd… mac and cheese for lunch two days in a row

<covers screen in smooches>

Yep, I’m totally in love with all of those things today.

And also super duper happy to celebrate the big hugs my brother’s girls gave me when I surprised them with my presence (such a gift!) and gift cards to buy books. And also beyond tickled to watch the “Thank you, Miss Lexi” video my Dallas bestie’s kids sent in response to the bookish gift cards I sent their way.

And to my future Valentine, I’m celebrating you too. Sorry you’re still in your tragic backstory, but you’re going to have one heck of a fall when you meet me.

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The Light Over London by Julia Kelly

January 8, 2019, the day we’ve been waiting for...and not just because it’s Elvis’s birthday. Today, author Julia Kelly, with The Light Over London, makes her hardcover debut. 

Yeah, that’s right. Hardcover historical fiction. aka a really big freaking deal.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (and you totally should be: in my stories today I’m giving away a hardcover of Julia’s book!) you’ll know that Julia is one of my dearest writing besties and this book has been a long time in the making. 

I waked in a bookstore and picked this beauty up! In my hands. It has shimmery dustwrap paper!!! And her beautiful face on the back flap. And between those gorgeous navy blue covers is an incredible story of women and friendship and finding truth. 

There are going to be thousands of reviews that will tell you all about the book. Go read those, if you like. My official review is simply this: each time I read The Light Over London, I didn’t want to put it down. It is elegant, engrossing, a fascinating picture of the lives of women in conflict (both past and present), and a dang good yarn.   

My unofficial review is this (and I know you want this because it’s the gossipy good stuff only authors know about other authors): I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to see your friends succeed—and know that it’s not just a whim of the publishing machine or a lucky break. It’s because Julia is (first and foremost) a dang good writer committed to her craft and is one of the most focused, driven, incredible HBICs out there. 

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There’s nobody else I want on my team more than the women in this picture—and Mary Chris, who hadn’t made it to our summer house when this photo was snapped. (Can’t be HBIC Nation without all six of us.)  

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Julia is our trailblazer. And even though I’m a thousand years older than her and will never achieve her glorious hair curtain, it’s safe to say I want to be Julia when I grow up.

Anyway. Go buy this book before I start really weeping about how much I’ve loved and learned from Julia snce our One Week in Love days (and before!). Go read this book. Go tell your friends about this book. It’s got enough drama and historical precision to delight the women’s/fiction reader and just enough swoon to make a romance reader happy sigh. 

Hardback. eBook. Audio. Paperback this fall—but don’t wait that long to read it. All your favorites will stock this book. Go forth and click.

A forgotten diary, a forbidden love affair, a desperate fight to save her country

2017 When Cara Hargreaves discovers a diary from the 1940s, its contents will change her life forever...

1941 When Louise Keene meets dashing RAF pilot, Paul Bolton, she is swept off her feet. Then Paul is sent to war and Louise, defying her mother's wishes, ends up a gunner girl in London.

Watching the pitch-black skies for bombers, Louise finds comfort recording her dreams in her diary. And as Cara reads her words, decades later, she learns that hope can be found even in the darkest of times, she just needs to take a chance...

2019 Planning: Word of the Year

Can’t just stick to one word…

Here I am again, just a girl, standing in front of a New Year, asking it to love me—

and, er, reveal its word to me.

And once again, I can’t come up with a single word. Looks like 2019 has another phrase of the year, and it’s “Anything can happen in a year.”

It’s pretty good, right?

I like to noodle over my word/phrase of the year during December as I wind down Q4, reflect back on business gains and losses, and identify personal successes and failures. And as I was noodling, Mantra Wellness Magazine posted this graphic on their Instagram feed and I was struck. (I regrammed it in my instastory and posted it in my HBIC Co-Founders Slack Channel and couldn’t get it out of my mind.)

Fast forward. It’s New Year’s Eve. I’m still out west at Haughton House. I’m doing laundry (wearing a totally glam outfit of buffalo check longjohns and a V-Day t-shirt that says “You got a BAE or nah?”) and getting packed up to leave tomorrow to hopefully beat the storm back to Big D. And I just can’t get that post out of my head.

So it’s settled. That’s my 2019. No deep dive and poetry like last year. Just a sense of this is so right for me.

But of course I made a pretty graphic for my desktop wallpaper. When I get back to the cozy cottage tomorrow to settle in and really do some pen-to-paper planning, that is what will guide me. #AnythingCanHappenInAYear

If you’d like the wallpaper for yourself—or a square image to post on insta—feel free to grab them here: https://haught.pub/Anything2019 Feel free to share the link with a friend and post where you desire. If you want to credit me, that’s awesome, but you don’t have to. (If you sell the image, that’s not awesome.)

xxoo

Lexi H.