Monday, October 31, 2011


First, I want to remind everyone about my blog tour with Teen Book Scene.  It began today with an interview of one of my characters, Julianna.  She's the victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her boyfriend, Ben. She's also Austin's ex-girlfriend.

It's starts here at Book sfrom Bleh to Basically Awesome.

On my sidebar *points right* you'll find a banner that will take you to the rest of the details of the blog tour. 

Other than that, I just want to wish everyone a safe and sane Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Never Eighteen, Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, and saving lives

I already told you I've opened up a Cafe Press store full of Never Eighteen gear.  All the profit will benefit Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma, WA. 

I just haven't told you the why, and it doesn't just have to do with Never Eighteen.

The hospital has an awesome staff and  many wonderful programs for children.  They've also won bunches of awards.

This hospital also happened to save my daughter's life, so I hold them close to my heart.  At five weeks old, my younger daughter Rachel contracted RSV ( Respiratory syncytial virus).  This virus can be deadly for infants, and is actually attributed to many SIDS cases.

I noticed one night she wasn't breathing very well.  I took her to her doctor who told me to count her breaths.  If it got below a certain count, I should take her into the ER.  There was no word about "this is really really serious" or "she could die" or anything like that.  I didn't really understand it.

But I counted.

She breathed, but not well.

I finally decided to just take her in.

The ER docs were great.  They said, if they had any beds open they would have admitted her, but they were full (it was winter, lots of sickness going on).  So they told me exactly what she had, what to watch for, and again if her breathing was labored and her reps were down, to bring her back in.

I honestly don't remember if it was the next day or a couple days later, but I continued to watch her breathe.  I was obsessed about it as I'm sure any parent would be. 

I sat and watched.

Her breathing became labored.

Her breaths were shallow.

It came down to her only breathing about once ever few seconds.

My dad took the both of us (Older daughter and husband stayed home) back to the ER. 

She was dying.  They started work on her right away.  They wouldn't let me in the room, they said it's too disturbing for a mother to watch.  My dad went in with her.  I heard her screaming.  I thought I was going to faint or throw up or both.

Someone stayed out with me and explained what they were doing to her.  They had to loosen up the gunk in her lungs and suck it out.

When she was stabilized, they took her to the ICU where the doctor there (I wish I could remember his name) explained what RSV was and what they would need to do to Rachel while she was in the ICU.  He's the one that told me about the RSV/SIDS link.  A nurse, his name was Steve, would come in every couple hours and pound on her chest with a little pink rubber mallet to keep the gunk loose in her chest.  He taught me how to do it, because I would have to continue for weeks afterward.

If I hadn't brought her in that night, I know she would have died.

I couldn't stay the night in the ICU.  They gave me an empty hospital room to sleep in.  After two days they moved her into a regular room, where I was able to sleep with her.  We were there for five days.

I am so grateful for the entire hospital staff.  They not only saved my daughters life, but also attended to my needs as a mother.

I'm sure you understand why I want to give back to them.

So, if you're in the market for some Never Eighteen gear, visit my shop, look around, and know that if you buy something, the profits are going to a very worthy organization.

You can find more information about the hospital here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Weigh in, guest blogging, a new video, and a good cause

I'm six pounds down.  It's been a rough road to get there.  I still want to drop another twenty at least.  My exhaustion has finally passed and I've got off my butt and exercised.  Tortuous Jillian Michaels yoga in the morning, some kind of aerobic activity in the afternoon/evening.  It was nice enough to bridge walk the other day, but weather is changing and I'll probably move to the elliptical (once I superglue the foot back on, the hazards of having a bunch of teenage girls in the house).

I also want to mention that I have a guest post up at the Class of 2k11 today about what they've taught me that I'll take into my debut year.  Look for another post from me on Friday at the Class of 2k11.

I've also opened a Never Eighteen shop at Cafe Press.  All the profits are going to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma.  I thought it apropos with the theme of my book and they saved my daughter's life when she was just 5 weeks old.  I feel like I'll never be able to repay them.

I've posted a new video.  A bunch of random thoughts from me. Watch it here.

One more thing, I have a blog tour starting on Halloween through Teen Book Scene.  The details can be found here.

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday, Total BItch Day

So yesterday I got a little postal.  It was just one aggravating thing after another until I though my head would explode. I want to tell you a situation and you tell me if I'm a total bitch or not.  K?  Here we go.

I was driving my daughter to  a friends house at about 6:40 am because it's Spirit Week this week and she needed a life jacket to wear to school.  I'm driving up a street and in front of me is a school bus, lights on, stop paddle out.

So, of course, I stop.  The lift is down, not on the street side of course, it's on the sidewalk right in front of a house, so I can tell a disable child is going to be entering the bus.  She comes out, her mother following behind, they get her on the lift.  All this has taken a few minutes, maybe 3 or so.  

I'm not a patient person by nature but I was fine. I understand these things take time.  Well, this started taking a LONG time, I was still fine.  This is where the irritation starts.

The bus driver waves me through.

Um, no.  I don't think so.  My luck, I'd drive through, and a cop would be sitting there just waiting to give me a ticket, plus there was a line of cars already in the other lane waiting.  Even if I wanted to pass, I couldn't.

So after the girl is situated and ready to go, the bus driver and the mother start chatting.  CHATTING!!!  Cars lined up on both sides of the street waiting. 

Um, I'm pretty sure that driver has been on that route forever and knows the drill so wasn't getting instruction.

I'm feeling a little road rage coming on, but just cuss and yell, a whole bunch, in my car so they can hear me.

The whole incident takes about ten minutes.

I guess what I'm pissed about most is that there was no chance of a child getting run over, and the bus driver was waving me by, so why the hell did she put the paddle out and lights on in the first place?  It's 6:effin' 40 in the morning!!  There were no other kids on the bus!!

Okay, my rant is over.  I'm not some horrible person against disabled people, however I guess I am against inconsiderate bus drivers.

So tell me, am I being a total bitch?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monkey Madness Monday:Torture and Blog Tours

So, this exhaustion stuff is over for the most part, and I'm really trying to be healthy and drop some pounds.  I promised myself I would get off my ass starting today and do yoga in the morning and something aerobic at night.

I got up.  I put my DVD in the machine.  but what I experienced was not yoga.  It was Jillian Michaels yoga, which is really some form of torture disguised as yoga.  I think she's trying to kill me.

I know, I bitch, I complain, I moan, I probably won't be able to walk for a week, but if I continue with this torture, I'm fairly certain within a few weeks I'll have abs of steel.  Okay, maybe not steel, but aluminum at least.  

Enough about torture.  I'm just giving you a heads up that there will be a Never Eighteen blog tour coming courtesy of Teen Book Scene. You'll find out all sorts of interesting stuff about me, the book, and the characters.  Don't worry, I'll remind you again.


Okay that is all for today.  Enjoy your Monday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

F³A: I'm starting to freak out

My book release is three months away.  THREE MONTHS!!!!!

I'm seriously starting to freak out.  I'm trying to plan two parties.  The Tacoma Public Libraries have offered to host my release party and then I'm having a private party for close friends and family.

My marketing campaign is not quite in place yet.  I'm still working on it.  Who would have thunk it would be hard to get people to take a free book?!?!?!

I'm still writing guest blogs.  I'm almost blogged out. I'm not sure I'll ever want to blog again when this is all over.

I'm trying to drop *cough* another 20 pounds before release.  I'm not sure I'll make it.

I'll have to get my house ready for out of town guests.  I may have to hire someone to help me come clean it, because I'm not good at cleaning things like door frames, and corners, and crap like that.

I will probably also be going into seclusion next week to finish revisions on my WIP. ugh.

Someone talk me down from the ledge so I don't have to resort to xanax.

Friday Scribbles:

Random Pandora song of the week: Vienna by the Fray. I love Pandora.  It gets me through my work day.

Netflix of the week:  Finally finished Monk and have started on Breaking Bad.  Looks funny.

Book of the week:  Um, I've not had much time to read.  I'm reading a friends manuscript and it's really good.  May be the one that gets her published.

Quote of the week:  "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars."  I don't know who to attribute that too. I remember reading that years ago some where and for some reason it popped into my head this morning.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday is Thrustday

I've never really referred to it like this, because I try to stay prim and proper. er.

Because if a typo a while back (I can't remember whose exactly, maybe one of my friends can help out there) Thurday has become Thrustday.

We use Thrustday to misbehave.  To act crazy.  To flirt.  To use innuendo for fun.

It's goofy, but it's fun, and it breaks up the monotony of the week.  Everyone should celebrate Thrustday every week.

Enough about that.  Kathryn Burak, author of How People Disappear, coming to you in 2012, has written a wonderful post about writing today at the Class of 2k12 blog.  All aspiring (and even published) writers should read it.  It's very thoughtful and offers great advice.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monkey Madness Monday

I love this monkey.  He appears to be forlorn about something.

So, it's Monday.  The weekend was half crazy, half quietly productive. If you subscribe to my youtube channel, you probably know part of the craziness that was my Friday night.  If not, you can watch it here.

Two soccer games, two wins.  Lots of fun. A friend came over Saturday night.  I was exhausted and a little tipsy and fell asleep on her (not literally on her, but you know what I mean).  She still loves me though.

And I caught up with blog posts (almost) and work for the Class of 2k12.  I have a few more things to do to get ready for my book release.

I can't believe it's getting so close.  I don't think I'll ever feel ready.

Oh, yeah, and there's that pesky work in progress to revise.  I'd like to have it done by November 1st, but I'm not sure that's realistic.

Don't forget, it's Teen Read Week.  Get your teens to their local library and have them pick out something to read for fun!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

F³A: Teen Read Week

It's next week.  The theme is Picture It @ Your Library.  It's focusing on graphic novels.  I've already posed this question on Facebook, so if you've already answered there, I've got it.  I'm doing a blog next week for The Class of 2k12 and I want to know your favorite graphic novel characters and why you chose them.

Don't forget the why part!!!

This will post on Tuesday at the 2k12 blog.

Friday Scribbles:

Random iPod shuffle song: 25 to Life by Eminem.

Book of the Week: Um, seriously, I've not had much time to read.  The only thing I've really read is the 17 Day Diet (I've lost five pounds so far) and Wordpress in Depth which I've been reading at work, for work.  I need time and energy to read for enjoyment. sigh.

Netflix of the Week: Monk Season 8.  I'm almost done. :(  I need a suggestion for what to watch next.

Quotes of the Week:
“The past can't hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.”
― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

“You got a lifetime. No more. No less.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 7: Brief Lives 

Happy Friday everyone!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Class of 2k12, Explained.

Yesterday I blogged about the launch of the Class of 2k12.   It has come to my attention that some of you may not know what the hell that is.  So, I'm going to explain.

The Class of 2k12 is a group of twenty middle-grade and young adult debut novelists working in concert to promote our books and reading.

We are sending the Class of 2k11 out with a bang by
giving away a huge prize pack of their titles, signed, for a deserving class, school, or public library.  If you'd like to nominate your favorite library, stop by our Facebook page, and in our notes section, tell us about it. The winner will be announced November 12.  

And like I said yesterday, we'll also be hosting monthly giveaways, two giving back programs, and participating in a major book drop.

Be sure to visit our links to find out about 2k12 books, authors, and events:

our website
our blog
our Facebook page
our Twitter link
our newsletter (Click to sign up -- simply write ADD ME in the comment line).  

Hope that clears everything up.  Have a fantastic Thursday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Class of 2k12

We have launched.  Our website is open for you to peruse (we're having some glitches this morning, so be patient with us).

We've sent our first newsletter.  There is an opt in box on our home page if you want to receive our monthly newsletter.

We're holding our first contest for a deserving public, school, or classroom library.  Go to our Facebook notes to enter.

We're available for in person events, Skype, Twitter chats, and all sorts of fun stuff.   Check us out!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday Monkey Madness

Yeah, I know it's Tuesday, but I don't like blogging on Tuesdays and didn't have time to blog yesterday #wheredidmylifego.  So, it's Monkey Madness Monday today.

Got back from a soccer tourney on Sunday for Thing One's team (we bought her and her friend Thing One and Two footie pjs while we were there).  The team played hard.  Ref's lost one game for them.  They lost the other all on their own, and won one.  We had a good time, stopped through Leavenworth on the way home.  No, not the prison, the quaint German town in Washington.

Thing Two's team one 5-0.  Wish I could have transported and seen it.

Non sequitur:  The Class of 2k12 launches officially tomorrow.  We're having some great giveaways, a giving back program, and monthly contests.  Oh, yeah, and we have some rockin' teen fiction coming out next year.

Be sure to check us out on Twitter, Facebook,youtube, and on our website.  You can also sign up to receive the Class newsletter and keep up with all our releases and giveaways. (we promise, only once a month).

That's all from me.  Have a great Monday, I mean, Tuesday!

Friday, October 7, 2011

F³A: Blogging, blogging, and more blogging

Seriously, I've been doing nothing but the day job, soccer, and guest blogs all week.  The guest blogs have been pretty fun.  I'm one of Badass Bookies Debutantes for 2012.  I've got a blog tour coming up on Teen Book Scene (I'll share dates later).  I've got a Dear Teen Me letter coming out on October 31st. And I've got two posts for the Class of 2k11 at the end of the month.

Oh, yeah, and the Class of 2k12 launch on the 12th.  I'll be blogging toward the end of the month (website not up until that date).  Plus I've got guests blogs to finish up for the class.

I'm crazy right?  The answer would be yes.  But I love it.  It's what I want to do.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Don't forget, I'm sending out signed bookmarks for anyone who subscribes to my Youtube channel.

Question: I've got my vlog series, but is there anything else you'd like to see?  Advice, personal stuff? (keep it clean people)

Okay, Friday Scribbles:

Random iPod shuffle song:  Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine.  This song has a supporting role in Never Eighteen.

Book of the Week:  I'm sticking with Amy Dominy's OyMG.  After I finish all these blog posts, I should have time to read again. *fingers crossed*

Netflix of the Week: Dexter Seaon 5, OMG! OMG! I LOVE Dexter.

Rest in Peace
Quote of the Week:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday Random bits of Everything

First of, I promised my friend Gae I'd share a link. The Falling Apart Coming Together YA panel.  Young adult authors discuss  their recent novels. Authors David Levithan, Jonathan Farmer, Matt Blackstone, Christopher Grant, and Gae Polisner share their recent novels about shattered teenagers who try to understand their fragile world. This will definitely be an invigorating discussion – especially for parents of this demographic.

If you're in the Brooklyn area, get your butt over there.  I wish I were there.

Okay, next on the list, here is the final version of the Never Eighteen book trailer, let me know what you think:

Don't forget, I'll send you a signed bookmark if you subscribe to my youtube channel.  Just let me know.

Also, the Class of 2k12 launches in ONE WEEK!!!!  Can you believe it?  It seems like it's taken so long to get here.  We're having two huge giveaways, one pack of 2k11 books, one pack of 2k12 books open to libraries, whether public, school or classroom.  You can nominate your library of choice, but don't do it yet, wait until we launch.  We're also doing monthly giveaways open to everyone, and three giving back campaigns throughout the year.  If you want to sign up for the 2k12 newsletter, send an email to  You'll be able to visit our website to find out what's going on, and we're already on Twitter and Facebook.

Okay, I think that's all for today.  Catch you on the flip side.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In

Yeah, I know, haven't done this in awhile.  I've been, well, unfocused.  Starting to live right.  Again.  Maybe it will stick this time.  The great thing about each new day is that it has the potential of being a fresh start.  Started this "living right" on Friday, with only a couple, um, setbacks, and have lost 3 pounds.

I gained thirty pounds during my divorce crap.  My ex lost at least that much.  I think he gave it to me. ;)

It's been really hard because I've been suffering from exhaustion.  It's hard to get off my butt.  Once I'm able to do that (I'm really trying, believe me) I'll be able to shed more pounds.  My goal is 20 pounds by my release. (I'd like 30, but being realistic, not going to starve myself, I like food too much) 

So, here I go once again.  If you want to share your stories, feel free.

And my offer still stand about my youtube channel.  If you subscribe, I'll send you a signed bookmark.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monkey Madness Monday

I'm back after a short hiatus from regular blogging.  I'm coming off my exhaustion (I think). I was tested for Anemia and Hypothyroidism, and it's neither of those things.  So I think my doc was right and it's just a case of exhaustion.

I'm still tired, but the last day I had to sleep half the day was last Wednesday, and I've not napped since the week before last.  I'm hoping that I can get back to the exercise and getting healthy.  I'm so tired of being tired.

Enough about that.  Yesterday I was on a panel at Northwest Bookfest with my fellow Harbingers of Doom Marissa Burt (Storybound), J. Anderson Coats (The Wicked and the Just), and Danny Marks (Velveteen).  Our panel was about the Terrible Truth from Conception to Publication.  We had a big crowd and had lots of questions asked.  So, I think it was a success.  The Harbingers had fun looking at the booths and talking to other writers and editors.

It made me excited about revisions again.  I'm really slogging through them, but I'll get them done.

One more thing, I don't know if you guys know I vlog, but I'd love to have more subscribers on my youtube channel.  I've got a couple advice videos, some book reviews, I vlogged my journey to publication, and now I'm vlogging about my middle aged angst.  Click here for my channel.

If you subscribe, I'll send you a signed bookmark.  Just comment below and I'll get your details.

Catch ya later,


My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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