Our Vacation

I am home after a week long vacation away from home. I have to say, I'm glad to be back in my own home, sleeping in my own bed, but vacation is never long enough.

First stop, was the East Coast of North Carolina! I drove my car and my husband rode the Harley (692 miles and about 600 of those were in the rain)

We arrived there Saturday evening and spent four days at my parent's house. My sister stopped by with all 4 of my nephews. That was a very nice visit. Those boys are growing to quickly! My oldest girl and the twins (two of my 4 nephews from that sister) started kindergarten that week! My daughter and one of the boys are in the same class and the teacher put them next to each other, thought that was very nice of her. My mom and I took my daughter's out for lunch and to do a little shopping. Got her a very cute first day of school outfit :) and got caught up with a former coworker at the pizza restaurant in the mall. Man, has that place changed!

My baby LOVED school (sadly, I am certain her infatuation is only temporary)!

From there, we drove up to Harrisburg, PA to stop off at another of my sister's house's. My parents came up with us, bringing along both of their Harley's. We spent about two days there. My niece, Amber, watched my tiny one while my parents, my husband and I went out for a ride on the bike's over to Pat Garret's Sheepskin outlet. I tell you...they have some BEAUTIFUL coats in there! We bought a few things and headed back to the house. By the time we got back, my sister was home from work and it was dinner time, followed by a dip in the hot tub.

We left there, my parents and my husband riding the motorcycles in front of my car, and headed to Center County, PA on Friday morning. There, we all stayed at my Aunt Shirley's house in Milesburg (my step-father's sister). My husband and I stopped off to visit with my father for a little while along the way. I had a few books to drop off for him. He's an avid reader ;)

Friday evening, we had planned to head over to the Grange Fair (largest fair and encampment in the country - none other like it) but we received a call from my grandmother, informing us my great-aunt was in the hospital after a fall down the stairs. My parents, husband and I headed over to the hospital (where I was born) to visit with my gr-aunt. She's a frail, tiny thing now :( but she seemed alright. I'm sure she'll be fine. We stayed in the rest of that night.

Saturday, we went over to the Harley Davidson dealership on center hall mountain. The owner is an old friend of my mother's. he started out with a teeny tiny shop in the middle of Pleasant Gap, PA and now he's got one of the largest Harley dealership's I've ever seen (and I've seen quite a few). We got a few things from there and then my husband, my tiny one and I headed to the fair grounds. We spent the entire day there and didn't get to see half of it. That place is growing! We had a lot of fun. Played a few games, ate some awesome fair-food. My grandparents live in NC, but they have a camper (a house on wheels) and a spot at the fair so they spend the whole week over there. My aunt (mom's sister) was there and she caught me up on all the latest of her family gossip. I say "gossip" and not "news" because it's never just boring news with her family.

The fair brings back so many happy memories of my youth. We used to go there every year, never missed it. The mains trip is still exactly the same as it was 10 years ago. Same shops in the same spots. We ate ice cream at the same place we always have. That's a family tradition, I suppose. My grandparents always buy a t-shirt from the ice cream shop every year. My aunt (another of my mom's sisters) worked there a few times, dancing to Elvis Presley on the jukebox while she scooped. Happy times.

I ran into my former step-sister whom I have not seen in about 12 years! That was GREAT! I've missed her so much. She's about a year younger then me and for the 9 years our parents were together, we were pretty close. We grabbed a bite to eat together and chatted for a few. It was like we'd never separated. :) I was surprised I didn't see anyone I recognized from my youth at the fair (aside from her). Everyone goes to it. I mean everyone. It's about as crowded as the Bronx Zoo on a Wednesday afternoon (and for those of you who know Wed. is donation day at the zoo...know exactly how crowded that is). I had hoped to bump into some old friends, but I had a great time just being there, bathing in my nostalgia.

We had a big breakfast with all of my step-dad's family on Sunday morning. That was really nice. I don't get to see them very often and having everyone together was great. We left there around 2:30 and headed back to Harrisburg to drop of my folks. Stayed there for about a half hour with my sis and her family and then the hubbs and I headed back home. And here I am. Home sweet home!

And if you've gotten this far, thank you for listening to my nattering :)

Old Gypsy Poem

Even a man who is pure of heart
And says his prayers by night
May become a wolf
When the wolfsbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright

I really like that poem, and this movie looks awesome

What a gal

I just took my tiny one to bed. She's 2 and 1/2 sweet years old and sleeps in a twin bed. When she goes to bed, I lay with her for a few minutes. Tonight I'm laying there next to her, in the position she's instructed me to lay, and she wraps her tiny little arm around my neck and pulls my face to hers. She makes cute little faces and giggles, her sweet baby breath on my nose :) Then she bring up one itty-bitty finger, and I think she's going to *poke* me on the nose and instead...she jams it right up her left nostril. What a gal.

LAMENT by Maggie Stiefvater

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater (like Steve-otter)

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Flux; 1 edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738713708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738713700

Sixteen year old, Deirdre Monaghan, is a gifted harpist. Dee thinks she's nothing but ordinary. Just when she starts to like ordinary, she meets an exceptional boy, Luke Dillon, who shows her how very extraordinary she really is. Dee is a cloverhand, one who can see faeries! And the fey love to play, but unfortunately for Dee, they don't always play nice.

This book is beautiful and enchanting. It mixes old-world legend and faerie lure with the modern life of a teenaged girl. Its a beautiful, poetic story of love, adventure and magic that is sure to entertain. I'm not a big fan of faeries, I much prefer werewolves (like Maggie's other wonderful book, SHIVER) or Vampires, but I was very impressed and enthralled by the fey in LAMENT. I am now a fan and can't wait to get started reading the sequel, BALLAD, tonight!

Little Bird of Heaven

Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061829838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061829833

When the glamorous cocktail waitress Zoe Kruller is found brutally murdered in her bed, her estanged husband, Delray Kruller, and her lover, Eddy Deihl, become prime suspects in the case.

Little Bird of Heaven is the told by two very different characters, Krista Deihl and Arron Kruller, each of them believing the other's father is guilty of Zoe's murder.

Set in the city of Sparta New York, Oates weaves a beautifully sad story of love, loss, yearning and archaic desire in a world of poverty and pain.

Throughout the novel, the reader is left cheering for both Krista and Aaron, hoping that somehow they'll come to terms with Zoe's death, forgive and fall in love. Definitely worth a read.

This book is adult and I do not recommend it for teen readers.

Playlist for my Book

Created a playlist to go along with my novel. Each song somehow relates to either a scene or a character, or both. It doesn't encompass the entire book and I'm sure I'll be updating it with new music as it comes to me. Enjoy :)

  1. My Immortal - Evanescence (opening scene, capture)
  2. Cemeteries of London - Coldplay
  3. Just a Man - Faith No More (Reminds me of my Vampire)
  4. Through the Dark - KT Tunstall
  5. Never think - Rob Pattinson (first awkward hand holding, awww)
  6. Universe and You - KT Tunstall (reminds me of the protagonist's brother)
  7. 3 Libras - a Perfect Circle (Vampire again)
  8. When You Say Nothing At All - Allison Krauss
  9. I'll Be Your Lover Too- Rob Pattinson (Nookie scene 1)
  10. Full Moon - The Black Ghosts (werewolf, of course)
  11. Bring Me To Life - Evanescence (next to last scene/fight scene)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater contest!

Ballad is the story of James, and the awesome sequel to Lament. There's homicidal faerie action, nookie, teen angst! Oy! I snagged an advanced readers copy at the Book Expo. This book is awesome (as is anything that comes from Maggie Stiefvater)!

Winner will receive:
) One advanced review copy of BALLAD, mailed immediately upon end of contest
2) One finished copy of BALLAD, mailed in September
3) One OTHER finished copy of BALLAD, mailed when [the author] gets [her] copies
4) A frame of the winner's choice from the video

To be eligible for the lovely prizes, you must post the trailer on your blog or Facebook or twitter. Obviously I'm happier if you embed the video (code below) on your blog or FB rather than just link it, but obviously on Twitter you have to just link. Every place you link it to is an additional entry. Places I'll accept as valid entries: Facebook, livejournal blog, blogger blog, wordpress blog, Twitter, Myspace (if anyone still uses the devil's playground that is Myspace). You can post it anywhere else (please do!) but those are the only ones I'm counting.

Love this song.

My wonderful, amazing, totally awesome friend, A.J. Spindle, turned me on to this song. It's on my playlist for my book and I have listened to it over and over again. It's a Van Morrison covered by Robert Pattinson.

Nookie, or no nookie?

I want to add a sex scene in my teen vampire novel, but I'm not sure if I should. As far as rules about sex in teens books, it's pretty much anything goes. Me personally, I will skip the details. Teens, love ya, but you don't need details.

So what do you think? Wanna see a lil vampire lovin'?

Calling all Midwest Kids/Teens!

Calling all kids from the Midwest!

Are you from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Misssouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin?

FACES Magazine, an educational children's magazine is seeking kids ages 9 to 17 to participate in our issue all about your region of the United States.

We want your opinion about where you live. So write us a sentence completing this:

The best thing about the Midwest is....

Send us your sentence and a high resolution digital or print photo of yourself by August 30th to either:


Peg Lopata
Cobblestone Publishing
30 Grove St.
Peterborough, NH 03458

Make sure you send us your complete name, age, and street address. We also need the complete name and address of a parent or guardian.

And check us out at: www.cobblestonepub.com and www.cricketmag.com

I got this information from the SCBWI.org web master. It is legit, I assure you.
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