Return to Laughter by Jameson Parker

Return to Laughter by Jameson Parker

Jameson Parker. I swiped this photo from his website, which is why there’s a big BIO across the front of it. Sorry, JP!

Jameson Parker 

I found Jameson Parker to be intelligent, charismatic, and possessing a wickedly dry sense of humor. He is a forthright man and boy, does he know his way around words!

I read his book An Accidental Cowboy back in December. A memoir told in chunks of chopped up time, his experiences, the way he writes, just dug its hooks into me and after reading it I felt like I knew him.  I knew we were friends, and there were all these things I could say to him that he’d get, because I knew him. Which to me is amazing, since I read a lot – and I’ve never had that connection to the writer like that before this book. Plus, I’d never met the man, so it felt kinda really weird, that connection to his words.

Of course, when I did get a chance to meet him not that long ago, I kept my mouth shut because JP is a very private person. And his beautiful wife would have decked me had I been inappropriate. Which I also knew, from reading An Accidental Cowboy. Yes, you should pick up that book!

And for those of you who are thinking, wasn’t Jameson Parker an actor? Yes, he was. For 30 years. He played opposite Gerald McRaney on Simon & Simon for 8 years. (He’s not that other Parker, so put that out of your mind right now.)

But this post isn’t about that.

Jameson Parker has a new book out that I can’t wait to get my hands on, and that I had to share with you.  It’s called Return to Laughter, and it’s – well, here’s the blurb for you.

cover of the book Return to Laughter
Return to Laughter
is an insider’s account of the rise and fall and bittersweet redemption of a wild and wildly ambitious young star. Young Rocky Stone rebels against the stuffy and circumscribed world of his upbringing and climbs up the acting ladder to the top of the most glamorous profession there is, a world of wealth, fame, and privilege, as well as sex, drugs, and self-destruction. The birth of a child stops Rocky Stone’s downward spiral, but Hollywood is also a world where cheating and embezzlement are ways of life, and lives are considered disposable. When real disaster strikes, can a little girl save him?

Perhaps a novel, perhaps a roman à clef, perhaps a biography, Return to Laughter weaves reality and fiction together to paint a portrait of Hollywood that is as true today as it has always been, a transient place of youth and beauty and adoration and the shadow of something evil.

So – it’s a little bit tell-all, a little bit biography – with a heaping helping of fictionalized reality is my guess. Can you see why I’m interested in reading this book? Just as soon as I’m done reading my “homework” novels…

Jameson’s Author Page on Amazon: Go HERE.

Jameson’s Website:

Do me a favor, please?

Click on the links to his books (above or below) and then click “like” on those books on Amazon. I love this man’s writings, I treasure the time I spent with him in his kitchen drinking coffee, and the only way I know how to repay him for that time is to share him and his novels with you. And, in a way, share you with him. He doesn’t have a writing support fellowship like I do; so I’d really, really appreciate it if you’d help him out.

I believe in the power of social media, and in the generosity of writers. I’d like you, my friends, to help me turn Jameson Parker into a believer, too. If I’m very lucky, I’ll have him on the blog some day with an interview. We shall see! In the meantime, let’s get those “likes” to above 100, shall we? Pass it on to your friends!

One commenter will receive an ecopy of either Return to Laughter or An Accidental Cowboy from me. Just make sure you let me know what number you are in the comments when you “like” either Return to Laughter or An Accidental Cowboy  – if you “like” both, you’ll get entered twice in the drawing (I am VERY proud to say that I was the first “like” – Number 1 – for both those books!), and make sure you leave your email in the comments so I can gift you a copy from Amazon. This giveaway will end at midnight on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013.

So – when was the last time you felt you knew the author, just by reading their words? I’d love to know!

~ Until the next time, cheers! ~


Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?

Goal Setting 101- How do you do it?

Goal Setting 101- How do you do it?

Goal setting. Do the words send shivers down your spine, or do they make you want to dig out your day planner and your prettiest pen, and dig in?

I’ve studied goal setting under the Franklin Planner people; I’ve been a devotee for over twenty years of their system. I’ve learned goal setting (and mission planning) from Bob Mayer. I’ve done a five main goals for five years, completely under Debbie Macomber’s spell, during an RWA National Conference Keynote Luncheon.

And yet, I’m still figuring out how goal setting and I get along.  I know that a big mission is propped up with smaller tasks that must get done in order for the big mission to be successful. In other words, “life chunks” – those big rock goals – should be put into your life bucket first, so the smaller goals – those pebbles, the sand – can fit into and around the bigger goals. And your bucket still has room for water (lesser goals).

But I’m looking for more. I’m looking for your opinions. How do you set goals? How often do you review them? Do you have daily, weekly, monthly goals? A one year plan, five year plan, ten years? Career goals, personal goals, fitness goals? Do you separate out your goals (financial, fitness, career, house), or are they all a part of a master plan?

I’d love to know. Please leave a comment and tell me how you work your goals list. The comments will be open all week – and at the end of the week I’ll pick one lucky commenter to receive a $10 Amazon card as a thank you!

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?

Medusa – A Love Story Book Birthday!

Medusa – A Love Story Book Birthday!

  Some of the buzz around Sasha Summers’ new book Medusa – A Love Story – available now!

 “This tragic and beautiful retelling of one of the world’s oldest stories tackles the eternal battle between duty and happiness. Medusa, A Love Story broke my heart then filled in the cracks with joy. Sasha Summers is simply a mesmerizing new talent.” ~Stephanie Dray, Author of the critically acclaimed Song of the Nile

Astrid, Amazon review – “I have been waiting for weeks for this book to come out and I was not disappointed. A tragic love story of great depth and heartbreak. How Ariston pours his heart out to Hades brought tears to my eyes. Perfect for anyone who loves mythology and reading of the power of love.”

 “Sasha really had me feeling for Medusa’a plight. A really enjoyable read and I will definitely be reading more of her books.” Kay, Goodreads review

 “Medusa, A Love Story is a beautifully written story with characters who are stunningly alive and well crafted. A creative twist on mythology! If you’re into myth and/or romance you’ll be well pleased.”Raven, Amazon review

“The love between the hero and heroine is enviable. It’s what love stories are made for, really. It just tugged at me and kept me thinking about it long after I read the book.” ~Lynn Rush, author of Wasteland and Awaited.

“Beautifully and poetically written!” Jessi, Goodreads review

“This is a beautiful love story, and the beginning of a fantastic series. Do yourself a favor and read it as soon as it’s available. Sasha is a very gifted storyteller and has a rich way with words.” Allison, Goodreads review

Medusa Blurb:

It’s said love can change a person. Medusa wasn’t always a monster…

Medusa is ruled by duty, to her Titan father and the Goddess Athena. She has no room for the tenderness her warrior guard, Ariston, stirs. When Olympus frees her from service, her heart leads her into the arms of the guard she loves… and curses her as the creature with serpent locks.

Ariston goes to war with a full heart… and dreadful foreboding. He learns too late of the danger Medusa faces, alone, and a Persian blade sends him into the Underworld. But death, curses, nor the wrath of the Gods will keep him from returning to her.

Poseidon will use Greece’s war to get what he wants: Medusa. He does not care that she belongs to another. He does not care that she will be damned. He is a God, an Olympian, and she will be his…

Medusa, A Love Story book trailer:

Author Media Links:

Media Links:

Facebook Author Page:



Twitter: @sashawrites


Get your copy today, and find out what all the hype is about!

Dizzy in Today’s Publishing World

Dizzy in Today’s Publishing World

So, I just came back from the Desert Dreams conference, which was a wonderful experience (thanks to the Desert Rose chapter of RWA for a FABULOUS time!). I really want a partner in this writing endeavor, so I was focused on meeting with agents and hoping to stir some interest in my work – which I did, so yay me. (Now I’m behind. Again. So it goes!)

I also got to speak very informally with one of my editor-crushes, Brenda Chin (she’s just fantastic, and I’d go kayaking with her any time).  A big step for me – a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have known what to say or how to act. Anyway…

A good conference. No, a GREAT conference. Lots of goodness – lots of hugging old friends, meeting and cheering on new friends, and I’ve even been asked by a couple local RWA chapters to speak at their monthly meetings, so that was a kick. (I must get back to those ladies…)

And then, I opened my email today and saw this post from Kristen Lamb who I absolutely adore. It’s titled BIG SIX PUBLISHING IS DEAD – WELCOME THE MASSIVE THREE . Go ahead and click on that and read the article – I’ll wait.

Back already? So, basically, she says (and it’s really hard to disagree with her logic) that Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft/B&N are the new beasts on the publishing playground, and they will devour traditional publishing the way Apple first devoured music stores, and then devoured Kodak and their traditional film cameras (does anyone carry a camera any more?).  This is also much in alignment with what I heard from Bob Mayer this past weekend.

After the weekend I just had, this news (which isn’t really news) makes me dizzy. I am still firmly of the opinion that I don’t want to be my own publisher – I don’t want to work that hard. Writing the book is hard enough, thank you very much. However – I feel very much whipped around, like I’m on the edge of the tornado that is publishing now.

a photo of a tornado

Maybe I’ll “grow up” and get over it, and pub my own stuff. Maybe not. It’s still a discoverability issue – even if you get 70% of royalties on stuff you pub, if no one can find it and if no one buys it, that’s zero dollars. Actually, negative dollars since you’ve paid for the cover/editing/etc. If you make your work free, whoopee – that’s still no cash in your pocket, and no guarantee that anyone will go on to purchase from you. And no matter how much I love writing, am I willing to put book after book out there with no return? To be honest, I really don’t know. But it’s hard to put food on the table with a negative income, even when doing something I love.

So, still conflicted. Here’s a soothing photo of people kayaking. (Brenda, take note – if/when we work together, I’d LOVE to kayak with you!)

What about you? Are you thinking about taking the plunge? Have you already taken it? Are you resisting it with every fiber of your being, and now feel like a little dinosaur about to be eaten by the big T-Rex?

I love your opinions – lay them on me! Am I still firmly an ostrich, dancing, and is there anything wrong with that?

~ Until next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

Artichokes are Silly

Artichokes are Silly

Artichokes are silly. What I really want to know is who was the first brave soul to try to eat one? And did they use melted butter, or ranch dressing, or hollandaise sauce for dipping, or did they just start munching away without bothering to even cook it?

I caught a TV show today as I flopped on the couch, exhausted from the gym. It was some famous Italian cookbook author showing what to do with artichokes. I finally got up, got my notebook and a pen and took notes, since I have a forest of artichokes in my back yard – no kidding.

Now, I’m a good cook, but I often look for shortcuts that mostly involve the microwave. Not the pressure cooker, because the damn thing scares the bees knees out of me if you get my drift. (I think fear of the pressure cooker was passed down to me from my mother’s very DNA. Her mother apparently had a traumatic experience with one…) My best friend swore by her pressure cooker for artichokes, but it’s so totally against my grain that I found a shorter short cut in the microwave.

Normally I trim the stem so it’s flat, I cut the tops off so I don’t poke myself, then I wash them and, still dripping, pop them into a ziplock bag without closing it all the way. Then I put them in the microwave, hit the “fresh vegetables” button, and away they go.

(By the way, before I had a fresh vegetables button, I’d cook them for six minutes, twist them around so the inside was to the outside, burning my hands in the process, and put them in for another 4 to 5 minutes depending on size. )

But the lovely Italian chef wanted me to peel the fairly long (2″) stem until bright green showed. Then, after trimming as above, she suggested cutting them in half and putting them in a large pan. Add chicken stock, water, fresh chopped mint and parsley, and garlic and then cook away until they’re done. (I didn’t ever hear a time. Just “until they’re tender and cooked”. Um, okay.)

The theory went that, after you cooked them that way, the tough hairy choke would just pop out with the slightest pressure from a spoon. I’m sure it would; I’m also sure a lot of the nutrients of the artichoke would get left behind in the water it’s cooked in. But of course she had a suggestion for that as well – use that liquid as a kind of sauce over the artichoke.

And that’s where I kind of lost my patience with her. I mean, come on. Artichokes are a delivery system, pure and simple. They deliver either melted butter to your tongue, or freshly made hollandaise sauce (I’ve got an easy-peasy recipe, if anyone wants it). Maybe a ranch dressing. The nub of the artichoke is a bonus bit of tastiness.

Yes, the way I make artichokes means you have to physically cut out the choke; but really, it’s not so bad; just be careful with that sharp knife, especially if you’ve been drinking wine. And then you have more yummy artichoke to dunk in whatever butter may be left. (Not that I favor salty, yummy, melted butter with artichokes. Not at all. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin.)

Artichokes, if you live in a temperate climate, grow like weeds. I planted a couple of plants several years ago. If you knew me, you’d know that often things die in my garden because I forget to water. Hey, it gets hot here in summer, and when it’s over 100, I don’t go outside except to slip into an air-conditioned car. But these babies, once they’re established, don’t need any kind of regular watering. My garden is proof of that; if they did, I wouldn’t have a single artichoke plant out there by now.

The biggest of my plants is a globe artichoke, and it’s threatening my Bearss lime tree. It’s also spawned smaller plants. Those smaller plants are quickly growing big. We’ve taken eight artichokes off the plant this year so far and there are still four left. And that’s from one plant – we’ve now got six that produce, which makes my friends very happy.

So that’s my wisdom for today. Artichokes are silly. Hard to kill once established. And very good with hollandaise sauce! (Or butter. Seriously.)

~   ~   ~

Have you read DEMON SOUL yet? You can find it at Crescent Moon Press or Happy Reading!