Happy Hula Days!

Mele Kalikimaka from Haole Wood! What a great year of reading—with some of my favorite books. BONUS: Cool author alerts—I am an adoring fan of each of these amazing, uber-talented writers, and they are all kind, fun, and funny!

imagesThe fabulous Carol K. Carr kicked off this year with the second historical romance in her series, India Black and The Widow of Windsor. We are amused! India Black (Tres) and The Shadows of Anarchy will be out in February. Go behind-the-scenes to see how it all started, with Carol’s eshort, (to be released New Year’s Eve) India Black and the Rajah’s Ruby!
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Off to the south Pacific, please meet the lovely Kiana Davenport who is as gracious as she is talented. Start with her Opium Dreams —one of the most beautifully imagined, well-written collection of short stories I have ever read. “Because love, the search for it, the failure of it, and especially the loss of it, is how we progress and mature, how we attain an inner nobility.” Mahalo, Kiana!

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I went all in early on when Apron realizes that “Laura Ingalls Wilder was the nicest girl I’d ever not known.” The heartache of middle school? Check: “But brains didn’t need bras, so boys never noticed me.” Girl Unmoored is a beautifully written, amazing read. And Jennifer Gooch Hummer better be working on a new novel!
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Three generations of women. Four secrets. One stage. (And a beautiful cover.) In Something New, Malena Lott expertly intertwines four romantic stories in this page-turning contemporary novel, for readers in love with love! I’m also checking out her other novels—le sigh!
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See Jane Date. See Jane Dine. See Jane Dash. In A State of Jane, see Plain Jane, as she finally listens to her heart in this very well-written chick lit tale.  Awesome author Meredith Schorr delivers, right up to the very last page!

mariankeyesGoddess Marian Keyes is working on a new novel, working title: Project Karma. Pinch me now!

Happy Hula Days to All!

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Kick-Ass Bios

Bios are b-o-r-i-n-g. Unless it’s your own, and then tweaking it is like getting to second base, with yourself. When I eavesdropped on a friend of mine who said he didn’t like my bio, he quickly recovered with a song and dance about how wonderful I am. My feelings weren’t hurt (much!); I really wanted to know how to make it better.

Here is a crazy good getting-to-know you video bio – not a boring frame to be found, from the co-star of MTV’s new show, Catfish:

Max Joseph, Catfish

So how to translate that to an official bio? While it wouldn’t hurt to be an award-winning film director and star, don’t be afraid to make an ass of yourself, because you are. I know you are but what am I?

————————————–

DEE DeTARSIO is considering a nom de plume, believing that Delilah could come up with better steamy scenes.

Catfish Broke My Husband

Catfish crew hard at work on John’s Birthday (that he unsuccessfully tried to keep secret).

Behind-the scenes production on MTV’s new reality show, Catfish, starring Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, was an all-encompassing, emotionally draining, huge-hearted adventure of intimacy, vulnerability and love. Or as I like to call it, one big Testosterone Festival. My husband, John, was the Director of Photography, and had way too much fun.

I don’t know what it was about Nev and Max, and John’s HOR, (Husband on the Road) Executive Producer David Metzler, that turned John into an uncouth, boorish teenager. I’m thinking the grueling schedule spent working together through the summer must have led to DBS (Deadly Buildup of Sperm). Or as the penis-less call it, Don’t Be Stupid.

I can’t order a deli sandwich with a dill pickle without it turning into a sexually charged situation. That’s what she said is so 2000-never. (I didn’t even bother to ask for help to caulk the shower.) John came home with some cockamamie (Oh my gosh, now I’m doing it) fist bump, with a sound effect *bleep* thumbs-up that just needs to stop. (He blames Nev.) He also seems to think he can say something ridiculous, honk my boobs, then add, “M’lady,” as if that makes everything charming. It does not.

I can only imagine what those poor guys, Nev and Max and David had to put up with, to say nothing of the rest of the crew. For the women on the mission, please accept my deepest apologies and know that John was not born in a barn.

Catfish premiers on MTV MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12 AT 11:00 P.M.
Cat·fish [kat-fish] noun — a person who pretends to be someone they’re not,
using social media to create a false identity, particularly to pursue deceitful online romances.

Dear Amazon,

Dear Amazon,

Success is such a strong word . . .

Five books, seven covers, hundreds of reviews and a kabillion category changes later, I am applying for a spot on the Amazon Success Story scoreboard. Full disclosure: while I am not making enough to pay for Lululemon writing pants, I could probably spring for a pair of LuluLychees. (I would buy those.)

I lost my ego along with the placenta of my first-born, making writing a natural career choice. More than seven hundred rejections, three agents, and close-but-no-cigar publishers toying with my affections, I perversevered. (I know that’s not a real word, but it should be.)

Two years ago I pulled Amazon’s finger and brought forth on this continent, a new book, conceived in loneliness and dedicated to the proposition that all writers are weird. Now we are engaged in a great uncivil war, testing whether any book so conceived can long endure . . . (Please stop picturing me in a homespun Laura Ingalls Wilder dress, churning butter. I’m trying to thank Amazon here.)

Prototype of the new Fondle logo?

I owe Amazon a debt of gratitude, or at least a 70% royalty.  Amazon’s cast and crew is conscientious and kind, and it feels great to be welcomed into their creative vortex.

I am on the edge of my seat, as both a reader and a writer, waiting to see what happens next. Suggestion box: Say someone was reading her kindle, drinking a glass of wine, and eating a chocolate brownie bundt cake, which resulted in a juggling mishap–with a happy ending. Siri suggests you call it the Fondle. (I’d tap that app.)

Sincerely,
Dee DeTarsio

Happy Birthday, Marian Keyes!

Goddess Marian Keyes

Happy Birthday to Marian Keyes, Best Author on The Planet! Only 3 more days to her new novel, The Mystery of Mercy Close, and I 5-Star recommend her Mammy Walsh family history!

I fangirl double-heart Marian Keyes because her books shine with the magic of laughing at the sadness of life.

I dedicated my novel, Ros, to Marian Keyes—#FREE this week.

To Marian Keyes—and to the Marian Keyes in every woman—that smart, funny, sad, put-upon, brave part of your soul that makes this world a brighter place.

The World’s Worst Novelist?

My novel Ros shows up next to Irish author Amanda McKittrick Ros, and her book, Irene Iddesleigh. Ros self-published in 1897, and her reputation as the world’s worst novelist is being remembered at the Celebrate Literary Belfast festival later this month, (Awful Author Addicted to Alliteration Achieves Acclaim Again!).

Amanda McKittrick Ros

This teacher/novelist/poet provided hours of entertainment to fellow writers—an Oxford literary group, which included C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, held competitions to see who could read her work the longest without laughing. When a critic sarcastically called it “the book of the century,”  Ros suggested he was so hostile because he was secretly in love with her.

“. . .He found himself, altogether unconsciously, clasping her to his bosom, whilst the ruby rims which so recently proclaimed accusations and innocence met with unearthly sweetness, chasing every fault over the hills of doubt . . .”

You’d Be An Eejit Not To Read This Gobshite . . .

One week and counting to the goddess Marian Keyes’ newest novel, The Mystery of Mercy Close, and only four more shopping days ’til her birthday! To get the party started, The Best Author on the Planet released a short ebook, Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walsh Family.

You’d be an eejit not to read this gobshite. (That’s the only Irish I know.) Though I am diligently working the phrase, `taking agin’ into my daily speech. (I’m taking agin my family who keeps telling me to knock it off.)

Mammy had me when talking about her next-door neighbors, the Kilfeathers: “Lovely people. We are terrific pals, of course. And yet, I find that I very much hate Mrs. Kilfeather.” Which makes me love Mammy that much more.

“They say the Eskimos have a hundred words for snow, but we Irish seem to have at least a hundred for the state of being intoxicated.” Mammy is hilaire, as Helen would say, and is a woman after my own heart in the kitchen, in C is for Cooking.

From tales of the Jolly Boys and those hideous Feathery Strokers, (public enemy number one), Mammy and her girls feel like part of the family. From A-Z, we get highlights of all five Walsh girls and their exploits, and Mammy even shares sweet stories about her grandchildren, and by sweet I mean nightmare. (Her word, not mine!)

Mammy Walsh is such a superstar. (Does Amazon sell the Eeejit Stick yet?) I applaud her infatuation with Slicers! and the women who wear them. Though I had to Google Padre Pio and Cornetto (stupid American), I laughed aloud at the V is for Vajazzling scene, especially when Mammy can’t resist reminding Helen: “When you think about it,” I said, happy as you please, “I must have done it at least five times!'” Brilliant! Marian Keyes does the best dialogue on the planet!

Thank you, Marian Keyes,
I fangirl double-heart xoxo you!

Be Nice and Don’t Eat Sugar

6:30 am    Rise and shine.
6:31 am    Be Nice and Don’t Eat Sugar!
6:45 am    Coffee and Facebook.
6:47 am    Oops. And cinnamon Pop-tart.
6:49 am    I’ll be better the rest of the day.
7:30 am    Head to gym.
7:32 am    Honk at woman in car in front of me as she applies MASCARA in left turn lane at stoplight that turned GREEN 30 seconds ago.
7:33 am    Fishtail through yellow-turning-orange light.
7:34 am    I’ll be better the rest of the day.
7:40 am    Set up shop on treadmill.
7:42 am    Woman on treadmill next to me performs what appears to be hopped-up version of tai-chi.
7:43 am    Flinch as her outstretched arm enters my airspace.
7:43 am    Repeat.
7:43 am    Repeat.
7:43 am    Repeat.
7:45 am    Hairy beast enters treadmill to my left. Why did he eat Fettucini Alfredo for breakfast?
7:46 am    I’ll be better the rest of the day.
7:47 am    Pick up the pace. Hope to dodge tai-chi lady and incoming garlic bombs.
7:48 am    Pop-tart crash. Tennis shoes feel like anvils.
7:51 am    Must. Stop. Watching. Clock.
7:53 am    What in the world is that lady wearing?

7:54 am     Tomorrow is another day.

Estie Effieux: Patron Saint of Alter Egos

I met the lovely Estie Effieux in Del Mar, California, on such a perfect summer day I was lulled into thinking I looked good in my wide-brimmed chapeau. Waves were crashing, the breeze was a waft of all that smells good, and the sun made the day look instagrammed.

Behind my over-sized sunglasses I beamed and smiled at passersby. Then the Director butted in. “Move to the right, single-file, single-file,” he barked out. I don’t know who died and made him logistics coordinator of pedestrian traffic at the beach, but I complied. The first time. By the third time, his heavy-handed, high-stepping, over-reaching need to tell me how to walk in the sand made me invoke the goddess herself.

“Estie Effieux,” I prayed, stumbling as the Director gave my flip-flop a flat tire. “Give me strength.” She appeared before me, dazzling in her femme fatale fierceness. “Estie Effieux,” I told the Director.

He shut up.

Gaping Hole of Unmet Needs

Oh, what a tangled web of weeds,
When we doth are a gaping hole of unmet needs.
-Every author, everywhere

The best part about being a writer is reading everyone else’s books. The worst part is talking about “craft” without adding macaroni-n-cheese.

In the losing game of please-buy-my-bookery, the plan is to get noticed. The problem is to do it without looking like a total eejit.

Since I blew my budget on a pair of Lululemon writing pants, I thought I’d make hand-crafted bookmarks. (I realize there are three major problems with that sentence. Nevertheless.) Hand-crafted is not a word to be used lightly, especially when one mixes in sand and hot glue gun.

I’m taking pre-orders—Who wants one?

Dammit. I’m pretty sure Marian Keyes and Jennifer Weiner don’t have to do this.

Bakasana Off!

Bless me Eckhart, for I have sinned . . .

I tried to be so benevolent in yoga this morning that I gave myself a headache. Earthly irritations abounded. The seeker in front of me, who looked like she lost her hairbrush, had her cell phone on vibrate. The first time it went off, she jumped, looked around, then decided no one else could hear it. I don’t know if it was an emergency or not, or if someone found her hairbrush, but that phone vibrated for the rest of the class. Fortunately, the woman slurping her tea helped drown out the noise. Inhale. Ms. Inappropriately-Close on the other side of me kept windmilling her arms in my airspace. Exhale. I retreated to the back of my mat, looking for the power of now. It wasn’t there.

I closed my eyes during mountain pose, and begged myself to remember that we are all part of the same stardust. When I opened my eyes, next door neighbor had moved in and kicked her block onto my mat. I responded with a pretty awesome bakasana (knees on elbows) and aimed my arse right at her. Namaste.

How Did I Get Up This Creek and Where Is My Paddle?

When San Diego weathercaster, Jaswinder Park, is mysteriously summoned to the island of Maui in Hawaii to help her grandmother, she ends up losing her job. This fair-haired, light-skinned foreigner, called haole by the natives, decides to stay in Maui for a couple of days until she can figure out what to do with her life. She realizes that her quick trip to Maui may not be all she’s hoping for when:

  • She has to bail her Hawaiian/Korean grandmother out of jail for possession of pakalolo.
  • The only thing she can understand her grandmother say is: “Not that.”
  • She can’t decide which hurts worse, her sunburn, hangover, or memories of the night before.
  • She’s labeled the “Liquor Licker” on the front page of the Maui News in a photo that shows her doing a shot of tequila with a hunky Hawaiian who’s been found dead.
  • It seems she’s had orgasms that have lasted longer than her career.
  • She scrapes the bottom of the barrel to find her guardian angel.

Beautiful fabric found in her grandmother’s closet unfolds a future for Jaswinder as she designs sensuous silky wraps called sunshminas that provide sun protection. She tries for a Hollywood connection, but her company, Haole Wood, has some growing pains. From trying to find a killer, to selling her sunshminas, to lusting after Dr. Jac, the island dermatologist, to trying to ignore her so-called guardian angel, can Jaswinder learn to embrace the island way of life? Aloha!

Haole Wood – less pesky orgasms than Fifty Shades of Grey.


Baby, Come Back!

Baby, come back!
You can blame it all on me.
I was wrong and I just can’t live without you.

I’ll never make you go into my kids’ bedrooms again.

Why Do I Want This?

You want me to drink what?

Ninety-four percent of writers drink coffee, according to IMTU (I Made That Up). As part of that group, I am comfortable in representing that we could cheerfully kick tea drinker’s collective arses. And as for chai tea? Really? I would rather suck on bathroom spray, since that is exactly what chai tea smells like.

Don’t rush, me, I am getting to the good part. While hopped up on caffeine, I Googled Luwak coffee. (Go on, I’ll wait for you.) Why do I really, really want to try that? What could possibly be missing from my life that I seriously considered plunking down money on coffee beans that have . . . well, it is pretty funny how successful they have been in selling that. There’s a marketing lesson here somewhere!

Dear Chick Lit,

When Love Walked In, Certain Girls who were Good in Bed were shaking with Little Earthquakes. Anybody Out There? I called. My heart was Skipping a Beat I’ve Got Your Number. It may have started as Something Borrowed but you’ve taken me to Almost Paradise, keeping me Spellmanbound and now, you Belong to Me. Don’t play Hunger Games with my heart, Take A Chance on Me and spirit me away to The Forgotten Garden where, Believe It or Not, I have Dreams of Joy.

P.S. I Love You!

Happy International Chick Lit Month – go chick out some great reads!

Thank you ChickLit Club, Chick Lit Central, Chick Lit Is Not Dead and Novelicious!

Name Dropping

I have met (in name only!) a wonderful group of women in my spam folder:

There’s Vera Yanez . . . I imagine her love for big boobs (#barkingupthewrongtree) makes her quite a fun character.

As for Mignon Kallenburger, her expertise in the pharmaceutical industry by day, (complete with white coat, and of course hair done up in a chignon, right?) surely leaves plenty of time for exciting exploits by night.

Margrett Giralomo, Gilma Fuhriman, and Keira Trombley, could all be best friends, n’est-ce pas? As for Fallon Zollicoffer, I think she is in a class all by herself . . . maybe living in Napa Valley, definitely drinking Cabernet.

A big thank you to these ladies for reaching out. And if any writers are stumped for character names, you’re welcome!

Neither Pretty Nor Profound

I don’t know why I like to write.
I say stupid things.
I do embarrassing things.
I cheat in yoga.
I drink a lot of coffee.
My bra and underwear don’t match.
I may slightly exaggerate situations to make myself look better.
Eleanor Brown’s reasons for why she writes is an Ode to Awesomeness, an iambic pentameter of epic proportions, a pretty, profound, pied piper potpourri of prose, containing secrets of the universe, including the key to writerly wisdom . . .

I am one flawed human being.

Such a Pretty Word…

Schadenfreude

Say that three times fast, and then pretend you’ve never felt it.
Schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\ noun:
 A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others. OK, that’s a little harsh and I am not proud of myself, but I was feeling the sting of a crappy review, and to make myself feel better I clicked over to my very favorite author, the goddess herself, Marian Keyes.

Goddess Marian Keyes

Say what? Imagine my surprise to find she received TEN one-star, really mean reviews, à la: “Why??” “SO disappointed,” to “Was this gobshite even edited?”
Mean reviews, like TMZ, are really funny. (Except when they’re not.)

One of my favorite historical fiction novels, The Botticelli Secret, also received its fair share of dings. I think the author, Marina Fiorato, is brilliant, with the most amazing voice for dialogue. Not everyone agrees: From “Do not buy this book!” to “Silly and shallow!” to “I feel angry and cheated and tore off the cover and threw it away!” to having vendettas out against the people who had the nerve to recommend it, “I’m looking for the sweet little old lady at the bookstore who convinced me to buy it: what lies beneath that nice lady persona?” mean reviews are, if nothing else, passionate.

Schadenfreude comes from the German, Schaden, “damage” + Freude, “joy” — and can apparently be abbreviated as TMZ.

Yes, I am damaged goods…but misery does love company.

Meet Ros…

I always knew Ros would be a tough sell, but she has good intentions…

She has been compared to a cross between E.T. and Starman, but ultimately, she’s women’s fiction…with a hopefully-ever-after ending, dedicated to my idol, Marian Keyes.

If I haven’t lost you yet, please check out author Vaughn Roycroft’s brilliant review of Ros!

I would love to hear what you think!

(Marian Keyes, where are you?)

PS: Oh my gosh, you’re still here? Why don’t you go click the “Like” button on Ros!

Is Your Kindle Making You Fat?

I was going to go with an eOrgasms article to spice up this dreary winter day, but I sat in front of my computer for such an embarrassing length of time, nothing came. Har har. (I wish I could write erotica…I hear it pays well.)

I apologize–this is strangely personal for someone you’ve never met. Let me digress. I grew up in Ennui, Ohio. (Which is a joke.) (Because it gives far too much credit to my hometown.) Back then, I would have traded clear skin for being fat in a heartbeat. Well now, the joke’s on me–I can eat exponentially greater quantities of potato chips when I read on my kindle, than while fumbling with a paperback book. That’s not to say I haven’t fumbled a bit with my Kindle–we’ve been to third base, (thanks to an overambitious, delicious, non-nutritious reading feast that included a glass of wine). Salty fingers are no friend to the digital domain, either, (orange-colored crumbs are even worse) but have no fear, a toothpick combined with a napkin serves as a tiny magic wand, erasing the evidence.

Thanks to a steady diet of so many new books to explore,  I do try to limit my grazing while gazing…feeding while reading…glutton on the button…


“Oh, dear God, please let this woman write better novels than blog posts,” you may be thinking. When updating my blog, I fear no one really cares about what an author has to say; whether or not I donate spare change to street musicians or have pet names for family members. My husband informed me he wants to be known as “Director,” (he does direct TV shows) but you’ll be happy to know I shined him off by directing him to “Direct this,” while grabbing my own arse. As for my kids, I could full out ID them by their cell phone-slash-social security numbers for all the impression I make on them–they never notice anything I do.

Back to me. Focus. I like to write because I say really stupid things. I do embarrassing things. I am a shit-talker. Guilty of Schadenfreude. I cheat in yoga. My bra and underwear don’t match. To add insult to injury, my kindle is making me fat.

Misery loves company, as they say–won’t you join me?

Ros

Book Club in a Box…and a Bag!

Call me unimaginative, call me a Virgo with a stymieing need for order and control, just don’t call me late to the “monthly wine-swilling club where we pretend to discuss books we read.” (Call-out quote from Ros.)

I’m partial to stories that have built-in food themes for book club picks, and while my novel, Ros, hasn’t been recommended for any book club (yet! A girl can dream…) I offer up an easy presentation, using only ingredients found in Ros–including Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. Enjoy!

Dialogues With The Devil

(Conversation With A Literary Agent: Selling Your Soul)

Me: It is a warm, witty (hopefully, though God alone knows how many of us try to pass off the unfunny by calling it warm and witty) novel; friends-on-an-adventure facing insurmountable odds…

Devil: Is there an alien in it?

Me: Yes, but…

Devil: Science Fiction.

Me: No, but…

Devil: No Sci-Fi for me.

Me: Me, either.

Devil: (Recorded message) Thank you for considering me for submission of your manuscript. I kindly ask that you refrain from darkening my doorstep in the future.

Me: It’s not Science Fiction! Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Devil: Cloven hoof tapping impatiently.

Me: Think of it as a coming-of (voice lowers to whisper) -space- (louder) age story!

Devil:  SF.

Me: No, not at all! Geez. Never. I mean there is romance in there, and a few NSFW scenes that while gratuitous, certainly do serve to move the story along…

Devil: SF!

Me: No! I do not write erotica.

DevilStatic on line; indeterminate rumbling that sounds a lot like “Maybe you should.”

Me: Who’s to say this didn’t really happen? Or that it won’t happen? The whole sci-fi world doesn’t have to be riddled with Stephen King monsters, or werewolves or vampires. Sookie Stackhouse would love Ros!

Devil: Dial tone.

Me: Oh, Ros. I miss you so. I mean, I would miss you if you had actually…Oops. My lips are zipped.

Ros was taped before a live studio audience. For a transcript of the show, please visit Ros!

Ta Da! Reader Unboxed…

You are invited to set your browser to

Reader Unboxed – a brand new blog for all things fresh and fascinating in fiction–with the latest, unique “unboxed” novels!

Reader Unboxed is a collaboration between the amazing founders of the popular Writer Unboxed, authors Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton.

Partnering with top book bloggers under the guidance of the divine Fairy Godmother Larramie from The Divining Wand, Reader Unboxed is being launched as one of the most innovative and interactive places for readers to review and celebrate fiction and authors.

R U an RU?

You are invited to make Reader Unboxed one of your go-to destinations. Please take a look, leave a comment and become a Reader Unboxed!

Happy Reading!

Reader Unboxed!

What’s the last really good book you read? If you’re looking for that next unique, “unboxed” novel, read on!

Coming up Monday, October 17th, please set your browser to Reader Unboxed – a brand new blog for all things fresh and fascinating in fiction!

Reader Unboxed is a collaboration between the amazing founders of the popular Writer Unboxed, authors Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton.

Partnering with top book bloggers under the guidance of the divine Fairy Godmother Larramie from The Divining Wand, Reader Unboxed is being launched as one of the most innovative and interactive places for readers to review and celebrate fiction and authors.

R U an RU?

You are invited to make Reader Unboxed one of your go-to destinations. Please take a look, leave a comment and become a Reader Unboxed!

Happy reading!

Bready Or Not…

Instead of one giant sourdough bloomin’ onion breadbowl of delight (thanks, Pinterest!) I tried three smaller ones..

Criss-crossed cut sourdough, melted butter, cheese and whatever...

Mushrooms...

Onions...

Cheesy...Easy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monkey See. Monkey Do. Doo.

Of all the things I had to do, like organizing my collection of pumpkin recipes on Pinterest: pumpkin bars, rolls, breads, spreads, organic orgasm-enhancing oil (I’m sure it’s on there, keep looking!), a trip to the craft store wasn’t in my plans.

I needed some new toys for my nephew. He likes monkeys, I like monkeys. He likes plastic noisy things, I like cheap. (Dumb Dora was so dumb, her mother gave her money to go to the store to get felt, but Dumb Dora just laughed and laughed ‘cuz she knew she could go to the store and get felt for free.)

Voila! Friendly, felt monkey faces for hours 22 seconds of entertainment.

Pity from a four-year-old: Priceless.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation…

First, we realized everything that was missing from our lives…(thanks, Sky Mall Magazine)…

A Magic Wand TV remote control!

Then, we did this.

Then, we complained about that…

Then, it didn’t matter so much after this…

Or that…

Or this.

Then, we did this…

And that.

A little bit of this…

A little bit of that.

Followed by more of this…

xoxo


History’s Sister…

As historical fiction transports us to places we can never know (until time travel is perfected), the genius of authors like Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl, Geraldine Brooks, March, and Sena Jeter Naslund, Ahab’s Wife, magically transforms history with revelations from lesser-known counterparts of the day.

What if…

Suellen’s Side of The Story…
I haven’t talked to my sister for nearly ten years, though I hear about her from time to time, of course. Folks can’t seem to resist wanting to stir up that honeypot, trying to catch me out sharpening my tongue on vengeful stories of her excesses; hoping to be the first to hear she’s grown as wide as a pickle barrel, or all her hair fell out. They’ll learn none of that from me. “She’s doing as well as can be expected,” I always say.

My parents, especially Mother, would probably be most ashamed of me, her middle daughter, since I turned out to be what the God-fearing members of my family charitably call a bluestocking. The less kind, perhaps not having a big enough vocabulary and an even more limited imagination, infer malicious perversions about me. So-called friends wearing hound-dog expressions try to comfort me, repeating aspersions in exchange for a ringside seat to a drama of I don’t know what. Sometimes it takes all my willpower to not just start clucking like a chicken, pecking at their skirts, or maybe even kissing them right on their dumb bunny mouths to give credence to their shabby hopes of a mind gone ‘round the bend. I try not to preen like others I know would, but there is solace to be had upon growing up with no expectations; surely life could only turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

After my husband died, God rest his soul, I ran away from home; from all that I hurt and all that I hated. I loath the very ground that swallowed my babe, my sole chance for redemption, and care not which gates of hell I enter. As if reading a book backwards, I set out for the other side of the world, looking for a better ending that perhaps I had missed. That’s another story; one not even my sister could begin to imagine…

Which relative (from history or fiction) would you like to read about?

Blog On…

Thank you to the amazing Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Four Mrs. Bradwells and most generous writing mentor, for bringing together writers and readers from around the world.

Welcome to the SheWrites Blogger Ball!

There are so many great reading and writing blogs out there from funny and smart women–and thanks to Meg and the great SheWrites site you can spend houuurrrs! reading, learning, enjoying and escaping into the wonderful world of writing–you are warned!

EP! Anon…

I am a recovering exclamation point user. I never knew how universally hated the horn-honk of grammar has become. Bless me readers for I have sinned. I have been doing more than my fair share of pointing the exclamation. I fear it may be one of those symptoms (like when you’re pregnant and all you can see are other baby bumps) where my own liberal use of the left-handed pinkie lift leaves me astonished.

I am happy to report I am reformed. With remarkable restraint I refrain from relapsing. Alas. Meet my new addiction: alliteration.

Eleanor Brown and Sarah Pekkanen, I Ain’t..

With homage to two of my favorite authors, Eleanor Brown and Sarah Pekkanen, who are so gracious and eloquent, and always say just the right thing; I am eternally impressed (read: jealous) by the inspiration they share with their readers.

To that end, I thought I’d try to reach out, craft words of wisdom and “exercise” one of my demons with some uplifting tips. Where did I go wrong?

Work-Out FundaMENTALs:

  • If you do not understand what DO NOT USE YOUR CELL PHONE means, (you know, that giant sign posted on the easel you have to walk around to enter the gym) please ask for help.
  • DO NOT blow your nose into the neck of your t-shirt that you are currently wearing.
  • If you must do Tai Chi, please DO NOT do it on the treadmill next to me.
  • There is no such thing as calling SAFETY on work-out equipment. (That only works in your your own home, with SECOND-GRADERS.)
  • Subsection IV: DO NOT leave your trash behind, this includes but is not limited to used towels, gum wrappers, gum, kleenex (really?!), bandaids (are you kidding me?), newspapers, cups, bottles, Q-TIPS??!!
  • DO NOT prop up the the hairdryer in the locker room to blow dry your underpants.

Sigh. There is a cinnamon Pop-Tart at home with my name on it that I plan on eating (outside edges first) while reading what Eleanor and Sarah are up to. So help me, if they are doing a charity 5K for the underprivileged, I will scream.

Abracadabra!

The Magic of Book Bloggers

The best part about writing is reading. The best part about reading is meeting other people who like to read and write. Enter the amazing world of book bloggers…smart, charming protagonists who graciously welcome a diverse utopia of stories and storytellers.

From the divine Larramie at The Divining Wand, to Audra over at Unabridged Chick, to Liz and Lisa at Chick Lit Is Not Dead, to Samantha at Chick Lit Plus, to Cathy at Lip Gloss and Literature, to Nigel Bird and his Dancing With Myself Interviews, to Raquel at Sinfully Tasty Reads, to Minh at Somewhere Only We Know, who cracked me up with the Best Worst Review ever…the universe is a better place thanks to this creative crowd of literati. Their style, personality and love of reading shines through each carefully crafted blog.

When one book closes another opens. Book bloggers have introduced me to many brilliant authors who I feel like I know, (but not in a stalkerish way) like the hilarious Karen Bergreen (FOLLOWING POLLY, and check out her stand-up comedy routines!), the awesome Elise Allen (YA author of ELIXIR with Hillary Duff and soon-to-be-released POPULAZZI, and bloggista extraordinaire!) and the fabulous Carol K. Karr (author of INDIA BLACK, my new, fav historical fiction).  Please note: I am not a stalker. Except for Marian Keyes…her, I’m stalking.

As writers work so hard for space on readers’ bookshelves, it is a magical adventure. The wit and wisdom of book bloggers make it that much more enchanting.

The Kitchen Shrink SWAG… (via dee detarsio)

The Kitchen Shrink SWAG... NEW! The Kitchen Shrink, A Novel… If your lifeʼs a mess, your house could probably use a makeover, too! The Kitchen Shrink, a new novel featuring the humor, vulnerability, honesty and flaws of a suburban heroine…Welcome to the behind-the-scenes world of reality TV in The Kitchen Shrink.  Enter The Kitchen Shrink Giveaway: -Amazon Kindle eGift of The Kitchen Shrink -Invisible The Kitchen Shrink Bookmark! -Domestic Diva Clean-Up Gloves -Five-In-One … Read More

via dee detarsio

Why Can’t I Write Erotica?

Spank me, pull my hair, make me call you Daddy.

I like titillating stuff as much as the next girl. If I write it, it makes me squirm, and not in the good way. The dirtiest thing I ever came up with was (insert deep throaty whisper here), “kittttty litttter.” I once wore an apron to the pleasure palace, and arrived armed with a spatula. It made him ravenous. Seriously, not only was it apparently not sexy that I showed up in the boudoir looking like I was ready to pull buns from the oven, he didn’t even notice other than the fact that it reminded him he was hungry. He does pretend he can’t hear me and always asks me to repeat myself when, “I have to caulk the shower.”

The Kitchen Shrink SWAG…

NEW! The Kitchen Shrink, A Novel…

If your lifeʼs a mess, your house could probably use a makeover, too! The Kitchen Shrink, a new novel featuring the humor, vulnerability, honesty and flaws of a suburban heroine…Welcome to the behind-the-scenes world of reality TV in The Kitchen Shrink.  Enter The Kitchen Shrink Giveaway:
-Amazon Kindle eGift of The Kitchen Shrink
-Invisible The Kitchen Shrink Bookmark!
-Domestic Diva Clean-Up Gloves
-Five-In-One Hammer/Screwdriver Tool
-1.5” Perdy Paintbrush
-Groovy Toolbox!

To Enter:

Please leave a comment on this post!

Winner will be chosen at random by my dog, Leo, on May 23, 2011 (my son’s birthday). Please check back! Thanks for reading!!




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