When that watermelon seed sprouts in your stomach…



Oh did I live in fear of those watermelon seeds! I was told that if you swallowed one, a watermelon plant would sprout right up inside your stomach. Did I believe this ridiculous lie? Of COURSE I did and I won’t tell you for how long. This is one of the silly, gullibilities that makes me who I am. It’s the same type of quirky, oddball belief that fictional characters can have too, which makes them more relatable. (Currently, I am writing about a woman who believes frogs are dangerous, deadly creatures due to frightening tales told to her around the campfire.)

So what crazy things did you believe as a kid? Do share! Comments get you entered into the August drawing.

What career were you meant for? A fun quiz.











Let’s have a bit of fun, shall we? Take this fun career quiz (link below)  and post your results. You’ll be entered to win a signed book and Starbuck’s card. Winners announced August 31st! Can’t wait to hear about your ideal career!




Dog Days of Summer Prize Pack? Sign me up!











The bummer about writing is that it involves a LOT of self promotion. I don’t care for it, actually. I was raised with a focus on humility and not tooting one’s own horn, don’t you know! Unfortunately, writing is a cutthroat business and authors are encouraged by their agents, publishers, etc. to seize every means possible to communicate with our readers. Some of these methods I enjoy. Facebook? Love it, because it’s a relationship. Twitter? Well, it’s okay, but I don’t feel like I know my audience as well. Blog? That one I enjoy because you all have really interesting comments. I’ve been encouraged to start a quarterly newsletter. Okay, but how can I make it something that is of interest to the reader and myself? I’ve decided to make it a fun quick peek at upcoming titles, maybe offer a tried and true recipe of sorts, and offer some giveaways from time to time. Does that sound good to you? If it does, I would surely appreciate you signing up via my website. I promise that it will be only once a quarter, and I will try my best to make it something fun for both of us!

To get the fun started, I’m mailing out ‘Dog Days of Summer’ prize packs for those folks who sign up in August (US and Canada only.)  If you’ve already signed up, my heartfelt thanks! If my books aren’t your cup of tea, no worries! I appreciate you stopping by. Happy summer! 




July blog winner….




And our July blog winner is…Sheila Hall! Congratulations Sheila, and thank you for all the great comments!

Famous boats…can you add to the list? It’s prize weekend!




It’s the big finish! I’ve been so pleased with the lovely reviews for Sailing In Style and this release month has churned right by. So let’s end with a splash, shall we? Let’s make a list of all the famous boats that have chugged their way into books and film. I’ll start.

The Titanic: Who hasn’t heard about the famous British passenger liner that was lost to an iceberg in 1912? The Titanic lives on via books and films and I’ve even heard that there are plans afoot to build another Titanic! 

Your turn! Add to the list via a blog comment and you’re entered to win a signed book and a ‘boat in a bottle’ necklace. Winner announced this weekend! All aboard!




What’s your idea of a vacation?



Summer vacation! That phrase sparks wild enthusiasm in the education community. As a third grade teacher I can tell you it does in my world. Extra time to read? Write? Hang out with my highschoolers who are temporarily freed from piles of homework? Sweet! Vacation isn’t really vacation, of course, for those who are familiar with the teaching biz. There are conferences, planning times, classrooms to be overhauled, etc, but still, it’s a nice break from the frantic pace of schooling.

People often ask if I get vacations from writing. Well…I’m not totally sure that is possible. Yes, I enjoy trips (Yosemite and Tahoe this summer) but do I really ever stop writing? Physically yes. I leave my laptop home, but since my brain comes along, there’s never reimageally a down time. I’m a passionate imaginer, and I don’t really want to take a vacation from that. I’m not sure I could. At times, I’ve felt guilty about it. Why can’t you put your imagination on vacation, Dana? I don’t know why, but I just can’t do it.

So what is a vacation to you? A special trip? A day off from work to focus on home matters? I would love to hear your thoughts. This week is the last chance to comment on the blog to win the signed book and ‘boat in a bottle’ necklace. Winner announced this weekend!




Glam quiz time dahling! Which iconic actress are you?



Because I am a hoity toity writer (no, let me change that to novelist) I lead an extremely glamorous life. There are the multi city book signings, the TV and radio interviews, five-star hotels and chocolates on the pillow each morning. At least, that’s what it’s like in my imagination.

Stepping out of my fantasy life, is not so glam. I drive a Toyota, clean up after the dog and spend a lot of time hunting for lost socks and car keys. You know what? I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, but it’s fun to pretend once in a while.

So take this quiz, and tell me which iconic actress you are! Post your results to the blog and you’re entered to win an OH SO GLAMOROUS book and ‘boat in a bottle’ necklace. 







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