Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Volunteer -- Occupy Sandy

After spending the last eight days feeling guilty with heat, power, food and water I decided I needed to give back.  My friend Carin and I traveled to Sunset Park, Brooklyn to volunteer for Occupy Sandy (same folks involved in Occupy Wall Street).  We started with a food delivery to Coney Island and ended the day in the Far Rockaway's.  Yes, our neighbors are living in some extremely difficult environments.  But there is hope, good will and that ‘can do’ New York spirit all over these devastated areas. Below is a photo essay of our adventure. 

St. Jacobi Church (Sunset Park)  They currently need - Water, Blankets, Candles, Flashlights, Batteries, Diapers and Wipes, Gloves and Masks, Rubber Boots, Shovels, Cleaning Supplies and Bleach, Trash bags, Serving Dishes and Utensils.


Donated Supplies at St. Jacobi Church

Me collecting diapers

Carin with a box of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Coney Island. We were assigned the job of bringing food to 100 people. After the SUV was loaded with the sandwiches, plus canned veggies, cereal, power bars and water. Anthony from Australia joined us as we headed out.  On the way we were told to have our flashlights ready and be prepared to climb stairs.  We were also given the impression it was a tough section of the Island.  In the car we agreed to stick together, even though Anthony was a total stranger.  When we arrived we found a lovely senior center, with a very thankful group of spry octogenarians.

Coney Island Senior Center.  They were so sweet about thanking us!

After Coney Island, we returned to St. Jacobi Church. Five construction workers needed a ride out to the Far Rockaway's. We were told to deliver them to St. Camilius Church.
Yes, Carin had extra gas. Some she saved, some she donated.  I rode with it between my legs.  Precious stuff! 

Getting directions from the National Guard to St. Camilius.

Lines outsides St. Camilius.
Donated water we helped load onto a truck with the construction workers.
National Guard.
 Inside St. Camilius.  We were assigned the job of sorting donated clothes.  There were way too many clothes.  We tried to find the winter jackets and sweaters first.  If you want to give, don't give clothes.  Find something else on the list above.
The destruction around St. Camilius.  The boardwalk and road was gone. 
Beautiful, blue skies yesterday.   As I write this blog today, the nor’easter has already hit.  The rain is pounding on the air conditioner outside my window.
 Lots of trash but lots of spirit!
A teddy bear in the dirt.
We found these boats in the road after we left the Rockaway's, on our way to pick up our kids from their school in Queens.  Yes, we were late but everyone was super understanding, even our twelve year old boys.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy in Washington Heights

Last night Hurricane Sandy visited our quiet neighborhood in upstate Manhattan.  Below are a few pictures I took this morning of the mayhem she left behind.  Definitely could have been worse, since we are at the highest point in Manhattan we didn’t get flooding.
Pinehurst Avenue

Bennett Park
(View from my Kitchen Window)

Stop Sign

Bennett Park

Bennett Park

Bennett Park

Bennett Park

Aaron in the Park

Closed Subway

Removing the Sign

My Steps
(We did very well)

Driveway Behind my Building

I think this tree is okay!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Golden Apple Awards

Last month I attended the RWA-NYC Golden Apple Awards and wrote a blurb about the evening for Keynotes our chapter newsletter. Highlights in my mind, seeing the generous and hardworking author Jean Joachim receive her award and listening to Eloisa James analyze the current state of the business. Read below for all the details.

Romance writers, publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians, media sources and agents were all celebrated at the Romance Writers of America, New York City Chapter, Golden Apple Awards on September 13th. The space at the Law Offices of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz was lovely, the wine delicious and the company stellar. The speeches were inspiring and thought provoking.

Eloisa James (Lifetime Achievement recipient) spoke about authors needing to advocate for themselves, their work and their place in the business. Also, she encouraged writers to take the business of writing seriously because the agents and editors work for them. She acknowledged that writing is hard and joining a community like RWA helps.

Author of the Year, Jean Joachim, talked about the encouragement RWA-NYC provided her when submitting her first book. Plus the joy in finding like minded creative people who also have characters talking to them in their heads. And…a big thanks to the folks who have cheered Jean on through the--challenges, triumphs and re-writes.

The Publisher of the Year Secret Cravings, represented by Sandy Sullivan, was celebrated for recognizing the vastly changing publishing landscape and embracing new opportunities with gusto. Bookseller of the Year was the Brooklyn based independent store WORD. Jenn Northington talked about fighting to keep their store open so that lovers of the printed word can gather and she noted that romance readers want their stories to be fun, enjoyable and a good escape.

It was lovely to listen to Agent of the Year, Louise Fury describe her journey from her first RWA-NYC meeting to finding her calling in this business with the L. Perkins Agency. Plus, Editor of the Year, Latoya Smith (Grand Central Publishing) thanked all who have brought her to this stage in her career, particularly the late Kate Duffy. Librarian of the Year, Corinne Neary (Jefferson Market Branch, New York Public Library) was celebrated for promoting romance, organizing romance reader‘s groups and keeping the library doors open during these tough economic times. Media Source of the Year, RT Book Reviews spoke about the changes in the industry from being the only romance review publication to becoming the industry‘s authoritative “go to” resource.

Editors from many publishing houses were present, writers pitched and inspiration was found by all. A big congratulation‘s to Jessica Gibbons, first place winner of the Secret Cravings Publishing contest. Also, a big thanks to the Golden Apple Awards committee led by our President Lise Horton wearing a gorgeous pair of sparkly shoes. Hopefully we‘ll see them again next year!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Four Star Review - Cowboy's Toughest Ride

Between The Pages of this story is a humorous rodeo love story.  A well-written plot with a sensual heat level keeps this book a page-turner.  The hero is sexy and the heroine is strong and independent...a  great combination to intertwine emotion and conflict.  The only downside was that I wanted more from this short story, to see the hero and heroine develop their relationship further.
Review Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by D. Fredette
Still Moments Magazine, August 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Release Day!

"Cowboy's Toughest Ride" is available at Secret Carvings Publishing.  Look for it at Amazon and Barnes & Noble on Monday.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cowboy's Toughest Ride

Yippee!  I'm delighted to announce my novella "Cowboy's Toughest Ride" releases on Wednesday.
Look for at Secret Cravings Publishing.