Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thank You For Choosing Me

11 years.

Our Steel and Jewelry Anniversary.

It doesn’t sound as romantic as our golden or silver for sure, but steel is powerful and strong.

If you heat it up, it bends and shifts. If it’s cold it refuses to break.

Just like us.

John & Kir

 

Who knew that on that day you kissed me in the park in 2001 that 2014 would be here so quickly?

Who could have predicted the ups and downs of our path together?

(deaths,  beautiful vacations, infertility, positive pregnancy tests,  a harrowing pregnancy, TWINS!, daycare, debt, NYC, Cape May, laughter and lots and lots of LOVE)

Who won the bet made on how long we’d last? 

2001 (we look so young!)

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Engaged 2002

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 2003 -you married me! XO

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Honeymoon!

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2004

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2005

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2008 (we added Giovanni & Jacob to our family) 

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2009

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2010

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2011

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2012

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2013

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2014

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Our whole life together in pictures.

Thank you for choosing me 11 years ago and everyday after that.

I love you so.

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(one of our favorite movies and one of my best memories of holding your hand laughing, crying, sharing was seeing LOVE ACTUALLY with you…all those years ago…)

God only knows what I’d be without you Mr. Piccini xo

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It Took a Village

 

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Kindergarten.

We found hope and laughter in unexpected places. We were taught about faith in small, quiet moments. I have tried (and failed) to put my feelings about this year into words and all I come back to is that “it took a village.”

Kindergarten took a village but we made it.

Last Friday as we drove into work and the boys got ready at home for their last day of school, I turned to John with tears in my eyes. I am sure he was ready for me to become a sentimental fool, recounting the year and my wonder in our sons in overly dramatic fashion.

Instead I wiped my tears and punched him lovingly in the shoulder.

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“We did it!” I yelled. “I am so proud of us.”

He looked at me, sideways, and smiled, “you mean we all did it?”

“No!” I sing-songed, “I knew the boys would make it through kindergarten. I mean it’s Kindergarten! I’m more impressed with us for getting to the end of this in one piece. New school, new schedule, new sports and new bosses at work along with a whole host of obstacles in our way and we found our way to the finish line with kids that are smarter, braver and cuter than ever before. Plus we’re all still alive.”

When the boys were merely babies and then toddlers I used to tell myself, as I would fall exhausted into my bed, that if everyone in my house was still breathing then it was a successful day.

I still feel that way since parenting is hard.

In typical fashion he allowed me my own little celebration.

But I know it wasn’t just us. Sure Giovanni and Jacob did their share of learning and growing but it was the village that held us up and made it all possible.

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It was my mom and stepdad who gave us advice, attended bingo and soccer games and end of the year picnics. It was Grandma and Pop-Pop who took over when Mother Nature got wicked this winter and watched Shrek the Musical far more times than they wanted allowing us to save some vacation days for, um, vacation. I can’t say thank you enough to my parents. They were /are the first cornerstone of this village even in the midst of overwhelming grief of their own. They lost a son and then took care of mine, they celebrated kindergarten as much as we did and I’ll never have enough words for how grateful I am.

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But our village had 3 more cornerstones, lifting up our family.

My sister stepped in when my parents couldn’t. She’d arrived like Mary Poppins with bags of munchkin donuts and coloring books until she gave the word “Aunt “new meaning. Alongside her, my best friends Lisa and Noelle offered me humor, hugs and sanity checks when I needed them.  These three women were a constant source of strength and reminded me often that even when I felt like a pretty lousy sister, wife or mother, that they saw, loved and believed in me. I’m a lucky “sister.”

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Next in was Carly. I don’t talk about our rock star nanny very much, but I tell her about once a week that I couldn’t do what I do if she wasn’t in our lives. We found Carly last summer through Care.com when we realized we were going to need a nanny in the mornings and it’s the best online find I’ve ever had. She’s kind, smart, patient (whoa, is she ever) and when she shows up at 6am as we are heading out the door I know that our sons are good hands. You can’t buy that kind of comfort and trust and I feel very lucky to have Carly as a part of our family.

And last but not least I turn to all the people from Our Lady. The other kindergarten parents, the teachers and amazing staff and even the other (older) children that took this journey with us, allowed us into their lives and family rooms and made us a “family”.

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I feel a need to shout out to women like Kii, Jen, Jackie, Colleen, Jen, Anna, Rochelle, Chrissy, Kendra and my Morgan, the other moms who commiserated with me as school started, who taught me the ropes and wrapped  me in virtual hugs when Ben died, who giggled  with me with through the field trips and always gave me a new perspective and a whole lot of love. Thank you for holding my hand and my heart this year. You’re the gift Kindergarten gave me.

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And my roof on this amazing house and village are my internet friends ; my virtual village and community that keeps me centered, sane and understood. Thank you for the virtual hugs, cocktails and place to rest my heart when it needs it. You mean so much to me.

 

We just couldn’t have done it without any of you.

These amazing little Kindergarten graduates are older, smarter, cuter, kinder and safe because of all of you.

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Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

HAPPY SUMMER!

 

(And Giovanni and Jacob? Mommy is so incredibly proud of everything you accomplished this year xo)

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Linking with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out

I’m Listening {Happy Mother’s Day to my Incredible Mom}

 

 

Kir&Mommyat2yrsShe’s telling stories.

A sip of bourbon and a push of her glasses, she can relate, it seems, to whatever trouble you’re having. Or whatever funny moment you found yourself in the middle of.

Where she grew up, boys she dated, meals she burned and how she knew, beyond a doubt that she was pregnant again and not just disturbingly sick with a stomach virus. She’ll regale you with tales about high school, summers cooking, cleaning and learning at her grandmother’s house and how my infertility probably stems from her own mom’s struggle to conceive, carry and eventually have just her.

An only child with enough wisdom, vitality and knowledge to fill half a dozen people.

Life might have been lonely for her growing up but when my mom starts telling the stories you realize her life was anything but boring. Nursing school hazing, the cross country trip that doubled as a honeymoon and really how many of you know where and when you were conceived? Because I do.

It’s those stories that are woven into the fabric of my life, the epic tellings of where I came from. I know how my parents met in elementary school and how they fell in love much much later after my dad came from Vietnam; I know the family secrets on both sides and have seen inside the groaning crevices of their childhoods. So that when I think that perhaps I had a hard time growing up I remind myself they had it worse. They had it worse and yet made a house and home for us, where we all grew up together, navigating the hurt of the past, trying desperately to heal it with laughter, dancing and trips to the New Jersey shore.

We were a family of people who talked too much. A short story takes us at least fifteen minutes and a long story? Well maybe I ought to offer you some bourbon too.  Like many traits, it’s a gift and a curse. Sure we can talk to anyone, but the truth is that “anyone” probably wants us to shut the hell up. Wound into my DNA is the urge and ache to be amazed and interested in the lives of other people, passed down to me by the greatest storyteller I know.

And that kind of memory and willingness to share is a useful outlet when you lose people. Even in the middle of our enormous grief and unimaginable loss we’ve learned to keep people (my grandmothers, my dad and of course, now, my beloved brother Benjamin) alive by talking about them, divulging their memoirs, becoming the mouthpiece of their narrative.

It will never be the same as having them here of course, but I’m glad for the loud, boisterous and unapologetic way in which we convey our feelings, grateful for the words that come together to form their anecdotes. From the time I was little one of my favorite things to do was simply eavesdrop on the stories I heard dropping from every corner of my family tree like small leaves carpeting the floor of our life.

She is a master at it and I was an engaged apprentice soaking up every last lesson in an intricate game very much like photosynthesis.

I might know every history by heart, but somehow, when she starts telling stories…I settle in, settle down and smile.

I’m listening.

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****Happy Mother’s Day Mom. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for teaching me  about the power of words and the healing that comes from telling a really good story.****

Dance Me Away: Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday

My Skewed View

 

 

 

I came to Twisted Mix Tape Tuesdays a bit hesitant.

I am the queen of VANILLA MUSIC for sure, but the one thing besides words that has always helped me through the darkest times of my life has been music.

But I found yet another tribe  with the people of the TMT and the more I get to know all of you, the luckier I feel to be part of this musical community.

Back in December, only weeks after my Brother’s death and in the spur of the moment, I emailed Jen and asked her if we could have a week for Ben, using Dance/Club songs as inspiration. I was quick to add that I didn’t want sad mixes, my brother was not sad when he was spinning. He might have been a kick ass pharmaceutic rep during the day but DJ BENNY BEATS was an entertainer by night. I just wanted to honor his life and the music that makes us all HAPPY.

Jen? THANK YOU for saying YES!  XO

If you are participating this week, there are no words for the kind of THANK YOU I want to offer.

 Please know how truly grateful I am for your shares and your songs.

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So I’m not sharing Ben’s favorite songs…I mean you can always go to:
DJ BENNY BEATS (my brother’s DJ website)

and find his mixes:
SOUND CLOUD or Downloads

Ben and I didn’t share a love of the same kinds of music, he loved HOUSE and Club mixes, I liked DANCE music with a beat and a story to it.

So today I’m not sharing songs I think he would have liked , instead I’m honoring him (or maybe making him hang his head and say…”Kirst….really?”) by linking to songs that make me happy, make my hips shake and my heart pound.

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I’d like to think that this is one song we might have liked together.

It’s the newest song by Lady Gaga Featuring R. Kelly.

Honestly, I just heard it for the first time over the weekend, but the baseline grabbed me and I loved the lyrics. It made me think of of my college days, the sexual freedom of my single days  and the adrenaline rush of hearing a song that makes you want to bounce to the dance floor , even if you were the only one out there.

(I did that quite a bit, I wasn’t a shy dancer back then and I would have gotten into a lot of sweet trouble dancing to this song for sure.)

LADY GAGA (featuring R.Kelly) Do What U Want:

 

The first mix I ever made for my first iPod had this song on it, even today, almost three decades later (did you know Madonna started with THE BREAKFAST CLUB as their drummer??) I will stop what I’m doing and crook my little finger to “move out to the left for awhile” and “slide to the right for a while”, making my kitchen a sticky dance floor wondering what I have to do to “get you back.”

This song never fails to make me smile and dance.

BREAKFAST CLUB: RIGHT ON TRACK:

 

What do you get when mix  the 60′s, 70 and 2000′s: Fitz and the Tantrums.
I love this band, and this song that I’m sharing has been a favorite for years now. Plus, my baby sister, Dana loves it too.

We can shake our tushes together and that always makes me happy.

Fitz & The Tantrums: Moneygrabber: 

 

My sons are great DANCERS. Seriously, they are.

Giovanni and Jacob have some MOVES. So when I’m feeling blue what I love to do is put some music on and invite them into the kitchen, the living room or my bedroom and say “Let’s Dance!”.

This is one song that the boys just adore, they have the rhythm of  my daddy and their uncle Ben built into their DNA and it’s such a trip to see them shake their cute little booties down. I remember dancing with my dad, Dana and Benjamin all over the house growing up and I love making those memories with the twins.

 

Nikki Manaj: Starships:

This one is for you Ben, because whether you liked this song or not you always added it to my mixes, you danced with me to it, and didn’t laugh as I swung my hips and crooned, “All this pain you said I’d never feel..but I do, I do do do...”

Maybe it reminded of you of  Shippensburg University and the year that our lives overlapped while we shared the campus together. But that summer of 1997, I fell in love with this song and you never forgot.

You were a ROCK STAR even then and it was there at WIBS that your DJ life started.

All really good, drunk, fun memories.

The Best kind of memories.

Ben, thank you for always dancing with me to

Mark Morrison: RETURN OF THE MACK:

 

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You can make your own Twisted Mix Tape and share it with us.

I’d love to hear your mixes this year.

KEEP DANCING!!!

(and thank you for all the love and comfort you’ve offered me and my very grateful family the past few weeks)
XO

Where Have You Been? {Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday}

My Skewed View

 

 

 

Back for Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday with the

musical and ah-mazing Jen Kehl.

This week’s mixes should be all about songs that were “new to you” last year.

I relate to this concept very much.

Scene:

My husband and I will be in the car, listening to music:

Me:  “Wow this is a great song!”

Him: ” Oh no, not again, you’ve never heard this song before?”

ME: Blue eyes sparking..as to avoid the question.

“Nope.”

Him: “How is it that you can know the words to almost every song I turn on from a hundred years ago, but some songs EVERYONE has heard, are completely off your radar?”

Me: “It’s a gift. (Cue giggling) Now please repeat that song, who sings it?”

Him: *Shakes his head*

because it’s probably THE ROLLING STONES, LED ZEPPELIN or some other band that has never been on my radar.

 Welcome to Road Trips (i.e. commuting ) with Kir.

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Betty Who: Somebody Loves You

It  all started with a viral video about a  wedding proposal in a Home Depot I saw on Facebook and grew into a crush on this song and artist.

This song just makes me happy and feel like dancing.

(plus it’s about the one thing I adore: LOVE!)

ZZ Ward: 365 Days

It’s not just that she’s from Abington, PA ( just a few exits on the PA turnpike from me) or that’s she’s got a voice that is so powerful for a girl her age (she’s not even 20 yet). It’s not even that the first time I heard “Put the Gun Down” I felt like she was channeling P!nk and Adele all at once.

No it’s all those things.

She’s a new favorite of mine.

Better than Ezra: Porcelain

This is one of those songs that John played in the car and I immediately started googling, downloading and looking up the lyrics for completely aware that it was a “‘new song” a few years ago.

(and of course asking him to press repeat)
Hey, you’ve got a lot of nerve to show your face around here.
Hey, you’ve got a lot of nerve to dredge up all my fears.
Well, I wish I could shake some sense into you and walk out the door.

 

Of Monsters and Men: Little Talks

They were new to me, this folk indie band from Iceland, but the first time I heard Little Talks, I just fell under it’s spell.

There’s an old voice in my head
that’s holding me back
Well tell her that I miss our little talks.

Soon it will all be over, buried with our past
We used to play outside when we were young
and full of life and full of love.

Their albums soothe my soul, bring tears to my eyes, inspire me.
If you like this song, try “Love, Love, Love” next. It’s haunting and beautiful.

 

Last but not least, I saw her first last spring on VH1 You Oughta Know.

(Every once in while, I pretend I’m still young and carefree and put on that station on  Saturday mornings to prove it.)

and from the first note of “Next to Me” I was hooked.

She was Aretha, she was Carole King, she was Adele infused with a voice with the kind of power Whitney’s used to have.

It’s this song that I fell in love with in 2013, I’m an Emeli Sande fan.

Emeli Sande: My Kind of Love

I know I’m far from perfect,
Nothin’ like your entourage.
I can’t grant you any wishes,
I won’t promise you the stars.
But don’t ever question if my heart beats only for you, it beats only for you.

 

I’m actually thinking that I did this mix wrong (I didn’t put the best songs I heard in 2013) I introduced songs that were “new to me” but that’s what’s great about TMT, it’s a MIX of all tastes and styles.

Plus, Jen? I listen to pop music and mix it with my 70′s tunes. *WINK*

I invite you to make your own mix. It’s fun and introduces you to new music every week.

Next week we are sharing FAVORITE DANCE/CLUB songs in honor or my recently deceased brother Ben, who was a professional DJ (DJ BENNY BEATS).

I’d really love for you to take part in that mix.

HAPPY LISTENING!

When It Happens to You {WOE and Trifecta}

Daphne had always heard that when it happens to you the world shifts and that every emotion you’ve ever felt suddenly feels like some fuzzy, hazy farce.  She’d listened to the stories of the phenomenon with a mixture of childlike fascination aligned next to heavy dollops of very adult-like disbelief.

She went about her life sure that moments like that only existed in the diaries of romance novelists and comforted herself with the thought that if she stayed smart she’d never succumb to it, even if it showed up and banged on her door. The key was in not answering it and making certain that her “porch light”, as her mother often put it, was indeed off.

For nearly two decades Daphne held tight to those convictions, silently smug and at times so righteous as to appear arrogant. There was right, there was wrong and only a foolish, selfish woman- child would think to cross that line. In Daphne’s world, black and white didn’t make room for gray.

So she wasn’t exactly ready when it happened.

Ironically she’d been performing the mundane task of folding laundry when her phone chimed. It’s unsettling how thirty seconds can change the relationship of friends sharing the light banter of daily things to five words that can tilt the axis of your world.

I think I love you.

The sun was a rusty copper sphere in the sky that evening, equal parts yellow, orange and red and she could have sworn that with that exchange, her world did shift, change, expand and open to take in all the colors. Suddenly black and white swirled and tipped until they melted into one another, taking her breath away.

Thinking back, that should have been the moment where she ignored the knock. But it had happened, just like all those stories she’d heard, and  suddenly it felt like years of never questioning her own desires had led her here.

In the time it took her to answer  she realized she was already halfway gone.

Last week I won Trifecta

(I KNOW I can’t believe it either, and incidentally I can’t stop smiling about it)

with this piece, GUEST PASS.
Then Lumdog (awesome guy) asked me if I would bring Daphne back at some point, so I did.

This week’s word is RUSTY:

MY BIG NEWS is that this week I was introduced as an Assistant Editor with WRITE ON EDGE

(SQUEEEEEE!!!)

For WRITE AT THE MERGE

This week Mandy gave us a picture of a lighthouse and the a song from Lifehouse (Coincidence?) called

HALFWAY GONE. I didn’t use the lighthouse, instead I went with the song.

Thanks for stopping by to read! Hope you’re having a good week!

First Kisses {The Path You Choose}

for Carrie’s piece this week, click here.

 

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Gabrielle shook her rust colored curls, “No, no, no.” she said feigning exasperation. “’Born to Run’ is still his best album to date.”

“But what about ‘The River’ or ‘Born in the USA?’ Seth countered sipping from his coffee cup and shoving a bowl of pretzels back in her general direction.

“Oh c’mon…” she smiled reaching for the snack, “now you’re just being insulting.”

They’d been sitting knee to knee debating music, religion and books for so long that Gabrielle had completely lost track of time. Reluctantly she turned her phone back on and scrolled through what she’d missed in the last two hours.

Seth grinned and pushed his hair away from his face. Gabrielle’s breath caught in her throat watching him do such a simple thing. Sitting here with him felt as comfortable as the soft t-shirt she’d come here to return but her stomach dropped when she thought about Steven.

“So…” she said as she pushed herself off the stool and busied herself with shoving things back into her purse. “…I guess I should get going.”

“Yeah,” he agreed, “Dev is going to be here any minute and the lunch crowd will be knocking at the door demanding beer and burgers.”

She  winked at him, “Obviously. You provide a valuable service.”

“I like to think so.” He chuckled.

“Hey…” she said but stopped not sure what it was she wanted to say.

“Hey…” he answered, “Yeah. I like taking to you too.”

She felt her skin turn pink under her yellow blouse, as if he’d read her mind. Gabrielle head was spinning while her emotions played tug-o-war.

“I’d really like to do this again sometime.” Seth offered.

“Umm…” she hesitated blushing an even darker shade of magenta.

“Listen, no pressure. We can be friends that have conversations about Hemingway, Springsteen and the existence of god.”

“Okay.” she agreed, nodding. “Friends. Yep, I’d like that.”

He took a step toward her, just close enough that she could feel the warmth of him invading her personal space. He smelled like clean laundry and sweet coffee.

“You’re interesting Gabrielle, nothing like I expected you to be.”

“Thanks?” she said, pretending to be hurt.

“No, I meant….”

She laughed and touched his arm, “… Oh don’t worry, I know what you meant.”

Connecting to his skin was like being struck by lightening, Gabrielle’s whole body tingled with it . Before she could make sense of it or wonder if Seth felt it too his hand was suddenly cupping her face and his mouth was hovering an inch above her own.

Too surprised to question it Gabrielle held her breath, tilted her head and waited.

The first kiss was like a butterfly landing on a flower, sweet and fleeting, almost as if Seth was asking her something.  It was the second one that turned her inside out, had her answering as she lost herself in the taste of him.

“Bree” he breathed as their mouths came apart only to hungrily find each other again.

Moments later the slamming door and heavy footsteps announced the arrival of Devin, reluctantly pushing them to separate.

“Top of the morn….Oh, “Devin chuckled as he took in their tangled embrace.  “Sorry mate.”

“I’m not.” Seth whispered into her curls.

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If you missed any installments of The Path You Choose

(The love story of choices that I’m writing with the brilliant and talented Carrie of The Muse Unleashed)

you can click here and here.

 

Thanks for stopping by, hope you’re having a great weekend.

HAPPY WRITING.

 

 

Hidden {Friday Fictioneers/Haiku Friday}

Haiku Friday

 

Within the tall grass

we scamper. A ruse of sorts.

We long to be found.

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Every Friday I join with my friend Lou of LouCeel for Haiku Friday.

17 syllables of fun.

Aqueduct -Sarah Ann Hall

Copyright – Sarah Ann Hall

“8, 9, 10…ready or not here I come!”

Milo’s legs pumped and his chest heaved as he ran through the field, his eyes locked on the old smoke stacks. Skidding to a stop he plopped down into what he knew was the perfect hiding spot for a five year old even as the tall grass scratched his already bruised legs and tickled his nose.

From a distance he heard the squeals and high pitched giggles as one by one, his friends were revealed. His tummy clenched as the voices calling his name got farther and farther away.

“I’m right here…” he whispered to himself.

friday-fictioneers

100 words based on the picture above, with one of my favorite communities.

Friday Fictioneers

I try to have my Haiku compliment the story.

Thanks Rochelle, for letting me WRITE ON with all of  you.

Happy Weekend, Happy Writing.

FIVE SUMMERS: A Review & Book Promotion

 

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Just in time for Summer comes a book that is going to remind you of Summer Camp, falling in love for the first time and how the friendships of our childhood shape our lives now and forevermore.

 

FIVE SUMMERS the  debut  YA Novel by Una LaMarche  is on sale today!

 

It’s that time of year again, when we can smell the sunshine and our skin is slick with Coppertone. That time of year when emotions run as high as the thermometers and we are flooded with memories of campfire talks, first kisses beneath a star filled sky and making the friends that will carry us through our adolescence and beyond.

Do you remember your trips to Summer Camp? The agony of being homesick or the delight in escaping to the woods for weeks of swimming, secrets and sun? The story of Emma, Skylar , Jo and Maddie’s will bring it all back and then some. This beautiful and sometimes heartbreakingly honest tale of these young women and the five summers they spend together will have you wishing on stars, hungry for s’mores and reaching out to your oldest friends to share their own memories.

It’s the perfect read for this time of year and you’ll find yourself reaching for it like the rewind button on your favorite song, wanting to drink it all in, smiling at your favorite chorus and tearing up during an emotional riff.

 

Here is the trailer for the book….

And you can get your copy TODAY, May 16th, just in time for your Memorial Holiday.

Look for it here :
Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Target

Walmart

 

 

The  Sassy Gal I know is everywhere:

BlogUnawindow

Her Blog: sassycurmudgeon.com
Twitter: twitter.com/sassycurmudgeon

Facebook page for FIVE SUMMERS: https://www.facebook.com/FiveSummers

Find her HERE too:

The New York Observer: http://www.observer.com/author/una-lamarche/

Aiming Low: aiminglow.com

NickMom: nickmom.com
The Huffington Post: huffingtonpost.com/una-lamarche
Weekly Seven: weeklyseven.com

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Una and I met during our time as cast mates of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER NYC 2012.

She is a bright, beautiful wonderful voice of our generation as she proves with her debut novel.

Pick up your copy today, I promise between the laughter and the tears you won’t be disappointed.

LISTENTOYOURMOTHER2012una

***disclosure: I received a copy of FIVE SUMMERS to read and review. All opinions about how wonderful this book is are all my own***

A Cuppa Joe? {The Path You Choose}

missed any of the story?    click here for the installments.

 

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Gabrielle felt Seth’s eyes questioning her as she reached out for her phone and keys.

“I guess I knew you’d be back.” He admitted and settled on the stool he had alighted from to answer the door.

Gabrielle felt a blush start creeping up under her blouse, “Well I didn’t want to come back tonight…” she hesitated, “Saturday nights probably get really busy here and I, um, I just didn’t think that that would be the best time…” she trailed off and then started again eager to get the words out, “I guess I should have called first, I mean when I think about it now, what bar is open at 8:30 in the morning?” She forced a smile then to cover up her mortification with her own verbal diarrhea.

She blushed even more when Seth forced his own lips to curve up.

“Well” he started, “here we are. Can I offer you a cup of coffee or would you prefer a shot of whiskey?”

“Very funny.” She chuckled, “I’m still recovering from the champagne Bud forced on me in the back of the limo last night….” Her voice trailed off when she saw the dark cloud fall over Seth’s brown eyes at the mention of her future father in law.

“Oh. I’m sorry.” Gabrielle said reaching to touch Seth’s arm and while he flinched he let her hand rest there.

“Ah, it’s ok.” He said waving her off and getting off the stool while shutting down the conversation. “So coffee then? He asked holding up the pot from behind the bar.

She hesitated, her thoughts jumping from a strong urge to flee to an even stronger one to just sit here in the quiet of the pub and talk to this man she barely knew.  Tipping her arm to glance at her watch she decided to follow her head.

“I really should get going; I have a 9:30 appointment.”

Seth put the coffee pot back on the burner and shrugged, “your loss. So you work on Saturdays too? “

“I do.” She said starting to tap at her phone, scrolling through the missed emails, trying to ignore the small 8 highlighted next to Steven’s cell number indicating the times he’d called.

Now Seth chuckled, “You’d think the future first lady of New York State could sleep in on a Saturday morning.”

Gabrielle felt a flicker of anger lick at the corner of her thoughts, “Well Steven isn’t governor yet and we haven’t decided if I’m going to give up my career if he wins. I happen to like what I do. “

Seth just looked at her.

“Besides we’re not married yet.” She whispered as an afterthought and wouldn’t meet his eyes, making herself busy with the screen.

“Well then” he said matter- of- factly, “you should probably go.” He came around the bar and started toward the door of the pub.

Gabrielle followed, unable to find the right words to break the sudden tension.

“Listen” she said as she walked behind him. “I’m really sorry about what happened last night.  First Shadow and then Steven showing up. I swear I had no idea about you and Justine….”

Seth turned to her, fire in his eyes, “Look Gabrielle, I don’t really know you but you seem like a decent person.  So I’m asking you to never bring Justine up again. Okay?”  She watched Seth take a deep breath and level his gaze at her.

Her face stung as if his hand had connected with her skin but in a way she couldn’t explain she decided to press her luck.

“Now that I think about it, I think I’d love that cup of coffee.” She said as she pivoted on her heels and made her way back to the bar and the stools.

Tapping her phone, she fired off a quick text, “Please reschedule my appointment with Mrs. Meadows, Libs. I’ll call and explain later. Thanks. Xo”

Seth was still standing by the door just staring at her, his feet apart and his hands resting on his hips when Gabriele waved him over.

“Isn’t this the best saxophone riff you’ve ever heard?” she said pointing to the invisible music playing quietly above them. “’Jungleland’ is one of my favorite Springsteen songs.”

His smile was like ice melting on a warm spring day, “You like the Boss?”

“Of course!” she said, “it’s so sad that Clarence won’t ever play that solo again.”

Seth started toward her, “I know. I cried the day he died. The E Street band just isn’t the same without him.”

“I saw Billy Joel at the Garden a few years ago, he was incredible too.”

“I caught one of those concerts ” Seth said, moving behind the bar and filling a mug for her, the tension evaporating like the steam rising from her cup. “Did he play ‘Scenes from…”

“…an Italian Restaurant’ ?” she happily nodded. “Yep. I didn’t sit down for three hours.”

The laughter floated above them, mingling with the music.

“Milk and sugar?” Seth asked setting the cup down in front of her.

 

********

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to everyone.

The latest installment of my“Story of Choices” with Carrie of The Muse Unleashed.

Find her installment here.

and thank you for coming over to read my fiction today.

OCT2012NYCMommy&BoysMe and the 2 Boys who call me MOMMY.