“Put on the party hat and keep moving”

KIDS & COCKTAILS DON’T MIX is a coming-of-age memoir following Heather, the pudgy granddaughter of the Governor of California, who grows up in an exclusive gated Los Angeles community with celebrities and political figures as neighbors, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. When her father leaves to chase women and riches, her mother must lure in another man to hold onto the house and the lifestyle it represents. After the father disowns Heather and her sister they, like their larger-than-life glamorous mother, must find a way to move forward. Watching the machinations of gender and power dynamics of the 1960’s and 70’s unfold in her own family, Heather becomes determined to make her own way through the world. Unlike her mother, she vows not to rely on looks and seductions, but to find the heart underneath the gilt and glamour.

The Characters

Advanced Praise

“I love this book. The first time I read it I was bowled over, and each time I return to it, I find some new wonder. It’s a book about a culture – and a way of being – that seems almost fantastical, although it was just a few decades ago. It’s a book about manners, about putting on a brave front, about brilliant women trapped in a moment that expected everything and nothing from them. Set in Los Angeles over a period ranging from the 1970’s to the present day [yes? No 60’s for the opening scene?] Haldeman locates a great story within a girl’s life, and her eye for the exquisite detail – of clothes, of decor, of catered food served in silver chafing dishes – has a precision reminiscent of Didion writing at the height of her powers. Funny, sly, open-hearted and beautifully written, it’s a winner from the first page to the last.” 

— Caitlin Flanagan, Staff Writer, The Atlantic, Author, Girl Land

“Old time, moneyed Los Angeles. Women whose lives are dictated by the men they’re married to, and a child narrator who sees it all. Kids and Cocktails Don’t Mix is the tender yet quick-witted story of Heatherbean, an overweight girl trying to make sense of world that doesn’t and shouldn’t make sense, and Marilyn, her starstruck mother who yearns for the glamour and ease life has told her to expect. Haldeman has crafted an enthralling tale that mixes the allure of rubbing shoulders with the glitterati with the harrowing grit underneath the sparkle. Reading this story, I cheered for Heatherbean and Marilyn, wanted to take a two-by-four after Heather’s father, and felt my heart break again and again, set off by bouts of laughter.”

— Bernadette Murphy, Author, Harley and Me

“In Kids and Cocktails Don’t Mix we meet the Eaton family—observant Heather, her self-assured older sister April, their unreliable father, and larger-than-life mother, the unsinkable Marilyn. They enjoy a glamorous lifestyle in an exclusive Hancock Park neighborhood, but when the marriage collapses and funds run out, Marilyn, trained for no work outside the home, must seek a new breadwinner.  Heather, the youngest, overlooked in a fractious blended family, finds ways to console herself. The author has an eye for telling detail, a compelling, honest voice and a sly sense of humor, viewing the often tragic occurrences with accuracy but also love. A fascinating and entertaining memoir of tribulations and survival.”

— Marjorie Tesser, Editor, Mom Egg Review

This compilation of stories will touch the reader’s soul with the funny moments and sentimental times shared by mothers and daughters. 

“An Oscar For The Warm-up” Heather Haldeman, Contributor.


Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivors Soul will show you the beautiful side of the human spirit and spark the optimism sometimes lost in the mist of an illness. It is for everyone with breast cancer and everyone who loves someone touched by the disease.

“The Graduation” Heather Haldeman, Contributor.


“It’s All in the Eyelashes” 
Chicken Soup For The Soul 

“My Civic Duty”
The Juror Connection

“Gone With The Tide”
st Place. Grandmother Earth National Writing Contest

“Sins Of Omission”
nd Place. 2009 The Starving Writer Quarterly Contest

“The Cookbook”
rd Place.  The Starving Writer Quarterly Contest

Honorable Mention  2008 Grandmother Earth National Poetry Awards

“Seeing it Through”
Long Story Short  

“Everything In Its Place”
Long Story Short

“The Gated Community”
Long Story Short

“Our Past Loves”
Spruce Mountain Press

“The Pump Room”
Freckles to Wrinkles  2008

The Sylvan Echo