Wednesday, February 28, 2007

One of my favorite things...

Did I mention that it's cold along the central coast? Yeah, yeah, I hear all you East coasters snickering, "Julie, you don't know cold! We know cold!"
But I'm a wimp. This is why seat heaters have become my new favorite
thang. Recently bought myself a modestly-priced mid-sized suv and those bun warmers make up for any lack of luxury accoutrements, and I'm not kidding.

Took a few pics today, but didn't bring the camera cable. Bummer. I'll try to post soon. I do want to give a shout out to the folks along the West coast at Parable Bookstores, Borders, Barnes and Noble and The Novel Experience. Thanks for the cheer!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tour de Coast--Day 1

Every few seconds I can hear waves crash just outside my window--I'm that close to the beach right now. Mom and I hit PCH this morning, and let me just say, coffee on the road is just the best. We stopped something like three times. Maybe this is why it's nearly 10 pm and I'm sitting here in my hotel room showing no sign of slowing down...

Anyway, one of my favorite stops today (and there were several good ones) was at The Book Loft in Solvang (a touristy town north of Santa Barbara known for its Dutch history, complete with wooden shoes and fabulous pastries. And by the way, the chocolate rum balls ROCK!) The proprietor didn't carry my book, so I gave him one along with chocolates and postcards. He laughed and said something about "bribery."

Hey, whatever it takes. Seriously, I'm so glad for his staff's warm reception because I've stopped in that bookstore for years, and I'd love to see Chocolate Beach lounging on its shelves. Hopefully soon...

Up tomorrow: four planned stops and time to wander where the road may lead (hopefully that would be the beach, lol)

Tour de Coastal

These flip flops were made for walkin', and that's just what they'll do...

Mom and I have hit the Pacific Coast Highway for points north, ie. bookstores along the central coast of California where we'll be tellin' shopkeeps about Chocolate Beach. Sunroof's open, XM's blaring, and we're sucking down chocolates and coffee quicker than you can wipe out on a fast breaking wave.

You might want to watch out for a couple of brown-eyed gals on a mission. And if you see us, make sure to tell our hubbies (and my kids!) that we're workin'


She likes me! She likes me!

Can I hear a phew?
Surf on over to Jamie's blog today and read what I'm talkin' about ;)

Monday, February 26, 2007

grab your board

Psst...I'm over at Jeanette's blog. Surf on over :)

Monday morning madness

Hey there bleary-eyed bloggers! On your second cup yet? I'm there next. Did y'all watch the Oscars last night? Ya didn't miss anything important. During the show, I kept thinking of Simon's words on American Idol last week: "That was self-indulgent." Ho hum, thank God for the DVR and the all-important fast forward feature! (Although Jennifer Hudson? You rock!)

Tried to hit the beach yesterday but the sand tornadoes kept me away. Seriously, we had quite the wind storm in So Cal on Sunday. The wind swirls did blow away clouds making the Channel Islands clearly visible, so that's a plus. But sand in the hair and teeth? Not so fun.

Mi mama and I are hittin' the road tomorrow for some coastal madness. Yeah, we'll be visiting bookstores along the California coast for the next few days, bringing chocolates and friendly hellos to the shopkeeps. I'll try to post from the road and let you know if this newbie author is welcomed with open arms or sent packing.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Relax, it's Sunday

Go to church, then have another cup :)

Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino

Smooth and sweet, you fit in to almost any crowd. No one would suspect you of being a coffee tweaker!

Friday, February 23, 2007

What we have here is a re-post...

Happy Friday Everybody! I'm re-posting my cyber-beach hopping schedule, past and future. I've been visiting with beach lovers, telling stories and answering questions. So grab your board and join me for a little re-cap, if you'd like.

Here's the list of my groovy hosts:

February 5th--Camy Tang

February 7th--Georgiana D

February 8th--Gina Conroy

February 14th—Tricia Goyer

February 15th--Rebecca LuElla Miller

February 20th—Amy Wallace

February 22nd--Damselfly

February 26th—-Jeanette Hanscome

February 27th—Jamie Driggers

MARCH 5--Sharon Hinck Conversation with my end-cap Buddy!

March 28--Tiff Amber Miller

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thanks to She Lives for introducing me to the Image Chef.


Yippee--I'm hangin' out with Damselfly and Flybaby today!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Girls Rock!

Okay, now that's a singing competition! Last night? Not so much. The boys were nice, but the women! Holy. Moly. What did ya think? Who's staying? My vote: Jordin, Melinda, Sabrina, Stephanie, maybe Gina, and, OF COURSE, LaKisha! (Didn't she just give you chills?!!!)

I have to go vote some more. My kids tell me so...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

beach hopping & ice cream

Saw a few raindrops this weekend, but the sun's out again and I'm hanging out at Amy Wallace's beach pad today. Come say hi--you might win a free book :)


Yearning for summer, so I thought I'd take a little quiz, and let me just say, thank God it says I'm compatible with chocolate chip! I wouldn't have it any other way.

You Are Strawberry Ice Cream

A bit shy and sensitive, you are sweet to the core.
You often find yourself on the outside looking in.
Insightful and pensive, you really understand how the world works.

You are most compatible with chocolate chip ice cream.

Friday, February 16, 2007


A year ago today, after the persistent emails from this blogger, I launched this blog. For your viewing pleasure (?), I've linked that maiden post here.

Now I'm off to celebrate! I'm thinkin' chocolate cake...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rebecca LuElla Miller over at A Christian Worldview of Fiction reviewed Chocolate Beach on her blog today. It's the kind of review that makes an author want to reach through the computer screen and hug the reviewer, proclaiming, "You get it! You really get it!" Warning, there is a tiny spoiler in it, but if you're game, you can read it here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Biting my nails over tonight's Idol. Et tu? Or are y'all getting tired of the endless drama? LOL Yeah, right.

I'm hanging out at Tricia Goyer's Montana beachpad today. Yeah, I'm not kidding. You can visit me here. (The rest of the sched. is here.)

Happy Valentine's Day. May your day be filled with good chocolate and warm hugs. Enjoy a virtual chocolate. It's on me :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

tears on tv

Emotional TV night. On American Idol, bunches of folks left Hollywood, including 1/2 of a brother/sister team and 1/2 of a best friends duo. Then on Gilmore Girls (thanks DVR...), Chris and Lorelai broke up. Not unexpected, but pretty sad. All I'm saying. (As was Paw-Paw's funeral, although that's another story.) Anyway, Lor's sobs made me choke up. They really did.


Bloggity Goodness

For the sheer fun of it, I love to pop in and read about the adventures of Damselfly and Flybaby over at Growingalife. Well, it seems that Damselfly's been taking a little "mental vacation" of late--every new mama needs one of those!--and had a chance to read Chocolate Beach. Find her decadent review here.

And hey, if you're interested in being a groupie on my blog tour, you can find the schedule here.

Surf's up!

Updated: Are you a longsuffering writer of Christian fiction? Haven't found anyone with enough taste to publish your work of staggering genius? (Been there :) You have until April 15 to enter your script in the Genesis contest. Read all about it at Camy's site.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The celebrity next door

"I'd hate living here," Teen Son said on a recent Sunday afternoon. We had just taken a drive into LA, where I grew up.

"Why's that?" I asked.

"Because celebrities live around here, but you never get to see them."

I laughed remembering the time I chased after Robbie Benson in the parking lot of Bob's Big Boy in Burbank. And the time I got Donny and Marie Osmond's autograph at a taping of the Donny & Marie Show. And the time my longsuffering mother drove us to Pasadena and waited--for hours--to see Shaun Cassidy at a local mall.

Teen Son continued. "Yeah, I'd hate knowing they were around here, but never getting to hang out with any of them."

Minutes later, we drove up to the modest neighborhood where I grew up and saw a man standing outside of my childhood home. As my extended family parked in the old neighborhood, four cars in all, he watched us like a volunteer security guard. I decided to put his suspicious mind to rest, and quickly crossed the street.

"I grew up here," I told him. "We're just here to take a walk and do some reminiscing." His face relaxed, and he opened up like a steamed clam, launching into the neighborhood's latest and most juiciest news. After awhile I asked him who lived next door these days.

"Oh, her?" he said, nodding to the old clapboard house next to his. "She's a young actress on Boston Legal."

Yeah, my teen son would hate living there.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Love is in the air...

Welcome to the Blogging Chick's Valentine's Carnival. Haven't participated in a carnival in awhile, and it's good to be back!

Spent the afternoon Saturday at the Gold Coast Chocolate Festival where I signed Chocolate Beach for charity. Let me just say, without the support of my fabulous family, I'd have been sucking my thumb in the corner. Here's some of what they did for me: Two of my kids approached unsuspecting potential readers and handed them flyers about my book signing, my husband brought me chocolate-dipped strawberries (sustenance, you know), one of my daughters played cashier, and my mother hovered nearby offering sage advice and encouragement. Being a first time novelist is a kick, but doing this with my family around me? Priceless.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone. May you find love around every corner.

Here's a pic of my favorite guy and me, at another recent signing.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Chocolate and hope

Happy Friday! Through the magic of DVR--and just how did we survive without one of those for so long--I re-watched Idol from the other night. Remember the cousins? The one whose rendition of Amazing Grace nearly put the judges to sleep, and then the other one who knocked it out with Let's Get it On? Hilarious. Thanks Jamie for reminding me about them.


So it's supposed to rain in So Cal this weekend? We won't let that get in the way of our chocolate-eating habits. If you're a local, and you didn't make it to my launch party last week--you know who you are, lol--then you have another chance. I'll be signing books at the Gold Coast Chocolate Festival tomorrow from 1-3, Booth #3 in San Nicolas Hall at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. It's a benefit for the Restoring Hope Foundation which sends doctors regularly to the Chernobyl region, so accordingly, a portion of my book's proceeds will be donated to the cause.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Say cheese

I've had my portrait taken at Gina Conroy's beach pad. Please stop and by and have a visit, won't you? Hope to meet up with you there.


On another note, the Idol tryouts are over and can I get an "Amen?" Let the voting begin already ;)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

On vitamins and beach hopping

Woke up at 3 am feeling kind of puny. Drat. So after dropping my various kids at their various schools, I stopped by the store for more Airborne. Can you OD on that? LOL What about Zicam? Am I a blogging advertisement or what? Thankfully, there's another installment of Idol tonight, so I can rest and be entertained.

Despite my cold, sniff, I'm still hitting the cyber-beach today. Come visit me at GeorgianaD's place. You might even win a free book!

You can find the rest of my cyber-beach hopping schedule here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Reviews and ruminations

Busy blogger and Book Buzz Reviewer, Heather Ivester, posted a nice review of Chocolate Beach on CWO. You can read it here.


After all the feasting on truffles last weekend, I rode with increased fervor during yesterday's spinning class. And may I just say, I'm still recovering. Oh! What we do for health and beauty...


It's off to San Antonio for tonight's Idol. Let's just hope Simon ropes in his tongue, and makes comments on talent rather than contestants' physical traits. Sheesh.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Coming to a sunny blog near you!

It still may be chilly in some parts, but who cares? To celebrate the release of Chocolate Beach, I'll be cyber-beach hopping for the next few weeks, visiting with beach lovers, telling stories, answering questions, and on some sites, giving away free books. So grab your board and join me, won’t you?

Here's the list of my gracious hosts:

TODAY, FEBRUARY 5th--Camy Tang

February 7th--Georgiana D

February 8th--Gina Conroy

February 14th—Tricia Goyer

February 15th—Rebecca LuElla Miller

February 20th—Amy Wallace

February 22nd—Damselfly

February 26th—Jeanette Hanscome

February 27th—Jamie Driggers

MARCH 5--Sharon Hinck Conversation with my end-cap Buddy!

*Just Added--March 19--Annette Irby

*Just Added--March 20--Singalullaby

March 28--Tiff Amber Miller

Sunday, February 04, 2007


That's how I'm feeling today after an awesome night of visiting with friends, old and new, and family last night at the launch party for Chocolate Beach. Bank of Books was packed last night, and I stood and talked to a steady stream of folks for nearly three hours. I'm so grateful to God and to y'all who came by.

Thanks again!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Wish I'd had a camera...

Having a little launch shin-dig in downtown Ventura tonight. If you're in the area, see the news/events page of my website for the details.

So to work off all my excess energy in prep for tonight's launch party, hub and I walked the beach this morning. That's when we encountered a pod of dolphins feeding just offshore. Beautiful! Just wish I had a pic to share it with you here. This was the second dolphin sighting in a week, so I plan to take a camera next time. Pray I get a good shot for you.

On Monday, I'll be posting my cyber-beach hopping schedule. I hope you'll stop by for a visit. Until then...


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Well, it's official...

Chocolate Beach released today! Yeah, I know, it's already been spotted around the country, but still, today's the day :-) THANK YOU to all of you who've sent emails and comments of well wishes! This newbie is humbled and forever grateful. And a special shout out to Holymama! for actually sending me homemade Oreo truffles--you rock, girlfriend! (My hips and thighs won't soon forget your generosity either.)

Surf's up--catch the wave!