Teaching Materials…


I mentioned FOREVER ago that I created some teaching materials that went along with Edge of Extinction, and they can now be found over at the Harper Stacks website!


Go check it out! And feel free to use, crop, edit, share, and bedazzle it to your heart’s content.


Book Launch!

There are three things you need to know before reading this post.

  1. My mom throws fabulous parties. She stresses about them for months before hand, gives pinterest a workout, and ultimately ends up with a show-stopping event that she will immediately credit to other people. She is wonderful.
  2. I asked my mom to throw this party. However, I asked her six years ago. I was nowhere NEAR having a book published. It was still a dream at that point, but I remember being on the phone whining and griping (in the way one only can to one’s mother) about a recent rejection, and I said. “Mom. If I ever do get a book published. I want to throw a party. A big one.” She remembered. And six years later. She and my dad threw me one heck of a book launch.
  3. This post has about a million pictures. You’ve been warned.

Now that that’s out of the way, back to the Book Launch Party!

How to Throw a fabulousbook launch

The theme was obviously going to be dinosaurs, but there is a fine line between dinosaur book launch and little boy’s dinosaur birthday party. I think we hit the nail on the head though!

We held the launch at my parent’s house, and it was the perfect backdrop for Edge’s launch! (I think Ivan would have felt at home here? Don’t you?)


As our visitors arrived they were greeted by this sign…


Some strategically place dinosaur bones…


And this toothy wreath!


The fun didn’t stop on the front porch though! Inside guests was met by this handsome girl!



Everyone thought we rented an animatronic dinosaur for the event, but this was actually a toy my cousin Jenna had stored in her garage. WHAT?! I know! Who has dinosaurs stored in their garage?! My family apparently!

She was even cooler in person, moving her head and horns around, opening her mouth, making dinosaur noises.

I tried to buy it off my cousin.

She said no.

I don’t blame her.

But could you imagine the look on peoples’ faces if I hauled a three foot dinosaur into bookstores for book signings? #priceless

Moving on. We had a table set up with my recent reviews as well as the blown up cover of my book.


I’m biased. But I think the cover is even prettier three feet tall. Eric Deschamps really outdid himself on this one!

Inside we had an author’s table set up for me to sign books.



My mom also bought a TON of books in case our visitors decided they wanted to buy any extras as gifts for friends, neighbors, the mailman, the mailman’s cousin…you get the idea. She was prepared!


The good news is that we sold them all! Yippee!!!

And then there was the food. OH the food.


We may have gone a little overboard.


I’ve seen weddings with less food. My cousin Jeff’s restaurant catered the big stuff for us, and if anyone went home hungry they just weren’t trying hard enough…


I was so busy signing and talking and hugging all the wonderful people who came that I never really got to eat much of it!  Which was okay, because I got to take home the leftovers!

My Aunt Cathy carved up the watermelon T-Rex. Amazing.



And the desert table was enough to make any kid flip.





There were dinosaurs decorating Every. Single. Surface.


Beware the Megapnosaurus guarding the fruit tray!


Do you recognize the handsome guy in the middle from my cover?


Mmmmmm Dino Droppings…..


I also have to mention the dirt cups because they don’t show up very well on the desert table. But they were one of my favorite things there.



Well, actually, that’s a lie. My favorite thing at the party was the people who drove HOURS and HOURS to be there to celebrate the realization of a life long dream. Friends and family came and bought stacks of books. I got hugged and congratulated and hugged some more.



DSC01314(Did you spot the Edge of Extinction T-shirts?  My dad also made mugs! He was all for putting the cover on everything from a golf shirt to coasters, but we had to reign him in. I mean, my husband loves me, but I don’t think even he would wear a huge book cover on his back while golfing!)


Some of my old colleagues from Clay Middle School even made the drive up to see me…wearing…get this…pins with my face on them. My mom promptly stole one and wore it for the rest of the night.


Fun fact…the only guy in the picture is the ORIGINAL Todd. I totally stole his name while working on the book with every intention of changing it later on…but then I got attached and it stuck. I waited until the book was two days from being published to mention it to him though. Whoops!


Speaking of teachers…if you read the acknowledgements page I posted on here recently, you may have noticed that I mentioned my high school English teacher. Well he and his wife made the hike to come to the party! It just goes to show the impact one phenomenal teacher can make. I was blessed to be taught by an entire fleet of phenomenal teachers...a fact I am incredibly thankful for.


The other surprise of the night was when my girlfriends from high school all showed up! Each of them had told me they weren’t going to be able to make it…and I believed them! They all have kids and the general chaos that comes from this season of life. But they made it happen, and on top of that, they spent the night so I was able to laugh and talk to them until it was WAY past our bedtimes. Seriously the best.



My best –known me since third grade and likes me anyways– friend Allison tried the same trick- telling me she couldn’t make it when she really planned on coming- but I knew her too well and she wasn’t able to pull it off. That didn’t change the fact that I was SO grateful that she flew all the way from Colorado with her two kids to be here for the party. You caught that part about flying by herself with two kids right? Because that makes her either a rockstar or insane. I’m going to go with rockstar.


Speaking of rockstars…


These beautiful ladies were my mom’s partners in crime when it came to getting this party set up. They moved picture frames, adjusted dinosaurs, carved watermelons, and generally helped my mom in the way I used to be able to before I had two children and became more of a hindrance than a help.

This whole thing wouldn’t have happened though without these two amazing people.


Let me introduce you to my parents. They are just the best and I can’t even begin to thank them for everything they’ve been and done for me. I attempted to do it in my acknowledgements, but I don’t think I did them justice. And even though my mom was the brain child and the hustle behind this party, my dad did MORE than his fair share of the work getting the house into shape, running errands, and even picking up the dinosaur eggs (donuts) the morning of the event, and surprising a certain two year old with her very own blueberry donut. Ever since we started reading If You Give A Dog A Donut at bedtime, the girl has been obsessed.

On a side note, a party goer also sent me this picture after the party was over. When did my dad become a pushover about sweets?

My husband also wrangled BOTH kids all afternoon, and they did not make it easy on him. He deserved an award when it was all over. (No pictures of that dapper dude though. He prefers to remain mysterious on the blog front!)

If all of this party hoopla wasn’t enough, people even brought me gifts! Can you believe it!????


They would hand me things in baggies and boxes and say something like, “We didn’t know what to get someone for a book launch!” My answer was “YOU GET THEM NOTHING!” The gift was that you BOUGHT MY BOOK and you CAME! THAT is the gift. Still, everyone’s generosity amazed, overwhelmed, and touched me deeply.

I am so blessed to be so well loved by so many amazing people.

So there you have it. A book launch like no other! Now I’m off to my kitchen. Those left overs aren’t going to eat themselves!

Plus a certain two year old also already tucked the T-Rex in for the night…so my job here is done!

How to Throw a fabulousbook launch-2