Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why I Blog: A Huge Thank You






This morning I woke up to find my blog had over 60K views (that’s since I started blogging, not overnight!) My first thought was, “Really? That many people are interested in what I have to say?” Most of the time I forget that anyone other than my Mom (Hi Mom!) and the handful of people who leave a comment here and there (thank you!!) actually read my blog.

To be honest, my blog is a mess! It has no theme, no direction. When someone asks me what I blog about – my answer is usually “I don’t know... stuff.” I’m an author, so I blog about writing and books. I’m a mom, so I write about kids and family. I’m an accountant, so I write about ... yeah – I got nothing there. Other than my trusty Friday Five, I have no idea what or when I’ll be writing. I write in the moment – if the moment strikes – and you read it – or at least visit my page to skim it.

I blog because I love to write, because sometimes I need to get something off my chest, or because my kids do something that I don't want to forget about. I blog because in my busy household, sometimes it's the only way I can get a word in. I blog because I'm shy and it's easier to tell people things this way. I blog because I love reading the comments (leave them, I say!) I have plenty of typos, misplaced commas, and grammar mistakes (I'm a writer, not an editor!) But it doesn't matter - I blog because it makes me happy.

So thank you, readers, for taking the time to visit my blog. I hope you will be back to see what other writing/mothering/book stuff/chaos is going on in my brain and in my life. Without all of you, I’d just be talking to myself... and I do enough of that already!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is It Possible to Unplug?

If you read this blog semi-regularly, then you probably know my husband and I recently took our five year old to Disney World. It was a special vacation just for him – his first airplane trip with no other siblings around (don’t feel bad for them – they’ve been before and are getting their own special trip.)

photo credit: gato-gato-gato via photo pin cc
Yup – 100% alone time with Daddy and Mommy (and Mommy’s laptop, Mommy’s iPhone, Daddy’s Droid phone, and Daddy’s work Blackberry - - but otherwise it was 100% Daddy and Mommy time for him.)

The truth is, I don’t think it’s possible for either my husband or myself to completely unplug for an entire week or even a weekend. I was finishing up a blog tour and needed to be able to run promotions and check emails, and my husband had his own stuff at work he needed to keep up with – plus... you know – baseball scores.


photo credit: Ninja M. via photo pin cc


Keep up with what's going on in cyberspace is sort of like laundry. Yes that’s right – laundry. It’s just going to keep piling up, so you might as well try to keep up with it. Don’t you hate all that laundry you have to do when you get back from vacation? Wouldn't it be easier to do it a little bit each day? No, this is not a metaphor, we had a washer/dryer in the condo we stayed in and did in fact do laundry – well my husband did – while I caught up with emails. Yes, I’m married to an awesome man.


In the end, we all had a great vacation. The laptop only came out early in the morning and late at night, and for the most part, the phones were kept to a minimum. It wasn’t a complete unplugging, but it worked for us. ... Check out this great picture I took with my iPhone!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Friday Five 5.25.12

1. Post Vacation. Can I just say – I seriously need a vacation from my vacation? Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of going to Disney World, and I’m so grateful we had to opportunity to go – but boy am I tired!! I read that Disney is 29,000 acres in total, and if I had to guess, I’d say we walked about 28,950 of them! Yes - I'm quite sore this week.

2. Projects. Don’t hate me, but this is one of those I have something exciting going on, but I can’t tell you about it just yet sort of things. But believe me, once everything is finalized, you’ll be the first to know (or at least in the top 100.)

3. Award. My blog was awarded another award! I’m so excited. This time it’s the Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you to both Anne Chaconas AND Eveli Acosta for nominating me. I so appreciate it. Later this week (I hope) I will do a blog post where I get to make my own nominations.



4. Millicent Marie. I’d like to introduce you all to my newest star! Millicent Marie is 12 years old and is the main character in my latest book, hopefully to be released by the end of the year: Millicent Marie is Not My Name. She’s quirky, feisty, and has much to tell the world. For those asking me to write a girls’ book next, this one is for you! I’m currently half way through the first draft of writing. I love her more and more every day, and I hope you will too!

5. Book news. I have an exciting weekend coming up! For those in and around the Philadelphia region, I will be signing Nate Rocks books at the Barnes and Noble in Jenkintown, PA tomorrow (Sat May 26) from noon-3pm. Even if you’re not from the area, it’s the perfect excuse for a road trip! In case you’re not around this weekend, I’ll be doing it again next Saturday (June 2) at the Barnes and Noble in Oxford Valley, PA. Hope to see you there!! In other book news, I will be on Edin Road Radio – Thursday May 31 at 6:30pm EST. Tune in - I’ll be reading from Nate Rocks the Boat as well as talking about all things Nate & Millicent!




Three more things (okay – so I guess it’s more like a Friday Eight - & here I was worried I wouldn’t have enough to talk about this week haha) First... I’m super proud of my husband. He not only successfully led the efforts in his office to take on a homeless Veteran’s advocacy pro-bono project in his law office, but he was also nominated by the American Bar Association to Vice-Chair one of their committees. So proud!

Second - the end of the school year is coming up for many - signed copies of the Nate Rocks books make excellent teacher/classroom/principal gifts! If you’d like to order any signed books directly from me (at $8/book plus shipping) please email info@granddaisypress.com.

Last but not least – I’d like to wish everyone who celebrates, a very happy and safe Memorial Day weekend And a huge thank you to those who risked and continue to risk their lives to keep our country safe. I am thankful not only this weekend, but everyday.

See you next Friday & hopefully sooner!
Xo
Karen

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Nate Rocks Visits Disney!


Thank you to all who played along on my Facebook Page to try to guess which Disney characters Nate Rocks (along with my family) met while on our Disney vacation last week.

As promised - here is the complete list.  ...

But first, the legalities:  DISCLAIMER: Disney in no way promotes Nate Rocks - although we really (really!) wish they would...

Now on to the photos...











Hey if Flat Stanley can travel the world, why can't Nate Rocks?

xo
Karen

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Case of the Disappearing Coffee



photo credit: tonx via photo pin cc

 



There is nothing worse than pouring yourself the perfect cup of coffee, adding just the right amount of creamer (if that’s your thing), and then... losing it. You know – that moment of where did I put my coffee? Granted, it has to be in the house somewhere, but the fact remains – you’ve lost your coffee, and the clock is ticking. You only have so many minutes to take in that first blissful taste before it cools off too much, because lets face it – you can't beat that first sip in the morning. The second cup never tastes quite the same and reheated coffee is a big ick.


Ironically, you think: had I already had coffee, I’d be able to think clearly and would be able to find it easily. Not the case here. So the search begins. Kitchen? – no, bedroom? – no, child #1 room? – no ... and on and on. Child #3 is just minutes from missing his bus if you don’t leave the house NOW, but it doesn’t matter – the coffee must be found. The rounds through the house continue. At this point, you can skip the visit to the gym because you’ve gone up and down the steps so many times.


photo credit: Ahmed Rabea via photo pin cc
Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you spot it. The mug with tiny bits of steam still spiraling out ... sitting ... next to the coffee pot.

All is right with the world once again.













*******

http://bit.ly/KPTbooks

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Oops: The Sunday Six 5-20-12




The Sunday what?? I know – it’s supposed to be the Friday Five, but see – the thing is, I was on vacation this week, and even though I had my laptop with me and had the best intentions of posting a Friday Five, I sort of – forgot. To make it up to you, I’m posting six instead of five. Let me show you what distracted me:

1. Magic Kingdom








2. Epcot




3. Hollywood Studios








4. Animal Kingdom






5. Star Wars Weekend





See what I mean? It really is the happiest place on earth. But, now that I'm back home, it's back to work... So here’s number 6:

6. Book News. First of all - for those who won books during the blog tour - congratulations!!! Your prizes wil be in the mail first thing tomorrow. Now - for those living in and around Pennsylvania, I have two book signings coming up & I would love for you to stop by! This coming up Saturday (May 26) I will be at the Barnes & Noble in Jenkintown, PA and next Saturday (June 2) I will be at the Barnes & Noble in Oxford Valley, PA.  I hope to see you there! PS - If you want me to visit your local B&N, go there - beg, plead, & scream - or you can just tell them to email info@granddaisypress.com to set it up.

Thanks for sticking around two extra days! See you on Friday & hopefully sooner!

xo
Karen

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Friday Five 5-11-12


photo credit: Manue@PrettyKiku via photo pin cc
Hi all – today marks the one-year anniversary of my Friday Five weekly post! It’s hard to believe that I have been doing the Friday Five for a year now – and I am proud to say, I have not missed a single Friday. So just for fun – I went back to that first Friday Five. The funny thing is that the 5 topics are completely relevant to my week this week as well! So I thought it would be cool to list the same topics, with updated info. Thank you to all who have been reading the Friday Five – in just one year, it has received 50,000 views!! Amazing!! Okay – here is my Friday Five from last year AND this year....

1. Chicks!

Last year: Last Friday, my son’s preschool class received an incubator with several eggs from a local farm. After much anticipation and care, the eggs hatched on Monday! Everyone was so excited to see the adorable fluffy chicks. My son was disappointed to learn he would not be bringing them home. His teacher was just glad that they were “a-l-i-v-e.” I learned that brown chicks are male. Talk about cute!!! Sadly, the chicks returned to the farm yesterday.

This year: Well – my son’s class once again has chicks! It’s true – they just started hatching this past week. Happy Birthday to the chicks from last year and this year!


3. Mac Obsessed.

Last year: Many of you have seen my rants on Facebook lately about my laptop. To make a long story short, I am on my 2nd laptop in 4 years and it is misbehaving terribly. It seemed like everywhere I turned, people were telling me to get a Mac. After many weeks of deliberations and drooling, my husband surprised me on Mother’s Day, by telling me it was time to go to the other side. I am now waiting for it to arrive. If anyone is interested in hearing about where I got an amazing deal, leave me a comment. Bye-bye disposable computers.

This year: Yes – I received my MacBookPro and I love, love, love it! Have I really had it for a year already? Did I mention I love it?

3. The Dentist.

Last year: Look, I have nothing against dentists, I just would prefer they finish the work they scheduled me for before they go and sell their practice! One root canal down and one crown waiting, I get the call that my dentist is no more. I still have to finish this crown; plus go for one more root canal, 3 more crowns and an extraction. Luckily, the new person takes my dental insurance, but that is all I know about him/her. Oh & for those who are wondering, I do take good care of my teeth! I’m just on RA meds that work against my efforts (and my pocketbook).

This year: Sadly, I still have more work to be done – two more crowns coming up in the next month. I feel very royal (& broke.)

4. Dance competitions.

Last year: Tonight, my daughter and I leave for her fourth & final dance competition of the year. It is a few hours away so we will be staying overnight. Her first performance is scheduled for 8:30 in the morning on Saturday (Ouch!) Did our parents do all this running around for us? Regardless, I am one proud mama to my uber talented daughter. Here’s wishing her and all the dancers from her studio good luck tomorrow!

This year: The dance competitions continue! In fact, she has her final competition for the year coming up on May 20th. All of the teams at her studio have been incredible this year. I am becoming a master at quick hair/costume/makeup changes, although I could still use a little bun making 101.

5. Editors and Designers, Oh My

Last year: After many MANY rounds of self-editing, I decided it was time to get serious with NATE ROCKS THE WORLD. So I asked, researched, surfed, did everything possible to find both an editor and cover designer who understood my goals, style, personality & most importantly – budget. Very exciting!!

This year: It’s hard to believe I was just getting ready to publish Nate Rocks the World this time last year! It really seems like so long ago now that Nate Rocks the Boat is here. It has been quite a journey, and I can’t believe all the amazing people I have met along the way. Since this is where I usually put book news, I want to once again thank those bloggers who hosted Nate Rocks the Boat during our Blog Tour – please visit their blogs if you get the chance – they rock!


photo credit: muffintinmom via photo pin cc
Rute Canhoto
Mom Loves 2 Read
5 Minutes For Books
Mom Does Reviews
Book Lovers' Paradise
Kids 'n Books
Krazy Book Lady
Ritesh Kala's Book Reviews
Stacey Rourke  
Lissette A. Manning...The Random Musings Of A Writer
AuthorMelissa Luznicky Garrett
So I'm Fifty


So what do you think? Should I continue with the Friday Five? Leave me a comment and let me know. Thanks as always for stopping by!

Xo
Karen

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nate Rocks Wants to Send You His Adventures!

First – I want to thank all the awesome bloggers who took the time to read, review, host, & support the release of Nate Rocks the Boat! The reviews are coming in – 5 stars on Amazon, 5 stars on Barnes & Noble and 4.8 stars on Goodreads!

So are you wondering what all the excitement is about? Well – 10 year old Nate is going to summer camp and you can WIN a copy for the child in your life (although adults are loving Nate too!)

There are several great contests currently going on... enter one or enter them all:





Ends May 13th: Krazy Book Lady  - win both Nate Rocks the Boat and Nate Rocks the World

Ends May 16th: 5 Minutes For Books - win a signed copy of Nate Rocks the Boat

End May 16th: Mom Does Reviews - win a signed copy of Nate Rocks the Boat

Ends May 17th:  Ritesh Kala's Book Reviews- win an e-book copy of Nate Rocks the Boat

Ends May 18th: Mother's Day Giveaway Event at Mom Loves 2 Read - win a signed copy of Nate Rocks the World & Nate Rocks the Boat + tons of other great prizes.



Good Luck!!

Xo
Karen

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Dirty Little Secret...

Stop right there! I'm not talking that kind of dirty little secret - this is a family friendly blog!! I'm talking about fingerprints!

It’s not often I review products – as you know, I’m more of a book person. In fact, I’ve been reading on my Kindle and iPhone more than ever before. Both of them are touch screen and both are full of fingerprints. Just the other day, I was showing my friend, Danielle, something on my fingerprinted iPhone. She pulled out a microfiber cloth with a beautiful eye-catching graphic on it. I just had to ask her about it!

Of course I'd seen plain cloths (like the one that came with the last pair of glasses I bought), but I’d never seen one looking like this before. She explained to me that it was a StarCloth (TM) – it’s not only a product that everyone needs, but also it’s an amazing marketing/promotional item. I decided to do a blog post on it, because I know that so many of my readers have their own businesses and products that they are trying to promote. This seems like such a great alternative to the usual postcards, pens, keychains, etc.

It’s genius really because – let’s face it - we all need to wipe the "schmutz" off of our smart phones, tablets, Kindles, iPods, touch screen navigation systems, flat screen monitors, glasses/sunglasses...the list goes on. I was totally intrigued by the graphics as well as the message on the cloth. (Turns out it was one they created for the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. So smart to put a map of Center City Philadelphia on the back with the locations of hotels!)



What's cool is that there's almost no limit to the ways that the StarCloth can be used as a marketing tool - only your imagination. There's a lot of space on which to put your marketing message - way more than on a pen or mug, and it's definitely a "now" item. They’re great for fundraisers too. Once it gets into someone's hands, they'll be using it over and over (and seeing your message over and over.)






To see other StarCloths they've done or for more information, go to www.thestarcloth.com or email danielle@thestarcloth.com.  Nate Rocks would look pretty good on there - don't you think?


****************************
Nate Rocks the Boat is on Tour!  
Please visit all the amazing bloggers who are hosting Nate:

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Friday Five 5. 4 .12

Wow – what a difference a week makes! This was really a great week – here’s the scoop:

1. Party! May 1st was the official release day party for Nate Rocks the Boat. Thank you to all the wonderful readers who joined me in the celebration. We had a lot of fun. The games were a blast, and I loved that so many new friends were made! To all my winners – the prizes went out yesterday and should be arriving soon.


photo credit: Express Monorail via photo pin cc



2. Direction Infection. What? Exactly. In case you missed my blogpost earlier this week: my 11-year-old daughter is obsessed with the boy-band One Direction. Since I wrote the blog post on  Sunday, things have gotten exponentially worse. She now refers to herself as a “Directioner” and even has my 5-year-old son singing the songs.The other day she begged me to tweet all of them to tell them she NEEDS to meet them all (which of course I did, because I'm a good mom like that.) ... Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a cure for the “Direction Infection.”


photo credit: British One Direction via photo pin cc




3. Brian Biggs. Have you heard of Brian Biggs? He is an author/illustrator, and I had the pleasure of meeting him on Wednesday when he visited my son’s elementary school. He gave a really great presentation. It was truly inspiring, and now I am thinking a Nate Rocks graphic compilation of all Nate’s adventures may be in my future.

4. Disney. We’re getting close to our trip! We (meaning my husband) have been plotting out our attack. My son is counting down the days, and I’m just trying to figure out how to get as many Disney characters as possible to pose with Nate Rocks for pictures.

5. Book News – Blog Tour! The Nate Rocks the Boat blog tour is officially underway with guest posts, reviews, and giveaways!! Here’s a list of this weeks posts. I know they’d love it if you stopped by to say hello – plus you could win a signed copy of Nate Rocks the Boat.



 Review: Rute Canhoto

 Guest Post: Mom Loves 2 Read

 Review & Giveaway:  Mom Loves 2 Read

 Guest Post: Rute Canhoto

 Review & Giveaway: 5 Minutes For Books
 Review & Giveaway: Mom Does Reviews
 Review & Excerpt: Everyday is An Adventure


 Thanks to Mom Does Reviews who sent me this adorable picture of her son Justin, Age 9, with his e-reader:




I hope everyone has a great week! See you next Friday and hopefully sooner!

Xo
Karen

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stop What You're Doing - It's Party Time!!



Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today, but what are you doing here?  The Party is over at my Facebook Party Page!!








That's right - today - May 1st - is the official Nate Rocks the Boat Release Party/Scavenger Hunt from 10:00am EST to 10:00pm EST.  


Stop by for games & prizes!! 



Now get moving!! See you there!



...if you're reading this after May 1st - sorry you missed the us! You can still pick up copies of both Nate Rocks books at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Plus - all of the cool merchandise is available at Cafe Press.


(This party, contest, prizes, etc are in no way affiliated with Facebook.)

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