Monday, July 21, 2014

Giveaway for Chapter By Chapter Rave

In September, I'll be participating in a book signing near New York City.  The Chapter By Chapter Book Rave has an amazing set of authors who plan to attend.

Here's a giveaway to celebrate the countdown! Enter to win books, a bookshelf, or a gift card (for our international friends.)  ​

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, July 18, 2014

To sir with love

A friend of mine passed away this week. There is a hole now, in the universe, where once he stood.

I never learned his first name. Seems strange, doesn't it? I called him Mr. D on occasion. But mostly I called him sir.

His daughter has been my friend since high school. I haven't seen Sir since her wedding. I've thought of him often, though. He has my books (with my signatures) so I like to think that he's thought of me, too. (I mentioned to his daughter recently that I didn't know her father's name. We both agreed it was fine to leave it that way.)

On the surface, Mr. D might have seemed like the stereotypical 70's father. In those days, fathers were somewhat distant. They worked. They grilled over charcoal. They mowed lawns and meted out discipline to kids who were generally well-behaved anyway.

photo of coffee

But not this man. No, he had more depths than that. He was so very kind. The first time that I went to a sleepover with his daughter, I awakened early and stumbled out to the kitchen. He was drinking coffee and reading the paper. Silently, graciously, he poured me a cup and handed me the front page.

That became our little ritual whenever I visited.  Even if my friend and I stayed up until 3 AM talking, I would blast myself out of bed early so that Mr. D and I could have our morning coffee together.  It was a little thing, a small oasis of companionship between a "70s dad" and a teen girl who should've been outside his notice. But in those shared cups of coffee, I felt like I mattered. And I've never forgotten.

In today's world, that small oasis can never be repeated. We've become too jaded, too suspicious, too careful to permit such relationships. I understand the necessity to protect our kids. I also mourn all of the lost opportunities to matter.

Good-bye, sir, and thank you.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fave restaurant

My teen daughter and I went to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch. The IRIS is located inside the North Carolina Museum of Art. The food is delicious, the presentation is gorgeous, and you get to leave through the Rodin Sculpture Gallery!

Here are our desserts and beverage.

photo of fruit crumble
My blueberry-mango crumble
photo of cheesecake
Daughter's Lemon Cheesecake

photo of lemonade
Fresh lemonade
Yes, it was a happy meal.

If you've read A Whisper In Time, you may have noticed that Susanna and Mark have a picnic date on the grounds of the NC  Museum of Art.  Just in case, here's a little reminder from that scene:

We biked on the greenway to the Museum of Art and followed it past the buildings as it wound through their outdoor garden of artwork. We continued up a hill and down into a valley, swallowed by a lovely forest. Once we crested the next hill, we left the pavement and locked our bikes.

Mark carried the basket with one hand and clasped mine with the other. We found the perfect spot high on the ridge, cool and fragrant with pine. Glimpses of the museum’s manicured grounds stretched below us...

“Mark.” I stared straight ahead, arms wrapped about my knees. “Have you been on picnics before?”

“A lot.” He reached up to wrap a stray curl from my ponytail around his finger. “But…this is the first time I’ve been on a picnic date.”

That pleased me. “Do you know what happens on a picnic date?”

“Whatever you want.”

“I don’t know what I want.”

“No problem. I have plenty of ideas.” His fingers slipped to my cheek, cupped it gently, and turned me toward him. “Kiss me.”

I braced a hand on his chest, the muscle hard and smooth beneath the fabric of his shirt. Our mouths clung briefly and then released.

He smiled lazily at me. “That is official picnic behavior.”

“Indeed? Picnics involve kissing?"

“The two-person kind of picnic does.” He urged me back against the blanket. I shivered with anticipation and uncertainty, but all thought fled at the slide of his lips over mine.

Okay, I can't promise any official picnic behavior if you go there, but I can promise beautiful works of art, and yummy food if you stop by Iris.

Mark likes it so well that there will be visit to Iris in Whispers From The Past.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I WISH ARCs giveaway

I have a goodreads giveaway for book #1 in my new magical realism series, I Wish. (This giveaway is US only.)

Keep checking back for more giveaways on my blog coming up this fall, as I'm releasing two books—I Wish and Whispers From the Past (Whisper Falls #3).
I'll try to include some giveaways from my international readers.

Or better yet, sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you email reminders.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

I Wish by Elizabeth Langston

I Wish

by Elizabeth Langston

Giveaway ends July 11, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hurricane watch

Every place on earth has its unique weather woes. In North Carolina, we have hurricanes.

Each year, from June to November, the Atlantic hurricane season cranks up.  We've made it all the way to July before having our first named storm.

Arthur is on his way. We expect him to brush the North Carolina coast Thursday afternoon.  He is expected to remain a Category 1 hurricane (bad but not horrific.)  North Carolinians live through so many hurricanes that we really do know how to respond to them. We remain respectful and ready.

However, send us a centimeter of snow—and we will fall apart.

When I wrote Whisper Falls, I added a scene late in the book where my hero Mark is monitoring the status of a "Cat 1" hurricane. His thoughts are almost bored. No big deal. Big tropical storms happen here as much as big snow storms happen in the northern regions of the US.

But to my editors? Mark's attitude was surprising. They live in New England. They had just suffered through a rare-to-them hurricane. It had been devastating in a way they hadn't experienced in 50 years.  They wanted me to change how that scene was written.

And so I did, but not to change his attitude. His response was correct for this area. However, I did have him think through it in a different way—so that people not often exposed to our weather patterns could understand why.

It was important to my editors for Mark to be sensitive, and it was important to me for him to be honest.  I rewrote the scene to achieve both.

We are hunkering down here in North Carolina, awaiting Arthur, and preparing for the aftermath.  The weather will be beautiful on the coast this Friday. The sand will be a mess. And we'll roll up our sleeves and get to work.