October Round Up

Maybe you can guess what kind of a month it’s been by the fact that I am two days late posting this roundup. I lost my internet service for a time due to severe storms down here, and then several requests from my publisher kept me hopping. In a nutshell here is what October looked like:

Meals consumed: I first tasted fish tacos when I lived in Southern California. Rubio’s are so good that I despaired of finding their equal  here in Texas but  I’ve found two places that come close :  Napa Flats and Fish City Grill. One taste and I’m back on the beach in Coronado. I tried a new dish at Sushihana, our favorite Japanese restaurant–chicken sobayaki. It’s made with noodles, chicken and all sorts of stir fried veggies. My only complaint is that the portion is too big and this is one dish that does not reheat all that well.

Movies watched: Only one this whole month ( see below for why!) but it was a sweet little film that I missed when it came out a few years back. The Magic of Belle Isle stars Morgan Freeman as a disabled writer and Virginia Madsen as his divorced neighbor and friend. Some of the plot points were a little too neat, but this is a rare movie appropriate for all ages. I’m getting it for Mom, who you may remember is recovering from a broken hip.

actressWriting Stuff: A Respectable Actress was published October 13 to very good reviews, including a 4.5 review from Romantic Times which named it a TOP PICK. The reviewer called it “a book readers will treasure forever” and I hope they will! I had a wonderful readers circle who helped with this launch–22 readers from around the country who posted reviews, tweeted and posted on FB,  and generally made some noise for this book. Thank you ladies!! You are the best.

Meantime I turned in  my revisions for next year’s biographical novel, MRS LEE AND MRS GRAY and this week I’m working on the line edits. My publisher just sent the cover which I will be posting very soon. I love it, and I hope you will, too. This is a very special story and I can’t wait for next spring when it will be out.

In my spare time I’ve been working on a new story idea, blogging (occasionally) and chatting with readers on Social Media. Come on over and say hello.

In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with friends, food, and fun.

September Wrap Up

This month life threw me a few curve balls, just to keep me on my toes. The day before Labor Day, Mom fell and cracked her hip and had to have surgery. She’s making a slow recovery at home in East Texas. A long-planned trip to the beach to celebrate Ron’s birthday was canceled by the arrival of the Red Tide….and my revision notes arrived from my editor with requests for a few new scenes. Still, I had time for a few of my usual pursuits,  to wit:

Movies watched: I’m on a biographical kick at present and this month I had time for two bio  movies—Wild, the story of Cheryl Strayed’s hike along the Pacific Coast Trail, and Unbroken, the story of Olympian Louis Zamperini’s survival of a Japanese prison camp. Both movies depict the extraordinary strength of a single person pushed to the limits of human endurance. I could have done without the graphic scenes in Wild, and I wished for more of Zamperini’s story after the war. The ending felt abrupt and unsatisfying. But both of these movies reminded me that real life is more fascinating than anything Hollywood can dream up.

I-love-deadlines-I-likeBooks Read: I finally had time to read Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun, a bio novel of the horse trainer and aviatrix Beryl Markham. If you have read Out of Africa ( or seen the movie) you will recognize many of the characters in this novel. Beryl Markham was Karen Blixen’s rival for the heart of Denys Finch Hatton, portrayed in Out of Africa by Robert Redford. McLain’s descriptions of Africa in the 1920’s are lush and evocative. I loved this story of a brave and independent woman abandoned by her mother and disappointed by lovers and husbands, whose heart never quite found its true home.

Writing Stuff:  The aforementioned revisions on next year’s biographical novel, MRS LEE AND MRS GRAY  are keeping me very busy as I hurtle toward an October 21st deadline. I’ve seen the preliminary ideas for the cover and I’m excited to share the final result with you–I hope next time. Meantime,A RESPECTABLE ACTRESS which officially releases Oct 13, received a glowing 4.5 star review and was named a TOP PICK at Romantic Times Reviews.I’m thrilled with the early reception for this book, which combines suspense, a murder mystery and romance set against the backdrop of postbellum Savannah and St Simons Island.

Wishing you all a lovely autumn.

Readers Circle Is Full

Wow, I am amazed at the overwhelming response to my Readers Circle for A Respectable Actress. The circle is now full. The books are going out to members this week, along with info on the fun challenges for this book launch. THANK YOU to all who joined here and through social media. I’m delighted to share this book with you and I hope you love it!

imagesMeantime, here is a Happy First Day of Fall picture for you. I love this season of crisp apples and crisp weather, jeans, boots, hot cocoa and crunching leaves. Enjoy!!

Be a Part Of My Launch Week Readers Circle

A Respectable Actress, a Romantic Times TOP PICK  will be published on October 13! I’m looking for a few avid readers to be a part of my Launch Week Readers Circle to help spread the word about this new book. By completing a few fun and super easy challenges, you’ll not only be among the first to read the book, but you will also receive a special thank you gift from me.

I will be sending out the books to the Circle members very soon because the challenges must be completed by October 30. I have only a certain number of books available so let me know right away if you are interested.

Why the hurry? More than 300,000 new books are published every year just in the US alone.  For every space on a bookstore shelf, there are over 100 books vying for that exposure. So it’s easy for books by newer authors to be overlooked. That’s why I’m asking for your help in drawing readers’ attention to this book, and why I’m willing to say thank you for your help  with a special gift I know you will enjoy.

If you are interested in history, mystery, and romance I’d love to have you join the circle. Just click on “contact” here on this website and send me your email address AND your mailing address so I will know where to send the book…and your thank you gift.. I will send you the book and the five quick challenges right away!