Blog Archives

Go Greek with Mythology High Anthology

I’ve been a little slow with the blog updates recently, but hopefully that’s going to change soon. I’m in the process of updating my website, and transitioning to Tumblr—so stay tune for a whole new look. And I have even

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Forget Everything With GCC Member Jessica Brody

What could be worse than having your plane crash? Forgetting everything you ever knew. That’s the premise of GCC member Jessica Brody’s latest novel, UNREMEMBERED, out this month through Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. As always, here’s a little bit about

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I’ve Joined Facebook….Yup, Welcome to 2006!

So you may not believe this, but I just joined Facebook. Like just joined—as in, last week. My dad has been on Facebook for about a year now. (Of course, my parents also went to Mardi Gras this year, so

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Meet Some SMALL TOWN SINNERS by GCC Member Melissa Walker

Don’t you just love it when you get a second chance to discover an awesome book? For those who didn’t get the opportunity to read it in hardback, Melissa Walker’s fantastic YA novel, SMALL TOWN SINNERS, just came out in

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Look FANGTABULOUS With GCC Member Lucienne Diver

What’s better than a supernatural vampire story set in Salem, Mass. with a murder mystery mixed in? I don’t know about you, but I’m sold. I can’t wait to read GCC member Lucienne Diver’s latest installment in her Vamped series,

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Starting the Year With Some Good Books!

Hope everyone had a Happy New Year and a great holiday season! My little one is a year-and-a-half now (can’t believe it!), so while she still doesn’t really grasp the whole Santa-thing, she did catch on to the present-thing really

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My Christmas Wish List: Latest YA from Laurie Faria Stolarz

If you’re looking for a great last-minute gift for a teen in your life, look no further than the latest amazing YA title from LaurieFaria Stolarz. Her books are fabulous and I can’t wait to read her latest installment, Deadly Little

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Have A Holly Jolly Chrismukkah!

So the house is decorated for Christmas and Hanukkah, and as I look around I can’t help but reflect on Chrismukkahs past. Yeah, I’m sappy like that. But it’s more that I remember where each of our decorations went in

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Learn to Spot a Long-Con With GCC Member Eileen Cook

Some teenage girls work at the mall to earn extra cash, others learn to run a con. But if you choose the latter, make sure you don’t fall for your own lies. At least, that’s the case in GCC member

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Fifty Shades of An American Psycho

Not long ago, Bret Easton Ellis, the author of AMERICAN PSYCHO, had publicly stated his desire to write the screen adaptation of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. As someone who just recently finished reading all three FIFTY novels (oh, yes, I

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When It’s Time for a Writer to Look for Mary Poppins

My daughter, Juliet, turned one in April. I thought I had been working during the first year of her life. I mean, I tried. I sat in front of my laptop during all of her naps, neversleeping when she was

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SOMETHING WICKED Is Headed This Way With GCC Member Kelly Parra

Just in time for Halloween “something wicked this way comes,” or so said Shakespeare in MacBeth. You know who else is talking about SOMETHING WICKED? The authors of this spooky new YA anthology featuring GCC member Kelly Parra. So if

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You Can LIVE THROUGH THIS With GCC Member Mindi Scott

What teenage girl doesn’t put on a façade for the world? Try to convince everyone, including herself, that her life is perfect? Well, that’s the case in the emotionally-charged new YA novel by GCC member Mindi Scott. Learn how far

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You Might Not Want To Get Caught on an Island With GCC Member Gretchen McNeil

It’s all fun and games until someone gets dead, right? Just in time for Halloween is a spooky new YA Horror by GCC member Gretchen McNeil. Take your coolest high school party, set it on an island, and toss in

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Scale The Social Ladder With GCC Member Elise Allen

What teenage girl hasn’t wondered what it would be like to be someone else? To be more popular? Now imagine you’ve figured out the secret to actually do it, to change your life. That’s the concept behind GCC member Elise

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Fly Far, Far Away With GCC Member Jennifer Echols

Ever wish you could just fly off and leave everything behind? Now imagine you’re a teen who actually can fly her own plane, only she’s stuck doing the bidding of two teen brothers who may not have the best intentions.

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Tick Off Your Sister With GCC Member Denise Jaden

Can you crush on your sister’s boyfriend and not piss her off? It seems like it would be long road back to sibling bliss, and that’s exactly what you’re going to find out in GCC member Denise Jaden’s new book,

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Skip Through Time with GCC Member Myra McEntire

The second book in GCC member Myra McEntire’s Hourglass series is out this month, and I have to say, it has one of the prettiest covers I’ve ever seen. Love it! (The wallpaper in the background almost looks like the

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Two Books Are Better Than One With The GCC’s Amanda Ashby

GCC member Amanda Ashby has two books debuting this summer, and both sound absolutely adorable. I mean, what preteen wouldn’t love the power to grant wishes? Check out WISHFUL THINKING and UNDER A SPELL, two books in her new series

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Relax And SURRENDER With GCC Member Elana Johnson

Looking for a summer book with love, intrigue, and super powers? Look no further than SURRENDER by GCC member Elana Johnson, which just debuted through Simon and Schuster. As always, here’s a little bit about her book to get you

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GCC Member Melissa Walker Will Help UNBREAK YOUR HEART

Summer lovin’ had me a blast… Unless your love is your best friend’s boyfriend and you’re spending your summer desperately trying to forget he exists. UNBREAK MY HEART is the latest by GCC member Melissa Walker and it’s the perfect

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How to Save the Arts In Philadelphia

How many of you played an instrument in elementary school? Performed in your school choir? Won an art competition? Climbed a rope in gym class? Well, consider yourselves lucky, because if Pennsylvania legislatures have their way, not too many students

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This YA Book Is Not Yet Rated

Feels like every time you turn around someone is trying to censor YA novels. If they’re not banning them from school libraries, they’re protesting them for being too edgy, or now they’re trying to slap them with arbitrary ratings. US

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Get Patriotic With GCC Member Jessi Kirby’s New Book

For all those who lost someone in Iraq and all those who don’t even know someone who fought it in, get a glimpse inside military family with GCC Member Jessi Kirby’s new book, IN HONOR, out this month through Simon

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Authors Sounding Off On 1-Star Reviews

So I’m a little behind on my Publishers Weekly newsletters—like say four months or so. Oops. But because I really do enjoy reading the Children’s Bookshelf emails, I’ve been perusing my backlist the past few days and I came across

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How Do You Measure A Year In The Life?

My little one is ONE! The big numero uno. No longer a baby. A walking, talking (well, babbling), toddler. And since this is a gigantic milestone for both of us, I thought I’d share some photos of the big event.

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You Can’t Write a Book for Your Baby’s Eyes Only

I was recently a speaker at the State of Maryland International Reading Council Conference (SoMIRAC), and while there I happened to mention that I had a baby. (The girl just sneaks into conversations these days.) Anyway, being as though many

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Should We Judge a Book By Its Movie?

So the Hunger Games movie it out! My tweenage niece and nephew were at the midnight showing and I still haven’t see it! Oh, the horror of having a baby and having to work around a sitter’s schedule. But in

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Midnight In Philly, And Other Oscar Movies

In preparation for last night’s Oscars, I decided to watch a couple of the best picture nominees available on OnDemand. (I have a baby, unless the movie is from the TWILIGHT or HUNGER GAMES franchises, it’s hard to get me

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Being a Mom and Maintaining Sanity = Hard Work

So last week, I finished the latest rounds of edits on my never-ending White Whale. Sometimes, I swear that manuscript will be tossed into my casket as the ongoing, never-finished, constantly-tweaked, work-in-progress. But regardless, this latest bout of round-the-clock revisions

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Sink Your Teeth Into Something FANGTASTIC With GCC Member Lucienne Diver

If you miss Buffy (and who doesn’t?), then I have the perfect replacement to fill the void in your heart—the Vamped Series by GCC Member Lucienne Diver. Her latest installment, FANGASTIC, just came out this month through Flux, and it

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Go A Little Goth With UNRAVELING ISOBEL By GCC Member Eileen Cook

Why do all gothic mansions have to be haunted? Because they’re just creepy, that’s why—especially if you’re forced to live there with some creepy step-father. That is why you must read GCC Member Eileen Cook’s new book, UNRAVELING ISOBEL, out

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Don’t TOUCH GCC Member Laurie Faria Stolarz

Seeing the future isn’t all it’s cracked up to be according to the latest installment in GCC Member Laurie Faria Stolarz’s YA series, DEADLY LITTLE VOICES, out this month through Disney/Hyperion Books for Children. I must say that the covers

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Screw the Scented Candle, Read My Holiday Book List

So it’s that time of year again when the coupons to Yankee Candle start pouring in and it suddenly seems like a good idea to buy your boss/friend/neighbor a giant glass jug that smells like cinnamon. Not that there’s anything

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Behind the Magic Curtain of A NY Editorial Room

How does a book get sold? I wish I knew, and I think most authors would agree. The acquisitions department at a publishing house is like a magical room draped with velvet curtains. You write a book. You get an

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Next Cage Match on Pay-Per-View: Working Moms –Vs- Stay At Homes

I noticed something interesting recently. I live in a let’s-be-friends urban community that throws barbeques on Labor Day and has hayrides for Halloween. Everyone comes out, brings the kids, eats burgers, and meets the neighbors. Yet I find that when

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GCC Member Kristina Springer Spices Up the Pumpkin Patch

As someone who just spent the weekend enjoying autumn in NY, I gotta say, who doesn’t love a good novel about changing leaf colors and rustic pumpkin patches? If either of these things makes you want to curl up with

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You Can’t Worry Whether Your Parents Will Read This

Did you ever wonder what the parents of erotic romance authors think? Do they read their child’s graphic bondage scenes or do they politely chose not to purchase their sultry books? How about the parents of horror writers? Do they

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GCC Member Jeri Smith-Ready Is A “Smart Chick” With A Short Story

YA writers are smart chicks. We all knew that, but now a group have gotten together to create an anthology to build upon the “Smart Chicks Kick It” tour. GCC Member Jeri Smith-Ready has one of the more notable short

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GCC Member Megan Kelley Hall’s DEAR BULLY Letters

So, if you’ve found your way to this blog, by now you know that I have an essay in the amazing anthology put together by GCC Members Carrie Jones and Megan Kelley Hall. Corralling 70 authors to put together a

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Dear Bully: Why Do You Pick On YA Authors?

So I’m about halfway through DEAR BULLY (the awesome anthology I contributed an essay to and that went on sale last week), and I commented to the DH about how many other authors have stories similar to my own. He

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DEAR BULLY: My Hopes for My Daughter

So as many of you know, I have an essay in the soon-to-be released anthology, Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories (available for pre-order now!). In it I discuss my bullying experience from the sixth grade. As we gear

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My Ongoing Search for Work-From-Home Mommyhood Status Continues

In three months, I’ve become an expert on nap analysis. For example, I’ve found that the little one’s morning nap is her longest and soundest of the day, so I’m now trying to cram in everything from showering to blogging

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Dusting the Cobwebs Off My Crazy Mommy Brain

So the baby is napping right now, which means I probably have another half-hour to work on the computer uninterrupted. (Dear Sleeping Gods, thank you for sending me a baby that is borderline narcoleptic.) I’ve decided to use this napping

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Motherhood, Stress, and Writing: The Wisdom of Uma Thurman

So I saw this movie the other night and it was like watching my life on film, only my life five years from now—an almost an Ebenezer Scrooge moment where I was being shown what would become of me if

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Pen Your Own Romantic LOVE STORY With GCC Member Jennifer Echols

If you’re looking for a good LOVE STORY to curl up with before Labor Day, then you have to try GCC Member Jennifer Echols’ new novel, LOVE STORY, out this month through MTV Books. As always, here’s a little bit

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Losing Your Religion With GCC Member Melissa Walker’s Hell Houses

So you know those fanatical religious sects always profiled on 20/20? Ever wonder what it would be like to grow up in one? Well, GCC Member Melissa Walker did and you can read all about it in her new novel,

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Forgotten Angels And More With GCC Member Suzanne Young

Who doesn’t love a rogue angel tempting fate? Because that’s exactly what you get in GCC Member Suzanne Young’s new novel, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL out this month through Balzer&Bray/HarperCollins. As always, here’s a little bit about her book to

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Get All Brainwashed With GCC Member Elana Johnson

To think for yourself or not think for yourself, that is the question in GCC Member Elana Johnson’s new novel, POSSESSION out this month through Simon Pulse. Because really, who needs to pick their own husband anyway? As always, here’s

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Kick Some Evil Fairy Butt With GCC Member Amanda Ashby

Forget Tinkerbelle, the fairies in GCC Member Amanda Ashby’s new novel are evil and need to be slain. To make it worse, they’re sarcastic hipsters. Now tell me that isn’t a reason to read FAIRY BAD DAY out this month

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Question Every Decision You’ve Ever Made With GCC Member Jessica Brody’s New Book

So can you remember that really horrible decision you made in high school? Yeah, so can Brooklyn Pierce, the main character in GCC Member Jessica Brody’s new novel, MY LIFE UNDECIDED out this month through FSG. But would you ever

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Please Help Me Welcome Baby Juliet!

So a few weeks ago I warned that the blog might go silent when the little bundle I was carrying decided to make her appearance, and now I’m happy to report that Juliet Wallach is officially here! She arrived healthy,

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Writing The Dreaded Evil Synopsis

So I was recently asked to write a synopsis for my WIP. My reaction? Oh, God, not that. Anything but that. It’s hard enough for writers to condense the plots of their 300-plus page novels into two paragraphs when they’re

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Coming Out of the Closet, Or Should I Say Diaper Genie

So there’s something I’ve been keeping under wraps for, oh say about nine months now. I just wasn’t ready to announce it to the blogosphere, but I’ve hit the point where there’s a part of my brain constantly thinking about

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Chinese Water Torture, Or What It Feels Like To Cut 10,000 Words

So one of the problems with writing in the YA genre is that you have to keep your books succinct. This is a good and bad thing. On one hand, you won’t find a bunch of purple prose. (“Her flaxen

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It’s National Grammar Day, And Me Speak Pretty

Happy National Grammar Day! What? You didn’t know? It’s not on your calendar? Hallmark doesn’t have an aisle of cards? Well, grammar’s not all that exciting, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. So in honor of this little known

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Insider’s Guide To Finding a New Agent

So this is something I’ve been keeping under wraps for awhile. Around the holidays, I decided to end my five-year working relationship with my former agent. It was a difficult decision and something I had been considering for a long

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B!tch, Please! The Feminist List Heard Through the Blogosphere

So a few days ago, a very popular feminist magazine, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, put together a list of 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader on its website. It’s got everything from Judy Blume to Laurie

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Mailing That Letter You Wrote To Your Bully…Or Publishing It

So you may remember last spring when I first told you about Young Adult Authors Against Bullying (YAAAB), the ingenious organization starting by authors Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones. Well, these authors have taken it one-step further and put

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GCC Member Laurie Faria Stolarz Gives A Touching Glimpse of the Future

Who hasn’t wished they could see the future? But if you really got your wish and every time you touched someone crazy images flashed in your brain, would you still consider it a gift? I’m not so sure, but I’d

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Good Girls Go Bad With GCC Member Eileen Cook

Isn’t it every over-achiever’s dream to just not over achieve for once? To do the wrong the thing? To be the bad girl? Well, that’s exactly what GCC Member Eileen Cook explores in her new novel, THE EDUCATION OF HAILEY

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Have A Very Apple New Year

So Santa hooked me up this year! Well, to be more specific, my husband did. Yes, folks, I am typing this blog on my brand new MacBook Pro laptop! Jealous? I even got loaded up with all the software a

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How To Work Soap Operas Into Your ESOL Conference Keynote

So I was invited to speak at the Maryland TESOL (Teachers of English as a Second Language) conference over the weekend, presumably because my Amor and Summer Secrets series features a multicultural heroine who spends the summer with her Spanish-speaking

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Just In Time With Chrismukkah: Haiku Reviews

I haven’t poetically opined on my reading lately, so I figured just in time for the Chrismukkah shopping season I’d give you a few fresh haiku reviews. Now, just to warn you, a few of these are from my summer

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Go Ahead, Hum the Aria from Carmen With GCC Member Caridad Ferrer’s New Book

Just when schools are trying to cut funding for the arts, it seems it might be the hottest way for a teen to find herself in a love triangle. At least that’s the case in GCC Member Caridad Ferrer’s new

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NaNoWriMo Fail… I Regret That I Must Admit Defeat

So it is with heaviness in my heart that I confess to you that I have let down the NaNoWriMo Gods. I will not have a new 50,000-word manuscript completed by the end of the month. I tried, believe me!

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Join A Secret Society With GCC Member Daisy Whitney

Haven’t we all wanted to be in a secret society? Now imagine instead of that society seeking power and money, it seeks to right the wrongs of others. Cool, huh? That’s the premise in GCC member Daisy Whitney’s new YA

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Call Me Crazy, But I’m Doing NaNoWriMo

So for those who might think I’ve turned into Dr. Seuss and am going around making up imaginary words (btw, my eggs have never been green), let me explain the madness that is NaNoWriMo. November is National Novel Writing Month

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Become An Avenger With GCC Member Denise Jaden

I love a good mystery novel, especially when the stakes are high—like, say, avenging your sister’s death. That’s why I’m very excited for GCC member Denise Jaden’s new YA novel, LOSING FAITH, which debuted this week through Simon Pulse. As

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Become Entranced with GCC Member Linda Gerber

Who hasn’t wished at some point that you could see the future? Well, would you still want that wish to come true if all you saw were the bad things in your future? That’s the issue tackled in GCC Member

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GCC Member Lauren Strasnick Introduces The "Other Parent"

I’m sure there are a lot of teens out there who know first hand how hard divorce can be, especially if they have to move to a new town with the “other” parent. That’s the exactly the issue facing the

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Curl Up With A Nice Banned Book

It’s that time of year again—Banned Books Week. And what better way to celebrate the narrow-mindedness of others than by picking up one of the most banned books of the year and giving a read. Call it our book nerd

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A Few Things I Learned in Disney World

So I was off on a post-Labor Day vacation in Florida and now that I’m back I thought I’d compile a list of the wisdoms I gathered during my travels. Because let’s face it, it takes a brave person to

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Vampires Wear The Best Clothes in GCC Member Lucienne Diver’s REVAMPED

Gotta love a vampire series where a fashion diva is cursed without a reflection for all eternity. How will she know which shoes go with this outfit? It’s an intriguing, and witty, twist on the vampire genre tackled by Lucienne

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Learn To Love Your Fake Boyfriend in GCC Member Kristina Springer’s New Novel

A lot of kids have imaginary friends, but not all of them have imaginary boyfriends. Well, unless they live in Canada. Come on, all summer flings claimed to have taken place in Canada are fictitious, aren’t they? And apparently that

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Okay Kids, the Moral Of This Novel Is…

So YA author Shannon Hale posted a blog questioning whether authors who write for teens are expected to lace their stories with a bunch of moral lessons. A few other YA authors weighed in on the subject, and I’m taking

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AStupidCensorSaysWhat? What?

One of the great things about being a YA author is that we’re kind of a close-knit bunch. We don’t see each other as competition for readers/reviews/sales, because at the end of the day we’re all after the same mission:

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Soap Operas and YA Novels: Why They’re Besties

So anyone who reads the blog knows that I’m a big soap fan. I grew up on them like other kids grew up on Sesame Street. (Thanks, Grandmom!) Young & the Restless, ATWT, Days, AMC—at one point I’ve dabbled in

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Snakes, Snails & Puppy Dogs Tails: That’s What Boy Books Are Made of…

Okay, I’m just joking. I don’t really think boy books are snail-like. (And you know what I never got about that offensive little rhyme? What’s wrong with puppy dog tails?) Anyway, there’s been a lot of debate in the blogosphere

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My Let’s-Get-Pumped Tunes for Writing

I’ve been asked a couple times in interviews whether I have any pre-writing rituals, like “lighting a candle” or “drinking a glass of tea” or something. I don’t do either of those things (though they do sound very romantic and

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Celebrate Christmas in July With Some Haiku Reviews

Just in time of Christmas in July (which I know you all celebrate because decorating a palm tree is awesome), I’ve decided to offer a few haiku reviews in case you’re looking for entertainment during your next vacation. I’m covering

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Write A Book, Then Buy A Book–It’s That Simple

So I recently saw an article on Galleycat that solves the publishing crisis in such a simplistic and obvious way that I can only call it genius. Anyone outside the industry may not realize this, but books aren’t doing so

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It’s Shoobies, Shlocals, and Locals in GCC Member Jenny O’Connell’s New Series

Oh, who doesn’t remember going down the shore and meeting a cute local (year-round resident), shoobie (one-week vacationer), or schlocal (full-summer vacationer)? The sand and surf really give “summer fling” a warmer brighter context. And GCC Member Jenny O’Connell is

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Will Edward and Bella Round The Bases?

Eclipse releases today! And if you don’t know what I’m talking about you’ve clearly been living in an Amazonian jungle with those strange vampires that show up in Breaking Dawn. But anyway, as the latest chapter of the Bella and

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To Prologue or Not to Prologue, That Is The Question

So the first version of the White Whale, which I wrote about five years ago, had a massive prologue. We’re talking a ten-page info-dump. (It was my first book, I didn’t know any better.) And I’m not saying it was

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Go Ahead, Take It In GCC Member Wendy Toliver’s LIFTED

So we all know that girl in high school who got arrested for shoplifting. Now imagine her doing that perp walk in small religious town. That’s the world GCC member Wendy Toliver has created in her new novel LIFTED, which

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Teaser Thursday: The Soundtrack to My Illusive White Whale

So I finished yet another round of edits to my White Whale, otherwise known as that darn-tween-novel-that-will-never-be-finished. And I got so wrapped up in it, I found myself mentally compiling the soundtrack to the movie that will be based on

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So You Think You Can Write? (Working Title)

This idea came to me in the shower (where all great ideas strike), the almighty television has given most other industries a shortcut to success. Singers have American Idol, America’s Got Talent, et al. Models have Tyra Banks. Fashion designers

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A Big Beach Bag of Questions for GCC Member Jennifer Echols

So I’ve been in the Girlfriends’ Cyber Circuit (GCC) for more than a year now, and I think it’s about time I ask some new questions. So Jennifer Echols, the author of the fabulous new book ENDLESS SUMMER which was

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Where Are The Polar Bears? My Take on the LOST Finale

I hated to see this “good book” come to an end. I’m sure we all did. But as a writer, I did not envy the LOST creators who faced the monumental task of wrapping this epic phenomenon in a way

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Un Pocito Puerto Rico En Philadelphia

I had an event over the weekend at Taller Puertorriqueno, a nonprofit community center and bookstore in north Philadelphia that celebrates Latino artists and authors. Lots of friends, family, and fans showed up and asked some wonderful questions, so I

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The Top Ten Things I Learned While Moving… Again

It’s official, “Those Who Will House Me ‘Til Then” have been relieved of their generous roof-over-my-head responsibilities. The DH and I are now, once again, housing ourselves. This of course means I am back in Philadelphia listening to construction crews

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Ghosts Stories And More With GCC Member Jeri Smith-Ready

Sure, a lot of fictional characters claim to be able to talk to the dead, but how many of them have dated the dead. Adds a whole new twist to the after life, huh? And that’s exactly why I’m so

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Get Some Good Karma with GCC Member Jessica Brody

In the age of the THE SECRET, sometimes the universe is just too busy to send everyone everything they’re thinking of in a timely manner. That’s why GCC author Jessica Brody decided to find out what would happen if girls

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Cinderella Kicks Off Those Glass Slippers for GCC Member Kay Cassidy

You gotta love an empowering twist on an old fairy tale, where instead of Cinderella stumbling upon her destiny, she’s asked to join a secret society and fight for it. Girl power! And that’s exactly why I’m excited for GCC

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Big Shocker: Young Adult Novels Are Not About The Parents

This may come as a surprise to the folks over at the New York Times (I know they have their hands full trying not to become extinct and all), but really, if they’re going to publish essays about a genre

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Bullies Are Totally Lame, And We’re Gonna Prove It

I’m sure many of you have been following the tragic Phoebe Prince story, the smart, attractive teen who took her own life in response to, essentially, being bullied to death. Nine classmates have been charged with her death, and I

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In a World… Where Blurbs Rule, And Everyone Needs One

To blurb or not to blurb, that is the question. You’ve probably noticed on the back of many books there are little excerpts from other authors claiming it’s “laugh out loud funny!” or “two tissue box worthy!” or “fun and

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Work-In-Progress: Channeling My Inner Tarantino

So you know how I’ve been blogging about my Adventures in Prequeldom? Well, I regret to inform you that prequeldom is on hold for the moment. But don’t worry, this is a good thing! (Though it’s not easy to stop

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Let’s Be BFF With GCC Member Elizabeth Scott

Ever have a crush on your best friend’s boyfriend? Of course not. Because even if you did, you wouldn’t tell me. It’s a blatant violation of Girl Code. And that is exactly the topic that our newest GCC member Elizabeth

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Old Lady Rodriguez’ Guide to Proper Email Etiquette

Well, you can thank the DH for the title to this blog because when I went into a rant yesterday on the flurry of rude emails I’d received he told me I was turning into “Old Lady Rodriguez.” Though I

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Great Adventures in Prequeldom: When Outlines Fight Back

I promised that I would blog about the experience of banging my head against my laptop…um, I mean writing my prequel. And since I am a glorious, fantastic, drop-down-on-my-knees-and-give-praise 20,000 words into the prequel, I think I’m ready to dispel

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Nancy Drew and The Curious Mystery of the Haiku Reviews

I went antiquing over the weekend. Doesn’t that sound grown up? Like I should be sitting in front of a fire sipping a cup of tea from 18th Century china while resting my feet on an early American leather ottoman.

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What Writers Can Learn From Olympians

During the Summer Olympics (God, I can’t believe I’ve been blogging that long), I wrote a blog comparing my writing style to water polo. It’s oddly, to this day, one of my most read blogs ever, so I’m taking it

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My Very Snowtorious Birthday Festivities

I was born in a blizzard, and I have now come to realize that this was an omen for birthdays to come. I had many an elementary school party canceled because of snow. I was stranded in NYC once when

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How to Write a Prequel and Keep Your Sanity

You ever wonder why in the world bizillionare George Lucas would create the mind-numbingly awful character of Jar Jar Binx? I think I know why. Not that I can relate to the mountains of cash Lucas sits on while drumming

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Smitten Kittens Rule With GCC Member Suzanne Young

“Mashed potatoes and gravy!” I’m so excited to be talking about GCC member Suzanne Young’s new book, The Naughty List. I read an Advanced Reader Copy, so I can tell you it’s “Holy Canoli!” awesome. It’s written with a very

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Bond -vs- Holmes: The Ultimate Fighting Championship

So I’ve been brushing up on my mysteries as research for my WIP. Yeah, I know, tough work. I wanted to go with more of a “method” approach, but I thought committing a felony to determine how the cops would

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Get A Little Pixy with GCC Member Carrie Jones

Well, if you haven’t read Carrie Jones’NY Times best-seller, NEED, rush out and buy it right now so you’re all caught up and ready to read its sequel, CAPTIVATE. It just debuted this month through Bloomsbury USA and it had

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"Borrowing" Some Ideas, and Other Things I Noticed in Avatar

Like most people with a pulse, I caught the hype and went out to see Avatar (in 3D Imax!) and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not a fantasy person. I only watched half of the first Lord

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White Whale Teaser: A Glimpse Inside “The Ex BFF”

So I’ve been beating my head against this book for so long, I’ve decided to break down and share a peek. It’s a blogging necessity really. When you spend so much time consumed by something, how can you not blog

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A Few Curious Observations About Living in Suburbia

So in the 48 days I’ve been living with “Those Who Will House Me ‘Til Then,” I’ve noticed some odd things. Not about my hosts, who are lovely, but about the world of picket fences and snow shoveling. You know,

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Get Revenge On A Mean Girl with GCC Member Eileen Cook

Oh, I love a good mean girl story. Forget making sequels to Karate Kid and Fame, Hollywood should do a remake of Heathers. You can’t go wrong with Christian Slater and Winona Ryder offing the popular girls. Well, unless you’re

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Just in Time for The Holidays: Haiku Reviews

So it’s Christmas week, and I know each and every one of you has your gifts wrapped in matching themed paper, your dinner menus planned with place cards scripted in Old English calligraphy, your cookies baked and covered in sprinkles,

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Wow, It’s a Chrismukkah Miracle!

Oh, Chrismukkah! Oh, Chrismukkah! How lovely are your candles! For those who don’t know, my DH and I are rocking the interfaith marriage. He’s Jewish, I’m Catholic, and for the past 11 years, we’ve pretty much perfected the menorah/Santa hybrid

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I’ve Got A New York State of Mind

Ah, Manhattan at Christmas time, gotta love it. Of course when I lived in Times Square and my roommate worked at Rockefeller Center, she swore we “lived in Christmas hell.” The crowds can be rather aggressive, you know? But still,

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GCC Member Debbie Rigaud Breaks Some Barriers at Simon Pulse

I’m excited to introduce everyone to GCC member Debbie Rigaud, who has a breakthrough young adult novel debuting through Simon Pulse. PERFECT SHOT! marks the first book in the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies series to feature an African-American protagonist and

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Hi, My Name’s Diana, And I Didn’t Like The New Moon Adaptation

It’s painful to admit it. And I know it’s unpopular. But I have chosen to confess publicly that I did not enjoy the big screen version of The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Like, I thought the special effects guys should

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My White Whale Swims Again

So back in May, I blogged about my White Whale. My first manuscript. The one that got away. The book that despite a heaping helping of rejection letters, I just can’t let go of. I told you I was going

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GCC’s Laurie Stolarz Has Two Hot Holiday Books

It’s been awhile, but the GCC is finally back in full swing. And I’m thrilled to kick off this new round of tours with Laurie Stolarz who is the author of not one, but TWO, great new young adult novels:

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I’m Leavin’ On a Jet Plane, Don’t Know When I’ll Be Back Again

Okay, actually I’m not. I’m driving in a UHaul, but same deal. “All my bags are packed and I’m ready to go…” And the DH and I are moving to places unknown. You see, while we may have sold our

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This Is Where We Used to Live, Broke In To The Old Apartment

So I’m officially moving. The date is set. The truck is booked. And the inspection hoo-ha is finally over (finally!). Now I just need to put stuff in boxes, tape ‘em shut, fold some clothes, bubble wrap some wine glasses,

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I’m your biggest fan, I’ll follow you until you love me! Paparazzi!

I’ve always liked dressing up on Halloween. My earliest memory of the holiday is of wearing yellow footy pajamas with a Tweetie Bird mask in my old house. Ahh, memories. Years past I’ve gone as a genie, a witch, an

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Amelia Earhart Is Chillin’ in Hawaii, So Say Philly Students

So I did a workshop at the University City Arts League yesterday with my youngest group of students ever (8-12 years old). And I was a little nervous because when I visited a third grade class last year hands went

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Goodbye Toto! Goodbye Balloon Boy! My Trip in A Hot Air Balloon

So the day after Balloon Boy faked out the country and hid in his attic rather than floating dangerously in a balloon, my DH and I were scheduled to take a hot air balloon ride. No joke. It was our

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Crack Open A YA Novel and Celebrate Teen Read Week

This week (Oct. 18th – 33rd) is Teen Read Week! What, you didn’t know? Let me explain. YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, takes this week every year to try to draw teens away from their Nintendo DS and

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Oh, My Holy Screamfest! Wow, That Was Scary

Okay, so I followed the hype. I couldn’t stand “Paranormal Activity” being a trending topic on Twitter for the past umpteen weeks and having no idea what anyone was talking about. So I Googled and discovered it’s this low-budget, Blair-Witch-esque

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House Sales, Eagles Games, and A Wedding Anniversary

Okay, I’m not supposed to say anything because, you know, things can still fall through, inspections can go wrong, locusts could swarm in, yadda yadda. But I prefer not to live in a Debbie Downer kinda world so I’m just

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Getting Kicked Out of My House By Strangers, Sort Of

Lately, I’ve become an expert at finding “things to do” for short bursts of time. This isn’t by choice. It’s not like I was going around looking for a hobby or anything. But somehow my work-from-home, build-my-own-schedule lifestyle has been

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How Good Books Get Banned By Good People

So as many in the publishing industry know, this is Banned Books Week (Sept. 26-Oct. 3). And while typically bloggers and news outlets focus on the books that have been banned—everything from Judy Blume to Catcher in the Rye to

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In Memoriam: My Editor At Kensington, Kate Duffy

I may be too stunned to write this. But I feel like I should. My editor at Kensington, Kate Duffy, has passed away. I knew she had been ill for some time, but I honestly never considered the possibility that

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I Feel A Sudden Need To Misuse Punctuation!?!!

In honor of National Punctuation Day (yes, it’s really a day and I was surprised too), I’d like to delve into the punctuation pitfalls that irk me most. Don’t worry!!! i wont go, crazy w/over-used inc’rrect punctuation; just to make

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Hispanic Heritage Month, Get Your Latino TBR Lists Ready

It has officially been a year since Amor and Summer Secrets debuted. Can you believe it? Wow. The years shall run like rabbits as the poet W.H. Auden said (or more recently, Ethan Hawke in Before Sunrise). But coincidentally, my

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A Guiding Light: Why We All Love A Good Happily Ever After

Call me a sap. But I find it sad when a long running television show comes to an end. I tuned in for the (bloody) last episode of E.R., though I hadn’t watched it in years. I still remember the

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Strange Things You Learn on a Girls’ Weekend

Seriously, we should have filmed this past weekend. It would’ve gotten more hits on YouTube than any cat playing piano. Because when you get a bunch of 30ish women together for two nights without the hubbies, reuniting down the shore

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If Selling My House Were a YA Novel, This Would Be The Plot

So this Sunday officially marks the first open house for the little place I’ve called home for the past six years. And so far I’ve learned that the process of preparing a house for sale, well, it pretty much sucks.

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Very Superstitious, Writing’s on the Wall…Sing It, Stevie

I’m a rather superstitious person. Not a “step on a crack, break your mother’s back” kind of superstitious, the kind that believes in “signs.” You know, when you have a dream about someone from high school, then you suddenly run

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Covers Really Do Sell Books, Or So A Teenager Told Me

So I was at a baby shower this weekend—my third this summer not including a Christening. (It’s what I do. Some people go down the shore on weekends, I go to showers and help with gift openings.) But at the

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Why Cocktail Parties Make Me Run For The Hills

I’m not a shy person. At least not in the traditional sense. I talk too much to be considered shy. My teachers used to move my desk around in middle school because I wouldn’t shut up (though I still got

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Designed to Sell, And Designed to Write

If this writing thing ever falls through, I swear I could have a killer career hosting HGTV’s Designed to Sell. Yeah, you heard me Clive Pearse. I’m coming for your job. Just because you’ve got a fancy British accent, doesn’t

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My Special Gift Is "Teen Movies," and A Colbert Update

So I was down the shore last week. (That’s what the Jersey beaches are called. The “shore.” Not the beach. You don’t have a beach house; you have a shore house. And you always go “down” there. Don’t ask me

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Dogs Prepare A Protest At The Linc

Apparently, according to legend, 40 years ago Eagles fans threw snowballs at Santa. It’s a little piece of a folklore that has followed our fair team every time a player is (most often justifiably) booed. Then, about ten years ago,

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Get Witchy with GCC Member Megan Kelley Hall

I’m so thrilled to host my Kensington sister, Megan Kelley Hall, whose new book The Lost Sister just debuted! (Get it, sister-sister? Insert groan here.) The first book in Megan’s Sisters of Misery series released to wicked reviews, so I

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Teasers: A Glimpse Inside My Work-In-Progress

So despite Amor and Summer Secrets having been out for almost a year now (can you believe it?), I’m still thrilled to see reviewers who are just discovering it and discussing it now with their readers. Specifically, Renee at Book

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Go Punk Rock With GCC Member Stephanie Kuehnert

If you grew up in the ‘90s or just want to be reminded of how awesome us teens were back then, you should definitely pick up a copy of GCC member Stephanie Kuehnert’s ( BALLADS OF SUBURBIA It’s chocked

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YA Book Covers Going All “Hollywood” And Stuff

So I saw this article on important women of politics discussing their love of Nancy Drew. I think Sonia Sotomayor started the discussion, and it really got me thinking. You see, my mom used to own a volume of hardback

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Oh, Pedro, I Told You, It’ll Never Work…

Pedro Martinez has become a Philadelphia Phillie. Now, you may not think this is significant. But that’s because you don’t realize that Pedro and I have a long-standing history. When I lived in Boston, Pedro pitched for the Red Sox.

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And the Winner of Madam Colbert/Stephen Colbert Contest Is…

This is just a quick blog to thank all of you for entering the Madam Colbert Meets Stephen Colbert Contest. We had 51 entries in total! Thanks so much for spreading the word. I’ll have some exiting updates to my

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Bumping My Way Just A Little Closer to Stephen Colbert

So my “Campaign to Get on the Colbert Report” is still in full swing and it’s even taken a few giant leaps forward. I haven’t planted my flag (or books) in the studio yet, but I did find out that

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A Character Named After Colbert Spawns A Contest

Okay, a couple of weeks ago I told all of you about I how named one of the characters in my Amor and Summer Secrets series after Stephen Colbert. You know, the comedian on Comedy Central who has helped elevate

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Haiku Reviews and Some Palin Too!

So it’s Friday, and it’s sunny, and it doesn’t exactly feel like a day for a serious blog entry. Lots of other bloggers post Friday Funnies and whatnot, and while I’ve never been one to follow the day-of-the-week blog rules,

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Get Glammed Up With GCC Member Jennifer Banash

What better way to spend your time at the beach than immersed in the world of Manhattan drama and glamor? So come on Gossip Girl fans, if you like Chuck and Blair, why not learn a little about Casey and

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My So-Called Blog: My Life Lessons From Jordan Catalano

My husband (coincidentally named Jordan) bought me the My So-Called Life box set for Christmas, and I just got around to finishing watching the DVDs this past weekend. Don’t get me wrong, this is probably the 1,234,868th time I’ve seen

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I Wouldn’t Want to Work at People Magazine Right Now

As I write this I am watching the “Dirty Diana” video on VH1. I can not tell you how much this song ruined my life in elementary school. There were some tough playground moments. Even my teachers called me “Dirty

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Thripple, and Other Words Found In Balderdash

When you go down the shore during a period of continuous rain not since seen since the biblical days of Noah, you got to find some other stuff to do to fill your time. Like go to the Cape May

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Colbert’s So 3008, Oprah’s 2000 and Late!

There are lots of things writers do to try to promote their books. They send press releases, try to get blurbs from other authors, do interviews, write blogs, tweet. And all these methods work, relatively. But sometimes, you just got

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I Think I’ve Been Hit by the Anti-Secret

So you know how I’ve been blogging lately about how fabulous the Latino community has been? It’s true. I’ve gotten tons of emails from multicultural teens, I won second place at the International Latino Book Awards, and Hispanic schools and

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How to Create a Best-Selling Summer Beach Read

‘Tis the season, right? In the winter, we’re all expected to be depressed under our wool sweaters snuggled up to fires and reading books of child slaughter games and morbid suicides. But once that sun comes out, bring out the

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I Think My Lack of Patience Is Making Me See Dead People

Is it just me or are things in the publishing world actually starting to move even slower? I didn’t think it was possible. When I first landed my agent, I had come from the world of magazine publishing. Magazines as

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I’m a Poet and I Didn’t Know It: Check Out Some Haiku Reviews

I’m admittedly ripping off another author here. Yes, you read correctly, I’m stealing inspiration. But if I come clean and tell you that, that makes it less wrong, right? You see I read a lot of blogs. I have dozens

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Yay! I’m Officially An “Award Winning” Author

Not to get all “Secret” on you, but I will say that I’m a believer in the loosely interpreted Field of Dreams philosophy of “If you think it, it will come.” And I got to say, it can’t be coincidental

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Living In An Amish Paradise: My School Visit to Lancaster

So, no, I did not get to do a Creative Writing Workshop in a one-room schoolhouse in the heart of Amish country. Though I do think that would make for an awesome school visit. Imagine: I could teach them that

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Have a Lovestruck Summer with GCC Member Melissa Walker

Memorial Day is just around the corner and I’m sure you’re all looking for a great beach read worthy of your beach chair and floppy hat. Well dust off your flip flops, bust out the sunscreen, and grab yourself a

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My Proposed Etiquette Guide to Writing Bad Book Reviews

I came across an amazing new blog this week, The Worst Review Ever, and I’ve been shouting its praises because it’s so unbelievably cathartic and funny. Essentially, it’s a venue—created by Alexa Young, author of Frenemies—for writers to post the

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Attacking My White Whale…Once More With Feelin’

I think every author has a book tucked under a shelf (or these days, tucked in their hard drive). A book they wrote a while ago—maybe their first novel, maybe their first dip outside their genre, or maybe some unfinished

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Vampires Teeth With Lipstick In GCC Member Lucienne Driver’s New Book

Imagine a fashionista (à la Paris Hilton) gets bitten by the undead and turned into a vampire—Can she still go tanning? How would she do her hair and makeup without the aid of a reflection? And how do you keep

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Eat, Pray, Write…I’m Joining An Advisory Board with Elizabeth Gilbert

I’m telling you, Philadelphia is turning into the writing Mecca. Not only does Jennifer Weiner live on my block and the Copy Store Man routinely tell me about the amount of local authors Xeroxing manuscripts, but now I’ve been asked

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Death by Novel With GCC Member: Linda Gerber

I love a good mystery. I’m even writing one, which makes me even more excited to host fellow GCC member Linda Gerber. Her “Death by” series is tons of fun, action packed, and filled with to-die-for settings (Paris, anyone?). So

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I Still Have Sand in My Shoes…Oh, Anguilla

I miss Anguilla. I’ve been back from vacation for two days and not only is my heat still on, but it’s raining. There are no waves crashing outside my window. No one is bringing me a continental breakfast to my

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What Judy Blume Means To YA By GCC Member Jennifer O’Connell

I don’t think there’s a YA author out there who doesn’t bow down and worship Judy Blume. She’s our Yoda. (Good writer she is.) We not only grew up reading her, (I learned everything I needed to know about my

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Wow, It’s a Good Thing Porn is Still Ranked on Amazon

Happy Easter/Passover everyone! And in celebration of the holiest of holidays, we are going to discuss gay porn. Well, not exactly. But I got your attention, right? Truth is, if you hit Twitter on Sunday, you would have noticed a

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Inside the Author’s Studio: Answering Some FAQs

I’ve been doing a lot of school events recently—both at high schools and colleges. And at a recent one, the organizer of the event said he was impressed that I had an answer for every question thrown at me. Nothing

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What’s With Everyone Wanting to Ban YA Novels?

I think there is an epidemic of selective amnesia facing American parents—the inability to remember what it was like when they were under the age of 18. I’m serious. I think those “ice chips” they give mothers in labor are

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Proof that I’m Not Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, Or Twelfth Grader

I spoke at my old high school yesterday. Technically, it wasn’t my actual high school. They tore down the building I attended and replaced it with a shinier new model a few years ago. This one has a reflecting pond

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Go Ahead, Inhale the Latest Novel from April Henry: TORCHED

I’ve never seen the show Weeds with Mary-Louise Parker. Once we got DVR, we realized we didn’t need much more than basic cable to be satisfied (we record everything). So Showtime and HBO got the boot. However, I imagine that

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My Alumni Words of Wisdom: I Never Took Creative Writing

So I had a wicked good time in Boston this week visiting my alma mater, BU. It was a lot of fun with a heaping dose of déjà vu mixed in. I sort of had that feeling you get when

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I Think Aliens Have Landed in Chapter 6

There are a few universal writing tips that most authors try to heed. Some signify lazy writing, like “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Meaning, don’t write he “ran quickly,” instead write “he ran/sprinted/darted,” you name it. Another

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“Adios to All The Drama” Contest, Plus A GCC Interview with Jennifer Echols

Just as the buds are hitting the trees and the pollen is stuffing up our noses, I’m springing forward (okay, bad pun) with a new Adios to All The Drama contest! Right now, I’m giving away one free copy of

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Sure, College Kids Are Apathetic Because They Read ‘Twilight.’ Really?!

I know a lot of authors get fired up about the book sections in newspapers being racist, sexist, ageist, whatever. And while many of their arguments are valid, I’ve never felt compelled to join the blogging masses and toss my

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GCC Interview: Amanada Ashby Is One Awesome “Zombie Queen”

Don’t look now, but I think zombies are about to invade the literary world. Forget vampires. Zombies are the new black. And amazing GCC author Amanda Ashby is making a zombie prom sound like a whole lot of fun—even if

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The Bad Economy Has Officially Hit Philly…Unless You’re a Tattoo Artist On South Street

Interestingly enough, Philadelphia hasn’t been all that slammed with the housing crisis plaguing the rest of the nation. Trust me, I would know. I wander through open houses on Sundays like other people wander through the mall. Recently, my husband

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My Dream of Doing Nothing: My Mental Vacation

So I’m back from my weeklong break from reality—and no, I don’t mean that in the padded cell kind of way. It was merely my gift to myself for working like a crazy person to complete the latest draft of

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Book’s Done and My Brain Is Going On Vacation

I’ve been a busy bee this February. I’ve had at least one signing or school visit every week this month. And I’ve been frantically (read: pulling hair out by roots while cursing computer) rewriting a manuscript I originally penned this

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GCC Interview: Get Glitzy With IN TOO DEEP By Jennifer Banash

Who doesn’t love a little glitz and glam? Come on, I think I’d make one heck of a BFF to Paris. Okay, probably not. I’d keep asking when she was going to work and why it’s necessary to spend all

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John Mayer Was Right: I Wanna Run Through the Halls of My High School…

I have a list of 100 Things To Do Before I Die. I wrote it in the year 2000 after I saw this Oprah episode where a guy made a similar list which included wild dreams—like playing one-on-one basketball with

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Think V-Day with MISS MATCH By Wendy Toliver

I love the line of romantic YA novels Simon and Schuster puts out. They’re fun reads and perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day. ‘Cause really, who wants a box of chocolates from CVS when you could get a book that lasts

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Getting Flushed Back through the Sewer Pipe They Call the Holland Tunnel

I’ve started celebrating my birthday early this year. You pretty much have to when it falls on a Tuesday (what a yucky day). So my husband and I hit up our old stomping grounds on the isle of Manhattan. Now,

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Think EVERMORE With GCC Visiting Author: Alyson Noel

I have to give a huge shout out to the fabulous young adult authors in the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit for touring me last week! You guys rock! If any of you missed my 20-plus interviews, check out my blog from

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I Have a Ticking Time Bomb Inside Me Waiting to Explode

I know you hear a lot of writers talk about “deadlines.” It’s something I’m quite familiar with given that I once worked for a daily online magazine. Deadlines don’t get any firmer than having to produce at least one fresh

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Ten Signs You’re Going to Be Killed Off At the End of this Novel

When I was in college, I went to see the movie Scream twice in the theater. I loved it, still do. But not because I thought it was scary, because I thought it was hysterical. Some of the greatest quotes

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My Worldwide Blog Tour, Bring on the Groupies!

Wouldn’t it be cool if blog tours came along with roadies, groupies and a stage performance? Just to yell, “Hello, New York!” to a crowd at Madison Square Garden is an absolute fantasy of mine. But alas, blog tours are

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It’s A New Day for America With a New GCC Visiting Author: Teri Brown

We have a new president! It’s almost hard to believe given how long the election lasted. We’ve been watching two years of campaigning, stumping, interviewing, debating, and it’s now actually over. And, even more miraculous, our guy won! (Sorry, McCain

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Snakes, Snails, Puppy Dog Tails…Why Do Puppy Tails Get A Bad Wrap?

I’ve been conducing writing workshops at some local schools and I’ve noticed a trend, boys are pretty darn creative. And very clever. Now this shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. The bestseller lists are full of male authors (so

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Nobody Comes Into My House and Pushes Me Around! Go Eagles!

I don’t want to jinx things, but man, ’09 is looking good. The Eagles beat the Giants! They’re going to the NFC Championship for the fifth time in eight years! And they didn’t even win 10 games in the regular

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“Adios” Hits Shelves, and GCC Member Eileen Cook Comes To Visit

It’s official! The final installment of my young adult series is on shelves now! Adios to All the Drama debuted last week, and I hope all of you Mariana fans will rush out to see how her saga ends. (Just

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My Shoes Have The Power To Predict The Future

A belated happy new year to all of you! I hope you all had fun rockin’ it in with Dick Clark, aka Ryan Seacrest. And while I’m a little sad to see 2008 pass (It was the year I published

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Have A Happy New Year With GCC Visiting Author: Carrie Jones

I’ve been taking a break from blogging the past two weeks to focus on the holiday festivities (Ho! Ho! Ho!). But never fear, I’ll be back next week with new blogs and new thoughts on the world of pop culture.

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Welcome The Girlfriend Cyber Circuit, And My First Visiting Author: LAURIE FARIA STOLARZ

So I was recently invited to join a group of young adult authors called the GCC (Girlfriend Cyber Circuit). It’s an impressive group organized by Karin Gillespie (author of the Bottom Dollar Girl Series), and includes such fabulous authors as

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Congrats To The "Adios to All the Drama" Text Msg Contest Winners!

You guys rock. I got so many entries for my Adios to All the Drama Text Msg Contest that I decided to give away an extra ARC. So there are now THREE lucky winners of an Advanced Reader Copy of

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Stepping In for Oprah on her Favorite Things

I don’t know how many of you watch Oprah. But even if you don’t, you should be aware that her “Favorite Things” episode is the hottest ticket in town. She once joked that Brad Pitt couldn’t get his mother seats

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“Adios to All The Drama” Book Trailer, Plus A Cool Contest

I swear I feel like every time I turn around lately, I’m launching another book. Crazy, right? I’ve had three books debut in five months. Even I’m at a loss as to how I pulled that off. Whew. And as

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The 12 Books of Christmas, and My First Review For “Adios to All the Drama”

My husband is a huge fan of commercials. In fact, he often requests that I rewind the DVR to watch one that caught his eye (he’s in marketing—it’s a sickness). So I’ve come to appreciate a good ad. And when

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A Look Inside My Work-In-Progress Meltdown

I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately for my young adult series, Amor and Summer Secrets. The second book, Amigas and School Scandals, debuted last month and the final installment is set to launch in January. That’s three books

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A Little Black Friday Retail Therapy and a Twilight Review

I love Black Friday. I really do. I go out shopping every year. And not to any old store—I go to the King of Prussia mall. A shopping mecca so large that Wikipedia claims it’s the biggest in the country.

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Dear Santa: All I Want For Christmas Is a Telemarketer on a Stick

For Christmas, some people want a Wii, or a diamond, or maybe even a Major Award Leg Lamp (no really, they sell them). Me, after the past few weeks, I think I would like a telemarketer to come over with

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Will Edward Sparkle? This and other important Twilight questions

I haven’t seen the Twilight movie… yet. I’m planning on waiting until Black Friday—I’m going with my mom and my sister (it’s a family affair!). But that doesn’t mean I’m not pondering the movie’s important questions. So here it is…

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Sorry, But I’m Not Writing After-School Specials Over Here

I’ve found that a misconception exists in the young adult genre. Not from the writers who create it or the teens who read it, but from adults who think they understand it. Specifically, I’ve encountered people who think that “writing

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My Plan to Turn the World into Neurotic Writers One Teenager at a Time

Remember back when you were in high school, and you had guest speakers come into your classroom. You were like, “Jackpot, I don’t have to talk about Moby Dick today!” Not that there’s anything wrong with Mody Dick (ahem, I

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Awesomeness: My Kindergarten Teacher Showed Up At My Book Signing

On Friday night, I had my first signing for Amigas and School Scandals, the young adult sequel to Amor and Summer Secrets. I was hoping for a good turnout—the local paper ran an article on me that I received plenty

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Philly’s Plan To Cut Libraries, “Amigas” Grand Prize Winner Announced

When the new mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, took office he inherited quite a budget crisis—currently tallied at $1 billion. And with the national economy being the disaster that it is, he couldn’t count on a boost in the local

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It’s A New Dawn, A New Day, And A New Book Signing in Springfield, PA

Wow. How about that election? The emotion spreading across not only America, but the world today, is inspiring. To all the teens out there, this is proof that you can be anything you want to be. You will not have

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Yup, I Signed Books During the World Series

I lucked out. I scheduled my first book signing in Wilmington, DE months ago. I debated different dates, working around weddings I had invites to (as you know, I have many), family parties and anniversary celebrations. And the one thing

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Tonight We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1980!

The Phillies have won the World Series! The championship drought in Philadelphia is over. The curse is broken. And we were right there tipping cars with the best of them! Okay, not really. I didn’t break windows or light anything

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Dear William Penn: I Feel A Curse Lifting…Plus the Next October Giveaway Winner!

You know a game is going your way when the pitcher hits a homerun. Seriously. Could the Phillies have had a better night? Four homeruns in ONE World Series game! And we got to see it all live, because of

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Went to Prison, Spoke With Some Teachers All In the Same Week

Not too many people think of spending their anniversary at the local prison, but that’s exactly what my husband and I did. No, we didn’t get arrested (though that would probably make for a more interesting blog). We went to

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Move Over Joe Biden, I’m Taking The Train to Wilmington

There is now another reason to put Delaware on the map. Of course the tiny little state (America’s First State!) has tax free shopping—many of us Philadelphians commute across the border for our electronics and alcohol (is it illegal to

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Flipping Out—Elections, Book Trailers, NLCS, and More

We went to a bar in Philly to watch the NLCS game last night (Let’s go, Phils! Only one more game!). It was a great crowd and we even won some free stuff (beer cozy and t-shirt), but we didn’t

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The Curious Curse of Billy Penn, and My October Extravaganza Winner!

“Hello, my name is Diana. And I’m a Philadelphia sports fan.” Those of you who follow sports, know that I am in a category worthy of a support group. Because Philadelphia is home to a sad bunch of fans famously

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Enter to Win My "Amigas and School Scandals" October Giveaway Extravaganza!

In honor of the launch of Amigas and School Scandals in November—or October 28th if you preorder from Amazon–I’m starting an October Giveaway Extravaganza! Every Friday from now until November (Oct. 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st), I will be giving

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People From Manhattan Should Have to Retake Drivers’ Exams

Here’s a philosophical question for you: if a person has had a driver’s license since she was 17, yet hasn’t driven regularly since she graduated from high school, should the state of Pennsylvania really keep renewing her license unquestioned? Because

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go to Research Your Next Book

At the Baltimore Book Festival on Saturday, I fielded an interesting question I thought worthy of further blogification (yes, I made up that word). An audience member asked what sort of research we (the panelists and I) do for our

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I’m Reading in the Rain At The Baltimore Festival

I was a panelist at the Baltimore Book Festival this past Saturday. Three other young adult novelists and I participated in the Book Divas YA Panel, which was held outside in a tent on the festival stage in the midst

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Book Banning, Censorship, And Elections….Watch Out, I’m Getting Political!

Readers of my blog should know that I have an odd fascination with elections. During the primaries, I was completely obsessed with CNN’s fancy touch-screen map and all those convoluted delegates. But since the primaries ended, Wolf and I haven’t

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A Bridesmaid Turned Golden Girl

We’ve all heard the horror stories. You’re asked to be in a wedding and agree to get your hair and makeup done. You sit down on the salon chair and show a strange woman a photo you clipped from a

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Contest Results: Ladies and Gentlemen, And the Winner Is….

Thank you to everyone who entered the Amor and Summer Secrets Back-to-School Giveaway! After seven days, I received a grand total of 28 entries—14 on my Blogger blog, and 14 on my MySpace blog! Because of the fabulous response, I

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Book Launch Party Recap! One Day of Pure Awesome

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to everyone who attended my Book Launch Party on Saturday. From former coworkers (thanks Ed Fund!) to family members, high school friends to college friends, industry colleagues to my former teachers—I hope you had

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Just In Time for Back-to-School! Win “Amor and Summer Secrets” Prize Packs!

I’ve given away copies of my books on other bloggers’ websites, and I finally realized I had yet to offer a contest on my own. So as promised, I’m offering a two-part “Amor and Summer Secrets” giveaway! Part One will

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My Latest Book Sales: Take That Dora the Explorer!

Just got back from a lovely destination wedding. I’ve only got two more nuptials in the next four weeks and then my reign as the country’s No. 1 Wedding Guest will come to a close. Let me know if you’d

Posted in Amazon, Book Sales, Philadelphia Eagles

Bad Boys, Copyright Cops 911: New Series Coming to Fox

Okay, The Copyright Cops might not actually be a new show in Fox’s fall lineup. But reading all the controversy once again surrounding Stephenie Meyer, it got my imagination working. For those who don’t know, Ms. Meyer has been working

Posted in copyright infringement, sarah palin, stephenie meyer

Buy a Book, Get a Margarita! Or Two…

There are a lot of ways to sell books. You can wait for the reviews to roll in (hopefully, positive). You can pray to the Goddess of Oprah. You can run contests (bloggers, I’ve got author copies!). You can do

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It’s Finally Happened! My Book’s Out, and My Husband’s Threatening Xanax

I got tons of calls, emails and texts yesterday. All from friends and family. All telling me that they just received my book from Amazon. Half of them pre-ordered it months ago and have been sending me regular IMs asking

Posted in amor and summer secrets, young adult fiction author

Sorry, But I Don’t Understand Writers Who Wait For "The Muse"

The Olympics are over and I can’t decide whether I wish my parents had put in me gymnastics or swimming. On one hand, I’d get to try for the coveted gymnastics all-around title and stand beside Mary Lou and Nastia.

Posted in author, olympics, writing

Okay, I’m Taking a Cue from Earl and Getting Some Good Karma

I’m a big fan of public education. I went to public school (and can still sing my alma mater, “To Ridley High, we pledge our faith…”). And I spent the years prior to becoming an author doing PR for a

Posted in author, gymnastics, karma

Since When Is Okay To Call All Chick Lit “Trashy” and “Cliché”?

If you’re reading my blog, you know that I write YA. And technically the term “chick lit” is usually reserved for adult women’s fiction, but I think it’s safe to say that many YA novels are written with a similar

Posted in book review, chick lit

Go Ahead, Move Over Scorsese, That Next Oscar’s Mine

Some of you may know that in a former life I was a broadcast journalism major at Boston University. I mastered the fine art of 10-word sentences, one minute packages, and supers flying across the screen. I even worked for

Posted in amor and summer secrets, book trailor, Diana Rodriguez Wallach

I’m Starting To Feel Like An Avon Lady

I had this thought the other day. I was going around to bookstores in South Jersey, dropping off bookplates for all three YA novels in my series (yay!) and introducing myself to store managers. And every time I walked from

Posted in book promotion, michael phelps, olympics

SPOILER ALERT: My Overly Thought-Out Take On Breaking Dawn

Let me start off by stating that I think Stephenie Meyer is a YA Rock Star. She’s like John Lennon to me. I would probably freak out like a Beatle fan if I ever saw her in person. So obviously

Posted in breaing dawn, stephenie meyer

Hey, It’s My Party and I’ll Blog If I Want To

It is now officially less than one month until the debut of my first novel. Let the countdown begin! Oddly enough, no matter how long you spend trying to get your manuscript to this point, it’s surprising how scary it

Posted in author, book launch, book promotion, brett farve

All That Twitters Isn’t Gold, Follow Me To Find Out

We interrupt this blog to report that the coolest thing just happened… Dennis Cass, the creator of the awesome YouTube sensation “Book Promotion 2.0,” just emailed to thank me for posting his video on my blog. How nice is that?

Posted in author, book promotion, publishing, twitter

I Think I’m Gonna Write a Hit Song and Get it on Guitar Hero

If you’re in publishing, at some point in the past two months you’ve probably seen the video “Book Promotion 2.0.” It’s hysterical, like rolling-on-the-floor-laughing hysterical. And the thing is I can pretty much bet that most people not in publishing

Posted in author, book promotion, marketing

Breakfast at the Waldorf Anyone? Meeting My Editor

I was back in my old stomping grounds on Monday. I gotta say, it’s amazing to see things in New York unveiled that had been under scaffolding the entire time I lived there—like the new subway entrance near Penn Station

Posted in book promotion, publishing

Oh, to Finally Hold That Beautiful Book in My Hands

So it’s real now. I really wrote a book. And it’s really going to be published. I know this shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point, but still nothing prepares you for receiving a random FedEx in the middle

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It’s That Time–The First Review Is In! Drum Roll Please……

When you’re unpublished and you sit down to write your first novel, you don’t think much beyond, “Hey, I wonder if I can write a whole book.” You’re not thinking about anyone else reading it. At least I wasn’t. It’s

Posted in book review, publishing

My Top Ten Reasons Why Not to Work at the Jersey Shore

When you live in Philly, the closest coastline is that of the lovely Garden State. Us shoobies (vacationers who mob the shore points and make it miserable for the locals) frequent the beaches from Atlantic City (though I’m not sure

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It’s Getting Hot in Here, So Take Off All Your…Wait

So if you live anywhere in the Northeast, you’re sweating right now. A lot. Like it’s disgusting here—record-breaking, 100 degree temperatures in Philadelphia with humidity that feels like you’re walking through hot sauce. Even my cat is protesting the heat

Posted in author, book promotion, writing

Wedding Crashers Meets the Perfect Storm

I may have mentioned this before but the year I got married, my husband and I attended TEN weddings (ours being the 10th). My world revolved around the never-ending flow of ivory invitations. That was almost four years ago. And

Posted in wedding

Wait A Second, Didn’t I Already Write This?

If you read my last blog, you know that I recently traveled to Italy to do some research for my WIP. I love doing research like this. My husband and I ran all around Rome, Venice and Cortona plotting out

Posted in author, research, writing

Vacation All I Ever Wanted, Vacation Have To Get Away

Ciao! I’m back from Italy a few pounds heavier (oh, the food) and a few Euros poorer (ouch, the conversion rate). My husband and I had a wonderful vacation all the way from Rome to Tuscany to Venice. And I

Posted in research, travel, young adult fiction author

Yes, Maybe You CAN Judge a Book by its Cover

It’s hard to get published. Duh. There are oodles of writers out there who are (regrettably) slaving away on manuscripts that will never land at a bookstore near you. And a common piece of advice offered by many published authors

Posted in author, book promotion, publishing, writing, young adult fiction author

I Think My House Is Trying To Kill Me

My house is haunted. I haven’t had ghost hunters investigate or anything, but I’m positive there are numerous spirits hanging out with me at any given moment. My cat likes them. They keep her company. And I’m not joking. I

Posted in ghosts, Philadelphia, young adult fiction author

If at First You Don’t Succeed… A Try A Few Dozen More Times

I watch a lot of Oprah. I have a long history with the woman that stretches back to me and my grandma when I was a tiny chica in grade school. I now DVR the show every day. I own

Posted in editing, Oprah, wedding, writing, young adult fiction author

Starve a Cold, Edit a Fever? Feed A Manuscript

You know those times when you feel so overwhelmed that you don’t want to do anything? We’ve all been there: like finals week in college, or the deadline before the big meeting, or the days leading up to a major

Posted in editing, writing, young adult fiction author

Witches and Psychics and Tarot….Retracing My Fated Steps

For those of you who have read through my website (and if you haven’t, go ahead and do it now. I’ll wait…, you know about my fated trip to a Salem, Massachusetts psychic in 2002. To sum up, back

Posted in research, Salem Massachusetts, young adult fiction author

My Super Secret Covert Op with Agent 006.5

I sat on a barstool, a martini in my hand. Before the first sip touched my lips, an older gentleman appeared beside me. His head was clear of any hair that might have grown in his youth, but his face

Posted in research, writing, young adult fiction author

Dear MTV: Welcome To My Super Sweet Book Launch Party!

Since I’ve sold my book, I’ve had to dispel many of my friends’ and family’s myths about the publishing business, because there seems to be some delusions that novel writing is a speedway to Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Posted in book promotion, marketing, young adult fiction author

I’d Like To Thank The Academy….and Maybe Google

Seriously, what did writers do before the Google Guys were born? I can’t imagine how long it would take to write a book if I had to go to the library and look at microfiche every time I wanted to

Posted in research, writing, young adult fiction author

Hi, My Name’s Diana and I’m a Closeted Latina

So if you’ve landed on my blog, at some point you’ve probably passed a photo of me. And you may have noticed that I don’t look like the Latina stereotype one pictures when they hear the last name “Rodriguez.” It’s

Posted in latina, multicultural, puerto rico, young adult fiction author

Unfortunately, Authors Can Only Control the Writing

I’m a Type A over-achiever. This means I put immense pressure on myself and I worry a lot (thanks mom for passing down those genes). I stress about everything from money to Christmas dinner to dentist appointments. I’m also crazy

Posted in author, editing, publishing, writing, young adult fiction author

The Truth: What does a soon-to-be published writer do all day?

Prior to becoming a novelist, I rarely fielded questions about my career. Actually, I can safely say, I never fielded questions about my career. But once I told family and friends that I was writing a novel, the inquiries flooded

Posted in author, work, writing, young adult fiction author
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