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Monday, December 19, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like.....

I've always been a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas. When my boys were young we would got out as a family on the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree, chop it down ourselves, haul it home and decorate it. This signaled the beginning of Christmas in our house.

Once my boys were older and out of the house, I realized pre-lit and fake-o were two new words I had to add to my vocabulary. Going out, chopping down, and hauling home a Christmas tree by myself was too cumbersome, not to mention, not quite as much fun! And that was as far as I was going, my tree might be a poser, but at least from a distance, it looked natural.


At 60, I realized I might not have a plethora of Christmases in my future, so I thought why not get something fun?  Something funky?  Why not do an un-traditional Christmas.  But pink? Could I really be that UN-traditional?

So I started looking for pink trees and the first one I found online was $549.00.  I gasped.  No way would I pay that much for probably a one shot deal.  Fortunately a very practical friend of mine suggested a big box store and sure enough, I found my gem of a tree for $20.00.  (Even cheaper than my original budget of $75.00) and it came prelit (pink wire) with its own little stand.  It’s only 3 and a half feet, perfect to keep away from my grandson.  So here we go—non traditional, funky Christmas! Let the good times roll.

And Happy Holidays to everyone, traditional or non, pink-tree-loving or real tree go-getters, and everyone in between!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cyber Monday........and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and.........

Uh-oh, as my adorable grandson likes to say. I think my on-line shopping habit may be getting a little out of control! I thought I'd get a jump start, but now I think I'm almost D.O.N.E. with my shopping and I have NOT set foot in the mall.

I'll be the first to tell you, I don't like malls. Well, it's not malls I don't like, I don't really like shopping. SHHHHH! Don't tell anybody! Fighting through crowds, scanning racks and shelves for the size/shape/color you want, not my cup of tea. But, I don't know, there's something about shopping during the holiday season that's OK. Everything is decorated so beautifully and it's a great excuse to treat myself to a full-fat gingerbread latte.

So, I'm going to try my best to save a few things to purchase in an actual store.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Let it ((NOT)) Snow!

Ok, so I don't know what it is, but I've really got the Christmas spirit the last couple of days. Maybe it's that the trees are completely naked, or how my neighborhood is suddenly illuminated at night? I'd say, the only thing missing is snow, and truthfully, I'm fine with that!

Now, don't get me wrong, I love the snow. It's beautiful. It brightens a winter day, and night. Snow says winter is HERE! But it's no fun to try to get around in. Especially here, in the Pacific Northwest, where we aren't all that used to snow and a couple of inches can really bring the city to a stop. So, for now, I'm content with the Christmas trees glowing in the windows and chimneys with billowing smoke. Let's save the snow for when the shopping is done and all we have to do is enjoy the company we're in.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black (and white) Friday

At least, for me. If you follow me on Facebook, you saw that I was working on revisions for YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW over the holiday weekend. And I've gotta say, even though revisions aren't usually all that fun, I think they're way more fun than being pepper sprayed! After I heard about that I vowed to NEVER to go out on Black Friday. Some deals just aren't worth it.....
July 2012
But with the revisions for YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW wrapped up and back in my editor's hands, I can get back to hangin' with Pescoli and Alvarez. Those two keep me on my toes, with Pescoli and her trouble with her two kids (we won't even start with her ex and his new wife......). And then there's Alvarez and all the skeletons in her closet, yikes!! Seriously, though, these are two of my all-time faves, and I love writing about them.
June 2012
AFRAID TO DIE is out next June, and while that seems a ways off now, I know it'll be here sooner than I think! And of course with everything that goes along with the holidays, a little shopping, a little celebrating, I won't get as much done as I've planned. Which makes me think.......hmmmmm......resolutions.........

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

It's a short week, so that's a plus. I get to spend time with all those people I love so much! My niece, her husband and kids come up from Southern California. My boys and their families join in. We all usually end up at my sister's house with a few other family members and maybe even a few friends for a genuine feast!

This year I am thankful for so much, my family, friends, my health..... But I am also so thankful to have finished YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW (and truth be told, I think my editor is pretty thankful for that, too!). I can say I will thouroughly enjoy the holiday knowing that that is checked of my list! I really had a lot of fun with this one, but it's holiday time, and then onto the next!!

This year we'll try something new, a turducken (I'm not sure if that's even how you spell it??). My son, who's a trained chef, had the idea, and my family is usually up for just about anything, so we said, go for it!! For those of you unfamiliar, and I was until he explained it to me, a turducken is a turkey stuffed with a duck that's stuffed with a chicken. Ok, I think that's right.... Anyway, should be an adventure, and who knows, maybe a new tradition!

I would love to hear about your holiday traditions, let me know some of your favorites! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday! And for any of you braving Black Friday, good luck! You won't catch me out that day!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

OMG! Christmas Music Already?!

OK, don't get me wrong, I'm all about Christmas. A couple of my favorite detectives, Pescoli and Alvarez, have solved some of their toughest cases between buying Christmas gifts and shoveling their driveways. I've never been, but Montana in the winter is on my bucket list.

Hot Buttered Rum by a warm cozy fire, time spent with family and friends, and I do love Christmas Music. But there is something about Christmas music in early November that just doesn't seem right.


It seems like each year Christmas creeps up on Thanksgiving, and now even Halloween. Some of the stores had Christmas merchandise right along side the Halloween. Personally, Halloween is my absolute favorite and so I don't want to gloss over it on the way to Christmas. I think it deserves it's own celebration!

Bring on the Christmas music--but wait until December! Or even after Thanksgiving. Plus, can you really listen to Christmas music for two whole months??

OK, OK, so enough of me on my soap box. Just a little vent I had to get off my chest. But, I'm not the only one who feels this way......
(Nordstrom is one of my faves and yes, this was from a couple of years ago!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Autumn Has Arrived

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year! Why you ask? Because......

The Holiday season has begun
Bright crisp mornings
Mulled wine
Mist rising from the lake
Eerie nights
Falling leaves
Corn mazes
Burning candles
Big pots of hot, spiced cider and even hotter soup
A great time to work and get into the creepiness of a book

I bought a pumpkin spice candle to create the ambiance in my office and I am hard at work on YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW. Halloween has past, Thanksgiving is on the horizon, what a wonderful time of year!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Vacation=Insipration

I took a wonderful vacation with my family this past week. We rented a big house so we could all stay together, had great weather, and just enjoyed a nice, relaxing week. I had promised myself and my family that I would NOT work while on vacay....... But I had a terrible-a-little-too-close-to-home dream the first night, so I did end up doing a ((little)) work
I often get questions about how I get ideas for my books, so here ya go. I think the cool, crisp mountain air must have contributed to the idea. But, I never know when an idea is going to come to me, and so I have to run with it when it does! And run, I did. I worked early in the mornings, before everyone else was awake so I could spend the rest of the day having fun. But I got a pretty good start on a proposal for my editor, so stay tuned, I'll let you know more about it as it's developed, but I think it's going to be a really creepy one!

Pretty weird that having a nightmare is a good thing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The three Ws


Weddings, Wine and Writing, that is. 

I was down in Sonoma last weekend for a wedding. And what a great weekend it was, well until we went to the airport to head home and were delayed for hours!! But we did make it back, and safely none-the-less, so more about the wedding.....

It was a beautiful venue on a beautiful summer evening, everything was, well, beautiful. Now, I never payed much attention to the details at weddings until my son got married. That was....oh my gosh......over THREE years ago!! It just doesn't seem like it was that long ago, but I guess it also doesn't seem like that long ago I was celebrating my 35th (gasp!) birthday.

Well, anyway my wedding radar is back in full force because my other son will be getting married next year, so I'm on the lookout for interesting details and any pointers anyone has to offer. They do have a wedding coordinator, so I'm sure they're way ahead of me on all of this, but hey, I like to feel like I'm helping out. One thing I did really love about this wedding was the color scheme, deep, rich fall colors. Fall is my favorite time of year for just that reason.

And we thought since we were in wine country, we better check out some wineries. My favorite was Castello di Amorosa. This winery is nestled behind the walls of a castle, which really took me back to the days I wrote Medievals and Historical Romance.

A great weekend, but now back to reality and writing.......

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Business AND Pleasure??

While I was in London vacationing and visiting my publisher, it was suggested that I do a few book videos for the Australian and New Zealand editions of some of my upcoming books.  Sounded good to me.  Why not?  Well, because I wasn’t prepared.  Scratch that.  Make it—I REALLY was not prepared.

But I was in.

Of course I wanted to look a little different in each video, but my choices for mixing it up weren’t so hot.  I collected a few of the nicer clothes I’d brought, then mixed and matched them with some of my agent’s outfits, and “winged it.”  No script, no inspiration, no questions—just “Tell the readers/viewers something unique about the book.”

Gulp.  Four different books.  All that I’d written months and years earlier.  Sure.  OOOO—kaaaay.

I wracked my brain and here’s the video, the one we came up with for BORN TO DIE. Please note that I’m wearing my agent’s jacket and her necklace.  (They’re nice . . . maybe I should have accidentally put them into my suitcase!) 








And just so you know--(as if you couldn’t guess!) there were no makeup artists, or hair stylists, or scripts or anything but someone from the publicity department and a hand held camera—the kind I use to take pictures of my dogs!

Talk about flying by the seat of my pants! (Or my agent’s, in this case!)

Note to self for the next trip:  Don’t forget the hairspray!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

10/90

Isn’t that the old saying?  Success is ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration. Boy, does it feel that way to me.  Fortunately, ideas come fairly quickly and I have lots of plots rattling around in my brain, but the perspiration comes when I’m actually writing.

I’m not big on sitting for hours at my desk (especially when the sun is out!).  There are just so many other things I want to do.  Not that I’m complaining.  Oh, no—this job is the best in the world.  I’m just better at it in the winter, with a cup of coffee or tea steaming beside me and the clouds are thick with rain, and the air has that damp chill in it.

Anyway, as I frown at the computer, teeth worrying my lower lip as I try to find the right turn of phrase, my phone at my side, the dog at my feet, I don’t really perspire, but I do “sweat” each scene until I feel it’s right.

As for the inspiration, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what’s recently inspired me.  Let’s start with the “WICKED” series I’m writing with Nancy Bush, set on the moody Oregon Coast.



See what I mean?  Can’t you just see Siren Song, the home of the colony along these rocky shores.

In BORN TO DIE, I introduce a rescue dog.  Part pitbull and lab and who-knows-what.  That dog was inspired by my son’s rescue dog who was a big part of our family for over ten years. He passed away last year and so I decided to immortalize him in a book.  A very special dog, he was truly an inspiration.  RIP Bonzi . . .


 

Monday, July 25, 2011

At the Movies

Since BORN TO DIE is out this week, I thought you might want to see the book trailers for BORN TO DIE and WICKED LIES . . . so grab a handful of popcorn, or 3 Sour Patch Kids, or a couple of Milk Duds and get ready for some serious action . . . all in less than five minutes!






Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Lies (dead) Beneath





Since I’m a major animal lover, I have encouraged the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and yes, the raccoons to hang out at my deck. “Bird seed, suet, and sunflower seeds for everyone! Bread and apples!  Come one, come all!”

Kind of a bad idea as it turned out.

It was the rats who answered the call! It seems that they heard there was a buffet and took up residence under the boards and into the crawl space under the house.  I wouldn’t have known they existed. (No, I didn’t pick up the obvious clue of the dogs working their way under the very low deck and barking madly!)  My pug, Jackie O-No! even got stuck a couple of times while Magnus, the sweet-tempered beagle who turns into the Terminator at the sight of a squirrel was able to slither out.




What clued me in?  The stench of one of my guests—or two or three—having the nerve to die somewhere near the vents that open to the bedroom and laundry room—and oh, yeah, the garage didn’t smell so sweet either, despite repeated cleanings.

I received lots of advice about how to get rid of the smell—everything to vinegar to oil of wintergreen placed on cotton balls in the vents.  (This ended up smelling like a rat had died while choking on an Altoid).

What to do?

To be clear:  I was NOT crawling under the house!  I might write about creepy stuff, but I’m a big, fat chicken when it comes to facing the unknown enemy in a tight, dark, hot space.  No thanks!  I called in the professionals who came complete with knowledge, overalls, gas masks and more nerve than I had.

The result:
Zero carcasses found (though much rat-evidence discovered—don’t ask).  
            One wallet considerably lighter.
            One or two lingering whiffs of “dead smell” as I fold laundry.
            One writer somewhat less anxious about what lies or lives beneath.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The BOOT


For the past few months, I’ve been spending most of my time in my sister’s basement.  Now, before you think of creepy, cobwebby dingy spaces, understand this was a full bedroom suite with bath, walk-in closet, and stunning view of the lake.  Oh, and a small kitchen, media room, pool table room, second bedroom . . .you get the general idea . . .

You might think—Geez, what’s the deal?  Is Lisa Jackson just a mooch?

Well . . .yes, maybe a little.  There is a slight chance I overstayed my welcome, but I started out in the basement for legit reasons.

I was recovering from back surgery.  Nancy graciously decided to take care of me after my stint in the hospital.  No, she’s not usually prone to being Nancy Nurse, but I was in a bind.  She cooked for me, washed my clothes, did my errands, you name it.  (I consider this payback for the way she used to sneak my clothes out of my closet when we were in high school.  She’d show up later in the day wearing my ultra cool outfits.  How’s that for nervy?)

But I digress.  Back to my eviction.  Eventually all of Nancy’s good deeds paid off. I healed and just never bothered to grab my dog and move out.

Why would I?  With a king sized bed and a gi-normous flatscreen, even a special chair for me to write in (when I wasn’t watching TV or staring at the lake) I was set. Yep, I settled in for the long haul.

But, alas, all good things must come to an end, right?  Nancy just happened to find a whole ‘nother family to fill her basement.  (Now how did that happen?) so I got the boot!

It’s not so bad though.  I did go home and it’s great . . . I just may have to upgrade my television though.  Bigger really is better!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple

 
So Harlan Coben and I were on a panel at the RWA conference in NYC this past week.  Since I’m a big fan of his, I was very excited and I had planned to share some uber-exciting pictures of the event.  But you know what they say about “the best laid plans . . .”  Of course the person who worked the camera, couldn’t get it into focus—uh, I know, it HAS auto focus—and all of the pics of the event are very blurry.
 
What I can show you is my hotel, or more precisely the exterior of the hotel—doesn’t every ritzy spot in New York come with its own gi-normous hand attached to it?—and tell you that the city was hot, teeming with people and noisy as all get-out.
 
In a nutshell:  I had a blast!
 
Who needs pictures anyway.  Right?

Monday, June 27, 2011

New York, NY

I'm in New York City this week for the national RWA conference and I am so thrilled! I'll be speaking on a panel Wednesday with one of my all-time favorite authors, Harlan Coben!! We've got the meetings with my publisher out of the way, so it's time to have some FUN.....not that my editor and the team at Kensington aren't fun....!!!!

A couple of my girlfriends came to town with me, and we plan to live it up! We're staying in Midtown, Times Square, to be exact. We'll take in a show, check out the city, dine in some fabulous restaurants, do some shopping, who knows?? The city is our playground!


My love for the Pacific Northwest will never change, it's my home, but there's just something about the east coast and New York City..... awe inspiring!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A visit to the new Seaside, OR library

I have to say, the new Seaside, OR library is beautiful. My sister, Nancy Bush and I piled into a minivan full of friends and headed to Seaside, OR for a speaking engagement. First we hit a local place for some Cajun fare, and then motored over to the event, where we met Jon Burke, the readers and the dogs, Theo and Wellsley, retired greyhounds who now assist their owners with balance.


Thanks so much to all who came. The interaction was fun and lively, we met quite a few avid fans! Always so much fun!

A great time was had by all, I mean, books, dogs, all at the beach (one of my favorite places on planet earth), how could it get better? Then our entourage (Nan’s husband and three friends from college) piled into the van again and drove down the coast, just at sunset.




Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Star is NOT Born

Here’s a sample of my acting skills . . . yeah, I know, don’t give up my day job.  Guess I won’t, cuz I love what I do, but Sister Nan and I thought this little video was a hoot and wanted to share it with you.  I don’t think Meryl Streep is shaking in her boots just yet!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

WICKED LIES


WICKED LIES is available today! I hope you'll have as much fun reading it as Nancy Bush and I did writing it! Yep, that's me and my sister, the sisters of suspense, as we like to call ourselves. This is the second, well actually third, book we've written together. The first was over 25 years ago and it was never published. The second was the prequel to WICKED LIES, WICKED GAME. We've had a blast writing together and are already gearing up for the third installation!

In WICKED LIES, the psychotic serial killer obsessed with The Colony, who we first met in WICKED GAME, has returned!! What will Laura do, and is Harrison Frost the man who can save her? To find out more or read an excerpt, visit my official website.

Check it out, if you dare!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm Back!

I know, I know, I started a blog and then went on vacation! Not my best move, but I'm back home, back to writing, back and waiting for summer, but that's a topic for another day.

I had the opportunity to visit Scotland, England, and the Netherlands. It was such a blast! There is so much rich history over there and so much to see! We couldn't do/see nearly all that we wanted, so I'm planning my European vacation, part deuce already! I thought I would share some fun pics with everyone, though.
  
This Scottish castle poised over the sea reminded me of writing some of my medieval romances, the first of which WILD AND WICKED is now available as an e-book. 
 It was incredible to walk the grounds and actually crawl through the mines that were dug as counter-attack tunnels when the enemy was burrowing under the moat!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

To Blog or Not to Blog.....

Well, obviously the answer to this question is TO blog. Yes, I've been on the fence about it for a long time, but I thought, "ya know, a writer who doesn't blog is kinda like a veterinarian without his trusty four-legged friend." So I'm doing it and hopefully I'll meet some cool new people and learn a few new things!

Join me on my journey. I'll keep you up-to-date on all the latest happenings with Lisa Jackson, new contests, upcoming appearances and the latest releases. I'll share some of my writing insights and maybe get some advice on my latest hurdle. Who knows? I think it'll be fun!

Here's the latest video trailer for my upcoming book, WICKED LIES.