As year’s end is upon us, I turn to the great Henry Miller for some writerly resolutions. Though they were written long ago and for the man himself, it’s surprising how maintain pertain to me personally. Take a look. A few might jump out for you as well. Happy 2014! May it be even better than 2013 in every way. ~Cat
It’s getting closer– Christmas. Are you ready? Here are a few of my favorite last minute ideas. Some require no shipping at all and 1 you can pick up at the drug store.
For the book lover…
The perfect stocking stuffer for the lady who loves to read, this class red nail polish’s official color name is “I Red a Good Book” and it’s available on the Wet n’ Wild display rack at the CVS in my area for $1.99 or on Amazon.com
Also from Amazon, the gift for those who have everything and it’s something I am now addicted to, Amazon Prime. Yes, it costs $79 a year, but listen to what you get. Unlimited streaming of all the TV Shows and movies they have available, both on your computer or on the tablet app. I had been paying $100 a year for Netflix streaming. And there’s more (and this has been key for my Christmas shopping)…free 2-day shipping with no minimum purchase on Prime eligible items.
For the couch potato…
Next, know someone who loves gadgets and television? Check out Chromecast. If their TV is moderately modern and has an HDMI port, you can plug this $35 device into it, install the app on your tablet, smartphone and/or computer and stream from the device to the television. Now there are limitations. You can stream from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora and HBOGo, but not from AmazonPrimeVideo (which is what I use). But with the Chrome browser extension, I can put anything that’s on my computer browser on the television. Not perfect, but for the price, not bad. Works with Android, iOS, Chrome for Mac, and Chrome for Windows. (NOTE: the Roku 3 streaming device will play Amazon Instant Video but is a bit pricier at $88)
And when all else fails, there’s always my go to last minute gift, available at your local liquor store
Have a merry!!
It’s kind of disturbing that Christmas is a mere three weeks away. There’s no time to wait. Love it or hate it, it’s time to shop for those gifts! Here are my favorite gift giving ideas for Christmas 2013. The best part? You can get them all without leaving the house.
GIFTS FOR THE BOOK LOVER
GIFTS FOR THE MANLY MAN
GIFTS FOR EVERYONE
I’m baaack…and exhausted from my nearly weeklong trip to Vegas where I once again mixed business with pleasure. I experienced the fun and excitement of the Professional Bull Riders world finals with daily events Wednesday through Sunday, which also served as research for me for my two contemporary cowboy series. While there I also attended a fundraising lunch for the not-for-profit Rider Relief Fund on Friday, I signed and gave away to donors a case of books at the RRF booth on Saturday and I had a book signing at one of the Vegas Barnes & Nobles on Sunday. I got to meet up with my readers and other PBR fans whom until now I’ve only known online. I got to meet in person the Oklahoma-based owners and crew of my marketing partner in crime, Joseph’s Fine Foods in Drumright, which appears in all of my Oklahoma Nights romance novels. And in between it all there was the insanity that is Vegas itself.
Here are a few pictures…because we all know what happens in Vegas, no longer stays in Vegas thanks to Facebook and Twitter.
All in all, it was exhausting and exhilarating. I ate food that was too big, drank Jack Daniels like any good cowgirl or cowboy would, and had a great time with both old and new friends. Now, after a whirlwind spring, summer and fall, I am looking forward to NO TRAVEL for at least a few months because when all is said and done, there’s no place like home.
I know I’ve been a bit MIA lately. My excuses are many. Deadlines. Edits. New releases. Taking on more writing than I have time for. Becoming obsessed with watching past seasons of Sons of Anarchy. Promo ho-ing, though I must be doing a good job of that. Since I was here last, I hit the USA Today bestseller list with two different books and the NY Times list with one.
And then there’s the travel… Since I last blogged here I was in Savannah, GA for a convention, and had a whirlwind weekend at the beach in Montauk, NY.
It seems as if I just got home from a trip to Seattle and in just a few days I leave for Vegas. Both of those trips are dual purpose–business and pleasure.
I have a few good pics for you from Washington State, and I hope to have even more from Las Vegas, so stayed tuned. For now, enjoy my visit to the rainy Pacific Northwest. And don’t you all dare comment how that is a myth because the week I was there yes we had some sun, but they also broke records with 6 inches of rain!
That’s it. It’s off to Vegas for me next and the Professional Bull Riders Finals. I’ll also be having a book signing at the Barnes and Noble on Sun. Oct 27th at 2, and I’ll be at the Rider Relief Fund booth in the PBR Fan Zone Sat. Oct 26th 11-2. More info on my event page.
Maybe I’ll see some of you there!
When the temperatures soar what do you do? At my house the smart cats (and one dog who thinks she’s a cat) find a cool place to lay and snooze. Nice life, huh…
Getting ready for my annual pilgrimage to the beach in Rhode Island and I thought what a perfect time for another favorite things post–the summer beach vacation edition.
In case you’ve doubted it before, yes, I am one cool chick to have around. I can even open your beer on the beach with my shoe with these Reef flip flops! The bottle opener is built right into the sole.
A waterproof iPhone case! And it comes in pretty pink for girls. No, I’m not going swimming with my brand spanking new iPhone, no matter what the manufacturer says, but for sand and spill protection, I think this case will do just fine. Picture it–the iPhone stashed safely in the cup holder in the arm of my folding chair. Ooops! Oh no! I spilled my drink in the cup holder! What will I do? Never fear, the phone is safe in the waterproof case. And yes, I’m guilty of stashing my phone in my boobs, and sweat happens to the best of us in the summer…so this will be good for that too!
My new favorite summer drink in a can, perfect for the cooler when you don’t want a beer on the beach. Try a Limerita! Made by Bud, it’s literally a margarita in a can! Comes in original Lime or Strawberry. 8% alcohol.
That’s all I’ve got for you right now. What’s your favorite things for the beach?
If you’re a fan of the True Blood HBO series, I know what you were doing last night–watching the season premiere. And I also know you can’t wait for the next episode. But maybe there is something to hold you over…how about a True Blood cookbook? Check out what’s on the market.
True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps
Here’s something I worry about while setting a story in other parts of the country–the old “soda vs pop” debate. And also the “sub vs wedge vs hero vs hogie”, “sweet tea vs iced tea”, “shopping cart vs buggie” and now thanks to this article I just discovered I’ve had to add “cole slaw vs slaw” to my list.
Being a New Yorker gives me one perspective and I can throw out a bit of Italian, Yiddish and what I affectionately call “kitchen Spanish” when I need a colorful term for something, but that’s because that’s what I’ve grown up hearing. I’ve ordered a soda to go with my wedge. I drink iced tea and push my groceries in a cart. But I’m aware enough to know my Southern redneck consultant uses a buggy and drinks sweet tea, and my Oklahoma friends drink pop, and that’s what I have to be aware of when writing.
It’s one reason I looked up on the computer the menu at Joseph’s Fine Foods in Drumright, Oklahoma when writing my ONE NIGHT WITH A COWBOY. I needed to see what my characters would eat while there because I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be an Italian Combo or a Slice with Pepperoni like I would order here in NY.
I come from a land where a good pizza place better have eggplant, broccoli, sausage, peppers and onions, fresh spinach, fresh mushrooms, basil and fresh mozzarella in its list of toppings. Where they throw the dough right there and you wait the twenty minutes for the pie (that’s pizza pie) to cook. I don’t come from a land where fried bologna sandwiches are the house speciality, but that’s what makes this job fun and I can’t wait to get my butt to Oklahoma and try the smoked bologna at Joseph’s.
Until I’ve been everywhere and eaten everything, which could take a lifetime if it’s even possible, Google will be my best friend. Check out the article for more maps like the one below and see what things are called around this great land of ours!
So now that I got a few thousand page views because I used the “P” word in this blog post title, let me get to the actual post…
I have a pretty cool life, like how I get invited to fun events (restaurant openings and previews, etc) because my best girlfriend’s husband is an executive chef. Of course that can go either way, like when he’s catering an event and runs short on waitstaff and she and I have to run out and buy white shirts and go pass trays of food or pour drinks for a few hours. That’s happening less now since his kids are getting old enough to don the black-and-whites so we old folks don’t have to.
Anyway, this week his new restaurant, Mediteranneo, inside the Zero Degrees Hotel, also new, opened officially and I was invited to dine there. It’s along the banks of the Norwalk River in Connecticut and the windows (which are actually operational and open!) overlook a waterfall that provided both a beautiful view and a lovely backdrop of ambient sound for diners.
I won’t get into the food too much here since you’d be better served by reading this ARTICLE written by an actual food writer who attended the night before I did. Suffice it to say I had the Black sea bass crudo with citrus, sesame seaweed, and Dauno Gargano EVOO for my appetizer (a new dish for me) and the Parmesan crusted West Coast halibut with tomato chive buerre blanc and sautéed spinach (my all time fave of my friend’s creations) for my main course. That was followed by a dessert of another of my old standby favorites, a molton chocolate cake that we love so much we’ve been known to call Chef Al at the restaurant and ask him to bring a few home for us.
I also grabbed a piece of the wood oven pizza we ordered for the table, which was fabulous, and I tried my friend’s rhubarb dessert, also incredible.
So if you’re in driving distance of Norwalk, CT, stop by the restaurant and treat yourself to a culinary experience. Do what I do and go with a bunch of friends so you can each order something different, send the plates around the table, and try even more!
Mediterraneo 353 Main Ave., Norwalk, CT Phone: (203) 229-0000