Sunday, January 15, 2012

The YAmazing Race!

You made it! Welcome to my humble internet home, and your next stop on Leg 5 of the YAmazing Race! I know it's been a long, arduous journey, but with so many MGnificent prizes awaiting, I'm pretty sure it's worth it.

If you're reading this and wondering, "What in the heck is the YAmazing Race and how can I join?" then head on over to the Apocalypsies page to read the full rules and get started on the journey to win ARCs, gift certificates, and other awesome swag. Over 50 prizes are up for grabs!

And now, on to the race...

Take note, YAmazing Racers. #hint #hint

Cyrano de Bergerac meets YA in a Shakespearean comedy of errors in which one mysterious romantic text message sets off a wild goose chase full of mistaken identity, misdirected chemistry, and misguided heartache. Join Julia and her classmates as they tour London and find themselves lost in mystery, romance, heartache, and more than a bit of trouble. If you love contemporary YA, romantic comedies, swoony boys, and not-so-swoony boys, then you will love Meant to Be.

Oh, but don't just trust me ... why don't you ask Sarah Mlynowski?

Shameless, shameless self-promotion ... really, I'm ashamed #sortofbutnot

Meant to Be releases November 13, 2012 from Delacorte, and I can't wait for you all to read it! But first, you need to mentally prepare yourself for the next and final stop on this leg of the YAmazing Race ... because you've got a quiz coming up! Thanks for stopping by, I hope maybe you'll came back and visit me sometime, maybe learn a little bit more about Meant to Be, maybe get psyched up for book 2, which I'm working on right now, or maybe just learn a little bit about my super hero second life as a roller derby queen.

Oh, wait! Before you go, a bonus contest! In honor of the amazing Sarah Mlynowski, who is one of my favorite contemporary authors, if you leave a comment here with your email address or twitter name, then you'll be entered to win a copy of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have), which I picked as one of my favorite reads of 2011.

Have you commented? Great, now head on over to finish out the YAmazing Race. Thanks for stopping by!

EDIT: There have been so many awesome entries into my giveaway, that I can't bear to only have one winner! SO when I draw for a winner, I'm going to pick 2 people! The first winner gets a copy of Ten Things We Did, and the second winner gets a copy of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Pretty awesome, right? Just doing my part to spread the YA contemporary love!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Unveiling My Shiny New Blog!

If you're reading this through Google Reader or some other RSS aggregator, I recommend clicking over to the site for a quick moment so you can check out my sassy new design! I'm so excited to have a design that is gorgeous and eye catching that also fits my style to a T. Don't you just love it?

First, a little commentary on author websites. I think it's cool to have one, and I've seen a lot of truly spectacular ones out there. But every time I go to an author website, my first (and pretty much only) click is the blog link. That's all I'm really interested in. I might look at the books they've written (if I didn't already know) or their bio page, but those can both exist via a blog, so instead of setting up some kind of snazzy author website, I decided to keep everything really centrally located and just go with a blog.

I found Don, my badass designer, after I saw that he did a gorgeous redesign for a blog I read called Sometimes Sweet. Don runs a blog called Adeline's Daddy that is all about his completely adorable family and his design work. After clicking through a couple other blogs he did, I contacted him and got him on board to do mine for a really reasonable price. With only a couple of emails that included me babbling about colors I like (blues, greens, purples) and colors I don't (pink), plus a couple lines about how much I like vintage library stuff, he came up with this design.

And I'm so in love with it. So click around a little on my navigation buttons over there on the library card, and check out the sweet widgets for all my social networking on the bookmark. Pretty sweet, huh? Seriously, it's perfect! Don, thank you so much for all your hard work. I'm totally going to steal your kid's name for a character in a future book and make her the cool, smart, fun, nice girl.

Ok, back into my hole to finish chapters 3 and 4 today. Book 2 is chugging right along!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Being an author means...

I did a big thing this weekend. It may not seem very big to those outside of my world, but it's very VERY big to me.

But first, some background...

You see, I started playing roller derby in 2007. From the very first time I strapped on my skates (a pair of Carreras I got off of ebay for $35), I was hooked. I wanted to skate ALL THE TIME. And that's pretty much what I did. I skated my way through my last semester of grad school. I skated my way to Boston for my first job, and from the time I joined the Boston Derby Dames in the summer of 2008, I pretty much played as much roller derby as I could. I volunteered for extra games outside of the league, I signed up for every extra travel game I could, and I never EVER missed a home game.

Wicked Pissahs v. Nutcrackers, BDD Hometeam Championships (we won!)

As you can imagine, this is a pretty big chunk of my life. I attend 2-3practices a week, lasting from 2-4 hours depending on if it's a team practice or a scrimmage day. And it's not just skating. As a member of the league's executive board, I have a lot of admin work I do from home, and as the manager of our all-star travel team, The Boston Massacre, I'm pretty much always on email organizing games and dealing with team business. It's like having another part time job, but it's never bothered me because I LOVE IT.

With the Boston Massacre at WFTDA Eastern Regionals, just before we played London
 But now that I work full-time and am on a book 2 schedule that's so aggressive I think it would make Norman Mailer cry, I'm finding that I need to prioritize my life in a way I've never had to before. And so what was that big thing I did?

I withdrew my name from tryouts for the Boston B Party, Boston's traveling B Team.

Skating against Jersey Shore with the B Party (photo by Dezdemona Lott)
What does this mean exactly? I'm still skating for the Wicked Pissahs and managing the Boston Massacre, but I can no longer commit to an extra practice every week and traveling to extra games. And that really sucks. Because B Party games are really fun. But I know myself and what I have on my plate, and right now my priority needs to be working on Book 2. And that's the part that doesn't suck ... knowing my limits, and making a big girl decision that doesn't exceed them.

Holy crap, I'm becoming a grown up. When did that happen?!

Ok, now back to work, so that I can get everything in my office done, so that I can do a final edit on my first two chapters of Book 2 before I send them in (Beth, if you're reading this, it'll be later tonight!)

Book 2, I'm coming for you. (photo by Sergio Keith Abe)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Goals for 2012

I'm not a big New Years Resolution person. In fact, I don't think I've ever kept a single one! Well, I take that back. Sometime in high school I probably resolved to quit biting my fingernails, and I managed to accomplish that sometime during grad school. Does that count?

But I am down for goals. I like accomplishing things, like shaving seconds off my lap time in derby, or reading a certain number of books each year. So instead of resolutions, I'm going with goals, which can be accomplished at any time.

This bottle is hanging out at work with me. Love it!
Drink more water ... My liquid diet is made up of mostly Coke and Starbucks grande nonfat iced chai. My body is probably begging for hydration, so I think it's about time I answered the call.

The first bits of work on Book 2
Write a novel ... ok, this is kind of a cheat, because I'm contractually obligated to do this. But I'm going to say that once Book 2 is turned in (around June), I should finish a draft of something else.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Lauren has read 0 books toward her goal of 52 books.

Read 52 books ... this one shouldn't be a problem. I hit 60 in 2011, and 52 is only an average of a book a week. But it's nice to set at least one goal you'll have no trouble accomplishing! This is one you can track along with me (and set you own goal!) over at GoodReads. This one probably also won't be that hard with all the amazing Apocalypsies book debuting this year!

What are your goals for 2012?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In 2012, I resolve to be waaaaay more nerdy

And to kick that off, here's my very first (super cheesetastic) video blog! Just a little debut year message for all of you

I'm new to this whole vlog thing ... seriously, I made that about 5 minutes ago, and until then I'd barely used the video feature on PhotoBooth. So if you have any tips, feel free to share them! And of course, I'm always open to ideas for what in the heck I should talk about (though I won't be doing this often ... hello, did you see me in that one?!)

Happy New Year from a super nerdy 2012 debut author!

Meant to Be
November 13, 2012

Join The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge, and read Meant to Be along with a ton of other great 2012 debuts!