Thursday, December 27, 2007

To All New Things! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

This post is a little different because it's not about New Year's's about experiencing life.

We all get frustrated when the goals we’ve set aren’t reached, but sometimes we just have to realize it’s out of our hands, especially when health issues need to be addressed, computer problems arise, a day job gets in the way, volunteer work takes up much of your free time, or you just need a break or you’ll snap. It happens to everyone.

So, instead of focusing on what I didn’t accomplish in 2007, I like to focus on the NEW things I did over the past year, personally and writing related (although most of these can be referenced for research later).

For me, life is about learning and trying new things. So, here is my list of few Brand Spankin' NEW things that I experienced in 2007:

Jan. 1st: On the first day of the New Year, we always do something we’ve never done before. This year we toured the house that The Travel Channel's “America's Most Haunted” calls the number one most haunted house in the United States: The Whaley House in San Diego, CA. It was a great way to kick off 2007! (Didn’t experience anything unusual, though…darnit.)

April 5th-14th: This California girl experienced a New England winter during the spring and survived! LOL. Easter in Maine was colder than their Christmas, as winter got a late start. But fortunately, we packed appropriately. Whew. And we made it out of Boston hours before the Nor'Easter hit, so we were fortunate all around.

My paranormal trilogy is set in Maine, so it was the perfect chance to do a little research and gain some first-hand experience. And oh my gosh, it was gorgeous with the snow blanketing the ground of the colonial village of York (1652), which was where we'd stayed.

Ate Boston Baked Beans at Durgin Park Restaurant (1827)…Delicious, especially when you’re cold!

Ate Boston Cream Pie at the Omni Parker House (1855) where the delectable dessert was first created…it just happens to be my favorite desert. Coincidence? I think not. We also stayed at the hotel so we wouldn’t miss any B.C.P. ordering opportunities. I know, it just gets sad…

June 21st-25th: Visited the absolutely stunning state of Wisconsin for the first time. It’s amazing what rain and snow will do for a place! How wonderful to be surrounded by such greenery all summer long, rather than sticks that resemble trees and dried brush, all various shades of brown, as well as a high chance of fire—much like here.

We also visited the Swiss town of New Glarus and the Norwegian town of Mount Horeb (aka The Troll Capital of the World).

Oh, and Mount Horeb boasts the Mustard Museum—as seen on Mark DeCarlo’s “Taste of America” (The Travel Channel)—where I bought my Poupon U shirt. You know why, right? Because the museum is the campus for America’s College of Mustard, don’tcha know. Hey, we just happened upon’s not like we planned a trip there! LOL

Okay, so this is only a partial list…don’t want to bore you.

What about you guys? What new things did you do or did you learn this past year? I want to hear all about it! Tell me, tell me! :-)

Here’s to an exciting, healthy, and successful 2008 for all of us!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Looking For a Gift? Try an Author Signed Quilt

Still need to find a holiday gift for that someone special? I thought I'd bring this auction to your attention, especially since there are still a few days left!

Check out the authors who have signed the quilt/wall hanging...Pretty darn cool. They're all listed below. :-)

Happy Holidays!!




Quilt / Wall hanging

Autographed by 100 authors

CLICK HERE: Romance Quilt with Authors' Autographs

(clicking will take you to eBay)

The Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America®

is offering this quilt/wallhanging with autographs of 100 authors:

NYT Bestselling Authors in Romance

Suzanne Brockman, Kathleen Eagle, Kristen Hannah,

Kathleen Korbel, Jayne Anne Krentz, Jill Marie Landis,

Stephanie Laurens, Susan Elizabeth Phillips,

Teresa Medeiros, Vicki Lewis Thompson, Nora Roberts


Crime Novelists Stephen J. Cannell & Robert Crais

Enjoy your favorite authors! Discover new authors! The entire list (alphabetical order):

Cherry Adair/ Rebecca Anderson / Jennifer Apodaca / Amanda Ashley / Madeline Baker / Jo Beverley / Elizabeth Bevarly / Pauline Bitten / Allison Brennan / Suzanne Brockman / Stephen J. Cannell / Kate Carlisle / Mary Castillo / Maureen Child / Kresley Cole / Robert Crais / Geralyn Dawson / Janelle Dennison / Thea Devine / Jacqueline Diamond / Christina Dodd / Gillian Doyle / Eileen Dreyer / Judy Duarte / Kathleen Eagle / Suzanne Enoch / Suzanne Forster / Rebecca Forster / Patricia Gaffney / Tina Gayle / Cindy Gerard / Rachel Gibson / Barbara Goodwin / Jennifer Greene / Lori Handeland / Kristen Hannah / Kim Harris / Lorraine Heath / Candice Hern / Lori Herter / Kristen Higgins / Sandra Hill / Madeline Hunter / Lisa Jackson / Tara Jansen / Linda O. Johnston / Sandra Kay / H.R. Knight / Kathleen Korbel / Jayne Anne Krentz / Jill Marie Landis / Stephanie Laurens / Julia London / Charlotte Maclay / Debbie Macomber /
Susan Mallery / Lorelle Marinello / Dinah Macall / Barbara McCauley /
Sarah McKerrigan / Linda McLaughlin / Teresa Medeiros / Pamela Morsi / Mindy Neff / Dee Ann Palmer / Janelle Pat / Sandra Paul / Diane Pershing / Carly Phillips /
Susan Elizabeth Phillips / Patricia Potter / Frances Ray / Shirley Raye / Christine Rimmer / Nora Roberts / Karen Rose / Lauren Royal / Charlene Sands / Meryl Sawyer / Jill Shalvis / Teresa Southwick / Susan Squires / Patricia Thayer / Vicki Lewis Thompson / Carolyn Valdez / Sherri Whitefeather / Caitlyn Willows / Maralys Wills / Taylor Wilshire /

These autographs were obtained from speakers at our chapter meetings
as well as at the 2007 National RWA Conference in Dallas.

OCC/RWA is a not-for-profit corporation serving fiction writers, published and unpublished.

To view more close-up photos, click here

Thank you to award-winning quilter Sandy Fields for piecing this quilt

and Sandy Brown (Sandra Kay) for all of her help with this project!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Checking In...

Hi all,

This is a quick post, as I'm in the middle of a deadline (my last Orange Blossom!), but I wanted to point out a fun blog posted by Bobbie Cimo on A Slice of Orange called "Eye on Hollywood: Our Holiday Turkey, Perry."

Bobbie has countless Hollywood stories and has started to blog about them once a month over on A Slice of Orange (starting next month, she'll be posting on the 13th). This one is about how Perry Como was a huge part of their holiday tradition...And how once she started working at CBS, she had the opportunity to meet him. It's GREAT story!! If you get a chance, I think you'll enjoy reading it.

I'm a sucker for all those Hollywood stories...Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Doris Day, Bing Crosby.

What about you guys? Do you ever get nostalgic for the older Hollywood specials?

Oh, and starting January 12th, I'll be joining A Slice of Orange with a monthly column titled "A Writer's Pursuit" where I'll be discussing the pursuit of reaching goals, learning craft, and doing research. I'll keep you posted. :-)

Hope you're doing well!


Monday, December 10, 2007


United Hollywood: Fighting for the Future has been posting these short videos on Youtube--acted out by celebrities--in order to demonstrate what happens to the movie/television industry without writers. To view all the videos and to learn more about the strike points, click


Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Little Holiday Cheer

So we finally put up our Christmas lights last weekend. What do you think? Not enough?

And the one below it is our neighbor's house. I think they toned it down from last year.

Okay, you caught me. That's Disneyland's Cinderella's Castle and the It's A Small World attraction. It just wouldn't feel like the holidays if we didn't stroll through the park a couple of times during November and December and take in the carolers on Main Street, the lights and decorations all over the park, the "snow" falling along town square, the cold nights when we can finally wear mittens and heavy coats, and the special holiday baked goods and drinks that are sold on every corner. It's a tradition my family and I have had for at least 20 years, if not more.

I also break out the holiday movies: Meet Me in St. Louis, White Christmas, On Moonlight Bay, Love Actually, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and While You Were Sleeping.

I generally watch holiday movies over reading holiday fiction; however, this year, I'm making an exception for the writing goddess Maureen Child's (with Caridad Pineiro) latest Silhouette Nocturne: Holiday With A Vampire. Maureen's story is "Christmas Cravings," and combines two of my favorite things: the holidays and paranormal romance! Yay! Can't wait to read it. :-)

What about you? Do you prefer movies or books to help you get in the spirit? Or neither one--maybe music? Do you have any traditions, like returning to a certain place year after year?

Hope you're all doing well!


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Dusting Off the Ole Diploma

Yeah, Baby! I knew getting a B.A. in 3 and a 1/2 years would come in handy.

Okay, so I don't really have a huge amount of faith in this particular Blog Readability Test because as my friend, J.K Mahal, pointed out in her blog, One Page at a Time, the results are given without any kind of criteria or reasoning.

So, I clicked on the other link she'd posted: Juicy Studio's Readability Test.

This one gave my blog a readability of High School level, which definitely sounds more my speed.

I'm just not buying the College Level (PostGrad) rating. I like the short words...And the shorter sentences. ;-)

By the way, if you have an Elementary School rating, then you're in excellent company because a lot of bestselling authors have this rating as well!

So, what about you guys? Has anyone else tried this?

Hope your weekend is going well!