Monday, November 30, 2009

A Cry for Help...

We've established that I'm sort of a crazy Type-A control freak, right? Right. Well, She's Leaving Home is now safely in the hands of Major Agent and we probably won't get the edits for The Haunting of Pemberly Brown for another couple weeks.

Yeah, we're officially between projects and it's driving me CRAZY. The truth is we already have an idea for a new project (they don't call me the idea whore for nothing), but it seems silly to start something new when we have so many other irons in the fire. In a perfect world, once we're done with edits on Pemberly Brown we'll go ahead and draft the next book in the Kate Lowry series, so it looks like this fabulous new project that we've dreamed up will have to wait.

As of today, my TiVo is empty, I've cleaned my house from top to bottom and I've read three books over Thanksgiving. Any other suggestions for how to pass the time? I'm sorry, but I refuse to take up scrapbooking. And for the record I've already purchased one Christmas present, so I'm totally ahead of the game there.

HELP!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Top 10 Things We're Thankful For this Year

The fabulous Amy Bai tagged us with her Thanksgiving Meme, and um...don't tell her, but we were totally planning on doing this post anyways. So, here it goes...

10. We're thankful to Frankie for giving us this fabulous award. Honest Scrap? Um, yeah. Maybe a little too honest sometimes.

9. We're thankful for really bad TV including but not limited to The City (Stacey said it best when she told me that her heart starts beating just a little bit faster when she sees a new episode on her TiVo), The Real Houswives of Orange County (that new housewife with the crazy boobs is totally nuts and I can't wait till she goes off the deep end. I give it one more episode.), and 90210 (Say what you will about the sheer ridiculousness of this show but Liam is really, really hot. Just please don't have me arrested, ok?).

8. We're thankful for all the really amazing books we've read this year and all of the really amazing books that we haven't read yet.

7. We're thankful for super ninja beta readers who are about a million times smarter than we are and always help us tell a better story.

6. We're thankful for all of our incredible writing friends, especially those of you who take the time to comment and read our blog every day. You have absolutely no idea how much that means to us.

5. We're thankful for StatCounter. Don't judge.


4. We're thankful for our brand new editor Daniel Ehrenhaft. Not only does he love The Haunting of Pemberly Brown (which clearly earned him some major points) he's also a talented author in his own right. And he's hilarious. As soon as we saw his website we knew this was the start of a beautiful relationship.

3. We're thankful for our fabulous Major Agent (to be said with your best Victoria Beckham accent), Catherine Drayton. Catherine puts up with our random e-mails just to say hi (sometimes we just miss seeing her name in our inbox, ok?), she works her ass off on our behalf, she's insanely responsive and communicative, and she has some truly amazing clients who she's introduced us to over the past 8 months. Honestly, we just feel honored to be part of her world. She rocks.

2. We're thankful for our amazing sister Stacey. You guys have no idea how much crap she's roped into on a day-to-day basis. Need a cute gift to send your editor who just had a baby? Call Stacey. Need someone to video tape your random ass Vlog? Call Stacey. Need someone to watch your kids while you get your eyebrows waxed? Call Stacey. She's the best sister ever and we're not just saying that because she gave us Kindles and took us to the spa.

1. We're thankful for all of the important people in our lives, especially our kids (when they're not actively trying to kill one another), our parents (when they're not trying to guilt us into social events), our husbands (when they're not saying stupid things) and our real life friends (all of the time). We're really lucky to be surrounded by some truly amazing people and we thank God for each and every one of them every single day.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

P.S.
Want to earn yourself some good karma? Niki Smith our uber talented writer/artist friend has a comic, IN MAPS AND LEGENDS, that's being featured in a November contest. Take a minute and follow these instructions to vote for her. Remember, good vibes are contagious.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Great Accent Debate: A Vlog

As most of you are aware there has been a lot of controversy about our so-called accents over the past few weeks. Eventually we were coerced into settling the dispute by posting a Vlog using words contributed by our readers and scripted by Little Ms. J. (If you aren't already following LMJ, you need to get your butt over there and hit the follow button. She's way funnier than we are and we sort of hate her for it.)

Anyways, back to the Vlog, we taped it yesterday and the end result is something between moderately amusing and humiliating. A few reminders before you view:

1. The script was delivered to us 30 seconds before we started filming.
2. Apparently Lisa has a raging case of the crazy eyes. Who knew?
3. This thing is LONG. We totally understand if you want to stop watching 30 seconds in, but LMJ had to work in a lot of words and she's not exactly known for her brevity.
4. The camera adds 10 pounds. Seriously. Don't argue.

The setting: Five years in the future Lisa and Laura are living in twin Barbie mansions. They are both wearing diamond encrusted yoga pants and have cabana boys named Josue (prounounced Ho-sway) and Javier. They've been on the NYT Bestseller's list over and over and they're getting tired of hearing from that needy chick Oprah.



Now it's time to put it to a vote...

Do Lisa and Laura have an accent?

Monday, November 23, 2009

LiLa on Productivity

Laura: I'm going to send you my revisions tomorrow.

Lisa: Sounds good. I'll look through them tonight. Have you watched the new Real Housewives of Orange County yet? It's epic. The new housewife is batshit crazy.

Laura: No. I haven't had the time.

Lisa: Oh, well, have you seen Sarah's latest blog post? She's freaking hilarious. Hope she's not mad at me for dissing Johnny Depp, but I am so Team Gosling.

Laura: Um, no. We've been editing 24/7.

Lisa: Yeah, it has been a lot of work. Wait till you see the blog I have for tomorrow. I'm going to talk about whether or not the F-bomb should be present in picture books. It's going to be uber controversial.

Laura: Do you sleep?

Lisa: Sure...

Laura: You know, you're really good at doing useless things.

Lisa: *silence*

Laura: I mean, all the blogging, the trashy TV. Just imagine if you spent all those hours volunteering or hanging out with the kids. You'd probably be a saint and like the best mother ever.

Lisa: Whatever. I've gotta go. The City is starting.

P.S.
Our inaugural Vlog will be up tomorrow. Get excited people. There's only one thing better than LiLa transcribed and that's LiLa live. And by better I mean totally humiliating for the two of us. You won't want to miss it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Finish Strong

Do you know Elana Johnson? You should.

Please go read her four part publishing mantra: Work Hard, Don't Give Up, Finish Strong, Pay It Forward.

And if your finger is hovering over the send button on a query to your dream agent and you haven't read her eBook, From the Query to The Call. Stop. Buy the book. Absorb the information. Revise your query and then let Elana hack into it. They don't call her the Query Ninja for nothing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Opinions are like...

Um, I'm guessing you can finish that sentence yourselves. Let's just say we all had some pretty distinct opinions about whether or not the F-Bomb has a place in YA literature. Hopefully you had as much fun as we did watching the debate unfold. While we probably won't get rid of all of our F-bombs in the WIP, we will take a very close look at how and why we use the word. Thanks to all of you for keeping the discussion respectful and for taking the time to weigh-in on this topic.

As I was reading through all of the comments, I began to wonder if Jackson included the word in her upcoming release SISTERS RED. I sent her a quick e-mail and she said "you just can't slaughter werewolves and say 'oh, fudge!'" I was impressed that she wasn't letting the one star reviews due to language dictate how she tells her stories.

As for the debate over here, Jackson had some thoughts for us to share.

"I'm not saying parents shouldn't monitor (and, if necessary, censor) what their kids are reading, I'm just saying that censoring them and thinking they're preventing their kid from "growing up too fast" is 100% futile. Your kid will grow up just as fast-- only you'll have ceded control of the wheelhouse to their peers. I should think everything your kid might encounter in everyday life-- including swearing-- would make a worthy teaching experience, even if it might make things a little uncomfortable for the parent. But maybe that's just me."

We also had some other writers weigh in on the topic:
If anyone else happened to blog about this topic, please send me a link. I'd love to have all of your perspectives represented. And I guess for now, let's all agree to disagree, shall we?

In other news our very first vlog has been postponed until next week. Little Ms. J is very busy and important and had better things to do this week than write our script. But don't worry, the great accent debate will rage on sometime next week. Stacey has already read the super secret script and claims it's hilarious (and hopefully free of f-bombs). Get excited.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

F-Bomb Me

I feel like we've come full circle. Not too long ago when we were close to wrapping up our first draft of The Haunting of Pemberly Brown we found we had a few f-bombs in the manuscript and we discussed To F-Bomb or Not to F-Bomb. We eventually ended up taking them out because our agent felt the book should be marketed as tween and it just didn't feel appropriate.

But now as we're going through our final revisions for the WIP we've counted six F-Bombs in the manuscript. We've talked it over and we're not ready to take them out. Yet.

As of right now, we're hoping this book will be marketed as upper YA. The reality is (gasp!) teenagers swear. Sometimes they even (double gasp!!) swear a lot. Obviously, if push comes to shove and our agent feels the F-bombs are inappropriate we'll replace the references with something more PG. But right now they just feel right.

And then I saw this killer video by the fabulous YA author Jackson Pearce.


So...yeah...what she said.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Who let the blonde out?

Laura: So what do you think about that lunch over Thanksgiving?

Lisa: Why don't we try to schedule it for Friday?

Laura: Which day is Thanksgiving this year? Isn't it Friday?

Lisa: Um...no. Thanksgiving is Thursday. It's always on Thursday.

Laura: Really?

Lisa: Yeah. Did you seriously not know that?

Laura: That's just not the kind of stuff I know.

This is almost as good as that time when Laura named one of our characters Gregory Hines. I love it when she lets the blonde out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tell the Truth Tuesday: Random Musings

1. I've rewritten the same post about having a good attitude in publishing about 10 times. I really want this post to work because I think it's true. A good attitude will take you far in this business. And yet as I type, I keep envisioning one of those horrible motivational posters with a cat hanging off a ledge saying "hang in there." We might be the Pollyannas of publishing, but that level of positivity sort of gives me a headache.

2. I really wish Gap would have used the cast of Glee in their Holiday 2009 commercial. I love Gap holiday commercials and I've missed them the past couple of years, but this one just doesn't do it for me. It feels like a repeat somehow. Featuring the cast of Glee would have been so fresh, so 2009. Any Gap execs reading this can feel free to contact me for future advertising discussions.


3. I'm supposed to be revising, but instead I'm watching Gossip Girl. I'll admit this season took a nosedive, but the past couple episodes have been badass. Love triangles abound just in time for November sweeps. And let's face it, cardigan loving Dan Humphrey operating in Hugh Heffner mode is good times. Well, played Gossip Girl. Well played.

4. Having Stacey as a sister is sort of like being related to Oprah. Our insanely generous sister took us to the spa last weekend to celebrate selling our book and we have the (staged) photos to prove it.

5. I still obsessively check StatCounter. Loretta claims that it's just my particular brand of crazy and I think she might be right. I don't even know what I'm looking for, but I love trying to figure out who is reading our randomness on a daily basis. Honestly, I can't think of a better way to procrastinate.

Now it's your turn to 'fess up in the comments. What's your truth this Tuesday?

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Great Accent Debate

It has come to our attention that a few nameless writerly friends are convinced that we have Ohio accents. Unfortunately, this is impossible because it's common knowledge that aside from Chicago, the Midwest is an accentless region of the United States.

Even Wikipedia agrees with us:

The accent characteristic of most of the Midwest is considered by many to be "standard" American English...This accent is preferred by many national radio and television broadcasters.
This may have started because many prominent broadcast personalities – such as Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Tom Brokaw, John Madden, Rush Limbaugh and Casey Kasem – came from this region and so created this perception. A November 1998 National Geographic article attributed the high number of telemarketing firms in Omaha to the "neutral accents" of the area's inhabitants.

I can't believe that anyone would dare argue with the genius that is Wikipedia, but these girls are stubborn. The Great Accent Debate has continued to rage on Facebook and in the comments section of Little Ms. J's blog, so it has been decided that the only official way to settle this is a vlog. That's right, a video blog. The idea is that we'll post a video and put it to a vote.

Little Ms. J is insisting on writing the script, but we don't want to make it too easy for her. So here's the twist: For the next 24 hours all of our blog readers will have the opportunity to leave a word in the comments section of this post that LMJ will have to incorporate into the script for the vlog. Just keep it clean, people. Roeckers don't swear. At least not on vlogs.

So, have at it. Can't wait to see what you guys come up with, and don't forget to tune in on Friday for our first ever vlog. It will either be totally epic or completely awkward. TBD.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

On growing up...

What do you want to be when you grow up?

It was such a magical question when I was little. I could be anything I wanted and no one could stand in my way. My dream job changed given the day and that was half the fun of it. I could be a doctor, a vet, a teacher, an actress. Anything.

In 5th grade, we took a career placement test. It consisted of a series of intense questions regarding our futures. I scored in the Creative Arts section, which listed potential jobs such as artist, dancer, musician, writer. I wrote “dancer” as my choice. Who wouldn’t?

In high school, I began thinking a bit more realistically. I had been to a few school dances and had come to terms with my complete and utter lack of rhythm. I loved kids, but after sharing that I’d like to be a pediatrician, my guidance counselor glanced skeptically at my math and science grades, so I figured I needed to be even more realistic. I loved kids and reading and writing.

Teacher. I’d be a teacher.

I went to college, loved all of my classes and focused on middle school students. I got a job as a language arts teacher. Oh, and a volleyball coach (yeah, I was cut from the 8th grade team), but to get the job I had to be a coach, so I became a coach. And I loved it. Well, most of the time.

And then I became a mom. I loved staying home and helping my daughter grow up, but I missed the challenge that came with working. I missed problem solving, talking to other teachers and making connections with the kids. I needed a job to come to me, a flexible job where I could be creative, problem solve and speak to kids.

So I became a writer.

Last weekend, we met friends for a little getaway. As the guys played poker, the girls sat around, drank wine and played one of those dinner question games where you pull a card and ask a question. One of the questions was, “If money didn’t matter and you could do any job in the world, what would you do?”

One of my friends said she’d be a chef, one said an artist and one a fashion designer. When it was my turn, I scoured my brain for something I’d rather be, something magical and exciting and fulfilling. I drew a blank. I didn’t want to be the only one who said I wouldn’t change a thing about my job (if you could call it that). But it was the truth. I’m a writer. And it’s the most magical and exciting and fulfilling job in the world for me.

So I blushed and gave an honest answer. I couldn’t be any happier.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Karmic Kindle - Who's Gonna Get Ya?

Before we get around to announcing the winner of our fabulous Karmic Kindle giveaway, some major congratulations are in order. One of the most important things we've learned over the past year is that good vibes are contagious and we've got proof:

See what I mean? Good things are happening!

Thanks for playing along with us over the past week. We've had a lot of fun getting to know some of you better and meeting so many new friends. We hope you'll continue to check-in with us because we've got all sorts of interesting things planned including our first ever Vlog. Oy.

And now, without further ado, the winner of the Karmic Kindle is:


Congratulations, Friday the 13th is your lucky day! Please e-mail us at lisa-laura(at)live.com to claim your prize!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Miss Snark's First Victim Secret Agent Contest

Chances are if you're an aspiring writer you know all about Miss Snark's First Victim's Blog and her infamous Secret Agent Contest. The idea is that Authoress, the mysterious woman who started the blog and was presumably Miss Snark's actual first victim, finds an agent who's willing to judge whether or not they're hooked by the first 250 words of an aspiring author's finished manuscript. All of the writers who participate are asked to critique other entries, so at the end of the day you end up with comments from an agent and a bunch of other writers.

Sounds amazing right?

OK, fine, it sounds terrifying. It is terrifying. Laura and I first heard about this contest a year ago and the very thought of putting up our first 250 words for public consumption made us want to crawl into a corner and maneuver ourselves into the fetal position. But once we'd finished our first draft of The Haunting of Pembelry Brown, we knew it was time.

We entered. We got our butts kicked by the Secret Agent and then we revised the hell out of our manuscript.

Bottom line: The Secret Agent Contest was instrumental in helping us achieve our goals and you can read our public and rather sappy thank you note to Authoress here.

So, writer friends, follow MSFV's blog and enter the next Secret Agent contest. You won't be sorry.

Oh, and don't forget, our Karmic Kindle giveaway ends at midnight (EST) tonight! Be sure to come back tomorrow to find out if you're the lucky winner!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Apocalypse is Nigh

That's right people. The Roecker sisters are officially on Facebook. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Laura wanted to post all of these pictures of herself giving birth in her homecoming tiara, but I shot her down. (I'm totally kidding, but I like to take advantage of any and every opportunity to avenge my little birthday present.)

Anyways, please be our friends. We're not afraid to admit that we could really use some.

In other news, we've joined The Elevensies, a group of YA/MG authors whose debut novels will be published in 2011. You can read all about the members here. And don't forget to check back for updates. We'll continue adding writers to our roster over the course of the next year and we're counting on some of our amazing writer friends joining the ranks!

And remember to enter (and blog!) about our Spread the Love, Win a Kindle contest. Less than 48 hours left!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How do you get your characters to talk?


We're in the midst of some heavy duty revisions on the WIP and I think it's safe to say that Sarah and I are in the middle of our first fight. And no, Sarah isn't the mythical 4th Roecker sister, she's our main character. Up until this point she's been very cooperative, but now she and her little friends are getting stubborn.

Truthfully, I think they might be a little bit jealous. I'm very taken with some of the secondary characters in an earlier section of the book and they know they can't compete. It's so frustrating because I know exactly what I want them to do and how I want it all to work, but I just can't make the words jump off the page.

Blerg.

So, any suggestions on what to do when your characters clam up? I'm going to try playing 25 questions to see if I can get some information out of them, but if that doesn't work, I'm going to have to go all Sayid on their asses. That's right, I'm not above torturing my own characters.

If all else fails, maybe I'll just try to bribe them with our Karmic Kindle.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My very first book signing!

And no, I wasn't the one signing books. That would have been a little premature, don't you think? Yesterday I went to see Jamie Ford speak at an event coordinated by The Learned Owl.

Jamie started things off by talking a little bit about the book itself and his life as a writer. My favorite anecdote was about his first doomed made-for-TV love story that he watched as a kid. By the end of the movie he had tears rolling down his cheeks, and his dad was sitting next to him in the recliner mentally checking "Star Quarterback" off his list of aspirations for his son. He then held up his copy of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and said that he'd made the literary equivalent of a touchdown.

After doing a brief (amazing) reading from the book, he opened it up to questions. I had to ask about the title. Because we historically sort of suck at titles I'm always curious about the origins of really fantastic titles and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet definitely qualifies. Apparently his working title for the book was THE PANAMA HOTEL and then when he thought of the new title his editor and agent tried to tell him it was too long, Can you imagine? Luckily he talked them into keeping it for the galleys and the ARCs and readers loved it.

It was very cool to have the opportunity to hear Jamie speak and to purchase a signed copy of his book. If you haven't already read it, go buy Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet today. Oh and here's a really blurry picture of Jamie and me courtesy of my mom's Blackberry Storm that she doesn't really know how to use.


And if you haven't entered already, don't forget to comment and blog about our Karmic Kindle Contest! You have until Friday the 13th until midnight. And get a load of this fabulous button Tere Kirkland created for us!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Spread the Love, Win a Kindle

A couple of months ago something strange happened. The Universe gave us a Kindle. I know it's random, but unfortunately we aren't at liberty to disclose any further details, and no, it's not "hot." The point is that we have in our possession a shiny new Kindle still safely ensconced in its clever little package.

We thought about selling it on Ebay to pay for our Prosecco and Twizzler habit, but that would be really bad karma. The Universe has given us a Kindle, we can't just turn around and sell it to the highest bidder.

Now that we've officially announced the sale of The Haunting of Pemberly Brown (Sourcebooks Spring 2011) I guess it's pretty obvious that Good Vibe Week actually worked. After much deliberation (i.e. a five minute phone conversation) we've decided that in order to thank all of our amazing readers and friends for helping us build up a flurry of good karma, we're giving away the Universe's Kindle.

Here's how you can win:
  • This contest is only open to people who are following our blog. Not a follower? Well, that's easy to fix, just click the follow button up in the top left hand corner.
  • All blog followers will automatically get one entry in the contest.
  • If you comment on this post you will get a second entry.
  • If you blog about this contest and post a link in the comments section of this post you will get a third entry.
  • The contest ends at midnight on Friday, November 13th.
  • We will load all of the entries into an Excel spreadsheet and assign each entry a number.
  • We'll use the Random Number Generator to select the winner.
Good luck and spread the love!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

D-Bag-O-Meter: Freddie Fackelmayer

Dear Freddie,

Before we get into this there are a few things you should know about me:
  • I'm 31-years-old;
  • I have two children;
  • I still watch MTV;
  • I've seen every single episode of The City; and
  • I have a girl crush on Whitney Port. I can't help it, she seems like a really nice girl and I'm obsessed with her hair.
So, here's the deal Freddie, I was suspicious of you and your boycialite (Yeah, I like to invent words too. I guess I should have added that to my list.) brother the second you guys showed up at that barbeque after clearly spending copious amounts of time in a tanning bed. Has there ever been a trustworthy man tanner? I think not.

I grew increasingly concerned when you invited your father to join you and Whitney on your second date without giving her any warning. Your father went on to crush Whitney's dreams of starting her own fashion line (Not cool Fridolin Fackelmayer. Not cool.) as America shifted uncomfortably in their living rooms. Are you hamming it up for the cameras or are you just an emotionally stunted 24-year-old rich boy? It was too early to tell.

It wasn't until Whitney and the gang joined you in the Hamptons that the D-Bag-O-Meter really started beeping. First you wore an unbuttoned tuxedo shirt to the bar and then you freaked out when Whitney kissed your 21-year-old brother. Ok, so maybe that thing about the brother is sort of understandable, but the shirt? Seriously? You are way too tan and you're trying way to hard to be James Bond.

The final straw on the proverbial camel's back was when we found that you have a girlfriend. A girlfriend. Tell me Freddie, did you have to clear it with her before you started fake dating Whitney Port to get on MTV?



The D-Bag-O-Meter has spoken, Freddie Fackelmayer. Give Spencer a big kiss for me!

Hugs,
Lisa

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Because it really is all about us...

We're still working out the details of our epic we-just-sold-our-first-book-so-we're-giving-away-one-really-super-amazing-prize contest. Don't worry, the first thing on our to-do list is to think of a better name.

In the meantime, we've had so many incredible writer friends congratulate us on their blogs, and we wanted to share the links. If I missed a post please leave it in the comments so I can put it up for everyone to admire.
And we apologize for making this week all about us, but Friday is going to be all about YOU dear readers, so make sure to check back with us then. It's going to be legendary!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thank you

Just wanted to thank everyone for all of your excitement and support about our big announcement. It's a little bit surreal reading through all of your comments, but mostly we're just incredibly happy to have made so many amazing friends over the past year.

Anyways, we've cooked up something really special to celebrate with all of our readers, so stay tuned...It's going to be epic.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The LiLa Publishing Timeline

February 1981: Laura and I met for the first time. I was really excited about my little sister until I found out she was living with us. Forever.


We got bigger...


And less cute....

1984: Lisa went to Kindergarten and discovered her love for reading and being a know-it-all...



1986: Laura went to Kindergarten and discovered her love for reading and being really, really sensitive (she got made fun of all day for that teal-colored tie)...


The late 80's were mostly about questionable fashion choices...


The 90's were solely focused on how cool we were...

Laura won homecoming queen....

Lisa...didn't...

Starting in 2001 we graduated from college, got married, had some babies, and then we were left with our biggest challenge of all: Figuring out what the hell to do with our lives.

We had a limited, but intriguing set of qualifications:
  • We loved to read;
  • We watched a LOT of MTV; and
  • We liked to pretend we were still 17-year-olds.
And that's when we knew we had to write a young adult book.









October 22, 2009: We celebrated...


Because we got an offer on The Haunting of Pemberly Brown from the amazing Dan Ehrenhaft at Sourcebooks.

November 2, 2009: We are finally able to tell the world (and most importantly all of Laura's friends at her impending high school reunion) that we are going to be published authors.

From Publisher's Marketplace: Lisa Roecker and Laura Roecker's A Kate Lowry Mystery: THE HAUNTING OF PEMBERLY BROWN, a quick-witted mystery starring a private-school sleuth with attitude and pearls, who receives an email from her dead best friend, to Daniel Ehrenhaft at Sourcebooks, for publication in Spring 2011, by Catherine Drayton at Inkwell Management (NA).

We are beyond excited about taking this next step in the process and we owe our families, friends, and especially our readers a huge thank you for all of your support over the past year or so. We could never have done this without you.

Blog Block...

Top Five reasons why I can't think of anything interesting to blog about today:

5. I can't stop thinking about last night's episode of Mad Men. Holy. Crap. That show just keeps getting better and better. What is going to happen in the finale?

4. I'm wondering why Whitney's new boyfriend on The City is so freakishly tan. Freddie, lay off the tanning beds, ok? Famous tan guys were cool in the 80's, but I think Richard Simmons and George Hamilton already have the market cornered.

3. I'm suffering from severe sugar shock. Yeah, I know it probably wasn't a good idea to eat three Twizzlers, two snack size Snickers and a Laffy Taffy, but in my defense the candy is getting smaller. Right? Please tell me I'm not just making this up.

2. We're about five chapters away from finishing our WIP, She's Leaving Home. We're hoping to get the full manuscript to our beta ninja by November 12th, and I'm not sure if I'm terrified or excited. Maybe a little bit of both? Oh, I love this book so much, let's just hope our readers feel the same way.

1. You know how sometimes when someone tells you a secret and makes you swear not to tell another soul and then all you want to do is talk about the secret, but you can't talk about it because they'll kill you? Yeah, well, this is kind of like that. I have this blog post that I'm DYING to write, but if I write it I'll be in big trouble. So instead I'm writing this really lame blog about not having anything to blog about. Damn you, Universe! DAMN YOU.