Friday, July 30, 2010

Pennsylvania Shore

It's our last full day in Pennsylvania visiting family. Word is were heading out for some elk viewing soon. Oh, man, we're a long way from the coast of Cali! Haha. So anyhoo, I'm glad we've been here in the summertime. Able to experience kayaking and biking...pretty much what I do at home (in spare time, of course), except this time I'm surrounded by woods and mountains and bodies of fresh water (as opposed to the salty stuff...) Hubby and kids even hiked into the woods and picked two containers full of blueberries and blackberries. SUCH a pretty time of year in the east!

On another note, I wanted to let you know that Michelle Vasquez over at Life in Review is giving away a copy of A Shore Thing. I've been sooo honored by the interest in my latest Otter Bay Novel. I love Callie and Gage and romance and conflict and sea life...and I've been getting lots of reader mail too. You BLESS me when you write, so THANK YOU so much!

Please let your friends know about Michelle's giveaway, or if you haven't had a chance to pick up your copy, please enter! Or you can pick up a copy in bookstores or online (Amazon has it on sale for less than 10 bucks!).

Have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are (and in my case, that would be NW Pennsylvania....:)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's our fifth day in rural Pennsylvania and time to go to the city. Okay, so it's more like a town. Those of you from this area know that much of PA is made up of quaint country towns strung together like one long cord of Christmas lights. Thankfully we're here in summer, because usually we're here in gray winter when most of the lights have burned out, haha. I digress.

My dear father in law became ill during our stay and is recuperating in the hospital. We're sad because we don't get to see him, but glad to hang out with grandma while he's gone (although we're probably driving her crazy, LOL). So today we gave her a break and drove ... quite a ways ... to watch a movie. My brother Mikey is an artist animator (I SO want to build a character around his experiences!) and he worked on the latest Nicolas Cage release, Sorcerer's Apprentice. So hubby and I went to see that while the kids caught a showing of Despicable Me.

Hubby and I were the only ones in the theater (small town? remember?), so besides necking (haha--hey, we're married), I texted my brother. Wanted to make sure I knew which scenes he animated. Fortunately he got back to me before one of his big scenes--the car chase--came up. Just something about watching a film that has a family member's fingerprints on it, you know? Great scene, by the way. He usually blows up stuff in his scenes, so morphing a fancy Bentley (I think) into a Ferrari was pretty cool, I must say.

We're back at the homestead now, and getting ready to grill burgers on the patio. I cooked last night (enchiladas, naturally), so I'm off duty tonight (yes!). Here's to good health, family, and beachy days, my friends ~ wherever you are...

Monday, July 26, 2010


Hello from Pennsylvania! We made it across country and have been visiting with family since Friday. Good times. Lots of humidity through yesterday, plus sudden, thunderous rain and occasional lightning. Sooo different than the California coast where I live! Fortunately no lightning during the family reunion at Parker Dam last Saturday, so I was able to rent a kayak and splash around in the water. Loved it!

Back to last week's contest... My sweet niece Samantha picked a couple of numbers, and we have our winners. CONGRATS to:

Librarian ~ Lonnie from the Midlothian Branch of the Chesterfield County Public Library in VA.
Reader ~ Jackie L

Both will receive copies of A Shore Thing! Thanks SO much to everyone who entered by comment or email. Received many, many fun postings and beach recommendations. Who knows? Maybe I'll set a book in one of them some day? :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


So Wednesday night, the girls and I drove up to Paso Robles to see JUSTIN BIEBER (Hear the crowd roaring??) at the mid-state fair. SUCH. FUN. (I won't mention the absolutely detestable motel we stayed in, though...) On our walk over the fair to see JB, we saw this truck and the girls had to pose. What can I say? When opportunity presents itself....

So anyway, while preteen girl and friend enjoyed their THIRD ROW seats next to the stage, TEEN GIRL and I giggled and danced like crazy people in the LAST ROW! We didn't care, though, cuz JB gave a great show, as did Sean Kingston at opening. Something about a crowded Fair Grandstand until a moonlit sky makes a ??year old mother not care who sees her dance.

It's Thursday Eve and we're on our way to (drumroll, please) ... PENNSYLVANIA! Where there is NO beach! What will I do??! Ah, well, we're going to visit family, which makes a landlocked vacation worth it. And this is the first time in many years that we've actually traveled back east in the summer. So who knows? Maybe we'll find a river to float down or something...;-)

If you entered the giveaway for a copy of A Shore Thing, I'll be popping in on Monday to post winner names (if I can find Internet access in the mountain town where we'll be staying ... :-)

Until then, have a beachy weekend, my friends ~ wherever you are!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Good ol' summertime

Despite all the back-to-school specials (blech) running around town, my calendar still says summer! Up ahead we still have a trip to the mid-state fair, Pennsylvania to visit family, the Ventura Fair plus plenty of other balmy dog days to devour. Don't you?? As long as they're still giving us re-runs of Glee, I say it's still summah-time (LOL).

So pick up a few good books (hint-hint), and hit the beach or lake or park for some R&R&R (rest, relaxation, and reading :) I plan to do the same! (Thanks to all who dropped me some recommendations on my FB page!)

With that in mind, have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are! (and p.s. ~ would somebody hand me a comb already? Lol...)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Have you hugged a librarian today?

Librarians, we writers appreciate you! If you're a librarian, drop me a comment, noting the name/location of your library, and you might win a copy A Shore Thing! Be sure to leave me an email address or way to contact you! (Readers, be sure to tell your favorite Librarian about this, okay?)

And new readers, just for fun, I'll be giving away a second copy just for you! Enter by leaving a comment about your favorite beach.

Ends Saturday, July 24. Have a beachy week, my friends ~ wherever you are!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy writer-ly news

Sweet Waters has been named a finalist for the 2010 Carol Award in the Women's Fiction category!

I'm excited, honored, and so, so ... well, surprised. When I received the call from contest coordinator, Mindy Obenhaus, I think I squealed a very mature, "No way!"

Formerly known as the ACFW Book of the Year, the award was recently renamed in order to honor editorial pioneer of Christian Fiction, Carol Johnson.

In a press release, ACFW CEO Colleen Coble noted, "Although Carol Johnson is most content behind the scenes, her contribution to modern Christian fiction (both historical and contemporary) is impossible to measure. Where would we be today if she had turned down those earlier projects and the firestorm of fiction they helped unleash?"

Follow this link for a comprehensive list of finalists in each category. So many friends on that list too ~ congrats to all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ya gotta have friends!

Here's a photo of my pal Sally who, although she had to skedaddle out of town, showed up at Saturday's Barnes & Noble signing early just to get her hot-off-the-press copy of A Shore Thing :)) Such a whirlwind, with friends and family coming and going. Since this was a hometown signing, lots of familiar faces to greet.

Met many new readers as well.

One lady walked to my table at precisely 11 am, plunked a stack of books on my table and declared, "I read $50 worth of books a month!" Oh, that is music to an author's ears!!! After chatting a bit, turns out we both live in the same general area of the city, have sons about the same age, and love the beach. She bought my latest book AND last year's release, Sweet Waters. Such a great way to start off the day ~ whee!

Then one of the characters from Sweet Waters (yes, you heard that right!) hand-sold A Shore Thing to a man who was minding his own business, just trying to walk on by. Cheryl Draughon is a longtime friend (taught all my kids at one time or another) who lobbied for a role in my last book. If you read it, there was a realtor in that story who shares Cheryl's name ~ and bears a striking resemblance to my friend...;-)

Anyhoo, Cheryl (practically) snagged the poor guy by the collar, then proceeded to tell him all about my books. He kept nodding and staring at the back cover (probably working on his escape), when all of a sudden he looked up and said, "Are you a Christian?"

"Yes, indeedy," I told him (sans the 'indeedy' part...)

"Me too!" He said ~ and then promptly asked me to sign a book for his mom. Loved that!

I ask you, what would I do without my friends??! More stories from the writing world coming soon ... In the meantime, have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sea-ing stars ...

Happy Summer Monday! Signed copies of A Shore Thing and gabbed with readers new and old on Saturday at Barnes & Noble. Fun! About an hour before the signing I found this super pretty glass seastar necklace in my jewelry box. I forgot I owned it...isn't that weird? I actually picked it up a few years ago in a little shop in Cambria ~ the same town that serves as my inspiration for "Otter Bay". Loved wearing it, especially since it matches the seastar logo on each of my Otter Bay Novels.

Guess it was meant to be :) Have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

On hotel terror and signing books ...

Sorry for the long wait between posts ~ you were waiting, weren't you??? Ha ~ right! Anyway, like I wrote before, the trip to SF was amazing. I didn't mention, though, that teen daughter and I checked into a remodeled but tiny boutique hotel in downtown that, uh, scared the daylights out of us. Think: The Shining. We sent pictures to my husband and son with the title Tower of Terror (a creepy ride at Disney's California Adventure). We slept with my suitcase pressed against the narrow bedroom door and took the stairs because teen daughter thought a death-warmed-over bellhop might be waiting for us on the elevator. Ah, good times. Lol

The next day we moved to the Hilton :)

We were in SF so my daughter could attend an event called "3 Days of Fashion" at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She had a ball ... made new friends and met designer Nick Verreos (of Project Runway). Poor girl has a mother who prefers jeans and flip flops. She'll teach me yet! (or grow old trying ... :)

Booksigning Saturday!

Ah well, I'm back on the central coast where the weather is ... downright dreary! Give me sun, people! Even SF was warmer and brighter ~ can you believe it? Although this weather might just bring folks to my booksigning on Saturday, so bring on the clouds ;-)

If you're in the Ventura area on Saturday morning, stop by Barnes & Noble in the Gateway Plaza, Telephone Road, and say hello! I'll be signing copies of A Shore Thing and taking names ... for a drawing. What did you think?? B&H Publishing will be giving away a "Beach Book Chair" and I'll have plenty of chocolates around (of course!). Would love to see you.

Until then, have a beachy day ~ wherever you are!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

New things ... and a shore thing

I'm in San Francisco with my daughter who's taking classes in the area. While she's learning new things, I am too. This is the 1st ever post to my blog from my phone, so that's lesson learned numero uno. #2... I can read a map. Seriously, I have problems with directions, so I'm proud to announce that i've taken trolleys on multi occasions already and have managed to see some great sites, like the embarcadero, fisherman's wharf and more coffee places than you can count. Lol Anyone else 'directionally challenged'?

Visited Barnes & Noble and although they did not have my new book in stock (sadly!), they said they would order it in. If you live in the area, feel free to pop in and pick up one of the bookmarks I left at customer service.

#3 i love cheese. Ok, i already knew this but oh! I found this cool bakery-Acme, in the Ferry Bldg-and they make these awesome triple creme cheese sandwiches on rustic baguette. I've had one TWO days in a row! Sooo yum.

#4 Must remember to bring bandages in purse. All this walking is blister city!

And #5 This beach girl can navigate the city just fine (although it helps that the bay is just a trolley ride away ;).

Before I sign off, A Shore Thing "officially" released today!!! If you happen to spot it, I'd love to know where. Drop me a note, and I'll send you a bookmark. I'll send some to the store too!