TGIF Blog Party – Drop in, lose the winter blues and do some shameless BSP!

Back in August, I threw a TGIF blog party, and lots of folks stopped by, so I decided to throw another one. The view from my window is wintry, but not in a good way – cold, gray, and windy, with the limbs of the dead tree outside my window threatening to crash down on the roof. Beep, my ginger cat, is peering out, looking in vain for birds.

Time to party and banish those deep winter blues. Here in upstate New York, the weather’s been more than enough to enhance any tendencies to Seasonal Affective Disorder, aka SAD. So as Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett would sing, “Pour me something tall and strong – it’s five o’clock somewhere!” Stop in, bring your favorite dish, and introduce yourself – the party will run all weekend.

I’m bringing my standard potluck contribution, a WalMart special: a huge cheesecake that combines four different styles, all with abundant chocolate. I’ll throw in a bottle of Australian Shiraz – Yellowtail and Alice White are both good – in honor of Torah Bright, who won halfpipe gold at the Olympics last night. Speaking of Australia, picture some hunky party guests like Keith Urban and Hugh Jackman. Guys, I guess you can picture Nicole Kidman.*

I borrowed this idea from Alexis Grant. I’m adding my own twist with a little creative visualization. Writers, envision yourself at a great cocktail party at your favorite conference. Personally, I’m picturing the party the Mystery Writers of America throw after their Edgars Symposium in New York City. Now imagine you’re introduced to someone you’ve always wanted to meet – a top agent, maybe, or your favorite author. You’ve got only a minute or two to captivate them so much that they’ll be dying to read your book.

Okay, now write down that speech and post it here as a comment! Be sure to include a link to your website or blog if you have one. But you don’t have to be a writer to join the party – readers of all persuasions are welcome too! Come on in out of lurking mode and let us hear from you. I hope we can all discover some folks we’d like to know better.

Thanks again to Alexis for this idea. Please feel free to pass it on and throw a party of your own – and don’t forget to mention my blog and pass along the link!

*Congratulations to Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman for hanging in there for over two years of marriage and producing a beautiful baby girl, Sunday Rose. Unfortunately, marriage to Nicole hasn’t done Keith’s music any good, in my opinion. I preferred him when he had a darker, more tortured edge and substance abuse problems.

**I know I said I’d write more about hoarding and cluttering, and I will, but I’m just not in the mood today. By now I should know better than to promise any particular logic or predictable schedule for this blog!

39 thoughts on “TGIF Blog Party – Drop in, lose the winter blues and do some shameless BSP!

  1. 3rd time’s the charm! I keep starting this and accidentally erasing.
    What a great and generous idea, Julie.

    I have a lot to say in my writing about growing up in the rural midwest in the Great Depression and WWII, and how that experience informed my life and strengthened me for dealing with life’s thumps on the head, while leading a free-lance musician’s life. I chose joy over financial stability, and, at 77, still do so, having found creative media–writing and photography–nearly as satisfying for these last decades as my major passion, folk music, was for 40 years. My books, a biography of an amazing Unitarian woman minister, and two books of personal memoir, have been pronounced inspirational, as has my dogged persistence in productivity and bliss, to my friends and fellow artists.
    One can read my essays and poetry on at any time, frequently on and occasionally on http://www.seniorworldchronicle . Blogging, with its instant satisfying response, has replaced publication of future memoirs, but my books are still in print: Anita Trueman Pickett: New Thought Preacher, Singin’ All the Way: My Life’s Journey, and Second Verse: Second Chorus.
    Lyn Burnstine

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lyn. I agree that the nearly instant gratification of blogging can be more satisfying than slogging away in solitude. Good luck with your photo show next week!

  2. What a fun idea, Julie!
    I’m starting to come out of my SAD (induced by gray rainy winter weather in the Pacific Northwest)! But here, spring has sprung unusually early and my forsythia is blooming–a spot of sunshine itself!

    At this party, I’m holding my plate of cheesecake and meeting Reba McIntyre:
    Wonderful to meet you, Reba. I’m a fan of your music and the “country” lifestyle. In fact, I’ve written a novel, Cowgirl Dreams, based on my grandmother, who rode steers in Montana rodeos during the 1920s. I think you can identify with the courage that takes.

    I probably wouldn’t spout this off about my book in the first sentence after meeting her (if I could even find words to speak, that is), but hopefully I would find the guts to tell her at some point fairly quickly before some other adoring fan grabbed onto her.


    • Heidi, your book sounds fascinating. Maybe we can trade and review each other.

      I like Reba too. She’s on tour with George Strait, and I’m disappointed that they’re not coming to Albany or Saratoga. We have am enormous number of northern rednecks up here! Carrie Underwood’s show at the Times Union Center has already sold out, though it’s not till March.

      • Julie, I’d be happy to trade books & reviews! You can contact me: heidi at heidi m thomas dot com.

        I’d love to see a Reba or a Carrie concert. Both VERY talented ladies!

  3. This is a neat idea!
    Once I get through the confusion of March, I will throw one as well.
    And it’s chaos until then because on the 16th the final book in my YA series The Circle of Friends comes out.
    Then I am taking a break!

  4. Great idea! This is my first “literary party” ever, but now that my first book was just released I feel qualified to attend! I hope to be a real party girl starting with this one.
    “Sweat: A Practical Plan for Keeping Your Heart Intact While Loving an Addict” is probably the only book with anywhere near a positive twist to this dark subject. It is a story of my discovery and recovery from being addicted to the loved ones who are addicts in my life. It is a simple plan, but not an easy one, but for me certainly well worth the effort. I defy anyone to find many people more content, serene and even joyful (than I) who lives in the midst of chaos.
    Thanks for the invite!

    • Hi Denise, good to meet you. This is a fascinating subject and one that demands serious attention.

      Last night I narrated for the Mental Health Players, an improvisatory theater group that seeks to raise consciousness about mental illness, addiction and other topics. We were in an inpatient rehab facility, and all the folks there felt the only way to cope with seriously addicted people is to leave them and get on with your own life. It would be interesting to hear a different perspective.

  5. Hi there! Ooh, I love those shoes. My name’s Helen. This is my friend, Michaela, she’s the protagonist of my book in progress. I have three nonfiction books out, all in the TechCareers series. The latest is called “Computer Gaming.” What are you working on?…That sounds really interesting….Well, sure, I think I’m open that day. Will Oprah be okay with you bringing me along?…Great then. I can rearrange my schedule to be there. Oh these? They’re sausage balls and Jim’s Sauce. Recipe’s been in my family for years. Try one!

    Helen Ginger
    Straight From Hel

  6. You have a terrific site, Julie. I came out of my SAD yesterday when a friend set up a fan site for me and 59 people signed up as fans within 24 hours. That would cheer anyone up who has been under the weather for so long: Also, Carolyn Hart sent me a guest blog for my Murderous Musing site slot (Fridays), which is running today at:

    Thanks for the opportunity for BSP!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jean, and for hosting me back in November. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather.

      I received two invites to your fan site, but the long involved link unnerved me. I’ll try again, though. I started my own a couple of days ago but haven’t figured out how to spread the word about it. Like yours, it’s at Facebook, and I called it MANY HAPPY MOOD SWINGS WITH JULIE LOMOE, if anyone wants to type that into the Facebook search box and see what happens. This Internet world can be a fulltime job and then some.

  7. Thanks Julie for the invite! It’s a party and so far no one seems to have talked about the flock they are wearing. I’m wearing a T-shirt with the word Innsbruck on it and a paint smeared shorts. It’s hot and sunny here in Sydney.

    Don’t talk about Nicole Kidman please. I prefer some one more real. And Keith and Hugh don’t hold the candle for me. I prefer George Clooney and Colin Firth. I’ve no national loyalty.

    Well, now that you know me a bit, you’re welcome to visit my website for some stories about Mr. Darcy.

    • Hi Enid. I agree Nicole doesn’t seem real – I think Keith deserves someone better! George Clooney seems real enough, but he should have settled down by now. I just saw Colin Firth in A SINGLE MAN directed by the designer Tom Ford – a beautiful film, although I predicted the ending.

    • Hi again, Lyn. Your comment was in my “pending” file because you hadn’t been here before and I had to add you to the approved guest list. But now that you’ve been here, it shouldn’t be a problem in the future.

      That said, WordPress seems to have a capricious guard at the gate, and some people who’ve been here a lot seem to need approval every time. I haven’t the foggiest idea why.

  8. HI, Julie: What a fabulous idea! You constantly amaze me with your ingenious blog. Well, since you invited me, I’ll invite you to take a look at my new Midnight Fires: a Mystery with Mary Wollstonecraft. Publishers Weekly calls it “captivating,” so I’m salivating. More about rebel Mary on my website (above). Or on Facebook “Becoming Mary Wollstonecraft.” Right now I’m heading to join YOUR fan page, Julie, on Facebook! Cheers…

    • Hi Nancy, I really look forward to Midnight Fires. Congrats on a good Publishers Weekly review. I still really like your series about the woman with the herd of cows in Vermont, but we all have to move on . . .

  9. Great idea, Julie. If you don’t mind, I’m going to plagerize this idea. I’ll of course give you crdit….

    The first in a trilogy of novels, Breakthrough introduces us to Chase Manhattan (no, not the bank), a professor at the University of California who freelances as a sort of reverse Indiana Jones. Manhattan excels at discovering breakthrough technologies just ahead of everyone else and uses this ability to make sure the information stays in the right hands. During his escapades he discovers that a group of MIT grad students have stolen technology that will allow them to teleport anywhere in the world using wormholes. The students begin assassinating anyone they feel would use the wormhole machine to profit counter to the benefit of mankind. Now Chase must race against time to not only save lives, but himself, as he becomes the killers next target.

    STephen Tremp

    • Hi Stephen,
      Sounds like a fascinating plot. As for the TGIF idea, I borrowed it from Alexis Grant, who in turn got it from some agent’s blog. But I think it’s a great idea to pass along. I’ve gotten 10 comments in a couple of hours, which is unusual here. Just shows people love to talk about themselves – and why not?

      It’s finally after five o’clock for real, and I’m delighted so many people have already stopped by. No cheesecake or Shiraz in the house, but I’m enjoying some Corbett Canyon Pinot Noir out of the box.

  10. Wow! Look who’s here! I’ve allowed myself to dream about meeting you one day, Mr. King, but I never thought it would actually happen. Okay, I’ll call you Stephen. Please call me Jane. I’ve always admired how you make your characters so real and believable that even the most far-fetched scenario seems plausible. I don’t write in your genre and I still have much to learn about the craft, but I do try to make my characters as realistic and genuine as I can. Here’s a bookmark for my novel, “The Ride”. Why, yes, the book does have a run-away roller coaster. You…you really want to read it? I just happen to have one in my bag here.

    Thanks for inviting me to the party, Julie. I had a great time!

    • You’re welcome, Jane, and I’m glad you got to meet Stephen King. Somehow I missed him, but I love his book about writing. I would have brought it so he could autograph it, but of course I can’t find it.

  11. Wednesday was bikini weather at the beach. The surf is up but it is colder today. My book Motives for Murder (still listed on Amazon, but I think I have the only copies) is about Berkeley not Santa Barbara and a bunch of crazy people, but who cares. I still find that my amateurs looking for murderers are very concerned with motives. After all the police have all the evidence.

  12. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for the invite to come over to your blog to engage in some BSP! My own blog is and my website is .

    My latest release (Dec, 2009) is something totally different for me, a science fiction thriller novella, The Epsilon Eridani Alternative, which addresses the issue of stem cells but with an alien twist. It’s available as a paperback or ebook. See:
    for info.

    My Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, consisting of A Real Basket Case and To Hell in a Handbasket, has done well, and I’m working on the two books in my new Rocky Mountain Adventure mystery series that will debut with Deadly Currents in March, 2011.

    • Hi Beth, and welcome!

      I’ve been following your blog and your online networking, and I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t bought one of your books yet, but that’s about to change. I’m going to check your website again – as I recall, one of them features downhill skiing, right? I’m in the mood for that, especially since skiing in the Northeast is so cruddy this year!

    • You mean the front side and the back side? He sure looks good in those jeans.

      I heard Keith twice in person – several years ago he was at our local WGNA Country Fest with Brad Paisley on the same bill, and I was right by the stage. That wouldn’t happen anymore.

      Second time was at the Pepsi Arena (now the Times Union Center). That was when his romance with Nicole was just heating up, and she was incognito in the audience, I learned the next day. That wouldn’t happen anymore either!

  13. Thanks to all of you for your great responses. I’m planning to keep the party running all weekend and beyond, so there’s still plenty of time to jump in. If you’ve already commented, feel free to add more – this is beginning to feel like a genuine party.

    In my eagerness to be a good hostess, I realize I’ve forgotten to toot my own horn! I’m the author of two mysteries – MOOD SWING: THE BIPOLAR MURDERS and ELDERCIDE. The books are inspired by my two decades of experience working as an art therapist with the mentally ill and then as CEO of my own home care agency.

    Both books are available from Amazon, and within a few days I plan to have information up here so you can order directly from me. Meanwhile, you can read descriptions and sample chapters by going to the blog roll on the right. I’d love it if you’d buy copies! I’m also open to trading books with other authors so we can review and promote each other. As a matter of fact, I have a few copies of both books right here in my old Bouchercon bag. . .

  14. Hi Julie,
    What a fun idea. I love your blog, and I can attend this party in my pajamas.
    Here’s my gal Sydney. She just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Here’s her first episode: MURDER AT THE ARLINGTON-released in June 2009 and selected as a bonus book for The Pulpwood Queen Book Group, the largest book group in the country.

    It’s 1952. Reporter Sydney Lockhart checks into the historic Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Before she even unpacks, she discovers the brutally murdered body of the hotel’s bookkeeper. What had begun as a simple travel-writing assignment now turns into a murder investigation. The bad news is that Sydney is a suspect. Determined to clear her name and prove herself a reporter deserving more than just travel assignments, Sydney becomes embroiled in the underworld of gangsters and gamblers. In her fight for the truth, she soon faces a more urgent battle–saving her own skin.

    Kathleen Kaska

    • Thanks for introducing yourself, Kathleen. The book sounds intriguing – especially the Hot Sprints setting and the time period.

  15. Thanks for the “invitation” to the blog party, Julie. My first mystery novel, Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, was recently released by Mainly Murder Press. For twenty-five years, Diana Ferguson’s killer has gotten away with murder. When rookie obit writer and newsroom editorial assistant Kris Langley investigates the cold case of the artistic young cocktail waitress who was obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, she must fight to stay off the obituary page herself. An excerpt and reviews are available on my web site.

    Look for my reality TV show mystery suspense novel SINK OR SWIM in December 2010.


  16. Hi, Julie, thanks for the invitation. I put the home-made guacamole, salsa, and black-bean-and-corn dips over there by the chips. Yes, that was me in the thundering 69 Dodge Charger; it belongs to Selena De La Cruz, the Latina protagonist of my work-in-progress, VIPER. She’s a minor character in my first mystery, BLEEDER (Sophia Institute Press 2009). As soon as she walked on the stage in those red Giuseppe Zanottis and that attitude, I knew she had a story of her own. The basic pitch for BLEEDER? Thank you for asking. A stigmatic priest bleeds to death on Good Friday in front of horrified parishioners. A miracle? Or bloody murder? Classics professor Reed Stubblefield needs to know. After all, police regard him as the prime suspect in the mysterious death. He applies Aristotle’s logic to discover the truth before he is arrested or killed – because not everyone in this little town wants the mystery solved. Is that Sue Grafton over there? I had a question about characters in a series. Excuse me…
    John Desjarlais

    • Hi Alexis. How is that going? Do you have an agent yet? I saw Jay yesterday and we talked about you (only good things).

      Sharing ideas that work is one of the great things about the Internet community!

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