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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. :-)