Archive for the ‘Houses’ Category


I have a problem.

I can’t get rid of any books, no matter how crowded and chaotic my shelves have become.

I’m not sure why. Yes, I grew up with thousands of books–as seen here, in this picture of me reading to my daddy in our library, my favorite room in the house.in library with daddy

And yet, my dearest, most simpatico buddy, who has been my best friend since I was four years old and came from a very similar book-oriented family, doesn’t struggle with this. Once I said to her, “Oh, wouldn’t you just love to own all the Jane Austen books in beautiful hardcover editions?” But she simply shook her head. “Not really,” she said calmly. “You can always get those from the library.”

And she’s right, of course. Because of her saner attitude, her house is clean and neat and tidy, and I envy the heck out of it.

Mine is a mess. library bookstore

My office, particularly, is out of control right now, and if I could just free up some space on the shelves to store other things…But I can’t seem to make the tough decisions.

Every day, I wake up determined to weed out. Every day, I come in, stare at the shelves, and walk away again, unable to part with any book, no matter how old or new, read or unread, paperback or hard, illustrated or not, classic or quirky.

I know some of you must have conquered this problem! I’d be so grateful if you’d share! What guidelines do you use? Is there some rule I could apply that would make the amputations easier?

I’d truly love to know what the key is to letting go.

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I don’t have enough time.

Yeah, I know, I’m not the first person to say that. But it’s starting to get on my nerves. For the first time in decades, I actually like a whole lot of shows on TV, and they’re starting to stack up in my DVR. His Highness is grumbling (mildly) about how the HD hours are running out.

Here are the shows I’m hooked on these days:

THE BORGIAS (with Jeremy Irons. Need I say more?)
The Mentalist (with Simon Baker. Ditto.)
Dancing With The Stars (with sequins and corny music.)
30 Rock.
Upstairs, Downstairs.
Game of Thrones.

It’s hopeless. I’ll never catch up!

And then there’s the book problem. When the Borders near me closed, it was my solemn duty to help them clean off their shelves. Right? Here are a few of the books I couldn’t resist, which are now stacked up on my desk, sending out their siren song as I try to finish my essays and PowerPoints and lesson plans for school:

The Distant Hours, Kate Morton
Inside the Victorian Home, Judith Flanders
The Girl With Glass Feet, Ali Shaw
The World from Rough Stones, Malcolm MacDonald
The Gravedigger’s Daughter, Joyce Carole Oates
Mrs. Astor Regrets, Meryl Gordon
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
Changes, Jim Butcher
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
At Home, Bill Bryson
Nation, Terry Pratchett

What about you? What’s stacking up on your desk this month?

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I’m the guest writer today over at Irene L. Pynn’s blog.
This blog is something a little different. Most of you know me as a romance writer, but I also have a couple of larger romantic suspense titles, HAPPILY NEVER AFTER and QUIET AS THE GRAVE. Both of them have wonderfully creepy houses.

I’m crazy about terrific, spooky, atmospheric houses. This is probably because I grew up in a house that was full of magic and deep personal symbolism.  Some fictional houses are so real to me it’s almost as if I could actually walk into them and prowl around.  Misselthwaite Manor, Manderley, Usher, Bag End, Green Gables…I love them all, good or bad.

Irene L. Pynn is, among other things, a fantasy writer, so when she invited me to blog for her, I decided to discuss the phenomenon of the Scary House. What is it about haunted houses, or houses that have been the scenes of terrible crimes? Why do they take on such mystical qualities?  Could you ever bring yourself to buy one?  In my research, I read that Nicholas Cage owns one but won’t ever sleep there.  What exactly are we afraid of?

Exploring this topic is a little silly, a little sincerely curious, and a lot of fun.  I hope you’ll stop by and offer your ideas, too!

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