Monday, March 31, 2008


Hello Blog World!
My name is Cristian and I am a ROCK STAR! Shhhhh. She might hear me. I am almost 2 years old and I've mastered the art of Hijacking. Hijacking my Aunt Deb's blog that is. We've got to keep it hush hush here my friends, she doesn't have a clue that I, with my two year old mind, memorized her password and took over this blog... for one post. I don't want to be in too much trouble.

I know that most of you like kids... so this is the perfect place for me! I wanted to share some of my recent pictures with you. I looooove the camera. I probably get that from my Grandma who is a camera fanatic.

Anyway, I rocked it out at my Aunt Deb's house and she took some pictures of me, and Elmo of course, getting down!

This is my Elmo guitar. I love Music! Especially 60's!

This is me rocking it out to We Will Rock You by that American Idol guy with the strange voice.

This is me jamming to my favorite song - No One by Alicia Keyes. Yes, babies do have taste in music!

GUESS WHAT?! I learned how to do the wave last night! My mommy and Aunties were doing this thing with their arms in the air... didn't look to hard. I started with one swoop, then I figured out that my arm can go back and forth above my head with the music... clever. For some reason my Mommy and Aunt Cat and Deb thought it was the funniest thing.

Okay, no more after this because I hear my Aunt Deb coming, that means lots of slobbery kisses and too much hugging. For some reason she always wants to pick me up, HELLO, I am almost two!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Deep in The Heart of Trouble

Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. Ooooooh my!

I had a bad day on Thursday... Work is crazy and I was in a plain ol' stinky mood. I got home and found a package sitting by the door... what could this be? I had ordered a book online so I got excited as I opened this up until I saw the return address... "Hmmmm".

I ripped the package open and guess what was in there?

I about fell over! That may seem extreme, but if you love books like I do and you saw this, you would have too. Believe me! I screamed like a 5 year old at Disneyland!

I have been waiting for this book for over a year! I won an Advanced Readers Copy of the first book, Courting Trouble, in February 2007. Deep in the Heart of Trouble hits stores in May 2008... I was counting the days.

Deeanne Gist is a phenomenal author who opened my eyes to a whole new world of reading! I "met" her a while back and became a moderator on her chat room with three other awesome women. Dee treats us so well and I don't feel like I'm really doing anything in return! I love being in the chat room talking with fellow book lovers and the highlight of it all is that I've made some great friends there.

Thank you Dee for spoiling us! I appreciate it so very much.

I am putting away all books for two weeks, 8 days to go.... Oh, Lord help me! Do you think He's testing me? lol

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Politics Anyone?

I am not one to chat about politics all the time, let alone anytime. I'd much rather chat about American Idol, but I came across this blog today and it triggered thoughts, This is John McCain's daughter, Megan. She's 23 years old and her blog shows a personal side to the campaign trail. Gives you a better idea of the man. If you are a McCain supporter, check out this blog. Pretty cool.

I personally don't think there is much of a candidate choice this political season. I have very firm beliefs that I am not going to share on here, because they would just cause issues and I don't care to cause rifts. lol. But, I can say that I will not vote for a Democrat this year. Not because they are a Democrat, but because their views and their lifestyles don't match me or where I want our Country to go. Come Fall, I will vote for John McCain. I don't agree with everything he campaigns, but I do agree with a lot more than Clinton and Obama.

On a lighter note... Check out this hilarious, corny video:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Picture This... God's Canvas

I got this in an email today... Taken in California.
"The Day God Spilled The Paint"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday! I'm not sure what kind of a week it is going to be, but as of this morning it's dreary. If I have anything to do with it it will get better! Hopefully.
I had a great Easter. My grandmother always prepares a scrumptious dinner and we just sit around and gab and do nothing.

One of my co-workers that assist me with about 75% of my work decided not to show up today, so that added a cloud to the morning and serious frustration.


My mom has an appointment with her surgeon this morning. She had her regular MRI on Friday, they'll see if the tumor shrunk or if there are any changes. Please pray for her today. My mom is confidence and faith in itself. She has no worries and doesn't care if the surgeon has a bad report, she trust in God wholeheartedly. Wish I was able to say that I can do the same... =)


I finished Wedding Bell Blues over the weekend, excellent book! Thanks for the recommendation, Shauna. Redemption, lesson on forgivness and just sweet and romantic. I loved it! Some parts were deep, some were outright hilarious. Did anyone think it was kind of funny that the guys name is Josh Turner and he was a music star? Reminded me of Josh Turner the country star. Hmm.

I am not starting another book for a couple of weeks. I've been using all my spare time reading, I decided to fast it for a couple of weeks. Pure torture. I am anxious to start the Mitford series... but I can do it! I can not read for 2 weeks. I can! lol

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just a Friday Post...

I have been posting a lot this week. I have lots of nonsense to say and funny things to share! I saw this video yesterday and knew that you all would get a kick out this.


Lady of Milkweed Manor
I recently finished Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen. I don't why, but it didn't really appeal to me that much. I think there was potential for a great book, but it just didn't happen for me. I must say though that this is one that you should read for yourself. I think I made the mistake of reading this so soon after my mind was still in Boston with the O'Connor family... that may have been the issue. No real review here for this one, I would rather you come up with your own opinions.


I'm Reading...
Wedding Bell Blues. I am sure this will be a winner, I've heard great reviews and am looking forward to sharing my own thoughts next week, even though I am sure everyone's read this already. Apparently this is book 1 and there are more...How's the 2nd one? I also have on my to be read list: At Home in Mitford (book 1), The Silk House (book1). I am now the last one to read the Mitford series!


Easter Sunday
I am excited about Easter. My family gets together at my grandparents home, we eat ham with all the trimmings and just relax until we head off to church in the evening. Easter is one of my favorite services, I love the atmosphere, everyone is dressed up and ready to celebrate.

I am thankful that God robed Himself in flesh, dwelt on this earth and paid the ultimate sacrifice, for me and you. He great, I love Him with my whole heart!

I won't be posting until next week, so Happy Easter! Remember the reason and celebrate!


If you're looking for a good movie for the weekend, August Rush (click to watch trailer) is phenomenal! It came out on DVD this week. I haven't seen a movie this good in ages. Must see and family friendly!

St.Patty's Food

I love cooking and trying new things. I think that food and the way it's presented is an art. I have pondered several times whether or not to drop what I am doing, career wise, and go to culinary school. Being in Southern California, there are a few world-renowned culinary schools close by. I never went through with it but I have scoped out the options... maybe someday. I wanted to show some pictures from our Irish dinner on St. Patrick's Day. May not look like art, especially the blob of green below, but it was good!

Something to make your stomach growl...
Corned Beef & Cabbage with Potatoes

Green Stuff

No, I am not kidding, this yummy dessert is called "Green Stuff", not very pretty, but it taste like heaven in your mouth!

"Green Stuff"

Serves 18

Combine the first 3 ingredients and press into a 9" x 12" pan. Bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Cream sugar and cheese and fold in Cool Whip. Spread over cooled crust. Blend together milk and instant puddings. Pour over cheese layer. Cover with remaining half of Cool Whip and sprinkle with nuts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dave

Happppy 23rd Biiiirthday!
David Johnathan

(Isn't he handsome!)

Today is my little brother's birthday. He is the baby of the family, yet he insist on telling people that he is older. No one questions it since he tends to treat me like the little sister and he towers over me. He's been my partner in crime, nagging little brother, confidante, best friend. I admire him.

(Dave and Stephanie)

David, I think your catching up to me! I won't see you until the weekend *sniff*, first time in 23 years! But I'm thinking of you and hoping that you have fun today, even without ME. I love, love, love you! - Deb

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Picture This...Redneck Mansion

(click to enlarge)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Book Giveaway / St. Patrick's Day

And The Winner Is...

Congratulations, Patty! I know you will enjoy this book!


Thank you to everyone that stopped by and left a comment this past weekend. If you haven't read this amazing book, go out and buy it! It's wonderful!


Beannachtai na Feile Padraig aka Happy St Patrick's Day! I am one proud Irish woman, well, mostly Irish. I love my heritage and today is a big day in our home. We'll celebrate with an Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage. Yum.

Have a GREEN day today, and If you have no Irish blood in you, try not to get pinched!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Julie Lessman

About the Author:
Julie Lessman is a debut author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. Her first book in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure, was released January 2008, followed by the second in September 2008, A Passion Redeemed, and the third in February 2009. Visit her Web site at

Interview with Julie Lessman for Passion Most Pure

What inspired you to be a writer?

Four life-altering words: Gone With the Wind. When I read that novel at the age of 12, I was swept away into the world of romance for the very first time. It captured me like no other book had done, and I immediately set out to write (along with thousands of other love-struck young girls, I’m sure), what I hoped would be “the great American novel.” Obviously my dreams of grandeur didn’t go anywhere (grin), but I did write 150 pages of a story that became the basis (some forty years later!) for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure.

I am curious as to how you came up with the concept of this story line. Did something spark your imagination?

Well, as you know, A Passion Most Pure is the story of a close-knit Irish-Catholic family in pre-WWI Boston where a love triangle occurs between two sisters and the bad-boy hero. As one of 13 children (in a family that included 10 girls!), I guess you can say I experienced my fair share of sibling rivalry. I often butted heads with my sister who was two years older than me. She was … ahem … quite voluptuous and very attractive to boys while I was … well, basically not! J I was so skinny, in fact, that when I played on a girls’ softball team, my older brother commented: “What position do you play? The foul line?” Needless to say, the idea of competing with my beautiful sister for a boy’s affection was deeply rooted in my childhood, which, as I mentioned above, is when I started writing this novel at the age of 12, after reading Gone With the Wind.

What made you center the story on an Irish family?

Grin. One guess … Gone With the Wind. The idea of an Irish family (The O’Hara family in GWTW), and Scarlett, in particular, seeded my fertile imagination like nothing had ever done. From that point on, I LOVED anything Irish and especially anything that had to do with GWTW. So much so, that when I was in high school, I actually dressed up as a nun to go to a free showing of GWTW for the local religious and clergy. One of my friends had a sister in the convent, so she loaned us novice habits and off we went! I sat there mesmerized, shoving free popcorn into my mouth as I watched the tug-o-war between Rhett and Scarlett. It was one of the most fun times of my teens … until we ran into the nuns from our high school! Whew, we got into trouble … but it was soooo worth it (at least at the time!).

I compared the O'Connor family to a family that was portrayed in a 1944 film, titled Meet Me In St. Louis. This movie was based on the Smiths, a real family. I was unaware that you lived in St. Louis. Did the Smiths ever come to mind?

No, I can’t actually say that they did, although Meet Me in St. Louis is a favorite movie of mine, especially since I am from both St. Louis and a large family. But I truly appreciate the compliment, because, yes, I can see the similarity now that you mention it. Uh, all except the closeness between the sisters, which I assure you, gets remedied BIG TIME in Book 3, A Passion Denied. That book of all three in the series, typifies the true big-family fun of Meet Me in St. Louis because everybody gets along … well, almost. J

How do you choose your character’s names?

Mostly, I just go with what feels right. For instance, in the original manuscript I wrote at the age of 12, the heroine’s name was Faith O’Connor, just like in A Passion Most Pure (which, of course, is based on that early manuscript). Of course, I wasn’t a girl of “faith” then, so I’m not sure why I named her that, but I did. Ironically, it suits her perfectly in A Passion Most Pure because she is the consummate woman of “faith.”

Both of the parents’ names, Marcy and Patrick, were also from that early manuscript, and I think I named “Marcy” after a girl I knew in grade school (I know, I know, it doesn’t really sound like an Irish name, which is why I included that her full name was Marceline). And “Patrick” was just “the” Irish male name to have back then.

But I did rename Faith’s rival sister, Charity, and the bad-boy hero, Collin, because their names were … are you ready?? Del, short for “Delatha,” and “Bart.” Don’t even ask me what I was thinking at the age of 12 except that I do remember liking the TV show Maverick, which featured a handsome character named Bart Maverick. I finally settled on Charity’s name because Faith had a twin named “Hope” who died at the age of nine, and I was going for “Faith, Hope and Charity.” And Collin’s name, pure and simple, came from a listing of Irish male names. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I LOVE Collin Firth …

Is there a part of you in your characters?

Uh, I’m afraid so! Faith, the sister heroine of A Passion Most Pure is basically my spiritual self. Both of us have an intimate relationship with God where we talk and pray with Him as naturally as if He were physically in the room. He’s our best friend as well as our Savior and the true love of our lives. In fact, Faith and I are so much alike in the spiritual aspect, that a good friend of mine told me that reading A Passion Most Pure was “like going to lunch with me!” I hope that’s a good thing—not real sure! J

Charity, the sister heroine of Book 2, A Passion Redeemed, is my rebellious and “passionate” self, before I came to the Lord. I was a wild child of the seventies before Jesus got a hold of me (as he does Charity in Book 2).

Lizzie (or Beth), the sister heroine of Book 3, working title A Passion Denied, is my dreamer self. Lizzie is a bookworm bent on fairytale romance, just like I used to be as a little girl, sneaking downstairs to watch romantic movies after my parents went to bed. In her story, Lizzie has to learn (just like I did) that true romance, the kind that really satisfies, comes from following God’s precepts, not the world’s.

Has the fact that you are writer changed the way you read a book?

Unfortunately, yes. I have been to so many writing classes and seminars, read so many writing books, entered so many contests and had so many critique partners, that I have learned A LOT about writing in the five years it took for me to get published. So, I have to admit, I am a bit picky about what I read. I am crazy about romance, but also crazy about God, and I found there wasn’t much in the Christian market that combined the two passionately enough to satisfy me. So I … uh … wrote my own.

Have you ever suffered from “writer's block”? If so, what releases your creativity?

Gosh, I haven’t been writing long enough to encounter too much of that yet, thank God, but I did “hit the wall” on Book 3 of my Daughters of Boston series (A Passion Denied) while I was reading the work of another author who I greatly admire. Unfortunately, the other author’s book was SO good, that every time I sat down at the computer, I felt like puking on the keyboard because mine didn’t measure up. Now I know we are not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but we are human beings after all, and I gotta tell you, I got discouraged and couldn’t write for three months.

What releases my creativity? Pressing into God. When I got blue while writing Book 3, I felt like he wanted me to “fast” reading all other books but the Bible and just seek Him in prayer, which I did. And He is faithful. I experienced a spiritual break-through and picked up where I’d left off on Book 3. Now, even though I had considered Book 3 my least favorite of all three books, most everyone who has read it so far says it’s the best of all three novels, which I totally attribute to God’s wisdom and direction! And now I love it too!

What is your favorite pastime?

Oh, you mean how I USED to spend my free time? That’s easy: watching old movies (Gone With the Wind, That Touch of Mink, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Susan Slept Here are some of my favorites), reading more books, gardening and hosting elaborate dinner parties a la Martha Stewart. I’m pretty driven in whatever I do (anal might be a better word). And, yes, I’ve been known to pipe guest’s initials into their twice-baked potatoes, cut napkin rings out of real lemons to hold lemon green beans, and sketch a layout for how the food would be placed on the plate. Which was fine when I was younger and had the energy to do it, but these days, sitting at my computer with a candle burning and a cup of Hazelnut Cinnamon coffee is my pastime of choice.

One last question, what is one thing that you want to bring to readers from this series, The Daughters of Boston?

The MOST important thing I pray that this series “brings” to readers is the reality of how natural and fulfilling an intimate relationship with God can and SHOULD be. Like breathing. This book may be fiction, but this is NOT a fairy tale here. It is possible to have a living, breathing relationship with the God of the Universe. He’s crazy about us, and if most people really understood that, their lives would turn on a dime and blessings would overtake them. And as I said before, I KNOW this firsthand—I used to be a hard, cynical, coarse human being before God pulled me up by the scruff of the neck and said, “Yo, Julie! Get a clue. You’re the apple of my eye!” J He’s been the love of my life ever since.

Deb, thank you SO much for having me on your blog! This was fun! Hugs, Julie

Julie - Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I'll be counting the days until the 2nd book in the Daughters of Boston trilogy is released. I agree, this was fun! - Deb


Leave a comment between March 14th - March 16th. Names will be drawn and a winner will be picked on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th! If you do not have a blog where I can contact you, please leave your email. Good Luck!

If you don't win, you can buy this book here.


My thoughts on A Passion Most Pure here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Do you read warning signs? Driving down the road? In stores? I rarely do, but after seeing these important warnings, I will now be sure to read warning signs everywhere! Or maybe not...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Heads Full of Blah

** Whining Begins Here**
Blah. That is how I feel. I am one of the few people I know that rarely gets a headache. I could go months without feeling a twinge in the head. When I do get a twinge, it's just that, a twinge. It last for no more than an hour or so and it's done and over with for another few months. Not the case today. See this picture? This is what I see everywhere!
I've had a headache for over 36 hours... and it doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon.
I had a whole story about how my headache made it's way into town, but I would so much rather not bore you with the details... lol
** Whining Ends Here**


On a much lighter note, I finished Chateau of Echoes by Siri L. Mitchell. Great book. If you love France, food, history and romance, you'll love this book. I can't compare it to any other Siri Mitchell book. It has it's own feel, not like any others except for the fact that it brings another country to you. The story is told between nowadays and the 15th century. You become a tourist and historian.
I'm onto Lady of Milkweed Manor by Jane Klassen.... That is once I can get this headache/migraine to disappear.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Books & Singing... What More Do You Need?

It's been a blast having Julie Lessman around here! I'll be doing an interview with her on March 14th and giving away a book, thanks to Julie!

Speaking of book giveaways, I stumbled on Julie Carobini's blog a few days back and left a comment to be in a drawing for her new book, Truffles by the Sea. I've never read a book by her, but I have heard great reviews. Stop on over, she has a beautiful blog. I believe today is the last day to be in the drawing for the giveaway...


Is anyone else an American Idol fan? I know Shauna is, we seem to have the same taste in singers. Last night was a great night in my book. I find that I am pretty fickle where the girls are concerned, but my heart is set on David Archuleta for the guys. This kid is amazing. Below is a video of him singing for the first season contestants in a hotel lobby.

This is one of my favorite performances so far this season, loved it!

Another great singer is Brooke White. Her tone is beautiful. She can sing anything, according to me, and make it interesting.


I made some changes to my blog. You'll notice that there is a new set of links to the right, Daily Photo Blogs. I want to do this so bad, I just don't have the time or the camera. Maybe someday I'll be able to show the OC through my eyes.

I also added my "bookshelf" from Shelfari. At the bottom is my favorites. You can click on this to see what I'm reading, what I own, my wish list... if you want to that is. lol. I just like to look at it. Me and my book obsession.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Passion Most Pure

Novel by Julie Lessman

I bought this book after reading the review on Edgy Inspirational Blog. I had a hard time getting past the first chapter because time would not permit me. After sitting myself down and making myself read, I couldn't put this book down. I carried it everywhere. I read it the moment I woke up, while the iron was warming, while my curlers were heating up, and I dressed early for work so I could sit on the couch and get some reading in before I had to leave. I read it in the car, under my desk (only one time, after I gave in to the temptation), and on my breaks (which I never take). I have never done this with any other book... any book. I can't get the characters out of my head or put this book down.

I don't do reviews... but, I did want to share with you what I thought of this book.

The story is told in different characters points of view. Not just the main characters. The O'Connor family resembles the Smiths in Meet Me In St. Louis. The easy banter, arguments, love for each other, and sibling rivalry pulls you into the fold right from the beginning . It reminded me so much of my own family. The fact that they were Irish was a thrill. The Irish blood in me took over...

The book started right off with a bang, no waiting for romance to develop. You got in the head of Faith and Collin and felt the attraction between the two. There were so many ups and downs, I didn't know which way the book was going, but I definitely wanted to hold on for the ride.

Throughout the whole story there was a message of how God feels for us and how we should feel for Him. How he fits into the life of a marriage and a romantic relationship in general.

I was angry at times with how things turned and then they would turn back to how I wanted them and then turn again... I can say, this book was not predictable. I cried, laughed and cringed.

The book was lengthy but everything, I mean everything belonged. Towards the end I wanted the book to end, I needed some closure (and some sleep). Something to put my mind at ease! This so rarely happens; I usually want the book to keep going and stay involved with the characters, but I really wanted things to settle by the last few pages (I mean this in a good way). Even in the end there are so many twist and turns.

Whatever you do, do not peek in the back. I don't understand how people can do this, but I was so tempted to on this one... DON'T! It's so worth it not to.

I was reminded of the verse, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. Romans 8:28

I still cannot believe that this is a debut novel. I can't wait to get my hands on A Passion Redeemed in September. Seven long months... Oy.