your soul.


your story.


new worlds.


outside the lines.


Monday, January 26, 2009

GCC Tours Diana Rodriguez Wallach

I'm thrilled to tour my fellow Kensington author, Diana Rodriguez Wallach and her new book ADIOS TO ALL THE DRAMA. First, I'll do a little and Q & A with Diana and then I'll fill you in on Diana and her novel (and did I mention she has an awesome publisher? Kensington? Oh right, I already did.) :)

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?

Actually, Amor and Summer Secrets is often compared to fellow GCC author Alyson Noel’s Cruel Summer. How flattering is that? I only hope some of the readers who love Alyson’s stories will take a liking to mine.

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a “must read” in order to join?

I have several favorite books. One of my favorites is The Little Prince. I think the lessons in that story are useful at any age (even the dedication inspires me). And I’m a huge Jane Austin fan, so her novels would also be a must. On the lighter side, I think an appreciation for Jon Stewart is very important. So I’d make sure my fellow members read America the Book.

What was your “initiation” to writing?

I think the Mardi Gras parades of 2006 initiated me. After my book went on submission with editors, my husband, Jordan , took a vacation to New Orleans . On Fat Tuesday, we spent the morning catching beads from parade floats in New Orleans . We stopped into our hotel room for a few minutes to dump our bounty when my cell phone rang. It was my agent. And it was THE CALL.

I was wearing a sequined mask with feathers and my favorite strings of gold, purple and green beads that I had caught during the trip. (On my website, there’s a photo of me on the phone with my agent during the exact moment I got the news of my book sale,

Let me just say that there is no better place on Earth to be when you get good news than Mardi Gras. There was an actual parade going on outside of my hotel room. I hung up the phone and spent the rest of the day dancing in the French Quarter with hundreds of costumed strangers and drinking hurricanes at Pat O’Briens. It was amazing.

When did you first feel that you’d officially joined the “published writers’ club”?

Officially, at my book launch party when everyone I knew was holding copies of Amor and Summer Secrets and asking me to sign them. But I’ve also had some recent experiences that have solidified the feeling, like my first emails from teen readers, and an invitation to speak at my alma mater, Boston University. (MKH note: YAY, BOSTON!!) I’m also going to speak at the Chica Lit Club Fiesta hosted by Alisa Valdes Rodriguez. This is particularly cool for me because a couple of years ago I was thinking of saving up money just so I could attend, and now I’ll be one of the featured authors. Crazy.

What was your best/worst memory of high school?

I went to some cool concerts in high school. I saw Alanis at the Theater of Living Arts on South Street in Philly for $8 when she first came out. And I went to Lollapalooza, Lilith Fair, Green Day, Janet Jackson. Good times.

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?

I went to Bora Bora for my honeymoon, and I’d be happy to return (who wouldn’t? It’s gorgeous). If I went back (should I say, “when” I go back?), I’d bring my husband, a bikini and a snorkel. Pure happiness.

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.

Adios to All The Drama is the third and final book in the Amor and Summer Secrets series. It just came out through Kensington Publishing in January, and I’m thrilled for readers to see how the story finally unfolds.

In this installment, Mariana Ruiz discovers that the summer fling she thought she left in Puerto Rico , Alex, will soon be coming for a visit. And as her old flame settles into the guestroom two doors down from her, Mariana finds herself conflicted between him and her lingering feelings for her Locker Buddy Bobby.

Additionally, her best friends are little help as Madison deals with her IM-only “boyfriend” and Emily sinks into secret mode after her parents’ recent breakup. The only relationship that seems to be working is her estranged aunt Teresa who’s tying the knot on New Years Eve with Mariana and her cousin Lilly as bridesmaids. But as the wedding details unfold, one question remains. Who will Mariana kiss at midnight?

Adios to All The Drama

Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Kensington Publishing

January 2009

Buy it here:

Diana’s Website:

Adios to All The Drama BACK COVER BLUB:

Mariana Ruiz thought she left her summer fling in Puerto Rico, that is until she finds Alex sitting across from her at the breakfast table. Living two doors down from her visiting old flame isn’t easy, especially given the unresolved sparks still lingering for her locker buddy Bobby—and they don’t exactly go unnoticed.

Her best friends are little help as Madison deals with her IM-only “boyfriend” and Emily sinks into secret mode after her parents’ recent breakup. The only relationship that seems to be working is her estranged aunt Teresa who’s tying the knot on New Years with Mariana and her cousin Lilly as bridesmaids. But the last wedding detail left unplanned is who will Mariana kiss at midnight?

Strained friendships, stolen kisses, and secret loves create plenty of surprises to unfold before the New Year’s bells start ringing…

Watch the BOOK TRAILER to Adios to All The Drama

About Diana

Diana Rodriguez Wallach’s debut novel, Amor and Summer Secrets, is the first in a young adult series published by Kensington Publishing in September 2008. The sequels to the series, Amigas and School Scandals and Adios to all the Drama, were released in November 2008 and January 2009, respectively.

Born to a Puerto Rican father and a Polish mother, Diana has experienced the cultures her characters inhabit, and many of the multi-cultural themes expressed in her novels are based on her personal background.

Diana holds a journalism degree from Boston University, and has worked as a reporter and as an advocate for inner city public schools. Her first novel, Amor and Summer Secrets, sold to Kensington Publishing on Fat Tuesday 2007 while she was at Mardi Gras wearing beads and a feathered mask.

She currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband Jordan and her cat Lupi, who was rescued from a shelter in Harlem. Diana enjoys traveling, watching bad TV, reading great novels, practicing yoga and cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles.

(MKH Note: watching bad tv, pdoing yoga, reading great novels and the Boston and Kensington connections? We are totally kindred spirits, Diana! How did we not know this about each other before??)

Bottom line, go out and buy ADIOS TO ALL THE DRAMA today, because, right now that's the attitude we should all have in 2009 (no more drama!!) And most importantly, give some love to us girls with the Kensington Publishing/City of Boston connection. We Bostonians won't hold her current residence of Philadelphia against her. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

GCC Tours Teri Brown, author of READ MY LIPS

Okay, it's time for another fabulous GCC author to make a blogstop here on her virtual blog tour. This time it's the wonderful Teri Brown with her novel, READ MY LIPS.

Here's a little bit about READ MY LIPS and the author, Teri Brown:

Read My Lips (Simon Pulse)

Popularity is as easy as a good secret.

Serena just wants to fly under the radar at her new school. But Serena is deaf, and she can read lips really well—even across the busy cafeteria. So when the popular girls discover her talent, there’s no turning back.

From skater chick to cookie-cutter prep, Serena’s identity has done a 180…almost. She still wants to date Miller, the school rebel, and she’s not ready to trade her hoodies for pink tees just yet. But she is rising through the ranks in the school’s most exclusive clique.

With each new secret she uncovers, Serena feels pressure to find out more. Reading lips has always been her greatest talent, but now Serena just feels like a gigantic snoop….

About Teri Brown

Teri Brown turned to writing in a desperate attempt to keep from having to get a paying job at her local McDonalds. Fortunately, she's been successful, and her debut young adult novel, Read My Lips (Simon Pulse), came out June, 2008. She is also a contributing editor for iParenting Media, and her magazine credits include Writer’s Digest, Women’s Health and Fitness, Dog Fancy, and Oregon Coast Magazine, among others. Teri lives with her husband and children in a dilapidated 1969 ranch style house in Portland, Oregon.

Questions for Teri:

Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to read your book once it’s completed?
Kerty Blaisdell is one of my first readers and then Kelly McClymer. I belong to a couple of different critique groups too.

What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?
I consider Brook Taylor a sister. We roomed together a week for a national conference and got a long great! I met Terri Clark and Linda Sandoval at the same conference and instantly clicked with both of them.

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?
Never happened.

What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”?
Joshilyn Jackson, John Irving, Kate Brian, Scott Westerfeld, Luisa May Alcott.

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a “must read” in order to join?
Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson.

What was your “initiation” to writing?
I guess when I first started to write. But the moment I remember most was after I read a biography about Miss Alcott. I climbed up in our apple tree and tried to write a poem.

What did you feel when you officially joined the “published writers’ club”?
Astonishment and major relief. I’d been on the verge for such a long time. I couldn’t hardly believe it.

What was your best/worst memory of high school?
Hmmm I’d rather not answer this one! I really didn’t like school much.

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?
Probably Orcas Island and I would take my husband with me. He could fish and I could read and life would be good!

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.
It would have to be a teen book club, though I know some adults like enjoyed it, too. My main character is deaf and I think it’s important for teens who are deaf because it gives them someone like them to identify with. For hearing teens, it gives a glimpse of what it would be like to be deaf.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My movie star daughter in Paul Blart: Mall Cop!

I was so excited to see the latest trailer for Paul Blart Mall Cop, because my six-year-old daughter Piper (who had a teeny, tiny extra role in the film) was prominently featured in the trailer.

Here are some screen shots of Piper in the film, as well as a link to the trailer. Hope everyone goes out and sees this fabulously funny movie this weekend (we'll be seeing it hundreds of times, of course!). And make sure you keep an eye out for the little girl popping bubbles -- my little movie star, Piper.

(She's going to be bringing a pen to the theater today in case anyone wants an autograph----ha ha!!) :D

Saturday, January 10, 2009

GCC Tours Eileen Cook

Again, I'm a little delayed on my Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit tour of the fabulous author, Eileen Cook. I'm already going against my 29 resolutions for 2009--always try to be on time. Although, I must confess, that that could be taken as get to places on time as opposed to meet deadlines on time. Perhaps I should add an addendum to #16 in my list that says (Always be on time AND always meet deadlines on time.) But for now, I'll let it remain.

In any case, here's some info on Eileen and her new book, WHAT WOULD EMMA DO?

About the book:

Thou shalt not kiss thy best friend’s boyfriend…again….

There is no greater sin than kissing you best friend’s boyfriend. So when Emma breaks that golden rule, she knows she’s messed up big-time. Especially since she lives in the smallest town ever, where everyone knows everything about everyone else….and especially because she maybe kinda wants to do it again. Now her best friend isn’t speaking to her, her best guy friend is making things totally weird, and Emma is running full speed toward certain social disaster. This is so not the way senior year was supposed to go.

Time to pray for a minor miracle. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Emma to stop trying to please everyone around her, and figure out what she wants for herself.

What others are saying:

“Sassy and sly and sweet all at the same time, this book made me laugh out loud.” – Meg Cabot author of the Princess Diaries

“Not since Judy Blume’s Margaret introduced herself to God has there been such a funny, geuine, conflicted, wanna-be-sort-good-maybe-later girl as Emma. Eileen Cook’s tone as she takes on the big ones – life, love, faith and friendship is pitch perfect.” – Jacqueline Mitchard author of Deep End of the Ocean and Midnight Twins

“Smart and fun and full of heart.” – Sarah Mlynowski author of Bras and Broomsticks

About the Author:

Eileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. When she was unable to find any job postings for world famous author, she went to Michigan State University and became a counselor so she could at least afford her book buying habit. But real people have real problems, so she returned to writing because she liked having the ability to control the ending. Which is much harder with humans.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

What Would Emma Do?

Simon Pulse/ December 30, 2008

Eileen Cook

Buy the Book here!!

Here is my interview with the incomparable, amazingly talented Eileen Cook! ENJOY!

Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to read your book once it's completed?

I am lucky enough to have a great group of people who are willing to read my books when they are in that early ugly stage. The group is split between other writers and those who don’t like to write- but love to read. They range in age from 14 to 65 so I can always count on getting a range of feedback.

What writers do you consider your "sisters"? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?

One of the best things about writing is other writers. I’ve been so lucky to meet so many positive people. I keep in touch with both published and non published (at least yet!) writers. When my first book came out I was lucky enough to be a part of the Debutante Ball. ( This is a group of six writers all who are debuting a book in that year. Be sure to go by and check out this year’s group! In doing “the ball” I had a chance to talk with great authors like Meg Cabot, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, Meg Tilly and Jane Green. (MKH note: SO JEALOUS!!)

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?

I haven’t heard myself compared to anyone yet- but I would LOVE to be connected to Meg Cabot, Judy Blume, or Sarah Dessen. Maybe if I compare myself the story will take on a life of its own and people will assume it is the truth. (MKH note: I'd second those connections!)

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a "must read" in order to join?

I was an English major in college. I can remember every year there were always a few books that I HATED and had to slog my way through to the end. I vowed that when I was done with school there would never again be a “must read.” There are too many books in the world without enough time to read them all, so if I’m not enjoying it I put it down. For that reason, I wouldn’t have any must reads. I find that books are like food, sometimes what one person likes someone else will hate. Plus I have to be in “the mood” for certain books.

What was your "initiation" to writing?

I’ve loved books and reading as long as I can remember. As soon as I understood that there people who got to make those stories up I knew that I wanted to do that. My parents saved an English homework assignment I did in second grade where the teacher wrote at the bottom “Someday I’m sure you will be an author!” When my first book came out my dad hunted down this teacher. She was over 90 years old and lived in a nursing home. We went out to visit her and my parents were hoping for a big meaningful moment- but she spent the whole time talking about her bunions.

When did you first feel that you'd officially joined the "published writers' club"?

There is a club?! Do we have secret hand signals? Maybe coordinated t-shirts? (MKH: Yes, there is....ssshhhh! But like Fight Club, once you're in it, you don't talk about it. And yes, Brad Pitt is in the club, but don't tell anyone.) This is my second book and I’m still not sure that I feel like I’m officially in the club. Part of me wouldn’t be surprised to wake up and find the whole thing has been a dream. Every time I see my book on the shelf at a bookstore I get the thrill all over again.

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?

Near my home there is Salt Spring Island.. The house we stay in when we visit is right on the ocean and the otters come out of the ocean to fool around on the deck. You can see the Orca whales in the harbor. We go kayaking- but the majority of the time is spent sitting in a lounge chair listening to the water, throwing random food on the BBQ when hungry and reading stacks of books. Oooh this makes me want to go right now.

Thanks for taking time to chat with me about your latest book. Now make sure to add reading Eileen's book, WHAT WOULD EMMA DO? to YOUR New Year's Resolution list. I know that I will.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

29 Resolutions for the Year 2009

At the suggestion of my sister (aka publicist) one of my goals for 2009 is to keep my blog more up to date. In her words, "you're funnier when you IM me than you are in real life." Or maybe she said "more interesting" or something to that effect. But you get the picture. In any case, it got me thinking that a) my sister must not really like talking to me all that much in person and b) I should keep up my blog.

So, in honor of the new year, I've decided to put my New Year's Resolutions on my blog for all to see, and so that if I slip up and stop following through with them, I can be reminded by the tens of people who are avid followers of this blog.

1. I will take more steps toward seeing life as being good and not just wear the apparel that states that fact.

2. I will not play time management games online like Diner Dash, Cake Mania, Coffee Rush or Sally's Salon and pretend that I am actually learning time management skills. I will admit to myself that I am procrastinating and that no matter how many times I help Flo in all of her crazy Dash games, it will not help me make progress on my novel.

3. I will try to stop using the phrase, "In a minute," when talking to my daughter. I realize that she hears this from me all too often and is now displaying symptoms of sibling rivalry with the computer. Also, since she is six, she technically knows how long a minute is, and will end up standing there counting out the seconds anyway, so there really is no point in trying to get any work accomplished during that time. Plus, the money that I make writing will end up being spent years from now on her therapy, so I might as well nip it in the bud now.

4. I will impress upon my husband that just because my birthday falls between Christmas and Valentine's Day, one present for all three occasions does not count.

5. After discussing this with my therapist, I need to set boundaries and time limits and prioritize my life. I need to have personal time, as well as time for working and time for my family. This is the only way that I will be able to accomplish what is important to me. I wonder where blogging should fall on that list?

6. I will treat my job as a writer as a JOB and not work at a desk overflowing with coffee cups, towels, bottles of moisturizers, Webkinz, prescription bottles, takeout menus, makeup and gummy dinosaurs (I'm listing just a few of the things in my line of vision-- I could list more, but that would take all day). In order to get my work done, I need an orderly office, and not a catch-all room for all the overflow in the house. (This may be a separate goal, but I'll put them together as they both fit into the "tidiness" and "workspace" category.)

7. I will not count watching television shows and reading books and magazines and "working" and "letting my ideas percolate" for new projects. I will admit that I'm just procrastinating. (Knitting, making jewelry, surfing the internet and emailing friends also fall into this category.)

8. I will get out of the house and spend time with real live friends and not just count my texts and IMs with people I don't really know on Facebook as having a social life. (My husband is sick of hearing me talk about things going on in my "friends" lives, especially when he knows that they are just Facebook and MySpace friends. Sigh...)

9. I will live by the words of Shaq. I'm following him on Twitter and I've discovered that his pearls of wisdom are words to live by. Honestly, who is happier than Shaq? I watched him do the show where he taught kids to be healthy and he's probably the happiest-go-lucky guy in the world. (Please note: this is in no way me poking fun at Shaquille O'Neal. What 5 foot 2 girl in their right mind would make fun of an incredible athlete who is almost twice her size. I love Shaq! He's like a big teddy bear!)

10. I will meet Johnny Depp. I know that this has been my New Year's resolution since 1985 when I first saw him on 21 Jump Street, and it will continue to stay on my list until it happens.

11. I will let the people in my life know how much I love and care about them. Yes, I know, sappy stuff, but very important.

12. I will not base my happiness on how many people like my books, how many friends I have (on FB), how many people in the publishing industry like, dislike or even know who I am, or how my books are selling. There is more to life than having a successful career. If I can just entertain a few people with my books, then I have done my job as a writer.

13. I will not end my resolutions on an unlucky number.

14. I will not count playing Wii as exercise, and actually get my butt onto a treadmill once in awhile. (Although, I may have to make an exception for Wii Fit, which ROCKS!)

15. I will no longer refer to people that I don't like (or even hate) as resembling small animals or creatures (rat-face, chinchilla head, porcupine lady, Finding Nemo head). I realize that this is unfair to the animals (and sea life) that have no control over how they look and should not be used to describe the people that I detest. I will find some other way to express my dislike for these horribly mean people without insulting the animals.

16. I will always be on time. (Everyone who knows me can stop laughing right now, dammit!)

17. I will not swear as often. (Please ignore the last part of resolution number 16.)

18. I will play with my daughter more often so that she will stop drawing family portraits at school and have me with a computer mouse in one hand and a book in the other.

19. I will sell more books than Stephenie Meyer. Ha ha! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. No, seriously, I'll stop comparing my book sales to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books and just accept that she and J.K. Rowling will never allow my books to get onto the Amazon top books lists.

20. I will try to make my daughter understand that although Avril Lavigne is one of my FB and MySpace friends, I can't ACTUALLY introduce them and therefore she can't REALLY perform backup at one of her concerts.

21. I will convince my husband that a six-year-old can go to an Avril Lavigne concert, because she is her ultimate idol.

22. I will not stress. (Despite the fact that my high school yearbook prediction for the year 2010 was that I will be a stress counselor, because I was always stressed out as a teenager. Some things never change.)

23. I will not procrastinate. Again, everyone who knows me...STOP LAUGHING!!

24. I will live in the NOW. (Thank you Eckhart Tolle.)

25. I will try to take extended breaks from the Internet, although at times I wish I were connected to it intravenously.

26. I will stop counting coffee as my daily intake of fluids. I will also stop counting coffee as my breakfast and lunch and a pre-dinner snack.

27. I will be thankful for the special people in my life and let them know that on an on-going basis. This includes family, friends, writing and publishing world friends, and online bloggers who ROCK!

28. I will stop using the word ROCK as often as I do. I will also try to cut out the words awesome, supercool, hardcore, insane, crazy, and neat--(yes, I still use that word when talking to my daughter. Even a six-year-old knows how uncool that is).

29. I will work every day to try to make myself a better person: a better mother, sister, wife, daughter, friend, writer, blogger.

So there you have it, my 29 resolutions for 2009. If I don't stick to any of them, feel free to let me know. (And don't hold back!) And if anyone has a problem with any of my resolutions, it's all my sister/publicist's fault for encouraging me to blog more, so email her at

(Hey, I never made taking responsibility for my actions one of my resolutions. So there!).