Monday, April 28

Play it again Sam......



This week the topic is music. And it got me wondering if you (like I do) play a track over and over again. And I mean over and over. If I come across a track I love on a CD it's nothing for me to listen 20 times one after another.

At the moment I'm doing that with two songs. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Leona Lewis and I'm Telling You from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. I seriously can't get enough of these two songs. Hey.... guess what I'm listening to at the moment.

So tell me, what songs are on repeat for you?

Sunday, April 27

The Winner of NOW & ZEN is ...

Congrat's to Paperxxflowers, whose answer got a big chuckle from my 8 year-old son, who got to choose the winner this time. Thanks to everyone who entered. It was fun.

Paperxxflowers, please e-mail me at wendyinfo@wendytoliver.com with your name and mailing address and I'll get your copy of Now and Zen in the mail.

Saturday, April 26

And The Winners Are . . .

So, today marks the deadline for the CRUEL SUMMER advanced reading copy giveaway. All of the contestants are entered (thanks you guys for such a great turnout!), and the winner is now chosen.

Or, in this case, winners, as illustrated by the pictures below:

Step 1- All names are tossed into new beach hat (so new the tags are still attached!)



Step 2- My husband reaches for the winning scrap of paper.


Step 3- This is where things got tricky. As you can see he came away with two pieces of entwined paper.

Step 4- And since I didn't have the heart to break the tie, I decided to declare them both winners!



So Trudeau 1031 and Shooting Stars Magazine, please e-mail me at:

alyson@alysonnoel.com

and let me know where to send those ARCs!


Thanks for entering everyone-- have a fun weekend!

Alyson

And the winner is....

...Kourtnay325! Kourtnay, send your snail mail address to this e-mail addy: bevrosenbaum@yahoo.ca and I'll be sure to get a signed copy of Beyond Cool to you ASAP! Thanks for entering, everybody! Loved reading about what you all thought was 'beyond cool'. And thanks to everybody who said nice things about my books!
Love ya,
Bev

Thursday, April 24

Win a copy of Beyond Cool...

...just for telling me what you think is 'beyond cool' right now! This contest is open until Friday at 4:00. At that time, I'll draw a name from the pool of responders! (Is that even a word?)

For those of you who don't know, Beyond Cool is the continuation of Floe Ryan's story (I Was a Teenage Popsicle). Floe was 'frozen' at age sixteen because of a rare disease. Now she's been 'thawed' back to her normal self, but everything else has changed. Her little sister's older than her, her teachers are now holograms (but still annoying), and instead of learning to drive a car, she's driving a hovercar. And just when she starts warming up to this new scene, everything falls apart...

Her boyfriend is giving her the cold shoulder, and there are all these cliques she can't fit into. Worse yet, Dr. Dixon at the Cryonics Center tells her that people who were once frozen are more susceptible to illnesses, and the one doctor who can cure this immune system weakness has gone AWOL. Now it's up to Floe and her brainy friend Sophie to find him. But they're not the only ones looking for him--and this time, she could be iced for good...

Love ya!

Bev

P.S. See the cover at the side of this page under the 'Our Novels' heading--I'm having trouble getting it onto this post!

Monday, April 21

Book Giveaway!


Yes! It's PROMO WEEK at Teen Fiction Cafe, and I'm so excited to be giving away the adorable NOW AND ZEN by the fabulous Linda Gerber. Gerb and I met up in Utah when she was doing research for THE FINNISH LINE. I'd already bought a copy of NOW AND ZEN, but she brought me an autographed copy as a surprise and told me to give one away to a deserving individual. So ... are YOU that deserving individual? Leave a comment and tell me why you think you should win it. Good luck!

Also, be sure to check out Linda Gerber's latest must-read, DEATH BY BIKINI, in stores May 15.

Sunday, April 20

Promo Week!

Hey Everyone-

In light of it being promo week and all, I thought I’d blog about my May release, CRUELSUMMER. It's the story of Colby Catherine Cavendish, a 17 year old girl on the verge of the best summer of her life, when her parents decide to divorce and ship her off to live on a tiny Greek island with her “crazy” aunt. And just when it seems her summer couldn’t get any worse, Colby meets a cute Greek local—and everything changes . . .


The story is told in letters, journals, and blog entries, and it was really fun to write as it allowed me to relive all those years I lived on the Greek island of Mykonos, remembering all of the things I loved about it—


as well as the things I, well, didn’t.



It’s a fun summer read about an unforgettable romance, and if you want to read an excerpt click HERE or to pre-order a copy click HERE or HERE, or to download some cool CRUEL SUMMER or SAVING ZOE wallpaper, click HERE.

Or simply watch this book trailer:

video

And for those of you who’d like to win an advanced reading copy—just leave me a comment between now and May 26, and I will compile the names, toss them into a hat, and pick one at random. If you’d like a bookmark, CRUEL SUMMER on one side, SAVING ZOE on the other, or a signed bookplate- just send a self addressed stamped envelope to:

Alyson Noel

14 Monarch Bay Plaza, #186

Monarch Beach, CA 92629

Oh, and one last thing, I recently learned that SAVING ZOE is a finalist in the National Reader’s Choice Awards—yippee!

Happy Sunday!

Alyson

Thursday, April 17

The best job? At the movies!

Movies have always been a big part of my life. When I was 16, I got a job at a local theater, the Plaza (it's torn down now, but there's a nostalgia shot at left). My friend Ruthie started working there too, and we spent many a summer night sitting around eating popcorn and hoping no one would come for the 9pm shows so we could leave early.

What was the best, though, were the free movies. Not while we were working, of course, but any other time, we could get into any theater in town. For free. The theaters all had this "understanding" and you just said you worked for another local theater, and you were IN. I don't think I paid for a movie in Chapel Hill, NC from 1993-2002. Seriously.

I totally recommend this summer job. Anyone else have a good one? Oh, the bad part was the uniform, which looked something like this:



Not cute.

Sunday, April 13

Movies: MARTIAN CHILD

Thank the universe I actually watched a movie on DVD last night, since that's the topic here this week and I've been indoors-bound the past few days with the flu.

MARTIAN CHILD, in case you don't know, is about a widower, who also happens to be an incredibly successful novelist, who takes in an abandoned little boy who claims to be from - you guessed it - Mars.

The movie stars John Cusack (I've never been a fan), Amanda Peet (pretty as always), the other Cusack, Joan (whom I love-love-love), and Bobby Coleman as Dennis, the Martian boy (cute-cute-cute).

I actually enjoyed the movie, not least because it speaks to a subject that's dear to my inner teen: alienation. I was the kind of kid who often felt out of step with the rest of the world, still do on a lot of days. There's a lot of pressure to be like everyone else, no matter what one's age. For some reason, others feel threatened, as though their own goals/values are invalidated by anyone refusing to walk lock-step. But I think I must have been born with my own perverse little drummer. Doesn't mean it doesn't get lonely from time to time, doesn't mean I never feel alienated - I do, I do. It does get easier to be different when one is an adult, but it's never easy-easy. Still, I can no more fire that little drummer than I can stop breathing...at least today...hopefully.

So how about you?

QUESTION OF THE DAY: WHAT MOVIE SPEAKS TO YOUR INNER CHILD/TEEN?

Yes, this is a short post today. But I'm pretty phlegmy right now and I don't want you-all to catch it.

Oh, one quibble with the film? The novelist that John Cusack portrays lives in a dream house, has things happen like his editor organizing a last-minute grand gala for the ritualistic handing-over of his latest first draft. A handful of novelists live like this, while most of us grunts do not, and it's such Hollywood depictions of the rarest that leads everyone around me including the mailman to conclude that just as soon as they make the time to park their butts in front of the computer, they will become obscenely wealthy too; you know, like me. HA!

Be well. Don't forget to write.

Thursday, April 10

Bev's TV Challenge!

So, a few weeks back, the producer who optioned I Was a Teenage Popsicle and Beyond Cool for television called to ask if I'd possibly be interested in writing for a new show of theirs called Stoked, about five teens working at an oceanside resort who live to surf on their days off. Uh, yeah, I said. I was taken to a fab lunch (these TV people and their lunches...I'm telling you!) and got to sit in on part of a meeting with the staff of another show they have on the air currently (6teen).

Can I tell you, I soooo want this gig?

Here's the catch. I've never written for TV before, so I have to submit a spec script for 6teen to them before I'm invited to the big Stoked writers summit in May.

Freakout time. And yet, I've found myself digging in to the challenge with gusto. While I initially knew nothing of what a half-hour script should look like (how many scenes, how many pages, etc.), after studying several scripts well enough to internalize the structure, and watching enough 6teen episodes that I can practically recite whole scenes, I think (hope) I've got this challenge met. I'm planning to send off my baby in a week or so. Even if it doesn't get me anywhere, I'm incredibly proud of myself. And the script isn't too shabby, either. (I totally shouldn't have blogged about this--watch them reject me now!)

But you know what? It's not about whether I make it in TV or not. This whole experience has made me reflect on why we embrace certain challenges and why we push others away. A while back, I started to consider going back to work. I was happy to work full-time as a writer when my kids were young, but now that my baby is in junior high, I thought maybe it was time to get out of the house--while still writing, of course! (Here's a newsflash: most novelists, except for a chosen few, don't make huge piles of money. And my house is falling apart.) A few opportunities came my way...technical writing/editing, other kinds of writing/editing jobs I could probably done but that required some training on my part. But each time, I resisted. Not so with the TV stuff. Which only goes to show, I guess, that if you're really interested in something, you'll do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.

So spill: tell me about something new you've tried recently that was unbelievably challenging?

Bev

Wednesday, April 9

Savoring Happiness

I confess. If I had a lot of extra money, I’d be a day spa junkie. There’s just something about a relaxing get-away from screaming kids and piles of dirty laundry, even if for an hour. I cherish the whole experience, from when I walk in the door to when I leave, feeling relaxed and pretty. I love the serene music, the way the spa people speak in soft tones, the waterfalls, the comfy chairs, the crisp robes and funny little slippers, the heavenly aromas, and—perhaps my favorite—the dark chocolate, nuts, ice water, and hot tea.

Those who know me best realize I love these things, and whenever a Wendy gift-giving occasion arises, I’m only too happy to be the recipient of gift certificates for spa treatments. Today I had an appointment for a pedicure. I’m traveling to Akumal, Mexico (helloooo beach!) next week and thought it would be fun to have pretty tootsies. The crazy thing is, I’ve had this pedi gift certificate, a gift from my dear mother-in-law, for something like four years. There is also a gift certificate for a massage sitting on my desk. My husband gave it to me to celebrate having survived the first annual Eden Writer’s Conference. That happened back in October! I guess I’m so excited about the prospect of a spa treatment, I’m in no rush to actually schedule it. Maybe it’s my sanity medicine, for days like the one last week when I asked the carpet cleaner guy for a “twice in one week” discount.

What is something you cherish so much, you don’t want to rush into it?

Friday, April 4

Ode to Books


Alyson's post about life-changing books got me pondering. I think every book I've read has affected me in some way.

Of all the ups and downs in my life, the one constant has been books. I always have a book with me. Always. I get stressed? I want to curl up and read a book. I get depressed? I want to curl up and read a book. I get bored? Well, you know the drill.

I even have book anxiety. Like when I'm on vacation and I've have finished reading the book(s) I brought with me. Or I'm waiting in a doctor's office and I brought the wrong purse with me and the one with the book in it is sitting at home. Not having a book to read is like... gaaaaah! Does anyone else get this way?

Pictured above are just some of the books I've read in the past couple of months that have made my life more enjoyable. (These are the ones that found their way into my office where I am writing this post...) VIOLET BY DESIGN and KEEPING THE MOON came with me on Spring Break. : )

How many of you are like me? Are books as much a part of your life as breathing?

Linda

P.S. Shameless plug... to celebrate my upcoming release of DEATH BY BIKINI, I'm giving away a signed advanced copy and a totally cute bikini pin over at my blog today if you want to stop by...

~*~

Wednesday, April 2

These Books Changed My Life

It all started with Dr. Seuss. HORTON HATCHES THE EGG was the first book I ever read, on my own, around five years old, and below is a photo of that very original.



Dr. Seuss taught me that books could be exciting and fun--and of course, the illustrations were great!

Later, I moved on to CHARLOTTE'S WEB (cried my eyes out), the LITTLE HOUSE series (longed for the days of prarie dresses and lace up boots), and then sometime around sixth grade, I was introduced to Judy Blume. Or more specifically, her book, ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET.

Margaret changed my life. Reading her story made me realize a book could do more than entertain and inform, it could speak to you directly. And it made me want to be a writer too. And while my copy of Margaret was lost a long time ago, I hung on to DEENIE and my favorite Norma Klein, books, LOVE IS ONE OF THE CHOICES and FRENCH POSTCARDS, all of which I read over and over (and over!) again.


Then came high school, and the introduction to JD Salinger's CATCHER IN THE RYE. Think what you will, but that book was kind of a life saver. Back then, I hated high school and my home life wasn't so great, but reading about Holden Caulfield's own feelings of alienation, made me feel better about my own. When I'd finished that, I wanted more, so I headed to the book store to pick up a copy of FRANNY AND ZOOEY and loved it just as much--maybe more. It's hard to say, they both spoke to me in different ways.


But by senior year, I longed to escape all the angst and drama and who better to provide that than the delightful Holly Golightly of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S and the informidable Billy Ikehorn of Judith Krantz SCRUPLES. Two beautiful, gutsy heroines who traveled the world and lived life by thier own rules, and I wanted to be just like them.



Of course, since then, I've read loads of other books, some that I probably like better. But these were the ones that really stuck. These are the ones I not only read several times over, but that I dragged from CA to Greece to NYC and back to CA again. These are the books that spoke to me, changed me, and sometimes, maybe even saved me.

What about you? What books changed your life--or your view of life--?