Saturday, June 07, 2008


Finally! I thought when I stopped substitute teaching and my children became teens and no longer needed--or wanted--my direct supervision, I'd care less about school being out. Not so. I now get to sleep in another 45 minutes!!, since my son's summer school classes start later and there's no bus to catch. Of course, no bus means I have to get somewhat dressed ;) to drive him there before getting myself ready for work. I'll only have to harrass one kid about getting homework done and bedtime, and he's good about both. But I feel free, as though released from some dreaded duty. And I used to like school as a kid. It's puzzling.
Why does it seem I have more time to write? That I can stay up later now?
Is there some magic to the words "school's out" that stirs the kid in me? Are you feeling it too?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Old friends

The other night I met an old friend for Happy Hour. Linda and I met way back in 1983, when we both attended the University of Washington MBA program. Aside from school we had nothing in common—I was married with three young daughters, she was divorced with no kids. I’m a secular Jew and she’s a devout Christian. Yet we became friends. We also started a tradition neither of us has forgotten. At the end of each quarter, after a round of grueling finals and research papers, we met at the Dilettante, a chocolate cafĂ© several miles from campus. We’d order coffee and pick out four large, handmade chocolates. The grinning guy behind the counter supplied us with plates, a serrated knife and a glass of hot water. Why the knife and water, you ask? We used the knife to slice each chocolate in half, four mouthfuls of heaven for each of us. After each cutting we dipped the knife into the water to clean it. Between groaning with pleasure, chit-chatting and laughing nonstop (aided by the copious amounts of coffee we drank), we had such fun!

We graduated and pursued our careers. In the early 90s Linda married. My kids turned into rebellious teenagers. My husband I had our hands full, plus I worked at a demanding job as a financial analyst. As you can imagine, everything else slid by the wayside. Linda’s life was equally busy wither her new husband and step kids, and her job. Sadly, we lost track of each other. Then through the internet she found me. We decided to meet—for Happy Hour at a restaurant halfway between us.

Seeing Linda after all these years and catching up on each others’ lives was wonderful. Things have changed. My daughters have grown into lovely, productive women with busy lives of their own. I no longer work at a bank—I write full-time. Linda’s step kids are grown. She’s still at her job and has earned her CPA and several other distinguished degrees to complement that MBA.

One thing hasn’t changed, though—our mutual enjoyment of life. We laughed just as we used to, and of course thoroughly enjoyed our Happy Hour snacks. We’ll definitely get together again. We may be twenty-five years older (yikes!!), but inside we’re still the same fun-loving young women we once were.

Wishing you a reunion with an old friend,

Ann Roth

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Five Things

My husband is a salesman. When he has a particularly good year, he wins a trip. So, last week, he and I got to go to a dream vacation in Palm Beach, Florida. We stayed at a swanky hotel, swam in the ocean, went to fancy company dinners, and generally had a great time making new friends and sipping out of drinks with umbrellas in them.
Amazingly enough, we were both just as excited to come home as we were to leave. Why? There’s just some things I like and miss when I'm not at home. Of course I missed my kids and weiner dog….but I’m talking little things, here.

Here are five things I like and grow to count on having every day…
1) Ocean Spray cran-raspberry juice. There’s something about this juice that wakes me up every morning.
2) Water dispenser. I drink a bunch of water…a lot of it hot. Carrying around a water bottle never seems to do the job.
3) Flannel pillow cases. Summer or winter, I’m a flannel girl—at least for my head.
4) A good reading light next to my bed.
5) My ugly black Birkenstocks. They’re ten years’ old, worn out and not near pretty enough for the public eye, but boy do they make my feet feel good.

Anyone else want to name a few comforts of home that are always missed?


Monday, June 02, 2008

May Winner!

This month's winner is Ellen. Way to go!!!

To get your free, autographed books, please contact Shelley Galloway, Jackie Diamond, Laura Marie Altom and Lisa Childs through their websites.

Tell all your friends to visit us. To win, all you need to do is comment and your name is entered in our drawing.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Books, books everywhere

I’m in book shock.

On Saturday, I visited Book Expo America, the largest book industry trade show in the U.S. This year, it took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, a mere 40 minutes (in light traffic) from my house.

It’s another world.

Booths and displays fill huge halls, hawking romances, thrillers, literary novels, how-to books, Bibles, children’s books, comics and Manga – you name it – along with book-related products. No members of the public allowed, since the event is aimed at booksellers and the media, although we authors can squeeze in if our publishers vouch for us.

Convention-goers clog the aisles, toting bags crammed with books and promotional items. Bestselling authors trip over each other on their way to autograph books for the attendees. Here’s the fabulous part: the books are free. Publishers actually give away books, with or without autographs.

In one aisle, a handsome man in a tuxedo proffers a tray piled with The Filthy Rich Handbook, and, in a British accent, politely bids me to take one. Around the corner, Ann Rice is signing her autobiography. Celebrity nonfiction authors abound: Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Alec Baldwin, keynote speaker Thomas Friedman. As for novelists, I ran into old friends Jina Bacarr (Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs) and T. Jefferson Parker (L.A. Outlaws). Heavy-hitters such as James Patterson and Robert Crais were there too.

The spacious Harlequin Enterprises booth promoted its many imprints, from Harlequin and Silhouette to Mira, HQN, Red Dress Ink, Luna, Steeple Hill and Kimani. I also made a point of visiting the Romance Writers of America booth, where staff members and volunteers joined president-elect Diane Pershing (One Tough Lawman) to promote the image of romance novels. At the nearby Mystery Writers of America booth, I joined another friend, Linda O. Johnston (Double Dog Dare, her latest pet-sitter mystery) for coffee.

It’s exciting and thrilling to walk – or, more often, stumble and squeeze – through those aisles. The biggest highlights are always personal: I spent an hour and half schmoozing with my agent, Laura Bradford.

Now, with all those books piled up to read, well…I gotta go. See you on the printed page!