Tuesday, May 27, 2014

One Last PUSH GIRL Giveaway...The Countdown Is On!

It's one week until the release of PUSH GIRL, and, you guys...I'm so excited. But I'm also freaking out a little bit. Er...a lot. I mean, it's obviously super awesome that the book is about to be OUT THERE. But at the same time...what? People are going to read it? People besides my mom? ACK! Scary!

To celebrate, and to distract me from the reality of the calendar, I want to do one last giveaway! I have a few little goodies to share with my friends and the people who have been with me from the beginning to say thank you for all of your love and support. In fact, there will be THREE winners for three pretty great (IMO...haha) prizes.

Prize 1: A signed finished hardcover of PUSH GIRL + some PUSH GIRL swag

Prize 2: A signed ARC of PUSH GIRL + some PUSH GIRL swag

Prize 3: The book of your choice from the extensive catalog of the amazing authors who blurbed PUSH GIRL. Choose any book you'd like from Jennifer Brown, Deb Caletti, Tamara Ireland Stone, or Laura Wiess.

This giveaway is open internationally and it will be open until 11:59pm on Monday 6/2/14...the last minute before PUSH GIRL is officially out in the world. Just enter via the Rafflecopter below and I'll draw some winners next week.

Thank you all so much for all of your love and support, you guys. And if you see me shaking in the corner any time over the next week, just leave me there. I'll be over it soon.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 22, 2014

BOOKANISTAS: Wish You Were Italian

Pippa has always wanted to go to Italy … but not by herself. And certainly not to sit in art school the entire summer learning about dead guys’ paintings. When she steps off the plane in Rome, she realizes that traveling solo gives her the freedom to do whatever she wants. So it’s arrivederci, boring art program and ciao, hot Italian guys!

Charming, daring, and romantic, Bruno is just the Italian Pippa’s looking for—except she keeps running into cute American archeology student Darren everywhere she goes. Pippa may be determined to fall in love with an Italian guy … but the electricity she feels with Darren says her heart might have other plans. Can Pippa figure out her feelings before her parents discover she left the program and—even worse—she loses her chance at love?

I've been lucky to do a lot of traveling over the past ten years or so. And if you ask me what is my favorite city I've been to...well, I have two answers. But one of them is definitely ROME. I fell in LOVE with the city of Rome, and I absolutely love everything about it. So when I heard that a contemp YA romance was coming out that took place in Rome, I just knew I had to get my hands on it right away. Because the only thing I love more than a good YA romance is one that takes place in one of my favorite cities on the planet! (Hello, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS!)

This is one of those books that will make you fall in love with the setting, if you've been to Italy in person or if you haven't. It captures the feeling of being there for the first time so perfectly - you really feel like you are on this trip with Pippa, and that's such a cool way to experience a book!

Pippa is a great character, too. She's brave and spunky and I love the way she pushes herself to try new things and explore. I can't imagine being that willing to put myself out there as a teen, so it was fun to walk in her shoes and see what it would have been like to have a little more guts. 

And there is a great romance in this book, with several cute guys, lots of flirting, and so many fun, cute moments. *sigh* Oh, to have an Italian romance. I think I need to book a trip back to Italy. Uh...with my husband, of course. 

If you love Italy or want to fall in love with Italy, this is the YA romance for you. Be sure you read it with gelato on standby for the full experience!

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to...

Friday, May 9, 2014


Yesterday my awesome friend Liz Briggs revealed her gorgeous cover for her book MORE THAN MUSIC. Did you see it? Check it out.

Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars.

Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star. 

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

I absolutely LOVE this book, you guys. LOVE. I read it twice in one weekend just because I couldn't stop thinking about it and wanted to get lost in the world again. Luckily you don't have to wait too long to get your hands on it...it comes out June 17th! WOOP!

If you can't wait, though, (and I don't blame you), Liz is giving away an e-ARC and a $50 gift card over on her blog. Go enter! Share the love of her awesome cover! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

BOOKANISTAS: Camelot Burning

By day, Vivienne is Guinevere's lady-in-waiting. By night, she's Merlin's secret apprentice, indulging in the new mechanical arts and science of alchemy. It's a preferred distraction from Camelot’s gossipy nobility, roguish knights, and Lancelot’s athletic new squire, Marcus, who will follow in all knights’ footsteps by taking a rather inconvenient vow of chastity.

More than anything, Vivienne longs to escape Camelot for a future that wouldn't include needlework or marriage to a boorish lord or dandy. But when King Arthur's sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens Camelot, Vivienne must stay to help Merlin build a steam-powered weapon to defeat the dark magic machine Morgan will set upon the castle. Because if Camelot falls, Morgan would be that much closer to finding the elusive Holy Grail. Time is running out and Morgan draws near, and if Vivienne doesn't have Merlin's weapon ready soon, lives would pay the price, including that of Marcus, the only one fast enough to activate it on the battlefield.

It's no real secret that Kathryn Rose is one of my writing besties. But what you may not know is that I knew she had to be my friend immediately when I first met her in person and she told me the concept of this book - Steampunk Camelot. I've always been super interested in Arthurian legend. I find it so fascinating. Then add in the "punk" element to it? OMG I am so hooked. I was pretty much like, "Welp, I certainly hope you like me, because with a concept like that, we're going to be best friends and there's no two ways about it." 

This book really does live up to its awesome concept. She takes all of the things and characters that are familiar about Arthurian legend - Camelot, Merlin, King Arthur, Morgan le Fay, Excalibur, Guinevere and Lancelot - but puts a punky twist on all of it, while also adding in new characters and new threats to the kingdom. CAMELOT BURNING follows the story of Vivienne, Guinevere's lady-in-waiting and secret apprentice to Merlin. I loved Vivienne because she is a strong girl who is working toward the things she wants, even when it's not easy for someone of her gender or standing in her society. She's spunky, strong, and sassy, and she wears some really awesome clothes. 

There's a really fun (and somewhat mysterious) romance between Vivienne and Marcus, Lancelot's squire. OMG, you guys...I LOVE what Kathryn Rose has done with the knights in this book. Throw away what you know about traditional Camelot knights and get ready for THE HOTTEST KNIGHTS IN THE KINGDOM. Oh goodness. These guys. 

Speaking of throw away what you know, no matter how many Camelot books I read, I always manage to picture Merlin looking like he does in the Disney movie The Sword and the Stone. This book completely obliterates that image of Merlin and makes him into this cool, mysterious guy I can't even explain. He's so awesome in ways I never really anticipated Merlin could be, and I love it so much. 

Get ready to have everything you know about Arthurian legend turned on its head in the best possible way. This book is out TODAY, and you really need to go check it out. 

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to today...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Writers Talking Writing

My friend and fellow Bookanista and 2014 debut author Rebecca Behrens tagged me in this fun little blog hop on the writing process. You can see her post about her writing process here. I'm tagging my writing besties Liz Briggs and Dana Elmendorf. Their posts will go up on their blogs May 12, so keep an eye out!

Now for the questions...

What are you currently writing?
I'm working on edits for IN REAL LIFE, my book that's coming out in 2015. I got some awesome notes from my editor, so I'm going through everything trying to make this book the best it can be. It's difficult because it involves re-imagining some things I've come to accept about my story as being true. It's a huge challenge, and it's scaring me a lot. BUT on we blindly stumble. I know it will all work out.

I also started outlining something new. I have to have a new story to get workshopped at my MFA residency in July, so I need to get started on it now. I outlined the beginning and wrote about 850 words so far, just to get it down on paper. I even came up with a title! I'm feeling very proud of myself, and I have to admit that it's fun to dip my toe into something new. 

What makes your work different?

I've been staring at this question for the longest time, and I honestly have no idea. I try to be funny, I guess? I mean, I think there's a lot of humor in my writing, even in the serious stories like PUSH GIRL. I'm sure I do have it in my to write something all serious and literary, but it would feel so unnatural. I love sprinkling as much humor as I can into my stories. 

Why do you write what you do?

I write YA because I love teenagers, and I think books you read as a teen can carve a special place in your heart and also let you know you aren't alone. I write contemporary realistic stories because that's just how my brain works. I don't think I could come up with a fantasy world if I tried forever. I write a lot of romance because I like romance and kissing is fun. And I write books with diverse characters because I don't know anyone whose life is full of nothing but white, straight, able people, and I like to make my books look like reality. 

What is your writing process?

You guys...I don't KNOW. I've written three complete books now, and they have all come about so completely differently. I have no real idea what my process is all about. I know I need an outline. NEED. But I've found I can't come up with an outline until I write the book almost all the way through completely wrong. So I write a totally mess of a draft, figure out what doesn't work at all, and outline from there? I don't know. Once I have an outline, I draft as quickly as I can. The draft ends up too long with too many needless scenes, so then I go back and cut all that stuff out and somehow manage to make the book make sense. At some point I add in the funny bits. 

I have a feeling the next book I write will also be completely different. Maybe my book ten or twelve I will have a little better idea of what I'm doing here. Let's hope, anyway.

So, what's your writing process all about?