Readers’ Choice Awards!

Big Al’s Books and Pals, one of the most respected indie book review sites, has just compiled a list of nominations for the 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards, featuring tops picks of the year in everything from Romance, to Mystery, to Fantasy, YA, Contemporary, Humor, Crime, Paranormal, Short Story, and more.

Haole Wood has received a nomination for Chick Lit!! final-kindle-cover-web

There is time to vote through March 12th, so click on over and help support Indie Authors—Thank you!

http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/2014/03/readers-choice2.html

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Where’d You Go, Maria Semple?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? has to be my favorite book of the year. Bernadette is a woman after my own heart, so too, by extension is her creator, Maria Semple. I love the way she makes me laugh at the sadness of life.

Screen shot 2013-02-12 at 9.34.53 AMI am sure Ms. Semple isn’t sitting around Googling herself (like some insecure misfits I could name), but if she was, I’d like to think that maybe she saw me raising a fruity, pineapple toast in her direction.

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!

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?

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

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.

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.


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!