Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pics of Behind the Bit!

Callie and Black Jack

Sneaky Alison

A final copy of BEHIND THE BIT (May 19, 2009)!!! Yaaaay! My favorite part is the expression on Alison's face on the back cover. She's totally up to something...oh, snap.

Again, sparkles must be bestowed upon Kate Angelella, Jessica Handelman, Monica Stevenson & crew and everyone at Aladdin MIX (only the coolest, best imprint ever) who worked on BEHIND THE BIT. Thank you all for working so hard on my books! And I've told EK a million times, but it's worth repeating, she's seriously brilliant. She comes up with the coolest tag lines that are beyond perfect for the books.

Holding a finished copy of my third (OMG) book is no less exciting than when I got copies of TAKE THE REINS. It's the most intense/wow/amazing feeling to see the finished book.

Happy sigh. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 4, 2009

(Yep, I'm blogging twice today. Just because.)

The day I moved to NYC! :)

I'd been going back and forth with the decision since my first visit to NYC in January. That visit was an eye opener about what life could be like in NYC and things were never the same after I went back to Florida. I wanted to move to New York, but was scared for a million reasons. February through April was the most difficult and intense three months of my life. Many things were going on and, for a while, I lost myself while trying to sort through them.

After lots of debating, conversations with people I trusted to help me with the decision and thinking about where I wanted my life to go, I moved.

And I haven't had a second of regret.

Not one! For me, it was never about moving to this big city to party non-stop and have fun. It was about starting my life and having the best possible shot at moving forward both personally and professionally. The perfect opportunity was offered and if I hadn't taken it, I would have regretted it--as dramatic and soap opera like as it sounds--for the rest of my life. True.

I've been here for three weeks and I've learned a lot. Some of the most important things?

* Being scared is okay. Letting fear stop me isn't.
* Food in NYC can be delivered at all hours. To the front door. And I've loved all of it.
* Life can't be all about work 24/7.
* Shopping trips in the middle of the work day are sometimes necessary.
* I can't survive without good friends.
* I didn't die when I tried sushi.
* There are two people that I can talk to about anything. Who's the lucky one?
* I will not end up in Coney Island instead of Manhattan when I get on the subway.
* Cars will not always stop even if I have a walk-signal.
* Veronica Mars is only the most awesome show ever.

And, the most important one:

* Family is what you make it.

That's key.

I've rewritten this post a dozen times and am glad to finally blog about it. It's another step forward and that feels great. NYC is a fresh start for me and I get more excited every day that I'm here.

Saying "thank you" to T and HC for all of the above is lame. It's beyond a thank you at this point. I'm a writer and I don't even know what to say here. Just <333s.


OH! I can't forget about the sparkly, fun stuff...

I can't talk about NYC without bringing up two awesome places that I've been recently. Stir and Southern Hospitality. I went to Stir on Friday night with friends and we had so much fun. The music was perfect for dancing and having fun. The place had such a great atmosphere with a DJ, awesome lighting and the best drinks. Ever. So good. The glasses were rimmed with pixie sticks or crush Jolly Ranchers. Amazing. We're going back this Friday with another friend who happens to take dance classes (like hip hop), so I'll probably try to get her to teach me a few new moves.

I went to Southern Hospitality a couple of weeks ago and loved it. The cool part? It's co-owned by JT. Yes, Justin Timberlake. I looked around the entire time just in case JT decided to show up. It could happen. The food was fab and I adored their mac and cheese. Yum. Plus, their drinks are also super fun and so good. The vibe of the restaurant was great--perfect for a weekday night out after one of those days at work.

Okay, that was my break from BEST ENEMIES. Back to it!

Exciting news!

Editor K gave me the go ahead to share the news that TAKE THE REINS went into its second printing! Yaaay! I'm super excited about it and thank you to everyone for supporting the book. I so appreciate it.

Also, I have finished copies of BEHIND THE BIT, which comes out May 19. I'll take pics and will post them soon.

The blog is a little quiet since I'm finishing up edits on BEST ENEMIES. But regular blogging will resume soon. :)

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Interview with YA Book Nerd

Thanks so, so much to Jennifer (the YA Book Nerd) for interviewing me and sharing her thoughts about TAKE THE REINS and CHASING BLUE. You rock, Jen!

I'll post details about my move to NYC this weekend, so stay tuned for that. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book Expo America!

I know I posted that I'm going to BEA, but I don't think I posted the full details. I'm soo excited about going and it will be a lot of fun to meet up with friends.

Here's the info, straight from the Website:

Saturday, May 30
9:30 – 10:30 am
Room 1E16

Driving Success with Teens & Tweens: Authors Share Online Success Stories

Sure, you've got a blog, but so does everyone else. What makes your online brand stand out? With so many networking, lifecasting and social media outlets available to authors, having a dot com, a myspace page, and a regularly-updated LiveJournal are only the bare minimum. This discussion will focus on non-traditional online marketing to teens and younger readers: ever thought about creating a Ning network, a Twitter feed from the perspective of your protagonist, or complimentary online content such as a YouTube channel, fashion blog, embeddable meme or downloadable EP? This discussion features a variety of perspectives from young adult and middle grade authors as well as handouts containing tutorials on how to make your own online book trailer, create an embeddable quiz, start a Ning network, and think outside the textbox.

Moderator: Robyn Schneider, author, Knightley Academy series

Presenters: Jessica Burkhart, author, Canterwood Crest series

Sarah Mlynowski, author, Magic In Manhattan series

Julia DeVillers, author, How My Private Personal Journal Became A Bestseller

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy birthday, J!

Happy birthday #18, JB!

Hoping everyone sends you your "fave" things. You know... ;)


Monday, April 20, 2009

Post up at Teen Fiction Cafe

Today is my day at Teen Fiction Cafe! Yay! I posted about going to see 17 Again with Zac Efron. I had SO much fun. Head on over and leave a comment! :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

I heart Pink

Yesterday, I went shopping at Victoria's Secret for PINK shirts with friends. I found *the* most awesome shirt (couldn't find a pic on VS's Website, but trust me) and it's super sparkly. It's light blue with a blinged-out rocket Popsicle with a bite missing on the front. On the back it says something like, "I will make you melt Pink."

It's gorg.

So, anyway. It was warm yesterday and I couldn't resist wearing this awesome shirt under a light wrap sweater to run a few errands. I met up with my friend and we're walking down the street when a guy starts pointing at my shirt. I'm like, "OMG!" but we keep walking.

And then, he steps closer while still pointing at my shirt and reaches toward me as if he's going to touch the Popsicle. He does.


I was in total shock. Lucky for me, my friend gave the guy a look that meant she'd break his fingers if he touched my shirt again (she would have taken him down, for real!) and told him that wasn't cool. I mean, I know the shirt was awesome, dude, but don't touch it.

And that's my story for the day.

Now back to editing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finished Best Enemies draft! Finally!

Yeeessss! I *finally* finished drafting BEST ENEMIES! This one took a lot longer (eek) than usual, but there was also a lot going on in my non-writing life. I started BE on March 20, so yeah, that took a while.

Now, I've got lots of editing to do on my own before it gets sent to Editor K. But at least the draft is down and I have words to rearrange and play with. Yay! :)

What're you guys working on? Update me!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Rock and the River in the NYT

On Sunday, the New York Times is reviewing The Rock and the River. This is super sparkly news because my editor, Kate Angelella, edited this book. The Rock and the River was the first book Kate ever acquired and that speaks to her talent as an editor. Kate is not only the hardest working editor, but she also has an intense passion for her projects. The Rock and the River will be the first of many books on Kate's list that will achieve this level of recognition.

Congratulations, Kate!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Finally Friday

The weekend's almost here. Yay! I'm super excited about it. I'm nearing the finish line on BEST ENEMIES and it would be great if I could type the final words by early next week. I've also got a stack of books that I want to read and I really need to start editing the first half of BEST ENEMIES. It's in scary shape. It feels like so long ago since I started it. I, erm, kind of forgot what happened in some places.

Shout outs (sorry if I'm forgetting anyone!) to Carrie Ryan, Amanda Ashby and Alyson Noel for some awesome news this week. Woo hoo!

Anyone have weekend plans?

P.S. I will have official super sparkly news of my own to share soon--hopefully next week! :D

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Take the Reins an April 2009 ALAN pick

Great news! :)

Take the Reins is an April 2009 pick for ALAN. Yay! Thanks so much to Julie M. Prince for reviewing the book.

Fellow S&S author Lisa Schroeder's Far From You is also a pick for this month. Yay, Lisa!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chasing Blue reviewed at Kidliterate

The awesome Melissa at Kidliterate reviewed Chasing Blue! Thanks so much, Melissa. I appreciate the review and am glad you enjoyed the second book.

I'm super busy as I catch up after the conference, but will be back to blogging regularly soon! :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Tomorrow, I'll be in the air on the way to St. Louis. And, well, Memphis for a 50 minute layover. My plane leaves at 7am, so that means I'll be on my second Diet Coke by 6am. Yes, I drink soda before coffee in the morning. I'm weird like that.

I'll be speaking at the Missouri Writers Guild conference. I'm so looking forward to meeting Celeste Perrino-Walker, my awesome editor at Listen. See you Friday, C!

It should be a fun conference! Pics and possible video to come. :)

Also, my friend Tiana made this GORGEOUS slideshow for the Canterwood books. Tiana, thank you! I love it!

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