Monday, December 10, 2012

A GOLDEN Giveaway!

Happy Holidays!
Christmas is near, and we all know that one of the greatest pleasures of the season is to give.  It's been quite a while since I've given anything away here on ye old blog, and I just so happen to have one of these hanging around.  Though I thought it looked pretty, it's not actually not on my tree.  Husband and kiddos vetoed that idea, which means I'll be giving it away to one lucky winner out there.  
It's a jacket proof for the hardcover of GOLDEN, and boy is it beautiful and shiny.  I actually had to turn the flash off to get a good shot because the light reflects off the foil just like the sunburst in the photo.
  I've signed it and handwritten my own GOLDEN playlist on the inside, and I would love to give it away along with...
A Special, bound-manuscript edition of GOLDEN
(The official ARCs will be out in January, so you can think of this as an advanced Advance Reader Copy)
We gave these away at NCTE in Las Vegas last month, and I have one extra that will go to one winner, along with the jacket proof.
All you have to do for a chance to win is:
Leave a comment here 
If you'd like to gather some extra entries, you can do so by:
Tweeting the giveaway (+1)
Sharing it on Facebook (+1)
Including a link to the giveaway on your blog (+1)
Please leave your entry total and the links in your comment.  I'm willing to work on the honor system if you are. 
This giveaway will stay open until 12pm PST on December 23rd, and I will post the winner bright and early on Christmas Eve. 
I hope this finds you all happy, healthy, and enjoying the holiday season,
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

GCC Presents...Eileen Cook and THE ALMOST TRUTH

The Girlfriends’ Cyber Circuit is a web ring of YA authors which I’ve recently had the great honor to join. Check these posts for the latest releases!
It's been a while since the last GCC post, and today I'm so happy to welcome Eileen Cook to the blog to talk about writing and her latest release, THE ALMOST TRUTH, which was released on December 4th.

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....
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 previous 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  Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.
And now for some in-depth, hard-hitting writing questions...
Do you have a pre-game writing warm-up? Something you do before you write to help get you in the right frame of mind?
I’m a complete tea junkie. I almost always make a cup before sitting down to write. My favorites are from David’s Teas. ( They are beyond tasty.

 Is there a time of day you like to write best?

I want to be one of those people who wakes up early and writes like crazy, but mornings are not my time. I tend to get the best writing done in the afternoon.

 Where do you write most often? Do you have a picture you wouldn’t mind sharing of your writing space?
I have an office that is the old sun porch off of our house. I write either there or on the sofa in our living room. If I spend too long in my office my dogs whine because they want to sit on the sofa with me. They want me to believe that it’s because they love me, but I think the truth is that I am their giant hot water bottle. They love me for heat.

 What things do you always have on hand when writing? Special pens, notepads, snacks…
A cup of a tea, my Mac Airbook and my dogs. I am an office supply junkie so I love any excuse to buy pens, Post it Notes, or those Moleskin blank notebooks.

 How do you stay focused when writing?
For me I need to get started. Once I start writing I feel as if I fall into the story and it seems easy to keep going (and difficult to remember things like making dinner or walking the dog). If I haven’t begun writing for the day I seem to be able to come up with a million excuses of why I can’t.

 What is your worst writing distraction/procrastination tool?
The Internet. I am constantly amazed at my ability to spend huge amounts of time looking at cute dog and kitten pictures. My current favorite is Dog Shaming.

 Describe your perfect writing day:
The perfect writing day would mean writing in a house near the ocean. There’s something about water that I love. I’d write during the day without a single beating my head on the desk moment, and spend the evening reading by the fire.

Eileen, thank you so much for stopping by!  And I think you need to come visit me one day. :)



Friday, October 26, 2012

It's Friday--And I Have Five Things!

Oh, it's been a looonnng time since I've blogged.  But I finally got the itch,and I finally had a few spare minutes, and so here we are, checking in with Five on Friday. Happy day--for multiple reasons!

1. Those who are close to me know, and you may have guessed by my Tweets, that this school year I had the opportunity to go back to my middle school librarian job after two years away.  This was/is a job that is near and dear to my heart, so I snapped up the chance.  And then I freaked out.  While I love the job itself, trying to balance it with writing and deadlines and family had been a rough road, I'm not gonna lie.  In the last couple of months, I've had those "What was I thinking???" moments on multiple occasions.  I've also had those crushing "I cannot possibly do this" moments more than once.  But the good news is that today is the last day of the first quarter...and somehow... I've made it. AND...

2.  Last week I finally got the greenlight for the next book, GOLDEN, to go to copyedits!!!! Which means it's 99% finished--which means I am 99% relieved. Oh, this book. I don't even know where to begin with it, except that it was a book I was a little intimidated to write from the very beginning, one that gave me a run for my money in the process, and now is one that I am very proud of (but, honestly, a little bit nervous about still, too).  I think this is a good thing, the nervousness.  That it means something. This is a book that I lost sleep over, did not share with any of my usual readers, and second-guessed just about every line I wrote.  I think that means that it's close to my heart.  And important to me.  And, fingers crossed, it will be close to yours too when it comes out in May!

3. Having finished GOLDEN, I've found myself in that strange place that feels a little bit like a vacation for the writing brain, which is SO nice, but it's one that leads to restlessness pretty quick, which means I'm getting ready to dive back into writing a whole new story.  It's a strange thing.  I've got the outline for it, and the synopsis. I've even got 16 pages that I wrote way back in July.  But at this point, it all feels foreign. The characters seem like strangers. I don't know how they sound yet, or what they fear or love most.  This is the best and worst thing about writing, this beginning again. On the one hand, I've got a clean slate, and on the other hand, that clean slate? Well, clean is another word for blank. Empty.  And filling it in is a big job, so I'm building myself up to it because I know that once I start, and truly commit to a story, I'm a goner.  I will stop sleeping, and start grinding my teeth, and become used to this whole new thing occupying my mind and taking over my life.  It takes some working up to, but I think I'm ready.  Just about.

4.  TV--I am not a huge watcher of it.  In fact, Monday through Thursday, I don't watch any. My husband works those nights, and after my kids are tucked in, I take the opportunity to read or answer emails, or generally just chill. But Friday nights, we stay up late and catch up on them all.  We've pared it down to a select few--SUPERNATURAL, VAMPIRE DIARIES, and now NASHVILLE. Oh, NASHVILLE.  Can I just say right now that Connie Britton is one of my favorite actresses of all time? And Hayden Panitierre, though I want to hate her character like we're supposed to, I also feel a little bit sorry for this little girl lost (like we're supposed to). And I have a feeling that Connie Britton's character will too, though it may pain her to do so.  Like FNL, this is one of those extremely well-written, true shows that grabs you right by the heart from the very beginning. If you haven't watched it, do.  You'll totally thank me.

5.  And finally--I cannot let this week go by without a shout out to Taylor Swift and her beautiful new album, RED, which is poised to sell a million this week!  The girl is magical.  And such a writer. If you know me, you know I am an unabashed fan, as is my my 6 year old daughter.  Not only did I have a special package pre-ordered for her, but I bought it on iTunes as soon as it was available so I could listen to it on the way to and from work.  There is nothing more exciting than hearing an artist's newest album, and with this one, Taylor does not disappoint. RED shows her growth as a woman and a songwriter, and since Monday, my commute to and from work has been devoted time to listen, appreciate, and try to figure out which guys the songs were written about.  Any insight on this would be extremely helpful, as I am totally out of the loop.
So there it is.  An actual blog post.  I promise I'm going to try and keep up with them, at least weekly.  Or maybe monthly is more realistic. In the meantime, I wish you all the lovliest of weekends!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

GOLDEN Has a Cover!!!

I've been waiting a LONG, LONG time for this.  I got the okay to share the cover for GOLDEN, (which will be out in May of next year), a while ago, but I've held onto it because it didn't feel quite right to share it until I finished my revisions--at least the first round, anyway.

I am SO happy to say that I've got that first round under my belt and am finally starting to get that  nervous-excited-almost-there feeling that comes along with the realization that soon enough, the story I've worked on and fretted over for so long will indeed make it to be a real book, on the shelves in a real book store. 

And....thanks to Lizzy Bromley and the design team at Simon & Schuster, it'll look like this!!!


I have loved each of my covers, but this one may be my most favorite yet.  From the light, to the sketches, to the Robert Frost tagline, I couldn't be any happier.  I think it fits the story just perfectly!  
GOLDEN is part love story, part mystery, and all about taking chances and making choices.  Here is the super official flap copy:
Seventeen -year-old Parker Frost may be a distant relative of Robert Frost, but she has never taken the road less traveled.  Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she's about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules.  So when fate drops a mystery in her lap--one that might be the key to uncovering the truth behind a town tragedy, she decides to take a chance.
So it's out there now!  And official!  Which means I should get back to revising...
Hope you guys like this one as much as I do!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Presents... Elise Allen

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit is a web ring of YA authors which I've recently had the great honor to join. Check these posts for the latest releases!
This week, I'm so excited to be emerging from my revision cave to celebrate Elise Allen and her newest novel, POPULAZZI, which just came out in paperback. Check it out!

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.

Praise for Populazzi:

"In her first solo novel, Allen offers a smart mix of hilarity and tragedy in this Macbeth–meets–
Mean Girls tale.” -- Publisher's Weekly

"The story unflinchingly depicts the dark and dangerous side of high-school popularity, making it a captivating read."—Kirkus Reviews
Named a "Great Summer Beach Read" by Shape Magazine
One of Justine Magazine's "Chick Lit Picks"

Named one of the "Top Hits of the Summer" by Girl's Life Magazine

About Elise:

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.

And now, for my favorite part...Elise's writing life:

Is there a time of day you like to write best? 

Not really; I’m pretty adaptable. I can write just about anytime or anywhere… with the exception of on a plane. I hate writing on a plane. I find it nearly impossible.

Where do you write most often? Do you have a picture you wouldn’t mind sharing of your writing space?
Most often I write at a coffee shop, usually Panera or Muddhouse Coffee, usually after some form of exercise that leaves me gross and sweaty. I don’t have a picture handy of either place, but I do have a link to one of my earliest blog posts that was all about why I don’t take pictures of my natural writing habitat. You can check it out here:
What things do you always have on hand when writing? Special pens, notepads, snacks…
There’s no real “always” with me, since I’m very not precious about my writing rituals. Most often though, I have headphones, music (ideally Pandora), and Quest Bars, sliced apples, and baby carrots.
And of course my laptop. I can’t read my own handwriting, so a computer’s a must.
How do you stay focused when writing?

Hmmm… got any pointers? Music helps. It drowns out the distractions. Also being away from home helps a lot. I have a zillion things I need to do at any given moment at home (right now my head is spinning with them), so vacating the premises is often vital for me.
What is your worst writing distraction/procrastination tool?
Oh god, the internet, absolutely. Facebook and Twitter are ridiculous time sucks if I let them take too much time. I’m also not allowed to play video games because I become obsessed. In college I played Tetris and Risk for hours on end; in my 20’s it was Spider Solitaire; more recently Bejeweled is the greatest danger on the planet. What they have in common is that they’re mindless (computer Risk doesn’t have the strategy of real Risk), so I use them like pacifiers... but there’s a reason kids are weaned from pacifiers. The one game I do allow myself is the NYTimes Crossword puzzle. I get it on the computer, and do one puzzle a day, except when there’s a Sunday Acrostic, which I always fit in as well.
 Describe your perfect writing day:
I wake up early, get outside, and go for a long run at the beach with a friend – not so long that it eats up the day, but long enough that I feel like I’ve accomplished something. Let’s say 13 miles. Then I change into something loose and cozy, drive to the Panera in Encino, (which I just discovered and is my new favorite Panera because it’s not overly crowded and has lots of electrical outlets), curl into a booth with a big cup of coffee, and have one of those glorious writing days where everything flows and time flies, and I finish up completely excited and energized because I’ve been in the zone.
Days like that are rare. Often I’ll get pieces of the perfect writing day, but it’s not often that everything comes together.
Thanks so much for the questions, Jessi! I really appreciate you having me on the blog!

Thank YOU, Elise! And I'm sure readers will thank you too for this fab giveaway!
"To thank everyone for their support with the paperback launch, I'm doing a giveaway on my blog where commenters can win a pack of five books -- Populazzi plus books from the four authors who blurbed it (including the marvelous Girlfriend Eileen Cook!). Here's a link to that:" http://eliseallen.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Presents...Jennifer Echols and SUCH A RUSH!

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit is a web ring of YA authors which I've recently had the great honor to join. Check these posts for the latest releases!
The GCC is back again this week with another perfect summer read.  This week, I'm so happy to be featuring none other than Jennifer Echols, and her newest romance, SUCHA A RUSH.  I'm just going to go ahead and declare this the Summer of Awesome Contemporaries right now.

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.
Praise for Jennifer Echols:
“Echols is a tremendously talented writer with a real gift for developing relationships between her characters.”—Romantic Times Magazine on GOING TOO FAR
"Emotional and expressive, Forget You is another intricately weaved romance from Jennifer Echols… a breathtaking ride into the world of teenage love and a perfect summer romance." –A Good Addiction on FORGET YOU
“Love Story is just as sexy as Echols’ other MTV books with the same level of intensity."
Books By Their Cover on LOVE STORY

Meet Jennifer:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Echols is the award-winning author of multiple romantic dramas and romantic comedies for teens. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

And now, a peek into her writing world...

Do you have a pre-game writing warm-up? Something you do before you write to help get you in the right frame of mind?
I usually take a break and go for a run in the middle of writing, which is the best tool I know of to jog my brain out of a rut.
Is there a time of day you like to write best?
I get up at 4:30 to write. I am a morning person, obvs.
Where do you write most often? Do you have a picture you wouldn’t mind sharing of your writing space?
This is my screened porch on the back of the house. It’s on the second story, in the trees, and in the winter when the leaves have fallen, you can see the mountains.
What things do you always have on hand when writing? Special pens, notepads, snacks…
I create a calendar for the time span of the book, with notes about everything that happens on each day and what chapter that goes in, plus a list of all the characters’ names. Both of these documents are scribbled all over in red and pink pen and look like they have been left out in the rain by the time the book is done.
How do you stay focused when writing?
If I’m really having trouble, I go outside and write longhand--which is how I wrote my entire first two novels, because I didn’t own a computer.
What is your worst writing distraction/procrastination tool?
Twitter on my phone. Terrible. But I love keeping in touch with writing friends and book bloggers that way, so it’s worth it.
Describe your perfect writing day:
Theoretically, it’s a day like today. I have nowhere to go and nothing to do, and my husband and son are visiting relatives. But in reality, I miss them terribly, and if they’re not bursting into my office asking me what’s for lunch, I really don’t know what to do with myself. I think I may need the distractions to keep me motivated!
Thanks so much for stopping by Jenn!  Can't wait to read SUCH A RUSH!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Presents Denise Jaden and NEVER ENOUGH

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit is a web ring of YA authors which I've recently had the great honor to join. Check these posts for the latest releases!

It's been a busy few weeks for the the Girlfriends!  Today, I'm so happy to be featuring Denise Jaden and her new YA contemp, NEVER ENOUGH.  I absolutely loved her debut LOSING FAITH, and can't wait to dive into this:

From the author of Losing Faith, a novel about two sisters and the eating disorder that threatens to destroy their family.

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?

"In her sophomore novel, Jaden (Losing Faith) offers an intimate and enlightened rendering of anorexia and bulimia...Loann's fight against forces that might be beyond her control is both harrowing and inspiring. While Jaden does not provide simple answers for the problems presented, she dramatically illustrates the importance of speaking out and reaching out."
—Publishers Weekly

“Denise Jaden's Never Enough is honest, gut wrenching, and oh so beautiful.  It's a book you can't wait to share.”
—Eileen Cook, author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick

“A poignant, important book...Denise Jaden has created a cliché-free zone filled with hurt, heart, and personal strength.”
—C.K. Kelly Martin, author of I Know It’s Over and Yesterday
“Denise Jaden positively nails the love-hate relationship between two polar opposite sisters who share a single quest: the desire to be perfect, regardless of the cost. A compelling, often gut-wrenching coming-of-age novel, Never Enough will haunt you long after the last page.”
—From Jeannie Garsee, author of Before, After and Somebody In Between

"A poignant look at sisterly devotion and heartache, woven into a sweet tale
of first love and a girl coming into her own."
—Holly Cupala, author of Tell Me A Secret and Don't Breathe A Word

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

Make sure you check these out, because Denise is hosting a mega book giveaway on her blog, and anyone who comments on this post is eligible to enter! It's linked up here!

And now, my favorite part, a peek into Denise's writing life...

1. Do you have a pre-game writing warm-up? Something you do before you write to help get you in the right frame of mind?
No, I pretty much just sit down in front of my laptop whenever I can find spare minutes to write. I’ve learned to be able to sit down in five minute shots and have truly productive moments. When I get stuck, I pace around my kitchen and dining room a few times and that seems to get my mind working again.
2. Is there a time of day you like to write best?
I really like to write first thing in the morning. Often when I’m first waking up, I get some great ideas that I want to work into my current manuscript. It’s always best if I can implement these right away, but often I have to wait until the afternoons to get any serious writing done.
3. Where do you write most often? Do you have a picture you wouldn’t mind sharing of your writing space?
I have an office, officially, but really it’s just our spare room with a teeny-tiny desk shoved into the corner. To be perfectly honest, though, I wrote Losing Faith at my kitchen table during my pre-office days, and quite often I migrate back there with my laptop.
4. What things do you always have on hand when writing? Special pens, notepads, snacks…
I used to crunch on baby carrots all the time while working until I learned they’re soaked in bleach. Yelch! Now I try not to snack, but more often than not, you’ll find a dark chocolate bar somewhere in the vicinity of my desk.
5. How do you stay focused when writing?
Believe it or not, Twitter helps. I’m serious! I tweet that I’m going to be working, sometimes I have a wordwar or challenge with somebody, and those are often my most productive times. I’m very goal driven, and once I say something (or type it in 140 characters or less), I stick to it.
6. What is your worst writing distraction/procrastination tool?
Twitter! Wait, does that work to answer this the same way? But it’s true. While it can be my best helper, it can also be my worst hindrance. There’s always someone fun to chat with on there.
7. Describe your perfect writing day:
My perfect writing day would involve my husband getting my son up and out of the house before I wake up. Then I could go straight from bed to my laptop, which would be ideal. After an hour or two’s work in the morning, I’d probably take a break, do some homeschool with my son, and ideally have another two hours to work in the afternoon. When my husband goes out of town, I also write a little in the evenings (a glass of wine is a nice bonus!) but I don’t think I’d want to write in the evenings every day.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Denise!  I can't wait to read Never Enough!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Presents Jessica Brody

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit is a web ring of YA authors which I've recently had the great honor to join. Check these posts for the latest releases!

This week I'm so excited to welcome fellow contemp author, Jessica Brody!  Jessica's newest release, 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER, hit the shelves last week, and sounds like the perfect fun summer read.  Check it out:

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.
“The #1 reason you’ll love this book? Because it’s tons of fun.”
-Bestselling author Meg Cabot
 “Famous and spoiled teenage heiress Lexington Larrabee could give the Kardashians a run for their money in this opulent and fast-paced story…sharp writing and over-the-top scenes will appeal to readers looking for a fun summer read.”
-Publisher’s Weekly
“This unusual riches-to-rags tale is fun and interesting…the mysteries layered throughout, as well as the depth of the main characters, draw you in. Lexi is an obnoxious but lovable character you’ll root for!”
-Romantic Times Book Review (4 Stars!)
 About Jessica:

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:

You can also find her on:


Now let's find out a bit more...

1. Do you have a pre-game writing warm-up? Something you do before you write to help get you in the right frame of mind?
Yes, actually I have a whole SLEW Of things! First off, I can’t write at home. I have to write in a public place. Like a coffee shop. For some odd reason, all the stuff going on around me keeps me from getting distracted! I know, counter-intuitive, right? It’s when I’m alone in my office that I find SO many other things to do and think about!
Secondly, I have a really cool “white noise” track that I listen to. Despite the fact that I have to have people and things around me when I write, I can’t have any noise. (Writers are so weird!) So I found this track called “Waterfall Entrainment” and it’s nothing but a constant waterfall sound that goes “SHHHHHHHH!!!!” in my ear. I loop it and play it full blast.
And third, I ONLY drink coffee when I’m writing. I’ve actually managed to trick my brain to thinking that coffee equals productivity. Plus, limiting my caffeine intake makes the caffeine more effective. So as soon as that coffee hits my blood stream, I am ready to rock!
2. Is there a time of day you like to write best?
Definitely the morning. If I wait too long, I get bogged down with other stuff and I lose motivation. And then I’m like, “Eh, screw it! I’ll write double the amount tomorrow!” Which of course, I never do. So I like to write first the morning and get it done!
3. Where do you write most often? Do you have a picture you wouldn’t mind sharing of your writing space?
I’m on the road a lot so I don’t really have a permanent writing space. I try to find a coffee shop near wherever I’m staying and write there. Panera Breads and Corner Bakeries are always good reliable spots. But I’ve been known to write in some very strange places! I finished my most recent novel in the lobby of a LaQuinta near the Orlando airport at 4 am in the morning.
4. What things do you always have on hand when writing? Special pens, notepads, snacks…
Just the aforementioned coffee, white-noise track, and of course, my headphones!

5. How do you stay focused when writing?
I don’t allow myself to check email, Twitter or Facebook at anytime during my writing session. It’s way too easy to get distracted that way. I only write about 2-3 hours a day but those are 2-3 intensive hours of JUST writing. Nothing else. For me, it’s easier to just power through and not take breaks then to write on and off all day.
 6. What is your worst writing distraction/procrastination tool?
Basically ANYTHING that needs to be done in my house: Laundry, cleaning my office, organizing my desk, unpacking my suitcase. Which is why I always have to get out of the house if I want to get any writing done!
7. Describe your perfect writing day:
I love days when you sit down to write and the next thing you know, three hours have passed by and you’ve written 3000 words without even trying. Those are the best days!

That would be a DREAM DAY.  Thank you so much for stopping by, Jessica! Can't wait to check out 52 REASONS!

Monday, June 18, 2012

In Town for ALA? Don't Miss Crystal Cove, the Real-Life Setting of MOONGLASS!

I am BEYOND excited that ALA is coming to Orange County this year!  Anaheim is, for all intents and purposes, right in my backyard, so the fact that so many amazing authors will be there is seriously giddy-making for me.  And all of the librarians and book lovers who will be attending? Even more exciting!

I feel a definite pride in welcoming you all to Southern California, and as a local, want to share the place I am most proud of.  Crystal Cove is not only one of the best kept secrets around here, it is also the place that inspired my debut novel, MOONGLASS, and a must on your list of things to see while in SoCal.  Not only can you check out the real-life setting of the story, but you can grab a shake at the legendary Shake Shack, comb the beach for sea glass, and watch the most beautiful sunset you've ever seen.

And, if you're a fan of the book, you can get a firsthand peek at the real-life place!

One of the most special things for me about writing MOONGLASS was being able to set in a real place, and one that I love at that. It's actually a State Park, and if you haven't come for a visit yet, you must. It's a place made of magic. Really. There is something so poignantly beautiful about Crystal Cove that I can’t define it in any other way. I grew up in the mountains, but I love this place like I’ve been here my whole life. Being here is like falling through a crack in history and going back in time to a place that captures the beauty of simplicity. From the crash of waves over the rocks to the tumbling-down cottages and serene sunsets, this place inspired MOONGLASS in every sense of the word. Below are a few pictures I snapped while I was writing it.  I dare you to look and not want to come for a visit.

The "Beaches Cottage," where the movie was filmed.  Also the inspiration for Anna's mother's cottage.
The iconic sign in front of the artist's studio.
One of the tumbling down cottages and the boat that inspired the Crystal Crawler's story.

 The tidepools where Anna and Tyler meet...
Sunset at the Cove. My favorite time of day!

Sea glass found on one of my many beach "runs".

There are so many AMAZING events going on at ALA this year, and I know many people won't have a chance to slip off to the beach, but if you do, you know where you should go.  In the meantime, if you'd like to know more about Crystal Cove, you can visit

Hope to see you all at ALA!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Presents Amanda Ashby

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit is a web ring of YA authors which I've recently had the great honor to join. Check these posts for the latest releases!

This week I'm so happy to introduce to you Amanda Ashby and her middle-grade series, SOPHIE'S MIXED-UP MAGIC.  Books one and two of the series are both out this week, and you'll definitely want to check them out!

Be careful what you wish for…
After eleven year old Sophie accidentally gets herself turned into a djinn, she starts to think that it might not be so bad after all. (Of course, that’s after she gets the whole orange skin problem sorted out.) Who wouldn’t enjoy having the power to grant wishes! But when Sophie develops RWD (Random Wish Disorder) and can’t STOP granting wishes, things get more than a little mixed-up!

And that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E…

As Sophie gets used to her magic, her relationship with the adorable Jonathan Tait is blossoming. There’s only one problem: Jonathan’s twin sister, Melissa. She’s a total mean girl who seems intent on making Sophie’s life miserable. On top of that, Melissa somehow seems to sense that Sophie has powers–and manages to bind Sophie to her in a totally self-serving way. Can Sophie figure out a way out of this–without ruining her chances with Jonathan?

About Amanda:
Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and after spending the last sixteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand, she’s finally moved back and now lives on the Sunshine Coast. When she’s not moving country, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let’s just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?)

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award, and her first young adult book Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age 2010. Her latest release, Fairy Bad Day, has been selected by Voya as one of their Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2012 and is a SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist for the Australia/NZ region. To find out more, please go to
And now, for a peek into her writing world...
Do you have a pre-game writing warm-up? Something you do before you write to help get you in the right frame of mind?
I used to play solitaire on the computer before I started writing but that was a bit disastrous and could go on for ages so I had to stop it. These days I just need some Diet Coke and my playlist!
Is there a time of day you like to write best?
During the day, though my first few books were written at night after my kids had gone to bed, but now that they are in school I can finally work when the sun is out!
Where do you write most often? 
I tend to pick up my laptop and follow the sun around the house. I do have a study desk but it tends to be covered in bills and junk so I don’t tend to use it very often!
What things do you always have on hand when writing? Special pens, notepads, snacks…
Diet Coke, snacks and often a pad full of scribbled down ideas that I’ve made the previous night (and which I can never read because my writing is so messy!)
 How do you stay focused when writing?
I don’t! In fact most of the time I have no idea how I ever manage to finish a book since I’m pretty erratic. My only saving grace is that when the story is flowing I can write a lot in a short period of time (followed by long periods of laziness!!)
 What is your worst writing distraction/procrastination tool?
The Internet, definitely!
 Describe your perfect writing day:
Getting 3-4k written while the kids are at school as well as squeezing in a walk!
Amanda, thank you so much for stopping by! I will definitely be ordering the Sophie series for my middle school library.

Want more Amanda? Visit her at: