Free Christmas Gift for the Fans of “Real Women Wear Red”

I’m already having second thoughts about writing a blog post every week day – lol! Maybe because we’ve just returned from a trip to Florida and I’m still writing up the trip report. And I’ve enrolled in a couple of music classes. And I’m posting on my music blog – so that all counts, right?

But I do want to announce a special Christmas gift for my faithful fans of “Real Women Wear Red” – a free copy of Book 2 of the “Real Women” series –  “Real Women Sing the Blues.” But even if you haven’t read “Real Women Wear Red,” you can still purchase a copy of that here and get a free copy of Book 2, Real Women Sing the Blues good for Monday through Friday, December 5-9, 2016.

THE “REAL WOMEN” SERIES

Real Women Wear Red (Book 1)

rwwr_cover_flops_180“I may dye my hair blonde, I may drink pink drinks, but I am not doing pink toe polish. Red, that’s my color. After all, real women wear red.” – Cyn

When 40-something Kate “Cyn” Francis changes her name, her hair color, and her age in order to snag a younger man on a Caribbean cruise, the last thing she expects is to fall overboard for a Cary Grant look-alike. But this is not your ordinary cruise.

BUY NOW on Kindle and in Paperback.

Real Women Sing the Blues (Book 2)

rwstb3sm“In that moment, I knew I could no longer be a Wall Street monkey, and somewhere out there the blues were calling my name.” – Robin

When Cyn, Sandy, and Millie return from their Caribbean cruise, Millie’s secret sends Robin reeling all the way to Hawaii, and she finds herself chasing Moondoggie and singing the Blues.

FREE Dec. 5-9, 2016 on Kindle.

December Writing and 2017 Goals

I’ve focused on music for the last couple of years, pretty much neglecting my writing other than a few scenes now and then. But I’m really thinking about getting a little more serious about finishing a new book in 2017. My book sales are picking up so I’m thinking maybe I’m coming back into style – lol!

I’ve bounced around from wip to wip but I’m thinking this one in particular might be “the one” to finish. I’ve already got a song for it, which might make a really cool book trailer idea. I need to find time for both writing fiction and music. It’s sometimes hard for me to switch gears so I’ll have to go easy on myself.🙂

But all of this blogging and writing focus is really making me nostalgic for those early writing days. I miss the Yahoo Groups where you could set it to email and get all of my message in email. If only Facebook worked more like that, I’d be more interested. Oh, sure, you get some notifications but I’d like to be able to set my controls to receive a day’s or week’s update in email. Maybe they’ll eventually get around to it – if they feel it would give them a competitive edge. I’d like to interact with people more but FB creates such an odd situation, you don’t really communicate at all. It’s all about bragging. No thanks.

I’ve been an early technology user for 30 years now and internet geek for close to 20 years but it’s gone way beyond being something useful and good to becoming an untrustworthy pain in the … It’s time for a big change. In the meantime, maybe I can find some old-fashioned writing groups apart from social media.

 

A Writer’s Margaritaville Kickoff to December Blogging

It’s December 1st and I’m getting in the Christmas spirit, recalling the early blogging days when so many of us aspiring writers back then were starting our blogs. Many have come and gone but in the name of nostalgia, I thought it would be fun to write a blog post every (week) day in December. Maybe because Christmas was especially fun in the writing community back then. We’d decorate our blogs and visit each other and even exchange gifts. Oh how I miss those days!

So to kick off the first blog post in December, I thought I’d share a video from Pearly’s on Clearwater Beach, one of the highlights from our recent trip to Florida. This little beach shack was amazing and with Iz singing in the background, it was like being in Hawaii. Simply fabulous! It’s especially appropriate because we were living in Florida when I got my agent for , a novel set on a Caribbean cruise.

Florida Expats

There’s a line in Banana Republics by Jimmy Buffett about the American Expats. Well, that makes me think of our Florida days as Expats in Florida. There’s something very appealing about that. For one thing, we definitely felt like Expats. I think most people do. The first question people ask you is, “Where are you from?” Rarely is the answer California or Out West. Usually, it’s Ohio or Michigan or Michigan or New Jersey. Talk about feeling like an Expat!

When we first arrived in Tampa Bay, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the water but it managed to lift me out of a depression I’d been in since I met my father and heard some conflicting information about the past. While I still don’t know the complete truth, I discovered enough to know that I’d been lied to my entire life. It took a while to process all of that and what better place than Tampa Bay? It’s my “go to” place when I feel like running away and just living life to the fullest one day at a time.

I started writing my second novel in the downstairs den of our rental town home and the first chapter garnered several full requests. It ended up being one of the manuscripts that stayed on the shelf but I’m rewriting it, hoping to scope out some interest in it. My third novel, Real Women Wear Red,” did get an agent and a contract and is still selling.

Down to the Banana Republics
Down to the tropical sun
Go the expatriated American
Hopin’ to find some fun

Some of them go for the sailing
Brought by the lure of the sea
Tryin’ to find what is ailing
Living in the land of the free

Some of them are running to lovers
Leaving no forward address
Some of them are running tons of ganja
Some are running from the IRS

Late at night you will find them
In the cheap hotels and bars
Hustling the senioritas
While they dance beneath the stars
Spending those renegade pesos
on a bottle of rum and a lime
Singin’ give me some words I can dance to
Or a melody that rhymes

First you learn the native custom
Soon a word of Spanish or two
You know that you cannot trust them
Cause they know they can’t trust you

Expatriated American feelin’ so all alone
Telling themselves the same lies
that they told themselves back home

Down to the Banana Republics
Things aren’t as warm as they seem
None of the natives are buying
any second hand American dreams

Late at night you will find them
In the cheap hotels and bars
Hustling the senioritas
while they dance beneath the stars
Spending those renegade pesos
On a bottle of rum and a lime
Singing give me some words I can dance to
Or a melody that rhymes

Down to the Banana Republics
Down to the tropical sun
Go the expatriated Americans
Hopin’ to find some fun

Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett, and Real Women Wear Red

I’m so ready for my next trip to Florida! I’ve been listening to the Margaritaville station on Xirius XM and getting psyched for it. I’m reminded of my first trip to Florida, my first trip to Tampa, my first trip to Disney World, and my first Caribbean cruise where I was first exposed to steel drums and Reggae music. After we returned to San Francisco, I scoured the music stores everywhere in search of it but, back then, it was not to be found in the states. Thankfully, now it’s everywhere.

I also recall our first home in Florida where I sat out on the screened Lanai overlooking the woods and pond, writing Real Women Wear Red, on my laptop, listening to Jimmy Buffet. I got my first agent for that book. I really need to redo the book trailer for that book – it may have been why I sold so many copies back then, although sales have been picking up lately. Maybe it’s my time again.

When Google bought YouTube, my book trailers were all messed up and so I took them down. It may be time to upload new ones.

It’s also time to keep writing novels like “Real Women Wear Red” and songs like “Everybody Lies,” “3 Drinks Later,” and “Candy Apple Red.”

I’m back to my beach girl some of you may remember from my early blogging days on “Chicks Over 40.” Yep, Kathy Holmes is back and this time she’s bringing the Screamie Birds with her!

Check out my YouTube channel for some of my music and book trailers to come.

 

Lucky Stryker’s Guide to Wine and Men

“I can tell what kind of man he is by the wine he drinks.” – Lucky Stryker

bookmarkInternational Wine Sales Rep Lucky Stryker believes she can tell what kind of man he is by the kind of wine he drinks.

Italian: Sexy (40 percent) and stylish (37 percent)

French: Pretentious (76 percent) and high-maintenance (65 percent)

Mimosa: Metrosexuals, secure in their manhood.

And she’s had plenty of experience, traveling the globe in search of the perfect wine and the perfect man. But, for some reason, she ends up alone.

Now traveling that slippery slope that starts at 35 and ends with 40, she’s in Las Vegas to close the door on her last business deal, and to open the door to a new life and love. And with each chapter she analyzes the wine or drink and how it relates to men…

From the back book cover of THE TOM JONES CLUB:

31dc4-tjc_cover_300International wine director Lucky Stryker, the “Lucky Lady,” is lucky in the boardroom, but unlucky in love. But the last thing she expects is to land in the arms of a cowboy during the Tom Jones Club convention. A hot week with a cowboy in Las Vegas is one thing—eternity is another.

Fearing that any woman he gets involved with will leave him–the way his mother left his father–Eric Blake chooses women who are guaranteed to fulfill that prophecy. And Lucky Stryker is no exception. 

When Lady Luck throws the red hot dice, Lucky and Eric cash in on a red hot sizzling romance. So when their pasts catch up to them, and neither is who they appear to be, they are forced to answer these questions, “Can their hearts keep the promises their bodies have been making?” and “Will they finally get lucky in love?”

Read Lucky Stryker’s Map of Vegas

Buy book on amazon.com

California Girls

We just returned from a trip to Huntington Beach, which is just a few miles from where I grew up. I always feel at home there and it shows in my photos. Hubby took a pic of me standing on the pier and now I seem to be using it on all my social sites. It’s not the most perfect photo but it shows the fun side of me, reminding me of my younger, carefree days.

I’m also reminded of one of my best friends, Cathi, my partner-in-crime in soliciting yearbook ads. We both wore red dresses (what else?) and some guy hung out his VW Bug and asked, “Where’s the festival?” We never did know what he meant, but we sure giggled.

And then there were the firemen at the fire house across the street from the tennis court and how we’d flirted with them. And the dance where we wanted to change dates (borrowed a line from that for “Candy Apple Red” and “Bad Boy Crushes.”

Years later, after I’d published Real Women Wear Red, I caught up with my friend on Classmates.com and she’d read the book and said, “I could see you in this book.” You know how kids sign their yearbooks, “Don’t ever change.” Apparently, I hadn’t – at least, in the important things.

And so I took a trip down memory lane in my high school yearbook (I was the first editor-in-chief and had the privilege of naming it) and so I had to share the lovely note Cathi had written in my yearbook – don’t think a friend has ever said such amazing things since.

cathiyearbookletter

Here’s to my old friends, California girls forever!