August 26, 2013

I Know What I Read This Summer

Hey everyone! Remember me? (I don’t blame you if you don’t.) So, summer’s over for us here in Los Angeles, and I figured I’d mark my return to the blog with a bit of a look back at what I read the past few months. Fact is, my summer was seriously book-centric! For starters, I was finally able to begin working on a new novel that I've had outlined for ages. And for, um, nexters, I did a lot of reading. As most writers will tell you…if you wanna be a writer, you’d best be a reader. That said, I sometimes try to steer clear of “the competition” or, you know, “books I might plagiarize.” But this time I totally immersed myself in the world of YA, especially novels with similar themes to my own work-in-progress, such as… Suicide! Rape! Bullying! (Yes, my WIP is a bit darker than Frenemies, though there is still a frenemies-like subplot in there.) I know I’m way late to the party on pretty much all of these, but I wanted to share my reading list with you anyway. So here you go:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher I tore through this baby in one day. Yes, it was that good. I’m sad to say I know too many people who’ve lost loved ones to suicide and in the midst of the tragedy, it also arouses a certain morbid curiosity—why would they do it? HOW could they do it? This book has such a genius premise in that it not only satisfies that curiosity, but packs a powerful message about how our actions (or in some cases, inaction) and words affect others and can have devastating consequences. It was a definite tearjerker, but it ends on a hopeful note.

Sweethearts and Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr Okay, so I’m pretty much head over heels in love with Sara Zarr. The people and situations in her books are so gritty and real. The characters aren’t always sympathetic and yet you root for them because of what they’re going through (and, hell, who out there is perfect? These characters are relatable, man!). I also love the little seeds of mystery along the way, urging you to keep reading because you just have to know what’s going to happen—especially with regard to how the relationships are going to turn out.
                                                                         
By the Time You Read This I’ll be Dead by Julie Anne Peters Again, this one grabbed me because of that morbid curiosity surrounding suicide, and my questions were answered in painstaking, heartbreaking detail. As with 13 Reasons Why, there are so many profound and powerful lessons, as well as a poignant little love story and a sense of hope at the end. (At least I felt like it was a hopeful ending…if you read it, what did you think?)

Hate List by Jennifer Brown Yet another one you want to pick up for the premise alone—the story behind a school shooting, as seen through the eyes of the killer’s girlfriend. I love anything that examines multiple sides of controversial issues, that illustrates that life is not black and white, but at least...er…fifty shades of gray? (I swear I didn't put that in for SEO or anything.) Seriously, though. This book forces you to think about tough topics like bullying, and questions how well we really know the people we feel closest to. It also makes some pretty terrifying observations about how victims can become perpetrators…with deadly consequences.

If I Stay and Just One Day by Gayle Forman Two very different books—the former a real tearjerker and the latter more of a romantic romp (complete with lots of European travel…sort of reminiscent of the Before Sunrise movies). Really looking forward to reading the sequels—Where She Went and Just One Year—which are apparently told from the perspective of the male love interests.

Trapped by Michael Northrop This was a great read for me because of the situation—a group of kids who get trapped in their high school (that’s a big part of what happens in my WIP, too!) and how they respond when desperation sets in. Amazing premise, masterfully executed.

Pretty impressive list, huh? So what did you read this summer? Tell me what I should read next. I wanna know!


XO

January 25, 2013

Hooray for English-Speaking E-books!

Okay, people, the wait is pretty much completely over now. You can finally read FRENEMIES books 3 and 4 (GLAMNESIA and FABOTAGE, respectively) in English, as the e-books are now available on iTunes and for the Nook and Kindle. And they're just $3.99 each! Woo hoo! Yippee!

You can even sample the books before you buy them. Check them out on the Alloy Entertainment site here and please let me know what you think if/when you get a chance to read these two final novels so near and dear to my heart.

I believe my work here is done.

XO

December 25, 2012

Merry Xmas and Congratulations to...

...Candace Ryan, you are now the proud owner of the Glamnesia and Fabotage eBooks (or you will be as soon as I send them to you via Amazon). I hope you enjoy Halley and Avalon's continuing (and final) adventures!

Thanks to everyone who entered (all, um, seven of you). If you missed the contest, don't despair. The eBooks are just sitting there on Amazon, waiting for you to notice and order them (for a mere $3.99 each). So what are you waiting for? Click the links below and get caught up!

GLAMNESIA
FABOTAGE

Happy holidays, everyone, and lots of love...

XOXO

December 21, 2012

The eBooks Have Landed + GIVEAWAY!

Here's some happy holiday news: The wait is FINALLY over (sort of!): Glamnesia and Fabotage (a.k.a. Frenemies books 3 and 4) are now available (in ENGLISH) as eBooks! The Amazon Kindle editions were just released this week, and the books will soon be available on all other eBook formats as well (I'll post again as soon as I hear about specifics on the books for Nook, iPad, Kobo and Overdrive). In even better news, you can purchase them for just $3.99 each. So, if you or anyone you know uses Amazon Kindle, please check out the following links and place your orders:

GLAMNESIA
FABOTAGE

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Also, if you'd like to order the books for someone for a special occasion (like, um, Christmas), I would be more than happy to send an email or e-card—personally created by me—for the recipient! Simply contact me with the name and email and any other details you'd like me to include, along with the date you'd like the email to arrive, and I'll make it happen.

WIN THE E-BOOKS! And finally, to celebrate the fact that these books are finally available for English-speaking readers, I'm giving away a digital copy of each. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post, or send me an email, letting me know that you want your Glamnesia and Fabotage and you'll be entered to win. You can score extra entries by letting people know about the releases (e.g., by posting on your Twitter and Facebook accounts) and including the Amazon links. Simply leave another comment or send me another email with links to those posts and you'll be entered to win AGAIN! I'll pick one winner at random to receive both books on Christmas Day.

Wishing you all a warm and wonderful holiday season—and good luck if you enter the giveaway!
XOXO

November 12, 2012

While we're waiting...here's a sneak-peek at GLAMNESIA!

Okay, people, the latest (sort of sad) news is that the Glamnesia and Fabotage eBooks may be delayed by another few weeks. It's now looking like they'll be available in December. Let's keep this in perspective, though, shall we? After all, I believe the delay is partly due that evil, nasty, horrible hurricane known as Sandy and the toll she's taken on so many dear friends (including people involved in the production of these books). So let's all take a moment to send our best thoughts and wishes that things back east are on the mend, mmmkay?

On that note, if you're interested in getting your hot little hands on a signed copy of Frenemies, Faketastic and/or the entire four-book series en Francais, here's some exciting news: From November 30 to December 6, those books and many, many others in the young adult and middle grade category will be auctioned off on eBay, with all proceeds benefiting Hurricane Sandy victims. This auction is the brainchild of the ΓΌber-awesome Kieran Scott (a.k.a. bestselling author Kate Brian), and you can find more information on the YA for NJ Facebook page or get updates via the YA for NJ Twitter Feed. Just a few of the big-name, bestselling authors auctioning off signed copies of their books for this amazing cause: Libba Bray, Melissa de la Cruz, Gayle Forman, David Levithan, E. Lockhart, Carolyn Mackler, Megan McCafferty, Lisa McMann, Lauren Oliver, Sara Shepard, Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia and more than 150 others! So check it out, yo, and get your bids in for a phenomenal cause.

Now, while we're waiting for the Frenemies eBooks and this most excellent auction, here's something exciting to get you amped up...I'm going to start posting links to some excerpts from Glamnesia, book 3 in the Frenemies series, right here on the blog! To kick things off, click here to get chapter one in its entirety! I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. I'm so excited to finally be able to share some of this with the world. Hoo-ray!

XO

October 26, 2012

At Long Last...Glamnesia and Fabotage IN ENGLISH!

Well, my friends, the wait is nearly over. Yes, I have some very good news. I'm told that Glamnesia and Fabotage—books 3 and 4 in the FRENEMIES series—will finally be released as eBooks next month. That's just a few short weeks away! So if you have an iPad, Kindle, Nook or any other type of eReader, you’ll be able to find out what happens next between the BFFs-gone-wrong. Do they ever make up? Is Avalon really with Wade? All your burning questions will be answered!

There’s also lots more hilarity in Glamnesia as the girls head to Fashion Week and get to live their dream helping a famous designer. And in Fabotage, they get to experience what life’s like when their every move is captured on film, reality-TV style.

I’ll post more details about the official release date of the eBooks as soon as I have them—and I’ll probably (finally!) be blogging a lot more anyway, not just because of these releases but because the magazine job that’s kept me so busy for the past year is finally winding down. Hurray—so many reasons to rejoice!

In the meantime, tell me: Do you read books on an eReader (and if so, what kind)? What are the questions you’re hoping to have answered in Glamnesia and Fabotage? And how excited are you about this news?!?!

XO