Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beach town tour

Just watched this and had to post. My friend, Sherry Kyle, made this super fun video tour of Capitola by the Sea, the setting of her debut novel, Delivered with Love. Love the bloopers at the end! I think it's time for a vacation northward ...

Why wait?

Had breakfast with a friend this morning, and then hit the beach for a quick breath of ocean air. I've been waiting a lot lately, and so has my friend. Come to think of it, so have many others among my family and friends. Waiting's no fun, but it's life. My friend's waiting for her house to sell, my daughter's waiting for her SAT results, I'm waiting to learn how my efforts will pay off, and someone, somewhere is waiting for medical test results (I've been there a lot too).

That's why I sat at the beach for a few minutes this morning. I've got work piled up on my desk, but I wasn't ready to face it all. The respite helped clear my head and provided a way to gain a new perspective on waiting. About the wait she's facing, my friend said, "God's a big God," and that reminded me of a Proverb I read this morning: "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him."

I'm choosing to take refuge in him today. Join me?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Groovy Links

Found this chocolate button on a post from this blog in 2006. (Man, I've been doing this a long time!) Good to know you can still get a fine virtual chocolate when you need one! It's only Tuesday, but I'm in the mood for chocolate breakfast. Basically, I've got a ton of work on my desk, but I'd rather play hooky and go to the beach. With chocolate. And another latte.

Speaking of good times, I started this blog at the request, no, strike that, at the urging of a blogger that I stalked visited regularly. HolyMama introduced me to the blogosphere before a lot of us even knew how to check our email. I read everything this quintessential mommy blogger wrote, often commenting, and she finally sent me an email and said ~ and I'm paraphrasing ~ get your own blog already! So I did. This was long before Facebook took over the minds and free time of most of the world, when moms had this sort of underworld where we talked openly about the joys (oh, the joys! haha) of motherhood.

HolyMama and I kept up for a long time, sometimes writing "off-loop," until life got in the way. Or maybe it was Facebook that got in the way. Then the other day, I decided to update the Groovy Links on my sidebar with some new pals and to delete "dead" links ~ those bloggers who had fallen victim to other social networks and had deleted their blogs. And guess who I ran into?

Yeah, an old friend. Maybe I'll send her a virtual chocolate :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Dawn

Katie Cushman has the ability to write stories that conflict us as we find ourselves rooting, at different times, for each side of an issue. She's done that again with her newest release, Another Dawn.

I took this novel with me to pre-teen girl's soccer practice, and sat in my car, nearly biting my nails. At one point, I put down the book and texted my pal, Katie: "Your book has me so stressed out! Lol"

I finished the story that night. It was that good. I'd have told her in person, but we recently had to reschedule our once-every-few-months lunch date. (We like this place along the coast that puts lobster in all kinds of things: salads, sandwiches ... mac 'n' cheese!)

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention ... Another Dawn is partially set in Ventura. Love it. Here's the blurb from Katie's website:

Grace Graham returns to Shoal Creek, Tennessee with her four-year-old son on a short unpaid leave from work. Her goal: help her father recover from surgery, and spend some quality time with her sister.

But Shoal Creek seems more backward than ever after her years in California, and it's hard to find organic food anywhere. When the unthinkable happens and her son is diagnosed with measles, Grace's fears over modern medicine take a dangerous turn.

Worse, the town has fallen into quarantine and its residents focus their anger and blame on Grace. She is alone and scared, until one brave woman chooses to reach out a hand of forgiveness and mercy. But when the outbreak takes a life-threatening turn, will Grace be able to forgive herself?

You can visit Katie at her website: (or wave at us if you're driving along the central coast :).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fade to Blue in Romantic Times

I don't read all my reviews. I used to, but after five books, I've realized the perils of having your ego inflated one day and your heart ripped out and stomped on the next. (Is this TMI? LOL)

That said, I did learn the other day that Romantic Times gave my upcoming novel, Fade to Blue, a 4-star rating. Considering my first three books only received threes (*sniff*), this was nice news to receive.

Here's to good news. Hope you receive some this week too! Have a beachy weekend, my friends ~ wherever you are ...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Phun Pholks

I'm surrounded by smart and creative peeps! My friends, Sally and Scott, developed an app for the iPad. I don't have an iPad, but my papa does ~ hoping to "borrow" it so I can try this out :-) Phrase Phrenzy is all about quotes. Instead of having to figure out a word, you have to beat the clock to figure out a famous quote. Kind of Trivial Pursuit-ish.

Here's the link for Phrase Phrenzy. If you try it out, let me know ... and have a beachy day, my friends, wherever you are.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On dreaming

I spotted a homely house recently (Get it? Homely? :). It's shaped like a box and painted a hideous color. Apparently, the owners planned it that way, so I guess they wouldn't agree with me. But yesterday, the sun was shining after the rain, so pre-teen girl and I drove by the offending structure so I could dream a bit. She snapped a photo, but how would that be if I posted it here? Probably not so good ~ ha.

So anyway, I told pre-teen girl that if that were my house, I'd paint it a soft cream color, add blue painted shutters and window boxes stuffed with flora. I'd also erect a grape arbor leading into the courtyard, and rip out all the succulents, replacing them with flowing vines. Today I added that I might even give the outside a faux finish, making it look like an old Tuscan villa.

My girl kept laughing at me, saying I was in the wrong business. She thinks my creativity should be applied to houses not books (apparently, I re-do a lot of houses out loud :-). Truth is, I probably wouldn't have the patience to flip a house, or move too often, so I apply my wandering mind to writing. It's like a sickness or something. Lol

By the way, this is a photo I took from inside a beach cottage near Kevin Costner's house. The folks who own it are getting ready to tear it down, and I'm so sad because I love it just the way it is! Go figure.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Delivered with ... Love

Updated at 10:30 am pst: If you pre-order Sherry's novel today, she'll enter you in a drawing for a Starbucks giftcard and Capitola souvenir! Just leave a comment on this post letting her know that you've pre-ordered, and you'll be entered.

Such a cute cover! Didn't I tell you? Sherry Kyle and I met last year at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers conference and I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of her debut novel, Delivered with Love. She had me at "It's set on the West Coast." :) Here's the blurb from Sherry's website:

An old love letter found in the glove compartment of a young woman's inherited 1972 Volkswagen propels her to leave her life in Los Angeles and go to the small town of Capitola, California. There her dream of finding the writer of the letter leads her on an unexpected journey that changes her life forever.

Claire James, age twenty-three, is ready to make it on her own. When she's fired from her job as a waitress and subsequently kicked out of her sister's home, she sees it as an opportunity to start over. But even before moving, a thirty-five-year-old love letter written to her mother keeps Claire stuck in the past. Michael Thompson, a middle-aged real estate agent, wants to keep the past where it belongs - at least until his grown daughter is married. But, then a young woman comes to town . . .

Delivered with Love is a fun and charming debut that will whisk you away on a sea breeze. You can pre-order it on Amazon, but you won't have to wait long. It's due out on April 1. Have a beachy weekend, my friends ~ wherever you are :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Welcome to all new subscribers of my Waves of Grace news. Congratulations go to LUANN, winner of an Otter Bay Novel of your choice! Thanks all for playing :)

Tomorrow I'm going to post about a friend's new novel with the CUTEST cover ever! Please come back and check it out. In the meantime, I'm off to figure out what to wear to the FIDM Fashion Show in LA. Teen Girl is the fashionista in the family (not me!), and I'm just wondering if flip-flops will be allowed inside those doors. Hmm...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh, m-o-m ... !

Received this barrage of texts from College Boy the other day (yes, that's my answer in white). He posted it on Facebook for all our friends to see. Lovely. I told him that this sorta reminded me of when he was two and I was trying to use the restroom ...

As one mom commented, "Isn't it great to be loved?"


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I watched Brad propose to Emily last night. Well, I was actually beating Teen Daughter (haha...just barely) at a game of Words Free (an app on our iPods), while listening to the proposal. Anyhoo, the most dramatic season ever was not really. All season long we've been told in spoilers that Chantal won the man of her dreams, until a couple of weeks ago when someone spoiled the errant spoiler and let it out that, actually, Emily was the girl for Brad.

Far more interesting was the After the Rose show. Emily had a fire in her we hadn't seen all season (admittedly, I fast-forwarded through much of it, but still). Although Brad and Emily seemed very much in love during the final rose show, it was apparent that something had changed. The girl was irked.

Turns out that watching the show back over the past six weeks showed Emily things about her fiance that she didn't want to see. Things like him macking with other women and professing love for them. Stuff like that. How ironic that the show that brought them together is now tearing them apart! Or should I say poetic?

Brad told her that he fell in love with her early in the season, and yet while watching the show, this wasn't so apparent to Emily. She's questioning everything now ... Brad's promises, his sincerity, the reality of their entire relationship. Stuff that novels are made of, I tell you ;-) (Now you understand why I watch this show???)

Wonder if this story will have a happy ending, because right now, it's more of a cliff-hanger. Opinions?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Otter Bay Novel Giveaway

Anybody else have a hard time waking up today? I kind of feel like these signs ... not sure which way is which. Nothing like losing an hour to throw off the body clock. At least I don't have babies in the house anymore (other than, well, myself :) Oh, how babies refuse to readily adjust to DST!

Ah, well. I'm getting ready to send out my latest newsletter, the one I write occasionally. If you're not on my list, here's a fun incentive: I'll be giving away a book to one NEW subscriber, and I'll give that person a choice of any of the Otter Bay Novels ~ including the forthcoming, Fade to Blue.

Sound good?

You can sign up on my sidebar, or over on the home page of my website. Feel free to pass this along to friends. I'll choose a winner on Thursday morning. In the meantime, I'm on the lookout for cool, coastal tidbits to put in the newsletter for ALL subscribers to enjoy.

Have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

no tsunami here (so far)

Quick post about the central coast ... I learned the news about Japan right before bed last night, and prayed fervently for those poor people. Had a hard time sleeping thinking about it all. Also remembered that after the Chilean earthquake last year, there was a big surge in our nearby harbor. Lots of property damage, but people were a-okay.

College boy took the train home yesterday, so hubby said we could leave our cell phones off. (We always leave them on when any one of the kiddos is not home. It's just a thing with us.) I said, "No way." Had this weird feeling we might get some sort of surge along the coast again and wanted my phone handy. And my robe, haha.

So it was super surreal to wake up this morning to an emergency call from our city warning of possible tsunami. Ack. At least they gave us an expected time of arrival. I packed up the dog, and woke up college boy. The girls were already getting ready for class, and were much chagrined that the only school closure was the little elementary school by the beach. College boy, Charlie the Dog, and I headed to my parents home where we ate too much breakfast and watched the news.

We're back now and all seems churned up but fine, yay! There have been some VERY LOUD helicopters over our beach cottage, but they appear to be the news variety and not sheriff patrols. So that's good news (except that cameras just may well be snapping pics of the poor state of my landscaping ...)

Let's all keep praying for the suffering people in Japan!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Spring forward 2011

It's that time again. Birds chirp on the patio, days grow, and rays of sunshine illuminate my need to clean the windows. Don't think of it as losing an hour of beauty sleep (sigh), make it a reminder that ... summer's comin'!

This is Mom and me at the Huntington Library last summer. We were having tea with Pre-teen and Teen Girl before they headed back to school. We also stole away to the Huntington before last Christmas. It's a bit of a drive, but oh so worth it ~ especially with warmer days coming. If you're close to So Cal, go! You'll love it. In addition to the vast gardens, you can tour the art museums ... you'll find Blue Boy and Pinkie there, among other displays. And water! You know how much I love water ... Haha!

Okay, so there's no ocean in sight, but there are ponds of all kinds. Here's one I love. Has a bridge and everything. (Don't forget to 'spring forward' one hour on Saturday :)

Friday, March 04, 2011


Happy Friday, peeps! I'm over at the CAN blog today, talking about Crafting the Personal Experience Story. If you're interested in writing your own story, stop on by :)

What a week! No need to bore you with the details, but if you're breathing, I'm sure you can relate to busyness and the desire for some beach time, Lol Except for having to run an important errand this morning, I've been stuck in front of my computer screen much of the day, on deadlines. And don't get me started about all the other deadlines and tasks of this week! I think I'm getting carpal tunnel and shoulder tunnel ~ okay, I made that 2nd one up, but that's what it feels like! Inside my head a voice keeps saying, "Step away from the computer and no body parts get hurt."

Fortunately, there's no rain in the weekend forecast and we've got at least one soccer game to watch. No computers allowed! ;-) Can't wait!

Have a beachy weekend, my friends ~ wherever you are.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Happy Wednesday, Friends! It's crazy town as we help pre-teen girl with her project for the big school science fair tomorrow. Plus, I've got a couple of writing deadlines, there's been sickness dragging down the girls, and we've got middle school small group here tonight. Ack.

But wanted to pop in and tell you that the rain broke mid morning and I wandered out to the sea. On my way I found two duckies waddling down our street. LOL Sometimes they fly over, but it's kind of rare to find them on the sidewalk. Then I jogged to the beach and saw a pod of dolphins leisurely making their way north. SO COOL! Okay, I've seen that a lot, but I love it every time. Thank you, God, for making dolphins!

It's back to work for me, but I wanted to post this video (and I'm biting my fingernails now ...) of a recent interview that my publisher B&H put together. Except for the lack of a gauzy filter (ala Barbara Walters), I think they did a nice job. Feel free to pass it along, if you'd like.

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