Monday, December 26, 2011

Favorite Books In 2011

Christmas Morning!
Christmas has passed, and mine was spectacular. I hope yours was too! And now, with 2011 creeping to a close, it's time for the traditional reading wrap-up! My tally at this point is somewhere in the low 60s, but since I'm spending the rest of 2011 on vacation, I'll probably add a couple more books to the list (I'm almost done with Jennifer Weiner's Then Came You, a rare grown-up read that I'm totally digging ... JW knows characters). You'll notice everything on my list is contemporary, because even though I'll make the brief foray into paranormal, contemp is my one true love.

Mostly Good Girls/Past Perfect by Leila Sales
This was a great year for me discovering new authors for The List. For those unfamiliar, The List is the collection of authors who I'll read anything that they write ever. John Green, Sarah Dessen, Courtney Summers ... and now Leila Sales. Her books are the embodiment of a fresh, fun voice, and I can't wait to see what comes next

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I lusted after this book from the second I finished Anna and the French Kiss. It's one of the first books I've ever pre-ordered, and I ran home through a monsoon without an umbrella just to make sure I could get the Amazon box off my front stoop. Stephanie Perkins wrote one of the most swoon-worthy contemp YA boys I've ever read. Oh Cricket Bell ... sigh

If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman
It takes a lot to make me cry while reading. In fact, I think it's only ever happened to me 2 or 3 times in my whole life. So imagine my surprise when I'm sitting in my neighborhood burger joint, sobbing like a baby. I had to get my fries to go and bolt home before I thoroughly embarrassed myself! And if Cricket Bell is one of the most swoon-worthy boys I've ever read, I think Adam is THE most swoon-worthy YA guy I've ever read EVER. TEAM ADAM!

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
Sarah Ockler is another other author who joined The List this year. I picked up Fixing Delilah, then promptly moved on to Twenty Boy Summer. Ockler definitely sits on the shelf beside Sarah Dessen, writing really heartfelt contemporary. I already preordered Bittersweet!

Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mlynowski
I was on a trip and out of books to read, so I ran to the nearby Target and picked this one up. I thought I was getting just another fun, funny contemp, but what I found was one of the single most realistic depiction of teenage sexuality and the teenage sexual experience ... with hilarity and heart! Which is definitely why her tweet about reading my book seriously made my heart explode! This is one I'll definitely keep and reread (and probably study for my own writerly ambitions!).

Jingle Dog says "Merry Christmas! Now get these damn bells off me!"

Friday, December 16, 2011

This post started about me being sick, and ended with AMAZING NEWS!

You guys, this Christmas season has really been kicking my behind! First I got heinously sick with an inner ear and throat infection that necessitated an antihistamine, an antibiotic, an inhaler, and nasal spray ... and two sick days that were the least enjoyable days off of work I've ever experienced.

Welcome to my world...

Then, after flying home to Tennessee to surprise my grandpa for his 80th birthday, both the Guy and I picked up a cold. Mine came and went pretty fast, but the Guy has been home sick for three straight days and is now coughing like he's got tuberculosis. I finally got him to go to the doctor this afternoon, so we'll see what becomes of that.

Then you add in lots of work (yay admissions season!), manic Christmas shopping, wrapping and shipping, and oh yeah, what was that one thing?

I have the outline for Book 2!

My trusty Rhodia notebook
Yep, everything's been approved, and I'm on to working away on Book 2! I've got a finalized outline due next week and am going to start writing over the winter break. This one's set in Montreal (one of my favorite cities!) and while there's definitely some juicy romance, this one is more about family and friendship and finding yourself. It's written with in two POVs, and I'm loving these characters. And I hope you will too! More info to come later, but for now just know that I'm working hard so that you can have this one in your hands sometime in 2013.

Oh, and I saw an updated proof of the Meant to Be cover ... IT. IS. SO. AMAZING! I can't wait to show it to you, but it'll probably be a while before the big reveal. I think they're still doing some tweaking on it. Also got to see a mock-up of my author bio page ... oh AND I'm getting new headshots taken on Dec 29th, so my face will be all bright and shiny on the back cover.

Um, and one more really cool thing ... What was it? Oh yeah, this:

Uh, yeah... I think that's pretty much all the news! *dies*

November 13, 2012 gets closer and closer every day!

*For anyone who misses my more regular blogging, feel free to follow me over on Tumblr, where there's some more fun micro-stuff ... once-a-week blogging is about all I can do with so much on my plate right now!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

In which I turned 29, but sort of missed it

I went a whole week without blogging. Eek! But life in my world has been pretty insane-o lately. First, Thanksgiving travel, which was fun and delightful. Then back to work, where I discovered I had a wicked bad inner ear and throat infection. Two hideous sick days and several prescriptions later, and I was feeling marginally better, just in time for my 29th birthday.

Yep, that's right, I'm now in my very last year of my 20s (sob!). To be honest, I'm not one who gets all in a twist about getting older. It just feels weird to be almost 30 ... that doesn't seem right to me. But ultimately what matters is how you feel inside, and I feel about 23. So take that, 29!

Since I was still a little sick, we skipped doing any kind of fancy dinner for my birthday and instead just ordered Thai takeout and went to pick out our Christmas tree. The holiday season has begun in my house!

Oh, and there was cake, of course! Triple chocolate mousse separated by layers of flourless chocolate cake, from my very favorite bakery, Flour.

Very funny, my dear!

If you want to give me a gift for my birthday (because duh, why wouldn't you?), head on over to Goodreads and add Meant to Be to your to-read list. And guess what? I've seen cover comps, and they're AWESOME! Soon that little brown box will have a real live cover in it.

Speaking of book news, my editor approved the outline for book 2, and I'll be starting that right around Christmas (when I have a glorious 10 paid days off for the winter break ... thanks Harvard!). I'll share some info on it as soon as I get the a-ok (publishing is so full of secrets!), but it's another book set during travel, and this one is told from two perspectives! I'm really REALLY excited to get started on.