2018 Book Roundup

In 2018, my friend Claire challenged me to read 100 books in a year. In general, I'm not really big on reading challenges. I don't want to get so focused on hitting goals that I'm not enjoying my books anymore. But 100 books was exactly the right challenge for me. I could still read whatever I wanted, and that number was only a little higher than what I have read in previous years. If I eliminated just a couple of my bad habits, I had enough time to increase my reading time. (That said, if the goal were much higher,…

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Saturday Distractions

One of my favorite artists, Austin Kleon, wrote this earlier this week: I love meeting my readers, but I am so aware that the person who writes the books that they read is the best version of me — the most hopeful, the most helpful version of me. In my day-to-day life, I am as confused, and stupid, and pessimistic as anybody. I’ve stayed offline lately because I’m having a hard time even finding my best version of myself during a national humanitarian crisis, and my rage won't help anything. But this blog is mostly about books and recipes and cocktails, and it all…

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Take Your Goddamn Meds

Anthony Bourdain was my introduction to foul-mouthed, bad boy chefs. But he was much more than that, and if you are not familiar with his work, I encourage you to skip over the salacious stories that are sure to emerge this weekend and instead read about some of the good he did. He was a perfect example of how to be a traveler, but he was also outspoken about the role of the immigrant workers in the restaurant industry. Most importantly, lately he was totally aware of the role he may have had in sexual harassment in food world, and…

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Summer-ish Links

This is the time of year when I say things like, “Husband, why won’t you build me an outdoor fire pit surrounded by swings?” And he says, “Dammit Woman, I’m a computer geek, not a carpenter!” And then I point out all the carpenter-type husbands in our neighborhood who would build gigantic swing sets for their wives, because nothing says “I’m an excellent wife” quite like pointing out the skills of other husbands. And then he says, “Yeah, but they can’t fix a computer, can they? It’s all part of the battle of life.” (I’m just kidding, he doesn’t say…

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Prosecco Heart is Here!

  "Tabitha never intended to greet her mailman in the nude..." I was at my local RWA chapter meeting last year when that line popped into my head. I scribbled it on my notes, and started giggling. And could not stop. Who is this wacky lady, standing naked in front of her mailman? I didn't know why she'd flipped out, but I kept writing. What if she had just found out her husband cheated on her? How about instead of collapsing on the floor in a sobbing mess, she went a little bananas? I kept scribbling and laughing, and by…

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The Scone Story

When I re-released Hungry Heart in March, I made a crack on Instagram that if you had the old version of the book, you should not make the scones. I was not kidding. Here's how I found the most embarrassing error of my writing career (so far): Before I published a book, I used to think that book signings would be the worst part of being an author. What if no one buys a book? What if no one even shows up? What if they do show up and I have to talk to them? I’m an introvert, FFS. I…

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Hungry Heart

I'd like to introduce you to Jim Meier, the handsome star of Hungry Heart. Oh, hello there Jim. Don't mind if I do... Those of you who have been around a while may recognize this book. Back when I wrote under the pen name Emma Foster, I released this book as five separate novellas called "The Way to Her Heart." But now I've condensed the novellas into one book, given it a beautiful new cover, and re-named it.  Hungry Heart is the story of a hot LA Chef named London Demerez, whose boyfriend breaks her heart. I mean - come…

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Funny Books for Winter Blues

I had planned to title this post something like "10 Hilarious Movies to Brighten Your Winter Doldrums." But then I couldn’t think of enough funny movies. (And, to be fair, I have a rather dark sense of humor. True story: when husband and I saw Fargo in the theater, we were in hysterics. You could hear our laughter bouncing off the theater walls because not another soul in the place was laughing. I might not be your best source for funny movies.) Since I have weird, Morticia Adams taste in movies, let’s do books instead. You are prolly worried that…

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Oscar Predictions

Are you watching the Oscars this year? We are having some neighbors over for dinner and champagne and dress commentary. Husband and I will place bets and he will win every category because he picks the logical, reasonable choice and I pick who should win if there was any justice in the world. And then he'll go you can't bet on someone who wasn't even nominated and I'll go yeah but she should have been nominated and he'll go that's not how betting works and then I'll go that's because no one ever listens to me. I'm a super fun wife.…

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Dream Dinner Party

I got antsy today and thought up my dream dinner party for you. Check this out: Dream Guests: Let's invite creative, smart people with a wicked sense of humor. Check out this especially charming story about the Celibate Love Affair of Nora Ephron and Mike Nichols. So I propose you invite them (I know they both died. Let's not ruin this fantasy with details. We'll also invite their spouses, Diane Sawyer and Nick Pileggi.) It ought to be raining outside, and we can sit around the table talking and laughing until all of a sudden another bottle of wine is…

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