Thursday, September 18, 2014

May the Fun Be With You

This past weekend we celebrated my youngest son's birthday with his friends. All three of my children have their birthdays within a month so this is the last one for about a year. Back to school time and three birthdays make this the craziest time of the year for me!

Here are some fun photos from the Star Wars Extravaganza! (The majority of ideas executed here are of course from Pinterest!) 14 boys total made for a raucous house and a sweaty, stinky basement! Did I mention it was a sleepover, too?!

Warrooooum. (Light saber sound effect.)
 
 May the snacks be with you.
 
 Cue Imperial March.
 
There was Jedi Training.

 
 
And now I must nap.
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Goodbye, summer! Hello, sale!

How can it be September already?

Gear up for the new school year with  new books! I'm ready for a new year in my preschool classroom, and I've already picked so many great books to share with my class!


My newest picture book, WORDS ON BIRDS,  is a great gift for teachers! You can purchase it HERE or enter to win a copy at Goodreads HERE!


Also, for your preteen girls, the ROCK 'N' ROLL PRINCESSES WEAR BLACK middle grade ebook is on sale for 99 cents HERE for just a few more weeks! Great Back to School sale!

Read Shelley Sly's great review of it HERE!






Also, thank you to the wonderful peeps at WRITE ON CON! Loved getting great suggestions on my newest picture book manuscript. Check out the website here!


Goodbye, summer! Hello, new school year. I went to see One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer with my daughter and mother-in-law this past weekend (certainly not my usual rock concert, but fun!) and also to a joyful family wedding.  Pinterest has been my friend for sure the last few weeks between planning for my kids' birthday parties and the new school year.
Yup. Here's Liam, Harry, and Niall singing to us!

How are you getting ready for the new school year? What did you do on Labor Day weekend?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Meet My Character Blog Tour



I have been tagged by Sherrie Petersen, author of middle grade novel, WISH YOU WEREN'T, to participate in the MEET MY CHARACTER BLOG TOUR! Read her post HERE!
 
Let me introduce you to Stef, the main character of my middle grade novel, ROCK 'N' ROLL PRINCESSES WEAR BLACK (you can purchase here!)
 
1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
The main character in ROCK 'N' ROLL PRINCESSES WEAR BLACK is 12 year old Stefani Lucas. She was named after the fabulous Gwen Stefani.  I thought I was so clever in naming her this (I started writing this 6+ years ago) until I watched the DVD BABY MAMA starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. At the end, Amy's character names a baby Stefani (pronounced like Gwen's last name). I may or may have not said an expletive when I saw that! But I still kept my main character's name. Which is pronounced Stephanie though, and she is usually called Stef.
 
2) When and where is the story set?
The story is a contemporary novel so set in current times and also set somewhere in the Midwest!
 
3) What should we know about him/her?
Stef is a huge music lover, loves to read, and plays piano. She loves to wear the color black because it is cool and because it's easy. Her best friend is Gabi Rivera, and they have a strong friendship.
 
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
Stefani Lucas is a rockin’ sixth grader who loves music and dresses like a mini hipster in all black, but there's one thing cramping her style - her lame baby brother who manages to hog all the attention from her parents. When classmates tease her about her clothes and even double dare her to (gasp!) wear another color, Stef decides a minor makeover may be in order. Can Stef change for others and still stay true to herself? Will she continue feeling left out at home?
 
5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Stef just wants to have a conflict-free life at school and more attention from her parents. Typical junior high angst.

Thank you, Sherrie, for tagging me! You can purchase ROCK 'N' ROLL PRINCESSES WEAR BLACK at amazon, barnesandnoble, kobo, and select bookstores!
*SALE* The ebook will go on sale for 99 cents starting this Wednesday for a week!
 
 
If you would like to hop on this tour, post one week from now and tag Sherrie and me in it! I'd love to get to know your characters, too! This tour highlights a main character from one of your WIP/recently published or soon to be published work. The person who invites you will have a set day to post. You will post ONE WEEK after that. The authors you tag will post one week after you, and so on.
 
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kickin' It Like the Girl That I Am

I'm joining in on the Kicks Like A Girl blog tour. Thank you Suzanne Casemento for inviting me!Check out KICKS LIKE A GIRL by Melissa Westemeyer here, and check out Suzanne's post here!

Now for this blog tour I tell you a little about myself.

First thing ever published in a magazine was this in Us Weekly back in 2000! :) (Yes, McConaughey is one of my all time faves). Okay, technically not a paid piece. My first paid piece was rhyming bird riddles in Nature Friend magazine!


My first picture book was published in 2012 by Meegenius. I wrote this story for an assignment for an online writing course. Several years and revisions later, it became BIG SISTER, BABY BROTHER.

I'm also the author of Meegenius book, HOLD THE MUSTARD. My other picture books include ROCKABET: CLASSIC EDITION and  the most recent, WORDS ON BIRDS. My debut middle grade novel, ROCK 'N' ROLL PRINCESSES WEAR BLACK, was published in March. (See cutie patootie Francesca Capaldi from Disney Channel below holding it!)












Lastly, after spending time with my family, my favorite thing is going to rock concerts. See below a depiction of all the bands I've seen and how many times! (This is actually from 2013. Since then, I've seen Buckcherry one more time plus Alter Bridge and The Toadies for the first time!)













Thanks for stopping by! If you want to hop on this blog tour, let me know and I'll link to your next Monday's post!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Birds, Books, and a Bog


Yesterday I had a lovely afternoon at a beautiful state natural area near our home called Volo Bog. My dad and I signed books for visitors that came for International Bog Day! (Yes, there is such a thing!) A blues band played, refreshments were enjoyed, crafts were made, and we met many lovely people who also love nature. Kids made a cute robin craft that I found on Pinterest (see below), and we were signing right by the buttons where you can hear various bird calls.


Special day with my dad and family!

You can purchase our picture book WORDS ON BIRDS online at amazon, BarnesandNoble, and select bookstores.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Double Negative


 
Do you know C. Lee McKenzie? If the answer is yes or no, I have some Double Positive news for you. She is one warm, friendly and talented author, and she has a new book!
 
Lee takes on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. Her short story, Premeditated Cat, appears in the anthology, The First Time, and her Into the Sea of Dew is part of a collection, Two and Twenty Dark Tales. In 2012, her first middle grade novel, Alligators Overhead, came out.
 
Lee's newest Young Adult novel, DOUBLE NEGATIVE, is available TODAY!
 
Hutchison Mc Queen is a sixteen-year-old smart kid who screws up regularly. He’s a member of Larkston High’s loser clique, the boy who’s on his way to nowhere—unless juvenile hall counts as a destination. He squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. When that doesn’t work, he goes to Fat Nyla, the one some mean girls are out to get and a person who’s in on his secret—he can barely read. And then Maggie happens. For twenty-five years she’s saved boys from their own bad choices. But she may not have time to save Hutch. Alzheimer’s disease is steadily stealing her keen mind.
You can purchase DOUBLE NEGATIVE HERE!
 
Stop by and say hi to C. Lee McKenzie at her website, blog, and Facebook.
 
Congrats, LEE!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What's On Your Nightstand?

I recently discovered What’s on Your Nightstand? at the  5 Minutes for Books fabulous website.

On the fourth Tuesday of each month you share what you are reading!

Here's what my July looks like.



This month I read WATERCOLOR by Leigh Talbert Moore on my Kindle (Check out the awesome Dragonfly series here!). Then I read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. (Yes, I cried.) After my 9 year old son purchased the Gennifer Choldenko books at Alcatraz last month, he read them quickly and raved about them. He told me I had to read them. So on Saturday I read AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS. I am almost done reading AL CAPONE SHINES MY SHOES. Such great historical fiction and so amazing that they are set where we just visited last month! What is cooler than a book set on Alcatraz!?

Also on my nightstand is Maggie Steifvater's THE DREAM THIEVES from the library. And after that, I plan to read WISHING FOR WASHINGTON by Shelley Sly on my Kindle. I also just bought SAVE THE CAT to read and learn from at some point.

You might also see Us Weekly and Entertainment Weekly on the nightstand, too. I do enjoy pop culture. And I also see my new nonfiction picture book WORDS ON BIRDS peeking out! Yes, I did turn the books so you could read the titles, but I hate to say that my nightstand usually is as cluttered as this!

So, tell me. What's on your nightstand this week? Check out a list of blogs featuring nightstand reads here!