fiction. fashion. food. frivolity.

Vintage Launch Party Pictures

Posted on | April 4, 2014 | No Comments

Last Saturday was the book launch party for my debut novel, VINTAGE, held at the High Noon Saloon in Madison. We had a great turnout, with most guests arriving dressed in vintage attire. Madison bookseller A Room of One’s Own sold over 100 copies of VINTAGE at the event. Thank you to all who attended! Click on any image to see a larger version.


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A Glamorous Vintage Giveaway

Posted on | March 23, 2014 | 4 Comments

The launch day for VINTAGE is almost here! On Tuesday, March 25, it will hit bookstore shelves and  e-reader screens everywhere. ***Pops champagne and sprays it all over everyone***


To celebrate the launch of VINTAGE, I’m running a Glamorous Vintage Giveaway this week for anyone who purchases the book. If you pre-ordered it months ago, it still counts, assuming you still have your receipt or other proof of purchase.

The prize is a package including the following goodies, as pictured blow:

  • LVbagA vintage Louis Vuitton “Looping” handbag. This is a mint condition item from my personal collection, shown in the picture at right. Classic brown leather with iconic monogram. Suede interior. Includes the original felt bag with “LV” label for storage.
  • $50 Etsy gift certificate. This can be spent anywhere on Etsy, not just at my store. Use it to buy yourself something unique and fabulous!

To enter the Glamorous Vintage Givewaway, email a copy of your receipt to  If you buy more than one copy of the book, you’ll get more than one entry! A winner will be chosen at random at 5:00 PM CST on Sunday, March 30.

Planning to buy the book at the launch party in Madison on March 29? No problem. Just save a copy of your receipt and email it to the address above. Good luck!

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Goodreads Giveaway

Posted on | February 4, 2014 | 1 Comment


As someone in the business of books, I often get asked for reading recommendations. I always direct people to Goodreads, where I keep track of everything I read and want to read in the future. I was thrilled, then, to hear that my publisher, William Morrow/HarperCollins, is giving away 30 free copies of my debut novel, VINTAGE, coming out March 25! The giveaway is going on until midnight on the morning of Thursday, February 6. Click HERE or on the picture at left to enter.

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Perspective from a Picture Book

Posted on | November 11, 2013 | 6 Comments


My son pointed at this picture book illustration and said, “That’s Mama.”

One of the true delights of being a parent to a young child is reading picture books. It’s fun to read favorites from my own childhood like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Caps for Sale, and pretty much anything by Dr. Seuss. But it’s even more fun to discover new authors and illustrators.

Yesterday I was reading a picture book to my small son. The book was the adorable and beautifully-illustrated RAIN! by Linda Ashman, which came out earlier this year. I love the book because it’s all about perspective. A grumpy old man sees that it’s raining one morning and complains that he has to put on his “blasted overcoat” and trudge out into the gray day. I can identify with his curmudgeonly character. I feel the same way on lot of mornings lately, as winter settles in over Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, the books follows a young child in the same city neighborhood. The child jumps up and down with glee when he learns it is raining. For the child, the “bad” weather is an opportunity to don his frog hat and galoshes and go puddle jumping. Same day, same neighborhood, same weather, different experiences. It’s all about perspective.

I’ve read this book many times to my son, but yesterday, I gained yet another level of insight.

There is an illustration that depicts a cafe scene, where the old man is reading his newspaper and the little boy is drinking hot cocoa with his mom. At a nearby table, a woman types at a laptop with a serious expression. My 2-year-old son pointed to the woman and said, “That’s Mama.”

I cracked up.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been in deadline mode, finishing my second book while gearing up to promote my first, VINTAGE, which comes out in March. Add a day job and a house renovation to that and you can see how there hasn’t been much room lately for goofing around.

So, yes, my son’s analogy was accurate.  But just to prove him–or more likely myself–wrong, we headed to the park after finishing the story. We basked in what will probably be one of the last sunny, mittenless autumn days. We dropped spinning maple helicopters from the top of the jungle gym. We walked around the block, identifying the makes, models, and colors of cars (yes, my toddler is a bit auto-obsessed).

I knew that later, I’d have to go back to my laptop. But a kids’ book reminded me to make time for play, too.

rain cover










Image credit: Illustrations are from RAIN! by Linda Ashman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013)

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Dragons and Daily Word Count Goals

Posted on | October 9, 2013 | Comments Off


Today I’m over at The Debutante Ball, where I blog every Wednesday, talking about the unlikely link between dragons, seasonal affective disorder, and writing goals. Here’s a sneak preview:

Winter is coming. No, this is not a post about Game of Thrones, though I do love me some dragons and wildlings. We’ll talk about the HBO medieval fantasy series some other time.

Really, though. Winter is coming. Even though we’ve had some lovely fall days lately, I can feel the light waning, the change creeping in. The sun is getting further away, its warmth weaker.

Sorry to be a downer, but this week’s topic is “seasons” of writing and productivity. This is a tough topic for me because, like so many people in northern climates, I struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder or, as it is aptly abbreviated, S.A.D.

Read the rest at The Debutante Ball, a blog for Debut Authors.

Photo credit: HBO

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Julia Child on Obeying Your Whims

Posted on | September 30, 2013 | 4 Comments

juliachildrulesKickass women, from any period in history, never cease to inspire. Julia Child was one of those women, which is why multi-published author Karen Karbo chose to write about her for the latest book in the Kickass Women series, Julia Child Rules.  Other subjects in Karbo’s series—which are one part biography, one part humor essay, with a dash of motivational speaking tossed in—include Katherine Hepburn, Georgia O’Keefe, and Coco Chanel. Hmmm. Art, fashion, film, and food? Why have we never had lunch, Ms. Karbo? Oh, because you live in Portland.

Each chapter of Karbo’s book, Julia Child Rules, lays out a truism that Julia preached and practiced in her life. I just finished reading Chapter 4, “Obey Your Whims.” I’m a fairly risk-averse person (I did go to law school, after all). In whim-following, as well as in the kitchen, I have a lot to learn from Julia.

How refreshing, then, to read about someone who was a big believer in not getting stuck in any certain path. When, during World War II, the Women Army Corps (WACs) rejected Julia for being too tall (she was six-foot-three), she didn’t give up on her goal of serving the war effort. She took the civil service exam and traveled to Washington, D.C., where she got a job with the OSS–the precursor to the CIA. The job took her to India, where she met Paul Child, the man she’d eventually marry. Paul, a man of refined tastes, was the reason she learned to cook. When presented with something unfamiliar or a new challenge, Julia’s attitude was “what the hell” and she’d roll up her sleeves and see what it was all about.

I, for one, know I could exercise a little less caution at times and a little more what-the-hell. How about you? I’ll leave you with this tidbit from the book, which comes out tomorrow:

“The best time to heed a whim is when we find ourselves stuck in life, when putting one foot in front of the other is only taking us further away from where we want to go, even though we don’t know where that is.”

Julia Child Rules by Karen Karbo

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Taking Five for the People Behind the Scenes of Vintage

Posted on | September 25, 2013 | Comments Off

Today I’m over at The Debutante Ball, where I blog every Wednesday, talking about the people who helped make my debut novel, VINTAGE, possible. Here’s a sneak preview:

It takes more than one person to write a novel, and any author who doesn’t admit that is either lying or an egomaniac. In my case, it took a whole lot of people for VINTAGE to go from a glimmer of an idea to a manuscript to a real-life book that hits bookstores in March. Here are five of them, or five categories of people, since I couldn’t actually narrow it down to just five individuals.

First, there was my very patient husband, who didn’t complain, or only minimally so, when I took off for a critique group meeting or yet another late-evening editing session. He also gets credit for not thinking I was completely insane for wanting to do, and thinking I could do, this author thing in the first place, when I have a perfectly good law degree. My husband has encouraged me in an endeavor that requires me to hang out alone for long periods of time, leaving him with the toddler, the dog, and the dishes. Did I mention I love this man?

Read the rest at The Debutante Ball, a blog for Debut Authors.


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I’m a debutante at 34

Posted on | August 29, 2013 | 4 Comments

Jacqueline Bouvier (Kennedy) as a debutante in 1947

Jacqueline Bouvier as a debutante in 1947

Lately, I’ve been dusting off my dancing shoes and picking out the perfect string of pearls. Why, you might ask? Because I learned this month that I’ve been selected as one of five authors to join the Class of 2014 at The Debutante Ball, a blog for debut authors, now in its eighth season.

Of course, at thirty-four, I’m a little old to be a real debutante, of the white dress and perfect pedigree variety. But apparent it’s not that old to be making a debut of the literary kind. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t publish her first novel until she was sixty-five.

The Debutante Ball, a group blog on all things books, has been celebrating new authors since 2007 and has helped launch the careers of past debs and national bestsellers Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters), Sarah Jio (Blackberry Winter), and Mia King (Table Manners). Guest authors who have posted for the blog include John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, Jamie Ford, Meg Cabot, and Jane Green. Ahem. Okay, I’m done with the name dropping now.

And this year, my fellow debs and I are planning to kick off our debut year with a new site design, new topics, and new, behind-the-scenes looks at the journey to publication. I’ll still be blogging here, but you can come see me at the Debutante Ball, too, where I’ll be posting every Wednesday.  My fellow debs– Heather Webb, Natalia Sylvester, Lisa Alber, and Lori Rader-Day—will be handling the rest of the week. We’ll talk about reading, writing, and lots of other non-bookish topics, too. Mostly, we’ll try not to trip over our long white dresses as we waltz, or more like Macarena, our way to publication.

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And the winner is…

Posted on | August 16, 2013 | 1 Comment

Thank you so very much to everyone who tweeted, linked, and otherwise shared the cover reveal contest for my novel, Vintage.  This was my first giveaway on the blog, and I really felt the love when I saw Vintage’s cover being shared far and wide. I used Rafflecopter to organize the giveaway and pick the winner at random. And so, without further adieu, the winner of the $50 Amazon gift card is….


Congratulations, Jaye! And, in a lovely bit of kismet, Jaye’s first novel is coming out in 2014, too! It’s a YA novel called No Place to Fall. Can’t wait to see her cover when it comes out. Thank you again to everyone who participated!

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Vintage Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Posted on | August 9, 2013 | 30 Comments

I am beyond excited to share with you the cover for my debut novel, VINTAGE, which will be released on March 25, 2014, and is available for pre-order now at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, IndieBound, or your favorite bookstore.


Vintage Cover

When my publisher, William Morrow/HarperCollins, first shared the cover with me, I couldn’t believe that it looked almost exactly like the cover image I’d had in my head. I had always pictured VINTAGE with a shop window on its cover, since the story centers on a Midwestern vintage clothing shop and a group of women who eventually transform the store and each others’ lives. And now, I am so very thrilled to share the cover with you and, next spring, to share the story with you as well!

To celebrate, I’m holding a giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card, which I hope the winner will spend on books, but of course can be spent on anything. Scroll down to sign up using the form, and earn extra entries by spreading the word in any of the ways below. I’ll use Rafflecopter to choose one lucky winner next week and notify the winner here on the blog. All email addresses and other personal information will be kept private. The contest ends at 12:00 CST on Friday, August 16, but you can tweet about the contest once a day until then to earn extra entries. Thanks for helping me celebrate!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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