Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Reviews: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly ...

Now bad reviews happen with books. Not everybody has the same tastes. Even some of my favorite books and movies get panned. In fact, a good "panning" is to be expected every now and again. What I am not fond of seeing are reviewers, who pan one of our books, and then turn around and question the validity of the positive reviews. I've seen this happen a number of times. It doesn't seem to be enough for the reviewer to say he or she didn't like the book and here's why. What doesn't work for me are those reviewers who not only dislike a book, but go out of their way to act indignant that the book received praise -- and of course, the praise must be faked! Even when there are professional reviews saying good things surely these were faked as well. The author bribed them or they are friends and family. If I hadn't seen this assertion more than once, I would not be bringing it up. Just because a reviewer doesn't like a book doesn't mean that everybody else agreed. It doesn't mean any untoward bribes were going on either. It's as simple as we are just disagreeing. You didn't like the book. I liked the book. Why does one negate the other? We all have different tastes, styles and preferences. When a reviewer doesn't like a book, he or she is entitled to say so. Just as much as a reviewer who did like the book is entitled to say so. It doesn't mean one is being dishonest and unethical. It just means we're all different and like different things.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fact or Fiction: the Writer's Life

How much of the artist is poured into the work? I get asked if I'm my heroine Brea Harper in California Girl Chronicles. I am not Brea. It's not an autobiography. But how much of the book reflects something about my life and psyche? I once took a great class in college about the psychology of authors and how you can see what was going on in their lives through the lens of their work. We studied many of the great authors and read about their lives and then read one of their greatest works. One of our assignments was to read about D.H. Lawrence and then read Sons and Daughters, which reflected back on his family life. In comparing the life to the work, we did pull out relevant events and factors that were in the stories. Of course, the author brings his or her "world" to the story. We are better writers when we come from a place of authenticity. It's harder to write about the richness of an experience when we've not had the experience. When I have very young authors tell me they want to write their memoirs, I try to discourage it. Youth and inexperience often don't make a great memoir. We reflect back on things through a mature lens. Experience and knowledge enrich and inform the storytelling process. What I wrote at age 25 versus what I would write today about the exact same experience I had at age 25 would be so much more developed and thoughtful. So, do authors bring their lives into their works? Yes, to a certain degree. In my book series, Brea's men do have grains of connection to men I've known. Brea's experiences have some ties to experiences I've had. And then the rest ... well, it's fiction.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Sexiest Scenes Don't Always Involve Sex!

If you've watched our so-called scandalous California Girl Chronicles trailer on You Tube, you may have noticed it was very sexy, and yet not one moment of actual "sex" was described. We had a few viewers comment about its intoxicating allure and more than one comment that it was "soft core". I feel the need to point something out about this trailer. I has no skin, profanity or description of actual sex. The scene describes nothing more than a first encounter and a kiss. You listened carefully right? Brea is describing the first time she kisses Kale and how she feels about it. In describing her feelings, it's evident she is turned-on and would like there to be sex, but there is none ... yet. When you write alluring scenes, it's about writing it with the "feelings" and thoughts in mind. You pull the reader into the desires. You do not need to describe an act to make it sexy and titillating. Sometimes writers make the mistake of just getting down to business -- and that is not to suggest in California Girl Chronicles Brea doesn't get down to business. But I have seen books where there is no real build-up to anything at all. Characters shift from a degree of attraction right into a kiss and romp. Take your time. Let the character's feelings develop. Show their attraction. Use moments and touches and suggestions of desire. If your book centers on a specific romance, employ the tools to build to the payoff. You can capture the reader's imagination without forcing two people quickly into the bedroom.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

True Blood, Season 5 Trailers Out ... And Come On Now ... Show us the Money

I love spoilers -- there I said it. I like to have at least some clue where my favorite shows are heading in the new season. Well, they just released the new trailers for True Blood, Season 5 and how lame! Come on now, let's see some better clues than your past catches up with you or doesn't stay buried ... or whatever. Let's see some hints with the actual actors and not the mundane set pieces we've all seen a hundred times over. I want some action here! Some clues! A spoiler or two or three. We already know that Bill and Eric are on the run and sharing some boo-hiss "bromance" time (yuck). Does Tara get turned into a vamp or zombie. I vote zombie, that's way more off-kilter and interesting. Mark my words, Tara isn't gone. Will we get to see any Eric-Sookie loving at all? I hope so. Here is an idea, let's send Bill off to meet the sun while Sookie and Eric make mad passionate love on Eric's Barbados estate (we know he has one from Season 4's episode "She's Not There"). How about that one?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

California Girl Chronicles: Brea's Big Break -- Prologue


The following is an excerpt from the second book in the California Girl Chronicles: Brea's Big Break. If you read the first book, Brea and the City of Plastic, you are probably eagerly awaiting to see what trouble Brea gets into next. A small promotional print run was done this month. If you send me an email at info@3LPublishing.com, I will let you know how you can purchase your own copy way in advance of the official release date this summer. 

Prologue

My name is Brea Harper, and I am the quintessential California girl. I am blond, fabulously tall, pretty and smart. I’m a screenwriter, but often get mistaken for an actress since I live in Los Angeles among the other pretty people. My desire to write screenplays has nothing to do with fame or glamour. I love to write. Period. It’s how I express my creativity and fulfill my artistic impulses. I live in a small apartment near Hollywood with my best friend Denise, who as you might know already, is quite a live wire and loads of fun. Last I told you, she was having an affair with her boss at the software company where she works. They’re still screwing all over the building, but they see other people. Another dear and new friend is Maya, my feisty and fierce Latina friend, who works for my former lover Kale.

Ah, Kale – now you are probably wondering what happened after I betrayed my blond Adonis producer-boyfriend Kale with that loser Drew. Well, the night in question went like this. I never showed up. “What?” you cry in objection. Yes, I know you’re all so disappointed in me and wonder how I could have left it all messed up like that. I guess the truth is I didn’t want to face the consequences. I had absolutely nothing I could have said in my own defense. Justifying betrayal is just as sick as the act of committing betrayal. I had fallen for Kale, down to my DNA and did not want to justify bad behavior or attempt to blame anyone but myself; therefore, no explanation existed to invalidate Kale’s feelings.

Instead, I wrote him a simple letter of apology, stating that my karma was badly damaged, and I hoped he would forgive me. He didn’t respond to my heartfelt letter. Instead, I received a phone call asking me to come to a meeting to discuss revisions on my script California Girl Chronicles, which Kale’s production company had recently purchased.

This meeting is where our story begins.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Three No, No's in Writing Certain to Turn Off a Publisher

As a publisher and editor, I can literally tell on the first page of a manuscript whether the book is going to end on the acceptance or rejection pile. I'm sure all you authors out there are eager to hear what to avoid if you want to get through the gatekeeping process.

Tell it all on page 1. How could you possibly do that on a single page, well, you would be surprised. Some authors give the book's big reveal on the very first page. They think this technique effectively draws in the reader -- and it could if you're a master of the storytelling process. Truth is, most new authors are not masters of that process, and the big reveal only serves to ruin the book's chances of getting accepted. So unless you're super talented and can pull that one off in some clever, interesting way, I don't recommend you approach your book's story that way.

Passive voice and cluttered writing. Two-hundred adjectives strung together with a lot of passive voice is a big no, no. Believe it or not, use your adjectives sparingly and you'll look much more brilliant than if you take a handful and spray them on the page. First, all those "desperate" adjectives are sure signs of a beginner. Seasoned writers always know better. If you have no idea what is passive voice then I can't help you with that one. You need to look it up and understand to avoid it. Passive voice sinks your writing and bogs it down like concrete slippers.

Run-on sentences. Too often, especially with academic writers, the belief that a long sentence makes you look brilliant. Do you know what happens when you write run-on sentences? The reader has to go back to your noun-subject agreement and figure out what the heck you are talking about. It's exhausting! Readers continually have to read and re-read just to understand what you just wrote. Mix up longer and shorter sentences to keep your writing popping along. Do not write run-on sentences, especially in fiction. You will lose your readers' interest in minutes.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Coming Soon ... Bloody Good Fun and Girl Power

Well, I am not really a big mainstream TV watcher. I love movies. I watch the premium channels, and the only mainstream show that I will watch to its conclusion is House, which ends this year. I enjoyed my days spent with the cantankerous diagnostician. My fondest memories are when two fall seasons in a row, I visited my favorite aunt in New Hampshire and propped my laptop with DVDs of the show running on the bed late at night and watched episode after episode. I completely associated this series with those crisp New England fall evenings even though the majority of the time I actually watched it in my own bed in California. Now the summer HBO Sunday night show season is about to start, and I bet all of you fans out there know what I'm looking forward to now ... True Blood Season 5. I've read some of the spoilers and expect to see a season loaded with some engaging story lines to keep me hooked. I also have spotted the trailers for the new show Girls in which I am marginally interested to see if it's any good. We'll call these show part of the emerging "girl power" series, which seems to be growing in popularity. I love the line in the trailer when the gynecologist says, "You couldn't pay me enough to be 24 again," and the heroine replies, "They're not paying me at all." With that sort of witty banter, I expect I might enjoy this show. P.S., you couldn't pay me enough to be 24 again either!! For all of the so-called glories of youth (perfect skin among them), I feel better, sexier and more attractive at my age than I have in my life. I feel much more confident, secure, happy and excited about my life and where it's going. At 24, no so much! What do they say? Youth is wasted on the young!

P.S., have you see the new trailer for my book California Girl Chronicles? If not, please click here. And please don't forget to get your copy on Amazon, 3L's website at www.3LPublishing.com, or at various upcoming signings and bookstores upon order.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Breaking Dawn or Rosemary's Baby?

All right ... ick! I was rallied to finally watch the new installment of the Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, Breaking Dawn. I am so sorry all of you ardent and zealot Twilight fans, but no go! This movie was slow, tedious and ridiculous as we spent about 50 percent of the story awaiting (oh horror), the demon baby to emerge. I felt like I was on a bad trip into an updated version of Rosemary's Baby, which was actually a better movie. I guess if you like your vampire stories like cotton candy and bad CGI then this movie would work for you. I know it's designed for teen entertainment, but let me say this: the sex was graphic enough that although I allowed my 14-year-old to see it when it was released in the theaters, I kind of regretted it when I laid eyes on the actual scenes. Short of body parts on display, it was pretty obvious what Bella and Edward were doing on their wedding night. Since it's new on DVD, I don't recommend it. I don't recommend it for the teens and I don't recommend it with anyone with a brain cell.

I Like to Write Hard Core ... Frank, Honest and a Tinge Shocking

Hello all of my loyal followers. It's Saturday morning and I always like to be entertaining on the weekends. So, I'm going to keep it sort of light this morning ... well, sort of light. Anyway, my writer's group Writer's Who Mean Business hosted an erotic writer named Rosalia, who has written innumerable erotic stories for dozens of books and publications. Rosalia was incredibly frank and interesting. While some of the material she held up would have made the typical author blush and perhaps let out a giggle (and this coming from the author of California Girl Chronicles, which is highly charged and erotic), Rosalia let it go with an utter frank, unaffected pride. I marveled as she held up blush-worthy titles and admitted with steady frankness that and I quote, "I like to write hardcore. It's what I like." She didn't even blink! Even if that were the case and I wanted to write hardcore like that, I know for certain a smile would creep across my face along with a laugh or two ... or three. (I know how immature of me.) Is there a lesson here? I suppose if you're going to do something where you go out on a limb in a society full of people who still don't like to admit their sexual beings and continue to debate issues as basic as contraception in the 21st century then you might as well as embrace it. Rosalia certainly embraced it in the most unapologetic way. And although I am not quite as bold, I completely respected it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Day Without Blogging? How Could that be? And Relationship Building vs. Networking

Hello my Friend-Os and followers. I know, I know! I missed a blog yesterday. Slap my pajamas, I actually had a break in blogging LOL. Sorry! I was out networking. Yes, the meat and potatoes and foundation for new business -- relationship building and networking. If you're a business owner who is not out working the lines then you're not going to enjoy the kind of rewards I do in terms of new business. I make it my no. #1 priority to network and build relationships at least 3-4 times a month or more. Now if you're asking, "What is relationship building vs. standard networking" then here, let me explain in a quick nutshell.

Relationship networking is exactly what it sounds like. It's not about shaking a hand and pushing a business card. Relationship building is about consistently showing up at networking events. It's about letting people slowly get to know you and understand your brand, product or service. It's at the heart about "making friends". Yes, business is that personal! Women business owners know this more than anyone else. We are all about making, maintaining and supporting each other. And hence when you network this way, you end up with a lot of friends and new clients!

And lastly, my new book trailer is up to 327 views. Have you seen it yet? If you have not viewed the California Girl Chronicles book trailer, go watch the You Tube video and then go buy the book on Amazon, 3L Publishing's website or soon in a bookstore near you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My New Bloom and Second Bloom: 10 Steps to Reinvent Rejuvenate and Realize a New Life

I want to tell you the secret to a happy, passion-filled life ... when you truly follow your passion you will never lose! Sometimes following that passion takes risk. It might seem scary. It might have barriers to overcome, but you never look at barriers as anything more than a puzzle to solve. Every single time and without fail that I've followed my passion, I have never regretted it. Life and change and reinvention are great things. Some people reinvent easier than others. I've reinvented so many times now, and each time something tremendous happened. I grew and changed and fulfilled all aspects of my life. When something goes out of balance, it's really a tipping point. A tipping point is an opportunity to re-balance and re-harmonize. Opportunities show up regularly in our lives. You have to have clear vision to see those opportunities. It's when you keep closing up and shutting doors and seeing something as an opportunity to change and evolve that you will unleash your true heart's desire. I recently had one opportunity show up. The arrival of this opportunity created an interesting domino effect. Because I finally said "yes" to one thing, the sky became the limit. The opportunities for reinvention emerged. Then came the next opportunity and the next. All of these opportunities aligned with my passion. And ultimately, I decided to say "yes" to a major change that will reposition me for more and more opportunities. Don't be afraid to say "yes" when your passion is screaming an affirmative at you loud and clear. And then just watch the miracles. And one last note: always stay in alignment with your integrity and character no matter how many temptations might come your way. Keep your karma clean! I have an award-winning book out on reinvention titled Second Bloom: 10 Steps to Reinvent Rejuvenate and Realize a New Life. It is available on the 3L Publishing website at www.3LPublishing.com under books.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

OMG! My Favorite Actor Alexander Skarsgard ... Tsk, Tsk, TACKY!

You all know I have nothing but "fandom" when it comes to my favorite actor Alexander Skarsgard, but this little picture (click here) resulted in him getting the "Tacky" award. First, if you're going to look maybe you ought to not do it while you're on a panel in front of a bizillion cameras! Maybe he didn't really calculate that move very well. Maybe his testosterone just took over his little head first and his big head second. Whatever the case maybe, it was bad form. To make matters worse, notice the comments (all from men) on the page where this is posted. Oh, yeah they're slapping him on the back, "You go boy!" You know maybe that actress doesn't care in the least or maybe she does. Maybe she, too, was ready to have a "Skarsgasm," but I for one would be really unhappy about someone quite obviously leering at me that way in public. I recently had a guy come up while we were doing a book signing, practically sit on top of me and engage me in conversation. I was being polite and entertaining. He got up to get a drink and came back and was now standing in front of the book-signing table (which by the way was right in front of the room where you know ... about 40 people could see) and proceeds to I assume "sneak a peek" down my top. Um, not discreet! Quite obvious! And, again, very tacky. I'm a serious business woman. I was working at that table. It's not like I could escape his advances -- although once one of my other authors arrived, I used the excuse of needing to talk, which I did, to escape his leering clutches. So, let's just say that actress didn't appreciate the gesture shall we. Do you think she could just escape the stage by walking away? Just saying ... and how is your morning?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Great Business Tips for Success

I learn lots of fun things that drive business. I like to share fun and prosperity-generating information with all of you. Here are some great tips for success.

Every member of your team is a salesperson. People get stuck in their "roles" and don't realize they project the company everywhere they go. You in some respects are the brand. When you're out networking, always seize the opportunities. These opportunities will present themselves to you at all turns. You need to be on, alert and ready to pounce. If you own the company, set up a reward system for everyone to participate. It doesn't matter if it's your secretary. If he or she sells something for the company, reward him or her.

Every member of your team must participate in social media. You can't keep ignoring the power of social media. If you use social media the right way and not just to post your pictures of your cats and kittens or your drinking shots, you will attract business. Your staff should be expected to leverage their own social media network to promote business. I am now getting near daily queries via social media. I am messaged all of the time about the company. It is spreading the word about my brand. And don't limit your network. You don't know whom you might be connected to. Expand and grow your network beyond the people you know and move out into their connections.

Mind your image and align it with your market and brand. So when I released the California Girl Chronicles trailer, I switched up my profile picture to be a little less formal and a little sexy. The book is romantic, sexy and fun. I want to make sure that I, as the author, project a matching brand. Of course, I don't want to be tacky or tasteless in that projection, because I am a class act as is the book. But if you're going to write about physical fitness, you better be a fit person. If you're going to write about cooking, you better cook. If you're going to write about romantic, sexy fun, you better be sexy and fun. Otherwise people won't buy it and you lose credibility!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

WonderCon, MegaCon, ComiCon ... Conventions, Conventions Everywhere!

I have heard about the "cons" or conventions. I knew from an episode of Entourage of ComiCon, which was a pretty interesting episode. We had all sorts of "characters" running around down to some hot porn girls and some "toys"! With the release of California Girl Chronicles, my awareness of conventions increased. My right-hand PR and marketing chick Victoria Andrew encouraged me to do the convention circuit to sell books and products. I figured why not? It looks, if nothing else, pretty interesting. So I am traveling to Chicago next month to participate in the Romance Times Book Lovers convention. I am imagining all sorts of fabulous fun with committed romance fans. Now California Girl isn't exactly your typical romance book. In fact, it's more of a fun romp into a single girl's professional and personal escapades. If you have a great book, the conventions offer an opportunity outside of the bookstores to get out in sell your book face to face with your readers. You can move a lot of books -- and the more books you move the more exposure the book gets in general. As you're trying to build a reputation as a fiction writer, you should make it your goal to get as many copies of your book out there as possible. Conventions can provide this opportunity, which is why I am going to includes conventions and festivals in my book tour. And if you're an author, you should, too.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

More Funny One-Liners from California Girl Chronicles

Again, it's Saturday morning, and I hate being serious on a Saturday morning. So, I decided I would dig into my books the California Girl Chronicles and pull out my favorite funny dialog to make you laugh or at the very least crack a smile. 


Johnny: “You’re hot and nice. I like you. And I like that you have real body parts.” 



Brea: “Do you consider yourself a womanizer?” 
Ryan: “No, I just love women.”

Ryan: “You know, Americans are the only ones who get all excited and say they love shit. We’re like the most enthusiastic nation! Other people say, ‘Hey, I like it,’ but not us, man. We love everything!”

Denise: “Why did you screw the friend?” 
Brea: “I was drunk,” I replied.
Denise: “Oh, got it.” 

Brea: “Are you going to trash this script?” 
Kale: “No, we had you do that."

Ryan: “Nope, I do what I want – and that doesn’t bother either of them.” 
Brea: “Are you sure about that? Freeloader.” 
Ryan: “Freeloader never! It takes hard work to be me.”



Friday, March 16, 2012

Oh Wretched Insomnia! And Soul Lovers in Fiction

Once more up till all hours of the night unable to sleep with my mind going 100 mph. I guess I will have to eliminate all caffeine in the afternoons again. I only had an iced tea, but that was enough to keep my brain working late. Well, not one to wile away a good night with the moon, I got to thinking about classic love affairs in literature and film. The ones we can never forget. Some of the best love affairs are quite chaste. The characters longing for each other, but kept apart by various barriers either self-made or just in the way. Isn't that part of a classic love affair ... the longing and want? If it were blissful without drama, we as the audience would have no vested interest to keep reading or watching as the case may be. Here are some good ones:

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice -- there's was one of misunderstanding and inadvertent offense which kept them separated. I've read the book and seen the multiple films of this classic tale written by Jane Austen. Mr. Darcy is a difficult character to like, but you still root for him none the less.

Karen Blixen and Denys in Out of Africa (film) -- Now I read the book and I read Isak Dineson's biography, and from what I could tell despite what the movie depicts, Karen was actually deeply in love with her husband Bror, but his betrayals ruined the relationship. In the movie version, it centers more on the Karen/Denys relationship, which has a tragic ending that I suppose makes for great drama. I always found Dineson very interesting in general and very complex. The actual book Out of Africa is absolutely nothing like the film, and more of an homage to the country. But in the movie, it was truly hard to figure out why Denys was so willing to let the love of his life go. It was always sad. Ah, great lovers!

Port and Kit in the Sheltering Sky (both book and film) -- Kit and Port's marriage was in disarray when they traveled to North Africa. The difficulties get resolved only for their difficulties and lack of knowledge about where they have traveled cause them tragic consequences. The book and film both had complex themes and messages that made it hard to completely grasp. Either way, I recommend either one to watch what happens to these two.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

California Girl Chronicles: Revealing the Secrets

If you've read California Girl Chronicles, I know many of you are eager to find out the answer to the annoying cliffhanger. If you've been reading this blog on a regular basis, you might have figured out by the spoilers "sort of" what happens. If you're hoping I'm going to reveal all now ... you're out of luck! Sorry! Book two, which I just did a limited run of printed copies for promotional purposes, is completed -- and it has been completed for quite sometime. Book three is completed in my mind ... but stories tend to take on an organic unfolding of their own, so it may end up in an entirely new direction by the time it's finished. I am going to reveal a few promised secrets, though, as committed to in that headline. First, our beloved dreamboat producer Kale may not be as heavily involved on canvas in book three as many of you might like to see. Not going to say why. No worries! He is very involved in book two, and he won't be completely going away, but by the end of book two it will be evident to all something is amiss in lover's town. And for those of you who want to know who are my personal favorite characters, well, in the book version Maya and Kale (female and male respectively); and in the TV show under development right now, Denise and Drew only because we heighten his bad boy nature even more ... and Ronny because he's so dumb. You can obviously tell the TV pilot is much different than the book. If you haven't read the book, you can get your own copy on Amazon, 3L Publishing's website (www.3LPublishing.com), and all eBook versions. It will be available in bookstores soon just ask for it.

P.S. Please help me make our book trailer for California Girl Chronicles, a viral success. Please pass the link around and enjoy. Here is the link to the You Tube Trailer. BTW, it's very hot and sexy ... so enjoy!! P.S.S., someone suggested this trailer was soft-core porn ... um no! No skin! No profanity! No sex! How a sexy trailer constitutes pornography in someone's mind is beyond me. We have a sensual kiss at that end. I've seen movies that were loaded with sex scenes, and they are not called porn! See my eye roll?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dreaming of Alexander Skarsgard!

Now I can't say which girlfriend sent me this message this morning, but it was pretty darned funny. She said she dreamt that she got caught in bed with Alexander Skarsgard by her husband. And she blamed me because it was all part of my diabolical plan to write about it in one of my books. Of course, I woke up for work this morning with this message in my in-box and started cracking up. Wow! I now apparently have set up my girlfriends to get caught cheating with the Swedish actor ... AND it's all part of my evil intentions to come up with good book material. Hmm ... now that's an interesting premise: I'll set up all of my girlfriends with miscellaneous hot guys to get caught cheating or maybe just to experiment to see what happens. Will they get caught? Maybe they'll fall in love ... ! Yes, that's it! I now have a grand master plan for endless amounts of book material all at the expense of my girlfriends' marriages. What divine genius! I must now thank my girlfriend for her inspiration this morning. Thank you friend! ;)

P.S. Please help me make our book trailer for California Girl Chronicles, a viral success. Please pass the link around and enjoy. Here is the link to the You Tube Trailer. BTW, it's very hot and sexy ... so enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What I Find Shocking on Social Media and Tumblr

Now before I launch into this morning's diatribe, I have to give a little preemptive strike. Facebook and Twitter are much more controlled environments, and I only find my jaw dropped onto the ground occasionally. Where I am suffering the most shock and awe is on Tumblr. Don't get me wrong, I like Tumblr and I use it for Brea's Blog. When I am on Tumblr and I do my most exploring is when I run into stuff that is mind-blowing! The difference between Tumblr and other social media like Facebook and Twitter is that it's geared toward bloggers. What you find in the blogger world are a lot of fan sites. Again, don't get me wrong, I like fans. I am trying to build a fan following for my own book California Girl Chronicles. The average run-of-the-mill fan is fabulous. We need fans to support our books at 3L Publishing. So, these comments are not aimed at pleasant "fandom" where boundaries and rationale logic apply. These comments are aimed at fans who have gone a wee bit overboard and fallen into oblivious zealousness where etiquette and boundaries seem to have fallen apart. Here are some of the shockers: fans who use someone's behind as their profile picture (hmm ... not a very good representation of the person ... or is it?); film clips grabbed of a sex scene and repeated on a loop (there is something about this one that definitely drops the jaw and leaves it rolling across the floor); film clips of someone's breasts, butt or other body parts ... again, on a repeated loop. I suppose Tumblr has no rules or restrictions on nudity, because I've even gotten an eyeful of a girl parts ... up close!

Now it's not a matter of me seeking out nude pictures and the like. You run into them if you scroll your channels. You can, of course, roll over the top of offending pictures and block anyone who is following you that posts this stuff, but the greater observation is one of just plain, ole creepiness. Free speech whatever ... you know I'm good with that, but since when did anyone imagine their sex scenes on film would end up on a loop? I just don't know how to describe why this is so creepy, but it is. And it's not just the guys who do it. The girls are just as bad. In the end, whatever floats your boat, but really what does this say about our society on some deeper level? Are we all turning into a bunch of voyeurs who obsess so much on our favorite actors and actresses that we lose all sense of appropriate posting and forget something called boundaries. And even more amazing while in the past someone who would do something like loop two people having sex might show some discretion about showing only a few trusted friends, these folks show absolutely no shame! Let it rip! Put your "fandom" or "sexdom" right out for all to see! Just remember, though, your future boss can see your videos, too ... or how about your mother! Just remindin'!

And here is a kudos! Finally I saw a fan girl respond with a proper answer. A question was posed on a True Blood-related site about what this blogger thought of Alexander Skarsgard dating Charlize Theron. The blogger's response was pitch-perfect. She essentially said that while she loves that Skarsgard plays Eric Northman so well, it is none of her business who he dates. So, she had no comment! Go girlfriend! A proper answer from a proper fan. Who our favorite actors or actresses date or what they do in their spare time outside of our favorite shows is absolutely none of our business. Unless it's a personal interview that the person has shared with the world, comments about one's dating life should be left alone. Unlike some other people, I don't think I have a right to encroach on another person's personal life and what he or she does outside of the work just because he or she is in the public eye. And that's definitely a "just-saying" comment.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hot, Sexy You Tube Video for California Girl Chronicles

Please help me make our book trailer for California Girl Chronicles, a viral success. Please pass the link around and enjoy. Here is the link to the You Tube Trailer. BTW, it's very hot and sexy ... so enjoy!!

The "Death, Disease and Victim" Books ... My Hugely Unpopular Opinion

So, I received a lot of submissions from authors of the category of book I'll call the "death, disease and dying books." I'm going to say something that will largely be met with an unpopular uproar, but I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of the barrage of these book types. Yes, many of them are designed to be inspirational. I love to be inspired. The problem is most of them spend 200 pages discussing the negative subject of what happened and only a chapter on the inspiration ... I overcame it. It's depressing and mostly not the way I as a reader want to spend an afternoon. Again, I realize from the deluge of these book types that many authors are saying "boo, hiss" at me right now, but honestly it doesn't challenge me to my higher sense of positivity to spend six months of my life as an editor of these tomes buried in the misery. Now books that spend the majority of that time exploring resiliency and positive outlooks even in the darkest moments are much more inspirational. But like I just said, the vast majority do not. They ruminate on the events, pain and horror of what happened. I was even watching TV last night and realized that most documentary-type shows do the same thing. We already live in challenging time. A focus on the positive works far better on me anyway -- and I would wager on a lot of my reading friends, too. And one last note: want more disease? Invite more of it by talking about it all day! And that message is from a woman who had a disease she cured with an essential oils treatments and who has not been sick in two years with anything -- and who NEVER talks about it. So, let me repeat this: want more disease, invite more of it by talking about it!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Yes, Alexander Skarsgard is Hot, But Apparently not Alone!

In light of the recent proclamation that Sweden has all of the hot men (and not presumably Australia, which I thought ruled the world in terms of all things hot and male), I decided to check out who other than hot man du jour Alexander Skarsgard (voted five times Sweden's sexiest man) live among the Suedes. In my quick search that took more than one minute, I found the hot Swedish man video to inform, and of course show me why Sweden rules in male hotness. In less than 10 minutes, I felt fully informed, advised and educated! I now must force Australia to concede the crown of the hottest male of the species and turn it over to Sweden. For yes, my fellow females, Sweden does as it so seems have dozens of prime male hotness to choose from. I will, however, stick to my fundamental belief that Mr. Skarsgard's temperature is hottest of all, which of course confirms and supports his ongoing prize as the sexiest one, too. Enjoy the video ;).

Have You Hugged Your Publisher Today?

Jeaninne and Michelle
Last night we launched Manuel's Murals at Cha-Cha's in Rocklin. I want to congratulate Jeaninne Kato's whose party went off beautifully. She looked amazing, and she had a full house! The book is available on Amazon, 3L's website (www.3LPublishing.com) or at manuelsmurals.tumblr.com. Let me say one thing: when you work with a publisher (any publisher), can you genuinely say that you feel like the CEO is your friend, supporter and cheerleader? When you work with us, you will very likely say that your publisher is all of those things and more! We are a small, intimate team of professionals who are passionate about our work. We only work with authors who we like and respect their work. In working with us, we forge powerful bonds ... so that hug is a true, loving hug between two girlfriends! I would imagine most big corporate publishing machines don't offer that kind of profound friendship and support! You become another author in a sea of authors. If you're interested in being treated like you matter, please send an email to info@3LPublishing.com.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Great One Liners from True Blood

It's Saturday morning -- and most readers know I don't focus on serious subject matter over the weekends (well, sometimes not during the week either ;). Nothing gets my attention more as a writer than a fantastic piece of dialog. A snappy one-liner in particular just gets me to either laugh or remember it forever. In my work, I constantly strive to write that great, memorable one-line. The reason I adore True Blood (among many reasons) are the classic, memorable one-liners. Here is a list of some of the most unforgettable lines throughout the seasons. If you can write dialog this amazing, well, you're probably a literary super star (hmm ... sort of like Alan Ball and his writing team). 


Pam: Do not tell me you put our entire species at risk for a gash in a sundress?


Arlene: Zombies are the new vampires, didn't you know that?
SookieBill, you were just licking blood out of my head. I don't think it gets much more personal than that."Bill, you were just licking blood out of my head. I don't think it gets much more personal than that.

SookieDon't say UH-OH! Vampires do NOT say UH-OH!


Tara"Nothing says 'I'm sorry' like a tuna cheese casserole.


EricWell, if you're their poster boy, the mainstreaming movement is in deep trouble. Tru-Blood: It'll keep you alive, but it will bore you to DEATH.


PamThere's vampire in your cleavage.


TerryYour hair is like a sunset after a bomb went off! Pretty.


LafayetteDon't get it twisted hunny, I'm a survivor first, a capitalist second, and a whooole bunch-a otha' shit after that, but a hooka' dead last, so if I got even a Jew at an Al Qaeda pep rally shot at gettin' my black-ass outta this mutha' f***a', I'm takin' it; Now whatch' you wanna know?


Eric"They're like humans but miniature. Teacup humans.


Pam"That thing owes me a pair of shoes.

Friday, March 9, 2012

California Girl Chronicles: Brea Meets Kale for the First Time


SPOILER ALERT: The following is an excerpt from California Girl Chronicles: Brea and the City of Plastic. In this scene, she meets Kale, her central love interest in the series. The book is available for sale on 3L Publishing www.3LPublishing, Amazon, Kindle, iBook, Nook and is available to order through Bakers and Taylor for bookstores.

I smiled and slinked by him just enough that he could feel my energy but far enough that we didn’t touch. I sensed his smile, turned, and grinned back. As I walked into the lounge area, I heard Drew’s band already playing. I decided to find an open stool at the bar and just hang back until he finished. Fortunately, a guy already drunk got up, or more like fell off, and weaved unsteadily toward the bathroom. I swiftly grabbed the stool, slid up, and could see Drew already at the microphone. I saw his eyes move my way, and he stared right back just for a moment. Then he drifted off into the song. Before I could order, a lemon drop was plunged in front of me by a cute guy sitting to my left. He was smoking a cigar and wafts of smoke twirled up into the air. He exuberantly grinned at me. “I bought you a drink,” he said with a wide smile that exposed perfectly white, straight teeth. He had one of those vivacious, electric smiles that you wanted to see on his face all of the time. It was sweet, genuine and nice. I found his smile very attractive, and I immediately warmed toward him.

“Oh, how did you know I wanted a lemon drop?” I asked with true surprise. It was my favorite drink.

“Girlie drink,” he replied with that same electric smile. “My name is Kale. I produce movies.”

I turned a bit and looked at him. Only in Hollywood did people offer what they did at the same time that they introduced themselves. I marveled at the abrupt nature of his introduction that included his job title. “My name is Brea. I write movies,” a slight lie given that I hadn’t written anything, but when in Rome or Hollywood-land.

“Hello Brea who writes movies,” his voice sounded silky. He looked right at me and took in the measure of my form with one swift appraisal. “You look more like an actress, though. Have you thought about acting?” he asked.

“No, not interested,” I responded. “Tell me, Kale, how does one end up a producer?”

Kale took a sip of his whiskey, inhaled from his cigar, blew out smoke, which made me cough, and answered, “Family money and good taste in film … well, more like good instincts on what sells.”

He reached in his shirt pocket and pulled out a card. He flipped it over and handed it to me. “You’re much too pretty to hide behind the lens,” he complimented me and extended his card, which I took. “You really should act,” he said in his silky, sublime voice. The tone of his voice alone could have seduced me.

“No, not for me, but you’re sweet and thank you,” I replied.

Now I took in my own appraisal of him. He wore all black shirt and slacks. His dark blond hair was cut short and slicked back nicely with the perfect amount of hair product so it wasn’t greasy or pasty looking. I was extremely attracted to Kale and leaned in closer. He smelled natural and sweet. He had a genuinely pleasant nature. He seemed authentic and not phony like all the want-to-be actresses and actors in this bar who posed like models. He also gave me his full attention and looked me right in the eyes. He was very tall (my fetish for tall men again) somewhere around 6’ 4”. I could tell he was roughly this tall since his lean body did not fit well on the barstool designed for average-height people. While my feet didn’t touch the ground, and I had to tuck them under the stool, his long legs reached all the way down. Yet it was his eyes that just captivated me. His eyes were light blue-green and acted like reflections for his every emotion. When he smiled, his eyes sparkled and lit up. When he frowned, his eyes darkened and seemingly deepened. He could have been Svengali and used those translucent, clear eyes to hypnotize and lull me into his mind control. I was drawn into those endless eyes, and then I had to shake myself loose so I could pay attention to what he said. He was something if not rich as he had more than just said. I wasn’t into guys for money, though, so that was really only a checkmark on my list of good points – unemployment was on the low end of that scale.

Kale and I talked back and forth. He asked about my fake script. I adlibbed and told him it wasn’t ready to share, which seemed to satisfy him. I did tell him I was laid off. I explained how I ended up at the bikini place. He was amused by the idea that trying on a bikini landed me a job but said it didn’t surprise him with my looks. Before I realized it, Drew suddenly showed up. I hadn’t noticed his set ended. I had been too busy talking and staring at Kale. Drew just seemed to show up in the middle of our conversation. He stood there and looked right at me. It took me a moment to notice him, and then I did and laughed.

Really Cool Moments in the Life of an Author

I spoke yesterday at Women's Success group in Roseville at Crush 29. Whenever I get out and about an away from the confines of my desk or seriously just out of my own head, I am very pleased to realize the progress in our media campaign for California Girl Chronicles and in general. A couple of super fun moments I want to share. First, notice my outfit in the picture. Just for the record, the clothes got more attention than the presentation LOL. Between comments about the chic shoes you cannot see in the photo and the admiration of the outfit, I had to laugh. I had one woman at the evening event I attended tell me I looked "glamorous". I'll take it. Here is the amusing part. I went into White House Black Market, saw this outfit on the mannequin and just made it easy and bought the whole thing. The presentation went very well (aside from a sad, little spectacle we observed that believe me was met with a lot of head shaking and confusion over such blatant insecurity), and I sold books and even a T-shirt (I also sold a lot of books at the next event, too). I had a lovely woman, who I am connected to on Facebook and don't really know, come up to me and say two key things:

  • I am inspired by your daily Facebook postings and want to thank you for them.
  • And you definitely walk your own talk (in reference to my presentation on information-based marketing.
Second, I had another incident earlier where a woman looked at me and said I looked very familiar and realized I was the author of California Girl Chronicles -- very nice. Our media campaign is paying off. Exposure my friends ... exposure! And finally, just this morning I got my book tour lunch schedule from the illustrious Victoria Andrew! I will be in Chicago April 9-16. Here is the schedule just to reinforce the power of an amazing publicist who rules the world. 

Tuesday April 10
- Michelle comes into Chicago & Victoria will pick her up
- We will check into the hotel
- Possible radio show / interview
- We will have dinner
8pm : Uncommon Ground Open Mic
1401 West Devon Ave
9pm : Hungry Brain Open Mic. Living Taping.
2319 W. Belmont Ave
10pm: Trace Polyrhythmic Open Mic
3714 N. Clark St
Chicago, IL 60613
 
Wed April 11
RT Booklovers Convention All Day (and Set Up of Exhibit)
6:30pm: Book Signing at The Book Stall
811 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL
8:30pm: Gallery Cabert Open Mic
2020 N. Oakley
 
Thurs April 12
RT Booklovers Convention All Day
Evening - Possible Book Signing at Revolution Books, After-Words, or Uncharted Books
 
Friday April 13
RT Booklovers Convention All Day
7:30pm:  Women & Children 1st Bookstore Book Signing 
 
Saturday April 14
RT Booklovers Convention All Day
10pm: Delphic Arts Center (Albany Park) Open Mic
5340 W. Lawrence Ave
 
Sunday April 15
RT Booklovers Convention (and Tear Down of Exhibit)
7pm - 10pm Green Mill Cocktail Lounge Poetry Slam Open Mic
4802 N. Broadway Ave

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Launching California Girl Chronicles Book Tour in Chicago

I am really excited! Victoria Andrew has done an excellent job in organizing my first stop on the California Girl Chronicles book tour. What should I call it? Hmm ... Brea's Big Book Tour. I like it! All right so among the many events she has arranged, we have a major book signing at Women and Children's First Bookstore, which according to Victoria who also hales from Chicago, is very prestigious. Since I've done nothing more than idle away time in Chicago O'Hare (and I have a very funny story about the time I failed to realize the size of that airport), I have no idea about this bookstore. So, I will go on Victoria's word that it's a big deal that we got accepted. She worked very hard to arrange this book signing.

The main event is, of course, the Romance Times annual convention being held out in Rosemont, April 10-15. We will introduce my beloved Brea Harper to a crowd of new fans. We also signed up to run the book trailer at the convention hotel of choice Hyatt on their inside channel. Stay tuned, the trailer will also be released on You Tube very soon, and I will post a link. It's very sexy! Of course, anything associated with California Girl Chronicles is naturally sexy. Since Chicago is also known for its pubs, we're going to do a literary pub crawl. I have promised to remain sober lest I end up "on the pole" telling stories out of turn LOL. And then we're doing a second book signing at another major bookstore. I will post all of this information for anyone who lives in the Chicago area and would like to come out. And finally I'm suppose to write a poem to participate in a poetry slam ... hmm ... Look for feature stories to appear in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Reader.

Now do you have your copy of California Girl Chronicles yet? The book has been lauded and praised as a non-conventional, sexy character study. It is slowly gaining enough exposure that one critic's site (Paula) has not yet released her review and two fans were asking her to get it released. Another site, Mary's Cup of Tea had the readers literally fighting over the giveaway copy! I've never seen anything like this happen with our other books. It's quite exciting to watch. You can get your copy on my website at www.3LPublishing.com or Amazon. Buy it off the 3L site and it's 30% off and I will sign it! How's that!! And last but not least, I finished the Bible for the TV series pilot. We are very fortunate to have the assistance of a top-notch producer named Jeff Cohen who guided it and provided some great input. Thank you Jeff!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Movie Review: 50/50

In one of the quietest, little movies of the year that stirs up big emotions, we find ourselves in the world of a Adam, a young man diagnosed with a rare back cancer. I knew I wanted to see this movie, and it came as no surprise it was a great movie since it had been nominated for numerous awards. I was surprised that it wasn't exactly your typical movie about life, death and the big C. It moved with a slow, visceral build with a very intimate look at Adam's reaction and slow meltdown and eruption as he realizes, yeah, hey he could die. The scene where this realization finally hits him is superb. Adam, who doesn't drive for fear he could die (yes, the irony is not lost), decides to grab the wheel when his best friend played by the low-key Seth Rogen gets too drunk to drive. Adam, who at this point has been pretty controlled about the whole thing, finally lets loose on the car and not only drives recklessly but pounds the steering wheel, letting go of loads of pent-up anger and grief. The movie is steady and well constructed as it kind of slowly ratchets up the emotions and asks the important questions about life and death. Adam is quiet and dignified -- the everyman faced with a deadly situation. I love the whole thing. You should definitely see it. It's probably the best movie on cancer since Terms of Endearment, which funny enough gets mentioned in the movie.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Review: True Blood and Philosophy

So, I promised I would give a review of my birthday present True Blood and Philosophy ... well, I have to tell you. If you really want a deconstructed insider "revelation" about the show, go to Love True Blood and forget the book. This book takes on a very conventional deconstruction based on historical philosophy and modern feminism. I always hope for a deeper look at a piece of work that pulls back the veil between me and the storyteller to help engender a greater understanding of the story -- whether it's on TV or a book. The website really accomplishes that goal while the book is just too, well, boring. It didn't give me a deeper meaning to the characters. I wasn't at all enlightened and frankly mostly bored by it. Now the website written by very literate fans of the show is much more intriguing and revealing.

Also, there is a mention on the Love True Blood site today about how Charlaine Harris doesn't map out her books and focuses primarily on one book's story at a time. Note to the other writers: As a writer you may have a general overview of where you want to take your series. I know I have a general idea of where California Girl Chronicles is heading, but in the storytelling process, the story often organically starts to tell itself. You may think, for example, your primary love interest might be one couple, but then through reader feedback and your own feeling about the story itself, it evolves differently. I'm sure that while Alan Ball's writing team might keep a tighter rein on the storytelling process, they still allow stories and characters to speak for themselves. I know many non-writers may not understand this idea, but the story and characters respectively take on their own direction and voices.

In book one of California Girl Chronicles while I suspected that Brea and Kale were the couple to root for, it wasn't until the readers vocalized their specific feelings about this couple that I was more certain of what to do with them throughout the overall series. Remember, fans you have to drama in your storytelling. If Alan Ball and team didn't keep you dramatically hooked on the Eric and Sookie romance, you would quickly grow bored. Add to that the need to fully flesh out these characters and their trajectory in the story and how they grow and change. I will say this over and over again. Every metaphor, foreshadowing technique and blimp in this romance is met to shove them together. Read that fan site. They are very astute in their observations about the subtle messages about Eric and Sookie. I have no doubt, this couple is the true heart of the show no matter whether their do or do not bring in Quinn or make Alcide be Quinn. It's not going to be anything other than Eric and Sookie. You can take that to the bank.

SPOILER ALERT: California Girl Chronicles: Brea's Big Break


SPOILER ALERT: The following is a brief excerpt for California Girl Chronicles: Brea's Big Break, which is the second book in the series due out in summer 2012. If you hate spoilers, read no further. If you love spoilers, enjoy!

I arrived at the Tea Leaf, and he was sitting out front reading his Blackberry, engrossed in something. He looked up, smiled and set it down. I pulled out the iron chair, which made a scraping noise on the pavement. Curtis had two cups sitting in front of him and slid one across to me.

I looked down, smiled and asked, “For me?”

“I took the liberty of ordering hazelnut.” He smiled. “I noticed you liked it.”

“How sweet,” I replied. “Thanks!” I said and took a sip.

Curtis looked at me with a curious tilt to his head, grinned and asked, “You have a manager?”

“No,” I replied. “Kale said they’re all bloodsuckers and to get an entertainment attorney.”

“Kale said?” he asked with a strange look.

“Well, yes,” I replied and frowned.

Curtis looked down at his coffee cup and seemed to weigh his response. He then carefully spoke, “I think you need a manager – someone to take you to A-list writer’s status. You need someone to think ahead for you. You know, watch out for you.”

“Kale watches out for me,” I said plainly.

Curtis slid forward and lowered his voice. “Kale watches out for Kale. Don’t be so na├»ve.”

I sat up straight. “I’m not.”

“Yes, you are,” he said and stretched out his arms. “This is Hollywood, baby.”

“And what’s your point?” I retorted.

“My point, baby, is you need me,” he said in a low voice as he slid his hand on top of my thigh.

I looked down at his hand and back up at his face. He was serious. I looked back down at that hand and cautiously slid it off. “Not sure what you’re suggesting, Curtis.”

Curtis moved in even closer and whispered, “You know exactly what I’m suggesting.”

He sat back in his chair and had the smuggest look on his face. He was still my boss. I felt a surge of adrenaline and fear. I sat there and wasn’t sure what to do or say. He could do damage no matter what. I needed him on my side, but I didn’t want him on my side this way. He was eye candy that was for sure, but he was also potentially dangerous.

“I’ll think about it,” I replied in what seemed like a pat answer to buy me time. “But maybe you ought to woo me a little.” I smiled in my own creepy way just to needle him and put him a little off balance, too.

Curtis sat up a bit and looked at me in surprise. He laughed. “Maybe,” he replied.

I took another sip of my hazelnut-flavored coffee and let it slide slowly down my throat. I looked off for a moment in the distance so I could think. Curtis grabbed his cup and briefcase and stood up. He walked partway round our little table, leaned over and kissed my cheek. He then leaned in and whispered with his hot breath right into my ear, which made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. “Maybe,” he breathed in a soft, seductive way.

I tilted away just slightly and looked up into his eyes – our eyes locked in a showdown. He leaned in and kissed my other cheek this time. I let him.

“I have a meeting,” he said. “See you.”

He took off and left me sitting there alone, pensive and nervous. He could hurt me. I knew that much. I could tell Kale, set off a war in the office and destroy the production that way, too. Just as I was fretting over my dilemma, I heard a terrible and familiar voice. I looked up to find Drew standing over me.

Monday, March 5, 2012

You Voted: California Girl, Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood and Hot Men!

So, it seems the blog is now well over 2,000 page views per month. My audience has made their vote on my content with the most number of views. Apparently when I wax, wane or whine for that matter about anything that involves True Blood and everyone's actor and hot man du jour Alexander Skarsgard, the readers come running. I'm also tickled to see that California Girl Chronicles excerpts attract a nice draw, too. Well, it turns out that all men right now from Sweden seem to be piquing the female interest. A new poll ranked Sweden as the land of plenty o' hot men! I guess for the single ladies looking for the beautiful race, Sweden is it. I always thought Australia offered beautiful, chiseled-cheeked men a plenty. When I was "down under," I couldn't help but pick my jaw off the ground a few times. Even the bellhops looked like they belonged on the cover of GQ. It was hard not to stare! These guys were so rarely gorgeous, I found myself looking much like you would at a train wreck only in a good way. I didn't intentionally stare at this one waiter. I just, well, stared! My girlfriend nudged me and laughed. I didn't even realize I was staring. Didn't your mother teach you not to stare? Of course, but it has to be in my conscious awareness not to LOL. OK, so I suppose outside of my desire to see the beautiful country of Sweden, I might have to add it to my bucket list, which includes Provence this fall. I told my girlfriend who is going with me that perhaps we should detour to Sweden ... you know ... just for the fun of it.

A Perfect California Springtime and a Nice Interview

I used to work for the California Department of Water Resources many, many years ago. Every year no matter how much or little rain we received, the department seemed to consistently deliver a solemn outlook on our water supply. A friend of mine mentioned this over the weekend, and I laughed and agreed. So, I decided that I don't care that we don't have heavy rainfall this year (last year's late rain more than made up for it). I am going to revel in the magnificent early California spring weather. The sunshine combined with the perfect temperature made my trip to the North Coast absolutely perfect, as you can see from the beautiful pictures I am posting. We strolled the Fort Bragg Botanical Gardens, which I've passed numerous times in the fog and declined to visit. A foggy, cold day does not entice a stroll. And while most people think California and sunny beaches, let me tell you: come July and August, the California North Coast beaches are not always sunny. Quite the contrary, the North Coast can be bone-chilling cold and foggy.

All right, onto more practical business. I recently did an interview on California Girl Chronicles as Author of the Week on Full Moon Bites. If you would like to read it, please click here. I still have notes coming in from readers who just finished the book. The common sentiment is always, "I couldn't put the book down." When I wrote it, I gave each new chapter to early readers, who also said the same thing and demanded I keep going so they could find out what Brea would do next. The second book in the series comes out this summer. It will be available only on my book tour, with my first stop in Chicago. Some lucky convention attendees will be able to buy what is not publicly available. Now if you cajole me just enough, you might be able to get a copy, too. In the meantime, you will have to wait for its official summer release just in time for beach-time reading. For more information, go my website at www.3LPublishing.com or send an email to info@3LPublishing.com.