It's promo week here on TFC and my new book, BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, doesn't come out until July, but I've got something to give you a little sneak peek of it, a my very first book trailer! The girl who made it is amazing and we were able to use a song by a local Chicago band that I love called Office. So I'm just really excited about it and I hope you enjoy it, too:
Now if you do like it and it really makes you want to read the book and you want a chance to win an advanced copy of BALLADS, I have a contest going and all you have to do to enter is post the trailer or the other widgets and banners I have on my website and help me spread the word about BALLADS. All the details are right here on my website.
It's Anything Goes week here at TFC. This is a crosspost from my sarazarr.com blog, but the topic is important to so many of us and I want to spread the word...
The issue of body image and loving the skin that you're in is something that affects everyone in different ways and in different degrees, and if you've been reading my blog awhile, you know it's a topic near and dear to me. There are some recent and soon-to-be released books that address various aspects of the issue. SpeedReader of MyFavoriteAuthor has organized a Body Image Week with many other bloggers and authors participating with book reviews, author interviews/guest posts/videos, a couple of challenges and a great book giveaway at the end. I'll be guest posting on Saturday!
So check them out today to see the full schedule of the week's events and where the various posts will be showing up around the blogosphere. And don't forget to accept the Body Image Challenge today! Everyone who accepts the challenge and reports back at the end of the week will be entered in the giveaway to win:
WINTERGIRLS (signed) by Laurie Halse Anderson (collector's item!) MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS by Sydney Salter (Utah author!) THE SECRETS OF TRUTH AND BEAUTY by Megan Frazer (I've read this one - it's good!) MODELS DON'T EAT CHOCOLATE COOKIES by Erin Dionne (sounds fun!) (Was that too many exclamation points?)
Here's the link again: http://myfavoriteauthor.blogspot.com/ Go to it, and spread the word...
On Saturday night, I went with friends to see 17 Again. I admit, I was skeptical about the movie based on the trailer I'd seen on TV. I thought the movie would be a cliche from start to finish with stale jokes. One of my friends was convinced of the opposite--she was sure it was going to be great.
Guess who was right?
Yep. She was. :)
The movie was super funny with some excellent one-liners. Zac did a great job and so did Matthew Perry. Some of the funniest scenes in the movie came from from Mike's (Zac) best friend. The dude was hilarious and outrageous.
Anyone else see 17 Again or another movie this weekend? If so, what did you think?
So last night we were watching the movie LARS AND THE REAL GIRL. For those who don't know, it's about an odd and lonely 27-year-old Minnesotan who sends away for a blowup doll for companionship. (Don't worry, it's a wonderful film, rated PG-13, and not at all kinky; I'm fairly certain all Lars and Bianca do is kiss.) Anyway, it's interesting to think what Lars invests his dream girl with until the real thing comes along. Bianca is attractive - she bears a striking resemblance to Angelina Jolie. She's also reserved - not a big talker, although Lars seems to communicate with her just fine. Bianca doesn't appear to believe in sex before marriage and she eventually becomes a very popular churchgoer. She also makes a terrific part-time mannequin.
All this got me to thinking about my own girl, my nine-year-old daughter Jackie. Before I blink too many more times, she'll be a teenager. She's a terrific girl in every way, always have been, but I'm naturally starting to think of what kind of teenager she'll be and what qualities I hope she'll have.
So that's our task here on TFC today. If we could build a perfect teenager, giving her gifts that are either emotional or intellectual or spiritual or even physical, what would those gifts be?
QUESTION OF THE DAY: WHAT ONE QUALITY WOULD YOU GIVE TO OUR BUILD-A-TEENAGER PROJECT?
Here's the gift I'm giving her: resilience.
By the way, before we close, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that The Sisters 8, Book 4: Jackie's Jokes goes on sale tomorrow. It's part of the series of books for young readers ages 6-10 that I created with my husband Greg Logsted and our resilient Jackie.
My husband's the one with the good news today. His forthcoming book from Simon & Schuster, ALIBI JUNIOR HIGH - about a 13-year-old boy used to globetrotting with his CIA dad whose forced into hiding out as a normal kid when a case turns bad - just got a really nice review from Kirkus:
Growing up with a covert operative for a father, 13-year-old Cody Saron is prepared for almost anything that comes his way. Now living in a small Connecticut town after narrowly avoiding an assassin’s bomb, Cody may not be so lucky in the halls of his new middle school. Instead of focusing on the rather standard “out of his element” plot, Logsted knows that the best way to draw readers in is with action, and the pages are packed with karate and midnight excursions. Cody has an older foil, Andy, a discharged Army Ranger who lost an arm in Iraq, and the two characters bond over post-traumatic dtress disorder and the challenges of adapting to civilian life. Highly educated and socially awkward, Cody has confrontations with his teachers that will resonate with readers of all backgrounds. A convoluted resolution is mostly lost in the action-packed conclusion, but with guns, kicks and silencers, it’s not really important. Funny and fast paced, this fits right in with the beach-read crowd. (Fiction. 10-14)
Congrats to both Alyson and Sara on their big and well-deserved news. My excitement came just a few minutes ago when I received an email (cause the contest coordinator couldn't find my phone number) that I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE has finaled in OK-RWA's (that's the Oklahoma chapter of the Romance Writers Association) National Readers' Choice Awards!
I've never ever finaled in any sort of contest that I've personally entered before so this is incredibly exciting. And I think it's extra awesome because it's readers' choice and creating a book that is enjoyable to every day readers of fiction is of course my biggest goal as writer. So thank you, readers! Whoever you may be!
I don't find out until July if I've won or not and I'm not sure I can afford to go to DC for the awards ceremony, but just knowing I've finaled is super cool!
What about you? What was the first contest you've ever finaled in or won? I did get Third Place in Traditional Fiction for Magazines for a short story I wrote that was published in my college magazine once (but I didn't enter the story, they did, and it was more about the awards the magazine won, so it felt different) and before that I got sixth place in a statewide gymnastics meet once....
First, congrats to Alyson for her #1 BEST SELLER, woot!!
My good news for the week:
Story of a Girl will be coming in Italian sometime in the next year or two (it must be the week of Italian rights!), the audio rights for Once Was Lost were sold, also, and that will be a simultaneous release with the book. If you missed it, I posted the cover earlier this week on my blog. And finally, the very first blog review for Once Was Lost turned up this week---power librarian Professor Nana liked it, PHEW! The book doesn't come out until October, and I'm never quite psychologically ready for a book to be Out There. It always feels a bit like you've got an exposed nerve that keeps bumping into things unexpectedly. But, it is Out There, and I might as well celebrate that, too. Have a great weekend!
So it's Good News Friday here at the cafe and I thought I'd kick it off with some good EVERMORE related news that happened this week--pretty much all in the same day--Viva Wednesday!!
EVERMORE remains at the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller List for Children's Paperbacks for the 7th week in a row (!), it claimed the #3 spot on Publisher's Weekly Children's Fiction List, it hit #53 on the USA Today list, the Italian rights were sold at auction, it's a Fresh Fiction pick for today -see it HERE, and it was nominated for YALSA's Teen's Top Ten Award!!! (the full list of nominees can be found HERE).
Also, tomorrow I'll be at Taft High School's "Passport to Reading" event, giving a couple talks, signing books, taking part in an author panel, and more!! For details click HERE. Hope to see you there!!
And tonight I'm having dinner in a place I've always wanted to go to with two friends I rarely get to see--can't wait!
So, what about YOU guys! Any good news you want to share? Sing it out in the comments!!
Since I'm now a parent and I can't just pop out and catch a flick without finding an available babysitter (if I go with my husband) or arranging for my husband to stay with the kiddos so I can head out with my friend(s), I've become rather picky about which movies I'll watch at the theater versus which ones I'll wait to see on DVD at home.
1. Whenever there's a really exciting action flick, preferably one I've heard is "worth the ticket money" from someone whose opinion matters to me. For example, I loved watching The Bourne Ultimatum on the big screen, especially since the elderly man next to me screeched and wiggled in his chair whenever something exciting happened.
2. A chick flick comedy with actors/actresses I adore. Especially when with friends who aren't afraid to laugh hysterically. For example, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Bride Wars.
3. Any movie I think will benefit from the huge screen and surround-sound. Examples include The Dark Knight and Twilight.
4. Quirky indie or low-budget movies I think sound interesting and want to support. Juno ended up being one of my all-time favorites and after seeing it in the theater, I bought the DVD.
5. Fun kid movies. I loved watching Cars, Shrek, Madagascar, etc. at the theater with my kids and all the other kids. Their laughter is contageous!
Wait for the DVD:
1. Any movie that's a tear-jerker. I learned the hard way that I'm not good at quiet sobbing when I went to see Of Mice and Men and bawled uncontrollably and loudly to my date's mortification. (He married me anyway, thank goodness.) This is why I'm waiting to see Marley and Me in the privacy of my own home.
2. Any movie that sounds good to me but no one wants to go with me. I'm not one to go to the theater alone.
3. Movies I wanted to see in the theater but simply missed. (I really wanted to see Slumdog Millionaire, which I think applies to #3 on the "Theater Worthy" list, but it's already on DVD.)
4. Movies that are really, really long. I'd rather watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at home, where I can take breaks if needed. (I hate having to leave the theater once a movie begins.)
What kinds of movies do you like to watch in the theater, and which ones would you rather watch at home?
Last week I was in my favorite city, Seattle. It's always hard to come home from there, so I spent the day after I returned being nostalgic and watching Seattle-related videos (and I do mean actual videocassette tapes because my stuff from the grunge era is old), most of them were music videos (an Alice in Chains vid and then anyone remember the documentary Hype? Love that one.), but I also broke out Singles and made my fiance watch it. Hey, it's a romantic comedy, but it's still a comedy.
I think he enjoyed it and I was in eighth grade all over again, mouthing along to all my favorite lines ("I was just nowhere near your neighborhood." and "...a big record just broke in Belgium"), squealing, "Oh I love this scene!" at just about every scene, but especially the one where Cliff blows out Janet's car windows with her new speakers and Chris Cornell is an extra bopping his head along, then looking like he's been shot when the glass starts breaking. At the point, my fiance went "Oh that can't really happen," and I replied, "Shush! Suspension of disbelief." Because cheesy as this movie may be, it's one of my all-time favorites. I'll even go so far as to say that the only Cameron Crowe flick that came out after it that lived up to Singles for me was Almost Famous.
I was just addicted to Singles in 8th grade/freshman year of high school. Romance plus live performances by Alice in Chains and Soundgarden? It was a teenage grunge girl's perfect flick. I watched it over and over until I finally got my own loser wanna be rock star boyfriend like Cliff. Well and until The Crow came out and I started watching that one over and over because I wanted a beautiful Brandon Lee boyfriend too. All my guy friends loved that movie for the action and all my girl friends because we wanted a boyfriend as devoted to us as Eric Draven was to his girl, willing to come back from the dead and seek vengence. Isn't that romantic? And after The Crow came my Sid and Nancy obsession. Clearly my take on love was at it's most innocent during the Singles phase.
Before Singles, I was addicted to Beetlejuice in fifth and sixth grade. What can I say, I had goth tendencies even as a tween. I used to try to gel my bangs into points like Winona Ryder's. Next came Wayne's World and there was also a brief phase where, along with Singles, my best friend at the time and I also watched The Shining repeatedly. Um, I guess it balanced out Singles? Or else we needed therapy. Heathers and The Breakfast Club were also on constant repeat for me throughout junior high and high school. Especially as anyone from Chicago may remember, the played The Breakfast Club on channel 9 like every Saturday.
In my first year of college, it was all about The Lost Boys. I don't think I've had a real movie obsession since then. Unless you count the first X Files movie which I saw in the theaters three times, but I think that's just my X Files geekery. Oh wait, and there was a Velvet Goldmine phase. Johnathan Rhys Meyers as a pseudo-David Bowie and Ewan McGregor as an Iggy Pop lookalike in shiny leather pants, it's just too beautiful not to watch over and over.
So yeah, those are my comfort food movies. The ones I still turn to when I'm home sick or feeling down in the dumps or nostalgic or just in need of good eye candy. What about you? Which movies did you watch so much you memorized them?
Sometimes you see a movie you love so much, it stays with you far after the credits have rolled. This was what it was like to me after I saw Before Sunrise.
Two disclaimers. One, this isn't an action flick. Two, I don't usually like Ethan Hawke.
But I loved this movie. The acting and the dialogue are superb and the premise, meeting your soul mate on a train and only having twelve hours together... wow. So implausible. So unreal. So... romantic!
I saw this movie late in the game, so I was delighted when I discovered that a sequel, Before Sunset, had already been made. My fingers couldn't order it quick enough from netflix.
The movie picks up nine years later when the couple meet again in Paris after Ethan Hawke,(Jesse) writes a best selling novel about their first meeting. In the first movie, the couple walks and talks in Vienna. In the second one, they walk and talk in Paris.
Happy sigh. So if you are in the mood for romance, check out these movies... but make sure you have the second one waiting to go into the DVD player right after you watch the first one. You are gonna want to see how it turns out!
From now on at Teen Fiction Cafe, every Friday is going to be devoted to our good news so anyone who has something fabulous to share will be popping by to tell you all about it. And hey, if you guys have good news, this is the chance to let us know as well, since we're all about the sharing here!
Anyway, to start the ball rolling, my own good news is that yesterday USA Today did an article about how zombies are the new vampires and then even mentioned my book. Yay! You can check it out here!
**Alyson Noel chiming in here on Good News Friday, with some good news of my own**
But first, Yay! For Amanda! ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH is a rockin' read and a dang good time, and for those of you who haven't read it-- well, get thee a copy at once!!
As for me, I'm thrilled to say that EVERMORE is holding steady at the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list for Children's Paperbacks, the the polish rights to EVERMORE & BLUE MOON were just sold at auction (yippeee!), both books are also going to be released as audio books with EVERMORE releasing in June, oh, and EVERMORE was chosen as a Fresh Fiction Fresh Pick for April 17th!
That's it for me, what about YOU? Anything good brewing this week? Shout it out in the comments!!
So this week we’re reminiscing about our school days and after Sara’s great post about uniforms and Amanda’s about books, I was sort of floundering about what I could possibly add to the mix.
My high school years were a dichotomy. Spliced right down the middle with optimism and enthusiasm marking my Freshman and Sophomore years, only to morph into such a tragic state of apathy by my Junior and Senior years I barely graduated. (Yes, sadly, it’s true. Don’t try this at home.)
And I was totally going to write about that when I visited my old yearbooks for inspiration, and came across a subject I could not resist:
High School Hair.
If you’re in high school, there’s a good chance you just shrugged and thought: Whatev!
If you’re out of high school, especially long out of high school like me, you probably cringed.
Because no matter how cool you may have looked back in the day, no matter how many cans of Dippity Do and/or Aquanet it took to achieve the look—the passage of time has a cruel way of dating things. Turning them from totally smokin’ to totally embarrassing (as evidenced by my look below).
For the record, I blame Charlie’s Angels, Farrah Fawcett in particular, and yes, cans and cans of Aquanet.
By sophomore year I had the good sense to morph the Farrah wings into this:
But still, it’s a bit too fluffy for my current straightening iron obsession.
And by senior year, well, there’s no photo to be found.
Not even a blank square where my face should be—a result of the aforementioned apathy.
Which is too bad since I had the most rockin’, New Wave, Semi-Mullet, Do ever!
But now you’ll just have to take my word for it!
So what about YOU? Did you have “high school” hair? Do you still have high school hair? Tell all in the comments below!
PS- I'm giving a little radio interview Friday April 10, at 8:30 PM (eastern) HERE. So feel free to stop by! And signing copies of EVERMORE on Saturday, April 11, from 12:30- 1:00 PM HERE. (note, it's a $10 admission for members, $20 for non-members!), and the following Saturday, April 18, I'll be talking and signing from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM HERE. Hope to see you there!
This week the topic at TFC is all about our school days, however since I've buried most of those embarrassing days under layers and layers of denial insulation, I am unable to access them which has left me in a bit of a pickle!
Fortunately, the other day when I was doing an interview I was asked about bookclubs and I was just about to say that I'd never been part of one when I suddenly remembered how my friends and I spent most of our lunchtimes when we were fifteen sitting outside swapping books and telling each other just why they had to read a certain one (normally went along the lines of 'this is the best book EVER and if you don't read it you will die').
The weird thing is when I look back now is that hardly any of the books we were reading were young adult books. I'm sure they were out back then but somehow we ended up either going for the totally gruesome and depressing or else the totally over the top bonkbuster style books. Anyway, bearing in mind that this was the heart of the eighties, here is a selection of what five girls from Australia were reading way back when!
I went to school in the UK, and like all schools over there we had a uniform. One of the reasons behind it was it put everyone on an equal footing because they’re all dressed the same. Um… no!
It was very easy to tell whose uniform was brand new, whose came from the second hand store, and which students tried to adapt their uniform to reflect their personality. I fell into the latter category.
My grey felt hat… which we all had but wasn’t compulsory to wear, had the brim turned down, the ribbon removed, was fringed and drawn all over (my parents weren’t too pleased about that). The waist band on my knee length grey skirt was rolled over enough times to make it much shorter. The tie was knotted in such a way that the wide end only hung down a couple of inches from the knot and the long thin end was tucked into our shirts. We thought we looked cool!!
I hated wearing a uniform, though it did mean we didn’t have to worry about what to wear every day.
What about you, did you wear a uniform and if so what did you think about it?
One hundred and eighty one of you showed up to win a signed copy of BLUE MOON, which actually changed the contest a bit as I had to use a bowl instead of a hat in order to fit all the names! (see above).
And then I picked two winners--- and then ---- and then---- my camera died. :-(
But luckily, a photo is not required to inform
That they won!!!
So, if you are either of those people, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org so I know where to send your signed book in July!
Thanks to all of you who showed up-- your comments made my week!
Okay before I announce the winner of the Zombie Survival Kit - which of course contains everything a person would need to survive a zombie attack (and a few things they might not need) first I'd just like to say how happy, thrilled, excited and proud I am about Alyson Noel's continued success with Evermore!!!
In fact I think I can speak for everyone at Teen Fiction Cafe when I say that we love Alyson dearly and no one deserves this more than she does. And judging by the zillion comments there are to win a copy of her next book, I think everyone else agrees with me! So a big yay for Alyson!
And now, straight to the juicy goodness of the matter! The winner is:
So, Celinda if you could send me your postal details I will get everything posted out to you. Also, since you already have a copy of Zombie Queen of Newbury High if you like to have a copy of my other book You Had Me at Halo, just let me know and I'll do the swap!!!!!
And thanks to everyone else who entered - I can't begin to tell you how much I loved all your brilliant comments - not to mention the crafty ways you all managed to get my man DB into the answers. You sure know how to make a girl happy!!!!!!!
It was released on February 3rd and is the first book in my new, 5 book, IMMORTALS series. It debuted at #3 on the New York Times Bestseller list, and has spent 5 weeks at #1. It also broke the top 50 on the USA Today list last week, and the dramatic rights have been sold to Spring Creek Productions and Warner Horizon who hope to make it into a TV series. (I am hoping for this as well). Also, I just learned that it will soon become an audio book (yay!), oh, and the foreign rights have been sold to ten territories so far—five of those at auction(!)—and more are in the works!
Needless to say, writing the paragraph above is a dream come true. And since it’s awesome readers like YOU who made it all happen, I’d like to say thank you, in a way that isn’t just a written Thank You.
Which brings me to this:
BLUE MOON, book #2 in the IMMORTALS series, will now be released one month earlier on July 7th instead of August as originally planned (and as stated in the back of EVERMORE).
This is a picture of BLUE MOON:
This is the back cover copy for BLUE MOON:
Alyson’s Noël’s bestselling Immortals series has been hailed as “addictive” “beautiful” “haunting” and “mesmerizing.” In the second installment, Ever has a chance to bring her family back from the dead—but only if she’s willing to sacrifice the guy she loves more than life itself.
Just as Ever is learning everything she can about her new abilities as an immortal, initiated into the dark, seductive world by her beloved Damen, something terrible is happening to him. As Ever’s powers are increasing, Damen’s are fading—stricken by a mysterious illness that threatens his memory, his identity, his life.
Desperate to save him, Ever travels to the mystical dimension of Summerland, uncovering not only the secrets of Damen’s past—the brutal, tortured history he hoped to keep hidden—but also an ancient text revealing the workings of time. With the approaching blue moon heralding her only window for travel, Ever is forced to decide between turning back the clock and saving her family from the accident that claimed them—or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows weaker each day...
This is the part where two people win a signed copy of BLUE MOON!
All you have to do is leave a comment by Midnight, Sunday, April 5, California time, and I will utilize the old name in a hat trick to pick two winners.
This is the small print:
Since my author copies have a history of arriving well past the release date, I am going to pre-order two copies on line so I can make the best effort possible to give the winners a shot at having one of the first, hot off the press, copies. Hopefully, this will work!
Thank you so much for your all of your enthusiasm and support, I couldn’t have done it without YOU!