Monday, March 30, 2009


So last Saturday, we set up a trampoline in our backyard that pretty much takes up 1/2 the postage stamp-sized space we've got. (If you follow me on Twitter--sorry--you've already heard about our new backyard adventure :)

For those who've expressed concern over safety, thanks, ha. My back's killing me today, but then again, I should've known better than to get on the thing in the first place. The kids are, of course, fine.

Seriously, this thing is HUGE. A friend was getting rid of it, said it was pretty small, and offered it to us (really generous of her, btw). I'd forgotten that she lived on an end of town where they actually have, um, yards. It pretty much swallows up ours.

But I have to say, the timing's perfect. Our kids are on break right now, and summer's just around the bend. So far it's had near constant activity--including a water balloon fight and one overnight usage with two girls and a dog :)

It's Monday, and like I said, the kid-doodles are home. I'm off to write my word count before they get up around mid-day (no more babies/toddlers in this house!) But if they get up before I'm done, it's no problem. I'll just send 'em outside (woot :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hittin' the beach, the lake, the pond, etc...:)

In a few short hours I'll be picking up Elementary Girl from a 1/2 day of school and spring break will begin. She's off all the way through Easter (unfortunately, my older two are not).

On a sunny note, it's beautiful here in California along the coast, and I'm hoping it'll stay that way through break. Daytripping to the beach (in between all the writing I still have to do, ack) ought to be the cheapest way to spend the time off. While the following link is premature for some, it's actually not for those of us on the central coast. Early summer is often foggy, but it's clear at this time of year--perfect for a pic-a-nic (dating myself with a Yogi bear reference, oh my ;)

Fun Beach Snacks for the Whole Family
Hitting the beach and not sure what foods to pack? Forget sloppy sandwiches and try these easier ideas for your family's picnic at the beach.

Have a beachy weekend--wherever you are!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

springin' forward

When finishing up my first book, Chocolate Beach, I asked a twenty-something friend to read it. She loved CB, and when I asked what she liked about the heroine, Bri, she said, "She's not like everybody else. She doesn't garden."


Apologies to my friends who'd rather not, but something about the spring emerging--sunlight, blossoms, tweety birds--makes me want to get outside and, um, garden. Alas, I'm chained to my desk these days. With a new deadline looming and spring break about to start for my three kiddos, I'm typing as fast as I can (and my shoulder's been on fire--argh).

Still I've managed to do a bit out there. Last week I cleaned out my fountain and got it going again. Now I can hear it through my open window while I work (yes!). And I pulled a bunch of those dreaded weeds, the ones that had cropped up near our grill. I was beginning to wonder if my cooking outside was a fire hazard with all those sprouts nearby.

I've also got plans to repaint the gate and plant a couple of vines--once I reach an acceptable word count, that is.

How about you? Any plans to spruce up the garden? Or is that just not your thang?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not so hot

Two days in the frigid desert, four games, one third place win. That pretty much sums up our weekend. Elementary Girl's team has been making the tournament rounds lately, and this one happened to be in the high desert. I'd heard that the weather was in the high 70s, so I figured hot, hot, hot--and packed for the overnight stay accordingly.

Who knew it snowed in the desert in March? (answer = me).

Yeah, yeah, I should have checked the forecast myself. Sigh. Our saving grace was the tattered old wool blanket we take to every game. Teen Daughter and I hid from the freezing, whipping wind by wrapping ourselves in it as best we could, managing to watch all four games (the cold got to us on day 2 and we fell into a giggle fit. Salty tears froze on my face ;)

At least we weren't playing in those games ourselves! And that's the funny part. Our team of 10 & 11 year old beach girls played super hard and had fun doing it. Go Vipers!

Other than seeing my girlie and pals play so well out there, another favorite part of the weekend was hiding out in Barnes & Noble between games on day 2. More than three hours in a bookstore with hot coffee--does that sound like heaven on earth or what?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Discount for Budding Authors

Happy Friday, my friends! Busy week and there's still much to do, but I had to pop in and tell you all about a fantastic deal for writers. Almost every year I attend the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Conference nestled in the redwoods near Santa Cruz. Alas, this year I'm not able to make it (pesky deadlines and all...) BUT I spoke with Dave Talbott the amazingly funny and talented director of the conference and he's offering a HUGE discount to last minute registrants.

From Dave: Anyone wanting to pursue the discount should go ahead and register and in the “Comments” box at the bottom of the on-line Registration form, note “Per Dave Talbott Discount.” That will do it. Their total bill will be figured, and $200 discounted before any credit card is processed.

Most of my article assignments over the years were a direct result of contacts made at Mt. H. I also met my cool agent, Steve Laube, there, and my first book contract (Chocolate Beach) came about as a result of the critiques I received during the mentoring program at the conference.

On top of all that, I've made great friends at Mt. H (I'll miss them this year!) and my spirit has soared during the intense worship times over the five-day conference.

So there you go. If God's been nudging you to take this next step, maybe this is your year. You can register here. You'll have to hurry because conference begins April 3!

Have a beachy weekend--wherever you are!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another great sunset

Hubby just sent this to me from his iphone. He took this pic last night on our walk, and with so much going on in the world, I thought it would be fun to give you this 'Ahhhhh' moment.

It's cool to note that the night wasn't clear, but a bit cloudy. Even with clouds the sunset was spectacular.

What was America Thinking?

As my teens might say, letting Alexis go was redonk. Anyone else notice that now there'll be too many average guys in the final 10 tour? Nice guys, yes, but maybe a little dull for a successful show. Just sayin'...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

American Idol, top 11

Popping in quick to say hello. I had my latte and pop tarts this morning and have been writing ever since. So much to do! My heroine's about to go through the door of no return, so to speak, and I'm just so stressed for her...;)

Last night I had my laptop out and continued to write while watching Am. Idol. Not much thrilled me, but I could've been distracted. You? I did get a little frightened off by Adam. He's an amazing artist, but that was just a bit creepy for me. Danny and Matt stick out best in my mind at the moment, oh and Megan too.

Any guesses about who'll leave tonight? I'm thinking Michael or Scott. This one will be sad because whoever leaves misses the tour by 'that much.' Ouch.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

sunset daze

Love the longer days. It's been warm enough to walk along the beach at sunset (although my hands are a bit icy by the time we return!). The other eve, Elem. Girl and I walked Charlie the Dog to the beach and before I knew it, the two were running down the shore and plunking into the frigid sea. My girl's nearly in middle school, so I'm savoring these times (although sandy, wet jeans--not so much ;).


Enjoyed DWTS last eve, and Melissa continues to amaze. Think with me here for a minute. What woman could be dumped on TV six weeks ago and then given three days notice to appear on DWTS, and look (& move) like that? Seriously, if it had been me, I would have been weighed down by all the fat & calorie-laden wallowing I'd been doing. Go, Melissa!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Women's Expo

Just thought I'd pop back in here with a pic from the Women's Expo. The theme for the weekend is "the power of WE". Bank of Books in Ventura did a great job setting up the Author's Corner, which was bigger than I'd expected. Chatted with some fascinating people and signed a bunch of books :p

See you Monday!

bookmark this

Sweet Waters will be released in mid-summer, but promotion kicks off today. I was invited to participate in the local Women's Expo, so I'll be there signing copies of Chocolate Beach and Truffles by the Sea, and handing out beachy Sweet Waters bookmarks produced by my new publisher, B&H Fiction. Pretty, pretty! Both sides are shown there in the pic.

After that, I think I'll grab a vanilla latte and sit at the beach for a while. How about you? Any big plans coming up? No matter what, I hope you have a beachy weekend--wherever you are ;p

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oh, ha ha ha! Guess the keepin' up with the Jones' thing has been around awhile.

Sad, but true.

Speaking of having it all, I wrote a piece awhile ago about having our luxuries for less because, well, let's face it...I'm a cheapskate who likes nice things. In this economy, that's not such a bad thing really (the cheapskate part anyway). And it's good stewardship too :) You can read about having your Luxuries...for Less here. If you have the chance to read it, please come on back and tell me what you do to maintain your lifestyle during down turns.


On another note, sad to see Jasmine and Jorge leave AI last night. I thought it a bit premature for Jasmine, particularly, but frankly, there's some hot talent in this group. I'm on the fence about who'll go next guess (based on this week) would be Scott, Michael or Matt, although I do like them all. The top 10 go on tour, so the next boot-off will be significant!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol, Top 13

As much as I've NOT enjoyed the revamped system of whittling down the contestants, I believe that was the best Top 12 (er, '13') show I've seen. Everybody can actually sing and perform, so props to the people--and the judges--for putting the contestants there.

It's hard to say who'll go since the judges are planning to mix things up a bit tonight. Not sure what they're planning but I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the phone line controversy. Anyone voting for Alexis Grace, #13 last night, had to dial a special number--otherwise they'd get a message from a not-so-nice dating service.

If the results come down to a straight vote, then I'd guess that Anoop and Jorge would go. When Teen Daughter saw Anoop's jacket she was sure he was going to sing Thriller, but performing Beat It was almost as bad. And Jorge's a sweetie, but the song was kind of boring, I thought.

Predictions? Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Studying Esther, Talking 'bout Melissa

Late post today as I was studying Esther with the gals all morning. Extrememly intense lesson--yowsa. Still processing and will probably do a special post about that. Until then, wanted to take a minute to acknowledge our girl on DWTS last night.

Melissa Rycroft did very well, don't you think? I really like her and how she handled some tough stuff with grace. Wrote a bit about her new gig, so I hope you'll click the link below and stop on by. Until then, have a beachy day--wherever you are.

Bachelor's Melissa Rycroft Joins the Colorful Cast of Dancing with the Stars

Monday, March 09, 2009

New review of Truffles by the Sea

Happy Monday my friends! Sarah, an editor at Bethany House, sent over a review of Truffles by the Sea that appeared recently in Libraries Alive. I LOVED writing Gaby--such a kind-hearted, gentle and dramatic soul, that one--so I'm thrilled to see this terrific review of her story:


Gaby Flores, the main character in this delightful novel, reminds us of Job since everything seems to go wrong for her. She owns a flower shop where an employee steals money and merchandise from her. A former client sues her for using ugly flowers for her wedding even though Gaby tried to talk her out of the color scheme she chose. Gaby’s apartment burns to the ground. She almost drowns in a kayaking incident. On top of all this, she can’t seem to find the right guy for her. She vows to be gullible no more and her faith is put to the test. Brownies from her best friend and truffles help her get back her life. A very enjoyable read. Rating: 4—PD

You can find more about Truffles on Amazon or


And in other breaking news, did y'all read the uncomfirmed report that Melissa--our Melissa from The Cad Bachelor--will be on Dancing with the Stars starting tonight? Holy cow, they'll attempt anything to to lure me/us back to ABC, won't they? Lol...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

American Idol, Top 12...almost

Ohhhh...key. So we've got our top 9 with last night going as I predicted. Like it was that difficult to guess, lol... Tonight there's a sing off, right? Isn't that what I heard? What did y'all think of the 8 who are getting another chance? I was super surprised they didn't put Felicia and Ju'not through after all the props the judges gave them, but not shaken at all about their choice to bring Tatiana back. First, the girl can sing, and second, her dramatics--the crying and near fainting--mean RATINGS (remember The Bachelor???) Not that I'd like to see this week after week...

Speaking of The Bachelor, Patty posted the following comment on my last post about the 'historic' finale: Just for the sake of is the fact that this played out on the finale different than if it had played out on an earlier episode? The proposal??

I responded that breakups leading up to the finale were par for the course and expected. What showed a lack of maturity was breaking off the actual engagement on camera. This is my opinion, so chime in with your thoughts, okay Ladies and Gents?

And I'll leave you with this post to check out by Bill Giovanetti, giving his take on why Jason was doomed to mess up.

Have a beachy day...wherever you are!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

American Idol, Round 3

Posted a little review/recap over at Associated Content. You can click on the link below to check it out. Prediction for tonight's top 3: Lil, Scott and Jorge.

American Idol, Round 3: The Good, the Bad and the Quirky
This family can't get enough of American Idol in all its quirky glory. And some surprisingly winning performances make Round 3 the best of the bunch.

Stuck in High School

Remember high school when you'd miss your entire Algebra lesson because you were daydreaming about Mr. Cutie-Pie while doodling on your PeeChee folder? And then, within a week, you actually got the chance to talk to totally-hot guy only to discover that he smelled like BO and old Cheetos?

That's pretty much how I'm feeling about Jason the Cad (formerly The Bach). No doubt the twists and turns in what seemed like a pretty straight forward Bachelor love story brought ratings galore for its network and RealitySteve was vindicated. But in the end, the whole scenario stunk like old socks. Actually, old wet socks that had been left in a pile underneath a teenager's bed.

Am I painting the picture of how I really feel yet? (Not that I'm bitter or anything, LOL...)

So for those who've asked, that's how I felt about The Bachelor Finale, ATR and ATR2. I'm not convinced that the network set up the entire mess, but I do maintain that Jason made a terrible mistake agreeing to drag Melissa's heart through the mud while on the air. Somewhere in that decision making progress, the high road was overlooked.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Still laughing...

Decided to take a break from writing and found Charlie the Dog had slipped into something more comfortable. LOL Seriously, he did this all on his own.

Excuse me while I die laughing...;p

got laughter?

This past Saturday, I attended a memorial for a friend--my 6th in less than a year. More and more I'm reminded of the brevity of life and how important it is to live life joyfully.

For some reason, this cartoon cracked me up...maybe it's because the older I become the more age-defying products I seem to be buying ;).

Have a beachy day--wherever you are!