Looking for a good rock n roll read?

Louder Than Love

Louder Than Love, my debut novel, releases 9/17/13!

Coming September 17, 2013

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)

Imprint: Berkley/InterMix

ISBN: 9781101634790

In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.

It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

LOUDER THAN LOVE e-book can be pre-ordered from:

Amazon

BN.com

iTunes

Google Books

Louder Than Love

To Headbang or Not to Headbang

That is the ITP question.

September marks ITP Awareness Month, and today, September 28, is Sport Purple for Platelets Day.

Jonathan Davis Korn

Think this guy will be sporting purple today?

In my research into the subject of this bizarre roller coaster of a disease, I recently learned that Jonathan Davis from the band Korn had a bout with ITP during his 2006 European Tour, landing in the hospital with a platelet count of 5K. To quote Davis: “If I continued to headbang on stage I could have had a brain hemorrhage and dropped dead on the spot. This has been one of the scariest times in my life.”
I know how he feels. In 2005, I was 4th row center at a Judas Priest concert. Rob Halford had just re-joined the band after being away for over a decade; how could I not be there front and center to cheer, yell and headbang? I remember trying to lift my arms to fist pump, and I couldn’t. I just wanted to curl up on my chair and go to sleep.

I wound up in the hospital the next day with my first platelet crash since my ITP diagnosis the month before. I was at 12K. If the show had been general admission, if I had been, as Anthrax would say, “caught in a mosh”, that could have been the end of me. It was scary indeed.

Our stories are just 2 of the stories out there representing the 200,000 Americans suffering from ITP. Many have chosen to share their stories on the PDSA Personal Stories web page. Yesterday I posted a story about running a 5K mud race with a platelet count of 39K on my new site that some of my followers may not have found yet. It was another exhilarating dip on my roller coaster of ITP and I hope you will take a peek at it, as well as sport PURPLE today! Thanks.

(School) Supply and Demand

There’s a nip in the air come nightfall, and the leaves are performing their annual drop-and-clog ritual into the swimming pool. Halloween candy is already in the supermarkets, so school must be right around the corner!

As a kid, this was truly my favorite time of year. I loved pulling out cozy warmer clothes and deciding what to wear that first day of school. (Um, which concert jersey? And do I wear the Jordache with the white stitching, or the pair with the gold embroidered horse on the tiny extra front pocket only large enough to accommodate an emergency quarter for calling my parents from the payphone in the arcade at the bowling alley?  Ah, memories of the good ol’ obsolete days!)

And I absolutely loved buying school supplies. Back in those days, teachers didn’t give a list. There were no big-box stores devoting aisles and aisles to folders with pockets and prongs, or folders with center brads and no pockets. (Say what?) I would walk into Rite Aid, pick out my couple of pens, pencils, and my superawesomewickedcool Trapper Keeper and be done with it.

The writer already instilled within Young Me LOVED the prospect of page after page of blank filler paper and a pen with all its ink. The possibilities were endless.

Akin to a child’s joy of playing in an empty cardboard box and to hell with whatever cool item came packaged inside, I loved decorating my textbook covers. The school would supply plainish covers to mask their pocked and scarred property, and we would all go to work drafting every cool band logo we could think of. Some of the worthy ones of the day included:

AC DC logo

Def Leppard logo

Van Halen logo

the Who logo

If you could replicate all four mysterious Led Zeppelin symbols, you were legendary:

Led Zeppelin symbols

WCMF, the rock radio station in my hometown, also gave away nice book covers: glossy black with their logo and red graffiti-splattered “LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL” embossing them. In 1983, that was the ultimate statement.

Do kids even get textbooks anymore? Or does all that text live online or in a virtual cloud somewhere? (And our kids might ask: What’s a radio station?)

On a hot night in July, shortly after being backstage at an Iron Maiden concert, I threw myself into the most dangerous of moshpits; i.e. the Target school supply section. In there, it’s Soccer Mom vs. Dance Mom. A Labradoodle-eat-Lhasa-Poo world of supply and demand. I kept my wits about me, armed with my school-supplied list of rations (every year it includes multiple boxes of tissues, Zip Locs and Purell, which makes me slightly nervous. Is this for a classroom or an episode of Dexter?).

I emerged triumphant and five lbs leaner, having spent roughly the GNP of a Third World country on stuff…and I only have one child. Forget saving for college – if you have three kids, you invest in Mead!

Shiver me timbers and lighten Blackbeard’s wallet – it’s me back-to-school booty!

After surviving that came the Herculean task of labeling each and every crayon, pencil and folder. Maybe this could be categorized under Helicopter Mom, but there’s no way my 10-year old is going to legibly Sharpie her name on a .25in #2 pencil twenty times. I will take one for the team and get high on the Sharpie fumes myself.

I wonder if obsessive labeling will still be required in high school? I hope by that time, my daughter has the patience, stamina and hand-dexterity to complete such a task. But for now, I get to revel in the newness of her school supplies. All that blank paper, the endless possibilities…

Can YOU Say NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month

Don’t worry. My mouth had a hard time pronouncing it at first, too. But my brain knew from the minute it learned about National Novel Writing Month, it wanted to participate this year.

For those of you unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it’s 30 days and nights of literary abandon as you attempt to write a 50K word novel from start to finish within the month of November. Now, April may be the cruelest month…but November, she’s a bitch, too.

There’s all the pre-Xmas and Hanukkah hoopla, there’s parent-teacher conferences, and my kids’ Variety Show to attend. There are all the events which I (over)volunteered myself for with the school’s PTA. I’m still reeling from the month of “ill” in September when half the house was sick and caused my platelets (due to a pesky auto-immune disorder I have called ITP) to take a nosedive throughout October. As well as the fact that my amazingly healthy dad who normally defies medical odds had to have major surgery yesterday and I plan on spending a lot of quality time with him during his month-long re-cooperation. I’ve got a road trip planned with my childhood friend Steph to see the mighty Judas Priest on their farewell tour, too! Oh, and did I mention Thanksgiving? It happens to be one of the busiest weekends of the year for touring rock bands. We will most likely get stuck in massive traffic caused by travelers on a quest for turkey while we attempt to “commute to work” in NYC for moe.‘s two-night stand at Terminal 5 that weekend.

But hey. We do gain an extra hour in November. And I plan on using all 60 minutes of it writing!

So family, friends and followers be fair-warned: there will be no spare time this month. Only NaNo time. I’m a girl on a mission. The Program Director of NaNoWriMo advised us to shout it from the rooftops, as “the more people who know what you’re working on, the more accountable you’ll feel and the likelier you are to hit the 50,000-word goal.”

Curious to know what I’ll be working on? Stay tuned!