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Showing posts from February, 2008

Book review and Interview with Victorya Rogers

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.29.2008 The Automatic 2nd Date by Victorya Rogers I received a copy of The Automatic 2nd Date , and it’s been very eye-opening even though I’m no longer dating. Since I target a lot of teenaged and 20-something women, and since many of my readers are single, I thought I ought to see what the book’s about. The tone is very enthusiastic and positive. I enjoyed the spirit of the writer as I read. It’s an uplifting, upbeat book, and yet she also gives a great deal of practical tips, so it will appeal both to women who want an encouraging book and women who want a more pragmatic book. I also have an interview with Victorya today! Enjoy! I must say that too often dating is a part of life filled with dread and disappointment. Is there a way to approach dating and avoid those results? Dating Coach and author of The Automatic 2nd Date Victorya Rogers says there is indeed. She says her dating secrets also remove the anxiety from the process and help any woman trans

Four things

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.26.2008 Things you may not have known about me: A) Four jobs I have had in my life: 1. Librarian's assistant 2. Psychology research assistant 3. Biologist 4. Media Center manager B) Four movies I would watch over and over: 1. Lord of the Rings 2. Pride and Prejudice (BBC version) 3. Firefly/Serenity 4. Persuasion C) Four places I have lived in my life: 1. Wahiawa, Hawaii 2. Stanford, California 3. San Jose, California 4. Santa Clara, California D) Four TV shows I love to watch: 1. 24 2. Battlestar Galactica 3. Chuck 4. Burn Notice E) Four places I have been on vacation: 1. Disneyworld 2. Japan 3. China 4. New York F) Web sites I visit almost every day: 1. Statcounter 2. Amazon 3. ACFW 4. my blog G) Four of my favorite foods: 1. steak, on the rare side of medium rare 2. potatoes made any way, but especially French fries 3. foie gras 4. Portuguese sausage H) Four places I would rather be right now: 1. Heaven 2. Hawaii 3. Great Britain 4. Italy

A Woman’s Week at the Gym

Captain's Log, Supplemental My friend Winter sent this to me. Not that I ever had a “Brad” waiting for me at the gym, but I did have some nice but tough physical therapy guys who told me to “quit your whining and get on the exercise bike.” Aiden in Sushi for One is based off of them. A WOMAN'S WEEK AT THE GYM Dear Diary, For my birthday this year, my daughter (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since being a high school cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Brad, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My daughter seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress. MONDAY: Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of be

Sunday Prayer

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.24.2008 Leave any prayer requests in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request or e-mail me. If I forgot your prayer request, email me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't email me or comment to update your prayer request, I'm only going to pray ONE Sunday. I’m trying something new with my Sunday Prayer. I’m really bad about doing it on Sunday , so I’ll be updating it during the week. Dear Lord, thank you that we can come to you. I pray for complete healing for Malia, Helen, Kelli, Kristy. Thank you that Bruce is in remission. Please keep him in good health. I lift up Case and his family to you. I pray for complete healing for Sharon. Give wisdom to her doctor. Please be with Anonymous and her son, who has Peroneal Nerve Motor Neuropathy in his legs. I pray you will relieve the pai

Building a fiction platform

Captain's Log, Supplemental Literary agent Rachelle Gardner asked a few fiction authors what they did/do to build their marketing platforms. I was one of them! If you're a writer, go check it out: Fiction Platform There's a lot of good information from all the authors she interviewed.

Book review - ADAM by Ted Dekker

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.22.2008 Adam by Ted Dekker He died once to stop the killer...now he's dying again to save his wife. FBI behavioral psychologist Daniel Clark has become famous for his well-articulated arguments that religion is one of society’s greatest antagonists. What Daniel doesn’t know is that his obsessive pursuit of a serial killer known only as “Eve” is about to end abruptly with an unexpected death--his own. Twenty minutes later Daniel is resuscitated, only to be haunted by the loss of memory of the events immediately preceding his death. Daniel becomes convinced that the only way to stop Eve is to recover those missing minutes during which he alone saw the killer’s face. And the only way to access them is to trigger his brain’s memory dump that occurs at the time of death by simulating his death again…and again. So begins a carefully researched psychological thriller which delves deep into the haunting realities of near-death experiences, demon possession,

Interview with Robin Caroll

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.21.2008 Today I have an interview with romantic suspense author Robin Caroll  about her latest novel, Bayou Corruption ! From the back cover: "Don't let them get away with it, Jacks—" Those were the sheriff's last words. Left for dead in the middle of the road, Jackson Devereaux's good buddy had slipped into a coma. Well, Jackson wouldn't let them get away with it, once the ace newspaper reporter uncovered who they were. He'd start with the lovely Alyssa LeBlanc, the only eyewitness to the crime. Problem was, she hated Jackson—why?—as much as she hated being back in the Louisiana bayou. Unfortunately, the truth lay deep in the bayou's belly. And whether they liked it or not, Alyssa had to lead the way. Check out my review here And now, here’s me and Robin! What's your favorite scene in Bayou Corruption ? Hmmmm...that's hard. I actually have two. One in which Alyssa finds Sheriff Theriot and at

Geta (slipper) socks

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I’ve been wearing Crocs slippers around the house—the cushioning helps my plantar fascitis. The problem is that in the wintertime, I have to bunch up my socks in order to wear them with my slippers. Japanese people wear split-toe socks called tabi socks, worn with a geta slipper. I thought, why not make my own with wool yarn? I used Red Sprinkles Wool-Ease worsted yarn, and I adapted Pinpilan Wangsai’s Lickety Split socks pattern for the toes (I knitted mine top down rather than toe up). For the leg, I used the “Scallops and Lace” pattern by Sissy Gorgus from the Knitting Zone Sock Challenge . Update: I wrote out the knitting pattern for top-down stockinette tabi slipper socks ! Captain Caffeine calls them “alien socks” because the split toe looks so freaky. I blithely ignore him, because HIS feet are cold while mine are toasty warm.

Book review – HER UNLIKELY FAMILY

Captain's Log, Supplemental Her Unlikely Family by Missy Tippens From the back cover: Take One Conservative Bank President Add One Rebellious Teenager Try To Mix Take responsibility for his orphaned niece, yes. Raise her himself, no. A good boarding school was what the girl needed, not an uncle who was never home. But then Michael Throckmorton's niece ran away. And the big-hearted, beautiful diner waitress who'd taken her in wasn't letting her go so easily. Josie Miller had a few conditions for Michael. Oddly enough, he was willing to listen. Yet days later, why wasn't he hauling the teen back to school and himself back to the city? Could it be that an unlikely family was forming? Camy here: What a fun story! I liked the mix of two such different personalities as Josie and Michael. Josie is both kind and wild—just the kind of heroine I like to read about. Michael starts off very stuffy and I didn’t really like him at first, but I really enjoyed his transformation f

So what are you reading?

Captain's Log, Supplemental Crystal Miller tagged me with this really cool meme! The Rules: 1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages). 2. Open the book to page 123. 3. Find the fifth sentence. 4. Post the next three sentences. 5. Tag five people. The False Betrothal by Clarice Peters “But even you must own that the situation has its humorous side. You are perhaps the most feted lady I know. And there’s Winslow, who has had more caps set at him than even a royal duke, besides being much handsomer than any of the dukes.” That’s not a very good excerpt from this novel. I’m enjoying it because the author is quite witty in some of her dialogue and humorous in the story situations. Overall, an entertaining book, if a bit predictable—but then again, it was written 24 years ago, so I really have to cut the author some slack. I tag: Robin Caroll Pamela James Ronie Kendig Dineen Miller Cheryl Wyatt Want to join in? Post your blog link in the comments section!

Book review – BAYOU CORRUPTION

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.19.2008 Bayou Corruption by Robin Caroll From the back cover: "Don't let them get away with it, Jacks—" Those were the sheriff's last words. Left for dead in the middle of the road, Jackson Devereaux's good buddy had slipped into a coma. Well, Jackson wouldn't let them get away with it, once the ace newspaper reporter uncovered who they were. He'd start with the lovely Alyssa LeBlanc, the only eyewitness to the crime. Problem was, she hated Jackson—why?—as much as she hated being back in the Louisiana bayou. Unfortunately, the truth lay deep in the bayou's belly. And whether they liked it or not, Alyssa had to lead the way. Camy here: I like this book even better than the first in the series, Bayou Justice ! I’m not sure why, but I like the heroine, Alyssa, better than CoCo from the first book. I don’t really relate to Alyssa’s job as a newspaper reporter, or her hatred of her home, or her personality, which is elegant a

ONLY UNI on the Zondervan Breakfast Club

Captain's Log, Supplemental An except of Only Uni is being posted this week on the Zondervan Breakfast club ! I got to write a special reader letter for it, too. If you missed the first installment, you can sign up and then go to the Missing Reads page here .

Brainstorm warning

Captain's Log, Supplemental Writers write in all kinds of ways. My way happens to involve lots of Post-It notes and my closet doors. This is my brainstorm for my new novel proposal. I’m pretty excited about it, because it involves dogs. :) Anyway, you can see that it’s kind of like a bunch of Post-Its hit exponential cell growth. Oops, sorry, I lapsed into biologist-speak. Well, you can obviously see my Post-Its exploded. I just stand there with Post-Its in one hand and a Sharpie in the other and start scribbling ideas and sticking them on the wall. Sometimes I group ideas together like a big amoeba, other times I put random ideas wherever there’s space. Later, I’ll go through and discard what I don’t like. But while I’m brainstorming, I try not to cull ideas—I just come up with as many as I can, one after the other. I use my closet doors because they’re bigger than a corkboard. I put adhesive shelf liner on them to help the Post-Its stick better. I had to try four different liners

Book review – STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

Captain's Log, Supplemental Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith From the back cover: Joan Sanderson's life is stuck. Her older sister, Allie, is starting a family, and her younger sister, Tori, has a budding career. Meanwhile, Joan is stuck at home with Mom and her aging grandmother. Not exactly a recipe for excitement--or romance. When a hunky young doctor moves in next door, Joan sets out to catch his eye. But it won't be easy. Pretty Tori flirts relentlessly, and Joan is sure that she can't compete. But with a little help from God, Allie, and an enormous mutt with bad manners, Joan begins to find her way out of this rut and into the life she's been hiding from. Book 1 of the Sister-to-Sister series, Stuck in the Middle combines budding romance, soul searching, and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry that is sure to make you smile. Camy here: I liked this book because it was both poignant and funny, and both types of scenes were handled really well. I was laughi

CFBA - My Name is Russell Fink

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing My Name is Russell Fink Zondervan (March 1, 2008) by Michael Snyder ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Snyder has spent the bulk of his professional career in sales, has fallen in love, and continues to struggle with the balance between art and vocation. He's never investigated a murder, much less that of an allegedly clairvoyant dog. ABOUT THE BOOK: Russell Fink is twenty-six years old and determined to salvage a job he hates so he can finally move out of his parents house for good. He's convinced he gave his twin sister cancer when they were nine years old. And his crazy fiancée refuses to accept the fact that their engagement really is over. Then Sonny, his allegedly clairvoyant basset hound, is found murdered. The ensuing amateur investigation forces Russell to confront several things at once-the enormity of his family's dysfunction, the guy stalking his family, and his long-buried feelings for a most peculiar love in

Happy Valentine's Day!

Captain's Log, Supplemental No, I didn’t do anything special for you guys (are you kidding? This is me! Helloooooo! I can barely remember to put on matching socks in the morning.) But CJ Darlington from TitleTrakk.com asked a bunch of novelists to send in their favorite Valentine’s Day stories, and moi is included. My Most Memorable Valentine's Day Memory I think my favorite is Angie Hunt’s, although Melanie Wells’ one is a close second. Who knew a horror writer could be so dang funny? I also posted over at Faithchicks about one of my favorite foods, CHOCOLATE ! And I posted at the Girls, God, Good Life blog about Carnations (it might bring back not-so-fond memories of high school).

KNBR

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.12.2008 So for those of you who have read Sushi for One , do you remember a radio station Lex mentions called KNBR ( the sports leader)? Well, it’s a real sports radio station that Captain Caffeine listens to practically every day on his way home from work. So a few weeks ago, they were holding a giveaway for 11 pizzas, and he phoned in—and he won! They sent the gift certificates for the pizzas, as well as a T-shirt. (The Captain is being shy and/or weird and/or channeling Wilson from the TV show Home Improvement .) Isn’t that totally cool?

Burned dog biscuits

Captain's Log, Supplemental Now, I love food but I never said I was a good cook. I made a triple batch of dog biscuits, using a recipe I’ve used before. The last time I did a multiple batch, I needed two trays, so I just baked it a little longer. So I did that this time, too. Yeah, a little too long in the oven, don’t you think? I used this recipe , except that I used less water—only one cup rather than 1 ½ cup, and I used hot water. I dissolved the peanut butter in the hot water before adding that to the dry ingredients. I was going to send some to my editor for her puppy, but since I caramelized half the batch, I decided not to. Next time! Snickers was quite interested while I was baking her biscuits.

Easy pantry dish – Clam Chowder

Captain's Log, Supplemental I just got this incredibly easy (but not very good for you) clam chowder from Cheryl Wyatt , who knows all about easy cooking when she’s on deadline (she’s got three kids). Clam Chowder 1 can Campbell's Chunky New England clam chowder 1 can Campbell's Select New England clam chowder 1 can New England clam chowder (just the regular red & white label soup can) 1 can cream of potato soup 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 can cream of celery soup 1 quart half and half 1 stick butter Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Heat on high for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Camy here: I’d also add a can of minced clams and serve with some French bread from your local grocery store, toasted a few minutes in the oven. Any easy-peasy recipes you can share with me? I’m always on the lookout for crockpot recipes or easy stuff I can throw together in half an hour. Because, really, who wants to cook when I could be writing? :)

Happy Chinese New Years!

Captain's Log, Supplemental I have Jules to thank for the cute graphic. I just saw Ratatouille , too! It was sooooooo good! Those Pixar writers and animators are just brilliant. 2008 is the Year of the Rat, which is also known by its former name of Wu Zi. I was born in the year of the rat (that should narrow my age down for you). Rats are supposed to be smart, resourceful, and frugal. What happened to me??????

I love Cesar!

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.06.2008 The Wasabi Wednesday winner of Awaken My Heart by DiAnn Mills is Angela Congratulations! I’ve now finished both books by Cesar Millan and the first two seasons of The Dog Whisperer on DVD. I love Cesar! Captain Caffeine and I have noticed a change in Snickers since we started watching the DVDs and reading the books. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that we’ve changed how we act as dog owners, and so she’s become more calm and submissive. There’s still some food aggression and dog aggression, but we’ve been slowly and consistently dealing with it. For those two things, we needed both the books and the DVDs to learn how to handle her. The books talk about his general philosophy for dog psychology, and the DVDs show it in practice (the TV show kind of glosses over his philosophy, while the books go into greater detail so we understand his point on the TV show). For example, just the other night we realized that w

Miss Austen Regrets on Masterpiece

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.05.2008 I just finished watching Miss Austen Regrets on Masterpiece Classic and I’m very impressed. Now, granted, I don’t know how much of the movie is true and how much is speculation. I recognized a few things from Just Jane , a novel by Nancy Moser, and so I’m relatively certain those events are factual. But much of the movie is absolutely beautiful. The casting and acting is wonderful, and the scriptwriter was masterful. The script even managed to help me keep Jane’s numerous siblings straight. One scene near the end with Cassandra was beautiful. It was overheard by their niece Fanny, and it gives some explanation (which might be speculation rather than fact) about why Jane refused her first offer of marriage, and possibly why she wrote Persuasion as she did. It’s a powerfully emotional scene that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m inspired to read a nonfiction book that’s on my TBR pile, A Walk with Jane Austen by Lori Smith. It looks like a travelogu

Real Women Scrap Anniversary Sale

Many of you know I like to make cards, right? It's not exactly scrapbooking, but it's close. My friend Tasra has a fantastic book for scrapbookers that helps organize and inspire. It's unlike any other scrapbooking book out there. Real Women Scrap Anniversary Sale--a message from Tasra Dawson Can you believe it was just one year ago that Real Women Scrap was officially released in bookstores and online? Now it's been seen on numerous TV shows, featured in almost all of the great scrapbooking magazines, and has two seasons of the online TV show complete! It's been an amazing adventure and as I look through the subscribers on this newsletter list, I'm so thrilled that each and every one of you have been part of the journey. Have you read the book yet? If not, there is still time. Because it's not an idea book, the principles and strategies are timeless. Getting your life balanced and finding time for the things you love are both things that many women struggl

ONLY UNI on the CAN You’ve Got Books blog

Captain's Log, Supplemental Today, the first chapter of Only Uni is on the CAN You’ve Got Books Fiction blog . If you don’t already know about it, You’ve Got Books Fiction is a great blog where you can read the first chapter of Christian fiction books. You can subscribe to the rss feed here , or you can also subscribe via Feedblitz and get it straight into your email Inbox ( the box to sign up is on this page on the left sidebar ).

Interview with Missy Tippens

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.04.2008 Today, I’m thrilled to post an interview with contemporary romance author Missy Tippens  talking about her debut novel, Her Unlikely Family . Add One Rebellious Teenager Try To Mix Take responsibility for his orphaned niece, yes. Raise her himself, no. A good boarding school was what the girl needed, not an uncle who was never home. But then Michael Throckmorton's niece ran away. And the big-hearted, beautiful diner waitress who'd taken her in wasn't letting her go so easily. Josie Miller had a few conditions for Michael. Oddly enough, he was willing to listen. Yet days later, why wasn't he hauling the teen back to school and himself back to the city? Could it be that an unlikely family was forming? And now, here’s me and Missy! What's your favorite scene from your novel? Probably the very last scene where he goes to the diner to... oops, about to give a spoiler! I think I'll just leave it at saying the very la

Mansfield Park on Masterpiece

Captain's Log, Supplemental Okay, I was going to hold this for next week but I can’t hold the frustration in any longer. I finally saw Mansfield Park on Masterpiece Classic and it’s horrid (to channel Jane Austen). The story moves WAY too fast. The different issues dealt with in the book speed by so fast, I wonder than anyone who hasn’t read Mansfield Park can even understand what’s going on. The characters themselves are completely changed. Fanny is lively and girlish instead of timid and demure. And I agree with Kaye and Ruth , what’s with the hair down on her shoulders? How could the hair and makeup department let her get away with looking like a hoyden? I also agree with Kaye about Fanny’s heaving bosoms throughout the movie—so out of character for a “poor relation” to have such low-cut gowns. I do have to say one thing—I really enjoyed the moment Edmund tells Fanny that Mary Crawford is the only woman he could want for a wife—Billie Piper’s look is so exactly what I’d expec

Book excerpt - SISTERS, INK by Rebeca Seitz

Rebeca Seitz and her book: SISTERS, INK B&H Books (February 1, 2008) Sisters , Ink marks the first in a series of novels written by, for, and about scrapbookers. At the center of the creativity and humor are four unlikely young adult sisters, each separately adopted during early childhood into the loving home of Marilyn and Jack Sinclair. Ten years after their mother Marilyn has died, the multi-racial Sinclair sisters (Meg, Kendra, Tandy, and Joy) still return to her converted attic scrapping studio in the small town of Stars Hill, Tennessee, to encourage each other through life’s highs and lows. Book one spotlights headstrong Tandy, a successful yet haunted attorney now living back in Orlando where she spent the first eight years of her life on the streets as a junkie’s kid. When a suddenly enforced leave of absence at work leads her to an extended visit with her sisters in Stars Hill, a business oppor­tunity, rekindled romance, and fresh understanding of God’s will so