Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book Release

Ok guys,  June 1st is going to come...and go...without my book being available.  It's ok.  I was warned I should expect that the date was a bit of a moving target. It's hard for me though.  I'm an Italian mother with a Type A  personality from New York which makes me predisposed to impatience and bloat by salami.  It shouldn't be that much longer.  The publisher says the book info has been sent out to the retailers, the media kit all but completed....but I don't know a date.  I will keep you informed.

For anyone who doesn't know the premise of the book- here it is:

Death Is A Relative Thing

Can April have any kind of sex life knowing her dead husband might be watching…or worse yet, critiquing?

April Serao’s love life is much like a desert, dry, dusty and a little cracked. Six years ago, her husband Sal died while having sex.  That was bad, but he was with her, so it could have been worse, however he hadn’t finished renovating the kitchen, so his timing could have been better.  Now April’s raising their three sons alone.  Word got around about how Sal met his unfortunate demise which has earned April a “killer good” reputation. Because of it, most men put a considerable amount of distance between her and them.
Her mother takes April to see a local celebrity psychic, convinced Sal will talk to them.  April knows Sal hasn’t held up his end of a conversation in a long time but goes anyway because her mother is wiry tough, sports Cherry Cola #17 red hair and is a force to be reckoned with.  She’s also a “Sicilian Guilt Trip” maestro, and April knows she won’t win the battle.
April works as a Technical Support Engineer at a company called Tin Cup Software.  Her co workers and occasional partners in crime are Rob and Marley.  Rob has a hologram perfect family and Marley passes the time by tweezing chin hairs while talking to customers.  She lives with a large multicolored parrot named Rodney that she believes is going through teenage angst.
  April finally finds a man willing to risk dating her and the relationship heats up.. She soon finds herself struggling to balance her past, her children and the possibility of new love.  Her life, further complicated by a dead musician, a latex fetish and a few bad guys becomes a rollicking laugh out loud read that you won’t want to miss. .

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Growing Pains

Well, it's May 21, and we are all still here. That's good because I would have been really upset if I'd come this far with the book only to have the world end before anyone got to read it! 

Anyway- June 1st is still the release date but, I have recently found out that it may be necessary to allow a little wiggle room.  Really, the reason is editing.  The manuscript has been through a series of edits and a copy editor but, there are still changes, albiet small, to be made.  Of course, it needs to be printed as error free as possible, so, although the changes are small, they are still in process. The wonderful thing about POD though is that once the changes are made, it should all move pretty quickly so I'm not anticipating a long delay if there is one at all.  Just saying....

Here is another resurrected post in the meantime...

Growing Pains

My son Joe gave me a beautiful hanging planter on Mother’s day.  Pink and white blossoms in a huge basket,  long flowery tendrils hanging over the side, robust dark green leaves.  He walked into the house, kissed me  and handed it over.

“Happy Mothers Day!”

“Thanks Joe”

Then-from the corner of the room, another voice:

“So, Joe what did that plant ever do to you?   Did it indicate in any way that it had a death wish or were you  just being sadistic?”

Rob.  My second child-no self editing capabilities.

Enter my mother.
She said to Joe, “Nice plant!” Then turning to me she added, “Maybe you should just give it to me.” 
Everyone’s a comedian.

I decided it was high time I grew something… and had it survive. 

How hard could it really be?  I mean, it’s spring and the whole neighborhood is brimming with people tending  little plants. If they could do it, why can’t I? Most are growing vegetables, a booming business in this  economic downturn.  This, by the way, has made walking around my neighborhood a lot more fun than it used to  be!  I get guys talking to me about their jumbo cucumbers-and they are quite forthcoming with details related  to how big they will get with some tender loving care.  The lady down the road told me that she traded in her Small Fry tomatoes for Supersonic VF Hybrid grafted ones- explaining that they will keep their firmness when  everyone else’s have shriveled and were hanging on the ground.  I was able to learn a number of fertilization  techniques from the couple next door, but, I digress….

I created my own little garden, a small piece of heaven and cost effective nutrition. 
Growing  tiny seedlings and transplanting them to the tilled and fertilized outdoor garden went better than  expected.  I made sure they would have enough sun and placed them close to a water source as  insufficient quantities of both have derailed my gardens in previous years. I planted them tenderly, with  little stakes at the beginning of each row indicating what vegetable my family would be enjoying in a few  months and watered my little bambinos.  Then I put up a little fence so the area was cordoned off- a necessary  visual barrier for the kids as verbal instructions are rarely successful without reinforcement.

All was going very well for close to 18 hours.
Just so you know, that’s probably a record for me.

As I was letting my puppy in from outside, I noticed she had a sprig of green in her mouth. I stood there, not  quite comprehending for a few very long moments, knowing it looked a lot like one of the carrot plants I had  sown, but not understanding how it possibly could be.  Reality slowly dawned.  I eased my head toward the  garden, terrified to look. Glancing out of the corner of my eye, my worst fears were confirmed.  I was met  with a vast, nuclear wasteland where my garden should have been….grey, flat…..dead.    There were partial plant  carcasses  strewn about haphazardly, holes were dug, and a little pile of  puppy dung sat in the center where  my one pumpkin plant should have been. My fence had been breached, violated by an overzealous ten pound Boston  Terrier.

I have concluded that I will serve our economy best by purchasing vegetables at our local farm stand…
I stopped in front of my Mother’s house, knowing that what I was about to do was the right thing.  I tenderly  placed the basket Joe gave me in a blanket, nestled a bottle of plant food between its blossoms and placed the  bundle on her stoop. I rang the doorbell, then ran and hid until I was sure mom answered and watched as she  brought it lovingly into the house.

Under the circumstances, it was the merciful thing to do.   

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gotta Love That Cover

If you haven't gotten here from there, backtrack for a moment to and check out the book cover.  Is that just adorable or what?

We are still on for a June 1, 2011 release date.  Final layouts are being approved and I know I'm excited.

The book will be available online at a number of places-

There will be a Kindle version available for download.

I'm working on a few bookstores and libraries and I'll let you know if I have any success. It's a tough sell being the new kid on the block :)

Anyway please sign up to follow this blog- (look over to the right side of the page.,..I know the sign up is there...believe me, it's a great idea!) that way I can get info out easily and quickly.  Of course please also, send this site out to your friends.  It would be greatly appreciated.

Ok, I'm going to go back to sitting on pins and needles waiting for this to happen!  More to come soon!

Thanks, Holly

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Exercise With Caution

Another resurrected post:

Exercise With Caution

As some of you know, I am attending a cardio kickboxing class five days a week.  It is a lot of work and great fun.  Regrettably, I have also found out just how dangerous it can be.

I am currently sporting a staple in my head.

No, I didn’t get kicked nor did I drop a weight on myself.

I keep trying to come up with a better story, but the truth is that while in the bathroom at the gym,  I somehow dislodged the toilet paper roll from the holder.  I watched while it did a frantic little dance across the floor and I dove as it rolled to a stop.  Smug in the knowledge that my trainer would be proud that I used my new found lunging skills in a real world application, I grabbed the roll and jumped up. 

Unfortunately there was a cabinet above me and my head came up into the corner. Hard.

I couldn’t get it to stop bleeding so I drove to my doctor’s office.  It was promptly decided that I needed “the trauma room” and a staple in my head to close the wound.


“So, how about we stitch that thing instead, doc?”  I ventured.

“Sure we can do that” she said, “but I’d have to shave a portion of your head.”


As I awaited my staple, the doctor called the nurse.  Nurse number one then called another nurse and that nurse called the PA.  The Novocaine that was shot into my head was starting to wear off.

“Uh guys, is there a problem?” 

“No, not really, we just aren’t sure how to use this particular stapler.” said nurse one.

“It’s older technology” volunteered nurse two.

My doctor added, “We may have to stitch it after all.”


“By law, I need to tell you guys that I'm in week five of cardio kickboxing and my body is officially a weapon." I said.  "I'm ready to pounce, I'm spring loaded and just a bit over-wound right now.  I can’t be responsible for my actions if you come near my head with a razor.”

The doctor bestowed me with a look that silently indicated I was a moron.

Five minutes later my head was stapled.  I didn’t even feel it. I got up, ready to leave when she asked, “How long has it been since you had a tetanus shot?”

“Hmmm, well, that depends on how long are they good for...”

“Ten years”

“Oh!  Then I had one eight years ago.”

Again, I got “the look.”

I sighed and rolled up my sleeve.

Afterwards, I drove to my husbands shop.  He came out to meet me, concern in his eyes, an oversized magnet in his hand. He started rotating it in a figure eight pattern as he pointed it at my head..

“Darn" he said.  "It doesn’t work.  I really was hoping there was enough metal that the magnet would make your head move. Now that would be funny!”

A few things about this day that I wish to add:

1- The tetanus shot hurt a lot worse than the staple.
2- I did go to my kickboxing class the next morning.
3- Practice “the look.”  You may have to use it on your husband.

Have a great day!


I love when I exceed expectations.  It's 9:16 am and the smoke alarm has already gone off.  EVACUATE Smoke in kitchen- EVACUATE!  Good to know that I still have the mojo!

As an aside my publisher has given me a June 1st release date barring any complications.  I should have some more information and a book cover to post soon! 

Who'da Thunk It

We all feel our kids and families are special, even if it’s in a  little yellow bus sort of way.  The stories are our own, special and unique.  They get told and retold at family functions and when new girlfriends arrive on the scene. Personally, I feel I’ve been blessed with kids that are overachievers in the “special” arena.  I figured I would share a few stories with you.
1) Joseph, when he was seven, set his bedroom on fire.  Always the responsible one, he thought to fill a two liter bottle of water in case things got out of control.  To this day, he doesn’t understand why he got in trouble.

2) Rob could vomit on demand.  No place was sacred.  Crowded diners were especially fun. Rob would, and still will, do anything for effect.

3) I remember one day coming home to a huge sign on the front door stating simply “The snake is loose.”  Neighbors love me. 

4) Nick mooned his kindergarten class. The teacher never saw it. The kids did and told their parents who in turn told me, one after the other, as they dropped their kids off to my son’s birthday party.

5) One day recently I asked Nick to take down from the ceiling what looked like a spider egg sack.  As if came off the ceiling it fell to the floor…with a “plop.”  We just kind of looked at each other for a second before checking it out.  Chapstick.  Clear, cherry flavored Chapstick.  I genuflect a lot.

6) Josh forged my name in second grade.  I went to the school to inspect the signature.  The teacher admitted she almost let it slide.  It was good.  I check all of my credit card statements regularly. 

7) Christmas cheer, tree in the corner, shopping begging to be done and I can’t find my keys.  Under the couch, the freezer, in the woodpile…no go.  Pulled all the pockets of every winter jacket inside out.  No keys.  Exasperated after an hour, I asked my then four year old daughter if she had seen them.  “Sure mommy.”  She walked over to the Christmas tree, reached inside it and plucked them out of the branches. She thought they matched.  You know…shiny.

8) When Joe and Rob were out of school, but working and still living home, we had a deal.  They either paid $50 a week each for rent OR they could each clean a bathroom.  (It was well worth it to me- including my husband, there were five guys living in the house!) Eventually it came out that Joe and Rob were each paying Josh $25 a week to clean the bathrooms for them.  When confronted, they all looked at me like I was crazy for not understanding the logic.  They proceeded to speak very slowly (you know, so I would catch on) and explained that they saved money by paying Josh half of what they would have to pay me.  Josh made $50 a week- for a kid who was about 13 at the time, that was pretty darned good.  And, they reasoned, I got what I wanted, two clean bathrooms.

Some arguments I know I’ll lose right from the start, so I didn’t even try.

The boys were right though about one thing though.  I did get exactly what I wanted- kids that challenge, shape and move their own universe. No wallflowers in my family tree!

Facebook Frenzy

First Published  4/17/2010 1:58:00 AM

  Anyone not familiar with the Facebook phenomenon won't understand this post so let me try to explain. Facebook is a social networking site on the Internet where people can contact and share their lives with friends, relatives and acquaintances. Although there are differing opinions, I feel it has a lot of value in todays society. The busier we become and the more physical distance we put between ourselves, the harder it is to keep connected with people we'd like to have in our lives. It can be a great tool to keep in touch with relatives that aren't close by. High school, college and work contacts you haven't seen or cared to talk to in twenty years are suddenly your friends.  It's great fun. I pretty much mainline Facebook.

  There is a "Profile Status" which can be updated as often as you wish and all of your friends on your list can read it. I change mine a few times a week. I recently updated my status and a friend of mine commented that my house is a "total comedy skit." I was thinking of being offended, but then decided to take an honest look at my updates.

MY FACEBOOK STATUS UPDATES (In no particular order)

     I'm convinced I'd have an easier time starting a fire in the woodstove if it was moved into the kitchen.....

     Rob and Chelsea's dog, Diesel just arrived. We are watching him for a few days. I now have FOUR Boston Terriers running circles around the house...I am seeing black and white and black and white and black and white and get the idea!

     My daughter is all upset that she got a bit part in the school play...I'm not sure how that happened because the DRAMA QUEEN has been honing her skills all afternoon...I need a drink...

     I've come to the conclusion that it's not me! The kitchen smoke alarm just needs to be moved. To the backyard maybe?

     My 8 yr old daughter has determined her life is unbearable-she says there's no  food in the house, there's no one to play with, her life is miserable and she has no good toys. She's better be getting sick cause if she's not, I plan on sending her to Haiti for a reality check.

     Just read that frowning burns more calories than smiling... at least it's a good excuse for the extra weight *sigh*

     Had to call the Coon Man once again today because a raccoon infiltrated our new roof- (you know, the one we just had put on to keep the them out). Adding insult to injury, it's raining, and because of the raccoon hole and the rain, the ceiling is leaking. Badly. Just another day in paradise....

     Easter baking. Braided Spinach Artichoke Recipe says "make 3 inch slices down each side about 1.5 inches apart. Do not cut through center area" Huh? No indication of how many strips and how do you do that? Called mom. Took her 15 minutes to explain- Seems it's more of a FRENCH braid and I had Pippi Longstocking stuck in my head! Got it now!

    So I pointed out to the hubby (proudly I might add) that I started a fire in the woodstove all by myself. He said, "What did ya do, throw in a hamburger?" My culinary reputation precedes me......

     My daughter and her cousin Erin are pretending to be princesses that belch. Pretending the princess part apparently, because the belching part is quite real.

     I think the whole damned world has gone crazy- I just saw a commercial for "Booty Pop' underwear. They are padded butt lifters/enhancers. I think they look ridiculous. What is up with that? Are there that many of us out there that need our asses to look BIGGER? A bra named Booby Pop on the other hand.....

    "Warning evacuate, smoke in kitchen, evacuate!" Danger Will Robinson, danger! Jeeez! All I did was try to cook it fast! (sigh)

     The camper was brought home today! I love it, that is, until I remember that this means there is yet another bathroom for me to clean....

    I tried on a hat and asked Marisa how it looked. She said- "Mom! It looks very good, if you were in the back yard and if no one was here to visit and if it was kinda dark. Actually mom, you never look good in hats." Jeez, I went through labor for this?

    Ok- have to suck it up on this one- 3 days ago I bought Marisa two hermit crabs. Steve said that he would give it three days before they are dead or missing. Well, watch where you step boys and girls, we have an escapee......and noooo, that's nothing at all like saying "Honey, you were right."

    The kids are off most of next week for school vacation. My daughter was allowed to bring home her recorder for the break. Who comes up with this stuff? What did I ever do to the music teacher? Why does she hate me?

    This evening my daughter showed me how to play "Ode to Joy" on her recorder using her left nostril. She was quite proud. I'm not good enough to make this stuff up....really.

    Ok, I'm really, really, really, glad this rain isn't all snow. Now that I've been thankful, here comes the bitch- I had to pick up 60 or so cases of Girl Scout cookies in this freakin monsoon eight hours ago and I still feel soggy...Thank you for that moment. Now let us return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

     There are like 400 boxes of Girl Scout cookies are in my cupboard and I have not eaten one of them! I am so proud! My secret? Every time I want one, I just eat a slice of Panera three cheese bread (toasted, with butter) instead. It really staves off the Thin Mint cravings.
    Ok so I got an early Happy Birthday letter from AARP. Nuff said.
     Went to the gym today with water in my water bottle, not black coffee....thinking I should get kudos from my nutritionist sister-in-law. I'll be right here waiting Kerry.

     Just entertained my son my by singing the 40 year old Partridge Family favorite "I Think I Love You" in its entirety along with a few choice dance moves. I'm not sure how impressed he is, but hell, I was!

     So, how come the body keeps getting older, but inside my head I'm still 20? Somehow or another, that just can't be right...

    I was watching my little puppy run and jump around in the snow like he was having the time of his life. Then it dawned on me that we had 14" of snow and his legs are less than 8" long. Poor Bandit! Probably hopping all around cause he was freezing his little thing off! HAHAHAHA!

    My daughter did something self centered and rude- so I turned and said "What, you think you're the only person on the planet?" and she said "Duh, no...who would pay the bills?"

     Well, my daughter and two friends are using the karoake machine. My husband (who tucked that little ditty into Santa's bag) is conveniently at work....I wish I knew how to pull an engine...It would be worth it to trade places.
This is now the second time I have restarted this blog.   Long story.  Anyway, I am kicking it off with some of my favorite postings from my previous blog.

May 15, 2011

Ok, new website, new blog.  Why did I switch?  Well, I really wanted everything in one place- but beyond that, just look at the name of the hosting company . FAT COW!  How cool is that?  Yeah, that is how I buy things.  I’m a marketer’s dream.  Anyway, one of the best things is that the sites are ‘Powered by 100% Wind Energy.’ I had to do a little reading to make sure that if the winds died down, I’d still have a web presence, but it seems there a credit system in place to make sure sites stay up and running even on the calmest of days.   

I feel so green right now, I need to go change my whole makeup palette.

Anyway, after having lived upstate for a time, I am fully aware that cows do indeed produce a considerable amount of wind, with a requisite amount of methane (which by the way accounts for about 30% of greenhouse emissions). I find humor in the gassy cow website thing, but then again, I have four sons and a husband. Oh and a daughter, which at times is even worse.

That all being said, please check back often for blog/website updates.  I’ll be keeping everyone posted about the book through the blog.  I don’t have a release date yet, but I have seen what it’s going to look like and it’s all very exciting. 

In the meantime, I’m going to be powered by wind.  Nuff said.

You'll find it all there

Have a great day!