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Monday, June 13, 2011

Meet me in St. Louis (again!)

I know, I'm a dork, but I sing that song in my head every time St. Louis comes up. I can't help it. Meet Me in St. Louis is one of my all-time favorite movies. You've got to love anything featuring Judy Garland and The World's Fair. Plus, St. Louis is a  great city, great place, and I loved going there for our ACFW spring(ish) board meeting to look at plans for this year's conference. As I have mentioned before, I am STILL bitter that there is no fair, BUT, with all the great conference stuff going on, I probably wouldn't have time. Okay, I know I wouldn't have time.

Speaking of not having time, there is one thing you MUST make time for. And that is to stop by the conference bookstore. This year, due to space restrictions and those silly people who write the fire code (yeah, okay, they only want us to be safe), we are not having a booksigning. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go to the bookstore. In fact, it means even more that you need to stop in and buy your favorite books. THEN, you can use it as an excuse to meet your favorite authors. If the book is in the bookstore, that means the author is at the conference.

Now, if you are like me and have a high degree of stranger anxiety and approaching a total stranger to sign a book makes you break out into hives, I've got a few tips for meeting your favorite authors (and getting your books signed!).

1. DON'T be afraid. Authors really are humans, just like you and me. In fact, a lot of them are just as shy and insecure as we are, and they love meeting someone face to face who has something nice to say about their books.

2. DO be respectful of their time. Many people at conference have very busy schedules, so they probably won't have an hour to spend with you. But if you don't catch them in the restroom (ICK!) or rushing to the meeting they were supposed to be at five minutes ago, they will probably have a minute or two to sign your book.

3. DON'T harbor unrealistic expectations. Just like with meeting editors and agents, an author you've just met isn't going to hook you up with an editor, publisher, give you an endorsement, or critique your book. Use the meeting for what it is- a chance to meet your favorite author. If the two of you are meant to be BFFs (it could happen), that relationship will build over time.

And here's a tip for the authors...

If you have a newbie approach you, hand shaking, and ask to sign your newest release, please be gracious, knowing that some of us are terrified of you. You may not think you have fangs, but many newbies believe that the only reason your fangs are not showing is that you take a secret author potion to hide your super-human abilities because you don't want us to know that you're really a sub-species of humans known as supercoolusauthorusterrificus. Yeah, I know, you wish... but that's what the underground is saying.

Another thing you don't want to miss, which also happens to be in the bookstore, is the Silent Auction. Every year, we hold this auction to raise money for the Scholarship Foundation to offer scholarships to members who can't otherwise attend conference. We always have lots of great items, so be sure to bid early and bid often. You will need cash or check to pay for the items if you win, so be prepared.

In conclusion- Go to St. Louis. Bypass the non-existent fair. Head to the ACFW bookstore. Buy books. Bid on items at the Silent Auction to raise money for the Scholarship Fund. Find your favorite authors and gush over their books, then get them to sign all the books you bought at the bookstore.

Sounds like a super fun time to me! (Almost as good as the fair!)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

More on that kicking and screaming thing

So picture, if you will, a romantic dinner at a fondue restaurant to celebrate our 12th anniversary. A wonderful meal, followed by a romantic walk. Then, since we had the babysitter a while longer, we decided to take a drive.

Next thing I know, we're heading toward this shopping center. I asked hubby why we were going there, and he said, "There's a Verizon store here."

And then I knew.

The man spent the evening wining and dining me to butter me up because he was going to make me face the inevitable. Yes, friends, I bought a new phone. The switch to hubby's phone was not successful. Compared to my older phone, it was an even bigger piece of crap. And hubby said I couldn't have my old phone back. So I got a new phone.

My new phone. It has a case and a cover and all the stuff to protect it, but it's blue with a black case. I got the kind that slides so you can text easier. I figured if I'm going to be shoved into the information age, I might as well have something to make the information age easier.

I will say that it is very pretty. Much prettier than my old phone. I miss my old phone still. And, for those of you who are wondering, according to the Verizon guy, I got my last phone in July 2004. I think I traumatized the poor guy with my angst over a new phone.  I told him that he really earned his pay with me today.

So there it is. How my husband romanced his way into making me get a new phone. I may or may not be happy about this. I had no idea how many difficult decisions were required of me in choosing this phone. Way too much stress for me.

Speaking of stress... my old ringtone is not available on the new phone. I don't like the ones that come on my new phone. So I visited the Verizon ringtone store and I am overwhelmed by my choices.

The change is going to kill me....

Monday, June 06, 2011

My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren

Unknown to her tiny town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley spends her nights as Miss Foolish Heart, the star host of a syndicated talk radio show. Millions tune in to hear her advice on dating and falling in love, unaware that she’s never really done either. Issy’s ratings soar when it seems she’s falling in love on-air with a caller. A caller she doesn’t realize lives right next door.

Caleb Knight served a tour of duty in Iraq and paid a steep price. The last thing he wants is pity, so he hides his disability and moves to Deep Haven to land his dream job as the high school football coach. When his beautiful neighbor catches his eye, in a moment of desperation he seeks advice from My Foolish Heart, the show that airs before his favorite sports broadcast.

Before he knows it, Caleb finds himself drawn to the host—and more confused than ever. Is his perfect love the woman on the radio . . . or the one next door?

My Review:

Who doesn't like a book by Susan May Warren? Well, don't answer that, or else you may not like the results. :) This is definitely a book like what I've come to expect by Susie. It's fun, but also packs a great romance that makes for an enjoyable read. I remember listening to her talk while she was writing this book, and I love how she sprinkles so much truth into her stories without making you think you're getting a sermon. I really enjoyed this book a lot.

Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her latest Deep Haven book, My Foolish Heart!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

To celebrate this charming novel about a dating expert who's never had a date, Susan has put together a romantic night on the town for one lucky couple. One grand prize winner will receive a Miss Foolish Heart prize package worth over $200!

The winner of the Romantic Night on the Town Prize Pack will receive:

* A $100 Visa Gift Card (For Dinner)

* A $100 Gift Certificate to a Hyatt/Marriott Hotel

* The entire Deep Haven series

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on June 16th. The winner will be announced that evening during Susan’s Miss Foolish Heart Party on Facebook! Susan will be chatting with guests, hosting a book club chat about My Foolish Heart, testing your Deep Haven trivia skills, and giving away tons of great stuff! (Gift certificates, books, donuts, and more!) Don't miss the fun and BRING YOUR FRIENDS! 

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Day two of summer vacation: it just might kill me

You  know how Vacation Bible Schools have their silly summer themes? Well, I've got my own summer theme- it just might kill me.

I started with a plan. Because I work from home and my hours are inching closer to full-time, I don't have the luxury of being able to entertain my children all summer long. And frankly, at 7 and 10, I shouldn't have to. So, I created a chore chart. I thought it quite brilliant, because I have a whole list of items. Some are mandatory, and others optional, but each day, the 7 year old has to do 7, and the 10 year old has to do 10. Logical, yes??

On day one, the 10 year old started off like a rock star. She did all her chores, plus some extra, and was done by noon. The 7 year old, not so much. She's still cleaning her room from yesterday and didn't come close to doing her 7 for the day. (And many of the tasks are easy, like brushing teeth and hair- she did those.)

I was given the suggestion by a counselor, that since she's being so defiant about the whole thing, that this is an area where I should spank. Yes, I know, some people are against it, but this is a professional, and she did give me specific tips on how to do it appropriately. So... using her tips, last night, I spanked the 7yo once. I had to go to knitting group, and I usually get home after they've gone to bed, so I told her, "if your room is not clean when I get home, tomorrow, I will spank you again."

I got home after bedtime, and she was waiting up for me, crying. She didn't want to wait until morning to get her spanking, so she'd gone to get the spanking spoon and wanted her spanking now. For which hubby and I had to give her some credit. She didn't want to spend all night dreading the spanking, so she asked to get it over with. And we did.

Which brings us to this morning, and a new deadline. If she doesn't meet the deadline, she's getting another spanking. Fortunately for both of us, when I peeked in her room, she looked like she was going to meet the deadline. Of course, she should have been able to meet the last three, but this one, I think will happen.

The whole goal of my grand summer plan was to keep the kids occupied without relying on the electronic babysitter, so I can work. But I'm starting to think that instead of giving me more sanity, it may kill me.