Monday, February 18, 2008

February in Texas

We went to The Domain today -- an outdoor mall that transports you to LA or NYC with Michael Kors, Barneys, Juicy Couture ... and apparently beach weather.

Yupper, it's the middle of winter, and here's what the girls begged to do while we were at the mall:


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beach Read!

Order here!

This just in ....

THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR STOMPING was chosen as a SOUTH
JERSEY MOM's Chick Lit Pick 2008 Beach Read.


How cool is that?

Three fun stories from me, Jade Lee & Marianne Mancusi. Mine is a Protector story (i.e., the superheroes from the Aphrodite series)!


AND THIS JUST IN .... THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR STOMPING was chosen to be a Fresh Pick
at Fresh Fiction. WHOO HOO!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

Love and kisses to all!

Check out the sweet cards the girls made for the various grandparents. (The fingers are bent into the ASL sign for "I love you.") And, um, Isabella's hand isn't really that elongated, but she was VERY proud of herself for tracing her own hand.

LWB Fundraiser - Update



Just got word that one of the kiddoes that the 2006 fundraiser is not only doing great, but he's found his family! Hopefully the process will go smoothly and he'll be home soon. Here are some pics ... isn't he a cutie?





And here's some more news about another little boy who is "in foster care and apparently is thriving in his family. He is described as energetic and outgoing. He can walk and call to his "Nai Nai". He likes to visit the neighbors and to say goodbye when people are leaving the house." He sounds (and looks) so precious!

Monday, February 11, 2008

From Russia With Love ...





Oh yeah! Got a box from my agent today, and in it I found the Russian edition of The Prada Paradox (thus completing my set), along with a cool red cover with a devious-looking black cat. Took me a minute to realize it's Carpe Demon. Looks sweet!

I love foreign editions. Wish I could read 'em!

GCC Tour: Don’t Get It Twisted by Paula Chase

Click Here To Order

Meet Paula Chase -- this week's GCC touring author!

“So, wait…this writing thing actually doesn’t get easier?” author Paula Chase asks. “If I’d known that I would have taken up a much easier profession like shark wrestling.” {{Oh, yes! I'm so with Paula on that ... }} And compared to living in the minds of a clique of six teenagers, shark wrestling really may be easier.

In Don’t Get It Twisted, the sequel to her debut, So Not The Drama, Chase gives readers a peek into the Del Rio Bay clique’s foray into dating, while also dipping her toe into the issue of student athletics and cheating. Using humor and earnest insight, Chase continues the story of Mina Mooney and her mixed bag of friends.

The Buzz on Don’t Get It Twisted & The Del Rio Bay Clique Series

“Surprisingly real and deep…well worth reading.” – Teens Read Too

“Excellent for showing friendship that crosses racial and social boundaries.” – YA Books Central

“Don’t Get It Twisted, is another winner.” – Urban Reviews


About Paula
Author, Paula Chase has written for Girls Life, Sweet 16 and Baltimore Magazine, among others. In addition to her background in corporate communications and public relations, she founded the Committed Black Women, a youth mentoring program for 14-17 year old girls. Her Del Rio Bay Clique series helped launch Kensington Books YA line and joins a burgeoning number of YA books targeted to multi-culti suburbanite teens. Chase calls her brand of teen literature, Hip Lit, a nod to the diversity spawned by the MTV-watching, 106 & Park-ing, pop culture hungry hip hop generation. The author lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters. Learn more about the series and author at www.paulachasehyman.com

Paula's answers to my GCC Questions:


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL “WRITING DAY”? It changes with every single book. This time around, it’s writing around 8 or 9 on the lap top surrounded by my family interrupting every few minutes. They did that anyway when I went into the office so I’m just saving them the trouble. My goal is to write two hours a day, that way anything I write beyond that is gravy.

DO YOU RECALL THE KERNEL OF INSPIRATION FOR THIS BOOK? I actually wrote it immediately after the first book – five years ago. So not really. I just remember that the story was still flowing, in my mind, once I closed out book #1 so I started Don’t Get It Twisted.

PICK A CHARACTER IN THE BOOK AND TELL US WHAT TRAIT YOU SHARE (OR COME CLOSEST TO SHARING) WITH THAT CHARACTER. My main character Mina has the interest of two guys in this book. And it pretty much makes her a basket case. That is so me! When I was a teenager and even in my 20’s I was never good at dating more than one guy. Every time I’d try the casual, seeing more than one guy thing it blew up in my face. I’m simply unable to switch that quickly emotionally. So I’d be with guy #1 and we’d be having a good time. Then guy #2 might call later and I’d snap at him, annoyed because I hadn’t flicked the lever to be in the mood to talk to him. It’s like I’d pick a fight, not purposely, but it ended up that way. Juggling guys never worked out for me.

IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND , WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE A MAGICAL TRUNK THAT GAVE YOU LIMITLESS BOOKS TO READ, OR A LIMITLESS SUPPLY OF PAPER ON WHICH TO WRITE? If I also have a couple of pens on hand, I’ll choose the paper. I get so frustrated when a story idea comes to me and I can’t capture it. I mean, I get seriously irritated and snappy. I don’t want anyone talking to me until I’ve written down at least the concept. So I can imagine being on this island with no paper and simply spiraling into madness.

BEER OR WINE? Wine. I’m a Merlot gal.

CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Vanilla. That’s so plain Jane isn’t it? But vanilla has lots of flavor.

WHAT’S YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOK? I’m prone to “obsessions.” There’s no one favorite anything for me. Instead, I go through bouts of obsession with one book, movie, song or another. Today, my all-time favorite book is Time Line by Michael Crichton. That book really swept me into it. Now, ask me this same question tomorrow and the answer will be completely different.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Chocolate: It's a Good Thing

You haven't lived until you watch a four year old enjoy her very first chocolate milkshake.

Trust me on that:

video

When we first adopted Isabella, she disdained both chocolate and ice cream. Ah, how things can change in a year!

And if the vid doesn't show up, it's also available here: http://gallery.mac.com/juliekenner#gallery

Shark Bait -- trying again

Well, dang, and double dang. Apparently, some folks can see the picture and some can't.

I uploaded it to my web gallery, so if you're dying to know what I saw when I got home (look in the water), visit here, then click the image to make it bigger:

http://gallery.mac.com/juliekenner#100008

Shark Bait?




Took the kidlets to Disneyland, the beach, LA and the San Bernadino mountains over Christmas (more stories to come), but when I got back home I noticed something ...

There I was, snapping photos of the kids romping in the surf, and I never noticed a thing. Not until I came home and made this picture my screensaver. Click on it and make it bigger. Do you see what I see?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

GCC Tour - EARTHLY PLEASURES by Karen Neches

”Karen Neches' Earthly Pleasures is a rare treat. I laughed from the first page and cried in all the right places. Do yourself a favor and curl up with this book. Heaven knows, you won't be sorry!" -- Julie Kenner




I'm so excited to be touring Karen and her book, EARTHLY PLEASURES, as I had the supreme privilege of reading it back when it was still in galleys. Loved it, and I'm sure you will too! Check it out.

In Earthly Pleasures (Simon and Schuster, February 2008, $14) great love can transcend the dimensions, narrowing the vast difference between Heaven and Earth.

Advance Praise for Earthly Pleasures:

"What a treat! Earthly Pleasures more than lives up to its name. I was glued to the pages of this delightful little gem of a novel, and wish it could have been twice as long!"
-- Megan Crane, author of Frenemies


”Karen Neches' Earthly Pleasures is a rare treat. I laughed from the first page and cried in all the right places. Do yourself a favor and curl up with this book. Heaven knows, you won't be sorry!"
--Julie Kenner, author of Demons Are Forever

"Equally hilarious and poignant, Earthly Pleasures is a little powerhouse of a novel about love, life...and what comes next."
--Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date and Love You to Death
"Karen Neches’s novel is an intriguing love story with a rare combination of both wit and depth. In her fresh voice Neches gives us an innovative version of heaven where the one true thing still remains: love that transcends both time and space."

--Patti Callahan Henry, National bestselling novelist of Between the Tides

“Earthly Pleasures is more than just a novel. It's a dream, a calling, a divine trip from which you won't want to come home. I loved it!—Valerie Frankel, author of I Take This Man and Hex and the Single Girl.


About the Author




Karen Neches was single for over twenty years. She used to tell people she was in the “hospice stage” of being single as she never expected to recover. Then at the age of forty-three she finally met her soul mate. Earthly Pleasures is dedicated to him. She maintains a web site at www.karenneches.com
Neches also writes under the name Karin Gillespie and is the nationally bestselling author of The Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big-Ass Novel with Jill Conner Browne and three novels in the critically acclaimed Bottom Dollar Girl series. She’s founder of the virtual tour The Girlfriend Circuit as well as the grog for Southern authors A Good Blog is Hard to Find. She is a former lifestyle columnist for the Augusta Chronicle.

Here are Karen's answers to my GCC questions!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL “WRITING DAY”?

Type a sentence, check email, eat chocolate, repeat

DO YOU RECALL THE KERNEL OF INSPIRATION FOR THIS BOOK?

I had this sudden thought: Lovely Bones meets Bridget Jones. , I was so excited, I felt like I’d discovered how to turn rocks into gold. Then I spoke with a publicist who said, “What a horrific notion.” Too late. I was already 70,000 words in. My agent hated it. My editor wanted to use it for kindling. I almost gave up on it. I cursed the novel many times but now it’s my favorite.

PICK A CHARACTER IN THE BOOK AND TELL US WHAT TRAIT YOU SHARE (OR COME CLOSEST TO SHARING) WITH THAT CHARACTER.
My character, Skyem who is a greeter in Heaven, longs for a deep connection with people and I could say the same about myself.

IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND, WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE A MAGICAL TRUNK THAT GAVE YOU LIMITLESS BOOKS TO READ, OR A LIMITLESS SUPPLY OF PAPER ON WHICH TO WRITE?
Limitless paper.


BEER OR WINE?

wine

CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?

chocolate

WHAT’S YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOK?
The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Monday, February 4, 2008

MY NEW WEBSITE!




Oh yeah! Oh yeah! I got a new website, and it's soooo pretty!

Go give it a look-see!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I've joined the Kindle Klub ...

Well, folks. I did it. I bought a Kindle (paying a premium since those puppies aren't shipping). My review: worth every penny. Already, I'm able to read more than I have before (I don't think it's just the newness!) Plus, I'm reading more new (NYT blog and the WSJ).

I uploaded an audiobook, but haven't tried it out (other than to test it), but the book reading is great. I still wish it had a built in light -- would love to read in bed, and the recommended book light is too bulky for a small purse.



The cover gets bad reviews on Amazon, but I think it's perfect.

Another nice feature for v. 2 would be a button to put it into screensaver mode, so that you can close and strap the book cover w/o accidentally hitting the next page bar. {edited: ha! there is such a button. Good job Kindle dudes.}

But all minor things.

I love the KindleNowNow feature: send a question and they send back an answer. Pretty cool stuff!

And I've downloaded a billion books (give or take) from ManyBooks.net, which has put Gutenburg.org books in Kindle format.

5 enthusiastic novels from me!