Friday, October 29, 2010

Feed the birds...

The header at the top of this page was changed recently. Did you notice? This new picture is from Luxembourg - the old city. My husband and I visited there in September, on our whirlwind Europe trip.

Visiting Luxembourg and meeting family there was a true highlight, and I'll post more about that later. But I wanted to share a few pictures of the trip in general and just a bit of the fun:

St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
Did you know there are over 500 steps to get to the very top?
We climbed every single one.
See the picture below? That teeny, tiny tower at the top of the dome?
That's where we wound up.

As I post more about the trip, you'll begin to notice a theme: climbing to the top of every available monument. No wonder I didn't gain weight!

This is a little window cut into the floor about halfway up to St. Paul's dome. The view is to the cathedral's floor. Pretty cool.

A quick stop for pictures and then... more climbing! Mind you, we had gone straight from the airport (10AM) to the hotel to drop off our luggage and then on to explore London. Five hundred steps on no sleep. But we were still smiling!

Isn't this a cool shot?

View from the top!

Back down on the ground again. I was trying to be the Bird Woman from Mary Poppins here, but the pigeons noticed I didn't have any crumbs to give them and they ignored me. Smart birds.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I hope to get a newsletter out soon. With this deadline and so much else going on, it may take me longer than I hope to get it polished and out to you. If you haven't yet signed up, please take a moment to do so now. I hope to include photos (or links to photos) of some of my recent events.

Also - Good News!

I discovered today that Grace Under Pressure will be released in LARGE PRINT! That edition should be released right about the same time the new White House Chef book - Buffalo West Wing - comes out.

A lot of readers ask about large print and I usually don't find out about them until just before they're released. Like now. It's October and the large print Grace comes out January 1st.

But I am very happy to announce it here. I can't wait to see the cover. This is a different company than has produced the White House Chef books in large print. I'm curious to see what their covers look like. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grace is going to Turkey!

It's been posted on PublishersMarketplace so I think it's safe to announce it here...

Grace Under Pressure will be published in Turkey! My agent sold the Turkish rights last week and according to the contract it should be in print within 12 months. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy! When I do, I'll be sure to post a photo here.

I'm excited. My first foreign rights sale! Time to celebrate!!

By the way, I'm working on my next newsletter as we speak... if you haven't signed up, please jump in. I'm not obnoxious and I only send them out from time to time. Probably 4 - 6 times per year. Maybe not even.

I'd better get back to work now. Ollie is in the middle of a jam and I'm not sure how to get her out...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Got My Geek on this Weekend!

Yes, I have a book deadline. Yes I know, I shouldn't be out playing on the holodeck when I'm running behind schedule on my timeline. Maybe I can figure out a way to do a slingshot around the sun and warp back in time to get more words done.

Nah.. figuring out the math would take too long.

I'd promised our youngest that we would do the Star Trek convention this weekend and we did! We had hoped to take a photo with Leonard Nimoy but he was a no-show. Unfortunately he had to have some minor surgery and couldn't make it to the con. Bummer!


Number one: My daughter and I meeting Armin Shimerman and Max Grodenchik (Quark and Rom from Deep Space Nine). I had no idea what to expect but these guys were great. Charming, generous, fun. And so cute!

Who knew you could love a Ferengi?

Number two: Winning the Star Trek Trivia contest. Yes, seriously! I won a certificate for $200 worth of ST merchandise. I won on the second question. Can you believe it? They were yes/no questions for 30 of us up on stage. They started with an easy one about Mark Lenard (Sarek). We lost a participant or two on that one. The second question was about Archer's beagle. The question was worded to sound as though it was asking if Archer had a beagle (yes) but in the question, the emcee threw in the dog's name - Athos.

Everybody knows the beagle's name Porthos. I held up my "No" sign. Everybody else held up "Yes."
And I won.

The emcee almost decided on a do-over because the "Yes" folks complained. But the audience voted that down and my win stood. Woo-hoo!!!

My daughter got to take a picture with Christopher Lloyd. He seems like a very nice man. Not terribly comfortable on stage, but nice.

The biggest surprise was how much I liked Casey Biggs (Damar). I never really gave him a lot of thought. Mind you, we're currently Netflixing the entire DS9 series and we're only in season 5. I think Damar starts playing bigger roles soon. Although Curt and I watched the show ages ago, when it was originally on, there is so much we forgot...

Anyway, Casey Biggs turned out to be an interesting surprise. I knew I would like Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat), Chase Masterson (Leeta), and Jeff Combs (how can you not like the guy who played Brunt, Weyoun, Weyoun, Weyoun, etc., and Shran?). But I had no idea I'd be so impressed by Casey Biggs. He, Jeff, and Marc did about an hour or so of Shakespeare. Yes, I said Shakespeare. Most of these actors are classically trained. Really wonderful performances. By the way, great quote of the weekend: Armin Shimerman said "...technobabble and Shakespeare... are not all that different." Before all you English majors go nuts, let me provide context. He was talking about how, as an actor, you have to make the words understandable for the audience. Shakespeare can be difficult to understand. So can technobabble. He was explaining how his training helped make him a stronger actor in all circumstances.

The only downside was that so much was shared about Deep Space Nine (spoilers) that my daughter now knows a lot that is coming in future episodes. Oh well... it was still worth it for the weekend we had.

Fun story:
Armin Shimerman, Casey Biggs, and Jeffrey Combs stood in for Leonard Nimoy on Friday afternoon. My daughter and I really enjoyed listening to them. Immediately afterward, we went to grab food because she was starving. We went to the on-site restaurant and had a nice big booth to ourselves in the back of the place. I faced the door.

Minutes later who should walk in but Jeffrey Combs and Casey Biggs. I whispered to my daughter that they were headed our way. The hostess put them in the booth directly behind my daughter... She kept mouthing "No way! No way!"

A few minutes after that, two Trekkie (I like "Trekkie" and "Trekker" and I use them interchangeably, okay?) came in and took the booth behind me. The two men were wearing Kirk outfits and were talking fairly loudly about who they wanted to see and meet. They had walked right by the two stars behind my daughter... and we were getting the giggles listening to them. When the younger Trekkie said, "I want to meet Jeff Combs," I thought we would fall over laughing. My daughter barely held it in.

Too fun.

We got our check a couple of seconds before the stars did. So, what did we fan girls do? We waited outside the restaurant pretending to take pictures of each other so that we could maybe get one of them in the background. We came close. The one below should have had Casey Biggs in it too, but he moved out of the way (to reach for a mint?) just as I took the shot. We didn't want to invade their privacy so we pretended to not even notice them as they exited. Yeah, we're cool...

If you look really closely in the doorway you'll see a man wearing short sleeves. That's Jeff Combs.

Yeah, we may not always show it, but we're Trekkies at heart.
Can you say geek girls?

Had a blast this weekend. Thoroughly enjoyed the videos. Too fun. Our favorite was "Pressure," which won the top prize, so I guess it was everyone else's favorite too. I hope it comes up on YouTube.

A woman in the audience took a picture of me during the trivia contest - where everyone voted Yes while I voted No. If she sends it to me, I'll post it here.

Live Long and Prosper!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


No, I'm not far enough along on my current WIP to be hanging out online. But does that stop me?

Couple of things I wanted to post here before I bury my head again:

The new Grace book, coming in June, 2011 will be titled GRACE INTERRUPTED.
I really, really love this title. Now I can't wait to see the cover. This was a fun one to write. We get to know a lot more about Jack. And a bit more about Frances.

I'm in the midst of reading the final typeset pages for BUFFALO WEST WING and I'm enjoying the story immensely even though I know what's going to happen next. Feeling really good about this story... is that bad to say? I think reading this just as I'm writing the next Ollie is helping me out a lot, too. Sometimes I forget what I've written, but I think that's normal.

I visited the Chicago Ridge Library Friday night to talk with their book discussion group and I had a fabulous, fabulous time. Pictures coming soon - here and in a future newsletter. Speaking of which, I think I ought to try to get an issue out before the next book's release. Yikes. Another to-do!

Lastly, I was able to sneak in a vacation while I was offline. That's why I'm really behind the eightball now with my deadlines. But my husband and I had planned this particular vacation for two years. I wasn't about to push it off to 2011. I'm paying the price now, but it's totally worth it. Over the next few weeks I'll share photos from the trip. Not all of them. I took over 2,000 and I don't want to bore you to tears. But once we have them organized, enhanced, and chosen, I'll post a few here.