Wednesday, April 23, 2014

YA Fest 2014 - What a Ride!

This past Saturday, I attended YA Fest with my daughter and co-author, as one of the 50 authors to meet with readers and connect them with fantastic books.

What a ride it was!

From a fire drill...

to being part of a world record...

to meeting other incredible authors like Alissa Grosso, author of Shallow Pond and many other young adult books (I first met Alissa at the Lititz Kid Lit Fest last November)...

I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

  Cyn Balog, Jennifer Murgia,

and the entire YA Fest team did a bang-up job of putting this event together and I'm so thankful to have been part of it.

Spencer Hill Press was well represented at the festival, and it was an honor to meet the Executive Editor, Kate Kaynak, one of the very talented cover designers, Lisa Amowitz, as well as many of their authors.

I finally was able to meet the lovely Kit Grindstaff who I've interviewed on From the Mixed-Up Files.

She truly is as lovely in person as she is online.  Bethanie is a big fan of her book, The Flame in the Mist, and Kit went out of her way to make Bethanie feel special. It's one thing to say you write for children, and another to interact with those same children and treat them with respect.  She is most definitely an author for children!

YA Fest also brought opportunities. Not only did I get to talk to some pretty incredible children, who are enthusiastic about reading, but since the signing on Saturday, I've been contacted by bookstores for future signings, teachers for classroom presentations, and librarians who are excited about the book. Only this morning, I awoke to this beauty in my inbox!

I can't express my gratitude enough to Jennifer, Cyn, and the library staff at the Palmer Branch of the Easton Library for allowing Bethanie and I to be part of such a wonderful event.  I'm looking forward to next year!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Prisoner of Night and Fog

I'm at From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors today with another interview and giveaway. If you like historical fiction, especially Young Adult (or potentially upper Middle-Grade), then you'll want to take a peek at my interview with Anne Blankman and her book Prisoner of Night and Fog!

See you there!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Marissa Burt!

I'm at The Mixed-Up Files today with an interview and giveaway! Marissa Burt is there chatting about her books Storybound and Story's End.  So go join the fun and while you're there enter to win a copy of BOTH of her books!


Monday, March 31, 2014

The End of an Era - Bedroom Makeover

It's hard to believe that my baby girl is growing up. When we moved into our house she was only nine years old. Now she's sixteen. She's in high school. And the scary part--she's old enough to drive! I've watched her blossom from a darling little girl into a beautiful young woman.  It's hard to watch your babies grow up, but witnessing the wonderful people they are becoming brings a joy unlike any other.

For a while now she's been on me to do a bedroom makeover for her. 
"What's the matter? You don't like the farm animals in your Waverly toile wallpaper?"
"Uh...not really."
"But the rest of your room is so pretty. You love lavender."
"I did when I was nine."

And so it began. The end of an era. My little girl was growing up. She had opinions of her own--which included a disdain for farm animal printed wallpaper.

So about a year ago, we started slowly acquiring items for her new room. She was pretty much in charge. Trust me, I didn't want it that way--she just insisted. We shopped at Home Goods, thrift stores, Bed Bath & Beyond, and craft stores. We shopped online. We hunted garage sales, thrift stores and consignment shops. We shopped ebay and craigs list. We shopped, shopped, shopped. We fought. She won.

Nearly six months later we'd acquired everything we needed to complete her bedroom transformation. And with a budget of $1600, what a transformation it was!

Her bedroom, BEFORE:
Together we painted walls, hung new wallpaper, put up molding. My husband hung a new ceiling fan and lanterns. My daughter refinished a gorgeous thrift store dresser. She also completed a wall texture treatment by herself, and painted thrifted shutters. The result is a fun, modern-chic, Pottery Barn inspired room appropriate for a teen!
Her bedroom, AFTER:


What do you think? A room fit for a queen.
My queen bee.

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Publishing Journey at Middle Grade March

The awesome Deb Marshall invited me to write a guest post at her blog, Middle Grade March! I'm there talking about my publishing journey, my writing routine, and other fun stuff! Plus, there's a chance to win a copy of Cinderskella!

Hope you'll pop on over to MGM and join the fun!

See you there!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How I Deal with Telemarketers

There's nothing I hate more than telemarketing phone calls. That's why I like to mess with them when they call.  Here's my latest:

Telemarketer: Hi ma'am, I'm calling to see if you'd like to donate a bag of used clothing for *my charity*.

 Me: Why yes. I have 10,000 of them!

 Telemarketer: 10,000??!! *said with shocked enthusiasm* (I imagine the expression on her face somewhere between a Whoa, this woman must be filthy rich and then a realization of Shoot, she's messing with me) Well then, are you still at *recites address*

 Me: Yes I am. *says this matter-of-factly*  The bags will be on my porch.

 Telemarketer: All 10,000 of them?...

 Me: Yes ma'am. All 10,000 of them. *pause* And while you're here, you might want to call in HOARDERS and have them clean my house.

 Telemarketer: BWAAAHHAHAHA!!!! 

 Me: You have a nice weekend ma'am.

 Telemarketer: *still in fit of laughter* BWAHAHA *gasps for air* You *more laughter* too!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Writing Humor for Kids

I was invited to blog over at the awesome Chapter Book Challenge site! I'm dishing on writing funny books for kids. It's not as easy as it looks!  While you're there, you can enter to win a copy of Cinderskella. So definitely stop by and see what all the funny is about.