Monday, December 14, 2009


I've officially now gone from contracted author to published author.... It's true! I have a box of printed books with covers and title pages and a whole story I actually wrote!  So I'm celebrating this huge JOY with a party here on the blog... and where better to have a virtual signing party than the Maine Beach Chalet??

Isn't it idyllic? And since it's virtual, you don't even have to go out in the cold to get there!  So come on in and grab something warm to drink.  I've got hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows if you'd like... I made it extra chocolatey!!


Or, if you prefer, you can grab a seasonal cup of blog nog. It's one of my favorites!


It looks a lot like the hot chocolate, don't you think?

While considering a theme for this party, I decided it would only be natural to make it a bit of a fiesta Tex Mex theme, which is a bit contrary to the cold outside...

  ...but is so fitting for the book, because Some Kind of Normal takes place in Texas, and I think the characters would like a party that caters a bit to them.  I even hung up a neon sign in the foyer in honor of them:

(Don't say anything to the main characters, but I think this might have come out of some bar.)

I also hung a pinata if we find we're in need of some entertainment:


So now that you're warm and toasty, lets break out the food, shall we?

Appetizers, anyone? Those things are cherry tomatoes, but I'm not sure what they're filled with. Since the main characters might show up, we'll pretend those olive filled drinks behind them are glasses of water, okay?  It does kind of look that way, right? But why would someone put olives in water? Hmmm...


Let's move on... the water with olives is started to weird me out. A nice guac dip, perhaps? I made it fresh myself with avacados that came from somewhere south of the equator. It's kinda chilly right now to get these in the markets here. I did fry up those chips myself those. They're still warm!


If you're in need a something more filling, you can fix your own appetizers.

 Watch out for the chicken on the left... it's quite spicy. And there might be some habanero peppers hidden under there somewhere if you're really daring! I'm pretty sure blog peppers don't give you heartburn, but proceed with caution!

If you want something a bit healthier (and in honor of the diabetic aspects of the book), here's some veggies and dip. These are fresh from the beach chalet garden... I harvested them right before the snow storm hit.

Or maybe you'd like something heartier? Some tacos?

Or a taco salad? If you're counting carbs, don't forget to calculate the black beans in there.

 I really love mexican food, but that blog nog just isn't cutting the heat of the jalapenos. Perhaps a nice sangria?

Or maybe Bab's favorite... sweetened iced tea:


I know, I know... you really came just for the food, but this IS about a book... so I've got my pen out and I'm so ready to get this book signing going!!

I thought I'd set things up in the library. Does that sound good?

I know it's just been released and it's a small, unheard of book, but I really can't believe the crowds that are already cramming in to get one of my scrawled signatures!! Seriously, have you seen any thing like this short of a Stephanie Meyers/J.K. Rowling signing??

(I'm most baffled by the amount of teenage boys.  Really, I'm pretty sure the character of Ashley is hot, but she's got a boyfriend already, guys, and she spends most of the book in a hospital bed. And her mom... well, let's just say her mom isn't the kind a teenage boy wants to hang around with for the fun of it...)

So let's get on with it... Here's the book:

If you're just here to celebrate with me and eat the food, this is the time you slink out into the living room and sink into one of my big comfy leather sofas beside the roaring fire and chat in the comment section with all the other friends who have gathered. Go ahead! I'm so glad you came by!!  Thank you so much for making this such a special day for me! I've been dreaming of this, and working towards it, for such a long time.

If you want to buy a book, there are a few ways you can go about it.

1. You can go to and buy it directly from the publisher.

2. You can go to Amazon and buy it there.


You can buy it here and I will sign it for you and get it in the mail this week! If you look over on the sidebar over there, you'll see the book and underneath it a paypal button. The book is 15.95 and if you don't have a paypal account, you can set one up really easily with a credit card. This link is only going to be over there for a short time (a week or so), and then, after that you'll have to buy it through a traditional book seller.

If you do buy from here, can you leave me a note in the comment section with your email, or send me an email to let me know? I just like having my bases covered to make sure I can contact you if there's a question about something!

(For those of you living out of the US, I'm only set up to sell internationally to Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom. I apologize if you live somewhere else, but you can still get it from Amazon!)

It will look something like this:

Only I'll try to be neater. And if you want me to write something specific, let me know that, too.

So I guess that's it. I'll be hanging around eating some of this cake while waiting for the writer's cramp to settle in.

And staring out the window at this:

And wishing you all the best for a happy holiday season, and a new year where all your dreams come true!


  1. Whoooo hooo!!!!!!!


    Heidi, I'm so proud of you. Not just that you are throwing an awesome virtual party (you have learned well, my little grasshopper) but also that you have accomplished what you set out to do - write a darn good book and get it out there so the world can read it!!!

    Also, I'm so happy to be visiting the Maine Beach House! I parked my horse in the little shed there, in the field outside the house. He's pretty happy there.

    So I'll have a Blog Nog now, then curl up in front of the fire to read YOUR BOOK.

    I'll be dipping into the rest of the food later. See this is why I love blog parties... I can eat all the spicy food and nothing bad happens!

    Did I mention how happy I am for you?

    Or how great your book is?

    Ok- library and reading for now. Catch up in a bit...

  2. HEIDI!!!!!!! How fitting you'd be the first here!!!! After all, I did learn everything I know about blog parties from you... and you were my first blog buddy ever! Remember that? Back in the day when Nathan had only a few followers that you could actually read the comment section??

    I'm so happy to have you to share this with. Next you, it will be your party, and I'll be the first to drink your blog nog and settle in with your book. :)

    It's midnight now, so I'm off to bed. catch you in the morning!

  3. I feel famous just by association! :0) Those crowds! The food, the drinks! Fabulous, dah-ling, simply fabulous.

    Congrats, I'm sure you are feeling totally amazing right now. I ordered a SIGNED copy of your book-yours will be the first signed book I've ever owned.

    Many best wishes for your continued success!!

  4. oh-and according to pay pal, you are shipping an order to Dean VanTuyl, it's his account. LOL So, pay no attention to that. It is me and you have my email! :)

  5. Yay Heidi!!! You did it and it's wonderful and I'm absolutely thrilled for you!!!!

  6. Yeah!!!!! The party has begun!!!! We are all so proud of you Heidi! And the party is great. I really miss Tex Mex food down here in Brazil. And the snow up in Maine is so beautiful. Your house is marvelous. I think I´ll stick around, maybe even sleepover if you don´t mind. I like the idea of snuggling up under a down blanket after having a nice warm cup of blog nog.

    Since my location prevents me from ordering directly from you, I´ll get it on Amazon, but then I will send it to you for your signature, or bring it the next time I´m in DC and ask for it in person!

    This is the beginning of another journey, and I wish you all the best as you embark on it. You deserve nothing but success for all your hard work and talent!


  7. Kristi - wow! You were up early to be the first!! :) I'm glad you told me about the name it's under, too! I would've been wondering!

    Kerri and Erin! Welcome to the chalet! You are most welcome to sleep here! It's toasty and the beds are all made up!

    Erin - I'm sorry about not having it available for you. I couldn't get the shipping to be affordable for you - I think Amazon will be better for that. The paypal thing was new to me and I didn't want to screw it up. :)

  8. I'm here! Man....what a nice shin-dig you're throwin' here, Heidi!

    I've got some hot chocolate and it's a bit early for the tex-mex stuff for me, but I'll definitely be getting to that around lunch time.

    I've mosied into the library and have picked up a book. I'll be sipping hot cocoa and reading.

  9. Congrats, Heidi!! Wishing you brisk sales and much joy.

    Great party. What an amazing virtual spread. I'm tempted by the sangria for breakfast idea--morning juice with a kick! Whee!

  10. Good morning, I'm back!

    I don't care what time it is, I'm getting into the TexMex. Babs would like it that way. I think she'd be standing there putting food into my hands.

    So did I mention how excellent your book is?

    Brit's snoozing in the library right now with her copy in her lap!

    It's really getting crowded in here, which is just what we want for a book release party! I might have to venture outside for some air. And the air here at the Maine Beach House is quite refreshing. I'll give everybody else a crack at getting the author to sign their books.

    Oh- and yes I do remember way back when! I had to check out this other writer with my name, and saw your pic and thought, "I am the only Heidi with brown hair!!!" And your blog was so cheery and thoughtful I had to comment. And here we are!

  11. Good morning!! I didn't think about putting out a breakfast spread... I should have done that. Some biscuits and gravy and sausage and bacon and eggs... maybe some twizzlers on the side for Logan. :)

  12. Congratulations! I'll put out a tweet about this later.

    You know, there is a Barnes and Noble at your alma mater. Can anybody say "book signing"?


  13. Paul!!! I MUST DO THAT!!! Anything to get to Penn State again, right?? :)

    Really, I'm so looking into that! That would be awesome!! And we could do coffee or something!

    Thanks for tweeting!

  14. I'm awake. I've got sangria and some fajitas now. Screw the A.M. - this is a celebration!

    Heidi - the book is amazing....truly. I'm so, so, so proud of you and happy that I can witness your journey!

    *Raising a toast* To Heidi, may you have much success on your debut novel, and more incredibly stories I can curl up and read. Best of luck!

  15. Apparently, the sangria hit my empty stomach....I meant "Incredible" stories....

  16. "Breakfast" is a purely false concept. Pass the sangria. I've never had one, why not try it now eh?

    I lost my spot in the library... it's pretty crowded in there. It's okay, I already know how awesome your book is!

  17. Congrats Heidi-- that's great news. What a nice X-mas present for you.

  18. I'm all over that library. Think I see some Kafka. Ciao!

  19. You can't hear it, but the floor is shaking because I'm jumping up and down for you. I love your cover and hope you have a ton of success.

    Looking into the paypal, will let you know.

  20. Man, that library IS getting crowded!! Hey - Keep the Sangria off the leather couches, okay? and watch out for Scout - he likes to get under foot right when you least expect it!

    Patti - it's on amazon now, so I think you can order it from there if that's easiest for you!

  21. I stopped in again to have another drink and some snacks. Just can´t get enough of the Tex Mex, and really the nog is the best. I´ll have to get your recipe, Heidi.
    By the way Heidi, my mom´s book club wants to read your book this year. I told them all about it and they are all excited about it. Maybe we could even work out a SKYPE discussion with you and them.

    Okay, I´m just going to grab a taquito and some dip and be on my way.

  22. A book club??? That is SOOOO cool!!!

    I totally can skype! :)

  23. Awesome about the book club - what a great idea!

    I'm stuffed. I've been laying around reading and eating all day. But hey, it's a party, right?

  24. Go, Heidi, go! How exciting is this?


  25. CONGRATULATIONS Heidi!!! We're so happy for you and also craving Mexican food thanks to your lovely post!

  26. Heidi, you are so awesome! I can't wait to read the book! And now I'm hungry! LOL

  27. By the time I read about your book, I ate the corner of my laptop. :-)

    I'm excited about getting a copy...good Christmas reading from my author friend!

  28. *pokes head outside the library* Is your hand tired yet from signing all those books? *grabs food and locks door*

  29. Sorry to be late to the party. Took advantage of a lull between storms to work in the yard.

    And now I'm salivating over your spread! Mexican food, yum.

    CONGRATULATIONS on your book!!!!

    Seems like I just met you and here you are published and all. So happy for you.

    Clicking on PayPal now. ;-)

  30. Shawn - you can wash that bite of laptop down with the sangria! :) I can't imagine you'll have time to read with all your school work!

    Kerri - i should have known to take the locks off the library door! I think I left my signing pen in there... can you slip it through the keyhole?

    Kathryn - love you! Thanks!

    Jen - who'da thunk sitting in Mrs. Randow's 9th grade English class, eh? Okay... us. But who else??

  31. Soooo Happy For You!!! I too am jumping and down in joy so much so that I scared our doggie, Plato upstairs!

    Book clubs. I noticed that back a few comments. I think I'll contact a friend and see if I can get her to move Some Kind Of Normal in her direction as well! Serious book club!

    I'm going to head for Amazon and sign right up!


  32. So so so many congratulations, my crit buddy!!! I'm so sorry I am late, cat got loose and crawled up the tree outside!!

    What have you got for pregnant ladies, hmm!! *looks over the noms*

    so many congrats! May this be the first of many more!!!!!

  33. Weighing in really late here-- but way to go!!! How exciting! Imagine, it wasn't that long ago you were posting about maybe taking a break from your writing and now look!!!

  34. What could be more fantastic than that?! I had a wonderful time at the party. I hope I wasn't over-dressed. The menu was delicious and the scenery was spectacular!

    Congratulations and a giant virtual hug as I leave the virtual party! ;-)

  35. It's never too late for a blog party! Heck - I'm already pulling out the sleeping bags for those who want to stay up late and hang out by the fire talking books until they fall asleep.

    And those of you leaving for the night... thanks so much for coming by and making my day!

  36. AWW, I got so caught up in my cruddy week that I lost track that of your LAUNCH DAY!!! I'm so sorry to be late to the party, but I'm so glad I made it!!!!!

    I'm ordering now (and definitely want the signed version!)...

    Congrats on the book! And on the beautiful party!!!