Events

Here are some places that I’ll be signing books – come and see me! Scroll to the bottom for the latest dates! I’m scheduling into October now – home stretch to the end of the year! Then I’ll probably take a break until Catalyst comes out…or maybe not! I love doing these events and meeting readers. I just need to make time to write Book 4!

 

Barnes and Noble Southlake Town Center

Southlake, TX

Friday, April 12th

6:00 to 8:00pm – Book signing

 

Barnes and Noble Preston Royal Shopping Center

Dallas, TX

Saturday, April 13th

2:00 to 4:00pm – Book Signing

 

Barnes And Noble Woodland Mall

Grand Rapids, MI

Friday, April 26th ~ 6:00pm

Local Authors Meet & Greet and signings

Dayton Book Expo

Dayton, OH

Saturday, April 27th ~ 11:00am to 4:00pm

David H. Ponitz Conference Center

With Readers in Dayton!

SCBWI – Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

Chicago Marriott ~ Naperville, IL

Marvelous Midwest 2019

Friday, May 3rd- 5th

YA Authors at SCBWI

LAUNCH PARTY ~ Come One, Come All!

Saturday, May 11th

5:00pm to 7:00pm

The Garden Table

908 E Westfield Blvd, Broad Ripple, Indianapolis

Refreshments, Readings, Book Signings!

Kids Ink Bookstore to provide books

Feed Your Soul With Good Friends

 

Barnes and Noble Greenwood Park Mall

Greenwood, IN

Friday, May 17th 5:00pm

Discussion and Book Signing

McKenna Tetrick B&N Bookseller

Check out the space ships and astronauts on McKenna’s shirt!

Nicola’s Books

Ann Arbor, MI

Saturday, May 25th 3:00pm

Ready for author talk at Nicola Books!

Books ready for buyers!

Women and Children First  Bookstore

5233 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Wednesday, May 29th ~ 7pm

Readings and Book Signing

Reading THE FIELD at Women and Children First

Alex and Katie and their high school friends provided endless inspiration for the characters and scenes in THE FIELD!

Barnes and Noble

Racine, WI ~ Southland Center

Friday, May 31st ~ 7pm

Readings and Book Signing

 

Barnes and Noble

Deerfield Square, Deerfield, IL

Saturday, June 1st ~ 12:00 to 2:00pm

Connected with my high school friend Frankie!

Frankie shared THE FIELD with her husband who loved it! Another fan!

 

Loved connecting with Martina at the Deerfield Barnes and Noble!

Prologue Bookshop

Columbus, OH

Sunday, June 9th ~ 4:00 to 6:00pm

 

Barnes and Noble

Upper Arlington, OH

Saturday, June 15th ~ 1:00pm to 3:00pm

 

The Book Loft

German Village, Columbus, OH

Sunday, June 16th ~ 3:00 to 5:00pm

Maddie and Coco

Readers and Soccer Players at The Book Loft!

Main Street Books

Lafayette, IN

Friday, July 19th ~ 6:00 to 9:00pm during Gallery Walk

 

Indy Reads

Indianapolis, IN

Friday, July 26th ~ 6:00 to 8:00pm 

 

Barnes & Noble Dayton Mall

Dayton, OH

Friday, August 9th ~ 6pm to 8pm

 

Barnes & Noble

The Shops at Perry Crossing, Plainfield, IN

Saturday, August 17th ~ 2pm-6pm

 

Barnes & Noble Evansville, IN

Evansville, IN

Saturday, August 24th ~ 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Sci-fi event with author John Dyer, author of Silken Thread

B&N Evansville with Author John Dyer

Barnes & Noble Greyhound Pass

Carmel, IN

Saturday, August 31st ~ 11:00am to 2:00pm ~ Local Author Event

Rosaleen Crowley author of Point of Connection

Marian Webb Belts author of Ruby Heart

 

Joseph Beth Booksellers

Crestview Hills, KY

Thursday, September 5th ~ 7:00pm Discussion and Signing

 

Barnes & Noble – Glenbrook Square Mall

Fort Wayne, IN

Saturday, September 21st ~ 1pm to 3pm

With excited reader Kydal in Fort Wayne!

Barnes & Noble – Valparaiso, IN

Valparaiso, IN

Saturday, September 28th ~ 2pm to 5pm

 

Barnes & Noble – University Park Mall

South Bend, IN (Mishawaka)

Saturday, October 5th ~ 10am to 2pm

Writing Workshop with area teachers at 10:00am – Continuing Ed Credit!

Book Signing 11:00am to 2:00pm

 

Barnes & Noble – Charleston Town Center

Charleston, SC

Saturday, October 12th ~ 2pm to 4pm

 

Barnes & Noble – Louisville

Louisville, KY

Saturday, October 19th ~ 12pm to 2pm

 

Barnes & Noble – Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown, KY

Saturday, October 26th

 

Barnes & Noble – Chesterfield Oaks

St. Louis, MO

Saturday, November 9th ~ 1:00 to 3:00pm

 

 

Why I Wrote THE FIELD

The idea behind The Field came from several different places. The first influence was metaphysical. We all experience it. The hunch that turns out to be true, running into a friend that you were just thinking about, the answer to a question you were pondering popping into your head or an eerily prophetic dream. I wanted to tell a story about a regular person, a normal person, who was having these types of experiences. Most of the YA paranormal stories that I read are about teens who are extra-ordinary in some way. They have special powers that no one else possesses. In The Field, Eric is an ordinary high school soccer player who is experiencing something more. He’s connecting to The Universal Energy Field and the Collective Consciousness; something that I believe we all can do.

The second influence was all of the disaster, post-apocalyptic literature out there. I like a good dystopian story as much as the next person, but I was starting to feel as if all we could see in the future was doom and gloom. I’d like to think that we are better than that. Certainly bad things happen and bad people exist, but why not focus on what is good? It doesn’t have to be sappy or boring, either. And it isn’t necessarily easy. Eric struggles with figuring out how to tap into The Field, how to play well in the goal, and in his relationships with his girlfriend and best friend.  And it doesn’t end with him having all the answers. The process is what matters and what he learns is that he’ll never know everything and that it’s not important. He just needs to know that there is something more out there than we experience, if we just take the time to pay attention.

Environmental issues play an important role in my writing as well. I have a degree in biology and while I didn’t pursue science as a career, I am still very influenced by it. The earth is our home and I believe that we should take care of her. We live in a throw-away culture, not thinking about how our plastic bottles or lawn fertilizer will affect the world around us. I think the time is fast approaching when we’ll have to take notice. Really, it’s already here. In The Field I focus on so-called ‘Clean Coal’ and to some extent nuclear energy and compare them to other truly clean energy sources such as wind or solar and then I take it a step further. What if The Universal Energy Field is a source of energy that we can tap into? How would we do it? What is it? I don’t mean to claim that I have the answers, but there are brilliant scientists who are trying to find those answers. Again, it comes back to my belief that there is so much more in the Universe than we perceive or even imagine.

The soccer focus came naturally. Both my husband and son are soccer goal-keepers. Our son is still playing club soccer in college and my husband has coached travel and high school soccer for years. You could say that I am a soccer mom, but I wish you wouldn’t. Really. Even though I do have a van. And live in the suburbs. I will say that watching your son dive at the feet of a sprinting, teen-aged boy intent on scoring is the worst kind of torture. Let’s just say that my stomach was in knots most weekends and I spent a lot of time in the bathroom at games from nerves! In fact, our son recently sent a text message picture of himself with a broken nose from playing soccer while my husband and I were on vacation. At first we thought he’d been mugged or in a fight because there was no message accompanying the picture. Do you know what he said when we called him in a panic? “I made the save!” I did actually play one season of women’s league soccer myself, but after being drilled in the face with a ball and knocked completely off my feet, I was glad to discover that I was pregnant and could no longer play. (Okay, it was a long time ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. My team wore pink socks. So not my color!)

Exploring these ideas through the vehicle of story presents a unique opportunity. In fiction, I can make things up (which I love), but I can also present new ideas in a way that is more accessible and approachable. I hope that my books allow people to look beyond what they think they know is true, and, hopefully, give them a really good story to enjoy while they’re doing it.

Goodreads ARC Giveaway

My Goodreads Advance Review Copy giveaway for THE FIELD is open! It will run from Tuesday, June 18th until Tuesday, July 9th. I’m giving away 20 copies (yes, you read that right, 20 copies) in exchange for a review posted on Goodreads. SIGN UP TO WIN! One of my friends always says “Free is Good” and so is getting a copy of THE FIELD before everyone else!

IDL TIFF file

This is a picture of deep space taken by the Hubble telescope. Scientists pointed it at a place in space the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length that they thought was EMPTY and left it to gather light for a week to see what they would find. What they found was over 10,000 galaxies. These points of light aren’t just stars, they are GALAXIES each composed of billions of stars. In a point the size of a grain of sand. Mind Blown.

In THE FIELD I explore the idea that there is much more out there in the Universe than we can see or even fully understand.

Here’s a little excerpt teaser from THE FIELD:

To set up the scene – Eric is over at Renee’s house for a ‘homework date.’ She’s not ready yet, so he has to hang out in the kitchen with her father, Dr. Auberge, a prominent physicist who’s running thought experiments that Eric has participated in. 

“Ah, hello. It’s Eric, correct?” Dr. Auberge says. “You must be here to see Renee.”

“Yes, sir. We’re doing homework together.”

“Well, come in, then.” He holds open the door for me. “Renee!” He calls up the stairs, “You have a visitor!”

“Okay, I need to clean up my paint and brushes. I’ll be down in a minute.” She replies from somewhere on the second floor.

“Come back to the kitchen. No telling how long a minute could be.” Great. One-on-one time with dad. You’d think that I’d jump at the chance to get in good with him because of the internship, but I’m pretty sure that dating his daughter isn’t one of the selection criteria. Might even count against me. “Would you like something to drink? Water, soda?” asks Dr. Auberge.

“No, thanks, I’m good.” I find a spot to stand by the kitchen table and try not to look too uncomfortable.

“Please, sit down,” he gestures to the table and pulls out a chair for himself. I sit on the edge of the chair nearest me, nervous because I’m wondering if I’m going to get the ‘potential boyfriend’ grilling. I want to be ready to jump up and leave as soon as Renee comes down, but he says, “Stephen told me about your results on the remote viewing study. Impressive for your first session without any training. Also, the fact that you and your friend are not a ‘couple’ in the strictest sense. One or both of you has a very well developed enhanced consciousness.”

Here’s the enhanced consciousness again. “Uh, what do you mean?” I stumble out. Not the direction I expected the conversation to go.

“Well, usually for subjects who have a high score initially, we find that it’s not the first time they’ve experienced enhanced consciousness. It might be that they have premonitions or maybe coincidences occur frequently for them. Or it could be more like feelings of deja-vu or dreams or that they are more perceptive of the feelings of people around them. Most likely other things, too, that they aren’t even fully aware of.” I just stare at him for a minute. I think my mouth might even be hanging open.

“Is that true for you?” He looks at me inquiringly. It’s as if he knows something about me that I didn’t even fully recognize myself. I’m a little apprehensive, but also curious.

Cautiously I say, “Yeah, I guess I’ve had some of those things happen, but I’ve never thought much about it,” I try to shrug it off.

“What sort of things do you experience?” He’s leaning back in his chair, apparently having a casual conversation, but the way he’s focused on me makes me think that he’s intently listening. I figure I might as well tell him about the soccer stuff.

“Sometimes when I’m in the goal, it’s almost like a thought pops into my head, and I suddenly know where the shot will be going or which way I should dive. I’ve always thought it was athletic instinct or something like that. I’ve tried out some sports psychology stuff about visualizing the outcome you want, so I figured maybe it had something to do with that.”

“It could be instinctive athleticism or that you are subconsciously reading the behavior of the other players, or,” he pauses for emphasis. “You could be tapping into the Collective Consciousness.”

“What’s that?” I feel like The Twilight Zone theme song should be playing in the background.

“It’s called many things; the Akashic Record, the Universal Stream of Consciousness, and by some, God. Many eastern religions believe that we are all connected to each other and to what you could call God or higher consciousness by our thoughts and that thoughts have power, or even energy. Science is just now recognizing the power of thought. As you said, visualization is used frequently in sports, but there is much more to it than that.” I’m thinking that I am in store for a really out-there conversation with Dr. Auberge, but I’m saved when Renee comes into the kitchen and puts her hand lightly on my shoulder. I didn’t hear her come in so it startles me a little. The conversation with Dr. Auberge was getting pretty intense. At some deep level it resonates with me, but at the same time, thinking that there’s a Universal Stream of Consciousness seems straight out of a science fiction novel. It’s hard to believe that it could actually be real.

The Field Advance Review Copies are here!

It’s official! The Field (October, 2013 Luminis Books) is up on the Luminis website and on Amazon and the Midpoint Trade Book site!

Advance Review Copies are here and going out to reviewers. Over the weekend I was signing books at BookExpo America (BEA)and I will be at ALA (American Library Association) in Chicago on June 29th and 30th. Here’s the cover ~designed by my son, Alex Katsaropoulos. Excited doesn’t even describe how I feel!

The Field Coverfront

At BEA signing books!

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Is Eric Horton’s skill in the soccer goal due to his athletic ability, or something much, much more?

THE FIELD delves into metaphysical topics of The Universal Energy Field and The Collective Consciousness. Is THE FIELD science fiction? Paranormal? I’m not really sure. Here’s what one author had to say about it:

“The idea behind THE FIELD is a brilliant blend of soccer, science and fiction. True-to-life characters, contemporaty environmental issues, and engaging metaphysical principals skirt the edges of science fiction and magical realism in this modern coming-of-age novel.” Laurie Gray, author of MAYBE I WILL and SUMMER SANCTUARY

World Book Night 2013

Back in April ~ I can’t believe how time has flown ~ I participated in the World Book Night giveaway. I requested one of the children’s or YA titles, but those seem to be very popular, so I was given a romance novel, Montana Sky, by Nora Roberts to distribute. Of course, I read it first and now I’m a new Nora Roberts fan! I am definitely not stuck in one genre for the books I read. Here I am picking up my books at Kids Ink Bookstore in Indianapolis:

 

 

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And delivering them to Coburn Place Safe Haven, a medium-term residence for battered women and their families.

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I imagine that the women who live at Coburn Place and the women of the staff of the residence would enjoy a good romance novel now and then!

Here’s what’s on my Kindle, iPad, Audible and bedside table at the moment. I just finished The Light Between Oceans by ML Steadman (heartbreaking, but beautiful) and am reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson which I’m only a few chapters into, but so far I love it. In YA I’m listening to The Diviner’s by Libba Bray(just started it, but it’s good so far) and just finished Seraphina by Rachel Hartman – I stayed up until 2am reading and then had to read the end so I could go to bed. I guess you could say I loved it. I’ve also read several Nora Roberts paranormal romances too! So many books…sigh. What are you reading?

Running Against The Wind

Saturday was a pretty nice day and I decided to go out for a run through my neighborhood. Well, actually, it’s more like a run for a few minutes and then walk for a few minutes. Little did I know that the Sam Costa mini-marathon was being held that same morning. As I turned the corner onto the path that goes past a pond and over a bridge, I encountered a stream of runners – going the opposite direction! So there I was, not even close to being a half marathoner, running by myself past dozens of serious runners. I even saw two of my neighbors who encouraged me to join up. I smiled and waved them on. At the end of my run/walk I was running in the same direction as the half-marathoners. As I passed the last check point, a group of teenagers was positioned to cheer the runners on, so I got them to cheer me on the last leg of my run. I won! 🙂

Mentoring with Brianna

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Here I am with the awesome, smart, funny and cute young lady that I mentor at Westminster Neighborhood Ministries after school program ~ Brianna Hazel! We have fun playing cards, Sorry and just talking. She never needs any of my help with homework. 🙂 Lucky me! I try to go once a week to see her (I’m not always successful with my schedule). WNM is builing a new facility soon, as well. I definately get more out of it than Brianna does.

The Red Mountains of Sedona

The first week of February found me and my husband in Arizona. I had some business in Phoenix and then we headed up to Sedona. I had been there as a child ( 37 years ago!) but my husband has never been. We were completely awed by the beautiful red rock formations and countryside. We hiked everyday and the weather was in the 60’s during the day and cold at night. Chris asked “I wonder what it’s like here in the winter?” “It is winter!” I replied. It was that nice. Sedona is also renouned for having spiritual energy vortexes on many of the rock formations. We could definately feel it.

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This is Coffee Pot Rock. Right behind our hotel.

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We walked around Bell Rock and Court House Rock which took about 2 1/2 hours.

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Guess what this is? You can probably figure it out, but I wasn’t sure at first. A stool, perhaps? They are ‘cairns’ to mark the hiking paths.

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This is Cathedral Rock. Both Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock are energy Vortex sites.

Then we traveled to the Grand Canyon by way of Flagstaff. We loved the fun and funky vibe of Flagstaff. It is at the foothills of the San Francisco mountains. Great skiing!

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The Grand Canyon really needs no explanation. My dinky little camera can’t do it justice, but it is awesome! We hiked along the rim. No hiking down into the canyon for us, although we did talk about doing a rafting trip down the Colorado River someday.

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We stayed in the El Tovar lodge which is the original hotel on the south rim. Its close to 100 years old. Very western and ‘lodge-like!’ After a day of hiking we sat by the fireplace in the lobby. A great vacation!

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Cover of THE FIELD

The Field Coverfront

I’m so excited about the cover for my YA novel, THE FIELD coming out this Fall! It’s exactly how I envisioned it thanks to my son, Alex Katsaropoulos, who designed it. I hope that it’s intriguing and makes you want to read the book.

Here’s a quote from Laurie Gray, author of MAYBE I WILL (Luminis Books 3/15/2013) and SUMMER SANCTUARY (Luminis Books 5/2010) ~ “The idea behind THE FIELD is a brilliant blend of soccer, science and fiction. True-to-life characters, contemporaty environmental issues, and engaging metaphysical principals skirt the edges of science fiction and magical realism in this modern coming-of-age novel.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Alex is a talented artist and musician. Check out his website for Air Tight to listen to music he’s written, performed and recorded. It’s amazing! And I’m not just saying that because he’s my son. I’ve listened to it thousands of times (and I do mean thousands of times) as he created it in my basement, and if it wasn’t fantastic, I think I would have gone crazy. You can download it from iTunes, too. He’s working on a promotional deal with an agent as I write this post.

Alex’s art has been exhibited in the Evan Lurie Gallery in Carmel and at SoHo Cafe & Gallery. He’s studying music business at Columbia College Chicago which is such an incredible place for creative minds. I want to enroll!! The really sad thing, though, is how many people tell us that our children should study something in college that they can use to get a ‘real job.’ What does that even mean? A job in a cubicle? Or something that person understands? I imagine that they would tell me that I could never write a book or start my own publishing company.  I’m glad we don’t listen to them. 🙂

Painting Class

Artistic talent runs in my family. My mother was a talented painter and wordsmith, my dad is excelling at watercolors and my children draw and paint and do graphic design and attend college at Columbia College Chicago for music and photography. While I’ve always had a certain affinity for textiles, part of me has always wanted to paint. Specifically, I want to paint luscious landscapes with oils. I figured that I first had to learn the basics, so I signed up for a painting class at Magdalena Gallery of Arts in the Carmel Arts and Design District. What an lovely place! I am having so much fun. Two of the other artists are my age and are very talented, but they swear that they started off just like me. The other student is a young lady who is benefitting from hearing all the ‘women’s talk.’ Got me to thinking about the book The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and how as women we should consider it our sacred role to share with the younger generation what it means to be a woman. But I digress!!

Here is what I did the first week in class.painting class 1-2013 003

I was secretly very pleased when Magdalena told me that I was very good at drawing!! I couldn’t do an exact drawing, so I aimed for the ‘feel’ of the flowers. In the second week I started painting the flowers, and although they arn’t terrible, they don’t look the way I imagine it in my head. Of course, I’m not finished with the painting, yet.

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What is really the best part of painting is not the finished product, but the ‘flow.’ My personal initiative for 2013 is to be in The Flow whenever possible, whatever I’m doing. I want to be so engrossed, and thus fulfilled, by what I’m doing that I lose myself in the activity and get in The Flow. Of course, what I really want is for my rose to look like this.

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Maybe someday I will be able to paint the cover image for one of my books! I just have to keep reminding myself to enjoy the process, because we are never finished.

Thai Green Curry

I love watching Food Network, or as my husband calls it, Food Porn. I think cooking is a creative activity and I like getting ideas for new dishes, how to use spices and seeing the fabulous kitchens and gadgets they use. My favorites are Ina Garten also know as The Barefoot Contessa, Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman), and Giada Di Laurentiis (my husband likes her, too, which may be due entirely to her clevage. This also contributes to the ‘food porn’ remark, I think!)

The problem with cooking at my house is that we are a thoroughly modern family in our eating habits. When the kids are home we have two vegetarians, a meat and potatoes lover and a no-carb eater. So when I make a meal, I have to be able to serve it multiple ways to avoid making three different things. I’m actually considering a cookbook on the matter – someday in my spare time, ha!

The other night I made Thai Green Curry. I soooo love Thai green curry that I could probably just drink the curry sauce on its own. I’m sure it is because of the full-fat coconut milk – which is actually on the no-carb diet!

These are the ingredients.

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I know this picture is out of focus, but I don’t have a very good camera. At least that’s my excuse. When I actually do work on the cookbook, I’ll have my daughter, the professional photographer, take the pictures.

This is the finished dish for the vegetarians. Lots of brown rice, but no pork!

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This is the no-carb version for me! No brown rice, but roasted califlower instead, and lots of pork. Yum!

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I don’t have a picture of the meat and carb version for my son as he was working late at The Butcher Shop!!!

Here are tentative titles for my cookbook – “Feeding the Modern Family – Carnivore, Omnivore, Vegetarian and sometimes Vegan”, or “Cooking for the Modern Family….” What do you think? Would you buy it?