Monday, November 30, 2015

Authors of Main Street Holiday Book Sale - More than 30 Authors



Fantastic small-town, contemporary romance book sale
hosted by the amazing ladies of Main Street!
The Authors of Main Street have a bevy of books for $0.99 or less – many are FREE – listed on their blog today! The characters in these contemporary romance stories are people you might meet on the main street of any small town.

I’m happy to let you know that my book, “Julia’s Star,” was one of the books selected to participate in this special event. I love the Authors of Main Street ladies (Susan R. Hughes, Carol DeVaney, Pepper Phillips, Kristy Tate, Joan Reeves and E. Ayers) and know that you will fall in love with their books too.

Some of the other participating authors are: Stacy Juba, Josie Riviera, Cynthia Rayne, Adele Downs, Margaret Daley, Denise Swanson, Bettye Griffin, Raine English, Caroline Mickelson, Leigh Michaels, Kendra Little, Aubrey Wynne and Samantha Young.

If you are looking for a great holiday read – rush on over to the Authors of Main Street site right now and choose from the more than 30 books and box sets! 



Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Blues



If your attic is filled with 'stuff''
I know I’m not the first to comment on this trend – and it’s highly probable given our retail-oriented culture, that I will not be the last – but frankly, I’m sick and tired of the push to make us think we aren’t enough unless we have more stuff. I look around our house at the overflowing closets, drawers and other places we shove the things we accumulate and just shake my head – Black Friday Blues.

The mantra ‘Go Forth and Buy’ spins through my thoughts. It’s all I hear in all the ads that bombard me from every side. Do I really need – or want – any new things? No, I say with a resigned shrug. Can I be tempted? You betcha! I can wander through the mall and imagine taking home any number of items but I think it’s more the thrill of the hunt rather than, ‘I can’t live without it’ attachment – Black Friday Blues.

Maybe it’s an age thing but I’m much less enamored with the need to own stuff and much more intrigued by the idea that having less stuff gives me greater freedom to explore the opportunities around me. Stuff ties you down and limits your mobility because someone has to take care of all that stuff. Guard over it and protect it. That’s not as appealing as it once was – Black Friday Blues.

So here are my ‘wishes’ and ‘wish nots’ for the Christmas season.

  • Wish I could snap my fingers and the tree and decorations would set themselves up and the boxes they were in would magically stash themselves back in the closet.
  • Wish not to be packed in like a sardine at the mall, waiting in lines for more than a half hour each and then trekking back to my car that is parked 20 blocks away. During a shopping trip my holiday good cheer disappears quicker than a plate of cookies in a roomful of kids.
  • Wish I would win the lottery and then share that abundance to make the world a better place. Until then, the charities I support will have to be content with the bits and pieces of time and money I can share.
  • Wish to find that perfect gift that makes the receivers eyes mist up a bit so it’s not just ‘more stuff’ but a memory.
  • Wish not to hear more people spouting hate and divisiveness – us against them. I’m tired of how the fear, mistrust and anger that sentiment generates eats my soul. With each word I can feel my peace slipping away.
  • Wish everyone would put their gadgets down for at least an hour a day and pay attention to the amazing people and world that surrounds them.
  • More than anything, I wish we could put the commercialism aside and bask in the joy, peace and love the season represents.

No matter what your belief system, I hope that each of us can fill our hearts with the spirit that Christmas represents now and throughout the year!
May you exchange that clutter for this!

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Born Clothes Horse

According to the Urban Dictionary a clothes horse is: A person who is passionate about new clothes. A big shopper and consequently, a big spender.

I come by this inclination naturally - and seemed to have passed it along to my daughters. From birth to early adulthood, between the three of us I think we hit most of the malls between San Diego and San Francisco and a smattering of other locals throughout the country. I particularly enjoyed Fashion Square in Scottsdale, AZ and Aventura Mall in Miami, though I digress.

A few days ago, I was rummaging through old photos and literally drooled over the clothes my mother wore back in the 1930s - which is where I inherited my clothes horse tendency. Dressing up was required before you stepped out the door. While many commentators called the styles 'boyish,' I'd say they were anything but. To me they are elegant, stylish, and the wonderful bias cut let the fabric gently hug a woman's curves. Of course, it helped to be super skinny to pull these styles off.

Ever so often, don't you wish you had a place to wear a hat - other than at the beach or a ball game? I like dressing up but my day wear largely consists of jeans and sweaters rather than the dresses of days gone by. Here are a few of my favorite photos of the outfits my mother wore.


Don't you just love those hats?
So elegant.


The car is so cool!








If you want to learn a little more about the 1930s fashion scene visit:

Ruche

Fashion Era


Monday, November 16, 2015

Meet Zach from "My Rodeo Man"

I'm so excited to be a featured author on the Spunk & Hunks blog by Anna Durand today. The post is an “interview” with Zach, the hero in my latest book, “My Rodeo Man.” If you've been wanting to get inside the head of a determined, yet utterly charming, rodeo man, here's your chance.

Please share the post with your friends!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

8 of My Favorite ‘Snuggle by the Fire’ Books


I think it’s safe to say that most writers are also avid readers. If I’m not at my computer spinning some sort of tale – real or imagined – cooking, taking a walk, puttering in the garden or visiting with family and friends, you’ll most likely find me with a book/kindle in my hand. Those who are paying attention will notice that housework is not on that list. It’s not that I don’t do housework, it’s just that I tend to wait until the dust bunnies are about ready to participate in a coup.

Despite what I said in my last blog about loving California’s wonderful Fall weather, it’s one of those things that doesn’t tend to last very long. Our weather has a bad habit of going from late summer to early winter in the blink of an eye. Our heater kicked on for the first time today and my thoughts have turned to sitting by the fire with a good book.

Here are some of my all-time favorites in no particular order, just how they popped into my head. As you will see, I'm eclectic in my reading preferences:
 
The fantastic descriptions of the Yorkshire Dales and the daily life of a country veterinarian make you feel like you are right there with him birthing a foal or swapping stories with one of the colorful characters that fill his books. His words will make you laugh and cry.



Envy by Sandra Brown
I love so many of her books but this one has always stayed with me. It’s one of those books that will keep you up into the wee hours of the night because you’re only going to read ‘one more chapter.’ The story mixes the emotions of friendship, envy, betrayal, revenge and love with a deft hand. The final redemption is totally satisfying.

 


Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
Another of my favorite authors. This book is filled with emotion, suspense, tension and so finely crafted that I was so absorbed I couldn’t believe I gotten to ‘the end.’ It offers a glimpse into the dangerous life of the fire jumper – the men and women who parachute in to fight forest fires from behind the lines. The language is vivid and the story thrilling.



 
 
Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
Poignant, touching, heart-pounding and sensual all wrapped into one superlative story. I love it when an author introduces us to a character that most of us are not familiar with and makes us understand him at a deep level. In this case, Archer is mute but we hear him clearly and fall in love with this sensitive soul.




Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
It’s been a while since I read this one but it’s a fascinating look at how technology manipulates our lives in a terrifying way. Fast-paced, intriguing, smart and engrossing, this story follows tech savvy teens as they fight for their freedom from ‘Big Brother’s’ control.




 Blackout (All Clear Book #1) by Connie Willis
If you like time travel and World War II, you’ll love this book. Future historians are sent back to London during the blitz to observe and record the events as they unfold and to return home before they are in any danger. Naturally, plans have a way of going awry.



 
Wait For Me (Against All Odds #1) by Elizabeth Naughton
This book is filled with twists and turns, emotional upheaval, gut-wrenching turmoil and gripping tension. A woman finds herself in a life that doesn’t feel right but has no idea why not. All I can say is that the fire will burn low before you are able to put the book down.




The Best Intentions by Candice Hern
I love a good Regency Romance and this is one that is sure to please. The heroine made me smile and charmed me with her effervescent personality. The hero stole my heart. While this one is on the lighter side, sometimes that’s exactly what I want.




What are some of your favorite books?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I Love This Time of Year


Let me qualify that statement – I love this time of year ‘in California.’ The weather in the last few weeks of October and first few weeks of November is as close to perfect as it can be. It’s that lovely interval between the time the air conditioning stops and the heater starts up. This year it seemed to take a little longer to get to that ‘no air conditioning’ stage but it’s finally arrived and I love it!
 

 

It’s the time of year when all the beautiful scenery beckons – whether it be the trees changing color in the Sierra Mountains or waves crashing against our rugged northern California coastline. Beauty is all around us and often only a few hours’ drive away. I love to explore and head off down unfamiliar roads never knowing what I’ll find around the next curve.
 
 

Most days, with high temps in the high-60s to mid-70s, you can open your doors and windows by early afternoon – often sooner – and let the fresh air pour in and sweep out the mustiness. Sunshine and bright, blue skies predominate with enough rain thrown in to fill our drought-shrouded lives with wonder.
 
 

It’s the time of year I’m tempted to fire up the oven and bake – until I get on the scale and realize where those scrumptious cookies and such go – but I bake anyway and figure I’ll walk off the calories. At least that’s what I promise myself until I look up from my computer and realize the sun has set. I’ll talk about good intentions in some other blog.
 
At this point in the year I have generally put ‘the end’ to one book and am getting to know the characters who will tell their stories in my next book. It’s a season of exhilaration, because I’ve sent another of my babies off into the world, and discovery, because I’m figuring out what drives the fascinating people who will be the next to share their quirks, loves and foibles with readers.

It’s the time of year for transitions. Time to shed the shorts and t-shirts of summer and pull out the long pants and sweaters better suited to cooler weather. Time to cover up the outdoor grill and pull out the crockpot. Time to think about gathering around the table with family and put away the picnic basket. Not quite the deep chill of winter but no longer the sultry heat of summer. It’s a time of change and a time to look forward to what might come next.