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Cathy Gillen Thacker
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Favorite Things

It's fun to discover the interesting details of people's lives. Here's some of mine...

Dessert: Anything chocolate

Snack: Fresh fruit

Type of Food: Tex-Mex, especially beef enchiladas with red chile sauce

Low-Fat Food: Garden Salad with lite dressing only, please

Recent Books: BLUE-EYED DEVIL by Lisa Kleypas, THE PIONEER WOMAN COOKS by Ree Drummond

Classic Romance Novel: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Movies I could watch again and again and again… The Family Stone, Catch and Release, Becoming Jane, The Devil Wears Prada, The Jane Austen Book Club, Sweet Home Alabama, Because I Said So, 27 Dresses, While You Were Sleeping, Juno, Hope Floats, Heartburn, Postcards From The Edge, Something’s Gotta Give, A Lot Like Love, Griffin and Phoenix, Morning Glory, It's Complicated

Classic Romantic Comedy: Any movie with Doris Day

Actors: Josh Lucas, Jon Tenney, Ashton Kutcher, Harry Connick Jr., Kyle Chandler, Jack Nicholson, Hugh Dancy, John Krasinski

Actresses: Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon, Kyra Sedgwick, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Peet, Ellen Pompeo, Jenna Fischer, Connie Britton

Soap Opera: General Hospital

TV Shows: The Closer, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, Dirty Sexy Money, Men In Trees, 30 Rock, The Glades, The Good Wife, Modern Family

TV Characters: Deborah from "Everybody Loves Raymond"; Sydney from "Alias", Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson from The Closer, Alicia on The Good Wife, Callie Cargill on The Glades

Exercise: Exercise bike (because I can watch tv while I’m on it.)

Hobby: Gardening, specifically tomatoes

Canine Companion: Daisy, our golden retriever

Dog training book: MOTHER KNOWS BEST by Carol Lea Benjamen

Family Vacation Spot: Disney World

Romantic Vacation: Charleston, South Carolina

Place to shop: Talbot’s, Eddie Bauer

Things to Get in the mail: Magazines and Netflix movies

Gift: Chain-hung swing on my back deck

Activity with family: Family game night (Beyond Balderdash, Loaded Questions)

Child: A three-way tie between Julie, David, and Sarah

Discipline that proved not so effective: My husband and I made a rule that for every minute a child was late past their curfew, those minutes were subtracted from their curfew until further notice. Before we knew it, one child had to be home before she even left the house because she was late so many times. (Take it from me: save yourself some trouble and take away their car keys!)

Ultimate College Move-In Day: When our family drove our daughter 220 miles to college and she refused to get out of the car because she was 'not ready' yet.

Medical Emergency I knew nothing about: One child came home from a day of river rafting with a towel wrapped comically around his head. After secret discussions with a sibling, behind closed doors, and one loud scream, both refused to go to an outdoor concert. My husband, youngest child, and I returned several hours later to find both older children sitting (too?) innocently on the sofa and wearing matching white headbands. I thought it was a joke until I realized one of the headbands was made of surgical gauze, not cotton. It turned out my son had hit his head on a rock, needing several stitches to the back of his head, and didn't want my husband or me to find out, because he didn't want us to miss our concert, or freak out about "so minor" an injury so he had his sister take him to the emergency room instead.

Medical Emergency I knew about: I received a frantic call one day from the school nurse while I was making lasagna. My fifth grade daughter had hit her forehead on the reading loft at school and most definitely needed stitches. She was the only one to ever get seriously hurt in the school library.

Husband: Charlie, the guy I base all my fictional heroes on…

First Meeting: When a very cute boy in high school came up to me and said, "Hi, you don't know me but I am a friend of your brother's." I told him, "A friend of my brother's is no friend of mine." He not only eventually talked me into dating him, but also marrying him.

Funniest Memory: My husband, Charlie, began describing to my two daughters and myself the unusual cash register (complete with animal sounds) at a new barbecue place. As he demonstrated the mooing, oinking, and cock-a-doodle-doo noises coming from the cash register, our dog, only eight months old at the time, jumped up, leaping over my daughters and the breakfast bar (a good four feet tall), and into his arms. Rest assured, we don't make too many animal noises around my house any more!

Sweetest Memory: The nurses at the hospital could not get my newborn to stop crying so they brought her to me. The second she heard my voice, she smiled and stopped crying.

Piece of Advice: Given a little bit of time, things have a way of working out (so don't panic).

Cathy Gillen Thacker is the bestselling author of witty romantic comedies and warm, family stories whose books are published in 17 languages and 35 countries.