It’s snippet Saturday:

Well, if I was doing anything but working on getting my next book out, I’d be able to post something marvelous I was reading. Since I’m a dull girl right now, you get a snippet from Waiting for Magic, the third book in the Children of Merlin series that I’m finishing up this week:

Kemble tucked the Wall Street Journal under his arm and headed in to breakfast. “You’re here early, Jane.”
Jane closed the front door behind her. “Will it never quit raining?” She was wearing a beige raincoat and shaking out a gray umbrella. Jane always wore beige and gray, maybe darker versions in winter. “I just have a minute. I have to take Mother to the doctor this morning.”
Kemble frowned. He hated to think Jane would spend the morning being verbally abused, but that was the likely outcome. “Well, better fortify yourself with some coffee at least.” He sniffed the air. “Smells like you could have some bacon and eggs if you have time.”
“Actually I’m glad to catch you alone, Kemble.” Jane blushed. “I mean, I wanted to show you something, and it didn’t seem right to have everyone know.”
Kemble raised his brows. “What is it?”
Jane handed him a copy of the little local newspaper she carried under her arm. It was a bit soggy around the edges. “Sorry. I think you’ll still be able to read it. Page four.”
Now what could be so important about something that only rated a page-four mention in the Palos Verdes Prattler? Jane hung her dripping coat on the coatrack and came to stand behind him as he paged forward. “There.” She pointed.
“ ‘Residents on the cliff at Abalone Cove,’ ” Kemble muttered aloud, “ ‘report seeing a naked man with a surfboard walking along the beach during the height of the severe weather Thursday night. Complaints have been made to the city council and the Palos Verdes police department about their tolerance of public nudity.’ ” He frowned. “Why would the police be out looking for nude men during weather like that? And what loon would be out in that weather naked?”
“Read on.”
“ ‘Mrs. Rayland Sanford, of 152 Mira Mar Place, said she couldn’t see the man’s face, but his body showed many cuts.’ ” Kemble looked up. “She must have been using a telescope to see that. Bet she took a long, careful look, too.”
Jane looked up at him expectantly.
Kemble began to get a little nervous. “You can’t think we’re in any danger from some vagabond who likes to parade around in the nude during foul weather.”
Jane looked a little incredulous. “You didn’t notice Devin limping day before yesterday? Or the scrapes on his jaw and his hands?”
“He fell on the track down to the beach….”
Jane looked at him rather severely from under her brows. “He’s like a mountain goat on that track. He’s taken it several times a day for years. And just who would be out surfing in that weather? She says clearly that the man had a surfboard.”
“Devin’s not a man.”
Jane actually threw up her hands. She never did that. “Of course he is, Kemble. He’s twenty-three. And he was out surfing in horrible weather and he could have been….” She glanced across the living room area to the arch into the kitchen where a shout of laughter sounded. She lowered her voice. “Killed,” she whispered. “Now why do you think he did that?”
“You think this was Devin?” Kemble glanced at the paper. “Running around naked at night?” But she was right. Who else but Devin would even consider surfing in that weather, with those waves? He frowned. “Devil! That surf was the biggest we’ve had in years. If he’d been killed Mother would have been devastated.” He started for the kitchen. “I’m going to.…”
Jane stopped him with a hand on his arm. “No, no. You can’t. That’s why I came to you instead of your parents.”
He rounded on her. “Well, I can’t just do nothing.”
“I’m not saying you should do nothing.”
“Then what?” Kemble was confused.
Jane visibly composed herself. “I think Devin is upset,” she said carefully. “I … I think you should, you know, be a brother to him right now.”
Kemble drew his brows together. He felt himself on shifting ground. “What does that mean, exactly, to you?”
Jane pursed her lips. “Make time to talk to him. Maybe find something to do together.”
Kemble was lost. “Why? What’s wrong with him? Is he going crazy?”
Jane gave a huge sigh. “He’s upset because he thinks he’s going to lose Kee as a friend. You know how close they are.”

And thus the beginning of a very perilous road for the Tremaine family as a whole, and Devin in particular.

Back to work,

It’s officially October

I guess I can’t gripe about all the Halloween stuff in stores anymore. Michael’s is already sold out of many Halloween items, since I guess if you are going to be crafty at Halloween, you have to start in August. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. It’s got the right amount of harvest celebration, spooky/spiritual shudders, and autumn tristesse to make it a complex and resonating experience. I am a little sad that it’s become so commercial. I guess I wasn’t the only one who liked it. I know I sound like a curmudgeon, but I do miss the time when there were more trick-or-treaters on the streets and costumes could be homemade and still be cool. That said, it’s still one of my favorite times. We do get some trick-or-treaters. And yes, we do decorate. Harry made a huge paper mache spider he named Edna. She’s probably three feet across and crouches over our door with lots of fake web. A big hollow string ball with all of Edna’s babies in it dangles just inside. We also post Edgar–a stuffed raven, over the candy bowl. We try not to be too scary though. I dressed up as a witch one time, with a peaked hat, a black cape and green make-up (it glittered!). I was very excited to greet visitors. But the tiny pink bunny who came to our door burst into tears at the sight of me. Sigh. No more dressing up. It’s pretty low to scare little pink bunnies.

So here’s hoping you’re gearing up for harvest festival and general spookiness this year, without actually scaring any pink bunnies.

At home with Susan and Harry

Normally on Tuesdays, I’ll be posting photos, recipes, and snippets of life at the beach in Southern California. The air is getting cooler, the leaves are slowly turning brown and drifting away. That’s about as much notice of fall as we get her in SoCal. No bright colors. But I personally think it makes you look even more closely for the first harbingers of autumn. So I broke out my seasonal scent from Wen–pumpkin spice. I never talk about products on Facebook or Twitter, but I might make and exception for Wen. Their combination shampoo and conditioner looks like hand cream. No suds. It’s not a shampoo. But it changed my hair for the better from the very first time I used it. I’ll never go back. I get it on QVC by the way.

To celebrate fall, I took a recipe for a pumpkin smoothie and changed it a bit to match our tastes. It’s REALLY good, though you may have to adjust the spices a little. If you get very powerful spices at a spice store like Penzy’s, make all measurements scant as written. If you get spices from the grocery store, just use the full measurements.

INGREDIENTS (for 2 smoothies)
1 cup pumpkin (canned or freshly cooked)

1 frozen banana

1 1/2 cups almond milk
, or Silk Vanilla

1/4 tsp vanilla,

2 T honey

1 scant tsp cinnamon

1/2 scant tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

Put this all in a blender and whoosh it around. Thick, icy pumpkin pie. What could be better? And it’s pretty healthy too.


Welcome to my new blog! Here are some of the things I have planned:


  • On Tuesdays find an “At Home with Susan and Harry,” entry with recipes, pictures, and anything else we happen to be interested in.


  • “Snippet Saturdays” will have small clips from either my books, or whatever I’m reading currently.


  • And posts about whatever I want to talk about will occur somewhere in between. . .


Welcome . . . and share this link!