Monday, November 13, 2006

Kathryn Caskie GuestBlog: All That And A Tiara

CONTEST TODAY!!! I met Kathryn Caskie at a very cool weekend spent with her local RWA chapter -- the very first chapter of RWA -- Washington Romance Writers. It was a fab time, and Kathryn and her best bud Sophia Nash got me to talk about some stuff in the "cocktail lounge" that I hope they'll never use against me in the future (or at least won't tell my mother about).

Kathryn's "Rules of Engagement" was one of the first romances I read. I found it entirely charming and instantly became a fan. Once again, the lovely Kathryn has found something to make us laugh about -- ourselves -- and I guess you know the drill by now: a warm Bella buongiorno...

I have often been accused of having a quirky sense of humor. Okay, I admit it, I do. And my books, especially my latest, How to Seduce a Duke (Avon, Oct. 2006), certainly reflect my slightly off-center view of the world.

But isn't life more fun when you can find humor in almost any situation? If you've seen Spamalot, or Life of Brian, you will remember the song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

If life seems jolly rotten,
There's something you've forgotten,
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.

(Or just look at Sawyer's picture. That'll put a smile on your face. Okay, a different sort of smile, but a smile nonetheless. Figured I should work the picture somehow.)

My belief is that something chuckle-worthy to downright pee-in-your-pants funny happens everyday if you're open to it. It's there. Every-single-day. I just happen to write these little gems down in the little pink Hello
Kitty pocket journal I snagged from one of my kids. Not just because I am forty hmm mmmm and will forget it I don't. But because, who knows, maybe I will use the giggle in one of my books someday.

Not everything fits mind you, at least not in the Regency period historical romances I write. Not without a lot of twisting the facts. For instance, here is one of the very first entries in my chuckle book:

When my daughter was almost three she saw the Easter Bunny at the mall and wanted to sit on his lap. When it was her turn, she ran right up and excitedly climbed up. Then I saw her look into the Easter Bunny's mouth. Even I could see the man inside the costume. She went white as a sheet and started screaming "The Easter Bunny's eatin' people! He's eatin' people!"

She was horrified and leapt from his lap and ran right past me heading for the food court. With my youngest on my hip I took off after her, right past the terrified crying group of kids in the Easter Bunny line. They all knew the truth now. They could see the man right there in the Easter Bunny's mouth.

The Easter Bunny WAS eating people.

So, here's my question for you. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you (or someone else)?

I will pick the five that crack me up--warning, I might write them in my little pink book--and those five people will win a tiara and signed copy of How to Seduce a Duke, the first in my Royle Sisters Trilogy for Avon Books.

So, come on Bellas, dish!

Encore! More contests and excerpts and fun stuff at!
Encore due! I have one of Kathryn's tiara's and, even though I actually own my own crown, I keep my HTSAD tiara on my desk. I sometimes remove my lucky BoSox "writing" hat and replace it with the duchess headgear just for fun.


Anonymous said...

Have I missed the posting of the lucky couple that won your prize from last week regarding relationship with your partner and reading romances?

Kati said...

Hi Kathryn! Welcome to RBtB!

Funniest MK story ever? I am significantly younger than my sibs. My closest is 7 years older than me, my oldest brother is 12 years older than me. So there are loads of stories about me as a child, since they all remember them. But the funniest was while we were on vacation one winter. The kids were all staying in a dorm room adjacent to my folks. I was about 4. Apparantly, my family walked in to get me to go somewhere, and I had taken my sister's roll-on deoderant from her dop-kit and was spreading it on my forehead, because it was "hot in here." They LOVE to tell that story.

Also, Kathryn, I'm sute the Bellas would all chip in to hear incriminating stories about Michelle. Feel free to dish! ;oP

ev said...

Oh, lord, I will have to think on this one. I tend to "forget" the funny stuff.

On the other hand, I still pee my pants when I see the Dead Parrot Sketch on a Python rerun. We just went to a wedding & reception at a local B&B, and when we walked into one room, there was a bird cage with a stuffed parrot, hanging upside down on the perch, in it. My Dh and I just looked at each other and burst out laughing. But we find the weirdest things funny.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Welcome, Kathryn! I'm hopin there's a possibility you've forgotten everything I shared w/ youz guys. I mean, there were cocktails involved and all.

Well, there are just NO funny stories about me -- short of duct tape malfunctions -- but I'll have to think on it some more.

But I was thinking this morning, since you brought up Spamalot, and all, that there must be an awful lot of fans of historical romance who have ridiculous senses of humor and also adore Monty Python.

I made a MP reference in a column a while back, and I'm still not sure anybody got it. The column waws about how much we learn from historicals and that yes, many did, in fact, expect the Spanish Inquisition.

Comfy chair anyone? Fluffy pillow? Nudge, nudge, winky, winky.

Say no more.

Tam said...

I stayed up at my dads several years back. I am one to get migraines often. Dad lives up in the high desert & it gets real cold at night especially during the winter. I had talked dad into buying electric blankets for the beds, he found out he loved it crawling into a nice warm bed.
Well, one day with snow on the ground I was outside stacking wood on the back porch, dad was out in the shop working. He's a blacksmith. I had a bad migraine & didn't tell him. He likes to play jokes. While I was out back he came in the front, went into my room and remade my bed, but he short sheeted it (folded the top sheet in half & tucked it in at the top of the bed (the bottom half of the sheet) so I still had it there like I had made the bed). Then he snuck back out to the shop. When I got done stacking wood I went straight to my bed I tried to crawl into it and found out what he had done. I tore my bed apart and remade it right, I grabbed another blanket laid down on top of the bed. But before I laid down I had thought of something to get even with dad, so I went into his bedroom and unplugged his electric blanket (the cord to the blanket) so when he turned it on it still looked like it was still plugged in. I didn't say anything to dad when he came in.
Dad asked what was wrong, I told him I had a migraine. He said why don't you come in and sleep on the couch tonight (he was feeling guilty). So I went and laid down on the couch for a long time, dad still never said any thing. I told him I was going to go to bed and he finally told me what he did, he didn't want me going in there and finding it that way the way my head hurt. Then I told him I already knew and had fixed it. He said he had felt guilty all day how come I didn't tell him. I said it was pay back. LOL
Well, dad said he was going to take his shower & that is the time he turns on his electric blanket. I decided to wait in the living room until he went to bed. I heard him get out of the shower. A little while later I heard a scream, I started laughing, went into dads room he was already out of bed seen me there laughing and knew what I had done and started laughing too.
He said he had never gotten out of bed so fast in his life those sheets were ice cold. I still had my migraine, I had my hand on top of my head it hurt so bad & I was laughing so hard. You just had to be there.

Now that was getting even!

hopeless romantic said...

Now that is commitment--working through a migraine for revenge. I get migraines too, so I truly admire your wicked dedication, Tam. LOL.

And MaryKate, just so we all know--how does deodorant work on your forehead? LOL. Too funny!

Kati said...

It doesn't help the sweating, but you end up smelling powedery fresh!


OK Bellas, off to Chicago for a meeting. Have a terrific week! Kathryn, sorry I didn't get to stick around all day to play!

Anonymous said...

Hello from a fellow Beau Monde bud! :) What a great way to start the week--thinking funny! LOL. I'll have to think about this some more and get back to you. Unfortunately, I tend to have a warped sense of humor. Combine that with being a klutz and life is never boring, lol.

Will be back in a bit!

hopeless romantic said...

Tamara, you're a klutz and have a warped sense of humor ? We could be twins separated at birth.

And Michelle, I do remember our conversation in the "lounge." But don't worry, your mother won't hear about any of it from me (and that goes both ways, right?)

Minna said...

Well, it was April Fools day and my class was on a class trip in Lappland. Our guide there had already fooled one of my class mates and our bus driver -and we even warned him, but he was still fooled. But our guide wasn't done yet. Later that day part of the students went downhill skiing and the rest of us were going to the local school. Well, our guide had told us to wait outside because another bus would take us to the school (our bus was going to the skiing resort). And we waited. And waited. Finally someone realised that we'd been duped. And our teacher said "we are not going to talk about this!" I must admit, our guide was good at April Fools stuff!

robynl said...

My wedding day: the first one married in our family and a mess because we were from the farm and were at an aunt's house in the city to get ready(meaning we had to drag 'everything' with us.
We are waiting for the car to come so the bride(me)and the bridal party could get to the church. Mom all of a sudden realizes that Dad's hair needs some hair spray because it is hanging down on his forehead so she grabs the can on the back of the toilet and sprays; oh my goodness, Dad is coughing and choking and then she realizes she has grabbed the 'room deodorizer' spray instead of the hair spray. She said 'oh well, at least he will smell good'.

When the car comes we find it is my brother's 2 door, bucket seats in front sports car; now how are we going to fit 7 people in here. Well, we did! There were 3 bridesmaid with long dresses and bouquets, the bride with her gown and bouquet, the flower girl with bouquet and Mom and Dad. Ah memories!!!

Angelique Armae said...

Hi from the Beau Monde eloop moderator!

When I was 12 I went to Italy with my grandmother and aunt for a cousin's wedding. I was so happy because I was going to meet my great-grandmother for the first time and many cousins. I had practiced my Italian and really thought I knew everything I needed to know (at 12 you sometimes think that LOL!) So, there I was so smug about speaking another language when my Italian cousins (a bit younger to a bit older than me) started laughing hilariously.

I couldn't figure out what the heck I'd said. Then one of them fessed up and told me. I was explaining about writing on a blackboard at school but had instead said I was writing on an enema! To this day they still haven't let me live that one down and I will go to my grave remembering my verbal blunder! :-)


Unknown said...

Okay-the first time I was invited over to dinner with my potential in-laws-they did a big Irish high tea-full of fried stuff. I'm dutifully eating a piece of very crackly bacon when I try and cut it too hard and half a grilled tomato disappears off my plate. I can't see it anywhere. I'm trying to look under the table, on the table, on the ceiling, (whilst maintaining a polite conversation of course), and I can't find it.
Five minutes later I realize that something wet is running down my arm. I look up the sleeve of my white sweater and find the tomato which has shot up my sleeve...
There is no way you can get a fried tomato out of your sleeve without anyone noticing.
for a finale I managed to get trifle land cream in my hair

hopeless romantic said...

Minna your April Fool's busdriver was evil!

And Robyn, your poor dad! At least your mom didn't spray sort of bathroom cleaning foam on him. LOL.

Hi Jo,
My daughter just returned from a week in Rome, where she tried to use some Spanish to get by. So your story was particularly funny to me!

These are greatt. Keep 'em coming.

Minna said...

No, no, no! It wasn't the busdriver. He was one of the victims (he was told his wife was calling and of course, she wasn't). It was our guide from Lappland who was the evil one.

Anonymous said...

Tokyo, Japan, 1963, a communication problem. My husband and I were on an overwhelmingly crowded subway. At the time the Japanese people were embarrassingly polite. A man with his little grandson were pushed against us. The mischievous tyke kicked the suitcase I clutched and made a face. The gentleman let fly a tirade of Japanes to the boy. Speaking no English, he gave me a big smile and said "goddammy". Flummoxed, I used one of my ten words of Kanji and hoped it was the right one. "Joto." Big mistake. Since I must know Japanes, he started and never stopped. I thought our exit station would never arrive.

Di R said...

We went to the family cabin for the weekend when my kids were 3 and 1. The second day there my son was standing on the porch in his bare feet when he wanted to get his ball that had rolled off the porch. I told him was not leaving the porch with bare feet. He and his sister stopped and looked at his feet, then he looked at me and said, "I don't have bear feet, I have Jacob feet."


Angelina said...

My hot college boyfriend and I were sitting at a restaurant in suburban Kansas City drinking milkshakes and being stupid. Really stupid. My milkshake had tiny chocolate chips in it and my boyfriend said something that shocked a laugh out of me so hard that I sucked up a chocolate chip and SHOT IT OUT MY NOSE! He absolutely lost it, he couldn't breathe he was laughing so hard, and I was laughing and crying at the same time. My nose felt like it was on fire.

We've been together 12 years and it's one of his favorite stories to tell.

Angelina said...

Also, I want to mention that I'm in the same RWR chapter as Kathryn and that:

a) she always looks as good as she does in that picture.

b) she always on the frontlines of volunteerism with our chapter, even with her full publishing career.

Cheers to you, Kathyrn.

Maureen said...

Our family was getting ready to spend the weekend with my parents. A friend had given us cherry tomatoes from their garden so I put them up front so they wouldn't get squashed. Our dog LOVED going to my parents and as soon as we started packing she would become crazy, trying to get into the car before it was even packed. This is why we had to keep her in the house until we were ready to leave.

Well, somehow the dog bursts out of the front door, desperately trying to get into the car. The only door that was open was the front passenger door. My husband sees that she is scrambling to get into the car and trample everything so he grabs her. She is 100 pounds and is trying to get away so he pulls on her really hard at the same time that she stops fighting and my husband goes flying in the air and lands on his back, the dog lands on top of him and somehow the dog had pulled the cherry tomatoes with her and they all fly up in the air and come raining down on my husband and the dog. Luckily no one was hurt except the tomatoes.

Jennifer Y. said...

This was hard...I have so many stories I could tell. This one happened to my mother and if I were her, I wouldn't have shared it...but since she did, I feel okay about sharing it here. LOL She had dropped me and my sister off at school and when she got back home she remembered that she didn't have a house key and there wasn't a spare key anywhere outside. So she went from window to window looking for one she could open and crawl through. She finally found one...the tiny bathroom window. She pushed it open and braced herself to crawl through. She pushed and struggled and finally got through and nearly fell into the toilet right under the window (someone had left the lid up). Once she had made it through safely and completely, she went to unlock the front door to go get her stuff out of the car....and it wasn't even locked. She had crawled through the window for no reason at all. When she told us the story, the first thing we all asked was, "You didn't check the door first?" She said that she just assumed it was locked since it usually was. We said, "Well, you know what happens when you assume..." We still tell that story and we all laugh about it including my mom.

hopeless romantic said...

Hi Angelina (and you are so sweet to say such lovely things!). So I am guessing that chocolate chip milkshakes aren't the menu anymore--or do you leave the chocolates chips out? (Out your nose? Ouch!)

hopeless romantic said...

Jennifer, your mom must be a hoot. As I was reading the story I was thinking she was going to get stuck in the window, Winnie the Pooh style, but this was even funnier.

Maureen, I have three dogs (two Border Collies and a Chihuhua with a Napoleon complex. I loved the raining tomato story. Too, too hilarious.

Diane, you HAVE to send the Jacob feet story into a parenting magazine. Absolutely adorable.

Margaret, I totally feel for you and the never-ending subway ride. Actually, something very similar inspired a scene in Love Is in the Heir--when the heroine's sister was being nice and chatted with young man, then spent the rest of the story trying to break away from his never-ending boring conversation.

Great stories!

Jennifer Y. said...

My mom is the greatest and a lot of fun. I figured you might think she got stuck...that is why I worded it that way...makes the surprise ending least to me...LOL

alissa said...

My son is bilingual and when he was traveling with friends in France during the summer it was very convenient to be able to understand everything. He was able to listen in and not divulge he could comprehend the conversation. When the group finished dinner he thanked the servers profusely and they jumped a mile and their eyes popped out.

Playground Monitor said...

When #2 son was about 3 years old (he's 23 now) he was at home with me one day and pestering the hound out of me for some candy. I kept telling him "No" and he kept pestering.

Finally I picked him up, sat him on the kitchen counter and framed his sweet little face with my hands. "Read my lips," I told him. "You CANNOT have any candy."

Then he took my face in his chubby little hands and with a straight face said "Mommy, listen to my face. I WANT SOME CANDY!"

I lost it. And the kid got some candy.

And to this day when we want to get someone's attention in our family, we tell them "Listen to my face!"


P.S. Visit The Playground Blog tomorrow for our big 1st birthday bash and giveaway.

Karen B said...

My third son is 5 & 8 years younger than his brothers - and always wanted to copy them. One night he climbs up on the couch and says "Lookit me!" and as proud as can be he proceds to moon us...but guess what was stuck in his butt? Yup, but then he was only 2 years old at the time (1974.) We all laughed so hard that we had tears rolling down our faces. And no - we haven't let him forget it!

pearl said...

We were at a large family party and an elderly woman came up to my nephew and asked him how old he was. He said he was 2 years old. They talked a little and then the woman started to walk away. My nephew then thought about and said to the woman and how old are you.

joelle said...

I lent my car to my sister who lived in an upscale townhouse complex. She had parked it overnight on the street by her house. When she went out the next morning she thought that it was leaning strangely. She took a look and noticed that the tires were gone. She was laughing hysterically and cound barely contain herself as this was definitely a unique situation for her. For years after that every single time that she related this story she broke up into gales of laughter.

hopeless romantic said...

Kids are so funny--as evidenced by so many of your stories! I have tears in my eyes.

You know, I just realized I don't have children in my books. I've never thought about this before, but it has got to be due to that old saying (can't recall who said it or the exact wording) "Never work with kids or animals."

I think I must want to save the good lines for my hero and heroine--and the more mature one-liners for my elderly sidekicks.

What do you think about kids in romances? I am curious.

hopeless romantic said...

DRUM ROLL PLEASE. This is sooo hard. But, here are the first 3 (of 5) winners of a tiara and a signed copy of How to Seduce a Duke:

(Two more winners to be announced after Heroes tonight. Gotta find out if they Save the cheerleader--Save the world.)

Kate Pearce
Playground Monitor

(To claim your goodies, please shoot an email to, slugged TIARA, along with your full name and mailing address, and how you would like your book inscribed.)

The night is young. Keep those funny stories coming!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

You've got the right of that, Kathryn! "Never follow a dog or a kid act" is what we used to say.

I don't mind kids in romances as long at they're not "precious." I think they must be hard to write, though, cause they suck up so much of the emotional energy of a scene. Also, readers probably become more concerned with welfare of children than the affairs of adults w/in a novel.

Unless, of course, the romance has to do with a single mom or dad, and part of their emotional need is to get a co-parent for the child/ren.

But I've read some romances that have kids that are secondary that work out ok. And, howza bout Loretta Chase's Lord Perfect, in which 2 kids play a fairly major role and drive a fair share of the plot?

But I hate to talk aob ut other authors when we've got a perfectly wonderful one visiting (that's you, Kathryn, so look snappy!)

Everyone is making me laugh. Why don't funny things happen to me that I can actually share with other people?

Jennifer Y. said...

My comment disappeared...hmmm.

Congrats to the winners so far!

I love Heroes.

I have loved reading everyone's stories. Here is another one (I wasn't sure if we could share more than one plus I just heard this one tonight):

My sister was on the phone with my mom and her 5-month old was babbling and fussing. My sis said, "I wish that I knew what she was saying." Her three-year-old said excitedly, "I know Mommy! I know what she is saying! She is saying 'Blahbalbablahblah'" Through laughter, my sis said, "Thanks for clearing that up for mommy." The oldest was so proud of herself. LOL

Jennifer Y. said...

Oh, and as for kids in romances...I don't mind them, but they are not a requirement for me. I like all kinds of books with or without kids. My mother on the other hand will only read romances with kids, babies, or pregnant heroines in them. I am not sure why.

ellie said...

We were invited to a lovely luncheon where there were a good number of friends. They had a good sized gentle dog and he was well behaved. But during the lunch he grabbed my husband's glasses in his mouth and ran off with them. They landed on his face and this was the funniest and cutest picture ever, the dog was wearing the glasses. Everybody was laughing and amused with this trick.

Diane Gaston said...

Acckkkk! KATHY.....I missed my chance for a tiara.
And I nnnnneeeeeedddd one.

I have two funny stories too.
The first is when my husband and I were young and first married. We went camping in the Smoky Mountains and it rained and rained and we were cold and wet and wanting to stay dry. We went in this variety store in the middle of nowhere and a teenage kid asked if we needed help. My husband (insert New York accent here) said, "We need some rubbers." The kid turned beet red. I said, "No, he means galoshes."

Fast forward to raising children. We went on a beach vacation with another family with two boys around my son's age, 6 or 7. My poor daughter, age 9, was overwhelmed by all the boys. Noise you know. After the three boys come out of the one bathroom with its one shower, the other dad said, "What I wanna know is how come it takes M (my daughter)twice as long to take a shower than the three of you together. My son immediately pipes up, "Maybe she uses soap."

A Twelfth Night Tale by Diane Gaston in Mistletoe Kisses in bookstores now

hopeless romantic said...

Okay, one more week until the cheerleader is saved---or not.

If you have a story, send it along. I haven't had so much fun on Monday in I don't know how long!

Diane, I love your rubbers story. I have one too. I lived in Australia during my last couple years of high school (college in Australia, then you go to uni). I was in typing class (yeah, I feel like a geezer writing that. Now they call it keyboarding and they use computers.)

Anyway, during my first day or so of school, two girls were sitting behind me in typing class chatting. One said to the other, in a perfectly loud tone, "Have a rubber I can borrow? I have a lot to do during lunch." I remember my eyes practically popping out of my head and rolling under the desk. Of course, I later learned that a rubber was what we Americans call an eraser. Rubber, as in to rub out.

Diane, you are listed in my Acknowledgements. So I owe you a book, and being the reigning Empress of Contests, a tiara will be included too. No worries, folks, this is outside the 5 I will be awarding here. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I'm late or not, but fun for laughs... this one involves my daughter, then 3. At the time she had a habit of coloring on the walls.

One evening I walked into her room to tuck her into bed and she was standing on her bed, facing the wall above the headboard. She saw me and quickly turned around, hands hidden behind her back.

"What are you doing?"

"Nuffin' mommy."

"C, show me what is in your hands."

She pulled her hands around front and opened them. To my surprise, they were empty. So, I read her a story, tucked her in and kissed her. It was then I saw the little peel-away wrapper for Always napkin on the floor.

Okay... Confused, but not thinking clearly, I picked it up to toss it in the trash. As I straightened, I looked eye level at the wall and there is was. About this time dd noticed where my attention was and beamed. "Isn't it bootiful, mommy? I decorated my woom."

Yup, you guessed it. She had gotten into my cabinet and used Always pads to decorate the wall above her bed.

Ah, to be so carefree (pardon the pun, lol).


hopeless romantic said...

I have never read so many funny stories in one place. Thanks, Michelle for inviting me to be part of the fun.

Okay, so for the last two sets of a tiara and a signed copy of How to Seduce a Duke.

The last two winners are:

Ellie (I hope you send the picture of the dog with specs)

and Tamara (I would have died laughing)

If you didn't win tonight, please stop by my website:
I give away all kinds of fun stuff every month. Gives me a reason to shop, you know.

Cheers (and I am serious, some of you should send in your stories to parenting and women's mags. They are too good to keep to yourselves.)


Jennifer Y. said...

Congrats Ellie and Tamara!

Thanks for chatting with us Kathryn!

Anonymous said...

Oops, meant to comment on kids in romance novels.

I'm not particularly drawn to plotlines with kids, but do have to say, one of my favorite "get me out of the blahs" book is by Teresa Medeiros has children in it. And I've read one or two more that I've enjoyed.

I'm not big on "secret baby" type books, but if the kids are there and it's written well, then I say go for it.


ev said...

Michelle- How did I ever miss the Spanish Inquisiton comment?? I guess I should be expecting them at my door any minute now to exact punishment

Playground Monitor said...

I am beyond thrilled. I am pickled tink (and would have coded that word pink if the comments section would accept the HTML coding) to win a tiara and Kathryn's book. I just might cry cause I've never had a tiara before.

fans face and says "World Peace. World Peace."

I'll have to tell #2 son that his wonderful phrase earned his mom a tiara.

Visit The Playground Blog tomorrow for our big 1st birthday bash and giveaway.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks so much. I cannot wait to read the book!

And cannot forget to thank Michelle for making the beginning of the week so fun! I love lurking on your blog, but hadn't participated until today. :) daughter is already trying to snag my tiara (she's almost 13 now). Her eyes bugged out of her head when I told her it was for my writing time, haha. I told her I wanted to be "bootiful". LOL

Unknown said...

Thank you Kathryn! that tomato up my sleeve was almost worth it!


Diane Gaston said...

Thank you, Kathy! Wow. I'm in the acknowledgements...I'm trying to think of what I did to help! Ladies, Kathy is so very generous with her time. She's been a godsend to me lots of times.
And she did give me an Empress's septre which I still display prominently!

Twelfth Night Tale in Mistletoe Kisses in bookstores now

robynl said...

Oh thank you so much and congrats to the other winners. All of the stories provide laughter and I count this as good.