I've always been a writer, I have just never admitted it to myself because I thought it was implausible... after all, who would want to read anything I'd written? Then people started telling me that I should be a writer... and I waved them off because it still seemed implausible. But people kept telling me that I should write and it started to sink in. Eventually I realized that I do love to write, and whether I make a living at it or not, I am a writer. For all my creativity I can be very left-brained at times (and a little slow on the uptake).

I am a simple girl who would like a simple life. In fact, I think I would be happiest in a small town. I make new friends continually, but some of my friends have been with me since grade school. My best friend is also my cousin, we've known each other our whole lives so she understands me like no one else does. I keep to myself a lot, as most writers seem to do, but I also enjoy getting out. Mostly I enjoy low-key get togethers, so you won't usually find me at a bar, unless it's the local watering hole (and even then, only rarely).

I'm not very worldly. I live about twenty miles from the hospital where I was born. I took my first international trip six years ago after I decided that I would never make it to Ireland if I kept making excuses. So now I take big trips every other year: my second was to Scotland, my third will take me back to Scotland, and I am considering Greece in 2011 (budget permitting). I love to travel. I love the history and the people and the experience of it. I love the change in scenery and I love the freedom.

I started writing this story on March 30, 2009 and finished on July 2nd. I'm still editing. I'll edit until I get an agent and they tell me to stop. And then I'll re-read and wish I could change a couple more things. That's just the way I am.

To say it only took 92 days to write this book, though, would be a lie. Some of the ideas that I've used in the story first occurred to me when I was in high school; and I attempted to write a young adult version about five years ago. I think when the time is right, things happen. I had to mature, and most of all, I had to stop telling myself that I couldn't do it.

My creativity comes in spurts... I've written music and screenplays but never tried to sell them -- now I've written a novel, and that's the trifecta I was going for, only this time I want to add that final dimension, the publication. That said, whether this goes anywhere or not, I'm just proud to be able to say that I've written it.

I've been lucky to have had the support of friends and family throughout this process, and I dare say they've had more faith in me than I've had in myself. Thank you to my proofreaders: Jamie, Brian & Laura, Robin, Kirk, John C, Pencie, Mary, Casey, Robbie, Glorii, Luca, Greg, John T, Aaron, Aimee, and Mike M; and to my mom and dad who have encouraged me to do what makes me happy. And also thanks to Kimberlee and Mike L who have always been among the first to give me a thumbs up and offer encouragement when I update my Facebook status.


Random Facts

--  I'm terrified of mosquito-sprayer trucks... something about the sound they make makes me want to go hide in a corner

-- I wrap my bacon slices individually because I never use the whole package

--  I can purr, it freaks my cats out

--  I'm almost always right... almost... 

--  I don't like eggs unless they're in cake, or brownies, or something

--  I once dated the Easter Bunny

--  I like A-1 on my mashed potatoes

--  I got to play "76 Trombones" with a small group of my fellow highschool bandmates onstage at Jones Hall when John Davidson was in The Music Man. I still have 10 more minutes of fame coming to me...

--  I kissed the Blarney Stone

--  I got a marriage proposal on my first night in Kinvara, Ireland

--  An Olympic shooting medalist taught me how to shoot

--  I went to a Rockets game during their first championship season

--  I've tried on The Sorting Hat, I've been to the aquaduct Harry and Ron flew over in their car, and this year I'll be going to Hogwarts.

--  I'm the Queen High Mistress of the Universe

--  I start way more than I finish

--  I tiled the floor of my last house

My "Bucket List" -- A work in progress

  • Ride a horse
  • Skiing
  • Ice skating
  • Sleigh ride
  • Grand Canyon or any of the other national parks
  • Go to Maine
  • Take a windjammer cruise
  • Go to New York
  • See Niagra Falls
  • Go to South Carolina
  • Ride a train
  • Go to England
  • Go to Italy
  • Go to Greece
  • Go to Germany
  • Go to New Zealand
  • Go to Australia
  • Go to France
  • Take a helicopter ride
  • Ride in a hot air balloon
  • Go white water rafting
  • Build a house with Habitat for Humanity
  • Get Harley Quinn tattoo
  • Visit dude ranch
  • Pet a wolf
  • Parasailing
  • Canoing
  • Wine tour
  • Take a cruise
  • See the sequoias
  • Play golf
  • Go to Washington DC
  • Daytona
  • Kentucky Derby
  • Olympics
  • See Survivor Tree
  • Watch a shuttle launch
    Learn to make lotion
    Can something
    Make homemade ice cream

Some of my favorite books, not necessarily in order... (synopsis are from Barnes and Noble)

I've only read two books more than once... this is one of them. It's amazing how it can parallel real life... and unfortunate.

Orwell's final novel, 1984, is the story of one man's struggle against the ubiquitous, menacing state power (“Big Brother”) that tries to dictate nearly every aspect of human life. The novel is a classic in anti-utopian fiction, and a trenchant political satire that remains as relevant today as when it was first published.

The Stand is the only other book I've read more than once. For some reason I like apocalyptic stories.

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides -- or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail -- and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.

Dickens is possibly my favorite author and, except for A Christmas Carol, this is my favorite Dickens book

One of Dickens's best-loved and most personal novels, David Copperfield is the embodiment of Dickens's own boyhood experience recalling his employment as a child in a London warehouse.

 I don't know why, but this quote always stuck with me, and it's so true... "Everyone deserves an umbrella."

Through the story of the brilliant but conflicted young Raskolnikov and the murder he commits, Fyodor Dostoevsky explores the theme of redemption through suffering. Crime and Punishment put Dostoevsky at the forefront of Russian writers when it appeared in 1866 and is now one of the most famous and influential novels in world literature.

The poverty-stricken Raskolnikov, a talented student, devises a theory about extraordinary men being above the law, since in their brilliance they think “new thoughts” and so contribute to society. He then sets out to prove his theory by murdering a vile, cynical old pawnbroker and her sister. The act brings Raskolnikov into contact with his own buried conscience and with two characters — the deeply religious Sonia, who has endured great suffering, and Porfiry, the intelligent and discerning official who is charged with investigating the murder — both of whom compel Raskolnikov to feel the split in his nature. Dostoevsky provides readers with a suspenseful, penetrating psychological analysis that goes beyond the crime — which in the course of the novel demands drastic punishment — to reveal something about the human condition: The more we intellectualize, the more imprisoned we become.

This is another one of those novels that resonates with real life. Sometimes it gets a little flowery, but you will find yourself asking, "Who is John Galt?" Only thing off-putting about it is the postcard in the middle of the book asking you to join the Ayn Rand society...

"Who is John Galt?" is the immortal question posed at the beginning of Ayn Rand's masterpiece. The answer is the astonishing story of a man who said he would stop the motor of the world-and did. As passionate as it is profound, Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential novels of our time. In it, Rand dramatizes the main tenets of Objectivism, her philosophy of rational selfishness. She explores the ramifications of her radical thinking in a world that penalizes human intelligence and integrity. Part mystery, part thriller, part philosophical inquiry, part volatile love affair, Atlas Shrugged is the book that confirmed Ayn Rand as one of the most popular novelist and most respected thinkers of the 20th century.

Yes. I read it. And I really liked it. (but it was abridged)

The most famous—and perhaps greatest—novel of all time, Tolstoy’s War and Peace tells the story of five families struggling for survival during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.Among its many unforgettable characters is Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, a proud, dashing man who, despising the artifice of high society, joins the army to achieve glory.  Badly wounded at Austerlitz, he begins to discover the emptiness of everything to which he has devoted himself.  His death scene is considered one of the greatest passages in Russian literature. The novel's other hero, the bumbling Pierre Bezukhov, tries to find meaning in life through a series of philosophical systems that promise to resolve all questions. He at last discovers the Tolstoyan truth that wisdom is to be found not in systems but in the ordinary processes of daily life, especially in his marriage to the novel's most memorable heroine, Natasha. Both an intimate study of individual passions and an epic history of Russia and its people, War and Peace is nothing more or less than a complete portrait of human existence.

I love how she weaves all of her characters together, one at a time, creating this complex story that somehow pulls together in the end.

New York Times bestselling author Maeve Binchy has captured the hearts of millions with her unforgettable novels. Binchy's graceful storytelling and wise compassion have earned her the devotion of fans worldwide—and made her one of the most beloved authors of our time. Now she dazzles us once again with a new novel filled with her signature warmth, humor, and tender insight. A provocative tale of family heartbreak, friendship, and revelation,Tara Road explores every woman's fantasy: escape, into another place, another life. "What if..." Binchy asks, and answers in her most astonishing novel to date.

I love to read Pat Conroy, he has such an easy voice. This book, The Water is Wide, took me by surprise--I was prepared not to like it because I'm not much for autobiographies, but he's had such an interesting life that I read this one and My Losing Season, in addition to all his fictional works.

A young schoolteacher struggles to bring literacy and selfrespect to a black backwoods South Carolina school in this affecting work. An early, semiautobiographical novel by the author of THE LORDS OF DISCIPLINE and THE PRINCE OF TIDES Filmed, as CONRACK in 1974 by Martin Ritt with Jon Voight and Paul Winfield.

...I think we all know by now that I love Harry Potter... I will always be in awe of what JK Rowling has created with this series.

Orphaned as a baby, Harry Potter has spent 11 awful years living with his mean aunt, uncle, and cousin Dudley. But everything changes for Harry when an owl delivers a mysterious letter inviting him to attend a school for wizards. At this special school, Harry finds friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, as well as a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter.

I love Ayla and Jondalar, the author's take on prehistoric times is fascinating... I wish there was another book...

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves The Clan of the Cave Bear.

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly—she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

I was hooked after Wizard's First Rule, and I read them all the way to the end. I'm loving the television series, too -- Kahlan kicks ass. Eagerly looking forward to The Law of Nines.

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, Richard Cypher encounters a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, in his forest sanctuary. She seeks his help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

In their darkest hour, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword-to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed...or that their time has run out.

This is the beginning. One book. One rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

Twilight just drew me in, the series got better and better as it went.

About three things I was absolutely positive:
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him–and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be–that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife -- between desire and danger.

I picked this up because the design of the book itself was so interesting. I actually started with book 9, and found myself laughing at the freak who was ambidextrous... I was hooked.

Dear Reader, I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune. In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast. It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing. With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

The Confessions series is fun to read, she has a great sense of humor (haven't seen the movie, but I'm pretty sure it paled in comparison)

Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is that she can't actually afford it -- not any of it.

The books in this series are also fun, they toggle back and forth between modern day and the past, in addition to the mystery they're also humorous

This genre-bending read—a dash of chick-lit with a historical twist—has it all: romance, mystery, and adventure." —Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard's Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has found the secret history of the Pink Carnation—the most elusive spy of all time, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon's invasion. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, a wildly imaginative and highly adventurous debut, opens with the story of a modern-day heroine but soon becomes a book within a book. Eloise Kelly settles in to read the secret history hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation's identity, but before she can make this discovery, she uncovers a passionate romance within the pages of the secret history that almost threw off the course of world events. How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own?

These are just delightful, Artemis is such a fun character.

Artemis Fowl is a one of the greatest criminal minds the world has ever seen. He is heir to the Fowl family empire—a centuries old clan of international underworld figures and con artists. He is arguably the most cunning Fowl of all. He is also twelve years old. Artemis' interest in mythology and an obsession with the Internet leads him to discover proof of the existence of "The People"- otherwise known as fairies, sprites, leprechauns and trolls. He learns every fairy has a magical Book. If he can find the Book, it will lead him to "The People's" vast treasure of gold. With his brutish sidekick, Butler, he sets his plans in motion. Artemis tricks a drunken old fairy woman into loaning him her Book, a tiny golden volume, for thirty minutes. He scans it with a digital camera and emails it to his Mac G6 computer. Back in his mansion in Ireland, he is the first human to decode the secrets of the fairies. Artemis needs a leprechaun to help him with this plan. He and Butler hunt down Holly Short, a tough, female LEPrecon, part of a gung-ho Fairy commando unit, who is on a reconnaissance mission. He kidnaps her, and a major battle begins. It's satyr against gnome, man against elf, and for the first time in his life, Artemis must decide what he values most.

This was my first big vampire book, I didn't read past the fourth book, but the first one will always stick with me because it popularized vampires more than any other book since Dracula.

Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force–a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.

This book gave me chills at one point, I would say that it's in my top 5 vampire novels of all time

In this riveting debut of breathtaking scope, a young girl discovers her father's darkest secret and embarks on a harrowing journey across Europe to complete the quest he never could -- to find history's most legendary fiend -- Dracula. When a motherless American girl living in Europe finds a medieval book and a package of letters, all addressed ominously to "My dear and unfortunate successor..." she begins to unravel a thread that leads back to her father's past, his mentor's career, and an evil hidden in the depths of history. In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright -- a hunt that nearly brought her father to ruin and may have claimed the life of his adviser and dear friend, history professor Bartholomew Rossi. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler, the historical Dracula, have to do with the 20th century? Is it possible that Dracula has lived on in the modern world? And why have a select few historians risked reputation, sanity, and even their lives to learn the answer? So begins an epic journey to unlock the secrets of the strange medieval book, an adventure that will carry our heroine across Europe and into the past -- not only to the times of Vlad's heinous reign, but to the days when her mother was alive and her father was still a vibrant young scholar. In the end, she uncovers the startling fate of Rossi, and comes face to face with the definition of evil -- to find, ultimately, that good may not always triumph.

This was incredibly interesting because it's a fictionalized biography, I read it before I went to Scotland; it was really neat to be able to see where everything took place

She was a child crowned a queen....
A sinner hailed as a saint....
A lover denounced as a whore...
A woman murdered for her dreams...

I always learn something from his books because they span such a vast period of time in each country, but you don't realize you're learning because it's entertaining.

London presents the sweeping saga of one of the greatest cities on earth - from the days of the Romans through two thousand years of history - as seen through the eyes of generations of the same six families. London is both a unique narrative exploration of the city's development from humble trading post to the hub of a mighty empire, and the very human story of the men and women who made it great. Through the compelling lives and adventures of memorable characters - Julius, the small-time Roman coin forger, risking his life to find buried treasure; Dame Barnikel, who runs the tavern where Chaucer and his pilgrims carouse; Geoffrey Ducket, the founder of a dynasty whose members one day become peers of England; Edmund Meredith and the actors in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre; and little Lucy, living by Dickens's muddy Thames - we watch London grow from its first beginnings and become part of the wonderful pageant that flows on still today.

Sort of the female counterpart to some of Dickens' characters...

Orphaned at an early age, Jane Eyre leads a lonely life until she finds work as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets the mysterious Mr. Rochester and sees a ghostly woman who roams the halls by night. This is a story of passionate love, travail and final triumph. The relationship between the heroine and Mr. Rochester is only one episode, albeit the most important, in a detailed fictional autobiography in which the author transmuted her own experience into high art. In this work the plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, but possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage. She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order which circumscribes her life and position.

I love this story... I guess because he gets his revenge... I dunno.

The greatest tale of betrayal, adventure, and revenge ever written,The Count of Monte Cristo continues to dazzle readers with its thrilling and memorable scenes, including Dantès’s miraculous escape from prison, his amazing discovery of a vast hidden treasure, and his transformation into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo—a man whose astonishing thirst for vengeance is as cruel as it is just.

Last, but certainly not least, I couldn't put this one down. I'm not usually a fan of real people in fiction, but sometimes it works.

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.

The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.

Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian's exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society's belief that all killers are born, not made,could have unexpected and mortal consequences.