Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Costume or Bad Wardrobe Decision - You Be the Judge

The sisters Roecker have had many Halloween costumes over the years ranging from adorable to abysmal. Sadly, we've had far more questionable fashion decisions than actual costumes. In celebration of Halloween we're going to post a random assortment of pictures and let you decide which were costumes and which were REALLY bad outfits. 

Happy Halloween!!!





























Friday, October 28, 2011

Celebstalking by LiLa


I watched Hereafter this week and I have to say the movie only made me love Matt Damon even more. He just seems like a quality individual. I mean, how often do you see A-list celebs hanging with their dad?

Every time Leann Rimes smiles an angel loses it's wings. Or maybe it dies. Yup, that sounds about right. Every time Leann Rimes smiles an angel dies.

On behalf off women across America can I just say, "Aw, HELL no." Seriously George? A pro-wrestler best known for DANCING WITH THE STARS? What has the world come to?


Speaking of the apocalypse, what's that I spy at the end of Blake Lively's long ass legs? UGGS. Suck on that Loretta Nyhan. Uggs are warm and comfortable and the preferred footwear of A-list celebrities everywhere. It just so happens I'm wearing a pair right now. They're grey and hideous and I love them.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Bookanistas: Winner Announcement and PAST MIDNIGHT Series Giveaway!!!!

It's a big day around these parts. First of all, we are excited to announce the winner of THE WHITE ASSASSIN giveaway from last week. Congratulations Corey Schwartz--you are the proud new owner. Email us your address ASAP and we'll pop it in the mail, lucky girl!

Second of all, it's almost Halloween. Halloween is taken VERY seriously in Laura's household. If you remember from last year, Lydia dressed up as Mickey Mouse and her husband rented a full out Donald Duck costume, tights and all. Well, this year Lydia has chosen to be Rapunzel from Tangled and hubs is taking on Flynn Ryder, her romantic interest, which is wrong on many levels and will embarrass Lydia to no end when she's old enough to understand. Pictures to follow--just know the costume involves some controversial leggings that Laura is rallying to have replaced by khakis. The neighbors will thank her.

In honor of Halloween, we're excited to offer yet another giveaway on the blog, this time with THREE of Mara Purnhagen's SIGNED books from the PAST MIDNIGHT series. Mara is absolutely fabulous and the series is not to be missed (especially around this time of year) so even if you don't win, definitely check them out.

PAST MIDNIGHT:

Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive…. 


ONE HUNDRED CANDLES:

It's taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I'm settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it's not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….

But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I've opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.


BEYOND THE GRAVE:


I can't move forward with my life, until I know my demons are confined to the past…

Being Charlotte Silver, the daughter of famous paranormal investigators, means my life isn't like that of other teenage girls. Especially after what happened to my parents. Things changed. I missed prom and deferred my big college plans. But I still have my boyfriend, Noah. He's everything I could want—if I can figure out what's up with him. Suddenly Noah is secretive.

I fear it has something to do with what happened to us three months ago. The bruise Noah suffered during a paranormal attack has never completely faded. Now I've learned Noah is researching demons. And when he disappears, it's up to me to find him—before something else does.


To win, tell us about any ghost encounters of your own in the comments. GOOD LUCK!

And check out what the other Bookanistas are up to this week:


Elana Johnson cheers for Crossed

Christine Fonseca reveals books she cannot wait to read

Beth Revis interviews My Very UnFairytale Life author Anna Staniszewski

Shannon Whitney Messenger interviews Skyship Academy-Pearl Wars author Nick James & agent Jennifer Rofe – with giveaway

Jessi Kirby twirls for Audition

Shana Silver burns for Circle of Fire

Carrie Harris devours Deadly

Stasia Ward Kehoe travels to The Day Before

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Best and Worst Thing About Being a Writer

Opening up a brand new document and starting a new manuscript is scarier than a Paranormal Activities trailer.

But then you get to type in the brand new, absolutely perfect title of your WIP. 

You hit the enter key once.

And type these words:

By Lisa and Laura Roecker

A tiny, little thrill races up the back of your spine and makes you sit a little bit straighter as you type, "Chapter 1."

And so it begins....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tell The Truth Tuesday

1. I just ate 2 caramel apples and I'm still kind of hungry. In my defense, the apples were technically my dinner. Yeah, that's not really a good defense is it?

2. There are Twitter feeds I read for the sole purpose of being annoyed. I realize this makes zero sense.

3. This is the funniest video I've seen IN MY LIFE.



4. Even though I'm in desperate need of yoga pants, I refuse to purchase them from Old Navy lest they think their horrific advertising campaigns are working. So, if you're an Old Navy marketing executive and you happen to stumble upon this blog post, your advertising campaign has successfully PREVENTED me from purchasing your merchandise. Congratulations.

5. Jack got Super Mario Brothers for his Nintendo DS after getting a good report card and I play it sometimes while he's asleep. He thinks I'm a hero because I still remember some of the tricks. Let's chalk this up to mother/son bonding, shall we?

What's your dirty little secret this Tuesday? The jucier the better. Spill your guts in the comments.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy

1. This book. THIS BOOK. You guys need to read this book.



I started this Friday and did not put it down until I finished it on Saturday. Plot, gorgeous writing, exotic settings, characters who make me long for the next book in the series - Daughter of Smoke and Bone has it all.


2.  These boots. And Zappos shoe videos. (AKA Shoe Porn)

All kidding aside, these videos are SUPER helpful when ordering shoes online. And Loretta Nyhan will be pleased to know that I purchased these in black to replace my beloved Uggs and I love them. So much.


3. Pumpkin spice coffee. This is the best birthday present I've ever gotten. EVER. I'm so....alert.




4. Caramel apples. The kids and I spent the day with The Regulator and we made caramel apples. Delicious and fun. This is why I love the Fall.





5. Two amazing manuscripts on my Kindle. Just waiting for me to read them. Bliss.


What's got you happy this lovely Monday morning? Leave a comment and I'll send you a virtual latte.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The White Assassin Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!!!!


THE WHITE ASSASSIN
Book II of the Nightshade Chronicles
October 2nd, 2011
We are absolutely honored to help spread the love for Hilary Wagner's latest book, THE WHITE ASSASSIN, book 2 in the Nightshade Chronicles, on the blog today. If you're anything like me, you struggle with gift ideas for those tricky tweens--especially tricky, male tweens. Struggle no more, my friends, struggle no more. This book along with NIGHTSHADE CITY (which is now out in paperback, although it's definitely the kind of classic book you want in hardcover on your shelves) make a fabulous gift that is sure to keep kids entertained for hours.
About the THE WHITE ASSASSIN:

Book II in the Nightshade Chronicles begins three years after Juniper and his rebel band of rats liberate the Catacombs and defeat their oppressors.
A sense of peace has settled over Nightshade City, but it is a false one. Billycan, the white assassin, has been found. Deep in the southern swamps, he now rules a primitive horde of savage swamp rats eager to overrun Nightshade City and claim it for their king. With the help of an ancient colony of bats and an uneasy alliance with the swamp snakes, Juniper and his Council set out to thwart Billycan’s plans. When an old secret is revealed—one so shocking it shakes both Billycan and Juniper to the core—the fate of Nightshade City and the life of Juniper’s only son depend on Juniper’s decision: should he help his mortal enemy? The past resurfaces with devastating impact in this exciting sequel to Nightshade City, a dark tale of intrigue, deception, and betrayal.
Nightshade City, Book I of the Nightshade Chronicles is a CBC Best Book of 2011 and a Crystal Kite finalist.
About the Author:

Hilary Wagner was born and raised in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in fine art. Her paintings have appeared in galleries and exhibitions in New York City and in the Chicago area, where she lives with her husband and two children. Her first book, Nightshade City, launched the Nightshade Chronicles and received wide critical acclaim. Nightshade City is a CBC Best Book of 2011 and a Crystal Kite Finalist. Hilary also writes for National Geographic School Publishing and has just finished Goblin Shark Rising, a new adventure novel, set for publication in fall of 2012. You can find Hilary on Twitter and Facebook, and keep up with all her latest news by following her blog.

If you're still not convinced, check out this incredible review from Kirkus. Oh...and Hilary's already racking up five star reviews. And we're not at all surprised. These books are unique, entertaining, well-written and loads of fun. Happy reading!

PS: One lucky commenter will win a copy of THE WHITE ASSASSIN. Good luck!

Check out what the Bookanistas are up to this week:



Christine Fonseca  celebrates How to Save a Life
Shana Silver shivers for Shatter Me
Stasia Ward Kehoe applauds Virtuosity
Veronica Rossi  is ensnared by Girl of Fire and Thorns
Shelli Johannes-Wells delves into Ditched

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

SO close....

Um, you guys, we're ALMOST THERE. Our epic round of edits is almost done. I just sent Laura my final edit to the very last line of THE LIES THAT BIND and now I must go collapse.

Today: We send the document to our fabulous editor and major agent.

Tonight: Fancy b-day dinner with the sisters Roecker to celebrate finishing this beast.

Tomorrow: We'll be back to our normal (highly randomized) blogging style.

HOORAH!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tell the Truth Tuesday, Belated Birthday Style


Truth #1: I am the absolute WORST at remembering birthdays (all of my friends know this firsthand). The only person who may rival my complete lack of birthday recollection is Lisa.*

Truth #2: I did not forget Lisa's birthday. I knew it was October 17th, I woke up yesterday preparing to make my annual birthday phone call and did in fact wish my big sister a Happy Birthday on time (as opposed to waiting until 10 PM like I did last year). I just dropped the blog ball.

Truth #3: I am spoiled. Lisa loves the blog. It's her baby. I can turn in every night and sleep easy knowing the blog is taken care of and can request a post here or there when I really have something to say (like on Bookanista days or, I don't know, BIRTHDAYS).

Truth #4: I felt a very real sense of shame when I logged on yesterday morning and realized I hadn't even considered writing a special post for my poor sister's birthday. Lisa deserves a break on her birthday of all days and I failed. Miserably.

Truth #5: In an effort to appease my extreme guilt I looked up my birthday from last year** and realized Lisa had done the same thing. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I was in good company. Plus, I pulled an all-nighter for her 30th, so that has to count for something three years later, right?

So, without further ado, I'm officially wishing my big sister a happy birthday on the blog like I should have yesterday. I love you Lis and hope you enjoyed your crock pot roast beef birthday dinner. Yum.

*We've decided that anyone who wants to be friends with us needs to know upfront that we will probably forget their birthdays and really any other special day thoughtful people remember. In addition, we will most definitely fail to send cards and if I was a betting woman I would put a lot of money on us forgetting the birthdays of their children as well. We just suck like that. If you are the type of person who cares about listening to multiple happy birthday voicemails each year, we probably can't be friends.

**See that incredible slideshow my best friend pulled together for me for my 30th? Yeah...I forgot hers. See? I am the WORST.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stages on Pages

Still in edit hell over here.


[10/14/11 9:54:58 PM] Lisa Roecker: i love this
[10/14/11 9:54:59 PM] Lisa Roecker: The next day between classes, Seth walked toward me a thick booklet of printed pages after twisting his head right and left, to be sure the coast was clear. Of course while he was looking in the opposite direction he ran right into a meaty looking football player who did that shoulder jerk fake-out thing meatheads are so fond of. Seth immediately tucked himself into the fetal position with the mysterious pages tucked beneath his chin. Jock Strap lifted his leg like he was either going to kick Seth while he was down or pee on him like a dog, but before he could make his move I slid between them.
“Anyone ever tell you you’re not supposed to hit girls?”
“He’s not a girl,” Jock Strap growled.
“Wow, athletic and quick on the uptake. You must be a real catch.” I gave him my sweetest smile.
“Yeah right.” Jock Strap laughed and then abruptly stopped laughing after he realized what he said. “I mean, the ladies love me and I’m smart and…God, Lowry, you’re such a bitch.” He turned and walked away.
“Great talking to you, Jacques….Strap.” I whispered the last word so only Seth could here it.
“His name is Jeremy, Kate.” Seth whispered hoarsely from his tiny man cocoon. He sat up and handed me the papers. “It’s all here.” His breath smelled faintly of sour cream and onion potato chips. It was 9:25 AM.

[10/14/11 9:55:07 PM] Lisa Roecker: that scene makes me laugh every time i read it
[10/14/11 9:55:19 PM] Lisa Roecker: a bright spot in an otherwise dismal manuscript
[10/14/11 9:55:23 PM] Lisa Roecker: we'll probably have to cut it
[10/14/11 9:56:06 PM] Laura Roecker: haha--i forgot about that!
[10/14/11 9:56:13 PM] Lisa Roecker: i'm so funny
[10/14/11 9:56:42 PM] Laura Roecker: i wrote it you loser
[10/14/11 9:56:48 PM] Lisa Roecker: Really?
[10/14/11 9:56:50 PM] Lisa Roecker: dammit
[10/14/11 9:56:52 PM] Lisa Roecker: that's funny
[10/14/11 9:56:54 PM] Laura Roecker: HA
[10/14/11 9:56:55 PM] Lisa Roecker: are you sure?
[10/14/11 9:56:57 PM] Laura Roecker: yes!
[10/14/11 9:57:06 PM] Laura Roecker: you added a ton of stuff though
[10/14/11 9:57:07 PM] Lisa Roecker: jacques strap?
[10/14/11 9:57:13 PM] Lisa Roecker: that sounds like something i added
[10/14/11 9:57:15 PM] Laura Roecker: it's MUCH funnier---yes, you added that
[10/14/11 9:57:17 PM] Lisa Roecker: see
[10/14/11 9:57:20 PM] Lisa Roecker: i'm hilarious
[10/14/11 9:57:29 PM] Laura Roecker: yeah yeah



P.S.
Have you guys checked out the Stages on Pages Book Tour??? Holy Awesome. Some of our favorite authors are touring. If you're anywhere even remotely close to one of their stops, you absolutely must go check it out and report back to us!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 3/4 of Editing Hell

[10:30:49 PM] Laura Roecker: so tired
[10:31:10 PM] Laura Roecker: so, so tired
[10:32:38 PM] Lisa Roecker: omg
[10:32:42 PM] Lisa Roecker: me too. i'm falling asleep at my computer
[10:32:50 PM] Lisa Roecker: why did we think this was a good idea again?
[10:32:52 PM] Laura Roecker: my combined total for two days is 13,827
[10:32:57 PM] Laura Roecker: that's why
[10:33:03 PM] Lisa Roecker: i'm at 14,125
[10:34:30 PM] Lisa Roecker: so i guess you're right
[10:34:39 PM] Lisa Roecker: i just can't see straight
[10:34:50 PM] Laura Stropki: yeah and i can't promise i'm changing anything besides commas

We're still going strong walking the track. Who knows, we might even try to jog a lap over the weekend. Where's that finish line again?

Someone better be serving vodka.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of our favorite books, AUDITION by Stasia Ward Kehoe

This is the email I sent to Stasia Ward Kehoe after I finished reading her amazing debut novel, AUDITION:

Oh. My. God. AUDITION is absolutely gorgeous! I have to admit, this is the first novel in verse I've ever read and I wasn't really sure how I'd feel about it going in. I'm not a huge poetry person, but I absolutely loved every single word. I'm in awe of you. Truly. Thank you so much for sharing the book with me. I can't wait to give it to Laura. She's going to LOVE IT!

AUDITION is one of those books you'll devour, but if you're anything like me you'll keep marking pages of passages that you absolutely must go back and re-read. And then you'll have to loan out your dog eared copy to all of your friends because it's one of those books that you finish and then you immediately want everyone else read so you can sit around and obsess over every word.



YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK.

YOU NEED TO BUY THIS BOOK.


If you still need to be convinced, WATCH THIS:


Still need convincing? READ the first 5 chapters here.

STILL not convinced? Enter our contest to win one of 3 signed copies that we're giving away. All you have to do is Tweet this:

Dying to read #Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe? Watch the trailer, read an excerpt and enter to win a signed copy! www.lisa-laura.blogspot.com

And leave a comment on this post. And keep tweeting. We'll be selecting winners throughout the day and we'll probably be paying close attention to who seems the most passionate about the book.

So....spread some Audition love and win!!! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 2 of Editing Hell

[10/11/11 10:33:03 PM] Lisa Roecker: what's ben's last name again?
[10/11/11 10:34:02 PM] Laura Roecker: cabrera because he reminds me of that d-bag ryan carrera
[10/11/11 10:34:08 PM] Lisa Roecker: i feel like such a loser sometimes
[10/11/11 10:34:17 PM] Laura Roecker: you feel like a loser?
[10/11/11 10:34:18 PM] Laura Roecker: why?
[10/11/11 10:34:25 PM] Lisa Roecker: i just feel like we suck sometimes
[10/11/11 10:34:28 PM] Lisa Roecker: i don't know
[10/11/11 10:34:29 PM] Laura Roecker: yeah, me too
[10/11/11 10:34:34 PM] Laura Roecker: but who gives a shit
[10/11/11 10:34:36 PM] Lisa Roecker: meh
[10/11/11 10:34:37 PM] Laura Roecker: i mean, honestly
[10/11/11 10:35:30 PM] Laura Roecker: we are in the middle of the slow crowd of runners
[10/11/11 10:35:37 PM] Lisa Roecker: that is so so so sad
[10/11/11 10:35:44 PM] Lisa Roecker: we're like the people who walk the first lap of the mile
[10/11/11 10:35:47 PM] Laura Roecker: haha
[10/11/11 10:35:49 PM] Lisa Roecker: because they don't have a chance of finishing
[10/11/11 10:35:48 PM] Laura Roecker: we are
[10/11/11 10:35:52 PM] Lisa Roecker: walkers
[10/11/11 10:35:56 PM] Laura Stropki: we've stopped running
[10/11/11 10:35:57 PM] Lisa Roecker: just a couple of walkers
[10/11/11 10:36:05 PM] Lisa Roecker: let's be honest, we never even tried to run
[10/11/11 10:36:14 PM] Laura Roecker: stopping to bend over at our knees every few steps
[10/11/11 10:36:38 PM] Laura Roecker: whatever...slow and steady


So, we've officially hit the middle of the manuscript which explains why we're drowning in our own suck.

Good lord, THE SUCK.

Day 2 Edit Count:
Laura: 7,901 words
Lisa: 6,994 words

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 1 of Editing Hell

[10/10/11 9:36:31 PM] Lisa Roecker: what if we made the brotherhood capable of time travel?
[10/10/11 9:36:33 PM] Lisa Roecker: i'm just thinking out loud here
[10/10/11 9:36:42 PM] Laura Roecker: YES
[10/10/11 9:36:45 PM] Laura Roecker: OMG, YES
[10/10/11 9:36:53 PM] Lisa Roecker: and the mausoleum is their NEXUS
[10/10/11 9:36:55 PM] Laura Roecker: they could go back in time to the night Grace died
[10/10/11 9:36:59 PM] Lisa Roecker: you know, a hub of all their powers
[10/10/11 9:37:00 PM] Lisa Roecker: BAM
[10/10/11 9:37:03 PM] Lisa Roecker: bestseller!
[10/10/11 9:37:07 PM] Laura Roecker: it's perfect
[10/10/11 9:37:15 PM] Lisa Roecker: i'm a genius
[10/10/11 9:37:20 PM] Laura Roecker: truly

Apparently these are the conversations you have when you're editing at warp speed.

Day 1 edit count:

Lisa: 7,363 words
Laura: 8,239 words

Bring it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

7 Days of Editing Hell

Welcome to hades, my friends. Here's the deal. We've been slacking on edits. MAJORLY slacking.

Here are some of the things we've been doing instead of editing.

1. Internet shopping. Let's just say we both have new boots coming in the mail, Laura has two new scarves and I've even done some early Christmas shopping. Yeah.

2. Cyberstalking. Guilt might have stopped me from actually tweeting, but make no mistake, I've been stalking all of y'all on Twitter. (P.S. I still can't pull off y'all. Crap.)

3. Fall TV. My DVR has been recording so much it's smoking and yet, it's almost empty. Because I'm watching it ALL. So much shame.

4. Lee Nichols. I keep reading her book when I should be editing. And then I feel guilty for reading, so I edit like a paragraph and then I read some more. There's something wrong with me.

5. Dicking around on the internet. You guys, I've been pretend house hunting. That's right. Touring homes that I have no intention of ever buying because I'm procrastinating. Even worse, now Laura is searching for homes and sending me links.

THIS HAS TO STOP.

And you guys get to help.

In order to finish our edits in one week, we need to edit 6,500 words a day.  It's a lofty goal, but trust me when I say if you add up all the time we've been spending on the 5 things mentioned above, we'd have finished editing a month ago. Drastic times call for drastic measures, my friends.

And that's where you guys come in.

Every day for the rest of the week we're going to post the number of words we edited the day before. If that number is under 6,500 we'll do something supremely humiliating in a vlog and you, dear reader, will  get to suggest and vote on this humiliating act.

So...with the exception of Thursday October 13th (which just happens to be the book birthday of one of our favorite books) our blog posts will be word counts and random jibberish for the next 7 days.

Wish us luck.

P.S.
I have no idea why these continue to make me laugh so hard I almost pee, but they do. Oh, they do.

Please be warned explicit language and extreme randomness abound.

Happy Columbus Day!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Celebstalking by LiLa


I have no idea if this guy is an actual celebrity or not, but this was on People.com, and that's good enough for me. So, um, daddy dates? Seriously? The headline was "How to date your daughter." So wrong on so many levels. My inner 13-year-old almost died of humiliation.

This is the headline for this pic Jewel: Motherhood Is Teaching Me to Go with the Flow. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Jewel live in her car for an extended period of time? I'm just not sure someone living in a van, seeking work as a professional yodeler could not go with the flow.



Mark Ruffalo is hot. SUPER hot. Every time I see him I think of his character in The Kids Are Alright. Love that movie.


I can't deal with a short-haired Tim Riggins. I'm going to pretend I never saw this picture and carry on with my detailed day dreams of Tim and I living happily ever after on a working farm in Texas. I think that's best for everyone involved.


Laura called me after watching He's Just Not That Into You and launched a 20 minute hate vomit on Scar Jo. I'm not sure if it's the hormones or what, but it's almost like she thinks Scarlette seduced her husband. Normally, I'd try to be the voice of reason, but she scares me.



Liz Lemon. I want you back. Now. It's not fair to leave us Liz Lemon-less for this long. This picture also reminds me that I really need to read Bossypants.

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Best. Day. Ever.

July 22nd 2009 the universe shifted just a little. That was the day Loretta Nyhan stumbled onto our blog, ripped apart the first few hundred words of our WIP and became one of our closest friends and readers.
We had exchanged emails with Loretta a month before when she emailed us to ask questions about how to choose an agent. To be honest, we didn't put two and two together when we read her comment on our blog. We just knew her feedback was dead on. Instead of telling us what we wanted to hear, "You're amazing!" "Have you won awards for your writing?" "Get this to your agent NOW!" she told us what we desparately needed to hear--that we were close, but could do better. As writers, isn't that always what we're striving for? Our best? That and incredible beta readers. Two birds with one stone, my friends.

From that day forward, we decided to exchange work. We sent her our baby and she sent us hers. We were blown away by her writing, wanted to recommend it to friends, our mom, anyone who would listen, couldn't wait until it was published so we could do just that. And in return, we received honest, constructive feedback on our own writing. There's nothing better than a critique partner who isn't afraid to tear into your work, but does it in a way that makes you want to get better, that forces you to improve as a writer.

And then somewhere along the way, a few emails in, we forged a friendship with a complete stranger--but that's the funny thing. From the beginning, Loretta just fit. She never really felt like a stranger. She always felt like a friend. Sure she supplied endless advice on our works in progress, but she also listened to family stories, served as an herbalist, cured our colds and linked us to the best Etsy shops. She was one of the first people who knew when Lisa had her baby and when Laura found out she was pregnant because Loretta is just someone you tell. We've talked on the phone, sent Christmas cards and the day of our launch, met.

That's right...Loretta traveled all the way from Chicago and surprised us at our launch party. Talk about surreal. As we were simultaneously sweating and signing books, someone approached us in line who looked awfully familiar. Cue tears. And hugs. And squeals.
And now it's our turn to jump up and down and squeal for her because Loretta and her amazing writing partner, Suzanne Hayes, are getting published!

Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan's I'LL BE SEEING YOU, a story of unexpected friendship told through letters shared between two American women on the home front during World War II, to Erika Imranyi at Mira, in a two-book deal, by Anne Bohner at Pen & Ink Literary and Joanna Volpe at Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation.

We always knew this day would come, but there's absolutely nothing like seeing a friend's dream come true. Jump up and down and squeal with us in the comments. We demand it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Can't Knock the Hustle

Day after day we read about double dip recessions under headlines that read "Is the American Dream Dead?" Not gonna lie, it's a little depressing soul crushing.

And that is why How To Make It In America is capitalist porn.

It's fascinating to watch two recovering slackers launch a fashion line in NYC and it's impossible not to cheer for them to succeed. And even though we're writers and not entrepreneurial designers, I can identify with their aspirations for greatness. I love that they're chasing their dreams against all odds and I'm right there with them.

Bryan Greenberg is hot, but the real star of the show is New York City. I've never seen the city captured quite like this before. I might be a Cleveland girl, but like so many writers my dreams are tied up somewhere in NYC.

Can't knock the hustle.



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

We're still slogging through edits on The Lies That Bind, but I'm going to tell you a secret.

Somedays I think the book is good.

Maybe even better than The Liar Society.

And other days....

I don't.

But when we get packages like this in the mail it doesn't really matter either way.


Because there are girls out there who love this book. Girls like Hailey Campbell and her mom, Steph. So, at the end of the day all that really matters is that we write the best book we know how. Hopefully that will be enough.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Weekend in a Pic

This weekend was all about Ben and I'm happy to report that his 1st birthday party was a success....Well, as long as you consider 3 hours of complete and utter chaos a success.

I've come to the conclusion that I sort of suck at parties. I'm too much of a control freak to ignore the fact that Jack is on his 8th juice box or to let Mia walk around with frosting smeared in her hair.






Of course, I did allow this to happen....



For almost two entire minutes before I tossed him into the bath.

Progress.