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Yesterday I had a lovely time at Warwick’s in La Jolla, signing copies of Threadwalkers for their Weekends with Locals event. They open their shop on Sunday afternoons to local authors to bring their books and chat with people coming into the store, and they very kindly offered me one of their spots this month. Thanks, Warwick’s!

Thanks for this snap, Laura!

It was a lot of fun getting to meet people, and also a bunch of my friends showed up to support me, which made the whole day really fantastic.

We took some photos for posterity, and I grabbed a late lunch afterward with some of my friends, and made a day of it. And hey, if you’re still looking to buy a copy, here’s the Barnes & Noble link, the Amazon link, and the Kindle link— and the Kindle edition is currently on sale, so only $2.99. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’m really bad a titles, y’all. Blog post titles, anyway. But I feel like most of them are at least pretty informative about the content of the post.

We moved into our house in California back in late December, and Jared checked into his new command in early January, and in theory he was supposed to get 10 days to help get the house set up and us settled, but the Navy being what it is, he got to take his leave in….March.

Handily enough, I also had spring break in March so we lined the dates up and took a fantastic 10 day staycation in southern California, because sleeping at home and driving a little further is cheaper than flights and hotels. I won’t go into all the details, but here are some of the highlights! I might make more detailed posts about some of the individual outings (like the Food & Wine festival) in the next couple of weeks, but no promises.

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival

I’ve done the EPCOT version of this, which takes place in the fall and involves a lot of international fare around the World Showcase, but the DCA Food & Wine Festival centers on California-grown products and flavors, which is a really neat idea.

Each stand focused on a region or specific ingredient, such as avocado (avocado ice cream was interesting, and the flavor grew on me), citrus (lemon ginger mules and orange chicken), or strawberries (strawberry frushi was wholly new to me and soooo good). We had a great time, and between lunch and dinner managed to try everything we wanted to from the lineup.

And since it was a vacation week, we stayed for World of Color, the DCA nighttime water and light show! We don’t often stay that late as it begins around 9:45pm and we were driving home, but it was fun.

And afterwards because most people had gone home, we hit up our favorite rides that had too-long lines during the day. Nothing like walking straight onto Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and riding it in the dark!

Whale Watching and Exploring Little Italy San Diego

One of the things I miss about Hawaii is the proximity to whales. They are here, of course– gray and blue whales have migration patterns that take them past the southern California coastline– but you don’t usually just look out and see them.

Since it’s gray whale migration season, we scheduled a whale watching trip out of San Diego harbor for an overcast morning in the middle of the week, and were rewarded with four gray whales! They were huge, and moving northward as a group.

After whale watching, we hung out in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego. This area was settled by Italian immigrants who came for the tuna fishing, and the buildings retain much of the charm of the historic neighborhood.

There is also plenty of good food, and we had amazing pasta followed by gelato and sightseeing. The Catholic church there is particularly beautiful, and open to peek inside of during the week (when there isn’t a service).

Universal Studios Hollywood and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Neither of us had been to Universal Studios Hollywood before, though we’d been to the theme park in Orlando a few times. One of the things that struck me about the Hollywood location is that it isย actually at the studio, and that it grew out of the old studio tours that began over 100 years ago, in 1915.

You can still go on the studio tour and see the back lots they use to create places like “New York City” or “London” or even “Whoville” from the Grinch, among other places.

And, of course, the theme park is now home to the second installation of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This park has the smaller Hogsmeade area, just like the first part added in Orlando. (There are rumors that started before this part of the park even opened in 2014 of a Diagon Alley expansion but I’ve not been able to find any firm confirmation of it. I wouldn’t doubt it, though– Harry Potter is probably one of their most marketable theme park experiences, and is the best park of their theme parks in terms of immersion and overall experience.)

We enjoyed our afternoon in Hogsmeade in an ongoing drizzle, which was nice because it kept the crowds to a minimum and left us with much of the “village” to ourselves. And I can confirm that hot butterbeer is the superior version of the 3 they sell, especially on a cool, rainy day.

WonderCon 2018, Anaheim

We capped off our staycation week with a weekend in Anaheim for WonderCon 2018. WonderCon is produced by Comic-Con International, the company who puts on San Diego Comic-Con in the summer, and is I suspect what SDCC used to be about ten or fifteen years ago. That is to say that it’s large (with an exhibit hall floor of a similar footprint to SDCC) and brings in some well-known faces in both comics and general pop-culture, but is still small enough that everything feels accessible. We were able to make it into every single panel we wanted, which is physically impossible at SDCC. Also, small businesses can still afford floor space in the exhibit hall, so I got to see a lot of local indie designers I like (and interview a few for Geek Girl Pen Pals).

Highlights of the panels I attended included An Afternoon with Patrick Rothfuss, which was a spotlight panel featuring the author wherein he told stories and sort-of answered questions; The Science of Pacific Rim, with scientist panelists debating the feasibility and possible biology of the giant robots and creatures from the Pacific Rim series; and a screening of an episode from A Series of Unfortunate Events, which just added season 2 to Netflix this past weekend.

A Series of Unfortunate Events is one of my favorite book series, and I’ve been enjoying the show quite a bit. The screening was introduced by Nathan Fillion (which meant a reeeaaally packed out room– though I managed to score second row seats!) who plays Jacques Snicket in the 2nd season.

And then it was Sunday and we had to come home and go back to “real life” the next day. But it was a fantastic 10 days and the very needed break from the whirlwind of the last several months. I feel more balanced in this whole school/life thing and that’s good, too. I’ll leave you with my “Easter kitty” and wish you well. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s been a whirlwind week, but here we are at the last day of the virtual book tour! I had fun doing this, and hope you enjoyed reading the bits from other folks, and guest posts I wrote.

With no more ado…

Blog Tour Links for March 9

  • Here’s a review of Threadwalkers from SMADA. [read more]
  • And here’s another guest post I wrote over at OD Book Reviews! [read more]

Thanks so much to everyone who hosted me, reviewed the book, or generally promoted it this week. I truly appreciate it and am glad that so many of you enjoyed my time travel story!

Hey, Sailor

For my last bonus-share of the week, I figured I’d leave a serendipitous photo that I happened to grab today: J in his dress blues!

jo and jared in uniform

He had an event today that required him to be all dressed up, and even though I didn’t attend, I took advantage of the opportunity when he got home to (with the help of my remote shutter) grab a couple of photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

Blog Tour Links for March 7 & 8:

It’s a bit quieter these two days, but we’re making up for it with quality content!

  • I wrote a guest post over on SuperCaliReader about dealing with writer’s block, which is probably my most-asked question. [read more]
  • Here’s an interview with Butterfly-o-Meter Books where you can learn fun things like why I don’t have a unicorn in my backyard. [read more]

Upping My Vintage Style Levels

I’ve been looking to add purple (especially lavender!) to my wardrobe for several years, and pastel yellow and pink are my favorite colors to wear, so you can maybe imagine how excited I am to see all three of these colors turning up this spring in stores!

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I also took an extra level in Vintage Style with this fab necklace from the 60s (an etsy find!) and a dolman that’s all paisly pink and periwinkle goodness.

It’s Tuesday, so welcome to DAY TWO of the Threadwalkers blog tour, aka virtual book tour. Yay!

Blog Tour Links for March 6:

  • Here is a lovely review from Arkham Reviews to check out. [read more]
  • This is another review from Married to Books. [read more]
  • An excerpt of Threadwalkers is available over on FirstBookLove [read more]
  • Finally, a review from Birdie’s Bibliotheca. [read more]

Come back tomorrow for the next round!

Backyard shenanigans

One of the things I’m enjoying this week is the DRAMA of the hummingbirds in my backyard. They’ve fought over the feeder since day one (and I’m seriously thinking about getting a second one just so everybody will calm down a little) but the new development this week is that A) they aren’t afraid of me anymore so they are fighting above and around my head and B) they figured out they could perch on the decorative pieces I have hanging from the porch ceiling and stand guard over their preferred feeder spots.

hummer on art

So cute and ridiculous! (It’s not a great photo but at least you can see one of the loudest of my soap opera cast.)

It’s Monday, which means it’s DAY ONE of the Threadwalkers blog tour, aka virtual book tour. Yay!

Blog Tour Links for March 5:

  • Here’s a short review with a giveaway attached for a $25 Amazon gift card from The British Bookworm [read more]
  • Here’s an interview I did with The Cover Contessa. If you’ve ever wanted to know what my dream job as a child was or five things that make me sad, this is the one for you. [read more]
  • Finally, here’s a very kind review from Stephanie at Literary Flits who is also giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! [read more]

Snaps from a daytrip up the mountain

winter valley

Sunday afternoon 3 friends and I ventured into the east San Diego county mountains to meander around Julian and to enjoy the winding roads and gorgeous overlooks. We saw a distant Salton Sea and desert and snow and it was lovely.

4 friends

Two of these ladies move away this year and I’m so sad to see them go. It’s part of life, these hellos and goodbyes, but this hello has been entirely too short.

Oh HEY. It’s March. Where did February go??

It felt like January took roughly 11.3 years to get through and then I blinked and it was March 1st. WOW.

Because time got away from me, there are a couple of links that you may have missed.

Author Interview

First, I had a fantastic time chatting about Threadwalkers with Jennifer Holmquist, aka Magic Cat Jenny, over on her YouTube channel:

Book Review

Second, Time Travel Nexus published a lovely review ofย Threadwalkers earlier this week, which you can read here.

Don’t forget you can always find reviews, media, and bonus content on the Media and Bonus Content page of this site. ๐Ÿ™‚

(Vitural) Book Tour

Third, I’m going on (virtual) tour! Starting next week, I’ll be hanging out on various book blogs in the form of guest posts and interviews, and there will be many more reviews! If you want to follow along, here’s the planned schedule:

March 5th

March 6th

March 7th

March 8th

March 9th

So I’ll be seeing you a lot next week as I try to stay on top of these. I’ll also link back to these sites each day as the posts go live so they are easy to find.

#BYJoStraw Project

In other, non-Threadwalkers news, I’ve started a new instagram account to document a project I’m doing this term for my master’s program. I was challenged to find something to promote biodiversity, so I decided to give up single-use plastic straws! In the US alone, we go through an estimated 500 million straws A DAY. They can’t be recycled and it takes each one 200 years to decompose. YIKES. I ordered a glass straw from Simply Straws, and honestly, it’s been SO much fun to use! I take it with me everywhere in its cloth sleeve, and it’s got a cleaning brush and everything. Here’s my straw in action:

If you want one of your own, you can use my referral link to Simply Straws for 25% off your first purchase. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will let you know that I also get rewards when you use the link. So basically we both save money and there’s less plastic pollution. It’s a win-win-win.

So there’s the full update! In theory I’ll be back on Monday with links to FUN THINGS! Woot!