Friday, July 31

Get On Your Boots-or Wings-or Cape- or . . .

Okay, so this week at the Cafe we're talking about our favorite websites and blogs and here is my latest obsession:

Yup, I spend all of my precious procrastination hours making me and my friends into super heroes (that's me above--see the resemblance?!).

And all you have to do to make your own world saver is visit the Hero Factory HERE!

Then be sure to come back and let me know who you are (they provide the title!)!

Have fun!!


Good News Friday: A New Trailer

I was so excited to have a book trailer made for Miss Match (scroll down for last Friday's post if you haven't seen it yet), and now I'd like to share the one for my first Simon Pulse Ro-Com, The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren.

Let me know what you think, and have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. For a chance to win a signed copy of Miss Match, contact me via my website and write "enter me" in the email. I'll do a random drawing on Monday, Aug. 3. Good luck!

Monday, July 27

Trash talking

So this week at TFC it's time to talk about some of our favorite blogs and websites, which, to be honest is something I'd been hoping to avoid because it's the moment you will all realize that I really am as fluffy as a marshmallow right through to the middle.

You see my favorite blogs have nothing to do with writing and everything to do with celebrity gossip. And believe me, this is an addiction that I've tried to break but it's been with me my whole life and it showing no signs of abating. So here are my favorite sites that I need to tune into everyday in order to stop my brain from going splat against the wall.

First stop is Pink is the New Blog. Trent is one of the funniest, coolest bloggers out there and I just love and adore his take on life, fashion and the crazy things that famous people do. He also doesn't shy away from talking about the politics that interest him as well as his relationships. In fact I love his blog so much that I even managed to slip it into my next book, however, I'm still waiting for my second round of edits and while I don't know if I'll be allowed to keep it in there I'll be trying my best.

Next in my trashy trail of goodness is the I lived in England for about eight years all together and in which time I formed a very deep love affair with all things tabloid and so this is my way of staying in touch. My current obsession is Jordan's attempts to slag off her ex-husband, Peter Andre. I'm sure that she and Heather Mills went to the same We Are God school.

After that I normally swing by Hello Dollface which talks mainly about beauty products but Cindy also use to run Conversations about Famous People and she still lets her gossip side out with her Daily Dollface posts which are completely hilarious and a must read

Of course, because I'm an equal opportunity sort of girl, I'm always looking to expand my favorites list, so if you've got any other sites that you think I would like (or some cure for this crazy addiction) then just let me know!!!

Friday, July 24

GNF: Ballads of Suburbia release week!

It's finally here!

Really I can't think of much better news than my new book actually being out in stores, available for people to buy! Seriously, I'm so excited to see Ballads of Suburbia out in the world and to start to hear how people react to it.

So far I've gotten some really great reviews that mean a lot to me.

My local paper, the Chicago Sun-Times said, "With her first two novels, Kuehnert has created vivid pictures of teenage lives that lie in that borderland that abuts adulthood. It is a fertile, confusing and intense place, and Kuehnert never holds back. But like a good ballad, she keeps the stories taut and precise, with a touch of heart thrown in for good measure."
Another local paper, NewCity said it's "like an American Beauty for the teen set."

And the bloggers are saying some wonderful stuff as well. Like Steph Su Reads said, "BALLADS OF SUBURBIA is a remarkable achievement that hits you right where it counts (your heart) and lingers where it matters (the brain). I’m truly looking forward to seeing what Stephanie Kuehnert will do next." Carrie's YA Bookshelf even called me the voice of a generation! Whoa! And The Story Siren gave it five stars and said, "This book is powerful. It's been haunting me for days, yes haunting me." Good! I want it to haunt people. In the very best way of course! You can find links to the rest of the reviews on my website.

So it's been a pretty fun week. I had a huge release party at the Beacon Pub, the bar where I work, and tonight I'm reading at Women & Children First, one of my favorite indie bookstores in Chicago. And and and.... I did a Chicago Public Radio interview that aired today, which you can listen to online here! Whoo!

So yeah, that's my good news and I hope there is more to come! What's yours?

New Book Trailer

I finally have something fun to share for Good News Friday, a new video book trailer for Miss Match. I'd love to hear what you think!


Have a great weekend!


Over at BiblioBuffet, I have the first in a seven-part series on "The Seven Stages of My Reading Life So Far." If you follow the link I provide and scroll down to the bottom - feel free to read the article too, if you like, but you don't have to! - you'll see that they're giving away a copy of CRAZY BEAUTIFUL if you enter today:

Part 1: Childhood & Adolescence

How about you? Any good news this week?

Be well. Don't forget to write.

Thursday, July 23

90s fashion revivial & trendiness

Last weekend the big indie music fest Pitchfork was here in Chicago. Sadly, since I bartend on the weekends, I didn't get to go, though a couple of my regular customers came in to tell me about the bands and show me pictures of all the hipsters in their crazy outfits. The trend of the weekend apparently was porkpie hats. My friend said she wanted to ask one of the hat-wearers how they felt about all the other hat-wearers. Did they feel as though they were among their people? Or were they kinda pissed that their accessory of choice had become a trend?

I read an article in that week's TimeOut Chicago about the trends that they expected to see at the fest and apparently in both music and fashion, the early 90s are back! I guess I was kinda clueless that they ever left, seeing as I'm someone who still wears a Nirvana t-shirt paired with thermal underwear beneath holey jeans (though I traded in flannel for hoodies back in 1997) on a casual day and rocks a babydoll dress when dressing up.

Admittedly when grunge hit and the thrift store clothing and Converse sneakers that I'd been made fun of for wearing for years were suddenly popular, I was kinda pissed. (Though of course none of the trendy people bought their thrift store clothing at actual thrift stores, they got it for full price at the mall.) I'd created my own style based on what I liked and could afford and I'd taken so much crap for looking the way I did and then suddenly everyone else looked like me. Mildly annoying. But I just kept wearing what I liked and waited for the trend-hopper to move on to their next thing which was.... Hmmm, big pants if I remember correctly. (Note: my fabulous combo of both thrift store flannel and cardigan over the Nirvana shirt in the picture of me at 15 on the left. And, yes, those are Walkman headphones I'm wearing beneath my fabulous 90s headwear.)

I went through a couple other fashion phases in my late teens/early 20s. One of which was goth... right before Marilyn Manson got huge and everyone went goth. In response to that, I modified my gothiness into glam/goth. You know, kinda David Bowie-inspired fashion. I also had a brief personality crisis where I started reading Vogue and caring about labels. This quickly passed because I was far too poor for that sort of thing.

So I'm back to my usual grunge/punk style that I've been rocking since I was twelve... though it's probably heavier on the punk than the grunge. I'm finally at the place where I'm sure of myself, so I don't really care whether what I'm wearing is a fashion statement or not, all that matters if I like it. But I'm going to be highly amused if TimeOut Chicago's predictions come true and we see the return of flannel and all things early 90s this fall. Because if that's the case, once again I was on top of a trend without even knowing it.... On Tuesday, my new book, BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, came out and it happens to be set in the early 90's. So here it is, the perfect literary accessory for the 90s revival:

What about you? Are you always up on the latest trend? Ahead of the curve? Behind it? Don't really care? And what style is classic you, the way early 90s fashion is classic me?

Monday, July 20

my shopping issues

Funny how nearly all my TFC posts turn into posts about my Issues, but what can I say, I've got a lot of them! This week, it's sort of about my body (again) and sort of about identity (shocker!) and a little bit about money and confusion. For my late teens, most of my twenties, and a leeetle bit of my thirties, I was overweight enough that I couldn't find clothes in all the stores most people my age shopped. My choices were verrrry limited, and consequently I never thought that much about "my style" because "my style" was whatever fit and was not unacceptably hideous. That is to say, it's not like I succumbed to tent dresses and old lady clothes, but my wardrobe, such as it was, pretty much boiled down to a variety of stretchy pants and giant shirts.

Now, I wear regular sizes, and can shop in any store, and a lot of things fit. A LOT. OF THINGS. I take a bunch of stuff into the dressing room, and after eliminating the weirdly-fitting or non-fitting or ugly things, there's still a lot left that falls into the fitting-and-stylish category. Which is great, and you're probably wondering so what's the problem? The problem is after not having choices for so long, I have a hard time making choices now. I never learned how to do that very well. When I was a kid we were poor, so that influenced everything. As a young adult, there was the size issue. I'm like a person who grew up never knowing if there'd be enough food on the table. Now, if I find an item I really like, I dash out into the store and get it in three different colors, and spring up to the register waving my credit card before anyone can pry it from my clutches, just in case there's never again a piece of clothing that fits me. Or, I buy stuff that fits and looks good on me and is cute and stylish or whatever but then I get it home, wear it once or twice, and realize it isn't "me" and it goes in the giveaway bag. Or I realize I have nowhere to wear it. Or it's not all that comfortable after all.

I have given away so much barely worn clothing over the last few years I could buy a Macbook Air (um, the one with the solid state hard drive) with that money, and maybe one for you, too. Worse, I have gone out to major events that were important to me in brand new clothing that I hated because it didn't help me feel like myself.

The problem as I see it is twofold: 1) I do not have a solid sense of my personal style, and 2) I don't have a good vetting process for clothing when I shop. I'm working on the latter. I'm getting better at forcing myself to not cut the tags off new stuff until I've tried it on several more times at home and am absolutely sure I like it. I'm becoming an expert returner. If I rashly bought a t-shirt in four colors when I only needed one, I'm now more likely to take the other three back instead of stuffing them in the back of my drawer where they can't make me feel guilty. Next step is refining my process so it's taken care of in the dressing room the first time.

The personal style thing is a little harder. I am easily influenced by what is on mannequins or what people who have office jobs wear or what people tell me looks good on me or what Stacy & Clinton say, back when I still had cable. But personal style is more than what "looks good on me." It's who I am, and what makes me feel the most like that. Which is super vague! So it's a process. Meanwhile, folks who shop at the thrift stores near me are probably finding some prettttty sweet deals.

Experienced shoppers who know themselves well: What's your process for deciding what to buy? And do you base it all on a budget? How much do you think you spend on clothes each year? Some tips for wardrobe building and pinpointing who you are and who you are not as a clothes-wearer?

Sunday, July 19

Boys and pink

I get to talk fashion today at TFC! Since it's my first summer in NYC, I've seen a LOT of different looks. I have to stop myself from staring, sometimes, because some girls look superfab in outfits I'd *never* be able to pull off. That's one of the best reasons to ride the subway. There's such an eclectic mix of people--I love it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on the subway and an adorable boy, probably eleven or tweleve, was wearing a light pink shirt and jeans. When he turned in my direction, I saw his shirt said, "I like wearing pink. Get over it."

And while we were on the train, another kid saw his shirt and laughed. That mean kid started whispering to the friend he was with on the train. I almost got up and told them to stop, but I watched the kid in the pink shirt standing tall and not even looking in their direction.

When it was time for me to get off, I said superloud to the kid in pink, "I LOVE your shirt" and shot a look at the mean boys. The boy in pink grinned and I haven't forgotten the look on his face.

Fashion in this city is so different and everyone has their own look. Right now, I'm still digging that boy in pink.

Hope everyone had a fab weekend!


Friday, July 17

More GNF!!!

HUGE GLITTERY CONGRATS to Melissa on her wedding!!!

And did you see those shoes??!! 


My good news this week is that BLUE MOON debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List for Children's Paperbacks, #14 on the USA Today General list, and #22 on the NCIBA list! (EVERMORE landed at #3 on NYT  & #34 on USA Today!)- And I just wanted to say THANKS to all of you who supported it!!

Also, I'll be signing copies of my books tonight, Friday July 17th 6:00PM at:

Barnes & Noble
791 S. Main St. #100
Orange, CA 92868
And I hope to see YOU there!!
Any good news to share? Shout it out in the comments!

GNF: Wedding Bells!

My Good News Friday is that I'm getting married tomorrow in Grafton, Vermont!

Here's a hint at what I'm wearing for at least part of the evening. I've got my something blue covered!

melissa heels.JPG

I'm really excited, and ready to eat red velvet cake! Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, July 16

Food! Glorious Food!

I've become That Woman. I'm the person who, if Nancy Drew invited me over to dinner so I could give her my advice in solving a case, and housekeeper Hannah Gruen came out of the kitchen bearing her typical "platter of steamed meats," would have to deliver a perky, "None for me, thanks! I'll just have some of these vegetables!"

That's right. I'm That Woman, the one who won't eat everything put in front of her.

About two months ago, I underwent a food conversion. I read a sentence that struck me, something along the lines of, "You can't keep doing the same thing over and over again, and expect different results." Since I'd been doing the same thing over and over again (eating the poor on-the-run diet of writers who practically live in their basements) and getting the same results (slight weight gain, low energy, raging allergies, mood swings), I decided, 'Hmm...maybe do something...different?'

That's how I became a vegan.

Yes, I realize that's a radical change, when I could have tried something more moderate first like giving up one or two items. But why be moderate when you can be extreme???

You know what, though? It really hasn't been hard. I hadn't been eating much meat or chicken for years and while I would have thought the dairy would be hard, it turns out that eating soy cheese instead is a small price for not having a runny nose and runny eyes all the time.

And I really am not totally That Woman, meaning if you invite me over, I don't expect you to make anything special on my account. Really, people seem more than happy to let me eat the salad while they eat everything else.

The benefits so far have been substantial: decreased allergies, increased energy, less dramatic mood swings, a harder body without increasing my usual exercise, and yes, weight loss.

But do I think everyone else should do as I do? Nah. I'm not one of those. And I'll only keep doing it myself so long as it makes me feel good and happy. If it stops, I'll find something else. Maybe the All-Cookie Eating Plan will be next for me? Hmm... Now if only I lived closer to those vegan cupcakes someone posted here earlier this week...

How about you?


Be well. Don't forget to write.

Monday, July 13

Cupcakes for many TFC celebrations!!!!!

Since the topic of the week here at TFC is food, I thought it would be a good day to post about cupcakes. Why? Because we have a lot to celebrate around here! Last Monday was Lauren's birthday. Today is mine and Linda's. Saturday is Melissa's wedding. ETA: (because how could I forget) Saturday is also Sara Hantz's birthday! Alyson's Immortals series is crazy successful. I got to meet Kay at the ALA conference (dude, I think that is totally dessert worthy!) and the list goes on. I mean have you read our Good News Friday posts lately?!?

Now I personally prefer cupcakes to cake. They are the perfect dessert size and come in so many flavors. I love cupcakes so much I decided to get them instead of cake for my upcoming wedding in October. Since I'm vegan, I found this fabulous new business in my area called Vegan Bomb.

We met them at a coffee house and they brought us a bunch of samples to try:
Coconut Lime
Lemon-aide (with vodka injected into it so it tasted like a vodka lemonade!)
Cookies and Cream (with an Oreo on top!)
Mint Chocolate Chip
Peanut Butter (with peanuts on top!)
Strawberries and Cream (with a strawberry wafer on top!)
Chocolate ganache (which was just like a Ho Ho or hostess cupcake!)
Vanilla chocolate chip

They were the most beautiful cupcakes I've ever seen (even more decorative then the generic cupcake picture I found and posted above) and neither my fiance (who is not vegan *at all*) nor I could believe they were completely dairy-free. They were more moist and tasty than any cupcakes we ever had!

My mom's fave was the chocolate ganache. Scott was between the Coconut Lime and Mint Chocolate Chip. I was between Coconut Lime and Peanut Butter and Strawberries and Cream and the Chocolate Ganache. Obviously I am very indecisive. This is another reason why cupcakes instead of cake is good, especially when it comes to a wedding. We can choose a bunch of flavors and guest can pick their faves!

So today I am serving up virtual cupcakes in honor of my fellow TFCers various big days and big news! What flavor will you choose? Today for my bday I am pure chocolate ganache. Mmmmm.

Oh and if you want to come celebrate my birthday and my upcoming Ballads of Suburbia book launch with me even more, please come visit my blog today. I kicked off the Ballads of Suburbia Cyber Release Party! Many of my fellow TFC authors will be participating. But today I did my very first vlog. Actually I did two. One showing off my new tattoo and the other doing a special reading from Ballads of Suburbia! Go here to check out!

Now back to cyber noshing on cupcakes!

Sunday, July 12

My vacation wish list

I don't know about you, but I'm often dreaming about what I'd do if I won the lottery. The big bucks, that is...... like millions and millions (unfortunately, it didn't happen this week, I've just checked my ticket).

Top of my list is to travel. I have so many places I want to visit (I'm lucky enough to have visited many countries, but there are so many more).

So.... where have I visited so far: UK (does that count I lived there most of my life?), New Zealand (I live here now), Australia, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece, Corfu, Rhodes, Ibiza, Israel, Turkey, Venice, Singapore, Hawaii, San Fran, Spain, Fiji.

Where do I want to go: Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New York, Canada, New Caledonia, Egypt, Dubai, Barbados, Peru, Switzerland, Alaska, South Africa, Russia, Poland......

Okay, I'm sure there are many more places.

What about you? Where would you love to visit, and where's the most memorable place you've been?

Friday, July 10

More GNF!!!

Huge congrats to Lauren on her awesome review of CRAZY/BEAUTIFUL. I was lucky enough to read an early copy and I can definitely say that it's all that and more!

My good news this week is that BLUE MOON was released on July 7th (yay!), and that EVERMORE landed at #4 this week on the New York Times Bestsellers List for Children's Paperbacks making for 23 weeks in the top 5 (!!!), and it's at #103 this week on the USA Today list (up 5 from last week!)!

But what I'm really really excited about is the new website my publisher put together--a destination for all things IMMORTALS--and they did such a great job, I'm totally addicted, I keep sneaking back there when I'm supposed to be working! There are chakra charts, screensavers, wallpapers, a place to download your aura--and every time you click on a tulip you will hear an audio clip of a scene not contained in the book!! To check it out for youself just click HERE!

And don't forget to subscribe so you can be the first to know about any exciting IMMORTALS SERIES news!

Well, that's it for me--how about you--what's your good news this week?!

Have a fun weekend-


Good News Friday: Early Kirkus

Got the Kirkus review for CRAZY BEAUTIFUL, due out Sept 7. The last line: "Somehow, this romance transcends all of its potential pitfalls to create a powerful story about recovery and friendship. " I'll take it!

How about you? Got any GNF to share?

Be well. Don't forget to write.

Thursday, July 9

Heading for ALA!

For travel week, I thought it would be fitting to talk about what I'm looking forward to most as I travel to Chicago for the ALA national conference. I'll be there Saturday and Sunday, haunting the exhibits area. My ARCs won't be on display until the ALA Mid-Winter Conference in Boston in January, so I get to attend this one solely as a booklover (and host of The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest). Much fun to be had. Here's what I'm excited about:

1. Meeting my fabulous editor. Really, I'm excited to meet the entire Egmont team. They're all completely fabulous. Gooooooo Team Egmont!

2. Getting to hang out with some of the Great Scavenger Hunt Contest librarians. What a terrific bunch of people! If you'll be there, we're meeting near the Egmont booth at 3:30pm on Saturday. Stop by and say hi!

3. Hearing Laurie Halse Anderson speak at the Margaret Edwards luncheon. I'm delighted that I'll be joining my editor and fellow Egmont author Julia Keller for the event.

4. Meeting two of my favorite YA book bloggers. (Waving to Chelsea aka The Page Flipper and Kristi aka The Story Siren.) Chelsea is the very first reviewer to have read The Cinderella Society, so that makes it double the fun.

5. Attending the Egmont launch party Saturday night at the Art Institute of Chicago. I've heard nothing but raves about their BEA launch party, so I know this is going to be a blast. Especially since I get to hang out there with my lovely (and funny) librarian friend Cathy.

6. Did I mention books??? So many great books to discover. I'm hoping to pick up a few ARCs of upcoming Great Scavenger Hunt Contest books so I can do some special giveaways for participating Hunt librarians. We'll see how I fare while I'm there.

Who else is heading to ALA? If you've been there before, what suggestions do you have for a first-timer?

Thursday, July 2

Twilight Goes to School

Clearly, I am too easily amused. Maybe it's because I'm recovering from a non-vacation vacation. Maybe it's because I'm up against a tight deadline. Or maybe it's because these things are just plain funny.

Did you know that Twihards can go to summer school in Forks? I am not kidding. You can read the article here.

This is my absolute favorite, though... Edward schooled by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1

Schools Out!!

This week we’re blogging about school, and, I’m afraid my attitude toward it can best be summed up by THIS.

For those of you who are click shy, that’s Alice Cooper singing the infamous, end of school anthem—"Schools Out." A song they used to play in heavy rotation back in my day, especially around mid-June.

The last day of school was always my favorite day of school. Sure I liked the new clothes, the sharpened pencils, and the nervous making anticipation that the first day would bring—but what I liked even more was ditching the books I had to read in favor of the books I wanted to read and swapping my school clothes for bikinis and flip-flops. Those three, long, glorious months stretched out before me like an overfed cat. Nothing but long days—warm nights—and, as the song says, “No more pencils, no more books . . .”

So tell me, what was your favorite day of school? First or last or somewhere in between?