A Plan Comes Together and a New Release!

I love it when a plan comes together. But then anyone who knows me, knows I don’t often have a plan, so … Sunday, lo and behold, I actually had a plan.

Dh and I celebrated our 23rd (wow!) wedding anniversary by heading out and doing something we used to do quite often early on in our relationship. We decided to wander around an art fair and then have lunch in kind of a trendy part of a Minneapolis burb. I didn’t even have to drag him there. Honest.

We used to go to art fairs a lot years ago, but you throw two kids in strollers into the mix and they weren’t so fun anymore. Instead of art fairs, we took up county fairs.

But back to the plan.

A couple years ago, I bought this very simple black, tea-length dress before the national RWA conference with plans to wear it out to dinner with my Harlequin NASCAR editor and several other authors. The only embellishment on the dress is a ring of Mother of Pearl that gathers the dress at the waist. I tried to find jewelry to match that year, but had no luck.

So I’ve been thinking about what to wear to conference coming up in July and decided I have to find jewelry for that dress. When dh liked the idea of the art fair, my plan was to stop by every jewelry booth to look for Mother of Pearl.

It’s not as common a jewelry item as you might think. We’re half way through the booths and I wasn’t having luck. Then we stop at this one booth, didn’t find anything, but dh starts to talk to the guy and asks about getting a custom setting for a stone he has. I’m looking around and bang! There’s a Mother of Pearl pendant I hadn’t even noticed.

So I try it on and find the right length chain. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they have matching earrings. No such luck. I buy the pendant anyway. It was a good price. And it’s too perfect, right?

We’re just about finished with the booths and I haven’t found any earrings evenly remotely close to what I’m looking for. Then bang, again! We stop at one of the last booths and I found these!

Plan came together. How? I have no idea, but I’ll take it. Ever have a plan that you have no expectation of ever coming together do just that?

BTW, it’s release day for ALONG CAME A HUSBAND, so I’m giving away a copy!



About Helen Brenna

Helen Brenna is the RITA award winning author of romances for Harlequin's Superromance line. Three more books in her popular Mirabelle Island series will be release in July, August and September of 2011. For more information, check out her website at www.helenbrenna.com.
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43 Responses to A Plan Comes Together and a New Release!

  1. Betina says:

    Helen, you fashionista you! You coordinate everything so far in advance– wow! I think maybe I usd to do that. Now I'm lucky to remember my toothbrush in the bag!But maybe I'll use the conference as an excuse to spend some time on the wardrobe.And ain't it grand when a plan comes together? Sort of restores your faith in the world.

  2. Wow! I love it when things fall in place like that. I could only dream of being so fashion conscious. 😀 My biggest focus these days is making sure my flip flops match. LOL. Love the necklace and earrings.I've been anxiously waiting for this next book in the series…woohoooo!

  3. krisgils33 says:

    Congrats on the book release and the matching jewelry find!

  4. KylieBrant says:

    Helen, beautiful finds! I detest shopping but this summer I want to go to Des Moines a couple Sat. to wander around at the farmer's market. I hear they have everything from art to antiques. I need to buy something to celebrate just getting a book done!Congrats on the release!

  5. Helen Brenna says:

    Betina, it's because I'm so bad at this stuff that I have to think so far ahead. If I didn't, my toothbrush would be the least of my worries!

  6. Helen Brenna says:

    Hi Chelle! This is the strangest thing about this writing gig for me – I'm normally not a put together person. But I have to look put together, right? lolAnd thanks with ACAH – I hope it'll be worth the wait!And thanks krisgils!

  7. Helen Brenna says:

    Kylie, you deserve the break! We supposedly have a wonderful farmer's market here in Mpls, but I've not been for years and years. Not since I used to work downtown. You're inspiring me to check it out again!

  8. Laurie says:

    Love the necklace PERFECT with the dress. We used to go to the Art Fair on the Square in Madison, WI every 4th of July and one by the lakefront in Milwaukee. I'll have to suggest it to my husband. Great idea!We had a spur of the moment plan to go camping and river rafting in Northern Wisconsin a couple of years ago. We didn't think any one would be up for it. But my 4 kids got really excited and we got out the tents and sleeping bags. They each brought a friend along. My sister, husband and 2 sons came with their friends. We had a wonderful time. The weather was great. We made s'mores, ate hamburgers and brats, sang songs around the campfire. It was the last summer that we were all together. Now jobs get in the way.

  9. Helen Brenna says:

    Oh, Laurie, those are the BEST plans to have come together! For that to happen with 6 kids plus their friends – wow. And the weather even cooperated! hehe Cool!

  10. Virginia C says:

    Congratulations for being in the right place at the right time! I would love for you to post a picture of yourself in the complete outfit!I wish you much success with the release of "Along Came a Husband"!

  11. PJ says:

    I love it when plans come together like that! Beautiful jewelry! You're going to look stunning. Last year I had my National wardrobe planned out by the end of April. This year I haven't even started yet. I think I'm afraid to start trying on clothes. It was a "munchy" winter. :(I'm heading to the store today to look for your book. It's a great day for another visit to Mirabelle Island!

  12. gigi says:

    Helen you should have bought a lottery ticket that day.It is a wonderful feeling when a plan comes together.I am sure you are going to look lovely all gussied up in the dress and matching jewelry.

  13. Helen Brenna says:

    Thanks Virginia! I'll post some pics after national. I don't put on a dress unless I absolutely have to! lolThanks, PJ! I had a munchy winter, too. Nice way to put that. Now if something could just munch away at me …Gigi! You are so right! And I'm normally not a lucky person. Would've been the day, though.

  14. Michele Hauf says:

    Wow, looks like those pieces were just waiting for you, Helen. Very pretty. I agree with the writing gig having some weird moments where we actually have to dress up and look like a normal person (perhaps even an author-like person). It's strange, but a nice break from slouching before the computer all day. Have a great time at the conf, and bring back another RITA!

  15. Helen Brenna says:

    It's that ole introverts having to act like extroverts for a weekend kind of thing, Michele. As for the RITA – out of my hands. Maybe I'll get lucky again!

  16. Leanne says:

    Helen, BEAUTIFUL! You're so classy, so coordinated! My mom and sister always try to shop for jewelry at the same time they purchase a new dress, so that they have the complete outfit. I am usually so excited to find a dress that fits or in such a hurry that I don't take the time and lament it later. CONGRATS on your new release!!! I LOVE this whole series!

  17. LSUReader says:

    The dress, the jewelry–it's perfect! Lucky you. Let's hope that streak of luck is a sign of good things to come at the conference.

  18. CrystalGB says:

    Hi Helen. I love the jewelry you found. I love it when a plan comes together.

  19. lois greiman says:

    I'm with Betina. I used to coordinate stuff, but alas now I'm lucky if I have all appropriate parts of my anatomy covered.But yay for you…looks great, and you always pull it off with style whether you know it or not.

  20. Helen Brenna says:

    Leanne, your mother and sister are smart ladies. That's the way to do it. But then there's me. This chick who has a difficult time making decisions. A decision on one dress dress is about all I can handle for one day!

  21. Helen Brenna says:

    Thanks LSU and Crystal. And Lois, you always, always, always look gorgeous and very put together!

  22. Cindy Gerard says:

    Great find, Helen. I love those pieces. And, like you, I love it when a plan comes together.I've been shopping and culling and sorting out my clothes with RWA and the RomCon conference in mind. I've recycled so many things and worn them so many times I decided this year was the year for a few new purchases.And I THINK I'm ready to go. Whew.Your new book looks great! Can't wait to get my hands on it!

  23. Lenora says:

    Hello, ladies. I love this topic–shopping. I was in Gulf Shores, ALA, at the beach recently so I decided to search for a dress at the Foley Mall. Found a perfect one for the HQN party at Jones New York. Love me some Jones New York. So, Cindy, save a spot on your dance card for me. I'll try not to spill wine on you!Lenora 🙂 And Helen, I write for Steeple Hill but my first Super comes out in January 2011! Love the jewelry.

  24. Helen, you always look so chic. I love art fair jewelry. We used to go to those things all the time, and we always left the fairgrounds considerably lighter in the pocketbook but richer in the business card department because we loved to linger and visit with artisans. Pottery is one of our weaknesses. Clyde got us started on raku. The neat thing about the art fair collection is that every piece has a story, and often they come with new friends.I love the mother of pearl. I think I have a bracelet if you want something borrowed. For luck, you know.

  25. ALONG CAME A HUSBAND has a gorgeous face, Helen! And I love the tag "An Island to Remember."

  26. chey says:

    Congrats on the new release and jewelry find!

  27. Cindy Gerard says:

    Lenora – I've penciled you in on my dance card :o)

  28. Helen Brenna says:

    Cindy, if there's ever a year for you to splurge, this is it, right? Glad you went for it!Lenora, this dress with the Mother of Pearl buckle in Jones New York! And nice to "meet" another Super author. Congrats on the sale!

  29. Helen Brenna says:

    Kathy, the pottery at this Edina art fair was beautiful. Have you ever been to the one at St. Kate's? Gorgeous stuff.And thanks for your cover comment. They did a nice job. The "An Island to Remember" tag was actually my suggestion and they, surprisingly, went for it! It'll be on all the Mirabelle books.Thanks Chey!!

  30. Sometimes its the outings you don't plan that turn out the best. The jewelery looks lovely, I love mother of pearl, had a watch with mother of peal background once.

  31. Jane says:

    Happy Release Day, Helen. I like the jewelry you picked out.

  32. Helen Brenna says:

    You're so right, Karyn! And thanks Jane!

  33. runner10 says:

    Congrats on the new release.Love the jewelry.

  34. Congrats on the new release and the excellent shopping luck! That dress is beautiful and looks so great with your small waist. And I'm really liking your cover. The sky is beautiful and the h/h really look like they're in love. Capturing the "love look" can be tricky on covers.

  35. Helen Brenna says:

    Thanks Runner10!They do look in love, don't they Christie? And even though they don't look exactly as I'd envisioned them, this cover perfectly captures their characters!

  36. Paula R says:

    Congrats Helen…23 years is quite an accomplishment.I was looking for Along Came a Husband a couple of days ago, but no success, so I am glad it was because it wasn't release day yet.Love the dress and the jewelry.Peace and love,Paula R.

  37. Laney4 says:

    Had an occasion just last week. Had gone eight LONG months without a second car, waiting until we could afford to pay cash for it. Figured it would take 2-3 weeks AT LEAST to find "the" car, as we generally go to at least 30 car lots first. Started looking at 1:39 pm and drove the car home the same first day, fully insured and plated, at 5:00 pm.What a nice bonus in life! So, yes, "I love it when a plan comes together!"

  38. Anonymous says:

    would love to read 'book 4' thanks for the chance :)karenkkmkuka at yahoo dot com

  39. Susan says:

    Helen good luck with this new release, and it's simply your Karma to find three different pieces at three different places that matched so well. They are just gorgeous.Susan L

  40. Debra Dixon says:

    I'm so jealous of your plan coming together!I have had zero luck in the "outfit" department lately. Mostly because it requires shopping and shopping requires time.And access to lovely arts fairs!Damn you! (g)

  41. MarthaE says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary and on the new Release. Top it off with a fabulous outfit and it sounds like a winning week!Yep, gotta love it when a plan "falls" together. :o)

  42. Helen Brenna says:

    Hey Paula – thanks!Laney – your car story is truly AMAZING – outweighs my jewelry luck several times over!Hey, there, Karenk!Shopping does require time, you're so right, Deb. If it hadn't been a Sunday afternoon and I was looking for something to do with the dh, I wouldn't have made it to that craft fair. Too many other things to get done. I hear ya! And you, dear, can damn me any ole time you want!Thanks Martha!

  43. Helen Brenna says:

    Hi Susan L! So sorry, I somehow missed your post. Horray for good karma!

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