The author of more than 50 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. She is known for delivering deeply emotional and psychologically astute novels of suspense and romance. Tara is a four time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, and appears regularly on the Waldenbooks bestsellers list. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning and is a frequent guest speaker. Tara loves to travel with her husband. They’ve been spotted in casinos and small town antique shops across the country.
Please join us in welcoming, Tara Taylor Quin and Kelly Chapman, her alter ego! Tara and Kelly have a special money saving gift for all our readers today at the end of this blog!
Expert witness psychologist, Kelly Chapman, my alter ego, and I have been looking forward to this visit so much. I love this blog. It’s real. Accessible for daily living. And entertaining. And it’s just the kind of food I like best – luscious and calorie free all at the same time.
Kelly and I are in the midst of a three month international blog tour to promote our fall releases, The Chapman Files:
Which brings me to today’s topic – house cleaning. It’s not getting done like I’d like it to be. I’ve been warring with myself over the necessity. I grew up in a beautiful home. Beautifully decorated. And beautifully kept. My mother was a professional homemaker. Professional in quality. She ‘worked’ only for us. But she did it perfectly. Laundry was always done. The house was always cleaned. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were always made. Evening snacks were provided. The house was always cleaned. Vacations were planned, trips to the pool happened, games were played almost every night. The house was always cleaned.
It wasn’t a small house – three levels, five bedrooms, three bathrooms – and it was always cleaned. Beds were made every single morning. Faucets did not sport water spots – they glistened and shined like mirrors. There was a place for everything and everything seemed to know its place.
I noticed in my house last week that the dust motes that used to conglomerate in the corners of the wood floors once in a while had migrated to the middle of the floor. Or rather, they’d pro-created to the point of over-population. When I saw them I almost cried. I felt like a failure in the most elemental way. The weight of that dust was heavier than the pages yet to be written that day.
And I thought about something a realtor had said recently. (Our home has been on the market as we’re making a cross country move this fall.) The visiting realtor asked our realtor if a single woman owned the place. She replied in the negative. He then wanted to know if two women lived there. He said he’d never seen a place so put together.
The dichotomy in my dust tears and his Better Homes and Garden estimation was not lost on me. Maybe my tears are bit over the top – leftover conditioning from my childhood. But he’s also obviously blind. Dust families in the middle of the floor were not indicative of a clean house.
It occurs to me, though, that I’m a bit confused about good housekeeping. What is good housekeeping? What’s good enough? I go from, well, we’re not sick so it must be sanitary enough, to, when you can write your name in the dust on the furniture there’s a problem. Doesn’t help that the entire upstairs is eighty year old pristine-condition wood floors that are excellent backdrops for…whatever falls there.
How often do I have to change the sheets to not be disgusting? If I Lysol the kitchen counters once a month, can I just wipe them off the rest of the time? Am I lax if my faucets have water spots? You know, once those spots build up enough, you’ll never get the faucets to shine again. Or will you? Is there something that takes built up water spots off from faucets? Does it matter? I mean, the faucets work either way, right?
Kelly Chapman is sitting here shaking her head at me again. I do drive the woman crazy. But that’s alright. She’s been in my brain for more than two years, giving me her stories and her professional opinions and judgments and she drives me a little nuts sometimes, too.
And, by the way, Kelly’s house is pristine. Ask FBI missing persons agent, Clay Thatcher. He has to investigate the place in The Fourth Victim when Kelly goes missing. But then, Kelly lives alone. It’s easier to keep up with water spots when all you have to do is wipe up after yourself every time you use the faucet.
Those water spots again – obviously I have issues with them, too. Help me out here. In the housekeeping department, what’s good enough?
This post is brought to you as part of The Chapman Files International Blog Tour. Over the next three months, as we celebrate The Chapman Files, expert witness psychologist, Kelly Chapman and I are going to be asking for help. We’re raising money for Strengthen Our Sisters, the US’s first battered women’s shelter. If you can, join us in our fight against Domestic Abuse. Go to http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/ and click the donate button to go directly to a secure Paypal site. Or just comment here to show your support.
There’s an item from our new book, The Second Lie, hidden on the tour with us. Guess the item to enter the drawing to win it! Today’s clue: Many are only on for two hours at a time. Send all guesses to firstname.lastname@example.org. To see previous clues visit blog sites listed at http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/. Guess as many times as you’d like!
Don’t miss The Chapman File tour party on December 4th at http://www.eharlequin.com/! Tour prize winners will be announced!
Next blog tour stop: Friday, October 15th, 2010 on Storybroads, www.storybroads.com. We hope to see you there! The more blogs you visit with us, the more chances you have to win! Every time you comment your name is dropped in the bag for the prize drawings.
For all our blog readers today, Tara has a special link below that will give you a printable coupon for $1.00 off the purchase of her latest book, The Second Lie.