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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year in Review

Happy New Years! I'm excited for 2012 and all the good things it holds in store. Like last year, I thought I'd do another year in review. Even if no one else reads it I like to look back and see what all I did in a year. It especially helps in those moments where I'm thinking I can't get anything done to see that yeah, lots does happen! So here's what 2011 looked like for me:

In JANUARY the paperback of The Espressologist was released.

I was super excited for this because B&N gave it a great display for Valentine's Day and when I saw it I had to buy one. I couldn't even wait for the publisher to send me some. I loved when the hardcover came out but the paperback had the little extras we added like recipes from the book and a fun interview. So exciting!

And the most exciting part of the month was seeing my middle grade, My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours, come out at the Scholastic Book Fairs! I was seeing it everywhere-- in fliers and on posters at the kids' school. And the most exciting part was seeing it at the book fairs firsthand. I love, love, love Scholastic Book Fairs!

In FEBRUARY I got to do a book signing with my dear friend Kristin Walker (did you see she has a new hilarious book coming out soon?) and the super sweet Elizabeth Eulberg.

And I also got copies of the Japanese version of The Espressologist. So cute!

One of the most exciting things to ever happen to me in my writing career also happened this month. We're talking, just about ties with the time Meg Cabot blurbed my book (I'll never stop mentioning that! :-) ). My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours was a BESTSELLER for Scholastic Book Fairs!!! I still get giddy thinking about it.

In MARCH I got advanced copies of my third book, Just Your Average Princess, in the mail.

I sold Korean rights to The Espressologist this month. I also did an hour long interview for author Dyanne Davis's cable writing show. That was so fun and I couldn't stop staring at the monitor. Total amateur!

In APRIL a super creative book club threw a Fauxpresso night to talk about The Espressologist. And I attended the annual Author Fair in Bolingbrook, IL. I also sold Indonesian rights to The Espressologist.

In MAY, I had what I call my Justin Bieber moment when I went to talk to a group of 4th grade girl scouts and they screamed when I held up my book cover. Again, I owe this to Scholastic Book Fairs. I don't think any of them would know who I was if they didn't see my book in their fairs.

In JUNE, I went to Chicago's Printer's Row to do a panel with some really great authors. It was so much fun, I hope to do it again.

In JULY and AUGUST I was busily brainstorming and writing proposals. I outlined a really fun YA and several middle grades. And I was also busily writing The Paparazzi Project (hopefully my fourth book!). 

In SEPTEMBER I participated in Anderson's 8th Annual Young Adult Literature Conference. This was another super fun day full of panels and getting to sign my new book (that wouldn't release still for several weeks).

Reviews of the new book started to trickle in too. Here's one from VOYA.

OCTOBER was an especially great month because my third book, JUST YOUR AVERAGE PRINCESS released.

And I also got to go on a fantastic writing retreat with two writing friends to Frankenmuth, MI. Frankenmuth is a super cute Christmas village kind of town that everyone should experience at least once. And I got the first three chapters of my new middle grade written here too.

In NOVEMBER, I was a revising fool. I spent every free moment I had whipping The Paparazzi Project into shape to have it done by Thanksgiving. Also this month I sold Czech Republic rights to The Espressologist and my short story "Cart Princess" came out in THE FIRST TIME anthology of 25 awesome YA authors. It's only $2.99 and you should totally buy it. But if you want to read my story right now, go to the Amazon link and click on "Look Inside". It's the first story in the anthology. :-)

And in DECEMBER, I did nothing! Seriously! I guess I sorta took the month off and concentrated on Christmas parties, wrapping gifts, cookie making, coffee drinking, Christmas concerts & plays. But come January it's back to work for me! I hope to have great news to share in 2012! And share your great news with me too!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Happy Kwanza! May your holiday celebrations be merry and enjoy your family! That's what I'll be doing! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit Starring: Laurie Stolarz

Laurie Stolarz is here with her new book, DEADLY LITTLE VOICES.

About the Book:
Camelia Hammond thought her powers of psychometry gave her only the ability to sense the future through touch. But now she’s started to hear voices. Cruel voices. Berating her, telling her how ugly she is, that she has no talent, and that she'd be better off dead. Camelia is terrified for her mental stability, especially since her deranged aunt with a suicidal history, has just moved into the house. As if all of that weren't torturing enough, Camelia's ex-boyfriend, Ben, for whom she still harbors feelings and who has similar psychometric abilities, has started seeing someone else. Even her closest friends, Kimmie and Wes, are unsure how to handle her erratic behavior.
With the line between reality and dream consistently blurred, Camelia turns to pottery to get a grip on her emotions. She begins sculpting a figure skater, only to receive frightening premonitions that someone's in danger. But who is the intended victim? And how can Camelia help that person when she’s on the brink of losing her own sanity?

Author Bio: 
Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series.  Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, please visit her Web site at

Some fun stuff from Laurie:

Laurie’s Guilty Pleasures
Favorite snack: Popcorn with soy butter and lemon/pepper seasoning.
Touristy Trip: Paris.
Fashion addiction (at the moment): artfully torn jeans, tall boots, pretty scarves, and Michael Stars tees.
Dessert: Dark chocolate in almost any form - the darker the better.
Fast food: French fries at least once every few months (with lots of ketchup).
Beauty Binge: Aveda haircare products, which includes indulging in high-and/or-low-lights every eight weeks. Also, Caudalie skincare, Ineke perfume (Field Notes from Paris), Revitalash mascara, and Buxom Lips from Bare Escentuals.
Late-Night TV: Real Housewives of (wherever), Mad Fashion, Fashion Hunters.
Chick Flick: Never Been Kissed, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Juno, Green Card, Once, The Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones Diary, Thelma & Louise, Mean Girls, Moonstruck, Clueless, Under the Tuscan Sun, and anything with John Cusack.
Nightlife: Pilates in front of the TV (a regular occurrence), answering e-mail (also regular), and dinner and/or a movie out with friends (happens far too rarely).
Cheap Thrill: Window-shopping, tabloid magazines, buying a new lip gloss, a tall cup of coffee from Peet's or Starbucks.
Ultimate Splurge: G2O Day Spa for a massage.

Other Random Info
Favorite Quote: Perseverance is key.
Favorite cuisine: Indian food – onion chutney, curried vegetables, and kashmir bread. I also love cheeseless pizza from Bertucci's.
Interests: Vegetarian cooking, holistic nutrition, aromatherapy.
Favorite Music: Adele, Fergie, James Blunt, Gavin Rossdale, Tori Amos, Sting, Sarah MacLachlin, Gwen Stefani, Black-eyed Peas.
Hobbies: Walking, napping, cooking
shopping, interior decorating.
Pick up Laurie’s new book at your favorite independent bookstore or online at your favorite retailer!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Today I'm spotlighting the new artwork for my friend Megg Jensen’s bestselling novel SLEEPERS.

To celebrate the re-launch of SLEEPERS in January of 2012, Megg is giving it a new cover with artwork from the incredible PhatPuppy.

Cool huh?!

Synopsis: An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she's filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.
Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?

On sale now for only 99 cents!

To read reviews of Sleepers, check Goodreads.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Worst Christmas Gift Ever: It was Beary, Beary Bad

It was my first Christmas with my first REAL boyfriend. We had been together most of the year and were quite in the giggly, touchy feely, calling each other nauseating pet names stage of the relationship. I had big expectations for this first perfect Christmas and the perfect Christmas gift that was sure to come from he, my Prince Charming. I imagined all kinds of things-- would it be a book of love poems that he inscribed with some amazing note that I would look at every Christmas for the rest of my life?

Would it be some amazing piece of jewelry, like a necklace with our birthstones or a locket with our pictures side-by-side?
Whatever it was, I knew it would be momentous and it would be something I'd take out to show my own kids and grandkids someday.

Or not.

Though I still remember it like it was yesterday. We were sitting on our knees, facing each other, in front of the lit Christmas tree in my livingroom. I had just given him an AMAZING gift (no, I don't remember what it was, but certainly it was AMAZING). And he had just handed me mine. It was in what looked like a clothes box, but I knew it wouldn't be clothes. Not on our perfect first Christmas. Clothes is an old person's Christmas gift. Maybe it was a stunning photo collage of our relationship? I nervoulsy lifted the flaps of wrapping paper, stealing glances at him. He was very excited and proud of whatever lay in the box. Finally it was open. I parted the layers of white tissue paper and froze. Him, giant smile, so pleased with himself. Me, afraid to lift the item out of the box and a hundred thoughts flying through my head of how I was going to make this ok and what I would tell people when they were sure to ask about my first glorious Christmas gift from my boyfriend.

Want to know what it was?

It was a navy blue sweatshirt with a white turtleneck sewn into the collar. And on the front of the sweatshirt were two big embroidered teddy bears hugging.

I didn't know what to do. I was a teenager, afterall, not eighty and in a nursing home. I couldn't figure out why he thought I'd wear a turtleneck sweatshirt with teddy bears. "Did you read it?" he asked. Oh god, there's more? I thought. I looked at the shirt and sure enough, over the teddy bears it said "I love you BEARY much." Of course it said that. It couldn't just stop at the teddy bears right? I let out some weird kinda giggle and tried to hide my dissapointment. "I, oh, uh, love it" I said. I never was an actress. "I knew you would," he said. "Wear it to my New Year's Eve party ok?" I almost fell backward. What's this? Some kind of joke? He actually wants me to wear this? In public? I tried to make like I had another outfit already but he was so darn proud of his bears in love shirt and insisted that I wear it.

I did wear it. But only that one time. I remember slipping it over my head and feeling like the turtleneck was choking me. I remember walking down the long hallway from my bedroom to the front door of my house, past my three brothers who were all rolling around on the floor laughing and pointing at me and my sweatshirt. And I remember my boyfriend's big smile and him telling me how good I looked when I walked into his house that night.

That, of course, was the last of the sweatshirt. I got rid of it soon after. It never did become that item I'd show my kids and grandkids. And I never told anyone else this story. Until now.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Going to see YOUNG ADULT?

Ok, who's excited to see YOUNG ADULT?! It comes out December 16th and I can't wait. It stars Charlize Theron as a young adult author from Minnesota who goes back home following her divorce to try to win back her old boyfriend. Who is of course, married with kids. I LOVE IT! To me that sounds like a win. :-) As young adult authors we do spend an awful lot of time living in our pasts and thinking about our own experiences (remember me talking about My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours before? If I didn't have such an awesome fake boyfriend of my own in seventh grade I never would have thought of writing this book) so I can totally see an author trying to go back and start up with a high school sweetheart. We always remember things as being way better than they were. Only question I have is, isn't she on facebook? Hello, everyone from my old high school is on there. I already know what everyone is doing and wouldn't have to go back home to stalk anyone. Not that I'm planning to. :-)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Deadline!

First, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you all have a wonderful day with your family and friends! I'm excited to spend the day with my family and I'm also excited that I met my Thanksgiving deadline! Whoo hoo! That's why I've been a little quiet the last few weeks. I've been revising The Paparazzi Project (I posted a teaser of it last week) and my deadline to get it back to my agent was Thanksgiving.

I've been working on it every free minute I've had, which usually is whenever my littlest is in preschool, and evenings. And last night I was determined to not miss my deadline and get it done. The only problem? All four kids are sick (UGH! This is so not fun!) and now I'm sick too (sore throat and fever- boo). But still, I really wanted to get it done so that I'd have the holiday free and I was SO close so I worked through it anyway and e-mailed it to the agent at midnight. Yay!

So yeah, I'm thankful to be done (well, at least until I get notes back from my agent) and excited for a little break before I dive back into my middle grade project.

How's your November going?

Friday, November 11, 2011


We're giving away a copy of THE FIRST TIME over at AUTHOR2AUTHOR this week. Leave a comment there for a chance to win.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Look what's out & only $2.99!

You never forget your first...

In THE FIRST TIME, 25 young adult authors contribute 25 stories all about firsts: first loves, first kisses, first zombie slayings, and more. Featuring New York Times bestselling authors Carrie Ryan and Jessica Verday, plus a host of others. From humor to horror, and everything in between, these stories will make you laugh, cry, cheer, (and maybe even scream) as you experience something brand new from the authors that you love.

Contributing authors include: Cyn Balog, Lauren Bjorkman, Leigh Brescia, Jennifer Brown, Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Janet Gurtler, Teri Hall, Cheryl Renee Herbsman, Stacey Jay, Heidi R. Kling, C. Lee McKenzie, Saundra Mitchell, Jenny Moss, Jackson Pearce, Shani Petroff, Carrie Ryan, Sydney Salter, Kurtis Scaletta, Jon Skovron, Kristina Springer, Rhonda Stapleton, Charity Tahmaseb, Jessica Verday, J. A. Yang, and Lara Zielin

Get it from Amazon

Get it from Barnes & Noble

If you don't have a Kindle, you can still read this eBook on your phone, computer, iPad, e-reader, etc. Just grab the Amazon Kindle app here.

If you prefer the Barnes & Noble Nook app, get it here.

My story is called CART PRINCESS. Let me know what you think of it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

You tube video from a reader

I love this! It's great to know that other people (besides me) dance around when my book comes to their door. :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Author Fair

I had a great time at the author fair last week! Thanks so much to everyone who came by to get my new book!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Just Your Average Princess Blog Tour

Just Your Average Princess is going on a couple of blog tours! The first one is through teen book scene. Check here throughout the month for reviews and fun interviews. More info on the the second tour next week!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Anderson's 8th Annual Young Adult Literature Conference Recap

*cross-posted from Author2Author*

The Anderson's YA conference last weekend was absolutely awesome! I had such a great time. First thing I saw when I got there was that they had my new book for sale! Two weeks early. I was so excited to get to start signing it already.

My first panel didn't start until 10 am so following the breakfast I went to see "The Edge" panel. I knew I'd learn a lot since my work is as edgy as a soccer ball.

On the panel were Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Darer Littman, and Jeanine Cummins.

Their books were fascinating and wow, lots of heavy stuff. Kidnapping, murder, rape, internet predators, bulimia...yeah. I kinda wanted to go drink afterward. Just kidding. It really is so different than the light-hearted books I write though. Do you think I'll ever do an edgy book? Hmm. Well, I never

say never.

I also caught the Urban Voices authors talking about their work and reading from their books.

On the panel were Coe Booth, Paul Griffin, Torrey Maldonado, Paul Volponi, and Jacqueline Woodson. Great stuff!

I participated in two panels (sorry, no pics!) with Franny Billingsly and James Kennedy, called Write Down the Street. We represented the local YA authors in the Chicagoland area. They were a lot of fun and the audience asked great questions.

We watched a number of featured speakers. Favorites were Patrick Carmen and the picture of him in one of the priest collared shirts his very catholic mother used to make him (so funny!) and Sharon Draper and her reading the amazing letters she gets from children. I also really enjoyed Lisa McMann (pictured left). Her new book, The Unwanteds looks great!

I had a blast signing books and meeting librarians and teachers. And when it was over I stuck around and stock signed a ton of books (pictured below) for Anderson's. If you're looking for one of my signed books you can go to their web site and order it (or visit if you're local).

It was a wonderful event and I was thrilled to be a part of it!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Signed Books Available!

I signed a huge stack of books (including the new one-- Just Your Average Princess) for stock at Anderson's Bookshop Naperville. If you're looking for a signed book-- you can go there! (Or order online from them.)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit Starring JERI SMITH-READY AND ENTHRALLED

I’m so excited Jeri Smith-Ready is here to talk about the new anthology she’s in and what she’sup to now.


ENTHRALLED: PARANORMAL DIVERSION, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong

This collection of original paranormal YA short stories grew out of the 2010 Smart Chicks Kick It Tour, a multiauthor, multicity, author-organized tour of the US and Canada. With it, these 16 authors hoped to bring a little taste of the Smart Chicks experience to readers everywhere.

Contributors to ENTHRALLED:

Claudia Gray

Carrie Ryan

Margaret Stohl

Kami Garcia

Jackson Pearce

Rachel Vincent

Melissa Marr

Kelley Armstrong

Sarah Rees Brennan

Jeri Smith-Ready

Kimberly Derting

Ally Condie

Jessica Verday

Mary E. Pearson

Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Rachel Caine


In the world of the SHADE novels, everyone seventeen and under can see and hear ghosts, but no one else can. So when Logan Keeley dies and his eighteen-year-old brother Mickey blames himself, they can’t ease each other’s pain or reconcile their rage. Over the course of SHADE and SHIFT, Mickey sinks into a near-suicidal depression over Logan’s death.

“Bridge” is the story, told in free verse, of how two brothers, with the help of a stranger, forge the chasm between them to find a lasting peace.


KRISTINA: In two or three sentences, can you tell me what “Bridge” in the ENTHRALLED anthology is about?

JERI: “Bridge” is a short story written in free verse from the point-of-view of Logan, the 17-year-old dead punk rocker from the SHADE trilogy. In the time and place of the story, Senior Week at Ocean City, Logan’s been a ghost for 233 days and wants desperately to reconcile with his suicidal older brother Mickey, who blames himself for Logan’s death. Problem is, in the SHADE world, only those seventeen and under can see ghosts, so to save Mickey, Logan has to convince a total stranger to communicate between them.

KRISTINA: In my book, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, Jane, a coffee barista, matchmakes people based on their favorite coffee drinks. What’s your favorite coffee drink? (If you don’t like coffee, tell me what your favorite drink in general is. But I am sorry, you’ll never find love. Kidding!)

JERI: My favorite coffee drink is black coffee, as dark a roast as possible. Sumatran, French Roast, Italian roast. Especially with something sweet—HEAVEN!

KRISTINA: What is the title of the first book you ever wrote?

JERI: WAITING IN AMBUSH (never published, and never TO BE published). It was a thriller/romance with environmental themes. It was really fun to write and had a lot of good lines, but the plot and characters had…issues. But that’s okay—I learned so much about the process of writing and editing, that when I wrote my second book (which became the first published novel, REQUIEM FOR THE DEVIL), things went much more smoothly.

KRISTINA: What three things must you have while you’re writing?

JERI: Coffee, music, and a decent night’s sleep.

KRISTINA: What are you reading right now?

JERI: The manuscript for Christine Johnson’s 2012 novel, THE GATHERING DARK. It is so cool and creepy! It takes me back to my teen years and my Stephen King-reading days.

KRISTINA: Are you on twitter? Where can we follow you?

JERI: I am all over the twitter, LOL! I’m on there waaaaaay too much, @jsmithready. It’s the only addiction I’ve ever had. It’s like my lifelife to other people. I have this fear that if I leave it for a day, everyone will forget about me. So it’s more than an addiction, it’s a full-blown existential crisis! ;-)

KRISTINA: What are you working on now?

JERI: I’m still revising/perfecting SHINE, the third part of the SHADE trilogy, which comes out May 1. Then I’ll write the final book in my adult vampire series, LUST FOR LIFE, which comes out next October.

Then I start my first YA contemporary, slated for a Fall 2013 release. We’ll be announcing more details next month, but I can tell you this much: 1) it’s about a boy and 2) I am very, very excited about it!


“A solid collection of stories...Sarah Rees Brennan's ‘Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road’ follows a vampire in a boy-band and stands out with its perfect blend of snark and sincerity. It's followed in a one-two punch by Jeri Smith-Ready's intense and earnest ‘Bridge.’...This collection is ideal as a sampler tray for paranormal readers looking to pick up new authors to follow or to further explore the fictional worlds they already know. —Kirkus Reviews

A standout among the many paranormal-themed anthologies. -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (Recommended review)

Buy links:

Constellation Books (signed by Jeri):



On 12:01am eastern time, Tuesday September 20, the lyrics to a song Logan wrote for Aura (mentioned in SHADE) will be posted here:


Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. Her nine published books include two series for adults and the SHADE trilogy for teens, about a world of ghosts only the young can see, which concludes May 2012 with SHINE. Like many of her characters, Jeri enjoys music, movies, and staying up very, very late. Visit her at, or on Facebook ( or Twitter (, where she spends way too much time. Logan himself can be found on Twitter @keeley_logan, as can his rival/”brother-in-pulp,” Zachary Moore (@moore_zachary). The boys love to chat with each other and with their real-life fans.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Anderson's 8th Annual Young Adult Literature Conference

Are you heading to Anderson's 8th Annual Young Adult Literature Conference tomorrow? Make sure to stop and say hi! I'll be there taking part in two panels, at 10 am and 1 pm. The panels are called Local Authors: Write Down the Street, and feature Franny Billingsley, James Kennedy, and me. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

VOYA review of JYAP

Just got in a review from VOYA! In it, they say:

"This cheerful and heartwarming novel set in a small town will appeal to teens who enjoy YA chick lit. Jamie's romance with Danny moves slowly, making this novel appropriate for younger teens. In Jamie, Springer creates a lovable protagonist who is able to laugh at and learn from her mistakes."

Awesome! 21 more days until JYAP hits shelves!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit: STARRING DEAR BULLY



Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones formed the group YAAAB (Young Adult Authors Against Bullying) in April 2010 when they both coincidentally blogged about the Phoebe Prince case on the same day. Megan reached out to Carrie expressing her frustration with this case and the fact that bullying that seemed to be growing at a ridiculously fast rate. As a Massachusetts resident and having already spoken about bullying in schools, Megan was horrified after hearing about the bullying that took place in the Phoebe Prince case. While writing her books, SISTERS OF MISERY and THE LOST SISTER, she had to dig deep to make “mean girls as evil as she possibly could. When she heard about all the bullying and bullycide stories in the news, she felt like the bullies had jumped off the pages of her book and into real life. She was also disheartened by the numerous times she’d done book signings and would say to readers, “I hope you never meet girls as mean as the ones in my book.” Shockingly, they almost always said, “We already have.” Carrie Jones was also moved to do something, as she was the target of bullying as a young child due to a speech impediment. Together, they felt that they owed it to teen readers to discourage bullying -- to make it "uncool." Megan Kelley Hall started by creating a Facebook page that kicked off an entire "movement" to end bullying. This was the day that Megan, Carrie and other authors decided to use their platform as Young Adult authors to actually facilitate change and to be a voice for those kids who cannot speak out or are too afraid to be heard.


Right away, a large number of authors jumped on board of this cause -- wanting to be involved in any way possible. The Facebook group jumped from 5 to 1500 members in one weekend and is now closing in on nearly 5,000 members. Carrie and Megan were thrilled when HarperTeen offered to put all of the stories into an anthology. The thought of having 70 authors – well-known, highly successful writers – sharing their personal bullying stories with their fans was something beyond what they had ever hoped for.

The stories in DEAR BULLY come from all angles: from the point of view of the victim, the mother, the friend, the sibling, the classmate – even a few from the actual bully. Some of the stories are light-hearted, while others are raw and emotional. All of them drive home the point that bullying is something that almost everyone has experienced. And while that is a sad fact, they want to prove that it's not a rite of passage. It doesn't make you stronger, wiser, or better. But it is something that can be overcome, something that can be changed, something that is relatable, and something that one should never be ashamed of. Through these stories, the authors want to show that they understand what teens are going through today. It is important to encourage bystanders to speak up and make bullying unacceptable. Parents and adults must get involved. Bullying is something that people no longer have to endure--at least, not by themselves.

Though quite a lofty mission, the goal of DEAR BULLY is to help just one person get through a difficult time, and hopefully make bullying a thing of the past.
Don't forget to join the Facebook page at, visit the website at, or follow DEAR BULLY on Twitter at


“FIGHT BACK WITH WORDS. Better Homes & Gardens recommends DEAR BULLY: Remind youngsters heading back to school that getting picked on is tough—but that words can also heal as much as they can hurt, as one anthology proves.” – Better Homes & Gardens

“This anthology of personal essays provides empathetic and heartfelt stories from each corner of the schoolyard: the bullied, the bystander and the bully himself are all represented. Their words will be a welcome palliative or a wise pre-emptive defense against the trials of adolescent social dynamics.” --New York Times

“Two of them, both authors of novels for young adults (Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones), have drawn on the power of the written word to focus attention on the problem and offer solace to the bullied.” – --The Boston Globe

“You’ll love it if… You know someone (or are someone) who’s ever been involved in any type of bullying incident. There’s something in it for everyone, on all sides of the spectrum. You’ll love it even more if you can find a story that inspires you to help someone else.” –
“With authority often turning a blind eye and cyber-bullying rampant, this timely collection is an excellent resource, especially for group discussion, and the appended, annotated list of websites and further reading extends its usefulness.” – Booklist

“Powerful…All of these stories feel authentic and honest, and readers will find a story or a person to identify with, to look to for comfort or guidance.” School Library Journal
“Bottom line is this anthology is a terrific tool for the counselor who can customize the entries to the needs of the victimized student.” -- Harriet Klausner


“This should be required reading of ALL young girls (not to mention some adults)….Dear Bully is for everyone who has grown up in this culture where bullying takes place every day, not just in the schools, but in our streets, in our homes, our place of work (and globally).Dear Bully unveils the truth of who we are as a community of people, and it's not pretty.” – New Pages Blog

“This is why I think this book is brilliant: Much like It Get's Better, this is a situation where one generation is reaching back to support the other... When you share your story you are shining a light. You never know who is at sea and relying on that light to get them home.” – Miss New York, Kaitlin Monte “Life Under the Crown” blog

“Dear Bully is a novel that needs to be on the shelves of every school library, and in every classroom. I hope it makes its way to the hands of the bullied and the bullies.” –The Crazy Bookworm Blog

“You Can't Protect Your Kid From Bullies Until You've Done This I was about halfway through Dear Bully, a new book of essays from 70 big name teen lit authors (for my fellow YA fans, I'm talking the likes of Megan McCafferty, Alyson Noel, R.L. Stine, etc.) when it hit me. These were all grown-ups talking about some of the worst days of childhood. And almost none had kind words to say about adults.” – Jeanne Sagar, The Stir and Yahoo Shine

“70 poignant essays that will make your tear and/or cheer. There is literally something in this book for everyone. I cried, I laughed, I wanted to write a letter to my Congressman, but most of all…I learned a few things. Bullying doesn’t take one form and it can occur at any age. This is must have for every library, teacher, and anyone who owns a shelf…or a table. Be a hero and buy this book for someone who is struggling.” –I Read Banned Books Blog

“I wish there had been a Dear Bully book 14 years ago.” --Lost in the Library Blog

“I personally think that this book should be required reading for all kids in the 7th grade. I’d even be so bold as to say a compilation for younger kids should be written as well.” --Confessions of a Real Librarian Blog


“This collection is so important and it couldn't come at a better time. This book should be in every administrator's office (their predecessor's failing to address this issue is a common thread woven through the experiences shaed), every media specialist's office, every counselor's office, and in the classroom libraries of every teacher works with these students who stories have not been told. . .yet. Here is the catalyst for discussion. Here are the authors saying, "It happened to me too. . .tell me your story." --Paul Hankins

“EVERY ADULT who works with tweens and teens should read this!” - Sandy
“Once I get the library's budget, this is going to be top of the list - and I'm buying two copies. I want to have one copy on the professional shelf for the teachers to look at and one on the shelf for the students to take out.” - Sarah

“This is a valuable look at how bullying shapes the lives of both the bullies and the bullied.” - Sarah

“Absolutely fantastic. Heart-wrenching and a reality check for anyone believing that this doesn't happen. I'm recommending this to every librarian I know to put this on the shelf.” - Maya

“What a beautiful, amazing, honest, important book. Five stars isn't near enough to show my love for Dear Bully. I'll be donating my copy to my old junior high.” - Colleen

“I knew I would enjoy this book, I just didn't think it would impact me as much as it did. I wish this could be in every middle and high school in the country.” - Stephanie

“I wish I could individually hug everyone who has ever been bullied. Seeing as how that mission is too tragically expansive to take on, I will settle for shouting, "Bravo!" to all the authors to contributed, and to HarperTeen for publishing this anthology. "Encore!" – Gabrielle Carolina

“Amazing anthology of stories about bullying (victimization, perpetration, being a bystander). I mean, what can I say? This collection moved me beyond words. Teachers, parents, and librarians NEED to share this book with their teens. Core title for all teen/ya collections.” - Lalitha

“It's another stark reminder that kids can't do this on their own. They need our help. Thank you to all 70 of these authors and Megan and Carrie for helping me not only set to rest my own past but to chart a path for my future as a mother.” – Jeanne Sagar, Goodreads

“These writers have taken a stand. It's time for all of us to do so as well.” - Jackie

Monday, September 12, 2011

Giving Away ARC of JYAP!

Hey all,
Click HERE and enter for a chance to win an advanced copy of Just Your Average Princess over at Goodreads!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Want an Advanced Copy of Just Your Average Princess?

Look at what I just got! Extra advanced copies of Just Your Average Princess!

I'll send one advanced copy (asap) to the first three librarians or teen book club organizers who schedule me to skype (free) with their book club!

E-mail me at

*U.S. only. And I'll include bookmarks for your book club.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Giveaway - The Espressologist!

In preparation for the release of my third book, JUST YOUR AVERAGE PRINCESS, on 10/11/11, I'm going to be giving away some of my other books on Goodreads. Click HERE and enter to win a copy of THE ESPRESSOLOGIST.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Need Your Help...Again!

It's getting close to the release of my third book, JUST YOUR AVERAGE PRINCESS (10/11/11), and you know what I'm fretting about now? How to sign it!

You may recall me talking about this in the past on A2A. I like to sign something cute with my name instead of just my name. With The Espressologist I asked you guys how to sign the book and you gave me the great suggestion, "Love & Lattes!" I always use that when I sign them. For My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours someone suggested "Keep it Real!" and I've used it ever since. But now? I'm stumped. Here's a bit about the book. Do you guys have any suggestions for me?

Just Your Average Princess

Jamie Edwards has loved growing up on her family’s pumpkin patch in Average, IL, and she’s always dreamed of one day being the town’s Pumpkin Princess at the annual Pumpkin Festival. But when her rich and famous cousin, Milan Woods, comes to town and changes everything, Jamie knows she has to expose Milan for who she really is and teach her that life’s not all pumpkins and apple butter at the patch.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit: STARRING JENNIFER ECHOLS!

Here’s a book that is so up my alley! Jennifer Echols’s LOVE STORY was just released last week and it sounds awesome.

About the Book:

From Jennifer Echols, the award-winning author of Going Too Far and Forget You, comes LOVE STORY(Gallery Books; July 19, 2011; $11.00), a provocative and powerful story of teen romance, set against the bustling world of a New York City university.

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions – it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter… so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter… except this story could come true.

Our Interview:

KRISTINA: In my book, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, Jane, a coffee barista, matchmakes people based on their favorite coffee drinks. What’s your favorite coffee drink? (If you don’t like coffee, tell me what your favorite drink in general is. But I am sorry, you’ll never find love. Kidding!)

JENNIFER: Skinny vanilla latte.

KRISTINA: What is your most favorite (or, weirdest, craziest, funniest, most touching etc.) comment you’ve received from a fan?

JENNIFER: I’ve gotten several messages lately from people who have been sick and were able to forget their lives for a while and get through treatment by reading. That always touches me, especially when they have read my book GOING TOO FAR, which has a heroine who has been very sick.

KRISTINA: Are you on twitter? Where can we follow you?

JENNIFER: I’m @JenniferEchols. If I’m going outside to write and accidentally kick a rattlesnake, as I did the other day, you will find out there first.

KRISTINA: What are you working on now?

JENNIFER: I’m writing a new romantic comedy that will be published by Simon Pulse in December. Then I’m finishing a new romantic drama, SUCH A RUSH, which will be my hardcover debut in July 2012.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I can’t wait to read your newest!

About the Author:

Jennifer Echols is the author of teen romantic dramas for MTV Books and teen romantic comedies for Simon Pulse. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her family. Please visit her online at

Monday, August 1, 2011

Beach Creatures, Book ideas, and Jillian Michaels

It's August and I'm kinda bummed. I'm so not ready for the summer to come to an end. But all of the back to school ads and registration forms are flooding in. Blah. So I'm trying to hurry up and get in all the summer activities I had planned for the summer. Like hit the beach.

This weekend we went to New Buffalo, Michigan, and it was gorgeous! Perfect day for the beach.

The kids had so much fun and loved picking up anything and everything on the beach. Like this:

Any guesses what it is?

We think those are teeth and that it's some kind of jaw. But who knows?

I'm also excited to start a new book idea! I love this part of the writing process! I just finished revising one book and my agent is reading it this week. Crossing fingers that she thinks it's ready to go. So now I'm ready to start something else. I have a middle grade I want to work on but I just got a great YA idea and I'm afraid if I don't write out at least the first few chapters I'll forget something.

I'm also getting ready for the release of JUST YOUR AVERAGE PRINCESS on 10/11. I love fall and it's a perfect fall book so I hope to be doing a lot of fun stuff with it. I'm trying a little promo experiment that I'm going to blog about Thursday on Author2Author and probably cross-post here. So more on that later.

My other summer goal was to get in shape! Well, I've been trying hard for awhile with spin classes and boot camps and muscle classes but things are not moving very quickly. So I'm adding in the Jillian Michaels 30-day shred on top. Yes, double workouts! I'm doing hers at 6:30am everyday and then doing class later in the morning. I may die at the end of the 30 days. It's only day 8 though and I'm still standing so we'll see.

Oh! And my other summer goal was to de-stress. I have no idea how to do that yet though. So if you any suggestions, throw them at me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit: STARRING MELISSA WALKER!!

I am beyond excited to read Melissa’s new book, SMALL TOWN SINNERS! And so glad she stopped by to chat.


Small Town Sinners is the story of Lacey Anne, daughter of the pastor and perennial good girl, who is eligible for a lead role in the season’s Hell House production—a role she’s been coveting for years. But when Ty moves to town as casting begins, a new perspective is added to Lacey Anne’s world and she starts to see her tight-knit, Evangelical community in a different light. With the help of her two best friends Starla Joy and Dean, and her potential first love Ty, Lacey Anne begins exploring her own thoughts and feelings about her religion, her community, and her place within both. While this novel deals with provocative issues like religion, teen pregnancy and underage drinking, it is not an “issue” book; the topics are masterfully interwoven into this story of friendship and family.

Early readers agree:

Small Town Sinners shines a light on the fascinating world of the teenage Hell House. Sit back and let Melissa Walker be your guide. She writes without a shred of judgment and plenty of heart.” —Dana Reinhardt, author of A Brief Chapter of My Impossible Life

“Walker is sympathetic and respectful of her characters’ faith, while putting on display the shocking extremist scare tactics that make Hell Houses, well, hellish.” —Donna Freitas, author of This Gorgeous Game and The Possibilities of Sainthood.

“A non-judgmental, nuanced, fascinating look at the teenage religious right… Walker writes an outstanding contemporary novel with a cast of characters who, far from being portrayed as hateful zealots, are relatable for readers of all faiths. The extremism of Hell House is tempered by the perfectly understandable attitudes and intentions of Lacey Anne, who struggles with what it means to grow up, to question and to think for herself.” –Romantic Times

“Both tender and provocative… Walker creates an astutely balanced portrait of a conservative congregation’s in-your-face response to perennial issues of domestic abuse, teen pregnancy, and suicide, as well as of those who struggle to fit the prescribed Christian mold.” –Publishers Weekly

“This secular story about religious people could easily devolve into camp mockery, but because Walker takes her character’s crisis of faith seriously and sensitively, readers will, too.” –Kirkus Reviews


KRISTINA: In my book, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, Jane, a coffee barista, matchmakes people based on their favorite coffee drinks. What’s your favorite coffee drink? (If you don’t like coffee, tell me what your favorite drink in general is. But I am sorry, you’ll never find love. Kidding!)

MELISSA: Iced coffee, even in winter. Light and sweet, please! I like it to taste like coffee ice cream.

KRISTINA: How do you come up with the names of your characters?

MELISSA: Sometimes they just come to me, but if they don't, I like to walk through cemeteries and look at names. Quirky, I know, but it's really fun!

KRISTINA: Are you on twitter? Where can we follow you?

MELISSA: I am! I'm Warning: I tweet a lot during March Madness (Go Heels!) and I tend to obsessively tweet about TV I love (the latest being "Friday Night Lights"--so sad it's over!).

KRISTINA: What are you working on now?

MELISSA: My next book, Unbreak My Heart, will be out in 2012 from Bloomsbury. It's a story about lost friendships, betrayal and summer love (I'm vague, I know! I haven't talked about it much in detail yet!).


MELISSA WALKER: Melissa has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. She is the author of the Violet on the Runway series as well as Lovestruck Summer. Melissa manages I Heart Daily, an e-newsletter and blogs for ReaderGirlz, an online community for teens.

Thanks Melissa! Good luck with your new book!