Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cancer Sucks

Recently, I received an email from a softball coach. 

Hi, Mrs. Mikulski, 

As you can see from the email below, this is written in an attempt to help a 15 year-old softball player named Ashley get through a difficult time. She has been diagnosed with AML (leukemia) and has recently begun treatment. So far many people who don't even know Ashley have been posting messages in a guest book within a website that has been made specifically for her. I understand that she reads the messages and it has been a great source of comfort and support. I thought I'd reach even further and see if teams, players, and softball people in general from across the country would be interested in posting a message of support to Ashley. 

Baseliners 14U
Sterling, Virginia

If you would like to leave Ashley a message of support, click here.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Playing Catch Up

Whew. What a week. I met my publisher for the first time face to face last weekend. We had a fantastic time hanging out at the Jersey Shore. Then on Saturday, at the Blast at the Beach softball tournament book signing in Salisbury, Maryland, we sold and signed our entire box of SCREWBALL books in two hours. Yay! Check out my shiny forehead in the picture. Hence, the mean nickname turtle wax. For some unknown reason, my forehead reflects more sun then a mirror. :) We rode the Lewes ferry from New Jersey to Delaware, watched some sensational softball, and met a ton of fastpitch players, parents, and fans. Thanks Salisbury! 

Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong website launched last week. I was 
lucky enough to contribute some articles for this great site. Check it out here. Also, I'm over at Pretty Tough today blogging about seven ways to beat the heat this softball season. 

Finally, I read one of the best biographies ever last week. In fact, I finished it in one night. Tito Ortiz's THIS IS GONNA HURT. While some biographies are over edited, this book was written in Tito's voice and it was extremely raw and honest. Okay, I admit it, I'm a bit infatuated with wrestling and MMA. 

A couple days later, I received Jessica Brody's FIDELITY FILES for my South Jersey Mom column. And I'm loving this one too. I'm in the midst of reading a streak of great books. :) What are you reading? Have you picked up a book that you can't put down lately? Have a great day! 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Age Banding Books

What do you think about age banding children's books? If you're not familiar with it, check out this article. Basically, publishers want to label books 5+, 7+, 9+, 11+, and 13+/teen to help guide parents towards appropriate books for their children.  

I'm kind of crossed about age banding. As a parent, I fully understand the need to know what books are appropriate, but the anti-censor in my brain is screaming, who is going to make the decision on what's considered appropriate? On the other hand, I constantly find myself babbling to parents of girls under 11 years old who try to buy my book at tournaments, that SCREWBALL is YA and contains some high school stuff. Age banding would halt my constant babbling. But, I would never want to stop a child from reading. Urgh..

What do you think? Do you support age banding or are you against age banding, like these folks?

SCREWBALL NEWS: I'm so excited. This weekend, I'm going to meet my publisher for the first time face to face. :) We'll be selling and signing SCREWBALL at the Blast at the Beach tournament in Salisbury, Maryland. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thank You Tan in a Can

Today, I'm over at Pretty Tough blogging about hitting. :) 

I love Tan in a Can. And every year, it's getting better and better. When Tan in a Can first hit the shelves, it was terrible and left orange streaks. But now, it comes in spray bottles, lotions, and even the tanning salon offers a spray. See, Tan in a Can turns my skin brown, like a normal tan should look, not this reddish copper color natural sun tanning produces. And it stays on, unlike a real suntan which disappears after a day. Yes, there is a little nagging voice that wonders if the chemicals in Tan in a Can are worse for my skin then the sun. But, I'm addicted to the Can and I don't have to lay out for hours wishing to get bronze. I can just rub it on like a lotion. :) 

Any other tanning lovers out there? If not, what product are you thankful for?  

FYI:  Teri Brown is hosting a READ MY LIPS launch blog party this week. Check it out to win some amazing books and giveaways. Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pretty Tough Tuesday & Tagged for Five

What a great week for College Softball. Check out my College World Series Wrap-Up blog for Pretty Tough here

Yay! I've been tagged by Angela.  I love being tagged and I hope my taggies' feel the same way. :) 

Here we go: 

1. The rules of the post are posted at the beginning. 
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves. 
3. At the end of the post, the player tags five people and posts their names, visits their blogs, and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged, and asking them to read 
the player's blog. 
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answer. 

What were you doing five years ago? 

Hmmm.. I was coaching softball, working clinics and camps, and teaching seventh grade at Harrington Middle School in Mount Laurel. My hubby and I lived in Cherry Hill with our two little dogs. When, I first read this question, I thought I was in college five years ago.. Try nine. Urgh. :)

What are five things on your to do list today (not in any particular order)? 

1. Hang out at the beach with Kaci. :)
2. Finish my WIP that's due Friday. Yikes. 
3. Attend a South Jersey Mom magazine meeting tonight.
4. Bake cupcakes with Kaci. 
5. Visit the post office and send Book Adorer her new books. :)

What are five snacks you enjoy? 

Cookies, Rice Krispie treats, gummy bears, Doritoes, and dark chocolate.

What five things would you do if you were a billionaire? 

1. Buy a house on the beach in Stone Harbor. 
2. Spread the wealth - Give some to my mom and dad, brother and sister-in-law, cousin, nieces, and grandmom. 
3. Buy or build a house in Tampa Bay, Florida right next to Derek Jeter. :)
4. Help out kids and families in need. 
5. Buy box seat season tickets to the Yankees, a new wardrobe, a pedicure, and massage.

What are five of your bad habits? 

1. I leave water bottles and glasses around the house. 
2. I'm anal about what I eat. I never try new foods.  
3. Tend to stress out easily, but I'm working on that. 
4. I'm a tad bit low on patience.
5. I leave lights on. 

What are five places you have lived? 

1. West Chester, PA
2. Maple Shade, NJ
3. Cape May Court House, NJ
4. Cherry Hill, NJ
5. Philadelphia, PA 

What are five jobs you've had? 

1. Pediatric Registered Nurse
2. First grade teacher
3. Lifeguard
4. Insurance secretary
5. Acme bagger

Five people to Tag:

And anyone else that wants to complete the Tagged for Five. :) Have a great day! 

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Another month another contest. I love giving away books and already I notice a de-clutter difference in my office. Thanks everyone for entering. :) 

June is one of my top three favorite months of the year. Why? Because June is the month I married my hubby, the month I found out I was going to be an aunt for the first time, and the month school always let out for the summer. I love June. 

After writing the blog for Story Siren about proms, I started thinking about weddings. The ultimate prom. In celebration of June, I'll be giving away two summer novels, Sarah Dessen's That Summer (Haven is dealing with her father's and sister's weddings.) and an ARC of Polly Williams's A Bad Bride's Tale (Stevie's getting older and decides to settle for Not Quite Mr. Right.). 

That Summer is obviously amazing because Dessen wrote it. Enough said. 

A Bad Bride's Tale is a cute, light beach read about a woman who decides to marry her longtime boyfriend because she's afraid her soul mate will never come along. Loved it. I received this one through my South Jersey Mom Magazine Chick Lit Pick column. 

Since this month's contest is overflowing with weddings and fantastic trips follow weddings, what is your fave vacation spot? If you haven't visited your favorite vacation spot yet, tell me about a place that you would love to visit. I would love to visit Hawaii and I declare Hawaii my favorite vacation spot. :) Good luck. 

Here are the rules: 
1. To enter to win, leave a comment about your favorite vacation spot. 
2. The contest ends at midnight on June 30, 2008 and the winner will be posted on July 1, 2008. My two year old daughter will pick the winner out of a bucket. :)
3. The contest is open to everyone! Don't be shy, my writer friends. :)
4. If you post about the contest on your blog or MySpace, you automatically receive two entries. 

Good luck! :)





Congrats Book Adorer, please email me ASAP and I'll send the books! Yay! Check out the new YAY FOR YA contest posted today. Have a great weekend!