Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weekend Wind-Down - Shopping for Fantasies

Harlequin Romance author Myrna MacKenzie winds us down with some serious shopping this weekend!

Remember catalogs? You know, those glossy paper things that used to arrive in your mailbox, tempting you to buy things you never even knew that you needed or wanted? (A Darth Vader or Yoda nutcracker? A “The Cat Likes Me Best” sweatshirt? I must have one of each, even though I have no cat)! At this time of year, especially, the catalogs would start to flow in on a daily basis, and…all right, I’ll admit it. I loved it. I waited for it. I practically hugged the mailman when he arrived with my paper treasures. I am (or at least was) a catalog junkie.

The prospect of poring over things I would never in this lifetime consider buying or have the money to buy is like human catnip to someone like me. There’s a certain tactile fascination with the slippery feel of the paper as you turn the page to find another delight that you will never actually purchase (but might have, had you been born in an alternate universe with unlimited cash and space). And the colors! Yes, it’s true, catalog gods who know my weaknesses. I am susceptible to bright colors! And the beauty of it all is that you never have to risk spending your life in the poorhouse to enjoy this guilty pleasure. You can shop to your heart’s content in your daydreams, then close the catalog and go back to making dinner, mowing the lawn and being a normal person with limited funds. What’s not to like?

Alas, catalogs are slowly fading into the past, the victim of our own guilty consciences over all that paper going into the recycling bin (okay, I guess I do want to save the environment more than I want that Darth Vader nutcracker, even though it was a really awesome nutcracker). And…oh yes, there is another reason for the demise of the catalog, and this one is, if it’s even possible, more enticing in some ways than those catalogs.

And I (yes, I’ll admit it) am hooked. Internet shopping (or fantasy shopping as I like to think of it) would take up far too much of my time if I let it. I won’t let it. I really won’t let it, I promise myself. I will not click that button or type “buy luxury real estate” into the search engine. I can’t afford to waste an afternoon doing that, can I? Except…(now the little colored wheels in my imagination are starting to turn)…I am an author! I write books about people who can have all the money in the word and buy anything they want to if, as so often happens in one of my books, one of them is a millionaire or a billionaire! That means (yes!) I can shop online to my heart’s content and never spend a penny.

Thus was born my deep, dark fantasy shopping sprees. Now, when the catalog urge hits, I fire up my trusty computer and cruise the Internet. I can buy a 12 bedroom, 15 bath mansion for only $125,000,000. (What a deal)!

If I need a designer dress for my heroine or a coat or suit or sunglasses for my hero…I can cruise over to any number of websites and suddenly my characters are dressed in style.
A pair of heels for a night on the town? Click.

A car for my hero? That’s an easy one to find. The only problem is deciding which one. An Aston Martin or a Lotus? If I had my choice…(um, I mean if he had his choice) which one would he want to drive? This is turning out to be fun.

What about a castle? In Tuscany? Does he need one of those? Maybe…or maybe a future hero will. All right, let’s go castle shopping (how often does someone say that to you)?

At last, I sit back and rest my tired fingers. My play (I mean, work) here is done. My characters are clothed, shod and carred up (yes, of course, that’s a real term. I just made it up this minute). They have every luxury accouterment anyone could imagine (including a Darth Vader nutcracker) and I have had a blast.

I do love fantasy Internet shopping. But every now and then I still miss catalogs.
Maybe I’ll allow myself one Christmas catalog. Just for old times sake.

Happy fantasy shopping, everyone!

Myrna’s latest Harlequin Romance, Her Millionaire, His Miracle, is a November release.

Romantic Times says: 4-1/2 stars - " [the book]...has a dramatic premise and multifacted characters, with the standout being its vulnerable hero Jeremy. A fantastic read."

You can visit Myrna (and enter her current contest) at her
website ( or at The Wedding Planners Blog (


  1. So true - I love spending my hero's money - I do it too well.
    I'd be a terrible heroine!
    Thanks for the giggle

  2. That was fun. :D I actually want to go and do some fantasy shopping for myself.

  3. Fun post! I have a stack of catalogs just waiting for me to be done with my latest manuscript! But I love the idea of a fantasy Internet shopping spree!

  4. Some actual catalogs arrived today! Daydream and play time!

  5. I love catalogues. So many pretty things that I can live without - sigh