A Funny Snippet From My Book, My Very Best Friend

“I detest flying. You could correctly call it ‘pathologically afraid.’ I cannot breathe on planes. I know that I am going to die a fiery death as we plunge into the ocean.

I have studied planes, their engines, and why they stay in the air in depth. My studies took two years. I understand mathematical aerodynamics description, thrust, lift, Newton, and Bernoulli’s principle.

I even had three tours at Boeing.

I have talked to pilots and engineers and examined blueprints for planes. Yet the sensible part of me knows that the plane will crash at any moment because nothing this large, heavy, and rigid was ever meant to be in the sky.

This knowledge is in direct contrast to my physics studies. I acknowledge this dichotomy.

I sat down in my first-class seat. I need room if I fly. I don’t want to be sandwiched next to strangers who will be intruding upon my space by body part or by air. I prefer to die within my own confines.

Inside my carry-on bag I had these things: Travel-sized bottles of Scotch. My list folder. A handkerchief. Travel-sized bottles of whiskey. My own tea bags—chamomile, peppermint, and for my adventurous side, Bengal Tiger. Three journals to write in if my writer’s block dissolves. Pictures of my cats. Travel-sized bottles of tequila.

Two books on gravitational physics and evolutionary biology.

I adjusted my glasses. If we’re going to crash, I want them to be sturdily placed on my nose so I can see our doomed descent. My glasses have brown rims. I affixed clear tape on the left arm, as it’s cracked. I’ve been meaning to go to the eye doctor to get it fixed, but the tape seems to be functioning well. It does make my glasses tilt to the left, though. Not much of a problem, except if one is worried about appearance, which I am not.

I rechecked the top button on my beige blouse to make sure it was still fastened. I had been able to get most of the blueberry and ketchup stains out of it. If I end up in the ocean, I want to be covered. No need to show my ragged, but sturdy, bra.

My underwear is beige or white, and cotton. When there are more than two holes, I throw them out. High risers, you could call them. I like to be properly covered, no tiny, lacy, itchy tidbits for me, even though I put McKenzie Rae, the heroine in all of my time travel romance novels, in tiny lacy tidbits that do not itch her.

If we crash, I can assure you that my underwear will stand up far better to the fire and flying debris than a tidbit would.

I situated my brown corduroy skirt and took off my brown, five-year-old sturdy shoes and put on my blue slippers with pink rabbit ears that Bridget sent me. I took out a tiny bottle of Scotch, as my hands were already shaking.

My seatmate, a man who appeared to be about my age, was white faced. “I hate flying,” he muttered. I heard the Texan drawl.

“Me too. Here. Have a drink.” I pulled out another bottle.

“Thank you, ma’am, I am much obliged.”

We clinked our tiny bottles together. His hands were shaking, too.

We both breathed shallowly. “Close your eyes, inhale,” I said. “Find your damn serenity. Think of your sunflowers…bells of Ireland…catnip…sweet Annies…wild tea roses…”

“Think of your ranch…” he said, barely above a whisper. “Think of your cows. Your tractors. The bulls. Castration day.”

The vision of castration day was unpleasant. I closed my eyes again.

We inhaled.

We drank.

We shook.

We took off. I started to sweat. So did he.

“My turn,” he said when we were done with the first bottle. He handed me a tiny bottle of Scotch out of his briefcase.

“Cheers to aerodynamics, thrust, lift, and Bernoulli’s principle.”

“Cheers to your green eyes, darlin’. Those are bright twinklers. Brighter than the stars in Texas, may she reign forever.”

“Thank you. May Newton’s laws reign forever.”

Third round on me.

Fourth on him, ordered from the flight attendant, who said cheerily, annoyingly, “Nervous flyers?”

The fourth round did the trick. We decided to sing the National Anthem together, then “Frosty the Snowman” and two songs by Neil Diamond. One was “Cracklin’ Rosie,” which made him cry, so I cried, too, in solidarity. The annoying flight attendant asked us to be quiet.

We sang “The Ants Go Marching Down” in whispery voices, then I taught him a Scottish drinking song about a milkmaid. We woke up in Amsterdam, his head on my shoulder.

I wriggled him awake. “It was a pleasure getting drunk with you.”

“The pleasure was all mine, green eyes,” he drawled in his Texan drawl. “It seems we have arrived alive.”

“We did our part. Praise to Newton.”

We stumbled off the plane, shook hands, and I caught the next flight to Edinburgh. I forgot to change out of my blue slippers with pink rabbit ears before I walked through the airport. No matter. The top button on my beige blouse was still buttoned and I was in one piece.

I put my hand to my head. Lord. I hate flying and I hate airplane hangovers.”

– Charlotte Mackintosh in My Very Best Friend. A time travel romance writer who has no romance. A hermit on an island who goes skinny dipping. A woman who puts her cats into a specially made cat stroller. She’s a lot of fun.


What Do You Love And Cherish?

What item in your home do you absolutely LOVE and cherish? I cherish this mug. It’s my late mother’s coffee cup and I remember her drinking out of it.

I see the rainbow colors and it reminds me of her smile, her courage, and her compassion for others.

She has been gone for so long now, but I SWEAR, sometimes when I’m drinking out of her mug and I’m thinking about what a totally wonderful mother she was, I can hear Bette Jean laugh.

So often, the items we cherish have zero financial worth, but they’re priceless to us, aren’t they?


Answers below from my facebook friends…

    • Barbara Khan I made a mug on Saturday with a ladies group I belong to. We are waiting for them to be fired. I can’t wait to use it. What lovely memories you have of your mom with this mug. Maybe I’ll pass mine on too.
    • Diane Haeger
      Diane Haeger So beautiful.. My mom has been gone just 9 months but maybe it’s time for me to bring out something of hers too. Thanks for the lovely prompt today, Cathy heart emoticon

    • Anne Gerrish Mitchem I have a poem that my Uncle wrote for my Mum back in the early 1970′s about what she meant to him. My dad made a frame and it hung in their various homes. Now it hangs in mine. Part of Mum and part of Dad. Priceless ~ heart emoticon
    • Jenny Collins Belk
      Jenny Collins Belk I have my Mom’s old raggy hat (her Go To Hell hat). She always wore it at the beach. Miss her infectious sense of humor.

    • Samantha Buxton
      Samantha Buxton I have one of my Gammy’s purses she used to carry. It’s big and is a perfect reminder of her. It’s just hanging on a hook in a closet and for the longest time it smelled of her and her perfume. She was never shy with perfume. I still smelled like her long after seeing her and her hugging me. I miss her and I regret not spending more time with her.

    • Stephanie Elliot
      Stephanie Elliot so beautiful. Your words. The mug.

    • Wendy Webber Deloge
      Wendy Webber Deloge My Dad passed away in November 2007 and this was the very last birthday card I got from him. He just always put so much thought into the cards he chose for me. We always had that special father daughter bond. I always loved that he put so much thought See More

      Wendy Webber Deloge's photo.
    • Sherie Nash
      Sherie Nash I have my mother in law’s tin measuring cup…she used it nearly every day of her adult life…my favorite sister in law put it in her purse the day of the funeral and passed it too me to be sure that I got it…I love to bake like Gladys did…it means more to me than nearly anything I own, and it’s dollar value is almost nothing.

    • Elaine Donoughe Allen
      Elaine Donoughe Allen I cherish my Mom’s hand written recipes! It’s all I can do not to cry when I see her hand writing! She has been go 8 yrs but feels like yesterday 

    • Myra Lamers Levitre
      Myra Lamers Levitre This caught my eye Cathy. Also my heart. 
      27 years ago I lost my mom. I smell her randomly. No matter where I am, any continent, and season, when she is there, always the same smell fills my body. 
      Priceless. I just know you enjoy your moms laughter. Miracles and blessings are everywhere when you believe deeply. Thanks for sharing this it was beautiful. 

    • Myra Lamers Levitre
      Myra Lamers Levitre My father also. Different scent.

    • Alissa Schad
      Alissa Schad I love this picture my son gave me for Christmas one year. I used to read him the book with the bunny’s ” i love you this much” so he made this for me and it makes me smile all the time

      Alissa Schad's photo.
    • Barb Dowdell MacKenzie I have four ceramic pieces that my mother made- an elephant cookie jar, cookie monster cookie jar, a ceramic jar that looks like a green pepper and a figurine of a “blue girl”–all have been broken and glued but I can’t throw them out.

    • Kelly Ambrose Hays
      Kelly Ambrose Hays Cathy - your mom was so nice – I have great memories of her and a few epic slumber parties at your house.

    • Leigh Beeman
      Leigh Beeman My mom collected frogs. She found this wonderful artist Janice Hester who made cool frogs all playing musical instruments. I have about 40 of them and when I open the cabinet I can hear the music. They made her so happy!

    • Nancy Deress
      Nancy Deress My Mothers Pyrex nesting bowls (yellow, green, red, and blue; big to little). Everything she baked involved using one of them. Every time I use them I think of a dish she made and the memory with it.

    • Iris Harrison
      Iris Harrison There’s so many items that I love and cherish, and that’s the problem.

    • Sandra Jean Lawrence
      Sandra Jean Lawrence My mom died just last winter, and I have all of her knitting needles. Every time I knit, I think of her, and see them in her hands.

    • Tina Hengen
      Tina Hengen A little crocheted angel my grandmother made for me after my house burnt down! There are other little treasures I have but that’s the one thing I cherish most!

    • Jodi Nielsen
      Jodi Nielsen A little hand-made quilt that the chaplin at the hospital gave me to lay over Rich while we were in the emergency room – it was the last thing I could do to comfort him while I held his hand as he passed. It has become a very cherished keepsake from which I draw comfort. It will be 5 months on Oct. 2 since I lost him.

    • Jenny Collins Belk
      Jenny Collins Belk So sorry for your loss Jodi.

    • Jeff Shipman
      Jeff Shipman I understand, Jodi. Our church had a prayer shawl ministry for several years. My father in law died with his. It’s still a regular participant in Karen’s life. 

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Mich Lueken
      Mich Lueken This lady vase is one of the things that I love and cherish so much. It was my sweet Mom’s. It sat on her dressing table with her makeup brushes in it and then later on her night stand. Now, its on my night stand and every time I look at it I think of my beautiful Mom.

      Mich Lueken's photo.
    • Judy MacGilvary
      Judy MacGilvary So sorry for your loss, Jodi – our church makes prayer shawls – I’ve crocheted several. When my husband passed 9 years ago another church sent a quilt that was precious to us.
    • Danee Marquand Hayungs
      Danee Marquand Hayungs My mom’s Texasware mixing bowl. I also have a few pieces of jewelry from my mother in law I’m holding for my teenage daughter. My mother in law is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s and she loves her grandkids so much. We wanted to make sure the kids had some special things from Grandma.

    • Jessica Morrell
      Jessica Morrell I’ve been wearing my mother’s pearl ring since March
    • Jenny Horak Smearman
      Jenny Horak Smearman I cant say i have 1 favorite thing, as most of my stuff came from family members,.

    • Holly Robinson
      Holly Robinson I love this, Cathy. I cherish my great-grandmother’s blue willow plate, hanging now above my fireplace. It has crossed the ocean by ship three times, from England and back, with different family members.

    • Jacqueline Mallon Spenger
      Jacqueline Mallon Spenger My grandmothers bible. It was bought in England by my father to give to her.

    • Eileen Goudge
      Eileen Goudge My favorite things are a mug and teapot my sister made. Handpainted with her designs, they’re a treasure worth more than gold. I think of her whenever I make my morning tea

    • Susan Swager Becraft My favorite thing is a cup and saucer my mother brought all the way back from China years ago. My dad hated to travel, and after he died, she and her college roomie were unstoppable. I treat those fragile things like gold because I always think of Mother when I make tea. I don’t think mother-daughter relationships ever end.

    • Donna Fosbrink
      Donna Fosbrink Way back in the 80s when we were in high school, my best friend and I actually bought each other the exact same coffee mug for Christmas. This friend passed away several years ago but I still have the mug. Of course it is chipped, but I refuse to part See More

    • Kelly J. Phillips When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with Angels. My brother gave me an ridiculously ugly, distorted looking Angel candy dish for Christmas. It was the few times we didn’t argue. He passed away a month later. I treasure that dish. Every time I look at it, I laugh. I think now that I’m older that was the intention all along. When I see him again. we’ll laugh at it together.
    • Terri Hilton My mother used to always tell me she would always be with me to help me be strong whenever I felt stressed. She said ,”just reach down into your pocket, and I will be the lint you find there and I will always be with you”. She’s been gone a very long 15 years now, but she’s still always with me. No matter my outfit, she is ALWAYS there. 

    • Carolyn Cooper Guzy An old teapot my Dad bought for my Mom one anniversary. She loved it so. I remember her crying tears of joy when she got it. She put bittersweet in it every year at this time & I now do the same. I hear her talking to me too. Love never goes away.
    • Cindy Bailey McCarty I love when you share memories of your mother. I have a Snoopy glass that I always used at my Grandmother’s house. My kids aren’t allowed to touch it
      Also, my kindle. It was a gift from my husband and one of my most favorite things in the world.

    • Sheryl Weitzel
      Sheryl Weitzel I have a painting my dad did when I was about five for our kitchen. It has been in my kitchen now for over 40 years!

    • Janet Bailey
      Janet Bailey My Slovenian Ladies’ Cookbook. I only use it a couple times a year for holiday baking, but it was my mother’s and has all her hand-written notes in it.

    • Katie Wayt
      Katie Wayt My Jiminy Cricket glass I always drank with when I went to my Grandma’s house.

      Katie Wayt's photo.
    • Joni Cape-Everson
      Joni Cape-Everson I have a flower dish by my bed that my Grandma made !!

    • Ken Robin Davis
      Ken Robin Davis Absolutely, no value to others, priceless to us. I have so many, most recently I have been wearing my grandma’s earing, they are just little plastic ball ones in white, pink, orange and green and yes, I wear all 4 at the same time because each ear has 4 earing holes smile emoticon

    • Cathy Davis
      Cathy Davis My grandmother collected China tea cups. After she went on to her next adventure their were enough of them we each got one.

    • Carol Ann Yankey
      Carol Ann Yankey This flower pot my daughter Jenny painted for me when she was in Middle School. She’s 30 yrs old now.

      Carol Ann Yankey's photo.
    • Colleen Richardson I have a teddy bear that my late father gave me for Christmas when I was in Junior High. His name is Bear and I just love him. He has his own special place on my bed.

    • Chris Hetherington
      Chris Hetherington I have 2 woven cover lets that aren’t in perfect condition– they were obviously used for decades- but they were woven in Wayne County Ohio before 1850 and belonged to my great- great- great grandparents.

    • Amy Nathan
      Amy Nathan A small blanket of itchy crocheted squares made by my grandmother.

    • Lyn Browne
      Lyn Browne I have a crocheted throw mama made.

    • Bettyann Waller the lil frog pot, with an orchid, from Mom’s house..miss her

    • Victoria Powell
      Victoria Powell I still have the short stories my mother wrote and got published (when she was in her fifties). I typed them up, added old photos to illustrate them, and put them in an album. 
      I also have her old (worn and tattered) Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

    • C. H. Armstrong Oh gosh. I don’t know! I guess my grandmother’s bedroom furniture most closely fits that description. It belonged to my grandmother (whom I never met but was named after). My mom then used it in her room my entire childhood, and then I used it in mySee More

      Like · Reply · Message · September 29 at 3:48pm
    • Dusti Douglass
      Dusti Douglass The cup my grandfather used to keep his shave soap in. When I was very little, we would “shave” together, he with his razor and me with a razor-shaped shoe horn. (If only we had selfie sticks back then.) I have his cup in memory of those moments. smile emoticon

    • Wendy Holmes Graham
      Wendy Holmes Graham heart emoticon


One Wonders When This Will End


One wonders when this will end, these shootings, these tragedies.

One wonders how many of our kids have to die before we say, “That’s enough.”

One wonders how many more smiles we have to lose, how many I love yous we have to miss, how many weddings will never take place, how many grandchildren will never be born.

One wonders how many more mothers and fathers will have to lean over their children’s coffins crying, devastated, broken.

One wonders when it will be illegal for politicians to be bought by special interest groups.

One wonders if our frightened politicians will ever do what the majority of Americans want and enact reasonable gun control to save our children’s lives.

One wonders what gifts the children lost could have brought to this world.

One wonders.

In tears and grief, one wonders.



If You Could See What I See $2.99

Need a fall book, ladies?

If You Could See What I See is on sale for $2.99 on Amazon kindle, free for Kindle Unlimited. Excerpt below…



If You Could See What I See

My family sells lingerie.

Negligees, bras, panties, thongs, bustiers, pajamas, nightgowns, and robes.

My grandma, who is in her eighties, started Lace, Satin, and Baubles when she was sixteen. She said she arrived from Ireland after sliding off the curve of a rainbow with a dancing leprechaun and flew to America on the back of an owl.

I thought that was a magical story when I was younger. When I was older I found out that she had crisscross scars from repeated whippings on her back, so the rainbow, dancing leprechaun, and flying owl part definitely dimmed.

Grandma refuses to talk about the whippings, her childhood, or her family in Ireland. “It’s over. No use whining over it. Who likes a whiner? Not me. Everyone has the crap knocked out of them in life, why blab about it? Blah blah blah. Get me a cigar, will you? No, not that one. Get one from Cuba. Red box.”

What I do know is that by the time Regan O’Rourke was sixteen she was out on her own. It was summer and she picked strawberries for money here in Oregon and unofficially started her company.

The woman who owned the farm had an obsession with collecting fabrics but never sewed. In exchange for two nightgowns, she gave Grandma stacks of fabric, lace, satin, and huge jam bottles full of buttons.

Grandma worked at night in her room in a weathered boarding house until the early hours and sold her nightgowns door to door so she would have money for rent and food.

Lace, Satin, and Baubles was born. Our symbol is the strawberry.

My grandma still works at the company. So do my sisters, Lacey and Tory. I am back at home in Portland after years away working as a documentary filmmaker and more than a year of wandering.
You could ask me where I wandered. I would tell you, “I took a skip and a dance into hell.”

It would be appropriate to say I spent the time metaphorically screaming.


USA Today, Chatting With My Cat, And Writing Love Scenes

From USA Today

Cathy Lamb’s very best friend keeps her busy chatting while she’s writing


Cathy Lamb, whose My Very Best Friend is out now, balances “cat chatting” with writing romantic scenes.

Those of us with cats who also write books know exactly what she means by that. (Cathy, incidentally, is not related to me, though we would obviously make awesome relatives, seeing as how we both have chatty black cats.)

Cathy Lamb: My black cat, KC, keeps me company while I write my novels. As you can see by her glasses, she is very smart and serious, dedicated to her role as Cool Family Cat.

She often sits and stares at me while I type away on my laptop. When she wants to share her wisdom, she meows at me and I meow back. She continues this meowing conversation for quite a while sometimes. If I do not meow back, she gets her feelings hurt, I’m sure of it.

It is rather hard to concentrate on writing while meowing, especially when I am writing a love scene, but I try to be brave and bold and persevere through having a cat chat.

KC thinks wearing glasses makes her look even smarter than she already knows she is.

I often use animals in my books. In If You Could See What I See, my character Meggie O’Rourke has a nephew who loves animals. His mother will not allow any more animals in their home as they already have a small zoo, so the nephew, Regan, starts to bring them to his indulgent Aunt Meggie in her tree house. Below is a short excerpt about Pop Pop, a naughty dog who always seems to be grinning; Mrs. Friendly, a male lizard; and Jeepers, a cat with social anxiety problems.

On Tuesday night, with Pop Pop bouncing beside me, grinning, in trouble because he’d had another fight at doggy day care and was on probation again, I came home to a hamster home complete with colorful tubes and a hamster running on a wheel.  A bag full of hamster stuff like food and shavings for the cage sat beside it.

Regan had written a note: “This is a nice girl hamster. My friend, Seth, is allergic to it, so his parents are making him give her up.  Her name is Ham the Hamster. I think you’ll like her because she’s a good listener and curious.  I’ll come and visit. Seth wants to come, too.”

I bent down and peered into the cage. Ham the Hamster was running with all her might on a wheel. I don’t know why. “You’re going to tire yourself out,” I told her. She took no notice.

I carried her in and put her by Mrs. Friendly, the lizard. Mrs. Friendly stuck his tongue out.

Pop Pop darted in and went to play with Jeepers. Jeepers didn’t want to play. I could hear him hissing.

I had a hissy cat, a weird dog on probation, a bored lizard, and a hamster that ran for no reason…

My latest novel is My Very Best Friend. This is the best way to sum it up:


An old stone cottage in Scotland.

An overgrown garden. A man in a kilt.

Lingerie bike riding at midnight. Tea and crumpets.

Two best friends.

One is missing.

Find out more about Cathy and her books and connect with her through cathylamb.org.

MORE ON HEA: Check out an excerpt from Cathy’s ‘My Very Best Friend’

EVEN MORE: Check out other romance authors and their pets




On Relating To A Frog

Can you relate to this frog? I can. I was watching her the other night on our window.

She climbs up, she clings. She hopes she doesn’t fall.

She goes up, no good, goes down, no good, to the side, no good, then she just hangs there.




Hoping the next decision is the best one…Yep. I get this frog.


Frog 1




Chick Lit Central And Imaginary Chick Lit Friends

Hello everyone! I have copied and pasted an interview I recently did with Chick Lit Central.

I was asked to come up with my five favorite Chick Lit friends. That didn’t take a lot of thought on my part. I knew exactly who I’d want to hang out with…

(Check out Chick Lit Central. I love this website.  http://www.chicklitcentral.com/)


Chick Lit Central

A place where people can discuss chick lit books, read reviews, meet authors and win books!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Chick Lit Central: One of the options we gave authors for “Friendship Month” was to share which Chick Lit characters would be their best friends. Cathy Lamb took us up on that challenge. Her latest novel has a fitting title for this month, as it is called My Very Best Friend.

Chick Lit Central: Cathy, who are the top five Chick Lit characters I’d want to be friends with?

Cathy Lamb: Well now. That’s not so hard to choose.As a writer who spends a lot of time alone, fiddling around with my daydreams, talking in my head to characters as if they are real people, who eats too much chocolate and drinks too much coffee, I would have to say…

  1. Sally and Gillian Owens of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.

I love magic. I grew up on the Narnia stories and Practical Magic was an excellent adult extension without the lion and the talking beavers. If I hung out with Sally and Gillian and their aunts long enough maybe I could learn some spells and curses. It’s what I really need in my life: A tad bit of magic.

  1. Cannie Shapiro of Good In Bedby Jennifer Weiner.

Cannie had a lot of wisdom. She’s the type of best friend you could stay up with all night and eat popcorn and watch funny movies and share all your secrets, and she would share hers, and then if you didn’t see each other for ten years, you could have another night of popcorn/secret sharing and you would still be best friends and everything would feel exactly the same in the relationship and no one would have spilled the other’s secrets even if a dragon was threatening to breathe fire upon you unless you told.

  1. Kate Reddy of I Don’t Know How She Does it by Allison Pearson.

As a mother of three who works full time and has for years, I related to Kate. I laughed out loud at her complicated and semi – desperate thought processes – how to manage work and home and housework and kids and a husband, all at once – because I’ve had them so often myself.

And that scene when she’s standing in front of a bunch of egotistical men at a meeting and doesn’t realize that her blouse is see through and her bra is red?


  1. Bridget Jones of Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding.

Who could pass up the late night dinners and city lights, the fast and furious conversations with her friends, the laughter, the craziness, the edge, the honesty? The granny panties? My life in suburbia could use a lift and some excitement. And I’ll take Colin Firth, too. Duh. Of course I’d take Colin Firth.

  1. Andrea Sachs of The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.

I would want to be friends with Andrea before she left Vogue. I mean, well, not Vogue. The nameVogue is not in the book, but we all know that little secret is out of the bag. Anyhow, I would want to go to work with Andrea for one week and see how a magazine is put together. I’d want to learn about fashion and style because I know zero about it. Jeans and sweaters are good enough for me, but still. So interesting! But no more than a week at work with Andrea because I couldn’t stand her boss.


Thanks to Cathy for visiting with us today and to Kensington for the book to share with our readers.

We’ve been hearing rave reviews for this book and are excited to feature Cathy today and share a copy with one lucky reader anywhere in the world, thanks to Kensington. (See below for rafflecopter link.)

A short and sweet synopsis of My Very Best Friend:

An old stone cottage in Scotland.

An overgrown garden. A man in a kilt.

Lingerie bike riding at midnight. Tea and crumpets.

Two best friends.

One is missing.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here. http://www.chicklitcentral.com/2015/09/cathy-lambs-very-best-literary.html.

Cathy Lamb lives in Oregon. She spends a lot of time daydreaming. She has a wild imagination. Cathy is a bad skier and does not like to clean the house. Her husband says she “cooks by fire alarm.” As in, when the fire alarm goes off, that’s when she remembers to take the dinner out of the oven.

She is working on her tenth novel. Her previous novels include: What I Remember MostA Different Kind Of NormalSuch A Pretty Face, and The Last Time I Was Me. Visit Cathy at her websiteFacebook, and Twitter.





If You Could See What I See $2.99

Hello friends,

If You Could See What I See is on sale on Amazon Kindle for $2.99.  Kindle Unlimited, Free.

I so hope you like it. Write to me and let me know. Love to hear from you.

Here’s a quote from grandma Regan O’Rourke:



10 Reasons Why Planting A Garden Is A Lot Like Writing, Minus The Beer, Plus The Worms

(Reprinted from my interview with Tamara Welch of Traveling With T, wonder woman and book addict.   https://travelingwitht.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/guest-post-author-cathy-lamb-talks-writing-and-gardening.)


I love writing and I love gardening, though I am, at best, a beginning gardener who crosses her fingers a lot and hopes she doesn’t kill everything like a human tornado.  I spend a lot of time at my patio table writing my novels on my laptop, slamming down coffee, eating too much chocolate, and muttering, so to have a pretty garden is important to me.

Also, the hummingbirds and butterflies flying around the flowers calm me down when I tell myself I am, and I quote, “The worst writer on the planet Earth, also including Pluto and Neptune and all space aliens.”

Writing and gardening have some commonalities, though writing doesn’t generally involve worms, and gardening does not generally involve making love in a tree.

My thoughts on nurturing a garden, as you would nurture a book…

1. In a garden, like writing, first you have to pull up the weeds.  The weeds are the asinine ideas you think of for your next novel when you’re alone at two in the morning and you have eaten too many chocolate chip cookies and are on a sugar high.  Sugar highs produce weeds.  Don’t use those bizarre – o ideas.

2.  Once you have an idea you have to mix in a lot of yummy dirt. Yummy dirt is what worms like to eat. You should not be eating it. That means you have to get the wheelbarrow that always leans irritatingly to the right, order a bunch of dirt from some dirt place that sits in your driveway like a mountain of misery, and add it to the existing dry and depleted soil.

Once the yummy worm dirt is there, it will help produce more good ideas.

At least, you hope. If it doesn’t, you might have to make yourself a chocolate cake and eat the whole thing by yourself while new story ideas come to you.

3. You need flowers in a garden, so skip yourself on over to the garden store and buy a whole bunch. Choosing flowers is comparable to choosing characters in your spinning brain.  Pick the unique flowers that make you stop and stare, your mouth hanging open like you’re trying to catch a fly.

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Pick the ones that say something. Pick the flowers that are hearty or flirty or difficult that will do cool things in your garden and not die of boredom. Can flowers die of boredom? I don’t think so, but you know what I mean in terms of not using boring characters in your book.

4. Trees must be invited in. The trees are the plot. One must have a compelling plot. Strong, spreading plots that have twists and turns and form a labyrinth of branches throughout the story are a gardener’s and writer’s best friend.

Plus, your characters can climb trees. Or build tree houses in them.

Do not have your characters make love in trees unless they are very nimble and strapped onto a branch. Even then, the realistic outcome would be a broken arm when they fell.

5.  Use garden art. I have plastic geckos on my fence. I have saved the blue circular top of a barbeque from a friend we received as a gift on our wedding 22 years ago. I fill it with petunias. I also have a birdhouse shaped like a church. All original and unexpected.

Your writing has to be like that, too. Original and unexpected. Arty. A little flash, a little dash.

6. Mow the lawn. If you don’t, it does what it damn well wants and it’ll overtake the whole backyard like a green organic monster. Think of a lawnmower as the delete button. The lawnmower deletes excess lawn. The delete button deletes excess crap in your story.

I swear to you, the one thing that can kill a book is a whole bunch of excess words and the writer getting too much into what she wants to say other than what should be said through her characters’ voices. Mow it.

7. Plant trees, bushes, etc. then trim them as needed. Likewise, trim the book. The book has to be tight. The pacing has to be quick.  Every paragraph, every  sentence, every word has to be there for a reason, no kidding. Trim or cut out sub plots that aren’t working, characters that don’t shine or move things along, dialogue that sags.

Get out the shears and snip away, just like you would with dead branches or that stupid rhododendron that just won’t grow in the back corner and it’s driving me crazy.

8. Water the garden. And water yourself. Do not “water” yourself while slugging beer, though. Hemingway did it, of course. You are not Hemingway. You’ll have to delete everything tomorrow morning anyhow because you’ll be slurring your written words so stick to water or milkshakes until you’re done.

9. Be daring in your garden, as you would with your writing. I’ve seen sheds painted with tie dye designs, bridges over rock beds, clay pots stacked together to look like people, and bathtubs filled with marigolds.  Add the surprise.

Write from a new angle, new perspective. Tell the story backwards, tell it from the point of view of a cat, tell it through letters or blogs or someone who is unconscious, but be different.

10. Spend time in your garden reading. Truly. If you spend time in your garden reading and relaxing, you’ll love it more and you’ll be a better writer. But only read writers who are talented. Read the best, you’ll write your best.



Happy reading, happy writing, and happy gardening! Books, writing, and digging in the dirt are gifts to our lives, so go forth and get your gifts, leave the poor worms alone, and don’t make love in trees unless you want a broken arm. That’s my advice.


Rainy Day Sisters


I am asked to review many books, stacks of books, by publishing houses and by other authors.

Rainy Day Sisters, by Kate Hewitt, truly, is in the top three I’ve read. I loved it.  I related to it. I laughed and even teared up a bit.

Two half sisters who hardly know each other. A charming coastal village in England. Wind and rain and tea. A mother off her mean rocker who has just publicly embarrassed her own daughter. Hiding from life and falling in love with a person you never expected to fall in love with. Becoming friends, finally.

This is a perfect book for fall on and – hang on, I’m going to be sappy –  a rainy day.

Here’s an excerpt, but before you read it, pretend that you are soon going to a pretty coastal village in England…..


Lucy Bagshaw’s half sister, Juliet, had warned her about the weather. “When the sun is shining, it’s lovely, but otherwise it’s wet, windy, and cold,” she’d stated in her stern, matter-of-fact way. “Be warned.”


Lucy had shrugged off the warning because she’d rather live anywhere, even the Antarctic, than stay in Boston for another second. In any case she’d thought she was used to all three. She’d lived in England for the first six years of her life, and it wasn’t as if Boston were the south of France. Except in comparison with the Lake District, it seemed it was.


Rain was atmospheric, she told herself as she hunched over the steering wheel, her eyes narrowed against the driving downpour. How many people listed walks in the rain as one of the most romantic things to do?


Although perhaps not when it was as torrential as this.


Letting out a gusty sigh, Lucy rolled her shoulders in an attempt to ease the tension that had lodged there since she’d turned off the M6. Or really since three weeks ago, when her life had fallen apart in the space of a single day—give or take a few years, perhaps.


This was her new start, or, rather, her temporary reprieve. She was staying in England’s Lake District, in the county of Cumbria, for only four months, long enough to get her act together and figure what she wanted to do next. She hoped. And, of course, Nancy Crawford was going to want her job as school receptionist back in January, when her maternity leave ended.

But four months was a long time. Long enough, surely, to heal, to become strong, even to forget.


Well, maybe not long enough for that. She didn’t think she’d ever forget the blazing headline in the Boston Globe’s editorial section: Why I Will Not Give My Daughter a Free Ride.


She closed her eyes—briefly, because the road was twisty—and forced the memory away. She wasn’t going to think about the editorial piece that had gone viral, or her boss’s apologetic dismissal, or Thomas’s shrugging acceptance of the end of a nearly three-year relationship. She certainly wasn’t going to think about her mother. She was going to think about good things, about her new, if temporary, life here in the beautiful, if wet, Lake District. Four months to both hide and heal, to recover and be restored before returning to her real life—whatever was left, anyway—stronger than ever before.


Lucy drove in silence for half an hour, all her concentration taken up with navigating the A-road that led from Penrith to her destination, Hartley-by-the-Sea, population fifteen hundred. Hedgerows lined either side of the road and the dramatic fells in the distance were barely visible through the fog.

She peered through the window trying to get a better look at the supposedly spectacular scenery, only to brake hard as she came up behind a tractor trundling down the road at the breakneck speed of five miles per hour. Pulling behind her from a side lane was a truck with a trailer holding about a dozen morose and very wet-looking sheep.


She stared in the rearview mirror at the wet sheep, who gazed miserably back, and had a sudden memory of her mother’s piercing voice.


Are you a sheep, Lucinda, or a person who can think and act for herself?


Looking at those miserable creatures now, she decided she was definitely not one of them. She would not be one of them, not here, in this new place, where no one knew her, maybe not even her half sister.


It took another hour of driving through steady rain, behind the trundling tractor the entire way, before she finally arrived at Hartley-by-the-Sea. The turning off the A-road was alarmingly narrow and steep, and the ache between Lucy’s shoulders had become a pulsing pain. But at last she was here.


There always was a bright side, or at least a glimmer of one. She had to believe that, had clung to it for her whole life and especially for the last few weeks, when the things she’d thought were solid had fallen away beneath like her so much sinking sand.


The narrow road twisted sharply several times, and then as she came around the final turn, the sun peeked out from behind shreds of cloud and illuminated the village in the valley below.


A huddle of quaint stone houses and terraced cottages clustered along the shore, the sea a streak of gray-blue that met up with the horizon. A stream snaked through the village before meandering into the fields on the far side; dotted with cows and looking, in the moment’s sunshine, perfectly pastoral, the landscape was like a painting by Constable come to life.


For a few seconds Lucy considered how she’d paint such a scene; she’d use diluted watercolors, so the colors blurred into one another as they seemed to do in the valley below, all washed with the golden gray light that filtered from behind the clouds.


She envisioned herself walking in those fields, with a dog, a black Lab perhaps, frisking at her heels. Never mind that she didn’t have a dog and didn’t actually like them all that much. It was all part of the picture, along with buying a newspaper at the local shop—there had to be a lovely little shop down there, with a cozy, grandmotherly type at the counter who would slip her chocolate buttons along with her paper.


A splatter of rain against her windshield woke her from the moment’s reverie. Yet another tractor was coming up behind her, at quite a clip. With a wave of apology for the stony-faced farmer who was driving the thing, she resumed the steep, sharply twisting descent into the village.


She slowed the car to a crawl as she came to the high street, houses lining the narrow road on either side, charming terraced cottages with brightly painted doors and pots of flowers, and, all right, yes, a few more weathered-looking buildings with peeling paint and the odd broken window.


Lucy was determined to fall in love with it, to find everything perfect.


Juliet ran a guesthouse in one of the village’s old farmhouses: Tarn House, she’d said, no other address. Lucy hadn’t been to Juliet’s house before, hadn’t actually seen her sister in more than five years. And didn’t really know her all that well.


Juliet was thirty-seven to her twenty-six, and when Lucy was six years old, their mother, Fiona, had gotten a job as an art lecturer at a university in Boston. She’d taken Lucy with her, but Juliet had chosen to stay in England and finish her A levels while boarding with a school friend. She’d gone on to university in England, she’d visited Boston only once and over the years Lucy had always felt a little intimidated by her half sister, so cool and capable and remote.


Yet it had been Juliet she’d called when everything had exploded around her, and Juliet who had said briskly, when Lucy had burst into tears on the phone, that she should come and stay with her for a while.


“You could get a job, make yourself useful,” she’d continued in that same no-nonsense tone that made Lucy feel like a scolded six-year-old. “The local primary needs maternity cover for a receptionist position, and I know the head teacher. I’ll arrange it.”


And Lucy, overwhelmed and grateful that someone could see a way out of the mess, had let her. She’d had a telephone interview with the head teacher, who was, she realized, the principal, the next day, a man who had sounded as stern as Juliet and had finished the conversation with a sigh, saying, “It’s only four months, after all,” so Lucy felt as if he was hiring her only as a favor to her sister.


And now she couldn’t find Tarn House.


She drove the mile and a half down the main street and back again, doing what felt like a seventeen-point turn in the narrow street, sweat prickling between her shoulder blades while three cars, a truck, and two tractors, all driven by grim-faced men with their arms folded, waited for her to manage to turn the car around. She’d never actually driven in England before, and she hit the curb twice before she managed to get going the right way.


She passed a post office shop looking almost as quaint as she’d imagined (peeling paint and lottery advertisements aside), a pub, a church, a sign for the primary school where she’d be working (but no actual school as far as she could see), and no Tarn House.


Finally she parked the car by the train station, admiring the old-fashioned sign above the Victorian station building, which was, on second look, now a restaurant. The driving rain had downgraded into one of those misting drizzles that didn’t seem all that bad when you were looking out at it from the cozy warmth of your kitchen but soaked you utterly after about five seconds.


Hunching her shoulders against the bitter wind—this was August—she searched for someone to ask directions.


The only person in sight was a farmer with a flat cap jammed down on his head, wearing extremely mud-splattered plus fours. Lucy approached him with her most engaging smile.


“Pardon me—are you from around here?”


He squinted at her suspiciously. “Eh?”


She had just asked, she realized, an absolutely idiotic question. “I only wanted to ask,” she tried again, “do you know where Tarn House is?”


“Tarn House?” he repeated, his tone implying that he’d never heard of the place.


“Yes, it’s a bed-and-breakfast here in the village—”


“Eh?” He scratched his head, his bushy eyebrows drawn together rather fiercely. Then he dropped his hand and jerked a thumb towards the road that led steeply up towards the shop and one pub. “Tarn House’s up there, isn’t it, now, across from the Hangman’s Noose.”


“The Hangman’s—” Ah. The pub. Lucy nodded. “Thank you.”


“The white house with black shutters.”


“Thanks so much, I really appreciate it.” And why, Lucy wondered as she turned up the street, had he acted so incredulous when she’d asked him where it was? Was that a Cumbrian thing, or was her American accent stronger than she’d thought?


Tarn House was a neat two-story cottage of whitewashed stone with the promised black shutters, and pots of chrysanthemums on either side of the shiny black door. A discreet hand-painted sign that Lucy hadn’t glimpsed from the road informed her that this was indeed her destination.


She hesitated on the slate step, her hand hovering above the brass knocker, as the rain continued steadily down. She felt keenly then how little she actually knew her sister. Half sister, if she wanted to be accurate; neither of them had known their different fathers. Not that Lucy could really call a sperm donor a dad. And their mother had never spoken about Juliet’s father, whoever he was, at least not to Lucy.


Her hand was still hovering over the brass knocker when the door suddenly opened and Juliet stood there, her sandy hair pulled back into a neat ponytail, her gray eyes narrowed, her hands planted on her hips, as she looked Lucy up and down, her mouth tightening the same way her mother’s did when she looked at her.


Two sleek greyhounds flanked Juliet, cowering slightly as Lucy stepped forward and ducked her head in both greeting and silent, uncertain apology. She could have used a hug, but Juliet didn’t move and Lucy was too hesitant to hug the half sister she barely knew.


“Well,” Juliet said with a brisk nod. “You made it.”


Kate Hewitt, author bio: 

I’m an American living in England with my husband and five children, having moved recently from the wilds of Cumbria where Rainy Day Sisters is set to the gentler climes of the Cotswolds. I love writing, reading, and baking delicious but rather lumpy looking cakes.


A longer blurb, for those who want a bit more about Rainy Day Sisters….When Lucy Bagshaw’s life in Boston falls apart, thanks to a scathing editorial written by her famous artist mother, she accepts her half sister Juliet’s invitation to stay with her in a charming seaside village in northern England. Lucy is expecting quaint cottages and cream teas, but instead finds that her sister is an aloof host, the weather is wet, windy, and cold, and her new boss, Alex Kincaid, is a disapproving widower who only hired her as a favor to Juliet.

Despite the invitation she offered, Juliet is startled by the way Lucy catapults into her orderly life. As Juliet faces her own struggles with both her distant mother and her desire for a child, her sister’s irrepressible optimism begins to take hold. With the help of quirky villagers, these hesitant rainy day sisters begin to forge a new understanding…and find in each other the love of family that makes all the difference.

E-mail: katehewitt@kate-hewitt.com
Facebook: Kate Hewitt


Cathy Lamb
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