It was a night for celebration with author Luanne Rice

Maybe it’s not a coincidence that in the year my son Jackson was born, 2000, I discovered my favorite female author, Luanne Rice. During that year, I had been isolated and pregnant amongst the eucalyptus trees. 

With my friends out of reach, I took refuge in books.

After living in Los Angeles for 10 years, Rancho Santa Fe seemed like a foreign country with affluent perks I did not appreciate as a 27-year-old. Books were like friends as characters spoke to me about how to endure changes you never saw coming. I managed to survive culture shock and loneliness by reading fascinating fiction that resonated with my heart.

Luanne Rice’s first book that I read was “Cloud Nine.” I followed the main character’s battle with cancer, while she discovered a new love. I devoured the pages. I wept. I smiled. I found a source of light inside that inspiring story. Soon, I would make many trips to Barnes & Noble in Carmel Valley to buy another book that Luanne had written. (There are so many!)

Her books helped me through one of the loneliest periods of my life. Who knew Rancho Santa Fe could trigger such colossal upheaval? Of course, with change can come unexpected gifts, too. My new world that emerged slowly in Southern California would end up leading me to the best 10 years of my life.

Somehow, Luanne’s novels helped me discover my own blessings in San Diego. Sitting by my bedside and on my bookshelves, each new book marked a new beginning for me.

In 2006, I experienced the joy of connecting with Luanne through social networking sites. And after a crucial year of losing loved ones in 2010, Luanne invited me to a library conference at the convention center and I finally met her in person. That will forever be a cherished memory.

This summer marks a monumental milestone for Luanne. “Little Night,” released just this month, is her 30th novel. This summer cuddle up under the blankets and discover why Luanne’s stories can be healing and magical in your life, too.

Around Town

On June 2, Helen Woodward’s Kit Kat bash lit up the sky in Rancho Santa Fe. From silver beads to tassels, and flapper dresses to headbands, this gala marked the 24th year for their Spring Fling event.

My mother-in-law Katie Shull is actively involved with the center and donated her time helping on the committee. Vice President Renee Resko was also on hand, looking absolutely fabulous, I must say! I have included a gorgeous photo of both of them looking just exquisitely beautiful.

Thank you to Katie and Ken for buying us tickets this year to one of my favorite events in Rancho Santa Fe. If you would like to know more about his fine organization, visit animalcenter.org.

On June 6, my son Jackson Tuck and I drove easily past traffic up the 405 freeway to attend Luanne Rice’s book signing. Managing to crawl into Malibu when the PCH hit a standstill, you can only imagine our delight to finally make it to Diesel Book store. A little late, we missed Luanne’s reading of “Little Night,” but we did get to meet other fans, mingle with guests and hang out with one of my favorite persons walking the planet.

Jackson kept saying, “Mom. Mom, relax, be cool.” (I think he was a bit embarrassed of his mother’s overtly enthusiastic spirit that could not be contained!) After the signing, we were invited to Café Habana to mingle with some of Luanne’s friends.

What are the odds, the manager of Café Habana happened to be a friend of mine from my Hollywood years? Let’s just say, I was walking down memory lane and it felt like the coincidences were all signs I was right where I was supposed to be that evening.

John Slattery of “Mad Men” was on deck along with actor Costas Mandylor, who is well known from the “Saw” movies. I have included some fun photos from that evening.

Life can absolutely feel like a dream when you make an effort to follow your own bliss. The fast turn-around trip in grueling traffic was absolutely worth it!

On June 8, the weather in La Jolla was absolutely smashing. A vivid blue sky marked the ocean horizon and I do believe the palm trees appeared to be standing taller, with confidence in the golden aura of the sunny weather.

You may know if you read my blog site, machelpenn.com, I often write about the art or the artists available to art collectors at Legends Fine Art Gallery. But have I mentioned Mackenzie Thorpe? This was an exciting day for me because a lithograph titled, “To The Job,” finally arrived.

This is my second Thorpe piece and I’m just beaming with pride over my two pieces that I have added to my own small art collection. If you are looking to add to some color, or a unique painting by a renowned artist, Mackenzie Thorpe is one to definitely collect. Here is the website to Legends: legendsfineartgallery.com Roree Mayhew is the art gallery director there and is an expert on all of the artists in the gallery. You can contact him at Roree@Legendsgallerylajolla.com.

SAVE THE DATE for July 12: If you are a Kiwi Audio Visual client or are interested in the newest high-end home automation to media room upgrades, this company has been solid in San Diego and caters to the Rancho Santa Fe area for more than 15 years. This is a “Pre-Opening Day Party” in which Kiwi basically is throwing fabulous bash to thank all of their clients and colleagues in Southern California.

For more information, call (888) 567-KIWI and ask to speak to Michael, or e-mail him at MChunka@kiwiav.com.

The party will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. July 12 at 1950 Kellogg Avenue in Carlsbad.

 

 

 

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