Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Conversation Between LiLa

Lisa: You hate me, don't you?

Laura: Kind of.

Lisa: I'm sorry I didn't get my chapter done. I've just got so much going on....

Laura: Don't lie. I saw you tweeting about Awkward and the VMAs.

Lisa: Oh, so now you decide to check Twitter.

Laura: Yeah, well I've had a lot of time on my hands since you've STOPPED WRITING.

Lisa: Right. Sorry. I'll write my chapter tonight. Right after I fold this laundry....

Laura: Since when do you fold laundry? Your laundry room looks like something out of an episode of Hoarders. Procrastinate much?

Lisa: Crap. You're right. I'm writing, I'm writing.

Laura: That's what I thought. Who's the bossy sister now?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tell The Truth Tuesday

1. Every time I clean my house I say a little prayer that someone will randomly come over and think my house is this clean all the time. It never happens.

2. It's still really hard for me to have people read things that I wrote. Particularly if it's something I wrote all by myself.

3. The one question from aspiring writers that always annoys the crap out of me is this: "I think I just need someone who can rewrite this book for me and make it good. Is that what your agent or editor did for you guys?" Um, no. No, it is not.

4. It smells like Fall and I sort of love it. Apple picking, pumpkins, hot cider.

5. Jack tied his shoes for the first time last week and I cried. Guess I have the mom gene after all. It's just buried REALLY deep.

6. We might have just sent someone a 10,000 word OUTLINE. Yikes.

7. Laura is probably going to divorce me forever when she wakes up tomorrow and doesn't see a shiny new chapter of THE LIES THAT BIND waiting in our joint inbox. Sorry, Laur! Today is THE day. Promise.

8. Watching The Bachelor Pad makes me feel dirty.

9. I have the funniest quote ever from Laura about boobs, but she'll really kill me if I put it in this post. Since I don't have a new chapter for her to read I'm not going to push my luck.

10. Sometimes I feel like a bad mom when I see the other moms crying as they leave their kids in Kindergarten. Today is the first day that all of the kids will be in school AT THE SAME TIME. No more mommy-tasking and bribing the kids to stay quiet during conference calls. No tears from this girl! Whut! Whut!

And now, TO THE COMMENTS! What's your truth this Tuesday?

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Little Things

My husband is obsessed with 9/11. Anytime there's a documentary on, he's tuned in and with the 10 year anniversary this week we've been watching a lot of the footage. Reliving it, dissecting what happened, hearing first hand accounts from the victim's families.

It's difficult to watch. I don't know if other people feel this way, but I can't think about 9/11 without getting a huge pit in my stomach. The fear of the possibilities swallows me and I start to go through what ifs.

What if terrorists strike again?

What if my husband is on the plane?

What if I have cancer and I don't know it?

What if one of my kids get sick?

What if we get into a horrible car accident?

All of the horrible possibilities pile on top of each other until I want to crawl back into bed and never crawl back out. Sometimes in those moments it's tempting to stop living because I'm so scared of dying.

Which is silly if you think about it because there's so much to live for. So I take a deep breath and force myself to take stock of all I have to be thankful for, to think about the reasons I get out of bed every single morning.

The drooly smiles.

The surprise hugs and kisses.

The sound of my husband's laugh.

Fan mail from 12-year-olds.

BBQs at my parents house where my brother-in-law scares the crap out of the kids while hiding in a dark shed.

Hilarious videos of my nephew drawing all over my sister's car.

The time that the guy at the Mac store gave me a new charger free of charge, just to be nice.

That feeling you get the moment you put down a really amazing book.

So, tell me, what gets you out of bed every morning?

Friday, August 26, 2011

This Week In Celebrities

Do you hear that noise? It's Bridget Moynahan shrieking in RAGE every time the paparazzi snap a picture of her son with Gisele "Breastfeeding Should be an International Law" Bundchen playing family with her son.

Wow, guess it really is possible to de-sex Bradley Cooper. Who knew?

OK, Demi and Punky are described as besties in the caption of this photo. I'm intrigued. How do they know each other? Was Soleil a secret brat packer??? Does this mean Punky Brewster was doing lines off of Rob Lowe in between takes with Henry and the gang at the club house? I NEED MORE INFORMATION.

This outfit confirms my suspicions that I want to be Pippa Middleton. Not be like her, but actually physically take over her life.

Dear Pippa, This is probably right about the time where you get a restraining order and I totally get that, but let's not let that hinder our budding friendship, k? XOXO, L

Anderson is the only man who can wear a backpack in public without looking like a semi-hungover college student.

Someone send Jonah Hill food. STAT. I'm concerned. This is like Stage 5 Manorexia. He looks like he's getting diet tips from Carson Daly.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Toby Maguire on the set of The Great Gatsby. Oh. My. God. Need this movie NOW.

Yet another pink haired, Kate. We approve.

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


First things first, the cover. THE COVER. You can't talk about this book without first drooling over the cover. It's eery and striking--perfectly indicative of the words contained inside. And isn't that what it's all about? I know that covers are a marketing tool--pick me up, buy me. But there is absolutely nothing more satisfying than when you read a book and quickly realize that the cover suits the book perfectly. It is such a good feeling.

What the back cover has to say:

Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

What Lila has to say:

The cover will obviously get you to buy the book and then the story will take you on a very unique adventure like nothing I've ever read before. I know I say that a lot, but this time I mean it! I MEAN IT. How many times can you say you've read about a resevoir that is rumored to have a drowned city below the surface? Creepy, right? Or a girl who dies and is brought back to life somehow? And yes, I'm sure you've read about all sorts of sister relationships, but I can assure you none of them have quite been like Chloe and Ruby's.

And then there's the writing. It's hard to believe this is Nova Ren Suma's debut novel. Her writing seems so experienced--it's the kind that makes you ashamed you've ever even tried to write! It's tense and vivid and poetic and filled with imagination. Woven throughout the plot is a thread of magic and mysticism, which makes the book stand out in that truly unforgettable way.

And no review of IMAGINARY GIRLS would be complete without discussing Ruby's character. She's one of those larger than life characters who jumps right off the page and grabs hold of other characters as well as the reader and never lets go. You listen to Ruby. You do what she says. You follow her. Because there is something in the way that she is that demands it. I'd like to know a Ruby just to see what it'd be like.

If you're in the mood for something completely different and entirely creative, give IMAGINARY GIRLS a try. The magic will lure you in, so beware, you're sure to have some late nights ahead!

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In Which I Steal From the Catholic Church and Secure My Spot in Hell

7:55 AM: Vaguely hear my husband tell Jack and Mia they're allowed to have "weekend" cereal on a Monday. Alarm bells were sounding but I was soooo sleepy.

8:30 AM: Wake-up to a full on WWF style wrestling competition in my family room.

8:31 AM: Curse my husband for feeding the kids sugar and then taking off on a business trip.

8:32 AM: Curse even louder when I remember Jack's Kindergarten open house is in an hour and a half.

9:01 AM: Bribe the children into submission and take a quick shower.

9:10 AM: Briefly flirt with the idea of actually blow drying my hair.

9:11 AM: Make eye contact with Ben who immediately starts screaming his head off and twist the whole mess into a bun.

9:28 AM: Ask Jack to turn off the lights down the basement. He laughs in my face and gets exiled to his room amidst many threats of never ever going to Kindergarten and growing up to be illiterate and alone.

9:40 AM: Begin the trek to the Catholic school where Jack is going to be attending Kindergarten.

9:41 AM: Mia complains that her legs hurt and this is the longest walk ever and she HATES Jack's school. I can still see our house and tell her to zip it.

9:42 AM: Remember that I'm the worst Catholic EVER and start sweating. Profusely.

10:02 AM: Arrive at the school. Wonder if anyone has have written a book about a vampire who goes to Catholic school. So. Many. Crosses.

10:07 AM: Finally find Jack's classroom and meet his teachers. They're lovely.

10:09 AM: Hear Jack's voice screaming at Mia like he was using a microphone.

10:10 AM: Realize Jack somehow located and turned on a microphone.

10:11 AM: Whisper-yell at Jack while simultaneously avoiding judgy looks from the other moms.

10:12 AM: Continue making small talk with Jack's teacher while holding Ben and praying that Jack doesn't ask why there's a guy hanging from a cross.

10:13 AM: Feel something sharp on my arm.

10:14 AM: Realize Ben somehow grabbed scissors off the teacher's desk and is now actively trying to stab me with them.

10:15 AM: Figure it's time to cut our losses and get the hell out of Dodge before we get kicked out of the school altogether.

10:16 AM: Jack mumbles goodbye to his teacher while another little boy walks up to her and says, "Hi I'm Charlie O'Malley and I can read."

10:17 AM: Consider stabbing myself with the scissors and putting an end to my mommy guilt forever.

10:18 AM: Remind myself that Catholics really don't approve of suicide and head on up to buy special pencils from the school supply sale.

10:23 AM: Locate the special Catholic pencils and one of the adorable girls working the sale hands me a little receipt and directs me toward the cashier.

10:24 AM: Realize the cashier doesn't accept credit cards.

10:25 AM: Look into my empty wallet and cry a little. Apparently God doesn't take plastic.

10:26 AM: Consider my options. I could ask a neighbor to borrow money, I could return the supplies and hope they sell Catholic pencils at Target or I could steal the supplies temporarily and smuggle a check in at a later date.  I look from the $5.30 on my receipt to my screaming 11-month-old and finally to Jack punching Mia in the stomach and I realize exactly what Jesus would want me to do.

10:27 AM: Slip right past the cashier and out the front door.

10:28 AM: Do my best to remember the act of contrition. Never get past "Forgive me Father for I have sinned," and I'm pretty sure I'm remembering that line from a romance novel not Sunday School.

10:40 AM: Get home, grab popsicles for the kids, write a check for $5.30.

10:43 AM: Walk the check over to my neighbor's house who happens to run the sale and write a quick confession, signing my note "The Catholic School Bandit."

10:44 AM: Pray that my neighbor has a good sense of humor.

10:45 AM: Pray that God has a good sense of humor.

10:46 AM: Remind myself that the God I believe in laughs a lot. Especially when frazzled moms steal school supplies and almost get stabbed at Kindergarten open houses.

10:59 AM: Lose cable, internet and phone in a freak construction accident. Pretty sure it's some kind of divine punishment.

12:35 PM: After 2 hours on the phone with AT&T U-Verse I still don't have cable, but I do have free movie channels for 6 months and $75 off my bill.

12:36 PM: Figure God really wanted me to finally watch Easy A. After all, He always has a bigger plan.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


  • For your amazing comments on yesterday's post. We love the idea of our grandma being sent good thoughts from all over the country and beyond. If that doesn't heal her we don't know what will!

  • For making WriteOnCon 2011 such a success. Check out our official Thank You here!

  • For donating and participating in the conference. Don't forget to see if you're a winner!

  • For voting on The Reading Room Top 5 submissions! Who would YOU give $1000 to?

You guys ROCK.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sending Out Some Positive Vibes

I'm sure you guys have heard us talk about our amazing grandmother from time-to-time. She reads our blog every single day, says novenas for writing buds who are about to go on submission and sends special saints to our blog friends who are trying to get knocked up. She hand sold our book to unsuspecting senior citizens (and their granddaughters!), wore pink hair to our launch party and lectures us for taking off holidays. She swears, she sends dirty emails and she's the only person on the planet who can successfully boss our mom around.

Oh, and she bakes the most amazing cookies and her homemade spaghetti is pretty much the best thing I've ever tasted in my life.

So, yeah, our Grandmother rocks. But lately she's been feeling a little under the weather and we really, really want her to start feeling better soon. Mostly so she can swear at us and make spaghetti, but also because we love her. If you have a minute leave a comment or send some get well vibes her way.

We love you, Grandma!!! Feel better soon!!!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Looking for us????

We're at WriteOnCon!!!!!!!!!! 

Come hang out with us at the one and only writer's conference where unwashed pajamas are de rigueur.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Two BIG thumbs up

I spent my weekend editing vlogs for WriteOnCon and watching movies.

Some quickie reviews:

The Town was AMAZING. So. Much. Tension. I have a whole new respect for Ben Affleck. As Loretta Nyhan said, Ben is ALWAYS good when he's in Boston. He should never make a movie anywhere else.

Jane Eyre perfectly captured the spirit of the book. Mia Wasikowska was the perfect Jane Eyre. When I think about the fact that Charlotte Brontë published this novel in 1847 I'm always completely blown away. Jane is so strong and brave and independent - to a fault. All of the things that women weren't supposed to be and of course, hopelessly in love with Mr. Rochester, a man with more baggage than a 747. The only thing that's missing is a Sassy Gay Friend parody. Let's get on that, Second City.

Life as We Know It was so so so so bad. Really, truly awful. I find Katherine Heigl's Type-A-know-it-all schtick exhausting. And watching her grind up organic baby food with the perfect smear of baby poop across one cheek made me want to stab someone with a DVD of 27 Dresses. This movie is free on HBO on Demand right now, and I would bet you my VHS copy of My Father the Hero (Now there's a Katherine Heigl I can get on board with...) that the 3rd Roecker sister will watch this movie at least 50 times if she hasn't already. Stacey has a soft spot for terrible movies.

In between watching movies I watched all of the amazing WriteOnCon vlogs and they are nothing short of amazing. Some of the most influential publishing professionals have created some truly amazing content for the conference this year and it's all FREE and it all starts tomorrow. Check out the final schedule and get excited. If you need us this week, you know where to find us.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Top 5 Things To Do BEFORE WriteOnCon 2011

WriteOnCon 2011 is NEXT WEEK. We are back and bigger than ever this year with so much awesome that we might make your computer explode. Seriously.

So, if you're like us and you plan on sequestering yourself in your house for 3 straight days, there are a few things you should do to prepare yourself. Sort of like a bomb shelter, but with more snacks and (hopefully) without all the Apocalyptic nonsense.

1. Make a batch of these to keep children and husbands distracted while you're strapped to the computer for 72 hours. Chocolate, peanut butter and marshmallow go a LONG way.

2. Get in your comfiest PJs and feel free to wear them throughout the duration of the conference. Lucky for you, no one will be able to see (or smell) you while you're attending WriteOnCon! (Pound Puppies are totally optional, but Brownie sashes are encouraged. Troop 242 4 EVA!)

3. Enter The Reading Room / WriteOnCon $1,000 Writing Contest of Awesome for your chance to win $1,000 (duh!) and your very own author profile page at The amazing literary agent Catherine Drayton is judging all of the entries and will select five finalists to post on The Reading Room's site. And  you'll be able to vote on the winner starting August 18th! I have to say it's fascinating to see which entries Catherine likes the best. You won't want to miss this! The contest will close August 17th, so hurry up and submit your first 500 words TODAY!

4. Relive the awesome of WriteOnCon 2010 one last time before we start posting new content on August 16th. Dozens of agents, editors and authors share their best tips on writing, marketing and pursuing publication. If you're new to WriteOnCon or if you missed content last year, now is your chance to get caught up.

5. Sleep. You're going to need it because next week WriteOnCon is taking over your life. Don't try to fight it, just get ready to enjoy the ride! Be sure to check back Monday, we'll be posting the final schedule of events for the 2011 conference. Cue head explosions.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bookanistas: EPIC FAIL and a GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!

Doesn't this cover just make you happy? And the title? Makes you smile, right? It's no wonder this book is flying off the shelves. And this is all before you've even read the back.

What the back cover has to say:

Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

What LiLa has to say:

It's no secret that our first failed attempt at a book was an update of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. It was called THE NORTH SHORE and it, my friends, was the most EPIC of fails. So naturally, when we heard that EPIC FAIL alluded to Jane Austen's classic plot, we were intrigued. And when we read it, it was all too clear exactly why our book fell so disastrously short.

For one, Claire Lazebnik created new characters with new traits and new motivations and new conflicts. And what she did so flawlessly was weave an ever-so-satisfying thread of familiarity through each of them so that if you're familiar with the classic, you'll share a secret. And if you're not, well, it doesn't matter. You'll enjoy the characters' stories just as much. Either way, you're going to have a ton of fun reading.

And while the plot again contains that magic thread, it is not a verbatim retelling, but a true update. This is exactly what readers are looking for. A fresh take on a classic plot! Plus, P&P is the love story of all love stories. EPIC FAIL does not disappoint. In our opinion, there aren't enough good love stories to go around and this one fits the bill. Overall it's a very smart, witty and modern take on the classic.

And because Claire is so amazingly awesome, she has offered to make one very lucky reader's day! Leave a comment naming YOUR modern Mr. Darcy and you'll be entered to win a signed copy of EPIC FAIL as well as an EPIC FAIL stress ball to combat all of the stress you'll definitely be feeling when you have to figure out what to wear on a hot date with your real-life Mr. Darcy equivalent.

Good luck!

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

Elana Johnson sings out for Chime
Matt Blackstone feels The Pull of Gravity
Scott Tracey is entranced by Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Carolina Valdez Miller marvels at The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Carrie Harris is spellbound by Possess

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When Putting Words On Paper Feels Like Tiny Knives Ripping Out Pieces of Your Soul

And not in a good way.

So, yeah. Writing isn't always easy.

But sometimes you have to write one soul crushing word at a time.

And it sucks.

This blog post is brought to you by our impending deadline.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Making the Leap

It was almost exactly three years ago today that Laura and I decided to pursue our dream of becoming published writers. We knew next to nothing about how to write a decent novel, and less than nothing about the crazy mixed-up world of publishing. Like so many newbie writers, we thought we had the most genius, completely unique idea for a young adult novel EVER. In fact, we were sure that if we told anyone about our manuscript or showed our writing to another writer they would STEAL OUR IDEA. Yes, it was THAT good.

Uh, newsflash our idea and our writing sucked ass.

Serious ass.

But it took us a lot of months to figure that out and in order to get from point A to point B we had to take some risks.

Risks like sending our manuscript to beta readers (those poor, wretched souls), posting our query on writing forums like AbsoluteWrite and QueryTracker for feedback, entering first line contests on Nathan Bransford's blog and Secret Agent contests on Miss Snark's First Victim's blog. It wasn't easy to take these risks, but we did our research and we used blogs like Writer's Beware and Query Tracker to educate ourselves on what risks were worth taking.

Because here's the thing: If you don't take a risk and put yourself out there, chances are you'll never, ever get published.


There's not an author out there who got published without sending someone their manuscript. Whether it be a fellow writer, an editor, or an agent. If you want your book to be published you have to put it out there sometime. You have to take that risk.

Look, we get that writers have to protect themselves. We've heard the horror stories about dodgy agents and irreputable publishers. And we encourage every writer to do a lot of research before they decide how they're going to put their writing out into the world and who they're going to trust with their words. Because it's a HUGE deal.

But when an opportunity comes along involving reputable publishing professionals and well respected agents or if a random girl on a message board offers to read your manuscript after she ripped apart your query, do yourself (and your writing) a favor and TAKE A CHANCE.

It's called calculated risk. It reminds me a little bit of watching my daughter race my son to our car after a rainstorm. She'll stand in front of a puddle for a second and decide whether or not she can make it over. She's terrified of getting soaked, but she knows she's only going to win if she takes the leap. So she jumps. Sometimes she splashes mud everywhere and cries. But most of the time she makes it. And wins.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The big 2-0

When we got an email from the fabulous Loretta Nyhan that the crazy talented Kody Keplinger was turning twenty, we knew we had to take this opportunity to do a little reminiscing.

Our twenties. We just recently left them behind (as gracefully as possible) and have agreed on one word that accurately sums them up.


In this decade absolutely anything is possible. You can switch your major. You can transfer colleges. You can study abroad. You can meet someone and fall in love. You can meet lots of people and not fall in love. The twenties is the decade of first real jobs. A paycheck. Your own place. Freedom.


We watched too much TLC (mainly A Wedding Story), drank too much beer, ate too much pizza, wore too many tube tops, danced (badly) to too many songs. But we made friends for life, discovered a few loves - teaching and Bridget Jones and writing and working hard and Sex in the City and wine, lots and lots of wine. We even got married and popped out a few kids.

There were moments we rushed, where looking back we wished we could go back and tell our twenty-something selves to slow down, to savor and enjoy because before you know it, those moments are gone. Every year a little bit more responsibility is stacked onto the last until finally you're expected to be an adult. A real adult, not just a pretend one, which still kind of scares the crap out of us.

But we'd do it all over again just to get to where we are right now.

The boxes of printed photographs, old emails, letters, diplomas and clothes that have long been donated to Goodwill (except for Laura's token pair of skinny jeans and Lisa's famous tight-ass black stretch pants purchased in Europe, survivor of countless moves and worn through 3 pregnancies) only tell a snippet of the story. And it's a long one. Full of conflict and drama and an endless cast of characters all destined to impact you in different ways. If you're lucky your story will take place in lots of amazing places and will include more laughter than tears.

Advice? Appreciate this time. Because real possibility is rare. In high school you know it's out there, but it's always slightly out of reach. In your twenties, you finally have the power to grab hold of it. And in your thirties and beyond you might have to work a little harder to reel it in.

So enjoy.

Happy 20th Birthday, Kody! Look at all that you have accomplished in twenty years. We can't wait to see what you're going to achieve in the next twenty.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Our Sassy Gay Obsession

It should come as no surprise that we're mega fans of the Second City Sassy Gay Friend vlogs. Yesterday we made the mistake of watching this bad boy before a conference call and we couldn't stop laughing long enough to dial in.

We were late, but it was SO worth it.

Favorite quote:

"It's ballet! BALLET! I'm gay and I don't even care!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bookanistas: Where She Went

I read IF I STAY during a roundtrip plane ride and I remember crying on the plane and getting strange looks. So, naturally, I couldn't wait to get my hands on WHERE SHE WENT. I mean, Adam's perspective? Yes, please. Not to mention the fact that Gayle Forman is a phenomenal writer. But, I had no idea what was coming. No idea.

What the back cover has to say:

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

What Lila has to say:

This was an Oh. My. God. level book. I know that may sound dramatic, but there is really no other way to put it. I had absolutely zero problem getting on board with Adam's perspective. Well...if I'm being honest, I kind of, sort of forgot it had switched so I read the first two pages a wee bit confused. I blame the cover (and maybe the title?), which are my only hang up. The cover is beautiful, but I wish there was either a boy or something gender neutral like a musical instrument on it, which might have helped set the tone from the very beginning. But NONE OF THAT MATTERS because I'd read this book if it was covered in a brown paper bag.

Okay, back to Adam. From the very first few pages (after I realized he wasn't Mia, that is), you're met with a broken person at complete odds with their deceiving exterior. An outsider might think Adam has it all--he's a rock star, has a beautiful and successful girlfriend and is living his dream. But his inside tells a different story. His bitterness is palpable, but not a turn off because you can understand exactly where it's coming from. You can't blame the guy for being heartbroken. And I swear, I was heartbroken right along with him. That's how talented Gayle Forman is.

And then the journey begins. Adam and Mia are given one night despite the fact that as a reader, you wish it could go on forever. And slowly but surely, Adam's exterior is cracked away throughout the course of this night and his pain comes pouring on out. Mia is left to defend herself and attempt to pick up the pieces. This is the ultimate love story. Even better, the delicate thread of supernatural possibility that I fell in love with in IF I STAY is back and woven ever-so-slightly into the plot and it makes you believe. And believing gives me all sorts of hope. Consequently, it also made me cry like a baby again.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you haven't already done so, read IF I STAY and then dive right into WHERE SHE WENT. The two tell completely different stories, but are essentially about love and loss and moving forward. So, so, so, so good.

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

Elana Johnson and Scott Tracey find wonder in The Near Witch
Christine Fonseca adores A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie
Corrine Jackson delights in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Stasia Ward Kehoe marvels at My Life, the Theater & Other Tragedies
Veronica Rossi is wild about Wildefire

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In Which We Admit to Some Pretty Serious Daddy Issues...

So, you know those really bad ass, sexy, crazy hot, borderline misogynistic guys that everyone loves to read about in YA? Yeah, we suck at writing those guys.

I have no idea why we suck at writing them because we grew up swooning over those dudes just like everyone else. Let's face it there's absolutely no way 16-year-old Lisa would have been playing for Team Jacob, that hormone addled teenager would have been Team Edward all. the. way. Because really, who doesn't love smexy, manic depressive vampires who watch you sleep and kill other vampires just because they think you smell like food?

But adult Lisa married the nice guy and wants to take Bella out for a latte and beg her to choose the gorgeous werewolf who will be a true life partner. Because if there's anything that resonates with teenage girls it's the term "life partner."

Lisa wishes she had a Team Edward shirt to offset her wicked brows.
As much as we suck at hot, dangerous, guys, we rock the quirky nerdy types.  And it just recently occurred to me why we gravitate towards these types of characters. Two words: Mike Roecker.

It takes a pretty amazing guy to raise three girls and my dad is beyond amazing and full of random.

I have never, ever screened a call from my dad because you know when he's calling it's going to be something completely off the wall. Whether it's a quick tip about Maroon Five being the next big band (in January 2011, approximately 5 years after their first hit) or a detailed analysis of the lack of patriotism in America based on the Stanley Cup Finals, you don't want to miss that call.

Real men wear jams
Growing up with my Dad was always an adventure. He took us exploring on the railroad tracks behind our house Stand By Me style and once famously forced our 5-year-old sister to take a dump on the tracks instead of walking 10 minutes back to our house. That's just how he rolls.

He's seen Celine Dion live several times without my mom (she hates Celine) and loves Star Wars and watched the entire season of My So-Called Life with us when we were in high school. If you ask him a question about a car you'll inevitably get a 30 minute answer. He used to cut the crusts off our sandwiches in our lunch boxes and write notes signed Mr. Wonderful just to humiliate us. He took approximately a million photographs and hours of video footage of us growing up giving us ample fodder for humiliating blog posts. He built us a playground, made us cry when he told us we were taking a detour to "Hardware Heaven" on the way home from school and was the best person to go grocery shopping with because he let you buy whatever you wanted. Even if it wasn't on sale.

Mike Roecker: Runner up in a local Max Headroom look alike contest.

My dad was also the person who taught me how to read and let me tell him the entire plot of whatever lame-ass book I was reading at the moment when I was in middle school. In retrospect, I bet he encouraged me to start reading Stephen King just so he could escape the drama of the Wakefield twins.

So, thanks Dad. Thanks for being random. Thanks for teaching us to love books. Thanks for telling us we could do anything and be anyone. And thanks for inspiring all of our quirky male characters. Happy Birthday! We love you!!!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tell the Truth Tuesday

1. I am in love with Bert from the new season of Project Runway. I'd totally wear his winning dress. Well, after I finish growing an additional five inches, lose fifteen pounds and approximately three cup sizes.

2. Lisa has assured me that her new hair stylist will give me Victoria's Secret hair. For the record, my hair sucks. It's thick and frizzy and wavy because it doesn't know what else to do with itself. I'm thinking this is not going to happen.

3. Every night at around 11:30, I indulge in an ice cream sandwich. It's a new tradition.

4. Lydia is going through the "I refuse to say sorry or thank you or hello or goodbye" stage. She's also been consistently talking like a baby. It's charming.

5. After an entire weekend of desperate procrastination that included watching Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps AND about 10 episodes of Real Housewives of New Jersey, I finally sent my chapter back to Laura. So happy that it's now her turn to feel like a worthless slacker.

6. If I drank a sip of my wine every time Melissa Gorga screeches, "Baby Jesus's birthday!" in the thickest New Jersey accent you've ever heard in your life on the Christmas episode of RHNJ, I would have been WASTED.

7. Sometimes I look forward to my day job because I get to string words together without thinking about plot and character and voice and tense.

8. I'm scared for Jack to start Kindergarten mainly because I'm completely unprepared. I think he has to wear a uniform, but I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure I have some paperwork to fill out, but I have no idea where it is. Something tells me our meager income from The Lies That Bind will not end up covering Jack's therapy bills.

9. While Laura's daughter Lydia sits quietly in her room admiring the princess dress they ordered for her Halloween costume, Mia announces that she wants a buzz cut and she's going to be Batman for Halloween this year. So much for besties.

10. I have so many books that I'm supposed to be reading, but the only thing I really want to read is our beta ninja's manuscript.

Ok, you know the drill. What's your truth this Tuesday? We like 'em extra juicy, so please feel free to overshare in the comments.

Monday, August 1, 2011

YA Scavenger Hunt - ONE DAY ONLY

Okay, so today is the Scavenger Hunt of all scavenger hunts. Thus the capital letters. There is some exclusive one-day only material right here on our blog, and there’s a link at the bottom that will direct you to the next stop on the hunt.

First off, if you don't know us, we are sister-writers (not to be confused with sister-wives) and co-authors of The Liar Society. If you like pink hair, secret societies, mysteries and Bravo television and/or read US Weekly on a semi-regular basis, we'll probably get along famously. If not, well, you've been warned.

As part of this Scavenger-Hunt-of-Awesome, we're giving away a signed copy of The Liar Society! Just leave a comment on this post to enter. Or don't. If you hate pink hair, secret societies, mysteries, Bravo television and US Weekly. We'll totally understand either way.

Ok, back to the scavenger hunt, today you'll be reading exclusive bonus material, signing up for giveaways, and getting an all access pass to top secret insider information. This fabulous sneak peek into what’s coming up in YA literature is for one day only! Get. Excited.

As an extra bonus we’ve put together a puzzle with one keyword found on each website. Complete it and you will be eligible for a fantastic GRAND PRIZE which will include signed editions of books, signed bookmarks, jewelry, and many more exclusive gifts with at least one from EVERY AUTHOR!

Scavenger Hunt Puzzle:
Directions: Search for keywords, one on each website that will be highlighted in red, and insert them into the puzzle. Then fill out the Google form here.

Rules: To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit this filled in puzzle before midnight on August 1st Pacific Time. All the keywords must be in the correct place, and the form must be completely filled out.

Welcome fans of young adult literature! Don’t forget to _______ up in time to join our special event! In ____________ you roll the dice and, like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Our scavenger hunt is very similar. Surprises wait around every corner. Turn one page and you’re chasing a _________ through a _________ _____________. Turn another and you are being ________ by a _______ which leaves your heart ________. YA ________s are full of ___________ heroes who must ___________ themselves for the greater good. Some of the characters travel through ______ or have a _________ __________. If there is one thing YA books have taught us, it’s that if you leave your ___________ keep an eye out for a patrolling ________. They’re very dangerous. Maybe not so frightening as a ____________, but still you should be careful. Also beware lest you become __________ by vampires. ______________ one is a different story. Just remember that bite has ___________ ramifications and that afterwards the sun can ______ you unless you get bitten by a glittering type. Whether you like dark, paranormal, romance, fantasy, ___________, Sci-Fi, or a combination of those, we’ve got something for you.

We think that each fan is a __________ and we love you all!

As if that weren't enough, we're hosting Inara Scott (holy awesome!).
Click here to read her super-secret content from The Talents.

 Did you catch the word in red? It's quite....POWER-ful. I know, I know, we're hilarious. Even more exciting, you can enter to win a copy of The Marked. Details for the contest can be found here:

Anywho, hope you copied and pasted that purple paragraph up there
, and that you'll visit all the blogs and websites today, looking for the red words to complete the scavenger hunt. If you want to read a super-secret scene that we cut from The Lies That Bind, click here. Also, Beth Revis is awesome. But you probably already knew that.

And then you can enter to win the grand prize that will include something from every author in the hunt!

Oh, and here's the link you need to take you to the next blog on the YA Scavenger Hunt of Awesome!

Happy hunting!!!

Don't call this a comeback

So it’s been a minute. Or 10. Or truthfully more like 2,102,400. At least we think that’s how many minutes there are in 3 years, but let...