“The Dead of Summer” is Available now!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00002]

“Adults insist that you never completely remember your childhood. They say that as the years pass by, those little details that once captured your undivided attention become fuzzy around the edges. As time marches on, the sharp memories start crinkling up like a piece of newspaper burning in a campfire; first you can just make out the sentences, and then, the white hot fire laps at the pages, blurring them and obscuring the actual words. Until all that you are left with is a fine white ash and the vague memories of what used to be. As long as I’m breathing, I know I will never forget my sixteenth summer. It’s been years, but that summer is etched finely in my memory. That was the summer I finally kissed a boy, found the body in the basement, and discovered that keeping secrets just might kill you. And believe me, that isn’t something you forget too easily, no matter how hard you try. And I sure as hell have tried.”

Funny and charmingly awkward Kennedy Ryan is sixteen years old with a dominating (and gorgeous) best friend, a mother who won’t leave the house, and a crush on Carson, the mysterious new boy in town. Her life is totally normal…or so she keeps telling herself until her mother begins acting strangely, or at least more strangely than usual.When Kennedy stumbles upon a dead body hidden in the basement, she enlists Carson’s help to solve the mystery and it’s sayonara normalcy, and quite possibly goodbye to everything she knows.

Check out “The Dead of Summer” for Kindle or paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Dead-Summer-Heather-Balog-ebook/dp/B012BBZBAO

Being the “Okay-est” Mom

This is the first blog post I’ve written in over a month…probably closer to two months. Believe me, I’m not happy about that. I enjoy writing the blog…it gives me an outlet to bitch and moan….if you know me personally, you know I love to bitch and moan. And the fact that I haven’t blogged has not escaped the attention of several people, including my 14 year old. Apparently he likes to read about me bashing his father or complaining about his sister…who knew? Just this morning I was complaining to the hubs about something or other and he says to me, “Why don’t you just blog about it?” When I told him I haven’t had time to blog, he said, “Blog about why.”
So here I am. I’m going to tell you why I’ve been too busy to entertain the masses with stupid stories about my family. I’ve been busy…being “okay”. What the hell does that even mean…is that what you’re wondering? It means, I have so much going on right now, so much on my plate, so many responsibilities, that I’m not doing any of them well. I’m just “okay”.
I’m doing what I need to do to not drown in laundry or dishes, but I’m never caught up. There isn’t poop on the toilet seat, but I’m pretty sure that wet spot I just stepped in on the bathroom floor is pee. We have food in the house, but a lot of that food is canned goods and cereal. And God knows when the last time they took their vitamins was. I’m making sure my kids are fed and go to bed at night, but I haven’t had time to just spend time with them or do anything fun with them. I’m writing, but the at the bare minimum…just enough to say I haven’t quit altogether. I’ve got a book coming out next week, and I should be working on a successful release. Instead, I find myself never having time to get on the computer and work the social media channels like I should be. A tweet every couple days is all I can remember to do. I make a point to spend ten or fifteen minutes with the hubby at night…enough to stave off a divorce, but that’s it. I’m too tired for TV or talk and I want to go to bed. I’ve been going to work and doing my job…but I want to do so much more there to catch up, and I just run out of time everyday. Because I have to run home and half heartedly prepare dinner or pull out the takeout menu again. And I want to run over to my sister’s house and help her with her newborn or her other three kids…but I don’t do that as much as I like. And I try to take care of myself. I’ve been working out, but only enough to not gain a bazillion pounds from the stress eating I’m doing….not enough to reach any goals I’ve set for myself. I still get my manicure and pedicure…but I’ve been stretching it to a month. Hell, I went three days without shaving last week. When does that slowly become three days without showering???
The dog needs grooming and the newly painted office needs touch ups and organizing. I should text my friend back…she texted me two days ago. My daughter has been on me to paint her desk that we bought six months ago and to buy her pants to replace the ones she outgrew. I want to check my son’s grades onLine and make sure he’s doing well in high school. I should call my mother in law and she if she wants to go to the store or catch her up on the what the kids have been doing. Oh, and the school pictures that came in…I should give them to people. But I probably won’t until I hastily send out my Christmas cards (three days before Christmas). Today I was off from work and all I wanted to do was lie in bed till 9:00, but I couldn’t. That’s a waste of time when I have so much to do. And you all know. There’s. Just. Never. Enough. Time. There’s only one of me and too many hats to wear.
I don’t think I’m alone. I used to pride myself on being that Supermom that could do it all and hold it together, while laughing at moms who fell apart. But that was when my kids were like three months old. And it was definitely wrong thinking. Because we all fall apart at the seams at one point or another. We have so much responsibility…both real and self imposed…that we just cannot do it all. We need to realize that, right? Stop beating ourselves up for being “okay”? Stop striving for an A+ in everything and barely squeaking by with a C? I probably won’t ever be able to accept that, though, and I’m pretty sure most moms go to their grave wishing they could have been better at something, better at everything. I can’t explain it…I just never feel like I’ve been enough. I want to be an A+ mom and wife and school nurse and writer and sister and friend…the list goes on and on. But I have to pick one at a time to work on, because I’m spreading myself too thin for it all. And then what suffers? I don’t want any of those things to suffer? I’lI probably never know the answer to this, or how to make it all work. And I will have to be okay with just being “okay”.

I know I have been neglectful to my blog….but…I have a good reason. Not only have I been hard at work on the 3rd Amy Maxwell book, I have finished editing “The Dead of Summer” and have been notified by Kindle Press that it will be released next Tuesday, September 29! if you were among the kindle Scouts who nominated the novel, you should have received your free copy…I’d love if you would leave a review on the Amazon page.

If you weren’t one of the lucky ones who got a free copy, you can pre-order the novel by following this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Summer-Heather-Balog-ebook/dp/B012BBZBAO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00002]

Check out this excerpt from “The Dead of Summer”:

“Adults insist that you never completely remember your childhood. They say that as the years pass by, those little details that once captured your undivided attention become fuzzy around the edges. As time marches on, the sharp memories start crinkling up like a piece of newspaper burning in a campfire; first you can just make out the sentences, and then, the white hot fire laps at the pages, blurring them and obscuring the actual words. Until all that you are left with is a fine white ash and the vague memories of what used to be.

As long as I’m breathing, I know I will never forget my sixteenth summer. It’s been years, but that summer is etched finely in my memory. That was the summer I finally kissed a boy, found the body in the basement, and discovered that keeping secrets just might kill you. And believe me, that isn’t something you forget too easily, no matter how hard you try. And I sure as hell have tried.

My sixteenth summer was a strange time in Novella, South Carolina. When that first honeysuckle bloomed in early June, we were sure as hell done with summer already that year. For some reason, it had been unseasonably warm for nearly three months, the moon had been unnaturally full, and the events of that time inexplicably crazy, making me remember it even more. It was the summer that Shayla Wilson’s daddy discovered that she had been the one who was been stealing the cold cuts from his grocery store and giving them to the homeless couple that lived in the back alley. The day after that, Mrs. Busby’s (or aka Mrs. Busybody’s) barn burned down and her cows were discovered completely unscathed three miles down the road. And that all happened after the thirty-something-year-old principal of my high school ran off with Mrs. Nelson, the married sixty-five-year-old chemistry teacher. But none of that was what changed my life.

It was a blistering hot day in June when I was pretty sure my life trajectory had been altered forever. That was the day I met him. Him was Carson Tyler, and I truly believe that if I had not met him, had he not breezed into our quaint little town, my life would have taken a totally different path from that point on. Better or worse, I’ll never know, but one thing is for certain; Carson Tyler’s arrival set into motion the events that would change me forever. He was like that first domino that falls, causing all the other dominoes that are perfectly lined up to come crashing down in rapid succession.”