Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Take this down, Smitty

I'm sending out my every-once-in-a-while NEWSletter today. So if you've never signed up, I'd love to have you. Stop on by the home page of my website: or find the sign up over on my blog sidebar. Thanks!

Also, and I think you're really gonna love this, my editor Karen Ball posted some super fun pictures of a raft of playful sea lions PLUS a video of the slippery creatures all huddled and floating together in the sea. Very fun and cute to watch. You can visit Karen's blog by clicking HERE.

Off to write...drop a line as I love hearing from you. Have a beachy day--wherever you are!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Morning Friends ~ Found the following quote on Michael Hyatt's blog this morning and thought it might be as helpful to busy you as it is to busy me:

Multi-tasking is dead. It never worked and it never will. Intelligent people love to sing its praises because it gives them permission to avoid the much more challenging alternative: focusing on one thing. — Timothy Ferriss

O Lord, help us find our way to excellence today by focusing on one thing at a time. Amen.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Process--from the writer's mind to store shelves (brief version :)


That's all I can say. Well, not exactly all (just ask anyone who knows me ;)

In the past week I wrote a bazillion words for my book due June 1, met a writer pal for lunch, wrote three online articles, and judged a writing contest (still working on those...) I also proofed the galleys of Sweet Waters, which will be released this summer, as well as its front and back cover. (VERY pretty, by the way. Tried to upload it here but it's in a .pdf and no can do).

The Process
Anyway, it's an amazing process from start to finish, this book writing thing. I wrote Sweet Waters last year and turned it in to my fabulous editor, Karen Ball. While Karen began the editing process, the sales & marketing team led by the innovative Julie Gwinn started early promotions.

I remember being in New York last fall and getting emails from marketing (already--yahoo!). Soon after ARCs-Advanced Reader Copies--were printed up. This is done early so that media outlets will be able to read & review the book in time for their own deadlines.

During that same trip--when we'd reached Pennsylvania--I had to hide out in our rental van in order to have a quiet spot to talk with my editor (hee!) At that point, she suggested some changes, and right after we touched down in California, I was back at work, revising the manuscript.

After that came the line edits. Each week I'd receive chapters of the book with Karen's revision. A GREAT learning process for a writer--loved it! There was some back and forth, and then a little more back and forth and a couple of busy holidays wedged in between. Marketing continued their promotions (including the creation of some cool bookmarks for a last minute book signing) while I began work on another book.

And then, finally, like I mentioned earlier, I received the galleys--the final designed pages of Sweet Waters --as well as the beautiful new front and back cover. On Saturday I overnighted the package with some minor changes to Nashville, and Houston, we have a completed book! (Okay, so B&H still has a bit of work to do...:)

Speaking of which, I'm so grateful for the team at B&H Publishing Group--and for my readers. Just last night I received the coolest email from an acquaintance on Facebook. She didn't even know I was a writer--our connection came through a friend AND through our mutual love of the sea. But she works for a Christian Bookstore in Florida and when someone recently bought one of my books, she recognized my name and said, "Hey, I know her from Facebook!" Love that!

Although Sweet Waters is on its way to print, I've still got more writing to do. In fact, I'll be doing just that for most of the day, so don't be shy. Feel free to drop me a line, as I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

C-razy days

A quick pop-in to say Hey! Duty calls and I'm writing like crazy. A shout out to my friend Tami who's been praying me through it today--woot!--it's working my friend.

Sorry for the sporadic posts. If you happen to be on Twitter, please look for me will you? Twitter name: juliecarobini Those micro posts are easier during this ultra busy deadline time.

Before I go, who do you think will leave American Idol tonight? Two have to go and my guess is it'll be Lil and Matt. Possibly Anoop for wearing pink, lol... The rest are just too fabulous, in my opinion.

Guesses, anyone?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Celebrity Sighting--Danny G!

So I recently learned that Danny Gokey--yes, the Danny G!--visited nearby. Waaah...I didn't get to meet him, BUT I interviewed one of the young gals who did and wrote about it for The Examiner. Posted a cute picture of the two of them too. You can read that here.

Off to write! Have a great day--and don't forget to watch American Idol,'cuz it's DISCO NIGHT.

Last dance, it's my last chance for lo-o-ve...sing it Donna...Lol...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Did y'all see 17 Again? (I did not). Not sure if I mentioned this but a week or so ago I went with the kiddos to see the Hannah Montana Movie at midnight--and it was packed. Guess there's nothing much to do in this town, Lol... Teens and tweens and weary parents everywhere.

But actually, we had fun. Our youth pastor came along with us, probably wondering why, and we laughed at the absurdity of watching a movie in a theater full of kids on a Thursday at midnight.

So anyway, I kind of want to see Zack Efron transform into Matthew Perry...and kinda not. Both daughters caught the movie and it's pretty much been a Zack-baby admiration society around here all weekend.

As for me, I did too much driving this past week--including a two hour round trip drop off at Magic Mountain (Six Flags) on Saturday. So yesterday the hub and I rode our bikes in our beach town, grabbing the sun and the breeze and working off a week's worth of flab (mine, of course, as I wasn't suggesting he had any.)

GREAT afternoon and while watching all the pretty boats on the sea, I got a fantastic idea. What say we all ditch our son's boat, the one with the GAPING HOLE in it--and buy something sparkly and new and rent a dock so we can play with it all the live long summer?

Of course, he just laughed in his hearty way. But I was serious and persisted and then I got a sign from above: a lady bug landed on his sleeve. I put my hand on hub's arm and allowed the little critter to climb aboard my finger, all the while persisting with the boating idea. Hub, of course, continued to twitter and guffaw, so I held up the lady bug and said, "C'mere and let me put a bug in your ear."

That pretty much did it. Giggles and laughter everywhere. Still didn't talk him into the new boat, but it was fun trying. Almost felt, well, like being 17 again. :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Friday!

Haven't mentioned much about *yawn* American Idol this year. I'm still watching but just not as interested. Could be all the deadlines on my plate, I just don't know. How about you? Are you as thrilled as you once were or...? Right now, I really don't have a clue who will win.

Adam? (great voice but will his theatric ways receive the votes?)
Danny (memorable voice and personality, but can he beat Adam's chops?)
Alison (fabulous voice but will middle America vote for the pink hair?)
Matt (will his 'save' go down as divine?)
Kris (a dark horse?)
Lil (will there be a comeback?)
Anoop (will he swap the preppy look and come out a winner?)

See, these are the questions I have. What do you think?

Before you go, please check out a brief article I wrote for The Examiner about a promotion is doing with Compassion International. Just can't say enough good stuff about that organization. You can read that HERE.

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm in LA, but...!

Have a fieldtrip today with Elementary Girl's class, but I learned that the Tree Swing Reading Blog is giving away a pile of books. And--no hints!--guess which author has two books waiting for a home? Hmm?

Actually, there are a bunch of titles I'd also like to have from that list (I already have several.) If you feel the same, hop on over there. There's no time like the present for FREE STUFF. (Pretty much my motto these days, ha.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Good things to report

I'm writing like the wind today as I'll be taking tomorrow off to attend an all day field trip with Elementary Girl. Wanted to pop in, though, and tell you about some fun endorsements for my upcoming release, Sweet Waters:

Reading Sweet Waters is like taking a beach vacation from the comfort of your own living room.

Julie Carobini paints a beautiful story of fresh starts, painful secrets, and the depth of a family’s love. The small town beach setting is as soothing as the sound of waves, and so well drawn I could almost smell the salt in the air. Engaging, fast paced, and romantic. Highly recommended.

~ Kathryn Cushman, Author, A Promise to Remember and Waiting for Daybreak


As sure as the ocean ebbs and flows with the tide, so life changes take the characters from one adventure to another in Julie Carobini’s latest release, Sweet Waters. Exhilarating, fresh and warm as the summer breeze, this book is fun from start to finish. Grab your tanning oil and beach towel and immerse yourself in a great read that’s sure to make a splash when it hits the store shelves!

~ Diann Hunt, Author, For Better or For Worse

Me here again. I feel so honored to receive these endorsements! Sweet Waters releases in late July, so I'm hoping that readers will pick it up as a way to extend their summer. (See how I think? I'm always looking for a way to prolongue summer months :D Lol...)

Talk soon, Julie

Monday, April 13, 2009


So on Saturday my husband surprised me with an iPhone for my birthday. I've wanted one for a long time, but I'm super cheap. That, and every time we're eligible for a trade-in on our plan, one of the kids somehow weasels it out of me. I use the castoffs.

Not anymore, baby! Lol...seriously, this thing is amazing. I'm obsessed. The world at my fingertips. Just yesterday after church I noticed my brother had tried to reach me. (I hadn't picked up his call because I was in service at the time, of course :) So anyway, before I called him back I checked email and--voila!--turns out he had proposed to his beautiful girlfriend and she'd sent a picture of the ring on her hand. See the beauty of up to the minute news? (Yes, that was me screaming in the church parking lot...)

A shout out to my husband who managed to surprise me (even though I told him over and over again not to get me a thing). You done good!

Alas, it's been a weekend of feasting with my birthday and Easter in just the past couple of days. I've gained much poundage and will have to get busy this week to shed it all, but then again I need to put B I C (butt in chair) in order to catch up on all the writing I didn't do while the kids were on spring break.

Do you see the conundrum here? ha.

p.s. Weren't you thrilled to learn of the US Captain's rescue yesterday? Me too!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Celebrating Christ's resurrection today! It's sunny and beautiful this morning, but even if it were not, the incredible message of love and forgiveness that this day represents would be joy enough.

We're heading off to church, then a little beach walk, and finally dinner with fam. Here's to a beachy Easter day, my friends--wherever you are!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Chat with Sara

UPDATE: Sara's husband Keith died suddenly last Tuesday night. He was 40 and together they have three children. It is the desire of her writing friends to help her do what she cannot at this tough time: promote her work. THANK YOU to all who have purchased Sara's books. Not only have you discovered a new talent, but you've helped provide for a grieving family. We love you Sara.

If you've not yet had the chance to read Sara's interview, please read on:

Today I'd like to introduce you to writer, Sara Mills, author of the Allie Fortune Mystery Series.

Booklist had this to say about her current release, Miss Match: Full of adventure and suspense, and thick with intrigue, this book is impossible to put down. The sense of danger that permeates the work, especially in the bleak European setting, gives the book a film noir feeling.

Friend and author, Cara Putman recently interviewed Sara about her unique series. Let's listen in...

Miss Fortune and Miss Match are delightful books set in NYC in 1947. Tell us how you got the idea for Allie and these books...

I got the idea for Miss Fortune in the middle of the night, when all good ideas come to me: One sleepless night I was watching The Maltese Falcon and I started to wonder how different the story would be if Sam Spade had been a woman. She'd never have fallen for Miss Wunderly's charms and lies. She'd have been smart and tough and she would have solved the case in half the time it took Sam because she wouldn't spend all of her time smoking cigarettes and calling her secretary Precious.

The thought of a hard-boiled female detective got my mind whirling.

I paused the movie and sat in my darkened living room thinking about how much fun a female Sam Spade could be. Intrigued but not yet ready to dash to my computer, I changed disks and put on Casablanca (my all time favorite movie ever). The sweeping love story, a tale full of hard choices and sacrifice was what finally made the whole idea click in my mind. If I could just combine the P.I. detective story of the Maltese Falcon with the love story from Casablanca, and make Sam Spade more of a Samantha, I could have the best of all worlds.

These books are so good, I wish I'd written them. How did you set the stage to capture that gritty PI feel without being dark?

I find that a lot of PI stories are gritty and dark, focusing on the worst of the humanity, and while I wanted the Allie Fortune mysteries to be exciting and tension-filled I didn’t want them to be stark and hopeless.

One of the things I tried to do to counteract the darkness was to give Allie a multi-layered life. She has cases, relationships, friends and family, all of which I hope combine to make the stories textured, rich and full of life.

Allie is a character I'd love to have coffee with. What did she teach you while you wrote these books?

Allie was a great character to write. One of the things I learned from her was that human relationships (man/woman, mother/daughter, friends) are complicated and full of unspoken rules and expectations. Allie is a rule-breaker at heart and it complicates her life on a regular basis. One of the storylines I loved most is Allie’s relationship with her mother and how it grows and changes and how it’s shaped her.

Another dimension of Allie’s character that really taught me a lot was her willingness to do whatever was needed to help those she loves. There is no price on that kind of friendship and it’s a characteristic I’d like to see more of in myself. Okay I admit it, I’ve got a bit of a friend-crush on Allie. LOL.

One last question: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would that be and who would you take with you?

If I could go anywhere right now I’d head to Monterey, California (I’m writing a book set there right now) and I’d plant myself on the beach with a notebook, writing my story as the waves crashed. Sounds like my idea of heaven on earth. There’s something about the wind-shaped Cypress trees and the crash of the surf in Monterey that calls to me. I don’t know why, it just is.

Here's a bit more about Sara's books:

Miss Fortune, Allie Fortune Mystery Series #1
By Sara Mills / Moody Publishers

In 1947 Allie Fortune is the only female private investigator in New York City, but she's kept awake at night by a mystery of her own: her fianci disappeared in the war and no one knows if he's still alive. Until Allie finds out, she will have no peace. When there's a knock on her office door at four in the morning, Allie suspects trouble as usual, and Mary Gordon is no exception. Mary claims someone is following her, that her apartment has been ransacked, and that she's been shot at, but she has no idea why any of this is happening. Allie takes the case, and in the process discovers an international mystery that puts her own life in danger.
Meanwhile, the FBI is working the case as well, and she is partnered up with an attractive, single agent who would be perfect for her under other circumstances-if only she knew whether her fiance was still alive.

Miss Match, Allie Fortune Mystery Series #2

FBI agent Jack O'Connor receives a letter from Maggie, a woman he used to love, saying she's in trouble in Berlin. The FBI refuses to get involved, so Jack asks Allie Fortune to help him investigate. Allie and Jack pose as a missionary couple who want to bring orphans back to the United States.
A child finds important documents that everyone in the city - Soviets and allies alike - want for themselves. Maggie refuses to tell Jack what the documents are, saying if things go wrong, they are better off not knowing. Through the course of the search, Allie's past is brought back to her, half a world away from home.

You can visit Sara at

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


In the words of Carrie Underwood at the ACM awards the other night "I got nothin'." This after the shock of learning she'd won Entertainer of the Year.

As for me, I've been drawing a blank all week here on my blog. Unusual, I know. But I've upped my daily word count on my current WIP to 2k, plus it's Easter week and my youngest is at home. Plus, plus, I've just accepted some writing assignments for an online newspaper.

So maybe that's why I've got nothin' else.

Ever felt that way? Like you're so overloaded that you're frozen? So how do you handle the stress? Are you able to break away for awhile or do you plough through? I'm just looking for some coping mechanisms that don't involve chocolate because, frankly, my seat's expanding, Lol...

Seriously, it's your turn today. Write to me. Entertain me. Fill me in on how you do all you do. In the words of Frasier Crane, I'm listening...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Here birdy, birdy

Happy Palm Sunday, my friends. We got up super early this morning to watch Elementary Girl's 3rd soccer game of the weekend, followed by church and an afternoon bike ride along the beach. While tooling along the coast, Hubby noticed this amazing bird and snapped a shot with his iPhone. I believe it's a Great Egret (Birders, feel free to jump in here.)

Pretty, huh?

Tomorrow it's back to work. See you then (on my break that is, Lol...)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Thinkin' about Truffles

It's a longer wait between books this time around, but the reviews and endorsements for Sweet Waters have begun to come in--yahoo! I hope to post a couple for you next week.

In the meantime, Tracy Keck over at Seed Thoughts posted a new review of Truffles by the Sea. If you haven't had a chance to read this fun book about Gaby "Always the Florist, Never the Bride" Flores, I hope you'll add it to your reading list. Gaby has stayed close to my heart :)

You can read Tracy's review HERE.

You can pick up Truffles by the Sea at Amazon or B&N or

Thanks for stopping by this sunny Friday morning. Another two-day soccer tourney awaits us, only this time in a town that's closer and warmer than the last (woot!). May you have a beachy weekend my friends--wherever you are!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Midweek update

Is it Thursday already? Gah! As I've said before, life's been whacky this week. Despite the schedule upheaval, I've still been able to write my daily word count, but blogging--not so much.

Here's a quick update of my week:

~ Yesterday I traveled to Studio City with my girls and mom and had lunch w/my sis in law and super-cute baby nephew. While there we ran into the two hunks from Desperate Housewives pictured above having lunch at Aroma Cafe. Such is the life of a novelist...haha...not.

~ Missed Am. Idol last night but read it online. Did Megan really come off as disrespectful? She's an amazing talent, but maybe this was harder than she had imagined. What do you think?

~ My mom popped by yesterday and pointed out that the backyard trampoline we acquired is MUCH BIGGER than the picture I posted on Monday. Take her word on that. And yes, it continues to get near constant use!

~ Earlier this week my son and I toured Westmont College, a private Christian school in tony Montecity. I figured it was just something to check off the list and really had little idea he'd really want to go there. But he does. And it's 30k+ a year. Gulp. Oh, but it's beautiful not just physically, but spiritually, so it's just become a contender.

Tomorrow, many of my pals will be landing in Santa Cruz for the amazing Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Conference. While visiting woodsy Montecito the other day, a waft of new foliage made me think of the redwood & pine conference center.... Anyway, so sad to be missing it this year, but with all the writing and mothering to do, it couldn't be helped! If you're up there, send in some updates, will ya?

Have a beachy day ;)