Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lady Janies

So, some of you might have seen a cool announcement on Publisher's Weekly this week, but I am so excited to announce this news here. I have sold a new book! Its title is MY LADY JANE, and I am writing the book with my two writing besties, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton!

*much rejoicing*

I will have a lot more to say about this book and this process, which has been such a delightful, enjoyable book to work on (especially right after I wrote THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, which is such a heavy book), but for now I will just say, I love this book hard. I have laughed every day writing this book. I am SOOOOOOO excited that it is going to be published.

And without further ado, here is a video-chat that Jodi, Brodi and I did today announcing the book. There will be lots more from the three of us coming, so be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel and tell your friends about us.

*much rejoicing*

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cover Reveal

The day has arrived! I have finally been given the green light to share the cover of my latest novel, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE.

Here it is:

And here's the description from the book jacket:

There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

So there you have it! A cover! A description! A release date: February 10, 2015! It's all coming together!

I feel that I hit the jackpot with this cover. It's gorgeous, first of all --the colors, the image!--but beyond that, I feel it truly reflects what happens in the book. And that is a rare thing. Covers, you see, are meant to be advertisements--their sole purpose to to get some poor unsuspecting reader to pick up the book and then buy it. So often what's on the cover is more a reflection of marketing than what's at the heart of the book. That's okay--it's meant to be like that. I mean, I loved my covers for UNEARTHLY, but at no time did my main character Clara ever stand around outside in a formal gown. But the covers did their job--they got people to buy my books.

But this cover does both so beautifully. It is pretty and enticing and just begs to be picked up. And it FEELS like the story. I can feel Lex in that room, looking at that note.

Happy sigh.

So what do you think?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

YA Authors (including me) Read Mean Reviews Out Loud

A while back the people over at The Midnight Garden blog asked me to read some of the mean reviews I've received for Unearthly out loud. I had a blast filming this. It always blows my mind when reviewers are out and out mean in their reviews, because they have to know that there's a good possibility that the authors will read them.

(warning: some spicy language. Spoken by me.)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Signing in Los Angeles

Hi y'all,

For those of you who have been clamoring for me to do a signing on my home turf in LA . . . wish granted. I will be doing an event at the Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo this coming Saturday, March 29 at 2:30. It's called the Triple Trilogy Treat, because I will be joined by my good friends and fellow writers Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton.

Woot! I love these ladies! I love signings! If you come I'll even let you take a peek at the secret cover to my next book. . .

Here's the official link to the information.

See you there!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Book, New Title!

Yesterday I officially finished my fourth novel.

Which made me feel like:


Because this novel just about killed me to write. To an extent, all of my novels have made me feel like I might not survive the process (this writing thing is HARD, yo), but this novel. THIS NOVEL, you guys. There were entire weeks were I unabashedly wept every day while writing this novel.


It's that kind of novel. You might need tissues, is what I'm saying.

There are a couple of things I can tell you at this juncture:

1. The TITLE!!!!!

I love the title. It's the only book I've written to date where my working title became the actual title, and for that I am very proud. It is:


2. The book (I call it TLTWSG for short) is a YA contemporary stand-alone. Meaning that it is not Unearthly-related. It is not a paranormal romance (although there are parts of this book that are so romantic, sigh) and it does not feature anyone with supernatural powers. That said, I will add that I am always interested in stories where mysterious things happen, and this book is no exception.

3. I say the novel is not Unearthly-related, but TLTWSG is about a girl who is trying to deal with the death of her younger brother, and I think fans of Unearthly will be able to see the connections between what I was writing about in the Unearthly series and what I'm writing about here.

3. The book will be out sometime in early 2015. I know that's a long time to wait. Believe me, I know. Publishing a book is often a game of hurry-up-and-wait. But I will be here in the next year to keep you updated on all of the news: the book description, the cover, the release date, all the fun stuff, as it happens.

So that's what I'll give you for now.

*Takes a deep breath.*

*Eyes the notebook for the next novel.*

 Um, EXCITED. Sheesh, gif people. Spell check.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Coming Out of the Cave

I've been in the writing cave for a while.

The bad news about the writing cave:

I let the emails / student papers / laundry / dishes / prettymucheverythingthatisn'twriting pile up disastrously.

The good news about the writing cave:

I have a new book. (claps hands together excitedly) A new book! A NEW BOOK!

Yeah, it's going to need some revision, and I will have to creep back into the cave for a few solid intervals between now and January, I'm sure.

But every time I finish drafting a novel, it feels like a miracle.

This novel, especially, feels like a miracle. I've been working on this novel, in one way or another, for about two years, and it's been a story that's been waiting inside of me to write for much, much longer.

(dabs at eyes) Ahem. Anyway. I will tell you way more about it soon, I swear.

Right now I will simply say that it is a contemporary stand-alone that will be out in Winter 2015--that's the plan, anyway.

(goes to wash some dishes)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Young Adult Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive TWENTY signed books, one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM--but there is also a red team  and a blue team for chances to win a whole different set of twenty signed books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.



Scavenger Hunt Puzzle

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by August 5, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Scavenger Hunt Post

Today, I am hosting Rita Arens on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Rita Arens

Rita Arens is the author of contemporary young adult novel THE OBVIOUS GAME (InkSpell Publishing, 2013). She is also the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology, SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK (Chicago Review Press, 2008), and the co-editor of food anthology ROOTS (Open Road Media, 2013). For playlists and excerpts from THE OBVIOUS GAME, visit and click on Young Adult. Rita is currently working on her second young adult novel.

Find out more information by checking out the author website

Buy the book from here!

"Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, dependable Diana. Which is why most people didn't notice at first.""

Fifteen-year-old Diana Keller accidentally begins teaching The Obvious Game to new kid Jesse on his sixteenth birthday. As she buries her shock about her mother's fresh cancer diagnosis in cookbooks, peach schnapps and Buns of Steel workouts, Diana both seduces athlete Jesse and shoves him away under the guise of her carefully constructed sentences. As their relationship deepens, Diana avoids Jesse's past with her own secrets -- which she'll protect at any cost. Will Diana and Jesse's love survive his wrestling obsession and the Keller family's chaos, or will all their important details stay buried beneath a game?

Exclusive Content -

My novel is called THE OBVIOUS GAME, and it's written in first-person from the point of view of 15-year-old Diana. Evelyn is Diana's mom, and their relationship is pretty rocky throughout the book. My exclusive content is part of chapter one written from Evelyn's point of view. Here it is!

The Wigs

It was all I could do to get home from the store. When I walked in the door, I knew something was wrong. I heard Amanda’s voice in my room. Diana’s been friends with Amanda since they were little, and I can’t stand that girl.  When they were seven or eight, Amanda convinced Diana to use my good sewing shears to make paper dolls when the regular scissors were sitting right there on the table. I can’t decide which of them makes me more angry: Amanda for pushing every boundary or Diana for not putting up a fight.

I worried about my wigs. I couldn’t believe how much those things cost. I looked up a semester of tuition at the University of Iowa the other day. It’s $940. The wigs cost almost half that. It made me sick on top of the sick I felt from the chemo.

I just wanted to look normal, not like the freak I felt like inside. I could barely drive, I was so tired.

Please not the wigs.

I paused, my hand on the doorknob. And then I heard Diana: “Amanda! You idiot!” My heart sank.

When I walked into the bedroom, I saw them standing there, one of my wigs in the sink filled with water and what looked like hair gel. Three months of college, soaking up pink goo. I hadn’t even had them for a week.

Diana’s face was terrified. She knew how mad I was, knew how mad I would be, but yet something didn’t make her stop that little wench Amanda from ruining my new hair.

“What are you doing?” I tried to keep the shake out of my voice. I wanted to appear larger, not weaker. I wanted to loom as large as I did when they were in first grade and I caught them with their hands in the Halloween candy bucket. When they looked at me with real respect instead of scorn.

“Diana was just showing me your wigs. They’re beautiful.” Amanda’s smile widened. I could tell she thought she was fooling me, which infuriated me even more.

“Why is that in the sink, Amanda?” Maybe there was an explanation, a good one. I tightened my grip on the gallon of milk in my hand to keep from throwing it at Amanda.

“Diana said you could style them because they’re made of human hair.” Somewhere inside, the anger exploded into ball of betrayal that spread out to every inch of my insides. My feet seemed to root to the ground, and all my energy evaporated. Getting through the day took everything I had. Getting mad used it up early. I didn’t have anything left for either of the girls. I just wanted them gone. Both of them.

“Get out.”

Amanda looked alarmed. Good. Maybe for once something got through her thick skull.

“Call your mother, Amanda. You’re going home.” I heard her running down the stairs, probably as eager to get away from me as I was to have her away. I turned slowly to face my only daughter. “How could you, Diana?”

I could see in Diana’s face she understood what she’d done, how I felt. So why didn’t she stop Amanda? When was she going to learn to stand up for herself, for me? When would she stand up for her sick mother?

“I didn’t tell her to do it, Ma.”

“It doesn’t matter. You let her. That is my hair.” I leaned on the words, trying to make her understand those wigs weren’t wigs. They were my dignity.

“She’s hard to control, Ma,” Diana said softly, ducking her head.

I turned to the hairless dummy head on her dresser, pulling the wig off my head. I set it on the dummy and turned to face Diana. She didn’t know I’d shaved my head, and when she saw me without my wig, she turned away, and I thought I saw fear. She used to look at me like I was her universe. How much had cancer taken? How much was left to take?

“The world is hard to control, Diana,” I said. “If it were easy, I wouldn’t look like this.” I grabbed her shoulders, stopping just short of shaking her senseless. I wanted to shake her and shake her until she understood what I felt, the helplessness, the ugliness, the uselessness. A mother who could barely get herself off the bathroom floor. I needed to know she could take care of herself until I could take care of her again. “You have to take responsibility for your part in it. You’re not a little girl anymore.”

Diana just stood there, her face turned from me, and I realized she wasn’t going to hug me, wasn’t going to process any of it. She was in shock. And I felt ashamed. She was just a child, my baby. I wanted to wrap her in my arms and rock her worries away. But that would take energy, and I didn’t have any left to give.

“Get out,” I said, instead. As she rushed out the door, I collapsed on my bed and sobbed, not sure if I was crying for her or the mother I couldn’t be, the one who would've known what to say.

Enter the Contest

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Cynthia Hand, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 17. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

Continue the Hunt

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Click here!

Enter The Extra Boundless Giveaway

In honor of this special event, I'm going to give away 2 extra signed copies of Boundless. Just follow the directions in the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway