Criminally Good News

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who loved fairy tale bedtime stories.

I’m not sure why I’m wearing pastel boxing shorts, or why I have them on sideways…but then again, it was the 80′s & my style icon was Punky Brewster.

Once upon a time, my long-suffering and infinitely-patient parents banned certain fairy tales from bedtime… because I asked too many questions. With all my whys and hows and wait-a-minutes, it could take hours to reach the happily ever after. And none of their answers were particularly satisfying.

The Princess and the Pea was one of the first stories to be eliminated from our bedtime repertoire.

I’m not a little girl anymore, but I couldn’t forget those questions.* So, I came up with my own answers…

Starting in winter 2015 you’ll be able to find them in:

HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH : Once Upon a Crime Family– book 1

As the name implies, the books are crime family fairy tale retellings. And the crime families traffic human organs.

It’s YA. A little bit thriller. A little bit fairy tale. And, of course there are kissing scenes!

Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say:

*yes, I’ll definitely share a whole lot more about which questions inspired this story, but you’ll have to be a little bit patient…

In The Wild – Send Me a Sign’s Release Party

I’ve seen Send Me a Sign in book stores. I’ve seen texts and tweets and Facebook photos of other people’s copies. I’ve even seen a picture of my book in front of the Eiffel Tower (Thanks, Amy!)

It’s still hard to believe that this is real.

Perhaps most surreal of all was last Friday’s release party at Doylestown Bookshop. I’ve had a whole week to process it and beam at the photos, but I’m still in pinch-me mode. I’m still in teary-eyed gratitude mode.

Thank you to everyone who came to support me and Send Me a Sign. You are ALL part of my dream-come-true  ♥

Something to Celebrate!

It’s my birthday– Hooray!

Here! Have some cake!

But, really… I have one of these every year.

 

Want to know what’s MUCH bigger news?

 

After all, I’ve had 32 birthdays, but this is my first book trailer.

Click above to head over to MundieMoms.blogspot.com and watch the trailer — don’t forget to come back and tell me what you think…

…or else I’ll make you wear The Schmidtlets’ birthday crowns.


Now that you’ve seen the trailer, you’re practically salivating to read the book, right?

Well, have you heard how YOUR pre-order means I’LL donate $2 to cancer charities?

Simply:

1) Pre-order SEND ME A SIGN from the bookselling venue of your choice
2) Email proof of your pre-order to SendMeASignBook@gmail.com
3) Do a happy dance & get yourself some cake.

Handy-Dandy Pre-Order Links

IndieBound * Doylestown Bookshop * Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Pre-orders through Doylestown Bookshop will be signed and include bookmarks/surprise swag.
If pre-ordering through Doylestown Bookshop, please indicate whether you would like your book shipped or will be attending the release party on October 5th .

If you have any questions, please email me at SendMeASignBook@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright Before Sunrise

The best things in my life come in TWOs.

Obviously there’s my favorite duo – The Schmidtlets.

Look, Momma, we can edit too…

Then there’s my pair of puggles.

Being this adorable is *exhausting*

And now I’m adding a new two to the list: A SECOND BOOK DEAL!

I’m thrilled to share that my second book – Bright Before Sunrise - will be published by Walker-Bloomsbury in winter 2014!

Here’s a little more about Bright Before Sunrise, which is dual-perspective (See! TWO narrators!) and takes place over the course of a single night.

 When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, “miserable” doesn’t even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother’s first marriage; and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real… until she breaks up with him. 
For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she’s really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand.  She’s determined to change his mind, and when they’re stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. 
Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.? 
One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.  

I can’t wait to share Bright Before Sunrise with you all! HUGE thank yous to my amazing agent, Joe Monti. And I’m very excited to be working with Emily Easton and the rest of the Walker-Bloomsbury crew on BBS.

I’m feeling so lucky and blessed and giddy… I feel like I should go celebrate with something that comes in a two-pack.

…if only Twinkies weren’t gross.

Any celebratory suggestions?!

*squee*

Bonus Twin AND Puggle photo – Yes, it’s old… YOU try getting all FOUR to sit still and pose ;)

One!

Why is it that sincere thank you notes are so much harder than ones you’re indifferent about?
Today I sat down to write the most grateful thank you note I’ve ever written, probably ever will write, and the words just would not come.
The note was for the NICU staff at the hospital where the twins were born. A year ago St.Matt was on the first floor watching football and I was upstairs bedresting and reading — and my water broke.
The Schmidtlets were two months early. They were tiny. I wasn’t ready and they weren’t either. Nothing in my years of babysitting or in our baby care classes had prepared me for incubators and feeding tubes and picc lines and lungs that kept collapsing and collapsing. Tubes and tubes and tubes taped all over my babies. Babies I wasn’t allowed to hold. The Wild Imp – who wasn’t wild, he was medicated and sedated into oblivion — I wasn’t even allowed to touch because he was in so much pain.
 
 And the NICU staff somehow held me together, gave me strength, taught me about gavage feeding, and breast-feeding, pneumothorax, and infant CPR. What every bell, alarm, and squiggly line on their monitors meant — how to tell a false alarm from an apnea or bradycardiac event. How to touch a preemie so that he wasn’t over-stimulated and didn’t hurt. 
They were there to clap when St. Matt changed his first diaper. And to laugh when Asher managed to pee out the porthole on his incubator. They cheered with us when the boys began to self-regulate their body temps and we could finally dress them. Clothing, snaps, laundry!– this seemed like such a major victory at the time – and we all looked at the too-big size-preemie outfit and said “he’ll grow into it.”
And they’ve grown so big.  They’re so healthy. They’re so happy and giggly. They’re so mischievous and chatterboxy –– no clue where they get that from.
I’m so blessed.
So appreciative of all the help, support and love the NICU staff lavished on us during our month-long stay.
I thought, way back a year ago, that I couldn’t possibly love anyone more than I did those palm-size babies.
How wrong I was.

Happy 1st birthday, Schmidtlets

Something to Celebrate

I discovered recently that not everyone dyes their milk pink for Valentine’s Day, or green for St. Patrick’s Day. This baffles me. Excluding those with dye allergies, why wouldn’t you?

 

I’m a big fan of celebrations. For big things, I know how to make a BIG fuss… but I like to make a BIG fuss for little things too.
Each year in my classroom I read the kiddos Byrd Baylor’s I’m in Charge of Celebrations because I love the narrator’s mentality of searching out the extraordinary in the ordinary and finding a way to honor it. 

With writing I honor the start of each new project by buying a set of my favorite pens – Staedtler Triplus Fineliners. And don’t forget about Revision Skittles — they’re a tiny celebration for every page completed.

Babies are made for celebrating. Everything they do is miraculous; they are snuggle-sized bundles of magic and love. And each day they grow, learn and change. If I don’t stop and celebrate their discoveries as they happen, it will be too late.
So St. Matt expects the phone calls at work:
Today Asher cooed at the ceiling fan.
Brad just rolled over onto his side – twice!
Oh my head, Brad’s learned how to smile, and he hasn’t stopped doing it all day.
Did you get the pictures?
When I sing Twinkle Twinkle to Asher and twinkle my hands, he twinkles back.
Guess what?! I was burping Brad, and every time I patted his back, his wee little hand patted mine.
We celebrate the ounces they gain and the clothing they outgrow. St. Matt celebrates when they sleep through the night… I mostly want to wake them up and cuddle.
And today we celebrate something momentous – they are 100 days old.
I know that celebrating a baby’s 100th day is a Korean and Chinese tradition, but I’m borrowing it. These past 100 days have been filled with more love and happiness than I have any right to deserve, but they’ve also been tinged with some terrifying moments too.
The twins were two months early. They were little. They both had trouble breathing. And maintaining steady heart rates. They spent their first month in the NICU. They’re both still on apnea monitors that go off with heart-shattering regularity and send St. Matt and I flying across the room to check for color changes and chest movement.
That first month left some physical scars on them and emotional ones on me.
It’s not possible to gaze through the Plexiglas of an isolette at the mess of gauze, tubes, wires, sensors and bandages covering your newborn and walk away whole.
 
 After just looking at those pictures and writing those words I had to wake little Brad up, snuggle him close, and reassure myself that he’s nearly tripled in size and is thriving.
So today, we will celebrate. 100 days. They may be little, but it’s no small accomplishment.
And tomorrow?
We’ll celebrate then, too.
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