Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hear Me, Hear Me!

Talking is definitely one of my favorite things to do. I prefer it over sitting and typing at a computer, that's for sure.

In a few weeks I'll have the chance to talk to one of my favorite blogging Mamas, the Feminist Breeder (a.k.a. Gina) during her blogtalkradio show. How cool is this!

Please mark your calenders. You will simply not want to miss this show.

You can link directly to the show to set a reminder to yourself to listen in on March 14th (10 p.m. cst., so you'll need to adjust for the part of the country you live in.) You can also get the show from itunes.

She's calling the program, Chick Lit: Too Legit to Quit? With that kind of a title, how can you NOT listen!

You can find out more about Gina and blogtalkradio. It should be interesting and FUNNY, and who doesn't need funny. (I need funny. I need a lot of funny.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hank Phillipi Ryan's Latest and You Can Win it HERE!

Hank Phillipi Ryan is out with her latest mystery, DRIVE TIME. If you haven't read her yet, you better set aside some reading time. This is the fourth in her series and the previous book, AIR TIME, was just nominated for the 2009 Agatha Award for Best Novel.

In addition to being an award winning novelist, she is a real investigative journalist with Boston's NBC affiliate. She has won 26 Emmy's for her investigative work. You know, some people couldn't get any cooler if they tried.

"Buckle up and prepare for a wild ride...Ryan once again channels her Emmy-winning investigative reporting expertise to craft a realistic and compelling mystery, full of hairpin turns and dangerous intersections at breakneck speed. Verdict: Placing Ryan in the same league as Lisa Scottoline...her latest book catapults the reader into the fast lane and doesn't relent until the story careens to a stop. New readers will speed to get her earlier books, and diehard fans will hope for another installment." —Library Journal on DRIVE TIME (starred review!)

Best of all Hank is giving away TWO copies of her books. So leave a comment and you'll be in the running. (That's right, you can't just READ this blog. You now have to INTERACT!!)

Tell us about your Drive Time.
DRIVE TIME is about secrets. TV reporter Charlie McNally’s working on a story about a dangerous scheme that could absolutely happen…and let me just say, if you own a car, or rent a car, you’ll never look at your vehicle the same way after reading DRIVE TIME. In fact, after writing the book, I now get a bit creeped out when I go into a parking garage. That’s all I‘ll say.
Charlie’s also drawn into another frightening situation—this one at the prep school where her fiancĂ© is an English professor. When Charlie learns a secret that might put her step-daughter-to-be in danger, and might also be an blockbuster investigative story—how does she balance her loyalty to her husband-to-be—with her need to protect the public?
So this is a tough one for Charlie. And she must make many life-changing decisions. Just when she begins to think she might be able to have it all—a terrific career and a new husband and a new life–revenge, extortion and murder may bring it all to a crashing halt.

You’ve got four books under your belt, you’ve won an Agatha, and been compared to Lisa Scottoline. Will there come a time when you say goodbye to journalism to focus full time on your fiction?
Ain’t that the question! I still smile in delight every time I see my Agatha teapot. And when the starred review in Library Journal for DRIVE TIME compared me to Lisa Scottoline, well, I burst into tears. But I still love my job in TV. So–you could ask me that question every day, and every day I’d have a different answer. And I guess the bottom line is: who knows?

Your husband’s a criminal defense attorney. Does he read your work or give you any tips or even ideas for plots?
He’s the most patient man on the planet. Yes, he’s really the only person who reads my pages while they’re in process. When I first started writing PRIME TIME, I’d give hi my five pages or so a day, and I’d hear him laughing and I was so delighted! And he would tell me every day how terrific it was. Then, about fifty pages in, I went in for my daily pat on the back. And he had a funny look on his face. “Honey?” he asked. “Is something going to happen soon?” So I knew I had some work to do.
Ideas for plots? Ah, no, not really. I’m always running ideas by him, to see if he thinks they’re plausible and believable. And sometimes he’ll come up with just the perfect little thing I need to pull something together. But we think very differently. He’s much more–wedded to reality.

What’s next for you?
Exactly what I’m trying to figure out. DRIVE TIME came out February 1, with fantastic blurbs from the much-missed and iconic Robert B. Parker and Suzanne Brockmann and Margaret Maron and Carla Neggers and a rave starred review from Library Journal. So I’m hoping people love it. (And I’ll be visiting lots of places across the US–hope some of our readers come visit!) And then…we’ll see. I can’t tell you how excited I am.

Thanks for visiting us here on your cyber tour, Hank. And congratulations on your latest Agatha nomination!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One, Two, Three

Apologies for the lazy blogging of late. I am hurriedly trying to finish up revisions of book #2 for an end of February deadline, an enormous endeavor that requires new writing and lots of cutting and pasting of things from page 300 onto page 50. In the midst of this, I find I don't have anything to say that would interest anybody. My mother has a great phrase: "Put it in your work." Well, I have.

But I will say that my husband and I are talking about baby number three, which puts me in this odd place among my friends--most of whom are parents of one and intend to stay that way. I realized about half of my friends are single-child families. However, one of my favorite cyber friends is also working on number three and, unlike boring me, is writing all about it. The feministbreeder also has many other wonderful, entertaining, and interesting things to say, but if you know someone who is wondering about family size, it might be worth taking a look at what she's writing.

As for me, we'll see. I used to want six children. I guess I should write: I used to want six children until I had two.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Big Top

Well, I've finally made it to the big time. If the German publication of my novel were not proof enough, it seems I have made it to ebay.

That's right, you can buy the book on ebay. And to think all this time I'd imagined it's when I saw my novel in the "bargain price" pile at the Barnes & Noble that I'd have officially made it. How wrong I was.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Am Awesome

Some really good news: THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME has just been bought in Germany! This means in about a year's time, you'll be able to buy my book in Germany and read it in German (provided you can read German).

Some good news: Samantha Wilde is also a female wrestler. If you have been confused about my identity, I can assure you, I do not wrestle. (I'd link to a video, but I think this kind of wrestling is naughty.)

And on the lighter side: Since the birth of my daughter, I have been not-so-happily enduring a bout of post partum anxiety, compounded by the unfortunate genetic predisposition towards anxiety that all of my family members have managed to enjoy. Such lucky people! On occasion, my anxiety can be very funny.

Take the other day. I'd been having some trouble sleeping because my pulse was beating in my head, arms, neck, etc., quite loudly. I decided to see if it was blood pressure related and went to the local CVS to use their blood pressure machine. I got a reading of 133/122.

After running my morning errands I called the doctor, knowing that /122 is awfully high. (My usual reading is 100/70). The nurse I talked to agreed it was high but said she had to talk to the doctor first to see if I ought to come in. She said she'd call back. (And she did. Five hours later. When she urged me to get myself to the ER.)
In the meantime, I decided to do a little internet research. I searched for diastolic blood pressure and quickly learned that a high diastolic pressure is a strong sign of heart attack and stroke in young adults.

Well, I immediately realized my death was imminent. (Only later did it occur to me that I am NOT any longer (this being another terrible shock) a young adult!) I headed over to the rapid care clinic where I was told by the doctor that CVS must have had a faulty machine as no one's blood pressure could read 133/122. Why didn't the nurse I spoke with tell me this! I'd already planned my funeral. I had an accurate reading of 146/76--not great but not terrible.

I was instructed to buy a blood pressure cuff and take my own pressure once a day.

Now, whenever I get near the thing, my blood pressure sky rockets and my pulses races. This is called white coat high blood pressure.

On the upside, it appears that while I am terrifically crazy, I probably do not have high blood pressure.

I would appreciate any similar stories of how motherhood has made you mad.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Romance is Not Dead

It's been awhile since I've blogged for the GCC. I've been in a bit of a book funk, so I'm relieved that Judi Fennell has a new one out and is taking a blog tour here with me.

My mother has been on a mermaid kick this year, which makes Fennell's new book perfect for her too. Catch of a Lifetime is the latest in her Mer series. Check out the hunk on the cover. Wouldn't you like a total escape? (Actually, if you really want a total escape, take the book on a vacation with you. To celebrate the release of each of her books, Judi Fennell and the Atlantis Inn and the Hibiscus House bed and breakfasts are raffling off three romantic beach getaway weekends. All information is on Judi's website.) Yummy. And just in time for Valentine's Day.

Tell us about your latest release and the inspiration behind it.

Catch of a Lifetime is the third book in my Mer series, this time about middle sister and Human-loving, Angel Tritone. She's determined to convince her brother Rod (hero of Book 2, Wild Blue Under) that she's perfect for the Director position of the Mer-Human Coalition he's establishing to help curb the pollution and global warming issues facing the entire planet. Things don't go quite as planned when she has to outrun a shark and ends up on Logan Hardington's fishing boat and is seen by his six-year-old son, Michael.

Logan Hardington, who ran away from the circus as a teenager, wants Normal in his life. But when a surprise son he never knew about shows up, Normal starts falling by the wayside. Then a beautiful naked woman shows up on his boat and it's all he can do to keep Normal part of his vocabulary. But when she proves to be a mermaid and his son goes missing, Logan realizes that Angel definitely is not the catch of a lifetime.

Or is she?

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing instead?

Probably reading way too much and saying, "I bet I could do that." It's always been a dream of mine. I wrote my first book in 9th grade. Pretty much staying in the proverbial drawer (or steamer trunk), but it did get written. So I'd say this was destined. It just took me a little while to realize it.

What is the most memorable first line you've ever read in a novel?

No clue. I'm not one for remembering first lines. Plus, "It was a dark and stormy night" is the quintessential opener, along with "Call me Ishmael," and I don't think I've actually read either of those. I'll go with the opening of my (as yet unpublished) story: "There's a naked man in my kitchen." Which is not to be confused with the opening of Catch of a Lifetime of "There was a naked woman on his boat."

When deadlines hit, what happens in your house?

Chaos reigns supreme. And so does the laundry. That's my area of expertise in the house. The dishes will (eventually) get taken care of, the pets will definitely get fed, and Hubs will get the vacuum cleaner up and running, but the laundry? It grows legs.

Judi Fennell has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to “get outside!” instead of watching Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie on television. So she did--right into Dad’s hammock with her Nancy Drew books.

These days she’s more likely to have her nose in her laptop and her head (and the rest of her body) at her favorite bookstore, but she’s still reading, whether it be her latest manuscript or friends’ books.
A three-time finalist in online contests, Judi has enjoyed the reader feedback she’s received and would love to hear what you think about her Mer series.
Thanks for another great read, Judi!

Monday, February 1, 2010

What's the Hurry?

Every since my son started preschool, mornings (the three that he goes) have become a harried, stressful, flurry of angst. In the first place, we are not early risers. And even if, by unhappy chance, the baby wakes us up early, we'll stay in bed for as long as possible. My son often won't wake up until 8 a.m., which, I think, is perfectly lovely.

But not so lovely when you have to be somewhere at 9 a.m. The sense of pressure (notes from the school to BE ON TIME), and also some internal pressure no doubt, make for an entirely unpeaceful experience. And the kid is just going to the local preschool! This isn't his Harvard interview. He's not late for his own wedding.

I have said to my yoga students: please do NOT hurry to class. Come late if you need to. I'd rather they came late than sped on the way to their relaxation. I'd rather they came late than scurried anxiously with shallow breath to get there on time. I am often amazed by the yoga studios that insist on coming early, that insist on NO distributions (including, horror of horrors, a cell phone ringing during class).

Is this how we want to raise our children? To be so tight-assed and anxious that they'll go into paroxysms of stress in order to get to yoga class early? Honey, I think it ain't worth it.

A dear, beloved friend called today. Her partner of eight years died suddenly of a massive heart attack.

So what's the hurry? What's the hurry with these precious children? In the scheme of things, I'd rather be late and happy, than on time and stressed. Does it matter? Yes, I suppose, a little. It matters a little to be on time. But a lot? Like life or death? Not even close.

As the great writer Evelyn Waugh wrote: "Punctuality is the virtue of the bored."

This is the one life. Perhaps we should not let a little cell phone ring get our relaxed panties in a bundle? Or maybe that's the sign that we aren't so relaxed after all, eh?

Time to buy new panties. The slow down and enjoy variety.