it’s not easy being green

March 13, 2010 | 4 Comments

Each year at St Patrick’s Day, I am green challenged. I like the color. We live on one of the greenest corners of the earth. One of my favorite books of all time is Green Darkness by Anya Seton. I even like Kelly Green. And it’s no secret I love the Irish! But I can never find something in the right green, that actually looks good on me. Haaalp. On St Paddy’s Day, I’m meeting with Carol Fitzgerald of the peerless book site, With a name like “Fitzgerald,” she might well be expecting greenness. I need suggestions for something green to wear. Here are a few things I’m considering:


Fiber Optics Dress

or maybe… 1950s Green SILK DressHmmm…What about

Sweet Green Cardigan Sweater Coat with Nordic Print Flounce Front or… Yes! I found it! NEW KANYE STRONGER SHUTTER SHADES HIP HOP SUNGLASSES GREEN

barenaked ladies

March 10, 2010 | 6 Comments

I took a risk with that subject line. We’ll see what kind of traffic it brings to the blog. And it’s pretty much what I did today.

Some of you will remember my New Year’s Resolution is to try new things and choose happiness. Today fell into the “new things” category. For her birthday, I offered my BFF her choice of anything she felt like doing.

photo source

Me and my big mouth. Turns out she wanted to go to Olympus Spa, an all-female, all-naked, traditional Korean spa. We signed up for the “Shining Package” which includes a salt scrub, massage and pedicure.

Naked means naked. They give you a pink cotton shower cap and a thin cotton robe. The pockets of the robe are sewn shot, so you can’t stash your cell phone in there to sneak pictures, not that the thought would ever cross my mind.

And then, of course, they take the robe away. I wore nothing. NO-thing. Actually, I cheated and wore one contact lens so I could seen what was going on. What was going on was a whole lotta nakedness. You don’t really know where to look. At people’s feet? Their little pink caps? At the full-back tattoo of a willow tree with a rainbow? (It could be the cover art for my next book.) Anywhere, but at…well, you know. After a while, you realize all women’s bodies are beautiful–big, small, young, old…everyone partakes of soaking pools with temperatures from 60 degrees (brrr) to a toasty 104. There are rooms filled with minerals and heat (one is an oven of 170 degrees), an herbal sauna and a dry one, and buckets of hot water infused with mugwort.

The salt scrub: Picture a brutishly strong Asian woman with mitts made of seaweed and tons of grainy salt. You’re like a slab of meat on the table, and trust me, she leaves no stone unturned. And by stone, I mean a unit of weight. I swear, I lost a pound of dead skin, easy. 45 minutes of scrubbing, and I figured out why the package is called “shining.”

Afterward, there’s a restaurant with delicious Korean food–soup with tofu and spices, barbecued shrimp, dumplings, noodles. We had to gorge ourselves slowly while the paint dried on our tootsies. I picked a pink called “short story” while Darlene opted for St. Paddy’s green.

photo source:

The Chopper Pilot’s Secretive Mistress (and other minty-fresh titles)

March 05, 2010 | 3 Comments

Ever wonder why Harlequin titles are riddled with cowboys and billionaires and billionaire Greek cowboy daddies?

Evolutionary psychologists explain why in this article — it’s all about Darwinian mating instincts. “…they portray the embodiment of female desires, evolved over centuries.” That’s the verdict after a study of 15,000 Harlequin romance novels.

You mean it took 15,000 freakin’ novels to figure this out??? “…mating instincts, developed over thousands of years, mean that women want a wealthy, fit, fertile, committed man.”

Big DUH.

So…Here’s the challenge. Harlequinize your favorite novels! Maybe their sales will surge!
The Sheikh's Impatient Virgin (Harlequin Presents)

I’ll start:
The One-Legged Texas Ranger’s Kickass Woman (Lonesome Dove)
The Half-Assed Country Doctor’s Wayward Wife (Madame Bovary)
The Rich Gentleman and the Humble-yet-Wise Lass (Pride and Prejudice)

Your turn! Post your own title makeovers!

dulce de leche for lunch

March 04, 2010 | 4 Comments

Why am I having dulce de leche ice cream for lunch, you ask? pro_ddi_101.jpgBecause THE SUMMER HIDEAWAY is #11 on the friggin’ USA TODAY bestseller list, that’s why!!!

1. clear.gif The Last Song
Nicholas Sparks, Grand Central Publishing
The story of a teenage girl distraught over her parents’ divorce; movie (F) (P) $7.99
Weeks in Top 150: 25 purple.gif Last week: purple.gif Entered Top 150: 9/17/2009 purple.gif Peak: 1
2. clear.gif Dear John
Nicholas Sparks, Grand Central Publishing
Love, duty in the aftermath of September 11; movie (F) (P) $7.99
Weeks in Top 150: 60 purple.gif Last week: 1 purple.gif Entered Top 150: 11/2/2006 purple.gif Peak: 1
3. clear.gif Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1: The Lightning Thief
Rick Riordan, Disney-Hyperion
Children: Percy goes to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea; 2006 ALA Notable Children’s Book (F) (P) $7.99
Weeks in Top 150: 94 purple.gif Last week: 2 purple.gif Entered Top 150: 5/24/2007 purple.gif Peak: 2
4. clear.gif Fantasy in Death
J.D. Robb, Putnam Adult
Lt. Eve Dallas investigates the murder of a computer game company CEO killed while role-playing alone in a locked room (F) (H) $26.95
Weeks in Top 150: 1 purple.gif Last week: purple.gif Entered Top 150: 3/4/2010 purple.gif Peak: 4
5. clear.gif Shutter Island
Dennis Lehane, HarperCollins
Two U.S. Marshals investigate murderess’ disappearance from a mental hospital; movie (F) (P) $7.99
Weeks in Top 150: 26 purple.gif Last week: 5 purple.gif Entered Top 150: 4/24/2003 purple.gif Peak: 5
6. clear.gif Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2: The Sea of Monsters
Rick Riordan, Disney-Hyperion
Children: Camp Half-Blood’s borders are poisoned, threatening the only safe haven for demigods (F) (P) $7.99
Weeks in Top 150: 50 purple.gif Last week: 4 purple.gif Entered Top 150: 5/22/2008 purple.gif Peak: 4
7. clear.gif Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3: The Titan’s Curse
Rick Riordan, Disney-Hyperion
Young adult: Third book in the fantasy series (NF) (P) $7.99
Weeks in Top 150: 55 purple.gif Last week: 6 purple.gif Entered Top 150: 5/10/2007 purple.gif Peak: 6
8. clear.gif Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4: The Battle of the Labyrinth
Rick Riordan, Disney-Hyperion
Children: Fourth in series starring Percy Jackson who sets out on a quest through a Labyrinth (F) (H) $7.99
Weeks in Top 150: 70 purple.gif Last week: 7 purple.gif Entered Top 150: 5/15/2008 purple.gif Peak: 5
9. clear.gif Big Girl: A Novel
Danielle Steel, Delacorte Press
Victoria struggles with her weight and self-esteem from childhood through her 20s (F) (H) $28.00
Weeks in Top 150: 1 purple.gif Last week: purple.gif Entered Top 150: 3/4/2010 purple.gif Peak: 9
10. clear.gif The Help
Kathryn Stockett, Putnam Adult
A young white woman tells the story of black maids in 1960s Mississippi (F) (H) $24.95
Weeks in Top 150: 41 purple.gif Last week: 8 purple.gif Entered Top 150: 5/28/2009 purple.gif Peak: 4
11. clear.gif The Summer Hideaway
Susan Wiggs, Mira
A private nurse and protected witness finds love where she least expects it (F) (P) $7.99
Weeks in Top 150: 1 purple.gif Last week: purple.gif Entered Top 150: 3/4/2010 purple.gif Peak: 11

running with the big dogs

March 03, 2010 | 2 Comments

Thank you readers! Your support means everything to me. Even with all the movie tie-ins and big new releases, THE SUMMER HIDEAWAY made a splash. 🙂

Rankings reflect sales, for the week ending Feb. 27…. Expanded rankings are available on the Web:

Copyright © 2010

by The New York Times

March 14, 2010

Paperback Best Sellers Mass-Market Fiction

This Week




THE LAST SONG, by Nicholas Sparks. (Grand Central, $7.99.) A 17-year-old spends the summer with her father in North Carolina and finds many kinds of love.



DEAR JOHN, by Nicholas Sparks. (Grand Central, $7.99.) An unlikely romance between a soldier and an idealistic young woman is tested after 9/11.



FIRST FAMILY, by David Baldacci. (Vision, $9.99.) Former Secret Service agents, now P.I.s, search for a child abducted after a party at Camp David.



SHUTTER ISLAND, by Dennis Lehane. (Harper, $7.99.) A United States marshal hunts for a beautiful patient escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane on an island in Bostons outer harbor.



THE SUMMER HIDEAWAY, by Susan Wiggs. (Mira, $7.99.) A man becomes entranced by the nurse who has accompanied his grandfather on a trip to Willow Lake.