Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog tour stop numero uno

The blog tour for Fade to Blue officially starts today so you can find me over at Jamie Carie's Blog. Jamie's an amazing writer and friend, and I know you'll love her, so please stop by. I received my first copy in the mail today ... it's beautiful. Honestly, good job B&H Publishing! It's glossy, and ocean-y, and I hope it finds its way to nightstands and coffee tables everywhere :)

Stop by Jamie's blog for my interview and a chance to win a copy for yourself: Jamie's Blog

Look what flew in?

Aren't they sweet? These duckies flew in to the backyard recently. I think they're the same two I saw waddling down the sidewalk early one morning on my run to the beach. We've also seen lots of herons and pelicans flying overhead ... just not landing on the patio (although we do watch out for their, ahem, missiles ;0)

Writing today, and looking forward to American Idol tonight. I hear they'll be some dueling duets to watch. Wondering what Steven Tyler will say about that ... the man has lots to say, doesn't he? Not a fan of the profanity, but love the creative stuff. My favorite so far was when he told James last week "'re out of your mind, beautifully so." Haha ... been there. At least the out of my mind part ;-)

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

On truffles & community spirit ...

I seriously OD'd on chocolate yesterday, and not just any chocolate, but SEE'S candy chocolate ~ yum! I knew my dad would bring some over last evening (it's a pattern :), so I saved plenty of room. Which is why I'm nursing this sugar hangover at the moment ...

Speaking of decadent treats, Truffles by the Sea is now available on Kindle and Nook for $2.99. Gaby Flores is truly one of my favorite heroines. I based her on someone I know (who shall remain nameless and clueless, Lol) and that has made her even more beloved in my mind.

Oh, and did you see yesterday's post? Known as Serra Cross, the original cross was erected in Ventura in the 1700s, and became a beacon for travelers. A number of years ago, though, the community rallied to keep it in place after someone sued the city for its presence. A foundation formed, bought the property, and now the beautiful site is open for visitors. I mention it because Gaby has a special moment up at that cross in Truffles by the Sea.

Hope y'all had an amazing weekend. Make it a great (and beachy :) week my friends ~ wherever you are ...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter sunrise service under a slow rain. Beautiful.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

College boy is home for the week and suddenly our house has, well, shrunk. Last night a bunch of his friends dropped over at 11:00 ... at night. The firepit is still smoldering outside! Funny how the dynamics change when one chickadee comes home.

Good times, though. Having a little family gathering over here tomorrow to celebrate Easter, so I'm getting ready to be the task master and start doling out jobs to whip this beach cottage into shape. A mom's gotta do what she's gotta do!

Attended Good Friday service yesterday and was so overcome by the enormity of what Jesus did for us. That reminder makes tomorrow's party just that more joyful. Hope you have a good one, friends! (And, of course, have a beachy weekend ... wherever you are :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holy Guacamole by Dan & Denise Harmer

Nestled along San Diego's coast, the former romantic getaway of the silver screen's most notorious lovers is now the sizzling hacienda of Bonnie Miller's culinary boot camp. "If you are what you eat, make it hot, spicy and irresistible," is her motto, and this queen of Southwestern cuisine enjoys quite a savory life; success, fame, and a reputation for the finest palate west of Barcelona.

That is, until a pot-rattling bang causes Trace Domingo, a washed-up sports writer, to crash into her life. His arrival turns up the heat at the culinary boot camp as Bonnie discovers in life's recipe book, it is not the spices which add the most flavor, but how truly hungry you are.

How's that for an intro?

I met Dan Harmer years ago at a writer's conference when we sat at the same table for lunch and I casually suggested he buy my first novel for his wife. (I had just taken Chutzpah 101 at the conference ...) Dan did, and then his wife, Denise, read it. When she joined him at the conference the following year, she asked me to sign a couple of books for her. How could we not become friends after that? :-)

Now Dan and Denise have released their own first novel, Holy Guacamole (love the title)! I've read an excerpt and ordered myself a copy from Amazon. You can also find it at Barnes and Noble. Can't wait to receive it!

You can read more about the Harmers here:
Denise, a former stenographer and devourer of books, is the couple’s editor and technician. Dan fine tuned his creative storytelling in high school as a way of explaining why he missed class whenever the surf was up. Their shared passion for the written word has led to a growing collection of awards. The couple enjoys living in Southern California’s “Avocado Capital of the World” where they maintain a laid-back lifestyle as they run a cabinet shop, raise four children, and tend a small ranch. Okay, maybe it does get a little hectic.

Or visit them at their website, JointVentureBooks.

Oh, and you'll love this ... Dan and Denise launched their debut with a Guacamole-making contest. Here you'll find the yummy winning recipes . Happy dip-making :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

At the Copa ...

If you're looking for the post about writing myself into a corner, you'll find it below. I'm writing today, so instead of a thought-provoking, insightful post (Lol), I've posted a beach shot instead. Took this photo at the Copa Cabana Beach Soccer Tourney that took place over the weekend at Oxnard Shores. Great weather for it ... ahhh, but it's drizzling today. Quirky!

Have a beachy day, my friends ... wherever you are (for me that would be in front of a computer screen all day :-)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On writing my way out of a corner

I don't start off intending to write issue-driven stories. By that I mean that I don't think of a charged issue and decide to write a story around the topic. Instead, the issues that crop up in my books come about organically from the lives of the characters. (Kind of an artsy, overused word, but you get the pic. Right?)

The reviews of Fade to Blue are beginning to appear, and I'm told that my next Otter Bay Novel will actually start showing up on shelves early. While I didn't write this book to be controversial, I did write myself into a corner at one point. If this was a book for the general market, I probably could have moved on more easily (although it would have nagged at me). But it's not. Her faith is the point on which heroine Suz Mitchell pivots.

Thankfully ~ as I wrestled to the point of a near-ulcer over the issue ~ my pastor delivered a sermon that provided the perspective necessary to finding my way out of that corner. No peptic medication needed! :)

I love this book and hope readers do too. I don't read reviews unless they're sent to me, however, as this one was from Author's Choice Reviews. It touched me that the reviewer mentioned one particular issue that cropped up in the book, one that can provoke controversy, especially in the Christian community. Here's a snippet: A story of two futures and learning to listen to God's leading. Clear teaching on divorce while revealing the heart of God for healing and restoration. And it all takes place on a beautiful California coast.

The review doesn't give anything away--and neither will I. But if you'd like to read an excerpt for yourself, you can do just that on Amazon. First pages of Fade to Blue.

Happy reading ~ and have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are :-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

flipper and meow

Posted this on my Facebook page, but couldn't leave my blog friends out, now could I? Anyone who knows me knows that I am a SUCKER for dolphins. LOVE them so much that I squeal like a little girl every time I see them out here on the coast. Even at my age :D

Sunny gardens and other happy thoughts

I wasn't kidding yesterday about playing hooky. Hubby and I drove college boy back to school in the morning (about 2 hours away), then headed up to San Marino to take in the Huntington Library. I've mentioned the Huntington before--it's a museum and botanical gardens spread out over 100++ acres. It's far from the beach, which is sad, but the happy part is that it's warm out there. Something about walking through a sunny garden on your birthday that feels so nice ...

Hubby snapped this photo as we took in the Chinese Gardens, which I'm happy to say, contain a huge pond -- a small lake, really -- with oodles of fat koi fish swimming around. Not too surprising that I'm drawn to this area of the grounds, is it? Lol

It's back to work today with some fun projects and, of course, a big cup of chai tea by my side. I'm refreshed today, and ready to work. Guess all that hooky paid off :) Here's a link to the Huntington if you're interested in learning more.

Here's to taking breaks and gaining a second wind!

Monday, April 11, 2011

On cupcakes, theology, and taking the day off ...

My son came home over the weekend and took this photo from the hills above Ventura. Look at that pretty blue sea out there ... just love it.

Today's my b'day. Since college boy was home for the weekend, we did a little pizza and cupcake party with my parents last night. After eating a chocolate cupcake loaded with cream cheese frosting (really, really, REALLY, good!), we walked along the breezy harbor. Like that would really help us burn the fat. I know, I know ~ nice try. Still, so much fun! (And on the upside, there's a gym nearby that teen daughter and I are determined to join :)

My daughters surprised me with this cool mug, which led into a bit of a theological discussion since college boy is majoring in Christian Ministry. A sort of Arminian vs. Calvinism thing. Whatever. As far as I'm concerned it's a perfect message for a writer. And it'll hold A LOT of chai tea :D

I'm off to procrastinate so have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are ... (And I'd love to hear that you celebrated my b'day by having a decadent slice of chocolate something. We can share workout stories later!)

Friday, April 08, 2011

waves of grace

Had this long-winded post all ready for you today ... and decided to wait because it's Friday. Who wants to think on a Friday? Ha! Instead, here's a link to my most recent Waves of Grace News. Like I promised on Facebook, it's not boring (at least I hope you won't think it is!). It gives a glimpse into some of the inspiration behind Fade to Blue, info on upcoming signings, and ... seaside trivia :-)

Happy reading ... and have a beachy weekend my friends, wherever you are!

Click for Waves of Grace News

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

How do you stir it up?

I'm starting to get why so many of my author friends write in Starbucks. I tend to prefer the quiet of my home office because a) I talk to myself and my characters when I write, and b) I'm usually barefoot or maybe wearing slippers. But lately I've been reading through one of my older books, Truffles by the Sea (it will be an eBook soon), and finding myself laughing out loud. It's like visiting my past ~ so many of the things that I was into at the time made it into that book. Back then I kayaked more, talked with neighbors more, and walked around downtown more. Recently? Not so much. I've been doing a lot of editing and marketing lately, and know what I'm realizing? Sitting in a quiet office is boring. And who wants boring in a book?

So in the past few days, I drove to Venice Beach ~ twice, watched pre-teen girl play soccer, went to my friend's ranch in Ojai, and visited my wily baby nephews in the Valley. Explains why I've had a bad back for a few days, but oh so worth it. THIS is living. I tried to soak up more of the conversations around me, the quirks of the people (Haha, Mom, don't worry :), and the situations that occurred that show life in all its colorful glory.

My laptop is slow and quirky, so I doubt you'll find me in Starbucks writing any time soon, but I'm definitely planning to take more breaks from my oh-so quiet office to people watch. Cuz I have some writing to do :)

If you're a writer, how do you "stir it up?"

Monday, April 04, 2011

Soul inspiring ...

LOVE this awe-inspiring interview with Sarah Hill (Carrie Underwood plays her in the movie, Soul Survivor). The movie, Soul Survivor, is the true story of Bethany Hamilton's triumph over tragedy, and Sarah Hill was her youth pastor.

Read the Interview.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


It's spring break around here which means more excuses to go to the beach :) Dan and I watched the sunset from the sand several times already, and we haven't been alone. Something about the days yawning and stretching into the night brings out neighbors in droves. Lots of doggies frolicking, crazy kids skipping through cold water, and friends strolling until well after the afterglow. Since I work from home, I find myself torn between keeping the writer's mantra of BIC (butt in chair) or playing hooky with the swarm of kids outside.

Know what I mean?

What do you do when the kids are on break? Take off from work or send them outside with instructions to stay out until the street lights go on? (Haha ... I've never actually said that, but I heard it somewhere and it sounded good ...)

Even if you don't have kids at home, does springtime bring out the wanderlust in you as it does me?