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Trenches, Teenagers, and Older Parents

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 | 0 comments

Trenches, Teenagers, and Older Parents

I wrote NOT YOUR EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE from the trenches. If you’ve been there, you’ll know what I’m talking about….does the word teenager make you shudder? My husband and I blended our families, his two, my three. At one point, we had four teenagers in the house. Four of them were girls. Can you say estrogen? There were a few years with three in college at the same time. My husband could give lessons on filling out FAFSA forms. With the blended family, came the exes. Some play nice, some are like my ex-husband. Ahem. Enough said. Mix in the visit from my mother where she tripped over her suitcase and fell into the door—the night before she was heading to California to stay with my brothers. I drove her to the ER at 3:00 a.m. where the doctor loaded her up with pain meds and said she’d broken her humerus. She spent the next month sleeping on the recliner in our living room with me on the couch. Two months later, after several trips to the physical therapist, my oldest brother flew in to escort her to California. Suitcases are now prohibited in her room. The night my mother fell into the door was also the night my middle daughter suffered a high fever and night sweats which resulted in a doctor visit the next morning, a pneumonia diagnosis and admission to the hospital. I spent the next four days between my mother in her recliner and my sixteen year old in a hospital bed. Despite my lack of sleep and horrible stress, I did not once suffer the migraines which plague me when I sleep too little and stress too much. God was indeed watching over me. Somewhere along the way, I wondered if I could disappear for a little while. Maybe come back in a day? Two? Even after dinner? I’d even fix dinner first. That’s when I got the idea for NOT YOUR EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE. Life happens. I didn’t run away, instead I ran into the book and wrote it for every woman who will read it and think of her own stories. By the way, the kids are grown, four out of college, self-supporting, and truly a pleasure. The last one is slowly making her way through college. She’s still a work in progress…maybe to get me all geared up in case I need to write a sequel! As for my mom, she’s visiting soon which means a few weeks of great cooking, baking, and reminiscing! And all I have to do is keep her...

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Ramona

Posted by on Aug 13, 2016 | 0 comments

Everyone knows Ramona Casherdon is a “tough cookie” who will do anything for her nephew, Cash. But when she thinks he’s jeopardizing the best thing that ever happened to him, she has a thing or two to say about it… What do you think of Ramona? Do you think she’ll ever find her own happiness or will she be too afraid to open up and let anyone in…you know….like the man she once loved all those years ago and maybe still loves? Guess we’ll have to wait it out and see. For now, Ramona’s no-nonsense, sensible attitude is needed in Magdalena. It doesn’t hurt that Pop and Not Your Everyday Housewife’s Tula Rae are determined to find out if the new woman in town is really who she says she...

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Next Release…A Family Affair: The Gift

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 | 0 comments

Hi Everyone: We’re six days from the long-awaited release of A Family Affair: The Gift and it’s driving me crazy not to talk about it! I’m trying very hard to be patient, but it’s not easy! For the next several days, I plan to share snippets from the new release as we wait for the 18th. There’s still time to pre-order on iBooks, Amazon, B&N, and Kobo. I also want to re-share the reading order of this series and the prequels that go with it. Look closely, because I snuck another book in there… Best,...

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It’s a Boy…It’s a Book

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 | 0 comments

I recently sent the post below to my newsletter subscribers. If you haven’t yet signed up, you’re missing the latest updates on what’s happening in my writing world. You can sign up here: marycampisi.com That’s it for now, but there’s definitely more to come! Have a great week! Mary It’s a Boy…It’s a Book Hi Everyone: This has been a busy, family-filled summer that included a family cruise and a new grandbaby. The cruise was my first ever and might sound like an interesting choice for someone who isn’t particularly fond of water, suffers motion sickness, and is definitely not a fan of hot weather. However, it was the perfect opportunity to spend time with our adult children, (minus the pregnant ones), with no interruptions like cell phones, computers, work, and all of the other daily intrusions. THAT’s why I chose a cruise. More on that in an upcoming blog. And the pregnant couple? Well, our new grandson is tiny and long, with big feet, a perfectly-shaped head, and a strong nose. (It’s a darling nose and he IS going to grow into it.) He’s a snuggler; the perfect remedy for stress reduction. As A Family Affair’s Harry Blacksworth says, “There is nothing like a child to show you the meaning of life.” Speaking of children…A Family Affair: The Gift is now available for pre-order on iBooks, Amazon, and B&N. Kobo will be available soon. Despite the “controlled” chaos in my life, I was able to move the release date of this book to August 18th!! More good news coming soon! On another note, did you know Charles Blacksworth wrote a letter to Nate Desantro that no-one has read yet? Yes, he certainly did. And remember Gloria’s notebook? Well, that’s going to re-surface soon because as we all know, if there’s not drama, it’s not Magdalena. One last comment: I recently had to re-load all of my books to iBooks and lost every single review. Every. Single. Review. This was beyond painful, but necessary. If you’ve read my books on iBooks, would you please consider rating and/or reviewing the books you’ve read? I know this is a huge “ask”, but it would help me tremendously. As always, thank you for your continued loyal readership. Best,...

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Making Pizzelles with Mom

Posted by on May 13, 2016 | 32 comments

If you’re interested in the recipe, it is as follows. The yield is anywhere from 4-5 dozen, depending upon the size of the pizzelles used. Ingredients: 6 eggs, beaten 1 1/2 cups (288g) granulated sugar 1 cup (220g) margarine, cooled (must be cooled) 2 tablespoons (30ml) vanilla extract (or anise) 3 1/2 cups (348g) all-purpose flour, sifted 4 teaspoons (15g) baking powder Directions: Gradually beat sugar into eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add margarine and vanilla; beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Gradually add to sugar mixture, mixing well after each addition. Drop by spoonful onto center of hot pizzelle iron. (If pizzelle iron is not nonstick, it will require a light brush of oil.) Bake for 22 seconds or until mixture no longer steams. Remove pizzelle with a fork onto a wire rack or wax paper to cool. Pop stores the cooled pizzelles in a shoe box lined with paper towels. His son, Tony, sends Pop plenty of new sneakers so there are always pizzelle boxes! Here’s a link to buy the pizzelle iron Mary...

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Coffee chat with Bette Lee Crosby

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 | 5 comments

I had the pleasure of “coffee and a chat with Bette Lee Crosby” the other day. We talked books, dogs, and of course, food. I’d like to share the post with you. Bette and I met through our mutual friend and fellow author, Christine Nolfi. Funny how the world works because Christine and I met at our local writers’ group and became friends before she moved out of the area. We connected again a few years after she moved when my husband and I visited South Carolina. It was probably one of the coldest and rainiest weeks on record but Christine showed us a place where they made the best peach cobbler!  It was worth the trip. Here’s the link to my conversation with Bette and as always I welcome questions: http://betteleecrosby.com/uncategorized/mary-campisi-cocktail-conversations/ On another note, this is a very exciting week. A Family Affair: The Wish releases on Thursday. Bree Kinkaid is finally going to get her happily-ever-after with Adam Brandon (from Paradise Found, That Second Chance series), but it’s not going to be quick or easy. You won’t want to miss the fireworks as one of Magdalena’s favorites meets Mr. West Coast. Should I mention he’s handsome, intelligent, wealthy, and an all-around good guy? (Oh, but he has a broken heart…forgot about that.) Guess that makes him a wounded hero in need of a second chance, and we all know Magdalena’s just the place for second chances. And I know many of you have no time or patience for the “bad girl” of Magdalena, Natalie Servetti. She’s done her share of wrong and worse than wrong, including almost breaking up Nate and Christine Desantro. But those of you who read A Family Affair: The Secret know she’s trying to right her past misdeeds, and now she’s met a man who might just give her a chance at happily-ever-after. Will her past destroy that chance or will love indeed conquer all? BONUS MATERIAL: Included with this e-book is an excerpt from Not Your Everyday Housewife, That Second Chance series, Book 5. It is also a prequel to A Family Affair: The Gift If you want to make sure you get your copy asap, there is still time to preorder: I hope you enjoy “coffee and a chat with Bette Lee Crosby” and I’ll see you in Magdalena....

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I’m a Packrat

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 | 1 comment

I’m a packrat, no question on that one. Old notebooks, birthday cards, letters, all contain a past that stirs my brain to remember. This past January, the day after I released my latest book, I began cleaning out my office. Imagine stacks of notebooks, letters, cards, and photos scattered about. Some may call it a mess, but I call it my “safe haven”. There are also row after row of books lining shelves—I’m a writer, and of course, a reader. As I worked my way through the first bookshelf, I came across a beautiful gold floral journal my middle daughter bought me for Christmas one year. I remember requesting such a journal because I wanted to write my thoughts, goals, and dreams in it. I opened the book and fell back to my life in 2009 when I was struggling to find my readers and hadn’t yet learned to trust my gut when writing. It was a difficult and painful time; one I don’t ever want to repeat! 4/1/2009 Yesterday’s heartbreaking rejection made me realize it’s time to get this out—put the negative thoughts and the bad karma on paper so my mind is clear and maybe, just maybe I’ll push past this slump and find the joy of writing again. If I couldn’t write, didn’t care about writing, didn’t need to write, it would be so much simpler.  And that’s the problem. Would I feel this emergency if I were 25? 35? There was a time when I wrote for the love of the story, but the pain of rejection has smothered me. The “noise” of distractions makes me second guess myself and I am miserable. Today, I will push on and finish my synopsis—then I will work on a new story—then a game plan. There is no won’t or can’t—only I will. I will publish—I will write my best book ever. I will do this! That was seven years ago. I never gave up or stopped believing I would find people who wanted to read my books. It would take a few more years and tens of thousands of words, but I found them! A Family Affair has had millions of downloads. Thank you, to all of my readers for choosing to spend time with my work. I am forever grateful. And note, sometimes being a packrat is a good thing! Best,...

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What do you mean, there’s no mall? Finding wealth in small town life.

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 | 0 comments

What do you mean, there’s no mall? Finding wealth in small town life.

As a reader, I’m always curious about what drove the writer to pen a certain book. A story in a newspaper? A real life experience that spun imagination and possibility in ten different directions to create a tale? An emotion? It could be any or all of these things. Or none of them. I write quite a bit about small town life, and there’s a reason for that. It’s where I grew up, learned about people and relationships, and it’s often home base for my stories. I grew up in a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania and the title of this blog, What do you mean, there’s no mall? Finding wealth in small town life, is dead on. There were four of us kids, my two older brothers, me, and my younger sister—all of us born within 5 ½ years. There were no McDonalds in our town, no malls, no fancy movie theaters. I used to walk over a mile to school every day, (yes, I really did!) Time was filled with snippets of everyday life; weeding the flower beds and vegetable garden by hand and getting snail guts under my nails, holding the flashlight while my brothers caught night crawlers, helping my mother bake bread or hang sheets on the line so they could “catch the fresh air”. Huddling with my sister in bed on Easter Sunday before Mass and gorging on a milk chocolate baby doll, planting a maple tree—my maple tree—with my father in our back yard, listening to my grandmother speak in broken English as she told stories of being a young girl in Italy and coming to America. Getting ready to go out on Saturday night and fighting over one shower and one hairdryer between the four of us… Today, my brothers and sister and I live hundreds of miles away from that little town in Pennsylvania, but it is still part of us, it will always be part of us, because that’s where we learned the true meaning of family and friendship, and the importance of honoring your word. And so, when I decided to write about small-town life and its people with their traditions and values, I thought about my world as a child and as an adult and what was important then, and now. Family, community, hope, second chances. I also thought about “real wealth” and what that means. Is it a balanced stock portfolio and a seven-figure income? Or is it more elusive …intangible…something that cannot be measured or identified or even…understood? Is real wealth that, which reaches out to us, touches our hearts, our souls, filling us yet leaving us longing for more? Is it a fall morning, crisp and clear, with the tip of frost covering green, … a smile, full and honest… a tradition handed down… a string of memories planted with a maple tree… I hope you join me as I continue the journey to small-town life with my books....

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What is the suggested reading order for your series?

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 | 4 comments

Note: The iPhone backgrounds do not contain the series reading order. They are just a bonus supplement. Finally! A reading order that blends the Truth in Lies and That Second Chance series.  I’ve talked to many readers who don’t understand how the series fit together. It only seemed appropriate that I explain: I was so excited about sending characters from That Second Chance series to Magdalena in Truth in Lies, that I didn’t think about the order in which they should appear or how it might confuse readers and make them skip the experience altogether. But a few conversations with my engineer-brained husband made me realize that a suggested reading order was necessary.  So, I commissioned a graphic that shows how the two series mesh. This is the first of two. I’ve made it available in a high-quality, print PDF and wallpapers that will fit both your desktop and mobile devices. They’re my gift to those of who tell me on a daily basis how much you truly love Magdalena (and maybe want to live there.) It took some time and quite a bit of thought, but I’m pleased with the outcome and hope you will be too. Happy Reading, and I’ll see you in Magdalena! Mary  ...

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Charles’s Final Letter to Miriam

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 | 18 comments

Click play to view Charles’s letter to Miriam. It’s best viewed in “full screen” mode. Did you enjoy Don’s narration as Charles Blacksworth? Then we think you’d enjoy the audiobooks he’s recorded for Mary…   Buy the Betrayed Trilogy Audiobook:         Buy A Family Affair:...

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