I Got a Two Book Deal!

Awesome news and I am bursting! I landed a two-book deal with Walker Books! Here's the blurb from PM:

Author of the forthcoming debut VIOLET RAINES ALMOST GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTNING Danette Haworth's THE HOTEL OF BLUEBERRY GOODNESS and ME AND JACK, again to Stacy Cantor at Walker, by Ted Malawer at Firebrand Literary.

I feel so excited! Thank you Ted and Stacy for your hard work and belief in my writing. Thank you to all my friends on Verla Kay who've already sent heaps of congratulations and you go, girl! and thanks to LindaBudz, who told me about the PM blurb, and thank you to Kim Kasch and her sons who sang a song of celebration for me! I keep clicking into Kim's blog to watch it--it's awesome! Click here to watch the video. *Spoiler alert* These guys are gorgeous!

I'm going on a little vacay, but I'll post more details next week!

Summer Friend's Birthday Party!

Summer Friend is one-year-old today!

Thanks for all your visits and your comments, gosh, and I can't believe you drove through the rain to get to the party. Coming down, isn't it! Well, don't just stand there with your umbrella dripping, come on in!

Chocolate cake awaits you in the comments section, along with a sundae bar (endless trips). Pop, bottled water, and select cordials are on the island. (Don't overindulge!)

Before you go, here are a few of my favorite Summer Friend memories:

Queries and the Artist Formerly Known as Danette Haworth
America's Next Top Writer
The Man With Dirty Hands
Signs from the Road
Wildlife Week In Which I Encounter Wildlife Where It's Not Supposed to Be: You Won't Believe Your Eyes!
Walker BFYR Bought My Book!
Let the Games Begin

Now let's go have cake!

Calling All Children's Debut Authors

Alice Pope, editor of CWIM, is looking for debut authors of children's books to feature in the 2010 CWIM. Click here for the details on her blog. Get those emails rolling, people--the deadline is August 8th!

Jimmy, Brenda, and Give Me the Money

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I discover that Jimmy Fallon is slated to take over Conan's spot as the host of NBC's Late Nite. And Shannen Doherty has signed on for the new 90210 series. I ask you, could life get any better?

I was never a member of the "I Hate Brenda Club." For me, she was neither here nor there; it was handsome Jason Priestly I liked. I can't believe he hasn't signed on yet! What is he holding out for? A free sundae at the Peach Pit? Maybe he doesn't want to be a teen idol again, but Jase--we're older now, you won't be a teen idol--you'll be a thirtysomething idol!

As for the money, well, don't be jealous, but I found a five dollar bill crumpled up on the path around alligator pond, and someone in front me had just walked right by it! Talk about luck! Nothing makes you feel luckier than finding money, especially the paper kind. But don't worry, I won't spend it all in one place.


Me, after a rotten night's sleep!

Almost Live From Daytona Beach!

We spent the weekend at The World's Most Famous Beach--Daytona Beach!
The first image is the historic Daytona Beach Pier, which has been washed out and rebuilt more than once. In its heyday, the building has housed a ballroom and a casino. The skylift is absolutely terrifying--it thrusts you out over the pier, high and away from any feeling of safety; I felt as though I would slip out of the seat and plummet into the ocean. I highly recommend this ride!

The sixteenth floor oceanview room was the best place to see everything: people, dolphins, the boardwalk;I'll never get over the mystery and the endlessness of the ocean, especially in the evening. The night was especially dark because a squall settled over the beach, but that didn't stop some partygoers, who stopped at the bandshell to catch some local acts.

The boardwalk never sleeps. People stroll beachside, stopping at vendors for ice cream and trinkets. I saw a man get down on one knee in front of a woman. She squealed, hugged him, and then whipped out her cell phone.

Here's the pier at night. .....................................................................

Saturday night fireworks! I like the triplets, but my favorite photo is the grand finale below because you can see people running away from the water!

Daytona Beach--it was wonderful.

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

The phone's been ringing off the hook and I've had all kinds of delivery men dropping off boxes for my husband (the gadget man) and just now, UPS pulls up and I'm like What else has he ordered? but when I pick up the package I see it's for me. But I already got my Brian Regan DVD the other day and I'm tired, so I don't remember what I ordered, and I can't make out the return address and why am I standing here, I'll just open it and see.

I rip it open.

I gasp.

My little boy yells "Are you okay?"

I cannot answer.

It's my book. It's my book! I feel like crying just looking at it. I can't wait for my mom to see it and all my family and friends.

I am so moved receiving this copy Violet Raines. Feeling the heft of it--a HARDBACK!

My neighbor is home. I imagine her opening the door and me pushing my book at her. I know she'll be happy for me. But my vision does not stop there--why not go door-to-door and show all of them? They like me! They smile and wave when we check our mailboxes. But it's thundering and lightning! If I go door-to-door right now, I'll almost get struck by lightning. Of course, a slight graze might be good for sales, you know, the lightning and all.

I decide against this sort of publicity and instead repeatedly dial my mom who does not answer. BMZ are all excited for me. One of them wants to know if we're famous now. No, no, I say, as I secretly envision the movie. I wonder if I can appear as an extra in the crowd scenes.

No matter, when Hollywood calls, I will be ready. For now my book is here--MY BOOK IS HERE!

Crafty Cat

July 4th!