Sunday, August 24, 2014

Author Talk at La Jolla Library

The library staff members were great!
I was invited to speak at the La Jolla-Gifford library today. The staff were very helpful, though we experienced some technical difficulties. After plugging the projector into my laptop we discovered that it would only show my wallpaper and nothing else on the screen. I had to set each photo I wanted to show as my wallpaper to get it onto the screen. There's always a workaround if you stay positive :)

A nice group showed up, lovely people from various parts of San Diego. We talked about my books, my Thailand trips, the publishing industry, and just general craziness. I sold some books, got flowers, and enjoyed good company.

The room before the event, the quiet before the storm.
The branch manager kindly set aside a nice room for me. The piano and the expensive paintings on the wall threw me at first. I was afraid to put my drinks anywhere lest I damage something I couldn't afford.

I'm looking forward to my upcoming events, a book signing at the Grossmont Center Barnes & Noble on Sept. 25 and a weekends with locals book signing on Sept. 28 at Warwick's bookstore in La Jolla.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

When I Met Robin Williams

Robin Williams at Comedy in the Park.
I was one of the fortunate people who got to meet Robin Williams before his tragic passing 12 days ago. He was the main speaker at the annual Comedy in the Park event in Golden Gate Park in 2009, only I didn't know that. I was up in San Fran visiting my good friends Athena and Adam.

One day, Athena was showing me around doing touristy things and we ended up at Golden Gate Park. We were wandering around when she suggested we head off to the right and for some reason I felt like going left. Although we couldn't see anything other than hills and grass, I felt like I knew somebody over that way and wanted to go look. Athena, being the wise person that she is, agreed to follow my intuition.

We walked down a path and over some hills and then happened upon a huge crowd of people and a stage. "Oh, great," I thought, "how the heck am I going to find someone in this crowd?" Although it seemed crazy, I told my friend I wanted to take a quick look. I felt strongly that someone I knew was there.

We went walking behind the stage and up and down the outskirts of the crowd. We walked through the crowd on paths designated for walking and I strained to see if I recognized anyone. Just as we were about to give up, someone told us that the main event was about to start. We asked what he meant and he told us Robin Williams was about to come on.

"Holy crap," my friend said, realizing that indeed someone we both knew was there, or at least knew of. Robin came out and said a bunch of funny stuff, of course. I can't remember a single thing he said besides "hello, I'm Robin Williams."

But then my intuition tugged at me again and I grabbed Athena and led her back through the crowd in the direction we'd come. Just as we finally made our way to the opposite end of the crowd to the other side of the stage Robin finished his act and ended up walking right by us on his way to the gated VIP area. He stopped right in front of us and spoke to a few lucky fans who were in the right place at the right time. I got to shake his hand and damn his hands were soft. If you remember one thing about Robin Williams let it not be "nanu, nanu," "good morning, Vietnam," or "oh captain, my captain." Don't think of the Oscar he won or how hairy he looked in his nude scene in The Fisher King. Forget his piercing blue eyes and warm smile. Instead, remember Robin as the man with the softest hands in the world. That's the strongest memory I have of him.

But had I known how truly unhappy he was, how deep his depression went (I've battled depression myself my entire life), instead of shaking his super soft hands I would have given Robin Williams a hug. RIP, oh genie, my genie. And make sure you tell God in heaven about the invention of golf.

I realize this isn't a picture of Robin Williams, but it was taken on the same trip. I think he would have appreciated it.

Making the World a Little Safer...

I have to applaud this woman, taking time to educate people on how to keep the world safe for rattlesnakes. You have to feel kind of sorry for those old rattlers. No one wants to be their friend. No one ever invites them to parties. People totally avoid them as if their lives depended on it. It's nice to see that at least one woman cares. 

Gift from Paris! Oh la la

I received a wonderful present in the mail yesterday that my friend Lilian Roberts got me in Paris! Anything from Paris is incredibly special and reminds me of my trip there in 2011. I rarely get gifts, so I tend to be extra appreciative of the ones I do get. Because of this I feel really badly that I have a minor criticism. I'm not looking for fault, see, but it's kind of staring you in the face. Take a look.

There's a beautiful purse, a snazzy clip, and a nice nameplate to let the world know where you got it, but boy I wish she'd have sent me one with two shoes. I'm going to look pretty ridiculous walking around with the Eiffel Tower strapped to one foot.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book Review: Flawless by Jan Moran

Be prepared to fall in love with Flawless by Jan Moran (author of Scent of Triumph). 

Verena Valent is a third generation skincare specialist and CEO of Valent Swiss Skincare. She's also caretaker for her twin sisters Anika and Bella after their parents die in an auto accident. Verena is under tremendous pressure to provide for her family and uphold the reputation of her grand-mere Mia, the founder of Valent. She meets all challenges with grace until a tragedy leaves Valent vulnerable to a hostile takeover. With the help of her BFFs and a scrumptious chef, Verena fights to protect all she loves.

Flawless is a story of family, love, betrayal, and hope that will inspire you to open your heart and book a facial. Can't wait for the next book.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Writing Distractions: Muse Vs. Muse

Usually when I can carve out some time to write wild horses couldn't drag me away from my computer, but my music muse must have gagged my writing muse because tonight I found myself dragging my harp out and making (almost) beautiful music. 

What do you find pulls you away from writing? Besides your kids or your nosy neighbor or the cell phone you "forgot" to turn off. Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guest Post: Writing Funny--What’s this Romantic Comedy Thing, Anyway?

Guest Post by Ute Carbone, author of The P-Town Queen

Romantic comedy is not contemporary romance. Although the books I’ve written in this genre are all set in the present time, this isn’t necessarily so. There is an entire category of “historical romantic comedies” listed on Amazon. The same is true of paranormal.—there are romantic comedies featuring witches and vampires.

Romantic comedy isn’t quite light women’s fiction (chick lit), either. Although all of my romantic comedies could also be defined this way, not all romantic comedy is women’s fiction and not all light women’s fiction is romantic comedy. The emphasis in women’s fiction is on the main character, who is a woman, and how she overcomes obstacles and becomes a better person for having overcome them. The emphasis in romantic comedy is, as the name suggests, on romance. Like in any other romance, the relationship between hero and heroine is front and center. And, also like any other romance, the ending must be happy.

So what is romantic comedy, exactly? I guess the easiest way to think of them is to look at movies that are defined this way. Some romantic comedy movies began as romantic comedy books—Claire Cook’s “Must Love Dogs” and Emily Griffin’s “Something Borrowed” , for example. These are stories where romance plays a big part, they center on relationship. They are also funny, designed to make you laugh.

My romantic comedies are love stories that also contain lots of quirk—characters just this side of crazy that I hope will give you a chuckle. And always, there is a happy ending.

Excerpt from The P-Town Queen by Ute Carbone

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Between Boyfriends Collection is Out!

I'm very excited to share that my publisher put all three of my Between Boyfriends books into one collection!

The Between Boyfriends Collection combines the award-winning comedy novel, Between Boyfriends, with its two hilarious sequels. The romantic comedies follow the misadventures of twenty-something Jan Weston from San Diego to Sydney, and from one City of Angels to the other.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The collection is currently being offered only as an ebook, but the individual books are still available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.