Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Books 'n Rocks 'n Stuff: Sailing into 2011

Books 'n Rocks 'n Stuff: Sailing into 2011: "Wow, the last three months have whizzed by at incredible speed. I did 8 arts and crafts shows between Oct. 30 and Dec. 16, and found myself ..."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sailing into 2011

Wow, the last three months have whizzed by at incredible speed. I did 8 arts and crafts shows between Oct. 30 and Dec. 16, and found myself making earrings as fast as I could. Then I had edits to do for the upcoming release. Now, with that out of the way for a while, I can concentrate on a schedule. For January:

14th - my birthday. Might get an invite out to dinner from the DH?
24th - Book release for IN LOVE AND WAR. This is my Irish story and I'll be doing lots of promo--ads on a couple of sites, guest blog/interviews around the Web. Will keep you posted when they occur. Giveaways. For readers answering questions about the book, I'll have a pair of handmade (by me) Celtic Spiral earrings in sterling silver, also some ebook giveaways.

And speaking of contests and giveaways, I am finally announcing a winner for the turquoise pendant offered at Marissa's Sizzling Hot Book Reviews. Drum roll...Lastnerve. Please email me with your snail addy so I can send your pendant.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This 'n That

Yesterday I sold jewelry at an open house at the gym where I teach. Sold a number of earrings and...TaDa!...four books! Was exhausting but fun with a small boutique winery pouring tastings for everyone. Ummm, my kind of event.

Today I signed up to be one of the Coffeehouse authors at Coffeetime Romance. Periodically, I'll be blogging there, discussing writing, what (in my opinion) makes a good romance, a good hero and more.

And now that the craft season is drawing to a close, I plan to work on my wine country romantic suspense. My protagonists have been waiting ever so long for me to tell their story.

Monday, December 13, 2010

First Annual 'Save Your Bacon' Book Sale

This Saturday I'll be participating in a book signing and sale with four other local Bonny Doon authors. There'll be home-baked cookies (my offering is the traditional Bavarian Lebkuchen), tea, interesting chat and that all-important chance to pick up a good read (ergo last minute gift) where you don't have to fight the mall crowds.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Buy this book!

It’s been a long time since I read a romance with as interesting a premise as Alexis Harrington’s Home by Morning. I saw this book on a review site, and the cover art and blurb sucked me in instantly. I downloaded the sample read from Amazon, was so entranced by the story and the strong characterization that I had to buy the book. I read it in a day and a half (okay, I was a vendor at a craft show and read between customers), but when I got home I had to read the rest.
I was not disappointed.

This is a book considered unsaleable by New York publishers, so Ms. Harrington offered it as a Kindle read (and at a very attractive price!) What was the problem? Ms. Harrington chose to set her story during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic! (As one whose great aunt perished during this time, I was drawn like steel to a magnet.) I find the period refreshing, fascinating and unique–at least in romance fiction. Here we have a world balancing between tradition and modernism, and with the onset of WWI, a cataclysm that changed the world utterly.

Home by Morning is the story of Dr. Jessica Layton who is enroute from New York to take up a research position at a Seattle hospital and stops off in her hometown of Powell Springs, Oregon...and land smack into the middle of the influenza epidemic. Daughter of the town’s deceased practitioner, Jessica left to study medicine in the East, and remained, leaving behind her childhood love, Cole Braddock. Cole ranches and runs the town’s smithy, and he is courting Jessica’s younger sister Amy.

Jessica is pressed into service since the town is desperate and the new doctor hasn’t yet arrived. But there are conflicts and misunderstandings that make Jess’ position difficult in every way.

The story has three threads that author Harrington skillfully weaves into a cohesive tapestry. And she has created secondary and tertiary characters who are not what they seem. Cole’s brother is near the Argonne, fighting in the trenches, his wife takes care of the ranch, while Cole, his arthritic father and a hired hand ship horses to the front. In between this is the devastation of influenza in the community, the heartbreak of lost lives and the gut-wrenching futility of trying to deal with a disease for which they have no cure. I won’t expose the ending, but it will surprise you. Many times while reading, I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

Ms. Harrington is a masterful storyteller, using skillful writing, great dialogue and wonderful imagery. This is a must-read book and an informative look into a period in history that seems glossed over. Brava Ms. Harrington for sharing your enormous talent in this superb story. A strong five stars.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jingle Shells

Today I'm participating in the arts and craft show known as "Jingle Shells" at UCSC's Long marine Lab. Usually a great venue with free food and drink, live Christmas music and tons of visitors. In addition to sea-inspired jewelry, I'll be promoting Late Harvest. guessed's raining again this weekend. Sigh.

Between visitors (who I hope are shoppers) I'll be finishing a wonderful Kindle edition of Alexis Harrington's HOME BY MORNING, a fascinating romance set in 1918, complete with boys at the front and the Spanish flu epidemic. I had never seen this setting in a romance and was intrigued. It's part of Ms. Harrington's backlist, now available on Kindle for $2.99. I'm loving this book!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Christmas Recipe!

I just found this yummy looking Black Forest Biscotti recipe on someone else's blog. It's from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbooks. I'm going to make them tomorrow.

Black Forest Biscotti

1/2 cup of dried cherries
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 350, lightly oil a baking sheet
2. In a small saucepan, heat the cherries and water just to boiling, then remove from the heat and set aside.
3. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and well combined. Blend in the eggs and almond and vanilla extracts. Fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Drain the cherries, place them on a paper towel to absorb any extra moisture, and then stir them into the egg mixture.
5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. With a rubber spatula, fold in the wet ingredients until the dough is uniform and holds together when pressed with lightly floured hands.
6. Use the spatula and your floured hands to scoop the dough onto the oiled baking sheet. Form the dough into a 12-inch x 3-inch diameter log shape; then press down on the log, flattening it to a thickness of about an inch. The length and width of the flattened log should be about 14 x 4 inches.
7. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the dough is firm and just slightly brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the log to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces.
8. Lay each biscotti cut side up on the baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes on each side, using tongs to flip them. Cool completely on a rack and then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A New Review for Late Harvest

Just got this review for Late Harvest. Lots of good stuff here.

Some snippets:

"a book which will definitely tug at your heart strings"

"Suzanne Barrett drew me into this story from the first page and made me care about Glenna and Kurt."

"This book will definitely appeal to anyone who enjoys a deeply emotional story with in-depth characterization and an unusual setting."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Interview today!

Hey, check out the new interview at Deep in the Heart Romance where I'll be giving away an electronic copy (your choice of format) to a winner who posts in the comments section.

Had a very nice, but exhausting, arts and crafts show this last weekend. Now to catch up on writing, organizing and getting ready for family for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A gorgeous new book cover and an interview!

I have an interview all week at Marissa's Sizzling Hot Books. I'll be giving away a Kindle or e-copy of Late Harvest, so if you want to be in the running, leave me a comment.

On another happy note, the release date for my next book, In Love and War, has been moved up to January 24th. Yesterday I got my cover. I absolutely love this story and Kim has created a gorgeous cover that suits the story to a T.

in love and war

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Come Blog with me!

I am blogging today (well, tomorrow, Monday)with Shelley Munro ( C'mon by and see what we're up to...and win a Kindle copy of Late Harvest.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A wonderful review--more added!

Had to share. This just in for Late Harvest. My first review on Amazon. Wow! Kinda makes you want to buy a copy, huh?

5.0 out of 5 stars I am loving this novel!!, November 10, 2010
By Carolyn Woolston (Felton, California USA) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Late Harvest (Paperback)

I'm only three chapters into Late Harvest by Suzanne Barrett and I absolutely love it! Really fine writing, attractive (honest!) characters, even the secondary characters feel like "real" people, and an interesting and amusing 5-year-old. Also great sexual tension and, sigh, a setting (Cresthaven winery) to die for and fantasize about. And, well, um, there's the hero, too.

More later... Don't miss this book!

4 days later: I am even more impressed not only by the deliciously romantic love story (just the way I enjoy them - full of melting emotional scenes that tied my heart in knots)... but by the wine-making expertise shown in this novel. Much, much solid knowledge is presented very subtly, but the expertise here will appeal to those interested in fine wine, wine-making and the vintners' world.
I love coming away from a book with a genuine soft spot for the hero and heroine AND a lot of fascinating new information.

This one's a real keeper!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Books 'n Rocks

The weekend craft show is over (why does it have to rain both days of a weekend craft show?) and I'm reveling in some "me" time and the glow of a good (if exhausting) event and launch day for my latest book. LATE HARVEST is available in different formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and others.

Check it out; I'd love to hear what you think.

Contemporary Romance, Sensual

She only wants to be left alone.

He wants the one thing she's not sure she's willing to give-and it has nothing to do with wine.

Kurt von Daniken wants only one thing from Glenna Ryan: The key to making
Eiswein-Ice Wine. Five years ago, while working at his family's California
winery, she'd begun developing the method to simulate wine made from grapes
gathered after a freeze. Now, when the winery desperately needs it, the only
person who might be able to duplicate Glenna's process, Kurt's tyrannical
Uncle Otto, lies paralyzed by a stroke and near death.

Glenna wants only one thing from the von Danikens: To be left in peace to
raise her son, Robbie, who suffers from a birth defect and needs an
expensive surgery to repair it. When Kurt suddenly appears at her home,
demanding she return to Cresthaven and complete the process, Glenna knows
the money she'll earn by doing so will provide Robbie the treatment he
needs. She also knows she'll risk having her heart broken, again, by Kurt,
the only man she's ever loved.

But, what if he discovers the real reason she left Cresthaven?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Late Harvest is Live!

Late Harvest is showing up on Amazon this morning. You can buy it here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

One Down, Five to Go

Craft shows, that is. Yesterday's show was a wonderful venue with the nicest people one could hope to meet. Unfortunately, it rained all day and made for the worst sales ever. Still, it was fun, but tiring. (I went to bed at 7:30 and slept until nearly six. Today I'm ready to slay dragons.)

The photo below shows my booth. The counter in back made a great area for additional displays. Note my books in the right-hand corner.

Late Harvest should appear live on Amazon maybe as early as tomorrow. Yay! I'll post the link as soon as it's available. Thank you Kim, for making this possible.


Friday, October 29, 2010

The Arts and Crafts Season has Begun

My first autumn craft show is tomorrow. Went down today to set up tables, coverings, etc.I've been making pendants, earrings, rosaries and many other items in anticipation of robust sales.

On the book front, my editor should be approving (or not) the proof copy of my book. As soon as that happens, she places the print order. Yahoo, it's almost in my grubby hands. I might break open a bottle of late harvest riesling to celebrate!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting close

My book release date, that is. It's hard to believe that LATE HARVEST is four short weeks away from becoming a book I can hold in my hands. Yep, I just finished the final read of my galley and sent it back for the last tweak. I have an ISBN number, so it must be happening.

On the jewelry front, I am madly working on a few items for the autumn arts and crafts events that start October 30th. Just finished a garnet and sterling rosary--great for a Christmas or birthday gift for a January gal.

I am currently reading BREAKTHROUGH by Suzanne Somers. Have come to the conclusion if anyone's gonna take charge of my health and well-being, it's going to have to be me. Lots of excellent information about how the body functions, especially as we age.

Autumn is truly here. Warm days, cool nights and our first rain of the season.

Wishing all of you a lovely fall season.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Bit of This 'n That

After one last stand, summer has bid goodbye. We awoke to howling winds and an overcast sky. Working in my art studio, I was obliged to turn on the space heater. Wow! Only last week it was the fan that I had running.

I made a moonstone pendant wrapped in gold, and in less than two hours it had sold. I wish I could find more stones like this. I also canned several pints of salsa from an abundance of ripe tomatoes. Tomatoes, onion, diced jalapenos and cilantro. Yum!

Okay, it's now October and time to gear up for my book launch. I'll be blogging at several sites and will be offering prizes (think jewelry), maybe a recipe or two. I'll also be offering a Hallowe'en article for The Romance Studio's Spookapalooza starting October 6th. To get you in the mood, here's an Irish recipe for Barm Brack.

Photos are of the moonstone pendant and my beloved kitty Debra on a pumpkin we grew from seed and a scary house--Coppinger's Court in County Cork. Seasonally appropriate, don't you think?

labradoritesamhaincoppinger's court

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Natural Weed Abatement - Too Cute!

This has absolutely nothing to do with jewelry, books, cookery or home gardening, but I thought it might be of interest. Pasatiempo, a world-class golf course in Santa Cruz, is built on hilly ground with numerous barrancas that are hard to clear of brush and poison oak. Enter an alternative weed abatement control: goats courtesy of Brush Goats 4 Hire. These cute guys were trucked in three days ago and immediately set out doing what goats do best...eating everything in sight.

My husband does the photography for the Audubon Wildlife Program at the course, also for any improvements such as the new low-water landscaping just completed. So here are some shots of the horned critters arriving in their special trailer, "on the job," and generally being photogenic. Note the dog with them in the trailer, one of two Anatolians--Turkish guard dogs--who safeguard the goats from coyotes.



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Books 'n Rocks 'n Stuff: It's Hot Hot Hot!

Books 'n Rocks 'n Stuff: It's Hot Hot Hot!: "No, I don't mean my book, although it has its share of pulse-pounding scenes. I mean the weather. Unbelievably hot for the end of September...."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Millenial Setting

Yesterday at sunset, this handsome fellow was spotted relaxing beside the chicken house. The setting was too perfect not to take a photo, and though quite dark, we managed to get a decent shot. (Note the hens have all gone inside to roost.)


Friday, September 24, 2010

New Short Story!

The Open House was successful with earrings, as usual, being the big seller. The event was out on a second floor balcony overlooking the pool and tall trees. A local Cambodian restaurant offered up delectable plates of salt and pepper shrimp, brown rice, fried tofu and barbecued chicken; and a local winery provided tastings of four of their fine wines.

Today I've added a complete short story to my Books page. You can read it here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My first autumn show!

Today I've been getting ready for my first autumn arts and crafts show tomorrow at the gym where I teach. Had to pack the tote boxes with display items, table coverings and such, then sort through all my earrings and pendants to see what I'll bring. I discovered most of my sterling chains had tarnished some, so I had to clean them and repack into sealed plastic bags. This time I inserted strips of anti-tarnish paper. Let's hope it works.

Below is a shot of my art studio. Check out the crazy carpet!

art studioart studio

Monday, September 20, 2010

Everything does not always run smoothly

Always back up your computer. Always! Double and triple-check your data. Why am I telling you this? Early last month I sold a second story (my favorite book of all) to Turquoise Morning Press. No problem. I had it stored on my computer, stored on my husband's computer, even stored on the external hard drive. But when I went to format it to TM house standards, I was shocked to see only five of the twenty-one files. All the others had all three places! Fortunately, I located a single hard copy and set about retyping that sucker (not an easy task when you hunt and peck). It could have had a sad ending, but all is

I'm now doing a final edit on book three, due out next August, also gearing up for the autumn arts and crafts shows in my area (I have one this week), and getting ready for house guests.

Our mild summer has slipped into autumn, and the liquidambars are beginning their gorgeous display of vivid reds. We live in an area of mostly evergreen trees--Pacific redwoods, live oaks, firs and madrones--so we planted Palo Alto liquidambars, a Copper Beech, several hawthorns and Japanese Maples to give a seasonal look. Let the display begin!

Yesterday I finished a gold-wrapped moonstone for a customer and today am wrapping a fat teardrop-shaped Laboradorite. Photos to follow...

labradoritemoonstoneimpression jasper

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rearranged and expanded

Back again after a VERY long time. This time I'll be incorporating jewelry designs with writing, mental meanderings and whatever comes to mind.

Right now I'm excited on two fronts: the autumn arts and crafts shows are beginning and I've lots of new items to display and I recently sold a novel to Turquoise Morning Press! Late Harvest, a California wine country story comes out in November. You can read an excerpt and see a book trailer on my page.