Monday, June 26, 2017

Let The Summer Begin

Well, summer has officially started for me, which means it’s time to post about camp. I’d post about Banana Girl’s trip to Israel, except the packing is finally done and there is no risk of bears there—other, scarier things, which would not sound funny at all and will only keep me up at night—so I’m going to assume she’s safe, smart and having a great time.

The Princess, however, is spending the summer at a camp. Not her camp, since the dates don’t gel well with graduation and leaving for college, but a different camp. A day camp. The last time we did day camp, she was tiny. These days, she’s older and bossier, which means she gets to be a counselor.

The good news is that I get at least some of my summer freedom as she’s gone from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. I didn’t have to spend the last week and a half convincing her to label and pack her stuff. We didn’t have to shove anything into our car and transport everything out to bear country. And I don’t have to sit in front of my computer hitting “refresh” to spot her ponytail in the camp photos and wonder if she’s been eaten by bears.

The bad news is that I have to cook, paying attention to the food she likes as opposed to our usual “it’s summer, the kids are away and we can finally eat what we want” plan. I have to be aware of her plans, and coordinate my plans around her. But it’s her last summer before college and part of me is looking forward to having her around.

The bad news for her is that she gets to witness the “fun” summer projects I take on and participate in them—cleaning out her closets, getting ready for college, cleaning out the bathroom cabinets, and other exceedingly fun things like that.

I’m looking forward to finding out how day camp differs from sleep away camp. Especially because the bears only come out at night, after she’s home, right?

Monday, June 19, 2017

An Idiot's Guide to Makeup

Not that my blog is that deep to begin with, but I’m going to go shallow today. There are too many things to stress over, the world has become the prologue to a dystopian YA novel and frankly, we all need an escape. So today, I’m talking about makeup. Specifically, my “how the hell can you still be female and not know this” side of it. Because when it comes to makeup, I am woefully ignorant.

I know the products I use and basically how to use them. I admire other products and techniques, but haven’t a clue what they’re for or how to use them. And honestly, between the fact that my husband doesn’t like me in makeup and I have no desire to spend the time on it, I’m good as is.

I’m a writer. Most days I spend in my house at my keyboard. I get fully dressed because wearing sweats/t-shirts/yoga pants makes me feel schleppy/fat, and other than to walk the dog, you won’t find me in those—although I have to admit I’m kind of longing for some of the cute jogging outfits I see people wear; I just have to make sure they won’t require me to actually jog. But I digress.

I don’t usually wear makeup unless I’m going to see people.

This morning I was seeing people. So I had to wear at least something. I grabbed my cover up. It was empty. Luckily, I had bought two extras a few weeks ago.

Now, I like this brand of makeup because it’s reliable, inexpensive and actually matches my skin tone. It doesn’t make me look orange or unnaturally tan. The tube was the same shape, located in the same place and I assumed it was the same thing I’ve been buying for years. There wasn’t anything else to choose from either, and there was no empty spot on the counter.

I pulled it out and opened the package. It was the same brand and the same sized tube, but it looked different. But it said cover-up, so I assumed it was fine. I squeezed the tube and white lotion came out. Now, I’m pale, but not THAT pale. So I looked at the words on the tube, which were really small. They said something about color matching. That's a thing?

So I decided to go with it. I rubbed it in and I didn’t have blobs of white on my face. In fact, I think it actually does match my skin tone. Or it just faded away to nothing. Being the snarky, cynical person I am, I am equally willing to consider that I might have just been taken in by some marketing genius.

As the mom of two teenaged girls who are way more knowledgeable about makeup, I suppose I could ask for their opinions. I have to get up the nerve, though, since I just embarrassed myself with them over a gel manicure.

But that’s a story for another blog post.

Monday, June 12, 2017


“If you’re going to react that way, I can’t tell you things.”
“I inhaled.”

Out of all the reactions I could have had, the only thing I did was inhale. As in, breathe. While I’m willing to admit I often react first and think second when it comes to one of my teens telling me something, I’m unwilling to compromise on breathing.

Last week was prom. This past weekend was after-prom. I’m actually surprised I was able to inhale—I thought I was holding my breath from Thursday on. Apparently biology beat out psychology and left me with a little extra air to inhale.

We had many long conversations about after-prom. She was going to the Poconos.

You know, where the bears live.

She was going with a group of twenty or so friends—safety in numbers.

Except I didn’t know all of them.

There were going to be lots of things to do.

Not going there...nope.

So we talked about safety and responsibility and good judgment and what was acceptable (or not).

We also talked about what to do if something felt off.

Ultimately we let her go. She’s responsible. She’s proven she knows how to handle herself. And she’s going off to college in a few months, where I won’t have the luxury of knowing what she’s doing at all times.

She called. And I inhaled.

And then I remembered that she was doing exactly what we talked about her doing when she felt uncomfortable. So we talked and we strategized and ultimately, everything was fine.

She came home in one piece. She had a great time. None of the things I worried about came true.

She didn’t even get eaten by a bear.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Some Girls Like It Hot and We Do Too!

We’re treating romance readers to a hot, summertime giveaway. Enter for the chance to win a Kindle Fire HD 10, Kindle Fire HD 8, Kindle Fire 7, Amazon Gift Cards & More!

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Scenes From Hoboken

Banana Girl and I spent Sunday afternoon in Hoboken as part of her Mother’s Day gift to me. She took me to lunch at Honeygrow. OMG, it was amazing!
She first went there on a trip to DC and came home raving about it. She’s my foodie. When she gave me a certificate for lunch with her, I suggested we find a local one and go together. Our options were Hoboken or New Brunswick. We chose Hoboken.
We made our own stir fry and then split a honeybar. I cannot wait to go back.
While we were there, I took some photos of Hoboken. My upcoming book takes place there and I thought the photos would come in handy.
Hoboken is a small city across the Hudson River from New York City. Lots of young urban professionals live there because it’s easy to commute across the river to jobs in New York. It has lots of great restaurants and bars. I remember hanging out there after I graduated college.
I took a few of the town to give readers a feel for the location.
I took some of high-rise apartments, since both of my characters live in them—the other option are smaller brownstones.
And I took a photo of the riverfront, where my hero goes to contemplate next steps.
Of course, while I was there, I had to take a photo or two of the view.
If you’re ever in the area, definitely take a look (and stop at Honeygrow!).

Addicted to Love…coming July 21, 2017.
Preorder now

Monday, May 8, 2017

Brakes and Helicopters

I’m sitting in the car place because there’s something wrong with my daughter’s brakes. I’m sure there are things just as scary or even more so, but I’ve been awake for two nights terrified of a car with messed up brakes, and she hasn’t even driven it!

For some reason, car places are closed on Sundays. I know, no one should be required to work seven days a week, but when my daughter tells me her brakes are making a weird noise, when my other daughter uses her typical exaggeration and tells me it’s the worst noise ever, and even my husband, who never hears any car noises, can hear it, I want a car place to check out the car ASAP.

Unfortunately, snapping my fingers did not encourage my car guy to open just for me. So I called at seven thirty this morning, when his website said he opened. No one answered. I called at seven forty-five with the same result. Finally at eight he answered the phone and told me to bring the car in, which I did.

I heard the noise. I reminded myself all the ways to stop a car when the brakes fail. I cursed a lot at turns and near large buses and trucks and highways. But I made it, without incident (and my nerves were due probably more to my own mishegas than to anything actually happening).

Unlike most other times, my car guy didn’t laugh at me when I described the problem. Maybe because they’re brakes and I’m not the only one who thinks they’re scary. I use him because he’s good and reasonably priced, not because of his sparkling personality.

As I sit here waiting, he’s talking to other customers, one of whom is a dad of a college student in California whose tire blew out and now the dad is nervous about the other three tires. He’s asking my car guy if the tires should be replaced. The only thing preventing my car guy from responding, “How the hell should I know, the car is 3,000 miles away!” is that the dad asking is a guy. Remember that sparkling personality? Well, it’s a sexist one. But he really knows cars, as long as they’re NOT 3,000 miles away. So he uses restraint, which I can visibly see, and suggests his son take his car to someone out there. The dad isn’t sure his son will do that. My car guy says short of flying out there to take his car himself, there’s only so much the dad can do. The dad reluctantly agrees. So my car guys says he’ll call a repair guy he knows out in California, who can probably help the college student, and the dad leaves happy.

This mom will be leaving happy, too, with two brand new rear brakes, knowing her daughter will be safe. And hopefully, I’ll get some sleep, but probably not today, since my car guy also makes really strong coffee!