I’m back on the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop site, where I was named Humor Writer of the Month in January 2014, with a personal essay about “My Hot and Cold Marriage.”Read All Entries
Wednesday, 20 January 2016
You know how much we love our Viking river cruises.
Well, we just booked our first Viking Ocean Cruise — yes, Viking is now cruising on the ocean, too! — and we are so excited.
We were even more excited after I received an amazing email with the subject line, “12 Musts for Lois’ Great Adventure on the Viking Star,” from My Viking Agent, CBA, who has become a real friend after helping us plan our Portraits of Southern France and Heart of Germany river cruises last year.
She had just come back from a shorter version of the cruise we’ll be taking on the Viking Star, and she couldn’t stop raving about the ship. We had read all the amazing reviews of the Viking Star, which has already won all the top industry awards in its first year, but she made it really personal by sharing her favorite experiences, all of which can (and will) be replicated by us — and all of you! read full story »
Thursday, 14 January 2016
After 34 years of marriage, there are bound to be rough patches when every conversation seems to turn into an argument. When you pass each other in the kitchen without saying a word. When you spend most of the day – and sometimes the night – in separate rooms.
Unfortunately, it was during one of those patches last spring that Michael and I were finally offered a Viking River Cruise, the trip we’d been hoping for since I started travel writing. For years, we had drooled over the gorgeous commercials before every episode of Downton Abbey, picturing ourselves holding hands as we lazily floated down the Rhine or the Rhone, surrounded by magnificent scenery.
Now, all we could picture was being captive together in a small room in the middle of the water. read full story »
Tuesday, 12 January 2016
My daughter and I were invited to spend a few days at Mii Amo at Enchantment Resort in Sedona last summer, where we indulged in simply luxurious treatments at Mii amo Spa and luxuriously simple meals by Chef Alex Pasco at Mii amo Cafe.
We were expecting healthy but boring food — it’s a spa cafe, after all — but we were so blown away by the fresh ingredients, delightful tastes and unique combinations, we ended up eating almost every meal there.
In fact, we were in such a blissful state, we decided to have a little chat with Chef Alex.
In our robes, of course. read full story »
Monday, 11 January 2016
The new season of Dancing With the Stars doesn’t start for another couple of months and, I don’t know about you, but I need a fix so I’m posting my phone interview with Rumer Willis, who won Season 20 with cutie pie Val Chmerkovskiy. read full story »
Monday, 11 January 2016
Although the holiday craziness is over, in some ways this time of year is even busier. We’re trying to start 2016 off right by running to the gym, organizing our closets and signing up for classes.
But what we often forget in our desire for self-improvement is that one of the best things we can do for ourselves is slow down and take time to do the things we want to do rather than the things we think we should do.
“Yeah, right,” you’re thinking. “Like there’s even 10 minutes in the day to do that.”
I hear you. And that’s why I jumped at the chance to review The Fringe Hours Collection from (in)courage, Hallmark and Revell books. read full story »
Friday, 8 January 2016
I’ve met amazing women through blogging and I wanted to end my Book Week by paying tribute to them and recommending some of the great books they’ve written, especially since they’re all non-fiction and many of you have requested suggestions in that genre.
You now have a solid reading list to get the year started for you and, because it would be helpful to also have a planner to keep track of them and everything else you want to do, I’m giving away a couple more of the fantastic Choices notebooks I’ve written about before from another blogging friend, Kimberley Montgomery.
You can enter below but first check out these eclectic titles. Happy reading, and I’m glad I’m traveling again soon so I can find time to read a new batch of books! read full story »
Thursday, 7 January 2016
Thanks to Harmony Books for sponsoring this post. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine.
Losing weight has got to be the most common New Year’s resolution — it always seems to be one of mine — so I was eager to read The Prime: Prepare and Repair Your Body for Spontaneous Weight Loss.
Of course, I liked the idea of spontaneous weight loss. And I liked the fact that the book was written by integrative neurologist, Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, above. I always prefer a holistic approach and the fact that one was grounded so strongly in science really appealed to me.
Plus, I was intrigued by the message on the cover that said, “Stop Dieting Backward!” What did that mean? read full story »
Wednesday, 6 January 2016
It seems like every thriller that comes out now is compared to Gone Girl.
In fact, I’ve actually read a number of books simply because they were billed as “the next Gone Girl” or “the new Gone Girl.” And you know what? They weren’t.
I had such high hopes for The Girl on the Train but, sorry, I didn’t love it. I loved the idea of it and I love that Emily Blunt will be starring in the movie but the story just didn’t have that OMG moment that made me sit upright in bed when I had the flu and was reading Gone Girl. You know exactly which moment I mean.
The only book that actually did make me gasp like that was The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, which you have to read. I can see my mom and daughter nodding in agreement.
What publishers need to know is that we can still like thrillers that have nothing to do with Gone Girl. And we may even like them better because we’re not going into them with this new gold standard of expectations.
So, for your reading pleasure, here are six new thrillers that will keep you reading late into the night.
And, just to be clear, they probably won’t remind you of Gone Girl. read full story »
Tuesday, 5 January 2016
Okay, I’m devoting this first week of the new year to books. I’m determined to get back into my reading habit this year, and I know so many of you feel the same way.
Yesterday I posted my interview with Elizabeth Gilbert about Big Magic. If you have the itsy bitsy slightest desire to do something creative – write, paint, sew, whatever – but you have come up with a million reasons why you can’t do it, YOU MUST READ HER BOOK. And, lucky for you, I’m giving away a copy so go enter now and then come back here. I’ll wait.
I read a lot of books last year – mostly while traveling, which may actually be part of the appeal of travel writing for me – but I’m only going to write about the ones I recommend. Life is too short to waste on negative reviews and attention spans are too short for books that are mediocre.
So, here are half a dozen books to curl up with while El Nino keeps you housebound. I tried to cover different genres so there’s something to fit any mood. As always, please let me know what you’re reading. read full story »