Monday, January 31, 2011

Live From New York...It's MONDAY MORNING!!!

Do you guys remember Mr. Wizard? The Roecker gals were mega couch potatoes when we were growing up (shocking, I know) and lucky for us The Regulator was usually on board. As long as she could pretend it was educational. As a result we watched a lot of Mr. Wizard.

This SNL spoof made me laugh so hard I cried. It's PG-13 but it's hilarious.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 28, 2011

In Which We Get So Excited That We Just Can't Hide It

It's not every day that one of your friends hits the New York Times Best Seller List and when we got the news last week that Beth Revis debuted at #7 on the list with ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, The Bookanistas couldn't contain their excitement.

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Bookanistas: Desires of the Dead + Giveaway

So there's a huge disclaimer that should be in bold at the very top of this review. We have a MEGA girl crush on Kimberly Derting. In fact, we might even idolize her. Just a little. We love her books, we love her blog and most of all we love her. She's one of those super amazing successful writers who's generous with her time AND fun. 

That said, as those of you who have read THE BODY FINDER (you can read our review here) know, the woman can write.

Today we're talking about book #2 in The Body Finder series, DESIRES OF THE DEAD.

Here's what the back cover has to say:
The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

LiLa's Take:
Three questions for you:

Do you like twisty mysteries?
Do you like hot boys?
Do you like bad ass girls with compulsive psychic abilities?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions you need to read this book. I won't give away any spoilers here (even though I really, really want to), but fans of the first book will LOVE hanging out with Violet for round 2. There's romance, there's a killer mystery and of course, there's dead bodies. Lots of 'em. I simply love the direction Kimberly is taking the series, so much so that I'm considering starting a write-in campaign to Harper Collins to ensure we get The Body Finder #3 ASAP.

We loved DESIRES OF THE DEAD so much that we want to send one lucky blog reader a copy. Just leave a comment telling us what psychic ability you covet and why? Um, just for the record we are way too wussy to choose something like locating dead bodies. Nah, we'd probably go for something more like the ability to foresee publishing trends. Yup, we're pretty much the biggest dorks EVER.

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





  • Christine Fonseca freaks for THE FAMILIARS


  • Elana Johnson loves THE LOST SAINT


  • Jen Hayley  and  Scott Tracey swoon over ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS


  • Shannon Messenger gushes some cover love for HOURGLASS


  • Shelli Johannes-Wells is over the moon for ACROSS THE UNIVERSE


  • Carolina Valdez Miller loves THE LIAR SOCIETY, complete with a signed ARC giveaway!


  • Shana Silver has fallen for FALL FOR ANYTHING


  • Kirsten Hubbard is blown away by BLOOD MAGIC


  • Myra McEntire reveals her amazing cover for HOURGLASS


  • Carrie Harris celebrates XVI


  • Jessi Kirby is mesmerized by A BLUE SO DARK


  • Rosemary Clement-Moore marvels over MATCHED
  • Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    When the Slutty New Idea is EXACTLY What You Needed

    Publishing isn't easy.

    There are doubts. There are bad reviews. There are trends that no matter how you try to shoehorn 'em, your books will NEVER fit into.

    Honestly, there's very little you can control in this business aside from your writing.

    And what happens when that isn't working either? When you start the same book three different times and still can't get it right? When you're avoiding writing because the plot makes your head hurt? When you're losing faith in yourself as a writer?

    And then along comes that slutty new idea.

    You've been warned about this idea. This idea is distracting you from the book you're supposed to be finishing. Writers are NEVER supposed to succumb to the slutty new idea.

    But we did.

    And THANK GOD, HALLELUJAH, and PRAISE THE IDEA WHORE because this idea? This crazy, random book that probably isn't even close to marketable, IS FUN.

    Yeah, that's right. We're writing again and laughing again and cranking out words and characters and one liners like nobody's business. This doesn't feel like work.  And that was kind of the whole point way back when we first started this whole gig. We started writing because we thought it would be fun.

    So we've decided to ditch the pressure and forget about trends and marketability. We write for us and we write for fun.

    Slutty new ideas FTW!

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Tell the Truth Tuesday: From the Mixed Up Files of a Toy Box in the Regulator's Basement

    It was family Sunday at the Regulator's house this past week. As usual, we were all enjoying some grown up time while the youngin's played in the basement. We're never sure exactly what it is they do down there, but if they're quiet, we're happy. End of story.

    Imagine my surprise when Mia came traipsing upstairs with a very familiar-looking diary in hand. I intercepted it.

    "Mia, where did you find this?" I ran my fingers over the variety of doctor's office stickers circa 1990 I had slapped on the front.

    "In the toy box," she replied, confirming our suspicions that our parents' toy box in the basement is really a time capsule. Why my diary landed in it, we'll never know.

    Lisa, of course, plucked it out of my hands and proceeded to read all the entries aloud. I was reminded of a very similar scene over twenty years earlier at our neighbor Shirley's house where Lisa did the same. In front of my crush, no less.

    I can't possibly do the diary justice in writing. Photographs are more appropriate.



    A real treasure.


    The crossed out text says, "This diary belongs to Stacey Roecker..." and goes on to list our address and phone number. I either stole it from her or thought I'd fool everyone into thinking it was hers in the event that it was stolen. Always thinking.


    Crossed out text says, "The Kering!" my pseudonym. See above.


    This post highlights how much Lisa's friends sucked. How dare they not throw her a surprise party? I mean, her little sister was looking forward to it!


    Quincy was our dog. I am a loser.


    There are about 20 more entries all saying some version of the above. It's hard being a mistake.

    Any truth-riddled treasures in your basements this Tuesday?

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Chillin' with Pippin

    Happy Monday everyone!!! Are you put off by our three exclamation points? Are you wondering why we're so chipper on a cold and dreary Monday morning? The answer is simple...

    There's a LIVE WriteOnCon event tonight, that's why!

    That's right, the incredible ladies at Pippin Properties, Inc. are joining us tonight to discuss query writing do's and don'ts and are going to break down exactly what they're looking for. How awesome is that?

    Here are the cold, hard facts:

    Who: Holly McGhee, Elena Mechlin and Joan Slattery of Pippin Properties
    What: LIVE WriteOnCon Chat discussing query do's and don'ts
    When: 5 PM EST (Please note the earlier time)
    Why: Because they're awesome

    Hopefully we'll see you all this evening. We can't wait to hear all of your burning query questions!*

    *We do not condone the burning of actual queries only the creation of fantabulous questions related to queries.


    P.S.
    Do you want to be the first one to hear about the amazingness that is WriteOnCon 2011? Do you daydream about live WriteOnCon events? Do you want to skin the founders of WriteOnCon and wear them like last season's Versace? OK, fine, I stole that last one from Real Housewives of NJ. But seriously, if you're a WriteOnCon stalker (and really, who isn't?) you NEED to register for our newsletter. You can sign up at www.writeoncon.com

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Shameless Self Promotion Friday Five (Apologies in Advance)

    OK, I know we've been blabbing WAY too much about Liar Society lately, but we have a few big announcements to make:

    1. YOU ARE ALL INVITED TO OUR EPIC LAUNCH PARTY!!!!!!!!! Seriously. Mark your calendars, bring your friends, we would LOVE to see every single one of you at the Liar Society Launch Party of Awesome. There will be books. There will be awkward conversations. And most importantly, there will be pink hair. Don't miss it.

    Alas, we understand that geography is a fickle bitch, and most of you don't live in the Cleveland area. The good news is we've got everyone covered because we'll be hosting a huge virtual launch party on the blog on March 8th. That's right. Virtual. Launch. Party. There will be a humiliating vlog. There will be fabulous prizes. And there will be signed books. Get. Excited.

    2. We have a #1 fan. No seriously. Her name is Kare and you guys all have to go meet her. She and her brother, Dallin, read The Liar Society and loved it so much that they're going to be posting fun stuff about the book every single Friday until the book hits the shelves. Um, how's that for amazing!?! Be sure to check it out here.

    3. For those of you who didn't get Grace's mysterious email and for those of you who were a little too slow to pick up on Grace's clue (we're looking at you, Sarah) we are officially releasing our Liar Society Book Trailer. You may notice that this version does not include Laura traipsing around in a private school uniform. It just so happens that there's ANOTHER version of the trailer, but you'll have to email Grace to see that one. Ghostly besties are SO controlling.



    4. The amazing Shannon Messenger is giving away a Liar Society ARC, so if you're interested hop on over to her corner of the blogsphere. Even if you're not, go there. It's fun.

    5. In what was either an extremely fortuitous typo or an act of sheer genius, Jem referred to us as "The LiLa" in a blog comment. So it's officially official, we are The LiLa. Sort of like The Cher. Or The Madonna. Only we can't sing and we don't have any drag queens impersonating us. Yet.

    Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

    XOXO,
    The LiLa

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Bookanistas: There's a NYT Best Selling Author Among Us


    Congratulations are in order for Bookinista member Beth Revis whose debut novel Across the Universe hit up the number seven spot on the New York Times Bestseller List! All together now: WHUT! WHUT!

    Now...grab a tissue, stop what you're doing and read this post. Oh, and then come back.

    Did you not tear up? I couldn't help myself. It has been so amazing following Beth's journey and we're just thankful we get to hop on the Beth Train two more times with the next two books in the series and who knows how many times beyond that!

    Beth, thanks for creating an incredible world on board a crazy spaceship. And for Amy and Elder and all the others. Your book is nothing short of amazing and you deserve to be right where you are.

    CONGRATULATIONS!

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



    Katie Anderson raves about THE LIAR SOCIETY
    Christine Fonseca applauds Michelle McLean's HOMEWORK HELPERS: TERM PAPERS AND ESSAYS with Signed Book Giveaway 
    Carrie Harris celebrates THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE
    Jen Hayley lauds DELIRIUM

    Shelli Johannes-Wells  gives a shoutout to IN LOVE WITH HARLEQUIN
    Elana Johnson  recommends Michelle McLean's HOMEWORK HELPERS: TERM PAPERS AND ESSAYS with Giveaway
    Jessi Kirby admires MATCHED
    Myra McEntire gives some cover love for THE LIAR SOCIETY
    Shannon Messenger commends THE LIAR SOCIETY with an ARC Giveaway
    Carolina Valdez Miller salutes XVI with Signed Book Giveaway
    Megan Miranda gives some love to ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
    Lisa and Laura Roecker happy dance for Beth Revis
    Shana Silver cheers for HERE LIES BRIDGET
    Scott Tracey acclaims DIVERGENT 
    Bethany Wiggins praises Michelle McLean's HOMEWORK HELPERS: TERM PAPERS AND ESSAYS

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    WTF Wednesday: A Day In the Life of Gwyneth (and LiLa)

    So we've had several readers and friends e-mail us about good old Gwynnie's latest installment of GOOP in which she and two of her besties give advice about "finding balance" as working mothers.

    If you haven't read this brilliant piece of unintentional comedy I suggest you do so. Immediately. We'll wait.

    And now for LiLa's take:

    Lisa on Tuesday, January 18th, 2011:

    Vaguely hear Jack and Mia stampede out of their room and into the bathroom. A loud crash startles me out of my twilight slumber, Mia starts wailing and Jack screams at the top of his lungs that he HATES HAVING A SISTER. I drift back to sleep. 20 minutes later the kids are downstairs watching Sponge Bob or some other show that's strictly forbidden unless mommy's too tired to get out of bed and I've managed to drag myself to the bathroom and throw on some yoga pants. Grab Ben, feed him, attempt to referee any fights that break out between the other kids with arbitrary threats I'll never follow through with like, "IF YOU DON'T STOP SCREAMING I'LL THROW AWAY ALL OF YOUR TOYS." Effective parenting FTW.

    March everyone into the car like a psychotic drill sergeant. Notice Mia has her shoes on the wrong feet. Too tired to care. Ben screams for the first 15 minutes of our car ride to school and I blast Mumford and Sons in an effort to transport myself to my "happy place." Fail. Ben finally falls asleep just as we've pulled into the parking lot of Jack's school. Jack immediately leaps out of his car seat, kisses/head butts Ben and the screaming resumes almost immediately. Crank the radio up a little louder. Come to a rolling stop, shove Jack out of the car and laugh maniacally when his teacher shouts after me, "Did he have a lot of sugar this morning?" Thank God for preschool.

    When I tell Mia we're headed for the gym she cries and I end up promising her a donut if she'll stay in the playroom for an hour. Get to the gym, toss Mia and Ben in child care, race to the elliptical and jack up the Pandora app on my phone. Attempt to hide when I see the child care manager roaming the gym like the angel of death five minutes into my work out. I know deep down in my heart of hearts that the bell tolls for me. And sure enough she gives me the nod. Try to convince myself that a 5 minute workout is better than nothing. The yoga pants cutting into my gut tell a different story.

    Pick Jack up from school, slap lunch on the table and attempt to bribe the kids into taking a nap with promises of a special treat when they wake up. They "sleep" for 10 minutes, demand a treat and I end up locking myself in a closet to talk to our publicist. See, you really can have it all!

    Flip on Dora around 5 in an attempt to make dinner. Kids find out I'm making Chicken Parmesan and carry on like I've announced that they'll be eating Bambi for dinner. They beg for Toy Story Mac and Cheese. Jack hides the uncooked chicken in the basement. After 10 minutes of searching and screaming I find it, I cook it, and everyone refuses to eat it.

    Kids get a quick shower, brush teeth and are summarily tossed into bed sans foot massage. (Um, seriously? Do any of you massage your kids' feet? Am I missing something here? I mean, I pat myself on the back if we make time for a story.) Feed Ben, quick chat with my husband and then I stare at my computer for two hours in an attempt to write this lame ass blog post.

    And that my friends is a little something we like to call REALITY. You should try it sometime, Gwyneth. It's riveting.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Monogamy is for Suckers

    Our WIP, dear, dear Bloodlines (working title for two reasons. a. it's not about vampires and b. this.) is a bit worse for the wear. She had kind of a tough holiday, gained a few pounds, pulled a few all-nighters. Despite subscribing to the whole New Year, New You rule of thumb and getting a bit of a facelift after 40,000 of her words were trimmed off and re-worked, she still looks kind of haggard. Rode hard and put away wet, if you will.

    To make matters worse, a new girl moved into LiLa Land. She's Mila Kunis pretty and SO wants to be our friend. Super-fun, always rearing to go out and ready whenever--she seems ridiculously low maintenance compared to our needy WIP. And she makes us feel young again!

    Bloodlines has about 6 inches of root re-growth and Shiny New Idea has a fresh head of highlights. WIP is stress-eating leftover Christmas cookies while SNI has a personal chef preparing delicious, healthy meals. Bloodlines is all Cleveland-pasty and bloodshot eyes and Newbie is fresh off a Cabo vacation, well-rested and bronzed. What a bitch.

    So, we have a confession. We've just pulled a mean-girls, you're-not-my-friend-anymore-and-everyone-else-ditched-you-too move on poor Bloodlines. Mila has slinked her way into our Word Document, earned herself a brand-spanking new folder and a kick-ass synopsis.

    Bloodlines, we owe you an apology. It's not that you're not good enough, because we had just figured out a way to make you work. And it's not as though we're ditching you because you're not shiny and pretty--who are we to judge? We live in yoga pants and ponytails. It's all about timing. If it makes you feel any better, this is just a break. It's totally not a break up. We just need some time, some space. It's not you, it's us.

    Um, just ignore all those damn pictures taken by the paparazzi of us frolicking around with our laptops and typing furiously in our pretty new, completely uncomplicated Word document.

    You know what they say, "If you love something, set it free...."

    We'll be back. Pinky swear promise.

    Kisses,
    L&L

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Judging a Book By Its Cover

    We must preface this blog post with two primary truths (and it's not even Tuesday!).

    1. We're kinda, sorta dramatic.
    2. We're really appreciative of all the people who put up with our drama, including but not limited to: agents, editors, husbands, and most of all, YOU dear blog readers.

    Now. For the juicy truth.

    We cried when we first saw the cover of The Liar Society. And they weren't tears of joy.

    Okay, let's back up. The Liar Society cover has been in the works for many, many months. The designers working on the project were focused on creating a brand for the series--something that would hopefully set our book apart from the thousands of other private school books out there. It needed to combine the element of mystery with the element of fun, which may not sound that hard, but as it turns out is borderline IMPOSSIBLE. We're sure the designers can attest to that.

    Along the way, we were shown many, many comps. There were silhouettes, legs, profiles, girls with pearls, girls with purses, girls in uniforms, black backgrounds, pink backgrounds, teal backgrounds. You name it, we probably saw it. And we fell in love a few times. Had our hearts broken a few times. Cried a few times.

    We were asked to describe Kate. What did she wear? Hello Polyvore! What did she look like? We're looking at you young Minka Kelly. What was her life like? Hilfigers on holiday, whut whut! We were absolutely positively sure we knew how Kate should be portrayed on the cover of the book.

    Or not.

    Our agent sent us the dreaded, "Can you talk?" email. Laura took the call, which in hindsight is a good thing. As our agent explained that the team had decided to go in the pink hair direction, all Laura could think about was, "What am I going to tell Lisa?" Turns out, she would have to repeat herself many, many times before Lisa believed her. And this is where the crying comes in. Well, technically sobbing. (Please see Truth #1 listed above.)

    "But...but...but Kate doesn't have pink hair!" she wailed.

    It was like the book we had worked so hard on had disappeared before our eyes. This was not our Kate, not our vision, not our book.

    But here's the thing. We needed to cry. We needed to threaten to quit (at least to each other). We needed to take out our anger on one another and our loved ones (sorry!). Because only then could we begin to pick ourselves up. And admit that we were wrong. Did you hear that?

    We were so wrong.

    After we'd dried our tears and swore up and down that we'd NEVER write again we took a step back and tried really hard to be objective. We went back to the long list of over 300 votes in the cover contest and began analyzing the results.
    • Our 12-year-old cousin who read The Liar Society just over a year ago and fell in love? Voted pink. 
    • The adorable 14-year-old book blogger who sent us an e-mail raving about Kate? Voted pink. 
    • Our 56-year-old mother who grounded us when we dyed our hair in high school? Did NOT vote pink.
    Wait a second. Hold the phone. Was it possible that all the old people (ourselves included) voted for the pretty brown haired girl and all the actual verified young adults voted for the smexy pink gal?

    Um, yes. Yes it was.

    And that's when we realized two things:

    1. We are OLD.
    2. We are NOT the target market for this book.

    Our readers had spoken. The girls who we hope will love Kate, the ones we are so excited to get e-mails from and meet at school visits and book signings? Apparently they love pink hair. (Who knew?! Oh wait, Sourcebooks did.)

    So, we blew our noses, wiped our eyes and begged to get our hands back on the manuscript. For the record, Kristin Zelazko, our production editor, is a saint. A SAINT!

    When we went back in, we realized a little something. It was super-easy to change Kate's hair to pink. Not only did she have every reason in the world to dye her hair (her BFF died under mysterious circumstances and she's pretty sasstastic in general) but it was a great way for us to characterize her transformation. Before Grace died, Kate's hair is brown and after she dies, she rocks the pink. Add in the pearls she already wore and you have just the twist Sourcebooks was looking for--something that makes Kate unique and maybe even a little iconic.

    So, we're thankful.

    Thankful we're not in charge of designing book covers because we would have outfitted Kate in the same-old, same-old private school fare, totally expected and completely forgettable. Thankful the design team helped us add another layer to Kate's character, one that makes her infinitely more bad ass. And thankful our publisher cared enough to get it right, to give The Liar Society the best chance of success.

    Because, let's face it. The bookshelves are crowded out there.

    But maybe, just maybe, there's room for a pink-haired, pearl-rocking, private school sleuth.

    PS: Tracey Neithercott is the winner of a brand-spanking-new copy of Beth Revis' Across the Universe! Congratulations! Tracey, email us with your address and we'll place the order straight away!

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    The Liar Society Cover Revealed (For real this time!)

    We are beyond excited to share the final cover for THE LIAR SOCIETY with you!

    Drum roll please...

    TA DA!!!!


    Okay, okay, we know what you're thinking...PINK HAIR!?! We were completely shocked too (more on that Monday), but we've officially fallen in love. I mean, how many pink-haired, pearl-rocking, bad ass detectives do YOU know? Yeah, that's what we thought.

    And now, it's time to announce the winner of The Liar Society (Under)Cover Contest including:

    THE BODY FINDER and DESIRES OF THE DEAD by Kimberly Derting;
    PRADA AND PREJUDICE and YOU WISH by Mandy Hubbard; 
    PICTURE THE DEAD, THE JULIAN GAME, an ARC of TIGHTER by Adele Griffin;
    DECEPTION and an ARC of BETRAYAL by Lee Nichols; and
    a signed ARC of THE LIAR SOCIETY (Um, if you want it signed that is? We still feel sort of weird about defacing books!)

    Second round of drum rolls please.........

    RACHELE ALPINE!!!!!! 

    Rachele, thanks to the random number generator number 278 is now your lucky number. CONGRATULATIONS!

    We had over 300 entries (holy crap, right?) and we wanted to give something to ALL of you guys for participating. 

    SO...if you're interested in getting an e-mail from Kate's dead bestie that will unlock a super-secret, super-exciting clue hidden in The Liar Society website CLICK HERE. Trust us...you're going to want to see this. Besides, when's the last time you got an e-mail from a dead girl?*

    Thanks everyone for helping us make this contest and cover reveal such a HUGE success. And stay tuned for some so-amazing-you're-not-even-gonna-believe-what-we've-got-planned contests coming in February and March.

    XOXO,
    L&L

    *Sometimes dead girls' emails end up in SPAM too, so don't forget to check!

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    The Bookanistas: Across the Universe

    It's here, it's here! We can FINALLY talk about Beth Revis' ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Okay, now where do we begin?

    Let's start with the first chapter. It is, hands down, the best first chapter we have ever read. We loved it so much we read it aloud during our YA book club and the girls were practically drooling, we ask about it every time we go into a bookstore and we had the librarian from our event the other night write down the title so she could use it for the book selection next month! We're stalker-level-obsessed supportive! I guess what we're trying to say is the first chapter blew our mind.

    Here's what the back cover has to say:

    A Story of Love, Murder, and Madness Aboard an Enormous Spaceship Bound for the Future

    Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to wake up on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed.

    Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.

    Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

    Across the Universe is Titanic meets Brave New World.

    LiLa's Take:
    If the first chapter blew our mind, the entire book rocked our world. Yowsers--that's not meant to sound dirty. Moving on. So, Amy makes the decision to stick with her parents and be put to sleep for 300 years (and learns that while her body is frozen, her mind is not. CAN YOU IMAGINE? 300 years of THINKING?), giving the spaceship enough time to make to Centauri Earth, where the selected team of individuals plus the current generation of Godspeed can establish a new life. BUT there's a crimp in the plan when Amy gets woken up 50 years early. 50 years people! And not only that, but she wasn't supposed to survive the thaw--she was the victim of an attempted murder! Thus she is launched into an interplanetary murder mystery all the while trying to navigate the culture of Godspeed, which is very different than the one she left behind. The differences are FASCINATING, you guys. This is the kind of book you devour in a night, feeling all hungover when you realize you have to wait for the next installment. It's a delicious blend of sci-fi (few and far between in YA), mystery and love.

    This review would not be complete if we didn't say a little something about Beth. Beth is seriously one of the most supportive authors out there. She truly deserves all that is coming her way and we can't wait to see what she dreams up next. We have our own theories, which we LOVE sharing with people, but we'll leave it up to the professional!

    In honor of the AtU release, one lucky commenter will win a brand-spanking new copy fresh from the bookstore. Just leave a comment about what YOU would think about for 300 years.

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

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    And the Best Truth Won

    Wow. The truths yesterday were nothing short of awesome.

    Simon, the heavy favorite going into the competition, astounded us with his criminal acts and then floored us with his obvious disdain for Twizzlers. Be glad you don't live next door to Gail because she wouldn't hesitate to call the police on your ass.

    Little Ms. J. wet her pants, while Lola peed with her MacBook (impressive!).

    Matt Rush still thinks we're Siamese twins and is going to be extremely let down if he ever meets us and figures out that we're actually just two lame, separate sisters.

    Jill Hathaway defaced an ARC of Liar Society (oh the SHAME!). Of course it was all on account of a burrito, so we can't exactly blame her.

    Sarah took a nasty spill and Ashley started a charitable action.

    Kare almost walked away with the prize for being smart enough to pepper her truths with a rave review of Liar Society. Well played.

    Marsha made us laugh out loud (as always), while Jem gave us a visual that will make it pretty much impossible to ever enter the bathroom at Outback Steakhouse without cracking up.

    But in the end only one truth could take home the big prize. And it's a truth that's very close to this new mother's heart:






    truth: I really wanted to win, because i think it like, releases endorphins or something... so i must admit that i am typing one-handed and the other hand is attached to my own boobie... i pumped breastmlik at the same time i emptied my google reader. titilating, i know.

    Amber, as a fellow new mother who allegedly dropped her laptop on top of her newborn's head during one particularly traumatic nursing session, I am proud to pronounce you the winner of our first ever Tell the Truth Tuesday contest. You have earned those chocolate covered Twizzlers, my friend. E-mail us your address to collect your delicious prize.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Tell the Truth Tuesday (Plus a once in a lifetime giveaway)

    1. Laura was not so secretly worried that I'd hog the spotlight during our first library event last night. She was right to worry.


    2. We're TOTAL name droppers. One of the girls asked us point blank if Mandy Hubbard had actually read our book. When we told her that we've exchanged e-mails with her and "know" her on Twitter she was kind of blown away.


    3. We planned on taking video and pictures for the post today. We failed.

    4. This is the only picture we have.


    5. I'm bitter because no one took my picture and I was having the best hair day of my entire life.

    6. Laura makes wicked chocolate covered Twizzlers.

    7. Chocolate covered Twizzlers = Crack.

    8. I've eaten approximately 11 of them.

    9. We're giving the rest of them away to one lucky commenter.


    10. Lucky for you, Laura took them home. Otherwise someone would be the lucky winner of a lot of chocolate Twizzler scented plastic wrappers.

    Best, most shocking, most hilarious, most entertaining truth wins the Twizzlers. Beyond excited to see what you guys come up with.

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    LiLa LIVE

    So...we have our first ever, real-live, author event scheduled tonight with a Mother-Daughter book club at a local library. We're not gonna lie, we're REALLY excited about it. It combines three of our favorite things--moms (naturally), kids (obviously) and BOOKS (hello!?).

    BUT

    We're semi-freaking out. What if no one comes? What if we're boring? What if we constantly talk over each other? Oh wait, that's not a what-if. You should have heard our maid of honor speech at Stacey's wedding.

    Here are a few things we have planned...
    • A short reading
    • Short overview of our publication experience, writing process
    • Share our cover journey (and what a journey it's been)
    • Share our book trailer (and some behind-the-scenes pics)
    • Question/Answer
    • Wash down chocolate-covered Twizzlers with Diet Coke
    Any other ideas? What would you guys want us to talk about if you had the honor of to endure listening to the two of us yammering about writing for 45 minutes.

    Laura's praying there's not a podium. Lisa's secretly hoping for a stage.

    This is going to be interesting....

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Five Things We've Learned This Week

    1. We're 99% sure that Laura has some kind of medieval respiratory disease. We've narrowed it down to Typhoid and Consumption. To give you an idea of what we're dealing with over here, watch this:



    For the record, I'm playing the role of Ewan McGregor over here, only instead of willing Laura to live, I'm begging her to work on our WIP. It's a sad state of affairs.

    2. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer might have the most gorgeous book cover I've ever laid eyes on. It's a work of art. Must. Read. This. Book.


    3. I like to say "Sweet Fancy Moses." A lot. I have no idea where it came from (a tweet perhaps?). But I can't stop saying it. I said it to the kids the other day and they thought it was hilarious.


    4. Gwynnie tried to fool us into thinking she's self deprecating and funny.



    Nice try. We're still not gonna sit through Country Strong.


    5. Role reversal is a bitch. Yesterday Laura was all mopey and crabby and pessimistic. It. Was. Awful. Laura is supposed to be the glass-is-half-full-sister and I'm the you-better-freaking-fill-my-glass-NOW sister. It's just how we roll. Not surprisingly, I SUCK at cheering people up. I was all, "Screw it! It's fine! Want me to kick their ass for you?" "I'll take phrases that aren't even remotely comforting for $500, Alex."

    So, yeah, the first week of 2011 was kind of a mixed bag. What did you guys learn this week? Can't wait to hear your life lessons in the comments. Have a fabulous weekend everyone!  

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    The Bookanistas: Sweet XVI


    You guys might remember me being glued to a book back when I was giving birth to Ben a few months ago. Trust me when I say there aren't many books that can hold your attention while you're delivering an 8 and a half pound baby, but XVI is one of them. 

    Here's what the back cover has to say: 
    Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world - even the most predatory of men - that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past - one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.


    LiLa's Take: XVI is a completely fresh take on a dystopian society. The thought provoking premise and choices that the characters make throughout the novel will spark some pretty fascinating discussions about gender politics and sexual freedom in young and old readers alike. Can't wait to hear what others think of this page turner!

    It's 2011 and The Bookanistas are back with a BANG! Check out the books they're celebrating in the new year: