Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ah, September!

Sunday, September 17th, 2023

September! You are Here!

Oops! I forgot to come back and finish this post. Happy September to everyone. Let me know how you’re doing as we head into Fall. Here at Jewel HQ September is proving a lot more fun than August was. I say this often, but it’s true, Bound in Smoke is going really well. I’ll probably be posting an updated Chapter 1 to the website fairly soon. My goal is to have the book to my editor by the end of November. You heard it here.

What’s Coming?

The project after Bound In Smoke will be a historical novella, Miss Fiona Harper’s Night of Passion. I’ve had a cover for this novella for ages and ages. The story idea has been bubbling around in my brain for a while, and it’s time for a historical. Rest assured, after that will be the next Street Witch book, and all of that after the current book is complete.

I am in the process of re-covering the My Immortals Series books so they fit better in their category. I’ve settled on the design but the person I’m working with is a bit slow which is frustrating.

Let me know how you’re doing!


Holiday Movies

Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

Here at Jewel HQ we have been watching holiday movies as one does at this time of year. Here are the movies we’ve watched so far, and a quick rating. They’re in no particular order. We watched on Netflix.

A California Christmas, City Lights. This is a sequel to A California Christmas. The sequel was as delightful as the original and totally fun. I would watch an entire movie centered on Manny, who has a secondary romance. He lights of the screen in every scene. This movie is set in Petaluma, CA and directed by a local, so we get extra enjoyment out of seeing downtown Petaluma and the ranches/countryside to the west. We also got a kick out of seeing some of downtown Petaluma standing in for San Francisco. They filmed during the summer so you won’t see the breathtaking green hills of winter in Sonoma County. Two thumbs up.

A Castle for Christmas. This stars Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes. She’s an author, he’s a duke. They meet-cute at his castle. This was loads of fun, and it was lovely to see a diverse cast and an older couple. Two thumbs up.

A Cinderella Story, Christmas Wish. One of us hated this so much we bailed. I suspect there’s no actual plot or not enough so they stretched it out with musical montages and bad lip syncing. Personally, I would have watched it all by fast forwarding through the music for the minutes of story. Cinderella stories are my jam. I think it would have taken 20-30 minutes. The male lead is the guy who’s cast as Rand Al’Thor in The Wheel of Time. Half a Thumbs up. I might go speed watch it.

Father Christmas is Back. I was bored out of my mind and bailed. My sister watched the whole thing. I didn’t care about any of the characters and couldn’t get past the stupidity. If someone takes your car (a Rolls!) and makes it the prize in a contest, the solution to getting back your car is not to attempt to win the contest. Hated. It. No thumbs. If you like English-style narratives, you might like this.

Christmas Break In. A riff on Home Alone only with a girl and at a school and a totally undeveloped plot line. This could have been awesome. Danny Glover was in it and he was worth watching. It was childish and dumb, but that’s the whole point. It was mildly amusing and totally predictable. One lazy thumb up.

A Christmas Prince, The Royal Baby. Set somewhere in Europe. At least this time they had a more diverse cast than the previous story set in this mythical country. It was enjoyable enough, and it was unintentionally comic to watch the Queen, who was in end-stage labor, magically able to solve and explain a mystery in between pushing. One and a half thumbs up.

Holidate. This was a strange one. Two gorgeous people decide they will escape holiday questions about their relationship lives by pretending to be a couple on holidays. It starts and ends at Christmas. It was OK. One and a half thumbs up.

Single All the Way. We loved this. It’s cute, adorable, and corny. Roomates to lovers. I wasn’t at all sure for the first 5-10 minutes but then the chemistry kicked in between the two guys, and I was on board. There are lots of Awww moments. Two thumbs up.

Have you watched any holiday movies? Which ones, and which are your favorites?


Post Cards from Carolyn

Sunday, May 17th, 2020

I have a collection of 20+ postcards, most of which are from a pep talk collection or have a pretty picture. In addition, I have sassy foil stamps available to affix to said postcards. Upon my request, the USPS sent me various fun stamps, including dinosaurs, frogs, and orchids.

Please check out the close up of the foil stamps in case there is one you would prefer not to have on your postcard.

Postcards and foil stamps
Close up of foil stamps

If you’d like friendly postcard from me, email me your address (carolyn @ or through the contact link and let me know whether you mind a sticker with a bad word (if so, I’ll choose a different one), and I’ll get one in the mail to you. International OK.

I will only use your address to send you the postcard. I won’t save it beyond any computer backups that occur as a matter of course. Offer available until I run out of postcards. (So, about twenty -ish,)

Please DO NOT leave your address in the comments. If you do, everyone will know your address.


Howling Into The Night

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

Greetings from Shelter In Place day 27. I’m doing reasonably well and hope the same for all who read this. The other night I was working on edits for Bound In Smoke when I heard this loud howling from across the field. I went to the door and heard a lot that dissolve into laughter, but behind that there was a lot of howling. What the heck is going on, I said to myself, that all the dogs in are are howling like this and why is anyone partying to those howls.
Then I found out that howling at 8:00PM is a thing here in California. Maybe else where, too, I don’t know. But at 8:00PM everyone goes to their door or what have you and howls.

As long as I don’t lose track of the time, I too shall howl at 8:00PM.


Adieu 2019

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

As I write this, it’s the last day of the Gregorian Calendar year 2019. I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe 2020.


Women, Art, and an Emotional Story (for me)

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

I love antique stores and finding neat things, so it makes sense to me that I enjoy the occasional video on the subject. I don’t think there’s a way to write this post that doesn’t include spoilers because it would require watching 6 videos, all of which are at least 40 minutes and longer and then not seeing the one that made me cry and have a lot of feelings.

If you want to try, you’d start here:

Otherwise, this twenty minute video is well worth your time.

Basically, this Canadian man ended up buying a house from the relatives of a woman who they said was a prominent Canadian potter (true). But he had the impression that she had passed away and I watched all the videos believing that this was so. My grandmother was a hoarder, and I was slightly uncomfortable watching the videos, but this was was not an ordinary hoarder house because the inhabitant was an artist with deep connections to her work and the art world. This wasn’t a series of videos uncovering rare collectibles. It’s uncovering important, significant art.

Over the course of the videos, he discovers her art, and it just takes your breath, or at least it did mine. The first time he finds some of her sketches, it was obvious that the woman was gifted. Keep in mind that at the request of family, he was keeping her name private.

When he started to find her pottery, my breath caught again and again and again. He was so respectful of her, and it was clear that understood what he was uncovering.

And then came the video where he interviews her. Because she had not passed away. She is (as of this post) 102 years old, mentally sharp, but in a assisted living facility. I tell you I just cried because it was amazing to actually hear this woman talk about her art. He now hopes to preserve her house and I sincerely hope the Canadian government agrees. She worked into her 90’s, by the way.

Some Thoughts About Women and Art

As I was watching the videos, and before I knew she was still alive, I kept thinking, this is what can happen to women artists who don’t have a wife doing all the housekeeping. I am branching out now from the specifics of this artist and speaking more generally.

There’s so much talk about male artists with ZERO recognition of the women who make their dedication to their art possible. These men do not raise the children, cook, clean, or run interference to protect the art of the women they know. The Art World seems to take this protection of male artists for granted.

There’s almost no recognition of what we lose in art because women artists cannot dedicate themselves to their work in the same way. I can’t help but think that a male artist whose work was in museums in his lifetime would have been protected. Someone would have stepped in to make sure he was not pestered with the details of daily life. Was that true here? I have no idea.


Celebrating the Release of Surrender to Ruin With a Contest

Friday, December 8th, 2017

To celebrate the release of Surrender to Ruin and because I’m in the giving mood, I am giving away two necklaces, one here, and one on my Facebook Author page. Here are pictures of the one I’m giving away here. I don’t have the right lighting, but I did the best I could. Both necklaces are Swarovski crystal. I bought them from a woman who had to move her jewelry business to her husband’s frame shop here in my town because they lost their house in the Northern California fires. They are both commuting from San Francisco. So these necklaces have some history already.

The rules to enter are below the pictures.

A teardrop shaped purple crystal set in a silver-colored backing.

Purple crystal necklace from further away

A closer view of a purple teardrop shaped pendant on a silver-colored chain

Closer view of purple crystal necklace


The Rules

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Must be 18 to enter. International OK. If the winner does not respond with a valid mailing address within 5 days of notification, I will select an alternate winner. Winner chosen at random via the plug in “And The Winner Is.” Contest closes Midnight Pacific on Friday December 15, 2017.  To enter, please leave a comment on this blog in which you answer this question: “What’s a nice thing someone did for you, or that you did for someone else.”

Feel free to also enter the other contest at my facebook author page. You have to also comment on that post.


Testy McTest Test

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Please Ignore this for Now. 😉

At the various book vendor sites, How do you feel about your ability to find Romances to read?

View Results

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Operation New Desk: Sub-Optimal Areas of Organization

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

To Avoid Hell, Organization Requires Commitment

So, some time ago, the day job negotiated renovated office space… and a lot of office equipment was offered up to employees. I snagged an adjustable desk because I want to set up a treadmill desk. I measured etc and confirmed the desk would fit in my room. I found a college student with a truck and arranged to get the desk to my house. The desk isn’t huge but it’s not light. But also, I was in the middle of trying to finish My Demon Warlord and Seduction in Winter and so I ended up having the guy park the desk in the living room until I had time to clear out drawers etc…

And there the desk stayed. For a really really long time. Because desk drawers. Because all the stuff I had on the desk… And the closet and and…. And every spare minute needed to go into writing.  Organization requires commitment of heart and time. If you stop halfway into an organization project you might as well go live in hell.

I was starting to hate the desk, taking up space in the living room on its end… A too-inviting target for small dogs.

And I was dreading the work…

But then I finished My Demon Warlord and sent it to the copy editor and whoo-hoo! My son was still home for Winter break and I finally had time to spend with him. I had him set up Apple TV when he got here and then signed up for the free trial of Netflix. And he had been watching Netflix. With my break between books he and I watched the first episodes of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Sense8. Then we watched several episodes of Jessica Jones and then he went back to school.

Sub-Optimal Areas of Organization

And so, there I was with a long New Year weekend and a desk taking up space and so began Operation New Desk Binge Watch. I emptied desk drawers and surfaces and other places of  . . . let’s be kind and call them “sub-optimal areas of organization” and I brought out the shredder and put all this “stuff” into boxes and watched Jessica Jones while I shredded and sorted and discarded and found new homes for things. Rinse and repeat. When I ran out of Jessica Jones, I started on Daredevil.

Then I was exhausted. But yesterday, I looked at my office with my old icky desk cleaned off but still with a broken drawer and said “I’m going in!”

Only Slightly Bruised

I got the old desk out by myself because it’s not all that heavy, just 20 years old and, well, it’s had a broken drawer for years and no holes for cables so I wasn’t even sorry to see it go out. My brother was over, and he helped me maneuver the “new” desk in. My right toenail is only slightly bruised, I swear.

Then I set up the computer and dropped the cables through the cable holes in the back and Whoo-hoo!!

Phase Two Point Five

So it turns out I need a keyboard tray for the desk, which whatever. I ordered one on Amazon last night — while I was in bed with the lights off. THIS is how technology improves our lives. Since the new desk does not have drawers, today I’m going to buy something suitable that the printer can sit on (currently it’s on the floor) with drawers so I can proceed to Phase 3.

Phase Three

Phase three is to go through all the stuff I didn’t discard and figure out where to store it. Some will go in the Phase 2.5 pedestal thingee and the rest will be relocated to …. somewhere else.

Because of the NSA case, I have a lot of documents that need to be preserved, which is an additional challenge but might as well have it all in the same box, right?


Jessica Jones is an awesome series. I love her so hard. I didn’t love Daredevil until about 4 episodes in but then I did. I’m on Sense8 now and I’m blown away at how great this series is. Normally, when I see TV it’s something from the more traditional channels and I watch maybe 2 times a year. But these shows have women doing awesome things and people of all colors and no one is being safe about writing, especially Jessica Jones. Though, a couple of times on Daredevil I thought some of the dialogue was pretty clunky and maybe they needed to call a lawyer a couple of times to get a grounding in how the law might actually work. I’m only a few episodes into Sense8 but yay for a show that isn’t just straight white guys!


Technology Woes . . . My Sob Story

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

So, a couple of days ago my 2011 model iMac began misbehaving in a worrisome way. I got the soonest Genius Bar appointment possible and it was still too late. Yesterday it basically died. Yesterday was the same day my replacement phone arrived and with the dead iMac, my phone backup was unavailable. Because of our internet situation here (only recently resolved mostly) I never dared back up to iCloud. Not possible. So… I backed up the phone to my Macbook and for some reason it would only encrypt the backup but without ever asking me to give it a password. NEVER HAPPENED. And it wanted this nonexistent password in order to restore my backup to the new phone.

The workaround is a backup to iCloud. So, OK. Our internet is OK enough to risk it.  I started at 7:00PM and at 4:30 this morning it was still going. And at 5:30 it just quit. No error message. No nothing. Just “Your backup could not be completed” or else, no message at all. So I took it to work and tried a backup to a Windows machine. Same thing. Encrypted backup. NO opportunity to give a password. I tried iCloud again. Nope.

Finally, the nice lady at Apple wondered if I had enough space in iCloud. Well, I had no idea how big the phone backup is. Apple doesn’t tell you.

Long story short, the answer is no. Apple just swallows a “you don’t have enough space” error message and misses the upsell opportunity too.

Then I got the extra storage and that took two hours for the phone to believe I had it, and THEN the backup succeeded.

THEN the restore was stuck on “1 hour remaining” for three hours.

I went to my other office where they have super duper internet and started over with the restore and it took 20 minutes. TWENTY MINUTES!!!!!


This was nothing but a series of error conditions that Apple should be trapping. I have suspicions about the backup though. And since I will be back on the phone with them tomorrow to explain my resolution and complain a bit, I’ll relay the possibility that iPhone encrypted backup process  doesn’t work when the drive is already encrypted.


Anyway, My Demon Warlord is going well. I’m doing the final paper read-through so the dead iMac could be worse.