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Showing posts from November, 2009

Guest Jerrica Knight-Catania!

A big welcome to our guest today, romance author Jerrica Knight-Catania! Jerrica is an absolute doll and we are so happy to have her with us today, which just happens to be her birthday! Happy Birthday, Jerrica! After obtaining a degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and years of pursuing a career on the stage, Jerrica left the "glamorous" life of an actress in favor of writing romance. She continues to reside in the New York City area with her husband, cat and ever-expanding belly, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest addition to their family. In the meantime, she continues to work on the fourth installment of the Wetherby Brothers' Novels.

In the last few years, my husband and I have really gotten into the spirit of giving. We've been so blessed in so many ways in our own lives, it just felt right to start paying it forward. With so many in need, especially nowadays, we love to think of new ways to give back. Last year we came upon …

Five Pounds Later and I am Still a Dreamer

Five pounds later...

(possibly more)

Made Giada's stuffing and it was excellent! I give it five stars. Make it for Christmas. The family loved it, or at least that's the impression they gave since there wasn't any left over.

It was a pleasant Thanksgiving. My sons drove out together and didn't kill each other, or even punch one another. They might have even said a few words between themselves, although they were likely not completely positive. My father was his sweet self and actually did not take even one nap during the day. My dad has been taking cat naps since I was a little girl (probably why he's been able to work twelve + days all of his life). My mother had a few aches and pains this year due to a recent leg injury but still refused to give up all the control to me (although I did my best to prepare the dinner at home and transport it as my goal was for her to actually have her put her feet up this year--never, ever gonna happen I now realize--can anyone relate…

Happy Thanksgiving

I loved JP and Nick's video and since I have a new laptop with a webcam, I figured I'd drag (2 out of 3) my kids into my office to say "Happy T-Day!" The sound quality sucks, but we're working on that. Cheers, Michele

The Kid Talks Turkey

The Kid Talks Turkey

Nick: Where’s the turkey? I can’t believe you already got it!

Me (removing a bag from the fridge): See?

Nick (visibly crushed): Oh. That’s our turkey?

Me: What’s wrong with the turkey?

Nick: I thought you were going to kill it.

Me: I did. I went to the supermarket, pulled out my shotgun, and killed it. They had all the turkeys there just waiting for me. I found a good one and… Bang! That was that.

Nick: You did?

Me: Yes. And then I wrapped it up in plastic and printed Butterball on it.

Nick (more delighted): You did?

Me: Sorry, no. Somebody else killed it.

Nick: Poor Mr. Turkey’s spirit is probably no longer here with us.

Me: Sure it is. We’ll eat up his spirit and he’ll stay with us.

Nick: Ew…

Me: There’s no pleasing you on this turkey issue, is there?


Happy Thanksgiving and better luck with your turkey.

Jessica


Almost Nineteen. Ugh.

Parenting any age child comes with its ups and downs: the worries, pride, fear, sadness, joy, etc. And so much more.

There is the baby stage, when parents think they will never get another wink of sleep. And they won't, because once inducted into this society of parenthood there will almost most definitely never ever be another waking or even sleeping moment when you're not aware of your responsibility. You'll wake with a start when your kid whispers your name. "What? Are you okay?" When they are three-years-old and the temper tantrum is so extreme that you have to wonder if Satan didn't crawl into bed with you on that baby making night, and you decide that you will most definitely make your child stay in time out no matter what. And then after thirty minutes of screaming and kicking you give them the freaking M&M that they wanted and they shut-up. Immediately.

How about when they're ten, and the teacher tells you that your child thinks outside the bo…

Angst-giving.

So it’s almost Thanksgiving. Time to proclaim all that you are grateful for. Family, friends, the whole bit. Yeah, whatever. But first I have to share what I’m NOT thankful for. I’m a big fan of angst, so here is what I’m most angsty about this year:

The, um, horrendous, puke-worthy, depressing state of the book market. It’s terrible. It’s a nightmare to sell a book, unless you’re, say, Stephanie Meyer;  then you can re-write the phone book so that “Andrews, Marcia” spends her time pining over  the immortal, hunky, fanged “Fitzpatrick, Alan.” (Yeah, yeah, I read the whole series, too. And I’m team Edward. All the way.) Meanwhile, stupid, stupid, awful books like Palin’s “Going Rogue” and that vapid Heidi and Spencer’s book, “How to Be Famous” are selling like H1N1 vaccines on the black market. Who is reading this crap? Please read something good. It doesn’t have to be a sleep-inducing tribute to academia, or a lengthy philosophical novel that makes you want to slit your wrists. Keep y…

Just a Couple of Bad Girls

I'm a good girl. I always have pretty much been a good girl. I try to do the right thing, make people happy--you know the good girl syndrome. I bet many of you are also "good girls." But I can't speak for my partner in crime, JP. I think deep down she's a good girl. She wants to be anyway. She really is good, because anyone who is still in love with Rick Springfield is technically a good girl. Actually she's a good girl with a bad attiutude, and no I don't mean bad as in bad. I meean it in the cool/bad terminology of the word. Oh boy, you all know what I mean. But she's the reason we now have an "adult content" warning on our blog...


Anyway, my friendship with the lovely Ms. Park began in an e-mail where she let me know that, although she'd been barfing all night due to food poisoning, she was grateful she had a copy of "Silenced by Syrah," because in between violent meetings with the porcelain God, she was enjoying (and better …

Where Do You Get Babies?

My eight-year-old son brought up the dreaded question last night. I’ve explained this phenomenon before, but unfortunately kids need different forms of information as they age. I gave him the short run-down (again) but my narrative was followed by the inevitable slew of questions.
Kid: What if you had another baby?Me: I'm not.Kid: But what if you did?Me: The world would implode... I mean, don't worry about it. I'm not.Kid: But so where do you get babies?Me: Costco. Or in your case, Target. Target has everything, right?Kid (glaring at me): Mom!Me: Remember your book? From Mommies and Daddies.Kid: But how?Me: Well, people have to have sex.Kid: What???? Oh my God!Me (nodding): Yes. It’s true. I then gave him a unnecessarily lengthy description of IVF in the vain hope that his interest in science would distract him from further interrogation. Kid: So which one did you do to have me? Sex or the other one?Me: I did not have IVF.Kid (look of hysteria and disbelief crossing his fac…

Lukewarm Topics

Michele was kind enough (or just not well thought-out enough) to ask me to blog with her. In another naive move, she gave me her password so I took it upon myself to screw with her blog and move everything around. Poor woman. Anyhow, I took a very formal survey on Facebook about which inane subjects the public would like me to address. Those View ladies have “Hot Topics” but I’m just going with “Lukewarm Topics That Have No Important Bearing on the World Whatsoever.”

So by request, here are my thoughts on today’s pressing issues:

Twitter: There is no way to discuss Twitter without sounding vulgar. “I tweeted/twatted/twittered….” Any way you put it makes it sound like you’re busy getting yourself off. Which maybe you are, but I don’t want to know about it. And if I did want to know about it, I’d certainly want more than 140 characters of detail. Go the Carrie Prejean route. Live a little. The bigger problem I have is that Twitter confuses me because I can’t keep track of anyone, so I wri…
Here's a little preview of my next book out. It's definitely not a cozy mystery. No worries though for the cozy readers--"Toast" will be out in April, and I'm working on a new Michaela Bancroft mystery.

El Patrón

What began as an innocent love affair for one young woman, Marta Peña, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 1969, sets in motion a series of events that spans the next thirty years. This is the story of South American drug lords Antonio Espinoza and Javier Rodriguez, and their violent quest for power. In a sweeping family saga, we meet the women who love them and the children they vow to protect at any cost.

With a complex web of interconnected families, this gritty novel delves into the lives of a power hungry clan, following the rise of their business, the destructive path of their torrid and erotic love affairs, and the struggle to balance intense greed with devout family loyalty.

Strong women face tragedies that test their will and their commitment to the me…

Guest Blogger Jessica Park and Chapter One of "Cook the Books."

I am very happy today to have my good friend Jessica Park share the first chapter of her next book, "Cook the Books," due out in March. If you haven't read a Gourmet Girl Mystery, you need to. They're everything a good mystery should be and more--They're funny, romantic, mysterious(duh) and just plain fun. Do yourself a favor and read the entire series. You won't be sorry!

Without further ado...

Chapter 1

I have a love-hate relationship with Craigslist. On the one hand, I adore poking through the online classifieds for items I don’t even want—Swedish bobbin winders, chicken coops, vintage Christmas ornaments—and for enviable extravagances that I can’t afford—like the services of someone to come to my house to change the cat litter. On the other hand, I hate getting sucked into the vortex of randomly searching for weird items and unaffordable services instead of looking for what I actually need. For example, at the moment, I absolutely had to find a part-time job…

Book Reviewing by Lori Gondelman

Today I am very pleased to have Lori Gondelman of Lori's Reading Corner as a guest blogger. I think you'll find some interesting info. here about book reviewing. PLease check out her site at http://www.lorisreadingcorner.blogspot.com/

Thank you, Lori!

Interview Questions

Q: How did you become a book review blogger?

A: I belong to an amazing book swapping site ~ www.paperbackswap.com. Basically you post books that you no longer want. When another member requests your book, you mail it off to them. Once they receive your book you earn a credit, with which you can then order a book that you want. Nice and simple. My friends started calling me “the book pimp” because my book recommendations would cause their wish lists to grow. Several of them started “bugging” me about doing a book blog. I put it off, because I honestly felt like I had nothing worthwhile to say. Eventually I gave in and it’s taken off. I’ve met and become friends with several authors as well as made some great…

Chipotle Turkey Tacos

Being a busy Mom/writer can be tiring, and it also means you have to be flexible. This includes when it comes to cooking meals. I love to cook and create, so last night I had to apply my creative skills combined with flexibility because it was one exhausting weekend. It started with my middle kid and I flying out to Sacramento for the night and next day where I was honored to teach a workshop for Capitol City Young Writers. Talk about a great group of passionate young writers! There were kids in the group who had written full manuscripts of over 400 pages!

Anyway, after landing back home Sat eve., John and I made our way up to where our horses are because our youngest was already staying with our trainer Terri, and getting ready for yesterday's horse show. Horse show days begin very early and tend to end late. Ten to twelve hours is not unheard of on a horse show day. Needless to say that by the time we made it home last night, the last thing on my mind was going to the store and …

A Toast to Murder

Okay, so you've been checking out my WIP stuff because that's what I've been posting. Today, I figured I'll post a little bit of the next wine mystery due out in April.

And here's a little reminder--Books are cheap gifts! The holidays are approaching and I am a book giver because I know how hard writers work and because I LOVE books. I figure if I can't help support the industry then, I'm a schmuck. And I don't just buy the bestsellers for my family and friends. I tend to look for the new authors, the writers I know who could use that extra push. I think there are so many wonderful, overlooked books out there. I won't go into it because I'll get sad and then angry and then confused and frustrated and I don't want to go there. Basically what I'm telling you is that you should buy books for your holiday gifts. People need to be reading! It's a good thing. And people don't just need literary, make you think and pose questions about l…

Dead Celebs Chapter Two

CHAPTER TWO

I am not a rebel by nature. Or who knows…maybe I am. However, life has seemed to dictate what my nature could and could not be, and rebel was one of those things that I could not be. Not after what my parents had gone through. I could never yell, lie, sneak out of the house, talk back. None of that. Therefore, leaving behind my mother and father on that late April afternoon was by far the most rebellious thing I had ever done in my twenty-eight years, and honestly it left me feeling cold. Poor Mama Cass with her thick coat must have hated me on that fifteen hundred mile journey, because I was freezing cold the whole way and I cranked up the heater in my van, even through Arizona at eighty degrees. It was the kind of cold that you can feel on the inside—that only a real hot bath combined with a hot tea, and then a tuck between the covers can cure.

I wasn’t sick. No sore throat. No aching body. Nothing like that. I was just cold.
And then, after three days of driving and stayin…