Thursday, May 30, 2013

That Time of Year

It's that time of is nearly out and many promotions and graduations are taking place!

My son has promoted to high school. Wow! I look forward to his new life adventures and guiding him through the years to graduation. On another note, now after writing about teens and high school days, I'll get a fresher look into the high school experience once again. :)

We just wanted to wish congratulations to many of you who are graduating, promoting, or have a loved one reaching such a wonderful milestone in their lives. This is a time of celebration and fresh beginnings!

Congrats Grads!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Winner!

The winner of this past weekend's giveaway of an Advanced Reader Copy of A REALLY AWESOME MESS is...


Ronni, please contact me at, and I'll get the book in the mail to you!

Thanks to all who entered, and keep checking back for more awesome YA giveaways!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Really Awesome Mess, the Giveaway!

We were lucky to get an Advanced Reader Copy of an already-being-talked-about novel, A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin, which releases this July.

But one lucky commenter can read it next week!

A hint of Recovery Road, a sample of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and a cut of Juno. A Really Awesome Mess is a laugh-out-loud, gut-wrenching/heart-warming story of two teenagers struggling to find love and themselves.  

Two teenagers. Two very bumpy roads taken that lead to Heartland Academy. Justin was just having fun, but when his dad walked in on him with a girl in a very compromising position, Justin's summer took a quick turn for the worse. His parents' divorce put Justin on rocky mental ground, and after a handful of Tylenol lands him in the hospital, he has really hit rock bottom. 

Emmy never felt like part of her family. She was adopted from China. Her parents and sister tower over her and look like they came out of a Ralph Lauren catalog-- and Emmy definitely doesn't. After a scandalous photo of Emmy leads to vicious rumors around school, she threatens the boy who started it all on Facebook. 

Justin and Emmy arrive at Heartland Academy, a reform school that will force them to deal with their issues, damaged souls with little patience for authority. But along the way they will find a ragtag group of teens who are just as broken, stubborn, and full of sarcasm as themselves. In the end, they might even call each other friends.
A funny, sad, and remarkable story, A Really Awesome Mess is a journey of friendship and self-discovery that teen readers will surely sign up for.

To be entered to win, go to the comments and own up to a mess in your life.  (Your locker?  The trunk of your car?  Your hair?  Your book shelf?)   And then check back next Tuesday, May 28 to learn the winner.  Good luck!  

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Girl's Names for Today's Teens

As a young adult author, I pay a lot of attention to teen names.  Recently I perused some popular name websites for girls born between 1994 and 2000 (13 years old to 19).  Hands down, these were the most popular:


Followed by:


And then: 


But I have to say, these names don't necessarily line up with the teen readers I hear from and the ones I meet.  Many of them tend to have more unusual names. 

So I thought I would toss this out to our readers.  What is your experience?  Do you know a lot of Ashleys and Jessicas and Sarahs?  What are popular names for teen girls in your world?

Friday, May 03, 2013

What Inspires You?

This past weekend I was asked to be a part of our local Monterey County author forum: "What Inspires You?"

There were eight fantastic authors from different genres, and we were asked to share what inspired us, whether it was to create or write.

Some of the authors were also artists in painting, photography, poetry, and comic illustration. One theme that kept coming up was:

To use what is around you to inspire you.

It was a wonderful event and I'm happy to have been invited. Here are a few photos from the event:

(Last photo from comic writer Bridgett Spicer)

So tell me, what inspires you?