As the weather gets colder, I start wanting warm drinks in my hand more often. But I can only tolerate a certain amount of caffeine, even in the mornings, and once we hit the afternoon, I have to cut out caffeine altogether so that I don't blow past my bedtime completely. I have some tea in bags that is frankly uninspiring, but frankly, one of my favorite things is just throwing some loose leaf dried herbs in hot water and letting it steep endlessly.
One of my go-tos is tulsi, or holy basil. There are some blah blah blah health benefits blah blah but I mostly just like the taste. I have a glass container with a little loose-leaf tea insert; I fill it up just before I start a work session, and then lean back occasionally and have a sip.
It's not the kind of tea that forces me to concentrate on brew time or water temperature. It's just there, warm and slightly sweet and welcoming, while I work.
And at this time of year, that's exactly what I need for daily hydration.
Part of the ever in “happy ever after”
This last week, my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. We celebrated it by having a nice breakfast together and a nice dinner together and a very long walk involving about 1,700 feet of vertical gain and a few close calls with ankles rolling.
As someone who writes romance novels, sometimes people ask things like “do you ever put your own story in a book?” The answer is no. My personal romance is extremely boring. We met. We talked about books, a lot. I liked the books he recommended and vice versa. At no point did he ever threaten to blackmail my father or undercut my business or whatever it is that romance heroes so often do.
And now we have spent fifteen years (okay, twenty, but fifteen married) and despite having no exciting book-like conflict, it's never been boring.
What Happened at Midnight
I think a lot about what a romance epilogue means for a couple, and what that couple needs--and what we need to see them have. What does the “after” in the ever-after mean.
This is maybe a little bit of a spoiler, but in What Happened at Midnight, I wanted to show the characters much, much later in their lives--closer to the end than the beginning of their marriage, at the point when everything in the world would have changed and they remain a constant to each other. I felt like Mary, who had lost so much of her own family, needed that “ever” to be emphasized: that from the end of the book onward, she was never on her own again.
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