lindsay emory

Welcome to the official site of Lindsay Emory, author of books with kisses and sass including the Sorority Sisters Mysteries, The Last Plus One, and the forthcoming The Royal Runaway.

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What to Pack for RWA 2016

Oh yeah. Put on the music. Make a cocktail. It's countin' down to RWA Nationals time. I'm a little giddy about it and I think it's because the convention is going to be in San Diego, California this year, where there will be sun, sea and perfect SoCal weather.  I've only been to San Diego once before, about 13 years ago and I loved it so much, I still ask my husband (on yucky North Texas days) if we could sell everything we own and go live in a cardboard box on Coronado.

coronado

coronado

Pretty please?

After a totally brilliant planning lunch with my roomie,

Alexandra Haughton

 (who also has a great packing list

here

), I thought I'd share some packing tips for first timers and repeaters alike.

Put Something On

Clothes. You need clothes. The slightly difficult thing about packing for RWA is that it's a business conference which could also require clothes for karaoke, for yoga, tea parties or for a late-night plotting in the bar session.  The convention ends with a fancy awards party (so I've heard - this will be my first time to attend the

RITA/ Golden Heart ceremony

) which requires at least a fancy set of shoes and Spanx and, in San Diego, one might want to be prepared for pool/ boat/ beach activities. This variety is a challenge for someone like me, who prefers to be a light packer.

So... good luck with that!  The basics I won't leave behind?

My Pajama Philosophy - Many moons ago, I was watching the news and saw a hotel burning down. All the guests were standing in the parking lot and I remember thinking, "I never want to be that girl in the thong that the firemen have to wrap up in a blanket."  Since then, I never sleep in a hotel in pajamas that can't be worn on a city street. Don't say, "wow, Linds, that's some overactive imagination you have" because guess what. Three years ago on a business trip the fire alarm went off at the hotel I was staying at.  There I was, in the hotel parking lot (with my business colleagues, no less) feeling quite smug in a perfectly acceptable ensemble of yoga pants, tee shirt and hoodie.  Be prepared  for anything. Like the zombie apocalypse.

My Shoe Philosophy - I love cute shoes as much as y'all but this is not the place to try 'em out for the first time. Cute AND comfortable, broken in shoes are where its at.

My Cardigan Theory - Conventional wisdom says "always bring a cardigan" because hotels are often cold. This is one theory I rebel against. I always feel that if I dress appropriately for the climate, I will be fine. Also, I live in Texas and I've never met an air-conditioner I didn't like. BUT... since we'll be in San Diego where it might get a tad cooler in the evenings, I probably will bring a cardigan. But I won't like it.

IMG_0600

IMG_0600

Get in Mah Belly

After clothing, the next most important item is food. Yes, I've heard there is food in San Diego and much of it is available to purchase. Rest assured, I'm not carting

Yeti coolers

of groceries to the Marriott Marquis.  But I always bring along snacks when I travel for business, such as:

dark chocolate

almonds

jerky

protein bars

With just these snacks, I can put together a quick lunch between workshops, a mid-afternoon introvert snack break, or avoid airport food.  I also share with new friends. Come find me if you're hungry.

#Hustle

Like I said, RWA Nationals is a business conference.  So don't forget the following:

Ipad/ computer/ kindle

chargers/ cords (fitbit too! You will get your steps in!)

pens/ business cards

swag

planner/ journal/ notebook

pins from previous conferences to adorn your badge

RWA Nametag

RWA Nametag

I Woke Up Like This

Everyone talks about the "Conference Crud" or has stories about that time someone got a mysterious illness at RT Convention which almost started the zombie apocalypse. In my day to day life, I try to stay healthy with a lot of water, supplements, a consistent skin care routine and sufficient sleep.  Even though I know I won't get the latter in San Diego, I'll still be trying my hardest to stay healthy (and gorgeous) with the following:

zinc

, essential oil roller, advil, visine,

my favorite tea bags

, vitamins

mug or

reusable water bottle

(although someone usually gives these out as swag if you want to gamble and collect one in the Goody Room)

flat iron & hairspray

cosmetics, small bottle of perfume, sunscreen

whatever hair care/ skin care I can't live without

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IMG_0603

Bag It Up

Usually conference goers receive a tote bag filled with swag.  This year they're changing up the swag delivery protocol so who knows what will be given out.  For form and function, I always prefer my own sturdy nylon tote, such as my favorite Longchamp with BOTH beer stains and coffee stains (that's how you know a writer owns it).   My normal handbag is super cute and all, but in the conference I'll be loading up with free books, notepads, almonds and enough water to survive the zombie apocalypse so I usually carry only a tote until its time to go to dinner or a party and I can switch to a smaller clutch or cross-body (still make sure it's big enough for your business cards! You meet awesome people everywhere!)

I hope this helps you think of a few more essentials to pack. I'm sorry if you're' over the airline's weight limit. If you want to yell at me, follow me on

Twitter at @lindsay_emory

.  I'll be signing books at

the literacy signing

  and I'll be tweeting with the hashtag #RWA16 and #whatareyoudrinking.   I'd love to meet you and hang out!

P.S.

Alexandra Haughton

,

Ophelia London

  and I are hosting a

Goodreads giveaway

for

THE LAST PLUS ONE

 . Want in? Check it out

here

.

The Last Plus One eBook Cover 400x600

The Last Plus One eBook Cover 400x600

mr plus one FB ad

mr plus one FB ad

Best Books to Read Now - June 2016

Reminder/ Caveat/ Disclaimer: This is my (hopefully) monthly list of books I’ve read and enjoyed. These are not reviews, I do not include books I didn’t enjoy because life is too short to speak badly of books!

Um...how did it get to be summer already? The kids are out of school, the weather is  getting  too sticky for my walks and I'm finding myself reaching for a beautiful chilled rose instead of a cup of  tea.

Summer  is such a fabulous reading time, isn't it? You've got trips and vacations and lazy days by a pool or the lake and we all need reads that will  take  us away.

Once again, I've  got an  interesting mix this  month. I  dug up some reads from my TBR pile, took a chance on a new trope and indulged in continuing a  series.

Silent in the Sanctuary / Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn

silent on the moor
silent on the moor
silent in the sanctuary
silent in the sanctuary

First up?  Two more Lady Julia Gray mysteries!  My husband and I were able to escape to  Cabo San Lucas for a quick getaway to celebrate my birthday.  I posted pics on my

instagram

and our trip was as heavenly as it looked. I have this (strange?) affinity for reading about rainy, cold locations while sweltering by a pool so reading about Lady Julia Gray at Belmont Abbey and on the Yorkshire moors  was perfect for me. 

Silent in the Sanctuary

kept me guessing the entire  time  and

Silent on the Moor

was an unusual mystery in that it was piecing together a mystery from the past. Two more winners from Ms. Raybourn.

A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

bollywood affair
bollywood affair

Shamefully, this book has been in  my Kindle for YEARS. YEARS. Y'all know how that happens.  You one-click a book because of rave  reviews and a gorgeous cover and then... life. Other  books. Pretty soon, your new pretty book is on page four or  five  in your Paperwhite and  you keep thinking, "why haven't I read

A Bollywood Affair

" when you see the constant recommendations on Twitter.  So  because I'm awesome like that, I finally opened this one... and I couldn't put it down.

It's a contemporary Indian romance, set in the U.S. (... mostly) but the characters are wholly influenced by their culture and history back in India. There's a complicated relationship between the hero and heroine - you know, your typical "my brother's annulled child bride" trope.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the unique cultural and plot points and Ms. Dev truly shines in writing characters jump off the page, fully realized and nuanced and loveable.

Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson

simply irressistible
simply irressistible

Speaking of tropes, the secret baby trope is... not my favorite.  Especially in contemporary romance.  A few years ago, I gave one a shot and, um.  Let's just say I was not planning on reading another one.  Until I was listening to the

Avon on the Air podcast

and  Sarah MacLean said this was the secret baby book that would convert people who didn't like secret baby books and while I respect Ms. MacLean's professional expertise, I was dubious.  Because SECRET BABY, y'all. But I bought it because HOCKEY PLAYER HERO.  You see where my priorities lie.

Turns out, Sarah MacLean was right. *sigh*   This book is a joy, the characters totally made me believe in the secret baby and I'm *semi* converted to secret baby books if they're recommended by Ms. MacLean.

*Note* on Avon on the Air.  I'm trying really hard to be respectful here and call Lucia Macro and Sarah MacLean by their proper names. Because when I listen to this podcast, I'm totally calling them "Lu" and "Mac" and discussing books in my head with them (or whoever's on the podcast.) I just love talking books, even if its an imaginary conversation.

See

, also, this blog.  If y'all know of any other awesome book podcasts, let me know because I'll happily talk to other podcasters in my head.

Or if you know other good secret baby books, let me know about those, too.  I will readily admit that I could be, maybe,  a little wrong about secret babies.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

the winter sea
the winter sea

Here's another from the TBR pile.  This one, unlike A Bollywood Affair was not buried in my kindle. It was on my bookcase. Because it was an actual, physical hardcopy of the book (shocker, right?) that my mom had 'loaned' to me a few years ago. I always knew I'd like Susanna Kearsley's timetravel-esque book about 18th century Scotland because I have a well-documented love for other time-travelly 18th century Scotland books.  *cough* Outlander *cough*

On a side note, this season's

Outlander

is KILLING ME.  Just knowing what is coming at the end of the season is preliminarily devastating me. I'm texting my friends after each episode asking them for comfort because the end is going to be so exquisitely terrible and then we'll have to wait a stupid amount of time before Season 3 starts...

or maybe not

??

So yes, Ms. Kearsley's novel did not disappoint.  It flips back and forth between the past and present and while no actual time-travel  takes place, you, the reader, feels as if it has.  I can't wait to read another Kearsley novel, especially after I heard her  

interview on the SMART BITCHES podcast.

(another podcast where I talk to another Sarah in my head all the time. I swear, I'm completely normal.)

And that's it for this month!  I'm not sure I'll have an official BEST BOOKS TO READ NOW post in July.   I'm doing a lot of non-fiction research for a new book I'm writing and I'll be headed to RWA nationals in San Diego  (where I'll be sure to add to my TBR pile, natch).  I may do a Best of Best Books post instead and then my usual post RWA roundup.

Oh! I'm also busy getting this little baby out the door.

The Last Plus One

The Last Plus One eBook Cover 400x600
The Last Plus One eBook Cover 400x600

Her release date is 6.13.16 and you can read more about it here.  If you're not already, make sure you like

THE LAST PLUS ONE facebook page

and

sign up for my newsletter

. We're doing a few giveaways, posting excerpts and talking about weddings and you don't want to miss any of that.

As always, keep reading and let me know if you read something amazing!

Best Books to Read Now- May 2016

Reminder/ Caveat/ Disclaimer: This is my (hopefully) monthly list of books I’ve read and enjoyed. These are not reviews, I do not include books I didn’t enjoy because life is too short to speak badly of books!

I didn't post my list last  month.  Why?  So many reasons - home repairs/ remodeling, book editing, day job stress etc.  But I'm glad to say that I've now read enough awesome books for a new post!  YAY BOOKS! Let's get started!

Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

forbidden
forbidden

THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK!!!! Hero is a half-Black former slave who is now passing as a rich white guy in post-Civil War Nevada. Heroine is a free-born woman who has big dreams, a work ethic that won't stop and finds herself stranded in the Nevada desert (in a scene that will make you want to do violence against a fictional character.)  Just by nature of their very identities is CONFLICT with a capital C, yet Ms. Jenkins creates a beautiful, historically rich love story in a time period that is underserved in romance novels.

The Rogue by Katharine Ashe

the rogue
the rogue

And then THIS BOOK. Yes, it's yet another Great Britain historical romance but OMG. I haven't had feels like this in a long, long time. The hero is NOT a lord or a Duke or whatnot, so that's refreshing. It's set in Scotland, there's a credible mystery, and some secondary characters that practically leap off the page and into your lap.

A caveat: This is apparently the end of one series and the beginning of another.  There were references to characters and plot lines that were obviously from the first books in the series.  I did not find that difficult to navigate, but it could bother other readers. So start from the beginning (as I'm probably going to do) and then get to THIS BOOK.

It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas

it happened one autumn
it happened one autumn

I did not realize that this book was released in 2009 until I went to Amazon to steal the cover photo.  Like the last book, this was also part of a series but can easily be read as a standalone. The heroine is an American heiress and I'm pretty much a sucker for any New York heiress-husband-hunting in England story (think Earl and Countess Grantham's backstory from Downton Abbey.) There's a touch of magic, a villain who you pray can be redeemed, and a pleasantly grumpy yet not-too tortured hero.

Act Like It by Lucy Parker

act like it
act like it

First, let's take a moment and gaze upon this cover. THIS. COVER. IS. EVERYTHING.  I know most have you have already bought it just based on that cover.

Now I'm going to admit something awful. I bought this book when it came out because THAT COVER and the love on Twitter was strong for this one. Then I didn't read it. And I didn't read it. And I wanted to read it, because The COVER and the LOVE, and LONDON and .... what stopped me from reading it??

I write contemporary romance and mystery and I'm just SO PICKY when I read other contemporary novels. Not picky in a "oh that sucks I'm so much better way" but "is this book going to make me hate everything I write" and "am I unconsciously going to emulate this voice or trope or setting"  and "is this just like something I've written and OMG maybe  I should change X, Y, and Z in my book."  But I was at the beach, and my writer brain was calm and  I finally found myself in a place where I could just relax and enjoy all the fabulousness that is this book.  It's an enemies to lovers, fake relationship set-up but it ultimately goes to a lovely, REAL contemporary story where you see two people (He is a moody wealthy stage actor - think Richard Burton without the cirrhosis. She is his warm, down-to-earth co-star.) fall for each other for all the right reasons.

The Last Plus One 

The Last Plus One eBook Cover 400x600
The Last Plus One eBook Cover 400x600

And speaking of covers... THIS COVER. THIS COVER!!!!  Take a second and just appreciate this piece of fun, summer perfection. There's pink! And champagne! And WHO IS THAT GUY? And "I'm on a BOAT!"

This is my next release, a fun little project set at a Maine compound at the wedding of the year.  Three authors, three novellas, three Happily Ever Afters.  Check it out and make sure you stay tuned to my Facebook and Twitter because there will be a fun wedding-themed giveaway around the release date in June.

Until then, happy reading!!!

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