Books & Flicks

On My Nightstand:


From the back cover: When Dan meets knock-out redhead Shel the attraction is instant. before the night is out they’ve run away together to begin a new life as ‘gentlemen’ marijuana smugglers. But their adventures end abruptly when they are arrested. In exchange for a light sentence for Shel, Dan takes a hard fall.
Ten long years later, Dan is out. Prison has changed him, but his love for Shel remains true. Despite probation conditions which forbid any contact with her, he is determined to track her down — and sets in motion a most brutal and unexpected chain of events . . .

Justin Cronin’s THE PASSAGE

From the inside flap: It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die. Another to be born.
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by far — of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. Wolgast is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors, but for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey — spanning miles and decades — toward the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.



















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This Writer’s Life: Life in the American Hotel Part I

 “This place is a total shit hole. The manager who lives on site is constantly drunk, high or both and rarely fixes problems residents have. The shower/restrooms (which all residents have to share) are moldy, bug infested swamps. The common areas (hallways and stairwells) constantly reek of B.O., piss, weed and cigarette butts.”      — Review of the American Hotel on, 2009

 And you thought your apartment was bad. In 1991, I was in my 20s and had just moved out of 2777 Francis Street into a 200-square-foot studio apartment at The American Hotel in downtown L.A./Skid Row, above an infamous punk rock venue, Al’s Bar.

“Don’t do it. This place is a total hole in the wall. The manager who lives on site seemed a little drunk and confused.”    — Anthony J. (on Los Angeles City

 I could tell how good — or bad — the band was from my futon all the way up on the fourth floor. The apartment was near my job at a Mexican cantina on the border of East L.A where I waited on gangbangers and off-duty LAPD officers who got shit-faced and brawled in the bathrooms.

“This place is a good place to start if you have very low standards of living and you just moved to L.A. rent is about $450 (utils included) monthly for a single room occupancy (you don’t get your own bathroom and there is no cooking facilities.)” — Review of the American Hotel on, 2009

I shared thin walls and two communal bathrooms with other down-and-outers: Melissa, who kept a human-size cage in her room. Dennis, the poet who hauled a black coffin up four flights and made it into his entertainment center. A has-been cover model named Nicole who whipped out her Uzi and stood sentry on the roof during the riots. Stevie, who was bitter and angry after being diagnosed as HIV positive. Two corn-fed Iowan boys, who worked as bike messengers, and made a hobby out of screwing as many girls in our building as they could manage – sometimes at the same time.

The same time, as in, an orgy.

I listened, wide-eyed, the next morning when the girls told me the stories at the coffee shop downstairs, their hair messy and eyes bleary with lack of sleep as they puffed on their Marlboro Lights.

“I was kind of shocked at the anger of the first review. I supposed not everyone can grasp how amazing the American Hotel really is. This place is for real artists, real artists that want to live and breath this amazing lifestyle.It’s so inspiring to live and work at the American Hotel, to be in the heart of The Arts District, and to be working and living beside so many talented people. I’m glad that some people can’t handle living in The Arts District. That just leaves more room for girls like me, who live their dream everyday.” —Arts District “Rock Star” C. (2010 review on

 Dear Reader: Will you stay tuned for more about this writer’s life in the American Hotel?


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Weekend Inspirations: Mysteristas

I just joined a lovely group of women mystery writers on a new blog.


We’re mystery writers who love to talk about reading, writing, and other relevant topics.

Please join us in an interactive tweeting session on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. Hashtag: #mysteristas

Meanwhile, check out our page:

The lovely Cynthia Kuhn put together the page, including suggesting we all get Mad Men Avatars. Too much fun. Also, check out the ABOUT page to see how we all “look”. (Mine is above!)



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Food Friday: Roasted Asparagus & Eggs


1 bunch asparagus
Olive Oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
4 large eggs
2 ounces shaved Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss asparagus with oil and season with salt. Bake on baking sheet about 15 minutes or until tender.
2. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, heat balsamic vinegar and sugar over medium high until reduced to a syrup.
3. Fill large skillet with about 2 inches of water and bring to simmer. Add cider vinegar and season with salt. Break egg into mug or small bowl and then tip into skillet, one at a time. Cook until whites set and yolks soft but nearly set.
4. On four separate plates, arrange asparagus and drizzle with balsamic syrup and sprinkle with Parm shavings.

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Snapshots: Things I Love

Notice, the title is “things” I love. Of course, I love nothing more than the people in my life, but this is about “things” so there you go:


MacBook Pro

Booze. Mostly wine.

My Moleskine journal

Book! Always books.

Confession: I'm a boot whore.

My kid's art

My kid's art

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