Friday, February 5, 2016

IN REAL LIFE Pre-Order Campaign

We're just a few weeks away from IN REAL LIFE's release, so I wanted to send a special little thank you to to anyone who pre-orders the book.

If you pre-order IN REAL LIFE by February 29th, I'll send you this swag pack:

This pre-order special swag pack includes:
*An IN REAL LIFE bookmark - signed
*An IN REAL LIFE postcard with a little personalized love note to you from me
*A signed bookplate you can stick in your book
*Pre-order exclusive Nick and Hannah stickers

I got these adorable doodles done of Nick and Hannah, the stars of IN REAL LIFE, and had them made in to stickers just for people who pre-order the book. (How cute is Nick?! Seriously.)
Here's how to get the pre-order swag pack:

STEP 1: Pre-order IN REAL LIFE by midnight on February 29th - hardcover or ebook

STEP 2: Email proof of your purchase to Screenshot your order confirmation, forward the email receipt, however you want to show me that you preordered. (I won't use your personal info for any reason, I promise, but you can block it off if you want to.)

STEP 3: Include your full name and mailing address in the email

STEP 4: Enjoy IN REAL LIFE when it comes out on March 1st, and enjoy your swag pack!

You'll get a reply from me when I drop your swag pack off at the post office, so check in with me if you don't hear anything after a week or two. (Post Office trips are less frequent now that I have the baby, but I want to make sure no one is forgotten.)

This pre-order offer IS international, so no worries if you don't live in the US. I'll send you goodies no matter where you live. And if you order multiple copies of the book, I throw in a bonus surprise or two for you!

Thanks again for your support of my little book! I love you all! xoxo

Pre-order links:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Annotated ARC Giveaway Winner

Hi everyone! Thank you all for entering to win the annotated ARC of IN REAL LIFE! I can't believe I had so many entries! Rafflecopter has spoken, and the winner of the annotated ARC is


Jessica, the ARC + a swag pack is headed your way! And everyone else, there will be at least one more ARC giveaway before the book's release in less than a month, so stay tuned!

Monday, January 25, 2016

2016 Contemporary YA Scavenger Hunt!

Hi everyone! Welcome to my stop on the 2016 Contemporary YA Scavenger Hunt! There are 16 awesome YA contemp authors participating in the scavenger hunt, so as you make your way through the posts you can discover new authors, add new books to your TBR, and win some great prizes! I'll have an ARC of IN REAL LIFE up for grabs in the big giveaway, and anyone who comments on this post will be entered to win an IN REAL LIFE swag pack! Click here to see all the stops on the hunt and enter the big giveaway.

I'm thrilled to feature an interview with Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott, authors of The Way Back to You. I absolutely loved Mindi's debut Freefall, and I can't wait to read this one!

For fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson, a witty, poignant novel about second chances, letting go, and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.

Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident. Her best friend, Cloudy, is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken.

Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.

As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they’re barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot out of character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again.

Or maybe it will BE a huge mistake.

Ok, let's talk to Mindi and Michelle and find out more about this book.

1. Since you co­wrote The Way Back to You, what was your writing process like? Did you each write a different POV?

Michelle wrote all the chapters narrated by Cloudy, and Mindi wrote all the chapters narrated by Kyle. Before and while we were writing the book, we spent a lot of time communicating through texts, emails, and chats to figure out who our characters are and what stories we wanted to tell about them. Michelle wrote the first chapter, Mindi wrote the next, then Michelle, then Mindi, and so on. The chapters were written in chronological order—except we did go back to the beginning and fully revise the first half of the book before we started writing the first draft of the second half.

2. Who or what was your biggest inspiration for becoming a writer?

Michelle: “This is probably a weird answer for a novelist, but I was such a huge TV- watcher as a young adult. It was just this amazing era (dare I say Golden Age??) of teen-centric programming. So shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek, and Gilmore Girls really got me excited about words and shaping them for myself.

Mindi: “There are too many whos and whats to narrow down one “biggest,” but young writers such as Anne Frank, Mallory Pike (from the Babysitter’s Club series), and Anastasia (from Lois Lowry’s Anastasia Krupnik books) were all hugely inspiring to me in middle school.”

3. Mindi, has your writing process changed at all between your first novel and this one?

My writing process evolves with every novel (and attempted/abandoned novel). Probably the biggest difference between how I wrote when I was first starting out and how I write now is the planning. I used to simply write whatever came to me and see what unfolded as I went. Now, I sometimes spend months getting to know my characters and outlining my stories before I ever write a single word.

4. Michelle, how has your debut author experience been so far?

100% terrifying! But seriously, it’s been a really special time, and I’m trying to soak it all up. I’m very fortunate to be part of two debut groups, the Sweet 16s and Sixteen to Read, and each is brimming with enthusiastic and talented people. And I consider myself unbelievably lucky to have Mindi in my corner through all of this. How many writers can ask one of their favorite authors for advice whenever they need to?!

5. I love the cover for The Way Back to You, but if you were given a blank canvas and told to design the cover, what would it look like?

We wouldn't know where to start with designing a book cover, so we're very relieved that professionals worked on ours—and so happy with how it turned out! There was some discussion of different looks, and if we'd gone with a more photo­realistic cover, we were big fans of the cover for The Next Together and an evocative black­and­white photo we came across of two teens on a road trip:

6. What’s your favorite 2016 release you’ve read so far?

We’ve both read Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods and Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn and loved them! And Michelle is just going to list every 2016 book she's read so far because no lie: they are all fantastic and not to be missed:

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt
Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker

Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott are novelists from opposite coasts who met through an online Young Adult Writing class. For years, they critiqued each other’s manuscripts, and then they wrote an entire book together—all while exchanging thousands and thousands (oh, and thousands) of emails, texts, and Tweets.

Michelle lives in New York City and The Way Back to You is her first novel. Mindi lives near Seattle, and her books are Freefall, Live Through This, Violent Ends, and The Way Back to You.

Websites: / /

Instagram: michelle_etc / mindiscott

Pinterest: michelle_etc / mindscott

Twitter: michelle_etc / mindi_scott

Get The Way Back to You:

Thank you, Mindi and Michelle! And don't forget, everyone who comments on this post will be entered to win an IN REAL LIFE swag pack! Plus you can win an ARC in the big giveaway...or check out my giveaway for an annotated ARC! Lots of chances to win! Have fun!

IN REAL LIFE Annotated ARC Giveaway!

Authors don't get a ton of ARCs or finished copies of their books for free, and the few they get are usually earmarked for some specific purpose. Once I distributed most of the ARCs I received, I hoarded the last few, knowing I was going to want to do some giveaways in the weeks leading up to the book's release.

Well, today is the day! And not only am I giving away an ARC of IN REAL LIFE, I'm giving away an annotated ARC! 

Yup, I went through an ARC with a pink pen and spilled all my secrets when it comes to this book. Characters who are named after people I know, things that I put in the book that actually happened to me (you'll be surprised about at least one of those...heh), stories I stole from other people, wait what. I let you in on all the good stuff. It will be like reading it with me sitting next to you and reading over your shoulder, but without my hot breath in your ear.

I'm also throwing in a little swag pack. I have bookmarks and postcards and adorable Nick and Hannah stickers and a button and maybe something else, I don't even know. You'll just have to wait and see?

Want to win this? Just enter on the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open until 1/30/16 at 12:00am. Because I'm paying for this myself, I have to limit it to US mailing addresses only. And you actually have to do the things in the Rafflecopter to win...and, yes, I will be checking.

Thanks for being so excited about my little book, you guys! I can't wait to share it (and all of my little secrets...muahahaha) with you!

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Latest...In Real Life

I had a little bit of a panic the other day when I realized it was almost January, which means it's almost February, which means it's almost March, which means it's almost time for In Real Life to be out on shelves. WHUT.

I have a few updates for you guys. I could update you on the freaking out happening behind the scenes, and maybe I will later, but for now I'll just go ahead and update you on the fun stuff.

First of all, In Real Life is available for pre-order. Check out this page for all the pre-order links and stay tuned because I have a pre-order giveaway coming up!

Look at this awesome countdown widget that Erin at MEReadALOT made for In Real Life!

If you want to put this countdown widget on your own blog, here's the link.

I started a Facebook page for In Real Life to keep people updated on the latest and greatest. There's not much on it yet, but soon it will be full of all kinds of pre-release stuff, including giveaways and my pre-order campaign. Click here to like In Real Life's Facebook page!

As for launch parties, I have a few things in the works! I'm still working out the details, but it looks like I'll be having a launch party for In Real Life on March 1st in Orange County. If you are in the Southern California area, save the date and I'll share all the details as soon as I have them set.

Two of my writer besties, Liz Briggs and Dana Elmendorf, both have books coming out on the same day, and I'm going to be moderating their launch party at Vroman's in Pasadena on April 3rd! I'm so excited about this event! Here's the event invite...we'd love to see you there!

This isn't all...I have quite a few giveaways planned in the weeks leading up to the release. Plus a pre-order giveaway, teasers, and some other fun things. I can't wait to count down to this release with you guys!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Is Over?!

Wow. I blinked and 2015 is over. Insane.

This was a weird year. A really weird year. I'm looking back over it and wondering what I accomplished, and it feels like nothing. Well, I have one MAJOR accomplishment...I grew and birthed and started raising my first child. And that has truly been the focus of my year. Obviously.

So, because of Baby Love, all of my writing stuff pretty much got put on the back burner. The back, back burner. The back, back, back burner. When I was pregnant I had the attention span of a gnat, and once this guy showed up my schedule went all to hell and I really lost all the time and energy I had for writing before. When even getting a chance to eat lunch is a miracle, working on that novel becomes a pretty distant memory.

The one thing I managed to make progress on was my very last semester of my MFA program, which is my creative thesis semester. Even though it was really difficult, I managed to attend residency in Louisville while 35 weeks pregnant and then make every single packet deadline while working full time and caring for a newborn/infant, with 75+ pages of original writing and a 30 minute graduation lecture and pages of some new stuff, too. Now I have one more to go...just ONE, and I'm done. I'll graduate this summer. I can't believe it.

But, of course, with the end looming and my life as mom with full time job who also wants to have time for writing finally getting figured out, I have to figure out what's next. My second novel IN REAL LIFE (which I actually wrote before PUSH GIRL...heh) comes out in March, but...then what? I have a finished novel that needs a little revision and I have the novel I've been writing for my MFA and I have the beginnings of an IRL companion idea and I have an idea for something cool that I need to figure out. I have, I have, I have, but where do I start? And when?

So, I set some goals. As I do. Find time for reading OR writing every day. I won't be able to write every day, but if I can't write, I want to read. I want to do something productive for my writing career. And I also need to work on redefining what "writing time" looks like for me, because it's no longer going to be three or four consecutive hours of work, and that has to be okay.

And I set my focus word for 2016: SIMPLICITY
Keep it simple, stupid. No need to kill yourself going overboard. Do what you can do, even if it's the bare minimum. In the paraphrased words of Eliza Hamilton, that will be enough.

Bring it on, 2016. I have a feeling I have no idea what you have in store for me, but I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


It's been forever since I've had a chance to update my blog. Unfortunately, writing a decent blog post takes time, and for me, that's time away from writing or lesson planning or whatever else I have on my plate.

BUT I am taking the time today because I actually have updates about IN REAL LIFE! Five of them!

First of all, IN REAL LIFE has a release date! It's coming out March 1, 2016, and I am crossing an X through every day in the calendar, because I seriously can't wait.

Second, IN REAL LIFE has a plot!

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention. And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Third, IN REAL LIFE has two lovely blurbs from two lovely authors!

A witty and entertaining story of friendship and secrets with a sparkly Vegas backdrop. Jessica Love knows love! 
~ Kristin Rae, author of Wish You Were Italian

A sweet, honest story that begins as so many of our relationships do: online. 

~ Emery Lord author of Open Road Summer

Fourth, IN REAL LIFE has a gorgeous cover!

I SO didn't know what to expect with this cover, but I absolutely love it! I'm a huge fan of graphic covers like this, and I particularly love the title font. 

And fifth, IN REAL LIFE is up for pre-order a couple of places! (You know, if you're into that sort of thing.)

Pre-order IN REAL LIFE on Amazon
Pre-order IN REAL LIFE on B&N

I'm so excited that this book is actually going to be a book. (If I am inclined to blog again soon, I may share the timeline and evolution of this book, because, man, it was a journey.) I worked on it for so long and it changed so much, but I love, love, love it, and I'm thrilled it's actually going to be A Thing.