On the road again...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Aloha, friends---

Yes, I'm on the road again. Sigh. My husband and I are driving our son down to Los Angeles and flying home on Monday. Yes, that's right. A family road trip. :)

I'll check back in on my return. Until then, to all of you, keep reading and in the words of the Governator: I'll be back...

And they say you can't go home again...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Aloha friends---

Well, here I am again, back in the lush, green and blue Pacific Northwest. I have to say that when I woke up in the morning (after traveling ALL day and night), I was literally awed by the beauty of my own back yard. We came home in this end of spring, start of summer time, and the view from my office window is nothing short of spectacular. Everything is in bloom--azaleas, rhodies, irises, heather, and my gorgeous golden chain trees. The lawn looks like a carpet of emerald green velvet. Just beautiful. So beautiful in fact that I hardly noticed the gray rain drizzling down...

I guess that's how you know you live in the right place for you--after three decades of looking at the same view, it can still take your breath away.

But now that I'm home, it's back to work. First up is updating my blog. I appreciate all of you sticking with me while I slowed down a bit for vacation, and I promise to make it up to you. First thing, though, I am kind of immersed in motherhood. My son, who as many of you know, just finished his sophomore year of college (yippee!!), came over to Hawaii for a few wonderful days. You can imagine how much I enjoyed that--we sat on the beach side by side, reading, just as we've done for the whole of his life. Then, once we were home again, he went immediately in for oral surgery. Wisdom teeth. Which means, of course, that I've been playing Florence Nightengale and loving every minute of it. Since he's twenty now, I don't get much of a chance to take care of him anymore. :) Next week, we're watching him leave again, for California, and a real world internship. It's so cool to watch our kids begin to really grow up and discover who they're going to be...

I've mentioned the new book, and voila! the copy edited manuscript just arrived--thudded--on my doorstep, so I guess that's on the list now, too. If any of you have questions, by the way, about any part of the publishing process, please don't hesitate to ask. I can tell you that they're working on the cover for the new book, while i review the copy edit and get my last crack at nailing the book exactly the way I wanted to. Which never happens. Every book is simultaneously better than I'd imagined and less than I'd hoped. I guess it's that quest for the perfect realization of one's dream that keeps us writers starting over, one book at a time.

And sorry about the missing photograph. :) What can I say, I screwed up somehow! I'll try to attach it again, or find another one.

So what's new with all of you? Were you all surprised about David Cook winning on Idol? And thrilled about Kristin and Mark? And what are you reading? Don't be afraid to share...

Have I already recommended Harlan coben's Hold Tight? If so, I guess I really mean it; if not, I can't recommend this author strongly enough.

Keep in touch and take care. Say a prayer this Memorial Day weekend for all of the soldiers and their families who have sacrificed so much for our country.


PS: The photo worked this time, but it IS sideways. I'm sorry, I have no idea how to fix it! :) Still, it's my view. I hope you enjoy it.

aloha for the last time...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dear friends:

I'm coming to the end of my wonderful vacation over here in paradise. Thanks to all of you for keeping me in touch with the mainland. :) I'll do a new post at the end of the week, when I'm --sigh--back in the real world. But for now, here's photo of my yard in Hawaii, taken at magic hour. And that's not a book plug. Honest...


ps: sorry if it's sideways. You know I'm still learning this stuff... :)

Aloha again---

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Good evening all--

Thanks so much for keeping in touch with me on my wonderful, relaxing vacation. As you know, I've been hanging around with my girlfriends for the past couple of weeks--riding our bicycles through town, eating shave ice from street vendors, paddleboarding (don't try to make me show the photos of Christina--I won't do it), swimming, snorkeling and of course, making margaritas.

It's been especially cool to see how many of you are also connected to the Hawaiian islands--some in reality and some of you in your dreams. It's no wonder. The swaying palm trees and lapping waves and warm days bring out the dreamer in almost everyone.

But, alas, even in paradise, there is work to be done. Yesterday my husband and I spent ALL day in town, going to Costco (I bought far too many books), Borders (where I also bought too many books), Safeway, and Walmart. Yes, friends, you can fly far from the mainland, land on a beautiful island, and still discover that you need paper towels and sponges. So there I was yesterday, standing in the checkout aisle at Walmart, where, as you guessed it, I also bought too many books, and wondering exactly how long all this shopping would take me. The good news was that we went out for dinner on the way home and watched Dancing with the Stars on a big screen tv in the restaurant. And just for the record, I don't care what Carrie Ann says--Kristi and Mark's dance with the umbrella was beautiful. In fact, I'm starting to be irritated that the judges in general are too hard on the really good dancers and too easy on the lesser competitors. It worries me that their scores will cause some of my favorites to go home...it wouldn't be the first time in the reality show world. (Can anyone say Melinda Doolittle? Tamyra Gray? Sabrina from DWTS?)

Back to the real world, though. I've just heard from my editor that they're bringing my new book out in the beginning of the year--I'm hoping for February again. That was a lucky month for me. They're working on the cover as we speak. Last I heard, they were "playing with" peaches and golds as a color scheme. Sounds good to me. I can't wait to hear what you all think of the new one. It's a boldly romantic story with a breathless pace. It's been a long time since I've written a flat out love story, and let me tell you, this hero is something. :) I'm hopeful that we'll have ARC's for a few lucky readers at the end of the summer.

And now, for my BIG NEWS. My husband and I are planning a trip to Africa in the Fall. It's really going to be the trip of a lifetime, celebrating all our years of marriage in one fell swoop. Well, as I was planning the trip, I found myself studying more and more about the continent, and as I read more, I found myself wanting to do something to contribute. I didn't want to simply go to Africa and take; I wanted to give back. But how? More research ensued. In the end, I've chosen to contribute to the Botswana Book Project. It's a local, grass roots organization that distributes books to school age children in dire need. This year in particular the organization is focusing on popular fiction. That's right: they want the kind of paperback, popular novels that people love to read. Of course I had to help. So, to make a long story short, I'm collecting as many paperback novels as I can between now and the first of July. Then I'll send these novels off and help them get into the hands of faraway readers. I don't yet have all the information, but when I do, I'll pass it along. Maybe some of you would like to clean out your bookcases or go to your local bookstore for a good cause.

That's all the news that's fit to print from paradise. I'm heading off to the kitchen now to make coconut/panko crusted tiger prawns. One of my favorite recipes. :)

Aloha to all and thanks for keeping in touch. I treasure all of your posts and comments...

ps: I hope I uploaded a photo of Christina Dodd (left), Jill Marie Landis (center), and yours truly in Hawaii. Did I??? :)