Getting Our New Son’s Visa in Guangzhou

The day before we were to head to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, the visa issuing system went down. Tech issues. Yep, seriously.

I put a call out on Facebook for positive visa system energy (maybe a first?!) and y’all complied! (Many thanks!)

I’m happy to report that all that positive energy worked! The visa system at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, was up and running this morning! We’re now back at our hotel, waiting for Yao’s passport with his U.S. Visa.

Wait! Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?!

Yes! Yes, it is.


Hong Kong or bust!!!

U.S. Consulate Ticket_Guangzhou

And finally…today’s math equation: Consulate + heat + humidity = sleeeeepy boy. (And one happy mama…)

Sleepy Boy After Consulate Appointment_Guangzhou

Authors Fair at Haverhill (Massachusetts) Public Library: Sat, August 16, 1-3pm: I’ll Be There

Near Haverhill, Massachusetts? If so, come on out this coming Saturday, August 16, from 1:00-3:00 for the Authors Fair! I’ll be there with THE ART OF FLOATING, along with many wonderful authors. Great fun ahead!

FLOATING in the Haverhill Library



Giveaway! Win the Audiobook Edition of THE ART OF FLOATING!

THE ART OF FLOATING_AudioGuess what, folks? June is Audiobook Month!

Time to celebrate! And to do so, I’m going to give away two—yes, two—audio editions of  THE ART OF FLOATING! (Yep, unabridged.)



Before I tell you how to enter the contest, I have a confession to make.


I have never listened to an audiobook. (Well, except for the fantabulous Skippyjon Jones series with my six-year-old. Skippyjon is hilarious!) But in honor of Audiobook Month, I’m going to take the opportunity to change this; I’ll be listening to an audiobook. (Suggestions?!)

Want to enter the giveaway? Here’s how:


(examples: your kiddo’s voice, a cow mooing, teapot whistling, the recycling guy in Shanghai calling out for electronics, etc.)

  1. leave your favorite sound as a comment right here on this blog entry

  2. tweet me about your favorite sound on Twitter (I’m @kbairokeeffe.)

  3. leave your favorite sound as a comment on my Facebook author page (Just click here.)


The giveaway will run from today (June 3) through midnight (EST) Friday, June 6, 2014.


  • This giveaway is international.
  • I’ll notify the winner via email or Tweet. Winners will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected. Please check your SPAM folder!
  • I’m not responsible for lost packages.



Plovers & Picnics at Awesome Book Club Gathering (aka Book Clubs Rock!)

So…I had an absolutely amazing discussion about The Art of Floating with a book club last Friday night. These women are serious…about books, reading, food, friendship, laughter & fun.

This book club has been meeting for years and years. The women read passionately and voraciously. They’re close friends who laugh and have a deep history that revolves around books, but includes so much more. At each meeting—for each book—they cook up a meal that matches the theme of the book in some way. (Last night’s was, appropriately, beachy food—chicken salad, mozzarella & tomato kebabs, wraps, coleslaw & more.)

The woman who hosted last night went all out. She made piping plovers (wee shore birds that figure prominently in The Art of Floating) from the pages of Homer’s The Odyssey (which also figures prominently).

I repeat: She made piping plovers from The Odyssey. See?

Plovers1 - Version 2

I was floored. I’m still floored. In addition, she printed out quotes I use in the book (those from the sign outside the Unitarian Church) and hung them around the room.

A few more fun pics for you!

UU signs3



Message of the Day: Book clubs rock!









Added 2 New Book Events in New England!

9780425271483_large_The Art of Floating_HIGH RESJust added two new events in New England bookstores:

  • Barnes & Noble in Newington/Portsmouth, NH (July 19)
  • Bestsellers Cafe in Medford, MA (June 7)

Check out my EVENTS page for details! Hope to see you there!








Reading at RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, NH on April 30!


New Hampshire folks! I’ll be reading from & talking about THE ART OF FLOATING at the marvelous RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth this coming Wednesday, April 30, at 7pm!

Join us! Bring questions & thoughts about literature. Bring friends, neighbors, grandparents, and coworkers. Bring your love of books and good stories.

Oh, if you don’t know, THE ART OF FLOATING takes place just down the beach aways in Newburyport, MA, & on Plum Island.

See you Wednesday!

Piping Plovers, Plum Island, and THE ART OF FLOATING!

What do piping plovers on Plum Island, MA, have to do with my new novel THE ART OF FLOATING? You’ll have to read to find out. But for now, here are few photos I took last year when the wildlife refuge beaches on Plum Island were closed for the plover’s nesting season (as they are every year).

Plum Island, MA | 2013

Plum Island, MA | 2013

Plum Island, MA | 2013

Plum Island, MA | 2013

Plum Island, MA | 2013 | #PipingPlover

Plum Island, MA | 2013 | #PipingPlover



THE ART OF FLOATING in the Boston Public Library

Love libraries! Love Boston! Love seeing THE ART OF FLOATING on display in the Boston Public Library!

THE ART OF FLOATING_Boston Public Library_Rachel K



Guest Post in “Shelf Pleasure” | The Story Behind THE ART OF FLOATING

What prompted me to write THE ART OF FLOATING? Believe it or not, a turkey sandwich and the New York Times play significant roles. Uncover the whole story in my April 3 guest post at Shelf Pleasure.


It’s official, folks! As of today, April 1, THE ART OF FLOATING is now published and available at bookstores everywhere: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and, of course, your local bookstore!

In my heart of hearts of hearts, here’s what I’d love for you to do: Go! Run! Buy a copy! Fall in love with THE ART OF FLOATING! Share that love with anyone and everyone who will listen!

A big smooch to all those who’ve been on this journey with me: husband & daughter, family, friends, amazing agent Barbara Poelle, editor, publicists! Thank you! Thank you!

So many great things have happened along this path! Check ’em out!

Andrew & Tully always cheering me on!

Andrew & Tully always cheering me on!

Floating_Jabberwocky Launch_1_Vertical

Me at the launch celebration of THE ART OF FLOATING at the fantabulous Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport, MA!

THE ART OF FLOATING headlines in the Boston Globe North section!

THE ART OF FLOATING headlines in the Boston Globe North section!

A lovely stack of THE ART OF FLOATING at Jabberwocky in Newburyport, MA!

A lovely stack of THE ART OF FLOATING at Jabberwocky in Newburyport, MA!

And I’ve been waiting (tapping toes) for my copies of the book to arrive from Penguin, each day peeking out the window a thousand times to see if they were on my doorstep. Then last night—March 31—voila!

Copies of THE ART OF FLOATING arrive from Penguin on March 31, pub day eve!

Copies of THE ART OF FLOATING arrive from Penguin on March 31, pub day eve!

And here they are! (heart sings)

And here they are! (heart sings)

Now I’m going to flop into a chair, put my feet up, and breathe!