Google Reader

January 30, 2009 | 6 Comments

old-school post
old-school "post"

Back when I was a teacher, I instituted “Helper Fridays: Saving Your Sanity One Tip at a Time” on a small chalkboard by the door in my classroom. Students would come up with an organizational tip and post it. “Posting,” back in the day, meant writing it in chalk on slate. Yes, I’m that old.

Today’s Helper Friday tip: If you follow more than one or two blogs, this is the best way to organize them. Sign up for Google Reader (you’ll need to sign in with your Google account; if you don’t have a Google -gmail- account, you have to register for free but it’s only the one time) and tell it which blogs you like. Once you do that, you’ll find all your blogs listed in one place. Type Google Reader into the address bar, et voila. It lists all your favorite blogs and you can sample the ones you like. You know what? I just did a lousy job explaining this. Do yourself a favor and read Elizabeth’s post about Google Reader. She’ll walk you through it.

One of my favorites? Shrinking Violet Promotions, a blog for introverted authors looking to promote their books. And lookee there. Today’s guest blogger is moi! Blathering on about you-know-what. Happy surfing!

big giant ad

January 29, 2009 | 11 Comments

Okay, the thrill of this is probably limited, but I had to share. Today’s USA Today features this ad for Fireside. I’m in favor of anything that assures my parents I have a real job:

telling the world
telling the world

FIRESIDE is rated “toasty warm.”

January 25, 2009 | 6 Comments

Romantic Times BOOKreviews. The Magazine for Fiction Lovers


by Susan Wiggs

RT Rating:½
Publisher: MIRA
Published: February 2009
Type: Mainstream Fiction


Worth a look for the often-hilarious dialogue alone, the latest installment of her beloved Lakeshore Chronicles showcases Wiggs’ justly renowned gifts for storytelling and characterization. A keeper.

Summary: After a public fight, P.R. specialist Kimberly van Dorn loses her basketball star lover and her job. Going home to Avalon seems like a plan, but things have changed even there. Kim’s widowed mother, Penelope, has turned the family home into a boardinghouse and is dating one of the residents. Then Bo Crutcher and his son AJ move in. After years of hard work and no joy, Bo’s about to get his big break pitching for the Yankees — but the possibility of his ex’s deportation has left AJ in his custody.

Bo’s never had the chance to be a father to AJ, and wants to do right by him, but he’s expected to report to Fame School before the Yankees deal is finalized. So Bo compromises — by hiring Kim to do her thing instead. It’s a sweet deal for Bo; he’s been attracted to Kim since the first time he saw her. But Kim claims she’s done with athletes for good! (MIRA, Feb., 416 pp., $7.99)

—Catherine Witmer

Put your flipflops on.

January 24, 2009 | 1 Comment

You’re invited to this fun event, benefitting the West Sound Wildlife Shelter:

Fun! Shopping! Prizes! Calendar firefighters!
Fun! Shopping! Prizes! Calendar firefighters!


Sunday – March 1, 2009

 Be a GoddessBring a group of five friends and be an event goddess – crowned with your very own tiara – and receive a special gift.

Unleash the goddess within!

Get your flip-flops ready…
for the second-annual  Flip Flop Lemon DropJoin us for a girlfriends afternoon of indulgent fun, luscious libations, retail therapy, and a fabulous flip-flop fashion pageant. Click here to learn more….

Sunday, March 1, 2009
3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Clearwater Resort

Buy your ticket online!

Tickets are $100
Proceeds will benefit the West Sound Wildlife Shelter.


Contact Us – 206-855-9057


January 23, 2009 | 5 Comments


Barkis is handsome and not afraid to show it. Soapbox: Dobermans have wonderful ears, and I wish breeders and owners would never, ever crop them.

to the coast!

January 21, 2009 | 4 Comments

a day at the beach
a day at the beach

I had a big editing job on an upcoming reissued historical novel, so we headed for the coast so I could work on it. Oh, and play hooky. Most people think Long Beach is in Southern California, but Washingston state has its very own. It’s deserted in winter. All the better for beach walks…and RUNS.

telling it like it isn’t

January 20, 2009 | 3 Comments

Please enjoy this publishing fantasy from Macmillan. My 18 copy editors are laughing their blue pencils off.


judging a cover by its book…again

January 18, 2009 | 5 Comments

We all know I love book cover art and the whole process of dressing up a novel to be released into the wild. With Fireside due to hit stores any day now, I can’t wait to see its smiling face! Here’s something interesting– another guy who likes book cover art has showcased his faves on his blog, Book Design Review with Joseph Sullivan. Check out his picks here. He has a very distinctive aesthetic that could NOT be more different from my own. Just goes to show you how subjective this all is.

What are some of your favorite book covers of 2008? Here are a few of mine:

best YA far
best YA far
gorgeous cover, excellent book
gorgeous cover, excellent book
haunting image...intriguing book
haunting image...intriguing book
Im a sucker for handwritten lettering.
I'm a sucker for handwritten lettering. And this layout is genius.

Look-alike covers:

The one on the left is a sci-fi bestseller by the Twilight author. The one on the right is the Bible. Go figure. Sometimes similar images seem to get into the zeitgeist. How many times before it’s declared a trend? Is this one called the “ominous, upward-looking eye” trend?

(Alison Kent has a good post on cover trends here.) Click here to enlarge the cover image

And finally, last but not least…It’s probably not polite to pick yourself, but this has nothing to do with me. My publisher found a fresh and eye-catching image for the book and I really love it. And it’s not just me. For the first time in 30-something covers, I’ve had readers contact me to ask where they can get a poster of the image! As my agent said, “It looks like a day at the beach.”

okay, so Im biased
okay, so I'm biased