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Monday, June 23, 2008

GCC Tours Jenny O'Connell's Local Girls & Rich Boys Island Series

For my first "official" blog tour with the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit, I'm going to interview Jenny O'Connell about her Martha's Vineyard YA Series with two books, LOCAL GIRLS and RICH BOYS both being published this summer.  I can guarantee these books are going to be a GREAT summer read! Thanks, Jenny, for taking the time to stop by my blog on your tour!

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Bestselling author Jenny O’Connell presents a sizzling new series for summer. Her first two Island Summer novels, LOCAL GIRLS and RICH BOYS (MTV/Pocket Books; June 2008; $9.95 each) highlight the lives of the summering visitors, the year-round locals living in the beach towns of Martha’s Vineyard, and the fireworks that explode when they combine for three steamy months.

In LOCAL GIRLS, friendships are in danger of ending with the summer. Kendra and Mona are best friends, local girls who spend their summers catering to rich tourists and the rest of the year chafing against small-town life. Then Mona's mom marries one of the island's rich summer visitors, and Mona joins the world of the Boston elite, leaving Kendra and Martha's Vineyard behind. When Mona returns the following summer, everything is different.

Unlike his sister, Mona's twin brother Henry hasn't changed. He's spending his summer the way he always has: with long, quiet hours fishing. Early mornings before work become special for Kendra as she starts sharing them with Henry, hoping he can help her figure Mona out. Then Kendra hatches a plan to prove she's Mona's one true friend: uncover the identity of the twins' birth father, a question that has always obsessed Mona. And so she begins to unravel the seventeen-year-old mystery of the summer boy who charmed Mona's mother. But it may prove to be a puzzle better left unsolved--as what she is about to discover will change their lives forever...

In RICH BOYS, Winnie jumps at the chance to babysit for a wealthy summer family and earn some extra money—but soon learns that life in the Barclay’s beautiful vacation home isn’t as perfect as it appears. And what was supposed to be a carefree summer quickly becomes more complicated than she ever thought possible.

Learn how you can win an Island Summer t-shirt – just in time for the beach. Go to and enter to win today! And learn more about LOCAL GIRLS and RICH BOYS at

Here's my chat with Jenny O'Connell:

In my debut novel, SISTERS OF MISERY, the main group of mean girls call themselves the Sisters of Misery since they take part in orientation rituals on Misery Island. Here are some questions for you about your own cliques (hopefully they aren’t as mean as the ones in my story!)

What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?
There are a bunch of us who all got published at the same time in the same genre. It also happened that three of them lived in Chicago , where I lived at the time. I also edited an anthology called EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME and I hand-picked every writer who contributed and we got to promote the book together and have a great time. So, here they are: Laura Caldwell, Stacey Ballis, Megan McCafferty, Alison Pace, Cara Lockwood, Melissa Senate. I know if I ever needed something, I could email them.

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?
I’ve had readers send me emails and say Sarah Dessen, who, personally, I love. Other than that I just don’t know.

What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”? (It doesn’t have to be in your genre….doesn’t even have to be living! For example, I’d pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).
I’d love the writers mentioned above, plus I’d love to meet Sarah Dessen and Sonya Sones, Norma Klein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marilyn French.

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a “must read” in order to join?
The Women’s Room by Marilyn French

What was your “initiation” to writing?
I sat down and started typing.

When did you first feel that you’d officially joined the published writers’ club?
When my agent called to tell me my first book had a preempt offer. But, honestly, I still sort of don’t believe I’ve joined the club.

What was your best/worst memory of high school?
I liked school, but I couldn’t wait for college. I knew that’s where I’d meet my best friends and make lifelong memories. I don’t really have any bad memories of high school except crappy people – girls who were bitchy or guys who thought they were above everything. They sucked.

In SISTERS OF MISERY, the last place new members want to go to is Misery Island. But if you had the choice, what island would you go to and what would you take with you?
Can I have two answers? In the summer and fall I’d go to Martha’s Vineyard and I’d bring my laptop, a t-shirt and shorts and my family and friends. In winter and fall I’d go to Anguilla and bring my husband.

Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I’d want to pick it for my own book club.

Even though LOCAL GIRLS and RICH BOYS are part of a series each story has a main character that’s vaguely part of the first book. Because of that readers get to spend time on a beautiful island and become familiar with the setting but they’re always getting a new character’s perspective on it. That, and, well, the books are just a lot of fun!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My first review!!

My first review!!! Super exciting! Thanks, Harriet Klausner!!

Sisters of Misery-Megan Kelley Hall

Sisters of Misery

Megan Kelley Hall

Kensington, Aug 2008, $9.95

ISBN: 9780758226792

Hawthorne is right next door to Salem; and at the times of the witch hunts three women were killed on Misery Island. Now Hawthorne is a conservative town that on the surface seems to belong on a postcard. Maddie Crane belongs to the Sisters of Misery, which is led by vicious Kate Endicott. Maddie knows she will never leave the club because she fears what the members will do to her.

She is excited that her coaunt Rebecca, a free spirit and her daughter Cordelia have returned to live in Hawthorne. After a rough start, the Sisters of Misery and Cordelia go to Misery Island. Kate has plans for Cordelia and Maddie passes out when it is her turn to be part of Cordelia’s initiation. When she wakes up the next morning at her home, she does not remember what happened including how she got home. When the Sisters return to Misery Island to free Cordelia, she cannot be found. Afraid of what she and the others might have done, Maddie searches for clues to learn what did occur; unaware that her inquiry will lead to more tragedy.

This young adult fantasy will appeal to older readers as well. The character driven tale contains a gothic tone and atmosphere as the main characters are interesting people who have kept secrets for decades. Maddie is a follower; afraid to lead or leave a group she loathes until the Cordelia incident serves as a catalyst to challenge the power of the Sisters of Misery. There are a crop of new girls to replace their mothers as Sisters who control Hawthorne. Fans will find it difficult at first to accept a young girl like Kate is evil because of her age, but will accept the truth as Megan Kelley Halls makes her malevolence seem genuine. She and Maddie are fascinating antagonists who turn the SISTERS OF MISERY into an enjoyable read.

Harriet Klausner

Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit!

So, I've been invited to be a part of the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit (or GCC) and it's a huge honor and I'm super-thrilled to be included with these talented ladies. But it also means that I need to start blogging more. A lot more. The pressure is definitely on lately, since my first book comes out in about a month and I have my second book due to my publisher in October. (If my editor, Danielle, is reading this--I'm totally on top of things. Yup. Definitely under control). Ummm, yeah, sure....anyway....

Since I never got the chance to share my experience at BEA in Los Angeles on this blog, I'm going to tell you all about the glitz and glamour of being a debut author signing at the Los Angeles Convention Center at Book Expo America. My experience was surreal. Got off to a rocky start, though. The day of my signing I scalded my hand on two large cups of BURNING Starbucks coffee when my cardboard tray folded in on itself. For those of you who were at the show and saw the paramedics coming into the cafeteria and wrapping the hand of a crying girl, that was me!! Way to make an impression on booksellers! I spent the rest of the day with my scalded hand wrapped (luckily it wasn't my signing hand), taking breaks every now and then to head down to First Aid to get my hand re-bandaged. There were definitely celebrities galore. If anyone had told me years ago that I would be signing books directly across from Barbara Walters, I would have had them committed. But, that's what happened. Lucky for me, I got all of Barbara's cast-offs. Alec Baldwin was there signing his book on parenting (irony anyone?). My sister (another member of my publicity company) had her pic taken with James Patterson, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Jackson, Jackie Collins and Alec. Other celebs in attendance were Marilu Henner (tiny and adorable), Jules Asner, Stephen Baldwin, Dionne Warwick, Captain Kirk, Brooke Shields (flawless) and Omarosa (if she's considered a celebrity).

I was totally surprised by the weather. Is it usually that cold in Los Angeles in early June? I could have stayed in Boston for those cold temps!!
We stayed in Hollywood and the only celebrities (besides the ones book show) that we saw were a few at the Don't Mess with the Zohan premiere, which took place right outside my hotel, so it was pretty cool to stargaze without feeling like a stalker. We saw David Hasselhoff, Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman and I'm pretty sure I saw Jonathyn Rhys Myers (of the Tudors fame) getting into a huge stretch limo. We didn't see Adam Sandler, but to go all the way to Los Angeles just to wait around and see a New Hampshire boy seemed a little silly. We were such the tourists. Walked in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater. Took pics of the hand/foot prints and stars on the Walk of Fame and the Hollywood sign. Went to Mel's Diner for breakfast. And took a quick trip to Disneyland for my little girl, Piper. She got to see lots of her own celebrities-- Minnie Mouse, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto. She was psyched!!

I've got to start setting up signings this summer. I have one scheduled in Salem at Cornerstone Books on September 6th. If you're in the neighborhood, come on in for a chat!
Anyway, I want to thank the ladies of the Girl's Cyber Circuit for including me. Here's a shout out to my new "girlfriends!" Yay! First I'd like to thank Jennifer O'Connell and Karin Gillespie for inviting me!
And now I'd like to officially say hi to all the girls in the group:

Jennifer Barnes, Amanda Ashby, April Henry, Carrie Jones, Eileen Cook, Elizabeth Lenhard, E. Lockhart, Jennifer Echols, Kelly Parra, Lauren Barnholdt, Megan Crane, Melanie Hauser, Melissa Walker, Paula Hyman, Sara Hantz, Shanna Swendson, Stephanie Kuehnert, Tanya Stone, Lara Zeises, and (my neighbor) Laurie Stolarz.

Let the fun begin...