Category Archives: Home & Family

Mother’s Day


My plan, several weeks ago, was to organize a casual Mother’s Day get-together with my brothers, buy the wine my mom said she liked last month, get her either the orchid or sweet mason jar arrangement I spotted during my always frantic errands, and have my girls draw something just for her.

Maybe, if all that panned out, I’d even have time to write a glowing but still private tribute to her on this blog. I would tell her how, now that I’m a mother, I’m ten million times more appreciative of how she kept all four of us alive each day … let alone fed us, took us to school, scheduled play dates, broke up our fights, cleaned up our vomit, nursed our wounds, kept us clothed (especially pre-online shopping!), read bedtime stories, helped with our homework, planned adventures, made us laugh, taught us values, tucked us into bed every night, and made sure we always knew we were loved. 

I’d also tell her how, now that I’m a mother, I don’t know how she did all that without someone like HER helping out. Because she still helps me so, so much. She is the strongest woman I know. I am so grateful to have her, and also grateful that my daughters have her now. 

So while the flowers didn’t quite work out as planned (blame: a witching hour toddler tantrum for the ages), and I couldn’t find the wine I wanted (blame: poor inventory and poor time management), I did manage a nice Saturday afternoon get-together at her house. And my toddler did come through with a beautiful crayon portrait of her and Grandma. These days, two out of four ain’t bad — and I know she understands that. 

I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day 🙂

For all you moms and moms-to-be, may you enjoy as restful a Sunday as this role allows. It isn’t an easy one. The hours are ridiculous, there is no employee handbook or HR department to vent to, and the parameters shift every time you finally start to figure things out. But you can’t find a job with better perks anywhere, the rewards last a lifetime, and the memories will always make you smile.

The following video from Motherly draws on that point. It is absolutely beautiful, but be warned: you’ll need tissues.



A few reminders:

  • Click Lit Chat’s Happily Ever Hop ends tonight! Dozens of prizes are up for grabs, including gift cards, a “royal treatment” grand prize package, and a copy of Desperately Ever After’s first audiobook. Check Facebook for details.
  • Tantor Media has released the Desperately Ever After and Damsels in Distress audiobooks, with Skipping Midnight coming out Tuesday. They are available at both and Amazon.
  • If you want to save some $$ on the audiobook or ebook, read this before buying.


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Filed under Home & Family

So, do you let your daughter watch Disney princess movies?


The original Sleeping Beauty tale, entitled “Sun, Moon, and Talia” by Giambattista Basile (1634), could just as easily have been called “Date rape in the 17th century”

When I decided to write a series of books that challenged the way we look at fairy tale princesses, I suspected I might one day have to explain myself to my children. Of course, when I first came up with the idea for Desperately Ever After, I was still a kid myself—a high school sophomore, learning about love for the first time and flirting with disaster.

Fast-forward eighteen (yikes!!!) years, and I have a spirited little girl who has fallen in love with Disney movies and the beautiful, charming women who claim the title roles.

In truth, I didn’t initially think of this series as being anti-Disney—and I’m still not sure I do. Rather, I think of it as a continuation of the familiar stories (none of which originated with Disney, by the way) told for a generation that was raised on The Little Mermaid, entered adulthood watching Sex and the City, and envisioned the future while gobbling up Desperate Housewives.

But then someone asked me whether or not I was going to let my daughter watch the Disney princess movies. You know … considering my books and all.

I have to say, it caught me off guard. Why wouldn’t I let her watch them? Continue reading


Filed under Fairy Tale Spin-offs, Home & Family

Greetings and a few announcements

Happy holidays everyone! The most magical time of the year is upon us — or so they say — and I hope it feels that way to you, wherever you are.

winter socks fireplace

For me, December is a time to stand still and take stock of where I am in life. What have I accomplished in the past year? What would I like to do better next year? Do I have that light-at-heart feeling that puts me at peace with the world? Or am I hanging on to regret, fear, or guilt over one insignificant thing or another?

Personally, I’m proud to say I loosened my grip on two of those three things over the past year: Regret and guilt. They have no place in a happy household or a happy life. Vowing to live without them has made me more conscious of everything I say and do. It’s made sleep easier because I’m not constantly rationalizing or fretting over the day’s events in my head. It’s given that age-old advice about “picking your battles” a whole new appreciation because 99 percent of the time those “battles” seem like such anthills in hindsight anyway. And it’s helped me to appreciate the many wonderful things that I do have while I have them.


But there, with those last four words, appears that other feeling I’ve let breed rather than shrink this past year: fear. I could blame it on becoming a parent. I could blame it on reading the news. I could blame it on the state of the world. But mostly, I have to blame it on myself. And diminishing it is my number one resolution in 2016.

see no evil etc dog

For the next few weeks, however, I’m going to concentrate on the “magic” of December — the dazzling lights; the songs of peace and love; the sappy made for TV movies; the warm, holiday reunions; the bright, shining star illuminating the darkness; and now, my daughter’s face as these things begin to astonish and inspire her as they did for me so many years ago.

christmas mom and girl

What are your resolutions for 2016? What does the holiday season mean to you?

And now for a few end-of-the-year announcements:


Postcard - white border w NIEABecause it’s just not as much fun trying to wrap an e-book, I’ve dropped the paperback price of both Desperately Ever After and Damsels in Distress to $11.99 (originally $14.99). Plus, if you belong to Amazon Prime, they’re eligible for two-day shipping. Last minute gifts, anyone? Continue reading

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Filed under Author Interviews, Desperately Ever After, Events, Home & Family

How Quickly the World Can Change

News on book 3 and a diary entry

I’ve never been the queen of social media. Not as a teenager. Not as a mother. Not even as an author, though I understand its importance and make an adequate effort to do my part. But even for me, my online presence over the past few months has been horrible. I only wish I had a happier reason why.

I WISH I could say that I was busy celebrating my 32nd birthday. Or getting lost in my third book. Or enjoying my first Christmas with my beautiful baby girl. But the truth is that I spent the holidays half blind (literally) and terrified.

It started with what seemed to be a tiny smudge on my contact lens — only when the contact lens came out, the smudge didn’t leave along with it. I didn’t think much of it at first. I was just tired … or had run into a very persistent speck of dust. Surely, it would disappear in a day or two, just as mysteriously as it had come.

Over those next few days, however, the smudge ballooned into a thick gray curtain that blocked out half my world. Through the afflicted eye, I couldn’t see my husband’s hand one centimeter in front of my face. I couldn’t see the bright red numbers on my bedside clock, even with my nosed pressed up against the glass. I clung to my daughter every second, terrified that the loss of sight would become permanent … or spread to my other eye as well … ending my life just when it was truly beginning. Continue reading


Filed under Desperately Ever After, Home & Family, Misc, Writing Process

Starting your own pesticide-free, organic vegetable garden

Now that spring has officially sprung, all eyes are turning from the living room to the back yard. Daffodils are bursting through the soil. Tulips are waiting in the wings. And ambitious gardeners are browsing home improvement stores with green-eyed envy and thumbs to match. But beyond planting beautiful flowers, spring is the ideal time to start a backyard vegetable garden.


For starters, while that emerald green ball of broccoli at the supermarket may look packed full of vitamins, the truth is vegetables start losing nutrients the moment they are picked. Growing your own lets you control how long your produce waits for mealtime, how organic it is, how much damage it does to your wallet (especially when it comes to those pricey herbs and berries!), and even how good it tastes.  Continue reading

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Filed under Home & Family, Journalism