Christmas Card from Southern California

XmastreeeditedMerry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Joyous New Year to everyone from sunny southern California!

We're enjoying the sunshine, warmth, and palm trees so well that we couldn't bear to put up a traditional tree. Evergreens dotted with snow just didn't seem right.


So we bought a live podocarpus we can keep in the yard later. Another benefit is that it fits into our tiny front window.


How are you celebrating the holidays this year?


California Dreaming

CA_House_38As some of you know, I’ve been in the process of not one, but two life-changing events these past months. I’m not sure “husband retiring” rates as high as death or birth, but it has to be right up there with moving across the country. So please excuse my tardiness in posting. My calendar shows a big blank spot on today, and I didn’t even question it, that’s how brain dead I am.(a photo of our new backyard!)

I believe I’ve wondered before how our ancestors managed to pull up roots and move to villages where they knew no one, or crossed countries not even knowing where the next water might be found. With all our 21st century technology, moving is still a frustrating, terrifying, and stressful experience. We had two  cars, cell phones, and walkie-talkies driving over two thousand miles, and I was a wreck at the end of four days. Four months of watching oxen kicking up dust on my covered wagon would have killed me. At least I had the sense to jettison most of our household goods before we left!

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Blatant Blather

Lureofsong-300finalPat Rice here:

Happy, happy New Year! I’m just back from visiting family in gorgeous California and Mexico and not ready to accept winter, but the year is still bright and shiny and anything can happen…

First, I’m supposed to tell you that THE LURE OF SONG AND MAGIC comes out tomorrow. Which means, of course I’m blathering about it in hopes some of you might be curious enough to actually buy it. Surely you have a few gift certificates kicking around burning a hole in your pocket? Or maybe someone gave you a new e-reader and you want to try it out? It would make a lovely new year’s present for me if the book shot up the charts! 

Those of you familiar with my historical MAGIC series will know what I mean when I say LURE is about MerelyMagic-SHthe descendants of the magical Malcolms and the logical Ives. Those of you who are not familiar with the series can pick up MERELY MAGIC in print or digital and find MUST BE MAGIC this spring from Sourcebooks Casablanca, but they’re not at all necessary to read this story. It’s just fun knowing that those Georgians who didn’t even know the word psychic have many great-grandchildren running around today’s world with odd gifts as my Malcolms called them.

My Malcolm in LURE is Philippa Syrene Malcolm James, Syrene being the stage name she used as a child singing sensation. The book is set ten years after she crashed and burned at the age of seventeen, convinced her voice kills. Since Pippa, as she’s called now, was abandoned by the side of the road at the age of four, she knows nothing of her Malcolm ancestors or the magical gifts they possess. She just knows her voice is dangerous, and she has spent the last ten years hiding from her past, learning to control her passions and her brilliant soprano. She’s built a rigidly controlled life in a small town in the hills above L.A. where she has friends who like her as she is and know nothing about who she was.

(Photo is from southern California and not the hills above L.A.  I've never learned to organize my photo albums!)

me in CA
And then along comes my Ives—Dylan Ives Oswin, known as Oz for short, because he’s a wizard in the Hollywood production industry for never taking no for an answer. Unfortunately, he’s a failure at family life. His wife died in a tragic car accident and his son was kidnapped by the nanny. Can you blame the man for being desperate when he receives a clue that the former child singing sensation Syrene might be able to help him find his son? Being a logical Ives, he’s not going to believe her voice can kill.

Being a soft-hearted Malcolm, Pippa can’t let a child be abandoned as she once was. But she can’t go back to being Syrene, so how is she supposed to help anyone? It’s a mystery, all right. Before they solve it, they have an entire town dancing to their tunes and behaving like clowns while Oz tracks down Pippa’s past. This isn’t suspense but pure romance.

I had an amazing amount of fun writing LURE. It’s one of those books that make the long hard hours of writing worth every minute. I really hope the magic comes through to my readers as well. If you’re interested in hearing more, there’s a sample on my website at my blog schedule is on my Musing On Writing blog.

Charlotte church
Do you believe some people are magically gifted? Do psychics simply use parts of their brains that the rest of us don’t recognize? Or do you think psychics are a hoax and brilliant singers like Charlotte Church have just been granted an extra dollop of DNA to enhance their abilities?

Sourcebooks will send two commenters a copy of LURE, so don’t be shy about expressing your opinion!