Monday, December 19, 2011

New Book, New Store, New Ways to Give, Happy New Year!!

Okay, I am excited now!  This is my final belated blog.  Again sorry for the delay - I have been CRAZY BUSY as usual! 

The new book Toe Jam is now available on Amazon!!  My Zazzle Store is also now open.  You can see the items in the window posted on this blog.  The book launch for Toe Jam will be on Tuesday, December 20th at BounceU in Horsham, PA from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  The book trailer video will be live sometime in the next two weeks.  Yeah!!  Look for the e-version of Peacock Parade to be on the NOOK soon too.   

Toe Jam's dedicated charities are Heel & Toe and Dandelion Time.  I sent both of them some books for the holidays and also the artwork from the book trailer.  Here are some photos of the artwork done by local children to celebrate Toe Jam and its charities: 


Below is a photo of the hearts created by Mrs. DiLuigi's class at Jamison.  I sent them to West London Churches Homeless Concern so they could decorate their shelter for the holidays.  Special thanks to Mrs. D's class for the great hearts and to all my book trailer kids for a fantastic job creating the artwork!  

Be the Light's Parties

My charity, Be the Light of the Party Foundation, had two wonderful holiday parties on Saturday, December 10th for A Woman's Place Shelter and Pine Run Nursing Home.  Check out the article in the Bucks County Herald (on page 23).  Special thanks to Gayman Elementary's Kids Care Club in Doylestown for being our co-sponsor.  Thanks also to the Solebury Club's Mary Tawa for hosting the Zumbathon and Kristine Scott for donating the Premier Designs bracelets for the ladies at the shelter.  We gave out our traditional roses and Godiva chocolates too.  Below, you can see photos from the Kids Care's Zumbathon fundraiser and Santa's Elves Work Party, and also pictures from Pine Run. 

BounceU in Horsham - Candy Cane Hunt

Happy Monday!!  Wow, I am really catching up with all my blog posts now.  Here are two photos from my book reading/signing at the Candy Cane Hunt at BounceU in Horsham on Friday, December 16th.  It was a fun morning!  This was my first Candy Cane Hunt.  Great idea, BounceU!  Thanks for inviting me. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jamison Elementary School Visit

On Friday, December 2nd and Monday, December 5th, I visited with the students in Grades K-6 at Jamison Elementary.  I had a fantastic time!  I read Peacock Parade to all the classes and talked about their wellness theme for the month of December - Caring for Others.  We had question and answer sessions and discussed random acts of kindness.  I gave two mini writer's notebooks out to the student in each grade who guessed the correct number of dandelions hidden in the story.  One notebook was for the student to keep and the other was for him/her to give away to another person as an act of kindness.  I also did the same with some holiday pencils and a different question.  Excitement filled the air as the prizes were awarded!  I printed out a copy of my writing tips for the older grades.  You can see them here.  I also purchased lunch from the cafeteria and participated in a school fire drill - just like the students!

Autographed books were distributed at the end of each session.  I added a special "home is in your heart" to my normal "hearts & hugs" signature.  I sold a record total of 79 books!  Very exciting!!   A portion of the profits will be donated to the GRUBS organization at Jamison for the construction of the outdoor classroom and also to Dandelion Time, the book's dedicated charity.  Just like Percy in the story, the children are planning to create hearts with heartfelt messages to give to either a military person or someone in a nursing home.  Awesome!!

Special thanks to the principal Mrs. Benton, the staff, teachers, and children at Jamison.  Thanks also to Sameer for the nice comment in the Jet Gazette ("She taught us to do something nice to one another.  This was the moral of her new book.  Camut was being a mentor to all of us.  She will never be forgotten by me.").  And I will never forget my time at Jamison.  Much love!!   

Dinner with the Author - Christ's Home for Children in Warminster, PA

Had my very first "dinner with the author" event on Friday, November 11th at Christ's Home for Children in Warminster, PA.  My daughter and I brought some pizza and apple cider with us to share.  After dinner, I read Peacock Parade to the children and also gave out signed copies of the book.  Then everyone received a heart to color and decorate.  Each child wrote something in the center of the heart that he or she liked best about himself/herself.  We had a lovely time.  The kids were awesome!  We hope to visit again next year. 

Due to confidentiality issues, I could not take photos for the blog.  But my daughter wanted to take a picture of something for this post, so she snapped the photo of me below. 

Central Bucks Family YMCA - First Friday Book Reading/Signing

I traveled with Percy Peacock to the YMCA in Doylestown for First Friday on November 4th.  I read to the children for story time near the cozy, warm fire.  Yeah!!  My son and daughter went for a swim in their fabulous pool.  It was a great time for the whole family.  A portion of the profits from the event went to the Central Bucks Family YMCA's Community Support Program and to the children at Dandelion Time. 

Elmwood Park Zoo Book Signing

RSVP of Montgomery County's Run Wild at the Elmwood Park Zoo

Had a wonderful time on October 2nd at the zoo signing books to support RSVP's program for children's literacy!  Met with NBC 10's Lu Ann Cahn, check out the photo.  She purchased a copy of Peacock Parade.  Also had a special photo taken with Harvey, the peacock. Special thanks to RSVP, Lu Ann Cahn, and the Elmwood Park Zoo for a great day!  Thanks also to the zoo's director, William Konstant, for the great photo of Harvey below.   

Photo Credit:  William Konstant

National S'mores Day at Lake Raystown Resort

Hello Everyone,

Today is the day that I have set aside to work on all the blogs I missed writing over the past four months!  I apologize for being so tardy.  Sometimes it is difficult keeping up with all my jobs (wife, mother, homemaker, writer, charity director, etc.).  Below is my first post from late summer about my visit to Raystown Resort.  It is a yummy one - enjoy!! 

Okay, time to take s'mores to a new level! The challenge on National S'mores Day at Lake Raystown Resort was to create a unique and great tasting s'more using only the ingredients you have on hand in your cabin. I made a white chocolate cherry s'more and won third place for Best Tasting/Most Delicious - an unexpected vacation foodie moment!!

The winning recipe -

Fun with S'moree!

 S'mores pancake from camping -

The Full Camut Camping Breakfast!