LA Happenings

While in Southern California we spent several days in Laguna Beach, then several days with Ty’s parents in Oceanside before heading to LA on Monday. In Los Angeles we stayed at my sister’s in Mar Vista. Her house is so cute, and she’s built a guest apartment over the garage that’s so pretty and comfortable it’s like staying in a posh hotel suite. I always love staying with her. Kathy and I are eighteen months apart (I’m the big sis!) and I just wish I got to see more of her.

During my LA visit, I took some meetings with industry folks, discussing my career, my books, and their potential for film projects. One of my meetings was in Beverly Glen and the drive up the hill was spectacular. Endless blue sky. Euclaptus trees lining the curving street. The glaze of sunlight. The drive itself felt magical.

One of the highlights of my LA trip was lunch with friend and film producer, Lucy Mukerjee, at the very hot celeb hang out Chateau Martmont on Sunset Boulevard. Lucy, if you remember, was instrumental in getting Flirting with Forty made into a movie. Whenever I’m in LA, Lucy tries to take me to cool, fun places for lunch, places I couldn’t get in without her connections. While sitting on the sunny terrace having our lunch, a man walks out of the hotel into the sunshine and I swear he’s Edge from U2. U2 is my fav fav band–I even studied in Ireland in 1986 so that I could be closer to the group–and then a minute after Edge walks out, Bono follows. I confess I’m beyond star struck. This is huge in my world. Better yet, the Edge and Bono and their entourage–business managers? handlers?  journalists?–are seated less than 10 feet from us, facing us. I could hear their voices, their conversation and I felt like a little girl seeing a Diseny princess. Was this really happening?

The following evening I wrapped up my California trip with a book party at Leigh’s house (see photo above from our discussion). Leigh is a good friend of Christine Fugate’s and invited me over to meet her book group and friends. Christine drove up from Laguna and one of Christine’s friends that’s a film director who’d just flown in from New York attended, too. Everyone was so nice and its honestly surreal talking about my career, my themes, and my books. Most of the time I’m Jane the Mom, or Jane the Working Writer, but I do love meeting women and having the chance to talk books. Books are my world.  Well, books and boys and babies.

Speaking of books, I’m running another contest today which will end Thursday night at midnight. I’ll announce the winner Friday morning. Share something with me–what you’re reading, or what you’re planning on doing this weekend–and you’re entered. Prize will be a signed JP novel, a Starbucks gift card, a B&N gift card and lots of fun goodies. So come talk and you’re entered!


  1. Hey Jane!
    I just finished F is for Fugative by Sue Grafton last night. Awesome book. I am starting Knock Off by Rhonda Pollero so far so good.
    I can’t wait for you next book.

  2. I’m not reading anything at the moment, but I do have Allison Brennan’s Sudden Death lined up to read next. This weekend will be trick or treating with my 3 kids. Well, actually, I’ll be handing out candy and dh will walk with the kids. One by one they will come back (3 year old will be brought home first and then it will be a toss-up whether our 7 yr old dd will outlast our 10 yr old ds!)

  3. This weekend( Friday) I plan on coming home from work and getting the socks mated, floors mopped and van washed so I can justify having fun the rest of the weekend. I want to take my sister for lunch. She turns 38 on Thursday and I don’t get to see her much even though she only lives 45 mins away.I also get to have breakfast or at least coffee with my 14yr old’s girlfriend’s mother to discuss the time our kids spend together.She is nice and we have been friends so it will be good to get together.I also plan to finish Odd Mom Out.After I finish it on Sunday I will get to go to the library and pick another good book. Do you have any suggestions for a good 1st person read?

  4. Your time in L.A. sounds wonderful. I am reading Very Valentine which is enjoyable. This weekend we will attend a brunch at my son’s home.

  5. OK – no kidding, my heart rate just ratcheted up simply from reading about U2! A big, screaming OMG!!!! from me on that one! Seriously, I’m having palpitations over here. U2 are My Boys and I think I would melt into a big, gooey, babbling puddle if I came within spitting distance of any of them, especially Bono and The Edge. Sigh. I now have to go fan myself with a sales aid.

    This weekend will be more hanging at home, recuperating from PYHIAB last weekend, working on the writing to follow up on my lead, hopefully spending time w/my best friend and seeing how her baby belly has popped in the last few weeks. I haven’t seen her since we saw the amazing concert U2 put on here in NJ in late September – coincidence? I think not! 🙂

  6. I loved hearing about your fabulous SoCal trip and your celebrity sighting–too cool!

    What am I reading? I am reading Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella and before that I read Valerie Bertinelli’s new book about maintaining her weight loss. Before that, a fun book called Retail Hell. My next book in my TBR stack is Beth Harbinger’s book “Hope In A Jar.”

    Have a great week! 🙂

  7. What I’m reading? I’m hoping to start THE DOCTOR’S MEANT-TO-BE-MARRIAGE by Janice Lynn by tonight.

    What’s happening this weekend? Sounds like I’m going to a haunted house (barn) out in the country and then watching a good friend perform in his band. We did this exact same thing last year. I thought I would be scared of all the ghouls who popped out of nowhere (since I’ve been known to cover my eyes during a Chuck Norris movie, for goodness sake), but I had a blast. I realized they were probably just teenagers doing “their job” so not “real” — still, there were lots of screams of terror from fellow attendees while I was LMAO. I was joking with the monsters as if they were old boyfriends, saying stuff like, “You look handsome tonight!” or “Black is definitely your colour”, etc. Can hardly wait to start my evening after the trick-or-treaters finish here Saturday night.
    I hope you too have something fun and exciting to do this weekend, Jane!

  8. This Friday night is my 5th grade daughter’s first dance and Saturday is Halloween and here, Halloween is huge. We go through at least 45 bags of candy and we always run out. our streets are closed and no parking is allowed…that is how many people are around. We are having a party and Sunday will be spent cleaning up after party effects and of course, recuperating. Hope you have a fabulous Halloween! Make sure to post a pic of Mac dressed up!!

  9. I just finished Simple Wishes by Lisa Dale. Not sure what I am going to read next. This weekend I am planning on giving out trick or treats to the neighborhood kids. I went to town yesterday and loaded up on unhealthy candy. I do enjoy doing this. I usually have a lot to treat. Still need to put out decorations. Means a trip to the attic.

  10. Even though there are so many wonderful new books out there, I find myself reading some old books that I missed the first time around. I just finished Nora Roberts’ MONTANA SKY, and now I am reading Eloisa James’ DUCHESS IN LOVE.

  11. Hi Jane! Right now I’m reading “Just Breathe” by Susan Wiggs. I recently finished reading her book “Table for Five” & HIGHLY recommend it. What a great story.

  12. This weekend is homework, probably pattern making stuff and looking for a new computer…and I’m really looking forward to starting Vision in White by Nora Roberts because it was on sale at target. Happy Wednesday!

  13. Ha! last night Joey broke his wrist and I spend the evening at urgent care. Today I’m fighting to get him into an orthopedist. They’d like him to wait ’til tomorrow. Ummm his bone is sideways people!! Not gonna wait–mama bear on the loose. Seriously!!!

    This weekend we’ve got some trick-or-treating and pumpking carving on the horizon. Not sure how much you can carve with your right arm in a cast though. Friday we’re going to San Diego to see a friend and take her to Sea World.

    Sitting 10 feet from Bono…who could concentrate on anything? I hear about Marmont all the time–fun stuff.

    See ya Jane! Have a good weekend.

  14. Oops, as for books: I’m going to read Mrs. Perfect again. It’s been a while and its my favorite. Of course now that its signed, I love it even more.

  15. Hi Jane,
    Your time in California sounds great. This weekend will be giving out chips instead of candy since I eat too much of the candy and then there will be baseball and football on in our house since there are Yankee and Giants fans in our house.

  16. Sounds like you had a great trip!!
    I’m currently reading the new Biggest Loser book about Swaps. It is good. I need all the information on making wise choices I can get.
    Hope you have a great Halloween!! What is Mac going to be?

  17. Well right now I am reading The Time Raiders series in Silhouette Nocturne. I’m on the first one, The Seeker by Lindsay McKenna. After I finish those I’ve got some Carly Phillips in my TBR that look good. I will be busy with my little grandkids this weekend for Halloween. I have a 6 year old grandson, 4 year old grandaughter and a 7 month old granddaughter. It should be fun. Even though we can’t take the little one around people (she was a NICU baby born at 23 weeks) we still plan on dressing her up just for us. We will be taking tons of pictures. I hope you have a great Halloween.

  18. If the weather cooperates, I’ll be doing the last mowing for this year and get started on the leaf raking. Then it’s all sweet because I get my granddaughter for the weekend.

  19. Right now I have been reading some paperback smut, a friend gave me a box of books and a bunch were romances, hate to waste a book. But I did read The Sunflower and The Fisherman’s Testament and loved both, those are worth calling BOOKS!

  20. Hi Jane,
    Just completely finished the makeover of my new bedroom, it has a huge bookcase! And I am very busy writing my manuscript and reading Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley!
    Take Care and have a good weekend!

  21. That’s so awesome about the star siting! Exciting! Glad you had a good time in California, it’s always fun to hear about trips out there! 🙂
    Right now I am finishing up the Private series by Kate Brian. I have recently become hooked on YA adult novels, don’t know how it happened but they’re fun!!

  22. I just finished Still Alice (can’t remember the author at the moment) and am currently reading The Four Corners of the Sky by Michael Malone – it’s OK, Still Alice was great. I saw someone else has read Very Valentine – loved that book!
    This weekend my son plays in the championship football game for his age level (6th grade) and I can’t believe it’s going to be Halloween! Happy Halloween! Also, very exciting seeing the U-2 band members! Wow!

  23. Hi Jane, love your posts (and your books)! I’m a big fan. Sunny CA sounds great while here in the NE it’s pouring rain and ruining all our great foliage. I am really enjoying reading Susan Wiggs’ books as well and just got her new one Lakeshore Christmas. I don’t want to start it till I’m in the holiday craziness and need the stress relief. I just finished Elizabeth Edward’s book “Resilience” and I’d highly recommend that–she’s got an amazing story and attitude.

  24. Hi! I have to work this weekend- RN in an ICU. 🙁 But, I am reading… Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner, then I will start Between Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson. I am on the wait list for a few Jane Porter books at our library, otherwise I would be reading those!! 🙂

  25. Hoping to get down to Boston to see my parents and maybe stop in to Ann Taylor… 🙂 We’ve got some crummy, cold, and rainy weather, so I’m thinking there will be some major cooking this weekend. A rich, hearty stew of some sort that will sit on the stove at a nice simmer, filling the house with good smells!

  26. I am reading The Girl Who Plays With Fire. I am looking forward to some uninterupted time to finish it — I only need about an hour so I am hoping I can finish it soon. Dan Brown’s new book is on my nightstand.

    We are looking forward to a weekend of Halloween events. Keep your fingers crossed for dry weather.

  27. Hi Jane,

    Just finished UNWIND by Neil Shusterman–nutty stuff, but excellent story. About to start Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life. This one’s about the Underground Railroad.

    This weekend, of course, is us taking the toddler in her poodle skirt and cat-eye glasses around so everyone can ooh and aah and give out candy Daddy will eat. :o)

    Great LA story, by the way!


  28. I have just finished reading “Where men win glory” by Jon Krakauer. Very interesting read and deeply disturbing as well. I am now reading “A change in altitude” by Anita Shreve and I have a hard time putting it down. But it is Halloween week and my girls are super busy and excited with lots of parties and activities, so I have put the book down.
    Enjoy Halloween with your three kids, big and small.

  29. What luck to see U2 – I love them and have travled to multiple cities to see them in concert – I just got tickets for their July 2010 concert in Toronto and cannot wait. I believe they will be in Seattle sometime next summer. As far as what I am reading, I am working my way through Sheryl Woods’ Sweet Magnolia series and am starting Nora Roberts newest – Bed of Roses. Have a great Halloween weekend. Are you dressing Mac up?

  30. I am into revisiting some of my favorite reads and find they are just as good (if not better) the 2nd time around. This morning finished Easy on the Eyes and a couple of days ago Table for 5 by Susan Wiggs. My husband is gone for 3 weeks so I can indulge in my reading habit – very bad!!
    We don’t get any trick or treaters where we live & I miss seeing the little ones – may have to go over to a friends house – they are so cute!!

  31. Right now I’m re-reading an old favorite, Black Ice by Anne Stuart. My favorite Ice book! And this weekend we’re going to a dinner at my sisters house.

    Have a great weekend!

  32. I just read Mrs Perfect and I am so amazed! I identified myself with this story, my husband just lost his job and a lot of similarities are occuring to us that happened in the novel. I love this book!

  33. Loved the tales from your trip. I would be at least that starstruck with U2.

    I’m reading Pete Sampras’s memoir. I think you’d like parts of it, Jane. His focus and forward-thinking reminds me of you.

  34. Wow! How cool that you saw Bono and the Edge! I’m jealous. I, too, am also a fan of Beverly Glen. What a great neighborhood.

    I haven’t been reading anything, well besides “Frozen Stiff”, one of my sons assigned books…just too tired with the pregnancy. This weekend, after Halloween we’re going on a week long camping trip up in Big Sur. Can’t wait!

    Take care!

  35. Was looking forward to taking the kids trick-or-treating on Saturday, but my oldest son came home sick from school today, so hoping it doesn’t turn out to be H1N1, but likely since it’s running through our schools right now. Switch gears now and try to load the kids up with vitamins, hot soup and liquids now instead of candy.

    Must also dig into the TBR pile for something new since I’m currently between books!

    Sounds like you had a fantastic trip to California (Bono and the Edge, I’m jealous!), and I hope the rest of your renovations wrap up quickly!

  36. Wow! That is so cool that you got to see The Edge and Bono. Isn’t it exciting when you see famous people that you aren’t quite sure is them (except you’re fairly certain and you just think you are imagining things) and then it turns out to be them?! Many a time that has happened to me. In fact, when I flew back to D.C. in February to get my cats, there was a guy in the airport at the gate, talking on the phone and I could have sworn it was Jon Voight. Sounded like him, looked like him (sounds like a duck, looks like a duck, it’s a duck). But nah, it’s not him. Drop the whole thought and get on my fifty connecting flights going to D.C. Low and behold, Mr. phonetalker is back – at baggage claim at Dulles airport with me, and some lady asked him if he was Jon Voight and yeah he was. Knew it! So funny… didn’t want to bug him though for an autograph. But the knowing I was right was a good ego boost. Then on the way home (in L.A. again) I saw the really brainy professor guy from Numbers. I always see a lot of famous people, but I just never think it’s really them. Are you really gonna be Jane Porter when I see you?? :0)

    This weekends activities.. let’s see. Well, I need to call my sister on Friday – it’s her birthday. Chi-Chi’s mexican birthday song will be strumming through the cell phone lines compliments of my off-keyed voice.

    And the Mini dealership here is having a Costume contest for Mini owners for Halloween($200 dealer gift certificate if your car wins). So I’m thinking reggae colored mirror caps and a little bit of rasta decorations to make my Mini “Bob MINI Marley.” It could work. Could always get a bunch of yarn for dreadlocks. The beach themed ’68 mini-mini would have been a shew in, but it doesn’t run ~

    And lastly, I’m currently reading Janelle Denison’s “Wylde Thing.” I got started reading her books simply because she’s got my first name!

    Your trip sounded great though. Glad you had such a great time! :0)

  37. this weekend my neighbour wants me and her to go to the city for Chinese if the weather permits. Then we will go to such stores as Dollarama and, as she says, stroll the aisles and check everything out and take our time doing this.
    There will be the usual of laundry and getting ready for going to the city for the first of dh’s 2 surgeries coming up.

  38. I’m reading two really good books. Fireside by Susan Wiggs…funny there are two other readers before me who are reading her books also, and Catch of the Day by Kristin Higgins. Both excellent, and they hold my interest on the treadmill which is a plus since I tend to eat a fair amount of junk food when I’m reading them and I’m not on the treadmill.

  39. Would you believe I just finished “White Fang” by Jack London? I loved his books as a child and got this book at a garage sale for my nephew but wanted to read it again as an adult and I loved it. This weekend I am going to clean, clean, clean. It is way overdue!

  40. I’ve got a few books going “Girls Who Went Away”:young women who were coerced into surrendering their babies in the 1950’s and 60’s
    “Speech-less”:Matt Latimer’s experiences behind the scenes in WA D.C. as a speech writer
    “Capote in Kansas”:best read during daylight hours

    Recently finished “The Gentleman from Greenland”: funny and delightful adventures of a young man taking the Trans-Siberian RR during the end of the cold war.

  41. Jane,
    I enjoyed your latest post, it sounds like a great trip. I am reading A Good Woman by Danielle Steel. I haven’t read one of her books since college….20 years ago. Sometimes I wish I could just read all day! Going with my 72 year old mom this weekend to see Good Hair….she really wants to see it. Have a great weekend!

  42. HI JANE! I haven’t said hello in a while, but have really enjoyed keeping up by lurking. I can’t believe how big Mac is. This weekend I am taking some of your advice and going to the Low Country RWA writer’s retreat. It’s the first time I will be away from my four boys, but keep honing the craft-right!? Can’t wait to hear how fabulous the house is when it’s done and I’m glad you got to visit with your sister!

  43. Hi Jane. I am reading First Come Twins by Helen Brenna. It is good. I am glad you had a good trip. I don’t have big plans for the weekend. Just cleaning and visiting my parents.

  44. hey jane….i just finised reading easy on the eyes! loved it. you’re such a talented writer. so at the moment i am bookless. this weekend we will take the little one out tricker treating, then we are having a big family dinner on sunday night. have a great day!

  45. Hi Jane,
    My weekend plans involve watching the Huskers on TV, then game night with fun fun friends…my children are grown…so no more trick or treat for me. Take care, thanks for all your wonderful books.

  46. Hi Jane,
    I am reading Kris Radish’s THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO WOMEN at the moment.
    I plan on making some Halloween goodies Friday night.
    As for the weekend I will probably have to make a trip to my daughters dorm and get her stuff since she has been so sick and has to do a medical withdraw from school.
    I tried to get the college to let us keep the room since it is paid for though December and she will be back in January, but they said she had to reapply for housing even though I was ready to pay the dorm fee early so she could definitely keep her dorm room.
    Those rules don’t make any sense to me.

  47. Tonight I am finishing up a Halloween costume for my 22 year old son…. based on a character from the book series Mistborne. I have been re-reading Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series and I just finished Wilbur Smith’s Assegai.

    Love hearing about your brushes with celebrities while in LA… but you’re a celebrity yourself!

  48. What a great time in LA!

    I am trying to figure out what to read next. In the meantime, I’ve picked up Wuthering Heights again. I’ll confess that I’ve never made it to the end of the book…

    I’m looking forward to a busy weekend. My kids are getting almost too grown up for the traditional Halloween stuff, but they have a school fall carnival that we will all attend, a last football game, haunted house & sleepovers planned.

    Happy Halloween!

  49. Headline: Hometown Girl Breathes Same Air as U2! I would have died. So glad for you. And happpy to hear Kathy is well. I’m reading ‘Gentlemen of the Road’ by Michael Chabon. Safe travels for the rest of your trip, Maggie

  50. Well, it is still hot, hot, hot down here. I can’t believe we’ve had no relief (only a small cold front for two days. My daughter got to Easy on the Eyes before I did and absolutely loved it. Thanks Jane, what a nice surprise for her. How generous sending all of us (60 of us) their book of choice. You are really something. So kind, generous and I could keep going but I’ll end with heart!!!
    So now this weekend it’s my turn to read Easy on the Eyes. I am so excited and can’t wait. You all know how much we love you Jane – your heart, generosity, kindness – you just keep getting better and better. Thanks for everything.

  51. I am reading Singletini by Amanda Trimble. I think I may have read it before but I not sure! It’s still funny. In my pile are also Shem’s Creek by Dorothea Benton Frank and A Match Made on Madison by Dee Davis.

    The kids are working on their pumpkins right now. Tomorrow we are going into Chicago to the Museum of Science & Industry and who knows what else! Teacher’s Convention in Wisconsin 10/29 & 10/30.

    Sounds like you had a very good career building trip to LA and sooooo cool that you saw Bono & U2!!!!! Did you take pics with them as the background of your meeting? 😉

    Happy Halloween!

  52. OMG! That’s so awesome! I love U2!

    I’m reading Twenties Girl right now and can I just say I’m loving it?

  53. It’s trick or treat weekend! I have to finish costumes, carve a pumpkin, roast the seeds (yum, my favorite part)and then walk miles with my youngest.
    I just bought Elizabeth Hoyt’s new book, and ordered Charlaine Harris new Harper Connelly book, I actually like this the best of her series. So the weekend is looking good!!

  54. I’m reading David Handler’s “Adverbs.” He’s a much better writer than I am, and I’m using all ten colors of 3M Post-It Flags to make notes on the book. But the way he draws attention to his writing – addressing the readers directly, for example – bothers me.

    What else? My co-author and I wrote the introductory chapter to my next business book yesterday, and sent it off to the editor. I haven’t heard back yet.

    And, of course, I’m listening to the World Series as I write this!

  55. Hi Jane,

    I just finished reading Heartless, by Diana Palmer. And this weekend, well it is Halloween, so we will be trick-or-treating…
    Hope you have a good weekend.



  56. I wish I had time to curl up with a good book. Just ain’t happening until winter break. We are Halloweening It. School party tomorrow, cheer and football on Saturday along with tirck or treating and hopefully a relaxing day of Scrapbooking on Sunday for National Scrapbook day. Somewhere in there I also have to fit in Homework and work. 🙂

  57. Hey Jane,
    Sounds like your having a blast in LA!

    I going to LA on the 12th of November for a girls weekend. I get to visit with friends I’ve known almost 30 years.

    We just wrapped up a Halloween Open House Trick or Treat Party tonight. It was fun to see friends bring their little ones over in costume.
    My two children have been invited to Halloween parties this weekend.

    Hoping to organize, etc. …and read.
    I want to start a book this weekend.(so I have a book for the plane) I was looking at a couple Mia King has writtten. Or I may need to read EASY on the Eyes again.

    Have a Wonderful, Safe Halloween!

  58. I just finished reading Letters to a Secret Lover by Toni Blake, and oh my, it was so good! It’s a definite keeper.

  59. Missed the cut off, but wanted to say hi anyway. Love to hear what’s going on with you! U2 is awesome.

    I am reading Nora Roberts’ Black Hills at the moment and enjoying it. My friend in Uzbek received her package with Odd Mom Out and is really enjoying it as well. I love hearing where she is in the book.

    Trick or treating for us this weekend and leaf cleanup. My MIL is visiting so we will probably have a fire in our fire pit as well.

    Have a great Halloween!

  60. Hi everyone! Happy Friday!!

    I did something different when drawing names and numbers…I went for all 9’s and chose six winners total. If your number above ended in 9, you’re a winner.

    9 Cindy H
    19 Linda H
    29 Lynn
    39 Janelle W
    49 Kim E
    59 Wayne

    If you’re one of my winners, please send me a private email ASAP with the book you’d like, how you want it signed and I’ll get the book and goodies and gift cards out in Monday’s mail. This book can be for you, or you can save it for a Christmas gift for someone so have a think and then email me as soon as you can!

    All my best and congrats!!


  61. Wow!
    What generous giveaways, Jane! That is so cool for everyone and a great bonus in life!
    Congrats to all the winners. I bet you’ll (almost) squeal in delight when you receive your package in the mail! Enjoy!!!

  62. Hahaha…There is no Almost squealing…I actually do squeal when getting something so awesome in the mail!! When most of the mail is bills, you have to be happy when it’s a prize and this is a prize from Jane!! How much better can that get?

  63. Exactly, Cindy. You’ve hit the nail on the head!
    I know that “I” would squeal in delight and, yes, a prize from Jane would be the best! Gotta love her goodies too! What a great way to enjoy her books!
    Thanks again, Jane, for offering such a great blog web site and giveaways.

  64. I’m reading a Jen Lancaster book, “Bright Lights, Big Ass” and the new Susan Mallery book- (can’t think of the title. I’ll be taking my youngest daughter (10) and a friend to a high school production of Seussical this weekend!
    Sounds like you’ve been having fun!
    Good for you!

  65. Just finished reading Diana Gabaldon’s most recent – An Echo in the Bone…Glad you’re trip was so fun and exciting. Good Luck with all the construction and hope you get to move into you’re own room soon!!

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