Thursday, October 30, 2008

Writing on Friday--Marketing & Rachel Hauck's Book Trailer

Happy Friday, my friends! (Okay, so it's Thursday, but for some reason, I'm gunnin' for the weekend ;)

Anyway, B&H Publishing Group has created a book trailer for SWEET WATERS, but this isn't it...LOL I'll be posting that sometime in the new year. However, I found this trailer for Love Starts with Elle after author Rachel Hauck visited this blog the other day. I've already read the book and loved it, so wanted to show you this fun and fabulous trailer that she created.

I've been on the fence about trailers for awhile, mainly because like some books, they just don't hook me. However, my publisher has been creating some terrific book trailers that you can view over at the B&H site (Click on one of the books listed to see if there's a trailer for it.)

What do you think? If you're a reader, do you watch book trailers? Why or why not? If you're a writer, do you think they're helpful in spreading the word about your books?

Regardless, I think you'll find Rachel's trailer creative and easy on the eyes. So is her book :)

Have a beachy day, my friends--wherever you are! On Monday, I'll tell you about a delicious non-fiction book I'm currently devouring. See you then :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Teen Daughter...on Broadway?

The main reason we traveled to New York City last week was because, last year, Teen Daughter's school had to cancel their own NY/Boston trip due to low participation. She was sooo disappointed! (Teen Son had gotten to go to Washington DC during his own last year of middle school.)

So I'd promised her we'd find another time. Since schools in these parts have a week-long fall break, we figured the timing would work well. However, it also meant that Teen Daughter would have to miss the call backs for a show she had auditioned for at a local award-winning theater.

So one night the girls and I were hurrying down Broadway, between 49th and 50th, right smack in New York's theater district. We were meeting the guys for dinner, but had gotten way-laid by some fabulous shopping, Lol (Discount designer duds in NYC :) So anyway, I glanced down at my phone, thinking the boys would wonder where we were, and sure enough, there was a message. Only the message wasn't from my husband, but from our hometown theater--saying that Teen Daughter had earned a spot in the Christmas Program. So we're walking on Broadway, along the 'Great White Way', when we learn this news--how cool is this???

I'm grateful to God for carrying us to and fro safely, and making the entire trip so special! (Btw, that's a poster of Ace Young, starring in GREASE, in front of the theater where we saw the show.)

Thanks to all of you who've stopped by with comments and/or email over the past couple of days! I'm still working on that deadline I mentioned, so I've appreciated the notes from the 'outside', Lol...

Have a beachy day, my friends--wherever you are!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Writing on Monday--New Cover!

We're back home again! (jiggity jig :)

I'd planned on sending out a newsletter soon to show off the cover for SWEET WATERS, but Relz Reviews beat me to it! The prolific Aussie reviewer has a preview of Sweet Waters and several other upcoming B&H books over on her stand-out site, so 'hop' on over there (sorry, couldn't resist a kangaroo ref :) to read all about it!

As for me, I'm on deadline this week, and will be chained to sitting at my computer for hours on end much of the day. Please send me a comment so I won't get lonely :))

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hello from Pennsylvania

I'm sitting next to a picture window in my in-law's home, admiring the color of turned leaves and continuous drizzle. A far cry from the still-warm beachy neighborhood where I live in CA.

It's good to experience
how others live, I think. Early this week we were in uber-busy NYC, where all kinds of smells (good and, well, really bad) emanated from the streets. Lane lines are regularly ignored, as are Don't Walk signs and street vendors (Although I did snag a good deal on a really cute pink purse from one of those vendors--check it out above!).

For the past couple of days we've been in my husband's PA hometown, where most of the population comes out for the high school game (despite the cold), and the shops actually shut down for two hours (just when I had a hankerin' for a panini!) in order to hand out candy to little kids in a pre-Halloween celebration. Dorothy and Toto costumes would work super well here, whereas they'd probably be run right out of Time Square, lol...

Leaving for home tomorrow, where'll I'll be hitting the writing first thing. Had a conversation with my editor, Karen Ball, yesterday about a small addition to my next book, and I'm anxious to get it going. In the meantime, we're enjoying the presence of fall color, our big Italian family and all the provolone we can eat :))

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On the move

The rest of our time in New York was non-stop amazing: Empire State Building, GREAT shopping (Macy's, H&M, Kira Plastinina...), crazy cab rides, men singing and playing the accordion on the subway, LOL. Can't wait to go back.

Tuesday eve we loaded up the fam and way too much luggage and took a train to New Jersey to have a fabulous home-cooked dinner with friends, then it was off to the hotel. Hubby got our suite comped when we learned (much after settling in) that there was NO HEAT in one of the rooms. They gave us space heater the size of a small dog. As if. Ha.

The rest of the week
we're in NW Pennsylvania to see family. Shoulda seen the look on this California Girl's face when I learned that the local sandwich shop no longer sold lattes! Are. you. kidding. me??? Thankfully--and believe it or not--the gas station does! And, woo-hoo!, they're actually pretty decent (and cheaper than at home). Lol, that put a smile on my face.

Monday, October 20, 2008

LIVE from New York...!

First off, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Love of my Life. 18 years and counting!!!

About the trip, it's hard to know where to begin.
NYC is unlike any place I've ever been. People drive like absolute maniacs (okay, I've been to London, so I guess I have seen similar driving before, lol), everything's BIG, and Manhattan is up all night.

In the last two days we've walked the Brooklyn Bridge, had lunch at John's pizza in Grenwich, strolled through Central Park and along Fifth "Av", we've bought stuff from street vendors, hung out in the lobby of NBC while Sarah Palin was guesting on SNL, and last night we saw a Broadway show--Ace Young in GREASE!!! Yes, my AMERICAN IDOL friends, that Ace. Let me just say, the guy can act and dance and sing!

Today we're hitting the subway for more sights (probably risky considering it's Monday and there'll be all those commuters...). I'll let you know how that goes. In the meantime, that pic at the top is of the view from our hotel, and the other is of my family walking on the bridge to Brooklyn. Hubby's got elementary girl on his shoulders, and my teens are the red heads.

Have a beachy day--wherever you are!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Writing on Friday--I miss my blog!

Packing for a family of five for a cross-country trip is one of those things that no matter how hard you try, you're never quite prepared for. Mainly because there's all this living to do in between--know what I mean?

Elementary Girl's been off school all week (her school has a two week fall break, as opposed to Teen Kids' school's upcoming one week). Love her, love her--but every time I sit down to start a post, I hear, "Mom?" moms know what I'm talkin' about.

Anyway, we leave tomorrow for the Big Apple, but before then I still have:
--To buy jeans for Teen Son (He told me this morning)
--All the banking stuff for the trip
--Get Elem. Girl ready for tonight's Cotillion
--Pick up Teen Daughter from mid-day appt., take back to school, then pick up again after school.
--Finish all the packing
--Scrub the house sparkling clean so I can come back to cleanliness--anybody else do that???

I'm sure there's more to do, but this is all I let myself think about at the moment...

And yesterday my new publisher sent me a list of things to do. Fortunately, I'll be able to work on all that on the plane. Flying is not one of my favorite things in the world, so distractions are welcome :)

Attn: Chocolate Lovers: Before heading off to tackle my to-do list, here's a link my Pennsylvania sis-in-law Diane sent me (Thanks, Diane!!!) Find out if you're a chocoholic...I failed miserably, so tell me how you fared!

Have a beachy weekend, my friends--wherever you are! (And p.s. I'll post from NYC whenever I can ;)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Shoe-bee dobee do

Did a little shoe shopping yesterday for the trip to NYC and came away with...nothing. Bleh. Too busy today, but will try again tomorrow. In the meantime, I've taken this little unscientific quiz, and although I prefer a little more heel, the look is fairly accurate. Let me know how you fare...

You are Flat Sandals

Casual yet flirty

You look great in a simple top and jeans

Your look is approachable and cute!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Writing: It's the Team, Grommit!

COUNTDOWN: 6 Days till the Big Apple

Before I get into writing, let me just say, next time I'm hiring a travel planner! Holy cow, it's a lot of work to plan a trip to a strange place for five people, even though we've plenty of friends who've lived in or near NYC. We're basically trying to cram two weeks of sight seeing into four days in one of the most expensive places on earth--can't wait, Lol!

But, alas, it's Monday, and aside from all the last minute buying for the trip, I still have some writing details to handle. Here's a SHOUT OUT to the SALES TEAM at B&H Publishing Group who are meeting this week! Thanks for all you do for your authors, Team!

Just learned the other day that a trailer has been made for SWEET WATERS, and that it's FABULOUS! Haven't seen it yet, but as soon as I'm able to post, I will. And that brings me to today's topic of team writing. I've often been asked if I design my covers, and after a bit of chortling, I offer a resounding 'No." See, that's not my gift (my brother Mikey is an artist/animator for movies, such as the upcoming BOLT by Disney, but that's a story for another day...)

Anyway, I'm thankful that so far I've been assigned cover designers who do have 'the gift.' Chocolate Beach's was surprising and amazing all wrapped into one, and my newest cover is exactly what I would have designed--if I'd had that gift myself.

So while I write the words that eventually get sliced and diced slightly edited before making it into the book (kidding, but that's also a story for another day), it's other people that take that story, wrap it in a winsome cover, and convince bookstores it's worthy of shelf space. No author (The Shack author aside, haha) could do it without them. And with all the competition out there, not to mention the economic woes we'd have to hide under a boulder to avoid, book sales people have their work cut out for them.

Tip of the day:
Be a part of the sales team! If you don't find your favorite book in your local store, ask them to order it for you. I've been doing this for years to let my bookstore know what kinds of books I think :) they should be stocking.

Have a beachy day, my friends--wherever you are!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Writing on Friday--Public Appearances and other fun stuff

Updated Friday Afternoon: Mrs. Sidney over at Mommy Accountability blog is giving away a copy of my first book, Chocolate Beach. Stop on by to enter for your chance to win :)

Back to today's post...
So while out on a bike ride last weekend, hubby and I make a stop by the neighborhood picnic when someone calls out, "There's the famous author!" Other than the fact that this is not true, it still gives me pause. Suddenly I'm wondering why I chose to wear that faded tank top and whether I remembered to put on lipstick. I'm wondering if those nodding in agreement truly enjoyed my books--or thought they were drivel.

When I made the shift from article writer to novel writer, I hadn't seriously considered this part of the job. If you write books or want to write them, have you? Do you realize that to some you will have reached a seemingly unattainable position, and to others, you're just a hack?

Don't get me wrong. When someone takes the time out to come and see me at a booksigning, I'm humbled, and thrilled to meet them. Quite a few of you--you know who your are, lol--have kept me from being the lonely girl by the table of books! But when I'm in the grocery story, or tooling around on my bike, or just about any place that lacks books, I'm probably thinking more about whether or not I left the iron on rather than the (little known ;) fact that my name's on a few book covers.

So that's why a neighbor's announcement last weekend surprised even me. (And made me wish I'd thought a tad bit more about my accessories, ha...)


I've been a little obsessed with all the economic news lately. You too? My friend, author Kathi Macias sends around a weekly devotional to those interested, and yesterday she reminded me that my trust is not in the stock market, or a presidential candidate--but in God. "Regardless of how busy you get," she says, "or how bleak the circumstances, stay close to Him, listen for His whisper and His heartbeat, and trust Him to enable you to remain faithful today…."

Good advice! You can subscribe to Kathi's weekly devo by following this link.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Prov. 3:5-6)


And just for fun...

Is Sarah Palin royalty? Check it out here.


Have a beachy weekend, my friends--wherever you are!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Delicious Doings

This is cool. I found Truffles by the Sea on this site. It's at a low price and 5% of the order price will be donated to your school of choice. Just thought I'd share...

Speaking of giving back, Teen Son brought scones home from his chef-ing class yesterday. Is chefing a word? Hm. Anyway, he's been taking a culinary arts course that requires an internship at a local restaurant, and let me just say, I'm not opposed to this. So far he's brought home all kinds of leftovers: buttery scones, chopped onions (there's a right way to do this apparently), quiche (real men eat it you know), fattening chocolate cookies...can't wait to see what's next (although does my waistline really want to know ???) My author buddy Katie Cushman tells me all this chef-e-ry in my home reminds her of Jake from Truffles by the Sea. Lol...I'd have to agree.

Btw, I'm reading a new book about chocolate and friendship, and so far, it's marvelous (and delicious!). More on that when I've had the chance to devour read the entire book.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Monday, Monday

Happy Monday, my friends! Saturday was a rainy California day but that didn't stop 30 or so teens from converging on the Carobini homestead to celebrate Teen Son's 17th birthday (hold the press...I have a 17 year old son? How can this be??? Breathe, breathe).

So anyway, would the teen who left the grocery cart in my patio please come and get it? Lol... Seriously, the kids were fabulous--lots of fun to have around ;)

Also, I got a peek at my book cover for SWEET WATERS on Friday and it's AMAZING! I'm IN LOVE with it and can't wait to show it off to you. I should get the go ahead on that from B&H Publishing Group by late next week, but I'll send it out to my newsletter subscribers first! So if you've never signed up, you can do so either on my website or over in that box on the sidebar to your right. I'm cookin' up a new contest too, and the info will be in there as well.

Back to writing this morning. Have a beachy day, wherever you are!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

island girl

One of the awe-inspiring signs of the arrival of fall around here is the emergence of an island view just off the coast. The string of Federally-protected islands--the Channel Islands--are shrouded in fog much of the summer, but oh!, when the weather changes a bit, the haze lifts and we can see those beauties again (The close up on the left is of the famous arch at the tip of Anacapa Island). In winter the view will be even crisper.

Lately during my drive along the foothills from Elementary Girl's school each morning, those magnificent islands rise up like great mountain peaks out of the vast ocean and it's hard to imagine not being able to see them at times.

In a couple of weeks we'll be out East admiring the changing of the leaves, but even here along the west coast we have our reminders that the seasons are a changin'. Maybe I'll set a book out there one of these days (although Scott O'Dell did that with Island of the Blue Dolphin...could I top that???)

Enjoy the view, my friends--and have a beachy day, wherever you are!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

God's Sense of Humor


It's birthday week in the Carobini household. That's right, Elementary Girl turned a whopping '10' yesterday, Teen Son turns '17' today, and Hubby turns 'mystery number :)' tomorrow. (Me thinks Teen Daughter's grateful for her own month ... )

Is this crazy or what? (Btw, my mom's b'day was two weeks ago.)

It's pretty much been a celebratory month, with parties held on different nights to accommodate a variety of friends. The actual day then becomes, um, 'icing on the cake' for the birthday people, with special breakfasts in the morning, and dessert in the evening. Man! I'm getting chubby--ha.

If you don't hear from me in a while, you'll know why. Oh, and I did mention that our wedding anniversary's in a couple of weeks, right? Lol