USA Today Features Villa Blue

The wonderful people of USA Today featured an exclusive excerpt of my latest contemporary romance VILLA BLUE. Click here to check it out!


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Besides being happy to provide USA Today an exclusive excerpt, I’m so grateful to sites like USA Today’s Happy Ever After for supporting and celebrating romance.

Villa Blue is avail now for preorder, on sale tomorrow (3/22/16)!

Happy spring everyone!

xo Isla

Dancing In The Stars

Some people just stick with us. For me, I find that the people who stick with me, the lasting memories, are very specific and not generally what would be considered “obvious.”

Last week began with the news of our dear family friend, Maggi BB, passing away. My parents were–sigh–on their way to visit Maggi in the bay area when I got word and called to tell them. I also relayed the news to several people–each time difficult, some more than others. So after that was done, I went to have my own moment, to process the news for myself. My pup and I walked over to Maggi’s beloved home in the mountains, and I sat in her colorful garden, listening to the quiet. Listening for Maggi in the quiet.

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Watering Maggi’s garden last summer

To say that she was part of our lives would be an understatement. She was PRESENT in our lives, bringing her lively, colorful spirit with her, always, all ways. Christmas evening she would join us for dinner, bringing with her a treasure trove of earrings she’d collected throughout the year, and would let each of us ladies pick a pair. At our birthday parties, she would show up wearing some vibrant ensemble–usual for her–and stand up in front of everyone and sing a spontaneous Birthday Song, making the lyrics and dance moves up on the fly.

She lived bravely. She lived colorfully. Her past–while I only know hints of it–were colored with some darkness. And her life, in later years, was lived brightly, with bold colors and a big heart. She loved humans fearlessly, she wasn’t afraid to say she was afraid of something, and she made us all feel special.

Some of what I will remember most will be: her voice, the way she spoke, the cadence of her voice. She spoke like a mystic. She would speak and make expressive sounds with wavy tones, especially if she was feeling frisky, and always end with a FLOURISH! Maybe a clap of hands! Then she’d laaaaaaaugh. She spoke as if she had a fun secret to share–even if she was speaking about a new water filter she’d purchased.

I will remember when she came over to my newly renovated pied-Ă -terre and got tears in her eyes as she told me how lovely my new home was, how happy she was for me. And, because Maggi was Maggi, she walked around doing a spontaneous blessing in every area of the place. (see above Birthday Song–very similar approach)

I will remember when I was housesitting at my parents’ house and a deer died in the driveway. No joke. Just died right in the driveway. I called Maggi and said, horrified, “What on earth do I do about this?” Without a second thought, she gathered up her handyman and came over, and she chatted with me, making me laugh, while he kindly removed the deer from the driveway.

I will remember not just how eccentric she was, but how authentic she was. She had this ability to be whimsical and silly and fun, and at the same time, speak gently, compassionately, and earnestly from her heart.

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With Maggi BB

She loved life. She loved living it her way. And she lived it beautifully.

And now, Maggi BB is dancing in the stars, I’m sure of it.

Hug the ones you love.

xo Isla


Villa Blue ~ Now Available Pre-Order!

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I’m so excited to announce that Villa Blue, a new contemporary romance, is now available for a special pre-order price of $.99! I adored living on the fictional island of Parpadeo Island while I wrote the book, and I fell in love with the independent, introverted painter and the casual, adventurous business man. I hope you enjoy their story too. 🙂

xo Isla

Ivy Van Noten is a reclusive impressionist painter living in the greenhouse of an aging estate, Villa Blue, on an island off the coast of California. Two things matter most to Ivy—living her dreams as an artist and living at Villa Blue. She paints everyday from her perch high above the harbor, believes in hard work not muses, and is happy with everything exactly as it is. Except for one little detail: she’s got a serious case of artist’s block.
Comfortable wherever he is in the world, adventurous businessman Aiden James heads to Villa Blue under the prospect of acquiring the estate made popular during the Golden Era of Hollywood. But what he finds is an artist who captivates him in ways that wander well past the casual flings he’s accustomed to.
With an upcoming show that will either mean Ivy can continue living her dreams or dip into full-on failure, she’s fiercely focused on finding her way. And with Aiden beside her, holding her hand through adventures she’d never dream of doing on her own, the colors of her world begin to brighten, the snarling source of the block begins to loosen, and her heart discovers what it truly means to be in love.