Are dreams and goals the same thing? What will your lists look like for 2014?

My lists of dreams and goals used to be distinctly different. I have always been a HUGE list maker. I like to write things down (on paper) and cross them off as they are completed. I get an overwhelming amount of satisfaction from throwing away a list after I’ve crossed everything off. Nerd much? Yeah, I know. It’s alright though, I embrace my nerdiness.


Early in my life my dream list read: Get to Oz,

Preferably, in Glinda’s bubble.


Become a famous actress or singer; doesn’t really matter as long as I get to wear a ball gown or a tutu.


My list of goals were a little different. Goal #1: Do not eat liver for dinner, like EVER. Goal #2: Wear my sister’s stuff without getting caught, and #3: Make it through Jr. High without being sent to a convent.


I was a little rough around the edges as a teenager. Don’t judge.

As I matured so did my dreams. I dreamt of a big-boffin’, beautiful wedding marrying the man I loved,  to become a famous author, to be the most sought after interior designer on the planet, and live in a mansion where I could invite everyone I knew (and even those I didn’t)for the holidays, birthdays, and PARTIES! Woo-hoo, par-tay! I’m half Irish, and a party is just another another opportunity to wear a tutu-ish dress in my book.🙂

The goals at this time in my life were to finish college, buy a house, and marry the man I loved. At this point in life one of my dreams and goals had merged. I thought, hmmm, maybe they’re not so different after all. Maybe dreams are not the unattainable but the spark that creates a goal. Now I realize that my dreams are the catalyst for my goals. So, as I’m heading into 2014 I’m seeing that mu list of dreams and goals are the same.

           -Get an amazing agent who is right for me

           -Blog my ass off

           -Sell 1st YA novel, SUNRISE

           -Sell 2nd YA novel, DARKNESS

           -Make enough money writing so I don’t have to do anything else. If I become instantly, J.K. Rowling famous, and make oodles of money instead of just enough, so be it!

           -Be a better human being . . . this includes not flipping people off on the road *hangs head down in shame*

           -Drop the “F” bomb LESS (you hear that little drunken sailor that lives in my mouth!) *hangs head in shame again*

          -Spread peace where ever I go, like pixie dust

          -Finish our house construction. . . for the love of God and all that’s holy!!

        -Be on the Red Carpet wearing an outrageously-puffy-oh-my-God-did-you-see-that-dress, award winning writer. Okay, so this might be on my 2015 list. . . but it starts as a dream!


Off I go into another year.

I’ll face 2014 without any fear.

I’ll write my list, check it twice,

cross it off, it’ll be so nice.

Out on a ledge,

toes over the edge.

Out of my comfort zone,

ready to have my mind blown!

One by one, I’ll get it done,

with perseverance, tenacity, and a bulldog mentality.


Ho Ho Ho Christmas celebrators

What does your 2014 list look like?


The color of your graduation robe– Does it define you? It does in Greenwich, CT

WARNING: THERE WILL BE CURSING. If you’re easily offended you can leave, I’ll wait. Okay, last chance. Here we go-

I don’t blog often because quite frankly I’m busy as all hell. And when I do blog, it’s usually about something going on in the writing community but I have to address this local issue.

This past week there has been an absolute, all-out-shit-storm over the color of the graduation robes at Greenwich High School.

Greenwich Free Press

Greenwich Free Press


In the past, “Traditionally”,  boys have worn red robes and girls have worn white robes.

This is me the day I graduated from GHS and I can honestly say the last thing on my mind that day was the color of my robe. Any one who knows me, or knew me in high school, knows that I was just glad, and mildly shocked, to have graduated.

Class of '87

Class of ’87

It’s a different world now, as you can clearly see by my choice of hair style in 1987, which I totally and freely admit is hilarious. I wish this post was also going to be funny because that’s what I like to write, but it’s quite the opposite.

On Tuesday, Feb. 23rd, Head Master Christopher Winters sent out an email stating:

“In a break from previous GHS graduations, this year all graduates will wear the same color gown, Cardinal red with a white stripe on the sleeve. Why the change?” I’m going to paraphrase most of what he said to spare you from having to read for an hour.

“First, at Graduation, except for class officers and Valedictorian/Salutatorian, all students come in together and sit together as one unified class. It’s a day when we honor all for graduation.”

His second point for the change, and I think (just my opinion) this is the one that freaked people out, “Second, we are increasingly aware of student choices with gender orientation. In an effort to respect all students, we will cease using separate-colored gowns for males and females. We strive for GHS to provide a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all. This small change of tradition demonstrates our commitment to those principals.  It is very common for colleges and high schools to have all graduates wear the same color.”

And by God, he was right…I found photos to prove it!

Unsplash free images

Unsplash free images

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Unsplash free images

I thought Dr. Wintters explained it all perfectly. I was very proud to be part of such a forward thinking school. Dr. Winters also said, in keeping with tradition, students would still be able to decorate their caps any way they liked to express their individuality. Brilliant! We are trying to get these young men and women to move to the next level and as a bonus we are all-inclusive.

Unsplash Free Images

Unsplash free images



I saw petitions about keeping our “traditions” and parents asking the question why do we have to change? I read people bashing Dr. Winters and his decision. In general–people freaked-the-fuck out.

So, on Thursday, Feb. 25th, Head Master Winters reversed his decision. You can read the entire story at

Greenwich Free Press

Greenwich Free Press

I asked him via email how the change came about. Dr. Winters responded that he sent a poll/survey to the students with three choices: All red gowns, all white gowns  or a choice to wear red or white. Headmaster Winters said that 89% responded (in about 20 minutes) to the third choice.

Now this seems reasonable. But is it? We should be shouting, hooray, the majority wins!

Let’s talk about who loses; the 11%.

I can’t help but think about the fabulous words of Dr. Seuss, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” So I went to the small community that Dr. Winters was trying to be inclusive of… which I applaud you’re efforts, sir!

I interviewed several people from the transgender and nonbinary community. I explained I have two children, one girl, the other a boy, both heterosexual and have no gender issues, so I do not know any of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) struggles, or the struggles of their families personally. I wanted to represent them properly for this piece. This is what they had to say to me.

#1: “It’s not fair to any of the students, because they’re being forced to conform to traditional notions of gender just by being told what they can and cannot wear. Being fair and inclusive of trans-kids gives everyone more freedom to be themselves. There’s already so much pressure to conform in high school, and so much ridicule if you don’t.”

#2: “I feel like having all students wear the same color would be more trans-friendly as a means of not forcing people out of the closet before they’re ready. I feel like if students could choose red or white, many transgender males will stick with red and transgender females will stick with white, which would kinda out us back to square 1.”

#3: “Having one robe color is the absolute best possible thing the school could have done. ‘Allowing’ students to choose, isn’t really a choice at all unless the young person has come out about how they feel about themselves. Having one color robe doesn’t impact cisgender (people who identify with the gender they were born into) at all, but it does worlds of good for the trans-people. But that’s some how wrong.”

So, what we’ve done by keeping our precious “tradition” is we’ve made everyone who is part of this transgender/nonbinary community feel ostracized. Yay us!

I went on to research how exactly these young people feel at

*At least 50% of transgender youth will have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday.

*More than 1 in every 10 high school students reported having attempted suicide; nearly 1 in 6 students between the ages of 12-17 have seriously considered it.

*More than 30% of LGBTQ youth report at least one suicide attempt within the last year.

So, you see for some it’s just upholding tradition. But, for others it may be the last straw, the icing on the cake, the final “you don’t belong.”

I also interviewed a PsyD (child psychologist) from another district who said, “Students should all wear the same color. Graduation should be a time of celebration as a group with your peers. This shouldn’t be a time to point out individual differences or to be put in a position in which you have to make a choice whether or not to expose your gender choice.”

Diversity means, variety, many different types. Aren’t we striving to be a diverse community? A diverse nation? Maybe that’s just me. But whether you agree with or understand or support the transgender community, ignoring them isn’t going to make them go away and could contribute to the sad suicidal statistics.

Compassion and empathy are not just politically correct words to use at parties, they are ways of life.

I’d like to point out the things I saw bouncing around on social media were not being said by bad people. They are people I know, people who may at this very moment be un-friending me, and that’s okay, but they’re good people. Maybe they’re just not considering how the other people involved in this are feeling.

Some of you know me as a CCD teacher. Isn’t this the “Holy Year of Mercy”, per Pope Francis? Past my being a Christian, I’m a human being, and I can certainly feel for those struggling with things I couldn’t possibly understand. And for me personally, I don’t ever want to be part of the statistics above. “Love everyone as I have loved you”.

I think the “choice” for this year is a done deal, but I certainly hope Headmaster Winters revisits and reconsiders for next year and the years to come.

I welcome respectful conversation on this blog, but please know, if there is any bashing or attacking of anyone I will remove/block you from everything I am on. I have diverse followers who I am grateful for, and I will not have them disrespected on my site.

We are all wonderfully and beautifully different. Let’s embrace our differences. We all lose when we don’t.


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Unsplash Free Images





Book Review: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher

I’ve just read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I know, I know! All my writer buds are shaking their heads at me that I’m just now reading it.  *hangs head in shame*. But whatever, I’m a slow reader and my reading list is frickin HUGE! *High-five to all my slow readers*

This book was Jay’s debut novel. It won fourteen different awards (maybe more now) and earned blurbs from some very heavy hitters in the literary world such as Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Ellen Hopkins, author of Tricks, Identical, Crank and Collateral just to name a few. EXTREMELY IMPRESSIVE. And….it’s going to be a movie!

This is an amazing book. I could not put it down. The story is told on cassette tapes- thirteen of them- by Hannah Baker who is dead. Love this premise. It is a journey through some very distraught days of her life, choices she made, choices others made. Clay Jennings, the boy who receives the tapes, does not want to take this journey and yet he must. He has no choice but to listen to the end. What he learns changes his life forever.

This is one of those books that will stay with me forever.


This book is about bullying. Bullying is not just about one person punching another person in the face. In fact, it’s rarely ever that anymore. It’s about what’s said, whispered, and written.

It’s about sexual assault and rape. It used to be “no means no”. But my daughter informed me from her health class, “without an enthusiastic YES, it’s no”. Which means unless both parties are enthusiastically saying YES, it is sexual assault or rape. Don’t ever assume you can put your hands on another person.

It’s about turning the other way, not helping when you could have. Doing nothing makes you part of the abuse. reported for 2014, 64% of children who were bullied did not report it. Only 36% reported bullying and more than half of bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied.

It’s about not perpetuating bad behavior. I don’t believe in the mentality of “It’s a rite of passage” when such rites hurt other people. Or “It happened to me and I survived”. Let’s stop that BS and do better.

After reading this book I started thinking about my actions as a young person. Did I have an effect on someone else’s life? Was it good or bad? In a perfect world there’d be no hate, everyone gets three cookies and a glass of milk at the end of the day, and we all hold hands singing “We Are The World” and not just at Christmas time. But that’s not the world we live in. But it could be better. I could be better. We could be better. Better us, better world. *Sigh*

Not everyone likes me. *Gasps* You all better be gasping! Here’s another shocker- I don’t like everyone out there either. I never claimed to be the Blessed Mother! We don’t all have to be besties but we should try to be open minded and not wound anyone with our words or actions. I don’t always get it right. When I was younger I got it even less right, but that’s part of growing up, isn’t it?

I don’t have a time machine — actually really pissed about that– so I can’t go back to the 1980’s and right the wrongs that I may have done. You’re probably thinking, “well I’m sure you didn’t kill anyone, so what’s the big deal?” And you would be right. I’m happy to report; homicide is NOT on my resume. But did I ever cause someone irrevocable damage with my words or actions like Hannah experienced? Could I have ever made a difference in someone’s life who may have been struggling? Did I partake in gossipy bullshit that could have ruined someone’s reputation? I don’t like gossip. Never have. So I’m pretty sure I’m safe on this one but for the rest, I honestly don’t know. Just for the record, if you are a person from my past, those middle school-high school years, and I wronged you in any way, I’m truly sorry.

So no time machine, but what I do have is my voice, my words. That is power.

I’m a parent of teenagers now. CRAY-CRAY. So even though I can’t go back in time, I can speak to my kids about making the right choices today. Sure, they’ll make some wrong choices anyway on their own, because we can’t control everything our kids do and we’re human, imperfect. We just need to put our best effort into not making mistakes that mangle someone else’s life.

I talk to my kids all the time. All. The. Time. They will roll their eyes and totally attest to this fact. I have one boy and one girl. They each come with their own unique ideas and personalities. And neither one of them came with a hand book. Whoever said God doesn’t have a sense of humor doesn’t have kids. It’s a challenge at times to say the least. But it’s worth it. It’s necessary. If we don’t tell them not to criticize the way someone else looks, they won’t know. also reported that “The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students were looks, body shape and race.”

Looks. Body shape. Race. Really?? Come on! We are like a box of chocolates, thank you Forrest Gump. We are different shapes, different colors and we are all fabulously de-lish!

If we don’t guide our kids on what is acceptable behavior, shame on us.

And it’s not enough to just speak to our own kids. We have to reach out to other kids too. If we don’t show them love, kindness and respect how will they show it to others? I know it’s cliché, but still true, we lead by example.

Gossip is poison. Don’t do it. If your friends are doing it around you, stop them. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and judge no one.

Be kinder. Not because of what someone can do for you or what you can get from them but because it’s the right thing to do.

It is my opinion that Thirteen Reasons Why should be required reading from seventh grade up. A young man in my daughters school killed himself the second day of freshman year. Bullying was a huge factor. I heard about a teacher that bullied a student in front of the whole class just yesterday. This is unacceptable! We can do better. We MUST do better.

I have not had the pleasure of hearing Jay speak in person yet but I do stalk, achem, follow him online and you can too! or on Twitter @jayasherguy #ReasonsWhyYouMatter #50StatesAgainstBullying.



Don’t be an A-hole

In this great country we have freedom of speech. We have the right to express ourselves. We have freedoms and rights up the wazoo.

That having been said, my question is:
Just because we can do something, we have the right to, should we?

I recently had a conversation with a teacher about a thirteen-year-old student that physically lashed out at another student for calling her fat. When you first read that you may think, well that sucks that she was called fat but hitting is excessive. But what if I told you she was called fat in front of the whole class, twenty-five students, and they all laughed at her? Does that change your perception a bit? So the teacher called her parents to tell them what happened. So I said, “Did you call the parents of the name-caller too?” The teacher said no. Hmm. She explained to the so-called “fat girl”, that in life people are going to say things you don’t like and you just have to learn to deal with it.” I think that’s the wrong message.

I write for young adults. What they say to each other matters. What they post about each other matters. So what I say to them or about them matters. What I say about other adults also matters because the young people I write for, and live with, are always watching, online and in person. Always.

Should you punch everyone in the face that talks crap you don’t like? No. You’ll go to juvie or jail. But on the flip side of that, let’s make the name callers accountable too. Let’s hold each other accountable.

Social media is BANANAS. I live in the Northeast but because of the internet I have the opportunity be friends with all sorts a peeps all over the world, young and not so young😉 Bananas!

But it’s not all love and sunshine through these cable wires and satellite dishes. It’s gotten a bit ugly out in cyber world. This past week I have read some awful things written about a YA author. I do not wish to comment other than to say just because you can write something doesn’t mean you should.

I’m not talking about censorship. If I want to write about a gay, purple-shoe-wearing, elephant-riding, hippo, that’s my right and you can’t tell me not to. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it. But written opinion about an actual person is different.

YA and MG authors write for young people. We tell them NOT to be bullies. We use examples of cyber-bullying that results in suicide for plot lines to drive home the fact that words matter. What you say counts. You can’t just swing your verbal blade and not care whose head gets cut off or whose guts spill out onto the floor. Well, you can, but that makes you an asshole. I prefer not being an asshole as much as possible.

So here’s the thing. We teach by what we do. So if we’re online being creeps to each other what are we teaching the very people we write for?

I’m no angel. My mother is probably saying a rosary and making the Sign of The Cross in my name right now as you read this. My anger has gotten the best of me more than a time or two. I can do better. But the big balls that are displayed in the hit and run posting, is not cool. Not cool at any age at any time.

Calling someone names and getting a class of twenty-five to laugh at someone sucks. Calling names on the internet where thousands if not millions get involved is beyond sucky.

I live with two amazing teenagers. My husband and I tell them every day; don’t let the assholes get to you today because there are a lot of them out there. My husband says “jerks” because his potty mouth is not as extensive as mine.

My point, without getting too preachy, is let’s not be the assholes. Young, youngish, and old as dirt, we can all do better.

PEACE…Spread it like fertilizer and watch the love grow.

2015…BRING IT!

Happy New Year fabulous people!!

Sorry I was MIA for a bit. I was stuck in a funk but I’m done being funky.

Rejection is the suckiest of all suckishness. My finalist #PITCHARAMA status is officially over. The editor who was interested in JESSICA MARCO PI has passed on the project. There, I’ve said it. I was sad. I was distressed. There was a day or two of immature pouting, kicking, rolling around on the floor. It wasn’t pretty. I’m over it. Overall, it was a really GREAT experience. The editor, Katie Teller at Curiosity Quills, was helpful in getting the book into the shape that it’s in. Now I just need to find the agent/editor that it is right for. Although this project wasn’t right for Katie, I would definitely submit to her again . If you’ve got a story, hit her up. She’s super cool.

Don’t go feeling sorry for me. This is the game I’ve chosen. It’s just part of the process and I learn from every experience, even the ones I don’t particularly like.

Let’s move on! *fist in the air. feet marching*

While I’ve been away the holidays came and went… Happy Happy, Merry Merry EVERYTHING! (((Hugs Abound)))

I spent some great time with friends and family– eating, drinking, watched awesome movies, read fricktastic books, spent a day at the zoo, and visited an indoor trampoline park TWICE! I have no pictures of the amazing back-flips I did without killing myself or any small children in my vicinity– you will just have to take my word for it.

Some of my writer friends are choosing a word for inspiration in 2015 instead of resolutions. Cool with me. I pretty much have the same resolution every year: Be a better me. If I’m a better me, hopefully I’ll inspire you to be a better you. Better me. Better you. Better world. Simple.

Back to my word problem. What word will I choose? Oh, the pressure *back of hand to forehead* Good Lord there’s so many! Triskaidekaphobia? Not a great choice for inspiration since it’s the fear of the number 13. I don’t want the fear of anything. Fear is a real friger!

Fear can frig up the best of plans.

“I want to draw but I’m afraid no one will like it.”

“I want to take a dance class but I’m afraid I’ll look silly.”

“I want to talk to that person I think is da bomb but I’m afraid they won’t like me.”

“I want to write a book but I’m afraid I’ll suck.”

Before even trying, fear can beat you into nothingness. I don’t know about you, but I’ll pass on nothingness. I want to be lots of somethingness. I’ll get back to this.

I want to share some of the books I read.

The first is called Finding Out by Sheryn MacMunn. I had the pleasure of having tea with Sheryn, who is a self-published author, and has had huge success with this debut novel. It’s a story about a young woman in the corporate world whose life falls apart and gets help putting herself back together from her neighbor, a Holocaust survivor. Sheryn marries two very different stories in a cohesive interesting tale that I really enjoyed. She shows how the human spirit can endure and overcome just about anything. I personally find the spirit to be an amazing thing and love to read stories that show that. Check her out at

Another book I read is Because of Low by Abbi Glines. I was especially interested in reading this book because it is in the New Adult genre just like my JESSICA MARCO PI and because I heard Abbi speak at the NYC 2014 SCBWI conference. LOVE her! It’s a romance with a great backbone. What do I mean by that? It’s not all about sex. It’s a great story about overcoming some crappy life circumstances told from the POV of the two main characters. Again, it’s that human spirit, that amazing power we all have to overcome. Abbi uses two very distinct voices so you see it clearly from each angle. She even had me sympathizing with the jerk in the story! Find her at

And the last book is called Every Day by one of my favs, David Levithan. LOVE! Imagine waking up everyday in a different body. You are always the same age but some days you’re a girl, others a boy. You have no control over who you land in whether they be obese, a drug addict, gay, straight or suicidal. Totally about the spirit of each of us who is really who we are anyway. The body is just a vehicle. It’s like a car for the soul. Trippy right? This book is awesome! For me this is what writing fiction is all about. Being able to step into the shoes of a character and bring you along for the ride. Did I mention LOVE? David has way too many other books for me to mention the love for, so go to Be in awe. Come back when you’re done…. I’ll be here.

Welcome back!

So. My word for 2015? You probably guessed it-


Fear is the stop before I start. Fear is paralyzing. Fear is anxiety producing. Fear of failing will keep me from ever being published. Not havin it. Don’t have time for it.

Are there an abundant amount of things to be afraid of? Hell yeah, just watch the news for five minutes. Will my worrying about any of it help at all? No. Am I telling you not to be afraid of anything? No. As my mother always said, “a little fear will keep you safe.” If you’re in a house that’s on fire– RUN! There’s a difference from being fearless and being stupid. Don’t be stupid. All you stupid people should be reading some other blog. Everyone else… Be fearless with me in 2015!

Until later this month,




Nopesville & NaNoWriMo

Jeannie Intrieri

Welcome to Nopesville! I have been living here in Nopesville for the past week or so. When things are overwhelming I tend to look at them and say, “Nope, nah-uh, nope, nope, nope.” I’m usually saying this as I’m backing away from the thing I’m nope-ing. Nopesville is the next town over from Sucksville. The difference is that when in Sucksville things, well, suck. When in Nopesville there’s a chance that you’ll be okay even though it’s a place filled with anxiety, too much candy eating (the real cheap shitty kind), buckets of self-doubt and some seriously foul language. When I’m nope-ing I’m usually M-Fing too. The trick is to figure out why you’re in Nopesville to begin with.

This all brings me to NaNoWriMo, which all my writer friends know means Nation Novel Writing Month. It’s like the super bowl of writing that happens every November. The goal is…

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Nopesville & NaNoWriMo

Welcome to Nopesville! I have been living here in Nopesville for the past week or so. When things are overwhelming I tend to look at them and say, “Nope, nah-uh, nope, nope, nope.” I’m usually saying this as I’m backing away from the thing I’m nope-ing. Nopesville is the next town over from Sucksville. The difference is that when in Sucksville things, well, suck. When in Nopesville there’s a chance that you’ll be okay even though it’s a place filled with anxiety, too much candy eating (the real cheap shitty kind), buckets of self-doubt and some seriously foul language. When I’m nope-ing I’m usually M-Fing too. The trick is to figure out why you’re in Nopesville to begin with.

This all brings me to NaNoWriMo, which all my writer friends know means Nation Novel Writing Month. It’s like the super bowl of writing that happens every November. The goal is to write a novel, 50,000 words, in one month. I have two things to say about it.

1) I’m a HUGE advocate for this challenge. The writing community comes out in full force both with creativity and support for fellow writers.

2) I’m not doing it.

By saying that, I may have just committed author suicide but I have to tell the truth. This year’s contemplation of NaNo sent me twitching to Nopesville breathing deeply into a brown paper bag. My internal alarm was screaming, “Run, you stupid ass, run!” But instead I got caught up in reading all the Twitter feeds about what other people are doing and how well they’re doing it which left me crying into a hunk of chocolate cake wondering why I suck so bad and wishing I could unfreeze my thoughts and fingers and jump on board. Seriously, my entire body was locked up.

I thought, what the frig is my problem, aside from general nutbag-ged-ness, which is my norm. I mean, I’m a writer, I write. So what’s wrong with me? But then it hit me.
I’m 20,000 words into my new YA Futuristic/Light SciFi/Contemporary. Say that shit five times fast! I’m lovin’ this new story. I’ll give you a little peak— four scientists create a society made up of same sex pairs, babies are no longer born, disease is no longer spread and everything is hunky-dory—until Sky forgets to take her “suppliments” and her rose-colored glasses are shattered forever. The story follows Sky and Raven, a pair of sixteens that find a map leading to the forbidden books; the Old World history.

So my deal is this. If I was going to do NaNo I would have to put this project aside and start a fresh new story for the month of November. Nope, nope, nope, nope. It would be detrimental to my progress right now. So I’ve noped out of NaNo for this year, but not to worry…I am writing my ass off this month just the same.

Good luck to everyone involved in NaNoWriMo! I am cheering for you from Nopesville! LOL

Peace, love and listen to your inner voice…even if she’s calling you a stupid ass. It’s probably for your own good!

Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page


Jeannie Intrieri

Looking for something to read this Halloween season? Nothing says Halloween like a séance and a Ouija board!

I’m talking about Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page – Book Blitz & Giveaway!


I had the good fortune of meeting Cassandra on Twitter this summer when she picked me for her team in the #pitcharama contest which has put my novel in the hands of an editor, who is at this very minute considering publishing my work!!!  I love the internet! If it weren’t for the Twitter contest I would not have met Cassandra nor would I be reading her FABULOUS book! Not just because she’s a debut author but the chick lives in Australia and I’m here in CT. Not much chance of us running into each other at the mall.

Now I have the pleasure of throwing some writer-love her way! Isla’s Inheritance, released on October 9th, is her AWESOME…

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Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page

Looking for something to read this Halloween season? Nothing says Halloween like a séance and a Ouija board!

I’m talking about Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page – Book Blitz & Giveaway!


I had the good fortune of meeting Cassandra on Twitter this summer when she picked me for her team in the #pitcharama contest which has put my novel in the hands of an editor, who is at this very minute considering publishing my work!!!  I love the internet! If it weren’t for the Twitter contest I would not have met Cassandra nor would I be reading her FABULOUS book! Not just because she’s a debut author but the chick lives in Australia and I’m here in CT. Not much chance of us running into each other at the mall.

Now I have the pleasure of throwing some writer-love her way! Isla’s Inheritance, released on October 9th, is her AWESOME debut novel. A full review to come but for now just a few words—hooked from page one, chill-a-licious, intriguing, secret-reading-in-bathroom-at-work! Secret reading is always a good sign😉

Check out the Goodreads description, a teaser excerpt AND giveaway below! Feel free to ask a question or leave a comment. Cassandra will be checking in to answer.

Teaser Excerpt

“I’m not sure which is worse,” I whispered to Hamish, stroking his fur, “believing I killed my mother, or believing she abandoned me…and Dad lied about it.” Hamish didn’t answer. He was already asleep. “Well, you’re no use.”

Against all odds, the steady rhythm of Hamish’s breathing lulled me into a doze. It seemed like no time had passed when I awoke to a change in light: my father’s large frame was in the doorway, blocking the light.

“Isla? Are you awake?” His voice was tentative.
“Yes.” I sat up, rubbing my eyes. Hamish grumbled a protest.

“Can I turn the light on?”

I blinked and stared at my father. He looked dishevelled and his eyes were wide, like he’d seen a ghost. He was holding the gift bag he’d given me on my birthday. “You left this at the restaurant the other week, when you went out for dessert with that boy,” he said, his voice strained.

As confused and resentful as I was feeling right now, I still loved him, and his appearance worried me. “Dad, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” he said. He was an even worse liar than Sarah. He came into the room and sat on the edge of the bed. “Here.” He tried to hand me the bag. Vomit burned the back of my throat, and I flinched back.

He saw the flinch, and his face grew even more drawn. “Isla, take it.” There was an urgency in his tone that I neither understood nor liked.
“No. Dad, what’s going on? You’re freaking me out.”
He looked around the room. “Do you have any of my work in here?”

The question confused me. I felt my cheeks warm. “Um, I’m not sure.” The answer was no. Pretty much every piece of ironwork he’d given me was in the shed. The rest I’d given away to friends.

“Here.” He upended the gift bag. The heavy iron circlet tumbled into my lap.
My stomach twisted with nausea so severe I clenched my teeth, afraid I’d throw up. Where the iron touched my thighs through the denim of my jeans it felt ice-cold, and yet it burned at the same time. I gasped, shoving it away from me and onto the floor. It singed my hand.

“What the hell are you doing?” I jumped to my feet. Hamish leapt up too, yapping.

Dad said nothing but the look on his face was wild, despairing.
“You’re crazy,” I cried, fleeing the room.
“Isla, wait,” Dad yelled after me. But I ran, snatching my bag from the hallway before rushing out the front door.

I ignored the bite of tiny rocks on the soles of my feet. I had to get away from him, from everything.





Isla was content to let her father keep his secrets, but now she can’t stand the touch of iron and her dreams are developing a life of their own. She must discover the truth — before it’s too late.

Seventeen-year-old Isla Blackman only agrees to participate in a Halloween party séance because Dominic, an old crush, wants to. She is sure nothing will happen when they try to contact the spirit of her mother. But the séance receives a chilling reply.


Isla doesn’t want to upset her father by prying into the family history he never discusses. When the mysterious and unearthly Jack offers to help her discover the truth, Isla must master her new abilities to protect her loved ones from enemies she never knew existed.

Enter to win a $50 gift card at Amazon or Barnes & Noble – winner’s choice (open internationally) click link below. Good luck!

Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — which is ironic, as she’s allergic to cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?
Author links:




Hello my friends!

I completed my revisions and sent JESSICA MARCO PI back to the editor, Katie Teller at Curiosity Quills, on September 22, which just happens to be my birthday. Guess what I wished for when I blew out the candles this year!

I am not checking my email every five minutes. Okay, yes I am, but I’m also busy on my new WIP, work in progress. I am 9,000 words into my next YA novel. That translates into about forty pages, for my non-writer peeps. After reading FB and Tumblr posts by Victoria Schwab ( I was inspired to chart my progress on a calendar. I tweaked her idea to be more of what I needed.

I’ve committed to 500 to 1000 words a day. I am not using fancy stickers, I’m just not that organized. Mine consists of numbers and lots of !!!!!!! and happy/sad faces. Keepin’ it simple ‘cause it’s fight-for-every-friggin-free-minute up in here and I’m easily distracted.

I find myself squeezing in ten minutes here, ten minutes there because I rarely have a large block of time that I can dedicate to writing. That makes it sound like writing is my hobby. Quite the contrary mother cluckers!

Writing is the beat of my heart. I daydream about my next chapter like some people daydream about a holiday or vacation. I know it’s weird. I’ve always been weird I’m just not hiding my freak flag anymore which earns me strange looks from people who thought they knew me.

But the reality is that so far I’ve only made fifty bucks from writing. Although it’s the bestest-frickin’ fifty bucks EVER, and as much as I consider myself an artist, the bills need to get paid; the kids need to be driven to school, sporting events, gatherings and movies with boyfriend. The oh-God-please-make-it-stop renovations on this why-did-we-move-here house need to get finished. Groceries need to get shopped for if anyone in my house is going to eat. Dinner prep; same reason. Exercise needs to happen so the size of the booty doesn’t get completely out of control and by out of control I mean splitting my pants or hanging down to my knees. Laundry! Teenagers– ‘nuff said. Oh, yeah, and then there’s that other thing I do during the day called a JOB, which for right now is paying some of the bills until my writing career blows up and I’m swimmin’ in da doe.

BUT…writing is the beat of my heart. It is where I dream. It is where impossible things become possible. It’s where I laugh and cry, like an idiot, in a small ugly room in my house along with a laundry wrack and a snoring French Bulldog.

It is what I love to do. Besides my family and God, writing is the most important thing in my life. So I realize as I work on my WIP that I too, am very much a WIP. Aren’t we all?



There is a ton; I’m talkin’ a mother-cluckin’ boat-load of judgment out there. And when I say out there, I mean on the Web, on the TV, on the street, at your job, your school, your neighborhood, in your own house, among your family. EVERYWHERE. We’re so quick to judge celebrities, authorities, teachers, parents, other people’s kids, our own kids, races of people, enemies, strangers, and even friends.


Is it because it makes us feel better? Not me. I’ve instantly regretted saying something negative about someone else the moment it left my lips. But I’m certainly guilty of it. I’ll admit sometimes my lips move faster than my brain and I speak with out thinking. SORRY if I’ve ever said something that has hurt your feelings! I am not a mean-spirited person and meant no harm. I’m also guilty of going up to complete strangers and telling them I like their shoes, haircut or fabulous outfit. My daughter says “it’s creepy”. Whatever.

So, is it because we’re stupid? Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. Is it because we’re ignorant to the effect our words will have? You say, well the person, be it online or on the street that you pass in a car, can’t hear what you say. What about the person we are saying it to? Does that encourage them to do the same thing or worse? Or does the negativity swirl and fester and carry on to other things throughout the day? I think it does.

How about self-judgment? Sometimes that’s worse than how we judge others. I know it is for me. My skin’s too pale, my hair’s too frizzy, I have ugly feet. Now don’t be checkin’ out my ugly feet the next time you see me in flip-flops!

So why are we so apt to tear someone up rather than build someone up, including ourselves?

Because it’s easier.

Anger comes quick and easy. I have a hot temper. I know right, who’d a thunk it! Anger is an easier emotion to handle. Anger keeps you from accessing a situation properly. I have found, with things that really matter that are out of my control, anger keeps pain from getting too close. But it has its downfall too. Anger keeps out love, peace and happiness.

It takes work to be happy. It’s a choice. Even when life sucks it’s still a choice.

I was recently accused of having a happy life. It’s crazy but I felt like I needed to defend myself. It’s true; I have an amazing husband that after 22 years of marriage I’m still stupid-ga-ga in love with. I have two teenagers who are not only NOT strung out on drugs but are A-students, healthy, beautiful loving people who I truly love to be around. My husband and I both have jobs, we own a house, cars, clothes and we can put food on our table. We usually get to take a vacation once a year. Is there room for improvement? Hell yeah! After three years we’re still renovating the damn house! LOL. I also have a crazy French Bulldog who had to see a psychiatrist recently—don’t ask—and there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done.

I am blessed and I am grateful but no one gave me this life. I’m not a trust fund-kid. It has been hard work. It’s still hard work. And I have skeletons in my closet just like everyone else. What’s that saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence until you get there and they have the same overgrown weeds you do and big holes that need filling and snakes in the Pachysandra and a deck that’s not done and huge puddles when it rains.” I actually may have just made that up, but just go with it.

There is, however, a real quote that a lot of people post: “Don’t judge me. You have no idea what I’ve been through or where I come from.” Isn’t this true of all of us? I’m partial to the other version: “Don’t judge me. You have no idea what I’ve been through or where I come from and I have no problem punching you in the face.” LOL!

When you look at someone, before the judgmental words tumble out of your mouth, think about this:

Are they struggling with an eating disorder? Do they go home to a mother that’s high on drugs? Are they being physically abused? Mentally abused? Do they have scars that you can’t see? Are they an alcoholic struggling to stay sober?

The kid that’s being a pain in the ass in your kid’s class… Is his mother working two jobs because she’s a single parent trying to provide for her children?

The check out person at the grocery store who’s a nasty bitch…Is her father a drunk? Is her boyfriend beating the crap out of her?

The neighbor that won’t talk to you or is just flat-out rude… Is he/she suffering from a mental illness?

The person that just cut you off…Are they rushing to the hospital or a job interview because they’ve been out of work for a year? Now, if they’re texting, and you friggin’ texter-drivers know who you are, by all means show them your finger. What? I meant thumbs down. HAHA!

We all face challenges in our lives. Trust me, I’m no saint, but I know from my own life; you have no idea what I’ve been through or where I come from. Don’t judge me. Happiness and the pursuit of it is a choice.