Saturday, July 14

A fond farewell to our dear readers, but please don't be a stranger!

It's been over 4 years since we started Teen Fiction Cafe, and in that time we've had a wonderful time hanging out with readers, librarians, booksellers, and fellow authors. A lot has happened in those 4 years, and please feel free to peruse our past posts any time you please.

We have decided, however, to retire this blog and move our group's correspondences to Tumblr, where we will post random bits of information and things that amuse us and will hopefully amuse you as well. So please consider following us over there. Here is the link: or click HERE. You can also keep in touch with us individually via our websites (see the right column), as well as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Thank you so much for making TFC such a success, and such a pleasure. We look forward to hearing from you in other crannies of the internet!

The TFC Authors

Wednesday, May 30

Publishing a Page of My Diary

A few years ago, I let a magazine (Cosmogirl, RIP) publish one of my diary entries. My journal was kind of a downer most of the time--I think when I was happy, I wasn't writing in it. I was too busy having fun. Anyway, here's the entry:

I was talking about a near-friend-breakup, one that (luckily!) didn't happen (you can read more about what this entry means, if you're interested, right here). But later I did suffer a friend breakup, and that inspired my new book, Unbreak My Heart, which just came out last week! 
Here's a description: Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart? Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.

I have to admit that a walk down memory lane definitely inspired pieces of this story... save those diaries, even if they're embarrassing like mine!

Tuesday, May 22

Spring Reading

Snorkeling in Hawaii with my son April 2012
I admit it: I'm on a bit of a John Green kick right now. I might even have an author crush on the poor guy. The last two books I've read are Looking for Alaska, which a dear friend gave me for my birthday, and Fault in Our Stars. Loved them both and now I'm eager to read more of his novels.

I recently had the good fortune of vacationing in Hawaii and The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks is the paperback I kept in my beach bag. I still need to finish it, and I aim to do so soon because the next books on my TBR list is Fated by TFC's Alyson Noel--who, as luck would have it, I get to see when she comes to Salt Lake City, Utah next week as part of her book tour.

If you could bring any (living) author to your neck of the woods for a book tour stop, who would you choose? 
Hanging out with Alyson Noel (right) at Javier's Cantina in Southern California March 2012  

Monday, May 21


Well, the best of the books I've read so far at least. Here goes:

EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, by A.S. King. Lucky Linderman has dreams that take him away - literally - from his bullied existence to Vietnam where he meets up with his MIA grandfather.

WHY WE BROKE UP, Daniel Handler. An artistic narrator explains why she broke up with her popular boyfriend. Illustrated by Maira Kalman.

PAPER COVERS ROCK, Jenny Hubbard. A death by drowning, possibly accidental, and the paranoia that ensues at a boys' boarding school.

FAULT IN OUR STARS, John Green. Brilliant teens cope with terminal cancer brilliantly.

FIRST DAY ON EARTH, Cecil Castellucci, A loner who may or may not have once been abducted by aliens longs to return to space.

A MONSTER CALLS, Patrick Ness. Reality is worse than nightmares as a boy struggles to face up to the fact of his mother's impending death. Inspired by an idea from the late Siobhan Dowd; illustrated by Jim Kay.

And that's it! Now it's your turn:

While I've got you on the line, I'd just like to mention that one of my own YA novels, THE TWIN'S DAUGHTER, is currently a Kindle bestseller, ranked #71 overall; #9 in YA overall; and #1 in YA mystery. I hope you'll consider giving it a look.

Be well. Don't forget to write.

Thursday, April 26

Too Much TV, Too Little Time

Like Lauren, I'm a big TV-head. I used to be really into movies, but for some reason aside from big blockbusters like Harry Potter and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies they have lost their appeal to me. Actually, I know precisely why that is. I want MORE. A longer story arc, characters that grow and change and that I can live with for a long time. That's why I like the movies I like because they still give me that. (And I'm betting I will like Hunger Games too, but I haven't read the books yet. I know, I know. That's terrible. I will remedy it soon, but I won't see the movie til after.)

I have a problem though. I work as a bartender three nights a week and this cuts into my TV time severely. Right now, since The Walking Dead and Californication just ended and True Blood won't be back for a little while longer, I only have three shows that I'm watching as they air:

I started watching General Hospital to fill the hole that my beloved soap One Life To Live left when it was canceled at the beginning of the year. *sniffle* I watch it either while I exercise or while I eat dinner when I'm shifting from writer mode to bartender mode. It's not as good as OLTL, though that could just be because I lived with OLTL for 18 years, but it gets me my daily melodrama fix.

Mad Men is on Sunday nights and since I'm off, I get to watch it live and tweet things like "Whoa! Angela Chase's mom is serving up LSD on #MadMen?!?! Am I dreaming???" It's kind of exciting to finally be in on the show so many of my friends have been talking about for ages. My husband and I only started watching last fall when we consumed all four seasons on Netflix in like two months. I'm addicted. For a full breakdown of why check out my review of it which will post on Rookie later tonight.

The Big Bang Theory is the first sitcom I've watched in over a decade. I loved sitcoms, like Roseanne and Blossom when I was a kid, but since then the only one I've really enjoyed was probably Seinfeld. Then my husband got me into this show. Not only does it feature actors from my childhood favorites-- Johnny Galecki who I thought was super cute and Mayim Bialik and Sara Gilbert who were both my idols--I totally relate to the geek factor. I grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation and a bunch of other sci-fi TV and movies (as documented on Rookie here.) This show could be me and my brother's inside joke. Oh and I totally sing "The Soft Kitty" song to my cats:

Unfortunately, The Big Bang Theory is on Thursday nights when I work, so I have to record it and watch it later.

It doesn't seem like this is a lot of TV to balance and it wouldn't be... except I have three other series on DVD going.

I have a regular writing day on Sundays with my friend Jenny. We write together for a few hours, then we make dinner and enjoy it with these handsome boys:

Supernatural. We are just finishing up season 4 right now and OMG am I obsessed. I'm totally a Dean girl. Love the car and the classic rock, what can I say. Jenny and I also seem to pick shows that perfectly suit what I'm working on. We were watching The Gilmore Girls when I was working on my adult book which is a mother/daughter story. Now I'm working on a YA novel that incorporates mythology and folklore, so Supernatural definitely feeds that. Though, um, watching it while you're eating is sometimes not so good.

Another series that has been feeding the muse for me is Buffy. Can you believe that up until this year, I'd only seen a couple episodes of Buffy here and there? I know! What is wrong with me! Both my brother and my best friend have been riding me about it forever and finally my brother just brought me his DVDs. I'd watched most of season one with him and then powered through season 2 and 3 on my own. I love it so much that this weekend I bought this t-shirt:

Buffy has to be one of most fun TV heroines ever and I can't believe it took me this long to recognize this truth. I've slowed down a little bit now that I'm on season 4 because my brother and several friends suggested that I go back and forth between Buffy and Angel. That's what I'm doing, but of course my husband sat down with me when I watched episode one of Angel and now he wants to watch those with me, so figuring out that schedule has been a bit difficult and it's been put on the back burner since we started watching this show:

Motorcycles. Rebellion. A main character who bears some resemblance to Kurt Cobain. Sounds like the perfect show for me. Oddly I end up resisting the perfect shows for a long time (often because of that lack of time thing) and my husband, who watched it on his own while I was at work, had to ask repeatedly before I gave it shot (and admittedly I did so because Tara Kelly told me how awesome it was too). After we watched one episode, I told my husband, "I will continue watching this with you if you admit that this basically a soap opera with violence and motorcycles."

"Sure. A really, really good soap opera," he agreed.

So we kept watching. The drama sucked me in, but the characters kept me. Many of them I disliked on the surface. Unlike say Angela Chase from my all-time favorite show, My So-Called Life, who is basically a mirror of me, I didn't see myself in anyone. Hell, I can't even imagine myself being friends with any of them. But their stories compel me. I know the writing is good because I feel for them even when I don't like them. As a couple of people pointed out to me, the first season echoes Hamlet and since I'm an even bigger sucker for Shakespeare than I am for soapy TV goodness, I'm severely addicted to this show. Like watched 2 seasons in less than a month addicted. If only I didn't have that pesky night job I'd be done with all of the seasons that are out and on to Six Feet Under which is the next show that has been recommended to me.

Despite my lack of time, I'm always looking for new shows to add to the queue, so what are you addicted to?

Monday, April 23

Must-See TV

This week at TFC, we're focusing on can't-miss movies or TV shows. Since the latter is a longer list for me because I'm such a TV head, I'll go with that. The following is a list of the regularly sheduled TV programs you can catch us watching in my house:

Monday: House, Being Human (which just ended), Smash

Tuesday: Glee, New Girl

Wednesday: Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23

Thursday: Awake

Sunday: The Killing, Mad Men

This does not include General Hospital (every day), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (most days), or sports (currently Knicks and Mets). And it doesn't include older things we watch on Netflix. And it doesn't include demand, on which we like to watch Storage Wars, Shipping Wars and all those House Hunter shows.

Man, I watch a lot of TV.

The thing that has me most curious now: What is going to happen in the final episode of House? We noticed that Kal Penn is going to be in it, but Penn's character died a suicide a few seasons back when the actor decided to take time off to work in the Obama White House. So how is he coming back - a flashback? Or will House die and meet him in heaven?

The thing that has me most frustrated now: New Girl. I feel like the writers are so bent on the idea that Jess must be appealing to all the guys, and further that Jess and Nick must be on some kind of Ross-and-Rachel trajectory so that no other relationships are allowed to flourish even when there's charisma there.

The thing that has me post perplexed: Last night's time-bending episode of Mad Men. WT_?

Oh, and don't get me going on General Hospital.

So that's what I got today. It'd be more attractive if I could figure out New Blogger, but I can't, so.

How about you? What's one or more shows that you consider must-see? What's something you're loving or that's making you crazy on the tube?

Be well. Don't forget to write.

Monday, April 16

It's all about me!!!

This week we’re taking a look behind the scenes. In other words, what goes on in our writing or personal lives that you might not know. I thought about my obsession with all things ‘Idol’. Although that’s well documented. And now it’s more than Idol because we have X Factor (UK/USA/Australia); The Voice (UK/USA/Australia), Britains/USA/Australia’s Got Talent…… if there’s singing I’m there!!

So, then I decided to talk about my other obsession. Masterchef (yes, it’s always going to be TV related). It’s so bad that when it starts, I drop everything I’m doing to watch. So much so that my critique partners use the term Masterchef when I finish the end of a scene too abruptly – I very often get told ‘You’ve Masterchefed it’. They know that the scene has ended not because it was the right place to do so, but because it’s 5pm!

And the funniest thing is, I’m the world’s worst cook. I hate cooking. Though I am very good at burning. But for some strange reason I like watching others do it. My children have dubbed me ‘weird’.

I do have other little ‘foibles’, but they’re best not mentioned here….. for fear that the ‘weird’ label might stick!

Tuesday, April 3

Must See DVD Sets

Guys, this topic of the week (movies and TV) is for me. I'm obsessed with television. In order to control my list of must-sees, I'm going to go with 3 DVD sets that you can buy and watch in their entirety. Because marathons are THE BEST.

1. My So-Called Life. Seriously amazing. I mean, just watch this scene and you will need to see every episode of the sadly short-lived series:

2. The Wire. (My favorite season is season 4; here's that opening). Warning: Scary! Also: Language!:

3. Friday Night Lights. This theme song gives me chills. Trust me, just watch the dang show.

Monday, April 2

Fantasies of Downton

So this week we're talking about "Can't Miss Movies and TV" and of course, when I read this topic, my mind immediately flitted to day dreams of seeing HUNGER GAMES for the third time But after I reigned myself in from fantasies of Peeta in a cave, I thought, "Well, Hunger Games is kind of a given, so I better pick something else to write about."

So I decided to go with my second biggest obsession of the hour: DOWNTON ABBEY!

Okay, let me just start by saying, if you haven't seen Downton Abbey, add it to your Netflix Watch Instantly Queue this instant! And if you don't have a Netflix account, sign up for one now!

Downton Abbey (not to be confused with DowntoWn Abbey. I made that mistake when first trying to search for it) is a show about a very wealthy British family living in a super duper large house (that requires like 25 servants just to keep it running) during the early 1900s. It delves into the scandalous and dramatic lives of the family AND the servants who serve them (and brush their hair, and tie their ties, and saddle their horses, and cook their food, and even wipe their bums, although don't worry, that part is just implied, not actually shown). And who wouldn't want a "ladies' maid" to brush our hair at the end of the day while she listens to stories of our woe? (For me, the woe would definitely be along the lines of my unrequited love for a certain grime-covered, cave-slumbering tribute whose name shall not be mentioned for fear of lapsing into fantasy again.)

Now that we're all over our desires to live in 1960s New York City (after the Mad Man craze has died down a bit), thanks to Downton Abbey we can all now aspire to live in England in 1912 and say things like, "we'd better get her settled before the bloom has gone quite off the rose."

What's funny is that I met a "proper" English gent this weekend and he couldn't quite believe that our country was so obsessed with this show (which originated from England and now airs on our PBS). When I asked him if the show was popular in England he replied, "Only among old people." LOL! So what is it about this show that draws us in so? The scandal? The costumes? The Dowager Countess herself? 

If you watch the show, please feel free to weigh in! 


Thursday, March 29

Favorite Bands: A List

I'm a big fan the movie (and book!) High Fidelity even though I think Rob, Barry, and Dick are total musical snobs who would make fun of my taste in music without a doubt. I love that they do a bunch of wacky top five lists throughout like, "Top 5 musical crimes perpetrated by Stevie Wonder in the 80s and 90s, go." Here is the scene where Rob (as played by John Cusack) gives his top 5 side one, track one songs for fun evidence of their musical snobbery.

I'm not nearly as creative or as good at breaking things down as they are (or as snobby, yikes!), but in honor of favorite bands weeks at TFC, I thought I'd do a list my own way.

A top three is too easy because it's remained the same since freshman year of high school. There are some newer bands in the top five, but it does not fully represent my whole life if we are talking ALL-TIME favorites. Top ten might have worked, but I like the number 13 better, so I'm going to give you my top 13 favorite bands, followed my favorite album by them (though this would not necessarily be my top 13 albums in order because, for example, my number two favorite band made my all-time favorite album and my favorite album by my number one band would rank number two on my list, and I'm sure in some circles this would cause great controversy) and then I will provide a YouTube video of my favorite song by that band. (Again not in order. Oh my god, I'm not even sure I could pick an all-time favorite song.) Okay, here goes...

13. Against Me!; favorite album: Searching for a Former Clarity; favorite song: "TSR"

12. Sleater-Kinney; favorite album: Call The Doctor; favorite song: "Dig Me Out"

11. Alice In Chains; favorite album: Dirt; favorite song: "We Die Young"

10. Screaming Trees/Mark Lanegan solo work (I know it is kind of cheating, but I can't really separate them out); favorite Screaming Tree's album: Sweet Oblivion; favorite Mark Lanegan album: Bubblegum; favorite Screaming Tree's song: "Dying Days"

favorite Mark Lanegan song: "Down in the Dark" (which features Kurt Cobain on guitar)

9. The Gits; favorite album: Frenching The Bully; favorite song: "Another Shot of Whiskey"

8. Rancid; favorite album: ...And Out Come the Wolves; favorite song: "Radio"

7. The Cure; favorite album: Seventeen Seconds; favorite song: "Disintegration"

6. The Distillers; favorite album: Coral Fang, favorite song: "I Am A Revenant"

5. Civet; favorite album, Hell Hath No Fury, favorite song: "Son of a Bitch"

4. The Gaslight Anthem; favorite album The '59 Sound; favorite song, "Boomboxes and Dictionaries"

3. Social Distortion; favorite album: Social Distortion; favorite song: "Don't Take Me For Granted" (after all, it inspired my book, I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE)

2. Hole; favorite album (of all time, thank you very much): Live Through This, favorite song: "Plump"

1. Nirvana; favorite album: In Utero; favorite song: "On a Plain"

What about you? Give me a top five, top ten, top whatever of your favorite bands, songs, or albums?

Tuesday, March 27

Driving Tuneage

I have three young sons and coach boys' basketball, so lately I've been getting bombarded with LMFAO while driving them around. Which is, in my humble opinion, some pretty fun, get-me-up-and-wigglin' stuff, but it's better when experienced in smaller doses. I think this might be one reason that when I have the luxury of selecting the drive-time music, I've been gravitating over to the Coffee House satellite radio station, which features singer-songwriter acoustic rock music. Adele, Norah Jones, and Dave Matthews are examples of artists.

Although I love that music, if I need a quick pick-me-up (especially while driving long distances, which I'm getting ready to do for spring break), I like to listen to the BPM (Beats Per Minute) satellite radio station, which features dance/club music and remixes and artists such as: Kaskade, Deadmau5, and David Guetta.

What kind of music or radio stations do you like to listen to while in the car?

Monday, March 26

Music...Sort Of


Singing-competition shows.

Let's take an informal poll here. Your favorite is:





In terms of your favorite, why is it your favorite?

Oh, and here's a good question: If there's a show you started watching or used to watch regularly but then stopped, why did you stop?

And one last question: If there's something that makes you particularly crazy about one of the shows you still watch, what is that crazy-making something?

OK...that's it for now! Sorry about the brevity but I am going to see THE HUNGER GAMES today! Do you think there will be singing in it? If you saw it, were you satisfied?

Be well. Don't forget to write.