So, I’ve finally gotten around to creating a family tree for the Wetherbys. This has been no easy task, and it’s still not completely done. I have to figure out some of the children yet, but for now…here is the first tree for my first book, A Gentleman Never Tells. Sometimes my readers are sharper than I am, so if you see anything that looks “wrong” let me know!
Author Archives: Jerrica Knight-Catania
As writers, and oftentimes as avid readers, we might forget what it means to take good care of ourselves. I know when I get caught up in a manuscript, I might sit in the same position for hours on end, heedless of the awkward way my body is turned or that my mouth is drier than the Sahara desert. And as a reader, I’ll stick my nose in a book (okay, iPad) until they burn and until my neck gives out from exhaustion because, let’s face it, who actually lifts their book to the ergonomically correct position?
No, I’m not talking about cereal today (though I do love a good bowl of that marshmallowy goodness), I’m talking about real good luck charms, and what you can do to improve your luck in a few areas of your life!
This week’s issue of Woman’s World magazine has a whole spread on this particular topic, but I’m going to choose the three lucky charms that I think are most accessible…
1) Create Harmony with a Rainbow!
“When the vibrant colors of a rainbow pass through the eye, they trigger the release of hormones thatcorrect imbalances in your body, which, in turn, can pump up your energy, calm you and ease any pain you might be feeling,” says certified color therapist Leah Bruns.
Well, rainbows aren’t just popping up in the sky everyday, so create your own! Hang a crystal in your window, and according to the Irish, you’ll be blessed with good luck every time light creates a prism in your home!
2) Attract Money with Greenery!
I think everybody would like a little more of this stuff! The Irish tuck shamrocks and clovers into their lapels or hats to receive blessings all year long. And in Feng Shui, it is believed that basil plants and bamboo shoots boost wealth for their owners. Plenty of studies prove that “seeing greenery boosts optimism, confidence and concentration – all three keys to success – by lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.” (Which, by the way, is what causes us to hang on to excess belly fat, so having greenery in your house is a two-for-one!)
3) Get Happy with a Fountain!
Inviting positive energy into your home is as easy as putting a little (or big, if you want) fountain by the front door. According to Feng Shui, it draws “good spirits and gladness to you.”
“The sound of rushing water lulls you into a state of relaxation, while the water droplets produce negative ions in the air, molecules that are study-proven to trigger the release of feel-good serotonin in the brain!”
So, on your shopping list this week, make sure you have Crystal, Green Plant and Fountain! Then sit back and watch the good times flow :)
Jerrica Knight-Catania is the author of A Gentleman Never Tells and
More than a Governess, both available now from Second Wind Publishing!
A few years ago, a great little romantic comedy hit the theaters. It was called “The Holiday,” and starred Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and the delightful Kate Winslet. There’s a point in the movie where Kate’s character meets an old movie director and forms a friendship with him. Over dinner one night, the old man tells her that she’s leading lady material, but she’s acting more like the best friend.
Now, I know what he was getting at. Her behavior in that moment regarding her ex-boyfriend is pretty ridiculous. But I personally love to write the best friend in my novels. And frankly, I’m pretty sure I’m the best friend – or sidekick – in real life. Maybe it’s not exactly the same thing the old guy was talking about, but it’s what got me thinking about this blog post.
What I find funny is that the best friend/sidekick tends to have the same character traits, no matter the author. She’s the busybody who stirs up trouble (in a comical way, of course), and she’s the one who always “speaks plainly” to the hero or heroine, depending whose sidekick she is in the story. She can be a sister, sister-in-law, aunt, wife of the hero’s best friend, cousin…it doesn’t really matter, but rest assured, there’s always going to be one in every story.
So this got me thinking about who I am in real life. I think most women want to think of themselves as “heroine” material, just like men want to be the hero. But when it comes down to it, I know I’m not the heroine. Let’s review the tape…
Demure? Not really
Knows when to hold tongue? Never
Speaks Plainly? Yes
I think my answers speak for themselves. What about you? Do you think you’re more heroine or sidekick?
As the holidays approach, I think it would be a great idea to share some ideas for ways to decompress. This is such a stressful time of year for most of us, and while some might suggest to stop traveling or stop making a big deal out of the holidays altogether, I can tell you that’s never going to happen in my house. I love the holidays. I love the hustle and bustle. And while I might get frustrated or tired with all the preparations I have to do, I don’t think I would have it any other way.
So in the midst of the craziness, I try to find moments for myself. Moments to meditate, stretch, exercise, read…I try to indulge whatever it is my mind or body are craving at the moment. It’s not easy – especially for a Type A person like myself who feels the need to be productive at all times. But perhaps what people like me need to do is view “relaxation” as “productive.” After all, it is the means to the end of sanity, is it not?
We recently picked up a fantastic CD put out by Jerry and Esther Hicks. It’s called “Getting Into the Vortex,” and Esther leads you through several mediations, each of which is 15 minutes long. There’s one for general well being, one for physical well being, financial, and relationships. Lately, I’ve been choosing one a day and listening to it as I take myself through some gentle yoga stretches, always ending with several minutes of savasana. It’s my new, favorite way of relieving stress and tension, and getting myself lined up with the person I want to be.
I’ve also found that getting to bed early and waking up early to read or sift through emails, or bake a batch of muffins, is a nice way to start my day. Much better than waking with a start and rushing to get a bottle ready while the baby cries for me in her crib!
And one of the best things I did for myself recently was stop at the mall’s “Relaxation Station.” Many malls have these chain massage parlors, and they are super cheap. At roughly a dollar a minute, you can be in and out in 30 minutes for a mere $30(-ish). Check your local mall directory to see if you have one!
Okay, enough about me. What are you doing this holiday season to relieve your stress and decompress?
I haven’t! I haven’t actually read much of anything lately and it’s kind of a bummer. I’m about a quarter of the way into Julie and Julia, but it took me about three weeks to get that far. And my husband and I have been reading Twenties Girl together since June…we just reached the halfway point.
I do wish I had time to read like I used to. Several years ago, I set a goal for myself: 25 books in one year. I think I read 28, and that was a lot for me. Especially since most of them were on the literary fiction end of things. I didn’t discover romance till the next year, and then I was banging through an average of a book a week.
But then, I got a publishing contract…and then I got pregnant…and, well, the rest is history…much like the idea of sitting down and reading a book.
What about you? Do you have time or make time to read? How do you juggle work, family life and all the other things you have to do with reading?
While I tend to anticipate and get excited about seasonal changes, none can excite me as much as the transition from summer to fall. I love the fall. I love pumpkins. I love corn mazes and hayrides. I love the smell of bon fires as they drift on a crisp, cool breeze. I love switching out my bathing suit and flip flops for long sleeved knits and my dark brown wool Mary Janes. Oh, and I love the return of seasonal treats like pumpkin bread, pumpkin scones, pumpkin lattes…are you seeing a trend here?
I think I’m even more excited about fall this year because I get to share it with our new little munchkin. I’ve been working hard at putting together her fall wardrobe, and I cannot WAIT to get her first Halloween costume (we’ve yet to decide what she’s going to be – Pottery Barn and the Disney Store are neck-n-neck!)
But even more exciting is this…
12 years ago, when we were sophomores in college, our friend invited us all out to her parents’ home in a rural area of NJ for a day filled with pumpkin picking, corn mazing and haunted hay-riding. We decided then that it would become a tradition. And in 12 years, there has only been one year that we did not gather at our friend’s home in NJ.
This year, many of us now have children or are pregnant, and I’m so excited to introduce Bella to this great tradition, along with all the other little ones in the group. It is my hope that we’ll continue this tradition for years to come, and that all our kids will know about the Annual Haunted Hayride gathering!
Do you have fun fall traditions? I’d love to hear about them!
Jerrica Knight-Catania is the author of A Gentleman Never Tells, available now from Second Wind Publishing!
I have to admit…after years of talking about how much I love paper books and resisting the whole e-book craze, I’m an e-reader. How did it happen?
Well, it started a couple years ago when I bought my first ebook, a fun take on Jane Austen-era time travel. My hubby showed me how to load it onto my iPhone and off I went to my job (which involved a sizable commute to the Upper West Side.)
The first thing I noticed was how light my load was. The absence of a book made a huge difference since I had to be moving and on my feet for more than an hour.
The second thing I noticed was how easy it was to read, even when I couldn’t get a seat on the train. No problem! I just whip out my phone, easily held in one hand, and hold onto the pole for stability with the other.
It was also an easy switch from my music (which I listen to while walking from train to train)…no having to turn off the music, wrap up the headphones, put it away, pull out the book, juggle my bag and try to read while smashed like a sardine between a business man and a homeless woman.
From that moment on, I was hooked. Then take real travel into consideration. My carryon used to be filled with books for a week trip to the beach…now I just toss my iPad into my bag and I have thousands of books at my fingertips.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have real paper books. They just don’t get used all that often anymore.
What about you? Have you succumbed to the e-craze? Or are you tried and true to your traditional paper books?
A pretty street in Mayfair…
Jerrica Knight-Catania is the author of A Gentleman Never Tells, available now from Second Wind Publishing.
Last weekend, my hubby took me on a surprise trip to Newport, RI for our 6th anniversary. We spent a half day there several years ago and I’ve always wanted to go back. So when I realized that was where we were going, I was thrilled!
One of the many activities he had planned for me was to go see The Breakers, the famous mansion built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II during the “Gilded Age.” The size and splendor of the place was absolutely awe-inspiring. I wish we could have taken pictures inside, but security was tight (though you’ll see we got a couple illicit shots!) We did, however, take lots of pictures of the grounds and the cliff walk just beyond, and I would love to share those with you! Enjoy!
Exterior of the house from the Cliff Walk
House and gardens at the side
More of the side gardens
Terrace and back yard with the ocean just beyond
Illicit shot of the “Outdoor living room.”
Illicit shot of the music room!
More gardens on the other side of the house
View of the Cliff Walk
I hope you’ve enjoyed the little photo tour of the exterior of The Breakers! I’ll post more attractions next time!
Jerrica Knight-Catania is the author of A Gentleman Never Tells,
available now from Second Wind Publishing.