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Yes, I am having déjà vu as I am back in Anaheim this week for the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference. As I walked through the lobby of the Hilton where I am staying, I had flashbacks to my trip here a few weeks ago. I feel like I am in a script where we substituted librarians with romance authors; the rest, including the panels and the parties, stayed the same. As always, I enjoyed "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing on Wednesday night, where over 400 different authors signed books for charity. The proceeds from the event are donated to various literacy charities. Wonder what this night was like? Then read my blog, complete with pictures.

Two trips to California down; one more to go! This week has been too busy for me to even feel jetlagged. The office is humming, I have been reading up a storm for future projects, and I am trying to schedule the events for my next trip.

As I wrote all day today, I was haunted by the shooting at the movie theater in Aurora. After attending San Diego Comic-Con, where the eager anticipation for the new Batman film was on everyone's minds and where I had been immersed in cosplay and comics chatter, hearing this news was shocking. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I, like all of you, wait for information to emerge on what caused the shooter to act in this way.

Around the back of our house, I have created this colorful tranquil oasis with flowers --- both perennial beds and containers of annuals. An eight-foot fence surrounds the property to keep deer out, but a few weeks ago we were invaded…by Japanese beetles. We had not had them in many summers, so I thought that they were gone…but no. At one point, I looked on one rose leaf and saw six of them hovering there eating away. I started squishing them and leaving the bodies behind, thinking new invaders would see their future fates. I shook the bushes and they flew away…and then flew back. I went online and read about a product called Milky Spore, which goes into the soil to stop their future production. I headed to the store, and got that and two bottles of sprays. Tom and the boys watched as I went on the attack. It was like an attack scene in a thriller novel. I was out there spritzing away. It seems to have worked for the moment, but then again, I heard the bugs go dormant in July, so maybe THAT is what happened. But I like to think my methods worked.

While when we left off last week I was not loving the idea of a single day in the middle of the week to celebrate the 4th of July, it ended up being a lovely interlude that somehow felt like a weekend instead of a solo midday off, probably because most people were not working. A day off in the middle of the week reminded me of when I was a young child and doctors took Wednesdays off; the golf courses usually had lots of golfers on them on Wednesdays. As a perfect escape for a hot summer day, I spent the 4th floating in the pool and reading Emily Giffin’s upcoming book, WHERE WE BELONG, which was brilliantly fun and entertaining, a perfect summer read. It will be in stores on July 24th.