Hello and welcome! I’m a novelist, mother of two great boys, reader, runner, roller coaster enthusiast, Disney World lover, and author of Beauty Shop for Rent, a “Steel Magnolias for the younger set,” and Just Flirt, a “sweet and lively summer read,” PW. Grab a cup of coffee and visit for a while!

 

Enchanted 10K headerWhoa, look at me, on a recap roll! First a post on the Expo, then the 5k, and now this? My blog won’t know how to act with all this attention from me. But I’m starting a new book tomorrow and P90X3 (which I will finish, by golly, I mean it this time,) so I really wanted to get these done.

Enough chatter, let’s get to it!

IMG_4534Transportation for the 10k started at 3:30 and once again, I was up early and at out front in time for the first batch. What a lovely sight, seeing these buses waiting for us! Such a big difference from last year. I can’t emphasis how important it is to show up early.

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In honor of National Sibling Day, here’s a shout-out to my older brother! We don’t spend as much time together as I’d like, even though we live on the very same road, but I adore him tons and I love how close our kids have become.

So here’s to you, bro, Happy National Sibling Day! Love you dearly … and I’m still going to get you back for stealing my Baby Chrissy doll by using it in a book. The day is coming, you know it’s true. ;)

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Here’s Day Two of me cross-posting another mighty long recap originally posted on my running blog. Enjoy!

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Royal Family Header 2014I got a bit chatty in my Fit for a Princess recap, so I’ll try to keep this one more brief.

(Oh, who am I kidding? It’s impossible for me not to be chatty. You’ve been warned.)

So, after last year’s fiasco with Port Orleans’ bus service, I had decided to be at the bus stop early for each race. Like, EARLY early. Transportation started at 3:30, so when my alarm rang at 2:30, I was up, out of bed … and in desperate need of coffee. My darling, wonderful, amazing, love-of-my-life husband went down to the food court to get me some, but they weren’t open yet. Ugh.

[Note for next year: Pack a mini Keurig!!}

IMG_4254Despite a severe lack of caffeine, I was soon dressed and ready to go. Now, about my costumes. Despite good intentions to have them ready weeks in advance, I was scrambling to finish days before leaving. I had planned on making a tutu but after buying $30.00 worth of tulle, it was clear the fabric would drive me nuts! So I went with pink Minnie instead, seeing as how I was going as red Minnie for the 10k. Here's my last-minute creation, a Team Sparkle skirt covered in removable yard sale stickers - which led to a bet in my running group over how many would fall off during the race. (Results to come later.)

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I’ve already posted some mighty long recaps over at my running blog, but what the heck, I might as well post them here since they took forever to write! Hope you enjoy my craziness. :)

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Expo Header 2014Here we go with another round of recaps from the awesome Princess Half Marathon Weekend! And look, I’m posting these rather timely unlike my last-minute 2013 Expo, Royal Family 5k, and Princess Half recaps. Improvement!

Okay, let’s start with Thursday morning, our arrival day. Last year, Bob and I took a 6:30am flight, leaving our house at 3:30. It was nice having a full day but by the time Sunday rolled around, I was exhausted from so many early mornings so this year, we decided to take a later 8:30 flight.

Bad choice.

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Cross-posted with As The Eraser Burns.

Happy book birthday to regional member Jeri Smith-Ready for today’s release of THIS SIDE OF SALVATION! Jeri is the author of several books including her young adult Shade Trilogy and she’s joining us today in the cyber chair for some coffee & conversation on her latest young adult novel that takes a turn for the contemporary:

TSOS_blog.pngEveryone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure:  The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined….

[A] smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale…bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self—while never being heavy-handed. — Booklist, **Starred Review**

This is a frighteningly realistic story that delicately handles the issues of religion and family—an emotional mystery sure to be popular and perfect for discussion. —VOYA, **Highlighted (Starred) Review**

THIS SIDE OF SALVATION is impossible to pigeonhole. It’s a mystery, a love story, a tale of friendship, of prejudice, and of a family overcoming tragedy; and at its heart, it’s a difficult conundrum for our time, exploring the fine line between true faith and exploitative fanaticism with humor and sensitivity. I fell hard for David’s inspired, likeable voice. Throughout the book I found myself alternately aching for his family and their suffering, wanting to kick them for their stupidity, and breathlessly hoping they weren’t all going to end up dead. David’s remarkable spiritual journey is painfully believable—and what better way to contrast the otherworldly mysticism of religion than with the physical mysticism of baseball? Jeri Smith-Ready has her finger on the pulse of American youth. — Printz Honor winner and NYT Bestseller Elizabeth Wein

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