10.13.14 imageOctober is my favorite month of the year because it’s festival season! What is there to celebrate this month?

1. I’m an October baby. Next week I turn fabulous 50 and hope to have 50 more years to write stories, ride horses, and love life. (My mom and mother-in-law both bake a birthday cake for me every year. One is always pound cake with chocolate icing; the other is an apple cake. Yum!)

2. Last week, I participated in the first annual Virginia Children’s Book Festival at Longwood University in Farmville. What a great mix of authors and illustrators and families, all coming together in Southside Virginia.

3. This Thursday Richmond Public Library, Main Branch, will host TEEN ‘14 bringing together 16 Virginia YA authors, 1 high school marching band, and YOU! This is a free, fun event with lots of door prizes. If you’re near RVA come on out!

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08.06.14 imageLook what arrived in the mail! Advance Reading Copies of Dante of the Maury River (Spring 2015). I loved writing this off-track Thoroughbred. One of my favorite characters!

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07.03.2014 imageHappy Independence Day! If you’re not already here in my town - Richmond, VA - you will just have to plan to celebrate the 4th of July here next year in the NUMBER ONE place in the U.S. to celebrate the July 4th! No lie, check it out. I love July - fresh produce, cool river, and a host of fun events going on including: From Mat to Page at Project Yoga Richmond with Dana Walters on 7/19 and Inside the Writer’s Studio with Lamar Giles on 7/26 in Hopewell. Come join us!

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06.16.14 Girls of Summer 2014 A girl band, ice cream, and 20 amazing books for amazing girls. At the library! What better way to kick off summer reading? Join Meg Medina and me with special guest author, Hannah Barnaby, this Wednesday, 6/18, 7 pm for our 4th Annual Girls of Summer book party! Details below:

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#WeNeedDiverse books because our Earth and all her people are beautiful!

#WeNeedDiverse books because our Earth and all her people are beautiful!

03.17.2014 Last December I had the chance to participate in TEDxRVA Women with some amazing women! My talk combined two passions: the James River and writing with middle school students. Thank you, TEDxRVA for a transforming experience!

11.15.2013 I ♥ Middleburg, VA! Last night my daughter and I drove up to Loudon County for a Macadoo book talk. So many smart, curious readers! We discussed writing and revising, our favorite fonts, “research” (aka riding), and the many reasons to love horses. The best part? A beautiful handmade gift! Chelsea made me my first rainbow loom bracelet - a white one to remind me of good memories of My Sweet Albert. I will always remember Albert and YOU, Chelsea. Thanks to Gum Spring Library, Second Chapter Books, and everyone who came out for an amazing night!

Here’s my rainbow loom bracelet. It glows in the dark!

My dear friend, Albert and me. A few years ago, when he still had both eyes.

11.14.2013 Just thinking about our little pit, Cola, who is no longer w/ us. Man oh man, what a honey. Whenever I’d roll out my #yoga mat, she was right there. We loved #savasana together!

image10.13.2013 We’re just back from a whirlwind of trip to the Southern Festival of Books, where I spoke to audience of readers and writers of all ages - poets, picture book writers, diarists. They were a fantastic group and made me feel so welcome in Nashville.

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If you’re in my hometown, Richmond VA, this week you don’t want to miss the Virginia Literary Festival. There’s so much to choose from! One festival event that I hope you’ll check out is TEEN ‘13, a celebration of new middle grade and young adult books by seventeen Virginia authors.

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