Monday, March 8, 2010



Hello everyone!

Spring has finally come to the Pacific Northwest. To celebrate the sunshine, I'm sending you a favorite photograph from my very own yard. To the right is my driveway, full of flowering plum trees.
The good news is that it's stunningly beautiful this time of year--the bad news is that it turns out I'm allergic to these very same gorgeous trees. I guess it's sort of like wearing high heels to a cocktail party--sometimes you just have to pay the price for beauty. For me, that price is sneezing. :)

Here are some of my favorite signs of spring: my plum trees, the first green bulb shoots peeking up from the rich, dark earth, robins, the frogs chirping in my pond, pink lillies of the valley...and the Oscars.


You know me, I'm a popular culture junkie. I love books, tv, movies, and music. All of it speaks to me when it's done well, and the Oscars are the pinnacle of pop culture. Every year, I have a party with my closest girlfriends. We do what a lot of you probably do--we critique the dresses, the make up, the jewelry. We listen to every word and cry at an acceptace speech every year. I love every moment. This year, here are my favorites: I LOVED Jeff Bridges--the big Lebowski and Starman--finally taking home the golden statue. I LOVED Sandra Bullock for the same reasons that you all did--she seems to be a gracious, intelligent, funny, talented, down-to earth woman. But what I really love is that, after all these years and all these fab films, she was an underdog. Many of us who write novels for women about women know what it's like to be taken less seriously. So I say, go Sandra! Win for every woman who was not taken seriously enough. Also, I love any woman who can't avoid crying when she mentions her mother...

Gotta love Kathryn Bigelow, too! I've loved her since Point Break. And we love to see a woman finally win--and for a "guys" film. Woo hoo!

What were your favorite Oscar moments?
And now that the Oscars are over, I'm back to focusing almost entirely on Lost. I'm obsessed, what can I say? I'm also watching American Idol, as usual. What do you all think of Ellen?

Thanks to all of you for your support of Winter Garden. Already, it's success has been AMAZING. It's currently on it's fifth week on the NYT list. Honestly, I can't believe, and I am so incredibly grateful. What else have you all been reading? I'm still reading City of Bones and looking forward to Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin. But I'm looking forward to spring in Hawaii, and I totally need some book recommendations, so let me know!


Aloha for now--


Kristin

41 Comments:

Blogger april said...

Emily Giffin is signing in my town. I don't know if I'll go, but my friend is a huge fan.

We watched preshow, the Oscars and an hour of postshow. I saw a good number of the movies (not necessarily best pictures though). I really liked Invictus and The Hurt Locker.

It is officially Spring here, too. Not much blooming yet but my allergies are rough. It looks like the cherry blossoms are going to be a bit late and be around Easter. I'm doing a lot of tourist-playing this month as I also have tickets to the terracotta warriors at the National Geographic Museum.

As for reading, I finished Fantasy in Death and am reading Julie James right now. I'm really enjoying it but haven't had time to knock out the last 1/3 yet. Hopefully, I can tonight. I have a lot of good ones waiting in the wings, too.

We're also starting preparations for our annual Kentucky Derby party in May so things are ramping up for us.

Hope the rest of the Fireflies are faring well.

March 9, 2010 at 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Hi Kristin!
I guess I never said "Welcome back." So, Welcome Back.

Idol is going well; the girls are rockin' it, as should be the case.

I've decided to voraciously read everything Fern Michaels that I can get my hands on. She seems to be having a lot of stuff coming up.
I think I've mentioned that I'm not too keen on the whole "Sisterhood" thing. Revenge is just messy. Reading The Future Scrolls now, but Plain Jane and Late Bloomer are among my faves.

Also, excited about future career opportunities-- something about teaching. Kids. To read. Hmmm, not sure....

Gotta go get breakfast. Love your pictures. Too bad they make you sneeze.

March 9, 2010 at 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Jo said...

I'm reading Between Sisters right now but I just finished The Chesapeake Bay series by Nora Roberts. There are 4 of them but they are quick reads- even for me and I'm a slow reader! I found them very touching and insanely entertaining! I laughed out loud several times =).

Have fun in Hawaii!

March 9, 2010 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Patricia T. said...

Welcome back, we've missed you!

I'm not at all surprised that Winter Garden remains on the NYT best seller list. As word continues to spread, I believe it will remain there for a while. Congratulations!

After reading Winter Garden, my husband has now read four of your books. He really likes how you write -- the stories just flow. Have to get the word out to men.

I know I won the advanced copy of your novel, but also purchased the hardback -- I have most of your original books in hardback. Have been telling everyone to read it and posted something on my facebook. I want everyone to know about Winter Garden -- it is a masterpiece.

I just finished reading Rebecca Wells' The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder. What a charming and soulful book. I love how she weaves a spiritual overtone into her stories. Posted a note on her blog and also mentioned I was prompted to read her book because of post on your blog.

Spring -- what is that? What a lovely photo. We have melting snow and signs of green grass. Spring won't really begin to show it's face until mid-April.

Just started Jodi Picoult's newest novel, House Rules. Not far enough into it to grab me yet. Highly recommend Greg Mortenson's Stones for Schools, but I know it's not a book for everyone.

Saw the musical "Wicked" last week. How fabulous!

Loved the Oscars, but they were predictable. Just had a feeling Kathryn Bigelow would win. All my favorites won.

Okay, I'm glued to American Idol, but really don't have a favorite.

Blessings,
Patricia

March 9, 2010 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Kari Simonson said...

I am still waiting for Winter Garden from the library!
I am currently reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult. It's an AMAZING BOOK!!! Have you read it?

March 9, 2010 at 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Rachel Weeks Anderson said...

Reading your comments about loving Pop culture was like reading my explanations of it. I call "Access Hollywood" my "NEWS"... I totally store Useless information esp on Pop Culture!! I call The Oscars and the Golden Globes my "SUPERBOWL" my hubby knows that it is my special time. I only wish that I had some friends that were as into it as I was. Your party sounds FUN!! I just was posting updates on my FB page.... SJP's hair?? uhhhh Carrie Bradshaw I love you... but your hair was a fuzz ball on top!! Also.... I love Lost too. Getting ready to watch it NOW! Even named my cat Sawyer... hubby thinks after Tom Sawyer... so naive... LOL!!! Just picked up a new to me book of yours "If you Believe" annoyed that full time school, job and home life and not letting me read... HAHAHA! Love me a good bubble bath with your book!

Rachel Weeks Anderson

March 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

My thoughts on the Oscars.
http://merrylandgirl.blogspot.com/2010/03/awards-galore.html

No wonder I like your books so much...we're both pop culture junkies! I like how you add a touch of pop culture to your books, such as talking about music or movies of certain eras. You did a lot of it in "Firefly Lane" and now I can't listen to "Dancing Queen" without crying.

Beautiful spring picture!

March 9, 2010 at 11:29 PM  
OpenID jd0326 said...

I loved The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Your two books that i've read so far are better(Firefly Lane and True Colors)but they are both very good reads. As for American Idol, i'm not a fan of Ellen being a judge.I like her but not as a judge. There is no purpose for her, they should've just left it with Simon, Kara and Randy.

March 9, 2010 at 11:36 PM  
Blogger Carolynn Carey said...

Hi Kristin,
Have you read Robyn Carr's Virgin River series? If not, you should give them a try.

Have fun in Hawaii.

March 9, 2010 at 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Jana said...

Hey....
Just caught up with your blog through the facebook link....isn't the internet amazing?
I thought the Oscar's were just a tad "weird" this year...I thought that Alex and Steve seemed a bit awkward and some the moments that were suppose to be funny..fell flat...loved a lot of the winners..Sandra Bullock (long overdue)and I loved that she was so good natured about the Razzie she got for "all About Steve"...and her dress was fab...loved Cameron Diaz's dress ( she finally got it just right!)..Jlo was gorgeous..I was a bit upset about the exclusion of Farrah and some others in the memorial tribute...it was unbelievable and the Oscar's explanation...just stupid...if it is a matter of "time" ..cut something else out of the show..it was NOT a flattering glimpse of the reality of Hollywood...YOUR party looked like tons of fun though..
Books I am reading or on my list? Jodi Picoult's new book "House Rules"..it deals with Asperger's...Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosenay. I envy you going to your Hawaiian sactuary....I am off to Vegas next month to celebrate my 50th with "the girls"! Happy Spring! Jana

March 10, 2010 at 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kristin! I also live in South Puget Sound area. I am a native Texan recently transplanted. I must say, Spring is most definetly gorgeous here!

Lost is amazing isn't it? Still more questions than answers. We'll see. American Idol, too is something else this season. Ellen is doing well. I am a big fan of Siobhan, Lilly, Crystal and Didi fan. The guys just don't seem as strong this time.

Well, off we go. Have a super day!
Kim

March 10, 2010 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Guys,
Did you hear Lee sing "Fireflies" on idol last night???
Gotta love that song.
I'm goin' back to TX, but I am SO not ready.
See ya later.

March 11, 2010 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

My favorite Oscar moments were either Oprah's speech to Gabourey Sidibe, Sandra Bullok, or Kathryn Bigleow winning and beating Avatar. Right now I'm reading The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks because I want to see the movie. Even though it's got Miley in it, it looks good. Still need to get Winter Garden, thankfully over Spring Break my mom and I are going to get a hotel room near the Scottsdale Fashion Mall and spean the entire day theer and they have a Borders and I'm making sure we stop there.

March 11, 2010 at 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Lisa - TX Firefly said...

Hi everyone! I've missed chatting with you. We had the most gorgeous weekend, and it was long overdue. Got lots done in the yard, very fun!

I loved the Oscars, and my favorite was Sandra winning. She has been my favorite actress forever and it's awesome to see her finally get her prize! And, I have a huge 'rough boy' crush on Jesse James. They are precious together!

I am spot checking Idol. I like to watch more when it's down to like 8 people. I'm liking Ellen ok, but just can't get into the contestants this year. Not sure why.

I finally read The Help, loved it! Am now reading The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. I bought this book a good while back, and it's very big with very tiny type. The book jacket and first couple of pages just weren't blowing my skirt up. I always put it down and went to another. So, the other day I'm thinking of how strange, but brilliant, I felt his other two books were that I read. I remember slow starts and then getting hooked! Well, this one is the same, if not more so. I'm really enjoying it !!

I can't wait for Winter Garden to be out long enough where we can chat it up without spoiling it for newcomers. It is the most amazing book I've ever read. Easily!

I guess that's it for catching up for now. I'll sign off as Lisa - TX Firefly again, since I noticed another Lisa joined the blog a while back.

Tata for now!

March 15, 2010 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger april said...

Holy cow! I'm reading Shutter Island (which the ones of you on Facebook know). I LOVE it. I can't put it down. I'm almost done and basically had my jaw hit the floor when I read the big reveal on the Metro. My friend saw the film and is now reading the book, but she heard that every scene is identical. I really want to see the movie now but will probably wait to rent because I'm a gigantic baby. It's more creepy than scary, but the movie looks more scary than creepy.

March 16, 2010 at 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

Hi Kristin! I'm in awe of your beautiful spring driveway. I'm in the desert southwest. Had a wetter than normal for us winter, and our allergies are paying for that. 60s last week to 80s this week-just in time for kids Spring Break!

Oscars-so happy for Sandra-I completely agree. I've loved her in so many movies and extremely happy that she's finally taken seriously. Enjoyed the show!

Thank you for asking what we're reading... I've enjoyed many recommendations from your website and facebook posts. What I'm reading... I finished Prima Donna by Megan Chance a couple of days ago. I did the same with that one that I did with Winter Garden. I couldn't start anything else right away. The story is so powerful. The characters are still with me.

I hope you are enjoying City of Bones. I read the series recently and I loved living in that world! Might be our world too actually. Maybe I just can't see through the glamour!

I'm re-reading Vince Flynn's Extreme Measures now, getting ready for Pursuit of Honor. Have Kelly Corrigan's The Middle Place, and two KH's, Waiting for the Moon and If You Believe, on my shelf waiting to be read!

Thanks to all of you who wished my family and I well through my stepfather's recovery. He's had some rough spots, but we're hopeful he'll be past this and better than before soon.

Eagerly anticipating your beach reads and posts from Hawaii! Enjoy Spring!!

March 17, 2010 at 2:18 AM  
Anonymous donna said...

Hi Kristin: I don't know if you will get tired of compliments but just had to say that I totally enjoyed Winter Garden. Loved all of the Russian info - very, very interesting. I just rented a DVD called "Koyla" - it is a foreign movie that won a number of awards. Takes place in Czechoslavakia and has to do with immigrating from Russia. I think you will enjoy it because it points out the problems that Russians had up until not too long ago. We've had a few lovely days back East but there are still places only about 30 minutes away from me in Connecticut that haven't had electricity since Saturday! Horrible. Hope you enjoy your time in Hawaii,
Regards,
Donna

March 18, 2010 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger april said...

oooh, Kristin, If You Believe is one of my favorites. I've reread it tons of times. It was my favorite book of all time for quite awhile and it's still one of the books I'll list if asked. I've bought it for almost all of my friends. I thought of the book briefly while reading Winter Garden because they have orchards, too.

March 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

April,

I just read Shutter Island. What a wild roller coaster ride. (Should be titled Shudder Island) I will not be seeing the movie LOL. I can read that type of book because I have control over what I choose to conjure up as a vivid image in my mind. On the screen, I have no choice.

I would encourage people to read it without reading the bookcover flap. It was a great read.

March 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger tammie said...

Hi Kristin,,,loved the pic of your Spring trees. I live in southern Ohio and the trees haven't started to bud yet, but it is warm and we aren't suppose to get any more snow! I just finished reading Winter Garden and I loved it. Thank you for writing such a great book.

March 20, 2010 at 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Caroline Connor said...

Hi Kristin!

My first time responding -- bear with me!

So, Oscars were a while ago, but my favorite moments were certainly Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech and Oprah speaking to Gabourey Sidibe. Sandra Bullock's crummy husband's admission in the wake of the Oscar's was beyond fiction. It's so disappointing, I don't think you can write something like that! What a classy woman holding her head high through such a raw time.

At this time, I'm reading "Wednesday Sisters" by Meg Waite Clayton. I suppose you all have been through this book already, but I didn't want to miss it! The Help by Stockton was also excellent if you haven't read it. It's definitely a "can't put down".

C'mon spring! We need you!

March 21, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

April--

Did you go to the Emily Giffin signing? Inquiring minds want to know!

March 21, 2010 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Michelle--

What do you mean about future employment plans?? Is something going on?

March 21, 2010 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Patricia---

Thanks so much for your kind words about Winter Garden. As you know, it's a book that means a lot to me, so I am thrilled that you all are loving it, too. And how totally cool that your husband is reading me! He must have a big heart. Tell him thanks!

Final word on House Rules?

March 21, 2010 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Kari---

Any luck at the library? I hope you were able to get the book. Was there a long waiting list? I haven't read House Rules yet, but I'm sure I will.

March 21, 2010 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Jo--

Glad you loved the humor in Between Sisters! It was my favorite part of that book, too. I loved the girls' mom!

March 21, 2010 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Rachel---

You are clearly a woman after my own heart. You would have loved my Oscar party--a bunch of girls sitting around dishing on the clothes and judging the acceptance speeches. We had an absolute blast. And I am sorry to tell you that I loved SJP's outfit--but I was the only one at the party who did. And I have a question for you, fellow Lostie--is Sawyer more and fighting for his soul or amoral or immoral? I only ask because my friend and I are having an argument...:)

March 21, 2010 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Thanks, Melissa! I am a pop culture hound. I watch WAY too much tv! What are your fav shows?

March 21, 2010 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 21, 2010 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Carolyn! I have heard great things about the Virgin River series.

March 21, 2010 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Hey Jana---

LOVE your comments. I totally agree with all of them. I'd only add that I adore Jeff Bridges and his wife, too. Were they darling, or what? And now, of course, I am heartbroken for Sandra Bullock. How was your fiftieth??? Tell us!!!

March 21, 2010 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Lisa---great to hear from you! Did you finish the Hour I first believed? what did you think of it? I have always meant to read Wally Lamb, but haven't made it yet.

And Erin, did you find Winter Garden in Scottsdale? How was your spring break? Good weather, I bet. :)

And April---As you know, I LOVED Shutter Island. I liked the book better than the movie, though. What did everyone else think?

March 21, 2010 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Kristin---

I am so glad to hear that your stepfather's recovery is going well. There's so much power in prayer and family, isn't there? We'll keep you both in our thoughts.

Thanks so much for reading both Prima Donna and Winter Garden. I will tell Megan that you enjoyed her book. She'll be thrilled!

March 21, 2010 at 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Kristin- "Midlife Crisis" at 35 as I FINALLY realized I could actually get payed for something I love to do. What a hoot! Love to read, love kids, hopefully it comes together.

March 22, 2010 at 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Lois said...

Hi Kristin,

Your favorite photograph of your flowering plum trees is beautiful. Sorry to hear you are allergic to those gorgeous trees.

I am a popular culture junkie just like you loving books, t.v., movies, and music.

Just finished reading "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford (story took place in Seattle. Before that "Sara's Key" by Tatiana de Roseney. I am now reading your "True Colors".

The girls are doing much better on American Idol this year than the guys. No real favorite yet. Ellen is doing okay. Sometimes her comments are witty. Have you watched The Good Wife?

Just saw Shutter Island the last weekend. Gives you something to talk about...was he or wasn't he?

Saw Michael Buble in concert last week. Very personal as if he is in your own livingroom when he talks. My favorite songs he sings is "Home" and "Feeling Good".

Happy Spring!

Lois

March 22, 2010 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger april said...

I loved Shutter Island. I think, after reading it, I would see the movie, but I was too chicken before. :)

I don't know if I'll go to the Emily Giffin signing. It's not until the Spring. I'll go if my friend goes, but I actually don't read her books.

A co-worker is reading True Colors for her bookclub. I've given her my opinion and hope she gives me her thoughts after finishing.

Still struggling through Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I'm not a fan of letter writing as a literary device, but I'm liking it overall.

March 22, 2010 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Patricia T. said...

Yeah, I think it is really cool my husband is reading your books -- he's read seven so far. Shocked me. Yes he does have a big heart.

House Rules -- I think Picoult did an outstanding job of introducing the Asperger's syndrome to her readers in novel way. But, I figured out very quickly the key action in the book, and I found it anti-climatic at the end. In fact there is no ending -- it's left to the reader's imagination. It occurred to me that she may have done this due to the subject matter. It was a good read, but uneventful. My favorite of her books is Change of Heart.

I liked Rebecca Wells Calla Lilly so much, that I'm reading Little Alters Everywhere, and Ya Ya's in Bloom. Am so glad the two of you are friends and you had her write on you blog last fall. Hope you invite her to write again.

Have seen Avatar twice now -- I love the movie -- so much depth. And, it's beautiful! Had to see it again on the big screen before it leaves the theaters.

Enjoy Hawaii!

Patricia

March 22, 2010 at 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

I ordinarily *love* letter writing as a literary device. A Woman of Independent Means is one I read a looooong time ago. Debbie Macomber had one I liked as well, the title escapes me now. Between Friends maybe. (Sounds too much like Between Sisters, but I think that's it.)

Meg Cabot has a great one that takes it to the electronic age...all emails, titled The Boy Next Door. It is a riot...so funny, even though the references are a tad dated now. Laugh out loud funny, though.

However, having said all that, I am having a tough time picking "Guernsey" back up. It just doesn't grab me and I know so many who have loved it.

March 23, 2010 at 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Lynn,

wasn't "The Color Purple" letters to God?

Just Wondering.

March 25, 2010 at 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker? Hmmm...I'd have to look...I really hate to admit how long it's been since I read that one. :-) If it is (and it may well be) it doesn't stand out for me as a book in letters.

April 6, 2010 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger april said...

Lynn, I finished Guernsey and liked it but never loved it. I couldn't get through the Meg Cabot books with the letters. I actually generally like her young adult books more than her romance books though. I don't mind the occasional letter, but I need more.

Michelle, don't remember The Color Purple. I had trouble with the dialect more than the letters. I found it read slowly and I had to read aloud to get some of the pronunciations/words. I enjoyed the movie though.

April 6, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

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