My Favorite New Ornament This Year

Aw, look at this super-cute ornament my mom gave me:


Isn’t it cute?

She glued “The Red Bikini” cover on the top book, and we’re thinking we’ll put “Ten Good Reasons” on the blue spine when I get my new business cards (with the cute small print).

Then … hmmm … it looks like we’ve got a few more spines to fill next year…

I’ll get on that!

Reader Question: Who Was the Inspiration for Fin?

Here’s a question from avid reader and friend Barbara during The Red Bikini book club, which we had on Facebook in September:

Q: Who (or what composite of people) was the inspiration for Fin and his personality? – Barbara Y.

A: When I knew that Giselle’s hero would be a surfer, I wanted immediately to bust the stereotype of a surfer, so my first inspiration for Fin was … Continue reading

THE RED BIKINI ‘Presented’ in Colorado

Jen Jones

So a very-old-friend from elementary school, Jennifer Jones (yep, way back to first grade! We were in MGM together every year, played at each other’s houses, etc. and stayed friends through high school until she moved), found out about my book and ordered a few to give away in door-prize baskets at a Women’s Networking Event at her camera store in Denver, CO.

She sent this:

“So my store hosted a women’s networking event last night and 55 women who have never heard of you before now know who you are. … Attached is a photo of me explaining who you are to me and why I was supporting you. … You’re awesome and I’m so proud of you and I enjoy following your adventures on Facebook.”

So sweet! (Old friends are the best, aren’t they?)

I told her I’d return the favor when she published her first photography book. (Because she will! Super talented wildlife and landscape photographer, she is.)

I hope whoever won those prizes really liked the book, and I’m super honored to be part of a women’s networking event with a really strong woman like Jen.

Join Me for the ‘Red Bikini Book Club’!

Book club graphic

I’d love for you all to join me for a fun online event Friday, Sept. 19 — a book-club discussion of “The Red Bikini”! I’ll ask you questions about the book (from “What do you think all the strawberries meant?” to fun things like “What was your favorite line of Fin’s?”), and you can ask me anything you want about writing it.

Come see what others answer and ask!

This event is two weeks away, so you have plenty of time to read the book, re-read the book, or get a friend to read the book and join us. I can’t wait to chat with you all!

P.S. The event goes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but you don’t have to be available the whole time — just come jump in any time you like, even if only for 15 minutes!

P.P.S. If you can’t attend the event at all on Friday, but you’re interested in what everyone says, click “join” anyway, and you’ll still get all the questions with links to the answers, which you can then peruse later in your own time.

To join and get more info, click here.

(And thank you to Carli Krueger for the adorable event graphic! — Isn’t it cute?)


‘The Red Bikini’ Surprise Launch Party: Some Surprise Guests!

So after I walked into my surprise launch party with complete and utter surprise, I looked around at all the fun guests who were there.

First, most of my book club girls were there! I love my book club friends, and we’re going on nearly 15 years now. We’ve all been through so many life events together — dating, breakups, travel, moving, job losses, job gains, weddings, showers, babies, health issues, children in school, children joining the military, children going off to college, parents aging, becoming grandmas (!), the list goes on and on. So sharing this big milestone meant the world to me! I didn’t get a picture of everyone, but here’s some of the group (Laura, Debbie, and Carrie [top photo]; Angela and Mary Ann [bottom photo]):

IMG_2022 IMG_2023Two “surprise guests” were friends from high school (who have loose ties to the book club, knowing fellow book-club founder Barbara, and having gone to high school with me and Barbara). One has been my friend since 5th grade (!!), and one was a friend in high school who is now one of my faithful beta readers. (And, as a side note, two went to elementary school with my husband!) Here we are, the VHS girls (me, Michelle, Barbara and Dawn):

photo (10)

(Please excuse my hair in that photo! I don’t know what it’s doing. … It looks like some weird 1960s doll hair. …It was hot in the room, and my hair was turning into a frizzy, curly mess…)

Anyway, as I made my way through the room, I saw that another whole table was filled with the over-70 crowd! My mom, my friends’ moms who were always so supportive of me, and lo and behold, my high school English teacher Mrs. Kerby!!!! My goodness, I couldn’t believe it! (As another side note, Mrs. Kerby was also the English teacher of historical romance novelist Suzanne Enoch, who was a year ahead of me. Mrs. Kerby goes to Suzanne’s events, too.) (Go VHS!)

Anyway, it was great to get caught up with these wonderful, supportive women. Here they are (my mom, Mrs. Lucas, me, Mrs. Kerby, and Mrs. Young):

photo (11)

My son was also there, drinking cocktails, because he just turned 21, which is weird for me. But it was awesome to see him there being so supportive. (My other two kids were too young for a cocktail event.) Here he is with hubby and Mom:


So my friends and I ate delicious seafood appetizers (an amazing clam bake, salmon deviled eggs, ceviche, and more — YUM!), drank champagne, chatted each other up, told stories, laughed, drank more champagne, had cake, I signed a bunch of books, and I had the best time ever!

Thanks, Barbara! That was a moment of a lifetime for me!

P.S. Sadly, I’m missing the lovely Lauran from these photos because she was nice enough to take most of them! Thank you, Lauran!

P.P.S. Here’s a picture of the awesome cake!

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