Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best of LiLa: #TravelFail

Hotels are dirty. Well, at least according to Dateline and the Regulator. Oh, and I guess I have inside information—take it from me, the bathroom in room #314 at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago will never be the same. Anyways, we were scarred raised with a very specific set of hotel occupancy rules.

1. NEVER step bare foot on hotel room carpet no matter how nice you think it looks. (The carpets are only cleaned once a year.)
2. NEVER use a hotel comforter. (My husband likes to play this game where he traps me inside the comforter which results in me having a panic attack. Fun!)
3. ALWAYS wipe down the toilet seat before sitting. (You can't be 100% sure that they've been thoroughly disinfected. Apparently the Regulator had friends who worked housekeeping in high school and she's never looked at hotel rooms the same since.)

For the record, I follow these rules religiously. I have even added a couple of my own.

1. ALWAYS check for bedbugs. (You don’t even want to know.)
2. ALWAYS avoid touching shower curtain with anything more than your nails. (I almost cried once when the entire thing got stuck to my body.)
3. ALWAYS avoid letting your bare skin touch anything within the hotel room. Particularly upholstery. (It can't be disinfected.)

I guess I sound like a germaphobe. I guess I am a germaphobe. Damn you Dateline and your black light, damn you. Anyways, during my most recent travel fail, I learned that these rules do not apply to 20 month olds. Let me back up…

We rang in the New Year with family in Charleston. It was fun (aside from the fact that Lydia woke up no later than 5:00 AM. Every. Single. Day.) The morning we were scheduled to leave, Lydia woke up barking. BARKING. I never believed that a cough could actually sound like a bark, but I stand corrected. Watch out fellow flyers, we’ve got a barker on our hands. Good. Times.

We made it as far as Atlanta and were trying to console our little barker when the delay to Cleveland was posted. First an hour, then two, then three…then CANCELLED. Throughout the four hours we were in the airport, Lydia managed to touch a piece of chewed gum stuck on a chair, pick up a furry-looking French fry and bark in the face of at least five people. I have rules for the airport too, but I was forced to abandon them after I watched Lydia pick up and promptly consume an M&M she found in between the cushions of two seats.


Lucky for us, the airline put us up in an airport mhotel. I threw the ‘m’ in because “hotel” is a loose term. I didn’t even need a black light to know that the comforters on the bed hadn't been cleaned since the early 90's. And, I know, I know, it could have been worse. We could have been stuck sleeping in the airport. Now that would have been an epic blog post.

Anyways, within minutes of unlocking the mhotel door, Lydia had cuddled up on the bedspread, wedged herself between the wall and the bed making contact with bedspread and carpet simultaneously, put the remote control in her mouth and touched the toilet seat. My head almost exploded. Because our luggage was on its way to Cleveland (how that works, I’m not sure), I used a bar of soap to wash my hair and scrub down Lydia, attempted to “comb” my hair with my fingers and threw the barker in an unsanitized mhotel-provided pack-n-play.

Silver lining? She was asleep within seconds. Bark + one hour flight + four hours in airport + touching as many pieces of germ-infested mhotel furniture as possible = one tired baby.

Flight from Charleston to Cleveland: $300
Tetanus shot to clear baby of any germs ingested via the dirty M&M: $145
Mhotel Room provided by the craptastic airline that stranded you in the first place: $0


Child sound asleep in potentially swine-flu-infested-mhotel-provided pack-n-play?


Priceless.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Best LiLa: Psychiatric Evaluation Gaga Style

I enjoy Lady Gaga's music, have even been known to sing along to a few songs (okay, okay and maybe have a dance party or two in my living room), but I think she's batshit crazy. I get that the insane-looking outfits (she makes Bjork look like an amateur) are her "thing" and probably make her more popular because they force people to talk about her and remember her (exactly what I'm doing here), but just looking at her annoys me.

Anyways, I've decided to put the pics to the Rorscharch test. Move over ink blots.
Dr. R: Tell me, what do you see after looking at this picture?
LiLa: Nurse of the high seas. She is mocking all land animals with the chicken claw bracelet.

Dr. R: Good, good, and this one?

LiLa: Room Raiders--that terrible show on MTV circa 5 years ago. It looks like she's going to use a gloved finger to see how dirty my ceiling fan is.


Dr. R: Ah yes, that is very telling indeed. How about Lady Gaga at the Grammy's?

LiLa: Bedazzled hooves. That is all.

Dr. R: (Writing vigorously on his notepad): Fascinating, fascinating. How about here?

LiLa: The Devil Wears Nada, the soft porn version of The Devil Wears Prada.


Dr. R: Your free association is magnificent, not to mention your taste in porn. Tell me, what are you thinking now?

LiLa: Wedgewood. Mr. Gaga and Wedgewood had a baby. A high-waisted Wedgewood-inspired spandex baby.


Dr. R: And, our last picture. What comes to mind, ladies?

LiLa: Good God, her breasts! They've stolen her breasts. Sparkles! Sunglasses! Robert Pattinson.

Dr. R: This is troubling. Very troubling indeed. Further evaluation is mandatory. Please see my receptionist up front to schedule a follow-up ASAP.

Now it's your turn! Head to the comments to use free association to share the first thoughts that came to your mind after being eye-raped by Lady Gaga's particular brand of crazy. Dr. R. will be checking in periodically with evaluations.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Best of LiLa: From Birkins to Burqas, SATC2 Sucked

Last week as I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting to be called, a woman and her husband sat directly across from me. Normally, I wouldn't have even looked up from my BlackBerry, but this woman was wearing a burqa.

I noticed.

I tried not to stare, but there's something fascinating and a little eerie about seeing only a woman's eyes. And it's not something you run into often in Cleveland, Ohio. I found myself sneaking little peeks at her, wondering what she was wearing beneath her black robes, wondering if her whole face was as gorgeous as her eyes, wondering if she was thin or heavy or maybe even hiding a baby bump.

The wait was long and the waiting room was restless. We made eye contact and shared a quick eye roll about another patient yammering on her cell phone. I smiled. It was nice to make a connection. Soon after, we both disappeared into exam rooms and I didn't think of her again.

Until Friday night when we decided to have a girls' night out to see Sex And the City 2. As you guys know we were excited to go see a fun, silly movie. And it was fun.

We had a great dinner beforehand and the movie started off ridiculous, but entertaining. Let's just say you don't walk into Sex And the City and expect an oscar worthy film. And I'm not a movie snob. I can sit through (and enjoy) just about any movie including Bride Wars. What can I say? It's a gift.

We had some laughs at the girls' expense throughout the film. The dialogue was forced, the outfits were ridiculous and their lives were completely unrealistic, but it was still fun. And then they went to Abu Dhabi and that's where things started to get uncomfortable.

The scene where the ladies observe a woman wearing a burqa at a restaurant and wait with bated breath for her to eat a french fry kind of worked. Their curiosity reminded me of myself in that waiting room. How would she eat the french fries? Was there a mouth hole in the burqa? The woman delicately lifted the burqa and put a single french fry in her mouth and Carrie quipped about her dedication to fried food. It was interesting to watch American characters deal with a tradition so outside our social norms. Especially characters who were created to embody sexual freedom and empowerment for women. I'll never forget that scene.

But things went downhill from there. The women took Abu Dhabi by storm, completely ignoring and at times, ridiculing, the culture of the country where they were guests. Samantha's racy encounter with a man at dinner would have been offensive just about anywhere, but in a Muslim country it was grounds for arrest. By the time we reached the climax of the movie (no pun intended) Samantha had almost been stoned to death in an outdoor market and the women were all running around in burqas like they were middle eastern clown costumes.

The tone was all wrong. Characters that I'd grown to love after six television seasons were ridiculing Muslim women and their beliefs. And no matter how repressive we find the burqa in America, it made me angry to watch American characters go to a foreign country and completely disrespect their culture.

I think a commenter at IFC.com said it better than I'll ever be able to:

"[SATC 2] is an accidental candid snapshot of the sick, dying heart of America, a film so pleased with its vacuous, trashy, art-free extravagance that its poster should be taped to the dingy walls of terrorist sleeper agents worldwide. More depressing and alarming than the movies themselves is the notion that a certain culture, a certain mindset, birthed it, without a pang of remorse or even apparent self-awareness, much less self-criticism. Ladies and gentlemen, this is why they hate us."

On my way home from the movie I couldn't stop thinking about the woman I'd seen in the doctor's office earlier in the week. Somehow the movie made me feel like I'd just paid $10 for the cinematic equivalent of spitting in her face.

So tell us, those of you who have seen the movie, are we taking it too seriously?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Best of LiLa: Twilight the Movie

Well, last night was the big night. That's right. We watched the movie Twilight for the first time. We've read all the books, but after hearing terrible reviews of the movie itself we knew this was a feature film we had to watch in the privacy of our own home. I mean, what's the point of watching a bad movie if you can't mainline Diet Coke and Twizzlers with the option to replay scenes like Edward running up the mountain with Bella on his back over and over and over again. (We seriously almost peed our pants.)

As you can imagine we have a lot of commentary on the movie itself. We could literally go on for days. But in the interest of time we'll wrap this up with two things:

First off, the movie is AWESOMELY bad. Seriously. It's terrible in the best way possible. (We were officially hooked a mere 11 minutes 24 seconds in.)

And secondly....


Monday, December 27, 2010

The Best of LiLa: Boobs

That's right. This blog post is about boobs. If you find that word disturbing on any level, I think it's best you stop reading right now before we seriously offend you.

OK, so now that it's just us pervs, let's get started, shall we?

Yesterday I got a fantastic e-mail from our friend Loretta posing a very simple question: What are 16-year-old boys calling breasts these days?

Well, unfortunately (actually I think maybe it's fortunately) I've never had the opportunity to talk to any actual 16-year-old boys about the female anatomy on a day-to-day basis. However, I watch a LOT of television shows that feature 16-year-old boys, mainly because I'm suffering from an extremely advanced case of arrested development.

So, let's break this down:

Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl (suave, obnoxious, Upper East Sider) would DEFINITELY say breasts. As in "Her breasts are fantastic."

Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights (love of my life, truck driving, football playing, rough around the edges, Texan) would say jugs. As in "Check out the jugs on that stripper."

Finn from Glee (geeky, singing, quasi-dumb jock) is definitely a boob guy. As in "Holy crap, I hope I might get to touch Rachel's boobs."


Puck from Glee (hot, cougar hunting, singing, jock) is probably a random boob euphemism guy. As in "Damn, Rachel's got some nice fun bags."

The moral of the story is that you can tell your reader a lot about your characters based on how they talk about female anatomy and other less controversial topics. So remember, whether they're discussing jugs, breasts or (my personal favorite) fun bags, it's not just about the boobs. When it comes to your characters, you've got to choose your words wisely.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

So those of you who have followed this blog for a while may be familiar with our annual Christmas Present Watch Tradition. You see, my husband has a REALLY bad track record when it comes to gift giving. And every year without fail he sticks a few Nordstrom boxes underneath the Christmas Tree and I start getting the shakes.

One year I found bright pink velour sweatpants with "Sexy" bedazzled on the butt. Another year it was a pair of skinny jeans three sizes too small and a see-through shirt made entirely of silver thread. Three boxes are sitting innocently under the tree this year and I'm rocking 15 extra pounds of baby weight. Christmas morning is going to be a hot mess. I can't wait.

Sadly, this will be our last post of 2010. Next week we'll be running "The Best of LiLa" all week, but we'll be back with new shenanigans on January 3, 2011. Thank you all so much for hanging out with us all year and making our day with your random comments and your endless support. Can't wait to see what 2011 brings.

Buckle. Up.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

XOXO,
L&L

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Because it's even funnier the second time around...

This time last year, I was having a REALLY craptastic day. Enjoy.


Lisa Roecker and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Let me preface this by saying there were a lot of events leading up to this day. First off, my friend and I took our sons to see The Fantastic Mr. Fox the night before. In retrospect it probably would have been a good idea to do some research around the plot and to consider going to an earlier showing.

Here's a transcript from my hilarious friend recapping the evening for you. Keep in mind that her husband was already semi-annoyed that she chose to keep Jack's bestie out this late "on a school night."

Dad: How was the movie?
Jack's bestie: Good.
Dad: What movie was it?
Jack's bestie: Don't know.
Dad: Well, what was the movie about?
Jack's bestie: Don't know. Ask Mom.
Dad: You don't remember anything about the movie? What was one thing you remember about the movie?

*dramatic pause*

Jack's bestie: There was this really good part where the farmers got their shooters and started shooting at a tree and the foxes. There were lots of guns and it was really scary and they were really bad men.

*dramatic pause*

Dad: Great.

Fast forward to the next morning.

8:00 AM - Jack drags himself out of bed. Gets very excited to learn that he can wear his pajamas to school for the big Snow Day Party. He refuses to go to the bathroom, but I decide to call it even since I don't have to force him out of his pajamas and into his school clothes.

8:51 AM - Drop kids off at school and find out that several parents sent in their money for the class gift a day late which leaves me about two hours to buy additional gifts for the teachers. Being the room mom really is a bitch.

9:05 AM - Arrive at mall to purchase gifts for teachers only to find out the mall doesn't open until 10 AM.


Stacey: (sounding hoarse and groggy) Hello?
Lisa: Hey. How long does it take you to make stationary?
Stacey: (sounding suspicious) Why?
Lisa: Just wondering...
Stacey: I can make it quickly. When do you need it?
Lisa: In an hour.
Stacey: *coughs*
Lisa: Did I wake you up?
Stacey: I was just taking a little nap.
Lisa: Crap.

9:30 AM: Arrive back home to place PayPal order for the stationary to make sure Stacey actually accepts payment. She's notoriously bad at cashing my checks.

9:39 AM: Check Jack's class list to see who paid for the gifts and who didn't. Realize that I gave Stacey an incorrect spelling for one of the teacher's names. Swear profusely and call Stacey immediately.

Lisa: Have you already printed Mrs. D's cards?
Stacey: Yeah....
Lisa: $%^&
Stacey: What?
Lisa: I spelled her $%&^*(& name wrong.
Stacey: %$#&
Lisa: I know. Just forget it.
Stacey: No way, I'll print new ones.
Lisa: I love you.

9:55 AM - Leave my house, double check the door is locked and head to my car. Reach into my pocket for my keys only to find they're not there. %$#&. Check under the door mat for spare key, not there. %$#@.

9:56 AM - Cry a little.

9:57 AM - Grab the Little Tykes slide from the garage and drag it around the perimeter of my house trying to break in through one of our windows only to find they're all locked.

10:05 AM - Notice that I can't feel my hands anymore.

10:06 AM - Find Jack's Lightning McQueen gloves in the trunk and stuff my hands into them.

10:07 AM - Begin trying all the windows again. One last try before I call Stacey and beg her to drive me to Jack's school. The grip on the McQueen gloves gives me just enough leverage to pop open one of my family room windows.

10:08 AM - Marvel at how easy it is to break into my house.

10:09 AM - Try to squeeze past Christmas tree in my huge down coat.

10:10 AM - Fail. The entire Christmas tree comes crashing down.

10:11 AM - Cry a little.

10:20 AM - Cards have been picked up and I'm off to Jack's school.

Editorial note: Loyal readers will remember that there is a bat shit crazy woman in Jack's preschool class who insisted that all of the food at the school party be made of fruit and air. Just a quick reminder as she proved to be yet another leading factor in Lisa's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Day.

10:46 AM - Arrive in Jack's classroom and witness bat shit crazy mom flipping out at one of the other parents for bringing cupcakes.

10:47 AM - Hear bat shit crazy mom telling another parent about her son's clown phobia. She just wanted to verify that no one was planning on hiring a clown for the end of the school party in JUNE. JUNE!

10:48 AM - Bite my tongue so hard that I taste blood.

10:49 AM - Help the children make Marshmallow Snowmen.

10:50 AM - Stress eat a Twizzler.

10:55 AM - Try to assist the kids in getting their snowmen into little personalized bags to take home. As I'm helping Jack he bites the head off his snowman and laughs at me.

10:56 AM - Practice yoga breathing.

10:57 AM - Stress eat another Twizzler.

11:09 AM - Treats have been distributed and Jack eats them all within seconds and wants more. I quietly tell him that he's had enough and he screams "This is the worst party ever!" and throws his juice box across the room.

11:10 AM - Do the walk of shame across the room to pick up the juice box and practice my yoga breathing.

11:11 AM - Stress eat another Twizzler.

11:12 AM - Teacher asks me if I'll be taking Jack home after the party and I smile brightly and say "Oh no, he has extended day today. Remember?"

11:13 AM - Teacher cries a little.

11:30 AM - Call my husband to inform him that I'll be enrolling his son in military school and he reminds me that it was my decision to keep him out until 9:30 PM the night before.

11:31 AM - Cry a little.

11:32 AM - Stress eat all of the remaining Twizzlers.

11:34 AM - Call the aforementioned hilarious friend to relay the events of the party, specifically the new information about the clown phobia. Hilarious friend claims she's going to start doing carpool dressed as a clown.

11:35 AM - Come dangerously close to peeing my pants.

11:47 AM - Back home. Assess damage to our Christmas tree.

11:48 AM - Cry a little.

11:49 AM - Remind myself that at least I'll get a decent blog post out of this.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WTF Wednesday: In Which The Roeckers Drop the Ball

We totally dropped the ball yesterday. Here's how it went down:

Lisa calls Laura:

Lisa: Hey, Laura. What are you doing?
Laura: At the gym. 
Lisa: Really? You don't sound out of breath.
Laura: Oh, I'm just on the bike. Pedaling slowly and reading.
Lisa: Right. I'm going to Mom's.
Laura: Ooh, really?
Lisa: Yup.
Laura: Nice. I'm in.

Laura calls Lisa:
Laura: I'm at mom's. Where are you? 
Lisa: Totally on my way.
Laura: Nice. I'll pour the wine.

The entire day was spent wrangling kids, eating chocolate and drinking wine. Little did we know that epic things were happening on Twitter. Epic things like Scott Tracey's birthday AND cover reveal for WITCH EYES. The Regulator was absolutely horrified that we didn't tweet about it all day so we're issuing a formal apology.

Scott Tracey, we suck. Thankfully The Regulator stalks you on twitter and yelled at her lazy daughters for not sitting on their computers all day while hanging out at her house.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tell the Truth Tuesday

1. I have yet to wrap a single Christmas present.

2. I just realized that I forgot to change the blog back to LISA and Laura Write. It crossed my mind to leave it as Laura and Lisa Writes, actually, who am I kidding? It's Tell the Truth Tuesday. That thought NEVER crossed my mind.

3. We're sending our publicist an engraved beer stein because we're pretty sure dealing with us on a regular basis has driven him to drink.

4. Book bloggers are my rockstars.

5. I'm completely riveted by Camille Grammar on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I'm 99% sure she's the antichrist and the scenes with her and Kelsey are a hot, awkward mess. LOVE.

6. I keep an ARC in my purse and I've been known to whip it out at extremely inappropriate times. Apparently, my husband's administrative assistant doesn't really care that my book actually looks like a book. In case you're wondering, this officially classifies me as socially inept.

7. I spend 75 minutes getting everyone out the door to go to the gym and (if I'm lucky) get 35 minutes to actually work out. Too bad screaming at your kids to get their coats on or else you're going to leave without them and this time you mean it doesn't count as cardio.

8. I am no longer capable of making small talk. I literally find myself dozing off if the conversation gets too boring. This does not bode well for the holidays.

9. There's someone I desperately want to unfollow on Twitter, but I can't unfollow them for fear that they'll get a Qwitter update and see that I've unfollowed them and know the depths of my hatred.

10. Ben is crying upstairs, but I really want a #10. Hmm...ooh, I know! Sometimes I ignore my crying child in order to blog.

OK, time for your truths. Spill your guts in the comments. I'm waiting....

Monday, December 20, 2010

#MysteryGuest REVEALED

If this is the first you're hearing about #mysteryguest click here and here to learn more.

6:40 PM: Laura calls Lisa.
                Laura: I don't want to drive alone.
                Lisa: Me neither.
                Laura: I'm scared. 
                Lisa: Me too.
                Laura: There's a 95% chance that I don't recognize this person.
                Lisa: Make that 99%.
                Laura: Marriot parking lot in 20?
                Lisa: Done.

7:08 PM in Laura's car.
                Lisa: OMG, what if the mystery guest is wearing a scary mask?
                Laura: Let's just turn around and go home. I'm getting an ulcer.

7:27 PM in Laura's car.
                Lisa: How does my outfit look?
                Laura: Fine, I guess.
                Lisa: OMG, why did I make such a big deal about my outfit when I have no clothes?
                Laura: I don't know, but you totally freed me up to wear Uggs. No one will be looking at me.
                Lisa: I hate you.

7:34 PM approaching the restaurant.
               Laura: OMG, I think I'm going to puke.
               Lisa: You go in first.
               Laura: No! You go first! You're the oldest. It's like your job to be first.
               Lisa: I hate you.

7:35 PM entering the restaurant, table of author friends spotted.
               Laura: *awkward smile*
               Lisa: *nervous laughter*
               Laura: OMG IT'S VICTORIA SCHWAB! WE TOTALLY KNOW HER!
               Lisa: *relieved laughter*

7:36 PM - 10:08 PM
Tons and tons of awesome book gossip and author blabbing and pizza and Diet Coke and V's famous cookies!!! It was the best night EVER and we have the pic to prove it.

The only question is...who will the next #mysteryguest be???? We're extending an official invitation to all of you. Next time it's ChelseaScott and Leah's turn to enjoy the hot seat!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Time Suck Breakdown

It all began when @LeahClifford sent us a message about a mysterious someone flying into Cleveland for a visit. So really, it's Leah's fault we wasted our night trying to solve a mystery as opposed to writing. Here's how it all went down:

32 minutes: Search weeks worth of Twitter feeds for clues regarding #mysteryguest.

26 minutes: Talk about findings, mainly who hasn't tweeted for a few hours because they were potentially on a flight.

7 minutes: Check StatCounter and wonder who Googled us from San Diego.

47 minutes: Talk about who might have Googled us from San Diego. Front runner is Lisa's brother-in-law.

3 minutes: Write desperate email in an attempt to bribe #mysteryguest's identity out of book club attendees.

19 minutes: Develop plan to pit @LeahClifford and @scott_tracey against one another and pretend like we've discovered #mysteryguest's identity.

1 minute: Implement plan.

4 minutes: Plan backfires when Lisa tweets that she's "adjusted her outfit" in regards to #mysteryguest whose identity is still completely unknown to us.

13 minutes: Worry that #mysteryguest now thinks Lisa has a crush on him/her.

45 minutes: Laugh about #mysteryguest thinking Lisa has a crush on him/her.

6 minutes: Complain that we should be writing.

Can't wait to finally meet this mysterious guest tonight. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bookanistas: Books we're dying to get our grubby little paws on

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.


But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

This is right up our alley.


Divergent

One choice


One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever.

Or, one choice can transform you.

A little birdie told us this was better than Hunger Games. Yup.


Like Mandarin

It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin.


When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their badlands town.

Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.

We will forever remember this Bookinista review by Michelle Hodkin. Success! We so want to read this book now and are waiting patiently for it to show up in our mailbox.

The Pull of Gravity

While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.

Love the title, love the premise, want the book.


Clearly we've got a raging case of booklust. Hopefully Santa is taking notes!

P.S. Don't forget to check out what the other Bookanistas are up to this week...


Kirsten Hubbard celebrates JOHN BELUSHI IS DEAD and THE MOCKINGBIRDS
Elana Johnson gives a little love to JOEY FLY 2: PRIVATE EYE
Beth Revis chimes in on CHIME
Lisa and Laura Roecker rave about BOOKS THEY’RE DYING TO READ
Carolina Valdez Miller looks ahead to JANUARY RELEASES

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Came Early

And look what Santa left us this year!

That's right....

LIAR SOCIETY ARCs are here!!!

Too bad they came just a little too late for Oprah to put them on her Favorite Things List....

You're getting a Liar Society ARC! And you're getting a Liar Society ARC! YOU'RE ALL GETTING A LIAR SOCIETY ARC!!!

*cue someone's head exploding*

Sadly, we don't have enough to pull an Oprah and give everyone a copy. But there will definitely be a few copies floating around the blogosphere AND there's still time to vote in our cover contest and win The Liar Society ARC AND a bunch of other totally bad ass books.

Of course, you know what printed books mean, right? Yeah, people are actually going to be reading our book. If you need us, we'll be in the fetal position until mid-2012.

XOXO,
L&L

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tell the Truth Tuesday

1. Snow days aren't nearly as fun when you're a mom.

2. We've spent approximately 12 of the past 24 hours working on our book trailer for The Liar Society. We think we're finally done and now we're waiting for someone to call me with an Oscar nomination. Any minute now....

3. Everyone in my house wore their pajamas all day. What? It was a snow day! Getting dressed is totally optional.

4. Tell the Truth Tuesday is my favorite blog post of the week because Simon always writes something completely inappropriate in the comments that makes me laugh my ass off.

5. I'm reading TIGHTER by Adele Griffin, but I might have to put it down for a couple days because my husband is going out of town and I won't be able to sleep at night.

I'll be refreshing the comments all day long. I'm dying to hear what your truths are this Tuesday.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Wallop


Thanks to the snow-pocalypse that is currently hovering over Ohio, I can't watch TV without feeling like it's the end of the world. And since I feel like it's the end of the world, I can't write. And since I can't write, I've been reading "articles" on UsWeekly, thumbing through magazines to find a pic to bring to the salon on Tuesday (barring they don't close permanently because of the snow) and Christmas shopping online (because according to Hollie Strano, we're going to be snowed in indefinitely).

There's nothing meteorologists love more than a storm system (and throwing around words like "wallop," "batter," "threat") and nothing I love more than an excuse.

So, sit back, grab a blanket and a cup of tea and enjoy. Thanks to the Northeast Ohio Snow Storm Blog, you can get up-to-date information about the storm. It's like you live here!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Giving Back Is the New Black

I'm not going to lie, it's been a rough week for me. I'm desperately trying to figure out how to balance three kids and a fledgeling writing career on 5 hours of sleep a night. As a result I'm prone to wandering around town running errands in yoga pants and Uggs with zero make-up and eyes so red I could be an albino.

It ain't pretty.

To add insult to injury, stuff keeps going wrong. All those Christmas pictures I was stressing out over? Lost 'em when I loaded them to my Mac because I had no memory left. Packages that were supposed to arrive days ago, still haven't shown up. Husbands that were supposed to get home at 6 PM get stuck in freak snowstorms and walk through the door at 9:45 PM. Workouts that are supposed to relieve stress are cut short by one 14 pound child who REALLY wants to eat and doesn't like bottles.

I'm not going to lie, I'm a kind of a train wreck.

And Wednesday was no exception. I have about 2 hours while the kids are in preschool to run errands, write, hit the gym, and pretend that I'm not slowly losing my mind due to sleep deprivation. This Wednesday I was stuck going to National Tire and Battery to get my car battery checked. Just what I felt like doing during my two hours of me time.

So I walk in with Ben who immediately poops his brains out and I'm told it's going to be a half hour before they can get to my car. I'm left with choosing between a stinky baby or a car that may or may not break down in 25 degree weather while I'm schlepping around 3 kids.

I opted for door #1. Stinky baby for the win.

I sat in there, bouncing the baby seat, half asleep in a hard plastic chair trying to pretend like my crying baby didn't stink to high heaven. I waited almost exactly 30 minutes till the nice man at the desk called my name.

I walked up there prepared for the worst. I probably needed a new alternator or at the very least a new battery. I definitely wasn't expecting to get out of there for less than $200. The guy patiently explained that it wasn't my battery that was failing, it was the radiator. Apparently it was low on some type of fluid so they added more and I was good to go. When I asked him how much I owed him, he just smiled and said there was no charge. Editorial note from Laura: this may or may not be a free service they offer to every customer. But I like the idea of a random act of kindness too. In fact, my first year teaching, I created a Random Act of Kindess Club. Yep...

I was sort of floored. I mean, when's the last time you had a complimentary service? Especially at a car repair shop. My shock must have shown because he laughed and told me to have a Merry Christmas. Now I'm sure replacing radiator fluid free of charge isn't a big deal, but it was the best news I'd had in a long time, so I decided to pay it forward.

My next stop was Target and my plan was simple. I'd buy a $15 gift card and hand it to the first person I saw who was walking in the door as I was walking out. As I was leaving the store I handed a random girl a $15 gift card and told her that someone did something nice for me that morning and I was paying it forward. She smiled so big that her face practically split in half and told me to have a blessed day. Editorial note from Laura: Lisa told me this story the day it happened and suggested we pay-it-forward. How terrible is it that I've been wracking my brain ever since and nothing seems good enough? The Hershey Kisses we used to leave on kids' desks when I was teaching is small-time.

It felt so good to do something randomly nice for a stranger and I'm sort of hoping that she was inspired to do something nice for someone else that day. Maybe the guy at the repair shop started a tiny little wave of good deeds that will spread some cheer this holiday season. Who knows, maybe a few of you will be inspired to do the same thing. Maybe you'll make someone's day by returning a grocery cart or paying for someone's coffee.

Maybe this year giving back is the new black. Editorial note from Laura: It's on.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bookanistas: PERSONAL DEMONS

Today we're thrilled to announce another Guestanista post by Kylie Rush, Matt Rush's fabulous daughter. Kylie is *gasp* an actual young adult and she has an incredible perspective. Enjoy!

Here's what the back cover has to say:

If you had to choose between Heaven and Hell, which would it be?

Are you sure about that...?

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance--even her closest friends--and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions--for Hell--and she possesses a unique skill set that has the king of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he's as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn't stand a chance.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn't get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay...for all of them.

Kylie's Take:

Lisa Desrochers tells an intriguing tale in Personal Demons. Teen readers (especially the females) will identify with Frannie, the protagonist, from the get go. Being the only member in her large Catholic family to ever be expelled from school makes her just enough of an anti goody-goody to not be boring. She also suffers from chronic boy issues, which I can relate to.

Frannie is pursued by two boys … who aren’t actually boys. Lucifer and Gabriel are out for her soul, but they also want her affection. This keeps the story interesting for girls who like all different kinds of guys. Bad boys, knights in shining armor, silly rockers, and everything in between.

Boys, friends, the difference between right and wrong and being popular, changes, guilt, and the hell we know as high school all come together in this beautifully written novel of love, religion, and finding who you are.

Personal Demons will certainly tag your soul!

Um...how cute is Kylie? There is absolutely no way we could ever match this!

Check out what the other Bookinistas are up to this week.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All we want for Christmas...

The Regulator's head is about to explode because Lisa keeps sending her gift requests. Apparently she can't make up her mind. She wants riding boots, then Uggs, then yoga pants--the ones that will give her six-pack abs.

Ever since we were playing around with Polyvore for Kate, I've wanted to chuck my entire wardrobe out the window.

So here are a few of our top holiday picks this year. Too bad our husbands don't read the blog.

1. Riding Boots. It's no secret that fashion makes its way around to Cleveland approximately 2 years after NYC and 10 years after Europe, but we like them and we want them.

2. Miracle Yoga/Dress Pants. Guaranteed six-pack abs. End of story.

3. But...if those don't work, there's always this.

4. Stella and Dot Charm Necklace. We're digging the gold leaf, letter charm and birthstone. So pretty!

5. Fingerless Gloves. We're cold blooded gals forever layering sweatshirts, socks and jackets to keep warm. Heat is expensive. These are not.

6. New Uggs. See number 5.

7. And, of course, this. And this. And this too.

8. Finally, 1 Sleeping Baby. Or a six hour stretch. We'll take what we can get.

What's on your list this year?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tell the Truth Tuesday

1. Just sent the WIP back to Laura and I'm 99% sure that my new chapters suck rocks. BUT at least I wrote some new words. I think it might be time for me to embrace the suck and just write.

2. I'm itching to get started on THE LIAR SOCIETY book trailer. All that unedited footage is calling my name. Whenever my writing isn't flowing the way I want it to I tend to bury myself in meaningless, time sucking projects. It's a sickness.

3. Going back to the gym has been heavenly. I feel semi-human again. I won't be fitting back into my skinny jeans anytime soon, but it's a start.

4. I'm so tired my eyes ache. I forgot what real sleep deprivation feels like. Ben weighed in at a whopping 14 pounds at his 8-week check up. Do you have any idea what it takes for a 2 month old to weigh 14 pounds? It requires a dedication to consumption that most babies lack. Lucky me, Ben is willing to go the distance waking up every 3 hours to eat around the clock.

5. I'm the worst stage mom EVER. I've been putting it off for weeks, but yesterday it was time to get the kids to pose for their Christmas card pics. 5 minutes into our little photo shoot I managed to make all three kids cry. I told Jack he looked like a serial killer when he smiled (insta tears). I threatened to exclude Mia from the picture entirely because she was sucking her thumb (excessive sobbing). And I knocked down a Christmas ornament that fell directly on Ben's newborn head (warble cry). I make those Toddler and Tiara moms look totally sane. Seriously.

6. I haven't bought a single Christmas gift yet. No, really. Not. One. I think I'm in holi-denial.

Ok, out with it. What's your truth this Tuesday? Please tell me I'm not alone in my insanity.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Liar Society Cover Revealed (Um, sort of...)

One of the things we were most excited about when we found out THE LIAR SOCIETY was going to be published was the fact that we were going to get a book cover. I mean, is there anything more thrilling for an author than a team of amazing publishing professionals creating a gorgeous visual representation of your book? Um, the correct answer here is, "Hells to the no."

We figured the only thing cooler than going through the whole book cover process ourselves would be going through the whole book cover process with our friends and future readers. So without further ado we're announcing The Liar Society (Under)Cover Contest.

THE LIAR SOCIETY has an extra-special ARC cover. If you're cool like Lisa*, you can use your smart phone to scan the barcode at the bottom of the book, which will take you to a contest on our website where we'll we'll be posting comps for the final cover of THE LIAR SOCIETY over the next month or so.


The covers that we've posted today are still pretty rough (and we have it on good authority that there's a kick ass Kate-centric photo shoot happening in the not-so-distant future), but your votes will dictate how they design the final cover. And then once we get our next round of comps, we'll post those and put 'em to a vote and we'll just keep on posting until we've got our final cover.  It's sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, only with book covers. You guys get to decide the fate of Kate Lowry and the gang.

And we couldn't have a contest without some epic prizes so everyone who votes will automatically be entered to win LiLa's Favorite Books/2011 ARCs prize pack including:

We have very strong feelings about these first two designs. And if you know us at all, you'll know which one we love. Are you dying of curiosity yet? Visit The Liar Society site to see the covers, cast your vote and enter the contest. Can't wait to hear what you guys think!

And remember that this is only the beginning of the journey. Buckle up and help us pick the PERFECT cover!

XOXO,
L&L

*If you're still using a Samsung the size of a pack of cigarettes like Laura, you can access the website using your computer.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Regulator's Friday Shout Outs

OK, the Regulator is going to kill me for this, but I'm working on about 3 hours of sleep and it's making me kind of ballsy. So here it goes: The Regulator loves publishing blogs. Agent blogs, aspiring author blogs, marketing blogs - she loves them all. She loves them so much that I hooked her up with a Google Reader account with all of her favorite publishing blogs for Mother's Day.

Now, this might seem like the perfect gift for the mother obsessed with all things publishing, but really it was completely selfish. We haven't had much time to get to all the blogs we love lately, which totally sucks. But you know who never misses a blog post? The Regulator. And you know who calls us whenever she reads something particularly awesome? The Regulator.

Now that we've just outed our mother as a closet blog stalker and will probably end up disinherited, let's link to the Regulators Picks O'The Week, shall we? These are the blog posts that had the Regulator speed dialing us this week:

Natalie Whipple's amazingly honest post about the roller coaster ride that is submissions. This post is brutally honest and beautifully written. A must-read for any aspiring author or anyone with a crazy dream who has thought about giving up.

Beth Revis's post about jealousy and how it haunts all of us. Um, yeah, we are SO guilty of just about everything she discusses in her post.

Libba Bray's post on World AIDS Day. We are guilty of forgetting how scary AIDS was/is. Not only that, but this post is the perfect reminder to keep fighting on a human-to-human level. If only everyone felt the same way.
Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bookanistas: REVOLUTION

Chances are you've heard of Jennifer Donnelly's REVOLUTION. The blogosphere has been buzzing about this book. We've even heard rumblings that it should be nominated for the Printz. REVOLUTION is one of those books that you just have to talk about after you've read it. Some people in our book club loved it (us!) and others, not so much. Either way, it's a conversation-starter. 

Here's what the back cover has to say: 
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break. 

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape. 

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. 

Lila's Take: Viva la REVOLUTION, baby. There's so much to love about this book. Donnelly's voice and knack for dialogue had us hooked from the get go. Add in some fascinating history about the French Revolution and we were in love. REVOLUTION is a riveting contemporary/historical mash up and we devoured every page. Even better there's this one controversial plot twist (if you've read it, you totally know what I'm talking about) that makes this a great book for discussion. So go read it now so we can dish. Dying to know what you guys think about it...

In the meantime, check out what the other Bookinistas are up to this week!

Christine Fonseca recommends JOEY FLY, PRIVATE EYE in BIG HAIRY DRAMA
Elana Johnson raves about MATCHED
Shannon Messenger loves on ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and offers a Giveaway
Megan Miranda celebrates DESIRES OF THE DEAD
Beth Revis sings the praises of CHIME
Bethany Wiggins cheers for FIRELIGHT