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Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Writing Life Highlights

I've gotten in this habit of reviewing my yearly writing life each New Year's Eve and now that all four of my sick kiddos are in bed and there are still two hours until the ball drops, now is the time. :-)

In JANUARY, MY FAKE BOYFRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOURS was named a 2012 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, which was way way cool! My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours is still in Scholastic Book Fairs (love, love, love the fairs!) and will also be released from the publisher in paperback form in 2014.
In FEBRUARY, the Indonesian version of THE ESPRESSOLOGIST came out and I got so much love from my readers there. Check out the cute cover:
In MARCH, the Korean version of THE ESPRESSOLOGIST released.
I also was a feature speaker at the 2012 IRC Conference held in Springfield, IL. Wow, that was like the best author event I've ever done-- so so amazing! I blogged about it here.

In MAY, I visited a book club of 4th and 5th graders to talk about Fake Boyfriend. I love writing for this age group!
In JUNE, I went to Chicago's Printer's Row.
In JULY, I was feeling the effects of all the highs and lows of the writer's life and blogged about it over at Author2Author.

In AUGUST and SEPTEMBER I was trying hard to get back into a good writing schedule with the kids back at school. And I announced my ebook coming out in December, THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT.

In OCTOBER the Czech version of THE ESPRESSOLOGIST came out.
I also attended the Illinois Library Association Conference in Peoria, IL.
In NOVEMBER, I attended my first ever SCBWI-IL writing conference. It was actually my first time as a conference goer and not on a panel or signing or speaking. It was super informative and fun and I'm looking forward to next year's.

And this month, DECEMBER, was especially busy in that Vuguru exercised their option and purchased THE ESPRESSOLOGIST! I can't tell you how excited I am to see the characters from my book come to life. THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT also released just two weeks ago for kindle ($3.99)! One early reviewer said, "With a unique plot and a rollercoaster ride of high school 'drama' throughout, Springer creates a world where one ends up both angry and in love with the protagonist, Livvie. As with her previous novels, she delivers a page-turning story so charming and sharp-witted that you don't even realize you learned a lesson!" 

It's been a fun, full year and I'm looking forward to more adventures in writing in 2013. Happy New Year and may you have a fun-filled productive year! And keep reading! :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

GCC Spotlight on: DEADLY LITTLE LESSONS by Laurie Faria Stolarz


Laurie Faria Stolarz’s new book, Deadly Little Lessons is out!

About the Book:
Camelia Hammond's trying junior year of high school is finally over...but her troubles aren't. After she discovers a painful truth about her family, she escapes to a summer arts program in Rhode Island. Determined to put family - and boyfriend - drama behind her, she throws herself into her artwork.
At the arts school, she gets caught up in the case of Sasha Beckerman, a local girl who is missing. Even though all signs suggest that the teen ran away, Camelia senses otherwise. Eager to help the girl, she launches her own investigation. Meanwhile, Camelia realizes how much she misses Ben, despite being committed to Adam.
But time is running out for Sasha, and Camelia will have to trust her powers if she's to save her. Will the lessons Camelia has learned in the past give her the strength to do so?Show More Show Less
Wanna sneak peek?  Go here:  http://www.lauriestolarz.com/dllessons.pdf 

About the Author:
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 www.lauriestolarz.com.

Follow Laurie:
FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/laurie.stolarz
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lauriestolarz
Sign up for her e-Newsletter for updates on contest, book, and appearance info: http://www.lauriestolarz.com/newsletter.html.

Laurie’s Guilty Pleasures:
Favorite snack: Popcorn with Earth Balance 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).
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 Starbucks.
Ultimate Splurge: G2O Day Spa for a massage.

And check out her contest:
Karma Chameleon Contest
In celebration of the release of DEADLY LITTLE LESSONS, I'm so excited to announce the launch of a brand new contest.  I'm calling it Karma Chameleon - yes, after the Boy George song from the '80's (in case any of you have heard of it; if not, you can YouTube it for fun).  I'm naming it that, not because of Boy George or his song, but because the contest is all about karma - good karma that is, and the spreading of it, and because, five books later, I thought it'd be the perfect time to celebrate Camelia from the Touch series (recall that Camelia's real name is Chameleon).
The contest is all about giving and getting - hence the karma part.  As many of you know, the law of karma, in its simplest definition, is that whatever you put out to the world - energy or otherwise, good or bad - comes back to you.  And so, in the spirit of good karma, let's spread some goodness.   I want to encourage readers to do a good deed, i.e. organize a fundraiser or food drive, volunteer to tutor or teach something, visit the elderly or a children's hospital.  All good-karma submissions will be entered into a drawing to win autographed copies of some of my Touch series books. I'll be sharing the most inspiring stories on my website and Facebook, and I'll Tweet about them as well (with your permission, of course).  For more information, see the official guidelines and rules on my web site: http://www.lauriestolarz.com/news.html

Saturday, December 15, 2012

THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT is out!!

Today's the day! The Paparazzi Project is available on Amazon in kindle format for $3.99! Click here to go right to the page.

And if you don't have a kindle, don't worry. You can download the free kindle app from the app store on your phone or iPad. And if you don't have either of those you can still download the app for free on your PC. Instructions here.

The Paparazzi Project was one of my very favorite books to write and I hope you enjoy it! Check out my release week contest below to win a great prize pack: A $25 Amazon gift card plus a copy of all my books plus bookmarks and stickers. Enter below and thanks for checking out The Paparazzi Project!

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Friday, December 7, 2012

The Espressologist News & Giveaway!

You guys remember when I announced that Vuguru had purchased the film option for The Espressologist?  This morning I got the news that they were exercising their option! Wheeee!

What does that mean? Well, books can be optioned by a production company and they hold the rights for a period of time (usually 1-3 years). During this time they figure out if they can make the project work. Like, secure funding, attach actors, producers etc. This guy explains the process pretty well. Some books get optioned again and again and nothing ever comes of it. Companies can't produce every book they option. But if they're ready to move forward with a book they'll take the next step and buy the rights.

And that just happened for Espressologist!

I'm so, so happy! This thing is really going to happen! I can't wait to see the characters from my first book come to life. Totally over the moon today!

So, I feel like doing a giveaway. :-) I'll be doing another one next week when Paparazzi Project comes out (did you mark it on Goodreads yet?) so please don't think I'm a nag for the next two weeks telling you to enter and win stuff. :-) Enter below to win a coffee date with The Espressologist (a signed copy of The Espressologist plus $5 Starcbucks giftcard). And hey, for this contest, there will be FIVE WINNERS!


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Friday, November 30, 2012

GCC Spotlight on: THE ALMOST TRUTH by Eileen Cook


I just love Eileen Cook’s books and she has a new one coming out December 4th! Check it out:
Book Summary:

From the author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, a smart, romantic novel about a teenage con artist who might be in over her head.

Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.

But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.

With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn't prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose....

Our Interview:

KRISTINA:  How did you get the idea for THE ALMOST TRUTH?

EILEEN: Most often book ideas come to me as a collection of unrelated things. A bit of an idea here, another piece there, until it sticks together as one idea.  This process can take months or years. This is one of the few books where I can remember the exact second I had the idea.  I was on the ferry and saw a missing child poster.  At the bottom there was an age-enhanced photo so you could see what the person might look like now. I had the thought "How weird would it be if I looked like the age enhanced photo?"  In that instant the idea of the book dropped into my head. I ran back to my seat and wrote it down as fast as I could.  I spent another week thinking over some different details, but I started writing almost right away.

KRISTINA: If your book was made into a movie, who would star as your main character?

EILEEN: I’m terrible at this! I always want to cast actors who died years ago or else I can’t remember their names. I think I would have them cast all unknown actors- that way I won’t have any preconceived ideas.  However, I’m open for them putting Colin Firth in the movie just so I can meet him.

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

EILEEN: I search baby books that list names along with what the names mean. Sometimes a name pops out right away and just feels right. Other times it takes a long search. I have a hard time starting the book until I know the main character’s name.

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

EILEEN: Yes, please! My twitter name is  Eileenwriter

KRISTINA: What are you working on now?

EILEEN: I am working on a new YA which is currently being called LOST TO BE FOUND, but stay tuned the title may change. It’s about a girl named Avery who decides to search for her birth mom as part of her senior project, but ends up finding out more about herself than she expected.

Praise for Eileen Cook’s books:

".. enormously appealing and great company throughout this breezy read.....the highest quality—like a gourmet truffle. Cook has whipped up a real treat." - Kirkus Starred Review

"Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious." - Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake trilogy

"Sassy and sly and sweet all at the same time, this book made me laugh out loud." - Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries and Airhead

About Eileen Cook:

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.  Her latest release, Unraveling Isobel came out in Jan 2012. You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com.  Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Find THE ALMOST TRUTH on Indiebound, B&N, or Amazon.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Spotlight on GPS WITH BENEFITS by Vanessa Morgan



GPS WITH BENEFITS

Thank you for having me on your blog today. I'm truly honored to be here with all of you!

How many people do you know that make jokes about their GPS device or even talk to it?

Nearly everyone, right?

GPS devices know where you are and how fast you are driving. Who says that, in the near future, they won't be able to know who you look at and what you say.

These thoughts form the basis of my new release, GPS WITH BENEFITS, in which a womanizer purchases a new GPS device, not knowing that it has a mind of 'her' own.

"The inspiration for GPS WITH BENEFITS came to me when I was in the car with a friend," Vanessa says. "We made jokes about the GPS device and imagined what it would be like if the GPS was actually aware of what the driver was thinking. I immediately knew that these ideas could be turned into a hilarious story."

I won't reveal more, but GPS WITH BENEFITS has some twists and turns that you won't see coming and that will have you laughing out loud.

Your turn... What's the weirdest or funniest thing a GPS has ever done to you?

By the way, if you leave a comment on this post, you'll automatically be entered to win an Amazon Gift Card of $25.

About the author:
Vanessa Morgan is known as the 'female version of Stephen King'. Her screenplays, A GOOD MAN and GPS WITH BENEFITS, are currently being turned into movies. She is also the author of the books DROWNED SORROW and THE STRANGERS OUTSIDE. If she's not working on her latest supernatural thriller, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, blogging, digging through flea markets or indulging in her unhealthy obsession to her cat. She writes in English, Dutch and French.

About her latest release, GPS WITH BENEFITS

In GPS WITH BENEFTIS, a womanizer purchases a new GPS device, not knowing it's one with a mind of 'her' own.

GPS WITH BENEFITS is available NOW at:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Places you can cyberstalk Vanessa Morgan

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Starring: SOMETHING WICKED with Kelly Parra

Kelly Parra is stopping by the blog tonight with an anthology she is in called, SOMETHING WICKED.

About the Book:
Sometimes, they aren't costumes.

They’re baaaack.

More nightmares brought to you by the authors of the young adult anthology Prom Dates to Die For...
Beware the Midnight Troll on your late-night stroll by Mari Hestekin. Swim at your own risk Under Loch and Cay by Jenny Peterson. A curse of spiders on campus means Arach War by Lena Brown. Through a Glass Darkly one could lose a soul by Heather Dearly. Supernatural Hunters turn to the sea in Mermania by Kelly Parra. Social media goes to the ghouls in Spectral Media by Aaron Smith.

Don’t miss this paranormal fun for tween, teens and adults!

Kelly Parra’s short story “Mermania” continues Teen Supernatural Hunters Jaz and Blake’s paranormal adventures. The duo debuted in “Darkness Becomes Him” in the young adult anthology PROM DATES TO DIE FOR as they battled a soul hungry dark angel. In SOMETHING WICKED a merman entrances Jaz and it’s up to her and Blake to rush against time before Jaz grows her own tail by the full moon!

Something Wicked facebook: http://www.facebook.com/somethingwickedbook

Our Interview:
KRISTINA: How did you get the idea for title of your story “Mermania” in SOMETHING WICKED?
KELLY: Hi Kristina, thanks for having me! So I’m not very great at titles. Buzz Books named the anthology and both my short stories that I’ve contributed to them. The first "Darkness Becomes Him" in PROM DATES TO DIE FOR, and "Mermania" in SOMETHING WICKED. I’ve totally loved both outcomes.

KRISTINA: Would you ever try writing in another genre?
KELLY: Yes! I certainly love writing adult romance as well under Kelly Lynn Parra.

KRISTINA: Who is (or who are) the Young Adult author that turns you into a fangirl?
KELLY: I absolutely love Rachel Caine and her Morganville Vampire series. Her novels are filled with characters to root for and page-turning suspense.

KRISTINA: Do you prefer reading on an ereader or book in hand?
KELLY: I’ve always loved paperbacks. Hardcovers are too bulky to read in bed so I’m also a fan of ereaders

KRISTINA: Are you on twitter? Where can we follow you?
KELLY: Yep, my twitter is kparra. And I’d love for readers to stop by my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorkellyparra

KRISTINA: What are you working on now?
KELLY: I’m working on an adult romance and my next young adult novel, and since I love short stories, a collection is in the works. :)

About the Author:
Kelly Parra’s earliest stories were told with paintbrushes, but upon discovering the drama and forbidden love of romance and suspense novels, those paintbrushes were replaced with a keyboard. Now a multi-published author in young adult and romance fiction, she has created memorable characters such as a graffiti artist in Graffiti Girl, a psychic teen in Invisible Touch, and a tough undercover narc in her novel for adults, Criminal Instinct. A two-time RITA finalist, she divides her time between her novels, short fiction, and the adventures of motherhood, where she juggles her home life with two children, a tattooed husband, a sweet poodle, and a rowdy pit bull. Visit her website www.KellyParra.com.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/kparra
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkellyparra
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelly-Parra/e/B001JRXHUI/


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jane Austen Giveaway Hop

Thanks for stopping by my blog during the I Am a Reader, Not a Writer's/vvb32reads' Jane Austen Giveaway Hop!

If you're new to me and my books I'm a young adult/middle grade author and I write mostly fun, light, contemporary books. My newest YA, THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT, will be released on December 15th of this year. For this blog hop, I'm giving away my YA book inspired by Emma, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, (shipping in the US only).


About the Book:

What's your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you're lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it's a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it's not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane's Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She's the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?

With overtones of Jane Austen's Emma and brimming with humor and heart, this sweet, frothy debut will be savored by readers.

--

And if you want a chance to win even more books inspired by Jane Austen, follow the list below my Rafflecopter form to go to other great websites on the blog hop!

Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway!

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Monday, October 15, 2012

THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT Cover Reveal Contest!

Yay! It's Cover Reveal Day! Here it is, THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT:



Isn't it awesome? You can read more about The Paparazzi Project (and mark it to-read!) on Goodreads. The book will be released in kindle format on December 15th of this year. To celebrate I'm giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky winner. You'll also get an eARC of THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT as soon as it becomes available! And of course, signed bookmarks and stickers. Enter the rafflecopter below and thanks for celebrating my cover reveal!


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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Starring: LIVE THROUGH THIS by Mindi Scott

Mindi Scott is visiting the blog with her new book, LIVE THROUGH THIS.


About the book:
From the outside, Coley Sterling’s life seems pretty normal . . . whatever that means. It’s not perfect—her best friend is seriously mad at her and her dance team captains keep giving her a hard time—but Coley’s adorable, sweet crush Reece helps distract her. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a mom and stepdad who would stop at nothing to keep her siblings and her happy.

But Coley has a lot of secrets. She won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost-perfect life is her own carefully-crafted façade. That for years she’s been burying the shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line. Now that Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling.

In this unforgettable powerhouse of a novel, Mindi Scott offers an absorbing, layered glimpse into the life of an every girl living a nightmare that no one would suspect.

Our Interview:

KRISTINA:  If your book was made into a movie, who would star as your main character?
MINDI: A very pretty blond girl with an athletic/slender build, who can pass as age 16. I haven’t seen a specific actor who would make a good match, but surely one has to exist!
KRISTINA: Lots of them! Have you ever based one of your characters on someone you know? If so, did that person find out? How did they react?
MINDI: One of the villainous characters in my first book was inspired by a villainous person whom I knew in high school. When I first started the draft, the similarities were pretty obvious, but critique partners found that character too unbelievable (ha!). I changed things so much that no one would recognize who originally inspired the character.
KRISTINA: That was a good idea! What is the weirdest comment you’ve received from a fan?
MINDIN: OH, MY! I’ve had girls and women ask me some really, um, private and detailed questions about the, er, private parts of Seth from my first novel, Freefall. (Do other writers get asked questions of this sort about their male characters? Just curious!)
KRISTINA:   I never have! What are the last five young adult books you read?
MINDI: Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King, Something Like Normal by Trish Dollar, Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskovitch, and We’ll Always Have Summer and It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han.
KRISTINA:   Are you on twitter? Where can we follow you?
MINDI: Yes! @mindi_scott

About the author:
Mindi Scott is the author of Live Through This and Freefall. She lives near Seattle, Washington, with her drummer husband. Please visit her online at mindiscott.com.

Buy links: Barnes & NobleBooks-A-Million, IndieBound, iTunes, The Book Depository, or Amazon


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Can I Write This Off?


*cross posted from A2A*

I haven't been home for the last week. I've been busily having a great time on a road trip first to visit family that live up on this really cool mountain in West Virginia.


And then for a couple of days in Washington D.C.

And then the day after I got home I was off again, this time with Megg to the Illinois Library Association Conference in Peoria, IL.

And like most writers, I'm always taking mental notes of places, people, situations and thinking about how I can fit them into a book. Take our first night in D.C. We could have driven into D.C. and parked in a parking garage. But someone told us no, take the metro, it's the best way to travel. So we took a shuttle from our hotel, to the metro. Had problems figuring out how to get tickets and whatnot but finally did. And got all 6 of us to the White House in once piece, though we spent about $30 doing it when there was a nice big parking garage with a sign that said $9 all day parking available. :-) 

We walked and walked and walked until we were exhausted. The littlest in our group being 4 and having walked his little legs off. At the end of the night, we realized we were at least a mile either direction away from a metro stop. Crap. We picked a direction (over the Arlington Bridge to the Arlington Cemetery stop) and started walking. We had to stop to sit down three times in that mile because everyone was so tired. When we finally got there we found that the metro stop was closed! There were no signs anywhere saying that this stop would be closed. It was a new thing as of October 1st. And now we were two miles away from the next stop. We were getting really worried as the hotel shuttle driver warned us his last pickup was at 10:45 so we had to call him before then and it was about 9:15-9:30. And we were stuck on an empty road with 4 kids. 

We tried for a half an hour to hail a cab. No one would stop. I guess because there were 6 of us. I finally called the hotel and told them our situation and they gave me a number for a cab company. My husband called and when they said we'd need two cabs he got mad and hung up on them. And I started crying. Our situation was really sucking. By some luck, a taxi driver finally stopped for us and I squished all 4 kids in the backseat with me. We didn't care what it cost, we just wanted to get back to the hotel. Only the driver wouldn't drive us all the way to Alexandria. He said he could drop us off at the airport. We agreed. There was no way we were getting back out of that taxi. So now it's 10 something and we're running through the airport trying to figure out where the metro is. We find it, pay another $20 for tickets and catch a train. And we caught the last shuttle to the hotel too. 

My husband was upset at what a mess it was trying to get back to the hotel but I was cracking up. How crazy was it that we walked to a closed stop, got stuck on the side of the road, caught a ride to the airport just to catch a train, to catch a shuttle? Spending hours on travel and almost $100 just to get from the hotel to the National Mall and back? When we could have drove and spent $9 on parking? 

I've got to use this in a book some day, right? And then I can write it off. :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Starring: TEN by Gretchen McNeil


It’s been awhile since I’ve had a touring girlfriend! Gretchen McNeil is here to talk about her super intriguing looking book, TEN.


About TEN:
And their doom comes swiftly.
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, both of which involve Kamiak High’s most eligible bachelor, T.J. Fletcher. But what starts out as a fun-filled weekend turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly, people are dying and the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Our Interview:

KRISTINA: How did you get the idea for (title of book)? 
GRETCHEN: TEN is an homage to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, originally titled Ten Little Indians.
KRISTINA: If your book was made into a movie, who would star as your main character? 
GRETCHEN: Not sure about Meg, but I’d love to see her best friend Minnie portrayed by Elle Fanning.
KRISTINA: How much time do you spend on marketing your book? Is there one specific type of marketing that you find works best for you? 
GRETCHEN: TONS of time.  Currently, I'm running a grass roots campaign called The Army of Ten (http://armyoften.blogspot.com) where fans can win prizes for helping me with promotion.  Grand prize includes getting their name in the Acknowledgments of my next book!
KRSTINA: Would you ever try writing in another genre? 
GRETCHEN: I'd love to write adult horror.  Slight difference, I know, but oh, the things I could do…
KRISTINA:   Are you on twitter? Where can we follow you? 
GRETCHEN: Oh yes!  @GretchenMcNeil!
KRISTINA:   What are you working on now? 
GRETCHEN: My next book is called 3:59 and comes out Fall 2013.  It's sci-fi horror about two girls who are the same girl in different dimensions, who discover that their worlds connect every twelve hours – at 3:59 – for one minute.  When they decide to switch places for a day, all hell breaks loose. Literally.
After that I just sold a two book series, also to Balzer + Bray, for 2014 and 2015.  GET EVEN and GET DIRTY are books one and two in the Don't Get Mad series about four very different girls who have formed a secret revenge society, getting back at bullies and mean girls who have terrorized their classmates, which all goes well until one of their targets turns up dead and the society is implicated in the death.
KRISTINA: They all sound fantastic Gretchen! Good luck to you with TEN! And if you guys want to pick up a copy of TEN you can find it here. And be sure to leave Gretchen a review on Amazon and Goodreads!

About the Author:
Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown.  Her YA horror POSSESS debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011.  Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – will be released September 18, 2012, and her third novel 3:59, sci fi doppelganger horror is scheduled for Fall 2013.  Gretchen's new YA contemporary series Don't Get Mad (Revenge meets The Breakfast Club) begins Fall 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in 2015, also with Bazler + Bray.
Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk.  Gretchen blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and is a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels where she can be seen as "Monday."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Release Coming in December!

I'm so excited to share some news! My young adult contemporary book, THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT, will be coming out in kindle format on December 15th!

Here's the book summary:


Livvie Peterson thought taking Interpersonal Communications her junior year would be an easy A. But when the first assignment is given, her world flips upside down.  Here’s the deal: the class is assigned a six-week project and is split into three groups— Paparazzi, Tabloid, and Celebrities. The Paparazzi follow around the Celebrities taking pictures and grabbing any kind of quotes they can. The Celebrities try to navigate being tailed on a daily basis. And the Tabloid receives all the information collected by the Paparazzi and decides what makes the weekly summary report. Sounds harmless…and it’s all just pretend anyway, right?

Livvie is assigned as Paparazzi and when she is matched up with the über-cute Chas Montgomery as her Tabloid boss she’s pretty sure things couldn’t get much better. Livvie’s uncanny ability to capture the Celebrities in compromising photos matched with Chas’s skill of exaggerating captions and editing the photos make them an unstoppable team. And the long hours working side by side with Chas aren’t a bad bonus.

Livvie simultaneously launches an anonymous blog, leaking the class’ photos and stories on the Internet. Her rising follower number quickly becomes addicting and she possibly spills too much information online. Once she finds her own celebrity will she be able to give it back? And will Chas be gone before she ever has the chance to find out?


____

I'm SO excited for this book to be out in the world! Stay tuned for the cover reveal on October 15th.

And p.s., if you don't have a kindle but have an iPad or iPhone, download the free kindle app. That's how I do my reading. :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

We've Got a Winner!


Congrats to Sheila Windley Staley!! Your book and swag are on their way!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Just Your Average Princess is a Perfect Fall Read

This is my absolute favorite time of the year! From the Pumpkin Spice Lattes to pumpkin scented candles and baking pumpkin bread, I just love it all.


It's also the perfect time to read Just Your Average Princess if you haven't already.

Here's a summary:

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.


Enjoy it with a latte at your favorite coffee shop! :-)



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reading Clean Giveaway Hop

Thanks for stopping by my blog during the I Am a Reader, Not a Writer's "Reading Clean Giveaway" Blog Hop!
If you're new to me and my books I'm a young adult/middle grade author and I have three books with Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. My first YA,THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, has sold in six countries, was a 2010 Society of School Librarians International Honor Book, and has been optioned for film. My Middle-Grade novel, MY FAKE BOYFRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOURS, was a Scholastic Book Club Bestseller and a 2012 YALSA QUICK PICK. And my most recent YA novel, JUST YOUR AVERAGE PRINCESS, is a perfect Fall read as it's about a girl who has spent her whole life on her family's awesome pumpkin patch. And that's the book I'm giving away in this hop (shipping in the US only).

All my books are very clean and you can share with anyone from your fifth grader to your neighbor.

And if you want a chance to win even more great stuff, follow the list below my Rafflecopter form to go to other great websites on the blog hop!

Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit Starring POPULAZZI, by Elise Allen

This week's visiting girlfriend is Elise Allen with the newly released version of POPULAZZI.




About the Book:

WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you had the chance to erase your past and reinvent yourself as the person you’ve always wanted to be? Would you grab it? Would you stick with it, no matter what the consequences?

Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say. One of the Populazzi.

It always seemed impossible… but now could be her chance.

When Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life… with the help of The Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms herself into the perfect girlfriend for guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, she can reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school.

The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment — a straight climb up — but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted. And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right.

Our Interview:

KRISTINA: Have you ever based one of your characters on someone you know? If so, did that person find out? How did they react?

Elise: Trista’s dog in the book is my dog Riley.  He’s described to a tee, and even has Riley’s name.  Riley did find out, and he has demanded a share of the royalties, paid in chicken.

KRISTINA: Would you ever try writing in another genre?

ELISE: Yes… and I have!  I’ve written for prime-time sitcoms, an MTV soap opera, preschool TV, Barbie DVD movies… and in the book world I’ve written a non-fiction travel guide and an early reader book series.  I really enjoy writing in a variety of genres – keeps things interesting.

KRISTINA: Who is (or who are) the Young Adult author that turns you into a fangirl?

ELISE: Laurie Halse Anderson.  I reached out to her for an interview when I was blogging with The Debutante Ball, and when I got an email reply from her assistant I startedshaking.  I have some major worship issues there.

KRISTINA: What are the last five young adult books you read?

ELISE: I’m bad with chronology, but I can tell you five that I’ve read recently, loved, and highly recommend:
Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
Boy 21 by Matthew Quick
Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

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

ELISE: Yes!  You can follow me @EliseLAllen. 

KRISTINA: Do you prefer reading on an ereader or book in hand?

ELISE: I prefer a book in hand, but I always need to have at least one book at the ready on my iPad and/or phone so I’m never without something to read.

About the Author:

After starting her career in television, ELISE ALLEN has emerged as a vibrant new voice in teen fiction. She is the co-author of Hilary Duff's New York Times Bestseller Elixir, as well as its sequels, Devoted and True. She received an Emmy nomination for her work on the PBS show Dinosaur Train, and fulfilled a lifelong dream when she wrote for the Muppets. She lives in Los Angeles, where she indulges her inexplicable desire to run marathons. Visit her at www.eliseallen. com, or on Twitter @EliseLAllen.



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to School Shopping for Writers


*cross-posted from Author2Author*

It's back to school time and if you're a parent you're running from store to store trying to get everything on the school supply list. Well, I have a back to school list for you writers. You must get (okay, look at and ooh and ah over it like me) everything on this list:

Edgar Allen Poe lunchbox, available at Entertainment Earth:



These freaking adorable pencil socks from sockdreams. (Deena, you need these for work right?)



purse made from your favorite book from rebound-designs.



Chocolate pencils from this Japanese chocolate store:


And book earrings that you can make yourself (I'm thinking I need to make some with my next book's cover. What do you think?)



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

GCC Spotlight on: SUCH A RUSH by Jennifer Echols

Today's touring girlfriend is Jennifer Echols! She's here with her latest book, SUCH A RUSH. Isn't the cover gorgeous?!

About the Book:
High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.
But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business--until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers--and the consequences could be deadly.
Engrossing and intense, SUCH A RUSH is a captivating adventure that is sure to keep readers soaring.
Our Interview:
KRISTINA:      Would you ever try writing in another genre?
JENNIFER: Besides YA romantic dramas like this one, I also write YA romantic comedies. I’ve published five of those already, with three more forthcoming from Simon Pulse in 2014 and 2015. I also have my first adult romantic comedy, Star Crossed, coming out with Simon & Schuster on February 26.
KRISTINA:   Who is (or who are) the Young Adult author that turns you into a fangirl?
JENNIFER: I am a huge fan of the hilarious and brilliant Rosemary Clement-Moore, and especially her latest novel, Texas Gothic. A related novel is coming out soon and I simply can’t wait.
KRISTINA:   Are you on twitter? Where can we follow you?
JENNIFER: Yes! Please follow me at @JenniferEchols.
KRISTINA:   What are you working on now?
JENNIFER: I’m so excited to be writing another YA romantic drama for MTV Books called Dirty Little Secret, which will be in stores this time next year.
KRISTINA:  Do you prefer reading on an ereader or book in hand?
JENNIFER: I’m so appreciative of all the people who have purchased my novels as e-books, but I just can’t get used to the e-reader. I buy e-books only if a book isn’t available in print.
About the Author:
Jennifer Echols is the award-winning author of multiple romantic dramas and romantic comedies for teens. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

GCC Spotlight on: NEVER ENOUGH by Denise Jaden


Today’s visiting girlfriend is Denise Jaden with her latest book, NEVER ENOUGH.



About the Book:

Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special…even if that means betraying her sister.

But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. And Loann is frightened she could lose the sister she’s always idolized.

As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship—and her sister—before it’s too late?

Our Interview:

KRISTINA: How did you get the idea for Never Enough?

DENISE: At the time, I had a close friend who was struggling with a severe eating disorder. I started writing the book mostly so I could understand my friend and her struggles more.

KRISTINA: If your book was made into a movie, who would star as your main character?

DENISE: If Kat Dennings was a little younger, she would make a perfect Loann.

KRISTINA: Would you ever try writing in another genre?

DENISE: Maybe dystopian, but I’m a YA Contemp girl at heart.

KRISTINA: Who is the Young Adult author that turns you into a fangirl?

DENISE: Laurie Halse Anderson

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

DENISE: My favorite comment is that my writing voice reminded her of Laurie Halse Anderson

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

DENISE: Yes! I LOVE Twitter. I’m at @denisejaden and, sadly, you can find me there at most times of the day.

KRISTINA: What are you working on now?

DENISE: I’m working on another YA contemporary novel, this one a romance/mystery. It’s called FOREIGN EXCHANGE, and is about a girl who sneaks away from her class trip in Europe, along with her crush, to find her missing best friend.

KRISTINA: Do you prefer reading on an ereader or book in hand?

DENISE: I prefer a hard book, but I do have two ereaders, and they’re certainly convenient for taking work or reading with me.

About Denise:

Denise Jaden spent her high school lunch hours trying to tame her frizzy/curly hair in the bathroom, or playing freeze tag in the drama room. She attended the theatre program at college, and then enjoyed a variety of occupations, including stage production, mushroom farming, and Polynesian dancing. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith, was written in 21 days during National Novel Writing Month. This is her second novel. She lives just outside Vancouver, Canada with her husband and son. Find out more online at http://www.denisejaden.comor on Twitter: @denisejaden

Check out Denise’s CONTEST!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

GCC Spotlight on: 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER by Jessica Brody

Jessica Brody stop by the blog to talk about her new book, 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER.

About the Book:

Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.


Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.


Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.


In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.


Our Interview:

KRISTINA: How did you get the idea for 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER?

JESSICA:  Actually it’s kind of a funny story. I was sitting in my car, watching a meter maid write someone a parking ticket and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to be a meter maid? But only for like a week. Just to see what it was like.” Then I start to brainstorm all these other jobs I’d like to do for one week. And I decided, “Well, I’m too busy writing novels to actually do all these jobs, so I guess I’ll just have to write a book about someone else who does them.” And then I tried to think of the funniest character to put in that kind of situation and the answer was instant: a spoiled heiress who has never had to work a day in her life. And alas, Lexington Larrabee was born. But really the joke’s on me, because in researching the story, I actually did take on some of the jobs that are in the book! My favorite was working the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant. Those head-sets you have to wear are like something out of Star Trek!

KRISTINA: If your book was made into a movie, who would star as your main character?

JESSICA: This is always a really tough question for me. Actually, the book has been optioned for film and we’ve had some early interest from Victoria Justice (from the show Victorious on Nickelodeon) to star in the film. Nothing has been officially decided yet but I think she would be totally perfect for the part! She definitely looks like how I imagined Lexi to look.

KRISTINA:  Would you ever try writing in another genre?

JESSICA: Funny you should ask! Last year I signed a deal with my publisher for a young adult sci-fi trilogy. I just finished revising the first book called UNREMEMBERED which releases in March 2013. It’s about a sixteen year old girl who wakes up amongst the wreckage of a devastating plane crash with no memories, she's forced to piece together her forgotten past with only one clue to her identity— a mysterious boy who claims she was part of a top-secret science experiment.


KRISTINA: Who is the Young Adult author that turns you into a fangirl?

JESSICA: Suzanne Collins! Totally! I LOVE her books! I saw the Hunger Games movie like 5 times in the theatre. I was there at midnight for the opening. I can’t wait for the next movie!

KRISTINA: Do you prefer reading on an ereader or book in hand?

JESSICA: I can only read non-fiction on my ereader. It’s weird. With fiction, I have to have the book in my hand. I think it’s because I really love looking at the cover as I read the book. I like how covers can change the more you get into the story. 

KRISTINA: Are you on Twitter? Can we follow you?

JESSICA: Please do! www.twitter.com/jessicabrody

Author Bio:

Jessica Brody is the bestselling author of The Karma Club and My Life Undecided, as well as two books for adults: The Fidelity Files and Love Under Cover. In researching this book, she took on several minimum wage jobs, her favorite of which was working the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant. She splits her time between California and Colorado. Visit her online at: www.jessicabrody.com