Where in the World?

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I’ve posted on this blog.  It doesn’t seem possible.  I’ve been away for 365 days, 8,765 hours, 525,600 minutes  and 31,536,000 seconds. (Oh great. Now I can’t get that song from the musical Rent out of my head). Needless to say, that’s a lot of time.  So, I’ve thought long and hard about what I can say regarding my very long absence. Where have I been?  What have I been up to? And, to make things interesting I thought it would be fun to come up with a “Top Ten” list of reasons why I’ve been missing in action. So here goes:

Top Ten Reasons why Erin was MIA

10. She was crowned Miss America and was under contract to go on a year-long worldwide tour.

9. She went through the stones in Scotland and has been shacked up with a red-headed 18th century Scotsman.

8. She took a wrong turn while driving home when her GPS malfunctioned and somehow wound up on an episode of Naked and Afraid.

7.  She’s been hanging out with her BFF, Kim Kardashian, in Los Angeles.

6. She won the Mega Millions and bought herself a castle in Tuscany.

5.  She joined Soul Cycling and actually cycled herself to death.

4. She thought it would be fun if people started asking the question: Where in the World is Erin Brady?

3. She’s gone into the Witness Protection Program, has assumed a new identity and now goes by the name of Eunice Poppers.

2. She’s been trapped in a Red Room with Mr. Grey and lost the keys to the handcuffs.

1.  She has a new job as a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream taster and moved to a remote part of Vermont.

Of course, none of the above are true (as much as I wish #9 was…sigh) and I’m obviously not that Erin Brady (aka Miss America) even though it would be amazing to look like that in a bikini. Sadly, the truth is much more boring than any of the items on my list. The truth is I’ve been writing and writing and then, writing some more. And, in between, I’ve been taking much needed time off to spend with family and friends.

It’s true what they say about time flying when you’re having fun because I really have been enjoying my life while creating new characters who find themselves in crazy predicaments along the way. And now I’m happy to report that I’m back and better than ever! With that said, I’m announcing the release of my newest book, The Dog Walker. I have to tell you I’ve had so much fun writing the storyline to this novel along with my friend and co-author Gina McBride. The idea came to us while we were on a writing retreat in New York City with another author, Sarah Price. Many of the scenes in the book are based on events that happened that very weekend. Events so hysterical and outlandish, we decided to put the words to paper and share the craziness of those two days with others.  And so, after a year of writing (and daydreaming of #9 on my list), I’m thrilled to report that The Dog Walker is set to release on February 6th. I hope you feel compelled to check it out because if there’s one thing I can promise, it’s that it will make you laugh out loud.  And can’t we all use a little laughter in our lives?  If the past year’s sabbatical has taught me anything, it’s that we all do!

Available on

Amazon

 

Erin

Into the Amish

IntotheAmish_Ebook1 (1)

Cover courtesy of Littera Designs

Did you ever feel an overwhelming urge to escape?  To disappear somewhere and, along with you, all of your worries?  I have … many, many times, in fact.  I have always pictured my escape this way: I’d walk right out of my office at work, down the elevator, onto the sidewalk, hail a cab, head for the airport and take the next flight to a remote island; an island with plenty of sun, a warm breeze, a soft, long beach lined with palm trees and no Wi-Fi (well, maybe Wi-Fi. I do need to read and follow my favorite celebrity tweets, after all!).  Or, better yet, I’d fly over to Scotland and find a circle of standing stones, twirl at its center and hopefully land somewhere in the 18th century with a handsome Highlander (can you tell I’ve been watching too many episodes of Outlander?).  Of course, the urge will pass quickly and I’ll realize what a blessed life I have and I won’t catch that flight (sigh … Jaime will have to exist only in my dreams), but you get the idea. 

Sometimes, life can be so overwhelming that you feel the need to get away from it all, if only for five minutes, an hour, a day or sometimes, even longer. 

That is exactly the predicament the main character of my latest novel, “Into the Amish,” finds herself in.  On the surface, Emily Lawson seems to have it all: the perfect job, the perfect apartment and of course, the perfect boyfriend.  But, as we know all too well (especially if you’ve read or seen enough romantic comedies), not everything is ever as it seems.  For Emily, life takes an unexpected turn and it throws her into turmoil.  Gone is the perfect world she thought she was living in. She feels lost and confused.  If only she could find a quiet place to gather her thoughts and work out her problems?  Cue in a very helpful mother, a trip to Lancaster, some long-lost Amish cousins and voila: you have a story.  A story I hope you’ll enjoy because, in all honesty, this book was incredibly fun to write and for so many reasons! 

First, I really was able to identify with Emily’s predicaments.  Life is messy and, sometimes, we need a time out from it.   And yes, it’s okay to not always know where we are  heading. After all, we don’t always have everything figured out and sometimes, the voyage is more important than the final destination. Second, while I may be a city girl, I do have a little bit of country in me. Perhaps even more than just a little bit. In fact, didn’t I grow up spending most of my summers living among the cows and the chickens and absolutely loving it?  These are the fondest memories of my childhood.  So, the fact that I was able to go back to my happy place while writing this book was an added bonus! 

Thirdly, I was able to find out so much about the Amish and learned such a great deal about these people, which I came to appreciate and admire through the eyes and life experiences of my co-author, that I had to share their story with you. Like me, you will love the closeness of the community and the strong ties of faith and family that are the core values they abide by in their daily lives. So much so that, just like me, you’ll be soon planning a visit  to Lancaster County yourself. 

But lastly, and most importantly, I had the opportunity to write this book with my good friend, Sarah Price, whom I adore. I’m not sure whether or not many of her fans realize what a wonderful sense of humor Sarah has.  She’s funny in a “laugh-out-loud, belly laugh” kind of way.  She has great comedic timing; so much so that bringing this story to life came much easier than any other book I’ve ever written.  We laughed so much in the months we spent collaborating with each other that I miss it now.  Hint, hint, Sarah … do I hear a sequel?

The book is available now on pre-order at Amazon.  I hope you check it out:

Into the Amish

All I Want for Christmas . . .

Yes, you heard me.  After weeks of running around in preparation of Christmas, I am bone-tired. I don’t have any energy left, and sigh, I still have one more day to go before the actual holiday!

I think I’ve logged in more hours than the elves who are making toys for the “big day” in the North Pole.  I’m definitely running on empty and I don’t have time for refueling.  You see, there are just too many things yet left to do (I seriously don’t know how Santa does it!)

It all starts right after Thanksgiving with the purchase of the Christmas tree.  From the moment I have it set up in my living room, it’s a non-stop flurry of activity.  It’s a frenzy of “to-do” lists.  From stringing up the lights (both in and out), to gathering my wayward children in their Sunday best to capture the “perfect” picture that screams Christmas (after hundred shots of silly faces and fidgety bodies, I give up), my day never ends. My nights are filled holiday parties, squeezing in as many “feel-good” Christmas movies to watch on television and the singing of the carols blaring on the radio 24/7.  And let’s not forget the buying of the Christmas presents.  Oh, how can I forget!  It haunts my dreams!

Every year, I promise I will be organized.  Every year, I put together a detailed list.  Every year, I am confident that I will buy my loved ones the ultimate gift that will make them shout out in glee, cry with happiness, and smother me in kisses.  And every year, I fail miserably.  I spend weeks ordering gifts on the internet, waiting patiently on those long lines at the mall, rushing out during my lunch hour at work to quickly pop into a store.   It’s a lot of pressure and I usually wind up taking two aspirins to keep the migraine headaches at bay.

Christmas is exhausting . . . and I’m not so sure I’m going to make it this year.  If I do, I will certainly be limping towards the finished line.  And after all of the presents are opened, and the tree is set out to the curb.  After all the cards are mailed and the caroling stops.  I will be looking forward to only one thing and it’s not my relatives popping in to say hello either. I’ll give you a hint.  It involves a pillow and a blanket and my eyes closed shut.  Yes, that’s right.  I will look forward to crawling into my warm, cozy bed and sleeping.  It’s all I want for Christmas.  Wake me up for the New Year!

Happy Holidays.

Erin