Friday, July 31, 2009

Models wanted

It seems like only yesterday that my father-in-law found an adorable kitten abandoned under his house.

I took Kitty in, because he needed me, and because I thought I could exploit him to publicize my books.

However, it was NOT only yesterday. It was more than a year and countless cans of Friskies Meaty Bits ago. Now Kitty is wearing his Meaty Bits on his hips, but he continues to live in the fast lane as if he were still three months old.

The saddest part is, he genuinely does not seem to realize his career as a model is over.

Like so many child stars who don’t age well, he is no longer an effective spokescat for my books. We here at Jennifer Echols LLC try to portray an upbeat image to the teens, and we feel that Kitty would be more comfortable hawking another product, such as denture cream or protective undergarments.

This means I am in the market for a new spokesperson for The Ex Games, due in stores on September 8. If you know any talking babies or Chihuahuas, please send them my way.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Book Trailer & FREE book giveawy!

Hello! It's always so exciting to see which Ro-Coms are coming out. Congrat's to those authors who have summer releases.

I'm way behind on my blogging because I'm busy traveling and getting a new book whipped into shape. But I have some pretty exciting news to share. Check out the book trailer for Miss Match

I hope you enjoy it! To celebrate, I'm giving away a FREE signed copy of Miss Match. Just contact me via my website and write "enter me" in your message to be entered into a random drawing on Monday, Aug. 3.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Your Half-Year's Resolution

I usually give myself two fresh starts a year—one on New Year’s Day and the other on my birthday. I was born in March, the month when most people (especially moi) are loosening their grip on their New Year’s resolutions. So by the time March 19th rolls around, I quietly rededicate myself to those personal promises I made back in January. But in 2009, I’m giving myself a third opportunity to stay on course.

July 1st marked the start of the year’s second half. Sounds like a good time as any to throw out what hasn’t worked and pick up better habits. So, call me Cap’n, because I’m setting sail and charting a new and improved course.

Yep, that’s me and our house guest (my groom’s best man) on a hobikat (read: a raft with a sail attached). Nevermind that seconds after this photo was taken, the sail whipped around and knocked that brand new cap right off my head and into the water (never to be seen again). And so what we had to be rescued two hours later after difficulty navigating back to shore? Living close to the ocean has inspired me. It’s all about staying afloat, navigating through rough waves, letting the wind catch your sail…and any other maritime-born cliché you can think of.

My half-year checkup showed that I’ve been feeling easily overwhelmed (editing and writing deadlines, traveling, hosting a parade of house guests, etc.). Time to pick up the slack and get back on board. My half-year’s resolution is to read and write more hours in the day, stay disciplined, and dedicate myself to regular exercise and better eating habits (I recently purchased my first yoga mat!).

This calls for a little inspiration.
Here I am standing tall next to the tall ships visiting from all over the world.

Anyone with me? What’s your half-year’s resolution?

Chicks ahoy! :-)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Great news! least, if you're ready for a ro-com set in a winter wonderland! The publication date of The Ex Games has been moved up to September 8. You can see the description here, or listen to the soundtrack and read the first chapter here. Then leave a comment in my guestbook and tell me what you think!

However, as it is 90 degrees here in Alabama (and we think that's nice and cool for July), I am having a little difficulty getting into the winter spirit. I just spent a terrific 4th of July down at the 44,000-acre lake where I grew up, which is also the basis for the setting of Major Crush and The Boys Next Door. There was a boat parade in the morning--here's an example with somebody dressed up like a hot dog, and in the background you can see one of the bridges that inspired Lori and Adam's bridge in The Boys Next Door.

That night we watched the fireworks over the lake. After using the "fireworks" setting on my camera, I am no longer impressed by this feature, but at the bottom right you can see the lights of hundreds of boats that watch the show from the lake (I have done that too, when I was a teenager, and it was awesome). Under the fireworks you can see the smoke from burning bushes. It is not a party in Alabama until something catches fire.

The 4th is over, but next week I'm going on the trip I look forward to every summer: the Romance Writers of America National Convention, where I see all my writer friends. If you live in the Washington D.C. area, you should definitely come to the charity booksigning next Wednesday night. I'll be signing Going Too Far, and you can meet other YA authors including Rosemary Clement-Moore, Melissa Marr, and our own Niki Burnham. Bring your mom, because Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, Linda Howard, Allison Brennan, and my critique partner Victoria Dahl are always there, along with hundreds of others. If you miss me Wednesday night, you can come to the Pocket signing from 9:45 to 11:15 Friday morning (Going Too Far is published by MTV Books, which is a division of Pocket Books, which is a division of Simon & Schuster = the publishing industry is hopelessly complicated). And if D.C. is a world away from you, keep in mind that next July the convention will be held in Nashville.

After the convention, I have one more beach trip to go, and then my son goes back to school on August 10. So I guess the summer really is drawing to a close for me. How about your summer? What have you been up to? Do you feel like your glass of summery goodness is half-full or half-empty?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Non-required reading

Question: When is a Ro Com author not a Ro Com author?

Nah, it's not really a riddle! 
Survey says: when she's authoring her own fancy new hardcover novel, which, in the case of Aimee Friedman, is the upcoming Sea Change from Scholastic Point!

Aimee's book is the story of a girl who finds a magical kind of love at the beach over the course of one mysterious summer--the perfect book to toss in your tote on your way to your own fun-in-the-sun afternoon. This past Wednesday, Aimee hosted a book party at the beautiful Boat Basin Cafe . The weather co-operated, and it was the ideal balmy night to fete a book that celebrates the steamy, sexy atmosphere of a summer romance. That's Aimee on the left up there--isn't she purty?--next to me, and authors Lynn Weingarten and Claudia Gabel. Fun was had by all, and we talked books in between fruity cocktails and stories about boys. All in all, a perfect book party!

Summer is a great time to catch up on our easy, breezy, escapist reading (hence my copy of LA Candy sitting beside me on the desk AS WE SPEAK). OBVS, the Simon Pulse Ro Coms make for great beach reads, but what you might not know is that your fave Ro Com authors also write original stories that are one hundred percent vacation-tested, Micol-approved. 

Some suggestions (keep in mind that this list is in no way exhaustive):

1. Goddess Games by Niki Burnham: One summer at a spa that changes everything. Personally, I don't even care about the dramz--summer at a SPA? I'm there!
2. The Drama series by Paul Ruditis: because you know you need your HSM fix. 
3. Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols: edgy + hot = sign me up!

Oh--and of course, don't forget Sea Change!

So, what are YOU reading this summer? 

*and PS: not to be too self-serving, but I'd probably be remiss if I didn't mention a certain other project out just in time for summer...