Thursday, August 30, 2007

Drumroll, please...

We've got TWO winners in our Name the Chat event set for October. This from Katie:

We presented our favorites to the Borders event planner this week, and ended up combining two entries and then tweaking them some more. We liked Becca's "Border's Inspired", and we like Janneke's "Chocolate, murder, and promises." So ladies, you both get copies of all three books!

Currently the title is: "Borders Inspirational: Promises, chocolate... and murder," with a few small changes still possible.

So yay, and congratulations to you ladies! And thanks so much to all of you for playing along. If you're in the area for our event, we'd love to see you there:

Goleta, CA,
Friday, October 12, 7 pm.
with James Scott Bell, Kathryn Cushman & Julie Carobini (that's me :)

Author readings, free samples from the Borders cafe (you already know how I feel about free stuff), and of course... CHOCOLATE!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If you give a writer a cookie

...she'll link to you.

I've been teetering on a health kick since deciding to head out to Dallas next month for the ACFW conference. Some of the attendees have actually signed on for the weight loss challenge in anticipation. Whoa. So not going there. But still it got me thinking, so I've actually run a bit more and curtailed my obsession with hankering for all things chocolate.

Anyway, saw this ad for a free snack and I, uh, bit. Marketing at its finest, I tell you, but what do I care? They're sending me a cookie--with chocolate in it!--so I'm passing their info along. You just answer a few questions and they'll tell ya what they'll send you. For free. Here's the link.

To health...and free stuff :) Let me know what you get.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Last chance (almost)

Back in the day, when someone went on and on (and on) about something, we'd say they sounded like "a broken record." The same holds true, but how many get that these days? What should we say instead-- 'a scratched cd'? Or how about a 'beeping microwave'?

And really, who cares?

Well, me, actually. Because that's what I think I'm sounding like. But I wanted to give ya one last chance to, say this together, Buy a Book, Feed a Child. August is almost done--can you believe it?--so there're just a few days left to give 10% of your book buying bill (any book, not just mine) to the sweet kiddos who need it over at Compassion International. It's easy. It's quick. So if you're in a giving mood, just click on that button on my sidebar and you'll be on your way. Gracias, my friends.

Nothin' like a day at the beach

Monday, August 27, 2007

That'll teach 'em

If your kids are grown and gone, or even if you've never had any, grab a cup of coffee and have a laugh while reading this ebay post.

And if you've still got little kiddos at home, take heart. The mother who posted the above-noted description on ebay has had more media offers than Paris Hilton.

Babysitter, anyone?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday Afternoon Post

Lazy day around here. Soccer was supposed to start but didn't, kind of a last minute thing. For those of you who do not live in laid-back CA, that's probably absurd, but yes, we just learned yesterday that the season's start was moved to next week, and so we carry on.

Anyway, as I was saying, it's been a lazy, run-at-the-beach and mow-the-lawn-kind-of- day around here and so I found this little quiz. Given that my hub's from PA, and that I always crack up when we're visiting back East and someone offers me "pop" instead of "soda", I found this quirky and fun and completely useless. But still. I'm bored, so I went with it. And just so you know, there was no question about Spanglish or else the entire outcome would have been notably altered.

Quiz on:
Your Linguistic Profile:

50% General American English
20% Dixie
15% Yankee
10% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern

Friday, August 24, 2007

friday fodder

Book Clubs are hot, hot, hot these days, so my publisher has put together a kewl newsletter for aficionados of the read-and-discuss-it scene. You can find it here.

Speaking of unrelated thoughts, a movie is currently being filmed in nearby Ventura beach. Called Endless Bummer, it's your classic guy gets board, loses board, then finds board again surf movie. Hey, I didn't write it, I'm just reporting. And while we're on the subject of Ventura based movies, I'm thinking what the big screen really needs is some Chocolate Beach (no offense to Bummer, which I'm sure will be a big hit.)

Locally-filmed movies and I go way, way (way) back to middle school when a talent scout (and I use the term loosely) flagged my pal and me down to be extras in this blockbuster of 1978. We thought we'd 'made it' (to the big time, baby!) Seriously, we stood this close to Ed Begley, jr. (in his pre uber-green days), Ruth Buzzi (without her hairnet), Isaac from Love Boat (he has a real name but this is how I'll always remember him), and for you Angelenos, Rick Dees from Kiss-FM wearing an ape suit and singing the classic, Disco Duck.

I'm so not making this up.

Ahhh to be young and carefree and looking for fame. Maybe I'll take a little walk down by the beach later today, 'cuz you never know--the film makers just might be on the lookout for, um, 'mature' (yet still-so-cool-in-her-own-mind) talent. I'll bring my own board.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Problem solved...

I've got much to do, yet little accomplished. So I'm retreating from the blogging world (but I'll take breaks :) and focusing on my next book because, basically, Elementary Girl laughed when she looked over my shoulder last night and saw how little I'd written all day. Busted.

Until we meet again (say, after another 2k words written...), here's a little something for your quizzing pleasure:

Your Mind is 60% Cluttered

Your mind is starting to get cluttered, and as a result, it's a little harder for you to keep focused. Try to let go of your pettiest worries and concerns. The worrying is worse than the actual problems!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A few years ago, I dropped by church early one mid-week morning and an older gentleman asked how I was doing.

"Doing well," I answered. "The kids started school today."

He looked at me with a big, wrinkled grin and said, "Well then, Happy Mother's Day!"

So there you go. It's the first day for many Ventura County students, so while all their brains are sponging up more smarts, how about the rest of us hit the beach?

See you there...


A big 'Thank You' to all who entered our little Name that Chat contest. We're still mulling, so if you have any more ideas, be sure to post them in the 8/20 comments section.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Write for three

Happy Monday, everyone!

Okay all you creative types, want to win three, autographed books? On October 12, authors James Scott Bell (Try Dying) and Kathryn Cushman (A Promise to Remember), will join me, author of Chocolate Beach, in the Santa Barbara area for a book signing / author chat at Borders in Goleta. The event director for Borders has asked us to come up with a "catchy title" for the event, and that's where you and your right-brains come in ;)

So here's the deal. Submit your catchy title via comment here or at Katie's blog. The person who submits the best title, as determined by the authors, and ultimately the Borders event planner, will receive signed copies of all three novels.

Feel free to pass along this info to friends and/or link to your blog. Lines are open and operators are standing by... (Okay, not really, but that sounded official, don't you think?)

Friday, August 17, 2007

disney strikes again

You do know what today is, right? Yep, High School Musical II debuts, and all three-all 3!--of my kids have been invited to High School Music watching parties. Actually, one of the parties is over at my house (what was I thinking?).

I heard Teen Son on the phone inviting guests: "Hey, it's lame, but my mom's buying pizza, so it'll be fun."

He's planning to Tivo it, so yeah, we'll be singing catchy tunes and viewing cliched scenes late into the night. We'll also be checking out Zac Efron's new 'do and watching to see if he and Vanessa Hudgens can still belt out the winning duet. But at least it's clean fun, so I really can't complain (too much).

And there'll be pizza. There's always that.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Promise to Remember

Psst...go on over and welcome Katie to the blogosphere. She's cool :)


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

P-nut butter jelly time

The girls are in school already which means I've been spending my mornings padding around the kitchen in my slippers making the all-American lunch. So for your quizzing pleasure, I submit the following scientific survey:

You Are a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

You are a traditional person with very simple tastes.
In your opinion, the best things in life are free, easy, and fun.
You totally go with the flow. And you enjoy every minute of it!

Your best friend: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Ham Sandwich

(Just so you know, ham's okay as long as there's gooey cheese with it...;)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

So last night I'm invited to a book club gathering where our host, Kim B., has planned a dinner inspired by Chocolate Beach: grocery-bought chickens (the kind from under a heat lamp), bag salad, chocolate chili (yeah, you read that right), and brownies. Of course. See, heroine Bri is not much of a cook, unless chocolate's somehow involved, and then she's a regular Bobby Flay.

Okay, so not exactly. The book club's menu had originally included risotto, which no one could find, but if you've read Chocolate Beach, then you'd probably agree that this was for the best :)

Anyway, we sat outside in beach chairs surrounding a fire pit that roared into the night. We laughed and ate and bagged on Ty, Bri's boss from the book. Great fun. A shout out goes to the book club gals who treated this newbie writer so graciously, and that includes stuffing me with fun foods: Kim B (thanks for the zebra flip flops and hosting the night :), Kim, Heather, Lisa, Debbie, Audrey, Donna (good job on that choco-rich chili!), and Doris.
You all Rock!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Feed them

Happy Sunday! Over on my sidebar you'll find a button that leads to a link where you can buy a stack of summer/fall reads. Ten percent of each book purchased (any books, not just ones I've written!) will be donated to the children of Compassion International. Today's a beautiful day to give, don't you think?

Friday, August 10, 2007

worth a thousand words...(and that's about it)

Here's our fearless outrigger team from the big corporate challenge race last weekend. Grrr. (Scary, huh) Left to right there's Paul, Annette, Susan, me and Dan.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Woke up at 12:30ish this morning to a California earthquake. Was a small one, about 4.5, but it prodded me out of sleep anyway. Anyone else feel it?

Teen Son got his learner's permit this week. Pray for him/us, will ya?

This is a true story: Teen Son ate at Famous Italian Restaurant the other night with the grandparents when 1/2 way through his dinner, he found a fly in it. I am not making this up. Dinner was comped. Is that not comic strip material? So ew.

Come on back tomorrow for a Ca-razy Friday Foto :-]]

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tuesday tidbits

Even though my girls are starting school next week already, I'm still in summer mode. Basically, I'm only kicking and screaming my way into an early fall. It's August, so I still want to fall asleep on a chaise lounge with a book on my heart. Is that so much to ask?

Sigh. I read a fun one a couple of weeks ago, and I won it, which made it all the more special, lol. The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt is a modern day retelling of Job. I cringed and swooned while reading about poor Jane and her misfortunes. The worst part? I read it so fast that I was sorry it was over. Really fun.

For my friends in the Dallas area, there'll be a booksigning open to the public during the annual ACFW conference on September 22, and I'll be there with a smile and a pen. I'll post more info as I receive it. Would love to see you (if you've already bought a book, just bring it :)

Teen Son's helping me with a myspace. I'd tell you how to look it up, but I've forgotten myself. Such a dork. Anyway, when I can get that info, I'll post it here.

If you're in the Santa Barbara area in mid-October, I'll be signing books with a couple of author buddies. See my website for details.

I'm off to find that lounge chair and the current book I'm reading, Snitch by Rene Gutteridge. Have a beachy day...;)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Oh, Mr. Darcy!

"You bewitch me, body and soul."

Sigh. That, my friends, is one of my favorite lines from Pride and Prejudice. And be still my romantic heart, but a fictionalized version of the beloved author's life is being released on film next week.

So to satisfy the whim of Austen fans everywhere, my publisher, Bethany House, is releasing a couple of new books about Jane just in time. You can check them out here. (If you buy them through my cbd link, 10% of your purchase will go to feed children in poverty-stricken countries. See my website for more details.)

Imagine. Jane and I published by the same House. Will wonders never cease...

For your British romance quizzing pleasure:

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Welcome Blogging Chicks! For more fun posts, check out today's carnival here.

Friday, August 03, 2007

fickle friday

Came across more than a couple blogs this week asking the age-old question, "Where have all the bloggers gone?" I think the answer would be "Hawaii" (or some less-affordable vacation option such as Detroit). Anyway, the point is, summertime has thrown people off their schedules. It's ripped them from their quaint though often-mocked routines. Still the die-hards blog and wonder if there's anything such as loyalty anymore. Will people not understand that bloggers wake up in the morning, not wondering about the weather and what to wear, but how many hits they've had already?

Okay, that's just me. But by the posts I've read lately, I've got compadres.

I'm one to talk, though, cuz I'm not reading that many blogs these days either. And Friday's the lowest day of the week anyway...

Just to show you how fickle these days are, I took a bunch of quizzes before deciding on this one. Even took one that asks are you stupid? and decided I didn't like the answer... So for your quizzing pleasure:

Your Quirk Factor: 40%

You have a few little quirks, but you generally blend in well with society.
Only those who know you well know how weird you can be.

To those who know me: Ain't it the truth!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Still working for chocolate

Someone mentioned that I've not been blogging about writing lately. Can't really say why other than that I've fallen into a bit of a sunny days malaise--can you relate or what?

That's not to say that I haven't been writing, because I have. Lots. Let's see. I made some editorial changes to Truffles by the Sea--did I mention you can preorder it from Amazon? For some reason, the cover's not up, so if you haven't seen it that means--tsk, tsk--you haven't yet signed up for my newsletter (I revealed it there about a month ago.) You can sign up here for my occasional newsletter (bottom right hand corner), and scouts honor, I won't give out your e-addy. Anyway, here's my new cover! Sa-weet!:

You can also read about Truffles by the Sea on my website. (Have I mentioned to y'all how much weight I gained while writing these choco-themed books? Not pretty. Guess it explains the sudden interest in racing outriggers. LOL)

On top of prepping Truffles... for its impending birth, I've been working on a series involving--buh, buh, buh--guess I shouldn't give it away yet. Having a ball with this one too, and hope to reveal more soon :).

Okay, lots of writers stop by here, and if you're one of them, how's the writing going on your end? Busy working or busy playing? NO judgment here either way. Seriously, I've got the wind and waves calling me out of my office nearly every day (well, that or one of my three kids, lol), so I'm not exactly one to talk.

So catch me up!