I don't know about you but I often find shopping a chore. Supermarket shopping is a case in point. It seems to take far too long, especially when there's an essential ingredient shelved in a bizarre place. Too often I head to the shops intent on finding a particular item, or if I'm optimistic, a whole list of necessities, only to find that none are available/the right size/the right price.
I have friends who thrive on shopping. Who look forward to a day out at the shops as a real treat and who come back with a stack of bags loaded with goodies, impressive credit card bills, and the most amazing clothes or jewellery or shoes to show for their efforts.
I don't know how it is but I seem to have missed that shopping gene. Don't get me wrong - snaffling a great sale item or finding the perfect present for a loved one is a real thrill. If I have time I love window shopping, and yes, even to pastry shops. What gets me down are those times when I have to find the right thing and it eludes me. You know - for some reason you need a plain white shirt, or a pair of comfy shoes and no matter how you try, that's exactly what you CAN'T find. Every store has just sold out. Grr.
I've decided that the shopping I adore is the serendipity shopping - when you go out not expecting to succeed and out of the blue find the perfect item, or the dress you've been wanting for years, or something absolutely delightful that you can store for that special birthday gift you need to give in a month's time.
This post was inspired by two things. One was the fact that I went out today with plenty of time and no menfolk in tow, to do birthday shopping for my husband. Not only did I find the items I wanted (quickly!) I also made time to check some of the sales and unexpectedly found some comfy, good looking, uncrushable clothes for myself - perfect for an upcoming trip. And they included some long black trousers. I mean loong. Being tall I always have difficulty finding trousers long enough and these are so long I have to wear heels with them. I nearly swooned! A red letter shopping day.
The second impetus for this mail was that I was discussing my latest books with someone and realised both stories have an interesting twist on the shopping theme. In PRINCE OF SCANDAL Luisa is an unwilling princess, made over despite her wishes. She's given couture gowns and wonderful jewellery, which she rather enjoys, but what makes her happiest of all is when she gathers the courage to wear the clothes she likes best - casual but chic, flattering but not too formal. Then in RAFE'S REDEMPTION Antonia plays the role of mistress to a wealthy man, a man she doesn't at first like. When he demands she dress the part she takes delight in finding glamorous, provocative clothes that wipe the smile from his face when he realises the depth of his reaction to her. Shopping becomes a weapon in Antonia's fight for independence, and a bone of contention between them. The fact that she sources her designer gear in second hand shops rather than live up to Rafe's expectations that she's interested in his money, adds extra spice.
Do you enjoy shopping? Is it a chore or a pleasure? Have you ever had the perfect shopping experience, and if so, what were you buying? Personally I love browsing in book stores (surprise!) and have lots of fun too eyeing off shiny new cookware and stationery.
I'll give away a signed backlist book to one person chosen at random from those who comment. Or, if you have all of mine, a copy of another romance.
Talking of shopping, if you're interested in acquiring new books, look out for my latest releases, both Harlequin Presents titles are available now. RAFE'S REDEMPTION can be bought from the Harlequin website in paperback or ebook (it's not available in stores) and PRINCE OF SCANDAL is out whereever Harlequin titles are stocked. To read more details about either, including some excerpts and review quotes, just pop by my website.
All the best,