Master of the Grill Teaches Son Finer Aspects of BBQ

My husband decided that the first day of summer was the perfect opportunity to teach to our teenage son the finer aspects of barbequing. I spied through the mini-blinds in amusement as they walked in unison to the silver behemoth in the backyard, the Grill Master 5000. My man raised the lid with as much reverence as the scene from Indiana Jones when he uncovered the Ark of the Covenant. In a poof, brown, crushed leaves and nine month's worth of dried bugs exploded out the top. Step-by-Step BBQ Instructions The Master and Teenage Apprentice spent the next thirty minutes with their heads deep within the confines of The Grill. Dad gestured with an 18-inch, professional-grade stainless … [Read more...]

Pleasanton Authors at Towne Center Books 6/26 7-8 PM

Celebrate Local Authors Event Please join me at Towne Center Books in downtown Pleasanton on Wednesday, June 26 at 7- 8 PM. Spend the evening with our local authors. They will sign books and chat about their literary experiences. We will have delicious refreshments, and fascinating conversations. Authors Stacey Gustafson, Shelley Riley, Helene Wecker and Washington Osiro will be here to celebrate! More about the authors Stacey Gustafson will discuss Not Your Mother's Book...On Travel.  She is going explain the publishing process for this exciting new series and offer a few tricks to increase your odds of being published with Publishing Syndicate. Stacey Gustafson has a humor … [Read more...]

Don’t Forget the Duct Tape – Dad’s Guide to Fixing Things

In honor of dads everywhere, I’m dedicating this article to duct tape, the frugal man’s best friend. Some of my fondest memories involved my father’s ingenious approach to fixing things with duct tape. He used it to stretch the lifespan of shoes, pants, appliances, automobiles, toys, tools, and furniture. I remember when he customized his old slippers with Duct Tape, extending their lifespan another decade. King of the Duct Tape My father visited from out-of-town when the kids were toddlers to offer support when my husband traveled. Before my husband left, he warned, “Don’t let your father fiddle with our stuff. He tries to fix it all with Super Glue and Duct Tape.” “Sure. I’ll keep him … [Read more...]

Not Your Mother’s Book…On Travel Book Review

Hey, I'm in Not Your Mother's Book...On Travel.  This is my third book in the NYMB series.  I'm thrilled, elated, and bounce-off-the-wall excited to share the news with you!!  It's been a blast to be involved with terrific editors at Publishing Syndicate and meet great women like Dahlynn McKowen, CEO/publisher, and Terri Elders, co-creator. Nothing beats a good book at the beach. Grab a copy of Not Your Mother's Book...On Travel from Amazon by clicking the link,'ll be glad you did. My friend, Julie Royce, wrote a wonderful book review on Wandering Educators this week. Here's an excerpt from Julie's article. Travel Book Review by Julie Royce The Perfect Book for … [Read more...]

Mom Fights Back at End of School Year

A few years ago, after dropping my kids off at middle school, I met a couple of friends at Starbucks.  The conversations went something like this--- End of School Year “So, what’d you get on your report card?” I asked, tapping a venti latte with my nails. “Five A’s, 2B’s.  How about you?” said another mom as she checked her cell phone. “Four A’s, one B and one C.  Took me two parent teacher meetings and a call to the principal to get the C,” I said. “Try harder next time.” Things have gotten so bad that we feel personally responsible for kid’s failures, always trying to resolve problems.  It’s time to stop helping so much and let them learn from the consequences of their … [Read more...]

How Being Mom is Like the Department of Motor Vehicles – DMV

After taking my son to get his permit at the DMV, I said to myself, "Hey, this place feels like home."  Everyone is always mad at you. “If you don’t have an appointment, you’re in the wrong line,” says the first person I meet at the DMV, his nostrils flaring.  Returning home after grocery shopping, a wave of anger hits me in the face.  “Did you remember the Pop-Tarts?” whines my son.  “You don’t expect me to watch Castle on TV?” complains my hubby. There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home. There’s lots of eye rolling. “Is this the line to renew your license?”  I say.  A huge arm points to the farthest corner of the DMV.  “Read the signs, lady.  It’s over there,” says … [Read more...]

Don’t Lick the Minivan Book Release

My friend and fellow blogger, Leanne Shirtliffe, has released a new book, Don’t Lick the Minivan and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Kids (Skyhorse, May 2013). This is the first time I’ve ever called someone a friend that I have never met.  I’ve been following her blog for months and attended her webinar, How To Write Funny (Er): 10 Humor Techniques for Writers of Fiction and Nonfiction.  I feel like I know her now! Leanne asked me to be part of her Don’t Lick the Minivan book release, or the DLM Street Team. I was fortunate to get an advance copy of her book and wanted to share it with you. Her humor hits the spot for the mom trying to please everyone, with very little … [Read more...]

Meet Gretchen McNeil, Young Adult Author Possess

Gretchen McNeil was the guest speaker at the Tri-Valley Writers Club meeting on May 18.  She offered writing tips and insight into the publishing world that were invaluable.  Her upbeat attitude and boundless energy invigorated me to get back down to the business of writing my novel. More on Gretchen McNeil She’s an opera singer, clown, and writer. She has written the Young Adult horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist which debuted in 2011. Her follow up,TEN was released in 2012, and her third novel 3:59 is scheduled for fall of this year.  She is currently working on a Young Adult mystery/suspense series Don’t Get Mad, which will begin in 2014. Find out more about Gretchen at … [Read more...]